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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 and other sources around the world. 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. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
“They call us ‘Saddam’s Soldiers...” -- [Castle Argghhh! - CW4BillT - in Iraq]
“Because we were in the Army before -- during the war.”
When most of the Iraqi RW pilots talk about “the war,” they’re referring to the Iran-Iraq dustup -- they call OIF “the fight.” Most of them do, anyway…
“So, they call us Saddam’s Soldiers. Feh. We did not fight for Saddam. American soldiers do not fight for Bush. Soldiers fight for the land, the country, the people! Not for the leader! The leader always changes and the land remains! But they call us ‘Saddam’s Soldiers and look down on us.
"They don’t know. ...
More than 500 insurgents have laid down their weapons in Balad -- [IN-Iraq]
Since May 22, a total of 506 suspected insurgents in Balad, a mixed Sunni-Shia area of over a 100,000 about an hour north of Baghdad, have reconciled with U.S. forces.
On May 22, and the following two days, there was a mass surrender of over 200 men to coalition forces at Patrol Base Palawoda. The U.S. and Iraqi forces were taken by surprise at the amount of once wanted men turning themselves in at the heed of several key tribal leaders.
Papers give peek inside al Qaeda in Iraq -- [CNN]
...n all, these Anbar files form the largest collection of al Qaeda in Iraq materials to ever fall into civilian hands, giving an insight into the organization that few but its members or Western intelligence agents have ever seen.
Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, the American military's spokesman in Baghdad, says the document trove is unique, "a kind of comprehensive snapshot" of al-Qaeda during its peak.
"It reveals," Driscoll said, "first of all, a pretty robust command and control system, if you will. I was kind of surprised when I saw the degree of documentation for everything -- pay records, those kind of things -- and that [al Qaeda in Iraq] was obviously a well-established network."
...So, what do these captured documents from 2006 tell us about al Qaeda in Iraq today? A lot, according to a senior U.S. intelligence analyst in Iraq, who cannot be named because of the sensitivity of his position.
Cnn Headline news / The Al-Qaeda files / - !!WARNING GRAPHIC !!
Anbar Iraqis Share Al-Qaeda Intelligence -- [Threats Watch]
The documents and digital footage reveal the true nature of al-Qaeda in Iraq, specifically its Anbar province manifestation, and Ware and CNN share the tip of the iceberg of what they were provided by our Iraqi anti-al-Qaeda allies. It is proof of what can be learned when journalists actually venture beyond the wire and leave the Green Zone and their hotels behind. Ware should be commended for that.
That said, he still gets it wrong in the sense that he concludes that al-Qaeda in Iraq is an Iraqi terrorist organization. It is true that the vast majority of the AQI footsoldiers are and were Iraqis recruited locally. However, it cannot be discounted that leadership and strategic direction comes from and came from al-Qaeda Arabs originally from other countries. The current leader’s nom de guerre, al-Masri, means ‘the Egyptian,’ while Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was from Zarqa, Jordan. Furthermore, there were ‘Iraqis’ who had been with al-Qaeda since pre-9/11 who were sent in and elevated to leadership roles.
CNN's Story on al-Qaeda in Iraq Falls Flat -- [Threats Watch - Steve Shippert]
Yesterday, we told you about how the Anbar leaders of the Iraq Awakening shared al-Qaeda intelligence with Michael Ware and CNN. As well, we urged readers to tune in last night and watch the full report. Knowing what Ware had stumbled onto,it is needless to say that we expected something wholly more substantial in his report than that which it actually included. The analysis was flat and at some points even self-contradictory.
Readers can make their own judgment after viewing the segment in its entirety below.
... considering the amount and nature of the data provided to him by the Iraq Awakening in Anbar province, the report was a huge disappointment, not only in length and depth, but also in the overall tone and conclusions. Most viewers to whom such information is new probably walked away not so much with the impression that al-Qaeda in Iraq is a murderous and bloodthirsty group of terrorists who made sport of killing Iraqi civilians. Rather, the overriding sense left with the viewer is probably that Washington and the Bush Administration have still got it wrong.
Being left with merely six minutes is not on Michael Ware’s shoulders. His weak analysis, however, most certainly is.
Interview with mayor of Ad Dwar, Iraq -- [IN-Iraq]
-How do you feel about the Americans staying in Iraq?
“Americans are working hard on service projects. From their visits to Ad Dwar they know things even the mayor doesn’t know, but they bring it to me.
“Together we collaborate. We consider them our friends. We go to them with things we can’t do ourselves concerning electricity, water, health. I feel and I know they want to help us, but with the general situation in Iraq, it’s not clear from the citizens (viewpoint). They (Americans) carry guns, but they have feelings, love. I appreciate it.”
