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Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. (We have a daily "Open Post" too, if you have something on another topic you can link there.)
Signs of independence -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
There have been obvious signs over the last few days that the Iraqi government intends to do more of its own heavy lifting from now on. Assets appear to have begun being shuffled already.
I’m doubtful that my unit or I will be affected, but it’s fairly clear that the Iraqi government is quite interested in Iraqis taking care of their own problems. This is as it should be.
Island Style -- [The Babylon Blog - in Iraq]
Part of my job includes walks through the town to visit projects we are working on. These trips can be the best part of being here because it allows me the chance to get out and see the town and its people. Yesterday we walked out to an island that sits in the middle of the Euphrates River. We needed to inspect some repairs we had done to a primary school there.
A Good Day -- [a mobilized year]
I sat there with one of my men’s blood-soaked IBA (body armor) in my hands. It was the end of a long day and I was exhausted. Although, I had a very strange feeling come over me. It was the feeling of having a good day. A damn good day.
Earlier that day, I received a dreaded message. I was summoned to the TOC because of an emergency situation involving one of my crews. The three minute trip ...
Electronic Blackouts and Fearing the Worst -- [Reporting for Duty - in Iraq]
A blackout occured after our aircraft crashed -- and it probably saved many family members unnecessary grief. If one or two soldiers had been able to call home after the crash, their own families would have been reassured. But the families would have called other families in the unit and told them about the crash -- and those families might have begun to fear the worst.
Since all of the crew members were okay, families would have been alarmed for no reason.
Iraq Pictures - 28 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
Locals from Al Harza Village, near Numaniyah, stand in line just to meet U.S. troops during an operation conducted by the 48th Brigade Combat Team. People don't stand in line to meet the criminals such as Al Queda who violate Islam and Muslim brotherhood and law.
...Local contractors work to restore an water pumping station in the southern Baghdad area. Restoring water, electricity and repairing sewage lines has become an essential part of rebuilding Iraq.
Cordons -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck - in Iraq]
I can’t stand them. I guess I should like them because it means that we’ve found an IED. The reason I hate them is because we have to ensure the safety of everyone else. That means that we have to secure the area and make sure that Iraqi civilians and other coalition forces doesn’t enter the danger area. Well, we ran into one today. It wasn’t our cordon but we still had to wait. It’s worse than waiting for a train to cross an intersection.
We stood by for just over an hour. It sucks because we can’t do anything else but wait.
Detrius of War -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
...These are two Soviet made BMP armored personnel carriers and a Soviet made T-55 tank. It is early 60's technology and was trying to fight 21st Century warfighters. These Iraqis were smart. They saw what was coming and DD'd outta there!
The detrius of war was all over in 2003 and up until last year. It is all being cleaned up and everyone who comes now does not get to see the sights we saw. It is not sad but it is a change in the way we look at the place and does change the historical perspective.
Local al-Qaida Leader in Iraq Killed -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi forces killed a local al-Qaida in Iraq leader and two other insurgents in a raid north of Baghdad on Friday, and roadside bombs killed an American soldier and an Iraqi policeman, officials said....
Cleric Calls For End To Militias -- (Los Angeles Times)...Borzou Daragahi and Bruce Wallace
Iraq's senior Shiite Muslim religious figure Thursday called on the country's controversial militias to disarm, marking one of the most overt forays into matters of politics and policy by the influential cleric.
US military sees Iraq edging away from civil war -- (Yahoo News/ Reuters)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Thursday Iraq was moving away from the risk of civil war and insurgent and sectarian bloodshed would fall dramatically when a new government of national unity is formed.
Iraqi Official Expects Start Of U.S. Exit, With A Big Pullout This Year -- (Wall Street Journal)...Yochi J. Dreazen
A senior Iraqi official said there would be a substantial withdrawal of U.S. troops this year, with the rest leaving within the next two years.
Iraqi Oil Gangs Syphon Off Billions -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Jim Muir
A new class of grand mafiosi sucking billions of pounds out of Iraq's vital oil sector is crippling efforts to rebuild the nation, according to an official report published in Baghdad.
The Iraq pipeline fiasco -- (International Herald Tribune)
The Bush administration's promise that Iraq's reconstruction could be paid for with the country's own oil revenues was one of the many false assertions and assurances that ushered in the invasion. But...
Rebuilding of Iraqi Oil Pipeline as Disaster Waiting to Happen -- (The New York Times)
When Robert Sanders was sent by the Army to inspect the construction work an American company was doing on the banks of the Tigris River, 130 miles north of Baghdad, he e...
Iraq war set to be more expensive than Vietnam -- (The Independent)
The Iraq war has already cost the United States $320bn (£180bn), according to an authoritative new report, and even if a troop withdrawal begins this year, the conflict is set to be more expensiv...
Air Force Rescue Teams Go Mainstream -- [Strategy Page]
More reliable, and effective warplanes, has resulted in very low losses. That has left the U.S. Air Force combat rescue teams without work. No problem. The greater use of Special Forces and commandoes, especially in Afghanistan, gave the rescue teams plenty to do.
Coalition talks security, reconstruction with village leaders -- [Centcom]
FORWARD OPERATING BASE ASADABAD, Afghanistan – Coalition, Afghan National Army and village leaders discussed regional anti-terror efforts, security and reconstruction at a meeting in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province on April 14.
About 50 village elders and townsmen from Ali Abad, Korangal, Arawara Bandeh and Babiel met with Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Zamari, commander of the 3rd Brigade, 201st ANA Corps, Army Col. John Nicholson, Task Force Spartan commander, Army Lt. Col. Chip Bierman, Task Force Lava commander, and other Coalition leaders as part of Operation Mountain Lion.
Afghan resident turns in terrorists -- [Centcom]
JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces used an anonymous tip from a local villager to ambush two enemy fighters in the Pech District of the Kunar Province on April 19.
Coalition forces were notified that enemy fighters were threatening the local villagers and their families if they provided Coalition forces with their location.
Back from the field... -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
My thanks to those who asked where I've been, and my sincere apologies to all who actually want to hear my ramblings! I'll have much more up soon, but wanted to drop a quick note to say I'm back online, at JAF. The last couple of weeks required me to take hundreds of photos, so I've begun the painful process of sorting/editing, and have actual work to do besides. But never fear, I'll tell my tales of Operation Mountain Lion...
Suspected U.S. Spies Targeted -- (Los Angeles Times)...Paul Watson and Zulfiqar Ali
Taliban militants and their allies are waging a dirty war in Pakistan's unruly tribal areas, kidnapping and executing people suspected of spying for U.S. forces across the border in Afghanistan.
Corruption Eroding Afghan Security -- (Christian Science Monitor)...David Montero
Nearly five years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan's security situation continues to be dragged down by endemic corruption, roving militias, and a growing nexus between narco-warlords and remnants of the Taliban, officials and analysts say.
Rolling Along -- [SGT Hook]
Your Army continues to go rolling along:
1,700 Soldiers in Kosovo
1,700 Soldiers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
200 Soldiers in Saudi Arabia/Bahrain
680 Soldiers in the Sinai
18,000 Soldiers in Afghanistan
180,000 Soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait
1,700 Soldiers in the Horn of Africa
And they are busy, serving you well and making you proud…
Korea Feeling the Pain of High Oil Prices as Well -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
Americans aren't the only ones feeling the effects of high oil prices. Korea is feeling the pain too:
...High fuel prices are a big issue in America right now, but I can't help but think how much more expensive oil is in other countries like Korea where they are paying approximately $2 more a gallon than people in the US
The Iran Plan: Lather, Rinse, Repeat -- [ThreatsWatch]
No News on the Iranian Nuclear Crisis, But Plenty of Recycled Rhetoric as the UNSC Deadline Looms
With the Security Council’s deadline for Iran’s compliance expiring Friday, the sense of urgency can be felt all the way from the UN building at Turtle Bay in New York to the deli across the street. Its range of influence extends nowhere near Tehran, as the regime remains defiant with little difference from any other point in the last three years of heightened international attention on the Iranian Nuclear Crisis.
Thanks for the laughs -- [Counter Column]
Not sure where they came over from, but I'd like to thank everyone who came over to this thread and called me a Chickenhawk.
To wit: You, sir, are a true chickenhawk. The living breathing embodiment of privilege without principles, logic without sincerity, rhetoric without wisdom.
You have no sense of what it means to fight and, therefore, your very claims of needing a war are base out of dangerous ignorance.
...Best laugh I've had in a long time.
...I suggested also targeting Iranian industry as well.
Iran has a parliament. They have local rulers with local interests and local constituencies. They have a lot of practical people, even if their current president is a nutcase (though the nuclear program seems to predate him.)
These people do not want to see industry in their provinces destroyed. They ...
War Clouds -- (Los Angeles Times)...Rosa Brooks
LET ME TELL YOU about the next war. It will start sooner than you think — sometime between now and September. And it will be precipitated by the $700-million Russian deal this week to sell Tor air defense missile systems to Iran.
U.N. Agency Finds Iran Noncompliant -- (Washington Post)...Dafna Linzer and Molly Moore
Despite a formal request from the U.N. Security Council, Iran has not provided international inspectors with new information about the country's nuclear program and has accelerated, rather than curbed, uranium-enrichment activities, according to sources familiar with a report the inspectors plan to issue today.
Pakistan Official: No Force Against Iran -- (Guardian Unlimited)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pakistan notified the Bush administration on Thursday it would not support the use of force to halt Iran's nuclear programs.
"We are against any resort to force,"...
Musharraf insists: I'm not George Bush's poodle -- (The Guardian)
· General says US air strikes infringe sovereignty
· President denies running military dictatorship
General Pervez Musharraf, facing a surge of anti-American sentiment, yesterday warned that covert US air strikes against al-Qaida inside Pakistan were an infringement of national sovereignty
US Considering Nuclear Accord With Russia -- (Boston Globe)...Carol Giacomo, Reuters
The United States is discussing the possibility of a civilian nuclear energy agreement with Russia that could help wean Moscow away from cooperation with Iran, according to US officials.
Al Qaeda Admits Defeat -- [Strategy Page]
April 27, 2006: Some interesting trends in the war on terrorism. Trends are often difficult to make out in this murky conflict, but the recent release of an audio message from Osama bin Laden on April 23rd, and a few days later, a rare video from Abu Musab al Zarqawi delivered the same message. Both sent out signals that failed to connect.
Nuclear Deterrence in the Age of Terrorism -- [Yankee Sailor]
The end of the Cold War brought about an initial euphoria that the threat of nuclear annihilation had dissipated and dramatic changes in the deterrence postures of the major powers could be enacted. Time, though, has shown that prevailing doctrines of nuclear deterrence are essentially unchanged between the major powers. The change that has created a need for further development of nuclear deterrence doctrine in the last fifteen years, however, is the appearance of nations with small nuclear forces (SNF) and non-state actors pursuing nuclear capability.
Al Qaeda Wields Press As Terror Weapon, Report Finds -- (Washington Times)...Jennifer Harper
Terrorists use the press and public relations as weapons, said a study released Wednesday by Arizona State University.
Attacks Signal Stepped-Up Qaeda Effort -- (Boston Globe)...Bryan Bender
A pair of terror attacks in Egypt this week are the latest sign that Al Qaeda is successfully exploiting the war in Iraq to win new adherents and is outsourcing its wider struggle against the West to home-grown militant groups in other Arab countries, according to US intelligence officials and terrorism specialists.
Questions by the Dozen for Moussaoui Jury -- (AP)
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Only one question matters in the end for Zacarias Moussaoui: the life-or-death one. But to get to a death sentence, the jury now determining the fate of the al-Qaida operative must consider dozens of questions. Each question is a piece of the puzzle about who this man is, what he did and whether he deserves execution or the only other choice, life in prison, for his part in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
A Tribute To Our Fallen Warriors -- [2/28 BCT Iron Soldiers]
Nature’s reverential silence inspired the hearts of comrades gathered for the dedication of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT) Fallen Warriors Memorial on April 16th at Camp Ramadi. 57 names grace the new plaque, and 57 dogtags hang within the obelisk, above the 21st century “Bloody Bucket” of the 28th Infantry Division.
Colorado State Frat Hosts Benefit for Naval Special Warfare Foundation -- [Froggy Ruminations]
If you're in Colorado on April 29th, CSU's chapter of Gamma Beta Phi is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Naval Special Warfare Foundation at 1900 at the Colorado Springs Marriot.
Morons attack UNC, N.C. State ROTC Buildings -- [Eagle Speak]
Vandals sprayed anti-war messages early Wednesday on ROTC buildings on the campuses of North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, authorities said.
An Army ROTC building near Reynolds Coliseum at N.C. State bore the message "ROTC trains murderers" and asked people to resist "the racist war." The vandalism was reported to campus police at about 7:30 a.m.
Marines -- [SandGram]
I have found that some people look at you in a different light when they find out that you are in the Military. It's some foreign concept that you would WANT to be doing this as a job occupation. But I am here to tell you that coming from a long line of Military service, and growing up a Navy Brat were some of the best times in my life. I look back at those days in Little Creek Virginia on the Amphibious base there as the standard that all kids should have. The following are stories of joining the Marines and life as a pilot.
Staffer's Hard Sayings Log -- [The Stupid Shall be Punished]
Excerpts from this quote log have been popping up all over the blogosphere, but I haven't seen the whole thing (at least the whole thing as of when I retired in late 2004) posted. A little background -- this "virtual green book" was kept by a Navy pilot at EUCOM J-5, who was working with all the staff pukes in D.C. and Tampa (CENTCOM, where I was) during the run-up to the Iraq War and the aftermath; it mostly has to do with the thoughts and frustrations of staff officers involved in putting together a Coalition in the brave new One Superpower world. Some of them you've heard before, others you won't understand at all unless you've been a staff puke. One of them is even my very own invention. Sit back and enjoy
Bush Set To Approve Takeover Of 9 Military Plants By Dubai -- (New York Times)...Jim Rutenberg and David E. Sanger
President Bush is expected on Friday to announce his approval of a deal under which a Dubai-owned company would take control of nine plants in the United States that manufacture parts for American military vehicles and aircraft, say two administration officials familiar with the terms of the deal.
Soldier A Casualty Of Life As A Civilian -- (Chicago Tribune)...Colleen Mastony
Army didn't prepare Michael Torok for homefront stresses; he killed himself a year after discharge.
Pentagon Bills Injured Soldiers $1.2 Million -- (Los Angeles Times)...Associated Press
After suffering paralysis, brain damage, lost limbs and other wounds in war, nearly 900 soldiers have been saddled with $1.2 million in government debt because of the military's "complex, cumbersome" pay system, congressional investigators said Thursday
Students Suspended For Marine Recruiter Protest -- (Seattle Post Intelligencer )
Five high school students in Frederick were suspended after staging a "die-in" in front of a Marine Corps recruiting booth during an on-campus job fair, a school official said.
Your new national anthem -- [Hot Air - Michelle]
I’ve been blogging over at mm.com about the upcoming Spanglish-ization of the Star-Spangled Banner by a group of activist Latino musicians. They’re rewriting the national anthem in a show of solidarity for illegal aliens and pushing for Bush White House-endorsed amnesty.
A Washington Shuffle -- [Dadmanly]
A short reflection on why busting pork in terms of earmarks -- member items, pork barrel spending, supplemental appropriations, etc. – is only one battle in a bigger war. (The occasion of this reflection is the Senate Proposal to reorganize the FEMA Portion of Homeland Security.)
An Anthem's Discordant Notes -- (Washington Post)
Spanish Version of 'Star-Spangled Banner' Draws Strong Reactions
Oh say can you see -- a la luz de la aurora?
The national anthem that once endured the radical transformation administered by Jimi Hendrix's fuzzed and frantic Stratocaster now faces an artistic dare at least as extreme: translation into Spanish.
Spanish 'Star-Spangled Banner' Draws Ire -- (AP)
MIAMI (AP) - British music producer Adam Kidron says that when he came up with the idea of a Spanish-language version of the U.S. national anthem, he saw it as an ode to the millions of immigrants seeking a better life. But in the week since Kidron announced the song - which features artists such as Wyclef Jean, hip-hop star Pitbull and Puerto Rican singers Carlos Ponce and Olga Tanon - it has been the target of a fierce backlash
Running for Senate, and Against the War -- (Washington Post)
Area's Democratic Candidates Find Support in Calling for U.S. to Leave Iraq
From a cocktail party of liberal contributors in Baltimore to the ball-cap-wearing crowd in a conservative town in southwest Virginia, wherever Democratic loyalists gather, there are five words sure to prompt applause for a Senate candidate:
Schoomaker Calls Retired Generals' Comments 'Inappropriate' -- (Mideast Stars and Stripes)...Lisa Burgess
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker on Wednesday criticized retired generals who have come out against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other defense leaders, calling their comments “unfortunate” and “inappropriate.”
War Game Exposed Rumsfeld's Incompetence -- (Salt Lake Tribune)...Joe Galloway
...The general made it clear he is no antiwar crusader. 'We have to stay,' he said of Iraq this week. 'We have to finish it, but let's do it right.' Van Riper told Knight Ridder that in looking at Rumsfeld's leadership he found three particular areas of inability and incompetence.
Katrina Report Rips the White House Anew -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Senate inquiry into the government's Hurricane Katrina failures ripped the Bush administration anew Thursday and urged the scrapping of the nation's disaster response agency. But with a new hurricane season just weeks away, senators conceded that few if any of their proposals could become reality in time. The bipartisan investigation into one of the worst natural disasters in the nation's history singled out President Bush and the White House as appearing indifferent to the devastation until two days after the storm hit.
Even MSNBC Contributor Doesn't Want to Watch MSNBC -- [Media Blog]
Washington Post reporter Jim VandeHei provoked quite a discussion yesterday by "officially complaining" that the White House TVs are always tuned to Fox News:
THE HIJACKING OF UNITED 93...AGAIN? -- [Michelle Malkin]
... there is a side of the marketing of United 93 that hasn't been exposed yet or confronted. Watch the latest episode of Vent to find out how jihadist rhetoric is being echoed by the official United 93 discussion site run by Universal Studios.
When Hollywood Makes History -- (Washington Post)
Invented Details in 'United 93' Raise Real Questions
"United 93," Hollywood's first big-budget film about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, is faithful to the major aspects of the tragic morning it depicts. The movie tracks the key events detailed in the 9/11 Commission Report, the most definitive source on the subject: the commandeering of the United jet by four terrorists, the panic of the passengers and the heroic rebellion that ended with the plane crashing in a field near Shanksville, Pa.
At the Station -- [Sgt Hook]
As a follow up to my No Tears In Heaven post, I offer this…
The dozen or so Soldiers were all smiles as they walked through the colorful and patriotically decorated station, having just arrived on the overnight. Stepping from the train, dressed in the standard issue desert camouflage uniform, a light layer of dust still on them, they were all caught by surprise at the welcoming that awaited them. Throngs of people lined the terminal, clapping, cheering, waving, and shouting their thanks and praise. The hand shakes and pats on the back raised the hair on the necks of some, brought tears to the eyes of others, and swelled the hearts with pride of all.
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. (We have a daily "Open Post" too, if you have something on another topic you can link there.)
Thursday, April 27, 2006 -- [Hints...Allegations - in Iraq]
OK, so this has been a negitive web page lately...so I want to tell a story about something that happened to me the other day...as you guys may know recently a friend of mine passed in Iraq a few days after I had left to come back to Kuwait...I flew up North so I could render honors...yet again...here's where the story come's in.
As I was leaving the pavilion where the ceremony was at, I walked up to a smoking area and lit a red. I was sitting with my head down thinking and smoking when a local national came walking up to me..."Mister..." I looked up and gave my normal hello in their local language, according to their customs..."What was that, that all those soldiers were doing over their a few minutes ago...I saw some of them crying"
........and with the most out of nowhere perfect English Lathe put his hands on me and said "things will be better for you Matthew (I had only told him my name was Matt) because you are good man, and you have a good heart....and soul...you are crying, but you make me very happy...I'm not worth the heart hurt you feel...I'm sorry...maybe no one is....but Thank You....I just want to say thank you" and he kissed me on the cheek, and walked away...leaving me their...broken...yet finally thanked by a person I had been looking to be thanked by since the first time
Terrorists Murder Civilians in Iraq on Video -- [The Jawa Report]
A new video released by the Army of Ansar al-Sunnah shows insurgents in Iraq committing attrocities contrary to the Geneva Conventions. The video shows three Arab civilians being murdered by the group.
The terror organization calls the murders 'executions' after condemning the three for 'apostasy'. The maximum penalty for apostasy under Islamic, or Sharia, law is death.
Ramblings of The Online Chaplain -- [The Online Chaplain - in Iraq]
...I rejoiced because a soldier got to go home for a daughters wedding and mourned with a soldier who received a “Dear John” letter, and visited with a soldier whose mother recently died. I have laughed, mourned, taught, listened, prayed, confronted, counseled, been counseled, and preached. I have rejoiced with those who have been rejoicing and mourned with those who mourn.
I have learned that intimacy has little to do with location and everything to do with your heart. I learned that families can grow closer through separation, and that I married above my station in life. But, mostly this week I experienced the sense that God is in control. I learned that even at war, you can be at peace. I know more about the “peace that surpasses all understanding” today, then I did a week ago.
Sandbags, Sheiks, & Cigarettes -- [The Babylon Blog - in Iraq]
On a dusty brown day in the western Iraqi desert, nineteen local sheiks, city councilmen, and local leaders gathered with Coalition Forces to discuss the issues of the day.
...I have a Masters Degree in Intercultural Studies and am trained in cross-cultural communications, but as I soaked up the scene that day I was amazed at what I saw. No amount of schooling could prepare me for this. Meetings like this are difficult under any circumstances. But here were three different groups: local Iraqis, out-of-town Iraqi soldiers, and completely-out-of-country American Marines attempting to find some common ground. The non-attending members may have had the biggest input of all: the insurgents.
It was a clash of cultures that was doomed to fail. But it didn’t.
It's been three years since I once stood at this site. This was my former home in 2003. Now the airport is cleaned up and has regular flights. It is quite a change from 2003.
...My bags are packed and I'm ready to go. I even found a jet plane to send me home. This is the new Iraqi Airways. The only problem I did not have a ticket to board. Maybe next time...
ATTACKING THE ENEMY & REMEMBERING THE WARRIORS -- [One Marines View]
To follow the milblog conference, Ive been pretty busy and almost couldn’t attend the conference itself. Its all good as Im already back in DC and taking care of business once again. Recently Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released a video where he dismissed Iraq’s new government as an American "stooge" and called it a "poisoned dagger" in the heart of the Muslim world. He continued to tell about how he has been beating the coalition forces there from his directed attacks and such. Granted there are attacks going against us, but not all are directed from him. Some are chance encounters others are planned deliberate attacks.
What Extremists Say -- [Centcom]
ü Zarqawi resurfaces now because the real political progress occurring in Iraq marginalizes him and other terrorists.
ü His poisonous and violent message is being rejected by the overwhelming majority of people in Iraq and in the region.
ü "The answer to the Zarqawi video is not anything that the United States can say; it's what the Iraqis are saying in having formed this government of national unity despite all the threats and all of the violence." (Secretary Rice)
New Zarqawi video online -- [Back to Iraq 3.0 - journalist in Iraq]
...But this video’s audience is not primarily the West. Many people think the insurgents produce videos and stage attacks in sight of western media to influence the populations back home. This is only partially true. By creating the impression — and the reality — of chaos, they can undermine support for the U.S. presence in Iraq among Americans. But the real purpose of these videos is recruitment. Instead of scared westerners, the real audience is the disaffected and angry young men of the Muslim world. They will download this video, like they do all the others, and pass it among their friends and watch it at Internet cafés in Jakarta and Riyadh over and over again.
Rumsfeld, Rice visit Baghdad -- [The Will to Exist]
...Reviews of the surpise visit by our Secretary of State and Defense Secretary were mixed but that is to be expected.
I try to read between the lines whenever these types of events happen, to figure out if anything truly noteworthy might result from such visits. I think the most hopeful development I heard out of yesterday’s visit was this:
He (Donald Rumsfeld) said as a practical matter, one of the first things he wants to do is address a long-standing irritant for ordinary Iraqis: the poor quality or lack of electricity.
Now that would truly be progress. For three years, Iraqis in Baghdad, the capital city, have suffered with spotty, erratic electricity.
A Staff Visit -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
Life in Iraq can be pretty surreal. As I write this, I’m just outside the city of Ramadi, Iraq, which is the southwest point of the infamous Sunni Triangle in the Al Anbar Province. I am a first lieutenant in the Utah Army National Guard, currently serving as the signal officer (SIGO) of a field artillery battalion. When the enemy shoots mortars or rockets at the thousands of soldiers, marines, and civilian contractors living on our F.O.B. (forward operating base), we shoot back. We’re a lot better at it. The enemy doesn’t usually hit what he’s aiming for – we rarely miss.
I’m on my battalion staff, which means I advise the commander regarding all communications (commo) issues, and maintain C2 (command and control) on the battlefield. Staff officers are not required to leave the F.O.B. all the time on combat missions – they’re planners. But here in Iraq everyone is an infantryman first and foremost.
Soldiers Cannot Fight Against Backstabbing from Home -- [The Foxhole Philosopher - in Iraq]
...All I am saying is this: we are in a fight to the death with Osama and his ilk, and actually most people seem to realize that. This is a fight that the army cannot win alone. I am a soldier, and frankly I do not want amateurs and draftees fighting with me. We do just fine on the battlefield as professionals. But is it too much to ask that these industries contribute what they are good at to the war effort. If the media and academia are so worried about losing the freedoms that America provides for them, is it too much to ask that they do their part to defend them, by telling the world how great those freedoms are, and what they need to do to get them? I can fight terrorists ‘til the cows come home, but I have no idea how to fight hatred of America, especially when it comes from Americans.
107 Degrees, In April -- [189th Transportation Co - in Iraq]
Okay, so most of us have never seen an April quite this warm, that would be an understatement. The temperatures have been doing a gradual increase, and will continue to do so. Thankfully we have ample water to drink and take many safety precautions when working in this sort of hot weather. It’s a little different from Nebraska heat in that there is very little humidity. That is actually a good thing. 107 here is more likely to feel like maybe 95 with the humidity back home. But, this is 107 in April, so who knows how high the temperatures will creep, that remains to be seen.
Another day in Paradise -- [Doc in the Box - in Iraq]
First month is over with and most our the bugs have been shaken out. My medical team is all set on their schedule and life doesn’t seem all that bad. I’m working a swing shift so I never get to seem my room with the lights on. My rack is a cave covered with poncho liners that lets in no light (and hopefully bugs too). It has it’s good points and bad,
Spiders -- [Basic Training Blog - in Iraq]
Im back at Camp Slayer from the month in Abu Ghraib and happy about it. Ill be going there again for another month in about a month.. Had to go to the medic to get an insect bite checked out. He figured it was a spider and he could see the 2 holes from the fangs, which I hadnt noticed. Anyway, later that night I found 4 other bites
Sister of Iraqi Vice President Killed -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A sister of Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi was killed in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad Thursday, police said. Mayson Ahmed Bakir al-Hashimi was shot by unidentified gunmen as she was leaving her home Thursday morning in southwestern Baghdad, said police Capt. Jamel Hussein.
IRAQ: BAATHIST EXPERTS BEHIND ROADSIDE BOMBS -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 27 April (AKI) - Behind the deadly roadside bombs in Iraq, which in three years have killed more than 800 foreign soldiers and countless Iraqis, is the hand of the M-21 of the Mukhabarat, the Baathist intelligence service, according to military experts. The knowhow for construction of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) - like the one which Thursday morning killed three Italian soldiers and one Romanian in Nasiriya - is provided by the M-21, a recent assessment...
Blast at Italian Base in Iraq Kills 3 -- (AP)
ROME (AP) - A bomb blast rocked an Italian convoy at a base in southern Iraq on Thursday, killing two Italian soldiers and a Romanian, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. The bombing targeted a four-vehicle convoy on its way to relieve troops at the local Iraqi police station in the city of Nasiriyah, the statement said. One of the vehicles was destroyed, killing the three soldiers and gravely injuring at least one more passenger.
Wrong body sent to family mourning Iraq death -- [MSNBC]
Australia probing cause of casket mix-up involving military's 1st Iraq death
SYDNEY, Australia - The grieving relatives of an Australian soldier killed in Iraq were distressed to learn that the wrong body accidentally was sent home, the defense minister said Thursday.
Stuck in the Hot Zone -- [Newsweek]
Don't dream about full exits. The military is in Iraq for the long haul.
Maj. Micah Morgan fondly pats the nose of his Predator drone, much as a cavalry officer of old might have stroked the muzzle of his prized horse. "This is the future of the Air Force," says Morgan, a former B-1 bomber pilot. It is a glorious day in the Sunni Triangle. Outside the "wire" of Balad Air Base the insurgency still rages and sectarian war looms, but the sky above is a deep azure and, no small thing, wholly American-owned.
No Reports... short supply of Afghanistan MilBlogs
Army Moving to Secure Data at Afghan Base -- (LA Times)
After reports of thefts, the chief of staff says troops are being trained in the proper use and protection of computer memory drives.
WASHINGTON — The Army's chief of staff said Wednesday that he was frustrated by security lapses at Bagram air base in Afghanistan that led to the loss of potentially sensitive data, and that the military must learn how to be more careful with new technology.
Czech anti-terrorist unit deployed in Afghanistan -- (PakTribune.com)
PRAGUE: A part of a Czech anti-terrorist unit has been newly operating in remote areas of Afghanistan for several days, preparing conditions for the arrival of ...
The Second Front, Camp Contamination -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
The first front in the anti-US hate groups' agenda to get rid of USFK is of course the violence at Camp Humphreys against the camp expansion. The second front in the hate groups' agenda is the fabricated and exaggerated accusations about contamination on the vacated USFK camps that is holding up their hand over to the Korean government. General Bell recently addressed this second front in the anti-US hate groups' agenda
General Bell Beginning to Feel General LaPorte's Pain -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
It looks like the current USFK Commander, General Bell is beginning to feel the same frustration that I'm sure the former USFK Commander, General LaPorte felt when he was in command:
The CIA and Iran -- [TigerHawk]
My esteemed co-blogger Cardinalpark observed a couple of days ago that the CIA's quite obvious bureaucratic war against the policies of the elected President of the United States is at least as much the product of that agency's seemingly dismal track record -- particularly with regard to al Qaeda and Iraq -- as its heartfelt belief in truth, justice and the American way. The fact of that history of error and the effort that a certain faction within the Agency seems to have expended to distract our attention from that history causes one to worry about how well we understand Iran. Indeed, the CIA's experience in interpreting threats from that country is none too comforting.
Bell: N. Korea upgrading force -- (Army Times)
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea is modernizing its missiles and aggressively conducting tests to bolster their capabilities, the top U.S. military commander in South Korea said in an interview published Tuesday.
Army Gen. B. B. Bell also said allies Seoul and Washington need better defenses against the threat of missiles from the North, in his remarks to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.
Iran Leader Warns U.S. Against Attacking -- (AP)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's supreme leader warned the United States on Wednesday that his nation would hit back twice as hard if America attacked its nuclear sites....
Iran has missiles that put Europe in range: report -- (Reuters)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Iran has received a first shipment of missiles from North Korea that are capable of reaching Europe, Israel's military intelligence chief was quoted on Thursday as saying.
Get Up Stand Up -- [T.F. Boggs - in Iraq]
...Our very way of life is under attack and the longer we wait around to do something about it the harder it will be to defeat. ...
Many people would have you believe that you cannot prove a terrorist’s intent until after they commit an attack like 9/11. But lets think about this for a minute. If a burglar breaks into your house but has yet to steal something then are you able to discern his true intent by his mere presence in your house, or do you need to let him steal something and then leave before you understand completely what his true intentions were? Of course not!
Bin Laden's Latest Rant: The Darfur Genocide as Holy War -- [Strategy Page]
Last week, on a tape aired by the Arab news channel Al-Jazeera, a voice claiming to be Osama bin Laden declared war on the world.
The geographic range of the 21st century caveman's rambling verbal jihad should impress Rand McNally.
EU Lawmakers Allege Numerous CIA Flights -- (AP)
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- The CIA has conducted more than 1,000 clandestine flights in Europe since 2001, and some of them secretly took away terror suspects to countries where they could face torture
Four More Days for Fran's -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
Have you done all you can for Fran O'Brien's and the family they've developed to support severely wounded troops?
Rumor has it there are still conversations going on between lawyers, so not all hope is lost. What we need right now is to help Hilton understand it is to their benefit to give Fran's enough time to find and establish a new home so that Fran's can make a smooth transition for the sake of the wounded soldiers, and for the employees and volunteers who have been trained in supporting the wounded and have established relationships with them. For example, Fran's employees were given cell phones and have been "on call" for anyone who needs a ride, an encouraging word, or anything else that can be offered.
Nancy Pelosi's Comments on Oil Prices -- [The New Editor]
We have two oilmen in the White House.... The logical ... follow-up from that is $3-a-gallon gasoline. There is no accident. It is a cause and effect.... a cause and effect.
...let's see that matched in your separating yourself from your ... patron, Big Oil. Cut yourself off from that anvil that is holding ... your party down and this country down. Instead of coming to Washington and throwing your Republican colleagues under the wheels of the train, which they mightily deserve for being a rubber stamp for your obscene, corrupt policy of ripping off the American people.
Senate Democrats launch investigation into the 12 largest oil companies -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
More “smoke and mirrors” anybody? Before I launch into my tirade over this news, allow me to first remind the readers of this blog that I am Liberal, but I am NOT a partisan Democrat. I despise ALL “snow jobs” (not a preemptive potshot at Tony Snow, by the way) by all politicians, when they are perpetrated by the Republicans (especially) and also when they are perpetrated by the Democrats. The latter would apply here:
Fidel Castro May Drill Off Florida's Coast -- [Wizbang]
Fidel Castro is looking into drilling for oil only 45 miles off Florida's coast. Yet, our own country's environmental regulations prevent us from doing the same thing.
...I would like Leader Nancy Pelosi to explain this one to the American people.
Senate Panel Recommends Abolishing FEMA -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Hurricane Katrina's latest fatality should be FEMA, the nation's disaster response agency, a Senate inquiry concluded in calling for a government overhaul to avoid future failures like those the devastating storm exposed. Eighty-six recommendations by the bipartisan panel indicate the United States is still woefully unprepared for a storm of Katrina's scope with the start of the hurricane season little more than a month away.
'We Know What's Best For You' -- (CBS News)... Dick Meyer.
For several weeks in a row there have been headlines like "Bush Approval Rating Hits New Low." This week, it was CNN's turn to break the news, with a poll showing just 32 percent who like the president's performance and 60 percent who do not.
November will be the last time that voters can punish George Bush and I expect they will.
Privately, Bush Says He Favors Citizenship -- (Washington Post)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush generally favors plans to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at U.S. citizenship without leaving the country, but does not want to be more publicly supportive because of opposition among conservative House Republicans, according to senators who attended a recent White House meeting.
Arizona senators vote to divert Iraq war money to border security -- (The Business Journal)
The U.S. Senate -- including Arizona Republicans Jon Kyl and John McCain -- Wednesday voted to divert some Iraq war spending to border security.
The Senate approved a measure Wednesday that shifts $1.9 billion from a Bush administration Iraq war request to increased border patrols to help curtail illegal immigration and drug trafficking from Mexico.
Senate Panel Demands Oil Co. Tax Records -- (My Way/AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Responding to an election-year spike in gasoline prices, Senate Republicans on Wednesday drafted legislation providing $100 rebates for taxpayers as key lawmakers sought access to Big Oil's income tax returns
From A Canadian Forces Widow -- [Small Dead Animals]
...The reason I am emailing you is the issue of banning the media from the base when the soldiers' remains are returned to their families. While my husband was not overseas, I will share with you my personal experience with the media and a very public death.
Thankfully the media had yet to discover my house when I had to go see my husband for the first time. They found me by 6 AM the following morning. My parents had driven up immediately after my frantic phone call. My father stepped outside to get the papers and he was besieged (to say it lightly) with media camped out in my driveway! They were knocking at my door, putting the cameras on us as we opened it. There was always their cars there, with them sitting in them, waiting for someone to come or go. Phone call after phone call to the house when the lines were needed for more important issues. Our grief was made very public. I was asked if I wanted media at the funeral and I agreed to have them there. I wanted the people of Canada to know that even when Canada's sons and daughters do not go overseas, lives are put on the lone on a daily basis for the safety and security of every Canadian. To show them how the phrase "military cut backs' translates into real life in the forces. I had insisted that there not be a close up on any family member. I was sure Joe Blow watching the news did not need to see my tears, or those of my children to know we were distraught. Yet this rule was broken.
A Typical Politician Masquerading as a Journalist -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian Forces]
Everyone who values liberty understands that a truly free press is one of the key corner stones of any free society. From book publication, news dissemination, to the expression of opinions, it is critical that free societies maximize the flow of ideas and facts. One of the key elements of open expression and exchange of ideas is the News Media. Democracies depend on receiving local, national, and international news in a factual and efficient manner. Journalists are therefore burdened with one of the most vital rolls in keeping free societies free. It falls to journalists to deliver to free societies the “facts” as purely as possible.
'PROGRESSIVE' MEDIA STALLS: 'AIR AMERICA' IN AUDIENCE PLUNGE NYC, 'DAILY KOS' BOOK SELLS ONLY 3,600 COPIES. -- [Drudge Report]
Left-leaning new media has hit turbulence at the marketplace, newly released stats showA book hyped by major media as documenting a progressive revolution of "blogs" and political power, DAILY KOS 'CRASHING THE GATE,' has sold only 3,630 copies since its release last month, according to NIELSEN's BOOKSCAN.
[NIELSEN claims only 2,062 copies of DAILY KOS have been purchased at the retail level; the rest coming through 'discount' outlets. The NIELSEN figures do include online sales from AMAZON.COM, and others.]
MediaNews Buys 4 Papers From McClatchy -- (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) - Six weeks after it agreed to buy Knight Ridder Inc., the second-largest newspaper publisher in the country, McClatchy Co. said Wednesday it has reached a deal to sell four of the 12 Knight Ridder papers it doesn't plan to keep to MediaNews Group Inc. for $1 billion. Once the deal closes for the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times, the Monterey County Herald and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, McClatchy will have eight other Knight Ridder newspapers to sell.
The Proposal -- [Tyler Hernandez]
(pics, pics, pics, pics)
The Quarter-Century Mark -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
Yesterday afternoon Fuzzilicious Thinking received its 25,000th visitor in just under nine months of operation.
Six Generals Shot Down By The Internet -- [Strategy Page]
The recent flap over six retired American generals publicly calling for the Secretary of Defense to resign, also brought out opinions, via the Internet, from lower ranking troops (active duty, reservists and retired.) The mass media ran with the six generals, but got shot down by the troops and their blogs, message board postings and emails. It wasn't just a matter of the "troop media" being more powerful.
Home at Last -- [AubreyJ.org]
Turn the volume up and say thanks to our men and women of the United States Military
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. (We have a daily "Open Post" too, if you have something on another topic you can link there.)
Spas (Thank You) -- [Iraqi Future, Iraqi Hope, Iraqi Dreams - Iraqi in D.C.]
I felt it very necessary for the first blog to be the true message that every Iraqi wants to tell the American soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, and American public. That message is simple, it is thank you. We thank you for everything that you have endured in bringing up liberation and bringing us a chance to move forward for tyranny and oppression. After the decades of misery the Iraqi people had really given up all hope that anyone would come to help them but then one day we saw those stars and stripes waving in downtown Baghdad and everyone knew what that flag represented.
A day in the life of an American Soldier. -- [American Soldier]
This will be an ongoing story of a group of soldiers serving in Iraq. The names, places and at times the events will be modified to protect identity and OPSEC.
0645: The soldiers all gathered in the usual meeting spot to receive their pre-mission briefing. They called it the poop meet. SFC Goslin, the platoon sergeant took the floor and began with the days contact report. Detailing the encounters with the enemy, who got killed and who we were looking for. Some days were better than others. This particular day there were reports that the insurgency wanted to capture an American.
“Bullshit!” a soldier shouted out.
Subtle laughter came across the group of men. The lieutenant broke in and reminded everyone to keep their grenade battle ready. They all knew what that meant.
Another Firefight (One that Came Close to Never Being Blogged -- [Michael Fumento - journalist embed in Iraq]
I sure learned the hard way about the veracity of the Chinese expression that begins: "Be careful what you wish for . . ." We were told we might encounter the bad guys because you always "might," but by noon yesterday I would be a seasoned combat photojournalist.
...One brave soul, who turned out to be Sgt. Falk, risked his hide by jumping from his relatively safe position along the wall to pull me in. I yelled: "I'm okay! Go back!" But darned if he wasn't determined to rescue me! My lack of injury doesn't make him any less a hero in my book. As soon as I got to the wall I stood up all the way so everybody could see I was alright, but then another fellow apparently slipped and all eyes turned to him. But he was okay, too. He just needed water so I gave him my Camelbak water bladder to drink from, assuring him I didn't have cooties. The non-injured helping the non-injured!
REMF -- [Skull Nation in the Sandbox - in Iraq]
Well, John is back in the states. He hurt his back. Some crazy insurgent shot at him (We'll not at him but near him, many of our enemies don't aim well). So he did a double backflip with a triple gainer trying to get to cover. I hear his patrol mates held up signs giving him a decent score; 8.75, 9.25, and the Italian in the group gave him an 11 (even though we all know 10 is the best score possible).
...We killed alot of bad guys this week. They are acting up and making themselves more visible.
The Weekend Update. . .and What You Don't See on TV -- [The Desert Excursion - in Iraq]
I went out yesterday for the first time. It was a strange experience to finally be outside the comforts of a secure base, riding in the humvee (I write this phonetically) and seeing the workings of a society of people that we are here to protect. So what don't you see from the media?
Let me tell you what I saw on this patrol that I have never seen in the news. I saw ...
IRAQ’S NEW SAVIOR? -- [Blogging Baghdad - NBC journalist embed in Iraq]
Prime Minister designate Jawad al-Maliki survived an ambush here yesterday.
He was heading out of the bathroom after a meeting of parliament’s defense and security committee when we pounced. Our crew had been waiting for him. I reached out to shake his hand. It was still wet. Apparently there were no paper towels. He reached out his dry wrist so I could shake it. I shook it.
So you spoke to President Bush yesterday, what did he tell you? I asked without preamble.
You want to ask me here? Maliki wanted to know, turning to look at the door with an unmistakable little blue symbol of a man on it.
No, the bathroom might not be a great background for your network television debut, I conceded.
We walked into a small nearby office and talked about his priorities, the country’s unity government and militias.
Have You Ever Seen A Turbaned Man With A Tie! -- [24 Steps to Liberty - an Iraqi in Iraq]
...The Iraqis differ on how they reacted to the decision of making Maliki a PM. Some thought it was a “great news that would solve all the problems in Iraq.” Others said that “he is a tough man who would end three years of violence.” Some said “he is a Shiite. That is enough. Because the Shiites have to rule Iraq from now on.” And many said “why should we care? They don’t care about us, and we care no more.”
The reality from the ground is that Jawad al-Maliki is a Dawa member, therefore, he is a member of the United Iraqi Alliance. And that means
War Letters, Past and Present - Part III -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
The following letter comes from a website called “War Letters: Rochester Writes Home.” It was written from Vietnam by a man named “John.”
...Now here’s a fictional conversation of a modern day soldier telling his wife about a suicide bombing. He walks into the internet café, signs for a phone, and speaks to his wife over the internet for less than .2 cents a minute. He’s on a forward operating base in Ramadi, Iraq, and she’s at their home near the Rocky Mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah. The whole conversation lasts less than 20 minutes.
Iraq Pictures - 25 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
Soldiers of the 21st Military Police Company, attached to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, rally after a convoy to an Iraqi police station in the Al Rasheed district. The Soldiers travel to IP stations throughout southern and central Baghdad as part of efforts to help the Iraqi police operate independently in Baghdad.
...21-year-old female Iraqi Army solider who works in the brigade administration office of the 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, donates blood at a clinic at Forward Operating Base Justice near Baghdad. The event was the second time that the Iraqi Army has staged a blood drive. Between the two efforts, more than 350 pints of blood have been donated to the Baghdad Blood Bank.
Hurry Up and Wait -- [Running with the Bulls -- GX journalist embed in Iraq]
...So, I spent the morning pestering the PAOs (Public Affairs Officers) for both Brigades, trying to line up some missions, interviews, photo ops… anything. I only had one week left in country and sitting around with nothing to do was killing me. When it comes to getting my job done I am not, as you can see, a patient man.
Fortunately, with a good deal of help from CPT Lappegaard I arranged several missions over the next few days. There were still some large blank spots where I might well end up sitting around, but hopefully I can find ways to fill that time. Now, to be fair, I did have the opportunity to accompany several convoy escorts, but with my time left here so short, I was hesitant to wander too far from base.
The Mean Streets -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck - in Iraq]
The IZ, formally known as the Green Zone, is pretty peaceful compared to other parts of Baghdad. Today we decided to go through the nasty parts of the city to find some excitement. It’s thrilling because of the tons of traffic and the numbers of people. It’s also parts of Baghdad we don’t get to see every day. We came up with excuses to take the scenic route. Either I primary route was full of IEDs, closed, or taking small arms fire. Traffic was everywhere and a lot of the roads were blocked with cars. For some reason, there are no traffic lights over here. The city is full of traffic circles with Iraqi Police directing traffic.
sand storm -- [John's Iraq Blog - in Iraq]
...The last week or so offers nothing substantial to write about but I will run it down for you anyway. Lets see...some convoys came in and some convoys left, dito for planes, we had some sandstorms and rain, and we have had a couple of mortar attacks. We have not had any deaths so all in all it has been a good week.
A Certain Cachet -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
We find a lot of weapons caches around here. And there are reports of sectarian violence almost every day. But that's not always what gets reported.
A weapons "cache" is pronouned as "cash". Easy for me, one of my favorite fishing spots was along the Cache La Poudre river, and the word poudre is harder for me to pronounce than the word cache. Multiple weapons caches are pronounced as "cashes". Around here, you will hear many soldiers pronounce it as cachet. Both the singular cache, and the plural caches. I guess they want to add a certain je ne sai qua to the rather bourgeois work of reporting on caches.
The sound and the fury -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
The above image was taken yesterday as a rain/sand storm made it’s way across central Baghdad. The storm lasted several hours, and strong winds turned the sky a color I’ve not seen before. The accompanying thunderstorm sounded like the biggest mortar barrage I’ve ever heard.
Earlier in the day, I had heard several car bombs go off, and they were puny in comparison to the power of nature.
The Miserable Donuts Naval Attache to Iraq -- [Miserable Donuts]
Allow me to introduce the Brown Sand Sailor, in his own words:
"Always historically-minded, ever since a youth spent perusing a grandfather's academic library, the scribe was fond of the sea even before realizing it was salty. After obtaining a history degree, and working such related jobs as surveyor, sign maker and printer, the beginning writer slaved away at a Master's Degree in Soviet History, receiving it just in time to witness...
Corrections -- (Washington Post)...The Washington Post
An April 23 article about the alleged leak of classified information by a CIA officer incorrectly referred to an attack by U.S. warplanes on a chemical factory in Sudan. The factory was attacked by cruise missiles launched from Navy ships.
Iraqi troops monitored for death squad activity -- (Army Times/ AP)
A soldier speaks with members of the newly renamed Iraqi National Police at a checkpoint in Baghdad on Thursday.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — U.S. troops aren’t just training Iraqi forces, they’re also keeping an eye on them, watching for signs they could be moonlighting in the Shiite death squads that target Sunnis.
Senators: Prod Iraq On Cabinet -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Drew Brown
A bipartisan group of senators introduced a measure yesterday that would require Iraqi leaders to meet deadlines on forming a cabinet and appointing a commission to write new amendments to their constitution or face the possibility that U.S. troops would withdraw.
Rumsfeld, Rice in surprise Iraq visit -- (CNN News)
Looking to bolster relations with new government
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- On a mission to show support for Iraq's fledgling new government, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived Wednesday in Baghdad on unannounced visits
Senate Panel Considers Hearing On Rumsfeld -- (Washington Post)...Charles Babington
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, underscoring lawmakers' concerns about the Iraq war's progress, said yesterday that he may invite testimony from retired generals who have called for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign.
Rumsfeld In Line Of Fire Of Eighth Retired General -- (London Financial Times)...Demetri Sevastopulo
Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, yesterday came under more fire after another retired general joined the growing list of retired brass gunning for his resignation. Retired Lieutenant General Paul Van Riper, a three-star general who retired in 1997, told Fox News that Mr Rumsfeld was not capable of leading the Pentagon effort in Iraq.
Abuse Charge Set For A U.S. Colonel -- (New York Times)...Eric Schmitt
The Army plans to charge Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, the former head of the interrogation center at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, with dereliction of duty, lying to investigators and conduct unbecoming an officer, Army officials and a lawyer for the officer said on Tuesday.
