On the Orlando massacre

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Been listening, and considering my response all day.

I was called an LGBT Ally for my writing on dignity and respect before I knew what LGBT was. I don’t give a shit who you love. That’s your business, and I appreciate people staying out of mine.

What I do care about is security and the general well-being. For much of my career I lived among populations where going out after dark invites rape, kidnapping, or murder. Where families do NOT lie down at night in confidence they’ll be safe until the morning.

Where “I got lucky at the club” meant escaping a massacre, not “getting laid”….

In my years abroad I’ve tried hard to help those societies become more like ours in the domain of security. Now, however, we see an instance of ours becoming like “theirs.” And that’s precisely what the hate-driven followers of jihad want. They believe violence is the path to power, and they do want power. Don’t be fooled by talk of God. They want fear, because fear is the easy way to influence. They want to use fear because inside they’re twisted, squirming, fearful, impotent little worms. They have nothing legitimate to use. They depend on “terrorizing” victims of their power grab, and so we call them terrorists.

Want to know how we can help them? By calling gays fags. Or blacks niggers. Or whites crackers. If there was any doubt in your mind that all of our society is in the crosshairs of these fearful little impotent worms, I hope last night woke your ass up. 

DIVISION is the best thing we  can practice to help jihadis spread their spectacle and build toward the attainment of actual power. You’re free to keep celebrating it, if you like. Keep putting advertising dollars into the TV talk shows where guests’ fists fly and the host pretends to try and stop the fight while he mentally converts ratings to profits. Keep calling the “other side” traitors, and idiots, and whatever inaccurate small insults you can dream up to avoid confronting and discussing the real issues like real adults.

As long as we do what the jihadis want and divide among ourselves, we’re guaranteed to not invest our material and mental capital into legitimate, practical solutions to problems we all see. What we don’t see is that we’re part of the problem when we don’t focus on the fixes. Here’s a spoiler: the fixes do not involve banning all Muslims OR all guns. We’re morons for entertaining either notion.

You’ll have to try to forget that our country has the word “United” right there in its name. We could talk to each other with civility, and disagree with respect. We could each sacrifice a little of what we want in service to what We Need. We could work toward actual national security without exaggerations of policy that work against our national safety. But I wonder when we will.

Register for tonight’s free “Think Like the Threat” webinar

Strengthen your understanding and your resolve.
Sunday evening, I’ll offer you some solutions. When things go all to hell like they did Friday night, it’s easy to get swept up in fear and uncertainty and, basically, become paralyzed in ineffectiveness. That’s when you need to take a knee, take a breath, and take stock from an informed perspective. Understanding is a force multiplier. 

 
Think Like the Threat (TiLT) is my “signature” presentation. I’ve used this constantly evolving, interactive instructional talk to help military, government, and private organizations get inside the minds of their adversary and learn to look out through his eyes. Try to imagine how powerful that is for protectors.

Usually, associations or corporations pay me $4,500 for a one-hour TiLT plus two hours of workshopping to help tailor their own in-house Threat Working Group (TWiG). But in response to the tragedy in Paris, I’m going to broadcast TiLT via webinar, at no cost, to any interested participants Sunday evening at 7:00 Eastern. Please note that to allow for questions we can only accept a total of 100 attendees, so register now and make sure you tune in early. Once 100 have taken their seats for the session, we are full.

Registration details are below.  

 [LATE-BREAKING UPDATE: People have been writing in from France, Germany, Poland etc asking for a TiLT that suits their time zone. So I’ve scheduled a second session, planned for Monday the 16th at noon Eastern, 6:00pm Paris time. Stand by for the registration link, later today, if that one’s better for you.]

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Please register for Think Like the Threat (TiLT) on Nov 15, 2015 7:00 PM EST:

Register for Sunday TiLT webinar

In this free session, Rob DuBois will spend one hour helping you understand the mind and methods of people who would do you harm. Any adversary, whether terrorist, hacker or business rival, can be sized up to give you an advantage. We call it “TiLTing the game in your favor.”

