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Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
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.)
Fog of War -- [NBC's Blogging Iraq blog - journalist embed in Iraq]
It's never easy getting the facts right on a breaking story in Baghdad. The obstacles to verifying and checking things out for yourself are daunting enough. You have to always gauge the integrity and objectivity of your sources, when trying to confirm. Today the needle on that gauge was way off the mark, and dangerously so.
...It was a Reuters wire that read in part: "Separate groups of gunmen entered two primary schools in Baghdad on Wednesday and beheaded two teachers in front of their students," according to the Ministry of State for National Security.
...We learned that the two schools were in the Shab district of north Baghdad. It was true that there are two primary schools there, named Amna and Shaheed Hamdi, where students between the ages of six and eleven are enrolled. From there on the truth went MIA....
First contact, part two -- [Fun with Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM said the fifty cal. At the same time my old gunner is sending rounds downrange with his 240 in one direction and emptying his shotgun into another. I’m glad to say that my interpreter jumped out of the truck and was emptying a thirty round magazine with the M4 he was carrying. It’s good to know that he’s got our back to the point he’ll start shooting when the shit hits the fan.
Kill us, but you won't enslave us. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Last week we stopped writing for a while and we apologized to our readers saying that we lost a close friend but we didn't want to give more details as we were overwhelmed by an exceptional situation and a huge shock. We also were afraid from writing more about this subject for security concerns but now I think I must share this with you as it's part of the pain and suffering my nation is going through.
The good, the bad and the ugly -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
Not much changed here in Iraq in the two weeks I was gone. People are still killing each other and acting like soulless fools.
The Shiites and the Sunnis are at each others throats like a pack of surly dogs that needs an alpha male to keep them in check. That’s sad to say, but it’s true. Now that Saddam is a fading memory and Iraqi “leaders” have nothing to worry about from above, they’re proving that they just need another Saddam to keep them in check.
PRACTICE -- [Dan in the Desert - DOD Contractor in Iraq]
Getting ready to head out into the red zone (sounds scary...it really just means anything not considered green). Actually I guess that is a little scary.
These pictures are from a mixture of several different runs over the past few weeks. I had to make a trip to Camp Victory, located next to Baghdad International Airport, to do some field work. I also had to visit Abu Ghraib Warehouse, a large storage site just north of the airport.
Soldiers in the Office -- [ROFA Six]
Spc. Nate Wagar, from the 101st Airborne Division, provides urban combat training to Iraqi soldiers at Forward Operating Base McHenry, 17 April 06. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Wood
Old Doha at night -- [Johns Iraq Blog - in Iraq]
Originally uploaded by mensik_baker. I like this photo even though its blurry because it kind of captures the feel of the souks. They are a very vibrant, energetic part of the city. These are the kind of places that went away with the Wal-Mart culture in america. They are the heart of the city and a place where people congregate.
The Weekend Update -- [The Desert Excursion - in Iraq]
...I am slowly becoming accustomed to the base here. We have a lot of coalition forces here so we are not alone. The Italians, the Brits, and the Aussies have the largest forces here after the U.S.. The base is very simple with a mile walk or so to the chow hall but you can catch a shuttle if you are lucky. Yes, I am still in a tent living out of my bags. Other things of mention this past weekend: I witnessed my first real sandstorm that nearly knocked me on my rear and the temperature is easily hitting over 100 degrees during the day. Occasionally we experience brownouts and the A/C is cut in the afternoon. Guess how long it takes for our tent to be hot? About 2 min 30 sec.
Operation Movie -- [JusticeSoldier -- in Iraq]
Well, things are decent here on Camp Crazy. We have actually had a little vacation from the mortar attacks lately- those that have been here awhile say they are just replentishing their supply, and they’ll make up for lost time. In the meantime, the weather has been taking its turn up front: this is possibly the only place in the world where it can rain 1/100th of an inch and the whole darn place floods! The other day I was attempting
A Call For Phantom Troops -- [Daily Dispatch]
In his recent Op-Ed in the Washington Post, retired Army General John Batiste said:
“We went to war with the wrong war plan…Previous planning identified the need for up to three times the troop strength we committed to remove the regime in Iraq and set the conditions for peace there.”
There is one problem with Mr. Batiste’s statement about the previous planning: It was mathematically impossible....
