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I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
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Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
Welcome Aboard -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
Across Iraq, I keep running across American troops who are not Americans. Many of these soldiers and Marines are working towards attaining U.S. citizenship while in uniform, under fire, in Iraq.
I was privileged to witness the award ceremony for 12 new American citizens in Deuce Four recently. I hope America makes them feel welcome. If the folks at home could see what these people are doing in Iraq, they would make these special troops feel as honored guests. But now, better yet, they are honored citizens, giving life to the concept of active citizenship.
Typical day on the ground -- [ American at heart - in Iraq]
We?ve been busy, busy, busy. Early mornings, long days, and hot weather (135F on Sunday) were my companions these past few days. We are now going on missions with the IA. They do raids with coalition forces help, and we watch them to make sure they don?t mess up. Our goal is to approve them as ?ready to go on their own? so that coalition forces can leave the country to the Iraqi security forces. We performed around 4 raids these past few days, back to back. We searched around 12 villages, some as large as 8,000 people. We cordoned them off and searched each and every house. We found LOTS of stuff. I?m sure we have prevented countless deaths throughout the country.
An Iraqi Shia Editorial: ?They think that religion is only a matter of having a beard? - [Austin Bay]
The first post from ?The Iraqi? drew an interesting array of comments. ?The Iraqi? is a brave and honest man. A commenter asked to read something with ?Shia and Kurd perspectives.?
The following editorial from Al Adala was emailed to me this morning. I read it and thought, okay, here?s a Shia. I can?t vouch for the translation?s accuracy, but I?ve very good reasons to trust the emailer. Al Adala is a newspaper published by the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. I?ve looked for a link but can?t locate one. Al Adala?s editor, however, does have a yahoo email address.
An emergency conference... -- [Iraq the Model - an Iraqi in Iraq]
Iraq's constitution drafting committee called for an emergency summit for the leaders of political parties and religious factions in Iraq in order to override the remaining obstacles that are hindering finishing the final points of the constitution....
This piece of news was mentioned this morning on several Iraqi newspapers and this call for a big conference obviously came after the semi-complete draft was released last Tuesday which was faced by a lot of disagreement and objections in the Iraqi street and from several political parties especially those of minorities.
The Night Time is the Right Time -- [Lost in Iraq - in Iraq]
No news is good news right? There?s no news, so here's some insight into one of the minor differences between home and Iraq. It?s the nighttime. At times, it gets really dark here. We don?t have streetlights, or flood lights outside our building to brighten our 100-degree evenings. We simply have to rely on flashlights or the moonlight to move around at night.
Over time a strange phenomenon has developed.
12 November: Broken Arrow....or Something Like It [Armor Geddon - back from Iraq]
Something to jog your memory
I looked at my crew and recalled, ?You know something. I remember being back in Vilseck in the freezing snow in January. We were standing in the parking lot in front of Company. And SGT Meadows was giving that stupid IRT(individual readiness training) with the mine probe.? The mine probe was this fiberglass rod with a rubber handle. And if you were ever stuck in a minefield, you were supposed to poke gently at the ground at a 45 degree angle about 30 times per square foot. Make sure there were no mines in the ground. And then you could take a step forward.
Combat Medic signs up for Thrird Tour -- [Echo9er]
Here is a Soldier with a mission. He has already been deployed for a year, and has begun a second consecutive tour, and in February 2006, he will start a third consecutive tour. At present, he is talking to his leadership to see if he can stay until his ETS in 2009.
Be thankful you are an American *very graphic* -- [Big Al's Army - Al's in Iraq]
As you guys probably remember, Al's MOS in the National Guard is the same thing that he does in civilian life ---> he's a nurse. At his location, he's not really needed to treat soldiers very much because he is in a relatively 'safe' area - and they let the medics run the clinic primarily - unless somebody is super sick and then they call in a doctor.