Rob has presented TiLT to Marines during combat operations in Fallujah, to the Fort Knox Mint Police leadership, to Lockheed Martin staff and executives, and for more than 100 other clients and keynotes. Be advised that you need to be ready to be challenged personally, if you want to get any value from this; a closed mind cannot grasp new concepts. 

Note: Again, we can only fit 100 attendees, so don’t delay your registration:

Register for Sunday TiLT webinar

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The shocking truth about Muslims not condemning ISIS

Cindy observed that we hear nothing in the news about Muslims denouncing #ISIS. I was intrigued, because I’ve heard the same as criticism from many non-Muslim friends. So I Googled this simple string of three words: “Muslims denounce ISIS”…and received 1,020,000 (that’s a MILLION) hits about worldwide Muslim condemnation of ISIS. It took a total of 0.43 (that’s about one-half) seconds.

Muslim Leaders of the World are Condemning ISIS

These one million not-reported examples, in less than one second, include the following: hundreds of Muslims protesting ISIS in front of the Grand Mosque in Paris; a British national social media campaign by Muslims using the hashtag #NotInMyName; the condemnation of ISIS by Shi’a and Sunni side-by-side. Also, “The most explicit condemnation came from Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the group representing 57 countries, and 1.4 billion Muslims.”

There’s also a little story¬†on the world’s Muslim leaders condemning ISIS…by the VATICAN and Reuters.

Since the media outlets we depend on are unwilling to tell the whole story (the same media outlets that call me up to discuss the whole story), we’ll have to read through the other 99,997 examples ourselves..

I’m going to be very honest (as always). I’m pissed off at this. I’ve been working at the pointy end of the spear in counterterrorism and antiterrorism for much of my adult life. I’ve seen the good and bad in populations around the world. I wrote about that in Powerful Peace…and I also wrote about how conflict can flare up on ignorance and misunderstanding and rip societies apart. In this case, the society at risk is our entire race. We’re being played, apparently by all sides. Divisiveness sells more soap. Sadly, divisiveness in this case can also ignite a fire that burns the globe.

C’mon, press. CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and any other “news” outlet that would like to start telling us the whole story: here’s the link to what is apparently an incredibly well-kept secret for getting a million hits of reportable information in less than one second: www.Google.com

The terrorist’s journey; step one

IMG_3523-0.JPGToday I was asked why young men join terror groups. I’ll also be speaking to this on Al Jazeera America tonight (Sep 25, 11:00 p.m. Eastern) and tomorrow on The Morning Show (9:00 a.m.)
The complete answer goes all the way back to fundamental human nature: each of us chooses what he believes is the best option in any situation, according to his total body of values. Basic self-interest. This is true whether a person is standing by fearfully and letting a friend drown, or putting his own life in danger on the battlefield. I wrote about this in Powerful Peace.
The jihadi, like every other person, has a particular range of experience and information available to him. He can only know what he knows. Much of that knowledge is fed by external “authority” sources, each with its own agenda in mind, and they feed “facts” including the existential threat to society posed by evil Westerners or Crusaders. The young and impressionable man may be merely a thug pursuing personal rewards, or he may legitimately perceive that he is “defending” his people. Often it’s both. In any case, he is acting according to what he believes in—exactly like you and I and every other human on the planet. This is why we’re in a war of the mind as much as of the flesh.

The debate: do extremists—does ISIS—represent their religion?

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I had awesome pushback from a LinkedIn colleague on my recent post there. I appreciate resistance to my ideas because it means one of two things: either I made a good point badly, which means I need to correct the way I put something, or I made a bad point well—which means I personally need correcting…and if I’m receptive to that I’ll end up smarter than I had been. It’s a win-win.

My argument was that ISIS, like all terror movements, is pursuing political power rather than actual moral authority, and one proof lies in their murdering a humanitarian who was in the region to serve their fellow Arabs in need. My friend asked me what I had meant by this phrase: “No need to keep pretending it had anything to do with religion.”

He correctly observed, “For those who want to kill and behead the infidels, it is ALL ABOUT ISLAM.”

