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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.
An Act of Kindness from Iraq -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
Sending a thousand dollars to California will be about as helpful as throwing a glass of water into the firestorm. It’s the thought that counts here. And what surprising thought it is. How many Americans expect charity from Iraq?
As Lowry points out, “most Americans do not consider Iraqis as people.” He’s right. Most of us only know them from sensational media reports about masked insurgents, wailing widows, and death squads. Most of us may instinctively understand that the majority of Iraqis are just regular people, but it’s hard to keep that in mind when the only thing we get Stateside is war coverage. I’ve met hundreds of Iraqis myself during trips to their country as a reporter, so it’s a bit easier for me to see them as just people. I’m still surprised that anyone in that broken impoverished land would even consider donating hard-earned money to Californians.
Baghdad's Doura Neighborhood
Street and trash improvement
Ramadi parade celebrates unity, security -- [MNF-I]
RAMADI — The last parade held in downtown Ramadi was by insurgent forces in the fall of 2006 when the city was gripped in daily violence.
Times have changed now as government officials and city locals recently held a parade down Route Michigan here. Capt. Aaron Southard, Information Operations officer for 1st Brigade Combat Team, said the parade speaks volumes when considering the former violence that plagued Ramadi.
Iraqi citizens take stand against insurgents; aid National Police to discover cache -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – Iraqi National Police, with the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st National Police Division discovered a weapons cache based off a resident’s tip in the southeast district of New Baghdad in the Iraqi capital Oct. 28.
The tip led the policemen to discover eight 80mm mortar rockets, seven 60mm mortar rockets, nine rocket propelled grenade rounds with three launchers, one explosively formed projectile, three grenades, one mortar tube with base plate and tripod, 300 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, two sets of body armor and copper wire.
IED Emplacement Insurgents Team get caught by US soldiers in Iraq
Watch what the US soldiers found in insurgent's car.
Coalition Forces Free Hostage from al Qaeda -- [Jawa Report]
BAQUBAH, Iraq – A 19 year-old man was rescued from an al Qaeda-in-Iraq prison in the village of al Hammadi, 10 miles southwest of Baqubah, by 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, during an air assault Oct. 28.
Airing Now: Mike Moseley’s “Our Enemy” -- [Pat Dollard]
...The enemy has attack our soldiers with words that are met to wound his pride, damage his honor, and question his integrity. Our men of honor have volunteered to cross the world to fight an enemy that is viscous and hides behind women and children. Al-Qaeda doesn’t have a uniform and never will. Al-Qaeda knows in a fair fight they do not stand a chance. The most dangerous enemy to the American soldier doesn’t where a uniform, fire a AK-47, plant IED, live in Iraq or Afghanistan. The most dangerous enemies are the one’s that ambush their own. America’s finest have taken wounds not from the front, the known enemy Al-Qaeda, but from the ones that have sent them to fight half a world away. The enemies have said that “the war is lost”calling for defeat. They have called our soldiers “Soviet gulag guards”, the butcher “Pol Pot’s finest.” A great cheer is raised from the camp of Al-Qaeda, and their brothers in terror as America’s men of honor have been betrayed by a fellow marine, that fool called our soldiers “cold blooded murders”. America’s enemies have called Gen David Petreous dishonorable, and Gen. Peter Pace ” incompetent”. To call these men dishonorable and incompetent is without reason and thought. For it is the liberal’s attack on the battlefield soldiers that bring Al-Qaeda and the left together as allies in the war on terror.
Iraq is looking better month by month. But at the current rate, surely we shall fail in Afghanistan:-- [Michael Yon]
A great deal of flak came in for my 2006 reporting from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, that on-the-ground reporting is proving correct nearly to the letter. The following three-part report summarizing my observations and experiences in Afghanistan more than a year ago, warned of the growing threat of a narco-fueled Taliban increasingly able to challenge a national government overgrown with incompetency and choked with corruption.
12 Mechanized Brigade:They Beat The Taliban And They Beat Them Well.
Six months ago the town of Sangin was controlled by the Taliban and the small ISAF unit there was under siege. But as 12 Mechanized Brigade’s six month deployment to Afghanistan came to an end yesterday, the town is thriving once again with a Governor and Chief of Police, and throughout Helmand the Taliban have been put on the back foot.
BOOM! -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghansitan]
We don't get to see many of them in the nation-building missions we're doing today. So when one of our district teams made arrangements to destroy some mortar and rocket rounds taken from the Taliban and the Afghan National Police, I exercised my rank and made sure I was along for the ride.
We attended our first shura today -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghansitan]
Actually, it was the second one for me, but the last time I was working with the police on perimeter security and never got to go into the actual shura itself, so this was the first one I attended.
Many schoolboys brought Afghan flags to the shura.The shura is like a town hall meeting in which everyone - every male anyway - in a given area attends. This shura was in Dih Yak, one of our districts in Ghazni province.
173D brave Taliban, rugged terrain in Afghanistan -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...Last week, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment descended a mountain peak well over 7,000 feet tall after spending six days encamped along a ridgeline.
They had been on the offensive against Taliban militants holed up in the Pech River Valley, which meanders and winds throughout the volatile Kunar province.
They had all of their gear, guns and ammo — and water. Each man’s backpack was between 60 to 100 pounds.
Suicide bomber kills seven outside military headquarters in Rawalpindi -- [LWJ]
...The attack was confirmed as a suicide bombing, as his head of the bomber was recovered at the scene. Two senior Pakistani government officials are downplaying the attack as an attempt on Musharraf and other Pakistani political and military leaders.
"It was a suicide attack. The area is sensitive -- we don't know what the exact target was," said Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid. "It appears to be an attack targeting police," said Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Cheema.
The chief of police for Rawalpindi said otherwise. "He wanted to get past our security cordon but we were successful in stopping him," said Saud Aziz.
Somalia: Captured ship crew "overpowers" pirates, sailing to safety -- [EagleSpeak]
The crew of a captured ship fights back and gains their freedom, it is reported here:A group of pirates that hijacked a cargo ship in the waters off Somalia have been overpowered by the ship's crew, according to one official. ...
Did Syria Have Visible WMD Program Prior to US Invasion of Iraq?-- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The New York Times has published a remarkable piece on October 27 suggesting that satellite imagery which is now available commercially showed the construction of a nuclear facility in Syria that was well-developed as early as the summer of 2003, and which had been initiated as early as 2001.
A Disturbing Pattern that Benefits Terrorists -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
There is a disturbing story in today's Washington Post on the role the U.S. weapons market plays in arming Mexican drug cartels.
"You're looking at the same firepower here on the border that our soldiers are facing in Iraq and Afghanistan," Thomas Mangan, a spokesman in Phoenix for the ATF.
The army of "ants" described in the story, carrying weapons south through the same routes they use to bring drugs north, is not new. What appears to be new is ...
Target: Jamal al-Badawi -- [The Captain’s Journal]
The mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing has either been released by authorities in Yemen, or is soon to be released.
...It is a truism that the best developed plans will come to naught at times when the predicate for the plans is the honor of other men and nations. The U.S. must negotiate and purchase and obtain agreement and all of the things that the State Department works at, but in the end, we must be prepared to be alone in the pursuit of our own national security interests.
Pissing Contest -- [Exile in Portales]
I find the following exchange hard to believe, Gentle Reader. Just as background, Lori (my Good Friend of 30 years) asked in comments yesterday if I would send my VALOUR-IT post to the USAF Radar Sites Veterans and the Fortuna Air Force Station Vets groups on Yahoo! (I’m a member of both). A great idea, that, so I did as she suggested. Well, the Fortuna AFS group put the post up with no questions asked. The USAFRSV group was an entirely different story. And it isn’t a good story either. Here, for your amusement bemusement and amazement, is the sum total of my correspondence with one of the group's moderators:
Talking With Heroes In Baghdad, Iraq - Clip 1
Combat Paratrooper, Physician Tapped to Head VA -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr.]
President Bush will today announce his nomination of Lt. Gen. James B. Peake, former Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, to become the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Lastovicas Welcome Home Troops
Career Army man to challenge Murtha -- [The Tribune-Democrat]
After nearly three decades in the military, William T. Russell’s latest mission has brought him to Johnstown.
The career Army man, just two years short of retirement, has left the service and moved to the Flood City in order to mount a political campaign against veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. John Murtha.
As a Republican and first-time candidate facing a powerful congressman in the sprawling, Democrat-dominated 12th Congressional District, Russell faces a tough challenge.
Both CNN and the WaPo Play Up ‘Bitter’ Soldier’s Words on Iraq -- [NewsBusters]
The mainstream media’s long march against the Iraq War continues unabated. On October 27, the Washington Post ran a front-page story with an attention-grabbing headline taken from a quote by an American soldier serving in Iraq: "I don’t think this place is worth another soldier’s life." Two days later on October 29, CNN’s Jack Cafferty on "The Situation Room" used the same quote in his "Question of the Hour:" "What does it say about the conflict in Iraq when troops there are saying things like, 'I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life.' Our soldiers are saying that stuff."
'60 Minutes:' U.S. Military as Bad as Taliban -- [NewsBusters]
In a segment on Sunday’s "60 Minutes," anchor Scott Pelley described how "The enemy has killed hundreds of civilians this year, but surprisingly, almost the same number of civilians have been killed by American and allied forces." Pelley focused on U.S. air strikes citing a statistic from the liberal group Human Rights Watch: "So far this year, 17 air strikes have killed more than 270 civilians, according to the humanitarian organization Human Rights Watch."
Whereforartthou Bruce Willis?? -- [Charlie Foxtrot]
It has been two years since I read with great anticipation, Michael Yon's ongoing saga of embededment (Hey, new word!) with the "Deuce Four" in Mosul, Iraq. Better vivid depictions of men and battle cannot be found in any other media source, IMHO.
...Alas, two years have passed and doing a brief search I can find no evidence that any "Deuce Four" movie project is on Willis' radar scope.
Instead, I read today that one thing that Willis will be doing is starring in an Oliver Stone picture called 'Pinkville', a 'drama' about My Lai.
(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. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Provincial Reconstruction Teams: The ‘Civilian Surge’ -- [MNF-I]
The recent surge of troops and embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams (EPRT) to Iraq is providing unprecedented opportunity for Iraqi citizens, a Coalition commander said today.
“It really wasn’t until the EPRT, the ‘civilian surge’ … and the surge forces arrived that we began to make what I will call measurable progress along our lines of operations,” Army Col. Mike Garret told online journalists and “bloggers” during a conference call from Forward Operating Base Kalsu, south of Baghdad, shortly after he provided a televised operational update via satellite.
Coalition forces degrade al-Qaeda in Iraq network; 3 terrorists killed, 11 detained -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces killed three terrorists and detained 11 suspects Wednesday and Thursday during operations to disrupt terrorist networks in central Iraq.
Coalition forces conducted an operation west of Tarmiyah Thursday, targeting an alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq leader operating in the Fallujah area. During the course of operations, Coalition forces observed four individuals emplacing objects believed to be improvised explosive devices into the ground near the target area. When the ground force approached, they were engaged by small-arms fire.
An Iraqi Parade Against al-Qaeda -- [Live Leak]
Osama bin Laden's latest call for Iraqi insurgents to unite against Americans fell on deaf ears this week in Ramadi, the city that al-Qaeda leaders once declared the seat of a new Islamic caliphate and capital of the Iraqi insurgency.
Rather than rise up against them, the people of Ramadi Tuesday invited U.S. forces to watch a massive parade — albeit one so tightly secured that no pedestrian traffic got close to it.
The almost surreal, two-hour martial procession was led by the city's children to commemorate the martyred leader of a tribal revolt that has virtually silenced al-Qaeda in Anbar Province.
"The darkness has become pitch black" - Osama bin Laden on Iraq situation -- [LWJ]
Bin Laden addresses a tactical failure of al Qaeda in Iraq's IED cells. He clearly is unhappy with their performance, and indicated the failure to employ IEDs efficiently against U.S. forces is due to "negligence." He is also concerned about the infiltration of Iraqi and American spies.
Usama Bin Laden... Message To The People Of Iraq
Waiting For A Miracle To Show Up -- [Strategy Page]
October 24, 2007: The sharp drop in violence (about 70 percent nationwide versus a year ago) is being seen as the result of the Sunni Arab terrorist organizations collapsing in defeat. Most of the Sunni Arab tribes have turned against the terrorists, and the al Qaeda organization, which is responsible for most of the suicide bomb attacks, has been torn apart. Most al Qaeda leaders are dead, captured or spending most of their time trying to avoid that fate. The system of safe houses and skilled technicians (bomb makers, trainers, supervisors) has been disrupted or destroyed. At the same time some U.S. commanders want to declare al Qaeda defeated in Iraq,
25 Oct 07: Rocket Attack [Update 0930 Baghdad time] -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
...There is very little al Qaeda left in this area. One known al Qaeda operative was found dead last week, shot in the head. Despite these attacks, violence continues to decrease.
Sounds -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
No movie can make incoming fire sound right. It does not matter if it is artillery, mortars, rockets, or small arms, it just never sounds right. It may be because the film crews who conduct the Foley effects have never been under fire, then again live music always sounds different from recorded so maybe you just can't get it right, you get it close.
There is a marked "Crump" sound when a mortar lands. Sometimes you hear the tubes when they launch. That is a far away "POP" and you know it's coming.
Hunting al-Qaida in Iraq -- [Matt Sanchez - in Iraq]
Terror and anonymity go hand in hand. It's hard to be a terrorist when everyone knows who you are. An attack takes a certain detachment, stealth and a craven willingness to kill people you've probably never met. Ramadi, Fallujah, Baghdad – one by one, as neighbors learn who lives next to them and repel those who mean harm, terrorists have moved out of the cities and into the outskirts, the areas that have had little or no authority.
Operation Snake was slated to begin at 0200, 2 a.m.
Commandant Downplays A Shift Of Marine Mission From Iraq To Afghanistan -- [On Point]
Some widely reported speculation about the motivation behind a proposal to shift Marine Corps responsibility to Afghanistan is blatantly wrong, the Marine Corps commandant told local service members and retirees Wednesday.
...But, he said, the idea that the Corps is looking to take over a four-star general billet in Afghanistan is "absolutely untrue."
"It has been said that we want to leave the Al Anbar province (in Iraq) while the leaving is good," he said, but that is also wrong.
"In many ways, this is not about Afghanistan," he said, but rather about Iraq.
Cav Country 49 - Newscast 1st Air Cavalry
The New Iraqi Air Force -- [Dude, where's the beach? - in Iraq]
Putting the 'Kinetic Hurt' in Counter-Insurgency Operations (COIN)
Mi-17 - All new aircraft, but it's the 'Old Faithful' helicopter the Iraqis have used for decades. They're good at flying it, fixing it, and it'll be bringing some pain to the bad guys very soon thanks to some outstanding IqAF-Coalition team work. (Patting self on back)
Inshallah -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
...Anyhow, during our first meeting, the Major was discussing some issue the Iraqis want our help with, and he was saying we would do what we can to look into it, being careful not to make any promises. Major M thought he would show a little cultural sensitivity and threw in “Inshallah”, which means God willing, and is used to avoid taking any accountability for your commitments, since if you fail to deliver it was God’s will. And who are you to question God.
Of course, this is not the Iraqi’s first rotation – he has been here dealing with Americans since we arrived. His response:
Is that an American Inshallah or an Iraqi Inshallah?
Operation Rock Avalanche In Afghanistan -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
The 173rd Airborne Brigade, along with Afghan forces, are conducting offensive operations in the Korengal Valley of northeastern Afghanistan bordering Pakistan. An unknown number of Taliban fighters - by some reports up to 20 - were killed in the battle.
Jihad Commander in Afghanistan Sheikh Al-Ustadh Yasser in New Al-Sahab Video: -- [MEMRI]
'The American is an Infidel Fighting the Muslims – Hence, the Muslims Must Fight Him Everywhere'
On October 21, 2007, the Islamist website Al-Ekhlaas, hosted by Layered Technologies, Inc. in Texas, USA, posted a 90-minute video, produced by Al-Sahab, featuring an interview with Afghani jihad commander Sheikh Muhammad Yasser (known as Sheikh Al-Ustadh Yasser). The sheikh was released from an Afghan prison in March 2007 in exchange for an Italian journalist abducted by the Taliban. According to the video, he served as a minister in the three governments that preceded the rise of the Taliban, and later resigned from politics to become a lecturer at the Da'wa and Jihad University in Peshawar. The video further states that he supported the Taliban when it came to power. The following are the main points of the video:
Shoes!!! -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
These photos were sent along by my friend Bob Connolly, whose wife Cynthia knitted and sent about 40 caps to our Soldiers for the children in Afghanistan. Photos of the kids with their new caps to follow in another post.