...For everyone who said we needed more troops in Iraq, we at America’s Majority are going to provide a little lesson in military math–a lesson some of you will find shocking.
The Marine Corps has...
Teachers beheaded in Baghdad in front of students -- (Reuters)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Separate groups of gunmen entered two primary schools in Baghdad on Wednesday and beheaded two teachers in front of their students, the Ministry of State for National Security said.
Iraq Police Deny Report of Teachers Killed -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Militants killed two people at elementary schools in a mainly Shiite district of Baghdad on Wednesday, the government said. But police in the neighborhood denied any attack occurred....
Death's door -- (New York Daily News)...Richard Sisk and Paul H.B. Shin
Kin get grim visits, few answers in Iraq fight
Just hours after Conrado Perez Jr. replied to a letter from his 22-year-old son in Iraq, two Marines showed up at his door. Perez knew instantly why they were there.
"I just couldn't believe it. It's the last thing in the world that you would expect," said Perez, 50, recalling how the officers told him that his son, Lance Cpl. Stephen Perez, had been killed in Anbar province - the vast desert area west of Baghdad.
...The Marines have refused to release details about the battle that resulted in 24 casualties, but it was the latest evidence that the Marines in Anbar are now facing large-scale assaults, with the enemy attempting to overrun outposts.
Generals' Criticism Of Rumsfeld Gets Mixed Reaction Among Troops -- (Los Angeles Times)...Solomon Moore
News that six retired generals recently called for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign has been slow to reach many of the Marines stationed in Iraq's restive and isolated Al Anbar province.
The Generals' Bold Words -- (San Diego Union-Tribune)...Georgie Anne Geyer
...These generals have at least started to put down military stones of integrity in the road that McNamara and Rumsfeld have led us. They have begun the real questioning of America wasting itself in “invented wars,” in which our survival was not remotely at stake. In this, they deserve our fervent thanks, plus prayers that some lessons finally will be learned.
Rep. Israel Says 'False' Pretenses Led To War -- (Long Island Newsday)...J. Jioni Palmer
Three years after he voted for invading Iraq, Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) says the case for war was based on a "false pretense" perpetuated by President George W. Bush. "I never would have voted the way I did had I known what I know now," said Israel, who will travel this week to Iraq for the second time.
Al-Jaafari Seeks Confirmation for 2nd Term -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Embattled Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari asked the Shiite alliance Thursday to confirm his nomination for a second term, and Shiite lawmakers said they planned to meet this weekend to decide whether to replace him. The move represents the first sign that al-Jaafari may have abandoned his quest for another term in the face of strong opposition from Sunnis and Kurds and opens the door for the 130 Shiite lawmakers to replace him.
Al-Jaafari Clears Way to Be Replaced -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Embattled Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari cleared the way Thursday for Shiite leaders to withdraw his nomination for a second term, a step that could break a months-long standoff that is blocking the formation of a new government.
Study faults US health effort in Iraq, Afghanistan -- (Reuters)
The United States has botched efforts to improve public health in Iraq and Afghanistan, missing a chance to gain support in those countries, an independent report released on Wednesday said.
Iraq `Human Shield' Trying to Avoid Fine -- (AP)
KERHONKSON, N.Y. (AP) -- Before the bombs fell on Baghdad, Judith Karpova went there to put herself in harm's way, hoping to prevent attacks on a population that was already suffering.
The Afghan Auxiliary Police -- [Strategy Page]
April 20, 2006: Concerned over unrest in certain provinces of Afghanistan, President Karzai is proposing the creation of "auxiliary police units" in areas particularly susceptible to Taliban penetration. The new force would number some 9,000-10,000 men. These would be recruited locally and stationed in their home provinces, to supplement personnel from the 65,000-strong Afghan National Police.
Afghan Parliament to Vote on the Cabinet -- (NY Times)
Confirmation hearings ended, however, with uncertainty about which members of Hamid Karzai's proposed cabinet would be approved.
Blast Hits Near U.S. Embassy in Kabul -- (Yahoo News/ AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan - A massive explosion believed to have been caused by a rocket shook the Afghan capital late Wednesday near the U.S. Embassy compound, wounding an Afghan security contractor, officials said.
