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Chuck Update as of 28 June [From my position]
Thank you all, again for your kind words, encouragement, support, etc. I tell Chuck daily that all of you are out there and I think he really "feels" the power of the prayers. I know I do! In the next few days you may "hear" from Chuck. Tonight he asked me if he could dictate something to post to all of you. I told him I would when he was ready.
Ryan's column for June [Ryan and Christie'sPlace - Ryan is in Iraq]
Here's Ryan's column, as it appeared in the Chattanooga Times Free Press on June 29.
QURI CHAY, Iraq ? When Ahmed Faraj Muhammed looks at soldiers with the 278th Regiment Combat Team's 2nd Squadron, he doesn't see the faces of occupiers. Instead he is reminded of the five sons he lost at the hands of former dictator Saddam Hussein.
"The U.S. Army saved us and the village," Mr. Muhammed, 73, said through an interpreter. "The spirit of my five sons lives in these soldiers."
Grab Bag [Hurl's Blog]
Today is my last full day at my current location out in western Iraq. I expect to be moving back to al Taqqadum tomorrow. There has been a lot of flying out here - mostly escorting convoys, but also a few interventions, border recce's, and raids in a nearby town. Oh.... and the occasional casevac. Those are missions nobody wants to do....
Civilian traffic along the main East/West highway seems to be picking up - certainly heavier than a month ago.
Duke's Latest Thoughts on 3 Conversations [Broken Masterpieces]
The other day I had the privilege of having three great conversations on the same day. The first was with a Marine Corporal who had been on the front lines going house to house looking for bad guys and weapons. The next person was an Iraqi Colonel and to finish the night I talked to a female Marine who was in the back of the truck that was hit by a suicide bomber.
The Hotbox [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
My soldiers spent the bulk of the morning loading our armored LMTV with supplies ? a thoroughly unpleasant mission made all the worse by the feverish sun. By time the truck was loaded the had painted their uniforms with thick, dark whorls of sweat. They took a few minutes to wring out their saturated tops and swallow long draughts of cold water and then they settled in front of our blustering air conditioner.
Last night [Phil and Becky]
Last night we sent out a company on an early-morning raid to confirm or deny reports of some bad people doing bad things.
The short version: we caught some bad people with some items that would facilitate them doing future bad things.
The boss went on this raid, which actually made for an easier night for me because...
Talk less, think more and do more. [Iraq the Model]
It's visible to everyone that debates over the war in Iraq, war on terror, invasion or occupation or whatever you may name it are at peak levels right now.
The process is being questioned, criticized and discussed more profoundly than at any time in the last two years but you know what?
That's not happening in Iraq; you can find such discussions and accusations in America but you can't find them in Iraq.
In Modern Era, Defeat Rarely Stems From the Battlefield [In Modern Era, Defeat Rarely Stems From the Battlefield]
There is great talk around the blogosphere and the MSM (thanks to Karl Rove) about the potential that we could lose the fight in Iraq. There is one conclusion that arises, and it is repeated by the Generals and soldiers they lead, and the vast majority of the American public.
History Repeats Itself in Iraq [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
We invaded Iraq, and it was difficult, yet we managed to militarily subdue a nation is a very short time. The troops fought well against some dedicated opposition.
And Then You Have This [Ballon Juice]
If you ever wondered why credibility is in short supply in Washington, read this:
Republican congressman from North Carolina told CNN on Wednesday that the "evidence is clear" that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.
Iraq War Takes Toll on Army Marriages [Assumption in Command - in Iraq]
The issue of strengthening and maintaining fragile military (not just Army) marriages is of utmost importance. These men and women sacrifice so much for us... be it life or limb... and the last thing they should return to is an empty home.
From my point of view as a Commander here in Iraq, I can say without doubt that yes this deployment is harming marriages of my troops. This deployment is exposing all of the weaknesses of a relationship. If there were any cracks to start before the deployment, these cracks get blown open.
Please indulge me in a rant [Far East cynic]
Definition of a Military Divorce: That is where you pay a former spouse not to live with you, for the rest of your natural life, regardless of fault, merit, remarriage, or individual circumstances. Remember this definition, there will be a quiz at the end.
The MSM Reports on Iraq (Editor's Note: Some subscriptions may be required)
Troops Put Lives On Line To Be Called Americans (USA Today)
It is the hardest way to become an American citizen: fighting for a country that is not yet yours, and in some cases dying for it.
Dangerous Incompetence (New York Times - BOB HERBERT )
The president who displayed his contempt for Iraqi militants two years ago with the taunt "bring 'em on" had to go on television Tuesday night to urge Americans not to abandon support for the war that he foolishly started but can't figure out how to win.
Our Worsening Terrorism Problem (Washington Post)
...We all hope American and Iraqi forces will contain the insurgency there, but what happens then? The answer, unfortunately, is that the terrorists go elsewhere -- as did Osama bin Laden's Afghanistan recruits.
Echoes Of Vietnam (Washington Post)
...But unless Bush rethinks his strategy, fires some people who long ago earned dismissal, examines his own assumptions (what's the point of continuing to isolate Iran and Syria when we need them both to seal Iraq's borders?) and talks turkey to the American people, he will lose everything good he set out to do, including the example Iraq could set for the rest of the Middle East. I know Iraq is not Vietnam. But Tuesday night it sure sounded like it
They Shoot Women, Don't They? (Yankton Daily Press)
...American women in Iraq are dying unnecessarily. And no, I'm not suggesting that men should die necessarily, but that women who are not supposed to be in or near combat are being placed in situations that increase the likelihood of death or injury.
DEMOCRAT CRITIQUE OF BUSH'S SPEECH IS FALSE: Congressional Resolution HR [Astute Blogger]
RES #114 - authorizing war on Saddam - cited BOTH 9/11 and al Qaeda
Many Lefties and Democrats - like Senators Boxer and Rockefeller - have critized Bush's speech last might because it - in their opinion - incorrectly conflated 9/11 & al Qaeda with Saddam and Iraq. They further argued that Bush was cynically USING 9/11 to shore up public support for him and the war in Iraq.
What is so mind boggling to me is that both 9/11 and al Qaeda WERE IN THE ORIGINAL RESOLUTION CONGRESS PASSED TO AUTHORIZE THE WAR. I quote:
After Speech [baldilocks]
From an unsigned editorial in the New York Times:President Bush told the nation last night that the war in Iraq was difficult but winnable. Only the first is clearly true. Despite buoyant cheerleading by administration officials, the military situatuation...
The MSM Reports on Bush speech (Editor's Note: Some subscriptions may be required)
Iraqis' Opinion Is Divided On Bush Speech, Promises (AP-Miami Herald)
...Iraqis on the street and the country's politicians seemed divided over Bush's refusal to provide a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops, along with his promises for a better life in this country of 26 million people.
A Subtle Shift In Goals (Washington Post)
...One of the greatest handicaps the administration still confronts is a self-imposed refusal to listen to Iraqis about doing things the Iraqi way. From trying to build a new Iraqi army on U.S. specifications and prejudices to preferring to contract with foreigners rather than employ Iraqis, U.S. officials have often made the perfect the enemy of the good.
Bush Jumps In Polls After War Speech (New York Daily News)
President Bush's instant poll numbers climbed following Tuesday night's Iraq speech, halting for now a steady slide in public support for the war.
Night Stalker Down! [ROFASix]
Reports are now that the Chinook that was shot down in Afghanistan was a MH‑47.
That means it was a Night Stalker bird. Our hearts and prayers go out to the comrades and families of those superb aviator warriors of the 160th SOAR and the SOF soldiers they were transporting.
Other Parts of the World
Relax and enjoy a game of 3-D chess for oil: Unocal vs. Chevron vs. Cnooc
Quillnews urges all concerned about China?s potential take over of Unocal to take a deep breath. (IHT) We can expect some fear-monger chicken littles in DC to get whipped up and read worrying statements into the Congressional record about falling skies. (WSJ) Ignore that stuff.
The Alliance: U.S. & India Sign Major 10-Year Defense Pact [Winds of Change -Joe Katzman]
Yesterday, in my article on Bangladesh, I noted that the behaviour of its rising Islamists "is slowly forcing the US and India together over common strategic concerns."
Actually, Bangladesh is just one of many - and this week, The United States and India signed a 10-year agreement paving the way for stepped up military ties, including joint weapons production and cooperation on missile defense.
Despicable: UN Cemetery in Busan Vandalized [GI Korea Blog - in Korea]
This story is truly despicable. A group of people has vandalized the UN Cemetery in Busan:
A giant anti-U.S. President George W. Bush message apparently written in herbicide has appeared on the lawn of the UN Memorial Cemetery in Daeyeon-dong, Busan. The site is reportedly on the itinerary of visiting national leaders attending the APEC summit in November.
My Own Video Montage....Made by me! [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho] (Editor's Note: This takes time to load but is Awesome, Thanks Holly)
I was inspired by several video tributes I've seen online, and wanted to do something similar without covering the same old ground. So I made one with a slightly different theme. I like it (and for my very first video I'm proud of it so be nice... ). I hope you enjoy it to!
Nurses Week Tribute: Grace under fire [GruntDoc]
Excellent article about Military Nurses in Iraq: NursingCenter. WE SEND OUR American patients home—sometimes on their feet, sometimes in wheelchairs or on crutches or stretchers. Some of our patients are badly disfigured, and some have horrendous
Letter to the EditorPUBLISHED in today's San Diego Union-Tribune: [Smash]
Regarding "The new call-up" (News, June 6):
I appreciate that every American has a right to express his or her views regarding war and military service, but I feel that Rick Jahnkow and the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities are doing our local students a great disservice. For many young people, the military provides a unique opportunity to learn valuable skills and earn a decent living, not to mention the pride that comes from serving one's country.
I wrote this letter a week ago, in response to an article that cast a local counter-recruiting group in a positive light. I'm not sure why the Union-Trib waited so long to publish it.
Make Mission, Go Fishin' - and - Contact Clueless's Mom [Jack Army]
Somebody is making it. It feels good when you are rolling, it's damned stressful when you aren't. Thankfully, some recruiters out there are finding young men and women out there willing to step and and serve. Thankfully, there are recruiters out there slogging it out even though our media and part of Congress is telling Americans it's OK not to support our country and telling our enemies that they'll do what they can to help them defeat America.
The MSM Reports on Recruiting (Editor's Note: Some subscriptions may be required)
Army expects rosy recruiting numbers for June (CNN.com)
The Army is expected to exceed its active-duty recruiting goal in June after significant shortfalls in the last four months, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday.
June recruiting goals exceeded (Army Times)
The Army has exceeded its recruiting goal for June after four months of shortfalls, Pentagon officials said Wednesday. Still, the service is far behind its annual goal of 80,000 recruits.
Army Surpasses Its June Recruiting Goals but Says Much Work Remains(Washington Post)
The Army has exceeded its monthly nationwide recruiting goals for June, stopping a four-month slide and giving recruiters hope as they try to make up a significant deficit in the remaining three months of the fiscal year.
Army Recruiting Up In June But Still Down For Year (USA Today)
The Army cut into its recruiting deficit slightly in June but still faces a daunting battle to meet its annual goal of 80,000 new enlistees.
U.S. Invades Kids' Privacy (USA Today)
...There's no excuse for violating the privacy of children. There's no governmental purpose to collecting their grades, much less their races. There's no legitimate reason to ignore the rights of parents to restrict strangers from contacting their children. There's no way to justify a wholesale database of likely targets from a pool of minors.
Gitmo, Gitmo, Gitmo
Profiles in Cowardice - A New Series [Roger Simon]
Considering the story was buried in typical NYT fashion on page 15, Senator Ron Weyden, D-Oregon, or his minions, must have been pretty panicked to insist on the following correction to the paper's "Senators Laud Treatment of Detainees in Guantanamo":
Changing Stories, Hearsay And Hyperbole At Guantanamo [Small Town Veteran]
The Moscow Times reports on a Russian muslim who was released in March from Guantanamo. Airat Vakhitov claims that prison guards put copies of the Quran in toilets, used "unspecified gas" and allowed dogs to attack inmates.
The problem is, Vakhitov was singing a different tune not too long ago.
The Remedy [BlackFive]
I knew that Durbin's comments would keep reverberating throughout the military community. For all of you that wanted to let it go, there are simply those who will not or cannot let it go. I think the storm is still...]]>
The MSM Reports (Editor's Note: Some subscriptions may be required)
Officers: Gitmo Detainees Abuse Guards (FOX News)
... After visiting Guantanamo Bay (search) over the weekend with 15 other lawmakers, Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told the hearing that Gitmo is not a "gulag ...
Republicans Praise Gitmo But Block Those Who Disagree (Capitol Hill Blue)
Republicans sing the praises of the Guantanamo prison in Cuba while blocking testimony from anyone who disagrees with their rosy view of the detainee camp that human rights advocates call a "gulag."
At hearing, Guantanamo wins praise and criticism (Boston Globe)
WASHINGTON -- US lawmakers just back from visiting the Guantanamo prison compared it to a resort, but Democrats complained of a ''whitewash" at a hearing ...
Long-Silent Detainees Talking (Washington Post)
...Several members of the committee visited the Guantanamo Bay facility last weekend, and yesterday they almost unanimously spoke favorably about what they had seen
Hardball Blogging [Swanky Conservative]
It seems as if MSNBC?s Chris Matthews is practically licking Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean?s shoes on tonight?s Hardball. He calls Howard Dean a clear voice in the wilderness, remarks on how credible he is in his opposition antiwar, etc. Matthews is completely accepting of Dean?s stances on the War on Terror, yet he is cynical and critical of President Bush. Matthews accepts without question the Democratic meme that the President is lining Sept. 11 with Iraq, nevermind the President never said so last night or in any other time; he puts the blame for a poll a few years back that said many Americans believed Iraq was behind Sept. 11, and he doesn?t see the War on Terror as including Iraq.
U.S. Army Probes Death Of Iraqi Correspondent (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The U.S. Army is investigating Friday's shooting death of a special correspondent for Knight Ridder, which owns The Inquirer.
The President?s Address At Fort Bragg [The Political Teen]
Tonight President Bush will speak about the state of the Iraq war in front of thousands of servicemen at Fort Bragg. The AP has released a few excerpts of his speech with a side of left-wing rhetoric.
VIDEO IN EXTENDED ENTRY
The President's Speech [FullosseousFlap?s Dental Blog]
Flap supports the President?s policies on Iraq, Afghanistan and the War on Terror.
Hey, go over to MoveonPac.com and send your feelings of support for the President using their nice and convenient forms. You can omit their talking points!
Bush: Bloodshed in Iraq Is ?Worth It? [Outside the Beltway]
The Associated Press continues its tradition of reporting presidential speeches that haven't happened yet in the past tense. Mitch Albom was suspended for doing less.
Bush: Bloodshed in Iraq Is 'Worth It' (AP) NOTE: Reported Before Speech
Fake applause; speech numbers [kos]
ABC's Terry Moran just reported that the only time Bush got applause was in the middle of his speech when a White House advance team member started clapping all on their own in order to cajole the soldiers into clapping,...
President's Silence Tonight is Deafening [Kos -Rep Louise Slaughter]
President Bush spoke tonight and his silence was deafening. If anyone was surprised... if anyone was shocked to see their Commander-In-Chief so divorced from reality, they really haven't been paying much attention. But day by day more Americans are seeing the light.
Leadership 101 [Froggy Ruminations]
In case you missed the President?s speech last night, you missed out on a great example of leadership, strategic vision, and confident discipline. It is unfortunate that it became necessary for President Bush to give this address, but he effectively
SPC Roby Vs. IED: The Movie [Armor Geddom]
Well, I promised you guys the movie of SPC Roby blowing up an IED. And here it is. It's my first time, there isn't much cool music or editing so bear with me. I'm no SPC Camp. If the movie doesn't show up as "IED", just hit refresh. SFC Kennedy is in the front seat of the humvee that Roby is in. He is laying Roby's shots onto the IED. You can hear SSG Terry coaching Roby and telling SPC Benton that Roby knows he's shooting short.
Level 4 Body Armor Tested By Air Force [Patriot Voices]
Carried into the Air Force theater hospital, wounded badly in the shoulder and thigh, a servicemember is lucky to be alive.
The body armor he was wearing protected his vital organs but could not stop the bullets from tearing into his unprotected body parts.
A CACHE SEARCH THAT WAS SUCCESSFUL, BUT HOT [dIXIE sAPPER]
We rolled out this morning early to try to get a jump on the heat to search some houses and do some cache searches. It was already real hot when we got moving so we knew it was going to be really hot once we got to the cache part in the open desert. As we were driving in our tanks to the area we were going to search, I saw a cow running and pulling something. At first I didn?t really pay that much attention and went back to looking at the road. When we made a turn, I saw the cow again and this time is was running and I could see what it was pulling. There was a little 8-10 year old girl that was holding on to the rope for dear life and...
Transfer of sovereignty anniversary [Phil and Becky]
Today was the one year anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty in Iraq, and we expected a spike in AIf activity to commemorate the event.
We have a big map in the TOC of the entire Brigade area of operations, and whenever anything happens, we put a colored sticky tab on the map with a short description of what happened.
Sensitivity Training [Small Town Veteran] MRS G NOTES: Rush's Orange Gitm t-shirts didn't make the list.
To: All Commands
Subject: Inappropriate T-Shirts
Ref: ComMidEast Inst 16134//24 K
1. All commanders promulgate upon receipt.
2. The following T-shirts are no longer to be worn on or off base by All forces serving in the Middle East:
It Is About Iraq? [Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave]
I ran across something surprising today. Something I really hadn't known clearly. And something that those who wish to obfuscate the origins of our current conflicts with Islamic extremist tend to gloss over or ignore. The claim has long been..
IRAQ: How Long? [ROFASix]
The web site, Strategy Page, presents an interesting look at how much longer the Iraqi war will continue. Two more years if you believe the Iraqi Prime Minister. That is how long it will take to get those ?damn Sunni's? under control he says. The Sunni, he suggests, are the source of all the insurgent problems in Iraq.
Iraq Casualities Review: a powerful perspective [CDR Salamamder]
This is the best visual description of the cost of the Iraq war. It is all visual, takes little broadband moment to get going. Read into it what you will, but there is something here for both right and left brained folks.
Thank You Mr. Congressman [IRR Soldier - in Iraq]
There was an order put out today by my Brigade that says all E-7s and above and Officers will receive Bronze Stars for being here. It doesn't say all E-7s and above and Officers will receive a Bronze star for something meritorious, but just that you will receive one because you're an E-7 or above. Not only do I think this is ridiculous for the obvious reason that it wasn't earned, but because it cheapens it for anyone who received it before.
Jihad Manual [Watch Your Six]
One of my sources tells me that the "jihad manual" that the Marines found last week contains, among other things, moral justification for killing innocent Iraqis. The manual basically said that there is no problem killing innocent Iraqis to further the cause of jihad.
My source said that this manual will be released to the press this week.
Do we have the will to win? [Air Force Pundit]
A confluence of events now lead me to wonder whether we as a people still have the strength of character to see this through, even as far as we have come, and as much blood and treasure as we have spilled. It is not just the ceaselessly and reflexively pessimistic way in which the news media spins events in Iraq and Afghanistan through a defeatist lens. Read, for example, the way the Washington Post covered the smashing of Taliban remnants as they massed in formations large enough to potentially be combat effective:
28 June 2005 0152z [Hoike - in Afghanistan]
It's funny how things tend to come full circle. As quickly as this all began, this is all starting to come to a close. I find myself once again in tent city this morning. I hopped onto a chinook flight a few hours ago to get here. With some luck, that'll be the last one I take in a while.
As I was waiting for the bird to arrive last night, I took one last look at the night sky with my head propped up against my duffel bag as I lay there in the sand. I remember the first time I saw that same view a year ago.
The *Other* Quagmire [Argghhh! ]
Remember Bosnia? We had no exit timetable there, either -- just a set of conditions that had to be met before we decided that we were no longer needed in the Peacekeeping role. Those conditions were fulfilled and the last SFOR
Women in combat [JammedGun]
I had posted about the issue of women in combat a few days back. Now here is another piece on the same topic that just appeared in NewsMax.
Folks, igoring this topic will NOT make it go away: There is something about the sight of a woman with a broken or maimed body with injuries sustained in a combat environment which weighs heavily on the consciences of those of us who are devotees of the Judaeo-Christian Tradition
Between the Lines [baldilocks]
As it turns out, there was a senate junket to Gitmo. However, Senators Kennedy and Durbin weren’t there, for some reason. Two Democratic senators just back from reviewing U.S. detention facilities and interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said
Support Our Troops....for Real
Support the troops AND our wishes [Conservative Thinking]
Everyone says they support the troops. But, I'm starting to notice that a lot of people are not supporting what they are doing around the world today. I'm in the Air Force and when I start noticing that my morale is slipping because of the lack of support from US citizens in the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom things are getting bad. There is a minority of Congress that wants us out of Iraq yesterday and a large number of liberal voters that support that sentiment.
Reporters Who Get It Right [Iraq War News]
Union General William Tecumseh Sherman was not a fan of reporters, to put it mildly. "Now to every army and almost every general a newspaper reporter goes along, filling up our transports, swelling our trains, reporting our progress, guessing at places, picking up dropped expressions, inciting jealousy and discontent, and doing infinite mischief."
Rove hypnotizes Kos
The new headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Karl Rove, is having a strange - some would say magical - effect on liberals. This from Kos:
Democrats must ride that wave [of growing anti-war sentiment] into 2006, and can do so in ways where they don't sound like hippy retreads.
Bwahahahaha - This is too funny! [View From Tonka]
Freestar Media, LLC
I think this news release will speak for itself!
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media
Weare, New Hampshire
(PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.
When Should We Abandon Freedom?
In the long course of struggles, it is not without precedent that humankind begins to dispair over the cost of the struggle; the pain of loss and sacrifice, the uncertainty of the outcome. One has cause to wonder if the course we have set, the cause we have supported cannot be won. In every heart, the darkness comes and tries to wipe away the memory, the reason for which we started this course.
The Supreme Court's decision in Kelo got you down? [WILLisms.com]
Cheer up. Texas Senator John Cornyn is on the case. He has introduced legislation to protect the private property rights of Americans, rights which were eroded by the Court's controversial 5-4 decision.
Massachusetts Democrats On Water Rescues [Balance Sheet]
Two summers ago, Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney was at his New Hampshire lake home. He heard screams coming from the water where he had just noted a boat drifting by. He and his sun drove their WaveRunners to the shipwreck and started ferrying the passengers to shore.
When the story was published in the Massachusetts newspapers, a spokeswoman for the loyal opposition members of the Democrat party indignantly said...
The MSM Reports
Among Soldiers And Families, Applause Mixes With Doubts (New York Times)
Specialist Nicki Worrell said that she was not bitter or burdened with regrets about her service in Iraq and that the leg and arm wounds she suffered in August 2003 when a roadside bomb blasted the Humvee she was driving had mostly healed.
Bush's Repetition Leaves Questions Unanswered (Philadelphia Inquirer)
On May 24, President Bush talked about life as a communicator: "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."
The War Is Over, And We Won (The American Enterprise)
Your editor returned to Iraq in April and May of 2005 for another embedded period of reporting. I could immediately see improvements compared to my earlier extended tours during 2003 and 2004
W's War Pleas In Last Throes? (New York Daily News)
President Bush made the sale last night - but only temporarily. His pitch for the Iraq war was about as good as it could be, but not good enough to hold broad public support for very long.
Farewell, Mr. Foote [Jump Blog]
Well now. What to say of Mr. Foote? He was most widely known for his appearance in Ken Burns epic documentary ?The Civil War?. He was included in that documentary for two reasons: he had written the definitive three volume history of the American Civil War, and he was incredibly engaging on camera. His unabashed Southern-ness poured out of television screens onto millions of living room floors all across America. People loved him instantly. I myself was instantly taken with the thought that one didn?t have to cover a Southern accent to seem intelligent.
Godspeed John Walton [BLACKFIVE]
John Walton, mostly known as the 11th richest man in the world, died yesterday piloting an experimental aircraft. Wal-Mart Heir John Walton Dies in Crash By
Happy Birthday to me. [doubleplusgood infotainment]
The big 36, baby!
I'm going to take it easy on the posting today.
Online from the front lines (Boston Herald)
Avid GI bloggers draw followings on Web sites such as mudvillegazette.com, which hosts dozens of the soldiers' stories.
...One popular blogger, Army Capt. Charles Ziegenfuss - who commands a tank company and posts his writing at tcoverride.blogspot.com - was injured by a roadside bomb while on patrol last week. According to a blog post from his wife, Ziegenfuss is in intensive care at a German hospital, set to return to the states this week.
Before the injury, he talked to the Herald via e-mail about why he blogs:...
This might get interesting [Watch your Six]
No sh*t, there I was...
... standing in the line at the commissary. I saw that the new Army Times was out. On the front page, the tagline read "Tracking Bloggers: War-zone web loggers ordered to register."
I wondered if Joe Chenelly had quoted me in his article, so I bought it. Sure enough,...
Army Times: OIF MilBloggers Must Register [Jack Army]
Here are my questions and answers to the email interview:
First, let me give you a few of my thoughts about Milblogging and what it is. The idea of blogging is wonderful because it is so vague. Blogging can be simply a journal or diary or it can be an amateur attempt at journalism. The blog gives an average person, or Soldier, the opportunity to communicate thoughts, ideas, and events in a manner that is extremely fast, far-reaching, and interactive. The idea that I, as a Milblogger, can communicate what I'm doing (within guidelines), thinking, feeling and post photos and links to support all that is amazing. Finally, there is the direction a blog takes, which is limited to the imagination of the blogger. I'd like to think that my blog is a forum with my posts as a starting point for discussions.
Walking the Line III [Michael Yon]
The Feathers -North Arabian Gulf
A strange white helicopter landed on the ship to fly us to Kuwait. It was a Puma, with "04" painted on the nose. A few sailors and soldiers boarded the Puma along with CSM Mellinger and company. I was sitting facing left, and as I strapped the lap belt, I fumbled with the shoulder harness. I was not alone in the confusion--the crew chief crouched around the cabin showing everyone how to use the contraption. The "shoulder harness" actually fastened around the right arm?for those sitting facing left?like a sphygmomanometer. So, it's like this: normal seat belt with another seat belt for my right arm, tight like a puffed-up blood pressure-thing, presumably to keep the passenger/victim from breaking sideways in half when the helicopter crashes. Still trying to fathom the design, I saw a sign:
Nation of dreams [Boots in Baghdad - in Iraq]
I appreciate all of your comments regarding amnesty for insurgents. Valid points were made by all and the discussion certainly proved to be productive. I still believe that for amnesty for insurgents to be considered by national leaders is way too premature. The way things have been going since the 16th when I posted the article even strengthens my belief the insurgency is crumbling and desparate.
On the evening of June 30th, Boots In Baghdad MAY be included in a radio program about military bloggers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I GUESS I CAN NOW LET YOU KNOW ABOUT THE PAPERWORK...LOL [Dixie Sappers]
It was released all over the U.S. today about our mission and all of the PAPERWORK that had to be done the last few days. I guess you can guess now much paperwork is involved when dealing with 25 detainees and making sure everything is in order. You hate to put yourself in danger and then have one of them get off on some technicality, which is similar to the U.S. court system. Overall, it was a very successful mission. It was good to see that the 150TH EN BN got it's name used.
Medical Field Reports From Iraq Part IV: They Get It Done [Popular Mechanics Blog]
Mornings here can be deceptive. Take today, for example, at 0600: a gentle cool breeze, soft blue sky and delicious 80?. If it weren?t for the guard towers, circling gunships and hundreds of M4- and M16-toting soldiers, you?d think it was an early summer day in northeast Ohio. But this won?t last. By 1030 we?ll be back under the broiler.
Prayers....... [Madeuce Gunner]
Three men from my company were wounded in action yesterday. All injuries are non-life threatening, but serious nonetheless. Please pray for my brothers and their families; names are not needed; He knows who you are praying for.
I want this guy more than Zarqawi [Major K]
We lost another good man. Many of us only knew him as "Dup," short for his last name, not because it was in anyway pejorative. He was highly regarded by all who knew him. He was young, but obviously made from the right stuff. We will miss him. Knowing a little about how snipers operate, I know that the SOB that shot him did so
Godspeed [365 and a Wake Up]
Tonight our battalion huddled together under a boiling wind and said goodbye to Arnold Duplantier II, a team leader in Charlie ?Rock? Company. SGT Duplantier was a man that effortlessly earned the respect of his commanders and his soldiers. A tireless soldier, a faithful friend, a caring leader, a loving husband, and a proud father.
A typical day at work [Who's your Baghdaddy?]
The following is an article about our unit that was published in the Dallas Morning News. The author enumerates his experience with one of our platoons when he was imbedded for a day. The platoon was conducting combat patrols, which is something they do almost every day, so this is just a typical day at the office for them.
Beer to Iraq! [Dogtulosba]
My Sapper buddy Chris is great. He's from Utah. Yes, he's a self-proclaimed "Jack Morman." Kinda like the kind of Catholic I am. We used to joke about that one a ton.
Exit Strategy [Jack Army]
First, evacuate everyone inside loop 495...
Its a quagmire I tell ya!
If you consider that there have been an average of 160,000 troops in theater in Iraq during the last 22 months, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000.
Exit Strategy for Iraq [Balance Sheet]
"It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."--Senator Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.), June 27, 2005, U.S. News & World Report.
Guess what: we lose! [Blog Machine City - in Iraq]
Hey, I guess I didn't get the memo, but apparently we're losing. I heard it on CNN too, where Ted Kennedy and other "honored" members of Congress were grilling Rumsfeld and CJTF-7 commander General Casey about our "failed war in Iraq....
Hearing things like this make me paralyzed with despair and disbelief.
Fragging, A good thing? [JammedGun]
Oh, great! Ward Churchill gets something like $90K a year from the state of Colorado to indoctrinate impressionable young 18-year-olds that fragging is a good thing?
A letter to any American soldier, anywhere, but esp. in Iraq [The Anchoress]
Dear Soldier, Dear Sailor, Dear Marine, Dear Airman;
When I am ready to go to bed,
I feed the fish, and lock the doors and windows,
I pet the dog and say good night to her and warn her off the couches.
I close the lights - lights which work so well, I don?t even think about the fact that in some parts of the world electricity is a sometime thing.
HOKIE.US and The National Guard Experience Meet [The National Guard Experience]
Well? Can you guess what happened in Ghazni? I met up with Sonny this past weekend, another milblogger here in Afghanistan.
The Deployment Begins [The Makaha Surf Report]
I have left Hawaii and I am TDY en route to Kuwait with a one week stopover in El Paso to attend CRC training, I will highlight the week's events.
CRC Day One:
Well 0400 comes mighty early and even after 10 years of this stuff, it still is quite a shock
Return from Bagram/Note on comments/Kudlow Appearance [Austin Bay]
The trip from Bagram to Kabul to Delhi to London to Chicago to Dallas to Austin took fifty-one and a half hours. I managed to sleep six hours or so, not counting a doze or two. I am shaking off a heavy case of jet-lag with yoga and yard work
The Highest Stakes [Jump Blog]
It has been asserted that President Lincoln once contemplated the arrest of Chief Justice Taney over the opinion of the Court that condemned the suspension of Habeas Corpus. This suspension allowed Lincoln to arrest persons he believed were threatening the war effort and the country and hold them without trial indefinitely. While the arrest story has been called into question in recent years (though not entirely discredited) that isn?t the interesting part of the story. The interesting part of the story is that Lincoln ignored the decision, just as the Chief Justice expected him to do. There was no outcry in the public, Congress did not move to impeach, and Lincoln kept on arresting and holding.
Is the Left Trying to Make Us to Fail in Iraq? [The Yankee Sailor]
If I read the tea leaves right, it looks like the military is being set up to fail in Iraq. First, there was all the buzz recently about parents and teachers being resistant gatekeepers with respect to rec
We're All in This Together - Part I [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
The decision last week by the Supreme Court regarding the extension of "eminent domain" to be used by local governments is something we all have, unfortunately, have had a part in. Please stick with me on this one, and don't dismiss this discussion too quickly.
Eminently Important, Communities and Redevelopment [Froggy Ruminations]
...I might have been inclined to agree with the sentiment of my conservative colleagues if I wasn?t so intimately familiar with Redevelopment
Spending Tax Dollars Right [Baldilocks]
This weekend several members of Congress visited Guantanamo Bay. The US lawmakers witnessed interrogations, toured cellblocks, and ate the same lunch given to detainees on the first congressional visit to the prison since criticism of conditions the...
Christians, Commandments, and the Court [The Evangelical Outpost]
In two important church-state rulings announced yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld a Ten Commandments display in Texas, but struck down one in Kentucky. The court ruled that an outdoor public presentation of the Decalogue among other monuments on
"Free speech - to everyone who agrees with us!" [A Healthy Alternative to Work]
Over the past few weeks, I've been getting into conversations with friends and colleagues about the role of religion in government. Certain things tend to spark this:
1 - The insistence of some people to hold on to the "Under God" segment of our Pledge of Allegiance,
2 - Attempts to justify, by these same people, the presence of the Ten Commandments in public structures, and
3 - Any discussion of separation of church and state.
So, this one can stay? [Small Town Veteran]
Background reading here. A key passage:[...] The Fraternal Order of Eagles, a benevolent organization, donated the Texas monument to the state in 1961. The group gave thousands of such monoliths to towns around the country in the 1950s and '60
"Excuse Me, Sen Durbin, Your Lack of Courtesy is Showing" [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
...I guess Dick Durbin thinks we fell off the cabbage truck yesterday, but does anyone else notice something completely disingenuous here?
GITMO Abuse Exists..... [Sgt. Foley's Fire-Eaters]
Lt. Col. Gordon Cucullo writes,
Our group went to GITMO to check out tales that the military was being too tough on these terrorist detainees. We left convinced that America is being extraordinarily lenient ? far too lenient.
Now this is torture [Assumption of Command]
I have a message to all of the people who think what we are doing to detainees in Gitmo (like reading Harry Potter to the Bad Guys) is torture.
Supporting the Troops...for Real
Gold Star Moms Change their rules [Hoodathunk]
I had written earlier on the topic and thought the group should change its constitution to handle the reality of today's military. I am suspicious that, in spite of Ms. Young's comments, that they would likely not have changed their rules...
Columnist invents 43 people? (Sacramento Bee)
Sacramento Bee can't locate many profiled by Diana Griego Erwin
A longtime columnist of the Sacramento Bee who resigned amid controversy last month may have invented the existence of 43 people she wrote about over several years, an internal investigation found.
Durbin vs. Rove [Welcome To Andi's World]
The Washington Times explores the coverage (or lack thereof) of these two stories, and illustrates why so many people no longer trust the mainstream media.Last week, for instance, the Big Three -- ABC, NBC and CBS -- had a wonderful time covering Wh
America - Media Making It Up [USS Neverdock]
Main stream media sneer at bloggers, claiming that we are unregulated, out of control and no one checks our work like their editors do theirs. Yet time and time again we find it is MSM who are faking it. And now today comes more media faking it.
Billy Graham and the Clintons [The Anchoress]
1)Apparently, what people who were THERE are saying is that remarks are being reported out of context - that
Graham joked that he had advised Bill Clinton at the end of his presidency to change careers and become an evangelist ?because he has all the gifts ? and he could leave his wife to run the country.?
Three networks delay decision about Bush Iraq talk (Hollywood Reporter)
Three of the four broadcast networks had yet to decide late Monday whether they would carry President Bush's speech on Iraq Tuesday in front of soldiers in Fort Bragg, N.C. By then, only ABC had said it would carry the address.
The MSM Reports
The Speech the President Should Give (New York Times By JOHN F. KERRY )
TONIGHT President Bush will discuss the situation in Iraq. It's long past time to get it right in Iraq. The Bush administration is courting disaster with its current course - a course with no realistic strategy for reducing the risks to our soldiers and increasing the odds for success.
Survey Finds Most Support Staying In Iraq (Washington Post)
As President Bush prepares to address the nation about Iraq tonight, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that most Americans do not believe the administration's claims that impressive gains are being made against the insurgency, but a clear majority is willing to keep U.S. forces there for an extended time to stabilize the country.
Bush misled American public on Iraq war: Poll (Aljazeera.com)
The Bush admin. has refused to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq
A new poll showed that most of the Americans now believe that President George W. Bush has "misled" the public in going to war in Iraq.
Democrats Report No Abuse At Gitmo (Washington Times)
Two Democratic senators just back from reviewing U.S. detention facilities and interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said they saw no signs of abuse and said it would actually be worse to close the facility and transfer the detainees elsewhere.
The Not-So-Long Gray Line (New York Times)
...The problem the Army created in Vietnam has never really been solved. If you keep faith with soldiers and tell them the truth even when it threatens their beliefs, you run the risk of losing them. But if you peddle cleverly manipulated talking points to people who trust you not to lie, you won't merely lose them, you'll break their hearts
On Military Affairs; Mil-Blogging, an Interview with Greyhawk of the Mudville Gazette [Bayosphere]
In looking about the Bay Area in general, I find that informed reporting on military affairs is less than common.
As such I have decided to try to fill some small part of the chasm, and begin with a piece which intersects with Bayosphere's emphasis on Citizen Journalism. The interesection I choose is Mil-Blogging (blogging on subjects military by folks both military and civilian).
One of my regular stops in the blogosphere is The Mudville Gazette,
Blog Wars (washingtonpost.com)
Every day, it seems, there are more blogs, more compilations of blogs and more chatter about blogs, as online debate comes in more flavors....
Editors Note: Many Blogger are experiance problems with the diplay of their blog. The body of the last post won't start until the end of the sidebar. Haven't touched the template.
@#!%*& Blogspot... [Exultate Justi] HT: Omar
This is happening all over, so it's a Blogger snafu. I did a little digging, and uncovered a forum post on the problem (and at least a temporary solution).
To Honor our Dead [Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum - in Iraq]
MAJ K, Thunder6 and I are all well. We had a costly week. We lost a brother, and the sorrow that has consumed us has left me in darkened spirits. There was no period of denial, only the realization that a soldier, a man, a husband, father and a brother is no more. Today was his memorial, and the emptiness and grief I feel hs again consumed me. There is no lonelier sound I can comprehend then the sound of dog tags clanking in the wind. This past week has shattered any pretense of ?reduced? activity in our Area of Southern Baghdad. Monday morning I awoke to the sound of war. The sound of thunder ripped me from my slumber, not one, not two but three enormous explosions shattered the still morning air. Before I knew it I was running at full speed to the Operations Center, and as expected it was alive with activity.
Reconstruction Games [Hurl's Blog - in Iraq]
At the recent meeting between President Bush and the Iraqi President Ibrahim al-Jafaari a reporter asked Bush when the reconstruction would start. Bush deferred the question to Jafaari, basically saying that the Iraqis are in charge of their own country as well as reconstruction. We?re here to help.
I have a few observations. First, reconstruction has clearly been going on since April ?03.
Day 159B - Clear Window into a Muddy Iraq [Wayne's World - in Iraq]
Today's online news contained this tribute to Wayne from Kathy Spurlock, Executive Editor of The News-Star in Monroe, LA, our home before we moved to Hot Springs, AR.
Conversation With A Fallujah Marine [The Wide Awakes]
Even if you don?t know all the unit names that are deployed to Iraq; even if you don?t know much about the war itself, chances are you know about Fallujah. It?s where Sgt Rafael Peralta saved his fellow Marines after being mortally wounded by reaching for a grenade and tucking it under his torn and battered body. In a perfect example of ?small world?, I was ?introduced? recently via Sgt Nate DeWeerd, a friend of mine, to Corporal Aaron Kuck, a Marine who serves with Charlie Company, 1st Bn 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division. In Iraq, his unit was the Ground Combat Element for the 31st MEU; Charlie was the first company of 1st Bn Marines in Fallujah. Aaron spent 75 days in Fallujah occupying the city. I had a chance to talk to him tonight for a while.
BOSTON, MA WANTS TO DO A RADIO SHOW ON 150TH ENGINEER BATTALION [Dixie Sappers]
I was forwarded some information that was posted on the 150TH Forum by a lady in Boston, MA who wants to do a radio show on our battalion. I think this is a great honor.
Marines regulate air traffic in Al Asad [New MilBlog Ring member - Live in Iraq]
The Marines from the air traffic control facility here are like police officers who enforce rules and regulations for all ground traffic on the airfield and all air traffic in a five nautical mile radius from the center of the airfield up to 3,000 feet. In the busiest military airfield in Iraq, they control what could be total confusion.
The New Guy [Confessions of a Caffinated Zoomie]
1/3 of the way done if the worst case scenario happens. That is the good news. It seems longer. I am looking on the bad side so I will be happy if we leave sooner. It is hard when we see the first Guard rotation leaving. They are happy of course. Talking about it all the time in front of us. I cant blame them. I know when my time comes the enthusiasm will leak out of me but I am going to try and hold it in as much as possible. No sense pissing in someone elses Cheerio's. Then again even I dont have anything to complain about. The Grunts and Dawg's are here for a year. THAT blows. So I press on with life. And now the new rotation comes in.
He's Baaaackkk! [Soldier's Mom]
Whooohooo! He landed at Newark Airport at 1:30 this afternoon! (He left Iraq Thurs. morning -- Wednesday evening our time). I have to wait a week to see him, but he called as soon as he was boots on the ground! I don't know how to explain it, but the conversation was so light and different than the ones from Iraq (sigh).
I asked him about the best part of being home ... He said, "It doesn't smell here... and I don't have to worry whether someone wants to shoot me." He was really humbled by the number of people in Atlanta and Newark that patted him on the back, shook his hand and thanked him --
Catching Up, Part 1[Appalachian Patria]
I now sit here in my 28X60' Castle listening to Local Noise, a Radio Show out of Athen's Georgia featuring the area's bands. Today has been a murky and at times rainy day. It's the first time I remember it raining on the 26th of June. Usually it is a hot, hazy and sticky day. I know...Happy Birthday to me...and to you.
What is to follow is a sries of Journal Entries I made while at Ft. Lewis Wa. It was written on Note Book Paper and is being transposed onto this blog. Internet Access was very limited for me. I eventualy made it to a Coffee shop where I could post quickly, if no one was in line.
Could We Lose? [Neptunus Lex]
Several months ago I wrote a rather long, somewhat overwrought response to a question about the War on Terror that had been asked of me by a liberal friend: Can we win?
In essence, I concluded that we could win, and that we would, as soon as the enemy realized that we would not be defeated.
But there was a corollary to that conclusion as well...
If there are 150,000 trained ISF, why do we need so many Americans here? [Phil and Becky]
I watched an excerpt of an interview with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on This Week with George Snuffelupagus, and there was an exchange that I think merits some discussion.
Flies on the paper [Winds of Change - Bill Roggio]
The Flypaper theory has come under much derision since it was proposed, but it is difficult to deny the US presence in Iraq has attracted important and hard to detect members of al Qaeda. Many al Qaeda members have been killed or captured in Iraq while to engage the US Army and Marines on conditions disadvantageous to the jihadis. Iraq has forced al Qaeda to commit its limited resources to the battle, and experienced leaders and operators have thrown themselves against US and Iraqi forces with reckless abandon
Memory, Russian vehicles or irony and quote [Going Down Range]
What do you have around your neck? When I joined the army years ago, it used to be a set of dogs tags on a chain. Now I have my dog tags with three memory sticks to told offical and personal information such images from my from my wife. The other two memory sticks carry power point presentations, standard operating procedures and other army information. The one of the more interesting facts is the two of the memory sticks each has two gigs of memory. When I was a young, 64k of memory was a lot and I stored applications on cassette tape. Now I have short movies stored five gigs of memory. In a few years this shall be dwarfed.