But first, the shoes...
NATO in Afghanistan - part. 1/2
Canadian and British soldiers in Afghanistan. Canadian forces in Shah Wali Kot district are seen firing artillery at distant Afghans ... all » 'suspected' of spying; firing warning shots at motorcyclists and vehicles, which causes a bus to crash. British troops mentoring Afghan National Army call in close air support against insurgents; captured Taliban suspect will be 'abused' by ANA, says British officer.
NATO drums up more troops for Afghanistan -- [Murdoc Online]
...I can see why several NATO nations are unwilling to do much to assist with the campaign in Iraq. I don't agree, but I can understand. The general lack of interest in doing anything in Afghanistan continues to baffle me, however.
NATO commanders are hoping to double the number of training units in Afghanistan, but it's slow going.
NATO in Afghanistan - part. 2/2
Canadian and British soldiers in Afghanistan. Canadian forces in Shah Wali Kot district are seen firing artillery at distant Afghans ... all » 'suspected' of spying; firing warning shots at motorcyclists and vehicles, which causes a bus to crash. British troops mentoring Afghan National Army call in close air support against insurgents; captured Taliban suspect will be 'abused' by ANA, says British officer
Army Helping Attack Wildfires -- [
Army National Guard helicopters were attacking southern California's ferocious wildfires Tuesday as Soldiers on the ground were manning traffic control points and were prepared to provide people who had lost their homes with ...
National Guard helicopters carrying big Bambi water buckets were trying to bring under control the firestorm that has forced some 500,000 residents to flee the devastated, seven-county region since last weekend.
"This is true and pure homeland defense. This is my home. I live here. This is what I joined to do," said California Army Guard 1st Lt. Robi Yucas, who was coordinating the Guard's aviation assets even as his wife and daughter and dog were preparing to evacuate their fire-threatened home in Oceanside, Calif.
Bill Richardson: Outrageous And Absolutely Incorrect -- [Riehl World View]
You'd think politicians would be mindful of living in the new media age. This from Gov. Bill Richardson at the Huffington Post, calling the Iraq War lost and blaming California's shrinking National Guard on the war. He should have called ABC first - see below.
Thank you Gubernator!!!
Additional nuclear sites in Syria? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
While proof of a Syrian nuclear site is trickling down, including in this Washington Post article, the question now remains: what exactly do we know about the Syrian nuclear program?
Morality in counterinsurgency: Coercing the desperate -- [TigerHawk]
Humans rights NGOs have their panties in knots over the Israelis pressuring sick Palestinians to rat on the militants in their midst:
Exclusive: Bin Laden’s Frustration with His Lieutenants -- [The Family Security Foundation]
Yes, Bin Laden’s latest audiotape aired on al Jazeera is unique. Not in its ideological party line or in the Salafi doctrinal roots; they haven’t changed nor are they expected to. Surely, in a previous speech he inserted some neo-Marxist and Trotskyite rhetoric but that was part of his “American” discourse, and possibly at the request of his Gringo advisers.
...Incredibly, the leader of al Qaeda said the “Mujahidins” in Iraq committed “mistakes.” This was the first time the man used these words in this context: self criticism. In fact he criticized the emirs for the recklessness of their Jihad in the land of the two rivers. If one reviews the public statements of Bin Laden, at least since 1996, this is the first time he has mentioned the Jihadists’ mistakes, not the errors by Muslim rulers in general. Now, these are his own fighters who are at fault.
Usama Bin Laden... Message To The People Of Iraq
Al-Qaida Distributors Accuse Al-Jazeera of Distorting Bin Laden's Message on Iraq
Al-Qaida's official online distribution network responsible for disseminating messages from Usama Bin Laden--known as the "Al-Fajr Media Center"--has issued a new statement strongly criticizing the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera satellite television network, which it has accused of "deceitfully manipulating" the latest audio recording from Bin Laden regarding the growing infighting within the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. According to the Al-Fajr Center, "Aljazeera editors in chief have counterfeited the facts by making the speech appear as exclusively targeting the brothers and sons inside Al-Qaeda organization. It looked as if it was an acknowledgment of their mistakes, a renunciation of their jihad and their loyalty to it." The letter went on to condemn the directors of Al-Jazeera for "shamefully choosing to back the crusaders’ side, and the defenders of hypocrites and the thugs and traitors of Iraq.”
U.S. Announces New Sanctions Against Iranian Military, Banks, Leaders -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Today, the State Department designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) for their proliferation activities. The Treasury Department also designated numerous Iranian parties for proliferation concerns: nine IRGC-affiliated entities and five IRGC-affiliated individuals; two state-owned banks, Bank Melli (its biggest) and Bank Mellat; and three individuals affiliated with Iran's Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO). The Treasury Department also designated the IRGC-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) under for providing material support to the Taliban in Afghanistan and other terrorist organizations, and also designated Iran's state-owned Bank Saderat as a terrorist financier.
Collateral Damage -- [Castle Argghhh!]
In prior wars, children of soldiers and Marines killed in action would have medals, stacks of letters, perhaps a few photographs or, if they were very lucky, a faded clipping from the local newspaper to help keep the memory of a lost loved one alive. To such meager artifacts would be added endless quiet recountings of birthdays, vacations, holidays and the thousand shared moments - trivial, poignant, or hilarious - that make each family happy in its own unique way.
But the children of today's fallen warriors are growing up in a digital age, surrounded by often disturbing images and multimedia Is it too much to ask that when these smallest Americans look for traces of their missing fathers or mothers, the first image to spring to their minds should comfort, and not horrify?
Knock, knock... who are you??? -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Here's a good one. Several Soldiers' Angels have been receiving lovely thank you emails from soldiers to whom they never sent anything directly. One of the Angels finally fessed up and told the Soldier she didn't know who he was...??
Marine’s Father Sues Church for Cheering Son’s Death -- [New York Times]
...The Westboro protesters, whose church is in Topeka, Kan., frequently picket the funerals of military officials and soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan because church leaders assert that God is killing soldiers to punish America for condoning homosexuality. The lawsuit, which is being tried in Baltimore, is believed to be the first against the church by the family of a fallen serviceman.
Code Blue for Code Pink? [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
Many will enjoy reading Eli Lake's latest at the New York Sun, End of a Movement.
The Freepers who stand regular watch outside Walter Reed surely will take particular pleasure in Ms. Benjamin's lamentations and exasperations. The way they see it, she and her crews are owed some anguish for what they do to the troops on a regular basis. And they are, of course, absolutely right.
Welcome home, Dan! -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
About 15,000 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers are beginning to come home to Ft. Bragg, and here's the first 267 at Pope Air Force Base last Friday.
This group is mostly from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s support and special troops battalions.
Dagger Brigade Soldiers start coming home -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — After spending most of the last 15 months in one of Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods, 126 members of Task Force 1-26 got to go home Sunday night.
The task force is among the first wave of Schweinfurt, Germany-based troops expected back from Iraq this week and throughout October and November.
Axe: Disband the Air Force!
Fed up with unnecessary gold-plated fighter jet programs, the service’s impatience with counter-insurgency and its anti-China rhetoric, back in August I proposed the disbanding of the U.S. Air Force. The air service’s missions could be folded into the Army, Navy and Marine Corps without any loss in national power -- and we’d benefit from cuts to Pentagon overhead.
Now Robert Farley over at The American Prospect has taken up the cause in a new piece, “Abolish the Air Force.” To complement the piece, Farley has solicited input from a number of bloggers, including yours truly.
Chairman Asks Straight Questions, Gets Hard Answers -- [Defense Link]
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen yesterday heard some hard truths when he asked hundreds of soldiers about their service.
“We need something better. That’s just not good enough,” another captain said of the 12-month home-station time between deployments.
Still another young officer said he was planning to end his military service, not because he was ready to be finished, but because his family was.
...“I think we’re going to change everything about the military,” he said, including how the force trains, recruits, educates and develops its troops.
Bill Richardson: Outrageous And Absolutely Incorrect -- [Riehl World View]
You'd think politicians would be mindful of living in the new media age. This from Gov. Bill Richardson at the Huffington Post, calling the Iraq War lost and blaming California's shrinking National Guard on the war. He should have called ABC first - see below.
Stark apologizes for saying troops die for Bush's 'amusement' -- [Jake's Life]
It's not the blatant stupidity and insensitivity of this remark that is getting my blood boiling, its Starks' blanket assumption that everyone fighting in Iraq A)is a political pawn of President Bush B) doesn't know what they are fighting for C) somehow didn't volunteer for the ALL VOLUNTEER MILITARY and D) doesn't want to be over there.
Code Pinkos run wild on Capitol Hill again -- [Michelle Malkin]
Update: The White House smacks the Dems over Code Pink.
The Democrats refuse to rein in the Code Pinko thugs and vandals who continue to disrupt hearings on Capitol Hill. Earlier today, it was an unhinged protester who attempted to smear red paint on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
I Do it so can you! -- [Northern Disclosure]
For those of you that didn't know, I was invited to speak at Brown University for a Watson Institute forum involving frontline media, writers and filmakers. I was honored by the invitation but it was hard to attend since I am over here. I did participate via webcast and found that in itself very entertaining.
I was able to watch the panel before the one I spoke on which had Colby Buzzell, a kid that was a specialist in the same unit I was in the first time over, and also Matt from "Blackfive". They spoke of military blogs and how they have changed.
Crunch Time -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes - in Iraq]
We are hearing that the violence in Iraq is decreasing.
And we all hear the phrase 'The Surge.' But what is the surge? How has it worked to decrease the violence?
In my upcoming movie, the viewer will get to see the surge from the inside, riding along with an Army infantry company in Baghdad's West Rashid district. An infantry company that is a true 'Surge Unit.'
But this may movie may never be completed. I am tapped out.
I need $3,000 more dollars to complete this DVD.
Ted Rall: Death of 'Idiot' Soldiers Raises U.S. IQ -- [NewsBusters]
I don't normally follow Ted Rall's work. But when J.M., a member of our military serving in Iraq, wrote NB about Rall's recent column and cartoon, I had a look. I'd say our soldier was being restrained in describing Rall's work as "particularly offensive."
Beauchamp and the Rule of Second Chances: Pass it Along -- [Michael Yon- in Iraq]
...I was at a reconciliation meeting between Sunni and Shia in the West Rashid district of Baghdad on 24 October, and it happened by complete coincidence that I was with Beauchamp’s battalion. In fact, I was with his old company commander for much of the day, although I had no idea for most of it that I was with Beauchamp’s old company commander.
At the reconciliation meeting, Beauchamp’s battalion commander, LTC George Glaze, politely introduced himself and asked who I wrote for. When I replied that I just have a little blog, the word caught his ears and he mentioned Beauchamp, who I acknowledged having heard something about. LTC Glaze seemed protective of Beauchamp, despite how the young soldier had maligned his fellow soldiers. In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was given the chance to leave or stay.
That Took Foerever: Beauchamp Story Collapses -- [Weekly Srandard]
The Drudge Report has posted a a series of documents that reveal the lengths to which the New Republic’s editors, specifically Frank Foer and Peter Scoblic, went to cover up the truth about the Scott Beauchamp stories. This is the end of the road, and a long road it's been.
When we started looking into Beauchamp's stories back in July, we believed that the New Republic had simply been taken in by a huckster--that despite being over-eager to publish a story that cast our troops in a negative light, TNR's editors had done so good faith, believing the stories to be true. So we emailed Frank Foer, who agreed to provide us with some of the corroborating details in order to demonstrate his author's credibility.
Foer, TNR accuse the *military* of "selective leaks" of information they tried their best to suppress -- [Jeff Emanuel]
Said TNR's Franklin Foer, "It's maddening to see the Army selectively leak to the Drudge Report things that we've been trying to obtain from them through Freedom of Information Act requests," Mr. Foer said. "This fits a pattern in this case where the army has leaked a lot of stuff to right wing blogs."
Knight Ridder, Night Rider you got some ID Chump? -- [Uncle Jimbo - BlackFive]
...The Americans, however, are the absolute worst. I had a testy exchange Tuesday with an American soldier at an entry checkpoint into the Green Zone.....
Remember Iraq? Who can forget? -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
Remember when Paul Krugman worked for Enron, Maureen Dowd was a pouty little girl, and Thomas Friedman was a respected writer? Me too. Then the New York Times created Times Select and those of us unwilling to fork over money were then deprived of their musings. Sadly Times Select was apparently a colossal failure and they are back and available to us, the unwashed masses.
During that two year public hiatus Mr. Friedman must have started channeling Ms. Dowd as his column today demonstrates.
New Tape: Bin Laden Calls Insurgents ‘Pack of Sissies’ -- [ScrappleFace]
In a newly-released audiotape, al Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden spoke directly to Muslim insurgents in Iraq, calling them “a pack of sniveling sissies for collapsing in the face of the recent U.S. military surge.”
(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. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Anecdotal Evidence -- [Guidons, Guidons, Guidons! - in Iraq]
...One of the many slides they show us is a slide called "SIG ACTS", that is significant activity in the area of operations in the last 24 hours. Lately that side has been pretty barren. Just how barren becomes apparent when the slide from today is compared against the slide depicting SIG ACTS from a year ago today...it is easily a 50% or more reduction in enemy action. This is not just today, but for several weeks now.
Is US On The Verge Of Defeating Al-Qeada?
US commanders in Iraq say a recent raid produced an intelligence bonanza that could lead to future successes in the battle against Al-Qeada.
Resistance is futile: You will be (mis)informed. -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
...Anyone who has been in Iraq for longer than a few months, visited a handful of provinces, and spoken with a good number of Iraqis, likely would acknowledge that the reality here is complex and dynamic. But in the last six months it also has been increasingly hopeful, despite what the pessimistic dogma dome allows Americans and British to believe.
...Several upcoming dispatches will focus on how the situation in Southern Iraq has dramatically improved over past months. Ironically, the character of this improvement is distinguished by the lack of violence, as well as the increasing order and normality as Iraqi Security Forces step up to greater responsibility for security in the region.
The situation in Iraq is incredibly complex -- and the products of the ‘Surge’ are far too fragile to survive a Coalition drawdown (Part 1 of 2) -- [Jeff Emanuel]
...As any conscious American is well aware, within weeks of unanimously approving both the new commander and the new direction, many in Congress were out in front of microphones and television cameras, declaring that “The Surge has failed” and “The war is lost,” and announcing the appallingly-named (to say the least) “slow bleed” strategy to drain the soldiers in Iraq of the funding and supplies necessary to fight the war, while also sponsoring and appearing in television advertisements designed to drain what little public support remained for the securing and rebuilding effort there. While lip service was paid (at the beginning) to granting Petraeus the time and resources necessary to fully implement his plan, politics quickly trumped patriotism and honest dealings, and attempt after attempt was made to cut him off at the knees and to declare failure before his strategy had ever even been implemented. This lack of unity at home greatly damaged the credibility of America and of her forces in the Middle East, who were (and are) dependent on the Iraqi people's ability to trust that the Coalition will not abandon them, whatever the cost, in order to be able to make any real, long-term gains on the ground there.
It was not until June -- weeks after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had declared that the strategy had “failed” -- that the entire cast ‘Surge’ troops had arrived in Iraq and been positioned to carry out their mission, leaving only two months for fully-manned counterinsurgency operations before Petraeus’s testimony to Congress on progress in Iraq was due.
Enemy mortar team tracked, engaged
Good Morning America in Fallujah -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
...Attached is a clip of ABC out with RCT-6. They're almost breathless in reporting the truth: how smoothly things are going in Fallujah. Other media outlets who shall be left unnamed have had the same opportunity to report this, walking through the market district of the city just like ABC did, and didn't report this adequately.
Air Cavalry crews see higher-tech attacks, weapons from Iran -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Air cavalry helicopter pilots have had to change their tactics to adapt to newer and higher-tech surface-to-air missile systems that officials believe are coming in from Iran, a senior official in Iraq said Friday.
Raid in Baghdad's Sadr City kills 49 Special Groups operatives -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio - in Iraq]
...Coalition forces, often the cover name given to the special operations forces hunter-killer teams of Task Force 88, met heavy resistance in Sadr City as they cleared buildings in search of the Special Groups leader. The clearing teams "received sustained heavy fire from adjacent structures, to include automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, or RPGs," and killed 33 terrorists. Six more terrorists were killed as air support was called in on a team attempting to maneuver and hit the Task Force with RPGs, and another ten were killed as the raiding party was leaving the site.
