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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.)
Wild Bill, part two -- [Fun With Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...Fighting this war is HARD. It’s extremely difficult to acquire a target because the teenager on the corner could be holding a grenade while the sixty year old man down the street lets an RPG shooter use the second story of his house while the guy who looks like his car is stalled actually has a bomb in the trunk while everyone else looks at you with the fuck you smile because there’s an IED ten feet away from you and they all have AK-47s stashed in their cars. So when the IED rips apart a truck and the RPG shooter lets loose and the hand grenade gets thrown and the car blows up and you start getting shot at from multiple directions you just shoot anyone that makes you feel threatened. Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but do you understand what I’m trying to say?
Ex CNN Embed Seems To Doubt Haditha Charges -- [Sweetnes & Light]
An amazing article, considering it is from the DNC’s own CNN. But then again, the embeds are the closest we’ve gotten to real journalism in this war:
I know the Marines that were operating in western al Anbar, from Husayba all the way to Haditha. I went on countless operations in 2005 up and down the Euphrates River Valley. I was pinned on rooftops with them in Ubeydi for hours taking incoming fire, and I’ve seen them not fire a shot back because they did not have positive identification on a target.
I saw their horror when they thought that they finally had identified their target, fired a tank round that went through a wall and into a house filled with civilians. They then rushed to help the wounded — remarkably no one was killed.
Tell It To The Marines -- [Democracy Project]
I've heard smart people say ignorant things for the past few days about the incident in Haditha. — None actually knows much but are quite eager and willing to conjecture or pass judgments. — Mary Katherine Ham provides a concise chronology of the partial information available.
A Soldier's Thoughts on Haditha -- [Gateway Pundit]
Blue Crab Boulevard has posted A Soldiers Views on Haditha.
Mary Katherine Hamm at Hugh Hewitt reports on the facts of the investigation as they stand right.
Democracy Project writes "Tell It To The Marines".
Coalition, Iraqi forces hinder terrorist activities -- [MNFI]
BAGHDAD, Iraq (May 31, 2006) – In separate operations this week, Coalition forces and Iraqi security forces thwarted terrorist operations aimed at derailing progress in Iraq.
Motivation -- [Charlie Company - in Iraq]
Pfc Medley being his normal, motivated self.
Amnesty Period -- [Charlie Company - in Iraq]
Sir, do you have anything in your car that we should know about before we search it?
Kurdistan Save the Children -- [Pearls of Iraq]
Many people have written about how they can help the children in Iraq. I began vetting, or scoping out NGO’s (Non Government Organizations) who have a firm foundation and strong programs. In addition, I have met with “up and coming” NGO’s who are developing strong programs but are still getting established, including training on organizational management and governance (more about these organizations in future posts).
I visited with Kurdistan Save the Children whose work expands Kurdistan and includes Baghdad. They are strong in education, youth centers and cultural centers, which they call Kaziwa which means ‘dawn’ in Kurdish. I visited one center in Sulaimaniya and was so pleased at the hard work four young men have accomplished over the years.
A Piece Of Cake -- [Michael Yon]
A story of Combat, Cakes, and Love
...Walt saw much intense combat, but the first time he got hit really hard in his body was by a homicide car bomber whose dismembered parts landed atop the Stryker. Walt was knocked unconscious. There was a big fight. Bombs, jets, dead people everywhere, and Walt was taken to the hospital with serious burns to his back and some loss of hearing, but he soon returned to duty.
Disparity in Courage -- [The Foxhole Philosopher - in Iraq]
One of the things that strikes me is the tremendous disparity in courage between American Soldiers and others around them. Every day soldiers do things that are extremely dangerous. They don't ask for justifications or examine root causes, they just do them. I am always amazed to see soldiers race towards a fight, instead of away from it.
The most obvious difference is between American Soldiers, and the people with whom we work over here. Don't get me wrong, sometimes the courage of Iraqi's is amazing. Some of them shame me into being a better person, but on the balance, at the first sign of trouble, they look for help instead of solutions.
My photos from Fallujah and Ramadi now posted -- [Michael Fumento - journalis embed in Iraq]
Yes Virginia, there is an Iraq outside of Baghdad. And there are lots of neat things to photograph besides the latest victims of a Baghdad bombing. Here's a slideshow presentation of 250 of them, from darling tykes to fierce fighting, to one of the strangest war injuries you'll ever see.
The Combat Artist -- [Fire and Ice]
I’m going to make an assumption that you would probably like to ask me three questions: What does war have to do with art? What is a combat artist? And why would the United States Marine Corps, of all organizations, send fine artists into harm’s way? I’ll try to answer these as best I can over the next couple weeks. At the same time I hope to provide a glimpse of who I am, both as artist and Marine.
'We don't bow our heads in shame' --[Dispatches from Iraq - journalist embed in Iraq]
...I asked Capt. Andrew Del Gaudio, commander of Kilo Company based here at the Provincial Government Center, if there would be any rousing speeches. There would be none of that, he told me. His boys will be doing their jobs, just like everyday. Regular insurgent attacks here keep them plenty busy.
For Del Gaudio, though, it is a day of reflection. “It’s a way for us to remember the dead,” he said. “We bow our heads in sadness, we don’t bow our heads in shame.”
Pack it up Boys -- [Skull Nation in the Sandbox - in Iraq]
Today we had a customs inspection and packed up all the crap we aren't using. We also had an awards ceremony and it was cool to see our soldiers get some recognition. I'm very proud of them. It was very hot today. Tree and I are beet red. The base is getting CROWDED. I've been smiling a little more now that we are so close. The new guys are ok and excited to be somewhere a little more kinetic than where they were. They will clean up our leftovers in short order.
Iran to supply Basra with electricity -- (Azzaman)
Iran has agreed to supply Basra with 175 megawatts of electricity, the head of the southern city’s municipal council said.
Nasseif al-Ubadi, fresh from a visit to Tehran, said Iran has promised to start furnishing the city with power “very shortly.”
The agreement comes as Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, suffers from acute power shortages with outages extending for nearly 20 hours a day.
Insurgent Attacks In Iraq At Highest Level In 2 Years -- (Boston Globe)...Bryan Bender
The Pentagon reported yesterday that the frequency of insurgent attacks against troops and civilians is at its highest level since American commanders began tracking such figures two years ago, an ominous sign that, despite three years of combat, the US-led coalition forces haven't significantly weakened the Iraq insurgency.
Car Bombing in Iraq Kills 5 Policemen -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A parked car packed with explosives hit a police patrol in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday, killing at least five policemen and wounding 14, including a senior officer, as violence continued unabated after one of the bloodiest days in recent weeks. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, meanwhile, arrived in Basra in a bid to stem escalating violence in the southern city. Sectarian tensions have been worsening in the Shiite-dominated area, where Britain has about 8,000 soldiers and other countries also have troops.
Officers Not a Target of Iraq Death Probe -- (AP)
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) -- Three officers relieved of command from a Marine battalion are not targets of investigations into whether their troops killed as many as two dozen Iraqi civilians and tried to cover it up, the attorney for one of the officers said Tuesday....
Military Inquiry Is Said To Oppose Account Of Raid -- (New York Times)...Eric Schmitt and David S. Cloud
A military investigator uncovered evidence in February and March that contradicted repeated claims by marines that Iraqi civilians killed in Haditha last November were victims of a roadside bomb, according to a senior military official in Iraq.
Iraq Envoy Wants Slaying Inquiry -- (Los Angeles Times)...Paul Richter
Iraq's new ambassador to the United States was officially received by President Bush at the White House on Tuesday, and hours later accused U.S. troops of killing his unarmed cousin and then conducting a flawed investigation.
Bush learned of Haditha deaths after press -- (Boston Globe)
President Bush learned of reports that U.S. Marines killed two dozen unarmed Iraqi civilians only after reporters began asking questions, the White House said Tuesday.
Arab World's Reaction To Alleged Killing Is Muted -- (Philadelphia Inquirer)...Hamza Hendawi, Associated Press
Allegations that U.S. Marines killed 24 civilians in Haditha, a volatile town in western Iraq, have caused barely a stir in Iraq and much of the Arab world - where American troops are reviled as brutal invaders who regularly commit such acts.
The soldier who wasn't -- (Washington Times)
Left-wingers flocked to the "soldier" calling himself Jesse MacBeth to hear claims of horrific war crimes in Iraq. But thanks to sleuthing by conservative bloggers, we now know that "Jesse MacBeth" -- the name should have tipped us off -- has never even served in the Army. "False face must hide what the false heart doth know," said the real MacBeth. The fake MacBeth couldn't hack it either.
Hopes For Iraq Pullback Fading -- (Los Angeles Times)...Louise Roug and Peter Spiegel
The Pentagon's hopes of making substantial reductions in U.S. troop levels in Iraq this year appear to be fading as a result of resurgent violence in the country, particularly in the Sunni Arab stronghold of Al Anbar province, military officials acknowledge.
A Political Path Out of Iraq -- (Washington Post)...Fareed Zakaria
...At his news conference last week, the only concrete plan he outlined to move forward -- on a path out of Iraq -- was a better-functioning Iraqi army and police force. In this respect Bush is hardly alone. Many who criticize him on the right and left say that the training of Iraqi troops is happening too slowly, or that we need more American troops, or that we should flood the city of Baghdad with forces to stabilize it. But all these solutions are technocratic and military, while the problem in Iraq is fundamentally political. Until we fully recognize this, doing more of the same will accomplish little.
FOB Tillman -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
...It was amazing to see just how much construction was taking place at once on the large base, which will hold thousands of ANA (Afghan) soldiers when it's completed.
...Heading towards the mountains that border Pakistan, and our next destination, FOB Tillman...named of course for Pat Tillman, the NFL star who quit football to become an Army Ranger after 9/11, and was later killed in Afghanistan.
Sandbag bunkers guard the entrance to this outpost, situated in Lwara, an area that looks desolate but is actually a very active border region. It was here that Kevin Sites was writing about on his blog a couple of months back...
Coalition forces caused bloody riot in Kabul -- [Afghan Lord - Afghani in Afghanistan]
On may 29 a road accident by coalition forces caused a bloody riot in Kabul city on Monday as known yet tens of people were killed in and more than hundred including the police forces wounded.
Quiet As It Shouldn’t Be -- [Kabulog - in Afghanistan]
...It was oddly serene. Odd because the serenity was continually broken by the sounds of passing rioters chanting, and exchanges of gun fire and whatever else was on hand and would explode. There would be the stillness of a shallow breeze. All the sudden broken by a few gun-shot claps and the swelling noice of a crowd passing. An exchange of gunfire echoing off the hills and buildings. And then quiet. Quiet like you never hear in the center of Kabul.
Taliban kill, kidnap dozens of Afghan police -- (Reuters)
KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban guerrillas have killed at least a dozen Afghan police and abducted up to 40 others in two separate attacks in the south of the country, officials said on Wednesday.
Suspected Taliban Occupy Police Station -- (AP)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - Hundreds of suspected Taliban fighters attacked a remote central Afghan town on Wednesday and occupied a district police headquarters after the battle, driving out security forces, an official said. Elsewhere, suspected Taliban fighters fired a grenade at a police vehicle in southwestern Afghanistan, killing the Zabul Province deputy police chief, Ghulam Rasool, and wounding three policemen, officials said.
U.S. military investigates Kabul shooting -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan - The U.S. military said Wednesday it is investigating whether American troops involved in a deadly road crash that sparked the worst riots in Kabul in years fired their guns into a group of demonstrators or over their heads.
Afghans Call For Trial Of U.S. Troops -- (Los Angeles Times)...Paul Watson
A special session of Afghanistan's parliament Tuesday called for the prosecution of U.S. troops involved in a fatal traffic accident that sparked hours of intense rioting here.
Israel Steps Up Counter-Rocket Tactics -- [Threats Watch]
Following Conflict on Both Lebanon and Gaza Borders, IDF Takes Out Gaza Crew During Launch
With volleys back and forth across the northern Israeli border with Lebanon throughout the weekend subsiding somewhat as a UN-sponsored truce holds, Israeli action in Gaza took a new, aggressive turn. Israeli reaction to rocket attacks from northern Gaza into Israel has to-date been reactionary in nature and most often after-the-fact. Artillery shelling of open fields and buildings used as the launch points of choice primarily by Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees terrorists has been the norm.
Iran and the SCO -- [Peace Like A River]
Currently the SCO includes Russia, China, and the Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
One important matter the SCO is considering is whether to admit Iran as a full member. Iran currently has observer status, along with Mongolia, India and Pakistan.
Turks Stop Nuclear Technology from Getting to Iran -- [Strategy Page]
NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS
May 31, 2006: A Turkish government investigation uncovered Iranian firms, located in Turkey, that imported components needed for Iran's nuclear program, and then illegally shipped them on to Iran. The equipment was imported into Turkey under the pretense that it was to be used in Turkey.
Iran's Military Plans For Invasion By U.S. -- (Washington Times)...Iason Athanasiadis
Iran, apparently anticipating an American invasion, has quietly been restructuring its military and testing a new military doctrine that calls for a decentralized, Iraqi-style guerrilla campaign against an invading force.
US Shifting 8,000 Marines To Guam -- (Chicago Tribune)...Associated Press
Some 8,000 US Marines will leave Okinawa for Guam under a proposal approved by Tokyo that is the largest realignment of US troops based in Japan in 50 years, a senior Japanese official said yesterday.
Germany and Jihad -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Jeffrey Imm]
With the World Cup opening June 9 in Munich, Germany is having an increasing problem with the growth of radical Islamism. German Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm has recently stated that the country is sitting on a "powder keg" of radical Islamist migrants who could be plotting an terror attack in Germany. Today - Der Spiegel has reported on a foiled suicide bomb plot by three German women.
ACLU Against New Law Banning Taxpayer Funded Travel To Terrorist States -- [Stop the ACLU]
The ACLU are suddenly interested in improving security? This law is straight up common sense, and if the ACLU were truly concerned for the security of Americans they would be applauding it. The law does not prevent anyone from actually travelling to these countries, it only prohibits taxpayer funds from paying for it. If professors and students want to travel to these dangerous countries they can do it at their own risk, and their own dime.
The new breed of cyber-terrorist -- (Independent)
Could a ruthless new breed of cyber-terrorist cause meltdown at the click of a mouse? Jimmy Lee Shreeve reports. According to cyber ...
Law bans travel to `terrorist states' -- (Miami Herald)
A new state law will crack down on educational trips to Cuba and the use of state money to travel to any of the other four states designated as `terrorist.'. ...
Beer for my horses -- [FAST BUNNIES - in Iraq]
...The day after I was back in Q-West we had a Toby Keith concert. This, I must admit, was not my first Toby Keith concert. It was, however, my first sober Toby Keith concert. Quite a difference. I've noticed that there are quite a number of country music stars (and I'm really, really not a country fan at all) who make their way to Iraq on USO tours, as well as frequent visits by comedians. Rap and pop stars? Not so much. Wonder why that is? Surely a coincidence.
Legal Help for Veterans -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a long history of providing less than stellar care and services to those men and women who have served our nation in the armed services.
The Washington Post reports today that members of Congress are attempting to tweak the morass of legal red tape that intimidates many veterans from ever asking for necessary help in the first place. My plain English one sentence synopsis of the article ...
Top Six US Military Bases -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
Can anyone guess what the top six US military installations around the world are? Hint none of them are in South Korea or Japan.
New up-armored Humvee debuts -- (Army Times)
The Army has started fielding new up-armored Humvee to give soldiers protection choices for different missions.
The M1151/52 series, which will replace the current M1114 , will be equipped with removable armor plating, said Col. Thomas Spoehr, director of force development for the Army’s G8. told attendees to the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement’s Military Armor Protection conference in Washington, D.C
VA official quits over ID theft flap -- (Army Times/ AP)
A Veterans Affairs deputy assistant secretary who didn’t immediately notify top officials about a theft of 26.5 million veterans’ personal information is stepping down, citing missteps that led to the security breach.
“Peace Activists” Try To Block Stryker Delivery -- [Sweetness & Light]
Stryker vehicles headed to Iraq make it to port
Peace activists tried to hold up Army convoys
The next time you hear these "peace activists" talk about how they support the troops and are so concerned about their safety, remember this article - and the hundreds of other stunts they have pulled to hurt our military.
Remember all their crocodile tears at the "lack of body armor" and "unprotected humvees"?
Hank Paulson bets on George W. Bush -- [TigerHawk]
It is long past news that John Snow has resigned, and that President Bush has tapped Goldman, Sachs CEO Hank Paulson to be Secretary of the Treasury. See Cardinalpark's personal take below.
After reading Cardinalpark, it isn't surprising that George W. Bush wanted Hank Paulson to take the job -- he is an excellent choice even if he did go to Dartmouth -- but it is surprising that Paulson took the job.
Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place... -- [Tanker Brothers]
Why do I feel like my country is being held hostage?
As if we didn't have enough to fend off, with CAIR, the ACLU, the Liberal Anti-War Left...and now we have to deal with our own Republicans.
Let me say this: I have always voted Republican. I can't remember when I ever voted for a Democrat, or a Third party. That being said, consider this:
Our Senate Republicans have screwed us. They know that they have a free hand with the Immigration issue, and there's nothing we can do about it. They know that we can't possibly vote against them, since a Democrat-controlled Senate would be a disaster.
Moderate Republicans an Endangered Breed -- (AP)
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) -- Moderate Republicans are off and running in the summer horse racing town of Saratoga Springs and other upstate New York cities, struggling to save their jobs and a dying political breed....
Ex-Kansas GOP Chair Switches Affiliation -- (AP)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The former chairman of the Kansas Republican Party jumped ship in a big way Tuesday, switching his affiliation to Democrat amid speculation that he would become Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' running mate....
Reality Check -- [Balloon Juice]
Congress has begun debating whether we should imprison journalists for publishing classified information. As usual Glenn Greenwald has the must-read commentary.
First Annual Milbloggers Shootout -- [Where I Stand]
I mentioned that I would be at Ft. Lewis this summer and
Barb from Righty in a left state mentioned that many milbloggers from the region could probable get together for a range day. Since I love a good range day I am proposing the First Annual Milbloggers Shootout to be held at a location to be determined on 15 July 06. If you are interested in attending then drop a comment below and steal the banner above.
Back in the U S of A -- [TBone's War Journal]
Hello. Sorry it's been a while since I posted. I'm back home from overseas finally, and am almost officially retired. Things are kinda hectic looking for a job and trying to transition back to regular home life, so if I don't post for a little while, please forgive me.
A Loss For the Nation: Bobby Says Goodbye to Doug Dicenzo -- [Bobby's World]
...it was both ironic and tragic this afternoon, as I read the Pentagon's identification of Army casualties, that I was shell-shocked by the news that the Class of 1999 lost another member: Doug Dicenzo, who was killed in Iraq last week. Doug is not the first member of West Point's Class of 1999 to be killed in Iraq-- that would be Benny Smith, whose helicopter was shot down more than two years ago-- nor is he the first friend of mine to have been killed in Iraq: I eulogized the death of Jay Harting on this website a year ago. But like Benny and Jay, the death of Doug hit extremely close to home. I hadn't seen Doug in almost six years-- when he had just graduated Ranger School and I was still working my way through the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning-- but our friendship began almost eleven years ago, when we spent ...
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.)
Memorial Day -- [Shawn's (Highly) Motivated Life - in Iraq]
Memorial Day. I have an image in my head, one I actually got on camera. We kicked ass in Baghdad. It was early on. We took Richie to run a marathon for the Fourth of July. We rolled with six trucks, because we had so many passengers. Whole goddamn platoon was there, or at least the people that mattered. Strick was in the gun; just a ride to Victory. We all ate dinner at the big dining facility on Liberty.
Of course Strick is dead. And so is Saylor. And so is Dingler. The kid that ran a marathon has a two prong hook for an arm; he's 21. Alpha.
But there was a time, when we rode out and our boy ran a marathon and dove in Sadaam's lake when he finished, for the Independence Day. We were all together.
What Memorial Day means now... -- [Combat Medic In Iraq]
Hello again from Mosul. Today has been filled with many different emotions, anger, sadness, spite, discontent, malice...all that goes with sending an American soldier home after he falls in battle. This morning we put my friend Jeremy Loveless on an Army transport to be shipped home to his family. He was killed by enemy fire Memorial Day, while supporting his platoon as they hunted down a known insurgent. He went out doing what he loved, and told me he wanted to do that from the very start.
Memorial Day Thoughts and Reads -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
Today is Memorial Day. It is just another holiday in the world but here it is something else. It is a time to remember those who don't get to go home. I knew some of them, I still remember them, I will never forget them.
...This year we went all out as usual for the troops with a whole pig roast and literally tons of meat being BBQ'd. I went early to the DFAC to get some pics of the preparation that is going on and I took hundreds but the photo I put in here says what this is all about.
The plate and bowl are turned upside down. The chair leans against the table. The place setting is undisturbed. It is a place for the soldiers who are not with us anymore to sit. It is a place to honor them and their memories. It was set up by another soldier, not a contractor, or a TCN worker. It was put there by an E-8. It is to remind us that Memorial Day is about more than BBQ and beer bashes.
SALUTE TO REMEMBER -- [2006 Tour of Duty - in Iraq]
This was taken at a memorial service for one of the soldiers who gave it all. He was suppose to be my replacement but he got killed from an IED attack. I salute all who died on the battlefield in the war against terrorists and those who died in prior wars in our nation's defense.
On This Memorial Day Weekend - [Grey Eagel - in Iraq]
These past 8 months, the visions of the wounded and of the dead, will forever change this holiday for me. In one particular moment, as I sought to prepare a soldier’s remains, I discovered a photo of his family within his helmet. On this weekend that moment burns in my memory and etches a meaning of this time deeply into my soul. I think that anyone who visits this website during this weekend should click on the Tributes, ...
Fighting with Honor -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
It seems to me, in this chaotic enterprise we call Operation Iraqi Freedom, that we’re providing a service to the entire planet. There’s a simple formula to prove this. The fewer terrorists there are planning and carrying out attacks on civilians — and for that matter, the fewer terrorists left alive — the better our world must exponentially become. By that barometer alone, we are doing a wonderful service to all those opposed to terrorism.
Trends You Don't Hear About -- [Strategy Page]
May 29, 2006: There are a number of trends in Iraq that you hear little, or nothing, about in the mass media. For example;
@ The economy. GDP doubled from 2003 to 2004, and was up double digits in 2005. Inflation and unemployment have both been falling steadily. Yes, the terrorists are still at it, but in the background you will notice all those people going to work, all the new cars and all the new construction.
“Iraq’s Most Wanted” -- [Daily Dispatch]
On May 17, acting from tips by Iraqi citizens, Coalition Forces raided a safe house in Ramadi. In the process, they destroyed a shop that was converting stolen cars into IEDs. Among the ordnance confiscated were machine guns, riles, artillery rounds, bomb making materials, rocket propelled grenades, and a suicide vest.
The troops took fire as they approached. They killed six terrorists in the ensuing battle, and detained three. They also found, and freed, a kidnapped 8-year-old child, who was being held as a menial by the group.
Iraq Report, 29 May/06 -- [Winds of Change]
At least 52 people are dead in renewed violence Khalis and Baghdad. An IED killed a U.S. soldier, two CBS news crewmen and an Iraqi in Baghdad Monday. Six soldiers and a CBS correspondent were wounded in the blast as well.
We ARE Winning -- [Bandit.three.six - in Iraq]
I was watching the news a couple days ago and saw a lady, I can't remember her qualifications, look into the camera and say, "The American public is unhappy with the war because we're losing." My first reaction was to put my fist through the screen and it took me a bit to calm down, but once I did I realized how foolish it was of me to let myself get so angry since what she was saying was so rediculous. I really hope people don't believe her.
Wild Bill, part one -- [Fun With Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
Normally we gunners remain seated in the swing seat, everything from the neck down shielded by the armor of the truck. Standing outside the Humvee you can see only our heads. The only time we stand up is when we’re stopped or immediately after taking contact so as to return fire. However, after having kids sneak up on trucks and throw hand grenades at other units, we’ve taken to standing up in the turret when we roll through the city. I can only take a few minutes of that, knowing that any second I could get shot in the face, take shrapnel from an RPG or a grenade, or simply explode in a red mist if an IED explodes next to my truck.
...Another quote that constantly replays in my mind is what my old squad leader told me: “You have to become someone you don’t want to in order to survive over there.” I now know how right he was.
Of Marines and Congress"men" -- [T.F. Boggs - in Iraq]
...The thing to understand about combat veterans is that they can grow tiresome of the day-to-day bullcrap that they have to put up with i.e. ever changing Rules of Engagement, an unidentified enemy, and the restraints placed upon them in the name of “winning hearts and minds.” Oftentimes it can become too much to continually watch your buddies die or get hurt when there is nothing you can do in their defense. Such is the nature of IED’s. When convoys are hit with roadside bombs there is oftentimes nothing that can be done at the moment. Terrorists or criminals, however you want to look at them, hide some distance away out of sight and detonate IED’s or even place the IED’s in such a manner that they are victim detonated i.e. land mines, trip wires, and laser beams. It is a frustrating situation when someone you know gets hurt and there is nothing you can do about it.
Aborted Mission -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck! - in Iraq]
We had some terps ride along with us today, a male and a female. I’m not sure where they’re from. They’re probably of Middle Eastern decent judging from looking at them. They were new so we really didn’t know them. Anyway, we were getting ready to roll outside the wire this morning when the female jumps out of the vehicle. She starts going hysterical. We were clueless as to why. She just started getting all of her belongings and getting out.
After we calmed her down we came to find out that the other terp had called someone right before we left. He was speaking to someone in Arabic on his mobile phone. He gave away all types of sensitive information like the time and place we were leaving, the number of vehicles we had, and our destination. She was in the same vehicle at the time and overheard him give this info away.
She immediately got upset and jumped out. ...
The Best and Worst Signs I’ve Seen in Iraq -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
The twelve best and worst signs I’ve seen on bases in Iraq. All misspellings and grammar errors are reproduced exactly as seen.
Iraq Pictures - 27 May 2006 - [Iraq Pictures - In Iraq]
Iraqi Army Soldiers form 2nd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division are on the move during the second phase of operation Lion in Quayarrah.
...Staff Sgt. Catherine Frazier, 407th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, guides Military Working Dog Rico around a vehicle during random security measures.
Go to War. Do Art. -- [Fire and Ice]
This article appeared in The New York Times on March 8, 2006 and is copyrighted by Michael Fay and The New York Times.
I’m a warrant officer-1 in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Warrant officers are hybrids, not fully commissioned officers, and although drawn exclusively from the non-commissioned officer ranks, no longer enlisted Marines. We are by and large the duty experts in a particular field; think of us as consultants. I am a combat artist for the Marines; a Winslow Homer in camouflage. I work directly for the Historical Division of the Marine Corps University and my orders from them are simple. Go to war. Do art. My output goes into The Marine Corps Combat Art Collection, which houses over 8,000 works of art. I think I’ve got the best job in the military.
Juxtaposition -- [A mobilized year - in Iraq]
One of the things that I did not expect when I was home was that I had a strong feeling that the area was really insulated, and in some regards insular as well. The events of September 11 took away much of the “insulation” that people felt that we had prior; that is, that the World’s significant problems happened “elsewhere” and our ocean borders insulated us from much of the World’s extremism. We were insular in the sense that while we cared about many of the World problems, we only infrequently intervened or intervened only in a way that did not impact the day-to-day lives of American people.
...Well, I think for many people, things have in large part now changed back to the pre-September 11 time. People are focused on ...
Rest and Relaxation -- [Pass the Brass - home on leave from Iraq]
Apparently R&R is a very sensitive time for most troops.
Being away from “the norm” for so long we pick up habits that may end up causing some form of conflict with either family, friends…or just society in general. I myself heard all the stories and kept telling myself, “I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s just like any other vacation.” But I have caught myself choking on my own words.
There are so many things that soldiers will feel upon returning to the states. I’m not going to go into all of them right now. That would be a little more complicated than my current “One Year of Public High School Psychology” degree would cover. So I’ll just give you my perspective.
Let Your Enemies Crumble -- (Time)...Peter Beinart
The U.S. forgot the lessons of the cold war when it came to Iraq
For those of us who mistakely supported the war in Iraq, it is tempting to say we were betrayed by the facts. After all, we backed a war to rid Saddam Hussein of weapons he didn't have.
But, in truth, it was not merely our information that proved faulty; it was also our state of mind. In the run-up to war, the Bush Administration repeated one message again and again:
Losing the Long War -- (Middle East Online)
In Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Somali and elsewhere, the Bush administration's policies in pursuing its "Long War" on terrorism have proven catastrophic. Tom Porteous argues that this war will not be won militarily but through genuine political accommodation and compromise based on a modicum of justice and fairness.
Ambush Kills Sunni Chief Who Allied With U.S. To Fight Al Qaeda -- (Chicago Tribune)...Kim Gamel, Associated Press
A tribal chief who challenged Iraq's most feared terrorist and sent fighters to help U.S. troops battle Al Qaeda in western Iraq died in a hail of bullets Sunday, the latest victim of an apparent insurgent campaign against Sunni Arabs who work with Americans.
AP Blog: End of Deaths Uncertain in Iraq -- (Star Tribune -Robert H. Reid)
AP Correspondent Robert H. Reid is based in Baghdad and writes about events in Iraq.
Allegations that American Marines massacred two dozen civilians last November in the city of Haditha are making big news in the United States but causing hardly a ripple in Iraq.
That may seem unusual, considering the firestorm that was unleashed two years ago when pictures surfaced of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison. And the Haditha allegations may yet hit Iraq's front pages after Navy investigators announce their findings sometime next month.
Sources: Lawmakers told to brace for Haditha fallout -- (CNN)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Some members of Congress have been told to brace for the fallout from potential charges of murder and cover-up stemming from an inquiry into an alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines, sources say.
Parents: Marine sons told to take Haditha photos -- (CNN)
HANFORD, California (AP) -- Two Marines were severely traumatized after following orders to photograph corpses of unarmed Iraqi civilians that members of their unit are suspected of killing, their families said Monday.
Drone's Video May Aid Marine Inquiry -- (Washington Post)...Thomas E. Ricks
Military investigators piecing together what happened in the Iraqi town of Haditha on Nov. 19 -- when Marines allegedly killed two dozen civilians -- have access to video shot by an unmanned drone aircraft that was circling overhead for at least part of that day, military defense lawyers familiar with the case said in interviews.
General Pledges 'Appropriate Action' In Probe Of Iraqi Deaths -- (USA Today / AP)
The chairman of the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that “it would be premature for me to judge” the outcome of a Pentagon investigation into the killing of as many as a dozen Iraqi civilians by Marines. However, Marine Gen. Peter Pace said he believes it's critically important to make the point that if certain servicemembers are responsible for an atrocity there, they “have not performed their duty the way that 99.9% of their fellow Marines have.”
On A Marine Base, Disbelief Over Charges -- (New York Times)...Carolyn Marshall
In this "company town" where everything and everyone caters to the well-being of the Marine Corps, there is no shortage of people, both military and civilian, who are willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the troops accused of unjustified killings last November in Haditha, Iraq.
Bush Gets More Bad News From Iraq -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Just when President Bush was trying to accentuate the positive in Iraq and declare a new beginning in the war on terror, a rash of bad news comes from multiple fronts in the global struggle....
U.S. Will Reinforce Troops In West Iraq -- (Washington Post)...Ellen Knickmeyer
The U.S. military said Monday it was deploying the main reserve fighting force for Iraq, a full 3,500-member armored brigade, as emergency reinforcements for the embattled western province of Anbar, where a surge of violence linked to the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq has severely damaged efforts to turn Sunni Arab tribal leaders against the insurgency.
U.S. Is Sending Reserve Troops To Iraq's West -- (New York Times)...David S. Cloud
...Although some soldiers from the 3,500-member brigade in Kuwait have moved into Iraq in recent months, Gen. George W. Casey Jr. has decided to send in the remainder of the unit after consultations with Iraqi officials in recent days, the officials said. The confirmation that the number of American forces in Iraq would grow came on a day of soaring violence in Baghdad.
Number Of Brigades May Fall, But Troops To Stay At 133,000 -- (Washington Times)...Rowan Scarborough
U.S. troop levels in Iraq will likely stay around the 133,000 mark in the coming months even if an Army brigade or two is cut from the current number of 15 total combat brigades, defense officials say.
Ex-POW Hears From His Iraqi Questioner -- (Washington Times/ AP)
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- A retired Air Force officer held as a prisoner of war by Iraqi forces 15 years ago has received an unusual reminder of his days in captivity: A letter from his Iraqi interrogator.
Jeff Fox, a retired lieutenant colonel, said he was surprised when a single-page, handwritten note arrived this month from Ibrahim Abd Al-tialb. In the letter, the former Iraqi army colonel recalled the day the men crossed paths at a prison near Baghdad and said he still has a few items that Col. Fox gave him, including his watch.
What We Need To Get Right -- (Newsweek)...Fareed Zakaria
If the new prime minister fails, Moqtada al-Sadr will become the most powerful man in Iraq.
Inside Iraq's hidden war -- (The Guardian)
As a new 'national unity' government prepares to take power in Baghdad, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports from behind the lines of a vicious sectarian conflict rapidly spiralling towards civil war
Iraq Is A Deadly Assignment For Journalists -- (New York Times)...Marc Santora and Bill Carter
By some reckonings, the death of two journalists working for CBS News on Monday firmly secured the Iraq war as the deadliest conflict for reporters in modern times.
Killing Blair over war justifiable: Galloway -- (Australian Broadcasting Corp)
British politician and Iraq war opponent George Galloway has triggered a storm of protest by saying it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to kill Prime Minister Tony Blair in revenge for the war.
Security in Afghanistan -- [Rahilla Live From a Free Kabul - Afghani in Afghanistan]]
This morning, Bilal Q and I were talking about the security situation in Afghanistan and just generally, living overseas in a post-conflict or developing country with not a lot of freedom of movement. I was explaining to him that the upsurge of violence in Afghanistan had to do with resistance to the wide spread poppy eradication (State Dept employee killed in Herat was working in anti-narcotics, the DIAG program asking militant groups to hand over their heavily explosive weapons, and Taliban members entering southern Afghanistan through Pakistan's border.
Combat in Southeastern Afghanistan; Mullah Dadullah not captured -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
The fighting in southeastern Afghanistan continues as Coalition and Afghan forces press into previously unpatroled Taliban strongholds. Over the weekend clashes occurred in Kandahar, Helmand and Ghazni provinces. These provinces have been the scene of the majority of the fighting over the past few months.
Week #21 (21-27 May 2006) -- [Bruces Deployment]
Our training program with the Khost Provincial Hospital continues to flourish. Our operating rooms have been full all week as we continue to teach surgical and anesthetic procedures to their staff. They are so grateful for the opportunity and experience. They even got to watch us in action as we provided trauma care to some afghan local civilians.
Xenophobia Rules -- [Strategy Page]
May 30, 2006: Although their spring offensive has not been particularly successful, the Taliban continue to press it with some vigor. The Taliban has come closest to making a serious impact in Helmand Province. This seems to be the result of a combination of some excellent leadership which has used close ties to clan and tribal groups in the province, who provide considerable support and assistance.
Afghanistan: The Long View -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian Troop]
If Canadians rely on the MSM to assist them in forming educated opinions on Afghanistan, they’ll be waiting a long time. As usual, the liberal dominated media is focused on issues that in the long run mean little. Journalists, in typical self-absorbed fashion are all a tizzy over whether or not they’ll be allowed on Canadian bases to film the memorial ceremonies for fallen soldiers. Yet, they seldom give more complex issues a thought. Local petty politics drives the MSM, not the greater geo-political issues of the day.
News of Afghanistan VIII -- [Miserable Donuts]
...DOZENS MORE INSURGENTS KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN
Continuing days of violence, some 60 suspected neo-Taliban insurgents died along with five men from Afghanistan's security forces in fighting in southern Afghanistan on May 24, AFP reported. The latest clash began on May 23, when insurgents attacked an Afghan army convoy on patrol in Oruzgan Province.
Storm and Stone -- [Fire and Ice]
In the early part of May of 2005 I went out on a "presence patrol" with the re-inforced 3rd Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. This jaunt, commanded by 2nd Lt. Weiss, was destined for the foothills of the Tora Bora Mountains. We left Jalalabad, Afghanistan under a broad expanse of perfect blue on May 6th and headed towards a particularly spectacular place on the border with Pakistan called Wazir Pass. Our primary mission was to scout alternative pathways into and around this rugged tribal region for an upcoming operation.
Brake Failure on U.S. Truck Caused Crash -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - The U.S. military said Tuesday that the brakes on an American truck caused the deadly traffic accident that sparked the worst violence in the Afghan capital since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Hundreds of Afghan and coalition troops took up positions around Kabul on Tuesday to prevent further rioting. The city of 4 million was calm as stores reopened and residents commuted to work.
U.S. Traffic Accident Sparks Afghan Riot -- (NY Times)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Violent anti-foreigner protests raged across the capital Monday after a U.S. military truck crashed into traffic, touching off the worst rioting since the Taliban's ouster. At least eight people died and 107 were injured before Kabul's streets calmed.
Afghan army patrols Kabul after anti-US riots -- (Reuters)
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan troops patrolled the streets of the capital of Kabul on Tuesday after the worst anti-U.S. riots since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 killed at least eight people.
The Death of Innocents -- (Yahoo News - Kevin Sites)
The conflict in Kashmir has cost the lives of thousands. Some of the latest: four children and teenagers on holiday with their parents.
World economies -- (Dawn)
ACCORDING to western economists, Afghanistans economic outlook has improved significantly since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 because of the...
