Welcome to Licentia Loquendi, founded January 2009. L2 is a team blog that focuses primarily on political, military and Constitutional issues with a Conservative Christian slant. We are two college students, a Navy corpsman, an Army sniper and a Vietnam era Army veteran.

Each writer has free reign over postings. One writer's views are not necessarily the views of all writers.

21 December 2009

Leftist Attack!?

By a strange stroke of luck it seems that my laptop was damaged, probably by a liberal hit squad trying to silence me, but fear not friends, they can't stop the music. Since I have not been able to access the internet I have used this time to further my knowledge and get material for future posts. I hope to be back online in January. In the mean time I am formulating a future campaign, of course it is years off but if I can start a word of mouth campaign and not take any tax money like the rest of those greedy buggers, then I have stuck to my morals. So, pay attention, if you hear of a campaign for Mr. Smith goes to Washington, then you have found me. So keep your head up and your chin tucked, and help fight liberal (or as comrade Hillary prefers "progressive") stupidity.

14 December 2009


The Department of Veterans Affairs has published a list detailing the vocabulary of Operation Iraqi Freedom -- a list that contains such entries as "death blossom," a term originating in the 1984 science-fiction film "The Last Starfighter." It is used by servicemen to describe fire sprayed indiscriminately in all directions. The list also includes the terms "Mortaritaville" and "Bombaconda," both referring to LSA Anaconda, a base near Balad, Iraq, that is frequently the target of mortar attacks.
"Soldiers use these terms because they try to make the best they can of their situation and give things kind of a humorous angle," said Lt. Col. Charles Kohler of the Maryland National Guard.
The term "Mortaritaville," a reference to the Jimmy Buffett song "Margaritaville," is only one of many terms soldiers use to take the edge off an environment that is potentially frightening and often beyond their control, said Indiana University linguist Michael Adams.
"It's making a really terrifying experience manageable by attempting to make it familiar," Adams said. . . .
"It's language for them made by them to consolidate their social relationships," he said. "In war, people's survival depends on (these relationships)."
Military slang is versatile and can refer to anything in a soldier's environment - equipment, locations, or people.
Maj. Liam Kingdon, who works for the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at the University of Maryland in College Park, said he has heard fellow service members referred to as "fobbits." The word is a contraction of Forward Operating Base (FOB) and "hobbit," a creature from The Lord of the Rings known for its sedentary habits.
"It's basically a soldier, sailor or airman who never leaves the base," Kingdon said. "You've got people there who leave the base all the time to go on patrol, and you've got people who literally just stay on the base."
"[Slang terms are] part of my everyday language now," said Matt Robbins, who lives in College Park and is a senior at the University of Maryland.
In 2008, Robbins deployed to Tikrit, Iraq, as a communications specialist, and said his stay there has made him acutely aware of differences in cultural customs.
"In Iraq, you don't show the bottom of your foot to people; it's considered impolite," Robbins said. "I still don't do that."
He also recalls the fact that soldiers referred to Iraqis as "hajis" -- an Arabic term describing a person who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca.
But in this particular case, Robbins said, the use struck him as derogatory, so "I don't use that anymore."
The term "haji" has various derivatives, such as the designation "haji shop" for a cart or booth run by natives, where DVDs, soda and other small items are sold.
Slang terms referring to features of a base are also common. . . .
Other terms link life in the military to items or concepts familiar from other environments -- often, the environment is home, or a favorite movie. For example, improvised vehicle armor made from scrap metal is also known as "hillbilly armor" and a truck with large amounts of add-on armor may be designated a "Frankenstein." . . .
The fascination with military-speak has also led to expressions of artistic creativity. Earlier this year, alternative rock band Cracker released a song called "Yalla Yalla" -- Arabic for "let's go" -- built around military slang, including such terms as "Bombaconda" and "haji."
At least some of these terms are likely to make it into everyday language, Adams said. When that will happen is unclear because "those serving have to bring the terms home and influence the use of those who haven't served."
But maybe the day when "couch potatoes" become "fobbits" is not so far off.

My primary reason for posting this excerpt was because I found the article interesting. My secondary reason was my frustration while reading the part about the term "haji."
First of all, the term is hajji, according to both Arabic and the AP Stylebook. Omitting a "j" changes the pronunciation of the word.
Second of all, although American military personnel tend to use the term derogatively, hajji is an honorable title, used to refer to Muslims who have completed the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca (one of the five pillars of Islam). Although the hajj should be completed by all Muslims, not all Muslims to whom military personnel refer have done so. Therefore, the term is a misnomer.

04 December 2009

7 Things You Need to Know About the Afghan War

According to a biography on Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a local newspaper, McChrystal was head of Spec Ops in Iraq and holds two masters degrees -- the first is in national security and strategic studies; the second is in international relations.

7 Things You Need to Know About the Afghan War
This slideshow includes information Fox News deems important regarding Afghanistan's political system, history, demographics, etc.

A veteran of three wars who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor is now facing an unlikely enemy — his neighbors.
Col. Van T. Barfoot, 90, has raised the Stars and Stripes every day at sunrise and lowered them every day at sunset since he served in the U.S. Army. But on Tuesday he received a letter from the law firm that represents his homeowners' association, ordering him to remove the flagpole from his Richmond, Va. yard by 5 p.m. on Friday or face "legal action." . . .
The [homeowners'] association at Sussex Square community told Barfoot that the freestanding, 21-foot flagpole that he put up in September violates the neighborhood's aesthetic guidelines. . . .
"There's never been a day in my life or a place I've lived in my life that you couldn't fly the American flag," Barfoot said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. . . .
The statement reminded the public that many American flags hang from homes in the Sussex Square community, and that the board members object only to Barfoot's freestanding flagpole.
But Barfoot says he has always flown the flag from a height: "Where I've been, fighting wars ... military installations, parades, everything else, the flag is vertical. And I've done it that way since I was in the Army," Barfoot told the paper.
Barfoot is one of the country's last living World War II veterans who received the Medal of Honor. He also served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and earned a Purple Heart. In WWII, Barfoot showed his mettle in Carano, Italy, where he single-handedly destroyed a set of German machine gun nests, killed eight enemy soldiers, took 17 prisoners and stared down a tank before destroying it and killing its crew — all in a single day. Exhausted by his herculean efforts, he still managed to move two of his wounded men 1,700 yards to safety.
"Sgt. Barfoot's extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of pointblank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers," reads the official citation for his Medal of Honor.

01 December 2009

Withdrawal in 2011?

In Obama's Foreign Policy today, we discussed the fact that Switzerland has placed a ban on the building of more minarets. Don't ask me what that has to do with Obama's foreign policy. However, did spend some time talking about the 30,000 troops Obama plans to send to Afghanistan. My professor thinks General McChrystal is one of the least qualified men Obama should take advice from regarding the war, because has no experience in the area. Experts on the region, those who speak the native languages and know the history of the area, are better suited to make a decision about the war (which, by the way, is just like Vietnam -- it's an issue of not whether we'll lose the war, but under whose administration). I know I would definitely take the advice of a desk jockey with book smarts over that of a man with his boots on the ground. That's clearly the logical choice.

On another note of the same level of happiness, the semester ends in sixteen days and I have a rather large amount of work and studying to do between now and the start of finals on the 15th. Therefore, I will once again be intermittently posting, at least until the 18th, when finals end and I return home for six weeks.