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Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
The “Surge” Can Not Yet Have Failed -- [Michael J. Totten - in Iraq]
You can be forgiven if you thought the United States military’s “surge” in Iraq has failed. At least you’ll be forgiven by me. I quietly assumed some time ago, before I had ever even heard of the surge, that the U.S. is going to lose this war in Iraq because the American public doesn’t have the will to stick out a grinding insurgency that might not ever be winnable. I’m not saying it isn’t winnable. I really don’t know. How could I possibly know? But we live in a democracy with civilian control of the military. If Americans want to give up – it’s over.
But the surge is only just now beginning.
Two weeks ago Dave Kilcullen, Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General Petraeus, said the following to Austin Bay...
Another installment from Matt Green -- [FOB Tacoma - in Iraq]
It's been a few weeks since we last heard from Lt. Col. Matt Green, the former Fort Lewis officer who for several months now has been leading a team of advisers to an Iraqi National Police commander in Baghdad. This piece was written June 21 but was held up due to a communications blackout.
...About two weeks ago I had an interesting conversation with a few Iraqi men down in one of our market places. A few middle-aged men had approached me and were skeptical about the work we were doing and said he wished that he could trust the Americans, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do so. I asked if things had gotten better since February when we had arrived. He admitted that they had, but reminded me that that was only four months out of four years. I agreed, and talked about some of the positive civic improvements that were going on around him. He said he would try and be hopeful, and maybe he could meet me there in a few more months and tell me if his mind had changed.
His friend, who had remained silent broke in and asked, “why is it that when you invaded Kuwait, the country was fixed in just a few months, and is now once again very rich and prosperous?”
I choked up on my bat, ready to knock this one right out of the park.
“Well sir, that is pretty easy. None of the Kuwaitis ever shot at us when we tried to help them. More importantly they didn’t waste time attacking each other. Four years later, you all can’t seem to put your weapons down long enough to build anything!”
The Iraq Offensive -- [The Fourth Rail]
A status update on Operation Phantom Thunder
Iraqi and Coalition forces maintain the pressure against al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents, and the "rogue," Iranian backed "secret cells" of the Mahdi Army and the Qazali network. Operation Phantom Thunder is underway inside Baghdad and the Belts, as well as against al Qaeda's network nationwide. Also, the northwestern region of Iraq has been a focus of U.S. and Iraqi operations.
Lt. General Ray Odierno Multinational Corps Iraq Commander
Unreported Tragedies -- [Strategy Page]
June 27, 2007: One of the great tragedies of the Iraq war was how much it was politicized. A simple matter of ousting a tyrannical minority (the Sunni Arabs, who were 20 percent of the population) and allowing the entire population to form a democratic government, was twisted into a number of unfamiliar shapes to fit the political and media needs of many groups, foreign and domestic. But for those who were paying attention, you could follow the progress of the war, despite the misleading reporting and partisan rhetoric.
MySpace, courage, and an amazing young Marine
My buddy RJ is a Navy doc in Iraq. He's been volunteering at the base CSH ER to help out. He wrote this incredible story the other day.
Working in the hospital has been an amazing experience for me. I get to help Iraqi and American Marines and Soldiers and keep my clinical and emergency skills sharp, but sometimes the best lessons I learn through the stories that come out of that place - stories of strength and hope.
Iraq B1 Engages Targets
New Monitoring Networks Control Electricity in Iraq -- [US Army Corps of Engineers - in Iraq]
AN NASSIRIYAH, Iraq — In an ongoing effort to improve electricity supply in Iraq, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has established new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks to monitor and control electrical transmission and generation systems throughout the country.
The main function of SCADA is to serve and check power loads for each province through a digital connection and control loads easily by connecting them to the central power distribution points, according to electricity sector project manager Lewis Tyler, USACE Gulf Region South district.
“Turnover packages are being prepared for transition to the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity (MoE),” he said. “The MoE will be able to continue with this project at their convenience.”
Iraqis recieve Clean Pottable Water -- [US Army Corps of Engineers - in Iraq]
Today in Iraq -Approximately 4,000 local residents will receive clean potable water from the completed Rural Water (10) Albo Mkheebr project, in Al Anbar, Al Anbar Province. .... - Up to 24,000 residents of Abo Fillis will receive clean potable water from the completed Rural Water Supply Abo Fillis (G5) project, in Ramadi, Al Anbar Province ....View ArchivesToday in Iraq -Approximately 4,000 local residents will receive clean potable water from the completed Rural Water (10) Albo Mkheebr project, in Al Anbar, Al Anbar Province. .... - Up to 24,000 residents of Abo Fillis will receive clean potable water from the completed Rural Water Supply Abo Fillis (G5) project, in Ramadi, Al Anbar Province ..
OP Arrowhead Ripper Update: Troops continue to clear Baqouba, deliver food to locals -- [MNF-I]
BAQOUBA, Iraq – Iraqi Security Forces and Task Force Lightning Soldiers continued clearing and securing Baqouba, while providing humanitarian aid to citizens there June 27 as Operation Arrowhead Ripper entered its ninth day.
Since the beginning of the operation, ISF and Coalition Forces have provided approximately 265,000 pounds of rice and flour to residents of Baqouba and handed out over 10,000 vegetarian humanitarian rations, and thousands of bottles of water.
U.S. officials highlight progress in Iraq -- [MNF-I]
...Bergner highlighted several recent accomplishments, including an operation on Saturday south of Hawija in the al-Tamin province where Coalition forces killed two senior al-Qaeda leaders. One helped smuggle insurgents into Iraq for al-Qaeda operations. The other leader was a courier for the same al-Qaeda cell and was a close associate to other senior leaders within al-Qaeda.
Bergner also praised the work of Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces in Baqubah.
Second Published Claim In As Many Days That Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Troops Have Entered, And Are Operating In, Iraq -- [Pat Dollard]
The article totally and specifically vouches for the Sun’s claim yesterday, and gives some very intense, and very astounding elaboration. A brief and highly recommended read.
Candy -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
It is supposed to be for the kids.
Sometimes, jundi can't help but take a piece or two for himself. So, ...
Eye of the Shitstorm -- [The Unlikely Soldier - in Iraq]
Each of these days are starting to slide and meld together into blurry mush and its hard to seperate what happened when, and even the events of today are a minor struggle to pull together.
Some of these houses are REALLY nice, you'd be surprised. I'm still not sure exactly how to articulate the way these people live their lives, so I guess I'll leave that one for another day. The people in the neighborhood were really awesome, and I saw some of the cutest little kids. I entertained them, and by them I mean me, by making duck noises at them. I didn't even make ONE kid cry today! Not saying that none of us made any kids cry, just that it wasn't me...
Now you know the drill, I have to spare plenty of details. So here's the big blur, and hopefully it makes a little sense.
"Hey, how long has that guy been there?"
"Uh...just a little after we got here I think."
"Lemme see the binos."
"I dunno. Here, keep watching him with these, tell me if he pulls out a cell phone."
Soldiers Dancing With Kids in Iraq
Pictures From the Z -- [Jake's Life - in Iraq]
On the roof with snipers.(pic)
Taking over carrying the radio for one of our heat casualties.(pic)
Me and Colbert, with our "damn we made it" faces after the 400 meter machine gun dash. (pic)
Enroute Care -- [TQ Surgical - in Iraq]
Photo montage of medical facilities and equipment use to care for our soldiers
Muslim redneck -- [Calvery in Iraq - in Iraq]
Greetings from Baghdad!
A quick funny note is all I have time for. Some of the unsung heroes of this war are our Arabic linguists, also called interpreters or terps for short.
A few of them were born in America and learned Arabic at an Army language school or in college.
But most of them are native Arabic speakers from a multitude of countries. Many, of course, are from Iraq originally. Many have lived in America for years and became American citizens long ago, but never forgot how to speak in their native language.
There is one guy that I work with sometimes that jokingly calls himself "the Muslim redneck." He is a
More Truth Than Fiction -- [Far from Perfect - in Iraq]
I saw this sticker on the back of a Fobbit Humvee. Unfortunately, it is more true than most service people would like. Nothing like wearing your reflective belt in a combat zone!!
Deciphering the Code -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
to any US Army post and you will see various signs of unit pride and espirt d'corps. At the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, a mound of rocks is covered in paint, done by different units to remind future visitors of the victories those Soldiers had there.
...This phenomena though is not uniquely American, rather it seems to me to be quite universal at least among service members.
Anbar Waffle House opens for business -- [Desert Flier - in Iraq]
A dear friend whipped up a fantastic idea: surgical team waffles! She send out a waffle iron, pancack mix, maple syrup, buttermilk powder, and a can of pumpkin.
All I had to do was "procure" some milk and eggs. Grocery stores, or "Souks" are off-limits. Haven't found any Wa-Wa's or 7-11's yet. No easy task; this took a coalition of the willing and ...
The Hour Approaches -- [Major Olmstead - From the Front Lines]
Once we're on the ground, we'll spend about two weeks conducting what is known as RIP/TOA: relief in place/transfer of authority. Since we want to minimize the disruption to our Iraqi unit, it's important that we learn as much as we can about how the team we're replacing operates so we can continue in that vein. That way, the Iraqis may be dealing with different faces, but they're not having to learn a whole new means of operating.
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: 30th May 2007
Entry 60 -- Mines left over from the Russian occupation of Afghanistan present a constant threat to the coalition troops. Most minefields are marked, but not all.
Week 22--Progress Continues -- [Richard's Deployment - in Afghanistan]
..I can't speak for everywhere, but I know what we do here at FOB Salerno. We have a mandate to treat any patient if their injury is caused by Coalition Forces, and we provide the same level of care to everyone; US or Afghan, men, women and children, young or old, enemy or friendly. But, above and beyond this care, I can personally name many children we have treated; with burns, gunshot wounds, amputations, sharpnel wounds, falls and vehicle accidents. And these injuries were not caused by Coalition Forces. They are just everyday tragedies that occur in a violent, dangerous country. Still, we treat those we can, and we train the Afghan doctors and nurses to care for their own better, so that when we leave they will do well on their own. We are building independence, not dependence on US Forces.
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: SPECIAL FEATURE: Apaches in action
SPECIAL FEATURE: The Gunners start their day test firing weapons out on the range where hotshot Cpl Hardy show them how it's done. Later they team up with the US troops who are working with an Apache helicopter in the air to destroy mock targets.
The Rain Dance Worked -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
Hi everyone. Hope you all are well. We finally made it to Lash. It’s been a tough few days getting our tent in order settling in our new home. The Brits have been a very welcoming bunch thus far. We’ve tried not to John Wayne ourselves in the place being that this is a British FOB. So, in normal fashion we’ve traded and charmed our way as far as we can. You know, “Here’s this, thanks for all your help and having us around….”
Building relationships is what many call it. We like to refer to it as
Playing To The Media -- [Strategy Page]
June 28, 2007: The province where the Taliban has been most active, Helmand, is also the source of most of the poppy crops, and heroin production. Over half the national poppy crop is in Helmand, and the Taliban was going to get paid big time by the drug gangs if the police and army could be driven out of the province. That didn't happen, and now the government is planning to shut down the drug industry in Helmand. While the production will go elsewhere, this will take time and money, and the government will just chase the new production.
The Unreported War -- [Strategy Page]
June 27, 2007: France continues to pursue latest "pressure on Khartoum" policy. France's new government are making Darfur a big deal. France just hosted a meeting in Paris of several major international aid organizations, political representatives from the G-8 nations, and China. The subject was "reconstructing Darfur." That's an objective, but the meetings are designed to embarrass the Sudanese government. French and Chinese diplomatic contacts do worry the Sudanese government. Sudan has relied on China to cast a veto in the UN to avoid truly biting sanctions. The French diplomatic offensive includes the pitch that France and the international community need to guarantee Chad's stability and Chad's borders. Sudan and Chad have a border war that flares up occasionally.
MSM All But Ignores Dedication of Memorial to Victims of Communism -- [News Busters]
...Did you know that a monument to the many millions of victims who died during the Cold War as a result of communist oppression was dedicated in Washington DC on June 12th? You would be excused if you didn't know anything about it if the coverage of the event by the MSM is any measure because they all but ignored the unveiling of this moving monument.
The dedication was attended by many notables with President Bush saying a few appropriate words during the ceremony and the monument seems an appropriate design for a change, unlike so many of our other so-called monuments of late.
Shocking that a communist nation would complain about a memorial to their victims, isn't it?
In fact, there are more Google hits from Chinese sources than any other.
Middle East Quarterly: Jihad's New Leaders -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Daveed Gartenstein-Ross]
Over the past year, a number of prominent terrorists -- including Shamil Basayev and Abu Hafs al-Urdani -- were killed on the battlefield, and there have also been a host of less publicized kills and captures. But although the death of any prominent terrorist is a victory for the United States and its allies, our terrorist enemies possess what CIA director General Michael Hayden has described as a "'deep bench' of lower-ranking personnel capable of stepping up to assume leadership responsibilities." As new terrorist leaders emerge, terrorist strategy is shifting discernibly.
New from the NEFA "Target America" Series: "The PATH Tunnel Plot" -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Evan Kohlmann]
On the heels of the foiled plots targeting Fort Dix and JFK Airport, the Nine Eleven Finding Answers (NEFA) Foundation announces the release of the fifth in a series of reports examining the multitude of terrorist plots directed at the United States since 9/11. This week's report details the plot to bomb the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey. Describing the plot, which allegedly was directed by "a self-initiating foreign cell that had access to al-Qaeda's connections," FBI New York Director Mark Mershon asserted that the planned attack involved "martyrdom" and "explosives."
U.S. Efforts against Terrorism Financing: A View from the Private Sector -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Matthew Levitt]
On June 15, 2007, Robert Werner addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum seminar series. Managing director of Merrill Lynch's Monetary and Financial Control Group since December 2006, he previously served as director of the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and, before that, as director of the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Mr. Werner is therefore uniquely positioned to comment on the private sector perspective on the kinds of programs he oversaw at OFAC and FinCEN.
One Week - Not Impossible! -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Soldiers Angels has so MANY great projects and programs going on for our soldiers this summer, some new projects, as well as the regular programs that run all year. This time of year, everyone has time to dedicate to helping our troops, and plenty of time to think of new ways to support them, but the giving is usually below average as we are all out having summer fun. I want to encourage all of you to take a minute or two before you head out for the park, the golf course or the pool to click the donation button above and donate a dollar or two or ten to Soldiers Angels. It's fast and easy, and you don't need an account at Paypal to do so if you use a debit or credit card.
A Legacy of Honor -- [Sgt Stryker]
For those of you who haven’t been through boot camp, Family Day is held the Thursday before graduation. The men who have managed to survive the late nights and early mornings, the relentless screams and constant demands for perfection from their drill instructors, the back breaking humps and arm killing push ups and the test of endurance and strength that is The Crucible, are only a day away from graduation….and from freedom from the al seeing eyes of their drill sergeants. Family Day is the first time they have been allowed to see their families since they boarded those buses all those weeks ago. It is also the first time they have been allowed to wear their service uniform. Instead of the familiar cammies, they meet their families in the green service uniform of a Marine, complete with the prized Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
On this day, I was able to sit and watch these reunions. Mothers who had waved goodbye to boys, were suddenly faced with men. Fathers who berated their sons for staying out past curfew or failing a class were shaking hands with changed men. Gone were last year’s high school graduates, and in their place stood our newest Marines.
Et Tu, Brute? -- [Tanker Brothers - in Iraq]
It's no secret that, generally speaking, Republicans are more supportive of the military, and of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Very rarely do you read or hear of a Republican "flip flopping" and deciding he or she no longer supports the efforts of US and Coalition Forces to fight and defeat our enemies abroad.
Notice I said "rarely".
It happens. And sometimes, the staunchest of allies will commit rhetorical fratricide on our efforts.
A Study in Contrasts -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Someone concerned about national security and familiar with military operations:
It is clear from recent major offensive operations in Diyala and the other provinces surrounding Baghdad that Gen. David A. Petraeus now has the wherewithal not only to clear areas in Baghdad but to seal off those parts of the provinces where al Qaeda and the insurgents have fled to corner and kill them. ...
Someone concerned about their political career:
After four years of combat and more than 3,560 U.S. deaths, two Republican senators previously reluctant to challenge President Bush on the war announced they could no longer support the deployment of 157,000 troops and asked the president to begin bringing them home.
Surging to Defeat -- [The Corner - J .D. Johannes]
Is it possible to win a war on the ground, and lose it in Congress?
...The Indiana Republican endorses a downsizing and redeployment of the U.S. military mission in Iraq as an essential precondition to reasserting these vital national-security interests, which he defines thus:...
The Media and Congress -- [Jason's Iraq - in Iraq]
..."The bottom line is that after three months of studying the U.S. effort . .. we cannot assess the operational capability of these forces," the report said. "We are actually left with more questions than answers." Of course you are - I still don't even know what the hell I'm doing and I've been here over 2 months! I can assure you that 3 months would not be close to the amount of time required to write a congressional report. "And we've seen over the last few days and weeks that they are not even operating in the lead." Wow, you've seen that over the last few days! Great job - so statistically speaking, those few days with one or two small size units are representative of the entire Iraqi Security Force (ISF) and Army (IA)?
...What I get from this article is that the congressional "subcommittee" and the Department of Defense are having a little power struggle and so to emphasize this a report is published criticizing the DoD. I am by no means saying that I believe the ISF or IA are ready to take full control. However, that doesn't seem to be the focal point of this article and that's what pisses me off. Instead of highlighting all the negative opinions that we are so tired of hearing repeated by congress over and over, why not list some factual stats that illustrate where the forces are and where they need to go? Instead, this media article, like so many others, seems to be written to further fuel anti-war sentiment and public opinion.
Week 22--Progress Continues -- [Richard's Deployment - in Afghanistan]
We got some good press last week. BBC news was here in Afghanistan reporting on the progress of the war.
...Now, the funny thing is, they could do these stories every day. Every day the news media could do stories on the good things we are doing here in Afghanistan or Iraq or in any country where US Forces are currently serving. I can see the headlines now: hospitals opened, schools opened, roads built, lives changed and hope restored. Instead, they choose to focus on our mistakes or failures. It can be frustrating, knowing the truth and seeing the reports. But I guess that's the price of a free press.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
rel="tag">MilBlogs, dawn patrol
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Quote -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
Heard on the FOB:
Americans are like machines - you work all day and all night, you don't sleep, and keep doing this all year long...
-An Iraqi Interpreter
Marines make presence known, win hearts and minds -- [MNF-I]
“Showing a presence in the area does a lot more than people would think,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Joseph A. Cervantes, squad leader, 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2. “We mainly do two types of patrols, one being security patrols, which are designed to have a deterrent effect on anything that happens in the area.”
...“They seemed a little distant and cold at first,” said Martin. “They’ve always been friendly, but you can tell we’re now winning them over. They’re beginning to trust us and (they’re) glad we’re here.”
Martin recalled a recent 16-hour operation when the Marines were welcomed with open arms by the locals.
Troops Find Execution House -- [Defense Link]
BAQUBAH, Iraq, June 25, 2007 — Iraqi security forces and Task Force Lightning soldiers discovered an execution house and an illegal prison in the Baqubah neighborhood of Khatoon yesterday during the sixth day of Operation Arrowhead Ripper
Stryker Soldiers of B Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Division take up blocking positions on the western outskirts of Baqubah, Iraq in support of Operation Arrowhead-Ripper, a major military offensive to clear insurgents from the city. They make sure no one gets in or out of Baqubah, ensuring insurgents do no escape the city. Soldiers are equipped with the new Land Warrior System.
Drilling for Justice -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
On 19 June American forces sealed off Baqubah and began attacking targets within the city. The immediate goal of Arrowhead Ripper was to free Baqubah of al Qaeda, by trapping and killing its members, but according to American officers here, public remarks by senior military officials may have flushed many AQI leaders before the attack. Despite this frustrating and significant setback, progress toward the end-state goal of Arrowhead Ripper—turning over Baqubah to Iraqi government control—appears to be working, at least in terms of the removal of the current AQI leadership and its quasi-government. There are conflicting signals about how many of the AQI leadership escaped before Arrowhead Ripper launched.
Prayers -- [Jake's Life - in Iraq]
I'm sure you hate seeing that headline on this blog as much as I hate typing it. Unfortunately I am bringing you all another prayer request for two of our guys who were badly wounded the second night we were out in the Zaidon.
...My squad and I went out on a pretty routine mission with them to sweep for weapons caches. We found an abandoned house that had bullet casings all over it and we spent about 20 minutes investigating. Satisfied that nothing was to be found there, we began to make our way out of the building. I was the second to last man out. As I was walking away, LCPL Arguello followed behind me and I heard a loud bang. The whole squad hit the deck, thinking a grenade had been thrown behind us. ...
I moved up with the engineers to investigate a little more. What we found scared the living hell out of me.
Bad Days -- [All Quiet on the Southwest Asian Front - in Iraq]
...A second assistance column sent by another battalion ran into even more. They spotted 5 IEDs on the way there, but not the sixth. They escaped serious damage from that one, but then the SAF (small-arms fire) ambush started up, including RPGs (Rocket-propelled Grenades). They had to stop and fight that one out.
The worst part of it was they could clearly see that some of their attackers were children.
Ar Ramadi -- [The Gunner's World - in Iraq]
With a quick smack from my right hand the magazine slides into place, my left hand pulls the upper receiver of my pistol back and letting it slide forward it goes home with a click driving the first round of the clip into the chamber, 15 left in the clip, locked and loaded. With the command of "Condition One" all weapons loaded the three other Marines and myself all climb back in the HUMMER. I feel the sweat dripping down my back and down my ribs as the flack jacket I am wearing hugs my upper torso, with my helmet and goggles strapped on the sweat just keeps coming, partly from my heightened heart rate and the increasing heat at only 10:00AM. I am riding with the Marines of 2nd Battalion 5th Marines through the streets of Ar Ramadi.
Operation Arrowhead Ripper
B-roll of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. Scenes include U.S. Soldiers using night vision, patrolling streets, entering buildings and roofs, and interviewing local Iraqis. Produced by Spc. Samantha Szesciorka. Visit www.dvidshub.net for full-length and broadcast quality versions. Clips in video: Operation Arrowhead Ripper.
Slave to the System -- [Desert Flier - in Iraq]
...The patient did well. Stable for the flight, I busied myself with watching his oxygen status, changing out oxygen tanks, and giving IV fluids and some pain medications. Flight medic taps me on the shoulder and signals "two mikes out". I have just enough time to clamp and store his IV fluids back into the "hot pocket" and check the oxygen tank one more time. Once we touch down, it's too late for housekeeping. We count tasks in seconds, and have precious few to spare. Flashes of light off to my right as our Blackhawk launches countermeasure flares. In all reality, I'm too busy taking care of the patient to care. It registers in the back of my mind "Hmm, wonder why we're launching chaffe?" I hear the pilots and crew chief talking over the "comms", and they don't know why it launched, either. Our countermeasure flares can be triggered manually, but are always on sensors, too. The helo computer sensed some sort of heat threat, ...
Saturday, June 23, 2007 VIDEO -- [LT Mark Green - in Iraq]
...I Know its been a while since I last posted any video or pictures but fortunately we have not been that busy, which means not many people have been getting injured. This video is a compilation of our past three weeks here in Ramadi. Quite a few O.R. pictures and alot of faces of people here doing a great job, and some just taking a nap (imagine that). Anyway hope you enjoy the video, and thank you for your continued support.
Tokens of Home -- [Acute Politics- in Iraq]
There's a small charm that hangs around my neck. Many soldiers carry some small token or good luck charm- Saint Christopher medallions, coins, crosses, sometimes even hand blown glass hearts. Mine is a stylized fishhook carved and polished out of bone. The Maori call it Hei-Matau; they believe it will bring strength, peace and good health. My sister bought mine for me while in New Zealand this winter, and I've worn it ever since. The Maori say that with time, part of the essence of the bone and of the wearer will swap places, and the necklace will become a small part of one's self. Mine has certainly changed in the six months I've worn it- one side has become even more highly polished from the constant rubbing of my cotton shirt, and the other shows dark streaks along the pores of the bone and hints of color from months of sweat and dust.
Yesterday’s Hotel Bombing Was A Very Bad Sign For Al Qaeda, Indeed -- [Pat Dollard]
Now there’s no doubt that yesterday’s heinous assasination of four U.S.-allied Sunni sheiks was a bit of a loss to our side. However, we certainly did not lose our alliance with those tribes. The sheiks who will take their place will not only remain in the fight against Al Qaeda, but will now be even further motivated to crush them. Fresh, fierce blood vendettas are like that. Most importantly, these assasinations represented not only yet another dramatic setback for Al Qaeda’s ambitions in Iraq, but for its very survival there.
No Significant Spike in Violence Following Latest Askariya Attack -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Daveed Gartenstein-Ross]
The day after the al-Askariya Mosque in Samarra, Iraq was bombed for the second time in a year and a half, I wrote that the second bombing was "potentially disastrous." Analysts feared that, similar to the first attack on the al-Askariya Mosque on February 22, 2006, this provocation could spark sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias. Fortunately, about two weeks after the event, Iraq has not witnessed a major spike in violence.
Iraq Report: al Qaeda Strikes at the Seams -- [The Fourth Rail]
Today's report includes: Al Qaeda strikes with five suicide attacks; four members of the Anbar Salvation Council killed; update on operations north and south of Baghdad; Senior al Qaeda leader killed in Mosul; raids against al Qaeda networks focus on central Iraq; targeting the Mahdi Army and the Iranian secret cells.
Mayor of Iraq town ask what you need?
Sadr bites the hand that feeds him -- [Iraq the Model - iraqis in Iraq]
In our last post we briefly mentioned a statement in which Sadr’s office accused Iran of hosting and assisting al-Qaeda, today I’ll talk about that statement in more detail.
Anonymous Sources: Iranian Forces Invade Iraq -- [Confederate Yankee]
Well, we saw this coming:
Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces have been spotted by British troops crossing the border into southern Iraq, The Sun tabloid reported on Tuesday.
Britain's defence ministry would not confirm or deny the report, with a spokesman declining to comment on "intelligence matters".
An unidentified intelligence source told the tabloid: "It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran -- but nobody has officially declared it."
...As it so happens, Michael Yon was there, and wrote about the attack in his dispatch, Death or Glory
ON Point UPDATE #2 on Operation Phantom Thunder, by Andrew Lubin -- [ON Point]
Yesterday, ON Point talked with LTC Gregory Baker, deputy commander of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade. Based at Wheeler Army Air Field in Hawaii, the 25th has been in Iraq for 11 months. The brigade’s attack weaponry consists of the Kiowas (1/82nd, scout weapons 2/6 Cavalry), the Chinooks (for troop/cargo transport) of 3/25th, and the Blackhawks of the 2/25th Aviation Battalion (also for transport). The unit is split between Mosul, Tal Afar, and their current...
Troops rescue local sheik -- [MNF-I]
RUSHDI MULLAH — A local Sunni man who had escaped his al-Qaida kidnappers arrived at an Iraqi army checkpoint pleading for help in rescuing his brother, a local sheik, late at night June 23.
Wounded Soldier Heals, Returns to Unit in Iraq -- [Gazing at the Flag]
BAGHDAD, June 25, 2007 - Army Sgt. 1st Class Adin Salkanovic won't spend a full 15 months in Iraq like the rest of the soldiers in his unit. Still, he knows all too well about the sacrifices of war.
The platoon sergeant with 1st Cavalry Division's Troop B, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, volunteered to rejoin his unit in Iraq after recovering from multiple gunshot wounds suffered in Buhriz, Iraq, March 6.
Understanding Current Operations in Iraq -- [SWJ - Dave Kilcullen - in Iraq]
I’ve spent much of the last six weeks out on the ground, working with Iraqi and U.S. combat units, civilian reconstruction teams, Iraqi administrators and tribal and community leaders. I’ve been away from e-mail a lot, so unable to post here at SWJ: but I’d like to make up for that now by providing colleagues with a basic understanding of what’s happening, right now, in Iraq.
This post is not about whether current ops are “working” — for us, here on the ground, time will tell, though some observers elsewhere seem to have already made up their minds (on the basis of what evidence, I’m not really sure). But for professional counterinsurgency operators such as our SWJ community, the thing to understand at this point is the intention and concept behind current ops in Iraq:
Water -- [My Desert Adventure - in Iraq]
You are looking at acres of pallets of bottled water. As the temperature goes up, this “water field” has been getting bigger and bigger. All of our water comes from the Tigris River and I guess it gets purified along the way (I’m sure the recent case of flesh eating bacteria had nothing to do with the water). Somewhere I read that the water from the river is just as clean as the water in any reservoir back home. Considering how dirty it is outside the wire, I doubt it. Once it bakes a while outside, it tastes something like dirty bath water
You know you are really going home when... -- [Foreign and Domestic]
...your replacements arrive. After January's bad news of the extension, no one wanted to get too excited about going home this time. The odds were of course astronomically against another extension, but you just never know.
But this last week saw two sure signs of our imminent departure.
First, we loaded all of our non-essential gear into a connex to be shipped home. Second, our replacements arrived. In the military, one unit replacing another in a combat zone is a very complicated process. The new unit arrives, gets their bearings, and then gradually assumes more and more responsibility, as we will have less and less. One of the most important things we have to do is
CLOTHING DONATIONS FOR AFGHANISTAN -- [Afghanistan Jag - in Afghanistan]
If you are interested in sending clothing donations to help the people in Afghanistan, please contact me at my email address, which you can find under the "my profile" section to the right.
New Forensic Technology -- [A JAG in Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
...The officer Merrill is writing about is COL Rahmatullah and it didn’t surprise me in the least when I read that it was him. As Merrill writes, more than anything these people need more education to help them progress. To him, I’m sure this was a perfectly logical request and he had every reason to believe that such technology exists out there. This just accentuates why we need to be here and why we need to continue to be here.
I'm still here... actually I moved to up there. -- [Partamian Report - in Afghansitan]
I am no longer at KAF. I moved north to the Uruzgon province. I'm just outside the thriving metropolis of Tarin Kowt (that's a joke). Our little camp is attached to a big Dutch FOB. There are also a lot of Australians here as well. We've been here for about a week. The day we got here, there was a lot of fighting going on in the area, but we were not involved.
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: 29th May 2007 -- Added: 7 hours ago
Tonight the patrol is headed to a village where rockets have been launched at the airbase. Although things have been quiet for the last month the RAF are careful not to become complacent.
ISAF troops discover IED factory, detain 13 -- [ISAF - in Afghanistan]
TARIN KOWT, Afghanistan (June 26) - ISAF soldiers discovered an improvised explosive device factory here that may have played a role in the suicide attack a week ago in Chowreh district.
Military investigates press report of detainee abuse -- [ISAF - in Afghanistan]
KABUL, Afghanistan (June 25) – ISAF and U.S. military officials are investigating the circumstances surrounding an article written by Wolfgang Bauer in the German magazine “Focus”, accusing U.S. and Afghan soldiers of witnessing and participating in alleged detainee abuse in Ghazni province.
On June 10, during the conduct of a combined patrol, the article alleges a detainee was tied to the back of a military vehicle. According to the article, the vehicle's engine was then turned on, and the man was told he would be dragged across the road if he did not cooperate. Additionally, the article alleges threatening of the detainee’s family members. ISAF and U.S. military officials are conducting formal investigations into the matter.
Little Boy Suicide Bomber -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
In this morning's Military Roundup we linked to a post over at Little Green Footballs about a six-year-old boy being recruited as a suicide bomber by the Taliban.
Details were sketchy then. The AP has more now about little Juma Gul and his story of what the Taliban was doing to him, "provoking tears and anger" from Afghan tribal leaders
Taliban Tells 6-Year-Old His Suicide Belt Will Spray Flowers -- [Gateway Pundit]
The Taliban told the 6-year-old street child to go "spray flowers" on the Americans.
Afghan boy Juma Gul ,6, right, has lunch with his brother Dad Gul at a joint U.S.-Afghan military command center in Andar district of Ghazni province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, June 23, 2007. The story of Juma Gul, who says he thwarted an effort by Taliban militants to trick him into carrying out a suicide bombing against U.S. troops provoked tears and anger at a weekend meeting of tribal leaders. Though the Taliban dismissed the story as propaganda, at a time when U.S. and NATO forces are under increasing criticism over civilian casualties, both Afghan tribal elders and U.S. military officers said they were convinced by his dramatic account.
Afghanistan Briefing 26 June 2007
Taliban Admits Defeat -- [Strategy Page]
June 25, 2007: The Taliban has admitted defeat, in their own unique way. In recent media interviews, Taliban spokesmen announced a shift in emphasis to suicide bombings. The Taliban also admitted that the Americans had infiltrated their high command, which led to the death or capture of several senior Taliban officials, and the capture of many lower ranking ones as well. There have also been some prominent defections recently, which the Taliban spokesmen did not want to talk about.