Iraq inquiry into US Sadr raid - BBC News
Sadrists Call For U.S. Pullout From Residential Areas In Southern Iraq -- [Pat Dollard]
Baghdad, Oct 22, (VOI) – The Sadrist bloc, or Iraqis loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, call on Monday for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from residential areas in the province of al-Diwaniya, southern Iraq, and to hand over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces.
“The Sadrists also demanded the rehabilitation of security agencies in the province and filtering them of any militias affiliated to parties in power,” Ali al-Mayyali, a bloc member in Diwaniya, said in a statement he read out during a press conference in Baghdad.
Evacuated to the CSH -- [Far From Perfect - in Iraq]
So I’ve been in the hospital for the last few days with what is called a Non-Battle Injury. In other words, I was not wounded in battle, I had an urgent healthcare matter that required surgery. I got a whirlwind tour of the medical evacuation system for Iraq and Kuwait in the process. I have to say it works pretty well, especially if you are litter bound. I was medevac’d from my FOB to the Combat Surgical Hospital, CSH, in Mosul. They did an evaluation and decided I needed surgery. An hour or so later I was in surgery. Can’t really say too much about how that went as they gave me some really good sedatives and a spinal block. I woke up shortly after the surgery in the recovery room numb from the belly button down.
The World Sport -- [Those Wacky Iraqis - in Iraq]
...I have stated before that if we really want to win we have to win the heads of these people. The soldier playing here today is doing a much more valuable service by simply playing soccer than by going on patrol or sitting in a guard tower. He is reaching across the ocean, in a literal and figurative sense as no matter what the language, religion, education, or name, this simple game of pick up football is a bridge across it all.
Ain't no party like an Iraqi Party -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
Well Ramadan is finally over, which means the end of hiding our drinking habits from the Iraqi's and also the end of their fast. Instead of having a Mardi Gras-type celebration before their fasting period, Muslim's have a big 4 day feast after the big fast.
...they began cooking the traditional meal of lamb and assorted veggies with and kobez, which is basically just a flat bread. I think the unfortunate among us were those who enjoyed a little too much lamb, but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right?
In Country -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
After the long months of training, we are finally here in Iraq. It took almost 4 days altogether to get to our Firebase, transiting thru Ireland, then Kuwait, and Baghdad. We rested in Baghdad for a little over a day before hopping on Blackhawks for a night time flight. Just as last time, it was the coolest part of the trip, the moon was partially obscured by clouds and was a mean red color.
Afghanistan, a country that is truly in need of our help . . . -- [Richard's Deployment to Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
I am writing to you all from FOB Salerno, Afghanistan with a small story of my experiences in a country that truly is in need of our help.
I am Sergeant First Class Michael Fields from Spokane Valley, Washington.
First and foremost I would like to tell all of the American people thank you, for all of your help and support.
I think that the best way that I could describe Afghanistan is the wild wild west, or life on the great frontier. The Afghan people are a very friendly and affectionate people who really want our help and our free way of life.
Picture and Movie Time -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure - in Afghanistan]
...Oh, looky what we found! Oddly enough, Mr. Taliban guy had an antitank mine (Italian, plastic, very nasty,) and four RPG rounds (Russian, metallic, very nasty,) buried within feet of the house in which his children lived. "What? Those aren't mine. My neighbor is angry with me and trying to get me in trouble!"
Another JDAM airstrike on taliban hiding in a camp in Afhganistan
Beggars and choosers -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
...The poverty in Afghanistan forces begging in many places. The problem is most of the poverty is out in the countryside where there are no highly-traveled paved road to provide a good begging location like the families have discovered here. (I realize how odd that sounds - to have good versus bad "begging locations" but such is the case in this country.)
As bad as I hate to see the suffering associated with begging - there is no worse sight than a dirty child frantically motioning for something to eat - I realize that these same people are choosers.
Targeting Taliban commander Siraj Haqqani. -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
As the Taliban's insurgency in Pakistan escalates, the US and Afghan National Army have identified Pakistani-based Siraj Haqqani as the primary threat to security in eastern Afghanistan. Siraj Haqqani, the son of the influential Taliban leader and former defense minister Jalaluddin Haqqani, was described as "one of the most influential insurgent commanders in eastern Afghanistan" who has "vied for the lead role as the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s prime antagonist."
Stressed Out -- [6 Months In Kabul -- in Afghanistan]
Today I visited the Pol E Charki prison. I discussed the prison in an earlier posting. I am trying to see if I can get involved with mentoring the Afghan physician that works there because they are in need of some help. I figure if I get busy enough with the Police Academy clinic, the new National Police Clinic, CMAs, and now the prison then I won't have to go downrange and do nonmedical stuff.
The prison was an interesting experience. It has...
Hye Times... -- [PARTAMIAN REPORT - in Afghanistan]
The Romanians have moved out from the KAF MWR Internet room and out into the fight. One the FOB's I went to recently had a platoon of Romanian Soldiers. Their PL happened to be Armenian too. I keep running into Armenians over here. There was a KBR guy at another FOB from the Republic of Georgia. He stopped me when he saw my name tape. He was also Armenian.
Back to the Basics -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
...At Riley, pay attention to soldier skills. The rest is fairly useless. Reality is here and as long as you have common sense, the ability to use your weapon and a decent capacity to adapt to environments, you'll be fine. That is unless you are at a flag pole. Then all you need to know is.....Is your unit patch correct or are you wearing your reflective PT belt in the day time. Another is the wearing a helmet in the Humvee while driving a max of 10mph on KAF. You get my drift. We call them FOBbits. They still get to worry about nothing while the rest of us go outside the wire and do the job that needs to be done.
San Diego Wildfires: How You Can Help -- [DiscoveredSD]
"We have more houses burning than we have people and engine companies to fight them," San Diego Fire Capt. Lisa Blake said. "A lot of people are going to lose their homes today."
The conclusion: San Diego needs your help – and here’s how you can provide it.
The fires this time -- [Neptunus Lex]
Neighbors are packing up.
...This sorta sux.
Update: Ashes and dust everywhere, the sky is pewter colored and the wind is howling. The girls ask if we’re evacuating - I tell them the mandatory evacuation area is across the 56. They look out the back window and point to the highway. Friends call in by cell phone to say they are evacuating.
As Anger Grows, Thousands of Turks Demonstrate To Condemn Terrorism -- [MEMRI Blog]
Grieving and angry, Turks poured out to the streets all over Turkey to condemn PKK terrorism that claimed about 50 lives in less than a month - mounting the pressure on the government to fight back.
Deadly Turkey-Iraq border clashes
To raise them up. Part 3: Investing in people -- [LWJ]
B.A. Patty was recently embedded with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In part three of the series, Patty discusses the role investments – in the NCO corps of the AFP, in the local economy – play in counterinsurgency.
A Larger Threat Than Nukes -- [Strategy Page]
October 22, 2007: Many of Iran's neighbors are not as worried about Iranian nukes as they are concerned about a more aggressive Iran attempting to seize bits of disputed terrain throughout the region (as it has already been doing with small islands in the Persian Gulf), and asserting its traditional role as the regional superpower. Iran already has weapons of mass destruction (chemical weapons developed during the 1980s war with Iraq), but has never put them in play. Iran has never let terrorist groups have any of their chemical weapons, nor has it openly threatened to use this stuff against its neighbors.
The Losers Lament -- [Strategy Page]
The September 6 Israeli air raid in Syria has been a major setback for Russian arms sales. The Syrians had invested heavily in new Russian air defense systems, and the Israelis apparently brushed right by them. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russians have been trying to rehabilitate the reputation of their weapons. Throughout the Cold War, whenever Russian and Western (especially American) weapons met on the battlefield, the Russians lost.
Worried Bin Laden Urges Iraq Insurgents to 'Unite' -- [The Blotter]
Showing apparent signs of concern over events in Iraq, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden urged insurgents to "unite your lines into one" in an audiotape played on al Jazeera Monday.
"Don't be arrogant," bin Laden warned. "Your enemies are trying to break up the jihadi groups. It's critical that we work in one united group."
Remember the Name of This U.S. Enemy: Haqqani -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
It's a sure bet that you'll hear a lot this election season about Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden still being on the loose and thumbing his nose at America from his hideout in Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. But I think eventually you'll also hear about a couple of other evildoers, to use President Bush's term, who are responsible for killing hundreds of American troops in Afghanistan since 2001.
The Book Tour: Bookstore, the VA, and the Milkshake Man -- [Bouhammer Afghan Blog]
...I leaned over to ask David Stanford what the deal was with him, and he told me that the Milkshake Man had lost both legs in Vietnam. While working at the VA, he started going over to Walter Reed visiting the wounded troops. He takes them trays of McDonald’s milkshakes. He befriends them over several weeks and visits and jokes around and gets to know them. Once they get comfortable with him and open up to him, he then pulls up his pants and shows them that he is a double-amputee himself. He does this as an inspiration to them so they can see that despite their injuries, they can lead normal lives. After the signings were done, I pulled out my copy of The Long Road Home and asked the Milkshake Man to autograph the comic strip in the book that Garry wrote where he mentions The Milkshake Man. It was a true honor to meet someone who does what he does out of the true caring and compassion that he possesses for these wounded warriors.
Foot Patrol 4-4
OPERATION: LOVE FROM HOME 2007 -- [Yikes]
OK, here we go again..... time to collect cards for our Heroes overseas!! Last year, thanks to all of you working together, over 20,000 (yes, that's TWENTY THOUSAND) Christmas/holiday cards were shipped to our troops in harm's way. Let's do it again this year! I know we can!!! Our heroes need us now more than ever -- let's show them our love & appreciation!
Lakeway Patriot Committee Supports Our Troops -- [Miss LadyBug]
I was watching the Red Sox beat the crap out of the Indians (unfortunately...) tonight in Game 6 of the ALCS. When the game was over, I didn't get around to changing the channel. The local news came on after all the post-game hoo-ha. A story about the Lakeway Patriot Committee and their Patriot Fest held this weekend caught my attention
FOOTPATROL CHAPTER NINE
Soldiers' pictures banished from hometown post office -- [WND]
Spokesman: 'It's not a place to post things or make displays'
Members of the U.S. military have been vilified for their service and have faced criminal charges for battlefield decisions and congressional accusations of rampant "hate crimes." Now a California post office also has banned photographs of local soldiers who are defending their country.
On the brotherhood of war -- [Soldiers' Angel Germany]
" ...and I was really glad about that. Because I always thought if something happened to us, I wanted to be the one who was hurt the worst."
- A Soldier at Landstuhl recounting how he had switched positions with another Soldier just moments before their vehicle was hit. Because of that he was, in fact, the only occupant to sustain serious injury.
What Happened at Haditha -- [Opinion Journal]
The massacre that wasn't, and its political exploitation.
Here is what we know. On November 17, 2005, Kilo Company of the First Marine Regiment's Third Battalion was returning from a routine logistics mission in Haditha, a town 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. Haditha is in Anbar province, a heart of the Sunni insurgency with one of the highest U.S. casualty rates in Iraq. The security situation at the time was treacherous.
Charting a New Course – Marines – Navy – Coast Guard in the 21st Century -- [ON Point - Andrew Lubin]
70 % of the world is covered by water • 80% of the world lives at or near a coastline• 90% of the world’s commerce travels by ship Any maritime disruption to global security or commerce has an immediate and usually negative impact on the United States, and this week our sea services presented a unified and thoughtful strategy that is designed to protect our vital interests in today’s globalized and interconnected world. “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower” was...
The best thing about Iraq -- [Desert Flier - home from Iraq]
In all honesty, when I really have to pin it down, the hardest thing about coming back are the questions. Not a lot of questions. A lot of the same questions.
"So, how was Iraq?" Can I answer this one in two sentences or less?
"Well, should we be there?" Dunno, ask Rumsfeld.
"When are you due to go back?" I just left, people. Do I really have to ponder when I have to go back? Dunno, ask Cheney.
Every time, without fail, I know I'm giving this pained look as I attempt to answer yet another thoroughly complex question that I know will take hours to actually answer. How do I streamline the responses into a politician's soundbite? Dunno. . .
So I've resorted to this: "I can tell you the best thing about Iraq." ...
Making Choices -- [From My Position... On the way! ]
If your future success depended on selecting a corporation to manage your affairs and best interests, would you choose a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:
29 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
If you said “Hell no!” than I suggest you get your voter registration card in. That corporation is reflective of the 535 members of the United States Congress.
Anti-War Veteran Quits Anti-War Organization -- [Weekly Standard]
Frustrated by the lack of progress toward surrender in Iraq, veteran John Bruhns has quit the anti-war group AAEI
...'An early sign of trouble?' You mean, like the departure of Rumsfeld was an early sign of trouble for the Bush administration--or the way Saddam's capture in a hole was an early sign of trouble for his brutal regime? It would be premature to say that the anti-war campaign has run its course; it clearly has not. But unless Iraq gets dramatically worse, it's all over but the shouting. Even in Berkeley, antiwar activist now find themselves outnumbered--what does that mean for the antiwar movement?
Plausibly Deniable Cat Herders -- [Cannoneer4]
...Pretty much everybody who is reading this knows that Morale Operations are being conducted in cyber space. Judging from the commenters, I reckon most acknowledge the political and ideological impediments to victory in the Iraq Campaign and the wider struggles of which it is but a subset. It gives me no pleasure to contemplate the bitter fact that millions of my countrymen want us to lose. I really do not want a politicized military, but, the military knows who wishes them well and who wishes them ill.
Disrespecting America (photo) -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
This is just despicable. Anyone see something wrong with this picture? Hint: he is the one who thinks his heart is in his crotch.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
The Shia Awakening -- [Michael J. Totten]
After returning to the U.S. from my summer trip to Baghdad and Ramadi, I wrote a piece for the New York Daily News that warned against bingeing on optimism in the wake of the surge. I wrote this despite the dramatic turnaround in Iraq’s Anbar Province. The abject defeat of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al Qaeda in Iraq in and around Anbar’s capital of Ramadi is stunning, but local. The fight still rages on elsewhere, and in each place it is different. In early 2007, Ramadi was the most violent city in all of Iraq. It was also, counterintuitively, the easiest city to win.
Al Qaeda had seized it and declared it the capital of their so-called “Islamic State in Iraq.” Local tribal leaders and civilians initially welcomed al Qaeda as liberators against the hated American occupiers, but later rejected them after al Qaeda behaved like…al Qaeda, and launched a horrific murder and intimidation campaign against everyone who opposed them. “It was basically a hostile fascist takeover of the city,” Army Captain Jay McGee told me.
Locals Target Insurgent Assassins, keeping the towns safer
Fallujah: Security payoff in former insurgent stronghold -- [Chicago Tribune]
The Marines' presence is shrinking as the former insurgent bastion transforms
FALLUJAH, Iraq - The last car bomb in Fallujah exploded in May.
..."It stopped," said Lt. Col. William Mullen, commander of a shrinking force of U.S. Marines in the city who have watched the insurgency melt into the encircling countryside. "The 'significant events' in the city stopped. I think a lot of [the insurgents] left."
The Americans are not far behind: After surrounding the city with walls and improving security on its streets, the Marines are pulling back from the one-time insurgent bastion of Fallujah. They are redeploying to surrounding areas as the U.S. troop "surge" allows them to consolidate progress made largely by tribal leaders and local officials in security and civil works.
Reconciliation key to defeating al Qaeda in Iraq -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — The United States has dealt al Qaeda many significant blows in Iraq and elsewhere, President Bush said here Wednesday. Military gains against al Qaeda are encouraging, but the situation cannot be won militarily, and that is why the U.S. continues to work with the Iraqi government on reconciliation and political development, Bush said at a White House news conference.
“We’re making progress, but I fully understand those that say we can’t win this thing militarily,” Bush said. “That’s exactly what the United States military says. That’s why it’s very important that we continue to work with the Iraqis on economic progress as well as political progress.”
No One Knows For Sure -- [Strategy Page]
October 17, 2007: The 2004 alliance between Sunni Arab nationalist groups and al Qaeda, is officially dead. All but one of the major Sunni Arab terror groups have publicly denounced al Qaeda, specifically mentioning the widespread use of terrorist attacks against civilians. Al Qaeda is definitely hurting, with their terror attacks down by more than half, and more al Qaeda leaders and technicians being killed or captured each week. Al Qaeda in Iraq is not destroyed, but it has been marginalized. Now the battle turns to the militias. The most dangerous ones are the Sunni Arab groups that want Sunni Arabs to be running the country again. While many of these outfits are rethinking their strategy, in the face of superior firepower wielded by the Americans and the Shia led government, some are willing to fight on.
