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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.
The Battle for Basra -- [Institute for the Study of War]
Over the last year, operations by Coalition and Iraqi forces have made signifi cant gains against al-Qaeda in Iraq and other Sunni insurgents. As the threat from these groups has decreased, Coalition Forces and the Iraqi government have focused their attention on the problem of Shi’a militias in central and southern Iraq. Nowhere was this threat more evident than in the southern city of Basra. In the wake of the premature British withdrawal from the city center and transition to an overwatch capacity in late 2007, Basra became a haven for militia and criminal activity. Rival Shi’a militias were engaged in a violent and protracted power struggle as drugs, weapons, and oil smuggling rings thrived. In late March 2008, the Iraqi government launched an offensive to reclaim the city from the militias. Iraq Report 9 offers a comprehensive look at the battle for Basra, Operation Knight’s Charge.
Back Channels: Iraqis now know al-Qaeda, not U.S., is the real enemy -- [Philadelphia Inquirer]
As I rewatched the movie Obsession - Radical Islam's War Against the West recently, a few things jumped out, including these quotes from various Arab media outlets:
"America is the foremost enemy of the Muslim nation . . ."
"They have come to fight the people of Iraq . . ."
...The film also showed propaganda videos from Iran, which included shots of U.S. forces kicking in doors, missiles being launched, Arab children crying, Muslims running with their wounded. Interspersed throughout were images of a smiling President Bush. None of this was particularly original. What stood out, though, was the realization that since this movie was released in 2006, the United States had actually increased troop levels in Iraq, had redoubled efforts to rout al-Qaeda there. If anything, Bush had given propagandists more fuel to inflame the anti-American Arab street.
Rather than our forces' driving Iraqis into the arms of the radicals, the reverse happened.
It seems Iraqis have decided that al-Qaeda, not America, is the "foremost enemy." That al-Qaeda, not America, had come to fight the people of Iraq. That al-Qaeda, not America, was the enemy of Muslims and their holy places.
U.S. Army Soldiers patrolling a public marketplace. Scenes include market shops, Iraqi people shopping and an interview.
President Bush Participates in Joint Press Availability with United Kingdom Prime Minister Brown -- [Whitehouse.gov]
PRESIDENT BUSH: We're withdrawing troops. We anticipate the 30,000 surge troops will be coming home by July -- more or less, 30,000. And so the plan is, bring them home based upon success. That's what we expect the British Prime Minister to do. That's what I'm doing -- that as the Iraqis are trained up, as they're taking more responsibility, as the security situations decline, as the economy is improved, as political reconciliation is taking place, we can bring more troops home. That's the whole purpose of the strategy. And so, give the Iraqis more responsibility. Let them take more -- be in more charge of their own security and their own government, and that's what's happening.
After The War Is Over -- [Strategy Page]
June 23, 2008: U.S. Army leaders don't have much time to celebrate their recent victory in Iraq, as they scramble to figure out what to prepare for next. By the end of July, the Iraq force will have been reduced from 20 combat brigades, to fifteen. Another five brigades may move in the next year or so.
The army brass are more concerned with morale, rather than readiness or the next war, at the moment. The troops who won the battles in Iraq did it by spending more time under fire, on average, than did their predecessors in Vietnam, Korea or World War II.
U.S. Army Soldiers Engage Multiple Insurgent Snipers That Were Shooting Civilians
Paratroopers engage snipers shooting civilians in a building in downtown Baghdad
Turnabout in Iraq a ‘Miracle’ -- [Amy Proctor]
When the New York Times reports on measurable progress in Iraq, you know it’s going well.
Violence across Iraq is at an all time, post-invasion low, Nouri al-Maliki’s opponents now see him from a position of strength rather than weakness and the Iraqi government viewed as legitimate.
One Basra businessman calls the turnabout in Iraq a miracle and says the Iraqi government, army and police are doing very well.
There is still work to be done, but we don’t need to look past our own government and military to see that problems exist.
BACK AGAIN -- [BAGHDADENTIST - Iraqi blogger]
Its been along time since my last post. many events occured and alot of things have been changed during this period. ...
...now mosul is much more better than before, im happy to see this and moreover the iraqi forces are taking control over the city.on the other side many roads are closed by concrete barriers and some by trash!!!.
...after that i went to baghdad for 11 days. the situation there is getting better to the best considering the same days last year.and i hope to see baghdad and iraq the perfect not without electicity im wondeing how the students are studying and examining in the hot wheather without electicity!!!! may god help them,but i believe they will challenge that and succeed,those are the iraqis.
Iraqi, U.S Soldiers Light Up Baghdad Neighborhood -- [MNF-I]
Levitt, along with Darryl Steadman, who is a civilian advisor, a translator and approximately ten IA soldiers, began to install the first four of 100 solar powered street lights June 19.
...Since the lights are solar powered, they do not place any burden on the Iraqi electrical grid.
“Right now, the infrastructure won’t support it (this many new lights). Although Iraq is working on the electrical grid and the infrastructure … it’s not quick enough; we need something now, and this seems to be a pretty good solution,” said Steadman,
...“We know this (project) is going to make a direct impact on the populace,” said Levitt. “It’s removing the darkness, the safe haven for the terrorists, for criminal activity.”