Mullah Press Corps Calls Ahmadinejad 'Victory' "Stunning" [The Word Unheard]
In the Iranian Puppet Show called "You Vote (or not), We Win", Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (you know, of IRGC fame) was credited with having more votes that Rafsanjani. No matter, really. The 'choice' presented was akin to being asked whether one would prefer to have one's arm cut or have it sliced.
Document shows Iran's business ties to Bin Laden [Regime Change Iran]
Ken Timmerman gave us permission to publish here an important document from his book. There are over 40 pages of such documents featured in the back of his book.
No More Flights Through Osan [GI Korea Blog]
The flights to and from Korea for USFK soldiers stationed on peninsula will end and be replaced by commercial flights from Incheon. This is great news because flying out of Incheon is a lot nicer than flying out of Osan. Apparently the flights that run twice a week out of Osan are much more expensive than regular commercial flights from Incheon.
But in a cost-cutting move, the Defense Department will by 2008 phase out Patriot Express service to all but five locations:...
Support our Troops
A Soldier's Commentary on Troop Support [Marine Corps Moms]
For the past two years, I've received hundreds of e-mails from ordinary citizens, some parents of troops, some with no family members in service, but most of whom are solidly in support of those sons and daughters who protect and serve. Thank God for our troops, but I'm also profoundly thankful for those who support our troops. And I still get choked up when someone notices my Marine Corps Mom t-shirt or my lapel pin proclaiming my pride in my son and asks me to pass along their thanks. Yesterday, I called Southwest Airlines to secure military pricing on my son's flight home for the 4th of July holiday. The Southwest representative on the other end of the phone line helped me with the flight details, then said, "When he gets off the plane, please tell him that my son and I in Oklahoma City are so thankful for his service. Please tell him that." And I'll be happy to pass that message along.
Six Days Left Until the "Rear Echelon Blogathon" [Molten Thought]
WordGirl and I are busily preparing for the 1st ever MoltenThought "Rear Echelon Blogathon" beginning at 12 am Saturday, July 2nd, and continuing until 12 midnight Sunday, July 3rd.
Why are we doing something so silly? Hath MacBeth murdered sleep?
History...New and Old [Courage without Fear]
Some of you who have been following my blog for sometime may have noticed that I?ve finally decided on a look and a banner for the site. The name of my site, ?Courage Without Fear? is our regimental motto. The symbol on the left side of the banner is the 126th Armor regimental crest. The background for the banner is the new camouflage pattern that the Army has adopted for the new Army Combat Uniform. My banner represents the old and the new of the 1st Battalion 126th Armor Regiment.
US Military Insignia The QandO Blog
Over the past few weeks, I've been working on a large project to compile as complete a presentation as I can of the military insignia of the United States' Armed Forces, including rank, branch, and occupational insignia, as well as qualification badges. As of this morning, that project is now more or less complete. So, we now have here a fairly comprehensive guide to all of the common insignia worn by the members of the various US Armed forces.
The Victory Vigil Returns! [Smash]
WHILE OUR SOLDIERS fighting overseas are asking their commanders whether the people back home still support their mission, some of our neighbors choose to mark the 229th anniversary of our nation?s independence by calling for a ?Flag Burning Day.?
Now more than ever, it?s important for Americans to express our patriotism, and support for our military. It?s time for another Victory Vigil!
Mornin'! [Castle Argghhh!]
It would seem Kelo has driven the Flag Burning Amendment from the right side of the blogoverse I inhabit. I admit, I don't generally vist the Leftish Spiral Arm, so I have no idea what they are blathering about. It's...
Just So You'll Know Where I Stand [The Bow Ramp]
Flag Burning Amendment I'll support this ammendment the day I can listen to a Senator or Congressman make a speach and have a reasonable expectation that he or she is telling the un-spun truth. In ...
Who Cares [Arklahoma]
Most people are too pissed off right now about the whole eminent domain thing to really be giving a damn about the no-burning-the-flag ordeal. Luckily, I did find some commentary that pretty much summed up my thoughts:...
My Response to your Confusion [Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave]
I ran into a group of attorneys who are perplexed. They also use the argument that if we didn't oppose something else, we are wrong to oppose this. This is in the same vein as the oft heard argument that if we are going to invade country X because we don't like their government then we should also invade countries A, B, and C or we are morally bankrupt. This piece of logic is a load of hogwash. I won't bother to argue it, many others have demonstrated that such logic is false before me. Quoting from their blog entry:..
Kelo II: [Grims Hall]
The more I think about this, the madder I get. Doc has a post on the topic, and at the bottom in an update he notes that a town in Texas has already moved to take several buildings away from existing companies, in order to build a marina. "The Great SCOTUS Land Grab," they call it.
Standby For Judicial Decisions--And It Won't Be Good [Scott's Conservative News & Commentary]
The current session of the Supreme Court ends Monday, and high-profile decisions are expected to be announced.
The disastrous decision this week by the Court to drastically expand eminent domain access (see out previous post
Despotic Branch of Government [Balance Sheet]
A 'new and improved' interpretation of the 5th Amendment (1791) was this week performed by a 5 to 4 majority of the United States Supreme Court wherein 'public use' has now become 'private and increased-tax-revenues-use.' In its decision, the justices said that government can seize private property from one owner and transfer it to a second owner because the new owner would pay more in property taxes.
Vietnam Redux [Cadillac Tight]
...When Tim Russert says "the American public is against the War on Terror and the halls of Congress are echoing that sentiment", what you should immediately get from that statement is that certain Democratic politicians, and a few Republican "mavericks" - you know the ones, the usual suspects, are making speeches that they hope will enhance their own, and their party's standing
Liberals Lack Basic Research Skills? [Backcountry Conservative]
In reality, I find Cheney, Rumsfeld and the boys interesting people. To a man, each of them found a way to avoid military service. Cheney in fact found it "not a priority," when he had his chance to go to Vietnam, and we all know Bush's history. And yet, these men are the biggest chickenhawks of all. Incredible...
Biography of Donald Rumsfeld
Mr. Rumsfeld attended Princeton University on academic and NROTC ...
Taxes, Productivity, MSM, Midterm Elections, SCOTUS, etc. [Four Right Wing Wackos]
It was one of the major domestic policy issues of the 2004 elections, wasn't it? Social Security reform was an election issue, too, but making the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts permanent was a major campaign issue while Social Security was not. (Social Security was more of an issue in 2000 that got sidetracked due to more important things like psycho mass murdering islamofascist goatmolesters flying jets into skyscrapers and two resultant wars.) Kerry you may recall had said that he believed the tax cuts were irresponsible and would have them repealed if elected president. Well, Bush won the election, and despite the nearly constant negativism we've been bombarded with from the media and politicians on the left, the economy is doing quite nicely thank you very much, so is this issue going to come up or are the 2003 tax cuts going to be allowed to expire?
Of Martha Stewart and Gitmo [Roger Simon]
Forget Dick "What Me Gulag?" Durbin or Karl "The Enforcer" Rove; the most revealing political statement made recently was by the rather more obscure Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif, who just told the Associated Press about her Congressional visit to Gitmo this weekend: "The Guantanamo we saw today is not the Guantanamo we heard about a few years ago." (Apparently, Gitmo didn't turn out to be that dastardly off-shoot of the Spanish Inquisition after all. No torture chambers. No Torquemada. Not even one wet Koran.)
Sedition and Unpatriotic Activities [Toe in the Water]
I am sickened, saddened, hurt, and really, really pissed off. Last night at about midnight, I pulled up a Yahoo News page. For your edification, I have provided below a paragraph or so of the text from all of the Featured Articles and Opinion & Editorials sections that were displayed. I did not even look at the (more stories) links. Each of these articles can easily be categorized as a negative portrayal of the efforts of the United States and her Allies in the Global War on Terror. Nearly every instance of a positive report is quickly followed by a series of but... statements, all negative.
"D骠 Vu" Reporting on Iraq from LA Times [ROFASix]
?Bush's Credibility Takes a Direct Hit From Friendly Fire,? writes the LA Times today. The paper is generally predictable. It rarely writes anything about the Iraq War without inserting ?Abu Ghraib,? ?since Bush declared major combat operations over,? or ?the failed hunt for WMD,? in its stories. Surprisingly, this one only contained the ?declaring victory? slur in its usual litany of ?stock? phrases. This story did go back and add in the tired analogy of Vietnam and by default the ?quagmire? theme.
The MSM Reports
Survey On News Media Finds Wide Displeasure (New York Times)...Katharine Q. Seelye
...In addition, respondents were critical of news coverage of the military. The survey showed that 47 percent agreed that news organizations were "weakening the nation's defenses" by criticizing the military. That number, the highest since 1985, was also driven by Republicans, 67 percent of whom agreed with the statement.
U.S. Troops Shoot Gun-Wielding Man In Afghanistan (Reuters)
...On Sunday, Mullah Dadullah, one of two top Taliban commanders the government said had been surrounded in last week's fighting, telephoned Reuters to say that only seven or eight guerrillas had been killed, including one commander, Mullah Mohammad Easa. U.S. and Afghan forces have reported killing nearly 400 insurgents since March as they move to prevent guerrilla efforts to derail Sept. 18 parliamentary elections.
The Good News And Bad News (Newsweek)...Fareed Zakaria
...Secretary Rumsfeld has long argued that American troops should never engage in nation building, leaving that to locals. But while we waited for Iraqis to do it, chaos broke out and terror reigned. So the Army on the ground has ignored Rumsfeld's ideology and has simply made things work.
The Army's Hard Sell (New York Times)...Bob Herbert
...The all-volunteer Army is fine in peacetime, and in military routs like the first gulf war. But when the troops are locked in a prolonged war that yields high casualties, and they look over their shoulders to see if reinforcements are coming from the general population, they find -as they're finding now - that no one is there.
Regaining Respect (Washington Post)...Jeffrey H. Smith
Law matters, especially in time of war. This is true not only for moral reasons but also because adhering to the rule of law makes us stronger. We are now paying the consequences, "big-time" as the vice president might say, for a number of decisions made right after Sept. 11, 2001, that gave short shrift to both domestic and international law.
Chuck and the Angel Program [Two Babes and a Brain]
Hey guys and new comers--
Just want to let you know that the donation button to the right is for Chuck's guys still in Iraq. When we met Chuck we asked him what they needed. He told us that it would be really great if the guys could get these thinggys--Lisa knows the right names for them--that keep the guys water cold. It's 120 degrees there and only a few things really work. So, because Chuck is all set right now and he is concerned about his guys--we have decided to keep the donations going in that direction. Each cold water thinggy costs 30 dollars--although we have contacted the company that makes them to see if--since we are trying to buy 66 of them--they will give us a deal. So far, we have enough money to buy four.
Another Failed Attack [Fourth Rail - Bill Roggio]
The insurgency tries its hand once more at a massed assault, this time on an Iraqi police station in Baghdad. Omar from Iraq The Model directs us to an article in the Guardian on the assault, and rightly points out the negative slant in the article (hat tip to Soldier's Dad). The Guardian titles this one "Iraq insurgents snatch victory from defeat", but it is clear this attack was a massive military defeat.
Interview with PFC Gillens [DVIDS video]
Private First Class Kelton Gillens talks from Mosul to a reporter at WCBD in Charleston, South Carolina about his role as a tanker. Video from the 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
OIF Today: 16 June[DVIDS video]
The June 16TH edition of Operation Iraqi Freedom Today features the rescue of Douglas Wood after being held for 47 days as a hostage. Produced by JOC W. Houlihan and hosted by First Sergeant Kelly Luster, American Forces Network Iraq.
WERE ARE THE WMDS?!?!?!!?!?" - Here..... [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
Remember the Jordanians who were gonna set off a few fire works?
Well, there's some WMD reality.
Does exhausted and stressed still qualify as fine? [It's not just about the war]
Let's just say that I am not envying R2A and the boys this week.
The IED's are thick.. the natives are even thicker
22 June 2005 [Paint it Black - in Iraq]
I went and saw you D, the day you died. I tired to close your eyes but they wouldn't stay closed. The 1SGT asked me if I wnted to see you and I hesitated, a fraid of what I would see. I didn't want to see your smashed body but I needed to say goodbye, to look at you one last time.
Day 158 - Messages from 155th Commanding Officers [NEW MilBlog Ring Member! - Wayne's World 2005]
This week, LTC Mohammed (local Iraqi Army Commander) and myself visited with many citizens, business owners, and local officials in the city of Musayyib.
We met initially with LTC Ahmed (Iraqi Police Chief),
The fact that these officials and business owners wanted to be seen in public with Americans is a significant event. Six months ago, most officials in this area did not want to be viewed as cooperating with Americans in fear of the insurgents.
Iraqi Kids Project: A Candle in the Darkness [NEW MilBlog Ring Member! - The MI Guy]
Update on the Iraqi Kids Project
Meredith and 2LT Elizabeth Hunt '05 organized a toy and clothing drive for Iraqi kids near Baghdad. I helped them make some contacts and with a little bit of the organizing. The two worked hard and I'm happy to report the project was a success. Last I checked we had about a entire room full of goods. Soccer balls, dolls, children's clothes,
Two Degrees of Separation [CaliValleyGirl - boyfriend in Afghanistan]
I was at Technorati searching for blog posts related to Bagram, and came along Austin Bay's blog. Teresa from Technicalities had mentioned him, but I wasn't familiar with the author and OIF2 veteran. And so I was reading his post from Tuesday, and I recognized the incident he was describing, because my boyfriend had told me about taking some guys whose aircraft had to return to Bagram, him being one of the pilots of the second Chinook:
Feast or Famine [Fire Power Forward - in Afghanistan]
When I go back and look at the posts I have put up recently, it looks like there is not a lot going on. The reason for that is, well, there?s not a lot going on?here anyway. It seems somewhat paradoxical to me, because from March to June, the work was overwhelming, if there was a moments peace we were probably forgetting something, and yet it seemed to slip the media?s mind that there were still people fighting and dying in Afghanistan.
Now, I?m finding myself with more down time and a more relaxed rhythm as we settle into our new roles here at BAF, but I?m also finding an increased sense of isolation and I wonder if it?s not self-inflicted. I see the reports of enemy contact from the field, and it doesn?t seem to phase me but then I see the AP report that 178 Afghan rebels were killed in the heaviest fighting since 2001. What am I missing here?
A Patrol on the Berq River [Austin Bay]
The MP motor patrol left Bagram Air Base at 0800, four armored Humvees on a swing through the hard-scrabble farms along the Berq River. This particular patrol had a definite Alaskan slant, with the patrol leader, SSG Matthew Taylor, serving in the 164th MP Company (Fort Richardson, Alaska). The 164th is currently part of the 716th MP Battalion, Ft Campbell, Kentucky. I rode in the second Humvee, along with Major Dennis ?DZ? Zink, XO of the 716th, Specialist Joshua Fisher, the driver, and Specialist John Reid, our machine gunner. I told Fisher I?d try and include him in a column since he?s from Wichita Falls, Texas, and his local paper, the Times-Record, carries my column. I think the most interesting member of our crew, however, was our gray and grizzled translator, who goes by the nom de guerre of Jdhooshi. Jdhooshi, he told me, is a city north of Kabul. It seems to fit this spry 69 year-old Afghan? or maybe I should call him an Angeleno. Jdhooshi has lived in Los Angeles for 27 years. He has three engineering degrees, and a comfortable life in Southern California. But when the War on Terror came to Afghanistan ...
The Golden Rules of Returning Home [The National Guard Experience - in Afghanistan]
After being deployed to Afghanistan for almost a year, I have laid out these rules of returning home for family, friends, soldiers, and wives. Now, listen up. The government is hard-pressed. It copes with millions of issues from returning soldiers and their families. I wanted to help and do my part. So, here are some guidelines to help cope with the 'real' issues. Anyone who doesn't read these rules, deserves to be a punching bag. Don't try to be a hotshot and think you know-it-all. Oh wait..
25 June 2005 1629z [Hokie.us - in Afghanistan]
It's after dinner and I'm just taking care of some business in the ALOC when I turn around. There, waiting at the door is none other than JP, aka SPC Borda from the National Guard Experience. I'd met him on multiple occasions in the past, but I hadn't been face-to-face with him since he started blogging. We probably only talked for about ten minutes today, but that was easily the highlight of my day. I know that sounds kinda pathetic, but it's not. It's always nice to meet bloggers in person. I say that like I have experience, but I think this may be the first one for me. I've met a number of people through the internet, and that's always exciting; but this is the first time I've met a blogger. It's kinda like meeting a pen pal...except we didn't write to each other more than once or twice.
Iran?s ruling clerics fear street protests [Regime Change Iran]
A day after the surprise election of the ultra-conservative mayor of Tehran as the new President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the country's security forces were placed on heightened state of alert throughout Saturday to prevent any street demonstrations. READ MORE
USFJ Implements New Dress Code [GI Korea Blog]
The United States Forces Japan (USFJ) has implemented a new dress code to enhance the appearance of US military personnel in Japan. This new dress code is identical to the dress code in effect for all Second Infantry Division soldiers in Korea. All 2ID soldiers are required to carry a small book called the Warrior Standard Book in their right cargo pocket that describes all 2ID policies including pictures of improper dress clothing. Soldiers like to joke that in the field the book is great substitute for not having a Maxum magazine handy because you can check out the skimpyly dressed women in the Warrior Standard instead.
Heather Thibault Part One: Women in Combat [Reasoned Audacity]
...But battlefield medics are charged with evacuating wounded. While the reporter is busy venting spleen over the big, bad "military policy" keeping Heather out of combat -- as if engaging the enemy is some glorified Disneyland ride that they kept her from experiencing -- the article doesn't express any interest in Thibault's ability, or not, to carry a 180 pound soldier (plus 80 lbs of battle rattle) out of harm's way.
FEMALE CASUALTIES [NRO the Corner]
This morning's New York Times reports: "At least four women serving in the American military, including three marines, are among the six known dead in a suicide car bombing in Falluja on Thursday. . . . Eleven women were also among the 13 marines wounded in the strike. . . . [that] military officials suspect was carefully planned and might have been aimed at the women." The Washington Post reports: "According to a Marine statement, female Marines 'play a vital role providing security at the entry control points' of Fallujah. 'They search female Iraqi moving through checkpoints. Female Marines are employed in this role in order to be respectful of Iraqi cultural sensitivities.'"
Are We There Yet? Creating a Roadmap to Victory in Iraq [Alexander the Average]
Recently, in a highly visible move, several politicians have called for the immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq or tried to force the Bush administration to set criteria for withdrawal:
A conservative, a moderate, a liberal and a libertarian teamed up in the House
Something Stinks at the Huffington Post [Assumption of Command - in Iraq]
Yesterday Michelle Malkin posted about a Huffington Post article with some poor comments about the Vice-Presidents Health:
...But this is just the leading to what I find stinky. Later in the day Arianna Huffington responded this way:
The Ad Dick Durbin Does NOT Want [Move America Forward]
Aired in the United States ? WATCH IT HERE
It's important that we stand up for our troops and the mission they are serving on (Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation Enduring Freedom) at a time when so many people seem determined to undermine their efforts.
Socialism, Fascism, or Statism? [NEW MilBlog ring memeber! - ROFASix]
Today I eavesdropped on the angry discussions of other foursomes waiting to tee off at my nearby military golf course. I was astounded to discover the anger and betrayal expressed about the recent 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that a city could seize private homes and sells them to a private developer for the common good.
SFTT - Generals Who Admit ?Lack of Leadership? Should Be Fired [Consul-At-Arms]
I'd just like to let Madam Hackworth and Mister Charles' article speak for itself.
Our 911 Memorial
"It wasn't supposed to be this way...
"Debates over the struggle for freedom here and across the globe are necessary, but they have no place at Ground Zero....
"...as we recently learned, other agendas, including a museum with vulgar, America-bashing "art," have been trying to get a foothold at Ground Zero. Gov. Pataki has promised not to tolerate anything that denigrates our country or its heroes ? but the fact that he had to step in shows how closely the process must be monitored. If any history lesson is going to be told, it should be this: On Sept. 11, 2001, we were attacked by terrorists and went to war to protect our freedom.
Who Is Tom Bernstein? [Take Back the Memorial]
According to Associated Press writer MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN, Tom Bernstein and President Bush would appear to be best buddies:...
...But that isn?t the whole picture now, it is Mr. Weissenstein? In a story that would do better to grace the pages of the National Enquirer, Mr. Weissenstein can?t seem to find the space or doesn?t appear to be inclined to pass along some very disturbing facts about Mr. Bernstein that were made crystal clear in The Great Ground Zero Heist:...
Prosecuting The War On Terror! [GM's Corner]
One of my favorite quotes for prosecuting the current Global War on Terror is this:
"...we will surprise ourselves by facing up to the reality that you can't be a great power unless you are prepared to risk your own citizens' lives. If we discover the strength of character to do the right thing, there is still the question of whether European nations will also be prepared to join in."
Now, I have to admit a bit of subterfuge, I left out part of the above quote because it really wasn't about the GWOT, it was about Kosovo. Here, is the full quote:...
Come on in, the Water's Warm . . . [Andi's World]
or, keep your eyes off our blogs? How very, very interesting.
A new study shows that while journalists may not see blogs as highly credible, they read them.
Most journalists use blogs to do their work, even though only 1% believe blogs are credible, according to a survey by Euro RSCG Magnet done in partnership with Columbia University.
The MSM Reports
US 'in talks with Iraq with Iraq rebels' (Times Online)
Insurgents reveal secret face-to-face meetings
AT a summer villa near Balad in the hills 40 miles north of Baghdad, a group of Iraqis and their American visitors recently sat down to tea. It looked like a pleasant social encounter far removed from the stresses of war, but the heavy US military presence around the isolated property signalled that an unusual meeting was taking place.
Report: U.S. Secretly Met With Insurgents (AP-San Francisco Chronicle)
U.S. officials held secret talks in Iraq with the commanders of several Iraqi insurgent groups recently in an attempt to open a dialogue with them, a British newspaper reported Sunday.
Silver Stars Affirm One Unit's Mettle (Washington Post)
...The battle occurred immediately before the recent controversy in Congress over the suitability of having women in combat. Hester's squad and commanders derided the debate as insignificant and absurd. "It kind of makes me mad," Hester said. "Women can basically do any job that men can."
"I sit here in amazement that Congress would debate this issue when we've been doing it for so long," said Command Sgt. Major Joseph Shelley of the 18th Military Police Brigade, which oversees Hester's squad.
The Numbers Tell How Lethal Iraq Remains (Baltimore Sun)
In March, 35 American soldiers and Marines died in Iraq, nearly all of them killed by insurgents. In April, 52 Americans were killed. The total in May was 80. In those three months, insurgents killed more U.S. troops than Saddam Hussein's army did during the fight to oust his regime.
We Need Straight Talk From W (New York Daily News)
Are we losing the war in Iraq? Have the American people decided that hellhole of a country is a lost cause? Will the growing cries for a withdrawal of troops become too powerful to resist?
Shake Up The War Room (Washington Post)
...But if Bush wants to stem the rising sentiment for withdrawal, he needs to do something he has avoided for more than two years: He needs to make this a national war, not a partisan one. That means appointing independent figures to key jobs -- people like Richard Lugar or Sam Nunn, who come from outside the conservative cocoon.
Bearing Evidence Of Progress (Washington Times)
...A clear indication the insurgency will lose is the fact Iraqi citizens have become outspokenly angry about these murders and are increasingly informing authorities of insurgents' whereabouts and actions.
Bush Has Little To Show For PR On Iraq (AP-Houston Chronicle)
President Bush is casting about for ways to turn the tide of public opinion on Iraq. He is running into a growing level of skepticism, new strains in Republican unity and more frequent comparisons to the Vietnam conflict of almost four decades ago.
Misread Message On Iraq Criticism (Boston Globe)
...The country's political leaders have got to focus like lasers on the future; the present is that perilous. Hidden in all the polling results and the unwise, hot rhetoric is a fervent desire that Iraq succeed. As Bush prepares to address the nation, the message ought to be to suspend the shouting match over the past and concentrate on what may be a last chance to get this right
Quick Update... have to pack! [From My Position]
I will keep you updated as much as possible. Either through someone else posting for me, or I may be able to post myself. If you go to www.twobabesandabrain.com, you will be updated on that blog as well.
A Soldier's Thoughts
I contacted Lt. Jim Meeks, Chuck's next in command about continuing the Angel program with the Fighting Aces. I received this response from Jim and wanted to share it with ya'll. Not only does it speak of Chuck but it says a little bit about how our soldiers are feeling.
I hope you take a minute to read it.
Pray for a fellow Tanker [Courage Without Fear - in Iraq]
For those of you who don't speak Tanker, "From my position" loosely translates into "Hey Gunner, I'm gonna shoot the tank because you can't see the damn target." The phrase "On the way" is what we announce just prior to pulling the trigger.
Love the Hats [Steven Kiel - in Iraq]
The Iraqi soldiers love the old hats. My parents sent some the other day, and I thought we should test them out first. Our favorite one was definitely the white one with the ponytail attached. Below this picture is one of SSG Wheaton playing the air guitar with the 80's hair hat.
Soldiers Angels Needs Your Help - Protect Our Troops [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
I just got off the phone with Patti, the founder of Soldiers Angels, and she had a list of things needed to be done/shipped/purchased to support/help/protect our troops that are so important, and so needed. When Patti says it's busy over there and Soldiers Angels needs help you can believe it and bet on it. What do they need help with? Well not only the purchase of important items like Kevlar blankets, but with the cost of shipping them as well.
Patience, America. [Who's your Baghdaddy? - in Iraq]
I'm hearing a lot of rehtoric lately regarding the growing concern over our progress in Iraq. In my previous post I took issue with Senator Chuck Hagel who made the assertion that we are "losing in Iraq". Today I've seen headlines about the grilling Defense Secretary Rumsfeld took from a Senate committe and caught snippets of the exchange on CNN.
Soldier Unable to Return Home [Running on Coffee]
This story was on the news last night. I just checked the news website for an update. Apparantly, there is no change listed as of yet. I will be watching this evening, hoping and praying for this soldier and his family.
Letter of Appreciation [Lost in Iraq]
Hello everyone. Here is a letter of appreciation that I typed up to Captain Burgmyer's wife:
Dear Mrs. Burgmyer,
I would like to personally thank you for sending your husband those Super Soaker water pistols. They couldn't have arrived at a more opportune time.
Sad But True [Primary Main Objective]
Received from Patti - don't even have words for this one. [Iraq War News]
Saddam's Family to Publish His Novel [NewsMax]
Saddam Hussein's family will publish next week a novel written by the ousted Iraqi leader before the U.S.-led war, his daughter said Friday.
Americans work to turn $5.2 billion into training, facilities for Iraqi troops, cops (Stars & Stripes)
Sonny Sebastian is running ahead of schedule, and he wants to keep it that way. Sporting an orange hardhat, the 50-year-old Texan ambles from one building to the next to check the progress on the construction of a $16 million academy for the Iraqi Border Police.
My boys kicking a little ass
My guys involved in little ass kicking in Zabol Province. An emergency resupply of howitzer was required.
Please relay this to Nancy Pelosi who said the war was over in Afghanistan.
We have a winner in Iran, ladies and gentlemen... [Roger Simon]
And he is... Hardliner Ahamdinejad!... (give the man a round of applause)... Of course Reuters wants us to be alarmed.
Other Parts of the World
Let Us Not Forget [GI Korea Blog]
Friday is the third anniversary of the West Sea Naval battle. For those that don't remember the battle let me recap it for you.
In June of 2002, one day before the closing ceremony of the World Cup the North Koreans tried to draw attention from all the glory South Korea had been receiving from their amazing World Cup performance by prevoking a naval battle in the West Sea. The North Koreans planned for and executed a premeditated ambush of a South Korean patrol boat. In the ensueing clash six sailors were killed and 18 more were wounded.
May these brave Marines -- both male AND female -- rest in peace. [JammedGun]
May we find their killers and deal with them accordingly.
May we ALSO now honestly discuss the fact that women do NOT belong IN COMBAT -- and may we honestly discuss the fact that the current crop of generals and admirals in charge of our military simply have neither the spine nor the cojones to attack this politially charged, but incredibly important, issue.
Another Problem With The "Law Enforcement" Model of Fighting Terrorism [Winds Of Change - Armed Liberal]
From the excellent "Counterterrorism Blog":
Today Italian newspapers announced that authorities in Milan have indicted 13 CIA operatives for the kidnapping of Abu Omar, a radical Egyptian cleric that "disappeared" from the streets of the northern Italian city in February of 2003. The step represents a major upset to the CIA's "rendition" policy and could create a potential rift with one of its closest allies in the War on Terror. I've argued in the past against the notion presented by some opponents of the war in Iraq that an - equally tough on terror - policy is to simply hunt down and kill or capture the terrorists wherever they happen to be.
Training in the Infantry, part four [Fun With Hand Grenades]
I've renamed the title of this series of entries "Training in the Infantry." My reasoning is that when we get to Iraq that will be "life in the infantry."
I'm currently racing to get these entries written as I'm going on leave in a few days. This is the last time I'll see home before we go to the desert.
Military Couples and Sex in Iraq [Ray's Coffee Break]
It was bound to happen sooner or later?
Sgt. Amanda McCormick of Lexington is confronting her National Guard unit?s policy that prohibits her from having sexual contact with her soldier husband while the two serve in the same unit in Iraq.
Sgt. McCormick has quite a sob story to tell?
Military Transition Blog - Tip [Veterans In Motion - V.I.M.]
How do you think a military person can have unrealistic expectations of another? Let me share a true account of a former military person in the civilian work force. Before I do, realize it may take several years for a person to fully transition out of the military. This is one factor to consider. Here is a true account that occurred and keep in mind this is mentioned in humor. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves.
Out of Step [All The King's Horses - in Iraq]
I joined the Army during the Clinton White House. It was the twilight of the dot com bubble, and the country was euphoric. There was little love and no respect for the men and women serving in the armed forces. We were a tax burden and proved a rancorous mob when put to the booze. Only strip bars and pawn shops would cut us a discount. Bases on the verge of bankruptcy were abandoned, decaying, and decrepit reminders of the Cold War-era arms race. That's the Army I joined.
The Truth Hurts, Don?t it? [Froggy Ruminations]
Do you know what is the most entertaining consequence of Karl Rove's remarks? He became the pied piper of guilt ridden liberals in Congress. He said?
?Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers...?
I don?t see the word Democrat anywhere in that most ...
Pataki Reads Hillary Riot Act on Rove [NewsMax]
New York Gov. George Pataki read Sen. Hillary Clinton the riot act on Thursday after she demanded that he condemn comments by White House political advisor Karl Rove.
Kelo: [Grim's Hall]
There have been several responses to the Kelo verdict, of which this is my favorite. Here is mine.
Last summer, the county commission of Forsyth County, Georgia -- which is, in my long experience, just as corrupt a body of public officials as you are likely to find outside of a major city with a well-established political machine -- decided to exercise this same formal power to lay claim to a portion of my boyhood home. This is forested country, down by a pretty little creek named
Ted Kennedy reasserts his love for America and for its troops by calling their efforts a miserable failure [Protien Wisdom]
Dissent being the height of patriotism, Ted Kennedy (D-MASS) today confronted Donald Rumsfeld with what he insisted was the undeniable fact of an intractable Iraqi QUAGMIRE and called for the Secretary of Defense to resign?thus reserving his place in the pantheon of Great American Patriots Who Love This Country So Damn Much That
The victory of the quagmire? [Classical Values]
...If enemy strength is the same as six months ago despite the fact that more foreign fighters are coming in than six months ago, is that evidence of a quagmire? If it is true that despite an influx of more fighters, the enemy has the same strength, that would indicate ever-diminishing returns. For the enemy! How is that a quagmire? If anything, more coming in than six months ago means they've been getting killed at an ever faster rate than before.
They Understand it Not At All, Or Too Well [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
Vietnam, a word burned into our collective memory, even for those who were not old enough to experieince it. The name of that far away country conjures up powerful demons....
I sit back and watch the current lines of "debate" and it occurs to me
Quagmire???[My Right Wing Conspiracy]
...Ted Kennedy, Eason Jordan, Dick Durbin, Howard Dean, Al Gore, the DU/Kos/left blogosphere, etc. etc. etc.?what?s the difference in any of these stories? None. They?re obviously determined to MAKE the war in Iraq turn into ?another Vietnam?. I am convinced that they WANT this to be Vietnam?and for what? So they can say they?re right? So they can say Bush=Hitler?
Guess Who's Paying Zarqawi? [Captain's Quarters]
According to the US News and World Report, Islamist terrorist groups in Iraq not only get support and funding from dispossessed Saddamites and disgruntled Syrians, but also have a stream of donations coming from Europe itself. David Kaplan discovers that "liberal" Europe has a network of donors stuffing spare euros into Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's pockets...
Fisking Foley...Again...Gloves Off (Part I) [Media Slander]
Linda Foley has written a column (July 17th) for The Newspaper Guild website. Some are accepting it as some sort of backing off or backing down. Some reject that interpretation.
While Hiawatha Bray and Glenn Reynolds both note the many "if's" and the all-important "maybe", somehow through it all they seem to disregard the tone of the column to arrive at the misguided conclusion that Foley has backed down.
With Apologies Like These... [Andrew Olmsted]
At the risk of kicking off another unwinnable debate over the perceived slant of the media, I couldn't resist taking a look at Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley's response to the uproar generated by her claims that the U.S. military was deliberately targeting journalists in Iraq a la former CNN chief Eason Jordan. Glenn Reynolds says she has backed down. I'm not sure where he's seeing that.
Stories you might have missed [The Anchoress]
Thursday was such a busy day, what with the SCOTUS ruling that your house - not one of theirs, or any of those coastal mansions owned by the ?power-to-the-people-but-not-on-our-property? elites - but your house and mine don?t really matter much in the grand scheme of things.
The MSM Reports
Young Men Starting To Feel A Draft (Dallas Morning News)
Brandon Carter feels like a wanted man. He says military recruiters have pestered him so much that he's nervous about registering with the Selective Service
Rethinking The Call Of Battle (Washington Post)
...But for many Army JROTC students enrolled in the annual "Camp Success," the lessons learned this week will never be put to use in the armed forces. Despite their involvement in the officers training program, many say the war in Iraq and other world dangers will keep them out of the military.
Three Things About Iraq (New York Times)
To have the sober conversation about the war in Iraq that America badly needs, it is vital to acknowledge three facts:
The war has nothing to do with Sept. 11.
The Empire?s New Clothes [NewsWeek]
The cost of the war in Iraq is almost beyond imagining. But as it comes into focus, it?s no wonder that the public is turning against it.
The Beef Jerky Debate [Nat'l Guard Experience - in Afghanistan]
Ok, I still hate Beef Jerky. And supporters have been coming out of the woodwork to get my back. Holla! (Yes, I like to throw that word in my blogs now. Hey, some people are just born to be cool like me). Well, most of my 'Beef Jerky' supporters are crankheads, terminally stupid, and of course,...
Beef Jerky Wars are Back on! [Assumtion in Command - in Iraq]
Check this out, JP is up to his old tricks (it is about dang time) and the his Beef Jerky Nazi personality has taken back over: The Beef Jerky Debate.
So he now says it's my turn... I will responsd to his remarks later, but I want everyone to see something.
I'm so cool!
I made myself a new button! That's right, I made it! It's the Betty Grable one on the left hand side.
I wanted a new button for the Milblogs ring, but when I went over there I just wasn't happy with the choices.
Walking the Line II - Critical Nodes [Michael Yon]
...CSM Mellinger was near Syria in Tal Afar, checking Coalition and Iraqi troops that have been battling with insurgents. On his return, Mellinger flew by helicopter from Tal Afar to Mosul to start the drive back to Baghdad. It was on this leg of the journey that I would finally be allowed to join his patrol.
We met in Mosul as the sun was rising over the Tigris, but there was no time to admire the peaceful view; once I joined up, we rolled out the gates and drove about half a day from Mosul to Camp Victory in Baghdad.
Lightning, Thunder then Rain... [Iraq the Model]
Okay, I think that "Lightning" updates have become a regular item on this blog, so here's today's-rather short-briefing of what's been happening as to this operation and other activities of security forces in Iraq in the last 24 hours:
Don't play with the contraband [Phil abd Becky]
Whenever our soldiers confiscate contraband, they must inventory it and turn it in to the S2 shop for either storage or further exploitation. Some items get sent up to Brigade if we deem them to have intelligence value while other things get stored and either destroyed, returned or given to the Iraqi Army or Iraqi Police.
Building or rebuilding? [Lance in Iraq]
Strategypage makes a point I mention frequently (see here and here): there was very little damage done to Iraq's infrastructure in this war because Saddam didn't care to build infrastructure. So when you see someone trying to score political points by referring to the "restoration" of basic services as "slow moving" you know s/he doesn't have much of a grasp of what is going on over here:...
The War Against Freedom [Hurl's Blog - in Iraq]
What do the following quotes have in common:
"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed. ... There is clearly a threat from Iraq, and there is clearly a danger... We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction. ... In public hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, CIA Director George Tenet described Iraq as a threat but not as a proliferator, saying that Saddam Hussein 'is determined to thwart U.N. sanctions, press ahead with weapons of mass destruction, and resurrect the military force he had before the Gulf War.' That is unacceptable...
3rd Recon gets back in fight [Live in Iraq]
After more than 30 years without deploying as a battalion, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, from Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, landed in Iraq mid-March to conduct combat operations in Al Anbar province.
Although elements of 3rd Recon have deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in the past few years, the last time the battalion colors flew in a combat zone was during the Vietnam War.
21 CARE PACKAGES...LOL [Dixie Sappers]
I was taking a little break today when someone from the S-1 shop came into my room and said that I needed to come outside to see something. I asked what and they told me just to come outside. I followed them to where we sort out the mail and they said here you go. At first I didn't know what they were talking about, but then I realized they were pointing at a huge stack of boxes sitting all by themselves. There were 21 care packages. There were care packages from Utah, Virgina, Texas, Florida, California, Michigan, Texas, Tennessee and Mississippi. It took me about 5 trips to get them all in my room.
Arab Media Angered by Iraqi Insurgent Violence [Outside The Beltway]
Iraq violence shifting Arab media (BBC) The latest bombings and bloodshed in Baghdad have meant that violence in Iraq has once again been dominating the bulletins on Arab satellite television stations. The fact that Iraqi civilians are the mad...
Welcome home Brian [DogHostage - back from Iraq]
Here are some photos from this past week:
"It's not a REAL war..." [A Storm In Afghanistan]
I heard and read that (or variations on a theme) quite a bit before I left. Seems since Afghanistan was going so well, and Iraq not so much, that people figured all was done here. We had a large coalition (that hasn't cut and run), the Afghan government (such as it is) looks stable, etc... "It's not a REAL war...."
Family Forgives Driver [GI Korea]
Mark tipped me off to this article in the Stars and Stripes. The article explains that the family of the woman killed in the traffic accident with a US Army LMTV two weeks ago outside of Camp Casey, has depised the protestors trying to cash in on them woman's death:
Her death has generated a wave of interest from local media and protesters, who have besieged the family. Yang-sup?s wife stressed that the family wants no part of the protests.
Back at Sea [Yankee Sailor]
We're back at sea aboard the flagship of the "Lost ARG." I know, the Navy doesn't call our groups "ARGs" any more, we're "ESG's" now, but I've been here long enough that we were an ARG when I got here. (I'll explain why we're called the "Lost ARG" another time.) Anyway, my point is that life is busy and unpredictable again, so the Read Board and other posts will come whenever I get to them each day, whether it's during the work day or at oh-dark-thirty in the morning.
A day in the life aboard an aircraft carrier at sea. [Neptunus Lex]
0330 ? the alarm goes off in a coffin rack in the Ops berthing. A hand gropes in the darkness behind the rack curtains to silence the alarm. The curtains serve as a demarcation line ? they mark this space as the owners. This space is his only privacy, the only thing that is truly his own in a berthing area shared with 100 other men, themselves stacked in bunk bed three high, arrayed in cells that fade into the greater darkness.
This article by the Guardian is another striking evidence to the bias of the media whenever it comes to Iraq. (Hat tip: Kerry).
"What's new?" One would think. Well, the new thing and really disgusting thing is that the paper didn?t only ignore a piece of good news or exaggerated a piece of bad news like we get to see, hear or read almost every day in the last two years; instead, a frank victory for Iraqi police was somehow changed into a victory for the "insurgents"!!
More disgusting bias from the media. [Iraq the Model]
I read the piece twice and tried to see the any sign that indicates such a victory for the insurgents but I failed in both trials.
The editor carried almost accurate news about the incident in question, yet the commentary and conclusions were a piece of mere ridicule.
It is true that the terrorists were able to arrange a relatively large assault but it was far from being well organized or well done let alone a victory, and here is why:...
I Don't Give A Damn! [Soldier's Mom]
Over the last few days the media has inundated me with stories about how opinion of the United States in the rest of the world is plummeting. I have listened to a United States Senator tell me how bad he thought our treatment of detained terrorists is at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I read crap all over and hear just what despicable people we Americans are?
The MSM Reports
Another Year Of Living Misery In Baghdad (Washington Post)
In the streets of Baghdad, people wondered Thursday what else could possibly go wrong.
The War President (New York Times)
...Once the media catch up with the public, we'll be able to start talking seriously about how to get out of Iraq.
The Other Guy's Sacrifice (Washington Post)
...This war was conceived by sunshine patriots and directed by them -- and fought for reasons that some in the administration knew were exaggerations or, in some cases (Dick Cheney's nuclear scare-mongering), sheer fabrications. It has become the sorriest of wars, conceived for one reason, fought for another, good enough for others to fight, not good enough for ourselves and, maybe, an awful quagmire in the making. It's time the sunshine patriots looked outside. It's raining.
Gitmo versus Iraq [Chrenkoff]
Instapundit: "Interestingly, only 20% of Americans think that the Guantanamo prisoners are being treated unfairly, which is pretty astonishing given the colossal amount of uniformly negative Guantanamo-related coverage. This suggests that overplaying their hand has been as big a mistake as I thought."
As these things do, it got me thinking.
Torture at Guantanamo [Balloon Juice]
I have been very careful to try not to label the allegations we have heard coming out of Guantanamo Bay as torture, or even abuse, because I don't know where the lines are drawn. Sure, I have a gut sense of what is abuse and what is torture, and I know what is indefensible, but I don't want to run around haphazardly calling our boys (whether they be military, civilian contractors, CIA, etc.) torturers.
Apparently, our government has made a distinction:...
Debunking Another Gitmo Myth (Washington Times)...Michelle Malkin
...Treating foreign terrorists like American shoplifters -- with full access to civilian lawyers, classified intelligence, and all the attendant rights of a normal jury trial -- is a surefire recipe for another September 11. That is why the Bush administration fought so hard to erect an alternative tribunal system -- long established in wartime -- in the first place.
Let ?em burn it so we know who the Asshats are [CDR Salamander]
I know I am going to loose some of you here, but freedom isn?t free.
