U.S. Anti-ISIS Recruitment Videos: Why They Don’t Work

By: Friday November 7, 2014 8:06 am

The U.S., via the State Department, is spending considerable effort and money producing anti-ISIS videos and other media (actual example, left), the goal of which is to convince American and other would-be jihadis not to join ISIS. The efforts won’t work, almost can’t work. They fail to understand the way ISIS recruits and as such, can’t counter it.

 

Satire: ISIS First Sgt: Recruits Ain’t What They Used to Be

By: Thursday October 2, 2014 7:50 am

The ISIS First Sergeant spat into the sand. “These new suicide bomber Western recruits just ain’t what they used to be. Shoot, I quit al Qaeda for ISIS just to get away from this amateur crap and here I am stepping in it again for ISIS.”

The Great (Re)Training Robbery

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 11:20 am

Barack Obama told Americans every worker deserves to know “if you lose your job, your country will help you train for an even better one.” A nice sentiment,and politically safe; it’s just the wrong answer. Those “better jobs” don’t exist, and training doesn’t create jobs. Despite all that, every year the U.S. government spends billions of dollars on job training, with little impact. What’s the right answer?

In 2007 then-candidate Obama visited Janesville, Wisconsin, location of the oldest General Motors plant in America. Echoing his current promise to support unemployed Americans with job training, Obama proclaimed “I believe that, if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.” However, two days before Christmas and just about a month before Obama’s inauguration, the plant closed forever.

Government Still Trying to Force Private Prisons in Florida

By: Sunday January 29, 2012 6:45 am

Florida’s politicians really just can’t take a hint. After they failed to force widespread privatization on the state’s prison system, against the wishes of the director of their DOC (but at the behest of companies that spent a million dollars lobbying the legislature), the asshats in the state legislature are back at it, this time with a vengeance. Even the fact that the GEO Group is under FBI investigation over a deal that brought a private prison to the state, and the state’s Circuit Court ruling the initial push unconstitutional, have failed to slow down the push to privatize.

Sign Up for #OccupySupply Liaison Webinar Meetup & Training Tonight at 8pm ET

By: Thursday November 17, 2011 12:45 pm

If I’ve been a bit AWOL from the front page lately, it’s because everyone at the FDL Membership Program has been workingnon-stop to secure OccupySupply goods and training members to be liaisons to distribute them. Glenn Greenwald has a great piece up on OccupySupply this morning, featuring Ryan Cook in his OccupySupply shack (with great photos by Jon Walker).

Treatment of Prisoners by Guards in Private Prisons

By: Thursday September 22, 2011 3:26 pm

In terms of forensic psychology, why do prison abuses occur in for-profit prisons? Jenni Gainsborough, director of Penal Reform International, says many corporations take shortcuts in training prison guards. Prisons are no place for novice security workers, but require well-trained staff that are highly educated to respond to the types of situations common in a prison. Workers need to understand prisoner’s rights, appropriate self-defense procedures, and need to be able to communicate with prisoners in a fair and effective manner.

US Kills More Civilians in Afghanistan Despite “Progress” Propaganda

By: Thursday March 24, 2011 9:30 am

On Tuesday, US forces in Afghanistan released a propaganda push highlighting “progress” in the city of Herat as the beacon of how Afghanistan is moving toward peace and being able to defend itself. Look, in the photo you can see that you can actually buy popcorn on the streets of Herat! The next day, on Wednesday, a US helicopter killed two more civilians, including at least one child. The initial press release by ISAF on this attack was produced only in propaganda mode, bleating the death of a Haqqani network leader and making false claims about “protecting” civilians who unexpectedly appeared in the area while helicopters were attacking their target.

GAO Report Demonstrates Profound Failure in Afghan War, Plants Seed for Petraeus to Avoid Accountability

By: Friday January 28, 2011 1:00 pm

On Thursday, the Government Accountability Office released a report (pdf) to Congress summarizing its latest analysis of the training of the Afghan National Army (ANA). The title conveys much of the sense of the report: “AFGHANISTAN SECURITY: Afghan Army Growing, but Additional Trainers Needed; Long-term Costs Not Determined”. The report documents that training of the ANA actually met an interim goal three months ahead of schedule last fall, but then indicated that the overall end goal for ANA size likely will need to be increased. Importantly, the report plants what I predict will be the seed producing a total lack of accountability for David Petraeus when the ANA eventually proves to be not up to the task of taking over full control of Afghan security (while “training” goals are currently being met, ANA units still remain far from functional on their own) by stating that the effort is suffering because of lack of staffing by those who carry out the training of ANA forces.

Both the GAO report and the only media report I have seen on it, from CNN, fail to to cite the importance of the data presented in Figure 1 of the report, where we see that despite the increased numbers of ANA forces being trained and the “surge” of ISAF forces, violence levels in Afghanistan continue in a steady upward trend. Even when factoring in the seasonal variation in violence, it can be seen in Figure 1 that the total number of monthly attacks in winter 2010-2011 is roughly twice the rate of summer 2008 attacks. When comparing identical seasons, summer 2010 attack rates are roughly three times summer 2008 attack rates and seven times summer 2005 attack rates.

Where the Sharp Edge of a Knife Connects with Organized Labor

By: Monday September 6, 2010 5:00 pm

Skills are what Americans need to get jobs..or make jobs.

With His Training Myth Pierced Yet Again, Will Petraeus’ Political Ambitions Ever Suffer?

By: Thursday August 12, 2010 9:44 am

BBC is reporting Thursday that Iraq’s highest ranking army officer has said that his country is not ready to take responsibility for its own security.

It should be kept in mind that the myth of training Iraqi forces to take over their own security is a product of General David Petraeus’ long history of spinning the media.

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