Site Visit in Nimrud -- [manrymission.com - Tiffany in Iraq]
Earlier this week, Tiffany, one of my Project Engineers in Mosul, went on a site visit with a team from 1-8 Infantry Battalion, including LTC Chris Johnson, the 1-8 Infantry Battalion Commander. Today, she sent out an email describing her trip.
...This trip was probably the highlight of my tour. It was absolutely awesome. I had the chance to see the inner-workings of the US army and local communities. I saw how US Army Leaders work with IA Commanders and village Sheiks to build relationships, and how they work together to rid communities of insurgency and enhance the lives of the people who live in their communities. The cultural experience was great. Honestly, I needed this trip. Before yesterday, my perspective of Operation Iraqi Freedom wasn’t very positive - actually, it wasn’t positive at all. This opportunity came at just the right time. It was great and I’m glad that I was invited.
Voices from Iraq, Soldiers Story
At the Iraq-Syria Border -- At the Iraq-Syria Border -- [manrymission.com - Dale in Iraq]
Earlier this month, I took a trip to the town of Rabiyya. Rabiyya is an Iraqi town on the Syrian border. We are involved in an upcoming project to improve the border crossing in that area, also known as the POE (point of entry). In the picture below, taken from Google Earth, you can see the stark contrast between the development on the Syrian side of the border compared to the lack of development on the Iraqi side of the border.
Our project is to build a new immigration building. So we drove up to Rabiyya in our REVAs to take a look at the project site. In the past, this same drive would take approximately 4 hours because we had to avoid most of the major routes heading west out of Mosul. But because the security situation has improved, we were able to take a much more direct route and arrived in Rabiyya after driving for only a little over 2 hours.
Ramadi citizens continue to sign up to defend their city -- [Regimental Combat Team 1 - in Iraq]
Ramadi citizens continue to sign up to defend their city
Over the last two years, Ramadi has seen a dramatic in the number of policemen as the city progressively moves toward the final steps in becoming fully independent.
In 2006, there were very few police in Ramadi when violence engulfed the city, the citizens lived in fear, and al-Qaeda had a firm grip on the region. In the first two weeks of 2007, the city experienced an unexpected surge of applicants seeking to join the force. During that two week span, more than 1,000 applicants sought law enforcement jobs in Ramadi, according to Army Maj. Thomas Shoffner, operations officer for the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division. The turning point for the boost in applicants was the murder of a well-known sheik in August 2006. The murderers hid his body for 3 days denying his family the right to bury him in accordance with Islamic tradition. After the killing, tribal leaders could not tolerate al Qaeda’s lawlessness and violence throughout their land and formed an alliance against the terrorist network called, Sahawa al-Anbar, or the “Awakening Council.”
Today, the number of Iraqis seeking to become policemen remains high. This is due in part to the professionalism of the Ramadi Training Center, which trains and mentors the newly recruited policemen, and the insight provided by the awakening.
OH-58 Kiowas Take Out Insurgent Car With Missiles And Rockets In Iraq
OH-58 Engage Insurgent Car With Missiles And Rockets In Iraq.
Iraq News (23 June) -- [LT Nixon]
The Good: The Christian Science Monitor talks about Sadr calling for restraint of his Mahdi Army during the Maysan province offensive; however, this could indicate they are trying to regroup. Parliamentary blocs are pushing for resolution on the Provincial Elections bill, which is viewed as a major step forward for political progress in Iraq. 6 more international oil companies have been added to develop Iraqi oil infrastructure. These companies are non-Western (Turkey, Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand, Angola and Algeria), which kind of puts a hole in the "No Blood For Oil!" meme. Jordan has returned 2,500 antiquities which had been looted from Iraq. Looted artifacts are symbolic of the chaos and poor strategy of the initial invasion of Iraq, and returning antiquities can help make amends.
Making History -- [Greyhawk]
Joe Galloway, at Mike Yon's:
Taguba and his investigators sifted and probed and assessed the blame as high as they were permitted to go. Taguba believed — no, he KNEW — that the responsibility for this outrage went much higher. He knew it reached to the office of then Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and likely beyond to the lawyers who served President George W. Bush and perhaps even to the president himself.
But the brass, military and civilian, wanted Taguba and those who ran 16 other Army investigations of the Abu Ghraib scandal only to get to the bottom of the situation, not to the top.
Want actual facts on Abu Ghraib?
Exodus (V) -- [Greyhawk]
...The news media reported often on Iraqis leaving Iraq and Iraqis forced to leave their neighborhoods within Iraq. Note that surveys done by the Brooking Institute in March of 2007 asking 5,019 Iraqis: “Do you have members of your family that have moved away from their home over the previous four years as a result of the security situation?” To which only 24% replied YES and 72% replied NO. Now we do not hear much about Iraqis returning to their homes, within Iraq or from outside of Iraq. Iraqis are returning in large numbers and receiving compensation for damages and social services until they get back on their feet.
Doc welcomes girl back -- [Regimental Combat Team 5 - in Iraq]
HADITHA, Iraq – Basima Zalaan, 7, may be a young girl, but she knows she has Marines and a Navy doctor to thank for her new life.
Basima recently returned here after traveling to Jordan for heart surgery. Marines with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, and Iraqi Policemen escorted Navy Lt. Benjamin D. Wind, the surgeon with 3rd Bn., 4th Marines, to her residence to welcome her home June, 12.