“If you ask me I don’t want the Americans to go. Until today there’s no government that can rule the country. Some other countries might come and tell us what to do. In Iraq people live in chaos. If the Americans pull out, it will be a jungle. People will be eating each other, other countries will invade.”
Iraqi police detain three Special Groups operative behind 2007 Karbala attack -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Iraqi police have captured three Iranian-backed Special Groups operatives behind the kidnapping and murder of five US soldiers at the Karbala Provincial Joint Coordination Center in January 2007. Meanwhile, US troops captured another Special Groups leader in the Al Kut region.
The Iraqi police captured the three "key criminals" behind the 2007 Karbala attack in Musayyib, just south of Baghdad, on June 5. The three Special Groups operatives are "suspected of trafficking and emplacing explosively formed projectiles." Explosively formed projectiles are the signature weapon of Shia terrorists with links to Iran.
Guardian: AQ all but defeated in Iraq -- [Hot Air]
The Guardian, not known for its support of the war in Iraq or the Bush administration’s policies there, admits two crucial points today: al-Qaeda has lost Iraq, and the surge of American troops provided the means for their defeat. The paper couches this in fears of a new front for AQ, in reality the potential on two existing fronts, but cannot escape the conclusion that the forward strategy against the terrorist network in both Iraq and Afghanistan has worked
Jamilla Market in the Sadr City
A U.S. Army Soldier gets a lift from an Iraqi boy and his mule on Route Douglas in the Jamilla Market in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, June 9, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young.
Propaganda Videos Show al Qaeda in Iraq Defeated -- [Jawa Report]
The Guardian admitting al Qaeda in Iraq defeated? File under: pigs fly.
We've been noting the incredible decline in the number of al Qaeda propaganda videos coming out of Iraq over the past six months. In fact, many of the "new" videos are simply repackaged footage of old attacks. New video did appear to be coming out of Mosul, but after the arrest of an al Qaeda propagandist there the stream of jihad videos has all but vanished.
Now The Guardian cites the drying up of propaganda as part of a larger body of evidence that al Qaeda in Iraq has been defeated
Barriers Removed, BridgeOpens Road to Market District -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Packed cars, meandering pedestrians and the occasional donkey pulling a cart fill the busy streets of Baghdad daily.
Couple this with roads blocked off by Iraqi security and coalition forces to lessen special groups militants and extremists ability to prey on citizens and you have the makings of a traffic jam in Baghdad.
In Abu Ghuraib leaders from the 24th “Muthana” Brigade decided to close Leaders Bridge more than three years ago to impede the movement of various militant and extremist elements.
Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers with 1st “Top Guns” Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, along with Iraqi army soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 24th “Muthana” Brigade, 6th Iraqi army division, worked together to open the bridge over a three day period ending, June 6.
Hundreds of Former Iraqi Insurgents Reconcile With Government -- [MNF-I]
BALAD — Since May 22, more than 500 former insurgents in the Balad area have reconciled with the Iraqi government, choosing a different path for their lives.
Engaging the Enemy in Iraq
I Can See Clearly Now The Sand is Gone.... -- [Courage Without Fear - in Iraq]
After almost a steady week of blinding sandstorms, the weather has finally quieted down here.
Sandstorms bring us all kinds of pain and misery.
First of all, they effect the mission. When the sandstorms are so bad that aircraft can't fly, the roads get shut down. Thats actually a good thing. The A sand storm passes through Cav Country at Camp Virginia.powers that be don't want us out running the roads unless they can get a MEDEVAC chopper or a couple APaches gun ships to us if we need them. So in a way, I'm okay with that.
Concerning the Peril of Negotiating with the Taliban -- [The Captain’s Journal]
In Competing Strategies in Afghanistan we documented the push by Hamid Karzai, Secretary Miliband and Secretary Des Browne to negotiate with the Taliban. The Canadian liberal Senators have now put their weight behind the same plan, with the Tory Senators waffling over the idea.
Coalition Forces Repel Militant Attack in Afghanistan
The Drug-Terrorist Link Means Wars can Last Indefinitely -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The Brits are finally willing to lay out some of the truths about the war in Afghanistan, truths that apply in many other parts of the world, in a pattern that we continue to see growing.
According to the Daily Telegraph, a confidential report to the prime minister concludes that the drug trade will prolong the Taliban insurgency idenfinitely
Largest ever narcotics haul in Afghanistan -- [Afghanistan Sun]
A record amount of hashish has been seized by Afghan police in the southern province of Kandahar.
Police found 237 tons of hashish in hidden trenches close to Spin Boldak, near the Pakistan border.