Dasht-e-Margo -- [Michael Yon - journalist embed in Afghanistan]
“Desert of Death”
Lashkar Gah to Camp Bastion
As our bags were loaded into the Land Cruiser for the journey toward Dasht-e-Margo, the Desert of Death, a man wearing a bomb closes in. Before striking off, we again visit the PRT in Lashkar Gah, where Steve huddles with some Afghan employees. An entire British Army unit has defected, he said, with their weapons and equipment. The Afghans grow quiet, until Steve says, “And they joined the Taliban.”
U.S & Coalition forces weakness against Taliban -- [Afghan Lord - Afghani in Afghanistan]
Increasingly suicide bombing and attacks around the country especially in the southern against international and American forces made embarrassed those whom are involved in the game especially the U.S.A. This caused to an ill-considered action against rebels.
Military operations against Taliban and Alqaeda are nothing else but propaganda. What got the result of the latest operations and what were the previous operation results if did the operation?
Never heard the U.S military operation arrested the insurgents.
An Overview of Kabuli Housing Options -- [Notes from a Surreal Life - expat in afghanistan]
A while ago I decided to stop by Tarsian & Blinkley and buy some new clothes. Tarsian & Blinkley is a women’s clothing store run by a woman with a very good understanding of marketing. The clothes are in the Western style (Western-type designs, some with short hems and no sleeves http://www.tarsian.com/catalog/default.php?cPath=28), but with an Afghan influence, and are made by Afghan women. This allows them to market them overseas as fashion with a conscious and a bit of the exotic. In Kabul, there is no other store like it,
False alarm -- [Pyjama Samsara - Aussie in Afghanistan]
Email from the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) this arvo:
The Afghanistan Islamic Revolution Day will be celebrated in Kabul city on the 28 April. For that occasion, a military parade will be held on that day and preparations have been ongoing for the last days. Please expect traffic problems as some streets (Southern part of Kabul) are blocked off in the morning for the preparations. The celebration will also include a gun salute by artillery guns and the crews are practicing that as well. So please do not be alarmed if you hear artillery fire from today up until the 28 April.
Leaks of Military Files Resume -- (LA Times)
Despite security efforts, flash drives stolen from U.S. base in Afghanistan are still sold at bazaar.
BAGRAM, Afghanistan — Just days after U.S. troops were ordered to plug a security breach at their base here, the black market trade in computer memory drives containing military documents was thriving again Monday.
Afghans' Uneasy Peace With Democracy -- (Washington Post)
In Discord Over Convert's Trial, Muslims Say They Identify With Islamic Law First
KABUL, Afghanistan, April 21 -- The Herati Mosque stands in one of the Afghan capital's most modern neighborhoods. Its imam, Abdul Rauf, was one of the few local clerics to criticize the rigid Islamic views and harsh punishments of the Taliban movement when it ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
Escalating Violence Kills 13 In Afghanistan -- (Washington Post- World in Brief)
An airstrike by U.S.-led forces in southern Afghanistan, a Taliban assault on a police station and a roadside bomb attack on a military convoy left 13 people dead in escalating violence, officials said on Tuesday.
President Roh Has Declared War Against Japan -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
Does this mean that I need to start stalking up on rations, water, and batteries again as I await the end of the world due to the Dokdo crisis?:
Iran to world: "Drop Dead" Part II -- [Peace like a River]
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Dr. Ali Ardeshir Larijani, said today that Iran would consider withdrawing from the IAEA if sanctions are imposed. Larijani also once again warned that Iran might use oil as a weapon if pushed too far.
Nepal Ablaze -- [Miserable Donuts]
...I have a close friend who lives in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. He's watched the protests from the rooftop of his home. What started as a general strike a few days ago is rapidly becoming a revolution. The government has enacted a 'shoot-on-sight' curfew.
I urged my friend to post his observations on this blog so the world could see what's happening in Nepal.
Senior Iran Cleric Tells Sudan That Nuclear Aid Is Available -- (New York Times)...Nazila Fathi
Iran's supreme leader said Tuesday at a meeting here with the Sudanese president that Iran was ready to share its nuclear technology with other countries.
Russia Helps Israel Keep An Eye On Iran -- (New York Times)...Associated Press
Russia launched a satellite for Israel on Tuesday that the Israelis say will be used to monitor Iran's nuclear activities.
Osama bin Laden calls Baghdad the "Epicenter" of Jihad just as the Iraqi Political Stalemate is Resolved -- [Counterterrorism - Bill Roggio]
The threat of a full-scale civil war in Iraq has receded after the disparate political parties have come to agreement on the face of the new government. After months of deadlock over the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance's selection of Ibrahim Jaafari as Prime Minister, Jaafari reluctantly walked away from the nomination and the UIA selected Jawad al-Maliki. The Iraqi Parliament quickly convened on Saturday and nominated al-Maliki. Jalal Talabani (a Kurd) has been selected as President and Mahmoud al-Mashhadani as the Speaker of the Parliament.
The Military & Propaganda Messages in Zarqawi's Tape -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's 34 minute long video tape not only includes numerous political messages, as Dr. Walid Phares explains; but also contains information on al-Qaeda in Iraq's propaganda and military capabilities. Several of the military and propaganda aspects are covered below:
Defiant Zarqawi -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
Good ol' CNN. If Zarqawi can expect a soft landing anywhere, it's on CNN.
Like last month, when everyone else was reporting that there were major fights breaking out all over Iraq between Sunnis and Al Queda in Iraq, CNN was reporting that al Zarqawi was "gaining ground"! The first two sentences could have come straight out of the opening of a spy/war novel:
Torture Numbers Unclear -- [Stop the ACLU]
The Washington Times has an excellent piece in today’s issue (and posted online) concerning the fuzzy math used in figuring out how many actual torture cases actually are based in fact. We here at Stop The ACLU have been saying since this all blew up last year when groups like Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, and others, started crying that the Bush Administration was condoning the torture of detainees that these charges are completely baseless and are only an issue because these groups like to demonize the United States.
IRAQ: ARAB PRESS DIVIDED OVER SPACE FOR NEW AL-ZARQAWI VIDEO -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 26 April (AKI) - Newspapers in the Middle East varied widely in their coverage on Wednesday of the rare video apparently featuring al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, posted to the Internet on Tuesday, in which he reaffirms allegiance to Osama bin Laden and warns his terror network has its sights set on Jerusalem. The only regional paper to lead with the story is the pan-Arab Al-Quds al-Arabi - always highly critical of the US administration's foreign policy. Its editor Abdel Bari Atwan, takes a similar line to that of al-Jazeera Arabic satellite TV network, which aired an interview with Atwan on the new video as the story broke on Tuesday
Va. Terror Case Sent Back To Lower Court -- (Washington Post)...Jerry Markon
The case of a prominent Muslim spiritual leader convicted on terrorism charges was returned to a federal judge in Alexandria yesterday after his attorneys told an appeals court that they believe the man was a target of President Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program.
Jury Convicts California Man Charged With Attending Al-Qaeda Camp -- (Washington Post)...Sonya Geis
A Pakistani American in Lodi, Calif., was found guilty Tuesday of attending an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan, hours after another jury deadlocked on charges that his father lied to the FBI to protect him.
First 'Official' Book Review -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
I received word of my first official book review of From Here To There over the weekend. The book review is up at Gloomwing, Review by Steven M. Ulmen. Here's the official review:
Some Things Just Aren't Right -- [Guidons, Guidons, Guidons]
There are some things that just shouldn't be done. This is one of them...aparantly West Point has something called the Cavalry Scout Club...as you can see by the picture above, I guess that entitles some of the members to dress up like real Cav Soldiers and wear a stetson. Are there no CAV Officers serving at West Point who can straighten these guys out?
Warriors Of The Future Will 'Taste' Battlefield -- (Local6.com)
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Military researchers believe the tongue could be key in their quest to create the super warrior of the future.
In a quest to create the super warrior of the future, some military researchers aren't focusing on organs like muscles or hearts. They're looking at tongues. By routing signals from helmet-mounted cameras, sonar and other equipment through the tongue to the brain, they hope to give elite soldiers superhuman senses similar to owls, snakes and fish.
GI Bill Now Unfair For Reservists -- (Honolulu Advertiser)...Tom Philpott
Reserve and National Guard members mobilized for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are discovering an inequity in their GI Bill education benefits that needs to be fixed, says Rep. Vic Snyder of Arkansas, senior Democrat on the House Armed Services subcommittee on military personnel.
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Suit Dismissed -- (Boston Globe)...Shelley Murphy
A federal judge in Boston dismissed a lawsuit challenging the military's 'don't ask, don't tell" policy, ruling that Congress has the authority to exclude gays from the armed services.
Military Plays Serious War Games -- (Newport News Daily Press)...Stephanie Heinatz
...Somehow, someone has used a ship to sneak a nuclear bomb dangerously close to the country. How will authorities respond? That's the question posed by Unified Quest 2006, an annual war game that kicked off this week and is co-hosted by the Army and the Hampton Roads-based U.S. Joint Forces Command.
Annnnnnd herrrrrrrrrresss TONY! -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
Let me be one of the first to reach across the aisle to congratulate Mr. Snow on securing his new job as the “new face” of one of the most, if not THE most controversial Administrations in the history of the United States.
I have very high expectations of Mr. Snow. I expect him to uphold his journalistic standards to the upmost degree. I will lose all of the respect I hold for the man, which if you’ve followed the links I’ve provided, you’ll know are extremely high, if he tries to play “Scotty McClellan II” on us. I expect the man to answer the questions.
Steele Attacked By Democratic “Hate Politics” (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele appeared on FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes tonight to discuss the recent hate politics Democrats have deployed on his candidacy for the Senate. Steele, a black Republican, has received many attacks from the Democratic party, you know, the “tolerant” party.
Fox Host to Be Named White House Spokesman -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Conservative pundit Tony Snow will be named White House press secretary, Republican officials said Tuesday night, in the latest move in President Bush's effort to remake his troubled White House....
'Giuliani Time' an Unflattering Film -- (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- With Rudy Giuliani considering a run for president in 2008, a documentary aimed at tearing down his Churchillian image since Sept. 11 is about to be released....
Fairy Tales at War -- [Strategy Page]
American journalists and politicians, who are hostile to American operations in Iraq, are pushing a story that the U.S. is planning to use nuclear weapons for an attack on Iranian nuclear weapons facilities. They offer no proof, and no explanation of how an American president would hope to survive the diplomatic fallout from using nuclear weapons for the first time since 1945.
Stories not carried by CNN -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
While I was in Dubai the USS Ronald Reagan was in town. I went into a bar full of sailors and they saw the 1st CAV patch on my 3-Day bag. We got into discussions about the war and I was not surprised to hear from them that they only hear the worst of what happens here. Just like everyone at home, they don't read anymore, they just get all their news from electronic sources like CNN, and CBS, et al.
These MSM entities don't publish good news because "If it bleeds, it leads". Bad news is page one, good news is page three filler. As a result most people don't know about the good that has been done here or how the Army goes about it's day to day business.
Cheap-skate Media Stilts Iraq Coverage -- [Daily Dispatch]
Bruce Kesler, writing in Editor & Publisher asks, “Is the Media Covering Iraq On the Cheap?”
As one who has been an embedded reporter in Iraq, I would answer in the affirmative.
Kesler writes, “Ironically, the same media that criticizes the U.S. for sending too few troops to stabilize Iraq send too few reporters to cover much more than the dramatic bombings around Baghdad.”
Olbermann Attacks Bush Admin "McCarthyism" Against "Scapegoat" Mary McCarthy -- [NewsBusters]
On Monday's Countdown show, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann raised the term "new McCarthyism," as he accused the Bush administration of engaging in a "witch hunt" against leakers "it does not find politically expedient." Olbermann referred to the "Red Scare witch hunt of the 1950s" during which Senator Joseph McCarthy went after communist sympathizers, as the Countdown host formed a pun on the famous Senator's name and the name of recently fired CIA analyst Mary McCarthy, whom on Friday he had sympathetically referred to as a "whistleblower," on grounds she leaked classified information about secret prisons in Europe being used in the War on Terrorism.
Mil Blog weekend -- [Sandgram]
I traveled from Texas to DC this weekend for the first MilBloggers conference, and I must say that at first I didn’t know what to expect. “Capt. B” from “One Marines View” drove up from North Carolina and I figured that we would get together; tell war stories, drink some beer, smoke cigars, and rant and rave about our time in Iraq. It was all that and more! This was one of the most professional, well-orchestrated conferences I have ever attended. Andi, from “Andi’s World” must have slaved 24/7 to pull off such a flawless show.
If you' re a PAO you NEED to be in on these conversations -- [Nine to Five - Military PAO]
First, you may have missed the 2006 First Annual Mil Blog Conference. You can check out some of the AARs at Op-For, SGT Hook, and the main conference organizer, Andi, has a great roll up of all the AARs here. My recommendation: don't miss this next year. For your own professional development and for the betterment of our Army, even if you have to participate online as more than 800 others did this year. You can keep up with it at Andi's world.
The BBC also covered it here.
One of the most interesting things to come out of the conference, at least from a PAO standpoint, is this conversation, which you should be a part of.
Another version of a similar conversation appears over at John Donovan's blog. He's an awesome guy whom I had the pleasure of meeting. He and Beth are intimately involved in Project Valour IT, which provides voice activated laptops for our servicemembers too wounded to use computers normally.
The milblogging community is one that we should definitely be forging a relationship with.
Milblog Conference - Friday -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
The atmosphere was... incredible. There were diners doing the limbo under a crutch. I saw Paul Wolfowitz sitting at a table. A Marine at the bar desperately needed his missing right arm to complete the hand motions for a dance, and yelled "arm!" His wife (also a Marine) stood behind him and provided the arm, matching the movements of his left arm with her right. We were all hysterical, and Capt B said it was the most awesome thing he'd ever seen. Later, she 'lovingly' offered him a cigarette. Each time he opened his mouth for it, she quickly attempted to stick it up his nose.
In the Ladies' room, a young woman at the sinks holds her hand out to another. There's an engagement ring on her finger. "Oh, honey, I am so happy for you!", says the second woman. They embrace. "Of course", the first woman says, "we're going to be here a while longer. Jim needs to have another 4 inches removed from his stump. The femur has deteriorated." "Oh, I know how that is."
It's like a big family, where everyone can just be themselves.
the goings on... -- [Gypsy Life - in Iraq]
...My 27th birthday is on the 26th of this month and I couldn't care less. I could truly stop the aging process now and be happy with it...but time marches on doesn't it.
Rememberance -- [Fire and Ice]
...His father told me the story behind finding the drawing. His stepson Matt was up late unable to sleep thinking about his dead brother. So he did what many of us do during dark midnights of the soul, we google. Matt googled Nick's full name and up jumped a half dozen websites where the drawing is featured. A ray of light entered the dark night. I know this is not about me, but I must tell you again how profoundly moving it is for me to know that those closest to him find him alive in this drawing.
Yom HaShoah -- [Counter Column]
Today is Yom HaShoah ... Holocaust Remembrance Day.
...The woman, whose face is not visible, is everywoman. Her child everychild. I hope the child was too young to fully understand what was about to happen. Somehow I doubt it. But to the very end, this mother has her body between the rifles and her child.
So that's why I went to war willingly. To quote one of our founding fathers, I have sworn eternal enmity against every form of tyrrany over the mind of man.
"Daddy, I Can See Your Face!" -- [Serving the People of Iraq - in Iraq]
Summary: The ability of Iraqis to work together to improve their situation increases nearly every day. Recently, an Iraqi Air Force transport plane took five children and their families to Turkey where doctors helped repair the children's eyesight.
The Pentagon Channel shows a television program each day that I enjoy watching when I get a chance, called Freedom Journal Iraq. I’ve learned such things as that an oil production site was recently completed in Um Kasr, that several large weapons stockpiles have been found, and that Iraqi policemen and soldiers are becoming better trained and more able to maintain order and promote growth and prosperity in their country.
Looks like they've finally done it. -- [An independent look at Iraq - journalist embed in Iraq]
...While Maliki's nomination is great I don't think this development means a general down turn in the insurgency. Plenty of people, mostly Sunni, won't like this guy for a number of reasons. First, becuase he's Shia; second, because he has a serious personal beef with the Ba'athists; third, because he's Shia; forthly, and lastly, the Bad Boys have too much time, money and blood invested in their little cause(s) to give up now.
Meanwhile, Turkish and Iranian Troops Mass on the Border -- [Strategy Page]
...Until the new government is formed, a lot of people are putting a lot of plans, including reconstruction, on hold. They have to know who they will be dealing with for the next four years.
While Iraqis wait, U.S. troops have been chasing Islamic and Sunni Arab terrorists around. The terrorists have fewer and fewer places to hide. But the constant action has doubled the death rate for American troops (from last month).
The Heart List Grows, The Support Continues -- [Stryker Brigade]
In December 2005, Stryker News published the story of First Lt. Brett Phillips (1st BN, 17th INF) at FOB Marez and SSG William Verble (278th Regimental Combat Team, formerly of FOB Cobra, Tennessee National Guard) handing out small dolls of color in the Mosul and Baghdad regions of Iraq. Both soldiers are medics and gave out the dolls while on medical screening missions.
This is my first post in Iraq. -- [SGT Dock's Holiday - in Iraq]
I have been here a while and am already bored. My job is to simply open and close a traffic gate and wait for injured people to arrive at said gate. As you have probably guessed (given that I am bored), i have yet to treat anything more serious than a small cut to a finger tip. (Welcome to REMF/FOBbit status.) Woot. I have filled the time on my shift by talking to my co-workers (when they happen to pass by), reading the paper (when it comes), and watching birds "make sweet lovin' down by the gateside" .
Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 -- [My Turn - in Iraq]
When I first got here, to this FOB site... i was wondering how things would be... a few months after being here with absolutely NO incidents I started thinking, "Is Iraq really that dangerous?" Sure, i'd imagine mortars falling from the sky and blowing stuff up, but... that hasn't quite happened, and I hope it never happens. There were the two RPG attacks... still, not quite mortars.
Soldier Growth -- [a mobilized year - in Iraq]
One of the great things about being a military leader is to see soldiers grow. I’ve witnessed a number of soldiers come into their own over the last 10 or so months during our mobilization. For example, I’ve got one soldier who a year ago could, at best, be described as “wayward.” He was always in trouble. He lacked discipline, didn’t care about much, and had an attitude about virtually everything. Today, he’s like a new man. He’s gained self respect.
DEMIGODS AND GENERALS -- [American Citizen Soldier - in Iraq]
A coterie of retired generals have in recent weeks spoken out against the continued employment of the Secretary of Defense. And just like the campus chanters and chattering classes they echo, these Grumpy Old Men have not even bothered to elaborate on their surface critiques. For a group so disparaging of nearly every aspect of the conduct of the war, these generals sure don’t sweat the details. Here are what appear to be the most common refrains voiced by this outspoken and hardly retiring collection of flag officers
Between a rock and two hard places... -- [David Mishevitz - Comics on Duty - in Iraq]
...The average attacks on this base is supposedly 38 a month. I'll keep score for ya'll during my stay. So far between landing, showering, shopping at the PX and Haji shops as well as meeting the local fave restaurant owner (prime location just opposite the swimming pool) there are none - Score is 0.
During yesterday's show I mentioned a gum-chewer in the crowd. He came up to me after, "Be careful who you make fun of, you're about to visit me at the firing range." From now on everyone can chew gum at my shows.
And Now For Something Completely Different... -- [Skull Nation in the Sandbox - in Iraq]
...I've been thinking about the transition from soldier to civilian over the last few days. Will it be difficult? Not for me. I am so sick of who I am here I can't wait to be me again. Some of our boys will have trouble though. Folks back home should talk to the Family Readiness Groups so they are prepared for and can identify some of the bullshit they are in store for when we get back. I will start planting seeds here so they are thinking about the transition too. Realize that many of them have seen and done shit that is not normal back home. Try to understand and prepare yourselves for weird moods and "left field" crap. It will pass.
We are almost home! Soon, soon, soon.
An Innocent Heart -- [Hardtack and Havoc]
Anyone who has been to any third world country knows that there are a great many stray animals. Iraq is no different. Lonely soldiers often adopt these lost souls to be pets, companions and unit mascots which has led to a CENTCOM general order saying "Thou Shalt Not". The IA base I live on is no different, it has many many stray dogs. A lot of them have been cared for by IA soldiers, civilian workers who are away from home and lonely. Even a few U.S. units have their adopted animals to include our local SF unit who by their very existence are above all rules.
Serving Military Officers and the Rumsfeld Debate -- [Outside the Beltway]
After a couple of weeks of spotlighting a handful of retired generals who are unhappy with Donald Rumsfeld’s second stint as Defense Secretary, Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt apparently decided to see what serving officers think. The result is a front page piece in today’s NYT entitled, “Young Officers Join the Debate Over Rumsfeld.” While mostly anecdotal, it reads true based on my own conversations with serving officers.
Prince Harry: Send me to war or I'll quit -- (The Australian)
PRINCE Harry has threatened to quit the British Army if commanders refuse to send him to the frontline.
The prince and his older brother William have both made it clear they want to see active service with their units.
Earlier this month Harry, 21, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals, the army's oldest and most senior regiment.
The Blues and Royals have been deployed in almost every major operation of the past 25 years, including the Falklands, Bosnia and both Gulf wars.
And now it has been revealed the determined prince told top brass at the Sandhurst military academy: "If I am not allowed to join my unit in a war zone, I will hand in my uniform."
Inspectors Find More Torture at Iraqi Jails -- (Washington Post)
BAGHDAD -- Last Nov. 13, U.S. soldiers found 173 incarcerated men, some of them emaciated and showing signs of torture, in a secret bunker in an Interior Ministry compound in central Baghdad. The soldiers immediately transferred the men to a separate detention facility to protect them from further...
Deadly Month for U.S. Soldiers in Iraq -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Insurgents killed three American soldiers in the Baghdad area Sunday and fired mortars near the Defense Ministry in a spree of violence that killed at least 29 Iraqis as politicians began work on forming a new government. The largest Sunni Arab party raised new allegations of sectarian killings - one of the most urgent issues facing the new leadership.
Bush Urges Iraqi Leaders to Act Quickly -- (AP)
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. (AP) -- President Bush on Sunday called Iraq's top leaders to congratulate them on breaking a political impasse and urge the quick formation of a coalition government....
Bush reminds Iraq leaders of 'awesome' duty -- (Reuters)
TWENTYNINE PALMS, California (Reuters) - President Bush on Sunday called Iraqi leaders to congratulate them on moving to form a unity government and told them they had "awesome responsibilities" to their people.
U.S. Envoy: Iraq Gov't Has Ways to Go -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi leaders are "some distance" from finalizing their new government, but Americans should be patient over the pace of protracted negotiations that involve more than simply picking officials to fill posts, the U.S. ambassador said Sunday....
Warily, Iraqis Investing Hope in New Leaders -- (NY Times)
Iraqis are wary of their new government, but seem to be clinging grimly to the battered hope for democracy.
Young Officers Join The Debate Over Rumsfeld -- (New York Times)...Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt
The revolt by retired generals who publicly criticized Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has opened an extraordinary debate among younger officers, in military academies, in the armed services' staff colleges and even in command posts and mess halls in Iraq.
Something Worth Fighting For -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian in Afghanistan]
The recent death of four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan must leave many of us wondering what is worth fighting for. We hear generals and politicians all to often speak of keeping Afghanistan from falling back to where it was; a haven for terrorists. But, we hear a different story come from the troops themselves. A common theme among soldiers deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq is that they are compelled to fight and sacrifice for the indigenous people. Endless tales of our warriors being motivated by the civilians of Afghanistan can be found.
Taliban Spring Offensive Sputters Forward -- [Strategy Page]
April 24, 2006: The Taliban are making a major effort, but are squeezed by thousands of NATO troops moving into southern Afghanistan, and 80,000 Pakistani troops operating along their side of the border.
Whipping Boy -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
The sound lashed across the desert, chased by the sounds of men yelling.
I grabbed my camera and walked over, joining a group of several dozen Afghan men, all of whom were out here in the middle of the desert building a British military base. As I approached, I made a few photographs, then sat with them in the dust, shutter snapping all the while.
Friday News o' Afghanistan III -- [Miserable Donuts]
Friends getting job promotions. 4 hour marriages? It must be time for the Friday News from Afghanistan...
Here are a few stories of security, politics, economics and life in Afghanistan. I am sure you hadn't heard a few of them.
A Visit to Osama's House -- [Fortunate Son]
The last place Osama Bin Laden was ever seen in public was at his home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Well, technically its just a bit out of town. Conveniently on the way to his commute to Tora Bora down in the Pachir Wa Agam district just two hours drive south. Well, the other day our team finally got around to going by and "paying our [dis]respects".
Afghanistan Embed Update & Latest Post -- [The Fourth Rail]
I am still working out the details for the Afghanistan embed, but I am focusing on two options: embedding with the Marines in Kunar province, and embedding with the Canadians in Kandahar province. Both services are doing excellent work in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban as well as facilitating reconstruction efforts in the war-torn nation. I am trying to work out a way to embed with both units.
Britain Warns of Danger of Taliban Return -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Britain's defense secretary warned on Sunday that any let up on militants could see the toppled Taliban regime and al-Qaida regain power in Afghanistan....
No Peace in the Province -- (Spiegel Online)
By The Afghan capital Kabul is blossoming, but the rest of the country remains a war zone in which Western troops routinely encounter warlords, drug barons and the...
Afghan Bomb On Road Kills 4 Canadians -- (New York Times)...Carlotta Gall
Four Canadian soldiers were killed Saturday when their vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, Canadian military officials said.
Fourteen Hundred Years -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
A few years back, I had a mission in support of the Royal Saudi Army. My mission was to ready the Royal Saudi Army to receive a form of military support from the US (best not described here). That mission required me to get the Saudis up to snuff on things like security, property accountability, sensitive item checks and reports, and a few other areas along those lines. For eight months straight I had to report up through my chain that I had achieved absolutely no movement towards that goal. Finally, in my eighth monthly briefing where I reported I was still months away from completion, my CG demanded to know what, exactly, the problem was keeping me from getting the job done. I told him matter of factly, “Fourteen hundred years of islam."
Schumer Seeks Aid in Hunt for 9/11 Remains -- (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York senator on Sunday asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to send an elite military unit to search for human remains at ground zero after hundreds of new bone fragments were found at an adjacent building in recent months....
U.S., Japan Agree on Troop Realignment -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States and Japan have struck a bargain over a plan to realign U.S. forces in Japan, with Japan agreeing to finance $6.1 billion of the nearly $10.3 billion cost, the Japanese defense chief said Sunday night. Japanese Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga told reporters after his three-hour meeting with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that Japan wanted to have an appropriate sharing of costs in transferring 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam.
Chavez: U.S. Diplomat Welcome in Venezuela -- (AP)
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's president said Sunday that he would welcome a visit by a top U.S. State Department official and hopes to build close ties with like-minded Americans despite his vehement opposition to President Bush....
Bin Laden Tape (VIDEO/AUDIO) -- [Expose the Left]
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) – Osama bin Laden issued new threats in an audiotape broadcast on Arab television Sunday and accused the United States and Europe of supporting a “Zionist” war on Islam by cutting off funds to the Hamas-led Palestinian government.
Why is Osama declaring war on the world? -- [Austin Bay]
Salah Nasrawi reports for the Associated Press that bin Laden is urging jihadis to head for Sudan. Why? To prepare to wage holy war against…get ready… The United Nations.
The War on Terror is poorly named -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
Filed by Trevor under Politics, United States (Sunday April 23, 2006 at 11:22 am)
This Reason article claims that the War on Terror is actually a war on jihadists, and is well worth reading.
BIN LADEN'S "STATE OF JIHAD" SPEECH -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
One more time Al Jazeera pomotes an Usama Bin Laden speech. After airing portions of the Bin Laden audiotape al Jazeera posted large fragments of the “speech” on its web site. This was the longest version possible we were able to have access to. After careful reading, my assessment of the “piece” got reinforced: This is not just another audiotape or videotape of a renegade in some cave. Regardless of who is the speaker and his whereabouts, the 30 minutes long read statement is a declaration, probably as important as the February 1998 declaration of war against America, the Crusaders and their allies.
Bin Laden Says U.S. Waging War on Islam -- (AP)
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Osama bin Laden issued new threats in an audiotape broadcast on Arab television Sunday and accused the United States and Europe of supporting a "Zionist" war on Islam by cutting off funds to the Hamas-led Palestinian government. He also urged followers to go to Sudan, his former base, to fight a proposed U.N. peacekeeping force.
Hamas rejects bin Laden message -- (AlJazeera.Net)
Hamas and a Sudanese rebel group have distanced themselves from a statement from Osama bin Laden condemning the West for its actions in both countries.
Experts Debate al-Zawahri, Osama Split -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Osama bin Laden is hiding in a remote tribal area along Afghanistan's 1,500-mile border with Pakistan, separated from his top deputy and, in a sign he has to be careful about whom he trusts, surrounded by fellow Arabs....
Al Qaeda Mystery Man Described in Documents -- (LA Times)
A suspect in the 9/11 and LAX plots has been held and interrogated since '01, papers show. But the puzzle seems to deepen.
WASHINGTON — When Mohamedou Ould Slahi's name appeared on the list released last week of Guantanamo Bay detainees, the Pentagon was officially confirming that one of Al Qaeda's most mysterious figures had been in custody since late 2001.
Six Days to Make a Difference -- [Andi's World]
I've been fixated on the MilBlog Conference, but the clock is ticking on Fran O'Brien's. Friday night, I was wandering around the restaurant and I went in the back room where our wounded heroes were dining. I stood there for a little bit soaking up the scene. What a great atmosphere. I also saw Paul Wolfowitz there
Deployment Cost Me My Job -- [MREater]
I have previously written that I got new job duties upon my return from active duty. The job was explained to me to be a promotion, and I got a small raise, so I wasn't greatly upset. I do miss the old job and don't like the new one as well.
Also, I had asked for the new duties. I had wanted them as extra duties to the job I held when I left. However, as it turned out, I lost the old duties and just got the new ones. I thought the change had occurred because of my request.
Hero Iraq vet tossed from wheelchair in cop brawl -- (Boston Herald)
A nationally acclaimed Marine paralyzed in the Iraq War was tossed from his wheelchair and an undercover cop knocked out cold with a broken jaw during a mad melee early yesterday morning at a Revere Beach bar.
"I said, ‘I’m a Marine. What are you doing?’ ” James Crosby, 21, told the Herald he pleaded for his life as he was allegedly being hoisted off the ground by his windbreaker and slammed back down by Revere police officers. “They said, ‘If you’re a Marine then you know how to shut the (expletive) up.’ ”
Disabled Vets Need The Cheer -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Kevin Ferris
...In the same steady tones, Koster says this Friday will be last call for O'Brien's. The owners and the Hilton couldn't come to terms on a new lease. Koster was insisting on an elevator. "The troops never complain about it," Koster said. "But I'm embarrassed to run them through the coatroom to the service elevator. They deserve better."
Many American Veterans Wind Up On The Streets -- (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)...Michele Munz
...One out of every three men stopping you for spare change or sleeping on a park bench has served our country, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a national survey.
A snapshot of the Army in the late 1990s -- [CounterColumn]
I couldn't determine the exact year, but I thought this Chief of Staff of the Army's survey of Majors from what appears to be the late 1990s or 2000 to be very interesting.
Intelligence Interrogation and Debriefing Battalions -- [Strategy Page]
April 24, 2006: The U.S. Army has formed the first of four Intelligence Interrogation and Debriefing (IID) battalions. Each of these battalions will have 147 personnel, most of them specialists in screening and interrogating captured personnel, or people being screened for possible illegal behavior.
Sailors Getting Soldiers' Training in S.C. -- (AP)
FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) -- Navy sailors are trading their sea legs for dry land combat skills to help them survive in war zones, and the training is coming from an unusual place - the Army....
"Big Love" - The Media, CIA, Democrats, & Castro Sympathizers -- [Gateway Pundit]
After the CIA frogmarched (definition #2 is best) the $9,500 Democratic donor from the General's Office last week, the Associated Press was so excited that there was actually a leak story with a leaker and a leak that they felt it only appropriate to publish a picture of Cheney aide Scooter Libby in its coverage of the Democratic donating CIA leaker.
McClellan Replacement Wish -- [Baldilocks]
Pajamas Media has extensive links on the likely-forced resignation of White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. As many have noted, this is probably a wise move, as Mr. McClellan has seemed rather hapless against an increasingly hostile Washington press corps. Nothing against him; as Tammy Bruce opines, he seems like a nice man. Perhaps that’s the problem:
KERRY: 'IF YOU'RE LEAKING TO TELL THE TRUTH...' -- [Drudge Report]
Former presidential candidate John Kerry has come to the defense of a fired CIA officer accused of disclosing classified information to the press.
"I'm glad she told the truth but she's going to obviously -- if she did it, if she did it, suffer the consequences of breaking the law,' Kerry explained to ABC THIS WEEK.
Democrats Suggest Double Standard on Leaks -- (Washington Post)
Key Democratic legislators yesterday joined Republicans in saying they do not condone the alleged leaking of classified information that led to last week's firing of a veteran CIA officer. But they questioned whether a double standard exists that lets the White House give reporters secretly...
Paper calls for Dick Cheney's early retirement -- (Reuters)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles Times editorial on Sunday called for a "far more audacious" makeover of President George W. Bush's administration, saying he should send Vice President Dick Cheney into early retirement.
Earlier this week, Bush Press Secretary Scott McClellan resigned and Karl Rove gave up his policy role as part of a White House sweep aimed at reviving Bush's sagging job-approval ratings ahead of November's pivotal mid-term elections.
Kennedy says he'd again back Kerry for president -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sen. Edward Kennedy said on Sunday if fellow Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry makes another bid for the presidency in 2008, he would again back him.
"If he (Kerry) runs, I'm supporting him," Kennedy, the leading liberal in the U.S. Congress, told NBC's "Meet the Press."
Kerry Dismisses Idea Whites Run Nomination -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. John Kerry dismisses as "absolutely ridiculous" the notion that his support for Iowa and New Hampshire's prominent roles in the presidential nomination process means he thinks only the votes of white people count.
An Experiment in Journalism -- [Michael Totten]
I went to the Middle East for six months so I could expand my freelance writing portfolio. But I found, after a few months, there may be a better way forward than publishing disconnected dispatches here and there for low pay.
The mainstream media is an industry in decline. The audience shrinks every year. Profits circle the drain. Budgets for foreign bureaus and correspondents have been gutted stem to stern. Most journalists are paid pitifully low salaries even in good times, and freelancers are paid even worse.
ABC News Defends McCarthy -- [Wizbang]
ABC News is jumping to the defense of Mary McCarthy by employing an age-old excuse: everybody does it.
New York Times Goes to the Source -- [CJR Daily]
...When you're the biggest guy in the room, you obviously provide the biggest target -- a position the Times is no doubt used to by now. But for those critics who slam the paper for ignoring what soldiers are doing on the ground on a day-to-day basis, the paper has replied with the best weapon at its disposal: It has set up a group blog of four active-duty soldiers and Marines currently deployed in Iraq, telling their stories as they experience them.
At Los Angeles Times, a Columnist Who Used a False Web Name Loses His Blog -- (NY Times)
In the last few years, newspapers around the country have been testing the waters of the seldom-restrained, often scrappy world of Web-based journalism by setting their reporters loose to write their own blogs.
Last week, the experiment backfired for The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper suspended the blog of one of its columnists after it was revealed that he had posted comments on the paper's Web site and elsewhere on the Web under false names.
First Ever Milblogging Conference a Success -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
The first ever Milblogging Conference in Washington, DC was a success with many prominent milbloggers highlighting the many positive aspects of the military blogging community:
Op-For Radio Strikes Back -- [OPFOR]
It's the MOAP: The mother of all podcasts! Click here for the second installment of Op-for Radio!
In our second podcast, recorded from the 2006 Milblog Conference, John and I interview an all-star cast of milbloggers.... Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive, LT Smash, and Chuck from TC Overide.
We discuss where Milblogging is going, combat in Iraq, and OPSEC for bloggers. Then we move on to a roundtable on topics such as immigration, and the current hot-button issue: Iran.
THE GOOD, BAD AND THE UGLY -- [One Marine's View]
(pic of Capt B, Marty from AnySoldier and “Taco” from Sandgram)
The first annual MilBlog convention is over. What a pleasure it was to meet everyone and put a face to a name. Thank you all that got to attend for those that couldn’t you got to come out next year! I departed for the convention at 1400 (2pm) on sunnyfriday afternoon which would put me in the Walter Reed area in plenty of time to go bash some pinkos! Entering Va, the sky’s opened up and everyone decided to get on their cell phones and drive 45 mph in front of me.
Colonel Hunt & the Bloggers Part 2: What do you want for war blogging for the future? -- [The War Tapes]
Hunt asks everyone "what do you want" for the blogging from, for example, "Iran."
Dadmanly: "I want the embeds back."
An audience member calling herself a "clueless civilian," says, "its got to be easier to find out what the troops are doing. . . .You're talking about what do we want, now...I don't want somebody in some office deciding."
Military bloggers speak out against more restrictions -- (Stars and Stripes)
Speakers at conference say self-regulation can maintain security
WASHINGTON — Overregulation of military weblogs by the defense officials will not only demoralize troops but also silence many of the military’s strongest advocates, a panel of leading bloggers said Saturday.
How to Criticize the War -- [Capt. Dan Sukman - dispatching to FOX News from Iraq]
...One of the front-page stories has been the number of retired generals who have come out publicly against the way the war is being and has been fought. A few of these generals have recently served as division commanders in Iraq, and you don’t pin stars on your uniform by not understanding modern warfare.
...Reading and listening to the news and discussing it, the criticism that seems to be continually brought up is: Why are they speaking up now? The answer is, because now they are no longer in the military. I know, it’s not a deep analysis, but I don’t think there is anything more to it.
...I don't know the exact number, but if I were a betting man, I would wager all my money that there are some recently retired general officers who disagree with the ones speaking out now. It would be interesting to see if anyone ever attempts to interview them or get their opinion.
The "Generals' Revolt" Isn't New - Part 2 -- [Armchair Generalist]
...Two provisos - Bobby pointed out to me yesterday that the retired generals speaking out are not saying that the invasion of Iraq was wrong, and they should not be viewed as new members of the left. He's absolutely correct. I have no doubt that not one general disagreed with the idea of using military force to get rid of Saddam. I might think that they may have questioned the whole "WMD is a big threat" story, but they understood the president's order and were willing to carry it out.
Countercolumn makes the papers! -- [CounterColumn]
Kind of a weird take. And describing "Countercolumn" as "The Countercolumn" sort of reminds me of the old cartoon when Wiley E. Coyote dressed up as "The Batman."
I sort of wish the reporter had also pointed out that I also defended the right of retired officers to speak out freely, and defended the value of their dialogue. Indeed, I don't believe you can be a Hackworth fan while still be critical of the fact that these generals are speaking out. Hackworth went on "Issues and Answers" while still on active duty, and was publicly critical of the U.S. Viet Nam policy - and continued his criticism throughout the remainder of his life,
Iraqis Continue 'Dominant Contribution' -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2006 — Iraqi security forces continue to play an increasingly larger role in the fight against terrorism, with many units taking responsibility for their own areas and making connections with citizens, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said today.
The Blue Wall of Corruption in Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
April 21, 2006: While the Iraqi National Army has been improving steadily, efforts to professionalize Ministry of the Interior paramilitary security forces, notably the police commandos, have not been as successful.
Wrong Place...Wrong Time.... -- [neurotic Iraqi wife - in Iraq]
On a last note...if you think a civil war is taking place here then you are wrong...Iraq has become a huge terrorist pocket....Sunni's, Shia's, kids, elderly, women, men, working with coalition forces,working with Iraqis, makes no difference anymore....Its you and your luck...Its you and your time...Its one of those "in the wrong place at the wrong time"....thats how it is....This is the reality of things....Wrong Place....Wrong Time....
Pearls of Iraq: Fridays in Baghdad, Iraq -- [Pearls of Iraq - an Iraqi in Iraq]
I am on yet another deadline, it is constant but I wish to keep up posts on Pearls of Iraq. It is only 10:30 am and it is Friday in Baghdad. I dread Fridays, as there are always more bombs, more attacks. Friday in Islam and Iraq is a day of prayers, family and community. Already there have been at least 2-3 major explosions, it is still morning. They attack mosques and morning markets, as people go shopping for the afternoon meal, much like Sundays elsewhere. So whoever attacks, they are attacking Muslims, they are attacking innocent Iraqis and is against Islam and the Abrahamic religions. This is very clear.
Back to Iraq Part VI - Smuggling My Way Out of Iraq -- [Michael Totten]
Sean and I went back to the Turkish-Iraqi crossing gate just before dark. We intended to return to our rental car, parked just on the other side of the border in Turkey, before the light in the sky completely went out. It would have been nice to make a little progress back toward Istanbul before dark.
Street Battles in Adhamiya -- [Healing Iraq - an Iraqi in Iraq]
The Adhamiya battle in a nutshell: Iraqi security forces from the Interior ministry (some believe to be accompanied by militiamen) attempted to enter Adhamiya from the Raghiba Khatoun area around 1 am, Monday. Adhamiya residents and its dozens of watch teams responded with heavy fire and thwarted the perceived attack.
...There had been a previous understanding for a few months between the 2 parties that, as long as Interior ministry forces do not enter Adhamiya, National Guards were free to patrol and maintain checkpoints in the area. National Guards in return, turned a blind eye to the many neighbourhood watch teams and even the 'Mujahideen' as long as they don't target them.
Sadr Spins the Washington Post -- [IraqPudit]
Want to watch while a Washington Post reporter get spun like a top by one of Moktada Al Sadr's thugs? Then go to this story, which greatly overly simplifies the rift between the bearers of two well-known and respected Shiite family names -- Al Hakim and Al Sadr -- who are currently competing for power in Iraq.
The Post reporter simply regurgitates the Al Sadr side of the story, as supplied by a mouthpiece for the half-wit "cleric." But that's what happens when you parachute in reporters for whom Iraq is terra incognita: While your paper is revealing the U.S. to be engaging in "propaganda," your journalists are sitting ducks for the other side's propaganda.
Radioactive killer -- [Hammorabi - an Iraqi in Iraq]
...the statement on the President of Egypt (Hosnei Mobarak) to the Arabic TV (Al-Arabiyah) in which he attacked the Shias all over the world that their loyalty is not to their countries but to Iran. This is not true of course otherwise Egypt got more than one millions Shias who therefore considered being disloyal to Egypt. On the other hand the statement of H.M. is a type of racial discrimination by accusing the Iraqi Shia and the other Shia in the region as traitors. The Shias all over the world and the region including in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and other countries protested strongly against such racist allegations. Such allegation and racial discriminations indicates the mentality of the Arab leaders who fears always from democracy and freedom among their people or even among the other Arab countries people.
Iraq Pictures - 21 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
An Iraqi girl watches as her younger brother smiles at American Soldiers during a visit to the town of Al Ruffayah. Pictures like these are not carried by the American legacy media because it doesn't have any blood or missing limbs pictured.
...Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment prepare to be picked up from a Company A, 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, helicopter after an Air Assault mission. Pic: SGT Ryan Matson.
Music From Heaven -- [T.F. Boggs - in Iraq]
On my first deployment to Iraq I was stationed at a prison camp in southern Iraq. The invasion had just started and prisoners were coming in bunches. One of the main needs at our camp was for Arabic speaking translators that could assist the military with the handling of the prisoners. The translators were mainly from Kuwait but some were native Kuwaitis who were living as far away as London, England.
Lucky charms and handling the heat -- [Doc in the Box - in Iraq]
Throughout the history of wars, soldiers have gone in to battle carrying something on their person to bring them luck. Everyone out here has their lucky charms, me being a reading fool, my lucky charm is this picture of my wife which I use as a book mark so I'm looking at her smiling face throughout the day.
Bloggers fanning the controversy over Rumsfeld -- (Boston Globe)
Pentagon studies proliferation of military Web logs
WASHINGTON -- The war of words between Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and former generals has spread to the lower ranks as soldiers, recent war vets, and Pentagon civilians alike use a growing number of Web logs on the Internet to sound off on their current and former bosses.
ANALYSIS: Rumsfeld ideas slammed -- (Detroit Free Press)
Criticism of Iraq signifies discontent with his leadership
In a Pentagon briefing Tuesday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended his management of the war and restructuring plans. "It's perfectly possible to ... not make choices, in which case people are not unhappy, until about five years later, when they find ... the country isn't prepared."
At Heart of Iraqi Impasse, a Family Feud -- (Washington Post)...Jonathan Finer
Militia-Backed Shiite Factions Vie for Political Dominance
NAJAF, Iraq -- On one side of the grinding political deadlock over who should lead Iraq's next government is a plain-spoken cleric with the puffed cheeks and patchy beard of youth, a fiery icon of the downtrodden with an exalted family name: al-Sadr.
U.S. Suffers Setback In Case Of Alleged Enemy Combatant -- (Washington Post)...Dan Eggen
With one of his fellow detainees transferred to a criminal court and another deported to Saudi Arabia, the last man held as an enemy combatant on U.S. soil is poised to take center stage in the ongoing fight over presidential powers in a time of war.
Shiite Drops Bid To Keep His Post As Iraqi Premier -- (New York Times)...Kirk Semple and Richard A. Oppel Jr.
Under intense domestic and American pressure, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari dropped his bid to retain his job on Thursday, removing a major obstacle to forming a new government during a time of rising sectarian violence.
Shiites Appear Split on Choice of New PM -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Shiite politicians appeared divided Friday over their choice of a new nominee to head the next government after Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari agreed to let them try to find someone else acceptable to Sunnis and Kurds. Representatives of the seven parties within the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiite coalition, were to meet after Friday midday prayers to discuss a replacement for al-Jaafari, whom the Sunnis and Kurds refused to accept to lead a unity government.
Jail toilets face away from Mecca -- (BBC News)
Facilities in a prison are being built so Muslim inmates do not have to face Mecca while sitting on the toilet.
The Home Office said two new toilet blocks are being installed as part of a refurbishment at Brixton jail in south London.
Faith leaders had told prison bosses it was unacceptable for Muslim inmates to face Mecca while using the toilet.
The Taliban Consolidates Power in Pakistan as Violence Increases in Afghanistan -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
Yesterday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force compound in Kabul, Afghanistan highlights the increased level of violence throughout the country. Coalition and Afghan troop have seen a marked increase in suicide bombings, IED (roadside bombing) attacks and platoon and company-sized attacks from Taliban fighters over the past year. The Taliban's latest springtime offensive is now in full swing.
Afghan Locals Provide Valuable Intel -- [Sgt Hook]
The people of Afghanistan have been almost routinely providing coalition forces with information that has thwarted several terrorist and insurgent activities in the area.
Afghan Soldiers Detain 19 Militants -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan troops have arrested 19 militants, including five suspected Taliban members, in multiple raids across the country's south, the Defense Ministry said Friday.
Eleven militants, including at least three Taliban members identified as Mullah Salam, Mullah Adbul Rahman and Shawali, were detained Thursday in the Andar district of Ghazni province, south of the capital, Kabul, ministry spokesman Gen. Zaher Azemi said in a statement.
Mexico Perspective -- [Truth, Life, and Political Honesty]
...And though Mexico demands humane treatment for its citizens who migrate to the U.S., regardless of their legal status, Mexico provides few protections for migrants on its own soil. The issue simply isn't on the country's political agenda, perhaps because migrants make up only 0.5 percent of the population, or about 500,000 people - compared with 12 percent in the United States.
...Undocumented Central American migrants complain much more about how they are treated by Mexican officials than about authorities on the U.S. side of the border, where migrants may resent being caught but often praise the professionalism of the agents scouring the desert for their trail.
New Proposal on Table for WTC Developer -- (NewsMax)
NEW YORK -- After weeks of public bickering over how to rebuild ground zero, the World Trade Center site's owner on Wednesday offered its developer a new deal that sets aside millions of dollars for a Sept. 11 memorial.
Rumors as a Weapon -- [Strategy Page]
April 21, 2006: One of the less well known counter-terror tactics used against Islamic terrorists, are scary rumors. Islamic terrorists like technology, and fear it. While the Islamic radicals want everyone to live under medieval social codes, they have nothing against climbing into the latest SUV, or using computers and high tech night vision gear. But, as a group, there are not a lot of geeks into Islamic terrorism. Moreover, Arabs have
A potential Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity (SDGT) working in Congress -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Olivier Guitta]
Mustafa Khalfi, the editor in chief of At Tajdid, the main Islamist publication in Morocco, is among other things working on the Hill for Congressman Jim Mc Dermott.
Researching with my colleague Ilan Weinglass this story, we found out that At Tajdid has a direct link to organizations classified by the U.S. Treasury as SDGTs because of their affiliation to Hamas.
Therefore Khalfi could in theory be designated himself as an SDGT.
U.S.: Terrorist Attacks Increased Last Year -- (Seattle Times)...Warren P. Strobel
The number of terrorist attacks documented by U.S. intelligence agencies rose sharply in 2005, passing the 10,000 mark for the first time, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials and documents obtained by the Inquirer Washington Bureau.