US faulted on efforts to rebuild nations -- (Boston Globe)...Bryan Bender
Healthcare called too low a priority
WASHINGTON -- The United States failed to make the health of ordinary citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan a top priority of reconstruction efforts, missing an opportunity to create substantial good will in the crucial days after the US-led invasions, according to a study to be issued today.
Taliban chief warns Afghans not to work with the government -- (Yahoo News/ AFP)
DOHA (AFP) - A Taliban leader, Jalaluldin Haqqani, warned Afghans not to work with the government or the Afghan army and "occupation forces" in an audio recording released on Al-Jazeera television.
Mission of Frustration in Afghan Villages -- (Washington Post)...Pamela Constable
As U.S. Officers Try to Coax Out Facts About Insurgents, Elders Remain Reticent
LANDAR, Afghanistan -- A convoy of six Humvees bounced along a winding, rocky riverbed last week and entered this village in Khost province near the Pakistani border, chased by a mob of schoolboys in bright blue tunics and pajamas.
"The New Deal" -- [Sandgram]
There is so much going on around the world that I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy in President Bush’s spot. Just think, you are trying to deal with finishing a project in Iraq to make a beacon of freedom there in an area where the others don’t want that to happen. Iran is next door saying that the world must accept them into the Nuclear club, (oh by the way, we want to wipe Israel off the map). You have to figure out a way to appease the leaders there so they can call off all their insurgents in Iraq, to allow for the U.S. to make a peaceful honorable withdraw.
Then, spin the globe around and you have the morons in N. Korea saying they can lob a Nuke over to the shores of the U.S., so now you must appease China ...
...Now on top of that, our country has been invaded by an army of over 12 million Mexicans and the only shot fired was that of all the gangs roaming around the border cities...
Shanghaied in Shanghai -- [ThreatsWatch]
China-Russia-Iran Axis Takes Concrete Form as Iran is Welcomed into Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Last Friday, we noted that Iran was to meet up with their partners, China and Russia, in Moscow.
Dead Man Walking -- [Gun Toting Liberial]
Refusing to see a problem will not vanquish it. China is rising. We are declining. This is not a case for patriotic bravado. It has absolutely nothing to do with the caliber of your love for America, what we think or how we act.
It’s the money, stupid.
Kyrgyzstan, Seeking New Deal, Warns It Might Close U.S. Base -- (Reuters)
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said Wednesday that he might shut down a U.S. military base in his country if Washington does not agree to a new contract.
More Muscle, With Eye On China -- (Washington Times)...Bill Gertz
The Pentagon is engaged in an extensive buildup of military forces in Asia as part of a covert strategy to strengthen and position U.S. and allied forces to deter -- or defeat -- China.
Chinese man admits plot to import missiles to US -- (Reuters)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Chinese national living in Southern California admitted on Wednesday trying to arrange the sale from China to the United States of 200 shoulder-fired missiles that can be used to bring down airplanes.
Venezuela To Hold Military Exercises -- (Pravda, Russia )
Venezuela plans to hold military exercises along its coasts and with neighboring countries' armed forces while U.S. warships conduct their own maneuvers in the Caribbean, said Adm. Orlando Maniglia, Venezuela's defense minister.
Chavez: Oil Will Be Destroyed if Attacked -- (Washington Post)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday again raised the specter of US designs to oust ...
Ahmadinejad: Oil Price Is Lower Than Value -- (AP)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Wading into oil politics for the first time, Iran's hard-line president said Wednesday that crude oil prices - now at record levels - still are below their true value. In statements likely to rattle world oil markets, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said developed countries, not producing countries like Iran, are benefiting the most from the current high prices.
IRAN: 10 PEOPLE HANGED IN ONE DAY -- (AKI)
Tehran, 20 April (AKI) - In Iran the hanging of 10 death row convicts in a single day has triggered fears of a return to the mass executions common in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought to power the country's religion-based government. The hangings took place on Wednesday in Tehran's Evin prison in the presence of relatives of the condemned - all convicted for murder - and of their victims.
The Religion of Peace Continues to Kill -- [Strategy Page]
April 20, 2006: The war on terror, and Islamic terrorism, has masked the ongoing worldwide conflict between Islamic populations and any non-Moslems in the vicinity. This Islamic violence against non-Moslems has been a problem for centuries, and has only become worse because of the recent increase in Islamic terrorism.