NATO says it is probably the largest narcotics find in the history of drug enforcement.
The drugs were destroyed.
NATO says the seizure is proof that Afghanistan, the world's largest producer of drugs, is making a serious effort to combat the trade.
COMARSIC Participates in DOD Bloggers Roundtable -- [Afghan Regional Security Integration Command - in Afghanistan]
"... the Afghan people are looking for security ...they want the Taliban to go away ..." - Col. McGrath
U.S. Army Col. Thomas J. McGrath, Commander, Afghanistan Regional Security Integration Command - South, joined us for the DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable this morning. Col. McGrath spoke with Troy Steward of Bouhammer and Boston Maggie about the progress in training the Afghan National Army and Police, the 2-7 Marines as embedded trainers, the building of the Ministry of Defense hospital for the ANA 205th Hero Corps, and the economic development as the market price of wheat now exceeds the price of poppy. Hey, the also have a brand new blog linked above.
U.S. Airstrike in Pakistan - June 08 - DoD Video
The Taliban - An Organizational Analysis (pdf) -- [Afghan Regional Security Integration Command - in Afghanistan]
...The Taliban did not grow out of the dark overnight, nor was it unknown inthe Middle East, the region of the world most severely affected after 9/11. Following
its emergence in 1994 from madrassas, the Taliban achieved surprising
victories over its enemies and assumed rule over much of Afghanistan.2 Simultaneously hailed as saviors and feared as oppressors, the were an almost mythical phenomenon that seemed to embody the very essence of Afghan cultural beliefs, especially revenge for transgression, hospitality for enemies, and readiness to die for honor. The Taliban knew the people and their ways and embedded themselves in the complex web of tribalism, religion, and ethnicity.
Despite their quick overthrow in 2002 by a small coalition of U.S. forces and anti-Taliban groups, the has not gone away. In fact, today, in the face of thousands of NATO and U.troops, a growing Afghan National Army (ANA), and a popularly elected government, the movement’s influence
in Afghanistan is increasing. It continues to wage an insurgency that has prevented the new government from establishing legitimacy, and it has created massive unrest in Pakistan. Clearly, it behooves us to know something more about this archaic but formidable enemy.
HSC Soldiers multitask, foster new relationships -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101- in Afghanistan]
“Maintaining security is not all just about the defensive posture,” said Capt. Stan Goligoski, 101st HSC commander. “We go out beyond the ECPs to interact and build relationships with the people in the local villages around us.”
As part of their Bagram Outreach Program, the HSC works to provide local villages with water, power, security fences and anything else that may help.
The Soldiers went to the village of Gulam Ali, June 7, and brought fuel for service generators, which they acquired for the village six weeks ago.
Later that day, on invitation from the village elder, they went to the opening of a new all-girl’s school.
Afghanistan - "A Survivor's Tale" (June 2008)
"Internationally acclaimed photographer Stephen Dupont narrowly escaped a suicide blast in Afghanistan. After 20 years of recording the plight of others, he was now turning the lens on himself.
Just after the explosion, Dupont pulled out his camera and began capturing the chaos. He filmed himself, blood running down his face, as he searched for his lost colleague, not knowing if he was dead or alive. With such media-targeted attacks increasing, what will happen if journalists stop covering conflict-zones? "We wont be able to bring back the message or tell both sides of the story...there'll be no story to cover"." journeymanpictures
Garmser Grows Silent -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
After 35 straight days of combat, Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are beginning to push ahead with civil affairs projects, as combat in Garmser has been on hold since June 1st. The Marines report more than 150 engagements since the fighting began
Back on the injured reserve... -- [Cheese's Blog - in Afghansitan]
Well, my spine is acting up again. For those that don't know, I messed my back up pretty bad in Iraq. The main injury was from falling in a mud pit while carrying a stretcher, and I've been on a pretty even rotation of dull aches and back strains since. I had been doing pretty well, but a combination of dead-lifts and rocky roads in body armor have benched me once again.
It's not all that bad, the docs say that the muscles around my sciatic nerve are spasming.
Agricultural Extension Training -- [A Year in Afghanistan - developer in Afghanistan]
One project that I'm excited about is a training course for agricultural extension workers. This is a course we're funding in several provinces, and it just recently began in Uruzgan. Here is the class out in the field. I smudged the faces to avoid trouble for them.