Inevitable: Some Democrats now calling for withdrawal from Afghanistan -- [Hot Air]
A.k.a. home of the “real” war on terror, the good fight that the left had been spoilin’ to win before Bush went and distracted them with that “fake” war that’s killed ten times as many troops. “You don’t hear people saying, ‘We need to get out of Afghanistan,’” declares Russ Feingold, followed immediately by a bunch of people saying we need to get out of Afghanistan.
House Moves to Cut Funds for UNDP, Human Rights Council -- [One Free Korea]
Each entity has recently brought particular discredit on itself, and in each case, there is a North Korea nexus. The UNDP recently failed a UN internal audit after U.S. diplomats outed the organization for allowing its Pyongyang operations to become, as a U.N. staffer put it, “an ATM machine” for the regime. It turns out that North Korea used some of the funds to buy overseas real estate and dual-use equipment, and that the U.N. even had a stock of counterfeit currency in one of its safes that handled North Korea program-related funds.
Iran Has a Plan to Break the Arms Import Ban -- [Strategy Page]
June 25, 2007: Iran is using Syrian arms purchases from Russia, as a way to get around a UN and U.S. arms embargo. The latest example of this is a billion dollar purchase of Russian MiG-31 and MiG-29 fighters. These are the latest models of both aircraft types. Five MiG-31s have apparently already been delivered. About two dozen aircraft are involved, and Syria will keep some of them, but the rest will show up in Iran.
U.S. to Impose Sanctions on Lebanese and Syrian Figures -- [MEMRI Blog]
Official U.S. sources have told Al-Hayat that the White House is shortly to issue a presidential decree against several Syrian and Lebanese figures on charges of undermining Lebanese stability. The decree will impose economic sanctions on these figures and ban them from entering the U.S. Among the Lebanese named in the decree are MPs close to the Syrian regime, including Abd Al-Rahim Murad and Nasser Qandil.
Terrorists Keep Blogs, Too -- [Danger Room]
Islamists use the Web to spread propaganda, communicate anonymously, share training guides, get organized -- even sell t-shirts. So it's not exactly a shock that Muslim extremists are blogging, too.
Dancho Danchev reviews a handful of terrorist blogs -- and warns that "these are just the tip of the iceberg, but yet another clear indication of the digitalization of jihad."
One particularly active site Dancho highlights is Jihad Fields are Calling: Allah Send Us To Bring People Out From the Slavery of The People to The Slavery of Allah. And it's got all the features you'd expect from a top-flight -- if crude -- propaganda operation. Here's a diary from a woman who claims she was drugged and raped in Abu Ghraib.
US troops Nazis, according to anti war weasels --[BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
I have always had fairly cordial relations with the large collection of liberals, progressives, moonbats, anarchists and other assorted lefties here in Madison. I've even been to an Independence Day Tea Party and Re-Revolution that was decent theater. This truce was tested on Memorial Day when some anti-war wankers decided to try and stop me from filming in a public park. It didn't work out for 'em and it made me question their peacefullness.
"We the soldiers love and appreciate you too... " -- -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Greetings from Baghdad, Iraq.
I just want to thank those Angels assigned to me who have wrote me a letter or sent me a card. I appreciate your love and support. It's an honor and privilage to serve this great nation we live in and to fight for our freedoms. I also appreciate your prayers.
I know I have seen your mail going out to many of our troops. Thank you so much, we love all of that love and support we're getting from you Angels. It really boosts our morale when we receive some love from people back home and it makes our jobs easier knowing we are being supported by our people back home in America - people like you.
Virtual Installations -- [SgtStryker]
It is never easy for the families left behind when a loved one deploys. The daily duties of running the household, taking care of the children, paying the bills and dealing with the constant stress and worry of knowing your spouse may never come home again can be overwhelming for military families. Families of active duty service members who live on or near base have access to the many resources and services available to military families. They can go to Community Services, base counseling, The Red Cross, legal aid, even the service emergency relief societies if the need arises. But what about the families of National Guardsmen or reservists who may not live near a military base? What about the wife of an Army reservist who lives in Evenston, Wyoming hundreds of miles from a commissary, exchange or volunteer network?
Soldiers' Angels Receives US Army's Commander's Award for Public Service -- [Soldiers' Angels Kansas City]
We have HUGE news to share with you! Soldiers’ Angels received the US Army’s Commander's Award for Public Service on Saturday, June 17th, 2007 in Sacramento, CA. at the Military Order of the Purple Heart National meeting.
This award is the fourth highest public service honorary award that may be granted and is given for service or achievements that contribute significantly to the accomplishment of the mission of an Army activity, command, or staff agency.
The Passing of the Sword -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
This past Saturday we were in one of the dayrooms at the Landstuhl outpatient facility unpacking the groceries we had just purchased at the Commissary. Soldiers' Angels provides fruit, cereal, microwave meals and other late-night snacks for the patients arriving after regular meal hours.
I'd been told there were some VIPs scheduled to come through but didn't think much of it because that happens all the time. So when First Sergeant Lowe came in the room and said, "MaryAnn, I'd like you to meet CSM Mellinger", I was speechless.
Remembering the fallen - VIDEO -- [Military Times]
Flag Waving--Marine Charles Lindberg Dead at 86 -- [Matt Sanchez]
The raising of the flag at Iwo Jima ensured the survival of the Marine Corps for another 200 years.
Within five weeks, over 6000 Marines had perished in a battle to occupy a small island that was named for the sulfur in it's bowels. The taking of Iwo Jima allowed for the landing of planes and the continuation of the island hopping campaigns that eventually lead to the defeat of Japanese Imperial forces.
Free Speech, The Military, And National Interest -- [Chapomatic]
That’s the title of an interesting article from 1980 that describes the legal history of how military folks are restrained or not in their speech at various distances from a war zone. It’s a good read, particularly in light of the dustup Skippy and I had the other week about what limits retired generals should have when speaking in that capacity. The article discusses the unique position of senior officers, but only obliquely mentions retirees.
Field Training -- [A Soldier's Perspective - SGTHuckleberry]
...One of the things we do is train units preparing to deploy to a combat zone. We focus on small unit tactics and dismounted operations. We train them to deal with IEDs, VBIEDs, angry mobs, desperate citizens, you name it. It get sort of repetitive after a while but I like the predictability of it here. Even though we tend to do similar operations with each rotation, they are all different enough that we learn something from each one. When you come in from the field you feel a great sense of accomplishment that the guys leaving will be better prepared for whatever they will face during their next deployment.
A New Push For A Different National Iraqi Makeup -- [RedState]
The Bush Administration is concerned that it will be forced to fight repeated battles aimed at keeping the reconstruction effort in Iraq going. Naturally, much--if not all--of its concerns stems from the belief that eventually, one of those battles will be lost to a Democratic Congress and the reconstruction effort will be short-circuited.
Great Cheney Switch, v7.0 -- [Captain's Quarters]
I'd like to have a shot of what Sally Quinn's drinking. In today's Washington Post, Quinn tells us that Republicans have decided that Dick Cheney has to go, and will start devising plans to force him out of an office to which he has been twice elected. Quinn believes that this has reached the Goldwater-to-Nixon scenario in the summer of 1974, only this time Cheney stands accused of hurting the GOP's chances in the next election rather than any lawbreaking.
Fallout From MSNBC Report -- [Real Clear Politics]
A few heads have rolled following MSNBC's investigation into journalists who gave to candidates:
...The paper which dropped Cohen's column was the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, WA. He is still employed at the Times.
Brian Williams Highlights Students Asking Bush to Stop Torturing Prisoners -- [NewsBusters]
On Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams highlighted a "surprise" letter presented to President Bush by high school students visiting the White House who wanted the President to "stop the practice of torture." Williams: "When they got there, 50 of them [out of 141] presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture."
During the 37-second segment, Williams recounted the story and at one point showed a copy of the letter on-screen with the sentence "We do not want America to represent torture" blown up so it was readable to viewers.
Earning the Trust of the Public -- [Accuracy In Media]
The question is not whether unfairness and errors persist in the news media. Glaringly, they do. But how should the media eradicate them, so that biased reporting will not continue to taint the good name of the fourth estate of the realm?
In this respect, the media cannot ignore the recent speech by outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in which he accused the media of abandoning their ethics of impartial reporting and accuracy.
Brzezinski's Latest Blast: 'Whatever Happened to Iraq Study Group?' -- [NewsBusters]
Mika Brzezinski is at it again. As noted here and here, the daughter of Jimmy Carter's former National Security Advisor is inclined to inject her personal political views into her MSNBC newsreading role.
At 6:10 am EDT on today's "Morning Joe," Mika read an item reporting that Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) had called for a change of course in Iraq and expressed support for the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by James Baker and Lugar's fellow Hoosier, Lee Hamilton.
Mika couldn't restrain herself, archly asking:
MSNBC NEWSREADER MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Whatever happened to the Iraq Study Group, because I believe President Bush asked for those pieces of advice, correct?
Host Joe Scarborough immediately called Mika on her editorializing.
MSNBC HOST JOE SCARBOROUGH: The thing is, Mika, if you write for the front page of the New York Times, they don't let you go into the editorial room.
Extreme Makeover Iraq Edition
(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.
"That Was Some Scary Shit" -- [Jack Army- in Iraq]
Yesterday, I experienced something I didn't think I ever would, but knew was a possibility.
I told you recently about some force protection upgrades we were working on for our Iraqi Army (IA) brothers in an outpost in this area. Yesterday, we stopped by that outpost in a small town to perform several tasks. My boss met with the city leaders, I checked in with the IA and others on our team were going to meet with various other folks in this town. The barriers were in place and the IA guards were well positioned and understood their jobs. The IA commander of this outpost felt he understood the dangers in this town and this area but I'm certain that he only had a partial understanding of what was going on. His outpost had been attacked on the very first night his unit arrived. It was a very ineffectual attack with no casualties on either side, but it seemed that the attack was more a message than an attempt to engage in a serious battle. The message being, "we know you're here and we don't like it." Hence the new barriers and such.
...It didn't take long for the news to pick it up. All the "facts" in these reports aren't exactly right, but the gist of the reports are about right.
Terrorist fires on own family during raid -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed two terrorists and detained 29-suspected terrorists during operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq and its foreign fighter network Friday.
Two coordinated operations in Mosul targeted a Kurdish extremist known for helping al-Qaeda in Iraq facilitate foreign fighters and conduct financial and media operations. Coalition Forces entered the first targeted building, isolated the women and children and moved further into the house. While maneuvering through the target building, an armed man engaged the ground force with small arms fire, endangering the force and the innocent family members. Coalition Forces defended themselves and the women and children by killing the armed terrorist.
The IED War --[RedState]
It is generally acknowledged that the IED is the weapon that keeps the war in Iraq going.
One would think we would be doing everything in our power to stop this threat but are we?
...Yes, an organization has been established to combat this threat. Predictably, it is having difficulties in developing an operations tempo and some in the field are underwhelmed by the tech reps they see.
Units are taking a decidedly low-tech approach to the problem, which in my view is where the answer lies:
Arrowhead Ripper: Surrender or Die -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
...I am with 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team. I’ve run a few missions with them in Baghdad, and they have fought all over Iraq. This Brigade has much recent combat experience, and is expertly commanded. A person does not need to even meet the commanders (though I do each day) to know they are running a tight ship. The professionalism of 3-2 is particularly high, and they are very competent fighters who are maximizing their assets, including the incredible Stryker vehicles.
We welcome you to the home page of the 3rd "Arrowhead" Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division of Fort Lewis, WA; the first Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT). -- [Arrowhead" Brigade - in Iraq] HT: The Tank
The 3d Stryker Brigade Combat Team was the first brigade to undergo a massive transformation initiated by the Chief of Staff of the US Army. That initiative, the "Stryker Brigade Combat Team", was the first ever medium weight brigade unit in the history of the US Army. Visit the page and go to official sites that will help explain better what the SBCT is all about!
Operation Phantom Thunder: The Battle of Iraq -- [The Fourth Rail]
A status update on the operations in the Baghdad Belts and beyond
Operation Phantom Thunder, the name of the overarching operation to secure the Baghdad Belts, is now in its fifth day. As noted yesterday, Phantom Thunder is a corps-level operation, with multiple U.S. and Iraqi divisions engaged on multiple fronts. Iraqi Security Forces and Multinational Forces Iraq are engaged in intense fights in four main theaters: Baghdad proper, and the belts regions consisting of Diyala and southern Salahadin provinces to the north, northern Babil province to the south, and eastern Anbar province to the west of Baghdad. The fighting has been the most intense in the city of Baqubah, the provincial capital of Diyala.
Iraqi Police Training In Fallujah -- [Right Wing News - Matt Sanchez in Iraq]
Sometime after 0200 Operation Alljah began in a middle-class neighborhood in northern Fallujah. The Marines of the 2nd Battalion 6th Marines occupied a police precinct and began a swarm or strategic blocking off of the streets, in order to control access both in and out of the neighborhood. That morning, by the time I arrived with the 5/10, an artillery unit crossed-trained for civil affairs, the 2/6 were firmly ensconced in the east side of the concrete precinct.
Since traveling north from Kuwait on an Army convoy, and crossing into Baghdad, and later Camp Fallujah, I had always heard stories of how bad, corrupt and unprofessional the Iraqi police (IP) is. "They smile at us when we drive by, because they know there's an IED planted ahead," said one platoon leader.
Citizens gather to join ranks of Lutifiyah’s Iraqi Police -- [MNF-I]
LUTIFIYAH — During a time when Iraq needs help the most, citizens are stepping forward and volunteering their services to help make the country a better place.
Iraqi police from the surrounding areas of Lutifiyah, Iraq, held a recruiting drive in Lutifiyah, June 17.
“Lutifiyah needs a local police force and this recruiting event was a good thing to see happen,”
Iraq And US Forces Take On The Militants.
US paratroopers and iraqi police take on militants,with the Iraqi force commanding ultimate respect from the US forces in their bravery after dodging flying bullets but still battle on
Here's What You Miss From the MSM- Real Progress In Iraq -- [Gateway Pundit]
The goal of U.S. security strategy in Iraq is to develop the Iraqis’ capacity to security their country while carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency. (DOD)
And, despite the reports from the biased media, real progress is taking place in Iraq.
The current map -June 2007- of Iraq shows Iraqis controlling operations in 7 out of 18 Iraqi provinces.
Admiral surprises Soldiers with candid, detailed answers -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — When the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff showed up to speak to 1st Cavalry soldiers here yesterday, soldiers were a bit surprised by how in tune he was with the current situation in Iraq.
America can’t just walk away from the fight with al-Qaeda, US general insists -- [Times Online]
Despite four years of bloodshed, the US soldier in charge of restoring security to Iraq tells Richard Beeston that Britain is still important to the continuing battle
Kidnapped GIs' Leader Disputes Report -- [Military.com]
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - A commander of three U.S. Soldiers killed in Iraq in an ambush-kidnapping disputes military investigators' findings that the troops had been told to guard a bridge for up to 36 hours straight.
In his first public comments on the gruesome attack last June, Lt. Col. Thomas Kunk told The Associated Press that Soldiers were asked to come back to base often for rest. But he also said checkpoints were undermanned, and that his commanders rejected his requests for more troops in the particularly dangerous part of Iraq where the Soldiers were attacked.
"I don't believe that they were there for 36 hours, to be quite honest with you, because that's not the way rotation schedules were set up,"
June 21st Update-Focus on Iraq -- [Spirit of America]
This email includes updates and information on:
Army SSG Steven Gardner stationed in Iraq since 2003!
Good News (yes!) from Marine 1stLt Josh Walker stationed in Ramadi Iraq
*Troop outreach under way!
ARMY & AIR FORCE EXCHANGE SERVICE (AAFES) - REQUEST HELP IN REMOTE REGION OF IRAQ
Meet SSG Steven Gardner, pictured below with the Headmaster at a primary school near Habur Gate, Iraq.
News of Afghanistan - The Return III (Edition 59) -- [Miserable Donuts]
I still have smoke pouring out of my ears from a lovely 4 1/2 hour meeting with a room full of lawyers and other insurance people... but here is the News, such as I can find!
Give Afghans An Alternative to Poppy Crops -- [Spirit of America]
Thanks to YOU, our new project, Army Request to Aid Afghan Farmers, is off to a fantastic start! We received almost $50K to support the request of Army personnel to help destitute farmers in Southern Afghanistan.
US troops in dramatic rescue - VIDEO -- [BBC News]
US soldiers rescue a pregnant woman as they patrol the volatile border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
U.S., Afghan Troops Rescue Enemy-Held Hostages -- [Defense Link]
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, June 21, 2007 – Two people who’d been held hostage by Taliban and al Qaeda militants were rescued today by U.S. and Afghan forces during raids in the Zaghun Shah district of Afghanistan’s Paktika province, U.S. officials reported.
Intelligence indicated that three Afghan citizens from the district had recently been abducted by Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.
During raids conducted today, U.S. and Afghan troops discovered one of the hostages being held at a compound, while another hostage held nearby was being led away by his captors to another location.
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: 25th May 2007
SAC Paul Goodfellow's Afghanistan diary - Entry 55 -- There are several members of the RAF Regiment Reserves (also known as the Royal Auxillary Air Force Regiment) with 51 Sqn in Kandahar, providing essential skills and support for the full time troops. Paul chats to Gunner Tom Gordon who serves as a member of the British Police Force when back in the UK.
Taliban using illegal, immoral methods to fight -- [ISAF News Release]
KHOWST, Afghanistan (June 22) – Taliban extremists have been desecrating cemeteries and burial sites, using children as bombers, and violating Islamic tradition, according to ISAF officials here.
“They placed explosives on a 6-year-old boy and told him to walk up to the Afghan Police or Army and push the button,” said Capt. Michael P. Cormier, company commander. “Fortunately, the boy did not understand and asked patrolling officers why he had this vest on.
“This type of action is not tolerated by any culture or any people,” said Maj. Donald A. Korpi, ISAF’s Regional Command-East spokesman. It was the people in the area who first reported these activities to the Afghan security forces in the Andar district, he said.
9/11 Families Angry That Remains of Victims Still at Garbage Dump -- [The Blotter]
Six years after the 9/11 attacks, frustrated families of 9/11 victims say the unidentified remains of their loved ones are still at an area landfill and have sued New York City in an attempt to have the remains moved to a garbage-free area.
All debris from Ground Zero was transported to the landfill in the months following the attacks.
Iran News Round Up -- [The Corner - Michael Rubin]
Syrian vice president in Tehran: “We always find friends for ourselves prior to any confrontation with the Zionist regime.”
Iran supports ElBaradei proposal to stop holding Iran accountable for violations.
Italy, Germany, and Netherlands are Iran’s major EU trade partners.
Mansour Osanlou, struggling to establish Iran’s first independent trade union, grants interview.
Background on Osanlou and the transportation workers.
As U.S. signals desire to withdrawal from Iraq, Iran reaches out to other U.S. allies in the region
Syria's master plan to destroy Lebanon again -- [Counterterroeism Blog - Olivier Guitta]
In fact, President Bashar Assad never hid his intentions that if Syria were to leave Lebanon, he would burn down the country. It has been now way over 2 years after the murder of Lebanese ex-prime Minister Rafik Hariri and Syria is still free to create havoc in Lebanon, killing left and right, supporting Fatah Al Islam's attacks on the Lebanese Army, propping up the FPLP-GC, Fatah Intifada, Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Germany Warns Of Suicide Attacks, Increased Security -- [The Blotter]
June 22, 2007 10:15 AM - The German government has received reports from U.S. intelligence sources that militant Islamists are threatening to commit suicide attacks on German soil.
"German security authorities have increased their vigilance and have taken extra measures to meet a potential threat by Islamic suicide bombers," German Interior Ministry spokesman Christian Sachs told reporters at a news conference in Berlin today.
Landing Ships Outmaneuver Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
June 22, 2007: One of the interesting developments in the global war on terror is the use of amphibious ships to carry out humanitarian missions. While this might be seen as stretching a rapidly declining force (at least in terms of the number of ships), it is probably one of the more cost-effective uses of soft power. The ancient Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu is carrying out one of the first of these missions in the Philippines.
It is my second anniversary. --Of the first day that I died. -- [From My Position... On the way!]
It's weird to say that, but I died two years ago.
Now, don't go and get all religeous and evangelical, I died, as in the muscle in my chest that pumps blood where MOST other people have "hearts" stopped pumping--clinical death.
On Volunteering -- [The Middle Ground]
One reason that I joined Soldiers' Angels is because it allowed me to become personally involved in supporting our military. I've been a member for two years (appx) and, at first, it was enough to quietly do what I wanted and needed to do, support our military.
It struck me that I had been overlooking the most important part of volunteering and support. It isn't about the money, or more specifically, my money. It was about my time and what I was willing to do. The inspiration had been with me all along. I remembered that the reason my grandparents' generation was the "greatest generation" was because they harnessed the power of our nation. Not just the industrial power, but the power of the people when they are inspired to work towards a greater goal.
Inaugural "Ride To Remember" -- [Thunder Run]
Are you a rider? Harley lover? Motorcycle Enthusiast? Want to do something fun and accomplish a good turn in the process?
Then join us for the Inaugural "Ride To Remember"
Starting at First Baptist Church of Peachtree City (208 Willow Bend Road / behind City Hall)
AND THE ROUTE WILL INCLUDE THE SGT MIKE STOKELY MEMORIAL HIGHWAY IN SHARPSBURG GA
Ending at Jackson-Pless National Guard Armory on Armory Road by Newnan High School / Newnan GA
Operation: Thanks for Freedom 2007 Update -- [Yikes]
Just a quick note to let you know that I should have an official, final count of how many cards were collected for troops overseas this evening. I am very sorry I didn't have the final count done sooner...however, between our trip to Washington, DC and hubby's unexpected heat stroke & subsequent hospitalization, I fell way behind on counting and reading them all. Thanks to several awesome local friends, they have all be read (to ensure approriate content) and sorted, etc.... tonight I'll have them all back and will give you the official final total. My rough guestimation as of right now is that it's at least 2,000 cards, hopefully close to 3,000...but we'll see tonight! :)
Operation One Family -- [Soldiers' Angels]
Costa Mesa, CA., June 20, 2007 - Numerous national organizations are joining forces with MilitaryConnection.com, TAPS, Homefront America, Soldiers Angels and ThanksUSA in a joint effort to support the families of the fallen by forming Operation One Family. Details of the program and registration information for families can be found at www.operationonefamily.org
Dealing with Tricare -- [Army Sailor - recently returned from Afghansitan]
I am hesitant to complain too much, because I know many of my comrades have returned from the war with far worse problems than mine, but I decided to give a short rant anyway. First off let me say that my Branch Medical Clinic (at Willow Grove Naval Air Station) has been very good about seeing me and putting in requests for Tricare.
I also have to admit that Tricare has responded to me much faster than I imagined they would. Usually within two weeks I get a letter authorizing any care I need. In fact several weeks ago, I got an authorization for my second visit to an Audiologist, this is the visit where I should be fitted for hearing aids.
"Arrrrrrmy Training Sir!" -- [Dude, where's the beach?]
Like I said earlier, I'm still amazed the Air Force has finally started training their folks before they deploy to a Combat Zone. It's definitely paid off so far.
I give you.... The Final Product.
Almost Home -- [Half a World Away - home from Iraq]
Well, we are back on friendly soil finally. We hit Fort McCoy, Wisconsin on Tuesday and are all well on our way to getting demobilized and out of here. The folks here are great, and it is wonderful to be back in the US of A. They are planning a little party for us when we get back, you can read about it at Omaha.com or LJS.com. More to come later when I have some more free time, internet and email access is very hard to come by and we've had some long days checking the boxes trying to get out of here.
Words mean things -- [My Desert Adventure - in Iraq]
Certain politicians will exploit any tragedy to further their political position—regardless of the damage they cause. They have forgotten that words mean thing. The war in Iraq is a tragic example of that.
How would a mom and dad feel when, after losing a son or a daughter, would turn on the TV and hear the Speaker of the House say that our mission over here is a “grotesque mistake” ,or the majority leader of the Senate say the “The war is lost”?
Words mean things. With their vicious rhetoric, they are adding insult to injury to the family members of fallen heroes. It is inexcusable. I for one, am ashamed.
Who we trust -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Results of the latest Gallup poll show that Americans' confidence in most institutions has dropped somewhat since the post-9/11 all-time highs.
Congress leads the way (sorry, Rangers) with the lowest level ever in the history of this poll, and at 14% now has the lowest confidence ratings for any institution tested over the last three decades.
Americans 5x More Confident in Military Than in Congress -- [NewsBusters]
The MSM delights in highlighting President Bush's anemic poll numbers. Congress's approval rating in the latest Gallup poll was so shockingly, historically, low at 14% that the MSM could hardly ignore it.
But there was another finding emerging from that same Gallup poll that has received very little media attention: the societal institution that enjoys, by far, the highest confidence among Americans is, at 69%, the military.
Democrats Violating House Rules With Witchhunt Website? -- [Jawa Report]
The stupidest scandal in history just got stupider, and this time, Democrats may be violating House rules in their pursuit of yet another non-crime.
Meanwhile, Democrat-controlled Congressional approval ratings continue to nosedive, while the press pretends it isn't in sync with "the most ethical, most open government in history."
BBC 'risked safety of troops' -- [Telegraph]
Frontline: Telegraph correspondents report from Iraq and Afghanistan
The BBC was accused last night of risking the safety of British forces in Iraq after trawling for information on troop movements in the war-torn country.
Politicians reacted in disbelief to the revelation that for over two hours yesterday, the BBC News website carried a request for people in Iraq to report on troop movements.
More on the List -- [Media Blog - Greg Pollowitz]
A few excerpts from the MSNBC list of journalists who donated to candidates. First up, since when does not knowing the rules equal "thinking as a lawyer?"
(D) ABC News, Mary Fulginiti, "Primetime" correspondent, Hollywood, Calif., $500 to Gov. Bill Richardson, Democratic presidential candidate, 2007. Before she joined ABC in November 2006, lawyer Fulginiti gave $6,000 to Democratic candidates.
Chris Matthews Blurts: Send Scooter to Iraq! -- [NewsBusters]
Chris Matthews actually came out for a pardon for Lewis "Scooter" Libby, but he had a catch, "Send him to Iraq." On tonight’s Hardball the MSNBC host, during a discussion about whether Bush should pardon Libby, threw out the following wacky proposal on the June 21 edition of his show:
Chris Matthews proposed to former Cheney aide Ron Christie and former Assistant Attorney General Robert Raben: "I got an idea, I got a solution. Pardon him but send him to Iraq in uniform and put him on the front. Send him to the front. He supported the war, send him to fight it!
(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.
Operation Arrowhead Ripper: Day One -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
The first day of operation Arrowhead Ripper was intense. The Army is giving full access to the battlefield, and while on base full access to the TOC (HQ) which means I see the raw truth on the ground, and as it feeds through the TOC. They are hiding nothing. Or if they are, it’s in plain view. (Special operations notwithstanding.) A reporter can see as much as he or she can stand.
U.S. Admiral Sees Continued Progress in Iraq -- [Pentagon Channel]
WASHINGTON, June 20, 2007 – Iraqi and coalition forces anticipate a summer of hard fighting, but are confident there is a good prospect for continued progress in the months ahead, a senior military official said during a Baghdad news conference today
The Reality of Counterinsurgency OPS -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
AS things progress here in Iraq and as the situation changes there become new things to criticize and critique. Some of that of course is perfectly appropriate, however some of the criticism also demonstrates the fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of counterinsurgency operations.
US Forces Press Al-Qeada In Iraq.
Baqouba;US troops sy it's safer to walk the streets in Baqouba,although extremely dangerous,they can atleast cover each others backs,as they pass more dead bodies and see if they're booby trapped.
ON Point News Report: Operation Phantom Thunder -- [ON Point]
Military planners chose a name for the fierce assault on Al-Qaeda strongholds that recalls twin American combat operations separated by forty years. But unlike the Vietnam-era Rolling Thunder, a bombing campaign that failed to defeat the insurgency, this is war with the grunts on the ground.
“The surge is in full swing,” said General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, when asked for comment on Operation Phantom Thunder by ON Point.
“Operation Phantom Thunder is a country-wide, synchronized, coordinated operation involving both joint and solo missions,” said Coalition spokesman LtCol Christopher Garver in phone call with ON Point.
War of The Shrines -- [Iraq the Model - iraqis in Iraq]
Attacking the Askari shrine for the second time emphasizes how those who ordered the attacks have been betting their money on this tactic to spark civil war in Iraq. Civil war would kill any hope for the rise of a stable democracy and is also the best option to stop the change project in the region by associating it with the ugly image of civil war.
Such war would not only destroy Iraqis' hopes in stability and prosperity, it would also bury every aspiration in the region for pluralism and reform—the Iraqi example could be used then as call for accepting dictatorship or going back to the Salafi origins as an easy alternative for a change that leads to civil war.
"Thank you very much" -- [Duty In The Desert - in Iraq]
Here's an update from Stars & Stripes on U.S. Operation ARROWHEAD RIPPER in Baqouba, Iraq:
“Regardless of where they are, we are going to find them. Our expectations are … that it will be a tough fight, and we expect that. (But) our great soldiers and airmen are ready, and we’ll make it happen,” Bednarek said in an interview the day before the operation began...
“Welcome, welcome,” said an elderly man, waving the troops inside. “Thank you very much,” he said, as they left...
1920 Brigades Issue Frantic Denials of Any Role in U.S.-led Attacks on Diyala -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Evan Kohlmann]
The 1920 Revolution Brigades--a prominent Sunni insurgent faction in Iraq which has come into recent conflict with Al-Qaida--have issued a series of frantic statements denying any role in the ongoing U.S.-led security operation in the restive Diyala province. Various press accounts had reported earlier that Sunni insurgents who had "turned against al-Qaida" were "cooperating with U.S. and Iraqi forces" in helping to secure several neighborhoods in eastern and western Baqubah.
Iraqi, Coalition forces move forward despite attacks -- [MNF-I]
...“Our military operations are still ongoing in many places in Baghdad to pursue the terrorists,” said Al-Moussawi. “Terrorist attacks will not make us stop our operations in Baghdad, and we’ll move forward with steady steps.”
Al-Moussawi addressed the progress made by the Iraqi Army in the past week.
“We’ve killed 32 terrorists, detained 170 others, freed five kidnapped (victims), defused eight improvised explosive devices and 17 car bombs, found 2,000 different kinds of weapons and seized eight tons of TNT,” said Al-Moussawi.
Marne Torch continues clearing insurgent safe havens -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Task Force Marne continues its sixth day of offensive operations to clear extremist sanctuaries in the Arab Jabour area which is located southeast of Baghdad.
To date, Marne Torch and Iraqi Army units have detained more than five dozen suspected extremists and destroyed more than 17 boats on the Tigris River that are responsible for transporting accelerants into Baghdad. Ground and air forces disrupted insurgent operations by capturing, seizing, and clearing caches that support instability in the area.
U.S. forces killed five insurgents, discovered and destroyed 12 improvised explosive devices, and detained 13 wanted individuals.
Operation Commando Eagle starts off strong -- [MNF-I]
MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq — A joint operation geared toward curbing terrorist activity southwest of Baghdad is yielding results almost immediately.
Operation Commando Eagle, a mix of helicopter-borne air assaults and Humvee-mounted movements, included Soldiers from several battalions of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division.
The operation, which began today, targeted a series of houses which local citizens indicated were being used by al-Qaeda cells to intimidate them and launch attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces.
The IZ -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
The air coming through the open window of the UH-60 Blackhawk felt like someone was pointing a high-powered hair dyer in my face. The heat, the random foot locker that was shoved on my lap and the dozen or so passengers crammed into the small space just confirmed the reason I hate flying via Blackhawk. I'd take a CH-47 Chinook or convoy any day. The reason I was on that helicopter was to travel to the International (Green) Zone in Baghdad to conduct face-to-face meetings with many of the people I will be working with over the next year. The other part of my job, besides being an operation officer advisor, is to act as the US Contracting Officer
In the thick of it -- [Fightin' 6th Marines! - in Iraq]
A few new photos from one of our regimental combat cameramen, Cpl. Samuel Corum. He's definitely a more talented photographer than me. If you would like to see more of Cpl. Corum's photos,
Payback, the Threat, and Jackassery -- [Mission Iraq - Round 2 - in Iraq]
...I am anxious to come home from this tour. I am however, disgusted by the state of our country.