AFGHANISTAN: AT LEAST 50 TALIBAN KILLED IN U.S.-LED AIR STRIKE -- (AKI)
Kabul, 29 May (AKI) - At least 50 Taliban fighters have been killed in a US-led airstrike in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Monday, regions news reports say. "The Taliban were meeting when the bombardment took place," according to Amir Mohammad Akhundzada, deputy provincial governor who was quoted in a report on the Pakistani television channel GEO TV. "More than 50 of them have been killed," he said.
Iran, Afghanistan Pledge Drug Crackdown -- (Washington Post)
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran and Afghanistan pledged to crack down on drugs passing over their shared border as Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited Tehran, Iranian ...
Dear Family Members of 4 th PSC -- [4th Provisional Security Company - in Djibouti, Africa]
Things in Djibouti are continuing to go well as we hit the two-month mark. We have all settled in and begun to focus on the real job of being here. We have our new website running and you can find it at www.4thpsc.com We are updating the site and posting new pictures as we get them organized, please be patient we will try to add a few every week, it's a work in constant progress!
Four are dead from weekend protest violence in northwest Iran -- [Gateway Pundit]
SHAME ON THE WESTERN MEDIA! When 200 Islamist thugs are bused in from across the country by the Islamic Republic to hold a rally outside the Danish Embassy the western news medias (BBC, CNN, AFP, Reuters...) are quick to cover the story live on TV making it seem like Iranians are crazy fanatics!
When tens of thousands of Iranians come out denouncing that very same regime that is doing these kind of acts, condemning them for the oppressive rule!!! EVERYTHING GOES SILENT!
...Reports from Iran claim that thousands of Azeris are leaving the northwest for the capital to protest against the regime: ...
United States Marine Takes Knife to Gun Fight....Wins -- [Banter in Atlanter]
A group of thugs picked the wrong person to mess with this Memorial Day evening, and one of those idiots is currently sleeping with the fishes.
NOTE TO THUGS - when you choosing your victims, it is generally considered to be a life threatening mistake to pick someone who carries a knife - ESPECIALLY if that individual happens to wear a Eagle, Globe and Anchor!!!
One more tip, if you pull your shotgun on a Marine and he shows you his war face you should probably pack it up and call it night.
US sends $2.5 mln aid for Indonesian quake victims -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration said on Saturday the United States had sent $2.5 million in aid to Indonesia after a powerful earthquake struck the main island of Java earlier in the day, killing several thousand people.
Noam Chomsky: Why it's over for America -- (The Independent)
An inability to protect its citizens. The belief that it is above the law. A lack of democracy. Three defining characteristics of the 'failed state'. And that, says Noam Chomsky, is exactly what the US is becoming. In an exclusive extract from his devastating new book, America's leading thinker explains how his country lost its way
New Terror Group Busted -- [Interested-Participant]
(Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia) The Darul Islam is being characterized as a new terrorist organization when, in reality, the group was suppressed for decades and just recently became re-energized.
Fighting in Uruzgan; Osama bin Laden sighting in Pakistan -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
...ABC News' Alexis Debat reports Osama bin Laden has been sighted in Pakistan's Kumrat Valley. While ABC News reports Kumrat Valley is in the Kohistan district, The Pakistan Guide from Satellite and the NWFP website indicate Kumrat Valley is in the Dir District, which resides on the Afghan border. The Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nurestan, and the Pakistani district of Bajaur border with Dir.
MALAYSIA: NEW TERRORIST GROUP UNCOVERED -- (AKI)
Kuala Lumpur, 30 May (AKI) - Malaysian police have uncovered a new terrorist group which was planning to carry out attacks on neighbouring countries, local daily The Star reported on Tuesday. The terrorists were based on the Malaysian part of Borneo island, which is politically divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The ten Indonesian and two Malaysian nationals were nabbed off Borneo's coast, while on their way to neighbouring countries. "The Malaysian police had been tracking their movements over the last six months, then they moved in to smash the militant group before it could carry out its plans," The Star reported.
Does Islamic Law Need Modification? -- (Arab News)
Adil Salahi, Arab News Q. I would like to raise the question of compensation in the case of accidental killing. I want to know why Islamic law seems to discriminate between Muslims and
NFL players, commissioner salute injured troops at Landstuhl -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Here read the story and look the pictures!
Tagliabue, Strahan, others sign autographs during visit
PGR Trip Report -- [Soldier's Angel New York]
I met up with some other folks at Exit 45 for the 200 mile trip to O-burg. We were blessed with great weather. Diane, Bill, Andy and I arrived at VFW Post 2936 about 7:30 p.m. The VFW graciously opened their doors to us, offering food and accomodations.
OPERATION: THANKS FOR FREEDOM!! -- [Devil Dog Marines]
Let's show our troops we love and support them!!!! Let's celebrate freedom and those who protect that freedom for us! For the next several weeks, I will be collecting cards to send to troops stationed in high-combat areas in Iraq. Mail from home helps to keep our troops' morale strong, making a very real difference in their lives! If you wish to participate in the Operation: Thanks for Freedom! Fourth of July card drive, please send cards to the address below:
Mrs. Kat Orr Thanks For Freedom! Campaign 740 Thompson Lane Loganville, GA 30052
RANGER SCHOOL -- [What's Happening]
I made it. We're done. Finito. Finished. Over and out.
Here's the story of the whole thing, minus the "lost entries" that I'm still working to get back from Florida, and I want you all to know I lost a TON of sleep writing this so you damn well better enjoy it.
I give to you...
Celebrating over 50 years in Ramstein -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
See the video!
For more than 50 years Germans and Americans have lived together around Ramstein Air Base. A1C Peter Mellon shows us a special exhibition of the area’s history and culture.
Letter On Korean War Massacre Reveals Plan To Shoot Refugees -- (Washington Post)...Charles J. Hanley and Martha Mendoza, Associated Press
More than a half-century after hostilities ended in Korea, a document from the war's chaotic early days has come to light -- a letter from the U.S. ambassador to Seoul, informing the State Department that U.S. soldiers would shoot refugees approaching their lines. The letter -- dated the day of the Army's mass killing of South Korean refugees at No Gun Ri in 1950 -- is the strongest indication yet that such a policy existed for all U.S. forces in Korea, and the first evidence that that policy was known to upper ranks of the U.S. government.
Bush Signs Measure To Prevent Protests At Military Funerals -- (Boston Globe)...Nedra Pickler, Associated Press
President Bush passed a startling sign on his Memorial Day drive into the burial grounds for thousands of military dead -- ``Thank God for dead soldiers," it read. Bush took action yesterday in hopes that no more families see similar sentiments when they bury loved ones who died in the war.
Beyond Bars And Strip Clubs, City Beckons Sailors On Shore Leave -- (New York Times)...Anthony Ramirez and Kate Hammer
After being cooped up for months in giant rolling tin cans in the Persian Gulf, the sailors dock on the West Side piers of Manhattan and stay for a few days. New Yorkers see them move about in groups or in pairs, their crisp summer whites against the gray of the asphalt.
Geez, Who's Advising This Guy? Kos? -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
It was never about the charges made by the Swift Boat Veterans, or whether he saved a drowning SF soldier, or whether he inflated his own actions during war to get a medal or two. It was always about his Ghengis Khan speech in the Senate, his claim of widespread war crimes among his fellow vets, and his actions as a leader in Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the Winter Soldier Hoax, and what he did with those medals later on.
Government attempts to take care of it’s own, screw private sector “wage slaves” again - minimum wage increase and “Fair Tax” proposal (TRUE “Fair Tax) time folks… -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
...Here is yet another policy where the “conservatives” prove themselves to be at LEAST as much in favor of high taxation and social welfare as the “liberals” are. Look at it this way - by keeping the Federal minimum wage down to $5.15 per hour, the net result is a burden upon the taxpayers, and we all know who they are - those of us who pay 25%-35% of our paychecks to pay for the poor in our country, and folks - that ain’t the wealthy folks doing it, it’s poor, and the so-called “middle class” themselves footing the bill.
Source: Treasury Secretary Snow Resigns -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Treasury Secretary John Snow has resigned and will be replaced by Goldman Sachs Chairman Henry M. Paulson Jr., a senior administration official said Tuesday. It is the latest chapter of a White House shake-up aimed at reviving President Bush's presidency. Bush was to announce the changes in a White House ceremony later Tuesday
Analysis: Democrats Wary of November Vote -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans are three steps from a November shellacking - each a grim possibility if habitually divided Democrats get their acts together....
Lost in translation? -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Does the CNN have problems with translation from Arabic to English or is it a case of deliberate twisting of facts?
Yesterday Iraq's and Iran's foreign ministers had a joint press conference in Baghdad after which the CNN ran a headline that reads "Iraqi minister defends Iranian nuclear program" and wrote:
Three stories from today's Business section in the New York Times: -- [Hugh Hewitt]
...Three stories from today's Business section in the New York Times:
I'm part of an elite squad, sir. That's a special issue patrol vehicle. -- [WuzzaDem]
...I'm part of an elite squad, sir. That's a special issue patrol vehicle.
Press Briefing for Bloggers? -- [Newsbusters]
New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen writes about what he thinks the Bush administration should do to improve the flow of information to the public. One of the items he proposes is a "Bloggers Briefing" for "stand-alone" and citizen journalists.
Whoa Nelly!!!! -- [Chris's Blog - in Afghanistan]
...Yeah, that's right, Mary is pregnant, if you are a newcomer to the show, and she's due to have a csection on June 1st. Why a Csection, you ask? She had one with our first, Anna, AFTER she was in labor for 30 hours. So, to "cut" out the 30 hour part, she elected to do the second one sans the struggle. So, to make it there on time, I'm "planning" on being home on the 30th. Why quotes around planning? Because, as any Soldier knows, a plan never survives two things: 1. Enemy contact, and 2. The Army Transportation System. So, I gave myself a day to spare, which should be good, and then it'll be baby time!
Sixty-Two Years and Two Hard Words - THIS IS NOT SATIRE -- [ScrappleFace]
She places the stems in the green plastic vase, and lightly pushes the blooms around until six colors work together. She approaches the stone, careful to avoid treading on the area directly before it. She pushes the spiked end of the vase into the rain-softened soil next to the stone. Her fingers flit across the petals, making slight adjustments, until she brings unity from diversity again. It pleases her to do so.
...Around her, perfect rows of identical stones radiate out, so it seems, from this one. As if they all come together at this point.
“It’s a shame the children can’t be here. Busy lives.
... “It’s a national holiday, you know. We’re remembering the sacrifice of all of them.” “But I didn’t know the others. I knew you.” “And I can’t remember the sacrifice. It’s not in the past yet. Because you’re gone, the sacrifice lives on. For me, it’s not a national holiday. It’s your day. It’s my day.”
“Sixty two years I’ve come on this day to say these hard words. It takes me all year to recover the strength to say them again.”
“And just in case I don’t make it back next year…”
AMERICA DOESNT FORGET! -- [One Marines View]
This Memorial Day is the first one I have been home at since I deployed to Afghanistan for 8 mos, then Iraq for a year. A lot has happened in that time, to me, my family and my fellow Marines but I haven’t forgotten.
Those Magnificent Men and their flying Machines -- [SandGram]
...This is what I will do on Monday, flying my 1929 Fleet biplane and saluting all the veterans below who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I urge all American to reflect on what our military has done for this OUTSTANDING country; for without their sacrifices, we might be speaking German or Russian as a national language, or in this day and age, our enemy would like us to be Muslim or dead.
Two American Heroes -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany - MaryAnn]
This is a Memorial Day tribute for two members of the Soldiers' Angels extended family. As part of the Soldiers' Angels deployed soldier support program, these two young troops were "adopted" by Angels who sent them letters and packages.
A Memorial Day Thank You -- [Yikes]
Yesterday, I went by the cemetary where Mike is buried. I left a batch of red, white & blue silk flowers on his grave - I was happy to see there were many, many other flowers there as well. I had bought 8 bunches of those flowers, so after I gave Mike his, I wandered around the cemetary and left the remaining bunches on graves of other veterans, mostly World War 2 veterans. There were more veterans than I had flowers, unfortunately - I didn't realize there were so many!!! Note to self: Bring about 20-30 bunches of flowers next year!!!!!! There were even several graves from the Civil War, as well, which I had not noticed until yesterday, when I went wandering through the cemetary for the first time. Heretofore, I'd never gone any farther than Mike's grave. But I noticed several Confederate Flags on several old, old graves, and went to investigate.
Tre -- [Sgt Hook]
...Tre could always be counted on, with his easy going, dedicated attitude you never doubted that he’d come through. He always did, and usually with a “shit eating” grin on his face.
Some of the fondest memories from my days as a crewdog involve Tre Ponder.
In Afghanistan, Tre hung up the phone with his family, showered and went to bed. Later, he was awoken with an urgent message. There were four Navy Seals trapped on a mountaintop, surrounded by enemy fighters. The Seals had called for support, knowing they were outnumbered. Even though it was the middle of the day, an unusual occasion for Night Stalkers, they took a chance so that these soldiers could be rescued.
Tre was in Afghanistan only to train and had no obligation to go on the flight, but he signed up as a crew member because they were shorthanded.
They Did God's Work -- [The American Spectator - Ben Stein ]
Remarks delivered on Saturday evening in Arlington, Virginia, at the Memorial Day weekend seminar and grief camp of TAPS -- the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME be a part of your family. This is the most important family on the planet right now. There is a First Family on Pennsylvania Avenue, but this is the real first family. The family of those who have paid the ultimate price to keep us free and dignified and alive.
Google Ignores Memorial Day -- [NewsBusters]
...if you go back through the Google archives, you'll find that, although it has over the years commemorated Shichi-go-san being celebrated in Japan, Bastille Day in France, and Korean Liberation Day, it appears that Google has never dressed up its logo for Memorial Day.
Bush Invokes The Fallen, Past And Present -- (New York Times)...Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael R. Gordon
...Though polls suggest the public is uneasy about the war in Iraq, none of that unease was evident in Arlington on Monday. More than 4,500 people gathered in sweltering sun to catch a glimpse of the president, who was introduced by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld as "an historic leader, a selfless leader."
Despite initiative, national moment of remembrance hasn't caught on -- (USA Today)
A tiny White House commission has spent the past five years and $1.5 million trying to bring a new American tradition to Memorial Day's barbecues, parades and sales: A moment of remembrance, a sigh, perhaps a prayer. Just a 30-second pause.
Toll Of War Heaviest Here -- (Colorado Springs Gazette)...Tom Roeder and Annie Mullin
Fort Carson soldiers, including 50 killed since last Memorial Day, have died in Iraq at a rate nearly double that of other Army posts around the country.
Choose Your Battle -- (Washington Post)
She's a Pacifist. He's A Warrior. But Even In the Shadow of Iraq, Their Love Soldiers On
One minute Stacy Bannerman is stuffing envelopes to promote an upcoming peace workshop. The next her husband, Lorin, unexpectedly appears in her office.
"I got the call," he says.
"What call?" she replies.
Does she have to ask? Don't they both know their life is poised to turn completely strange at any moment? Possibly even tragic?
"I'm going to Iraq."
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.)
Iran flirts with Iraq's Sunni extremists. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
This report published on today's Azzaman talks about efforts by the regime in Iran to open dialogue with the Association of Muslim Scholars which represents the extreme Sunni clergy in Iraq.
Woman Taken Hostage in Iraq by Ansar al-Sunna (repost) -- [Jawa Report]
The Army of Ansar al-Sunna has taken a female Iraqi translator hostage. In an announcement released on the internet, the group claimed that it had captured Mayada Salihi, a woman working as a translator for U.S. forces.
My HUBBY.... [Neurotic Iraqi wife - an Iraqi in Iraq]
This is gonna be a quick one (writing it during my lunch break btw)...But worth a mention...Lets call it a journalistic scoop...Today on the 25th of May 2006, the first of the 142 Primary Healthcare clinics(the one I have mentioned a few posts ago) have opened its doors in Sadr city...
The Iraqi Smile... -- [Neurotic Iraqi wife - an Iraqi in Iraq]
You know you are in Iraq when...
You cant wear a cross in public...
I found out yesterday that one of the maintenance guys working here got murdered while driving back home in his car...He was a christian...It is believed that he got killed because of his faith...The mass media tends to concentrate on just the two sects (Sunni's, Shia's) forgetting that Iraq is also made up from Christians, Yazeedi's, Turkmen, and ofcourse Kurds.... But it is also the Christians that are targets, targets of death....
Things Could Be Worse: My Thoughts -- [Grey Eagle - in Iraq]
• We are engaged in a beautification program here….apparently I must have too much free time…. because everyone knows there is nothing more natural then a flower garden in the middle of the desert
• The sand is everywhere, it gets in your hair, face, teeth, inside your boots, it gets in your weapon so your can entertain yourself by cleaning it 4 times a day, it gets crusty and hard as it mixes with your sweat, it becomes quite annoying as it develops into a third layer of skin under your pants and shirt….. if my husband takes me to the beach when I get back I will kill him
• In Iraq ….. under amour clothing is a girl’s best friend
• I am recording the sound of incoming mortar attacks to a CD so I can play it at night when I get back home so I will be able to fall asleep
• The reason I know the Army is run by males, is because any woman knows you can’t have more than two females in a unit, as three leads to gossip, and any number greater than three will lead to a cat fight
A final post, a trip home -- [Postcards from Iraq - in Iraq]
Throughout the year, I’ve taken you along this perilous journey with me in, arguably, the most dangerous city in the world, Ramadi, Iraq. Ramadi has been an insurgent hotbed for the past few years. Since we’ve been in Camp Corregidor, we’ve served with the 2/69 Armor Battalion of the 3rd Infantry Division and also with the 1/506th Infantry Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division. For those of you who aren’t military buffs, the 1/506th Battalion is the same Battalion that the Band of Brothers movie was based off of. It is also the same Battalion that James Francis Ryan of Saving Private Ryan was from. The Battalions we’ve been with here have had a rich military tradition of excellence in every major military campaign. They’ve welcomed us into the fold and welcomed us as brothers in arms. It is truly an honor to have served with these guys.
This will be my last Postcards from Iraq blog post.
Sweltering -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck! - in Iraq]
...Nothing really exciting happened today. We didn’t encounter any IEDs, Thank God. One of the Sergeants was betting that we’d hit two of them and that one of the vehicles would become disabled. It never happened. He would’ve lost if he bet. We did come upon some cordons where we had to wait for clearance when it was safe to pass. I think the Iraqis get frustrated with cordons too but they learn to deal with them. It’s better than getting killed. They’ll usually get out of their vehicles since most of them don’t have air conditioning and wait in the shade. I find that sometimes they begin to group together and just sit and socialize, right there on the road.
Relatively, for the day it seemed pretty calm. I heard no sporadic gunfire or IED explosions.
Life rolls on here in Iraq- Wednesday, May 24, 2006 -- [Chairborne Stranger - in Iraq]
Life rolls on here in Iraq. Things have been moving right along, though I'm pretty used to living in a combat zone, or at least I feel like I do, no big worries or fears of attacks or anything. Nothing like the first few months worrying about my sanity, though it makes for sweet dreams.
...I could stay in Iraq much longer now that I'm used to it. Even the Iraqis don't irritate me that much. But a lot of the Americans do get on my nerves now, I must admit.
Violence Aside, Baghdad Is Broken -- (San Francisco Chronicle)...Anna Badkhen
Water runs only an hour a day, power is on for 4 hours, and sewage runs in the streets.
Armed groups shun electronic media to counter U.S. high-tech surveillance -- (Azzaman/english)
No mobile phones, no landlines, no Internet – that is the message anti-U.S. rebels have recently received from their commanders. The message is believed to have even spread in neighboring states as part of the package of instructions foreign fighters receive before heading to Iraq.
“You are not to use electronic communication or even land lines when communicating,” said a leaflet which the groups distributed recently.
The instructions are apparently a response to what are described as ‘moderate successes’ U.S. troops have achieved in the past few weeks in their fight to flush out rebel cells.
Rebels’ foray to neutralize U.S. digital cameras -- (Azzaman/english)
Anti-U.S. rebels active in areas west of Baghdad have turned their wrath against the highly advanced digital cameras U.S. troops have installed to monitor their movement. The cameras can monitor movement of people at least three kilometers away and have apparently restricted the rebels’ ability to raid U.S. camps.
Residents say they have counted at least 35 such cameras guarding U.S. troops’ concentrations close to the restive city of Falluja. And recently several of these high-tech cameras were destroyed mainly by rebel sniper fire.
HOPE MIXED WITH FEAR -- (Blogging in Baghdad - NBC News)
...The last time a TV crew was here about two weeks ago, they took pictures, then those people on camera were killed, the guard told us. He followed us around constantly. It might have been true. It might have been a rumor. But the guard believed it. He demanded that we give him the tape we had used so far. In an old trick, our cameraman switched the tape in the camera, and played innocent.
You want to take it, here? he said, feigning guilt and offering the guard a blank tape.
Iraqi sees need for long U.S. presence -- (Denver Post)
| Baghdad, Iraq - Iraq's new prime minister has made security his top priority, but violence is so pervasive that it may take months - if not years - before he can keep that promise without help from ...
Bush And Blair To Discuss Scaling Back Troops In Iraq -- (Baltimore Sun)...Julie Hirschfeld Davis
President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, their images tarnished by public discontent over the war in Iraq, will discuss scaling back U.S. and British troops in the country when they meet at the White House today.
A dozen Marines may face courts-martial for alleged Iraq massacre -- (Marine Times)
A key member of Congress said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if a dozen Marines faced courts-martial for allegedly killing Iraqi civilians Nov. 19. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., told Marine Corps Times that the number of dead Iraqis, first reported to be 15, was actually 24. He based that number on a briefing from Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Mike Hagee on Wednesday.
No AQ or Taliban in Balochistan? -- [Peace like a River]
...The Home Minister's comments are certainly false. I can't point you to definite Al Qaeda activity in Balochistan, but the Taliban are present there.
Someone described the Home Minister to me this way: ...
Evacuations -- [Pyjama Samsara - aid worker in Afghanistan]
The insurgents have issued a warning today to Kandahar's peri-urban communities, advising them to evacuate. They say that they intend to take the city. I asked my Kandahari colleagues what this means. Is it serious? Do they do this on a regular basis? It's serious, they say. We have shut down our work in peri-urban areas.
Herat streetshops -- [Sharing means caring - Aid worker in Afghanistan]
...I put some more pictures of everyday life. but in general, Afghani people are very worried cuerrently and some of them really shaken by the events that accumulated over the last few weeks. not talking about the UN reactive and paranoid system this time, but there are things going on here that are not pleasant at all. and even though I still enjoy it in a way, it is not just interesting to know about RPGs, armoured vehicles and how they are made, and to become experienced enough to hear the difference between a soft bomb making but noise and a blast that really blows things up.
Losing Afghanistan -- (International Herald Tribune)
The dramatic upsurge in fighting in recent days in Afghanistan leaves a serious question over the return of peace and stability to Afghanistan. The Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai and its ...
U.S. says Taliban strength is growing -- (AP)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Fighting in rugged southern Afghan mountains killed at least 24 militants and five Afghan forces, while the U.S. military acknowledged Wednesday that the Taliban have grown in "strength and influence" in recent weeks.
U.S. Voices Regret For Deaths Of 16 Afghans -- (Washington Post)...Pamela Constable
The U.S. military expressed regret Wednesday for the deaths of a reported 16 civilian villagers Monday in U.S. airstrikes near here, but officials and elders said Taliban insurgents were responsible for the incident.
Veterans Day **CANCELLED** -- [A Storm In Afghanistan]
A school board in Connecticut has voted to cancel the school's observance of Veterans Day next year.
The reasoning given by the eight members who voted for the measure is thus: If the children have the day off, they'll play and fritter the day away... however, by keeping them in school, the schools can educate the young minds about the history and efforts of veterans.
Chavez: US is anti-democratic -- (Al Jazeera)
The Venezuelan president has again criticised the United States, calling it an anti-democratic state. | Hugo Chavez made the observation on Tuesday in front of a rally of...
Guard Soldiers May Go to Border Next Week -- (Breitbart/ AP)
The first wave of about 800 National Guard soldiers will head to the U.S-Mexico border as early as next week, including planners and leadership personnel who will stay longer than the planned 21-day missions, the National Guard chief told lawmakers Wednesday.
Schwarzenegger Willing To Send Guard To Patrol The Border -- (Los Angeles Times)...Peter Nicholas and Nancy Vogel
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday he was prepared to deploy National Guard troops to the Mexican border — but only temporarily — as part of a national effort to curb illegal immigration.
Dead Men Do Tell Tales -- [Strategy Page]
May 23, 2006: The war in Iraq may actually be drawing terrorists away from other targets, as official US claims assert. But this does not necessarily mean that the neglected targets are in the Western. The real objective of Osama bin Laden and other Islamists is the overthrow of the Saudi regime, in order to secure control of the Moslem Holy Places in Mecca and Medina. This would provide the extremists with considerable legitimacy in the Moslem world.
Terrorist of the Absurd -- [Iraqi Pudit - Iraqi in exile]
Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, the prominent theorist of global jihad who's been in U.S. custody, made WaPo's front page this week. A Syrian-born engineer with a Spanish wife and dual Syrian-Spanish citizenship, Nasar is a noteworthy figure because of what he reveals about the convolutions of the Islamist mentality, and of the complexities inside the febrile world of contemporary jihadism that has created havoc in Iraq.
Officials Tout U.S. Anti-Terrorism Record -- (Washington Post)...Dan Eggen
Two senior Bush administration officials defended the government's anti-terrorism record in separate venues yesterday, saying that the Justice Department and other agencies have been highly successful in thwarting terrorist attacks at home and abroad.
Man Guilty In New York Bomb Plot -- (Washington Post)...Associated Press
A Pakistani immigrant was convicted Wednesday of charges that he plotted to blow up one of Manhattan's busiest subway stations in retaliation for the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
British accuse 8 of plotting terrorist attacks abroad -- (NY Times)
LONDON Eight people suspected of plotting terrorist attacks abroad were detained Wednesday after an elaborate series of raids in Manchester, Liverpool and London that involved 500 police officers, the authorities said.
The eight were held under various government powers, the authorities said, including anti-terrorism legislation and immigration laws that allow the Home Secretary to deport foreigners "whose presence in the U.K. is not conducive to the public good for reasons of national security."
Armed police seize eight men to 'thwart suicide bomb plot' -- (Times Online)
ANTI-TERRORIST police who arrested eight men yesterday in a series of armed raids believe that they may have thwarted the next wave of suicide bomb attacks on British and US forces in Iraq.
Three of the men were being held on suspicion of encouraging and financing al-Qaeda’s terrorist operations abroad and, it is believed, could have been involved in training and recruiting volunteers for suicide missions inside Iraq.
Osama claims responsibility for 9/11-- (The Times Of India)
| AMMAN: Al Qaeda terrorist network leader Osama bin Laden said in an audiotape broadcast by the Al Jazeera satellite channel that he himself had assigned 19 people for t...
Osama bin Laden says he doesn't fear dying. He says he fears being humiliated. -- (The Standard)
So let's give it to him.
Bin Laden and others have thrived on the almost obsessive American focus on them as personal rivals. The West gives them the coveted "Enemy of the Great Satan" brand whenever national leaders single them out by name.
What would happen if we ridiculed the terrorists instead? Would young people still flock to become "fighters" and suicide bombers? Would they still leave on their doomed missions with tearful support from their mothers, fathers, grandparents and the pretty girls at home, blessed by a cleric who justifies murder as a noble sacrifice in Allah's name?
Support -- [Doc in the Box - in Iraq]
I wanted to say a few words of thanks to the people who have been sending me out some wonderful care packages
...Linda Swinford of Helmetliner sent 300 or so neck coolers that are being used daily by our air crew, thank you very much.
Deb Field of Powell Goldstein LLC in Atlanta GA had a stack of boxes sitting here for all of us when I arrived with lots of good stuff inside, thanks!
What We Owe The Fallen -- (USA Today)...Kathy Roth-Douquet
Respect and gratitude, of course. But as Americans mark yet another Memorial Day during wartime, it's time to ask ourselves: Are we moving forward as a nation — or as individuals?
Memorial Day, of course, was chartered as a day for remembering those who have fallen in the nation's military service, those to whom we owe a debt for the very lives we live. But what if that debt were not merely rhetorical? What if we do owe, and it's payback time?
Tribute to a Military Wife -- [Serving the People of Iraq and Iran - in Iraq]
Summary: For the most part this web log has been about me--what I feel, what I do, what I've seen. So at least for a moment I thought it might be important to give you a glimpse into the most important person in my life.
Window Opens On Marines' Thoughts -- (Los Angeles Times)...Tony Perry
Marine Sgt. Phillip Jolly, in the masterful documentary "Combat Diary: The Marines of Lima Company," set for Thursday on A & E, explains the exhilaration of combat — and the horror that soon follows.
726 Let Go Under 'Don't Ask' -- (Washington Post- WASHINGTON IN BRIEF)...Unattributed
The number of gay and lesbian service personnel discharged under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy last year was 726 -- slightly more than in 2004 but still 30 to 40 percent lower than the number of forced departures in the years before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to Pentagon figures released yesterday.
Fleet Week A Shore Hit -- (New York Daily News)...Dorian Block
New Yorkers stretched along the waterfront from the Verrazano Bridge to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum yesterday to welcome more than 6,000 sailors and their ships for Fleet Week 2006.
US DOJ: Hastert IS NOT Under Investigation -- [Expose the Left]
The news story that made the folks at The Huffington Post and the liberal blogosphere wet their pants has turned out to be untrue:
The ABC reporter behind this story is Brian Ross, the same person who claims the Bush administration is spying on his phone calls.
American Legion in CA says “Enough,” Brings ADF aboard to defend against ACLU, atheist attacks on vets memorials
The decade-and-a-half assault by one, self-esteem challenged atheist with little more to do than spit on the memory of brave men who gave their lives to defend the freedom the ACLU regularly abuses has resulted in an unprecedented move by the California chapter of the American Legion. The largest veterans organization in the country will announce Thursday a line-in-the-sand campaign to protect veterans memorials from the shameful ACLU assault. Legal muscle is being provided by the Alliance Defense Fund. See the American Legion announcement:
A.C.L.U. May Block Criticism by Its Board -- [Stope the ACLU]
I would take a guess that there is some reason that those that are shocked are “former” board members for a reason. How many times have we heard the ACLU ask the government for transparency? Most people that believe in true free speech and the right to dissent expect the ACLU to hold itself to the same ideological standards that it asks of others.
New Video Exposes Behind-the-Scenes Story of Gore’s Own Energy Use -- [Drudge]
As former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary on global warming fears debuts today, a new video from the Competitive Enterprise Institute tracks Gore’s own “carbon footprint.” CEI’s 70-second video points out that Gore himself is a big user of the hydrocarbon fuels that produce carbon dioxide when combusted.
Carter Praises Bush's Immigration Stance -- (AP)
ATLANTA (AP) -- Former president Carter, a Democrat and frequent critic of President Bush, sees eye-to-eye with him on immigration....
House Speaker Hastert under investigation: ABC -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, is under investigation by the FBI, which is probing corruption in Congress, ABC News reported on Wednesday.
Katrina: What the Media Missed -- [Real Clear Politics]
Remember the dozens, maybe hundreds, of rapes, murders, stabbings and deaths resulting from official neglect at the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina? The ones that never happened, as even the national media later admitted?
Sure, we all remember the original reporting, if not the back-pedaling.
Here's another one: Do you remember the dramatic TV footage of National Guard helicopters landing at the Superdome as soon as Katrina passed, dropping off tens of thousands saved from certain death? The corpsmen running with stretchers, in an echo of M*A*S*H, carrying the survivors to ambulances and the medical center? About how the operation, which also included the Coast Guard, regular military units, and local first responders, continued for more than a week?
Let the NY Times frog-marches begin -- [Uncle Jimbo - BlackFive]
Oh bliss, I can't believe the luck. The left's fruitless attempt to bring down Karl Rove may have seriously bit them in the ass. The NY Times was way out front in calling for frog marching for classified leakers as well as having published the Op-Ed piece that started the whole Plame game. Now it looks like they may reap the unintended consequence of catching a frog march or two themselves. See they have leaked a ton of classified info about NSA surveillance and that was not only wrong but it appears actually against the law.
Washington Post Anti-War Reporter *gasp* Slams "Home of the Brave" -- [Blackfive]
I'm talking about Ann Tyson. The first few paragraphs of her review of Home of the Brave are complimentary and then decends into nitpicking because she doesn't hold the same views as Cap Weinberger and Wyn Hall.
1st Annual Taji Milbloggers Conference -- [Dave's Not Here- in Iraq]
Well, that's the grand proposal for the name of the event anyway.
Today I went to lunch with the bloggers who run Talking Salmons, Caspers Calamity, and Those Wacki Iraqis. The meet-n-greet went very well and we pushed down some of Taji's best fast food offerings from Taco Bell. Of course, as fodder for blogging the food order was messed up, with tacos and burritos being improperly distributed and/or improperly filled on the order.
Tom's Graduation: Thursday, May 25th!!! -- [What's Happening - in Ranger School]
I got a call from him last night to let me know. He's thrilled it's almost all over with, obviously, and wanted me to send his thanks for all the letters, Guestbook comments, packages, and good thoughts over the past few months.
Hope you've enjoyed the Ranger School updates- Tom'll be back posting again soon, and I'm sure will have a ton more stories to share.
Congrats to 501-06! Have a wonderful night,
A new oil policy. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
While a few months ago we were hearing calls from inside the former government for giving a big role for Russian investments in Iraq's oil, now we're hearing a new and different tone; one that calls for opening the door for investments from countries that "stood with Iraq".
Tracking the Tip Line -- [Strategy Page]
May 24, 2006: In Iraq, as in all previous peacekeeping operations, order was not restored until the locals were doing most of the policing. Thus, as of the middle of May, Iraqi troops and police are involved with 80 percent of the 70 major operations (raids, cordon and search) that take place each day. Nineteen percent of these are conducted with just American or Coalition forces, and half of them involve both Iraqi and Coalition forces.
As The Front Gate Turns -- [T.F. Boggs - in Iraq]
...Another IA friend of mine is Hamid, a self-described 32-year-old happily married man, is as funny as he is hairy. One day we were joking around about suicide bombers driving up to the gate and he said in the case of a suspicious vehicle he would search it for me so that it was he that would get blown up and not I. He said that it was his job and that he would gladly do it to save my life. I reminded him that it was also my job and that if he was going to die that I wanted to be there with him. I told him we could go to Allah together and continue to be friends in heaven. He agreed and we made it final with a hug.
Thank you, Maya -- [Peace like a River]
I got the following two comments in a post I did on Captain Furat.
My son was with Captain Furat at Balad Airforce Base the day Furat left for our country. My son would volunteer at the hospital after his security duties because he is also a radiological technician. He would find Furat, wheel him outside and have a cigarette while telling Furat about me, (The young men talked about their mothers. I have a picture of Furat with my son, IVs still in Furat's arm, his smile so infectious.
... Furat told my son, "You are my brother and your mother is also My Mother."
Iraqi Government Forms; Recent Counterterrorism Ops -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
The establishment of the Iraqi government, after five long months of contentious negotiations, has dealt Zarqawi and al-Qaeda in Iraq's efforts to derail the political process. As Zarqawi stated in his 2004 letter to Osama bin Laden, once the Iraqi people begin to take control of the political and and security responsibilities, al-Qaeda's foothold in Iraq will become tenuous.
Combat Update - [ONE MARINE'S VIEW]
HUSAYBAH, Iraq – After three years without a police presence in this western Iraqi town of approximately 10,000, the community is beginning to see a fully-restored police force with the introduction of two new police stations.
With a new force of fully-trained police officers, many of whom are seasoned veterans from the previous police force, Iraqis here hope the added security forces will curb insurgent activity in the area, according to tribal sheikhs.
The Visit -- [Fire and Ice- back from Iraq]
November 16, 2005 is seared into my memory. It was a day of pitched battle, heroism and violent death.
We rose early that day and ate hurried meals of crackers and cheese, or PowerBars quickly washed down with weak lukewarm Gatorade. The night before word was passed that solid intelligence indicated a significant number of insurgents were cornered with their backs against the Euphrates River, and nowhere else to go. The blocking force, an Army National Guard Stryker unit, on the north side of river had seen to that. The Marines of 2nd Battalion 1st Marine Regiment had relentlessly...
Out of The Woodwork -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck! - in Iraq]
They came out of nowhere. I gave some candy to this kid this morning and all kinds of kids started coming out of nowhere. They were going wild! I thought, oh shit, what did I do? A few kids are ok but a crowd could be distracting.
“Bush Lied, People Died” -- [Daily Dispatch]
...One-by-one, an impressive list of Baathist insiders have testified to the persistence of Saddam’s pursuit of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. And their credibility has been enhanced by corroborating evidence from the recently-released archives of the Baathist regime.
AC/DC to the IZ -- [4 Mile Creek- in Iraq]
So, they have computers here in the IZ. Cool.
I caught a ride in with some CA guys. They are headed home next week, and are very happy. We listened to AC/DC all the way. Someone had figured out how to pump an IPod into the vehicle internal intercom. No one in the vehicle, except me, was over 25. That means that AC/DC had put out their first album before any of these guys were born. Probably a couple of albums. When Hiway to Hell came on, the TC asked me if I was okay with the music. I told him that I was at my first AC/DC concert when he was a baby, and that
Helos, Songwriters, and Arty -- [Green... Again - in Iraq]
...Now that I could hear what was playing on the iPod again, I continued my search. I was on a roll, and at every push of the button, the music seemed to fit: James Taylor, “Carolina in My Mind;” Led Zepplin, “Going to California;” 3 Doors Down, “Here Without You.” Unbelievable how songwriters do that. Write a song that seems to perfectly fit what’s going on in someone’s mind days, months, even years before the fact. Or is it that we just listen to the lyrics and make slight adaptations in our view of our situation to fit them? Who knows. Maybe I was just feeling a little more foolishly philosophical than usual.