The Undeclared War On The Afghan Border -- [Strategy Page]
June 12, 2008: Pakistanis have a their own view of what's going on in their tribal areas, and along the Afghan border. This frontier, still called the "Durand Line" (an impromptu, pre-independence invention of British colonial authorities) was always considered artificial by locals, because the line often went right Pushtun tribal territories. However, the Afghans are more inclined to accept the Durand Line, and fight to maintain it. The Pakistanis believe absolute control of the border is impossible, and attempts to stop illegal crossings cause additional trouble (as tribesmen do not like excessive attention at border crossing posts on roads). The majority of politicians just want to ignore the tribal areas. Most Pakistanis have more immediate problems than the threat of terrorists in the back country.
F-16 Dropped 1000 Pound Bomb On Taliban Position In Afghanistan
JDAM 1000lbs Bomb Dropped On Taliban Hide Out In Musa q'leh, Afghanistan.
The Easy Way Out -- [Strategy Page]
June 11, 2008: There are several wars going on in Afghanistan, and that's a big part of the problem. There is the war between independent minded tribes and provincial governors. That's because central government was never a popular idea in the region called Afghanistan. Fans of central government are still a minority, and many of those simply want to get their hands on more loot for their family and tribe by controlling part of the government.
The last picture show -- [Yellowhammering Afghansitan]
As I head back to my job at The Birmingham News, my days as a blogger are coming to an end (though there will be a couple of postings I want to make before calling it quits, so stay tuned).
This is my final slideshow with images from my fourth quarter in Afghanistan. You can view it here.
If you missed the first three quarterly slideshows, you can view them here, here and here.
Officials chop trees inscribed by US soldiers who fought for France -- [Times Online]
he beech trees of Saint Pierre de Varengeville-Duclair forest bore a poignant testimony to the D-Day landings for more than six decades. Thousands of American soldiers stationed there after the liberation of Normandy spent their spare hours with a knife or bayonet creating a lasting reminder of their presence.
Although the trees grew and the graffiti swelled and twisted, this most peculiar memory of one of the 20th century’s defining moments remained visible - until now. Amid bureaucratic indifference and a dispute between officials and the forest owner, most of the trees have been felled, chopped up and turned into paper.
Boys Scouts praised as heroes after twister kills 4 -- [Breitbart]
BLENCOE, Iowa (AP) - When the howling winds finally died down, the Boy Scouts—true to their motto, "Be Prepared"—sprang into action.
Putting their first-aid training to use, they applied tourniquets and gauze to the injured. Some began digging victims from the rubble of a collapsed fireplace. And others broke into an equipment shed, seized chainsaws and other tools, and began clearing fallen trees from a road.
Dozens of the boys, ages 13 to 18, were hailed for their bravery and resourcefulness Thursday, the morning after a twister flattened their camp in Iowa and killed four of their comrades.
"There were some real heroes at this Scout camp," Gov. Chet Culver said, adding that he believes the Scouts saved lives while they waited for paramedics to cut through the trees and reach the camp a mile into the woods.
The Education of George W. Bush -- [WaPo]
President Bush's slow and painful schooling in constitutional law continued today as the Supreme Court ruled for the third time in four years that he had violated a basic precept of the American legal system.
The court ruled 5-4 that Bush cannot deny prisoners at Guantanamo Bay the right to challenge their detentions in federal district court. Some of them have been held already -- without charges -- for more than six years.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, determined that the prisoners in the U.S.-run facility "have the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus. . . ."
Russia rebuilding Superpower Military -- [THE AIR FORCE PUNDIT]
Martin Sieff UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL Gen. Nikolai Makarov has replaced tough, old Gen. Yury Baluyevsky as the chief of staff of Russia's armed forces and has been tasked with rapidly modernizing them. Despite all the stories of a run-down and demoralized military that regularly appear in the Western media, Russia's armed forces remain the most powerful and effective land force across all of Eurasia. They don't have enough modern equipment. But what they do have is state-of-the-art, especially in main battle tanks, heavy artillery and close ground tactical air support. Their multiple-launch rocket mortar forces are without parallel in any other armed force in the world. However, modernization has not been going remotely as fast as former Russian president and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would like.
The End of Intervention [MADELEINE ALBRIGHT - NY Times]
THE Burmese government’s criminally neglectful response to last month’s cyclone, and the world’s response to that response, illustrate three grim realities today: totalitarian governments are alive and well; their neighbors are reluctant to pressure them to change; and the notion of national sovereignty as sacred is gaining ground, helped in no small part by the disastrous results of the American invasion of Iraq. Indeed, many of the world’s necessary interventions in the decade before the invasion — in places like Haiti and the Balkans — would seem impossible in today’s climate.
The first and most obvious reality is the survival of totalitarian government in an age of global communications and democratic progress.
