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Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list.
Welcome to COIN -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
I'll try to keep writing about the winds here in Al-Anbar. I'll go out on a little bit of a limb and say that the insurgency is quickly approaching a tipping point. If things continue as they are right now, our military won't need a surge to chase the terrorists out of Anbar- the citizens will do it for us, which is as it should be. It's beginning to show already: more local tips, more police recruits (far more than anticipated), and sadly- in bigger and more desperate Al-Qaeda attacks.
Updates -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
I have two updates to the story I told recently about the children injured in a mortar attack.
First: At the time of the incident, another soldier in my platoon grabbed a man who was acting suspiciously directly after the attack, and handed him over to the Marines. As we were leaving the OP, the villagers brought a another man with his hands bound and eyes blindfolded, accusing him of being involved. It saddens me that children had to die to shock the villagers out of their fear of the insurgents, but at least they did something about it.
"The USMC/Iraqi team was sluggin' it out side by side." (Chlorine Gas Attack Update) -- [INDC Journal]
Lt. Col. Clayton Fisher, commander of MiTT 6 at the brigade level (and my chaperone on an IA mission), was injured in the Wednesday's chlorine truck bomb attack on the Fallujah Government Center and left this comment:
We wanted you to know that your Marine MITTs and IA came out OK and did great, even after 2 SVBIEDs, mortars, complex attack etc. Most walking wounded, but hey, we're walking! A few of us were medevac'd to the outskirts of Baghdad, but should to come out fine in a few days. Chlorine gas, concussions, some shrapnel, cuts, bruises. Not too bad....
How Britons were conned by Iranian gunboat trick -- [Times Online]
The speed and cunning shown by the Revolutionary Guards suggests that their action was premeditated
The British sailors and marines being held by Iran were ambushed at their most vulnerable moment, while climbing down the ladder of a merchant ship and trying to get into their bobbing inflatables.
‘Time For Iraq Pull-Out’ -- [Sweetness & Light]
Iran has published another letter allegedly written by Leading Seaman Faye Turney in which she supposedly calls for British forces to withdraw from Iraq.
The letter also asks the British Government why it allowed the British captives to stray into Iranian waters.
And it goes on to say the group is being treated well by the Iranians.
Analysts immediately doubted the validity of the letter, saying ...
Citing “Bad Behavior” Iran Delays Female Sailor Release -- [Sweetness & Light]
From a shocked New York Times
Iran May Delay Captured British Sailor’s Release
LONDON, March 29 — Iran today withdrew plans to free one of the 15 British sailors and marines it had seized on March 23, the only woman detained, insisting that Britain admit fault before she is released.
Fear and Combat -- [W. Thomas Smith Jr. - The Tank]
...Later, I asked ArmorGroup manager Bill Shaw if he was ever afraid out on the highway.
"No mate," he said, "I trust the vehicles, and I trust the boys we're with, emphatically. That's no BS line either. That's fact."
As I told Kathryn in an email yesterday, I'm actually more afraid of losing my Internet signal here than I am incoming (or the airplane doing evasive action coming in for a landing, or my racing down Route Irish in a Chevy Suburban). I can't explain why I feel that way, but I do.
Quoted and Proud! -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
I would like to say a few words to the new visitors who are not so familiar with this blog. I have noticed that our traffic nearly tripled today and that most of the extra traffic is coming from pages talking about the recent speech by President Bush in which he mentioned a quote from our March 5 article on the WSJ…New visitors, welcome to ITM!
Taliban, Pakistani security forces battle in Tank -- [The Fourth Rail]
Baitullah Mehsud's Taliban mass; 25 Taliban, 1 security officer killed after school principal kidnapped
The Taliban continue to challenge the Pakistani government's writ in the Northwest Frontier Province. Taliban forces, estimated at “more than 200 Taliban soldiers” by Tank District Police Officer Mumtaz Zarin, massed and attacked the city of Tank on Tuesday night. “They attacked the city to avenge the killing of their colleague who died on Monday,” officer Zarin said. Twenty-five Taliban and one paramilitary officer were killed in the fighting, which included Taliban mortar and rocket attacks.
Attempted Escape -- [A JAG in Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
As we were coming back yesterday from the KMTC there was a dump truck in front of us driving down the road. Suddenly a Military Police (MP) pickup screeched past us, pulled in front of the truck and stopped it. The driver jumped out, climbed up on the back of the truck and started yelling and waving his hands. Up popped two heads. Two young soldiers had hidden themselves in the back of the truck and were attempting to escape.
Meet Iran’s Revolutionary Liberals -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
SULEIMANIYA PROVINCE, NORTHERN IRAQ – One of the roads leading out of the city of Suleimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan might as well be renamed Revolutionary Road. Two armed compounds inhabited by exiled revolutionary Iranian leftists were built less than a mile away from each other. My colleague Patrick Lasswell and I accidentally found ourselves in the armed camp of the military wing of the Communist faction of the Komalah Party when we intended to meet with the more moderate social democrats up the street. A few days later we returned to the area and met with the right people.
Telephone Diplomacy -- [The Weekly Standard]
The Russian media has largely interpreted President Bush's "initiative" as an act of gratitude after the United States was able to shore up Russian support for Resolution 1747, which stipulated "the international community's profound concerns over Iran's nuclear program.” But some Russian journalists seem to see an upside in a confrontation between the United States and Iran. Prominent journalist Mikhail Leontiev (who has been described as "the most unabashed champion of the Kremlin") asserts that "in principle, [Russia] is interested in drawing the Americans into the Iranian adventure.
Russia's New Position on Iran's Nuclear Program Creates Iran-Russia Crisis -- [MEMRI]
For many months, Russia has been blocking efforts by the international community to stop Iran's nuclear program, and has been acting to temper the U.N. Security Council sanctions enacted against Iran in December 2006. At the same time, for the past few years Russia has been building the nuclear reactor at Bushehr, and during U.N. Security Council discussions it has insisted that sanctions resolution No. 1737 not include the reactor.
The Arab Press Assesses the Likelihood of a U.S. Strike Against Iran -- [MEMRI]
The Arab press has recently been focusing on the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran, and has been publishing reports, investigations, and articles. Some of these have asserted the "certainty" of an attack, while others are reviews of attack plans and preliminary steps in advance of the coming conflict. However, some in the press reject the possibility of an attack and explain their reasons for doing so.
The following are examples of discussion of the subject in the Arab press:
Bahraini Daily Al-Watan: Evidence That War is At the Gates
What's going on in Syria? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Syria is at the crossroads.
A perfect storm is gathering above Damascus.
For proof from The Croissant come 2 interesting stories from usually well informed Kuwaiti Al Seyassah :
Suicide Bomber Secrets Revealed -- [Strategy Page]
March 30, 2007: While the users of suicide bombers may not have noticed, the track record of such tactics shows that it doesn't work. In fact, this particular weapon actually backfires. Consider the facts.
Unusually Bright Two-year-old: An update -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
...His mother is a dear, sweet and charming woman. Unfortunately, she is now suffering from a health problem serious enough to allow her deployed husband to return for emergency leave (a process only just beginning now). So, her mother-in-law has been at her side, and brought the two-year-old to daycare today so she could accompany her daughter-in-law to the doctor (resulting in hospitalization).
I had been unaware of severity of the health issue, but when his exhausted and worried grandmother mentioned it as we sat in the childcare center, I instantly told her I had contacts that could "move mountains" for that family if necessary, and we exchanged names and contact info.
Helping Sgt. Neil Duncan -- [Andi's World]
On December 5, 2005, Sgt. Neil Duncan was severely injured by an IED in Afghanistan. As a result of the blast, Neil lost both of his legs and sustained other severe injuries. Walter Reed has been home to Neil for over a year now.
The things you think about -- [Neptunus Lex]
Our conversation below on the Code of Conduct and Leading Sailor Turney brought some thoughts back to mind that I hadn’t turned over in quite a number of years.
I had three deployments flying over Iraq enforcing sanctions in the southern no-fly zone between the wars. Each time we went the political situation was a little different. During my first trip up there 1994, we mostly flew two-ship defensive counter-air missions, designed to protect Kuwaiti and the southern Iraqi Shia provinces from air attack by a vengeful Saddamite air force. It was pretty peaceful for the most part, and in fact we used to recce SAM sites by doing target acquisition missions in the threat envelope, vying to see who could bring back the best FLIR video. Crazy when I think about it now, but we’d won the war, hadn’t we?
The "real" war on Terror? -- [QandO]
Charles Krauthammer reminds us of something Speaker Pelosi said not to long ago:
"Our bill calls for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq so that we can focus more fully on the real war on terror, which is in Afghanistan."— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, March 8
Why, pray tell, is the war in Afghanistan the "real" war on terror, and does or doesn't Speaker Pelosi understand that in the big scheme of things, Afghanistan is really only one battle in that war?
A Message from the Troops -- [Dadmanly]
Powerline forwards a timely message from the troops, courtesy of Morning in America producer Seth Leibsohn.
Gunnery Sgt. Stephen F. Krueger, Platoon Sergeant for the 3rd Recon Bn, US Marines, sent a powerful message to Speaker Pelosi. Pity she didn’t take his message to heart before bribing her fellow Congressmen and women to pass their Timetable for Defeat in the US House of Representatives, matched by an equally surrender-filled bill in the Senate.
Projection -- [Pat Dollard]
...Pelosi et. al. are overplaying their hand, overinterpreting the fact that local elections allowed the Democrats a slim Congressional and Senate Majority. Somehow they have interpreted this to mean, clearly and unequivocally, that the American people want a complete pullout from Iraq, regardless of the consequences. . They have interpreted it to mean that the American people do not support the surge. A surge the reckless and ridiculous Democrats themselves supported when they unanimously approved General Petraeus to lead it. They keep stating that the American People somehow voted the Democratic Party in as part of a national referendum to immediately begin a withdrawal from Iraq. There is no evidence to support such self-serving wishful thinking. The only thing that supports that contention is their desire for it to be true.
NPR, Covering (up) the Home Front? -- [Flopping Aces]
The below post is a guest appearance from Ray Van Dune who writes about one more example of the bias in our MSM:
On Saturday March 24, National Public Radio, correspondent John McChesney, who was until recently embedded with the Minnesota National Guard in Iraq, told us about his 700-mile trip through Minnesota, interviewing families who have loved ones serving in Iraq.
...I must also comment on the reporting of Mr. McChesney. He has brought us a compelling story, and he treated these wives with respect and compassion in his reporting, as did NPR in its presentation of this piece. But unfortunately, I must say that I have serious concerns about what he has reported, or more accurately, what he may not have reported.
How can it be that a reporter of the stature of John McChesney drove 700 miles, interviewed members of seven families, and came back with less than two minutes of content, and less than half of which is an interview with just two of the presumably seven wives he spoke to?
Killing The Surge -- [Villainous Company]
A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds that most Americans don't believe the surge is working.
Incroyable... now where on earth could they have gotten a crazy idea like that?
Surely it could have nothing at all to do with the fact that day in and day out, the lamestream media hype the successes of our enemies while somehow "forgetting" to report how many of the enemy our own side kills and captures? If we didn't know better, we'd start to wonder whose side they were on.
What's Missing? -- [Media Blog]
The NY Times...
The Washington Post...
Note that neither story specifes that the showing of the sailors on television possibly violated the Geneva conventions. (I searched both articles. It notes that Blair called the video "completely unacceptable," but nothing further.)
After the Jokes -- [Media Blog]
What I don't understand is why none of the MSM coverage (at least that I've seen today) mentioned the second half of the President's speech. Here it is:
CBS Evening News Touts Harkin’s Claim That Iraq War Hurts War on Cancer -- [NewsBusters]
Wednesday's CBS Evening News with Katie Couric featured another "The federal government is our only hope" segment, this time focusing on the "war on cancer." Couric introduced the segment by arguing that cancer therapies were being thwarted because of "funding cuts that could delay or completely derail promising advances in the war of cancer."
The story, by CBS correspondent Wyatt Andrews, featured only one member of Congress, Iowa's Senator Tom Harkin, who echoed Couric and claimed that the "war on cancer" is in jeopardy due to war in Iraq. The "money" quote:
HARKIN: When you're spending $8 billion a month in Iraq, it's very tough to get the money for cancer research.
Rosie O'Donnell's latest foot in mouth episode 3/29/07
Rosie Sees Only Evil in US, Not Iran, Speaks on 9/11 Conspiracy Theories -- [NewsBusters]
The co-hosts of "The View" again discussed the Iranian British hostage situation on the March 29 edition. Rosie O’Donnell trusted the Iranians more than the British and Americans, and the discussion evolved into more Rosie rants against alleged Bush administration tyranny and for the first time on "The View," Rosie ranted on her September 11 conspiracy theories. Rosie’s rants were too much even for fringe liberal Joy Behar. Token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck was far more assertive than the previous day. In the teaser at the end of the first segment, Rosie and Joy made light of the upcoming discussion.
The Hollywood Factor -- [SgtStryker]
Some of the most outspoken critics of the war and the Bush administration hail from Hollywood. Celebrities have been front and center in the anti-war camp since before the first deployment of American troops. During the past four years of war, movie stars. Television actors and recording artists have become more and more vocal in the opposition to the war. As the media has increasingly turned against the war and has dedicated more valuable airtime to protesters and demonstrations, outspoken celebrities have claimed the anti-war spotlight and refuse to give it up.
One of the most vocal of these anti-war Hollywood pundits has been San Penn.
Sampson Nearly Suggests Rove Almost Did Something -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-30) — During seven hours of questioning before a senate panel yesterday D. Kyle Sampson, the former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, nearly suggested that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove almost did something that could, under the right series of circumstances, be perceived by marginally-informed outsiders as unethical.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list.
"Why you sad, American soldier?" -- [via Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...As I lifted the tiny blankets, I became numb; ...disfigured and their bodies broken and mangled. I could not believe what I was looking at.
There was no semblance or the perception of a rough American soldier. I dropped to my knees and started to cry uncontrollably. All of the men, Iraqi Army and police, doctors and nurses all stopped to look at me
One of the [Iraqi] men came to me and said, in a voice totally filled with compassion and caring, "Why you sad, American soldier?"
They said it is a sad day in Iraq when an American soldier will fall on his knees and cry for children that are not American, but our own doctors will not come to help.
Practice Makes Perfect -- [GunnNutt - Semper Gratus! ]
The following is from an MP in Iraq. Minor spelling and syntax changes were made to the original
Oh, funny story for you and for you to share…the other day (we work nights so we were just waking up) we heard this BOOM….which well here is not unusual. It sounded close but we knew everyone here was in the wire. We found out later that 2 insurgents blew themselves up….get this…you ready… PRACTICING with their Suicide Vehicle Borne IED (SVBIED) !!!!!!!!!
RUBS #2 (Raw, Unedited and Barely Spell-checked) -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
This is the second installment of RUBS, a new way of posting information on the fly and overcoming obstacles to reporting that arc into the Iraq work space with uncanny timing and targeting. With no photos, and barely time for spell checks, RUBS streams at the speed of consciousness.
After Action Report -- [General Barry R McCaffrey (Ret) - in Iraq - via Michael Yons site]
General Barry McCaffrey (Ret) has just released a report of his Iraq trip and it is also published on the website. All his trip reports are excellent resources for helping one understand the true situation here in Iraq. The man is blunt, and knows his business.
Seeing a "Fiasco" in McCaffrey's Report -- [Weekly Standard Blog]
Retired General Barry McCaffrey visited Iraq earlier this month to meet with senior commanders and to get a better sense of the situation on the ground. McCaffrey was hardly a proponent of the president's new strategy, and in January went so far as to call the surge a "fool's errand" in testimony to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, but McCaffrey's after action report explicitly endorses that strategy.
WaPo Accentuates the Negative in McCaffrey Iraq Report -- [NewsBusters]
As an NBC military affairs analyst, retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey is a familar face to many Americans. McCaffrey also serves as an adjunct professor at West Point, and in that capacity recently wrote an eight-page paper on the situation in Iraq based on a recent visit there.
In today's Washington Post, there appears an article by Thomas Ricks, WaPo's Pentagon correspondent, reporting on the McCaffrey paper. While Ricks does discuss some of McCaffrey's more optimistic findings, he emphasizes the negative while ignoring a number of the general's positive observations. Ricks' headline sets the tone: ...
Advising Indigenous Forces -- [Captain Ryan T. Kranc - SWJ]
As the Long War continues, reaching its tactical, operational, and strategic objectives requires training and advising the security forces of Iraq and Afghanistan to take control of their country from insurgents, sectarian violence, and lawlessness. General George Casey said in September 2005 that "The sooner we can shift [to Iraqi security forces] the better. A smaller U.S. footprint, that is allowed to decline gradually as Iraqi forces get stronger, actually helps us." The November 2005 National Security Council publication, The National Strategy for Victory in Iraq emphasized that point, quantifying victory in Iraq according to three distinct time metrics:
In the short term:...
Longer Surge Could Force Iraq Extensions -- [Defense News]
More troops could be extended in Iraq, and stateside units deployed sooner than expected, if the current “surge” of troops lasts beyond the summer — something the top U.S. commander in Iraq has already said he expects to happen.
U.S. Marines Launch Mortars In Fallujah Marked as: Mature
U.S. Marines launch mortars on Insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq.
AQ's Leadership Struggle -- [Defense Tech]
Here’s the latest passdown from the intel analysts over at Stratfor on the power plays going on in al Qaeda’s leadership. It’s interesting to note the analysis comes on the heels of our last post describing the stalemate in Iraq and other fronts in the GWOT as “spoiling” attacks.
New Hope for 5 Hostages? -- [Jawa Report]
These are the 5 contractors employed by Crescent Security Group who were kidnapped near Basra in November 2006, as seen in a hostage video released in January of this year. There has been no word on them since. But now there is new hope that their ordeal may be ending soon.
Short film of Zach Pentek, 1/506th, rated best Combat Video of 2006! -- [Michael Fumento]
An interview from an observation post in Ramadi with Sgt. Zach Pentek by Ritterby has been voted the best Combat Video of 2006 by the military. Although I wrote two articles about my embeds with 1/506th of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), part of Task Force Currahee, Zach's platoon in A Co. will always have a special place in my heart because we were all together in the manic dash I dubbed "the Ramadi Run." The video is
Al Qaeda suicide attacks: cause and effect in Tal Afar -- [The Fourth Rail]
Suicide bombings may have caused a police backlash, however the reporting is still in question
Yesterday's dual suicide strikes in Shia markets in Tal Afar appears to have been a major success for al Qaeda. The largely Shia city, which has been a model of governance and security in Iraq, had at least 63 of its citizens murdered. Al Qaeda, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, has struck at Shia civilians in the past in order to stir up sectarian violence. Yesterday's attack may have worked. While the news reports on this
Recon -- [The Calm Before The Sand - in Iraq]
Somewhere south of Baghdad, en route to As-Suwayrah, Iraq...
It's a balmy morning in southern Iraq, and I'm weighed down by sixty pounds of gear and ammo, getting ready for my first mission as part of Recon. The farmers' fields are shrouded in fog, and a hundred feet below me the countryside whips past the viewports. We're riding in a Polish Mi-8, a type of heavy transport helicopter. It's a Russian design, dating back to the Cold War, and a notable departure from the UH-60 Black Hawks that brought us down here.
Greetings from Scenic Stinking Baghdad -- [StrypGia - in Iraq]
Hello from FOB Rustamiyah, located on the banks of the Diyala River just east of Baghdad proper.
Still building our TOC from scratch, and settling in.
Got rocketed last night. That old familiar feeling. Back in Iraq alright.
More Deployment Souvenirs - Part 1 -- [Half a World Away - in Iraq]
The Stetson isn't the only accoutrement that can be earned while attached to a Cavalry unit. Another rite of passage is called a Spur Ride.
The details behind a Spur Ride vary by unit, it isn't an official Army sanctioned event so it is up to the unit to come up with something. The driving force behind the Spur Ride is unit morale, team building, and a tie back to Cav history. The 167 Cav held a spur ride on the 18th of March, and I was lucky enough to participate.
Soldiers exchange fire with insurgents in Baqubah Iraq 22/03/2007
JawBreaker 2 Delta goes to Baghdad, hilarity ensues.... -- [JawBreaker 2 Delta]
This is my first attempt at putting together a movie with pictures and video from my deployment on OIF III. The video begins with an IED that was meant for the third truck (mine) in our three truck convoy.
Before we ever left the FOB that morning, my team leader (CPT B-Rock, bald head, mustache, butt hovering over his head) got a call from a Neighborhood Council member in a village just down the road from Jisr Diyala and the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Facility. I can't remember the name right now. The NAC member told us that some "Wahhabi's" (Iraqi slang for any badguy) had placed a bomb on the route that we had used once too often apparently. We took a back way to the meeting after we called EOD.
"Can you give me a lift to the airport?" -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
... In Iraq though, getting a lift to the airport is a bit more complex.
Many of not most of us are on places where fixed wing aircraft do not land. Our options are are either to drive or do the Manhattan like thing and grab a rotary wing bird to the airport. That is what I was scheduled to do when I went on leave last month.
Sig Christenson: The danger of idle minds -- [MySA Blog - in Iraq]
Everybody's seen that old TV spot where the announcer says, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
But just as bad in these parts of the Sunni Triangle - or worse - is an idle mind.
...The Army is aware of the problem. Soldiers stay busy by virtue of putting in 10 to 12 hours a day. The higher the rank, by the way, the longer you work. Supervisors tend to give their soldiers one day off each week while most leaders get two days a month.
One NCO says that those 24 hours off a week gives troops time to think. I ask if time to think is bad. The answer: It makes time go slower.
28 Mar -- Wednesday -- [Air Force Afghanistan Mentor - in Afghanistan]
...Long story short; when you pull into a town for a meeting with the locals, everyone wants to come out and it gets crazy fast. Good SOPs for crowd control, security and trip pre-planning are a must. My team had inner cordon security and it was very hectic. I was dealing with locals, ANP (Police), ANA (Army), interpreters, my own team, language barriers, security, escort to the meeting, etc... I was plumb worn out by the end of the day. We did very well for our first major scenario and no one got lost, left behind and no one was killed.
What I work with -- [Bouhammer's Afghan Blog - in Afghanistan]
A lot of people have asked me what it is like working with the ANP (Afghan National Police) now versus the ANA. Well rather than write out a big, long blog about it I think this news story here can give you a good picture of the caliber of people I am mentoring now.
Granted these particular ANP are not the ones I mentor, but these are not far off or much different.
Afghanistan Fighting Women Marked as: Mature
For the first time in recent history, the women of Afghanistan's military are growing in numbers, and advancing in their roles as practical military soldiers. The women of Afghanistan are also gaining status and acceptance.
Under Taliban rule in Afghanistan, men abused women in the streets for simple infractions like not wearing a burka.
But there is no doubt that women here are making advances. Afghan women armed with the AK-47 assault rifle conducted their first live firing exercise this week. This historic occasion marks true progress in the Afghanistan woman's struggle to gain equality.
Winning Hearts and Minds Premiers on Blip TV -- [Fortunate Son]
Meet the men of US Army Civil Affairs in Afghanistan. Sergeants Kling, Reisz, Carrillo and Captain Corsten tell us about the Civil Affairs mission and take us into the communities of Afghanistan to see what it takes to rebuild a war-torn country...
Taliban preparing to launch BM rockets against an american post in Kunar Marked as: Mature
The rockets are cleaned with oil then sent on their way
Sanity for Iran from Iraq -- [Moderate Risk - in Iraq]
After accidentally visiting a living museum of revolutionary communists a few days ago, Michael Totten and I didn't know what to expect when meeting the alleged moderates also calling themselves a Komala. Michael was ready in case we were dropped into a bunch of space aliens to take pictures of livestock dissections, ask pointed questions about crop circle creation, and tactfully refuse probing. Anything was on the table.
Iran Refusing Offers to Mediate Hostage Crisis -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Highly reliable sources report that officials in the government of a Scandinavian country have offered to mediate the Iran hostage crisis, but the offers have been refused thus far by the Iranians. Also, a well-placed journalist in Washington and a knowledgeable source in Istanbul cannot confirm press reports of a possible meeting between Turkish officials and the British hostages
Footage Of British Sailors Broadcast By Iran W/ Audio
The King Speaks -- [Strategy Page]
March 29, 2007: At the recent meeting of the Arab League, the king of Saudi Arabia got up and said out loud, what most Arabs and outsiders have known for a long time, "we have met the enemy, and they are us." Well, not exactly in those words, but close. The king bemoaned the lack of unity and cooperation in the Arab world. He could have also gotten into the corruption and lack of honesty (in journalism, or simply reporting accurately what you or your organization are doing.) But because of the corruption and lack of honesty, there was little mention of these issues.
Shoot for Fun -- [Brad's Place - in Kosovo]
I've been a bit busy the past two days. Yes, I am in what is considered a war zone, so we will be busy, but I have a desk job in an office. I'm not ashamed of that, especially on these days when we have frigid 40 knot winds whipping through the camp. That office is awful comfy at my age. Let the kids carry the heavy packs, they love that stuff.
Famine, Fear and Fizzled Nukes -- [Strategy Page]
March 29, 2007: North Korea is starving again, big time. The North Korean government has now admitted it, and says it will need at least a million tons of food in the next year, to feed its 23 million people. That's about 20 percent of total food needs. In the last few years, North Korea has been shutting down food aid programs by the UN and other foreign NGOs, largely in response to demands that distribution of food to the needy be monitored. Meanwhile, food donations to North Korea have shrunk because of mounting evidence that much of the food was diverted to the military or sold to raise cash.
Iraqi ForMin Official: Al-Qaeda Using Adolescent Boys, Mentally Handicapped Kids for Suicide Ops Since 2005 -- [MEMRI Blog]
Referring to Al-Qaeda's use of children, Abd Al-Karim Al-Kanani, director of the special operations office of Iraq's Foreign Ministry, said that terror groups in Iraq had used adolescent boys and mentally handicapped children in extensive suicide operations as early as 2005.
Saudis Edging Away from the United States in Counterterror Efforts -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Ties are seriously fraying between the Saudi royals and the Bush administration, largely because the Saudis appear to have abandoned any pretext of confronting terrorism and instead have returned full bore to the long-held tradition of co-opting or buying opponents.
Interviews with Karim al-Mejjati and Abqaiq Attacker -- [Globalterroralert.com]
(3/29/07): Al-Qaida's Committee in the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia) has recently released the first new issue of its official magazine, Sawt al-Jihad ("Voice of Jihad"), in nearly two years. Among other articles, the magazine contains lengthy interviews with Badr al-Humaydi (one of the Al-Qaida operatives who participated in last year's terrorist attack on the Abqaiq oil refinery in eastern Saudi Arabia) and Karim al-Mejjati (a.k.a. Abu Elyas al-Maghrebi), a most wanted Moroccan Al-Qaida commander who was killed in a clash with Saudi security forces in April 2005.
Soldiers’ Angels -- [SgtStryker]
The best time of the day for our troops stationed in Iraq is mail call. Letters from home and care packages from loved ones remind them that they haven’t been forgotten. Stationed in the desert or patrolling the streets of Baghdad, it can be too easy to feel cut off from life back home. This is especially true for the troops who don’t have someone writing them or sending them care packages. The men and women who get passed over time and again at mail call must face the danger of combat and the long, lonely days without the support of loved ones back home. One woman has made it her mission to make sure that all the men and women who serve our country know that they are appreciated.
Bryan McDonough - We Won't Forget. [The Desert Excursion: a 24/7 Soldier Medic]
It's been over three months now and I still cry every time I watch this. I will never forget Bryan or any of our other soldiers for the rest of my life. No matter what you think of this war, just remember that good Men and Women are putting their lives on the line, and some pay with their life; it effects us all.
For the fallen... -- [The Zeke - in Iraq]
It doesn't hit home until it is one of your own.
He was not the first of our own on this deployment to leave us forever, but I hope he is the last.
He wasn't just another name on a list of thousands...he wasn't a number or a resource...he was a son to a proud mother and father, a brother to several sisters and brothers...a fiance' to one he loved...a fellow soldier and friend to us all. He brought a smile to our faces and was quick to laugh. I was proud to call him a fellow soldier, I was prouder still to have called him friend. My heart and deepest regrets go out to those that knew him.
He’s HOME!! -- [Starryskye.org]
March 28, 2007 -Alan came home on Monday evening - 11pm in fact .. And Xander and I were there at the airport to greet him with our sign. I will post pictures later!
They are BACK!!!!! -- [Hooah !! ....545]
BOOTS ON THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have waited a long time to feel the impact of those words... what a wonderful feeling!!! I am so elated!!...My babygirls feet are back on home soil, and it feels fan-damn-tastic. I havent had the joy of seeing her yet, but it wont be long now, as plans are already in the works for all the for all the families to re-unite with their soldiers. I will post pictures of our reunion ASAP... Its been a long hard 15 months, but Ive never been more proud
The Smallest Heroes -- [SgtStryker]
Children of service members have to bear the burden of military life just as much as their parents. With every transfer of duty station they must change schools, meet new friends, find new activities, start over. The life of a military child is not an easy one. With the fast pace of military deployments today, the challenges facing the children of our troops have multiplied. Now they must endure long deployments and cope with the absence of one of their parents for months at a time.
Wounded Soldier Re-Enlists -- [A Soldier’s Mind]
Staff Sergeant Andrew McMann wasn’t bothered by the fact that he was in the Air Force Theater Hospital in Balad, Iraq. According to him it gave him the free time he needed to re-enlist. SSG McMann didn’t mention bother mentioning the reason he was in the hospital; he’d just survived an IED explosion 48 hours before.
Senate OKs spending bill forcing troop pullout -- [Air Force Times]
Senate Democrats ignored a veto threat and pushed through a bill Thursday requiring President Bush to start withdrawing troops from “the civil war in Iraq,” dealing a rare, sharp rebuke to a wartime commander in chief.
Appeal For Courage
A campaign by active-duty troops asking Congress to drop plans for a withdrawal from Iraq. Lt. Jason Nichols, a 33-year-old naval projects officer who has been in Baghdad since mid-January, said the goal is to keep lawmakers focused on letting the military finish its mission in Iraq, and not prematurely declare failure...
This fight and where I go. -- [American Soldier]
...If certain people are successful at withdrawing us then I hope they can live with the fact that there will be another war. We will have to go again. However, this soldier will not. They will only cut and run when it gets rough again.
I will leave the service when I’m fixed and I will not be returning. A long vacation is in store for this soldier. One of the biggest reasons for leaving will be the people who will take resources from my fellow brothers in the war. There will be deaths due to lack of re-enforced armor, ammo, weapons, weapon attachments, etc, etc, etc. Soldiers will die and it will be on their watch.
Troop Reaction to the Democrats -- [Blackfive]
Previously, I had asked for and received a lot of email from troops around the world (but mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan) about the Democrat resolutions for retreat...especially, in the face of the surge and a new Commanding General that the Democrats unamimously approved of...
They Can’t Move On (Part 98567) -- [The Thunder Run]
...Anyway, over at The Huffington Post a thread titled “Tony Snow has Cancer” had to be shut down because so many of the tolerant left piled on and wished him all the best in his pending death that Arianna had to close the thread and remove it from view. Today R.J. Eskow writes in his post Can Americans Reconcile? With Best Wishes For Tony Snow:
Cindy Sheehan’s Crawford Peace House In Trouble -- [Sweetness & Light]
A nationally known anti-war group in Mclennan County has lost its corporate status with the state, and a former member is calling for an investigation.
Officials in the Texas State Comptroller’s office said the Crawford Peace House hasn’t handed in required paperwork in nearly a year.
Embedded Frustrations: Does the Military Know How to Win the Media War? -- [Bob Owens - NewsBusters]
March 29, 2007 - If you are a journalist or blogger who wants to embed in Iraq, good luck making it through the PAO system. As a pair of prominent bloggers tell us on the record, getting into Iraq can be all but impossible thanks to obstacles put in place by the U.S. military's Pubic Affairs Office, and once there, the PAO seems to delight in making the life of an embed a living hell.
Burns of NY Times on 'Today': 'No Limit to this Violence' if US Troops Removed -- [NewsBusters]
March 29, 2007 - 10:56 - Far be it from me to put in a plug for "Today," but I do hope Nancy Pelosi & Friends were watching this morning. Congressional Dems might be quick to dismiss what President Bush predicts would be the upshot of a date-certain pull-out from Iraq. But perhaps they would not so blithely disregard the observations of one of the most experienced and respected reporters on Iraqi matters . . . a New York Times staffer, no less.
Kitty Kelley Op-Ed Blasting Bush Family Ignores George P.'s Military Service -- [NewsBusters]
The Los Angeles Times and Harper's have a bit of egg on their faces.
The Los Angeles Times ran an op-ed by Kitty Kelley last week claiming that no one in George W. Bush's extended family -- daughters, nieces or nephews -- has served in the military since his father's service in World War II.
The Bush family's supposed lack of military service is the entire focus of the op-ed.
Don't You Dare Question His Patriotism -- [Banter in Atlanter]
It is remarkably easy to see why some people label Seyour Hersh a treasonous bastard.
S: (n) treason, high treason, lese majesty (a crime that undermines the offender's government)...
...By the look of things, not much has changed with regard to Seymour Hersh's affinity for betraying his country and undermining it's government.
Just A Little While Ago, Just A Lifetime… -- [The Gun Line]
‘member when Neil Prakesh was penning “Armor Gedden”?
I remember that my morning routine was to hit his site, and then slide down to Castle Argghhh! to see what the happenings were. Then I’d cruise over to Lex’s to catch up on the Naval Lore of the moment
Far-Right Bloggers Invited To Iraq By The Pentagon. -- [Gun Toting Liberal]
While perusing the many Far-Right blogs that positively compliment the blogosphere (no really, this time that is not merely a disguised verbal assault; mockery will be placed aside), I came across a contribution I found to be very interesting.
Why we are going to Iraq -- [RedState]
It's time to stop criticizing war reporting, and start participating in it
Here at RedState, we have spent a great deal of time and energy debating the Iraq war and attempting to convey stories about the mission that can’t be found in the mainstream media. We've also criticized the quality of the MSM’s own reportage on events in the Middle East. We've pointed out episodes of anti-war bias, ignorance, and outright fabrications ad nauseam, all the while seeking to “correct the record” with a better reflection of events and developments as they actually are, rather than as they appear through the MSM’s anti-war, anti-Bush prism.
Bloggers: "Not Real Journalists"... -- [Blonde Sagacity]
There are two blogging issues I have been wondering about lately... The first is whether Bloggers will be given "press passes" to big events in the upcoming primaries and elections and at "press" events in general. The second is when and to what extent blogging will be able to be used on a resume...
The first question was unequivocally answered recently (at least as far as Lithuania is concerned):
"An Internet blogger in new EU member state Lithuania vowed Tuesday to fight a parliamentary decision refusing him accreditation on the grounds that he was not a legitimate journalist.
Iraq Pull-Out Bill Dumps Dems’ Image of Weakness -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-29) — Democrats this week finally shed the image that they are weak on national defense when they aggressively rejected the president’s efforts to achieve so-called “victory” over Islamic terrorists in Iraq, according to a news release from NYT-PAC, a political action committee run by journalists at a leading New York newspaper
Democrat Bill Creates National Redeployment Holiday -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-29) — Another little-heralded provision of the Iraq pull-out timeline bill would create a national holiday marking what Democrats said could be the “the greatest U.S. military achievement of the 21st century so far.”
What we Call the News [JibJab]
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
The intra-Sunni fighting in Al-Anbar province is continuing, and the violence is rising.
I'll also try my hand at laying out some of the recent events below, and explain a little bit of how the various elements you may hear about in the news are related.
Since the start of the year, Al-Qaeda In Iraq has attempted 11 chlorine VBIEDs, 9 in Al-Anbar, 1 in Tadji, and one in Baghdad. Of those, 9 have detonated with varying degrees of success, and 2 were found and disabled in Ramadi. The most recent attacks were early this morning in downtown Falluja, outside the government center...
Fallujah government center struck by chlorine suicide attack -- [The Fourth Rail]
Iraq Police, Army stop bomber short of target; dozens wounded, poisoned
Al Qaeda in Iraq is conducting a full fledged chemical war in Anbar province. Today, Al Qaeda conducted yet another chlorine gas suicide bombing, this time directed at the Fallujah government center, in the very heart of the city of Fallujah. The attack was coordinated; Multinational Forces West described it as “complex.” The two suicide truck bombs and small arms fire was preceded by mortar fire, which likely was designed to distract the guards at the gates.
IRAQ: AL-QAEDA SAYS IT STRUCK IN TALAFAR -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 28 March - The 'Islamic State of Iraq' a name used by a group affiliated to al-Qaeda in Iraq has said it blew up two trucks - one in a crowded market - in the town of Talafar which killed some 60 people and injured scores more. In a statement posted on the Internet the group said it has carried out Tuesday's attack as part "of a noble plan called 'expeditions to avenge the honour' proclaimed by our emir Abu Omar al-Baghdadi."
Fallujah Government Center attacked by chlorine truck bombs -- [MNF-I]
FALLUJAH, Iraq – Iraqi Army soldiers and police repelled a complex attack at the Fallujah Government Center, including two suicide truck bombs containing chlorine, on the morning of March 28.
Iran's Latest Hostage Gamble -- [Austin Bay - Strategy Page]
The sailors call them "RHIBs" -- rigid hull inflatable boats. Add powerful outboard motors, and the agile, shallow-draft RHIB becomes an ideal watercraft for scooting around the Tigris and Euphrates estuary or for slipping among suspicious dhows in Iraqi coastal waters.
Breaking: Iran says it will release woman Marine; Update: Set to air video “confession”? -- [Hot Air]
Today or tomorrow, according to the banner at CNN.com. Meanwhile, Blair has unleashed his dreaded “new phase” in the standoff: a freeze on all diplomatic matters with Iran unrelated to the hostage crisis and public presentation of GPS evidence that the ships were, indeed, in Iraqi waters. Iran has already responded on the latter point.
...Update: Looks like there’s a price for letting her go
In her own words: the female sailor held captive in Iran -- [The Independent]
An exclusive interview with Faye Turney, hours before she was seized
The woman who was captured by Iran's Revolutionary Guards while serving with the Royal Navy in Iraq spoke of her devotion to both her family and her job just hours before she was seized.
BBC NEWS VIDEO HERE
UK Presents Coordinates of British Vessels -- [Iraq Slogger]
MoD Claims Proof Sailors Were in Iraqi Waters When Seized
The British Ministry of Defence today in London presented the coordinates of the two British vessels from which 15 British personnel were seized on Friday, evidence Vice Admiral Charles Style said proved the Royal Navy was "ambushed" while "well inside" Iraqi waters.
UK Iran Bordercrossing issue
The Sunni Civil War -- [The Fourth Rail]
A map of al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq.
Al Qaeda 's campaign against the Sunni tribal and insurgent leaders who oppose al Qaeda, or are considering it
Al Qaeda in Iraq is pressing hard with its assassination, terror and intimidation campaign against Sunni tribal leaders and insurgent groups who refuse to join the Islamic State of Iraq, al Qaeda's political front designed to give the Sunni insurgency an Iraqi face.
Sadr's south Part 2 - Documentary about the Shia
This is a documentary about the Shia.
A plateau for now, but more action is in the air. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Ahmed Farhan Hassan has been captured. This operative is described as a senior aide to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi the leader of al-Qaeda’s so-called Islamic State in Iraq. That would make him a reasonably big fish, one from which, it would seem, good intelligence can be extracted.
Local Iraqi TV aired recorded confessions of Ahmed Farhan Hassan. Hassan, who was captured in Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad a few days ago, ...
Surge = Training Op for Iraqis -- [Defense Tech]
Ongoing “surge” operations in Baghdad are doubling as training opportunities for Iraqi soldiers, airmen and government officials. U.S. strategy entails turning over responsibility for security in Iraq to native entities as soon as they’re ready; the demands of the surge have forced Iraqis to be readier, sooner.
Iraqi and Coalition forces reunite kidnapped victims with families -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Iraqi and Coalition forces aided three Iraqi civilians, who were held hostage by terrorists near Karmah, Iraq, Thursday, and were returned to their homes Sunday.
Iraqi independent TV, radio launches -- [MNF-I]
DIYALA — The Independent Radio and Television Network officially launched during a ceremony held in the heart of Iraq’s troubled Diyala Province Sunday.
Coalition forces capture 19 suspected terrorists in Iraq -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces captured 19 suspected terrorists during operations Wednesday morning targeting al-Qaida in Iraq and foreign fighter facilitators.
During operations east of Karmah, Coalition Forces captured five suspected terrorists with alleged involvement in al-Qaida terrorist operations.
Oregon Soldiers Patrol Afghanistan Part 1 (raw footage)
Experience exactly what is was like for one Army/Oregon Guard foot patrol that went 'outside the wire" in Kabul, Afghanistan in November, '06. Each part is five minutes in length and completely unedited to give you an accurate look at what Photojournalist/Reporter Tim King saw and recorded "outside the wire" in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The Politics of Eurocentrism -- [KGW Afghanistan Blog]
I sat down at my computer yesterday to find a piece of paper from the US Army command resting on the keyboard:
"The US government has received the information below and classified the information as "Unclassified" to ensure the widest dissemination as possible to include NGO's.
Due to the release of the Italian journalist, the US government has credible information that the Taliban, buoyed by their recent success in obtaining the release of five imprisoned Taliban members in exchange for an Italian journalist, will undertake additional kidnappings of foreigners in southern Afghanistan, especially Helmund Province. This threat extends to and includes main highways as well as more rural areas."
Daniele Mastrogiacomo. An Italian freelance journalist who writes for La Repubblica was working in an area in Helmund Province where there is little to no Coalition force presence; it is an area that is reported to be under narco-Taliban control. Using a "fixer" or guide to take him in to the area he stated in an interview that, "...
287 Days time on target -- [McNeilly's Perspective - in Afghanistan]
Today I have been deployed to Afghanistan for 287 days. I listened on the radio today as a very calm person relayed information about a TIC (Troops In Contact) somewhere in the country. He was totally calm and professional. His boss wanted particulars about small arms fire and RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenades), he replied "We received small arms fire from across the river for about 15 minutes, and they started the attack with several RPG's. The commander asked about casualties, and he responded with that information. Later I listened as another unit reported detaining a person, and finding out that he was a person of interest linked to the Taliban organization. It was a very interesting time to listen.
JAPDIP -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
...One subject I will mention before going is the effect our departure has on the Afghans we’ve been working with. Hamid is looking down as he thinks about my leaving. However, this is a process both the ANA and the interpreters will go through each year. They make friends, get used to working with us, then we leave, and a new batch comes in, starting the process all over again. I remember when we first arrived at CMA. There were only four Americans working there before us, and it was obvious they were comfortable working with the ANA, and clearly friendships had been formed. When they said their goodbyes, I believe there was genuine sadness being displayed by many of the Afghans. We were the newcomers, and in a way we were the reason their friends had to leave.