Too many people are overly concerned about what's happening in their soap operas, the life of the rich, spoiled actors, and what's happening on their favorite comedy show on Fox or the WB. Jay Leno goes out to the streets to make fun of people who have no idea of geography or current events.
While all this is happening, colossal asses like Kennedy and Kerry run amuck soiling our country with their antics...amoung many other members of Congress.
No Plans Made to Extend Army Deployments -- [DOD]
WASHINGTON, June 20, 2007 – A senior defense official cautioned today against reading too much into Army secretary nominee Pete Geren’s statement yesterday that the Army hasn’t ruled out extending deployments for troops in Iraq.
Project Iraqi Kids Makes Its Way To Iraq -- [Defend America]
BAGHDAD, June 20, 2007 — Members of American Legion Post 256 from Tennessee are supporting the war effort by raising money to purchase school supplies for Iraqi children.
The effort, called “Project Iraqi Kids,” generates funds to buy school supplies to be shipped to U.S. units in Iraq. Elements of the 1st Cavalry Division and the 3rd Infantry Division are scheduled to start distributing the supplies in late June.
IPB - Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield. 21 JUN 2007 -- [John of Argghhh!]
Is the State Dept failing to put people able to deal with Arabs in the region because of language barriers? It seems they’re not succeeding in Iraq very much. The comments section is hillarious.
Asshat -- [Boston Maggie]
Last night, on the way to Newport, I listened to On Point, the news show on WBUR. The topic was "Critiquing America at War" and the first panelist was Stephen Van Evera, Professor of Political Science at MIT. He is an asshat.
There is really no other way to say it. He made silly points about the war and people who don't know enough about history, people who don't stand back and look at the big picture are going to be misled.
...First - timelines. We won in less than four years in Europe and the Pacific, but we have been in Iraq longer with no end in sight. I can't believe someone can compare these two things with a straight face.
...So you really want us to take the lesson learned in WWII and apply it in Iraq? Do you want us to rain complete and utter destruction down on Iraq and their people? Bomb them like Dresden, (See pic)
Happy Anniversary - 21 Years -- [A JAG in Afghanistan]
Janae and I have been married 21 years today on June 21st. 21 on 21. Has kind of a nice ring to it. And like last year on our anniversary I’m deployed. And like last year we had to celebrate on a different day.
...This afternoon Asmahtullah came by to see me. As you may recall he was my interpreter at the KMTC. He’s such a great young man. I asked him about the recent violence in Kabul and how do the locals feel. As I thought, most people are happy to have the Americans here. He specifically mentioned paved roads, clean”er” water, relative stability, women’s rights and other things. He said the ones who are protesting against the Americans are the pro-Taliban – just like I thought.
Taliban claims of taking district centers proving hollow -- [ISAF News]
KABUL, Afghanistan (June 20) – ISAF officials challenged today recent Taliban extremist claims of success in taking district centers in southern Afghanistan, countering that such efforts are only enemy attempts to create an impression of strength that is not backed by an ability to control geographical areas.
Afghan forces secure Mianeshin district center -- [ISAF News]
KABUL, Afghanistan (June 20) – Afghan forces, with the assistance of ISAF, have re-occupied Mianeshin district center without resistance.
“There has been some considerable misreporting about operations in and around Mianeshin in recent days,” said Lt. Col. Mike Smith, Regional Command South spokesman.
“Mianeshin is an isolated settlement in the northern region of Kandahar province, which consists of two buildings within a single compound wall. To describe it as a significant military objective is inappropriate and misleading,” Smith said.
Blinded By The Light -- [Strategy Page]
June 21, 2007: The Taliban Spring Offensive didn't happen, and the Taliban took a beating from NATO and U.S. attacks. The Taliban persisted in trying to use platoon size (30-50 gunmen) units, which regularly were spotted by UAVs and blasted by smart bombs. In response to this, the Taliban are cooperating more with al Qaeda terror attacks. These are more successful, but will not win Taliban back control of the country. In fact, as demonstrated in Iraq and elsewhere, al Qaeda terrorism just make the terrorists more unpopular with the population they are trying to intimidate and conquer. Al Qaeda leaders have not yet come to grips with this reality.
RAF Gunners Swap Kit With Dutch And Yank Troops
SPECIAL FEATURE: Kandahar is an international airbase with troops from many different countries stationed there. Today Paul and the B Flight lads are having a kit swap with Dutch and American soldiers. Shorts, t-shirts, hats and even ration packs swap hands in the good-natured trade off.
Axeghanistan Day 10: Face Those Monsters -- [Danger Room - David Axe - in Iraq]
At Kamp Holland, the Dutch base in southern Afghanistan, the troops are mourning the loss of a second soldier: 44-year-old Sergeant Major Jos Leunissen, who died in a mortar accident during combat with Taliban forces around the town of Chura on Monday.
I'm not attending the memorial service, however; I attended last week's service for Private 1st Class Timo Smeehuyzen in addition to many other services in my three years as a war correspondent -- and I've seen too many grown men cry. Besides, I've got work to do: work I think is important, work I hope contributes in some small way to victory -- whatever that means -- in our wars against terrorists.
Brits Honor Osama The Hero- Pakistanis Want Him Knighted -- [Gateway Pundit]
In Great Britain... Osama Bin Laden is a hero in a the prize-winning play with the same title- "Osama the Hero", by English playwright Dennis Kelly, who wrote it soon after the invasion of Iraq. Mr. Kelley won Britain's $20,000 Meyer-Whitworth award last November, after its first Australian production in Sydney.
Pakistani lawmaker and "Father of the Taliban" Sami ul Haq wants OBL knighted even though it is against British custom to knight foreigners- and despite the fact that OBL is a mass psychotic killer.
A Russian Murder Mystery -- [Weekly Standard Blog]
Truth is stranger than fiction--or so the saying goes. Nothing illustrates this more than the intersection of arms salesmen, government spokesmen, press reporting and a series of mysterious events leading up to the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.
In the first week of March, Ivan Safranov, a retired Russian colonel and correspondent for the last decade at the Moscow newspaper Kommersant, was found dead outside of his apartment building. Questions raised about several aspects of his death still remain unanswered.
Putin's next big customer?Safranov lived on the third floor of his building, but he had for some reason fallen from the fifth floor. He was fully clothed and wearing an overcoat, as if he had just returned from a trip to the market.
France Fears Blackberry Snooping by U.S. -- [Defense Tech]
(AP) PARIS - BlackBerry handhelds have been called addictive, invasive, wonderful - and now, a threat to French state secrets.
That, at least, is the fear of French government defense experts, who have advised against their use by officials in France's corridors of power, reportedly to avoid snooping by U.S. intelligence agencies.
"It's not a question of trust," French lawmaker Pierre Lasbordes told The Associated Press. "We are friends with the Americans, the Anglo-Saxons, but it's economic war."
Homeland Security Chief: Osama Bin Laden 'In Pakistan' -- [Counterterrorism Blog - James Gordon Meek]
Did Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff slip up today by revealing the presumed hideout of America's Public Enemy No. 1? President Bush's top counterterrorism official was discussing the politics of immigration reform and said he doesn't take disagreements with lawmakers personally or view them as "enemies."
"I know who the enemy is," Chertoff explained to reporters at a breakfast this morning hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "The enemy is sitting in a cave over there in Pakistan."
Terror Web 2.0 -The Net-Centric Operations of Terrorist Groups Today -- [Threats Watch - Guest Contributor Jeffrey Carr]
The latest phase of the Internet revolution, which has been widely referred to as Web 2.0, has not been overlooked by web-based terror networks. A recent study by the Artificial Intelligence Lab of the University of Arizona details precisely how these net-savvy terrorists are using the Web for fund-raising, recruitment, propaganda, logistical support, communications, training, and even cyber warfare.
The following table breaks down terrorist objectives and how they are supported by web sites and web-based features:
Donations and Self Donations -- [Wyld's Q & A - in Iraq]
...When I got back in country, there were several packages from all sorts of people and I distributed most or all of the items to my Marines. I one package, however, was a package of dried fruit and nuts. This particular item was well received by all.
I do have some personnel requests: Outside Thermometer, "Dried Fruit" such as banana chips, and "green tea by Lipton".
Requests from the Marines include : LED lights, Baby wipes, powdered drink mixes, Scotch tape, dried fruit and nuts, and chocolate
Operation Gratitude -- [My Desert Adventure - in Iraq]
Some time ago, someone signed my entire unit up for “Operation Gratitude” Yesterday, we had two truckloads of care packages show up—each one was addressed to one of the soldiers. It really made a lot of people’s day-it was like Christmas morning with everyone opening them up. Of course, since I’m on loan to the army, I’m not officially assigned to my unit, so I didn’t get one. I guess I was the bad kid that got a lump of coal.
thank you for angels -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
...Hello and thank you for your support.I recently received some backpacks full of goodies for our soldiers. Asthe nurse in charge of the intensive care unit, my nurses and I seequite a few patients come through our unit. You should feel great aboutthe support that you give. The back packs are great for the injuredsoldiers, and they are great for the nurses to have something to give.The back packs are a big hit with everyone.Your note mentioned that we could email a wish list. This request isfor the hospital staff so if you have other priorities, please take careof those first. These are all "nice to have" things.-Snack foods that are "healthy". We receive lots of cookies, but I havequite a few health conscious people that prefer to eat healthier snacks.Anything from tuna snack packs to trail mix and anything in between.-Room deodorizers. Anything that makes it smell better except foraerosolized cans, plug-ins or things you need to light
people's voice DO make a difference
they didnt take long to turn around i tell you that..SUPPORT the TROOPS..the war is a different thing BUT show them you care and love them NO matter what...Canada is behind you..KICK ASS where ever you have to and come home safe...WE ARE PROUD OF YOU.. :)
Don't know what to say to a Marine? -- [View from the 8th Floor]
Well, here's the message I sent to the RCT-6, if that will help...
Greetings from Arlington, VA :-) I hope this finds you safe and well.
... I do feel compelled to champion the efforts of those who are not so fortunate. We can’t always do a lot, but we can always talk the talk. And we can’t always send you guys in to try to kickstart a “do over” for a whole nation. However, when we do, your dedication and willingness to tackle the job are humbling. I’ll do my part back here as what I like to think of as your distant rear guard. I’m behind you 100% - don’t ever forget it. I can’t change the evening news or newspaper headlines, but as a member of Soldiers’ Angels and as a fledgling blogger, I hope I’m helping send a different message. :-)
Maine Troop Greeters Banned from Offering Cookies -- [MilBlogs - Soldier's Dad]
via Bangor Daily News
...Homemade treats long provided by the area’s volunteer Maine Troop Greeters disappeared at the airport about a month ago after BIA began enforcing a ban on such giveaways.
Last I checked Airports are funded primarily by Federal Taxes. Someone at the White House (I mean you George) needs to ...
National Organization Joining Forces to Form OPERATION ONE FAMILY -- [Soldiers' Angels]
Costa Mesa, CA., June 20, 2007 - Numerous national organizations are joining forces with MilitaryConnection.com, TAPS, Homefront America, Soldiers Angels and ThanksUSA in a joint effort to support the families of the fallen by forming Operation One Family. Details of the program and registration information for families can be found at www.operationonefamily.org
Operation One Family is a proud member organization of America Supports You.
I feel alright – I feel alright tonight -- [Appalachian Patria - home from Iraq]
After a 21 ½ hour flight over 5,864 miles the remaining part of my task force was back in to where it had departed from, Volk Field Wisconsin. I was on the first flight into theater and the last flight out. We took 360 over and all came back with every thing intact (we did have some non combat injuries). We thank God for that. The statistics for death in Iraq are light, but, the reality is, you’re going to where you won’t die, but be killed or maimed.
Army's Greatest Inventions for 2006 -- [Defense Tech]
Researchers behind the Army's top 10 greatest inventions for 2006 were recognized recently at a ceremony in Arlington, Virginia. The Army's Greatest Inventions for 2006 are:
Blow Torch Counter Improvised Explosive Device System, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. This vehicle-mounted system detonates IEDs at safe stand-off distances, minimizing vehicle damage and Soldier injuries.
Congress Sinks Into The Quagmire Of Unpopularity -- [RedState]
And No One Has An Exit Strategy
When the 110th Congress came storming into the American political scene, it appeared to be a worldbeater of sorts. At long last, 12 years of corrupt Republican rule had been swept away! We had the first female Speaker and a Majority Leader who got one of the Smothers Brothers to portray him on Casino. ('Tis true!) Surely, things were going to be different and this Congress was going to fulfill the hopes and wishes of all those who voted for it.
Hilary Clinton Heckled And Booed Over Iraq Comments.
Hilary Clinton gets heckled and booed over her comments on the Iraqi Government.
"Democrat Pandering to Crazy People" Alert -- [The Oxford Medievalist]
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doubtless couldn't have used more exaggerated and inflammatory language to pander to crazy people yesterday when she addressed the "liberal pressure group" "Campaign for America's Future," yet still received somewhat less than a warm reception:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) yesterday reaffirmed her commitment to end the war in Iraq, but her words were greeted with skepticism and some boos by anti-war liberal activists.
Addressing the liberal pressure group Campaign for America’s Future, Pelosi called the war in Iraq a “tragedy” and a “grotesque mistake,” but her words elicited catcalls for her to do more.
When someone shouted a question about Darfur, Pelosi segued into a discussion about her visit to Sudan last year. But she then pivoted and with a smile asked, “Just getting back to the war now, if I may. Do you mind if I do that?”
Giuliani Blew Off Iraq Panel for Speaking Fees -- [Outside the Beltway]
By popular demand, I herewith comment on the story Newsday that broke yesterday that Rudy Giuliani missed two meetings of the Iraq Study Group because of fundraising trips and then quit the panel when told the alternative was to show up.
Frankly, faced with a choice between $1.7 million and participating in a group with a bunch of other people who aren’t experts to present advice to the president he isn’t going to take anyway, I’d take the $1.7 million every time. (In full disclosure, I must confess that neither alternative has been offered.)
Anna Un-Embedded -- [Outside the Wire]
Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen makes the typical un-forced error so common among columnists and the chattering class--taking one statement and conflating it to a generalization without the context of time, place and mission.
There is no substitute for spending a lot of time outside the wire with the young men who fight the war in Iraq to understand the context.
Without the context of time, place and mission, especially mission, the statements of a Soldier or Marine are horribly misunderstood.
Qundlen, after making a sidways comparison of U.S. service members to Nazis, takes one report of one unit and generalizes it to the military as a whole.
Attaboy, AP -- [Jules Crittenden]
I don’t know what got into the AP. They had some perfectly good mosque bombings to lede with, and they bury that to focus in undisparaging fashion on U.S. and Iraqi forces kicking al-Qaeda ass from Baqouba to Baghdad, with the help of erstwhile Sunni insurgents.
Shocka! Journalists give to Democrats 9-1 -- [Gateway Pundit]
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly Like that 1990s survey revealing that about 90 percent of the Washington press corps supported Clinton, a president who didn’t crack 50% in either 1992 or 1996, didn’t tell us this years ago. Still, it’s one of those things the confirms what we already know: Journalists tend to be a bunch of libs who are are out to “change the world” rather than just report on it:
The Ethicist's Objectivity -- [Real Clear Politics]
Bill Dedman, investigative journalist for MSNBC, has just published an extensive report on journalists who've given campaign cash. In some ways, the report confirms what we already know:
Man Of Constant Sorrow - Afghanistan
(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.
U.S. Troops Are Good, Kind People -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
Here's a heart-warming, wonderful story of the decency, kindness and goodness of U.S. Troops. It comes from a somewhat surprising source - CBS News - and shows some of the good things our troops are doing in Iraq.
No matter what else you do today, you MUST watch this video segment and then send it on to everyone you know.
U.S. and Iraqi forces rescued more than 2 Baghdad Orphanage
Eye To Eye: Baghdad Orphanage (CBS News) TMG Editor's Note : extended video from above MUST watch video link
UPDATE: Labor and Social Affairs minister lashes out, calls the US Iraq's the enemy
Labor and Social Affairs minister of Baghdad does not except responsiblity for orphanage, instead lashes out, calls the US Iraq's the enemy. Says boys of orfanage are all perfectly healthy and report is a lie.
Life After Curfew -- [first words, first walk, first.... in IRAQ -- an Iraqi in Iraq]
When the curfew was imposed and the repercussions of the bombings of the shrines belied expectations, I was told to brace for the mayhem to come and that it was premature to pin too much hope on fellow Iraqis’ resilience.
...What I liked the most about running an errand after curfew was the traffic. The 15-minute-trip took us only five minutes. Feels like the old days!
On the trip back home, we dropped by the drugstore and kind of liked what we saw. Baghdadis strangely wore smiles on their faces, I thought I’d never see those again. Shops were bustling. People are reverting to their Iraqi manners, mum noted, referring to a policeman who helped a woman get into a minibus. This too was non-existent few weeks ago.
Mum’s words reminded me of what she once told me, you’ll never know which people are good and which ones are bad until you’re struck by a crippling crisis.
Let Beasts Devour Beasts -- [Talisman Gate]
I hereby declare victory. I believe the Sunni insurgency in Iraq has collapsed, and all the casualty tallies that the insurgents are desperately trying to ratchet-up won't convince me otherwise. The odor of defeat hangs heavily around the "dead-enders" — a term I'd like to bring back into vogue because it's an apt description for those gangs that remain to be hunted down, and who will be responsible for the baseline violence we will continue to see there, but at levels Iraqis can live with and still prosper.
The Battle of Iraq – 2007 -- [The Fourth Rail]
...The corps level operation is being conducted in three zones in the Baghdad Belts -- Diyala/southern Salahadin, northern Babil province, and eastern Anbar province --- as well as inside Baghdad proper, where clearing operations continue in Sadr City and the Rashid district. Iraqi and Coalition forces are now moving into areas which were ignored in the past and served as safe havens for al Qaeda and Sunni insurgent groups. As the corps level operation is ongoing, Coalition and Iraqi forces are striking at the rogue Iranian backed elements of Muqtada al Sadr's Mahdi Army and continuing the daily intelligence driven raids against al Qaeda's network nationwide.
Operation ‘Arrowhead Ripper’ continues in Baqouba --[MNF- I]
BAQOUBA, Iraq – Task Force Lightning continued its offensive operation in and around the capital of Diyala province, Iraq, today as part of a powerful crack down on al-Qaida terrorists operating in the area.
U.S. and Iraqi combined forces engaged and killed at least 30 al-Qaida operatives, and discovered four IEDs emplaced in houses, and 10 buried IEDs during the first full day of Operation Arrowhead Ripper.
“These criminals will know no safe place to hide in Diyala,” said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, Deputy Command General for Operations, Task Force Lightning and Multinational Division North. “The people of Diyala are tired of the terror and violence these al-Qaida thugs have brought to their province and are cooperating with us in order to root them out.”
Operation Marne Torch continues to net results in insurgent safe haven -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Four insurgents have been killed and 62 detained at the start of Operation Marne Torch’s fourth day in southeast Baghdad.
Ten caches have been seized, 17 boats destroyed, and five improvised explosive devices have been found.
The operation’s purpose is to clear insurgents from safe havens.
Phase one of Marne Torch began in mid-May and focused on intelligence gathering and shaping the conditions for offensive operations.
We Won? -- [Strategy Page]
June 20, 2007: After weeks of maneuvering in and around Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi forces have isolated and cornered large numbers of terrorists in Diyala province (northeast of Baghdad), and especially in the provincial capital, Baqouba. This is a major operation, with 9,000 Americans and a thousand Iraqi troops (and police) involved. In addition, there are several hundred local irregulars, who have switched sides. This is a big change in the Baghdad suburbs. While tribal leaders and warlords in the west (Anbar province) have been turning on terrorist groups, especially al Qaeda, for several years, the gangs of Baghdad were more resistant to changing sides. That's because ...
Food Drive in Fallujah
Marines provide security for a food drive in Fallujah
In the kitchen with Dennis -- [Fightin' 6th Marines! - in Iraq]
Cpl. Dennis K. Derr, 26, from Watson Town, Pa., stirs a pot of food on a gas stove while on patrol. The Marine from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, was helping an Iraqi woman prepare dinner while conducting census operations. By helping out in such a small way he is assisting in earning the trust of the people in this area. Unfortunately he had to leave and continue the patrol before the food was ready; however, he left behind a favorable impression on the family that sat down to dinner that night.
The Iraqi Silent Majority -- [Calvery in Iraq - in Iraq]
I wish all Americans could see and meet some of the very brave, freedom-loving Iraqis I have met. In the news, it seems like all you hear about are the ones causing trouble, or the ones with complaints.
Everyone has complaints about their government. I have numerous complaints about our government, and when some of my complaints become moot, I can always find others.
But if someone were to focus merely on my complaints about our government, they would be ignoring the love I have for America. To focus on the negative would be a one-sided view.
Similarly, it is easy to focus on the significant minority of Iraqis who are part of the problem, who don't want a free society.
But every week, if not every day, I see Iraqis who are quietly part of the solution. Perhaps ...
Baqubah's Biometric Squeeze -- [Danger Room]
10,000 U.S. troops have surrounded western neighborhoods in the Iraqi city of Baqubah. The goal "is not merely to reclaim [it] from insurgent control, but to capture or kill the estimated 300 fighters to 500 [Al Qaeda] fighters who are believed to be based" there, according to the New York Times.
But with so many civilians -- nearly 300,000 -- in Baqubah, the Islamists can easily blend with the local population. "To frustrate such plans, the Americans intend to take fingerprints and other biometric data from every resident who seems to be a potential fighter after they and Iraqi forces have gained control of the western side of the city. The Americans will also test for the presence of explosive material on suspects’ hands."
These biometric sweeps are becoming an increasingly common U.S. tactic in Iraq. American forces are fingerprinting new militia allies. Advisers training the Iraqi police have been fingerprinting recruits -- and cross-checking the results against Saddam's old biometric databases. Marines in Anbar province have done an end-run around the Pentagon bureaucracy to get fingerprint scanners into the field. Now, $320 million from the latest war-funding bill will go towards biometric programs.
Early frustrations -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
On a positive note, we have had a couple fun nights with the Iraqi officers.
... The conversation was also pretty interesting. Some of the Iraqi officers speak decent English so they acted as interpreters for the rest of those who don't speak any English. I continue to sharpen my Arabic, and I was pretty happy when they commented on how impressed they are with my progress. We talked about everything from Soccer to politics and it's really interesting to get their point of view. For example, the officers we were talking to are fully aware that outside influences are causing havoc trying to ignite sectarian violence, as in the mosque bombings in Samarra. It's interesting to me, at least, because it offers at least a faint glimmer that people in Iraq understand. I know that the opinions are coming from officers in their army, so they are a little more educated and have access to info that others don't, so they are able to comprehend the situation better too.
Rules of Engagement Marked as: Mature
The procedures Marines have to go through before using deadly force.
The Sidewalk to No Where -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
Recently the decision was made to increase security around Camp Ramadi. Among other things this has led to the addition of a base security force of Ugandan ex-military employed by a Private Military Contractor. They have assumed guard internally, at the DFAC, the PX, the MWR Facilities, and a few other places around post. External security remains the purview of coalition forces.
Apparently it was also determined the PX needed a chain link fence around it. Not sure if it is to keep things in or out or what the problem was before that they are trying to eliminate, but the chain link fence has now turned the extension of the sidewalk into the "Sidewalk to No Where."
Again, Where Do We Find These Guys...? -- [BlackFive]
PFC Bradley Clark reports on an interesting day for PFC Daniel Weber:
...Weber’s company commander, Capt. Bradley Nelson, was in a convoy heading to Forward Operating Base Marez for a meeting and Weber just hitched a ride so he could re-enlist.
“We were riding along just fine when we heard over the radio that Delta Troop was in some trouble, so we decided to turn around and help them out because we had a medic with us,” said Weber.
Relief in sight -- [My Desert Adventure - in Iraq]
Last fall I was told that I was going to Iraq. I had a general idea what I would be doing, but I had no idea what exactly, or where I’ll be going. It was very unnerving. Would I be living in a tent, eating MREs and getting mortared every night? I had no idea.
I didn’t find out that I was coming to my brigade until the night prior. Pretty unsat.
The guy that is taking my job now knows a couple months out exactly what he’ll be doing, where he will living, etc. I also work in a fantastic unit and I’m glad to see that my job is going to a good guy.
Axeghanistan Day 9: Heading Out (Maybe) -- [Danger Room - David Axe - in Iraq]
On the way to my hooch, I passed one of my new Aussie buddies. He was covered in grime, breathing hard, and bent under his armor and gear. After nearly a week, their mission to protect the engineers working on the Tarin Kowt boys' school had wrapped. But with all the fighting in nearby Chura, there wasn't any transport to spare to bring them home to Kamp Holland, their base in the region. So they had marched, for miles, under a blazing sun. How miserable is that particular experience? Just ask Pasha, a Soviet soldier in Kandahar in 1982:
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: SPECIAL FEATURE: B Flight interviews -- [royalairforce]
PC? -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
Alright people, get on board. I have my own quote. So, you all know KAF is a big place mainly inhabited by US, British and Australians and little pockets of other smaller players in the coalition effort. Smaller in the size not heart, most of these countries are fairly endowed with manly marbles if you get my drift. Anyway, there is a company of Portuguese Commandos getting ready to deploy back to Portugal and they are all over the place. Over the last week, I’ve noticed
New Simulation Of WTC Collapse -- [Blue Crab Boulevard]
I'm quite sure that this will make no difference to the "truthers" and their particular insanity, but Purdue University has just released a new computer simulation of the effect of a jetliner plowing into the World Trade Center. They concentrated on the effect the impact had on the fireproofing of the structural steel in the buildings.
The two-year Purdue University study, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, was the first to use 3-D animation to provide visual context to the attacks, said Christoph Hoffmann, a professor of computer science and one of the lead researchers on the project.
Creative chaos; Iran's way -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
...I think that when the president of the united states counted Iran among the members of the axis of evil the description was not unjustifiably incriminating, it just came before the evidence that support this claim became available.
In Iran there's an ideology that alienates everyone different, and that with power in the hands of extremist and the presence of wild ambitions based on a mythical vision, this combination can only lead us to the simple conclusion that Iran has a project that is in conflict with the new orientation of the region and most importantly this project aims far beyond the borders of Iran
The Turkmenistan pivot -- [Peace Like a River]
...Russia scored a coup in making that deal with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, and this deal with Lukoil is evidence of a step or two towards the Russian camp. As Vladimir Socor wrote a couple weeks ago, the deal left the US in the dust.
The New Arms Race -- [Weekly Standard Blog]
At this point Russian and American defense business stopped being a one-on-one game, and the two industries went off in different directions. U.S. defense contractors starting thinking about different places they might need to deploy in the post-cold war world--and what type of a military machine you would need to be victorious in the brave new conflicts they envisioned.
And Russian companies became primarily concerned with what their export customers wanted, with barely a care as to what their own military establishment wanted or needed.
New from the NEFA "Target: America" Series: "The East Coast Buildings Plot" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
On the heels of the foiled plots targeting Fort Dix and JFK Airport, the Nine Eleven Finding Answers (NEFA) Foundation announces the release of the fourth in a series of reports examining the multitude of terrorist plots directed at the United States since 9/11. This week's report details the chillingly detailed surveillance British Al Qaeda operative Dhiren Barot and his co-conspirators conducted on the Citigroup Center, the New York Stock Exchange, the Prudential Plaza, the IMF Building, and the World Bank. By striking at the heart of the U.S. economy, Barot hoped to further Osama bin Laden's goal of "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy" and...
Taliban Suicide Bomb Teams Sent to U.S
Sixty Years of Stove-Pipe -- [Dadmanly]
Mike McConnell, US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), calls for a dramatic overhaul of the US Intelligence Community (IC) in the July/August edition of Foreign Affairs.
...Few Americans seem to have paid attention to ongoing efforts to reform, improve, and redirect the efforts of the US IC, as reflected most recently by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), which itself created the post of director of national intelligence (DNI), currently inhabited by McConnell. However much change has already been implemented, McConnell advocates for much more.
Al Qaeda Loves Lawsuits -- [Strategy Page]
June 20, 2007: One reason there is no shortage of suicide bombers is because of the money involved. Several Islamic charities provide one time payments, or even monthly "pensions," to the families of suicide bombers. Saddam Hussein is still popular among Islamic radicals because, when he was in power, he made large (up to $30,000) payments to the families of such "martyrs." That made recruiting a lot easier, and took the PR sting out of the loss of life. Saddam is no longer writing checks, but there are several other sources that are still active.
Free Camp for Kids of Military Parents Deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 -- [ScrappleFace]
THIS IS NOT SATIRE.
Faithful ScrappleFace readers know that editor Scott Ott is also director of a Christian children’s camp called Victory Valley Camp, in Zionsville, Pennsylvania.
As an expression of gratitude for the sacrifice of our troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Victory Valley Camp is offering a free week of day camp (ages 5-to-11) or overnight camp (ages 8-to-13) for their children during summer 2007.
This offer applies to families of troops deployed to either of these theaters of operations during the 2007 calendar year. A week of Valley Day Camp normally costs $135. A week of overnight Camp or Outpost costs $335. For these families, we will charge nothing.
A Face of Freedom ~ Army SSG Christian Bagge -- [Gazing at the Flag]
I first learned of SSG Christian Bagge in June 2005 when I received an email about an Oregon soldier who was wounded in Iraq and headed back to the United States. Later, I received his address at Brooke Army Medical Center. We packed up a small care package and supportive letters and sent them off, along with our prayers. We never expected to hear of the SSG again, but we kept him in our prayers.
The following year, SSG Christian Bagge was at the White House to go jogging with President Bush. When the President visited him at the hospital, he was newly arrived and had lost both legs to an IED - one above the knee and one below.
Now, SSG Christian Bagge is a finalist for the Energizer "Keep Going" Hall of Fame.
Vote for SSG Christian Bagge
COMBAT DEATHS ARE PART OF VICTORY -- [SandGram]
This is a letter from my Dad. It could be a two part letter to the people, but I told him it was fine as stated. There are so many things in this piece that ring true and need to be said. I truly believe that we are on the brink of something very big here in the world between our cultures and people.
Anyway, I asked him to write something for you, so here he goes.
Combat Deaths are part of victory,...
Democrats Try To End Secret Ballots For Union Elections -- [Captain's Quarters]
No one can accuse Democrats of reneging on this pledge. Senate Democrats plan to have a showdown with the GOP over a bill that would force workers to cast unionization votes without a secret ballot. They're trying to keep a campaign promise to union bosses who funded their campaigns:
Kerry says Iraq is worse than Vietnam
"We're Behind You All The Way!" -- [Real Clear Politics]
So, Ryan Crocker, the Ambassador to Iraq, needs personnel:
Ryan C. Crocker, the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, bluntly told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a cable dated May 31 that the embassy in Baghdad -- the largest and most expensive U.S. embassy -- lacks enough well-qualified staff members and that its security rules are too restrictive for Foreign Service officers to do their jobs. "Simply put, we cannot do the nation's most important work if we do not have the Department's best people," Crocker said in the memo.
And the Congressional majority--or at least one of its members--appears to respond with contempt.
New Gallup Head-to-Heads -- [Real Clear Politics]
Gallup is out with a new round of general election match ups based on its 6/11-6/14 survey of 927 registered voters. Below are the results, along with updated RealClearPolitics Averages for each pairing:...
Williams Sees 'Tremendous Victories,' But Frustrated by Question: 'How's the War Going?' -- [NewsBusters]
NBC anchor Brian Williams, on Tuesday's Daily Show, recognized that there are “tremendous local victories” in Iraq, but told Jon Stewart the constant suicide bombings killing scores of civilians leave him unable to answer the question: “How's the war going?” But, “when you look at the big picture you wonder how it's ever going to work?” Asked by Stewart about his March trip to Iraq, Williams offered a colorful detail about pleadings from Iraqi women as he answered:
“We go to Ramadi and Iraqi women, unprompted, didn't know who I was, come up and say in Arabic to the American commander, 'please don't ever leave us. Don't leave this town.' They've gone block by block talking to the Imans, making the town safe. Same day: I fly back with an American four-star General, we get to Baghdad to hear that 93 Shia pilgrims have been killed by two vest bombers. And then you come home after eight days and people say, 'How's the war going?' And how are you ever going to sum that up? You have tremendous local victories, and yet when you look at the big picture you wonder how it's ever going to work?"
