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Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. (We have a daily "Open Post" too, if you have something on another topic you can link there.)
TALES FROM THE FRONT -- [American Citizen Soldier - in Iraq]
Once Upon a Time in Mosul
Where better to get your view of the frontlines than straight from the soldier’s mouth?
Several recent critics have dismissed this site as being more pro-Bush shillblog than pro-victory milblog, all but accusing yours truly of being on the GOP payroll. While I would ascribe my personal philosophy more to conservative values than purely Republican ones, it did strike a chord. Perhaps I have been too focused on the overall politics of the war, and less so on the day-to-day events and experiences that have been shaping and sharpening my opinions on it in the first place.
Iraqis vs. al-Qaeda, Continued -- [Threats Watch - Bill Roggio]
Al-Qaeda’s situation in Anbar province and the embattled city of Ramadi has slowly worsened since the deadly suicide strikes against police recruits. The attack did not deter Sunnis in Ramadi from volunteering for the police, and provoked a backlash against al-Qaeda’s gruesome tactics. Sunnis in Anbar, including in the cities of Samarra and Ramadi, have vowed to fight al-Qaeda, and six insurgent groups, including the Islamic Army of Iraq, declared war on the foreign terrorists.
NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL AND WEAPONS -- [Strategy Page]
January 23, 2006: American troops in Iraq have run across chemical artillery shells on quite a number of occasions. There’ve never been more than a handful found in any particular cache, and all of them have been old, easily dating back to the period of the ’90-’91 war. These shells were probably stashed away for “safekeeping” and then forgotten. Apparently none of the shells are usable, and in most cases the chemicals have deteriorated or leaked away. It would be extremely unlikely that any of these shells would be of tactical use. But if someone were to use one in an IED attack,
Getting Out Without Victory Is Not An Option Part I -- [Victory in Iraq - in Iraq]
There's been a lot said in the news recently regarding plans for bringing our troops home from Iraq. As an Operation Iraqi Freedom vet, one who's experienced all the joys post-war Iraq has to offer, I thought I'd weigh in with a introspective examination of the war there.
...Any sensible American knows the risks we face if we were to leave Iraq prematurely, and the public officials who run on a platform that call for an immediate withdrawal are either very misinformed or aren't making priorities regarding a sound withdrawal plan. I question the motive of the political naysayers who think that we just can't win this war and need to leave immediately. Instead of taking a good look at what's actually required to achieve our aims in Iraq and bring our troops home, they look to capitalize on the judgments made in the court of public opinion--"if so many Americans are tired of the war and think we should leave Iraq now, maybe I can score some points by saying the same." Wrong answer! A hasty pullout is only a short-term solution, and will only serve to embolden the major terrorists overseas at the expense of our reputation.
BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE -- [One Marine's View - in Iraq]
Iraq, like America continues through its growing pains and tribulations to become a new nation. Great strives have been accomplished throughout the country at the expense of Iraqi, Coalition and International forces over the past year. Like America it has become a new nation conceived through liberty and freedom.
Its amazing how solid history tends to hold true throughout time. Like America, Iraq is growing as a country and we can see the same growing pains in Iraq that we experienced here in America.
We're Surrounded...That Simplifies the Problem -- [Fire and Ice - in Iraq]
We Marines have long cultivated a penchant for being surrounded by the enemy and convincing ourselves this is a good thing. Our Corps' lore is steeped in legendary encirclements from the Boxer Rebellion in Peking, to the Chosin Reservoir in Korea, and the Khe Sanh firebase in Vietnam. To this list will be added Observation Post Horea in Ar Ramadi, Iraq. The main artery running through Ramadi is called Main Supply Route (MSR) Michigan.