One thing that Al has gotten to do while he has been there though is to do several "Medcap" missions. This consists of them getting together humanitarian aid of all kinds, food, medicine, personal care items, ceiling fans, etc. - and then going to a remote, rural location and providing assistance to the Iraqi nationals. He has sent me videos of the missions and they are very hard to watch.
CMOC Kids --[5th CAG's Experience - in Iraq]
Here are some shots of the children out front this morning. The chaplain's assistant came out today and we helped hand out shoes, coloring books, and stuffed animals. These kids are just so cute that it breaks your heart not to be able to do more for them.
I hope that by the time they're teenagers this country will be well on its way to being a Middle Eastern powerhouse.
Bomber Kills 25 Iraqi Army Recruits (AP- Yahoo News)
BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide attacker detonated an explosives belt in a crowd of Iraqi army recruits Friday in a town near the Syrian border, killing at least 25 and wounding 35, a police general said. The U.S. military put the toll at 20 dead and 25 injured.
Officials said the attack in Rabiah occurred in the midst of recruits training in a secured area, and they speculated some of the guards might have allowed the bomber to enter the post about 230 miles north of Baghdad.
Security costs slow Iraq reconstruction -- (MSNBC)
Efforts to rebuild water, electricity and health networks in Iraq are being shortchanged by higher-than-expected costs to provide security and by generous financial awards to contractors, according to a series of reports by government investigators released yesterday.
Taken together, the reports seem to run contrary to the Bush administration's upbeat assessment that reconstruction efforts are moving vigorously ahead and that the insurgency is dying down.
Iraq Affects Troops' Mental Health (Military .com)
WASHINGTON - Thirty percent of U.S. troops surveyed have developed stress-related mental health problems three to four months after coming home from the Iraq war, the Army's surgeon general said Thursday.
In Jordanian Case, Hints Of Iraq Jihad Networks -- (New York Times)...James Glanz
...Estimates of how many foreign fighters are in Iraq have been hazy, but a Western diplomat said a variety of analysts had concluded that hundreds of Jordanians had gone to Iraq to fight since the beginning of the war. A common route, they say, is over land through Syria and across Iraq's porous and still violent western frontier, the same route Mr. Horani and his friends are said to have used.
Iraq Can Survive This (Washington Post)...David Ignatius
...Iraq is in torment, but the Lebanon example suggests that with patient help, its institutions can survive this nightmare.
Confronting Complacency (Washington Times)...Rep. Jim Saxton
Like it or not, every U.S. citizen is engaged in the Global War on Terror. This war was forced upon us on by cowardly terrorists on September 11, 2001. It seems apparent some members of Congress have not yet grasped that the U.S. and its allies are at war to defend our freedoms and way of life.
The Truth About Abu Ghraib -- (Washington Post)
FOR 15 MONTHS now the Bush administration has insisted that the horrific photographs of abuse from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were the result of freelance behavior by low-level personnel and had nothing to do with its policies. In this the White House has been enthusiastically supported by the Army brass, which has conducted investigations documenting hundreds of cases of prisoner mistreatment in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but denies that any of its senior officers are culpable.
Mixed Signals On Bringing Troops Home (Baltimore Sun)...Jules Witcover
...General Casey's conditional prospect of some reduction in the 138,000 U.S. troop level and Mr. Rumsfeld's refusal to set a timetable send mixed signals - but hardly the only ones in this war of controversial decision-making.
Live-Blogging "Over There" -- [Reasoned Audacity]
"Over There" tonight at 10 EST. The new television series about the Iraq war. I'm skeptical. So I've decided to live-blog it. If you're watching, too, send comments.
Live Blogging "Over There" -- [The Middle Ground]
First thing I see is a soldier smoking pot. Not that I think that soldiers are perfect but that is definitely some left over 60's post Vietnam imagery.
Second thing, woman soldier saying good-bye to her kid.
Third thing, which seemed pretty accurate, was guys taking fire from a mosque and they are yelling about al jazeera reporters inside and they are not able to return fire. There is a really pissed of sgt that is angry he's been stopped loss, angry that he has a bunch of FNGs and just freaking angry.
