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Thread: Chaplains as Liaisons with Religious Leaders: Lessons From Iraq and Afghanistan

  1. #121
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Somehow or other, we got the reputation of being a "graduate seminar in COIN", and that is pretty accurate. But let me note one key point - "seminar". SWJ is an ongoing seminar; we rarely come to a unanimous conclusion on anything. A large part of our role is to raise awareness of questions surrounding issues, and this thread is certainly a case in point.
    Some of us have been highly trained and educated (two different concepts) to question everything, accept very little, and continue to question that.
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    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default In the words of Bill the Cat

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Let's also not confuse chaplains/anesthesiologists with civil affairs officers/neurosurgeons--the one enables treatment by sedating the nervous system; the other treats problems with that nervous system.
    Ack!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_the_Cat
    Last edited by Surferbeetle; 03-04-2008 at 05:18 AM.
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  3. #123
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Sam,

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Some of us have been highly trained and educated (two different concepts) to question everything, accept very little, and continue to question that.
    Yup, the essence of the scientific method. Of course, there is another reason to not come to conclusions per se, which has to do with OPSEC .
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hi John,

    And that is part of the problem - sigh. Of course, another part of the problem is that we don't get much of the counter side. How many chaplains have refused to engage in this type of work? Have there been career repercussions from that decision? I don't know - we lack data. How about non-Christian chaplains? Are any deployed? Are they engaged in this type of work? What was their reception? Again, we lack data.

    Hmmm. As a social scientist who specializes in qualitative research, let me just note that one interview is not a statistically valid universe . Leaving that issue aside, however, do we have any open source information on training for this type of action?
    I dare not air any dirty laundry, but the short answer is yes, some chaplains have refused to perform this type of work. As far as repercussions, I don't know. If the commander supports his chaplain in the refusal, it becomes not too much of an issue with that Division. There are extenuating circumstances however to those types of decisions, which in the eyes of some, is defacto policy setting.

    Muslim and Jewish chaplains have also engaged Iraqi clerics.

    As far as training, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) has stood up a phenomenal program called Engagement University. These articles will not provide very much detail but you may get the idea.
    SIMULATING SHEIKHS (scroll down about half way)
    ARMY SIMULATES SHEIKH ENCOUNTERS (requires free membership in Military.com)
    "Its easy, boys. All we have to do is follow my simple yet ingenius plan..."

  5. #125
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi John,

    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Proctor View Post
    I dare not air any dirty laundry, but the short answer is yes, some chaplains have refused to perform this type of work. As far as repercussions, I don't know. If the commander supports his chaplain in the refusal, it becomes not too much of an issue with that Division. There are extenuating circumstances however to those types of decisions, which in the eyes of some, is defacto policy setting.
    I wouldn't want you to . 'sides that, I'm sure someone in the press would do so. Anyway, it's something to look for in future data.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Proctor View Post
    Muslim and Jewish chaplains have also engaged Iraqi clerics.
    Okay. So no Buddhists, Sikhs, etc. then.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Proctor View Post
    As far as training, the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) has stood up a phenomenal program called Engagement University. These articles will not provide very much detail but you may get the idea.
    SIMULATING SHEIKHS (scroll down about half way)
    ARMY SIMULATES SHEIKH ENCOUNTERS (requires free membership in Military.com)
    Thanks, John, I'll look through them when I get a chance (too much work going on today <sigh>).

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Opinion Leaders
    Individuals play a variety of roles in the social system and one crucial role is that of the opinion leader. Opinion leadership is “the degree to which an individual is able to informally influence other individual’s attitudes or overt behavior is a desired way with relative frequency.” (84) The leadership pattern is undoubtedly the most significant element of any local culture to work through in presenting new ideas (innovations). (85) There is probably no way to ruin the chances for an innovation more quickly than to ignore the traditional leaders or to choose the wrong ones. (86) Opinion leaders are usually members of the culture in which they exert their influence.