CNN Debunks AQI's Status as a Bit Player in the Insurgency -- [Weekly Standard]
CNN's Michael Ware has a must-read piece on Al Qaeda in Iraq and its organization. Ware obtained captured documents from the Anbar Awakening that outline Al Qaeda in Iraq's organization, planning, operations, recruiting, shadow legal system, and targeted propaganda campaign, as well as the outright brutality that the terror group inflicted on the Iraqi people in Anbar. Al Qaeda's senior leadership is largely foreign but filled out the middle ranks with Iraqis. The group is highly bureaucratic, and kept records on everything from operational planning to administration.
[UPDATE: Zawahiri Killed?] U.S. Missile Hits Pakistani Target -- [Jawa Report]
I'm not nearly as optimistic as AJ Strata about what's going on in Pakistan, but I am happy to report that we've taken out another Taliban/al Qaeda target inside the territory of our "ally" in the region. Whoever designed the Predator drone should be given a medal and a big hefty bonus.
UPDATE: I've gotten a few memos from some insiders that this could be a big fish. How big?
Another AQ Leader Targeted In Pakistan Tribal Areas - Updated! -- [The Strata-Sphere]
Major Update At The End
As I noted in the earlier post below, al-Qaeda has been retreating from a range of defeats in Iraq, Lebanon (and I forgot to mention Afghanistan which is over 75% pacified) and is being surrounded by allied forces. This has allowed allied forces to use intelligence to take out 3 key leaders in surgical strikes within Pakistan’s FATA region, with the permission of the Pakistan government.
Well today it seems we targeted another AQ Leader in the area
Update: I have posts from months past on the agreement between the US and Pakistan for targeted air strikes (see here and here for some examples). In addition I noted there were plans for increased CIA presence in Pakistan. These hints are being confirmed in the Iranian press - which tells me there is more going on behind the scenes than meets the public eye ... The fact is these secret arrangements represent the latest, hidden actions to decapitate al-Qaeda. We have two very courageous and determined leaders to thank for this, leaders who have been unfairly maligned in the media because these actions remain classified to maximize their results.
Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The Pakistan Taliban (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP) is in the process of gaining territory and power within Pakistan, as a result of numerous "peace treaties" and agreements to empower the Taliban to enforce an anti-freedom theocracy based on Sharia law in Pakistan. This is a critical American national security issue that requires revisiting the very ideologies that provide the foundation for jihadist action itself, and answering difficult questions regarding the role of Sharia law and the reliability of Islamic republics in a global war against jihad.
PM 'hit the roof' over bungling spy who left secret files on a train -- [Daily Mail]
The bungling spy who left top-secret al Qaeda files on a train was suspended after Gordon Brown hit the roof about the security breach.
Sources revealed that the Prime Minister was only told about the lost files yesterday at 5.30pm - a day after the incident and shortly before it broke as a story.
Mr Brown was furious and the decision was taken by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell to suspend the intelligence official.
A Downing Street spokesman said: 'The decision was taken by his senior management.'
It emerged today that the hapless spy was breaking security rules just by reading the papers on a train.
The senior civil servant - who has not been identified - was suspended after a member of public found the yellow folder on a train from Waterloo marked, 'For UK, US, Canadian and Australian eyes only'.
Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts -- [NY Times]
WASHINGTON — Foreign terrorism suspects held at the Guantánamo Bay naval base in Cuba have constitutional rights to challenge their detention there in United States courts, the Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, on Thursday in a historic decision on the balance between personal liberties and national security.
“The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court.
The ruling came in the latest battle between the executive branch, Congress and the courts over how to cope with dangers to the country in the post-9/11 world.
Supreme Court Creates Killing -- [Stop the ACLU]
In a 5 to 4 decision, the idiots on the Supreme Court have decided that terrorists are covered by our Constitution, no matter where they are captured and held.
This is as wrong headed a decision as can be imagined and two of the Justices, Scalia and Roberts, were scathing in their dissent.
But, here is the real result of this ruling. No, it doesn't "help" the murderers and terrorists get habeas corpus, or find rights, it will kill them on the battlefield. What battlefield commander will waste his time trying to figure out what rights the terrorist he is facing has or doesn't have?
Boumediene v. Bush a Strategic Victory for al Qaeda -- [911 Families]
...Something else the lawyers won’t tell the public. Dealing with terrorists in the criminal justice system means that only the most clear-cut cases will result in convictions. Terrorists like Mohammed Atta, Hani Hanjour, Ziad Jarrah and Marwan al-Shehhi, the men who piloted those planes into the WTC, the Pentagon and the ground on 9/11 would have stood a very good chance of acquittal if they were captured in an Al Qaeda training camp in the summer of 2001. The burden of proof in the civil criminal system — beyond a reasonable doubt — is extraordinarily high. Their lawyers back then would have argued that that they have no criminal history, had committed no hostile acts against the U.S. governmnent and in fact were simply religious Muslims doing charity work on holiday, the very claims Gitmo lawyers made about Abdullah Al-Ajmi and hundreds of other detainees. Al-Ajmi was released from Guantanamo in 2005. In April, he blew himself up in Iraq, killing 7 Iraqi security forces and maiming 28 others.