The Ground Truth - movie review -- [The Will to Exist]
The Ground Truth tells the story of a few veterans who came away from the Iraq War very discontented, mentally disturbed or psychologically damaged in some major way. The stories reflected in the movie are real, but the packaging is designed to bias people into thinking that everything about the war is bad, which is simply not true. Many people are killed, maimed and injured - that is the case in every war (I am one of the veterans in question.) Many bad decisions are made and many lives are ruined when wars are fought, invasions launched and weapons brought to bear. But not every veteran walks away from war as disturbed in the head as the people portrayed here.
Seymour Hersh and Robert Fisk, wrong again -- [Media Blog - Tom Gross]
Emmanuel Sivan, writing in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, relates how "Sharp-eyed reporters in Beirut read Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh's article in astonishment," so obviously were Hersh's allegations about the Bush administration's cooperation with al-Qaeda-linked groups in Lebanon untrue:
Davids Medienkritik interviewed by CBN and the BBC on Anti-Americanism and Blogs -- [Davids Medienkritik]
Journalist Dale Hurd has put together an outstanding two part report on anti-Americanism in European media featuring an interview with Ray Drake of Davids Medienkritik. This is must-see material for anyone interested in the phenomenon. View it all now on Davids Medienkritik:
Milbloggers Dominate Surge Coverage in Iraq -- [Gateway Pundit]
While the mainstream media continues its grim warnings and fatalistic reporting that has been going on since the war began, the milbloggers continue to bring responsible first hand reports from the battlefield...
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
The Value of Life -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
One day last week, I spent the day watching a crane move huge concrete barriers around a building to better protect it for an Iraqi Army unit newly stationed there. My goodness, it was so freakin' hot.
...What struck me in the face like a shovel, though, wasn't the oppressive heat, rather it was a comment from a jundi (soldier) at that new IA outpost. This particular jundi is an informal leader in his unit. The officers often take suggestions from the Americans and with just a word or two to this jundi, he jumps up and makes things happen just as a good US Army NCO would do.
As the crane lowered another concrete block into place, this leader/jundi leaned towards my ear and said (through an interpreter), "You Americans have so much, life is important to you. That's why you build walls, wear your [IBA] vests and drive those trucks [pointing to my uparmored HMMWV]. We have nothing in Iraq so we don't care if we die."
Harry Reid: Patriot With No Stones -- [No end but Victory]
...Come on over here and tell me the war is lost, that the time has come to pack it in and let the Iraqis sort this mess out. Chastise me for sticking with a cause Harry says is hopeless, a mission he says never had any real chance of being “accomplished,” or the idea that the Arab world would prefer tyranny and oppression to freedom and liberty, and I’ll introduce you to a few Iraqis that would tell you otherwise.
My secret.. -- [Days of My Life - an iraqi in Iraq]
...Sometimes people live in great areas , have wonderful life, and have almost everything , but they are not satisfied ,in the same time people live in misery and still have hope , and do their best to have a good life, it’s all about decisions.
No matter what happen , I’ll do my best to live a normal life and won’t let the situation and the terrorists have a great effect on my life and education, The terrorists want us to be depressed and miserable , they want us to lose the hope which is a basic thing for the life to continue , if there is no hope , there is no life. I don’t want the terrorists to win and achieve their goal, I don’t think it is impossible to have a peaceful life “impossible is nothing” .
we don’t hear in the stories that the devil wins, right? We hear the virtuous always win , I believe it is the same thing in reality. It is a matter of time.
A Deadly War of the Devils... -- [neurotic Iraqi wife - an iraqi in Iraq]
...I am absolutely sickened by all this. They say they are patriots, they say they are nationalists, they say they are muslims and are fighting the enemy for the sake of Iraq. The only people they are infact ruining are the Iraqis themselves. I hope to god, with all the faith that I have left in me, for even that is dimming, that one day, one day pretty soon, these criminals will get what they deserve. Hell. Hell on earth and hell on judgement day.
Mr Moqtada, that great spiritual leader who everyone should look upto because he is a genius of his time, blamed the US forces for the bombing of the shrines. Umm yeah Moqtada, sure, I mean who can argue with you??? You ARE mr know it all after all!!! WHAT BS!!! The reason Iraq is not advancing, is because we have mutakhalifeen (illiterate) people that believe everything this guy says and follow him blindly. I refuse to even watch him on TV, his eyes creep me out. They are like the devils eyes that burn right through you. His followers, not long ago were Saddam loyalists (Fidaee Saddam), who would give up their lives to protect Saddam. And now, They would bomb their own people just to make this lunatic happy.
...The only solution to the mayhem we are in is to appoint someone who is fearless, ruthless yet fair, and has no allegiance, I mean no allegiance, to any party, group, sect or religeon. A man that rules with his fist to fight for the people, and in the name of the people. Not someone who sticks to his damn F****** chair because of prestige and promises words, words that mean nothing, nothing without any action.
Locals Help Iraqi Police Battle Al Sadr's Mahdi Army -- [Gateway Pundit]
The locals are getting tired of the violence in the region and the thuggery of the Al Sadr's lackeys.
The locals are getting fed up with Al Sadr's Mahdi Army and joined police in fighting the militia today in Nasiriya.
ADN Kronos reported:...
Be Not Afraid -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
Thoughts flow on the eve of a great battle. By the time these words are released, we will be in combat. Few ears have heard even rumors of this battle, and fewer still are the eyes that will see its full scope. Even now—the battle has already begun for some—practically no news about it is flowing home. I’ve known of the secret plans for about a month, but have remained silent.
This campaign is actually a series of carefully orchestrated battalion and brigade sized battles. Collectively, it is probably the largest battle since “major hostilities” ended more than four years ago. Even the media here on the ground do not seem to have sensed its scale.
Brigade helps Iraqis help themselves -- [MNF-I]
CAMP TAJI — Helping Iraqis to help themselves has been a common theme running through many of the reconstruction efforts currently being pursued by coalition forces as they work with the Iraqi government.
A new way ahead for reconstruction, being outlined by the 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, follows this line of thinking about helping the Iraqi government to become self-reliant as it works to transition into a fully independent democracy.
Diyala's Turn -- [Captain's Quarters]
...At some point, the terrorists will have no more places to run, but that will take quite a long time. Petraeus wants to get them out of Baghdad in order to allow the central government to finally take steps towards national reconciliation. No one thinks that a military solution exists that will solve all of Iraq's problems, but the military needs to give enough space to allow the political solutions to take place and to root themselves firmly in the Iraqi culture.
At some point, chasing insurgents will become the exclusive province of the Iraqi Army. We will probably work on AQI ourselves for the next few years, but we want to hand everything else off to a strong, representative government in Baghdad in the very near future, if possible. By keeping the pressure on AQI and other terrorists in Baghdad, Anbar, and now Diyala, we're giving that solution the best possible chance to succeed.
What is the strategy in Iraq? -- [Dumb Looks Still Free]
...in Iraq, many individuals are using the old saw from Vietnam of 'wrong war, wrong place, wrong time'. If you enjoy that meme then *also* sign up for all of the consequences of defeat and take responsibility for that idea that the US should *lose* wars because of it. Really, those millions of dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees, the expansion of tyranny, and the hard pressing by the USSR of the US afterwards, plus the expansion of terrorism into its current, noxious form are ALL the fallouts of that meme. If you like this meme, then do sign up for taking actual, real responsibility for doing *nothing better* when confronting the enemies of the United States.
Alert: 10,000 Troops Storm Diyala -- [Pat Dollard]
The crime here is, this was all predicted on this website since mid-April, but not in the MSM. They gave us only body counts without context, instead of the narrative of the campaign that was leading to this final showdown with Al Qaeda in Diyala. See the links in the opening sentence of the post below to see how long I’ve been laying this out. Mid April. As exploding bridges and other horrific acts of violence ripped Baghdad and its environs, we knew that they were the violent, desperate acts of the cornered Al Qaeda beast. But the MSM and Congress wanted you to believe they were all signs of hopelesness instead of the darkly ironic signs of true hope that they really were. This is a dark, shameful age in America.
Task Force Lightning strikes al-Qaeda -- [MNF-I]
BAQOUBA, Iraq – Task Force Lightning commenced Operation Arrowhead Ripper today in a large-scale effort to eliminate al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating in Baqouba and its surrounding areas.
The 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, launched the offensive with a quick-strike nighttime air assault earlier today.
By daylight, attack helicopters and ground forces had engaged and killed 22 anti-Iraqi forces in and around Baqouba.
“The end state is to destroy the al-Qaeda influences in this province and eliminate their threat against the people,” said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, deputy commanding general, operations, 25th Infantry Division. “That is the number one, bottom-line, up-front, in-your-face, task and purpose.”
The Battle of the Belts -- [The Fourth Rail]
With the last U.S. combat brigade to hit the ground over the last two weeks as part of the surge, Multinational Forces Iraq has declared the beginning of “major combat operations” in the belts regions surrounding Baghdad. The Baghdad Belts, which included Eastern Anbar, northern Babil, and southern Salahadin and Diyala provinces, has long been a staging area for al Qaeda and insurgent operations into Baghdad, and a key part of the Baghdad Security Plan is denying these regions to the enemy.
"Marne Torch" - What's in a Name? -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
The recent and continuing series of operations in Iraq — part of the overall surge-offensive aimed at rooting out elements of Al Qaeda in Iraq — have spawned a variety of operational codenames from "Chosin" and "Arrowhead Ripper" to "Marne Torch" to other sub-operational codenames — Some codenames with historical significance; others with no rhyme or reason.
US Army - Marne Torch Air Assault in Iraq
Matt Sanchez, From Iraq: Rinse and Repeat -- [Pajamas Media - dispatch from iraq]
As a media embed in the United States military, a big part of my job is to observe, but as I watched the members of the 96th Transportation Company out of San Antonio, Texas, work tirelessly in preparation for their mission, I got to thinking that something was missing. Something was definitely different between wartime Americans deployed overseas and peacetime Americans hunkered down in the United States. And then it struck me, like the game show contestant who beats his opponents to the buzzer, what was missing from the time I left the United States, only a week before, was the sense of despair, frustration and self-centered complaining.
A religion of peace? -- [My Desert Adventure - in Iraq]
I will go out on a politically incorrect wing here and ask the question “is Islam a religion of peace?”
I base that question on what I have seen—not what the talking heads on TV say. Some things that happen over here are simply unspeakable.
Today, one of those things happened. Ideology, religion, and politics aside; all children are innocent and precious. They should be protected at all costs and never, ever targeted. To do otherwise in not only unholy, but it is inhuman.
Anti Iraq Forces Face the 3rd Infantry Division
Case of the Mondays -- [Making the Leap - in Iraq]
Now imagine this. You arrive at the office to discover a trench dug right in front of the threshold. You go to your desk and find out that the network is down, meaning no email, no Internet, no remote drives. There's no way you can get any work done. The network isn't due to come up until the following day. However, you're one of the lucky ones -- some workstations don't even have power. But there is still electricity, which means that you still have lights. Your boss thinks this is the perfect opportunity to clean up. The end result of that is five garbage bags of shredded paper, and there's still more to do.
Iraq, The Guaranteed Solution -- [Strategy Page]
A major problem in Iraq is that there are two, quite different, solutions to the violence problem. Most of the bombings, and violence in general, are the work of Sunni Arab groups, desperate to get back into power, and avoid being brought to justice for atrocities committed during Saddams long reign. The Iraqi solution is the traditional one; punish the entire Sunni Arab community. Since the Kurds and Shia now have far more men under arms than do the Sunni Arabs, this approach would result in a series of battles against Sunni Arab neighborhoods (in large cities) and towns (out in the countryside). These areas would be cut off from the outside world. Food, water and electricity would cut off as well. Surrender or die.
...The other approach is less popular among most Iraqis, and it is the American one. This involves getting Sunni Arab leaders to tame the terrorists in their midst, and become law-abiding Iraqis.
Sheiks meet, discuss progress -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – More than 60 sheiks from the Al-Rashid District held a meeting at the District Council Hall here Wednesday.
Sheik Faisel Karem Jabour Al-Saadi, the Al-Rashid District Council Sheik Council Chairman and Sabeeh Al-Ka’abi, the District Council Chairman, called a meeting to discuss sectarian violence, the progress of essential services and security issues.
The sheiks were asked to take the lead in their own security, said U.S. Army Col. Ricky D. Gibbs, commander of 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, who was requested to speak at the meeting.
Abu Nuwas Street Revitalization Center opens -- [MNF-I]
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY — The rebuilding of the famous market in eastern Baghdad is making progress with the opening of the Abu Nuwas Revitalization Center June 9.
...The wait won’t be too much longer as the information center is one of the first steps in the historic street’s revival.
Reintegration Tip #1-- [Online Chaplain - in Iraq]
...After about a week in the hospital recovering, he's at his friend's house one evening. While in the kitchen, he suddenly hears the teakettle whistling. He grabs a baseball bat from the nearby closet and proceeds to batter and bash the teakettle into an unrecognizable lump of metal. His friend rushes into the kitchen, sees what's happened and asks the man: "Why'd you ruin my good tea kettle?" The guy who had grown up in the desert replied: "Man, you gotta kill these things while they're still small. Their nasty when they get big."
In this simple joke there is a good lesson as we prepare to go home. The lesson: take care of issues when they are small, because they are nasty when they get big. It is not a bad lesson for those heading back to civilian life after being gone for two years, or for those who are about to receive them.
Troops won’t get month break -- [Military Times]
WASHINGTON — U.S. commanders in Iraq are rejecting a recommendation by Army mental health experts that troops receive a one-month break for every three months in a combat zone, despite unprecedented levels of continuous fighting and worsening risks of mental health problems.
Instead, commanders are trying to give troops two to three days inside heavily fortified bases after about eight days in the field, said Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, chief aide to the ground forces commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno.
Battle Company Makes Presence Known -- [Defend America]
KORENGAL VALLEY, Afghanistan, June 18, 2007 — The paratroopers were keen for the mission despite their rough conditions. The difference between a tan line and dirty skin has long since passed. Bites from sand fleas and mosquitoes just add to the problem. Electricity, toilets and running water (a 45 minute patrol away) are long forgotten conveniences.
...The living conditions for the soldiers are the least of their problems. The Korengal Valley is a support area for Taliban extremists.
“The towns here are neutral at best,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Mathew Piosa, 2nd Platoon leader, “In the last eight days we’ve had five (enemy) contacts.”
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: 22nd May 2007
Takin' the poisoned pens to the streets -- [The Torch]
Further to Babbling's post, it looks to me like some peaceniks are intending to break the peace:
Anti-war protesters will confront Afghanistan-bound troops on Friday in Quebec City as a sign of the tension in Canada's most anti-war province.
Coalition Trains Afghan Police in Special Weapons, Tactics -- [Defense Link]
KABUL, Afghanistan, June 18, 2007 – The battle against the Taliban is an ongoing fight throughout Afghanistan. One of the groups leading the charge against the terrorists and insurgents is the Afghan National Police.
A new capability is being added to make the Afghan police an even stronger force. The Afghan National Civil Order Police will be an elite group of police officers filling a variety of roles.
Superintendent James Rainville, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is assigned as a mentor with Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan and is in a lead role helping to develop the Afghan’s police capabilities.
The Borders Are Burning -- [Strategy Page]
June 19, 2007: Along the Afghan border in Pakistan, the army is patrolling less, and Taliban terrorists are more active, trying to impose lifestyle restrictions throughout the region. This includes keeping women out of the workforce (Pakistan, as a while, has the lowest labor force participation rate, under 20 percent, in Asia for women), no videos or music and compulsory religions services attendance. The government, which at present is a military dictatorship, does not want to offend its Islamic conservative supporters by cracking down on the Taliban activity along its border with Afghanistan.
Arrests in Pakistan's Nishtar Park bombing -- [Peace like a River]
...The NWFP is the tribal frontier area in northwest Pakistan which the Pakistani government recently "gave" to the Taliban and Al Qaeda as a safe haven in a peace deal.
The LJ group is a radical Wahabbi group with ties to Al Qaeda. The US has designated it a terrorist organization, saying:
Pakistani Official Hints Musharraf To Quit Army Post -- [Defense News]
Pakistani Foreign Minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri strongly suggested on June 18 that President Pervez Musharraf would give up his post as army chief by year’s end as political opponents have demanded and the nuclear-armed country’s constitution requires.
A U.S. - China Hotline Coming -- [Defense Tech]
U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to finalize arrangements in September for a “hotline” communications link between the Pentagon and China’s Ministry of Defense. Lieutenant General Zhang Qinsheng, the deputy chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, is planning to attend a meeting in Washington, D.C., in September to complete arrangements for the link.
Dude, Where’s My Spine? Agreed Framework 2.0 at Four Months -- [One Free Korea]
...the press reported that after months of multilateral bungling, we had finally transferred either 20 or 25 million dollars of frozen assets to the disposal of Kim Jong Il for whatever purposes he chooses. Those assets had gathered in a shady Macau Bank known as Banco Delta Asia until September 2005, when the Treasury Department published an interim rule noting that they were, in large part, laundered proceeds of counterfeiting and drug dealing. Does anyone think Kim’s purposes will now include the feeding of his desperately hungry subjects?
Understanding and Disrupting Terrorist Financing -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
To achieve a meaningful and consistent impact in disrupting terrorist financing, there must be a better understanding of the multi-dimensional elements involved in the funding process. Understanding begins with training. This holds true for the government, business and financial sectors. Terrorist financing is usually discussed in a broad and generic context and therefore seldom understood. To truly understand terrorist financing it must be presented and assessed in specific terms. Terrorist financing training should focus on factors to include:...
Graduation Day: AQ Suicide Teams Complete Murder
Academy, Depart For New Jobs In US, Europe -- [Ace of Spades]
Hopefully we can get comprehensive immigration reform passed in time to draw them "out of the shadows."
Large teams of newly trained suicide bombers are being sent to the United States and Europe, according to evidence contained on a new videotape obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com. ...
Another fictional threat.
ON Point Interview: Brigadier General Robert Holmes -- [ON Point]
Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, U.S Central Command (Centcom) is responsible for American military operations in the Middle East. With an area of operations ranging from Egypt to the United Arab Emirates, the Saudi Peninsula, and then north and east to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, Centcom has daily contact both with some of America’s best friends, as well as its most bitter enemies. Last week, ON Point spoke with Brigadier General Robert Holmes, a U.S. Air Force officer who serves as Centcom’s Director of Operations, or J-3
ON Point: And what are we doing to find Osama?
Holmes: More than people think. We’ve never stopped looking for him. What the folks at home need to recognize is that when we catch him, the war will not be over, and in fact we may see a flurry of violence in response. But at the same time, these same people, our enemies if you will, will also understand that even if it takes time, the United States will find you.
The Tracking Twins Trap Terrorists -- [Strategy Page]
June 18, 2007: Last week, the U.S. launched a secret payload that was, apparently, two electronic monitoring satellites, to provide ocean surveillance, and a system for keeping track of suspicious ships, particularly those carrying weapons or terrorists, or both.
Redstone Properties, Inc. donates albums -- [Soldiers' Angels]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., June 18 -- In an effort to help raise the spirits of the men and women serving the United States around the world, Redstone Properties, Inc. has donated 1,000 copies of 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks' self titled album to Soldiers' Angels, the country's largest non-profit military support organization.
"We rely on donations for all of our efforts," said Debby Frerichs, Vice President of Donations for Soldiers' Angels. "Our First Response Backpack program is designed to bring comfort to injured soldiers, who often arrive at hospitals with nothing other than the uniform on their back. This generous contribution from Redstone will go a long way in making life a little more enjoyable for them."
http://soldiersangels.org/index.php?page=veterans-supportSoldiers' Angels –Call to Action for Community Support for the Veterans Clinics and Hospitals Across America -- [Soldiers' Angels]
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.
Of the 25 million veterans currently alive, nearly three of every four served during a war or an official period of hostility. About a quarter of the nation's population, approximately 70 million people are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members or survivors of veterans.
Group Links Guard Families With Loved Ones -- [America Supports You]
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2007 - The nonprofit group “Operation Homelink” provided 100 Massachusetts National Guard families with refurbished desktop computers earlier this month to ensure they can communicate with deployed loved ones via e-mail.
“Communication with home is hugely important to those serving overseas,” Army Brig. Gen. Thomas Sellars, commander of Land Component Command for the Massachusetts Army National Guard, said at the June 2 event near Boston. “On behalf of all those serving in the Massachusetts National Guard, thanks to Operation Homelink and Raytheon for providing our families peace of mind.”
Underwear for all weather in development -- [Military Times]
If a project sponsored by Air Force Special Operations Command succeeds, airmen soon may be able to wear the same T-shirt or socks for days without stinking up their tent, or own bulk-free cold-weather gear that’s light enough to cram into a small stuff sack.
The Incredible Lightness Of Being Tony Taguba -- [Villianous Company]
But surely here is a confusion? Did not General Taguba testify to Congress that he believed these men acted on their own volition? Would thees not be... how do you say... the lying which is wrong/bad? This is a great confusion. Was he lying then, or now? How are we to know?
Bad Acts -- [Intel Dump]
Take two large grains of salt and read the latest from Sy Hersh in the New Yorker about retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba. As you may recall, he led the Army's initial inquiry into Abu Ghraib, but later found himself under assault from the military establishment and Rumsfeld Pentagon for his candor and thoroughness. The article illuminates a great deal about the way operations were managed and information was passed within the Rumsfeld Pentagon. Suffice it to say that bad news was not received well; the blood of many messengers stains the carpet in the SecDef's office. Taguba's comments to Hersh reveal a great deal of pain over the way he was treated by the Army and the Pentagon for doing what he felt was his duty. Read how he describes his reception after the Abu Ghraib story broke:..
Body Armor Goes Political -- [Captain's Journal]
...In Body Armor Wars: The Way Forward, we gave a primer on the features and characteristics of the currently deployed body armor (the Interceptor Body Armor and the Modular Tactical Vest, or Spartan 2 Assault Vest), and expanded the investigation into the claims and counterclaims of Pinnacle, and the Army, respectively, concerning the Dragon Skin body armor. Finally, we outlined a way forward for all concerned parties, this way being the best solution for the Soldier and Marine irrespective of how other parties feel about it. The recommendations included but were not limited to the development of analytical models of the body armor types, a re-examination of the testing protocol, a review of the test data and more testing as deemed appropriate, and real world input from Soldiers and Marines concerning ‘wearability’ and heavy battlefield weight. This was to be led by an independent engineering consultant to the Department of Defense.
Hillary's Iraq Vote Do Over -- [GOP]
Hillary Clinton Pandering Continues With Her Push To Deauthorize The War
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) Circulated Letter To Senators Asking Support For "Iraq War Vote Do-Over":
The Daily News Reports That Clinton Is Circulating A Letter Asking Fellow Senators To Support Legislation To Deauthorize The Iraq War. "Sen. Hillary Clinton is asking her fellow senators to sign on to her and Sen. Robert Byrd's plan for an Iraq war vote do-over. In a letter to all 98 other senators ... Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Byrd (D-W.Va.) say Congress should haul President Bush back for a new war vote when the Senate debates the 2008 military spending bill in the next few weeks." (Michael McAuliff, "Hillary Pitches New Iraq War Vote," [New York] Daily News, 6/18/07)
The Clinton Chapters - Ch. 5
Edwards Goes After Petraeus -- [Real Clear Politics]
General Petraeus' comments are just the latest example of the Bush Administration's disconnect from the reality on the ground. In order to get the Iraqi people to take responsibility for their country, we must show them that we are serious about leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving. Instead of talking about keeping our troops in Iraq for another decade, the Administration should begin bringing our troops home to the hero's welcome they deserve.
The American people have called for a new course in Iraq. It is time to end this war.
The Further Truth Revealed -- [GI Korea]
I posted before about the truth of why the Democrats are suddenly attacking General Peter Pace. As further news gets released it appears that Pace’s comments about gays is only part of the reason. The next reason is to create a perception that US military generals are incompetent:
...The Democrats need to paint the generals, especially Petraeus as incompetent in order to discredit Petraeus’s report to Congress in September on the status of the “surge” strategy.
Alternative Way for Soldiers to share media -- [Hooah Wife]
Why just send an email when you can send a video?
I was contacted by a concerned American named Leonard Ferrara. He e-mailed me and several other milbloggers about the concept of using videos in e-mails for soldiers. This would be a way to still share videos without having to have it hosted by government servers (which was the reason for the new Pentagon regulations). I would circumvent the need for You Tube and MySpace for media sharing. I sent this poor fella through the ringer - as I never want to pass out info that could possibly mislead anyone. Here is his vidoe explaining everything you need to know about it. He would be happy to help any soldiers or their family members learn how to use it. Here is his Myspace page.
Placing The Blame Where It Belongs -- [Flopping Aces]
Bookworm notices the differences in reporting between two very liberal news organizations. Those being The New York Times and my favorite news organization....the AP. They both report on a coalition airstrike against a school that al-Qaeda used as a headquarters. First The New York Times starts with a "capture your attention" headline:
7 Afghan Children Killed in U.S.-Led Airstrike
The New York Times forgets to mention for much of the article that there were al-Qaeda inside the building, instead they focus on the tragedy of the children dying. No context at all:
Major Surge Op Underway in Diyala -- [Confederate Yankee]
...The "Mahogany Ridge" media is tied up in the latest suicide bombing in Baghdad (simply look at the title, lede, and focus of the CNN article cited above as an example), and even those who chose to feature the Baquba assault clearly don't understand the magnitude of the just-joined battle.
Once reality slowly dawns on the media that they are misunderestimating the scope and scale of the assault, steel yourself for a rush of inaccuracies as they seek to get something, anything published, much of it based upon rumor, some of it based upon outright propaganda and lies.
We saw the same during and after Fallujah, when the U.S. military was accused of using napalm on civilians. We don't even have napalm.
The ignorati claimed that white phosphorus was a "chemical weapon," of a "poison gas" and ascribed horrible wounds to it. These claims turned out to be completely untrue.
There may also once again be claims that using .50-caliber machine guns and the cannons of Bradley IFVs and helicopter gunships against terrorist personnel somehow violates the Geneva Conventions. It doesn't.
We'll be hearing and seeing much more from Diyala Province, Baquba proper, and other areas surrounding Baghdad as full-scale surge operations seek to envelop and destroy al Qaeda.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Happy Father's Day from Iraq -- [YouTube Videos - Soldiersmediccenter]
Patrol -- [Far From Perfect - in Iraq]
...I think to myself,“Is today the day? Are we gonna hit another IED or be ambushed?” You never really know. Its been quiet around our parts lately, but that doesn’t mean that the enemy doesn’t have something planned. Just last night a huge bomb was found next to the road in the direction we are heading. We make a right and continue up the road, a good piece from the FOB and headed further out into the sandblasted hills.
...We pass through the village. All the little children run out to the road. They are all smiling and waving, screaming Gimmie! Gimmie!” as we pass by. We pull into a circle around some sheik’s house and set up security. Supposedly this guy has information on terrorists in the area. Then again he could be one himself. You just don’t know. Most likely he is playing both sides for the profit. The meeting lasts a while. Meetings finally over. Everyone radios that they are ready to leave and we pull back out onto a dirt stretch of road.
...What the...!? “IED, IED, IED” the radio blares and I see the hot coals and smoke in front of me. My driver screeches to a halt dumbstruck. Everyone is momentarily stunned. The humvee in front of us has shifted across the road, hot embers still rolling underneath it. There is smoke coming from the front, and I can see even from here that the tires are flat and the axles shattered. The first thought that crosses my mind as it clears is “Shit! They’re dead. Gotta get up there and tow that truck out of here before we get ambushed!” The truck behind me is already racing past to cover our front.
...Its been a long day. No one as hurt this time and I thank God again for seeing me through another day.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 -- [Jakes Life - in Iraq]
...The insurgents only messed with us once this past week, which was a welcome change of pace. I think they had maybe planned on bothering us a little more, but when they rolled up on our patrol base and fired their AK’s at us, and we returned with a 30 round automatic burst from a MK-19 grenade launcher, they lost their nerve a little. LCPL Wherry was the guy that returned fire, which has only added to his growing legend as "Machine Gun" Wherry, aka "Ma Deuce", aka "Johnny On the Spot With Automatic Machine Gun Fire". You see, Wherry has been behind the heavy guns in just about every major engagement we’ve been in as a platoon. When Windsor was hit, it was Wherry behind the .50 cal, dismantling buildings brick by brick to get us out. Two weeks ago when we were ambushed by the market, it was Wherry that got behind the 240 and put rounds down on the house from about 1,000 meters away. The thing is, he isn’t even a machine gunner, but he’s the envy of the platoon.
Death or Glory Part IV -- [Michael Yon]
"Take the Bedouin. Suddenly, what they think of us is important. Even very important. Arbitrary borders of Iran and Iraq mean nothing to many of these people. But rest assured that collectively, in their wanderings, they know everything that goes on here."
Rugged and independent, often compared to the cowboy of the American southwest, the Bedouin could be important allies, especially along the critical border with Iran:
"There is no way for our people to just “melt into the desert” unnoticed. The battle here, as General Petraeus keeps saying, is for the people. Whoever wins the people will hold the greater influence Iraq, and therefore the region. Soldiers, be they from Scotland or Scottsdale, come out here and battle for the sentiments or business sense of the people. Soldiers, who only months ago were perhaps drinking beers in London pubs, and who speak only English, who’ve been taught to shoot straight and to blow things up, now are learning to win battles without firing shots."
...The Bedouin said he didn’t need anything. He said he had never met British or Americans before, but that he heard the British were good to the people. I sensed he was telling the truth.
...And that was how my final mission with the British ended. An excellent and professional group of soldiers, doing their best under bad circumstances. They were every bit as good as I had heard.
As these words go to print, I am entering into major combat along with U.S. forces against Al Qaeda.
12th Flight -- [Me Over There - in Iraq]
Had my 12th flight this morning, a Marine with injuries from and IED. Flight was smooth, rode in a CH-46, which was unusual since most night flights are done in the Blackhawks. Nice to have the extra room.
...2 Marines that were injured by an IED arrived, one with severe (as severe as you can get) leg injuries, and the other with general shrapnel wounds. Both made it through surgery and will make it.
MEDEVAC -- [My Desert Adventure - in Iraq]
For part of my trip to Qatar, I tagged along with a MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) flight. After leaving my base, the helo went to the large military hospital nearby and picked up some more passengers. A kid took the seat next to me. His right hand was gone and he had a huge bandage in its place. Across his chest was a piece of tape that had his name, serial number and “Right hand amputation” written on it with a magic marker. He was on his way to Germany for more medical care.
We landed at a nearby base to be processed before we left the country. I saw the same kid sitting on a bench. He was looking at the X-ray of his stump...
Al Taqaddum -- [The Gunner's World - in Iraq]
...I have attached two pictures to this posting one is of a CH-46 casualty evacuation helo, this is the war time ambulance in the sky, you get shot or hit an IED and there is a good chance the Marines of HMM-161 the "Greyhawks" could be the difference between living and dieing. I spoke at length with a young combat corpsman who in civilian terms would be a paramedic in the squadron who told me horrific stories. Tales of evacuating Marines and Soldiers and having to make decisions of who has the best chance of surviving and making the decision to move on leaving a Marine or Solider to god and working on those with the best chance for survival. This young man was maybe 24 years old. He is here making decisions on life and death....daily
Help our Soldiers help Iraqi children - Shoes Needed -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
From SA contact LtCol Eric in Mosul:
I am writing to you today because of the sad and destitute situation that the children of Mosul, Iraq find themselves in on a daily basis. After seeing these unfortunate children in the urban battlefield everyday for six months, I can assure you that their difficulties are very real and beyond the power of their parents to fix. These children, in many cases, lack some of the most basic necessities that you and I take for granted and that we would never let our own children go without.
...As I am sure you know, this war is not a war of battles won, regiments destroyed, and cities captured. Rather, this is a war fought on the "human terrain" of the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people; a war for the very soul of a nation where single gestures and one time events can be as profound and far reaching as a hundred Gettysburgs or D-Days. If we can just provide shoes for these children we stand poised to win a major victory indeed.
Universal Care for Health? -- [Matt Sanchez - in Iraq]
The 5th Marines, 10th Battalion from Camp Lejeune set out to provide the local population, just outside of Fallujah, with basic health care. These knuckle jarheads risk their lives and limbs to bring eye drops and aspirin to people who often have no indoor plumbing, but share a feed to international satellite television with the neighbors. Iraq is a place of surrealistic contrasts, of power games that are counter-intuitive and images that can be as clear as the piercing blue sky or as grainy as the sugar powdered dirt. Between car bombs and cough syrup, many inhabitants of al Anbar have decided to just say no to violence both imported and domestic.