    Generalizations on Opinion Leaders

    1. The change agent’s success is positively relate to the extent that he works through opinion leaders. (93)
    The success of the political career of Gamal Abdul Nasser as a change agent seems to have been related to his use of opinion leaders. Early in his career he attributed his disappointments to a dependence on the mass media alone. Then he decided to seek the views of the leaders of opinion, such as the intellectuals, the elite, the large landholders, and the politicians. But they seemed to be more concerned with their own personal desires. Then Nasser turned to what proved to be the two strongest forces of influence in the society: the army and the ulema (Muslim preachers). (94) The position of the ulema and the Friday sermon had high credibility in the Muslim society, and the legitimacy of the sermon made traditional people more willing to listen to it and comply with the modern messages communicated through it. (95)

    2. Opinion leaders are more accessible. (106)
    This is because they have greater social participation than their followers. Borthwick’s study of the role of the ulema (Muslim preachers) supports this characteristic because they are very accessible to the people. (107) Abu-Lughod’s study also confirmed that those who interacted the most with the people were the ones who were the opinion leaders, not the government officials who were outsiders to the community. (108) Dawn identifies the bureaucrats and the businessmen as being much more likely candidates for being effective opinion leaders than are the intellectuals. (109)
    Reaching the Arabs, by Tim Matheny, 1981 by William Carey Press


    Mosque Leaders as Spheres of Influence
    Middle Eastern cities have historically relied on the religious teachings and restraint of Islam and the Islamic community leaders, located in the mosque, to regulate society at the local level. For much of history this alleviated the need for fully developed city administrations and bureaucracy. It also facilitated totalitarian government because government behavior was only informally checked by Islamic law and by the popular power invested in the mosque’s religious leadership.3 A mutual accommodation between the city government and urban religious leaders is the traditional bedrock of successful Middle Eastern city government. Islam, as a religion and as a culture, sees no inherent taboo in closely integrating church and state.4
    Typically, the city’s Friday Mosque hosts the main Friday prayer ritual that is usually attended, and sometimes led by the political leadership of the city. It serves to reinforce the bond between the secular leadership and the population and, to an extent, to legitimize the secular leadership. Other smaller mosques, with their associated local religious leadership, serve the daily needs of local neighborhoods throughout the city and are similarly aligned with the local secular leadership, if such exists.

    At the local level, the mosque’s religious leadership is often the neighborhood leadership. In this manner the mosque and its associated ulema help bond the city’s secular leadership and the neighborhood with the population, while at the same time reaffirming the ulema’s leadership role in the neighborhood’s social structure. At the national level, virtually every nation in the Middle East, with the exception of Turkey and Israel, acknowledge Islam in its constitution. Even Syria, which places little official emphasis on religion, acknowledges that “the laws of the state shall be inspired by the Shari’a.”6 Thus, the mosque, as the center of Islamic prayer and activity, cannot avoid involvement, direct and indirect, in the politics of Middle Eastern cities.
    - Traditions, Changes, and Challenges: Military Operations and the Middle Eastern City
    Lieutenant Colonel Louis A. DiMarco, US Army
    Combat Studies Institute Press, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
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  7. #127
    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Some of us have been highly trained and educated (two different concepts) to question everything, accept very little, and continue to question that.
    Which is, in itself, a series of (possibly) unacknowledged assumptions. To accept the scientific method is to "accept" the assumption that everything must be questioned.

    One of the mistakes I would suggest that "secularists" make, is that they are somehow "neutral" in the eyes of religionists. Or at least superior to opposing religious views.

    In a way, it becomes a "two brothers squabbling" paradigm. You may see me and my brother fighting, but the instant you, as an outsider, step in to stop it, I will see you as not a peacemaker, but as someone attacking my brother.

    Secularists most definitely fall into the "I can beat on my brother all I want, but if you try to beat on my brother, we will defend each other" category.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi 120,

    You know I'm not going to let this one pass without comment !

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    Some of us have been highly trained and educated (two different concepts) to question everything, accept very little, and continue to question that.
    Which is, in itself, a series of (possibly) unacknowledged assumptions. To accept the scientific method is to "accept" the assumption that everything must be questioned.
    You're right that this is an often unacknowledged assumption made by many people. It is not, however, a necessary condition of applying a scientific method (ref to Popper). In the "classic" (16th-17th century) form, the scientific method draws a solid distinction between that which can be tested and that which cannot. Sometimes that line is arbitrary, but much of the time it is based on how far we have extended our sense via either technology or perceptual categorization (aka theory). In that realm that can be questioned, everything should be taken as "conditional" and subject to re-questioning as our perceptions, tools and techniques evolve. In the realm on the other side of the line, the scientific method, in the sense of experimentally testing truth claims again observed reality, doesn't apply by definition since we can't test it. In effect, the epistemological base of science breaks down once you are over the line.