When stress comes calling... -- [Doc in the Box - in Iraq]
Too much work and not enough play must have been adding up. So tonight when I walked outside of my office and saw the dead camel spider sitting on the ground. A light bulb blazed to life in my head and I swear I heard a devil giggling in my ear. I had found my outlet. The idea was a hodgepodge of blog posts about camel spiders and how I was always talking about grown Marines screaming like little girls. Tonight I will have proof!
There's A Tank In My Front Yard -- [The Babylon Blog - in Iraq]
Every now and then we here a rumble and the clanking of treads. I look out the front door and see the top of a turret and a 50 cal machine gun roll by behind our wall. The tanks are back.
Memoirs of a desk jockey -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
It’s not often one would complain about being promoted to a higher-level position. However, in the military it’s the lower-level units (platoons, teams, etc) that actually conduct operations and most directly impact the war. Higher level commanders, while having much more responsibility, just don’t get outside the wire as often. They direct larger-scale operations and provide supervision to the units actually doing the grunt-work. This makes staff and support jobs undesirable to most Marines.
Iraq Pictures - 24 May 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
SGT Liam Vernon and his wife, SPC Naomi Rodela, were reunited in Baghdad after Rodela volunteered to stay an extra year in Iraq to be with her spouse. Pic: lLT Talon Anderson
Armed Groups Propel Iraq Toward Chaos -- (New York Times)...Dexter Filkins
...The headlong, American-backed effort to arm tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and officers, coupled with a failure to curb a nearly equal number of militia gunmen, has created a galaxy of armed groups, each with its own loyalty and agenda, which are accelerating the country's slide into chaos.
30 Iraqis Die In Attacks Across The Nation -- (New York Times)...Richard A. Oppel Jr.
More than 30 Iraqis died in car bombings, drive-by shootings, assassinations and other attacks on Tuesday, including 11 killed when a bomber riding a motorbike detonated his explosives at a falafel stand after dinnertime near a heavily Sunni area of northern Baghdad.
Bush Says He'll Reassess Troop Levels -- (Houston Chronicle /AP)
President Bush said Tuesday that he will make a fresh assessment of how many U.S. troops are needed in Iraq now that a new government has taken over in Baghdad.
Talks On Security Continue In Iraq, As Do Deaths -- (Los Angeles Times)...Megan K. Stack and Saif Hameed
Bombs and gunfire rattled Iraq on Tuesday, claiming more civilian lives while closed-door talks to appoint security ministers dragged through another day without resolution.
U.S. Urged To Stop Paying Iraqi Reporters -- (New York Times)...David S. Cloud
A Defense Department investigation of Pentagon-financed propaganda efforts in Iraq warns that paying Iraqi journalists to produce positive stories could damage American credibility and calls for an end to military payments to a group of Iraqi journalists in Baghdad, according to a summary of the investigation.
Iraqi Insurgent Gives Chilling Confession -- (Washington Post)...Nelson Hernandez and Naseer Nouri
An alleged agent of the group al-Qaeda in Iraq told a chilling story of hijacking, kidnapping and murder in the name of holy war Tuesday, a day after the Jordanian government announced his arrest in an operation carried out in Iraq.
Mutilated and killed, Iraqi boy is sectarian victim -- (Rueters)
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Baghdad's sectarian hit squads don't spare the young.
The family of 12-year-old Hani Saadoun has been traumatized by that reality since his tortured body, mutilated by electric drills, was found on Tuesday. They had been in a state of fear since he failed to return home for lunch a day earlier
Hiatus Corpus -- [Michael Yon]
Tooling around Urozgan in an unarmored Land Cruiser without guards makes thoughts of going home and becoming a farmer appealing. Earlier that day, when we’d visited a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Tarin Kot, a US Army lieutenant colonel mentioned there was intelligence that the enemy was trying to kidnap some foreign contractors. We didn’t need the CIA to tell us we were fair game, but the Army suspecting we might actually be the targets raised the concern meter. The military part of my mind suspected even that base could be overrun.
Taliban Offensive Shot to Pieces -- [Strategy Page]
May 24, 2006: The last two weeks have seen an ambitious Taliban offensive shot to pieces. As many as a thousand Taliban gunmen, in half a dozen different groups, have passed over the Pakistani border, or been gathered within Afghanistan, and sent off to try and take control of remote villages and districts. The offensive was a major failure, with nearly half the Taliban getting killed, wounded or captured. Afghan and Coalition casualties were much less, although you wouldn't know that from the mass media reports (which made it all look like a Taliban victory).
Afghanistan, Embed Updates -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
...Coalition forces continue to maintain the offensive against the Taliban in Southeast Afghanistan. A joint task force of Afghan and Coalition security forces encountered "organized armed opposition" from the Taliban during a joint operation near the town of Azizi in Uruzgan province. Twenty Taliban were confirmed killed, with up to 80 suspected killed after a combined ground and air assault on Taliban positions. This would put the number of Taliban killed in action over the past week between 220 to 280. In a separate raid, Mullah Mohibullah, the Taliban commander for Helmand province, was captured in a bazaar in Uruzgan province.
Leaving the Hotbox -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
And now, a quick recap of my final days in Jalalabad Airfield before bouncing from there to Bagram to my previous station, FOB Salerno in Khost. What's old is new again for the AfghaniDan...
Karzai Orders Investigation Of U.S. Attack -- (New York Times)...Carlotta Gall
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan ordered his security forces to investigate the American aerial bombardment of a village that killed at least 16 civilians, officials said Tuesday.
UK Faces Deadline To Halt Taliban -- (London Financial Times)...Rachel Morarjee
..."This year we need to be seen to be making a difference. It is a real danger that, if people do not feel safer in a year's time, we may lose their consent," Brigadier Ed Butler, the commander of British forces in Afghanistan, told the Financial Times.
The real scoop on Katrina -- [Austin Bay]
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina I recorded a commentary for NPR’s Morning Edition that assessed the National Guard’s rapid response effort. I contended only the US could respond as quickly and successfully to the destruction of a major city. That commentary drew loads of flak.
Elsewhere in Lebanon -- [Michael Totten]
Lebanon is the closest thing I have to a second home. It is the only country other than the United States where I’ve ever lived. It’s nice to be home in Oregon, but sometimes I’m homesick for Lebanon too.
Here are 32 photos of a country that (unnecessarily) frightens some of my fellow Americans, but is actually perfect for tourists.
Iran 'Reaches Out' With Shahab-3 Missile Launch -- [ThreatsWatch - Steve Schippert]
Iran Renews Call for Direct US Talks, Launches a Shahab-3 Missile Test as EU Set to Offer Nuclear Plants
With the backdrop of Israeli prime Minister Olmert’s visit to Washington and meeting with president Bush, Iran test-fired a Shahab-3 missile. The Shahab-3 is believed to have a maximum range of between 1,000 and 1,350 miles and capable of delivering a first-generation nuclear warhead with Tel Aviv within range.
Iran's president: U.S. will fail to provoke ethnic differences -- (USA Today)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president accused the United States and its allies on Wednesday of "hatching plots" to provoke ethnic tensions and destabilize Iran, a day after the government closed a state-run newspaper for publishing a cartoon that sparked riots by ethnic Azeris
Chinese Threat Is Expanding, Pentagon Says -- (Los Angeles Times)...Julian E. Barnes
A Pentagon report on Chinese military modernization issued Tuesday reveals growing American concern over China's ability not only to threaten Taiwan, but also to throw its power around throughout East Asia and confront other U.S. allies.
PGR to Lead Indy 500 Parade -- [Soldiers' Angels New York]
The Governor of Indiana has personally invited the Patriot Guard Riders to escort him in leading off the Indy 500 parade on Saturday, May 27. Twelve PGR members will ride along with Governor Mitch Daniels.
Thank you, Gov. Daniels, for your support of our mission, and for this honor you give us, which is only an extension of the respect you have for our military.
A Day in the Life of a Hero -- [The Gunn Nutt]
PFC Joshua Sparling represents all that is good and honorable in the U.S. Military. To say that he's been through the "wringer" is an understatement and he still has a long, hard road to travel before he can get back on his chosen path. Josh has survived the worst that terrorists in Iraq and anti-American scumbags here could throw at him without losing his amazingly generous nature and love for his brothers-in-arms.
Now There's A Choice: Bullets or Laser? -- [Strategy Page]
May 24, 2006: American troops in Iraq are being issued another "non-lethal" weapon. This one is an 11 inch attachment to their assault rifles, that projects laser light that can "dazzle," or temporarily blind and disorient, whoever it is aimed at.
Captain Brad Schwanz responds regarding his lawsuit to leave the service -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
I recently wrote about Army Captain Brad Schwanz, who has sued to get out of the Army Reserve.
Well, he wrote me an e-mail:
Kosovodad: Proud to be a Soldier -- [Kosovodad]
...One of the obstacles to integrated strategic communications-from the public affairs standpoint-is getting the communications plans successfully integrated into the operational plans. If you're a PAO, you have had this happen: your higher headquarters in the public affairs chain will often call and say "hey, it'd be great if your unit could try to do this project, which will really help the Army's overall communications efforts." In all fairness, it usually is a pretty good idea-from their level.
Military eyes extreme sports -- (USA Today)
Air Force recruiters seek adrenaline junkies to join special operations troops. 1 in 3 succeed in training
Military To Aid With Storm Relief -- (Washington Times)...Audrey Hudson
Federal officials are employing numerous military resources in preparation for the 2006 hurricane season, with the hope of avoiding a repeat of last year's disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina that devastated the Gulf Coast.
Article of the Week: Heard the Good News? -- [Truth, Life, and Political Honesty]
Things are better than you think. Yes, I know, most Americans are in a sour mood these days, convinced that the struggle in Iraq is an endless cycle of bloodshed, certain that our economy is in dismal shape, lamenting that the nation and the world are off on the wrong track.
That's what polls tell us. But if we look at some other numbers, we'll find that we are living not in the worst of times, but in something much closer to the best. ...
The Pathologic Hate Continues -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian troop]
I’ve often said on these pages that Bush-hate has reached the level of a mental illness. I was reminded of it a while back while sharing drinks with a group of successful business people. It was a post trade-show relax session, and the bubbly had loosened some tongues.
“That Bush is real scary… did you see him the other day in the news?” Betty stated.
“Yeh!” replied Ted, “I don’t know how they could’ve voted him!”
“My son says that Bush would invade Canada if he could… it’s our oil they want… he even looks like a dictator… the way he walks!” ...
Cheney In Town To Rally The Troops -- (San Diego Union-Tribune)...Steve Liewer and Dani Dodge
...Yesterday morning, the vice president drew whoops of welcome from an estimated crowd of 3,200 sailors and Marines from San Diego Naval Base at 32nd Street and Camp Pendleton as he mounted a platform on the flight deck of the Bonhomme Richard. Nearly all of the troops had returned in February from a six-month cruise to the Persian Gulf. Cheney's speech heaped praise on the service members while mounting a spirited and optimistic defense of the Bush administration's war policies.
Harry Smith Shocked: Iraqis View Americans Positively & Kid Says His Name is 'Bush' -- [NewsBusters]
Harry Smith, co-host of CBS’s "The Early Show," has spent the last few days reporting from Baghdad. On Friday, he reported the security situation was such that he couldn’t go out and get ice cream. But today, he decided to look for a success story. He found one, but he proved that while he can report a bad news story without mentioning any good news, he can’t report a success story without finding negative items to talk about. Reporting from Baghdad, Harry Smith began his piece, which profiled the work of the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division’s work in the town of Sababor, talking about the violence in Iraq: "Yeah, good morning. I'll tell you what, just an illustration of how much bad news there is here. A friend of mine here in Iraq told me the other day 'the busiest people in this town are the terrorists.'" Later, he talked of a bombing in Sababor which occurred a month ago: "It hasn't been easy. Just a month ago, a bomb here killed 15 people."
US - Left wing media wolves -- [USS Neverdock]
So, you don't think the left wing media are a bunch of wolves, just waiting to attack the Administration at the mere thought of blood? Then check out this tid bit in the Washington Post.
Bentsen Obits Point Out Shallowness of MSM -- [Jawa Report]
The death of Lloyd Bentsen emphasized the lowbrow mentality of mainstream journalists, with virtually every media outlet referring to a contrived soundbite Bentsen delivered during the 1988 Vice Presidential debate:
'Milblogs' Present Iraq War From Military Point of View -- (FOX News/ KosovoDad)
As the war in Iraq and the national debate over it continue, military-themed American bloggers have been voicing their support for U.S. troops and, in most cases, the war itself.
Just droppin’ in -- [American Soldier - injured in Iraq]
...He wanted to make a garden when he got home. We have done that. It’s nothing big, just an 8 x 10 raised bed with a few rows of our favorite veggies. He loves to go check on it and water it each morning.
And the best thing of all is that we’re having another baby! We had talked alot about it while he was gone. We both thought it would take a while but it happened right away. So needless to say we were both shocked and excited. So this will bring the number up to 5! He’s looking forward to having his own little fireing team.
Soldiers' Angels Mourns 3 Fallen Heroes -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
The Soldiers' Angels family lost three Heroes last week:
Spc. Ronald W. Gebur
Lance Cpl. Hatak Yuka Keyu M. Yearby
Lance Cpl. Jose S. MarinDominguez, Jr.
Human rights (I) -- [IBN_ALRAFIDAIN - an Iraqi in Iraq]
For me, as an Iraqi looking forward to a better future, whether the Americans intervene directly or keep a continuous pressure on the Iraqi authorities to adhere to human rights regulations, the most important thing is to maintain an atmosphere of protecting creative Iraqis. These will boost new way of thinking. One of the stark images of oppression, nowadays, is the almost daily killing of journalists.
Looking at the new government... -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
After five long months from the day we elected our representatives the government finally saw the light, though lacking two key members who hopefully will be named within a week.
Going north... -- [Murphy Around The World - in Iraq]
...There are two groups here, the killers who go out and kick in the doors making the towns safer because of their presence (Paul) and then our embedded soldiers (MiTT’s) that work and live with the Iraqi soldiers and teach them soldier skills. Both jobs are huge and both expose the Iraqi’s to all of our best traits as Americans. It also exposes us to the Iraqi’s so that we can understand what they need to do to be successful, the kinds of training they need as well as the tools.
Amir Taheri on The Real Iraq — and a look back to 2005 -- [Austin Bay]
First of all, read Amir Taheri’s essay in Commentary, The Real Iraq. I think my essay “Nervous in Baghdad” (in the July 25, 2005 issue of the Weekly Standard) will reinforce several of Mr. Taheri’s central points. Taheri has been back to Iraq since I have, but the significant, incremental, positive changes I noticed have continued. Iraq is a slow success– a messy success, but no quagmire and no disaster.
CSI: IRAQ -- [AMERICAN CITIZEN SOLDIER - in Iraq]
There exists an underreported but ever-present crossover between war and crime that has taken hold in the past year throughout the large metropolitan areas of Iraq. It may always have been a factor, but it has become even more apparent over time. A deadly mix of organized criminality and jihadist savagery has increasingly come to blur the distinctions between the acts of violent terrorists and that of common thugs.
Iraq's Defense Force -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian Troop]
One common complaint by the anti-Iraq whining choir is that the United States dismantled the Iraqi Army and tried to rebuild it from scratch. Some pundits (who knows what the hell their credentials are) suggested that it would take ten years for the Iraqi Defense Force to be able to stand on its own.
Police Academy Follies -- [Counter Column]
The New York Times leads:
As chaos swept Iraq after the American invasion in 2003, the Pentagon began its effort to rebuild the Iraqi police with a mere dozen advisers. Overmatched from the start, one was sent to train a 4,000-officer unit to guard power plants and other utilities. A second to advise 500 commanders in Baghdad. Another to organize a border patrol for the entire country
Wow. That's interesting. Because of those twelve advisers in the summer of 2003, seven of them were pulled from my company alone, to work training police in Ramadi.
In and Around Ramadi -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
Today, I will venture to give you some description of my temporary home in the deserts of western Iraq — the weather, the surrounding area, and the general feel of living in Ramadi, where I have been stationed for the past 9 months.
Fear and Loathing -- [Strategy Page]
May 21, 2006: The new Iraqi government, finally assembled six months after the elections for the new parliament, finally gets to work. The long negotiations were a reminder, to both Iraqis and foreigners, that democracy isn't easy, and Iraqis don't come naturally to the give and take required to make it work. Americans in Iraq, especially those who go outside the wire to fight or aid in reconstruction, get a bit of culture shock once they see how Iraq functions in its natural state.
The Patchwork Insurgent Network Behind Recent Clashes in Ramadi -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Evan Kohlmann]
Yesterday, the U.S. military conceded that the deteriorating situation in the restive Sunni Iraqi town of Ramadi required a "significant number" of additional coalition troops to be dispatched as reinforcements. According to the military, there has been intense, nearly constant fighting in the region surrounding Ramadi since at least May 7. Interestingly, a variety of different insurgent and extremist groups are boasting of their roles in waging these "battles" in Ramadi with U.S. and Iraqi government forces--among them:
Not again! -- [Fun With Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...And just like that it was over. After blowing through about forty or fifty rounds each the other gunner and I ceased fire, realizing that Haji was either dead, wounded or long gone. I kept my SAW on fire ready to shoot at anything that moved and I could feel my left leg shaking under my weight. Another close call with death… I was standing upright in the turret when the RPGs were fired. If one had hit my truck I would either be dead or lying in a hospital bed in Germany.
When it rains... - [Doc in the Box - in Iraq]
...This week has been a trial of bumps, bruises, cuts and broken bones. For my unit, the biggest enemy isn't insurgents, its accidents. Being in the medical field is like fishing; some weeks you don't get a bite and others you get a flood. That's what this week has been like, bike accidents, sprained ankles, chipped teeth, getting poked with sharp objects, you name it. Not one thing life threatening but the feeling is in the air. Everyone is walking around a bit softly, each injury means a small stack of paperwork about what happened, how medical fixed it and lost man hours which means someone has to take the slack.
Full moons, swimming, Insurgent dive bombers, and following mom’s orders -- [Justice Soldier - in Iraq]
...True to legend, the full moon brings out the crazys here in Iraq just as in the U.S. It was the same feeling I had as a Corrections Officer, Street Cop, and now soldier at war (well, at least a soldier in Iraq watching the real guys fight), coming in feeling the energy in the air and knowing that the forces of evil would step up their game- and they did. Their efforts failed as usual, but there was alot of activity to keep up with.
...Yeah, I am more scared of a damn pigeon than the enemy bombs we get everyday- I have determined that they are still firing with their eyes closed or something- silly little Jihadists these days….
Junkyards of War -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
Last week I discovered the Camp Falluja junkyard. It was glorious.
...We came there with an agenda — to look for a specific piece for the turret of our HMMWV. We found it in one of the first mounds we perused. One of my marines pulled the HMMWV up to our position and lifted the heavy steel apparatus onto the bed. With our primary goal achieved, anything we could find beyond that would be icing on the cake.
Business As Usual! :) -- [Combat Medic - In Iraq]
Hello again- It's looks like the start to another warm day here in Mosul. Temperatures have been in the mid to high 90's for the last few weeks. The rainy season came to a pretty abrupt end and the summer heat is well on it's way. We have been conducting business as usual here and are doing a good job taking down big players in the insurgency game. I can't say who, or how many, but I can say that they are scraping the bottom of the barrel to get their top level leadership back up and running again.
Survived my trip -- [Across the Pond - in Iraq]
I made it back from Ramadi in one piece and with all my body parts. On a side note, I FINALLY got to fly in a Blackhawk. It is quite an experience flying in a Blackhawk compared to a Chinook or Sea Stallion. We flew real close to the ground, almost like a “map the earth” type flight. I also got to witness my first firefight from the air. It was wild watching tracer rounds whizzing around, although they weren’t anywhere near us. Besides that, the trip was relatively quiet.
What Was I Thinking? -- [A Female Soldier - Balding Eagle's spouse in Iraq]
...My story begins with not having heard from Grey Eagle over a period of time. My email went unanswered, and only a couple of quick 5 minute phone calls assured me that no physical harm had come upon her. But the lack of communication was unusual and I was slightly concerned for her stress level and emotional health.
Iraq Got Quiet and I Hadn't Noticed -- [Dave's not Here - in Iraq]
EOD has been detonating a lot of ordnance recently in an effort to eliminate explosives and equipment recovered in recent raids and other incidents. What this means is that throughout the day there are controlled detonations; some announced, some unannounced. I've been noticing that I've been flinching with these detonations when they are unannounced; noticing that they startle me once more.
The Most Dangerous Place -- (Time)...Michael Ware
On a harrowing trip inside Iraq's toughest city, TIME gets an up-close view of the U.S.'s daily battles against the insurgents. An eyewitness account reveals why the war remains as deadly as ever.
How Iraq Police Reform Became Casualty Of War -- (New York Times)...Michael Moss
...A year later, with the insurgency spreading with an unimagined ferocity, the United States military took charge of a second, broader campaign to reconstitute the police. On the ground, however, the military's plan for police units that could help restore order in Iraq would be no match for the forces tearing at the country in places like Basra and Baghdad. And along the way, it would help fuel some of those forces.
Iraqi leader vows to stop bloodshed -- (Boston Globe)
... only, despite the fact that we are going to use the maximum force in confronting ... will be able to persuade others in the religious United Iraqi Alliance to ...
Violence Tests New Cabinet -- (USA Today)...Rick Jervis
Insurgents launched a wave of attacks in the capital Sunday, killing at least 18 people and underscoring the challenges for the country's first permanent government since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
On A Violent Day, Iraq's New Leader Unveils Ideas For Tackling Security Challenges -- (New York Times)...John F. Burns
...After his first cabinet meeting, Mr. Maliki, described by American ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad on Saturday as "a very effective, hands-on, no-nonsense leader," appeared eager to distinguish his new, full-term government from the departing administration of Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
Death Shadows Life In Baghdad -- (USA Today)...Rick Jervis
For city's residents, each day is arranged to improve odds of making it to the next one.
US Troops Mop Up The Blood As Iraqi Sects Turn Violent -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Unattributed
The men of the 101st Airborne stationed in central Baghdad had been told they were coming to Iraq to help rebuild a country. Instead they find themselves reduced to the role of corpse collectors.
Iraqis Lack Faith In Leaders -- (Los Angeles Times)...Megan K. Stack
Weary from years of war and uncertainty, they see little hope government will ease nation's woes.
Who's who in Iraq's new cabinet -- (BBC News)
After five months of negotiations following December's general elections Iraq's parliament has approved a new government, including members of the main Shia, Kurd and Sunni parties.
Key profiles -- (Al Jazeera)
Brief profiles of prominent figures in Iraq's new government:
US facing irregular conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan -- (Dawn)
US forces in Iraq, locked in a war that cannot be won by military force alone, are facing a weapon that tends to favour insurgents — time.
An Iraqi Mother's Most Dreaded Mission -- (Washington Post)...Ellen Knickmeyer
...Searching for missing loved ones has become a common mission -- especially for Sunni families -- in Baghdad in recent months as sectarian violence has surged. Fahdriya and family members agreed to let a reporter accompany them for parts of their search.
How $45m secretly bought freedom of foreign hostages -- (London Times)
Documents seen by The Times show three countries paid ransoms in spite of denying it in public
Cambodia in '70......Western Pakistan in '06 -- [Miserable Donuts]
Fire and maneuver. Destroy the Enemy in his base. The Violence will not end until we actively pursue and end this poison allowed to fester along the Afghan/Pak border. They will go back and recruit the next class out of the madrassa mills. The media wants to depict this as out of control violence, the ANP did well and out of the 100 or so deaths 90 were Taliban.
The Inaccurate Taliban Offensive; Taliban military commander Mullah Dadullah reported captured -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
The news reports of a major Taliban offensive in southeastern Afghanistan are inaccurate, as Coalition offensives and Taliban attacks have been lumped together to give the impression of a coordinated Taliban assault in multiple provinces. A reading of the various reports indicates that while the Taliban has launched a major strike on a police station and government center in Helmand province and a small scale attack on a police patrol in Ghazni, as well as two suicide attacks against U.S. contractors in Herat and an Afghan army base in Ghazni, the fighting in Kandahar was initiated by Afghan and Coalition security forces during planned operations.
Fighting in Afghanistan, Talibanistan -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
The latest estimate of Taliban casualties during the fighting over the past few days is approaching 200, with 25 Coalition, Afghan security forces and civilians killed. The Daily Times of Pakistan reports the fighting around Kandahar City, which was initiated by two separate Coalition operations, resulted in an estimated 100 Taliban killed. The U.S. military reported up to 60 Taliban were killed in the fighting at Musa Qala, where the Afghan security forces thwarted a major Taliban assault.
AFGHANISTAN: AROUND 50 KILLED IN U.S. AIR RAIDS, REPORTS -- (AKI)
Kabul, 22 May (AKI) - Around 50 people have been killed in US military air raids in southern Afghanistan on Monday and according to witnesses, the casualties have been civilians, among them women and children. US military aircraft and helicopters conducted a night raid in the district of Panjwai in the province of Kandahar, the area which has seen violent clashes between US forces and Taliban fighters in the past few days. The US command has said that around 50 Taliban militants have been killed in the clashes but added that this could not as yet be confirmed.
Airstrike in South Afghanistan Kills 76 -- (AP)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - U.S.-led coalition aircraft bombed a rebel stronghold in southern Afghanistan, killing about 60 suspected Taliban militants and 16 civilians, an Afghan governor said Monday. The coalition confirmed the strike on the village of Azizi in Kandahar province late Sunday and early Monday and said about 50 militants were killed. U.S. commander Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry told The Associated Press the military was investigating whether some civilians had also died.
US Sets Up £215m Deal For Afghan Arms--From Russia -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Thomas Harding
American defence officials have secretly requested a "prodigious quantity" of ammunition from Russia to supply the Afghan army in case a Democrat president takes over in Washington and pulls out US troops.
NATO chief: Violence won’t deter Afghan mission -- (Army Times)
LISBON, Portugal — The NATO mission in Afghanistan will not be deterred by a recent surge in violence there, and opponents of nation-building will be defeated, the head of the alliance said Friday
The lessons the West won't learn -- (The Guardian)...Jason Burke
No one knows how Britain's Nato adventure in Afghanistan will turn out. Depending on who you listen to, it is one of the most dangerous policing roles of the new age of asymmetric warfare, or merely consolidates the post-9/11 achievements there of the international community. Military commanders who pick up Jason Burke's Road to Kandahar are likely to be persuaded that it is the former.
Tweaking Russia -- [Peace like a River]
Here is another item that could cause some tension at the G-8 summit later this summer in St. Petersburg. From Regnum:
Kim Il-sung the "Mild" dictator -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
OhmyNews makes it sound like the former brutal dictator of North Korea, Kim Il-sung wasn't such a bad guy after all:
...I guess according to OhmyNews it is better in dictator terms to let the people suffer slowly before perishing. Here is more on the greatness of Kim Il Sung:
Workers Paradise? -- [Seaspook's Rants]
This a scene in a North Korean city. Note all the shacks clustered around apartment buildings where no one is allowed to live. This is the ultimate in Leftist utopia
U.S. Is Proposing European Shield For Iran Missiles -- (New York Times)...Michael R. Gordon
The Bush administration is moving to establish a new antimissile site in Europe that would be designed to stop attacks by Iran against the United States and its European allies.
Political tensions must ease for oil to fall: Opec -- (India Times)
We feel that the governments of both the producing and consuming countries must do more to ease these political tensions. It is clear that prices will not fall until these anxieties abate,” said Mohammed Barkindo, of the OPEC
BALKANS: MONTENEGRO OPTS FOR INDEPENDENCE IN HISTORIC VOTE -- (AKI)
Podgorica, May 22 (AKI) - Montenegrins and Serbs woke up in two different states on Monday, after tiny Montenegro voted for independence in a record turnout of 86.3 per cent at a referendum on Sunday, a referendum marking the end of the former Yugoslavia. Montenegro was the only republic that remained in a state union with Serbia after the break up of former Yugoslav federation in 1991, but as one analyst put it “the unhappy marriage” definitely ended on Sunday.
How Will State Department Personnel Changes Impact Counterterrorism Policy? -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Andrew Cochran]
Personnel selections can signal important shifts in policy and also have unforeseen impacts. Secretary of State Rice announced numerous personnel changes in personnel this week which will hopefully change recent one State Department trend in counterterrorism policy.
Al Qaeda Agent's 9/11 Role Comes Into Focus -- (LA Times)
Ammar al-Baluchi, once considered a bit player, is alleged to have served as trainer and banker for several of the hijackers
Extracts from an excellent article on Basra and the British Army -- [The Cabarfeidh Pages -British Troop]
...It would be easy for them to feel forgotten. In the American hospital in Baghdad, the walls are covered in letters from the American public: 'We are so proud of you, thanks for doing such a great job.' Every soldier has been sent a freedom quilt. At the command headquarters, the boxes of home baking pile up as do, for some reason, toothbrushes.
By contrast, an RAF officer told me, without a trace of self pity, the British soldiers had to fight over a sole Valentine card.
Welcome to Canadian Angels -- [Canadian Angels - in Canada]
I started Canadian Angels because I felt there was a need for our Armed Forces to know that the people back home in Canada supported them. For years programs like this have existed in the United States, but for our brave Canadian men and women fighting in Afghanistan and stationed around the world, there has been very little.
Dealing With Private Intelligence Networks -- [Strategy Page]
May 21, 2006: In wartime, the U.S. Army has a tendency to let the troops improvise, and run with whatever they comes up with. This is causing some problems with those parts of the military bureaucracy that put order before effectiveness. Case in point is the battle going on between the U.S. Army intelligence "lessons learned" organizations, and the troops who are basically creating their own "lessons learned networks." The new, improvised "lessons learned" networks are faster, and to the troops, more useful, than the established ones. Because there's a war going on, the brass have not shut the troops down.
Training For 24/7 Operations -- [Strategy Page]
May 21, 2006: With several hundred thousand combat veterans, the U.S. Army is finding that some of its training customs are in need of changing. After all, it's hard to argue with combat experience. This sort of conflict is most stark at the NTC (National Training Center).
The Pizza Offensive -- (Newsweek)...Dan Ephron
Casualties were up. Recruitment was down. Then came a savvy ad campaign. How the guard got its groove back.
The Propaganda War -- (U.S. News & World Report)...Linda Robinson
Pentagon officials have just finished writing a document that they hope will help officials steer a path through contentious debates over how the military should handle communications, seen as central to the war on terrorism and, more generally, to the promotion of U.S. interests.
Harvey: Yearlong Rotations Staying Put -- (Army Times)...Gina Cavallaro
...His answer stayed the same -- the current one-year rotations are not likely to change until the violence subsides in Iraq, largely because shorter deployments would expose more soldiers to the most dangerous periods of the tours.
These Guns For Hire -- (New York Times)...Ted Koppel
There is something terribly seductive about the notion of a mercenary army. Perhaps it is the inevitable response of a market economy to a host of seemingly intractable public policy and security problems.
...So, if there are personnel shortages in the military (and with units in their second and third rotations into Iraq and Afghanistan, there are), then what's wrong with having civilian contractors? Expense is a possible issue; but a resumption of the draft would be significantly more controversial.
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE WORKED TO DEFEAT NAGIN -- [Drudge]
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) secretly placed political operatives in the city of New Orleans to work against the reelection efforts of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
Video Captures Democrat Jefferson Taking $100,000 Bribe -- [Gateway Pundit]
"All these damn notes we're writing to each other as if we're talking, as if the FBI is watching."
US Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)
To undercover FBI agents in government video
Despite his repeated claims of innocence, FBI agents have video of Jefferson taking a $100,000 bribe in $100 bills.
The value of privacy -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
...Military life has given me a pretty good idea what to expect if we give government free reign over our lives in the name of “security.” If you aren’t famialiar with a “health & comfort” inspection, make a mental note now. In the military we experience them fairly regularly, depending on the type of duty status. These inspections are basically and excuse to rifle through the personal belongings of soldiers to ensure they don’t have any prohibited items.
Students Make A Stand For Their Rights, Defy ACLU And Judge’s Order To Censor -- [Stop the ACLU]
Hats off to Russell County High of ‘06! One thing is for sure, the liberals can’t say this was government endorsed. I applaud these young men and women for standing up for their rights, and setting the example for others. The ACLU filed suit on behalf of one student who felt offended that a prayer would be included in their graduation ceremony. U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley granted a temporary restraining order sought by a student. Here is how the students responded to the attempts to censor them.
President Bush targets teeny-boppers to pay for war and burden of illegal aliens -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
“To hail wiffem“, says President Bush. If they’re not going to sign up with the military to “pay the price of freedom” in Iraq with their blood, lives, and/or limbs; they’re DAMNED sure gonna pay the price with their wallets. The President, who, much like his father, had PLEDGED to never raise taxes, has damned sure raised the taxes on teeny-boppers between the ages of 14 and 17 who are aspiring to better themselves by attending college:
New Orleans backs mayor -- (London Daily Telegragh)
Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans criticised for his reaction to Hurricane Katrina, has been re-elected in a dramatic comeback.
Disgruntled Generals' 'Whining' Is Self-Serving -- (Army Times)...Brig. Gen. Robert L. Decker, USA (Ret.)
After hearing a recent radio broadcast featuring retired Maj. Gen. John Batiste spout off ad nauseam against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, I came away sick and saddened that once-respected generals continue to cast themselves with anti-war, anti-American scoundrels.
Edwards: Bush Worse than Nixon -- (ABC News)
2004 Vice Presidential Contender Blasts Bush and Readies to Run Aga
...In an exclusive appearance on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," the former presidential and vice presidential contender said of Bush, "He's done a variety of things -- things which are going to take us forever to recover from
Politicians Brave the Internet - With Help -- (AP)
LOL:) Look who's podcasting! No, it's not your teenager. It's your senator....
Prosecuting Reporters -- [Media Blog]
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales indicated yesterday that he will not rule out prosecution for the New York Times reporters who exposed the NSA's terrorist surveillance program
Polling by the Numbers -- [Serving the People of Iraq and Iran - in Iraq]
Some poll results vary widely by how the questions are asked, some are good indications of what the people of America think, and others are nothing more than a measurement of how well the media has been able to conceal its bias. Here's a breakdown of good and bad Iraq polling questions, and why it matters.
.....Ouch, A Response to My Op-Ed -- [Fire and Ice - back from Iraq]
Michael D. Fay's self-serving promotion of military opinion (which I consider to be subjective by its nature and the Uniform Code of Military Justice), at the expense of Larry Syverson and his alternate focus, wasn't worth all the extra ink ["Our soldiers who've been there know it: Iraq is worth fighting for," May 4].
He could have just as easily stated that America can't be fixed, and Iraq can, so it's best to spend out tax dollars over there instead.
It was also very disrespectful to speak of Mr. Syverson's three sons in Iraq without interviewing them while there and getting their unbiased opinions for his comment.
Gary T. Moore
Will Rather Leave CBS? -- [Newsbusters]
Have CBS and Dan Rather had it with each other?
In the aftermath of Memogate, Rather's relationship with his fellow CBSers completely disintegrated. Years of pent-up frustration at Rather's autocratic management style and personell control of CBS News came to an abrupt end as remnants of the old Cronkite guard and new-school suits coalesced to throw Rather from the anchor's chair and cast him as an occasional reporter on "60 Minutes."
Weak on leaks -- (LA Times)
Why prosecute two small-fry lobbyists but let the New York Times endanger national security?
LATELY, THE U.S. government has been leaking like the Titanic after it struck an iceberg. Every day seems to place a new and highly classified government secret exactly where it does not belong: before the public eye. What is the Bush administration doing about this inundation? Alas, precisely the wrong thing. Two contrasting cases tell the story.
Gonzales Says Prosecutions of Journalists Are Possible -- (NY Times)
The government has the legal authority to prosecute journalists for publishing classified information, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said yesterday
Happy Birthday JP --[Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck! - in Iraq]
Today is my youngest son’s birthday. He’s an Armed Forces Day baby. He’ll probably grow up to be a service-member like his Daddy. Talk about Armed Forces Day, it didn’t mean we got the day off. Anyway, he turns 4 today. Boy is he growing up fast. It’s too bad I’ll miss his birthday. I wish I could be there with him.
Murka -- [Shawn's (Highly) Motivated Life - home from Iraq]
So when I was at this bar earlier, I was sitting there thinking of all things I wanted to say to all of you, but now I got nothing. It's funny I think of this as "all of you" because a few months ago (and it feels like a lifetime really), I wrote this stuff for me. Sometimes I still do I guess, the angry things, the bitterness, the this is just overwhelming...that's for me.
The Terrorist Round-up for 5/19/06 -- [Free Republic]
During Operation Roll tide, a combined effort between elements from 6th Battalion, 2nd Brigade Iraqi National Police, and Soldiers from Company D, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, uncovered a huge weapons cache of land mines, rockets, explosives, and documents in a house.
In one home the unit found over 140 mines, 58 blocks of C4 explosives, 18 rockets, and almost 40 mortars, as well as manuals and equipment to convert these munitions into deadly improvised-explosive devices.
The Real Iraq -- [Commentary Magazine- Amir Taheri]
Spending time in the United States after a tour of Iraq can be a disorienting experience these days. Within hours of arriving here, as I can attest from a recent visit, one is confronted with an image of Iraq that is unrecognizable. It is created in several overlapping ways: through television footage showing the charred remains of vehicles used in suicide attacks, surrounded by wailing women in black and grim-looking men carrying coffins; by armchair strategists and political gurus predicting further doom or pontificating about how the war should have been fought in the first place; by authors of instant-history books making their rounds to dissect the various fundamental mistakes committed by the Bush administration; and by reporters, cocooned in hotels in Baghdad, explaining the carnage and chaos in the streets as signs of the countrys impending or undeclared civil war.