Forgive Me for Lack of Interest in 'Over There' -- [The Word Unheard]
...Last night I received final confirmation that 'Over There' was bunk. I happened to be in the same room with a TV tuned to MSNBC's Hardbull with Chris Matthews as he was interviewing the program's creator/producer. I looked up reluctantly from reading the Pentagon's Congressional Report, "The Military Power of the People?s Republic of China 2005".
"Over There" met with some hostility -- [A healthy Alternative to Work]
...Well, I guess I'm not completely surprised, by the content of the show or by the reaction of the MilBlogosphere. [N.B.: Wouldn't it be more fun to call it the Blog-O-Sphere? Or the Blog O'Sphere?]
Anything less than a glowing account of professional soldiers going into a tough situation and consistently doing the right thing was going to draw fire from military supporters around the world, and that's understandable. But it seems a lot of people are upset with the depiction of soldiers falling into hackneyed archetypes. I think I know why this might have happened.
"Over There" -- [Smash]
...Mrs. Smash recorded it for me. It was like a bad Vietnam movie, filmed in what was clearly the Mojave desert filling in for Iraq. I even spotted a Joshua Tree in the background.
Simple, stereotypical characters. Not much depth.
Over There -- [BlackFive]
Okay, I've been getting a few emails every minute or so with negative reactions to the FX show "Over There". I had checked the site a few days ago and found the characters to be cartoonish and stereotypical. I figured it wouldn't be very complimentary or truthful or real.
"Over There", Report by Ry -- [Argghhh!]
Okay,"Over There" report: It's pretty bad. Has just about all the old war movie cliches
"Over There" -- [Target at Centermass]
I?ll admit, I went into tonight?s premier of FX?s Over There with much trepidation. Simply put, I generally don?t trust Hollywood.
More thoughts later, but I?d like to throw out a few initial observations.
It just wouldn?t be Hollywood if we didn?t quickly show drug use and racial tension in the ranks
Over where? -- [CDR Salamander]
Yep, I saw it. Last night I forced myself, against my better judgement, to watch the new FX show "Over There."
I'm not an Army guy so I won't comment on the ground details, but this show just didn't make it.
Over There -- [Eric Grumbles Before the Grave]
"Over There" debuted, a TV "drama" about Iraq. As has become my norm for twenty years now, I basically ignored yet another piece of what I deemed to be Hollywood trash that would not reflect any sort of military reality and would have a political agenda to push. Let's quickly distinguish here between works of historical fiction, like "Patriot" or "Gladiator". I recognize these for what they are and watch them as entertaining fictional dramas.
"Over There" TV series on FX.... [Singaleer]
I Tivo?d it. I lasted less than 10 minutes before I deleted it.
Made it through the introduction of characters (of course none of them could be well-adjusted) and to an NCO berating his troops about how put-upon he was for having to lead them while doing nothing and receiving fire.
So now I know it isn?t worth my time.
"Over There" -- [Air Force Pundit]
The new tv show by Steven Bochco finally premiered last night. I had been really psyched to see it from the previews over the past few months. Then, in the last week I started to read reviews and became much more hesitant. Anything that the lamestream media is going to praise about a military show means that it is going to pretty much suck. I have to agree with my brothers in the USArmy- this show sucked. The dialogue was
Over There -- [The Daily Brief - Sgt Mom]
A lot of the criticism centers around the details: The Taster?s Choice slam, for instance, was excellent. Other details, like the buried IED, with a little flag on the trigger, where down-right idiotic. Bochco certainly needs some qualified technical consultants involved in production.
The most prevalent negative opinions though, seem to center around the stereotyping of the characters, and the matter of good taste, over producing an entertainment program while people are fighting and dying.
"Over There" -- [Watch Your Six]
I just watched the first episode of "Over There" on F/X. I'm not impressed. It's certainly not this generation's "Platoon."
The acting was thin (I've seen better acting in Army training films), the plot (if you could even recognize one) was random, and everyone had a dorky nickname.