Ar Ramadi Images -- [Fire and Ice - in Iraq]
...The city of Ar Ramadi was a target rich environment visually alive with people, objects and surfaces. Here are several photographs of things mentioned in the previous entry along with a few others to give some sense of the atmosphere that pervades a place such as OP Horea. Here is the face of an Iraqi jundi, brave and generous. The Marines, weary of MREs, look forward to their invitations to share home cooked meals on the first deck. A sergeant of the guard disolves in the dappled light under the mantle of camouflage netting. A belt of machine gun ammunition at the ready coiled and deadly. A view of Saddam Mosque as seen from a fighting position, and a devestated
Baghdad Snow -- [Dan in the Desert - in Iraq]
...Driving along Route Irish, from the IZ to BIAP (Baghdad International Airport). The drive itself is only 10 or 15 minutes, but this used to be the most dangerous run in all of Iraq, and possibly the world. It's amazing how it has changed. Hell, I could probably skateboard down it.
The Body Army Debate -- [Jack Army]
OK, time for me to wade into this true quagmire. As a Soldier who has worn body armor in the past and one that will wear it again in a few months for a year or so, I feel like I'm in a good position to speak intelligently about the pros and cons of body armor.
What made me finally want to speak about this? Well, this group of letters to the USA Today editors! Let me start out by fisking some of their comments.
Iraq War Not Most Expensive In History -- [NRO]
Critics of the war in Iraq often complain about the “escalating cost of the war.” Listening to them, you’d never know that the war is one of the least expensive in American history. (HT: Bear Creek Ledger)
Father and Son -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
LTC Richard O'Conner talks with his son PFC Ryan O'Conner. He met his son Ryan for a birthday celebration. Both are here in Iraq.
Kind words from an Australian Ally -- [The Patriette]
From this article: Australian doctor: Coalition forces reflect Army values
“I am impressed by the quality of all of the American Soldiers I served with in Iraq,” said Ti. “I could not believe just how seriously American Soldiers take Army values and I am absolutely humbled by the sacrifice and effort you are putting in. I consider it a personal privilege to have served with American troops and consider it right that Australia stands beside America in fighting terrorism.
Iraqi Army gearing for the future of Iraq -- [Live in Iraq - in Iraq]
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq(Jan. 21, 2006) -- Twenty-five-year-old Iraqi Army 1st Lt. Hussin, who’s been a soldier for five years, smiled at the thought of a promising future for Iraq and the hopes of defeating terrorists which plague his country. When asked if he thinks whether the country will divide or remain together he responded, “Together, but not just Iraq…all of the world.”
Remembering the Good Guys - Sgt. Mike Stokely, fellow Georgian -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
...Having been in Baghdad for several months now, I’m more cognizant than ever of my own mortality, and of the expiration date that all of us have. I want my life to make sense and mean something. I think it does, despite all the rowdy people back home who scream and slobber about the “illegal war,” poking at what is being done over here with a stick, afflicted by intellectual myopia, making the wounds worse by offering stinging criticisms but no positive alternatives to the current course of action. They ask so many questions, but are never satisfied with the answers. They gloss over the evil that is Saddam Hussein and the mass graves of somewhere between a quarter-million and half-million human beings.
Sand in my Crack -- [SandGram - in Iraq]
...Because of this, fine dust is pushed through every crevice and hole in the buildings/tents/cans etc so that you always have a layer of dust on all of your items including the food you eat. People ask if it’s hard to breath, the answer is it’s so minuscule; you just kind of get use to it. It happened pretty fast and the visibility dropped down to about a ¼ mile which grounded an Air Force C130 from Alaska.
Around Iraq in 80 hours -- [Across the Pond - in Iraq]
Well, its time for me to take another trip around Iraq in 80 hours. I am going on a little journey and will not be able to post for a few days but by the looks of things so far, it should be an interesting journey. I will be sure to post of my adventure upon my return.
While I am gone, go over to Guppyman's Rant Zone and check out a guest post I did.
I asked a friend in the Army to write up his view of what's going on in Iraq....
Here is what he had to say....
The Midnight Express;48th Soldiers Provide Escort to Supply Convoys -- [48th BCT - in Iraq]
...The 48th Brigade Combat Team from the Georgia Army National Guard deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After six months of combat operations in Southwest Baghdad in an area that is known by the locals as the "Triangle of Death," the 48th BCT conducted hundreds of combat patrols, discovered large and dangerous weapon caches and in general made dangerous neighborhoods safer for their residents.