Returning Home -- [A Battlefield Tourist - in Iraq]
While on a visit to the local Iraqi Patrol Base just inside Mahmudiyah, the Americans were given some information concerning the return of Sunni refugees that had fled sectarian violence earlier in the year.The reports indicated that at least six families had decided to return home to a small Sunni enclave on the city’s northern side. By September 2007 most Sunnis had been chased from the predominately Shia city, part of “South Baghdad”, which lies just 18 miles south of Baghdad itself. Above is an Iraqi boy who has just returned to a destroyed home. His family’s burned out van is in the background.
Building Relationships in Ninewa -- [manrymission.com - in Iraq]
In the comments for a post, Janice asks “What is it like when you go to a job site with your security?” To answer her question, I’d like to describe USACE’s approach to construction management in Iraq. As I’ve mentioned previously, I never leave the wire without my personal security detachment (PSD). I have two types of teams that work for me. The team that takes me to site visits is a security escort team (SET). As the name suggests, the SET’s mission is to escort USACE personnel on missions outside the wire.
Freedom Journal Iraq
CAFTT Getting the Iraqi Air Force in the Air - Fox News Edition -- [Dude Where's the Beach - in Iraq]
Fox News did a little story on CAFTT training the Iraqi Air Force. It's actually not that great of a story, but it's sufficient in showing some video of the people working to 'Get 'em in the Air.'
When you hear Fox's bleak picture about students with no shoes and desks, ignore it. Those guys were all new recruits in basic training. They all come in like that.
What they didn't show you were the polished and well-trained graduates, or the new Lieutenants just commissioned, or the new flight students at Kirkuk.
Im sh'Allah -- [Northern Disclosure - in Iraq]
There are plenty of political opinions of Iraqi Forces and of the state of security within the borders of Iraq. Being a participant and not a sideline player or arm chair general I sometimes develop my own opinions. I have spent the equivilant of half a tour (6 months) training the Iraqi's the last time I was here so I have seen what they get taught being instrumental in the delelopment of that training. This experience has me always paying attention to their actions so I can see the advancement or regression from what I know.
Iraqi Special Operations Forces, USSF detain extremist brigade commander -- [MNF-I]
BALAD, Iraq – Iraqi Special Operations Forces, with U.S. Special Forces as advisers, detained an extremist brigade commander in an early morning raid Oct. 16 in the al Hurriyah area.
The targeted commander is allegedly the main financier and weapons supplier in the al Shula area, near Baghdad. His 300-member cell is responsible for improvised explosive device attacks against Coalition Forces and the Iraqi Army.
Chopper crew in Action
Back From Another Base -- [From an Anthropological Perspective - in Iraq]
I am not ashamed to say I am honored to have been mentored in the weight room, at the range, and in the field here in Iraq by highly professional soldiers. Cutting my hair and taking their instruction seriously by trying my best to shoot well was my way of giving them respect in return. These are rituals of social acceptance and make possible good ethnography. The next blog entry to get latched onto by detractors will probably be an upcoming post regarding the honor of bestowing on me further unit acceptance and recognition for living with them in a combat environment: awarding me the 1st Infantry Division Combat Patch and Coin. As my commander told me on Saturday after I briefed him and the staff on my team's progress: "Duty First! Continue Mission!"
The BC dismissed everyone who was not a Soldier in the Battalion and had the doors closed. I know I won't do it justice, but here are the things he said that stuck with me:
We have a real mission, a good mission, a mission we will all be proud of. Do your jobs and take care of each other. If you are thinking about doing something and you're not sure if it is right, then you are probably wrong and don't do it. ... Most of all do not bring shame on this unit. Do not bring shame on these men serving with you. Do not bring shame on yourself.
For you leaders - while Serving is an Honor, Leading ... is ... a Privilege -- [Sgt Grumpy - heading to Iraq]
Leaders, your job is to take care of your men, that means they ... come ... first - they eat first, they sleep first, and their safety comes first.
Pak Military Offers AQ Safe Passage to Afghanistan? -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
Syed Saleem Shahzad is reporting that a "top Pakistani security official" has told him on condition of anonymity that the Pakistani military will soon begin commencing operations "to pacify Waziristan once and for all." Serious questions remain about the Pakistani military's ability to do so where, unlike Iraq, al-Qaeda enjoys broad popular support throughout much of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Pak-Afghan border, including North and South Waziristan.
From Iran to Taliban
The Bravery of our Navy Seals -- [Flopping Aces]
NBC has put together a great video of the heroism displayed by the Navy Seals in Afghanistan and whose bravery will be rewarded Monday by President Bush when he gives the Medal of Honor to Lt. Michael P. Murphy.
Coalition of American Muslims Set to Protest Saudi Support for Terror -- [Weekly Standard]
Next Monday, Al-Baqee--a new coalition of American Muslims--will take an initiative that other citizens and leaders of our country should have begun immediately after 9/11: The group has called a protest against Saudi Arabia's support--by preaching, money and recruitment--of terrorism.
The demonstration is set for 1 p.m. outside the Royal Saudi Embassy in Washington.
To raise them up. Part 2: The role of the Philippines in the Long War -- [LWJ - Grim - in Iraq]
What must first be understood is that the situation in the Philippines is different from either Iraq or Afghanistan. In many ways, JSOTF-P is in an enviable position: It has a stable partner in the Filipino government and works with security forces that are both reliable and structurally similar to US forces. The general orders of Naval Forces, Western Mindanao Command are precisely the same as those of the US Navy. In the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Marines and Navy Special Operations Group, the units are readily understood by US Marines and Navy Special Warfare. The Filipino noncommissioned officer corps is strong, as is the case in Western military forces. Their military academy is very much like West Point.
FISA Fight: Democrats Scramble To Figure Out How To Oppose Amendment Giving Wiretappers Right To Surveil Osama bin Ladin and Other Terrorists Whenver They Like -- [Ace of Spades]
They're in danger of losing many of those freshmen "moderates" who won in swing districts and have to pretend they give a shit about national security.
The Majority’s bill says that if a foreign target operating overseas – like Osama Bin Laden – has either had contact with a U. S. person or called a U.S. number, our intelligence officials would be required to obtain a FISA court order to listen into their communications. This is unacceptable, and it jeopardizes the safety and security of the American people. Boehner issued the following statement
Terrorists in training head to Pakistan -- [Daily Times]
LAHORE: An increasing number of militants from Europe are travelling to Pakistan to train and plot attacks on the West, European and US anti-terrorism officials say, according to a report in the LA Times.
Playing with Fire: South Africa's Dangerous Terrorist Liaisons
...Despite these signs of progress in counterterrorism, it needs to be borne in mind today's South Africa is a democracy and thus policy direction comes not from the security professionals, but the political echelons of the ANC among whom the "anti-Western" and "revolutionary" rhetoric of the bin Ladens and Ahmadinejads of the world still resonates. In fact, Mr. Gilder's restrained remarks elicited a strong negative reaction in the South African political and media circles. The Star newspaper, for example, ran a prominent commentary by a leading Muslim cleric, Moulana E.I. Bham, who, representing Johannesburg's council of Muslim theologians, the Jamiatul Ulama, decried the fact that "the global anti-terror industry, chaired by the U.S.A., has led to many unfortunate assumptions made by governments and the public alike." Moulana Bham trump argument was that "history has shown that today's illegitimate organization and suspected terrorist (the example of the ANC and Mr. Mandela would suffice) may just become tomorrow's hero."
While one should be careful not to over exaggerate the imminence of the threat, the overall risk is very real. Between the ideologically-motivated ignorance of the country's rulers to the dangers posed by transnational Islamist terrorism as well as the attractiveness of South Africa's highly-developed infrastructure to terrorist networks seeking a base for and/or a theater of operations, terrorists understandably find in South Africa an enabling environment at the very least.
The SpouseBUZZ Smooch: Smooching Military-Friendly Businesses -- [SpouseBUZZ - Andi]
Military spouses are incredibly loyal to individuals and businesses which are military-friendly. And let's face it, more often than not, we're the ones making the purchasing decisions for the household. We're usually the Chief Financial Officer.
Yesterday, someone forwarded an email to me. A credit union has asked their members to do something wonderful for deployed service members.
The Worthiest of Causes -- [Blackfive]
One mighty Blackfive pal and Someone You Should definitely Know is Big John in Washington, DC. Big John has done more for our wounded vets than I have and is the one responsible for many initiatives including taking our wounded vets out on Friday nights to experience life away from the hospital.
Code Pink Radicals & Pro-Military Supporters Collide in Berkeley -- [Gateway Pundit]
Protests in Berkeley... Pro-Military supporters rallied today for the US Marines...
So did Code Pink.
Anti-war protestor Giovanni Jackson, center, is pulled away from a confrontation with war supporters by Sgt.Randolph Files of the Berkeley Police Department in front of a Marine recruitment center in Berkeley, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. The Marine office near the University of California opened some months ago but was only recently discovered by the anti-war group Code Pink. They have been holding regular protest rallies there, which led to the counter-protest.
Welcome Home!!! -- [Eighty Deuce On The Loose - home from Iraq]
WOW! Let me start off by saying how awesome it is being home. I can't believe how much I missed "normal" life and all that comes with it. I have to admit that it is still a little weird being back. I look at myself in civilian clothes and it feels like I'm dressing up for Halloween or something. Getting used to traffic, and just being in civilized world is definatly an experience.
President Bush & Commission Urge Congress To Improve Military Healthcare -- [A Soldier's Mind]
PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Medical Issues, In The News, Military
At a White House news conference yesterday, President Bush along with the leaders of the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors, urged congress to pass legislation that will make the recommendations made by the commission a reality. The commission’s co-chairs, former Kansas Senator Bob Dole and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala are scheduled to testify before Congress on the matter.
General (ret) Peter Pace at the Wall -- [BlackFive]
...So, Peter Pace steps down as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, heads to the Wall, and leaves his stars - the representation of his successful career - because his men are responsible for that career. And some of those men are on the Wall....
Rest in Peace TommyM1080. -- [Soldier's Mom]
I was overcome tonight. I learned a friend of mine was killed in Iraq yesterday. I had never gotten to meet Tom Martin, but through blogging he and I struck up an email friendship. We have traded emails throughout his long deployment.
See, Tommy had a blog: Green to Grey to Gold. He was enlisted and did a tour in the Sandbox (that's the green), got accepted to The Point (that's the grey). TommyM1080 thrived and did well and graduated an officer (that's the Gold). After graduation he learned to race drive tanks. Then he went to Ranger school. Got his unit. He was DAMNED proud of his men. One of my posts a few months back was from one of his emails to me.
Although he didn't blog this deployment, he sent many emails to a very large group of friends detailing the work and success they worked hard for in Iraq and he was looking forward to redeploying soon.
"Fire Power Forward" RIP - [Firepower Forward]
Lt. Col. Brian N. Delaplane passed away suddenly Oct. 9, 2007, in New York, following a pulmonary embolism. He was a logistical officer in the United States Army, currently serving as the professor of military science at Saint Johns University in Queens, N.Y.
Schweinfurt holds memorial for Sky Soldier PFC Christopher F. Pfeifer -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
SCHWEINFURT, Germany — He was a proud paratrooper, a proud husband, a proud father-to-be. On Tuesday, the military community assembled at Ledward Barracks chapel to pay their respects.
After fighting for almost six weeks, Pfc. Christopher Franklin Pfeifer, 21, died Sept. 25 at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. His daughter, Peyton, was born the next day.
Press Conference by the President -- [The White House]
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. We're now more than halfway through October, and the new leaders in Congress have had more than nine months to get things done for the American people. Unfortunately, they haven't managed to pass many important bills.
Now the clock is winding down and in some key areas Congress is just getting started.
Can't Make These Up: Old Media Searching Desperately for Bad News from Iraq -- [NewsBusters]
The search for bad news relating to Iraq must be getting awfully difficult.
First example -- From the "Looking for, and Not Finding, a Dark Cloud on a Sunny Day" Department (HT Confederate Yankee, who says "you can almost feel their pain"):
Now we can talk even more about Think Pink and Pinching -- [MilBlogs - Greyhawk - in Iraq]
This might win the award for media quote of the decade:
...it came from a WaPo piece (co-authored by Tom "Fiasco" Ricks) quoting various unnamed officials on whether or not al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated. That should generate interesting political arguments among those who claim (wrongly) it was never a threat to begin with, and who likewise claim that anyone who says otherwise is trying to validate our presence in Iraq. Exactly where should any member of either group stand on this point of contention? No doubt many are eagerly awaiting their instructions...
Ricks also interviewed a guy who doesn't want his name used but who uses other peoples names a lot:
Fragging is Rare in Iraq and Afghanistan -- [CounterColumn]
So the Associated Press breathlessly reports.
American troops killed their own commanders so often during the Vietnam War that the crime earned its own name - "fragging."
...Of course, the dorks in the drive-by media don't have the institutional history knowledge to figure this out.
The problems in the military in the late 60s and early 70s -- which included not only fragging, but also rampant drug use and racial tensions that made barracks into low-intensity conflict zones well into the Carter years -- can be laid squarely at the feet of liberal stupidity, in the guise of the "Great Society."
Exchange of the Day -- [Media Blog]
Here's the entire exchange from the President's press conference today where he warns of World War III if Iran were to get the bomb. I'll post the transcript tomorrow, but Chris Matthews seemed particularly focused on World War III meaning we're going to war with the Russians. When you read the entire exchange, it's impossible to believe that's what the President meant.
NYT: Surprisingly, Voters Associate Iraq with War on Terror -- [Weekly Standard]
The New York Times's Janet Elder writes a column 'on polling,' and reveals a surprising finding: Americans seem to regard the Iraq war as a part of the war on terror:
The language used to talk about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the language used to take the nation to war in Iraq have been so interlaced that polls show they are inextricably linked in the minds of a substantial number of voters.
Other things may be at play, too, but for some voters, terrorists, terrorism, the war in Iraq, 9/11, Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda are all part of the same multi-headed hydra.
Elder chooses an interesting phrase to begin her piece 'The language used to talk about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks...' She makes it sound as if the listener is an unwitting victim of imprecise language, rather than someone who has listened to arguments on both sides and decided which one is correct--she offers no evidence either way.
Bush, Putin Agree: Iran Seeks Peace with Nukes -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-10-16) — President George Bush today agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology is “ultimately aimed at a lasting peace.”
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Breaking News Exclusive: IRAQI NATIONAL POLICE THWART AL QAEDA SUICIDE CAR BOMB ATTACK IN SAMARRA -- [Jeff Emanuel]
This weekend, for the first time in four attempts this year, Iraqi National Police in Samarra were able to avoid being hit with a devastating suicide car bomb (or 'SVBIED,' for Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device). Terrorists from the Islamic State of Iraq (or 'ISI' – also known as 'AQI,' or 'al Qaeda in Iraq'), attempting to drive a VBIED up to an NP outpost in the southwestern part of the city and detonate it, encountered a surprising amount of resistance from the National Police there. The NPs succeeded in destroying the rolling bomb before it was able to reach their position.
In Iraq, Veteran Marine Gunner Sees A War To Be Won -- [Pat Dollard]
HABBINIYAH, IRAQ - Marine Gunner Terry Walker says the Iraq war is still America’s war to win.
As pressure builds on the Bush administration to give the war its final push, Gunner Walker is a stalwart. This 51-year-old marine, on his third tour in Iraq, is the face of members of the US military who say the job can still be done, despite the odds.
Walker, a wiry intellectual with glasses and a chirpy exuberance, joined the Corps at age 17, straight from high school in Rittman, Ohio. Now, he directs training for the Iraqi security forces at a US base in Anbar Province, driven by a personal quest to help transform the Middle East. A serious guy, he says the US war in Iraq will have a “revolutionary” impact on the region.
US Airforce F-16 Bombs a truck full of Insurgents
Life with the Marines in Ramadi -- [Matt Sanchez - in Iraq
A vivid picture of how Iraq is being slowly transformed
...Ramadi was anything but a "cubicle," and on any given day there were plenty of different activities for a company commander to perform. At night, we walked the calm streets to talk to the Iraqi police officers manning checkpoints. It was the job of the police to be vigilant and make sure they knew who was coming in and out of neighborhoods. We passed by a small Houka bar, a place where Middle Eastern men will sit around smoking from a type of water pipe. In a country that doesn't allow for the public consumption of alcohol, Houka bars are the Muslim version of a pub, a place to relax at the end of the day.