Over There -- [Fixed Bayonets]
The new Fox series "Over There" premiered last night. The best that can be said is that it was an embarrassment but, also, that there is no where to go but up.
Steven Bochco, creator of the new series, claims that the show is "not about politics." Inasmuch as nothing was said for or against the war aims per se, I'll agree with that statement in a minor way but, only in a minor way. Though not discussed, politics was a definite undercurrent via the use of age old stereotypes.
Finding Reality in Fiction: 'Over There' (NPR news)
Commentator Leroy Sievers, a former Nightline producer, says Steven Bochco's new TV drama about the frontlines in Iraq raises an important question: Can a fictional account of war do a more effective job of showing the public the realties of life for soldiers and Iraqi civilians than the news can?
Baghdad Blues -- (New York Metro)
Stephen Bochco?s Over There, about the war in Iraq, struggles to capture a conflict that?s still going on.
Steven Bochco ought to have been the perfect executive producer for a dramatic series about something as problematic?something as post?Light Brigade?as the American war in Iraq. Bochco?s Hill Street Blues, after all, was the first post-liberal, post-social-worker, wised-up eighties cop show.
How will 'Over There' go over over here? -- (Miami Herald)
At a press conference in an air-conditioned tent on a hill overlooking the show's set, one reporter wondered out loud if a military action at the end of the third episode had a political underpinning. (I would disagree.) Another asked Bochco and Chris Gerolmo, the co-creators of the show, how they felt about the real Iraq war.
"I'm not even going to answer the question," Bochco said. "I don't want to politicize the show in any way.... I think the moment you take a political position, you're not doing what art is supposed to do, which is to ask provocative questions.
These soldiers say 'Over There' is 'bogus' -- (M.L. LYKE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER)
A truck tire hits a flagged wire, a roadside bomb explodes, a handsome private with shredded leg screams in agony. In the bloody chaos of the moment, his soldier buddies panic. One pukes.
Stop the cameras! Sir!
Over There? takes the offensive -- (Kansas City Star -AARON BARNHART)
Bochco smashes complacency with drama from Iraq People have already begun asking producer Steven Bochco why he was so gung-ho to make a TV show about the war in Iraq.
War out of harm's way -- (Newsday... DIANE WERTS)
War is hell, everywhere. It's hell in the trenches American soldiers dig in the sands of Iraq as enemy rounds pound their position. It's hell in the hospitals where amputees lie screaming after the morphine wears off. It's hell back home as spouses left behind struggle to cope with kids, infidelity, uncertainty.
Licking and Salting War's Open Wounds -- (New York Times)
This show doesn't have a lawyer plunging to her death down an elevator shaft. It doesn't have a foul-mouthed cop making broadcasting history by mooning more than 20 million viewers. What it does have - and what makes it unmistakably a Steven Bochco production - is plenty of button-pushing. It's called "Over There," and it's a television drama that takes direct aim at the single most polarizing subject in the United States right now: the war in Iraq.
TV's Iraq War Drama Profiteering To Some -- (Washington Times)...Jennifer Harper
The war in Iraq has gone Hollywood. Street fights, improvised explosive devices, roadblocks -- they've all become bloody plot devices for a new TV series on the ongoing conflict. "Over There" debuted on the FX cable network Wednesday, courtesy of Steven Bochco, producer of "NYPD Blue" and other dramas. He is not apologetic for tapping into the war for material.
'Over There' brings battlefield home -- (MSNBC)
Producer Stephen Bochco, the brains behind such hits as "NYPD Blue" and "Hill Street Blues", has put a new spin on soldiers in action. "Over There," a hard-hitting new show on FX, follows the exploits of a fictional Army platoon. With politics aside, the show explores the dueling forces of carnage and courage while at war.
Bochco joined 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews to discuss how the series reflects these complexities that U.S. soldiers currently face in the Middle East.
'Over There' pulls 4.1 mil for FX duty -- (Reuters)
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Over There" has won its first key battle.