Reveille Radio -- [One Marine's View]
Reveille Radio 1 features Cpl Pack, a US Marine wounded twice in Fallujah. He tells his story and how it happened and what he was against. Click the Play "arrow" on the left side of the audio bar below. Leave your questions & comments in the comments section for Cpl Pack to respond to!
The human cost of the war -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
This war that I find myself in the middle of can be looked at many different ways and it is, by people from all walks of life.
In the final historical analysis, one of the things that is most important, from my own perspective, is the amount of value that each side places on human life. It seems so obvious to me, even on the days when I want to throw up my hands and walk out of here (an impossibility no matter what I want), that my side cares oh so much more about human life.
Bow Wow Wow -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
Our base has a Fire Fighter Academy that is used to train military, civilains, an Iraqi Fire Fighters on the latest in professional fire fighting methods and practices. Last night was the graduation ceremony and full bore practice for an ARFF class. ARFF is Airfield Rescue Fire Fighting and is required certification for anyone working at an airfield fire station.
Weary -- [Green Again - in Iraq]
...The nature of the Mortuary Affairs mission naturally involves some very serious business. We expected this coming into it. We’re not complaining; we’re all volunteers. But the routine for us offers no outlet. All we get to see is the end result of a bad situation. We rarely get an opportunity to know if the unit taking the casualties was able to even the score, if only just a little bit.
Inquiry Implies Civilian Deaths In Iraq Topped Initial Report -- (New York Times)...Thom Shanker
An official military investigation into allegations that American marines killed innocent Iraqis last November has uncovered evidence that the number of dead civilians is higher than the 15 originally reported, Congressional and Defense Department officials said.
As Death Stalks Iraq, Middle-Class Exodus Begins -- (New York Times)...Sabrina Tavernise
...In the latest indication of the crushing hardships weighing on the lives of Iraqis, increasing portions of the middle class seem to be doing everything they can to leave the country. In the last 10 months, the state has issued new passports to 1.85 million Iraqis, 7 percent of the population and a quarter of the country's estimated middle class.
Italy Calls Iraq War 'Grave Error' -- (NY Times)
ROME, May 18 — Romano Prodi, the new prime minister, called the war in Iraq a "grave error" on Thursday in a speech in which he set Italy on a decisively different, more conventionally European, course from that of his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi.
Blood and bullets grind Iraq down -- (Hong Kong Standard)
Ordinary Iraqis just want to flee the violence that paralyzes their country, writes Ellen Knickmeyer | Friday, May 19, 2006 | Ordinary Iraqis just want to flee the violence that paralyzes their countr...
Iraqi Journalists Risk Their Lives To Get The Story -- (Washington Times)...Sharon Behn
The recent killings of six Iraqi journalists have rattled the country's fledgling press corps, a battle-worn crew that has persisted in covering the nation's turmoil while suffering dozens of dead at the hands of insurgents, government troops and even American forces.
News of Afghanistan VII -- [Miserable Donuts]
Another week of interesting stories from Afghanistan. Lets get right to it!
Failure of command. Prosecute the corporal. -- [The Torch - Canadian Troop]
Failure of command. Prosecute the corporal.
Some attention has been given to this article by Michael Friscolanti in Macleans a couple of days ago. It is the story of Canadian snipers in Afghanistan and how they went from relative heros to goats based on allegations and innuendo that at least one of them had desecrated the corpse of one of their targets.
Afghanistan Rocked As 105 Die In Violence -- (Washington Post)...Pamela Constable
Afghanistan has been rocked over the past two days by some of the deadliest violence since the Taliban was driven from power in late 2001. As many as 105 people were reported killed in four provinces as insurgents torched a district government compound, set off suicide bombs and clashed fiercely with Afghan and foreign troops.
The hidden leader of a virtual war -- (The Guardian)
Nearly five years after the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden still eludes his American pursuers. Operation Mountain Lion, a large-scale, month-long military sweep through Afghanistan's Konar province abutting Pakistan, folded with a whimper this week. If the al-Qaida chief had been there, he wasn't any longer.
Karzai Says Pakistanis Fomenting Violence -- (Los Angeles Times)...Times Wire Reports
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Pakistani religious schools were teaching students to go to Afghanistan to burn schools or medical clinics. He spoke in the eastern province of Kunar, next to the border.
Marine Mom's Flag Fight - Update - Score this One for Mom -- [Iraq War News]
Remember Cathy and her husband, who encountered resistance trying to display the US Flag with the Marine Corps emblem (posts here and here) in support of their son? Well, this one goes down as a victory for them:
The Other Side of the Green Line -- [Michael Totten - in Israel]
RAMALLAH - I rode in an Israeli taxi with Palestinian journalist Sufian Taha from the American Colony Hotel to the Qalandia checkpoint on the road to Ramallah, capital of nascent Palestine, in the hills of the West Bank over Jerusalem. We had to take a taxi, and we had to switch to a Palestinian taxi after we reached the other side. “You do not want to drive in the West Bank with Israeli plates on your car,” he said.
Anti-US Groups in Korea to Keep Government Subsidies -- [GI Korea]
The outrageousness of the Roh Moo-hyun government continues in Korea. The government is allowing the groups responsible for all the violence against Korean army soldiers and policemen to keep their government subsidy money:
Mexico To Protest U.S. Border Plan -- (New York Times)...Reuters
Mexico will formally complain to the United States about plans to build security fences and deploy National Guard troops on the border to curb illegal immigration, Mexico's foreign minister, Luis Ernesto Derbez, said Thursday.
Iran's Secrecy Widens Gap In Nuclear Intelligence -- (New York Times)...William J. Broad and Elaine Sciolino
South of Tehran, the desert gives way to barbed wire, antiaircraft guns and a maze of buildings, two of them cavernous underground halls roughly half the size of the Pentagon.
US denies any shift in policies toward North Korea -- (Boston Globe)
... there seemed to be at least a slight change in US emphasis designed to ... the possibility of developing nuclear weapons, and to talk about any further steps ...
Return of Euro-Jihadis a Threat to America -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill West]
Today, the Washington Times ran a report that publicizes a threat known for some time to Western intelligence and law enforcement agencies. This is the threat posed by radical Islamic Jihadis from Europe who infiltrated into Iraq to fight with al-Qaeda forces there who are now beginning to return to their Euro-homelands. These combat experienced and battle-hardened terrorist veterans, estimated to be at least in the high hundreds, who not only possess violent extremist Islamic radicalization but European citizenship, will prove to be a major challenge to the security forces of Europe.
Was Sept 11 a US attempt to jumpstart war on terrorists? -- (East African Standard)
By Dan Okoth On Tuesday, the Pentagon released video footage of what reportedly shows a hijacked Boeing 757 hitting the five-sided headquarters of the US military on Sept...
The new power behind Osama's throne -- (Asia Times)
PAKISTAN-AFGHANISTAN border - Whether he is viewed as a living legend for jihadis or as a reviled terrorist, the mere mention of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's name provokes strong reactions, and is an invaluable tool in the propaganda war between the two sides.
Rumours of Bin Laden's presence dismissed -- (Gulf News)
Islamabad: Pakistani authorities yesterday dismissed rumours that Osama Bin Laden might have moved to the country's mountainous north to evade arrest, and that CIA or FBI agents had been operating...
Veterans Job Fair -- [MilBlogs - Soldier's Mom]
Not what I want to hear...
After being wounded in Iraq, Chris Dominick hasn't had much luck finding work.
"I'm really faced with a lot of brick walls. Nobody really, really, really wants to hire a person in a wheelchair," he said.
Other soldiers have faces similar job hunting dilemmas.
So someone did something about it... They held a Veterans Job Fair in my hometown
Thanks for Flying with me today -- [Sandgram]
...Hey Boss, you want to see this plane go nuts???” He says “sure,” so I pick up the mike to make a P.A., but before I do, he says “just make certain I’m not called into the Chief Pilots office to explain my First Officer.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen, as a Marine Corps Reservist who has just returned from Iraq, I just want to see a show of hands, Tell me, how many active-duty Military do we have onboard right now?” I am looking back and see two hands go up. “O.K., now let me see the hands all the folks who have served in the Military or have retired.” About twenty folks raise their hands. “Now the biggie, how many
Durbin stands by comparison of US troops to Nazis, Khmer Rouge -- [Counter Column]
And his fecrical reasoning is broadcast on Al Jazeera, no less - where it will provide another bullet in the belt of rhetorical ammunition our enemies will use to butress the case against us in the Arab world.
Dems Obsessed With Bashing Troops About Haditha -- [Expose the Left]
In her press conference today, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D – CA) spoke about getting the documents pertaining to Haditha. Yesterday, Rep. John Murtha (D – PA) said our troops “killed civilians” on MSNBC’s Hardball. This just shows how far Democrats and liberals will go to bash and dishonor our troops.
Oh The Army -- [T.F. Boggs - in Iraq]
I have been holding off writing about the army in a negative light for some time now but I feel that my current situation warrants some type of discussion. First off let me make a few things clear. The army is a great institution and our country would be nonexistent without it. I consider myself privileged to be able to soldier it up for a few years. I feel like I have been allowed to join a group with a great history of men and women who have, throughout our history as a country, fought to preserve our way of life. With that said I want to voice a few concerns I have with the army.
Army Captain sues to separate -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
Army Reserve Captain Brad Schwan is suing his service, according to this week’s Army Times
You know what? I hope he loses. It’s not because he shouldn’t be able to resign his commission. I don’t mind that tradition. It’s the double standard idea that I abhor. Letting officers do things that enlisted troops cannot is morally wrong. I realize power hath its privileges, but ...
Storm, Border Duty Acceptable To Guard -- (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)...Bob Dart
National Guard commanders from Southern states said Wednesday that deployment of thousands of troops to the U.S. border with Mexico would not hinder storm relief efforts as hurricane season nears.
Despite Oil Crisis, Democrats AGAIN Block US Firms from Drilling! -- [Gateway Pundit]
This is just unbelieveable and irresponsible!
Despite the fact that Castro announced last week that they had stepped up work on 36 new oil wells in partnership with Chinese, among others, off the coast of Florida...
Lieberman's Support for War Leaves Him Embattled on Left -- (NY Times)
HARTFORD, May 18 — "George Bush's favorite Democrat," they call him. "Republican Lite," they sneer. But liberals are no longer just venting on Internet blogs and talk radio programs about their centrist nemesis: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.
AP Telling "At Least" Some of the Story -- [OPFOR]
The Associated Press' lead on the Iraq War's latest casaulty statistics is revealing:
"As of Thursday, May 18, 2006, at least 2,455 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 1,930 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers. The AP count is three higher than the Defense Department's tally,....
BellSouth Demands a Retraction -- [Media Blog]
BellSouth has become the first of three phone companies mentioned in USA Today's NSA-phone records story to ask for a retraction:
Baghdad ER vs Ground Zero forensics -- [CDR Salamander]
It is all about context. WARNING. I am pissed off. I have lost my temper. I am going to cuss a very little bit (OK, I will self edit and use substitutes so your Net-Nanny won’t filter out the post). I will pray on my anger later. If you don’t like potty mouth, or am going to send me to Courts Martial for it – then stop now.
Remembering the 48th’s fallen -- [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Blog]
For Memorial Day, we’re asking readers to share their tributes to the 26 men who died in Iraq while serving with the 48th Brigade. You may remember them as a group or individually. Some responses may appear in the newspaper.
Murtha on Hardball: Troops “Killed Civilians”, Agrees With My Lai Comparison -- [Expose the Left]
Rep. John Murtha appeared on Hardball this evening and made an obscene claim, he said that our Marines “killed civilians” in Iraq. This remark was followed by yet another reprehensible statement; Chris Matthews questioned if what Murtha was talking about like My Lai, to which the Congressman said that was “exactly it”.
“War of Words” at the American Enterprise Institute – Part 2 -- [Daily Dispatch]
Former Marine Sgt. J.D. Johannes, Embedded combat reporter
Let me run through a little thought experiment with you. Now, no one raise their hands, but just think about this for minute.
To get home, or back to work, pretend you have to go through that set of doors behind you. Now, those doors may be booby trapped, and the first person through, and anyone within five feet of him, is going to get some shrapnel. But, you’ve got to cross that threshold. And, on the other side, there might be a guy with an RPK machine gun waiting to throw some lead at you. And down the hall, there may be guys hiding around the corners with AK-47s. But, after all that, you make it outside, where there could be snipers. And when you make it to your car or cab, and there’s a chance someone is waiting to blow you up with an IED. And, once you’ve made it home, there is a chance someone is going to try and lob a mortar or rocket into your subdivision.
That is what it is like to be a Marine infantryman, or, a photographer who spent five months with a Marine infantry platoon in Al Anbar province.
The Buck Starts Here -- [MilBlogs - Buck Sargent]
Buck here, sounding off. My unit recently moved up to Tal Afar from Mosul, but don't believe the latest MSM hype about the city falling back into chaos -- there isn't a darn thing going on up here.
Iraq is a Third World Country -- [The Foxhole Philosopher - in Iraq]
This is not an idea original to me, but actually a very legitimate point, brought up by a soldier I work with, and added upon with my own ideas. There seems to be a standard that we need to make Iraq better than it was. We are trying to reverse some of the damage done by years of dictatorial reign and warfare. But there is one thing that we cannot reverse and that is likely the root of all the problems in the first place. Iraq is a third world country.
Combat Update - [ONE MARINE'S VIEW ]
Al FURAT, Iraq -- In this small, mostly-Sunni region nestled along the Euphrates River in Al Anbar Province, Iraqi men say they are fed up with the insurgency in Iraq, and are doing something about it – joining the Iraqi Army.More than 189 Iraqi men, most 30’ish in age, lined up to sign their name on the dotted line and enlist for service during a May 8 Iraqi Army recruiting/screening drive in this town located just 14 miles northwest of Ramadi.Despite insurgents’ threats and violence here, most seem quite eager just to serve,
Iran supplying Zarqawi? -- [Back to Iraq 3.0 - journalist in Iraq]
Omar over at Iraq the Model translates an article from az-Zamman that claims Iranian Revolutionary Guards are supplying Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with advanced weaponry, with Lebanese Hizbollah as the intermediary.
Here’s what you should know about this: Zarqawi hates the Shi’a community, with the fiery passion of the Sun’s core.
...Now, one of my old sources — who I hear has since been picked up by the Iraqi Interior ministry, the poor guy — told me once that Iran was supplying Sunni insurgents in Iraq in a bid to keep the Americans bogged down to the tune of $100 million to $200 million a year. The Iranians were acting through what the CIA would call “cut-out” groups and the Sunni insurgents often didn’t know who their ultimate bankrollers were. My source was neither insurgent, nor American, nor tied to the Shi’ite parties. He moved between all the parties because of his apparent neutrality and his information was always top-notch. He told me about the shaped charges of IEDs months before they started becoming mainstream knowledge.
Navy Keeping a Close Eye on the Gulf -- [OPFOR]
OPFOR's ever-vigilant Navy PAO sent me a link to this NPR story:
Coalition Forces Watch Over Iraq's Oil Platforms
In the southern waters off Iraq, the patrol ship USS Whirlwind keeps a constant vigil over two offshore oil-transfer platforms that are indispensable to Iraq. Some sailors call them the crown jewels
The Perfume Palace, Baghdad -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
I just arrived in Baghdad for a conference and I must say that I am in awe. I have not even seen the base under daylight, but have already been wowed with numerous sights. First, the Perfume Palace. This building was a brothel for Uday and Husay Hussein, causing it to always smell of the perfume of their concubines. In front of it sits a man-made lake (one of many lakes on the base) and it is flanked by multiple canals that once flowed freely but now sit stagnant.
Melancholy -- [Dave's Not Here Man! - in Iraq]
Kind of melancholy lately with the thoughts of leaving and all. I've nearly wanted to sign a contract a few times here out of fear. I know that makes no sense to you out there. You'd think I'd have more fear being over here than coming home, but my fear is that of going home to no job. You get kind of used to that direct deposit filling your account every two weeks. The thought of that not happening for awhile till I've obtained a new job tends to leave me unnerved. I still have a mortgage and utilities and (ack!) gasoline to buy to get around. Still have a dog to keep healthy. Still have to think about what to do until I find that ever-illusive next position.
Not to mention the fact that I've been here so long that I'm leaving behind a lot of aquaintences and friends, some of which I've known since my arrival in Iraq in Feb of 2004.
Soldier's Diary: Earning U.S. Citizenship in Iraq -- [A Soldier's Diary - dispatches from Iraq]
On Tuesday, I had the honor of attending a swearing-in ceremony for one of my soldiers. On that day, 83 soldiers and Marines were sworn in as U.S. citizens while serving in Baghdad.
The ceremony took place over on the other side of the base at the Camp Victory Chapel. All of our new citizens were seated in the pews, and for the rest of the crowd, it was standing-room only.
Murtha: Marines may have killed Haditha civilians in cold blood -- (Army Times)
Rep. John Murtha, an influential Pennsylvania lawmaker and outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, said today Marines had “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” after allegedly responding to a roadside bomb ambush that killed a Marine during a patrol in Haditha, Iraq, Nov. 19.
Jihadists' Return Worries Europe -- (Washington Times)
Iraq fighters taking battle home?
PARIS (Agence France-Presse) -- They are highly motivated, battle-hardened, mobile -- and therefore, dangerous. And the return of Europe's jihadists from Iraq is giving the Continent's intelligence services nightmares.
As far back as October, Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr warned that intercepted correspondence between Abu Musab Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, and other figures in the movement had revealed a decision to send large numbers of Islamist volunteers back to their countries of origin to wage holy war.
A Safer Weapon, With Risks -- (Los Angeles Times)...James Rainey
The U.S. military is deploying a laser device in Iraq that would temporarily blind drivers who fail to heed warnings at checkpoints, in an attempt to stem shootings of innocent Iraqis.
Pride, Then Pain -- (Long Island Newsday)...Deborah S. Morris
Soldier sees wife graduate but dies in Iraq bombing the next day.
Troop Cuts Uncertain, Rumsfeld Testifies -- (Washington Post)...Thomas E. Ricks
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he cannot guarantee that there will be substantial withdrawals of U.S. troops from Iraq this year, and warned instead that leaving that country precipitously could create a sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other terrorists.
Reconstructing Afghanistan -- [Afghan Warrior
An international business conference was held in the capital Kabul last week to find out new ways to invest in Afghanistan. More than 25 foreign companies from different countries participated in an exhibition in order to introduce their goods to the market. After the decades of war and conflict, Afghanistan is finally open for business.
Taliban Video Cameras Eat Dust -- [Strategy Page]
May 18, 2006: In two days of fighting in southern Afghanistan, at least 72 people died. Two major Taliban attacks failed, leaving 58 of the Taliban dead. One Canadian soldier was killed, along with a dozen Afghan security personnel and a few civilians.
Khan! -- [Miserable Donuts]
Gold's Gym is one of the most popular spots for women in the western Afghan city of Herat. The first female sports centre to open in this conservative city, it is spearheading a small revolution in women's leisure and fitness.
Regarding Dean Berry, -- [Firepower Forward]
This is the comment that Rev.(???) Dean Berry left on my previous post:
BE A MAN AND LEAVE THIS POST INTACT.JESUS CHRIST HAS REMOVED HIS BLESSING FROM AMERICA BECAUSE OF YOU AMERINAZIS. YOU CAN’T MURDER PEOPLE TO STEAL THEIR OIL, THEN LIE ABOUT IT! YOU DON’T THINK YOU’RE GOING TO HELL FOR THAT
P.S. There's no oil in Afghanistan
Taliban raid on Afghan town kills 53 -- (Reuters)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Taliban insurgents launched a major attack on a town in the southern Afghan province of Helmand and 13 policemen and 40 Taliban were killed in nine hours of fighting, government officials said on Thursday.
Canada to extend Afghan mission by 2 years -- (San Jose Mercury News)
TORONTO - Canadian lawmakers approved a two-year extension of Canada's military mission in Afghanistan late Wednesday night in a close vote. ...
Solving the Border's "Baby Predicament" -- [Strategy Page - Austin Bay]
The year was 1993. A friend of mine who worked at a hospital in Texas' Rio Grande Valley -- a short ride from Mexico -- described "the baby predicament."
Here's a sketch of his story: At the first indications of impending birth, a pregnant Mexican woman crosses the border in a car. As her labor begins in earnest, her driver drops her off at the hospital. The doctors confront an immediate challenge: A baby is definitely being born. In the typical case, the soon-to-be mother has had no prenatal care. However, she has had a plan -- her child will be born in the United States,
Piercing the Wall of Silence -- [Michael Totten - in Israel]
Arabs and Israelis are talking to and linking each other in the blogosphere despite the reactionary laws against this kind of fraternizing behavior. (Israel has no such dumb laws.) Now they're even meeting each other as friends in the real world.
My friend and former guest-blogger Lebanon.Profile recently discovered the Israeli blogosphere and wrote an amazing post on one of his blogs about what that was like. Don't miss it.
Senate OKs Border Fence, Backs Citizenship -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate agreed to give millions of illegal immigrants a shot at U.S. citizenship and backed construction of 370 miles of triple-layered fencing along the Mexican border Wednesday. Prospects for legislation clearing Congress were clouded by a withering attack against President Bush by a prominent House Republican. "Regardless of what the president says, what he is proposing is amnesty," said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., the lawmaker who would lead House negotiators in any attempt to draft a compromise immigration bill later this year.
Seeking To Control Borders, Bush Turns To Big Military Contractors -- (New York Times)...Eric Lipton
The quick fix may involve sending in the National Guard. But to really patch up the broken border, President Bush is preparing to turn to a familiar administration partner: the nation's giant military contractors.
U.S. Said To Weigh A New Approach On North Korea -- (New York Times)...David E. Sanger
President Bush's top advisers have recommended a broad new approach to dealing with North Korea that would include beginning negotiations on a peace treaty, even while efforts to dismantle the country's nuclear program are still under way, senior administration officials and Asian diplomats say.
Bush could sign peace treaty with North Korea -- (Raw Story)
President Bush's top advisers have recommended a broad new approach to dealing with North Korea that would include beginning negotiations on a peace treaty ...
China Broadens Espionage Operations -- (USA Today)...John Diamond
China is running aggressive and wide-ranging espionage operations aimed at stealing U.S. weapons technology that could be useful against U.S. forces, according to the nation's top spy-catchers.
Venezuela says Iran might be buyer for its F16s -- (Tehran Times/ AFP)
| CARACAS (AFP) -- A Venezuelan general said Tuesday that Iran might be interested in buying Venezuela's U.S. F16 fighter jets that he has recommended selling.
Another Five Million Dollar Man Killed -- [Strategy Page]
On the evening of April 13th, an air strike by Pakistani attack helicopters on two houses in the town of Miranshah, in North Waziristan, killed about a dozen al Qaeda operatives. Confirmed to be among the dead was 41-year old Abdul Rahman al Muhajir. One of al Qaeda's principal explosives experts, Al Muhajir was indicted for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, which killed over 220 people. The U.S. had posted a $5 million reward for his capture.
Iran's Ties to Terrorist Groups Pose Threat to US -- (VOA News)
Hezbollah in Lebanon -- the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the Palestinian territories -- and possibly the notorious al-Qaida -- are all terror groups with alleged ties to Iran.
The U.S. State Department accuses Iran of being an active state sponsor of terrorism.
Chavez accused of ties to terrorists -- (The Washington Times)
By Nicholas Kralev May 17, 2006 | Venezuela has allowed its intelligence service to become a clone of Cuba's while it shelters groups with ties to Middle East terrorists .
Telegraphing You -- [Grey Eagle - in Iraq]
Dave Clark is a new artist trying to capture the inspiration and spirit of the U.S. soldier and their families. He has written several songs and is currently working a duel voice (male/female) ballard titled: “When Grey Eagle Soars”. Yep, the same Grey Eagle. Can you imagine my excitment to learn that a song was being written. What girl doesn’t want to have a song written, even if it is about deployment to Iraq.
In Other News -- [ONE MARINE'S VIEW]
Meet Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan
We yield to no one in our admiration of Michael Jordan, but I can't figure out why we haven't heard anything about his oldest brother James -- make that the Army's Command Sgt. Maj. James R. Jordan. Command Sgt. Maj. Jordan is completing his thirtieth year of service with the Army's 35th Signal Brigade and reaching his mandatory retirement date. Because his unit is about to be deployed to Iraq for a year, however, he has asked for permission to extend his duty for the year.
Rumsfeld Reveals Split Over Interrogations -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said for the first time Wednesday that officials are at odds over whether a new Army manual should endorse different interrogation techniques for enemy insurgents than are allowed for regular prisoners of war. The debate hinges on whether suspected terrorists or other insurgents can be treated more severely than captured members of an enemy army. There are concerns such a distinction could fly in the face of a law enacted last year, pressed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that explicitly banned cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners by U.S. troops.
A Peeve! -- [The Marching Camp - in Iraq]
I really, really despise being patronized. To wit, a recent comment in another blog.
"kutti - those soldiers did not ask to be there, they have no choice. Many of them volunteered thinking the President would only use them in defensive wars, not wars of aggression. For their sacrifice, they deserve our respect."
Posted by the guy whose blog is here:
This argument is how liberals and anti-Americans justify to themselves that they "support the troops" while arguing that the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq are illegal, immoral, made with artificial preservatives, fattening, and cause cancer.
Sorry, but no. The invasion of Iraq was launched ...
Gore on the Rise -- [4 Mile Creek - in Iraq]
I can't really believe that there's a core of reasonable, central-left Democrats who are hoping for Gore to run again in 2008. That's what Andrew and several other bloggers have started to write about.
President Raises $17 Million for GOP -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush helped raise $17 million for the Republican Party Wednesday, a welcome financial boost amid GOP gloom over the possible loss of majority control of Congress in November....
Senate Spouses Auction Donated Gowns -- (AP)
...Spouses of the Senate organization. Proceeds from the sale of the dresses, which began Tuesday and closes May 26, will help Gulf Coast schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina rebuild their libraries and restock the shelves.
The money raised will be sent out through first lady Laura Bush's foundation.
Truthout's MSM Fan Club -- [Media Blog]
The mysterious saga of Karl Rove's non-indictment keeps getting weirder and weirder (if you need to catch up, read Byron and Seixon). The left-wing web site Truthout's most recent defense of its increasingly bogus-looking story includes this intriguing paragraph:
Past is Prologue -- [Redstate]
A year and a half ago I wrote about the media campaign to turn Iraq into Vietnam by recycling thirty-year-old story lines with updated color commentary.
Last week the Hartford Courant ran a four part series alleging soldiers and Marines who were psychologically unfit were being forced back into combat and becoming victims of PTSD and suicide.
Penn to Play Clarke in Movie -- (ABC News)
Former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, now an ABC News consultant, will be portrayed by Sean Penn in the Sony film of Clarke's "Against All Enemies." The book chronicles what happened inside the White House leading up to and through the 9/ll attacks. The film will be directed by Paul Haggis.
2007 MilBlog Conference -- [Andi's World]
Would you believe that the initial stages of planning for the 2007 MilBlog Conference began this past weekend? Exciting stuff. Stay tuned to MilBlogs, where I'll tell you more later this evening.
Woo Hoo -- [Politics of a Patriot - in U.S. Marine Corps' Delayed Entry Program ]
...About an hour ago, the phone rang. I didn't recognize the number listed and assumed it was for my dad, so I started not to answer it, since Dad was not home. For some reason, I went ahead and answered it. It was my principal calling to inform me that in fact, I am Valedictorian.
USS Oriskany -- RIP -- [MilBlogs - Bubblehead]
The ex-USS Oriskany (CV 34) was sunk off Pensacola today to make an artificial reef. As much as submariners like to see surface ships blow up, it's still somewhat awe-inspiring to see a ship this big go down...
Canada@War. -- [MilBlogs - John of Argghhh!]
Canada lost her first female soldier since WWII.
Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard.
Staff Sgt. Mark Wall -- [An independent look at Iraq - journalist embed in Iraq]
...Mark’s platoon has had a rough time in Mosul from what I’ve heard. His platoon was hit pretty badly on a raid last December. The company, an Iraqi army battalion and SF team raided an insurgent safe house. We’d hit a lot of them before the October referendum but they were all dry holes. I can imagine, at least from my experience, the guys expected this one to be no different.
All hell apparently broke loose at the house. It was also one helluva gun fight, the kind all of the grunts in the company relished. I read some reports on CNN that Elvis, the nickname for Abu Musab al-Zaraqawi, was there and blew himself up
Small-town Missouri Says Goodbye to Marine Lance Cpl. Deraps -- [Gateway Pundit]
On Monday night at 2:00 AM hundreds of supporters from California, Missouri met Marine Lance Cpl. Leon Deraps for his final trip into town.
Today, Marine Lance Cpl. Leon Deraps was laid to rest today in California, Missouri.
Loud speakers and a large screen television were positioned outside the church to accommodate the large overflow crowd.
In Honor of Captain Letendre... -- [ Blackfive]
RE: We all lost a brother today...
Thankfully, June sends this info regarding a trust/college fund for CPT Letendre's son, Dillon, and a fund to honor the memory of Letendre at his alma mater.
The Iraqi Constitution and Sharia -- [Serving the People of Iraq and Iran]
Summary: Many strident voices have claimed that American troops are dying for nothing more than the opportunity for another Islamic nation to apply Sharia (Islamic law) to oppress its people. The following is a discussion of how Sharia is applied in the Islamic world and what we might expect its implementation to be in the new Iraq.
A lot of people are worried that the rights of women, non-Muslims, and Iraqis in general will be trampled under the new Iraqi constitution, because the Constitution enshrines Sharia, believed by many to be a violently oppressive system of government. Conceptually—and in certain cases historically—the argument is valid. It appears, though, that the Iraqi constitution contains a healthy blend of support for the inalienable rights of humanity with a dependence on Islamic law. But as are all constitutions, the Iraqi Constitution is a framework that needs to be implemented, so it remains to be seen how Iraqi life will be affected by the Sharia going forward.
What did Bout Do With Weapons for Iraq? -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Douglas Farah]
In one of the strangest twists of recent Bout-related events, a company in Bout's business orbit was found to have flown several hundred thousand AK-47 assault rifles from Bosnia to Iraq, theoretically for use by the new, U.S.-traine Iraqi army and police. Unfortunately, there is no record of the weapons ever actually landing in Iraq, although it appears that the now-defunct air freighter, Aerocom, did make the flights.
This was first reported in a new report by Amnesty International report and I have confirmed the basic outlines from other intelligence sources.
Iraqi Women Cannot Use Cell Phones, But Iraq Is Still Fine! -- [24 Steps to Liberty - an Iraqi in Iraq]
...A few days ago, neighbors of mine told me that pamphlets were distributed in the neighborhood pointing out several orders that the residents should follow if they wanted to live. The neighborhood woke up one day to see these papers thrown in the streets, no one handed them and they weren’t signed by any organization. They were just orders written in papers and asking people to follow. I didn’t see the papers yet, but I asked some people to find me some of them.
- Women should not walk in the street without a head scarf.
- Women shouldn’t drive cars or use a cell phones in the street.
- Men shouldn’t wear shorts or grow a goatee.
Summer in Baghdad, the Baghdad furnace… -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
...This summer electricity in Baghdad is almost nonexistent, the national grid provides one hour every five other hours; reasons are numerous and government excuses are even more but maybe the straw that broke the back of the camel was the shut down of Biji station which one of the biggest in the country. The reason in this case is supposed to be that the 200 employees and their families were forced to leave the station and their homes at gun point; most of those people are not from the same town or province and they lived for years in a small housing compound near the station
Charlie Kilo, part three -- [Fun With Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...Once again in the middle of the city wondering when my face will get shot off as I blatantly point the fifty cal at anybody and everyone who so much as looks at me funny. I normally don’t get bad feelings before missions. As of this entry I’ve only uttered “I have a bad feeling about this one” three times. Twice, bad things have happened. This time was one of them.
As EOD worked to blow up yet another discovered IED we tried to get the Haji on the corner shop to sell us some soda. At first he refused to sell to us because we were American. After our terp had a lengthy conversation with him we discovered he was, in his own words, “forbidden to sell to the Americans.”
In good company -- [The Will to Exist- in Iraq]
Another morning that started with a bang. I was up most of the night suffering from a head cold and the nasal drainage that accompanies that type of infection. At 0555 the first bomb was detonated just across the river by EOD. Another member of my unit told me he dropped his shaving cream. Even when it’s just EOD blowing up a found IED or two you get no warning and it can startle you out of a sound sleep. Did you know we’re clearing more than 50% of IEDs now? It was about 40% two months ago.
The Afternoon From Hell -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck! - in Iraq]
It wasn’t planned that way. We weren’t supposed to be out all night. Heck, I was planning on getting online and chatting with my wife and boys. I made an appointment. I started wondering to myself what she might have been thinking. Would she be worried? Would she guess that maybe something came up and that I’m busy? Would she be upset? And what about the boys? Would they understand?
...It turned into a late night because not one but two IEDs hit us. That’s right, two in one day. That’s pretty good. No one got hurt though.
Iraq Pictures - 15 May 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
An Iraqi army soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade 5th Iraqi Army Division walks through the village of Tahrir on an Iraqi army lead patrol.
Scrubbed Helo Raid -- [Midnight in Iraq - - Iraq]
We loitered at the south end of Camp Fallujah waiting to start our convoy brief, which would cover our route of travel, contingency plans, and a plethora of other information essential to the conduct of a convoy. However, on this particular day we would begin to face challenges even before the convoy began. It appeared that some type of inclement weather was moving in. On the distant horizon I could make out a dark brown blob, presumably a cloud, that grew increasingly larger with time. As it approached the blob revealed itself to be more of a large wall extending as far as the eye could see in both directions.
Sadr City -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
I get asked a lot about what Iraq looks like. I am located in a more rural area than most but have spent a lot of time in Baghdad. This is what 1/4 of Baghdad looks like. This is Sadr City and it is a slum. Open sewage in the streets, trash everywhere, dusty, crowded, and dangerous. Almost 1 million people live in these conditions. Notice the dishes on the roof tops. Saddam did not allow that.
THE WESTERN CORRIDOR -- [Dan in the Desert - DoD contractor in Iraq]
...While I was in Fallujah, I found another stash of REVA 4x4s. There are a dozen or so of these vehicles scattered around the country, and they are sent to the "hot" areas because of their durability (the hull of these vehicles is V-shaped to deflect blasts from IEDs).
Strategic Retreat? -- (Washington Post)...Paul Farhi
It's not who attended Monday's screening of the war documentary "Baghdad ER" that disappointed the film's producers, but rather who didn't. The National Museum of American History's theater was mostly full -- of civilians. Only a few rows were filled by men and women dressed in the crisp, olive-drab uniforms of the U.S. Army.
Morale Slippage In Iraq -- (Washington Times)...Cal Thomas
Morale is slipping in Iraq. Fighters are growing doubtful of success. A comprehensive strategy for winning the conflict is nonexistent.
'Hartford Courant': US Sending Mentally Unstable Troops into ... -- (Editor & Publisher)
HARTFORD US military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental ...
Potent Mixture: Zoloft And A Rifle -- (Hartford Courant)...Lisa Chedekel and Matthew Kauffman
When Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark C. Warren was diagnosed with depression soon after his deployment to Iraq, a military doctor handed him a supply of the mood-altering drug Effexor.
In a Dispute, Army Cancels Rebuilding Contract in Iraq -- (NY Times)
The Army Corps of Engineers said Friday that it had canceled the work remaining on a $70 million project to refurbish 20 hospitals in Iraq, deepening a dispute with one of the largest American contractors operating here and seriously threatening an ambitious United States-led effort to improve Iraqi health care.
IRAQ: UNITED ARAB EMIRATES DIPLOMAT KIDNAPPED IN BAGHDAD -- (AKI)
Iraqi police began carrying out house to house searches in various areas of the capital Baghdad early Wednesday morning, following the abduction of an United Arab Emirates diplomat. The UAE national was kidnapped late on Tuesday while walking home, near the embassy in the residential Mansour area. According to satellite TV channel al-Arabiya the authorities are still trying to identify the kidnappers and the government has ordered police roundups which started Wednesday at daybreak.
LIFE IN AFGHANISTAN -- [Anthony - in Afghanistan]
...Life in Kabul, Afghanistan has taken on a monotonous routine at best. One wakes up, performs the days mission, returns alive and in one piece and does it all over again the next day. Unfortunately, the top brass has decided to make an already difficult life for us even harder. Stricter rules of engagement, stronger "no-drinking and no-fraternization policies enforced with an almost Gestapo-like zeal, Article 15 punishments handed out like candy and a no day off work-schedule are all doing more to crush motivation that it is to curtail complacency!!
Despite the hardships however, my platoon (specifically my squad), remains a tight knit group. We do everything as a team, on and off duty. We argue like family members and watch each others asses
Afghan Women Graduate U.S. College Program -- (AP)
BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) -- When she was a child growing up in Afghanistan, Nadima Sahar loved to draw. But after the Taliban came to power in the 1990s, her love for art became a secret.
The strict Islamic movement banned art and secular music, so only Sahar's family knew about her drawings.
"I couldn't share them with my neighbors," Sahar said.
Canada wants to extend Afghan mission to 2009: report -- (Reuters)
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's new minority Conservative government plans to extend the country's 2,300-soldier mission in Afghanistan by two years to 2009, opposition politicians and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said on Monday.