The War They Still Fight -- [Parade]
...Three men in the vehicle were killed. Harris suffered burns over 30 percent of his body. Even after multiple surgeries and more than a year as an outpatient at the center, he still may need at least one more operation for the burns to his face. “For a long time,” Harris says, “I couldn’t feed myself, couldn’t blow my nose, couldn’t go to the bathroom alone. My wife, Kathreyn, had to help me do almost everything.” Harris pauses briefly and then looks straight at me. “My wife is my hero.”
...Like Waggoner, Harris expresses no ambiguity over serving in a confusing and increasingly unpopular war. “I was trying to get the job done,” he says. Harris goes silent for a moment. “I’m determined,” he says quietly. “I might want to stay a soldier.”
According to Col. Jennifer Menetrez, an Army physician and the center’s director, such resolve is not uncommon. “
Paul Rieckhoff talks About His Efforts To Help American Veterans On Tavis Smiley June 13! -- [PBS]
Executive Director-Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Iraq War Veteran Paul Rieckhoff talks About His Efforts To Help American Veterans On Tavis Smiley!
"It doesn't matter where you stand on the war it doesn't matter if your for it or against it, we have all got to unite as Americans to take care of the people who serve."
The Show Will Air Friday June 13
Do you have a moment to send an email to the Sailors of the USS Russell? -- [Soldiers' Angel Germany]
Jim from Thinking Right has an ongoing project called Letters from Home. The "letters" are actually emails, which he collects and forwards to a specific unit of deployed service members.
This time the emails are for the men and women serving aboard the USS Russell, a guided missile destroyer deployed in the Middle East.
Fox News interviews Mark Dice on Sending the troops letters to ask questions -- [Live Leak]
A political activist group is sending letters and DVDs to U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq telling them 9/11 was an inside job
San Diego, CA -- A group of over three thousand political activists are planning to send letters to soldiers stationed in Iraq telling them that America is largely to blame for the 9/11 attacks.
"We support the troops in their efforts to protect the Iraqi people, but want them to know the real reason they have put themselves in harms way," explains Mark Dice, founder of The Resistance, a Christian media watch dog group based in San Diego. Dice is urging people in his organization and others to write letters to soldiers in Iraq and explain the evidence that the 9/11 attacks were aided by corrupt U.S. officials for political purposes. According to a 2006 Scripts Howard News Service poll, 36 percent of Americans believe that elements within the U.S. government purposely allowed the attacks to happen, or aided the terrorists to ensure the attacks.
"I personally know U.S. Marines who believe 9/11 was an inside job, and they tell me that many Marines suspect that this is the case but are afraid to speak up out of fear of punishment," says Dice.
"I don't want the soldiers who are risking their lives in Iraq to be used as pawns in the creation of the New World Order." "We want U.S. troops to know that we care about them and are doing our best to make sure that they don't have to risk their lives based on false pretenses," concludes Dice.
9/11 "Truthers" harassing deployed Soldiers and Marines
The Santa Ana River has Stories, and Secrets, If Only We Are Observant -- [Musings of a Mad Macedonian]
...This story is about the little things, the things that you might not notice or, if you do, you don't have, or take, the time, to look more closely at what you see.
You don't know what you are missing. ;-D
..Yesterday morning, as I rode on that side, I encountered something quite unexpected....I had noticed a bicycle next to the concrete rive barrier that spanned the river, and didn't, immediately, see anything, or anyone else, from my spot on Chapman, so rode over to look. I noticed 3 things, the 2nd of which caused me to return over 2 hours later with my camera. The first was that the bike was old, and beat up, with a torn seat. The second was a memorial planted in a hole in the dirt, and kept upright by a tiny ledge, and some rocks. The third was a man sitting, barely noticeable from my new spot on the trail, on the concrete in the center of the river.
Fair winds and a following sea, Sailor and Scouts. -- [John of Argghhh!]
AOC Eberhart passed away last Saturday. The note I got from the Goat Locker was:
"...a life well lived, but cut too short."
I don't know if Sailors go to Fiddler's Green, or somewhere else, but I'm sure they'll pull him up a stool at the bar.
Tear down this wall - HT: The Corner
19 years ago today.