Bungled Terror Case Taking New Twist -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A botched Detroit terrorism case that already has embarrassed the Bush administration is taking a new twist: A fresh FBI analysis of the evidence undercuts the recent indictment of the former chief prosecutor in the case.
Lawyer: Militant Can Locate Brit's Body -- (AP)
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) -- A militant facing charges in Turkey ordered the beheading of a British engineer kidnapped in Iraq and knows where his body is, his lawyer said Thursday....
Slain Militant May Be Linked to al-Qaida -- (AP)
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- A suspected Islamic militant killed in a shootout in northwestern Pakistan was believed to have been a close associate of al-Qaida No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri, two intelligence officials said Friday....
Soldier, blogger, proud to be making a difference -- [Post Cards from Iraq]
Editor's note: Staff Sgt. Mike Wenrick, of Pleasant Gap, who has been championing legislation to limit protests at the funerals of fellow soldiers felled in Iraq or anywhere else on the globe, finally has his Internet connection back. He had the following to say about the report in Thursday's Centre Daily Times on legislation he has been calling for — and his impact on the process through "Postcards from Iraq." And we're sure Mike will have more to say on this topic with his next posting. Congratulations Mike.
Troop Hating Church Founded By Democrats -- [Expose the Left]
Remember that nut, Shirley Phelps, who belongs to the church that protests the funerals of soldiers? Well it turns out she and her father, both founding members of the church, are Democrats and Al Gore supporters:
Army Cancels Guard Family Relocations -- (Arizona Daily Star (Tucson))...Carol Ann Alaimo
...Many received word about a week ago that Texas Army officials don't want them there. Some have made tearful pleas for help to Gov. Janet Napolitano's office. The governor is distressed by the situation and wants answers from the Pentagon, said her spokeswoman, Jeanine L'Ecuyer. "The governor's reaction is that this is not acceptable. For the last year or so these troops have been under the impression that they could take their families with them," L'Ecuyer said.
Senate Bill Shorts Gear for Troops -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Senate measure to fund the war in Iraq would chop money for troops' night vision equipment and new battle vehicles but add $230 million for a tilt-rotor aircraft that has already cost $18 billion and is still facing safety questions....
Adam Smith Cried -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
I came across this article on CNN.com. If this is Lou Dobbs' level of commenting on how economies work, then the poll results (confirming how little his viewers understand about economies) are almost excusable. According to Dobbs:
"...the Red Storm (PRC-ed) cannot be blamed for its continued manipulation of its currency, for its record $202 billion trade surplus with the United States or for buying up American businesses and hard assets around the globe while restricting access to its market and economy.
... if a government cannot be blamed for manipulation of its currency, or for restrictions on access to its markets, who should be blamed?
Sen. Joseph Lieberman: I'd Support Iran Attack -- (News Max)
Sen. Joseph Lieberman said Tuesday that he would back a U.S. airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities if diplomatic options fail, becoming the first Democrat to announce his support for such a move.
Sen. Clinton Gave $190,000 to Democrats -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- New York Sen. Hillary Clinton shared her wealth in March, doling out $190,000 to Democrats in Iowa, New Hampshire and elsewhere, according to a campaign report filed late Thursday....
Merkel bum snaps anger German press -- [Drudge Report]
Unflattering pictures of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a British newspaper have sparked a backlash from the German government and media.
The Sun printed photos of Mrs Merkel on holiday taken from behind while changing into her bathing suit.
Test Pilot Scott Crossfield Killed in Crash -- (AP)
RANGER, Ga. (AP) -- Scott Crossfield, the hotshot test pilot and aircraft designer who in 1953 became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound, was killed in the crash of his small plane, authorities said Thursday. He was 84.
Fog of War -- [NBC's Blogging Iraq blog - journalist embed in Iraq]
It's never easy getting the facts right on a breaking story in Baghdad. The obstacles to verifying and checking things out for yourself are daunting enough. You have to always gauge the integrity and objectivity of your sources, when trying to confirm. Today the needle on that gauge was way off the mark, and dangerously so.
...It was a Reuters wire that read in part: "Separate groups of gunmen entered two primary schools in Baghdad on Wednesday and beheaded two teachers in front of their students," according to the Ministry of State for National Security.
...We learned that the two schools were in the Shab district of north Baghdad. It was true that there are two primary schools there, named Amna and Shaheed Hamdi, where students between the ages of six and eleven are enrolled. From there on the truth went MIA....
First contact, part two -- [Fun with Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM said the fifty cal. At the same time my old gunner is sending rounds downrange with his 240 in one direction and emptying his shotgun into another. I’m glad to say that my interpreter jumped out of the truck and was emptying a thirty round magazine with the M4 he was carrying. It’s good to know that he’s got our back to the point he’ll start shooting when the shit hits the fan.
Kill us, but you won't enslave us. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Last week we stopped writing for a while and we apologized to our readers saying that we lost a close friend but we didn't want to give more details as we were overwhelmed by an exceptional situation and a huge shock. We also were afraid from writing more about this subject for security concerns but now I think I must share this with you as it's part of the pain and suffering my nation is going through.
The good, the bad and the ugly -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
Not much changed here in Iraq in the two weeks I was gone. People are still killing each other and acting like soulless fools.
The Shiites and the Sunnis are at each others throats like a pack of surly dogs that needs an alpha male to keep them in check. That’s sad to say, but it’s true. Now that Saddam is a fading memory and Iraqi “leaders” have nothing to worry about from above, they’re proving that they just need another Saddam to keep them in check.
PRACTICE -- [Dan in the Desert - DOD Contractor in Iraq]
Getting ready to head out into the red zone (sounds scary...it really just means anything not considered green). Actually I guess that is a little scary.
These pictures are from a mixture of several different runs over the past few weeks. I had to make a trip to Camp Victory, located next to Baghdad International Airport, to do some field work. I also had to visit Abu Ghraib Warehouse, a large storage site just north of the airport.
Soldiers in the Office -- [ROFA Six]
Spc. Nate Wagar, from the 101st Airborne Division, provides urban combat training to Iraqi soldiers at Forward Operating Base McHenry, 17 April 06. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeremy Wood
Old Doha at night -- [Johns Iraq Blog - in Iraq]
Originally uploaded by mensik_baker. I like this photo even though its blurry because it kind of captures the feel of the souks. They are a very vibrant, energetic part of the city. These are the kind of places that went away with the Wal-Mart culture in america. They are the heart of the city and a place where people congregate.
The Weekend Update -- [The Desert Excursion - in Iraq]
...I am slowly becoming accustomed to the base here. We have a lot of coalition forces here so we are not alone. The Italians, the Brits, and the Aussies have the largest forces here after the U.S.. The base is very simple with a mile walk or so to the chow hall but you can catch a shuttle if you are lucky. Yes, I am still in a tent living out of my bags. Other things of mention this past weekend: I witnessed my first real sandstorm that nearly knocked me on my rear and the temperature is easily hitting over 100 degrees during the day. Occasionally we experience brownouts and the A/C is cut in the afternoon. Guess how long it takes for our tent to be hot? About 2 min 30 sec.
Operation Movie -- [JusticeSoldier -- in Iraq]
Well, things are decent here on Camp Crazy. We have actually had a little vacation from the mortar attacks lately- those that have been here awhile say they are just replentishing their supply, and they’ll make up for lost time. In the meantime, the weather has been taking its turn up front: this is possibly the only place in the world where it can rain 1/100th of an inch and the whole darn place floods! The other day I was attempting
A Call For Phantom Troops -- [Daily Dispatch]
In his recent Op-Ed in the Washington Post, retired Army General John Batiste said:
“We went to war with the wrong war plan…Previous planning identified the need for up to three times the troop strength we committed to remove the regime in Iraq and set the conditions for peace there.”
There is one problem with Mr. Batiste’s statement about the previous planning: It was mathematically impossible....
...For everyone who said we needed more troops in Iraq, we at America’s Majority are going to provide a little lesson in military math–a lesson some of you will find shocking.
The Marine Corps has...
Teachers beheaded in Baghdad in front of students -- (Reuters)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Separate groups of gunmen entered two primary schools in Baghdad on Wednesday and beheaded two teachers in front of their students, the Ministry of State for National Security said.
Iraq Police Deny Report of Teachers Killed -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Militants killed two people at elementary schools in a mainly Shiite district of Baghdad on Wednesday, the government said. But police in the neighborhood denied any attack occurred....
Death's door -- (New York Daily News)...Richard Sisk and Paul H.B. Shin
Kin get grim visits, few answers in Iraq fight
Just hours after Conrado Perez Jr. replied to a letter from his 22-year-old son in Iraq, two Marines showed up at his door. Perez knew instantly why they were there.
"I just couldn't believe it. It's the last thing in the world that you would expect," said Perez, 50, recalling how the officers told him that his son, Lance Cpl. Stephen Perez, had been killed in Anbar province - the vast desert area west of Baghdad.
...The Marines have refused to release details about the battle that resulted in 24 casualties, but it was the latest evidence that the Marines in Anbar are now facing large-scale assaults, with the enemy attempting to overrun outposts.
Generals' Criticism Of Rumsfeld Gets Mixed Reaction Among Troops -- (Los Angeles Times)...Solomon Moore
News that six retired generals recently called for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign has been slow to reach many of the Marines stationed in Iraq's restive and isolated Al Anbar province.
The Generals' Bold Words -- (San Diego Union-Tribune)...Georgie Anne Geyer
...These generals have at least started to put down military stones of integrity in the road that McNamara and Rumsfeld have led us. They have begun the real questioning of America wasting itself in “invented wars,” in which our survival was not remotely at stake. In this, they deserve our fervent thanks, plus prayers that some lessons finally will be learned.
Rep. Israel Says 'False' Pretenses Led To War -- (Long Island Newsday)...J. Jioni Palmer
Three years after he voted for invading Iraq, Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) says the case for war was based on a "false pretense" perpetuated by President George W. Bush. "I never would have voted the way I did had I known what I know now," said Israel, who will travel this week to Iraq for the second time.
Al-Jaafari Seeks Confirmation for 2nd Term -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Embattled Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari asked the Shiite alliance Thursday to confirm his nomination for a second term, and Shiite lawmakers said they planned to meet this weekend to decide whether to replace him. The move represents the first sign that al-Jaafari may have abandoned his quest for another term in the face of strong opposition from Sunnis and Kurds and opens the door for the 130 Shiite lawmakers to replace him.
Al-Jaafari Clears Way to Be Replaced -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Embattled Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari cleared the way Thursday for Shiite leaders to withdraw his nomination for a second term, a step that could break a months-long standoff that is blocking the formation of a new government.
Study faults US health effort in Iraq, Afghanistan -- (Reuters)
The United States has botched efforts to improve public health in Iraq and Afghanistan, missing a chance to gain support in those countries, an independent report released on Wednesday said.
Iraq `Human Shield' Trying to Avoid Fine -- (AP)
KERHONKSON, N.Y. (AP) -- Before the bombs fell on Baghdad, Judith Karpova went there to put herself in harm's way, hoping to prevent attacks on a population that was already suffering.
The Afghan Auxiliary Police -- [Strategy Page]
April 20, 2006: Concerned over unrest in certain provinces of Afghanistan, President Karzai is proposing the creation of "auxiliary police units" in areas particularly susceptible to Taliban penetration. The new force would number some 9,000-10,000 men. These would be recruited locally and stationed in their home provinces, to supplement personnel from the 65,000-strong Afghan National Police.
Afghan Parliament to Vote on the Cabinet -- (NY Times)
Confirmation hearings ended, however, with uncertainty about which members of Hamid Karzai's proposed cabinet would be approved.
Blast Hits Near U.S. Embassy in Kabul -- (Yahoo News/ AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan - A massive explosion believed to have been caused by a rocket shook the Afghan capital late Wednesday near the U.S. Embassy compound, wounding an Afghan security contractor, officials said.
US faulted on efforts to rebuild nations -- (Boston Globe)...Bryan Bender
Healthcare called too low a priority
WASHINGTON -- The United States failed to make the health of ordinary citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan a top priority of reconstruction efforts, missing an opportunity to create substantial good will in the crucial days after the US-led invasions, according to a study to be issued today.
Taliban chief warns Afghans not to work with the government -- (Yahoo News/ AFP)
DOHA (AFP) - A Taliban leader, Jalaluldin Haqqani, warned Afghans not to work with the government or the Afghan army and "occupation forces" in an audio recording released on Al-Jazeera television.
Mission of Frustration in Afghan Villages -- (Washington Post)...Pamela Constable
As U.S. Officers Try to Coax Out Facts About Insurgents, Elders Remain Reticent
LANDAR, Afghanistan -- A convoy of six Humvees bounced along a winding, rocky riverbed last week and entered this village in Khost province near the Pakistani border, chased by a mob of schoolboys in bright blue tunics and pajamas.
"The New Deal" -- [Sandgram]
There is so much going on around the world that I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy in President Bush’s spot. Just think, you are trying to deal with finishing a project in Iraq to make a beacon of freedom there in an area where the others don’t want that to happen. Iran is next door saying that the world must accept them into the Nuclear club, (oh by the way, we want to wipe Israel off the map). You have to figure out a way to appease the leaders there so they can call off all their insurgents in Iraq, to allow for the U.S. to make a peaceful honorable withdraw.
Then, spin the globe around and you have the morons in N. Korea saying they can lob a Nuke over to the shores of the U.S., so now you must appease China ...
...Now on top of that, our country has been invaded by an army of over 12 million Mexicans and the only shot fired was that of all the gangs roaming around the border cities...
Shanghaied in Shanghai -- [ThreatsWatch]
China-Russia-Iran Axis Takes Concrete Form as Iran is Welcomed into Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Last Friday, we noted that Iran was to meet up with their partners, China and Russia, in Moscow.
Dead Man Walking -- [Gun Toting Liberial]
Refusing to see a problem will not vanquish it. China is rising. We are declining. This is not a case for patriotic bravado. It has absolutely nothing to do with the caliber of your love for America, what we think or how we act.
It’s the money, stupid.
Kyrgyzstan, Seeking New Deal, Warns It Might Close U.S. Base -- (Reuters)
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said Wednesday that he might shut down a U.S. military base in his country if Washington does not agree to a new contract.
More Muscle, With Eye On China -- (Washington Times)...Bill Gertz
The Pentagon is engaged in an extensive buildup of military forces in Asia as part of a covert strategy to strengthen and position U.S. and allied forces to deter -- or defeat -- China.
Chinese man admits plot to import missiles to US -- (Reuters)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Chinese national living in Southern California admitted on Wednesday trying to arrange the sale from China to the United States of 200 shoulder-fired missiles that can be used to bring down airplanes.
Venezuela To Hold Military Exercises -- (Pravda, Russia )
Venezuela plans to hold military exercises along its coasts and with neighboring countries' armed forces while U.S. warships conduct their own maneuvers in the Caribbean, said Adm. Orlando Maniglia, Venezuela's defense minister.
Chavez: Oil Will Be Destroyed if Attacked -- (Washington Post)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday again raised the specter of US designs to oust ...
Ahmadinejad: Oil Price Is Lower Than Value -- (AP)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Wading into oil politics for the first time, Iran's hard-line president said Wednesday that crude oil prices - now at record levels - still are below their true value. In statements likely to rattle world oil markets, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also said developed countries, not producing countries like Iran, are benefiting the most from the current high prices.
IRAN: 10 PEOPLE HANGED IN ONE DAY -- (AKI)
Tehran, 20 April (AKI) - In Iran the hanging of 10 death row convicts in a single day has triggered fears of a return to the mass executions common in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution that brought to power the country's religion-based government. The hangings took place on Wednesday in Tehran's Evin prison in the presence of relatives of the condemned - all convicted for murder - and of their victims.
The Religion of Peace Continues to Kill -- [Strategy Page]
April 20, 2006: The war on terror, and Islamic terrorism, has masked the ongoing worldwide conflict between Islamic populations and any non-Moslems in the vicinity. This Islamic violence against non-Moslems has been a problem for centuries, and has only become worse because of the recent increase in Islamic terrorism.
Detainee List Is Made Public -- (Miami Herald)...Ben Fox, Associated Press
The U.S. government released the first list of detainees held at the Guantánamo Bay prison on Wednesday -- the most extensive accounting yet of the hundreds of people held there, nearly all of them labeled "enemy combatants." In all, 558 people were named in the list provided by the Pentagon in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit by The Associated Press.
Charlie Daniels -- [The Desert Chief - in Kuwait]
entertaining -- very great concert!!! Camp Arifjan (here in Kuwait) set an attendance record for the outdoor stage entertainment. Estimated 5,000 fans slapping knees and whatever in time to the great fiddler. Of course, he brought the house down with the finale. He's got to be at least 70 years old -- perhaps older.
Welcome to the real suck! -- [American Soldier - injured in Iraq]
Where does one begin to recoup from a war? So many people say that by going to a counselor and talking about it that you will be ok.
“It’s going to take time.”
I cannot put it all into words. I am having trouble with normalcy. I try very hard to occupy myself. Heck I even got myself a few hobbies now. However, I feel out of place. I have flashbacks and can’t sleep at night. When I finally get to sleep I am immersed in a nightmare. The memory’s of the environment that nearly killed me more than once haunts me now that I am home and safe. The nights are ...
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 -- [Chapter War]
I am returning from the kennel. Everything that is dear to me is in this van that I am driving. My wife, my three children, my large female gratedane.
Suddenly in front of me another minivan abruptly pulls over to the shoulder of the road and stops. I find myself slamming on the brakes, aiming towards the middle of the road between both lanes, and almost screaming "Shoot the fuckers!" I feel a turret over me complete with machinegun and gunner.
... I was warned things like this might happen, but I had no idea when, where, or how.
FLASH: Marine Sgt to receive Navy Cross -- [The Adventures of Chester]
A Loyal Reader emails:
You were one of the first blogs I read as the invasion of Fallujah unfolded. You really made it feel like I was there.
I am writing to inform you that my son-in-law [name withheld] will be receiving the Navy Cross in a ceremony at Parris Island . . .
To my knowledge, this will be the second award of the Navy Cross during the War on Terror.
Marines Can't Go to The Prom -- [Dude Where's the Beach]
I found this story at Fark.com Apparently this 21 year old Marine and 17 year old senior in high school cannot attend the senior prom at Pearl River Central High School in Mississippi. The school board has a rule prohibiting students from bringing dates 21 or older to school dances.
The Marine and his girlfriend have been dating since he was 17 and she was 14. He is getting ready to deploy overseas and took leave to be able to attend his girlfriend's prom with her. Both sets of parents and the couple have appealed their case to the school board.
Military Strategies -- (Washington Times)...Robert H. Scales
Boost ground forces, rethink air transport.
3 Companies Credit Military For Profit Gain -- (New York Times)...Associated Press
Three of the nation's largest diversified manufacturers said yesterday that their profits topped Wall Street forecasts in the first quarter, helped by strong spending in the military and aerospace sectors. The three companies — General Dynamics, Honeywell International and United Technologies — each reported that profit and revenue rose by more than 10 percent.
The Coast Guard And Its Chief, Models Of Excellence -- (Washington Post)...Stephen Barr
There's a lot of snap, crackle and pop in the office of Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen.
Scott McClellan's Out - Mr. Stick Figure's In -- [WuzzaDem]
As you all know, Scott McClellan submitted his resignation today. I want to thank Scott for his hard work and dedication, and wish him the best of luck.
It's my pleasure to appoint as Press Secretary Mr. Stick Figure. He's well informed, he speaks his mind, and I'm sure you'll all enjoy working with him. Stick?
McClellan resigns- Uncle J for Press Secretary -- [Uncle Jimbo - BlackFive]
I demand an interview for the job. I have certainly been tireless in my efforts to audition, and I would like to hope I have made an impact on the jackals of the White House press corps, but imagine what it would be like to see me pummeling them on a daily basis, and yes Chuck D and the fellas would be along for the ride.
White House shifts into survival mode -- (Newsweek)
Senior staff changes reflect how Bush’s second term has shifted
In a White House known for both defiance and optimism, yesterday's senior staff changes represent a frank acknowledgment of the trouble in which President Bush now finds himself. They are also a signal of how starkly Bush's second-term ambitions have shifted after a year of persistent problems at home and abroad.
21st Century Reporting of the Doolittle Raid -- [Strategy Page]
April 20, 2006: The recent anniversary of the April 18, 1942 the Doolittle raid raised the question of how the press of today might have reported on the event. At the time, the Doolittle raid, as militarily ineffective as it was, proved to be an enormously popular morale boost for the American people and their allies. However, times have changed. Here's a likely report, of the 1942 event, but as it would be reported by today's media.
News Orgs Want to Deny Libby a Defense -- [Media Blog]
David Johnston reports that the New York Times, NBC News and TIME have all filed motions to quash Scooter Libby's subpoenas for "interview notes, drafts of articles and other records" that might show that Valerie Plame Wilson's identity was commonly known among reporters. Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has already supplied his notes. According to Libby, the documents are crucial to his defense:
CIA Mines 'Rich' Content from Blogs [Yankee Sailor]
A story in the Washington Times today should not be news to us, but it will no doubt raise some eyebrows:
THE BLOGS! ("Aaaaah! It's Growing!") -- [Winds of Change - Joe Katzman]
So, how's the blogosphere doing? MarketingVOX notes:
"The blogosphere is doubling in size every six months and is now 60 times larger than it was three years ago, according to the latest quarterly installment of David Sifry's "State of the Blogosphere" report. He writes that Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs."
Bloggers as news-fixated mavens -- [The Adventures of Chester]
Some time ago, I ran across what might be called an obituary for bloggers in the Financial Times. Here are some of the takeaway lines:
. . . but blogging in the US is not reflective of the kind of deep social and political change that lay behind the alternative press in the 1960s. Instead, its dependency on old media for its material brings to mind Swift’s fleas sucking upon other fleas “ad infinitum”: somewhere there has to be a host for feeding to begin. That blogs will one day rule the media world is a triumph of optimism over parasitism . . .
Ignore bloggers at your peril, say researchers -- (The Guardian)
Bloggers and internet pundits are exerting a "disproportionately large influence" on society, according to a report by a technology research company. Its study suggests that although "active" web users make up only a small proportion of Europe's online population, they are increasingly dominating public conversations and creating business trends.
Soldiers, families reunited at last -- [48th Goes to War - home from Iraq]
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Blog
Fort Stewart - After a year of living nervously, the families and friends of several hundred 48th Brigade Combat Team soldiers welcomed their loved ones home from Iraq in an emotional, late-night ceremony here Wednesday.
Joyous wives, children and parents rushed across the grassy, brightly lit parade field following a brief “job well done” from Gov. Sonny Perdue in an effort to find their soldiers.
120 Eagles return from Iraq -- (Army Times)
101st soldiers find embraces of loved ones
Members of C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment file off the plane that carried them home to Fort Campbell, Ky., after a year long deployment to Iraq on Tuesday.
Emotions overwhelmed Joyce Rawlings and her 18-year-old daughter, Kristina, when Chief Warrant Officer 2 Julius Rawlings’ plane finally touched down at Campbell Army Airfield at 3:54 p.m. Tuesday.
Godspeed, Chief -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
NOVOSEL, MICHAEL J.
Rank and organization: Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Army, 82d Medical Detachment, 45th Medical Company, 68th Medical Group. Place and date: Kien Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam, 2 October 1969. Entered service at: Kenner, La. Born: 3 September 1922, Etna, Pa. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. CWO Novosel, 82d Medical Detachment, distinguished himself while serving as commander of a medical evacuation helicopter. He unhesitatingly maneuvered his helicopter into a heavily fortified and defended enemy training area where a group of wounded Vietnamese soldiers were pinned down by a large enemy force. Flying without gunship or
Memorial held for fallen Marine at Camp Fallujah -- [Iraq War News]
Cpl. Salem Bachar, an intelligence analyst and Arabic interpreter, died April 12 as a result of enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province.
Bachar, who was born in Chula Vista, Calif., on June 24, 1985, joined the Marine Corps Oct. 14, 2003. He served as an intelligence analyst and Arabic translator during his second deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
To keep you all busy, let me introduce a few embedded reporters who are doing the down in the grit, Michael Yon style of reporting:
Michael Fumento who was embedded w/ 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah in 2005 before he was injured and medevacked out of Baghdad, he's back in Fallujah and on his way to Ramadi. Great reporting.
There are about 45 embeds in Iraq right now, primarily the U.S. and U.K. From a chart I'm looking at now, there will be two other reporters at Ramadi when I'm there; one from CBS (though I assume he has a camera crew) and one from the AP. The great plurality, of course, are in Baghdad. As I blogged previously, it's a bit more comfy and safe staying right here. Besides, this is where almost all of the crowd-killing suicide bombing goes on.
To most reporters, the war comprises nothing BUT such attacks so why bother going with the troops and being where the fighting is? Never mind that Ramadi is probably supplying and training most of those suicide bombers. Such is the American journalist mentality.
Franklin Raff, senior executive producer at Radio America, was embedded and asked the following question by an Iraqi Army officer of high rank: "Why do you people not tell our story?
Frank was embedded in Baghdad, Sadr City, Fallujah, and a series of remote combat outposts and forward operations bases in the Sunni Triangle and this is his story
Why do you people not tell our story? Why do you not say what is going on? Why do you come to our country and see what is happening, you see the schools and the hospitals and you see the markets and you eat with Sunni and Shia soldiers – everybody eats together, everybody works together –you see that Saddam is gone forever and we are free to speak and complain.
You see we are working and eating together and fighting together ...
Some of you may know Frank as G. Gordon Liddy right hand man.
The refinery just north of town is one giant EPA Super Fund site waiting to happen. An engineer could spend a career out here trying to clean this place up and might make a small dent in the entire problem.
Chris West of GX Online is embedded with the 1/34th Red Bulls. He's going outside the wire this week to assess the rebuilding.
This day, the CA team, a mix of the 1/34th and the 1/48th, were heading out to conduct several different missions. They huddled up in the morning and did a thorough brief on what to expect, what they planned to do, the latest intel and contingency plans in case something went wrong. These briefs are one of the surest ways to tell if a unit is buttoned up and on top of things. If they are prepared, sharp and detailed, it’s a pretty sure bet they know what they are doing. These guys had it in spades.
They rolled out their maps, discussed their routes. They covered the different stops they were going to make. Discussed the people they were going to meet, their personalities, problems they had run into with them in the past and exactly what to expect. They detailed all of the latest operational intelligence, not just for the local area, but for the entire theater, making sure that everyone was up to date on the tactics being used by the enemy. This area has been quiet for a long time, but these stone cold professionals weren’t taking any chances.
...Because Americans are happy to see that Northern Iraq is a normal, reasonably prosperous place. Sean even took pictures of the laser scanner in the checkout line.
We met two American soldiers in front of the store. They sat on a park bench outside. Iraqi Kurdistan is perfectly safe, so they did not carry guns. They did not wear body armor or helmets.
...It's hard to convey what it's actually like meeting Iraqi Kurds. Fleshing out the dialogue doesn't capture the feel of it. Americans and Kurds don't just get along because we're temporary allies of convenience in the Middle East. The connection is deeper and personal. Kurdish culture and American culture might as well be from different planets. But somehow, oddly enough, Kurds think much like Americans do. Let me rephrase that: Americans think like the Kurds.
Moni Basu and Curtis Compton from Atlanta Journal-Constitution, have been ebedded with the Charlie Company of the 121st Infantry Regiment’s 1st Battalion and are expected to reach Georgia at Hunter Army Air Field, early this morning. Charlie Company is one of the first of the Georgia-based 48th Brigade Combat Team’s units to return home. Here's a report of their last patrol
Baghdad, Iraq — After he rolled into the darkness of Camp Liberty from his last Baghdad patrol, Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Eaton, silhouetted in red and yellow lights, gave the soldiers in his platoon one last pep talk.
“Remember, boys,” he said. “Nobody owes us anything. That’s the deal. When we get back, we fit right back in.”
And let's not forget our own guys who are doing some great reporting themselves starting with :
Buck Sergent's More Tales from the Front
SPC Josh Spano's Who turned up the heat?
And keep an eye on Bill Roggio as he heads to Afghanistan.
And last but not least don't forget to visit StrategyPage that gives you rapid access to military news. Reporting events as history, not headlines, and providind concise, comprehensive and easy-to-understand descriptions of the troops, their equipment and why wars the world over are being fought.
The real stories are out there, you just need to know where to look.
Previous Dawn Patrol here
Happy Easter from Iraq -- [Across the Pond - in Iraq]
Just wanted to say Happy Easter to all. As you sit down tonight for your evening dinner and you say your blessings, I ask that you say one for the Soldiers deployed around the world away from loved ones. It is days like today that the loneliness and solitude tend to flood our hearts and minds.
Who turned up the heat? -- [Combat Medic - in Iraq]
Understand the certain details must be left out to preserve operational security.
This week while conducting a combat patrol through our sector word was passed down to us that there was a possible strike against coalition troops planned and we should ready ourselves to maneuver when directed. While navigating through the narrow streets and allowing three traffic savvy donkeys the right of way, we found a place to wait. After a few minutes both I and SSG Concerned heard what we thought were the distinct sounds of mortars rounds as they...
...SSG Concerned and I started to treat our wounded in the back. I broke out the needed supplies from my aid back and started on the guy closest to me. They were all pretty shook up and most had ruptured ear drums do to their proximity from the blast. SSG Concerned called up our casualty status to higher and the notified the CSH that we were en route. About half way there one of the wounded men began to cry and I couldn’t even try to take in what he had just gone through. Surely somebody was looking out for him that day. I gave him a pat on the leg, telling him everything was going to be okay and he nodded and calmed down a bit.
First contact, part one -- [Fun with Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...In an attempt to give myself a clue of what was going on and how deep we were in the shit I looked in my rear view mirror. For the rest of my life I will forever have the image of what I saw in that mirror burned into my mind: some American soldiers bailing out of a Humvee carrying no weapons and others lying motionless in the street.
The REAL Welcome to Iraq -- [JusticeSoldier - in Iraq]
Well, the bad guys finally came over the other day and gave us our “real” welcoming party to Iraq. I was figuring that our baptism onto “Mortaritaville” had gone too easy and it was only a matter of time before things got more interesting. The festivities started early in the morning but got really good when I was eating lunch in the mess hall on that day (can’t say which) and we got attacked.
Recent attack update... -- [My Turn - in Iraq]
Today at chow, a soldier on my team overheard a conversation between an officer and a slovokian soldier(probrably another officer).
3 Chinese manufactured RPGs were fired upon this base. 1 landed on base, however it appears it's nothing of great or immediate concern as it no doubt did not hit anything critical and no lives were lost or injured. Another round was shot short. The last one was a pop but no kick... a dud. It didn't fire, it didn't go anywhere besides stay in the tube in which it was originally in. I'm not sure but i believe the insurgents or people who really hate us being here were captured or severely maimed.
There's more info, but I must hold back as the information could easily be used against this base...
Military Video Of The Day: The Perils Of Planting An IED -- [Pure Gum Spirits]
Terrorists planting an IED at the side of the road apparently don't know who is watching. Somehow they miss the Predator drone circling nearby.
Back to Iraq Part V - By Force of Sheer Will -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
...“Hello!” I said to the young man who would, in fact, be our guide later that day. “Do you speak English?”
He looked startled.
“Yes?” he said. “Can I help you?”
Heads turned all around at the sound of spoken English.
“Yes, hi,” I said and shook his hand. “We’re Americans here for the day. We just came over from Turkey. Someone was supposed to meet us at the border and pick us up, but we couldn’t find him. We’re hoping somebody here can tell us where we can go to hire a driver and translator.”
“Of course, come with me,” he said and led Sean and I through the front door. “A translator works on staff in this building.”
MORE TALES FROM THE FRONT -- [American Citizen Soldier - in Iraq]
...The Iraqis are presently reverse engineering a modern society from the pavement up. As it stands, holding the line on mortality rates is clearly a bigger priority than holding down insurance rates. (Not that any of them have insurance, mind you.) But take traffic patterns, for instance. Vehicle ownership has exploded since the fall of Saddam, and many drivers appear to observe the same right of way rules as do teenage mallrats, which is to say not much observance at all. Here in Mosul, Iraqis often travel down whichever side of the street is most convenient for them at the time. They break for no one...
Easter at Abraham's -- [Down Range - GX journalist in Iraq]
...Wandering around, alone in the dark, walking in the footsteps of a man that I have heard about in church since I was a child was an amazing experience. I’m not a very religious person, but standing in front of Abraham's home, staring down into his well, walking on ground that his children played in—I couldn’t help but feel connected to a higher power. This was the land of the Old Testament and here was the home of one of the first men who had been called to God. I was in awe.
Encouraging the Younger Generation -- [Serving the People of Iraq - in Iraq]
Summary: Young Iraqis are very supportive of American service members in Iraq. But what about young Americans? Many of them are supportive as well. We need to ensure that they all know why the struggle for freedom around the world is so essential--because they are the next torchbearers.
On the Road Again... -- [Dan in the Desert - in Iraq]
Yesterday, I arrived at Camp Fallujah, in western Iraq. I will only be here a few days, but work is work. After this, I will head to the town of Ramadi, before finally returning to Baghdad.
This morning, I was shaken out of bed by a loud incoming round (must have been close to my room). It's about 4:30 in the morning, so I tried to shrug it off and go back to sleep. finally fell asleep but then another one came in - not even 10 minutes later. Wham! This one was pretty damn loud too. So I'm thinking "OK, Happy Easter, I guess," and try to sleep again. But ...
It's Not That Hard to Understand -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
...And I asked her if she remembered that daddy is a soldier (she said "yes")... and I said there is a war going on right now in Iraq and daddy is in the war and fighting the war. So she thought about that for a minute, and then asked "So is daddy fighting the monsters in Iraq?" And I said, yes, that's right. And then she said very proudly
Iraq: As the Troops See It -- [Celestial Junk Blog]
The view from Iraq usually comes to us via the MSM. Bombs and killings, or anything that bleeds, leads. Progress, of any sort, is rarely communicated. For a completely different perspective, but which arguably is just as bias as the MSM, we go to DefenseLink News. It is however, always important to look at things from the perspective of all those involved; not just the MSM stringers. There is no reason to believe that soldiers are any more or less bias in their reporting than the MSM.
Generals, See Progress -- [NRO]
More good news from Iraq.
The struggle to form a unity government in Iraq continues, but signs of hope are emerging. One of the sticking points continues to be Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, who has so far refused to resign; however, on Sunday the Iraqi Shia Alliance reported it was close to a deal to replace him.
Iraq Pictures - 17 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
COL Brian D. Jones, commander, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Band of Brothers, speaks with Diyala Province Governor Ra’ad Rasheed Mullah Juaed at the Governor’s Center in Baqubah. Jones and Ra’ad met to discuss a recent car bomb and the efforts being made to treat the casualties and catch those responsible.
EASTER WITHOUT THEIR WARRIORS -- [One Marine's View - home from Iraq]
...I thought about each and every name that I read, heard or saw regarding being injured or killed. Its not like they woke up that morning and said well today is it. Nope they pressed on and whatever was their fate they were ready to take it on, head on every day. As much as it rips my guts to see the young knuckle heads here (dependants of fallen warriors) that don’t have a daddy anymore, I know their daddy or mother died doing what they wanted to be doing and they died warriors. It’s not another number of some scumbag news agency’s Iraqi war tally. It’s not another shot to our leaders to drive a point home to get out of Iraq or Afghanistan. Its about men and women doing their job across the pond in harms way and
A break from Iraq -- [Murphy Around The World - in Iraq]
All in all, I had a great time off. There was one thing that bothered me though and that was watching the news. They spent about 6 seconds one day covering the deaths of two soldiers in Iraq. It’s quite a difference from all the time we spend going over daily accident reports and incidents or shootings or the daily plans and missions that we attend to. It seemed so wrong to reduce the lives of those two soldiers to just 6 seconds and I thought about the families and hope they know how very important they were to us and how much time we spend trying to reduce the number of deaths any way we can. It reminded me of old news footage from Vietnam and how those deaths started to be treated towards the end of the war. They’re not just a number to us; somehow I hope the families know that.
A Tribute Request -- [CrosSwords]
Any one who has information on this soldier, please feel free to comment below. I will forward the comments to the man who has asked for them.
Any words or known friends of PFC George Roehl, Jr 7-10 CAV, 1BCT, 4th ID, that was killed 11APR vic Taji. I’m trying to write a tribute for him for Memorial Day.
Easter 2006: Another Day in Paradise -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
At least a few times a week, when I pass a fellow soldier in my unit and ask “How’s it going today?” they reply with “Oh, just another day in paradise.” It’s a common response out here, and it perfectly embodies the mix of cynicism, humor, and resilience you must develop when you’ve been in the desert like this for so long.
I must say it didn’t feel like Easter when I woke up.
How U.S. Inaction Led To Rise Of Militias -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Tom Lasseter
U.S. officials were warned for more than two years that Shiite Muslim militias were infiltrating Iraq's security forces and taking control of neighborhoods, but they failed to take action to counteract the threat, Iraqi and American officials said.
U.S. knew Shiite militias were a threat but took no action largely because they were focused on Sunni insurgency
-- (Knight Ridder Newspapers)
A Shi'ite militiaman patrols the streets of Sadr City in August 2004. David P. Gilkey, Detroit Free Press
More photosBAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. officials were warned for more than two years that Shiite Muslim militias were infiltrating Iraq's security forces and taking control of neighborhoods, but they failed to take action to counteract it, Iraqi and American officials said.
The Meddlesome Uncle Sam -- (Washington Post)
A journalist argues that toppling disliked foreign rulers has long been a U.S. habit.
...Over the decades, a version of this story repeats, and repeats. Kinzer, a New York Times reporter, writes that the United States has thwarted independence movements in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Nicaragua; staged covert actions and coups d'etat in Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam and Chile; and invaded Grenada, Panama and obviously Afghanistan and Iraq. Over 110 years, Kinzer argues, the United States has deployed its power to gain access to natural resources, stifle dissent and control the nationalism of newly independent states or political movements.
Battle Rages In Baghdad Neighborhood -- (Los Angeles Times)...Louise Roug
Intense fighting broke out between Iraqi security forces and gunmen in a volatile Sunni Arab section of the capital, leaving at least three people dead and terrifying residents during a battle that began during the night and extended into the daylight hours Monday.
Public Criticism Of Rumsfeld Says It All -- (Boston Globe)...H.D.S. Greenway
...Unlike the theocratic zealots in the Bush administration, Rumsfeld wasn't so interested in the transformative power of democracy in the Middle East as he was proving his theories of a new, streamlined military. In his arrogance he ignored all warnings to the contrary, and planned only for a quick in -- and out -- war. Now that his forces are stuck in a quagmire, he clings to unreality.
Rumsfeld's Job Security -- (New York Post)...John Podhoretz
What's the dumbest thing George W. Bush could possibly do right at this moment - the action that would, more than any other, suggest his presidency was and is all but finished?
The answer: Fire Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
U.S. Marines Repel Coordinated Assault -- (AP)
RAMADI, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. troops repelled an attack Monday by Sunni Arab insurgents who used suicide car bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons in a coordinated assault against this city's main government building and two U.S. observation posts....
Daily Look at U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq -- (AP)
As of Monday, April 17, 2006, at least 2,378 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes seven military civilians. At least 1,866 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers....
Iraq War Spurs Few Deserters -- (Chicago Tribune)...E.A. Torriero
...The number of desertions has dropped every year of the Iraq war, despite rising opposition to the conflict at home. Desertions have been cut in half since 2001, which was before the Iraq war started and when the war in Afghanistan was just beginning. Among the possible reasons for the drop: post-Sept. 11 patriotism and the added financial incentives doled out by the Pentagon.
Jane Fonda Declines War Protests -- (AP)
ATLANTA (AP) -- Jane Fonda says she would like to tour the country and speak out against U.S. involvement in Iraq, but her controversial history of Vietnam War protests leaves her with "too much baggage."...
Ruined Treasures In Babylon Await An Iraq Without Fighting -- (New York Times)...Jeffrey Gettleman
In this ancient city, it is hard to tell what are ruins and what's just ruined.
Marines Willing To Apologize For War Damage -- (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)...Associated Press
A senior U.S. military officer has said he is willing to apologize for damage his troops caused to one of Iraq's most famous ancient sites.
Don't forget your soldiers.. -- [Army Girl - in Afghanistan]
It's Easter over here today.. and I just wanted to say that if you haven't written your soldier to tell them you're thinking of them because you're too busy with your plans back home, shame on you!
You wouldn't believe it but on weekends, email slows down. On holidays, it gets even worse... and those are the days
Pounding the Taliban -- [The Fourth Rail]
41 Taliban killed in firefight near Kandahar; Mountain Lion & the 3-block war
Afghan and Coalition forces have met the Taliban's much-heralded springtime offensive head on. "Acting on intelligence reports that Taliban have gathered in Sangisar to plan an attack in Kandahar, we launched this operation Friday and the fighting continued from morning to evening," said Asadullah Khalid, the provincial governor of Kandahar. Afghan security forces, backed by U.S. Apache gunships, launched a strike against the Taliban in the town of Sangisar, and killed 41 Taliban fighters and wounded several more. Six police were killed and nine were wounded in the strike. A Canadian unit responding to assist in the fighting was hit by an RPG attack, but no Canadian soldiers were injured.
Karzai Urges Restraint by Coalition Forces -- (Yahoo News)
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged U.S.-led coalition forces on Monday to show restraint when attacking militants in residential areas after more than a dozen civilians and police died in two possible "friendly fire" incidents.
Afghans strike suspected Taliban hide-out -- (St. Louis Post-Dispatch/ AP)
Security forces backed by U.S.-led coalition helicopters attacked a suspected Taliban hide-out in southeastern Afghanistan, sparking an intense battle that killed 41 rebels and six police officers, a senior official said Saturday
School torched in southern Afghanistan, Taliban blamed -- (Yahoo News)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) - Taliban militants have torched a school in restive southern Afghanistan in the latest attack on the education system, police said.
Easter in the Phils -- [Philippines Phil - in the Philippines]
The Philippines has two BIG holidays—the combo of Christmas & New Years for one (those two really can’t be separated here), AND Holy Week. All the other holidays are merely days offs to most Filipinos. But, if I were forced to choose a FAVORITE Holiday over here, it would definitely be Easter, and for a couple of unexpected reasons, or so you may think. Stay tuned for them.
Before getting into why I love Easter here above all other holidays, let me say that in the Phils there is NO mistaking what these days are all about.
Are We Allowing Iranian Terrorists to Infiltrate While We Plan for War? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Representatives of Iran have said that while the United States may possess the ability to inflict pain on Iran, Iran has the ability to cause pain to the United States. So it shouldn't be a surprise that the Pentagon has been planning for war with Iran for some time. For quite some time the analysts on television spoke about the potential that Iran could send insurgents into Iraq to attack our soldiers. However, most recently, there has been real speculation that if our nation was to launch a military action against Iran to prevent its nuclear program from succeeding, that Iran would send terrorists to the United States to attack our nation within our own borders.
Unrest in Iran -- [Peace like a River]
The seeds for the downfall of the Iranian regime may already lie within Iran. One of the Bush Administration's most egregious mistakes has been its negligence in encouraging and supporting dissidents in Iran. And yet, the tighter the mullahs try to squeeze its citizens, the more they struggle and fight back. Here are some examples of the hatred for the regime simmering beneath the surface.
Tehran Qods Conference Nets Funding for Hamas -- [ThreatsWatch]
Iranian Influence within Hamas Clear After Pledges as Meshaal Declares Hamas will Never Recognize Israel
An important chain of events over the weekend emanated from the Tehran-sponsored and hosted International Conference on Qods and Support for the Rights of Palestinian People. First was Iran’s open pledge of $50 million to Hamas to fill the void left in the wake of withheld international funds. This is more than a token amount, but
Scenarios of Reunification -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
There is some good discussion about possible reunification scenarios between North and South Korea, currently being debated on a couple of high profile blogs that are worth checking out. It began with Lirelou's post on Coming Anarchy and that post was picked up on by Robert over at the Marmot's Hole. I gave my opinion on the topic over at Coming Anarchy that drew some discussion, but I will go ahead and expand on my possible reunification scenario here.
Israel: Hamas part of 'axis of terror' -- (USA Today/ The Christian Science Monitor)
TEL AVIV — After Hamas defended a deadly suicide bombing Monday, Israel's U.N. ambassador warned that recent statements by the Palestinian government, Iran and Syria "are clear declarations of war, and I urge each and every one of you to listen carefully and take them at face value."
“To end terrorism, end illegal occupations” -- (alJazeera)
“The sooner the U.S. taxpayers stop funding the illegal and barbaric Israeli occupation, the sooner the violence will stop...”
IRAN: AHMADINEJAD MARKS ARMY DAY WITH NEW THREATS (AKI)
Tehran, 18 April (AKI) - Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reiterated his country's intention to press ahead with its nuclear programme, warning that "the strong army of Iran will cut off the hands of every aggressor and will humiliate the enemy." In a speech at a parade to mark Iran's Army Day, the president vowed that "Iran poses no threat to any country but will strike its enemies like a meteor." The comments come as tension between Iran and the international community escalated over Teheran’s refusal to stop enriching uranium.
U.S. Navy To Patrol Coast For Pirates -- (CNN)...Unattributed
Somalia has granted the U.S. Navy permission to patrol its coastal waters in an effort to combat piracy off the lawless Horn of Africa nation.
Al Qaeda Wins in the Courtroom -- [Strategy Page]
April 17, 2006: The latest news leak, regarding National Security Agency (NSA) communications intelligence activities, with the cooperation of AT&T, has not only given al Qaeda an edge, it places civilians at risk in more ways than one.
Why Terrorists Love Google -- [Strategy Page]
April 15, 2006: India is joining South Korea, and a number of other countries, to pressure Google to "do something" about it's "Google Earth" service. The security organizations in these countries are alarmed at the ease with which Google Earth enables any user to quickly get a satellite photo of just about any area on the planet. This capability is nothing new, ...
Sami al-Arian Admits His Terrorist Connections -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
I appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox News Channel to discuss the plea agreement in the Sami al-Arian case. He pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a conspiracy to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (a designated terrorist organization during his years of service) including depositing money into its bank accounts, and he lied about his activities. He brought the top-level PIJ terrorists into the U.S., and no "low-level terrorist" (if there is such a thing) could have pulled that off.
Sister, Experts Testify on Moussaoui's Troubled Childhood -- (The Washington Post)
"Death to the Jew!" Zacarias Moussaoui shouted yesterday as he was led from the federal courtroom, an apparent reference to one of his attorneys. Several hours later, the defense called to the stand a Frenchman who is Jewish and who considered Moussaoui to be his friend.
Manhunt Sidelines Bin Laden -- (Washington Times)...Bill Gertz
Osama bin Laden and his top deputy remain at large, but the Bush administration's top counterterrorism coordinator says the international manhunt has limited their effectiveness.
Beef Up Bin Laden Hunt, Sez Saudi -- (New York Daily News)...News Wire Services
The U.S. should intensify its hunt for Osama Bin Laden because the Al Qaeda leader is still inspiring and directing terrorist attacks, Saudi Arabia's new ambassador to the U.S. said yesterday.
Terrorist Recruiters Target 'White Muslims' In Bosnia -- (Houston Chronicle)...William J. Kole, Associated Press
...Terrorists have been working to recruit non-Arab sympathizers — so-called "white Muslims" with Western features who theoretically could more easily blend into European cities and execute attacks — according to classified intelligence documents obtained by the Associated Press.
Archives Pledges To End Secret Agreements -- (Washington Post)...Christopher Lee
The National Archives will no longer enter into secret agreements with federal agencies that want to withdraw records from public access on Archives shelves and will do more to disclose when documents are removed for national security reasons.
HAPPY EASTER DAY -- [2006 Tour of Duty - in Iraq]
The Easter bunny found it's way to Iraq as all of our section found little bags full of candie eggs appear at our work stations. We are posing to show our Easter bags. Thanks for all the support from the easter bunnies back home.
Stateside -- [Talking Salmons - home for R&R from Iraq]
Whew! After being in the air for over 24 hours, I'm finally home.
It's weird. That's all I can say. I won't go into a big romp about getting used to life in the states, partly because it's been said a hundred times before, partly because I don't need to play the "weary battle-hardened veteran, home from war" card, and partly because I'll only be back for two weeks ...
Pulling into Dallas (one of the main return hubs in the states) was a tremendous experience. Although it was just a quick few minutes as we scattered and ran to our respective connecting flights, I'll never forget it.
...Most touching were the few guys from Vietnam who grabbed hold and hugged me, tears in their eyes. "God bless you, sergeant!" they said, "Welcome home." You could feel that they were genuinely moved to see us, and that blew me away. All that I could say was "thanks" and a few "good to be back".
