The Shura

shura_2Shura: (shūrā) is an Arabic word for ‘consultation’. It is a gathering of Leaders among a Tribe or Group which contemplates an issue, agrees upon a solution, and rallies their groups towards that goal. The agreement reached provides the community’s consent to action, recognizing the authority of the community and accepting the burden of consequence.

Despite the few of you out there scratching your heads, this concept is not at all foreign to the West- gatherings to resolve issues based upon common, recognized places at that table, is fairly commonplace. We do it everyday informally and formally- humans are social creatures by nature and react with hostility to accepted norms being violated.

Therefor it is not without too much effort we can extend such a concept to our defensive postures. For Survivalists, Preppers, Militia-types or just those with a broad concern of the condition of things, and for that there’s plenty among us, an entire subculture exists focused upon self reliant defense. And that’s where the confusion comes in. For some this requires being every bit as cool as a Soldier of Fortune cover. Going back to our definition above, it’s the consent of the community that’s commonly forgotten or simply written off (because it’s easy to fancy oneself as a hero if that’s overlooked) and the last part, that burden of consequence, is never recognized. Ever. The community bears the consequence of what you do or fail to do. What if that group of bubbas in pickup trucks you thought were brigands were actually emissaries from the next County over? You didn’t know the difference so you shot them. Good job, you’ve provoked a range war. What if that Security Force you perfectly ambushed really was there to set up a dental clinic? Don’t think that matters? Now you’ve pissed off the stronger foe and your people, who’ll now be happy to hand your ass off to whomever. You never read the story of the protagonist that ambushes and kills a group of doctors- no, because then they’d be the antagonists, the people to beat. But unplugged from your local community, one bad decision and now that’s you.

shura_1.jpegTake the group in the photo at right. To most, they look like dirty, disheveled, impoverished, ignorant goat farmers with antiquated equipment. They cling to their guns and religion, primarily farm opium and raise animals, and don’t like anyone telling them their way of life is wrong. And many of you out there dismiss them as backwards, inherently inbred losers; easy to beat. You know you do. I used to as well. Until I went there and shot a few of them. And I respect them a whole lot more than some of you out there. Yep, I said it; I mean it. They don’t run their mouths, make idiotic memes, repeat stupid catchphrases made by a 12 year old or have an unrealistic expectation of the world. They go and do with what little they have, right or wrong in our eyes, and the Tribe comes first, accepting full well the consequences of their actions.

If you have not yet checked out this post and embedded video, go ahead and do so. I agree with the points raised, and with this would like to emphasize the one point missed- the importance of Community.

The goal here is not moral equivalence but context- the way the West looks at them is the same exact way most of the international socialist views the South and Southern Culture. Keep that in mind. Communists have nothing but scorn for the South and seek to erase it. Our culture is deemed backwards and ignorant, clinging to guns and religion, and before that, exploitative colonialist relics, as we’re reminded over and over. Put in that context the broad view becomes a bit different. The Afghan is an interesting breed- not a coherent people but rather a multitude of tribes which loosely encompass a people. Sort of like the evolution and influence of the Scottish and Irish, along with the aristocratic nature of the old British planter families and the French in the very deep South. But simultaneously, as with Afghanistan, we commonly recognize customs and practices and place a maximum on cultural preservation. The difficulty for us over there, the puzzle we have yet to figure out, is how to beat the Taliban which understands this fact far better than the yahn-kee ferenghi tourist ever will. It’s the same reason the alt-Right enjoys an insurmountable popularity in the Southeast akin to the Dixi-crats of old and why we’ve always reacted with extreme hostility to outsiders, still referring to anyone coming from other areas and critical of local practice as outsiders when being nice, transplants when a bit irritated, and carpetbaggers when pissed off. afghanfarmer.jpegIf your name comes up and we react with a sideways grin and cocked head it’s not normally for a good reason…followed by either a grunt or a “bless his heart…”. These are common, recognized reflections of shared value, just as the Afghan speaks in terms of growing seasons and fables reflecting his culture. That pakol-wearing opium farmer from Khandahar with filthy hands and years-old dishdasha is not too far removed from the tobacco farmer in any rural County with filthy hands and years-old Carhartt and Wranglers. tobaccofarmer.jpgAnd they both get royally pissed off if you damage their crop- so much so that an occupying force is gonna have a rough time on their hands when they do so. Don’t take my word for it- I’ve only picked the pieces of diesel fuel jug out of my head from the fertilizer IEDs they build. Ask anyone who’s been blown up in Afghanistan or rural northern Iraq- they’ll tell you. I’ve had the pleasure of both. Of the farmers, both have deep roots in their community and are listened to; they know every mover and shaker in the community, have recognized consent of that community, and both have friends in low places who’ll be more than happy to pop some pills to relax and stick a bomb in the ground for the people who screwed with their livelihood.