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    One of the mistakes I would suggest that "secularists" make, is that they are somehow "neutral" in the eyes of religionists. Or at least superior to opposing religious views.
    Yupper, and sometimes we find fundamentalist extremist forms of secularists; Richard Dawkins The God Delusion is a good example of that. What bugs me is that this is a moderately recent split - the split between "science" and "religion" that is that really came to the forefront during the 19th century and, especially, during the Evolution debates (e.g. Huxley, Spencer, etc.). This fight has led to the creation of an amazing mythology within science that has little to do with the actual events.

    For example, Galileo is often held up as a martyr for science. Hah! He was a plagiarist who delighted in attacking any of his colleagues and his trial was not about practicing science and contradicting the Roman Catholic Church but, rather, because he did not adequately prove his argument (he didn't understand the math he used since he stole most of it anyway).

    While the "split" between science and religion his popular culture with the evolution debates, there wee other strands that caused problems as well well before that. The scientific method was applied by a number of people to the spiritual world during the 16th - 18th centuries, but the schools that developed (and I'm using "schools" in Kuhn's sense) were viewed by most established churches as being in direct professional competition with their own areas of expertise. Think about Alchemy, Hermeticism, the School of Night, etc. The same did not happen in other places. For example, Buddhism, especially Vajrayana Buddhism, is a good example of the scientific method in operation.

    In the West, we have this almost culturally psychotic split between science and religion where each takes on in turn the worst habits of the other. It is as if the Mandaean Dualism that seeped into the west in the first couple of centuries c.e. has transformed itself into the current conflict. < /rant>

    Sorry 'bout that, but it is an issue that really gets me going .

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Gentlemen:
    In response to the subject of chaplains engaging indigenous religious leaders and advising the commander, I would like you to consider the on-the-ground realities at the tactical (battalion) level. I urge you to read the entire article quoted from below in this quarter's Military Review. In it, we can see the absolute necessity of engaging local leaders and providing battalion level commanders and staffs with relevant religious analysis for their COIN operations.

    Excerpts from Human Terrain Mapping: A Critical First Step to Winning the COIN Fight
    by Lieutenant Colonel Jack Marr, U.S. Army; Major John Cushing, U.S. Army; Major Brandon Garner, U.S. Army; and Captain Richard Thompson, U.S. Army
    Link to entire article:


    "Patrols were organized with specific objectives and purposes for each sub-element. The three major tasks were security, IR gathering, and relationship-building. As the composition of most patrols was centered on a mechanized infantry or tank platoon, some augmentation was required. Generally, the company commander was present on patrol to gain a firsthand look at his AO. The company fire support officer (FSO), acting as the company’s intelligence officer, accompanied the commander on every patrol. This enabled the staff to build a framework to address the three critical tasks. The commander focused on building relationships with key individuals, his FSO(augmented by part of the platoon) sought answers to IR, and the patrol’s platoon leader concentrated on security.

    As units moved through the various villages and towns of AO Dragon, they con*sistently found local citizens who had been hesitant to call the task-force tips hotline or go to its combat outposts, but were more than willing to provide information if engaged at a personal level.

    Human Terrain Mapping—A Necessary Process
    Although the value of the map itself was obvi*ous, in retrospect, the physical process of doing the mapping might have been even more beneficial. If the type of information gathered had been avail*able upon arrival (in a database, for example), the task force might have accepted an abstract, and perhaps false, sense of the environment. It would have done so while depriving itself of firsthand knowledge gained from building the map. By way of analogy, having a ready-made database would have been like learning to do math problems on a calculator instead of the hard way, via reasoning. [Proctor comment: this is why engaging religious leaders is the best way chaplains can advise commanders on religious dynamics in the OE]In conducting HTM, the battalion learned how to square ethnographic data the hard way, a method that provided maximum benefit via direct analysis of particulars within the situation at intimate levels. From this perspective, the advantages of having Soldiers do HTM themselves appear numerous. Besides gaining greater knowledge of the AO, some of the more salient benefits follow.

    ● The number-one tenet of the 3d Infantry Division’s COIN handbook states, “It’s all about the people.” Building a trusted network means creating personal relationships between coalition tactical leaders and the leaders of the population they secure. Once those relationships were built, task-force units were better able to deliver and assess the effects of IO messages and PSYOP products, better able to determine if local governments were talking to their constituents, and—when necessary—better able to minimize unrest among the population through consequence-management procedures.