Iran and Turkey Squeeze Iraq’s Kurds -- [ThreatWatch]
Emboldening Turkish and Iranian Kurds, Tehran and Ankara Fear Renewed Separatist Movements
The merger of the dominant political parties within Kurdish Iraq, Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), while very good for the long-suffering Kurds within Iraq, poses all sorts of problems for Kurdish Iraq’s neighboring states, Iran and Turkey.
UK - Chavez offers oil to Europe's poor -- [The Cabarfeidh Pages - in United Kingdom]
Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez arrives in London today with an extraordinary promise to offer cut-rate heating oil for needy families in Europe, modelled on a similar campaign in the US which has been seen partly as a bid to embarrass President George Bush. It's extraordinary, but not for the reasons the Observer thinks.
Euro Backlash: The Socialists Dig In -- [The Celestial Junk Blog - in Canada]
The Socialist Utopian class has had the run of Europe for decades now. It is firmly entrenched in the media, academia, and politics. Anything or anyone even approaching what would be considered centrist in North America, is pilloried relentlessly by the EU elite and the EU MSM. The reek of academic arrogance wafts from university campuses, broadsheets, magazines, and the electronic media. In essence, the elite class knows all, while the peasantry, especially that in America, knows nothing.
Guard Vows 6,000 Troops For Border -- (Washington Post)...Spencer S. Hsu and Darryl Fears
The commander of the National Guard pledged yesterday that 6,000 troops will be trained and ready to carry out President Bush's order to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border starting next month, but the narrowness of their mission and long-standing doubts about U.S. enforcement efforts shadowed Bush's call to "gain full control of the border."
The Guard Has Heard The Plan. Now It Needs The 'How.' -- (New York Times)...David S. Cloud
National Guard officials said Tuesday that they were confident that they could handle the complexity of sending thousands of soldiers to the border with Mexico in the fight against illegal immigration. State officials, who will be in control of the troops, said they were awaiting more details from the federal government, which acknowledged Tuesday that it was still working out how to handle such a major domestic deployment.
U.S. Secretly Backing Warlords In Somalia -- (Washington Post)...Emily Wax and Karen DeYoung
More than a decade after U.S. troops withdrew from Somalia following a disastrous military intervention, officials of Somalia's interim government and some U.S. analysts of Africa policy say the United States has returned to the African country, secretly supporting secular warlords who have been waging fierce battles against Islamic groups for control of the capital, Mogadishu.
Pakistan wants duty free access to US, EU markets -- (Dawn)
Pakistan said on Friday it needed duty-free access to US and EU markets for its products to give a future boost to its economy and help cope with the fallout of the...
Pentagon video postscript: moment by moment -- [Hot Air]
Let’s look at the screencaps. Here’s the last shot of the calm before the storm, taken at 0:24:53. Note the horizon directly above the yellow ticket dispenser on the right. (pic)
Here’s the next frame, the one Kevin screencapped, taken at 0:25:07. Don’t focus on the white blur; focus on the area above the ticket dispenser.
The European Understanding With Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
While the March 11, 2004 terror bombing in Madrid was thought to have been a victory for the Islamic terrorists, it was actually a major defeat. Up to that point, Europe was not going all out to shut down Islamic terrorist activity in its midst.
Credible threats against the Danish cartoonists -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Olivier Guitta]
If you thought that the Cartoon Jihad was over, think again. Indeed, several European secret services are on the lookout for special Islamist commandos allegedly trying to kill the 12 Danish cartoonists involved in the Jyllands Posten Muhammad cartoons. Most probably, a European sleeper cell could be activated for that mission. Nonetheless, an entrance of dangerous Pakistani elements thru Turkey is envisioned.
Pentagon Releases 9/11 Security Video -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon on Tuesday released the first video images of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the military headquarters building and killing 189 people in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The images, recorded by Pentagon security cameras outside the building, were made public in response to a December 2004 Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, a public interest group. Some still images from the video had previously been leaked and publicly circulated, but this was the first official release
Bush the 'biggest terrorist in the world today' -- (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has reacted angrily to new United States sanctions on his country.
The US has banned arms sales and technology transfers to Venezuela, because it says Mr Chavez's Government has failed to cooperate in the US-led war on terrorism.
Speaking on a private visit to London, the Venezuelan leader has thrown the accusation back at his accusers, calling the US an irrational empire and President George W Bush "the biggest terrorist in the world today".
Soldiers' Angel Celebrates 101st Birthday Filling Care Packages for Soldiers -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
She was 7 years old when the Titanic went down, and still remembers that day.
Mary Irvin Roun was born on April 13, 1905 in Turnersville, NJ, and recently celebrated her 101st birthday in Cedar Key, Florida with over 50 guests from all over the country.
Joint Service Open House this Weekend! -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Oh, I soooo wish I could go to this! If you don't have plans for this weekend and live near Andrews Air Force Base I highly recommend going to their Joint Service Open House this weekend, May 19 - 21. It's free admission, and open to the general public (May 20th and 21st) with some really cool shows happening like the Blue Angels, the Canadian Snow Birds, the Golden Knights and more! You can find a full schedule of events here.
I don't support the troops -- [Bill MySpace Blog]
...Nam. We left because of political pressure at home. Do you know why there was political pressure at home? The war was started under false pretenses. The American people were lied to. This actually does sound familar.
...And finally, no I don't support your President. I don't support our Country in this war. I don't support this injust invasion of a sovern nation. I don't support domestic wire tapping. I don't support the erossion of out civil liberties. And I sure as hell don't support the troops. They got themselves into this. They signed up for it. If I felt strongly in favor of this then I would sign up. You will be hard pressed to find a Republican on Capitol Hill with family in the military, stationed on the front line.
Americans Enlist in Record Numbers -- [Strategy Page]
May 16, 2006: In the last seven months, the U.S. Army has met or exceeded all of its recruiting goals. In that time, over 160,000 people have enlisted, or re-enlisted. The total strength of the active duty and reserve forces are 1.2 million men and women, all of them volunteers.
Our Army will never be broken -- [Counter Column]
Don't miss this scathing exchange between military writer Joe Gallagher (the same Joe Gallagher who co-wrote We Were Soldiers Once, and Young, and Pentagon chief flack Larry Di Rita.
Di Rita is trying to argue that the Army is stronger now than it was in 2000, and that the Army of 2001 could not have withstood the kind of indefinite troop rotation that it is enduring now.
Here's Gallagher's response:
Whatziss (with a twist) -- [Castle Argghhh!]
I’m sure you’ve all heard the military procurement horror stories -- href="http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/skt8716.html">the $500 hammer, the coffeemaker for the C-5 that was built to withstand G-forces that would turn the crew two-dimensional, the Air Defense system that showed a preference for ...
Save your Mommy, Kill a Commmie -- [SandGram]
The sweat stings as small drops make it into your eyes during the two-hour drill session on “The Grinder” which in laymen’s terms is a large asphalt parking lot the size of three football fields. We lucked out and had the Grinder booked from 0900 to 1100, but by 0930, the sun was starting to peek over the tops of the tall trees on the East end. The humidity was increasing too, causing our hands to slip on the plastic M-16 A1 rifle that we had to constantly switch from shoulder to shoulder.
Raising The Issue Of Parity In Pay Beyond The Military -- (Washington Post)...Stephen Barr
The push for "pay parity" is underway. A group of House members is urging leaders of the House Appropriations Committee to support a 2.7 percent pay raise for the civil service next year, the same raise that the House recently approved for the military in a defense authorization bill.
Senate Republicans about as impressed with President Bush’s “amnesty for illegal aliens” speech as Liberals were -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
...I’ll be the first to say I’ve served with, and admire the Aussies, but I would NEVER show such desperation as to call a press conference with one standing by my side, nodding his head in agreement as I addressed the nation to espouse the values of an EXTREMELY, and LIBERALLY modified version of Neal Boortz’s “Fair Tax”.
More on S.2611 -- [Philologous]
Mike Rosen, KOA-AM Denver today interviewed Robert Rector, author of the Heritage Foundation study I mentioned previously. Rector told Rosen that S.2611 is “a stealth open border law” and its proponents are trying to ram it through. He also said that this legislation, if passed as is, will permit 100,000,000 legal immigrants over the next 20 years. As I read through Rector’s analysis—and portionsof the Senate Bill itself—I continue to just be shocked. The purpose of this legislation must be to increase the size of the welfare state and, thereby, the entitlement class. Idon’t really know that, of course. But I’m at a loss to see the purpose of this sort of legislation.
O’Reilly Exposes Dean’s Lie That Bush Wants To Send Illegals Back -- [Expose the Left]
On tonight’s “Most Ridiculous Item” segment, O’Reilly called Howard Dean a liar when he said President Bush wants “to find twelve million undocumented people” and “send them all back” on Monday night’s edition of The Daily Show. Actually, President Bush has never advocated sending illegal immigrants back. Here’s the line:
Confidence In GOP Is At New Low In Poll -- (MSNBC)...Richard Morin and Dan Balz
...Not quite a third -- 32 percent -- said they approve of the way Bush is handling Iraq, down five points in the past month and a new low in Post-ABC polling. Fewer than four in 10 -- 37 percent -- say Iraq has been worth the cost, the lowest level of support recorded in Post-ABC polls. Nearly two in three Americans believe the war has not been worth it -- a view shared by eight in 10 Democrats, seven in 10 independents and a third of all Republicans.
Rumsfeld Protest: Silent Dissenter Wanted All Focus On Himself -- (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)...Lee Weber
When Randy Aronov stood in the audience and turned his back during a May 4 speech by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, it was not an act of civil disobedience, but an act of shameless self-promotion.
Is Al Gore Running for President Again? -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Al Gore is running to California, New York, Utah, Washington, France and points in between to promote "An Inconvenient Truth," a film chronicling his elaborate slide shows to educate people about global warming....
Pen-MAN-ship -- [Michael Yon]
When it comes to losing the information war, we have only ourselves to blame. We do not demand the best from our media, and as a result we allow the media to deceive us. The Washington Times, previously cited here for its excellent coverage of the Captain Furat story, sunk low when it published the May 12th “Inside the Ring” column by Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough.
View From the Soapbox -- [Fire and Ice]
I've mentioned before that I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia. One of many wonderful things about this beautiful and historic rivertown is our hometown newspaper, The Free-Lance Star. The Op-Ed page editors occasionally humor me by publishing one of my soapbox ramblings. I thought I would share a couple of them with you over the next couple days. I am finding myself, now that I'm in the rear with the gear, compelled to respond to things I read in this well-balanced paper.
“War of Words” at the American Enterprise Institute – Part 1-- [Daily Dispatch]
(On May 17, 2006, AEI hosted the “War of Words” veterans in a panel discussion entitled “Veterans Speak Out on the Coverage of the Iraq War.” DD will publish their statements on May 17, 18 and 19
ABC Ignores Denial by Phone Companies of NSA Story, Leads with Low Bush Rating -- [NewsBusters]
Tuesday's CBS Evening News devoted a story to how all three phone companies -- BellSouth, Verizon and AT&T -- denied they supplied the NSA with massive records of numbers called by their customers, as charged in a Thursday front page USA Today story which led to an ongoing media firestorm. Verizon, for instance, maintained: “Contrary to the media reports, Verizon was not asked by NSA to provide, nor did Verizon provide customer phone records.” NBC Nightly News ran a story on the denials by BellSouth and Verizon. But ABC's World News Tonight didn't utter a syllable about the denials which undermine the media's obsession of the last six days.
Verizon Denies Giving NSA Phone Records -- (AP)
NEW YORK (AP) - Verizon Communications Inc. says it did not give the government records of millions of phone calls, joining fellow phone company BellSouth in disputing key assertions in a USA Today article. The denials leave open the possibility that the National Security Agency requested customer calling data from long-distance companies like AT&T, Sprint and MCI in 2001, but not from companies that were mainly local phone companies, such as Verizon.
Blackfive and Michael Yon on Pundit Review Radio -- [Pundit Review]
What a special double feature on Pundit Review Radio last night. Two of the leading military bloggers, Matt from Blackfive and Michael Yon, joined us to discuss the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the role of Syria and Iran, and the state of the domestic insurgency here at home.
Lucky 20,000 -- [Hardtack and Havoc - in Iraq]
The twenty thousandth visitor to Hardtack and Havoc:
Iraqis and American Soldiers: A Conversation -- [The Ugly American]
I am very excited to bring you what I hope to be a series of posts featuring conversations between Iraqis and American Soldiers currently serving or recently returned from Iraq. This first post is between bloggers 24 Steps to Liberty (an Iraqi living in Baghdad and also a journalist) and Sergeant Tim Boggs who is currently serving near Mosul and author of the T.F. Boggs blog. I am very proud and honored to call both men my friend and hope this exchange is the beginning of the long friendship for them as well.
My goal in all of this is to foster communication between the two believing most Americans and most Iraqis want the same thing.
Task Force 145 Strikes Near Ramadi -- [Counterterrorism - Bill Roggio]
Suspected locations of Task Force 145 raids on al-Qaeda cells.
Task Force 145, the mix of special operations forces assigned to hunt Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda in Iraq leaderships and cells, appears to have struck again, this time in Julaybah, an area “identified as a terrorist safe haven” which is located about 8 miles east of Ramadi. Three terrorists were killed and four captured during the fight. The Multinational Forces – Iraq press release provides an overview of the engagement:
The janitor and his sunflowers -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
There is a janitor who works here in the building where I perform my duties as the MNF-Iraq.com webmaster. In the world of concrete and metal that surrounds us, this quiet, humble man has begun planting sunflowers. He plants them in pots, and in unused patches of dirt. I see him carefully tending his garden of green shoots several times a day in between his bathroom cleaning, mopping and sundry other duties.
Friday, May 12, 2006 -- [Chairborne Stranger - in Iraq]
Things have been going all right here. I've just come to accept the inherent danger of living in Anbar and I've actually been in a good mood lately. Finally over being sick and have my strength back and all that. Eating good food at the US FOB helped out for sure, plus plenty of rest.
Limo's in the back... -- [Murphy Around The World - in Iraq]
These two cars are reputed to be high level limo’s used by Saddam’s staff but they didn’t survive the war too well. I spent two days in Bagdad last week and two Iraqi's I worked with in the Green Zone showed these to me.
HEY, Ma Ma’s BOY! -- [One Marine's View]
He’s dedicated and maybe he even signed up to joint this gun club under age and needed his parents permission………….or maybe just his mothers permission. He is surrounded by friends that may not know him like a brother but are his brothers and some his dad. He faces a relentless enemy that would cut his head off rather than see him spread democracy, but he doesn’t fear that enemy, its not like the fear his mother could bring.
A Soldier's Perspective -- (Washington Times)...Letter
...With regard to the war in Iraq, the work is hard and progress labored. The magnitude of the task at hand is of such complexity that it cannot be exaggerated. Rest assured, though, contrary to the situation portrayed on the news, the sky is not falling every other day in Iraq. While home for two weeks in February, I was startled by the seemingly emergent 'civil war' as portrayed in the media, yet returned to find little had changed in the area I operated in. As I frequently told my Iraqi counterpart, the television is the world's most powerful weapon because of its ability to shape people's perceptions and influence their minds. Resist the Orwellian temptation to internalize all the shouting piped into your homes about Iraq from TV and for that matter all of the other pressing scandalous crisis-like issues beamed to you on a nightly basis
Insurgents Down U.S. Helicopter, Killing 2 -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Insurgents shot down a U.S. helicopter south of Baghdad and killed two soldiers, the U.S. military said Monday. Their deaths, along with those of three other soldiers and two Marines, brought the weekend toll to seven U.S. service members. Elsewhere, eight Iraqis were killed, including four teachers on their way to school and a civilian struck by a roadside bomb that hit an oil tanker, sending black smoke billowing over central Baghdad.
On Baghdad Patrol, A Vigilant Eye On Iraqi Police -- (Washington Post)...Ellen Knickmeyer
...The Americans' problems are compounded by the fact that the same Shiite-led Interior Ministry police forces they are training to protect Iraqis are widely suspected in the killings -- if not as the executioners, then as allies to the Shiite militias blamed for much of the bloodshed.
U.S. Troops Caught In Middle As Iraqis Feud -- (Chicago Tribune)...Liz Sly
...In this strange new world of murky killings, hidden agendas and mutual fear, old certainties have been turned upside down. Iraqis seem more intent on killing each other than U.S. troops. Armed men guard barricades after dark but ignore U.S. patrols. Shiite neighborhoods that once welcomed U.S. troops are turning hostile. Sunni communities that fought to drive U.S. forces out are now begging for American protection.
A Surgeon On The Front Line -- (U.S. News & World Report)
...The documentary producers followed you and your colleagues for two months. Do you think they captured your experience accurately?
...I haven't seen the film yet, so I don't know how it comes across. It certainly shows there's a high price to pay for war. That's the take-home point. The question is, is it worth it? I don't think that answer will come for generations to come. I can only hope that the sacrifices in life and limb being made by Americans will be worth it, that their sacrifices will save hundreds of thousands of lives down the line, in a more stable Middle East.
Combing the Villages, Part II -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
Stepping off to head down to our second objective. The weather was mountainous, though unseasonably warm for April in Kunar. That trend has continued unabated, by the way- I understated the recent weather here in Jalalabad, which is typically hot but not yet this hot. It's actually climbed to at least 110 each day recently, and simply feels like there's oven heat blasting you from all sides for about 10 hours of the day...pretty brutal for early May!
The Marines have left the building... -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
Today, May 13, was the last day of Task Force Lava in Afghanistan. The men of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines cased their colors, and transferred authority to the Army's 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry--a unit that's been in the region since March with the rest of Task Force Spartan. These photos are again those of Lance Cpl Stephen Kwietniak, combat photographer extraordinaire.
Afghanistan: What is the Mission Anyway? -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian Troop]
...As one spends time reading political blogs and MSM op-ed, one begins to become aware of the great knowledge gap that most Canadians seem to have when it comes to the Canadian deployment in Afghanistan. In other words, if asked what the mission is that Canadian troops are governed by, most Canadians don’t know. And, no wonder, as the MSM, which is responsible for educating the public on such matters, neglects to tell us. Instead, squabbles over the lowering of flags to half-staff or the lack of media at funerals for the fallen, seem to be the “weighty” issues worming around in journalist’s heads.
Afghan forces hunt around 100 Taliban after fierce fighting ... -- (China Post)
Security forces Monday hunted for up to 100 suspected Taliban rebels after a fierce battle in southern Afghanistan, while officials said two of 11 rebels ...
Camp Humphreys Protests Falter -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
Earlier this week, the leaders of the anti-US hate groups vowed to mobilize 10,000 people to attack the riot police protecting the annexed land for the Camp Humphreys expansion. However, possibly due to the negative reaction from the general Korean public against the violent anti-US demonstrators, the rioters were only able to mobilize 2,500 people this weekend and violence was limited:
Bush Set To Send Guard To Border -- (Washington Post)...Peter Baker
President Bush tried to ease the worries of his Mexican counterpart yesterday as he prepared for a nationally televised address tonight unveiling a plan to send thousands of National Guard troops to help seal the nation's southern border against illegal immigrants.
Plan To Deploy Guard At Border Worries Mexico -- (New York Times)...Jim Rutenberg
...Reports of the plan over the weekend also caused concern among lawmakers, including some Republicans, who said they feared the National Guard was already overextended with military missions abroad and with its response to natural disasters at home.
The Difference Between Iraq and Vietnam -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
They kept asking where all the stuff came from, and I told them it was from all the people back home who love and support them.
"Your units all have mottos. Well, we have one too."
May no soldier go unloved.
May no soldier walk alone.
May no soldier be forgotten,
Until they all come home.
Their eyes got bigger and bigger, and then they got misty. (Ok, mine were getting misty at this point, too.)
It's not social activism, It's patriotism -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
People often remark on the work I do supporting our troops through Soldiers Angels as some sort of social activism, equating and relating it to helping the poor or any other number of charitable social activities we feel compelled to address as a society. As such, I'm often mistaken for one of those caring, overly sensitive souls who bleeds for the misfortunate and lives a life outlined by Mother Theresa. It seems a standard assumption that if you support our troops with actual support, as opposed to a creed or motto, then you are either former or active military, related to someone in the military....or a social activist with a charitable conscience of some sort.
The uppity military -- [Austin Bay]
I once had a senior commander who (in private discussions with senior staff) would wryly refer to “our masters” (ie, our masters in Washington). I remember chatting with another officer after a staff meeting where the commander had made that crack. My friend said, with a shrug, hey, in some ways we are like slaves to the system. “Like” is an important word in that comment, a very important word. The subject came up again in the mess hall. Yup, the civilians are our masters. Someday we will get to be civilians again.
Why Generals are Tight Lipped -- [Strategy Page]
Apparently the recent "purge" of senior officers (the president fired the heads of all three services) in Paraguay is linked to a series of public statements they made a few weeks ago, critical of the country's senate, which had failed to act on some promotions. With, or without, democracy, Latin American heads of state are not very tolerant of outspoken generals.
Military Short On Minority Generals -- (Montgomery (AL) Advertiser)...Topher Sanders
...A shortage of minority generals – 62 out of 884 in the four combat branches – is a fact that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld readily acknowledges and insists he's trying to remedy. The Pentagon, however, would not put a number or percentage on how many generals should be minorities.
Building Elite Forces For Military Of Future -- (San Francisco Chronicle)...Paul McHugh
A neat line of 177 Navy SEAL recruits link arms and wade into the sea. The day is stormy, with 7-foot breakers and 61-degree water. But instructors order them to turn and lie on their backs in the surf.
Mark Steyn published a great article today.... -- [Media Lies]
....that nails the media and the left and exposes their cynical game.
So there are now two basic templates in terrorism media coverage:
Gabler: Not Enough Media To Bash President Bush (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
Neal Gabler says that the media is suffering fatigue because of all the scandals coming from the Bush administration and that there is not enough people to report stories that need to be covered:
Times' Frank Rich: Any 'witch hunt' for traitors should begin in the White House -- [Raw Story]
"What really angers the White House and its defenders about both the Post and Times scoops are not the legal questions the stories raise about unregulated gulags and unconstitutional domestic snooping, but the unmasking of yet more administration failures in a war effort riddled with ineptitude," Rich writes.
Zarqawi's Plan -- [Marketing in Iraq? - in Iraq]
I wanted to share something with you that might have made it on the news...however, I doubt it was in it's entirety. As you all probably saw, we confiscated some things from an insurgent hideout (such as the Zarqawi Unplugged video we all got a laugh out of). One of the other items that was found was a letter. The writer is unknown. It seems clear that it's a senior member of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. I urge you to read it completely. It gives you a deeper understanding of the disregard for innocent life that the insurgency has. It has been translated from Arabic, so it doesn't read extremely easy. Be SURE to read the last paragraph.
No Comparison -- [Victory in Iraq]
...The anti-Coalition forces can harass the U.S. forces and inflict casualties, but they cannot prevail unless we permit them to. But we do need to acknowledge what is happening there and to modify our approach. In Iraq, we need to isolate the Baathist regions. We need to develop good intelligence and act on it quickly. We need more aggressive patrolling. There is no force in being to prevent us from optimizing our forces for counter-guerrilla operations — which is the way to eliminate the guerrillas' internal sanctuary. To return to Mao's adage, we need to "drain the lake." Of course, the main goal is to develop an Iraqi constabulary that eventually can do the heavy lifting in maintaining internal security.
Iraqi federalism -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
There is much debate inside Iraq and out about federalism these days. Early Americans had a debate too. The anti-federalists lost by a narrow margin. The Volokh Conspiracy has an interesting post about federalism in Iraq.
Charlie Kilo, part two -- [Fun With Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
,,,We rolled up to the gate and I oriented my fifty cal toward the berm that we load our weapons at. One cartridge equaling the length of a Pepsi can, I put the belt of ammunition into the feed tray and pulled the charging handle all the way back. Slamming the bolt forward and repeating the process I was locked and ready to go. I then took a healthy length out of the hundred round nut sack attached to my SAW and loaded that weapon.
Instant Messaging Iraq (Outtake) -- [The War Tapes]
Randi Moriarty (Soldier-with-Camera Mike Moriarty's wife), shares her thoughts on the often surreal instant message conversations and challenges of keeping in touch during her husband's deployment.
Everyone is fine here -- [Basic Training - in Iraq]
The Chinook crash that has a few people worried did involve Ft Drum soldiers, but not any from my brigade. It happened in Afghanistan, about 1000 miles from here, so there is no need to worry.
One last trip -- [Across the Pond - in Iraq]
...I get to work today and find out we have to make one more trip to visit our outlying companies because they have some guys who want to extend before the current bonus program runs out. And guess who is going to make the trip? You got it, me. I couldn’t be more filled with the joy of knowing I have to make one more dreaded trip in a humvee down one of the worst roads in Iraq. Now, we all remember how my very first trip down this lane turned out. Let’s just hope my last one is as uneventful as all the other trips. I don’t need another Purple Heart or go home in a body bag. I am too close to leaving here with all the body parts I came with.
'Life and death every day' for Iraq medics -- (CNN News)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- "Don't let me die! Please, don't let me die," the U.S. soldier said repeatedly as medics carried him to the trauma room.
Baghdad's Security Forces to Be Revamped -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- In a bid to curb sectarian violence, Iraq's government plans to restructure the capital's security forces by putting all police officers and paramilitary soldiers under one commander, an official said Thursday....
FACTBOX-Developments in Iraq on May 11-- (Reuters)
May 11 (Reuters) - Following are security and political developments in Iraq on Wednesday as of 0700 GMT.
Iraq is trying to form a government of national unity to combat a mostly Sunni Arab insurgency. Sectarian tensions have run high since the bombing of a Shi'ite shrine in Samarra in February, which unleashed a wave of reprisal attacks.
BAGHDAD - Four street cleaners were killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb went off in the Mansour district in west-central Baghdad, police said. The target of the explosion was not clear.
Businesses Cautious About Iraq Rebuilding -- (AP)
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- U.S. and Iraqi entrepreneurs pointed to some positive economic numbers in Iraq as they voiced cautious optimism on Wednesday about doing business in the country despite the raging violence....
Report: Iran Appoints Ambassador to Iraq -- (AP)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran has appointed an ambassador to Iraq for the first time in more than 20 years, the official Iranian news agency reported....
Squeezing the Taliban to Death -- [Strategy Page]
May 11, 2006: There are now about 23,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, an increase of about 3,000 from last Fall. So far this year, 13 have died in combat (plus twelve from other causes). More NATO troops continue to enter southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban are trying to carry out a Spring Offensive. But the police and foreign troops have kept the Taliban on the defensive. Meanwhile,
Combing the Villages, Part I -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
...A motley crew of news media, interpreter and Afghan soldiers stand by as Marines prepare to conduct a village search. That day saw some pretty amusing combinations of the above groups, as the mission continued uninterrupted...
Merry Month of May -- [Jamie's Journal of Afghanistan 2006 - in Afghanistan]
All is well in the land of Afghanistan. The work is steady and consistent. We play just as hard. Our coalition forces have been truly an asset. We have established a great relationship with the Egyptian medical providers who are assisting us with the care of the local nationals.
There Is No Chicken, There Is No Egg -- [Kabulog- expat in Afghanistan]
Since figuring out which is which, or even if there is a chicken/egg situation here is impossible and fruitless. Further the situation is obviously cyclical and intertwined and well known, today, what AP put up is largely a non-story. So it's about the violence and joblessness, and has an odd title, at best.
Mute hiatus and other news -- [Pyjama Samsara - Aussie in Afghanistan]
...Elizabeth has written about scuffles in Afghan Parliament as a female parliamentarian criticises her warlord colleagues. I am not sure how to feel about this. Unlike others, I am applaud any warlord who gives up arms to join the political process. Er... given that they do give up their arms, of course. Yet, I wholly support our female parliamentarian giving voice to the issue.
Also, UPI reports that a women's rights activist in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand escaped unharmed when ...
Canadians in Kandahar: The Debate Deepens -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian Troops]
Canadians are once again demonstrating how great the divide is between the right and left when it comes to military matters. Nothing showcases the schism more, than Canadian attitudes toward the deployment of troops to Afghanistan.
A recent poll suggests that slightly over half of Canadians oppose the Afghan deployment. This, after a number of Canadian soldiers have been killed or wounded during the current mission to Kandahar. Breaking down the poll results into who is...
Violence, Troop Levels Rise in Afghanistan -- (AP)
WASHINGTON - Violence in southern Afghanistan has increased in recent months, coming as the U.S. boosted troop strength there from about 20,000 to 23,000. But the top U.S. military commander in the country said the increased Taliban activity is due more to weak government institutions than a major surge in the Taliban's strength.
Attacks, Unemployment Plague Afghanistan -- (ABC News/ AP)
Promises of work and security made Ghulam Hazara return to this western Afghan city from Iran two years ago. Now a lack of both is driving him back.
The fall and fall of Afghanistan -- (Pak Tribune)
"Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work." That is the conclusion reached in a new report from Corp Watch written by an Afghan-American journalist who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction.
"The George W Bush administration touts the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan as a success story," the report said, but claimed that reconstruction has been "bungled" by "many of the same politically connected corporations which are doing similar work in Iraq",
Woman MP is attacked in a blow for democracy -- (Times Online)
BOTTLES were thrown, insults traded and chairs knocked over in the bedlam. This was no bar-room brawl, however. It was the scene in the Afghan parliament on Sunday when a woman MP dared to stand up to a male colleague.
Iran & al-Qaeda Fan Palestinian Flames -- [ThreatsWatch]
No Peace in Our Time as The West Resolve in Question: Quartet Caves to Hamas Persistence and EU Seeks to Buy Iranian Nuke Program
Iranian barbarism has swept up two Canadians; one voluntarily, and the other as a victim. -- [Celestial Junk Blog]
The first, Canadian beauty queen Nazanin Afshin-Jam, is trying to save the life of a seventeen year old Iranian girl also named Nazanin. The teenager is sentenced to be hanged for killing a man, part of a group, who tried to rape her. Anyone familiar with Iran’s convoluted Islamic code will understand immediately the no-win situation that poor Nazanin was placed in. As the Canadian Nazanin explains, “(women who are threatened with rape) are caught between two undesirable options. On one hand,
Iran Leader: Israel a 'Tyrannical Regime' -- (AP)
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Iran's president on Thursday intensified his attacks against Israel, calling it a "a tyrannical regime that will one day will be destroyed," but also said he was ready to negotiate with the United States and its allies over his country's nuclear program....
WFP Reaches Agreement With North Korea -- (AP)
BEIJING (AP) -- The World Food Program has reached agreement with North Korea to resume food aid to the hunger-stricken country, but the operation will be smaller than it was before its suspension in December, the U.N. agency said Thursday....
Why Zarqawi Is All Alone -- [Strategy Page]
Without much fanfare or publicity, American and British commandoes have taken apart al Qaeda's operation in Iraq. About the only non-Iraqi al Qaeda leader left in Iraq is military leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a Jordanian. In the last few months, American commandoes nearly caught Zarqawi at least three times. On April 16th and 25th, raids killed and captured over twenty al Qaeda members. Interrogations of the captured men indicated that Zarqawi was in the area. Also captured, before it showed up on an al Qaeda web site...
New Reports of Al-Qaida's Foreign Fighters Killed in Iraq -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Over the past two months, despite a tightening of security on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border, reports continue to stream out of Iraq and neighboring regions concerning foreign fighters recently killed in clashes between Al-Qaida and U.S. forces. Among those reports:
TERRORISM: LONDON BOMBS REPORTS UNLIKELY TO ATTRIBUTE BLAME -- (AKI)
London, 11 May (AKI) - The first of two reports into the July 2005 London bombings due for release on Thursday has concluded that there was a clear failure in intelligence but stopped short of blaming any particular agency or individual. The report by the House of Commons' intelligence and security Committee underlines the need for more coordination in tackling the home-grown terror threat, but avoids harsh criticism of the MI5 and MI6 intelligence services. It also indicates that a lack of resources influenced decisions that might have been able to prevent the attack which killed 56 people including the four suicide bombers and injured 700.
TERRORISM: 'AL-QAEDA CELL' BROKEN UP IN TURKEY -- (AKI)
Istanbul, 10 May (AKI) - A suspected al-Qaeda cell has been broken up and its members arrested in Turkey. Among those detained was Abdolhalim Sad, an Iranian, who the Turkish authorities believe is the new leader of the global terror network in Turkey. The cell was dismantled by the Turkish security forces who had been put on the trail by the American secret service, the CIA. The operation dates to two weeks ago but the news of the arrrest of Abdolhalim Sad and other members emerged only on Tuesday.
"IT IS HOT!! It is hard to think..." -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
You are receiving this email, because I have heard from many deployed troops this week, everyone has the same thing to say:
"IT IS HOT!! It is hard to think... "
I would like to get cool scarf to every hero on our list, THE TEMPERATURES IN IRAQ ARE WELL OVER 100 DEGREES, and will stay that way till September.
What is a "cool scarf"? The "cooling" comes from polymer crystals that hold many times their weight in water. By soaking the cooling scarf in cool water for 15 minutes, the crystals become "energized" and become a comfortable, portable evaporative cooler that can lower body temperature by several degrees.
Army genocide prevention unit? -- [Austin Bay]
Michael O’Hanlon raises the issue in today’s Washington Times.
What he’s doing is recasting the “peacekeeping brigades” concept from the early 1990s as “genocide prevention.” I wrote a War College sub-course paper in 1997 advocting the creation of two peacekeeping brigades. (I also wrote a paper advocating a pan-African peacekeeping unit– in other words, a trained and up-graded African Union standing force. That idea has been kicking around for at least two decades.) Thepeacekeeping units were MP and engineer-heavy, but had a strike capability. (Again, this is not a new idea.) However, during the era of military cutbacks the brass didn’t want to commit two brigades to a “special mission.” I argued that these brigades, in a conventional war, could serve as rear area security units (and I am not the only person who made that argument).
Is A Marine Always Just A Marine? -- [Subsunk - Blackfive]
...And then along comes a group of Women who teaches all us dinosaurs what Womanhood can achieve, changes our vision of the perfect Woman, and cements for their Sisters, a place alongside their Brothers in Arms. Which begs the question, when is a Marine more than Just a Marine?
The Life of the Oriskany -- [Opfor]
The USS Oriskany is going to be sunk to create a reef, the largest vessell ever to undertake such a mission. Here's some background...
Active-Duty Recruiting Tops Goals for 11th Straight Month -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2006 – All four services exceeded their active-duty recruiting goals in April for the 11th consecutive month and remain ahead of their year-to-date goals, defense officials announced today.
Guard, Reserve miss April recruiting goals -- (Army Times)
The Army National Guard and the Army Reserve missed their recruiting goals for April, while the active Army continued its string of successful recruiting, according to the Defense Department.
Army Using Policy To Deny Reserve Officer Resignations -- (Washington Post)...Ann Scott Tyson
The Army Reserve, taxed by recruiting shortfalls and war-zone duty, has adopted a policy barring officers from leaving the service if their field is undermanned or they have not been deployed to Iraq, to Afghanistan or for homeland defense missions.
General: Here's Why Reenlistment Is Low -- (Miami Herald)...Robert Burns, Associated Press
More than three years into the Iraq War, the Pentagon's method of calling up reservists remains ''fraught with friction'' and is a key reason why they decline to reenlist, a senior general said Wednesday.
National Guard Demands More Say -- (Boston Globe)...Bryan Bender
National Guard leaders yesterday demanded a greater voice in military decisions, contending that the nation's part-time soldiers are playing too crucial a role in Iraq, Afghanistan, and domestic emergencies to be relegated to their long-occupied backseat in Pentagon deliberations.
Military To Raise Pay For Extra Language Skills -- (Los Angeles Times)...Times Wire Reports
The Pentagon, faced with a critical shortage of foreign language expertise, said it would increase the money it pays troops who know a language other than English.
The UN Minister of Propaganda Wants a Promotion -- [Mediacrity]
The UN's Minister of Propaganda, Shashi Tharoor, has been all over the news lately as he pounds the pavement campaigning to succeed Kofi Annan as UN secretary general. That's right folks. The head of the UN's most bloated, inefficiently run bureaucracy, noted mainly for anti-Israel and sometimes anti-Semitic propaganda offerings, wants to run the whole shebang!
Don't Defund Troops For Pork -- (Washington Times)...Ed Feulner
Need proof of how pork-addicted Congress has become? Consider this: Some in the Senate are looking for ways to shift funds from the troops in Iraq to some of their favorite pet projects.
Cheney should look in the mirror -- (LA Times)
Criticism of the VP's tough talk for Russia.
Re "Cheney Has Harsh Words for Moscow," Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism of human rights abuses in Russia is deeply ironic because it is precisely this type of cruelty that makes possible the policy of rendition that the vice president favors for terrorism suspects. Cheney now has only to criticize war profiteering and sweetheart deals for companies closely connected to the Russian government to make his hypocrisy complete.
A 3rd President Bush? First 2 All for It -- (AP)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Could there be a third President Bush? The current chief said Wednesday that younger brother Jeb would make a great one, too, and has asked him about making a run. The first President Bush likes the idea as well....
House approves $70 billion tax cut bill -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Wednesday agreed to extend a tax break on investment income in a $70 billion tax cut package that Democrats said would mostly help the rich while deepening budget deficits.
NSA Has Massive Database Of Americans' Phone Calls -- (USA Today)...Leslie Cauley
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
We're losing in Iraq, Just like we lost in Vietnam -- [From My Position... On the way!]
Whilst driving Son & Heir to school today, I turned on Fox and Friends to check on the latest news. I was regaled for over half an hour on the prospects of Roseanne Barr joining the cast of the “View,” but at the cost of Starr Jones’ dismissal. They then went on to discuss Starr’s poor hospitality, with anecdotal evidence of a party she threw where she prohibited the guests from using her bathrooms. Instead she opted for renting a portashitter, and forced her “guests” to use that instead. (At that point, anyone with an inkling of self-respect or self esteem would have told her what she could do with the plastic box, and left. I suspect that instead,
It's Not An Eavesdropping Program -- [Media Blog]
USA Today reports that the NSA has engaged in some serious data mining since 9/11 in an effort to locate patterns that could indicate communication among terrorist cells:
The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.