Afghan Hospitality -- [Bouhammer Afghan Blog - in Afghanistan]
The other night our terps threw a party in honor of us before we leave. This is somewhat of a tradition that they do in Afghanistan for their guests, of which they consider us. This is the first of several feasts that we will have here before leaving. Our ANA will be having one for us also soon.
In their honor Prohpet, Puss and myself dressed in our local garb of man-jammies, slippers, and our Pashto hats. Of course we added some accessories including the folding stock AKs that each of us has and Puss wore my bandoleer. Prophet and I also wore our vests.
AFGHANISTAN: NATO PLEASED WITH ITALIAN SENATE VOTE TO CONTINUE MISSION -- (AKI)
Brussels, 28 March - NATO has said that it is satisfied with the vote in the Italian Senate on Tuesday to give final approval for the re-funding for all Italian missions abroad, including the 1,900-strong military contingent in Afghanistan. "Certainly, we are pleased with the Senate vote that will allow Italy to continue with its commitment in Afghanistan," NATO spokesman, James Appathurai said on Wednesday. He said that successsive Italian governments have confirmed Italy's commitment to the mission.
The Iranian Revolution in Iraq -- [Michael Totten]
KOMALAH COMPOUND, NORTHERN IRAQ – They were supposed to be social democrats, the people Patrick Lasswell and I met yesterday in a compound outside the city of Suleimaniya, the cultural capital of Northern Iraqi Kurdistan. We had it all set up. We were to meet Abu Bakr Mudarisy and his associates for lunch at 11:00 A.M. and learn what we could about the anti-government resistance a few miles away in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Our driver Yusef misunderstood and took us to the wrong place. He did drop us off where we met left-wing dissidents from Iran. But these weren’t the moderate English-speaking leftist intellectuals we were looking for. Instead we found ourselves in an armed camp of the military wing of the Iranian Communist Party.
Let's Make War On China -- [Strategy Page]
March 27, 2007: Leave to the marines to say what needs to be said, but that no one else has the nerve to do. Marine general James Cartwright, commander of STRATCOM (Strategic Command) pointed out that, in the face of increasing hacker attacks on Department of Defense and civilian computer networks, the best defense is a good offense. While many of these attacks are launched by criminal gangs and individuals (most of them amateurs), an increasing amount of the hacker activity is government sponsored, or the work of soldiers or civilians working for foreign government.
lying Imams Shield Law Introduced in Congress [Update: PASSED!!!] -- [Jawa Report]
UPDATE: "Flying Imams Shield Law Passes"!!!!!!!!!!
The motion passed 304 to 121
...House Republicans today surprised Democrats with a procedural vote to protect public-transportation passengers from being sued if they report suspicious activity -- the first step by lawmakers to protect "John Doe" airline travelers already targeted in a lawsuit by Muslim imams that charges profiling.
The John Doe Manifesto -- [Michelle Malkin]
Check out our Spartacus-inspired PSA in support of the citizen John Does threatened by CAIR and the litigious imams for reporting suspicious behavior
(Thanks to the cast and crew: Uncle Jimbo, Robert Spencer, Erick Stakelbeck, and Bryan Preston.)
My column this week also covers the new John Doe movement and lays down the John Doe manifesto:
Interpol issues extradition warrants for five senior Iranians and one senior Hezbollah Operative -- [Jawa Report]
From the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC):
Following an appeal from the Argentinean Attorney General, Interpol issued international extradition warrants for five senior Iranians and one senior Hezbollah operative. The charge was involvement in the suicide bombing attack of the Jewish community center building (AMIA) in Argentina in 1994.
Understanding and Simplifying Terrorist Financing -- [Countrterrorism Blog]
In the most basic sense, terrorist groups require funding to achieve their goals. They must have effective financial infrastructures to include:
• Sources of funds
• The means to launder funds
• The availability of funding
Care Packages -- [INDC Journal]
Military families and folks from organizations like Soldiers' Angels and Operation Gratitude should feel confident that their care packages are appreciated and everywhere in Fallujah. From Camp Fallujah to Iraqi Police Headquarters to the Forward Operating Bases outside the wire, one can't help stumbling across endless boxes of soap, baby wipes, beef jerky, pop tarts, beef jerky, soup and beef jerky. Between the packages, fancy chow halls at larger bases and good communications, servicemembers are certainly more connected and probably better taken care of than during any other war in US history.
ROFASix - Censored by the Left? -- [ROFA Six]
28 March 2007 - Note: The person who claimed to have taken the photos of demonstrators burning an effigy of an American soldier contacted me and demanded I remove this photo I had posted a week ago. She claimed that by posting her photo I caused her to get hate e-mail. It was spurious logic. Had she not commented on the post and left her e-mail address, no one would have known who took the photo
Portland Oregon Anarchists Burn Soldier Effigy (Mature)
Democrats, Why Did You Betray Me -- [Tanker Brothers]
I sit here at my computer in Baghdad and seethe with rage at the treason of the Left Wing and the arrogant Democratic Party. My soul cries out in rage at their open acts of idiocy. I simply cannot put into words my utter disgust with the leftists and their actions. However, I can ask one simple question: Why did you betray me?
Viral Targeting of the IED Social Network System -- [Scott Swanson - SWJ]
Extremist groups, insurgents, and resistance elements continue to use Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) to attack coalition forces to thwart “infidel Crusaders’” occupation activities and assault rival sectarian factions. The effective and low-cost IED weapon in Iraq hides as a tool created within an elusive social network system and its use will persist in opportunistic attacks if the status quo does not shift. This IED system further devastates Iraq with evolving ambush accuracy and component sophistication, creates supply-chain income opportunities within the community, and beckons the youth who require a social-psychological outlet. Regrettably, IEDs will continue to be a weapon to channel the three “Rs” attributed to insurgencies: resentment, resistance, and revenge, unless social improvements can be rapidly implemented or the supporting networks can be debilitated.
Liberal Algerian Paper Criticizes U.S. Antiwar Movement -- [ON Point]
In an opinion piece in the liberal Algerian daily Liberté, columnist Mustapha Hammouche criticizes what he sees as the simplistic populism of the anti-war movement in the U.S. He argues that the anti-war protests are primarily a result of nostalgia for the protest movement against the Vietnam War, and that they ignore the realities of the current war in Iraq – which, he says, has helped terrorism diminish Iraqis' hopes and has eroded their support for democracy.
The following are excerpts:
"The Latest American Plan... is Aimed at Compensating for the Lack of Order Caused by the Sectarian Tendencies of Iraqi Policemen"
Giving our opponent our playbook -- [Calvary in Iraq - in Iraq]
It is unfathomable to me that a reasonable and supposedly informed body of public officials would vote to require withdrawal of US forces from Iraq as a condition of funding our troops.
It's like a football team giving the other team its playbook before the game. It is, as pro-military Senators stated, a recipe for defeat.
Dems support the pork, er, troops -- [Don Surber]
Victory Caucus has posted the Senate emergency appropriation bill for Iraq.
Democrats support the troops with:...
THEY'RE RUNNING AWAY WITH THEIR LITTLE CURLY TAILS BETWEEN THEIR LEGS: -- [Instaoundit]
The Senate has just passed an Iraq withdrawal bill, which like the House bill was laden with pork to buy votes.
The Democrat Bill To Embolden The Enemy Passes -- [Flopping Aces]
...This is the new and improved Congress where we have Hagel voting for the cut n run bill and Lieberman against...the same bill that was bounced off the floor two weeks ago passes today all because of bribes.
Wonderful job Dem's, you should be patting yourselves on the back for this one.
Senate Votes 50-48 For Surrender Timetable; Chuck Hagel Provides Crucial Vote -- [Ace of Spades]
This guy is running for President? Really?
If so, he's running third party -- I think he's deliberately considering playing the spoiler to drain away isolationist conservatives from the GOP and insure a Democratic victor.
Republican Party Ready To Abandon The Troops -- [Villainous Company]
In the Wall Street Journal, Brendan Miniter wonders whether the GOP will ever be a national party aga
...Standing up for what you believe in?
That would require a backbone: something that, by all the available evidence, the Republican party long ago lost any claim to:
Spring Break May Delay War Funds -- [The Politico] (HT: Bill Nelson - Free Republic)
Spring break checklist for Congress: A plane ticket back home, chocolate (or matzo) for the family and a war spending bill for the president.
The last item might need to wait.
Anti-War Bloggers Update Us on the Surge -- [OP-FOR]
Is the surge working? Hell, I don't know. I've heard good things, I've heard bad things. But anyone who tells you "no progress is being made" is trying to sell you something, not deliver an honest evaluation on the ground sit out there.
Unless, of course, you believe that John Avarosis of AMERICAblog knows something that General Petraeus doesn't.
Alert: Likely Skunk in the Tal Afar Press Room -- [Gateway Pundit]
Wait and see. You can bet there's much more to this massacre story...
This story looks like another media hoaxer like the 6 Sunni story that was fabricated or the Ramadi soccer field slaughter that was made up.
So far this morning the Tal Afar massacre story has been reprinted some 763 times.
This horrific Tal Afar massacre story was reported this morning by Sinan Salaheddin of the AP:
Media Matters mauls Politico -- [Hot Air]
...I haven’t done any scientific surveys to determine if the George Soros creature called Media Matters for America is actually the lamest site on the internet, but intuition tells me that it is. The people who run that site use the bottomless pockets of Soros, a man who thinks America is a Nazi country today in spite of the fact that we’ve spent precious blood and treasure to put down a couple of Nazi-like regimes since 2001, to come up with the silliest, most one-side critiques of MSM journalism you can find anywhere. Then they breathlessly report these non-stories as though they’re reporting the very end of the world and creation itself. They take themselves very seriously indeed, but no one else has any reason to treat them likewise. They’re basically a left-wing outfit lavishly funded to push the MSM to the left.
Here’s an example.
HERITAGE FOUNDATION: "How Modern Liberals Think -- [HT: Soldiers' Angels Germany]
The title of the 45-minute lecture called "Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals Think", but forget the labels. It's a fascinating analysis of what he calls "indescriminateness of thought", often called moral equivilancy. The indescriminateness of thought which has led to much of today's anti-America, anti-Military agenda.
Bill Maher: Our Troops Have a ‘Dysfunctional, Abusive Relationship’ With Bush -- [NewsBusters]
HBO’s Bill Maher threw quite a Bush bash on the March 9 installment of “Real Time.”
Not only did he stock his panel exclusively with well-known critics of the Administration like Roseanne Barr, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, and former Special Assistant to the President David Kuo who attained notoriety by writing the book “Tempting Faith” after leaving the White House.
Maher also began the program after his opening monologue by interviewing a retired Army major general that had just written a scathing op-ed about America’s top officers published in the New York Times Tuesday. This made him the perfect guest to start such a hate-filled program (video available here courtesy of our friend Ms Underestimated).
Barbara Walters: Official Old Whore — David Gregory: Con Man Journalist -- [Pat Dollard]
Barbara Walters is a seasoned journalist. Barbara Walters has a responsibility, as co-owner/producer of the View, to ensure that her show presents factually correct, fair and accurate coverage of serious news, whenever it should choose to cover serious news. This morning, the show decided to cover the serious news about the snatched British naval personnel, and Rosie O’Donnel decided to flatly lie when she claimed that the Brits “apparently went into Iranian waters”. Now Rosie did this because she knows full well that Iran’s claim that the Brits went into those waters is the only excuse that the Iranians have for what may well be a political/military kidnapping - ie, an unprovoked act of Iranian military aggression. Rosie, in at best an absence of all facts,
Rosie talks about British in Iranian Waters & Gulf of Tonkin
Rosie O'Donnell speaks out about british soldiers in iranian waters and encourages viewers to google the Gulf of Tonkin.
Radio Host and HuffPo Blogger: How Could a Liar Like Tony Snow Not Have Cancer? -- [NewsBusters]
On Monday, a blogger had to cancel a speaking engagement at a tech conference because she was receiving death threats from people through her e-mail and at other websites.
On Tuesday, a radio personality and blogger at the Huffington Post suggested that White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has cancer because he lies and works for Fox News.
New York Times -- [The Marching Camp - in Iraq]
All the news that's fit to print, padded with whatever fiction gives our editorial board a warm fuzzy.
OK, I got this story from a blog who pointed to a FOX News article on the subject.
But the New York Times Editor's Note references as the basis of the Fox story is here.
The original story requires registration, and I don't feel like it. Don't need it anyway, because I have a pretty strong feeling about the original story. Unlike the New York Times, I'll tell you I'm speculating here that the original story was pretty slanted, "blahblahblah, the military is full of sexists and rapists, blahblahblah."
LEAK: Bush Veto Speech on Iraq Timeline Bill -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-28) — President George Bush will issue a rare veto in a nationally-televised speech within the next week according to the text of the address leaked to reporters today.
The following are excerpts from a draft of the president’s TV script.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Iraq ‘headed in the right direction’ -- [MNF-I]
Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - WASHINGTON — Several positive developments indicate that Iraq’s leaders and its people will eventually surmount insurgent violence occurring in the country and ultimately achieve stability, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to Iraq told reporters in Baghdad.
NEWS FROM THE FRONT - Interview with a Warrior -- [TJ's Anti-Contrarian Blog]
This installment is an interview with one of the heroes born of our society. He may not view himself as a hero, but from my military experience in joint operations, I know that the Marines and Army are doing the heavy lifting to engage an enemy that would rather be here blowing up your shopping malls. This News From the Front is dedicated to JACK ARMY.
ON Point Exclusive: Stepping Back in Ramadi, by Cpl Paul Robbins, Jr. -- [ON Point]
Since arriving to the city of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, in September of 2006, the Marines of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, (from Camp Lejeune, N.C.) have had a three part mission for their task in supporting the ongoing Operation Iraqi Freedom. That mission is to neutralize the insurgency, support and train Iraqi Security Forces, and conduct civil military operations to improve the quality of life for residents in the city. In the more than six months since their arrival the...
Rangers Find Intel in Ramadi
Baghdad High Value Targets Nabbed -- [The Fourth Rail]
The Baghdad Order Of Battle as of March 26, 2007. Click map to view.
Three mass murderers have been arrested in Baghdad over the past week
Al Qaeda in Iraq and their network of suicide and car bomb cells have been the greatest threat to security in Baghdad, particularly since the implementation of the Baghdad Security Plan. Suicide attacks are aimed at Shia neighborhoods and markets in an attempt to reignite the sectarian murders, as well as at security forces in an attempt to break the will of the Iraqi police and soldiers. Over the past five days, Iraqi and U.S. forces have put a big dent in the leadership of a suicide and car bomb cell in Adhamiyah, as well as an al Qaeda leader in Abu Ghraib.
Red On Red In Iraq -- [Captain's Quarters]
Iraqi Sunni insurgents have begun turning on their former friends in al-Qaeda, to the point of open combat in some areas, according to Sunni politicians and insurgent spokespeople. The development gives hope that the Iraqi factions will reject foreign terrorists and that the conflict can provide an opening for the end of the native insurgencies:...
Three Anti-Iraqi Forces Detained -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq –Iraqi and Coalition Forces captured three suspected criminals during an operation Tuesday morning targeting anti-Iraqi forces in Najaf.
Intelligence reports indicated individuals in the targeted area were involved with the facilitation of weapons into Iraq.
“Iraqi and Coalition Forces are working diligently to eliminate the threat to Iraqi forces," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “These threats are a hindrance to the peace and stability the Iraqi people deserve.”
Iraqi Police complete survival training -- [MNF-I]
AD-DUJAL — Nearly 30 new Iraqi Police officers graduated from a demanding survival course here on March 17.
The officers joined the Iraqi Police after completing a five-week course designed to familiarize them with skills necessary to protect and serve citizens and themselves.
“The new volunteer [policeman] does not have any experience,” said Iraqi Gen. Muzhir Aubed Dharfir, police chief for Salah ad-Din province. “After taking this course, he will have that experience in the field. God willing, we will get to continue to train these officers.”
Al Anbar governor meets with Rutbah leaders -- [MNF-I]
AR RUTBAH — The Governor of Al Anbar Province met with Rutbah City Council members on Thursday to discuss issues vital to improving the quality of life in the city.
Cold Calling the Communists in Iraq -- [Moderate Risk - in Iraq]
They were the nicest Marxists I've ever met, even if the meeting was by accident. Michael Totten and I arranged to meet with a group of Iranian dissidents who were described to us as a bunch of former communists who now followed a “Social Democrat” ideology so we could interview them. We figured their take on matters in Iran must be very interesting, and hopefully it will be when we meet later this week. Today, however, we got together with our driver and our translator, headed out for a meeting with Iranian dissidents and found one. Strangely enough, it was not with the group we had arranged with. The first commune you run across is often not the one you're looking for and instead of reformed social democrats, we found hard core, unreformed, Marxist-Leninists. Sometimes
Sights, Sounds and Smells -- [Pro Deo Et Patria - An Army Chaplain - in Iraq]
It was a busy day today. In the evening I flew over to Rustamiyah- my old stomping grounds- for a memorial. I flew with one of our generals and represented the Division Chaplain Staff. I love being up in the air in a helicopter, and as I observed everything as we flew, it occured to me that being here in Iraq entails many different sights, sounds and smells.
Iran, Sadr and Iranian Forces Deployed Throughout the Middle East -- [Captain's Journal]
US News & World Report recently reported on a skirmish between Iranian and U.S. forces in September of 2006, within Iraq but near the Iranian border. This skirmish was merely a prelude to further action, and more recently fifteen British sailors and marines were abducted by Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces while patroling inside Iraqi territorial waters near the Shatt al-Arab waterway. Of course, Iran immediately claimed that the Brits were in Iranian territory, but this is irrelevant since the abductions had nothing to do with territorial disputes. The abductions were the next step in the escalating covert war with coalition forces.
Taliban Turns on Al Qaeda -- [Strategy Page]
March 27, 2007: In Pakistan, the government got several more tribes to agree to help fight Islamic terrorists. This deal has not worked out so well in nearby Waziristan, but is the best the government can do. The deal calls for the tribes to "refrain" from supporting the Taliban or Islamic terrorists in general. In return, the government stays out of tribal affairs, unless invited in.
More Ranges and no Beer for St Paddy's Day -- [Trip in Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
Well its been a while since I have writin on this blog. Things are really getting busy. This weekend was another busy one. The other night we lost a little girl that was caught in the cross fire of a suicide Bomber. It was the hardest day yet. Seeing the innocence of a child. She was about 7 years old. I have found it hard to sleep the past couple of nights but I have to continue to think that this is why I am here. To try and help those who need it and I know that we can't save everyone.
On the good side, the little boy that we did the brain surgery on the other week, He is doing awesome and he was discharged a couple of days ago. He was walking and talking. That made my heart melt.
Week 10--the Real Groundbreaking -- [Richard's Deployment to Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
This week we had the REAL groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital. The "photo op" was last week, but the real work began this week. Backhoes and lots of KBR workers have made significant progress on the new hospital. We're anticipating a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new hospital sometime in December. Those of us who will be here in January '07 should see our replacement move into a new "brick and mortar" hospital. The tent hospital we work in now has been here almost five years and it's showing its age. Leaks and breaks and wear and tear are evident everywhere you look. And when the rockets come in, off everyone goes to the patient bunkers. It's time to upgrade, and it's nice to see the new hospital going up right before our eyes.
Special Report - My Year in Afghanistan -- [Afghanistan Watch]
Deja Vu and Misleading Press Releases -- [Strategy Page]
March 27, 2007: In Helmand province, a major target for the Taliban, a four day operation by the Afghan army and police killed about a over 80 Taliban. Ten soldiers and policemen died, and large quantities of weapons and documents were captured. The Taliban are coming back for another "Spring Offensive," but do not appear to have any new tactics that can deal with government air superiority and reconnaissance. NATO and U.S. UAVs and warplanes are able to spot large (more than a half a dozen or so) groups of Taliban gunmen, track them, and lead Afghan or NATO troops to intercept them
An Obscene Quantity of Fun -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
Hang on for a wild ride today. Lots of photos, lots of humor, my wife writes her first post, Drew writes his second, Maj Apple gets in on the fun, and I am forced to try a second cigar.
Today was Christmas in March. The poor guys who bring the mail just kept coming back with more packages. The whole day was just one giant obscene amenity, so you’ll have to excuse me if I spend this post describing all our luxuries. First of all, Rat got three giant boxes full of goodies from the radio station that reads his letters on the air each day.
Afghan Sit-Rep -- [Defense Tech]
On another front, DT obtained a copy of an after action review of operations in Afghanistan from former 24th Infantry Division commander in Operation Desert Storm and now International Affairs professor at West Point, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who traveled to Afghanistan in mid-February.
During his visit, McCaffrey met with a wide range of military leaders, intelligence officials, diplomats and local Afghans to get a read on how things are going over there.
The Bazaar -- [Casa Suescun - in Afghanistan]
...I think that almost every American base throughout the world has foreign vendors on it in one incantation or another hawking their wares. On some bases, such as Ramstein AFB in Germany, they are a part of the PX/BX "mini-mall" complex. In other places they are free-standing stores. And still elsewhere, they congregate together and set-up shop on some forgotten corner of the base. Such is the situation on FOB Salerno - where the Bazaar is located on a (formerly) empty, dusty field inside our perimeter, near the front gate. There, the local vendors sell many local (and not-so local) products. Among the local products are many hand-made items such as very elaborate trunks, boxes, figurines, and chairs. Also, very beautiful rugs, Pashminas (cashmere and silk scarves), clothing and blankets can often be found.
It is apparent that the spread of American Capitalism can not be stopped. Imagine my surprise to learn that the latest franchise in the ever-growing Blockbuster video chain could be found here on FOB Salerno.
Weak Sanctions On Iran Simply Won't Work -- [Victor Comras - Counterterrorism Blog]
A number of my colleagues have suggested that I discuss further my concerns with the latest UN Security Council Sanctions Resolution on Iran. Many in the news media are characterizing the new round of UN Security Council Sanctions on Iran as “tough” and “stringent,” and my previous blog seems well out of step with these perceptions. Those assigning such positive attributes to Resolution 1747 are apparently relying, in part, on statements made by various world leaders that the Security Council’s unanimous support for Resolution 1747 demonstrates the international community's commitment to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I wish that were the case, but I strongly doubt it. The new sanction measures, in my view, represent, ...
Retired American General Wesley Clark Warns Iran of Possible Attack -- [Victory Caucus]
Now here’s an interesting read I found this morning at GulfTimes.com about Wesley Clark and some of the comments he made about Iran...
The story went in part like this...
Retired American General Wesley Clark has warned Iran of possible attack in the event of the Central Asian country going ahead with its nuclear plans... Elaborating on the role of the United States in the region, Clark said Iran could not underestimate America’s capability to launch strikes against the country in the event of a military option... “If a military option is necessary, we could penetrate Iran’s air space in no time,” said the ex-general...
Brutal Chinese Weapon, Tailor-Made for Insurgents -- [Danger Room]
Portable rocket launchers like the RPG-7 are some of the deadliest, and most common, weapons in the guerrilla arsenal. The Chinese are now producing a new warheads that'll make the weapons even more lethal -- capable of knocking down a three-story building from 200 meters away.
Jane's reveals that China's Xinshidai Company is churning out thermobaric warheads for the venerable RPG-7. Thermobaric explosives are 'volumetric' – the explosion comes from a cloud rather than a point source, and produces a blast that lasts longer. Even though this increase in duration is measured in milliseconds, it makes thermobarics far more destructive than condensed explosives, against both buildings and people.
Irshad Manji on 60 Minutes -- [Jawa Report]
Irshad Manji, a self-described "Muslim refusenik", speaks with 60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon about Islamic reform, her new partnership with former terrorist Hassan Butt and Ijtihad (pronounced “ij-tee-had”), Islam’s tradition of independent thinking. For more 60 Minutes coverage of former terrorist Hassan Butt, see here.
Now Available: Globalterroralert.com Video Cybercast #2 -- [Evan Kohlmann - Counterterrorism Blog]
The second edition of the Globalterroralert.com Video Cybercast is now available for download from Yahoo! Video and the Internet Archive. The cybercast covers an array of critical issues, including: Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri's blistering attack on the Palestinian Hamas movement, Al-Qaida's continuing wave of violence in Algeria, the recent suicide bombing at a Moroccan cybercafe, legal charges filed against a Missouri-based terror financing front, the arrest of a jihadi webmaster in Spain, and a full update on the state of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.
Top Lebanese Sunni Cleric and Former MP Fathi Yakan on Al-Jazeera: -- [MEMRI]
Bin Laden a Man After My Own Heart; I Am Not Sad Because of 9/11 and Never Condemned this Attack
The following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese Sunni cleric and former MP Fathi Yakan, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on March 16, 2007.
Yakan is the founder and head of the Lebanese Islamist Front. He holds a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies, and was secretary-general of the Lebanese Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya group until he won a parliamentary seat, which he lost in 2005.
In a visit to Iran last week, he called for a joint defense pact for Iran and Arab and Muslim countries to defend the Muslim world. H
Thank you! -- [Lumberjack in a Desert - injured in Iraq]
To all of our supporters,
I write tonight not only to update you all on life at Walter Reed, but to also say THANK YOU!
First and foremost a thank you to the Hayward, WI community. On March 10, 2007 the community of Hayward threw a benefit concert for our family. To all who donated or attended a huge thank you. You are all amazing and there is something truly magical about your community. I wish we would have been able to attend but unfortunately our commitment to recovery at Walter Reed did not allow us to do so. We hear it was a great night and hope everyone who attended had a great time.
Thank you to the community of Lake Geneva, WI. There is an outpouring of support for a soldier who many of you have yet to meet. J.R. and I are forever grateful for your many acts of kindness.
The Troops Need You, America! -- [Victory Caucus]
Major Eric Egland (reserve) is a counterterrorism expert who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. And now, he's serving in a new way: spreading the word on how Americans can take practical action to help support our troops. Sounds familiar, no?
Bands in the battle zone -- [Michelle Malkin]
Who's rocking America's troops? WSJ reports that "the USO is having some trouble recruiting A-list stars. Increasingly, the military's old, Bob Hope-style approach to entertainment is being partly supplanted by a different model. The new approach relies on sending little-known bands to the Middle East in an effort to provide more concerts at more remote bases in combat zones."
Among the musicians on the front lines: A husband of one of the Dixie Chicks. Well, good for him.
VA Mortgage Center Scholarship -- [Soldier's Perspective]
Our friends over at the VA Mortgage Center (I swear we're not paid for this) have announced a $3,000 Military Education Scholarship Program. The scholarship is loosely based off the first post I did for them after winning the Best Milblog Contest. It's also fully funded by the EMPLOYEES of the Center. It was their decision to sponsor a program that would help benefit the very people we happily work with every day - veterans and military servicemembers (and their families).
A Eulogy for SSG Darrell Ray Griffin, Jr. -- [Michael Yon]
By SGT. Victor Quinonez
First off, I would like to thank everyone for attending the memorial of one of the greatest guys the United States Army has ever seen: SSG. Darrell Ray Griffin, Jr.
SSG. Darrell Ray Griffin, Jr.
SSG. Griffin and I clicked immediately, not just because we both volunteered to leave First Brigade and join this fine unit, but because he made me feel equal and welcomed. I think we can all agree he was like that with everyone.
Full of crap -- [Michelle Malkin]
You've seen the video of the Portland "peace" thugs burning an American soldier in effigy.
Now, Victoria Taft has the photo of the sicko who defecated on the American flag. (Vulgarity warning: Do not click through unless you are prepared to be totally disgusted.) Here's a fragment of the photo. Notice the child on the left observing the spectacle. Teach your children well...
Not my Oregon, but Our Oregon -- [Strong Ideas - in Afghanistan]
...As an American Soldier serving in Afghanistan after mobilizations to Iraq and New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Lakes Charles immediately after Hurricane Rita, it is hard to look at imagery of the Arlnene Schnitzer Concert Hall with its big "PORTLAND" sign in lights serving as the backdrop for such ignoble disrespect and to know that this image somehow represents to now millions of people across the world what my state is all about.
Pelosi, Reid and Murtha's Plan for "Victory" -- [Victory Caucus]
It's always helpful to be able to visualize a complex, sophisticated plan like the Democratic leadership's approach to "victory" in Iraq. And so the Victory Caucus is pleased to present a graphical representation of the latest iteration of the Slow Bleed strategy. Click through for a full-sized version !
A Moronocy of Dunces -- [Jules Crittenden]
Moron offsets for Sean Penn.
Special honors to whoever wrote and/or edited this NYT article to carefully and thoroughly lay out the case for Iran’s deadly involvement in Iraq, pointing out how quiet diplomacy has been attempted and rebuffed, and then closes with a demand for more diplomacy. It’s almost as if this wasn’t happening.
Mock US Raids In Iraq -- [ROFA Six]
After reading, "These U.S. Raids In Iraq Look Real, But They Aren't" in the Wall Street Journal, I emailed the author and asked him whether he had thought through the consequences of what he had written. The story essentially ends the ability of the US to continue what he describes. Unfortunately I got an "out of office - in Iraq" response, but the question is equally applicable to the editorial staff of the Journal. Hello ... are you guys using your brains?
By The Way, It’s Official … [Jules Crittenden]
… we can win in Iraq, we are winning in Iraq, and George Bush’s surge strategy is responsible for it. Not even the AP can ignore it* anymore:
....* The AP here grudgingly leaves out the kind of helpful interpretive graphs that usually are added to explain how Sunni bombings threaten Shiites, who no longer feel safe because the Mahdi Army bolted, and all of this threatens the fragile surge, blah blah blah. That stylistic habit would dictate a couple of graphs here to explain that by capturing the leaders and underlings of a major Sunni carbomb ring in Azamiyah, the Iraqi and US forces ...
Burt Brady-DFW welcome
Blog Post #48: Back in Idaho -- [Welcome to Blogram, Afghanistan]
We then spent four days trying to leave Point A. We finally succeeded, spent our last three hours in Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, then took off for Kuwait. From Kuwait we flew to Germany.
...We continued on to Texas, and there were bombarded with briefing after briefing. After a week of fun, I returned home.
Homecoming from Iraq
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This -- [Strategy Page]
Islamic terrorists are encouraging their supporters, who can write in English, to get on American web sites and pretend to be friends or family members of American soldiers or marines. The "media jehadis" are instructed to tell stories in line with the anti-war tone of American and European media. Things like soldiers committing suicide because they were forced to take part in atrocities in Iraq. Or wounded soldiers suffering, or killing themselves, because of the poor care and abuse they have received from the army. The media jihadis are told to make it sound like they are simply passing on what a soldier said, not to pretend to be a soldier or marine.
From The MEMRI TV Archives – Iranian TV Shows U.S. and British Soldiers Captured and Released by Iran in 2004 -- [The MEMRI Blog]
A MEMRI TV clip from November 2006 shows excerpts from an Iranian TV documentary on the U.S. and British soldiers who were captured and later released by Iran in 2004. The documentary aired on Iran's Al-'Alam TV, on November 4, 2006.
To view this clip, click here.
Iraq mosque bomb spurs revenge -- [Iraq Updates]
AljazeeraBlair insists Iran captured 15 troops inside Iraqi waters
British Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted Sunday that the 15 British sailors and Royal Marines captured by Iran were not in Iranian waters and told Tehran that London viewed their situation as "very serious." In New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran was considering charging 15 British sailors with illegally entering its waters.
Iran Invades Oman -- [Pat Dollard]
For close to a month now, certain pockets of the U.S. intelligence and military communities have been deeply focused on a few key developments in the Iranian front of the War on Terror. When Iran declared war on America a few years ago ( without a suicidal public announcement of course ) the entirety of the burden of execution fell on the shoulders of its Revolutionary Guards. No other military units in Iran are competent enough for any type of engagement with Western forces.
Women 'moving history forward' -- [MNF-I]
CAMP TAJI — The 615th “Cold Steel” Aviation Support Battalion hosted a Women’s History Month celebration here March 19.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Holly Cook, 1st Cavalry Division staff judge advocate, and “Suzan,” an Iraqi woman and lawyer whose full identity was withheld for security reasons, served as guest speakers for the celebration in support of the “Generations of women moving history forward” theme.
From the Advisors -- Bombs in Baghdad -- [Small Wars Journal]
It has been an interesting few weeks here in Baghdad. Myself and the other advisors felt that a comment on recent developments might be in order. It is still early days for Fardh al-Qanoon (a.k.a the “Baghdad Security Plan”) and thus too soon to tell for sure how things will play out. But, though the challenges remain extremely severe, early trends are quite positive. Counter-intuitively, the latest series of car bombings includes some encouraging signs...
FRAGO -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
**Sad post. Fair warning.**
A FRAGO is a fragmentary order- a change of mission to reflect a change of circumstances.
We cleared up a tough road to bring a resupply convoy up to a series of isolated Observation Posts. We've done the mission multiple times before, and this time, things were going according to plan. We cleared the first part of the route in record time. As we turned on to one of the side roads that would eventually bring us to the first OP, the side of the road was lined with children waving and asking for candy. Even some of the adults with them waved and smiled- a rare sight this close to Ramadi. At the last turn before the OP, there was a young boy and an man in his mid-twenties.
Ramblings of an Ole Serviceman..... -- [1016th - in Iraq]
Having just over a month left in this once Mesopotamian paradise now known as Iraq, everyone is very much looking forward to returning home.
We (1st Platoon) have finally released our trucks, Heavy Equipment Transporter System (HETS), to the 593rd Transportation Company. We started training them to take that mission about 45 days ago.
Good news: AQ in Iraq using kids to retrieve weapons during battles -- [Hot Air]
...A local Shiite man interviewed for the article says they’ve also been using kids with Down syndrome to carry bombs. Plausible? A-yup.
The AP’s got yet another article tonight about the “awakening” among the sheikhs in Anbar who are coming over to the American side to smash AQ.
Major U.S. Military Operations Coming in Diyala -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
On Friday, CBN News ran a story that I helped develop about coming major U.S. military operations in Iraq's Diyala province. An excerpt from Erick Stakelbeck's report...
RUBS -- [Micheal Yon]
The great difficulty in filing stories from Iraq is leading me to experiment. We are into the fifth year of the war Iraq, yet no comprehensive system exists to help media communicate to people at home. Raw information only trickles back from Iraq because the flow is strangled. That we are into the fifth year of war here, yet there is no filing center on even the larger bases is telling. Telling, perhaps, that information flow to America has never been a priority, or perhaps the priority has been to squelch it. The system of elaborate excuses is the only part of it all that is well-refined.
The blue foot: -- [Duke in Iraq - Brokenpieces]
A couple of days ago, I was walking into the hospital just as a helicopter was arriving with an injured soldier. When they take the injured off the helicopter they place them on a rolling stretcher. The man was being rolled through Hero’s Highway as he passed by me. He was wrapped in a Mylar blanket which helps keep the injured warm. There was a splint around his lower leg which was wrapped in an ace bandage and just his toes and top part of his foot was visible. His foot was blue due to a tourniquet that had been placed to stop the bleeding from a wound further up his leg. Every second or so, blood would drop from the splint and left a trail of blood splattered on the ground every 6 feet as the stretcher rolled into the ER where the orthopedic surgeons were waiting. He would then be prepped for surgery and taken to the OR and the damaged leg repaired. From the foot’s standpoint, it only knew it was in pain and was not getting enough of what it needed or wanted. The foot, if it could think independently would probably be shouting, “How about some blood down here?” “Don’t you see my foot is blue?” “I am in pain. I am throbbing. I feel my skin is about to burst. Can I get some relief?” If the foot were given immediate relief and the tourniquet was released, the foot would be happy for a short while. Then as the body continued to lose blood, it would become cold and blue once more and then would die as would the rest of the body to which it is attached. As I watched this soldier roll past me I thought, “There is a lesson in what I am seeing.” It was 1am the other morning when I realized the lesson from the “the blue foot”.
Qaeda Amir and Aides Reportedly Nabbed -- [Iraq Slogger]
Atta: Ahmad Farhan, 2 Associates Picked Up in Baghdad
Baghdad, March 26 (VOI) – Iraqi security forces arrested a so-called amir (leader) of al-Qaeda Organization in Iraq and two of his aides in Abu Ghraib area in western Baghdad, a spokesman for the Baghdad security plan said on Monday.
"A force from the 3rd Brigade raided Abu Ghraib area and arrested Ahmad Farhan and two of his close associates last Tuesday," Brig. Qassem Atta said in a press conference he held on Monday in Baghdad.
Rutbah - Fact vs Fiction -- [Fourth Rail]
Report of ambush, casualties on U.S. forces in the western town of Anbar false
News from the distant western towns of Anbar province is few and far between as reporters do not often travel to the far reaches of Iraq. The town of Rutbah is particularly distant from the center of gravity of Baghdad. Rutbah is a smuggler's town and a transit point in the Syrian desert in the southwestern corner of Iraq, which is nearly equidistant from Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda has attempted to control the town to facilitate the transit of weapons, cash and foreign terrorists into Iraq's central regions.
Sadr in Splinters? -- [Calvey in Iraq - in Iraq]
Here is an interesting analysis of the current political effectiveness of radical Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr, founder of the JAM (Jaysh al Mahdi) militia. It is written by someone who calls himself an Iraqi exile.
We are so used to hearing about radical Muslims on the news, that we sometimes forget that most Muslims wish to be peaceful people.
I also hear many Americans express consternation that more of America's moderate Muslims do not actively denounce terrorism.
I expect that many moderate Muslims are simply afraid to denounce terrorism. As has been made clear in Iraq, al Qaeda and other radical Islamo-fascist groups often will attack other Muslims who disagree with them even before they will attack non-Muslims.
U.S. Troops Will Defend Northern Iraq Against Turks -- [Strategy Page]
March 26, 2007: The PKK attacks Turkey expected on March 21-22 (Nevruz, spring festival) didn't occur. Nevruz festivities throughout Turkey, and especially Kurdish areas, proceeded with few incidents. This is good news. Turkish security forces began preparing in early February for a PKK Spring offensive.
Working together -- [Bouhammer Afghan's Blog - in Afghanistan]
It was an early morning mission, which is something I had not done in a while. Heck, I haven’t even been on a true mission in a long time. Since they gutted the ETT teams to create the Police mentoring teams (which I am on now) the staffing of all the teams has been so thin that we could not effectively and safely run combat missions at the optempo that we were used to. To solve that this time, we joined the ANA and ANP together on this mission, and of course the US advisors of both. This gave us a very strong force of both Afghans and US personnel.
The mission had several objectives, with the main one being the assessment of the local police HQ by the ANP mentoring team.
The more things change, the more they stay the same -- [McNeilly's Perspective - in Afghanistan]
The only thing constant is change
Here lately I have not had the pictures to put in the blog, because the subject matter of my pictures hasn’t been particularly enlightening or entertaining. My last several outings have resulted in pictures of artillery shells, or holes in the road generated by artillery shells being used for IED’s by the thugs who operate in the area. It isn’t particularly entertaining, but it is necessary.
Anything is Possible -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
It would seem that Afghanistan feels a little sorry for us, having put us through one of the coldest winters in recent memory, followed by a soggy February and March, so now it’s giving us day after day of perfection. The forecast shows at least three more days of perfect weather ahead, and we are eating it up. The doors and windows are open, the flies haven’t returned yet, so life is good. Even in Afghanistan, even with increased threats from the Taliban, you can’t help but smile as you enjoy spring.
Drugs, Guns & Gold- Afghani Black -- [Uncle Jimbo - BlackFive]
UPDATE: Jack comments that a fight against illegal drugs is not hysterical. I agree, and my beef is with our war on supplies overseas, which is actually counter-productive. I wish we had spent every dime we have wasted on that, on treatment for the users who can actually be helped.
Since we are busy trying to screw up our efforts to pacify Afghanistan with our puritanical hysteria over drugs, it seemed like a good time for this.
Civil War Brewing -- [Strategy Page]
March 26, 2007: The government is not happy with the way things are going. The UN refuses to back down on economic sanctions, or demands that Irans nuclear weapons program be shut down. Inside Iran, a majority of the population still opposes the government, and attempts to cajole or bully this majority into changing their mind, have not worked.
Journalist recovers 30 hrs of 911 tapes, which show the confusion and wrong choices that were made.
Hassan Butt : Reformed islamist and islamist terrorist fund raiser Marked as: Mature
British police this week arrested three British Muslims in connection with the 2005 bombings on the London subway system in which 52 people were killed.
The world was shocked when the four suicide bombers blew themselves up that morning, especially when it turned out that they were British citizens. The four had been recruited to what is called the "Network," a web of radical Islamic organizations loosely affiliated to al Qaeda which has turned Britain into the western world’s richest breeding grounds for terrorists. How did this happen?
IRAQ: FOUR SAUDIS SLAIN IN AL-ANBAR, REPORTS -- (AKI)
Baghdad, 26 March - Four alleged Saudi terrorists belonging to the Iraqi al-Qaeda organisation were killed in recent days during violent clashes with tribal militias in the Sunni province of al-Anbar. Sources of the so-called al-Anbar Salvation Council - a coalition of tribes opposing the Islamic State in the restive western province - have told the Saudi newspaper al-Watan that they had killed at least 70 members of the terrorist group in the past two weeks, including many Arab foreigners.
War On Terror Is Expensive and Cheap -- [Strategy Page]
March 23, 2007: The war on terror has cost $510 billion so far. General counter-terror and security operations have accounted for six percent of that, Afghanistan operations another twenty percent, and Iraq the rest. Iraq operations are costing about $100 billion a year, while Afghanistan costs about a fifth of that. The Department of Defense spends about 93 percent of this money.
Innocence and War -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
There are many reasons I'm so serious about supporting our military men and women, why I feel it's a moral obligation. It's not just a sense of "they have suffered for me," though that is certainly part of it. What really pulls on me and compels a response is the warfighter's loss of innocence due to actions taken on my behalf. In a powerful essay, former soldier Brian Mockenhaupt explains:
Combat Fatigue Creeps Up on Iraq Vets -- [Strategy Page]
March 24, 2007: The U.S. Army has been studying combat fatigue (or PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder) a lot more these days. Currently, about 400 soldiers a year are sent home from Iraq because of severe PTSD, and thousands have less serious bouts of PTSD, which are treated in Iraq,
MRE Eating Guide -- [GI Korea]
For some of you non-military types out there that have always wondered what it is like to eat a military MRE (Meal Ready to Eat), here is one person’s guide to eating one that may be of interest to you.
Just for the record I really don’t mind eating MRE’s. I think this is something the Army does very well.
What's in Your Sandwich? -- [Jawa Report]
Internet anus Michael Crook (Forsake the Troops) is having turds today.
New York Times Gets It Wrong…Again -- [Iowa Voices]
But of course, they’re not pushing an agenda, right? Riiiiiight.
On March 18, the New York Times published this story about female soldiers who served in Iraq and are now having problems as a result.