“The purpose of the visit was to welcome her and her father back, to show our concern and respect for their well being and to establish a medical follow up,” Wind said. “It was also to pass word of her health to the many people back in the United States who helped raise funding needed for her surgery.”
Sunday, June 22, 2008 -- [Cheese's Blog - in Afghanistan]
As you can see, I'm back on my A-game. I can't believe how much a little flexorall can help. Looking at all of the pictures I have on here, you'd think that all I do is hang out with the Afghan youth, so I figured I'd explain a little tactic we use here. Whenever the Lt is getting swarmed by the little buggers so much that he can't do his job, we bust out the cameras to distract them. If there's anything that the Afghan-lits love...well, it's John Cena and pens...but getting pictures taken is a close third.
We're starting to have some fun with the missions now. Instead of sitting on mountain tops waiting until it's time to head back, we found out how much fun it can be to punt soccer balls to the kids in the foothill villages.
Meetings -- [The Satirist at War - in Afghanistan]
The inspiration for this post comes from several discussions I’ve had over the past ten days; some with co-workers, some with friends. The subject of these conversations—verbal, written, and in some cases play-acted—has been meetings. As redeployment is just around the corner, and I am an Executive Officer (responsible in garrison for the most boring, frustrating part of a Company’s life: coordination), I’ve been logging no less than four meetings a day for over a week, now.
War is hell.
A candid assessment of our situation -- [The Satirist at War - in Afghanistan]
Popped down to the bazaar yesterday for one of my last patrols (if not the last patrol), and when I got back, the FOB was abuzz with rumors of an impending visit from G1, to inspect living conditions. This on the heels of a visit from IG that had been prompted by someone who, according to rumor, had described living conditions on various FOBs and COPs in our AO as "deplorable," or something like that.
The first thing I'd like to point out is that I've seen deplorable living conditions a few times during my sojourn in the Army, and those instances have all had the following in common: ...
Rock Art -- [SandGram - in Afghanistan]
The country of Afghanistan can be beautiful with rolling hills and lots of color. It can change just as fast to arid desert area until you hit the next valley with a river running through which brings life to all the locals. On this particular day of travel, I was sort of daydreaming as I stared out the window of our vehicle and I started to notice all the “Rock Art” in the desert along the side of the highway. There were sections of white rocks piled up in little pyramids. I thought maybe this was the creation of bored kids while watching their herds of sheep.
I leaned forward to comment on this Afghan art. “Hey, Sgt first Class, what is up with all the rocks piled up in the little mounds out there? Is that some sort of artwork?” He chuckled and said, “Sir, that’s not art, those are land mines and the piles of rocks mark the area.
Afghan, US forces kill 55 Taliban after ambush -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
US and Afghan forces fought a major battle with the Taliban and "inflicted heavy casualties" on the force just miles from the Pakistani border on June 20, Combined Joint Task Force - 101 reported.
More than 55 Taliban fighters, including three senior leaders, were reported killed, 25 were wounded and three were captured by a combined air and ground counterattack after a Taliban force ambushed a patrol in Paktika province. "Patrols in the ambush area continue to report additional enemy casualties," the US military reported.
Stop killing the Taliban – they offer the best hope of beating Al-Qaeda -- [Time - Simon Jenkins]
The British expedition to Afghanistan is on the brink of something worse than defeat: a long, low-intensity war from which no government will dare to extricate itself. With the death toll mounting, battle is reportedly joined with the Taliban at the very gates of the second city, Kandahar. There is no justification for ministerial bombast that “we are winning the war, really”.
RM Commandos Apache Rescue
Pentagon Despair Over NATO and Afghanistan -- [The Captain’s Journal]
The Captain’s Journal doesn’t like to be negative, but it is necessary to engage in truth-telling. For more than half a year The Captain’s Journal has been in a state of near despair over the failure of NATO to deploy forces to Afghanistan, employ a realistic set of rules of engagement, and implement a coherent, consistent counterinsurgency strategy. There are seasons in counterinsurgency, and the campaign will soon suffer under the weight of U.S. and NATO being viewed as occupiers rather than liberators. Timeliness is everything in COIN.
The Pentagon is months behind us, but it appears that the sentiment is now mutual.
...So what do rules of engagement have to do with the campaign in Afghanistan? The Germans know full well what a restrictive set of ROE can do to efforts to militarily defeat the enemy. Not long ago they had to allow a Taliban commander to escape because he wasn’t brandishing a weapon while escaping. Troops can act in self defense, but many cannot conduct offensive operations.
Arghandab Operations - (Raw Footage)
Raw footage of recent operations involving Afghan and ISAF troops in the Arghandab valley following the prison break in Kandahar.
ISAF regional commander reports Arghandab, Kandahar as safe, secure -- [ISAF - in Afghanistan]
Operations in Kandahar city and Arghandab district continue to progress well as Afghan forces and ISAF work together to maintain security for the people of Afghanistan.
Overall, commanders in the area report the situation is not as the Taliban extremists claim. The population is calm, and the insurgents appear to have chosen to flee rather than fight.
In Kandahar city, Afghan National Security Forces and ISAF troops are ensuring security in Kandahar city and protecting against potential terrorist attacks.