British, Americans try to speak same language -- [ajc.com /The 48th goes to war - journalist embedded in Iraq]
Tallil Air Base, Iraq — The Italians control Nasiriyah in southeastern Iraq and have a huge contingent stationed at this base, just outside the city.
Then there are the Americans — The Georgia Army National Guard’s 48th Brigade Combat Team among them — Australians, Japanese, Romanians and of course, the British.
Leaving Iraq, same as it was -- [Daily News-Miner Blog - journalist embedded in Iraq]
With four hours notice, my time in Iraq was over.
I was scheduled to leave Sunday from Mosul to begin my journey home. Further investigation revealed that in order to make my commercial flight on Tuesday from Kuwait I had to take a military flight TODAY. It was hustle and bustle and a quick goodbye.
...Luckily I was able to spend my last morning on patrol with the very first soldiers I met when I arrived, 3rd Platoon of Charlie Co. 2-1 Infantry.
Leaving for Iraq on Friday -- [Michael Totten]
It looks like I’m going to (Northern) Iraq on Friday. Supposedly my visa is ready and I can pick it up tomorrow morning. My travel logistics are arranged. All that’s left for me to do at this point is schedule more interviews, wrap up a Hezbollah article I’m working on, and wait for the date.
Is it possible most would say no I know otherwise -- [The corner stone Of communism - in Iraq]
Here I am in iraq in baghdad and i'm wearing more gear here than I would be back home cold weather wise. Some ask is that possible in a desert well i'm here to tell you HELL YES! My hands yes they go numb if you don't cover them and the ears start bitching because of the wind well here I wait for my flight out of this god forsaken excuse for a"not third world country" I really have started to dislike this place a whole lot and am more than glad to get out of here. There is however a part of me that wishes I hadn't the medic in me goes what are you doing dude? You still have your guys out there and yes mind you they have another medic you know them better than anybody else our happy little dysfunctional family and our trucks that always had something wrong with them. AH yes the good ol days ...
Just Another Day -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
...I digress. While listening the track "Just Another Day" came up. I stopped what I was doing and really listened. It dawned on me that over here every day is "Just Another Day". Folks back home are getting excited about the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. Not here. I'm not getting up at zero dark thirty to watch two teams in a league I could care less about. Super Bowl Sunday, while a defacto holiday in the USA is "Just Another Day" over here. Like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Day, etc. They are all "Just Another Day." The days roll together like
New Experiences -- [Desert Chief - in Iraq]
Things are going relatively well, and I'd like to think that I've made some progress and made a difference. It's a high visibility office with much to do. There are days that I wonder -- why me? I particularly like the comic strip's take -- grow, learn, new horizons, solutions, etc........
As Covered By All Major Media (NOT!) -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
Despite insurgent activity, Iraqi workers completed repairs to two water treatment plants in south Baghdad after nearly four months of work. Due to their skill and bravery, an estimated one million Baghdad residents will benefit from the renovations that continued regardless of insurgent attacks.
...“Mahmoudiya and Latifiya residents in south Baghdad this week had water flowing from their faucets for the first time in nearly eight years,” said Alfred Everett, GRC Resident Engineer supporting the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “That’s what people in those communities are telling us.”
Iraq Rebuilding Badly Hobbled, U.S. Report Finds -- (NY Times)
The first official history of the reconstruction depicts a program beset by understaffing, infighting and a lack of technical expertise
Pentagon Planning Document Leaves Iraq Out of Equation -- (LA Times)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has long been accused of always planning to fight its last war. But as the Pentagon assesses threats to national security over the next four years, a major bluepri...
Iraq rebuilding effort is said to be faulty -- (Boston Globe)
NEW YORK -- The first official recounting of the $25 billion American reconstruction effort in Iraq describes a program hobbled from the outset by gross understaffing, a lack of technical expertise, ...