War story told by former sailor disputed -- [Navy Times]
Deployment to Iraq not in personnel record; paper issues correction
The March 18 Sunday New York Times Magazine cover story was a gripping account of the emotional problems some female veterans suffer as results of their war experiences, sexual assaults or both.
Dan Rather, Ahead of The Times. The New York Times -- [4 Mile Creek]
Like I've mentioned before, most of the "soldiers" I see in pictures of the IVAW are clearly not soldiers. Or Marines. Or airmen. Or sailors.
They are poseurs. Like Jessie "MacDeath" MacBeth. Or Micah Wright.
ABC: America 'Completely Agrees' With Dems on Iraq -- [NewsBusters]
Town hall or pep rally? Hard to tell, judging from the first half-hour of Hillary's appearance on Good Morning America today. Host Robin Roberts lavished praise on Hillary, suggested there's unanimous support for the Dem Iraq policy, and fielded only one audience question -- which came from someone who worked on Hillarycare in 1993 and beseeched Clinton to try it again as president.
The Drive-By Strib: Vendetta Journalism At Its Best -- [Hugh Hewitt]
The woes at the Minneapolis Star Tribune are well publicized, especially its precipitous decline in value.
So it should not surprise that the worst sort of sloppiness and vendetta (as opposed to mere agenda) journalism infects its news coverage.
Except that the Strib's reporter this time dashes off a lie that seems aimed to injure Powerline's reputation.
Bush Dismisses Hagel Accusation That He’s 'Dismissive' -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-26) — Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-NE, this weekend charged President George Bush with being “too dimissive” of Congressional opponents to his Iraq policy.
24% Call Gore Climate Expert, 49% 'Mr. President' -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-26) — A new Rassmussen poll shows 24 percent of respondents believe that Oscar-winning documentarist Al Gore is an expert on global climate change, while 49 percent believe he’s in his second term as president of the United States
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
The Glenn and Helen Show: Michael Yon Reports on the Surge -- [Instapundit]
The surge is well underway in Iraq, and by some reports it's already making a big difference. We contacted the blogosphere's man-on-the-spot in Baghdad, Michael Yon, by satellite phone, and got his take on how things are going.
Sunni Jihad Groups Rise Up Against Al-Qaeda in Iraq -- [D. Hazan - MEMRI]
...Hayat reported: "A leader of the Zuba' tribe, a lecturer at Al-Anbar University, said: 'Al-Qaeda's popularity began to wane as it increased its attacks on civilians, soldiers, and policemen, on Shi'ites and also on Sunnis who oppose Al-Qaeda's methods. In the second half of 2006, [people] began to take action against Al-Qaeda... The nationalist factions, like... Kata'ib Thawrat Al-'Ishrin and Al-Jaysh Al-Islami in Iraq, refused to join the so-called [Al-Qaeda-based] 'Islamic State in Iraq'... As a consequence, their men and commanders became targets for abduction and killing [by Al-Qaeda], which led to a wide-scale conflict in the region."
Rangers Find Intel in Ramadi
Army Rangers clear an insurgent hideout in Ramadi and find some valuable documents
Iraqi Police clear central Ramadi -- [MNF-I]
RAMADI — The Western Ramadi District Police conducted a massive police operation targeting insurgents here Tuesday.
Coordinating between several stations within the district, Brig. Gen. Khalil Ibrahim Hamadi, chief of the Ramadi District Police, personally led more than 500 policemen as they conducted house-to-house searches in the capital city of Al-Anbar province.
Iraqi and Coalition Soldiers begin clearing operations in the Mansour Security District -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD - Approximately 1,600 Iraqi security forces and coalition force Soldiers began clearing operations in Baghdad’s Mansour Security District March 21 to rid the area of Al Qaeda terrorists and illegal militias. The clearing operations began in southern Ghazaliya and Ameriya neighborhoods.
Three hostages freed, 13 susptected terrorists detained -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces liberated three hostages and detained 13 suspected terrorists Thursday morning during operations targeting foreign fighter facilitation and al-Qaeda in Iraq networks.
During an operation northeast of Karmah, Coalition forces liberated three Iraqi citizens who said they were handcuffed and beaten by suspected terrorists.
Al-Sadr aide released -- [MNF-I]
Al-Sadr aide released
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces released into the custody of the Prime Minster of Iraq, Sheik Ahmed Abady al-Shaibani, who was detained 2 ½ years ago in Najaf. In consultation with the Prime Minister, and following his request, Coalition Leaders determined that Sheik Shaybani, who was detained since 2004, could play a potentially important role in helping to moderate extremism and foster reconciliation in Iraq.
Vice President Speaks Out on Iraq Timetable -- [John Hood - The Corner]
American and other coalition troops should remain in Iraq until security forces there are ready to shoulder the load.
That's not President Bush or a neocon think-tanker talking. That's Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, speaking in Japan prior to his scheduled visit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe:
Video: UN chief ducks as rocket lands in Green Zone -- [Hot Air]
Two versions here, the first without audio and the second, much more impressively, with it. I’d have ducked too; Maliki barely flinches.
It landed about 50 yards from the building, according to the AP
Is Petraeus Being Played? -- [Moderate Risk - in Iraq]
...This is a difficult post for me to write, both because I am a junior member of the active reserves and because of my personal admiration for Gen. Petraeus. I am certainly operating in matters well above my official paygrade, but my responsibility as a citizen and a sailor is to pass critical information on as clearly as I can. The US military had many shining qualities, one of which is its intentional abstraction from politics. Historically this kept the United States from becoming a dictatorship, making this a priceless virtue. Regrettably, politics and security are inextricably entwined in Iraq. Our virtue is being exploited by Ba'athist remnants, according to my hosts. Theoretically, we have other agency support on this front, but indications are that those agencies would rather be meddling in political matters at home.
Their claim is that the Ba'ath remnants are using their local knowledge to facilitate matters for Al Queda.
Petraeus Addresses Rules of Engagement -- [The Captain’s Journal]
...In our rules of engagement coverage, we have argued for seeing the problems with ROE under four rubrics: The written ROE, the communication of the ROE, the application of the ROE in a counterinsurgency where fighters hide behind the population, and the main stream media feeding frenzy every time another story hits the wires, true or not.
The communication by General Petraeus addresses only one of the four categories above. In our coverage we have cited...
Baghdad, MI -- [Texas Rainmaker]
Republican representative Tim Walberg is taking some heat for allegedly comparing Detroit to Iraq. Although his quote is being twisted to make it seem worse than it was, I’ve worked up in Detroit for the better part of 2 years and I can honestly say that’s exactly how I’ve described it to folks who’ve never been there.
First, here’s what Walberg said:
He said most of Iraq “is reasonably under control, at least as well as Detroit.”He’s referring to the fact the corrupt Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has a show of force on the streets, but the city still ranks among the top cities for crime.
But when I refer to Detroit as a war zone, it’s not so much because of the crime, but rather the way downtown looks.
Daily Iraq Report for March 21, 2007 -- [The Fourth Rail]
Significant operations occurred in the cities of Anbar province and Diyala while Baghdad remians relatively quiet. Only one significant suicide attack occurred in the city over the past 24 hours, while Iraqi and U.S. security forces found a fuel tanker filled with explosives and destroyed it. Meanwhile, the news that al Qaeda is using children in suicide attacks is nothing new.
Reconstruction Surging, Too -- [Danger Room]
Ambassador Daniel Speckhard, deputy chief of the U.S. mission in Baghdad, reports that reconstruction efforts have "surged" alongside security efforts as beefed-up U.S. and Iraqi forces fight to retake Baghdad from insurgents and militias. This renewed effort to shore up Iraq's failing services represents many months of planning. "A lot is going on here in addition to the overall [military] strategy. We’re focusing on enhancing civilian support to the military as they do surge."
This one was close. -- [Iraq The Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
I was on my way home from downtown Baghdad and as usual I took the 'Mohammed al-Qasim' highway which is the fastest connection and most reliable road that runs across Baghdad from north to south.
Just before reaching my exit I found that the army had closed the highway and saw American soldiers nearby. First I thought it was a routine security operation or a new checkpoint.
I and the dozens of drivers around me were expecting traffic to reopen at any minute but then happened what we didn't expect; ...
Death Before Dishonor -- [Strategy Page]
March 22, 2007: In late 2006, there were 1,300 terrorist attacks a week recorded in Iraq. Most of these were minor stuff, a few gunshots, or a bomb going off harmlessly (most roadside bomb attacks fail). By January, this was down to 1,000 a week, and that continues to drop. The "surge" is calming things down. It's become more dangerous for civilians to appear on the streets with guns. Iraqi civilians continue to be the primary victims of the violence, accounting for over 90 percent of the deaths. However, ...
Iraqi army soldiers searching an airfield in northern Iraq. Scenes include soldiers walking the field, collecting found munitions and destroying the munitions.
Iraqi Police: Kids Used as Decoys in Attack -- [Iraq Slogger]
Key Details Still Unconfirmed; Discrepancies Remain
Children were used as decoys to circumvent a checkpoint in order to deliver a car bomb to its target, Iraqi police have said.
Police sources said that the attack occurred Sunday in the Sha'ab district of Baghdad, during a celebration among Shi'a marking the anniversary of the death of the prophet Muhammad. The sources were identified as two police officers who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymonity.
Family Ties Trip Up Afghans -- [Strategy Page]
March 22, 2007: The Afghan army was hoping to do better than the U.S. Army when it came to retention rates. This is the percentage of troops that reenlist. The Afghan army is only getting 42 percent of first-term troops to sign up for another tour. That's about the same as the American army. The major problems for the Afghans are homesickness and better civilian jobs. Family is more important to Afghans, than it is to Americans. That's because you can't depend on the government for much in Afghanistan. Family, and extended family (tribe) is all you got. So people like to keep in touch. People also don't like strangers. Thus, when an Afghan soldier is sent to a different part of the country, not only is he away from his family, but he is among strangers. And the strangers are not always friendly. Eventually, ...
Taliban: Afghan Government Freed Prominent Taliban Members to Secure Release of Italian Hostage; Freed Italian Journalist Writes On Kidnapping -- [MEMRI Blog]
In a communiqué posted on Islamist websites on March 20, 2007, the Taliban named five of its members who had been released from Afghan prisons under an Afghan-negotiated deal to free Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo (see "Taliban: Afghan Government Freed Prominent Taliban Members to Secure Release of the Italian Hostage" ).
There Will Be No Reconciliation with America before Withdrawal, Apology, and Compensation Marked as: Mature
Taliban Military Commander Mullah Dadallah: There Will Be No Reconciliation with America before Withdrawal, Apology, and Compensation
Following are excerpts from an interview with Taliban Military Commander Mullah Dadallah, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on March 2, 2007:
UPDATED: Taliban allies fighting “foreign militants”? See the BBC report -- [Austin Bay]
...It is possible that these Uzbek militants were or are aligned with Uzbek Islamist organizations that operated inside Afghanistan during the Taliban’s reign. To say with any assurance that they are “not linked to al-Qaeda’s anti-Western agenda” strikes me as a bit of a stretch. In 2000 CENTCOM regarded Uzbek Islamists as a threat to Uzbekistan, and thus at least an indirect threat to American and allied interests.
The continuing Talibanization of the Northwest Frontier Province -- [The Fourth Rail]
The Talibanization of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province, beyond the tribal agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies, is a disturbing trend that continues unchecked by the Pakistani government. As the Pakistani government cuts an agreement with Faqir Mohammed's Taliban in Bajaur, and Uzbek and Taliban warlords battle in South Waziristan, Syed Saleem Shahzad reports the settled district of Kohat is now under Taliban control.
A New Twist on North Korea -- [Real Clear Politics]
Here's a new twist on the ever more tangled negotiations intended to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions: The nuclear plant Pyongyang is supposed to shut down in return for oil and other concessions is barely in operation and the North Koreans want to get rid of it.
No Gun-ri Misreporting Continues -- [GI Korea]
...I find it also interesting that Yonhap reports "US soldiers shot dead hundreds of Korean refugees" and then in the very next paragraph says that the Korean government only concluded 150 people were killed. I may be a product of the US public education system, but in my book 150 does not equal "hundreds". But really who cares when you are into myth making? You might as well say "thousands" were killed at No Gun-ri because that statement is just as true as saying "hundreds". There is a whole lot of evidence that shows 150 people did not die under the Bridge at No Gun-ri. The lowest estimates are in the 20s, I tend to think about 50 maximum.
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Launch Naval Maneuvers; IRGC Commander: "Spirit of Martyrdom... Assures Iran's Steadfastness" -- [MEMRI Blog]
As Iran's Revolutionary Guards launched naval maneuvers in the Gulf today, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Navy Commander Morteza Safar announced that "the Iranian people does not permit us to let any U.S. soldier set foot on Iranian soil... The unity and spirit of martyrdom of the people... assures Iran's steadfastness... If the U.S. launches a war against Iran, it will not be the one to finish it..."
Islamist Website Instructs Mujahideen in Using Popular U.S. Web Forums to Foster Anti-War Sentiment among Americans -- [MEMRI]
In the past few months, Islamists engaged in "media jihad" have increased their efforts to expose as broad a Western audience as possible to their jihad films, which purport to document the growing success of the mujahideen in Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of this endeavor, they have posted jihad films on popular free video-sharing websites such as YouTube, LiveLeak, and Google Video, hoping that such films will tip public opinion in the West against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan - thus pressuring Western governments to withdraw their troops from these countries.
Bosnians Turn on Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
March 22, 2007: Bosnian police recently discovered, and shut down, a terrorist training camp run by local Wahabi Moslems. The Wahabi sect of Islam developed in Arabia two centuries ago, and is supported by the monarchy in Saudi Arabia. Wahabi money, and volunteers, went to Bosnia in the 1990s, to assist the Bosnians in the Yugoslav civil war. Five of the 19 suicide terrorists in the September 11, 2001 attacks, had served as Whahbi sponsored fighters in Bosnia. While the Saudis spent a lot of money building mosques and supporting Wahabi missionaries, only about ...
Michigan Dumpster Reveals Disturbing Items -- [Jawa Report]
From The Northeast Intelligence Network:
A dumpster behind a hydraulics plant in the 13000 block of Inkster Road, Redford, Michigan – just a few miles north of Dearborn, Michigan yielded an interesting if not disconcerting find for a Redford businessman. Military style gas masks that were still in their boxes, a map of a Michigan county with the airport prominently circled, clothing, pictures (some “nicely laminated”) depicting bombings and their aftermaths and various handwritten notes (some making reference to an explosion and fireball)
Message from Iraq: American people are the "tipping point for our success" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
A message from Iraq to Soldiers' Angels.
Thanks so much for the great packages for our soldiers here. I can't tell you how much it means to our men.
For my men and me - the notes, care, compassion and thoughts that come from you are immeasurable.
The Army provides for us more than any other Army. We are well equipped, clothed and even compensated.
Leftists Supporting the Troops -- [LGF]
Discovered by a reader at Indymedia, this was the scene yesterday in Portland, Oregon, as “anti-war” demonstrators burned not only a US flag, but a US soldier in effigy.
Video: Michelle on the Portland protesters’ troop effigy -- [Hot Air]
Too bad that the boss doesn’t seem to get along so well here with Jane Fleming, who I’ve come to dig from her appearances on “Red Eye” and her general usual reasonableness. Dare I say it, she’s nearly supplanted KP as my Fox News Democrat of choice. A word to the wise, though: lose the smirk. You can’t win the big A’s heart wielding all that ‘tude, Jane.
Using the troops to get pork -- [Calvey in Iraq - in Iraq]
Townhall columnist Donald Lambro says Congress has added $24.6 billion in
pork barrel projects, totally unrelated to the military, into the defense funding bill. The defense funding bill is necessary to fund the troops.
But those in Congress who oppose the pork barrel spending risk getting accused of not supporting the troops if they vote NO on this bill.
That's a blackmail job. I thought the new Congress was supposed to offer a cleaner process.
Congress 'Support for Troops' - BOHICA -- [ROFA Six]
HR 1591, what is known as the “Emergency Supplemental Appropriation” has turned into a feeding frenzy at the pork barrel for Congress. Reading through all the ‘extras’ in the $124 billion bill, keeps one wondering whether the nitwits on the Potomac have any shame? As you read through the bill, the answer is an overwhelming “nope”.
It is full of pork that have nothing to do with national security. Perhaps it is the only reason that those who “support the troops while hating the war” are so hard over to push it through Congress
If House Democrats Had Their Way… -- [EricCantor.com]
House Democrats are trying to tie the hands of American soldiers with legislative tricks and bureaucratic limitations. Republicans are supporting a measure that would prevent restrictions of funding for America’s troops who are in a combat zone.
Part III: Infiltration...Continued from Part II: Eagles Up! -- [Smash]
...I catch some movement in the crowd. Two men and a woman, all wearing some form of desert camouflage, are pushing forward towards the front. I slip in behind them, and follow the path that they are creating through the mob. I'm just another disgruntled vet, about to lead a march on the Pentagon.
Oh, if only they knew...
...This woman is clearly the stage manager for this march, and she is arranging the veterans. "Iraq vets to the front! Vietnam vets, fall in behind them!" She shouts. "We need drummers, get some drummers up here!"
It's clear what my role is meant to be in this protest. I'm a prop.
On cue, the media is filling into the gap in front of us. They snap photos from a low angle, so it looks like there's a solid wall of veterans marching on the Pentagon.
Rove Strikes Again -- [4 Mile Creek]
You've gotta appreciate how well the Dems play into Rove's hand. Like shooting fish in a barrel.
The US Attorney firings will take up weeks and weeks of lead news. There is absolutely nothing illegal, immoral, or unethical about the AG firing US Attorneys. Even if those firings are politically based. The US Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President.
Damn OPSEC! This is NEWS! -- [ROFA Six]
Hey USAToday! The terrorists who target our helicopters in Iraq thank-you for the story, "Copter flights hold danger in Iraq."
If they needed confirmation for their suspicions, this story pretty much does it.
Engel: No One's Bothered to Explain War to Troops -- [NewsBusters]
Judging by the excerpt Tucker Carlson played on his MSNBC show this afternoon at about 4:15 PM ET, Richard Engel's War Zone Diary is a powerful and moving documentary of the NBC reporter's experiences in Iraq. To his credit, Engel has accompanied troops on many combat patrols. Among other clips, we saw particularly compelling footage of Marines on a night mission in the mean streets of Ramadi, in Anbar province, searching for - and finding unharmed - one of their comrades who had gotten separated during an earlier patrol there.
Speaking of combat, Engel did at at one point state that "it is very brutal but after some time you do start to see things from their [U.S. soldiers' and Marines'] perspective."
View video here...
Anti-Hillary Video Sparks Grassroots Consultant Wave -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-22) — The revelation that the previously-anonymous “Vote Different” YouTube video attacking presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was actually created by a media expert whose firm works for Barack Obama “opens a new chapter in the story of grassroots political movements,” according to the video’s creator.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
One Man's Transformation on Iraq Worth Considering -- [Andrew Cochran -- Counterterrorism Blog]
On this anniversary of the entry of U.S. troops into Iraq, it's instructive to look back on the changes in opinions on the war as the nature of the conflict changed. Last month, "Army Magazine" published "The Modern Seven Pillars of Iraq," an essay by Lt. Col. Craig Trebilcock, U.S. Army Reserve, who served as a Judge Advocate and coordinated reconstruction of the Iraqi legal system, during a one-year deployment. Writing before the "surge" in U.S. troops into the region, Col. Trebilcock wrote pessimistically on the use of additional military force and recommended a political strategy based on what he views as seven "pillars" of Iraqi culture, one of which is: "The primary concern of Iraqi officials is not democracy or the political evolution of a successful Iraqi nationstate. It is the use of their position in government to gain personal wealth, as well as benefits for their extended family, tribe or sect." Trebilcock has come to the conclusion that ...
Duluth needs leaders, not political theatre -- [editorial by Justice Soldier in Iraq]
The Duluth City Council failed the city once again. At a time when the city is financially crippled, the mayor has said he won’t dare seek re-election (before hinting that he might), potholes multiply, and the children of Duluth continue to leave town to find jobs after college, the City Council played political elitism. Instead of rolling up its sleeves, ditching its egos, and getting to work for the people of the city, the council spent hours last month discussing and then approving a resolution calling for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
One thing al-Qaeda excels at; making new enemies. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
With this series of dirty chemical bombings a war between al-Qaeda and the tribes in Anbar is no longer a possibility. It just became a fact.
I've read at least two very optimistic reports from al-Almada in the last week about purported victories of the tribes and police over al-Qaeda in Ramadi and Fallujah. I was reluctant to trust the accuracy of the reports which sited unnamed sources but now seeing the reaction of al-Qaeda suggests that the action of the tribes was so painful that al-Qaeda retaliated in the way we see today.
The Chlorine Gas Attacks in Iraq and the Specter of Suicide Attacks with CBRN Weapons -- [Assaf Moghadam - [Counterterrorism Blog]
Last week’s triple chlorine-gas suicide attacks that hit Falluja and Ramadi sent shockwaves around Iraq, while raising the specter of more widespread use of chemical weapons by terrorist groups in Iraq and beyond. The bombings followed a series of earlier chlorine gas attacks, although no chlorine gas attacks were recorded prior to January 2007.
Anbar Tribesmen Defeat Al-Qaeda Cell -- [Iraq Slogger]
The Scoop from Key Iraqi Arabic-language Websites
Armed tribesmen in the Eastern Husayba village (5 km east of Ramadi) in the Anbar Governorate managed to drive out a local insurgent group associated with the Al-Qaeda in Iraq organization from their village, while residents discovered a mass grave of 16 citizens killed by militants in the area, Sot Al-Iraq reported. The campaign started Friday after gunmen abducted a local boy named Yassir, prompting his mother to go out on the street screaming and urging the villagers to carry arms and find her only son. Dozens of men from the area armed with pistols, rifles and machine guns grouped and started searching the palm orchards surrounding their village while shouting tribal battle cries. They located and captured the insurgent cell of 11 men before sunset and released the kidnapped boy. The tribesmen reportedly handed over their prisoners to the Ramadi Police Directorate. Also, a mass grave with the corpses of 16 missing residents of the village was discovered at the nearby Al-Shadda area.
Checkpoint and double checkpoint. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
With the constant force buildup many streets now host multiple checkpoints, both fixed and mobile. All are positioned in a manner that allows soldiers in one to have visual contact with those in the next one.
Letters From Ramadi -- [Hugh Hewitt]
I have a pal who has just deployed to Ramadi, where he will be spending the next year or so. He's letting me post his e-mails with some key details censored.
A New Power Rises in Iraq -- [Michael J. Totten - in Iraq]
...As he drove us into the city I felt none of the fear and apprehension I experienced the first time I came here. Instead I saw considerable signs of progress. The first time I drove from the airport into Erbil I felt that I had arrived in a dodgy and ramshackle backwater. This time I felt – properly, I must say – that I had arrived in the capital of a serious and rising new power in the Middle East.
Freedom's Sanctuary in Iraq -- [Moderate Risk]
In Iraq, insurgents use Iraq and Syria to avoid the Coalition forces as is normal in this kind of fight, but our troops fighting for Iraq's freedom against the various flavors of fascism have their own sanctuary. Here in Northern Iraq, the Coalition moves freely amongst the friendly and supportive populace. In all the insurgencies the US fought last century, Haiti, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and others, there never was a place like Kurdistan. Good roads, nice markets, and utterly safe from terrorists is literally an unparalleled combination and it must be hurting the Anti-Iraqi Forces.
Some Baghdad Regions returning to normal -- [Air Force Pundit]
BAGHDAD -- Black-clad women shuffle past sidewalk clothing racks in front of shops in a commercial district of central Baghdad. Elsewhere, black flags flutter from lampposts -- marking areas of Shiite control.A two-hour drive by Western journalists through the center of Baghdad this weekend showed parts of the capital are slowly recovering from the trauma of sectarian slaughter that paralyzed this city of 6 million before the start of the security crackdown last month.But gone is the heady religious mixture of many neighborhoods, in which Sunnis, Shiites and some Christians lived side by side
British troops pull out of base in Basra -- [Atef Hassan - War in Iraq]
Basra, Iraq - British troops in Iraq's southern Basra oil port pulled out of their heavily attacked base in the heart of the city on Tuesday, the first to be handed to Iraqi forces who are slowly taking control of security.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said in February that Britain would begin withdrawing a quarter of its 7 000 troops, who are stationed mainly in and around Basra in Iraq's largely stable Shi'a south, in the coming months.
Car bombs -- [Calvey in Iraq - in Iraq]
Greetings from Baghdad!
As I was getting ready for duty this morning, about 7:30am, I heard an explosion not far away. Apparently it was across the Tigris River from my FOB in the International Zone (Green Zone).
It has been fairly quiet of late, so perhaps al Qaeda just wants us to know they are still out there, even if their ability to do harm has been curtailed significantly.
The Baghdad Security Operation Order of Battle: March 19, 2007 -- [The Fourth Rail]
The Baghdad Security Plan is now over one month old since its official announcement on February 14. While it is impossible to judge progress over the course of one month in a complex battlespace such as Baghdad, the initial signs are encouraging. Sectarian murders, the fuel for the potential Sunni - Shia civil war, have been dramatically reduced. Before the beginning of the operation, Scores of bodies were found executed daily, now the number is in the single digits.
Baghdad Firefight, March 2007
American and Iraqi infantry come under fire while patrolling as part of Fardh Al-Qanoon, the Baghdad Security Plan. They return fire with the help of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (more)
Back from Baghdad.... -- [1016th - in Iraq]
...I worked with a pretty diverse group; including Danes, British, Australians, and other coalition allies, as well as officers from other branches of the US military. When I first arrived, I was the lowest ranking soldier in the office. Out of 14 people in the office, 9 were Majors and Lieutenant Colonels, one Flag officer, 2 civilians, and one Sergeant (myself).
I was technically there to advise the staff on Fuel issues, but did very little of that- I was mostly one of the liaisons between the coalition Transition Teams’ Headquarters and the Ministry of Defense.
Iraq Not (Quite) a Civil War? (UPDATED) -- [INDC Journal]
Allahpundit digs into the internals of a poll that reveals "49% of [Iraqis] questioned preferred life under Nouri al-Maliki the prime minister, to living under Saddam", and that "only 27% believed they were caught up in a civil war."
When I was in Baghdad and Fallujah, conversations with Iraqis, as well as exposure to (some) Shiites and Sunnis intermingling without incident (admittedly anecdotal), led me to suspect that while bloody sectarian conflict is now significant, it's not an accurate overall description of Iraqi society.
The "Bradley Video" -- [The Blemont Club]
A friend sent me this video posted on Iraqi Slogger of a Bradley being blown up in Anbar by a Jihadi who sneaks under the vehicle, which is apparently unguarded and plants a bomb under it. While I'm not a hundred percent certain, there are certain aspects of this video which are extremely suspicious. Three come readily to mind.
Is This Al Qaeda in Iraq Video a Fake? -- [Iraq Slogger]
US Mil. Sources Say No Record of Such an Attack on Bradley, Bloggers Cry Fraud
Al Qaeda claims the attack happened in Anbar province. The video surfaced Sunday on several Web sites and prompted this story from the AP. US military sources in Baghdad say they have exmained the video closely but say they have no record of such an attack on a Bradley in Iraq.
Iraq Navy on its way to independence -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — The Iraqi Navy will soon add 21 vessels to its fleet, putting it another step closer to being operationally independent, officials said during a Baghdad news conference Sunday.
Troop surge paving way for political solution -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — The U.S. troop surge in Iraq is in its early stages, but seems to be paving the way for a political solution to the country’s woes, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said on CBS's “Face the Nation.”
Troop surge to total 28,000 -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — The total number of U.S. servicemembers who will be part of the surge in Iraq will be about 28,000 overall, a Defense Department official said Friday.
Flying the unfriendly skies of Iraq with Company C 1/189th Aviation "Kyotes" Arizona Army National Guard (more)
Photo of the Day: "The Arnold" in Baghdad -- [Iraq Slogger]
Huge Painting on Outside of Building Housing Arnold's Classic Gym
Amid the death and destruction in the Iraqi capital, Arnold Schwarzenegger somehow endures and thrives here. Or at least does a Schwarzenegger-worshipper's Baghdad gym and a big painting on the side of the building showing "The Arnold" in two bodybuilding exhibition poses. The Arnold Classic Gym in downtown Baghdad...
Welcome to Vigilant Strategic Services Afghanistan Website -- [VSSA - in Afghanistan]
VSSA has a developed security capability in Afghanistan which is unique to this complex and volatile security market. Founded by a group of experienced American security contractors we combined expert expatriate project management with the local resources of our strategic partner, and one of the premier Afghani Security firms, Afghan Security Services.
Talking, Waiting, Joking, Killing.... Ten days in the talebans sights -- [Royal Blue] HT: Castle Argghhh!As Nato begins its biggest offensive in the country since 2001, two Times journalists report from a risky mission into the insurgents’ heartland in lawless Helmand province. The Royal Marines of J Company, 42 Commando, sometimes sat down with local Pashtuns and sometimes skirmished. Then they fought them in pitched battle.
Hidden eyes count out the patrol as it leaves J Company base in Geresk.
There are few places in which the marines can escape the gaze of the Taleban in Helmand.
Steve Bartman or Shawn Gralla? -- [Task Force Phoenix 5 - in Afghanistan]
Well I have been getting a lot of emails and comments about the letter to the Governor and I’m glad everyone agrees with me. I think Shawn Gralla is like Steve Bartman who gained notoriety on the evening of October 14, 2003,
...We had another ribbon cutting and possibly our last for the deployment. It was for the footbridge over Jalalabad Road. Its one of the busiest roads in Kabul and the cause of a lot of accidents and deaths. So hopefully it will save a lot of lives and keep kids from running across 4 lanes of traffic to get to school. It was nice to see possibly one of our last Ribbon Cuttings for 2 reasons, one because it means we’ll be home soon very soon and the other because its one more check on the list of things WE have done for the Afghans. By WE, I mean everyone back home and here. You all have helped out so much and I want to thank you all for everything you have done for us as Soldiers and for the people.
Abenobashi -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
KABUL (Reuters) - A U.S. embassy convoy was hit by a suicide car bomber in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Monday, resulting in the deaths of some people, police said.
... Everyone here is fine, at least physically. Naturally, we all wonder what tomorrow holds. In a weird way, it’s kind of a relief. We’ve all been expecting an attack, since the Taliban have been threatening to launch attacks in the spring. It’s been like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now it has. The winter peace is over, or so it would seem. Wednesday is the Afghan New Year’s Day, as well as the first day of spring.
30 Afghan Patriots Added to Police Force -- [DVIDS]
JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The first 30 graduates from the new Afghan National Auxiliary Police training program in Jalalabad took their oath to defend and serve their country, March 15, at a facility run by American military and DynCorp trainers.
It's Ain't Easy Being Mean -- [Strategy Page]
March 20, 2007: Although the Taliban have been attempting more suicide bombings, they have been remarkably inept in carrying them out. The bombers often only kill themselves, and rarely getting their intended target. Worse, the people who are usually killed are nearby civilians. The dead women and children make the suicide bombers look more like hapless murderers, than brave martyrs, dying for the cause of Islam. In 2005, the Taliban used about 500 roadside bombs and suicide bombers.
An Unusual Apparent Win-Win on North Korea -- [Jonathan Winer - Counterterrorism Blog]
It looks like the Treasury strategy to sanction Banco Delta Asia (BDA) may have worked.
Today, North Korea announced not only its renewed participation in the Six Party Talks on nuclear proliferation, but also its intention immeditaely to halt its nuclear activities as soon as all of its funds frozen at a Macau bank in response to US pressure are released.
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
3/20/07 - Islamist Website Instructs Mujahideen in Using Popular U.S. Web Forums to Foster Anti-War Sentiment among Americans
In the past few months, Islamists engaged in "media jihad" have increased their efforts to expose as broad a Western audience as possible to their jihad films, which purport to document the growing success of the mujahideen in Iraq and Afghanistan. As part of this endeavor, they have posted jihad films on popular free video-sharing websites such as YouTube, LiveLeak, and Google Video, hoping that such films will tip public opinion in the West against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan - thus pressuring Western governments to withdraw their troops from these countries.
Protecting the Crown Jewels -- [Strategy Page]
March 20, 2007: The military commissions for al Qaeda terrorists have started, and already, a new picture of what al Qaeda was planning has been revealed. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the masterminds behind the September 11, 2001 attack, has revealed as many as 29 different plats, including a plan to crash a plane into Heathrow Airport in London.
How Poorly (and Dangerously) We Understand the Islamist Agenda -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Two disturbing writing receiving widespread circulation in recent day tell me a great deal about how many Muslims in the United States perceive themselves and why U.S. policy is so far, and dangerously off the mark in countering the threat of Islamists.
To all supporters of Any Soldier Inc. -- [Any Soldier Inc]
In just three years of operation, Any Soldier® has become world known, and we currently support the majority of the military deployed in the war on terrorism.
The rest need your help -- and so do we.
Any Soldier Inc. is in desperate need of donations to fund our operations and growth. Your donations will allow us to focus on certain high-priority initiatives we are undertaking, including:
Visit to the Local VA -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Last week I went to visit an injured Marine who was staying at our local VA, recovering from a TBI. It was my first chance to see the new 4th floor the VA had remodeled to accomodate its new combat hospital status. I was very impressed with the facilities...what I saw of them anyways. I was also, as usual, impressed with the young Marine I'd come to visit, and his family. I think this is a good time to mention, once again, that if you have a desire to support our injured heroes I highly recommend doing so! There are so many things that can be done to support these troops, from cards and letters, to care packages, to handmade blankets, and especially visiting them.
Surprise! -- [4 Mile Creek]
The local MoveOn.org group is holding a vigil tonight in Colorado Springs to show opposition to the war, and supposedly to also show "support for the troops".
I wrote to the local organizer, asking if I could come to show support for the troops, even if I, an Iraq War Veteran, supported the war.
To no one's surprise, I never received a reply.
F&*K The Troops" Say's a Lefty -- [Flopping Aces]
This my friends is the state of the left in this country. Burning a United States soldier in effigy...
EXCLUSIVE: Major New Problems At Walter Reed -- (WUSA - 9NEWS)
Washington, DC -- A major 9NEWS NOW EXCLUSIVE -- allegations from a former inspector at Walter Reed of widespread and dangerous problems in nearly all the buildings at the Army's premier hospital.
Congress Angry About New Walter Reed Revelations -- (WUSA - 9NEWS)
"This is a very alarming report," he said. "I think we need to get on top of situation. I intend to call Walter Reed immediately to see if they are following through on the information this individual has brought to light."
Virginia Congressman Jim Moran was just as upset.
"It's very disappointing. I guess I shouldn't be upset, because the Army's policy has been to allow Walter Reed to deteriorate, assuming it's eventually going to be closed."
Duke Patents Mind-Controlled Weapons -- [Danger Room]
Work on Brain-Machine Interface (think monkey controlling a joystick with its thoughts) is old news, but a patent granted earlier this month underscores researchers' confidence that a broader set of military applications is possible: like controlling weapons with your mind.
In "Apparatus for acquiring and transmitting neural signals and related methods," researchers at Duke University are laying claim to a device that can use the brain's thoughts to control an array of mechanical and electrical devices, up to and including weapons:
Is Cpl. Cloy Richards Another Fake Anti-War Veteran? -- [Sweetness & Light]
In case you don’t recognize the name, Cloy Richards is the son of Tina Richards, the anti-war activist who famously accosted Rep. David Obey outside his offices last week.
Ms. Richards claims her son is a Corporal in the US Marines, who has been driven to the brink of suicide because of his military service in the war in Iraq.
...Several posters at S&L with access to military records claim to have searched for the name "Cloy Richards" and found no record of anyone currently or recently having served in the military under that name.
Marching with Moonbats, Part I: The Radicals -- [Smash]
Everything I really needed to know about radicalism, I learned from Monty Python.
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 2007 – The sun rises over the Nation’s Capital, reflecting off a light dusting of snow coating the National Mall. A cold rain had soaked the city the previous day, turning to sleet and then snow in the evening, before finally tapering off. Now the snow is rapidly disappearing under the bright morning sun, but a strong, steady breeze off the river is keeping the wind chill in the low 30s.
Iraq, Democrats, and the Return of McGovernism -- [Real Clear Politics]
Last Thursday, by a vote of 50-48, the Senate rejected a Democratic resolution to withdraw most American combat troops from Iraq in early 2008. The House Appropriations Committee, meanwhile, approved an emergency spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan that includes a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq. The full House is expected to vote on that legislation later this week. In the words of the New York Times, "The action in both houses threw into sharp relief the Democratic strategy of ratcheting up the pressure, vote by vote, to try to force the White House to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq."
Despite Mounting Bills, Krieg Endorses Larger Defense Budgets -- [Defense News]
How can the Pentagon finance its full array of costly futuristic weapons and also foot the hefty bill for President George W. Bush’s 92,000-troop increase without tightening its fiscal belt?
Kenneth Krieg, the Defense Department’s top weapons buyer, says there’s a simple answer: Give the military more money.
Barbara Boxer Invites A Murderer to Speak -- [RedState]
So Barbara Boxer is inviting the testimony of one of the men responsible for ordering the deck of Nick Lowe, an indicted murderer, and an unrepentant apologist for extra-judicial killings to testify on alleged extra-judicial killings by Philippine security forces.
MARINE GUNNED DOWN ON '60 MINUTES' -- [Boortz]
Haditha Marine Sergeant Frank Wuterich's trial may be months away, but last night '60 Minutes' reporter Scott Pelley decided to court martial him on national television. It was one of the most outrageous displays of media bias ever. In case your memory needs refreshing, the Haditha incident was a situation in Iraq where a group of Marines, led by Wuterich, cleared a house that they thought was being used by insurgents. It turns out it was occupied by several women and children and all were killed.
Video: Scott Pelley grills Haditha Marine Frank Wuterich on “60 Minutes” -- [Hot Air]
The full interview is viewable in the sidebar at CBSNews.com. Given how this appearance was being touted on their website, Wuterich’s defenders were obviously hoping this would be his chance to win in the court of the public opinion before the case went to trial. Pelley had other ideas. Here’s 90 seconds of his questions that should get you hungry to watch the whole thing.
Rove to Gonzales: Stop Email on Illegal Projects -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-19) — White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove today instructed U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to order Justice Department staff to stop using email when communicating about illegal or unethical “secret projects“, like the Bush administration’s firing of eight U.S. attorneys for political purposes.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
One thing al-Qaeda excels at; making new enemies. -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
With this series of dirty chemical bombings a war between al-Qaeda and the tribes in Anbar is no longer a possibility. It just became a fact.
Violence slashed as troop surge hits Baghdad -- [Times Online]
As the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war approaches, progress is uncertain but trends are hopeful in the affluent suburb of Karadeh
Iraqis: life is getting better -- [Times Online]
The survey of over 5,000 Iraqis found most optimistic despite suffering sectarian violence since the invasion four years ago
Resilient Iraqis ask what civil war? -- [Times Online]
An opinion poll conducted on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq finds striking optimism among the inhabitants
Iraqi transportation unit growing, confident -- [MNF-I]
KIRKUK — The Iraqi army mechanics of the 4th Motorized Transportation Regiment are a confident group. Standing inside the shop’s tidy tool room, Sgt. Drie Satar Hummadi says his troops are able to fix any vehicle that comes into their garage.
Iraqi Security Forces Soldiers stop suicide bombers -- [MNF-I]
BAQUBAH, Iraq – Iraqi Soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, shot and killed a suicide bomber Saturday, south of Shakarat, Iraq.
Coalition force members near the area where the incident occurred reported that the suicide bomber was running toward an Iraqi tactical check point, and after failing to obey several verbal warnings to stop, the Iraqi Army shot him, which prompted the vest to detonate...
IED maker, eight other suspects detained in raids -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces detained nine suspected terrorists including an alleged improvised explosive device maker Monday morning during operations targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq network and foreign fighter facilitators.
In Ramadi, Coalition forces captured three suspected terrorists including one who is an alleged maker of IEDs and is reportedly responsible for attacks against Coalition forces.
Insurgents fire mortar at Coalition troops near Baghdad, flee in vehicle, hide in trees, are eliminated by Coaliton air power.
Guest Post: Rep. Duncan Hunter -- [Captain's Quarters]
An Exclusive Post For Captain's Quarters On The Surge In Iraq
I would like to thank Ed Morrissey for giving me the opportunity to write a guest blog at Captain’s Quarters about the surge in Iraq. The courtesy is much appreciated.
Now, let me take a moment to talk about Iraq. What we're doing in that country is following the same basic pattern that we've used to expand freedom around the world for more than 60 years in places like Japan, Europe, and El Salvador. First, you stand up a free government. Next, you stand up a military capable of protecting that free government, and lastly, the Americans leave.
Fardh Al-Qanoon lowers violence in northwest Baghdad -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Violence has reduced since moving Coalition forces out of big forward operating bases and into smaller community-based combat outposts as part of the Fardh Al-Qanoon, a senior Army officer serving there said Friday.
Weekly Iraq Report for March 19, 2007 -- [Weekly Standard]
More than a month has now passed since the official announcement of the Baghdad Security Plan on February 14. While it is impossible to judge progress over the course of one month in such a complex battlespace as Baghdad, the initial signs are encouraging.
Marines Counter Ambush a group of Insurgents -- [Hotel Tango: OPFOR]
CSM Jeffrey Mellinger -- [Redstate]
CSM Mellinger is the highest ranking Non-Commissioned Officer in-country in Iraq, now serving under General Petraeus. He has been in the military since being drafted back in 1972, and has served under the Multi National Force in his Command Sergeant major role since August 2004. In our first podcast interview for Troop Talk Radio Blog, my last question to CSM Mellinger was to ask why he has served 35 years in the Military - why he stays in the fight. Here is his reply:...
Idiocy in D.C., Progress in Baghdad -- [The Weekly Standard]
The surge is working--that's what matters.
In order to preserve the cosmic harmony, it seems the gods insist that good news in one place be offset by misfortune elsewhere. It may well be that Gen. David Petraeus is going to lead us to victory in Iraq. He is certainly off to a good start. If the karmic price of success in Iraq is utter embarrassment for senior Bush officials in Washington, D.C.--well, in our judgment, the trade-off is worth it. The world will surely note our success or failure in Iraq.
Mobile Helicopter Killers Found and Destroyed in Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
March 19, 2007: American troops in Iraq figured out how Iraqi terrorists had managed to ambush American helicopters with heavy machine-guns and get away with it. The Iraqis had used trucks with the machine-gun mounted in the back, and a tarp over metal supports (a common feature of military trucks) to conceal the weapon. The tarp was rigged so it could be quickly pulled aside, as well as the metal supports for the tarp. This enabled the heavy machine-gun to immediately open fire.