Two Sunni Doctoral Students Express Differences in Opinion
I'm lookin out for a hero.... -- [Segredo Family Blog - in Iraq]
...This was drawn on the concrete wall near my trailer. It was done by a 20-year-old kid (I must be old, calling 20 years a kid). He was preparing to go home and wanted to leave his living area a better place. I asked him why this particular topic. He said it was to be a daily reminder to all those still here that we are heroes. Maybe without the fancy suits (though the uniforms are a little crazy) and without the superpowers (what, didn't Marvel or DC comics have a hero with "blogging" powers) but we are heroes nonetheless. To our families and friends and to the American people yes, but also to those silent majority who live in fear of the common villainy they see every day. To those who wish for a peaceful life and see only one group of people willing to fight for them, us.
Sig Christenson: 'Rebuilding a house on fire' -- [MY SA blog - Military City]
...Conviction is a mighty important thing when you are asking someone to die in a gun battle or knife fight on behalf of his or her country. But Iraqi identity is rooted in tribe and religion. It's not necessarily this artificial creation of western colonial powers almost a century ago, when Great Britain and France sought a stable oil pipeline to fuel their empires and called it "Iraq."
Long manipulated by outsiders, Iraqis have terrible suspicions about our motivations in their country and, as a result, harbor doubts about the regime that is calling the shots in Baghdad. Worse still, the Sunnis displaced from power after Saddam's fall have good reason to distrust their new Shia rulers. They've been targeted by Shia death squads since the 2003 invasion and have been fighting their religious rivals for 14 centuries. North of Baghdad, the Kurds have all but carved out a new country, complete with their own flag.
As if those divisions aren't enough, there are many others. Our troops are concerned about Iraqis joining the army and police for the money, rather than preserving their country.
Freedom Journal Iraq
EA-6B Takes on al Qaeda -- [Strategy Page]
June 17, 2007: The U.S. Navy has been stationing some of its EA-6B electronic warfare aircraft in Iraq, in order to use the extensive jamming and signal monitoring gear on these planes, to track enemy activity, and help defeat roadside bombs. Depending on how many carriers are in the area, there can be up to half dozen EA-6Bs in the air over Iraq at one time.
Iraq Report: "Offensive Operations" now underway -- [The Fourth Rail]
Four days after the destruction of the twin minarets of the al-Askaria mosque in Samarra, the situation in Iraq has been relatively calm, considering the nature of al Qaeda's attack. The Iraqi government has extended the curfew in Baghdad through Monday, and there have been no reports of sectarian violence or major street battles. Saturday say the destruction of a Sunni mosque in the southern Shia dominated city of Basra, the second mosque destroyed in two days. The expected explosion of sectarian violence has yet to materialize as it did afte rthe dome of the al-Askaria mosque was destroyed last year.
Fox Gen. Petraeus on Iraq
Gates Says Iraq Troop Surge Only Starting To Bite -- [Defense News]
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday that a troop surge in Iraq is only starting to have its full impact and that it is too soon to tell whether conditions will be ripe by September for decisions on U.S. force levels.
The U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David Petraeus, said that the latest troop reinforcements to arrive in theater had enabled the military to begin major operations against al-Qaida rear bases outside the capital.
Sectarian Murders Down in Baghdad, Petraeus Says -- [Global Security]
WASHINGTON, June 17, 2007 – Sectarian murders and executions in Baghdad are declining, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said today on the “Fox News Sunday” television program.
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus told host Chris Wallace via satellite link from Baghdad that the U.S. troop surge has helped reduce sectarian murders and executions in Baghdad by one-third between January and April. And despite an uptick in violence in May, the levels of violence are again going down.
Marine fights fog of war, saves life of comrade -- [Marine Corps News] HT BlackFiveFALLUJAH, Iraq (June 13, 2007) -- No one really knows how they will react under extreme stress until they are thrust into a situation in which they have no options but to do so. Some may collapse under the weight; others, however, rise up and meet the challenges set before them.
One Marine was confronted with a literal do-or-die situation when a roadside bomb rocked his amphibious assault vehicle north of Fallujah during combat operations, June 7.
Saudi Arabia calls on Iran not to interfere in Iraq's internal affairs -- [Iraq Updats]
Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef Bin Abdul-Aziz called on Iran not to interfere in Iraq's internal affairs on a doctrinal basis, adding interference should be to the interest of all Iraqis.
For That Which We Are About To Receive,...... -- [All Quiet on the Southwest Asian Front - in Iraq]
The Golden Mosque of Samarra, which holds held the tombs of the 10th and 11th Imams, was one of the holiest shrines of Shi'a Islam. The start of the largest wave of sectarian violence was when it was bombed in Feb 06, destroying the dome of the mosque. It was attacked again two days ago, bringing down most of what survived, including the minarets.
Muqtada al-Sadr, Shi'a leader of the Mahdi Army, immediately declared the attack an 'American-Israeli conspiracy' and ordered his fighters to redouble their attacks against 'the occupiers'.
Our sector, in the heart of Baghdad, is heavily Shi'a. We're just a few kilometers from Sadr city itself, and al-Sadr is very, very popular in the muhallahs (neighborhoods)around us.
Coalition Forces disrupt Secret Cell terrorist network -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed at least 20 terrorists, wounded six suspected terrorists and detained one suspected terrorist during operations targeting Secret Cells operating in Amarah and Majjar al-Kabir.
The individuals detained during the raid is believed to be members of the secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training.
US Col. discusses weapons cache found in Baghdad on 6/11/07
Remarkable restraint -- [Calvery In Iraq - in Iraq]
It appears the Iraqi people have shown remarkable restraint in the aftermath of the bombing of the minarets of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. When the mosque was bombed in February 2006, al Sadr's Jaysh al Mahdi thugs went on a tear and killed Sunnis in reprisal. While some rogue elements of Jaysh al Mahdi have attacked some Sunnis mosques, overall the response has been quite muted.
al Sadr himself called for restraint, although it is quite possible he is merely biding his time. And ridiculously, he blamed the bombing on America and Israel, rather than on the obvious al Qaeda-affiliated suspects. (The bombing fits al Qaeda's typical pattern to a "T").
War, red tape haunt civilian workers -- [A Soldier's Perspective - in Iraq]
Many times I have written about contractors and the fight some of them have AFTER the return home from Iraq or Afghanistan. I have talked about how many have been broken either in mind or body, and been abandoned by their companies. The LA Times has done another article addressing this issue.
Iraqi Editorial Cartoons -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Kuwait/Iraq]
...Right now we are in the middle of yet another cycle of incoming and outgoing units. I feel like I have seen every unit patch in the Army now. I'm actually getting pretty good at identifying even the 1001 National Guard units that cycle through.
...I guess that all I could say today is summed up in these two cartoons. A spook type friend of mine sent these to me. Its a sad, sad comment on the state of affairs up North. When we first got here in 2003 we were so full of hope and just knew that the shooting would be over in a couple of months.
OK, I'll admit it. We were wrong. We misjudged the enemy. We misidentified the enemy. We should have shot the journalists. Had we done so and then just kept them ALL out this would have been over. Like a lot of other conflicts we have won every fight and battle but lost the media war the day we rolled into the country.
I detest the media. I loath them. My brothers and sisters are still dying because they all want "The Story."
hey stand on a balcony in the Green Zone with their backs to Baghdad and speak as if they have actually been out on the street.
Losses in Iraq -- [Americas North Shore Journal]
Information in these graphs is available in detail from the Terrorist Death Watch site and the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count site.
The use of the word terrorist and the word terrorism is consistent with the definitions provided by the United Nations at this link.
IED Deaths in Iraq January 1 2006 through May 31 2007
As one commentator points out, there appear to be three peaks. When it comes to IED design, we are seeing an increasing level of sophistication. There are a great many smart, inventive people in Iraq, Iran and Syria developing better bombs and better bomb triggers. A successful innovation will increase our losses until we adapt. We locate and disarm somewhere between 50-80% of IED’s but it only takes one to hurt. IED losses, because they target vehicles full of troops or groups of people cause more casualties than combat, three and four at a time rather than one at a time.
A nice Sunday drive -- [Foreign and Domestic - in Iraq]
Despite having driven near Fallujah a dozen or so times in the last year, until a road construction project recently sent us on an alternate route, we had never been through the scenic downtown area. Out here in the western deserts, I tend to forget how green Iraq is around the rivers.
As for downtown Fallujah, well I guess even I had bought into the media story that Fallujah was still a sniper filled wild west. As we drove through, I couldn't help but feel a little silly for having gotten all worked up over it. To be sure, Fallujah looks like Berlin at the end of WWII, with bombed out buildings and military checkpoints all over. But I found it interesting to see kids playing in the street, and adults patiently waiting to cross the street once our convoy had passed.
The Mad Max War -- [Air Force EWO - in Iraq]
Remember those cool Mad Max movies? Remember all those neat made from scratch vehicles all those post apocalyptic warriors road around in? Well, life here in Baghdad has been reminding me quite a bit of those movies. I sometimes feel that I'm inside a Mad Max movie. Due to the insugent situation over here and the danger of the IEDs out on the road we have had to modify our existing vehicles and develop many new types of vehicles to help protect us from those threats. So many of these vehicles, or modifications to vehicles, really remind me of those movies for some reason. Take a look for yourself and see what you think.
You know it's hot when.... -- [Assad Baghdad - in Iraq]
...the dogs are wearing shoes because the pavement is sizzling!
I love this pup. There are a LOT of working dogs here in Iraq -- for all the obvious reasons. Most are pretty tough looking woofers that you really wouldn't want to mess with.
...Last week we had some relief from the early summer heat. I think the high was 112. It looks like we're headed for another week consistently in the 115-117 range.
...And my Iraqi friends keep telling me it's not hot yet...
Father's Day 20071 hour ago Post a comment -- [Fightin' 6th Marines! - in Iraq]
Rolling around in the desert 24/7 with an insane patrol schedule that doesn't have any scheduled breaks makes for a hectic life. Cpl. Joel Abshier talks about how one of the companies in his battalion, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, took a "day off" for a little relaxation in observance of Father's Day:
Father's Day 2007 -- [Foreign and Domestic - in Iraq]
Father's Day in Iraq, again. Today actually wasn't bad. Due to a scheduling quirk, I got the day off from mission even though most of my guys went out. So I had a few precious hours of peace and quiet. And we even got a Father's Day dinner, provided by the Outback Steakhouse company. I never heard if they had some sort of promotion going back home, or if Outback has a lot of guys serving in the military. But they took over the chow hall last night and served good steaks, baked potatoes, and even their famous blooming onions. A very nice surprise indeed.
But today makes me 0 for 6 in being home on Father's Day. Since my son was born,...
Eat the Bugs -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
I got dressed, ready to head out and face the FOB, put on my hat and picked up my green notebook. I felt something on my head, like there was something hanging from the ceiling or something. Then I realized something was in my hat. A lizard. Freaking out on my head.
Reintegration Tip #2 Messed Up Beyond All Repair -- [The Online Chaplain - in Iraq]
There is an army acronym that chaplain’s aren’t ever suppose to say, so I will just allude to it. It means messed up beyond all repair. If you have been around army folk for more than about a day, I am sure you have heard it. On the phone a couple of days ago my wife said to me, "You aren’t coming home that way are you?"
I laughed at her and asked her if she had been watching too much news again. We get the news here. I know the general population is hearing in a variety of ways that soldiers are coming home from Iraq screwed up, messed up and generally changed in a negative way. I know the vast majority of people evaluate hardship by the standard of depreciation. I got it. What did it cost me? How have I changed? What are the negative impacts on my life? What Line of Duty injuries did I suffer? This being the primary metaphor for thinking about loss leads us to only one conclusion….that of diminishing returns.
If you are in a military family, waiting at home for your soldier, or a soldier about to return home, let me give you some advice.
The Waiting Game -- [The Desert Excursion - in Iraq]
Inevitably, almost all discussions with my fellow soldiers at this point leads to talking about home. They chat excitably about what their plans are, where they are going to school, who they are coming home to, their jobs, their kids, and their spouses. Then they proceed with caution and nervous voices as they talk about what all those things actually mean. What am I doing when I get home? Who will be there when I get home? Will life be the same as it was before?
So, with only a few weeks left the tension is building and our patience is running thin. It's almost like punishment when you don't have any work to do because then your mind is relegated to thinking about home and the anxiety sets in again. I can only go to the gym so much and the rest of the time off I sit and stare at the ceiling.
Mail Call -- [The Zeke - in Iraq]
Attention all you wonderfull package and letter senders. We have been told to ask senders of mail to stop sending any items after the 15th of June. I would say you will probably be good up until the 20th. At this point in the deployment, we are pretty well stocked up on good stuff from home. If there are any last minute letters you have been meaning to get out to your soldier in my unit, now is the time to do it. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I'll try to get an updated post with something to say in the near future.
Looking forward to getting out of here, but it's not over yet.
No More Boxes! -- [Letters from the Desert - in Iraq]
Since November I have received over 2,000 boxes valued at over $100,000 to share with the Soldiers here. You have inundated us with beef jerky, twizzlers, shampoo, dvd's and a host of other items. On behalf of all the guys and gals here, THANK YOU!
However, my time here is short. We are told to cut off mail 30 days out, and I am near that magic number, Lord willing. So, my time now will be spent packing up, shipping things home, and preparing things for the Chaplain who will follow me. If you want to send more boxes, email me at email@example.com and I will give you the name and mailing address for a chaplain who can receive your items after 1 SEP.
U.S.-led air raid kills seven Afghan children -- [Reuters]
KABUL (Reuters) - At least seven children were killed in a U.S.-led coalition air strike on a religious school in Afghanistan, the coalition said on Monday, amid rising anger over civilian deaths from foreign military operations.
A U.S. military spokesman said some children who survived Sunday's raid said insurgents had forced pupils to stay inside the madrasa.
"We are truly sorry for the innocent lives lost in this attack," said Army Major Chris Belcher, a coalition spokesman, in a statement. "We had surveillance on the compound all day and saw no indications there were children inside the building."
Freedom Watch Afghanistan
Forgiving those who sin against us... -- [Army Sailor - in Afghanistan]
I give a lot of thought to the suicide bomber who detonated himself less than 30 feet in front of my truck. I see it all over again in dreams. I imagine it instantly when I hear any loud bang. When I tell people about the incident I feel strange, because it seems so alien. People must think I am telling a tall tale. I wish I were.
Week 21--Winning the War -- [Richards Deplyment - in Afghanistan]
Well, we have our youngest patient yet. I don't think they get much younger. This little boy's mother was shot in the abdomen. We saved the mom and delivered the baby, who suffered a minor wound from the bullet. Mom and baby are doing fine, and my staff is enjoying caring for a newborn baby.
I don't know why anyone would think we are losing this war. From my foxhole, it looks like we are winning the war in Afghanistan. I know that's not what the news reports, but I have found that there is a disconnect between what the news reports and the reality I see on the ground in Afghanistan.
Strings Attached in Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
June 18, 2007: The United States was forced to keep twenty CH-47 cargo helicopters in Afghanistan for another six months, because NATO countries could not come up with sufficient helicopter lift for their own troops. It was not that other NATO nations don't have the helicopters to send to Afghanistan, they do. The problems are largely political. Many European nations are split on contributing to military operations in Afghanistan.
News of Afghanistan - The Return II -- [Miserable Donuts]
It's getting hot down South - for the bad guys.
More bravery and noble resistance from the Taliban. C'mon, drive by shooting at a girl's school. There is your "resurgent" Taliban for ya.
Oh boy, the resolution of this is going to be something to see. I should have known that patronage would be lurking in the background of this one.
Happy Father's Day (for REAL!) for a 3ID Soldier -- [Some Soldier's Mom]
The following is a "dialog" from a private support site for 3rd Infantry Division families. "Donna" is the Gramma-to-be -- Saturday to Father's Day...
...Hallelujah! 7 lbs 14 oz. 21 inches... and her husband was on the phone for the delivery... from Iraq.... now I can cry.
Happy Father's Day -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
This is an official notice: Happy Father's Day to you all. Wish I could be there to celebrate with each and every one of you, specifically those of you that are father figures to me: dad, Ralph (godfather) and Lamar(father-in-law). Thanks to my dad, Tom, for being a wonderful man. A man who loves God, his family and his country as much as any man could. He and my mother have been married for almost 40 years!!! (Holy smokes) He has selflessy devoted his life to my mother, as well as my brother, myself and our families. He was a pilot in the Air Force for 21/22 years and continues to train pilots that serve and protect our country. Dad, I'm proud to be your son and carry on your name. I love you and appreciate your true example of Fatherhood.
To my wife and daughter: I love you and miss you both so much. I wish I could be with you but I keep hope in how sweet Father's Day will be next year. Thanks for your sacrifices. I know this isn't easy on you and yet you still carry on.
Happy Father's Day, Afghan Dads -- [Miserable Donuts]
A protective father in Shaka, Parwan Province - Fall 2004 [Photo]
Father in Deh-e-Hazara, Parwan, Spring 2005 [Photo]
The United Kingdom honors its heroes -- [TigerHawk]
Today is the 25th anniversary of the United Kingdom's victory over Argentina in defense of the Falkland Islands. I am delighted to report that during my walkabout London this afternoon I stumbled across the dignified celebration of that triumph and can provide you, our loyal readers, with exclusive coverage (mainstream media coverage here and here).
...Anyway, I had walked west from my hotel (the Renaissance Chancery Court on High Holborn Street, if you must know) to Hyde Park, stopped at Speaker's Corner to listen to Muslim and Christian preachers hector each other, crossed the park, briefly toyed with buying a shirt at Harrod's, and then strolled east past Wellington Arch to Buckingham Palace. There I came upon an assembled crowd, and quickly learned that I was about 20 minutes early for the celebration of the victory in the Falklands War. The parade was to come down The Mall from Admiralty Arch and past the reviewing stand on the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of the palace. My perch was to the left and rear of the Memorial:
Sex, Drugs and Nuclear Weapons -- [Strategy Page]
June 18, 2007: The government is blaming unrest on the United States. Most people know better, but reading about American spy rings, and U.S. financed rebel groups makes for entertaining reading. There's not much other entertainment allowed in Iran
Jamestown Foundation: Al-Qaeda's American Recruit Releases Something Entirely New -- [ON Point]
By Michael Scheuer: As the 19th anniversary of al-Qaeda's founding nears later in 2007, Western analysts have accumulated an enormous body of primary-source material upon which to base judgments, assessments and predictions. While it is a truism to say that al-Qaeda is a "learning organization"—in the sense that it studies failed operations and adapts—it is not often enough remembered that al-Qaeda is also an organization that devotes large amounts of time and resources to teaching, informing and warning. Needless to say, much of this latter activity is directed to the Muslim world, but not since the United States confronted Ho Chi Minh and General Giap during the Vietnam conflict have they had a foe as eager as al-Qaeda to educate them about its motivations, war aims and intentions. Indeed, al-Qaeda has taken the passion of the North Vietnamese to inform and warn a step further by recruiting a U.S. citizen to serve as an English-speaking, Islamist mentor for the American audience.
Baseless Excuses for Terrorism -- [MEMRI]
In an article titled "How the Arabs Explain the Terror Phenomenon" in the Qatari daily Al-Raya, Al-Ansari criticized the ways in which the Arab world denies and ignores the phenomenon of terrorism, and refuted the political and socio-economic arguments justifying it:
"...I don't understand the personality split in some people; they depict the terrorist in Iraq as a martyr and a resistance fighter…How can we term someone a martyr when he blows up schools and hospitals, does not respect the sanctity of religious sites, and, worse, blows himself up in restaurants and bus stations full of workers?!...
"Why has the terrorist violence increased? And why has it reached a level of such madness and barbarism? Why aren't we managing to deal with it and handle it? Why is there a rise in terror operations targeting innocents?!
"In my view, the [answer] lies in our inability to explain the phenomenon of terrorism,
"Guest Worker Amnesty Program" Would Not Protect America -- [Counterterrorism Blog- Michael Cutler]
Here is an article that appears in today's edition of the Washington Times, reporting about the desire of members of Congress to spend about one billion dollars to help protect our nation against the specter of a terrorist attack. This is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, but either the politicians don't understand what is truly needed to protect us, or they have an agenda more about creating an illusion of security than actually providing the security to which we are entitled.
Finding Their Way
Fisher House Update, On the Way! -- [Half a World Away - in Iraq]
Quick update on the pledge drive in support of Fisher House. Thanks to David, the Duty Officer over at The Sandbox, who put my original post up on his site a day or so ago, I'm now at 140% of my goal. Outstanding! I think I need to set a new goal, but I'm not sure what a good number would be. If you have any suggestions leave a comment. I'm simply amazed at the power of community and all of the many, many supporters of me and my fellow soldiers there are. You guys are the best.
GO MOM - When lady medics take care of our guys -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
I just got an email from Major Terri O, at the 399th CSH. They are are a reserve unit, and have been over there for about a year now. One thing I've picked up from talking to lots of medical people is that a lot of reservists have been doing this for a long time, and have lots and lots ofexperience. One Doc I talk to is a Vietnam Vet and my age. Jeeps, it would kill me to be trudging around those rocks and sand and all, and I don't know how he does it.
Excitations and Soldiers' Angels Honor L.A. Area Hero for Father's Day -- [Soldiers' Angels]
WASHINGTON, D.C., (June 11, 2007) - Excitations, a company offering "gifts of experience" in the Los Angeles area, has partnered with Soldiers' Angels to give a thrilling experience to Los Angeles area dad Army Sgt. Michael Wotring for Father's Day. Excitations and Soldiers' Angels are honoring Wotring for his devotion to his country and being a role model to others in the military.
Two Inches -- [Grim- BlackFive]
Several of you have emailed to ask for an update on the RCT-6 Email Project. Sgt. Deboard sends this photo:
So far, the count is about a thousand. The weekend will slow it somewhat, but if we have a new push starting tomorrow, I don't doubt that we'll hit our goal of six thousand.
If you haven't emailed, this is the address. Ask friends, companions, anyone you know who ought to be supporting our Marines.
Day at the K - Soldiers' Angels, Patriot Guards Support the Troops -- [Soldiers' Angels Kansas City]
Kansas City Soldiers' Angels and the Patriot Guard were at Royals Stadium (the K) in Kansas City, June 16 for Military Appreciation Day. We participated in the opening events and enjoyed a great day of meeting many of our troops, comradeship among troop supporters and showing Kansas City that we support our troops. Over 24k people attended the ballgame, saluted our troops and heard about Soldiers' Angels and the Patriot Guard.
If you are a Kansas City Area Angel and didn't make it to the event, we missed you, but we have other events coming up. Check at the blog:
Military Appreciation Day at the K - Support our Troops! -- [kehenry1]
US Papers Monday: "Give Me My Sanity" -- [Iraq Slogger]
Devastating Look at PTSD in Walter Reed; UNMOVIC's Idle Inspectors
Iraq-datelined reporting is dwarfed again by the Post’s continuing series on Walter Reed Hospital, the most recent installments of which have featured veterans struggling with post-combat mental health disorders, and the inadequate US system for treating their needs. Today’s filing looks at the grievous story of a young man facing PTSD after a year in Iraq, and recounting the different ways the system has failed him.
Support for British & Aussie Soldiers -- [Soldiers' Angels Europe]
We have a British from Manchester and Aussie Soldier from Melbourne who are requesting Support for their Team.
They are working with a small coalition jointly working to defeat (some) of the IED threat to all of our forces as well as the Iraqi and Afghani people.
Robert Stokely on Father's Day - 22 Months After. -- [Thunder Run]
Since the moment of the news coming to my door of Mike's death 8/16/05 I have tried to put it in perspective of Romans 8:28, well, actually, let me say it more correctly: I have claimed the promise of Romans 8:28.
There is a song playing on country music radio and on Christian radio by country music star, Faith Hill. I can't even tell you the name of it (not unusual, I listen, but name of songs aren't important to me, just what the music and words say). But this one simple verse says it all, and I don't know if Faith Hill intended to do so, but I think it ties very well to the promise of Romans 8:28. "God is great, but sometimes life isn't so good..."
Someone You Should Know: Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti -- [Pundit Review]
Tonight was a special Father’s Day edition of Someone You Should Know. Bruce McQuain from QandO, a Vietnam veteran with 28-years experience in the U.S. Army, does a wonderful job with this series because he knows of what he speaks and he is an incredible writer and narrator.
This week, Bruce told us about Raynham, Mass. native Jared C. Monti. He did so not through media accounts, but from the comments of Jared’s fellow soldiers. It is an amazing testimonial.
Robin Olds Passes On -- [Pinch Paisley - BlackFive]
Brigadier General Robin Olds, 1922-2007
Brigadier General Robin Olds, United States Air Force, retired, passed away peacefully, Thursday evening, June 14th, 2007 from congestive heart failure, one month short of his 85th birthday. He was born in Honolulu on July 14, 1922, the son of Major General Robert and Eloise Olds.
General Pace Refused Voluntarily Retire -- [A Soldier's Perspective - in Iraq]
More information is coming out how Gen Pace was tossed aside as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
...I applaud General Pace for refusing to walk out on us troops. He had more to say.
Massive mail backlog found at Walter Reed -- [Military Times]
Army officials scrambled to deliver thousands of undelivered letters and packages – some with postal dates from May 2006 – addressed to soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Though the backlog was discovered in the hospital’s brigade combat center last week, Army leadership did not announce its efforts to correct the situation until issuing a press release at almost 6 p.m. EST Friday. The release was titled, “Army takes immediate action to deliver backlogged mail.”
Military Records of 14 Presidential Hopefuls -- [VA You Served]
Click here for the military service records of 14 leading Democratic and Republican candidates for the 2008 Presidential bid. Share this post: email it! | bookmark it!
Unbelievable -- [Popping Smoke]
Unbelievable. Sinply unbelievable. Really. I try to remain neutral in national politics.
I don't know if Harry Reid's comments calling the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "incompetent" is politically motivated or if his career in politics has made him numb to the effects making comments like that has on Soldiers.
General Peter Pace is the highest ranking military officer in the United States Military. He is the uniformed figurehead of all of the military. He came to Iraq when I was there (probably several times) and I saw him speak. Very motivational and influential. He is not the commander in charge of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is someone else.
The point is: we look up to him. As an officer, he is the pinnacle; he has served in the Marine Corps since 1968. I looked at Harry Reid's Biography and General Pace's biography and see that there is one striking similarity in the two men.
Coffee Snorters: Xtreme CompetenceTM Edition -- [Villianous Comapany]
Last week Senator Harry Reid followed a decisive victory over the administration by graciously observing outgoing JCS Chairman Pete Pace is "incompetent" and he's "happy" Pace is leaving. With this simple but effective gesture, Reid once again demonstrated the depth of party's oft-stated commitment to heal the bitter partisan divisions that have plagued Capitol Hill for so long.
Frustrated Soldier Speaks His Mind About Media -- [A Soldier's Mind]
This soldier, on the front lines, tells it like he sees it, about the media’s reporting of the war. To say that he’s frustrated is to put it mildly. He talks about the frustration of knowing that they’re making progress and killing enemies, only to turn on the news and not see that reported, but instead seeing coverage of nothing but things, that in his mind and the mind of the majority of the Troops, does nothing but embolden the enemy. I can understand his frustration and that’s why here at ASM, we strive to bring you information about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, that you don’t see reported in the mainstream media. The emphasis in the article below is mine, points which I feel people should pay attention to. The majority of our readers know the frustration this Soldier speaks of and agree. Some of you don’t and that’s your right, but this Soldier has earned the right to speak his mind and he will be heard here.
Latest Haditha Prosecution Implosion -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
Bruce Kesler has the latest on how the prosecution's case is falling apart against the Marines charged with murder after a Haditha roadside bomb and ensuing small-arms attack. He quotes from local San Diego media reporting, which includes in part the following:
...So busy were they furthering the words of local Iraqis the Marines swore were lying, there was little apparent interest in "leaks" that may have supported the Marines' claims in self-defense (at least as perceived within military and veteran circles). Now that the slow-moving case is finally falling apart, the Times is dutifully all over it. Unbelievable.
Haditha and the Media -- [Euphoric Reality]
“I will be putting up some insider information later today about the ongoing Article 32 for one of the Marines in the Haditha case. The NCIS testimony was, in short, a joke. What a bunch of incompetent fools. At any rate, I’ll be bringing you some of that later today. In the meantime, take a moment to read this article by Phil Brennan from Newsmax. ‘When it comes to the November 2005 Haditha incident, which the media has characterized as a wanton massacre of 24 innocent civilians, it seems it is the truth that has been massacred — by the news media.
NYTimes: Still Hasn't Apologized and Corrected the Record -- [NewsBusters]
On may 29th, the AP reported that Vice President Dick Cheney told the Secret Service to eliminate the records of visitors to the Vice President's mansion on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. fitting with the MSM's claims that the VP is "too secretive." Cheney’s office countered with the fact that he had written orders to save those records. Naturally the New York Times jumped on the bandwagon with a June 3rd piece that went wild-eyed and frothing, veering straight for the "Haliburton" canard that the left has tried to hang on Cheney since his first days in office instead of staying on the topic of the visitor records.
From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Cheney received "deferred salary payments" from Halliburton that far exceeded what taxpayers gave him. Mr. Cheney still holds hundreds of thousands of stock options that have ballooned by millions of dollars as Halliburton profited handsomely from the war in Iraq.
As they are wont to do, the Times again tried to link Cheney with Haliburton payouts despite the fact that the VP has not benefited from any such income since being elected to office.
72 Virgins [HT: Jawa Report]
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
House Armed Services Subcmte. Hearing on Iraqi Security Forces Development -- [C-SPAN]
Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA) chairs a House Armed Services subcmte. hearing on Iraqi Security Forces Development. This oversight hearing investigates efforts to train and equip Iraqi military and police forces. Financial management of the project and analysis from outside experts will also be considered.
2/6 kicks off Operation Alljah -- [One Marines View]
The mission of Operation Alljah is to provide stability and protection for the citizens of Fallujah. For this iteration of the operation, Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group Forward, emplaced concrete barriers to section the city into precincts; leathernecks with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, worked with the Iraqi Police and Army to set up operational stations. At these stations, Iraqi civilians can come in to receive identification cards, food, reimbursements and a chance to join the neighborhood watch program.
Iraqi leaders call for unity -- [MNF-I]
TIKRIT, Iraq – Salahuddin Governor Hamed Hamoud Shekti and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for unity Wednesday night from the Askra Mosque, the scene of another terrorist attack.
Hamoud made a public announcement from the Askira Mosque at around 11 a.m. and met with religious students, asking for the Sheiks and educated people of Samarra to come forward and be the city eyes to watch out for outsiders who continue to attack the city and mosque.
“You are sons and grandsons of the two greatest Imams who ever lived,” said Hamoud. “Please stop the sabotage and destruction, and work on the aims and goals of the city.”
Samarra Mosque bombing suspects identified; reports of violence -- [The Fourth Rail]
Samarra provincial police force members detained as unconfirmed reports of attacks on mosques, shrines surface
The Iraqi police have made arrests in this morning's twin bombings of the al-Askaria mosque's remaining minarets. While early reports indicated the Iraqi National Police were responsible for securing the mosque complex, a provincial police unit was guarding the area. As the suspects behind the attacks were rounded up, unconfirmed reports of attacks on religious sites in Baghdad and Diyala began to surface.
ON Point Exclusive Interview: Brigadier General Kevin Bergner -- [ON Point - in Iraq]
In an interview that had to be rescheduled because of yesterday’s terror bombing of the Shia Golden Mosque in Samarra (the rough equivalent of a bomb in the Vatican); ON Point talked with BrigGen Kevin Bergner. BG Bergner is the spokesman for Multi-National Forces-Iraq. Only two weeks ago, he replaced MajGen William Caldwell, who is now the Commanding General of the Army’s Command & Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas. This was one of BG Bergner’s first...
SUSPECTED AL QAEDA SNIPER DETAINED IN FALLUJAH; 16 SUSPECTED INSURGENTS DETAINED IN AL ANBAR PROVINCE -- [Centcom]
FALLUJAH - Iraqi Army Forces have detained a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq sniper allegedly responsible for the death of a U.S. Soldier and other attacks against Coalition Forces.
With Coalition Forces present as advisers, Iraqi soldiers detained their primary sniper suspect in the Jolan District of Fallujah during a raid June 10. Anti-Coalition Forces propaganda and numerous identification cards were also seized during the operation.
The suspect, who is alleged to be a member of an al Qaeda in Iraq sniper cell operating out of Fallujah, is believed to have killed a U.S. Soldier from a rooftop during a 2006 attack on Coalition Forces in Fallujah. He is also the primary suspect in a sniper attack against a Coalition Forces tractor-trailer which occurred in Fallujah earlier this year.
Marines - MRAPs roll into Anbar Iraq -- [ MyEarbot]
The Pentagon will phase out its armored Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan and send in vehicles that better withstand roadside bomb blasts, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday.