We Can't Stop Rebuilding Iraq - Funding Cutoff Imperils U.S. Goals -- (Washington Post)
According to recent news reports, the Bush administration will not ask Congress for additional foreign aid for Iraq in its coming budget request. This would be a major strategic mistake. Iraq's infrastructure is still in mediocre shape, and most of its citizens are still seriously underemployed. Such an aid cutoff would be especially surprising coming from a president who has built his Iraq policy on an unflinching commitment to staying the course and completing the mission. Economics is a critical element of any success strategy for Iraq.
Iraq War Not Breaking The Bank -- (National Review Online)...Jerry Bowyer
Critics of the war in Iraq often complain about the “escalating cost of the war.” Listening to them, you’d never know that the war is one of the least expensive in American history.
‘Blair could have opted out of Iraq invasion’ -- (Dawn)
| MANHATTAN, Jan 23: US President George Bush said on Monday that he had given British Prime Minister Tony Blair the option of pulling out of the US-led alliance on the eve of the Iraq invasion.
Sunnis in Iraq Urged to Defend Themselves -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A leading Sunni Arab party Tuesday urged fellow Sunnis to confront armed attacks on their community following a raid on a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad in which three men were killed and more than 20 abducted....
IRAQ: ITALIAN TROOPS HELP REACTIVATE HOSPITAL -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 23 Jan. (AKI) - The Italian military contingent based in the southern Iraqi town of Nasiriya has provided important medical equipment, machines and apparatus for the hospital there, as well as basic material required for disinfection and for surgical operations. Hospital chief Haydar al-Hamishi explained that this donation "will contribute to the support of the ever-growing needs of the health sector", recalling that the Italian forces last year provided the hospital with a CAT scan machine.
Commander: Progress in Iraq in '06 (Knight Ridder News)...Joseph L. Galloway
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, said in a year-end interview that he believes 2006 will see substantial progress in Iraq because "there are more people trying to hold it together than take it apart."
Mines, Aardvarks, Hydremas and Sappers -- [Miserable Donuts]
I realize the title of this post sounds like a list of things found in a computer fantasy game, but it isn't...
When the post-Soviet government was ousted, the mines were still there. They had done nothing about them. The short lived successor regime couldn't do much - they ended up in a fight with the Taliban. That's where it got really ugly. Bagram changed hands no less than 9 times in a 21 month period of 1999-2001. The Northern Alliance/Rabbani government moved mines around into positions to defend from Taliban attack. The Taliban moved mines to stop them from retaking Bagram. Both sides imported more mines to lay.
Afghan Ladies' Driving School -- [Misadventures of a Not-So-Intrepid Explorer - in Afghanistan]
BBC writes about how women are actually now legally able to drive in Afghanistan. This is fairly significant, as women still are not able to drive in countries like Saudi Arabia. Yeah, no women driver jokes please.
U.S., Coalition Efforts Helping Improve Afghanistan -- [Camp Katrina]
(U.S. DOD): Humanitarian efforts continue in Afghanistan as coalition forces helped remove snow from impassable roads and built "hygiene facilities" at a small school. In addition, international diplomats visited a provincial reconstruction team Jan. 21.
World Bank accuses West of undermining Karzai -- (The Independent)
The system used to channel Western aid to Afghanistan is undermining the government of Hamid Karzai and damaging development prospects, the World Bank has warned. | Donor countries including Britain
Call for state role in Afghan aid -- (BBC News)
Development aid for Afghanistan needs to be channelled through the government and its budget in order to gain maximum benefits, the World Bank has said. | In its report Afghanistan:
7 Taliban Rebels Escape in Afghanistan -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Seven Taliban rebels have escaped from Afghanistan's main high-security prison, officials said Tuesday....
Letter to President Rugova's Family and the People of Kosovo from the President of the United States -- [Kosovo Report]
The White House
I was deeply saddened by the news of President Ibrahim Rugova's death. For many years, President Rugova led the campaign for peace and democracy in Kosovo, and he earned the world's respect for his principled stand against violence.
The United States has lost a true friend. Throughout years of conflict, Ibrahim Rugova was the voice of reason and moderation that helped Kosovo's people lay the groundwork for a peaceful future.