The flag burning amendment passed by the House yesterday is just stupid. IMAO we should always err on the side OF freedom, not AGAINST freedom. Just speaking for myself, my years of service are not insulted or wounded because some clueless,
Outrage! Gitcher fresh outrage! Hot off the press! [Kadnine]
Linda Foley issues non-apology apology. Lot of that going around lately...
Confronting right-wing hysteria
... the essence of my message is: Don?t kill the messenger. I should have said it that way in St. Louis. Instead, I decided to draw a parallel between the assault on journalists for their work and the assault on journalists covering Iraq. I used strong words and said it rather clumsily, but the St. Louis crowd got the point.
Trash The Fifth Amendment [GM Corner]
One of my first inklings of a story to come was this story on ABC News. In a nutshell:
The issue revolves around whether a government is serving a public purpose when it uses its power of eminent domain to take land. The Fifth Amendment prohibits taking private property for public use without just compensation. The New London case is not about the amount of compensation being offered, but whether the government can take the property at all.
Dang, people [Cadillac Tight]
So I take a day off to finish up a website project, and Karl Rove kicks off a firestorm in the 'sphere.
I saw that story last night, and I kind of figured that the usual suspects, along with the Democrats would go apeshit.
Look, people, what did you expect?
Karl Rove Insults Liberals [Blackfive]
Yeah, I know that's not a newsflash...that's like saying Howard Dean Insults Conservatives (not surprising either).
Peter Daou sends an email expressing outrage (you decide if it's manufactured and feigned)...
I Don't Get It [Free Will]
Sith Lord Karl Rove, once again proving his uncanny ability to manipulate the minds of Democrats, has sent them into a drunken rage:
Step Right Up [Cox & Forkum]
Take Back The Memoria reports: NYC councilman backs family members' call for halt to IFC.
On Air, The World Tonight [Bill Roggio]
I am scheduled to be on the radio tonight at 9:05 Eastern with Rob Breakenridge, the host of The World Tonight. We will discuss battle against the terrorists - the progress being made, the upsurge in bombings, "red on red" attacks, and the debate over when and how to bring the troops home. The program is broadcast on AM CHQR770 in Calgary. You can listen to the program over the internet by going to...
Wounded soldier ID [NEW! MilBlog Ring member! - Phil and Becky - in Iraq]
I wrote two posts yesterday about a soldier in our Battalion who received shrapnel wounds from an IED detonation. As several astute readers have deduced, that soldier was milblogger Chuck of TCOverride.
BEDS AT DOGWOOD [Dixie Sappers]
Last night I was so tired that I just decided to take a break and not write. I got several emails asking if anyone was hurt and realized that some people may have thought that we had an incident and the internet was cut off. Didn't think about that till I opened up my email and had numerous request. I'll have to remember that next time. There wasn't much going on yesterday, so I took last night off for myself. Hope everyone understands
Chuck: 0, IED: 1... Rematch To Be Announced... [The Gun Line]
Chuck, of "From My Position: On The Way!" apparently lost the initial arguement with an Improvised Explosive Device... The offending object picked him up and tossed him into a nearby canal. He has apparently received shrapnel to his legs, and assorted scrapes and bruises. He was stablized and MedEvaced to Germany. I expect that he will soon be surrounded by loved ones, and complaining about the hospital food in no time!
Day 126 - One Wrong Turn Leads to a Mother [New MilBlog Ring member! - Wayne's World- in Iraq]
Kelly says he and his team were preparing to search another group of houses when a mother and her seven year-old son appeared in the doorway to their home.
"They were saying something, but we weren't paying close attention until the father reached down and pulled up his son's gown (I don't know what the gown thing is called). I saw a horrific sight: the little boy had no penis and his bladder was hanging out."
Seeking Computers [Bayonet - in Iraq]
I'm on the lookout for some relatively new computers for a local clinic. They have a fair amount of medical equipment, but they are having a problem getting automation i.e. computers. If you have any connections, spares or ideas, please let me know. We can get monitors and keyboards here, but it's the CPU's that we need.
LTG Vines from Iraq [A Redleg's Perspective]
In case you missed the news. For those of you who want the truth, it's out there. For those of our nation who continue to believe a) the Democratic Party b) the terrorists c) the hate America first crowd d) Dick Durbin e) the media or f) any combination of the preceding, I certainly can't convince you. But I've know LTG Vines when he was my Brigade Commander in the 101st, my Division and now my Corps Commander. This guy doesn't lie. He doesn't spin. And he knows how to get at the enemy where he lives-- by either killing him or denying him what he needs to succeed. He did it in Afghanistan in 2002-3, and in Iraq now.
Soldier survives sniper's bullet after stopping to eat (Stars and Stripes) HT: Toni
U.S. soldiers who patrol Iraqi streets have learned, bit by bit, where some of the city?s tastiest snacks are served. Their samplings go well beyond the sweetened tea and flat bread that women and children in Baghdad so often share with passing convoys.
Time to Face Reality [New MilBlog Ring Member! - Carpe Diem - in Iraq]
I have long believed that in order to validate the training received in the military utilizing them in a time of war is the ultimate test. Am I ready to deploy? Will my family understand and how will they cope with all of the uncertainties that will become apparent in the near future. Many people I come across feel this war is unjustified and that we should leave; my view is irrelevant; I am a soldier who swore to uphold the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. I took this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion
Guest blogger: Oil for the People - The Iraqi People [Chrenkoff]
As the latest guest blogger on Chrenkoff, I am proud to bring you Boston-based financial writer Lenny Glynn, who has been a staff editor at "BusienssWeek", Senior Writer at "Institutional Investor" and European Bureau Chief for "Global Finance Magazine". In 1992 he served as a campaign speechwriter for then-Governor, Bill Clinton.
New Nickname [Assumption of Command - in Iraq]
Every time you enter a military Dining Facility in Iraq, you have to walk through a little room that has sinks for hand washing. They are here to keep soldiers healthy by keeping germs and other bad things from spreading to others in the DFAC. I wish I could tell you all of the other bad things that could be spread around, but I am not smart in those kinds of subjects. I just know there are some real bad ones that I don't want my troops getting.
The Future of Iraq [Balloon Juice]
This seems like a success:
A one-day international conference in Brussels that brought together more than 80 countries and organizations has pledged its support for Iraq's transitional government and its plans for political and judicial reform and economic reconstruction.
An Open Letter to The International Media in Iran [Regime Change Iran]
Your profession is a noble one. A free press is foundational to a free society.
In challenging powerful institutions to answer the hard questions others fear to ask, journalists have led to the collapse of corrupt leaders and helped ensured our democracy. You have done so by reporting the truth in spite of the threats and objections of those in power.
Don't Pin Hopes For Reform on Rafsanjani, Britain Warns [Regime Change Iran]
Anton La Guardia, The Telegraph UK:
Britain adopted a more confrontational policy towards Iran yesterday when officials assailed the credibility of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the likely winner of Friday's presidential election run-
Other Parts of the World
Mandatory Service Debate Continues [GI Korea Blog]
The Korea Times is reporting on the debate currently going on throughout Korea about the mandatory service obligation. Below is a picture of female college students training in Changwon that was included with the article. Does anyone know why the females are conducting military training?
Now the Pentagon has "piled on"... [JammedGun]
Now the Pentagon has "piled on" with more scurrilous charges that an atmosphere of "intolerance" exists at the AF Academy. Folks, what this amounts to is that the folks who run the Pentagon think more like the jihadists than like our Founding Fathers did.
They find outspoken Evangelical Christians to be intolerable, so they try to tar these same Evangelicals with the "intolerant" brush.
Recruiter tells CSA: it?s about leadership, not salesmanship [Jack Army]
By Lt. Col. Michael Negard, WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 21, 2005)
During a visit to Petoskey, Mich., June 16-17, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker paid a short visit to the city?s Army Recruiting Station to glean insights on recruiting efforts in the Northern Michigan region.
During the 30-minute meeting, Schoomaker discussed recruiting, standards, and initiatives with Staff Sgt. Wesley Watson, the Army recruiter assigned to the small year-round resort community nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay.
Pentagon Creating Student Database for Recruiting [Outside the Beltway]
The Washington Post fronts a report that the military is collecting information on all high school students aged 16 to 18 to better target recruiting efforts.
Life in the Infantry, part three [Fun with Hand Grenades]
...For the first two days we used Simunition. The best way to describe Simunition is the ultimate combination of a real round and paint balls. Take the actual bullet out of the cartridge and replace it with a small bullet-like paint ball. In order to take the rounds you have the change out the bolt in your rifle with one made by the Simunition company, an easy task to complete. Once it's done you're good to go and can use the standard magazines or links for belt fed weapons like my SAW. We all were told to bring civilian clothes to the field so we could play OpFor and they had to be long sleeve shirts, pants, and some gloves. We also wore protective masks. Because Sim rounds hurt. The worst of three wounds that I got on the second OpFor day:
Gitmo / Durbin
Durbin f----d up [kos]
I've avoided writing about Durbin's apology because I've been too angry to do so without kicking up one of my patented s--t storms.
So I'll just let a conservative blogger say it for me.
John Cole supports the war, but understands that torture is making victory that much more difficult while putting our brothers and sisters in arms in even greater danger.Torture isn't a partisan issue. And by apologizing, Durbin caved to those who worked their best to turn it into one. And the right-wing partisans rejoice -- content in their ability to trivialize what is
Club Gitmo and the Managers... [Sgt. Foley's Fire-Eaters]
I've been wanting to post about this for a while, and have hold off because I wanted to be politically neutral on this site, but I can't hold my tongue anymore. What the MSM and certain politicians are doing Gitmo is abhorent.
Our soldiers are doing a fantastic job, and they're calling them Nazis and torturers to gain ratings and political points--and because they actually believe it.
Guantanamo - Enigma Documents an Nazis [USS Neverdock]
Some seem to think the Gitmo documents obtained by the ACLU are the Enigma machine and our troops are Nazis. Speaking of the task of reviewing the 4000 pages of documents, Daniel Terdiman of Wired had this to say.
Of course, this isn't the first time volunteer labor has been used to solve a big problem. During World War II, it took a large number of volunteer analysts to break Germany?s super-secret Enigma cipher machines.
Notice how Terdiman has already made up his mind...
Debunking another Gitmo myth [Michell Malkin]
"Newsweek. Amnesty International. Jimmy Carter. Dick Durbin. The Guantanamo Bay-bashing continues.
In a rant published Tuesday, the Minnesota Star Tribune actually castigated Durbin for "caving in" on his slanderous remarks comparing U.S. treatment of detainees at Gitmo to torture and genocide by Nazis, Soviets and Pol Pot. The paper wrote that Durbin shouldn't have apologized and decried the entire operation as a "hellhole."
Crying Game [Baldilocks]
(It wasn't too difficult to come up with a title for this post.)
John Bolton makes Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) cry on the senate floor and Senator Richard Durbin cries over getting his?um?
I Hate Flag-Burning... [Smash]
...Almost as much as I hate the Flag-Burning Amendment.
Burning the American flag is offensive, but it does no harm to the nation or the forces that protect it. It's a symbol of our national spirit, not a physical manifestation of it. Besides, we can always make more flags faster than they can burn 'em.
Flag Desecration amendment a bad idea [Swanky Conservative]
Count me as opposed to the flag desecration amendment precisely because of this paragraph in the corresponding AP story:
Supporters said there was more public support than ever because of emotions following the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. They said detractors are out of touch with public sentiment.
The Media vs. the Military Part 3 [Current Events]
First of all, we all know the difference between a totalitarian regime and a democracy. In a totalitarian regime or even an oligarchy we have a ruler, or a group of elites ruling over the masses. Let?s say that within a democratic society a group of elites wants to rule. They really have two choices. The first is to go and buy an army and try and overthrow directly through military conflict. This is expensive, risky, and doesn?t work, for in destroying the cities you lose the hearts of the people (as when Britain tried to overthrow the newly formed America). The second is mush more covert, subtle, and less easily recognized. I see at as ?The three M?s.? You need to control the media, the middle class, and the military. Here?s why?
The Guild Slanders the Military, Again [Winds of Change -Bill Roggio]
Andy Zipser, Editor of The Guild Reporter, the newsletter of the Newspaper Guild, has finally responded to inquiries about Linda Foley?s accusations that the US military is intentionally targeting journalists in Iraq and elsewhere. The response consists of a series of attacks against ?right-wing attack-dogs? (the title of the screed is fittingly called ?Right-wing attack-dogs savage TNG president for comments on Iraq deaths?) for daring to question the unseemly comments by the president of the Guild.
Slandering The Military [Blogotional]
I have said it once, and I will say it again, and again -- there is only one force on earth that can beat the United States military, and that is the United States public. I have explained how that happens previously.
The erosion of public support and confidence in the military comes, when those opposed to the administration's use of the military use problems the military encounters, and mistakes the military makes to drive a wedge between the military and the public, essentially,
The MSM Reports
'Shox News' mocks Fox News Channel (World Net Daily)
A Los Angeles artist with a history of mocking the Bush administration and conservatives including Rush Limbaugh is now going after the Fox News Channel with a new billboard and related website called ShoxNews.com.
Iraq And The Polls (New York Times)...David Brooks
There's a reason George Washington didn't take a poll at Valley Forge. There are times in the course of war when the outcome is simply unknowable. Victory is clearly not imminent, yet people haven't really thought through the consequences of defeat. Everybody just wants the miserable present to go away.
Are They In The Army Now? (National Review)...Victor Davis Hanson
...We might ask how accurate is the current picture of military disarray. First, the Marines have suffered disproportionate fatalities in the war in Iraq. They are about 30 percent of all combat deaths, yet make up only 11 percent of current American forces. But in May the Marines slightly exceeded their recruitment
The MilBlogger's Rules of Engagement [Yankee Sailor]
With all the buzz about MNC-I's new rules for bloggers, I thought it would be handy to have a set of ground-truth rules that should guide military bloggers wherever they are. Following are some rules of engagement that I adhere to in my blog, and might be a help to fellow bloggers in uniform:
Too Precious For Words [GM's Corner]
I have no Idea who this is, but the image is just breath-taking.
A Logical Mistake [ A Collection of Thoughts]
An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.
He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman hit the roof and the horn, screaming ...
Notification [Phil and Becky - in Iraq]
I performed one of the less than pleasant duties of mine this morning: notifying a spouse that her husband had been wounded in action.
First, some clarification. You might be asking yourself why I was conducting notification and not the Army system. The Army notification system is very good and kicks in automatically, but it depends on the degree of injury that the soldier sustained. In a sense, it is good that I could do the notification because it means that the injuries were not serious enough to warrant official notification
Routine but dangerous [Phil and Becky - in Iraq]
We took a casualty this morning. A soldier in one of our line companies sustained some shrapnel wounds from an IED strike that occurred while he was on a patrol.
The mission was routine enough -- route clearance of one of the major routes in our area of operations. We do multiple missions of this kind every single day. The patrol stopped at an Iraqi Army checkpoint and made contact with a civilian who said that he knew where an IED was placed and would led us to it.
Are We Winning? [Howdy's Blog - in Iraq]
I know this is not a sports score but I get asked this question a lot. We are doing bigger things than winning on this one battlefield.
There is an Iraqi face at the front of every major offensive we undertake.
Widespread public support (which there never was any) for murderers and foreign thugs has never materialized.
Of course we read again and again how offensive it is to have my unclean infidel self in this land. Let me tell you how offensive we are.
We're losing? [Who's Your Baghdaddy? - in Iraq]
I ususally try to stay above the fray when it comes to voicing my opinions of the ongoing rehtoric about the war in Iraq. But I can't be silent after reading this article which quotes Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as saying "that we're losing in Iraq."
Lessons Learned: IEDs in Iraq [Winds of Change -Trent Telenko]
Recently, I received this from one of our officers. Permission was granted for publication here based on certain conditions. Note the comments on combat driving, the media, IED attacks vs. hits, racial profiling, and the role of foreign terrorists like FARC in the Iraqi insurgency. I've also asked Joe to add it to Winds military lessons learned compilation post, available as a resource for troops deploying abroad.
Why is the good news only on Al-Jazeera? [Military Matters w/ Uncle Jimbo]
Riddle me this "A middle east news agency has recently been running stories showing the good deeds of coalition forces in Iraq.
Guarding Saddam - Pennsylvania National Guard Interviewed [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Five soldiers from the Pennsylvania National Guard, who spent the last year guarding Saddam Hussein, were recently interviewed by GQ Magazine. In addition, two of them were interviewed on tv by the Sean Hannity Show (right side of screen). What particu...
Not a Good Time to Die: Untold Story of Operation Anaconda [ROFASix]
Author Sean Naylor is likely to end up being viewed after the end of the War on Terrorists, much like Joe Galloway was after Vietnam. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf once called Galloway "The finest combat correspondent of our generation ? a soldier's reporter and a soldier's friend." I expect that Sean Naylor will also be viewed in similar regard if his latest book is any indication.
The Army You Have [Andrew Olmsted]
Via John Cole I see that tales of Soldiers and Marines being required to buy their own gear for use in Iraq remain popular. While I can't speak for the Marine Corps, I am going to step up for the Army in defense of this type of claim. My entire car
Iran Press News:
The University Student offices of Tahkeem'eh Vahdat has sent out a bulletin reiterating it's stance: "based on an all points boycott of this bogus election and the immovability and unreformability of the regime ruling over Iran; we consider this fake election to be disastrous, highly restrictive and utterly ineffective and the office of the president should be castigated for this pathetic show of force." READ MORE
The students of Iran are speaking, loud and clear. Tahkeem'eh Vahdat is an important student group inside of Iran. This is an important development.
The US war with Iran has already begun (Al Jazeera)
Americans, along with the rest of the world, are starting to wake up to the uncomfortable fact that President George Bush not only lied to them about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (the ostensible excuse for the March 2003 invasion and occupation of that country by US forces), but also about the very process that led to war.
Iran bets the farm on fraud [The Makaha Surf Report]
I have to admit, I don't talk about Iran much as I am not very informed on the dynamics of the Iranian society, back when old SPEC 4 Caelestis was an intel analyst, I dealt primarily with the Arab states and North Korea. That aside, I have to say today's New York Post column by the always brilliant LTC(ret.) Ralph Peters is a grand slam. Registration is required to the post so I'll post the salient points.
Duo nabbed over ship hijack [EagleSpeak]
Sez hereTwo men, suspected to be accomplices of the mastermind behind the hijacking of a diesel-laden tanker off Langkawi last Tuesday, have been arrested. It is learnt that a special taskforce set up by the Kedah police arrested the duo in the ...
Many Doctors Refusing to Accept TRICARE Patients [Military.com] HT: EIMC
The TRICARE system stands a chance of becoming virtually unusable for many servicemembers and retirees because the payment rate to physicians continues to go down and is expected to drop another 4.3% in January, 2006. The major problem is that the statutory reimbursement formula for TRICARE and Medicare is flawed in that it does not accurately reflect the true cost of running a physician practice. This means that many physicians are unable to afford to provide care to TRICARE beneficiaries. Both the House and Senate have...
Spc. Kevin Pannell - Someone You Should Know About [View From Tonka]
PM: Back From Iraq
This is not only an interesting story about Spc. Pannell whose endurance and spirit appear indeflatable but there's a good explanation on exactly how artificial limbs operate
If you see me on the evening news . . .
It's because I have killed a co-worker. And I'm not just talking a gentle killing - we're talking full on hand-to-hand assualt with a deadly weapon (ie. my heavy duty stapler or my good Fiskars scissors). I.AM.SO.SICK.OF.REGULAR.NON-MILITARY.PEOPLE.WHO.DON'T.UNDERSTAND.
The Ritz, San Francisco [Nepunus Lex]
One does not, ordinarily, grow wealthy in the service of one's country. I exclude, for this discussion, supply corps officers. No - the best that one can hope for is a sort of shabby gentility, much like that which adheres to a respected university professor, for example. And while one may never challenge the Astors at shuffleboard, neither will one go looking for the next meal. It's a comfortable life, if not a routinely luxurious one. And too, they are not trivial, the rewards of service - just non-remunerative: There is the satisfaction of an important job, done as best as one can, often under difficult circumstances - these are the psychic rewards of service, and I wouldn't trade them for all the tea in China.
Not everyone in my immediate family feels that way though...
Quick story ... [Daisy Cutter]
Was in the office of a man yesterday. Noticed ... I couldn't help not ... the huge Marine Corps flag. "Were you in the Marine Corps?", I asked. No, he said. But his 22-year-old grandson from College Station, Texas is. He showed me pics. In his util...
Life in the Infantry, part two [Fun With Hand Grenades]
We took our turns sleeping in shifts for about two hours with random interruptions as military vehicles rolled past our position. Sometimes the grunts in the back of the truck would catch a glimpse of me getting a bit of sleep, and I had a bit of pity for them as I knew how exhausted all of us were. If I have one weakness when I'm in the field its sleep. I'm a night person naturally and despite working a day schedule since ...
Durbin ?Apologizes? (VIDEO) [Political Teen]
Senator Dick Durbin apologized today on the statement he made last week comparing the treatment of Gitmo prisoners to those of the Nazi?s, Soviet Gulags, and Polpot?s Cambodia. I wouldn?t call it much of an apology but it?s probably the best we will get.
Senator Durbin - Sorry About That [Balance Sheet]
Senator McCain blesses Senator Durbin's apology. Hey, we've all screwed up said McCain. Now we can put it behind us, said McCain.
Not so fast.
The ?Real? Dick Durbin Apology [Calif. Conservative]
AP reports: ?Under fire from Republicans and some fellow Democrats, Sen. Dick Durbin apologized Tuesday for comparing American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp to Nazis and other historically infamous figures.?
Let's Treat Terrorists Like Sunday School Children [GM's Corners]
Much has been made of Dandy Dick Durban's speech, including by your's truly. I guess the only thing that really bothers me (well, maybe not the only thing) is why these folks are at Gitmo in the first place. They weren't sunday school teachers, they weren't merchants trying to sell rugs or trinkits, they weren't even just ordinary folk walking down Main Street in Seattle, Washington. They were armed combatants, illegal armed combatants at that and they were taken trying to kill allied forces. Many of those who have already been released. Some, after signing pledges of non-violence have re-offended and again joined the forces of the islamofascists. Stories of such folk can be found here, here,, here,...
Humor - And So the Kinder, Gentler War on Terror Began... [Jack Army]
Russ Vaughn, our favorite Milpoet, sent along a link to a funny story:
"Men," growled Colonel Clueless, "there's no denying it: the Guantanamo Bay Ex-Detainee Reunion Party has clearly violated several Baghdad municipal ordinances, what with the mortar attacks and sniper fire and car bombs and all, and serious action will have to be taken."
The other officers at the Battalion staff meeting whispered to each other nervously. A captain's hand shot into the air. "Sir, does this mean we can start shooting bullets now?"
Still Not Enough (UPDATED) [Baldilocks]
At Senator Bill Frist's behest, Senator Richard Durbin "apologizes" again for comparing the US military to Germany's National Socialists, the minders of the Soviet Union's gulags, and Cambodia's Khmer Rouge.
"Excuse Me, But I Think I See Your Hypocricy Showing..." [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
BFOs...I just had one about the end of the work day. That's a "blinding flash of the obvious."
Just to toss a little more fuel on the Dick Durban fire, but I think it's legit. What used to be the wonderful slogan the Democrats held up in our faces during the 2004 campaign and many times since then? Yep, it came back to me today...
"We don't support the war, but we support "OUR" troops."
Dick Durbin [Maduece Gunner - in Iraq]
Note: I try not to comment on political issues, or politicians themselves, but this had to be addressed.
...Now, doesn't that seem like it would soothe a bit better? I call for censure and or impeachment for his remarks, but I doubt it will happen. I hope that the voters in Illinois will recognize his idiocy, and ensure he never returns to a lawmaking body or any type of public office, ever.
Squelching the McCain-Jeb Rumor [Newsmax] HT: JammedGun
Washington is alive with the latest Campaign '08 rumor: a dream ticket of John McCain and Jeb Bush.
The thinking of D.C. insiders is that their favorite Republican - McCain - teamed with electoral-rich Florida's outgoing governor, Jeb Bush - would be an unbeatable ticket against Hillary or any other Democrat.
And a little something that bears keeping in mind [Cadillac Tight]
"The graveyards of this town (Washington, D.C.) are littered with the bodies of people who have underestimated George W. Bush."
Click here to ....
More on logistics [Counter Column]
Now we have a different take on the NETties: The Knights Who Say "NEE!" (Not Enough Equipment).
Ok, first of all, we have a reporter here who doesn't even know the weapons...
The MSM Reports
No One To Demonize (Washington Post)
In the absence of an antiwar movement, the American people have turned against the war in Iraq. Those two facts, I suspect, are connected.
Senators Try to Help Immigrant War Widow
On their wedding day in 2003, Diana and Todd Engstrom, who met in the bride's native Kosovo (search), exchanged vows until death did them part.
Several months later, she gave him another solemn promise ? to raise his 12-year-old son Dalton if he didn't return from Iraq, where he was ...
Rethink Iraq Or Bring 'Em Home (New York Daily News)
Maybe it's the summer heat or maybe the White House got confused by the visit of Vietnam's prime minister yesterday. Whatever the cause, Team Bush suddenly seems determined to prove right those who say Iraq is another Vietnam.
Run, Dick, Run (NT Times)
In part because President Bush has no heir apparent, his second term is drifting aimlessly
Abu Ghraib, Rewarded (New York Times)
The Bush administration has not only refused to face the problem of prisoner abuse squarely, but it is also enabling a pervasive lack of accountability.
Corrections: For The Record (New York Times)
A front-page article last Wednesday about a suicide bomb attack in Kirkuk, a city in northern Iraq riven by political and sectarian tensions, misstated the view of a conflict-resolution specialist on who should govern the city. The specialist, Joost R. Hiltermann, director of the Middle East office of the International Crisis Group, said the White House should ensure that Kirkuk has administrative autonomy, not that the central Iraq government should run it.
Diplomatic Dance (Newsweek)
Condi Rice?s Mideast tour has been littered with a minefield of half-hidden hypocrisies. But its outcome could shape Bush?s legacy
Fighting A Hard, Half-Forgotten War (Washington Post)
...But in the three months since the battalion set up camp in this isolated, mountainous region of southeastern Afghanistan, Conlon has not had time to watch a single movie. Instead, the battalion has found itself at the center of a heated though somewhat forgotten war that is still underway 3 1/2 years after the extremist Taliban militia was ousted from power
Marines Concede Fault On Armor (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Two top Marine Corps officers acknowledged yesterday that they waited two months to issue a contract for armor kits to protect the undersides of humvees after promising to do so earlier this year.
Normalcy Amid The Violence (Los Angeles Times)
During a week when insurgents killed at least 15 U.S. troops across Iraq, four American soldiers on a foot patrol through the middle-class Karada district of the capital felt secure enough to stop at a kebab stand for shawarma sandwiches, greasy slices of chicken wrapped in pita bread.
PFC Christopher R. Kilpatrick [Stryker News]
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
PFC Christopher R. Kilpatrick, 18, of Columbus, Texas, died June 20 in Tal Afar, Iraq, during convoy operations when...
Godspeed Lance Corporal John Mattek [Blackfive]
...Mattek was assigned to the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team-2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
...On June 8th, Lance Corporal Mattek was in his position as gunner on his vehicle in Al Anbar. During combat operations, an IED exploded by Mattek's vehicle.
Final Roll Call
The Memorial Service for SPC. Anthony Cometa was held today at 1500 at the Chapel in Zone 1 at AJ.
Alot of other people from other units were there, alot of high brass was there too. They had the typical Rifle in the ground with Kevlar and Dogtags hanging from the buttstock. The service went with a singing of the national anthem and an opening prayer. Then the commander talked about Cometa.
The TADPOLE HAS ARRIVED [Froggy Ruminations]
8 LBS 10 oz 20 in thank you Lord!
Today is my birthday! [My Vacation in Iraq]
Yep I am now officially 27. Although this year my birthday came 9 hours early ha ha. Some of my buddies brought me back a piece of cake from the D-FAC and put some candles in it and sang happy birthday :) so that was...
Censorship [All the King's Horses]
I initially posted the following as a comment on an article about military blog censorship. Upon proofing it, I became very pleased with myself for what I had written, so I decided to post it:
The End [Live from Iraq-Airborne Society]
Well, it is finally over. I intended to continue this blog throughout the deployment, but it was not meant to be. No, I am not dead. I just checked my email for the first time in about two weeks and was informed of some recent guidance regarding milblogs being maintained by personnel in Iraq. The Army felt the need to issue out guidance regarding blogs and after reading that guidance I have concluded that I must stop blogging.
crackdown! [Blog Machine City - in Iraq]
Castle Argghhh! posts about Multi-National Corps-Iraq's new policy letter regarding personal websites and blogs, and reaches much the same conclusion that I do: it's not much a big deal, at least not for the majority of blogs.
Basically, all the policy letter says is that a) personal web sites must be registered with your chain of command, who will in turn report them to the division level, who will in turn report them to MNC-I; b) your site is subject to quarterly review by the "commanders at the appropriate level," whatever that might be. The punishment for non-compliance is, ...
A New Dadmanly
Welcome to the new Dadmanly!
My friend and fellow Christian blogger Ella's Dad of Ragged Edges offered to create a masthead and new design look for me. I am delighted I took him up on his very kind offer. For regular visitors, don't you think?!
The Dawn Patrol takes quite an effort to compose so if you find something in the Dawn Patrol and use it, a Hat Tip would be appreciated.
Ailing Iraqi girl one step closer to operation (Star & Stripes)
Rhma Taha Ahmed might not have to have her hands and feet amputated after all. And she just might live to a ripe old age.
The 5-year-old Iraqi girl, who suffers from a congenital heart defect, tapped a soft spot earlier this year in some soldiers from 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment in Mosul.
?This came about because two young soldiers came into a house one night and saw someone less fortunate and in need,? said Capt. Paul Carron, Company C commander. ?If soldiers have one consistent trait it is problem solving, they see a wrong and they make it right. We all want to see this made right,? said in an e-mail to Stripes.
80%! [Iraq the Model - Iraqi bros. in Iraq]
Humam Hammodi, Chairman of the constitution drafting committee told Al-Sabah that the branch teams of the committee have succeeded so far in completing 80% of the constitution's draft.
Hammodi added that his colleagues at the committee branch-teams are willing to fulfill the task by the previously set deadline of August 15th 2005.
"The final draft will come out with an Iraqi spirit and there are actually little differences to debate" said Hammodi.
Educational Exchange -Fulbright Scholarships (Baghdad US Embassy)
Third Annual Competition
Fostering mutual understanding between the people of Iraq and the United States through educational and cultural exchange
Opportunities for Iraqis to Study and Teach in the United States in 2006-07
It Sure Don't Smell Like Roses! [Assumption of Command - in Iraq]
So there I was, wondering around the FOB, when along comes one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Soldiers make a lot of trash and KBR is contracted to take care of the trash. I am not sure why, but they found a trash truck with big sublimina
Warped Ideologies [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
Victor Davis Hanson describes a truly The Sorry Bunch in National Review Online.
Those who oppose every step we take in this Global War on Terror often insist that the problems we confront in the world are our own making. If only we handled things differently. If only we approached things more diplomatically. We have angered and humiliated the Arab world. We have created the motive and impetus of the Jihadis who confront us.
Going to war under false pretenses... [KadNine]
I had an interesting conversation with a fellow veteran yesterday. We met at a local Radio Shack. Both of us arrived about fifteen minutes before start of business, and so, with nothing else to pass the time, we talked.
Short the Great Feels the Wrath [Fire Power Forward - in Afghanistan]
I have come to make peace. I hereby retract every evil, mean, or snide comment I have made about the Air Force. I will hereby render proper respect to our Nomex clad brethren and will no longer use the term ?Crew Rest? in a disparaging manner. I now see the true mastery of their evil genius and stand in awe of their diabolical ways. I truly did not appreciate the breadth and depth of the vindictive power of his unholiness, the Evil Flight Planning Voo-Doo Witchdoctor until I saw Short the Great wither and reduced to near madness at the stroke of a button.
Now What?! [The National Guard Experience - in Afghanistan]
Damn. It's almost been a year in Afghanistan for me. This is the longest I've ever committed to anything. My civilian resume is like 12 pages long because of the job hopping I do. No, I've never been laid off. And yes, I'm a good employee. But this
The coming coup [Regime Change Iran]
Iranian blogger, Hoder.com:
Things are really getting nasty here. After Karrubi's unbelievably blunt letter to the Supreme Leader, everything is suddenly changing. All non-fundamentalists are rallying behind Rafsanjani. Many are talking about a possible coup by Sepah and Basij after Friday's second round results. ...
Hoder is perhaps the most famous Iranian blogger. He is currently in Iran to witness the vote. He is an Iranian journalist whose newspaper was shutdown by the regime. He moved to Canada, began blogging and has been a supporter of the reformist movement. He provides a glimpse into the reformist mind in Iran.
Other Parts of the World
Pakistan's Terror Problem [Smash]
AL QAEDA?S TRAINING APPARATUS is reestablishing itself into a network of smaller jihadi camps run by Pakistan-based terror groups Harkat-ul-Mujahedin, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to a report in Monday?s Los Angeles Times.
Musharraf?s reluctance to go over these terrorist groups is understandable, as a self-preservation measure. He holds on to power in Pakistan by a bare thread, and an Islamist revolt would likely....
Israel Joins NATO Exercise [Yankee Sailor]
Israel has had an expanding military relationship with Turkey since 1996, and has participated with the United States in exercises before, but for the first time Israel has been added as an official participant in a NATO exercise.
"They Had Killed Them for Honour" [Andi's World]
It has happened again.
Multan - A Pakistani poured kerosene over his sleeping wife and daughter and burned them to death in the country's latest example of "honour killings", said police on Monday.
Why was the mother set aflame? Because...
Fallout of Shooting ROK Army Shooting Rampage [GI Korea Blog]
Some very disturbing details are beginning to emerge from the ROK Army shooting rampage. The soldier named PVT Kim apparently planned the attack 2 days prior due to bullying from senior soldiers. After he got off his guard shift on the DMZ he didn't turn in his weapon. He instead decided to take his weapon to his barracks and attack his own platoon.
POWs Speak Out Against Durbin [No Pundint Intended]
As one who was held in a North Vietnamese Prison for nearly seven
years and whose definition of torture and bad treatment is somewhat
at variance with yours, I deplore your senseless comments about
alleged "barbaric treatment" at our terrorist detention facility at
What Doesn't Transmit Light, Creates It's Own Darkness [Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee]
An Open Letter to Sen.Richard (Dick) Durbin:
I have waited many days before posting this letter to you only because I was experiencing such disgust, contempt, and vitriol towards your putrid misguided lies about our Military, Our Gov't and the treatment of those incarcerated at Gitmo, that I needed to calm down enough to write it without vomiting!
As the daughter of a Jewish parent, your audacious comparison of the intentional systemic genocide of Jews perpetuated by Hitler and the German gov't, to the treatment of suspected terrorists at Gitmo who are
Is this worthy of coverage? [Glossy Red Lips]
Alright now, it seems as if this real torture is far worse than what's getting all the coverage. The MSM sure has it's priorities right.
In this photograph, made available by the U.S. Marines an Iraqi man sits on the floor with welts and lacerations across his back and arms from being tortured with electricity while held captive, according to the Marines. The man, along with three others, were
Why NOT Just Give Them a Trial? [Froggy Ruminations]
This is something that liberals and RINOs like John McCain have been complaining about for some time now.
Sir Richard of Durbin: A Dr. Seuss From Beyond The Grave Tale [The Nose On Your Face]
In the whole of the world there is none more speech frantic
Than Sir Richard of Durbin, Crown Prince of Bad Antics
From his seat high atop the United States Senate
Sir Richard screamed "foul" and then said that he meant it.
"Stalin and Hitler and also Pol Pot
Bad men I concur, but not compare to this lot
Military Wife Speaks Her Mind [Patriot Voices]
The story below was received in an email. I thought it was perfect to share with you here. The story is written by a military wife. Her words say it all, and she speaks her mind very well. I got "goose bumps" while reading it.
What Is a War Criminal? [Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave]
Once again the Left is on a rampage. Now, instead of comparing the President (and the rest of the administration and the military) to Nazi's or Stalinists, they are declaring that Bush is a war criminal. And, by inference, that would mean that the rest of the administration is culpable as well, and probably the soldiers, since they obey the orders of the administration. How do
Helmets to Hardhats - Tapping the Military for Tomorrows Work Force [Jack Army]
Those "Helmets to Hardhats" guys are a bunch of hard workers. They have a new interactive flash presentation.
And they emailed me a nifty button:
In case you don't know or don't remember, these guys help troops find jobs in the "constructive arts" field.
Mowing the yard, by the numbers [An American in Italy - husband in Afghanistan]
Lawns mowed previous to yesterday's activity: 0
Attempts to start the lawnmower before giving up and calling a neighbor's husband: 6
Colorful invectives used: 8
Times said invectives used: 78
The Democrats' Connection With Anti-Semites: [The New Editor]
Richard Baehr has written a provocative -- and we think on-target -- piece about the anti-Semitic overtones to the mock
impeachment hearings held by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) last week. Read it here .
"So what are we to make of Thursday's mock Judiciary Committee hearing designed to impeach
President Bush, conducted by Michigan Congressman John Conyers? The meeting was attended by
about 30 Democratic members of Congress."
American Sucker: A fisking [Counter Column]
That pretty much describes this Dad, this reporter, and anyone else who takes this news story at face value.
John Tod of Mesa had been prepared to face Father's Day worrying about his son's pending date with the war in Iraq.
So why would a reporter believe him?
Answer: Because this dad's story fits the template. The reporter is writing the story he WANTS to hear, because he thinks he's got a scoop. He's not writing the story that's actually there. Which is, to be sure, not much of a story in the first place.
Let Big Bird Fly on its own Power [Reasoned Audacity]
When should entertainment have claim on the public purse?
Congress will reduce the NPR and PBS budget from $200,000,000 to a mere $100 million. Our friends on the left are Outraged! Outraged!
The MSM Reports
Poll shows Americans 'generally in a funk' (USA Today)...Richard Benedetto and Judy Keen
...Thirty-nine percent of Americans, mostly Republicans, now say they favor the war in Iraq, down from a high of 72% in April 2003, the day after a statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad. Fifty-eight percent say the United States should continue to operate the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and 52% approve of the way the United States is treating prisoners there.
There's Progress In Iraq (Washington Post)...Kofi Annan
Today I am traveling to Brussels to join representatives of more than 80 governments and institutions in sending a loud and clear message of support for the political transition in Iraq.
Guantanamo's Long Shadow (New York Times)...Anthony Lewis
When Vice President Dick Cheney said last week that detainees at the American prison camp in Guantᮡmo Bay, Cuba, were treated better than they would be "by virtually any other government on the face of the earth," he was carrying on what has become a campaign to whitewash the record of abuses at Guantᮡmo.
The Heat Is On In Guantanamo (Washington Post)...Eugene Robinson
...It goes against America's grain to hold people indefinitely in prison without proving, in a court of law, that they have committed some crime. The whole thing just smells. Like a fish left out in the Guantanamo sun.
Gitmo Truth Or Fiction? (Long Island Newsday)...Letta Tayler
No link up yet
...The extent to which national security interests may be superseding human rights was impossible to determine during a tightly controlled, 2?-day trip last week to the base on the southeast tip of Cuba, which included an exclusive glimpse of detainees inside their cells. What was apparent was the despair of some inmates - Muslim men from 44 countries whom the White House dubs "the worst of the worst" who paced and muttered in wire-mesh cells, like animals in cramped cages.
The Vietnam Syndrome (Washington Times)...Arnaud de Borchgrave
Admittedly stretched very thin, the U.S. military has the courage, the stamina and the weapons to see the Iraq insurgency through, however long it takes. The body politic is another story.
Marine Units Found To Lack Equipment (Boston Globe)...Bryan Bender
Marine Corps units fighting in some of the most dangerous terrain in Iraq don't have enough weapons, communications gear, or properly outfitted vehicles, according to an investigation by the Marine Corps' inspector general provided to Congress yesterday.
Freed Australian Apologizes To Bush (Washington Times)...Rod McGuirk, Associated Press
An Australian engineer held hostage in Iraq for nearly seven weeks arrived in his home country yesterday and apologized for his televised plea for coalition forces to withdraw from Iraq
For The Record - Tillman Investigation (Los Angeles Times)
A June 10 Section A article said the Army general investigating the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan blamed confusing regulations for the military's failure to tell his family that he had been a victim of "friendly fire" until after he was buried. Brig. Gen. Gary M. Jones said the delay stemmed from commanders' desire to complete the investigation before releasing information.
Zaczelo sie w Gdansku - It began in Gdansk. [Chrenkoff]
This is the official slogan of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the founding of "Solidarity" - arguably, as the official poster suggests, the first domino, whose fall eventually led to democratization of Eastern and Central Europe and the end of the Soviet Union.
NEVER FORGET [A Collection of Thoughts]
Twenty years ago, this week, Hezbollah terrorists hijacked TWA Flight 847, and trampled Navy Diver Robert Stethem to death. Stethem's only crime was being American. The hijacking and murder was among the first televised Islamic terror attacks a
The Dawn Patrol takes quite an effort to compose so if you find something in the Dawn Patrol and use it, a Hat Tip would be appreciated.
The Willing [Chrenkoff]
In addition to the United States and the Iraqi forces, military personnel from 26 other countries are currently on the ground in Iraq, helping to bring peace and security, working on reconstruction projects, and engaging in humanitarian missions throughout the country. This is a tribute to those thousands of military men and women from around the world, some of them well-known, others less so, but all doing good work for the future of Iraq.
Awfully convenient [No More Mister Nice Blog] HT Counter Column
Am I wrong to think it's awfully convenient that just as we're having a serious discussion of prisoner abuse at Guantanamo, the front page of The New York Times has a story telling us that U.S. troops have found a torture chamber run by Iraqi insurgents -- and that the troops also discovered a surviving victim of the torture (who, alas, won't allow himself to be photographed, or even allow his wounds to be photographed)?
GQ PROVIDES EXCLUSIVE LOOK AT SADDAM HUSSEIN?S LIFE BEHIND BARS, AS TOLD BY FIVE U.S. SOLDIERS WHO GUARDED HIM [Drudge]
This Never-Before-Told Story Offers Firsthand Accounts of What It?s Like to Spend Time with America?s Most Highly Valued Detainee
?This is a very patriotic story about five ordinary Americans who, unexpectedly, were assigned to stand guard over one of the most notorious dictators of our time,? says DePaulo. ?They became witnesses to history, and as part of their duties they found themselves struggling to come to terms with the older man they grew to know and the reality of his infamous past as a ruthless dictator.?
NEVER THROW SOCCER BALLS WHEN PEACEFUL [Dixie Sapper- in Iraq]
We pulled out this morning going on a mission to meet some people in 2 different villages. I had hinted in our meeting last night that we had 4 HUMVEE's that wouldn't be used in the morning and why didn't we just use them instead of our usual tanks. He went for it. It was great not to rattle, shake and get dusty the entire trip. These things even had AC. Felt like a limo ride. I know it doesn't sound like much to you, but if you had ever rode in one of these tanks, you would understand. We pulled up to our first stop and dismounted our vehicles. There weren't many kids out today so it kind of threw up a red flag. Usually we are swamped with kids. If you don't see kids, usually a sign that a bad person is around.
