It’s a German word – it means “frightfulness“ – and it was used, if memory serves and a brief internet search conforms – it was a sort of shorthand for the reprisals exacted by the German Army against civilians during both wars. If not an actual German military field policy in WWI, it had certainly become one by WWII; brutally persecute, torture and execute civilians, and make certain that such horrors became well-known through extensive documentation within the theater of operations, and outside of it. To encourage the others, as the saying goes, but on a grand scale – to make war on a civilian population, once all effective military have departed the area – in hopes of cowing everyone who sees and hears of what brutality has been meted out on the helpless, and especially the helpless.
Was it an explicit policy of the German armies to apply the principle of schrecklichkeit – by that name or another – in the field in those wars?

Whether or not dictated from the highest levels, it did have the desired effect of discouraging armed resistance … at first, anyway. Acts of extreme cruelty against civilians were definitely committed, beginning in Belgium in 1914 – and had a short-term effect in that Belgian resistance to the German juggernaut was, to put it mildly, discouraged with Teutonic efficiency. However, the long-term result was a black mark against Germany, in its conduct of that war which resounded for years and was revived again with the record of Nazi atrocities in the second.

Which brings me to reports of the horrors being committed by the Islamic radicals of ISIS, or ISIL, or whatever they are calling themselves, as they sweep into Mosul and proclaim the establishment of a renewed caliphate. I have not seen much of this reflected in the mainstream media yet – but the worst excesses are seeping out, through minor publications, blogs and social media. Of course, without all those layers of editors and fact-checkers, such excesses could be really happening, or the work of propagandists of varying degrees of sophistication … but for the fact that ISIS/ISIL make no bones about boasting of what they are doing, and sharing the pictorial and video evidence. This link was posted on Samizdata by M. Simon – and if you have a low nausea threshold, don’t go any farther than a couple of pictures. I post the link only so that readers will have an idea of exactly how horrible this situation has become. I await for the inevitable lefty-luvvie comparison to Abu Ghraib, of course.

There are likely two rationales for practicing the 21st century Islamic version of schrecklichkeit in Northern Iraq; the ISIS/ISIL fighters are extreme sadists with the blessings of an ideology which encourages them to do what they enjoy most – torturing and murdering infidels – and bragging about it. And secondly, this demoralizes those unfortunate enough to be in their way, and discourages resistance. For a time, anyway. But schrechlichkeit has a short shelf life, once those whom it is practiced on realize that there is no way out, and only one way to fight back. Eventually, as the Allies discovered in the Pacific in WWII – there comes the understanding that those who have so relished inflicting cruelty on the helpless deserve no mercy at all, and will receive none, once the tables are turned upon them. Surrender is not an option at this point – and in future neither will mercy.
Discuss.
(Cross-posted at Chicagoboyz.net)

As I was outprocessing today I learned that one of my former Airman’s good friends was killed in Iraq this weekend.

There are just no words.

The Airman was only 19. Yeah, 18’s an adult. That’s easy to say when you’re 18. When you’re over 40…not so much.
So before I left I spent a few moments “sexually harassing” (hugging) a very red-eyed Airman that is very special to me. Practically a second daughter. I felt bad that I couldn’t stay longer and talk like we used to, but shit happened as it does when you’re trying to outprocess and I was already three hours behind schedule. I’ve never felt quite THAT crappy about leaving anyone in my life.

I still think we were right to go in given the circumstances at the time.

I can’t tell you when it happened, but at some point I began to lose confidence in our leadership. When it hit me that “I’m” leadership, I knew it was time to go.

Do me a favor? Pray if you got that goin’ on in your life.

Over at Mudville Gazette.

Update: Jeff Goldstein peeks behind the curtain as well.

Jeff Goldstein has got news that I haven’t heard anywhere else today, although to be honest, I haven’t listened to the news since about noon.

Last Tuesday, I wrote about the (potential) forthcoming release of 12 hours of audio recordings between Saddam Hussein and his top advisers that, as the New York Sun story I quoted put it, may provide clues to the whereabouts of Iraqs weapons of mass destruction. According to the Sun report, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence was studying the tapes.

Go read the whole thing.

I’m not sayin’ nuthin’ until more comes out, but I’m making a list of my ol’ friends who have beat me up with, “There was NO WMD!” for the past three years…oh yes I am…

Saw this in the Early Bird this morning and almost forgot about it until now.

Saddam’s Terror Training Camps
What the documents captured from the former Iraqi regime reveal–and why they should all be made public.
by Stephen F. Hayes
01/16/2006, Volume 011, Issue 17

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

Read the rest.

Gosh…that might mean that we weren’t lied to. Perhaps some of intelligence was accurate. Perhaps Iraq was actually a valid target in The Global War on Terror. Perhaps this information should have been released to the public the moment it was found and we could have avoided some of the tearing apart the country is currently going through. Perhaps if there’s MORE information it should be released as soon as possible instead of waiting for, oh, I don’t know, a political cycle and maybe we can stop sneering at each other so damn much.


Link requires registration.

Ya gotta love this guy.

Burghardt was wounded.

But with two new young Marines in his ordnance disposal unit – and the insurgent attackers undoubtedly looking on – “I didn’t want them to see the team leader carried away on a stretcher,” he said.

So after the Nebraskans tended to wounds that reached from his boot tops to the small of his back, Burghardt rose to his feet and reached back with a one-finger salute for his attackers.

“I was angry,” Burghardt said.

As for Burghardt, he said he wanted to send a message to the insurgents who failed to kill him.

“I knew there was somebody disappointed out there.”

Via Ravenwood who got it from The Smallest Minority who got it from…my local newspapaer?

Blackfive has the scoop on the real Sheehan story:

Casey Sheehan’s Sergeant asked for volunteers. Sheehan had just returned from Mass. After Sheehan volunteered once, the Sergeant asked Sheehan again if he wanted to go on the mission. According to many reports (and according to his own mother), Casey responded, “Where my Chief goes, I go.”

Go read the whole thing. Bring tissue.

Check out this crap.

My take? It made me ill when I first heard about it and I don’t feel a hell of a lot better about it now.

First of all, he’s a Lieutenant, where the hell was Top (The Senior NCO)? Second of all, he “had them thrown” off the bridge?!!! You’re telling me that he ordered enlisted folks to do this and they frelling did it?!!! What kind of Mickey Mouse chain of command would even let you consider this a lawful order?

WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOOD GUYS YOU MISERABLE F*CKS!!!

Deep breath and…

okay…better now…carry on.

Here’s why. I think I can speak for the group on this one: Well done gentlemen, go with God.

Via Greyhawk.

Every four or six years for the past 20 I’ve raised my hand and enlisted in the United States Air Force. The first thing, the very first thing that we vow to protect and defend is The Constitution of the United States.

Today I’ve seen a few bloggers, I’m not going to link to them, they don’t deserve it, refer to Kevin Sites as a traitor or worse for releasing the videotape of the Marine in the Mosque.

To those folks of questionable citizenship, I have some questions: When did you decide you didn’t like the Constitution and exactly where would you like to stop limiting the Freedom of the Press? Who gets to decide what gets shown? You? The Government? Me?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

That applies to all of us you assholes, not just you. Deal with it.