Producer Stephen Bochco's Iraq war drama got off to a good start Wednesday, drawing 4.1 million viewers in its 10 p.m. premiere on FX, the night's most-watched show on cable, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Of the total, 2.4 million were aged 18-49, also No. 1 for the night in that coveted demographic, Nielsen said. An 11 p.m. repeat attracted 1.7 million total viewers.
Politics hard to avoid in "Over There" -- (Seattle Times)
...But that is absurd. "Over There," which debuts tonight at 10 on FX, cannot help being full of opinion. It starts with the material put in or left out. The content here is both stunning and grating. In its frantic desire to make viewers sit up and pay attention, "Over There" has the least organic feel of any Bochco show in memory ? an opera just short of the soap. Yet I know I'll watch to the end.
The show's urgency is understandable and perhaps laudable. FX president John Landgraf, who first had the idea of a weekly wartime series, perceived a growing void in attention to the lives of soldiers in Iraq.
War (in a General Sense) Is Hell -- (Slate)
Over There, the Steven Bochco-produced drama about the war in Iraq that premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on F/X, is being hailed everywhere as a groundbreaking television experiment ? the first American series to fictionalize a war while that same war is actually going on. There's a sense, in much of the press coverage of the show, that its mere existence is somehow salutary.
Over There ? Hollywood Joins the War Party -- ([Anti-War.com])
... It isn't about Iraq, it's all about the Americans ? their feelings, their class and ethnic divisions, and their endless narcissistic banter.
Tying it loosely together is an overarching view of soldiering as an inherently noble and valorizing activity, one that is not necessarily tied to country or ideology.
Letter from a soldier -- [Sunday Morning Coffee]
... I'd like to press on to July, more than two months subsequent to my last long e-mail. Life in Iraq isn't fun. Since my last, we have moved twice, been shot at a few times, responded to 3 or 4 bombings, and almost got bombed again. We (my platoon) were stationed a goodly ways north of Baghdad, but we moved in the beginning of June and re-joined our company in Rustamiyah. We stayed there for nearly two weeks then moved to this, our present location. A few noteworthy incidents which occurred while still up north were an accident and a bombing. I was involved in the former, but we merely responded to the latter.
Almost there...and my one and only editorial -- [Martin in Afghanistan]
We went out for lunch today with one of the local officials we have been dealing with for the past six months. We have done a lot of projects in his area and the people of his area have really appreciated it. I cannot remember what the name of the food was, but it was lamb cooked in a pressure cooker with onions and tomatoes. We had a different kind of bread with it this time. I will be getting all the names of the foods from our interpreters, before we leave. I did give the Dogh another try. I felt I had slammed the drink pretty hard the first time I tried it - mainly because I was already sick and dehydrated at the time - and since then was told that it is better ice cold, etc. One of our interpreters chopped up some cucumber and mixed it with the yoghurt or sour milk (not sure which) and I tried a bit again. I have to say that it was actually quite good. I could see the potential, even though the guy making it pointed out that he didn't have half the proper ingredients. I will try it again, if we can get the proper stuff to make it.
Chinook Destroyed By Fire In Afghanistan -- (New York Times on the Web)...Associated Press
A Chinook helicopter carrying six U.S.-led coalition crew and 25 Afghan troops was destroyed by a fire after making a hard landing near the Pakistan border, the U.S. military said Thursday. No one was hurt.
Afghan Women Put Lives On Line To Run For Office -- (Washington Post)...N.C. Aizenman
The note slipped under Mahmoud Shah's front gate was written in a tidy, graceful hand. But the message brimmed with venom: "If you don't stop campaigning for Noorzia Charkhi, your life will be in danger. Also tell Noorzia Charkhi that she should give up her candidacy. Aren't you ashamed to put up posters of your family's women in the bazaar?"
Over 400 Louisiana Guard Soldiers Re-enlist -- [Jack Army]
More significant than the number of soldiers who simultaneously extended their service to the military is that these National Guard soldiers did so in a combat zone.