While the editors have packaged this story as a major exposé on the Bush administration complete with a sidebar full of gotcha quotes, the article itself takes a more measured tone....
CBS’s Anthony Mason Wrongly Declares National Debt Declined Under Clinton -- [NewsBusters]
In another example of journalists saying whatever they want whenever they want without regard to accuracy, CBS’s Anthony Mason on Wednesday’s “Evening News” declared erroneously that America’s debt declined during the Clinton years (video link to follow). Certainly, this is a myth that has been purported by the media since Clinton left office…but nothing could be further from the truth...
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. No, what the troops had going for them was a more convincing reality. Unlike the six generals, many of the Internet troops were in Iraq, or had recently been there. Their opinions were not as eloquent as those of the generals, but they were also more convincing
Proxy Settings -- [SapperSgt - in Iraq]
...I'm moving on to http://castrorum.blogspot.com/
Again, I do not know whether this blockage is inadvertent or whether the Army is seriously trying to shut down Milbloggers.
In either case, I simply cannot address the problem at the level it needs to be addressed at. Some of you might be able to. Point your local left-of-center anti-war media types at this journal entry.
And then I grabbed the SecDef by the collar…er, the tie…
Hugh Hewitt interviewed Donald Rumsfeld, then I came on.
Key SecDef quote:
DR: I don’t know how to answer that. First of all, the truth is,...
My reply (in the middle of a conversation with Hugh):
AB: Well look, they don’t. And Rumsfeld, to some degree, heck, I’m going to say it. Bless his heart, he comes out and tells us that he’s working 13 hours a day, and 12 hours and three quarters, twelve hours and forty-five minutes a day, he’s just doing things, and he’s not thinking about the message. I would come back in, if I was working for him, I’d reach over and grab him by the tie, and say hey, big Don, this is the strategic issue you need to be sitting on every minute of the day, and that is fighting this strategic information battle...
Conclusion: Changes and After-Effects -- [Dadmanly]
Part 1: A Disclaimer
...As I said, prior to redeployment, I would have said, get the word out about what it was like. Talk about what it’s lie being home. Be honest, open, help spread the word. Help each other who went over, and help those there now and those who will rotate in the months ahead. If it was nasty, talk about the nasty. If it was dangerous, talk about the danger and how you confront it, protect against it, and persevere. If it was stupid, talk about the stupid stuff so maybe others can have it better. If you lost something while you were there, if your mind and heart and feelings and attitudes changed, let people know.
That’s the MILBLOGGER way, right?
The Brothers of Echo Troop, 108th Cavalry -- [Blackfive]
A great letter from Mr. Robert Stokely about the homecoming of E Troop, 108th Cavalry (GA National Guard).
We All Lost A Brother Today:
Hooked up on your blog and post above through Thunderrun. If possible, I would like to have my condolences conveyed to the family of Capt. Letendre and his friend, Jason. The loss of a soldier is tough – I know from personal experience, although not as a combat veteran. I so much appreciate Jason’s letter and the expression of feelings he gave.
Taking Chance Part II -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
This is part two of a two-part post. Part one is LtCol Mike Strobl’s story about Chance Phelps, part two is news of how this warrior will be remembered by Marines for generations to come.
Sorry, been very busy working on a project, will tell you all about it soon.
At Iraq the Model Omar wants to know about a battle in a nearby neighborhood, but is receiving two conflicting reports from the media. He looks to local bloggers to reveal the truth.
Jeff at "Midnight in Iraq" shares some Musings on Fallujah following a visit there.
CENTCOM reports Coalition Forces Discover Key AQIZ Documents during April raid
From Iraq, Trevor at "The Will to Exist" says that for ordinary Iraqis who live in Baghdad, the city seems pretty dark these days
Bill Roggio will be heading to Kandahar, Afghanistan, next week and will embed with the Canadian Army He'll spend about three weeks in country.
Dan at "Afghan Dan" describes what our Marines are going through to hunt for the bad guys in the Mountains of Kunar
Global Terroralert has an interview with the founder of Al-Qaida's Omar Corps (and lots more).
Tanker Brothers says Something Smells Fishy On The Border!
Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho, is auctioning off a beautiful painting, just in time for Mothers Day.
And let's welcome home Specialist Bryant Jacobs of B Company, 66th Engineer Battalion. Sgt Hook tells us SPC Jacobs was a little late returning home from Iraq and why.
WAGGING THE DOGMA -- [American Citizen Soldierm - in Iraq]
As the second highest ranking officer attached to our company, as well as the liaison between our platoons on the ground and the needs of the Iraqi people in our sector, Captain John Turner is in a unique position to offer his perspective on the Iraq War in general, the situation here in Mosul, and what the American public should know about their soldiers serving overseas.
Charlie Kilo, part one -- [Fun With Hand Grenades - in Iraq]
...When we got to the part of town where they had been blown up we hastily assembled a security perimeter, merging ourselves with the trucks still there. The dismounts from the group that got blown up were all behind their Humvees and facing outward as they had taken small arms fire only moments before we arrived. I immediately got out of my truck and positioned myself somewhat behind the Humvee with my SAW facing down an alley. Click! Safety off.
Iraq Pictures - 07 May 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
Iraqi soldiers joke around with their Marine advisor, Capt. Jonathan Bonar, before stepping off on a patrol though the town of Habbaniyah. Marines like Bonar are assigned to Military Transition Teams, or MiTTs, and are responsible for advising and training Iraqi soldiers who they live and operate with. A typical MiTT has 10-15 U.S. service members deployed for a year and are part of the U.S. effort to create an independent Iraqi army
...Iraqi children watch soldiers from the 1st Division of the Iraqi Army patrol the streets of Habbaniyah. Patrols like this have become commonplace throughout the Al Anbar province as Iraqi soldiers work towards independent operations without U.S. assistnce. "The Iraqi soldiers are 20 times better than when we first started working with them in January,"
Iraqi Security Forces -- [Strategy Page]
May 8, 2006: The Iraqi security forces (army and police) currently have 253,000 people trained, equipped and on the job. In addition to taking care of all the police work, over two thirds of the large scale (company size and up) security operations are now carried out by Iraqis, or Iraqis working with coalition forces. By the end of the year, the Iraqi security forces are expected to reach their full strength of 325,000.
Breaking Down Walls -- [T.F. Boggs]
... I have met numerous local civilians in my area who are more concerned with getting rid of the terrorists in their neighborhoods then they are with their own safety. Each time they give us information to the whereabouts and activities of terrorists in our area they risk not only their lives but also the lives of their family. I work in an area where the IA are locally born and raised and the civilians do what they can to help the Americans root out the bad guys, and all of this in a Sunni town.
Humiliation -- [Strategy Page]
May 8, 2006: Over the weekend, another half dozen bombs went off in central Iraq. For a country larger than Texas, with a population of some 24 million, that's not enough mayhem to change anything. It keeps the foreign journalists happy, but the local reporters are more concerned with the street crime and corrupt government officials. American soldiers are seen less frequently on the street, many having moved from camps in the cities, to ones outside.
Zarqawi Video -- [Marketing in Iraq? - in Iraq]
...what probably didn't make the nightly news the other day was General Lynch discussing the new Iraqi Ground Forces Command Joint Operations Center. This is great news as it means the Iraqi commanders are getting closer to taking control of operations all across Iraq. Each day that gets closer is another day closer to us all coming home. Here's a quote from General Lynch about the new facility.
Taji Trip -- [Murphy Around The World - in Iraq]
...There’s lots of Iraqi’s on Taji. It’s a warehouse facility which we visit often. We work side by side with them but we’re starting to struggle. Some of them just up and quit when they want to and usually its payday. There’s no contract to stay in like our military so when they decide to leave, they just...leave. It’s being addressed on the American side at a pretty high level. It’s hard to train them and then see them take off. We’ve also run into problems (nationwide) where soldiers/police leave because they don’t feel any nationalism to fight in a province they don't live in. Then, they resurface next month enlisting in their home town units. It’s an issue.
In the Crosshairs with Uncle Jimbo- Atwar Bahjat's Killers -- [Uncle Jimbo TV]
Episode 2 deals with the slaughter of Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat,who her killers are, and what the rest of the Sunnis are going...
British Copter Downed, Iraqis Cheer -- [The Jawa Report]
A British military helicopter crashed in the predominately Shia city of Basra today. Reports from the crash indicate Iraqi cheered the helicopter crash and threw stones at British troops who arrived at the scene.
Rituals and Good Luck Charms -- [a mobilized year - in Iraq]
I mentioned in an earlier post that I have one crew that always sings the theme to The Greatest American Hero before heading out on a leg of a mission. I've been asked on a number of occasions whether other crews/soldiers have superstitious rituals that they adhere to. Somewhat surprisingly,
Dust Storm -- [Dave's Not Here - in Iraq] AWESOME PHOTOS!
Last year there were a vast quantity of photos of a wall of sand overtaking the airbase at Al-Asad. I was always glad that nothing even close to that had hit me here in Iraq.....at least until today.
I walked out of a briefing a few moments ago here at Camp Taji and bore witness to the imposing site of a huge wall of sand.
Targeted Killings Surge in Baghdad -- (LA Times)
BAGHDAD — More Iraqi civilians were killed in Baghdad during the first three months of this year than at any time since the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime — at least 3,800, many of them found hogtied and shot execution-style.
Amid Iraq Violence, Kurds Unify Their Government -- (Los Angeles Times)...Borzou Daragahi and James Rainey
...Also Sunday, Army Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli toured two of the 258 forts the United States has helped establish along the Iraqi border to prevent insurgents from crossing into the country. Speaking at the isolated Ft. Karamashia on the eastern frontier with Iran, Chiarelli said Iraqi border police were getting "better and better every single day" at patrolling the region.
Decentralize, Don't Divide -- (USA Today)...Joseph Biden
President Bush does not have a strategy for victory in Iraq. His strategy is to prevent defeat and to hand the problem off to his successor. Meanwhile, the frustration of Americans is mounting so fast that Congress might end up mandating a rapid withdrawal, even at the risk of trading a dictator for chaos.
A Realistic Idealism -- (Washington Post)...Madeleine K. Albright
There's a right way to support democracy in the Mideast.
...Bush has said that America "has a calling from beyond the stars" to proclaim liberty throughout the world. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice argues that the democratic transformation of the Middle East is the only way to guarantee that men do not fly airplanes into buildings. Such rhetoric is overblown. Just because the denial of political freedom is bad, that doesn't mean that the exercise of freedom will always be to our liking. Democracy is a form of government; it is not a ticket to some heavenly kingdom where all evil is vanquished and everyone agrees with us.
Mobs Cheer British Deaths As Basra Slips Out Of Control -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Oliver Poole
...But one thing is already clear: Basra is slipping out of the control of British forces.
Reservists Leave Iraq Legacy -- (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)...Gregg K. Kakesako
When 150 Pacific Army reservists depart from Iraq around Mother's Day, they will leave behind 5,000 wheelchairs but take with them a sense of accomplishment after a spending a year working with Iraqi government agencies and civilians.
Western Afghanistan -- [Rahilla Live From a Free Kabul- an Afghani in Afghanistan]
Families waiting in a clinic in that never existed a few months back
10 US Soldiers Killed in Copter Crash -- (Washington Post)...JASON STRAZIUSO.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Ten US soldiers died when their helicopter crashed during combat operations aimed at flushing ...
Afghan Women Start Businesses, Help Reconstruct A Torn Nation -- (Christian Science Monitor)...David Montero
Some 10,000 women have been trained as entrepreneurs, some of whom are now economically self-sufficient.
Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran Fights for Regeim Change -- [EAST OF KURDISTAN]
London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Regime change in Iran is necessary for the Kurds to obtain their rights, according to the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran.
The Kurdish opposition group, led by Mustapha Hedjri, has intensified its activities in recent months, as Tehran is increasingly under international pressure because of its nuclear program.
As part of its campaign against the Iranian regime, officials visited European capitals last week, including London, where they sought to publicize their concerns.
"Possible Darfur deal brings new hope"HOPE FOR DARFUR? -- [Smash]
Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region appears to be near a peace deal to end three years of violence that has exacerbated what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, officials said Friday.
Don't believe a word of it. The war in Darfur is a clash of religions, races, and cultures that isn't going to end just because some people signed a piece of paper in Khartoum.
Egypt arrests a prominent blogger -- [TigerHawk]
Egypt has apparently arrested, Alaa, one of its most prominent Arabic bloggers, in connection with the ongoing struggle in that country over the independence of the judiciary. Haitham Sabbah has the story and the context, and the Sandmonkey has more, with a picture of Alaa.
The Grand Mosque -- [The Desert Cheif - in Kuwait]
A little cultural update is in store with this blog post. Recently, we went on an MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) trip. They load 25 of us on a bus, and take us somewhere usually fun or interesting. When I first got here to Kuwait, we were not allowed to ever go into a Mosque, walk near one, or stare at it. Well.....they changed the rules and took us on a trip to the Kuwaiti Grand Mosque. It's the 5th largest Mosque in the world, and will hold about 14,000 at one time inside, and 45,000 - 50,000 on the entire grounds (inside/outside). It was truly beautiful and the pictures don't do it justice.
Soldier's Parents Outraged at Violence Against Troops -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
At least one segment of Korean society has had enough of the violence in Pyeongtaek over the Camp Humphreys expansion:
Why Has US Manufactured a Crisis Over Iran? -- [Arab News / the Guardian]
Tariq Ali, The Guardian | Till now, what has prevented the crisis in Iraq from becoming a total debacle for the United States has been the open collaboration of th...
She's Fled Both Koreas, and Controversy Has Followed -- (LA Times)
...What might have been just another spat between a prima donna and her manager has turned into a diplomatic incident that could strain relations between the United States and South Korea, one of its closest allies.
The Inside Story of Al-Qaida's First Terrorist Training Camp in Iraq -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Evan Kohlmann]
In April 2006, credible representatives of mujahideen fighting in Iraq released a 2-hour audiotape recorded by an individual identifying himself as “Abu Mohammed al-Salmani.” The purpose of the audiotape was to document the early history of Al-Qaida’s movement in Iraq now headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Among the most interesting excerpts:
Terror networks -- [Peace like a River]
In his book Understanding Terror Networks, Marc Sagemen argues that the global jihad can be explained as arising out of social networks, and not as a movement spun purely out of ideology
Bin Laden Pamphlet Urges Assassination Of Musharraf -- (Houston Cronicle)...AP
A pamphlet purportedly from Osama bin Laden circulated among border tribesmen Sunday, saying the al-Qaida chief was praying for the assassination of Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, and calling him a "slave" of President Bush.
Out Of The Mouth Of Terrorists -- (World News)
It serves as a reminder of the 1954 CIA overthrow of a democratically elected government. On the outskirts of Guatemala City, there stands a small home that ...
Operation Comfort, a sister soldier support organization is holding a golf tournament from 1100-2100 hours, 22 May 2006 at the Fair Oaks Golf Course on May 22nd. All proceeds will be used to support the Disabled Sports programs for service members and a guest to learn or adapt to a sport they have enjoyed. This includes water/snow skiing, ice hockey, biking, basketball and many others. Operation Comfort is looking for sponsors to assist funding the travel and equipment for our disabled heroes to get back into the sports they so dearly love. Corporate sponsorships, in any amount can be made to buy adaptive equipment or you can purchase a round of golf and dinner for a soldier/marine/airman/sailor for $125
TEE IT UP FOR THE TROOPS -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
May 22, 2006 “TEE IT UP FOR THE TROOPS” a golf fundraiser will be held at the Fair Oakes Country Club in San Antonio, Texas. The proceeds will be donated to Operation Comfort. We are speaking with several companies in San Antonio who have expressed an interest in sponsoring our golf tournament.
Marine Mom Fights for Right to Fly Marine Flag -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
More news on this story about Soldiers' Angel and Marine Mom Cathy Andreacchio's ongoing disagreement with the Pine Crest community board.
Marine Mom Fights for Right to Fly Marine Flag - Update -- [Soldiers' Angel Germany]
In the following open letter, Cathy and her Fiance Michael De Vita are appealing to fellow Pine Crest Community residents to voice their opinions.
In the meanwhile, they will continue to pay a $50 fine each month for flying the American flag with the Marine Corps emblem which ...
Our Angel Lori is working with the Ladies from THE MARVIN,CT. -- [Soldiers' Angel Germany]
Here read her e-mail
"...I have about 20 ladies from age 68 to 91 making blankets for soldiers. I brought 25 blankets directly to the VA hospital here... I know a lot of the vets that go to the center there. One of my ladies (who is now 89) has been making blankets for soldiers since WWII!! She's very excited to be part of this process. I have been finding my ladies sneaking up to the "fleece room" and making blankets all night long!
Mayor In Marine's Money Case Says He's Getting Death Threats -- (The Dever Channel) HT: [The C-Square]
American Military Deserters and Jack -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canaian Troops]
Toronto Star ~ American deserters dodging military duty in Iraq share Canadian values and should be welcomed in this country, NDP Leader Jack Layton says. (Jack Layton is the leader of the socialist New Democratic Party, which holds a small number of seats in the Canadian Parliament)
Any freedom loving person, any libertarian, and any “thinker”, ought to be deeply offended by Jack Layton’s comments; and this includes members of the “progressive” class.
Watch out for the "conmando" -- [In Training]
Humble kitchen worker told lover: I've killed 40 terrorists
Apparently this 24 year-old guy, Graham Eckerman, runs around scamming people by telling them he's in the Special Boat Squadron (SBS). He told people he's killed 40 terrorists, and four women, and he's received the Victoria Cross, (Britain's highest military honor) among other things.
One of the girls started getting suspicious after he told her he had been on a "secret mission to steal a file about Afghanistan and a daring escape from the U.S. Secret Service." He also told her that he'd spent 2 weeks in military prison for "ambushing U.S. Marines on their boat and tying them up as a practical joke."
Sailors, Airmen Land New Role -- (USA Today)...Tom Vanden Brook
The Navy and Air Force are training their sailors and airmen for war duty far from the seas or skies: jobs typically performed by a strained Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
...Andrew Krepinevich, a military analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, counters: "If the Army wasn't having recruiting challenges and exceeding rotation rates, we wouldn't be having this discussion."
Krepinevich authored a Pentagon-sponsored report earlier this year that found extended deployments were straining the military.
Frederick Kagan, a military historian at the American Enterprise Institute, says training sailors and airmen to do the jobs of seasoned soldiers is "what you do only when you're desperate."
Guard Faces Phase-Out Of Combat Role -- (Los Angeles Times)...Julian E. Barnes
National Guard troops in Iraq, which once constituted half the Army's fighting force, have been dramatically reduced and could be largely phased out of major combat responsibilities next year as military officials debate their performance and what role they should play in future conflicts.
Patriotism, Money Draw Recruits -- (Reuters)
The Iraq war has made it tougher to sign up young men and women for the all-volunteer U.S. military, but a group of new recruits said they were drawn by a sense of duty, a chance for adventure, career training and college tuition benefits.
Goss Out, Hayden In -- [Periscope Journal]
People are expressing concern over the possibility that Air Force General Michael Hayden will become the next CIA director replacing the departed Porter Goss. The fear is that Hayden, as a General, will direct a civilian agency. Politicians are jumping into the fray and when Hayden is nominated he will go through a bruising process.
My concern is with ability. The last member of the Armed Services to head the CIA was a disaster. Stansfield Turner was Jimmy Carter's choice ...
Cocky Republicans welcome Judicial fight, but is this what they REALLY want? -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
Start playing “Taps” now. Not for the Democrats, but for the cocky Republicans if they actually believe this is going to work…
It appears the Republicans have become convinced that they will be able to win back the hearts and minds of the moderate voters, and prevent them for voting for Democrats in 2006 and 2008 by attempting to push through a couple of far right-wing extremists and GOP activists for seats on the Federal Appeals Court, while invoking the “nuclear option” to destroy the fillibustering of Judges.
Local Dem Looks To Throw Whites Out Of Office -- [Expose the Left]
Ike Brown is a legend in Mississippi politics, a fast-talking operative both loved and hated for his ability to turn out black voters and get his candidates into office.
That success has also landed him at the heart of a federal lawsuit that’s about to turn the Voting Rights Act on its end.
My question is why some news outlets are calling this “reverse racism”? Isn’t racism, racism?
Sign The Petition To Save Mt. Soledad Cross -- [Stop the ACLU]
Help the ACLJ stop the ACLU from re-writting our history.
Rove Is Using Threat of Loss to Stir Republicans -- (NY Times)
WASHINGTON, May 5 — To anyone who doubts the stakes for the White House in this year's midterm Congressional elections, consider that Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, the Democrat who would become chairman of the Judiciary Committee if his party recaptured the House, has called for an inquiry into the possible impeachment of President Bush over the war in Iraq.
The News -- [Bandit.three.six - in Iraq]
Recently I read an article that a journalist wrote who had just arrived in the Zone and I can only assume he was still gritting his teeth and holding his camera in a death grip, waiting for the first explosion. The whole article is sublty critical of us Americans here in the Zone, but I get the feeling that once this guy spends a couple months in and around Baghdad and other US bases that his perspective will change. If he ever works up the intestinal fortitude to step outside the protection of those he's criticizing I can guarantee you that he'll appreciate karaoke night poolside. Anyway, read the article, if you can avoid his interpretation of the situation and focus on the situation it's still an interesting account of the place where I live.
Media Mismanagement -- [Bandit.three.six - in Iraq]
Given the nature of the Green Zone and the city surrounding it, most journalists rarely travel outside the wire and as a result they're only exposed to this small patch of "Little America" and they never get to figure out why things are the way they are inside the wire. This journalist in particular talks about State Department people who serve 3 month tours and compares it to people like me in the military who server 1 year tours. My question to this guy is, how long do you plan to stay and where do you plan to go?
The people who make the best "war correspondents" are those who have served in the military because they have a better understanding for what it is that a Soldier faces on a daily basis.
The price of war -- [Media Lies]
Recently I interviewed Lisa Ramaci, Steven's widow, to find out how the Steven Vincent Foundation was progressing. Lisa started the foundation to honor Steven's memory, to provide aid and comfort to families of slain journalists and others who lost their lives because they tried to bring us the news and to assist women standing up for their rights while living in countries where shariah law makes them second class citizens.
....If Steven could tell the American people one thing about Iraq, what do you think he would say?
I THINK HE WOULD ASK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NOT TO GIVE UP ON IRAQ. BIRTH IS ALWAYS A PAINFUL AND BLOODY PROCESS, BE IT A CHILD OR A DEMOCRACY, BUT HOPEFULLY WHAT IS BORN WILL TURN OUT TO BE A VALUABLE AND WORTHWHILE ADDITION TO THE WORLD FAMILY.
Moktada vs. Moktada -- [IraqPundit - an Iraqi in exile]
...Now comes the Newsweek "interview." I don't know what Newsweek's idea of an interview is, but mine involves a journalist talking to an interviewee. One asks questions, and the other answers them. Is that how the Moktada "interview"
happened? Not exactly.
According to the magazine, “Newsweek requested an interview with Sadr several weeks ago and gave him a list of questions. Last week he provided an eight-page response, typed in Arabic.” I don't know what role Newsweek believes Moktada played in providing these answers, but I doubt he ever heard of either the questions or "his" answers.
There's virtually no substance to any of the answers. However, Newsweek has further validated Moktada's apparent importance merely by printing them,....
Who's Crazy Now? -- (New York Times)...Paul Krugman
...Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left — which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe — the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences. And we can safely predict that these people will never concede that they were wrong. When the Iraq venture comes to a bad end, they won't blame those who led us into the quagmire; they'll claim that it was all the fault of the liberal media, which stabbed our troops in the back.
What It Will Take To Win -- (New York Daily News)...Mortimer B. Zuckerman
...Some blame the media for failing to cover the “good news” in Iraq and focusing instead on the bad. That is rich when one considers how the media accepted the script for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and its alleged ties to Al Qaeda, both of which proved without foundation. But we are clearly in a war of media images.
A Comedian's Riff on Bush Prompts an E-Spat -- (NY Times)...NOAM COHEN
...On Wednesday, C-Span, the nonprofit network that first showed Mr. Colbert's speech, wrote letters to the video sites YouTube.com and ifilm.com, demanding that the clips of the speech be taken off their Web sites. The action was a first for C-Span, whose prime-time schedule tends to feature events like Congressional hearings on auto fuel-economy standards.
Gone, But Not Out -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
In reality, A Soldier’s Perspective is taking a new direction. In the tradition set by No End But Victory, I am transforming the ASP site into a multi-soldier, multi-marine forum. Are you a soldier or marine who would like to start a blog but just don’t have the time to maintain a full-time blog? Was your blog shut down by Big Brother and you still need an outlet that can’t be shut down? Why was your Big Brother deployed with you to begin with? Are you still wetting your cot? If so, this is the place to talk about it.
The War Tapes Wins Best International Documentary Feature! -- [The War Tapes]
The War Tapes wins the international documentary feature competition at Tribeca!!! This is such an incredible honor for the filmmakers and the soldiers with cameras, and so well deserved -- taking a beautiful, simple idea (giving the soldiers cameras) and through hundreds of thousands of hours, crafting something extraordinary.
Young Marine -- [Sgt Hook]
I had the distinct pleasure and honor of attending a graduation ceremony for the local Young Marines recruit platoon this morning and though I was in uniform, I was not there as a guest speaker, or VIP; I was in attendance as a dad (a damned proud dad at that).
Back Soon -- [Michael Totten]
Sorry for disappearing with no notice. My wife and I went to the beach on a very long weekend for our anniversary. We sort of got cheated on our last one (due to work and life) so we're making up for it this year.
Wounded Soldier Receives Hero's Welcome Home -- (KSDK)
Army Private James Bright returned home Friday evening to Breese, Illinois. Bright was wounded in Iraq last month when he was sprayed with shrapnel.
Jason will be home.... -- [I love My Soldier - husband back from Iraq]
Well Jason is BACK in the USA! Not home with me yet (but at the base in another state where they will be demobilized)...but he will be home with me very soon. YEAH (doing a dance). Jason and three other soliders got to come back Advanced Party. The rest of the unit arrives the frist of next week. They should be heading HOME hopefully next weekend!!!!!
The last American survivor of the "Titanic" dies at 99 -- [TigerHawk]
Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, has died, a funeral home said Sunday. She was 99.
Iraqi command and control center opens doors amidst turnover of new territory -- [Multi-National Force Iraq ]
BAGHDAD , Iraq (May 4, 2004)– A state-of-the-art command and control center -- the first of its kind for the Iraqi Army -- officially opened May 3 during a ceremony at the Iraqi Ground Forces Command headquarters at Camp Victory.
Community celebrates renovation of school -- [Multi-National Force Iraq ]
IA, MND-B Soldiers provide school supplies to children
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Soldiers from the Iraqi army and Multi-National Division – Baghdad surprised between 400-500 children of Al Hudaybiya Elementary School April 23 with free school supplies during a celebration to mark the completion of the school’s renovations in Bakaria, within the Gazaliyah neighborhood, located southwest of Baghdad.
Two Notes From Iraq -- [OPFOR - Maj P]
The first, from an Army friend of mine in Baghdad, edited for content.
"Saturday, our convoy platoon had to go back to the area where they got hit so hard a month or so ago and lost one soldier and three others wounded. Here's the story.
"The convoy platoon went back to the same area on Saturday on another mission. They have been hit every single time they have traveled that stretch of road, most times within one five mile stretch. It is a significant event when they have to go down there, and you can feel the apprehension in the air around our HQ the day or so before they roll out.
Livin La Vida Caliente -- [Pass the Brass - in Iraq]
If there is one thing in Irak that I have decided to “do this” for…it’s the children. Granted it’s a two sided coin here, but there is a pretty large majority of the one’s that I like.
As you drive around Bag-dad, Irak, you see some of the most beautiful children ever. And one of the most beuatiful aspects I’ve noticed of the Iraki’s is they have some of the coolest eyes ever.*picture to be posted when available.
But as you drive around, especially through the ghettos, you notice that there is a kind of class system going on. There are three classes. There are the well mannered children, those who just watch you go by and wave to you. There are the beggars, who come running out to the curbside to call out for chocolate, or anything else you want to give them. And then there are the hostiles…the one’s who throw rocks or just give you the bird as you drive by.
...In short…it’s the beautiful children in Irak that give me reason to better this place…to secure a future for them.
ITALIAN COMMUNIST GROUPS HELPED KILL ITALIAN SOLDIERS -- [Publius Pundit]
Italian communist groups helped kill 3 Italian soldiers in Nassirya I reported about here. An article on L’Opinione reports (in Italian) that anti-globalization and communist groups based in Italy, among which is the infamous “anti-imperialist camp” (that collecting “Euros for the Iraqi resistance”) coordinated with Islamic terrorists in Iraq to attack our troops in Nassiryiah. The Italian intelligence heard phone conversations in which the red fundamentalists instructed the Islamists about how and when to kill our soldiers. It seems that the attack was organized in order to pressure Mr. Prodi to speed the pullout from Iraq.
Declaring War on the Sound Bite Insurgency -- [Serving the People of Iraq and Iran - in Iraq]
Summary: Our sound-bite society believes anything it sees or hears in short-length bursts. Some Americans are so sure that ‘sound-bite equals reality’ that when confronted with the much-more detailed truth they are not sure how to react. Maybe they get it from the French. Nothing illustrates more clearly the strategic success of the Sound Bite Insurgency than what does not get reported about Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hot Hot Heat!!! -- [Combat Medic In Iraq - in Iraq]
I have acquired a new job here, work as a medic with a different company. Going to miss some of the guys I worked with prior, been with most of them for over two years, but...life is good now! :) Stuff keeps coming for the Iraqi Police and I can't thank ya'll enough. A big thanks to some special folks in California, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon...you guys are great! We are still looking forward to some well deserved down time once we get back to Alaska. I never thought I'd be happy to go back to Alaska, but it's going to be great. Most of us are getting out within a year of our return to the States and are excited to get into school or whatever calls us. I myself am ready to be a regular twenty year old with normal responsibilities and a normal life.
Victory, Diwaniyah, and Kalsu -- [Dan in the Desert - contractor in Iraq]
...Getting to Diwaniyah, I had to catch a ride out of Baghdad with a local PSD (Private Security Detail). They drove me to Camp Victory (next to Baghdad Airport), and we stayed there for a night.
I felt so strange, because this was exactly where I slept almost two years ago, when I first arrived in Baghdad. I had some time to walk around and see how the camp has changed.
Buried in CNN; This Little Gem -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian Troops]
I occasionally go to CNN.com to get my dose of “progressive” news. I was going through the standard list of Iraq “bad news”, where bulleted lists of the latest bombings, killings, and American public negativity gushed from the pages. Then, buried deep inside the CNN site I came across the following gem. It’s the bio of Iraq’s youngest general, a Kurd, who exemplifies the new Iraqi army. I was reminded about the “progressive” MSM boilerplate, that even to this day charges that Saddam’s army should’ve been left intact, and that the building of the new Iraqi army is taking much to long. (as if journalists and leftist elite know anything about building an effective armed force) The bio of this Kurd general, to say the least, give one hope in the new Iraq....
1st Iraqi to Graduate Army's Ranger School -- [Houston Chronicle]
FORT BENNING, Ga. - A former lieutenant in Saddam Hussein's army on Friday will become the first Iraqi to graduate from the Army's Ranger School, a 61-day training ordeal that pushes soldiers to their...
Saddam's 'Blessed July' -- (Washington Times)...Joel Mowbray
Media ignore Iraqi terror planning
Ask even news-savvy Americans what they know about Saddam Hussein's plans to deploy suicide bombers against the West, and the most common response will be blank stares. Ditto for asking about how Saddam's thugs trained thousands of terrorists from around the Arab world, right up through 2002.
Both stunning revelations surfaced recently, one in congressional testimony last month and the other in the current issue of Foreign Affairs magazine. The Pentagon has known about these items on Saddam's terrorist agenda since the end of 2003, which is when it received the after-action analysis report it had commissioned.
Danish Troops To Stay In Iraq -- (Washington Times)...David R. Sands
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said yesterday that the furor over cartoons of the prophet Muhammad had "strengthened our resolve for the long haul" and that Danish troops would remain in Iraq.
U.S. Tells Of Iraq Insurgents' New Tactics -- (Los Angeles Times)...Borzou Daragahi
The U.S. military on Thursday revealed parts of a memo attributed to Al Qaeda in Iraq that outlines plans to ignite sectarian war by targeting Shiite Muslims and to shift the battle toward the capital and religiously mixed parts of the country.
Iraqi Kurds Caught Between Rebels, Foreign Forces -- (Reuters)
Skip to next paragraph RAZAGA, Iraq (Reuters) - Kurdish villagers are fleeing their homes in northern Iraq after shelling and incursions by Iranian forces and a massive build-up of Turkish troops as both militaries move to crush separatist guerrillas.
Body Armor Inserts Provide Extra Safety -- (Stars and Stripes)
Several months after a military study found U.S. Marine Corps deaths in Iraq could be reduced by wearing side inserts in body armor, all Marines in Anbar province have been issued the gear. More
Baghdad Morgue Struggles To Cope With Flow Of Bodies -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Oliver Poole
The month after the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra was the bloodiest in Baghdad's modern history, with 1,294 bodies arriving at the city's morgue.
News of Afghanistan V -- [Miserable Donuts]
Fruit trumps poppy?
We often hear what the Western nations of the Coaliton have to say about operations - here's an Afghan...
Camp Bastion -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
On Camp Bastion, I walked outside and there it was: a tremendous dust storm boiling from the South. The storm brought at least two bolts of lightning and much cool air, followed by a hard, blowing rain. The dust turned to mud. The sky cleared. The air was nearly still. But off to the West, there it was again: a different dust storm rolling in, this one at a 90 degree angle from the first storm.
Bridge construction project moves forward in Kunar Province -- [Centcom]
JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces and Afghan contractors continued the early stages of work May 3 on a permanent bridge over the Pech River.
Coalition forces encountered water levels more than seven feet deep during previous attempts to maneuver across the river. The 397th Engineer Battalion, part of Task Force Spartan, was called to provide support.
Tattletaling on the Taliban -- [Kabul Blog - ex-pat in Afghanistan]
I'm going to stay after class and tell Ms. Condi that the Taliban, espcially with their more recent changes in operational style, are...umm...terrorists by any (of the many) standards the current administration has employed. They've killed civilians for political purposes.
The Surayanarayana Saga: Curiouser by the Day -- ['safrang' - Afghanistan currently studying in the US]
The Surayanarayana Saga is finding newer twists. It is usually not a good sign when stories like this find a life of their own, and I am getting suspicious that there is more to it than we know. It was not good to begin with. It was tragic, shameful, and barbaric how this Indian telecom worker was held hostage and later beheaded on the highway between Kabul and Kandahar- Taliban remnants claimed responsibility.
Sand, Sunburn, lots of flying time, the biggest hornet you've EVER seen and a camel train... -- [Chris' Blog - in Afghanistan]
How's that for a title?
Past couple days have flown by. That's what you get when you flying in a helicopter all day visiting all the forward operating bases (FOBs) that are pretty much on the cutting edge of freedom. But, according to the subjects above, we'll start with the sand.....
AFGHANISTAN: WANTED AFGHAN WARLORD RELEASES VIDEO ON AL JAZEERA -- (AKI)
Kabul, 4 May (AKI) - The Afghan warlord whom the US has labelled a wanted global terrorist, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, has released a video that aired Thursday on the Arabic satellite TV channel Al Jazeera. The video contains the familiar rhetoric against the West, also used on other videos also recently released Al Jazeera by al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musad al-Zarqawi. The only difference in Hekmatyar's video appears to be the poor...
Afghan Warlord Pledges to Back Bin Laden -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan warlord wanted by the United States declared his support Thursday for Osama bin Laden, a pledge security experts say will increase the threat against U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces.
Britain Takes NATO Command as Afghanistan Mission Grows -- (New York Times)
Britain will manage the force's expansion into the turbulent south of Afghanistan over the coming months.
George Clooney's Darfur Dilemmas -- [Strategy Page - Austin Bay]
Discussion Board on this On Point topic
Note to actor, celebrity dissident and bon vivant George Clooney: Don't get a moral high from the puff-piece media's bravura reviews of your soliloquy at last week's "Save Darfur" rally in Washington. Your international education remains grievously inadequate and incomplete.
A glitterati actor advocating military action in a very hard and chaotic corner of our planet should consider the following details.
A "Cinco de Mayo gift" from Rurik -- [A Small Town Veteran]
Professional author George "Rurik" Mellinger, a fellow Viet Nam vet (a Combat Engineer, which is not irrelevant here) who stopped just short of a PhD in Russian and Mideastern History after the war, has been kind enough to send me a "Cinco de Mayo gift" in the form of a two-part essay on the illegal immigration aliens situation. Please read What To Do - Part I - The Wall and What To Do - Part II - Behind the Wall. I'll update this post with some thoughts of my own on his essay in a little bit, but for now I'll quote a piece of an email he sent while I was preparing his essay for posting
Pressure on Iran Mounts from Multiple Fronts -- [Threats Watch]
The West Drives for Sanctions and Iranian Opposition Groups Take Aim as Shah’s Son Plans Coup
It is expected today that Britain, France, Germany and the US will address the UN Security Council regarding the path of addressing the Iranian nuclear crisis. With the Iranian regime in their crosshairs, their scope is sighted on firm sanctions against the mullah-run theocracy for their obstinacy in dealing with the international community’s concerns via the IAEA.