Victory for conservatives in Canada -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
Canadians voted to switch governments yesterday. The current political climate in the land of “free health care” bears watching. I was born there, and a number of Canadians stop by the blog from time to time. Let’s see how the conservatives handle things.
Our Neighbors to the North -- [BlackFive]
Austin Bay has a really great piece up today about the Canadian military and Canadian politics. It's worth your time to read.
There's quite a few Canadian readers here. And, Joe Katzman, one of my favorite bloggers is a *gasp!!!* Canadian
Oh Canada! -- [A Soldier's Diary - in Iraq]
Check out the latest from Canada's elections. Looks like the conservatives beat the liberals real bad - I haven't been paying a whole lot of attention to the election process there, but I hope the change will be great for Canada. A Michelle Malkin readers asks, "Our losers always tell us they are going to move somewhere like Canada if the voters have the arrogance to elect Republicans. Where do Canadians threaten to go?" And I wonder, where will Michael Moore and the rest of the loonies threaten to move to if Canada become much more conservative? Hmm... How about France!
Pakistan Prime Minister to Visit U.S. -- (The Guardian)
| WASHINGTON (AP) - Pakistan's prime minister is visiting Washington at a time of rising tension between the two allies, with thousands demonstrating regularly in Pakistan to denounce a U.S. airstrike...
SOUTHEAST ASIA: OIL DISCOVERED IN MALAYSIA -- (AKI)
Sarawak, 23 Jan. (AKI) - A consortium made up of Vietnam's Petro Vietnam, Indonesia's Pertamina and Malaysia's Petronas has discovered oil off the coast of Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, officials from Petro Vietam announced. The well is expected to yield 3,072 barrels per day of crude oil immediately, and the block could pump up to 25,000 barrels per day by 2009, the officials said.
Conservative Party Wins in Canada Election -- (AP)
OTTAWA (AP) - Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party won national elections Monday and ended 13 years of Liberal rule, a victory expected to move Canada rightward on social and economic issues and lead to improved ties with the United States. The Conservatives' winning margin was too narrow to avoid ruling with a minority government, a situation that will make it difficult to get legislation through a divided House of Commons.
British agents caught red-handed by Russia -- (Telegraph)
Russia said yesterday it had caught four British diplomats "red-handed" in espionage after releasing surveillance video revealing how they used a fake rock as an electronic version of the age-old "dead-letter drop".
France defends right to nuclear reply to terrorism -- [Open Fire]
The president of France, Jacques Chirac, is sounding like a unilateral cowboy. That is, he is sounding like our President Bush. Of course this is a good thing.
Chief Welshofer and the question of intent -- [Countercolumn]
A reader, Al Maviva, who commented quite a bit around the blogosphere on the NSA story a couple of weeks ago, writes in:
Remember Farris Hassan? -- [The Thunder Run]
Well it appears that maybe, just maybe, the entire world was duped by wanna be jihaddist.
I wrote about Hassan here when news broke that he had traveled to Iraq alone and without his parent’s knowledge to gain insight for his journalism class.
A curious incident -- [Peace Like A River]
Italy's justice minister has formally asked the United States to allow Italian prosecutors to question 22 purported CIA operatives they accuse of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric in 2003 from a Milan street, a Justice Ministry official said Sunday.
...This was not an operation that covered the CIA in glory. Some rather egregious violations of spycraft, and some top-notch work on the part of Italians, allowed Italian authorites to build a fairly complete picture of how the operation was conducted. Worse, these details made it into the public press.
Overview of Euro-American cooperation on terrorism -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The clear rapprochement between U.S. and European intelligence services is one of the most striking aspects of this new cooperation. Former CIA official Stanley Sloan recently noted: “U.S.-European cooperation has been one of the more successful aspects of post-September 11 efforts against international terrorism.” Indeed before September 11, European services would complain of the lack of U.S. cooperation, especially regarding Islamist terrorism. But ...