Scores of Iraqi Civilians Injured in Terrorist Chlorine Gas Attack -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2007 – About 350 Iraqi civilians and six coalition force members were treated for chlorine gas exposure after suicide bombers detonated chlorine- laden dump trucks in three separate incidents March 16, military officials reported.
Australian Prime Minister Vows to Stay the Course in Iraq -- [VOA News]
Australian Prime Minister John Howard has returned home from secret visits to Iraq and Afghanistan. The conservative leader has pledged continued support for U.S.-led campaigns in both countries. Despite much opposition in Australia to the Iraq mission, Mr. Howard appears to hope that national security will prove to be a vote winner in an election due later this year.
Pushing Through To The End -- [1016th - in Iraq]
We only have about a month left, so I don't let it get to me. That's seriously all I really think about, going home. Starting a new life. Getting deployed for me was like a giant reset button on life. It helps you find out who the real friends are. They are the ones that still talk to you after a year. Everyone else forgets about you and moves on with their lives. I made some new friends here, but realistically, I'll only end up talking to a couple of them ever again. For me, the deployment erased all debt. Allowed me to be able to afford my own place. Basically take my life in my own hands and not depend on anyone else. The days are flying by now as well, probably a combination of getting rid of the ROM site and time getting short. The only down side to going home is the overwhelming amount of stuff you have to do. Taxes, Financial aid forms, register for classes again, find a place to live...
"Saying Farewell to Iraq," -- [ON Point - leaving Iraq]
I’m in the McDonalds inside of Kuwait International Airport, waiting for my flight to New York. The term “mixed emotions” doesn’t do justice to what’s been running through my head as I write. On the one hand, I’m little tired. War is a young man’s game, and I’m a long way from 18 years old. Humping enough gear for six weeks plus flak and fritz makes me wish I had 30 + years back. But I also feel like I’m running out on our Marines and soldiers. They’re staying and I’m...
Two Views on Iraq -- [Real Claer Politics]
In an interview from Baghdad, Senator John Sununu told the New Hampshire Union-Leader, "I think the goal of withdrawing (all American) combat troops by the end of 2008 is very realistic and attainable."
Also, Senator Bob Corker discusses his recent trip to Iraq with the Memphis Commercial-Appeal editorial board. Here's part of what Corker said:...
BUZKASHI -- [Afghanistan JAG - in Afghanistan]
Yesterday I traveled to Camp Phoenix to watch an exhibition of Buzkashi, Afghanistan's National Sport. Although it is often compared to polo, or even "rugby on horseback", this is not a team sport. It's every man for himself. The object is to wrestle a goat carcass away from other riders and throw it into a circle in the middle of the field.
Afghanistan Photos -- [BlackFive]
Army 1st Lt. Steve Miller of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Spartan, distributes humanitarian relief items to a girl in northeastern Afghanistan's Waygal Valley.
AWAC Opens Its International Bureau -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
...Dany looked at my computer and asked if I was writing my blog, and he asked what the list above was. I explained some of the issues we were dealing with, and he told me about his experiences trying to teach the Afghan tankers, and it made me appreciate the men at CMA more. We may have issues there, but on the whole the guys are doing a pretty good job.
U.S. Refutes Taliban Claim of Shooting Down Helicopter in Afghanistan -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2007 – U.S. military officials refuted a Taliban claim that they shot down a U.S. helicopter in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province on March 16.
The claim is being made on an extremist Web site. U.S. forces have no reports of a downed aircraft and all coalition forces aircraft are accounted for, officials said.
Items About Areas That Could Break Out Into War -- [Strategy Page]
March 18, 2007: The UN says that at least 50,000 Central African Republic ( CAR) citizens are now in refugee camps in Chad. Another 150,000 to 170,000 had been forced to leave their homes in the CAR's northern region. This "low-grade" war began in late 2005, but began to get worse in late 2006. The refugees report they are harassed and robbed by bandit groups called "zaraginas." Reports from the CAR also use the French term "coupeurs du route," or "road cutters," meaning bandit ambushers or
False Confessions -- [Strategy Page]
March 19, 2007: The FBI seems to have the goods on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed regarding his connection to September 11, 2001. But in his recent confession, he also admits to involvement in numerous other plots, many of which were never executed. But there seems to be room for some healthy skepticism about his claims. In fact,
Terrorists Terrorized -- [Strategy Page]
The major UN members have agreed on a package of escalating sanctions against Iran, if Iran does not halt its nuclear weapons program. Iran says it will ignore these sanctions. But it cannot. The Arabs have leaned on nations like toe China and Russia, to support the sanctions. Arabs see an Iran with nuclear weapons as a direct threat.
Al Qaeda Internet Terror Fortresses -- [Pat Dollard]
A variety of global intelligence and press sources have reported that Al Qaeda has in the last few weeks circulated a 100 page manual for use by it’s operatives to create the world’s most state of the art internet terrorist fortresses; websites which allow Al Qaeda to plan attacks, create weapons, recruit new members, create recruiting and propaganda videos via a complete online film school including a thorough tutorial on posting the products onto the websites once the cell or individual has produced it, post all manner of undetectable messages, email undetectable messages, perfectly detect whether or not the website/fortress has been breached and by whom, and utilize password technology possibly unsurpassed by our own. These websites are rapidly becoming Al Qaeda’s principal combat operations centers,
Note to FBI: Remember Canadian Terror Plot & Beslan School Massacre -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The FBI has alerted law enforcement officials across the United States that they have information that aliens under recent investigations, with ties to extremist organizations have been involved with buying school buses and/or obtaining licenses to drive school buses - but they say that there is nothing to be concerned about!
Turkish Police Raids Net 39 Al-Qaeda Members; Police Find Al-Qaeda Pledge in Turkish School -- [MEMRI Blog]
The Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that a police raid in several locations against Turkish Al-Qaeda netted 39 Al-Qaeda members.
The operation also turned up report cards from a school in Konya attended by the children of Al-Qaeda members that include a pledge "to Koran, to jihad, and to martyrdom."
New Website for Soldiers' Angels -- [Holly Aho - A Soldiers' Angel]
Soldiers' Angels has undergone a website redesign! If it's been awhile since you've visited the Soldiers' Angels website (or if you've never visited ...inconceivable!!) then go take a look! While you're there, consider adopting a soldier or joining one of Soldiers' Angels' many teams.
"Hard for outsiders to understand" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
You won't see any photos taken inside the hospital from me, but you may be interested in a couple from the article.
...Arrival of critical patients at Landstuhl, something I've witnessed many times:
American Idols -- [Sgt Hook]
I have always been in awe of America’s “Greatest Generation” for not only what they did for this country and my way of life, but for how they changed the world. If not for the men and women who bravely battled evil in 1941, we would not enjoy the lives that we do today, and Europeans certainly would not have known over 60 years of peace on their streets. I can’t help but wonder, as we watch the hit T.V. show, American Idol, and phone in our votes for said idol, just what music Iraqis and Afghans are listening to and who they might phone in their votes for American Idol if given the opportunity?
Hook Productions proudly presents your American Idols…
Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Understand -- [Strategy Page]
March 19, 2007: The comments by American general Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concerning the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy concerning homosexuals in the military, has been shamelessly misinterpreted and distorted in the media. It also has exposed a lack of understanding among not just the mainstream media, but among many bloggers who tend to be supportive of the military.
Arlington National Cemetary -- [Miserable Donuts]
I missed the News yesterday - I was returning from Washington, D.C. My work had an "offsite" meeting for three days in Alexandria, VA. I had one small bloc of time to myself, and I was only a little ways down the highway from Arlington National Cemetary. I had not been there before, so the choice was easily made for my bit of free time...
....I saw more than one person like SFC Joel...service in three wars, and a Medal of Honor.
..One huge disappointment - when I asked at the lady at the information desk where I could go to find the burials from Afghanistan, I was told that information was not being given out publically, since there were some people going there and "misbehaving". [she did ask if she could direct me to someone I knew or such] I was shocked - people would come to Arlington and protest on the graves.
More Moonbattery -- [Smash]
I HAVE A LOT OF MATERIAL to compile for my post on the Gathering of Eagles, but here's a gem that just couldn't wait. I didn't bring a videocamera with me (it's back in California), but with this photo and the accompanying audio, you can get a real taste for the circus-like atmosphere created when crazies cross paths with patriots.
...Click here for the audio.
A Gathering of Eagles
Townhall.com's Mary Katharine Ham was at the Gathering of Eagles pro-troops rally in Washington, D.C. near the Vietnam Memorial, March 17, 2007. These are some clips from the group's rally before the march, and before any moonbat confrontations. (more)
The Day We Took Our Country Back -- [Old War Dogs]
Forty years lost in the wilderness. Forty years in exile. Behind us now. Yesterday we took our country back. It's in the air. I can feel it. Can you?
Let us make it clear, we've all come here. To defend our long-dead brothers; And understand you ain't layin' a hand
On our Wall you leftie mothers." (Click here to listen to the .mp3)
The Gathering Of Eagles - Report -- [Flopping Aces]
From all accounts it appears the Gathering of Eagles was a HUGE success. With many reports coming that the Eagles either matched the nimrod protestor numbers or outnumbered them. Many bloggers were lucky enough to attend the Gathering and had plenty of pictures up. Mike at Mike's America was a central hub for quite a few of them who called in updates and sent in new pictures. Below is a sampling of the pictures sent in with the first one being one of my favorites.
Gathering of Eagles
...But seeing thousands of patriots, some barely able to walk, many still scarred outside and inside from their heroic efforts to defend our country during conflicts past, took a little of the edge off. Those patriots found out about the Gathering of Eagles through emails, word of mouth, on Free Republic, on Move America Forward, here on Hot Air and michellemalkin.com, all over the place. There was no Soros Santa on our side marketing the march and bussing people in from all over the country. People drove through ice storms to get there, ...
Three items of note -- [The Marching Camp]
First, a clarification on a previous post. On the House "emergency" appropriations bill needed to fund the war in Iraq.
First, there are the obvious absurdities. The spinach funding. The increase in the minimum wage. All the other non-essential riders being tacked on. That's insane, but it is politics as usual.
They also cleverly tucked into the law a provision attempting to mandate surrender in Iraq and a unilateral withdrawal commencing 1 March 2008 and ending no more than 180 days later.
Friggin' wonderful. Excerpts and linkage to full text is here.
The Republic has survived one war wherein the Armed Forces were betrayed and had their efforts deliberately overthrown by treasonous conduct at home...
Letter to the Governor From Mr. Gralla of Norman, Oklahoma -- [Task Force Phoenix 5]
...This letter to the editor appeared in the Daily Oklahoman on March 14th- pass it along and get everyone to write a response.
My response is below.."
Get back to work, governor . . . how much did Gov. Henry's trip to Iraq cost? How much did Oklahoma taxpayers pay for this trip? How many Oklahoman soldiers did the governor shake hands with? What was the dollar cost per handshake? Henry was elected and is paid to guide the state of Oklahoma. He wasn't elected and isn't paid by Oklahoma taxpayers to press the flesh and politic in international affairs in a war-torn country.
Mainstream Media Misreporting on GOE -- [Gathering of Eagles]
Kristinn has consolidated some of the early reportage of the Gathering:
As those who were there know, the reporting by the mainstream media on the Gathering of Eagles has been mostly ficticious and at times downright laughable.
For the record, here are the leading print media outlets’ reporting on our numbers.
...Note (from Heidi): Somehow, the media came up with their predictably skewed perspective without ever leaving the anti-war rally area. They did not come to the GOE rally, where thousands of veterans mingled, nor note the large groups of veterans on roaming patrols, the three-hour line in front of the Vietnam Wall, or the countless vets guarding all the other memorials in the area.
Busted! The New York Times Bogus Voter Fraud Claims -- [Gateway Pundit]
On Friday The New York Times published a blatantly false editorial on democratic voter fraud
In contrast to their fraudulant editorial, democratic voter fraud in rampant not just in St. Louis and Missouri but in several states.
But, don't expect a correction because that would make this whole bogus non-scandal with Attorney General Gonzales look even more ridiculous.
The Scrutinator was the first to forward this article my way:
Nostalgia and Anticipation -- [Andi - 2007 MilBlog Conference]
Over at the Castle, FbL wrote a post about what the 2006 MilBlog Conference meant to her. She correctly states that the "buzz" for this year's conference has been rather low-key...
...until now, that is. It's time to crank up the excitement. We're less than two months away, folks.
Synergy: The 2006 Milblog Conference -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
Andi has put out a challenge to last year's MilBlog Conference attendees: describe the experience. It's not easy, but I'll try...
Although the conference was attractive to me from the beginning, I struggled with whether to spend the money. It seemed self-indulgent. Though a blogger, I was just a milblogging hanger-on in my view; I couldn't see it as anything more than a social event for me. Nothing wrong with social events, but in my cash-strapped life I couldn't justify the expense on that basis alone. But when a gift of airline miles and the chance to share a hotel room came up, I grabbed them. Still, I had doubts.
With the expense thus reduced, I decided to go for it. Without a doubt, it turned out to be the best $150+ I have ever spent.
Pelosi: Iraqi Optimism Highlights Bush Surge Failure -- [ScrappleFace]
A new poll shows Iraqis are “irrationally optimistic, misguided in their support of the new government and in denial about the civil war raging in their country,” according to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Homecomings -- [Soldiers Angels New York]
Today I attended a welcome home for a group of Marine Reservists. Below are pics and video. After hours of waiting, when they finally arrived I was so busy clapping and cheering, I forgot to turn on the video. But you will get the idea. Just sorry I didn't get more of my new friend, Les the bagpiper.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
By the Way: We're Not Losing -- [Austin Bay - TCS Daily]
The chattering class nostrum that Free Iraq and its coalition allies have "lost the Iraq war" is so blatantly wrong it would be a source of laughter were human life and hope-inspiring liberty not at such terrible risk.
Text of JD's Speech at the American Enterprise Institute -- [JD's Blog Outside the Wire]
Let me run through a little experiment with you. Now, no one raise their hands, but just think about this for minute.
To get home, or back to work, you have to go through those doors there. Now, lets pretend those doors may be booby trapped and the first person and anyone within 5 feet of the doors is going to get some shrapnel. But, you gotta cross the threshold. And, on the other side of the doors, there might be a guy with an RPK machine gun waiting to throw some lead at you. And down the hall, there may be a guys hiding around the corners with AK-47s. But, after all that, you make it outside, where there could be snipers. Then you make it to your car or cab, and then there is a chance someone is waiting to blow you up with an IED.
...I have concluded, based both on my experience, and the reports of other newsmen, that an unconscionable amount of what we in the press have been feeding the American public regarding the war in Iraq is fashioned by the propaganda arms of our enemies. Ba’athist kidnappers and Jihadi bombers are planning their operations not to win the war in Iraq, but to win it in America.
Iraqis take the lead -- [MNF-I]
ATH THA' ALBA — Iraqi troops captured 11 suspects during a joint cordon and search operation with Coalition forces near Ath Tha'Alba, north of Baghdad Monday.
Coalition reaching out via YouTube -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Coalition military officials in Iraq are hoping to reach out to younger, broader audiences by posting clips of servicemembers in action on a popular video-sharing Web site.
CCCI Convicts 23 -- [MNF-I]
1 sentenced to death, 3 sentenced to life imprisonment
BAGHDAD, Iraq — The Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) convicted 23 individuals from March 2 - 10, for violations of the Iraqi Terrorist Law, Residence Law, Penal Code, and Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Orders enforced by the Iraqi judiciary. Crimes included joining an armed group to unsettle the stability and security of Iraq, possession of illegal weapons, and the illegal use of legal documents.
Iraq Report II: Enforcing the Law - (PDF) -- [Weekly Standard - dispatch from Iraq]
This report, the second in a series, describes the purpose, course, and results of Coalition operations in Baghdad during the first three weeks of Operation Enforcing the Law (also known as the Baghdad Security Plan), from General Petraeus' assumption of command on February 10, 2007, through March 5. It describes the flow of American and Iraqi forces into Baghdad; American and Iraqi command relationships; the efforts of those forces to prepare positions and develop intelligence in critical neighborhoods; the limited clearing operations that the forces already in Baghdad have conducted; and operations against the so-called Mahdi army, or Jaysh al Mahdi, in Baghdad. It describes and evaluates the apparent responses of the Jaysh al Mahdi and al Qaeda to these preparations and early operations, and highlights some of the differences between this operation and last year's offensives in Baghdad, Operations Together Forward I and II.
Good News Bad News -- [Jules Crittenden]
You’ve got your good news, you’ve got your bad news. Now, for some completely different news:
Royal Dutch/Shell announces a consortium with Turkish energy firms to bid on natural gas projects in Iraq and build pipeline from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. With Turkey on board, ticklish Turk-Kurd issues may be cleared, and if traditional insurgent-prone areas can be avoided, Stratfor posits: “With these problems addressed, the petroleum supermajors — like Shell — might be ready to tap Iraq’s reserves. The only real obstacle that remains is for the Kurds and other Iraqis to create an oil law on which they can all agree.”And for Iraq, that’s great news.
It’s also good news when ...
Who Gets to Define Victory in Iraq? -- [Strategy Page]
March 16, 2007: Trying to keep track of who is winning in Iraq is complicated by debates on questions that are not relevant. If you're going to have a war people will die and stuff will be destroyed. That's a consequence of having a war. So the issue is not "we shouldn't have a war because people will die . . . ." but "Is this war necessary." On the other side of the debate are those who argue that "national honor" is at stack or "credibility" – rather than "Is this war necessary."
The Dump -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
We went to the dump today, two of my buddies and I. A dump is a normal fixture at any base in Iraq- I've already explored scrap piles at Ramadi and Habbaniyah. Dumps interest me; I like to see what other people have no more use for. I like to put into practice the old saying: "One man's trash is another man's treasure". I've always been that way; a trip to the dump with my dad as a kid almost always ended in him trying to keep me from dragging home more trash.
HADITHA MARINE SPEAKS PUBLICLY FOR FIRST TIME: SORRY CIVILIAN DEATHS HAPPENED BUT WOULD DO IT AGAIN -- [Drudge]
He's sorry that civilians -- including women and children -- died when he and his men reacted to an attack that killed a comrade in Haditha, but Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich says today he would make the same decision that caused their deaths. Wuterich is charged with killing 18 civilians. He led three other Marines also charged with murder. His interview with Scott Pelley, the first time any of them has spoken publicly about that day, is part of a report to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, March 18 (7:00-8:00PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
ISAF: Taliban Military Commander for Garmser district killed in air strike -- [Afgha.com]
The Taliban’s deputy military commander for the Garmser district of Helmand province has been killed in an ISAF air strike conducted on March 7th in the Nawa Kalay area.
Apache Action in Afghanistan
Terrible Resolve -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue -- in Afghanistan]
...I wanted to talk some more about the national identity question. Do Afghans have a sense of national pride and identity? This can be a hard concept to explain, but I did my best, and Han understood what I was talking about. In his estimation, about 90% of Afghans think of themselves as Afghans first and have a sense of pride in their nation, while tribal identity would come second. Later on at lunch I asked Hamid the same question, and he estimated that 80% had a strong sense of national identity. I know Wali is also fiercely nationalistic and loves his country. Clearly this is not a scientific survey, but I wonder if maybe we are missing something here. As I mentioned before, we are briefed that there is a very weak national identity here, yet in my dealings with Afghans, I have not found this to be true.
Afghanistan; You Don't Know Diddly -- [Celestial Junk]
It always amazes me how distorted a picture Canadians get of the world when they rely on the Canadian media. I understand that the news cycle and space restrict what can be reported, but in some cases the press does all of us a disservice by what it doesn’t print.
The Afghan conflict is a feast for those wishing to bash the Canadian Press. Day after day, the media plays out its age-old role … which seems to be to misinform and filter truth. For instance, trying to get news about Canadians in Afghanistan these days is as hard as looking for virgins at a strip club. In essence, our Canadian press is playing a blatant game with the Canadian public and giving all those Canadians who rely on the press to form opinions, a jaded view. When bad things happen, the Canuck press is all a twitter … when things go well … the silence is deafening.
The Ghosts of War - Canada wages peace in Afghanistan
Video tribute in honor of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry regiment fighting against Taliban forces during Operation Zahar in Penjawi Disctrict, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan in 2006
Italian journalist sends SOS -- (Pajhwok Afghan News)
KABUL, The kidnapped Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo has asked for immediate help as Taliban issued a two-day ultimatum to the the government and embassy of Italy in Kabul.
Bluff and Blunder -- [Strategy Page]
March 16, 2007: Exaggeration and posturing are a major part of Somali warfare. For example, in the last year, filled with war and revolution, cities lost and taken and invasions and governments overthrown, the death toll is estimated to be about 1,500. Somalis are not good shots, and quick to retreat if it looks like they are going to lose. None of this "fight to the last man" stuff. A lot of the "fighting" in Somalia consists of some guys firing off a few dozen bullets, and RPG or two, then spending the rest of the day bragging about it, and creating a story of fierce, but fictional, combat.
9/11 "Confession": How Real? (Updated and Bumped) -- [Danger Room]
I'm moving this post back up to the top of the pile, because there have been so many updates.
UPDATE: TalkLeft has a ton of interesting material -- 60 posts' worth -- on KSM.
UPDATE 2: Bill Roggio isn't buying the Wee-Bey theory. "KSM was implicated in the Bojinka Philippines plot – as well as the Clinton and Pope assassination attempts in the 90's...
UPDATE 2A: However, this AP story (along the Counterrorism Blog post, below) really undercuts Roggio, it seems to me. "Mohammed's claims that he was responsible for dozens of successful, foiled and imagined attacks in the past 15 years relies on a loose definition of the word 'responsible,'" according to the AP. "Officials say the 9/11 mastermind was key to some plots but a bit player in others."
Pulling Tehran's Purse Stings -- [Counterterroism Blog]
How can the United States and the international community raise the costs for Iran's continued defiance of the international community over suspension of its uranium enrichment program? What levers are likely to feed on domestic discontent and induce the regime in Tehran to abandon such objectionable and threatening activities as its sponsorship of terrorism, production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (and the missile systems to deploy these weapons)?
The Little People -- [Strategy Page]
March 16, 2007: The UN has admitted that one of the reasons, if not the reason, that its aid programs have been allowed to remain in North Korea has been weekly cash payments to the government of about a million dollars. The cash was to go to support several UN development programs, but the UN was not allowed to audit these programs.
Myths About Russian Nuclear Stockpiles -- [Strategy Page]
March 16, 2007: The U.S. National Intelligence Council, in a recent report to Congress, admitted that they are not sure if Russian nuclear weapons, and weapons grade nuclear material, are secure from terrorists. Translation; "we don't have a clue about what's going on with the nuclear material, and believe the Russians don't either, but we are not sure, and the Russians are not being forthcoming."
New jihad group in Lebanon threatens attacks on U.S. -- [Jihad Watch]
"A New Face of Jihad Vows Attacks on U.S," by Souad Mekhennet and Michael Moss for the New York Times
...During a recent interview with The New York Times, Mr. Abssi displayed his makeshift training facility and his strident message that America needed to be punished for its presence in the Islamic world. “The only way to achieve our rights is by force,” he said. “This is the way America deals with us. So when the Americans feel that their lives and their economy are threatened, they will know that they should leave.”
My Congressional Testimony on Immigration Fraud and Terrorism -- [Michael Cutler - Counterterroism Blog]
I testified before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security today on the important issue of the detention of aliens seeking political asylum in the United States. I reminded the Members and public of the potential for terrorists to illegally enter the country through immigration fraud. Here is the text of my testimony:
Al Qaida Linked to Possible Korea Terror Attacks -- [GI Korea]
Via OFK, comes this news that Al Qaida mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad planned to conduct terrorist attacks against US interests in Korea:
Mastermind, My Foot -- [4 Mile Creek]
C'mon, this guy is the mastermind of all those terrorist attacks?
Clearly it was Bush Inc., not KSM.
(update-I was just joking of course, but it isn't a joke to the Lefties at Huffington. Not a single Lefty commentor believes that KSM is responsible. Not a single Lefty commentor believes that Bush is not responsible.
New CSH in Anbar serving soldiers and "giving back to organizations that are helping us" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Task Force 3 MEDCOM is opening a new CSH (Combat Support Hospital) in Anbar province next week, providing an upgrade to previous facilities. ...
...If you'd like to help support the CSHs, Aid Stations, Surgical Units, or Medics downrange, email Roger or go to the Soldiers' Angels website to make a cash donation.
USFK Units Honored for CFC Donations -- [GI Korea]
It is always impressive the amount of money the military is able to raise for charities through the Combined Federal Campaign...
...For those not in the military reading this, every year the military encourages soldiers to choose a charity that is part of the CFC to donate money to. The soldiers are given a book with a number of charities that the military has deemed to be legitimate and worthy of donations and then it is up to the soldier if he/she wants to donate money. As you can see above the military raised $1.5 million dollars overseas with 10% coming from USFK which means USFK raised $150,000 dollars this year for charity.
The other really good charity campaign the Army does is the Army Emergency Relief fund. AER donations are used to allow soldiers to have immediate financial assistance in case of family emergencies.
Why We Support the Troops -- [Edward Powell - Military.com]
It appears that about 20,000 more American service members will be headed to Iraq and other locations in the Persian Gulf Region in the next few months. As our nation debates the war and the policies proposed to execute it, many of us also are focused on the most important component of the war -- our troops.
Honoring Chance: A Mother's Journey -- [Some Soldier's Mom]
As I note in my side bar, I have contributed to two books that were published last year: The Blog of War and Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan & the Home Front.
While it is difficult to pick any one of the fine writings that appear in these two books as a favorite, if asked, I would tell you that the one that moved me more than any other is the personal narrative of Lt. Colonel Michael R. Strobl and it appears in both of these collections. It is entitled, “Taking Chance” and relates the highly emotional experience of accompanying the body of Chance Phelps, a young Marine killed in Iraq,
End of the Line for World War I Soldiers -- [Strategy Page]
March 16, 2007: The last American combat veteran of World War I recently passed away, on February 22nd. Howard V. Ramsey was 109 years old and lived in Oregon. He was corporal, and arrived in France two months before the war ended in 1918. Ramsey drove trucks and cars, which brought him under enemy artillery fire as he delivered supplies to the front lines, or drove an ambulance up to retrieve wounded troops. After the war ended on November 11, 1918, Ramsey spent seven months recovering the bodies of dead American soldiers. Ramsey was ...
House panel votes to pull out of Iraq -- [Military News]
House Democrats, who have widely divergent views about the war in Iraq, managed Thursday to stick together long enough to pass a $124 billion wartime funding bill that sets a timetable for withdrawal of combat troops, boosts spending on military and veterans’ health care...
See the Gathering of Eagles on C-SPAN -- [MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy]
Can’t make the Gathering of Eagles this weekend? Neither can I. I want to at least watch it on C-SPAN, though. Via Wild Thing, the Gathering of Eagles website:
Who is Timothy Griffin? -- [Macsmind]
Who is Timothy Griffin, the US attorney that replaced Bud Cummins?
In May 2006, Tim was assigned to the 501st Special Troops Battalion (STB), 101st Airborne Division and sent to serve in Iraq . From May through August 2006, he served as an Army JAG with the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul , Iraq , as a member of the 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) Brigade Operational Law Team (BOLT), for which he was awarded the Combat Action Badge and the Army Commendation Medal.
Dean visiting world leaders to undermine Bush -- [Allahpundit - Hot Air]
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly Probably the most irritating thing about this is how superfluous it is. No one needs to be personally informed by the American left’s minister plenipotentiary that U.S. policy will change if a Democrat’s elected. He’s announcing this purely for domestic consumption, so that the nutroots can get their rocks off imagining Dean-o urging various heads of state to run out the clock on Bush rather than cooperate with him.
Bush Advance Team Sued by ACLU -- [Stop the ACLU]
...And just the other day, A reporter from the Christian Broadcasting Network was physically removed from a ‘press conference’ held by CAIR, (Council on American-Islamic Relations) to announce that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) was going to file a lawsuit on behalf of six Muslims who staged a scene prior to a flight on U.S. Airways, in which they did everything they could possibly do to give every impression that they were about to hijack that flight, even going as far as duplicating many of the actions of past hijackers.
Reporters Should Be Held to Account for Deceptive Reporting -- [Wizbang!]
In my column at Townhall this week I note the absurdity of all the networks reporting the eight U.S. Attorney firings without also mentioning the 93 firings in 1993 by Bill Clinton. I wondered how the media, who had willfully ignored the Clinton comparison for over a week, could ever report it being that the incident happened 14 years ago and was certainly known to them all along. What excuse could they come up to make that little piece of information suddenly relevant? Well, after I turned my column in, I got my answer.
WashPost Hypes Pentagon Protest With Ramsey Clark, Leaves Out His Saddam Lawyering -- [NewsBusters]
The Washington Post's reverence for protests -- the leftist ones, that is -- is clearly on display on the front of Friday's Metro section, with advance publicity for a Saturday "peace" march on the Pentagon starring Ramsey Clark, fresh from his unsuccessful defense lawyering for Saddam Hussein. (That fact is never mentioned in Steve Vogel's article.) On roughly the fourth anniversary of the initial blitz on Baghdad and forty years after the violent "levitate the Pentagon" protests of 1967, the Post splashes
Valerie Plame Gives Committee Secret Decoder Ring -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-16) — Valerie Plame, whose CIA career ended when columnist Robert Novak blew her cover in July 2003, today testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee whose members will receive a special secret decoder ring so they can understand her without revealing sensitive intel in a public forum.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Video: Attack on al-Qaida
GuardianFilms penetrates Iraq's most dangerous province to report on how the Iraqis themselves have turned on al-Qaida.
What it's Like to be a Cop in Fallujah, UPDATE -- [INDC Journal - in Iraq]
Last Tuesday, I published an e-mail from Fallujah Police Transition Team officer Captain Tad Scott regarding an Iraqi Police officer who suffered a horrific insurgent attack on his family. To recap:
Iraqi Papers Thursday: Is Falluja Next? -- [Iraq Slogger]
Tribal Alliance Spreads Control Over Anbar
Az-ZamanThe Iraqi newspaper al-Mada, which has recently been at the forefront in reporting the news of the “retreat” of al-Qa'ida from al-Anbar, has published another front-page article claiming that Al-Qa'ida is now facing in Falluja the same form of opposition that had forced its retreat from other Anbari cities.
Saddam, We Miss You -- [Strategy Page]
Attitude does matter. With the addition of just two brigades of U.S. troops, and the equivalent of four brigades of Iraqi troops and police, the death toll from terrorist bombs is down 36 percent over the last month, and killings by death squads are down by half. Attacks against government officials (including police) are down 70 percent)
Coalition forces kill two terrorists, detain 11 others -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed two terrorists and detained 11 suspected terrorists during several raids targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq network.
During a raid Thursday morning east of Balad, two armed terrorists began firing on Coalition Forces. Coalition Forces engaged the armed men with precision fires from a fixed-wing aircraft, killing both terrorists. Coalition Forces also detained eight suspected terrorists during the raid.
Eye To Eye: Gen. David Petraeus On Iraq's Security
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, talks with Allen Pizzey about the security crackdown in Sadr City. He says it will take time to stabilize the country. (more)
The Opportunity In Sadr City -- [Captain's Quarters]
A report by The Scotsman on the shock experienced by American troops on their first forays into Sadr City reveal an opportunity that we can seize to push the militias aside. Basic services such as sewage and trash removal do not exist, and although the residents of the slums have so far given the American surge a chance, success will depend on replacing those services provided by the militias:
National Guard Soldiers Display ‘Exemplary’ Actions During Convoy Attack [GX Online]
Al Asad Air Base, Iraq— In two National Guard Soldiers’ written accounts of an August 2006 attack on their convoy, they used the same words to describe the back of a Humvee that was struck by a 155 mm artillery shell: “completely disintegrated.”
That day, members of the Mankato, MN-based 2nd Bn, 135th Infantry Regt’s combat logistics team were on a patrol heading from Camp Korean Village near Ar Rutbah back to their home base in northwest Iraq. The Soldiers of Charlie Co were split into two elements, “Forward Sweep Team” and “Lunch Bunch,” with the latter trailing about one kilometer behind the former.
Habbaniyah Mayor Appeals To Residents To Aid U.S. Projects -- [Army News]
ANGUR, Iraq In an effort to win over non-converts, Hussein Ali Hussein, the mayor of Habbaniyah, donned a flak vest, jumped into an American Humvee and hit rural towns with the same message: "Help me help you."
Hussein repeated the plea Monday in decrepit towns in his district in western Iraq plagued by little or no electricity, no drinkable water, few schools, and unsuitable sewage systems.
Iraqi Prime Minister makes historic visit to Al Anbar -- [Cpl. Ryan M. Blaich - Marine Corps News]
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki traveled to Ar Ramadi in a historic meeting with governmental and tribal leaders, March 13. The talks between Maliki and leaders from all over Al Anbar took place at the headquarters of the Iraqi Army’s newest
Iraqi soldiers keeps Iraqis trucking -- [Cpl. Wayne Edmiston - Marine Corps News]
When many think of standing up an army, like the one getting on its feet in Iraq, they might envision infantrymen on patrols and tanks rolling across stretches of desert. But combat forces are only effective if they have supporting units to sustain...
Hello from Iraq -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
Yep, that’s me in Iraq, in a photo taken earlier today. Obviously I am not in Baghdad. Iraq is big, and diverse. Not all of it is a hot, flat, dusty plain, and not all of it is a war zone.
New DFAC -- [Calvary in Iraq - in Iraq]
A momentous event happened today at the place where I am temporarily located. A new DFAC opened!
DFAC, short for Dining FACility, is the place to get chow. The one they had here was cramped and did not allow for much selection. The new one is huge and has better selection of food items.
Even so, it's not like eating at home or at restaurants back home. It gets repetitive.
Destination: Baghdad -- [Wired Blogs]
...The story rightly notes that there's a lot of good that can come from members of Congress seeing actual conditions in Iraq (although the obvious danger, like with Walter Reed, is that congressional delegations are sometimes only shown the sunny side of things).
There's not much in the article that's shocking, but the figures about the Iraq junkets (cost and frequency) are illuminating. Breaking it down, the newspaper finds:
309 members of Congress who traveled to Iraq as of March 2006. They have taken 522 government-paid trips.
Search for bin Laden at Home! -- [Wired]
Where in the world is Osama bin Laden? Uh ... try checking Google Earth. After Google recently updated its satellite images of parts of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, much of the region still looked blotchy — the kind of low resolution that persists in coverage of, say, upstate New York. But several small squares (they stand out as off-color patches from 680 miles up) suddenly became as detailed as the images of Manhattan.
...But the CIA believes bin Laden is holed up in the Hindu Kush mountain range-one of the most out-of-the-way places on Earth — and you can now see every house, school, and mosque in certain villages there. Keep your eyes peeled for a very tall guy with a long beard and an AK-47
Making Every Bomb Count in Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
March 15, 2007: In 2005, the U.S. Air Force dropped 176 bombs and missiles in Afghanistan. Last year, they dropped ten times as many. Some 3,000 Taliban fighters were killed by these bombs. Because all the attacks used missiles or smart bombs, very few civilians were killed (fewer than a hundred.) So few civilians were killed that, whenever there were civilian deaths, the ...
Corner turned in push to bring stability to Kandahar: Hillier -- (Military Photos)
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Canada has turned a corner in the push to bring stability to a volatile part of Kandahar province, the chief of defence staff said Wednesday.
RC-East, USAID Leaders Plan Future Afghanistan Development -- [DVIDS]
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The leaders of Regional Command-East and United States Agency International Development met, March 6, in order to bridge the information gap between the two groups
ISAF denies cross border raids into Pakistan -- [The Fourth Rail]
Incidents by region in Afghanistan, 2007. Denial technically true; Achilles update
Last week, western forces from Afghanistan were reported to have crossed the Pakistani border, and captured Mullah Hakimallah Mehsud, a clansman of Baitullah and Abdullah Mehsud, the two leading Taliban commanders in South Waziristan. Yesterday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force spokesman denied any involvement in operations inside Pakistan. "Contrary to recent press reports,
Bombs Away: Brits Get New Nukes -- [Wired Blogs]
In a 409-161 vote today, the British Parliament approved Prime Minister Tony Blair’s plan to renew Britain’s nuclear deterrent. This follows months of raging debate across the country: a majority of British citizens and a significant minority of MPs opposed renewing the deterrent, while the government has remained steadfast (background here and here.) Essentially the plan involves designing new submarines to replace the aging fleet currently in use.
“We Are Jackals Fighting In The Nights” -- [Jules Crittenden]
Twisted dreams of death and destruction on a massive scale, boiled down into a fascinating but utterly dry, bureaucratic and soulless document, little more detailed than a to do list with several big items checked off. It starts with courtroom boilerplate and bickering, gets down to business with the confession. Then you get to Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s perverted vision of himself, some high-minded rot.
Transcripts of Interviews of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Faraj al-Libi, & Ramzi Binalshibh -- [Andrew Cochran - Counterterrorism Blog]
Here are the transcripts of the interviews by the Defense Department of the three most senior Al Qaeda leaders in custody in the world, provided to us by Jean Charles Brisard. The Defense Department has posted more information at a special website.
To Our Americans Serving in Iraq -- [BlackAndRight]
I don't think you can, even if you think you can. And I'm (usually) right--so there. -- [From My Position... On the way!]
Supporting the troops means standing behind their decision, their choice, to serve their country, to go into harm's way when so ordered, and to fight, and win.
Support comes in many forms, from boxes of cookies, to socks and spices, to camelbak coolers, to voice-activated laptops. But support must be total, 100%, fully committed--just like the commitment we expect from our soldiers.
Dylan DeSilva Honored By Boston Celtics -- [Pundit Review]
Dylan Desilva is the 14-year old founder of Cape Cod Cares 4 The Troops, and he was honored tonight by the Boston Celtics as a Hero Among Us. What a deserving honor for a young man who has shown such incredible dedication to the men and women in the armed forces. Dylan’s organization has sent thousands of care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gregg and I got to know Dylan through the radio show and tonight ...
Congress may keep Walter Reed open past 2011-- [Military News]
The House Appropriations Committee is expected to vote Thursday to keep open Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the duration of the global war on terrorism, a move that would reverse a 2005 base-closing commission recommendation and add one more reason for the Bush administration to...
The Walter Reed Fiasco - The Army fired the one guy who can fix it. -- [Opinion Journal]
Since its publication on Feb. 18 in the Washington Post, the story of the bureaucratic nightmares experienced at Walter Reed Army Medical Center by soldiers from the Iraq and Afghan wars has been Washington's biggest bonfire in a long time. Nearly four weeks on it still consumes official Washington -- with firings, hearings, denunciations and the waving forward of commissions.
Are the results controlled for stupidity? -- [CounterColumn]
When you're standing in ranks, look at the soldier or marine to you're right. Now look at the one to the left. Now look at the guy in front of you. If none of them are crazy, statistically, it means you're the nutcase. At least according to researchers in (ahem) San Francisco.
The Hollow Army -- [Weekly Standard Blog]
The Boston Globe ran a story yesterday on the Army's rush "to fill a growing number of vacancies in the officer corps," which has forced the Army to promote "captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels more quickly and at a higher percentage than before the Iraq war, a trend that some military specialists worry is lowering the overall quality of the officer corps."
It all sounds very damning, but my initial reaction to the story was that four years into the Iraq war, the Army's officer corps was likely to be filled with battle-hardened veterans who would make far better military leaders than their counterparts from the 1990's, when the Army could afford to be much more selective. But that may not be the case.
Fighting TRICARE Increases -- [Military.com]
Veterans Gird for New Fight of Sharp Health Care Fee Rises
Once again the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and other members of the Military Coalition are having to gear up to fight the Pentagon's attempts to triple annual TRICARE fees for military retirees younger than 65 in some cases because of the president's recently submitted budget.
Yikes!... Now Hillary Says She'll Keep Troops in Iraq -- [Gateway Pundit]
This (along with the fact that Al Qaeda #3 admitted to planning 9-11 instead of the evil Mr. Bush) ought to send the leftards into a frenzy...
Hillary now promises to "Bring the troops home... Er, sometime later on."
Clinton Says Some G.I.’s in Iraq Would Remain -- (NY Times)
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton foresees a "remaining military as well as political mission" in Iraq, and says that if elected president, she would keep a reduced military force there to fight Al Qaeda, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and possibly support the Iraqi military.
What Part Of "Commander-in-Chief" Don't You Understand? -- [Hugh Hewitt]
The Congress can declare war, and it did, thus fully empowering the president to conduct it as he sees fit.
The Congress can choose not to fund the war, which it will not do because it fears the public's certain wrath.
But the Congress cannot manage the war, anymore than...
Democrats’ “omni-mental” heavy on spending, even heavier on our troops -- [RedState]
It took them more than a month to write, more than a week to schedule, and more than a few appendages to break, but Democratic leaders this afternoon will finally get down to marking-up the desperately needed emergency funding package for our men and women in the field.
Heart-ache: 59% support path to citizenship for illegal aliens; Update: Immigration lobby hooks up with anti-war -- [Allahpundit - Hot Air]
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly If you’re looking for good news here, you’ll have to look hard. The only upbeat note is that that 59% is down from 66% last June. But the 66% in June was up from 61% in May. What caused the spike? The glowing media coverage attendant to the Senate debating and then passing its immigration bill on May 25th, probably. The more pap people are fed about the “undocumented” coming out of the shadows to do the jobs Americans won’t do, the more they support amnesty.
More Media Bias news -- [QandO Blog]
In the wake of the Fox News/Nevada Democratic Debate kerfuffle, a Zogby poll which shows the vast majority of the population believes the media to be biased in its coverage: ...
AP's Misleading Headline Hides Dem Infighting -- [NewsBusters]
Imagine you're skimming the news and come across a story entitled "Democrats Work to Smooth Iraq Tension." What would you assume the article was about? That those caring Dems had tried to ease sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shias, perhaps? I'd say that would be a fair inference. But read the story, and you'll discover that it is an account of a behind-closed-doors shouting match between Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters, the tart-tongued congresswoman from California.
The chief has a blog -- [Air Force Times]
What keeps the Air Force’s most powerful man up at night?
Proposed tanker aircraft, congressional funding and musings on the airman’s self-image.
That’s what Gen. Michael Moseley, United States Air Force Chief, says on his new blog of sorts.
Called “Chief’s Scope,” it’s Moseley’s online platform for quick thoughts and updates.
Senate Debates Timeline for Attorney General Firing -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-15) — With controversy over the prosecutor-firing scandal swirling around the White House, the Senate today takes up debate on a resolution calling on President George Bush to fire Attorney General Alberto Gonzales if he fails to meet certain benchmarks by January 2009.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Army platoon enters uncharted territory -- [MNF-I]
SHARQOT — In a moment reminiscent of the first triumphant days of the Iraq war, American Soldiers walked through a crowd of cheering Iraqi children. On a dirt road in the village of Sharqot, the children whistled loudly for the Soldiers, then, remarkably, broke into applause.