SUDAN: DARFUR TALKS ON BRINK OF FAILURE -- (AKI)
Abuja, 5 May (AKI) - Peace talks on the conflict in Sudan's Darfur appeared on the brink of collapse on Friday after two of the region's three rebel groups refused to sign a deal already accepted by the Sudanese government. However, the main rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), said it was willing to continue talks later on Friday. The negotiations - mediated by the African Union - continued throughout the night in the Nigerian capital Abuja after missing a midnight deadline.
St. Kitts: U.S. Sailors Help Spruce Up Orphanage -- (Miami Herald)...Unattributed
American sailors painted and cleaned rooms at a St. Kitts orphanage as part of a two-month deployment to the Caribbean. The sailors from the USS Monterey -- part of an aircraft carrier group that left Florida in April -- also made repairs Wednesday to a home for mentally disabled children on the Caribbean island.
Iran's U.N. Envoy Criticizes Resolution -- (AP)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Iran's top U.N. envoy criticized a proposed resolution on its nuclear program that carried a threat of further action which could include sanctions, charging Thursday that it's aimed at provoking confrontation rather than resolving the dispute....
Cheney's Sharp Criticism Miffs Russia -- (AP)
VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) -- Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday accused Russia of cracking down on religious and political rights and using its energy reserves as "tools of intimidation or blackmail." It was a hard slap at Vladimir Putin as the United States seeks Russia's cooperation in punishing Iran....
Another Wanna Be -- [One Marine's View]
...So you have a plan to attack and conduct a terrorism act against America. With full intent to kill and destroy as many people as you can. You help plan and conduct the plan against an organization with mischievous intent backed with evil. You committed your crimes in an especially heinous, cruel or depraved manner; and you committed your crimes knowing others besides the intended victims might die; and that you used substantial planning or premeditation.
You conduct these acts and become convicted of several terrorism-related counts, including conspiring with Al Qaeda to commit acts of terrorism and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.
Hunting Zarqawi and Tales of the Tape (Updated) -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
Updated: ABC News has the footage of the 'Zarqawi Bloopers'. CENTCOM has a 20 second clip of Zarqawi misfiring the SAW. He is receiving instructions and definitely does not know how to handle this weapon. His handler clears the weapon for him. FOX News has a four minute clip.
The American Taxpayer: Moussaoui’s Sugar-Daddy -- [Euphoric Reality]
As Zacharias Moussaoui was being led from the courtroom he gleefully shouted: “America, you lost! I won.” This bastard never should’ve been allowed a criminal trial in our American court system, as if he had the full rights of an American citizen. He should’ve been tried in front of a military tribunal as a prisoner of war, found guilty, and summarily executed. His erstwhile martyrdom would’ve lasted all of a month or two. Instead he found a stage for all his crazy rhetoric, he’s managed to wound the families of the bereaved even more, and he’s enjoyed the silly media noteriety.
Islamists using US video games in youth appeal By David Morgan -- (Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The makers of combat video games have unwittingly become part of a global propaganda campaign by Islamic militants to exhort Muslim youths to take up arms against the United States, officials said on Thursday
House Approves Cargo Screening at Ports -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House overwhelmingly approved legislation Thursday to try and stop nuclear weapons from being smuggled into the country by screening nearly all cargo for radiological materials at seaports. Yet the technology will not be available, the Bush administration said....
How Not To Fight Terrorism --(Washington Post)...David Cole
After four years, numerous appeals, millions of dollars, and a massive investment of government personnel and resources, the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui concluded Wednesday with a life sentence. Many have cited the case as an example of how difficult it is to try terrorists in civilian courts. In fact, it is an object lesson in how the government's overreaching has undermined our security.
Fresno Support Our Troops / President Rally Tonight! -- [Free Republic]
Corner Blackstone & Shaw
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Tonight!
Bring your signs, banners, flags and the entire family!
Hope to see you there!
Pentagon Soldier Honored as Action Figure, Video Character -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, May 3, 2006 – When insurgents attacked Army Sgt. Tommy Rieman's reconnaissance squad near the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq Dec. 3, 2003, Rieman acted on his instincts as a leader.
On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs... -- [There and Back Again - in Iraq]
What will you choose to be in your moment of truth?
Jill Edwards is a junior math major at the University of Washington. In brief, Edwards, a member of the UW student senate, opposed a memorial to UW grad "Pappy" Boyington.
Boyington was a U.S. Marine aviator who earned the Medal of Honor in World War II. Edwards said that she didn't think it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. She also said that a member of the Marine Corps was NOT an example of the sort of person the University of Washington wanted to produce.
What a surprise! -- [Soldiers' Angels New York]
I was surprised to receive a reply to the e-mails I wrote on April 27 to the various contacts at Hilton via their firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address. Three different customer service people replied that they were forwarding my concerns to the local hotel management. The one that I wrote to the attention of Matthew J. Hart, President and Chief Operating Officer has not yet been replied to so I don't know if that one also is being forwarded to the local management or will actually go to him.
Half an hour later, I get an e-mail from Brian Kelleher at the Capital Hilton. It was dated May 1, and looks like a general form letter they are sending everyone.
U.S. Forces Connected Via Internet-Like Link -- [Defense Link]
At the Air Force’s recent Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment and in other demonstrations, air, ground and space forces have proved they can communicate by instant electronic mail and change a combat jet’s target with a click of a mouse, said Peterson, the Air Force’s chief of war-fighting integration and chief information officer.
Overstretched American Special Forces Hit The Language Barrier -- (London Daily Telegraph)...Alec Russell
American special forces, the cutting edge of the global strategy for winning the fight against terrorism, are so overstretched that many units are deploying in the world's trouble spots unable to communicate with the locals.
The Boo¹ kept Citadel cadets in line -- (Salt Lake Tribune)...Joe Galloway
WASHINGTON -- They called him The Boo, and for a generation of cadets at the South's most famous military academy, The Citadel in Charleston, SC, during the ...
Cindy Sheehan Breaks Law, Lies About Her Son - Again -- [Sweetness & Light]
Peace Mom pleads for Canada to provide sanctuary for soldiers
American anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan wants the Canadian government to grant sanctuary to U.S. army deserters.
"I’m just here begging the people of Canada to force your government - because your government works for you, …because your government does not work for war profiteers - to allow our soldiers to have sanctuary up here," she said.
Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy Protected from Investigation -- [Wizbang!]
He said he was going to a vote at 2:45am? He must have really downed quite a few adult beverages if he thought the cops would buy that one. And what is going on with these Democrats thinking that they don't need to pay the consequences for their behavior?
The Rumster… at a loss for words??? -- [The Gun Toting Liberal]
There’s got to be a first time for everything, I guess, and while it may not be a legitimate “first”, it is the first time I’ve ever personally seen the “Rumster” demonstrate the same level of command over the spoken English language as the President.
Poll: Conservatives Cutting Approval Rates -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Angry conservatives are driving the approval ratings of President Bush and the GOP-led Congress to dismal new lows, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that underscores why Republicans fear an Election Day massacre....
Kennedy Blames Accident on Sleep Medicine -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Patrick Kennedy crashed his car near the Capitol early Thursday, and a police official said he appeared intoxicated. Kennedy said he had taken sleep medication and a prescription anti-nausea drug that can cause drowsiness....
Senate Defies Bush On Spending -- (Washington Post)...Shailagh Murray
The Senate ignored President Bush's veto threat yesterday and easily passed a $109 billion emergency spending bill for war and hurricane recovery costs that also brimmed with favors for farmers, the fishing industry, and the states of Hawaii and Rhode Island
What goes in a movie, and what doesnt? -- [The War Tapes] DON'T MISS COMMENT SECTION!
People always ask me how filmmakers decide what goes in a movie and what doesn’t. It’s hard, but for me it always starts with the subjects. Who are they? How does their journey affect them? Change them? Or not change them? And what does their personal story have to say about the larger context of the film? In this case, soldiers at war. Once you answer these questions, you can begin to distill all that footage down to its essence. Make hard choices about what’s key and what’s not. We spent an entire year editing this film – challenging each other’s assumptions, arguing passionately, rearranging sequences, trying different openings and endings. If the story we end up with works, it should seem obvious and self-evident. But believe me, its anything but.
CBS and NBC Lead by Trumpeting Anti-War Activists Confronting Rumsfeld's "Lies" -- [NewsBusters]
Matching cable news networks interest during the day, two of the three broadcast networks (CBS and NBC, as well as MSNBC's Countdown) led Thursday night with how, at an event in Atlanta, a handful of protesters confronted Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and accused him of “war crimes” and “lying” about Iraq. ABC also aired a story, but put the Moussaoui sentencing first. All three featured former CIA analyst Ray McGovern who demanded: "Why did you lie to get us into a war that was not necessary?”
House gives final passage to shield bill Proposal provides media protection -- (News Time Live)
...The bill would prevent a reporter from facing legal penalties, such as contempt of court, if he or she does not disclose the name of a news source to government authorities.
The bill defines a reporter as someone who works for a newspaper, magazine, radio or television station, or electronic media. The Senate had considered excluding blog writers and limiting protections to people with journalism degrees, but later removed both provisions.
Big media deals await trapped Australian miners -- (Reuters)
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian rescuers struggled on Friday to cut through solid rock a kilometer underground to free two gold miners trapped for nine days, while above ground media groups scrambled to secure rights to their survival story.
“Blogs of War”: Nightly News Reports On Influence Of Blogs (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, appeared on a NBC Nightly News report that focused on the blogosphere’s reaction to Stephen Colbert and President Bush singing the national anthem in English. NBC correspondent Dawn Fratangelo also reported on the influence of blogs in the news room.
My Name is John and I'm a Propagandist -- [OPFOR - John]
About a week ago, I was accused of being a government propagandist, presumably for the work I do here on OpFor.
...As a milblogger, am I a government propagandist? Sure, why not? A propagandist is someone who systematically disseminates information that advocates a cause. My cause is winning this war, and I make no secret of the fact that I use OpFor to push information in support of that cause.
Propaganda isn't always the Big Brother variety. The wonderful thing about free societies is that we can choose to accept or ignore the message.
Happy 1st Anniversary to us! -- [While Away -- contractor in Iraq]
Today is Mike and my first wedding anniversary. We decided to hold off celebrating until we were in Thailand but we still did a couple little things.
Oorah! Sgt. Maj. Bradley A. Kasal -- [Bear Creek Ledger]
U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. D.L. Reeves, commanding officer, Assault Amphibian School Battalion, and Sgt. Maj. M.S. Harrell promote 1st Sgt. Bradley A. Kasal to sergeant major after awarding him the Navy Cross at Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 1, 2006. Kasal was awarded the Navy Cross for demonstrating extraordinary heroism during operations in Fallujah, Iraq, Nov. 13, 2004. Going to the aid of Marines clearing a house, Kasal was struck by 7 AK-47 rounds and more than 40 pieces of shrapnel as he shielded another Marine from a grenade blast.
Past foes serve together against the real enemy -- [Miserable Donuts]
I was in Ft. Stewart Georgia to welcome home soldiers from my Battalion on their return from Iraq. They served with the 2-130 IN which had a long history in the war of Northern Aggression and helped Sherman make Georgia Howl. They served with Georgia's 48th Brigade which just finished a successful rotation supporting the 3rd ID. Good job to all the soldiers of these two historical units.
The Lighter Side of Shit -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian Troops]
A sidetracked discussion the other day reminded me of a T-shirt I used to wear that deconstructed religion and philosophy into… Shit. I recently came across an expanded version which got me laughing aloud. It's creative, smarmy, and oh so accurate. No offense is intended, but I do claim my right to laugh at myself... and you:
Godspeed John Fralish - Must Read of the Week -- [Blackfive]
The Middle Ground has the amazing story of Navy Hospital Corpsman John Fralish - remembered by the Marines AND the Afghan villagers he cared for...
Habbaniyah in the news -- [Team Med-fah]
While we were in Ramadi, there was a big recruiting push to recruit Iraqis from the al-Anbar province into the IAs and IPs. And holy @(*&, some of them have actually completed training and are about to hit the streets. Hopefully - in-sh'allah - some of them will go to 3-2-1. Go to the link below to see pictures.
Feedback from Another General -- [Dadmanly]
Wretchard posts a must-read at The Belmont Club, passing along comprehensive extracts retired General Barry McCaffrey’s trip to Iraq last April 13-20 of this year. As I would expect, Wretchard provides excellent commentary and valuable background to McCaffrey’s assessments, with reference to a 2005 McCaffrey trip to Iraq and his conclusions and predictions then.
Top 7 Insurgent Lies -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
All of these are 100% actual, satisfactual verbal exchanges I have witnessed....
Iraq Pictures - 04 May 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
An injured Iraqi policeman gives a “thumbs up” to his co-workers after a ceremony in which wheelchairs were presented to wounded Iraqi policemen at the Baghdad Police Directorate headquarters.
On the decision to disband the Iraqi Army, etc... -- [Counter Column]
...Why did the Iraqis not want the Iraq army as it stood at the time of defeat? Officers were political animals. we're not talking about the political minded officers of our own military, we're talking the Nazi version where officers were not promoted based on their ability to lead. They were Ba'ath officers. They routinely abused their own soldiers. They were corrupt, taking money from their own soldiers in extortion scams (all the way from high command to NCOs).
Loyalty was definitely in question. Would you really want to give politically motivated officers with social connections to Sunni/Ba'athists access to tanks, artillery and other weapons without having attempted some vetting first?
A paradigm shift for an Arab Army - at least since the Brits left the region. -- [Argghhh!]
Students at the Iraqi Military Academy Al Rustamiyah conduct drill and ceremony during the April 26 graduation ceremony. Sgt. 1st Class Rick Brown Realize it or not - this has the potential to be Revolutionary for the Iraqis. No, silly, not the D&C, this
Your Soldier- Staff Sergeant Hall -- [Sgt Hook]
Meet one of your incredible Sodliers, SSG Willie Hall of Company B, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, currently serving in Iraq.
Still Serving -- [ROFA Six]
The caption under the photo it too terse to really relate who this guy is. Robert Howard is an Alabama boy who served five tours in Vietnam. He is the only soldier in our nation's history to be nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor three times for three separate actions within a thirteen month period. Many say he deserved it for each action, but regulations allow the medal to be awarded only once to an individual.
He received a direct appointment from Master Sergeant to 1st Lieutenant in 1969, and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Richard M. Nixon at the White House in 1971. You can read the citation here.
Rumsfeld Not Expecting Troop Exit Too Soon -- (New York Times /AP)
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday he does not expect U.S. commanders to make a recommendation for withdrawing forces from Iraq until after the country appoints ministers of its fledgling government, perhaps by the end of May. (THIS ARTICLE APPEARS ONLINE, NOT IN THE ACTUAL NEWSPAPER.)
Iraq: Get Out Now -- (Los Angeles Times)...William E. Odom
...Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq.
Decoding the McCaffrey Memo --(Slate)...Fred Kaplan
If this is the cost of victory in Iraq, is America willing to pay it?
Good news and bad news on the war in Iraq: The good news is that victory is possible, our troops are the best ever, the Iraqi army is getting bigger and better, and most Iraqi people want a pluralistic government. The bad news is that it will take 10 more years to accomplish these successes—at least three years just to get the Iraqi military into shape.
This is the prognosis of a private seven-page memo that retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey wrote to the heads of the social science department at West Point, where he now teaches international relations.
Suicide Attack Kills 10 Iraqis -- (AP)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- A suicide bomber attacked a crowd of people waiting outside a heavily guarded court building in Baghdad on Thursday, killing 10 Iraqis and wounding dozens, police said....
Rumsfeld Not Expecting Troop Exit Too Soon -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Wednesday he does not expect U.S. commanders to make a recommendation for withdrawing forces from Iraq until after the country appoints ministers of its fledgling government, perhaps by the end of May....
16 Police Recruits Killed In Iraq; 34 Other Bodies Found -- (New York Times)...Richard A. Oppel Jr.
More than 50 Iraqis were killed or found dead on Wednesday, as Iraqi leaders struggled to fashion a unified government that they hope can diminish the insurgency and ease violence between Sunnis and Shiites.
Japan To Go Ahead With Iraq Exit -- (Japan Times)...Kyodo News Agency
The Defense Agency chief on Monday formally told the United States that Japan will pull its troops out of Iraq when British and Australian forces withdraw, but an air unit will remain in Kuwait for logistic support, a Japanese official said.
Kicking off the Op... -- [AfghaniDan - in Afghanistan]
Reaching back now to tell the tale of one's experiences through a big ol' operation will take some time, so here's one installment, dating back to the first half of April, before leaving the JAF
Afghan Images.....Continued -- [Fire and Ice - combat artist]
Afghan gardener pruning roses, Jalalabad
...Surveying IED site
U.S. Commander In Afghanistan Thinks Locally -- (Washington Post)...Pamela Constable
While the world may be wondering whether U.S.-led troops will ever find Osama bin Laden, Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry has his eye on smaller, more immediate tasks.
Iran, US Share Afghan Goals -- (Christian Science Monitor)...David Montero
...Even though the US and Iran are locked in an international struggle over Iran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, the long-time foes have worked together well in Afghanistan, a place where they have common ground. Pushing Iran against the wall through sanctions or war could deal a setback to the recovery here, the first battlefield in the war on terror, some observers say.
An interview with Mir Azaad Khan Baloch -- [Peace like a River]
I conducted an online interview with Mir Azaad Khan Baloch, who graciously answered my questions. My questions and the answers are presented here unedited.
Mir Azaad Khan Baloch is with the Government of Balochistan in Exile, and is known there as the Secretary General.
...For those unfamiliar with Balochistan, it is a province in southwest Pakistan. It shares a border with Afghanistan and Iran, and its coast is on the Arabian Sea.
Final Showdown For Camp Humphreys -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
UPDATE #2: Here is an Oh My News report with lot's of pictures from the front lines.
Here is a picture from the school in Daechu-ri, that is a lot of riot police:
Britain, France Introduce Iran Resolution -- (AP)
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Over Chinese and Russian opposition, Western nations circulated a U.N. Security Council resolution that would demand Iran abandon uranium enrichment or face the threat of unspecified further measures, a possible reference to sanctions. Britain and France, backed by the United States, hope to wrap up negotiations on the legally binding resolution before a meeting of foreign ministers in New York on Monday. However, diplomats acknowledged that resistance from China and Russia may prolong talks well beyond that.
Cheney rebukes Russia on democracy -- (Reuters)
VILNIUS (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney accused Russia on Thursday of backsliding on democracy and urged it to stop using energy supplies for "blackmail" in one of Washington's sharpest rebukes to Moscow.
MOUSSAOUI: WRONG COURT, WRONG DEBATE... -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Walid Phares]
Should we be surprised by the watershed debate following Zacarias Moussaoui’s trial ending? Not really. The jury rendering of its recommendation is not unusual throughout the American legal war with Terrorism: For the five years court struggle to try al Qaida members and other terrorists in the US legal structure hasn’t been working. After the classroom, America’s court room is too alien to the conflict. In short Moussaoui’s case is not the only one to display a systemic crisis, all other cases did and will continue to do. My take on it, as an analyst of past and future terror wars, can be simplified: The terrorists are processed in the wrong courts and our debate on this legal process is the wrong debate.
Moussaoui Verdict Shows Terrorism Planners How to Cheat Death Penalty -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Andrew Cochran]
I invite everyone to carefully review the redacted jury verdict form (Acrobat file posted on the website of the U.S. Attorney for the case). The replies to the questions provide a roadmap to future terrorism planners to kill thousands of Americans but avoid the death penalty (at least in the Eastern District of Virginia). Here's how
Gotta Watch 'Em Every Minute -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...Monday was spent delivering items to the hospital with Mrs. G.'s van. We brought backpacks to Maj Harvey of the National Guard Liaison office, who had just run out. When we arrived, he said to Willie, "Wow, that was quick. I just sent you an email this morning!" We all laughed becasue she hadn't received it yet of course - she wasn't home.
Then we went to the Chaplains office to deliver a supply of hand and foot warmers.
...Your support of our wounded and ill soldiers transitioning through Germany is incredible. We want you to know how much everything is appreciated by the staff and patients and how touched they are to know you care.
No Trials For Key Players -- (Los Angeles Times)...David G. Savage
Government prefers to interrogate bigger fish in terrorism cases rather than charge them
On Shredding the Flag -- [ROFA Six]
The Flag on the Hill tells of a flag hung on a cliff face in memory of a fallen Marine. Then one day it was gone, ripped to shreds by Americans who detest the flag, America, and their fellow Americans who choose to fight as soldiers.
Natick Soldier (Systems) Center -- [Sgt Hook]
The labratories at the Natick Soldier (Systems) Center in Natick, Massachusetts are responsible for researching, developing, fielding, and managing food, clothing, shelters, airdrop systems, and soldier support items. And the good folks there do an outstanding job at that.
It seems though that while trying to come up with a better battery for use on your Soldiers’ high tech combat systems, they’ve stumbled across a promising treatment for cancer.
House Committee Approves Military Bill -- (New York Times/ AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A House military bill increases by thousands the maximum number of ground troops the military can maintain -- and sends a message to the Pentagon about lawmakers' concerns of adequate force levels in wartime.
Kentucky man pleads guilty to bribing lawmaker -- (Washington Post/Reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Kentucky businessman pleaded guilty on Wednesday to bribing Louisiana Democratic Rep. William Jefferson in an African Internet venture, the Justice Department said.
...In a statement, Jefferson denied any wrongdoing.
"I have never over all the years of my public service accepted payment from anyone for the performance of any act or duty for which I have been elected," Jefferson said.
According court records filed in the plea deal
Army Bombers, Navy Tanks, and Media Deception -- [Periscope Journal]
Experts are more numerous than hair follicles. Take the garden variety academic appearing on television to comment on military affairs. More often than not the expert has no practical experience. They know the right terms to use but seeing through the thin veneer of expertise is simpler than in years past. One reason is the internet. It’s simple to check facts.
Iraq Attack Spin Job -- [Michael Fumento.com - indp. journalist embed in Iraq]
In an article in the print edition of the April 30 Washington Post, there's a line graph based on information from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. It's entitled "Insurgent Strikes," and declares: "Insurgents continue to launch a high number of attacks on Iraqi police and army troops." Two problems. The first requires a bit of background knowledge. There are far more Iraqi police and soldiers than just six months ago much less a year or more. Further, they are more and more being used in vulnerable positions rather than being allowed to hide behind fortifications and never come out. You'd expect a lot more attacks in these circumstances. BUT then there's problem number two. While the graph naturally shows peaks and valleys, it shows a clear DECLINE in attacks from the height in January, 2005 of 160 per month to only 120 per month in March of this year. This is like the activist groups who say, "People continue to die from AIDS," but never acknowledge they're dying at a fraction of the rate as formerly. Recently I blogged on how the Washington Post reported that the media have turned against the war, assuming they were ever for it.
One sided story? -- [Dispatches from Iraq - USA journalist embed in Iraq]
BAGHDAD – As an embedded reporter, I’ve had the unique opportunity of observing my craft from a remote vantage point.
It never takes much prodding for anyone in a uniform – from grunt on up to a commander – to corner me and tell me exactly what they think of the media’s performance in Iraq. I know when I hear, "Now don’t take this personally..." that I’m likely in for a long diatribe. If there’s no visible escape route, I settle in, listen to them vent and try to understand the origin of the hostility many in the military have for my profession.
...The Defense chief said he thought it had, and that embedded journalists were able to relay "a slice of what was actually happening," a "real reality." But, "More recently, very few people had been embedded," he said. "We’re still offering that opportunity, but there have been far fewer journalists who have stepped up to become embedded."
If that’s true, it’s not from lack of trying, according to one Baghdad-based reporter.
"Embedding is a valuable way for us to see parts of Iraq that we couldn't otherwise get to because of security," said Jonathan Finer, Baghdad correspondent for The Washington Post. "And covering the U.S. military is a hugely important part of what we do here. But the military has actually made it harder for reporters to embed than it was before."
"We used to just sign up and go," Finer said. "Now they often make us send clips of previous stories and biographical information and it is not uncommon for requests to embed to be rejected if they didn't like something someone wrote."
...The allegation that negative media coverage criticisms could actually cost the war for the United States is "potentially serious," according to Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy analyst at Washington-based Brookings Institution.
"By their reasoning, the only way we could lose in Iraq is if our national resolve falters, and the only way that could happen is if American’s gain an unfairly pessimistic view of trends within Iraq due to the media’s fixation on violence and other bad news," he said, adding that losing the war will stem from events on the ground.
"But is morale boosting really the role of media in a free society? ...
A National Tragedy -- [4 mile Creek - in Iraq]
There are few things as hard to watch as a child, raised by abusive parents in a poisinous environment, who turns on their parents with all the hate that they have inherited. It is a tragedy for all involved. Such a scenario unfolds in the pages of the Huffington Post yesterday.
...Bush could eat a baby on live TV and all you souless apologists would say, "Now just watch how the America-hating left is going to spin this one!" -proud2bindy
After giving birth to the Angry Left through media hatred of Bush, the media are no longer angry enough for their children. It's not good enough to fake a few measly papers in order to ...
Spokesman Review... -- [The Gun Line]
Frank Sennett, of the Spokesman Review, did an article on the effect that MilBloggers have on the Blogsphere, and how we help support deployed soldiers and the folks on the home front cope with deployments, especiually combat deployments. I can't link to the actual article, but Frank keeps a Blog, with supplementary information, found here...
WELCOME HOME PARTY FOR THE 155TH -- [Keep My Soldier Safe]
Finally, the State of Mississippi has decided to throw that party that we were promised on December 22, 2005. Our Governor told us on the 22nd that one year from when they left for Iraq (which was January 2005)that they would have the biggest party ever. Well, I guess better late than never. That date has been set for June 4th, but the time will be announced I guess at a later date. If I had to guess, they will wait until the week before the party to announce the time.
“Fiddlers Green”: A Lesson Learned -- [The Online Chaplain - in Iraq]
The 108th Armor Battalion took their colors, their personnel and headed for a much deserved rest and to the normalcy of their civilian lives. In about two weeks the great state of Georgia and Alabama will greet them and they will be home, at last. Our prayers go with them.
The 108th has bequeathed to the 125 FA (Strike) a number of things. They have left us with an area of Iraq that is more secure than when they arrived. They have left us with Combat Support Center that is well cared for, comfortable, and relatively secure, and many other blessings. All these things we are aware of, but they have left us with something else. They have left us with a reminder, a reminder of the cost of war.
Terrorist Cell Dismantled Near Balad -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
Two weeks ago, Task Force 145 struck at what was believed to be the hideout of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in the city of Yusifiyah. Five terrorists were killed in the raid, and Coalition forces discovered suicide vests and suicide notes along with various weapons. A week later twelve terrorists were killed in a similar raid in Yusifayh.
Last night, Coalition forces ...
al-Qaeda's Assassination Program in Anbar -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
al-Qaeda continues its campaign of targeted assassinations against Sunni leaders cooperating with the elected government of Iraq. Today, a suicide bomber put Maamoon Sami Rasheed al-Awani, the governor of Anbar province, in its sights and attempted to kill him with a suicide car bomb. al-Awani survived the attack, but ten Iraqi bystanders were killed in the ensuing blast. “This is a cowardly attempt, and this is not in the best interest of Anbar or the country,” Awani said. “On the same day of the attack, I am here and am ready to work. I will continue working to serve my people, to serve the people of Anbar and Iraq.” Multinational Forces - Iraq reports this is "approximately the 29th attempt on his life," and his son was recently kidnapped but safely returned.
Too close for comfort, but not close enough -- [The Will to Exist - in Iraq]
Yesterday seemed like a typical day to begin with. I performed my normal webmaster duties, attended my normal “state of the site” meetings, and did all the wonderfully boring and bureaucratic things that have become the daily routine here in Baghdad. The work day ran later than usual, and for that, I’m thankful.
As we were getting ready to depart our AO (area of operations) about two hours later than normal, I got the word that the place where we live had taken incoming.
Iraq Pictures - 02 May 2006 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
Iraqi Army Soldier move through a shoot house clearing rooms at the Al Kindi training facility. This is part of a seven day training course, were IA Soldier are taught advanced marksmanship and tactics by Iraqi non-commissioned officers
Election Duty, and More Thoughts on Iraq -- [OPFOR]
Right, just got in from serving as an election officer for the local elections in my county in Northern Virginia. The actual results I don't care about-- the contests were for town offices, and I don't live in a town-- but the turnout was bloody disgraceful. Not ten percent of the registered voters in that precinct bothered to vote, and the polls were open for eleven hours. People, you get the governments you deserve.
How does this relate to our mission in Iraq? Besides the obvious comparisons between the self-satisfied Northern Virginians on the one hand and the shot-at, bombed-out and put-upon Iraqis, there is more. One of the things that makes a civil society function is the presence of voluntary associations, and
Kids -- [Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck - in Iraq]
I see kids almost everyday so for me it’s almost a blessing. I’m fortunate to have the job that I do in Iraq. At least I have the opportunity to leave camp unlike others.
I met this little boy today. He was hanging around with his Mom while she was doing some laundry.
Halliburton, Halliburton! -- [Serving the People of Iraq and Iran - in Iraq]
There are very few companies that could take on the logistical responsibilities that Halliburton takes on. Providing all of the services that Halliburton does for approximately 150,000 soldiers all over the country is remarkable. Never once have I been without a hot cooked meal. I have always been able to take a shower when I wanted to—almost always with warm water. Every barracks that I have stayed in has been cooled by air conditioning. I can lift weights whenever I am not on duty or on some kind of mission.
Halliburton employees are doing a lot of things that it would cost a lot more to do if soldiers were involved.
Talking about food, for hours -- [Postcards from Iraq - in Iraq]
...As the time grows shorter each day for us, the days seem to grow longer. We pass the time through games, books and conversation. Topics for discussion have included, but are not limited to: Football, baseball, high school wrestling, cars of all types and food. You'd never believe the many different ways there are to prepare spaghetti sauce. I found it quite amusing at how each soldier's mother or wife makes things that are just a little better than the next guys.
U.S. Troops Hit Insurgent Safe House And Kill 10 -- (San Diego Union Tribune)...Wire reports
U.S. troops raided a suspected al-Qaeda hide-out Tuesday, killing 10 insurgents — three of them wearing suicide vests, the military said. U.S. servicemembers searched for “an al-Qaeda terrorist leader” in the pre-dawn raid at a safe house about 25 miles southwest of the U.S. air base in Balad, north of Baghdad, the military said.
Iraqi President Says Sunni Insurgents See Iran As Threat -- (Washington Post)...Nelson Hernandez and Saad al-Izzi
Iraq's president appealed for national unity and the renunciation of sectarian violence ahead of a parliament meeting set for Wednesday, saying he had met with Sunni Arab insurgent leaders and observed a "great change" in their war aims.
Two German Hostages Released in Iraq -- (Yahoo News/AP)
BERLIN - Two German engineers held captive for 99 days in Iraq were released unharmed and in stable condition Tuesday, German officials said.
General Says Iraq Army Is 'Willing,' But Not Ready -- (Washington Times)...Rowan Scarborough
The new Iraqi army is "real, growing and willing to fight," but lacks basic equipment and will need up to five more years before it can wage war without U.S. military help, says a new report by a retired four-star general who toured Iraq in April.
A Virgin Market -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
Last week I participated on a panel at the Marine Command General Staff College in Quantico, Virginia. The dais was stacked with distinguished journalists — I was the baby in the room — who addressed a large group of military officers. I traveled from Afghanistan just to speak there after a scheduling conflict with their first choice, Joe Galloway, resulted in his recommendation that I fill his seat. When Joe Galloway talks, people listen. I was honored by his recommendation and privileged to join the panel in a vigorous debate of the symposium theme: “Selling the Truth: Media Portrayal of Insurgents, the Government, and the Military.”
Canadian Troops Catch the Eye of GW -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian troop]
Canadian troops in Afghanistan have caused enough of a stir that the President of the United States has seen fit to say so; and the comments were made to someone other than a Canadian. The praising of one another's armed forces can be brushed off as meerly polite politics, but when GW shares that praise with others, you know a positive impression has been made:
Afghanistan Failed State -- [Miserable Donuts]
Foreign Policy has put out it's list of the 20 most dangerous states. Iraq is #4 and Afghanistan is #10. Both are down since we left. Pakistan is way down and China is down since last year (the first year they did this list). Sudan is the worst.
Combat Operations in Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
American and Coalition warplanes are flying 25-60 combat missions a day in Afghanistan. The most common aircraft seen are B-52s providing smart bombs. A-10s use their 30mm cannon, or fire missiles. The A-10 cannon is very accurate, having originally been designed to take out tanks
OPERATION ENDURING BOREDOM - EPISODE XII -- [American Citizen Soldier- in Iraq]
Dare to navigate through the Army mine fields of Acronym Alley with a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of some real-world military mission planning and execution
Taliban Threat Is Said To Grow In Afghan South -- (New York Times)...Carlotta Gall
Building on a winter campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations and the knowledge that American troops are leaving, the Taliban appear to be moving their insurgency into a new phase, flooding the rural areas of southern Afghanistan with weapons and men.
20 Ministers Sworn In -- (FOX News)...Unattributed
KABUL, Afghanistan — Twenty ministers of the new Afghan Cabinet were sworn in Tuesday, the latest step in this war-wracked country's post-Taliban democratic revival.
Oakland Cops Seize $700,000 in Cocaine From 19-Year Old Illegal Alien -- [California Conservative]
Sí, se puede. And then some.
This morning, InsideBayArea reports: OAKLAND, CA — A 19-year-old man who despite his youth is being described as a “major player” in the city’s narcotics trade has been arrested after more than $700,000 worth of cocaine and $178,000 in cash was seized at his house, police say.
Hyphenated America - [Bandit.three.six - in Iraq]
...Rather than focus on what comes before the hyphen, why don’t we focus on what comes afterward. American.
A person doesn’t need to scorn their heritage in order to do this. Many people are proud to be associated with the country or continent preceding the hyphen and to try and compel them to ignore or be ashamed of this would be wrong. There is a difference, however, between being proud of where your heritage lies, and using that heritage to separate yourself from the society that you’re now a part of.
Día sín hispanos: the day after -- [Philologous]
Responses to a potpurri of stupid comments heard during the Day Without Immigrants (aka The Day Without Traffic Congestion):
1. They are working and paying taxes (Every-darn-left-body). – As the Ghost of Christmas Past told Ebenezer Scrooge, “That these things are what they are, do not blame me.” If crossing a nation’s borders illegally puts them at some sort of disadvantage, then this is of their doing. If they knew of the possibility that this would happen and came here anyway then surely they thought that this would still be a condition superior to what they had in the country they left behind.
Troubled Kashmir -- [Peace like a River]
The Religion of Pieces continues to astonish for its sheer brutality.
Unidentified gunmen shot dead 22 Hindus, including a nine-year old girl, in two villages of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir late Sunday night. In a separate incident, 12 Hindus kidnapped on Sunday were found dead.
Let Blackwater Loose in Darfur -- [The Adventures of Chester]
The executives of one of the most well-known private security firms, Blackwater, have offered to provide a brigade of peacekeepers in Darfur, if only someone will pay for it. [hat-tip: Arts and Letters Daily]
A few weeks ago, at an international special forces conference in Jordan, Black announced that his company could deploy a small rapid-response force to conflicts like the one in Sudan. ''We're low cost and fast," Black said, ''the question is, who's going to let us play on their team?"
In other words, the private security firms need something other than cash to pay for their peacekeeping; they need some sort of legitimacy.
US, EU Confident on Iran Sanctions -- [Threats Watch]
Iran Begins to Show Nervousness Toward Sanctions; IRGC Commander Threatens Israel Strikes if US Attacks
Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said today that he is confident that a Chapter 7 resolution from the UNSC on Iran will emerge within the next few days. Chapter 7 resolutions are binding and compliance is mandatory, which opens the door for later implementation of sanctions on Iran, currently opposed energetically by both Russia and China.
Marines Moving To Guam -- [NEW MIBLOG RING MEMBER! - Periscope Journal]
Almost 8000 Marines will relocate to Guam in a plan to reduce the presence of US forces in Japan. According to the Financial Times
...This move is not good news for those who now must live and serve on Guam. The difference in lifestyle is dramatic.
The article also points out that China is spending a great deal on their military. What they spend is unknown because the Chinese want to appear to be spending less. Japan and the US are concerned.
Report Links Corps' Planning To Inadequacies In Levee System -- (New York Times)...John Schwartz
The Army Corps of Engineers did not shift course to meet the needs of the changing landscape of New Orleans, and as a result the city did not get the hurricane protection system that it needed, a panel of outside engineers said in a report yesterday.
Iran Issues New Threat On Israel -- (Miami Herald)...Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press
A top Revolutionary Guards commander said Tuesday that Israel would be Iran's first retaliatory target in response to any U.S. attack, a provocative threat that reinforced the Iranian president's past call for Israel to be ``wiped off the map.''
Why Zarqawi Is All Alone -- [Strategy Page]
Without much fanfare or publicity, American and British commandoes have taken apart al Qaeda's operation in Iraq. About the only non-Iraqi al Qaeda leader left in Iraq is military leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a Jordanian. In the last few months, American commandoes nearly caught Zarqawi at least three times.
On the arrest of Mustafa bin Abd al-Qadir Setmariam Nasar -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Jeffrey Cozzens]
Despite Mustafa Setmariam Nasar’s (“Abu Mus’ab al-Suri”) arrest, which likely happened months ago, his work as one of the most important (and few) jihadi strategic thinkers of this era will continue to inspire and define Islamic militancy well into the future. Beyond his work’s popularity in online jihadi communities (certain to grow after his arrest), Nasar’s writing is especially germane owing to its rational style and seeming applicability
Plame Working on Iran WMD When Outed -- [Outside the Beltway]
...The only problem is that, if the “intelligence sources” are right (and Tom Maguire is skeptical), it still doesn’t tell us anything like that. Everyone working at CIA is “part” of an “operation” of some sort. The question is which part. She was, by all accounts, working at a desk in Langley, living with her husband and helping raise their twins. Because her status is classified, causing us to have to speculate, we do not know whether she was some sort of analyst or a case manager. We do now that she was not, at this juncture, a field officer.