Sulphur, LA, is just down Interstate 10 a few miles, literally, from where I live. Little tidbit for your noggin. Anyway, he said what many feel: I love the Army and I can't imagine not staying in. Sure, many others don't share that love, but that's ok, doesn't mean they don't care.
Adios, Jim -- [Florida Cracker]
There's one less sob-sister at the Miami Herald today.
Jim DeFede was fired for illegally taping a telephone conversation with Art Teele, who commited suicide in the Herald's lobby last night.
Reporter Finds U.S. Sniper in Iraq Who Shot Knight Ridder Correspondent -- [Toni - My View]
This story is disturbing to me. To be honest, I don't know if I had heard about this event and it appears from this particular article it occurred in June of 2005. I am also thoroughly amazed that a reporter would actually investigate anything since that appears to be a lost art among reporters today. But I guess when it comes to one of their own finding the truth makes a difference or at least the truth which satisfies their perception.
Next is the fact that this "reporter" LIED to get into the US Military embed program. Hmmmm. So, the Media wonders why people in the military don't trust "Reporters"?
REPORTER VOWS TO 'KILL SELF' IF CHENEY RUNS FOR PRESIDENT -- [Drudge Report]
Veteran wire reporter Helen Thomas is vowing to 'kill herself' if Dick Cheney announces he is running for president.
The newspaper HILL first reported the startling claim on Thursday.
Nancy Pelosi - Lunatic? -- [Balance Sheet]
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (bio), House Minority Leader, was furious on a Fox News clip over the CAFTA vote. She stated that Republicans were out to prove their manhood. I don't think Nancy was mad about her lack of a twig and a pair of berries. It must have been something else.
Pelosi, in a statement straight out of junior high school related...
Hilly versus Howie- Democrats duel -- [Uncle Jimbo - Madison.com]
There is currently a battle underway for the heart of the Democratic Party. The two factions have widely differing ideas about how to make the Dems competitive again. Having lost control of both houses of Congress and two Presidential elections in a row, they know they need a change but the question is moving left or right.
Nancy Pelosi: CAFTA Contra -- (Forbes ...Rich Karlgaard)
This week our dunce's cap gets passed to Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader, U.S. House of Representatives. In coming out against the Central America Free Trade Agreement, which passed the House this week, Pelosi made the familiar (and disingenuous) left-wing case: CAFTA, written by greedy capitalists, fails to include protections for labor and the environment. Otherwise she'd have voted for it.
Texas Republican Switched Vote on CAFTA -- (AP- Yahoo News)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - For weeks, Rep. Robin Hayes (news, bio, voting record), R-N.C., was colorfully adamant in his opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
"What does CAFTA sound like? NAFTA," Hayes declared. "It's not in the best interests of a core constituency I represent. Every time I drive through Kannapolis and I see those empty plants, I know there is no way I could vote for CAFTA."
State Dept admits Bolton gave inaccurate answers -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department reversed itself on Thursday night and acknowledged that President Bush's U.N. ambassador nominee gave Congress inaccurate information about an investigation he was involved in.
Bush to Senate Judiciary: Release Your Own Records -- [ScrappleFace]
(2005-07-28) -- The White House today called for members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to release all of their tax records and other personal documents so Americans can gain insight into the judicial philosophy and character of those who will help choose the next Supreme Court Justice.
Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! Thumb! Finger! -- [Baldilocks]
The leftists are in an uproar because some of them think that the president flipped off the press. Not that they don't deserve it, but, for the record, I saw this on TV;
Happy anniversary -- [Chrenkoff]
Best of the Web is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Congratulations to James Taranto, and thanks for half a decade of news and commentary delivered with just the right dose of wry humor.
Thanks for the link Mrs. G.Posted by Toni at July 29, 2005 06:17 PM
Thanks for the link, ma'am.Posted by Gunner at July 30, 2005 05:26 AM
My apologies for being so late in offering my gratitude for the link. Many thanks and it was a privilege to be on the list.Posted by kat-missouri at August 1, 2005 10:26 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(3) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)