Special forces find proof of Iran supplying Taliban with equipment to fight British -- [Guardian]
British special forces operating on the border between Afghanistan and Iran have uncovered fresh evidence that Tehran is actively backing insurgents fighting UK troops.
Documented proof that Iran is supplying the Taliban with devastating roadside bomb-making equipment has been passed by British officials to Tehran, prompting fears that the war in Afghanistan may escalate into a regional armed conflict.
The River - Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore -- [Michael Yon]
...I followed events in Myanmar through the news and my own sources. Then I got a call from Singapore, asking me to get to Thailand immediately -- a small relief/reconnaissance team was assembling to head into the Irrawaddy delta. There were unsubstantiated reports that the Myanmar government had warned that any foreigners heading into the delta would face a $3,000 fine, and five years in prison. A number of rumors circulated about arrests and a further clampdown on information from the region, as well as continued restriction of access to the cyclone-affected area. I have known the leader of the relief team for some twenty five years. He asked if I would take a chance and slip into the delta and bring the news home. Over the past couple years, my friend has been awarded about $100 million dollars worth of construction and other contracts in conflict zones. He had been traveling to Myanmar for nearly a decade, bringing back news of the junta, but also the simple and very friendly people who had won his respect and fondness. He had been in Myanmar just before Cyclone Nargis.
A day after getting the phone call, I was on a jet. Soon I was in Thailand. On 9 June, I went to the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok to apply for a visa, but when the government worker behind the glass learned I was American, he nearly slammed the window shut. The man would not consider issuing me a visa; he never looked at my application, even though others were getting visas.
Everything seemingly is spinning out of control -- [AP]
Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.
...Residents of the nation's capital and its suburbs repeatedly lose power for extended periods as mere thunderstorms rumble through. In California, leaders warn people to use less water in the unrelenting drought.
...Want to get away from it all? The weak U.S. dollar makes travel abroad forbiddingly expensive. To add insult to injury, some airlines now charge to check luggage.
Want to escape on the couch? A writers' strike halted favorite TV shows for half a season. The newspaper on the table may soon be a relic of the Internet age. Just as video stores are falling by the wayside as people get their movies online or in the mail.
But there's always sports, right?
The moorings seem to be coming loose here, too.
Life in Putin's Russia -- [WaPo]
...Under Putin, the Russian businessman has been transformed into game being hunted by people in epaulets. Who was the first victim of this hunt? Oil company executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for tax evasion in 2005, and his company, Yukos, which the government dismantled and sold off after his arrest. Who was the hunter? Then-president Putin.
Flight 93 Memorial Blogburst: Who Broke The Circle? -- [Flopping Aces]
The Memorial Project claims to have an innocent explanation for why the central feature of the Flight 93 memorial is a giant Islamic shaped crescent. As architect Paul Murdoch has been saying since September 2005, the flight path breaks the circle, turning it into what was originally called the Crescent of Embrace.
But this isn’t a memorial to an airliner. It is a memorial to human beings. So just who is it that architect Paul Murdoch is depicting as breaking the circle?
As a secular symbol, the circle signifies peace and harmony. There is no way that the heroic passengers and crew can be charged with breaking the circle. It is the terrorists who broke the peace.
Think what that means thematically. The terrorists broke our peaceful circle and turned it into a giant Islamic shaped crescent that just happens to point to Mecca. You could not come up with a more blatant depiction of al Qaeda victory.
No Honor Among Thieves -- [Strategy Page]
June 23, 2008: The increasingly rebellious younger Iranians are fighting back by not getting married. Part of that reluctance is the poor state of the economy. Many, perhaps 20 percent of more, of young Iranians are unable to find a job. But the marriage rate has plummeted, and the government is fighting back by experimenting with a program where young, male, unmarried employees are threatened with loss of their jobs if they don't get married within a few months. Meanwhile, trying to play nice, the government has opened a "woman's only" park in the capital, where women can walk around without their veils. Newspapers critical of any of these government actions continue to be shut down, even if run by Islamic conservatives. The clerics who run the government are increasingly fighting among themselves, both openly and behind the scenes.
The Road to Kosovo, Part I -- [Michael Totten - in the Balkans]
A gigantic poster of genocidal Bosnian Serb war criminal Radovan Karadzic hung on the outside wall of a hideous communist-style apartment block.
“Get a picture of that,” I said to my friend and traveling companion Sean LaFreniere as I drove our rented car through the outer suburbs of Serbia's capital Belgrade. I had the wheel and he had the camera.
“Too late,” he said.
We were driving fast on a four-lane road and were almost out of the city. Our road trip from Serbia to Kosovo via Bosnia, Croatia, and Montenegro was just beginning.
...We both wondered, though, how well we’d be received if we sidled up to a bar in the Serbian countryside and asked for shots of slivovitz in American English. With only a single exception, everyone we met in Belgrade was perfectly friendly and pleasant despite Serbia's sometimes primitive anti-Americanism.
Sometimes I'm not sure what to make of even the primitive anti-Americanism, let alone the moderate variety.
BUSH tells Adam Boulton; "criticism has become slander"
In an interview with adam boulton of SkyNews, President Bush defends america's honor against the haters of the world. Even boulton's distracting red socks couldn't throw bush off his game as put things in perspective.