Marine expelled, another punished over puppy video -- [Breitbart]
HONOLULU (AP) - The Marine Corps is expelling one Marine and disciplining another for their roles in a video showing a Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff while on patrol in Iraq.
The 17-second video posted on YouTube drew sharp condemnation from animal rights groups when it came to light in March.
The clip shows two Marines joking before one hurls the puppy into a rocky gully. A yelping sound is heard as it flips through the air.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii said in a news release Wednesday that Lance Cpl. David Motari received unspecified "non-judicial punishment" and "is being processed for separation" from the Marine Corps.
The second Marine, Sgt. Crismarvin Banez Encarnacion also received unspecified "non-judicial" punishment.
Geren Book Reading
Celebrating the Army birthday every year is a big part of the Esprit de Corps of our military, and offers the opportunity to celebrate the honor, dedication and commitment that has characterized the U.S. Army across centuries of service.
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren kicked-off the week’s festivities with a celebration at the Fort Myer Child Development Center
USAF Downsizing Halted -- [Strategy Page]
June 11, 2008: In the wake of a major leadership shakeup in the United States Air Force (the top military and civilian leaders were fired, and the new military leader is not a fighter pilot), the U.S. Secretary of Defense ordered that the air force halt its downsizing program.
SECDEF gets chilly reception from USAF -- [THE AIR FORCE PUNDIT]
Gates gets chilly reception on Air Force tour PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates stood alone on an empty stage in an Air Force auditorium, two spotlights throwing odd diminutive shadows of the Pentagon chief on the curtain draped behind him. Looking tired and worn out, he faced another cold crowd of officers whose force has fallen from grace and whose leaders Gates swept aside last week in a stinging rebuke of their management of nuclear weapons. He glanced over the gathering of uniformed personnel at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, took a breath and plodded slowly into a speech explaining his actions and reiterating the Air Force's nuclear standards had eroded.
The Return -- [Soldiers' Angel Germany]
I took this photo at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina as a group of U.S. marines were returning home from the war in Iraq. As soon as they arrived, it began to downpour. I was lucky enough to capture the joy they were all feeling as they were getting drenched in the rain (which most of them hadn't seen in months), coupled with finally getting to see their families again. The two people walking and embracing are brother and sister.
Bush: No regrets over Iraq invasion -- [CNN]
MESEBERG, Germany (CNN) -- U.S. President Bush claimed Wednesday that he had no regrets about the decision to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein in 2003 and reiterated his determination to force Iran to halt its nuclear program.
... "Removing Saddam Hussein made the world a safer place," Bush said. But he admitted once again that he regretted the tough rhetoric he had used in the run-up to the conflict which had made it appear he was eager to go to war.
In an interview with UK's Times newspaper Wednesday, Bush said that using phrases such as "dead or alive" and "bring them on" had not created an impression of a man of peace.
He also said he had found it painful "to put youngsters in harm's way," adding that he had an obligation to make sure lives had not been lost in vain. "One of the lessons of Iraq is that in order for a democracy to develop or for an economy to develop there has to be a measure of security, which is now happening," he said.
Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby... -- [Villianous Co.]
Not too shabby...
For Immediate Release June 11, 2008
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
President George W. Bush today announced recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civil award. Established by Executive Order 11085 in 1963, the Medal may be awarded by the President “to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” President Bush will honor these recipients at a White House ceremony on Thursday, June 19, 2008.
Son of bin Laden Associate Raising Funds for Obama -- [Jawa Report]
It's a lengthy post by Debbie Schlussel, but worth the read. The gist of it is that a former associate of Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, the theologian who helped form al Qaeda, now lives in Michigan where he faces deportation for a second time. Mohamed Imad Al-Churbaji, claims Schlussel, not only was associated with key members of al Qaeda but also worked for a sham charity which used the money it collected to fund the global jihad.
Barack Obama Says He Is Not Experienced Enough to Be President (Video) -- [Gateway Pundit]
Thanks to Michael in Michigan for digging this one up out of the YouTube archives.
Barack Obama says he is not experienced enough to be president:
Barack Obama Makes Shocking confession!! 2004
John McCain: 'Not too important' when troops leave Iraq -- [LA Times - Blog]
If politics were a baseball game, then John McCain just lobbed a pitch that he may wish he could have back.
In a TV interview this morning on NBC's "Today" show, McCain was asked whether he could estimate when U.S. troops could leave post-surge Iraq. "No, but that's not too important," McCain said. "What's important is casualties in Iraq. Americans are in South Korea. Americans are in Japan. American troops are in Germany. That's all fine. American casualties, and the ability to withdraw. We will be able to withdraw. ... But the key to it is we don't want any more Americans in harm's way."
