It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

The initial video training is just enough information to be dangerous, at least in this author’s opinion.

kermit-3 In about 1972, Jim Raposo wrote a song made popular by Jim Henson singing as Kermit the Frog, ‘It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green’ and such words were never more true than in the world today for some who consult with international organizations and are painting whole countries green! Kermit, apparently has begun to understand the dangerous times in which we live. It is a shame that some of these consultants are not as kermit-2well aware. When I say it’s a shame, I mean shame in the most Asian culture seriousness of the word. Perhaps an allusion to another time in our country when being green was a euphemism for being a novice, inexperienced and in capable of functioning on their own, particularly in dangerous situations, is the best way to understand the color.  

I enjoy allusions to cinema and when those illustrations also include John Wayne, so much the better! In El Dorado, John Wayne plays Cole Thornton, a gun hand who refuses to go against his old friend who is the sheriff in the middle of a range war. Instead, he comes to his aid. The sheriff, J.P. Harrah, gets very irritated at a new friend of Wayne’s character, named Mississippi (James Caan) and turns toward him, gun drawn. Thornton (Wayne) says, “Now wait a minute J.P., he’s a little green…” el-dorado-1

Like an unripe fruit, he was not ready. In this case, he was not ready to be on his own in a dangerous situation.    

What does this have to do with this consultant advising this international agency on security and using the color green? The plan, apparently, was to review the security needs of every country in the international organization’s wheel house. They would then color code them as to the level of security training necessary. There were four categories, red being the highest risk and requiring the most training, orange, yellow and then green. Thirty-four out of sixty-five areas of responsibility worldwide, 52.3% were rated as GREEN and were considered LOW RISK. The most heinous part is that the LOW RISK countries required NO TRAINING. Some extremely basic 3 hour introductory videos are shown to everyone but beyond that – No Training!

Low risk countries included all of Europe; including Germany, France, and Spain and we all know how safe those places are today. Ukraine, recently invaded by Russia with war still prevalent in the eastern cities only rates a YELLOW – two days of training!

Although Eastern and Western Mindanao were considered separately, the Philippines was listed as GREEN, no training needed. Western Mindanao is RED and Eastern Mindanao is only YELLOW – requiring just 2 days of training! I could continue; but, you can imagine that if over 50 percent of an organization’s countries, or areas of responsibility, require no supplemental training at all, what is the level of situational awareness of the people working in those countries?

Let’s take a further look at Mindanao. The company divides it into Western and Eastern as we described earlier. Those were the names used before the emancipation. The correct name for Western Mindanao is the Zamboanga Peninsula. Remember, it is shown as RED and the remainder of Mindanao or what was labeled as Eastern is YELLOW – requiring only two  days of training so near to one of the most hateful bunch of Al Qaeda factions out there. Now, realize that all of Mindanao is only 37, 654 square miles. That is less than the State of Ohio which is 44, 825 and can be traversed easily in a few hours. The Zamboanga Peninsula is only 572.74 square miles, which is comparable in size to New York CITY which is 468.90 without its suburbs! So, here I am in Ohio saying that in NE Ohio I’m okay, only a yellow; but, if I travel a few hours to near Cincinnati, bang- I’m in red territory.

Let’s jump off the island of Mindanao and consider the rest of the Philippines which is GREEN – no additional training needed. Manila, the capital city is about as far away from Mindanao as you can get and still be on the archipelago.  By air it is only 561 miles to Manila from Mindanao and 1040 miles by land and boat. Forty two hours travel in the latter and only 59 minutes in the former. Plus, the airfare currently is only $91 one way. Employees of this company living in Manila are GREEN and require no additional training while they are only $91 and 59 minutes from some of the worst Al Qaeda terrorists in the world.

The United States is listed as GREEN yet shootings, stabbings, kidnappings are on the news almost every night. Should not every American have some understanding of how to be situationally aware enough to protect themselves? Apparently the employees of this organization do not require it. The initial video training is just enough information to be dangerous, at least in this author’s opinion.

No doubt, those involved in this organization went about their task in good faith and put a great deal of stock into what they were being told. I would really like to know what kind of a grid was used to determine the levels of risk.  I would also like to know how, any group responsible for the lives of their employees, and, due to their diverse spread across the world, their employees’ spouses and their children, can consider any of them to not require any real training.

Sadly, if I were to hazard a guess… a deciding factor was cost. To the organization’s credit, they weren’t specifically trying to save themselves money because the brunt of the cost of the training would be born by the employees themselves. That is the way this company is structured. You could say, that a company that was bearing its responsibility correctly, (or  I believe the argument could be made to carry their responsibility morally), should be providing the training at no cost to the employee; but that is not the way it is currently for most of these contract-type employees. 

Over fifty percent of this organization’s area (and probably an even much higher percentage of their actual employees and families) are living in GREEN areas. Very seldom in writing is there an opportunity to use this word, so here goes, I am flabbergasted!

If you could see me right now you might think you were intoxicated or had a head injury because you might just see two of me… because I am simply beside myself on this one!