Baghdad security crackdown seriously curbs killings of US soldiers -- (KUNA)
BAGHDAD, March 14 -- The rate of killings of US troops in Iraq has been on the decline, down by 60 percent, since the launch of the new security measures in Baghdad, according to statistics revealed by the Multi-National Force -Iraq Combined Press Information Centre.
Action follows calm... -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
The front in Baghdad has been remarkably quiet in the last 48 hours, until about an hour ago when we started to hear many explosions in the distance.
From the increased activity of jetfighters and the way the explosions sound it looks like a wave of aerial bombing is underway somewhere on the peripheries of the city…not sure yet what's going on but we'll provide an update if we find more info.
Martius iam? -- [The Desert Excursion - in Iraq]
...Life in the ER is quiet here for the most part. Most of the time we see the common ailments, sprains, kidney stones, infections, cuts and so forth. Occasionally, such as the other day, we had a patient with a gunshot wound to the neck which would be the most excitement I have seen in a few months.
Insurgency in the Shadows -- [Captain's Journal]
Published March 14th, 2007 by Herschel Smith in Iraq, Islamic Facism, Jihadists, al Qaeda, Ansar al Sunna |
There are shadowy operations going on in the Anbar Province conducted by AQI and other militant groups, these operations being directed against each other and spilling over into the broader population in an attempt to gain support. As we have pointed out in Hope and Brutality in Anbar (and prior), although AQI has used persuasion in the form of money for some support (such as paying children to spy on U.S. snipers), their primary tactic has been intimidation, torment, torture and houses of horror to keep the population in submission and thus ensure safe haven for their terrorist activities. However, the intimidation has taken a turn for the secretive, as we saw in Samarra
More Photos of the Surge -- [BlackFive]
Stryker Soldiers with Company B, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, roll through a village heading towards Baqubah, March 13. The 5-20 Inf. Reg. of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, arrived in the Diyala province to help maintain the momentum against insurgents that was gained in recent large-scale operations by the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, from Fort Hood, Texas.
Tow missile launch from hummer Marked as: Featured
A tow missile launch takes out a oldsmobile with deadly accuracy,nice bit of training
Iraqi Police, Army protect pilgrims -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Iraqi Army and police forces worked together to provide security for more than six million pilgrims traveling to Karbala to observe the Shiite ritual of Arbaeen, officials in Baghdad said Monday.
What's it's Like to be a Cop in Fallujah, UPDATE -- [INDC Journal - in Iraq]
Last Tuesday, I published an e-mail from Fallujah Police Transition Team officer Captain Tad Scott regarding an Iraqi Police officer who suffered a horrific insurgent attack on his family. To recap:
T-Minus and Counting -- [Outside the Wire]
Two years this week, I was in a mad dash.
I didn't know what to expect, what I would really need and even how to pack it. Thus, I did not have time to worry.
Two tours in Iraq later, things are much smoother.
The first time, I was too busy getting everything together to think about the risks and just how bizarre it is for a person as a one-man-TV-band to head to Iraq.
But this time I know what to expect, what I need and how to pack it--so I have time for the occasional thought to slip into my head.
The thought that bugs me the most is why I have no fear.
Iraq's Accomplishments in Perspective -- [Austin Bay - Strategy Page]
The chattering class nostrum that Free Iraq and its coalition allies have "lost the Iraq war" is so blatantly wrong it would be a source of laughter were human life and hope-inspiring liberty not at such terrible risk.
Australians in Iraq - 4 RAR Commandos (Night Operations) Marked as: Mature
Australian Special Forces - 4 RAR Commandos on Night Operations.
Why We Fight -- [Weekly Standard - Blog]
This clip is a bit long, but very powerful, and it may offer the most persuasive, liberal argument for keeping American troops in Iraq--"this isn't about national security, this is about saving humans." Really excellent stuff, at least watch the second half if you're pressed for time.
Are We Losing in Afghanistan? -- [Michael Fumento]
Afghanistan may be called "The Forgotten War" but we'd better hurry up and remember it, for time is short. That's increasingly the word from experts both military and non-military, including an exhaustive survey based on 1,000 interviews with Afghans released by the D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Taliban Forcing Musharraf's Hand -- [Captain's Quarters]
The agreement reached between Pervez Musharraf and the tribal leaders of Waziristan appeared to allow the Pakistani leader to back away from the war on terror. Unfortunately, Islamist terrorists don't have the habit of respecting boundaries, and now they have begun to use their new autonomy for attacks in Pakistan rather than Afghanistan...
ANA Firing Range -- [Afghanistan JAG - in Afghanistan]
Yesterday we went to the ANA (Afghan National Army) pistol range.
On the way back from the range, we pass by several villages. Here you can see the kids again. They line the side of the road to wave and smile.
My unit in afghanistan - [cdutchess78]
A year worth of pics and footage of my time in afghanistan in 2006-07
Afghanistan First’ Program Shifts Focus to Training -- [Defense Link]
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, March 14, 2007 – Give an Afghan a job hauling bags of cement, he works for a day. Give an Afghan a job that offers on-the-job-training, and he works for the rest of his life.
That is the general idea behind a shift in focus in the Afghanistan First program, a policy that gives incentives to Afghan companies and contractors in Afghanistan that use local Afghan labor to fulfill work contracts. More than $1 billion in contracts went to Afghan companies in 2006.
RC-East, USAID Leaders Plan Future Afghanistan Development -- [DVIDS]
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The leaders of Regional Command-East and United States Agency International Development met, March 6, in order to bridge the information gap between the two groups.
Cleanliness and Godliness -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
...“Yes, people really do read this stuff. They love to see what your lives are like, and our interactions with Afghans is interesting, even if we are trying to figure out what kind of candy bar you like. Most blogs are about combat or at least being in a combat unit. But many of us don’t see any combat. Some people enjoy reading about our lives too.”
... “Why would you do this to a woman?”
“If I see a woman, I might have thoughts about her, or she about me,” he replied.
“It sounds to me like you don’t trust women.”
“Oh, we trust them. But they might have thoughts to have sex with others.”
“Hamid, I understand why you have these rules and what you hope to achieve, but basically you put women in a prison. They can’t work and they have to cover most of their body up, just to prevent bad thoughts. Why not make the men stay home and cover up, and let the women go out and run things.”
Hamid really seemed to be thinking this over.
Governor Henry Visit -- [Task Force Phoenix 5 - in Afghanistan]
...School will be starting within the next week so we will be having a big school supply drop. We are also looking at getting a road project for the school because it’s like a lake getting in and we don’t want the kids walking through the water to get into school. Well I guess I will wrap this up for the week and call it a day.
AFGHANISTAN: NEW CONTRACTS CURB CHILD MARRIAGES -- (AKI)
Kabul, 14 March - Source IRIN - The Supreme Court of Afghanistan has approved a new marriage contract which is expected to help stop child and forced marriages in the country. The new 15-page formal marriage contract, the ‘Nikah Nama’, has been welcomed by women’s rights NGOs in a country where 60 to 80 percent of marriages are forced, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).
The German Front in the Iraq War -- [Ullrich Fichtner - War in Iraq]
Every day, planes land at Ramstein with severely injured US soldiers from Iraq. In the biggest American military hospital in Europe, lives are saved, limbs amputated and gunshot wounds patched up. It's the Iraq War's German front.
When looking for the outer perimeter of the Iraq battlefield, there is no need to travel to the Middle East. The war does not cease at Iraq's border with Syria to the west or with Iran to the east. Indeed, one of the battlefield's boundaries is located just eight kilometers (five miles) outside of Landstuhl, Germany. It is here where the broken, shrapnel-filled bodies of American soldiers come on the first leg of their journey back to health — if they complete the journey at all.
Iran Gov't Spokesman: "300" Film "Cultural Intrusion" Against Iran -- [MEMRI Blog]
The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported today that Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham had termed the new film "300" "part of the extensive cultural aggression aiming to degenerate cultures of world states," and had added that "the Iranian nation and those involved in cultural activities will respond to such a cultural aggression."
The Big Lie Is Silly and it Works -- [Strategy Page]
March 14, 2007: On March 9th, North Korea urged the United States and South Korea to cancel their joint military exercises scheduled for later this month. North Korea has been making demands like that for over half a century. Military exercises are never cancelled as a result, so why do they bother? It's the old "big lie" technique, made infamous by the Soviet Union for seventy years. The "big lie" (tell a lie often enough, and more people will begin to believe it) has been around for thousands of years. But the Soviets used it frequently, outrageously, and at times it actually worked. The North Korea make the regular calls,
Taliban Think Smaller and Make Nicer -- [Strategy Page]
Despite efforts to keep it quiet, information about NATO and American raids across the border into Pakistan are getting out. The raids have captured some Taliban leaders, who were staying in Pakistani villages close to the border. These actions are forcing the Taliban to move their forward bases (for controlling the movement of gunmen across the border into and out of Afghanistan) deeper into Pakistan, and that makes it more difficult to move men and supplies into Afghanistan. Compared to last year, ...
Exclusive: "Moderate" Muslim Tariq Ramadan was detained, charged and ordered to trial in France after insulting a police officer -- [Winds of Change]
Tariq Ramadan, the so-called "moderate" Islamic "intellectual", was briefly detained and charged for "insulting a public agent" on Sunday at Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle International Airport, while in transit to London.
From informed police sources, we have learned that when Ramadan tried to enter a prohibited area, a young policewoman stopped him.
Sudan Accused of Terrorism in USS Cole Trial -- [Douglas Farah - Counterterrorism Blog]
A little noticed but important trial for the issue of material support for terrorism began yesterday in Norfolk, Virginia. The families of the 17 people killed in the al Qaeda bombing of the USS Cole on Oct. 12, 2000 are suing the government of Sudan for offering the support that made the attack possible.
TERRORISM: TWO ALLEGED JIHADI WEBMASTERS ARRESTED IN SPAIN -- (AKI)
Saragozza, 14 March - A Spanish man has been arrested in the northeastern town of Zaragoza on suspicion of promoting terrorism on the Internet. A Moroccan citizen was also arrested Wednesday in an unspecified Spanish location during an ongoing anti-terror operation by the Civil Guard which says it may lead to further arrests. The 31-year-old Spaniard and the 23-year-old Moroccan - both male - are allegedly the webmasters of the Spanish jihadist website Al-Andalus Islamiya which publishes messages supporting and justifying Islamist terrorism
Where have you been? -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Since the Walter Reed scandal broke, I've had more than a few people ask for my thoughts on the facilities at Landstuhl. As a volunteer and outsider with no military or medical experience I don't feel particularly qualified to give an opinion. But I do have eyes and ears, and I've met more than a few patients over the last couple of years. So here goes.
Blogging from Walter Reed -- [Wired Blogs]
Over the past month, we've heard all kinds of horror stories about the soldiers left to rot in the dark corners of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We've read newspaper accounts. We've watched Congressional testimony. Now, we get to hear from one of the soldiers, directly. This Walter Reed patient has a blog. And it is must-read material.
"I have been called a patriot, and treated like a criminal. I have been called a Soldier and treated as the enemy," he writes in his introductory post, this past Saturday
Snake Saturday: We Did It!!! -- [Soldiers' Angels Kansas City]
Soldiers' Angels participated in the Snake Saturday parade, Saturday, March 10. It was a fantastic experience. We had a great turn out of Angels including a Denizen of Castle Arrggh!.
The crowd was great. We took video (which I am diligently editing) and asked people to give a message to our troops. All along the route, when we said we were supporting our troops and making a video message to send them, the crowd went crazy. People were screaming out "Thank you!", "We Love You!", "Stay Safe!" and "God Bless You!". I have so much great video, it's hard to pick out what to keep. Unfortunately, a CD only holds 700mb and we have 1gb (1000mb) of video. Plus, You Tube only allows you to put 100mb per video up. So, you see why it is taking a little longer to get the video up. Please have a little more patience.
In the meantime, here are some great pictures to look at and a little of the story:
Soldier calls nasty bar beating a 'sneak attack' -- [CTV]
..."This wasn't two guys on the ice dropping gloves and going, 'OK, let's go'," Master Cpl. Collin Fitzgerald told CTV Ottawa on Tuesday.
"This was an attack -- a sneak attack. To blindside a guy ... and hit him with an object, there's something wrong."
Fitzgerald is well known in Morrisburg, Ont., a small town about an hour's drive south of Ottawa.
He says he'd been in the bar only about 20 minutes late Friday, visiting with a childhood friend who introduced him to people as a war hero, when he was suddenly struck from behind with some type of object.
What Not To Say To A Military Wife -- [Villianious Company]
Via Carrie, this is classic.
If you've never thought about this, or you have military wives around you, print this out and put it in a desk drawer or on your refrigerator.
Let me add a few that have particularly irritated me over the years:
The Anti-Recruiting Movement -- [Strategy Page]
Since the war in Iraq began in 2003, an anti-recruiting movement has developed in the United States. A branch of the anti-Iraq-war movement, the anti-recruiting effort has gotten a lot of publicity. But it has had no impact on actual recruiting. That's because most of the anti-recruiting effort is directed at schools (generally upscale) and students that are not the usual sources of new recruits. The media coverage of the anti-recruiting efforts does not dwell on this aspect much. Nor does the fact that the military has made its recruiting numbers, and is expanding the size of the armed forces, attract much media attention.
Who CAIRs? You should! -- [Calvary in Iraq - in Iraq]
...So thousands of us Americans are leaving our families behind and risking injury or death, just so OUR OWN CONGRESSMEN can provide aid and comfort to our enemies??
I respect the right of people to disagree about political issues, including war and foreign policy. That's one of the reasons I wanted to deploy here to Iraq, to help our country fight for freedom, including the freedom to speak one's mind, right or wrong.
The Real Message From Obama -- [Pat Dollard]
Obama to Terrorists:
Hang in there, keep Up the fight, because I am doing everything I can to hand you victory, and if elected, will guarantee it.
Obama To U.S. Troops:
Your mission sucks, and so every day you get out of bed and face death to do your job
Senate agrees to begin debate on Iraq pullout -- (MSNBC)
89-9 vote paves way for consideration of a withdrawal date for U.S. troops
WASHINGTON - Breaking a parliamentary roadblock, the Senate voted Wednesday to begin its first formal debate on the Iraq war since Democrats took control of Congress in January.
The 89-9 vote paved the way for consideration of a Democratic measure that calls for — but does not require — President Bush to pull U.S.
Those Bad Soldiers in Iraq -- [Bull Nav - OPFOR]
I saw this in the NYT this morning and it just set me off. The article starts
In May 2004, Specialist Justin J. Lillis got drunk on what he called “hajji juice,” a clear Iraqi moonshine smuggled onto an Army base in Balad, Iraq, by civilian contractors, and began taking potshots with his M-16 service rifle.
and then continues with two more examples of all the bad stuff our guys are supposedly doing over there.
Of course there is the obligatory Viet Nam reference for stress relief
“The treatment that they take for it is the same treatment that they took after Vietnam,” Dr. Kosten said. “They turn to alcohol and drugs.”
Also, not to be missed, is the blatant sensationalism...
Washington Post Misses the Mark on the Askariya Mosque Bombing ... [Counterterrorism Blog]
... Washington Post features an article by Thomas Ricks (titled "Shrine bombing as war's turning point debated"), suggesting "many Iraq experts" are in disagreement with the "Bush administration" assessment that the February 2006 Askariya mosque bombing in Samarra was a major tipping point for the war in Iraq. There are several comments that should be made regarding this piece:
1.) Sectarian violence in Iraq began on a small scale by mid-2003 and only escalated from there. I don't think anyone either in or outside the Bush administration is trying to suggest that internecine conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq first emerged in February 2006. Indeed, the infiltration
Clinton: Gen. Pace Owes Apology to Adulterers -- [ScrappleFace]
Former President Bill Clinton today added his voice to the chorus calling for Gen. Peter Pace to apologize for remarks in a recent interview in which he branded some kinds of behavior as “immoral“, and said the military should not condone immorality of any kind.
French Canadian's in Afghanistan.
Kinda funny, but ....Lotsa respect for our guy's over there in the thick of it. Be safe!
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Iraq's Accomplishments in Perspective -- [Austin Bay - Strategy Page]
The chattering class nostrum that Free Iraq and its coalition allies have "lost the Iraq war" is so blatantly wrong it would be a source of laughter were human life and hope-inspiring liberty not at such terrible risk.
"The Fallujan people are gonna have to stand up on their own and tell these people, 'get out, we're done.'" -- [INDCJournal]
An Interview with a Civil Affairs Marine
Marine Staff Sergeant Tyler Belshe has a hard job.
In addition to the natural difficulty of winning hearts and minds in a xenophobic city iconic among Arabs for resistance to occupation - the birthplace of insurgency in Iraq - he navigates bureaucratic hurdles regarding what types of reconstruction money are authorized to be spent on what, works with a constantly evolving mission, limited manpower, residents unaccustomed to doing for themselves, poorly functioning provincial and national Iraqi governments, language and cultural difficulties, and more challenges ... all while insurgents try to kill him.
Iraqi forces control much of northern Iraq -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — Three of the four Iraqi army divisions in the north are now under the control of the Iraqi Ground Forces Command, and U.S. troops are turning over more counterinsurgency operations to those units, the top U.S. commander in the region said.
Headhunters ramp up training of Iraqi Army troops -- [MNF-I]
NINEWA PROVINCE, Iraq – Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment (Headhunters) completed several training events last week for Iraqi Army soldiers as part of the increased Military Transition Team training implemented earlier this year.
Iraqis Working to Build Capable Air Force -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2007 – U.S. and Iraqi officials are working to build an Iraqi air force capable of conducting operations across the entire spectrum of the counterinsurgency fight, a senior U.S. military officer said today.
Iraqi Army stops 27 terrorist cell members in As Sadiyah -- [MNF-I]
AS SADIYAH, Iraq – The 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi army, in partnership with a
military transition team from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted
operations against specific terrorist cells Thursday through Saturday in As Sadiyah, Iraq, in the
interest of improving stability for the area’s residents.
AFGHANISTAN: PAKISTANI CLOSE TO BIN LADEN ARRESTED, SAYS REPORT -- (AKI)
Kabul, - The Afghan authorities reportedly arrested a Pakistani who has been accused of helping the leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, Osama Bin Laden take refuge in the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan. This is according to Pakistani sources sited in the Arabic newspaper al-Hayat. The authorities in Islamabad have reportedly been informed of the arrests and have asked Kabul permission to send Pakistani officials to Afghanistan in order to interrogate this person. The man, identified as Sidi Akbar, is accused of not only helping the al-Qaeda leader escape but also of having hosted him in a location in Nuristan, far away from Afghan and American troops.
AFGHANISTAN: DEVELOPMENT MUST ACCOMPANY MILITARY STRATEGY, SAYS UN - (AKI)
New York, - Military strategy has to be combined with political and development strategy in Afghanistan's violence-torn south and south-eastern provinces, the top United Nations peacekeeping official said Monday. "It is essential to combine the three," Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno told a news conference in Kabul, the capital, at the end of a visit to Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan, adding that it was "very important" that no district in the country become a base for the ousted Taliban regime.
AFGHANISTAN: 'TALIBAN SEEKING SPOKESMEN FOR JOURNALIST SWAP' - (AKI)
Lahore, - (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) - One of the main reasons behind the Taliban kidnapping of Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo is to exchange his life for the release of two Taliban spokesmen who have been detained by Afghan authorities. This is according to well-known Pakistani journalist, Rahimullah Yusufzai. In an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Yousufzai said that the Taliban is currently involved in backchannel talks with the administration of Afghan president Hamid Karzai to secure the exchange.
"The real purpose for the kidnapping of the Italian journalist is to swap him for the detained Taliban spokesmen about which the Taliban is talking to the Karzai administration through various backchannels,"
Tracking the North Korean Supernote -- [GI Korea]
This article from the Asia Sentinel is a must read for anyone remotely interested in the North Korean counterfeiting of US currency. The reporters travel to China to see if they find North Korean supernotes. This is what they found:
More on 300 -- [Tigerhawk]
Yesterday I recommended the movie 300 for any number of reasons. Now the Iranian government is attacking the movie as insulting to Persian civilization -- which it is, by the way -- and "part of a comprehensive U.S. psychological war aimed at Iranian culture," which it is not.
Arrest in Spain Connected to Indictment of NY Businessman -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Spanish authorities have arrested a man identified as Brian David Anderson, a Canadian apparently involved in the fraud and terrorist financing case in which Abdul Tawala Ibn Ali Alishtari, a NYC-area businessman, was indicted. I posted on that case (with the indictment) when it was announced on February 17 - a quote: "Alishtari was indicted of sending $152,000 to Pakistan and Afghanistan to support a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan by funding the purchase of night-vision goggles, and of laundering $25,000 from a New York bank through a bank in Montreal as part of the funding scheme.
Part II of "MetaTerror: The Potential Use of MMORPGs by Terrorists" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
On March 1, I posted "MetaTerror: The Potential Use of MMORPGs by Terrorists," consisting of a guest post by Roderick Jones of Concentric Solutions Int'l, about the potential use of "Second Life" digital 3-D worlds by terrorists. I invited comments to be emailed to Roderick and to me, and several of you responded with interesting comments. Additionally, the post drew attention on TerraNova, the biggest MMORPG blog, and on the Second Life Herald, the SL in-world newspaper.
Still Leading After All These Years -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Here's a new post from Robert Connolly, a regular contributor to the SAG blog.
Helping to organize a care package operation means you get to see some remarkable things.
One of my senior colleagues was an Air Force officer in the late 1950’s. Besides being smart as hell (electrical engineer, Stanford Ph.D.), he is an extraordinary teacher and just a wonderful human being. Every time I send an email out inviting assistance with care packages, he responds with a check.
Army Surgeon General Forced Out -- [Military.com]
The Army forced its surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, to retire. He's the third high-level official to lose his job over poor outpatient treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Kiley has been a lightning rod for criticism over conditions at the Army's premier medical facility.
CNN covers Democratic Iraq debate
Budget ideas would be bitter pills for troops -- [Air Force Times]
A semiannual report from the Congressional Budget Office called “Budget Options” might as well be called “250 Ways for Lawmakers to Lose Re-election” — because that would almost certainly be the outcome if its suggestions were followed.
Among the ideas in the 2007 report, released earlier this week, is cutting veterans’ disability payments for all but the most seriously injured, making active-duty service members pay more than three times as much as they now do for the right to post-service education benefits, limiting annual military pay increases to 0.5 percent while paying bigger bonuses to people in critically needed skills, and charging more for older retirees who use the Tricare for Life insurance plan.
The Big Lie: VA Budget cuts -- [QandO Blog]
Well you knew it had to eventually become a talking point.
Face the Nation. - Sen. Claire McCaskill:
SCHIEFFER: Now, one of the things we've found out over the past couple of weeks, that these problems go beyond Walter Reed. They go to some of the other military hospitals, and they also extend into the Veterans Administration, where we've seen the secretary of the Veterans Administration in at least two television appearances that I—
Cheney: Anti-war efforts undermine troops -- [Air Force Times]
Anti-war lawmakers in Congress are “undermining” U.S. troops in Iraq by trying to limit President Bush’s spending requests for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday.
Hitting out at lawmakers who profess to back the troops but oppose Bush’s plans in Iraq, Cheney said proof of their commitment would come as they consider legislation to provide nearly $100 billion for the rest of this year’s costs of the wars.
ABC Sees 'Conservative' Dems But No 'Liberal' Anti-War Dems -- [NewsBusters]
ABC's World News on Sunday served as the latest example of media reluctance to label liberal public figures as "liberal" while more freely labeling conservative or moderate public figures as "conservative." During a story on the Democratic party's division on whether to push for a deadline for troop withdrawal from Iraq, correspondent John Hendren labeled those Democrats who oppose such a timetable as "conservative Democrats," but when discussing Democrats who support a faster withdrawal, he simply referred to them as "those who want to end the war and bring the troops home" or "those favoring immediate withdrawal."
MSM Buries Story on Troop Increase in Iraq by Republic of Georgia -- [NewsBusters]
Q. How do you know the liberal American media are doing their best to bury a good-news story about Iraq?
A. When an official Chinese communist news outlet gives it more coverage than the MSM.
When the UK recently announced that it was reducing the number of its troops in Iraq by 1,600, the news was the subject of massive media coverage in the United States. In addition to innumerable MSM news reports on the development, pundits filled the airwaves with hours of dire conjecture as to whether the British move signalled the collapse of the coalition, etc.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Lawrence in Arabia - [Michael Yon]
Michael Yon's photos are copyrighted, and are published with permission only.
Iraq Briefing 12 March 2007 -- [Pentegon Channel]
The 'Surge' Is Succeeding -- (Robert Kagan - Washington Post)
A front-page story in The Post last week suggested that the Bush administration has no backup plan in case the surge in Iraq doesn't work. I wonder if The Post and other newspapers have a backup plan in case it does.
Fallback strategy for Iraq: Train locals, draw down forces -- (LA Times)
If the current 'surge' fails, planners suggest relying on advisors as the U.S. did in El Salvador in the 1980s
...But a drawdown of forces would be in line with comments to Congress by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates last month that if the "surge" fails, the backup plan would include moving troops "out of harm's way." Such a plan also would be close to recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, of which Gates was a member before his appointment as Defense Department chief.
Duke in Iraq - Heroism -- [Broken Masterpieces - Duke dispatches from Iraq]
TFTC Mar 11- I have been thinking about three words lately and those are: courage, bravery, and heroism. It seems like they are often used interchangeably, but as I went to the dictionary for a precise definition I received an education. As I thought about these words, I thought courage was a willingness to be brave and bravery was when you really had to come through when things were scary or going very badly.
Seriously? -- [Rock and Roll Soldier - in Iraq]
So apparently they found some chlorine gas in this country. Nasty stuff.
So that no one accuses me of violating opsec again, here's a civilian news article about it: http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/02/22/iraq.main/index.html
What boggles my mind, first of all, is how the dems can still scream "NO WMDs IN IRAQ" when they're now being used against us. And, they havent just found traces this time, this is significant quantities.
ON Point Exclusive: "An IED Attack" by Sgt Roy Batty (Part 2 of 2) -- [ON Point]
03-12-2007-Our squad moves into the mahallah across the field, and sets up blocking positions along a residential road. Apparently this is the street that the infantry saw Mr. Greenshirt run down, after the EFP went off. My truck is at the end of our convoy, and I position the vehicle to block the road, and then dismount to pull security. As usual in Iraq, normal everyday life goes on in the midst of a guerilla war. Apparently a school is just down one of the...
Setback for al-Qaeda -- [Calvary in Iraq - in Iraq]
...Good news! The Iraqi Army got a senior cleric in al-Qaeda in Iraq, the most violent terrorist network in the country, and part of the worldwide al-Qaeda network. The Iraqi Army nabbed him in a raid in western Baghdad yesterday.
Wrong Way Street -- [Calvary in Iraq - in Iraq]
I guess the convoy leader saw something ahead that he was not comfortable with, because we suddenly crossed the median of the highway and started going the wrong way down the other side of the highway for several miles!!
Trucks, passenger cars, police cars, everything just had to get out of our way! (We were a lot bigger, so no one challenged us on it!
COALITION FORCES CAPTURE 22 SUSPECTED TERRORISTS IN IRAQ -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq –Coalition Forces captured 22 suspected terrorists during operations Monday morning targeting al-Qaeda and foreign fighter facilitators.
During operations in Mosul, Coalition Forces captured four suspected terrorists allegedly involved in the planning of improvised explosive devices attacks on friendly forces.
Battle on Haifa Street, Baghdad, Iraq - [MNF-I]
Locals helping troops find weapons -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Iraqis in the country’s north, fed up with ongoing violence, are leading U.S. and Iraqi forces to some of the largest weapons and bombs caches found in the region to date, the commander of Multi-National Division-North told Pentagon reporters Friday.
Iraqi citizen leads Polar Bears to IED -- [MNF-I]
YUSUFIYAH, Iraq – Coalition and Iraqi Forces discovered an improvised explosive
device here March 10.
Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment “Polar Bears,” 2nd Brigade,
10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division
discovered the bomb after an Iraqi citizen approached them at the newly established
Joint Security Station in Yusufiyah.
Iraqi Police Commercial
Dark Matter -- [The Dignified Rant]
In the many discussions about whether we have enough troops in Iraq to win, I am continually amazed that many critics who count up the number refuse to use all the troops inside Iraq fighting the enemy. Most amazing are those who only count American troops. But some don't even count all the Iraqi forces inside Iraq. One force, of about 150,000 strength that is rarely counted is the Facility Protection Force dedicated to protecting infrastrucuture--most obviously the oil industry.
Citizens Demonstrate in Ramadi -- [MNF-I]
RAMADI, Iraq – A small number of citizens gathered on the streets of Ar Ramadi and conducted a peaceful protest March 9. About 60 citizens demonstrated through the city districts of Al Sharikah and Qatana when they were informed that an Iraqi woman was believed to be missing and thought to be detained. When the crowd was informed that Iraqi and Coalition forces had not detained any females, the crowd peacefully dispersed.
“This is a coordinated attack by Al Qaeda attempting to undermine Iraq and Coalition Forces cooperation in Ramadi,” said Col. John Charlton, commander for 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. “Al Qaeda is attempting to sway the public’s opinion against us by deliberately giving them false information and coercing them into conducting demonstrations. The Iraqi Police are the Sons of Anbar and the protectors of freedom and security for the citizens of Ramadi.”
U.S. troops nab al Qaeda killer -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — American troops killed one terrorist and detained 16 others, including an alleged al Qaeda-affiliated killer and a media representative, during a series of morning raids conducted throughout Iraq on Friday.
Coalition forces in Mosul captured an al Qaeda-related suspect known as “The Butcher,” who is allegedly responsible for numerous kidnappings, beheadings and suicide operations in the Ramadi and Mosul areas.
Native American trackers to hunt bin Laden -- [The Australian]
WASHINGTON: An elite group of Native American trackers is joining the hunt for terrorists crossing Afghanistan's borders.
The unit, the Shadow Wolves, was recruited from several tribes, including the Navajo, Sioux, Lakota and Apache. It is being sent to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to pass on ancestral sign-reading skills to local border units.
In recent years, members of the Shadow Wolves have mainly tracked smugglers along the US border with Mexico.
Afghan Security Forces Train at Fort Riley, Part 1
Drew is Next -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghainstan]
Today I will give you the third and final installment of my discussions with Han concerning the history of Afghanistan.
...It is very common to hear from many sources that Afghans do not have a national identity. Rather, we have been told time and again, they are just a group of tribes barely held together. I’m certainly not an expert, and its something I’m interested in researching further, but I just don’t get that impression.
Saturday, March 10, 2007 -- [sgtdub - in Afghamistan]
Well, I hear that some of you already know who the second guest was that visited us yesterday. Governor Brad Henry of Oklahoma stopped by Camp Phoenix and our camp in Pol-e-Charki after visiting more Oklahoma troops in Iraq. He was very well received by the troops and came bearing gifts.
New Zealand extends military deployment in Afghanistan -- [Afghanistan Military News]
... New Zealand extends military deployment in Afghanistan WELLINGTON (AFP) - New Zealand will extend ... said Monday. New Zealand has had 120 soldiers serving in a provincial reconstruction team in ...
Pray for the Hostages -- [Not Ready for my Burqua] HT Jawa Report
This is the video of German hostage Hannelore Marianne Kraus and her son, begging for their lives after being abducted in Iraq in February. Speaking in German, she addresses Chancellor Angel Merkel, saying "I am here threatened by these people, they will kill my son in front of my eyes, then they will kill me if the German forces do not pull out of Afghanistan."
Michael Jackson greets troops in Japan -- [Air Force Times]
TOKYO — Michael Jackson greeted thousands of U.S. troops and their family members March 10 at an Army base south of Tokyo, taking a break from days of parties with die-hard fans and well-heeled business people.
Mayans Plan To Clean "Sacred Site" After Bush’s Visit -- [Sweetness&Light]
Mayan leaders will spiritually “cleanse” ancient ruins in Guatemala after a visit by US President George Bush, unpopular because of foreign policies going back to Central America’s civil wars.
The leaders said they would hold a spiritual ceremony to restore “peace and harmony” at the Mayan ruins of Iximche after Bush tours the site on Monday.
“No, Mr Bush, you cannot trample and degrade the memory of our ancestors,” said indigenous leader Rodolfo Pocop during a press conference. “This is not your ranch in Texas.”
Lisa Ling Special on North Korea on You Tube -- [GI Korea]
Living overseas I wasn’t able to watch Lisa Ling’s National Geographic Explorer’s, Inside North Korea, but fortunately Nomad posted links to two You Tube postings here and here of the show. Lisa Ling travels with a Nepalese eye doctor and secretly films what she can of life inside North Korea during her trip. It was amazing to watch the eye doctor restore eye sight to people who had been blind for years and they immediately walk up to pictures of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il to thank them for giving back their eye sight without a word of thanks to the Nepalese doctor.
Inside North Korea (a few clips) -Part 1
Inside North Korea (a few clips) -Part 2
Has the Global Islamic Jihad Movement fractured? -- [The American Thinker]
Even as the leadership of the Democrats sets timetables for withdrawal from Iraq, the sands have shifted and leaders of the Global Islamic Jihad Movement are displaying signs that their own alliance has fractured. Some pundits have described the Democrat leadership's position over the war on terror as "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory"; a cynicism that perhaps never sounded as plausible as it does this week. But to understand how this Islamic jihad movement has splintered, we must understand how it fits together.
Finally: Muslims Speak Out Against Jihad -- [Free Republic]
We can have hope for the future now that, for the first time, moderate Muslims collectively are speaking out against Jihad. FSM Contributing Editor Walid Phares explains why the recent Secular Islam Summit could be key to the success of this effort.
New Zawahiri Video Released 3/11-- [Jawa Report]
So far as I can tell the largest consumer of poppys in Pakistan is mumbling something about Palestine. How murdering people in Afghanistan and Pakistan helps that, I'm not sure.
Terrorists Proving Harder to Profile -- [Jihad Watch]
As we have noted here ad infinitum, there is no firewall within Islamic communities between jihadists and peaceful Muslims. There has been no pronunciation of takfir -- that is, a declaration that he is not a Muslim -- against Osama bin Laden or any other Islamic jihadist. Instead, there have been vague condemnations of "terrorism," without defining what that is, or condemnations of attacks against "innocent civilians," without defining either "innocent" or "civilian" against jihadist denials that certain groups of non-Muslims are either one.
Why Moslems Tolerate Islamic Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
March 12, 2007: Four Moslem nations (Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan) have joined forces to fight Islamic terrorism via efforts to promote moderate Islam among young people throughout the Islamic world. The United States has long urged such a program, but the four nations involved here are acting largely out of self-interest. All four have suffered from attacks by their own young people, acting out their Islamic radical fantasies. All these nations have long ignored Islamic radicalism, feeling it was too risky to confront radical Islamic clerics. Like most Islamic countries, the U.S. is blamed for the recent upsurge in Islamic radicalism, brought about by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
Operation Military Pride Founder Told to Stop Accepting Money, Pay Back $310,000 -- [Joe Katzman - Wind of Change]
Operation Military Pride is an umbrella organization that claims to coordinate messages and care packages, and provide assistance to others who wish to do so. There's a lot of "get your own volunteer thing started in your area" on the site, plus good info. for people re: what to send, what not to, how to send it (without involving OMP in the sending). Some of you may have heard of it, and I included it in my "How to Support the Troops" compilation way back when.
You'll Be Sorry if You Miss These Links -- [Welcome To Andi's World]
A Walter Reed patient left a comment yesterday on one of my posts. It appears he's just started a blog. It is compelling. Go visit and offer him some words of encouragement.
Speaking of compelling, via this guy, I found another new blog written by the fiance of Sgt. James J. Holtom. Sgt. Holtom died on February 8 in Iraq. She could use a few words of encouragement, too.
The more I read about Montel Williams, the more disturbed I am about the manner in which his show operates. As I said on SpouseBUZZ, I don't think it's too much to expect that someone who has worn the uniform would treat military families with respect.
Thank You from Enterprise -- [Soldiers' Angels New York]
The following thank you letter was received by Soldiers' Angels from Enterprise, Alabama.
My name is SFC Thomas B. My son and I were home on March 1st when the tornado came through Enterprise, AL. To say that he and I are now bonded with the Lord and to each other in a very special way is simply an understatement.
...The first two pictures are what I saw out of my back door immediately after the tornado left. The third is my living room.
Last Chance -- [Sgt Hook]
The window of opportunity to acquire one of this year’s Pin Ups for Vets Calendars is quickly coming to an end so if you haven’t ordered one, or two, for yourself or for one of our wounded warriors, get to it!
NFL players visit Camp Victory -- [MNF-I]
CAMP VICTORY — Troops here packed the MWR facility commonly known as "Area 51" to meet some of their favorite NFL players ...
Groups Donate Gift Certificates to Troops and Their Families -- [GX Online]
3/12/07, Washington, DC— Two home-front groups are helping American citizens support service members and their families worldwide through the donation of gift certificates.
"Gift of Groceries" and "Gifts from the Homefront" allow contributions to be made through "CertifiChecks" that can be redeemed at military commissaries and exchanges worldwide.
F15 cockpit veiw of hunting drones
An Option to the Existing VA System -- [ROFA Six]
Is it time to get out of the "always been that way" thinking trap? One idea that does that, suggests offering the option of "vouchers" to veterans needing rehabilitative services. The idea is that the VA would still pick up the cost and cover 100% of the care at a private sector facility of their choice instead of being mandated to use the VA system.
Stronger, Tougher, Faster: Building Next-Gen G.I.s -- [Wired Blogs - Danger Room]
For nearly 50 years, Darpa, the U.S. military's way-out research arm, has been coming up with new inventions: the Internet, long-range drone aircraft, night vision, even the M16 rifle and the computer mouse. But a few years back, the agency decided to stop messing just with soldiers' toys -- and start trying to upgrade the soldiers themselves. Darpa began amassing a giant array of programs, meant to make our troops stronger, smarter, and more resilient than ever before.
Overtime Pay For Combat Duty -- [Strategy Page]
March 10, 2007: The U.S. Department of Defense is now paying troops an extra thousand dollars a month for every month, over a year, that they are in a combat zone. This has made a lot of U.S. Army personnel happy, or at least less unhappy, when their tours in Iraq or Afghanistan get extended beyond a year. But the U.S. Marine Corps has a problem because its normal tours are seven months long, and sometimes marines get held over for several months beyond that.
Combat Uniforms Evolve On The Fast Track -- [Strategy Page]
The U.S. Army continues to make small improvements in its combat uniform (ACUPAT, or Army Combat Uniform camouflage pattern). The army has a web site where troops can report problems, and suggest improvements, for the ACUPAT, and there's been a lot of traffic. The changes may seem minor, but they mean a lot to troops in combat. For example, the number and placement of pockets. This has been changed several times, and now complements the protective vest, and the kind of stuff troops put in the pockets. Then there's the monochrome American flag patch, attached via Velcro, that reacts to infrared light. This makes it easier to positively identify U.S. troops at night, without lighting up the area.
Badgers Down: Memorial Day -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
...And then, as quickly as I started, I am done. I kept my composure. I looked my Soldiers in the eyes and told them how we would go on as Soldiers, a family, friends, and by doing so how we honor the men for whom we gathered this day to remember.
When California Runs Red... -- [Wordsmith - Sparks from the Anvil]
On Friday at noon, in Griffith Park, blue state California was awash in red, white, and blue. The National Support Our Troops Tour caravan made a stop, as part of its journey to Washington D.C. for the March 17th protests (which includes The Gathering of the Eagles).
I thought I'd play "citizen-photo-journalist-for-a-day", and share pictures and video clips that I took with my digital camera.
If you support the troops, -- [Marching Camp]
If you really do support the troops,
and you live in any district of any Congresscritter mentioned in this article or in the district of any other congresscritter engaging in this despicable behavior, I am asking you to contact him and tell him to get his stupid bullshit out of my funding bill.
Who is in charge in Washington D.C.? -- [Flopping Aces]
...Democrats voted for the war in 2002 without ever having read the classified National Intelligence Estimate that they demanded. The Washington Post reported that only a handful of Congressmen and 6 Senators signed in to view the classified report. Then, after authorizing the war, they claimed that they had not seen the intelligence caveats that detailed the confidence in various intelligence claims about Saddam’s regime…caveats that were in the classified version that they chose not to read. (1)
One would think that the next time Congressional Democrats demanded intelligence assessments, they’d actually read them. Nope. Since last August, Congressional Democrats have “demanded” that the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) provide a briefing to Congress on the war in Iraq. In January the DNI arranged for briefers from all of the different intelligence agencies to spend a full day briefing all of Congress. Your Congressman and mine, your Senators and mine all chose not to attend. No members of Congress attended the briefings they had demanded.(2)
The Unbridgeable Divide -- [Villianous Company]
Funny, for all the talk of how the President has divided us, it seems people who complain of bitter partisan division over the war might want to take a look in the mirror:...
TRUST YOUR INSTRUMENTS -- [American Citizen Soldier]
Is this really the end, (beautiful friend)? Has the Democratic takeover Congress spelled doom for the war? Should we be expecting another embassy airlift on live TV with al-Maliki and his favorite interpreter hanging from the landing wheels as the last Blackhawk leaves the Green Zone? Is Iraq about to jump the shark, or am I about to flip my lid? Um, will this be on the test?
See, one of the consequences of being in the majority party is that it ultimately entails a measure of seriousness on the holders of the gavel that is rarely expected of the back-benching opposition. Voters expect those holding power to behave accordingly (as we say in the military, "when in charge, be in charge"), rather than succumb to the easy out of continuing to blame everything on the top executive.
Bush urges Congress to back war funding -- [Afghanistan Military News]
... extensive review, Bush ordered 21,500 additional American soldiers to Iraq to help calm Baghdad and ... weekend, includes 2,400 combat support troops, 2,200 military police and 100 troops to protect economic ... of local police and army units in Afghanistan. This revision came as lawmakers opposed to ...
House Democrats Would Strip JSFs from Supplemental, Set Withdrawal Deadline -- [Defense News]
Two Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) that the U.S. Air Force hoped to buy with wartime emergency funds would be stripped from the 2007 emergency supplemental under a plan drafted by House Democrats.
Exclusive: Hillary Blasts Bush on Military Readiness, Revisionist History -- [Think Progress]
Today, ThinkProgress sat down for an interview with Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) after she delivered an address at the Center for American Progress Action Fund on the U.S. military’s readiness crisis. We’ll be featuring clips from the interview today and tomorrow.