Detainee List Is Made Public -- (Miami Herald)...Ben Fox, Associated Press
The U.S. government released the first list of detainees held at the Guantánamo Bay prison on Wednesday -- the most extensive accounting yet of the hundreds of people held there, nearly all of them labeled "enemy combatants." In all, 558 people were named in the list provided by the Pentagon in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit by The Associated Press.
Charlie Daniels -- [The Desert Chief - in Kuwait]
entertaining -- very great concert!!! Camp Arifjan (here in Kuwait) set an attendance record for the outdoor stage entertainment. Estimated 5,000 fans slapping knees and whatever in time to the great fiddler. Of course, he brought the house down with the finale. He's got to be at least 70 years old -- perhaps older.
Welcome to the real suck! -- [American Soldier - injured in Iraq]
Where does one begin to recoup from a war? So many people say that by going to a counselor and talking about it that you will be ok.
“It’s going to take time.”
I cannot put it all into words. I am having trouble with normalcy. I try very hard to occupy myself. Heck I even got myself a few hobbies now. However, I feel out of place. I have flashbacks and can’t sleep at night. When I finally get to sleep I am immersed in a nightmare. The memory’s of the environment that nearly killed me more than once haunts me now that I am home and safe. The nights are ...
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 -- [Chapter War]
I am returning from the kennel. Everything that is dear to me is in this van that I am driving. My wife, my three children, my large female gratedane.
Suddenly in front of me another minivan abruptly pulls over to the shoulder of the road and stops. I find myself slamming on the brakes, aiming towards the middle of the road between both lanes, and almost screaming "Shoot the fuckers!" I feel a turret over me complete with machinegun and gunner.
... I was warned things like this might happen, but I had no idea when, where, or how.
FLASH: Marine Sgt to receive Navy Cross -- [The Adventures of Chester]
A Loyal Reader emails:
You were one of the first blogs I read as the invasion of Fallujah unfolded. You really made it feel like I was there.
I am writing to inform you that my son-in-law [name withheld] will be receiving the Navy Cross in a ceremony at Parris Island . . .
To my knowledge, this will be the second award of the Navy Cross during the War on Terror.
Marines Can't Go to The Prom -- [Dude Where's the Beach]
I found this story at Fark.com Apparently this 21 year old Marine and 17 year old senior in high school cannot attend the senior prom at Pearl River Central High School in Mississippi. The school board has a rule prohibiting students from bringing dates 21 or older to school dances.
The Marine and his girlfriend have been dating since he was 17 and she was 14. He is getting ready to deploy overseas and took leave to be able to attend his girlfriend's prom with her. Both sets of parents and the couple have appealed their case to the school board.
Military Strategies -- (Washington Times)...Robert H. Scales
Boost ground forces, rethink air transport.
3 Companies Credit Military For Profit Gain -- (New York Times)...Associated Press
Three of the nation's largest diversified manufacturers said yesterday that their profits topped Wall Street forecasts in the first quarter, helped by strong spending in the military and aerospace sectors. The three companies — General Dynamics, Honeywell International and United Technologies — each reported that profit and revenue rose by more than 10 percent.
The Coast Guard And Its Chief, Models Of Excellence -- (Washington Post)...Stephen Barr
There's a lot of snap, crackle and pop in the office of Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen.
Scott McClellan's Out - Mr. Stick Figure's In -- [WuzzaDem]
As you all know, Scott McClellan submitted his resignation today. I want to thank Scott for his hard work and dedication, and wish him the best of luck.
It's my pleasure to appoint as Press Secretary Mr. Stick Figure. He's well informed, he speaks his mind, and I'm sure you'll all enjoy working with him. Stick?
McClellan resigns- Uncle J for Press Secretary -- [Uncle Jimbo - BlackFive]
I demand an interview for the job. I have certainly been tireless in my efforts to audition, and I would like to hope I have made an impact on the jackals of the White House press corps, but imagine what it would be like to see me pummeling them on a daily basis, and yes Chuck D and the fellas would be along for the ride.