There was music and even a few people dancing in circles, while the owner served the traditional tea for about 25 cents per glass. He insisted we did not pay and thanked the Marines for making the town more secure. The bar was right next to a police station, and that night there were several officers among the patrons.
Iranian involvement in Iraq: an old or a new case? -- [The Long War Journal]
Has the US military stepped up the case identifying Iranian involvement in Iraq over the past several weeks, or is the information released over the past few weeks just a continuation of the case being made against Iran?
...First, the frequency and tone of the press releases concerning Iranian involvement in Iraq has not changed considerably over the past several weeks. I follow both Multinational Forces Iraq press releases the media’s coverage of Iranian involvement closely. My impression is that the number of press releases concerning the targeting of the Special Groups and the identification of munitions of Iranian origin has actually decreased over the past several weeks. There have been days over the past year where three to four press releases identified raids on the Special Groups and identified Iranian-made weaponry. Press releases on these matters have slowed since around mid-September.
Iraqis Complain of Iranian Bias In Iraqi News -- [Gateway Pundit]
An interesting article at Kitabat, Iraq and translated at Watching America tells of a biased satellite news service in the democratic Iraq:
War against Al Qaeda
The War: according to people who actually are here -- [Email from Michael Yon - in Iraq]
Iraq is on the mend, al Qaeda is on the run, and the civil war has abated to a point where the term "civil war" no longer applies.
Accurate war coverage is increasingly important. Even prominent seemingly well-informed persons can get it wrong, such as retired Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez who previously commanded the war in Iraq. His recent public statements –selectively excerpted and then widely dispersed by the hot winds of media – made it clear that this former senior commander is far out of touch with the current situation.
But there are commanders with a finger on the pulse.
When earlier this year I wrote about the 1-4 CAV transforming an abandoned seminary in a Baghdad neighborhood that had been decimated by civil war, the "surge" had not even begun; but already pundits, politicians and editors had declared it a failure. Though I'd spent only a few days with LTC Crider and his 1-4 CAV soldiers at the new COP Amanche, I ended the dispatch on a note of hope based on observation. I recently received an email from LTC Crider with an update on that Baghdad neighborhood. Please read "Achievements of the Human Heart" and see for yourself.
Michael on “This Week at War” -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
Michael was interviewed from Basra, Iraq as part of a segment entitled “The British Troop Drawdown: Can the Iraqis control Basra?” Also featured in this segment was Nic Robertson, CNN Senior International Correspondent, reporting from Baghdad. The October 13th broadcast of CNN’s “This Week at War” aired on Saturday at 7pm Eastern and was re-broadcast on Sunday, October 14th at 1pm Eastern.
Granny in Iraq: Armed and Dangerous -- [Captain's Journal]
As I discussed in Iraq: al Qaeda’s Quagmire, Reorganizations and Defections Within the Insurgency in Iraq and Al Qaeda’s Miscalculation, al Qaeda and affiliated fighters and foreign terrorist elements are taking a pounding by U.S. forces in Iraq. These kinetic operations continued today from Ramadi to Tikrit to Tarmiyah.
Big: Old FISA Law Delayed Hunt For Kidnappers Of American Soldiers -- [Ace of Spades]
Last May, Iraqi terrorists kidnapped three American soldiers.
American intelligence officials searched for cyber-signals about the kidnapping... and actually found them. They found the kidnappers talking to each other on-line.
However, they had to stop listening because the signals were passing through an American-based server and under the law that meant there could be no eavesdropping without a warrant.
So they stopped listening in on foreign terrorists holding kidnapped American soldiers.
For ten hours, officials worked to get "emergency authorization" to resume eavesdropping.
This then required the personal okay of AG Gonzales, who couldn't be reached for two hours.
So a 12 hour gap after the kidnappers had been discovered.
Still Here -- [Dude, where's the beach?]
We're all just trying to get the Iraqi Air Force to stay up in the air, and it's easy to be optimistic about their future. They're doing a great job. We just need to be more 'hands off' with the process so they can begin taking it over. We're still working too hard for them, but we know it'll take time. We only really started building them up a year ago.
Mansuriyah -- [Patrick Lair: Serving In Iraq]
I recently accompanied Iraqi Police and Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division on a mission to clear buried explosives from a dirt road which led to the village of Mansuriyah.
...I was riding in a Stryker vehicle at the time, which, from inside its steel belly, provides no glimpse of daylight to its passengers. So it was quite a shock when the vehicle came to a halt and the rear ramp dropped to a scene of more than 1,000 men and boys, crowding in together in downtown Mansuriyah.
A handful of American Soldiers exited the vehicles, forming a small wedge, and began pushing through the crowds toward a scheduled meeting in a nearby school house. Hundreds of Iraqis pushed into us, trying to shake our hands, give us greeting kisses or simply say hello and get a look at the exotic American uniforms.
Mob Scene -- [The Unlikely Soldier - in Iraq]
I felt good about the mission. We're bringing FOOD to HUNGRY people? But it makes so much SENSE! Wow, so I'm NOT here for nothing? Who'da thunkit.
Before, I didn't have any idea that these people were so hungry. We just never heard about it, not at the low level I operate on.
..."Tell them all the same thing: We WANT to help them, we care a LOT, but the only way we can do this is if they wait in line."
"They say same thing, all of them. 'I am poor, I am hungry, I have nothing, my brother or my father or my husband, he killed before one year...'"
I shook my head, what else could we do? "I know man. You're doing just fine. Just keep telling them to get in line."
And then the food ran out.
The Dangerous Denial of Jihad's Threat -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
On October 12, Taliban leader Mullah Omar declared that it had reached a "success point" in its "jehad" (sic) against the Karzai government, and called upon other Jihadist organizations to finish the job in the Taliban's attacks on US and NATO forces, and to overtake the Afghan government. UK predictably responded today by standing behind Karzai's efforts to negotiate with the Taliban who seek to overtake the Karzai government, with the belief that it can "split" the Taliban, disregarding the Taliban's Islamist constitution and shared Islamist beliefs of the Taliban ideology, as the UK/UN/NATO/US State Department goal's remain focused on "stabilization" of Afghanistan.
Freedom Watch Afghanistan
The Boss... -- [Richard's Deployment - in Afghanistan]
I am 1SG Child, COL Phillips right hand man who makes things happen and takes care of the day to day business of running the hospital. I refer to COL Phillips as the Boss since he is my direct supervisor. The Boss is the father of the group while I (his 1SG) take on the role of the mother of the group taking care of Soldiers and Airmen's needs. It is a full time job and I am happy to be here in Afghanistan doing my trained job
New bridge in Teshkan connects Afghanistan -- [ISAF]
16 Oct - A new, 25 meter long metal bridge opened recently in Teshkan district after two months of construction. The new bridge is a vital part of Highway 302, the only major road connecting Badakhshan with the rest of Afghanistan.
Debate: Can Sanctions Be Effective in Halting Iran's Nuclear Program? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
This week I am participating in a week-long online debate for the Council on Foreign Relations on the question "Can Sanctions Be Effective in Halting Iran's Nuclear Program?" I will post my three contributions as they go live, and encourage readers to read the full debate online.
8 year old Bin Laden video posted, advertised in banners on jihadist forums this afternoon -- [Laura Mansfeild]
Video footage of Osama Bin Laden delivering a message in Arabic, with Urdu subtitles, has been posted to the jihadist forums this afternoon.
The banners advertising the video claims that this is footage released for the "first time" and shows Bin Laden delivering an Eid Khutbah in the Islamic year 1420 AH. (Currently we are in the Islamic year 1428.)
Bin Laden's appearance in the video is consistent with his appearance in other footage from that timeframe.
It is NOT current footage of Bin Laden and is NOT new footage. It is unclear why this is labeled by As Sahab as the first time it was released - it may simply be the first time this was released in Urdu. A very short clip from this same video was released in the Winds of Paradise Part 1 video during the summer.
Oct 16 SD# 1741 - Jihadist/Islamist Websites and Their Hosts (List III): Websites Supporting Jihad in Iraq – Hosted in the West -- [MEMRI]
On August 10, 2007, MEMRI posted a list of Islamist websites, forums, and blogs which support warfare against Coalition forces in Iraq and promote jihadist incitement and propaganda.  This report presents additional websites which promote a similar anti-Coalition agenda, and a list of websites from the previous list that are still hosted by ISPs in the West.
Websites and Forums Associated With Terrorist Organizations:
Haunting -- [Neptunus Lex]
Reading up on the heroism of LT Michael Murphy brought me across this photo, taken of his team members. Before.
...The men walked on. In time, each of them probably thought that he’d look back on that photograph as a greatly older man with fondness and regret. A captured instant, an image of lost youth, the time when they were part of something important. Something bigger than themselves.
None of them went there thinking that they would die. All of them went there knowing that they might.
I don’t know what day it was when that picture was taken, that moment frozen in time, the instant before they trudged away, hard work to be done in a hard place.
Rush Limbaugh Auctions Letter From Harry Reid -- [Gateway Pundit]
Slandered by Media Matters- A dime a dozen.
Condemned by Democrats in Congress- Silly and repugnant.
Auctioning off letter from Majority Leader Harry Reid on eBay- Priceless!
Rush Limbaugh discovers a creative way to raise money for the troops:
">Controversial New Film Paints American soldiers As Villains
A controversial new film by Director,Brian De Palma shows American soldiers raping and murdering a young Iraqi girl.
De Palma says it is based on actual events.
A Duty To The Wounded Our Newest Veterans Need Help Now -- [Washington Post - Bob Dole]
It is time to decide – do we reform the current military and veterans' disability evaluation and compensation systems or limp along, placing Band-Aids over existing flaws?
It has been more than 2 1/2 months since our commission presented its six pragmatic recommendations to improve the system of care for our injured service members and their families. Our recommendations are eminently doable and designed for immediate implementation. While progress has been made, more work remains. And the clock is ticking.
The vast majority of the steps needed to implement our recommendations must be taken by the administration. Since unveiling our report, we have met frequently with officials from the White House and the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. We are pleased that they are moving forward with several critical changes, including the development of recovery plans and assigning coordinators to oversee the care of our most seriously injured troops.
Arlington National Cemetery Expands -- [Captain's Journal]
Things matter to military families that are unique to military families. One such thing is Arlington National Cemetery, and I had started looking into the requirements for burial there several months ago at the behest of someone else (seven months ago, to be precise; Marine deployments are for seven months). Arlington is filling up, and is an extremely busy place.
Briefed -- [Jack Army - home from Iraq]
Ya gotta love briefings on Saturday... can't complain, had a few days off after getting back and then half-days after that... home before noon despite sitting through a few enthralling briefings on suicide prevention, reunion, substance abuse, and such.
It's good to be home.
Vote on Armenian Genocide Suggests Intent to Undercut Iraq Mission -- [Weekly Standard]
Jed Babbin and McQ of QandO tackle Speaker Pelosi's decision to schedule a vote on HRes 106, a resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Babbin notes the obvious--Democrats who have been unable to end the Iraq war directly, now seem to have found a way to cripple the military effort indirectly:
Hillary to Surrender In Iraq Immediately Upon Taking Office? - Updated -- [Jawa Report]
Take this with a large grain of salt. It comes from the lunatic fringe leftist blog Firedoglake:
...Did Hillary get caught pandering, expecting no one to record her remarks? We have Firedoglake correspondent "looseheadpoop"'s word on it.
It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over -- [NRO - Peter Wehner]
Don’t call the enemy a victor. We’re still fighting.
In his New Republic article “Way of Error: How Osama bin Laden Beat George W. Bush,” Peter Bergen writes this:
America’s most formidable foe—once practically dead— is back. This is one of the most historically significant legacies of President Bush. At nearly every turn, he has made the wrong strategic choices in battling al Qaeda. To understand the terror network’s resurgence—and its continued ability to harm us—we need to reexamine all the ways in which the administration has failed to crush it.
It’s interesting to juxtapose this emphatic claim with what we read in yesterday’s Washington Post:
12 Captains -- [Jules Crtittenden]
With an alarmingly poor grasp of political and military realities in Iraq and the United States weigh in with the following at the Washington Post:
This Week at War: Vindicating Generals, Ignoring Heroes [The Tank - Pete Hegseth]
This weekend I was both heartened, and then sickened, by mainstream coverage of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the Washington Post was honest enough to report the facts about Iraq, vindicating General Petraeus in the process; the New York Times managed to completely ignore a fallen hero in its own backyard.
Wisc. Paper: U.S. Army Ads in High School ‘Extremely Inappropriate’ -- [NewsBusters]
In another swipe at the US Military, the Daily Isthmus, a paper from Madison, Wisconsin, published a short piece called, “Army Aims at Schoolkids,” in which the paper quotes an anti-military activist as saying that the ad banners for the U.S. Army posted in Madison’s High Schools is “extremely inappropriate.”
CBS's Logan on Iraq: 'We're Doing Extremely Badly,' Don't See Dead Soldiers -- [NewsBusters]
Asked by Jay Leno on Monday's Tonight Show “how are we doing” in Iraq?, CBS News chief foreign correspondent Lara Logan asserted that “we're doing extremely badly” and proceeded to fret, that since images of dead American soldiers are “hidden,” the public does not realize the situation is “much worse than the picture, the image we even have of Iraq.”
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Iraqi Liberal Khudayr Taher: My Journey from Darkness to Light; America Is the Prophet of Liberty -- [MEMRI]
"Regrettably, I cannot pin down the first spark that ignited [my] radical ideological transformation towards rationalism, enlightenment, and orienting [myself] uniquely to Allah in feelings of love and obedience. Accretions of criticism pile up in the mind and the spirit over time… without your noticing them…
..."The foolish and the criminal never manage to see the sunlight and the hidden good that shines out… One needs a clear conscience and a mind free of criminal mob slogans before one can see America's good, shining face…
"Any noble Arab Muslim should be ashamed and should apologize to the American people for this crime [i.e. 9/11]. America deserves great love and recognition for its goodness and grace towards humanity."(4)
Sunnis, Shias put differences aside for peace -- [MNF-I]
KALSU, Iraq – The government of Musayyib hosted a celebration of security and economic growth at the city’s police station Oct. 8. In a move to help reduce sectarian violence in North Babil, leaders from the predominately Shia city of Musayyib came together with sheiks and representatives of the largely Sunni region of Jurf As Sukhr to share their optimism for the growth and development of the entire area.
With Sunni extremists influence such from the north and west, and rogue Shia militias from the south, the region surrounding Musayyib and Jurf has been a sectarian fault line for years. With the security celebration in Musayyib, the sectarian tensions are beginning to show real progress.
The chairman of the Musayyib Town Council, Thamir Thaban, and Sheik Fadel Yousif, a representative of the newly formed Jurf As Sukhr government, gave speeches praising the drop in violence and pledged to continue their work together to bring a lasting peace to the region.
The “Concerned Citizens”- The Locals Join Up -- [ON Point - Andrew Lubin ]
It may have taken four years, but the Iraqi people are finally taking the lead in the reconstruction of their own country. The combination of the extra American troops brought in through The Surge strategy, accompanied by the Iraqi revulsion to the brutality of Al-qada-Iraq and others is producing a resurgence of Iraqi local pride that may provide the tipping point in the war. OnPoint examines an area in the Diyala River Valley (north of Baghdad), a suburb in Baghdad, and talked...
IED Emplacers Strike
IED emplacers foiled by coalition forces
Iraq: Al Qaeda’s Quagmire -- [Captain's Journal]
After the turning of the tribes in Ramadi and the military defeat of the insurgents in Fallujah, coalition attention could be fully turned on al Qaeda with actionable intelligence. The tempo of intelligence-driven operations is steady and effective.
...Finally, al Qaeda in Iraq has lost a significant foreign fighter facilitator in Syria. Unknown gunmen murdered Muhammad Gul Aghasi - one of the key “theologians” of al Qaeda - at a mosque in northern Syria last month. Candidates for the fiery preacher’s killing include rivals within his own radical group, agents of the Americans - and his Syrian hosts. Whatever the truth, this is bad news for the already ailing al Qaeda.
Marine general: Freed Iraqis not rejoining insurgency -- [CNN]
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- None of the 1,000-plus Iraqi detainees freed in recent weeks have broken a pledge not to return to the insurgency, according to the Marine general who oversees the U.S. detention centers in Iraq.
Speaking in Arabic, Maj. Gen. Doug Stone on Wednesday reassured Iraqis about how the 25,000 detainees -- mostly Sunnis -- are treated after being taken into custody on suspicion of involvement in the insurgency.
Stone described the detention system as "open and transparent," saying it makes the detainees better citizens and helps break the cycle of violence and poverty in the country.