Anti-Americanism Is Mostly Hype -- [WSJ - FOUAD AJAMI]
So America is unloved in Istanbul and Cairo and Karachi: It is an annual ritual, the June release of the Pew global attitudes survey and the laments over the erosion of America's standing in foreign lands.
We were once loved in Anatolia, but now a mere 12% of Turks have a "favorable view" of the U.S. Only 22% of Egyptians think well of us. Pakistan is crucial to the war on terror, but we can only count on the goodwill of 19% of Pakistanis.
American liberalism is heavily invested in this narrative of U.S. isolation.
Venezuela Hosts Iranian Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
June 22, 2008: A new battlefield for the war on terror has developed in Venezuela. There, leftist president Hugo Chavez has not only established close diplomatic relations with Iran (and Cuba, North Korea and radical groups throughout the region), but has allowed Iran to set up operations in South America. Regular commercial flights from Iran to Venezuela (via Syria, to accommodate Hizbollah) carry people, cash and whatever else Iran wants to move. No questions asked, no visas required. Several U.S. counter-terrorism operations have gone to work, trying to find out what Iran is up to, and how to block any terrorist activity. For example,
Brit High-Maintenance Al-Qaeda Preacher -- [Jawa Report]
(London, England) Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, hate preacher Abu Qatada, is living a life of luxury in London.
...47-year-old Abu Qatada has a sore back so he qualifies for £150 a week incapacity benefit. That amount, of course, will be added onto £45,000 a year in child benefit, income support, housing benefit and council tax credit.
The income allows Abu to live in an £800,000 four-bedroom Edwardian house which, unfortunately, he can't leave because he's on house arrest. And, by the way...
The Clock Ticks For The President -- [Threats Watch - Steve Schippert]
Why We Are Attacking al-Qaeda Before The Musharraf Window Closes, Not The Bush Window
A new accelerated ‘bin Laden hunt’ is reported by the UK’s Times Online. The British daily predictably characterizes the push as one vainly directed by President George W. Bush in a self-serving effort to ensure he can include the killing or capture of Usama bin Laden on his watch. Larry Kudlow noted the story and asked whether any “read any significance into it.” The answer is yes, but for none of the reasons the Times and its anonymous intelligence sources...
Hunt For Bin Laden: Getting The Right President -- [Threats Watch - Steve Schippert]
A week ago, the UK’s Times Online published an article in which the details were as shallow as the accompanying headline, which read, “Get Osama Bin Laden before I leave office, orders George W. Bush.” The article was penned with...
Jihad against Freedom of Speech at the United Nations -- [Family Security Matters]
The United Nations' Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has no problem with its members suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were an "inside job" perpetrated by the United States on itself. The human rights of America's 9/11 victims are not a priority for UNHRC's Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who engages in 9/11 conspiracy propaganda, while working for an organization headquartered in New York City funded by U.S. tax dollars. This is Richard Falk's protected freedom of speech.
‘Joint Venturers’ in Terror Support Trial Seek to Edit History -- [Family Security Matters]
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) want a Dallas federal judge to remove their names from a list of "unindicted co-conspirators and/or joint venturers" in the terror support trial of a charity accused of supporting Hamas.
The petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of NAIT and ISNA states that the designation violates Fifth Amendment protections by casting a smear on the organizations without proof, and without the opportunity for a defense. This, they claim, has deeply tarnished the groups' reputations with government agencies and other religious organizations.
Foreign Fighters: How Are They Being Recruited? -- [SWJ]
Currently, debate focuses on two models of foreign fighter recruitment and transit to theaters of open conflict. The first model is one of top-down recruitment where al-Qa’ida recruits young men and coordinates their travel to an operational theater. The second model suggests the opposite where young men recruit themselves and find their way to open theaters of conflict joining a global Jihadi movement inspired but not necessarily led by al-Qa’ida.
Both models assign a role to the Internet in this process. ...
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? - [MilBlogs - Major Pain]
OMV Letters From Home....Support YOUR Marines!!
What would you say to a warrior deployed to Iraq if you could chat with him? You might say "Thanks for protecting us", or "We support you", if you were somewhere in passing. But what if you were sitting down, sharing your feelings over dinner? Then what would you say to him? Think about it, because you now have that opportunity.
Continue reading "WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? "
We have a large group of Marines currently located in a remote area of Iraq. Mail might arrive once a week if the fates are with them, and water is obtained from a well on site. These are your Marines, living on the edge of the empire, alone and determined to succeed. They don't live in Fallujah, they don't have a PX or a store. They operate with the bare bones and a can do attitude.