Replacing the Humvee, the military's main troop-transport vehicle, will be the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle, known as an MRAP. Military officials say the new vehicles provide twice as much protection against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which cause 70% of all U.S. casualties in Iraq.
Explosions and Geese -- [Mission Iraq - Round 2 - in Iraq]
Yesterday was a bit of a close call with inbound 107mm rockets. We had one drop in 900ft W/NW of our building and another drop in 1/4 mile at the water purification plant! Good stuff.
On the flipside, our boys were returning the favor with large diameter artillary this morning...at 5a.m.!! Talk about a rude awakening. The artillary is just across the way from we live so when they go off, it's as if they are just outside my door.
Iraq Pictures 12 June 2007 -- [Iraq Pictures - in Iraq]
An Iraqi army and U.S. Soldier engage a local citizen in a building nearby the mosque in Old Baqubah, Iraq in Diyala province. Local citizens assisted Soldiers in finding information about al-Qaida terrorists involved in an earlier firefight.
Captured Insurgent Crying to American Soldiers - [lastnamefirst]
Captured Insurgent Crying to American Soldiers Marked as: Mature, Featured
"a known insurgent who threw grenades at iraqi police killed 3, and suspected of attacking the coalition is detained by the iraqi army, obviously distraught our translator tells us he begging to be in custody of the americans and not the iraqis."
G.I.s' Guide to Iraq (1943) -- [Danger Room]
In 1943, some American troops were stationed in Iraq. Here is a PDF of a War Department handbook introducing them to the country ('i-RAHK"), and providing some do's and don'ts when interacting with the Iraqi people. Some highlights:
NEVER discuss religion or politics or women with Moslems.
Don't stare at anyone. Remember the fear of the "evil eye".
Knock before entering a private house. If a woman answers, wait until she has had time to retire. ...
COALITION, AFGHAN FORCES RETURN FIRE IN NAGARHAR -- [Centcom]
KABUL , Afghanistan – Last night Afghan and Coalition forces attempted to conduct an operation on a suspected Taliban safe house in Sherzad district of Nangarhar province the night of June 11.
En route to the location, the Coalition forces were challenged by an unknown individual in civilian clothes carrying a weapon. The individual who challenged the force shined a flashlight on one of the members of the patrol. The force did not initially engage this individual. The same individual then opened fire at the force and at that point Coalition forces returned fire.
Almost simultaneously, Coalition forces started receiving automatic small-arms fire.
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: SPECIAL FEATURE: PATROL -- [royalairforce]
SPECIAL FEATURE: Last week a 48-hour patrol took Paul to villages around the base that had never been visited by the current coalition forces. Long patrols in hostile territory are tough for the flight teams and the troops need to utilise many of the survival skills they've learnt in training.
Abu Dujana Arrest is one victory in a long war -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The arrest of Yusron Mahmudi, better known as Abu Dujana, with seven other militants, was a significant blow to the regional terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiah. Dujana was one of the organisation's most skilled and multifaceted operatives, an Afghan-trained bombmaker, logistics expert, recruiter and, since 2003, the group's amir.
205TH ANA CORPS SOLDIERS DEFEAT ENEMY FIGHTERS IN ZABUL AND KANDAHAR -- [Centcom]
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Elements of the 2nd Brigade, 205th Afghan National Army Corps, and Coalition forces were ambushed by an unknown number of enemy fighters while conducting a combat patrol near the village of Kudak in the Deh Chopan district of Zabul province June 12.
ANA and Coalition forces repelled the initial enemy attack with small-arms fire and then requested Coalition close air support to repel five more attacks on their patrol over the next five-hours. A significant number of dozen enemy fighters were killed during the battle.
Naked Women Driven From Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
June 14, 2007: When the British Ministry of Defense found out that Harrier pilots and ground crews in Afghanistan had painted racy images ("nose art") on their aircraft, they ordered the troops to cease and desist. In addition to the possibility of women in the Royal Air Force complaining (none have, so far), there was the risk that some Afghans would be offended. No Afghans have complained yet, and Afghan men who had seen the nose art, usually studied it intently.
China Attempting Cyberspace Dominance -- [Military.com]
The Air Force has been tracking aggressive cyber incursions by computer technicians in China, primarily focused toward gathering information on military network infrastructure and American trade secrets, the Air Force's cyber warfare commander said Wednesday.
Jamestown Foundation: Europe's New Center of Global Jihad -- [ON Point]
ON Point: Catalonia: The strengthening of Islamist groups, combined with an increase in jihadi networks and activities in and around Barcelona, underscores Catalonia's status as a European center for al-Qaeda-associated terrorism operations. Statements by al-Qaeda leaders that emphasize Spain's unique "status" within the Global Salafi-Jihad, coupled with recently disclosed terrorism trends for Spain, reveal that the culture of global jihad has consolidated in Spain's northern autonomous region. Once...
Mail Call -- [The Zeke - in Iraq]
Attention all you wonderfull package and letter senders. We have been told to ask senders of mail to stop sending any items after the 15th of June. I would say you will probably be good up until the 20th. At this point in the deployment, we are pretty well stocked up on good stuff from home. If there are any last minute letters you have been meaning to get out to your soldier in my unit, now is the time to do it. Thank you all for your prayers and support. I'll try to get an updated post with something to say in the near future.
FAME FOR A DAY! -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
Just before Memorial Day a few weeks ago, I was headed into the post office. A reporter from the local paper: the Kane County Chronicle - was doing man in the street interviews on "what does Memorial Day mean to you". Well, they picked the right guy for that! I also gave him my Soldier's Angels business card and suggested that if they ever have a slow news day over at the paper, to call me up.
Sure enough, last week he called and wanted to do a story on Soldier's Angels. The reporter was very thorough - he even tracked down Patti and talked to her by phone.
VOLUNTEERS SHIFT INTO HIGH GEAR FOR CELEBRATION -- [Operation Gratitude]
During the weekend of June16-17, 2007 hundreds of new and returning volunteers will gather at the California National Guard Armory in Van Nuys to assemble thousands of packages for U.S. troops, including Operation Gratitude's Quarter-Millionth Care Package. Director of Operations, Charlie Othold, expects to hit this magic moment in the 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon hour on Saturday, June 16th.
America: A Patriotic Primer -- [Miss Ladybug]
Since it was published in May 2002, it was still a time when there was much visible patriotism to be seen in public spaces.
...The Heroes and Ideals pages feature pioneers, firefighters, the U.S. military, police, teachers, elected leaders, doctors and nurses, and astronauts.
Historical figures of note are Jefferson, King, Lincoln and Madison. Our nation's immigrant heritage is honored with the Oath of Citizenship: "I hereby declare, on oath, ... that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America."
"V is for Valor shown by those who've kept us free." Highlighted here are Medal of Honor winners ...
Happy Birthday U.S. Army -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
Today marks the 232nd birthday of the United States Army.
To all American soldiers — stateside and deployed — active, retired, former, and members of the Army Reserve and National Guard, Happy Birthday! And thank you — and your 'Army Strong' predecessors — for keeping America safe and free since 1775.
Marines Fed Up With Politics -- [The Tank -W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
Fact is, U.S. Marines are sick of the politics about Iraq. And, as I've been reporting, they are tired of the distorted — and often flat-out wrong — poll findings about how they (the troops) are supposed to be feeling about the Iraq war.
Under a sweltering Iraqi sky, [Lt. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command] asked for questions from his troops.
Many were reluctant, but Marine Lance Cpl. Jack Kessel, 19, of Raleigh, N.C., stepped forward. Something had been gnawing at him as he and his buddies go about the business of winning hearts and minds in al-Anbar province: “How are we supposed to fight a war when people back home say we’ve already lost?”
Democrats Bungling Military Leaders -- [Jawa Report]
Bush has indeed been a weak leader, but has not shown anywhere near the level of treason and utter hopelessness that the Democrats have shown.
After years of undermining, meddling, micromanaging, opposing and interfering with the military's mission in Iraq in every way they possibly could, the Democrats are now trying to blame the troops for the Democrat-declared "loss" in Iraq while the troops are still fighting there.
And the war continue -- [Air Force EWO - in Iraq]
...Maybe they know that if they start causing more destruction, maybe some more casualties, then the "Blame America first, let's capitulate to the enemy as fast as we can and maybe they'll start being nice to us" contingent in Congress might work harder to help them win this war. The enemy understands, I believe, that the Reid's and Pelosi's in this country are looking for anything they can get to convince the rest of us that losing this war is our only option. I think that the enemy also understands that getting Congress to force us out of Iraq is their only option for success.
Reid labels military leader 'incompetent' -- [Politico]
Besides his comments about Pace and Petraeus, Reid also announced that he wants to hold more votes on ending or scaling back the U.S. military presence in Iraq.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported.
The Seditious Senator Reid -- [Confederate Yankee]
Comfortable among his own kind, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has dropped all pretenses of the insincere "...but we support the troops" mantra utterly by the far left, the Politico reports
...Senator Harry Reid, please explain to us how your apparent utterances calling serving generals "incompetent" while they are engaged in command duties as general officers of the United States during wartime does not amount to interfering with, impairing, or attempting to influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States.
You'll note, Senator Reid, that Chapter 15 of U.S. Code covers "Treason, Sedition, and Subversive Activities," and I find it very hard for you to argue—though you and your supporters certainly will—that words uttered against the competence of active duty commanding generals during wartime does not amount to an attempt to "interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States." Your offense, coming from your position of United States Senate Majority Leader, is particularly egregious when it is considered that these comments are directed to a group of opinionmakers that claim to hold such sway over Democrat Party politics.
"Patriot" Games: Murtha Takes Earmarking To Whole New Level As He Tries To Put Vital No-Fly Terrorist Watch List In Hands of Incompetent Home-District Office -- [Ace of Spades]
If there were such a thing as the Republican Party anymore, this would probably be a good issue to attack the Democrats with.
To secure congressional funding for a pet project, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., made a surprising claim: The little-known National Drug Intelligence Center was about to take charge of the "vitally important" terrorist no-fly list.
Bill O'Reilly Blasts MSNBC, CNN for 'Carnage du Jour' Iraq Coverage -- [NewsBusters]
On his program last night Fox News host Bill O'Reilly blasted his cable competitors for their "delight in showing Iraqi violence," a product of an editorial mindset at CNN and MSNBC that "want[s] Americans to think badly of President Bush."
"And that strategy has succeeded," he added.
O'Reilly's words came in response to remarks made by CNN president Jon Klein who accused FNC of dialing back Iraq coverage as violence in Iraq has increased.
"It illustrates the danger of cheerleading for one particular point or another because they were obviously cheerleaders for the war," He told the AP. "When the war went badly they had to dial back coverage because it didn't fit their preconceived story lines."
Klein was referring to a study by a leftish group called the Project for Excellence in Journalism which stated that MSNBC covered Iraq twice as much as FNC. CNN covered it almost twice as much according to the study.
Soldiers Demonstrate - How To Capture A Terrorist -- [TradeArmandoBenitez]
Soldiers Having Fun In Iraq. Captureing a terrorist in the shitter.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Why The Most Important Stuff Is Not Reported -- [Strategy Page]
June 13, 2007: The terrorists have changed tactics, and so has the United States, and that says much about where the battle for Iraq is going. There are fewer bombs going off in Baghdad, so the bombers are trying to make each one count more. Thus, in the last week, three truck bombs took out bridges and overpasses, seeking to make life miserable for an many Iraqis as possible. This is because, despite all the dismal news from Iraq, what doesn't get reported is that most of the country is quiet, and there has been 4-5 percent growth in the overall economy for the past four years. Actually, there was a huge jump in economic growth, about 40 percent, in the year after Saddam fell. That has now settled down. Anyone who has been to Iraq, particularly American soldiers, can't help but notice the traffic jams, shops full of goods, and all those Iraqis walking around with their new cell phones. Yes, it's a war zone, but it's also a growing economy.
Our Common Struggle -- [Opinion Journal - NOURI AL-MALIKI]
America had its civil war. Why expect freedom to come easy to Iraq?
BAGHDAD, Iraq--Americans keen to understand the ongoing struggle for a new Iraq can be guided by the example of their own history. In the 1860s, your country fought a great struggle of its own, a civil war that took hundreds of thousands of lives but ended in the triumph of freedom and the birth of a great power.
...War being what it is, the images of Iraq that come America's way are of car bombs and daily explosions. Missing from the coverage are the great, subtle changes our country is undergoing, the birth of new national ideas and values which will in the end impose themselves despite the death and destruction that the terrorists have been hell-bent on inflicting on us. Those who endured the brutality of the former regime, those who saw the outside world avert its gaze from their troubles, know the magnitude of the change that has come to Iraq. A fundamental struggle is being fought on Iraqi soil between those who believe that Iraqis, after a long nightmare, can retrieve their dignity and freedom, and others who think that oppression is the order of things and that Iraqis are doomed to a political culture of terror, prisons and mass graves. Some of our neighbors have made this struggle more lethal still, they have placed their bets on the forces of terror in pursuit of their own interests.
Outside the Wire--A day in the life -- [Matt Sanchez - in Iraq]
The days start off early throughout Iraq. The sun starts to rise just before five in the morning. I'm told that it rains, but for the time I've been here, I've never seen a cloud in the sky, except for clouds of fine dust.
Marine firepower is the only thing keeping insurgents at bay. Each time before they leave the base, the Marines snap into condition four:
Oil, Oil, Everywhere But Not A Drop Of Fuel! -- [Rt Wing News - Matt Sanchez]
For years, I've heard the fantastic tales of untapped black wealth beneath the sun-beaten Iraqi earth. So, when the mayor of Fallujah insisted he had no gas to run school and hospital generators, I had to ask the obvious question, where's the gas?
...Lt. Colonel Mullen, Battalion Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines out of Camp Lejeune was not buying it. "We've registered over 100 fuel trucks going through various checkpoints and into the city, where's all the fuel going?"
Progress being made -- [Air Force EWO - in Iraq]
Today I wanted to give you all an update on how the fight's going over here. I got a little snippet last night at one of the VTCs (Video Tele-Conference) I attend. This was the Force Protection VTC that happens once a week and involves not only those of us here in theater, but people at the Pentagon...
...I don't know what the mainstream media is saying back in the States. I have no television over here, and even if I did we pretty much only get AFN (Armed Forces Network) which mainly consists of last year's episodes of regular shows and current sporting events. But I get the feeling that they are not really reporting what is going on over here. I believe they don't want any good news coming out of Iraq. Don't just believe me, here's a story from an embedded reporter that tells it like it is
USACE IRAQ MAKING A DIFFERENCE
THE CITY OF FALLUJAH IS GETTING A NEW SEWAGE SYSEM. THIS IS THE BIGGEST CONSTRUCTION PROJECT THE U-S ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS IS OVERSEEING IN THAT PROVINCE OF IRAQ. IT WILL EVENTUALLY CONNECT TO EVERY HOME IN THE CITY AND GREATLY IMPACT HEALTH
Soldiers seize, destroy bomb factory -- [MNF-I]
Baghdad Soldiers seized a bomb-making factory along with a large weapons cache while on patrol in eastern Rashid District here Monday.
Troops from Company A, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment and Company A, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry, attached to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, discovered a factory composed of a complex of small buildings in the palm groves of East Rashid after receiving intelligence of it’s location from other Coalition troops.
Bomb cell terrorists caught red-handed -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed two terrorists, detained 13 suspected terrorists and discovered a cache of weapons during operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Baghdad car bomb network Wednesday.
Coalition Forces followed two terrorists they witnessed emplacing improvised explosive devices in Baghdad June 12, and raided their bed-down location. As Coalition Forces approached the building, the two known terrorists disregarded the interpreter’s instructions and approached the ground force. Reacting appropriately to the perceived threat, Coalition Forces engaged the two men, killing them.
FOB Dagger Projects
Training the Iraqi Army to be better able to defend democracy goes beyond tactics and weapons.
Hear Our Heroes: SSG Martin Wohlford -- [A Soldier’s Mind]
I know you’ve all probably been wondering when I’d get around to Marty’s interview for the blog. While he was home on R & R, he did take the time to answer the questions we typically ask our troops.
...ASM: If you’re in Iraq, do you feel that you’re making a difference?
SSG Wohlford: Yes, we’re doing a lot of good things. We’ve completed many reconstruction projects that you rarely hear about in the news. We’re helping the people of Iraq be able to have their own free government.
ASM: If you’re currently deployed, do you see positive changes happening there?
SSG Wohlford: I see many positive things occurring in the Diyala River Valley. We’re stabilizing the government to where they’re self-sustaining and one that can set an example for the rest of the Middle East. Building schools, hospitals, rebuilding police and emergency medical systems. For the US, we’re learning lessons, which will help our forces be able to better respond in future situations around the world.
Death or Glory Part III of IV -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
American soldiers think our press is bad to them, but we get off light compared to the Brits. One British soldier told me that when he made a journey of several hours across London, in uniform, not a single person acknowledged him. I said he should go to America where British soldiers are always welcome.
The Brits are in for a scorching summer in the deserts of Maysan Province. By the time I left, the sleeping bags weren’t necessary, though nights were cool. The soldiers are living out there on cots under mosquito nets, and their outhouse is a shovel.
Body Counts vs. Victory -- [Outside the Wire - in Iraq]
"We've killed close to 400 known insurgents," Lt. Colonel Valery Keaveny, Commander of Task Force Geronimo said in the stuffy hallway of OP Delta in Kharma, Iraq. "But that's not really the way to measure success."
Chuck Simmins' Terrorist Death Watch (via Instapundit) is a fascinating look at the death rate of terrorists, insurgents and other anti-coalition forces in Iraq.
Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority -- [TQ Surgical - in Iraq]
Relief in Place/Transfer of Authority (RIP/TOA) is the current acronym combination used to describe the changeover of units in Iraq. Essentially, a unit arrives, learns the job from the unit it's replacing, then executes the job while the outgoing unit watches, then when everyone is satisfied the new unit can adequately do the job, the outgoing unit gets to leave. I think it safe to say that by the time the outgoing unit leaves, it is a huge relief to the incoming unit. You want your space, you want your equipment, and if your unit is self-confident, you want the mission and to be left alone. Just as anxious as they were to leave, we we ready to start.
PKK Signs Ceasefire with Turkey -- [Michael J. Totten - in Iraq]
The Marxist-Leninist Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in Eastern Turkey just declared a unilateral ceasefire after the Turkish military shelled them in their mountain redoubt in Northern Iraq.
...I have my doubts that the PKK will abide by the ceasefire, but at least Iraqi Kurdistan seems to be spared a new war for now, and the bombs in Turkey might actually stop. We'll see how long this lasts.
The Most Important Driveway in Baghdad
Food, and ammo.....some things are very important to the troops stationed in Baghdad. One thing that's often taken for granted is the mail. It can have a hard time getting around the country.
Married PFC's in Iraq -- [ROFA Six]
No sex, no alcohol, and of course no drugs are pretty much the rule of the land for deployed soldiers in Iraq. So it was something of a surprise to learn that two Private First Class's were sharing a room at FOB Iskan and the command is accommodating the fact, that for these two, Iraq is their honeymoon trip...
Navy Seal: ‘I died on that mountain’ -- [MSNBC]
June 12: Marcus Luttrell shares the horrific moment that he "thinks about everyday" and his tale of survivor with TODAY's Matt Lauer.
Playing To The Base -- [Strategy Page]
June 13, 2007: The Taliban continue to take a beating on the battlefield. Using the same old tactics, with groups of 30-50 gunmen roaming around in trucks, or going cross country on foot, to intimidate villages, the Taliban are constantly being caught and captured or killed. Their losses are several hundred a week, and interrogations of the captured indicate that morale is low. The Taliban is maintaining discipline by threatening retaliation against family for anyone who deserts or betrays the cause.
Freedom Watch Afghanistan
Breaking News: Missing Fort Hood Soldier Found Dead Following Exhaustive Search -- [A Soldier's Mind]
I’ve been watching this story closely and hoping that this missing soldier would be found safely. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Sgt. Lawrence Sprader went missing during a training exercise on Friday evening at Fort Hood. The area where he went missing is full of rolling hills and trees, very rugged terrain, covering something like 15,000 acres. Please keep the family and friends of Sgt. Lawrence Sprader in your thoughts and prayers.
The Astronaut Prayer -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
The Astronaut Prayer from Marines in Iraq via "Space Angel" Joan Kranz who left this comment on yesterday's post about her Dad and the wounded Veterans at Friday's shuttle launch:
The Marines in Iraq found out that the Commander for this shuttle crew is a Marine ! so they were watching the launch over in Iraq.
One of the Marine Chaplains wrote an "astronaut prayer" for the astronaut crew, and I forwarded it to the Lead Flight Director of this mission.
Al-Qaida Fails Sexual Politics -- [Austin Bay]
The U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Va., now has a cultural anthropologist on its faculty. Welcome to 21st century warfare, where knowing your enemy includes knowing his myths and marriage mores, as well as his political goals and military capabilities.
Jemaah Islamiyah leader Abu Dujana Captured -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
This past Saturday, Indonesian police counter-terrorist units made several arrests across Central Java. After five days of conflicting press statements, on Wednesday afternoon the authorities finally confirmed that one of the suspects, initially known as Yusron, was in fact Abu Dujana, the alleged leader of JI. This confirmation came after a check of fingerprints and corroboration from other detained terrorists.
Where Angels Walk -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
To Everyone at Soldiers' Angels,
Thank you very much. All of you at Soldiers' Angels are amazing. I really don't know what else to say except thank you.
I first received your help when I was medevaced to Germany. It seemed that every time I turned a corner you were there. From the time I got to the CSH and throughout my stay in Germany. So many things donated by all of you helped me out in transit and during my time at Germany.
One thing that I got, I carry it with me everywhere I go, is ...
A Nation of Riflemen supporting a team of snipers. -- [Argghhh!]
Kim du Toit, via the Nation of Riflemen Foundation, is once again supporting the Deuce Four Snipers 3/2 Stryker Cav Snipers. For more info - visit the boys at Boots and Sabers You can send a check to: The Nation of Volunteers Suite 100-363 3020 Legacy Dr. Plano, TX 75023 (Make checks payable to “Nation of Volunteers.") Or, via Paypal: Support Our Troops Hey! If you're flush enough to give some there, perhaps you're flush enough to contribute to help wounded warriors, too.
Wednesday Hero - 06/13/2007 -- [Bear Creek Ledger]
his Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Malinda 69-year-old Bert Brady has never stepped foot in Iraq or Afghanistan, yet many soldiers who have know who he is and appreciate what he's done for them. You see, for the past year Mr. Brady has made a trip to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport nearly every morning
Rules of Engagement -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
FOX News military analyst Col. David Hunt (U.S. Army, ret.) recently told reporter Chad Groening of OneNewsNow.com that U.S. troops in Iraq — and elsewhere throughout the world — were being "hamstrung" by rules of engagement (ROE):
Military Considered Gay Bomb -- [Outside The Beltway]
The United States Air Force briefly considered building a bomb that would make enemy soldiers turn gay. A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting. Pentagon
The Final Collapse Of The Democrat Congress -- [Pat Dollard]
In complete chaos after an unending string of failures and poltically motivated circuses, the desperate Dems experience a complete psychotic break and dramatically pledge a series of random new votes on Iraq, all in time for the July 4 holiday, as their new centerpiece. Check this: They admit the votes will fail. But, hey, given the state of the nation, they have all the time in the world to waste, right? George Soros apparently will not stop in his pursuit to be King of America From The Shadows.
Dawn Over DC -- [Jules Crittenden]
This is what it would look like:
Step 1. Dems acknowledge impotent overreach.
Step 2. Dems acknowledge lack of mandate.
Step 3. Dems acknowledge they are wrong.
Step 4. Dems begin to support the troops and actively plot ways to win the war.
They just took Step 1. But they are not interested in Steps 2 and 3. Their plotting of other mechanisms to undercut the war indicates their losses to date have not prompted any interest in either supporting the troops or winning the war. They may have to repeat Step 1 a few more times. The fact that Reid wants to revive debate on a measure to force withdrawal by March 2008 suggests he wasn’t paying attention to himself when he just acknowledged impotent overreach. Step 1 was just about making excuses, trying to win back the anti-war zealots to avoid further loss of what little political leverage they have, and trying to get past the fact that no one has any respect for the Dem Cong anymore
Voter Fraud -- [Villianous Company]
Kym Cason told 9News she registered herself 25 times and her friends 40 times. Cason claims she was trying to help her boyfriend earn money. He worked for a group called ACORN that paid workers by the hour but had a 5 application per hour quota.
- ACORN surfaces in Colorado Voter Fraud Case
The preceding is from a lengthy compilation of voter fraud links assembled by Bill Hobbs. Fortunately, due to the diligent oversight of the 110th Congress and the lamestream media, informed Americans are by now well aware that voter fraud is a chimeric creation of an overly politicized Justice Department hell bent on punishing its enemies rather than enforcing the law.
WashPost Offers Kinder, Gentler Take on Less Political Toby Keith -- [NewsBusters]
In the past, Washington Post music reviewers have made no secret of their disdain of country music star Toby Keith's patriotic homegrown quasi-conservatism. But now that Keith is shying away, almost apologizing for his political scuffles with the Dixie Chicks and the late Peter Jennings, the Post seems to have a new-found respect for Keith as a musician and artist.
The Washington Post and Victims of Communism -- [Media Blog - Tim Graham]
As John Miller noted in The Corner, Washington Post writer Philip Kennicott – a man who routinely defines the Post Style section as a second Op-Ed page – has a snotty piece on the Victims of Communism Memorial today. It starts out by praising the memorial’s modesty and adding a surprising anti-communist flourish: "If one were to build monuments commensurate in size to the atrocities they memorialize, the victims of communism would require perhaps the entirety of the federal city."
Tony Blair's Speech On The Media Of Today -- [Flopping Aces]
Tony Blair gave a great speech yesterday in which he began with "This speech is not a complaint. It is an argument." and "A free media is a vital part of a free society, you only need to look at where such a free media is absent to know this truth." But then proceeds to lay out the huge fundamental change in the media of today, and how it effects everyday life
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Analysis of Truck Bomb in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan -- [Moderate Risk- in Iraq]
Ravi Nessman, AP: A suicide truck bomb ripped through the Interior Ministry in the relatively peaceful Kurdish city of Irbil on Wednesday, killing 14 people and wounding dozens, officials said.
All of this is based on early reports and some details may be in error on the reports.
1. This was an attack on the Interior Ministry, not a random terror strike. This was intended to do damage to the KRG, not just Kurds in general. If they had wanted to create a body count, they could have
More Attacks on Kurdish Political Control -- [Moderate Risk- in Iraq]
The second attack in four days on Kurdish political control occurred in the town of Makhmoor near Mosul at the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) offices, killing at least 32 and wounding more than 115. The city of Makhmoor is not under formal Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) control, but the area is almost entirely composed of racial Kurds. According to CNN, political meetings were taking place at the KDP offices when a suicide truck bomber struck. Although firmly in the red zone of active conflict, Makhmoor and other ethnically Kurdish areas have mostly been spared this kind of violence. It appears that Al Qaeda cannot accept any peace in Iraq.
Courthouses for Baghdad
Baghdad Summer Politics -- [Iraq the Model - Iraqis in Iraq]
The hysterical verbal threats and accusations among Iraq’s politicians and leaders have moved up several notches since the coup panic was first felt in Baghdad. Now the hysteria has reached the top of the government pyramid.
Iraqis often say that when the summer heat goes up people lose their minds. Frankly I’ve seen this happen to some people I know and sometimes the damage is temporary, sometimes not.
Smokin in the boys' room -- [Calvery in Iraq - in Iraq]
Only 109 degrees out today, but felt hotter, especially in body armor.
I spent several hours this morning in a building in the Red Zone, with my weapon locked and loaded, and with no air conditioning and very inadequate ventilation.
There was a toilet, albeit a nasty one, with no light in the bathroom, so I just had to figure it out in the dark. It was not a place where "kicking the back tire" outside would have been culturally appropriate.
Every time I think life is hard, I remember those convoy gunners and others out there who have it worse than I do.
Take A Deep Breath -- [Letters from the other side of the world - in Iraq]
...So I'm hearing word yesterday's mortar attack was in retaliation for some so-called abuses at Bucca. That's a laugh. As of yet, I still don't work in the TIF -- Theater Internment Facility -- or the prison at Bucca. I can tell you because I'll never forget about what happened after the shelling stopped. Along with the sirens a voice kept repeating, "All medical personnel, report to the TIF. "All medical personnel, report to the TIF. All medical personnel, report to the TIF..." Over and over. It was steaming hot and the medics had to sprint nearly a mile in their battle rattle. It's not easy. And I know they treated the wounded for hours in the best combat hospital in Iraq, outside of Baghdad. Heads cracked open, limbs torn off, blood everywhere. You should see the look on people's faces around camp. But the fact is there's men and women over here who did everything they could for the injured. Injured detainees who were treated like our own. Detainees slaughtered by their own so-called comrades. I know there's been a bit of press about the attack but I bet you won't hear that in the papers. And as usual, I haven't seen a single reporter on camp. I know you're worried to death, Sarah. It physically hurts me to hear you cry on the phone. But know that I'm doing my best to keep my head in the game and you've got to try to as well. One thing I've learned in Iraq so far is that when @!#* happens, and it will, don't panic. Even in quiet Bucca, there's a war going on and, sadly, there's going to be casualties. That's why it's important -- for both of us -- to stay strong and calm, so we don't become one of them. I don't know if there's anything else I can say to put you at ease anymore. Just try your best. I doubt there much I can do, because if the roles were reversed, I'd be going bonkers, too
Fear -- [Letters from the other side of the world - husband in Iraq]
Trust me, I’m calm. I stayed calm through finding out that your base had been attacked by reading a news report at work, through waiting two hours to find out if you were OK via e-mail, and through waiting another day to hear your voice. By the time we talked I was just too exhausted to hold it in anymore.
I almost hate the saying “We’re at war, casualties happen” more than the Army’s “That’s just the way it is.”
Maybe it’s because in some ways, we’re not at war. I’m at war; you’re at war; the other soldiers and their families are at war. But I get so pissed off that everybody can go about their normal lives like nothing’s happening. Sometimes I question how people who haven’t experienced war can say they are for or against this one.
An Important Thank You -- [ABC News]
Woodruff and His Crew Meet in Syria With Interpreter Who Saved Journalist's Life After IED Attack
More than a million Iraqis have fled to Syria since the war began, but on my first night in Damascus a few weeks ago, I set out to find one man -- Omar, the man who'd helped save my life.
Omar is a 23-year-old Iraqi who was working as an interpreter with the U.S. Army when I was injured in Iraq a year and a half ago, and he was with me in the tank when our vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device.
Role of MilBlogs (so far) in the War on Terror -- [BlackFive]
...while we continually hear liberal politician soundbites that the Iraqi Army has only one effective battalion, Woodruff and Vogt were saved by Iraqis. Their interpreter and the soldiers that they were with fought for and saved their lives. The Americans had a lot to do with their saving as well and I would expect a story about the amazing medics and doctors that helped the ABC news team. But what about the Iraqi sacrifices?
Maybe the headlines should have read "Iraqis save Woodruff!" - maybe that would have been more accurate?
Dinner Chez le Sheik--Reports from Al Anbar -- [Matt Sanchez - in Iraq]
There's a lot going on, but before the mainstream press mangles it, I want to point out that many prominent people in the Al Anbar province have sided with coalition forces and "change" is on the lips of anyone worth listening to.
The IAI Steps Up (and Backs Down) in its War With Al-Qaida -- [Counterterrorism Blog - By Evan Kohlmann]
Those who closely follow the internal workings of the insurgency in Iraq may already be aware of the unexpected truce offer tendered last week by the dominant Sunni insurgent group known as the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI) to Al-Qaida's so-called "Islamic State of Iraq" after weeks of bitter wrangling and internecine bloodshed.
‘Golden Dragons’ foil truck bomb attack -- [MNF-I]
A dump truck loaded with homemade explosives sits near the south entrance to Patrol Base Warrior Keep. An alert Soldier of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., saw the truck turn abruptly toward the gate and fired on it with a machine gun, stopping the truck. The driver was wearing a suicide vest, but was detained before he was able to detonate it. Photo by 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs.PATROL BASE WARRIOR KEEP — Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., thwarted a vehicle-borne improvised explosive attack at Patrol Base Warrior Keep, near Sadr Al-Yusufiyah, Iraq.
Coalition Forces target al-Qaeda leaders, detain 11 suspects -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 11 suspected terrorists during operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq operations in the Baghdad area Tuesday.