U.S. 'Disrupted' Al Qaeda WMD Efforts -- (Washington Times)...Bill Gertz
U.S. and international programs to defeat al Qaeda have limited the terrorist group's ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction, the No. 2 U.S. intelligence official said.
Top Al-Qaeda Strategist In Custody, Official Says -- (Washington Post)...Associated Press
A top al-Qaeda strategist with a $5 million bounty on his head was captured in Pakistan last November and flown out of the country to an undisclosed location, a U.S. law enforcement official said.
U.S. Releases Strategy To Combat Terrorists' Travel -- (Washington Post)...Unattributed
The Bush administration does not have enough intelligence analysts to track terrorists and lacks the ability to alert customs and immigration officials about suspicious travelers, according to a National Counterterrorism Center report released Tuesday.
Second Screening -- Second Standing Ovation -- [The War Tapes]
...It was another full crowd. As the screen went dark, I felt the same butterflies in my stomach as on Saturday at the premiere. We sat in the middle of the theater, to feel the crowd. Soon after the lights came up we got another standing ovation! To feel the audience connect with the movie is so amazing. Thank you to everyone who was there for making this such an incredible interchange of ideas and emotion and desire to make a difference.
One person in the audience asked during our Q & A after 'what they could do to help the soldiers', the reply from Brandon was 'get to know one'!
No less honor among today's servicemembers -- [Basic Training - in Iraq]
I was simply amazed at what this man did and it got me thinking: what exactly does it take to win the Medal of Honor? According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website, 3460 have been awarded since it was established on July 14, 1862. One has been awarded to the current Operation Iraqi Freedom / Operation Enduring Freedom campaign in Iraq and Afghanistan: Army Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith. Follow the link to read his citation. Then pick your jaw up off the floor and hit the back key to return here.
There are 113 medal recipients still alive today: 38 from WWII, 15 from Korea, and 60 from Vietnam. Many, many more were awarded. It has been 4 1/2 years since we began in Afghanistan and only 1 medal? I could not believe that the actions of some of today's soldiers have not equalled those of the past, when it dawned on me that ...
Reservists treated as second-class soldiers -- [Counter Column]
Here's military benefits columnist Tom Philpott:
Today, active duty members who buy into the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) also do pretty well with post-service education benefits.
But consider the experience of Reserve and Guard members, said Snyder. An initial commitment of up to six years can include up two years of involuntary active duty, with a year or more in a combat zone. Yet reservists who leave service after completing their obligations forfeit any unused Reserve GI Bill benefits.
My troops are Florida Guardsmen, and have lived and worked in Florida, Ground Zero for nearly ten hurricanes over the last two years, in addition to their deployments to Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
Each hurricane can knock a student out of school for a semester. Each deployment can knock a student out for 1 1/2 to two years.
Marines Who Made a Difference -- [TBone's Journal]
In March of 1984, I entered the Marine Corps on active duty at Parris Island, South Carolina. It's hard to believe that 22 years have passed. Damn.
...To all of those men I owe a great deal of gratitude, and want to say "thank you" from the bottom of my heart. The Marine Corps is a family like no other. To all who those who can claim the title "Marine", I say Semper Fidelis!
Administration Conducting Research Into Laser Weapon -- (New York Times)...William J. Broad
The Bush administration is seeking to develop a powerful ground-based laser weapon that would use beams of concentrated light to destroy enemy satellites in orbit.
Job Program For Military Spouses At Risk -- (Newport News Daily Press)...Stephanie Heinatz
...NEXStep, a Department of Labor-funded program, was established to give military spouses, Defense Department civilians and activated National Guardsmen and Reservists help with job placement and training.
Congratulations Ken Blackwell -- [Hugh Hewitt]
Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is rolling to a big win in the GOP primary. He will be an underdog in the fight for the governorship, and big labor and MSM will be with standard issue liberal Ted Strickland from tomorrow morning forward.
Bolton to Kucinich on Sy Hersh’s Piece: “I Don’t Have Time To Read Much Fiction” (VIDEO) -- [Expose the Left]
US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton testified before the House subcommittee on international relations today and got in a little argument with Rep. Dennis Kucinich. Rep. Kucinich asked John Bolton about Sy Hersh’s “New Yorker” article on Iran, to which Bolton said he didn’t see it because he doesn’t have time to read “fiction”:
Sen. Inhofe Ready, Able If Duty Calls -- (The Hill)...Roxana Tiron and Jonathan Allen
Sen. John McCain is expected to take the prestigious gavel of the Senate Armed Services Committee next year, but the ascension is already raising questions about his ability to juggle the jobs of 2008 presidential candidate and chairman simultaneously.
Democrats Push Fight for House in the Northeast -- (New York Times)
WATERBURY, Conn. — In the battle for control of the House of Representatives, Democrats are concentrating their efforts on defeating a particularly resilient set of opponents, Northeast Republicans who have held their seats despite the region's tendency to vote Democratic.
Deal or No Deal? -- [Truth, Life, and Political Honesty]
Keller vs. WSJ -- [Media Blog]
New York Times editor Bill Keller fired off an angry letter to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board for daring to criticize his paper and others for collaborating with anonymous intelligence sources to expose classified national security programs. Let’s take a look at Keller’s complaint:
A brief note on the selection of photographs and the writing of captions at The New York Times -- [TigerHawk]Regular readers know that I am "soft" on the illegal immigration question, or at least think that most of the arguments made by both sides are, to say the least, weak and inconsistent. However, regular readers also know that I am hard on The New York Times, so it is easy for me to complain about the picture and caption below, which appear on the front page of today's dead tree Late Edition:
Actor Tim Robbins Blasts Media for "Ignoring the High Crimes" Committed by Bush -- [NewsBuster]
As picked up by the DrudgeReport, an AFP dispatch from Greece on Tuesday recounted how left-wing actor Tim Robbins, “at a news conference in Athens promoting his stage version of George Orwell's 1984,” blasted President Bush's policies and the news media for ignoring Bush's supposed crimes. “We have right now a media that is willfully ignoring the high crimes and misdemeanors of the President of the United States," Robbins charged.
Study: N. Korea's Press Most Muzzled -- (Washington Times)...Betsy Pisik
North Korea has the most heavily censored press in the world, according to a new ranking by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), although Burma, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea and Belarus aren't far behind.
Media Ignores the Nation's Heroes -- [Real Clear Politics]...Jack Kelly
Link temporarily unavailable
The last of Cap Weinberger’s many services to his country, completed just days before his death, is the book “Home of the Brave.” In “Home of the Brave,” President Reagan’s defense secretary and co-author Wynton Hall tell the stories of American heroes in the War on Terror the news media should be telling, but mostly haven’t.
State of the Blogosphere, April 2006 Part 2: On Language and Tagging -- [Sifry's Alerts] HT: GlennLate last month, I gave a high-level overview of the growth of the blogosphere, covering the overall size of the data sets that Technorati tracks, the number of new blogs created each day, the number of posts per day, and the issue of splogs or spam blogs.
Blogs: To trust or not to trust? -- (BBC News)
It appears that blogs are not much trusted, according to a 10-country survey of the media.
They come at the bottom of the list, with just 25% of those questioned in a Globescan poll on trust in the media giving them a thumbs-up. News websites are only just a notch better at 38%, so some way to go there as well.
Babylon Birthday -- [The Babylon Blog - in Iraq]
I turned 45 the other day… and that’s O.K. I’ve developed a personal philosophy that says it’s fine to grow old as long as you are spending the time wisely. I realized that the day I turned 30.
May 2 — J. Edgar Hoover
The director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, died May 2, 1972.
For 48 years, under eight Presidents, he oversaw the Federal Bureau of Investigation, becoming famous for his dramatic campaigns to stop gangsters and organized crime.
He established the use of fingerprints in law enforcement and successfully tracked down well-known criminals.
Double, double toil and Iran's trouble -- [Peace like a River]
Yesterday there were reports hinting at the continuing tensions in Iran. Iran actually fired across the border into Iraq.
Iraq has accused Iranian forces of entering Iraqi territory and shelling Kurdish rebel positions in the north...
A Search for the Missing -- [Reporting for Duty - in Iraq - dispatches hosted by WAPO]
A couple of weeks ago, a terrible accident occurred just outside the wire of Al Asad. A convoy was crossing a wash and one of the seven-ton trucks fell victim to the rushing waters, causing all of the Marines and one Navy corpsman inside to go missing. CW4 Phil Brashear, a fellow pilot, was one member of the many crews that launched in support of the Marines and sailors on that truck. I asked him if he share his account of the first day of the mission. In light of the situation and out of respect for the fallen and their families, Phil and I have delayed posting this entry.
Safe Havens & Iraq -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill Roggio]
The debate over Iraq being a safe haven and training ground, or a magnet and killing ground for terrorists has been ongoing since the inception of al-Qaeda's terrorist attacks in the summer of 2003. The reality is there is merit to both arguments. al-Qaeda has managed to establish enclaves for small periods of time, particularly in Anbar province during 2005, and has been able to recruit and train fighters from inside and outside the country. Senior al-Qaeda operatives, some with ten to fifteen years of experience in al-Qaeda's ranks, have been killed or captured in Iraq. What is often not factored into the argument is how significant elements of the Sunni population have begun to turn on al-Qaeda, entering the political process and joining the security forces.
Two recent findings help shed light on the status of al-Qaeda in Iraq:
No one wants the interior ministry now! -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
When (Jawad) Noori al-Maliki appeared as a strong candidate for becoming Iraq's new PM we wrote 'Jawad who?' because we knew very little about the man's background, qualifications or visions for Iraq and we still know little until this moment and it really came as a surprise to us (in not a bad way) that he was able to win the support of the US and UK a well as the satisfaction of other parliamentary blocs or at least their conditional acceptance.
Snipereye Productions -- [Life in Iraq - As a US Army Sniper - in Iraq]
Captain Dan Responds to Your Mail -- [Soldier's Diary , hosted by FOX - in Iraq]
Nothing really exciting to write about over the past couple of days, so I figured I would spend some time answering in detail some of the e-mails I have gotten.
A huge number continue to ask if I think a civil war has broken out. For example, Steve S. wrote on March 17:
"Reading the news (traditional and non-traditional media) it seems Iraq is either in a civil war or going in that direction. I would like to know from someone like you who is there in the middle of all this, is the situation that bad?"
Combined Forces' Raids Net 7 Terrorists, More Than 50 Suspects -- [MNF-Iraq]
Iraqi and coalition forces conducted a series of coordinated raids in the area Yusifiyah April 29, capturing seven wanted terrorists and detaining more than 50 other suspects. The comprehensive operation was conducted to deny safe haven and to kill or capture foreign and Iraqi terrorists who have been operating in the region.
Failed Attack Leads To Capture Of Eight Terrorists -- [Centcom]
Iraqi and coalition forces captured eight terrorists after a failed attack put the terrorists on the run April 27 in Baqubah. A combined patrol was investigating a possible mortar and rocket launch site used by terrorists when a group of men started firing at them.
Flowering bugs -- [Murphy Around The World - in Iraq]
...We still have a lot of injuries and deaths over here, but they’ve gone down dramatically because we’ve up-armored everything. The HMMWV’s are so heavily armored now that many of them have remote gun turret's on top, the gunner can sit inside his cab and swivel the turret and watch outside using optics or night vision sights. They can see further down the road than somebody on top with binoculars, its very state of the art equipment (and expensive). Gunners riding up on top in the turret were getting their arms, heads and upper bodies hurt because of the blast radius from the IED, but everybody else inside the truck were just getting shook up. The IED’s were not being as effective as they were in the past
Thoughts from the Firmbase -- [Midnight in Iraq - in Iraq]
Sweat glistens on foreheads as eight young men packed into a 15’ x 15’ room eat, sleep, and otherwise pass the time in another local Iraqi home turned firmbase for 96 hours. It’s pretty warm today—the warmest it’s been yet. It’s only mid-April and Marines are already returning from foot-mobile cache sweeps looking as if they had a bucket of water dumped over their head. Their cammies soaked through from mid-thigh all the way to upper-arm, they hydrate constantly, and it’s barely enough to regain the fluids they loose on a single patrol.
Once again, I find myself sitting in an Arab home with about two platoons of Marines, waiting to go on patrol.
The Fog of Home -- [Wordsmith at War - in Iraq]
The other morning I walked out of my hooch and saw antennae standing watch like silent sentinels, sticking their heads up out of the fog. The sun looked like a silver coin through the haze. You could stare right at it. The horizon was shrouded. I heard a large explosion, but the sound was compressed as if in a vacuum; it was hard to tell if it was an I.E.D. on a road just outside the F.O.B. or a mortar attack inside the wire. By mid-morning, the clouds served as a prism and there was a golden glare all over the world. It wasn’t the kind of gold you might imagine while reading a poem by Robert Frost. It was the fallow brown of a vast desert come to steal away the mirage of safety.
SpecOps unit nearly nabs Zarqawi -- (Army Times)
Just nine days before al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released his latest video, a special operations raid killed five of his men, captured five others and apparently came within a couple of city blocks of nabbing Zarqawi himself.
'Mission' Gets Closer to 'Accomplished' -- (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Three years after delivering his "mission accomplished" speech on Iraq, President Bush on Monday declared another turning point had arrived with the establishment of a permanent government in Baghdad....
Bush’s “Mission Unaccomplished” -- (AlJazeera)
"It shows a self-described war president, not ready for the war, or the difficult problems of securing the peace...
Iraqis Begin Duty With Refusal -- (Washington Post)...Nelson Hernandez
The graduation of nearly 1,000 new Iraqi army soldiers in restive Anbar province took a disorderly turn Sunday when dozens of the men declared that they would refuse to serve outside their home areas, according to U.S. and Iraqi military authorities.
Iraqi Recruits Reportedly Balk At Postings Away From Home -- (New York Times)...Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Khalid W. Hassan
...In northern Iraq, Iranian artillery shelled the mountainous eastern fringes of Iraqi Kurdistan in the second day of attacks against land populated by Kurdish rebels, forcing some families to flee, according to reports from Kurdish officials.
Cleric Tries To Keep His Militia -- (Miami Herald)...Nancy A. Youssef, Knight Ridder News Service
Firebrand cleric Muqtada al Sadr is working behind the scenes to maintain his armed militant wing and portray it as a social movement, a step that would make him one of Iraq's most powerful figures if it succeeds, U.S. officials and Iraqi politicians say.
Murtha Won't Sign Petition On Troop-Withdrawal Measure -- (The Hill)...Roxana Tiron
Rep. John Murtha, the powerful Democratic defense appropriator from Pennsylvania, has never signed a discharge petition in his 32 years in Congress, and he refuses to bend, even if signing one means attracting more attention to the debate on the war in Iraq.
Merits of Partitioning Iraq or Allowing Civil War Weighed -- (Washington Post)
As the U.S. military struggles against persistent sectarian violence in Iraq, military officers and security experts find themselves in a vigorous debate over an idea that just months ago was largely dismissed as a fringe thought: that the surest -- and perhaps now the only -- way to bring stability to Iraq is to divide the country into three pieces.
Video Shows Mistreatment Of Hussein Official's Body -- (Washington Post)...Nelson Hernandez and Saad Al-Izzi
The dead body of one of Saddam Hussein's top lieutenants was kicked and insulted after U.S. forces transferred it into Iraqi custody, according to a video of the incident that aired on al-Arabiya television on Monday evening.
Failures Cited In Iraq Rebuilding -- (Boston Globe)...Farah Stockman
A crucial program to train 20,400 Iraqis to guard key oil and electricity infrastructure sites ended in failure last year, with only about half that number actually trained and millions of dollars worth of automatic weapons, armored cars, night-vision goggles, and other equipment unaccounted for, auditors reported to Congress yesterday.
Not over yet in Iraq, sez Bush-- (New York Daily News)...Richard Sisk
Three years after declaring an end to “major combat,” President Bush yesterday predicted more fighting ahead as Iraqis struggle to hold the country together against an insurgency and sectarian bloodshed.
Biden Pitches Division Of Iraq -- (Washington Times)...Christina Bellantoni
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday called for dividing Iraq into three separate regions held together by a loose central government, thus clearing the way for withdrawing most U.S. troops by 2008
Afghan Images -- [Fire and Ice - combat artist]
There's one incident from my trip to Afghanistan back in May of 2005 that I love sharing. I went out on a patrol along the Pech River to survey an IED site. The battalion's executive officer was making his rounds of the various FOBs (forward operating bases) the previous week when his vehicle was destroyed by an IED set in the road that parallels the river. Miraculously, other than busted ear drums, no one was seriously hurt. One of the drawings with this posting is of the XO's driver.
Canadians in Cammo -- [Celestial Junk Blog - Canadian troop ]
The days of big talking all fists troopers seem to be coming to an end. The trend in both the United States and Canadian militaries is for professionalism, not brainless brawn. Clear evidence of this is the approach taken in developing Canada’s new Special Operations Regiment which prefers “quiet professionals” to Rambo-style hotheads. The new military requires a complex mix of intelligence, incredible athleticism, and steely nerve, something that brawny hammerheads can’t provide.
I’m often amazed by the US troops who choose to clear buildings in Iraq with pistols and assault weapons in hand, instead of letting grenades or heavy munitions do the job.
Double standards and unnecessary risk -- [Pyjama Samsara - in Afghanistan]
So the Indian telecoms engineer has been executed following his abduction whilst travelling on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. This highway, along with the Kandahar-Herat highway, is known as The Suicide Highway. For obvious reasons.
You know, I don't know why organisations send any international (ie., non-Afghan) staff by car on these highways. You don't need to be white or American to be abducted. It's not kidnap for ransom. It's kidnap for political statement. You just need to be a foreign national. Like this Indian engineer.
Looking out the window -- [Miserable Donuts]
When I was the XO of TF Dragon, I used to travel the entire perimeter of Bagram AF at least twice a day. I used to see things like this all the time.
Briton Takes Charge Of Fight To Tame Warlords -- (London Times)...Michael Evans and Tim Albone
A THREE-STAR British general who takes control of Nato operations in Afghanistan this week will have thousands of American combat troops under his command — the first time this has happened since General Bernard Montgomery took charge of the US 9th Army in late 1944
Canadian, Afghan Forces Kill 27 In Taliban Battle -- (Arizona Daily Star (Tucson))...Noor Khan, Associated Press
Canadian and Afghan forces killed as many as 27 militants and captured three in fighting throughout Afghanistan over the weekend, and an Afghan army sergeant also was killed, officials said Monday.
Taliban Kill Indian Hostage, 3 Soldiers -- (Yahoo News/ AP)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Taliban militants killed an Indian hostage after he tried to escape and dumped his beheaded body Sunday in southern Afghanistan. Three Afghan soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing also blamed on the Taliban.
Abu Ghraib and the Need for Moral Clarity -- [Serving the People of Iraq - in Iraq]
...Many of the insurgents are being held on nothing but the most specious of charges. Here is a litany of the additional abuses that they must endure—and that are not being reported. Prisoners are being beat with mallets, clubs, and rifle butts on a regular basis. Water is withheld from them for long periods of time. Food is withheld from prisoners for even longer periods of time.
...Did you hear about all this happening at Abu Ghraib? That’s because it didn't--at least since Saddam has been gone. It might still be happening, but because Torture Me Elmo has been deposed, the Iraqi people are no longer being systematically abused by their government. However, the litany of abuses described above is happening in Iran—today. It is happening in North Korea—right now.
The rally for Darfur: A feel-good exercise -- [Winds of Change - Yehudit]
...American leadership is pushing from one end, and the Save Darfur activists acknowliedge that, but they want to push on American leadership from behind. They could be more effective pushing on the UN and the nations involved from another angle. The Reform Movement's call to action is a good example of that. But the activists would have to start bashing some sacred cows instead of Bush.
North Korea Freedom Day: Success or Failure? -- [The Korean Liberator - in S Korea]
...He was right on the money. As the pictures show, the North Korea Freedom Day rally was a puny one as far as a Capitol rally goes.
...Compare that, as Joshua wrote, to the Darfur rally where an estimated crowd of between 10,000 to 15,000 people showed up
Japan, U.S. Finalize Troop Plan -- (Japan Times)...Reiji Yoshida
Capping more than three years of grueling negotiations, top Japanese and U.S. officials signed a set of agreements Monday in Washington to realign the U.S. military forces in Japan by 2014 and take the security alliance to a new level.
Sunni Insurgents Deny Clashes with Zarqawi -- [Globalterroralert.com]
The Al-Fatihin Army--a breakaway faction of the prominent insurgent group known as the Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI)--has issued a new statement denying that there has been any recent friction between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaida movement and other Sunni insurgents in Iraq.
Why Al Qaeda Is Retreating From Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
Despite the many brickbats of the media, al Qaeda has been defeated in Iraq, and is now retreating to lick its wounds where it can. If it can. Just over four and a half years, al Qaeda has gone from being the dominant terrorist group in the world to a defeated shell of its former self. In trying to defeat the United States, al Qaeda made three big mistakes:...
Al Qaeda Sings the Cashflow Blues -- [Strategy Page]
May 1, 2006: Terrorists have to worry about logistics, just like everyone else. In the case of Islamic terrorists, there is the obligation to pay key personnel a living wage. This is so the poor fellow can take care of his family, since it is a religious obligation to have a family, and take care of it. While much is made of the suicide bombers themselves, who are often paid nothing, as they are on and off the job rather quickly. But...
Two Terrorism-Related Congressional Hearings This Week -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Andrew Cochran]
Just two open terrorism-related hearings in the U.S. Congress this week: The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing this Tuesday on the FBI. Topics are likely to include the extent of information sharing with other agencies (or lack thereof) and the status of troubled FBI computer systems. The U.S. House Government Reform Committee's national security subcommittee will review the viability of future U.N. sanctions in light of the Oil-for-Food scandal and proposed U.N. management reforms.
Pakistan Detains al-Qaida Fugitive Nasar -- (AP)
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A top al-Qaida leader whose links stretch from Afghan terror training camps to extremist networks operating throughout Europe has been detained in neighboring Pakistan and possibly handed over to American authorities, according to a U.S. law enforcement official. Mustafa Setmarian Nasar, a Syrian who also holds Spanish citizenship, was captured during a November 2005 sting in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta in which ...
We are organizing a bike/car ride to benefit the charities of our fallen soldiers. Please check out the site, and use the register feature to sign up and pledge if you would like to attend. It will be a day long event, and will cover all of central Maryland, stopping at the final resting places of SGTs Conner and McMullen, and CPLs Boswell and Ceo.
Also, we need anyone reading this to spread the word!
NEW YORK, NEWWWWWWWW YORK! -- [One Marines View]
...Marty and Nancy from AnySoldier were the back bone of the event. The Horn family was in full force for the event and looking great!
It was great to sit down, listen to folks and hear their reasons why they supported the troops. Share funny stories about the melting of chocolate Easter bunnies, and how some joker out there would send me an occasional box of half eaten Twinkies, dog chew toys and the like…..(Im still looking for that guy).
...All in the all the AnySoldier cruise was a hit.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO ANYSOLDIER.COM!!!
Army Seeks Blood Donations for Iraq War -- (AP)
FORT KNOX, Ky. (AP) -- A boyish Army recruit sits quietly in a plastic chair at Fort Knox and shields a wince from the stern gaze of a drill instructor while a nurse digs with a needle for a vein in his arm.
Young cancer patient gets wish to be like his Navy chief father -- (The Daily News) HT: Politics of a Patriot
"The U.S. Navy has a 113-year-old tradition: The fraternity of Chief Petty Officers, the backbone of the force, the people who truly get the job done. The Navy recently extended an official welcome to its newest chief -- Diego Santiago, age 5. Diego is dying of lung cancer and has only weeks left to live. But he always wanted to be "just like my dad," and so, with the permission of the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy, Diego attended a ceremony in which his mom and dad, Hospital Corpsman Chief Jesus Santiago, pinned little Diego's anchors to the collar of his real dress blue uniform -- specially made in boys size six
— His family — mom, dad and sisters Brandi, Ali and Samara — plus others have worked to make as many of Diego’s wishes come true as they can. Becoming a chief petty officer was the ultimate.
On Killing -- [The Foxhole Philosopher - in Afghanistan]
A recent comment about the morality of killing made me realize that I have failed in a goal of mine in the weblog. Namely, that I would bring subtle issues of the military to the “masses.” The comment actually primarily addressed the issue of the level of responsibility that military leaders and soldiers bear in the decision to take a life, at least in my mind.
...The military’s conditioning is exclusively reactionary. This means that we are only conditioned to fire when we are threatened. There is a practical reason for this. If
''DyyyynnnnoooooMIGHT!!!!!!" -- [Sandgram]
...I was told to wander around and look for a Marine in uniform, and ask if he was taking the group to OCS. I found this thick, muscular Corporal standing there with a group of forty-some guys. He was very nice and all smiles as he guided me into the herd of fellow college students. The smiles went away as we boarded the bus out front and he was no longer in the view of the general public.
“SIT DOWN AND SHUT YOUR PIE HOLES,” he began as he paced up and down the bus, “MY NAME IS CORPORAL LITTLE, (he wasn’t little!!) AND YOU WILL ADDRESS ME AS CORPORAL LITTLE, DON’T CALL ME SIR YOU MAGGOTS.” This went on the whole trip down to Quantico as he explained in a very loud voice the do’s and don’ts of his bus.
Senate OKs Bill On War Zone Mortuaries -- (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)...Bob Kemper
The Senate on Monday approved legislation offered by Georgia's two U.S. senators that would force the Pentagon to re-evaluate the way it treats its war dead and their families.
Textron Fought Storm To Deliver For Army -- (USA Today)...Elliot Blair Smith
Armored vehicle survived Katrina, Pentagon cost cutters
Bag Of Java? In Battle, It's Better Than None -- (Boston Globe)...Catherine Elton
A little ingenuity from the scientists at the Defense Department's Combat Feeding program in Natick has ended a modern-day military quandary how to get a hot cup of joe to troops on the front line.
Where Are the Asian Immigrants? -- [GI Korea - in S Korea]
The United States economy did just fine today after the protests by illegal immigrants. The protesters called the rallies a day without immigrants which is an absolute farce because the one's protesting are "illegal" immigrants, not immigrants which is a big difference. If all the legal immigrants in America didn't go to work than that would cause problems. Some of these legal immigrants are taking a stand against these illegals:
Bush Lampoons Self At Press Corp Dinner -- (ABC News)
It was twice the fun for members of the White House Correspondents' Association and guests Saturday night when President Bush and a look-alike, sound-alike sidekick poked fun at the president and fellow politicians. "Ladies and gentlemen, I feel chipper tonight. I survived the White House shake-up," the president said. But impersonator Steve Bridges stole many of the best lines. Vice President Dick Cheney and his hunting accident was the target of his humor on a couple of occasions. "Speaking of suspects, where is the great white hunter," Bridges said, later adding. "He shot the only trial lawyer in the country who supports me."
Bush: Prospective Citizens Should Learn English -- (News Max)
The national anthem should be sung in English - not Spanish - President Bush declared Friday, amid growing restlessness over the millions of immigrants here illegally. "One of the things that's very important is, when we debate this issue, that we not lose our national soul," the president exclaimed.
1 Million Immigrants Skip Work for Rally -- (AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Illegal immigrants stepped out of the shadows and poured into the streets, marching in waves of red, white and blue as part of a nationwide show of economic clout designed to prove their value to their adopted homeland and pressure Congress for reforms. "This country needs us. We are the strong arms that do all the tough jobs," said Donna Maria Mostache, a 43-year-old cook and illegal immigrant who marched alongside hundreds of thousands of others in Los Angeles. "We can't be afraid to come out and say who we are."
Dobbs: Radical groups taking control of immigrant movement -- (CNN)...Lou Dobbs
Manage Alerts | What Is This? NEW YORK (CNN) -- We all awoke to headlines in our nation's most important newspapers reminding us that this is "A Day Without Immigrants." Not illegal immigrants, mind you, but immigrants.
And the leaks go on. And the leaks go on... -- [Protein Wisdom]
From Raw Story:
On Chris Matthews’ Hardball Monday evening, just moments ago, MSNBC correspondent David Shuster confirmed what RAW STORY first reported in February: that outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson was working on Iran at the time she was outed. ...
This is sure to get the leftwing sites atwitter, and indeed, some of the more credulous anti-war / anti-Bush sites have already begun gloating over what AJ Strata and others (see his comments section) have noted is not only ridiculous on its face. First of all, the idea that the “outing” of Valerie Plame damaged our ability to track information about Iran’s nuclear weapons program is dependent upon one believing that ...
The Boy Who Cried "Intelligence Sources Say" -- [Media Blog]
Some of you might remember our fruitless efforts to get MSNBC correspondent David Shuster to correct his undeniably false assertion that the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate did not contain the words "vigorously trying to procure uranium" in reference to Iraq. In fact, the words can be found on page 24 of the document. Some of you might recall the exact language Shuster used
There's precedent for this.... -- [Media Lies]
....from many years ago. A famous New York Times writer fabricated stories about the Soviet Union and won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. It's just possible that Dana Priest did the same with her story on the secret CIA prisons in Europe.
It now appears that those prisons may never have existed.
Broadcast Nets Again Champion Cause of Protest Marches on Behalf of Illegals -- [NewswBusters]
All three broadcast network evening newscasts led Monday night with multiple favorable stories about the day of protests to promote the cause of illegal aliens. Bob Schieffer opened the CBS Evening News by trumpeting: “From coast to coast, from north to south, they wanted us to know what America would be like without them and so millions of immigrants missed work, skipped school and marched in the streets. They want America to find a place for those who came here illegally and it's too soon to know if they changed any minds in Congress. But
American Media Outlets are Pawns of the Insurgency in Iraq -- [Victory in Iraq]
On March 26, 2006, Iraqi Special Forces conducted a raid on an establishment in northeast Baghdad with the assistance of U.S Special Forces. During the ensuing firefight, 16 enemy combatants were killed, another 16 or more were captured, a sizeable cache of IED making equipment, weapons and ammunition was seized, and most significantly a hostage was rescued.
...CBS News correspondent Lara Logan reported that "it is unclear what happened, but that it comes on the back of several incidents where Americans are being investigated for use of force on Iraqis, and there is talk on the street of revenge." As usual, American mainstream media reported spin rather than fact and thereby facilitated the accomplishment of the insurgents' objective to further diminish public sentiment about progress in Iraq.
What is scandalous is the brazenly flippant attitude that "reporters" take in "reporting."
Economic Journalism Is Politics By Other Means -- [Villianous Company]
These days the half-vast editorial staff are afraid to crack open a newspaper for fear some wild-eyed journalist will assault us with alarmist tales about the worst economy since Herbert Hoover. Frankly, we're not sure where all this pessimism is coming from, because recent news about the U.S. economy has been relentlessly positive
MilBlog Conference Wrap-Up -- [Andi's World]
I originally wrote this post while on the train to New York. It's been a busy few days, so I'm just getting around to publishing it. On a sad note, I was informed that the site for MilBlog Conference experienced some technical difficulties and unfortunately, much of the content was lost.
...I've compiled an extensive list of blogger reaction to the MilBlog Conference. Be sure to check it out because I've just added more links. If I've overlooked your post, let me know and I'll add it to the list. I intended to post the links on the conference site, but now that's impossible. However, the links will go on the site for the "Second Annual MilBlog Conference" and will serve as a reminder of how much fun we had at the first one.
What the hell do I know about blogging? -- [Hooah Wife and friends]
I was going through my Blogroll (list of other blogs) this morning and was saddened to read that some were burned out and taking a break, some are slowing down (to like 1 post a week), some are frustrated because they don’t get a lot of readers or comments and some were quitting. So what the hell does this mom in Oklahoma know about blogging?
Mind Of Mencia -(VIDEO)
Explains how our military is great!
Baby Noor soldiers honored -- [48th Goes to War - AJC blog]
The Georgia Commission on the Holocaust on Friday honored the Gainesville-based infantry company that rescued Noor al-Zahra, the Iraqi baby born with spina bifida.
Soldiers of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, returned from a yearlong deployment in Iraq a week ago. They were recognized for their humanitarian efforts at a noon ceremony at the Capitol.
Busy day for me as I will be helping out at Kleber and Landsthul today. MaryAnn, Willie and I have boxes upon boxes of foot and hand warmers to deliver to the chaplain's office at Landstuhl. The amount of support for this project has been immense. Soldiers' Angels thanks all those for taking the time to make these and for helping support our wounded heroes that have sacrificed so much.
Here are few reports from Iraq:
Bill Putnam at An independent look at Iraq , a journalist embed, is doing some great reporting from Iraq.
He reports on a Search for IED triggermen:
I heard the boom and didn't think much of it. It could've been anything; a controlled detonation of UXO; or, a mortar or rocket round hitting the FOB. Then the company's internet cafe shut down and I knew it meant something more.He reports on a truck stop search to crack down on black market gas:
The news came out slowly. No one told me at first. Someone said, "It's a secret, Bill." By then the company was spinning up for something but no one was telling me much. As the sun set, everyone was readying Humvees and gear for something.
Truck drivers come to Bayji from all over Iraq and fill up their trailers. Entering and leaving the refinery takes stamps and paperworks. Typical of a bureaucracy but required when a lot of money is flowing out of that place. The criminal gangs and Bad Boys who run the black market fuel program have set up using counerfiet stamps and paperwork to essentially make tankers disappear once it leaves the refinery's gates. Competition to get in is also pretty tight. A lot of guards will take bribes and the drivers are more than willing to pay them.And he reports on Operation Swift Sword
Operation Swift Sword was conducted along the same lines of Operation Swarmer month held down river in the deserts between Samarra and Ad Dawr. Helicopters, Black Hawks and Chinooks, air assaulted grunts and junedis out to various Landing Zones in the deserts east of Bayji. Once one the ground they'd look for insurgents and their caches.If you haven't found his blog yet go check him out.
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.America Majority Daily Dispatch claims More Carelessness from Brookings:
For four months, the “Iraq Index,” a project of the Saban Center of the Brookings Institution, has failed to update a key indicator of Coalition progress.Ed at Hardtack and Havoc in Iraq, explains that even Ice Cream can be an OPSEC Issue
The data in question records the number of “actionable tips” generated by the Iraqi population. An “actionable tip” is one that contains information regarding anti-government forces that can be used in operational planning by the MNF or by Iraqi Security Forces.
A bit back I was enjoying a nice creamy delicious bowl of ice cream (it wasn't Bluebell but still good) and I had an interesting conversation:Glen at The Babylon Blog in Iraq, appreciates those supporting our troops at Mail Call
Me: Slurp, Smack, Scarf, Slurp
Buddy from another MiTT Team: So you taking out a convoy tomorrow, where ya going?
Me (surprised): How'd you know we are going on a road trip?
Buddy (laughing): Dude...You ALWAYS have ice cream before you convoy.
Even in this high-tech war of email and satellite phone communication, there’s still something special about old-fashioned mail. With my moving to another location and a more remote place of duty it’s been a while since I’ve seen any mail. In the past few weeks all I’ve received is one lonesome card from my sister.Mikal in Iraq at Marketing in Iraq has some Opinions on the World:
All that changed on Friday. During our weekly trip to battalion headquarters I got word that there were a bunch of packages waiting for me in the mail room.
I want to talk about two things in this post. The first item up for discussion is a new energy policy for the United States. The second issue is a more frightful issue. Any guesses? Let's just say I, as an American Soldier, do not want to have to go visit Iraq's neighbor.Jeff at Peace Like A River is wondering if A terrorist marketing blitz is going on and why.
A week ago, an audiotape featuring the soothing tones of Osama bin Laden surfaced. Last Tuesday, Zarqawi showed up on a video portraying him in a number of militaristic settings.Michael Totten is reporting on the rising tension and danger on the Lebanese-Israeli border, On the Rim of a Volcano
And just this Saturday, a video featuring Al Qaeda #2 Zawahiri surfaced.
Obviously an Al Qaeda propaganda blitz is underway. However, I do wonder if we are seeing signs of a renewed alliance between Iran and Al Qaeda, and I wonder if Iran played a role in suggesting the brain trust of AQ take to the airwaves at this time.
Everything Could Explode at Any Moment.Michael at Fire and Ice, who recently returned from Iraq, says If You Build It They Will Come
The overarching theme of this gathering centered on the passion milbloggers have for sharing their story-matched only by the equally fanatical desire of our readers to find, follow, encourage and support us. (I'm reminded of Norman Rockwell's WWII painting for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post-Homecoming Marine - a newly returned gyrene, clutching a Japanese battle flag, relates his war experiences to the eager ears of neighborhood boys and the guys at his old workplace.) To a person, we milbloggers are amazed how these simple internet diaries, universally started to keep family and friends informed, have taken on a life all their own. Our journals became journalism. Our first hand reporting was countering second hand media retorting. Milbloggings authentic in the trenches voices continues to challenge the reporting of the main stream media, and on a daily basis is calling them out on the carpet. We built them and you came....by the tens and hundreds of thousands. Thank you!Captain Ed is enlisting members to a new group called "101st Fighting Keyboarders"
Our friends on the port side of the blogosphere have had quite a time tossing around funny little nicknames for those of us who support the war on terror and use our blogs to express our convictions about it. We've seen the names here at CQ in the comments section -- the term "chickenhawk" has appeared more than once, and others in the blogosphere have assigned us to a unit called the 101st Fighting Keyboardists.And be sure not to miss BlackFive's "Someone you Should Know" series.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)