Most importantly, in this context, none of them are isolationist loners. In fact, such an attitude in Afghanistan will end up getting that person killed in a winter or two at most. Those people are outcasts that no one places any value upon, not caring what happens to them- it’s usually not pretty. Post-shtf, that’ll probably be the same for you no matter how much shit you’ve bought, unless you’ve been working on getting your voice heard at the next Shura, whether you call it a County Commissioner’s Meeting, School Board, or Sheriff’s Townhall or Church get-together and earned enough respect for anyone to listen. This doesn’t mean don’t work to bring as much to the table as possible, it doesn’t mean you’re free to become a burden on everyone else, and no, it doesn’t mean don’t go out and practice with your weapons and tactics- exactly the opposite- but you have to recognize some context. No, you’re not an Infantryman. No, you’re not in an Infantry unit. And hell no, stop thinking like one- you don’t have an army behind you; you do need a community of people you know very well and who know (and think favorably of) you. And when the day eventually comes that an army be raised, it’ll be those with documented experience who get tapped for the leading and training job- not some self-important blowhard with a kludged-out AR-15. Three seasoned guys who look and fight like they’re from there and can hit a man at 500m is a hell of a lot better and much more effective than 12 lead farmers doing modified CQB drills and looking like Delta Farce- and don’t know it.  This doesn’t mean don’t train, it simply means train smarter. Make perceived handicaps strengths. You’re not fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, you’ll be fighting like the Iraqi or Afghan. By all means, don’t believe me. And realize that none of it matters either way if the community ain’t behind you.

I can hear the caterwauling now…like a bobcat in a river bottom…

43 thoughts on “The Shura

    1. Shawn'O

      I have to agree whole wholeheartedly, and I’m one of the ‘over the hill gang’, that has to remind myself what I am now. Not what I was. (or thought I used to was). Thanx

      1. Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger there Tonto. I am 90% VA disabled. I am no longer able to run from trouble. I will stand (or sit) and fight to the end.

      2. Hadenoughalready

        That makes two of us. I’ll take my stand wherever I can find a high spot.

  1. Positive and lasting community connections must be made. And it’s not that different than just making friends. I live in a rural town, population is about 400, and almost all of the land in a two mile radius surrounding my own is owned by people with a variety of only three last names. I have only three “neighbors” and they all have the same last name. So what sort of positive attention can I expect when the SHTF if I’ve never even met any of them?

    A “shura” in your community could be an open-to-the-public Freemason breakfast. It could be the annual electric co-op meeting (over two hundred people were at the one in my small town). It could be the city council meeting or the Peanut Festival (my town grows peanuts) or the elementary school PTA meeting. Heck, it could be a friendly conversation at the little hardware store if you’ve got enough people standing there.

    I was a 35M, Human Intelligence Collector, in the US Army. A major part of our training was based on building connections (for the purpose of establishing Intel sources). Most of the time it just involves talking and getting to know people, and letting them get to know you. Build your network of friends in your community. It can be hard to overcome that “rugged individualism” that most preppers try to have, that loner mentality. But unless you’re literally able to sustain yourself forever in the woods, by yourself, and have a massive wilderness where you can guarantee you’ll never come across another human being, then you’re going to benefit greatly by community connections.

    Hint: You’re not that guy who can survive forever in the woods alone.

    1. steven

      jbryan314, I liked what you have to say, don’t suppose you live near Headland AL do you?