Proud to Be an American -- [Desert Chief - in Iraq]
USO shows are still a huge highlight to soldiers in theater. Lee Greenwood put on a fabulous show. What a talented guy -- not bad for a 63-year old!!!! He closed the show with GOD BLESS THE USA. When he started to sing it, I felt like we were all preparing for the National Anthem, as everyone immediately stood up for his closing song. When you think about it -- that song is probably the closest to the National Anthem as any song will ever be!!!! What a show -- if you didn't feel proud to be an American at the end of the show -- there's definitely something wrong!!!!! The Country-Western Band -- Restless Heart was also on the same USO Tour -- great songs
Soldiers' Angel Sharon Bailiff in the News! -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Fellow Angel Sharon is not only a Blankets of Hope Maven, but has been instrumental in the Landstuhl ICU Hand/Foot Warmer project by creating the first fleece mitts & boots prototypes. She has subsequently made paper patterns for the warmers which she has distributed to dozens of Angels around the US.
She was recently interviewed by the Toledo Blade.
Life & Death Underwear -- [Strategy Page]
April 17, 2006: The U.S. Marine Corps has banned it troops from wearing high tech underwear, because of fire hazard. This stuff melts when exposed to very high heat, say from an explosion. Many soldiers and marines saw this coming, as fire departments also tend to forbid the use of these items.
US Not Seeking To Establish Any Military Bases In Turkey, US ... -- (Anatolian Times)
Turkey - Releasing a statement on Monday, the Embassy indicated that the United States is not seeking to establish any military bases in Turkey.
Seven Days in April -- Generals Prepare to 'Revolt' Against Rumsfeld -- [Real Clar Politics]
Consider two hypothetical situations. In the first, a United States Army general officer in a theater of war decides by himself that he strongly disagrees with the orders of the secretary of defense. He resigns his commission, returns to private life and speaks out vigorously against both the policy and the secretary of defense.
Generals Voice Their Support for Rumsfeld on Cavuto (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
Major General Paul Vallely and Lt. General Tom McInerney appeared on Your World with Neal Cavuto today to voice their support for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and to discuss the lack of press coverage of those who support him.
Democrats tap John Kerry’s brother to help win governor’s office -- [Sweetness & Light]
BOSTON –The state Democratic party is tapping U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s brother, Cameron Kerry, to co-chair a committee designed to help them win the one race that has eluded them for more than a decade: the governor’s office.
A fellow blogger speaks out articulately on illegal immigration -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
As you all know, I am FOR guarding our borders for security purposes, to protect our soverignty, and to keep the wages of our working class at liveable levels. I feel quite passionate about this issue because I believe our pourous borders are causing the American middle class to suffer lower household incomes due to what amounts to the use of “slave labor” by greedy business owners, and I am convinced that suicide bombers could easily cross into our country via our Northern and Southern borders.
New Chief Of Staff Sends Message: The White House Exits Are Open -- (New York Times)...Jim Rutenberg
...If the announcement sent a strong signal to restless party members that real change was coming, it also set off a round of what White House officials routinely deride as an inside-Washington game of personnel speculation. In this case, the speculation extends to the senior levels of Mr. Bush's cabinet, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who in the face of mounting criticism has received a ringing vote of confidence from Mr. Bush, and Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, who has not.
Revenge of the battered generals -- (Times Online)
The Defence Secretary is fighting for his political life as the military finds its voice
“AT LEAST Rummy is tough enough,” President Nixon said on one of the secretly recorded White House tapes in 1971. “He’s a ruthless little bastard. You can be sure of that.”
Cheneys Donate Millions In Charity -- (The Washington Post)
Scholarship Fund, Heart Center Benefit
Millions of dollars in charitable contributions from Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne, will nearly double the budget of a scholarship fund for low-income area teenagers to attend private schools and will help George Washington University create a center to study heart disease.
AP: States Omit Minorities' School Scores -- (AP)
Laquanya Agnew and Victoria Duncan share a desk, a love of reading and a passion for learning. But because of a loophole in the No Child Left Behind Act, one second-grader's score in Tennessee counts more than the other's. That is because Laquanya is black, and Victoria is white.
If you have to ask, i don't think you'll understand the answer -- [NZ Bear]
The Pulitzer prizes were announced today, and the winner in the Editorial Cartooning category is Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
I listened to an interview with Mr. Lukovich on NPR today discussing one of the cartoons he submitted, and which presumably helped him win the prestigious award.
Politicized Pulitzers -- [Media Blog]
The Pulitzer board capped off a year of highly politicized journalism awards by giving top prizes to some of last year's most controversial journalism. Among the winners:
NBC’s Seigenthaler and Engel Mislead Audience on Casualty Trends in Iraq -- [Daily Dispatch]
“Battle for Iraq — New Violence, more American casualties,” intoned the announcer on NBC Nightly News, Sun.
“This was an especially deadly day in Iraq,” explained host John Seigenthaler. “Word [is] tonight that 4 U.S. marines have been killed, and at least 35 Iraqis died in several different attacks.”
Donald Rumsfeld and the Media, A Bitter Love -- [Gateway Pundit]
Before Abu Ghraib was only known as a prison where thousands of innocents were executed under the Saddam Regime...
Before there were democratic elections in Afghanistan and Iraq...
Before documents were released showing links between Saddam and Al Qaeda...
Before feminists were so Anti-Jew...
Before the Butcher of Baghdad was given a smackdown as he was dragged from his spider hole...
And, after all of this was accomplished with record low military casualties, civilian casualties and military fatalities...
There was a bitter mainstream media...
And, there was Donald Rumsfeld.
Keith Olbermann Wrongly Declares Michelle Malkin Today’s 'Worst Person in the World' -- [NewsBusters]
On Monday’s “Countdown,” host Keith Olbermann demonstrated, as he regularly does, why he should have stuck to being a sportscaster on ESPN (hat tip to Michelle Malkin with video link to follow). In his “Worst Person in the World” segment, Olbermann chose Michelle Malkin for posting the names and phone numbers of UC Santa Cruz students that recently forced military recruiters off the campus. In Olbermann’s words, the students, “as a result, have been inundated with death threats.”
Post Wins 4 Pulitzer Prizes; 2 Go to New Orleans Paper -- (The Washington Post)
The Washington Post won four Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, including awards for breaking open the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and disclosing the existence of secret CIA prisons overseas, in a year when as many prizes were given for coverage of Washington scandals as for chronicling the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Science Board to Study Internet's Impact on Military Ops -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2006 – The Defense Science Board will conduct a summer study on a topic that would have been inconceivable when the Defense Department established the board 50 years ago this year: the military implications of Internet search engines, online journals and "blogs."
My Beloved Daughter [The Deployment - in Kuwait]
Please enjoy the sweetness that is Rebekah Brooke.
SPC Hoskins -- [shadowsoldier -in Iraq]
Here is a picture of SPC Hoskins. He was one of my soldiers before 2BCT left from here to go to Iraq. He was a good kid who volunteered to go and fight for his country and supported the war in Iraq. He was killed when his Unit was ambushed by terrorists. He will always be with me, and I want you to pray for his family in thier time of sorrow, and pray for those who are still over there fighting for the freedoms we have.
Thursday, April 13, 2006 -- [Chairborne Stranger - in Iraq]
Ok, boy things have been busy. I knew I shouldn't have posted that last post-this place exploded on Saturday! The biggest attack we've ever had, literally dozens of insurgents running around out there firing automatic weapons and RPGs at one of our OPs.
...Luckily, our Iraqi Army gave them hell. 18 insurgent bodies recovered with many more dead drug away. We took a coupla dead and some more wounded. But we kicked their ass. This is the first actual big engagement for the Iraqi Army here and they fought like champs.
We Prefer The Marines -- [Strategy Page]
April 14, 2006: As good as the U.S. Army Special forces are at training foreign troops, many of these foreign armed forces now prefer U.S. Marines. This began when some U.S. officers, responsible for assisting in the training of military forces in Third World countries, began declining, when offered Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel. Publicly, the reasons offered are usually couched in terms that suggest the SOF people are needed elsewhere,
Coalition Forces Kill AQIZ Ambassador-- [The Fourth Rail]
Another senior al-Qaeda middle-manager taken down in Iraq; said to have ties to bin Laden and Zawahiri
Rafid Ibrahim Fattah, also known as Abu Umar al-Kurdi Rafid Ibrahim Fattah, also known as Abu Umar al-Kurdi, was killed on March 27th by Coalition forces near Abu Ghraib. al-Kurdi was a seasoned jihadi of fifteen years and a well connected individual with ties to the Takfiri insurgent groups in Iraq as well as al-Qaeda high command. A slide from Major General Rick Lynch's press briefing describes al-Kurdi as follows
Iraq Pictures 14 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
Some of the items found during the joint night raid mission with the Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces in Ad Dwar that netted five suspected anti-Iraqi Forces conspirators.
Troops Reject New Body Armor as Dangerous -- [Strategy Page]
The new, heavier, body armor arriving in Iraq is creating a potential public relations problem. Many of the troops don't want to wear the new stuff. Why? Because the heavier new armor could get them killed. The new protective vests includes side armor.
Iraq's new ambassador addresses Washington -- [Multi-National Force-Iraq]
BAGHDAD, Iraq (April 13, 2006) – The first Iraqi Ambassador to the United States in 15 years presented his credentials to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice at the U.S. State Department April 11, and the first Northern Governors Conference was a success in Mosul. Meanwhile, new electric substations opened in Najaf.
Back to Iraq Part IV - From Zakho to Dohok -- [Michael Totten]
ZAKHO, IRAQ - Sean and I arrived in Iraq with no ride. Our rental car was parked back in Turkey. We had no idea whether or not my fixer friend Birzo had arranged for someone to pick us up and take us into Dohok. There was no way to check my email to find out. If Birzo did send someone, where were we supposed to find him? No one was allowed to drive anywhere near the gate at the border.
Tea with the Turks -- [Down Range - journalist embed in Iraq] ...When we got back, I took a walk around the building and see what I could see. I hadn’t made it three steps out of my room before Mehmet grabbed me and insisted I join them for chai (tea). I tried to move on, not wanting to impose, but they were having none of it. Mehmet called his crew chief over and he greeted me with the traditional Muslim greeting; “As-salaamu alaikum.” I responded in kind; “a-alaikum as-salaam”. His eyebrows shot up and he asked me with a puzzled expression; “Muslim? You Muslim?” I shook my head no and told him I was a Christian. He smiled widely, apparently pleased that I would take the time to learn this basic greeting.
The Coin -- [Chapter War]
It’s a smaller aircraft with only two rows of seats, two seats per row, and a narrow aisle up the middle. I take an empty seat next to a woman who is older than I. She is attractive in a distinguished, southern way.
We exchange courtesies but otherwise do not talk. I notice out of the corner of my eye that people are looking at me.
Finally, the woman next to me speaks, asking me if I am returning from Iraq. I answer her, telling her yes, I am on leave and the sand of Iraq is still on my boots. She asks me if its ok for her to ask me questions which is fine with me I respond. From there starts a conversation that lasts two full hours at least.
She asks me if we need more troops in Iraq. I inform her that ...
Deadly Serious in Spaceball One -- [Soldier's Diary - Capt. Dan Sukman - in Iraq]
...Alex is one of two lawyers we have assigned to the brigade. He has the difficult job of working on operational law. He advises our commander on the rules of war, teaches soldiers the rules of engagement and prosecutes soldiers who break the law. Alex arrived at our unit about a month ago from division headquarters. He has also been deployed since September.
Finally Where I'm Supposed to Be -- [The Desert Excursion - in Iraq]
...Ask me, "So Nick, what was your first experience in Iraq?."
My answer would go something like this. . .
"Well I was loaded unto the back of a military cargo plan with all of my battle gear along with the rest of my company and our pallets of duffle bags. We were interlocked, packed in like sardines, with the temperature that day in the mid 90's. I put on my headphones for the flight and closed my eyes. . . . . . . I woke up because something wet has hit me in the face. 'What the hell?. . . Sgt Stee did you sneeze on me?' And then it hit me. This was not snot but projectile pink vomit from someone after we had dropped hundreds of feet in an instant.
"A man of great moral courage"? -- [Truth, Life, and Political Honesty]
First, the story...
UK soldier jailed for refusing to go to Iraq
Thu Apr 13, 2006
ALDERSHOT - A British air force doctor who refused to go to Iraq was jailed for eight months on Thursday after being found guilty by a court martial of disobeying orders.
...Kendall-Smith's lawyer Philip Sapsford described him to the court as "a man of great moral courage".
Now the quick commentary...
"A man of great moral courage"? Let's get one thing straight, this man is anything but courageous.
Resenting Decentralization -- [Counter Column]
Big Lizards has an excellent and perceptive take on the motivations and mores behind the four generals who have come out against Rumsfeld:
...Seriously, I think it's easy to overplay the "Clintonista" card - at least in a doctrinal sense. After all, it was the Clintonistas, under Shalakish-touchy-feely or whatever his name was, that really pushed to develop Operations Other Than War doctrine, and get ahead of the game on the whole "nation-building" meatball, while the troglodytes from the Reagan/Bush I era picked fleas out of each others' silverbacks and brachiated, dreaming about putting an armored corps on line.
An Effective PR Offensive -- [Daily Dispatch]
A group of retired Gerneral Officers have launched a PR offensive against Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and the Bush administration.
Many of the complaining Generals are now playing Monday-morning-quarterback, when they voluntarily pulled themselves out of the game.
In the Washington Post, Thomas Ricks transcribes their talking points before tacking on this paragraph at the end:
Military Voices -- [Dadmanly]
Wade Zirkle, writing in The Washington Post, sums up his frustration with the media unwillingness to give voice to veterans, unless they are against the war in Iraq.
Zirkle, executive director of Vets for Freedom, uses a recent staged political event to frame what seems the source of his frustration....
...Zirkle means no nor conveys any disrespect towards Murtha as a fellow veteran. But he rightly observes what so many of us observe, that his views are not the predominant ones in today’s military.
Freedom: The Radio Edition -- [Hugh Hewitt]
I wrote this morning about Vets for Freedom, the new organization made up of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are getting the word out about the accomplishments of the military in those two countries.
Zarqawi, Al Qaeda Are Heading Out, U.S. General Says -- (Washington Times)...Sharon Behn
Al Qaeda in Iraq and its presumed leader, Abu Musab Zarqawi, have conceded strategic defeat and are on their way out of the country, a top U.S. military official contended yesterday.
Troops in Support Of the War -- (Washington Post)...Wade Zirkle
Earlier this year there was a town hall meeting on the Iraq war, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), with the participation of such antiwar organizations as CodePink and MoveOn.org. The event also featured Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a former Marine who had become an outspoken critic of the war. To this Iraq war veteran, it was a good example of something that's become all too common: People from politics, the media and elsewhere purporting to represent "our" views. With all due respect, most often they don't.
Marine Unfazed by Sniper Shot to Head -- (AP)
RAMADI, Iraq (AP) -- The young Marine had just shot a suspected insurgent and was walking back across the villa's rooftop when he keeled over from a terrific thud to the back of his head....
Military says al Qaeda member killed in Iraq -- (Reuters)
LONDON (Reuters) - An insurgent with ties to Osama bin Laden and other senior al Qaeda figures was killed in a raid last month by U.S. and Iraqi forces, the U.S. military said on Friday.
It said in a statement that Rafid Ibrahim Fattah, a "wanted terrorist" also known as Abu Umar al Kurdi, was killed near the Abu Ghraib prison ...
Analysis: Criticism Mounts vs. Rumsfeld -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Crusty and unapologetic, Donald H. Rumsfeld is the public face of an unpopular war and a target of unrelenting criticism. A growing number of commanders who served under him say he has botched the Iraq operation, ignored the advice of his generals and should be replaced....
More Retired Generals Call For Rumsfeld's Resignation -- (New York Times)...David S. Cloud and Eric Schmitt
The widening circle of retired generals who have stepped forward to call for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation is shaping up as an unusual outcry that could pose a significant challenge to Mr. Rumsfeld's leadership, current and former generals said on Thursday.
U.S., Iraq Commanders Dislike Leave Rules -- (Washinton Post/ AP)
ABU GHRAIB, Iraq -- U.S. and Iraqi commanders are increasingly critical of a policy that lets Iraqi soldiers leave their units virtually at will _ essentially deserting with no punishment. They blame the lax rule for draining the Iraqi ranks to confront the insurgency _ in some cases by 30 percent or even half.
Spending Lags for Training of Iraqi Police -- (AP)
ASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. military has spent just 40 percent of the $7 billion appropriated in 2005 for the training of Iraqi and Afghanistan security forces, a top Pentagon priority that is lynchpin for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The slow pace of spending was outlined in a congressional report that also raised questions about whether the Pentagon needs the full $5.9 billion it has requested for training this year in an emergency spending bill that is pending in Congress.
American Soldiers Increase Patrols; Doubts Persist About Iraqi Readiness -- (Miami Herald)...Associated Press
U.S. troops have sharply stepped up patrols in Baghdad since the spike in sectarian violence, a U.S. general said Thursday, raising questions about the capabilities of Iraqi forces. The U.S. command boosted the number of armed patrols in the capital from 12,000 in February to 20,000 since the beginning of March, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch told reporters.
RAF doctor jailed for refusal to go to Iraq -- (Daily Mail)
The RAF doctor Malcolm Kendall-Smith has been sentenced to eight months in jail.
The flight lieutenant was found guilty by a court martial today of failing to comply with lawful orders after refusing to serve in the Iraq war.
6 Iraqi Policemen Killed by Insurgents -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - At least six Iraqi policemen were dead and dozens were missing Friday after insurgents ambushed their convoy north of Baghdad, police said. Ten policemen were wounded in the attack Thursday night as they were on their wayto a U.S. base to pick up new vehicles. U.S. and Iraqi forces engaged the attackers.
Kabul to Lashkargar -- [Michael Yon]
When we landed in Kabul, Steve put the driver in the back and drove us through the crowded streets. There was a thirty minute ride ahead of us, alternating between racing and jamming in traffic. As we drove away from the airport, there were fewer Coalition soldiers about, and on the hills surrounding the town a dense warren of mud and stone houses that could have been erected thousands of years ago, although many insist that Kabul was once a little paradise.
PR Disasters for the Taliban -- [Strategy Page]
April 14, 2006: It was a bad week for the Taliban. A Taliban rocket fired into Kabul landed in a school yard, killing seven children and wounding some twenty more. This is very bad for the Taliban, as during the 1990s, Kabul was largely destroyed by rockets and artillery fired into the city by Islamic militant militia.
Solatia -- [Miserable Donuts]
...I took a small group of soldiers out to see what had happened, and to talk to the people of the town and the farms that the rockets had hit. When I returned, after several hours of walking the countryside, I had a quiet Thanksgiving dinner with CSM Bones and reported to the Commander.
The Colonel told me he wanted me to go and meet the widow and relatives of the truck driver and express his condolences. When finished with the boss, his interpreter (a US citizen ex-pat)pulled me aside and mentioned that a solatia payment/gift would be highly appropriate - could we do that?
American Generosity -- [Fortunate Son - in Afghanistan]
am truly honored to have recently played a part in a very thoughtful and generous gesture of kindness and empathy for strangers. A couple of months ago I received an email from one of our unit officer's spouses in Phoenix, AZ who told me of a second-grade boy named Payton who wanted to participate in our humanitarian efforts here in a very personal way. Having outgrown his baby blanket, Payton asked if he could give it away to an Afghan child in need.
2 Soldiers Wounded in Afghan Bomb Blast -- (AP)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- A suicide car bomber rammed a British military convoy in southern Afghanistan on Friday and two soldiers were wounded, officials said....
British troops hurt in deadly Afghan blasts -- (Reuters)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Separate blasts in Afghanistan on Friday killed three policemen and wounded six people including two British peacekeepers, officials said.
Drives Outline Military Tactics -- (Los Angeles Times)...Paul Watson
Maps, charts and intelligence reports on computer drives smuggled out of a U.S. base and sold at a bazaar here appear to detail how Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders have been using southwestern Pakistan as a key planning and training base for attacks in Afghanistan.
Italy surrenders -- [Peace like a River]
Indications are that center-left candidate Romano Prodi has won a very narrow victory in the Italian elections. Though, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has so far refused to concede.
...Already, however, Prodi is signaling a retreat in the war on terror.
...Prodi might even be more sympathetic to Hamas, a terrorist organization.
The ‘Open the Gates’ Principle -- [Serving the People of Iraq - in Iraq]
Summary: If every country had gates, and if you periodically opened the gates of various countries, which way would the people go—in or out? The answer to this question should enlighten our ability on how to deal with Iran.
Korean Government to Open "Lines of Communication" with Anti-US Hate Groups -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
The Korean authorities now want to talk to the anti-US hate groups and farmers that are halting the Camp Humphreys expansion project:
The South Korean Ministry of National Defense wants to open lines of communication with protesters with whom they've battled over contested lands outside of the U.S. Army's Camp Humphreys....
They assault policemen and then destroy the cement walls that the government spent thousands of dollars for private contractors to build and the government just wants to talk to them?
Japan Court Nixes Suit Over Troops in Iraq -- (AP)
TOKYO (AP) -- A Japanese court on Friday rejected a lawsuit filed by about 3,200 citizens claiming that Japan's troop dispatch to Iraq was unconstitutional, a court official said....
Weekly Standard: Not So Friendly Amici -- [Counter terrorism Blog]
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld case on March 28. This case is significant to the counterterrorism community because it will determine the legitimacy of the military commissions that the Bush administration established to try Guantanamo detainees.
Pakistan Strikes at High Value Target -- [The Fourth Rail]
Yesterday's helicopter attack in North Waziristan is directed at Mohsin Matawalli Atwa, one of the architechs of the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Eastern Africa
Yesterday's assault on a suspected Taliban/al-Qaeda position in North Waziristan was directed at a high value al-Qaeda target. The Associated Press reports, via unnamed Pakistani sources, the target was al-Qaeda operative Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah. Atwah was one of the main planners of...
IRAQ: NEW AL-QAEDA VIDEO LAUDS MUJAHADEEN -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 13 Apil (AKI) -Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri has appeared in a video praising insurgents in Iraq, especially the terror network's leader in that country, Jordanian militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. At the start of the video, which appeared on the Internet early on Friday, and is dated November, 2005, Egyptian-born al-Zawahiri says: "The Islamic nation must support its heroic mujahadeen - we are fighting in the trenches for the dignity of Islam."
9/11 plotter wants US crushed as 'head of the Israel snake'-- (The Times)
THE al-Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui called the US â€œthe head of the snakeâ€ as he justified the September 11 attacks yesterday. Moussaoui lambasted US support for Israel, which he said was little more than an American colony, in testimony as part of the defenceâ€™s attempt to avoid the death penalty. â€œYou [Americans] are the head of the snake for me. If we want to destroy the Jewish state . . . we have to destroy you first,â€ he said. The 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan origin has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with the September 11, 2001, attacks. The jury...
Pakistani Forces Kill al-Qaida Terrorist -- (AP)
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- An al-Qaida member wanted for his suspected role in the bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa was killed by Pakistani forces in a raid near the Afghan border, a Pakistani Cabinet minister said Thursday....
AER Campaign Underway -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
Army Emergency Relief (AER) obtains a large share of the funds necessary to support our missions through donations from both the general public and those from the Army Family. If you would to help, visit the following website to make a donation: http://www.aerhq.org/donation.asp
Call To Arms -- [T.F. Boggs - in Iraq]
...Here in America something similar is going on albeit in different regards. I am thinking specifically about John Kerry and his recent creation of a “legal trust fund” to handle the costs associated with his lawsuits against the group known as the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth. Instead of this fund being purely defensive the sense that I get is that Kerry is using this fund as a preemptive attack on his enemies. Kerry's activities are actually a stealth war against those vietnam vets who have called him to account for his many lies over the years disparaging honorable men, which, if the truth be known,...
Why U.S. Troops Re-Enlist in Record Numbers -- (Strategy Page)
April 14, 2006: In the last six months, the U.S. Army is seeing 15 percent more soldiers re-enlist than expected. This continues a trend that began in 2001. Every year since then, the rate at which existing soldiers have re-enlisted has increased. This despite the fact that 69 percent of the troops killed in Iraq have been from the army.
No Students = No Teaching -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
No Troops = No War. These are the folks that claim to be "reality based." Uh huh.
Their answer to being attacked by islamic fundamentalists? Get rid of US Troops! How do you get rid of US Troops? Keep the recruiters off of the UCSC campus! How do you keep the recruiters off of the UCSC campus? March behind a sign that says "Destroy the War Machine" and "No Troops = No War." See how simple that is?
The New Breed Of Soldier: Robots With Guns -- (USA Today)...Steven Komarow
Spurred by the risks from roadside bombs and terrorist ambushes, the military is aggressively seeking to replace troops with battlefield robots, including new versions armed with machine guns.
Vlog-clusive: Newt on Iraq -- [Ankle Biting Pundits]
Blogs have already damaged the credibility of the MSM. I believe Vlogging has the potential to kill off agenda-driven, gotcha journalism. Newsmakers can now go straight to the people with the facts, not run them through the filter of what Rush calls “the drive-by media.”
Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich was in New Hampshire this morning and I asked him about his recent remarks about the mistakes we’ve made in Iraq, remarks which were clearly sensationalized by an overzealous editor. Here is Newt to set the record straight on his position:
Should The ACLU Involve Themselves In Military Matters? -- [Stop the ACLU]
In 1993, President William Jefferson Clinton, bowing to his ultra left-wing supporters, established the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy relating to homosexuality. However, this policy is a big nothing if a homosexual relationship or encounter becomes general knowledge. Because being a homosexual is still a violation of the enlistment contract or commission the service member agreed to when entering military service to.
Racism Ok If Against Black Republicans -- [Sweetness & Light]
From the DNC’s Associated Press:
Practice test question hits nerve at community college -
A question given to students during a practice test for a math final at Bellevue Community College has students — and others — shaking their heads because of what they say is a lack of racial sensitivity.
It refers to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice although it doesn’t mention her by name, a civil rights activist said.
The question read: "Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300-foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second."
By the way, this was not just a "practice test question." It was on the official final exam in 2004:(copy of test)
Dems used House immg. bill to smear GOP -- [RedState]
Caught Rep. King-NY on scarborough Wednsday and it was quite interesting to hear from him that over 90 House democrats actually voted to keep the immigration bill as is, resulting to charge a felony when the republicans had put forth an amendment to make it a mis-demeanor.
Exclusive e-mail from a 2nd Generation Immigrant (legal) -- [Hooah Wife]
Greta, I received this email from a friend living in AZ. I thought you might find it interesting. She has been married to a Muslim from Syria for about 6 yrs. They have their own businesses and 4 children under 5. She is also a Conservative and a Bush supporter. ...
liberals consistently work for our military defeat -- [Euphoric Reality]
During the Cold War, the leftists were cheering for the enemy. During WWII, Joe Kennedy was trying to convince FDR not to fight the NAZIs. And today, the sentiments eminating from the moonbats is exactly the same; they are cheering for the terrorists in Iraq, just as the article by Ted Rall clearly demonstrates. They publish their viciousness with such clarity that it is absolutely astounding. They justify their actions by saying the war is “immoral”, give money to the terrorists in Fallujah, call us “Fascists” and hope against hope that our military will be defeated.
Newly Elected Florida Councilman Refuses to Swear Support for US -- [Wizbang]
Basil Dalack, newly elected Florida councilman, is refusing to take the oath of office, which includes a pledge of support for the US government, because he is angry about the war in Iraq.
Bush, Reid Trade Barbs on Immigration -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush accused Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Thursday of "single-handedly thwarting" action on immigration legislation, and got a brisk retort in return....
Comedy Central Censored Mohammed -- [Media Blog]
I'm not sure if it's been reported yet, but for what it's worth, I just got off the phone with a Comedy Central spokesman. I asked him about last night's episode of South Park in which, at a moment right before the prophet Mohammed was supposed to make a cameo, the words, "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network" appeared on the screen.
CBS "Face the Nation" Producer: Hot on Global Warming, "Anti-Blog," Loves McCain -- [Newsbusters]
Over at CBS's Public Eye blog, "Face the Nation" executive producer Carin Pratt sounds typical liberal-media notes: she wants more coverage of the planet's demise, loathes bloggers, and loves John McCain:
...I don't read blogs. In fact, I am anti-blog. If I want to hear a bunch of unedited thoughts -- that's what friends are for.
Earnings fall at three major newspaper publishers -- (Reuters)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Times Co. (NYT.N: Quote, Profile, Research), McClatchy Co. (MNI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Tribune Co. (TRB.N: Quote, Profile, Research) on Thursday posted sharply lower quarterly earnings on high newsprint costs and depressed advertising sales.
Staff Sgt. Bobby Hollar taught them a lot. The hardest lesson, they had to learn without him -- [The 48th goes to war]
The students at Crescent Elementary School in Griffin remember their pen pal as the smiling soldier who popped into their classroom one day last May, wearing his new mint green uniform and desert combat boots — a real-life GI Joe.
With his 1-year-old son, Wesley, at his side, Staff Sgt. Bobby Hollar brought the students pepperoni and cheese pizzas
...From Hollar the students learned about soldiering. They learned about the war in Iraq. They learned that many children there live in poverty.
‘You mean he is dead?’
They also learned a more difficult lesson, one that made the war closer and more real.
At the start of September a packet of the students’ letters came back from Iraq, bearing an official stamp: “Return to Sender. Left No Address.”
Would You Know My Name -- [Sgt Hook]
Having recenlty learned how to use Movie Maker, I put together this show, inspired by the No Tears in Heaven post.
Your Soldier- SGT Witkowski -- [Sgt Hook]
America, meet one of your Soldiers, Sergeant James Witkowski. Sergeant Witkowski was killed in action on October 26, 2005 near Ashraf, Iraq while on a combat logistics patrol. The patrol came under a coordinated attack inolving IEDs, enemy small arms fire, and rocket propelled grenades. Sergeant Witkowski’s parents were recently presented with the Silver Star for their son’s courageous acts under enemy fire.
American Grace -- [Serving the People of Iraq - in Iraq]
Summary: Anecdotal eveidence suggests that peoples the world over prefer dealing with American Troops as opposed to militaries from any other country. This is especially true in Iraq today, as the United States has made a generally very positive impression on Iraqis—especially the younger generation.
The Neighbors Are Nervous, and Suddenly Helpful -- [Strategy Page]
April 13, 2006: The rising threat of a sectarian civil war appears to be helping to avert one. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and some other nations bordering Iraq are increasing measures to curb extremist support in Iraq, and are curbing assistance to groups responsible for actions that are feeding sectarian tensions. Apparently leaders in these countries have decided that an Iraqi civil war along sectarian lines will inevitably spill over onto their soil, as
Accident Off Al Asad -- [Reporting for Duty - in Iraq]
A couple of weeks ago our unit suffered what is known in Army Aviation as a Class A accident. This is defined as damage costs of $1,000,000 or more and/or destruction of an Army aircraft, missile or spacecraft and/or fatality or permanent total disability.
There was no loss of life, but we did lose an aircraft when it crashed attempting to land at night in very dusty conditions. Out of respect for the crew and the families at home I chose not to press forward with a publication of the accident until now. Here is my brief account of the minutes just after we learned one of our own had gone down outside of the wire...
Lucky day for the 4-2-4 IA -- [An independent look at Iraq -- journalist embed in Iraq]
If any adjective can describe today's patrol it's luck. The joint patrol left Summerall to search a hamlet not far from Bayji. It hadn't been searched much and the IA wanted to scope it out.
In the company's motor pool, a few of the guys joked the patrol would get hit on Tunnel Road. A couple even made a bet. Apparently ...
Blah, Blah, Blah -- [Skull Nation in the Sandbox - in Iraq]
It occured to me today that I never mentioned our role here in Al Anbar province. We are attached to our maneuver counterparts, a team for each company. We provide lethal and non-lethal targeting for the Company commanders. As artillerymen, we are trained to bring fires (artillery, mortars, close air support) to kill the enemy. I can count the times we have been able to do that on one hand. Our other job is Information Operations.
Saddam's Elephant Gun, Darrell's Email Home -- [The War Tapes]
The War Tapes videos keep rising at IFilm -- yesterday we sent out a link to this footage Mike took of some of the spoils of war -- Golden Guns, Saddam's head in a box -- and already 3.038 people have watched it, before we even blogged about it.
Busy days in the homestretch -- [Postcards from Iraq - in Iraq]
...This week has been hectic, leaving us to work virtually non-stop. The weather is changing here, making movement much easier. I wrote a few months earlier about the mud here and how unbearable it is. Well, the mud is gone and is replaced with dust as thick as the mud. Right now the winter season is wrapping up and the days are spring-like.
TARGETING IRAQ'S FREE PRESS -- [Blogging Baghdad - journalist embed in Iraq]
Another reminder, as if we needed any, about the fragility of a free press in Iraq, this time from the CIA.
It’s been widely reported that more than 60 Iraqi reporters and editors have been kidnapped and murdered since the fall of Baghdad. Now over the past few days, according to the CIA, Iraqi insurgents have begun an intimidation campaign against newspaper vendors and distributors.
Palatial -- [Hardtack and Havoc - in Iraq]
Have spent the last couple of days at Saddam’s Palace in Baghdad. Had to come here for a conference with the other MiTT teams and our Big Daddy Admiral boss at CMATT. The Colonel, myself and my Leading Chief Petty Officer made the trip. I don’t know about the Colonel but the Chief and I were really looking forward to the getaway. The palace is one of the in-country R&R locations and we had heard it was really nice.
...Chief and I were really pumped but the “Billeting Bitch” turned to us and said “You go to tent 4” followed by a maniacly evil laugh. Something like “BwahhHaaaHaaaHaa”. We were certainly concerned. Tent living was not exactly what we had been expecting but ...
Married to the military -- [Dispatches from Iraq - journalist embed in Iraq]
...The 24 year-old sergeant from the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry regiment and his 21-year old bride, Spc. Barbara Ospina, are a rare find in Iraq. The two 1st Brigade Combat Team soldiers are deployed –- together
..."It sucks,” Adam said. "A lot of people look at us like we’re so lucky.” He and Barbara have both encountered other soldiers who seem jealous that they’re serving in Iraq together, while they are forced to be away from their families for at least a year. He says he asks them, "How would you feel if your wife was here?"
Technology and Time -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
What’s it like in Ramadi lately? The fighting continues, it’s getting hotter, and we ride the tides of time as we work through the final months of this experience. For the last few days, an inverse continent of thunderclouds has been hovering over us. And yesterday, beneath those clouds I experienced my first true sandstorm. I was standing outside talking to a couple of guys. It was windy and there was a strange brown glare all over. Then quite suddenly ...
The Problem with Freedom -- [The Online Chaplain - in Iraq]
Freedom is a seductive lover. She holds you in her sweet embrace and tells you there is nothing else in the world but her voice. All else pales until you are trapped into a world with a singular voice. The voice whispers softly to you, "You are the most important person in the world." Her voice convinces you what you have long expected. The sun revolves around you. The whisper of her voice seduces you till you can no longer hear any other voice. When the other voices disappear she has you under her spell and keeps you or discards you, at her whim. Indulging in her presence becomes the very air you breathe and you are convinced her presence is life itself. She is what gives life meaning.
And it is a lie! It is not freedom that gives life. In fact freedom alone intoxicates us, clouds our judgment and blurs our vision.
Photos from Iraq -- [Chris Whong - in Iraq]
April 13th, 2006
These are quite a bit overdue, but I finally found the time and bandwidth to upload them...
General Newbold’s Double Talk -- [Daily Dispatch]
What Newbold says now:
“I retired from the military four months before the invasion, in part because of my opposition to those who had used 9/11’s tragedy to hijack our security policy.”
But, in May of 2002, in an article headlined, “General With a Key Pentagon Role to Retire” (WaPo archives) he told the Washington Post’s Thomas Ricks:
White House Decries Report On Iraqi Trailers -- (Washington Post)...Joby Warrick
The Bush administration yesterday denounced a Washington Post report that questioned the handling of postwar intelligence on alleged Iraqi biological weapons labs. A White House spokesman acknowledged that President Bush's assertions about the suspected labs were in error but said this was caused by flawed intelligence work rather than an effort to mislead.
Belated Dissenters -- (Washington Post)... Howard Kurtz
You know the administration's argument: We are slowly making progress in Iraq, but the media are so fixated on car bombs and suicide attacks they never get around to reporting that
Exclusive: Jill Carroll Middle Man Says Kidnappers Demanded $8 Million -- (ABC News)
April 12, 2006 — The man behind Jill Carroll's release tells ABC News in an exclusive interview that kidnapping the American journalist was a mistake. Sheikh Sattam al-Gaaod reveals what it took to free her — and why he supports the resistance.
Army Col. Grimsley: Iraq on 'Cusp of Greatness' -- (NewsMax)
WASHINGTON -- Three years after his brigade seized control of Baghdad's international airport from Iraqi forces' control, Army Col. William Grimsley said he believes that country is taking the critical first steps toward reclaiming its past greatness.
al-Qaida Figure Backs Iraqi Insurgents -- (AP)
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Al-Qaida's deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri urged all Muslims to support insurgents fighting in Iraq "for the dignity of Islam" and said the "enemy has begun to falter," according to a video posted Thursday on the Internet....
Iraq Violence, Political Deadlock Continue -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Four more American soldiers were killed in Iraq, the U.S. military said as the U.S. death toll for the month surpassed the total for all of March. More than 40 Iraqis also died, including at least 22 in a car bombing near a Shiite mosque northeast of Baghdad....
Miss Iraq goes into hiding from militants -- (MSNBC News)
AMMAN, Jordan - Iraq’s newly crowned beauty queen has gone into hiding, fearing she will be targeted by Islamic militants who reportedly threatened to kill
Compromising in a compromised place -- [Notes from a Surreal Life -- contractor in Afghanistan]
It is to be expected that there are many challenges confronting anyone seeking to accomplish anything in Afghanistan, be it constructing a highway, building civil society or getting naan from one of the many mini-bakeries that sell it without getting mobbed by curious passers-by and beggars ...
...One of the most straightforward ways to do this is to hire Afghans wherever possible. Even if your projects don’t directly involve them, if you hire Afghans it will provide them with income and opportunity, often for their families as well. This improves public sentiment as well, as employed Afghans are happier than unemployed ones
...But how to do it? There are so many, many concerns and obstacles.
Operation Mountain Lion in Afghanistan -- [The Fourth Rail]
A joint brigade-sized Afghan and U.S. operation in Kunar Province
The Taliban has regrouped in Pakistan and stepped up attacks on Coalition forces and civilians alike. The Coalition has been active in stepping up securing, and has now launched Operation Mountain Lion in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province. Six Taliban have been killed in the fighting so far.
Coalition Launches 'Operation Mountain Lion' in Afghanistan -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 12, 2006 – Coalition forces, in cooperation with the Afghan National Army, began "Operation Mountain Lion" yesterday to establish security, deter the re-emergence of terrorism, and enhance the sovereignty of Afghanistan, military officials reported today.
Memory Sticks and Gangster Tricks -- [Strategy Page]
April 13, 2006: Counter-intelligence officials, whose job it is to prevent secrets from being stolen, are getting hit with new threats. The more familiar problem is petty theft. In Afghanistan, and to a lesser extent Iraq, cleaning and maintenance staff, have a an annoying tendency to steal whatever they can get away with. For security reasons, many of the cleaning personnel in Iraq are imported non-Iraqis.
Afghan Shops Searched for Stolen Files -- (AP)
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - A shopkeeper outside the U.S.-led coalition headquarters in Afghanistan was selling computer memory drives Wednesday containing seemingly sensitive military data stolen from inside the base — including the Social Security numbers of four American generals.
This shopkeeper was apparently not the only merchant in local bazaars trying to get some cash in exchange for hardware and software containing such files.
Data Leaks Persist From Afghan Base -- (Los Angeles Times)...Paul Watson
A computer drive sold openly Wednesday at a bazaar outside the U.S. air base here holds what appears to be a trove of potentially sensitive American intelligence data, including the names, photographs and telephone numbers of Afghan spies informing on the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
World Brief: Soldiers Destroy 2,200 Lbs. Of Opium -- (Miami Herald)...Herald Wire Services
Afghan soldiers fought drug traffickers during a raid on a major drug bazaar in the southern Helmand province, arresting four suspected opium traffickers and burning 2,200 pounds of opium, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.
Afghan Schools Torched In War Against Education -- (Chicago Tribune)...Kim Barker
...In the last six months, education has been under attack in southern and southeastern Afghanistan in an apparent attempt to erode what hope people still have in the weak central government and to panic them about their children's safety. Up to 50 schools have been set on fire, according to the country's Education Ministry. Up to 300 have shut down at some point, largely out of fear.
Afghans must balance foreign policy: minister nominee -- (Reuters)
KABUL - Afghanistan must have a balanced foreign policy, with good relations with the United States and India as well as immediate neighbors Pakistan and Iran, the nominee for foreign minister said on Thursday.
Coffee shop job: good pay, bad commute -- (Reuters)
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canada is willing to pay top dollar so that its soldiers in Afghanistan are served the kind of coffee and treats they crave.
So well, in fact, that Brigitte Smiley, spokeswoman for the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency, said at least 100 Canadians have applied for 15 jobs at the soon-to-open Tim Hortons Inc. coffee shop at Canada's military base at Kandahar.
James Fallows on bluffing and the risk of "excess demand" for military action against Iran -- [TigerHawk]
Among respected journalists, James Fallows has been a particularly effective critic of the Bush administration's foreign policy. This is because the botching of decisions in bureaucracies has been something of a specialty of his since he published The National Defense, a stinging indictment of weapons development and procurement, 25 years ago. Since poor systems for the making of decisions seems to be the settled criticism of the Bush administration, Fallows has been in his element. In the last couple of years he has written a series of articles
Natural Gas and Turkmenistan -- [Peace like a River]
President Niyazov of Turkmenistan paid a visit to China at the beginning of April, and out of that came an initial agreement for a pipeline to bring gas from Turkmenistan to China.
Court Rules in Favor Excavating DMZ Tunnel-- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
How come this sounds like a big cover by the Korean government?: Regarding a tunnel in Yeoncheon County, Gyeonggi Province, a court ruled on April 11 that the nation should dig up the land to determine the purpose of the tunnel. The tunnel discovered in 2000 has created a controversy over whether it was dug by North Korea to utilize it to invade the South.
Also Turning Ugly: USFK Relocation -- [The Korea Liberator - in S Korea]
I wish I had the time to cover the latest Camp Humphreys relocation protests in the detail they deserve, given that I spent seven months of my life there defending young, misunderstood soldiers who were wrongly accused of various things. Humphreys, one of the least pleasant sites in the USFK portfolio, has
FEMA: La. Homes Must Be Raised Off Ground -- (AP)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A few residents guessed correctly when they figured their moldy, mud-stained homes might have to be lifted off the ground to qualify for flood insurance or federal rebuilding aid in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines released Wednesday are meant to help residents rebuild in ways that comply with early drafts of flood maps showing how high water is expected to rise during a once-in-a-100-year storm. The so-called flood advisories also detail how well the city's levees would protect residents.
N.Korea May Boost Military Deterrent Force -- (AP)
TOKYO (AP) -- North Korea threatened Thursday to use the delay in six-party nuclear talks to bolster its military "deterrent force," a phrase the isolated communist nation often evokes in reference to its nuclear weapons program....
Iran Could Produce Nuclear Bomb in 16 Days, U.S. Says (Update2) -- (Bloomberg.com)
April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Iran, defying United Nations Security Council demands to halt its nuclear program, may be capable of making a nuclear bomb within 16 days, a U.S. State Department official said.
Analysts Say A Nuclear Iran Is Years Away -- (New York Times)...William J. Broad, Nazila Fathi and Joel Brinkley
Western nuclear analysts said yesterday that Tehran lacked the skills, materials and equipment to make good on its immediate nuclear ambitions, even as a senior Iranian official said Iran would defy international pressure and rapidly expand its ability to enrich uranium for fuel.
Iran, Sudan, Syria and al Qaeda Hideouts -- [Strategy Page]
April 13, 2006: With no nation, except Iran, openly supporting Islamic terrorists, most of the counter-terror action against terrorist hideouts is now taking place in the shadows. That means countries like Syria and Sudan, who used to provide hospitality for Islamic terrorists, but now insist they don't, are still in play. The problem is
Moussaoui Prosecution Rests Its Case -- [The Counterterrorism Blog]
Today the prosecution rested its case in Zacarias Moussaoui's sentencing trial after jurors heard the cockpit voice recording of United Flight 93's passenger revolt -- the first time the recording has been heard in public. (See Andy Cochran's post on the cockpit tape.) As the prosecution rests, this is a good time to take a somewhat broader view of the sentencing phase of the Moussaoui trial. I have a few observations.
At Trial, Flight 93 Myth Finally Becomes Reality -- (Washington Post)...Jerry Markon and Timothy Dwyer
...Flight 93 from Newark banked left toward Washington. But the terrorists would not strike their target that day because they were beaten -- as the voice recorder made clear -- by the passengers, who fought back. The 32-minute tape recounts an epic struggle as passengers surged forward to retake the plane using whatever low-tech weapons they could find.
Watch List Delays Reservist's Homecoming -- (Washingtons Post/ AP)
MINNEAPOLIS -- A Marine reservist returning home after eight months in Iraq was told he couldn't board a plane to Minneapolis because his name appeared on a watch list as a possible terrorist.
New terror law comes into force -- (BBC News)
New police powers on detention are delayed
New laws making it illegal to glorify terrorism and distribute terrorist publications have come into force.
The Terrorism Act 2006 allows groups or organisations to be banned for those offences and covers anyone who gives or receives training.
Did the U.S. Save Osama bin Laden? -- (NewsMax)
Although the Dubai ports controversy may be disappearing, questions linger about the role high-ranking United Arab Emirates officials played in supporting Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida in the years leading up to Sept. 11.
In fact, some U.S. government reports suggest that the United States lost a clear opportunity to kill bin Laden because he was too close to U.A.E. officials traveling in his entourage – officials Clinton security adviser Richard Clarke may have thought were too important to harm.
Angel Sends Over 70 Easter Baskets (and "Peep War Kits") to Deployed Soldiers -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Sara's son was deployed to Iraq with the 82nd ABN last year and has since returned safely home. She knows how important support from home is, and how celebrating holidays can help break the monotony of a deployment.
A Message from Diane Ibbotson - Iraqi Liberation Week -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Received this email today:
When my husband and I heard that our son Forest was going to Iraq, we were concerned - like any parents would be whose son was going into harm's way.
But we knew that Forest believed in the mission. In fact, ...
Hurricane Katrina Armor Losses Continue -- [Strategy Page]
April 13, 2006: Shortly after the U.S. Army has ordered another 724 M117 ASVs (Armored Security Vehicles) last Summer, hurricane Katrina heavily damaged the two plants (in New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana) that made the vehicle. It took six months to finish repairing the facilities, and production has resumed.
Keep Those Cards and Letters Going -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
Apparently the group leaders of the UCSC Students Against War are having a difficult time understanding the rules of the publicity game. When a group craves national attention based on militant action, the group leaders should expect...well...national attention! What they obviously didn't expect was a response from the general public that disagreed with their viewpoint, and so have pulled their contact information from their website.
...So here's the contact information that was previously posted on their site:
Sam Aranke - 714-458-2471 - email@example.com
David Zlutnick – 805-698-6228 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Janine Carmona - 707-496-3530 - email@example.com
CUT OFF TAX MONEY FOR UC SANTA CRUZ! -- [Michelle Malkin]
As I noted earlier today, UC Santa Cruz--which allowed radical, anti-troop punks to force military recruiters off campus--received a reported $80 million in federal funding last year alone. My friend William Perry Pendley sends word that his organization, the Mountain States Legal Foundation, has formally requested that tax money be cut off from the school for its violation of the Solomon Amendment
Honoring A Marine Who Braved The Line Of Fire -- (Los Angeles Times)...Tony Perry
Carlos Gomez-Perez is awarded a Silver Star for trying to save a wounded buddy despite being shot himself in a Fallouja firefight.
Military Recruiters, Confronted By Crowd, Leave Campus Job Fair -- (San Francisco Chronicle)...Diana Walsh
Four military recruiters hastily fled a job fair Tuesday morning at UC Santa Cruz after a raucous crowd of student protesters blocked an entrance to the building where the Army and National Guard had set up information tables.
‘CIA Leak’ Case: Fitzgerald Admits Error in Filing Report -- [Expose the Left]
...Last week, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald wrote that, in conversation with former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Libby described the uranium story as a “key judgment” of the CIA’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, a term of art indicating there was consensus within the intelligence community on that issue. In fact, the alleged effort to buy uranium was not among the estimate’s key judgments and was listed further back in the 96-page, classified document.
Google News shows that only several news sources are picking up this story.
Citizenship -- [A Mobalized Year - in Iraq]
"I hereby declare, on oath,
...It was a proud day when I heard that the other week. It’s the oath to become a citizen of the United States. Almost sixty U.S. Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen who were born in such places as the Bahamas, Ecuador, Mexico, Nigeria, Romania, India, Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua, Ghana, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Germany, Poland, Vietnam, Burma, and more than a dozen other countries, took that oath to become Naturalized U.S. Citizens.