Local Iraqi leaders set recovery pace -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Security improvements in Fallujah are allowing Coalition forces and Iraqis to reinforce success, the city’s provincial reconstruction team leader said today.
A year ago, Fallujah was a battlefield between al Qaeda and Coalition forces. Today it is recovering, and local Iraqi leaders are setting the pace of that recovery, said Stephen G. Fakan, leader of the provincial reconstruction team in the Anbar province city.
“We have to find Iraqi solutions to Iraqi problems,” Fakan said during a conference call with defense reporters.
Iraq, Afghanistan offer new hope -- [The State]
At the end of September, I had the opportunity to visit with our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, which al-Qaida has identified as the central front in the global war on terrorism. I am grateful to report that, since my last visit at the beginning of June, there has been real success taking place on the ground.
When I visited Iraq back in June, I was briefed by Gen. David Petraeus on his new surge strategy, and we visited a joint security station in Baghdad. The station is a vital component of the new counter-insurgency strategy. While I have always respected Gen. Petraeus, I felt uncomfortable at the time that we were placing American and Iraqi troops in the explosive midst of an unstable city.
Marines to Remove Their Forces From Iraq -- [NY Times]
WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 — The Marine Corps is pressing to remove its forces from Iraq and to send marines instead to Afghanistan, to take over the leading role in combat there, according to senior military and Pentagon officials.
The idea by the Marine Corps commandant would effectively leave the Iraq war in the hands of the Army while giving the Marines a prominent new role in Afghanistan, under overall NATO command.
The suggestion was raised in a session last week convened by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and regional war-fighting commanders. While still under review, its supporters, including some in the Army, argue that a realignment could allow the Army and Marines each to operate more efficiently in sustaining troop levels for two wars that have put a strain on their forces.
Thursday, October 11, 2007 -- [Nancy in Iraq]
Well, we had another rocket attack last night here at Camp Victory (and Liberty). Smaller rockets than the one that killed the TCN Sept 11, but there were more of them...I was watching Roswell in my trailer when it happened. I heard a boom, felt the trailer shake, and heard several more, with the "incoming" alarm sounding in the distance.
Rain o'er me -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
...We are finally putting together a plan to transition this place over to Iraqi control. After 5 months and being the 3rd rotation through here, ya'd have thought that was done already. Nope. It's going to be tough to get alot of the tasks accomplished during our rotation, though. As rough as these Iraqi's have it because of the situation here and the constant danger their families are in, they sure have some sweet work arrangements. Get this - they get two weeks of vacation every month. That's right - they work 2 weeks, then take 2 weeks off.
Under Distant Stars -- [Michael Yon - in Iraq]
He was shot; four months ago—nearly to the day—in a stinging attack that caught the American soldiers driving Humvees through Mosul. But Command Sergeant Major James Pippin realized they were in a “nearside ambush,” and ordered his driver to assault directly into the RPG and machine gun fire. Riding the offensive momentum, the American soldiers dismounted their Humvees, moving into the attack, disorganizing the ambushers. Pippin shot one in the face. Then a bullet found him.
On Patrol in Ramadi -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
Join me and Army Captain Phil Messer on a walking tour of Ramadi, Iraq, in a 20 minute video shot during a dismounted foot patrol in early August, 2007.
The Story of a HET and Two Hercs - Part I Part II Part III
I arrived in Ar Ramadi, Iraq in the early morning hours of 2 October 2006 on a United States Marine Corps CH-53 Sea Stallion. My chariot out would be far less glamorous.
With the Relief in Place well underway and most of the Company in Falluja I had already said good bye to the Company. I left a few days before the Transfer of Authority because schedules had been changed and my new orders already called for me to be at my new assignment before then. I sought out Pathfinder 6 and thanked him for the job. We shook hands and bid adieu.
US Airforce UAV Airstrike on insurgents planting IED in Iraq
Why is the use of anthropology a contentious issue? -- [From an Anthropological Perspective - in Iraq]
The debate in a nutshell is as follows. The general objection to anthropologists working with the military is that research will be used to facilitate the capture, torture, and killing of Iraqis. The professional code of ethics we abide by states that we must not conduct research that will cause harm to research subjects or the subject population.
...My counter-argument is that anthropological research is used to better understand the population culturally, socially, and organizationally. This situational awareness leads to better decisions by soldiers on the street and in briefings such that there is a general reduction in kinetic operations due to knowing non-kinetic options. This is vital in countering an insurgency or civil war because US Forces may inadvertently support the wrong stakeholders or create negative second or third order effects that are mission defeating.
Security Contractors: A Necessary Evil -- [Defense Tech]
...Although it is not widely recognized, the protection of diplomats in dangerous places is a civilian function and has traditionally been carried out by civilian agents. With rare exceptions, military forces simply do not have the legal mandate or specialized training required to provide daily protection details for diplomats. It is not what soldiers do. A few in the U.S. military do posses s that specialized training, and they could be assigned to the work under the DSS, but with wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, they currently are needed for other duties.
Pushing for peace in North Waziristan -- [The Long War Journal]
As the fighting between the Taliban and the military in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal agency nears the end of the fifth day, the Pakistani military has halted attacks in the town of Mir Ali in order to allow civilians to bury the dead. Raids and airstrikes have been reported in the Mosaki, Hurmiz, Asokhel, and Hyder Khel. Multiple reports indicate the Pakistani government is seeking a negotiated end to the fighting.
Soldiers on Patrol in Kabul
Bad Manners and Tribal Politics -- [Strategy Page]
October 11, 2007: In Afghanistan, more foreign terrorists are showing up. One group of these was hit with a smart bomb recently, called in by police responding to a tip that "foreign fighters" were preparing an attack in the area (Paktia province). Of the 22 men in the group, sixteen were killed by the bomb, or gunfire before and after the explosion. The other six were wounded, and five of them got away in the dark. But one, a Uzbek, was captured, and confirmed that most of the group were Uzbeks or Chechens, the rest Pakistanis.
Iran Inaugurates New Air Base -- [Fars News Agency]
TEHRAN - Iran has inaugurated a new air base near its eastern border with Afghanistan to protect against a possible strike by enemy forces operating in the neighboring country.
High maintenance -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
In the military, few things are as critical as maintenance.
We are a mobile fighting force with some high-tech gadgetry and heavyweight machinery. Couple that with the dusty, dry climate and rocky, rough terrain of Afghanistan and you have the makings of a disaster.
We rely a lot on the maintenance guys to keep our up-armored Humvees rolling and our radios and computer equipment functioning. We often complain that the work is taking too long, but the reality is the maintenance men and women here in Ghazni and throughout Afghanistan are doing great work considering the demands placed on them.
Picture Time -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure - in Afghanistan]
Here are a few pictures of some of the recent happenings in The Valley.
The Valley has a lot of farms. They primarily grow wheat (already harvested,) corn (pictured,) potatoes, tomatoes, onions (they LOVE onions,) melons, and cotton.
On patrol with the ANP. This guy's carrying a 120mm Russian mortar round that we captured. We blew it up later. BIG boom. This round can be used to create a powerful IED
...The radio operator during an operational pause in The Valley. We didn't know it then, but he had about a month to live. He was killed by the IED that claimed four of our ANP in September, 2007. He was the guy who was always right there when I turned to talk to the ANP Commander. Good, hardworking kid. This is what an Afghan hero looks like.
Some Pics -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
Above.....home, for now. Right.....a doll that my daughter sent over to give away. Below......SGM Allman with Georgia, our monkey.
Iranian Weekly Says To Pressure U.S. By Abducting U.S. Citizens In Iran -- [MEMRI Blog]
The Iranian weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, which is the mouthpiece of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei circulated among Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), has written that in order to dissuade the U.S. from abducting Iranian representatives in Iraq, U.S. citizens in Iran should be abducted and foreign detainees should be used to pressure the U.S.
U.S. Congress Takes Steps to Protect & Inform Terrorism Victims -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
In recent months, one or both houses of the U.S. Congress have passed measures designed to protect the victims of terrorism and to punish countries for their involvement with terrorist groups. Last week, the Senate attached "The Justice for Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism Act" to the bill authorizing Defense Department programs. According to the office of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, one of the co-sponsors of the Victims of Terrorism Act, it would:
Jawa PWNS Wanted Terrorist's Website -- [Jawa Report]
The personal website of Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, better known as Mullah Krekar, the man who founded the terrorist organization Ansar al Islam, is down. Thanks to all who wrote the American ISP to complain. You can make a difference.
Giuliani 'doesn't deserve to live' -- [WorldNetDaily]
— Terrorists threaten presidential candidate, cite Rudy's war stance, Arafat treatment — Saying Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani "doesn't deserve to live," Palestinian terror leaders are threatening to harm the former New York mayor …
The Real Stars-
It is truly heartwarming to see a respected intellectual such as Ben Stein express sincere appreciation for brave men and women serving in the military and their families all of whom are making great sacrifices fighting the War on Jihadism.
Mom’s home… -- [Noble Duty] HT: A Soldiers PerspectiveJulie-Mom-has agreed to tell her story here so we can all come to understand what REALLY goes on in the lives of our Soldiers, and educate us beyond all the headlines and political football we have to contend with day in and day out.
They have lives, they have families, and they have good and bad days. We owe them a great deal more than we give them when you consider what they do for us…and what LITTLE they ask of us in return.
The Camp Stryker crowd rocking out with former Poison front man Bret Michaels. -- [Nancy in Iraq]
This is the second photo I took with Bret Michaels. The first one wasn't great, so he insisted on another. He was awesome. His handlers were trying to get him to knock off signing autographs to go do some other gig he was scheduled for, but he wouldn't leave until every last person got their hat, guitar, paper, reflective belt, t-shirt, poster, orders, or whatever other crazy thing they could scrounge up signed by the legendary rocker.
Iraq Buys American -- [Strategy Page]
October 11, 2007: The Iraqi armed forces has placed another order for American weapons and munitions. This one is worth $2.2 billion, and includes 135,000 M-16 and M4 assault rifles, along with 142 million rounds of ammo. All ordered were 18 million rounds of 7.62mm ammo, 760,000 12.7mm rounds, 10,000 40mm grenades, 74,000 mortar shells (most of them 60mm), plus stun and smoke grenades, shotgun shells and signal flares.
The Air Force's Crappy New Language -- [OPFOR]
...One thing I learned to hate about the way Air Force personnel handled the media was their fierce determination to be as rigid and uninformative as possible in press releases. Here, I'll give you an example:
...You could pratically write a formula for these obtuse canned statements. Acknowledge the overall mission, define impact, and outline your contribution to the overall good. I remember a colonel calling my friend (a PAO) into his office and delivering a 30 minute ass-chewing over an article in which the colonel felt he was misquoted. Turns out he wasn't misquoted, my friend had simply used the parts of the interview that were pertinent. He had quoted the boss word-for-word. Probably left out the part where "Air power is crucial to setting the conditions for stability in Iraq."
How Defense Appropriations Really Work -- [Dude, where's the beach? - in Iraq]
Just received a 'Washington Weekly' update on the latest and greatest in Air Force and military funding. If you really want to know how the Air Force gets funded, just read the highlights below.
Drinkin' Beers -- [Acute Politics - home from Iraq]
A Gooseberry Wheat beer, to be exact, brewed by Scottish monks. Strange, but tasty. I've also stopped smoking (actually, I stopped the day I stepped onto the plane in Kuwait), and haven't craved a smoke yet. I've gotten used to wearing my seatbelt and using my turn signals again, and I've almost stopped reacting to debris/cracks/etc in the road. I still miss Iraq, though, and if it weren't for my knowledge of how life goes on without you during deployment, I'd volunteer to go again.
Hey There -- [Half a World Away]
Being home is fantastic, better then I could have imagined. Erika and Ben are wonderful, I'm so thankful to be home safe and be back home with them. My wife is the real hero, how she kept things going around the house without me I'll never know. Truly God has blessed me with a strong, capable, loving wife and mother. Ben grows every day, he is so much fun to be around and to spend time with. Work has been good as well, ConAgra has gone above and beyond continually and made the transition easy for me.
Jimmy Carter Admits His Mistake During Iranian Hostage Crisis -- [Gateway Pundit]
After attacking Bush, Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, and making up things about torture at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, Jimmy Carter discussed the one mistake he made during the Iranian Hostage Crisis.
Carter launches attack on Bush
Clinton vows to check executive power -- [Boston Globe]
— Would curb use of signing statements — Senator Hillary Clinton said yesterday that if she is elected president, she intends to roll back President Bush's expansion of executive authority, including his use of presidential signing statements to put …
Cuomo, Kurtz Revel in Media's Ability to Push Anti-war Agenda -- [NewsBusters]
On Tuesday's "Good Morning America," co-host Chris Cuomo and media critic Howard Kurtz ignored the role that liberal bias has played in the decline of ratings for the network evening newscasts. At the same time, Cuomo and Washington Post reporter seemed to be proud of the media's ability to turn Americans against the war in Iraq. Kurtz, who has written a book on the subject, asserted, "I believe that these newscasts in 2005 and 2006 played the biggest single role in helping to turn public opinion against the war."
De Palma Furious Dead US Soldiers Cut From Vile Film (Video)
During an interview on his recent anti-American film, "Redacted", showing US soldiers raping and killing a woman in Iraq, Brian de Palma was furious that photos of dead US soldiers were cut from the final production!
Left of Boom -- [Acute Politics]
I'm a few days late to this party, but I'll post it anyway:
The Washington Post has an excellent piece of journalism entitled Left of Boom: The Struggle to Defeat Roadside Bombs
The article is a series of four parts, chronicling the appearance of IEDs and how the often frantic efforts to counter them have finally moved "left of boom"- neutralizing IEDs and IED networks before the bombs send more young men home.
...The author covers nearly every portion of the IED fight of which I am aware, with one glaring exception- route clearance. He relates that the human eye and the soldier behind it is "more adept at finding bombs than any machine", but does not follow the thought through to the logical conclusion- make teams of soldiers to hunt IEDs, arm them with specialized equipment, and turn them loose.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Al-Qaeda tries and fails to stand up to concerned citizens -- [Blackanthem Military News]
BAGHDAD, Iraq — An al-Qaeda in Iraq effort to reestablish a position in the southern Baghdad province town of Hawr Rajab was repulsed when concerned local citizens engaged the terrorists with small arms fire and called in U.S. forces for assistance Oct. 2.
While two concerned citizens were wounded in fighting and treated at a nearby hospital, four enemy fighters were killed, an additional two wounded, and multiple insurgent weapons destroyed. U.S. forces detained one of the enemy wounded, and transported the other for medical treatment at Camp Cropper.
Events began mid-afternoon, when concerned citizens contacted Multi-National Division – Center Soldiers after spotting suspected AQI vehicles in the vicinity of Hawr Rajab
Al Qaeda's War of Villages -- [OMAR FADHIL - Opinion Journal]
Signs that the terrorists are losing in Iraq.
BAGHDAD--The latest chapter in al Qaeda's war manual in their war against the Iraqi people and the Coalition is this: raiding remote peaceful villages, burning down homes and slaughtering both man and beast. It's a campaign of self destruction.
For about a year al Qaeda has been trying to build a so called Islamic State in Iraq. On several occasions al Qaeda has even declared parts of Baghdad or other places in other provinces the capital of this Islamic State.
The Sunni Insurgency Has Become a "Disaster": An Estranged Former Ally Lashes Out, Accusing Al-Qaida of Torture and Murder in Diyala -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
In a rather stunning development, the Iraqi Islamic militant faction known as Asaeb al-Iraq al-Jihadiya (a.k.a. "the Iraqi Jihad Union") has issued a new statement dated October 5 suddenly accusing Al-Qaida's "Islamic State of Iraq" of deliberately killing its fighters in Diyala province and mutilating their bodies: "To make things worse, they dug up their bodies from the graves, further mutilated them, beheaded them, and showed them off from their vehicles while driving through the towns. [The ISI] even killed our men’s wives and children."
Marines On Patrol Near Karmah - Iraq
"Marines with Lima Co., 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, set out on patrol through Karmah, Iraq. Interviews with Marines explaining the nature of their presence. By Pfc. Brian Jones, Regimental Combat Team 6."
The Best Police Force in Iraq -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
...Iraqi Lieutenant Colonel Jumaa Abdul Rahman, the man in charge of Al Majed, invited me, Captain Dennison, Sergeant First Class Kitts, and First Sergeant Rodriguez into his office for tea. He sat behind his desk, and the four of us sat on couches that circled the room. A young boy brought us dark brown tea with sugar in small plastic cups.