Coalition Forces raided a series of buildings southwest of Baghdad seeking to capture high-level associates of al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders. The ground force detained seven individuals on the scene for their alleged ties to al-Qaeda senior leaders.
Three synchronized raids targeted senior leaders of an al-Qaeda in Iraq cell based in Baghdad. Coalition Forces detained four suspected terrorists for their alleged involvement in the cell, which is responsible for vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks
Back to Iraq Soon -- [Michael J. Totten]
As soon as the Iraqi Embassy issues my journalist visa, which is supposed to be any day now, I’ll be heading back to Iraq – this time to Baghdad and Anbar Province with the United States military.
I had plans to visit Iraq twice already with the military. They were planning to take me and a handful of other bloggers on a free trip from Washington. But bureaucracy and logistics issues created six months of delays and it isn’t worth waiting in travel limbo any longer. This is perhaps for the best. Instead I’ll go solo as a media embed and skip the dog and pony show.
Why I (We) Serve -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
...I had never thought much about going back into the Army because all these operations seemed like they would be short lived and it would be back to status quo.
As they dragged on though and as the true nature of the Long War became apparent, I had more and more trouble working in the civilian sector and watching from the sidelines.
I continued to read and analyze what I could about Iraq, Islamic fundamentalism, Al Qaeda, and the threats facing us. I came to understand that once again we found ourselves in a clash with an ideology that poses a very serious threat to us and I t wanted to contribute to the effort.
Finally I was able to find a unit that was deploying that was interested in my services. And now I am here.
CNN: Baathists working hand in hand with US troops
Baathist insurgents and Sunni nationalists fight al-Qaeda together with US forces.
Axeghanistan Day Two: Roads, Stat! -- [War Is Boring - journalist embed in Iraq]
...NATO, the U.S. military and the U.S. and Afghan governments realize this, and many of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams have tackled transportation projects lately. U.S. Air Force Captain Rockie Wilson recently returned from leading a PRT in southeast Afghanistan that focused mostly on getting Afghan contractors up to speed on road construction. Even aid groups are in on the action. The U.S. Agency for International Development just wrapped some major road projects around Kabul; and CHF, a development nonprofit that is most famous for its microfinance programs, is eyeing transportation projects as it expands, according to Afghanistan manager Suhail Awan.
Graduation -- [A JAG in Afghanistan - on leave from Afghanistan]
The reason I waited so long to come home on leave was so that I could be home for Seth’s graduation. Almost 10 weeks ago I e-mailed his principal, played the sympathy card about being in Afghanistan for his entire senior year and asked if I could possibly present Seth with his diploma at graduation. Well within a day of sending the e-mail, I got one back telling me that they would be honored to have me present him with his diploma. I was so excited. Of course we didn’t tell Seth.
The Big Lies -- [Strategy Page]
June 11, 2007: Russians have been rewriting their own history, more so than most nations, for a long time. The most recent example is their current attitude towards the Cold War, how it ended, and the legacy of 70 years of communist tyranny. Because most Russians, especially the leaders, have not accepted the Soviet Union as a truly evil institution, it's possible for many Russians to blame the collapse of the Soviet Union, and end of the Cold War, on the missteps of Soviet leaders, especially the last head of the Soviet empire, Mikhail Gorbachev. However, most Russians go with the, "we just got tired of the incompetent Soviet bureaucrats and shed them" explanation.
FBI Warns of Terrorists on Campus -- [Jawa Report]
First sign that the new grad student hanging around the nuclear fusion lab might be a terrorist?
He looks like this:
Fourth Circuit Rules Bush Has No Authority To Imprison Committed Terrorists As "Unlawful Enemy Combatants" -- [Ace of Spades HQ]
The curious claim? The very fact that this particular terrorist posed entirely as a civilian -- even while preparing to wage covert war on the US -- somehow takes him out of the category of "combatant" and puts him in the more favorable category of "civilian." In other words, if you're an unlawful combatant but comport yourself with some of the rules of warfare, you can be permanently detained as an enemy combatant captured on the battlefield; but if you're an unlawful combatant who observes none of the rules of warfare, you get a get-out-of-detainment-free card courtesy of the US Constitution.
No New Counter-Terrorism Initiatives at This Year’s G8 Summit -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Victor Comras]
The war on terrorism was not one of the “hot topics” at this year’s G8 summit at Heiligendamm, Germany. Terrorism didn’t constitute a separate agenda item, although it reportedly came up during the discussion of several agenda items, and in sidebars. And, the G8 members did issue a counter-terrorism statement reviewing G8 counter-terrorism work underway. There were no new specific counter-terrorism initiatives. Rather, the group used their counter-terrorism statement to highlight several areas where further work was indicated. This includes expanding efforts to deal with the root causes of terrorism, and more particularly with indoctrination and recruitment for terrorist purposes.
Two Heroes who understand that "failure is not an option" -- [Soldiers' Angel Germany]
From Soldiers' Angel Sara Ehrlich.
I have told some of you that we have an Angel who is fondly known as "the Space Angel" by many of our SA heroes. Her name is Joan Kranz and she works at NASA Flight Training Division, Shuttle Training Operations and Planning. She often sends our heroes NASA memorabilia, decals and even signed autographed pictures from the astronauts. That is pretty neat in itself, but Joan has a very special Dad as was well.
VOLUNTEERS SHIFT INTO HIGH GEAR FOR CELEBRATION -- [Operation Gratitude]
As the 250,000th Care Package is Assembled
During the weekend of June16-17, 2007 hundreds of new and returning volunteers will gather at the California National Guard Armory in Van Nuys to assemble thousands of packages for U.S. troops, including Operation Gratitude's Quarter-Millionth Care Package. Director of Operations, Charlie Othold, expects to hit this magic moment in the 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon hour on Saturday, June 16th.
Can You Oppose the War and Still Support the Troops? -- [Sgt Stryker]
As the media coverage of the war in Iraq turns ever more ugly and negative, the slogans of the anti-war movement are becoming a part of our daily lives. “Support the troops, bring them home,” “support the troops, end the war.” These are phrases we are bombarded with every time we turn on the nightly news or pick up a mainstream media newspaper. Both aides of the war debate claim to support our troops and an appreciation for our service members and the service they give always precedes political statements form both sides of the war debate. But can you really support the troops while opposing their mission?
Pilot in Doolittle Raid dies -- [Air Force Link]
6/10/2007 - SAN ANTONIO (AFPN) -- Col. Jack Ahren Sims was among the first pilots to fly in the Doolittle Tokyo Raid on April 18, 1942 -- the first United States aerial invasion of Japan during World War II.
Colonel Sims died June 9 in Naples, Fla. He was 88.
"Tear down this wall" -- [Powerline]
Twenty years ago today Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate and gave the speech heard 'round the world. Our friend Peter Robinson was the man who wrote the speech. He tells the story behind the speech in his terrific book How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life. Peter has kindly condensed his account for Power Line readers today:
It's Time for an Army Advisor Corps -- [SWJ]
In the linked paper I argue that, just as the new realities of warfare demanded the creation of the Special Forces in the 1960's, winning the Long War will require that the Army develop a standing Advisor Corps. It has been informed by the experience of many advisors with service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and may prove of some interest to the Small Wars Journal / Small Wars Council community of interest.
DoD Recruiting Numbers Just Released -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
The Defense Department has just released its recruiting and retention numbers for May.
The Army took a slight dip down to 93 percent — The Army's goal was 5,500 accessions (meaning "new soldiers shipped to training") and it achieved 5,101 — which is still extremely high. Plus, the Army is already ahead of its year-to-date mission by approximately 2,000 soldiers shipped to training.
A Whole Lot of BULL? -- [Weekly Standard Blog]
Defense Daily reports today on a new armored vehicle, which, the manufacturers claim, is capable of defeating the simple but deadly explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) that have been causing so much trouble in Iraq. The report says that,
Ceradyne Inc.'s Vehicle Armor Systems in conjunction with its teaming partner, Ideal Innovations Inc., announces the introduction of a high-threat vehicle called the BULL. Specifically designed for close urban terrain, the vehicle can withstand the most lethal improvised explosive device threats, the company says. The BULL's armor provides protection against explosively formed penetrators, as well. ...
If the vehicle lives up to the hype, no doubt the technology would be a "technological leap forward." But WWS pal Stuart Koehl was cautious in assessing the claim:
DoD News Briefing with Secretary Robert Gates from the Pentagon -- [Defense Link]
SEC. GATES: Good afternoon.
It is my honor to announce today that I will recommend to the president that he nominate Admiral Michael G. Mullen, the chief of Naval Operations, as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding General Peter Pace when the latter's term of office concludes on September 30th, 2007.
Admiral Mullen became chief of Naval Operations on July 22nd, 2005. A 1968 graduate of the Naval Academy, he has served in allied, joint and Navy positions overseas and in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. I have become well-acquainted with Admiral Mullen over the past six months and believe he has the vision, strategic insight, experience and integrity to lead America's armed forces.
Thankless Service Goes Un-Thanked -- [Redstate]
Joint Chiefs Chairman, General Peter Pace is being retired. Were this because of an outstanding career which spans forty years, there would be some honorable mention in a handful of news stories, a retirement ceremony, and a bow of thanks for a lifetime spent serving his country.
Sadly, Pace's departure is not such a scenario. No, Pace is being ungraciously sacrificed at the altar of capitulation to the anti-war movement. Given his service record, you would THINK this Administration would be a little quicker to stand by this Soldier's side, but President Bush seems more interested in standing by a struggling Attorney General, and a failed World Bank President, than to stand with the man who has been part and parcel to victories and major military successes in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
Capitulation on Gen. Pace – Cui Bono? -- [The Tank - Elaine Donnelly]
In yesterday’s post, I speculated that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D., NY) is a big winner in the backroom scuttling of the career of Marine general Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Senator Clinton’s colleague on the Armed Services Committee, Chairman Carl Levin (D., MI), successfully intimidated Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Pres. George W. Bush — probably by threatening to put a hold on this and other confirmations. Gates dropped support for General Pace’s two-year renomination and substituted Adm. Mike Mullen as his choice.
George Bush’s Exceedingly, Surprisingly, Very and Quite Long Goodbye -- [Jules Crittenden]
...Meanwhile, approval of Congress is at 10-year low. Pelosi below Gingrich.
It’s hard to blame those who repeatedly herald Bush’s lameduckness. Technically, he’s been in lame-duck territory for some time. There was the November election, the Rumsfeld departure, the Libby conviction, the Amnesty bill’s failure. But the notoriously inept chimp keeps defying them. He refused to cede his presidency as they demanded. His surge is moving forward without restrictions, the withdrawal measures and drop-dead progress dates jettisoned. They wanted a change in strategy in Iraq, he gave them one and there are signs it is working, whether they like it or not.
Peace Corps Part of Edwards Terror Plan -- [9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America]
On Thursday, John Edwards rolled out his strategy for dealing with terrorism, which he refuses to call a “war on terror,” a phrase he has called a “bumper sticker” without meaning. He plans to implement “new training for military leadership” and create a senior stabilization position within the Joint Staff of the DOD. His web site says he will also establish a “Marshall Corps” of 10,000 professionals, modeled after the military reserves, who will be sent to “weak and failing states” which he says are “hotbeds for terrorism.” These Peace Corps-like folks will work on stabilization and humanitarian missions aimed at winning the hearts and minds of young Muslims who are sitting on the fence in the jihad against America.
Marine on Media & Progress [Media Blog - Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Las Vegas Review Journal:
...Instead, news out of Anbar and Baghdad has been mostly about casualties since the U.S. troop surge was launched there in February, triggering some of the bloodiest months since the 2003 invasion.
"You don't see half of the good stuff that we do," Sholl, 25, said Wednesday.
"The only thing they talk about is these civilians died or these Marines died, or soldiers," he said. "They don't hardly ever publish the good things we do, such as finding bad guys, finding IEDs (improvised explosive devices), weapons caches.
"They're not telling you about the towns that we do well in where the population accepts us well and helps us out. They give us tips ... on what to look for and who to look for. We accomplish huge tasks almost weekly like that."
Boise TV: Snide Remarks During Soldier's Upbeat Report -- [NewsBusters]
What is it about some news outlets that they can't report a story without trying to flavor it with their own biases? That they can't give "just the facts m'am" but have to throw in their snide asides and negative phraseology? And, it's bad enough when they do it in their normal attempts at "reporting" the news, but when they do it in between an upbeat report by one of our soldiers who's opinion is that the surge is working and our presence in Iraq is a good thing, it's all the more grating. But, then, they just can't leave their hatred for American foreign policy aside long enough to report this soldier's enthusiasm, now can they?
NYT Editor Questions Timing of Terror Alerts -- [NewsBusters]
The New York Times garnered controversy last weekend by burying the terror threat story in the Metro section, not the national news section. By contrast, two out-of-town newspapers, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, gave it front-page play. When questioned about it by the NYT's public editor, weekend editor Marty Gottlieb revealed a soft-Keith Olbermann-style mindset.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
What Did the CIA Tell President Bush About Iraq? -- [Powerline]
Earlier today, Scott discussed a recent article by Paul Pillar, in which Pillar defended the CIA’s performance on Iraq. Pillar, who was largely responsible for Iraq intelligence, wrote about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of two reports that were authored by the National Intelligence Council, under Pillar’s direction, in January 2003: Principal Challenges in Post-Saddam Iraq and Regional Consequences of Regime Change in Iraq. Pillar begins with an admission that the intelligence community was wrong about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. The thrust of his argument, however, is that the existence of WMDs did not mandate the overthrow of Saddam, and that, if the administration had paid proper heed to the intelligence community’s other reports, it would not have invaded Iraq.
Dangerous, but Perhaps Necessary, Alliances -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Douglas Farah]
The U.S. military and intelligence community appear to have concluded that the only way to fight the al Qaeda-related groups in Iraq is to enlist the help of Sunni groups hostile to the United States. This is a risky strategy that carries almost as many dangers as it does possibilities.
Having seen efforts to divide radical groups through material inducements (Marxist groups and paramilitary groups in Latin America, primarily), it seems clear that the U.S. will have to offer the Sunnis something tangible to make such an alliance more than a one-night stand where there is deep remorse on all sides almost immediately.
Ramadi’s Rocky Road -- [Jules Crittenden]
WaPo reports on rifts in Anbar’s Salvation Council and raises questions of whether buying loyalty in Anbar is a good idea. Includes the following Cordesman observation:
It’s been reported from the beginning that money, development and services are key, and there is nothing new about the notion of buying the loyalty of Arab tribes. There are no sure things in Iraq, and few good options. Nothing new about that, either. But failing to pursue the best options you have only ensures failure. Ideology is great, but failing to back it up with tangible economic and infrastructure improvements doesn’t make any sense. This is what the war critics have been saying all along. Failing to work with the tribal structure also doesn’t make any sense, and the notion that that might be a rollercoaster ride is not particularly surprising.
Destroying rocket launchers near Sadr City
Current Events & Some Opinion -- [Mission Iraq - in Iraq]
Things are runnning smoothely here and the light at the end of the tunnel has grown from the width of a pin to the width of a #2 pencil.
We have begun our negotiations with the AF folks who own us at Balad AB (primary AF base and hold on all things AF in Iraq) for the outbound journey. As of today, I should be rolling home in accordance with my count down timer.
Interestingly enough, the Sunni tribes in Baghdad have declared they are more interested in fighting the al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) than the Coalition Forces. They realize we will eventually leave, but the AQI may never leave unless driven out or killed.
Death or Glory Part II of IV -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
...Despite the British press reports that make their own soldiers out to be cowering on bases in Basra, truck after truck of them here were in high spirits. News flash: Those reports are false. Derelict media coverage is another aspect of this war British and American soldiers share, and it rankles here in the southern part of Iraq as deeply as it does everywhere else. Practically no one writes about the Brits down here. Important pages in history remain unwritten, while policy decisions are based on the public perception that all is lost here. That this public perception is based on what I have called “The Green Gator Phenomenon” is an irony that is noted, but not appreciated.
Seeing -- [Chris Muir - while in Iraq]
FOB Marez, Mosul, Iraq
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division: the people here definitely make up for the weather. It is somewhat odd to be addressed as ‘Sir’, and everyone is polite. I wanted to come here, primarily after reading Michael’s dispatches, to see if I could get some background for my character Zed, an ex-military guy, for my comic strip www.daybydaycartoon.com. Want to know how soldiers feel on the front, what they think there? Well…read Yon.
I decided to come here to get a ‘feel’ for what Zed might experience arriving at such a place, hear what soldiers say generally—especially their slang—and get a handle on military acronyms.
So, I did. I heard. And, I flunked military acronyms totally.
MP3 Audio - Chris Muir Interviews Mosul Soldiers
Kirkuk Police Academy Graduates Its First Female Officers -- [Defend America]
KIRKUK, Iraq, June 5, 2007 — The first women to train at Kirkuk Police Academy were among the 980 police officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) to graduate from the academy, June 3, 2007
Iraq Report: al Qaeda strikes the security forces -- [The Fourth Rail]
Al Qaeda in Iraq has stepped up its bombing campaign nation wide against the Iraqi security forces. Since Friday, al Qaeda has conducted five separate major bombings or attacks, all outside the capital of Baghdad.
On June 8, three separate attacks occurred; a bombing in the northern city of Daquq, another in Qurna in the south, and an attack on the home of a Diyala police chief. "At least 34 others were killed in two bombing attacks, one in the northern city of Daquq, about 30 miles south of Kirkuk, and the other in the southern city of Qurna, 60 miles north of Basra," the New York Times reported. "In a familiar pattern, both bombings involved successive explosions set at close quarters in crowded areas, a technique often used to maximize casualties."
11th Flight -- [Me Over There - in Iraq]
...It is truly a joy working with the Army flight crews, all but 2 of my flights have been with them in the Blackhawks. Last night's flight was with the Medic from my very first flight, and I am continually amazed by their skills and knowledge. When not carting a nurse around to manage our (relatively) stabilized Patients (usually post-operating room), these are the men and women that are flying to point of injury, into hostile areas, to pick up the patient and stabilize before they ever even get to us.
It is no secret that this last month+ has been slow, and it sounds like traditionally over the last couple years that has been true, but never this slow. For that we are thankful.
What's At Stake -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
While I'm on a roll, answering emails and checking out links sent to me, I figured I'd lift the following email and my response into a post:
...Thanks for taking the time to shoot me an email and I'm glad to hear that you support the troops as we fight this war. I agree with you that there have been mistakes and poor decisions made at many different levels and by many different political operatives during the prosecution of this war. I think the most important thing for people to remember is that the very nature of war demands that SOMETHING is attempted to stop the enemy from achieving victory and while that something may not be the most perfect plan, especially when viewed with the benefit of hindsight, it is imperative that we do our best with what we have to counter the enemy's attempts to overcome our defenses, defeat our allies and spread their ideology to the point that it threatens our very existence. This, I believe, is what we are fighting for and I also believe that we must win.
Meet Suhad -- [Desert Flier - in Iraq]
After two surgeries to repair her liver, diaphragm, and stomach, Suhad finally made it back to Charlie Medical last night.
...With no sign of pain or discomfort, she and her brother talk while she plays with some of the toys and stuffed animals donated this morning. We took some pictures, and her brother asked me if I could print some out for them to take home. They both seemed to like the picture printouts more than the toys!
IRAQI 500 -- [The One Wire - in Iraq]
...So, the Iraqi 500...the drivers here are crazy. They don't follow any general rules of the road. Speed limit: Yeah right! Lane courtesy: Not even close! Patience: Not a recommended quality! The Iraqi drivers drive very aggressively...to their own demise. When an American convoy is travelling on the roads, the convoy "owns" the road. The armored and heavily gunned vehicles of an American convoy use all the road...and I mean all the road. If the convoy is headed north, they will sometimes use the southbound lanes(opposite flow). If there is a "traffic jam" ahead, the convoy will either proceed into the oncoming lanes or with horns blaring, fire warning shots to ensure the Iraqis move out of the way. Now before anyone says, "See that's just driving like a jerk." Realize, in Iraq, you don't want to get stuck behind a traffic jam or get boxed in...ever.
Where do we get such men ... -- [The Landlocked Sailor - in Iraq]
We had yet another Hail and Farewell today. With the temporary nature of these assignments, we rotate a bunch of folks through each month. Today was kind of special, though. We were saying goodbye to our PSD. The PSD is a Personal Security Detachment. They’re the guys who’s job it is to protect our Commanding General and Sergeant Major (the Army holds the senior enlisted man in the command almost equal to the Commanding Officer, kind of like a co-Executive Officer
...The CG made a point today of giving the history of each of the members of the PSD. To a man, they had all had multiple tours in Iraq and most had recently returned from a tour in Iraq when they volunteered for this assignment.
News of Afghanistan - The Return (Edition 57) -- [Miserable Donuts]
OK, the month off was lovely, but you are back to being stuck with me. Raise your cup of Alokozay Tea to the World's Greatest Military Contractor as he recovers from a spot o' medical difficulty and read on:
Senior Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan Commander: -- [MEMRI Blog]
"This Summer Will Be... a Sword that Will Crack Your Skulls Open; Your Centers Will be Blown Up and Your Limbs Will Be Scattered"
On June 6, 2007, Islamist websites posted a 20-minute video by Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan Commander Abu Yahya Al-Libi, in which he eulogizes former Taliban commander Mullah Dadullah, and declares that this summer will be a season of victory for the mujahideen. Following are excerpts:
Afghan Civilians Aid Police, Coalition -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2007 – A tip from citizens led Afghan National Police, along with coalition forces, to a munitions cache 15 kilometers southeast of Chamkani in Afghanistan’s Paktya province yesterday, military officials said.
Afghan village elders informed Chamkani police of a possible improvised explosive device facilitator operating in the area. Police located and searched the suspect’s compound, where they discovered an underground tunnel containing 30 Afghan National Police uniforms, more than 30 improvised explosive devices, 25 mortar rounds, 18 rocket-propelled grenade rounds and four RPG launchers. All serviceable munitions were recovered, but the IED facilitator was not found.
Developing city management -- [A Year in Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
As I mentioned last week, this group focuses on training city leaders on how to manage their infrastructure and services. One recurring problem with the development projects here is that after a donor has funded the construction of something, or donated some equipment, there is no one around who has the skills to keep the project in good repair. So the idea of this project is to train city officials and staff in administration and management, in order to keep the infrastructure in good shape, or at least to control its inevitable depreciation.
Kabul, Afghanistan, June 2007 -- [McNeilly's Perspective - in Afghanistan]
...Camp Phoenix is a mostly concrete paved compound that is leased by the Government. Because it is leased, the improvements are sparse. So the buildings are all temporary housing, most made of plywood. Plywood is hard to clean, creates its own dirt, and is a fire hazard. The two other alternatives are Connex housing; Think about the boxes on the back of 18 wheelers; or group tents, where I am currently residing with about 80 or 100 other fine soldiers. Based on the way people overlap in country, we are living about as well as can be expected, unless of course you are in the Air Force or Navy, in which case we are truly suffering. I don't know why, but the Air Force has figured out how to take care of airmen far better then the Army ever will, it is almost a reverse snobbish attitude on the Army's part. I wish it would suck some more....
Week 20--Groundhog Day, Again. -- [Richard's Deployment - in Afghanistan]
I guess I'm not the most consistent blogger, and that must be frustrating for some of you. Around here every day is Groundhog Day; the days all run together with nothing to break up the monotony. It makes it hard to find things to write about.
...to mark the passage of time I've been documenting the progress on the new hospital and the new "brick and mortar" building being constructed near my TOC (Tactical Operation Center). As I've said before, it's facinating to watch the construction, particularly since they use only the most basic tools. I've never been good with tools or construction, but I'm facinated by those who can build and create using wood and stone and tools.
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: -- [royalairforce]
Romanian Soldiers Love The Internet -- [Partamian Report - in Afghanistan]
As you can tell, life here at KAF is pretty chilled out for the moment. We are getting our equipment together piece by piece and it may be a little longer than we had expected for the push out to our respective FOB's. I can't honestly say I mind. Each day I am here is a day off the deployment without being blown-up or shot at. There will be plenty of time for that this year and I'm not in a hurry. Although, I would like to get to where I'm supposed to go, if only to stop living out of my duffel bags in a giant tent with 50 guys. They say we'll have one man rooms in the B-Huts, where I'm going.
The Poop Pond -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
It came to me that I haven't explained the "poop pond" concept after writing yesterday's notes. You see, when KAF was built, obviously the prevailing winds were not taken into effect. The sewage treatment plant is no more than 150 meters away from the MWR, Gym, Computer/phone room and the start of the common permanent quarters area. So, when you get up to go to chow or get coffee in the morning, the first thing you smell on normal days is excrement.
This Explains A Lot... -- [Iraq War News]
Want to know why people don't seem to get it about the War on Terror?
Well, when people on the streets of New York believe that the 9-11 attacks consisted of a bunch of Hindus attacking only New York in October of 2000, what do you expect?
Think I'm kidding?
Sadly, no. (click for video)
A US base in Africa? -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Olivier Guitta]
While this issue has been on the table for a long while already , no final decisions have been made. It looks like Morocco is the favorite but nothing is less sure.
Anyway this idea is being very much debated and talked about in Africa.
For proof this story from The Croissant:
According to an Emirati newspaper usually well informed on these matters, African countries including Algeria and Libya are negotiating tooth and nail with the US to prevent the installation of American military bases in Africa. Algiers and Tripoli are making the case that these bases are not going to be beneficial either for Africa or Washington or even less for the fight against terrorism.
The US – Iran – Syria triangle -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Olivier Guitta]
While many in the US are calling for a "dialog" with Syria, Tehran is very much noticing.
For proof, this article from The Croissant:
Syria and the US are getting too close for Iran’s comfort. In fact, Iran is allegedly very unhappy with Syria’s actions and its eagerness to get closer to the US.
First, Tehran is upset about Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al Moallem‘s eagerness to meet with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Sharm el Sheikh, outside of the frame of the Iraq conference.
Second, this tension between the two countries really started publicly after the Damascus visit of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
South American Leftists Solidify Union With Radical Islamists -- [Gateway Pundit]
The union between Radical Islamic Regimes and the Central-South American anti-US Leftists is now complete.
The visit yesterday by Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua to Iran solidified relations between the anti-American leaders.
How Islamist Internet Forums Are Used to Inform Mujahideen of News from Western Media -- [MEMRI]
Islamists have long used their Internet forums as major conduits for disseminating useful information to the jihad fighters.  A comprehensive examination of postings on Islamist forums reveals that they are used not only to spread jihadist propaganda, but also to disseminate information from the Western media that can help the mujahideen in the field or can raise the morale of Islamists around the world.
...An analysis of the postings on Islamist forums reveals that Islamists monitor the Western media for information that has immediate operational implications for the jihad fighters on the battlefield, namely, information that can increase their effectiveness or can help them to identify potential targets and threats. The following are examples of postings alerting the mujahideen to Western news reports of this sort.
Al-Qaeda’s Shadowy Presence in India? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Once again, suspected Al Qaeda commanders claimed its presence in India, declaring jihad (Holy War) against the country and Kashmir as the gateway of Jihad against India’ for the first time ever. In a video message, [received by a Jammu and Kashmir based local news agency Current News Service (CNS) on June 08], a masked man identified himself as Abu Abrahim Al Asim voiced the statement (in Urdu) on behalf of Abu Abdul Rehman Al Ansari, the suspected chief of the Al-Qaeda for India.
What do our brave fighting men in the 1-182 Field Artillery Need Most? -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
That's what I said when their medic emailed me asking for Vagisil.
"There is one thing I would like to request if you can. On the road soldiers suffer from cases of trench foot the powder doesn't help... the cure is Vagisil. It works better than Tinactin, and it lasts."
So take that, John Madden.
Of course, this means I had to run to the drug store and, yes, once again buy feminine hygeine products by the case.
Jeff Bader on Pundit Review Radio -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Jeff Bader is married to Patti Patton-Bader, founder of Soldiers' Angels. Jeff joined Kevin and Gregg last night to discuss how SA got started, how it's grown and what he’s learned from the experience.
3 1/2 Weeks - What could you do? -- [Soldiers' Angels - Holly Aho]
It's the middle of the year. No big holidays in sight, no special seasons that inspire our generosity. And yet this is the time of year when donations are so very needed to help support our military men and women. The wonderful donations given to Soldiers' Angels at Christmas have long since been used, and yet the need is still great. I'm sure even the troops have noticed the trend - during Christmas and other big holidays they are swamped with carepackages and letters of support, which is great - really it is! Yet it has to make them wonder where that support is the rest of the year. Do we give because we are 'supposed to' during the 'season of giving'?
10th Mountain Scholarship Fund -- [Soldiers Angels New York]
From the Fort Drum Chapter of the National Association of the 10th Mountain Division:
The Fort Drum Chapter of the National Association of the 10th Mt. Div. has formed a fund raising committee to raise funds so we can provide our soldiers and their family member’s annual scholarships from a self perpetuating fund. The selection criteria would be initially weighted in favor of family members of those KIA but, as more funds become available, broader criteria would be used to increase our selection base. The Need is Now and It is Growing: It is important that we move out on this project as rapidly as possible so that we can award our first scholarships for the academic year 2007-2008. To date there have been ...
Sunday, June 10, 2007 -- [Sgt Dub - home from Afghanistan]
I'm home! And in the usual Army standard, 45 minutes early. You would think that would be a good thing, except for the 65 soldiers arriving, maybe 6 families had shown up by the time we got there, so as the families finally started making it there, they realized they were late, but all is good.
We had a great reunion at the airport and then went for breakfast. We have been up for the last 24 hours, the Army planned stuff for us for each hour of the night before so we couldn't go to sleep. After breakfast we came home were I took a nap of about 3-4 hours.
Backroom Attack Sinks Gen. Pace -- [The Tank - Elaine Donnelly]
...I have no inside information, but I see the fingerprints of SASC member Sen. Hillary Clinton all over this. To win in 2008, the New York Democrat and feminist must convince voters that she supports the troops and can be trusted as Commander in Chief. A vote on the re-nomination of Chairman Pace would have put her on the spot between her gay activist constituency and millions of voters who admire Peter Pace.
Sen. Clinton has a way of getting senior men of both parties to do her work for her. Pre-emptive removal of Gen. Pace excuses candidate Clinton of the responsibility to vote for or against re-confirmation. As a bonus, Hillary and other feminist senators get to vote for a liberal admiral, CNO Mike Mullen, an ardent advocate of “diversity” quotas and other controversial goals for the military.
Politico Playbook: Powell effect -- [ Hot Air]
Good morning, and happy Monday. HBO viewers learned last night that a finale isn’t always the end. (“He says he wants to get past the hate – focus it only on the terrorists.”) That’s certainly true in Washington, where some people never stop believin’. Colin Powell teased us once about a presidential campaign. Might he actually have one in him? And might he make some more history as part of an Obama-Powell ticket? Could THAT be a way to regain the luster he lost for his complicity in Iraq decision making?
Albania Loves The United States -- [Flopping Aces]
Bush can do no wrong. While much of the world berates Mr. Bush for warmongering, unilateralism, trampling civil liberties and even turning a blind eye to torture, Albania still loves him without restraint. ...
Bush in Albania 2007 -- [videoshqip]
President Bush is given a hero's welcome in Albania. This is the first visit ever of a serving president of USA to visit Albania and will be remembered long time, even though it only lasted eight hours.
'Today' Tags W's Warm Welcome in Eastern Europe 'Over the Top' -- [NewsBusters]
Can you remember the last time you heard "Today" or other MSM outlets describe in terms such as "over the top" rabid anti-Bush protests by the likes of the Cindy Sheehan crowd, the Code Pink girls, or the folks pictured below? Neither can I. Conversely, when Bill Clinton receives similarly enthusiastic receptions overseas, the MSM breaks out the "rock-star" analogies, with no sarcasm in sight.
But let President Bush receive a warm welcome from Eastern European crowds who appreciate his leadership on behalf of their freedom, and "Today" just can't take it.
On this morning's "Today" at 7:04 am EDT, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reported from Bulgaria on the president's European trip, in which crowds in Bulgaria and notably in Albania greeted him very enthusiastically.
The New York Times discovers jihadi ideology -- [TigerHawk]
To its credit, the New York Times has devoted the front page of its "Week in Review" section to a story about jihadi ideology regarding the killing of civilians, which the Times calls "jihadi etiquette." There is nothing in this that right-wing bloggers have not been discussing for years, but much of it will be new to the Grey Lady's readers.
Poll: Majority Says Paris Hilton’s Plight Good for America -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-06-10) — An overwhelming majority of Americans say they’ve never felt better about themselves than during the past several weeks as they follow the story of Paris’ Hilton’s conviction and incarceration.