Joe Wierzbicki of Move America Forward here. -- [Move America Forward]
I want to put out a message to some in the MilBlogging community regarding the "From the Front Lines" 8-hour pro-troop web-a-thon that takes place this Thursday, June 26th. This broadcast is to support the push to send the largest single shipment of care packages to U.S. troops in history. "From the Front Lines" will be co-hosted by MAF's Melanie Morgan and HotAir.com's Michelle Malkin and feature some of the biggest patriotic leaders of our time including: Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, the Office of General David Petraeus, Lt. Col. Oliver North (Ret.), Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Monica Crowley, Laura Ingraham, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Actor Kelsey Grammer, Comedian Jackie Mason, Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik, G. Gordon Liddy, and many others…
I want to apologize for the short notice. To be honest with you, our program segments got filled with so many great celebrities and patriotic leaders wanting to take part in this -- they wanted to do something that would bring joy to our troops. But we at Move America Forward decided we wanted to hold some spaces for words and videos direct from our military men & women. So we've held a few short segments for the 8-hour broadcast that we would like to invite our troops in Iraq & Afghanistan to be featured in with a brief video message (anything from :30 seconds to 3:00 minutes in length). Our troops can do a shout out to loved ones back home, talk about why it's important to receive letters, cards, care packages from back home, and speak to their overall experiences as they've undertaken their missions in the war on terror. Videos can be .wmv or .mpg or other similar standard video formats.
Video messages can be sent to Danny Gonzalez, Communications Director at Move America Forward. Contact Danny at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Complete information on "From the Front Lines" can be found at: http://www.MoveAmericaForward.org
And - get those video messages emailed to Danny Gonzalez ASAP!
Despicable -- [Jawa Report]
The piece of trash in this video is well known for being a professional assmaggot and media whore, so we won't mention its name here, or post the vile video in which it seeks to justify spitting on the graves of veterans at the Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery in Estell Manor, New Jersey.
What we'd like to know from our readers is this: does anyone know what constitutes "desecration" of graves in New Jersey.
Michael Crook spitting on the graves of veterans at the Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery in Estell Manor
Blogger Michael Crook, known for Forsake the Troops and other such sites, pays veterans a little "visit", offering his opinions as only he can.
Scam Alert -- [MilBlogs - Greyhawk]
The lowest of the low:
Military families misled by Red Cross impostor
A scam using the American Red Cross brand is conning military families into believing that a loved one in the service has been injured overseas so that the perpetrators can steal personal data or ask for a donation to the charity.
Marines Recruiting Office Protest and Counter-Protest -- [Zombie Time]
Berkeley, June 21, 2008 - Yes, they're at it again. Supporters and detractors of the United States military battled it out in Berkeley for at least the sixth time this year: the latest in a relentless series of protests and counter-protests trying to seize the upper hand in the controversy over the "Marine Corps Officer Selection Office" on Shattuck Square.
Today's Summer Solstice showdown featured Move America Forward, the Marines Motorcycle Club, the Patriot Guard Riders and other veterans' and pro-America groups facing off against their traditional adversaries: World Can't Wait, Code Pink, the Revolutionary Communist Party, assorted 9/11 Truthers, far-left activists and their fellow travelers.
Let the battle commence!
Nazi salute by leftists during National Anthem in Berkeley
Gas Prices Hitting Troops Where it Hurts -- [Defense Link]
For the first time since the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff began touring the world talking to troops, the increasing cost of gas is popping up on their list of concerns.
In didn’t come up when it was $2 per gallon, or $3, but now, with the cost of a gallon of gas topping out at more than $4 per gallon, the subject has come up in the last four of his “all-hands” meetings starting last week at Fort Stewart, Ga., and now at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, both in Washington.
“Every single session [now], the price of gas has come up,” Mullen said.
One soldier at Fort Lewis wanted to know if the Pentagon was considering a gas cost of living allowance, similar to a housing allowance. Not yet, said the chairman. Even if the idea were under consideration, he added, the process would take so long that it would be years before it would yield anything to put in the soldier’s wallet.
The USAF Absorbs A Wake-Up Call -- [Strategy Page]
June 22, 2008: Everyone is down on the U.S. Air Force these days. Long criticized as being dethatched, and obsessed with developing and buying the latest (and most expensive) aircraft and technology, the air force was largely a victim of its own success. Critics should not forget that the U.S. Air Force has been the main reason the U.S. has dominated the skies, worldwide, for the last 65 years. That was no accident, it took a lot of effort and imagination. A certain amount of myopia regarding jet fighters, and how to shoot down everyone elses, was necessary to obtain that air supremacy. Without it, winning on the ground is difficult, if not impossible. Let's not forget that the zoomies are, above all, winners.
The Ultimate Sacrifice -- [The Captain’s Journal]
Some of our warriors have given the ultimate sacrifice in the service of America in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In the picture below (h/t Tony Perry, credit AP), the casket of Marine Sgt. Michael T. Washington arrived Thursday at a funeral home in Auburn, Washington. He was based out of Twentynine Palms, and died supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Monday, June 23, 2008 -- [The Unlikely Short-Timer - just home from Iraq]
...Last thing I ever said to old Vic, was something along these lines:
"Shit man, the house we took, there was some young chick living there, and the weird thing is....she looked a LOT like YOU dude. I was weirded out. And turned on at the same time. I know it doesn't make ME gay. I guess it just makes you.....femmy?"
...Til I escorted him to the Green Zone without even knowing who was hit. Smoked a half a pack within two hours once I got the official news. They announced his odds to be 50/50. Prayed for an excuse to kill someone once we found 0ut that he didn't make it. Next day, I got blown up. Outta commission for a few days.
George Carlin, Grammy-Winning Exponent of Black Humor, Dies -- [Bloomberg]
June 23 (Bloomberg) -- George Carlin, an American comedian who scrapped an early career as a variety-show humorist to become a Grammy-winning font of countercultural, profanity-filled black humor, died in California. He was 71.