    1. Yes!

      Email me for the details. I’m also holding a standalone communications fieldcraft class all day Friday, but I’ve held off until we have a hard date to make the announcement.

      1. Tom alerted me to your reply. The spring one is always the first weekend in June and the fall one the first weekend in October. The upcoming one is posted at the top of FNC and always is. Please send me an email.Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Brushbeater: The Shura | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  3. Pingback: The Shura | The Defensive Training Group

  4. Your example of shooting good guys is something I integrate into one of the first patrols done in my classes. I will have an OpFor with a rifle run across the trail in front of the patrol, and what do you think the patrol does……..? Well they light him up of course! Then comes the “Hotwash” when I ask “What did you do?”, “Why did you do it?”. The answer is usually “We lit up a bad guy”, and “because he was armed.”. Then I point out that 1) They are also armed. , and 2) He was a local farmer going to the next farm over to get meds for his sick cow.”. This is usually followed by silence because they realize he never displayed harmful intent by pointing a weapon at them or firing a shot. As to Northern Iraq and the people there………you gotta love “Route Richmond”…….

    1. …and that’s why, echoing what SP1 originally said, you can’t glean knowledge without experience.

      I didn’t get the pleasure of Richmond (although I’ve heard tale, and IIRC there’s a vid out there from RTE Richmond of a M113 getting blown on its roof) but I know full well how shitty Sears, Cherry, and Clemson could get. Clemson was pretty much a sure bet if you were the lead Vic, you better be right with God.

      1. Great Times…we built PB Doria after one of our Squad Leaders was killed in an Air Assault on Dugmat. It was named after him.

  5. drdog09

    Any insurgent swims among the populace, is protected by it, supplied by it, and earns its impact thru it.

    One of the better articles on resources I have seen in a while.

  6. Hadenoughalready

    Excellent post and very true, as well. We “deplorables” are not that different than those the West wants to “advance”, “democratize”. Who said they wanted it? No one; certainly not they.

    While I in no way defend their hateful Quran, it’s theirs. We should let them live and die by it if they so choose. So long as they don’t bring it here, as they have under o’shitbag, I don’t care what they do in their home countries.

    They’ve been killing each other since islam was conjured, what’s to stop them now? Certainly not any kind of “diplomacy”.

    Bring it here and demand we “submit” to it – NUTS! There WILL be hell to pay! And by the looks of it, we’re already well on the way to a major civil cataclysm; them notwithstanding.

    Keep prepping, folks; the battle has yet to begin….and it won’t be a short one, either.

  7. Many of us who have been there came to this conclusion too. Had I been born in Afghanistan I would have fought the invaders. Of course in my case I would have probably died during the Russian foray.

    1. You wouldn’a died Dave…you’d a popped out of the Hindu Kush with a pile o’ Russkie scalps with Kato somewhere looking for a fast one volunteer… 🙂

  8. Brad in TX

    BB, your excellent summation just confirms what I’ve always suspected, that good old boy out in the sticks with one extra mag stuck in the back pocket of his jeans is going to be golden compared to the weekend “militia” guys with all their kit, since he knows everyone within five miles of his home QTH and a lot of them owe him a favor. He has a network that cares about him along with good intel, which gives him a big advantage when it comes to staying alive.