We asked her to comment on this quote attacking President Clinton from then-candidate George W. Bush in 2000
The Berger/Libby disparity -- [TigerHawk]
Michael Barone, like many conservatives, wonders at the arrestingly different treatment of Scooter Libby and Sandy Berger, a topic on which many of us have written before. Unfortunately, Barone dodged the question that has dogged me since Sandy Berger got past his rather egregious violation of national security with a slap on the wrist -- a $50,000 fine, 100 hours of community service, and a temporary (and therefore meaningless) suspension of his national security clearance, the fine having been quintupled after the judge in the case expressed his outrage. Rather than worrying about Scooter Libby, who does seem to have been at best dangerously cute with the grand jury, I want to know why George W. Bush's Justice Department cut such a sweet deal with Berger (and, no, I don't think it was mere lameness).
Gitmo terrorist becomes WaPo sob story -- [9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America - Tim Sumner]
Today, the Washington Post does not mention how Tariq Shallah Hasan Al Alawi Al Harbi, from Medina, Saudi Arabia, born sometime in 1983, managed to become G9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America uatanamo detainee #265. Instead, their Foreign Service reporter, Faiza Saleh Ambah, only refers to him as Mishal al-Harbi and relies heavily upon his family’s assertion that he was abused while a detainee in Guantanamo. While he admits going to Afghanistan, “for jihad, for the sake of God,” the Post leaves out al-Harbi’s March 2005 Combatant Status Review Tribunal (pdf format pages 65 through 67):
US Papers Sunday: Dear Brothers -- Help Us -- [Iraq Slogger]
A "Zombie Idea," a "Notification Script," and a Big Retraction -- Again
...From Karbala, Edward Wong provides a colorful narrative on the procession of millions of Shia pilgrims making their way to that holy city to mark the anniversary of the killing of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Mohammad’s grandson, in the year 680. Wong apparently accompanied Shia Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi on the journey.
Iraq Experts who Don't Go to Iraq and the Problem of Boosterism -- [Michael Fumento]
A lot of people like AEI Scholar Robert Kagan's reports on Iraq because he says what they want to hear. He's a booster. Thus, for example, he writes in his latest column in the Sunday Washington Post that "NBC's Brian Williams recently reported a dramatic change in Ramadi since his previous visit. The city was safer; the airport more secure." Actually, I've seen that Ramadi is safer than it had been. Alas, it has no airport. It hasn't since the war began. It has landing zones for helicopters but not even a strip of runway on which C-130s can land. Brian Williams, having been to Ramadi would know that and indeed a search of his writings turn up no mention of any Ramadi airport.
Pro-Defeat Media Backup Plan -- [Jules Crittenden]
Kagan in Post takes down whiny Post story from last week about the lack of a surge backup plan. In light of surge success, he wants to know what the pro-defeat media’s* backup plan is.
Great minds think alike.
* Not to be confused with the pro-victory media.
Teflon Don of Acute Politics -- [VAJoe.com]
Teflon Don talks about his MilBlog http://acutepolitics.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-human-are-we.html
Question: What are three things your readers probably do not know about you?
Most readers don’t know my name. I choose to blog under a pseuodonym because who I am doesn’t really matter. The stories that I tell, and the feelings that I share could belong to any soldier in Iraq.
Iraq War Bill Text Reveals Related Provisions -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-12) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, today warned President George Bush not to veto the Democrat-sponsored Iraq war redeployment bill, and for the first time she released the full text of the measure revealing some previously unmentioned initiatives.
Arkansas Soldiers Welcomed Home After Year in the Desert -- [GX Online]
3/9/07, Rogers, AR— Family and friends of approximately 150 Soldiers gathered March, 7, at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, AR, to welcome home the ARARNG's Battery C, 1st Bn, 142 Fires Bde.
The unit was initially mobilized to Fort Dix, NJ on Jan. 10, 2006 where they conducted mobilization training for their mission. The unit forward deployed in and around Baghdad where they were tasked with conducting base security operations from March 2006 through Feb. 2007.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
"Saddam said our soldiers could not take the heat. He thought wrong." -- [Michael Yon]
Michael Yon's photos are copyrighted, and are published with permission only.
Troops Psyched About "Surge" -- [Danger Room - journalist embed in Iraq]
...The 57th's officers give the surge high marks, which is the unanimous perspective of everyone at all levels of command I've spoken with since arriving. That's understandable: in a cynical sense, no one is going to want to dump on the new plan, but on a more basic level, it has resulted in much fewer attacks on U.S. troops in Baghdad, which is an unambiguously good thing. Yet there's something else at work -- an emotionally fundamental desire to attribute cause and effect to the American side for a change.
LET'S LAUNCH THIS FOKKER! -- [NBC Brian Williams blog - journalist embed in Iraq]
So there we were sitting on squishy, vaguely sticky sofas in the dated, cavernous, sparse and dark confines of the main terminal at Baghdad International Airport. I was chatting with Gen. Wayne Downing, while I scrolled through some photos of the trip that cameraman Jeff Riggins had taken and downloaded onto his laptop. Suddenly there were five straight concussions. We all knew what they were -- rockets or mortars -- and we all know there's always the chance that they were controlled explosions.
Duke in Iraq - 3/8/07 -- [Broken Masterpieces - Duke dispatches from Iraq]
was reading the Stars and Stripes the other day and saw an article that said a recent poll showed that only 28% of American’s thought we would win the war in Iraq.
...First, I thought I should address the issue of when people say, “winning the war in Iraq”, what they really should say is winning the global war on terror. The war in Iraq has been won. The Iraqi government and the US government are not at war. We are in Iraq at the request of the elected government. We are no longer at war with Iraq. We are still at war with terrorists who are largely targeting fellow Muslims in Iraq. That is to say the war we are fighting in Iraq is the global war on terror. This should be shouted from the roof tops because what we are seeing and hearing from the world media is the framing of the discussion to appear that we have already lost and the coalition should pack up and leave.
The Fighting Killions -- [Michael Fumento] (VIDEO)
It's only fitting that I met Spc. Robert Killion during one of the fiercest gun battles of his 12-month tour in the wild-west Iraqi city of Ramadi in Al Anbar province. I was originally on the other side of the top of a house behind a machine-gunner, hoping to photograph him with shell casings ejecting from his weapon as he fired. But all the firing was coming from the other side. "Way to go Killion!" shouted the soldier in front of me. So I hauled tail over there, taking up position just behind this tall, lanky GI as he keenly scanned the streets below with his M-249 5.56 millimeter squad automatic weapon (SAW). Of four confirmed enemy kills for his entire unit that day, Rob got three from that position.
RE: The Fighting Killions -- [Michael Fumento]
My latest article, "The Fighting Killions," concerns a remarkable military family. I met one of them, Rob, on a rooftop during a firefight in Ramadi. Of four confirmed enemy killed that day, Rob pegged three of them with his M-249 light machine gun. He also almost had the dubious distinction of having his head shot off by a sniper while I filmed him. Only much later did I find out that his brother and dad were serving in Iraq, his wife had served in Iraq, and his mother had served in the Air Force. Most remarkable, perhaps, is his father Rick. Rick served on active duty with the Air Force, got out, joined the Army Reserve, got out, and figured his military days over forever when Rob joined the active Army and his brother Doug the Reserves. Rick knew both were headed for Iraq so he once again put on a uniform, joined Doug's unit, and shipped out with his boy to Mosul.
A Coup Is Not The Way Out! -- [24 Steps to Liberty - an Iraqi blogger]
The Fadhila Islamic Party announced today its withdrawal from the Shiite alliance [officially dubbed The United Iraqi Alliance] in the Iraqi government. The party is one of the powerful Shiite parties that hold 15 seats of the 130 the Shiites have in the parliament. They got the seats after they joined the Shiite alliance and ran as one bloc in the parliamentary elections in December 2005.
Déjà vu! We’ve heard things like this before. A few months ...
The Burning of Mutanabbi Street -- [Iraq Pundit - an Iraqi blogger]
On Monday, a car bomb exploded on Baghdad's Mutanabbi Street, killing 26 people and injuring scores more. Wanton murders like this remain frequent in the capital, with "insurgent" ghouls intentionally blowing up young schoolgirls and women in outdoor markets.
...when I saw The Washington Post's account of the bombing, which included the following breathtaking assertion: "When Saddam Hussein was in power, Mutanabi [sic] Street exuded a defiant spirit that reverberated through its bookstores and the famed Shabandar Cafe. Here, intellectuals, over cups of sweet tea, engaged in lively debates."
What an astonishing thing to claim. Suggesting that Saddam's regime tolerated a "defiant" café culture is, in its own way, another blow at Baghdad's heart and memory. It isn't merely that the statement is untrue, it's deeply unjust to the Baghdadis of intellect who had to live through Saddam's years of unrestrained brutality.
Muqtada al-Sadr Appears in Karbala -- [IraqSlogger]
Cleric Emerges from Weeks of Hiding
Muqtada al-Sadr has appeared in public in Karbala, before "hundreds" of supporters, Nahrain Net reports in Arabic.
According to the report, al-Sadr was surrounded by dozens of aides. An eyewitness quoted in the report says that none of them appeared armed.
Sadr City Base One of Baghdad's Largest -- [IraqSlogger]
Fadhila Attacked for Corruption; Mass Graves in South
The Scoop from Key Arabic-Language Websites
Al-Melaf cites a senior security official that said U.S. troops are in the process of building one of the largest military bases in Baghdad in the middle of Sadr City, the Mahdi Army’s stronghold. The source said that U.S. military officers met with city elders who overwhelmingly approved the U.S. decision, which they said would largely improve security in their district. According to the website, construction of the base will start soon and will employ a large number of the city’s impoverished youth.
Attacks on troops have fallen dramatically since new security measures were put in place
Suspected AQ Media Emir, alleged "Butcher" captured in raids -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed one terrorist and captured 16 suspected terrorists including an alleged al-Qaeda media emir during raids Friday morning throughout Iraq.
In Mosul, Coalition Forces captured an al-Qaeda related suspect known as “The Butcher” who is allegedly responsible for numerous kidnappings, beheadings, and suicide operations in the Ramadi and Mosul areas. Coalition Forces captured five additional suspects and killed one terrorist during the raid.
‘Wolverines’, Apaches engage, kill terrorists -- [MNF-I]
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – A combined operation between ground forces and Apache attack helicopters engaged and killed a platoon-sized element of enemy fighters west of the Baghdad International Airport Complex on Iraqi Highway 1 at approximately 9 p.m., March 7.
Good News Bad News -- [Jules Crittenden]
Hope lost, hope maintained, dreams and longing on International Women’s Day in Baghdad.
Bad news, Dem Cong war plan still calls for surrender. Good news, they probably won’t be able to agree on this either. “Son of Slow-Bleed” if you will. Meanwhile, Instapundit informs us the Senate figures its safe to let our guard down at the border.
OIF Briefing 09 March 2007 -- [Pentegon Channel]
MG Benjamin Mixon, Commander of Multi-National Division-North and the 25th Infantry Division, speaks with Pentagon reporters, providing an update on ongoing security operations in Iraq.
Georgia to send more troops to Iraq -- [Iraq Updates]
Georgia is to more than double its contingent of soldiers in Iraq to 2,000.
The former Soviet republic's embassy in the US said on Thursday that it would raise the number from the current 850 in an effort to pave the way to joining Nato
News of Afghanistan ۵۰ -- [Miserable Donuts]
50?! Seems like I just started doing these little round ups of news from Afghanistan. Mind you, my focus has changed a bit over the course of that time. I am trying to let people see more than bombs. Afghanistan is a more complex story than that. Also, I just want people to see who is interested in that country - and why.
Top Pakistan Nuclear Scientists in Taliban Custody -- [Pat Dollard]
New Delhi, March 07: Two top nuclear scientists of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) are currently in Taliban custody. The two were working at PAEC’s facility in North West Frontier Province. Zee News investigations reveal that the two scientists were kidnapped about six months ago. To avoid international embarrassment Pakistan Government has kept this information under wraps.
Afghan prisoners: Prof. Attaran's agenda/Minister O'Connor -- [The Torch]
The good professor, in a piece in today's Globe and Mail, reveals what he's really up to.
1) He wants to smear the Canadian Afghanistan mission with the American Iraq brush:
History Lesson Part 2 -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES FOLLOW
... 1994 - The Taliban militia is formed and begin to take over the country. Two Mujahideen factions fight against Rabbani and Masood's government; Kabul is reduced to rubble.
Han hates all the Mujahideen. As he shows me photos of their soldiers, he tells me which tribe they are from, based on the clothes they wear. He repeatedly shows me how they look like animals, and tells me how evil they are. Whenever he shows a photo of Rabbani, he calls him names. One photo shows Rabbani and some of his cabinet praying. Han snorts.
Afghan women suffer domestic violence (8th March) -- [Afghan Lord - Afghani in Afghanistan]
It is not now but a prolonged years especially a dark period of Taliban that Afghan women suffered of violence. Violence not only in out side house but inside. Though afghan men always look to their wives as possessed materials who owned by paying. In Afghanistan women are completely apart of daily live, what the husbands believe to them is too different than western men do.
Sometimes Afghan men beating their wives for nothing just they like it to show their power and anger in his family member. When they feel to beat their wife they do it ...
Peace in Our Time! Financial Edition -- [One Free Korea]
...Here is a prediction: If the North Koreans don’t shut down Yongbyon within 60 days, it will be politically difficult, perhaps impossible, for the United States to deliver the first shipment of fuel oil. Note that the steps taken in the initial phase are to be “coordinated,” which is diplospeak for “reciprocal.” Another prediction: the South Koreans will want to deliver it anyway to preserve the appearance that the agreement survives; the U.S. side may not object for the very same reason. This will be a very important test of the Administration’s will.
Osama bin Laden's Birthday Party Tomorrow -- [ROFA Six]
09 March 2007 - OBL turns 50 years old tomorrow. But no cake or party for him. Shari'a doesn't recognize birthday celebrations.
It's a shame really. There are lots of folks prowling the hills of Pakistan who would love to come to his party
Secret Network Helped Iranian Defector -- [FreedomZones]
Apparently, Gen. Ali Reza Asghari's Feb. 7 disappearance at a hotel in Istanbul days after his wife and other family members left Iran for a purported vacation was neither a kidnapping nor a mystery; it occurred with the help of a well-organized Iranian dissident group and experts say more defectors are on the way as opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad increases within Iran. And it seems that more are planned:
Brass Ready to Declare Kosovo a No-Combat Zone, says Washington Post -- [On Point]
ON Point: Top Defense Department officials are considering a proposal to downgrade thecombat status of U.S. forces who are part of the NATO peacekeeping missionin Kosovo, a decision that could cause the 1,500 U.S. soldiers currentlydeployed there to lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month intax benefits and combat pay.Such a decision, expected within the next month, would indicate thatPentagon officials do not believe Kosovo is still a combat zone, despiterising tensions in the Balkans over...
DARFUR: HUMANITARIAN WORK SUSPENDED AFTER MILITIA SURROUND CAMP -- (AKI)
New York, 9 March- Hundreds of Arab militia in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region recently surrounded a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) after abducting two civilians from the camp, forcing the temporary suspension of humanitarian work there, the United Nations mission to the impoverished country denounced on Thursday. Arab militiamen swept through Ardamata IDP camp in west Darfur Wednesday, capturing two civilians, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said. The two suspects were reportedly taken to the government police station but the militia refused to allow the officers to investigate.
URGENT MESSAGE to European Union: AU still not paying its peace force in Sudan's Darfur -- [Sudan Watch]
...From the outset of the rebellion, slick media-savvy rebels, some residing outside of Sudan in countries such as USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Chad, Eritrea (and many others) made extensive use of the world's press to pressure and engineer UN troops onside, which I believe is one of the reasons why Khartoum is against UN troops in Darfur - it would embolden the rebels and cause all sorts of mayhem, encouraging other lowlife opportunists. (See JEM. The International Crisis Group noted that JEM's president Mr Khalil Ibrahim "is a veteran Islamist and former state minister who sided with the breakaway (Popular Congress) in 2002 and went into exile in the Netherlands ... there is additionally evidence of some level of involvement of al-Qaeda with the Islamist JEM organisation")
US sends spies into Pakistan to kill bin Laden -- (Telegraph)
Hearing begins for suspected September 11 mastermind
America is stepping up its hunt for Osama bin Laden by dispatching additional CIA operatives and paramilitary officers to Pakistan to kill or capture the al-Qa'eda leader.
A New Enemy in the War on Terror -- [FredomZones]
In light of this post over at 'but that's just my opinion', I've decided to repost the following, Originally Posted 3/25/06
The United States has another enemy in the war on terror. It's not Iran, Syria, or even France. It is Russia. A few weeks ago I wrote about some of the evidence about what happened to the WMD's in Iraq (It has more recently become a favorite topic for bloggers), evidence mysteriously missing from the MSM.
Terrorists Trying to Bring Back the Bad Old Days -- [Strategy Page]
March 9, 2007: Terrorist violence was down slightly in February, with 18 dead and 15 wounded, compared to 21 dead and three wounded in January. The few remaining Islamic terrorists in northeastern Algeria, appear determined to go down fighting and killing. Since the GSPC announced its merger with al Qaeda last year, there has been an increase in bombings, and a decrease in the traditional massacre of civilians with knives and guns. Apparently, al Qaeda convinced the GSPC terrorists that they would anger fewer Algerians if they blew people up, rather than slitting their throats.
Islamist Websites Behind Georgia Motorist Death Threat Down -- [Jawa Report]
The Black Lion Blog, which first posted a death threat against a Georgia motorist for displaying a bumper sticker deemed offensive to Muslims, is now offline. Good riddance.
Angels Need Help @ Landshtul -- [From My Position... On the way!]
Angels Landstuhl Army Medical Center is completely out of shoes could you
purchase and ship one pair shoes size 9-13 and send to:
Landstuhl Army Medical Center
APO AE 09180
These are for soldiers wounded in battle who have all their clothes cut off and arrive in Germany wearing a sheet and a smile.
Defense Secretary's Message to Troops: Care for Wounded Soldiers -- [GX Online]
3/9/07, Washington, DC—When I was nominated to take this post just over three months ago, I said that the patriots who have volunteered to serve in our armed services have no equal in the world. I made a solemn commitment to the Congress, to the nation, and to you to keep the welfare of men and women in uniform uppermost in my mind at all times.
Buffalo Jills Military Tour -- [Soldiers Angels New York]
Eight Buffalo Jills Cheerleaders and their Choreographer left New York for Kuwait and Iraq on February 21st. They participated in a 12-day tour to visit and entertain the troops with a 1-hour variety show that included dancing, interactive games and prizes. They visited 23 bases, did 23 meet & greets, and 9 shows.
New Management at Walter Reed Army Medical Center -- [RedState]
As a career Army officer I’ve watch the unfolding saga of Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) with a mixture of emotions, mostly shame and outrage. Shame that my Army would allow a cesspool like the outpatient facilities exist and outrage that there were commissioned officers and noncommissioned officers who disgraced themselves and the uniform in their dereliction of duty.
Significant changes are in the works.
No Help on TRICARE Hikes -- [Military.com]
Coalition Stands Firm Against Higher TRICARE Fees
Members of the Task Force on the Future of Military Healthcare learned Wednesday why The Military Coalition (TMC) may be the most formidable lobbying force ever to fight on behalf of service members, retirees and families.
Why Do Intellectuals Oppose the Military? --[American Thinker]
Almost a decade ago the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick penned an essay asking "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?" That is, why would those who live well reject the open society that allows them to do so? The essay was less a venture in social science than a thought experiment about the upbringing of intellectuals and the outsized influence this group exerts on society. Much of what Nozick says about intellectuals' reflexive disdain for capitalism also helps explain their disdain toward the military - and even the differences are intriguing. So his essay is worth pondering today as we survey civil-military relations in a nation at war.
AUSA: Harvey, Wallace, and K-MAX -- [Weekly Standard Blog]
Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey, who submitted his resignation on March 2 after the Washington Post reported on the poor conditions and long delays wounded soldiers were facing at Walter Reed, spoke in Ft. Lauderdale this afternoon on day two of the AUSA Winter Symposium. Upon being introduced as secretary of the Army, Harvey let out a self-deprecating "not for long." The audience gave the outgoing secretary a warm reception, but Harvey looked like a broken man. He spoke for 20 minutes about the challenges the Army faces, and its successes, though his comments were largely confined to a verbatim reading of his powerpoint slides. Harvey made no mention of Walter Reed, but he did declare that "the Army must remain the preeminent land power on earth because we are the preeminent land power on earth"--whatever that means. The secretary also emphasized the need to continue investment in the Army's Future Combat System (FCS).
The Plight of Women in the Army -- [CounterCloumn]
Salon has a rather hysterical take here:
As thousands of burned-out soldiers prepare to return to Iraq to fill President Bush's unwelcome call for at least 20,000 more troops, I can't help wondering what the women among those troops will have to face. And I don't mean only the hardships of war, the killing of civilians, the bombs and mortars, the heat and sleeplessness and fear.
I mean from their own comrades -- the men.
...I don't mean to say sexual assault and harrassment doesn't happen in the military, and don't want to minimize the events that have occured. It does happen. Is it as rampant as the Salon article studiously implies by avoiding all but anecdotal evidence? No.
No Good Deed Goes Unexploited -- [Strategy Page]
March 9, 2007: The U.S. Army thought it had a good idea when it offered bonuses for soldiers in South Korea, if they would stay in South Korea for an extra 12 or 24 months. Then word got out that some troops kept extending their duty in South Korea, to avoid going to Iraq. So the army recently changed the rule. You could not extend your duty in South Korea unless you had served at least one year in Iraq or Afghanistan.
White House Vows Veto Over Iraq Plan -- [Military.com]
WASHINGTON - House Democratic leaders vowed Thursday to pass legislation setting a deadline of Sept. 1, 2008, for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq, a challenge to President Bush's war policy that drew a blunt veto threat in return.
"It would unnecessarily handcuff our generals on the ground, and it's safe to say it's a nonstarter for the president," said White House spokesman Dan Bartlett.
General Hoffa, Reporting For Duty! -- [ RS Insider - RedState]
The RS Insider hears that House Democratic Leaders turned down a chance to meet with General Petraeus this morning – and considering how they were busy rolling out their plan to undercut him today, that’s understandable.
But it’s interesting to see who they have been meeting with as they formulated their antiwar plan. Top Generals? Academic experts?
Will the surge work? Will we fail in Iraq? Who cares? -- [Jeff Emanuel - RedState]
U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Palm Beach Gardens, asks the basic question about President Bush's "surge" in Iraq. If it works, "So what?"
So says the Palm Beach Post's Thursday (3/8) editorial, which lauds the "conservative" Democrat (and Mark Foley replacement) for his stance, and defends the Democrats' "slow bleed" strategy by saying that the real problem is that the "administration's policies in Iraq have bled America of credibility."
Video: Petraeus’s first press conference; Update: Pullout could start by July 1, says Pelosi; Update: Bush counsel vows veto; Update: CNN reporter rips Dems’ timetable -- [Allah Pundit - Hot Air]
I hadn’t seen any footage of him speaking until today and I figured many of you are in the same boat, so here’s the man one of the Freepers is calling “Betraus.” Why? Because he suggested that instead of hunting them to the last man, which would be impossible anyway, we might need to negotiate with some of the Sunni jihadist and Shiite militia groups — but not the Mahdi Army, for which he sees no role. The boss says this is already common knowledge among the troops she spoke with in Baghdad.
Why Die for a Headline? -- [Strategy Page]
March 9, 2007: Media has become a weapon, more so than in the past. As a result, there are more casualties among journalists. Over the last ten years, about a thousand journalists have been killed because of their work. The media critics doing the killing had tried to get the victims to change the content of their victims reporting. When the victims refused to comply, they were killed. Sometimes there were an escalating series of warnings (threats, property damage, beatings, even kidnapping and torture). The trend is getting worse. There were 147 murdered journalists in 2005, and 167 last year. Most of the deaths are
Judge says U.S. Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh's arguments for lighter sentence stay secret -- (AZSTARNET)
NEW YORK — The public cannot see the arguments American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh made in the hope of shortening his 20-year prison sentence, a federal judge has ruled.
GOP Iraq Pull-Out Amendment to End War on AIDS -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-09) — Just a day after Democrats introduced a bill setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, Republicans today plan to offer an amendment which would establish a timeline for U.S. retreat from the war on AIDS.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
ON Point Exclusive: "An IED Attack" by Sgt Roy Batty -- [On Point]
..."Okay, guys, we're heading to the scene of an IED. When we get there, make sure to do a quick '5 and 25' around us. There may be secondaries in the area. N., if we dismount, grab the fire extinguisher. I'll grab the extraction tool and the fire blanket. C., make sure you're looking for a triggerman, and watching the houses for snipers."
The radios are full of chatter, urgent, clipped. Various units are vectoring towards the scene. C., my gunner, yells down to me that he can see Apache helicopters coming up behind us, and a second later I can feel the basal thumping in my chest as two of them roar over us, low and fast. It's a good feeling to have them overhead and leading the way, not to mention having the extra firepower in the skies above us.
In Baghdad, Troops and Thugs Cooperate -- [Iraq Slogger]
Disturbing Relation Between Guards and Kidnappers
A kidnapping at a Baghdad university reveals disturbing connections between Iraqi troops and sectarian criminals. Held for two days, a Shi'a student at a university in Baghdad learned that he had been fingered by the same troops who were supposed to protect him.
The student told Slogger that he was abducted on the way home one day from his university in the capital. Slogger is withholding the name of the university.
Featured Embedded Report: Chris Muir from Iraq -- [The Fourth Rail]
In mid-February, Chris Muir, the talented cartoonist behind day by day, a political comic strip prevalent in the blogosphere, embedded in Iraq for several weeks. Public Multimedia, Inc, my non-profit media company, was proud to sponsor Chris for this embed. Chris is the first of several embeds Public Multimedia will put into the field this year. Chris provides notes and photographs from his travels and time Iraq. His experiences will be shown in the strip this month.
More on Abu Omar al-Baghdadi's Alleged Identity (Updated) -- [Talisman Gate بـاب الطلــسم:]
...Both Iraq’s Vice President, Tariq al-Hashemi, and the Speaker of the Parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who are the leading Sunnis in the Iraqi government, belong to the Mashhadani tribe. I wonder how it would have passed their notice that one of their own is allegedly the head of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Qaeda’s candidate caliph.
Now, it is not yet fully established that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi is indeed Khalid al-Mashhadani, but it would make much more sense than
Historical irony -- [From Statehouse to Bunkhouse: Calvey in Iraq]
You learn a lot of new things in a combat zone. Which holster to use. How to listen for "Incoming!" And how history has many odd ironies. Here is one such irony:
Much of the insurgency here in Iraq began in al-Anbar province, which stretches roughly from west of Baghdad to the Syrian and Jordanian borders. Fallujah and Ramadi are examples of some of the larger cities in al-Anbar.
Accused Terror Financier Boasted Of Access to U.S. Military Briefings in Iraq -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
A federal grand jury in Missouri has issued a formal indictment against five officials from the local offices of an Islamic charity, charging them with violating U.S. trade laws and also fraudulently diverting thousands of dollars from a U.S. government development grant into a lobbying campaign aimed at thwarting a Congressional investigation into its links to terrorism. The new indictment comes directly on the heels of another decision last month from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the right of the U.S. Treasury Department to freeze the financial assets of the same charity, the Islamic African Relief Agency (IARA), for allegedly helping to finance terrorism.
The Failed Attack --- WARNING!! Extremly graphic.
IP draws big numbers in Al Anbar -- [MNF-I]
CAMP ELLIS — In an unprecedented move by local leaders in the town of Barwanah, a village of 20,000 citizens in the Anbar Province of Iraq, the largest number of Iraqi Police recruits ever recruited from the area were processed in a recruit screening this week.
Baghdad security efforts seem to yield results -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Although it’s too early to draw firm conclusions, the new combined Iraqi-U.S. security effort to reduce violence in Iraq’s capital city already seems to be bearing fruit, a senior U.S. military officer in Baghdad said.
More Troops Deployed to Baghdad -- [Military.com]
VIDEO- Gates Approves More Troops for Baghdad
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has approved a request by the new U.S. commander in Iraq for an extra 2,200 military police to help deal with an anticipated increase in detainees during the Baghdad security crackdown, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
Combat at Outpost Falcon - Mar 7 2007
The Countdown... -- [1016th - in Iraq]
...Much of our time here lately is spent fixing trucks and doing motorpool maintenance. We received all of our equipment in a “fixer upper” state (to put it mildly). Our command is determined to handover our stuff in much better shape then we got it and why not.... It wasn’t very cool fixing all those trucks when we first got here. The rest of our time is spent turning in gear, selling stuff we’re not going to take home and getting our affairs in order back home. Some people have bought toys, and some people have set plans up to go on vacation. Whatever we’ve done, it’s something to look forward to when we get back.
Petraeus: No Military Solution to Iraq War -- [Iraq Slogger]
Says Political Action and Reconcilation Essential to Achieving Peace, Stability
...-- There's no immediate need to request more US troops for Iraq beyond those in the pipeline.
-- US forces will reach peak strength in June and will remain at that number "well beyond summer."
-- "Military action is necessary... but it is not sufficient" because Iraqi political action and reconcilation are necessary to achieve peace and stability.
-- "sensational attacks" on US and Iraqi forces will continue, but "there have been a few encouraging signs" of progress -- notably a decrease in sectarian attacks in Baghdad.
U.S. Commander Calls for Talks With Militants -- (NYT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Military force alone is not sufficient to end the violence in Iraq and political talks must eventually include some militant groups now opposing the U.S.-backed government, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said Thursday.
The Grunts - Daily Life Marked as: Featured
3rd batallion 4th marines daily life routines. Video showing our troops taking care of kids, disposing of weapons cache, training the Iraqi Army, etc.
Maliki Suspends Cooperation With UK Forces -- [Iraq Slogger]
Fallout From Sunday's Basra Raid Continues
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has announced he will suspend cooperation with British forces in southern Iraq until the completion of an investigation into the Sunday raid of Basra's police headquarters, according to Alsumaria TV.
A cross border raid into Waziristan; Achilles update -- [The Fourth Rail]
Deputy Taliban commander in Waziristan captured by Task Force 145; Taliban commander arrested in Kandahar; Tora Bora Front cell broken up; Achilles update
PAKISTAN: U.S. TROOPS ARREST DEPUTY HEAD OF TALIBAN IN WAZIRISTAN -- (AKI)
Islamabad, 8 March- American troops in Afghanistan arrested on Thursday the deputy head of the Taliban fighters active in the Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan, according to a report on the Arab satellite television channel Al Jazeera. A unit of US special forces penetrated the town of Loramani in Waziristan which border Afghanistan, capturing the Taliban leader Mullah Hakimallah Mansub.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar Claims Split From Taliban, "Suggests" Peace Talks -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The Associated Press has released an exclusive story in which Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, longtime Afghan tribal warlord who has allied with the Taliban for years, announced that he has ended his cooperation with them and "suggested" that he could reach a peace deal with the Afghan government.
AFGHANISTAN: HELMAND TRIBAL CHIEFS CALL ON TALIBAN TO FREE ITALIAN JOURNALIST -- (AKI)
Kabul, 8 March - Tribal leaders in the southern Afghan province of Helmand have asked the Taliban to release Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, who was allegedly kidnapped by Taliban fighters together with two Afghan nationals, Ajmal and Ghulam Haidar, while on an assignment in Kandahar, in the volatile southern Afghan province of Helmand. According to the Pajhwok Afghan News agency, Haji Mirajan Adil, a senior tribal leader in the province's Gereshk district, said "kidnapping journalists was violation of freedom of expression".
PAKISTAN: 'FATHER OF TALIBAN' CALLS FOR ITALIAN JOURNALIST'S RELEASE -- (AKI)
Karachi, 8 March - (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) - The leader of Pakistan's six-party Islamist alliance, Maulana Samiul Haq, on Thursday appealed to the Taliban to release Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo, who the militants have accused of spying for Britain. "International journalists have the right to interact with all groups including the Taliban," Samiul Haq said in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).The Pakistani political leader has been...
Kapisa Province. کاپيسا -- [Miserable Donuts]
CSM Bones and I would travel there - particularly to the capital, Mahmud-i-Raqi. One learned three things about the province right away - the Tagab was a smuggling route (drugs, guns, anything), it was a very small province (the smallest in Afghanistan) and the governor was a venal, thieving, and ineffectual bum.
Brits Bring Guided Rockets to Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
March 8, 2007: The British army is finally sending some heavy artillery to Afghanistan. Not big (155mm) guns, but big rockets. Several MLRS launchers are being sent, equipped with GPS guided rockets (MLRS). Despite requests from the troops for heavier artillery, the British have only sent a few 105mm howitzers. Finally, the commanders convinced the brass back home that some heavier stuff was needed. The American GMLRS (officially the "GMLRS Unitary rocket") rockets has been a great success.
History Lesson Part 1-- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghainstan]
Han has really been opening up to me lately. In fairness, I haven’t worked a whole lot with him, but recently we’ve had some really great discussions. He downloaded a ton of photos from the internet and proceeded to give me a history lesson, along with photos of events from the last 15 years. It is pretty amazing stuff, and now you can be amazed too. Han is passionate about getting the truth out about Afghanistan, and I’ve told him I will be happy to relate his story to all of you.
AP exclusive: Top Afghan warlord splits from Taliban? -- [Allahpundit - Hot Air]
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly It’s Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the former Afghan prime minister who’s been waging freelance jihad on U.S. forces since 2001 and in conjunction with the Taliban since 2003. He’s an “evil sod” whose handiwork inspired an almost singular hatred in our pal Major John Tammes during his tour of duty in Afghanistan. He’s also the guy who bragged in December about having cost the GOP the midterm elections.
U.S. Opens Door To Bilateral Talks with Iran on Iraq -- [Defense News]
The United States left open the possibility on March 7 that U.S. diplomats could meet one-on-one with Iranian officials on the sidelines of a conference of Iraq’s neighbors in Baghdad this weekend.
Iranian influence soaring in Iraq -- (Chicago Tribune)
Shiites, Sunnis say Tehran is winner of U.S. invasion
By Liz Sly, Tribune foreign correspondent; Hassan Jarrah in Najaf and Nadeem Majeed contributed to this report
BAGHDAD -- In the cafeteria of Iraq's parliament, Shiite legislators slip into Persian when they don't want their conversations overheard. In the holy city of Najaf, an Iranian charity helps newlyweds buy furniture. Iranian weapons, freshly manufactured, are turning up in arms caches seized from insurgents in and around Baghdad.
Iranian general 'seeking asylum in US' -- [The Austrailian]
A RETIRED Iranian general who went missing in Turkey last month has defected and sought asylum in the US, according to a well-connected Arabic newspaper published in London.
Souresrafil Responds to Prospect of US-Iranian Talks
...If there are two nations left in the world that may have a hope of saving themselves and through whom there may at some unknown time in the future be a hope of saving the people of the world, those two nations are America and to a lesser extent, Australia.
Today, in my view another Yalta has taken shape. Just in the last few days, after some diplomatic deal-making, both at the table and behind the scenes, unfortunately the American government, the only nation left that holds out hope for supporting the people of Iran, has given in to the leader of Islamic Fascism, meaning Iran and today's Islamic Republic.
Fifth column elements from the Islamic Republic, but not just them, have been able to convince the American government that there is no use, it must abandon this fight and surrender to the circumstances. We do not know more than this and it is not clear what will happen.
Increasing Accompanied Tours in Korea -- [GI Korea]
The top U.S. commander in South Korea on Wednesday proposed immediately doubling the number of troops on accompanied tours in that country, and eventually shifting most troops with families to three-year tours there.
“The Hunters of Minesweepers” – A Video from al-Furqan Foundation of the Islamic State of Iraq -- [SITE Institute]
Al-Furqan Foundation of the Islamic State of Iraq issued to jihadist forums a twenty-six minute video titled: “The Hunters of Minesweepers”, on Monday, March 5, 2007. The video, within the Furqan series, “Hell for the Romans and Apostates in the Land of Two Rivers [Iraq/Mesopotamia]” does not merely show a compilation of attack footage, but places the bombing operations within a larger context and provides information about minesweepers employed by the American military in Iraq.
Al Qaeda Builds Its Brand -- [Strategy Page]
March 8, 2007: Al Qaeda has become a good example of "upward failure." The more defeats the terrorist organization suffers, the more it recasts those events into seeming victories. For example, the inability to launch another attack on the United States is simply ignored. Having shifted its efforts to Europe, and failing to carry out even one attack a year since September 11, 2001, that failure is pitched as giving the Europeans time to reflect and surrender.
Former US Sailor, Hassan Abujihaad, Arrested on Terror Charges -- [Gateway Pundit]
A former US sailor was arrested today for giving secrets to Al Qaeda.
Al Qaeda Builds Its Brand -- [Strategy Page]
March 8, 2007: Al Qaeda has become a good example of "upward failure." The more defeats the terrorist organization suffers, the more it recasts those events into seeming victories. For example, the inability to launch another attack on the United States is simply ignored. Having shifted its efforts to Europe, and failing to carry out even one attack a year since September 11, 2001, that failure is pitched as giving the Europeans time to reflect and surrender. The continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a PR disaster for al Qaeda within the Islamic world. All those dead Moslems has caused al Qaedas popularity to plummet in Moslem countries. At the same time,
Why Terrorists Are Above Criticism -- [Strategy Page]
March 8, 2007: The need for Moslems to criticize Moslems, for crimes against Moslems, is a critical aspect in the war on terror. Unfortunately, it's highly unusual for Moslems to criticize their co-religionists, no matter how outrageous their actions. Moslems terrorists regularly blow up mosques, murder imams, and even violate oaths taken on the Koran, such as when the Taliban captured the Afghan village of Qala Mussa a few weeks ago, after having sworn on the Koran to engage in negotiations with the local elders. Yet ...
Landstuhl Commander interviewed in "Around the Services" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Yesterday's "Around the Services" show from the Pentagon Channel has coverage of the hearings on Walter Reed and other military medical facilities.
There's also a short interview with COL Gamble, Commander of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center here in Germany, in which ...
Can I question his patriotism and support for the troops without being sent to rehab? -- [Wizbang!]
Dr. Camillo Mac Bica is a professor of philosophy at New York City's School for Visual Arts. He is also a "recovering" Viet Nam veteran of the Marine Corps. He's apparently transmogrified himself from a gung-ho Marine into a full-blown moonbat.
Dr. Mac Bica's latest endeavor is a little program called "counter recruitment."
Navy rejects pair who had offer of reduced sentences to enlist -- [Stars and Stripes]
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy has turned down two 19-year-old men who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after a Pennsylvania judge offered to drop probation from their sentence to help them enlist.
Adultery - a crime in the Navy? -- [ROFA Six]
When Astronaut Lisa Norwak sent email to her lover, Bill Oefelein while he was space, she forgot the golden rule of email, "Never write anything you don't want to see again in the newspaper". Today, it is all there.
Steve Simon Outlines Bush Choices on Pullout -- [Iraq Slogger]
Advises Withdrawal Before Move Becomes Matter of Necessity
Steve Simon, CFR senior fellow and Middle East security expert, in an interview posted today perfectly articulates the dilemma faced by the Bush Administration in timing the military withdrawal from Iraq...
Harry Reid Gets Mitchslapped -- [RedState]
Mitch McConnell has just dropped a bomb on Senator Reid.
...Senator McConnell just lumped all the separate amendments into one amendment and filed for cloture. So now all those Democrats who were complaining about the GOP continuing to debate the war in Iraq at the expense of the troops will have to defend continuing to debate the 9/11 Commission report at the expense of the safety of the American people.
The VA system of health care -- [Qand O]
As is obvious, the Walter Reed debacle is now spreading into an examination of the VA health care system. And the system which the left loves to hold up as the shining example of what government health care can be seems to be severely troubled.
As one might imagine, it is very bureaucratic, and in terms of administrative technology, abysmally backward.
Democrats Plan Neighborhood Gitmo Project -- [Gateway Pundit]
Democrats want to move the Gitmo detainees closer to home...
TO YOUR HOME! Democrats want Gitmo detainees set free or held in camps on the East Coast.
Why Terrorists Are Too Dangerous For U.S. Prisons -- [RedState]
Yesterday's news that Congressional Democrats, led by Virginia Congressman Jim Moran, plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison and bring the terrorists held there to be held in the U.S., is a terrible idea for several reasons, but for one of them, you need look no further than to ask Louis Pepe, the former prison guard at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan who was attacked on November 1, 2000 by Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, a high-ranking Al Qaeda terrorist who was awaiting trial for the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania:
Creative Newswriting -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
Too much positive news coming out of Iraq for certain people's tastes? That's okay, just make up your own headlines. Do it right, and no one will read the article because the headline says it all:
There is absolutely no discussion of the intensity of insurgent attacks --positive or negative--in the article. And with a headline like that, you don't have to read any further to know what's going on in Iraq, right?
Considering the habit the AP has of editing on the fly, I've done screen shots of the entire article, and reproduced the text
Ignorance is as ignorance does -- [QandO]
If you're going to call someone, or a group or a nation ignorant, it's usually good advice to try to not come off as abysmally ignorant yourself. Unfortunately, as you'll see, an Al-Jazeera TV host wasn't quite able to pull that off.
First Faysal Al-Qassem's claim that Americans are woefully ignorant:
Time Magazine's Aparisim is lying, by Ghosh! -- [Michael Fumento]
In my article on the Baghdad Press Corps and its perceived need to display faux bravado because it has no real bravado, I noted one way they did this was by grossly exaggerating the "terrors" of landing at Baghdad International Airport. This included Time Magazine's Baghdad bureau chief Aparism Ghosh. I wrote:
"In an August 2006 cover story, [Ghosh] devotes five long paragraphs to the alleged horror of landing there [in a Fokker F28 from Amman, Jordan].
Outrageous Associated Press headline of the morning -- [TigerHawk]
Underneath the headline "House Democrats to unveil Iraq war plan" the first sentence reads "In a direct challenge to President Bush, House Democrats are advancing legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of next year."
France Makes Effort to Criminalize Bloggers, Internet News Sites -- [NewsBusters]
In a warning to the sanctity of free speech in a democratic nation, France is about to show us what happens when the state is allowed to legally determine who is allowed to be a "journalist", or who is a "legitimate" source of news: You get the criminalization of speech.
France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence -- [NewsBusters]
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.
Gates Warns of Geek Shortage, Offers Border Firewall -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-08) — Microsoft founder Bill Gates, alarmed that immigration curbs sparked by terrorism threats limit access to talented tech workers from overseas, today said his firm will work with the U.S. government to install “a virtual firewall at the borders that would let the good geeks in and keep the malicious geeks out.”
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
ABC News on Iraq
Well, here's the orficer heads, and a retrospective -- [The Marching Camp - recently back from Iraq]
In other news, you know what isn't in the news anynore? Ninewah Province. . . Funny how that happens. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing it in the news lately. I don't remember seeing it in the news since we left there. Hrmmm. . .