“Our success in this region is because of you,” Captain Dennison said to Lieutenant Colonel Rahman. His statement was completely sincere. He was not being perfunctory or merely polite.
“And also because of you,” Lieutenant Colonel Rahman said, also sincerely. “Please don’t leave us.”
...“We see Iraqis smile now,” Sergeant Kitts said to me on our way out. “And seeing Iraqis smile…that’s a big deal. These people haven’t had anything to smile about for a very long time. This is where we are finally earning our money.”
Makhmur -- [manrymission.com - in Iraq]
Yesterday, I took a couple of my Project Engineers and conducted quality assurance (QA) visits at a few ongoing projects. The first stop on our trip was in the vicinity of Makhmur, a village southeast of Mosul. In this village, we are working on two drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) that will provide clean drinking water to 22 different villages with a total population of about 44,000 people.
RAF Regiment helps Basra village get mains water for the first time -- [Ministry of Defence News]
Personnel from the RAF Regiment serving in southern Iraq have completed a project that will see a village near Basra City have mains water for the first time.
The personnel, from No 34 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, are currently serving at the Contingency Operating Base in Basra. Project Aqua 4 saw them work with local villagers to complete the project in a village located approximately 10 kilometres from Basra City.
Top Iraqis Pull Back From Key U.S. Goal: Reconciliation Seen Unattainable Amid Struggle for Power -- [Murdoc Online]
While at first glance this appears to be bad news, the reality of a Kumbaya-free Iraq is what we face and at least some seem to see what needs to be done:...
...The first step, of course, is a relatively safe and secure environment. Though much headway has been made over the summer, there's a long ways to go before "safe" or "secure" will apply to Iraq. Until clean water and dependable electricity flows, even relative safety won't be enough for anyone to start thinking about getting along.
Pardon the Interruption... -- [Fightin 6th Marines - in Iraq]
...here is the long-overdue update I'm sure everyone's been fretting over. It's an article about 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. "America's Battalion." Well, it's not actually about them, it's more about some of the great progress they've been enabling in their area of responsibility. Pfc. Brian Jones reports.
“Be optimistic and you will find the good things.”
This is the notion of a prominent sheik in the city of Karmah, Iraq, who is working with Marines from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, to create a peaceful today and a thriving tomorrow for a city that’s weighted down by conflict.
General Petraeus: Iran's ambassador to Iraq "is a Qods force member" -- [The Long War Journal - Bill Roggio - in Iraq]
The war of words between the US military and Iran over Iran's involvement in terrorist activity in Iraq heated up on Sunday after General David Petraeus, the commander of Multinational Forces Iraq, said the Iranian ambassador was an Iranian intelligence agent.
"The ambassador is a Qods force member," Petraeus told a group of reporters near the Iranian border in Diyala province. Ambassador Hassan Kazemi-Qomi's rank in Qods Force was not disclosed. Qods Force is the covert foreign wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps which has set up and supported terrorist groups such as Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and several terrorist entities in northern and eastern Africa.
Shuffling paperwork to victory: The Evolution of the Fallujah Police Department -- [The Long War Journal - Bill Ardolino - in Iraq]
...“In the Iraqi judicial process, investigative judges are inquisitive rather than adversarial, the arbitrators of the facts,” added Law Enforcement Professional (LEP) advisor Rich Crawford. “They’re like a combination DA [District Attorney] and magistrate. Three things can happen when the guy goes in front of the investigative judge. He can say: 'There’s not enough here, he's released; he's bound for further investigation for a period of time; or, hey, the evidence is sufficient so I’m referring him to the criminal court.’ Once they go there, they go in front of a three-judge tribunal and … from there it’s two options: release or prison.”
Munchkin Land -- [The Unlikely Soldier - in Iraq]
The kids today all swarmed me. It's pretty much the only somewhat interesting thing about going out anymore, and even that gets old quick. Hordes of kids poking and prodding me, yanking on my gear, competing for my attention, all wanting to high five and handshake and facemake and babble to me in Arabic.
Students in Ramadi are able to continue studying due to security improvements
Students are able to continue their study this year in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi due to the security improvements in their city.
So Where Am I and What Am I Doing? -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
I know that many of you want to know where I am and what I am doing, and more importantly, how does that help me give you a better picture of Iraq?
...For my situational awareness I rely on reports from the Soldiers that are traveling the roads everyday, but ironically, I have more daily interaction with Iraqis here than I did in Anbar.
Despite challenges, progress continues in southern Afghanistan -- [Blackanthem Military News]
NAWBAHAR, Afghanistan – A provincial-level shura, or meeting, took place in this small, remote district of Zabul Province Oct. 2.
Although the shura was facilitated by Provincial Reconstruction Team Qalat—a joint U.S. Air Force and Army unit stationed in the country since April—the meeting was strictly an Afghan affair.
More than 125 men and boys attended the shura, including six main leaders who spoke to the attentive crowd. The major topics of discussion were security of the area, the types of support and assistance the Afghan government can provide to the people, and what reconstruction needs are highest in the district.
6 October 2007 -- [Deployment Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
...A few days ago we went to a village to investigate reports of heavy enemy traffic. I ended up with a big crowd of kids, who tend to be the best sources of information in this country: They're honest and they're curious. One child told me he wanted to grow up to be a Talib. When I asked my terp to clarify if he meant 'student' or 'crazy murderous fanatic', the child responded for me. The kid said that he liked ANP and ANA, and he liked the Taliban. He liked all of them compared to us, the non-Muslim American Army, who all just ought to be killed. Enemy fighters with body armor and chest racks make me angry—children like this just take the wind out of my lungs.
...One of the kids in a nearby village (not the one who aspires to kill me) complained about the local school. He told me the Taliban recently stole the teachers' salaries and school equipment. As a result, school is now limited to a few hours a week. The kid looked disappointed
Happy Columbus Day -- [Jules Crittenden]
...Columbus Day may be the most unPC holiday of the year. That’s why I intend to celebrate it doing the most unPC thing I can think of. Working for a living.
Columbus Day celebrates the arrival of Europeans in the New World, which critics note marked the onset of a lot of death, power shifts, slavery and domination of the continent by new ethnic groups. Essentially, a continuation of history as usual as far as the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia were concerned, all of which had practiced those things repeatedly. Only in the Americas, an acceleration of history, something different.
83 Arrested at Denver's Columbus Day Parade (Protest)
Al Qaeda Losses in Lebanon -- [Strategy Page]
October 7, 2007: Four months ago, Lebanese security forces found themselves battling some 500 al Qaeda terrorists in a Palestinian refugee camp (actually a walled town of over 31,000) outside the northern city of Tripoli. The three month battle left over 400 dead (220 terrorists, 168 Lebanese soldiers and police, plus 47 Palestinian civilians). Some 200 terrorists were captured, and a few dozen escaped. Most of the Palestinian civilians were forced to flee the camp.
Iranian Students Protest "Dictator" Ahmadinejad at University! -- [Gateway Pundit]
The students were shouting, "Death to the dictator!"
Unlike the Columbia students, the university students in Tehran were not as polite with the president of the regime.
Pakistan elections -- [Peace Like a River]
In Pakistan, President Musharraf was unofficially reelected.
...However, the election was boycotted by major parties.
The results are still unofficial until the Supreme Court considers a petition challenging Musharraf’s eligibility.
The fuzziness is symptomatic of the fissures present in Pakistan. Musharraf is in a weakened position, and he is being pushed by Benazhir Butto to step down as Army Chief. The Supreme Court defied Musharraf’s efforts to remove the Chief Justice. The violence at the Red Mosque showed how bold the radicals have become.
In the tribal areas the militants continue to attack government troops. Three Pakistani soldiers were recently beheaded and dozens are still held captive.
British study - 9/10 posture key to winning GWoT -- [Q and O]
...Of course, as everyone recognizes, that's the "law enforcement" strategy for fighting terror. It essentially claims terrorism is a law enforcement issue and that law enforcement and good security measures can "minimize" the impact of terror. Or said another way, terrorists are a part of your life, they're going to succeed in blowing you and others up and we'll try to minimize that without actually going after the "root causes" even though we'll give "root causes" and their elimination lip service.
And, of course, that's precisely what ORG did without really meaning it. The nut of their argument is that law enforcement and security are adequate to the job of seeing only an occasional bombing succeeding.
Suicide Bombings and Jihadists' "Love of Death" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
How does America fight an enemy in a war, when the enemy embraces death?
This is one of the major unresolved questions that a tactical "war on terrorism" fails to address, because the larger, more vital strategic issues of America's policy on Jihad and America's policy on political Islamism also remain unaddressed, as previously discussed. Afghanistan Jihadist Maulana Inyadullah put it succinctly and clearly: "We are not afraid of death. The Americans love Pepsi Cola, we love death" ... "We fought for the cause of Islam, because Allah commanded us. We embraced death, we were willing to be martyrs".
The very nexus of the current war, the 9/11 attacks, were themselves a series of mass-casualty suicide bombings on the American homeland. Suicide bombings provide a defining difference between the Jihadist enemy and other threats to America.
Suicide Bombers can Only Be Stopped by Attacking the Networks -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
...As Bob Baer, formerly of the CIA, recently wrote,, there is little defense against these "children of death."
As Baer points out, "this is an ideological battle that will be won, or lost, at the local mosque, at the family dinner table or between friends across the Islamic world. Suicide bombing will be defeated not by a gun or a fancy scanner but by the religious principles of Koran itself."
Prepping for Valour-IT Fundraising Competition -- [Castle Argghhh!]
We are in the early planning stages of the 2007 Project Valour-IT Veterans Day Fundraiser. Begun in 2005, this has become a yearly event in support of Valour-IT, a Soldiers' Angels project that helps supply voice-controlled laptops to severely-wounded troops. Here are the outlines for this year:
To The Fallen Records and Cliff Hudson -- [SpouseBuzz - Andi]
If you missed last night's show, you missed a fantastic show, but you can still listen by clicking here. Our mystery guests were wonderful! Sidney MeMello, co-founder of To the Fallen Records, joined us to talk about how she and her partner, Sean Gilfillan, developed their record label. Also joining us was one of their featured artists, a Marine named Cliff Hudson (below).
CLIFF HUDSON CDS NOW AVAILABLE!!!" -- [Cliff Hudson's MySpace]
After his final deployment with the Marine Corps as a Squad Leader in 3rd Battalion 8th Marines to Ar Ramadi, Iraq Cliff Hudson has brought back songs that tell of one person's experience, yet represent far more.
His music and voice sing of everything from a longing for his now wife Ashley, to the simple appreciation of air in his lungs and all of the emotion that any of us can appreciate and experience on any given day.
Musically located anywhere from standard country to a, "boot through the door style" of country rock, he hopes to expand upon his experiences and musical style to bring the type of music that makes you raise your drink and appreciate the moment...all the while screaming at the top of your lungs.
This Flag - The War Brewing in America - Deuce Four
America.... from a combat soldier's point of view after he comes home from Iraq.
Daily Kos just hating openly on soldiers now -- [Uncle Jimbo - BlackFive]
...Remember back when the bastards at least lied about supporting the troops. We knew it was horse shite, but at least they had the decency to know they were wrong for hating the military. Now the facade has been abandoned and the hate that was there all along is out front for everyone to see.
Standing Up for 1LT Hegseth -- [Forward Deployed]
Published October 7, 2007 in Hating the Troops.
I find it quite ironic how worked up the usual suspects from the left were when Rush Limbaugh made his comments about “phony soldiers”, yet they some how find it acceptable to call real soldiers that are actually serving in the military such as General Petraeus a phony. Well the depth they are willing to sink to has only grown as the Daily Kos has launched the lowest slime job I have seen yet on 1LT Peter Hegseth.
...As usual with these people the diarist over there at Kos dlawbailey who has made an appearance before on this blog has no idea what he is talking about in regards to the military. I will quickly go through his claims.
New chairman re-enlists 31 Soldiers in Baghdad -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Just four days after pledging his own commitment to the highest position in military service, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff visited Task Force Marne troops today to administer the oath of re-enlistment to 31 U.S. Army soldiers and prepare them for the challenges that lay ahead in the war on terrorism.
“I believe (you are) the best military in the history of the world,” Adm. Michael G. Mullen told troops at Camp Victory. “You are in possession of combat experience, combat capability, combat strength to a degree that has never been seen in our armed services.”
Marine Recruiing Excels in Difficult Times -- [ON Point]
Corps Exceeds '07 Recruiting Goal
ARLINGTON, Va. - The Marine Corps ended fiscal 2007 with more than 186,000 Marines, surpassing its goal of 184,000, Corps officials said. That means the Corps is on track to grow to 202,000 Marines by fiscal 2011, which will help give Marines two months at home for every month in combat, officials told reporters on Thursday.
Outreach Effort Ensures Guard and Reserve Members Stay Covered by TRICARE Reserve Select -- [Blackanthem Military News]
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Monumental outreach efforts are ensuring that nearly all of the 11,000 TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) members under the “tier” version of TRS will stay covered under the restructured program. As of October 1, approximately 90 percent had either switched over to the new program—or were in the process.
Disgusting treatment of U.S. Veterans, you bet... -- [AWTM]
My friend, and recent National Guard enlistee, RSM, pointed out this article in my comment section below...
National Guard Troops Denied Benefits After Longest Deployment Of Iraq War
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (NBC) -- When they came home from Iraq, 2,600 members of the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed longer than any other ground combat unit. The tour lasted 22 months and had been extended as part of President Bush's surge.
TRICARE Seeks And Listens to Input on Its New Web site -- [Blackanthem Military News]
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – When the TRICARE Management Activity launched its new Web site in July, their objective was to make it easier for beneficiaries to find the information they need about their benefit. With close to 900,000 visitors in its first full month, the Web site appears to be quite popular; and valuable feedback from many of those visitors is helping TRICARE to make the site even better.
Home Sweet Home -- [Jack Army - home from Iraq]
light blogging will continue as I get reaquainted with the most beautiful woman on the planet and the best girls a father could have.
thanks for your well wishes and I'll be back soon.
Clintonista Sandy Bergler Back With The Clintons -- [Ian Schwartz]
Sandy Berger, who stole highly classified terrorism documents from the National Archives, destroyed them and lied to investigators, is now an adviser to presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Berger, who was fired from John Kerry’s presidential campaign when the scandal broke in 2004, has assumed a similar role in Clinton’s campaign, even though his security clearance has been suspended until September 2008. This is raising eyebrows even among Clinton’s admirers.
US appears guilty of torture, says Pelosi
Moonbat protester at Walter Reed: “My union made me come here;” Plus: Revolt against Code Pinkos in the Bay Area…and SF mayor Gavin Newsom goes on the attack -- [Michelle Malkin]
...A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of joining folks from the Gathering of Eagles and Free Republic for the weekly pro-troops rally at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Who’s on the other side of the street with the tiny contingent of Code Pinkos protesting the war? Look for the union label!
According to FR’s Albion Wilde, at least one of them is a union worker who was told to show up. The Code Pink protest outside Walter Reed is led by one Bruce Wolf, chair of the “Social Justice Committee” of the AFL-CIO-affiliated union O.P.E.I.U. Local 2, who has referred to soldiers as “scabs:”
A segment from MTV about a conservative protest group taking on the anti-war movement.
Al Qaeda In Haditha: The Battle The Media Ignored -- [NewsBusters]
If this exclusive is completely accurate then it is a bombshell story that the media completely ignored or overlooked. It probably didn’t line up with their narrative for the war. According to the report, the Time reporter that broke this story played the fool to an al Qaeda operative and the actual attacks were done by militant operatives led by Al Qaeda. Others were quick to echo the propaganda , overlooking key facts and evidence as the MSM does so well, from the New York Times to Congressman John Murtha.
‘Journalists’ Tell Howard Kurtz Why Good News from Iraq Shouldn’t Get Reported (updated w/video) -- [NewsBusters]
As CNN's Howard Kurtz accurately pointed out on Sunday's "Reliable Sources," few media outlets seemed at all interested in giving much attention to the great news out of Iraq last week regarding September's sharp decline in casualties.
WashPost: Charles Gibson Marched in Vietnam Protests -- [NewsBusters]
Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz's new book excerpt on the network anchors led with some news in Monday's Post:
Left of Boom -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
I have read "journalism is the first draft of history." As far as this war has gone I would tend to disagree with that, if anything has been the first draft of history it has been the Milblogs. (Yes, I understand that on a Milblog that probably sounds self-serving.)
...This is top notch reporting and a true first draft of history. I highly recommend it to you.