White House shifts into survival mode -- (Newsweek)
Senior staff changes reflect how Bush’s second term has shifted
In a White House known for both defiance and optimism, yesterday's senior staff changes represent a frank acknowledgment of the trouble in which President Bush now finds himself. They are also a signal of how starkly Bush's second-term ambitions have shifted after a year of persistent problems at home and abroad.
21st Century Reporting of the Doolittle Raid -- [Strategy Page]
April 20, 2006: The recent anniversary of the April 18, 1942 the Doolittle raid raised the question of how the press of today might have reported on the event. At the time, the Doolittle raid, as militarily ineffective as it was, proved to be an enormously popular morale boost for the American people and their allies. However, times have changed. Here's a likely report, of the 1942 event, but as it would be reported by today's media.
News Orgs Want to Deny Libby a Defense -- [Media Blog]
David Johnston reports that the New York Times, NBC News and TIME have all filed motions to quash Scooter Libby's subpoenas for "interview notes, drafts of articles and other records" that might show that Valerie Plame Wilson's identity was commonly known among reporters. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has already supplied his notes. According to Libby, the documents are crucial to his defense:
CIA Mines 'Rich' Content from Blogs [Yankee Sailor]
A story in the Washington Times today should not be news to us, but it will no doubt raise some eyebrows:
THE BLOGS! ("Aaaaah! It's Growing!") -- [Winds of Change - Joe Katzman]
So, how's the blogosphere doing? MarketingVOX notes:
"The blogosphere is doubling in size every six months and is now 60 times larger than it was three years ago, according to the latest quarterly installment of David Sifry's "State of the Blogosphere" report. He writes that Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs."
Bloggers as news-fixated mavens -- [The Adventures of Chester]
Some time ago, I ran across what might be called an obituary for bloggers in the Financial Times. Here are some of the takeaway lines:
. . . but blogging in the US is not reflective of the kind of deep social and political change that lay behind the alternative press in the 1960s. Instead, its dependency on old media for its material brings to mind Swift’s fleas sucking upon other fleas “ad infinitum”: somewhere there has to be a host for feeding to begin. That blogs will one day rule the media world is a triumph of optimism over parasitism . . .
Ignore bloggers at your peril, say researchers -- (The Guardian)
Bloggers and internet pundits are exerting a "disproportionately large influence" on society, according to a report by a technology research company. Its study suggests that although "active" web users make up only a small proportion of Europe's online population, they are increasingly dominating public conversations and creating business trends.
Soldiers, families reunited at last -- [48th Goes to War - home from Iraq]
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Blog
Fort Stewart - After a year of living nervously, the families and friends of several hundred 48th Brigade Combat Team soldiers welcomed their loved ones home from Iraq in an emotional, late-night ceremony here Wednesday.
Joyous wives, children and parents rushed across the grassy, brightly lit parade field following a brief “job well done” from Gov. Sonny Perdue in an effort to find their soldiers.
120 Eagles return from Iraq -- (Army Times)
101st soldiers find embraces of loved ones
Members of C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment file off the plane that carried them home to Fort Campbell, Ky., after a year long deployment to Iraq on Tuesday.
Emotions overwhelmed Joyce Rawlings and her 18-year-old daughter, Kristina, when Chief Warrant Officer 2 Julius Rawlings’ plane finally touched down at Campbell Army Airfield at 3:54 p.m. Tuesday.
Godspeed, Chief -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
NOVOSEL, MICHAEL J.
Rank and organization: Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army, 82d Medical Detachment, 45th Medical Company, 68th Medical Group. Place and date: Kien Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam, 2 October 1969. Entered service at: Kenner, La. Born: 3 September 1922, Etna, Pa. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. CWO Novosel, 82d Medical Detachment, distinguished himself while serving as commander of a medical evacuation helicopter. He unhesitatingly maneuvered his helicopter into a heavily fortified and defended enemy training area where a group of wounded Vietnamese soldiers were pinned down by a large enemy force. Flying without gunship or
Memorial held for fallen Marine at Camp Fallujah -- [Iraq War News]
Cpl. Salem Bachar, an intelligence analyst and Arabic interpreter, died April 12 as a result of enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.
Bachar, who was born in Chula Vista, Calif., on June 24, 1985, joined the Marine Corps Oct. 14, 2003. He served as an intelligence analyst and Arabic translator during his second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.