KerryWatch®: The Final Insult -- [Villianous Company]
Poor John Kerry. Our favorite Accidental Candidate is looking for love in all the wrong places these days. Now Marty Peretz, the eminently-readable editor-in-chief of the liberal New Republic is dishing on the dashing Senator:
Zogby: Most Americans Oppose Amnesty -- (NewMax)
A majority of Americans said they oppose amnesty for illegal aliens, so-called "undocumented workers" from other nations who are already residing in the United States, according to a recent Zogby International survey.
Anti-Rumsfeld Chorus Grows -- (Los Angeles Times)...Peter Spiegel and Paul Richter
A recent surge in public criticism of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by retired military leaders is the culmination of months of intense but largely private debate among active duty officers about how best to voice dissent over Bush administration policies, according to officers involved in the discussions.
A Street Corner in Ramadi [Updated with another photo from February of 2005] -- [The Fourth Rail]
Did the media fall for yet another insurgent information operation in Ramadi?
Last weekend, several news sources, including the Associated Press and CNN, reported a major insurgent attack on the provincial government headquarters in the heart of Ramadi. We reported the story on Sunday, with skepticism, noting "Insurgents have conducted false propaganda operations in the past, such as the incident in early December where the Associated Press reported a fake uprising based on stringers, so the possibility exists this report is false as well."
WHERE IS BILAL HUSSEIN? -- [Michelle Malkin]
A year ago, I blogged about a controversial, Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken by an unidentified Associated Press stringer in Iraq. More background from the blogosphere here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Do take the time to re-read them all. The context is important.
Old News Again -- [Dadmanly]
You have to start thinking there’s a Plan behind all this news recycling going on.
What News is That?
Today, it’s a Washington Post with a strangely familiar story about conflicting technical findings about two trailers discovered in Iraq and initially thought to be mobile biological weapons laboratories. Surely this isn’t news, at least not new news, is it? According to the Post:
...Anyway, let’s do a little googling. In an odd coincidence of date, the first link we find is an entry from September 11th, 2003 at Front Page Magazine. This references an original New York Times report from 2003 (link no longer functional), reporting based on a leak probably emanating from the State Department’s Intelligence Branch. This can be found all over the left side and anti-Bush portions of the Blogosphere, as evidenced by the pasting of some or all of the following on myriad “Bush Lied” websites and blog postings:
Pentagon Eyeing Google, Blogs -- [Military.com]
An influential advisory panel to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is exploring the military implications of powerful Internet search engines like Google, online journals and other new tools for accessing and distributing information.
Update -- [Adapt and Overcome... home from Africa]
well I've been back in the states for about two weeks now...
last week we had a promotion and awards ceremony and I got a certificate of commendation award for my contributions to our mission in Africa which was a total surprise...
Iraqi Insurgents Call for Resurrection of Popular Internet Jihad Forum -- [The Counterterrorism Blog]
The Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI)--a prominent Sunni insurgent faction based in central Iraq--has released a statement citing the importance of "jihadi media" work. According to the statement, "the Al-Hesbah network forum... strengthens the mujahideen and includes uplifting and delightful news about their operations.
Has it been two years? -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - contractors in Iraq]
It has been two years since I was really scared. I was in fear for my life and that of my people. We were under attack from the Madi Militia. We had small arms fire, mortars, and rockets coming in.
...Some of the truckers had lost everything in the trucks that were destroyed. One guy only had the clothes on his back. They lost wallets, passports, money, bags, etc. We collected clothing from our own people to help these men out and my people gave generously.
I called my crews together and gave what was probably the best speech I have ever given. I told them all that we had to do our jobs so that the kids could go out and do theirs. The only way to knock the bad guys in the teeth was to keep the kids going and take care of the things we were contracted to do.
The Quiet War Against Muqtada Sadr -- [Strategy Page]
by Austin Bay
August 2004: The Battle of Najaf was raging, with Shia radical Muqtada Sadr's rogue Mahdi militia turning Najaf's imposing Imam Ali Mosque into a fortress -- the equivalent of an Irish Republican Army terror faction using the Vatican as a bunker.
Back to Iraq Part III - The Kurdish Disaster -- [Michael Totten]
TURKISH KURDISTAN - Sean and I dragged our sorry, exhausted, and malnourished selves to the car at 6:30 in the morning just a few hours northwest of the Turkish-Iraqi border. For the first time we had a look at our surroundings in daylight.
Wife of American Hostage Jeffrey Ake Speaks Out -- [Jawa Report]
The wife of American hostage Jeffrey Ake has spoken out for the first time since her husband was taken hostage in Iraq a year ago today. Jeffrey Ake is one of two Americans still being held hostage in Iraq. Dean Sadek, also held hostage, was kidnapped in November 2004.
Email from a Journalism Grad Student -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
...I am currently researching an article for a journalism class regarding the opinion about the Iraq War of people in Wisconsin who have lost loved ones in the war. I have spoken to several parents of soldiers who were killed in Iraq.
I have noticed that these parents fall roughly into two groups: people who feel that protesting the war dishonors their sons and other soldiers; and people who have the opposite opinion. Among the former group, people have told me that they (and soldiers) feel that opposition to the war is equivalent to not supporting the troops.
I have met several people who have told me “I am against the war, but I support you.” It’s hard for me personally to wrap my mind around not supporting a war yet supporting those who execute that war, ...
Pay It Forward -- [Fire and Ice - recently returned from Iraq]
...A theme I've found myself turning again and again to is the "I support the troops but not the war mentality". I'm fed up hearing it. Here's my feelings and reflections on the subject. The troops are not impressed with what we see as an elitist self-serving feel good attitude. This is a statement of pity and nothing more. It's pathetic and pandering. Marines returning from Vietnam were often greeted with outright animosity. Perhaps some of those now voicing this sentiment were guilty of this 40 years ago and are now trying to placate their own guilt. Inherent in this statement is a subtext that says we, the troops, are victims and they, the anti-war folks, are going to rescue us. It also suggests that they know better than us, that our visceral field experience has little or no value. We're either just a gaggle of country bumpkins hoodwinked into serving ...
FORMER SELF-DESCRIBED “HOLLYWOOD PIMP” PATRICK DOLLARD BLOGS (almost) LIVE FROM IRAQ -- [HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED EXCLUSIVE]
Last year, Pat Dollard took leave from his family and ditched a lucrative career as a Hollywood agent representing the likes of Syriana producer Steven Soderbergh. Then he hit the front lines in Iraq, armed only with a camcorder and the vision to direct and produce his documentary series “Young Americans” from an unpopular pro-military/pro-war viewpoint.
On February 18, Dollard was wounded while on combat patrol with U.S. Marines in the city of Ramadi.
Pat Dollard Blogs (almost) Live from Iraq: Entry Two -- [HOLLYWOOD, INTERRUPTED EXCLUSIVE]
Hollywood, Interrupted’s War Correspondent Patrick Dollard asks: “Why did a Hollywood agent have to go do the job that the media should have been doing?”
It's all very simple. Christiane Amanpour, Cindy Sheehan, CNN, The New York Times, Michael Moore, Newsweek, CBS et. al. are now, in huge measure, directly responsible for the ongoing death toll of Americans in Iraq. Everyone here in Iraq, the Islamic world at large, and most especially the Jihadist Movement's leadership, follow the American media closely, in order to monitor the American people's headspace, primarily with regard to whether or not we will continue the fight on to the establishment of a successful democratic, capitalistic, and modernized society here, or whether we will run in self-imposed defeat. The morale of the International Jihad Movement is almost entirely dependent on the posture of the American media.
...The journalists I've met here, have, to a man, all been Democrats, and all have railed against the Bush administration and have, with much hope in their eyes, predicted failure for America in Iraq.
I Am Back! -- [Grey Eagle - in Iraq]
...I noticed that I am getting more and more email about what it is that I do here. I realize that there are a number of new visitors to the site so let me explain my mission here. I generally do not do patrols. I am a combat medic and nurse and as such am confined more to the clinic. In our clinic we are more of a minor emergency and care unit, but are equipped and capable of handling the more seriously wounded and have taken the overload when a large number of wounded are taken to the other facilities. Balad is the major trauma and critical care hospital. It is incredible what they do.
Saddam's Iraq: Wal-Mart for Terrorists -- [Blonde Sagacity]
In Deroy Murdoch's latest column he makes a suggestion to the Administration that they definitely should follow... Set up and easy-access .gov site for all the translated documents from Saddam's regime. Currently they are on the US Army Foreign Military Studies site in PDF form.
He urges Bush to use these documents to prove the Saddam/al Qaeda relationship once and for all. To tell Americans that coalition forces were deployed to "padlock Saddam's Wal-Mart for terrorists".
Deaths Of U.S. Soldiers Climb Again In Iraq -- (New York Times)...Edward Wong
The American military on Tuesday announced the deaths of five soldiers, bringing the number of troops killed this month to at least 32. That figure already surpasses the American military deaths for all of March.
Stripes Contractor Killed While Delivering Paper In Balad -- (Mideast Stars and Stripes)...Joseph Giordono
An Iraqi contractor working for Stars and Stripes was killed Sunday by gunmen who ambushed a delivery vehicle after it dropped off newspapers at a U.S. military base near Balad.
Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case For War -- (Washington Post)...Joby Warrick
...A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.
Bush Had Good Reason To Believe There Were WMD In Iraq -- (Christian Science Monitor)...John Hughes
...While Bush may have been badly misled by his own intelligence and other sources, he did not lie. He believed, and had good reason to believe, that the weapons existed.
From thousands of official Iraqi documents captured by American forces, and dozens of interviews with captured senior military and political leaders, a picture is now emerging of the world of delusion in which Hussein lived when he was in power.
Group Seeks Iraq Solution -- (Washington Times)...Sharon Behn
A high-level bipartisan group, asked by policy-makers to come up with new solutions to the challenges in Iraq, said yesterday that it was proceeding with "a sense of urgency."
Powell: U.S. Made 'Serious Mistakes' In Iraq -- (Chicago Sun-Times)...Monifa Thomas
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Saturday said the United States has made "serious mistakes" during the Iraq war that have led to the rising violence the country now faces.
Military Brass Defends War Plan -- (Miami Herald)...Drew Brown
The Pentagon's top military officer on Tuesday defended the prewar planning for Iraq, saying he and other top generals ''had every opportunity'' to voice dissent if they disagreed with Bush administration officials over the invasion plan.
Curious Circumstance -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
Before coming to Afghanistan, I emailed to Nick Meo, a British journalist whom I had come to know in Asia a couple of years before. Nick is now in Iraq, but he had spent much recent time in Afghanistan. I asked Nick for suggestions about traveling in Kandahar, Helmand, and Urozgan provinces.
He answered quickly:
Yes. My suggestion is don’t go. They are too dangerous to travel in by yourself if you don’t know your way around....
Another downfall of outsourcing and contracting in times of war -- [Gun Toting Liberal]
Our politicians in Washington wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea of “outsourcing” what were once exclusively military jobs, to companies such as Halliburton, who in turn like to choose what they call “TWA’s” (Third World Nationals) for about $80.00 per week (7 days per week, no days off) to wash the clothes of the troops, feed the troops, pick up the garbage, etc. I’ve seen it for myself first-hand, and it’s truly appalling and alarming to say the least. Obviously, our enemies are the first ones in line for these jobs...
Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups in Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
April 12, 2006: The major peacekeeping effort in Afghanistan is the DIAG (Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups) program. It is believed that there are still some 2,000 armed groups in the country, most of the them tribe/clan/family militias. So far, some 60,000 men have been disarmed, with 11,000 heavy weapons (anti-aircraft guns, tanks, mortars) surrendered, along with 35,000 lighter weapons.
While Canada Talks: Troops Act -- [Celestial Junk Blog]
Rosie Dimanno of the Toronto Star, hits one out of the park. In a piece titled While Canada Talks: Troops Act, she lays out the realities of the Afghan conflict and primarily Canada's role. Pivotal to her essay is the fact that Canadian troops have finally shed their blue berets and are involved in a real shooting war, where their skills as warriors are being used to further humanrights and democracy. Their job in Afghanistan is ...
U.S. Military Looks Into Data Sales In Afghanistan -- (Los Angeles Times)...Paul Watson
...The U.S. military said Tuesday that it was looking into reports that computer drives containing military data, some marked "secret," were available for as little as $20 in a bazaar outside its biggest base, and soldiers were visible making rounds there. But once they passed, at least two shopkeepers still offered memory drives for sale.
Sometimes one plus one does equal two -- [Peace like a River]
Troubling news from Tehran today.
Radical Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared on Tuesday that Iran had officially joined the group of countries with nuclear capabilities commonly known as the Nuclear Club.
"I officially announce that Iran has joined the world’s nuclear countries", Ahmadinejad said in a speech that was broadcast on state television.
Multilateral Diplomacy Re Iran Must Include Sanctions -- [The Counterterrorism Blog]
Last week’s Security Council condemnation of Iran’s uranium enrichment program seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani both were quick, this week to announce that Iran had already achieved limited first stage uranium enrichment and that it was committed to moving ahead quickly with its enrichment program. The key point here is that Iran now claims to have mastered the technology necessary for enrichment.
Iran Reports Big Advance In Enrichment Of Uranium -- (New York Times)...Nazila Fathi, David E. Sanger and William J. Broad
Iran announced Tuesday that its nuclear engineers had advanced to a new phase in the enrichment of uranium, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a series of the country's ruling clerics declared that the nation would now speed ahead, in defiance of a United Nations Security Council warning, to produce nuclear fuel on an industrial scale.
At The White House, Engaging Iran With Words Over Action -- (New York Times)...David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt
...On Tuesday, as the Iranians were announcing that they had successfully enriched a test amount of uranium, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed the growing tempo of reports about plans to attack Iran as a "fantasy land" and insisted that the administration was sticking to the diplomatic track in its dealings with Tehran.
Is Iran next? The calculus of military strike. -- (The Christian Science Monitor)
Tehran has raised the stakes, saying it is enriching uranium.
WASHINGTON - Time and again this week, President Bush and his team reiterated their position on Iran's nuclear program: America wants a diplomatic solution, and any suggestion it is moving toward an inevitable strike on Iran is "wild speculation."
Russia Asked To Block U.N. OK To Hit Iran -- (Washington Times)...Unattributed
Concerned that potential U.S. military action against Iran would bring further havoc to the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has asked Russia to block any attempt by the Bush administration to obtain United Nations approval for an attack, a Russian diplomat said yesterday.
Haiti and al Qaeda -- [Strategy Page]
April 12, 2006: American intelligence has picked up indications that the ongoing chaos in Haiti may be providing Islamist terrorist groups with a safe haven, and an opportunity to plan, organize, and train. This sort of thing was also suspected in Somalia, and known to be happening in remote parts of Pakistan and the Philippines.
Terrorists Kill Dozens in Pakistan Bombing (updated) -- [The Counterterrorism Blog]
AFP news quotes Pakistan provincial government official: "Information we have received from hospitals and police suggest that the death toll is 57." "Dawn" in Pakistan reports, "At least 56 people were killed and more than 100 injured when a bomb exploded at Karachi's Nishtar Park Tuesday evening when faithfuls were offering Mughrib (Evening Prayers) after attending a mammoth meeting to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet...There was stampede and angry crowd pelted stones on police, damaged and torched vehicles and there was complete chaos in a vast area around the park which is near the mausoleum of the Quaid-e-Azam.
U.S. unfair to Zarqawi, says the Washington Post -- [Powerline]
I was too busy yesterday to get to this story in the Washington Post. The headline states, "Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi -- Jordanian Painted As Foreign Threat to Iraq's Stability." The first paragraph states:
'Islamic terrorism' is too emotive a phrase, says EU -- (The Telegraph)
European governments should shun the phrase "Islamic terrorism" in favour of "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam", say guidelines from EU officials.
TERRORIST 'CHIEF' IS US SPIN -- (Mirror.co.uk)... Chris Hughes.
TERROR mastermind Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi is a largely fictitious bogeyman invented to help an American propaganda ...
Terrorism is a tricky business -- (The Australian)...Phillip Adams
Deluded by illusions of fear and loathing
THE magic word used to be abracadabra. Say it while waving his wand and an illusionist could make an elephant vanish or a conjuror could pull a rabbit from his hat.
Now the magic word is terrorism. That black magician Bin Laden used it to make the Twin Towers disappear, dramatically changing the Manhattan and political landscape. And by repeating terrorism almost as often as he says "God" or "America", George W. Bush has changed the rest of the world.
Freedom Team Salute -- [BlackFive]
Rich sends this program that he's been working with - Freedom Team Salute - where you can submit a deserving vet or non-vet who has been going above and beyond to support the troops. From the site:
TALKING WITH HEROES -- [Talking with Heros]
Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 11, 2006, Talking with Heroes announces the guest list for the
April 16, 2006 Talk Show. Talking with Heroes gives our men and women in the military a forum to share their mostly untold experiences while serving and helping the people in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other areas of the world in which they serve. The Talking with Heroes Talk Show which airs Live on Sunday evenings beginning at 5pm (PST) 8pm (EST) also interviews leaders from military support groups, companies, entertainers and others who help and support our troops. Guests for the April 16, 2006 Show are:
A Markerless Grave in Vacaville -- [PeaceJournalism.com - Cindy Sheehan]
... I will tell the world why Casey has no marker yet. In the first place, does anyone who is attacking me know how Casey was brought home from Iraq? We picked him up in the United loading dock in a cardboard box and he was off-loaded into a hearse without one honor guard. We had to wait for about a half hour on a curb near the United freight area for his one escort, who rode from Dover Air Force Base in a seat, while Casey was treated as an over-sized piece of luggage. Has anybody held her other sobbing children who are sitting on a curb in San Francisco, waiting for the remains of their big brother to be carried over to the dock by a forklift?
Sending Batches Of Support To Troops -- (Long Island Newsday)...Rhoda Amon
Girl Scouts ship snacks and words of encouragement to Iraq in the fourth year of Operation Cookie.
UCSC protesters push military -- (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Military recruiters packed up their displays and left a UC Santa Cruz job fair Tuesday after several protesters attempted to force themselves inside the fair while others blocked the entrance over the course of a tense hour-long standoff.
Advice for Soldiers -- [T.F. Boggs - in Iraq]
...If I know anything it is how to do my job while on deployment. I have only spent about a year off of active duty so I know more about deployment then anything else. I am a modern day reservist.
...My advice comes in generalities that should be applied by soldiers in a way so as to fit their own situations. In no way is this advice complete but rather, only a few things that I have come across that help me to survive with a sense of purpose and humanity while on deployment.
1. My first and most important piece of advice for soldiers on deployment is about respect and empathy towards others....
Chicken Little in New Jersey -- [Armchair Generalist]
I have to quickly recount this article in the Philly Inquirer - seems some New Jersey fishermen are convinced that the Army's plan to send hydrolysate to Dupont's treatment plant will result in the end of the fishing industry there... maybe a just a little bit of an overreaction??
The "Career Killer" MOS -- [Politics of a Patriot]
I have heard a lot of talk lately about recruiters and the recruitment process--not just with the Marine Corps, but with all branches. Having dealt with several recruiters in my time, I have seen first hand both bad recruiters and good recruiters.
Sculpting New War Discipline -- (San Bernardino Sun)...Chuck Mueller
Gearing up for a global war against terrorism, the Army has shifted its combat plan for troops in training from massive tank battles to urban warfare against insurgents armed with car bombs and suicide vests.
Equal Billing For Marines? -- (Washington Post)...Christopher Lee
...This month, a few Marine Corps veterans and advocates began an online petition effort to persuade Congress to rename the Department of the Navy. Since the Corps functions within the department but has its own military command structure (the commandant of the Corps is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), its bureaucratic home would become the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps.
New Digs For Recovering Guard Dogs -- (San Antonio Express-News)...Scott Huddleston (subscription)
Tails will be wagging when a new facility opens next year at Lackland AFB. The Defense Department last week announced the awarding of a $9.27 million contract with McGoldrick Construction Services Corp. of San Antonio to build a 30,950-square-foot hospital, set to open in September 2007. The facility will be providing medical help to canines guarding against terrorism.
White House Implicated in NH Phone Jamming Case -- [Outside The Beltway]
AP reporter Larry Margasak has written a piece headlined "Phone-Jamming Records Point to White House" by YahooNews. Perhaps a better headline would have been Republican Operatives Call Political Affairs Office.
Dear Republicans: YOU NEED MY VOTE! -- [GM Roper]
Dear Republican National Committee and any Republican running for elective office:
Sirs, you need my vote! My name is Joe American and I've been very worried about and losing sleep over the current state of governance you have displayed. You need to know that I proudly voted for Ronald Reagan 1980 and in '84, I voted for Bush the elder in '88 but he lost my vote in '92 because after saying his "Read my lips..." promise, he broke it. Yeah! That had some very real consequences in '92 didn't it? I voted Republican again in '96, '00 and '04 and in all the in-between elections. But I may very well not vote for you in '06 and you will have no one else to blame except yourselves
Top General Disputes Criticism Against Rumsfeld -- (Los Angeles Times)...Peter Spiegel
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, facing calls for his resignation by three retired senior officers for his handling of the Iraq war, received a full-throated endorsement Tuesday from the U.S. military's top general, who insisted that "this country is exceptionally well served" by Rumsfeld's leadership.
Fighting For Citizenship -- (Los Angeles Times)...Max Boot
Put foreigners who enlist in the U.S. armed forces on a fast track to naturalization.
Well, the Smell is Certainly Biological... -- [Confederate Yankee]
The Washington Post, which within the past week blasted President Bush for declassifying a story to defend false allegations by Joe Wilson, collected classified information of its own through anonymous sources and leaked it on page one Wednesday, declaring:...
Fitz Puts (Mis)Stake Through Shuster's Heart -- [Jawa Report]
Nathan Goulding of National Review Online had already called out Hardball's David Shuster for some quite blatant lies and distortions; and then George at Seixon used these same overt lies to discredit a fawning DailyKos entry about Shuster. George also notes that he has registered to comment at DailyKos; he might want to see how the Kossacks deal with infidels first.
PowerPoint Ranger -- [Bandit.three.six - in Iraq]
The perception that I'm getting from the American media is that things are pretty hairy in the States right now, almost to the point of violence in the streets and that, dare I say it, civil war is on the horizon. As my experiences have shown, most perceptions that are constructed on second and third-hand information are drastically inflated only containing the smallest grain of truth. It's my belief that the media is being irresponsible in their reporting of these events, but unlike many people who don't live in the States, I have the benefit of having lived in the country for many years. For those who only know what they see on TV, the situation seems to border on revolution.
Which side is the national media on? -- [Uncle Jimbo@BlackFive]
Is the US military allowed to have an information warfare strategy? Or is every effort we make to assist the Iraqis secure their country and win some hearts and minds to be exposed, ridiculed and countered by the media? I have stood on the tiny coral outcrop called Ie Shima where Ernie Pyle, the GI's best friend, died near the end of WWII.
TBone In The News -- [TBone's War Journal]
Well, I told you that I wouldn't mention Jill Carroll again; but while I was looking at who was linking to me, I found that my blog was mentioned in quite a few newspapers. Someone named Ellen Goodman put up a post in the Boston Globe, which was subsequently posted in numerous other papers. This is what Ms. Goodman said.
...Nevertheless, this is not a good moment for the bustling, energetic Wild West of the new Internet media. Remember when a former CBS executive described bloggers as guys in pajamas writing in their living rooms? Well, it seems that many have only one exercise routine: jumping to conclusions.
Blogger Hosting "Boy Love" Site -- [Stop The ACLU]
WND is reporting: A marriage and family therapist is trying to convince Google to drop a website from its popular, free blog host that promotes, boy love, sexual relationships between men and adolescents. Stacy L. Harp of Orange, Calif., told WorldNetDaily one of the readers of her weblog pointed out the site, called Paiderastia: The Boy
Rumsfeld Scoffs at Attack Speculation -- [ScrappleFace]
(2006-04-12) — To demonstrate its peaceful intentions in the wake of its latest breakthrough in uranium enrichment, the Islamic Republic of Iran today announced that by 2010 it would have enough nuclear power plants to provide all of its own energy needs. It will then start donating its oil and natural gas to poor and developing nations in Africa and...
A Jarring Reminder -- [Baldilocks]
Even though she was obviously struggling to hold it together emotionally for the camera, Mrs. Dahl was all for the depiction of the events. She said that the heroism of the passengers of that famed flight is being forgotten and that—since they had already known of the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers--we must be reminded of the fact that they gave their lives for our government, such as it is.
...Can you take that as an intention for me to see this movie? Yes, and in the theater, no less. I think that we owe it to any victims of 9/11 to bear witness to any celluloid portrayals of their sacrifice, heroism and most untimely demise. Jim Gerhagty agrees
The Best Part of Deployment . . . -- [ROFA Six]
... is coming home.
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Hall, of the 437th Security Forces Squadron, holds his daughter at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., April 4, 2006, after returning from a deployment to Camp Bucca, Iraq
No Tears in Heaven -- [Sgt Hook]
The four Soldiers sat around an olive drab painted footlocker playing cards. Actually, the group was comprised of three Soldiers and one Marine, all wearing desert camouflage uniforms, their blouses removed exposing brown t-shirts, not because they were hot, rather it was just more comfortable to have them off.
...“Damn.” Captain Williams said, throwing his cards down onto the makeshift table after being set by the younger team. His partner grinned slightly, knowing the young officer had bid bigger than he had in his hand.
...Devlin Thomas then slipped into his reporter persona asking harder hitting questions of the young private, “Why are you here? Is it worth it? Aren’t you angry?” Private First Class Velleux refused to answer.
“Angry?” Sergeant Washington asked, confused by the question. “Why in the hell would I be angry? I’m here so that they can live safely there. I want my kids to grow up tasting, smelling, and breathing freedom, not misery, not oppression, not shackled. I’m happy that I’ve helped to make that happen for them in my own small way.”
Devlin Thomas seemed to take offense to the answer, angrily arguing, “But you’ll never see them again! They’ll never see you again! You’re ...
Iraq Progress Report -- [Boots in Baghdad]
Below is some information from USAID as to what has been accomplished in Iraq since the Coalition invasion. This does not include the fact that Saddam Hussein has been detained and removed from power and is currently standing trial for his actions, that there is an independ Iraqi Army and Police Force standing tall next to Coalition forces protecting Iraqi citizens, and Iraqi nationals have been elected by their peers to govern various provinces. It has been three years. We won the war against Saddam Hussein and are now fighting a war on terrorism. You won't find any of this in the mainstream media. If you ask me, for three years, we are fast tracking!
The 4-2-4 IA's first independent op -- [An independent look at Iraq - independent journalist embed in Iraq]
This is one of the changes that I talked about earlier: the arrival of an Iraqi army battalion, the 4th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi army Division, from Kirkuk.
Most of the soldiers in the 4-2-4 IA aren't Arab. They're a cross section of the ethnic mix that make up northern Iraq. Kurds, Assyrians and Turkoman. One of the company's is made up of Arabs.
The operation I went out on was the battalion's first independent op. Some Americans were out there but the vast majority of troops were junedi.
Combat Tour...ism -- [bandit.three.six - in Iraq]
...I managed to convince an Iraqi Army Soldier to let me pose with his AK-47. One of the unique aspects of the IZ is the presence of Iraqi Army and Police. These are the guys who are the ones to be admired. They're the ones that are going to be here after we leave and they've made their decision to support the democratic effort. The Iraqi Soldier who let me pose with his weapon and those like him who wear the Iraqi uniform deserve as much support as you can give them.
Sorrow of the Past in Today's Exhibition -- [Treasure of Baghdad - an Iraqi in Iraq]
...In the fortified blast-walled Green Zone, the foundation held its largest cultural and artistic exhibition on the third anniversary of the fall of Saddam’s dictator regime. As Rammah continued narrating her miserable life under the former dictatorship, 24 Steps to Liberty and I were gazing sadly. Our eyes were filled with tears strong enough not to fall down. Suddenly, 24 left the room. I followed leaving our American colleague, whom we accompanied, watching the interview. What we were watching was enough to remind us with how tough old days were. I couldn’t continue following him. He needed to be alone. He needed to smoke and compensate himself by himself.
What Took You So Long Guys? -- [24 Steps to Liberty - an Iraqi in Iraq]
It didn’t take us long. A few minutes of driving and here they are; tanks with foreign soldiers on the top waving back to people who waved white flags at them [a sign of piece.] I wanted to personally wave to one of them. I did. He or she waved back. Then we kept driving in the streets and see where the “visitors” were and how they look like. At the end of the day, I felt I did my part. I thanked them for launching this war to help me have a better future. I was waiting for this future to come, or at least to appear in the horizon. And when they came, I believed it would be the first step. I am still waiting!
Iraq by the Numbers -- [Celestial Junk Blog]
The Washington Post: Disseminating Balderdash
One of the convoluted realities of debating the Iraq conflict, is that the left has turned it into a numbers war. Right from the start, before the first Coalition bombs fell, socialist utopians in the media, DNC, and from most of Europe were spewing forth numbers; numbers of kids made sick from spent uranium bullets, numbers from Oil-for-Food starvation, numbers from coalition casualty estimates, and numbers of dollars to be spent. The war of words, was one of numbers.
The Glass Factory -- [Skull Nation in the Sandbox - in Iraq]
Our base is behind this complex. That is the Euphrates river in the foreground. This is where the Iraqi Police recruiting drives have been held in our area. Just outside the base and this factory is the most violent city in Iraq. It needs a military solution much like Fallujah as playing nice is not working (my opinion). This place is a magnet for "undesireable" types, and may be the last bastion for organized insurgent cells. I think if Ramadi could be purged of terrorists and insurgents, it would break their collective back and would jumpstart the political process here.
Iraqi Liberation Week at Families United -- [Iraq War News]
Dear friend: I'm sure that you heard recent news reports about a car bomb in Baghdad or a kidnapping in Fallujah, but did you know that our American soldiers volunteer to help disabled Iraqi orphans?
I'm not surprised if you haven’t heard this story, but I know it's true and I'm enclosing a few pictures so that you can see it with your own eyes.
'They're not going to stop us' -- [USA Todayn Dispatches from Iraq - journalist embed in Iraq]
HAWIJAH, Iraq –- Tucked in the middle of Forward Operating Base McHenry is a 100-foot by 200-foot metal building filled with blaring hip-hop music and a gang of military mechanics keeping 101st Division’s 1st Battalion, 327 Infantry Regiment’s patrols on the road...
Brown Water Navy -- [Neptunus Lex]
In the spirit of “if you want a new idea, read an old book,” the same folks who brought you Swift boats and John Forbes Kerry’s Purple Hearts are now preparing to trot out a new riverine patrol capability
At this time next year, about 200 sailors will fill up small boats, man .50-caliber machine guns and watch for trouble along the waterways of Baghdad.
“We’ve got sailors lining up at the door,” Capt. Michael L. Jordan, commodore of the riverine force, said during an interview at his half-finished headquarters. “The problem is, we’ve got no experience to draw from.” The Navy has not seen this type of action since the Vietnam War, so it is calling river veterans, the Marine Corps and the special warfare community for advice.
Declining Jaafari -- [The Fourth Rail]
Sistani, Talabani and Sunni parties call for an end to the political deadlock for the selection of the Iraqi Prime Minister
Pressure on Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to withdraw his nomination as the United Iraqi Alliance candidate as the next prime minister increases, this time from some very influential quarters. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most respected and influential Shiite religious leader in Iraq, has reluctantly entered the fray. This indicates the gravity of the situation, as Sistani does not wish to become the arbiter of Iraqi politics. Kirk Sowell reports:
Found out why Hajj-Mart closed. -- [Sappersgt - in Iraq]
Seems that the Hajjs were slowly moving more and more folks into it and none of them were leaving. Apparently there were some 40 folks living in the plywood shops we had set up. The guys who were authorized to be there were told to get rid of the rest, they didn't, they all got closed down. The plan is to build a new Hajj-Mart in a more visible location, near the gate, and make all the Hajjis leave every day.
Moving into my new home away from home -- [Doc in The Box - in Iraq]
We're moving into our permanent barracks this afternoon which happens to be the same building I lived in on my first deployment 2 years ago. Wonder how much it's changed since then? We've been living in tents, waiting for the prior unit to leave. The tents were actually nice, 3 heating/cooling units per tent, real mattresses, porcelain toilets and hot showers. The barracks we're going into has fewer showers and we have to use port-a-johns but it is more secure from things that could fall out of the sky and go boom.
Preparing to go home hard work -- [AJC Blog, 48th goes to War - journalist embed in Iraq]
After a yearlong deployment in the Middle East, the 48th Brigade begins returning home in a couple of weeks with virtually all the soldiers due home by mid-May.
Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, the 48th commander, said his staff has been working around the clock to get the 4,400 soldiers safely back to Fort Stewart and reunited with their families.
“Folks don’t realize what it takes to move this many people,” Rodeheaver said.
This and that -- [Across the Pond - in Iraq]
...It still doesn’t tell us when we are leaving but you know it isn’t much time left. I am sure the “brass” know a round-a-bout date but they are not putting it out yet which I personally understand. When you are in a combat zone, you don’t want information like troop movements, or troop withdrawals being loosely talked about. So I figure we will find out about 14 to 30 days out our official date, and that will change 5 times before the move.
Iraq War History In Utahn's Hands -- (Salt Lake Tribune)...Matthew D. LaPlante
And having come of age during the war in Vietnam, Fleek understood that warfare, after all, repeating past mistakes is a sure way to fill body bags.
And the man who sent Fleek on a recent fact-finding trip to Iraq said he had no interest in a favorable but inaccurate report.
"I didn't bias this story," says Jim Crum, Fleek's boss at the federal Project and Contracting Office. "I told him, 'Capture what you see, the good, the bad and the ugly, so to speak, so we can learn from our experiences there.' "
So what, then, accounts for Fleek's apparent disinterest in painting history with the colors of insurrection, violence and futility?
In Iraq, Brave Troops And A Noble Cause -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Maj. Kevin Kelly
I have seen many incredible sights living and flying in Iraq the last two months. Two things, the bravery of our soldiers and the importance of completing our mission and building a free Iraq, prompt me to write today.
A Path To Success In Iraq -- (Los Angeles Times)...Zalmay Khalilzad and George W. Casey Jr.
Three years after U.S. Marines and Iraqis toppled the huge statue of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad's Firdos Square, Americans and Iraqis can be proud of what our common efforts and sacrifices have achieved since that day, even as we acknowledge that challenges remain to reaching the goal of a stable and democratic Iraq.
Murtha tells City Club the war is lost -- (The Plain Dealer)
...Troops are undermanned, underequipped and dying at rates higher than during World War II and the Vietnam War. "I visit the [veterans hospitals] every week. The troops don't know what their mission is any more." And 8,500 of them have returned with shattered bod ies or brains and the permanent "shadow on your soul" that fighting a war creates.
Misplaced Blame -- (Washington Times)...Michael O'Hanlon
Throughout the Iraq war, the Bush administration has complained about the tenor of media coverage in Iraq. Paul Bremer did so during the first year of the American presence there, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as well as Vice President Dick Cheney make the point repeatedly. The complaint that we see only the bad news, not the good, has become increasingly prevalent within the U.S. armed forces as well.
Vietnam's Forgotten Lessons -- (Washington Post)...Richard Cohen
...We all know the cliche about generals fighting the last war, but in Iraq it is not the tactics that were duplicated -- certainly not compared to the Persian Gulf War -- but the tendency of the military to do what it was told and keep its mouth shut. Shelton, who retired in 2001, cannot be blamed for this and maybe no one but Donald Rumsfeld can, but the fact remains that the United States fought a war many of its military leaders thought was unnecessary, unwise, predicated on false assumptions and incompetently managed. Still, no one really spoke up.
Cutting and running in Baghdad -- (Asia Times)...Robert Dreyfuss
Too late the urgency of the crisis in Iraq and the sheer ugliness of its civil war seem finally to be dawning on the Bush administration. As usual, President George W Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and their stalwart secretaries of state and defense are Johnnies-come-lately in their ability to understand how far gone Iraq is.
American troops back on patrol in Baghdad -- (Newsweek)
BAGHDAD, Iraq - American soldiers have again hit the streets of dangerous neighborhoods in western Baghdad that had been handed over to Iraqi forces, trying to ...
IRAQ: AL-ZARQAWI GROUP BOASTS KILLING CHRISTIAN -- (AKI)
The Mujahadeen Council, a leading insurgency group linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq, has announced the killing of a Christian in Mosul "for offending the prophet Mohammed." In a statement posted to the Internet, the group, whose military arm is still headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said that on Tuesday it "eliminated" a Christian in Mosul. "We eliminated him, because this impure crusader offended our noble prophet Mohammed. We killed him in the al-Tahir quarter of Mosul" it read.
Sunnis And Kurds Stand Firm On Opposition To Jaafari As Iraqi Prime Minister -- (New York Times)...Kirk Semple
Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders on Monday rejected a last-ditch attempt by Shiite leaders to corral support for Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and urged them to settle on another nominee to lead the next government, officials said.
In Stock Market, the Bears Gnaw at Iraq's Confidence -- (New York Times)... EDWARD WONG
If stock markets are any measure of a nation's confidence, then the numbers at the nascent Iraq Stock Exchange show that faith in the country may be at its lowest.
More from the JAF -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
...Supposedly a former Soviet bathhouse, this sits off the dirt trail surrounding the airfield. There is a reason for its location, as some hot springs bubble in the marshy pit alongside it. All I know is to stay the hell away on Thursdays...
Just Chillin' in Charikar -- [Miserable Donuts]
Not Lazy Muncie, but maybe Relaxed Charikar... "Straight out of Charikar, Province of Parwan, we start our day off with a little bit o' jawin'..." Ok, maybe not.
What a long strange trip its been... Sunday, April 09, 2006 -- [The Last Full Measure - in Afghanistan]
...I’ve spent countless hours in the cold, with briar bushes covering my position lying in wait. I’ve almost eaten RPG rounds, rockets and bullets, sheltered behind my rucksack and set off claymores that weren’t on the range. I’ve crawled through tunnels with only a flashlight and a pistol, and earned myself a bounty large enough they’ve heard about it in the states. I’ve been there and done that, earned the scars but none of the recognition or medals. Only the boys that I fought with and the men in my platoon know about it, and care, but that’s all that really matters. Medals don’t hold the prestige they used to.
Rocket Blast in Afghanistan Kills 6 Kids -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A rocket exploded in the middle of a packed school in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing six children, police said. The rocket landed in the yard of Salabagh School in Asadabad, close to a U.S.-led coalition base, said Mohammed Hasan, a police commander in the city in volatile eastern Kunar province, near the Pakistani border.
In Canada, A Cautious Debate On Afghan Role -- (Washington Post)...Doug Struck
Canadian lawmakers joined Monday in a show of patriotic support for the nation's troops in Afghanistan, tiptoeing around public opinion polls that show deep division over the increase in the force there and distrust of involvement with the U.S. military operations.
Taliban Waging A War Of Fear, U.S. Forces Say -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Amir Shah, Associated Press
Increased insurgent violence in Afghanistan is proving "very hard to combat," the U.S. military said yesterday, as separate attacks killed two police officers and a truck driver delivering food to coalition forces in a former Taliban stronghold in the south.
Afghan Bombers 'Ready For UK Troops' -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Thomas Harding
British forces in Afghanistan will be met by a tide of suicide bombers, roadside explosions and ambushes when they arrive in strength, the head of the American troops said yesterday.
A couple of Kiwi academics are tearing down one of New Zealand's great heros: -- [TigerHawk]
A ruse that helped to win a soldier the Victoria Cross during the Second World War was a "war crime" and New Zealand should apologise to the families of the snipers he killed, it was claimed yesterday.
...The Western academy is so morally confused that it is finding ways to condemn its national heroes 60 years after the fact.
Family Letter -- [Home of the 4th Provisional Security Co. - in Djibouti, Africa]
4 th PSC Friends & Family,
It's difficult to believe that we have only been here approximately three weeks. The Marines are adjusting to the conditions in the Camp very well and they are not letting the humidity or the unique Djibouti smell get them down. They always seem to be in good spirits when I visit them on post and hopefully we can keep up the morale level through the future summer months! One reason for the continued good spirits of the Marines is that we have started to receive mail.
Kacanik: Guarding The Dead -1999 -- [Kosovo: A blur of chaos]
Not to many people can say that they have sat next to a mass grave and enjoyed breakfast. Unfortunately, I can. Maybe the word enjoyed is not the right word. We were tasked with three hour guard rotations on the cemetery. No one was to go near the grave until some big wigs from the War Crimes Tribunal investigated the decomposing death pit. Booby traps and landmines were another factor. The KLA commander in the area said that a few of the locals watched a group of Serb soldiers setting mines a few days ago. He also stated that they could have just been digging up old ones. Serb soldiers doing a good deed for the people of Kacanik, highly unlikly.
Finally Some Common Sense Talk from the Korean Media -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
The Chosun Ilbo's Kim Dae-joong really hits the nail on the head regarding how the Korean government should approach relations with the US in his latest editorial
Whose Memorial? -- (Newsweek)
Almost five years, after 9/11, construction has finally begun on a World Trade Center memorial in New York. Still, not everyone is happy with the plan. A video report on the controversy.
April 10, 2006 - On March 13, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation officially broke ground on the World Trade Center Memorial. But despite nearly 4½ years of proposals and revisions, not everyone is happy with the memorial, especially its location below street level.
U.S. Committed to Diplomacy on Iran -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Administration officials say they remain committed to a diplomatic solution to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. But they won't rule out military action as an option, even as they try to tamp down talk about military planning. "I know here in Washington prevention means force," President Bush said Monday.
A credible threat -- (Los Angeles Times)
FOR THOSE STILL INCLINED to take him at his word, President Bush dismissed on Monday as "wild speculation" reports that his administration has intensified ...
9/11 Victim's Family Channels Grief Into Treatment for Terrorism Victims -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The ongoing Moussaoui trial, with its gripping testimony and videos of the September 11 attacks, reminds us that the survivors and the victims' families still live with the impacts every day. I had the privilege of escorting several of them around Capitol Hill recently to discuss continuing legal issues with Congressional staff and Members. Among them were a dedicated couple, Dr. Stephen Alderman and his wife Elizabeth from Westchester County, NY, whose son Peter died at the WTC "Windows on the World" restaurant.
Trouble in the Tri-Border Region -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Last week the New York Post reported that Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau had shut down a "massive terror-finance pipeline in which a whopping $3 billon in profits from drug deals and other crimes flowed through a major New York bank to Middle East fanatics." Turns out, according to senior government officials, the bank is the Bank of America. Morgenthau is pursuing possible penalties, but it is not at all clear the bank did anything knowingly wrong. No criminal charges have been filed.
Military: Slay Plot Foiled In Lebanon -- (Boston Globe)...Joseph Panossian, Associated Press
Military intelligence has arrested a group of terrorists who planned to assassinate the leader of the Hezbollah militant group, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, a senior Lebanese military official said yesterday.
Mother's Day Cards -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
It may not seem like it's that close, but Mother's Day is little more than a month away. I bring it up, well, because it may still seem to be in the distant future for most of us, but planning ahead is needed if we want to help our troops during this holiday. I'm sure it seems obvious, but Hallmark hasn't yet set up shop in Iraq or Afghanistan. Many soldiers will be left without a means to buy a card for their wife, mom, grandmother or other special woman in their life. With the time it takes for mail to reach our troops, or for their mail to reach home, thinking in advance is a must.
Weekend at Kleber -- [Soldiers Angels Germany]
After a busy Friday bringing backpacks to the Liaisons at Landstuhl and visiting inpatients, it was back to our "home away from home" at Kleber for the weekend to work in our storage room and look after the outpatients.
...The soldiers here are outpatients and certainly in much better physical shape than the hospital patients... but when I think about all they're been through just getting here -
...They fly all the way here in a medevac plane, are driven from Ramstein AB in a bus to the hospital where they are processed through DWMMC and their Liaison office. Then they are driven over to Kleber. The whole time they are dragging around their gear - packs, body armor, etc.
I've seen guys so tired they were standing in this hallway at Kleber wearing their body armor. They simply couldn't carry it any more. I've had to uncurl their fingers from their packs and put them on the floor and then remove their body armor for them.
Are they forgotten? -- [Life of a Redleg Wife - husband in Iraq]
...I feel even more blessed that I am married to a man and know many people who are capable of something so special and extraordinary -serving their country.
Bryan was right though. They have been forgotten.
Since Bryan went on active duty and even more so since we've lived in Germany and he's been deployed, we've learned who cares. We have been delighted at the people who have reached out to us, but we have also been disappointed by those that we thought cared about us. The latter significantly outnumber the former. This isn't a pity party about the people we've lost touch with or the people who have hurt us. This is a small view of a bigger picture. Some people we thought would be there and support us haven't been. Thank goodness for our family and friends that have been. What about the soldier that has no one outside his Army "family"? Who's there supporting him? Who's remembering him?
142 -- [Life of a Redleg Wife - husband in Iraq
During the last deployment, some of my friends had tribute pages for their husbands. Since Bryan is now "up north" I thought I could finally get away with doing one for him. I know he wouldn't have let me before. A Rhode Island newspaper site, The Providence Journal, was so awesome to make a section of their site specifically for tributes to the troops. I made a tribute for both Bryan and his whole battery. If you would like to post a message, it's VERY easy.
Here are the two links:
Marine Wives - Always Faithful -- [Villianous Company]
Six or seven weeks ago, a very old friend called me on the phone. We've been stationed together a million times over the years. Her husband was finally retiring from the Marine Corps after over 30 years of active service and she was calling to say goodbye.
...To tell the truth, I don't miss some aspects of military life: some of the politics, and the silly disagreements which are inevitable in any close family. But what I do miss - a lot - is the selflessness and dedication shown by Marine wives to each other. I miss the camaraderie. I've seen and heard some amazing things in my over twenty years in the Corps.
Spinning the Army's retention rate -- [TigerHawk]
Two stories this morning look at the Army's retention program, one seeing success notwithstanding the obvious politics of the author and the other characterizing a return to normal conditions as an alarming failure.
"Army surpassing year's retention goal by 15%"
More on Monday's C-5 Crash at Dover -- [Dude Where's The Beach]
A friend of a friend sent me these pictures of the C-5 Crash out at Dover AFB that were taken immediately after the incident. If you look closely at a few of them you can see the left wing with what appears to be fire damage over where an engine once was, which may have been the source of the initial emergency that necessitated the immediate return to the field and subsequent crash.
1945 vs. 2005 -- [MREater]
I got the following in a email, but thought it is worth sharing. Hat Tip to 1SG J.B. Head for sending it to me.
1945 - NCO'S had a typewriter on their desks for doing daily reports.
2005- Everyone has an Internet access computer, and they wonder why no work is getting done.
1945 - We painted pictures of girls on airplanes to remind us of home.
2005 - Do it now and see what happens
Fighting Strength Of Army Improving -- (Letter) -- (San Jose Mercury News)...Francis J. Harvey
Joe Galloway draws the wrong conclusions from a seriously flawed study about the Army's transformation program by the Institute for Defense Analyses (Op-Ed, March 31).
Army Exceeds Lowered Target For Recruiting Through March -- (USA Today)...Tom Vanden Brook
The Army is ahead of its midyear goal for signing up new soldiers, the Pentagon said Monday. Through March 2006, the first six months of the government's fiscal year, the Army had attracted 31,369 new soldiers, compared with a goal of 30,300.
At 41, Off To Basic Training -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Edward Colimore
Jerry Giordano was turned down when he tried to join the Army after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He was 36 then. The limit for military recruits was 35. Now the resident of Vineland, Cumberland County, is 41, and the Army has decided to welcome him into the ranks.
Not All Latino’s For Illegal Immigration -- [Random Thoughts Of Yet Another Military Member]
According to this:
Contrary to scenes of hundreds of thousands of united Latinos marching across the country in support of immigration reform, a sizable number of the ethnic group opposes the marches and strongly objects to illegal immigration.
Welcome to the silent majority, the Americans of Mexican descent (I am not Mexican-American, I am a American first and foremost!) As you can see, I am not the only one who shares the opinion. Most of us who do, do not go out and protest, threaten to boycott work.
The Message I Understand, The Oath I Swore -- [Subsunk@BlackFive]
Subsunk here. A couple of folks have brought this to my attention. Some things in our country seem confused right now. How politics plays out in our national defense has always irritated me a bit, but I recognized there was not much I could do about it. Besides, my Pentagon job had lots of discussions about "posse comitatus" reviews and I had become educated a small bit by this to realize our military plays almost no role in defense of our country inside the 50 state boundaries.
Teddy on Immigration circa 1907 -- [Truth, Life, and Political Honesty]
Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907:
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.
Huge Crowds March for Immigration Rights -- (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Hundreds of thousands of people demanding U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants took to the streets in dozens of cities from New York to San Diego on Monday in some of the most widespread demonstrations since the mass protests began around the country last month.
NSC Deputy Has The Right Stuff For This President -- (Philip Dine, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau)
WASHINGTON -- J.D. Crouch's office is unpretentious, even hard to spot unless you know where to look. Much like the public persona of the man himself.