Bush Defends 'Terrorist Surveillance' -- (AP)
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- President Bush pushed back Monday at critics of his once-secret domestic spying effort, saying it should be termed a "terrorist surveillance program" and contending it has the backing of legal experts, key lawmakers and the Supreme Court....
Judge Orders U.S. To Supply Prisoner Names -- (New York Times)...Julia Preston
A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to release the names and nationalities of hundreds of prisoners detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, rejecting the government's argument that it would be a violation of their privacy and expose them to retaliation by terrorist groups.
Leader Who Worked To Reshape Agency's Image Is On The Defensive -- (New York Times)...Scott Shane
On a rainy night in August, a black-tie crowd gathered at the National Security Agency for a tribute to Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who had led the eavesdropping agency for six years. The corridor to the banquet room at agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., was lined with favorable press clippings, in part the results of his courting of writers who covered the secret world of intelligence. But now General Hayden finds himself on the defensive.
Investigator: U.S. 'Outsourced' Torture -- (AP)
STRASBOURG, France (AP) - The head of a European investigation into alleged CIA secret prisons in Europe said Tuesday there was evidence the United States outsourced torture to other countries and it was likely European governments knew about it. But Swiss senator Dick Marty said there was no formal evidence so far of the existence of clandestine detention centers in Romania or Poland as alleged by the New York-based Human Rights Watch.
Libby Wants to Use Classified Evidence -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawyers for a former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday made their first request to use classified evidence at his trial, launching a highly secretive court process that could bog down the case.
In the filings made under seal in federal court, lawyers for I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby put the judge and prosecutors on notice that they want a jury to hear evidence the government now says is classified.
The Phoenix Project -- [MVFAF] HT:Patti Bader
Soldiers and Veterans Transitional Retreat
At a briefing and panel discussion on December 8, 2005 in Alexandria, Virginia hosted by Rep. Lane Edwards on Capitol Hill Thursday, December 8th, the National Military Family Association’s (NMFA) Director of Government Relations, Joyce Wessel Raezer, offered a unique perspective of the effects of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health issues on military families. While the focus of the discussion was on PTSD, Ms. Raezer was clear in stating that families need support across the whole spectrum of mental health care citing the that families called for more information on what their service member is experiencing and they need help in understanding how to help their service member Families also need to know when “normal” post-deployment anger morphs into abuse and where they can get help if it does. Almost 70 percent of active duty family members knew that counseling services were available to them and 50 percent stated they or someone in their family would seek counseling or had used counseling services. While most families—even isolated National Guard and Reserve—may be aware of at least some DoD/military support services, most know nothing about what is available through the VA.
I FEEL THE LOVE IN THIS ROOM! -- [Yikes]
AWRIGHT! WAY TO GO, Y'ALL!!! I came home today to about FIVE BIG FAT ENVELOPES filled with Valentine's cards for my "soldier-babies"!!! :-) Two were from two different Girl Scout Troops in Florida, one was from a lady here in Georgia, and the others were from various locations around the U.S. that I can't recall right now cuz I'm so tired, haha! :) Anyway... it was awesome! I also got TWO HUGE BOXES from my dear friend Janis in Meridian, Mississippi, one containing over 70 and one containing over 80 cards
"They Didn't Die in Vain" - Gold Star Families to Iraq -- [Move America Forward]
...Some times the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces sacrifice their lives in this mission, and the mothers and fathers they leave behind here in the U.S. are known as Gold Star moms and dads.
These parents know their children did not die in vain, they know that their children stand as heroes who helped secure a future for generations to come that will not include the threat of terrorist attacks like we saw on September 11th, 2001.
Don’t Support the Troops -- [Outside the Beltway]
...Our soldiers were sent to Iraq by the president pursuant to an overwhelming authorization of force by the Congress. At that point, they have a duty to go off to war regardless of whether they like it. It would be untenable to put the country in a position where it is paying for warriors that it relies on in times of crisis and then give those warriors the ability to opt out at the moment when they are needed.
Warriors And Wusses -- (Los Angeles Times)...Joel Stein
I don't support our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.