“It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” said one poll respondent, a resident of suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Just knowing that rich, famous, beautiful people can be miserable, pathetic losers gives me hope that my own troubled existence may have meaning. I can’t get enough of this story on TV. Every moment is like a multivitamin for my ego.”
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Islamic State of Iraq Posts New Video on 3 US Soldiers -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Jeffrey Imm]
Islamist web sites used by Al Qaeda have announced the release of a new video regarding three kidnapped US soldiers who went missing in May. "God willing, after some hours the Furqan Institute will present the clash and the detention of three Americans," the Web sites said, without giving further details. Furqan issues videos of attacks by Al Qaeda in Iraq, and serves as the media committee of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella insurgent group comprised of al-Qaeda and others.
...According to Laura Mansfield, "The Islamic State of Iraq Monday has released a video of the military identification cards of two missing American soldiers. There was no indication in the video whether the two soldiers are dead or alive, and there were no demands set for their release."
Death or Glory -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
In Iraq, I was allowed to accompany a British Army unit called “The Queen’s Royal Lancers,” whose motto is “Death or Glory.”
...Instructions had been disseminated and digested, and everyone had been told to be extra cautious today. And that’s when Major Edward Mack asked me if I wanted to go with the recon element, the guys who’d be going first in the unarmored Landrovers.
“Sure,” I answered. But what else was I supposed to say? I knew that Moqtada al Sadr, the crazy man, had been calling for violence, and M-JAM (militant JAM) had promised a spectacular attack. I knew the Iranians had exported their EFP technology (link to that) to insurgents. They would certainly qualify as part of a spectacular attack, given that EFP bombs are devastatingly powerful, punching through one side of a tank and still blasting out the other side after ripping through the crew. I knew what all this meant, but being the only American there, I couldn’t exactly chicken out, could I? And so, I crawled into the back of the Land Rover and sat next to the tailgate.
Back in [Blueish-Greenish-Grey] -- [Acute Politics - in Iraq]
Monday, June 04, 2007 - ...We ended up spending only three days out of Camp Falluja, and we managed to spend one night in the large logistical base at TQ (Camp Taqqaddum), which lies between Ramadi and Falluja on the shore of a large lake. All in all, the mission wasn't too bad. Even the Iraqi house we stayed in was better than last time. We did have to deal with two broken-down humvees in our Marine security element (part of the reason we went to TQ), and on the trip back into Camp Falluja we blew a tire on the BUFFALO. That day marked the second time we have had to recover the BUFFALO back to home- neither have been due to enemy fire. The last time we recovered the beast was just after we started working in Falluja- EOD had set up a controlled detonation of an IED, and
Securing the Perimeter - Winning Hearts & Minds (3)
A Different World -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
...I don't read much about the Iraqi's in the news. I sure don't hear much mention about the sacrifices THEY make, every day of every year, to make their country better. They literally risk their lives and the lives of their families by even associating with the democratic government of Iraq. It breaks my heart to listen to some of their stories; their lives are so different from mine I couldn't even pretend to relate. One such story came from one of the life support mechanics as we were working to fix a perpetually broken generator one day.
Operating in the dark -- [Desert Flier - in Iraq]
...Little known fact: Ar Ramadi is run entirely on generators. Every light bulb, DVD player, TV, you name it is run from a generator. Walk anywhere on base and you will quickly notice the maddening and inescapable drone of a nearby generator. Unlike the stable power grids in Western countries, generator power fluctuates, causing routine brownouts and surges. Brave is the soul who uses a computer on Ar Ramadi without surge protection. Generator power also happens to be a lot less reliable.
Patrol -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
Our patrol yesterday took us into areas we've not been in before. It was a great patrol in that we got some great information, learned something about this part of Iraq and spent some quality time doing what we get paid to do: look for bad guys.
We stopped to confirm that we were where we thought we were, which we found that we were (lots of w's in that sentence!). It was a one-family compound with a man, four women and what seemed like two dozen children. Of course the toys came out and I don't know who was more excited, the women or the children. I think it was the women, they seemed to recognize how special it was for the kids to get presents from strangers like this, but the kids just seemed mesmerized by the huge trucks and men with weird stuff all over them.
She Sat -- [Jack Army - in Iraq]
...When I saw that old woman sitting there, waiting for what must have been her daughter, I wondered, "what has she seen?" This old woman sat there not saying a word to anyone, not being spoken to by anyone. People just walked around her like she was a rock or a piece of furniture. I've seen that in America, too, but this woman sat there watching everything and everyone around her with a stoic yet intense look on her face. She watched men greet each other with the handshake and kisses on the cheek, watched mothers with little children in tow, watched businessmen and farmers and policemen pace about. She saw the children wave to the Americans sitting in their huge armored trucks bristling with guns. And she sat.
TERRORIST LEADER, NETWORK MEMBERS CAPTURED -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 14 suspected terrorists in raids Monday morning targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader networks in Mosul and Karmah.
Based on information gained from a previous successful operation in Anbar province, Coalition Forces captured a suspected senior terrorist leader in Mosul connected to the al-Qaeda in Iraq network. The individual is also suspected of making decisions on enforcing religious punishments and operating a smuggling ring transporting weapons and cargo.
Operation cuts down insurgent activity -- [MNF-I]
CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE — Marines and sailors assigned to Task Force Tarawa began Operation Southern Scimitar in the early morning of May 19, in order to sweep and clear their area of insurgent activity.
Soldiers improve school, create jobs -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – Community leaders and Coalition forces re-opened a school in western Baghdad area of Al Swaib Sunday.
Three months ago the Al Swaib School was operating with overcrowded classrooms, a roof leaking in several places and extremely limited school supplies.
Morale Suppression Police ... -- [The Landlocked Sailor - in Iraq]
As I sit here on this late Saturday night, I feel compelled to write to my good readers of a grave injustice (I also feel compelled to write because the cable is out in my trailer, so there’s nothing to watch). Apparently, the Navy has sent over several Morale Suppression Teams to Baghdad (sailors should feel at home). These are small, elite teams whose sole purpose is to take a crew’s spirits and flush them right down the toilet. These are the men who coined the phrase, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” I agree, it makes no sense to have these folks in theatre, but they are here and hard at work.
Mahdi rocket teams destroyed in Sadr City -- [The Fourth Rail]
The return of Muqtada al Sadr from his four months of self imposed exile in Iran has led to a spike in activity against his political leadership and the extremist elements of his fractured Mahdi Army. Over the past few days, U.S. and Iraqi forces have conducted multiple operations in Sadr City, and over the past 24 hours, killed 4 Mahdi fighters and captured 6 after attacking a rocket team in the northeastern district.
Friday, June 01, 2007 -- [Letters from the Desert - in Iraq]
Several months ago the force protection folks finally put T-walls in front of our building. T-walls are the handy dandy concrete barriers that keep mortar rounds and shrapnel from slicing through our walls. The walls, however, lack a certain aesthetic quality. So, my Chaplain Assistant put his rather formidable artistic skills to use and painted the Chaplain Crest on what we are calling the “UMT Rock”. I thought you might be interested in the symbolism of the crest.
Marines Maul The Brass Via the Net -- [Strategy Page]
...Senior marine generals now have senators and representatives peppering them with queries about why the marines in Iraq don't have the equipment they need, and the army already has. Marines have identified the Marine Corps procurement bureaucracy as the source of the problem. But what is really happening here is another example of how the Internet has changed the relationship between troops and their commanders. Since the late 1990s, when most people in the armed forces discovered the Internet, and how easily and cheaply it connected them with family, friends, and, most importantly, people like themselves, the troops have obtained a powerful new tool.
Understanding the Events of Haditha -- [The Captain’s Journal]
With regards to the events of Haditha, on the one hand we have John Murtha’s histrionics; on the other, the forthright, deadpan observation in recent testimony at Camp Pendleton:
...On that fateful day in Haditha, the Marines were engaging in room clearing tactics. It isn’t any more complicated than that. It was an approved method of battling insurgents, it was ordered, and given that fire was coming from the location of the rooms that were cleared, it was justified. As we observed in Haditha Events Coming to a Head:
01 June 2007 -- [Sgt Dub - heading home from Afghanistan]
I'm in transit now, heading back to the U.S. I'm not able to give any more details than that, but will keep you informed as best I can. The only other thing I really need to do is change my countdown counter, as my seat for my school could not be confirmed and I'm not in the mood to mess with it any more. There's another school in August and I'll try to get a seat in that one.
RAF AFGHAN DIARIES: 7th May 2007 -- [ royalairforce ]
The 37th in a new series from RAF Recruitment -- After a 12 hour break Paul has caught up on his sleep and is preparing for another gruelling 2-day patrol. The troops sleep out in the open on overnight patrols and are understandably nervous, especially as this one will be covering new, unknown territory.
The Senlis Council: "Canada in Afghanistan" -- [The Torch]
I attended an "event" by the Council in Ottawa this morning (thanks to Babbling who gave the impetus) to mark the opening of their Ottawa office. Norine MacDonald (a Canadian), President and Founder, and Lead Field Researcher, gave a presentation based on this policy paper, "Canada in Afghanistan: Charting a New Course to Complete the Mission" and took questions.
Afstan: Senlis Council, Canada and the media -- [The Torch]
Further to this post May 28, the media coverage in fact reflects what Ms. MacDonald said--but certain things receive rather less coverage (if any) than I gave them. And I think those things are vital to the Canadian public's understanding of the situation.
U.S. Urges Swiss Banks Not To Deal With Iran -- [MEMRI Blog]
A senior U.S. Treasury official was in Switzerland urging Swiss banks not to deal with Iran because Iranian officials often conceal their identity to carry out transactions in connection with Iran's uranium enrichment program.
The official said that the U.S. has provided evidence about the involvement of Iranian financial institutions in supporting uranium enrichment.
The Poison Branch -- [Strategy Page]
June 4, 2007: There are several important issues to consider now that many terrorist groups are claiming ties to al Qaeda. To begin with, are they actually connected to Osama's gang or merely proclaiming themselves his henchmen? If they do have a real tie to al Qaeda Central, it's probable that information, money, and even personnel will be passing back and forth.
The Threat of "Homegrowns" -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Jonathan Winer]
The reported plot in New York to bomb Kennedy International Airport, like the terrorist attacks in London and Madrid, last year's terrorist plots in Toronto and Ottawa, and the plans of a group led by a Miami Haitian to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower, featured not foreigners specially imported by Al Qaeda, but homegrowns, members of foreign Diaspora groups now based locally and seeking to demonstrate their political attitudes through a spectacular attack.
Immigration Ramifications of the JFK Plot -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Bill West]
The take-down of the suspected radical Islamic terror cell threatening to blow up JFK airport yesterday highlights, yet again, key national security issues related to our immigration system. The alleged ringleader of the plot, Russell Defreitas, is reported to be a 63 year old naturalized US citizen from Guyana. It is not yet clear from released information when he naturalized; however, information gleaned from the criminal complaint indicates he developed his Islamic-inspired hatred for America years ago. The question, of course, is did he harbor such anti-American feelings before he became a naturalized US citizen? If he did, he likely would have lied in the process of becoming naturalized.
Busted: NYC terror plot - Updated with criminal complaint -- [Michelle Malkin]
Update: Courtesy of Robert Nardoza at the United States Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York, I've received the 33-page criminal complaint. We've posted the whole thing at Hot Air (scroll down at HA for PDF link). A few excerpts:
Fisher House Update, Pre-Marathon Training Complete -- [Half a World Away - in Iraq]
Well, my Fisher House pledge drive is off to a great start. Many, many thanks to everyone that has stopped by and donated. After just a few days I'm already 38% there. Much better then I had expected.
Cutting Red Tape: Laptops Sent to Baghdad Hospital -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
The 28th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad needs laptop computers for their training room, with their current machines old, slow and incapable of efficiently handling newer software. If you've ever experienced the slog of military procurement and equipment request in the massive military bureaucracy, you know it is a process of hurry up and wait. So, the good people of Adopt A Soldier Platoon took the initiative in typical American can-do, will-do fashion. In short order, they gathered enough kindly contributed money to purchase and send four laptops to their (one of many) adopted Baghdad unit.
You Just Say "Yes" -- [Andi's World]
On Saturday, I had the privilege of spending the day with some soldiers who were taken from the Walter Reed campus to participate in "Operation Fresh Air," which was the brainchild of two Marine wives, Carrie Costantini and Cyndi Juarez. Operation Fresh Air was held at a local park and was designed to get the Walter Reed patients, and their families, out of the hospital and into the fresh air and sunshine. It was a day to rejuvenate, recharge the batteries and relax. Operation Fresh Air featured a catered lunch paid for by The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, wonderful fellowship, sunbathing, volleyball and fishing.
MILITARY BIRDHOUSES FUNDRAISER FOR SOLDIER' S ANGELS -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
I got the idea to build these when one of my CSH's asked me to send them bird seed to feed the insurgent sparrows that flocked around their place.
I'm retired, with way too much time on my hands, I build birdhouses as a hobby, and it all sort of clicked.
HOME -- [Afghanistan JAG - home from Afghanistan]
I am finally back home from Afghanistan.
...Prior to my arrival home, Allyson went to a local printer to have the banner made. When she tried to pay for it, the clerk told her that another customer had seen it being made for a soldier, and paid for it anonymously. That was a wonderful gesture.
We will take some vacation time together and then work on restarting my law practice.
In Focus: Homes For Our Troops -- [SpouseBuzz]
...Two years ago today, I lost my best blog friend when Mike Reed died suddenly of a heart attack. His last blog post was a link to me. His passing left a hole in my heart and my life that still hurts to this day.
His obituary suggested that memorial donations be made in his name to Homes For Our Troops. It is because of my friend's death that I know about this wonderful organization, which is why I want to share it with you today. It's Mike's legacy, in a sense.
Homes For Our Troops is another stroke of genius from a regular American who wanted to fill a need for our servicemembers.
Tiananmen Square Remembered -- [Blogs for all]
Today marks the 18th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown by the Chinese against protestors. That bloody crackdown included thousands of arrests, with many never to be heard from ever again.
The Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway was a pivotal naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. It took place from June 4 to June 7, 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, about five months after the Japanese capture of Wake Island, and six months after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor that had led to a formal state of war between the United States and Japan. During the battle, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against Midway Atoll (located northwest of Hawaii) and destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser while losing a carrier and a destroyer.
The Ignorance Of John Murtha Is Staggering -- [Flopping Aces]
The cowardly ex-Marine John Murtha was up to his old tricks again this morning on the George Stephanopoulos show. Really, the ignorance of this man is startling. Check out some clips I put together. The first one is Murtha responding to what President Talibani said earlier
Seven Veterans on Politics in 2008 -- [Intel Dump - Phillip Carter]
This month's issue of the Washington Monthly features essays from seven Iraq and Afghanistan veterans on politics and the 2008 election. I wrote an introduction to the package, which includes articles from Nate Fick, Andrew Exum, Melissa Tryon, Garth Stewart, Ross Cohen, and Clint Douglas.
LIFE in a FISHBOWL -- [THE ONE WIRE - in Iraq]
...The troops over here are good people and are effected emotionally by devastating events too. These guys really are trying to do the "right thing" and the media, in some regards, is a bigger threat to the well being of our troops than any insurgent. I would recommend that a reporter or media venue...not come anywhere near me for a long while. I am just that upset with the whole ordeal. I would recommend that U.S. citizens not turn so much of their anger against our government but turn it against the media outlets.
A guest blogger -- [My Desert Adventure - in Iraq]
...The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president.In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just aren't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What are we so unhappy about?'' Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
Taking the Names of Our Soldiers in Vain -- [Sgt Stryker]
A number of families of fallen service members are upset with the use of the names and images of their deceased loved ones by anti-war groups. And some states are listening. Oklahoma and Louisiana have passed laws making it illegal to use the name or image of a fallen service member without the permission of their family. Texas, Florida and Arizona are all considering similar legislation. The constitutionality of these laws is already in question and there is no telling if these laws will stand up to judicial scrutiny, but it is a step in what many believe is the right direction.
Military Cluelessness at the AP -- [CounterColumn]
Six long years of war and the Associated Press still can't find a damn reporter who can tell the difference between officers and NCOs.
NY Times May Exhaust Ways to Undercut War Effort -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-06-04) — Editors at The New York Times are reportedly concerned that the nation’s “paper of record” may run out of ways to undercut the U.S. war effort in Iraq before the November 2008 presidential elections, and perhaps much sooner.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Hearts and Minds -- [Desert Flier - in Iraq]
Some of the top commanders and colonels in the area toured Charlie Medical yesterday. RK, our head surgeon and detachment commander, gave them a tour of the OR and our capabilities. While discussing area topics and patient care for the local populous and Iraqi Forces, the colonel had some genuinely positive encouragement regarding the care we are rending in Ramadi.
General Works to Dispel Myths About Iraq -- [Army News]
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 31, 2007) - A U.S. general serving with Multinational Force Iraq recently took time out of his mid-deployment leave to let the American public know that the situation in Iraq is different from what they might think.
Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, deputy chief of staff for resources and sustainment, spoke yesterday with representatives of veterans service organizations, outlining a speech he gave earlier at James Madison University about what he believes are 10 myths about the conflict in Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdistan Assumes Responsibility for Security -- [Redstate]
If you haven't heard about it, it is because for all intents and purposes a news blackout has been imposed on this event. No Defense press release. No CENTCOM press release.
Why? Who knows?
The three Iraqi provinces that make up Iraqi Kurdistan, Sulaimaniyah, Arbil and Dohuk, took responsibility for their own security operations yesterday.
The Final Option -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
The city of Hit (pronounced “heat”) is a spot of green in the desert on the western bank of the Euphrates. The temperature is steadily rising here as the weeks melt into the mirage of summer; the haze shimmering at about 115°F now. The air was blowing hot and dry through the city Tuesday morning 29 May, when I accompanied LTC Doug Crissman for another day of meetings with local leaders in Hit and surrounding towns in Anbar Province. Crissman and the soldiers of Task Force 2-7 Infantry under his command have been welcomed in the area of Hit for about the last one hundred days. Prior to February, Hit was one of the hottest little battlegrounds of the war, with almost daily gun battles crackling through the air, mortars exploding on the bases, and bombs cratering the roads.
But none of that noise punctuated a visit last Saturday, when LTC Crissman and I walked through the downtown portion of the city.
The US Army detains a group of insurgents after a firefight in Baghdad, Iraq. -- [Dronetek]
Not My Time to Go -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes - in Iraq]
Mortars are not like on TV. You barely hear them coming and you do not have time to run.
Mortars being lobbed onto the International Zone and bases around Baghdad have been the theme in May.
I was walking on base a few weeks ago when a series of crashing booms filled the air--a brief high pitched 'shhzzzz' before the next crashing explosion.
One of them exploded 25 feet from me.
Iraq Report: Babil Awakening, Al Qaeda-Iran Liaison Captured -- [Roggio Report]
The Awakening movement, which was started in Anbar province by local tribes and Sunni insurgents that opposed al Qaeda's attempts to Talibanize Iraqi society, has now spread to all of the provinces bordering Baghdad. Over the past month, Awakening movements formed in Diyala and Salahadin, and, this week, the Babil Awakening was formed. Al Qaeda in Iraq immediately targeted the leader of the Babil Awakening, Sheikh Obeid Al-Masoud, seriously wounding him and his wife in the city of Iskandaria. Al Qaeda is working to destroy the nascent Awakening movements in the provinces, where they provide a political and ideological alternative to al Qaeda's Islamic State.
Earning, maintaining trust of residents -- [A Soldier's Perspective - Patriot]
If you believe the media hype that we are having so much trouble in Iraq that we are actually contemplating a cease fire with the TERRORISTS, stop!! Do not believe. But, here is something you can believe.
Engineers complete water pump stations in Mosul -- [MNF-I]
MOSUL — The US Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region North district is turning water faucets on in Mosul homes with the recent completion of five water pump station projects in that city.
USAF Takes Over Iraqi Military Construction -- [Strategy Page]
June 1, 2007: The Iraqi Ministry of Defense has selected the U.S. Air Force to manage a $350 million military infrastructure project. While mostly noted for their domination of the air for the past sixty years, the air force is also one of the premier managers of military construction projects. The air force has quite a reputation in this area, at least among the small community of those who manage large scale military construction efforts.
Can the Iraq 'Surge' Be Salvaged? - [WSJ - GREG JAFFE and YOCHI J. DREAZEN]
As Violence Seems to Outpace Progress, Officials Talk of Next Steps
WASHINGTON -- When the Bush administration decided to send tens of thousands of additional troops to Iraq, the strategy rested on an unspoken trade-off: U.S. troops would risk greater casualties to tamp down violence and buy the Baghdad government time to make the political compromises needed to reconcile the country's warring factions.
Crashed Chopper Had Dropped Off Troops -- [Military.com]
KABUL, Afghanistan - Up to 40 U.S. Soldiers streamed out of a CH-47 Chinook in an air assault on a Taliban position in southern Afghanistan shortly before the helicopter crashed, officials said Thursday. Five Americans, a Briton and a Canadian were killed.
Alpha Company, 10th Mountain Division at Korengal Outpost in Afghanistan - Updated -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Photographer Chad Hunt sends the link to this NBC News video, Waiting for the Taliban. Featured is Captain Jim McNight and the soldiers of the 10th Mountain, Alpha Company at Korengal Outpost (KOP) in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
Watch the video.
New views of our home away from home...... -- [Miserable Donuts]
My how Bagram has changed.....and I think the personnel have gotten better looking also. Major John this is for you and the rest of the hard working crew at Task Force Eagle. The real Base Ops.
Afghan Girl Does The Alphabet - Afghanistan -- [SGT_USMC]
Little Afghan kid knows her ABC's
NATO Says Taliban Unable To Mount Spring Offensive -- [Defense News]
Hard-fought NATO operations in Afghanistan last autumn have prevented the Taliban from mounting a spring offensive this year, a senior general with the North Atlantic alliance said on May 31.
"What had always been termed as the spring offensive didn’t materialize," said Canadian Gen. Raymond Henault, the Brussels-based chairman of NATO’s military committee.
Soldiers Show Determination, Courage Under Fire in Afghanistan -- [Army News]
Soldiers ford the Pech River in Afghanistan. Photo by Cpl. Joshua Balog
DAG, Afghanistan (Stars and Stripes, May 22, 2007) - It all started as a routine mission on a near moonless night one month ago.
The objective was an abandoned village named Shudergay, a place frequented by bad guys who do bad things. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division had been there before. They knew it was a sanctuary for insurgents to regroup, rest and re-arm.
Task Force Med (Video) -- [Military Times]
The staff of Task Force Med at the brand-new, $17-million, Craig Joint Theater Hospital, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan has come to know Afghanistan as a dangerous place to grow up. When the facility has excess capacity, injured local nationals with risk to life, limb or eyesight are treated. 20-30% of their patient load is made up of children. This is a vignette of Liaqat, a 5--year-old boy flown to CJTH after getting shot in the gut accidentally while playing near his home in Asadabad by an Afghan soldier who fumbled his AK-47 at a nearby vehicle
Goat Eating Party - Afghanistan -- [SGT_USMC]
US soldiers are invited to eat goat at an Afghan's house. From the source: "Sunburned and Eating Goat 82nd Airborne Division 1-325th Airborne Infantry Regiment."
Herat Thoughts May 31 07 -- [McNeilly's Perspective - in Afghansitan]
...Our Naval Lieutenant Commander (O4) / equivalent to a Major in Army life decided based on no good thought process that I can yet determine that my little group of 4 guys should live in a tent that was available. Never mind there were many many hardstand buildings with space for people, she had made up her mind and couldn't be bothered to care. One of her best statements was that we are army people and we can deal with it. Let me just say that the S1 is supposed to handle administrative details for the command, and her function is to support the command, service the soldiers and generally provide customer service. She of course being a female Naval officer will never see downrange, never wonder if there is an IED up on the road ahead, and really will never care that she won't have that experience. Patience...... must have Patience.
My Life In Astan, Vol IV -- [Bouhammer Afghan Blog]
Volume IV of the My Life in Astan series is out and available for viewing and download. I just realized that I had never posted this one, so I wanted to get it out there. This video is the first one that I created with pics from other team member's photos of their year also. So, I guess it could be called "Our Life in Astan". I used pics from Rog-O, Ronbo, and Ranger in this video.
As we all started coming back together our last months in country, I went to everyone and collected up their photos for use. I wanted to get some new perspectives of people and scenery in the video, even though all the scenery looks the same.
U.S. ‘Imperialism’ Means New Arms Race: Putin -- [Defense News]
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on May 31 of imperialism and starting a new arms race, but Washington said its ex-Cold War foe’s foreign policy showed it was behind the times.
Speaking a week before he meets leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrial nations in Germany, Putin said Russia’s tests on May 29 of two new missiles were a direct response to U.S. moves to create a missile defense system in Europe.
An Islamic Reformation? -- [Neptunus Lex]
In the Weekly Standard (again, I know) Christina Hoff Summers avers that Islam may be reformed from within, as the distaff half of its human capital growingly demands first rank status from conservative-minded idealogues who’ll have none of it:
I...t’s a good thing that they’re organizing in quite this way, since - as Hoff Summers points out (at length) - the sisters are getting precious little help from the high priestesses of feminist ideology here in the West. Many of the latter are too busy trying to detoxify the American patriarchy to spare much thought for those poor benighted wogettes overseas, and in any case they don’t much tend to distinguish between a state-sanctioned movement willing to flog a woman until she bleeds for showing a little ankle - for her own protection, like - and a system of sex-based oppression visited on the sisterhood right here at home. Because they’re exactly the same!
Air Marshal Goes on the Record Stating His Opinion That Flight 327 Was a Dry Run -- [Patterico’s Pontifications]
As most of you know, Audrey Hudson recently ran a piece in the Washington Times stating that current and former air marshals believed that Flight 327 (Annie Jacobsen’s “Terror in the Skies” flight) was a terrorist dry run. Some of my commenters complained that Ms. Hudson did not support this claim with a quote from a current air marshal, saying unequivocally that he thought Flight 327 was a terrorist dry run.
Today, in this post, current air marshal P. Jeffrey Black does exactly that.
Global Anti-Terrorism Financing Group Challenged by Syria's Application -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
This week, the Egmont Group -- an international body of more than 100 national financial intelligence units (FIUs) -- is holding its annual plenary session and working group meetings in Bermuda. One of the issues on the agenda is whether to admit a Syrian FIU into the group. Although Syria may in fact technically qualify for membership despite some significant shortcomings, extending membership to a state the United States regards as a sponsor of terrorism would raise serious questions about Egmont's standards and continued efficacy in the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing.
IraqiMuscle -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
This just in from our friends at IraqiMuscle.com, who are at one of the CSHs supported by my colleague Roger. Make sure to check out their new t-shirts and don't forget that proceeds go to Soldiers' Angels.
I don't have a clever title for this post. --[John of Argghhh!]
The death notifications this week have been falling like a badly-aimed mortar barrage - almost randomly, yet damn close.
Several in our little milblog world have been singed by close impacts. or heard the whizz of jagged metal as it zings by, overhead. I sent this note to one of them.
Heads Up - A Military Spouse Scam -- [SpouseBuzz]
...New Scam Targeting Military Spouses: The American Red Cross has learned about a new scam targeting military families. This scam takes the form of false information being told to military families as described below:
The caller (young-sounding, American accent) calls a military spouse and identifies herself as a representative from the Red Cross. The caller states that the spouse's husband (not identified by name) was hurt while on duty in Iraq and was med-evacuated to a hospital in Germany. The caller states they couldn't start treatment until paperwork was accomplished, and that in order to start the paperwork they needed the spouse to verify her husband's social security number and date of birth.
Change, and the homebound soldier -- [The Zeke - in Iraq]
...What are your question's wives? I'll answer to the best of my abilities, and I'm sure my brother will help out as well concidering he is home now and can see both sides a little more clearly.
"Expectations lead to dissapointments"...that is a hard one, but very true. Don't have high lofty expectations, you will only be dissapointed. I have my own expectations and I know everyone does. Just don't try to put each other into the role you think they should fit in.
Unfortunately the military has this problem, they like to, "Prepare you for the worst case scenerio." I say, leave my family alone and don't scare them. If wives believe half of what the military is telling them, then they will be led to believe that their soldier will come home as an untouchable, unemotional, abusive drunk with PTSD. NOT TRUE!!! We can't spend our lives looking at things in "worst case scenerio" mode.
Senator Lieberman and the Troops -- [Dadmanly]
McClatchy Newspapers published a story yesterday, an utterly predictable hit piece
describing a small portion of Senator Joseph Lieberman’s surprise visit to troops in Iraq. More on McClatchy, after a review of the story, written by Leila Fadel.
Fadel sat down with a young soldier, SPC David Williams of the 82nd Airborne Division, as part of “the first of the five ‘surge’ brigades to arrive in Iraq.” SPC Williams was invited to share lunch with Sen. Lieberman, and he apparently gathered questions from other soldiers the night before, which he transcribed onto two file cards. Those identified as submitting questions were all young men (20-22 years old, Specialist (E4) and below enlisted.
Media Ignoring Al-Qaeda Torture Manual -- [Jawa Report]
MRC notes that the mainstream networks and CNN ran over 6000 stories on Abu Gharib.
Yet a heinous torture manual captured from a freedom fighter an al-Qaeda safe house in Iraq, complete with requisite disturbing illustrations on how to mutilate prisoners and inflict as much pain on them as humanly possible in direct violation of every international human rights and POW convention ever wailed about by leftards the world over, simply isn't as newsworthy to our media.
The music I put it to was Bonnie Tyler's "Holding out For a Hero". An avid blog reader, and the gentlemen that posts all of my videos on You Tube for me, MoscowTom, recommended this song. Because I wanted to use this song, I made this video as much about the ETTs as possible. This is another reason I used other guy's pictures in it. I wanted to profile and show some soldiers in Afghanistan that were not just on my team. ETT's lead a hard life, with little to know support from higher HQ, counting on Afghan soldiers to watch our back and fending for ourselves most of the time. Nobody has a harder life in Afghanistan than ETTs, so I wanted this video to be about them.
MRAP is Just Fine or All Bombs Are Not Created Equal -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
USA Today brings us this nice piece of reporting -
...I don't know if the reporter did not know what questions to ask, what his level of knowledge of the MRAP, EFPs, or the fight we are here in Iraq. There is, however no context, no apparent understanding of what the subject matter really entails. Nothing that was written in that article is untrue, but it does not paint an honest picture of the situation.
How can those of you at home make an honest assessment of the situation if you do not have all the necessary information?
Back to business ... -- [The Landlocked Sailor - in Iraq]
...My anti-media rant for the day. Many of you have seen stories lately about the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP). If you went by the mainstream media’s slant on this: The Hummer is worthless, MRAP’s are the savior of the world and the Army and Marine Corps (particularly the Corps) have withheld the MRAP from the troops because they have a monetary interest in the Humvee.
Here’s the truth folks: The Up-Armored Hummer is a VERY capable vehicle. The MRAP is a good next generation choice to EVENTUALLY replace the Hummer.
Red on Red in Amiriyah -- [IRAQ THE MODEL - Iraqis in Iraq]
...Sot al-Iraq reports that machineguns, RPG's and mortars were used in the clashes and that masked men, believed to be reinforcements for al-Qaeda began pouring into the district.
...AP has a quite different story though:
While I so much wish this was true, the information I received from inside Amiriyah says that the fighting was mostly between the two groups mentioned above and the intervention by the American troops was only a routine response to the spike in violence.
Either way, al-Qaeda is under pressure on more than one front and it has lost a bunch of its commanders and fighters and this is always good news.
Media Presence -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes - in Iraq]
In the foyer outside the Tactical Operations Center of JSS Black Lion poster sized Post-it note is on display.
"When historians write about the war in Iraq they will write about the invasion of 2003 and the Surge...."
The media is already here in force...
In 2005 when I drifted through the Combined Press Information Center I was always the lone member of the media.
At Camp Fallujah I rarely saw another member of the media. In fact I saw more talk radio show hosts than members of the MSM.
How I long for the good'ol days.
Is the MSM to blame for blocking good news from the wars? -- [Michael Fumento]
I personally have repeatedly scored the MSM for wanting to write about nothing but The Car Bomb of the Day and ignoring hearts-and-minds projects. Now I realize that while the MSM still deserve scorn, perhaps things aren't quite as black and white as I thought. In preparing my article on my recent embed that will be appearing in next week's Weekly Standard I sought to get information on such projects in the Zabul Region of Afghanistan directly from the Provincial Reconstruction Team or PRT. Zabul's PRT is run by the Air Force. Here's what transpired:
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)