jezail \'jez-ale\ n: 1. long-barrelled
matchlock or flintlock rifle commonly used by Ottoman Janissary
troops, Bedouin and Afghan tribesmen. The deep curve in the butt
stock was used to hook the firearm under the armpit and allowed
the gun to be fired while the other hand is on the reins to control
a horse or camel. For accuracy over great distance, it is typically
fired from a forked rest. 2. .org n: A website and multimedia
production facility located in Washington, DC with the goal of
speaking truth to power by bypassing bureaucratic Federal agency
management resistant to change. By applying 20 years of experience
with modern communications technology, Jezail.org can make a long
reach to regions well outside of the beltway.
We, at Jezail, have experienced the fierce opposition to change
that various U.S. foreign policy components and agencies have imposed on government
for 20 years. We were the Federation for American Afghan Action,
patriotic American activists opposing the Soviets in Afghanistan.
In addition to going into the field to experience and learn the
details of the fight, we worked passionately to streamline a
State Dept./CIA operation rooted in mindsets that were incompatible
with victory. That was 20 years ago. We were among the first Americans to warn of the dangers of
the Arab "volunteers" that became Al Qaeda in 1988. We continue to expose
big agency, big budget solutions that get in their own way.
We draw on experience unlike any other organization in America.
We have a vertical perspective on Afghan affairs that only
activists who have been intimate with battlefields to bureaucracies
can have. We were with Afghan delegations to the UN in the eighties
and saw how the very same people who claimed to support the Afghan
fight against the Soviets betrayed Afghan delegations seeking a place
in the world community. We witnessed agency supercrats skillfully play
conservatives off of liberals in pursuit of their own ambitions while
ignoring and even feeding early Islamofascism. The best efforts of
hard-working government servants were continually being watered down
and perveted by turf battles and bureaucratic inertia. Kabul could
have fallen years before it finally did were it not for CIA incompetence,
Pakistani meddling and the ambitions of a few morally challenged
diplomats. Thousands of Afghans died giving veracity to the anti-American
propaganda foisted by Wahabi-financed Islamofascists. We
saw these things very early.
In the 1980s, the Federation fought off a "risk averse" CIA
leadership and successfully lobbied multiple Afghan aid packages
in the congress. Since then, Federation members have been on the
the front lines of Lithuania, to Bosnia to Israel as well as
learning to explore outreach capabilities of the internet, multimedia
and digital technology.
After Pearl Harbor, the military and foreign policy establishment
cut out deadweight, tossed out dysfunctional assumptions to rebuild
an army and navy to cross two oceans and hammer fascism within
a few months. Are we making that kind of progress today in our
battle with Islamofascism?
It is our mission to apply the lessons of the past to the
struggles of the present. Now, some twenty years on, we have
other "normal" lives, far from the maelstrom of war and policy
making. We call ourselves "Jezail" because, even now, with grey
hair weaving into our beards, our aim is true.