Carlin went to St. John's Hospital, Santa Monica, yesterday after complaining of chest pain and died at 5:55 p.m. local time, publicist Jeff Abraham told the Associated Press. Abraham didn't immediately respond to a call requesting confirmation.
George Carlin - Life is Worth Losing - Warning Stong Language!
Soldier Sees Burned Down Home For The First Time -- [KLTV News]
It was an unexpected sight in more ways than one.
"I'm not really known around here, but just to know that these people are supporting me is a great feeling," said David Renteria, a sergeant in the US Army.
Silently, they stood, few in number, with flags waving proudly--volunteers with "Welcome Home Soldiers."
"It was a hard because it would not be appropriate for us to be screaming and yelling, 'welcome home' because it's not really a great 'welcome home' for him," said Anne DeLaet, the group's organizer. This homecoming was different.
Kin welcome medical soldiers home from Iraq -- [Boston Herald]
By Ira Kantor More than 70 medical soldiers received a hero’s welcome Thursday afternoon at Hanscom Air Force Base after spending the last year dispensing ...
Soldier welcomed home -- [Morris Daily Herald]
...“When he wanted to go into the Army, we discussed it for six months before he made the final decision, because he had a full scholarship in nuclear medicine to Benedictine University and we are a very close family,” Mrs. Dettmann recalled.
SSG Dettmann is not the only member of the family to choose to serve the country in the military. His younger brother, William, 22, and William's wife, Audrey, 20, are both currently in the Army.
William is a combat medic and will return home in October, while Audrey is a prison guard who recently returned from Iraq. Her military service will be finalized in July.
This welcome back event started at SSG Dettmann's home with the Patriot Guard Riders, Morris police, fire and emergency vehicles, Grundy County vehicles, American Legion Riders and Operation: MOMS (Men/Women Of Military Service) Cookies escorting the soldier to the Grundy County Courthouse lawn.
21 troops welcomed home after serving in Kosovo for nearly a year -- [Indianapolis Star]
... greeted at Indianapolis International Airport with American flags, welcome-home signs and homemade banana nut cookies. The troops were providing support ...
Someone Else’s Alex -- [NY Times]
The people at MoveOn.org have a new Iraq ad that is, if they do say so themselves, their most effective ever. Then again, for the group that brought us the “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” ad last September, that might not be saying much.
I’m not persuaded. Having slandered a distinguished general officer, MoveOn has now moved on to express contempt for all who might choose to serve their country in uniform.
You Can't Have Alex! MoveOn.org (NTVNAT.com)
History will say that we misunderestimated George W Bush -- [Telegraph]
As he leaves the White House at the end of his second term, the President has a poll rating of only 23 per cent, and is widely disliked and even despised. His foreign policy has been judged a failure, especially in view of the long, painful, costly war that he declared, which is still not over.
Presidents are seldom remembered for more than one or two things; the rest slip away into a haze of historical amnesia. With Kennedy it was the Bay of Pigs and his own assassination, with Johnson the Great Society and Vietnam, with Nixon it was opening up China and the Watergate scandal, and so on.
George W Bush will be remembered for his responses to 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq, but since neither of those conflicts has yet ended in victory or defeat, it is far too early categorically to assume - as left-wingers, anti-war campaigners and almost all media commentators already do - that his historical reputation will be permanently down in the doldrums next to poor old Warren Harding's.
But once the decades have put the stirring events of those years into their proper historical context, four great facts will emerge that will place Bush in a far better light than he currently enjoys.
THIS IS BAD FOR THE COUNTRY: Poll -- [Instapundit]
Military approval beats Congress's 71-12. "Gallup's annual update on confidence in institutions finds just 12% of Americans expressing confidence in Congress, the lowest of the 16 institutions tested this year, and the worst rating Gallup has measured for any institution in the 35-year history of this question."
Bush Lauds House Passage of War Funding, GI Bill Benefits -- [Defense Link]
President Bush praised the House of Representatives for passing a supplemental war spending bill that includes expanded Montgomery GI Bill benefits, and he urged the Senate to quickly do the same.
Life After... There Is... -- [SOME SOLDIER'S MOM]
...Now, for the GI Bill. First, every college should actually be sure that the person they designate the "Veterans' Liaison" or "Veterans' Coordinator" actually has some friggin' clue what the GI Bill covers, what documentation is required, and the benefits available. Noah has wasted more time "schooling" his college's coordinator in benefits. The guy didn't have any clue what a "kicker" is (this is the additional level of educational benefits "purchased" and contained in enlistment contracts), and he assured Noah the costs of the Wildlfire Academy would be covered: it wasn't... no college credit hours & no "certification" (see next paragraph) = no money.
Obama Gets Another Unwanted Endorsement -- [OneFreeKorea]
The Chosun Sinbo, the mouthpiece of North Korea’s Japanese front organization Chongryon and often for the North Korean regime itself, has announced its preference for Obama over McCain, whom it calls “a variant of Bush” and “nothing better than a scarecrow of neoconservatives,” which is a bit odd considering that the Bush Administration’s giveaway diplomacy is better for Kim Jong Il than even Clinton’s awful performance.