Good news.... [CounterColumn]
We nailed a big fish named Abu Younis.
I would not be surprised to learn that we took him down in Baghdad thanks to intelligence gained from being on the offensive out by Al Qa'im.
This is the beauty of the offensive. The offensive often pays dividends far from the field of battle.
Constitution Writing Committee [Iraqi Expat]
It seems that an agreement has been, or is about to be reached regarding the constitution writing committee. [Arabic]
It started over a month ago when the 55 member committee was formed with only two Sunnis in it. It was a mistake to assume that a committee with such an important undertaking can be formed on the basis of number of seats gained in the elections. The Sunnis have erred when they boycotted ? and or asked people to boycott - the elections; however, that error did not mean that they should be sidelined in the most crucial task today which will shape the future of Iraq.
This just in... [Phil and Beckiy - in Iraq]
It is possible sometimes to believe that those who disagree with us on the political spectrum represent the farthest out in far-out wacky thought.
Sometimes, though, we get a reminder that, no matter what side of the isle we happen to lean towards, there are levels into the illogic vortex to which even those with whom we currently disagree have yet to descend. Consider this post by Arthur Chrenkoff about an editorial in the Egyptian newspaper Al Akhbar.
Apparently, Abu Musab al Zarqawi is... an American agent!!! Of course! It all makes sense now!
Zarqawi being 'betrayed' in Mosul? [Iraq the Model]
According to a story I read this morning on Al-Mada newspaper, it seems that there's a big conflict between the different active armed groups in Mosul.
This conflict originated from the different attitudes of the different groups regarding the issue of targeting civilian "collaborators" (which refers to anyone who works for the government) and it's more likely that this conflict has lead to the appearance of opportunities for a dialogue between some of these groups and the government and this will possibly put an end to a great deal of the violence going on in that area.
Violating Parole - A lesson on Saddam [Fourth Rail - Justin B]
I think we can all agree that WMD's in large quantities have not been found in Iraq. I certainly hope that we all can agree on some other WMD related facts:
1. At some time prior to the First Gulf War Saddam not only possessed large quantities of WMD's, but he used them on his own people.
2. Saddam played repeated games with UN Weapons Inspectors that are not consistent with someone that is telling the truth and had no WMD's, but rather consistent with someone that is hiding something.
3. Saddam was on "parole" for his previous invasion of Kuwait and violated his "parole" by not complying with the UN Weapons inspectors and destroying all WMD's in their presence so that they could verify their destruction.
4. Saddam had ample time to move his WMD's to Syria prior to the invasion and Russian Intelligence officers were present at several locations as well as large trucks observed going from weapons depots to the Syrian border.
Get your Fighting Aces Gear Here [From My Position]
Okay Folks, here?s an offer you can?t refuse:
For an extremely limited time, we are offering Fighting Aces T-Shirts to pay for the cost of our welcome home party (Also know by the spouses as the ?Bout Damn Time! party). (And to help the Family Readiness Group a.k.a. Those We Left Behind? send care packages to the boys
The Real Danger Poised by EMP Weapons Deployed by Iran with Help of AQ
HT to Jihad Watch. Good link to definition and overview of EMP weapons.
OK folks, you heard it from me before but now it's coming from an official governmental source -
Bloggers must demand more from the mainstream media in its reporting on Iran. [Regime Change Iran]
I have been reporting for days now that the elections in Iran were rigged. Now that the NY Times is reporting it perhaps the blogosphere will also. I also published statements of several candidates inside of Iran that are also claiming this as well.
Other Parts of the World
Hariri Wins in Lebanon [Smash]
THE ANTI-SYRIAN BLOC has declared victory in Lebanon?s national elections
The assassination of Hariri?s father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, earlier this year sparked a wave of massive demonstrations, which ultimately lead to the end of the Syrian occupation of Lebanon.
IRAN is also holding elections, but...
Are we not all Americans? [Flight Pundit]
It is the how that the most passionate disagreements come about. Not about the what. When it comes to politics Americans want most of same things. Americans want a safe place to raise a family, enjoy the land around us, and love freely. Americans want to pass on a better life to their children than they received. Americans want to feel safe. Americans want to help our neighbors. Americans want to be respected in what they are. These things are help by one group of people or another. Although we sometimes think they are and our side is the good side.
Greatest American Vote - Elvis and Oprah Eliminated [GM's Corner]
Two weeks ago we discussed on this site the voting at the Discovery Channel to select the Greatest American in our nation's history. First the public selected a top 100, reduced that to a top 25, and now we have the top 5.
Those removed from last week's list include Neil Armstrong, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Thomas Alva Edison, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson (favored by many), John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley (?), Franklin D. Roosevelt (another surprise not to make the finalists), and Oprah Winfrey (who deserved to be a finalist as much as Elvis.)
As expected, the five finalists...
Mr. Durbin, a Few Questions.... [Hurl's Blog - in Iraq]
A rose by any other name is still a rose. A wolf in sheep's clothing. What do these two phrases have in common? I think they apply to some folks in America who make claims of being pro-American, patriotic, support the troops, etc., but their actions and words belie their true nature.
As an example I'll be blunt. What has Michael Moore done or said that could be considered positive, supportive, constructive, or even neutral about the country in which people have died to ensure he can have a soft, cushy, well-fed life? A life largely (pun intended) devoted to mocking his country and those who defend it - and him....
Durbin, Redux [From My Position - in Iraq]
Here?s the facts about what Senator Durbin said. I put my comments in blue, lest they be confused with his.
Senator Durbin?s Original comments on the floor on 2 February (also known as Groundhog Day)
?On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. ..... On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room (Okay, now rap music IS torture), and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.
Clinton Slams Guantanamo (London Financial Times)...Lionel Barber and Paul Taylor
Bill Clinton has become the most prominent figure so far to add his voice to criticisms of the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
WKRN or Al-Jazeera? [Lance in Iraq]
The first entry:
Foreign suspects held at Guantanamo have nothing to do with [the] September 11 attacks on the United States.
Guantanamo prisoners are a charade to show the good U.S. citizens that their government is doing it?s best to protect them against their imaginary enemies.
Why is it that when right-wing bloggers talk about Gitmo they fail to mention that there is no way to know if those being held there are guilty of anything at all?
"Glazed chicken for the prisoners tomorrow" [KadNine]
I stop and ask myself, "Have these crazy accusations of detainee abuse at Guantanamo gotten out of hand?"
Paul Drabek says yes. Yes they have. He watched Rep. Duncan Hunter rip up Human Rights Watch on Fox News Sunday (transcript) in a trainwreck of free Korans, gourmet cooking, and other assorted abuses and then provides us with a little compare and contrast:
Gitmo and Gulags [Far East Cynic - in Japan]
I've watched the ongoing controversy about Guantanamo prison camps with a bit of nostalgia ( I was there several times to fly counter-drug operations) and bewilderment. On the one hand you have some grand standing Senators and Congressmen who say that GTMO must be closed down because there is treatment that verges on torture and saying:
The Gulag Study: Part 2 [The Quonset Hut]
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) set June 15-17 as the dates for its 2005 annual briefings to all families of missing from the Vietnam War. I?m still searching for news of the success (or failure) of this years? meeting - let me explain why. In February of this year the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Families, by unanimous vote, recorded a vote of ?no confidence? in Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the U.S./Russian Joint Commission (USRJC) Jerry Jennings. The Alliance Board of Directors also recorded, again unanimously, a vote of ?no confidence? in the Defense POW/MIA Office (DPMO), as a whole. This - following the lead of two prominent POW/MIA Family groups, the National League of Families and the Korea/Cold War Families of the Missing, Inc.
Their statement being...
Reporting from the Gulags ... [Daisy Cutter]
...You know, this would almost ... almost ... be funny if Durbin's conduct were not so reprehensible. Pathetic. Disgraceful.
...And, oh yeah, where is John McCain? He usually has little difficulty finding a camera or a microphone. What gives? What apparently gives is that Durbin is his buddy and accomplice in mangling our free-speech rights in the name of campaign-finance reform.
And if you think this outrage is just a partisan thing, read Durbin's comments to a servicemember serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Gitmo.
Steyn on Durbin [Baldilocks]
Like stank on...you know:
"[H]e should at least be made a little uncomfortable over what he's done -- in a time of war, make an inflammatory libel against his country's military that has no value whatsoever except to America's enemies. Shame on him, and shame on those fellow senators and Democrats who by their refusal to condemn him endorse his slander".
The dumbest words ever spoken [Geek Empire]
...20 prisoners have been released from Gitmo. 12 have either been recaptured or killed in battle. That's just a number, but remember, those folks were spending their time dedicating their life to killing you or people you know.
I'm so sick of all the Gitmo news. And I am completely disgusted with anyone who tries to compare that prison with any sort of war atrocity of the past. Gitmo is by a long, long shot the kindest treatment any POW's have ever seen.
The Durbin Remarks [Andrew Olmsted]
...While I think the Senator's point would have been stronger had he quit before describing the use of rap music, I can't deny the Senator's argument. If the FBI report is accurate, that's some pretty damnning stuff. People left to marinate in their own urine and feces is pretty mild from the standpoint of torture, but I think it certainly rises to the level of maltreatment (to borrow from a commenter at QandO) and is certainly not the kind of thing we think of American soldiers as doing. I've discussed my own concerns about torture in greater depth before.
Clinton: Gitmo Horror Could Spark Muslim Brutality ScrappleFace - Humor]
Former President Bill Clinton today said that if the scandal-plagued terrorist detention facility at Guantᮡmo Bay isn't "cleaned up or closed down" then insurgents in Iraq may resort to killing Iraqis, and could even begin attacking U.S. troops.
Did Lucy Ramirez Find The Downing Street Memos? [Captains Quarters]
The media and the Leftists have had a field day with the Downing Street memos that they claim imply that the Bush administration lied about the intelligence on WMD in order to justify the attack on Iraq. Despite the fact that none of the memos actually say that, none of them quote any officials or any documents, and that the text of the memos show that the British government worried about the deployment of WMD by Saddam against Coalition troops, Kuwait and/or Israel, the meme continues to survive.
Until tonight, however, no one questioned the authenticity of the documents provided by the Times of London. That has now changed, as Times reporter Michael Smith admitted that the memos he used are not originals, but retyped copies
Time for a Pep Talk: What Bush Should Say on June 28th [The Adventures of Chester]
Human will, instilled through leadership, is the driving force of all action in war.
- Warfighting Marine Corps Doctrinal Publication One
Last week, five members of the US Congress "introduced a resolution calling for the beginning of troop withdrawal from Iraq by Oct. 1, 2006."
Time vs Event-based Decisionmaking
Congressman Kucinich's mistake is in attempting to dictate a timetable for what is the most fluid and ever-changing of all human endeavors. Indeed, the very next paragraph of Warfighting quoted above is this...
Study: Second Bush Team Whiter, Older, More Experienced [My RightWing Conspiracy]
These are the types of stories that the mainstream media feels compelled to print because?[please insert reason here]?
WASHINGTON ? A new study shows Team Bush has fewer minorities and young people, and more government insiders, in the president?s second term than in his first. A study by the news weekly National Journal shows that 17 percent of those in the top 367 managerial jobs are minorities. That?s down from 20 percent four years ago.
I believe that reports such as these are an attempt to undermine the credibility of the presidency. What about a report on how the president brought in ?the best person for the job? versus the breakdown in age, race, sexual orientation, etc.? The title of this article almost makes it seem like ?more experience? is a bad thing.
Will the tail wag the dog? [Intel Dump -Phil Carter]
At a certain point, will U.S. military manpower and force structure considerations come to dictate our policy on Iraq ? and our exit strategy/timeline?
Today's New York Times carries a pair of provocative columns on the situation in Iraq. Both suggest that the U.S. will find a way out of Iraq soon, by handing the country back to the Iraqis, come hell or high water.
In the magazine, former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke writes America faces a choice between staying the course and instituting a draft because of military overstretch. Further, Clarke argues that the situation in Iraq may have gotten to the point where our inertia is the biggest factor keeping us there.
Ken Blackwell Part 2 [Howdy's Blog - in Iraq]
I got a comment on my BLOG that I?d like to at the very least answer. A writer named Mark, a veteran, claims that by Ken Blackwell?s hand in denying the right to vote to black voters in the inner cities of Ohio , handed President Bush reelection. Mark makes some good points and I?d like to ?peel the onion one more layer.?
New Evidence that the DNC is in Deep Trouble [Froggy Ruminations]
We just returned from my parent?s ranch after having a great lunch together for Father?s Day at the nearby golf clubhouse. I?m not a golfer nor is anyone in my family, but the course near their ranch is just a spectacular place with great food and beautiful views. Anyway, my mother is as hardcore a Democrat as I am a Conservative. I wouldn?t call her a liberal really, because she?s no fan of gay rights, she?s a Navy veteran, and she isn?t down with the whole hedonistic/anarchy thing going on in the hard Left. She is a former City Councilmember and Mayor of our town, and well acquainted with real world politics, not just sniping from the sidelines like most of us.
Byrd, in his new book, again confronts early ties to KKK
"Despite his many achievements, however, the venerated Byrd has never been able to fully erase the stain of his association with one of the most reviled hate groups in the nation's history."
As much as they'd like to claim the moral high-ground, the sad fact is that this subject is only raised by Republicans out for character-assassination whenever he does something they disagree with.
BOOK CLAIM: HILLARY HUMILIATED AS BILL HAS NEW AFFAIRS [Drudge]
Klein will sensationally claim Bill Clinton is flagrantly cheating on his senator wife.
"Hillary's aides noticed that Bill seemed to grow even more reckless after his memoir MY LIFE became a big bestseller. Thanks to his record-shattering $12 million book advance plus another $10 million in speaking fees, he was rolling in money -- and hubris," Klein writes.
The MSM Reports
Hit By Friendly Fire (U.S. News & World Report)...Kevin Whitelaw
Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is angry. He's upset about the more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers killed and nearly 13,000 wounded in Iraq. He's also aggravated by the continued string of sunny assessments from the Bush administration, such as Vice President Dick Cheney's recent remark that the insurgency is in its "last throes." "Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," Hagel tells U.S. News. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."
The Enemy Spies (Newsweek)...Scott Johnson and Melinda Liu
...According to intelligence officials in Baghdad, whose clearances bar them from speaking publicly, Iraq's security services have hundreds of "ghost soldiers"?members who vanish, sometimes for months on end, but continue to draw their pay. The fear is that they are working for the insurgency while keeping up their ties in uniform.
Someone Else's Child (New York Times)...Bob Herbert
...You can still find plenty of folks arguing that we have to stay the course, or even raise the stakes by sending more troops to the war zone. But from the very start of this war the loudest of the flag-waving hawks were those who were safely beyond military age themselves and were unwilling to send their own children off to fight. It's easy to be macho when you have nothing at risk.
Bush's War Worries (Time)...Massimo Calabresi
No Link Yet
...Still, a turning point on the war may be approaching. One sign is the apprehensiveness of military men like General John Abizaid, U.S. Central Command chief. "We are being successful," he said last week. "I have never met a soldier in the field who has not expressed confidence about the mission. But I'm increasingly having a hard time in Washington finding people who have confidence in the mission."
'Am I Next?' (Washington Post)...Ann Scott Tyson
Under the glare of a midmorning sun, Staff Sgt. Jody Hayes stands sweating in the hatch of his M-113 armored vehicle, scanning for insurgents. Hayes and his Iowa National Guard crew have been stalled for nearly 30 minutes on a risky, slow-moving mission to clear road bombs, and he's getting nervous.
How To Use Trackbacks [Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave]
This is not a technical entry telling you how to make your trackbacks work, or something. Nope, this is an entry on how and when to use a trackback and what its purpose is. Why am I writing it? Well, this morning another blogger sent me a trackback. Normally we (those of us who don't get 1000's of hits a day) think that's pretty cool. But this one wasn't. Although it wasn't the traditional trackback spam that we see, a bunch of blogs are hit with trackback links to sites selling viagra, it was still spam. Why? Because the guy sent me a trackback purely for the purpose of increasing his traffic. He didn't link me in his entry at all.
Blogger Goes Hollywood [WuzzaDem]
Dan Riehl from Riehl World View was on The Big Story on Fox tonight, and not to talk about "the blogosphere," or the latest "left vs. right" issue.
Ann Althouse has an interesting, and yet all too familiar, post on "the Blogging Life:" [Common Virtue]
I think that at some point most bloggers will face similar problems and thoughts. Even people like the Blogfather face "blogging fatigue" or question whether they have what it takes to keep going.
Blogging, I assume I'll wake up each morning, utterly empty-headed one moment, but very soon thereafter in possession of three or four ideas juicy enough to share with thousands of people. If it happens often enough, I don't worry that it will continue to happen, just like I don't worry that the next time I feel like standing up, the will to do it and the accomplishment will occur simultaneously.
Winners are posted [Asuumption in Command - in Iraq]
And I am happy to report we didn't get any flatulence jokes, but we did get some that might make somebody say "EWWWWW Gross!".
So go check out the winners.
Anniversary [Major K - in Iraq]
Today was also our first wedding anniversary. The top tier of our wedding cake remains in the freezer back home. But for this war, and the scumbag arhabi that continue pressing it, we would be eating that cake today.
The Dawn Patrol takes quite an effort to compose so if you find something in the Dawn Patrol and use it, a Hat Tip would be appreciated.
This one's for the non-father's day stories. (Those are here.)
In Response to a Question [Grim - The Fourth Rail]
I believe the original question here was weather the the situation in Iraq was improving or worsening. As a Naval Intelligence Officer I see the raw numbers everyday. These numbers are presented in many ways, total number of incidents (per day/week/year), number of VBIED attacks (suicide or not), number of IED attacks, numerical insurgent strength, number of weapons caches discovered daily, estimated insurgent immigration and many more. You can do a lot with numbers, but no matter how you cut it, ALL of these number have steadly increased for the last two years right up to this week. And the insurgents technological capabilitys continue to improve with more and more sophisticated IEDs, VBIEDs and roadside bombs that can defeat our electronic contermeasures. So, from my point of view the situation has been steadily worsening for two years.
The who's writing the weekend headlines? section
U.S. and Allies Capture More Foreign Fighters (New York Times)
American and Iraqi military forces in Iraq are capturing larger numbers of Saudis, Syrians and other foreign fighters, in a new indication that combatants from outside Iraq are playing a more prominent role in the increasingly violent insurgency, according to figures provided by the Army general in charge of detainee operations there.
Insurgents Under Pressure In Western Iraq (Los Angeles Times)
Marines stepped up assaults Saturday on suspected rebel positions in western Iraq in an attempt to counter rural violence, which has surged during a security clampdown on the capital.
Forces pound foreign fighters (AP/Washington Times)
Helicopter gunships and fighter jets streaked across the desert sky yesterday as American and Iraqi forces battled insurgents near the Syrian border, killing at least 50 militants in two massive offensives to stanch the flow of foreign fighters from Iraq's western neighbor.
Whether This War Was Worth It (Robert Kagan, Washington Post)
In Analyzing Iraq, Consider the Effects of Having Done Nothing
Serious scholars still debate whether the Civil War was necessary, never mind the more obvious "wars of choice" such as World War I, the War of 1812, the Spanish-American War, the Korean War, wars in Vietnam and Kosovo, and the Persian Gulf War. To a certain brand of American isolationist, even World War II was unnecessary and counterproductive. So there is nothing remarkable about polls showing Americans wondering whether the recent Iraq war was "worth it." It is a great American myth, voiced by John Kerry last year, that the nation goes to war only when there is no question about the necessity of going to war. There's always a question. Even if the Iraqi insurgency disappeared tomorrow, George Ibrahim al Washington became president of Iraq and every liter of Saddam Hussein's onetime stockpile of chemical and biological weapons suddenly appeared in the desert, historians would still spend the next century debating whether the war was "worth it."
Memo Manipulation (Jay Ambrose/Washington Times)
There are solid arguments against this war, and I respect those who make them. But there is also an extreme element that seems to have dominated much of the antiwar rhetoric -- one of its illogical suppositions being Mr. Bush would have told a lie that was sure to be found out.
In the end, such rhetoric does little service to either the antiwar cause or the reasoned discourse on which democracy depends.
Let Me Tell You About Those Humvees (Michael Fumento/Washington Post)
Having read countless articles on the Iraq war and having just been an embedded reporter in Anbar province, I can say with some authority that the June 10 front-page article "Building Iraq's Army: Mission Improbable" is the most miserably biased piece I've seen on the conflict...
Sorry, but when I rode through the improving but still hostile city of Fallujah, I also chose an open-backed Humvee -- horrifying nobody.
Durbin said what? (Chicago Tribune)
Durbin's comparison of U.S. interrogators to governments that together killed millions of people makes him look desperate for attention. Well, he's created a lot of discussion about Dick Durbin. We suspect that was the goal all along.
Perhaps, though, citizens should be grateful. At least Durbin has stopped repeating that odd little joke about President Lincoln--that he must have been Jewish because his first name was Abraham and he was shot in the temple.
Durbin's Gitmo Remarks Draw Fire Back In Illinois(The Washington Times)
Sen. Richard J. Durbin's comparison of the treatment of al Qaeda prisoners at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Nazi and Soviet gulag atrocities was sharply criticized by constituents and newspapers in his home state.
Frist Insists On Apology For Durbin's Remarks (Washington Post)
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) called on Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) to apologize and withdraw his comments made on the Senate floor comparing U.S. soldiers' handling of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the actions taken years ago by "Nazis and Soviets in their gulags."
In a statement yesterday from Nashville, Frist said, "In captivity at Guantanamo are murderers . . . many dangerous murderers. They are in jail cells where they belong . . . and not on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan . . . or on the streets of Nashville, Boston, Miami or New York.
"I'm extremely disappointed by Senator Durbin's comments comparing U.S. soldiers' handling of prisoners to the actions taken by Nazis and Soviets in their gulags. Not one prisoner has been murdered while in custody at Guantanamo."
On Friday, Durbin retreated from comments he made on the Senate floor Tuesday but stopped short of an apology. "I have learned from my statement that historical parallels can be misused and misunderstood," he said in a statement. "I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings: Our soldiers around the world, and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support."
Frist insisted on an apology: "I call upon Senator Durbin to withdraw his comments and provide an appropriate apology." And he said other Democratic leaders should also seek an apology, adding, "Shameful does not begin to describe this heinous slander against our country . . . and the brave men and women risking their lives every day to defend it."
Iraqis Found In Torture House Tell Of Brutality Of Insurgents (New York Times)
KARABILA, Iraq, Sunday, June 19 - Marines on an operation to eliminate insurgents that began Friday broke through the outside wall of a building in this small rural village to find a torture center equipped with electric wires, a noose, handcuffs, a 574-page jihad manual - and four beaten and shackled Iraqis.
The American military has found torture houses after invading towns heavily populated by insurgents - like Falluja, where the anti-insurgent assault last fall uncovered almost 20 such sites. But rarely have they come across victims who have lived to tell the tale.
In A Military Stronghold, A War Hawk Circles Back (LA Times)
It started this month, when Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones, an original supporter of the war, said he had lost confidence in the effort and would sponsor legislation calling on the administration to more clearly define how, and when, it intended to bring the war to a close.
Coming from the staunch conservative who renamed French fries "freedom fries" on congressional menus, the announcement shocked many.
The Father's Day Edition. A slow start, but we'll add to this as the day goes on.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY [Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
I hope that everyone is having a great Father's Day. I woke up around 3:30 a.m. this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I guess with this being first year without my father and my son in Turkey and can't talk to him just won't let me sleep. I got up this morning and went ahead and did some work on the computer until it was time to go eat breakfast and then go to church. I think there were several others that couldn't sleep this morning because there was more rambling around this morning at 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. than on most mornings.
Happy Father's Day [Mustang23 - in Iraq]
Last year, there was no big fan fare for Father's Day back home. But we did get a lot of work done. The roof on our covered porch had been poorly repaired by *ahem* a couple guys my Dad and I know *cough* a few years back when the entire roof was re-shingled and a part of the porch roof was replaced. When we fixed it the first time we left a bit of a leak and the wood over a few years on the porch rotted, so my dad and I spent a whole weekend re-roofing the entire porch from scratch.
Soldier's children face second year without dad on his big day [Lance in Iraq]
The News-Sentinel has a very nice 278th-related Father's Day piece today. Though this is the second we have missed since mobilizing, I can say without fear of violating opsec that we will be home for the next one.
Happy Fathers Day [From My Position - in Iraq]
I am jumping on the band wagon with Chris and Lisa from TwoBabesandabrain with this picture (dirty word alert) on why daddies shouldn?t baby sit.
Happy Father?s Day, Dad! [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
On the Occasion of Father's Day, I wanted to share a story about a Great Man.
I have mentioned previously that my father resembles Abraham Lincoln.
I think that?s pretty cool for a Dad, to look like Abe. The gaunt face. The beard. The sorrowful eyes. Solemnity.
That?s how he looks, that?s not how he acts, thank goodness!
Happy Dads Day, Pops [Pass the Brass]
Well,I can't say much.
Dad's quite a character. He has his moments....of insanity. But I love 'im for his totally absurd jokes. He really has some doozies. Those jokes where you laugh at it due to it's absurdity. Yah, he has alot of those. But that's what I love about my dad. I got my sense of humor from him. And now...
Honoring the Fathers [Baldilocks]
To my biological father without whom I would not have life?
To my late uncle who nurtured me in my formative years?
To my dad who has earned every gray hair on his head honestly?
My cup runneth over... [Maj K - in Iraq]
Many of you know that my wife and I are expecting our first child.
Never throw Soccer Balls When Peaceful [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
We pulled up to our first stop and dismounted our vehicles. There weren't many kids out today so it kind of threw up a red flag. Usually we are swamped with kids. If you don't see kids, usually a sign that a bad person is around.
This one's for my Dad [Ma Deuce Gunner - in Iraq]
Happy Father's Day, Dad...
Thanks for all your support, your encouragement, your advice, and your teachings. I have learned much about how to be a responsible husband and someday father, through your example. I am so blessed to be your son. I love you, Dad.
Happy Father's Day [ARGGHHH!]
Go, hang out with your Dads, or your kids. If you no longer have a Dad, or kids - go... bowling! Yeah, that's it, bowling!
This is the first time in a long time there has been no kid at home, he having fled the nest to live in Manhattan, learn about apartment living, and asking people "You want fries with that?" And don't make assumptions about Manhattan, visitors - you will most likely be wrong...
Happy Father's Day [V.I.M]
Wishing all fathers a Happy Father's Day. Many fathers are unable to be home with their loved ones today. May all of you have a safe day and be able to speak to the people who love you the most.
Happy Father?s Day [StrykerNews]
The administrators, moderators, contributors, and readers of StrykerNews.com extend a sincere Happy Father?s Day greeting to all the fathers deployed with the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Stryker Brigade Combat Team. Your families miss you, but they are ever so proud of your strength, courage, and service to your country.
Happy Father's Day [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
One of my favorite pictures is of a laughing little boy lofted up on his father?s shoulders. Many years have passed since the camera captured that snippet of time - now I?m as old as my father was when the picture was snapped. But in many ways my father is still holding me up.
It's Hot! [Who's Your Baghdaddy - in Iraq]
This was taken at about 3:00 p.m.today. The themometer was out of direct sunlight so it was literally 120 degrees in the shade. Of course, this themometer only goes up to 120 so it may have been warmer.
Fathers Day [Hoike - in Afghanistan]
A lot of deep thoughts and deep conversations going on yesterday. It started off at dinner, where four infantry-types sat down to a nice Father's Day dinner (happy father's day, Dad, btw) with the topic of ketchup packets. One of my young specialists had an idea to revolutionize the distribution of ketchup in packet form.
The Meaning of Father's Day [Mr Minority Reports]
Today being Father's Day, I am sad that I don't get to recognize my Father who died 4 years ago. But I do get to enjoy my 2 sons getting to celebrate with me.
I have found that being a Father is more than impregnating a mother and providing food and clothing for your child. Being a Father comes with great responsibilities - bring your child up to become a proper adult. This means instilling in them honor, integrity, loyalty, duty, assume responsiblity for your own actions, fairness, faith, judging people by their heart and actions, not by their race or skin color and a drive to add something to world,...
Happy Father's Day! [Blackfive]
This morning Little Blackfive is going to buy me breakfast. I love chilaquiles so we're going to a Mexican restaurant for brunch. He's been making a big production out of it and wants to use his piggy bank money to pay for it. It'll be funny walking into the place with Little Blackfive proudly toting his bank. I'll have to figure out how to get the money back into his bank later.
Walking the Line [Michael Yon]
Sam was, by all accounts, a practical hands-on man whose grip had the grit of hard work. He started it all with little more than a barren field and some air in his pockets. Through hard work, he turned that into a store. Unfortunately, hard work alone wasn't enough to overcome beginner's fumbling, and Sam lost that business, but not his drive for success. So on the next go-round, in addition to hard work, he took the experience that he milled into business smarts, and opened another store, and the customers lined up.
The poor prisoners at GITMO [From My Position - in Iraq]
The prisoners at GITMO. How dare they treat them that way. A few facts, to put it into perspective.
I don't have a toilet in my room. Last month we opened up our first set of real porcelain, and then promptly ran out of water.
I don't have a sink, either.
Balls instead of Bombs [Who's your Baghdaddy? - in Iraq]
Some of the soldiers in our unit get together with some of the local villagers for a weekly game of soccer. Soccer in this part of the world (they call it football) is like football in the U.S. They are very passionate about the sport, begin playing at a young age, and follow their favorite teams. Personally, running up and down a field chasing after a ball in 100+ degree weather looks a little like "work" to me so I haven't actually played yet. Not to mention the Iraqis are really good at this sport so we usually take a schlacking (They even loaned us some guys in order to even the odds). However, I did take some photos at the last game in order to show you some more good stories you won't see on the evening news.
MOBBED BY KIDS AND ADULTS [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
...After we got everything unloaded, I looked over to see a little boy that I had recognized from the previous visit there. This little boy had one eye that was completely swollen shut and the other was just about closed. I called our doc over and he looked at him. He did an examination and said that it must have been an allergic reaction to something so he was able to give him some medicine and said it should go down pretty quick. There were other kids around that had all kinds of ailments. Most of them would say something was wrong so they could get a wheelchair or walker, but you could tell the ones that were really hurt. We finally were getting ready to leave and walking back to our tank when a little girl came up to me and gave me 2 flowers..
The minister of health get stoned in Najaf. [Free Iraqi]
Yesterday and while the minister of health was visiting Najaf he and his guards were stoned and beaten near the holy shrine of Imam Ali by Najafis. There are two stories for this incident.
Back in the rear! [Fun With Hand Grenades - on his way to Iraq]
I just stepped out of my first shower in ten days. I've had the Chinese food I was deprived of and am currently sucking down a Cherry Coke. Being that I'm relaxed and somewhat back to regular life... blog time.
Now that it's said and done I find my mind on Iraq more and more. A lot of the training we did over the last week and a half really got me to thinking about how life will be over there; the dangers and endless possibilities that Iraq poses,
Operation Spear in Anbar Province [Winds of Change]
US Marines and accompanying Iraqi troops return to the Qusaybah/Qaim region on the Syrian border, and launch Operation Spear in the city of Karabilah. This region is the main hub of the southern ratline from Syria, which has been inaccurately compared to the Ho Chi Minh Trail of the Vietnam War. Spear explains the reports of US troops massing on the Syrian border.
Re: Afghanistan Land of Extremes [The National Guard Experience - in Afghanistan]
My photos are selling like hotcakes on the West Coast and they're being gobbled up in record numbers. If anyone wants more info you can contact Susanne at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks Susanne! And thanks to all my supporters!
Callsigns [Howdy's Blog - in Iraq]
I came out west near Syria and linked up again with Hurl. It has been a lot of years since he threw up in his flight glove. My daughters get no small amount of amusement out of that. We are in a smaller base, which is not an airbase. If I would describe it, I'd say it was a firebase. We have plenty of guns, ammunition, armor, sandbags, water and food......and laptops with internet.
Iran's Election. [Willism]
Wandered over to Publius Pundit early this morning, and found this post explaining that Iranians in America can vote at polling locations (.pdf) around the country.
So I wandered over to the Houston Ramada (phone # 713-688-2222) to do a little sleuthing and ALMOST GOT ARRESTED! They took my license and were prepared to book me, but I convinced them that would be a terrible mistake, they would look bad, etc.
The Mullahs' "Polling Places"...in America [The Word Unheard]
This is absolutely insane. Forgive me while I come unhinged.
Here we are engaged in a Global War on Terror, in a conflict we did not initiate.
We have been left with 3,000 civilians murdered on our own soil.
We have endured the loss of some 1,700 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines fighting abroad.
We are fighting terrorism, terrorists and the regimes that support(ed) them.
The single greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world is, without question or argument, the Mullahs who rule Iran with an iron fist.
First Reports on the Election - Why the media is getting it wrong [Regime Change Iran]
The western media is reporting a close election in Iran and some are claiming that it is so close that the government has extended the hours of the polling places in order to accommodate the voting public.
What is wrong with these reports?
According to various news accounts, the international media in Iran for the election is estimated between 70 and 200 foreign journalists.
Other Parts of the World
Zaytun Soldiers Find A Mission In Iraq [GI in Korea]
The ROK Army's Zaytun Unit has finally found something to do in Iraq. It took a year to find something for them to do but at least 40 of the 3,200 soldiers will be guarding a UN office building in Irbil the Kurdish capital city.
Make a difference in the life of a wounded hero [Marine Corps Moms]
Col. John Folsom with the Wounded Warrior Project sent this wish list from Senior Master Sergeant Elizabeth Christiansen who is assigned to the the currently deployed 332 Air Expeditionary Wing, Expeditionary Medical Group.
Dear Colonel Folsom,
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. As you probably are aware, we are an extremely busy, advanced, state of the art, trauma hospital and see upwards to over a thousand patients a month. Some patients are returned to duty directly from the hospital while others are sent over to the CASF for air transportation to higher levels of health care at places such as Landstuhl, Germany.
Now YOU Can Swim Like a Fish [Froggy Ruminations]
While Froggy and friends are already like fish in the water, soon the rest of you land lubbers will be able to be as well. An Israeli inventor is in the patent application process for a device that will take air out of solution from seawater just like a fish does. Operating under the concept of Henry?s Law, the device uses a mini centrifuge to lower the partial pressure of a trapped amount of seawater causing the air within to come out of solution like a can of coke releasing CO2 when it?s opened.
Durbin calls U.S troops the N word - the video and more reaction [unalienable Right]
Trey Jackson has the video of Durbin using the N-word (and the S word, and the P word) to describe the U.S. military.
Heated Rhetoric [Smash]
CONGRESS has a responsibility of oversight concerning how the government conducts its business, including the business of national defense. This function is written into our Constitution, as one of the many "checks and balances" against abuse of power.
Leahy Defends Nazi-gate Scandal [21st century Republican]
Vermont Senator Pat "Leaky" Leahy tried to spin his way out of the Democrats' Nazi-gate scandal yesterday - after Illinois Senator Dick Durbin compared U.S. troops at Guantanamo Bay to soldiers in Hitler's Third Reich - by saying his colleague was misquoted in the Wall Street Journal.
Words mean things. ?Torture? means more than rap music [The Anchoress]
And it means more than having to stand for a few hours, or a hot, stuffy room, or the air conditioner turned up too high, or a cold meal instead of three hot ones.
AGAINST ALL ENEMIES [Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum - in Iraq]
In my last post I mentioned rising above the negativity that seems to be directed by the MSM at the military. Now a US Senator is comparing us to the Nazis and to Pol Pot. I beg your pardon sir! I take great exception to your irresponsible slander. Do you have even the slightest bit of common sense, can you fathom for a millisecond the meaning of what the Nazi's stood for? Obviously you are old enough to remember Pol Pot, and the heinous crimes against humanity he committed.
No, Dick, It?s Just You? [Jump Blog]
Senator Dick Durbin?s remarks of Wednesday afternoon have been much discussed over the past two days, so I was reluctant to enter the fray. I try not to comment on things that are being covered adequately elsewhere, especially if they are important, because I do not wish to contribute to wall of noise that eventually drowns out the issue. For my own edification I thought I might compare descriptions of torture in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the Khmer Rouge?s Cambodia with the description of the interrogation techniques used on a prisoner (likely the prisoner known as ?063″) at Guantanamo Bay. Here are the results of this research.
Reflections of a POW [Iraq War News]
Written in February, 1998, and published in the Richmond-Dispatch, this article contains some very important observations from a former POW, Paul Galanti. It was written during the Clinton Administration. I have highlited a few sections I found particularly compelling.
A number of radio hosts, bloggers, etc., have been saying the same things, but this one is written by someone who has a first-hand perspective.
Rumsfeld Promises Durbin Better Treatment at Gitmo [ScrappleFace]
Just a day after Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin compared U.S. personnel at the military detention facility at Guantanamo to those who worked in Nazi concentration camps, Soviet gulags and in Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld promised the Illinois Senator that he would receive better treatment during his own Gitmo captivity.
Investigate Abuse in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan
I am going to offer a "resolution of inquiry" that, if passed by the House, would compel the Bush Administration to hand over key documents that could shed light on who authorized what at detention facilities in Iraq, Cuba, and Afghanistan. Under the rules of the House, Republicans will have to debate the resolution and take a vote on it. They should do the right thing and take this tragedy seriously. But if they don?t, they?ll be on record against the resolution for all of the world to see.
When America fails to punish the people responsible for these kind of atrocities, it makes the job harder for all of our troops; it makes it easier for Osama bin Laden to find new recruits
Blackfive Blogiversary (Number Two) [Blackfive]
Blackfive was started on June 18, 2003, with this post. Soon, things started ramping up and here we are two years later. Who would have thought I'd go to Harvard to talk about MilBlogs or be on MSNBC or interviewed by the media like USAToday or the Army Times, etc?
My Blog [Courage Without Fear - in Iraq]
Over that las few days the hits on my blog have sky-rocketed. This is mostly due to me joining the MilBlogs webring.
Many of the other sites on MilBlogs are politically motivated or are trying to tell a specific story or show a specific spin on things. Thats not me.
Bloggers at the bar [Jeff Jarvis]
: Heather Green at Business Week says that if the Times/Time source case goes before the Supreme Court, it could affect bloggers because attorney Floyd Abrams, representing the reporters, said on TV recently:
I think a blogger ought to be protected also. It seems to me that the purpose of this privilege is to protect the people who play a function in American life. It's not to protect reporters as such. It's to protect people who gather information and disseminate it on a widespread basis to the public.
Journalists are citizens and citizens are journalists.
... "They are notorious for taking quotes totally out of context," he added, "even making them up."
Army's Rules for Blogging from the Battlezone [Huffington Post]
Attention bloggers in uniform: the Army is on to you. In April, the Multi-National Corps Command in Baghdad issued a policy memo on the rules governing blogging from the front lines.
Flawed Assumptions About Iraq [Yankee Sailor]
Kevin Drum, in the Washington Monthly contemplates the ramifications of an early American withdrawl from Iraq, and comes to some reasonable conclusions...based on flawed assumptions. For instance, on the argument that America needs to double the number of troops on the ground in Iraq, Kevin asserts...
PBS - Two opposing views [KadNine]
I love PBS. I grew up without cable and PBS instilled in me an intense love for documentary films and do-it-yourself shows. I created countless science fair projects based on NOVA programs, and even today I fix up my hundred year old house using inspiration gleaned from a lifetime of watching This Old House.
My only problem with PBS is that it takes tax payer money and preaches liberal dogma at me. A liberal world view is fine for individual Americans, it is a free country after all, but I bristle at being forced to fund it.
Why Wasn?t This on the News Tonight? [Athiest Soldier - in Iraq]
Democrats Urge Inquiry on Bush, Iraq
Amid new questions about President Bush?s drive to topple Saddam Hussein, several House Democrats urged lawmakers on Thursday to conduct an official inquiry to determine whether the president intentionally misled Congress.
The Growing Number of Growing Numbers Comes At a Time When ... :
Here's a good example of seemingly overpessimistic media coverage from Iraq. On Sunday, in a story carried on front pages around the country (including in Houston, Philadelphia and Miami), Knight-Ridder's Tom Lasseter portentously reported...
The MSM Reports
On Serious Note, Gitmo Tactics Far From Torture
Some readers are angry that I made light of the politics surrounding the treatment of suspected terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay. They're upset that I didn't take it seriously.
OK. I'll take it seriously, particularly statements by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who compared Guantanamo to Hitler's camps, Stalin's gulags and the Cambodian killing fields of the Khmer Rouge.
Who We Are (New York Times)
It was a relief to hear Senator Arlen Specter declare that it was time for Congress to bring the prison camp at Guantᮡmo Bay, Cuba, under the law.
No American 'Gulag' (Washington Post)
Several days ago I received a telephone call from an old friend who is a longtime Amnesty International staffer. He asked me whether I, as a former Soviet "prisoner of conscience" adopted by Amnesty, would support the statement by Amnesty's executive director, Irene Khan, that the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is the "gulag of our time."
"Don't you think that there's an enormous difference?" I asked him.
"Sure," he said, "but after all, it attracts attention to the problem of Guantanamo detainees."
Crescendo of Concern Newsweek
Americans want their soldiers home; Congress is getting angry about the conduct of the war. It?s time for Bush to start being frank about Iraq.
Don't Try This at Home! [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
A really funny security camera vid....
Caption Contest Time Again [Assumption in Command]
This one should be good but I have to add one thing:
No Flatulence Jokes!
The RAGE in me BOILS [Ma Deuce Gunner - in Iraq]
Bubblehead, a blogger from Boise, ID, covered the dispicable actions of the Phelps family at the funeral and memorial service for CPL. Carrie French.
The Stupid Shall Be Punished: "The Friend of my Enemy..."
I stood and saluted as her flag draped casket was loaded onto a C-130
What the hell is this? [Boots In Baghdad - in Iraq]
U.S., Iraq Consider Amnesty for Insurgents
I am of the firm belief that if you kill an American, whether it be a soldier or civilian, you must be brought to justice. No question, without fail, you will pay for your crimes. Killing Americans is an act of war. We are currently engaged in a war against terrorism here in Iraq. Whatever happened to, "you are either with us or against us!"?
Return to Namelessville [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
This morning soldiers from "Killer" Company rolled up to the TOC - ready to provide an armed and armored escort for our return to the small hamlet nestled in "Little Vietnam". In the days since our last visit word has spread about the children's lack of shoes and a small fund had been established. Once the money had been collected one of the interpreters went to a local market and returned with an oversize cardboard box brimming with sandals. Since I was buried under a mound of paperwork that looked more like a "Jinga" game then an in-box one of my soldiers, SPC Rivers, went along with the convoy.
Things I Don't Know [Hurls Blog - in Iraq]
I don?t know what to write about. In thinking about that I began to once again wrestle with a long-time ?foe? - things that I don?t know. I am driven to understand and know things, but that drive just seems to end up ? again and again ? win the struggle by showing me how much I don?t know. I think I am resigned to this perpetual wrestling match?.