Thanks A Million -- (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)...lINK CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
...Shauna's new goal is to collect a million valentine cards and messages in the next few weeks. By reaching her goal, Shauna will have symbolically given a thank-you to every man and woman actively serving in the U.S. military including reservists.
How Mainers Greet Troops: Hugs, Fudge And 41 Cellphones -- (Christian Science Monitor)...Sara Miller Llana
It is well after dinnertime for Kay Lebowitz, but she hardly notices - she has hundreds of American troops to greet.
Should We Have "Built Up the Military"? -- [Winds of Change - Robin Burk ]
This will of necessity be a very quick post, and I especially invite our military readers to add their own extensive comments to my brief outline.
I'm responding to Armed Liberal's claim a few days ago:
I’ll lay blame at the feet of President Bush, who missed two clear opportunities: to build the strength of the military over the last four years ...
TurboTax for Military Service Members -- [The Patriette]
TurboTax Online (tax filing software) is being offered by the DoD at no cost to military service members. Find out more info here: Military OneSource
A Bottle of Jarhead Red -- [Strategy Page]
January 22, 2006: A former marine decided that the marines needed a special wine for celebrating social occasions. So he started a vineyard and began producing “Jarhead Red”, a $10 Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a red wine with an alcohol content on the high side of the scale. Or, as the marines like to say, “strong and red.” It’s a decent wine that has acquired a good reputation in the military, where it is much in demand, as anticipated, for celebrations. Part of the profits go to the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, and two $10,000 scholarships have already been awarded to the children of marines. The wine is available
Pentagon plan seeks increase in special forces: report -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new Pentagon review of U.S. defense strategy would add thousands of troops skilled in fighting terrorists and insurgents to the ranks of the elite Special Operations Forces, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday
Pentagon dismissed tips on wasteful spending, documents show -- (Knight Ridder News)
WASHINGTON - A retired Army Reserve officer complained to the Pentagon's fraud hot line last year that the Defense Department had overpaid for kitchen appliances, paying $1,000 for popcorn makers and toasters and $5,500 for a deep-fat fryer that cost other government agencies $1,919.
Moonbats? We got 'em. -- [Soldiers' Angels New York]
The moonbat capitol of NY is Ithaca, home of the infamous St. Patrick's Four. News today of a sentencing for a protest.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) A peace activist rebuked the U.S. government Monday before being sentenced to six months in federal prison for splattering his blood at an upstate military recruiting station.
The Next Great Communicator -- [Officers Club]
President Bush still sucks up a quite a bit of grief from the unhinged left for handful of times he misspoke during Campaign 2000 (unificator, strategery, etc). The more I listen to the President's speeches, the more undeserved that criticism appears.
President Bush is a Texan, and speaks like one. That may tick off big-city leftists, who tend to frown on folks who say ya'll and still refer to their elders as sir or ma'am, but Virginia boys like Charlie and I -- and the rest of small town America for that matter -- love his plain spoken midwest American charm.
33 Years Later ... -- [Daisy Cutter]
Are we better off?
On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court did not "legalize" abortion. This is uneducated, journalism-school-speak. In fact, approximately one-third of the states allowed abortions in circumstances other than to save the mother's life at that time.
Alito To Receive Committee Vote Today -- [Stop the ACLU]
If all goes well, Judge Alito will be voted to the full Senate today.
...Assuming that the democrats will behave rationally, which is of course a gamble at best, the vote will go to the full Senate. If cloture, which requires 60 votes is denied, then you have a Democrat filibuster.
Republicans to Give Alito Committee Win -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito takes his first step toward the high court with a preordained Senate Judiciary Committee victory Tuesday, but the strength of opposition among panel Democrats may forecast his margin of victory in the full Senate. The GOP-controlled committee was advancing the nomination of Alito - President Bush's pick to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor - on Tuesday. All 10 Republican senators already have announced their support for the conservative judge, leaving the eight Democrats with no way to stop the committee from giving him a positive report.
Photos of Bush With Disgraced Lobbyist Are Confirmed -- (NY Times)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 - These pictures may be worth more than a thousand words.