...I’m sure someone can improve on this translation:
We will see a better relationship between the U.S. and the Korean Peninsula with Obama, who sternly criticizes Bush and who would meet the leader of Chosun without pre-conditions, than with the “Bush clone” and scarecrow of the neocons McCain.
'When John McCain was my captive' -- [BBC]
Tran Trong Duyet - a sprightly retiree and amateur ballroom dancer - must rank as one of John McCain's more unlikely supporters. Mr Duyet reminisces instead about how he often summoned the future US presidential candidate to his private office for informal chats.
"We used to argue about the war - about whether it was right or wrong," he says.
"He is a very frank man - very conservative, and very loyal to his country and the American ideal.
"He had a very interesting accent and sometimes he taught me words in English and corrected my accent. I have followed his career since he left prison."
..."So now I consider John McCain my friend because he did much to mend relations between our two countries. And if he becomes president he will do more to improve those ties."
How to Read A Far Left Political Hack Like Frank Rich -- [Gateway Pundit]
This past week Obama did finally admit that the surge was a success.
However, his website still has this posted: ...
Obama's website is wrong about the violence in Iraq-- US fatalities are at an all-time low in Iraq. Violence is down throughout Iraq. In Anbar Province alone it's down 80-90%.
Obama said the military surge would never work-- Then he repeated it wasn't working . He often squirmed when asked about it at the Democratic debates.
The problem is-- The surge did work and now he's forced to admit it.
Obama was wrong.
Mitchell: Powell & Nunn 'Shoved Down [Clinton's] Throat' 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' -- [NewsBusters]
On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, during a roundtable discussion of Barack Obama's running mate possibilities, correspondent Andrea Mitchell argued that one of the "minuses" for Obama choosing former Democratic Senator Sam Nunn would be that Nunn is "anathema to the gay and lesbian community" as she seemed to portray the "young Bill Clinton" as a victim who had the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military "shoved down his throat" by Nunn and then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell in 1993.
Tortured Interpretation -- [Matt Sanchez]
Simply tasteless, Rolling Stones has decided that John McCain is a figure to be mocked with this depiction of the former POW and current Republican presidential candidate.
...Abercrombie and Fitch came under fire for stereotyping Asians as...
Pointing and Shooting -- [Greyhawk]
Some recent photos from markets in Basra, Iraq
...There's something for everyone in Basra (and Baghdad, London, Detroit and DC, too). You can get photos that show stark reality, and others that are suitable for viewing by readers of the NY Times. Gloomy grim and black and white or in vibrant living color - unless you're actually there how you see Iraq depends on lenses and filters. Not necessarily those used by photographers - some are selected for you by helpful editors or political leaders - while others might be of your own choosing.
Reporters Say Networks Put Wars on Back Burner -- [NY Times]
Getting a story on the evening news isn't easy for any correspondent. And for reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is especially hard, according to Lara Logan, the chief foreign correspondent for CBS News. So she has devised a solution when she is talking to the network.
Obtaining Information From Iraq -- [LT Nixon]
Hilzoy at ObWi cites the NYT article on the declining coverage by traditional media for the war in Iraq. The decline of adequate American media coverage in Iraq has been a problem since around the Petraeus/Crocker testimony in September 2007. Lucky for us, there's a host of international media outlets and blogs still devoted to one of the most important issues of the decade (see the sidebar to your right).
Of course, television is so 20th century. Blogging, Youtube, and other forms of web media have become the new Videodrome.
Petraeus Guidance And Application in the Punditsphere -- [LT Nixon]
Multi-National Force Iraq has released COIN guidance from General Petraeus. The directives are nothing new to people who follow counter-insurgency doctrine or soldiers with boots on ground. But two bullets of interest are applicable to bloggers following events while in our underwear back stateside:
-Be first with the truth. Get accurate information of significant activities to your chain of command, to Iraqi leaders, and to the press as soon as is possible. Beat the insurgents, extremists, and criminals to the headlines, and pre-empt rumors.
-Fight the information war relentlessly....Develop and sustain a narrative that works and continually drive the themes home through all forms of media.
IRAQ FAIRY TALES - THE NEED TO BELIEVE WE'LL FAIL - [New York Post - Ralph Peters]
I heard a campaign flunky on TV insist that progress in Iraq is an illusion. "The war isn't over until all of the troops come home!" she grumped.
Guess we're still at war with Germany. And Japan. Even Italy. Oh, and let's not forget all of our military bases occupying the Confederacy.
The poor woman knew nothing about warfare, history - or Iraq. She just wanted to see her candidate win in November and wasn't going to let reality get in the way.
And one look told you she didn't even know any "troops."
Babalu Blog Bombshell: Obama Personally Told Campaign Volunteer to Shut Up About Che Guevara Flag -- [NewsBusters]
If there were ever a reason that illustrates why newspapers are dying and the mainstream media isn't trusted by many people, this story from the Babalu Blog is a perfect example. Last February, your humble correspondent posted a Newsbusters blog about the studied incuriosity of the MSM over the Che Guevara flag hanging in the office of Barack Obama campaign volunteer, Maria Isabel. This flag was discovered when Houston Fox News 26 reported on the opening of an Obama campaign office as you can see in this video.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Anbar PIC on 28 June.
Ignore the propaganda in the article...