Chasing Abu... [Makor K - in Iraq]
It was at least 120 degrees today, depending on which thermometer you look at. Some were reading 130. The supposedly funny thing is: Summer does not start for another 4 days... Anyway, I am taking this chance to write a little bit about the challenges of finding and fighting the arhabi here in Iraq. While the expectations by others of the intelligence community are very high, the fact of the matter is that because terrorists hide among innocents and do not care about the welfare of those innocents, it is very hard to isolate them from normal human beings. Another frustrating aspect is the language barrier. Not only is arabic a
Alcohol, night clubs, casinos [Steven Kiel - in Iraq]
It looks like that Iraqi soldier I talked about four months ago is now one step closer to being able to open up his night club. The Ministry of Interior recently got rid of the prohibition on alcohol, night clubs and casinos in Iraq. Read the post here.
Some Day [IRR Soldier]
...Just a few short months left, and there isn't a better time to leave Iraq than in the summer. It's been getting hotter each day. I think we were around 116 today. It's been really dusty too. There have been probably three or four dust storms in the last two weeks. You know the saying back in the States "Yeah, but it's a dry heat"? Well I think with the heat and the dust there should be a saying in Iraq, "Yeah, but it's a chewy heat." Not too much longer and I'll be able to take a shower without shower shoes, go to the bathroom in something other than a 200 degree green plastic box, Eat food that requires more than boiling to prepare, sleep in a room where nobody snores, nobody plays video games until 2 o'clock in the morning, and ...
From the MRS... [From My Position - in Iraq]
Disclaimer: I do not write as well as Chuck, so please continue to read his blog daily, as this will probably be my only personal post. Thanks.
After reading Chuck?s blog on a daily basis, reading all of the comments by others, and even adding my own two cents to posts? I thought it was high time I post something from the home front.
Many people ask me, ?How do you do it?? I won?t tell you about the many ?hats? I wear on a daily basis. I will tell you that I had to make a choice about how I would handle this deployment: 1) Be miserable, make all of those around me miserable, and suffer for the next 12-18 months or 2) Deal with it the best way I possibly can. So I chose number two. I have good days, bad days, and really shitty days, but I am okay with that. It?s called LIFE!!! Fortunately I have my family and friends who give me their unending support. Without them, I would definitely be miserable.
A Witness of Mrs. Dadmanly Dadmanly - in Iraq]
Readers who read my accounts of the tragedy we experienced (here, here, here, and here), may be interested to know that Mrs. Dadmanly went through her own series of ?growth experiences,? which she graciously agrees to share...
Raven 42 [Arrgghhh!]
Attention to Orders! Announcement is made of the following awards, to the warriors of Raven 42. LTG Vines, Commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, presented RAVEN 42 the following list of awards today for their heroic actions on 20 March 2005...
Australian Hostage-Douglas Woods [DVIDS video]
No details were available on the operation in Baghdad that led to the release of Douglas Woods, a 64-year-old engineer who lives in Alamo, Calif. He was abducted in late April by a militant group calling itself the Shura Council of the Mujahedeen of Iraq. Mr. Woods talks a little bit about the ordeal from a bed in a medical center. A short interview from SSG Rodney Brown, 1-156th Infantry, followed by Brigadier General John Basilica, Commanding General, 256th Brigade Combat Team, talks to Mr. Woods before he leaves for another location. aushos
This is what a scumbag looks like (update on SPC Jorge Estrada) [Major K - in Iraq]
I am going to keep harping on this until Fabian Urrea is taken down. I am glad to hear that the local police department has 10 Police Officers working on the case. I am hoping to use the power of the blogosphere to keep the word out about this piece of trash. Unfortunately, he looks exactly like 1000 other low-life street punks.
Mr. Kucinich..please keep your mouth shut and leave the war planning to the warriors [NEW MilBlogger! - Cubicle - Six]
I am watching Mr. Kucinich on Fox News right now. He is advocating the removal of US troops from Iraq as soon as possible. He is making two points that disgust me as a military professional.
Boneheaded demonstrators update! [New MilBlogger! - Far East Cynic]
Check out Bubblehead's post on the funeral of Carrie French. He uses a lot less four letter words than I would have. What's wrong with this picture? EVERYTHING!
Marcinko on SF and Iraq [Cadillac Tight]
Jeff Quinton has a link to an interview with Richard Marcinko, of Seal Team Six fame.
Marcinko's observations dovetail with those of an Army officer I had dinner with last weekend at Fort Benning. Basic Combat Training (BCT), Advanced Individual Training (AIT), Infantry Officer Basic Course (IOBC), and Infantry Officer Advanced Course (IOAC) trainees are going through a far different curriculum than Cold War era soldiers like myself went through.
Durbin's pal and prisoner abuse [John In Carolina]
Illinois Democrat Senator Richard Durbin compared American servicemen and women serving at Guantanamo to Hitler's Nazis, Stalin's gulag thugs, and Pol Pot's murderers.
But I could find no criticism by Durbin of his pal, political ally and Cook Country's Democrat Sheriff, Michael F. Sheahan, who's run the notorious Cook County Jail since 1990. I used Google and Yahoo search engines. The Senator's office didn't return a phone call inquiry about Sheahan and prisoner abuse at the jail.
Friday Freefly- Dick Durbin's Death Tour [Militart Matters - Uncle Jimbo]
It was bad enough when a left-wing butt-head advocacy group was lame enough to equate Gitmo (0 dead) to Gulag (millions dead), but now this maroon manages a triple-decker dumbass Dagwood. He equates the US military with the Nazis, Soviet Death camps, and Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, in one freakin' paragraph. Is there no decency left anywhere on the left? Does your hatred of W and the neocon global conspiracy make you so ill that you can't see how foul you have become? If hearing this garbage day after day didn't make me physically sick, I would let it go because it will blow up in the left's face.
Shame on Senator Durbin [Balance Sheet]
When I heard Senator Durbin⿔s speech, I was appalled that a United States Senator would equate the actions of American troops with those of Hitler⿔s Nazis, Stalin⿔s Gulag, and the genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge⿔s Pol Pot. It was...
How Senator Durbin Defamed the Torturers of the Past. [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
Over on Right Thinking Girl, there is (another) "debate series" going on. The regulars include some very well read and spoken people, but, as the case is in the wonderous land of the 1st Amendment, it gets "sporting."
Illinois, Are You Going to Sit There and Let Your Senator Call Your Sons & Husbands Nazis? [Froggy Ruminations]
I want Durbin?s job, and I want it now. I?ll be damned if a US Senator is going to get away with comparing my comrades to the Gestapo, or Stalin?s thugs. To the people of the Great State of Illinois, none of you have a hair on you?re a$$ if you do not demand a recall of this piece of trash.
I am incensed by the total LACK of support [ NEW MilBlogger! - JammedGun]
I am incensed by the total LACK of support for our military being demonstrated by the Democratic "heavies" in the Senate -- to wit, Senator Kennedy, Senator Durbin, and others. Their first love is obviously for the terrorists incarcerated at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo. Remember, for a moment, that most of these givers of aid and comfort to our enemies and underminers of our troops' morale are filthy rich kids grown up without ever having worked a day in their lives or having served a day in the military.
GWB Declares Iranian Election a Fraud (At least that's the meaning) [Regime Change Iran]
In recent months, the cause of freedom has made enormous gains in the broader Middle East. Millions of people in Afghanistan and Iraq defied terrorists to cast their ballots in free elections. Palestinians voted for a new president who rejects violence and is working for democratic reform, and the people of Lebanon reclaimed their sovereignty and are now voting for new leadership. Across the Middle East, hopeful change is taking place. People are claiming their liberty. And as a tide of freedom sweeps this region, it will also come eventually to Iran.
Gingrich-Mitchell Task Force On UN Reform [The Quonset Hut]
Mandated by Congress in the FY2005 omnibus appropriations bill was the 12-member bipartisan task force, chaired by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. Congress established the Task Force on the United ...
PETA workers charged with animal cruelty [NEW MilBlogger! - KadNine]
Putting unwanted animals to sleep is one thing. Sad but all too often necessary. But tossing the corpses of dogs and cats into a dumpster under cover of night? (Link includes video) Please... I won't allow another PETA member to lecture me morally about anything ever again. This is truely the last straw
SSG Martinez Chagred with Murder (and how the Media reports it) [Assumption of Command]
It is now official, Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez is now being charged with the Murder of 2 officers here in Iraq. This is the tragedy that DadManly has been speaking of, and properly quit for legal concerns. But now it is out in to the main stream media, so I will discuss it.
Sorry, mom job comes first.
Lightening update. [Iraq the Model - Iraqi blog]
Following are some updates about the security operations in Baghdad and some other cities in Iraq in the last 24 hours:
Iraqi security forces arrested former general Abid Dawood Sulaimanwhich Zarqawi's military affairs aide and one of the founders of "the army of Mohammed" one of the terror groups that mainly formed from members of Saddam's army and was one of the groups that fought in Fallujah.
The day we left Caldwell [Jag-ged Edge - in Iraq]
The day we left Caldwell was hot?with a capital H. We were headed to an even more remote spot called FOB Bernstein. The only reliable way to reach it is by convoy, and we had managed to get on a convoy headed in there via FOB Cobra. CPL Ellis and I load up our things, put on IBA and helmet, and headed to the rally point at about 1400. The heat was incredible that day. I heard that it was at 115?and it was accompanied by this constant hot wind. It?s like when you open the oven and that blast of hot air hits you in the face, but it?s constant.
Never Forget [Dadmanly]
They held a memorial service today for the two officers lost tragically last week.
There were memorial tributes to the two men, some reflections on their military careers, what they accomplished, what kind of men they were, sympathy for the families they leave behind.
Firm grasp of the obvious department [Counter Column]
Knight Ridder's Tom Lasseter files this breathless report from the front:
A growing number of senior American military officers in Iraq have concluded that there is no long-term military solution to an insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis and more than 1,300 U.S. troops during the past two years.
Instead, officers say, the only way to end the guerilla war is through Iraqi politics
What's that "growing number?" From 97 percent to 99 percent? I don't get it. I've never met
Letter to the Editor [SMASH]
These counter-recruiters often protest that they're just telling the students "the other side of the story." But in practice, they're actively campaigning to keep military recruiters away from potential recruits, by restricting their access to campus, and distributing literature designed to scare students away from considering military service. Here's a sample...
Coming home: Vietnam (and other) vets [neo-neocon]
"Coming Home"--it was the title of a 1978 movie about returning Vietnam vets, starring (of all people, adding insult to injury) Jane Fonda. I saw it and don't remember it very well, but I thought of it when I heard of the following event: Operation Homecoming, a large celebration in honor of Vietnam vets that will be happening this week in Branson, Missouri
I wish I could find out more on the USS Neosho (AO23)
The comment is buried back in a post I did a while back titled "Survivors of the Battle of Coral Sea - USS NEOSHO.", Jayna left her comment for information on her Grandfather.
Here's her comment/request...
Not My Son... [From My Position - in Iraq]
The Boston Globe is at it again. This piece describes a mother's fear and discouragement of her son joining the military.
I don't want to be here. Duty is why I am here. I know that is a foreign concept to some people. You support your nation. Especially in times like these.
?Daddy has to go to a place called Iraq. It is very far away. There are bad people there. Daddy is going to kill them, and they are trying to kill me. Daddy is one of the good guys, and the good guys fight the bad guys. Sometimes the good guys win, and sometimes the good guys get killed. But daddy doesn't want the bad guys to come here and hurt you and mommy and Adelle. I love you too much to let that happen. Even if it means that I may die.?
Setting the Record Straight: Kathleen Whitney and CNN [Grunt Doc]
I am acquainted with an excellent ER nurse, who was recently made mildly famous in a CNN profile for being recalled to active duty. However, while she knew she was being interviewed for an article about the difficulties of family separation, she expressed to me that the article was edited in a way that made her sound less than committed ('sandbagged by the editor' is how it was put to me), and wants to set the record straight.
The Numbers Game in War. [Rightwingsparkle]
The latest homicide bomber kills at least 24 including children. This was not collateral damage. No smart bombs are used here. These monsters target their own women and children. They have no sense of conscience.
It's really important that we understand that.
The Big Iraqi Picture [Froggy Ruminations]
I heard the following Rumsfeld clip while listening to the Hugh Hewitt show today. The old pro lays it straight out; this is mandatory listening. The text is available too at Radioblogger.
The MSM Reprts
Bin Laden, Taliban Chief Said To Be Alive And Well (Washington Post)
Osama bin Laden and the fugitive Taliban chief Mohammad Omar are alive and well, a purported Taliban commander said in a television interview broadcast Wednesday, adding that he still receives orders from Omar.
Uncle Sam Really Wants You (New York Times)...Bob Herbert
With the situation in Iraq deteriorating and the willingness of Americans to serve in the armed forces declining, a little-known Army publication called the "School Recruiting Program Handbook" is becoming increasingly important, and controversial.
Two Armies, Two Reporters, Too Much Trouble in Iraq (Editor and Publisher)
Just back, absurdly well-fed, from E&P's interactive media conference in New Orleans, I was about to write an entertaining little column on bloggers, journalists and their different notions of "accuracy," when I came across a Friday piece in the Washington Post by two brave and widely honored foreign correspondents, Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru. The bloggers-vs.-journos column will have to wait.
Standing In The Way Of Chaos (Dallas Morning News)... Greg Mitchell
Americans are telling pollsters they want U.S. troops out of Iraq, and even some of President Bush's Republican allies have begun to push for withdrawal, but foreign policy experts warn of nasty consequences if Mr. Bush heeds their wishes.
Calls For Iraq Withdrawal Dogging Bush (Dallas Morning News)...David Jackson
Though still a military challenge, Iraq is also a growing political problem for President Bush.
U.S. Raids Test Iraqis' Patience (Chicago Tribune)...Kirsten Scharnberg
In the uncertainty created by Iraq's insurgency, anyone might be the enemy. So with weapons drawn, a dozen U.S. soldiers charged down the ramps of their armored Stryker vehicles, roughly yanked three Iraqi students out of a car by their necks and shoved their faces into a nearby wall.
Food Shortages Gnaw At Iraqis' Stomachs, Morale (Los Angeles Times)...Louise Roug
After his American employers left, and monthly food rations began to shrink, Hussein Hadi started selling his furniture. His bed was the last thing to go.
Does something look.... different?
No, I haven't changed my hair, but thanks for asking.
Yes, at long last, the new release of TTLB is here. As I hope will be apparent, a great deal of thought and effort has gone into this new release, which essentially amounts to a top-to-bottom redesign of the site, including oodles of new features. Things are still a bit rough around the edges, and I'm still polishing, polishing, polishing: but the fundamentals work, and it's time to let this baby leave the nest.
Here's a quick summary of some of the goodies you'll find...
Getting Famous [From My Position - in Iraq]
I received an e-mail today from a reporter at the Boston Herald. He is doing a piece on Milblogs, and liked my work and wanted to quote me. This is what he wrote:
....If you have a second to email me about why you blog? Who you are writing for (your audience)? What do other soldiers thing about it? Anything that comes to mind, I'd appreciate it.
Why do you blog? I blog because I needed a hobby. Something to do in my down time, especially the time after mission and before bed, when the adrenaline is pumping and there's no possibility of sleeping until it goes away. I wanted to keep a journal of some of the things I did here, and why. I wanted something to show the boy when he's old enough. I am (relatively) computer savvy, and had read other blogs and thought it'd be worth a shot.
Legal Tips for Bloggers [Bill Hobbs]
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a legal guide for blogger-journalists covering such topics as legal liability, defamation law, use of confidential sources, intellectual property law, media access, privacy and more.
Humor [From the Inside looking Out in Iraq]
U.S. Marine Corps rules for gunfighting:
Flag Day [Danz Family]
In recognition of Flag Day, I am starting the Flag Project wherein I will post a collection of pictures of the American Flag flying at people's homes. I am not interested in any flag other than Old Glory. I am also not interested in American flags flying just anywhere. I want a picture of your flag, flying in front of where you live.
Standing on the Mound: The Virtues of Baseball
...The essential dynamic of the game, after all, is that for nine innings, 18 men are engaged in a contest in which, ultimately, each and every player finds himself utterly alone?one man taking on a whole world that wants him to fail.
Perhaps nowhere was that dynamic, and the distinctly American character that embraces it, more perfectly demonstrated than at Yankee Stadium on two separate occasions during the 2001 World Championship games between the Bronx Bombers and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Only weeks earlier, New York had lost 3,000 of its citizens, police, and firefighters in the deadliest attack made on American soil. The rubble in Manhattan was still smoldering, and the nation was still on its knees?uncertain, unsure, and afraid.
People went to Yankee Stadium wondering if they were safe. They worried that the same group that had flown airplanes into two office buildings, in the hope of killing thousands, might be tempted by another target. And yet, for all of their fears, the fans came.
As President Bush moves to the pitcher?s mound, the Yankee shortstop delays him, calling out, ?Mr. President, are you going to throw from the mound or from in front of it?? Bush replies, ?I hadn?t thought about it.?
?Mr. President, this is New York,? Jeter says. ?In New York, you throw from the mound!?
A perfect strike! Yankee Stadium erupts. People from every political and economic persuasion?Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Rosie O? Donnell?are jumping and screaming. The people in the stands are weeping, in sorrow and in hope.
It is only a strike, but it?s a perfect strike. And at that moment, it means everything.
Hate shows up at a Soldiers funeral: Updated [Gryphmon]
Phelps was apparently such a tiny little speck in a vast sea of people that most couldn't even see him.
Rebuilding [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
My words fall flat on the living room floor
As we try to speak of shallow things
But the only thing in our minds is the unspeakable
Your pain makes this silence so heavy
Its breaking me down
You fidget with your yellow bracelet
Sommer is best friends with SGT Ferguson's daughter, and shortly after his injury she penned this verse for to ease her friend's anguish. Not all the casualties in a war occur on a battlefield - the second and third order effects often ripple through a community with the chill strength of a tidal wave
TMG Editor's Note: a must read!
How to Bury a Hero by HM3 James Pell, USN [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
I've not been posting too much the last few days, for I was "teaching history" to those who want to equate the "WHERE are the WMDs?!?!?!?" discussion to the moral equivalent of "hate" crimes against the transgendered. It really wore me out. I was a little discouraged, realizing the emotional toll that occurred trying to have an actual discussion with a bunch of animated Democratic talking points.
Today's Assignment: Helping Iraqis Learn (New York Times)
When the parents of Anthony DiMaggio, a senior airman recently deployed to Iraq, started to mull over the kind of care packages they could send his unit, they figured on snacks, books, magazines - anything to brighten the soldiers' lives. But their son had another idea: school supplies for the Iraqi children.
Toolin' around town [Lance in Iraq]
Traffic "rules" are a little more relaxed over here. No zoning regs or pesky neighborhood associations either
The Iraqis Are Coming! (And we're moving) [Courage Without Fear in Iraq]
Okay, so we've already moved. Over the last 7 days my company has picked up and moved from one side of the International Zone to the other. The entire Brigade we're attached to had to reorganize a little in order to make room for Iraqi Army forces in the IZ.
Logging Time [stardotstar.org - formerly Edwar's Blog - in Iraq]
...Due to the recent dust storms and day schedule, I managed to go 8 days without flying. I noticed that as I was logging my flight last night into my log book. We had a pretty cool night because we shut down and checked out the chow hall at Taji for midnight chow. Their chow hall looks like a sports bar and had much better food. I was like a trapped rat though trying to find my way around. They had all these guards and areas you are only allowed to go one way through. The kept telling me I couldn?t go whichever way I was trying to walk. Anyways, the chicken wings were worth it.
Caught in the moment [American Soldier]
I have endured trials and tribulations since the beginning of this year 2005. I am pissed at the fact that I am not in the fight. Some days I want to tell the medical people to fuck off but then realize that my injury is not going to fix itself. I just want to be with my guys and do what it is that I volunteered for. I left one service component and joined another one for one year so I could go off to this war and fight. I busted my ass for all those months training and here I sit. Broken and pissed off!
The High Ground [Boots on the Ground - back from Iraq]
Now that my days of Combat patrols and raids etc etc are over. I finally have time to write my personal feelings about Iraq. My first tour over here was definitely easier than this one. Of course, we were just doing raids most of the time and very little patrolling. So, I got plenty of sleep and ate pretty good. On average, we were working from 90-100 hour weeks this tour. I feel like I have aged much in my short time of being here.
Life at BAF [Firepower Forward - in Afghanistan]
It occurs to me that since our move here to Metropolis, I haven?t really written about the day to day life on Bagram.
In many ways, Bagram is a lot like my hometown of Glenwood Springs, Colorado was when I was growing up. There is one main street running north and south through town and everything of interest, the Dairy Queen, Burger King, and Wal-Mart (ok it?s really a PX) is located on this thoroughfare and the entire place is surrounded by mountains
Afghans Say Joint Operation With US Kills 7 Taliban (New York Times on the Web)
U.S. and Afghan forces killed seven Taliban insurgents and detained 10 in an operation in southern Afghanistan aimed at containing rising guerrilla violence, a senior Afghan army officer said on Wednesday.
THREE YEARS [Trying to Grok]
Two years ago we had just moved to Germany. We had no house and no car, and since we'd gotten "lost in the system", we had no income for two and a half months. Last year we were thousands of miles apart. Here's hoping that our third anniversary works out a little better than the previous two!
Day 162 - Happy Flag Day!! [Big Al's Army Life - spouse of deployed]
...Growing up in America, I have always thought that our flag was beautiful. The colors, the styling, etc. Vibrant Red of Valor, Bright Blue of Justice, Beautiful White of Purity and Innocence.
Now that I am actively involved in the military mindset though, the flag means so much more to me. I find myself actually coordinating complete outfits out of red, white and blue. It has actually become a challenge to me to try make cute patriotic outfits. Yes, I know I have issues!
Here is an excellent article on the meaning of Flag Day as intrepreted by Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran...
JUNE 14 is Flag Day [Lt Smash- Indepundit]
LEST WE FORGET, today is also the 20th anniversary of the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 by terrorists affiliated with Hezbollah, aka "the Party of God." The flight from Athens to Rome was diverted to Beirut, on to Algiers, and eventually back to Beirut. There, the hijackers demanded the release of 435 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel
Police locate truck of man charged with Murrieta murder (NC Times)
Police have found the pickup belonging to a man wanted for the murder last week of a soldier home on leave from Iraq.
More irrationality [NEW MilBlogger! - 21st Century Republican]
I sent an email that I intended not to insult but rather express how I felt about a particularly hateful article towards the armed services, and without fail, that individual posted it on some blog or website and tried to get liberals to cut me apart. He then proceeded to send me an email thanking me for the material, as if I'd just sent him a great work of fiction for him to turn into a satirical delight.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Email - Beware [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
I received an email today that got me thinking. You may have received the same email. The history of this tomb, and the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard) deserves an accurate history, as well as the fact that we don't need patriotism based on feel good stories that become fact through the retelling but aren't actually true. Feel good stories are nice, but the do more dishonor through our ignorance that they are fact when they are not, and our nation's history is so wonderful in the facts alone that they need no myths to make them more alive.
Korea Government to Extend Zaytun Unit's Stay in Iraq [GI Korea - in um, Korea]
The Korean government is reportedly going to extend the ROK Army's Zaytun Unit's deployment in Iraq. Those who follow my blog know how I feel about this.
Marine Recruitment Scandal [Balloon Juice]
Last week, I discussed the recruiting shortfalls the military is suffering, and I noted this sensational story about some serious allegations against Marine recruiters:
US Navy in the Persian Gulf/Qatar [Austin Bay]
This morning began on board the USS Normandy (Aegis class cruiser)? on patrol in the exlusion zone around Iraq?s ?bank.? Well, not the bank precisely, but part of the bank, as in a key component of Iraq?s oil production system: the Al Basra Oil Terminal (ABOT). ABOT can pump about 90,000 barrels of oil an hour, and that?s money in the bank for Iraq. ABOT is off-shore?hence the immediate presence of US Navy and coalition naval forces.
Training the Iraqi Army [Winds of Change - Bill Riggio]
The training of the Iraqi military and security services is a crucial element to the defeat of the Iraqi insurgency and the establishment of a secure Iraqi nation. The New York Times weighs in on the issue of the status of the training of the Iraqi military, and estimates it will take upwards of two years or more for Iraqi forces to be able to operate independently from Coalition forces. This should not be surprising as building a competent fighting force, particularly in a nation subjected to over thirty years of oppressive rule, is a slow and difficult process.
Journalists using powers for good or evil? [Jack Army]
There has been lots of talk around the blogosphere, particularly among Milbloggers, about the effects of the media on the public's perception of the military and the effects of that perception.
"Torture," Gitmo & Our Media's Story Favourites [Winds of Change - Joe Katzman]
Dr. Sanity takes a hard look at the stories the established media seem very interested in covering, and those they... aren't. Great visual, love the table format. Now, compare and contrast...
I tell this story merely to demonstrate "la belle indifference" and to segue into a discussion of the curious, but beautiful indifference of our own Mainstream Media.
Beautiful Indifference [Doctor Sanity]
Curiously, because they are journalists, and I would think that journalistic instincts are easily aroused by curiosity, the crop of journalists we must deal with today seem to be suffering from a form of mass hysteria. Their journalistic insticts; their curiosity; their "nose" for a story has been severely impaired--almost paralyzed you could say, and they don't much seem to care!
Here is a partial listing (in no particular order) of what the media is Obsessed by ...
Iraq, Then and Now (Washington Post)
AFTER LAGGING for months, debate on Iraq in Washington is picking up again. That's a needed and welcome development, but much of the discussion is being diverted to the wrong subject. War opponents have been trumpeting several British government memos from July 2002, which describe the Bush administration's preparations for invasion, as revelatory of President Bush's deceptions about Iraq. Bloggers have demanded to know why "the mainstream media" have not paid more attention to them. Though we can't speak for The Post's news department, the answer appears obvious...
Let's Talk About Iraq (New York Times)
Ever since Iraq's remarkable election, the country has been descending deeper and deeper into violence. But no one in Washington wants to talk about it. Conservatives don't want to talk about it because, with a few exceptions, they think their job is just to applaud whatever the Bush team does. Liberals don't want to talk about Iraq because, with a few exceptions, they thought the war was wrong and deep down don't want the Bush team to succeed. As a result, Iraq is drifting sideways and the whole burden is being carried by our military. The rest of the country has gone shopping, which seems to suit Karl Rove just fine.
To A Son Who Wants To Serve (Boston Globe)
WITH A LEARNER'S permit in his wallet, a 16-year-old starts thinking about the future. ''Mom, what would you say if I wanted to join the Army?" my son asked the other day.
Why France's Self Destruction Matters [Fourth Rail - Bill Rice]
UPDATE: This post has an update below with an interesting development in UK-German relations with none other than Tony Blair and Angela Markel.
I have received comments and email when I have posted on European matters, such as the rejection of the EU Constitution, that question the relevance of these issues to US foreign policy. Many view the European project as an enterprise of long conversations with little change. Europe, long now weak on "hard" power is becoming even softer in the "soft" power category many rightfully charge.
Argghhh! [Castle Argghhh!]
...Note to Frĕd: Dhimmi is dhimmi. They *aren't* your friends. And God may well not be on our side - but, unless the New Testament is all a hoax, I suspect He most certainly is not on yours. I suspect your ancestors cringe to watch your actions - and at some point, when your poison has faded in your line, your progeny will, as well.
BTW, Frĕd, remember all those inconvenient Gospels? The message of which is precisely the opposite of what you preach? God doesn't hate *anyone* Fred. He hates Sin, but not the Sinner. Apparently your Bible reads differently from the ones here at the Castle, both the King James and the Catholic.
Annan out, Walrus in [Military Matters - Uncle Jimbo]
Documents released by the firm employing Kofi Annan's son Cotecna show Kofi Annan lied to the Volcker commission's investigation of the Oil for UN Villas program.
Islam - Make No Friends With Infidels [NEW MilBlogger! - USS Neverdock]
That would be you and I.
We are repeatedly told by Muslims that Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance. If we point to passages in the Koran that seems to say otherwise, we are told that we are mis-interpreting the words. If we point to specific acts committed by Muslims that seem to suggest otherwise, we are told these are extremists and not "moderate" Muslims.
Same Old Story [Baldilocks]
"There's no excuse. The money we spend in one year in Iraq would pay for 20 years of helping Africa."
--Madeline Albright, Secretary of State during the Clinton Administration
What a coincidence! The Dafur genocide--along with every other evil in this world--started on ...
Clue For Sale [Villainous Company]
Remember 9/11? I do.
"It's blood money that I don't want," Trant said. "I want my husband back."
Tell me about it, hon. Just listen to this tragic story...
Another Memogate? [Common Virtue]
In the left's most recent attempt to try to discredit President Bush and the liberation of Iraq, a memo straight from Downing Street in Great Britain is being paraded around. The story goes something like this...
Future History? [NEW MilBlogger! - GM's Corner]
(Paris-United Eurabia) Since the Caliphate was established in Eurabia in 2009, and the War On Infidels (WOI) won, a number of war criminals have been brought to justice at the International Court of the Hague. To date, the heads of the former Governments of the so-called "European Union" were taken into custody following a fierce uprising of former Arabs who, with careful planning, were situated in key points in Eurabia. Chirac, Schroeder, Villapin, were tried, found guilty of Anti-Islamic hatred and executed by beheading.
So, is it worth it? [NEW MilBlogger! - Cadillac Tight]
I'm looking for input from bloggers who use MT 3.x, to see if it's worth paying the sixty-whatever bucks it costs to register the software.
The Typekey registration feature of MT isn't working here, and Kelley recently upgraded as well, with the same problem. I haven't found anything explicitly stating that the software has to be registered to enable that feature, but I have my suspicions.
Ping This! [Backcountry Conservative]
Take a seat before you read this (I don't want anyone falling over dead from shock.)
Now that I've upgraded to MT 3.17 I've decided to fix the problems I was having a couple of months ago that resulted in trackbacks not going through to any posts on this blog.
It Is Well With My Soul [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
I had a hard day yesterday. I received a pillow case signed by several of the unit families during a recent pool party, and great book on VE Day (Victory in Europe, WWII) and the cards from Mrs. Dadmanly and Little Manly, and I was very sad. I was crying today thinking about how much I hate it here without them, how I missed Spud and Jilly Bean and their graduations (High School and College), and how much I wanted to be home and not have to deal with any of this ...
Note to self: Terps [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
Note to self: a good interpreter is priceless, unless you like blank stares.
One of my checkpoints was attacked tonight. It was manned by one of my IA partnership platoons. It was more of a drive-by and mortaring than an all-out assault, but the initial report (which is almost always wrong) said they were under attack.
Bayonet Update 9 [Bayonet formerly Kincy.com - In Iraq]
The Iraqi government is slowly getting their act together. They're starting to meet in committees and actually get some stuff done. I'm sure many of you have read the news and know that it's been a fairly rough month in Baghdad. Team Bayonet has been spared most of the action with the exception of Blue Section and First Platoon. They both are attached to Dealer Company (D CO/4-64) and have been running all over the Karrada peninsula solving mysteries and nabbing bad guys. Of special note is SSG B and SSG F, they've done some great things and have received recognition from very senior people.
The Village [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
Our mission was simple. Get in. Get out. Go home. Of course nothing is ever easy in this country. Our destination was a nameless postage stamp of a village squatting in a thicket of palm and date trees.
The road leading into the village was a stinking morass of oil and dirt that resembled an airline crash site more then a driveable path.
5th CAG continues mending Saqlawiyah?s wounds [5th CAG - Cpl. Mike Escobar]
Blackened, sun-baked filth laid rotting outside the medical clinic and piles of used syringes were scattered about the courtyard. Nearby, flies buzzed around people standing in line, as they warily eyed the Iraqi soldiers and U.S. Marines passing by on patrol.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU SEE ON THE ROAD? [Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
Last night we had lobster tails, fried shrimp and crab legs. Don't think many were in an eating mood since the cooks had to call on the radio saying that they had a lot of food left over and to please come eat it before it had to be thrown away. That is the first time I can remember them ever doing that especially with the menu last night. Some went back, but most people just let it slide. Some were out on missions and still didn't go eat. It was weird to go back out on missions the same night that the IED happened, but as bad as you hate it, the missions must continue to keep other people safe. It's tough, but everyone knows that the war isn't over and that all missions must continue.
Mission: Flying Angels Home [Blackfive]
Here's a letter via Seamus from May 24th written by the Commander of a Marine helicopter unit about taking care of five Fallen Soldiers.
K-9 & Doghandler [DVIDS video]
Sergeant Nick Oberly and his K9 Sammy help 1-64th Armor Battalion search a home for weapons and explosives in Southern Baghdad during Operation Determined Fury. B-roll followed by an Interview with SGT Oberly
Why the silence? [Howdy's BLOG - in Iraq]
It's been a while since I posted with any real regularity. I have not been at my laptop tapping away like a good BLOGGER. My family would like to know how I am doing. I get some e-mails asking if everything is OK. I am just fine.
Why the silence? Sometimes it is just too hard or seems far too inappropriate to write what I see, don't see or feel.
Hate shows up at a Soldiers funeral [Gryphmon]
National Guard Corporal Carrie French didn't know the Reverend Fred Phelps. Nor, as far as anyone knows, was she a lesbian , or in Phelps-speech, a Sodomite. Yet he is coming to her funeral this Wednesday to picket and tell everyone to thank God for IED's.
ANOTHER SAD DAY AT DOGWOOD [Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
June 12, 2005 was a terrible day because we had 2 great American soldiers killed and another soldier injured from B Co. SGT Larry Arnold and SPC Terrence Lee were killed by an IED that struck their vehicle. SGT Landrum was injured and sent to Baghdad by medevac. There was also an interpreter named Ron who was killed. I will not go into any details of what happened. I was blessed to have known both of these great warriors and they will be missed terribly. I'll miss the always smiling SPC Lee.
Day 161 - Please Pray[Big Al's Army Life - in Iraq]
This weekend was a sad weekend. For the faithful blog readers out there, you know that I belong to a Yahoo Board of other National Guard wives. There are a lot 155 wives/significant others on that board and I woke up Sunday morning to an email that one of our wives lost her hubby. Her son is also serving with the 155 BCT - and he actually was home on R&R - she had just picked him up on Friday, and her husband was killed on Saturday.
From A Marine's Parents [Firepower Forward - in Afghanistan]
I received this a little while ago from the parents of a 3/3 Marine in response to the loss of the 2 Marines in May.
Memorial Service at Camp Taqaddum [Dvids video]
The 2d Force Support Service Group held a memorial service at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq. Guest speaker is Lieutenant Colonel John R. Gambrino
"Enemy combatant lite" -- same tough punishment; less process [Intel Dump]
The Washington Post publishes the second of a 2-part series today on the changed legal landscape since 9/11 ? this time focusing on the use of immigration law as an anti-terrorism tool. In many respects, this reflects an old prosectorial tendency to use any law at one's disposal ? no matter how trivial ? to target Public Enemy No. 1. Just as Robert Kennedy promised to arrest a mobster for spitting on the sidewalk, so too is today's Justice Department pledging to go over suspected terrorists in the U.S. with whatever legal procedure they can. According to the Post:
Retreat from the MilBlog high-water mark [CDR Salamander]
John at Argghhh!!! has a link to the MNC-I (Iraq) Policy 39 ? Unit and Soldier Owned and Maintained Websites MEMORANDUM outlining the how-what-where of posting for military personnel in Iraq. John judges it as about as fair as can be expected and I won?t argue that point with him.
What I think needs to be considered is that we should judge the day before this MEMO, 05 APR 05, as the high-water mark of deployed MilBlogs.
Deployed Milblogs - the Rulez [Castle Argghhh!!]
Want to know the official policy of the Multi-National Corps (I.e., CJTF-7 in Iraq) on blogging-while-military? Or civilian or contractor in support of the Corps?
Click here and read the pdf
Wave of the Future [The Fourth Rail - Grim]
Wired has a piece called
"Attack of the Drones," which pretty much lays out the future of warfighting: unmanned, remotely-controlled drones and robots. It starts off with a Predator drone flying over Iraq... which is being piloted from Nevada by remote control rig.
"Immigration Law as Anti-Terrorism Tool" [Grim]
Perhaps you saw today's front-page article in the Washington Post:
Whereas terrorism charges can be difficult to prosecute, Homeland Security officials say immigration laws can provide a quick, easy way to detain people who could be planning attacks. Authorities have also used routine charges such as overstaying a visa to deport suspected supporters of terrorist groups.
Once everybody gets finished muttering, "Well, so the Bush administration is finally doing something right," I should point out that this paragraph isn't the lead, though it is the lede. It's actually paragraph number six.
Humiliation: A call for papers [Counter Column]
This journal of the early days of the captivity and interrogation of the 20th highjacker makes for interesting reading, not least because of the combination of techniques applied to encourage this scumbag to start yapping.
I remember back in the summer of 2003, I was making regular runs from Ramadi to Al Asad air base (FOB Webster) to drop off truckloads of detainees with the 3rd Armored Cavalry detention facility.
The 527th Cut (UPDATED) [Baldilocks]
Does the Left not remember the caterwauling that went up from sea to shining sea in response the Bush phrase ?Axis of Evil? in the 2002 State of the Union address? If it is remembered, what is the big deal about the Downing Street Memo?
So Much For Freedom Fries [Balloon Juice]
It appears that freedom fries are going the way of the Iraqi WMD:
A pro-Iraq war US congressman who campaigned for French fries to be renamed "freedom fries" is now calling for US troops to return home from Iraq. Republican Representative Walter Jones is to introduce legislation demanding a timetable for the withdrawal.
The MSM Reports
A Loss of Momentum (Washington Post)
AFEW MONTHS ago the Bush administration had reason to hope that a spring of freedom might be beginning in the Middle East. What's occurring, however, looks more like a stagnant summer. Iraq's successful election has given way to prolonged political jockeying that endangers the tight timetable for a new constitution and permanent government. The promising announcement by Egypt's Hosni Mubarak of multi-candidate presidential elections has begun to look like a sham.
Look who's shaking things up now (Washington Times)
...Do you notice something odd going on here? Political definitions have been turned upside down. A conservative president emphasizes change; the liberals in Washington, who for decades were the agitators for doing everything different, now suffer hardening of the arteries of the imagination. Curiously, neither The Washington Post nor the New York Times, the house organs of the liberal establishment, mentioned the president's call for creative thinking in their accounts of the speech. The Washington Times, whose editorial page defines the conservative resurgence, put it on Page One.
A Peephole To The War Room: British Documents Shed Light On Bush Team's State Of Mind (New York Times)
...What no one knew then for certain (though some lonely voices did predict it) is that American forces would find none of the lethal chemical or biological weapons that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair said made Iraq so dangerous, or that the anti-American insurgency would be so durable and deadly. That is why the British memos' foresight - read with the benefit of hindsight - rings so bittersweet for those who tried in vain to avert the war, and remain aghast at its human and material costs.
The Madrassa Myth (New York Times)
IT is one of the widespread assumptions of the war on terrorism that the Muslim religious schools known as madrassas, catering to families that are often poor, are graduating students who become terrorists. Last year, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell denounced madrassas in Pakistan and several other countries as breeding grounds for "fundamentalists and terrorists." A year earlier, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld had queried in a leaked memorandum, "Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?"
The 101 Things E-4 Skippy Can?t Do While in the Army [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Haven't yet heard about Skippy? Skippy was an E-4 in the army, served for six years, and is now out and attending college. While in the army he says "I got bored. I mean *really* bored. People who have been on a military deployment can understand what I am talking about here." So Skippy decided a few practical jokes were in order. And that's when he learned the army can make up new rules on the spot. His list is 213 items long, listing things Skippy cannot do while in the army.
Mission Games [The National Guard Experience - in Afghanistan]
Okay, so you're in the Infantry on a field mission for more than five days in the blistering desert heat of Afghanistan. You're stationary and only equipped with a limited number of items. Totally bored out of your mind, here are some games you can play in the field. I know, because I played them. Well, some of them. These games can also be played in Iraq. And remember, the field conditions are critical: Do not play these games unless you've been baking in the hot sun for a minimum of four days, otherwise you'll probably have to receive a pshyc eval. Note: Some related pictures might be posted later this week.
Death Throes [Winds of Change - Dan Darling]
There seems to be something of a debate raging amongst the blogosphere as to whether the insurgency is in its "death throes" or whether the sky is falling and it's only a matter of time until the US is thrown out of Iraq by the kind of mass revolution that a lot of the more short-sighted opponents of the administration were having wet dreams about during the height of the Sadr Uprising.
The Missing Sky [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
There were no stars overhead last night. There was no moonlight either. There wasn?t even a sky.
Yesterday as the sun melted into a fading pool of light the wind started picking up. The first gusts were as soft as a caress, pushing aside the bitter and stale air and bringing something?. different. Not necessarily better, and definitely not worse. But different.
The Horror [A Day In Iraq]
Apparently some bad guys had been shooting mortars at a nearby base from some land adjacent to a man?s home. Our mission was to talk to the man, see if he had any information about the mad mortar men, and search the land around his home for mortar tubes or signs of their presence. I personally didn?t think we would get very far with the man. He lived in a Sunni town and probably knew the people responsible, but I doubted he would give up their identity. I could already see him shaking his head incredulously, wondering how we could possibly associate him with such people. Screw him and his house. That?s what I was thinking as we headed out the gate.
Hot water [Phil and Becky]
When we first arrived at FOB Gabe, we had some minor problems with the hot water. Specifically, there wasn?t a whole lot of it. The showers worked, but the hot water usually ran out quickly and we got to enjoy cold showers. Not complaining here ? a cold shower is still a shower.
Some Gave All [Graham's Journal - in Iraq]
This entry is about how the Army mourns.
Within forty-eight hours of the deaths of PFC Wallace, SPC Fisher, and SGT Drier; Bravo Battery was required to attend a meeting that we were told would teach us to deal with the deaths of our comrades. I really resented that the Army was going to try and tell us the proper way to mourn. I really didn't want to go. But it was mandatory.
What I thought was supposed to be a class telling us how to mourn actually turned out to be an exercise in group mourning, which turned out to be helpful in my opinion. I am glad the Army did it.
Watermelon [Ma Deuce Gunner - in Iraq]
You know, for a desert country, the Iraqi people sure do eat a lot of watermelon. I mean there are watermelons everywhere. You can't drive 1/4 mile without seeing a roadside stand with at least 50 melons, or a truck with the springs flat, filled with
Why NO [Iraqi Expat - in Iraq]
I asked fellow Iraqis to put differences and reasoning aside, and to answer a very clear question with a simple yes or no. But not all were able to achieve that and some felt compelled to explain. I can understand why you want to explain; but what you forgot is by saying yes or no, it doesn't mean you are accepting everything in that situation.
Supporting our Troops
The Movie Store Owner and $500 Worth Of New Releases [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
This story is a positive news story not just because of a generous movie store owner, but because it proves there really are unbiased newspaper reporters out there. It all started with my desire to send my soldiers some DVDs and my very flat pocketbook (I think my George Washington is on E-Harmony.com looking for a little company). I have nine adopted soldiers throught Soldiers Angels as well as about 10 others I met through AnySoldier.com that I have become friends with and worry about often. I wanted to send them all some DVDs.
Care Packages, Letters and Emails [Courage Without Fear - in Iraq]
I just wanted to say thank you to a few people for some special packages I've recieved recently.
Father's Day [Steven Kiel - in Iraq]
Same as for Mother's Day, Cardstore.com is allowing all servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan to order Father's Day cards online and send them home for free.