  9. Great post!
    Nice to see there’s some things a lot of us are starting to agree on.
    There’s a few who have been trying to make the same- or damn near the same- points for years.
    Seems to me the guys making the points have all been to Iraq or Afghanistan or both.
    No one is gonna make it by ” living off the land”. Not much land far enough away from ” civilization” in the lower 48. There’s some but almost all of it is in the northern Rocky mountthoughA large part of that area has more than it’s share of guys more than a few fries short of a happy meal though.
    There are some tight knit communities scattered across the mountain west,and the high plains, and parts of the west have lots of wide open spaces with small communities scattered among them.
    Parts of Texas have a decent mix of small communities in the middle of nowhere, as do many places in the south.
    In my opinion, it’s gonna be the folks in parts of the Appalachians who will fare the best. Generation after generation has lived on the same land or at least in the same area. They grew up relying on themselves, family, and friends, don’t take kindly to most outsiders, and not only know how to grow ctops and raise livestock- they’ve done it most of, if not all of their lives. I’m not saying these people are the only ones who are gonna do okay- it’s the people who grew up in similar circumstances.
    We know how to fish, hunt, process our owm fish and game,grow our own veggies, can, smoke, and dry foods,butcher livestock, build houses and barns, make basic furniture, weld, wrench on any engine from chainsaws to Cat diesels,fabricate our own parts if we can’t get to parts store or don’t have the cash on hand. We hunt with recurve bows, compound bows, crossbows- and can do our own repairs to all of ’em. We use flintlock, percussion cap and inline muzzleloaders and do our own gunsmithing on all of ’em. We reload for rifle and handgun, and have spare parts for both or can fabricate what we don’t have.
    Granted- not all if us can do all of these things- but someone in our immediate family/ circle of close friends can.
    That’s what it will take- communities where everyone not only knows everyone else-( for the most part anyhow)- we all know who has what skills.
    Now is the time to figure this stuff out, because it ain’t something anyone will be able to figure out fast enough if things get sporty all of the sudden.
    We all need to have people who know enough about all the stuff I mentioned plus the really big ones like medical care, communications,water filtration/ purification, food safety- and yes S.U.T. , defenses ,patrols,etc.
    You won’t need any of the cool guy tactical stuff if the people in your community think you’re an unstable, unreliable, out of shape lazy douchebag.
    Work together with your neighbors whether they’re a block away or 5 miles away.

  10. Tim

    Good column. My attitude is simply to make friends with your neighbors. Since I’m the only gardener, and I do it as much for fun as anything, I make sure to share the veg and new potatoes, stop to talk, etc. Only problem I see is that the people who need to both read your column, and reflect upon it, are the ones that won’t. Tim

  11. Presuppositions you’d need…in my humble opinion.

    a) Can’t project leadership outside the home without being one in it. No patriarchy, no Tribe. People want to talk with the decision-maker, not a courier who needs to get a permission slip first. Also we secretly distain you for wasting our time being a cuck.

    b) History. Can’t fake it, gotta make it with people. Reputation is currency down here in the South, call people on crap and admit yours stinks. He who does more is worth more.

    c) If you’re talking, say something. It requires brain cells, a modicum of knowledge about the subject and a point. People listen when you whisper, they don’t when you’re the human equivalent of the box fan in your bedroom.

    d) Don’t be an idiot. <—– Seriously. SERIOUSLY. You know. I know. They don't. Joke's on y'all.

  12. Pingback: Brushbeater: The Shura – Lower Valley Assembly

  13. lineman

    Amen Brother… Community is where it’s at and if you don’t have it and can’t do it where your at move to somewhere you can…Like my Community😁👍

  14. PsyOp

    Ponder this from the perspective of the “prepper,” community, my edits:

    “a gathering of educators among the prepper community, which contemplates an issue, agrees upon a solution, and rallies their groups towards that goal. The agreement reached provides the community’s consent to action, recognizing the authority of the community and accepting the burden of consequence.”

    I have been dwelling on this since it was posted, trying to come with some pithy, appropriate response, but failed to date, because anything i said would be wasted on the choir, you all. For the most part, my experience has shown me, and you bloggers: BB, DM76, DTG, WRSA, JJ et al; will most likely find that 80% of replies are made by 20% of the readers… Just my guess..

    What does this mean for “us,” as a community?

    What happens when we look to others more educated, experienced in various TTP’s for advice/education/guidance as we, as individuals and a community, attempt to move forward to our collective goal, self sufficiency, liberty, personal freedom and whatever individual goals we may have?

    I freely admit, that the more i learn, the less i know…In my industry, IT it is pretty easy to weed out those who talk a good game, but really don’t know how to set up that vpn firewall, or file/folder permissions down to a granular level, or any number of things that we bump into on a day to day basis. Books/blogs/other folks’s opinions, don’t always comport with the reality on the ground.