Sen. McCain Discusses U.S. Presence In Iraq
Go ahead, impeach Bush; try him -- [The Anchoress]
So, Dennis Kucinich has introduced articles of Impeachment against President Bush.
I think he tried this once before, didn’t he? (Ah, I see that was about Cheney.)
The blogs are ablaze with it, of course, Fausta may have been first out of the gate, and both Thomas Lifson and Rick Moran are looking closely at Obama’s remarks about trying people for “war crimes.”
Gadhafi: Obama fears Israel will assassinate him like it did JFK -- [Haarretz / Reuters]
Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi said on Wednesday that U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's expressed support for Israel stems from his fear that the Mossad would assassinate him, just as it did President John F. Kennedy.
"We suspect he may fear being killed by Israeli agents and meet the same fate as Kennedy when he promised to look into Israel's nuclear program," Gadhafi said.
Dems Hire Radical Muslim Group In Latest Dead Voter Drive -- [Gateway Pundit]
Democrat's Latest Dead Voter Drive Involves Radical Muslim Group
Louisiana officials are being inundated with bogus voter registrations. Surprisingly, the group behind the effort is a radical Muslim group.
'Hottest Ring in Hell' for Messing with Michelle -- [NewsBusters]
My late father, who worked with the toughest kids in a Brooklyn high school, used to say that when a person's reaction is disproportionate to the stimulus, something else is causing it. So when Obama campaign co-chair Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) dramatically reserved the "hottest ring in hell" for those who would go after Michelle Obama, my antennae went up. Interviewing him, MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell also seemed a bit taken aback by the forcefulness of Durbin's response.
Obama site confronts rumors -- [Breitbart]
"It is a destructive aspect of our politics right now," Obama told journalists. "And simply because something appears in an e-mail, that should lend it no more credence than if you heard it on the corner. And you know, presumably the job of the press is to not go around and spread scurrilous rumors like this until there's actually anything, one iota of substance or evidence that would substantiate it."
At the same time, his campaign was preparing the site to help stop lies that are spreading online.
Obama campaign: Wife never used the word 'Whitey' -- [AP]
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama's campaign said Thursday that Michelle Obama never used the word "whitey" in a speech from the church pulpit as he launched a Web site to debunk rumors about himself and his wife.
Obama: I’d like higher gas prices, just not so quickly -- [Hot Air]
According to Barack Obama, high gas prices don’t really constitute a problem for Americans. He stated yesterday that the reason for our anger is the rapid increase in prices, not the prices themselves. Obama claimed that Americans would have accepted a “gradual adjustment” to the current cost:
NBC's Tim Russert dies at 58 of heart attack -- [AP]
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tim Russert, a political lifer who made a TV career of his passion with unrelenting questioning of the powerful and influential, died of a heart attack Friday in the midst of a presidential campaign he'd covered with trademark intensity. Praise poured in from the biggest names in politics, some recalling their own meltdown moments on his hot seat.
Tim Russert: One of a Kind; One of 300,000 -- [WSJ]
Tim Russert’s death from a heart attack at age 58 is a potent reminder of our vulnerability to the ravages of cardiovascular disease even in the face of major advances in understanding its causes and how to prevent its consequences.
Tim Russert, 58, died from a sudden heart attack. (AP Photo/NBC, Virginia Sherwood)
Some 300,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year, according to the American Heart Association. Russert was one of those who at least was aware that he was at risk.
Russert’s doctor Michael Newman said the tough-questioning but congenial host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” had been under treatment for asymptomatic coronary disease, but that it was under control with medication. He was carrying excess weight, Newman observed, but he got regular exercise and he performed well on an exercise stress test in April.
Army Shows Its Colors -- [Intel Dump]
The Army's public affairs office publishes a daily roundup of Army-related news called "Stand To" -- named for the set of procedures combat units do just prior to dawn, when they go to full alert for a possible enemy attack. The daily wrapup contains links to mainstream media articles, Army press releases, foreign media stories and blogs. It's similar to the Defense Department's Early Bird -- but much briefer, and obviously more focused on the Army.
Military expertise on display at the Times: -- [Media Blog]
Because of an editing error, an article and a headline in some editions on Tuesday about a successful effort by Company C of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to pacify a Taliban-infested area of southern Afghanistan misidentified the foreign forces that failed to achieve the same result in that area earlier. They were soldiers from NATO and the United States Army — not the Marines
UPDATE on the 2008 Milblog Conference -- [Milblogging.com]
Some new updates on the 2008 Milblog Conference being held in Las Vegas will be coming out later this week. Including, information about the BWE online registration specifically for Milblog Conference attendees.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)