The Brigade Commander made an interesting assertation about Ramadi today. He stated that we left Ramadi like we found Tal Afar. Unconsolidated victory--the insurgents no longer control huge pieces of territory. 2,500 Iraqi Police are in uniform and either on patrol or in training--a stark contrast from the perhaps 70 terrified IPs huddled on a tiny post just outside the American camp that we found. 1st Brigade built 18 Combat Outposts and 5 IP Stations, extending American and Iraqi Security Force reach out into every single neighborhood. We spent $32 million dollars on over a hundred reconstruction projects.
Army Engineers Complete 64 More Projects -- [Defend America]
BAGHDAD, March 6, 2007 — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division completed 64 construction projects between Feb. 23 and March 4, 2007 – bringing the total number of completed projects to 11, 395.
NBC Highlights Troops Who Support US Presence in Iraq -- [NewsBusters]
On Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams, reporting from Baghdad, delivered a refreshing end to the show as he showcased several U.S. troops who voiced support for their work in Iraq, and for America continuing its work there. While Williams did feature one soldier who was less than enthusiastic about the mission, other troops, featured in pre-recorded soundbites, spoke of "staying until the job is done," and of feeling "proud" about helping the Iraqis.
Rebuilding Iraq's Helicopter Fleet -- [ROFA Six]
Five brand new Huey II's, donated by Jordan have arrived at Camp Taji and are being used to get Iraqi pilots current in the aircraft.
The aircraft join the three OH-58A/C type aircraft and ten MI-17s already on station. By the end of the year, Iraq expects to have a fleet of 5o-60 helicopters.
1/34 BCT Opens Sixth Water Plant with International Presence -- [GX Online]
3/6/07, Camp Adder, Iraq— Children, officials, sheiks, Italians, Australians and U.S. Soldiers were present for the opening of a reverse osmosis water-treatment plant in Al Kuaam, Iraq, a small rural farming village of 2,000 people on the south bank of the Euphrates River
Marines Build Trust, Lend Helping Hand to Locals -- [Defend America]
RAWAH, Iraq, March 7, 2007 — In a town set on the Euphrates River, 150 miles northwest of Baghdad, two Marines stood calmly as a group of local Iraqi men surrounded them. The Iraqis, mostly former school teachers, warmly greeted the Marines and explained what they needed to make their city better.
Outside Baghdad and the Iraq Security Plan -- [The Fourth Rail]
As the Baghdad pieces of the puzzle are being put in place, operations are underway in the provinces
While the major focus of the Iraq security plan is the capital of Baghdad, Iraqi and Coalition forces have stepped up operations in the provinces. The intent is obvious: while Baghdad is in the process of being secured and troops continue to deploy into the city, the weapons, suicide bombers and foreign fighters must be interdicted before they reach the city limits. The Iraqi government and Coalition are pressing the insurgency both inside Baghdad, and on the peripheries
Safe in Iraq -- [Cpl M -- A Soldier's Perspective - in Iraq]
My unit arrived in Iraq a few days ago and we spent the time since then getting classes and preparing for the big turn over that will take place over the next week or two. We are still settling in and learning the ropes out here, but everything is going just fine. I'm still trying to catch up on emails, but that shouldn't take too much longer.
What it's Like to be a Cop in Fallujah -- [INDC Journal - in Iraq]
Captain Tad Scott of the Fallujah Police Transition Team e-mailed regarding an attack on an Iraqi police officer I'd met during my embed:
...Just a grim slice of life for IPs in Fallujah. Events like this are a major reason that I have limited patience for those who glorify the insurgents as "justified resistance to occupation."
One Woman's Experience with US Soldiers -- [Iraq Slogger]
Insecurity and Fear Color Even Calmest Interactions
Around Baghdad, the dominant theme in daily life is the constant concern for security. Even the heavily armed US and Iraqi soldiers deployed in the city, as much as their formal mission is to provide security, are also a source of fear and insecurity for vulnerable local civilians.
Incompetent & Crooked Iraqi Police Allow Terrorists to Escape Imprisonment (updated) -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
For at least the second time in the past 5 months, some of the most dangerous terrorists have been able to escape from an Iraqi jail guarded by Iraqi police. Today, militants stormed Mosul's northwestern Badoush prison and freed over 140 prisoners, most of whom are described as "insurgents." You can bet they weren't traffic violators; they were probably key operatives in terrorist cells who were painstakingly hunted down by the U.S. military and Iraqi army. The overwhelmed police asked the U.S. military for help, but too late to stop the escaping terrorists.
Where Did All The Sunni Arabs Go? -- [Strategy Page]
March 7, 2007: Having lost many of their bomb factories (where care bombs were assembled) and safe houses (where suicide bombers were trained and indoctrinated) in Baghdad, Sunni terrorists are rushing in teams from the suburbs to try and make enough mess to force the Shia militia to come out and fight. The Shia militia saw that the American surge campaign in Baghdad would be directed mostly at the Sunni terrorists. Thus the Shia militiamen simply put their weapons away and took off their black uniforms for a while, and let the Americans do their thing.
Unprecedented recruiting event yields record 60-plus recruits -- [Marine Corps News]
CAMP ELLIS, Iraq (March 07, 2007) -- In an unprecedented move by local leaders in the town of Barwanah, a village of 20,000 citizens in the Anbar Province of Iraq, the largest number of Iraqi Police recruits ever recruited from the area were processed in a recruit screening this week.
Security operations continue in Sadr City -- [MNF-I]
CAMP LIBERTY — A combined force of Iraqi Police and Multi-National Division–Baghdad troops completed a second day of security operations at the eastern Baghdad district of Sadr City Monday.
Coalition Forces conducting an air strike on al-Qaeda terrorist cells and vehicles with anti-aircraf Marked as: Featured
Coalition Forces conducting an air strike on al-Qaeda terrorist cells and vehicles with anti-aircraft artillery west of Taji, Iraq. 03-06-2007
Operation White Rockets nets two caches, two suspects south of Baghdad -- [MNF-I]
KALSU, Iraq – Iraqi Army troops and paratroopers from Multi-National Division – Baghdad worked together to successfully complete “Operation White Rockets” March 6, finding two ammunition caches and detaining two suspects.
Soldiers of 5th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division and 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Squadron dismounted to clear out suspected insurgent sanctuary areas near Bin Muhammad, Iraq, south of Baghdad.
Life is a game. Football is serious. -- [Rmychk's Oh So Optimistic Blog - in Iraq]
Right outside my front door is over 4,000 years of history and I finally made an effort to get the grand tour of the area. In the ancient city of Ur, several structures have been excavated, the Ziggurat, the oldest intact archway, the royal palace, royal tombs, a part of the inner "sacred" wall of Ur, the house that Abraham grew up in, other houses, and even hieroglyphics in the royal palace.
Controlling investment in Iraq -- [Iraq Updates]
06 March 2007 (Gulf News) -- With considerable fanfare, Iraq's Cabinet last week announced approval of a draft law that would permit foreign investment in the nation's oil industry and provide for ...
Sunni clerics group attacks Iraq's draft oil law -- [Iraq Updates]
(07 March 2007) An influential Sunni Arab group criticised Iraq's long awaited oil investment law on Tuesday, accusing the United States and Britain of invading...
Maliki's Political and Economic Bullet -- [Austin Bay - Strategy Page]
March 7, 2007 - Petroleum is the resource that dominates discussion of Iraq's economy.
However, water and rich agricultural land make the country much more than a desert oil spigot.
Keep Improving the Foxhole -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
Heard it my whole career. Can't say I've heard it said by anybody but an infantryman, though. I just don't recall, in all my dealings with Soldiers from other MOS's, anybody saying "keep improving the foxhole".
What does it mean? Well, I'm sure you are familiar with foxholes, right? Doesn't everyone have one in their backyards? No? We, being infantrymen, used to fight from them. Now we seem to have mobile foxholes, in the form of uparmored humvees, Strykers, and Bradleys.
Iraqi Man Caught at LAX with Weird Item in Body Cavity -- (VIDEO) -- [KTLA]
Security officers detained an Iraqi national at Los Angeles International Airport early today after a "metal object" was found in the man's rectum during a body cavity search.
Burqa-clad Taliban leader caught as NATO attacks -- (Reuters Alert)
KABUL, March 7 (Reuters) - Afghan soldiers have captured a Taliban leader who tried to flee a security operation in the south dressed in a burqa, NATO said on Wednesday.
Tuesday's capture in Kandahar province came as NATO launched a major offensive in neighbouring Helmand to secure a key hydroelectric dam and combat the opium trade.
NATO launches Operation Achilles in northern Helmand; Taliban website 'shut down' -- [Afgha.com]
NATO officials announced the beginning of a joint security operation with Afghan army units in northern Helmand province. Dubbed Operation Achilles, nearly 4,500 NATO and 1,000 ANA troops will be eventually used to subdue the violence ridden areas of northern Helmand.
Meanwhile the main Taliban website that posts battlefield updates and other related issues has reportedly been shut down.
The Spring Offensive -- [gwot dot us - in Afghainstan]
03/07/07 1456 hours - Well it seems that the Taliban has held true to their word (when they vowed to start a fresh Spring offensive). Activity has been on the increase around my little FOB. Four IED’s have been found in the past 2 weeks, all within 15km of where I rack out for the night. Sadly, one of them claimed the life of a female combat medic of the Spanish Army variety, this same IED wounded 2 other Spanish troops as well.
Shell games... -- [KGW Afghanistan Blog]
Oshay, Afghanistan - ...Near the end of February, the clinic was finally opened. Lacking the promised Dutch funding, the US Special Operations Civil Affairs team took matters into their own hands. Using a limited amount of funds that were available to them through US channels, as well as their own labor and labor donated by the locals, the majority of the clinic was completed. The finishing touch came one afternoon with the arrival of a contracted supply truck that had been dispatched by the Afghan government with over $50,000 US worth of supplies for the clinic. Where the Dutch had failed, the Afghan government had come through.
Examples like this remain an ongoing problem here in Afghanistan for US command. While NATO and ISAF forces have deployed here, many of the promises and commitments made to the US are not being upheld. As one US soldier stated, "NATO and ISAF are unwillingness to accept risk, but are more than willing to accept credit for the work done by US forces." In this case, it's unclear who will officially get credit for the medical clinic at Oshay, even though the credit rests solely with the efforts and accomplishments of the US Special Operations Civil Affairs team lead by Stew and Suss.
(Make/A) Sense of Things, Part I -- [Kabulog - in Afghanistan]
...As I’ve said before, the donor side talk/rhetoric seems to have been improving and seeming more realistic. But the reality of this place is catching up to them. And the mood of the common Afghans (from my very limited/skewed sampling) is shifting markedly more than it did in the past year, and in a different way. It’s like a worsening is a foregone conclusion and now people are just waiting for things to get worse before they can get better. It seems like the only question really is how worse that worse is. Our two cooks, who are brothers, were telling me, in a markedly melancholic and longing manner, about how peaceful their home village is in the summer, and wishing I could come see it.
Blog Addiction - The William Arkin Obscene Amenity of the Day -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
(Named for William Arkin, the blogger who thinks the military is made up of mercenaries with too many amenities). Don’t be a stranger, Bill.
... AWAC is delighted to invite another Camp Phoenixite to our pages. SSG Carrie Sawyer is also here for a year, and contributes this well-written and most educational posting about the 5-star hotel she is living in.
... I too am a victim of an obscene amenity. Mr. Jefferson, although your rank may afford you a spacious 8'x12' b-hut space on the "moving on up to the east-side" of Chateau Phoenix, we lower enlisted have it even better. Take the lake-in-front-of-my-door property you see in the picture.
General Panic -- [Jules Crittenden]
Stratfor.com on the raising of stakes and exposure of fakes. Meir Javedanfar at Pajamas Media on the panic in Teheran over a missing general. Meir first:
Syria ready with bio-terror if U.S. hits Iran -- [WND]
Damascus reportedly hiding WMD among commercial pharmaceuticals
An American biodefense analyst living in Europe says if the U.S. invades Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions, Syria is ready to respond with weapons of mass destruction – specifically biological weapons.
"Syria is positioned to launch a biological attack on Israel or Europe should the U.S. attack Iran," Jill Bellamy-Dekker told WND. "The Syrians are embedding their biological weapons program into their commercial pharmaceuticals business and their veterinary vaccine-research facilities.
Escalating Problem in AMIS -- [Soldier of Africa - in Darfur]
The inability of AMIS to pay its people is causing a situation where individuals’ lives are in danger now. The chief finance officer was held up at his house a couple of days ago by armed men who wanted their MSA. In the end after threatening to kill him if they did not receive their money the men left with a mobile phone and his vehicle, leaving him tied up. Apparently they told him that they will return his vehicle to him upon receiving their MSA. The situation is becoming critical now and is worsened by the inability or reluctance of the top structure of the AU or AMIS to rectify the situation.
Thousands of Iranian Teachers Strike in Tehran (Video) -- [Gateway Pundit]
** Update: A Second Teacher's Protest Was Held Today in Tehran!
Thousands of teachers rallied in front of Parliament for the second time this week!
An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 teachers protested against the government in Tehran on Saturday!
Winston carried the "Angry Teachers" news on Saturday
Keeping the Waziristan Accord -- [The Fourth Rail]
Business as usual as the situation in Pakistan deteriorates
Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas
The U.S. pressure campaign to get Pakistan to clean up the Taliban and al-Qaeda strongholds in the western and southern provinces has had a limited effect at best. After arresting Mullah Obaidullah and two other senior Taliban commanders in Quetta, Pakistan indicated it will go no further. “The 'North Waziristan Peace Agreement' will remain intact and it will not be rescinded,” reports The Nation. “Any new major operation in Waziristan will lead to serious repercussions for Pakistan and cause strong backlash, something that cannot be afforded
ROK, U.S. Conduct First Joint Gunnery Since Korean War -- [Army News]
For the first time since the Korean War, Republic of Korea and U.S. Army tanks fired alongside each other during a joint-gunnery exercise at...More
Muslim Websites Target Georgia Motorist for Death -- [Jawa Report]
Two U.S. based Islamic websties have called on Muslims to kill the driver of a Georgia registered vehicle displaying an offensive bumper sticker. On February 28 the "Black Lion" blog, a website run by two American Muslims who support violent jihad, posted the license plate number of a Gwinnett County, Georgia motorist displaying a bumper sticker which read, "Kill em all, let Allah sort em out.” A thinly veiled threat encouraging Muslims to find the driver and kill him was also posted.
Another Muslim offended, another death threat issued.
Leftist Terrorists Make a Comeback -- [Strategy Page]
March 7, 2007: The widespread use of violence by Islamic terrorists has masked the revival of leftist terrorist groups. Last month, for example, Italian police arrested fifteen members of the 1970s era "Red Brigades", and charged them with plotting the murder of people who did not agree with their revolutionary goals. The Red Brigades were part of an wave of small, violent, leftist revolutionary groups that emerged in the 1960s and 70s, and were largely gone by the 1990s. Actually, the groups never died out completely, but, except in Greece and Latin America, they were much less violent after the Cold War ended.
Follow the Money: Challenges and Opportunities in the Campaign to Combat Terrorism Financing -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The U.S. government's much-discussed but little-understood effort to combat terrorism financing faces both challenges and opportunities. Terrorist groups continue to evolve, proactively working to evade existing sanctions and minimize the impact of future ones. Meanwhile, interagency efforts are being called upon to meet some of the most pressing national security threats through targeted financial measures.
Al-Arabiyya TV Director-General: 'Why Do Islamist Extremists Who Incite Against the West Insist on Living There?' -- [MEMRI]
In an article in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Al-Arabiyya TV Director-General Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed criticized the hypocrisy of Islamist extremists who live and operate in the West. He said that while these extremists spread hatred for the West and incite against Western culture, at the same time they fight for the right to stay there.
Military town copes with losing students -- [Air Force Times]
ENTERPRISE, Ala. — Chief Warrant Officer Bill Tompkins was in Iraq when he got the call to come home and do something no parent wishes to do: bury his son, who was killed along with seven classmates in a hallway when a powerful tornado wrecked Enterprise High School last week.
...Five of the eight students killed at the high school had ties to Fort Rucker, the Army’s helicopter flight training base that borders Enterprise. It marked a reversal for the community in southeastern Alabama, which is now coping with the unexpected deaths of children instead of soldiers.
Fort Benning Soldiers Also Need Help -- [Soldiers Angels New York]
Military tornado victims continue to need help. Please read the following and pass the word. Soldiers' Angels is providing assistance but we need your help to continue to reach those who are asking for it, and who are not getting assistance elsewhere.
A tale of two armies -- [Phillip Carter - Intel Dump]
One of the many issues lying dormant beneath the surface of the Walter Reed mess has to do with the difference between the peacetime Army and the wartime Army.
At places like Fort Bragg, North Carolina, you see the wartime Army in action. So many of its paratroopers are deployed right now that the storied 82nd Airborne Division has opted to cancel its "All American Week" this year. To put this in perspective: it's sort of like the NFL cancelling the Pro Bowl because so many football players are out of town.
WWE Offers Free Tickets to Troops -- [GX Online]
3/6/07, Washington, DC— Service members can take advantage of the generosity of professional wrestlers by getting free admittance into World Wrestling Entertainment events worldwide.
Members of the military can receive a free ticket to WWE events, based on availability and excluding WrestleMania events, when they provide a valid ID to the box office on performance day.
Michigan Auto Shops Offer Free Oil Change for Military Families -- [GX Online]
3/6/07, Grand Haven, MI— Military family members in Michigan don't have to squeak by anymore when it comes to routine auto maintenance thanks to eight auto garages throughout the state. "We offer a full-service oil change with a brief safety inspection," said Rob Hopp, owner of Auto Advantage. "We're offering them to any military dependent, active or reserve."
Dies Irae -- [Castle Argghhh!]
The Time: 0530 on the morning of a day two weeks after the defoliation mission.
The Place: The bunker beneath the wayhouse constructed by the work detail from Tay Do Two battalion.
Phouc was finding it more difficult to maintain his Revolutionary Ardor with each basketful of earth he hauled from the bunker to scatter into the dead grass. Sergeant Van had been displeased with the implications of the message Phouc had relayed from Colonel Trinh and had placed Phouc in command of the bunker-construction detail -- which consisted solely of Phouc.
"Bring Some Paint" -- [Smash]
FOUND on DC Indymedia, a post by "A":
...For those who haven't been following along, the demo "A" refers to is ANSWER's "March on the Pentagon."
And the wall "dylan" wants to spray paint is the Vietnam Memorial.
Blasts Kill Shi'a Pilgrims -- [Iraq Slogger]
Libby Guilty; Walter Reed Scandal Spins On
The guilty verdicts returned in the Libby perjury trial are by far the biggest story of the day, although very little reporting considers directly what the trial means for our understanding of the lead-up to the war in Iraq. Questions now center on what happens next: Will Libby flip and sing about his boss, will Bush issue a pardon before that happens, or will Scooter serve out his time?
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
NBC: Iraqis Want U.S. to Stay and Insurgents Counting on Help from War Opponents -- [NewsBusters] -- VIDEO
Visiting Iraq, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams learned from Army officers that Iraqis want U.S. forces to remain in their country, from NBC News Baghdad reporter Richard Engel that Al-Sadr's insurgents have stepped down and are counting on pressure from anti-war opponents to provide them with victory, and from retired General and NBC News military analyst Wayne Downey that U.S. troops are proud of their mission. Traveling with Lieutenant General Ray Odierno for stories on his Monday newscast, Williams ran a clip of Army Colonel John Charlton proclaiming that Iraqis “do not want us to leave” and a soundbite from Army Lt. Colonel Charles Ferry who asserted: "The people here are very glad to see us.” Williams marveled: "You just said, 'They don't want us to leave.' That's the tenth time today I've heard that. I've got to go back to the States and do a newscast that every night has another politician or 12 of them saying, 'We have got to get out of that godforsaken place.'"
Sadr City Rejects US Presence -- [IraqSlogger By ZEYAD ]
The Scoop From Key Iraqi Arabic-Language Web Sites
The Sadr City Municipal Council rejected a proposal to open a joint security center with U.S. troops in the Shi’ite district, after media reports that representatives from Sadr City had reached an agreement with the U.S. military to allow American presence, the Sadrist Nahrain Net website reported. Council chairman Abdul Hussein Al-Ka’abi said that ...
Troops team up to clear Sadr City -- [MNF-I] -- [Video via DVIDS]
BAGHDAD – More than 550 Iraqi Security Force personnel with 600 Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers began a clearing operation in the eastern Baghdad district known as Sadr City Sunday, military officials reported.
Ghost Soldiers Discover Secret Room, Hidden Cache -- [Army News]
Pfc. Ryan Kennedy and Pfc. Raul Alderete, infantrymen with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, kneel above the hole leading to one of the largest weapons caches discovered in Mosul, Iraq, since the arrival of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division in November 2006. Photo by Sgt. Shen O, 2nd Battalion
MOSUL, Iraq (Army News Service, March 5, 2007) - Two Garryowen troops assigned to Ghost Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, netted one of the largest weapons caches in the Ninewa Province
New Iraq security plan will take months to accomplish -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — The commander of Multinational Corps Iraq said on Saturday the new Iraqi security plan will take months, not weeks, to accomplish.
U.S. Fighting Four Wars in Iraq, reports Christian Science Monitor -- [On Point]
...Gates said there are "essentially four wars in Iraq." One is Shiite versus Shiite, principally for control of Basra and other areas in Iraq's oil-rich south. The second is Shiite-versus-Sunni sectarian warfare. Third, in Gates's listing, is the insurgency, the native Sunni anti-US violence. Fourth is Al Qaeda, which both aids and directs the Sunni insurgency and foments Sunni-Shiite violence.
Iraqi Columnist: What Is Happening in Iraq Will End in the Defeat of Terrorism and in the Region's Recovery From Its Ills -- [MEMRI]
"There is nothing that [some] Arabs hate more than the word 'success,' when it appears in connection with the political process in Iraq. To wit: Every article by a reformist who wants the good of Iraq is met with the same unrestrained and pessimistic responses; he is scolded, his opinion is disparaged, he is accused of ignorance, etc. In contrast, anyone who writes an article indicating the failure of U.S. policy in Iraq is praised and glorified, and is characterized as having plenty of objective knowledge on the subject, and acute analytic skills. [These Arabs] want [to see] Iraq turned into piles of rubble in which the owls hoot at night, as their now-buried master, Saddam Hussein, [once] promised. Unfortunately, however, they are fools who know nothing about the logic of history. [They do not realize] that the heavy wheels of history will roll over them mercilessly, and that what is happening in Iraq is destined [not for failure], but for success.
Tribal Sheiks, City Council Members Re-open School With MND-B Help -- [DVIDS]
INTASAR, Iraq – Tribal sheiks, city council members, the Iraqi army, Iraqi police and Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers are helping people get their lives back to normal nearly five months after sectarian violence rocked the small community.
One of the signs that stability is returning in the village showed on March 5 as Intasar sheiks, council members and Soldiers from Battery C, 1st “Red Lion” Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment joined together to re-open the Intasar elementary school.
Cut And Run, v3.0 -- [Captain's Quarters]
The Democrats in Congress have come up with yet another proposal to end the war in Iraq. After the non-binding resolution foundered and the John Murth slow-bleed plan blew up in their faces, the Democrats have hit on their latest strategy -- making President Bush certify troop readiness or allow him to waive the requirements:
Reconstruction, security go hand-in-hand -- [Centcom]
BAGHDAD — A press conference was held at the Combined Press Information Center in the International Zone Wednesday to discuss the progress of Fardh Al-Qanoon and the status of the ongoing construction efforts in Iraq.
Rear Adm. Mark Fox, Communications Division Chief for Strategic Effects for Multi-National Force-Iraq and Brig. Gen. Michael Walsh, commanding general United States Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division discussed the progress that has been made concerning both aspects.
Operation Brown Hawk -- [Blackfive]
Operation Brown Hawk commenced on the 25th of February to root out Al Qaeda bomb making facilities in Tahrir, Iraq. The operation was fought by the Iraqis and assisted by a Military Transition Team.
Iran Afghanistan Border Swappings -- [Live Leak]
Footage from apparent contraband swappings at the Iranian Afghani border
Taliban Switch to Media Based Tactics -- [Strategy Page]
March 6, 2007: The Taliban are talking less about their field forces, which took a big beating last year, and are off to an equally dismal start this year, and are emphasizing suicide bombers instead. While the Taliban have been using suicide bombers a lot more, they have not changed the military situation. The Taliban are still unable to take back control of anything. What the suicide bombers have done is made more Afghans anti-Taliban. That's because most of the casualties from these attacks are Afghans, often women and children.
Who Watches the Watches? -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
Today I am happy to bring you the next installment of Great Men of CMA. Our featured officer is Maj Quhar, the man who took over as the S4 (Chief of Logistics) from Maj Atabar. While Atabar was a friend of mine, and I don’t want to speak badly of him, I must say that I am much more impressed by Maj Quhar. For instance, even though Atabar had the biggest, nicest, plushest office on CMA, I have never found Maj Qahar in it. Every time I go looking for him, he is down the hall in a small office with old furniture, working on paperwork or records. The only time he uses the nice office is when he has us in for chai. In the three months he’s been the S4, he’s done remarkable work getting their storerooms organized and their inventory up to snuff. He is humble and hardworking, with great attention to detail. He’s the sort of man I’d want working for me, and is another reason that I see hope for this country, and why CMA is such a success.
Training Officially Begins... -- [Partamian Report - in Afghanistan]
...We had a couple of native Afghanis come to talk to us. They were naturalized Americans and they answered any questions we had. One was a Pushtu and another was an Uzbek. Both have been interpreters, (terps) and both seemed like cool guys. We had a great guest speaker, Lester W. Grau. He gave a cautiously optimistic overview of the situation over there. He said our mission will make a difference for the people of Afghanistan. He's an Afghanistan expert and the author of several books.
Iran: Women Activists Jailed, Teachers on the Street and War Whispers -- [Global Voices]
Iranian women’s peaceful protest movement on Sunday was repressed violently by police and more than 32 activists, including several journalists and bloggers, were arrested.Thanks to Kosoof you can see some photos of these activists who got arrested. Iranian bloggers have provided details about what happened, photographs of those arrested and the reason for the protest.
Navy Owns First Wave of Iranian Strikes -- [Defense Tech]
William McMichael at Defense News is reporting on the notional details of how the first wave of strikes against Iran would go, and predictably, the initial burden rests on the shoulders of the U.S. Navy.
Putin's back to the future -- [Center for Security Policy]
Vladimir Putin is trying to silence his critics - first in Moscow, then in London, now in suburban Maryland.
It is becoming increasingly dangerous to be a critic of Vladimir Putin, the elected dictator of Russia. That is, as KGB thugs like Putin used to say during the Soviet era, "no accident, comrade."
GLOBALONEY AND ITS MALCONTENTS -- [American Citizen Soldier]
...Exactly how does globalization promote stability again? For one, it doesn’t. True, you can purchase virtually any model of cellular phone your technological heart desires from any street vendor in Baghdad. But one moment you’re walking away with your state of the Korean art LG camera-phone and five minutes later an Improvised Explosive Daewoo is raining supersonic shards of rear axle down on you for having the temerity to engage in global commerce while wearing a reversed stars & stripes velcro-ed to your right shoulder.
So clearly "It's a Small (minded) World After All" cuts both ways. It means that wherever in the world you travel you’re no longer able to lament: "Y'know, I wish we could just get a dang cheeseburger here." But it also means that an entire culture 7,000 miles away can hate your guts before you even set foot on the tarmac.
The Moral Degeneracy of Silence -- [Strategy Page]
March 6, 2007: One of the counter-terrorism battles you rarely hear about, is the one that tries to influence media, in Moslem countries to, to go up against Islamic terrorists. This often involves bribes, which is one reason the program does not seek publicity. In most poor countries (and some not-so-poor ones), journalists and their editors can be rented for a suitable fee. This is no secret. Typically, the American infowarrior is not trying to get Arab (or Pakistani, or Indonesian) media to publish "praise the United States" items. Too obvious. Much more useful to try and get the media to say more about the many atrocities Islamic terrorists commit against other Moslems. This is not easy to do, because local Islamic terrorists will often take offense, and sometimes respond by killing the offending editor or journalist
Suspect: Failed bomb on German train not meant to detonate; was meant as "warning" against insulting Muhammad -- [Jihad Watch]
Jihad Hamad tries to rescue his ego from a failed bombing and beat an attempted mass murder rap in one fell swoop; earlier coverage indicated that "the detonators on the bombs went off, but failed to ignite the devices." Inner Spiritual Struggle Hamad Update. "International Briefs: Bomb was not a threat, suspect reportedly says," from Reuters...
The Maghreb, new major target for Al Qaeda -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Since the Algerian terror group GSPC officially changed its name to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an acceleration of attacks has occurred. For more please read here, here.
The latest two attacks in Algeria in two days killed 11: one attack on Saturday was targeting Russian contractors and the one on Sunday Algerian police force.
After the recent attack on US contractors, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has clearly decided to attack foreigners as well as locals and that's a big change.
Tuesday, 06 March 2007 - Live From the American Legion Legislative Rally -- [Welcome To Andi's World]
I'm here at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington for The American Legion's Legislative Rally where the President will soon be speaking to the American Legion. The President is expected to address the Walter Reed mess during his remarks. So far, the technology Gods are smiling on me so I should be able to live-blog with no trouble. And, I have an awesome seat...
I'll update this post throughout the morning. Photos soon.
Re-visiting the Mpls VA Hospital Issue -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
With the latest news on Walter Reed, it's no suprise that suddenly there is a greater media interest in military hospitals. Because of my previous posts on the visitor policies at the Mpls VA Hospital, I've been contacted by a local Fox News Investigator. While the timing of course makes me roll my eyes somewhat, the issue does need to be addressed. Timing really doesn't matter I suppose, if the result is a happy one. So, if you would like to be of help, here's what is needed:
Call to Action for Community Support for the Veterans Clinics and Hospitals Across America -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Soldiers' Angels - Call to Action for Community Support for the Veterans Clinics and Hospitals Across America
Pasadena, CA March 5 2007-The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) clinics and hospitals located in many communities across the nation provide medical services to combat veterans. These facilities are an important resource for veterans returning from the Global War on Terror and their families. Soldiers' Angels encourages the nation to stand up and support the needs for improvements for the facilities as our veterans deserve to have the best medical care available for them.
Activists: Lewis hospital has Reed-type issues -- [Air Force Times]
SEATTLE — Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Wash., has problems similar to some of those at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., leaders of the activist group Operation Homefront say.
Eagle's Watch Foundation Supports Troops -- [GX Online]
3/5/07, Washington, DC— The "Eagle's Watch Foundation" maintains a low-flying profile as it employs a bird's-eye view in finding ways to support U.S. service members and their families. Established on June 6, 03, the anniversary of D-Day, the foundation sponsors celebrity visits to wounded service members, sends packages to deployed troops, and performs many other military morale-building deeds, said David E. Minyard, the foundation's president and CEO.
This better be good -- [Neptunus Lex]
Totally geeky BSG spoiler below the fold, combined with some potentially trenchant observations on human nature as it applies to the ineluctable frailties of those flying high performance tactical aircraft. Maybe.
Don’t read on if you’re the type to get the vapors when an otherwise responsible adult draws Life Lessons from a science fiction serial.
Take Two Aspirin and Call Me Next Campaign Cycle… -- [Texas Rainmaker]
It appears Veterans’ hospitals have become the new frontline in the war against the war. I agree that our military veterans ought to have the best medical treatment available, and I believe those who fight for our way of life are entitled to enjoy the best it has to offer.
But it’s becoming evident that the Left is using this story to attack President Bush, by tying the problems at the VA hospitals to the Iraq war.
... a funny thing happened on the way to the anti-war rally…
Just last year, ...
Walter Reed: Prelude to Hillary Care? -- [Jawa Report]
Has it dawned on any of the Democrats currently pouncing on the problems of the military medical care system that the issue is a miniature version of the chaos which would be created by a national health care system? I think not.
FLASHBACK: In 2005, Kiley Covered Up Abuse At Military Detention Centers -- [Think Progress]
Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley commanded Walter Reed from 2002-2004. Recent reports show that Kiley knew about the neglect and deplorable conditions there for years. In one stunning case, Kiley took no action when personally informed that a soldier was sleeping in his own urine. He continues to skirt responsibility for the neglect, calling the Washington Post’s Walter Reed investigation “yellow journalism at its worst.”
But this scandal isn’t the first time Kiley has tried to play down “allegations of concerns with the Army medical community.
Clinton opposes ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ -- [Air Fortce Times]
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton told the nation’s leading gay rights group in an unpublicized speech that she wants a partnership with gays if elected president.
A Change of Heart -- [Welcome To Andi's World]
I think it's fair to say that Cindy Sheehan is the most prominent Gold Star Parent in the United States. Sheehan is the woman who the mainstream media decided to embrace before and after it became clear that she was a foul-mouthed, radical, anti-American "activist."
Like Sheehan, Gold Star Father Steve Hiller didn't have much affection for President Bush. After all, President Bush sent his son Dusty into a war that claimed his life. Steve Hiller was set to unload on President Bush last April when they met, but something happened that caused him to reconsider. This story appeared in The Birmingham News last week.
Extremism, Left & Right -- [Grim - Winds of Change]
...But let me first say what I think "extremism" is in American politics. I think extremism is related to our domestic (rather than our foreign) policies. I think it is this: the belief that the American Federal Government's extraordinary power should be used to remake society, whether society likes it or not.
William Buckley/Gore Vidal Debate
An interesting debate between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal. ABC News used the pair as commentators during its coverage of the 1968 political conventions. This classic exchange occurred during the Democratic convention in Chicago
Buckley: "Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in you goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered."
Power of Wishful Thinking -- [Jules Crittenden ]
JFK School deep think by Samantha Power on how to stop genocide in Iraq. Quick take:
Genocide is a Bushy myth spun by people who have bounced from one myth to another to justify war in Iraq, because that’s just what kind of people they are. But genocide is also a legitimate fear of well-meaning concerned non-Bushy people, who legitimately fear genocide in a well-meaning kind of way. However, some anti-Bushites dismiss the genocide, saying we should just leave, but that’s not good. US troops can’t stop sectarian violence, therefore we should announce that we are leaving.
Interview: Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau -- [Military.com]
Garry Trudeau has drawn "Doonesbury" since 1970. Along the way he has used his "little peashooter" and taken aim at presidents, pundits, sports stars, and celebrities. Last year, he threw his avid readers a curveball by wounding B.D., one of the strips main characters who was in the Army serving in Iraq. The storyline put him once again where he seems most comfortable - squarely in the middle of the national debate.
Military.com recently had the opportunity to ask Trudeau some questions about service, the war, and what he intended when he made B.D. a wounded warrior.
Globe Suggests VP Cheney Welcomes US Deaths in Iraq -- [NewsBusters]
Bill Maher accused Vice-President Cheney of being responsible for people "dying needlessly." In its own way, today's Boston Globe editorial cartoon takes that calumny one step further, suggesting that the vice-president flatly welcomes as many American deaths in Iraq as possible, as a sign of national strength.
Rendering the Inappropriate Courtesy -- [CounterColumn]
A journalist had his claim for unemployment benefits denied today. That's what happens when you show up to cover a soldier's funeral, piss on or near a monument, and have another journalist capture the moment on film (streaming video?) and send it to your boss.
Walter Reed Highlights Need for Universal Healthcare -- [ScrappleFace]
Democrat presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton today decried the allegedly poor conditions, stifling bureaucracy and negligent care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and throughout the VA healthcare system, but added, “Just think how bad it would be if it weren’t a government run system.”
3/2 Marines return, end 7-month deployment in Iraq -- [Marine Corps News]
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (March 5, 2007) -- Hundreds of women and children screamed with joy as the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, stepped off charter buses and into to their loved ones’ embrace here,
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Meanwhile -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
I am back in Baghdad, having driven with Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey Mellinger more than 1,200 miles up and down Iraqi roads over a ten-day period. CSM Mellinger’s direct boss is now General David Petraeus, and although the general has only been commanding the war in Iraq for three weeks, changes he’s made are already apparent. More on that during subsequent dispatches.
AIR STRIKE LEADS TO HOSTAGE RESCUE; WEAPONS CACHE UNCOVERED -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, IRAQ – An assessment performed by Coalition Forces following an air strike in Arab Jabour on Saturday led to the rescue of four Iraqi citizens and the uncovering of a terrorist weapons cache today.
Thoughts from Duke about why we went into Iraq in the first place: -- [Broken Masterpieces - Duke dispatches from Iraq]
TFTC Mar 4
...This same principle applies to national security. I have heard many complain that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq so we are not justified to be here and for that reason we should pull out and that Bush should be impeached for lying to the Congress and the American people. Let me set the record straight with completely de-classified information that anyone could find, if they looked hard enough (a challenge to reporters).
There have been over 500 weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq since we invaded, and this is just the unclassified information. The weapons contained at least two different types of chemicals, both nerve and blister agents. The criticism and explanation why this information does not get bigger press is that these were old weapons and not evidence of a new weapons program; however,
Street Justice. -- [Iraq The Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
As we noted more than once before, Operation “Imposing Law” is an escalating effort with military and political components. After the troops fixed their feet on the streets of Baghdad, PM Maliki and the troops are pushing forward with both components.
Crime? During War? -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
Yeah, crime. In my area it's a bigger problem than the insurgency. Really.
We have people that are taking advantage of the relative calm in our area but lack of complete security to commit crimes with relative impunity. Some is undoubtedly related to terrorist assholes that want power. They are using any little rift, real or imagined, to create a larger wedge and gain power. Who are they driving wedges between? Well, the government and the people. The security forces and the people. The government and the security forces. Sunnis and Shia. This village versus that village. Locals versus people from outside the immediate area. Kurds and Turkomen and Arabs... The list goes on.
Iraq Trip Report -- [Small Wars Journal]
Based upon a February 2007 trip revisiting locales in Anbar and Baghdad that I had tracked for years, permit me to offer the following observations.
Overview. What is shaping up in Iraq? There are four ongoing wars. 1) Shiite mafias in the south, 2) Anbar Sunni extremists 3) Shiite ethnic cleansing around Baghdad 4) Sunni extremist car bombings in Baghdad
Arabian Nights -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
Last night we went down into the canal region south of Falluja. We cleared back and forth through the tall reeds, along canals, and through villages. In one nasty little village, we found a bomb in an intersection. It was a large plastic tube of rocket propellant, jury-rigged as an IED. The LT decided, along with the EOD team, to shoot it and try to set it on fire, rather than get down on the ground to blow it up. Of course, we all foresaw the result-
U.S. Army Soldiers rescue two in torture house -- [MNF-I]
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – U.S. Army Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne), Regimental Combat Team 6, rescued two victims in a torture house and discovered a chemical storage facility near Karmah, 10 km northeast of Fallujah, March 1.
Iraqi Security Forces Captures Leader of Insurgent Cell in Karabilah -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – Iraqi Security Forces captured the suspected leader of an insurgent cell during operations with Coalition advisors March 3 in Karabilah, near the Syrian border.
The suspect is allegedly responsible for trafficking weapons and improvised explosive devices used in attacks against Iraqi civilians and security forces in the area.
Joint operations nab 50 terrorists -- [MNF-I]
TIKRIT, Iraq – Soldiers from Task Force 1-319 and the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division detained more than 50 insurgents during three days of operations focused on terrorist cells in Abu Ajeel, Wynot, and Owja near Tikrit in Salah ad Din.
Paratroopers from Task Force Loyalty’s Company B, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, detained more than 40 personnel in the Abu Ajeel area with assistance from an Iraqi Emergency Services Unit, and the Iraqi army. The operation disrupted an Improvised Explosive Device Cell that has been operating in the area as well as delivering an insurgent cell leader who has been spearheading attacks against coalition and Iraqi security forces in recent months.
Capture of Terrorists in Iraq: Big Fish Captured or Another False Alarm? (updated Mar. 5) -- [Andrew Cochran - Counterterrorism Blog]
Multinational Forces Iraq has announced the capture of over 50 terrorists in Salah ad Din province in northern Iraq: "Soldiers from Task Force 1-319 and the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division detained more than 50 insurgents during three days of operations focused on terrorist cells in Abu Ajeel, Wynot, and Owja near Tikrit in Salah ad Din." Forty of the terrorists were part of an IED cell, while ten others were "involved with financing and executing attacks on coalition forces."
Iraq Mystery Weapon Identified -- [Strategy Page]
March 4, 2007: The mystery weapon picture that's been showing up around the net, appears to be something that began in Chechnya (where the local Islamic terrorists built improvised weapons firing 55mm rockets), and evolved into a new design for firing RPG rockets. The U.S. Army has come to call the mystery weapon the C5K, and it sports a scope. The C5K is a misnomer, and refers to another improvised weapon (a launcher for an unguided aircraft rocket, the S-5K, a 8.8 pound, 55mm projectile). These mystery weapons are made in small quantities, in workshops set up for that purpose. Things like this are intended to provide an easier-to-handle launcher for RPG rockets.
Rebuilding in Iraq shifts to self-sustaining Iraqi effort -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — Rebuilding Iraq is shifting from a U.S.-led “jump start” effort to a self-sustaining Iraqi driven phase, said the director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office Saturday.
Doubts raised about Lancet study on Iraqi death toll -- [Allahpundit - Hot Air]
Not for the first time, either, but the previous challenge had to do with methodology. The new questions raise the possibility of fraud.
What's Not News in Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
At least a hundred, of the six million people in Baghdad, were killed by Sunni Arab terrorist attacks in the last four days. The two week old "Battle of Baghdad" has forced Sunni and Shia gangs to stay in hiding. That has helped the terror bombing operations, as these depend on stealth and surprise. The army and police catch many of the bomber vehicles at check points, but there are so many attempts that the terrorists can still carry out a few successful attacks a week. However, recent attacks appear to be of the "use it or lose it" variety. The more intense security operations inside Baghdad have uncovered bomb workshops and safe houses, meaning that more bombers will have to come in from the suburbs. But ...
Iraq’s political and economic bullet -- [Ausin Bay]
Several economists and economic development experts argue that land –specifically “land reform” – is key to ending Iraq’s complex civil conflict. Among them is Peter Schaefer. Schaefer served in Vietnam as an American military intelligence officer then in the mid-1970s became deeply involved in economic development analysis and property right issues. His is also a former adviser to Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto.
Important Undercurrents in Iraq -- [Captain's Journal]
The Arab League has called on the United Nations Security Council to set a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq. Continuing with the demands, in a request that might be humorous if it weren’t so sad, ”the list also includes a call for the fair distribution of wealth and the disbanding of all militias.”
Humanitarian Assistance Mission -- [Afghanistan JAG]
We went out to a local village this morning to distribute food and clothes. We exhausted our entire supply of both, so the clothes that everyone is sending me will be used on the next mission. We'll also order more food for next time.