The Golden Rules of Care Packages: Part II [The National Guard Experience - in Afghanistan]
Re: The Golden Rules Series
In my almost 12 months of deployment here in Afghanistan, I have learned a lot about care packages. So I leave you with these final Golden Rules so you can have success at being a Soldier Supporter after I shutdown my milblog in the next couple months (after returning home), and begin immediately winding down the number of posts to my blog.
Denzel Washington Donates To Fischer House [Patriot Voices]
Most of us probably have not heard the following story but, it's worth repeating as we tend to hear the "negatives" in the media instead of the "positives". This story just proves that there are still some decent people, including celebrities, that support our troops.
Denzel Washington and his family visited the troups at Brook Army Medical Center, in San Antonio,Texas(BAMC) This is where soldiers that have been evacuated from Germany come to be hospitalized in the States, especially burn victims. They have buildings there called Fisher Houses.
Melt Down [Updates on my soldier - Mother of soldier in Iraq]
I had a total meltdown Friday. I cried for about 2 hours. I felt a whole lot better after I did that. I am trying my best to hold this together, but I can't help but worry about my son. I opened the morning paper, and I saw the headlines..."Five marines killed in Iraq"...It stuck in my head all day. My son is going to be attached to a marine unit. He is infantry army (ugh). He'll drive a humvee. He is going to a bad place...now do you see why I am worrying. I have to go to MS. next week to a send off ceremony. How do I get through that? I don't want my son to see my meltdowns. I want him to not worry about his mother.
Tornado [The Story Of Us - Wife of deployed Soldier]
OMG OMG OMG
I learned a valauable lesson tonight....when living here in tornado alley, check the weather before leaving your house! No matter how pretty it looks!!
Driven by my stomach we went to walmart to stock up on munchies. Were about 3/4 thru with our shopping when all the sudden there are associates everywhere rounding people up, looking a lot like a cattle herd, they were driving us all to the center of the store. Bout the time we all got there, we could hear the sirens going off. And those that live here knew what that means....TORANDO!
I did pretty good putting on a strong front for my kids, but, all I kept thinking was I want my honey! I want to be able to call him so bad right now! I need a hug!
My life is at a stand still [Military Wife - of deployed Soldier]
I fell as if everything has come to a complete halt. Here I am living this life apart from my husband. I'm living mine and he is living his. We are no longer moving forward together. We were suppose to be moving forward in our lives together. I find that his personal belongings are being removed more and more everyday from this house. I've taken over the bathroom and the bed room. I did however hang his robe on the linen closet door in the hallway just to have something of him hanging around. It's weird because when I make choices I find myself not including what he would say or do. It's getting tougher and tougher he is no longer around not even his smell.
Iranian Regime Tempts Fate with Guest 'Journalist'n [The Word Unheard]
So, who is the only jackass in the room in a silk suit kneeling behind a semi-wall observing Friday 'prayers' ...errrr...Regime State of the Regime Address... in Tehran? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Sgt. Joe Friday? Maxwell Smart? An anonymous reporter looking for a named source? A geographically challenged American desperately seeking Susan?
Camera of Sean Penn, Journalist, Confiscated in Iran [Via: NRO the Corner]
...they briefly seized the video camera of Penn, 44, who arrived in Iran as a reporter for his friend Phil Bronstein, editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Penn was spotted on Friday with a notebook in hand covering a prayer service. He has also written about his visits to Iraq for the Chronicle.
Poll: USA Is Losing Patience On Iraq (USA Today)
59% support troop cuts ? a new high
Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, a new Gallup Poll finds, the most downbeat view of the war since it began in 2003.
As Iraqi Army Trains, Word In The Field Is It May Take Years (New York Times)
Despite the Bush administration's insistent optimism, Americans working with the Iraqis in the field believe that it could be several years, at least, before the new Iraqi forces will be ready to stand alone against the insurgents.
Inside the Interrogation of Detainee 063 (Time)
To get the '20th hijacker' to talk, the U.S. used a wide range of tactics. A secret log reveals the first documented view of how Gitmo really works.
The Right Conversation For America (Washington Post)
Earlier this month Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld questioned the priorities of editorial pages such as The Post's.
They Won't Go (New York Times)...Bob Herbert
...With the war in Iraq going badly and allegations of abuse by military personnel widespread, young men and women are increasingly deciding that there's no upside to a career choice in which the most important skills might be ducking bullets and dodging roadside bombs.
Stupid Lefty Slogans [Hurl's BLOG]
Periodically I think about the various one-liner phrases that many on the left seem so fond of. You?ve seen them on bumper stickers and protest signs ? ?No blood for oil?, ?Give peace a chance?, and ?War never solved anything.? It is my belief that the depth of thought on the left is so simplistic and shallow ? almost non-existent ? that the entirety can easily be scrawled on a sign or bumper sticker.
Caption Contest [Outside the beltway]
Time for the Monday OTB Caption Contest (warning - not work/kid safe!)
Sleep Tight My Brother [a Soldier's blog - in Iraq]
Another Soldier in my Squadron died recently. Just a few days ago Staff Sergeant Mark Edwards died in his sleep. We are all unsure of why he died, just that when others went to wake him up for a mission, it was too late.
A Tragedy Worsens [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
By now, no doubt folks have seen the news reports, that military authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the deaths.
Most of the news reports have been pretty straight up, but it won't be long before the anti-war types are sputtering this kind of garbage.
Dead Guardsmen's Families Must Mourn And Wonder, Too (NYT)
The friends and family of two New York National Guardsmen who were killed in Iraq on Tuesday said yesterday that their grief would be compounded by confusion until the military finished its criminal investigation into how they died
Coalition Transfers Base to Iraqi Army [Defense Link]
A ceremony was held in western Baghdad to officially transfer the authority of Raider Base from the coalition forces to the Iraqi Army
A snap shot from operation lightning [Free Iraqi]
Operation lightning (I called it thunderbolt in a previous post so I apologize for that mistake) seems to be going better than what I expected in terms of reducing violence in Baghdad. I think everyone who's following the news must've seen that the attacks in Baghdad these days are getting less than before, and here on the ground we can see the same thing. Not just terrorist attacks that has been reduced but even regular crimes, as it seems that part of the operation is focusing on capturing regular criminals who are in addition to their usual criminal activities do form, in my mind, the right hand for the Ba'athists.
The Green Zone.... [neurotic Iraqi wife]
...One very important thing I wanna say is that, many Iraqis(locals) are being employed which is a great thing. They are being trained and educated on many issues of the rebuilding process so they can take over later. These Iraqis that enter the GZ everyday, are nothing but heroes in my eyes. Most of them have gotten threat letters, and yet they are adamant in coming here everyday to learn and be part of this huge effort. We have a lady whose Brother in law was killed 2 days ago because he "used" to work with KBR. They still killed him even though he succumbed to their wishes and left his work a few months ago. The same woman's father in law was killed last year because of the brother. I mean those savages are lower than the low of the scum of the earth. I have no clue what the government is doing about this, cuz believe you me, Iraqis here are just fed up.
Laredo Soldier Dies In Iraq On Last Day Before Return (Houston Chronicle)...AP
A day before he was scheduled to return from Iraq, Army Sgt. Roberto Arizola Jr. was killed when a device exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad.
1336z [Hoike.us - in Afghanistan]
45-minute helicopter ride later, and I'm back at Forward Operating Base Ghazni. The terrain looks completely different now. At this time last year, it was sand, sand, and more sand. But flying across the country today, there was more green than I thought I would ever see in Afghanistan. I guess they weren't joking when they said that this place just came out of a multi-year drought. Someone was telling me today that Ghazni province itself had 80 inches of snow this winter, giving farmers in the area more to work with than ever. I'm just hoping that they take advantage of this opportunity and start growing the food they need to take care of themselves instead of flooding the marijuana and opium markets again. It looks like they're on the right track though.
Army Special Forces Soldier dies in Afghanistan [Jack Army]
An Army Special Forces Soldier based here died June 10, 2005 near Orgun-e, Afghanistan there.
Sgt. 1st Class Victor H. Cervantes, 28, a weapons sergeant, assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) here, died from wounds sustained during combat operations while on patrol with Afghan security forces in the country?s Paktika province.
God Bless My Soldier [A Soldier's Perspective]
Eric Horner has written a tear-inducing song from the perspective of a child who?s father has gone off to war. When you visit this site, take a box of tissues with you, especially if you?re a soldier with kids. The song is called God Bless My Soldier Too.
America - Foleygate Update [USS Neverdock]
I finally received a reply to my email to several people on the Guild's contact list, asking what they plan to do about Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley's, unsubstantiated and slanderous claim that US troops target journalists.
Mike Hoyt executive editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, sent me this email.
Double Whammy [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
The Brigade Commander stopped by with a couple of reporters today. A Man and a Woman. I'll reserve my comments on their appearance because I don't have anything nice to say about them.
I may get stuck with them sometime in the next week. I really don't mind getting embeds for roll around with, I always try to get them to where they can see the real army, and tell our story.
But not these two.
The first strike: They're French. I'd rather cart around lepers.
The second strike: They work for the French edition of Newsweek.
Are you shitting me?
Shocking News: Anti-Americanism in Pyongyang [GI Korea Blog]
ABC News just recently did a report from Pyongyang and of course the Marmot is all over this one. It is pretty obvious ABC News is just pandering to the North Korean leadership to gain further access just in case tensions boil up between North Korea and the US they will be the first on scene in Pyongyang. They may be first from Pyongyang, but are they willing to report the truth?
The MSM Reports
No Smoking Gun (Washington Post)
After about the 200th e-mail from a stranger demanding that I cease my personal coverup of something called the Downing Street Memo, I decided to read it. It's all over the blogosphere and Air America, the left-wing talk radio network: This is the smoking gun of the Iraq war. It is proof positive that President Bush was determined to invade Iraq the year before he did so. The whole "weapons of mass destruction" concern was phony from the start, and the drama about inspections was just kabuki: going through the motions.
Memo: U.S. Lacked Full Postwar Iraq Plan (Washington Post)
A briefing paper prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top advisers eight months before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq concluded that the U.S. military was not preparing adequately for what the British memo predicted would be a "protracted and costly" postwar occupation of that country.
A Case-by-Case Examination (Washington Post)
In December, The Washington Post obtained a list of the 361 terrorism-related cases filed by U.S. attorneys' offices in the three years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and set out to examine each one.
Beyond Guantanamo (Washington Post)
THE BUSH administration's policies and practices for detaining and interrogating foreign prisoners remain desperately in need of reform. The hundreds of suspected enemy combatants who have been held incommunicado or subjected to abuse and torture, and the scores who may have been unlawfully killed, represent the single greatest failing of the United States in the war on terrorism. Yet there has been shockingly little corrective action.
Losing the War of Opinion (Washington Post)
The Bush administration risks having more Americans ask, "What are we doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?" than, "How are we doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?"
A Growing Public Restlessness (Washington Post)
The number 58 appears frequently in the latest Post-ABC News poll, sending a clear warning signal to President Bush and the Republicans.
The June survey found that 58 percent of its 1,002 respondents now disapprove of the way Bush is handling both the economy and the situation in Iraq.
Ten-Hut! (Washington Post)
The Army's Bungling Recruitment
Nearly every day, anywhere from one to several U.S. soldiers or Marines die in Iraq, and even more are wounded. The news doesn't always make the front pages anymore, but the casualty rate has apparently registered deeply in the consciousness of young Americans and their families. The result is a dangerous decline in new enlistments that is depleting U.S. military resources and weakening our capacity to face additional conflicts or threats from abroad.
Interrogating Ourselves (NYT Mag)
The Silence After Abu Ghraib
In order to get to the nub of the question of what we as citizens really expect and require of American interrogators facing supposed terrorists -- how far we're prepared to allow those asking the questions to venture into the dark realm of brutalization and coercion -- let's for argument's sake put aside the most horrific, shameful cases, those of detainees who died under interrogation:
The Time Seems Ripe to Tie the Knot in Iraq (Washington Times)
The number of nuptials surges after years of repression. Some see the trend as an embrace of life in the face of death.
The party planner at the city's upscale Hunting Club can't find enough floral designers to keep up with decoration demands.
Winning Or Losing In Iraq (New York Daily News)
Two U.S. officers involved in the fight for Samarra have come to starkly different conclusions about the battle.
One is encouraged by the Iraqis willing to take charge of their city, while the other is dismayed and afraid that victory may be slipping away.
Military's Training Ranges In Trouble (San Diego Union-Tribune)...AP
Many U.S. military training ranges are deteriorating, leaving troops with a less-effective training experience and in some cases endangering them, says a report from Congress' investigative arm.
Here is a suggestion! [Military Mom]
I know this is a little racey, but I'm Catholic, and we drink at weddings, and have fun and everything. So just look at this with one eye, if you can't take a joke.
You don't want to go to Iraq try this:
A soldier came to a fork in the road and saw a nun standing there.
CALL OUT! [Sondra K]
We've been sadly informed that despite all our efforts (mine vis a vis) our 82nd Airborne Division has slipped through our troop support radar somehow in the mad shuffle of paperwork and info transfer.
We have approx. 2000 guys and gals that need our letters and thoughts right now during this hard fought battle and I KNOW we can cover each and every one! Please, peeps....this is VERY important...don't ask why, just DO!
Contact either Stepperg or me for information. We'll forward to the brass and you'll get a reply within a day. Let's get back in gear, folks!
Operation Connect: Video eMail for our Troops [Stryker News]
Thanks to Jose Casillas for making us aware of the following event taking place this weekend in San Jose, CA. On Saturday, June 11th between 10am and 3pm at The Tech Museum of Innovation in Downtown San Jose, families of deployed service men and women will have the opportunity to create a free video message. The message can then be emailed immediately to their deployed loved one. You can find additional information online, and it is recommended that you register beforehand if you are interested.
A Day in the life, Part 2. [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
This was a long day a while back?
It started with simple highway clearance. I also had to go to a town and pass out leaflets describing a guy?s terrorist?s death and why he was blown into little bitty pieces for shooting at me killed.
So we're passing out these flyers and realize that there's a LOT of people hanging around. (Which is a good thing, because empty streets=bad shit about to go down)
Other peoples' kids [Phil and Becky - in Iraq]
The mission was to investigate a market where there were rumors of snarky behavior. I rode with the Company Commander and our role was to set a blocking position at a certain point. If there were bad guys there, we had plenty of combat power to deal with them. If not, we would transition to a presence patrol and interact with the locals for a while before heading back to FOB Gabe.
Knock, knock... [Who's your Baghdaddy? - in Iraq]
I rose to the sound of someone knocking on the door of my tent at about 2230 hrs the other night. I opened the door to find the Operations Sergeant Major standing before me. I was surprised it was him, and instantly curious since this was an unusual visit.
Unspeakable Tragedy [Major K - in Iraq]
Tonight, I write with a very heavy heart. In a war you expect to lose people. It is a hazard of the job for which you prepare yourself from the beginning. It might be someone in the unit that you don't know, someone that you do know, or it may even be you.
HOTTEST DAY SINCE I'VE BEEN HERE [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
...We left this area and were heading back to the FOB, but we wanted to look at one more place. We stopped there and our tank went on top of a hill just to kind of overlook the area. One of the VT vehicles went up there with him and just hopped out and started sweeping the area for caches. They got a hit and found 28 RPG rounds buried on top of the hill. When I say in the middle of the desert, I mean it's like 5 miles from the nearest road. I don't know if I have mentioned SPC Lukenburg before, but he is from Russia and has been in the states for about 3 years. He is about my size, but maybe a little bigger. Everyone here calls him The Big Russian. When we were pulling some stuff out of the ground it looked to have Russian writing. We called Big Russian over and he started reading it. I guess he forgot we needed him to translate it because he just kept reading it like we were all fluent in Russian.
Dog days [Blog Machine City - in Iraq]
...It's not like this place is bad, per se - KBR does air conditioner repair 24 hours a day, the power usually doesn't go out during the day, and last night I had BBQ ribs, macaroni & cheese, and broccoli for dinner. I'm typing this from my room (all by myself, since my roommate's on leave), and despite a couple of rocket attacks late last month that killed two people on the camp, it's still a secure place to be. (How many people were killed in traffic accidents last month in the Twin Cities?)
My new truck is awesome as far as crappy trucks go :p [My Vacation in Iraq]
I don't know if I mentioned that I have a different truck now. I had to switch with someone else because of the equipment this one has installed. Anyhow, this one does have it's good points being faster than my old one is a plus.
Rocky Start [NEW MilBlogger!- Veracious of Iraq - in Iraq]
I created this blog about two months ago wanting to bring a true picture of Iraq to the people back home. I find that time limits my ability to keep this up for long though. I believe it is important for everyone to see this place for what it is, not what CNN says it is. I may not be able to say what is happening all around the place, but I think this place is a good start. Things here are nowhere near as bad as I had expected, the guys that came before me did a great job in securing this place.
Iraqi Forces Seize Terrorists, Cash, Weapons [DefenseLink]
Iraqi Army and Task Force Baghdad soldiers captured 33 terror suspects, seized 2 million Iraqi dinars and confiscated a variety of bomb-making materials in a series of operations conducted June 8 and 9, military officials in Baghdad reported.
Interview with LTC Wright/CNN [DVIDS video]
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Wright, Commander of the 70th Engineer Battalion, talks to CNN Radio about his battalion's involvement in Operation Lightning in Taji, Iraq, the impact of the coalition forces overseas, and how he trains Iraqi troops.
Maintenance of Freedom [Ma Deuce Gunner - in Iraq]
I was the CQ (Charge of Quarters) NCOIC (Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge) a few days ago, and posted on my XO's (Executive Officer, 2nd in commmand of the Company) are 5 quotes on the door to his office. I have walked past them a hundred times, and read them a few times. I read them again, and two of them struck me.
Female Marines take on crucial role in Fallujah [Marines.com]
Marines have the responsibility of providing security here, and cultural sensitivities are a major concern for the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-8.
Female Marines have taken on a critical role in the Regimental Combat Team?s mission in an effort to show respect for the Iraqi culture.
Homeward Bound [Soldier's Paradise II - in Iraq]
As my fourth tour in this region comes to a close I feel very blessed and fortunate to have spent twenty six months here and never been shot at (unless you count SCUDs) and to have never seen many of the horrible things that too many of my brothers in arms have. I have never seen a personal friend die in combat. I have never seen children or women die in combat zones. I have never had to take the life of my enemy. I am thankful for all of that and so much more.
The Third Rule of War [Blackfive]
I decided to post this just in case you have not seen this story yet...
It's an important story told from the perspective of the military doctors in Iraq. It's not the first time that I've posted about those who tend to the wounded - the story of Saving Specialist Gray is one of my favorites.
USASOC loses two more heroes [Jack Army]
An Army Special Forces officer based here was killed June 3, 2005 in the vicinity of Orgun-e, Afghanistan.
Capt. Charles D. Robinson, 29, a Special Forces officer, assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Fort Bragg, N.C., died when an enemy improvised explosive device exploded near his Ground Mobility Vehicle during operations in Afghanistan?s southeastern region.
Robinson deployed to Afghanistan in January 2005 in support of the Global War on Terrorism
3/3 Marines are coming home, leaving the Kunar Province "one step closer to freedom" [Marine Corps Moms]
Captain Sweeney from India company recaps the last seven months:
Here's a significant event that happened in April but I don't recall seeing it in print before. It's a sign that the times, they are a'changing and that the future looks bright for the people of Afghanistan.
Achilles Last Stand: The Primal Heroic Response [Winds of Change]
Joe's Zimbabwe post talked about a number of things, but I want to draw on my experience and focus on one thing: what makes people act when the chips are down? Where, in other words, do heroes come from? It isn't just a rhetorical question....
Per the Captain [One Heckuva Roar!]
Excerpt from a farewell note sent by a prior-enlisted captain who's folding his flight cap after 23 years:
"You do important work everyday and the American people appreciate it. How do I know? I went to my nephew's high school graduation Tuesday where 64 honors students recieved more than $2.3 million in scholarships, and one world-class athlete was recognized for breaking six state records in track & field. Although applause echoed through the evening, only six students recieved a standing ovation by the more than 1,500 people there.
"Those six, the only six of the 415 graduates, had...
First Shirt [NEW MilBlogger! - Stacking Swivel]
A first sergeant has a number of duties that are vital to the operation of a line company. He is the principal advisor to the commanding officer in matters affecting morale and discipline, and he occupies an important position in the overall command structure of the unit. In addition to his advisory role with the ?skipper,? first sergeants also have a number of administrative duties, including the supervision of the Company Gunnery Sergeant, the supply sergeant, and the company office.
Linguistic Lag [Intel Dump]
Robert Lane Greene has an interesting column in Slate on the difficulties one encounters when trying to learn Arabic.
Which, of course, is a great moment for me to get back on my soapbox: can someone explain why the United States did not fund massive Arabic, Urdu, Pashto and Farsi language programs immediately after 9/11? Hindsight being 20/20, it seems that it would've been a solid investment to pour massive amounts of money into U.S. universities to fund these programs, much as we did for engineers and scientists during the Cold War.
Dismissed! (Slate - Milblogger Phil Carter)
After combat, recruiting may be the toughest duty in the military today. Both the Army and Marines?who shoulder the casualty burden in Iraq and Afghanistan almost to the exclusion of their Navy and Air Force brethren?have failed to meet their recruiting targets for the last few months. The Army has assigned more recruiters, pledged more money, and lowered quality standards in an effort to hit its recruiting targets.
THE MEDIA VS. THE MILITARY, PART TWO [Rightfielder]
WHY IS THE LIBERAL MEDIA TRYING TO TURN IRAQ INTO ANOTHER VIETNAM?
In an earlier piece I quoted ABC?s Terry Moran (from an article in U.S. News) as saying, "There is, I agree with you, a deep antimilitary bias in the media, one that begins with the premise the military must be lying."
So those in the liberal media admit that when dealing with the military, those honorable soldiers that protect and defend us, they see them (as they probably do everyone else) through their warped presupposition of mistrust. Suspicion sees what suspicion is. Last week we found out the real truth about the supposed mishandling of the Quran. I opened up my email and there was an article entitled ?Inquiry Finds Some Quran 'Mishandling? by ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer.
Newsweek's Fineman Begs Us to Believe His Anonymous Source [The Word Unheard]
From USS Neverdock & Jackson's Junction comes yet another story of Newsweek and Anonymous Sources. Newsweek and Howard Fineman have recognized that anonymous sources no longer are blindly accepted by the reading consumers. But rather than avoice them, Fineman chooses rather to beg us to believe his Mr. Nobody from Any Branch of Service in Anywhere, Iraq.
Do You Even Know What Freedom Is? [Dude, Where's The Beach? - My Hitchhikers Guide To The World]
My response to an anonymous comment on MDG's site regarding the freedom of speech and how the press can print whatever they want, no matter how false or misleading it it may be, and no matter what the consequences are to the innocent victims of their words.
2,200 Journalists Await Michael Jackson Verdict [Outside the Beltway]
There are more journalists assembled in Los Angeles awaiting the Michael Jackson trial verdict than there were for the O.J. and Scott Peterson trials combined.
2,200 Journalists Await Jackson Verdict
Patriotic Journalism [Sisyphean Musings]
Howard Zinn is widely credited with the quote, "To criticize the government is the highest act of patriotism."
Of course that's nonsense and taken out of context from his book, Artists In Times of War and Other Essays. As a stand-alone quote, it is similar to claiming that "To clown around in class is the highest act of intellectualism."
Sean Penn in new role at Friday Prayers in Tehran (Reuters)
Hollywood actor Sean Penn, adopting the role of a journalist, scribbled in his notebook as worshipers during Friday prayers in Tehran chanted "Death to America."
How Not to Build a Nation (NYT)
Nothing is more important to the future of Iraq's government than convincing the underrepresented Sunni Arab minority that it will have a place in a democratic Iraq.
Zealots at the Air Force Academy (NYT)
It will take civilian pressure from President Bush, Congress and taxpayers, to restore the separation of church and state at the Air Force Academy.
Is There a Hurricane or Tornado Coming? I Don?t Know, I Didn?t Pay My Weather Report Bill. [The Athiest Soldier]
How retarded is this? It?s bad enough that Santorum has already shown his disdain for sanity once. Now this?
Oh, It's the Right Wing's Fault That Howie is a Raving Idiot [Mr Minority]
The Donks are coming to the defense of Howie Dean and his raving mouth, and naturally it's the "Right Wing's" fault.
The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate yesterday blamed "the right wing" and elements of the press "in service to it" for repeating Howard Dean's remarks about Republicans and inflating them out of proportion.
An Ominous Message for Democrats ... [Daisy Cutter]
from Dick Morris. Oh, my. Dick paints a bleak picture for Democrat senators in deep red states (there are 11 such Demos, as compared to only 3 Republicans in deep blue territory). The horrah.
Frustrations of a Sub-Blogger [The Stupid Shall Be Punished]
This is not a whiny post (see below for that). This is a post that explains one of the biggest frustrations of being a submarine blogger -- normally you only see the "bad" things about the Sub Force in the paper, and we can't blog about all the good things, because of the classified nature of the business.
Houston meetup? [The Adventures of Chester]
I was in a wedding in St. Louis a few weeks ago and had a first: I met a Loyal Reader who was not a prior friend, acquaintance or relative. I had never met a reader before.
I know very little about most of you readers out there.
I'll be in Houston on business Mon-Friday this coming week. From the readers I've corresponded with, it seems like there are a fair number there.
Would anyone be interested in a meetup? It would have to be in the evening for me. Mon, Tues, or Thursday night. Would be fun to have a couple of hours of conversation with fellow blog-readers, no?
TMG Editor's Note: The Greyhawks LOVE jerky!
The great jerky debate [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
I figured I?d better weigh in on the Jerky wars. I like beef jerky. Hell, I?ve made beef jerky. It has the two things that sustain life: salt and red meat. Now, I?m not a big fan of the slim-jim stuff; way too much grease. (Buy one at the local 7-11 and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to see what I mean.) I?m also not a big fan of the stamped out jerky?the stuff that comes in cans, exactly the same size for each piece. Generally, it?s flavorless, also greasy, and just unappealing.
An Jerky Solution For A Bad Habit [Bloggers for Beef Jerky]
I have just come across a cool new jerky snack. It is shredded beef jerky. This is pretty awesome. Finally, it gives me something I can carry around easily and discreetly and whenever the need arises, I can pop some jerky in my mouth and enjoy its sweet meaty goodness. This also provides a healthy alternative to tobbacco chewers. WHen you feel the need for a fix, just bust out the can of jerky. Good Stuff! I am definitely going to get some.
Bloggers for Beef Jerky [Cowboy Blob's Saloon]
I had just started paying closer attention to the Jerky Wars documented by Milblogger Mustang23 at Assume Command, when MKL of Southern by Blog!!, a fellow Fusileer of the Spirit of America campaign, asked for my help to stifle the Beef Jerky Nazi's efforts to reduce the flow of tasty dried beef to our boys and girls deployed to the Sharp End.
Pre-9/11 FBI Missed Chances to Catch Gorelick [Scrappleface]
In the years leading up to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the FBI fumbled several opportunities to capture Clinton-era Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, according to a new study by the Justice Department's Inspector General.
ROOT CAUSES OF TERRORISM TIMELINE [BEAUTIFUL ATROCITIES']
450 million years ago: First cartilaginous fishes
240 million years ago: Gore Vidal born
6000 BC Sumerians invent beer in Fertile Crescent; Madonna born
2000 BC Gore Vidal publishes first of gazillion books blaming all world's problems on America; no one knows wtf he's talking about
800 BC Madonna's Smearing the Pap Tour opens & closes in Gomorrah: "tired" "too old" "same old crap"
And So the Kinder, Gentler War on Terror Began... (Tech Central Stn - Douglas Kern)
"Men," growled Colonel Clueless, "there's no denying it: the Guantanamo Bay Ex-Detainee Reunion Party has clearly violated several Baghdad municipal ordinances, what with the mortar attacks and sniper fire and car bombs and all, and serious action will have to be taken."
Grief and Anger [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
I have struggled in my mind with how to tell two stories that I think need telling. One is tragic, the other outrageous.
The Day of Adversity [NEW! MilBlogger -Graham's Journal - in Iraq]
...I went to eat dinner. On Fox News, they announced that three soldiers had died in Baghdad. When I returned once again to the barracks, a couple of the guys complained that the news of the three mens' death hadn't even been officially put out to the Battery, and they were already reporting it on f-----g Fox News.
Iraqi Oil - Just the Facts... [Hurl's Blog - in Iraq]
Many of the missions I have flown over the past 10 days or so involve providing security along the main road going from Baghdad to Jordan. I am currently located in far Western Iraq, about equi-distant from both the Jordanian and Syrian borders. We sweep the roads randomly, searching for unusual activity or anything suspicious. We also provide escort for a variety of convoys travelling in both directions.
OUR ALL AMERICAN GATE GUARD TEAM [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
This morning we went on a mission to conduct a cache search along the Eurphrates River. The area was right alongside the river. We headed out this morning and it was already in the 90?s when we pulled out early. We all knew it was going to be a hot one. When we got to the area, there was a house that we decided to perform a search of before we started the cache search. There was a woman and a small child there. While CPT Cager was talking to the interpreter, I saw a door right behind me and kicked it in. As soon as I did, I knew I had made a huge mistake, it was the out house. I couldn?t get the door back closed and on hinges fast enough. While trying to get my smell sensation back, I looked at this area behind a cardboard box and saw a little chicken that was laid on side kicking legs up and knew it was on it?s last leg. I asked one of my soldiers if he was a combat lifesaver and if he had his bag. He said yes and I led him to the chicken and asked him to take care of the little chick. He started to bend down to do it when I told him I was only joking. I think he was the only one that didn?t think it was funny.
A Day in the life [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
I am really getting ahead in the PTSD race. In the last 36 hours, We?ve raided houses, cleared highways, met with the governor, dedicated a new IA headquarters building, cleared more highways, and passed out school supplies and candy to children, and policed body parts off of the highway after a VBIED attack.
Feedback on comments [Phil and Becky's - in Iraq]
Sorry I didn't get to post to the blog yesterday. Our Brigade lost a soldier and initiated a communications blackout until next of kin notification occurred.
I got some good questions and feedback about OPSEC in the comments to my previous post, particularly with regard to the "jigsaw puzzle" effect of OPSEC. I ought to clarify a couple of points.
The BBC [Major K - in Iraq]
I was contacted a week ago by BBC Radio 5 via e-mail and asked for an interview. I have received several requests before from others and did not respond as I did not want the attention to my blog that getting approved for an interview would bring. However, things were a little slow at that time and I had already found out that my higher command knew about this blog, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I contacted my public affairs officer and they inspected my blog and figured it would be ok. Being on the intelligence side in an infantry unit, I pretty much avoid the press anyway, as a lot of the things I know, I cannot talk about. By the time the PAO did approve the interview, the program had already aired on the BBC, but they decided to go ahead with the interview anyway, for a possible follow up to the show.
"Be proud of them...they do great things for the right reasons" [Marine Corps Moms]
The HMM-162 (Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-162) has landed and the situation is well in hand. LtCol Diehl updates the friends and families of this Aviation Combat Element:
What's up my Homey? [IRR Soldier - in Iraq]
The weather is getting hotter. It's been about 108-109 with peaks around 112. I know it's going to get even hotter though. The summer where I live in the states gets into the low hundreds in the summer, but I expect 120-130 here when it really kicks in. The bugs are unbelievable. I counted the bites on my arms just now so I could give you a count. Right arm 27 left arm somewhere around 42. The left arm is harder to tell because there is this one little concentrated area on my elbow that I think a tiny bug landed on while I was sleeping last night and just went to town. The space is maybe two inches by two inches and there's around 20 bites just in that area.
Major Update [Bayonet - in Iraq]
Most of you have noticed a significant drop-off in activity for kincy.com during the last few weeks. Many of the things I am involved in right now and for foreseeable future cannot be described, even in the past tense, because it could affect ongoing political and military operations. Because of this, I have decided to stop publishing the blog.
What so Proudly we Hail [Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum - in Iraq]
Trust. Trusting someone here can get you killed, yet it is who we as Americans are. We are an open and trusting society. We have our share of faults, just watch the news, our detractors are all too willing, and ready to broadcast our shortcomings. So be it. We are Americans, we rise above it, and no matter what the media portrays on television or on radio we rise above it.
Back in Baghdad [Boots in Baghdad - in Iraq]
Well after a few days of travel I am back in Baghdad. I am currently at Camp Liberty and should be returning to FOB Justice within the next couple of days.
I had a great time with family and friends while I was home. Thanks to all of them for their love and hospitality. I was, however, ready to get back here and finish what I started.
In the Blink of an Eye [Firepower Forward - in Afghanistan]
The final vestiges of our task force finally closed on Bagram a few days ago, more than 2 weeks after we started the move. We have had people here prepping the ground for our occupation of camp Teufel Hunden (Devil Dog), one of Bagram's many subdivisions, for about a month now and even though all our people all of our people have made the move from Salerno, we still have a long way to go before it will feel like home.
Iran Helped Overthrow Taliban, Candidate Says (USA Today)...Barbara Slavin
Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards fought alongside and advised the Afghan rebels who helped U.S. forces topple Afghanistan's Taliban regime in the months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the guards' former leader says.
WHERE is the al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan, and how do we plan to destroy it?
This is the question that every American should be asking, the day after five men were detained and questioned as part of an FBI investigation into a possible al-Qaeda cell in the small Northern California town of Lodi.
The bottle, the zipper, and integrity [Intel Dump - PhilCarter]
When I was a new second lieutenant at the U.S. Army's Military Police Officer Basic Course, CPT Lex Gaylord taught our class that three things would get a young officer into trouble: the bottle (alcohol-related problems), the zipper (sexual misconduct of any kind), and integrity (specifically, the lack thereof).
Patriot Act's Option to Renew [NEW! MilBlogger - One Heckuva Roar!]
Big talk about the president's recent push to renew key provisions of the Patriot Act, which was Congress' offering to the Justice Department in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks. The act essentially closed the major loopholes that the Sept. 11th hijackers exploited, and has undoubtedly given U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies the teeth to stop would-be attackers before they strike us anytime soon.
Result: 200-plus bad guys have been convicted. Federal charges related to terrorism stand against a couple hundred suspects right now.
Zimbabwe Changed My Mind: Guns Are A Human Right [Winds of Change]
As many of you know, I'm from Canada. We have a pretty different attitude to guns up here, and I must say that American gun culture has always kind of puzzled me. To me, one no more had a right to a gun than one did to a car.
Sweets Replace Bullets On Baghdad Street (London Financial Times)
"Everything is secure, everything is much better," says one matron, as Maj Fouad looks on. "Our thanks to the National Guard for ridding us of the terrorists and saboteurs."
Haifa St is one of several former guerrilla controlled areas that Iraqi forces now patrol. And, despite the upsurge in bombings in the Iraqi capital over the past few weeks in which at least 700 have died, the areas of the country where insurgents can operate freely appear to be declining.
Building Iraq's Army: Mission Improbable (Washington Post)...Anthony Shadid and Steve Fainaru
...The reconstruction of Iraq's security forces is the prerequisite for an American withdrawal from Iraq. But as the Bush administration extols the continuing progress of the new Iraqi army, the project in Baiji, a desolate oil town at a strategic crossroads in northern Iraq, demonstrates the immense challenges of building an army from scratch in the middle of a bloody insurgency.
Insurgency Seen Forcing Change In Iraq Strategy (Boston Globe)...Bryan Bender
Military operations in Iraq have not succeeded in weakening the insurgency, and Iraq's government, with US support, is now seeking a political reconciliation among the nation's ethnic and tribal factions as the only viable route to stability, according to US military officials and private specialists
Disputed Iraq Raids Blamed On Bad Intelligence (Los Angeles Times)...Patrick J. McDonnell and Ashraf Khalil
Erroneous U.S. raids targeting Sunni Arab political organizations were the result of bad intelligence mistakenly linking the groups to insurgent activity, a senior U.S. military official said Thursday.
Key Senator: Bush Must Level With Public On Iraq (Dallas Morning News)...Carl P. Leubsdorf
...Faced with declining public support, Mr. Bush needs to tell Americans "it's going to take a lot more time ... at least through the end of 2006," and explain what still has to be done there, Sen. Joe Biden told reporters after returning from his fifth visit to Iraq.
Seeing Brown in the NY Times [Little Red Blog]
Perhaps I?ve just become too cynical. When I read the NY Times headline for David Kirkpatrick?s column on Janice Rogers Brown, I immediately believed the column was an attempt to portray Brown in a negative way. The headline ? Seeing Slavery in Liberalism. After reading the column, aside from reaffirming my belief that Brown will make an excellent Justice on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, I had to believe that either the NY Times had missed its mark or I?d wrongly pre-judged their intent.
UN alert as nuclear plans go missing (Guardian)
Electronic drawings that give comprehensive details of how to build and test equipment essential for making nuclear bombs have vanished and could be put up for sale on the international black market, according to UN investigators.
Patience [365 and a Wakeup -in Iraq]
One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.
- Ancient Chinese Proverb
One of the iron clad rules the cavalry soldiers passed along as they were leaving was to never let your guard down. It was valuable advice - not everyone who warmly shakes your hand is your friend. But just as true is the inverse of that law - not everyone who appears threatening is your enemy. Several of our soldiers relearned that lesson today while setting up a TCP (traffic control point - aka checkpoint) on one of the crowded streets of Baghdad.
Interview with COL Disalvo [DVIDS video]
Colonel Joseph Disalvo, Commander, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division (Fort Stewart), talks from Baghdad to an ABC reporter about his area of operation, his role in Baghdad, and the role of the Iraqi Security Forces
General: Insurgents force others to launch suicide raids (Army Times)
Iraqi insurgents appear to be forcing some followers to commit suicide car bombings by tying or binding them inside explosive-carrying vehicles, the commanding general of allied security forces in Baghdad said Wednesday.
Sad News... [My Vacation in Iraq]
Last night the inevitable happened. My unit sustained it's first casualty of the war. I know I am not a good writer and couldn't begin to write about what happened. So I'm not going to try.
Why aren't more pictures like these in the news? [A Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
I got these pictures in an email from a fellow soldiers' angel. The came from an adopted soldier in the program. Why don't pictures like these get any airtime on the big news channels???
Mission turns fowl for Charlie 1/5 Marines Marines.com]
At five inches tall and less then two pounds, the suspect that Cpl. Scott B. Lyon and fellow Marines with Company C, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, have in their custody here is not the average AK-47-toting insurgent ? he?s a pigeon.
Dates with my husband [Ryan and Christy's Place - in Iraq]
We could talk about almost anything on our dates. His job -- but most often, he can't tell me what he does. The weather -- pegged as a "boring" date topic, but it's pretty interesting, to be honest, with temperatures topping 100 degrees and the prettiest sunsets. Stories about crazy things he his guy friends do -- they're funny and always make me laugh.
"Be proud of them...they do great things for the right reasons" [Marine Corps Moms]
The HMM-162 (Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-162) has landed and the situation is well in hand. LtCol Diehl updates the friends and families of this Aviation Combat Element:
WE LAUGHED FROM 8:00 P.M. TILL 10:00 P.M [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
From all of the helicopters landing today you would have thought we were Jackson International Airport. The first helicopter brought the comedians in a little after 10:00 a.m. We were surprised to see them so early and that they even showed up at all. The show wasn't till 8:00 p.m. so they pretty much spent the day just eating with us, playing ping-pong and just talking. They were some pretty nice guys. We had no idea how funny they were until tonight. Jody and the producer were playing ping-pong and Jody asked him "What does it take to get into comedy?" The man said in a serious manner, "You have to be funny." I laughed at Jody for asking such a loaded question. After that, he told us all about all the guys and how they had started and how long they had been doing it. Some of the guys are on like comedy central, VH1 and a few other television shows. One guy always opens up for Larry The Cable Guy.
Soldier Rap, The Pulse of War (Newsweek)
It took only a few ambushes, roadside bombs and corpses for Neal Saunders to know what he had to do: turn the streets of Baghdad into rap music. So the First Cavalry sergeant, then newly arrived for a year of duty in Sadr City, began hoarding his monthly paychecks and seeking out a U.S. supplier willing to ship a keyboard, digital mixer, cable, microphones and headphones to an overseas military address. He hammered together a plywood shack, tacked up some cheap mattress pads for soundproofing and invited other Task Force 112 members to join him in his jerry-built studio. They call themselves "4th25"?pronounced fourth quarter, like the final do-or-die minutes of a game?and their album is "Live From Iraq." The sound may be raw, even by rap standards, but it expresses things that soldiers usually keep bottled up. "You can't call home and tell your mom your door got blown off by an IED," says Saunders. "No one talks about what we're going through. Sure, there are generals on the TV, but they're not speaking for us. We're venting for everybody."
Anxious Hours [Firepower Forward - in Afghanistan]
When we received word of U.S. casualties in a rocket attack in Shkin, there were some anxious hours until we could verify that all our people were unijured. Our prayers are with the units and families of those lost.
Does the USA really help Muslim women? (The International News - Erica Ahmed)
....While American feminist groups decried the Taliban's treatment of women, the government remained largely silent on the issue until the 9-11 tragedy turned the nation's eyes towards the Muslim world. Then formed the most unlikely of partnerships: left-wing feminists and the conservative, war-mongering Right.
In a similar effort to that being undertaken now, Laura Bush was paraded out in an effort to prove how much America values women, reframing the conflict overseas in terms of women's rights and freedom.
The world needs to respect the sovereignty of women in developing areas by letting them find their own voice, identify their own needs and operate within their own cultural context.
When a representative of the Bush administration stands up as an advocate for Muslim women's rights, it taints the idea of women's liberation with the same ugly brush as Quran desecration, abuse of Muslim male prisoners, and other atrocities which have so damaged America's image.
When is a Submarine Not a Submarine? [The Stupid Shall Be Punished]
When a CNN.com photo misidentifies a sunken submarine rescue ship as a submarine, that's when. This one may change quickly, but for now, the first photo that comes up when you click on the story above shows a picture of what's clearly the bow of a surface ship, along with the caption: "The shipwreck of the USS Macaw, a submarine that sank after striking a submerged reef in 1944."
Flying Over The Line (Washington Post)...Richard Cohen
We should all attend the Air Force Academy. We should do so not just to learn about military flying but also -- actually, mainly -- to find out what happens when religion is not kept in its place. At the academy, the result has been utter contempt for separation of church and state and a form of religious persecution.
When Marine recruiters go way beyond the call (SEATTLE POST - SUSAN PAYNTER)
For mom Marcia Cobb and her teenage son Axel, the white letters USMC on their caller ID soon spelled, "Don't answer the phone!"
Marine recruiters began a relentless barrage of calls to Axel as soon as the mellow, compliant Sedro-Woolley High School grad had cut his 17th birthday cake. And soon it was nearly impossible to get the seekers of a few good men off the line.
The next step of Axel's misadventure came when he heard about a cool "chin-ups" contest in Bellingham, where the prize was a free Xbox. The now 18-year-old Skagit Valley Community College student dragged his tail feathers home uncharacteristically late that night. And, in the morning, Marcia learned the Marines had hosted the event and "then had him out all night, drilling him to join."
Via email: A 21-Year-Old Patriot [Jack Army]
I received this email and was highly impressed. This young man explains from the perspective of his youth why he thinks recruiting is having difficulties:
I wanted to explain my position more than on the comments post. Again, I am a 21 year old male in my junior year in college. The reason I believe we are experiencing the difficulties in recruiting involves our generations perception of America. While I think that it is correct the people in my generation are not actively joining up military is partly because of danger, but I think it has to do more with the time we grew up in.