On Monday, White House officials acknowledged that, yes, photographs did exist of President Bush in a classic grip-and-grin with Jack Abramoff, the disgraced Republican lobbyist at the center of a bribery and corruption scandal in the capital. But that did not mean, they said, that Mr. Bush had a personal relationship with him
White House Was Told Hurricane Posed Danger -- (NY Times)
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 - The White House was told in the hours before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans that the city would probably soon be inundated with floodwater, forcing the long-term relocation of hundreds of thousands of people, documents to be released Tuesday by Senate investigators show.
Bush Approval Rating Holds Steady At 43% -- (USA Today)...Susan Page
...The good news for Bush is that he has rebounded from his low rating of 37% in mid-November, says political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin. “It is stabilized,” he says. The bad news is that a concerted White House PR campaign launched in November, including a series of speeches citing progress in Iraq, hasn't improved views of Bush or the war, Eichenberg says. “When the president gives an issue sustained attention, a reasonable person might think he'd change some minds. He clearly didn't.”
NYT Imagines Self as Besieged Dissenters, Observes that America Lacks "True Freedom of Discussion" -- [Media Blog]
How else to interpret this prolonged whine from "editorial observer" Adam Cohen?
...The editorial observes that Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America still provides "[great] insight into contemporary American democracy" — specifically, the insights that "he knew of no country with 'less independence of mind and true freedom of discussion' than America," and that "Tocqueville would not have been distracted by all the talk that warrantless wiretaps, indefinite detainment of enemy combatants and other civil liberties incursions are serving the cause of freedom.
Father of Suicide Bombing Victim: Golden Globe to "Paradise Lost" Legitimizes Terrorism -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
In connection with the Golden Globe award bestowed last week on “Paradise Now” (a movie I have not seen), I wanted to share this response from Yossi Zur, who lost his son in a senseless and depraved suicide bombing in Haifa.
Last night the Palestinian movie "Paradise Now" won the Golden Globe award. The movie shows the route that two young Palestinians take to become suicide murderers, up until the minute they board a bus in Tel Aviv filled with children.
Capt. Z on CNN - a Transcript -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Capt Z (Chuck Ziegenfuss), was on CNN's show On the Story this weekend. You can read what Chuck thought of being asked to appear as a guest on the show, see a nice picture (very, very nice picture! Such a handsome couple!) of them on the set and let Chuck know your thoughts (and read his) about how it went. If you missed it, I couldn't find the video....but here's the transcript:
The End Of The Road -- [Schadenfreude]
Well everyone, all good things must come to an end....
I've had a lot of fun writing Schadenfreude. The time has come, however, when I must depart the blogosphere and shut 'er down.
Don't Panic -- [Incoherant Ramblings]
When I refresh this, it might work. . .
Um, my website was down. Before you start conspiracy theories thinking that the army is out to get me and shut me down for good, rest assured that this is not what happened. It was actually a lot more innocent then that.
Well, see, I was out of the country for a year. I wasn't able to keep on top of certain things as well from out of the country. This included things like Credit Cards.
EPILOGUE/HOME -- [Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum - home from Iraq]
...I truly believe if we have nothing worth fighting to the death for, then life is the bitterest fruit, and for me I can not live in a world where I have no reason to hold onto what sweetness life can offer. As part of our human condition, we have grown far too fond of strife, and war. Yet, despite ourselves we find something oddly comforting in our little wars. We find a reason to go on.
Back Home! -- [The Flying Swede - home from Afghanistan]
I made it back home! It took a bit longer than It was supposed to, but I made it. What can I say, I’m glad to be back!
Deployment Complete -- [Incoherant Ramblings - home from Kosovo]
I just flew back into the states in the last hour.
It feels good to be back.
Welcome home 107th -- (THE DAILY MINING GAZETTE)
Some of our own are returning to us, perhaps as early as this week. The Copper Country received word that Company A of 107th Engineering Battalion of the Michigan National Guard is coming home.
Members of Company A, which is based out of the Calumet and Baraga armories, had been gone for about 15 months with the with about a year of that time spent in Iraq.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)