Fairy Tales at War -- [Strategy Page]
April 10, 2006: American journalists and politicians, who are hostile to American operations in Iraq, are pushing a story that the U.S. is planning to use nuclear weapons for an attack on Iranian nuclear weapons facilities. They offer no proof, and no explanation of how an American president would hope to survive the diplomatic fallout from using nuclear weapons for the first time since 1945.
Tell The Media To Tell The Truth -- [Euphoric Reality]
I am reprinting this letter from the Chairman of the RNC with permission:
Some things are more important than politics. Honoring our troops and their heroism in winning the War on Terror is one. Families United for Our Troops and Their Mission is a grassroots coalition of military families and Americans proud of the men and women in uniform and who are dedicated to honoring them.
Public Diplomacy: Restore Radio, use the Internet -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
By coincidence, two completely separate valid criticisms of the US Government’s Public Diplomacy efforts emerged today, one focusing on a traditional media and the other on the newest way of communicating.
In her column printed in today’s Washington Times syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer sharply criticized the Bush Administration’s decision to suspend most of the Voice of America’s English language broadcasts
Bloggers join the mainstream -- [The Will to Exist]
Bloggers take note:
A syndication service that delivers commentary from 600 bloggers for use by newspaper publishers is set to launch on Tuesday, further blurring the lines that divide blogs and mainstream media.
Blackfive on Pundit Review -- [BlackFive]
You can go to Pundit Review to listen to my segment from last night's broadcast. Feedback is encouraged and appreciated.
In Today's News - Monday, April 10, 2006 -- [Iraq War News]
Quote of the Day
Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to me
"Word On The Street Is": Cav Tanker Edition -- [Tanker Brothers]
Oh, that's right...y'all didn't hear: Cav Tanker went to the Promotion Board and got recommended for promotion to the rank of Sergeant.
Brokeback Mountain 2 -- [Dude Where's the Beach]
I'll be camping out in front of the theater a few weeks ahead of it's release for the best tickets.
Bush Leak Raises Chain-of-Command Questions -- [ScrappleFace]
Official Washington is abuzz today about news that Lewis ‘Scooter‘ Libby may have had permission from President George Bush to release previously-classified information about Saddam Hussein’s efforts to buy uranium. According to prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Vice President Dick Cheney sought and received permission from the president to allow Libby to leak part of a top-secret National Intelligence Estimate. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said today that the new evidence is “alarming.” He called for an investigation to “find out exactly when Bush began telling Cheney what to do.”
"The Americans are Too Nice" [Serving the People of Iraq - in Iraq] NEW MILBLOG RING MEMBER!
Summary: A recent Iraqi acquaintance told me that Operation Iraqi Freedom has gone on for way too long. The main reason? According to him, the Americans are way too nice to the insurgency.
Iraq: Another Vietnam? -- [Serving the People of Iraq - in Iraq] NEW MILBLOG RING MEMBER!
...Is Iraq like Vietnam? In every way except for one, it is a stretch of the imagination to say that Iraq and Vietnam are similar. The one area in which the similarities are striking is that the same group of people that hoped for failure in Vietnam is hoping that America loses again in Iraq.
A sampling of the differences:
The difference in Iraq -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
I am attaching a link to a page that lists the differences in Iraq before and after Saddam Hussein. I am also attaching a link in which the writer is proud of the comparisons between Vietnam and Iraq. It is a very fresh perspective.
Three Years After Baghdad's Fall, Troops Note Progress -- [Defense Link]
...The soldiers say they're witnessing evidence of that better life throughout the country. "You see a lot of new buildings going up and police stations being built and improvements in the health-care system," said McCoy.
"It's getting better day by day," agreed Murphree. "But it doesn't all happen overnight."
Just as the rebuilding process after Hurricane Katrina is moving along more slowly than hoped in Murphree's hometown along the U.S. Gulf Coast, he said it's going to take longer than people would like in Iraq too. Unlike southern Mississippi, Iraq has older technology that was neglected throughout Saddam's regime, he said.
"We're working with 20 years of neglect, so it's going to take some time, but it's definitely improving," he said.
With Our Backs to the Wall -- [Strategy Page]
Al Qaeda has apparently implemented a new strategy, going after Shia Arabs, and only Shia Arabs, without endangering Sunni Arabs. The new head of al Qaeda operations in Iraq is an Iraqi Sunni Arab, and his tactic is to concentrate on attacks against Shia mosques, preferably during prayer services.
Iraq Report 10 April/06 -- [Winds of Change]
Sectarian violence flairs again with the bombing of of Shia mosques and businesses and retaliation killings in several neighborhoods in and near Baghdad. Freedom Day - April 9 - was marked by renewed attacks intended to create a full-fledged civil war in Iraq. Meanwhile, other Arab nations are preparing contingencies for a civil war in Iraq.
Terrorists killed by their own device
TIKRIT, Iraq – Two terrorists were killed when an Improvised Explosive Device they were constructing detonated prematurely April 8.
The explosion occurred at a house in Baqubah shortly after 8 p.m. -- [MNF-Iraq]
Iraqi Soldiers and Police, along with Task Force Band of Brothers Soldiers from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, heard the explosion and quickly located the house. A search revealed weapons, IED components and other completed IEDs hidden in and around the house.
Iraq Pictures - 08 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
LTC Gian Gentile, squadron commander, 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry, inspects Iraqi checkpoint operations in Southwest Baghdad. The Iraqi Security Forces working the checkpoint outside the Al Amarriya Mulhalla, or neighborhood, are dealing with Anti-Iraqi Forces attempting to disrupt security in their area by using snipers and planting Improvised Explosive Devices in the local communities. U.S. and Iraqi Forces are working together
...Soldiers of the 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conduct security assessments with local mosque leaders in south Baghdad.
4 months left! :) -- [Combat Medic in Iraq - in Iraq]
As we round the corner of our eighth month of combat here in Iraq, we are all starting to feel like Seniors in high school, waiting to graduate and get back home for the summer with our families. With a task still at hand, we are continuing the arduous task of training the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police sections assigned to our companies. When Mosul finally fell a little more than a year ago, all the Iraqi Police quit and left, leaving the city in disarray and in the hands of those who took marshall law as their own. Now, in a with a population of three million, and growing, Mosul employs close to 16,000 police, or IPÕs as we have come to refer to them. Most of their training comes from small groups of American soldiers who spend days patrolling the streets with them.
GRAND OPENING -- [2006 Tour of Duty - in Iraq]
Here I am standing beside an Iraqi soldier providing security for the Governer of the Babil povince during a grand opening ceremony of one of the major power stations. I even posed for one of the Iraqi news reporters who took my picture. The event took place without an incident of violence.
Red Zone Redux -- [bandit.three.six - in Iraq]
... or is that redo?
Whichever it happens to be, fact is I made my second trip out to the Red Zone today and this time it was a bit more interesting than just taking a short walk out and back. Yesterday, one of my troops tells me that he has a need to go somewhere that's outside the IZ. Did I have to go with him? No. Did I want to go with him? See one of my previous posts about kicking down doors. Besides all that hooah stuff, I had long ago made up my mind that I wouldn't send troops out into the Red and not go with them.
Why We Fight -- [Baghdad Guy - in Iraq]
...No matter what occurs, we fight for the guys to our left and right, that's for sure, and that will always be the case. We fight for the guys that die in the battles along the way. We fight for the flag we wear on our right shoulder. We fight for freedom, be it ours or others. We're sent to fight because of the decisions of others, civilians in Washington, and we go whether we agree or not when ordered to, but that's just the how. It is the why that gets to the core of a soldier.
Building roads to villages -- [Grandma in Iraq - PAO in Iraq]
I had the opportunity to visit some road projects we are building in two different rural areas. While the engineers were evaluating the contractor’s progress, I got a chance to build relationships with the community by giving out school supplies, balls and stuffed animals to the local children.
...We had a similar reception in this community. The children came running as soon as we stopped the cars. Young and old met together, we shook hands, the children eagerly accepted school supplies, candy and balls, while the adults smiled proudly showing off their babies.
Little Things Can Mean A Lot -- [Michael Yon's Frontline Forum]
By Tim Boggs
My name is Tim Boggs and I am a sergeant in the Army. I’m serving on my second deployment to Iraq. When I reflect on my experiences in my first deployment, one particular story sticks out above the rest.
Sit Rep -- [Pass the Brass - in Iraq]
...we’ve had a few commo blackouts in the past month, so I haven’t had too much opportunity to get on here. But things have been goin ok for me. Still rather boring….but the tensions are rising. Think of the “bad guys” as being a hibernating kind of animal….or a tourist rather. They only like to come out when the weather suits them. So now that it’s summer(sorta) and the rain is gone(for the most part), the “bad guys” are back in action. Now they are gettin down to business and hookin us up with a more “active lifestyle”. Read: More booms.
I’m still kickin it up in the gun and enjoying all the “extra” body armor I get to wear. I feel so snug…like I’m getting an all day hug. It’s all good. I know I’m that much safer….riiiiight.
It's been awhile - [Johns Iraq blog - in Iraq]
...The attacks are coming more frequently as the weather warms up. Apparently Haji took the winter off and is getting warmed up for the summer season. It is really odd how you get used to it after awhile. You can tell the people who have been here awhile because they react differently to attacks. By now I can tell by the explosions what it was and how close it was.
...The photo is of one of my haji working parties that I arrange for cleaning our lot. The parties consist of a few workers and a foreman who does no work but supervises and translates my instructions. I really enjoy doing this because I get a chance to spend the day talking with Iraqi's. The foreman of this group was a former sniper in the Iraqi army and we had some very interesting talks. He was a very nice man and we got along very well. It was quite surreal talking about life and the nature of war with someone who had probably killed Americans and had the scars courtesy of our air force in the first Gulf War to show for it.
Op-Ed: From Mosul to Philadelphia -- [Fayrouz In Beaumont]
An Iraqi-American living in Pennsylvania
Three government officials from Mosul, Iraq recently visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as part of a city to city partnership, created by the International Visitor’s Center in Philadelphia.
Beautiful Things in Ugly Places -- [The Online Chaplain - in Iraq]
...even in this place there are beautiful things that happen. This picture was taken by an embedded reporter who is spending 30 days with us. He is a great guy named Chris who works for GX Online. You can tell he cares about his job and that he cares about soldiers.
“Beautiful things in ugly places”, as a way of thinking about things, has stood the test of time.
What time is it? -- [Talking Salmons - in Iraq]
They’re here, since Thursday. A photographer and reporter, here to cover our unit. The reporter grew up in the same hometown as my commander. So they know each other partially from knowing the same people, and run-ins during a prior OIF rotation.
So, our unit’s normal self-imposed media blackout was lifted to allow them to visit.
Other units have had an odd dozen or so reporters, but this is a first for us. Exciting.
The value of rising Iraqi nationalism -- [TigerHawk]
This morning's Washington Post reports that the previously agreed direct talks between the United States and Iran, which talks would have been the first official direct contact between the two countries since the embassy crisis of 1979-1980, have been delayed. The stated reason is that the United States does "not want to give the impression that [it] is sitting with Iran to decide about the Iraqi government. The Iraqis will decide that."
Fair enough. But the article does not say to whom the United States does not want to give that impression.
Why didn't you say so? -- [Back to Iraq 3.0 - journalist in Iraq]
...Well, gee, forgive me if I don’t think he should be given a lot of credit. If he was so opposed to the war, why did he stay silent? Why did sit by for three years while others shouldered “paid in blood” for what he felt is a flawed policy. It’s easy to be opposed to the war now. Why come out now? A clue is here:
Why Iraq Was a Mistake -- (Time)
Two senior military officers are known to have challenged Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on the planning of the Iraq war. Army General Eric Shinseki publicly dissented and found himself marginalized. Marine Lieut. General Greg Newbold, the Pentagon's top operations officer, voiced his objections internally and then retired, in part out of opposition to the war. Here, for the first time, Newbold goes public with a full-throated critique:
Terrorism, not war -- (Sun-Sentinel)...Daniel K. Sullivan
The cut and run mentality of weak liberal politicians is sickening! What is going on in Iraq today is terrorism, not a civil war.
Iraqis Denounce Mubarak's Remarks On Strife -- (New York Times)...Edward Wong
Iraqi leaders on Sunday denounced Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, for publicly asserting that Iraq was already engulfed in civil war and that Iraqi Shiites were loyal to Iran.
We Can Handle Insurgents, Says Iraq's New Model Army -- (London Sunday Telegraph)...Colin Freeman
...Yet in Fallujah - once an insurgent "city-state" - Col Abbas and the 500 men of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, Iraqi Army 1st Division, are coalescing into what their mentors believe will soon be a stand-alone force.
Marines Revamp Positions In Iraq -- (New York Daily News/ AP)
U.S. Marines along the volatile Syrian border have largely abandoned big bases to fan out over a dozen smaller outposts in Iraqi cities - part of a resurrected Vietnam-era strategy to live among civilians and mentor local soldiers.
U.S. Forces Must Cope With 'Crafty' Foes In Iraq -- (Arizona Daily Star (Tucson))...Todd Pitman, Associated Press
...Insurgents in Ramadi recently have flown kites over U.S. troops to align mortar fire, released pigeons to give away U.S. troop movements and staged attacks at fake funeral processions complete with rocket-stuffed coffins, U.S. forces deployed here say.
Iraqi Troops Start Rolling Out in Ramadi -- (AP)
RAMADI, Iraq (AP) - The troops didn't go far, the mission didn't last long and the neighborhood wasn't the most dangerous in town. But when Iraqi army troops moved out on a recent patrol in central Ramadi, they took a crucial step forward, rolling out in their own armored Humvees for the first time. Until now, this unit has mostly patrolled their small, relatively quiet slice of downtown on foot, leaving the worst parts of the turbulent city center to better-equipped U.S. troops.
US propaganda magnifies Zarqawi threat: report -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to overstate the threat to stability posed by the al Qaeda leader in Iraq, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
Military Plays Up Role Of Zarqawi -- (Washington Post)...Thomas E. Ricks
The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Sunnis Seek New Names of Candidates for PM -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Sunni Arab politicians reaffirmed their opposition to Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Monday, calling on Shiite politicians to come up with new names for the top Iraqi post to end the deadlock over the new government....
U.S. Envoy to Iraq Says Talks With Iran Delayed -- (Washington Post)...Jonathan Finer and Naseer Nouri
Khalilzad Fears Appearance of Collusion
BAGHDAD, April 9 -- With politicians deadlocked over who will be Iraq's next prime minister, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Sunday that planned talks with Iranian officials over Iraq-related issues would be delayed until a government is formed.
Report finds US shooting of Reuters soundman unlawful -- (Reuters)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. soldiers who shot dead a Reuters television soundman in Iraq last year breached their rules of engagement and the killing was "unlawful", an independent investigation commissioned by Reuters has found.
Trip reports from Kabul to Peshawar (2 final) -- [Afghan Lord - an Afghani in Afghanistan]
...He started screaming and asked violently: "don’t you know taking photos is prohibited in Islam?" I told him, I am sorry, I really don’t know, but I apologize to you, I didn’t take your photo. A policeman there came to me. He took the man off from me and I was relieved for a while. A person going to Kabul reached to me and said: "Don’t you know they are Taliban? don’t you know Taliban prohibited photography under their rule? I knew this from before but this was really an 'unawareness' scene for me.
Taliban Reveals Islamofascist Strategy -- [Captain's Quaters]
The Taliban once again confirmed what little military strategy that Islamofascist terrorists can muster when faced with professional troops in the field in an interview with the Canadian Press wire service. Their spokesman informed reporters from Canada that the terrorists only needed to kill enough Canadians to make the nation weary enough of war to withdraw:
Friday News o' Afghanistan -- [Miserable Donuts]
"I read Arthur Chrenkoff. I have corresponded with Arthur Chrenkoff. You, sir, are no Arthur Chrenkoff..."
Ok, I know, I know - this will not be anything close to Arthur's "Good News From Afghanistan".
Operation Flintstone Provides Vitamins to 2,000 Afghan Children -- [Operation Flintstone - in Afghanistan]
We've begun our Spring MedCAPs/VetCAPs recently, completing two just this week. For those not aware a MedCAP is an quasi-impromptu medical civic action that we hold to treat basic illnesses, distribute health and welfare items such as toothbrushes, anti-parasite medication, vaccinations and to teach basic health and hygene classes to both adults and children. The VetCAPs treat the people's livestock.
U.S. Military Secrets For Sale At Afghan Bazaar -- (Los Angeles Times)...Paul Watson
No more than 200 yards from the main gate of the sprawling U.S. base here, stolen computer drives containing classified military assessments of enemy targets, names of corrupt Afghan officials and descriptions of American defenses are on sale in the local bazaar.
New Zealand Troops to Stay in Afghanistan -- (Yahoo News/ AP)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - New Zealand troops will remain in Afghanistan to support security and reconstruction efforts for another 17 months, Prime Minister Helen Clark said Monday.
Gunmen Kill 5 Afghan Medical Workers -- (AP)... AMIR SHAH
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Gunmen killed five medical workers in northwestern Afghanistan, while two policemen and a truck driver transporting food for U.S.-led coalition troops were slain Monday in bombings and shootings in a southern Taliban stronghold, officials said.
Afghan Weightlifting Relaxes Post-Taliban (AP)...DAVID GUTTENFELDER
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- In a country famous for the body-shrouding burqa and the Islamic puritanism of the former Taliban rulers, a gym's advertisements are jolting: a shirtless man in bikini briefs with bulging arm and abdominal muscles rippling, his massive chest flexed.
Does Iran want war? -- [Austin Bay]
Sy Hersh is a provacateur, not a reporter. StrategyPage has covered all of the options Hersh mentions– without the breathless hype and fearmongering. But here’s a link to Hersh’s latest New Yorker screed.
Get a load:
More Black Helicopter CIA Conspiracy Theories from the Korean Government -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
The Korean government is experts at blaming things on black helicopter CIA conspiracy theories and now they are bringing their paranoia to the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement talks:
Democracy In The Arab World, A U.S. Goal, Falters -- (New York Times)...Hassan M. Fattah
Steps toward democracy in the Arab world, a crucial American goal that just months ago was cause for optimism — with elections held in Iraq, Egypt and the Palestinian areas — are slowing, blocked by legal maneuvers and official changes of heart throughout the Middle East.
Your huddled masses are now my wretched refuse: locking the golden door -- (Tehran Times)...Jason Miller
If she drew breath, the Statue of Liberty would drop her torch in disgust and hang her head in shame.
Inculcated with the belief that they are morally superior and endowed with an inalienable right to world domination, the members of America’s ruling White Patriarchy and their ardent supporters have an immigration problem. Too many “little Brown people” are streaming across their southern border. As America’s de facto ruling class wrangles with numerous potential solutions, they are overlooking the obvious: ask the Native Americans what to do.
DOES IRAN WANT WAR -- (New York Post)... Ralph Peters
THE most dangerous error we could make in our sharpening confronta tion with Iran is to con vince ourselves that its leaders will act rationally. Few wars are rooted in dispassionate analysis. Self-delusion sparks most such catastrophes.
U.S. Tries to Dampen Talk of Iran Strike -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - While stressing that diplomacy is the first course for dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions, the White House is not ruling out a military response and says "normal defense and intelligence planning" is under way. The White House, sensitive to President Bush's image as a war hawk, is trying to play down the possibility of a military strike on the country that Bush included among nations forming the "axis of evil."
Bush 'is planning nuclear strikes on Iran's secret sites' -- (Telegraph)...Philip Sherwell
Alec Russell: So is America going to bomb Iran?
Jack Straw: Iran attack would be 'nuts'
The Bush administration is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran, to prevent it acquiring its own atomic warheads, claims an investigative writer with high-level Pentagon and intelligence contacts.
Chavez Turns To Iran On Military, Uranium -- (Washington Times)...Rowan Scarborough
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is seeking to deepen ties with Iran, with discussions on holding joint military exercises and obtaining uranium, according to Bush administration officials.
N. Korea Sees No Return To Talks -- (Los Angeles Times)...Associated Press
North Korea said Sunday that it wouldn't return to six-nation talks on its nuclear weapons program unless the United States lifted financial sanctions on North Korean companies. The announcement clouded prospects for a breakthrough ahead of a security conference in Tokyo.
Why Cash Matters -- [Strategy Page]
Since September 11, 2001, counter-terror operations have increased enormously. During the rush to shut down Islamic terrorists, wherever they could be found, several non-Islamic terrorist support networks were discovered.
A GSPC linked cell preparing attacks against Italy, France and Morocco dismantled -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Morocco arrested last week nine people in connection with an Al Qaeda/GSPC linked cell headed by a Tunisian individual named Mohamed Belhadi Messahel.
Among the targets of that group were the Milan and Paris metro, the Bologna San Petronio basilica and the DST headquarters (French equivalent to the FBI). Also according to the Moroccan paper Aujourd'hui Le Maroc, the US embassy in Rabat was also a potential target.
July 7 bombs were a 'demo' not terrorism, claims professor -- (Telegraph)
The London bombings were not acts of terrorism but "a demonstration", according to a senior academic.
Prof Ron Geaves has sparked controversy by claiming that the attacks on Tube trains and a bus that killed 52 innocent people in July were part of a long history of protests by British Muslims.
Moussaoui Jurors to Hear Painful Testimony -- (Houston Chronicle)
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Jurors who will decide the fate of al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui are in for more heartbreaking testimony from family members of those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001,
Yesterday's Event in Glencoe -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Yesterday was the support our troops (and their families) event I'd planned for our small town of Glencoe. It was definately a worthwhile endevor to have such an event, and I'm so glad I was able to do something like this. I was also incredibly surprised at who attended and their reasons for doing so.
HOOAHRADIO all the way -- [The Angel Sistas - Tanker Angel in Germany] NEW MILBLOG RING MEMBER!
Wow! That was unbelievable. I was part of the Show for DJ Army Brats Mom.
Dj Army Brat is an adopted DJ of HOOAHRADIO. Both of her parents are deployed. Her Dad to Afghanistan and her Mom to Iraq which is unbelievable itself. I just can guess what this family is going through.
Anyway, her mom is on leave and she's home. Today was a tribute show for her and we had so much fun while being on Air. It was definately an honor to talk to her.
They'll let you know -- [The Angel Sistas - Tanker Angel in Germany] NEW MILBLOG RING MEMBER!
...Sometimes it happens that the mail comes back because not everybody knows that Field Mail is the same shipping price as inner country, than I have to bring it back, one time the nice guy asked "It's fieldmail, does it go to Afghanistan?"
"Nope, it goes to Iraq" people behind me started to whisper.
"To the British?" he asked
"No, to Americans... like always" I added.
"Ah" he grinned, "Well, it doesn't matter it'll cost the same and someone has to think about them." he said.
"That is what we are here for." I said and he put the new label on and sent it out. People followed me with their eyes because they heard the little conversation.
Since that day he has a huge grin on his face and always asks loudly "IRAQ?"
I grin back "YEP?"
"AMERICANS?" as if he wouldn't know.
Permanent Bases in Iraq: Where Politics and Law Hit a Brick Wall -- [The Quakers' Colonel]
Over the last few months, the media have reported that the Pentagon is busy constructing what appear to be “enduring” (i.e., permanent) bases in Iraq. A recent Associated Press story noted that in 2005-2006, one billion dollars had been requested or approved for building or improving bases in Iraq. The Supplemental Appropriations act itself includes a request for $348 million for further base and other construction.
Young Officers Leaving Army At A High Rate -- (New York Times)...Thom Shanker
Young Army officers, including growing numbers of captains who leave as soon as their initial commitment is fulfilled, are bailing out of active-duty service at rates that have alarmed senior officers. Last year, more than a third of the West Point class of 2000 left active duty at the earliest possible moment, after completing their five-year obligation.
Pilot Files Suit Against Air Force -- (Springfield (IL) Journal-Register)...Jayette Bolinski
A former Illinois Air National Guard fighter pilot who accidentally bombed and killed four Canadians in Afghanistan is suing the U.S. Air Force, saying his reputation was ruined when a military official publicly released a scathing letter of reprimand.
Hitchens on Beinart: Who are today's Humphrey, Reuther, Niebuhr, and Jackson? -- [TigerHawk]
Oh how I wish there were Democrats who seemed genuinely to grasp that the Islamic jihadis and their allies and abettors represent a lethal strategic challenge to the West, including especially the United States. Sometimes they teeter in that direction, but usually only to posture on the right of the Bush administration on some matter of popular attention and no actual significance, such as the Dubai ports deal. It is intensely frustrating to me that only the Republicans have a strategy for national security that does not reek of apology for who we are and what we stand for. Who are the American nationalists in the Democratic Party?
Open Letter to the Reconquistadors -- [Roger Houston] NEW MILBLOG RING MEMBER!
The members of Aztlan have been foaming at the mouth with vitriolic hatred for Americans who, they claim, stole their land and enslaved their people.
This may come as an unpleasant surprise to the historically challenged members of La Raza: America did not steal your land.
Who the hell am I?
Though I look to be of European descent, am not a hyphenated American.
...I am not Black Irish. I am not Irish-American. I am American. Native born; indigenous, if you will. Both sets of grandparents emigrated (legally) from Ireland early in this century, long after the last American slaves were freed, and before there was welfare to lure the lazy. Every member of my family has entered the Armed Forces - even my mother served as a Naval nurse. We invested in this country, and because we invested with suffering and pain and death, we love it and wish to see its ideals survive into perpetuity.
So who the hell are you, La Raza?
Ungrateful and Unforgiving -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
I'm not a big fan of Jimmy Carter, in fact I think history will show him as one of our very worst presidents. He was unable to lead the nation during domestic crises, allowing "stagflation" for the very first time in our country's 200 year history, and he was unable or unwilling to lead the nation during foreign crises, allowing islamic terrorists to hold our embassy personnel hostage for 444 days while he did little more than wring his hands and send 8 brave and honorable men to their deaths in the middle of the night in an empty Iranian desert.
Third Retired General Wants Rumsfeld Out -- (New York Times)...Thom Shanker
The three-star Marine Corps general who was the military's top operations officer before the invasion of Iraq expressed regret, in an essay published Sunday, that he did not more energetically question those who had ordered the nation to war. He also urged active-duty officers to speak out now if they had doubts about the war.
Thousands Rally for Immigrants Across U.S. -- (AP)
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Wearing a bright green T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Mexico," 18-year-old Marco Tapia couldn't wait to join the biggest march for immigrants he had ever seen. The Mexican-born high school senior was among about 30,000 who marched through St. Paul in support of immigrant rights, and among more than half a million people who rallied Sunday in 10 states.
Senator Says Immigration Deal Isn't Dead -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Despite the collapse of a bipartisan deal on immigration, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed optimism Sunday that senators can pass a bill when they return from vacation....
Kerry: Taking Federal Money a Mistake -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Was it his campaign's slow response to the swift boat advertisements or the remark that he voted for Iraq war money before he voted against it that John Kerry regrets most from his failed bid for the White House?...
Kerry Presses for Iraq Deadline -- (Los Angeles Times)
... John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) continued to push Sunday for the withdrawal of American forces from that country as soon as next month. ...
Recipe for disaster -- (Washinton Times)...Oliver North
Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, insists on proving that he can't be trusted. He made his political debut in 1970, joining the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, then accused American troops of war crimes in Vietnam -- and tried to deny he had done so.
Backspin: The Truth Needs No Talking Heads -- [Complete The Mission - in Iraq]
Yesterday was the third anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. We thought that would be a good opportunity for the news media to take a good look over the past three years and take account of where we are compared to then, and where Iraq is. A quick survey of major media outlets yielded the following headlines:
Shrek’s mom pleads for fair press coverage -- [The Anchoress]
Her soldier son tragically died in Iraq, and she is hoping that she can convince the press - on the looming anniversary of the invasion - to do the right thing and give us some positives. More stories like this one and maybe even some, you know, good news about what we’re actually doing there?
Trading your integrity ... NASCAR style. -- [The Leader's Line]
As a leader your integrity is everything. There are serious consequences when you trade your integrity … just look at what’s happening to NBC … they’re lucky to do half of Fox’s business in a good hour.
Much as OJ continues his search for “the real killer” on every golf course in America, NBC Dateline goes undercover to seek out violence and extremist threats against Americans… no matter what NASCAR track they’re at.
NBC…the same people that brought you Michell Kosinski.
You remember her, don’t you? She’s the reporter who “faked” her news story in the canoe during Hurricane Katrina. All was well, until 2 locals walked by her…and you could see that the water was inches deep. See it here…
NBC…the same people that faked ...
A real media scandal -- [Austin Bay]
The story is in the NY Times (via Drudge). The allegations are serious– that an NY Post gossip columnist was shaking down (blackmailing?) people who appeared in his column. (The Times article says the columnist was a part-time employee. Seems the fellow also sells shirts.)
Media Appalled that George Bush Dare Defend Himself -- [Gateway Pundit]
After all of the dishonest accusations from Joe Wilson and the media against George W. Bush and his administration, the media is now appalled that the President has defended himself!
Just to give you a bit of the information that is not reported in the liberal media this week, here is a rehash of a few of the attacks and misperceptions from the media and the ultra-liberal and dishonest Joe Wilson:
Three years later: It's still news! -- [Powerline]
Today's New York Times page-one, joint-byline story by David Sanger and David Johnston is "Bush ordered declassification, official says." The story of course refers to the declassification and release of the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimage consensus "key judgments" in July 2003.
Real Or Fake? -- (National Journal)... Neil Munro
Amid the digitized stream of compelling photographs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a few that are staged, fake or at least misleading. Photo editors struggle to filter them out.
Thanks to digital technology, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the most photographed in history. Photographers with digital cameras have provided, almost instantaneously, an enormous flood of accurate, dramatic, and even shocking images to people around the world. But the daily downloads of news photos include some that are staged, fake, or so lacking in context as to be meaningless, despite the Western media's best efforts to separate the factual from the fictional.
Spurred By Bush, ABC Seeks Feedback On Iraq Coverage -- (New York Times)...Sara Ivry
When President Bush commented on the media's coverage of the war in Iraq on March 21, and followed it up the next day by sympathizing with a supporter in West Virginia who complained that "our major media networks don't want to portray the good" developments in Iraq, he provoked a response from "Good Morning America" on ABC.
Exclusive: Gossip Writer Says, 'I Was Set Up' -- (ABC News)
Embattled New York Post gossip writer Jared Paul Stern has come out swinging against the billionaire he's been accused of trying to extort $220,000 from in return for favorable coverage on the powerful gossip page.
Stern told ABC News, "I was the one who was targeted,'' claiming he was "set up'' by supermarket magnate Ron Burkle.
Short Interview -- [Pass the Brass - in Iraq]
Here are the Q’s and A’s to a short interview that Bob Walsh sent me.
What’s been the reaction of your fellow troopers to you blogging?
There’s two parts to this answer, cuz there’s two parts to my “fellow troopers”. There’s those enlisted and alongside me in the lower enlisted ranks, and then there’s those in authority. The former, thinking that what I’m doing is genuinely funny and unique, while the latter sees the security risk as well as the other risks associated with free information. It’s all understandable, but kind of a sick irony when you think about it. Goes back to the whole “join to protect free speech, and give it up when you swear in” bit. Just technicalities I’m afraid…everyone’s got their rules they have to follow.
Do your commanders know, and if they do/did what would be their reaction?...
Monday, April 10, 2006 -- [Chapter: War - on his way home from Iraq]
...As I head in that direction, I glance over towards the gate and see the women and a man in a red suite motioning at me. They seem very excited. I hurry over and they tell me that although they have scanned all the passengers in, and all the seats are accounted for, there are still two seats that are empty. The woman tells me not to question it but instead get on the plane, now. I tell them I need to contact my wife, and that I had just told her to not come and pick me up. The man in the red suite kindly offers to take my phone number and call my wife and let her know of the change. I give him the number to her cell.
I begin to swell with excitement. I am going to see my family!
As I board the aircraft and look for one of the two available seats, a cheer goes up through the plane along with applause.
Soldier Talks Wife Through Childbirth—From Iraq -- [GX: The Nat'l Guard Exp.]
There are two things you notice while pulling up in front of the Bowling home in Shelbyville. One is a flag that says "United States Army." The other one is a sign a few feet away announcing "It's a boy!"
Luke Bowling is home from Iraq on a two-week leave to spend time with his wife, Patricia, and their newborn son James. Although Luke wasn't back home in time for the birth earlier this month, the proud papa got to participate in the blessed event via the Internet, coaching Patricia through the delivery.
A Lasting Legacy -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
This posting is something a little different. I've been holding off on relaying the story until it's officially released, which it now is. Since websites are not linked properly for me on this page, you must cut and paste the link. It's worth it. This man was truly a remarkable corpsman, warrior and human being.
Thursday, April 06, 2006 -- [Chairborne Stranger - in Iraq]
Things have been settling down in my little piece of the sand box, though. The fight has shifted to Baghdad. My Iraqi unit has settled into it's very own battle space. While this causes some tension for us American military advisors (reliance on the Iraqis for offensive and defensive capabilities, fears of safety due to insurgent spies, lack of US comforts), over all it has been a positive development for this corner of Iraq. Violence has calmed relative to the rest of Iraq.
First patrol back -- [An independent look at Iraq - journalist in Iraq]
“I’m surprised we haven’t been shot at,” said Sgt. Chris Milanowski. “We always get shot at in this neighborhood.”
We were walking down a cramped narrow street in southern Bayji. Locals were out and watched us move down the road. Kids tagged along as if part of the patrol.
A lot has changed in the three months since I left Bayji. A new Iraqi army battalion from Kirkuk is in town. A new IP Emergency Response Unit arrived from Tikrit. Last but not least, the Rakkassans stopped going into Bayji until this week.
Post 7, The Battle for Samarra -- [Life in Iraq - As a US Army Sniper - in Iraq]
Brian, Walter, and I were two days into the major offensive on Samarra. We were attached to an infantry platoon that had occupied a house with a platoon of Iraqi soldiers, which was directly on the phase line their platoon was responsible for securing.
Around 1700 we were inside the house taking a quick break from our hidesite on the roof, which I thought wasn’t even needed since this platoon already had 3 soldiers on roof guard. Then all of a sudden, we heard several shots.
No More Newspapers -- [I Was There - an Iraqi in Iraq]
Iraqis are facing different threatens every day and the Insurgents are always looking for new ways to fight the new government and the Americans in Iraq; the newest target is the bookshops that sell newspapers.
Khalid Bookshop was the first target for the new insurgents’ strategy; it is the oldest bookshop at Rabi Street, west of Baghdad, it was set on fire around 9 pm on Monday, no casualties but every thing in the book shop was burned.
Baghdad's short on papers…but not for too long. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Some readers questioned the authenticity of our Tuesday report about a ban on newspapers imposed by the terrorists in Baghdad and I do not blame them because they have the right to have doubts since no other news sources confirmed our story as of now.
The War at Six Inches -- [Soldiers's Diary - Iraq dispatches for FOX News]
...How can so many people have a different view of this war? Some say it is successful, some say we are failing, some say everything in between. The war to the infantryman on the line in south Baghdad is completely different than the war to an infantryman in Mosul, which is much different than the war to a soldier standing guard at division headquarters. And none of them see what a brigade staff officer in Tikrit sees, nor does that brigade staff officer see the same war as a company commander in Tal Afar.
It is difficult to explain, but every soldier has their role and their six-inch fight. The fight may be kicking in doors to find the enemy, it may be training Iraqi forces, it may be coordinating visits with local Iraqis, it may even be working in a motorpool and fixing trucks for a year.
Tough Times for Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
April 7, 2006: It's shaping up to be a bad year for al Qaeda in Iraq. For example.
...An Iraqi Sunni now heads the operation, with Zarqawi just dealing with "military matters." Even in that respect, Zarqawi is probably on a short leash. His strategy of all out attacks on Shia Arab Iraqis didn't work, and angered many Sunni Arabs because they lost people as well. Even attacks on U.S. troops were a failure. The Americans were hard to kill, fought back with terrible effect, and many of the roadside bombs used went off in Sunni Arab neighborhoods.
...and I'm back! -- [Combat Medic - in Iraq]
...we are still doing good things on the streets, we don't always see what we do, but countrywide, things are getting better. People are starting to move back to Mosul and the outlying areas. You can often find people having picnics down by the river or heading to the one of the small amusement parks and playing with kids. Not the typical scene painted for a 3rd world conflict, but Iraq really is getting better.
Iraqi, Coalition Forces Rescue Kidnap Victims -- [Iraqi bounty hunter]
...Iraqi soldiers and police rescued three kidnap victims, and coalition troops captured nine terrorists in operations in Iraq today, U.S. officials reported. Iraqi soldiers and police teamed up with U.S. soldiers to rescue the three Iraqi kidnap victims in Mosul. A local citizen's tip led Iraqi soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division; Iraqi police; and U.S. soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade to a house in Mosul.
Bacon and sheep guts -- [Talking Salmons - in Iraq]
...A lot of people ask me what it’s like in Iraq. Apart from the top few percent who wine and dine with visiting politicians, it’s the poor-man’s life for most.
In the south waged the great ideological struggle – the war on “terror”. Here, in the shadow of the epic global struggle against violent extremism, most just eked out another day among the trash, sheep, bombs and rocket fire.
Iraq Pictures - 06 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
Soldiers of the 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, listen to an Al Amarryia residents express their desire for security in their neighborhood during a cordon and search. The Iraqi soldiers, observed by Military Transition Teams, led by the 4th Infantry Division, confiscated chemical masks, protective suits and more than 50 AK-47 assault rifles with ammunition during the operation. The mission was a response to more than 30 attacks occurring in the area over the last 30 days.
Another Day, Another Dollar-- [Sappersgt - in Iraq]
Dinking around with the transfer, clearing hand reciepts at my old company. Still living in their CHU, since my new company hasn't got a place for me to live yet.
Bored -- [Sapper Sgt]
...The chain of command shut down the Hajj-mart. Which I'm still confused about. No official justification has been put out. Perhaps it has something to do with that buffoon in Kisik who tried to blow up the internet cafe but did no damage and got caught. I doubt that, since these guys have been here for a while, and are all Turkish anyway. Lord knows I don't love the Turks, but they don't love Arabs and hence aren't helping out the bad guys.
It’s been a long and exhausting day. -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck - in Iraq]
The company commander rode with us today. He’s very detail oriented and we have to make sure that we look sharp in every way. It was a long day because it is now 2036 hours and I barely got back to my trailer. My day started at 0630 this morning when I woke up this morning. So, I’d say that it makes for a long day.
Made it safely to Iraq -- [Doc in the Box - in Iraq]
I'm on the ground and just got done with my first breakfast in country, I've only been gone a little over a year and the entire place has got a facelift. The MWR building is finally open, there's local guards everywhere and we now have a Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut.
Rain and Thunder -- [Doc in the Box - in Iraq]
...Monsoons have arrived, there have been periods of rain that were as bad as any I've seen in Florida in the middle of a hurricane (wind wasn't quite so bad but close). Two big thunder storms (of course I took pictures). There was a 5 ton that was washed away on a bridge during one of the storms and the news story can be found here. These guys weren't in my unit and they haven't released the names. I can tell of it because there the military has already made a statement. It goes to show you there are many things out here that we need to watch out for other then insurgents.
More Mundane Scenes from Baghdad -- [Healing Iraq - an Iraqi in Iraq]
No, the Tigris has not flooded Baghdad, and it's not an Iraqi Katrina. This is one of many neighbourhoods in Baghdad that overflow with sewage after just a little rain.
Iraqi's Blog Chronicles Daily Life of a Nation in Turmoil -- (Wall Street Journal)
In the first bloody hours after insurgents destroyed a revered Shiite shrine in Iraq in February, Baghdad dentist Zeyad A. watched his Sunni neighbors grab machine guns and cobble together roadblocks to keep out marauding Shiite gunmen. Zeyad had a different response: He booted up his computer and began blogging about what was going on.
I will not be forced out by US and UK, says Iraqi PM -- (The Guardian)
Leader's first interview since Rice and Straw's move to break deadlock
The Iraqi prime minister, Ibrahim Jaafari. Photograph: Ceerwan Aziz/AP
Iraq's embattled prime minister has defiantly refused to give up his claim to head the country's next government in spite of strong American and British pleas for an end to a deadlock which has paralysed the country for almost four months.
Petrol Pumps Run Dry In A City That Stinks Of Oil -- (London Times)...Nick Meo
MOTORISTS hoping to fill their tanks in Kirkuk must join queues hundreds of cars long and prepare for a 20-hour wait before reaching the pumps.
10 Are Killed In Bombing Near Shrine Holy To Shiites -- (New York Times)...Kirk Semple
...In Baghdad, 10 more victims of execution-style slayings turned up in the mainly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Ghazalia in western Baghdad, an official at the Interior Ministry said. Also in Baghdad, two homemade bombs were detonated against officers from the Ministry of Interior commando forces, killing one and wounding seven, the official said.
Trip reports from Kabul to Peshawar -- [Afghan Lord - Afghani in Afghanistan]
...Peshawar is a place which was a settlement for Afghan refugee for the last decades. Peshawar was a place for growing different Afghan parties. All wickedness takes its rise from Peshawar. Peshawar was a place for growing up the kernel of Taliban and a good place for ISI to well-versed in Afghan geopolitics and tools for Pakistan to help for U.S wants.
U.S help Mujaheedin parties to fight against Soviet Union those whom were trained and armed by U.S now they are stood against U.S. If you go to Peshawar, walls of mosques and homes drawn “America get the hell out of here”, “
Where the wild things are..... -- [Chris's Blog - in Afghanistan]
So, we'll start at the logical spot. The beginning. Last week I had a wonderful trip, we went to several places and got to see some territory that would definitely make you wonder how people could live in the mountains. I was able to see some country that was absolutely incredibly steep. Gives you a new respect for our guys that go up and live there for weeks at a time, and also the native people, who have spent their whole lives there. Crazy. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from that trip, I forgot the camera on the checklist. Dang! But, on a good note, I did remember to take all the guns, ammo, body armor and such.
Taliban Offensive Off to Sloppy Start -- [Strategy Page]
April 7, 2006: So far, the much touted Taliban Spring Offensive is a big bust. There is a lot of activity, but not much to show for it. Construction sites and government buildings are being attacked, but often there is no damage.
Operation Flintstone Provides Vitamins to 2,000 Afghan Children -- [Fortunate Son - in Afghanistan]
Just added a bunch of new pics to the Operation Flintstone sub-site! We've recently held some Medical and Veternary Civil Actions (MedCAPs/VetCAPs) in the rural communities here in Nangarhar and were able to distribute a month's supply of children's chewable vitamins to over 2,000 children so far...and we still have a few more MedCAPs coming up soon.
Thursday, April 06, 2006 -- [Iraqi bounty hunter]
A local Afghan man and U.S. Army Spc. Zachary Williams, center, work together to restrain a bull so Cpl. Latchie Reginald can administer deworming medicine to the bull during a medical outreach in the village of Khakeran, Qalat Province, Afghanistan
...U.S. Army Capt. Oscar Corredor inspects a local Afghan's eye sight during a village medical outreach program in the village of Khakeran, Qalat Province, Afghanistan
Troops ill-prepared for risky Afghan mission, MPs warn -- (The Independent)
British troops being sent to Afghanistan are likely to stay longer than the three years claimed by the Government, and the success of the highly dangerous mission is "by no means certain", according to a damning report by MPs.
The House of Commons Defence Committee expressed a raft of major concerns in the report yesterday. They warned that the armed forces are in danger of "overstretch" with the near 6,000-strong deployment, and added that Britain may be asked to supply even more troops if the security situation in the country worsens.
Afghan Warriors Now Battle Unemployment -- (Chicago Tribune)...Kim Barker
The men once led soldiers into battle, but now most are unemployed. So they came to school to learn to run a business—think of it as summer camp for retired warriors.
Throwing Rocks - [Totum dependeat - in Djibouti, Africa]
...I am a little upset, though I really should not be. But something is still biting at me. I mean really, here I am half-a-world away on the supposed "frontline" on the War on Terrorism. I am here at the expense of the American taxpayers and performing the daily tasks asked of me as an "Ambassador of Goodwill" as well as being a "Keepers of the Peace" here in Djibouti.
Iran's Public Defense Industry Trade Show Maneuvers -- [ThreatsWatch]
Sun Tzu: "If you are strong, appear weak. If you are weak, appear strong."
Yesterday’s Iranian military hardware ‘Breakthrough of the Day’ was, on its face, amusingly humorous. The Pentagon confirmed (so much for stealth) that Iran’s much-touted Friday missile test, complete with claims of stealth (again) and MIRV capabilities, as that of simply a Shahab-2. Both serve to put the entire operation into perspective. It was an Iranian defense industries trade show.
No Deal On How To Handle U.S. Troops -- (Miami Herald)...Herald Wire Services
The U.S. and Japan met for two days this week, but announced no agreement on a broad plan to realign American troops there, and split the $10 billion cost of redeploying some 7,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam.
69 Killed As Boat Capsizes Off Djibouti -- (Los Angeles Times)...Associated Press
...A U.S. public affairs officer with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, based in Djibouti, said the United States had offered assistance to the government.
The capture of Abu Ayman -- [Peace like a River]
Today MNF-Iraq released news of an important capture. Abu Ayman, a high-level terrorist with strong ties to terror leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, was captured March 7 in southern Baghdad.
Al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia Denies Being Infiltrated in Purported Internet Sting -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Al-Qaida's Committee in the Arabian Peninsula has issued a new communiqué dismissing the recent arrests of alleged Al-Qaida operatives by Saudi security forces and denying rumors posted on Mohammed al-Massari's Internet website that the popular Al-Hesbah discussion forum was used by intelligence agencies to infiltrate Al-Qaida in Saudi Arabia. According to the statement, "[t]he purpose of the recent allegations is only to make the supporters of the mujahideen fearful of using the Internet...
Saddam's Past Terrorism Connections Have Future Consequences -- [Counterrorism Blog]
A U.S. House oversight subcommittee conducts the first public hearing today on the lessons gleaned from the first review of the vast storehouse of Saddam's intelligence documents. They will hear today from two military officers involved in the preparation of the Iraq Perspectives Project (see my post on it earlier) and from an official of the Director of National Intelligence, and Congressmen will also discuss the release of documents by the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office at Ft. Leavenworth, which has been the subject of numerous articles and columns.
Warrantless Wiretaps Possible In U.S. -- (Washington Post)...Dan Eggen
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales left open the possibility yesterday that President Bush could order warrantless wiretaps on telephone calls occurring solely within the United States -- a move that would dramatically expand the reach of a controversial National Security Agency surveillance program.
Operation Purple -- [Bayji Iraq FOB Summerall - in Iraq]
I was sent this link by a friend of mine and thought it might be of interest to those that have children of our deployed soldiers.
This is a link to free summer camp for military children, especially those deployed.
The VA Visit Friday -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Well, I went to the VA yesterday, and have to say that I was overwhelmingly unimpressed with the management I met in the volunteer department. My first stop was to the MOPH (Military Order of the Purple Heart) office, and with them I was impressed. I met a very nice veteran who was wonderful and helpful. He introduced me to a social worker who refered me to another social worker in a different department. This other worker was not in her office, so I had to wait.
'God Blew Up The Troops' -- (Washington Post)...Paul Duggan
Micaiah Phelps-Davis stood across Georgia Avenue NW from the main gate of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, one of a dozen protesters. Squinting in yesterday's late-afternoon sun, he gazed at the hospital and said of the wounded U.S. soldiers inside: "I hope they go to hell. Yup, God's going to kill them all."
April 6th -- [What's Happening - in Ranger school]
Rotten news from Da"hell"onega, as Tom and a few of his classmates have taken to calling it. They had a shakedown the other day, and Tom had some "contraband"... a packet of Gatorade powder. That packet cost him and about 30 of his classmates another recycle... he's on hold right now and will rejoin the next class, 06A-06, on the 15th.
Getting Back to Normal -- [Just 'Cause We've Made it This Far ...]
I was somewhat melancholy about the end of my deployment life - I'd gotten so used to being in the role "The Fiancee of a Deployed Soldier," I didn't quite know what to expect of becoming simply "The Fiancee." Thankfully the official end has been nothing short of spectacular. You get so adjusted to deployment life, so used to being alone, that it's not really until your loved one comes home that you start to realize just how much you missed them.
It has been nearly 3 weeks now since Matt got home. Three blissful weeks of complete normalcy - well, almost.
Jumpy at home -- [MREater]
I've been home for about five months, and I'm adjusting, though more slowly than I thought. I sat in the conference room at work last week. Just outside the room was a door the closed automatically, and closed pretty firmly
Army Lowers Recruit Standards -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Jeff St. Onge and Jon Steinman, Bloomberg News
The Army is taking increasing numbers of applicants it once judged substandard.
Boy Scout jamboree case argued in court -- (Chicago Sun-Times)
The Defense Department wants to continue supporting the decades-old National Boy Scout Jamboree because doing so trains soldiers to deal with large groups of ...