Army Headed to Recruiting Shortfall (washington post)
The Army appears likely to fall short of its full-year recruiting goal for the first time since 1999, raising longer-term questions about a military embroiled in its first protracted wars since switching from the draft to a volunteer force 32 years ago.
Why I Serve - SSG Schnoor [DVIDS video]
Why I Serve features Staff Sergeant Michael Schnoor. He talks about leaving recruiting duty to rejoin a line unit. Video from American Forces Network Iraq
Feel That Draft? (Chicago Tribune)...Charles Moskos
Recruitment for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps is on the brink of disaster.
Since When Does Free Speech Include Sedition? [The Gun Line]
Jihad Watch posts a video of American Muslims desecrating and American Flag in the streets of New York City... World Net Daily runs the story...
Okay, they're exercising their First Amendment Rights...
But, listen to these select quotes, from The Islamic Thinkers Society, based out of New York, :
"Oh Muslims! Do you know your enemy? Isn't it obvious?"
DoD Working to Increase Tricare Access for Reserve Components [Defnse Link]
The Defense Department has made "tremendous efforts and strides" to meet the needs of Reserve and Guard servicemembers who now qualify for health-care coverage under the Tricare program, the program manager said today during an interview on Fox News.
Military Files Set For Unsealing (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Associated Press
The National Archives will open 1.2 million military personnel files to the public Saturday for the first time, including those of Elvis Presley.
White House: Gitmo prison could close (Army Times - AP)
The White House on Wednesday left open the possibility that the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba, could be shuttered after criticism of the facility that has led former President Jimmy Carter and others to call for its closure.
GTMO [Sisyphean Musings]
Blackfive asks Should GITMO Go?
Short answer ... no.
Longer answer ... still, no.
Let's walk this through. There is nothing inherently "wrong" with the facility or the location at GTMO. The "problem" at GTMO is three-fold.
Who's Really Abusing the Koran? (LA Times - Max Boot)
At Gitmo, the prisoners, not the guards, were the worst offenders.
All the headlines about "Abuse of the Koran at Gitmo" are absolutely accurate. Brig. Gen. Jay Hood's internal investigation has uncovered some shocking incidents. On at least six occasions, Korans were ripped up. They were urinated on three times, and attempts were made to flush them down the toilet at least three other times.
Why aren't millions of Muslims rioting in response to these defilements? Because the perpetrators were prisoners, not guards. As John Hinderaker notes on weeklystandard.com, the most serious desecrations of the Koran at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility were committed by the Muslim inmates themselves
When Bloggers Attack [Euphoric Reality]
As you may have read earlier, EuphoricReality was asked to be in a blogumentary documentary about bloggers, set to film this summer. With a working title of 59 Bloggers, the film was meant to showcase fifty-nine blogs that ?represent the blogosphere?. Considering ER and Andi?s World were the only two milblogs in the group, we were pretty excited. [We?re not sure why Blackfive, Froggy, or Mudville weren?t chosen over us [since they?re all better sites], but we?ll take it.]
Dean says... [Day by Day - comic strip]
Dean: Dem Poll Workers Can't Tell GOP Voters Apart [Scrappleface]
Many Republicans probably voted for George Bush dozens, if not hundreds, of times in 2004, according to Democrat party Chairman Howard Dean, "by taking advantage of the fact that Democrat poll workers have difficulty distinguishing individuals from among a crowd of white Christians."
The road to HEALING [Protien Wisdom]
Asked to comment on Mr. Dean?s characterization of Republicans as a white Christian monolith, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) expressed disappointment with the former Vermont Governor: ?Howard says that like being white and Christian is a bad thing,? the Senator told a small gathering of reporters. Byrd was then quickly ushered away by several aides after he pressed a quarter into the palm of freshman Senator Barack Obama and demanded the Illinois Democrat ?be a good boy and go fetch Mister Bobby a nice cold sodee-pop.?
Interview with COL Milley [DVIDS video]
Colonel Mark Milley, Commander, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division talks from Baghdad to an MSNBC News reporter about Operation Lightning, recent terrorist activity in Iraq, and the progress of Iraqi security forces.
Today's Lightning brief. [Iraq the Model]
Operation lightning is showing good results in Baghdad and its suburbs one week after it was launched and I guess that this good effect comes from the high coordination among the different departments of Iraqi security forces as well as the multinational forces.
The last 24 hours or so resulted in arresting some 300 terrorists and suspects in addition to confiscating amounts of weapons and munitions according to local papers and TV.
So, here's a summary of the operations:
CNN - Morale Buster [Hurl's Blog - in Iraq]
A couple of days ago I was in the chow hall eating and watching CNN. A segment came on about the war here in Iraq. The focus of the segment was why the insurgency over here is so hard to defeat, and if we are making progress defeating it, then why the upsurge of violence? The way it was presented clearly implied that we are not making progress, but are losing and the insurgents are winning. Nothing about any of our successes was mentioned.
Several of the guys watching this with me are all involved ? daily - with going out on patrols and raids. They come back with prisoners all the time. They also interact with locals who express support, but are too afraid of the terrorists to do anything but just try and stay alive
Interview with Major General William Webster [DVIDS video]
Major General William Webster, Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, talks to WTOC in Georgia about the conditions in Iraq for the Soldiers and the tasks completed by the 3rd Infantry.
Interview with Colonel H.R. McMaster [DVIDS video]
Colonel H.R. McMaster, Commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, talks from Mosul to CBS reporter about the ongoing operations in Iraq, and the Iraq Army stepping up to round up insurgents with the support of the Coalition.
"ROUGH GUIDE" FOR ASPIRING MUJAHADEEN (adnkronosinterna'l)
When travelling, wear jeans and carry a walkman - try not to look like an Islamic fundamentalist - and for precise instructions on how to link up with Iraqi groups "contact the Salafite jihadist exponents in your own countries". These are just some of the travel tips and suggestions provided on an Islamist internet site for potential al-Qaeda recruits from various Arab and Western countries who have signalled their desire to go to Iraq to fight against the American troops.
1/25 SBCT Life in Mosul, Iraq
Daily blog of 1st Brigade (Stryker) 25th Infantry Division (Light) that has been deployed since September 2004 to Mosul, Iraq.
One medal I'd rather not have [Who's your Baghdaddy? - in Iraq]
We presented our first Purple Heart the other day. Hopefully it's our last. The impetus for this particular award was for an event I chronicled back in February. (Yes, it takes that long to process the paperwork). As you can see by the pics below, the soldier is fine now. He was pretty banged up by the IED that hit his vehicle, but thankfully he and his crew members are back on the prowl.
The things you learn from the Green 1 [Phil and Becky - in Iraq]
Every day, we submit a report to Brigade called the Green 1. It describes all of the exciting things that happened in the last 24 hours in our area of operations. It breaks down into combat, security, civil-military and information operations.
Now that I am on the extreme graveyard shift, the Green 1 is one of my sources to find out what happened throughout the previous day.
Marines (And "Big Windy") Find Friends Instead of Foes [Blackfive]
...the 3/3 Marines were ready to be "No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy". It turns out that they were able to be "No Better Friend"...
I DON'T KNOW MY HUSANDS NAME [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers]
We finally made it to the house we were to do the search of. This is a huge house with a fenced in yard with a gate locked. There is construction equipment everywhere in the yard. We made it inside the yard and went to the house. There was only one man in the area, but about 10 women and 20 kids. We had to gain control of all of them and get them in all together for safety. We had the oldest woman in the group come up and start talking to us. As soon as she started talking, the lies about the house and her husband started flowing. At first all the men were at the hospital, then it was they were all in Abu Gharib prison and then it was they were at work. We didn?t know which story to believe. It was so bad that she actually told us that she didn?t know her husbands last or middle name
Getting the hang of this Democracy thing... [Major K - in Iraq]
This is what progress looks like. It is slow, painful, and usually accompanied by a lot of cigarette smoke, especially in this area of the world, where it seems like everyone smokes. This is the local council of Sheikhs meeting with the local leaders of the Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and US Forces.
The rights of the disabled [Iraq the Model]
Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces are witnessing a considerable activity in holding public conferences and meetings for civil-society organizations to voicing their opinions and hopes about writing the new permanent constitution of Iraq and to guarantee the participation of wider segments of the Iraqi people in the talks about this vital process.
Getting there is half the fun (PT3) [Reverse Retna from the Sandlot - just left Iraq]
(please scroll down and read Pt 1 and Pt 2 if you haven't already)
I awaken from my little slumber as the guy across from me on the plane drops his helmet on my foot. I look up and he says we're about to land. We hit the ground in what is one of the better C-130 landings I've experienced. Everyone comes alive as we start gathering up our stuff and the loadmasters stop to prepare to drop the ramp and unload our baggage palate. When everything is unloaded we shuffle off the plane and stand on the tarmac in Kuwait. The Sun is already high in the sky and it feels hot...my watch says it's 0545. We stand around for about 15 mins while we wait for the buses. Everyones spirits are high since we've finally made it out of Iraq.
Afghan, Coalition Forces Nab Insurgents [Defense Link]
Afghan and coalition forces apprehended 17 insurgents armed with rifles along the Pakistani border June 6, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan reported today.
Letter from a Doctor in Iraq to his Dad [No Pundit Intended]
The first rule of war is that young men and women die. The second rule of war is that surgeons cannot change the first rule...
We had already done around a dozen surgical cases in the morning and the early afternoon. The entire medical staff had a professional meeting to discuss the business of the hospital and the care and treatment of burns. It is not boastful or arrogant when I tell you that some of the best surgeons in the world were present - I have been to many Institutions, and I have been all around the world, and at this point in time, with this level of experience, the best in the world are assembled here at Balad.
A letter of thanks [The Fourth Rail]
To the readers of The Fourth Rail for helping me look after my soldiers through your generous contributions, to Bill for providing a platform for you to do so, and to Cheryl, that crazy aunt that everyone has, for helping get "Adopt a Squad" started, Thank You all.
On behalf of my squad, thank you all for your support and for keeping us (and all deployed service members) in your thoughts and prayers. Believe me, it means a lot to all of us. At times life here in Baghdad can get a bit rough, however seeing the support that you all lend us does help keep us going.
Are you kidding me? [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
Excerpt from this story:
The burial site - a series of deep trenches that held about 2,500 bodies, many of them women and children - is one of many mass graves that dot the country?
Retraction from previous post - ?Don?t know for sure? [The Quonset Hut]
Yesterday I posted a story regarding William Schulz, the Executive Director of Amnesty International. I wrote this post while in an emotional state and as a consequence I stated some very nasty things about Mr Schulz. At this time I would like to retract a comment I made.
Hypocrisy [DSS Hubris]
You Big Mouth, You! and Curious Muse both highlight a disturbing trend among not just the Islamic public, but in our own media: the double standard that the United States is held to. Amnesty Internatonal proclaims that Guantanamo is a Gulag, and Thomas Friedman has called for Gitmo to be shut down.
What is being done in our name [Riding Sun - in Iraq]
...Our troops' misdeeds at Abu Ghraib have been given ample coverage in the media, and are about to receive even more, thanks to the ACLU. Our troops' hardships and setbacks have been the subject of award-winning photojournalism, courtesy of the Associated Press and the Pulitzer Prize Board. Yet our troops' triumphs ? not just in combat, but in the ordinary good deeds they do every single day ? are scarcely mentioned in the media. Perhaps they're not considered "newsworthy." Nevertheless, as the ACLU points out, Americans deserve to know about them.
People You Can Meet in Warrenton, VA: [Grim's Hall]
I met a gentleman today of many years and poor hearing. After a while, I discovered -- not that he told me, but another man did while he was out of range -- that the old gent was a former B-17 pilot with the 8th Army Air Force during World War II. He had five thousand hours in a B-17.
The Eighth Army Air Force -- the Air Force, not the Eighth Army as a whole -- had higher combat losses in WWII than the United States Marine Corps.
Going back to sea. For the last time ever, maybe. Depending on the breaks. [Neptunes Lex]
Be gone for a week and a bit. Taking the COD out tomorrow. Hate sitting backwards in an airplane. Really hate someone else landing me aboard ship. Would have thought I'd be used to it, by now.
Would have been wrong.
Last time I was at sea, I remember one night trudging back to my hooch after a long day at work, after taps. The ship was dark and quiet, and
Guard, Reserve troops' pay issues are task force's focus ? and challenge [Stars&Stripes]
...Reserve components are deployed almost as frequently as their active-duty counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet ?the pay structures are so different between the active and the reserve,? said retired Navy Adm. Donald Pilling, chairman of the new defense advisory committee on military compensation.
Strange Reports on Matador from Debka [The Adventures of Chester]
Two separate Alert Readers have drawn attention to this article: DEBKAfile - Impatient for Assad to Go, Washington Made Much of Routine Syrian Scud Test. Among other claims, the article makes these assertions about the recent Operation Matador:
Last month, aware of the ground shaking under his feet, Assad performed an epic about-face ? or at least gave the appearance of turning over a new leaf.
More Media Slander [lt Smash - Indepundit]
GATEWAY PUNDIT catches Washington Post reporter Ceci Connelly slandering the US military on FOX News (Trey Jackson has the video).
Connolly: There have been many homicides of prisoners.
Hume: How many?
Connolly: I believe close to a 100.
Hume: A hundred murders?
Connolly: Homicides around the world. In Afghanistan. In Iraq, that have come through Pentagon Investigations.
The actual number, of course, is much smaller.
Outside Iraq but Deep in the Fight (Washington Post)
When the Americans led the invasion of Iraq, the men of Abu Ibrahim's family gathered in the courtyard of their shared home in the far north of Syria. Ten slips of paper were folded into a plastic bag, and they drew lots. The five who opened a paper marked with ink would go to Iraq and fight. The other five would stay behind.
Crumbs for Africa (New York Times)
At a time when rich countries are mounting a noble and worthy effort to make poverty history, the Bush administration is offering a drop in the bucket.
President Bush kept a remarkably straight face yesterday when he strode to the microphones with Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, and told the world that the United States would now get around to spending $674 million in emergency aid that Congress had already approved for needy countries. That's it. Not a penny more to buy treated mosquito nets to help save the thousands of children in Sierra Leone who die every year of preventable malaria.
The Right Path to Arab Democracy (Washington Post)
The Bush administration is right to support democratic change in the Arab Middle East. The question is how best to go about that delicate process. If we push too hard, we may add to the perception that we are trying to impose our will. If we fail to push hard enough, we may contribute to the view that America supports freedom for everyone except Arabs. To succeed, we must find a balance that combines a firm commitment to democratic principles and an understanding of the complexities of the Arab world.
Live News Mistakes.... Priceless [Dude, Where's The Beach? - My Hitchhikers Guide To The World]
Came across this MSNBC mistake, and yes... it's priceless. I wonder how quickly they retracted this error in reporting... or was it an error at all?
Does It Ever End? [Euphoric Reality]
From the AP:
A Spanish judge wants to question three U.S. soldiers as suspects in the death of a Spanish cameraman who was killed when a U.S. tank fired on a hotel housing foreign journalists during the 2003 assault on Baghdad.
The Pentagon has found no fault with the soldiers, but High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz wants to question the three men who were in the tank?
Bad Intentions Stay That Way [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
Regular readers now that I have been a strong critic of Newsweek in its recent media scandal. So there?s no love lost here when the Newsweek Baghdad Chief takes parting shot at our efforts in Iraq. Newsweek, biased? Oh no, of course not. Hard feelings? No, I?m sure this is as objective a view as could be.
Carter Calls on U.S. to Shut Down Gitmo (AP)
Former President Carter on Tuesday called for the United States to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison to demonstrate its commitment to human rights.
Other Parts of the World
Palestinian prisoners report Qur?an abuse at Israeli jail (Aljazeera.com)
Palestinian prisoners say that Israeli soldiers desecrated the Qur?an at the ?Megiddo? prison.
Prisoners reported that Israeli security forces tore and stepped on three copies of the Qur?an during a search operation inside the prison.
Unrest in the Phillipines [Making Tomorrows Military Today]
Check out this article.
ECHOING an earlier warning by the Armed Forces, the Philippine National Police yesterday said the controversies and scandals rocking the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were but a prelude to a larger scheme to overthrow it.
Wow. I have not heard anything in the news media about the unrest in the Phillipines.
Vietnam looks to build ties with U.S. army (Reuters)
Communist Vietnam said a visit by a senior U.S. defense official will firm up ties between the former Vietnam War enemies and boost understanding between their armies, state-run media reported on Wednesday.
CAUGHT ON TAPE: DEM CHAIR DEAN CALLS GOP 'WHITE CHRISTIAN PARTY' [Drudge]
In this 4 min. 48 sec. excerpt from Howard Dean's remarks Monday in San Francisco, Dean responds to a question from reporter Portia Li with the World Journal about a poll showing a slide in support for Republicans among Asian and women voters. ...
Kerry "Releases" His Records [TacJammer]
So John Kerry has released his military records to the Boston Globe. The Globe, being the upstanding paradigm of journalism that it is (see here, for an example of their journalistic credibility), will undoubtedly give the world the straight story on the contents of those records.
Yes. And someday I might don a cape and tights and fly under my own power.*
DC ... Press ... Press ... DC [Daisy Cutter]
(DC approaches mike. Press murmurs with anticipation.)
DC: Good morning. Thanks for coming to my ranch today. Great to see you all. It will be two weeks tomorrow since the launch of "Blogs for McCain's Opponent". As many of you know, we started this blog ring in the wake of the McCain-led "compromise" on judicial nominees. For me, it was simply the last straw. I am tired of Sen. McCain's masquerading as the voice of reason and the heir to the Reagan legacy. It is an insult to those of us who know better and know history.
More Leftist Moral Equivalence [Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave]
The left is, as usual, on a full on rampage that is equating the behavior of someone they don't like with someone that most Americans find despicable. Before I go any further, let's get a couple of things straight.
Chicken Little Al Gore-Bot Sez the World is Going to End [Mr Minority]
Earth Mother loving Al Gore-Bot (the inventor of the Internet) is on a "Global Warming" crusade, and has warned the Mayors of the world to fight it.
What Is He Thinking? [Balloon Juice]
Look- when Howard Dean won the chairmanship of the DNC, I snickered with my fellow Republicans about how he was going to destroy the Democrats and how this was great for the GOP. I joked that it was great that a Karl Rove plant was now heading the opposition.
A Whimper Not A Bang [Ipse Dixit]
Since John "Weeble" Kerry has kinda, sorta signed a Form 180 and kinda. sorta allowed at least some of the previously secret parts of his military record (the parts held by the Department of the Navy, anyway, not the full record stored in St. Louis*), I've removed the counter ticking the days since he promised to do so from the right-hand sidebar. Yes, there's still a fair sized chunk of his record that no-one's seen, not even the friendly hometown paper he allowed to see these new records, but to continue to make any bones about anything Kerry does is to grant him more importance and relevance than he merits. The only people who still think Kerry is a relevant political figure are John and Tuh-ray-zah.
The Clinton Legacy [Andrew Olmsted]
Via The Corner I see that President Clinton's legacy is being discussed again, this time in response to John Harris's book, The Survivor. Richard Cohen indulges in some Clinton nostalgia while serving up the (unintentionally) amusing line that Harris's book about Clinton is the first written by an objective journalist or historian. It is left to the reader's imagination to speculate on how Cohen defines objective, although I suspect it leans in the direction of someone who thinks the way he does. This is not uncommon, as most of us like to think of ourselves as far more reasoned and logical than we in fact are, yours truly not excepted.
Shared Photos [Bunker Mulligan]
These pictures show what type of man our father was, both as a dad and a husband. Then in the later years, a grandfather.
Actress Anne Bancroft Dies at Age 73 [AP]
Anne Bancroft, who won the 1962 best actress Oscar as the teacher of a young Helen Keller in "The Miracle Worker" but achieved greater fame as the seductive Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate," has died. She was 73. She died of cancer on Monday at Mount Sinai Hospital, John Barlow, a spokesman for her husband, Mel Brooks, said Tuesday
Misquoted in the MSM [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
Well, not misquoted. Half quoted. The ?journalist? from the Boston globe who quoted me only included 1/100th of what I said.
Here?s the part where I?m quoted: (full article here I would link to the original in the Boston globe, but they want $2.95 for the article. So I linked to a Russian mirror.)
New York Times Publishes on DHS Classified Report...Again [The Word Unheard]
The New York Times has done it again, making non-public government documents public. Or has it? The Department of Homeland Security has written a ?confidential report? regarding the state of airport security in the US, both domestically and international inbound flight originations.
10 Guilty In Deaths Of Iraqis; Sentences Are 'Light' (San Diego Union-Tribune)...Tim Whitmire, Associated Press
...In the 27 months since the Iraq war began, at least 10 U.S. military personnel have been convicted of a wide array of charges stemming from the deaths of Iraqi civilians. But only one sentence has exceeded three years, and last month two men ? a Marine lieutenant and an Army sergeant ? were cleared entirely of murder charges.
Fighting Blind In Iraq (New York Times)...Barry R. Posen
...Those who wish to "stay the course" in Iraq need a plausible strategy of victory in the intelligence campaign. The usual methods either have not worked or are unlikely to work. Unless the American and Iraqi government forces can deprive the terrorists of their local supporters and the intelligence they provide, they are in for a long, indecisive struggle.
Justice Before Politics (Washington Post)...Floyd Abrams, Bob Barr and Thomas Pickering
An outside, bipartisan panel should investigate allegations of abuse of terrorist suspects
Torture's Part Of The Territory(Los Angeles Times)...Naomi Klein
Brace yourself for a flood of gruesome new torture snapshots. Last week, a federal judge ordered the Defense Department to release dozens of additional photographs and videotapes depicting prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.
Blaming The Messenger Fools No One (Los Angeles Times)...Robert Scheer
...How dare the White House and Pentagon, which have for three years rationalized torture and fought off the courts' attempts to grant the detainees some basic right of appeal, blame Amnesty International, rather than themselves, for besmirching the U.S. human rights record
Military Scapegoats Walk A Well-Worn Path (USA Today)...Jonathan Turley
The grunts of Abu Ghraib fit lock-step into a history of injustice in our armed forces
In Fort Hood, Texas, the latest grunt will soon face charges of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. As with six other GIs, Pfc. Lynndie England will carry more than her individual responsibility for torture into her trial. She will carry the hopes of one of the world's smallest and most exclusive clubs: the 870 star-studded admirals and generals who command the military services.
Good Intentions Gone Bad (Newsweek)
NEWSWEEK's Baghdad bureau chief, departing after two years of war and American occupation, has a few final thoughts.
Two years ago I went to Iraq as an unabashed believer in toppling Saddam Hussein. I knew his regime well from previous visits; WMDs or no, ridding the world of Saddam would surely be for the best, and America's good intentions would carry the day. What went wrong? A lot, ...
American media no longer accept Bushs war lies (Aljazeera)
A strange phenomenon is occurring in national American papers, with many editors beginning to condemn the war in Iraq, when previously many of them "accepted" it.
One Day in Iraq: Daily lives (BBC)
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Iraq coverage, we will be hearing from people from all walks of life, all over the country.
The life here is quite normal. Most of the people are now having their lunch outside, as many of them have jobs so can't go home to lunch.
2nd Marine Division discovers underground insurgent lair [Marines.com]
The biggest site was found near Karmah, a small city north of Fallujah. The 558- by 902-foot site, one of the biggest found since the beginning of operations here, was discovered in an abandoned rock quarry which and involved a series of bunkers insurgents used as an underground lair.
Our Imbed [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
One of the units in our battalion has an imbedded photojournalist by the name of Ken James. Ken is a stand up guy who's photographic skills have captured both the triumphs and tribulations of our mission. Ken sent me a few of his pictures and I've included them in a photo gallery (cropped and low resolution
Hero Returns Home - Major Tammy Duckworth [Blackfive]
"I want to stay in the Army and I want to fly helicopters for the Army again. I'm not letting some guy who got lucky one day in Baghdad decide my future." - Major Tammy Duckworth, KATU 2 (Portland, OR
No passenger seating in tanks [Phil and Becky]
We received a task from Brigade last night to transport a photographer from the Brigade's public affairs office (PAO) from FOB Warhorse to Al Abarra to take pictures at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly rebuilt Al Abarra Iraqi Army headquarters.
Home Sweet Home.... [neurotic Iraqi wife]
So yup, here I am blogging from the Green Zone, which is actually called the International Zone now. I would have never believed that I will be here in Baghdad. What can I say? My feelings are pretty mixed cuz I havent been outside the Green zone. This is not what I wanna see, I wanna see the real Baghdad, the real people. But am happy, am happy that am finally here with HUBBY.
A Federal Dictatorship [Iraq Rising]
The situation in Iraq is very precarious and confusing. It is a mix of the positive and the negative. Each day we hear about the capture and defeat of a terrorist cell only for another one to pop up and raise its ugly head. Just like the legendary ?Hydra? of Greek mythology, the only way to defeat this multi-headed terrorist animal is by striking at its body and cutting of its grass root support. This can only be done through a political process of reconciliation and good governance.
Working with Iraqi Leaders [DVIDS video]
Soldiers from Task Force 1/128th near Balad, Iraq work with local leaders to develop civil projects for local citizens.
Gotta Love Dust and Sand [My 18 Month Vacation to the Beach - in Iraq]
We had a dust storm last night. it was probably one of the worst ones we have seen yet as far as visibility. The hallways in our building were filled with dust. When we walked out in the hall last night it just looked cloudy our there. We normally have decent visibility when these storms roll through but we couldnt see anything last night. I did what i could to try to take some pictures last night. As much as I would love to see snow right now thats not it in the picture below.
Iraqi Dust Storm [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
We just experienced our first major Iraqi dust storm here on our FOB, and now I know what everyone was talking about. It hit overnight, and this morning as I step out of my room I?m greeted by an 1/8 inch thick coat (no, cake) of dust covering every exposed surface.
Sand blizzard [Blog Machine - in Iraq]
This is the sight that greeted me when I stepped out of my truck this morning after a grueling night of UHF radio-staring-at. At least it cooled the place down a little...
Working the night shift [DogHostage]
It's four in the morning Baghdad time, and I'm wide awake. Working the night shift means I'm sitting in the office doing three of my favorite things: drinking coffee, surfing the web and watching DVD's. I'm also just being here in case any of the sleeping Soldiers suddenly wake up and come in with legal issues. They'd have to brave the current sand storm to do so. Everything, even inside the building, has a thin layer of dust.
Da Roof !Da Roof! We dont need no water..... [The Siegrist Blogs - in Afghanistan]
The Hooch add on is complete. After a month of working in between flying ,sleeping and eating the final nails have gone into the construction project started by CW3 D, (pictured center) and his two workers bees, CW2 L and CW2 L who as you can see have all the faith in the world in their IP. The project suffered a minor set back when half the wood was stolen by someone who needed to build something or another I'm sure. After all there is only one thief in the Army everyone else is just trying to get their S(*) back. Great job by all who helped out! And just in time for the rainy season, lol!
Wounded Soldier Re-enlists During Recovery [Defense link]
U.S. Army Spc. Aaron Pace, a paratrooper from the 173rd Combat Support Company, re-enlisted here recently as he sat in bed with a bullet hole in his left foot. The combat engineer attached to Task Force Rock was shot in the foot during a patrol with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Japan, U.S. See Base Deal By Year-End [Petty Officer Cruel Kev]
Japan Defense Agency Director General Yoshinori Ono reached a basic agreement with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to achieve a deal on the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan by the end of this year. In a meeting held in a hotel in Singapore, Ono and Rumsfeld also agreed to release as soon as possible an interim report on the sharing of security roles by the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. troops. O
Winds of War Briefing [The Fourth Rail]
The Monday Winds of War Briefing is available. I am collaborating on this effort with evariste of Discarded Lies. Here are some of the items covered:
Time for Tribunals at Gitmo [Uncle Jimbo- Madison's Favorite Hawk]
I sent this email to the three top military and international security blogs:
" Dear Folks,
We have all spent considerable time defending the actions of our troops at Gitmo and our right to hold the detainees. Unfortunately the lack of a solid answer as to their legal status and future has let the left and the media frame the whole situation in the most negative light. I think we should seize the initiative from them and determine the answers to two questions.
Amnesty?s Absurdity [The Law and Terrorism Page]
"Amnesty International?s deliberate use of the word ?gulag? to describe U.S. actions at Guantanamo should not have been a surprise. As has been widely reported, Irene Khan, the secretary general of Amnesty, used the description in the foreword to the organization?s 2005 annual report. According to Khan, ?The detention facility at Guantᮡmo Bay has become the gulag of our times?.? It is only the latest in a multi-year slide by the organization away from universal human-rights standards toward a politicized and anti-American agenda.
How do you measure "cultural competency"? [Jack Army]
The Fun Never Ends in Oregon
The University of Oregon will soon start basing the salaries and promotions of faculty members on their "cultural competency," or how well they play with people "from different backgrounds," reports The Associated Press.
Big Pharaoh says that America's 1st lady was taken to visit a *fake school* in Alexandria: [Iraq the Model]
Upon Laura Bush?s recent trip to Egypt, it was planned that she, along with her host Mrs. Mubarak, would visit a USAID funded school in Alexandria. One week before the scheduled visit, the tattered school was painted anew, tidied up, and the sewage system was fixed. The dirty roads around the school were cleaned up and trees were miraculously planted all around the area. A sign in English was written to welcome the 2 first ladies.
Saving Africa [Smash - Indepundit]
I JUST got off the phone with Sir Bob Geldof.
It started with an email on Saturday from John Hinderaker (aka Hindrocket) from the Power Line blog. John had been contacted by Howard Dean?s former campaign manager Joe Trippi (who is also a blogger), who in turn had been contacted by Geldof?s people. Sir Bob wanted to set up a ?nonpartisan? teleconference with American bloggers to help spread the word about Live8, his latest effort to ?end poverty in Africa.?
I certainly don't want to be dooced [Tidewater Musings]
Dooced: Getting fired because of something that you wrote in your Web log.
The debate about blogging, work, and freedom of speech continues on.
Web Sites, Blogs Can Boost Your Career [Outside the Beltway]
Having a blog can help your career, according to an AP report.
Web Sites, Blogs Can Boost Your Career
D-Day Tribute [John In Carolina - non MilBlogger]
June 6, 1944: It's an oft told tale. Yet more than 60 years on, D-Day still interests, awes and inspires.
We hear the date and can immediately say, "Sure, Normandy, and they touched down around 6 or 7 AM, didn't they?" We ask each other how they did what they did. And following Shakespeare, about that day the good parent teaches the child.
"Do you know what today is?" [Daisy Cutter]
My dad used to always ask me this familiar question on days like today. Thus, I didn't need a school teacher to remind me. I knew.
As the years have gone by, I have grown more and more in awe of the heroism of those who have gone before in the defense of freedom. On this day 61 years ago, young Americans and our allies stormed the beaches of Normandy to defeat the evil that was Hitler's Germany.
The Adventures of Jim, Sr - Part II [Chaotic Synaptic Activity]
It's the 5th of June here, just before midnight on the 6th. 61 years ago, Lt Jim Helinger, Sr, was making his preparations to fly a glider full of troops and be one of the 200,000 men to invade Europe. I can't begin to imagine what his thoughts and feelings were.
"The Eyes of the World Are Upon You..." [Dogtulosba,ink]
Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
61 Years Ago [Eric Grumbles Before the Grave]
61 years ago, today, Allied troops began landing on the shores of Normandy. The day has been known ever since, around the world, simply as .... D-Day. Men from the USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, France, Poland and probably some I'm leaving out waded ashore from their landing craft. Many drowned under the weight of their field gear and weapons in water too deep to stand in.
Lost in Translation [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
Dohuk is a welcoming place. After walking or taking taxis inside and around the city for two days, I covered enough ground and talked with enough people to see that while the welcome is clear for American, British, and other visitors, troublemakers can expect an entirely different greeting. People in Dohuk say they have no intentions of going back, or of carrying useless boulders from the past as they move forward.
And Suddenly Nothing Happened... [Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum - in Iraq]
It's quiet here...too quiet, yeah I know this is cliche. But lately things in the "Nightstalker" AO are real quiet. We have made some "arrests", rather we have empowered out Iraqi allies to snatch some rather nasty individuals. Suffice to say the infantry types are getting antsy. As far as I'm concerned the quieter the better. It was a cool 111 today, not as hot as it is going to get, but about as hot as it has been. I am looking forward to it being above 125. The kind of heat that makes the thermometer quit.
Hey, this is just like our "worst case scenario" training! [From My Position... On the way! - in Iraq]
Last night, after the great barbeque incident, I stop at an IA checkpoint to look in on one of my IA platoons. They are going absolutely batshit. Now, that?s not normal, but not unheard of. Curiosity piqued, I get out to talk to SGT Syphilis (so named because he has this growth on his lip that will not go away, despite the amount of ?chap stick??medicated lip balms we get from doc to cure it.
What I would do for a cold drink of water [Koka Sexton - in Iraq]
After our initial drive into Iraq and setting up camp at Tallil. The heat was already beginning to rise. The locals were saying that August was "white mans death" since that seemed to be when the heat was at its peak. It was only June and it was already well above 100 degrees before noon. The entire Army was in short supply. We ate MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat) 2-3 times a day depending on how much you could stomach, and for the time being, we seemed to have an endless supply of bottled water at our disposal for drinking.
Wounded Warriors [Iraq War News]
When our Soldiers and Marines of the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) are injured or wounded, they are usually evacuated in one of the helicopters of the 571st Medical Company (Air Ambulance), callsign "Witch Doctors", based at Al Asad.
Road Warriors [Who's your Baghdaddy?- in Iraq]
I just returned from a short trip. My destination was six hours round trip, and the three hours each way just about sucked the life out of me. The ride is monotonous and the barely-working air conditioner was struggling to make a difference in the 115 degree temperature outside. Combine all of this with an extra 40 pounds of body armor and gear, and you have a sweat-drenched uniform at the end of the trip.
Delicate situations [Phil and Becky - in Iraq]
Tonight had the makings of an exciting night when I showed up this evening for my inbrief from the Day Battle CPT. A patrol from Charlie Company was out in sector based on reports from the Iraqi Army of some bad guys in a little town in their area of responsibility.
Now, this is a significant emotional event in and of itself. You never know how these sorts of things will play out.
Hide and Seek [Hurl's BLOG - in Iraq]
I happened on two headlines this morning - U.S., Iraqi Forces Find Huge Bunker Network and one seemingly unrelated - Statue of Egyptian pharaoh found after nearly 3,600 years.
Since the invasion of Iraq over two years ago, there has been an endless stream of criticism directed at President Bush, his policy here in Iraq, as well as the Department of Defense for not being able to find WMD's or quickly wrap up this insurgency by rounding the "insurgents" all up and confiscating their weapons.
Editor's Note: Please send encouragement
Mistakes and Regrets [Middle of Nowhere and Two Feet From Hell -in Iraq]
I received an email from Sheryl. It seems Mom is in the hospital in New Albany. She had gone in for stomach pains. After several tests, they discovered she had pancreas cancer. They have given her until the end of June. She is heavily medicated and they believe she will slip into a full coma and then pass away.
I am taking this very hard. I was home on leave two weeks ago
Other Military Issues
Ho Chi Minh Trail vs the Euphrates Line of Communications [Adventures of Chester]
On Saturday, the New York Times published an article by John Burns entitled Iraq's Ho Chi Minh Trail, wherein he makes several errors of analogy:
To the end, colonel a man of the troops - [Athiest Soldier]
I find it shameful that one of America?s great military heroes has died, yet a Google search only shows 39 results, and all but four of them are a carbon-copy news release. Similarly Yahoo! news returns 38 results, and only three original items. This is outrageous when you look at this man?s record of service.
Getting there is half the fun (PT1) [Reverse Retna from the Sandlot]
Well, I'm back in the states for my R&R and I wanted to share the incredible experience I had as I traveled from the International Zone in Baghdad to Washington D.C.
PCS Orders [Pass the Brass]
Well..according to my Levy Brief I?m headed for the 19th Replacement?..that?s not what I had in mind. Turns out I?m headed for Corps. I don?t mind. I?ll deploy for sure now, except now I only have a chance to go with the 82nd to get that combat patch I?ve been itchin fer instead of a for sure. I?ll be on the same post as them?for at least a little bit.
Must....stab....eyes....out! [Pinwheels and orange peels - Guam]
One month in and we're all still here. The class motto is the classic "cooperate and graduate." Tough going, with some really great stuff thrown in. The goal is to make us expeditionary combat support experts. We'll see. Had a neato visit to the Pentagon, met with a 3-star, 1-star, and various other higher-ups for some very direct insight into the state of your military. (It's doing well, btw, just a little short of $$$ at the moment). Got to sit next to the CSAF's chair in the crisis action center, which is a very humbling experience for a lowly Captain like me.
"For the safety and welfare of the children" [COUNTERCOLUMN]
That was the excuse given by principal Ulrica Corbett, of Anita White Carson Middle School, in Greensboro, Georgia, for barring a Marine recently returned from Iraq from speaking in a classroom of students who had been sending him letters.
Expressing my support for journalists ... [Sisyphean Musings ]
Hiawatha Bray for Boston Newspaper Guild Executive Committee At Large.
Today the nation?s bravest men and women are fighting and dying on our behalf. We who are safe at home are under no obligation to support the war, but we have no right to lie about those who are fighting it, slandering them even as they risk their lives for our sakes. It?s reprehensible, and I won?t have it. That?s why I?m asking for your write-in vote for an at-large seat on the Executive Committee of the BNG. In that position, I?ll do my best to demand accountability from our national union leaders, and to uphold the honor of our profession.
"[T]he honor of our profession."
Powerful words. I also believe that there is honor in the military profession. That the military, and by extension milbloggers, have an obligation to journalists - particularly those that are in Iraq and Afghanistan - to not impune their motives unjustly or criticize them unfairly.
Just Like Playing Telephone [dougpetch.com
You know - the game where you pass a statement from person to person and then laugh at how badly is was mangled in transmission. In this updated case, Amnesty International's William Shultz appeared on Fox News Sunday, and CNN and Reuters took distinctly different messages away from his statements.
A Editorial in Favor of...Battleships? [EagleSpeak]
Well, just when I thought I had heard the last of the battleship debate, along comes The Washington TImes with Battleships fit for duty.
Fun While It Lasted [Baldilocks]
The Republican mirth consistently inspired by the Democratic National Committee Chairman may be coming to an end. The Democrats are starting to notice what a liability Howard Dean is to their aims.
Special Section: The Jerky Wars
Tactical Pause in the Jerky Wars [Assumption of Command]
As you could probably tell JP, aka The "Beef Jerky Nazi", and I have been having a lot of fun with the fight for supremacy in the Debate of Beef Jerky in Care Packages. This kind of stuff is a great diversion for both of us, as we are both guys who like to give other people the business and we are happy to have everybody on the Net to share that diversion with us.
A Little Manly Essay [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
Little Manly (aged nine, 3rd grade) was asked to write an essay for the school?s annual Flag Day Essay Contest, and this is what he wrote...
"...So until now the flag has gotten more stars but nothin? else but hardship and war and peace."
The Non-Issue of Armor, Garry Trudeau [A Day In Iraq]
Some of you may have seen Garry Trudeau?s comic strip a couple of weeks ago. Its focus was on our supposed lack of armored vehicles. I?m a little late in commenting on this, but unlike Mr. Trudeau, I?m actually over here in Iraq working.
'This is Your War' - Updates On R2A [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Good news for those of you that are really feeling blue about the end of R2A's blog This Is Your War.
Bunker-Busting Marines [Andi's World]
U.S. Marines have uncovered "an elaborate series of underground bunkers used recently by insurgents in western Iraq". It would appear that the terrorists have been living pretty comfortably underground. All the comforts of home awaited them as they rested between attacks.
Things to remember when I get home [From my Position... on the Way! - in Iraq]
I have to drive with my lights on at night
Shooting cars to get their attention is also frowned upon
Warning shots are almost never appropriate
[BTW: Above site also has the best milblog disclaimer seen to date: These are my own poorly arranged thoughts. They usually come to me during periods of sleep deprivation and stress. They do not reflect the official or unofficial policies of any government agency. I refuse to acknowledge them as my own. This site has quite possibly been hacked, and therefore I am unable to be held responsible for anything that may (or may not) appear here. So There. I'm going back to putting on my aluminum foil helmet to block the mind control beams.
Photos from the Front
More BW extractions [The Siegrist Blogs - Afghanistan]
These photos were taken by CW3 James D., He and Niel T were on a mission the other day to pull out troops they had put in a few days prior.
What is being done in our name [Riding Sun]
The photos I picked don't tell the whole story of what's going on in Iraq. But they do tell part of it. And it's a part that bears keeping in mind the next time America's military is smeared by the mainstream media.
Special Section: The Jerky Wars
The Beef Jerky Nazi: Under Attack [The National Guard Experience - Afghanistan]
After thorough research with third party sources, this photo of Mustang23 has recently surfaced on the internet. I'm not sure who that heckler is on the right (probably Smash), but this is the only known picture. Yes, they they were, yoking it up, brainstorming some other hairbrain scheme.
Picture of Me? [Mustang23 - Iraq]
I have been outed. The "Beef Jerky Nazi" has dug up a picture of me. Since it is on the internet it must be true. :) While I am not quite sure the resemblance, I figure we could use it for this week?s Caption Contest
On Beef Jerky and Blogging [The Silent Republican]
The Jerky War has begun. I suggested earlier to Mustang23 that an alliance for the pormotion of Beef Jerky and the annoying of JP. That alliance is called Bloggers For Beef Jerky. It has now been formed and it appears as if the Beef Jerky Nazi is trying to retaliate. I dunno, but this may get pretty hairy. Grab your helmets everyone and hit the deck.
Other Military Issues
Interesting News [Argghhh!]
Remember the Reservists courts-martialed for cannibalizing vehicles in Iraq?
Army Keeping Problem Soldiers to Keep Troop Levels Up [Outside the Beltway]
The Army has raised the barriers for commanders seeking to oust problem soldiers in an effort to deal with lower enlistment rates.
US lowers standards in army numbers crisis [Jack Army - Army recruiter]
OK, I saw this on the Fox News Channel's crawl and have been dredging the web since trying to find it...:
The US military has stopped battalion commanders from dismissing new recruits for drug abuse, alcohol, poor fitness and pregnancy in an attempt to halt the rising attrition rate in an army under growing strain as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Military Tops Public Confidence List in New Gallup Poll [Jack Army - Army recruiter]
The American public has more confidence in the military than in any other institution, according to a Gallup poll released this week.
Seventy-four percent of those surveyed in Gallup's 2005 confidence poll said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the military - more than in a full range of other government, religious, economic, medical, business and news organizations...
So, if the military is held in such high esteem, why won't people join?
Battle of Midway Anniversary: 03-06 JUN [CDR Salamander]
The Battle of Midway looms large in any Navy professional's mind. So much has been written, and if you have not looked at it in detail, go here and review.
Midway Anniversary Tribute [John in Carolina]
In June 1942, Japanese and American forces fought an epic battle at Midway, the name of a pair of mid-Pacific islands whose combined size totaled two square miles. But one of the islands was just large enough for an airfield and a small harbor, where submarines could rearm and refuel. Thus, Midway's strategic importance to both sides.