I truly believe that the organization involved here is attempting to do their very best; but, internally they have almost no expertise by which to filter what they are being told by outside consultants. I have no idea the credentialing of these consultants. Maybe, in many areas they are considered experts. However, it is this one person’s seasoned opinion that they are very wrong in the way they are directing this organization.  I urge any group that decides to depend solely on the opinions of someone or some group from outside their own agency on how best to protect their own people to use the very utmost of caution.

One last movie analogy, in the Indiana Jones movie, The Last Crusade, the malefactor must decide which chalice he believes to be the cup of Christ. If he picks the right one, he receives immortality, the wrong one brings death. As the Nazis villain decays into a pile of dust, the ancient crusader left to guard the cup says very simply, “He chose poorly.”crusader

 

 

Murder of the Masses

Chemical warfare whether by mustard gas disseminated by explosive ordnance or small pox virus spread by infected blankets given to unsuspecting Indians are both as deadly.

That ISIS has been confirmed to have used and is continuing to use chemical weapons is not particularly surprising news. That it was just admitted before the Senate Armed Services Committee by the U.S.’s top intelligence official, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in his report on the growth of ISIS and that he did not specify when nor where the attacks occurred is also not surprising. Particularly since Syrian forces have used chemical weapons against the opposition on multiple occasions, it is perhaps something we should be expecting. ISIL (another acronym for ISIS only identifying those living within the Levant) has used toxic chemicals in Iraq and Syria, including the blister agent Sulfur mustard, according to Mr. Clapper.

Last summer there was documentation by FoxNews of Kurds in northern Iraq being the test subjects for ISIS experimentation with chemical weapons. They suffered burns and blistering on the skin. The weapon was odorless and colorless while being absorbed through the skin. A silent killer who stalks its prey while remaining totally invisible.

Damascus has been using chemical weapons against the Syrian opposition and on civilians even though it had agreed two years ago to reduce its stockpile.  Below is a photo of Syrian refugees in Damascus. In such an environment, there is no protection from an attack by an invisible weapon.

 

According to Mr. Clapper, the recent use by ISIS of chemical weapons is the worst since the Sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway which killed 12, severely injured 50 and left some 1,000 people with temporary vision impairment in March of 1995.

As horrendous as such reports are, we must remember King Solomon’s instruction that there is nothing new under the sun. Pictured below is an artist’s rendering of a massacre of the Seneca Indians by British forces during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763). The massacre was ordered by British General Lord Jeffery Amherst. He instructed his Lieutenant Grimble to destroy their huts and plantations, putting to death any of that Nation that may fall into your hands.

Seneca Indian Massacre
Massacre of Seneca Indians by order of General Amherst

General Lord Amherst described the Seneca Indians as “the vilest race of beings that ever infested the earth and whose riddance from it must be esteemed a meritorious act for the good of mankind.” (The Weekly Standard, February 2016)

What was it about the attack that puts it into the realm of chemical weapons, or better described as germ warfare? General Amherst ordered that the troops were to take the smallpox infested blankets from the diseased and dying at Fort Pitt and have them distributed among the Indians. Chemical warfare whether by mustard gas disseminated by explosive ordnance or small pox virus spread by infected blankets given to unsuspecting Indians are both just as deadly.

Regardless of Lord Amherst’s depiction of the Seneca tribe, they have a rich and proud heritage. A confederacy of six nations, the Seneca have a democratic form of government that pre-dates the American U.S. Constitution. Seneca Nation

Incredibly, in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, named after General Lord Jeffrey Amherst is Amherst College that is a private school, opened in 1821 (although the seal shown below denotes 1825 which may have been when it changed from an Academy to a College) with a goal of an education on par with William and Mary College, focused on Christian ministry. Until recently, a laughable caricature costume of General Lord Jeffrey was the school’s mascot. Delving into his actual history, the board has banned any likeness of Lord Jeffrey on campus.

AmherstLord Jeff

There is no humane war. The death of one’s mortal enemy is not only a requirement for victory if war was not able to be averted.It is the goal of the soldier to, as General Patton put it,  “let the other dumb (expletive) die for his country!” To inflict upon the enemy such a horrific cost in lives, property, and economy is necessary for the successful execution of a war plan. To have rules of engagement does not make war civilized, just civil. The killing by nerve gases, germs or other silent chemicals is outside the bounds of what is acceptable even in war. That also includes the protection of non-combatants whether they be women and children or other refugees. Killing those who are completely defenseless must remain outside the bounds of what is civil.

Three million plus Syrian refugees are flooding Europe and are coming to the U.S. too. On top of those numbers, one can add the Cuban refugees which are hitting US shores in record numbers. Annually, America takes in over 70,000 refugees from around the world and that number is going to increase exponentially. Our system is soon to be overwhelmed and security officials say that the threat of terrorists being among those allowed to enter. Such events place the onus even more firmly upon local governments, communities, businesses and industry and even neighborhoods to combat terrorists and to find them and stop them before they wreak any more havoc upon our nation.

There is nothing new under the sun and we must be students of history to know what all those things are and how best to combat them. Please be on the watch for my soon to be published book: Stretching the Thin Blue Line: Policing America in Times of Heightened Threat by Motivational Press