News of Afghanistan ٤٩ -- [Miserable Donuts]
And now for the puritanical view of Kabul, as seen by a Pakistani who ain't too happy.
...My blogfather podcasts an interview with TF Phoenix's DC. He's ILARNG, 'cause when you care to send the very best...
Pics from our last HA Drop... -- [Task Force Phoenix 5 - in Afghainstan]
Taliban Leadership Embarrassed -- [Strategy Page]
March 5, 2007: Sometimes the personal touch does work. U.S. vice president Cheney paid a visit to Pakistan last week, and met with Pakistani president Musharraf, to complain about Pakistani reluctance to crack down on Taliban activity along the Afghan border. Shortly after Cheney flew off to Afghanistan, Pakistani police made some raids in southwest Pakistan (Baluchistan), where they arrested the number three guy in the Taliban chain of command, Mullah Obaidullah Akhund. This was just the kind of action Cheney wanted, because there were frequent sightings of Taliban big shots in places like Quetta. But Musharraf had his reasons as well. Recently,...
AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN CLAIMS CONTROL OF ANOTHER HELMAND DISTRICT -- (AKI)
Karachi, 5 March - (by Syed Saleem Shahzad) - At least 19 Afghan civilians have been killed over the past 24 hours in strikes and gunfire incidents by coalition forces in Afghanistan in response to militant attacks on NATO targets. Although NATO has said it is trying to reduce civilian casualties, the attacks look set to continue as the "spring offensive" materialises. Taliban commander Abdul Khaliq told Adnkronos International (AKI) that they have taken control of Nawzad district in Helmand province and prior to the recent attacks the Taliban distributed leaflets warning people to keep away from NATO installations or convoys
Fear of Roads in Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
March 5, 2007: One of the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan consists of paving 900 kilometers of dirt roads. This will cost $366 million, and foreign experts are running into resistance from Afghans living along those roads. The foreigners attribute this hostility to Afghans angry at the corruption in the government. That's not the case. Afghans don't trust their government because it is corrupt, but because it is the government, and they don't trust any government. What's really important is tribe, clan, and family. As for the roads, somehow, the local folks will learn what to do with them if they're safe enough to travel on. But ...
As Afghan Troops Build Capacity, Decisive Battles Loom -- [GX Online]
The anticipated spring offensive may mark the beginning of the end for the Taliban in Afghanistan, a military official told bloggers and online journalists in a conference call.
"If the Taliban do not make it through this offensive, we feel that by next year they'll have limited access to Afghanistan," Army COL David B. Enyeart, deputy commander, Task Force Phoenix V, said.
COL Enyeart, whose Soldiers oversee training of the Afghan forces, said coalition officials fully expect a surge in Taliban and insurgent attacks in time with the country's spring thaw. "We know there's going to be a spring offensive," he said. "There always is."
The Night of the Generals -- [Strategy Page]
About a quarter of the North Korean population are malnourished, and getting sick and dying at a higher rate than the rest of the population. Overall, the population up north is only getting about 80 percent of the food they need. Lack of fuel means that most urban dwellers are only getting an hour of electricity a day. Shipments of food aid from South Korea won't necessarily get everyone fed. That's because, unlike the halted UN food aid (which had to be monitored), the South Korean food aid will not be monitored. As Chinese rice traders across the border know, that means a lot of the South Korean food aid will be sold, so the government can buy things it needs (consumer goods for the ruling class, and weapons and equipment for the security forces.) North Korea will be tempted to sell a lot of the food aid, because the armed forces are in terrible shape, and the generals want more resources to modernize, and conduct more training.
IRAN NUCLEAR: MILITARY ATTACK COULD SPEED UP ATOMIC PLANS -- (AKI)
London, 5 March - Military strikes against Iran over its nuclear programme could accelerate rather than halt Tehran's production of atomic weapons, according to a report by British think tank Oxford Research Group published on Monday. In the report's introduction, Hans Blix, the former chief of the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), wrote that "armed attacks on Iran would very likely lead to the result they were meant to avoid - the building of nuclear weapons within a few years."
Heart-ache: U.S. attack would destroy Iranian antiquities -- [Hot Air]
Count on al-Guardian to have its priorities straight. This comes from page two of the media’s “Iran = Iraq” playbook, page one being the claims of doctored intelligence about those Iranian IEDs. Page three will be hand-wringing about the looting that would ensue if we hit Bushehr.
There are plenty of good reasons not
CIA Rushing Resources to Bin Laden Hunt -- [The Blotter]
Armed with fresh intelligence, the CIA is moving additional man power and equipment into Pakistan in the effort to find Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al Zawahri, U.S. officials tell ABC News.
"Reports that the trail has gone stone cold are not correct," said one U.S. official. "We are very much increasing our efforts there," the official said.
Serious Terrorist Probe on American Airlines -- [LGF]
At Annie Jacobsen’s web site Aviation Nation, we discover an account of an apparent terrorist dry run on an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami—the same route and airline on which Richard Reid failed to detonate his shoe bombs: American Airlines Flight 62: A Terrorist Probe?
This report was posted in mid-February, and has received no media coverage whatsoever. Jacobsen confirmed that the incident did occur, with an American Airlines spokesperson.
Adam Gadahn: Myths and Facts -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
For those who have not seen it yet, I highly encourage readers to take a look at my colleague Raffi Khatchadourian's piece published in January in the New Yorker, "Azzam the American: The making of an Al Qaeda homegrown." Raffi was able to interview some folks who knew Gadahn back when he was just an odd kid from a goat farm in central California, and it is fascinating to trace the development of his personality over the years. Both by himself and by others, Gadahn is characterized by words like "loner", "socially inexperienced", and his own chosen title as the "revolting geek of mass proportions." The picture that emerges of Gadahn is of an intelligent, but arrogant armchair warrior, largely isolated from his peers, and who is desperately seeking to be heard and to be counted "in the big movement of history that's happening right now."
TERRORISM: AL-QAEDA VOWS TO TARGET PRINCE HARRY ALLEGES BRITISH TABLOID -- (AKI)
London, 5 March - Third in line to the British throne, Prince Harry and his men will this week pose as hooded hostages in a training exercise in which they will use tear gas and stun grenades to free Harry from Islamist terrorists. The news comes after a Sun tabloid newspaper investigation revealed a series of threats against Harry posted on extremist websites since the army announced his deployment to Iraq in late May.
The extremist website messages represents "clear incitement", the Sun quoted Internet terrorism expert Neil Doyle as saying on Sunday. One message reportedly read:...
Barrier Manian -- [Strategy Page]
March 4, 2007: There a lot of large scale barrier systems going up in the world, whose main function is to keep Islamic terrorists out. For example;
India is building a 4,000 kilometer barrier along its border with Bangladesh.
...Israel is building a 700 kilometers barrier between itself and the Palestinian West Bank
...Pakistan is building a barrier along its 2,400 kilometer border with Afghanistan
...Spain is building barriers around its two enclaves in Morocco .
Thailand is building a 75 kilometer barrier along its
The treatment of our wounded ... -- [CounterColumn]
Now that the Washington Post uncovered the mess that was going on in Walter Reed, all sorts of tales of squalor and woe are coming out of the woodwork.
...The problem? Well, part of the f*cking problem all along has been that when the Army wanted to close some bases so they could redirect resources into modernizing facilities, Congresscreeps of BOTH parties fought them tooth and nail, and that goes back to 1989.
So why are outpatients living in substandard billeting? Because in some cases, that's what they have left... -- [Balloon Juice]
Raw Story has put together a compelling case that the failures at Walter Reed came in large part from an ideological drive to privatize government services.
Iraq Veterans Memorial on You Tube? -- [Holly Aho]
This disturbs me. It's an Iraq Veterans video memorial to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the Iraq War. I think the idea is fine, but those putting it together, not so fine. The organization Brave New Foundation is the think tank and promoter of this video, as well as its editors and organizers. They've set up a website just for this project here. The general idea is to have people send in videos they've made commemorating soldiers, about 60 seconds for each video. They intend to compile them altogether and have an unveiling of their creation on the 17th of March, via a link that will suddenly be active to view their video on youtube.com.
A couple of things that disturb me about this. Their website for the video memorial itself seems fairly innocuous, although their disclaimer you need to agree to if you send in a video (while it may be standard verbage...I don't know) is still a little unnerving. I decided to dig a little deeper and used the link to view the project's headquarters website. Here's where I became more than a little cynical.
Cannot have it both ways; Support the Troops, Support the Mission
The Pentagon Likes the New SECDEF -- [OPFOR]
Today's WAPO says folks at the Puzzle Palace like the new guy
At the Pentagon, where Gates has been greeted as a liberator, "you can already feel the stability," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles F. Wald, formerly the deputy U.S. commander in Europe.
Note the choice of the word "liberator." But,
Gates has been welcomed largely because of who he is not rather than what he has done, noted a longtime friend who has held top national security posts.
"He would do it all over again, and he loved being an American" -- [Malkin]
An American hero, R.I.P.:
Even when he was a little boy playing with his GI Joe action figure, there was little doubt what Jonathan Cadavero would do when he grew up.
"That's going to be me," he'd say of his toy soldier.
He came from a patriotic, pro-military family. Two of Cadavero's uncles had fought in Vietnam. His maternal grandparents had fled Stalin-era Ukraine and told tales of oppression that stoked his instinctive love for his own country.
Cindy Sheehan Meets Her Match in Vermont -- [Welcome To Andi's World]
Last week, I was in disbelief over reports that a Vermont State Senate committee couldn't find one single person who would agree to go on record in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in opposition to Cindy Sheehan's defeatist rhetoric.
New Documentary Reveals Michael Moore’s Deceptions -- [Sweetness & Light]
Tables turned on Fahrenheit 9/11’s maker
The hunter has become the hunted. Michael Moore, the celebrated left-wing film-maker, has become the unwilling subject of a new documentary that raises damaging questions about the credibility of his work.
Swift Boating the Swift Boaters (updated) -- [QandO Blog]
It has become an article of truth to many on the left that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were a pack of liars. They believe that this group of former Vietnam Swift Boat vets were enticed by Republican operatives to sell themselves out to sink the presidential aspirations of John Kerry. And they further believe that the only reason it worked was because Kerry was slow to respond.
ACLU Child Porn Ex-Chapter Prez: It's Worse Than You Thought -- [Ace of Spades]
...and of course entirely embargoed by the national media.
What's worse than videos of the rape/torture of children?
How about videos of the rape/torture of infants and toddlers?
US Papers Monday: Plan B is Plan A -- [Irag Slogger]
GIs in Sadr City; "It Is Just Not Walter Reed"
With its Walter Reed Hospital series continuing to rattle the military establishment, the Washington Post fires another volley today, broad-siding the White House with two more front-page reports that question the administration’s fitness for command: one extending the Walter Reed allegations to the rest of the veterans' care system, and another alleging that the Bush administration has no "Plan B" for Iraq. Meanwhile, ...
Mum On Plan B -- [Captain's Quarters]
The Pentagon has not discussed an alternate strategy for Iraq if the surge does not produce the desired results, the Washington Post reports. Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs chairman, parries such questions with the response that "Marines don't talk about failure," and that "Plan B is to make Plan A work":
Post Seems to Complain About 'No Option For Failure' In Iraq Plan -- [NewsBusters]
"Bush Iraq Strategy Has No Option for Failure," read the headline on the Washington Post home page when I accessed it at 1:30 this morning.
But is that just a statement of fact or a lament about a lack of a "failure option" for the war in Iraq itself. Here's the blurb that followed teaser headline:
NY Times- The Must-Not-Do List -- [Uncle Jimbo - BlackFive]
The New York Times has some unsurprisingly, atrocious advice for the President.Our list starts with three fundamental tasks:
Restore Habeas Corpus
One of the new act’s most indecent provisions denies anyone Mr. Bush labels an “illegal enemy combatant” the ancient right to challenge his imprisonment in court.
Exposing the GI Fifth Column, Again -- [GI Korea]
This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the NY Times has now joined the astroturfing campaign to create a perception that there is a "growing" movement in the military to oppose the war in Iraq. If you haven’t read about the astroturfing campaign then you really need to read my prior posting on Exposing the GI Fifth Column, before reading any further because you probably won’t understand half the things I’m about to talk about.
Slander at the LA Times -- [Dadmanly]
MILBLOGGER Jason Van Steenwyk asks whether the LA Times bothers to fact check their Op Ed pieces, in a scathing critique of partisan contributor Rosa Brooks.
Contrary to Brooks conflation of Medal of Honor recipient Bud Day with the Swift Boat Veterans for Peace, Steenwyk notes that Day is not technically a Swift Boat Veteran, although he did appear in one of their ads.
MilBlogs at Another Conference -- [Welcome To Andi's World]
This week, American Legion members are descending on Washington for their 47th Annual National Conference. I've been invited to speak to some of the members about the explosion of Milblogs, and I'm looking forward to it.
I've been credentialed to cover the conference and plan to live-blog as many of the events as possible, though I won't be present for all of them. The list of speakers is impressive. You may have read about a couple of these speakers before. One speaker will be OIF Veteran and wounded warrior, Chris Bain. If you were at Fran O'Brien's last year during the MilBlog Conference, you may recognize Chris. Though Fuzzy didn't know who she was writing about here, it was Chris.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
War Cocaine -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
There's a rush that comes on the heels of significant events here.
After the IED explodes, or the RPG whistles overhead, or the shot cracks past, there's a moment of panic as you process the fact that you are still alive- that this time, they missed you. After that seconds hesitation, the rush hits.
Into Sadr City -- [Bill Roggio - The Fourt Rail]
The Baghdad Security Plan is heading to Muqtada al-Sadr's stronghold
The absence of U.S. forces inside Sadr City, the stronghold of radical, Iranian backed Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has been a glaring anomaly to those watching the development of the Baghdad Security Plan. Iraqi and U.S. forces have focused on deploying in the mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods where the sectarian violence and al-Qaeda suicide attacks have been the greatest. But all of this is about to change.
Iraqi forces 'clash with al-Qaeda' -- [Iraq Updates]
02 March 2007- Iraqi security forces have clashed with suspected al-Qaeda fighters, police say, as data from Iraqi authorities showed that February had the lowest number of civilian deaths in four months.
Good News Bad News -- [Jules Crittenden]
When is bad news good news? When it is your enemy’s.
Reuters loads us up on the Good News out of Iraq: too many al-Qaeda dead to count in a village in Anbar, where Iraqi security forces just kept killing them all day. US and Iraqi forces raiding into Sadr City, just messing around right now, a death squad leader here, a death squad leader there, gearing up for the big push. And the Iraqi Foreign Minister says 1,000 former Iraqi Army officers are coming back, a “sign of reconciliation.”
It’s gotta be good news when it gets so quiet in Baghdad they are forced to admit it and make news out of it.
Imposing Law enters week III -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
Operation “Imposing Law” continues in Baghdad. In contrast with previous operations to secure the city, this one is managing to not only keep the initial momentum, but the operation’s effects seem to be growing as well.
The Baghdad Marathon -- [Small wars Journal]
[Note: While I have received official approval to offer personal comment at SWJBlog, the following post has not been vetted or screened in any way. It represents personal opinion only, and is strictly Unclassified and based solely on open source material.]
It has been a busy few weeks. Operation Fadr al-Qanoon (which the media calls the “Baghdad security plan”) is shaping up. Progress is measurable, but this is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s still too early to know how it will turn out.
The message for all of us, as professionals who do this for a living, is patience, patience, patience. The war has been going for nearly four years, the current strategy less than four weeks. We need to give it time.
EIGHT TERRORISTS KILLED DURING SALMAN PAK RAID -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed eight terrorists during a raid Thursday targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq operating in the Salman Pak region.
Men captured while emplacing explosive device -- [MNF-I]
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq — Two men were arrested while attempting to emplace an improvised explosive device on a major Iraqi highway Tuesday near Camp Striker, Iraq.
Reconstruction projects provide Iraqis with improvements to essential services -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — U.S. reconstruction efforts are providing successful, tangible results in the lives of Iraqis every day, said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Walsh, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
IP bounce back after attack -- [MNF-I]
CAMP STRIKER — A savage attack on an Iraqi National Police checkpoint on the Iraqi highway known as Route Tampa that left eight policemen dead and wounded several others on Feb. 23 left scars on buildings and Iraqis alike, but did not dim the Iraqi’s spirit.
Iraqi Police, Marines work together to restore security to Habbaniyah -- [MNF-I]
HABBANIYAH — Marines from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, recently conducted their first joint security patrol with the Iraqi Police since arriving in Al Anbar late January. The historic operation marked a turning point for the future of Habbaniyah. The local populace has grown accustomed to seeing Marines and Iraqi Army soldiers patrol the streets, but not with the Iraqi Police.
ON Point Exclusive: False Stories Abound in the Chaos of Iraq -- [ON Point]
Yesterday’s lead news story from Iraq was on the accidental deaths of eighteen children in Ramadi from a bomb blast at a soccer field, which had supposedly been caused by the U.S. military. There was only one problem with the story: it was entirely wrong. Although thirty-one people were injured in an American detonation of a truck bomb, and subsequently given medical care by U.S. doctors and nurses, nobody was killed in the blast. The destruction—which had happened near,...
"The Iraq insurgency for beginners" -- [Evan Kohlmann - Counterterrorism Blog]
Kevin Berger over at Salon.com was gracious enough to interview me for a new piece published online today, titled "The Iraq insurgency for beginners." We discussed in great detail the infrastructure of the insurgency, how and why the U.S. is losing the battle for hearts and minds in Iraq, and questions about the much-publicized role of Iran in fomenting unrest among Iraqi Shiites.
Helicopter Simulators and Surviving in Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
March 2, 2007: The recent spike in helicopter losses in Iraq, caused the U.S. Army, the major used of helicopters in the American military, to double check their pilot training, and defensive tactics. Just as Russian helicopter pilots quickly learned how to avoid ground fire in Chechnya when they went in to pacify the place in 1999, the U.S. encountered the same problems in 2003.
"A human life is a human life, sir" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
More from Robert Bazell's special report at MSNBC, Wounds of War:
...The four patients who arrived on the medevac helos are Iraqis - two of them insurgents who had been seen placing an IED. A search of their car revealed weapons and a video camera to film the planned attack.
...The call goes out at the base for volunteer blood donors, and within minutes dozens of soldiers line up. Brian Suam is at the head of the line. He says it doesn't matter that his blood might be used for insurgents.
"A human life is a human life, sir," Suam says.
Numbered Days -- [Online Chaplain - in Iraq]
Let me tell you, the 1/125 knows about numbered days. This is the month we were set to go home. But, we are not. We are continuing our mission for 125 more days. The nation says they need us so we drive on. That is what soldiers do, that is what soldier families do. But, it is not with out cost.
Humanitarian Assistance Preparation -- [Afghanistan JAG - in Afghanistan]
We are heading out for our first humanitarian assistance mission soon. Here you see me with some of the bags of food we've prepared. We have powdered milk, rice, beans, salt and even toothbrushes for each family. Each family also has a bag of clothes prepared for them. Obviously this takes a lot of work to sort and stuff each bag. Sorting bags of clothes is also very difficult and time consuming.
Things that Go "Boom" in the Night -- [Afghanistan Without a Clue - in Afghanistan]
...Today was way too exciting. SMSgt Reynolds and Han came into the office and plopped down into chairs.
“Sir. We have a problem,” said Randy.
Now Randy is a consummate professional, unflappable and usually unfazed by anything. So when he says we have a problem, he has my undivided attention.
"Yeessss?” I ask, not really wanting to know.
“Yes. Lots of them.”
Hmmm. It would not be surprising for a stray landmine to show up. This country is awash in them. But many?
“So where are these landmines?”
“Outside the main gate.”
The Glenn and Helen Show: Training the Afghan Army and Police -- [The Glenn and Helen podcast]
We talked with Col. David Enyeart, Deputy Commander of Task Force Phoenix, the command dedicated to training the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.
Col. Enyeart talks about addressing corruption, the much-anticipated Taliban spring offensive (which he calls "make or break for the Taliban") addressing corruption and illiteracy, and the success in recruiting efforts. His conclusion: "This is a winnable war over here."
Also on the call are Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters, Andrew Lubin of On Point, Scott Kesterson of the Huffington Post, and John Noonan of Op-For.
Spin Boldak, the border of all the traffics -- [Claire Billet - journalist embed in Afghanistan -Google translated]
The trafficants tell with a surprising honesty that they pay bribes with the Pakistani to make pass their vehicles without them being excavated. Ca costs 35 euros.
… As much to say that the insurrectionists taliban do not require to hide in the mountains if they wish to pass from Pakistan to Afghanistan. One also includes/understands why this border is so easy to cross.
Pakistan wants the US out of Afghanistan -- [Nitin Pai - Winds of Change]
On the very day a 'senior administration official' from the Bush administration had lunch with Gen Musharraf, by sheer coincidence, the Pakistanis arrested a senior administration official from the Taliban.
Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, Taliban Official Arrested by Pakistan, Was Released by Afghans After 9-11 Attacks -- [Andrew Cochran - Counterterrorism Blog]
Mullah Obaidullah Akhund, former defense minister of the Taliban government and described as the current #3 on the ladder of the Taliban's 10-member leadership council, was captured in Quetta. But this is the second time Akhund has been in custody since the liberation of Kabul from Taliban rule in 2001. Akhund actually surrendered to the local Afghan government in late 2001 or early 2002 but was promptly released as part of an "amnesty deal," leaving American officials dumbfounded and angry. Afghan officials charged in 2004 that Pakistan was allowing Akhund to cross back and forth across the border without hindrance. An October 2004 U.S. military briefing document, stored on a hard drive bought at an outdoor bazaar in Kabul, stated that he was in Pakistan.
Taliban rejects reports of Obaidullah arrest -- [Pajhwok Afghan News]
KANDAHAR CITY, Mar 2 (Pajhwok Afghan News): The Taliban on Friday rejected as baseless reports of arrest of their defence minister and a key aide to Mullah Omar.
Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, who often speaks for the Taliban, said the former defence minister Mullah Obaidullah was a free man living currently in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan, where he was reported to have been captured.
I have contacted him and he is free and in good health, said Ahmadi, terming reports of his arrest as absolutely false.
Beyond Balochistan -- [Michael Ledeen- Pajamas Media]
Among the many peoples who compose Iran, the Baloch are perhaps under the greatest threat, for their “homeland” occupies territory in Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and they have long since mastered the arts of both political maneuver and asymmetric warfare against more powerful enemies.
Egypt, the In-Waiting Taliban, With American Taxpayers' Support -- [Gateway Pundit]
Eliminating Taliban from the map and building up a new democratic Afghanistan do not mean curbing the evil of terrorism. The ideology of terrorism continues to thrive under regimes that crush citizens that believe in freedoms and enable terrorism through military and religious institutions. The United States army and the American families are paying dear prices to cut back the horrors of terror of the militant group in the battle fields, however, a monster of terrorism is mushrooming when innocent citizens fall victims to radical Islam institutions and state security machineries worldwide
FARC Lobbies the U.S. Congress -- [Strategy Page]
March 2, 2007: Having lost so much popular support in Colombia, FARC is trying to win a victory in the United States. With Democrats back in control of Congress, FARC now has a chance to seek cuts in military aid to the Colombian government. FARC lobbyists stress right-wing atrocities, civilian casualties and the futility of trying to stop the drug trade, to leftist American legislators.
Arab Reformist Website: 'Britain is the Largest Exporter of Terrorism in the Non-Muslim World' -- [MEMRI]
"Britain has been a victim of terrorism, but at the same time it is the largest exporter of terrorism in the non-Muslim world. Here is the proof:
"On July 7, 2005, four British Muslim followers of Al-Qaeda perpetrated suicide attacks on three underground trains and one bus in London. These attacks killed 56 and wounded hundreds.
I got my scalp for Walter Reed. -- [John of Argghhh!]
Remember that scalp I asked for?
I got it.
Pretty nice one, too.
Major General George Weightman, formerly Commanding General, Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
No, I don't think that me griping about it affected things one iota, in case you're wondering about a burgeoning megalomania around here.
Read about it here...
Walter Reed and the Reverse BS Filtration System -- [Phillip Carter - Intel Dump]
Slate published a column of mine this afternoon which attempts to connect the failures at Walter Reed to larger problems with the Army's bureaucracy and management structure. In particular, I single out the way the Army passes information for criticism, arguing that it often spins the information so much that it eventually bears little relation to the ground truth.
Urban Horrors -- [Strategy Page]
March 2, 2007: In the United States, recruiters have noted a steady decline in the proportion (to their population) of recruits coming from urban areas. This is largely because so many potential recruits have to be turned down because of the poor education they have received in urban schools. While only 21 percent of Americans live in rural areas, 44 percent of the qualified recruits come from these areas. What's strange about all this is that the rural areas spend much less, per pupil, on education, but get much better results.
AMERICAN HEROES - THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 2 ON CONSTITUTIONAL PUBLIC RADIO -- [The Radio Patriots]
CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT LT. COL. BRUCE CRANDALL and JOE GALLOWAY, author of "WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE... AND YOUNG" will join me on CONSTITUTIONAL PUBLIC RADIO THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 2ND.
Your Soldiers- Currahee -- [Sgt Hook]
America meet three of your soldiers, SSG Jeremy Wilzcek, SPC Jose Alvarez and SPC Gregory Pushkin all of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division and recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. All awarded the Silver Star for their actions during combat.
"That others may live" -- [One Marine's View]
That others may live" is the motto for the Air Force's pararescueman.
Pararescue jumpers, or PJs, make up an elite corps of pararescuemen responsible for combat search and rescue missions.
The 404s: Missing Persons' Site, MIA -- [Wired Blogs]
...Thousands and thousands of military spouses, partners, family members, and friends scour the 'net, looking for any scrap of information about their loved one, stationed overseas. Which is why it's sad - and more than a little bit cruel - that the website for the Defense Prisoner of War / Missing Personnel Office is so half-assed, RF had to nominate it for a 404, our contest to find the worst military sites there are.
Check this out: The Operation Iraqi Freedom page is blank. The Operation Enduring Freedom page is blank, too. Instead, servicemember families are invited to attend seven time per year meetings, to get information. Or they can call one of a series of 800 numbers (since most of the web links are broken, naturally).
Congressional Democrats to demand (02 March 2007) U.S. troops leave Iraq if benchmarks not met -- [Iraq Updates]
Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives are closing ranks behind legislation that would require troops to come home from Iraq within...
Holbrooke: "We cannot cut the troop funding" -- [The Weekly Standard]
Richard Holbrooke, former assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration and a left-wing favorite for secretary of state in a hypothetical Kerry administration, was put in the hot seat yesterday by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). Pence asked Holbrooke "'Do you oppose efforts to eliminate or reduce funding to our troops on the ground in Iraq?" Here's Holbrooke:
McCain's Rough Week -- [Real Clear Politics]
It's hard to imagine how the week could get much worse for John McCain. Wednesday night's announcement on Letterman, coupled as it was with news the following morning that McCain had rejected an invitation to attend CPAC, brought back all the anger conservatives generally feel toward McCain. He's not one of them. He's chummy with the media.
Draft questions cloud Giuliani’s chances -- [Bill Sammon, The Examiner]
WASHINGTON - If this presidential campaign is anything like the last, John McCain’s Vietnam service will inevitably be contrasted with GOP rival Rudy Giuliani’s avoidance of a war that he opposed.
“Any suggestion that he was dodging the draft is totally, factually inaccurate,” said a senior Giuliani campaign adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “He opposed the war on tactical and strategic grounds.”
Guardian article misrepresents the advisers' view -- [Small Wars Journal]
Today’s Guardian article (“Military Chiefs Give US Six Months to Win Iraq War”) misrepresents the Baghdad advisers. So much so, it makes me doubt the reliability of the single, unidentified source responsible for much of the article’s reporting.
I hope SWJ colleagues will forgive this more "personal" post than usual, but as Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser I have a duty to set the record straight on this.
There is a real country called Iraq, where a real war is going on, with real progress but very real challenges. We are not going to "win the war" in six months -- nor would anyone expect to. But the Guardian seems to be describing some completely different,
The Game's Underway -- [Dadmanly]
Several responders to my post earlier this week, objecting to Ralph Peters’ gratuitous slams against the military intelligence (MI) community. Several observed that Peters can be mercurial, and one remarked “every once in a while he goes nanners and takes a billy club to friend as well as foe…”
Bush Ignores McCain's 'Wasted Lives' Remark -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-02) — President George Bush today refused to comment on Sen. John McCain’s recent remarks on The Late Show with David Letterman, implying that Mr. Bush's management of the Iraq war had “wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives.”
Rest in Peace, Ethan Biggers -- [Welcome to Andi's World]
Last July, I published a post about Ethan Biggers. Please don't gloss over the link, read it to find out about the double tragedy this family suffered. Ethan was shot in the head by a sniper in Iraq. I was first told about Ethan by Ginger Dosedel of Sew Much Comfort, and I know that Soldiers' Angels swung into action and helped support the Biggers family. I also know that one very special lawyer (thank you) offered some helpful advice.
General Robert Kingston -- [RedState]
Robert Kingston, an Army general and highly decorated combat veteran who served in the early 1980s as the first chief of U.S. Central Command, which deploys ground, sea and air units to the Middle East, died Wednesday (Feb. 28, 2007) at the Ruxton Health Care nursing home in suburban Alexandria, Va. He had complications from a fall at his home in suburban Fairfax County, Va. He was 78.
And so the old man has passed.
But Bob Kingston wasn’t just any Army general; in the words of Genesis “there were giants in the Earth in those days.” He was a legend.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Iraqi troops complete NCO course -- [MNF-I]
MAHMUDIYAH — The Iraqi Army has historically been top-heavy, giving leadership responsibility to officers and officers alone. But the “backbone” of the U.S. Army is the noncommissioned officer corps, charged with leading and caring for the troops and their well-being, while officers plan and execute operations.
Gunmen can’t stop medical operation -- [MNF-I]
AL TARAQ — Terrorists commonly use scare tactics to disrupt the everyday lives of others; however, their tactics were unsuccessful during a recent medical operation.
Hard Landing: US Kiowa Helicopter Goes Down -- [IraqSlogger]
Two Pilots Hurt; US Military Blames Mechanical Failure, Says Not Shot Down
The U.S. military says one of its Kiowa helicopters made a hard landing north of Baghdad today, with the two pilots sustaining unspecified injuries.
US Papers Thursday: "I Was Ramadi Target" -- [Iraq Slogger]
US Still Denies Soccer Field Bomb; Iran Talks Dissected
...In a phone call, Ramadi’s Raad Sabah al-Mukeilef told the Ernesto Londoño and Naseer Mehdawi of the Post that he believes that the bomb detonated in Ramadi on Monday, killing 16 children, was intended for him. “He came in a pickup . . . Instead of coming in my street, he (detonated the charge) in a small park for children,” after being stopped at a checkpoint, the shaykh said. The US still denies that such an attack occurred, insisting that the only blast in Ramadi that day was its miscalibrated detonation of explosives that injured at least 30. “There was no second blast, and there were not 18 children killed,”
Economic Agreement Is a Buy Sign in Iraq -- [Edward Morrissey - American.com]
With most of American politics focused on the troop surge and partisan maneuverings over its implementation, another story has gotten lost: The Iraqis themselves have made important progress in a basic economic issue that has fueled the sectarian divide.
Why the Stinger Unit Was Sent to Iraq -- [Strategy Page - James Dunnigan]
As part of the effort to give all marines an opportunity to serve in Iraq, the U.S. Marine Corps is sending the 1st Stinger Battery, Marine Air Control Group 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. The 130 marines and sailors in this unit normally provide dozens of Stinger teams, each using shoulder fired Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to take down low-flying enemy aircraft. But since the bad guys in Iraq have no air force at all, the 1st Stinger Battery will use their rifles to help provide security around air bases in Iraq.
Iraqi Tips Lead to Bomb Factory Discovery -- [GX Online]
Gharmah, Iraq — Tips that led to the discovery of a bomb-making factory in western Iraq demonstrate that the Iraqi people are fed up with terrorists operating in their midst and stepping forward to help remove them, said military officials in Baghdad.
Iran Recruits Own Militants in Iraq To Use Weapons: Analysts -- [Defense News]
Iran has recruited its own network of Iraqi Shiite extremists to use armor-piercing weapons against U.S. and coalition forces rather than against Sunni rivals, current and former intelligence officials say.
Another front on the Sunni-Shiite war -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
I just wrote a piece for The Examiner on the aggressive proselytizing going on in the Arab world.
Here is an excerpt:
While the media focuses on the aggressive Iranian expansion in the whole Middle East, another insidious campaign is being orchestrated by Iran to control the region. Proselytizing is the new name of the game.
Taliban Official: Bin Laden Is Alive -- (AP)
A senior Taliban commander says Osama bin Laden is alive and in contact with leaders of Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents, according to an interview aired on British television.
CIA: Bin Laden in Pakistan establishing new camps -- [Air Force Pundit]
Brian Ross and Z. Byron Wolf, ABC News Report:In the most definitive statement in years, America's top intelligence official said Tuesday Osama bin laden is in Pakistan actively re-establishing al Qaeda training camps. The newly appointed Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell made the assertion about bin Laden and his No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.Referring to Pakistan's rugged tribal area, McConnell said "to the best of our knowledge that the senior leadership, No. 1 and No. 2, are there, and they are attempting to re-establish and rebuild and to establish training camps." Until now, U.S. intelligence officials had declined to publicly identify, with such certainty, the location of bin Laden although he has long been suspected of hiding in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.
Move Over, Omar -- [Captain's Quarters]
The Taliban have a new commander and a new public face for their terrorism. Mullah Dadullah has become the new rock star of the jihad in Waziristan, and his emergence could portend an especially tough spring for Afghanistan and its NATO defenders:
Alive in Your Mind -- [The Sandbox - CAPT B. Tupper in Afghanistan]
This is a story about two men. Both are brave, committed soldiers. Each has a long and distinguished military record. Both are likeable, selfless, and humorous. They are the kind of guys you'd want as a neighbor, a drinking buddy, a teammate on a sports team, or a brother. Both are stubborn in their onset of middle age. It would be dishonest to say they are perfect. We all have our character flaws, and these two are no exception. But the balance sheet on their personal and moral fiber weighs heavily in their favor.
They are good men pretty much every day, all day.
One is American, and the other is Afghan.
Green card quota for Afghan translators -- (Pajhwok Afghan News)
The US Congress is likely to sanction increase in green card quota for Afghan translators, who complete at least one year with the US armed forces.
The step will make easier immigration of Afghan translators to the "Land of Opportunities" - at least for the next three years.
Cuban Bio-Weps a Threat to US? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that a Cuban defector who was a Cuban army colonel in charge of their military medical services for ten years has now publicly stated the Cuban government is involved in developing and stockpiling biological weapons. The defector, Roberto Ortega, claims he has now gone public because he believes the US government has not acted sufficiently on the information he previously provided in confidence.
Russia Discusses Its Coming War With America -- [Strategy Page]
March 1, 2007: Russia is preparing for war with the United States and NATO. In theory anyway, according to their new official doctrine. Russia has come up with a new military doctrine, to replace the one published in 2000. Doctrine lets military commanders know what they should be preparing for, if the nation gets involved in a war with what appears to be the most likely opponents. One thing that has not changed between 2000 and 2007 is the official bad guys; it's still America and NATO.
Gulf stands on brink of all-out war -- (The First Post)
Saudis say they’ll fight for their fellow Sunnis if the coalition forces quit Iraq, says robert fox
While the Bush administration remains locked in argument with the consiglieri of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group about what to do in Iraq, events on the ground are now moving ahead of them.
"Global War" -- [Smash]
WHAT THE SITE SAYS:
We are a jihadist news service, and provide battle bispatches, training manuals, and jihad videos to our brothers worldwide. All we want is to get Allah’s pleasure. We will write "Jihad" across our foreheads, and the stars. The angels will carry our message throughout the world.
Cartoons for Kids ... Iranian Style -- [Celestial Junk]
While the Liberal Democratic West worries about obesity in children and how much homework is too much, Iran spins out cartoons like this for their youngsters:
Remember Me -- [HT: Soldiers' Angels Germany]
If you watch only one video today, make it this one created by Elizabeth "Lizzie" Palmer, a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Columbus, OH.
The Kid is Alright! -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
I wanted to bring to your attention the extraordinary industry and commitment of one 12-year old whose efforts dominated all my (generous) adult helpers.
...To make this work, Sarah negotiated bulk discounts with local merchants (dad made his fortune in the sales business…it runs in the family!) and then organized a mammoth packing operation at home. (If you haven’t done something like this, you cannot imagine how big this job really is.) Sarah’s dad brought everything to me, but it took three days to transfer everything. With everything that she and my other ‘helpers’ provided, we were able to make a substantial dent in needs for three infantry companies, a cavalry troop, and a field artillery platoon. Without Sarah, we wouldn’t have made anywhere near this big an impact.
Gag Order Imposed on Wounded Veterans, reports Military Times -- [On Point]
ON Point: Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media. “Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,” one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training. Soldiers...
THE FRAGMENTS OF WAR -- [1016th - in Iraq]
...These are Soldiers, fighting men and women, and civilians who have stepped up to the plate, and honored their commitment to their country.
Wars are not meant to be beautiful, loved, or perfect, but Soldiers still need our beautiful country to love us in a non-perfect world. The war has already begun, so stay unified in your hearts for us, FOR UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL. Thank You for the continual support for YOUR Soldiers.
Wal-Mart Pays Tribute to Indiana Guardsman -- [GX Online]
It’s been said, “The world needs more heroes.” When we read about acts of heroism in the newspaper, or watch the evening news report about a passer-by who dove into icy water to save a total stranger, it reassures us that in times of challenge or extreme danger, the human spirit will rise to the occasion.
Meet March's Hero of the Month! -- [Iraq War News]
Sharon helped her son Da'Shawn write this email to nominate his Dad:
Hi my name is Da'Shawn I am 9 years old. Me and mommy and my brothers came across this web site,and I want to nominate my daddy,Tyrone J. C------- as Hero of the month. Our daddy is the best dad in the whole wide world, He is in Iraq and He works hard but still makes alot of time to keep in touch with us to let us no he is safe.
Music Videos at War -- [Strategy Page]
March 1, 2007: One of the little publicized icons of the war on terror are the music videos made by the troops. These are basically video material taken by the troops (some of it combat actions), with the music track coming, usually, from a current pop hit. Actually, a lot of the music vids use heavy metal tracks, which have their fans, but are rarely in the top 40, or rap tracks, which often are. Before YouTube came along, these military music videos (MMVs), were passed around the Internet, first among the troops themselves, and eventually leaking out to civilians. But in the last few years, especially because of YouTube, and many other sites that host videos, MMVs have been getting a lot more exposure.
Democrats new "battle plan" -- [QandO]
This gets more and more interesting (and pathetic) as time passes:
House Democratic leaders are developing an anti-war proposal that wouldn't cut off money for U.S. troops in Iraq but would require President Bush to acknowledge problems with an overburdened military.
The plan could draw bipartisan support but is expected to be a tough sell to members who say they don't think it goes far enough to assuage voters angered by the four-year conflict.
An "anti-war" proposal that continues to fund the war? Make sense? And all the President has to do is "acknowledge" that the military may be overburdened to get the funds?
Kent State jihadist professor exposed — the ACLU “free speech” and “racism” arguments to come -- [Stop the ACLU ]
Should this enemy of the people be fired, how much you wanna bet the ACLU will call his treason, yes treason and sedition, “protected speech.” After all, they DEMAND that our enemies (”Muslim scholar”) from overseas to vomit their love of global butchery and hatred for America right here in America. The ACLU actually argues that our foreign enemies have a First Amendment right to be here and that we do not have the right to deny them entry! What could possibly stop the ACLU from defending this piece of subhuman detritus?
Gates, Pace Call on Congress to Fund IED Research -- [Victory Caucus]
Defense leaders yesterday called on Congress to approve a further $2.4 billion to defeat the biggest killer of Americans in the Middle East: the improvised explosive device.
WND : Public Reax to Antonella Barba's Veterans' Memorial "Performance" -- [Jawa Report]
WorldNetDaily reports that Antonella Barba's antics at the National WWII Veterans Memorial won't get her booted off the show by Fox, despite the fact that many members of the public are none too pleased with her. They sample a few opinions from around the internet, including the following:
The Real American Idol -- [Opinion Journal]
Why the New York Times buried Maj. Bruce Crandall's Medal of Honor on page 15.
Amid the mad jumble that makes the news in our time, the White House on Monday held a ceremony for a Medal of Honor recipient. His name is Bruce Crandall. Mr. Crandall is 74 now, and earned his medal as a major, flying a Huey helicopter in 1965 in the Vietnam War.
Kerry & MSM Continue To Contaminate History -- [Democracy Project]
Hardly anyone pays any serious attention to John Kerry anymore, having repeatedly demonstrated his buffoonery.
However, John Kerry is still a United States Senator, holding powerful committee positions for the Senate’s majority party...
ABC's Joy Behar: Bush Administration 'Liars' and 'Murderers' -- [NewsBusters]
Left wing inflammatory comments continue on The View. On the February 28th edition, co-host Joy Behar lashed out calling the American people "to really wake up and understand that they [the Bush administration] are liars and they are murderers."
...The ladies discussed the Bob Woodruff special, To Iraq and Back, and shifted to the policy of not filming the arrival of coffins at Dover Air Force Base.
Cracking down on the media -- [Counter Column]
According to Editor and Publisher, the military has been cracking down on news media access to military personnel:
BS Detector: The Guardian's Breathless Iraq Report -- [IraqSlogger]
A Legit Big-Time Exclusive or Unabashed Yellow Journalism?
In a sensational Thursday page one British Guardian newspaper report headlined "US commanders admit: we face a Vietnam-style collapse" in Iraq, correspondent Simon Tisdall provides this striking lede graph:
"Seven words you can never say on television"... but which are said on the Internet. A lot. -- [Gateway Pundit]
Talk about potty-mouths.
The Net's not always a kid-friendly place; there is plenty of foul language out there. And of course, the blogosphere is no different.
But how different are the Rightosphere and Leftosphere when it comes to "dirty" language? Which side produces the most profanity-laced diatribes? Via Instapundit, I happened upon this interesting challenge from InstaPunk:
Military Cut Backs -- [Natural Family Blog]
My friend Joe sent me these pictures from Iraq today: He titled the email "Military Cut Backs"
Monkey Made -- [Mil Spec Monkey]
Got in some new fun morale stuff including Basic Food Groups patches, new airborne size Infidel Tabs, and Infidel Strong silicone bracelets. Infidel Strong patches are also in the making. I'm working on a military green color comparison project for ya guys too.
McCain Declares on Letterman, Releases Top 10 List -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-03-01) — Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, who used an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman to announce he's running for president, tonight plans to release his Top Ten list of why Republicans should nominate him to head the 2008 GOP ticket.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)