What! You Mean He Can Do That? -- [Jawa Report]
Liberals amazed that Commander-in-Chief has authority to declassify information
The liberal media watchdog (that pooch can't be getting much exercise) group Media Matters for America shrilly complains that CNN and Fox reporters "accepted without question [the] claim that Bush's NIE 'declassification' was legal".
Stop using our troops to score cheap political points -- [MREater]
I was reading an article about the towns in Wisconsin that voted to bring home the troops. The AP article written by Emily Fredrix contained the following:
"The morale of soldiers - and their safety - could dip when they hear about such referendums passing, said Bill Richardson, treasurer of Vote No To Cut And Run, a group that opposed the measures.
Sign me the hell UP! -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
Overheard at a gathering of union workers where Senator John McCain was speaking today:
...Murmurs from the crowd turned to booing. “Pay a decent wage!'’ one audience member shouted. McCain curtly threatened to cut the speech short, which quieted the crowd.
Then things got interesting…
Another Chilling Tale of the Bushtatorship -- [The Dignified Rant]
You've heard the claims before--the Bushtatorship has suppressed dissent and critics have experienced a chilling effect that silences them.
No, really, stop giggling. Some war critics truly believe that the truth only gets out because some Baldwin brother manages to smuggle crudely reproduced tracts from Michael Moore from one organic market to the next in unnamed body orifices as part of a network of safe houses to inform the devoted few who resist the fascist state that suppresses all dissent.
Bush Authorized Secrets' Release, Libby Testified -- (Washington Post)...R. Jeffrey Smith
President Bush authorized White House official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to disclose highly sensitive intelligence information to the news media in an attempt to discredit a CIA adviser whose views undermined the rationale for the invasion of Iraq, according to a federal prosecutor's account of Libby's testimony to a grand jury.
Bush, GOP Approval Ratings Hit New Lows -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush's approval ratings hit a series of new lows in an AP-Ipsos poll that also shows Republicans surrendering their advantage on national security - grim election-year news for a party struggling to stay in power. Democratic leaders predicted they will seize control of one or both chambers of Congress in November. Republicans said they feared the worst unless the political landscape quickly changes
Weinberger Knew; Rumsfeld Doesn't -- (Long Island Newsday)...James P. Pinkerton
Caspar Weinberger was the best secretary of Defense that America ever had.
New Today Co-Host an Anti-War Protester: -- [Cyber Alert]
"War Built on Lies"
Meredith Vieira, the replacement for Katie Couric as co-host of NBC's Today this fall -- Wednesday's New York Times reported that "NBC has nearly concluded an agreement with Meredith Vieira of ABC to replace Ms. Couric as co-host of the Today morning show" -- marched in an anti-Iraq war protest back in August of 2004.
SPIEGEL on Bloggers: Political Pawns and "Sweating Swingers" -- [Davids Medienkritik]
SPIEGEL ONLINE, that great German Rosetta Stone of media objectivity, has just located the source media-political corruption in the United States. They've just uncovered another massive Bush administration conspiracy and struck a further blow for journalistic integrity. They've exposed the corruption of the media "anti-elite" and identified an online power vacuum filled with dangerous right-wingers who threaten truth, justice and the German way.
And who is to blame? Bush and the Bloggers. Who else?
Green got screwed -- [Counter Column]
I rise in defense of ABC's Good Morning America Weekend director John Green.
Sometime back during the '04 Presidential campaign, Green sent out a mass email to GMA Weekend staffers saying "Bush makes me sick."
Green did nothing wrong, in my view, and should not be suspended. There is nothing that says that journos and execs cannot have personal views - even strongly held ones. People go into that field because they have a strong interest in current events. To expect bright people to go into that field not to discuss their views with others is simply ludicrous, and the decision to suspend him was cowardly and reactionary on the part of ABC's executive management.
Who We Are and What We Do -- [Officers Club]
Ever since milblogs began popping up on the radar screen a few years ago, the US military has waxed Socratic.. struggling to understand how unchecked communication between the grunt and the world affects our ability to fight and win wars.
Public affairs officer Mike Lawhorn tackled this conundrum earlier today. If anyone should be trying to make sense of this grand experiment we call milblogging,
Clearing up a few facts -- [Grandma in Iraq - POA in Iraq]
Gosh, I had no idea my blog would stir up such strong voices. I truly do belief in freedom of speech and expression, but may I ask you to be tolerant, courteous and respectful of each other's opinions?
I want to take a few moments to clear up misinformation posted about my blog recently.
Good news, the truth and propaganda -- [The Leader's Line]
Don't know how many of you have seen the PR Nerve Center piece about a blog coming out of Iraq and appearing at Cincinnati.com.
Apparently, Suzanne Fournier, of the Army's Corps of Engineers, has been blogging from Iraq. You can see her latest blog post here.
Meet My Son -- [Desert Odessey]
Benjamin John...born 3 April 2006 @ 1537....8 pounds 7.5 ounces.
Friday, April 07, 2006 -- [Chapter War - home from Iraq]
We land through cloudy weather. Somebody remarks out loud that at Dallas they greet all military personnel with fire trucks and a water cannon salute.
There is no such fanfare in Atlanta.
We disembark the plane and walk into the terminal not knowing what to expect. As I walk out into the crowd of people waiting for their flights its as if I don’t exist. People don’t go out of their way to look at us at all. Those that do peek at me then look away if I happen to see them. There are no greetings.
DFW Airport Welcomes Soldiers Home (Video) -- [God Bless America]
This short video show soldiers being welcomed home, 4/6/06, at DFW airport. It isn't close to how long or how loud the welcome is. It was the same welcome for a single soldier who waked through the door. It is my priviledge to work where I can be a part of this kind of support for our military
Back to "Normal" -- [Fun with Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...So when I first got to this base I’m now at I took a piece of wood and wrote “Number of missions without taking contact or getting blown up.” Every time I get back from a mission without incident I put another hash mark on the board. Every month of the year has also been written out with a big black X over the months we’ve been here. I’ve decided that when I do get blown up (around here it’s a question of when and how bad, not if) and have to replace the window of the Hummer, the replaced glass is going home with me. It’ll be my little war trophy.
Thoughts of the gray halflight before dawn -- [Shawn's (Highly) Motivated Life - in Iraq]
...I stepped back towards my fighting position, the glow of the lights reaching me on my hill that's not a hill, the ruins of the place once a city, once called Kish. And I stood in my six pounds of armor and ammo, radio dangling from one shoulder, rifle from the other, wondering how well they could see me when they looked up. Wanting them to see me watching them. Resting my hand on my machine gun perched on sandbags, feeling the cool morning breeze.
Complex attack - 02 Oct 05 -- [Team Med-fah - recently returned from Iraq]
Before I start this story, I need to explain something about leave in the Iraqi Army. I may have addressed this in a (much) earlier posting, but I will do so again here in order to set the stage for this next story. Leave is a big deal in the Iraqi Army. Its purpose is grounded in a true need, but it is, in my opinion, a system abused by the Iraqis. The facts are this: there is no banking system in Iraq. At all. When a jundi is paid in cash each month, he now has to figure out how he is going to get this wad of cash to his family back home, wherever that may be.
U.S. Troops Ordered to Attack Ambushes -- [Strategy Page]
April 6, 2006: In Iraq, American troops no longer speed up when ambushed, trying to escape the attackers. Now, most troops have been trained, and instructed, to stop and fight, and go after the attackers. That tells you a lot about how much the situation in Iraq has changed. American troops are now better trained, and equipped (with armored trucks, UAVs and so on) than they were two years ago.
Deciphering Enemy Tactics in Fallujah -- [Strategy Page]
April 6, 2006: During the "Second Battle of Fallujah" in 2004, the terrorists and anti-government forces seem to have borrowed some ideas from World War II Imperial Japan. While some of the terrorists were more or less hard-core fighters, many were poorly trained volunteers.
BLAST SITE TURNED SOCCER FIELD -- [Blogging Baghdad - journalist embed in Iraq]
Goal posts and hoops
The former bomb site is now a small dusty soccer field, with a basketball hoop at one end, and surrounded by six foot high concrete blast walls. The burst pipes have been fixed and the stagnant water drained. The sewage outlets have been repaired and sealed.
Once littered with household rubbish, glass and debris, the children now proudly maintain the field as if it were a world-class stadium.
Iraq Pictures - 05 April 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
SGT Eric Jackson, chaplain’s assistant for the 172nd Stryker Brigade, visited the town of Qara Qosh, Iraq, to help the town upgrade their radio station.
...Albanian Soldiers get their photos taken after a change of command
US outraged by insurgent video of Apache pilot's burning corpse -- (Times Online)
AMERICA reacted with outrage yesterday after Iraqi insurgents posted footage of a US soldier’s body being dragged from the wreckage of a downed helicopter near Baghdad.
US Military Doubts Burning Pilot Video -- (ABC News)
An Iraqi policeman picks up still smoking schoolbooks at the scene of a roadside bomb Wednesday April 5, 2006 in central Baghdad, Iraq. ...
U.S.: Top Iraqi Insurgent Leader Captured -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi forces have captured the prime suspect in last year's kidnapping of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, the U.S. military said Thursday....
In Bid to Rebuild Razed Bridge, Recovery and War Vie in Iraq -- (NY Times)
HUSAYBA, Iraq, April 2 — Last August, under daily attack from car bombs and mortars, the Marines took down the only bridge over the Euphrates River for miles around.
Shiites Want a Delay in Decision on PM -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Shiite leaders decided Thursday to oppose convening parliament next week to decide the future of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and may turn to the country's top Shiite cleric to break the deadlock over formation of the new government....
Hopes for announcement on Iraq parliament dashed -- (Reuters)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A press conference at which officials were expected to announce the date of the next session of Iraq's parliament was canceled on Thursday, organizers said, dealing another blow to efforts to form a government.
IRAQ: IRANIAN HAND BEHIND GOVERNMENT STALEMATE -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 5 April (AKI) - With outgoing Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari showing no intention of stepping aside to allow fellow Shiite, Adel Abdel Mahdi, to head a new 'unity' government, fingers are being pointed at nearby Iran. Shiite sources in Baghdad say Tehran may have fostered the split within the mainly Shiite alliance which won the relative majority in the new parliament. Jaafari's candidature has been rejected by Kurds, Sunnis and secular Shiites, who say he is too close to Tehran, but there are now allegations that some Shiite MPs, are on the payroll of Iran's Revolutionary Guards or secret services.
Iraqi Says Visit By Two Diplomats Backfired -- (New York Times)...Kirk Semple
A top adviser to Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said Wednesday that the visit this week by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw of Britain had backfired, prolonging a deadlock over a new government and strengthening Mr. Jaafari's resolve to keep his post.
Assembly Vote Would Push Out Al-Jaafari -- (Washington Times)...Sharon Behn
Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari will be forced out of his post through a vote in the National Assembly if he refuses to step aside voluntarily, a Shi'ite Iraqi legislator said yesterday.
May 15 Deadline Urged For Iraq's Government -- (Washington Post)...Dan Balz
Frustrated by the stalemate over forming a government in Iraq, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) outlined a series of deadlines yesterday for withdrawing most U.S. forces by the end of the year and called for increased diplomatic pressure by the Bush administration to compel Iraqi leaders to take responsibility for the future of their country.
Iraqi Court Acquits CBS Cameraman -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- An Iraqi cameraman working for CBS News was acquitted Wednesday of insurgent activity, a year after being wounded and detained by the U.S. military in the wake of a car bombing....
Central Criminal Court of Iraq Convicts 22 Insurgents -- (News Blaze)
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Central Criminal Court of Iraq convicted 22 security detainees for various crimes including illegal border crossing, coordinating deadly attacks and joining terrorist groups
April Among Deadliest In Iraq For U.S. -- (Washington Times)...Rowan Scarborough
April is becoming one of the deadlier months for U.S. troops in Iraq, perhaps dashing the hopes of commanders that a three-month-long downward trend in fatalities meant the insurgency was becoming less effective.
Workin' for a Living in Charikar -- [Miserable Donuts]
Here are some scenes from working life in Charikar, capital of Parwan Province, Afghanistan. I really like Charikar, and for some odd reason, I have been thinking about it a lot the last couple of days.
The "Worst Part of War" -- [Soldier's Angel Germany]
From Soldiers' Angels Linda: "I wanted to share an email from one of our soldiers at Task Force Thoroughbred in Afghanistan. He is looking for toys for an Afghan family whose daughter was wounded by a land mine."
There's a War Out There Somewhere -- [Pound by LB - in Afghanistan]
That's what I heard someone say tonight at work. "There's a war out there somewhere." It's true, there is, it's just not where I am per se, but sometimes it's close enough. We've had our rocket attacks and our mine accidents and IED's, but not my unit, just my base. And really, we haven't had a lot of those and sometimes it's pretty easy to forget we're in a war zone.
Covering the 'Other' War: A Reporter in Afghanistan -- (Yahoo News)
...Reporters aren't targets in a way they are in Iraq, "but obviously the insurgents are looking for Western targets, and if they can get their hands on a Westerner, they will," he notes. The suicide bombings -- virtually unheard of here until last year -- have increased fourfold. Particularly troubling is the uncertainty of their genesis: Are they mimicking attacks in Iraq, or is there actual coordination between insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Blast outside US Afghan base kills 1-- (Reuters)
KABUL (Reuters) - A blast in a market outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan killed an Afghan civilian and wounded three others on Thursday. The cause of the explosion was not immediately known, an Afghan official said
82nd To Deploy In 2007 -- (Fayetteville (NC) Observer)...Kevin Maurer
The 82nd Airborne Division’s headquarters will leave for Afghanistan next year, Maj. Gen. Bill Caldwell confirmed Tuesday during his final interview as the unit’s commanding general.
Whatsoever ye sow... -- [Peace like a River]
High oil prices are flooding Iran with oil cash. As such, it is in Iran's interest to keep oil prices high. However, the confrontation that Iran has brought upon itself is hurting Iran in other ways.
Iran's Public Defense Industry Trade Show Maneuvers -- [ThreatsWatch]
Yesterday’s Iranian military hardware ‘Breakthrough of the Day’ was, on its face, amusingly humorous. The Pentagon confirmed (so much for stealth) that Iran’s much-touted Friday missile test, complete with claims of stealth (again) and MIRV capabilities, as that of simply a Shahab-2. Both serve to put the entire operation into perspective. It was an Iranian defense industries trade show.
Russians Try to Screw Venezuelans -- [Strategy Page]
April 6, 2006: After receiving initial deliveries of Russian AK-103 assault rifles, the Venezuelans quickly discovered that some of the weapons are not new, but older models "remanufactured" to newer standards. As a result, they have suspended the contract (for 100,000 rifles). The Russians have long pulled stunts like this, and have acquired a shady reputation as a result.
Japan Urged To Move On US Troops Relocation -- (London Financial Times)...Demetri Sevastopulo
The Pentagon wants senior Japanese politicians to step up their involvement in negotiations to reach agreement over the realignment of 50,000 troops stationed in Japan.
China could sign deals for $15 billion US goods -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese companies could sign contracts this month to buy $15 billion worth of Boeing aircraft and other American goods and services, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday
U.S. Rolls Out Nuclear Plan -- (LA Times)
The Bush administration Wednesday unveiled a blueprint for rebuilding the nation's decrepit nuclear weapons complex, including restoration of a large-scale bomb manufacturing capacity.
ITALY ELECTIONS: MUSLIM CANDIDATES WANT RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS -- (AKI)
Rome, 5 April (AKI) - In Italy's increasingly multi-ethnic society, religion should have nothing to do with politics, say Muslim candidates running in this weekend's general election. They say the fact that the country is predominantly Catholic does not mean they want Islam to have a greater sway in public life here. Rather, these candidates told Adnkronos International (AKI), Italy should become more secular to reflect an increasingly diverse population. Italy,...
Al Qaeda's recruiting in the Palestinian territories -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Following my post and article on Al Qaeda's master plan to attack Israel in the next three years, a Jordanian intelligence source confirmed to Al Hayat that a major Al Qaeda attack was just very recently foiled in Gaza.
This source also confirmed that Al Qaeda has been expanding in Gaza and tried to penetrate the West Bank but with less success there.
Professor's population speeches unnerve some -- (Statesman.com)
He says he's issuing warning, but others see talk of pandemics as a threat.
University of Texas professor Eric Pianka's enemies say he advocates wiping out 90 percent of the population and that his seemingly giddy obsession with death and disease coupled with power over young minds is dangerous and disturbing.
"Every time they hear mail call, I'm hounded for more letters from Soldiers Angels... "
To whom it may concern, -- [Soldier's Angel Germany]
I recently signed up with Soldiers' Angels. Just know that I really don't talk to many people, well, I guess they don't talk to me because I am actually deployed at the moment with the USS Abraham Lincoln.
Marines Expand Use of Combat Action Ribbon -- [Strategy Page]
April 4, 2006: Recognizing the impact of new forms of warfare, the U.S. Marine Corps has authorized the award of the Combat Action Ribbon for those who came under attack with IEDs (roadside bombs). This change is retroactive to October 7, 2001. Many Marines had applied for the Combat Action Ribbon because they came under fire via IEDs, but these requests have, until now, been turned down. All of these previous applications will be reviewed again by May 1, 2006.
Etrade sucks -- [Chris Whong - in Iraq]
You usually don’t have a choice who your home loans get sold to… But if you do, steer clear* of etrade. They have lost another payment of mine, this one in excess of $3000.00. I don’t know what the problem seems to be, since it works the other 80% of the time.
...To make matters worse, calling from Iraq and staying on hold for 30 minutes is expensive! I am over here, with only email as an effective means of communicating, and these people want me to FAX copies of cleared checks to verify the payment.
The Simple Life -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
I have received several emails and comments asking how to become a Marine Corps officer and the training involved. I thought I would take a moment to answer those questions with a brief explanation of how the system works. As a civilian, there are two basic ways to become a Marine Corps officer: bachelor’s degree+ OCS, and the US Naval Academy. If you’re at the Naval Academy, you probably don’t have this question, so I’ll focus on the route that I took...
The Military And Social Class -- (Letter) -- (Boston Globe)...Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, USA
In the April 3 article on divorced parents of service members ('Grief over war loss deepens wounds of divorce," City & Region), the Globe attributes to David Popenoe, a Rutgers sociology professor, the canard that soldiers 'tend to come from a population . . . with lower education and income levels." However, 90 percent of Army recruits are high school graduates or higher, compared to 75 percent of nonrecruits.
The People Speak on Immigration -- [euphoricreality.net]
This poll might be interesting to you, if you’d like to know what actual Americans think of immigration. And by “actual,” I mean legal immigrants and citizens.
McKinney Lawyer: Tom DeLay Is a “Rich White Boy” (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s lawyer James Myart appeared on FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes this evening to defend his client who is accused of hitting a Capitol Police Officer. Retiring Congressman Tom DeLay was on the segment before Myart and said that McKinney pulls the race card out every time she is in trouble. DeLay also called McKinney and her father “anti-Semitic”, to which co-host Alan Colmes called “outrageous” in the segment with Myart.
Privacy? What privacy? -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
Although this Administration and the GOP will tell you that your civil liberties are safe with them, to be fair, they also are quick to point out that “a right to privacy is not a guarantee in our Constition”, so I guess I cannot, with good consience file this one under the “Hypocrisy” category, can I? Ah, hell.. I went ahead and did it anyway. Too bad, so sad…
House votes to crack down on advocacy groups -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday to crack down on independent political groups that spent nearly a half-billion dollars in the 2004 election, most of it trying to help Democrats.
Centrist Faces The GOP's Iraq Problem -- (Washington Post)...Shailagh Murray
How nervous are Republicans that the Iraq war could hurt them in November? Nervous enough that Rep. Christopher Shays visited the same senior center twice in one week to defend his stand.
N.Y. Sen. Clinton says immigration bill would make her a criminal -- (Newsday)
Hillary Rodham Clinton charged Wednesday that a House GOP immigration bill would make her and her Senate aides criminals, and warned of a "ticking time bomb" lurking in the U.S. economy.
Clinton's latest comments on the immigration debate in Congress follow earlier remarks in which she said the bill, written by Reps. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Peter King, R-N.Y., would probably criminalize "even Jesus himself."
Clintons' Speeches Invite Comparison -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was a case of Clinton deja vu.
Excuse the crowd if they had heard it before. The New York Democrat, who clearly took good notes, had very slightly revised her husband's old standard, from his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1993.
Grand Jury to Hear McKinney Run-In Case -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal grand jury will soon begin hearing evidence about Rep. Cynthia McKinney's run-in with a Capitol Police officer, a lawyer familiar with the case said late Wednesday. The lawyer, who declined to be identified because of grand jury secrecy, confirmed that federal prosecutors had agreed to get involved in the case in which a black lawmaker is accused of striking a white officer after he tried to stop her from entering a House office building without going through a security checkpoint.
Panel Agrees No Middle Ground in Iraq Coverage: Either Too Positive or Too Negative -- [NewsBusters]
Reuters organized a panel discussion between a blogger, journalists, and a U.S. military spokesman. They couldn't agree on much, except that the coverage of Iraq is either too positive or too negative.
Debate: Reporting from Iraq (Update) -- (Reuters)
Above all, the difficulties for reporters working in Iraq came through Wednesday as U.S. and Arab journalists joined Lt. Colonel Steven Boylan to debate the media’s coverage in Iraq. Reporters can’t follow their basic instinct to “see, smell and hear” if they can’t linger in the streets to talk to people, said Roger Cohen of the New York Times. Iraqi journalists are fearful of being considered collaborators with the American military if they are seen working as journalists, said Zaki Chehab, political editor of Al Hayat.
Blaming Messenger Is For Losers -- (Chicago Tribune)...Clarence Page
"Credibility is everything in our business." That's what I told the latest batch of military public-affairs specialists to graduate from the Pentagon's 12-week course for enlisted men and women in journalism, photojournalism and public affairs.
Happiness Is... -- [Smash]
...Holding a newborn baby boy.
After twenty-one hours of labor, my newest nephew was delivered by emergency cesearean section at 7:30 Monday morning. Mother Sallie is recovering nicely, father Grant is prouder than a peacock, and Baby Ben is as healthy as any parents could wish for.
The Week's Blogger Of The Year -- [Captain's Quarters]
Now that the event has concluded, I can reveal why I came to Washington DC tonight. The Week Magazine selected me as Blogger of the Year for 2005, following in the footsteps of my friends from Power Line, who won the honor last year. The magazine flew me out here earlier today and put me up at an excellent hotel, and then brought me to the Andrew Mellon Auditorium for dinner and the presentation.
Back to War -- [Michael Yon - traveling to Iraq]
In the few months since leaving the war, I’ve crisscrossed the United States several times, talking with infantrymen in their twenties and veterans in their eighties, helicopter pilots, special forces soldiers, families and friends of wounded and killed warriors, all for a book about the Deuce Four’s Battle for Mosul. But it’s time to take a break from writing to let the facts and details steep. I’ve headed back to war.
I am writing now from the Middle East, poised to reenter the war in less than 15 hours; this time without the protection of the military.
Baghdad without newspapers. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Me: who threatened them?
Papers guy: the death notes were signed by the mujahideen; they said that they will kill anyone who continues to print, distribute or sell newspapers.He then showed me one of those notes; the ban includes virtually every paper but basically "papers that promote Safawi [Persian] Shiasm, blasphemous secular ideas and democracy…".
How Massacres Become the Norm -- [Dahr Jamail - journalist writing for the Inter Press Service, The Asia Times and many other outlets - in Iraq]
US soldiers killing innocent civilians in Iraq is not news. Just as it was not news that US soldiers slaughtered countless innocent civilians in Vietnam. However, when some rare reportage of this non news from Iraq does seep through the cracks of the corporate media, albeit briefly, the American public seems shocked. Private and public statements of denial and dismissal immediately start to fill the air. We hear, "American soldiers would never do such a thing," or "Who would make such a ridiculous claim?"
It amazes me that so many people in the US today somehow seriously believe that American soldiers would never kill civilians.
New Abu Ghraib Photos - Part II -- [BlackFive]
Here's the link to New Abu Ghraib Photos - Part I...you won't see these at slate et. al.
More 'abuse' (water torture?) at the hands of a US Marine....
Back to the men in black -- [Baghdad Dweller - an Iraqi in the Netherlands]
Why Iraqi alliances are insisting on Al-Jaafari as PM? Al-Jaafari is from Pakistani origin he doesn't have the Iraqi tribal background (as a backbone), not even a history of struggle against the former regime (no public base support or a militia to relay on), conclusion: He will be a leader easy to control by the big parties
...Last weeks Iraqi officials gave some hints and remarks about a “Third Army” taking orders from the Americans, and don’t follow instructions from the Iraqi government, doing “secret illegal operations” or as report says “dirty operations” (see Al-Hayat report in Arabic: here).
The report goes further than this, it’s also says that the last attack on the Shiia mosque was done by the same group Iraqis disguise in military clothes escorted by the Americans.
Iraqi dreams gone with the winds.... -- [Emotions - an Iraq in Iraq]
On the third anniversary of the American invasion, I wanted to compare our sentiment toward the American soldiers. After the invasion we used to drive our cars behind the troops to feel safe and secured from those who may steel our cars, because of the absence of the police at that time. The soldiers were very nice and gentile with every one, specially the children.
Iraqi Perspectives Project - Part VI -- [Red Hunter]
The Iraqi Perspectives Project is "an unclassified historical report in book form on the Iraqi view of coalition military operations conducted in Iraq." Published in book form by the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Joint Center for Operational Analysis, the project "the perspectives of the Iraqi civilian and military leadership involved in major combat operations gathered through interviews conducted during the fall and winter of 2003/2004, and an extensive review of Iraqi historical documents done in the months since then."
Too Personal -- [Madly in Love with Iraq - an Iraqi in UK]
...When we cannot fight the enemy we start fighting each other. We have to blame someone, anyone but our own selves.
We don’t have a high expectation, that is why you still hear people saying ‘Oh at least under Saddam we could go out relatively safe because we knew our borderlines and our limits’.
The Americans ruined our country, fine, but we let them, the terrorists are everywhere killing us, fine, but some of us housed them.
Happy New Year -- [Welcome to Beth-Nahrain - an Iraqi student in US]
...people who are using the 3rd anniversary to keep protesting the troops’ presence in Iraq are really getting on my nerves...for example, one demonstration that is supposed to take place in Atlanta on April 1st have flyers that are using “peace in Iraq” and “bring our troops home now” in the same sentence. Who are they kidding? Do these people honestly believe that pulling out the American troops now would bring peace to Iraq? That is the craziest thing I have heard. The troops leaving Iraq now would mean complete destruction to Iraq and whatever minimal idea of Democracy that is already in the making there.
Proud -- [Dustin - in Iraq]
I protected BIAP and patrolled the villages around it. We were shot at, nearly blown up, cursed at, and had our own MREs thrown back at us by some Iraqis almost every day. Most of them loved us, were glad to see Saddam gone, appreciated all the aid we provided and the chance at a better life they were given. My mission today is different than my first. Now I stay behind the wire and man a weapon system that knocks rockets and mortars out of the sky. I don't see much action. Sometimes I miss it, but I think I'd miss my limbs more. It's hard for us to do what we do when people protest the war, want us out of here. Did they forget what we stand for? That we stand for democracy and freedom? America is proud because we don't just live in our own sheltered existence. We are involved. Ignorant college students that think they know politics, know about life, are saying that American soldiers are dying for nothing. Die for nothing?
Against the world Media .. -- [Days of My Life - an Iraqi in Iraq]
The thing that bothers me so much is the MEDIA, all the Medias, American's, Iraqi's, Arabians'..., they DO NOT show the real life in Iraq, specially the citizens' real state of affairs, they always show an old woman with Abaya, a dirty child, or an old man wear ripped dress (Dishdasha) & slipper . Showing that these people represents the Iraqis! Don't you see that often?!
Even when there is a questionnaire, the media do not ask a doctor, nor an engineer, teacher or any educated citizen, they do not go to a university or a hospital.
Shocking Iraq War Video -- [Daily Dispatch]
Message from Bulldog 6 -- [Bayji Iraq FOB Summerall - in Iraq]
Greeting from Iraq to friends and family of the Bulldogs! First, I want to again thank you for all the sacrifices you, at home, make on a daily basis to support these fine troopers here in Iraq. We have turned our attention to training our replacements here in Bayji, the Iraqi Army. Each Bulldog has taken this mission seriously, knowing this is our ticket to come home! Also, we have continued our goal of making Bayji the safest place in Iraq by detaining a number of high valued individuals. It is amazing to see the focus and determination of each Bulldog here in Iraq. You should be extremely proud of your soldier and his accomplishments as we continue to positively impact the citizens of the Bayji area.
A Wonderful Feeling -- [Daves not Here - contractor in Iraq]
...We've been forced to cut back so far that it should be obvious to everyone that the Army is changing it's methods here in Iraq. I'm not sure what the final picture will look like, but the Army is defenitely not spending as though every base will be here for the next 10 years. It is obvious that the Army is looking to close bases and reallocate forces, thus reducing the cost of this war. The question now is.....which bases are to close.
Cameras, Kuwait, and a plane ride North…. -- [JusticeSoldier]
Hello all! I am writing this from the place you read about on the evening news, the place that make all the Democrats and Cause-ologists (protesters) dread………..IRAQ! Oh god, the horror of it all, the nerve of George Bush to send me to such a heinous place….. hell, if any of you came here you would die laughing and then proclaim that you were never leaving. Well, maybe it is not that nice but I am not exactly roughing it- sure they are going to bomb us tomorrow morning but what are the odds of hitting little old me? Yes, everyone, this is my first email from Iraq- we have landed and all is well.
Saving farmland in Iraq -- [Grandma in Iraq - in Iraq]
I’d like to tell you about another water project that is very different than any we have in the United States. I know this seems strangely different than problems facing our farming communities, but let me try to explain why this drainage system and project are very important here in Iraq.
...I am explaining this in an effort to help you understand the multiple challenges faced by Iraq even for a situation that appears as simple as a drainage system to solve the irrigation problem.
Alright I’m getting burned out. -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck - in Iraq]
No, it’s not because I’ve been here for months already. It’s mainly because I haven’t had a day off yet. Well, I guess I shouldn’t complain since the last time I had a day off is Friday. I mean it’s only been like four days worth of missions.
Is the media telling the real story on Iraq? - (Reuters)
Welcome to the web coverage of the Reuters Iraq Newsmaker debate. This multimedia package includes a live webcast of the panel discussion, real-time blogging from around the world, a live chat, and related news. Please explore the entire experience as the panel addresses these issues: How accurately does the media tell the Iraq story? Can the media reflect reality, given the dangers and constraints? Is the agenda dominated by bad news? Do the Arab and Western media tell different stories?
Democracy In Iraq Not A Priority In U.S. Budget -- (Washington Post)...Peter Baker
While President Bush vows to transform Iraq into a beacon of democracy in the Middle East, his administration has been scaling back funding for the main organizations trying to carry out his vision by building democratic institutions such as political parties and civil society groups.
'We apologize for the inconvenience' -- (Houston Chronicle)
Iraqis in Ramadi get used to U.S. Marines dropping in during patrols of 'battle space'
...Pausing at a black gate, a Marine knelt and another stepped onto his back, hurtling over to unlock it from inside. There was no polite request for entry. The threat from insurgent bombs or snipers was too great.
"We apologize for the inconvenience," 31-year-old Staff Sgt. William Brooks of Houston said as a man, his wife and two children came to the door to watch Marines take up positions in their courtyard. "We're just stopping by. We'll be on our way soon."
IRAQ'S PATHETIC POLS -- (New York Post)
THE realists and pessimists say that Iraq can't become a democracy, that the whole idea is foolish and sentimental. The surprise visit to Iraq by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and British Foreign Minister Jack Straw over the weekend would tend to reinforce that sobering view.
It's been almost four months since December's general election, and results were finalized two months later - yet here we are in April, and . . . nothing.
In Iraq, US Still Carries Big Stick -- (Christian Science Monitor)...Howard LaFranchi
Much of the money for rebuilding Iraq has already been spent, and Iraqi soldiers are gradually taking over for their American counterparts. So what can the United States still use as leverage? It may be that the strongest influence is the simple fear of what would happen if the US up and left.
Majority Of 32 Wisconsin Towns Vote For Iraq Pullout -- (Washington Post)...Kari Kydersen
Voters in the majority of 32 Wisconsin towns with local referendums on the Iraq war voted Tuesday to bring the troops home.
Two Deadlines And An Exit -- (New York Times)...John F. Kerry
We are now in the third war in Iraq in as many years. The first was against Saddam Hussein and his supposed weapons of mass destruction. The second was against terrorists whom, the administration said, it was better to fight over there than here. Now we find our troops in the middle of an escalating civil war.
Let The Iraqis Bargain -- (Washington Post)...David Ignatius
Americans are getting impatient about the formation of a new Iraqi government. That's what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told political leaders in Baghdad this week, and she was putting it mildly. But it would be folly if American impatience torpedoed the slow but real progress Iraqi leaders are making toward a government that could step back from the brink of civil war.
Withdrawal Pleas: Courting Cataclysm -- (Washington Times)...John R. Thomson
...How sadly selfish, impatient and non-humane, after just three years, to weary of another people's search for the right national path and advocate picking up our marbles and returning home. Indeed, how very non-American.
Iraq PM rejects calls to step aside -- (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
| Iraq's interim-Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has rejected growing pressure on him to resign, saying Iraqis must be left to choose their leader democratically
Clipped wings and a triumph for realism -- (Asia Times)
WASHINGTON - Although still united in pushing for confrontation with Iran, the coalition of hawks that propelled US troops toward Baghdad three years ago appears to have finally run out of steam.
Demoralized by the quagmire in Iraq, as well as President George W Bush's still falling approval and credibility ratings, the coalition of aggressive nationalists, neo-conservatives and the Christian Right that promoted the belligerent, neo-imperial trajectory in US foreign policy has lost both its coherence and its power to dominate the political agenda in Washington.
Working the Iraqi Healthcare System -- [Healing Iraq - an Iraqi in Iraq]
My latest post on corruption in the Iraqi healthcare system is in the new Guardian blog today.
With Iraqi Doctors Fleeing, Prognosis Is More Agony -- (Newark Star-Ledger)...James Palmer
...The Iraqi Medical Association estimates as many as 12,000 of the 34,000 doctors registered before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003 have left the country in the past three years. The IMA says assailants have murdered at least another 2,000 Iraqi physicians, and kidnapped roughly 250 others during that period.
Walter Reed's World Of Hurt, Hope -- (Washington Post)...Susan Levine
Suffering of Iraq casualties takes toll on hospital staff.
Another View on Apostasy in Islam -- ['Safrang' - Afghani in US]
Many people have heard of Capt. James Yee, former US Army Muslim Chaplain who ministered to the prisoners in the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and who was arrested on charges of espionage and aiding the enemy, and later released and honorably discharged from the military. He was visiting my college yesterday to speak about his experiences in the military, his spiritual journey to Islam, his Guantanamo ministry days (particularly disturbing in terms of the details of how the prisoners are treated at the base), and his arrest and subsequent release by the US military (Read "The Strange Case of Chaplain Yee" for a good summary.)
Recent pictures from the front: Afghanistan -- [MilitaryPhotos.net]
...Gunnery Sgt. Paul Davis, company gunnery sergeant, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, from Laurens, S.C., aims in on suspected insurgents during a company-wide operation conducted near the remote mountain village of Salar Ban in the Shuryak Valley of Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan.
Afghanistan: Inquiry Into Soldiers' Deaths -- (New York Times/Reuters)
The United States military said an investigation had begun into a southern battle last week in which an American soldier and a Canadian soldier were killed and five other soldiers — an American, three Canadians and an Afghan — were wounded, to determine if any were hit by their own side.
Chavez Oil Grab -- [Chris Cam]
No one seems to care that Hugo Chavez is a quietly gathering menace. The American press is more obsessed with Tom DeLay and Katie Couric than the Venezuelan dictator. This is the same press that assails the Bush Administration's lack of attention to various international crises. I suppose it doesn't matter that Chavez seized control of a French oil company's oil fields, but his threatening noises and motions combined with the financial wherewithall to finance anti-US activity on top of this latest issue is a seriously destabilizing force in the region. We need to be paying more attention to him.
Chavez: Copters To Deter Invaders -- (Miami Herald)...Jorge Rueda, Associated Press
Three newly bought Russian-made helicopters whirled overhead at an aerial demonstration attended by President Hugo Chávez as a top general said Venezuela plans to buy 30 more for its military.
ARE YOU READY FOR HIZBOLLAH'S PREVENTIVE TERROR? -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Walid Phares]
In an article titled “Attacking Iran May Trigger Terrorism” in the Washington Post, journalist Dana Priest says “U.S. Experts wary of Military Action over Nuclear Program.” The gist of the piece is clear: If –or when the US- will engage in military activities against the Iranian regime over the nuclear crisis, one has to expect that Tehran would use its assets to respond against US targets in the region and beyond. The article goes on to explain the mechanisms of this equation. WP article
Jihad Bolognaise -- [TigerHawk]
From Stratfor's terror alert email this afternoon (blogging via Blackberry, so no link):
Italian authorities claim they foiled attacks against the Milan subway system and Bologna's Basilica of San Petronio, home of a 1415 fresco by Giovanni da Modena that depicts the Prophet Mohammed being tormented in hell, by deporting seven people linked to two Algerian militant groups....
I have some questions.
If militant Christians plotted to blow up Muslim artistic treasures in Egypt and a commuter train in Cairo, who doesn't think we would hear about it on every network and read about it in every newspaper?
Chief 9/11 Architect Critical Of Bin Laden -- (Los Angeles Times)...Josh Meyer
To hear Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed tell it, Osama bin Laden was a meddling boss whose indiscretion and poor judgment threatened to derail the terrorist attacks.
Iraq terror backlash in UK 'for years' -- [Times Online]
A leaked top-secret memo from the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) says the war in Iraq has “exacerbated” the threat by radicalising British Muslims and attracting new recruits to anti-western terror attacks.
No, international law doesn't have to be dumped because of al-Qaida -- (The Guardian)
...At first glance, they seem to have a strong point. It is quite true that al-Qaida hardly plays by Marquess of Queensberry rules. They do not, as article 4 of the third convention stipulates, wear a "fixed, distinctive sign recognisable from a distance"; they do not carry their arms openly, or conduct their operations "in accordance with the laws and customs of war". As we discovered last July, this enemy wears jeans and rucksacks and obeys no gentlemanly courtesies. Surely it makes no sense to pretend that Osama bin Laden's bombers can be treated like Steve McQueen and Dickie Attenborough in The Great Escape.
Bin Laden will never be captured alive: bodyguard -- (Hindustan Times)
Osama bin Laden has no intention of being taken alive. He has designated a "special gun" to be shot with in the event of imminent capture, according to one of the Al-Qaeda chief's former...
Video Nightmare -- [Iraq War News]
Did you know our Heroes are working for a "handsome paycheck and benefits package?"
Well, it was news to me too.
And yes, I'm being sarcastic. However, there is at least one person warped and stupid enough to believe that our Heroes are well and truly compensated - here's another of her gems:
"They're not laying down their lives for me to do anything. They're certainly not laying down their lives for democracy. They're laying down their lives for the bloodthirsty ...
Military Transition Article Web Site -- [Veterans in Motion]
We're still tightening up things with our new project. Our new project offers a way for people leaving the military, military families, and veterans to find articles on key topics they need. In other words, it's real hard to find quick information and tips on certain topics. You'll find yourself drowning in the internet to research certain topics to help you military transition. On our article directory, you're able to search a topic and find articles related to the topic you're searching. Articles are being added daily so be sure to visit the site frequently.
A Marine's Mother -- (Washington Post)...Christopher Lee
Last August, Danielette James, 58, a federal custodian who cleans congressional offices five nights a week, unsuccessfully pleaded with her bosses for time off to welcome home her son, a Marine who was returning to Camp Lejeune, N.C., after seven months in Iraq.
Now *THIS* is a Memorial -- [Soldiers' Angels New York]
The USS New York is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft. It is being built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.
It also survived hurricane Katrina, since it is being built in Louisiana. Workers were back on the job 2 weeks after the hurricane, and are very committed to this ship because of what it represents. The USS New York motto is "Never Forget," a slogan among New Yorkers since Sept. 11. USS New York is about 45 percent complete and should be ready for launch in mid-2007.
Deny military recuriters and lose money -- [Southern Air Pirate's Haze Gray Thoughts]
I read the paper every morning when I come into work, while getting ready to start work. Just something to balance myself and get caught up on some of the things that I missed over the previous night. In the local paper today they had a statement out of Seattle, Washington. The major city near where my folks live and what I have to pay attention to get an idea of the big things going on back home for my folks. I read this little story in the Seattle Times when I got home. It is about an attempt to have an initiative passed for the next major election to kick military recuriters out of the Seattle School District schools.
Army Faulted for Security Guard Contracts -- (Washington Post/ AP)
The Army spent nearly $500 million on no-bid contracts for private security guards, some of whom had criminal records, Congressional investigators said.
Fight Focuses On Copter Records -- (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)...Rebecca Carr
One of the nation's largest defense contractors is suing the Pentagon to prevent the release of Black Hawk helicopter production inspection records, saying they would reveal confidential information to its competitors.
Allen's Controversial Choice Attacked -- (Richmond Times-Dispatch)...Peter Hardin
Sen. George Allen caught some political flak yesterday for backing a controversial Army general to lead the U.S. Special Operations Command. Allen's difference of opinion with fellow Virginia Republican Sen. John W. Warner, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, gave Allen foes some ammunition. Allen recommended Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin for the special-operations post in Tampa, Fla. Boykin is the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary for intelligence.
Cindy Sheehan To Speak At Public High School -- [Expose the Left]
Anti-war icon and activist Cindy Sheehan is to speak at Lowell High School in San Francisco at a closed door event. The event is to take place on Friday, April 7, 2005 at 9:45 AM. Lowell is a public school that is funded by taxpayer’s money. Only students of the school are able to attend without any outside opposing opinion. Local talk radio host Melanie Morgan learned about this event and asked the school if she could attend the event however was denied. Several attempts have been made to contact the school to find out more about Sheehan’s appearance; however they were reluctant to give any further information.
The Angry Immature Left -- [Dave's Not Here contrator in Iraq]
Townhall.com 's Dennis Prager speaks to the immaturity and anger of the Left in general and the Democratic Party in specific. This is a great read if you're wondering why your car got keyed for that Bush-Cheney sticker, your favorite speaker got boo'ed off stage at that recent speech, or you're wondering why the ELF torched a Hummer dealership in San Diego.
Dont forget to thank kennedy for immigration. -- [RedState]
In view of the recent immigration issues, I thought it best to remind everyone who co-authored the 1965 immigration act. None of than loveable Ted. Many think he's harmless and he may just take the country down.
some quotes from a time long, long ago
Master Gunner: Derails McCain-Kennedy's Immigration Bill! -- [Tanker Brothers]
If this crazy "Amnesty" bill actually passes, then I will begin researching how to obtain a refund from the BCIS for all costs incurred in bringing my wife (who is German by birth) over the LEGAL way.
Unlike the ILLEGALS that broke our laws and disrespected our National Sovereignty to get here, She and I jumped through hoops and went through all the proper wickets to get her visa.
I want some payback. Don't worry, we have all the receipts, for everything from Translators to application fees.
And I want it all back....
Under The Bus -- [Balloon Juice]
In which post I reiterate my apparently-controversial position that Congressmen and women who break the law should go to jail. That includes William Jefferson (D-LA2) and, assuming that evidence supports an indictment, Cynthia McKinney (D-GA4).
DEAR CONGRESSMAN MURTHA... -- (Philadelphia Daily News)... JOHN A. LUCAS
ISAW YOU ON TV recently. With all the venom and bile you could muster, you pronounced, "This is George Bush's war."
I understand fully what you were saying. You were telling the country and - more import- antly - our enemies, that this is not your war, that you do not support it.
More than that, you were saying that it is not your party's war. And, you were telling Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden and their jihadist allies that it is not America's war: "This is George Bush's war!"
"I Tried to Represent a Better America" -- (Speigel/English)
Since leaving office, former US president Bill Clinton has devoted himself to making the world a better place. DER SPIEGEL editors Stefan Aust and Gerhard Spörl spoke to him about his Global Initiative and his influence beyond the White House.
NBC: STAGING THE NEWS AGAIN? -- [Michelle Malkin]
***update: a reader sends another message notifying Muslim activists that taping will take place April 8...see below...update: NBC confirms Dateline is working on the story...***
A source who monitors political e-mail lists sent me an intriguing message disseminated last week, which involved an apparent Dateline NBC solicitation to Muslim groups. Check this out:
ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO STAGE -- [Michelle Malkin]
***update: NBC official confirms that Dateline is working on the story...see below..Little Green Footballs sheds light on Tarek El-Messidi, Tennessee-based Muslim activist and purported author of the e-mail solicitation detailing Dateline's wishes; LGF also has details on a similar media sting operation by Czech TV...***
"Meeting the Media" -- [SigSpace - in Afghanistan]
This is the title of a helpful little pamphlet given us by the Public Affairs rep during one of the 800 billion briefings I attended back in Fort Sill during the mobilization. I thought I would share some of the insightful tidbits.
From the intro:
I am Media ... hear me whine! -- [KosovoDad]
Dennis Byrne wrote an interesting article in yesterday's Chicago Tribune about the lack of good news coming out of Iraq. Apparently, the NYT has decided not to engage in the traditional off-the-record sit-downs with the president that many news organizations engage in.
Now, as a military public affairs officer, I know we’re taught, “you never go off the record”. I also know from experience that you do go off the record, you sometimes let your boss go off the record, and going off the record can help you get a lot of stuff done—or avoid a lot of bad news—that you otherwise couldn’t.
Angry French scribe claims 'Syriana' plagiarized -- (Reuters)
PARIS (Hollywood Reporter) - A French screenwriter living in Jordan has sued Warner Bros. Pictures, George Clooney's production company and writer-director Stephen Gaghan, alleging that their film "Syriana" plagiarized entire scenes and characters from a script she wrote several years ago.
Law professor implies Michelle Malkin is a fraud -- [TigerHawk]
Law professor Eric Muller strongly implied that Michelle Malkin has a ghost writer.
Oops. I'd say that Michelle's response was arrestingly civil, under the circumstances.
It is not surprising, actually, that Eric Muller cannot believe that Michelle Malkin works as hard as she does. With obvious exceptions, it may fairly be said that law professors work, oh, a tad less hard than, say, practicing lawyers with similar credentials.
Milblogs in the News: 'Cry Baby' Study Has Blogs Bawling -- [MilBlogging.com]
This week, the blog debate swirling around psychologist Jack Block's controversial study suggesting whiny babies become conservative adults, was featured on Blogophile.
Thoughts from bloggers were featured on the CBS site, too. Here’s a glimpse of what milblogger Seaspook had to say about the study:
If the Army wanted you to have a wife, it would have issued you one.” -- [Officers Club]
Ahh, Spring is in the air, and another one of my classmates has succumbed to the inescapable clutches of marriage. A buddy of mine fowarded me this short satire (yes, readers, this is fake, I assure you) on Army life with an Army wife
Purple Heart -- [Across the Pond - in Iraq]
Finally…after all the paperwork and stupid Army bullshit, I received word that my Purple Heart has been approved. My boss actually brought it back with him from his trip down to higher headquarters this past weekend. I won’t actually get the award until the command decides on how they want to present it. I did get a chance to sneak a peak at it (since I work in the shop that handles awards) and it is surreal. I never in a million years thought I would see my name on such a prestigious award. Then again, I never planned on getting wounded in combat.
Happy Birthday Chloe Irene Kelley ! -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
My daughter, Chloe Irene Kelley, was born on this day in 2002. She is six now, and I am so very proud to be her dad. I will never forget the day she came into the world. I was in college at the University of Montana, in Missoula. It was still cold out. The mountains were frosted with snow. Missoula is a town of 30,000, only hours away from the Canadian border, and my wife and I were in a small, clean room in the Community Hospital there.
MISSING WITHOUT ACTION -- [One Marine's View - home from Iraq]
...Waking up to the surf vise the shells and eating breakfast on the beach was a sure delight. Never needing to look far for a cold drink with their 12 bars and almost as many restaurants we had a nice time. Its not a spring break drunk fest as many cruise ships dock on the other side of the island. I met with many non Americans, British, French, Canucks and even Americans the same. Few mentioned the military, Iraq or anything regarding and when they did, I could have described things to them all day and I wouldn’t have done any justice to the events I had been through the past 2 years in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The long ride home -- [The Will to Exist - on R&R from Iraq]
The trip home took a LONG TIME. It was ridiculous. After catching a C-130 ride from Baghdad International Aiport to Kuwait, I spent a day scrambling to get a paperwork error corrected on my leave form. A missing signature threatened to keep me in Kuwait for up to five days, but my unit got the problem corrected and I was able to catch my charter flight from Kuwait to Atlanta, with a stopover in Germany.