    Take LandNav as an example: pretty easy right, as any 2nd Lt will tell you, , pull out map, X marks the spot, shoot an azimuth and go…not so fast sparky…Early on as a young/green/no business being there troop, i had the joy of experiencing at 19, perhaps one of the worlds best LandNav course, courtesy of Uncle Sugar at the lovely facility of both Ft Bragg, and Camp Mackall for both pre phase, and phase 1, and (i got the scrawny chicken for survival week)…all of my years of sierra nevada/desolation wilderness, backpacking experience, literally tripping over contour lines and ridgelines, draws, saddles, valleys and depressions, was made moot by the joys of the Uwharrie and surrounding area, where an ant hill is a mountain, a footprint a depression, and a small stream trickle a river, at least on the topos…lets not forget the swamp that DID not show as wetland shit, as we discovered, or the wait a minute vines….not on topos jack…

    We were told, and i believed, by the instructors, that if we could successfully navigate the course under these conditions, we could pretty much navigate anywhere, and we did, and many, including moi, suffered for it, being the green recruit with ZERO time in grade, or line/infantry experience. Simple, find the fence post…..all of em, day/night/rain/shine, under a time limit and carry that bitch ALICE w a 25lb sandbag on top of the other shit….

    Oh and don’t get caught walking the roads or buddying up….instant DQ..this was 84/85 and i had the honor of having Sgt. Trujillo in my class, (my bona fides) and he taught me how to Ranger Ruck, and provided much needed medical aid while in the field to many of us (me included) suffering from feet ailments and major dehydration/heat exhaustion/stroke…Would NOT have made it w/out his assistance.

    Ultimately, i was not moved onto P-2, and rightly so, as i was young, inexperienced and needed more experience and maturity, though physically i smoked everything….Sucked then for me, but in hindsight was the right thing for the SF community at large….

    Does my experience, however hi speed/low drag, make me a landnav guru..not no, but hell no….

    fast forward to today….I still seek out those folks to help me accomplish my goals, educate me on things that of which i do not know, or know well. Those who are willing to impart their time, energy and real world skills, based on real world, actual experience, not a book or someone else’s writings.

    I value that, appreciate it, and in many cases, am willing, and do pay for it, as it is the nature of the IT world, and in some cases, the “prepper,” world too. I don’t mind paying for quality education, and in most cases, folks put a premium on something they have paid for, vs some free shit taught by a supposed expert, whether it be, small unit tactics, landnav, commo or any manner of thing.

    As long as said trainer has the bona fides/knowledge/referrals to back it up, i will gladly pay…

    What happens when “we,” as a community, decide to jam each other up, not respect ones time/energy or experience, and are un-willing to pay for said training/knowledge?

    Do we, as a community, honestly think, that all info/training/time/energy should be provided free of charge, or on some one else’s dime/time? You accept EBT cards?

    What happens to the individual who professes to be said SME, and yet can’t or won’t, provide bona fides or worse, passes along bad info/intel or simply regurgitates what someone else has penned, w/out the requisite skill sets to actually teach it?

    this is what we will take, our knowledge and it had better be legit, to our local communities to provide whatever training we can, let us not boast of things we have not, or can not do, at the expense of the very same same folks we are trying to educate/protect and win over to our side.

    There will be folks in the group/audience/hood, that have, “been there, done that,” and eventually, you/we, will get called out on it and had better be willing to “accept the burden of consequence.”

    As a fellow opined, “a man has got to know his limitations.”

    That is all…

  15. Good One!!!
    A less glamorous pre-emptive strike is getting to your school board, county commission meeting and warning about the encroachment of sharia through the curriculum and do gooders on the local level. Don’t let the planning authority allow an Islamic education center in the first place. The enemy will never call a mosque a mosque.. it will be an interfaith learning center.

  16. Pingback: Saturday Review 3 - American Digest

  17. hillbillynick

    Best thing I have read in a while, well done! I’m constantly harping on this myself. As well as putting my money where my mouth is by working on plans to better my community. Easier for myself here in small town Alleghenies than the big cities but possible anywhere. As to the comparison between Afgan and N.C. farmers, well said! I’ve been saying the same for years. I have more in common with a man with dirt under his nails regardless of his nationality than I do any American elite. Keep it coming!

Comments are closed.