Hire a Veteran
EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Rusten Currie [Euphoric Reality]
Rusten is an Army intelligence officer and military blogger, currently deployed to Iraq. He?s running for the 2006 House of Representatives spot in the 35th District of California... And so, without further ado, here?s my interview with Rusten Currie, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. I report, you choose.
Blogging Connectivity [Sgt Mom]
So, instead of taking my time and having a monetary cushion for a couple of months, I am moving into top gear and hunting for new employment starting now. The blogosphere is where my connections are, and where I can ask for leads and references: I am looking for either an office manager, or executive administrator position in the San Antonio area. I am detail-oriented, accustomed to making decisions, multi-task expertly, and deal very well with clients, service providers and other staff. I write well, organize efficiently, and have all the usual computer and office skills. If you know of anything, or know someone who might know anything, please let me know. My resume is available, upon request.
Greyhawk here, I'm filling in for Mrs G, giving her "the day off" from collecting stories for The Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of news from the perspective of the MilBlogers - and others. As I clicked through the sites of deployed GIs this morning I began to see a pattern emerge. So please forgive me, for although I usually reserve this space for links to others, today I'm going to start by re-posting an excerpt from one of my own final essays from Iraq. These were my thoughts on the day after the historic elections there.
Greetings from a land of bent and broken things
Some of you may have noticed I didn't post my own thoughts on yesterday's elections. My reason is simple: it wasn't my day. I watched through tearing eyes. Yes, this old trooper shed a few tears of joy at what had happened. Like the amazing fall of the Berlin wall, the peaceful "revolutions" that freed Eastern Europe, this was another great victory in my lifetime, and one I felt a little bit involved in. This wasn't George Bush's victory, this wasn't America's victory, this certainly wasn't my victory, this was a victory for the people of Iraq and those who love freedom everywhere. I was an observer, a very close observer, but an observer nonetheless.
I liked what I saw.
Now note the header above. The work has just begun. I see bent and broken, scarred and ruined things here every day. Many were damaged years ago. 1991? 2003? In between? After? It's often hard to tell. Many will be fixed in time, others are beyond repair. Now substitute the word "people" for "things" in the preceding and read it again. Meet a group of Iraqi people and one will tell you how grateful he is that we have given him freedom. He will tell you he lived in fear for his life every day under Saddam. His joy is real, and fundamental, and obvious. Then the next will tell you he lost his entire family in the invasion. He's glad Saddam's gone, but he's paid a price that few would be willing to pay were they given the option.
What would you say to him? "Sorry about that. But cheer up, old boy! Other than that you must admit this freedom thing is pretty great, eh?" No - there's nothing that can be said. He may or may not hate the United States, he may blame Saddam for what happened, but here is a man with the rest of his life before him, and he'll live each day without his family.
The greater good, of course, is served. Many Americans died in this endeavor too; such things temper the celebration. I think Iraqi blogger Alaa offers the right perspective:
My condolences to the Great American people for the tragic recent losses of soldiers. The blood of Iraqis and Americans is being shed on the soil of Mesopotamia; a baptism with blood. A baptism of a lasting friendship and alliance, for many years to come, through thick and thin, we shall never forget the brave soldiers fallen while defending our freedom and future.
So amidst the triumph, I saw yesterday as a Memorial Day, of a sort, for those many who fell to make it possible. Some might try and use those deaths for their own ends, or to justify their belief that we should never have walked this path. Such people don't believe in heroes. They can't even comprehend this simple fact; no one is more opposed to war than the soldier. He knows the cost and has seen the carnage. But as I wrote at the top of the sidebar long ago: The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior, who prefers to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day he stands fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Today we re-build broken things. Grab a hammer or get out of the way.
Consider today's Dawn Patrol as something of an update on that post - a look at who has grabbed a hammer and how they're using it - and those who refuse to get out of the way.
In an under-reported story this week the new government of Iraq has released the first official count of civilians murdered by terrorists:
Insurgent violence has claimed the lives of 12,000 Iraqis over the past 18 months, Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said Thursday, giving the first official count for the largest category of victims of bombings, ambushes and other increasingly deadly attacks...Those numbers are small compared to Saddam's days of terror, but that doesn't make them any more acceptable. Some might use this story to declare failure, others - mostly those actually on the scene - just tighten the grip on the hammer.
The figure breaks down to an average of more than 20 civilians killed by bombings and other attacks each day. Authorities estimate that more than 10,500 of the victims were Shiite Muslims, based on the locations of the deaths, Jabr said.
Thunder6 returns to Iraq from a brief trip Stateside, and writes Proving their Mettle at 365 and a Wakeup:
When I was back home my wife and I decided to drive to Lake Tahoe for the weekend... Shortly after arriving on those beautiful shores we decided to stop at a small little restaurant to let the tangled knot of roads ease their grip on our stomachs. And it was there that I had my sole run in with television news... An immaculately coiffed local newscaster was there on the screen prattling the latest "news" from Iraq. In a perfectly measured voice the anchor rattled off the number of bombings and Iraqi and US casualties like she was reading off the results of a local baseball game...
I didn?t think back to that clipped broadcast until I returned to Iraq. Here in the throbbing heart of Baghdad, swimming in a sea of shimmering heat - that news segment seems almost disingenuous. I?m sure that yesterday, half a world away that same newscaster spent 10 or 15 seconds covering the latest insurgent ambush before moving onto the local weather forecast. And I?m equally certain that someone watched that broadcast and grew a little more despondent about the situation here in Iraq. But what was lost in that syrupy smooth slice of news was a story that shows just how much Iraq has changed, and about how disciplined some Iraqi Army units have become in a few short months.
I heard the story this morning from one of our NCOs who works hand in hand with the Iraqi Army unit that was ambushed...
Major K knows Other stuff you haven't heard
Over the past few weeks the press has been focusing in on the upsurge in bombings by the arhabi here in Iraq. They never show the good stuff, of course, like the raid up near Mosul by another US Army unit freed two hostages.
The Marines are busy too, as documented at Live in Iraq
1/5 Marines produce capable ISFbut that's not all:
While a majority of 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment?s frontline forces patrol the urban battlefield hunting for insurgents, a platoon of Marines with Company B have a different role in the securing of this city and the restoration of its infrastructure ? training Iraqi Security Forces.
5th CAG cares for Haditha Hospital?s woundsAnd what about the people of Iraq? Here's Professor Shurook Mahdi, of the College of Science at Kufa University in Najaf:
Since the middle of March, Team 4, Detachment 4, 5th Civil Affairs Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD), has played a vital role in Haditha. The city is known as one of the hottest spots in western Iraq.
During Operation New Market, which began on the night of May 23, the main objective of the CAG team, led by Maj. Matthew D. Chisholm, Team 4 leader, was to assess recent damages done to Haditha Hospital. The hospital was damaged earlier in the month when insurgents occupied the building. The team also wanted to talk to the staff to see how the hospital was functioning and ask locals their opinions about personal care.
A few weeks ago we watched the prime minister and the cabinet being sworn in. They vowed to be loyal to this country, to serve its people, and preserve its resources. At that moment I wanted to see every last Iraqi citizen do the same. Who ever said it's only the government's responsibility to serve Iraq or deal with corruption? Must we call the ministry of public works every time we need to move a rock blocking the road? Do we need the minister of defense to lock our doors at night and keep an eye on our new suspicious-looking neighbors? Do we call the prime minister every time some paper work is help up in an office? Who ever said you need to be a minister in order to do something good for your country?Speaking up with good ideas. But is he a lone voice in the wilderness, or one of many beginning to speak up without fear? Here's Alaa, The Mesopotamian:
You see, each side of the struggle must try to use his strong points. The terrorist can hide and work like ghosts and melt away amongst sympathetic or intimidated population. He will strike like a snake and run away. His main weapon is this ability to hit, run and hide. His main strength is this invisibility, and of course, his utter unscrupulousness and cruelty, and willingness to destroy. Destruction is always much easier than construction; what is built in a year can be destroyed in a second. What are then the strengths of the anti-terrorist side? We must try to think hard and try to discover that and use it. Well, in this case, we have the world?s most advanced nations technologically coupled with the will and determination of the majority of a population. These are no small advantages. The guts and sacrifices will be gladly provided by our people and our security forces who are getting stronger and more determined everyday, and have proved to the whole world their resolution and acceptance of the sacrifices. The Great Friend?s most valuable contribution will eventually be this technical support aspect that is his strongest point, if he has the mind to it and the realization that it is in this way that he can be most effective and supportive.Iraq the Model has more news on Operation LIGHTNING:
As part of the lightning operations in Baghdad, the Iraqi security forces arrested 49 terror suspects in the districts of Hurriya, A'amil, Ghazaliya and Mada'in in and around Baghdad.
But surely you read all about that in the NY Times already. Along with this story from Iraq
Two American soldiers were killed Thursday night when their helicopter was strafed by small arms fire and crashed outside Baquba, a Sunni Arab city just north of Baghdad that is a haven for insurgents, the military said.And that's the end of that as far as the NY Times is concerned. I suppose somebody has to tell the terrorist side of the story though. But if all I had was the NY Times and didn't know better from personal experience I'd think we were losing.
The crash came as Iraq's Defense and Interior Ministers announced plans on Thursday to deploy 40,000 Iraqi security forces throughout Baghdad in a large cordon-and-search operation aimed at catching insurgents and restoring order to this largely lawless city.
<...I deleted several paragraphs about other things going on in Iraq here...>
The helicopter crash occurred at 10:50 p.m. in Buhriz, a southern suburb of Baquba. American soldiers on patrol on the ground came under fire and called to the helicopter, and one other, that were on routine patrol nearby, said Major Richard L. Goldenberg, a military spokesman.
The helicopters made several low passes over the area and both drew fire, he said. One helicopter received only minor damage and managed to land safely at an American military base nearby, but the other crashed, killing both soldiers on board.
Not just personal experience though - I've read the milblogger version of that story.
Within 30 minutes of the report that we had a flyer down, my Panzers we rolling out the gate en route to the crash site. One of my platoons (currently the battalion QRF) was rolling within 10 minutes to the crash site and was the first on the scene.) I did not know the pilots, but I knew their call sign. I worked with them the day before. (see Troops in Contact) It didn?t matter to me that they were outside of my AO. Or that it was close to midnight after a very long day. It didn?t matter to my men either, although most were all roused from their sleep to get rolling. Others were on their ?off? shift from guard duty. They knew that they would return from this mission and go right back out to the perimeter, their buddies having covered down on a double shift already. They rose to the challenge, transferred necessary equipment from their M1114?s to the tanks and BFVs, and we hauled ass.There's more on recent media coverage of the current battles in Iraq here.
I mentioned at the top that Mrs G had the day off. That's not completely true, because she's spending it helping to decorate for the High School Prom. Here in Germany, sixty years after the end of World War II, the children of American GIs are approaching the end of the school year.
In Iraq, the students of a war-torn land, are...
...approaching the end of the school year.
Only 14 days, and my exams will start, they start in the 5th of June, and they end on the 19th of June, and then I will be free for ever, but again I will have problems on which college to choose, for now I am like a prisoner, because I was like locked up in my room for 51 days, everyday, I get in the morning start studying at 7 am to 9 am and then I take a rest, after that I start at 9:30 am till 1:30 pm and then I take a rest and then I start at 3 pm till 6 pm and then I take a rest, and then I start at 6:30 pm till 9:30 pm and then I take a rest, and then I start at 10 pm till 11 pm and thats IT for the day, I kept doing that for about 51 days, I started this studying vacation in the first of April and today is the 21th of may and that means that I've been doing this crazy studying for about 51 days, and still have 14 days to go.... and I am dying right now, since that 51 days I only went out of my home three times, two times to school and once I visited my friend. I think now you have an idea about what I am doing, but what kills me is that my parents always tells me that you're not studying alot, you're not taking this seiriously and stuff like that, I just ignor them when they do stuff like that.....A Star from Mosul
well, thats all what I got for now....
I was going to die from laughing yesterday, thank goodness I didn't.. What would mom think if I died laughing at desperate poets?Dr Humanity is a bit more advanced in his studies:
We had an Arabic lesson, the teacher is very serious and usually yells at the students but he acts very nicely with us because we're a good and calm group.. Yesterday, we had to study three poets who write what is called (Free poetry), in which the poet doesn't end all the verses with the same letter as the normal Arabic poems are.. We read a poem for each of those poets, all Iraqis.
The poems were really, really desperate, miserable, and SAD.
Long time don't post,,, errr, I know that but I have now the hardest final examination in my life till now!!!! & I will finish this Red Alert [not the video game :)] in 8th of june 2005 so till then I will be in alarm so forgive for not blogging & I will re-post again ,, I promise.I think he's going to pass those exams.
I did my pharmacology exam yesterday & did good but I am afraid that I will not pass this exam so plz pray for me to pass my exam :)
One morning, as I was sleeping after a long night studying, I heard a bell ringings, but these ringings where for demanding help. So I went out with my short & T-shirt & found our neighbour who was in hurry & he ask me immediatly to bring my Sphingomanometer & stethoscope to measure the blood pressure of his grandpa as he was feeling unwell that morning, so I went & I found him very tired & have dizziness & confusion.
I measured his Blood pressure & I found that his BP was 70/30 [normal=120/80 mmHg]
& recognize that he had a shock & most commonly either hypovolmic or cardiogenic shock so I tried to give him fluid as we where took him to hospital. then we reach the emergency room in Ibn Sinaa hospital & the medical staff took care of him.
The good thing is that this was the 1st time that people ask for medical help & the second that I used the Sphingomanometer & Stethoscope I bought it through ur support to the blog & I really get use of it.
Of course, there are also those students who will rush out of their school at any opportunity to attack American soldiers...
You don't get these stories in the news much. These are the little things, the small stories of real people in a war-torn land. The big media has too little space, and big stories to tell. The important things:
Pictures show Iraq's Saddam in his underwearThere was also just enough room on ABC's website for this follow-up, headlined:
It is not the first time pictures of U.S. detainees in Iraqi jails have been leaked to the media.
A year ago graphic photographs of the abuse of detainees in the notorious Abu Ghraib jail outraged world opinion and were described as the best recruiting campaign for Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.
Bush promises probe into Saddam underwear pictures.I'm sure that if the Saddam's underwear probe reveals anything significant, Reuters will provide the crucial coverage.
Saddam's lawyers expressed outrage.
"In our opinion this is a violation of all international agreements and human dignity, therefore we must sue the people responsible and the providers of these pictures, because if you look closely you can see that they were taken from his prison cell," lawyer Ziad Khasawneh of Saddam's defense team said.
"This is considered as another Abu Ghraib and we will take the necessary legal actions which we have already started," he told Reuters in Amman.
Iraqi blogger Kurdo responds:
Iraqi Tarzan: The greatest photo of the year. I don't care if they sue this newspaper or not, I don't care if this is against Geneva Convictions.
I personally was scared from Saddam even in my dreams. I have seen this guy in my dreams and I have started to shiver. To see this man (Sa'ed Al-Ra'es) (Mr. President) as he used to call himself like that in a pair of Iraqi underwear, is the strongest message for all his victims that it is time to live in peace for ever.
I can't help but end on that note: it is time to live in peace for ever. Could such a thing be possible? I don't know.
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior, who prefers to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day he stands fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
The untold story from Iraq is one of rebuilding.
Got a hammer?
A Fork in the Road [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
Approaching Dohuk, a short drive north of Mosul, brings to mind the countryside in Italy. The war is over in Dohuk. After suffering perhaps a half century of fighting, the people have finally gotten the peace they wanted long ago. With the old Iraqi government vanquished, Dohuk is thriving. In fact, this Iraqi city appears to be doing at least as well as--perhaps remarkably better than--many comparably-sized towns in Italy. A visit to this place affords more than a break from the rugged routine of war; it also provides a postcard of a possible future for all of Iraq.
"Thanks Bush....." [Hurl's BLOG - in Iraq]
About 3 weeks ago the generator powering the internet caf頡t the al Taqqadum air base died. This isn?t a terribly unusual thing; the generators out here have run continuously for months or even years in a fairly harsh environment. It would be two weeks or so before a replacement generator would be brought in and hooked up. During this time email and internet access for people on the base was severely limited.
We Are Not the Same [Dadmanly - in Iraq]
We?re not the same National Guard unit anymore.
In thinking about our first year of mobilized active duty, that?s the thought I?ve had, more than any other besides how much I miss being home. We?re not the same individuals who left home, and we?re not the same unit, for a variety of reasons.
I Don't Understand It... [Ma Deuce Gunner -in Iraq]
Yesterday there was an IED attack in Kirkuk. Twelve CIVILIANS were wounded. One was killed, and it happened to be a two and a half year old child. I was at Kirkuk General Hospital, providing escort to a humanitarian mission when the incident occured. Minutes later, cars started pouring into the hospital, bringing injured for medical aid. Ordinary people who happened to be in the area of the explosion immediately sprung into action and began helping their fellow citizens. Some wounded made it to the hospital before the ambulances left the premises.
USASOC Soldier dies in Iraq [Jack Army]
A Special Forces Soldier based here died May 31 near Al Qaim, Iraq, after his unit was attacked with enemy small arms fire during combat operations there.
Sgt. 1st Class Steven M. Langmack, 33, a senior Special Forces communications sergeant assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command here, sustained fatal injuries during the attack.
STAR WARS EPISODE 3 PLAYING AT FOB DOGWOOD [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers - in Iraq]
...We woke up early, early this morning to go start our road construction project. We didn't get the money bid, but we were told we could go ahead and do it for free. We left this early so that we could try to get through before it got to hot. Well, when you break out in a sweat at 5:30 a.m. because your wearing your IBA, you know it's going to be a hot one. We were traveling down the road and came up on our objective. There was one blue bongo truck coming in the opposite direction that had gotten caught up in the middle of our convoy when we stopped on the side of the road. We instructed him to drive on the side of the road until he got past the last vehicle. When he got to our tank, I noticed 2 guys in the front seat and about 6-7 women riding in the back. I don't know how the men do it here, but in Mississippi that would have been grounds for divorce.
Field Day [sappersgt's Journal -in Iraq]
...Some of you may have noticed in my personal information there is a disclaimer. I got to reading AR 600-20, which has some interesting information. I added that disclaimer and actually consulted up at JAG to ensure I'm not violating any ethical guidelines about serving soldiers and politics. Her opinion was that as long as I don't directly link my status as a soldier and my political opinions it's OK.
More Fobbloggin [Lance in Iraq]
Here are a few of our new washing machines donated by some very generous Americans.
America, the Beautiful: [Grim's Hall]
Though I think the last post points to a real concern, it should be noted that free speech is still very strong in America. The GeekWithA.45 found a good example, which I just love:
What a Difference a Year Makes [Neptune Lex]
While at sea, I managed to get access to this op-ed in the WSJ, written by Fouad Ajami - a writer whose clarity of thought i greatly admire.
In it, he notes that W has unleashed great powers of creative destruction in the Arab middle east:
Throw the bums out! [Counter Column]
...In the National Guard, echelons above battalion have long demonstrated a willingness to hang onto marginal soldiers or "ghost soldiers" and keep them fraudulently on the books in order to make numbers look good, preserve the unit's or the state's readiness category rating, and preserve full-time Guard and Reserve jobs.
Keel Laid for USS Freedom: US Navy's First Littoral Combat Ship [Word Unheard]
Ken Adams has been working on the team developing the US Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) design. Surely he is quite proud that Thurday (02JUN05) the keel was laid for USS Freedom.
As incredible as the LCS design and the USS Freedom are, it's even better that such a man as Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith is honored as its sponsor.
DEVALUED [trying to grok]
Since the end of OIF II, I have seen a lot of things happen with medals and badges and patches. I used to think it was cool when my husband collected ribbons, but now I am starting to see why Bunker said to throw 'em in a drawer and forget it. I've heard way too many stories about soldiers who deserved ribbons but didn't get them and soldiers who didn't deserve ribbons but got them. Platoon leaders and platoon sergeants spend an extraordinary amount of time not on deciding who deserves medals but working on the grammar and presentation of the citation. And I'm sure some have been approved over others just because someone's grammar was better. In just three months, I've become disillusioned with the medal process, which is sad because I think they should be something to be proud of.
2005 Marine Corps 230th Anniversary [Iraq Wae News]
This year, the United States proudly honors the Marine Corps and all Marines who have sacrificed and contributed in our Nation?s service. Public Law 108-291, signed August 6, 2004, authorizes the minting of a Silver Dollar to commemorate the 230th Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps.
And now for something completely different [Life in this Girl's Army]
(yes I like Monty Python) I wrote this post about one of my days at the ranges last week. I hope you all enjoy. (Feel free to critique. I am always looking to see how I could improve my writing.)
Technological Marvels and Mishaps [From My Position... On the way!]
So I get this brief from the Deuce. We've identified multiple targets in sector moving at various times. They loiter in one location for a few hours and then move slowly to another location and loiter there. We believe it is an AIF cell that is getting weapons from multiple cache sites. The long loiter times are due to them having to dig up the ordinance.
In My World... Immigration [From My Position... On the way!]
In my last ?In My World? post I declared what would happen if I were elected emperor senator. One of my readers (now that I have them) asked my thoughts on border control. Funny you should ask?
Bright Lights, Big City [Firepower Forward]
Well, our mission at FOB Salerno has ended, and we have pulled back to Bagram Air Field. After the reasonably spartan accommodations in Salerno, this is a veritable Shangri-La with its white lights and paved roads, multiple PX's, Burger King, and Dairy Queen. I suppose it still qualifies as a combat zone but it's hard to understand why.
What Kind of Back up Have You Got...??? The whole nine yards if you need it... [The C-Square ]
A Rand study answers the question a young Marine asked me on continued citizen support when the going gets rough for the troops on the ground or will the news "disturb the citizens at their breakfast".
Short Term Memory [Airborne Hog Society - Live from Iraq]
It has been a little over a week since our Patrol Base had a serious attack mounted against it. Since then, I think that all of us have found cuts and bruises that we did not notice during the attack. I noticed a cut on my arm and a blood stain on my pants that tipped me off to a cut on my leg, about two days later. Looking back, you also recall things that you immediately did not notice.
Little Angel [The Siegrist Blogs]
Today on the ring route, this little girl was flown back to her home village by Big Windy after receiving medical treatment at BAF. This brave little girl lost her left leg and most of her fingers on her left hand when she stepped on a land mine. Mr Maynard said she was scared out of her mind crying uncontrollably when she was loading onto the Chinook. With all the noise and wind and strange looking men and woman dressed in combat gear that would intimidate any young child. Ed saw this and took his lucky bear he flies with on every mission and had the crew members give it to her.
Mohammed Monaf Indicted for Involvement in Romanian Journalist Hostage Taking [Conservative Thinking]
No (nada, zilcho, none) US MSM outlet has picked up the story of the naturalized US citizen Mohammed Monaf. It seems like big news to me.
Monaf was the sole American taken hostage with three Romanian journalists in Baghdad several months ago. A couple of weeks ago, all four hostages were released.
Observations of Rural Iraqi Life [Dadmanly]
I have been getting some updates from the NCO in Charge (NCOIC) of our guys out at the remote site, which I hope to be able to sanitize and post soon. This soldier is one of our finest, a strong leader, caring brother-in-arms who really has a heart for his soldiers (and apparently the Iraqis too).
In Case You Heard Something [DogHostage]
In case you heard something about an attack near me, this post is to let y'all know that even though I heard the explosions and small arms fire, I was nowhere near the recent attacks, and am therefore just fine.
Saving lives [Phil and Becky]
I read a follow-up report on the eight Iraqi Army soldier that we evacuated on a MEDEVAC helicopter following the VBIED on May 31st. One IA soldier died of his wounds, but the remaining seven are still alive and most of them have stabilized.
Force Protection Company watches Camp Fallujah [Live in Iraq]
With the security of Camp Fallujah and II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group, II MEF (FWD), area of operations in its hands, many lives depend on the Marines and Sailors of Force Protection Company.
Raids [Hurl's Blog]
The following are accounts of two raids that occured about a month ago. They are a sampling of dozens of such raids that go on all the time, all over Iraq. Most are successful, resulting in bad guys in the bag. Not only are scumbags who engage in terror caught and punished, they usually have info that helps us nail more scumbags.
Red2Alpha Silenced [CDR Salamander]
Another example why I blog anon. The minute your Chain of Command interjects themselves into your writing, or you are influenced one way or another by your C-o-C WRT what you write about, you are compromised.
Large's Dick Corp. and Networked War [Winds of Change]
It's amazing what you can learn editing Defense Industry Daily. For instance, the Dick Corp. in Large, PA has just received a $79 million defense contract to, uh, expand the facilities at Pensacola. No, I'm not making that up.
Pentagon delays release of May recruiting data [Jack Army]
The Pentagon on Wednesday postponed by more than a week the release of military recruiting figures for May, as the Army and Marine Corps struggle to attract new troops amid the Iraq war
UN Sacks First Staffer for Oil-for-Food Scandal [Outside the Beltway]
Joseph Stephanides, who took part in contractor selections and other procurement activities, is the initial casualty:
AbleKane legacy - Deploying Reason [AbleKaneAdventures]
It could be mere coincidence, but almost six months after leaving the Multinational Security Transition Command - Iraq in Baghdad, I noticed the following quote in the command publication
Drifting Vessel And 50 Passengers Back In Port [SAILORS & MARINERS LEAGUE]
THE inter-island vessel Tunatuki made its way safely into Suva Harbour on Tuesday night. The vessel, which had been drifting in open seas for two days, berthed at Narain Jetty at 10.30pm on Tuesday night. Crew members yesterday said the 50 passengers were safe and in good health. They left the vessel as soon as it berthed at the jetty.
Daily Kos :: Bush just publicly committed an impeachable offense [Atheist Soldier]
One more item in the ?domestic enemy? column.
John Doe, Son of a Gunb [Reasoned Audacity]
In the 17th century women were frequent visitors to warships to comfort the crew. And these relationships produced children, some legitimate, some not. The fathers were sometimes known, sometimes not. Babies on board were birthed out between the cannon on the gun deck providing some measure of privacy. The baby's paternity might be noted as "son of a gun."
Operation Beef Up Our Troops [Assumption of Command]
I have already received e-mail (Thanks Jeffery) asking for my address so Beef Jerky can be sent my way. I have said before that I didn't start this site to troll for stuff from readers, just from my friends and family back home, especially Mustang Mama.
I am the Beef Jerky Nazi [The National Guard Experience]
These people don't think I should publish my Golden Rules that bash Beef Jerky lovers. At what point is someone going to step in and put a stop to this Beef Jerky
On Beef Jerky and Blogging [The Silent Republican]
The Jerky War has begun. I suggested earlier to Mustang23 that an alliance for the pormotion of Beef Jerky and the annoying of JP. That alliance is called Bloggers For Beef Jerky. It has now been formed and it appears as if the Beef Jerky Nazi is trying to retaliate. I dunno, but this may get pretty hairy. Grab your helmets everyone and hit the deck.
The Fight Begins [Bloggers For Beef Jerky ]
The "Beef Jerky Nazi" has thrown his hat into the ring and now it is time to put up or shut up. He has even gone as far as Publishing a Reference
Will operation thuderbolt work? [Free Iraqi]
I really hope so but I have many doubts regarding such measures and their usefulness. First of all I want to say that personally if I had to choose between living in constant danger and living in a police state, I'd chose living in danger without hesitation. It's the reason why we welcomed OIF with knowing very well the risks and hazards of a war like that, as we have been in similar situations before.
U.S. Blamed for Koran Harm in WTC Collapse [ScrappleFace]
Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan rioted today in response to new reports that copies of the Koran were desecrated when two American buildings collapsed after being struck by American airplanes in September of 2001.
TMG Editors Note: Must see interviews by MSM but not making headlines. Released 06/01/05
Interview with COL Hodges w/ FOX news [DVIDS (video)]
Colonel Ben Hodges, C-3 Chief of Plans and Operations for Multinational Corps Iraq talks from Baghdad to Fox News reporter about Operation Lightning, the impact of the Iraqi forces and police, and the recent vehicle born improvised explosive device detonation. Video from Multinational Corps Iraq Public Affairs Office.
Interview with CPT Saatkamp w/ MSNBC [DVIDS (video)]
Captain Kevin Saatkamp, Outgoing Commander for the 21st Infantry Regiment from Ft. Lewis, WA talks from Mosul to MSNBC reporter about his daily role in Mosul, the activity there, and some positive stories to share with the media. Video from 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
Interview with COL McKnight w/ WSAV [DVIDS (video)]
Colonel Mark McKnight, Commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, talks from Tikrit to WSAV reporter in Savannah, Georgia about training Iraqi forces and what the Soldiers overseas are feeling on Memorial Day. Video from the 22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Interview with SPC Koziol w/ KSAZ [DVIDS (video)]
Specialist Megan Koziol talks from Mosul to KSAZ reporter in Arizona about her time in Baghdad, the injury that could've prevented her from deploying, and what the Soldiers miss most overseas. Video from 100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
Interview with MG Webster w/ CNN [DVIDS (video)]
Major General William Webster, 3rd Infantry Division Commanding General, talks from Baghdad to CNN reporter about Operation Lightning, and the effectiveness of the missions thus far. Video from the 100th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
Troops Sweep Through Baghdad [Global Security.org]
In Iraq, Operation Lightning continues, but a suicide bomber slipped through the net and hit the main checkpoint into Baghdad International Airport.
Coalition Aircraft Deliver Humanitarian Aid [Defend America]
U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft based in Southwest Asia delivered more than 50,000 pounds of civil assistance cargo to Afghans during four airlift missions May 18 to 30 supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Myers: 85 Percent of Iraqis Likely to Vote [Defense Link]
Some 85 percent of Iraqis said they will vote in October elections to ratify a new constitution, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at a Pentagon news conference today, citing recent polling data
Intelligence analysts' work leads to insurgents? capture near Al Asad [Marines.com]
Recently, intelligence analysts with the headquarters squadron of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), provided information on suspected insurgent activity in the vicinity of this air base that led to the detainment of 15 insurgents during a raid conducted by Marines from the 2nd Marine Division?s 1st Force Reconnaissance unit.
Iraqi forces stand their ground in insurgent attack [Stars & Stripes]
A defensive stand by Iraqi army and police during a coordinated attack from insurgents Sunday afternoon in western Baghdad showed growing confidence and ability within the local forces, according to U.S. Army officials here.
GA Principal Denies USMC Speaker [Banter in Alanter]
To my knowledge this story just surfaced yesterday, but seems to be gaining more traction in the press. In a nutshell the story goes like this: Marine speaker submits paperwork to speak to students of Anita White Carson Middle School in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia. His paperwork is ignored. Marine shows up to speak to students. The principal shows outright contempt for the Marine and has him escorted off of the campus.
Top 5 dumb things I did this week [From My Position... On the way!]
...When The Pin on Mr. Grenade is Pulled, he is not our friend.
Note to self: As far as grenades go, I don?t schlep around the frags. I keep them in the truck until I need them, which is usually right before I get out of the truck to raid something. No point in a) carrying the extra weight (they are a little over 1 LB each) and b) risking getting them snagged on one of the other hundreds of things I have tied to me. Now, I do carry smoke grenades in my pouches. A red one for MEDEVAC, and a purple for marking, and a white one for obscuration. I also carry a flashbang, because it can serve my purposes until the frags are needed. Well we needed a smoke grenade to mark our position for the whirlybirds who were helping us look for bad guys in the palm groves. I reached into my pouch, pulled a smoke grenade, pulled (and subsequently tossed away) the pin, and realized I was holding the wring friggin grenade. Mr. Flashbang sat there in my hand. It?s the same size and shape as a smoke grenade, and I couldn?t tell the different texture because I was wearing gloves. The spoon is taped down when it rides in the pouch, but I?d already torn that off, so I couldn?t set it next to me. Sure I could throw it, but it?s really loud and everyone would think we were being attacked
Senior Marine Officer - Operations New Market and Mongoos [Blackfive]
Below is an email via Seamus from a Senior Marine Officer involved in several Operations in Iraq. It touches on many things - what's really happening, the media's portrayal of our forces, etc.
Early morning raid [Phil and Becky]
Two day ago, soldiers from Charlie Company conducted an early morning raid targeting suspected members of an Ansar al Sunna cell in a small town named Kharnabat. Kharnabat is a town of approximately 15,000 people, split 70/30 between Shia and Sunni. It is a generally friendly town, as far as towns here go. Several members of the Iraqi Army live there and, aside from minor trouble here and there, the town stays pretty quiet. At least in terms of things that make it onto our radar screen.
Car bomb by Buhriz [Phil and Becky]
At the bottom of this article is a short paragraph from our neck of the woods:
A car bomber killed two Iraqi soldiers at an army checkpoint near Buhriz, about 35 miles north of Baghdad, said Diyala provincial police spokesman Ali Fadhil.
The Descent of Amnesty International [Dadmanly]
...Where on earth are the Trustees? What do the founders and supporters of AI think of this report? Are domestic U.S. Politics so valuable to you, that you will sacrifice the very soul of your organization? Are American Conservatives and Libertarians so beyond the pale, that you need to brand us as evil as anything you can conceive (and yes, observe) in the world today? Do you think this is some nightmare you will wake up from, and if you just tough it out, you will never have to deal with U.S. Republicans or Conservatives again? Do you want to fight true oppression, or do you want to play politics, because if it?s the former, we can work together, but if it?s the latter, you?re irrelevant to us (and to your very charter).
Rivkin and Casey conclude:
A Robust Non-Defense Of The ICRC [Chapomatic]
From the journal The National Interest, an article that describes well the pickle Americans are in with respect to the International Committee of the Red Cross:
Under a Angry Moon [365 and a Wake Up]
Last night the blood orange moon hung low in the sky, as if some celestial giant had impressed his dirty thumbprint into the heavens themselves. In ancient days astronomers might have read ominous portends in that lidless eye. It seemed somehow fitting, for under that baleful moon I returned to the FOB. As our helicopter thundered into the LZ (Landing Zone) a great pillar of dust twisted round in our wake, almost as if the desert was greedily reaching out gritty arms to welcome our return.
Running, Jingle truck [Going Down Range]
Sometime when I have a spare hour I will run early in the morning or early evening. I used to run a lot, but running here offers many special challenges that I would not encounter back home. Since there are no paved roads or sidewalks here, you share them with John Deere Gators, Humvees, Jingle trucks, construction equipments and other vehicles. So you are sucking a lung full of dust. If you stray off the roads you can end up in a minefield and that is not good for your health.
An Air Force Reply to an Army Friend In Iraq [Dude, Where's The Beach?- My Hitchhikers Guide To The World]
Funny thing... in Kirkuk all I ever heard about from the Army guys was how we in the AF treated our folks better. Honestly, we may do that, but I've spent the entire weekend thinking about taking advantage of the blue to green program. The Air Force may be great, but I was never meant to sit behind a computer screen in a cubicle and waste away. As we celebrated memorial day I wanted nothing more than to spend the time out there pounding sand. I guess I've been stir crazy ever since coming home.
Loose Lips Sinks Ships [The Quonset Hut]
From the University of North Carolina Press comes a book by Michael S. Sweeney titled Secrets of Victory. This book examines the World War II self-censorship program and analyzes the reasons for its success.
Essential knowledge for the military spouse [Homefront Six]
My post about the woman who did not know what a pair of pliers was got me to thinking. The first thing I thought of was that this woman's husband had...
Live In 2005: WebCOM--Community & Communications for Military Families [VFW Auxiliary Blog]
Letters, radio, satelite phones . . . any form of communication from loved ones is welcomed by a soldier in service. The links to home is what keeps a soldier strong and positive. Much has changed since the days of long awaited care packages. Coming June 1st, you will be able to communicate with your soldier live and direct with audio and video through Military WebCOM.
Too Much Lobster, and Other Things.... [Hurl's Blog]
I've been here at my new location near the Jordanian and Syrian border for three days and I've had five lobster. All part of the Memorial day festivities. I'm thinking I may have had a few too many since I'm not feeling very well at the moment. One of the lobsters was filled with a nasty "black goo" which brought a sudden and abrupt end to my lobster feast. Now several hours later I'm a bit queasy.....
Iraq: USA Must Stay [The Indepundit]
THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT formally requested that the United Nations extend the mandate of the multi-national forces in Iraq, The New York Times reports.
DON'T SALUTE ME [SFC Kevin Kelly's Dixie Sappers]
This morning I got up to go eat breakfast. As I was walking to the chow hall I came up on one of the interpreters who had been gone for a few weeks. He walked up to me and then he saluted me. I don't know if you know much about being in a war zone, but you don't salute anyone out here. It isn't as big of an issue now as it was in Vietnam, but still if a sniper wanted to, they could see who is getting saluted and shoot the officer. I told him first of all, I'm an NCO and never salute me anywhere, then I told him not to salute anyone ever since he wasn't even a soldier. The guy walking with me said, "Only salute officers that you don't like." We all just laughed and the interpreter thought the guy was crazy. I'll never tell the persons name who I was with.
What is the mission? [sappersgt's Journal]
If you stop the average soldier on the street and ask him or her what the mission of the United States Army is, the usual answer would be "to fight and win the Nation's wars." And what they mean by that is to go to crappy foreign countries and blow the hell out of their military until the political leadership surrenders or goes into hiding and we start looking for them.
Sounds pretty obvious.
Killing for God [Michael Yon : Online Magazine]
Mosul, Northern Iraq
An American soldier told me today that he has been telling kids to stay away from his unit so they won't be killed. This is harder, on all parties, than it might seem to anyone who hasn't seen firsthand how much the kids here love the soldiers. The sound of heavily armored trucks rumbling through the streets has the same effect on these kids as the tinkling bells of the "ice cream man" back home. Imagine having to tell kids to run the other way when they hear the ice cream truck on a summer afternoon.
Paint It Black [This is Your War]
Two nights ago SFC Burt, my PSG, knocked on my door.
"You have to go down to the Battalion Commo Shop and register your web site."
It seems there have been problems with OPSEC and blog sites, not mine but others, I know which ones.
Supporting Poland's Troops in Iraq [Winds of Change]
Of of our readers just left a comment in our "How to Support the Troops" roundup, noting that the link re: supporting Polish soldiers is now dead.
So, if you wish to send a Christmas care package to a Polish soldier, to show your gratitude for their support in Iraq, then here is how to do it:
Honoring their sacrific [Marine Corps Moms]
Here are thousands of reasons for that moment of remembrance:
Iraq (March 19, 2003-present) 1,647
Afghanistan (Oct. 7, 2001-present) 187
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) 382
Vietnam War (1964-1975) 58,200
Korean War (1950-1953) 36,574
WW II (1941-1945) 405,399
WW I (1917-1918) 116,516
Spanish-American War (1898) 2,446
Civil War (1861-1865) estimated 364,511 Union; 133,821 Confederate
Mexican War (1846-1848) 13,283
War of 1812 (1812-1815) 2,260
Revolutionary War (1775-1783) 4,435
The French aid American Interests (Part II) [Fourth Rail]
France, the lead architect of the anti-US position over Iraq, the country willing to divide Europe and America's allies to strike its leadership position as a counterweight to US supremacy and a nation at the core of integration has plunged all of Europe into chaos.
Military cluelessness at the Times of London [CounterColumn]
The Times of London notes that the US and UK increased the number of bombs dropped on Iraq in 2002 and thinks that that's evidence that Blair and Bush were deliberately increasing the number of bombs dropped in an effort to provoke the Saddam regime into a cassus belli.
Iranians Being Smuggled into the U.S. [Andi's World]
It's time to get serious about immigration.
Thunder and Lightning Silent and Invisible; "Blogosphere Supports Real Democracy in Iran Campaign" [The Adventures of Chester]
I've joined the campaign (and will post the button shortly) and will be posting a weekly roundup from RCI on Sundays. I encourage all to participate, as I've been a proponent of changing regimes via awareness myself as well.
Combat Action Badge [Watch Your Six]
The Army has approved a design for the new Combat Action Badge. The award is retroactive to 18 SEP 01 and will be awarded to anyone who engaged or was engaged by the enemy in the war on terror.
Gotcha - Congressional Travel Reports [Balance Sheet]
Tom DeLay has taken a lot of heat over trips he made that were paid for by a lobbyist. Democrats wanted his head. House rules require travel reports to be filed within 30 days.
The Democrats may have their own problems with travel reports.
Elder Bush Would Like Son Jeb to Run for President [Outside the Beltway]
President George Bush the Elder told Larry King that he would like to see son Jeb run for president some day, too.
Not Fair [Neptunus Lex]
There's a montage floating around out there that's also totally unfair. You'll have to click "read more" to see the montage, and how totally unfair it all is.
Editor 's Note: Be sure to watch the video
COOL [Trying to Grok]
Via RWN I found an interesting calculator that shows you how you'd fare under President Bush's Social Security reforms.
What Would Jesus Drive? [Balloon Juice]
Fresh and renewed after a week of rest after their successful ten year boycott of Disney, the American Famaily Association has set their eyes on that other great domestic Satan- Ford Motor Company:
Sign of the End Times [Horologium]
This may be the only time I ever do this, but I am linking to a DailyKos piece approvingly. This is important, if you are a blogger or enjoy reading politically-oriented blogs. The FEC is really over-reaching here, but the big-government types on both sides of the aisle are likely to let this go without a fight. I'm not willing to go quietly into the night on *my* free speech rights.
The Home Stretch [Soldier's Paradise II]
We are back on our "home" camp from our mission, that was a booming success, and it actually feels great to be back. We got to unwind for a few days and now we are right back in the swing of things. The new LT that we got has created a "super team" out of my team and Bunk's team. They should be really well prepared for what ever comes their way after I leave. A couple of my guys are not thrilled about having to stay, but they are happy about the extra money.
Unmanned Vehicles- Getting our kids out of harm's way[Uncle Jimbo- Madison's Favorite hawk]
The field of unmanned systems is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the defense industry. Not only are there UAVs flying over a large portion of the planet, but there are ground, undersea and other vehicles in the pipeline that will get operators out of even more military machines. I interviewed (I work executive search) a former Commander of TOPGUN who said something to me almost two years ago that blew my mind. He said the last fighter pilot has already been born. That is a concept to spin your head.
Iraq War Veterans Organization [Fort Lewis ACAP Center]
Some PTSD support groups are listed below. To be taken to the main page, click on the name of this posting or here:
Pajamas Media - Fair & Balanced [Swanky Conservative]
Roger L. Simon gets asked whether or not the forthcoming Pajamas Media project will be ?Fair and Balanced.? Damn good question. He asks for a discussion on the subject and I?m more than willing to throw my two cents in.
Iraqi Civilian Life Not Disrupted by 'Operation New Market' [Denfense News]
Marines, sailors, and Iraqi security forces are capturing and detaining terrorists throughout the Iraqi city of Haditha. However, officials said, for ordinary Iraqis, life there continues essentially unchanged.
Following Operation Lightning. [Iraq the Model]
Yesterday operation lightning began and we noticed an excessive presence of the Iraqi army and police forces on the streets and main squares in Baghdad with an obvious readiness for confronting the terrorists.
Bill Nassif - WWII POW: Someone You Should Get To Know! [My View]
I met Bill Nassif one night a couple years ago. I was out for dinner with a group of friends and Bill joined the group. He happened to sit next to me and otherwise I had never met Bill before. One of the group mentioned Bill was a WWII vet and that he had been a POW. So, Bill started to tell stories.