"Great Escape" Pilot Dies -- [MilitaryPhotos.net]
A former RAF pilot who cheated death much more than most of us ever will finally passed away at the ripe old age of 102. Sqn. Leader Eric Foster died peacefully at his home in England, outliving Steve McQueen, the actor that played him in The Great Escape, by more than 50 years. McQueen died of lung cancer in 1980 at the age of 50.
Some Gave All -- [Politics of a Patriot]
Last April 4, I woke up early because we had an all-day track meet that day—the Greenwood Relays. I remember watching the news that morning before school, as I do almost every day. The news caster announced that a Marine had been killed somewhere in Iraq… Now, I can’t even remember where. But I remember they did not say it was Fallujah. With guilty relief, I told myself it couldn’t be my cousin because he was in Fallujah.
...Along this time, I realized that I wanted to do something to support our military. I was reading everything I could get my hands on about the military, but particularly the Marine Corps, and I discovered Milblogs.
Passing of an American Hero -- [ROFA Six]
Yesterday, America and I lost one of our heroes. All of us who served in Vietnam, and especially those of us who flew there, crossed paths with Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Mike Novosel one way or another. His legacy permeates US Army Aviation and we will all suffer a bit of loss now that Mike has left us.
Count the Mistakes -- [I was There - an Iraqi in Iraq]
...The Insurgents are fighting the Americans in two ways, in the field and in the Medias; The American Forces are doing a great job in the field but the Military Public Affairs are not as good as the soldiers in the field; the insurgents now have websites that10 minutes after every operation they put full details with films or pictures but if you contact the Military Public Affairs you should wait for hours before they release something about it, they should have some people watching those websites and release some thing about it the minute the insurgents release some thing; both sides, the military and the insurgents, are looking for the front page story and this is why the insurgents are putting their story at their website before the military releases any thing, it is a challenge and the Military Public Affairs are not that fast in this.
The Demon Seed Daughter of Saddam -- [Strategy Page]
April 4, 2006: Saddam Hussein's daughter Raghdad (pronounced "Ra'had") appears to be playing a key role in coordinating anti-government violence in Iraq. It all began in the 1990s. In keeping with Iraqi custom, both Raghdad (now 38) and her sister Rana (36) married cousins, Hussein Kamal and Saddam Kamel.
Follow the Money... -- [Asterism - an Iraqi in London]
...was the advice 'Deep Throat' gave journalist Bob Woodward who broke the Watergate scandal. Michael Schwartz in Tom Dispatch does just that to explain the Iraqi insurgency. His conclusion is that the bulk insurgency is motivated by economics rather than religion or support for the old regime. This stemmed from a complete failure of the local economy because of a combination of factors. The obvious one was the shut down of the army and the closure of the state-owned factories that suddenly created a huge amount of unemployed who were driven to join or support the insurgency.
Not so obvious was the opening of the Iraqi markets to unrestricted imports and foreign competition. This allowed foreign companies to use their own reserves to undercut any local competition and apply for contracts or sell products at a loss just to capture the market.
Endgame for Jafari. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Chances for a peaceful resolution of the current political crisis are getting thinner as some of the involved parties keep refusing to show any flexibility in handling the talks with other powers.
1BCT 10TH MTN Div: Current Actions -- [Complete the Mission - in Iraq]
Editors Note: The following was released for the First Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division detailing current projects in Iraq. We would like to place emphasis on the first point. The Main Stream Media reports our efforts to rebuild the Iraqi Army as a new and novel idea. In truth, we started rebuilding their armed forces as early as October 2003
Tuesday, April 04, 2006 -- [Chairborne Stranger - in Iraq]
...My area of Iraq in al Anbar has certainly been busy, we've had IED's aplenty, and small arms engagements, sniper fire, demonstrations. But nothing like the news reports on Baghdad. The real violence is in Baghdad right now. It's a deadly place. One of our interpreters never made it back from vacation-he was executed in his car with one of his friends by insurgents in Baghdad.
Historic Day in Ramadi -- [2/28 BCT Iron Soldiers - in Iraq]
Two historic events brought another level of hope and promise to the people of Ramadi on Friday.
The first event revolved around the “Sons of Al Anbar.” The name given to the brave men who decided to stand up and say “Enough!” to the terrorist plaguing Ramadi and other parts of Al Anbar Province, by becoming Police officers
Monday, April 03, 2006 -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck - in Iraq]
...We had a photographer riding with us today. She’s an Airman in the Air Force. I asked her if she was journalist too. She told me she doesn’t do any journalism, only photography. For some strange reason I was hoping that we would see something today. That way she could get some good photos. I guess if we really wanted to see some action we could’ve drove in the worst part of Baghdad. Than maybe we’d find ourselves in a firefight or something.
23.8% -- [Riding Sun]
I went back and broke down the data behind this graph showing US military deaths in Iraq. Here's a new graph showing deaths classified by the Department of Defense as "hostile" (caused by enemy attacks, including IED's and other attacks outside of active combat) and "non-hostile" (caused by accidents, illness, etc.) in blue. Total deaths are in grey:
ONE NIGHT IN BAGHDAD - TWO WORLDS -- [Blogging Baghdad - NBC journalist embed in Iraq]
When a senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the traveling press pool gathered in Liverpool, England late Friday night that we were headed to Baghdad the next day on a surprise visit - it turns out there was a surprise within a surprise. Rice would be staying overnight - a bold move for such a high-profile United States official.
Upon hearing the news, one person in the room remarked that I looked shell shocked. I guess I couldn't hide it.
EYE IN THE SKY -- [Tribune Blogs Dispatches - journalist embed in Iraq]
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq -- From high aloft, U.S. fighter jets caught the men in their long-range video cameras, tracked their vehicle down Iraqi roads to a local house, then led American troops in for the capture.
In the war on Iraq's insurgents, the U.S. Air Force's "shock and awe" is giving way to eye in the sky. American warplanes are leaving their bombs in their racks more often, and turning powerful targeting eyes into reconnaissance tools instead.
Centre County soldier wonders: How will we be welcomed home? -- [Postcards from Iraq - in Iraq]
As promised, this week I will talk more about some of the challenges we feel that we’ll be faced with upon our return in the near future. If you recall from a past blog that I’d written, I talked about issues — like driving — that I foresaw would be issues when we returned. Many months have gone by since then and our outlook has somewhat changed on what we are apprehensive about.
Training when it's raining -- [Marine Corps Mom - son in Iraq]
It's raining in Iraq and my son had his Marines practice a low water crossing on a creek that appeared suddenly. Here's the aftershot. (pic)
Impromptus -- (National Review Online)...Jay Nordlinger
I have received much mail concerning Secretary Rumsfeld — almost all of it glowing, incidentally, and almost all of it from the military — and I would like to share a letter here. (THIS ITEM APPEARS ONLINE, NOT IN THE ACTUAL MAGAZINE.)
...While at Walter Reed, the injured soldier was having a conversation with a general and mentioned — somewhat in jest — that he wanted Rumsfeld to deliver his Purple Heart.
Well, the next day, who shows up in his hospital room
LA Times Iraq Medical Care Series, Part III -- [Winds of Change - Joe Katzman]
Just read Part III of the LA Times series on medical care in Iraq, "New Battle on the Home Front." You may have to register for the whole thing.
...Overall, I thought Part III was a pretty good article. It looks at a few people working to recover from their wounds, and notes that pretty much all of them want to go back to Iraq.
...Do I have some issues with the series? Yes. The front-page photo choice was pathetic,...
Let's Have Good News From Iraq, Please -- (Chicago Tribune)...Dennis Byrne
...News often is defined as something that didn't happen before, or rarely happens. So, if indeed little good is happening in Iraq, every piece of (rare) good news ought to be reported with the same fervor as every act of violence--which we're to believe is an increasingly common occurrence.
FACTBOX-Developments in Iraq on April 4 -- (Reuters)
Following are security incidents in Iraq on Monday as of 0630 GMT.
U.S. and Iraqi forces have been battling a Sunni Arab insurgency against the Shi'ite- and Kurdish-led interim government. The bombing of a Shi'ite shrine on Feb. 22 has been followed by a surge in sectarian attacks.
A Hole in Which Hopes Are Buried -- (Washington Post)...Richard Cohen
NEW YORK -- President Bush is starting to look beyond his presidency. His focus is on his legacy, which he is sure will vindicate his decision to go to war in Iraq. But his most fitting memorial is likely to be where I was Sunday: the immense gash in Lower Manhattan known as Ground Zero. More than 4 1/2 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the hole has yet to be filled.
Real and Surreal -- (Newsweek)
Condoleezza Rice went to Baghdad to tell the Iraqis to ‘get governing.’ What she did was highlight the disconnect between the Green Zone and the rest of the country.
New Battle On The Home Front -- (Los Angeles Times)...David Zucchino
When wounded U.S. troops return from Iraq, nearly everything has changed. Except, for many, the drive to keep on fighting.
Iraq's struggle for unity -- (Los Angeles Times)
SHIITE UNITY IN IRAQ has to be sacrificed for the sake of national unity. The only chance for that country to avoid a full-fledged sectarian war, such as the conflict that ravaged Lebanon for more tha...
Suicide Bomber Hits Baghdad Mosque -- (Los Angeles Times)...Borzou Daragahi
...The suicide truck bomber in Baghdad hid his explosives with dates. Worshipers were filtering out of the tiny mosque when the bomber struck. One witness said the explosion would have killed even more people if not for concrete barriers set in front of the mosque.
Iraq health clinic shambles as US money runs out -- (Hong Kong Standard)
A contract to build 142 primary health centers across Iraq has run out of money, after two years and roughly US$200 million (HK$1.56 billion), with no more than 20 clinic...
Fighter Jets Sight The Enemy -- (Philadelphia Inquirer/ AP)...Charles J. Hanley
...In the war on Iraq's insurgents, the U.S. Air Force's "shock and awe" is giving way to "eye in the sky." American warplanes are leaving their bombs in their racks more often, and turning powerful targeting eyes into reconnaissance tools
Prodi Says He Would Pull Troops From Iraq -- (Washinton Post/ AP)
ROME -- The center-left candidate to become Italy's next prime minister said Monday that he would pull out Italy's 2,600 troops from Iraq "as soon as possible" if his coalition wins general elections this month.
Outreach Shortfalls -- (Washington Times)...Phillip Riese and F. Andy Messing
America has had almost 2,400 soldiers killed in action due to this recent campaign in Iraq. Accordingly, President George W. Bush will likely see a heightening of dissatisfaction and protests among the American public. Ironically, he has no one to blame but himself for his dismal approval ratings.
Once Upon A Time In Baghdad... -- (Washington Post)...Eugene Robinson
...The Bush administration would like to see a government of "national unity," as if such a thing existed in today's Iraq. Perhaps in the fanciful Baghdad of the Arabian Nights there's a genie who can cross his arms, blink his eyes and conjure a gentle breeze that spreads harmony across the land. If they find him, they should make him prime minister.
Reporter Freed From Captivity In Iraq Speaks To Colleagues -- (New York Times)...Katie Zezima
Jill Carroll, a reporter for The Christian Science Monitor who was held hostage for 82 days in Iraq, visited the paper's newsroom on Monday, addressing colleagues in what the paper's Washington editor called "an emotional lovefest."
IRAQ: SADDAM TO FACE GENOCIDE CHARGES -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 4 April (AKI) - The court trying Saddam Hussein said on Tuesday that the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein will be charged with genocide over a campaign against the Kurds in the late 1980s. The tribunal said the charges have been handed to the prosecution, paving the way for a new trial. Saddam and six others face new charges over a crackdown known as the Anfal campaign, which included the gassing of the Kurdish town of Halabja in 1988 that killed 5,000...
Spiegel Online on Christians in Afghanistan -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Spiegel Online has an interesting report, published on March 30, about the plight of Afghan converts to Christianity. The lead paragraph succinctly captures their very real -- and completely justified -- fear of persecution: "Afghan converts to Christianity lead dangerous lives and must keep their faith secret to avoid persecution by police, Islamists or even their own neighbors. Members of this secret society have to constantly keep looking over their shoulders
Resurfacing-but only for a breath... -- [Army Girl - in Afghanistan]
...I've loved being here and have even asked to be extended. It has nothing of the hustle and insanity that my original station has. I don't have to deal with incompetent, rude and just shitty in general people. There are no preconceived ideas about me, no rumors and none of the immaturity and unproffessionalism that is so rampant up north. Due to this, I've been able to relax, be myself and almost flourish. I've been able to do my job and see the results of my work. I'm getting exposed to new things and learning so much.
Afghan Citizen Faces War Crimes Tribunal -- (Miami Herald)...Carol Rosenberg
The first Afghan citizen to face military commissions goes before the reopened war-crimes tribunal today.
Officials To Probe U.S., Canadian Troop Deaths -- (Los Angeles Times)...Times Wire Reports
The U.S.-led coalition said today it would investigate an attack on one of its bases in southern Afghanistan that killed a U.S. soldier and a Canadian soldier, including whether any of the casualties were caused by friendly fire.
Tuesday, 4 April 2006 Camp Humphrey protests -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
Well known K-blogger USinKorea now has a new video montage out of the recent anti-USFK hate groups xenophobic protests. The video footage from the Camp Humphrey protests are the most dramatic. I don't see how South Korean society can put up with these hate groups attacking and injuring the riot police who are mostly 20 year old draftees conducting their mandatory service for the nation.
Iran's High Speed Torpedo Scam -- [Strategy Page]
April 4, 2006: Iran recently announced the successful test of a new, high-speed torpedo, one that could move through the water at speeds of up to 100 meters a second. This is four times as fast as conventional torpedoes, and is thus nearly "unavoidable" by its intended target.
NK Believed To Have 6 Nukes: Ex-USFK Chief -- (Korea Times)...Jung Sung-ki
North Korea is believed to possess as many as six nuclear weapons, a former chief of the U.S. military in South Korea has said.
Chávez, Seeking Foreign Allies, Spends Billions -- (NY Times)
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez is spending billions of dollars of his country's oil windfall on pet projects abroad, aimed at setting up his leftist government as a political counterpoint to the conservative Bush administration in the region.
Al Qaeda's Master Plan -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Folowing on my post on Al Qaeda's expansion in the Middle East, I wrote a full article on this topic for Tech Central. You can read it here. Here is an excerpt:
The fact that Al Qaeda is infiltrating countries surrounding Israel is no coincidence. It is aimed at preparing different bases to attack the Jewish state. In fact, while Al Qaeda was really shunning the issue of the Palestinians until 2001, it has now become one of the central issues of the terror network. It is a clear tactical decision in order to gather support recently lost in the Muslim world.
Moussaoui Jury Reaches Verdict: One Step Closer To Death -- [Stop the ACLU]
Jury has found that death is an eligible punishment for Moussaoui in this case.
The Saudis as the Sultans of Spin -- [Strategy Page]
April 4, 2006: Inside Saudi Arabia, Islamic terrorists again failed to carry out a bombing attack on oil facilities. Three weeks after the failed February attack, police seized trucks painted to resemble oil company vehicles, and packed with explosives.
Zarqawi Replaced As Al Qaeda Chief -- (Washington Times)...David R. Sands
Jordanian-born al Qaeda militant Abu Musab Zarqawi has been replaced as head of the terrorist organization in Iraq in a bid to put an Iraqi figure at the head of the group's struggle, said a leading Islamist.
Intel Chief Learns From 'Failure Of Imagination' On Sept. 11 -- (Federal Times)...Victorino Matus
Stephen Cambone, as undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, is the No. 3 man at the Pentagon and widely regarded as Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s right-hand man. Confirmed for the newly created position in 2003 after years of working with Rumsfeld, he faces critics who question his role in the nation’s efforts to reform intelligence and his thinking on how to fight the war on terror.
Reid Calls For Geneva Convention To Be Rewritten -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Thomas Harding
John Reid, the Defence Secretary, called for sweeping changes to international law, including the Geneva Convention, to counter the threat of global terrorism.
ANOTHER MISSISSIPPI SOLDIER LAID TO REST TODAY -- [Keep My Soldier Safe]
As I watched the 10:00 p.m. news last night, something caught my attention. Scrolling across the bottom of my screen was “FUNERAL PROTESTERS”. The Westboro Baptist Church was coming to the funeral of Sgt. 1st Class Christopher L. Robinson,who was killed while serving his country in Afghanistan, Saturday, March 25, 2006.
...I can not remember how many military personnel along with family members walked down that street and shook every single person’s hand and thanked each of us for our support. I overheard a Sergeant Major saying that he has never been so proud of the people in the State of Mississippi as he was at that moment.
Run for the Warriors -- [Marine Corps Moms - son in Iraq]
Carrie Costantini sent this along, thinking that it would be of interest to those who read this site.
The "USO Run For The Warriors" is dedicated to the men and women wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families. It is intended as a celebration of their strength and resolve and a promise that their sacrifices will not be forgotten, nor their needs unmet. By uniting the entire community, military and civilian alike, this unique event will embrace Wounded Warriors and their families in the shared belief that there is hope beyond recovery.
Phormer Phantom phlyer pharewell -- [Neptunas Lex]
Well, with all these goings on about the imminent retirement of the aluminum overcast (not to mention the UK Sea Harrier) you’d think that the current generation of fighter pilots had invented this whole “farewell to all that” meme.
Crash Highlights An Aging Fleet -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Benjamin Y. Lowe and Marc Schogol
All 17 people aboard the C-5 transport survived. It was among the Air Force planes that have undergone a modernization.
Debbie Schlussel strikes again -- [MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy]
I STG, I can't believe this woman. How in God's name does she have any audience at all? Her latest outburst, in comments at The Jawa Report: Oh, ye of little faith and reading comprehension skills. I never mentioned the video, only these facts, which remain the same.
How Could They Not Be Horrified? -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
...That's not really much of a surprise. The Blue state reaction to the entire WOT has been one of not being ready to face the horrors of what it would take to defend our nation and our rights. The horrors of fighting back against a known enemy, even in the micro as what happened on United Flight 93, is always going to be too much for the Left. Attack Afghanistan? Please, can't we wait until after Ramadan?
Gunner, Sabot, Tank! Fire and Adjust! -- [Tanker Brothers]
...The Life Span of a Republic...
How Long Do We Have?
About the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior:
FISA Judges Say Bush Is Within Law, But Nevermind Them -- [Expose the Left]
The liberal media has kept this gem well hidden:
A panel of former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges yesterday told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that President Bush did not act illegally when he created by executive order a wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Tom Delay OUT! -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
Washington Post - Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), a primary architect of the House Republican majority who became one of the most powerful and feared leaders in Washington, told House allies Monday night he will step down from the House rather than face a reelection fight that appears increasingly unwinnable.
Sources: DeLay to leave House re-election race -- (CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Tom DeLay will drop out of his re-election race, two Republican congressional sources told CNN on Monday.
MCKINNEY CASE GOES TO FEDERAL PROSECUTOR... -- (Breibart/ AP)
Security video shows McKinney entering the building and moving around the metal detector and X-ray machine. It DOES NOT show her encounter with the police officer, according to Tuesday's ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION...
An Immigration Debate Framed by Family Ties -- (NY Times)...RACHEL L. SWARNS
Lawmakers' family histories have shaped the outlook and legislative positions of some of the most passionate Republican voices.
Al Franken Plagiarized Liberal Group's Writings -- [NewsBusters]
As reported by Newsbusters on Sunday (April 2, 2006), Middle Tennessee State University is hosting a journalism conference this week called, "Self-Inflicted Wounds - Fact and Fiction in Journalism: Fabrication, Plagiarism and Confidential Sources" (Al Gore is delivering an opening address.) Here's a question: On the topic of plagiarism, will the conference breach the subject of Al Franken?
The New York Times Redesigns, Influenced by Blogs -- [Six Apart - Anil Dash]
Today, the New York Times launched its site redesign, announced by a prominent editor’s note on the homepage. There’s a few lessons for bloggers to learn from the redesign, as well as some evidence that the Times itself has been learning from bloggers.
OLIVER STONE: 'MEDIA SLANDERS POLITICALLY-MINDED STARS' -- [Contact Music News]
Movie-maker OLIVER STONE has blasted media groups who "slander" celebrities for their political comments - because intelligent stars have every right to question their leaders.
Sgt. Irvin Shawn - Is this a real GI? -- [Crime Online]
This message from a GI serving in Iraq is hardly real.
My name is Sgt.Irvin Shawn i am an American soldier, serving in the military with the Third (3rd) infantry Division in Iraq. I and my superior after going on a rampage on Saddam Hussein palace in Baghdad discovered a substantial amount of money.
...This fund in question was moved to a secure place with the assistance of our contact person in UK (A private attorney of our UK military colleague); the total is $25,000,000.00 (Twenty Five million US dollars).Basically since we are working for the government we cannot keep these funds in our bank account.
Happy 30th Bday, J! -- [My Longest Year - husband in Iraq]
To J.'s Parents: March 30 will mark the 30th anniversary of the day you became parents. I'm sure you couldn't have imagined the heartbreak and joy that comes with loving someone so much; we couldn't have fathomed it until we had our precious E. A thousand thank-you's for the job you've done. You've raised the person all of us know as a courageous soldier and unwavering friend, an amazing husband, and even more remarkable parent.
Promotion, House, and Update -- [Pass the Brass - in Iraq]
Thats right, folks. Sure Fire finally got his long overdue promotion. He is now
Specialips Specialist Sure Fire. So he’s happy about that. So now I’ll have to salute my little brother, as I pin him down for weggies. Ah, who am I kiddin. He can probably take me down, these days. I miss the good ol’ days of chasing him around the house, cos of his backtalk, and ending up in a brutal wrestling match on lawn in the sideyard. I swear, my older brother and I would chase him down, sit on him, make him eat dirt…
AWTR Show 50: Follow Your Dreams While You Follow The Military Pt.1 -- [Army Wife Talk Radio]
This week is a special celebratory week for Army Wife Talk Radio! It is our 1 year Anniversary on April 18, 2006! Next week will be 52 shows! WOW! I am sharing with you something this month that really goes along with a celebration making it one year, a four part seminar on following your dreams. That's just what I did with AWTR, and I believe that each of you can do the same, even while you're following the military.
MY SON IS STATESIDE AGAIN, -- [Daily Life of a Marine Mom]
at least till his next deployment! After an endless night last night, I finally got a call from Dee (the mother of one of Eric's buddies in his platoon) who told me that the buses had pulled into 29 Palms and she was looking for Nate (her son) and Eric. It didn't take her long to find them !! Then she gave the phone to Eric so he could talk to me. That voice never sounded as good as it did this morning to me!! He said they had a blast on the flight home so even though it was long they enjoyed it. I told him four things before I let him go. First, of course, I love him a LOT and I was so glad they were home.
Bush's first pitch -- 'kind of a slow ball' -- (Reuters)
With Secret Service snipers watching from the stadium roof, the crowd, festooned with small American flags, roared with approval, drowning out a smattering of boos, as Bush's pitch soared past the plate into Reds catcher Jason LaRue's glove.
Watch the Trends, Not the Headlines -- [Strategy Page]
April 2, 2006: What you see in the Iraq news, is not what you get. The news business demands startling headlines, to attract eyeballs. It's business, as the eyeballs are rented to advertisers to pay for it all. But the reality of the news is less startling, and consists of trends. These are the current trends in Iraq.
Piss poor coverage of the War! -- [American Soldier - in Injured recently in Iraq]
I have been doing some catch up on the news. I will say that the media here in the United States is piss poor. Why is it that the MSM’s report Baghdad as being the war? Shit doesn’t even really go on there. There are far worse places in Iraq that have story’s that would blow one’s mind if they knew. Where I was at, I hardly EVER saw reporters there. Heck we didn’t even get USO people there. Simply put, they were scared to be there. At least in Baghdad you could be behind 2 miles of heavily fortified protection.
New York Slime Gets It Wrong…Again -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
I enjoy reading the funny pages in the New York Times Slime. For me, they start on page 1 and last the whole way through.
Today’s headline, “Sectarian Strife Fuels Gun Sales in Baghdad”, offers many chuckles. The Slime points to the fact that rising gun prices MUST mean that “more Iraqis than ever have been buying, carrying and stockpiling weapons, adding an unnerving level of firepower to Baghdad’s streets.”
The propaganda front -- [Dispatches from the Front - USA journalist embed in Iraq]
HAWIJAH, Iraq – Lt. Col. Marc Hutson, commander of 101st Division’s 1st Battalion, 327 Infantry Regiment, came by for a visit yesterday. He had read my latest installment and was complimentary about my description of the raid, save one sentence. The inclusion of the detail about the grenade inscribed with “Ethnic Cleanser” had disturbed him. He wasn’t angry with me, he said as he pressed his lips together into a tight line. He realized I had only reported what was there.
When he came to see me a second time within the hour, however, I realized that sentence was becoming an issue. Details like that could play into insurgent propaganda, he said.
March 31, RAMADI, Iraq -- [AP Blog From Ramadi, Iraq - journalist embed in Iraq]
...The Marines entered about half a dozen villas, opening the front gates without asking the owners inside, and I was surprised that in most cases, the families didn't seem to mind. Some home owners didn't even bother to look outside, though they must have heard the Marines come in. One woman came into the kitchen to see who was around, glanced over and walked back inside. At another man looked through the window and did the same.
Others were good-natured, actually welcoming the Marines.
Looking Backward to the Beginning of the Film by 'Soldier with Camera' Mike Moriarty -- [The War Tapes]
In filmmaking and storytelling, access is often a key issue. How to gain the trust and participation of those whose story you want to tell. We thought it would be interesting to ask each of the five soldiers who filmed the entire year, why they decided to do it? Why they took the leap of faith with this project? This week we hear from 'Soldier with Camera' Mike Moriarty who filmed the most tapes of anyone -- 220 in total, many of which were 80 minutes long! Mike was a gunner in Iraq and often had multiple cameras -- regular, POV and IR mounted alongside him in the turret every time he went outside the wire.
GOVERNOR'S CONCERNS -- [Tribune Blogs Dispatches - journalist embed in Iraq]
ROD DECKER, KUTV: I'm sorry. In the news conference you held Monday you said, as near as I can remember, the commanders would love 150,000 more troops, but that is not politically feasible. Did a commander tell you he would like more troops? And if so, what we've been hearing at least for a long time, what we have heard from the
administration was the commanders aren't asking for anymore troops. Did they, in fact, tell you that they could use more troops?
GOVERNOR HUNTSMAN: There was a general feeling, never a specific request given, but a general feeling that in order to make continued progress, that a 100,000 to a 150,000 additional troops would be helpful.
London Bombings: It's all about Iraq -- [The Cabarfeidh Pages - British Army]
Harry's Place have a good article posted by Marcus
'Iraq war led to July bombings' announces the front page of the Observer website.
Heads will nod sagely in households across the land - it's official: a Home Office inquiry has at last proved the link.
But has it really?
The draft report shown to the Observer claims that Iraq was a key 'contributory factor' in the London Underground bombings in July last year. But how was this confident conclusion reached? Let's take a closer look at the method.
The Village -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
I left my lane again recently, and I’m glad I did. I went outside the wire on what I’ll call a school mission, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It had absolutely nothing to do with communications. Our family support group back home has overwhelmed us with school supplies, clothing, soccer balls, and shoes for the children in the area. They are very supportive of us, our mission, and the people of this region. We went to a school in the deserts of Al Anbar and delivered a truckload of supplies.
We drove for about an hour to an isolated village where a few hundred families live. We knew they were having trouble getting school supplies and even shoes. The village was a dusty little thing with about 30 buildings, most of which were crumbling. There were virtually no trees, but there were some electrical wires coming into it. The roads were dirt, the schoolyard was dirt, and their yards were dirt. Ancient dust. The kids were very excited when they saw us, and immediately started gathering all around.
The Roughneck Rover -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck - in Iraq]
...We got a new toy. It’s a rover. It’s about time. I mean it took how long, like four months? I feel sorry for the guys that we relieved they never had a chance to play with the rover. I’d like to see it in action. Actually, I can’t wait to see it in action. It’ll be really cool when it blows up! I’m glad at least that it’s just a bunch of mechanical parts and not us.
April What? -- [Sappersgt - in Iraq]
Today we had a company change of command. It was pretty reasonable--patrol cap and slung weapons, no helmet, armor, or other battle rattle. Funny how we can do that here, in a WAR ZONE, but we can't do that in garrison in Germany or the US.
...Speeches were kept brief, even the battalion commander's. CPT P, the outgoing, made his a lot shorter than he planned. He almost broke down in the middle of it. You know, a lot of folks don't particularly like him. I've had my disagreements with the way some things are done. But you can say this much about him: He cares about Soldiers. I've seen officers come and go, and you get a feel for these things. Some of them are all about making their Major and the don't care who or what they have to break to get there. But CPT P was never that way, and I saw him at a lot closer range ...
Obsessed with Rocks -- [The Will to Exist - on R&R from Iraq]
...When you depart LZ Washington for BIAP you make a combat takeoff and zoom low over Baghdad. The trip is amazing. There are plenty of signs that there is strife taking place below. I saw at least two Iraqi police caravans winding their way through the giant maze that is Baghdad, sirens blazing and flashers flashing. More interesting to me though, were the signs of building taking place. We passed over slum areas, but we also passed over a myriad of construction projects.
Saturday, April 01, 2006 - Over the Atlantic Ocean -- [Chapter War - leaving Iraq]
...The flight over is quiet. Men and women quietly process the last few months of their lives and what their return home will mean. Within the group are three subgroups, those who have never been to Iraq but instead Kuwait or Qatar, those who have been to Iraq but never outside the wire, and those who have gone into harms way. They are differences that might not be noticeable to the outside observer.
Last night in country -- [Gozar the Traveler - in Iraq]
...Lt. and I decided that we’d better walk across the camp to the trailer pods to visit our interpreters. Kimo and Dash are both Iraqi men in their early twenties. I first met them during the week leading up to the Parliamentary election. Patrolling local routes and villages for up to twelve hours at a time necessitated that we have a terp on hand to help us communicate. Kimo and Dash took turns going outside the wire with us, and after such long hours together we became very close. I developed a deep respect for them both, and we soon became close friends. These men risked their lives everyday working with American forces in a combat zone. Each time they came out on a mission they risked being identified by insurgents or disgruntled Iraqis; putting their lives in jeopardy.
Manifesto -- [Bulletins from Pianosa Air Base - in Iraq]
I cannot tell you who I am, at least not my name… but you will come to know who I am by what I do. I’m a woman in my thirties, and I’m an Arabic linguist in the military. I live on a heavily guarded Coalition Air Base in a small Persian Gulf principality you’ve probably never heard of. I’m the enlisted leader of a small band of twenty or so enlisted folks just like me. Nearly every day, I pull on a flight suit and climb into a plane that’s older than I am, and spend over 9 hours in the skies over Iraq. At the end of every day I come back to my ten-foot-square room inside the concertina-wire enclave that is my home for the next year.
Well, they didn't lie about the sand. . . -- [The Desert Excursion - in Iraq]
The food. If I could say one thing that is absolutely awesome about being here thus far it is the food. The first dinner I had included the following: crab legs, shrimp, t-bone steak, potatoes, cheese cake and Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. If the food is this good where I am going I think I will make it through the year without complaint.
We started to do a few classes and mandatory briefs but nothing signigicant thus far has happened. Our mission has been ...
In the Desert. -- [SGT Dock's Holiday - in Iraq]
Everything that I have read about on other blogs kind of prepared me for this. It was kind of like researching for a big project. The air isn't too bad once you get used to the lack of moisture. The mini-sandstorms that have passed through have been similiar to the strong rainstorms back home. When you are driving and you see that huge wall of rain ahead... replace the rain with sand.
Where has the time Gone? -- [Contact Right...Taking Fire - injured in Iraq]
It seems just like yesterday that I arrived here at Walter Reed, but it has already been close to six months. In six months I have had six operations. Sometimes I wonder if its really even worth it. I know that I will never be able to see from my eye again, but I'm not ready to give up on letting them try. My worst fear right now is going to the medical review board, I know I will have to, but I am just afraid of what they will tell me. I am afraid that they can't use me anymore, that my fight it over. I remember the doctor in Balad telling me that. He was frank and honest and said simply, "Your fight here is over son". It was all that I could do to keep from crying in front of him.
April 9th is Iraqi Liberation Day! -- [Families United]
Families United Mission is sending a letter to the media, reminding them of our fallen heroes and our troops' accomplishments in the War on Terror.
We want the media to give Iraqi Liberation Day the coverage it deserves.
All The Propaganda That's Fit To Print --(Miami Herald)...Edward Wasserman
...The program's effectiveness hinges on corrupting a press whose honesty, independence and professionalism should be principal components of democratization, which, you'll recall, is this week's rationale for the war. And now? The most ridiculous consequence of all this is that an Iraqi editor would now have to be insane to offer up a story or a column sympathetic to the U.S. line.
Don't deny that some Muslims are hot for jihad -- (MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST)
If I were an anti-war leftie, I'd be very depressed by the Iraq anniversary protests. A few hundred people show up hither and yon to see Cindy Sheehan get arrested for the 15th time that week, or Charlie Sheen unveil his critically acclaimed the-World-Trade-Center-was-a-controlled-explosion conspiracy theory. The "Hot Shots! Part Deux" star is apparently an expert in that field, and he'd never seen commercial property break up that quickly since Heidi Fleiss' hooker ring. Anyway, Susan Sarandon's going to play Cindy in the movie, or maybe she's playing Charlie, or both -- either way, they might as well give her the Oscar during the opening titles.
The endgame in Iraq -- (International Herald Tribune)
Iraq is becoming a country that America should be ashamed to support, let alone occupy. The nation is sliding closer to open civil war. In its capital, thugs kidnap and t...
Rice and Straw Forcefully Push Iraqis to Form Government -- (New York Times)...EDWARD WONG and JOEL BRINKLEY
Condoleezza Rice and Jack Straw demanded today that the Iraqi leadership form a unified government as quickly as possible.
Can Iraq's Militias Be Tamed? -- (Time)...Michael Ware
As the killings continue, TIME meets fighters on both sides of Iraq's sectarian divide--and finds hope that all-out civil war can be avoided.
Sadr Strikes -- (Newsweek)
Deadly Vision: U.S. forces once had the renegade cleric in their cross hairs. Now he's too strong—and too popular—to confront.
April 10, 2006 issue - At one time—it seems like a bloody eternity ago—there was a murder warrant out for the arrest of Moqtada al-Sadr, on the charge of killing an ayatollah in 2003. U.S. Army Gen. Ricardo Sanchez later publicly vowed that coalition troops in Iraq would "kill or capture" Sadr, and not rest until they had destroyed his militia.
U.S. can help prevent a civil war in Iraq -- (Times Union)
Administration officials have been right in recent weeks to argue that there is no large-scale civil war under way in Iraq. As long as the Iraqi political leadership remains generally united in trying...
U.S. Air Force's Mission With Iraqi Army Undefined -- (Salt Lake Tribune)...Charles J. Hanley, Associated Press
...But as the U.S. Army ''stands down'' and the Iraqi army ''stands up,'' will American combat pilots fly into battle behind Iraqi ground units?
Hunting For Insurgents In Shadows -- (Colorado Springs Gazette)...Tom Roeder
A firefight in Baghdad this week thrust Fort Carson’s most shadowy unit briefly into the spotlight.
The Green Berets of the 10th Special Forces Group advised Iraqi troops who opened fire on suspected insurgents in what some Iraqis are calling a mosque complex ...
Families Seek Remembrance Of Iraq Liberation Day -- (Washington Times)...Stephen Dinan
Families of American troops are asking national newspapers and television news networks not to ignore the three-year anniversary Sunday of the day Saddam Hussein fled Baghdad and his statue was toppled.
U.S. Plan To Build Iraq Clinics Falters -- (Washington Post)...Ellen Knickmeyer
A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.
Plays Give Iraq Kids Break From Violence -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Sahira Karim has been keeping her 5-year-old daughter indoors these days because of fears of bombings, drive-by shootings and kidnapping. But on Sunday, Sahira's daughter joined dozens of other youngsters at a children's theater and dance festival in the upscale neighborhood of Mansour. It was a moment of joy, Sahira said after weeks of tension....
The Journey Through Trauma -- (Los Angeles Times)...David Zucchino
U.S. troops who survive the critical 'golden hour' after being seriously wounded in Iraq owe their lives to a fast-acting team of battlefield medics, pilots, nurses and surgeons.
Three U.S. Marines, Sailor Killed in Iraq -- (AP)
BAGHAD, Iraq (AP) -- Four American troops were killed by hostile fire in Iraq's volatile Anbar province, the U.S. military said Monday. The three Marines and one sailor died Sunday, according to a military statement....
IRAQ: WOMEN'S RIGHTS ADDRESSED AT REGIONAL CONFERENCE -- (AKI)
Sulaymaniya, Iraq 3 April (AKI) - Women activists from Iraq, its neighbours and other Middle Eastern countries have taken part in a regional conference on violence against women, organised by the aid agency Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) in Iraqi Kurdistan. During the two-day meeting at a hotel on Mount Azmar in the governorate of Sulaymaniya, Kurdish, Palestinian, Lebanese, Egyptian and Iraqi women focused on the violation of women's rights and strategies to tackle the problem, for example through more consistent legislation on women's rights and campaigns against domestic violence.
Agam High School -- [AdghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
From a distance, it doesn't seem like too many have made it to the opening of Agam High School, a project paid for by the Marine battalion's commander's emergency reconstruction project (CERP) funds...
Isn't helping? -- [Misadventures of a Not-So-Intrepid Development Practitioner - contractor in Afghanistan]
The article frustrated me. It's entitled "International occupation isn't helping Afghanistan". And ends with:
This, ultimately, is the problem: Afghanistan is very poor, and the international occupation here is not doing enough to change that. Even if the Europeans go in with a sensitive approach and deploy their best troops, limited money will mean little or no progress.
I say bollocks. I say the international forces are the only thing stopping Afghanistan descending into civil war ...
Meet "Crazy" -- [Miserable Donuts]
Hangin' at the Main Gate of Bagram AF. The one legged fellow is "Crazy". How he became one legged is a matter of dispute, urban legend and tragedy. Some say it was a RPG shot by a Talib, some say an AK blast, some say it was an accident, etc. Regardless, he lost it.
Crazy would hang out at the front gate and basically offer the proposition, "hey, I am missing a leg, what can you do for me?" As units rotated, new shifts came on duty and personnel rotated about, they all would meet Crazy and help him ...
U.S. Warns of More Afghan Violence in '06 -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Violence is likely to increase in Afghanistan this year as foreign security forces expand into new areas and the government steps up its campaign against a booming trade in opium and heroin, a senior U.S. official warned Monday....
AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN CLAIM DEATH OF TURKISH ENGINEER -- (AKI)
Peshawar, 3 April (AKI) - The Taliban, on Monday, claimed responsibility for the death of a Turkish engineer in Afghanistan. According to a report published in the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP), a spokesperson for the Taliban fighters, Muhammad Hanif, called the offices of the AIP in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar...
The growing civil war in Baluchistan -- [Peace like a River]
The New York Times today has an article that highlights the growing civil war in Baluchistan. In the southwest corner of Pakistan, up against the border with Iran and Afghanistan, this province has seen a steady stream of violence.
Rumor Has It -- [Totum dependeat - in Djibouti, Africa]
Around here in Djibouti, the established camp is rather small by most measure. There is not an over abundance of space - both in the personal and work area realms. The architecture is not modern by any means, the living accommodations are Spartan sporting real ply wood floors and the amenities aboard the base leave little to be desired. My common mantra to those who continually belly ache and provide no real solutions but only add to the growing problems, I say, "It could always be worse."
Government to Crack Down on Anti-US Protesters -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
I doubt the anti-US hate groups are shaking in their boots right now after the Korean government has vowed to crack down on them:
South Korea warned Sunday that it will strictly deal with illegal protests against joint military exercises it holds annually with the United States.
So Now Mexico's President Wants to Stop "OTMs" From Illegally Entering Mexico... -- [Countertettorism Blog]
This article, "Fox vows crackdown on own illegals," is of particular interest because now President Fox of Mexico is promising to make a concerted effort to keep aliens from other countries from getting into Mexico to help secure our nation against OTM (Other Than Mexican) aliens. My first thought was that I find it interesting that Mr. Fox believes he has the right to secure his nation's borders against illegal aliens, but screams loudly when our nation attempts to do the same thing, and in fact, provides comic books and DVDs to instruct his citizens in the best way for them to circumvent our Border Patrol so that they can succeed in entering our country illegally, get a job,
Cargo Plane Crashes at Dover Air Base -- (AP)
A C-5 cargo plane carrying 17 people crashed just short of a runway at Dover Air Force Base early Monday after developing problems during takeoff, military officials said.
Everyone aboard the plane survived, though several people were injured, said Tech. Sgt. Melissa Phillips, a spokeswoman for the base.
218 Textbooks of 10 Countries Have False Facts About Korea -- (Korea Times)
School textbooks in 10 countries were found to have contained false or distorted facts about South Korea.
The Academy of Korean Studies reported Monday that most of foreign textbooks have labeled Dokdo, South Korea¡¯s easternmost islets in the East Sea as Takeshima and the East Sea as the Sea of Japan
Putin Says Arms Exports Exceed $6B in 2005 -- (Houston Chronicle, United States)
MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia's arms exports exceeded US$6 billion (euro5 billion) last year, setting a new post-Soviet record. ...
Australia To Sell Uranium To China For Energy -- (New York Times)...Jane Perlez
Australia, one of the United States' closest allies, signed an agreement with China on Monday to sell uranium for use in China's nuclear power plants, in its continuing drive to meet its soaring energy needs.
Brief war notes -- [TigerHawk]
Al Qaeda and its ideological allies continue to take their hits. One of the longstanding enemies of our enemy, the king of Saudi Arabia, has given a big speech promising both to "annihilate" al Qaeda and to "combat [its] ideology." As regular readers know, around here we are big believers that al Qaeda's defeat depends on the repudiation and discrediting of its ideology across the Muslim world. Only Muslims can do that, and the king of Saudi Arabia has special clout (which in and of itself reveals the stupidity of Arab and Muslim political culture, but that's another point entirely).
Moussaoui Deliberations Enter Second Week -- (AP)
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Jury deliberations in the death-penalty trial of Zacarias Moussaoui resumed Monday as the panel worked into a second week to decide whether the confessed al-Qaida terror conspirator is eligible for execution....
America’s Finest - SPC Ken Liebel -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
On Friday, I got off work a little early and made my way through grueling traffic to get to Walter Reed. My wife and I have an agreement that I can go to the soldier support rallies once a month. This keeps her happy and me out of trouble, in order of importance. I decided that with the extra time, I was going to go and talk to another of America’s Finest. I went to Fisher House to begin my interviews. Unfortunately, no one was home. I decided to go into the hospital and speak to one of the still-recovering soldiers there.
DUST OFF: Iraq medical evacuation -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Here you find a very interested video about medical evacuation from Iraq to Landstuhl! March 27, 2006 by Detroit Free Press!
Do you know the DUSTOFF Association?
Is a nonprofit organization for Army Medical Department enlisted and officer personnel, aviation crewmembers, and others who are
IL: Special Missions: Operation Lucky Charms -- [Soldier's Angel Forum]
countrystyle1972 writes "Illinois angels bring cookies and the luck of the angel to local recruiters.
With cookies in hand the Illinois Task Force Angels brought the luck of the angels to our local recruiters. One angel was quoted in saying, "They need to know that we are here to support them as well.""
Real American Heroes - Six Inches Tall -- (Time)...Jeffrey Ressner
Faced by a dwindling number of volunteers, the U.S. military is adding a new recruitment tactic: aiming young. Real Heroes, a line of Army-authorized toy soldiers modeled on Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, is expected in stores this June, selling for $12.99 each.
More Calls For Rumsfeld To Leave -- (New York Times)...Michael Janofsky
For the second time in two weeks, a former general has called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld over what both generals described as serious mistakes made in the war in Iraq.
On Purple Hearts and POWs -- [T.F. Bogg - in Iraq]
...I thought about writing on this topic after I saw some pictures on the Internet of Tammy Duckworth who is running for congress on the premise that she is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and opposed to the war. Imagine that: a soldier who broke free from the mind control of the government and disagrees with our presence in Iraq, why we should elect her right now! Quick someone send me an absentee ballot. To think that being a veteran is qualification enough to run for office is absurd. I have been deployed twice why am I not the President yet?
Pictures the MSM Will Not Show You -- [A Sailor in the Desert]
Here are some pictures of the LA Immigration protests the MSM did not publish(hat tip to Doc Farmer). You are not going to be happpy. - Sailor
Whose flag is this? -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
I am reading all this coverage of the ballyhoo regarding immigration and such in the USA. Heartfelt diatribe aside my take is simple. This is our country and our culture. If you want to come, do it legally (We should reform that and make it easier) and then assimilate into our culture. Its OK to keep essence of your original culture but don't try to recreate the screwed up place you fled from. My ancestors came from England and Germany and I don't call myself English-American and live in a little English community. Become one of us. If you want benefits pay taxes and become registered.
TIME’s Liberal Klein Ignores Fact That 70% of Americans Are Against Illegal Immigration (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
On The Chris Matthews Show this morning, guests Joe Klein and Andrew Sullivan, both of TIME, advocated breaking the law and implied that they were in favor of illegal immigration. Laura Ingraham took them both on and made them look like the fools that they are.
Some more equal than others -- [CDR Salamander]
A former computer analyst at the National Security Agency was sentenced to six years in prison for taking home classified documents and storing them in boxes in his kitchen after he left the agency. ... prosecutors never said Mr. Ford was engaged in espionage ...
Mmmm. And what happended to Sandy "stuffy socks" Berger?
New White House tactic: Let Bush Be Bush -- (Reuters)
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - George W. Bush is taking time to explain himself, open up to the public in new ways and court the U.S. Congress as he tries to breathe life into a presidency beset by sagging ratings and influence.
Republicans Increasingly Critical of Bush -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- From Iraq to deficits, from immigration to port security, some of the most pointed criticism leveled at President Bush is coming from within his own party. Republicans these days are almost sounding like perennially divided Democrats....
Frist Wants Immigration Vote This Week -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday he wants a full Senate vote on an immigration bill this week and believes that urgent action is needed despite sharp divisions over whether proposed legislation would amount to amnesty....
AP Poll: Majority Supports Illegal Aliens Gaining Legal Status -- (FOX News)
WASHINGTON — A slim majority of Americans are open to allowing undocumented workers to obtain some sort of temporary legal status to remain in the United States, with stronger support for the idea among Democrats, younger adults and more educated Americans, a new poll finds.
The media: A peek under the hood -- [CounterColumn]
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is agitating to avoid using the term "illegal" in "illegal immigrant."
During my own brief (3-year) tenure as a Time, Inc. reporter (at the now defunct Mutual Funds magazine, to be specific), I was genuinely suprised to learn how many little journalist affiliation groups there were. I'd routinely get emails and letters from BEAT (Black Employees at Time), Asian groups, Gay and Lesbian journalist groups, etc. etc. But this is the first time I've seen one pushing to distort news coverage.
London Telegraph attacks bloggers
From the London Telegraph... -- [Jack Lewis.net]
...Miss Carroll has been under sustained assault from some on the pro-war Right. Bloggers and hosts on the country's influential talk radio stations have attacked her for stating that she had not been threatened during her confinement.
Others attacked her for wearing Muslim dress and the news channel CNN carried an interview suggesting that she was suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome", in which victims begin to sympathise with their captors. One blogger called for Miss Carroll to be arrested for treason.
...Which blogs are the Telegraph reporters referring to? I looked and this is what I found.
The face of war? -- [Uncle Jimbo/Blackfive]
In case anyone wondered where the LA Times stands on the war, they made it brutally obvious with their front page this weekend. They make all the usual excuses and justify their sad action with "the public has a right to know", sure they do. And I assume the public has a need to see pictures of rape victims, and obviously every Sept. 11th they publish photos of the people jumping from the Twin Towers.
WashPost Profiles Keith Olbermann...Who Denies Having an Agenda -- [NewsBusters]
Howard Kurtz profiled Keith Olbermann for his Monday "Media Notes" column in The Washington Post with the headline "A Gadfly With Buzz: MSNBC's Olbermann Exercising The Right." For his part, Keith showed his membership in the liberal media elite by beginning with the utterly fatuous claim of nonpartisanship: "The former sportscaster denies that he's pushing an ideological agenda, noting that he relentlessly covered the uproar over Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky in his first incarnation as an MSNBC anchor in 1998."
Nothing Happened -- So It's Big News! -- [Mediacrity]
One of the permanent features of the Mideast conflict is a massive contingent of Israel-based reporters, one of the largest in the world, most hostile to Israel and seeking out every excuse to cooking up a "story" -- sometimes out of nothing.
We saw that today in a non-story that moved today on France's AFP news service.
Blog Of the Month: American Citizen Soldier -- [The Ugly American]
About 2 weeks ago I was very honored to learn that the one and only Buck Sargent actually read my blog. I of course sent him an email right away and he agreed to be interviewed and become April’s first Blog of the Month.
Finally home -- [Squirrel's Nest - home from Afghanistan]
Well I have made it home and things are back on track. I've been trying to get back into the swing of things and relaxing whenever the opportunity presents itself.