Yes, absolutely. There are some individuals who fervently support violence against innocents for their cause. When he was alive, I often startled people in my public speaking by saying that I admired bin Laden. Then I would elaborate and explain that in general, I admire self-sacrificing devotion to a cause…and who could argue that his forsaking vast wealth, comfort and safety was anything else? Of course, admiring his courage would not have prevented my killing him.

(By the way, if you’d like to read more about violent Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist extremists, jump to those links down near the end.)

I agree that for a hard core of ISIS, maybe most of ISIS, it is all about Islam according to their interpretation. There are True Believers among them. But there are also opportunists in every movement. When a criminal group has success, it attracts criminals.

For some “terrorists” in a large organization there are other-than-idealistic motivations. I personally reviewed hundreds of detainee reports in Iraq, in which subjects insisted they’d only been fighting because it was the only paycheck available and the kids had to eat. (Card carrying Nazis and Soviets did the same, in their day. I have a couple of those actual cards.) And we KNOW there was a crisis of employment during the worst of the Iraq war; in some areas it was 70%.

Jihadi prisoners, on the other hand, fewer and farther between, were proud to say they had been killing infidels. It’s a self-proving population. When the jig is up and they’re locked up, they’re only too happy to identify themselves for what they are. It gives them loyalty points with God.

And in Afghanistan, many “Talibs” began their career facing an AK-47 and an infernal bargain at their own front door: join and serve as the one required conscript per household for God’s army, or watch a loved one be killed. What would you do?

Then there are the brutish fighters. The just-plain-criminals. Some boys just want to jump in on the winning side and shoot some guys in the head.

So when I say it’s not about religion, I realize it would be much more accurate to say that “in my opinion, it is the opinion of most Muslims around the world that violent Islamists do not practice true Islam.” Obviously the extremists say it’s about Islam, and certainly some of them believe it. Westboro believes traumatizing newly fatherless children is “about Christianity,” and the Christian movement who celebrate the killing of abortion providers feel the same.

The Jewish fighters who plot to hurry God along by destroying the Dome and its “animal Arabs” believe it is “about Judaism.”

And have you heard about the violent Hindu extremists and violent Buddhist extremists?

(Yes, violent Hindu extremists and violent Buddhist extremists.)

Ultimately, in my worldview it’s important to both acknowledge and prevent the evil deeds of murderers, and simultaneously strengthen cooperation with those who can support those efforts. I believe global security in an era of unprecedented communication demands a reassessment of ALL our biases, and some very mature conversation. I believe we’re in that conversation now.

My “Maggots” Analogy to put ISIS in a useful context

I just posted a reply to a buddy in Facebook about the true nature of the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS). It’s only my analysis and only my opinion, but I thought this might add some value to the conversation which, from my POV, has become too focused on their “great threat” to America. I totally agree that unchecked, the disease of ISIS could sicken and severely harm America. But if we deal with them effectively now, which means comprehensively (which means the “full toolkit” of Defense and Development and Diplomacy in the region and worldwide), then we can recognize them today as just another blip on the radar of our history of hating each other.
Here’s that FB comment:
“One of my first goals in dealing with violent actors is to point out their in-significance and il-legitimacy in the social order. These are parasites on our species’ body. Maggots eat necrotic tissue. Terrorists thrive on rotting social flesh, too.
In this case an obvious contributor of unhealthy tissue is al-Maliki’s mistreatment of the Sunnis, as Hussein abused the Shi’as before him…each population inevitably grows resentful. So when ISIS came knocking in the Northwest for unhindered passage, Sunni leaders said “You’re going to kick Maliki’s ass and give us some leverage in Baghdad? Be our guests! Baghdad is thataway.”
(I may have oversimplified that a bit.)
The point is, in the final analysis nobody really wants their kids to have to walk past crucifixions on the way to school. We have to deal with underlying causes, CONTINUING all the kinetics demanded by whatever degraded reality we’re currently in, to have any hope of working toward a better future situation. And we don’t do ourselves any favors by fearing that these maggots have any real authority or real power. They’re just riding the wave of grievances…until they become the greater grievance. Hitler did the same.