    HTM provided ground-level insight into local politics, motivations, and differences—and this served as the start point for reconciling Sunni with Shi’a. Understanding the differences between the two sects’ areas was easy; finding a nexus for reconciliation was not. However, once a unit met and befriended leaders in both areas, those lead*ers had something in common: a partnership with coalition forces. In one particular area, Sunni and Shi’a families lived together with different sheiks leading each sect. Unfortunately, these sheiks were not eager to work with one another to reconcile their differences. To add to the area’s problems, Al-Qaeda in Iraq often attacked both groups as a means to keep their foothold. After working numer*ous HTM patrols in those areas, the local company commander earned the trust of both the Sunni and Shi’a. This enabled him to initiate discussions between the two sheiks based on the common goals of security and economic development.

    Nothing can replace personal reconnaissance in importance."

    Opinion leaders are more accessible. (106)
    This is because they have greater social participation than their followers. Borthwick’s study of the role of the ulema (Muslim preachers) supports this characteristic because they are very accessible to the people. (107) Abu-Lughod’s study also confirmed that those who interacted the most with the people were the ones who were the opinion leaders, not the government officials who were outsiders to the community. (108) Dawn identifies the bureaucrats and the businessmen as being much more likely candidates for being effective opinion leaders than are the intellectuals. (109)
    Reaching the Arabs, by Tim Matheny, 1981 by William Carey Press
    Last edited by MSG Proctor; 03-07-2008 at 09:01 PM.
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Style suggestions. Providing a link to an article or item

    is good, saves pixels. If one is going to do that a very brief extract, a good sized paragraph should suffice. The more length one provides in the post, the less likely others are to pursue the link.

    The use of red type to highlight passages deemed important is a method but generally, unless one has a particular purpose, just repeating the article or linked text without annotation is better. The use of alternate colors or text styles is a valid technique, however it works best, they say, when used minimally. That's particularly true of alternate colors which can be distracting.

    Merely suggestions.

    Thanks, BTW, for the link and article.

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    Faith and Hope in a War-Torn Land: The US Army Chaplaincy in the Balkans, 1995–2005
    .....Providing religious support to US soldiers in the Balkans was a challenge to Army chaplains. Beginning with minimal resources or supplies, chaplains met the religious needs of soldiers in both formal and informal settings. Chaplains conducted religious services, counseling, prayer meetings,
    family reunion meetings, and morale enhancing lectures in often austere and humble situations and circumstances. As the years went on, more and better chapels were constructed in the Balkans; these buildings became the focal point for religious activities for soldiers. Chaplains also led or participated in humanitarian or nation-building missions related to developing friendships with the local populations. Army chaplains delivered huge amounts of donated supplies from religious and other groups in the United States to the destitute of the Balkans. Further, Army chaplains led the way in creating opportunities for discussion of religious and social issues with indigenous clergy, these groups often composed of Muslim, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox Christian groups that have been antagonists for centuries.....
    CONTENTS

    1. Introduction

    2. Background: A War-torn Region of the World

    3. The Bosnia Theater of Operations
    - Events Leading to US Military Activity in Bosnia
    - Preparations for the First US Army Chaplains to Arrive in Bosnia, 1995
    - Initial Chaplain Activities and Ministries in Bosnia, 1996
    - Developing Chaplain Ministries in Bosnia, 1996
    - Expanding Chaplain Ministries in Bosnia and Surrounding Areas, 1996–97
    - Chaplain Accounts of Ministry in Bosnia, 1997
    - Diverse Chaplain Ministries in Peacekeeping in Bosnia, 1998
    - Chaplain Duties in Maintaining the Peace in Bosnia, 1999–2000
    - Army Chaplain Ministries in Bosnia, 2001–2002
    - Chaplain Activities During Military Downsizing in Bosnia, 2003–2005

    4. The Kosovo Theater of Operations
    - Background to Contemporary Hostilities in Kosovo
    - Preparations for the First US Army Chaplains to Arrive in Kosovo
    - Initial Chaplain Activities and Ministries in Kosovo, 1999
    - Ministry to Displaced Kosovar Refugees
    - Developing Chaplain Issues in Kosovo, 2000–2001
    - Chaplain Duties in Maintaining the Peace in Kosovo, 2002–2004
    - The US Army Chaplaincy and Downsizing in Kosovo, 2004–2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Chapter 5. Conclusion
    .....US Army chaplains serving throughout the Balkans from 1995 to 2005 were essential in the reconciliation process for the diverse religious populations. Clearly, the role of the chaplain as a religious adviser to commanders, long an expectation in the military, was solidified and enhanced by Army chaplains serving in the Balkans. Army commanders in the Balkans did not face a forceful and well-armed professional Army, but rather regional militias and paramilitary forces that thrived off ethnic racism and religious hatred. Army chaplains networked with local clergy and political leaders, brought rival religious factions to clergy events, promoted harmony among rival groups, and encouraged forgiveness and acceptance by long-standing belligerents.....

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    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Great post, Jedburgh. Pretty much dispels chaplain-as-pastor-only paradigm in small wars.
    Whether a chaplain does it or the 'experts from Dover', the clerics are a force to be reckoned with in today's COIN operations in Iraq.
    Iraq, once secular now dominated by religious parties
    "Its easy, boys. All we have to do is follow my simple yet ingenius plan..."

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    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Default Chaplains as Liaisons with Indigenous Religious Leaders Update

    An Inside Perspective on Religious Peacemaking in Iraq


    "After a slow and painful learning process, U.S. government civil and military authorities in Iraq came to the conclusion that they must engage with religion. Since then, they have been very supportive and began funding the process from the beginning of 2007. What is unique about this reconciliation initiative is that the U.S. military has participated directly in the entire process by working through the religious dynamic. By using the Office of the Command Chaplain, the engagement has military involvement and reports directly back to Commanding General David Petraeus. Relying on a shared identity as religious leaders, the Command Chaplain is able to work with Canon White's FRRME and the senior Iraqi religious leaders to help advise the process in support of U.S. military campaign objectives in Iraq. "

    Chaplains and Religious Support Teams can be a part of the peacemaking solutions in counterinsurgency operations without violations of military regulations or denominational requirements. This conference may not have grabbed the headlines, but this council is the heart, arteries and veins of the new Iraq and its best hope for reconciliation.
    "Its easy, boys. All we have to do is follow my simple yet ingenius plan..."

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    Default Amazing ventures of faith and service

    The articles and comments displayed here are truly impressive...this is my first time so try to be gentle with me! I will speak critically and offer a few original thoughts on the subjects emerging here, but I begin by registering a note of thanks for the effort and time given to these thread discussions. It is my view that we must continue to orient the Joint Force Chaplaincy toward any kind of peace building engagements if those engagements prove productive and help prevent an eschalation of conflict. If Chaplaincy engagements with any kind of religious leader saves American lives, then keep engaging. From what I read in the references, published papers and interviews of this forum, religious leader engagements saves lives and builds meaningful relationships with indigenous people through their religious leaders. The practice to use our Chaplain units as Liaisons for the Command will continue if the the ends justifies the means. The Army tends to follow Consequentialism.

  15. #135
    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Default Short History of Religious Leader Engagements in Operation Iraqi Freedom PDF

    Its been a while since this thread was active, but since then I was asked to compile a Short History of Religious Leader Engagements in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The FOUO version is here (AKO/DKO password required.

    The open source version is being published in the Old Crows Association's IO Journal and the FOUO is published on the Center for Army Lessons Learned website. I'll add the link when it becomes available.

    John
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 02-24-2010 at 07:04 PM.
    "Its easy, boys. All we have to do is follow my simple yet ingenius plan..."

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi John,

    Thanks for posting the links it's appreciated!

    Cheers,

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Were you able to open it?
    Let me know - OK?
    jp
    "Its easy, boys. All we have to do is follow my simple yet ingenius plan..."

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSG Proctor View Post
    Were you able to open it?
    Let me know - OK?
    jp
    No ako access, John . I'll have to wait wait for the IO Journal version to come out.

    Cheers,

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Default It's alive....

    Hi John, hope all is well in the land of the morning sun
    Hacksaw
    Say hello to my 2 x 4

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    Council Member MSG Proctor's Avatar
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    Oh, things are wonderful in Korea. I fully expect the regime to collapse very, very soon.

    The Ceaucescu moment could be closer than it seems.

    Angry citizens burned piles of old bills at two separate locations in the eastern coastal city of Hamhung on Monday, the Daily NK, a Seoul-based online news outlet that focuses on North Korean affairs, reported late Thursday, citing an unidentified North Korean resident.

    It quoted the resident as saying he saw graffiti and leaflets criticizing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in and around a college in Hamhung - a rare move in a country where the totalitarian government keeps tight control over its 24 million people.
    link

    Dictatorships rarely end well. I was there when this one did.

    The collapse of Pyongyang will feature similarities to both Romania and Iraq but will in its own way be worse than both - it will be seen as the failure not only of a state, but of a religion. Adherents.com ranks Juche, the state ideology of the DPRK as the 10th largest religion in the world. May the stench of Juche’s burning corpse forever remind us of the misery spread through idolatry, materialism, statism and personality cults.
    "Its easy, boys. All we have to do is follow my simple yet ingenius plan..."

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