Kithbridge The company that connects your organization with new media communities -- [Kithbridge] HT:Glenn
Kithbridge, Inc. was launched as an evolution of one of the blogosphere's original and most successful blog-tracking sites, The Truth Laid Bear. While The Truth Laid Bear provides a portal and blog search engine for individual bloggers and blog-readers, Kithbridge provides customized technology, services, and strategies for businesses, political campaigns, nonprofits, and other organizations which seek to fully engage with the growing and dynamic world of the blogosphere and new media.
Help Blackfive Win a Scholarship -- [Blackfive]
There's a $10,000 scholarship available for bloggers who are in school full time (I also work full time) and I happen to be one of the finalists.
Bush Touts Benefits of Artificial Life Creation -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-10-08) — Despite his reported ‘war on science‘, President George Bush celebrated this week’s announcement that DNA scientist Craig Venter has created a chromosome from lab chemicals and inserted it into a parasitic bacterium, altering its genetic code and thereby inventing the first man-made life form.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Iraq MP found at al Qaeda meeting - U.S. military -- [Reuters]
A spokesman for the Iraqi parliament said the lawmaker was from the assembly’s main Sunni Arab bloc. The man was held after a raid in the Sunni Arab town of Sharqat, 260 km (160 miles) northwest of Baghdad, in volatile Salahuddin province on Sept. 29, the U.S. military said in an email in response to queries from Reuters. “The man being held is one of the 275 members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives,” the military said. “Officially, he is not considered a ‘detainee’ at this time. He is being held for questioning after being found at a suspected al Qaeda in Iraq meeting during a combined Iraqi Security Forces/Coalition operation,” it said.
The military said it would not release the man’s name. It is believed to be the first time a member of Iraq’s parliament has been detained by Iraqi or U.S. forces.
U.S. Kills 25 Shiite Militia North of Baghdad -- [Ace of Spades]
The operation took place several hours ago, and targeted a cell accused of smuggling weapons for Iran.
They were carrying rifles, RPGs, and one man was believed to have an anti-aircraft weapon. Also suspected to be a splinter group from the Mahdi Army, which was ordered by Mook to cease attacks on U.S. Forces and Iraqis.
More Anonymous "Authorities" Cited as Sources Claiming Civilian Deaths -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
When US forces came under attack from armed men in the streets of a town near Baquba, al-Qaeda's former Iraq headquarters, they called in airstrikes. The U.S. forces were there following up on yet more intelligence on yet another Quds Force facilitator in the area. That they came under attack can hardly be surprising. Some of the reporting of this operation is sadly not surprising, either.
Al Qaeda financier and foreign facilitator captured in Baghdad -- [The Long War Journal - Bill Roggio - embed in Iraq]
Just one day after the announcement of the capture of Muthanna, a senior al Qaeda facilitator of foreign fighters in the Sinjar region on the Syrian border, Multinational Forces Iraq announced the capture of a major financier in Baghdad. The yet to be named al Qaeda financier was captured by the Iraqi Army in the Baghdad neighborhood of Kindi.
Pulling al-Qaeda's Lynchpins in Iraq Is Counterterrorism, Senator -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
In a major development in the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq, the United States has disclosed the Baghdad capture of a major al-Qaeda financier who funneled over $100,000,000 into Iraq this summer alone to fund al-Qaeda terrorists and purchase weapons and explosives.
Video Available: Al-Qaeda tries and fails to stand up to concerned citizens -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – An al-Qaeda in Iraq effort to reestablish a position in the southern Baghdad province town of Hawr Rajab was repulsed when concerned local citizens engaged the terrorists with small-arms fire and called in U.S. forces for assistance Oct. 2.
While two concerned citizens were wounded in fighting and treated at a nearby hospital, four enemy fighters were killed, an additional two wounded, and multiple insurgent weapons destroyed. U.S. forces detained one of the enemy wounded and transported the other for medical treatment at Camp Cropper.
Events began mid-afternoon, when concerned citizens contacted Multi-National Division – Center Soldiers after spotting suspected AQI vehicles in the vicinity of Hawr Rajab.
I will never leave a fallen comrade -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Apache Troop, 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 1st BCT, 3rd ID fight off an insurgent ambush after a roadside bomb crippled one of their vehicles on July 26 near Fallujah.
The Reach of War: A Deadly Search for Missing Soldiers
Iraqi IED Gauge -- [Far From Perfect]
...So, I have sort of developed the Iraqi IED gauge. The idea is that you can gauge your chances of coming into enemy contact by where in your combined patrol the IA or the IP are located. I am sure other Coalition soldiers have come to the same conclusion (In fact, I read about 1a somewhere.), and I think its relatively accurate. The only corollary being the unusual true, hardcore Iraqi unit. They skew any results and then the odds are off. Anyway, here is the meter:
The Mesopotamian 6k -- [Sgt Hook - in Iraq]
I thought about the patrol I had been on the other day and wondered how the early days of civilization in this place, Mesopotamia, compared to today’s Iraq. How did the children of then spend there days? Certainly not chasing and waving to up-armored humvees driving past what one might term a village. Yet the children of Mesopotamia also knew war.
While dust filled my nostrils and sweat started flowing from my pores under the ever warming Iraqi sun, I recalled yesterday’s marathon visit I was party to with a handful of local sheiks all professing their sincere commitment to ending the violence against coalition forces in their areas. The very areas our patrol passed through earlier in the day, the children waving as we did.
Detained Iranian an intelligence agent: US general (Press Release)
An Iranian arrested by US forces in Iraq's Kurdish region had been involved in Tehran's intelligence operations in Iraq for more than a decade, an American general said on Wednesday.
Odierno says surge working, urges caution in transitioning troops -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — The surge of additional forces into Baghdad and other areas of Iraq is working, a top general commanding Coalition forces there said.
Even as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan continues, levels of violence in Iraq have dropped, Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multi-National Corps Iraq, said at the National Press Club here. The surge allowed Iraqi and Coalition officials to wrest whole provinces from extremist grasp.
Operation Cold Harbor
Footage of an AH-64 Apache helicopter engaging five armed individuals while U.S. Soldiers conduct an air assault raid on a possible al-Qaida safe house. Provided by Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs.
Basrah cluster pump stations renovation bringing reliable power -- [MNF-I]
BASRAH ــــ In one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers largest electricity projects in southern Iraq, cluster pump electrical substations are being renovated in a $76 million effort to help increase oil field production in the North Rumaylah Oil Field.
Iraqi Insurgent Faction Breaks Silence, Accusing Al-Qaida of Fanaticism, Torture, and Murder -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
A breakaway Sunni insurgent faction from the 1920 Revolution Brigades known as "Hamas in Iraq" has issued a formal response to recent allegations by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the leader of Al-Qaida's "Islamic State of Iraq." In an official communiqué dated October 2, Iraqi Hamas accused Al-Qaida of inflicting "great suffering" on ordinary Iraqi Sunnis: "every day they witnessed heads or headless bodies lying in their streets. Each one of these victims had been accused of a so-called ‘crime’ prohibited by Al-Qaida fatwahs...
What's the Frequency Kenneth -- [Jason's Iraq Vacation - in Iraq]
I do have plenty to write about. For example, I haven't given the Aussie's here near the amount of attention they deserve. The group of Australian Soldier's we have working with us here have been awesome. Besides the fact that I am picking up all sorts of new phrases, like "Cheers", "bloke", and "choco" (which is a derogatory term for a reservist, which I'm not. You hear that Maj H??), they really do an outstanding job and add much needed humor to our daily operations. They are sort of like advisors to the advisors, or our advisors, since they stay out of the daily grind and focus on the 10,000 foot view.
Working the Night Shift -- [Iraq Pictures]
U.S. Special Forces members provide security while Iraqi Special Operation Forces led U.S. Special Forces conduct a night raid in Baghdad, Iraq.
Ivory Tower corpse eating -- [CDR Salamander]
...Praise for SECDEF and praise for the military opening its mind to any tool available to bring victory. More than that, praise to Tracy.
In interviews, American officers lavishly praised the anthropology program, saying that the scientists’ advice has proved to be “brilliant,” helping them see the situation from an Afghan perspective and allowing them to cut back on combat operations.
Persian Gifts -- [Peace Like a River]
There have been a few stories like this in recent months, but here is another one:
Iran is supplying the Taliban in Afghanistan with the same bomb-making equipment it provides to insurgents in Iraq, according to British military intelligence officers.
Academic -- [Lex]
The US Army has introduced an innovative way to reduce the violence and bring the fruits of good governance to rural Afghanistan - tactical anthropology:...
...Who could find fault with a program that brings an academic approach to understanding cultural sensitivities? Who would oppose the efforts of volunteer scientists whose knowledge reduces the violence afflicting a wretchedly poor populace that has been brutalized by theocratic thugs? That not only saves their lives but enhances their quality of life?
Why, other academics of course:...
Officer Commanding and Squadron Sergeant-Major’s Monthly Update -- [Lord Strathconas Horse (Royal Canadians)]
...While we cannot divulge too much about the nature of our operations, we will tell you that your soldiers have met the enemy well at every turn. They are very confident in all their equipment. The Squadron through their deeds and not words has made a very prominent contribution to the Battle Group and the greater mission in Afghanistan. We are both very proud of how the Squadron has performed and have every confidence in every soldier. As we indicated to you the Sqn has spent very little time at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), and those soldiers that have had to return there for any number of reasons have quickly asked to rejoin the Squadron, as the life in KAF is very different from Forward Operating Base.
NATO Launches New Afghan Offensive -- [Military.com]
BRUSSELS, Belgium - NATO and Afghan army forces have launched an operation against the Taliban designed to keep pressure on the insurgents through the winter, the alliance announced Wednesday.
Operation Pamir began Tuesday and is expected to continue until the spring, said NATO spokesman James Appathurai.
"It will maintain pressure on opposing militant forces," he said.
Appathurai declined to say how many troops were taking part, but said it would involve actions in all parts of the country, apart from the relatively peaceful north.
Australian Army Engineers Train Afghan Army
Say it with me...DE-VEL-OP-MENT -- [The Torch]
Graeme Smith of the Globe & Mail writes a much-needed article on the economic situation in Afghanistan. While this is a military blog, pretty much every Canadian soldier who has served over there understands that they can't win the long battle to make Afghanistan safe without significant improvements to the lives of individual Afghans. That tie between economics and security is a strong one - not to the hard-core ideologues who fight for some sort of fanatical Islamic theocracy, but to the the millions of ordinary Afghans who will support whichever political movement helps them put bread on their own table.
Did Russia Stage the Father of All Bombs Hoax? -- [Wired News]
Western media reacted with alarm. An editor for Jane's told the BBC it was likely that FOAB indeed represented "the world's biggest non-nuclear bomb." UPI claimed the device "would enormously boost Russia's conventional military capabilities."
But close analysis of the video reveals inconsistencies that have led some U.S. experts to question the veracity of the Russian claims, and to downgrade assessments of the weapon. It's possible, they say, that the video was partially faked, and that the test was hyped for political reasons.
"You've got to approach Russian claims with skepticism," says John Pike, an analyst at the think tank GlobalSecurity.org in Alexandria, Virginia.
A Deadly Brew: Iran & the United States -- [ON Point - Andrew Lubin]
The Iranian problem is far worse than their trying to build a nuclear bomb.
Not that a “Persian Bomb” is a good thing, but legitimate sources say that they are 3-5-6 years away – assuming the Israeli’s don’t launch a pre-emptive strike like they did against the Iraqi reactor at Osirak.. The real danger is the continued Iranian de-stabilization of Iraq, and their de-facto control of the southern oilfields, the pipelines, and Iraq’s only seaport- Basra.
This would give them control of 80 % of Iraq’s oil exports, which would certainly roil the economies of the free world.
“Spirit of the June 15 Joint Declaration” is Alive and Well -- [GI Korea]
Here is the photo op that President Roh has poured billions of South Korean tax payers money into securing:
Is it just me or is Roh the only enthused about this moment?
Now that the summit is over we can now begin to take stock of the damage done. A joint declaration has been issued from the summit and here is the preamble to this declaration:
With the Commander of the National Police -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr. - in Lebanon]
BEIRUT (Headquarters of Lebanon's Interior Security Forces) – Had tea this afternoon with Maj. Gen. Achraf Rifi, the commanding general of Lebanon's national police forces, the Interior Security Forces (ISF).
Spoke at length about his country's internal security problems — who's responsible for the assassinations, etc. — as well as the ISF's counterterrorism capabilities
Al-Qaeda's Afghanistan chief says bin Laden alive -- [AFP]
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Al-Qaeda's chief in Afghanistan urges Muslims around the world to come fight for the country's "independence" and insists that Osama bin Laden is alive and well, according to an audio clip released by a US-based monitoring group.
...He also says that bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda terror network's chief, supervises all activities and is alive and in good health.
Corruption and the War on Terror -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The disheartening story in the Washington Post today highlights one of the greatest vulnerabilities in fighting terrorism anywhere in the world-high tolerance for corruption and the disgust this fuels in the populations.
Having covered wars several continents, there has never been an armed conflict where those in rebellion did not have legitimate concerns, anger and frustration over the level of corruption and impunity for the corruption, in the regimes they were fighting
Cox and Forkum -- [Fuzzilicious Thinking]
Valour-IT was just getting off the ground John approached Cox and Forkum for assistance in spreading the word. Forkum stepped up with some anonymous design work that was spot-on perfect; as is true with his wonderful drawings, pictures said more than words ever could.
...Cox and Forkum were a huge part of getting Valour-IT off the ground, giving it an online presence that has endured; just search Google Images for "Valour-IT" and see what you get...
Sergeant Grumpy's Warrior Store -- [Sergeant Grumpy]
Sergeant Grumpy is announcing the opening of Sergeant Grumpy's Warrior Store in an attempt to do something for a great organization that truly supports America's fighting men and women - Soldier's Angels. I have set up a separate account just for this, and every cent of commission earned, less what I have to pay out in income tax, will be donated to Soldier's Angels.
"A very special day" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
That's how long-time Soldiers' Angels member Matt Dick described this past Saturday when over 100 volunteers converged at Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, MD to make blankets for the wounded and ill troops at Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany.
Looking at these photos Matt's wife Lisa sent to me, I couldn't agree more. I had called in to give a "pep talk" to the group (during which I of course choked up) and could hear there were lots of people there, but I never imagined anything like this.
Walter Reed's Military Advanced Training Center -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Ross Colquhoun, a fire arms instructor, helps Army Staff Sgt. Ramon Padilla learn to fire using his prosthesis in the Fire Arms Training System at the new Military Advanced Training Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Soldiers can relearn to fire a 9 mm pistol and M-16 and M-4 rifles. Photo by Fred W. Baker III
Army Ten Miler ~ October 7 ~ It's Race Weekend -- [Gazing at the Flag]
Missing (Parts) In Action returns for its fourth Army Ten-Miler Race and with five military amputee teams – two from Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), two from Brook Army Medical Center (BAMC), Fort Sam Houston, TX, and one team from San Diego Naval Medical Center (SDNMC).
The team is headed by Major Dave Roselle, who lost his foot in Iraq, the first amputee in recent military history to resume a dangerous command in the field. In addition to being awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Army Commendation Medal, MAJ Rozelle is an avid athlete, participating in Ironman competitions, triathlons, skiing, snowboarding, and mountain climbing.
Captain Wesley Knight, an active-duty Army officer who has had a partial hand amputation, feels that he does not have to face as many challenges in training for the Army Ten-Miler, but...
If we no longer respect our fighting men and women, the future of Britain itself is in peril -- [Rogue-Gunner]
Just imagine that you are a British soldier returning from a tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. For the past few months, you have been putting your life on the line for your country. Every day, you have faced the risk of death from bomb and bullet.
As you arrive back in Britain, you feel a mixture of relief, exhaustion and pride in your service.
Yet your return seems at best to be a matter of supreme indifference to the public. There are no crowds at the airport, nor any large parades.
Army Recruiting Soaring -- [OPFOR]
U.S. Army Meets Expanded Recruiting Goals....Again:
Anti-war types, always the military experts, love to write these positive numbers off as the Army "lowering its standards." Nice, huh? Those dudes support us so much it hurts.
In reality, it's a mix of things. Enlistment bonuses, heightened sense of patriotism since 9/11, more effective recruiting campaigns, etc. One that's often overlooked is the fact that the Navy and Air Force are shrinking faster than the Army and Marines are expanding. That drives potential recruits over to the grunt services, while programs like Blue to Green allow Airman to trade their blue uniforms for green Army ones.
Hold Up On The Latest Military Scandal -- [Riehl World View]
The media has it and the politicians are weighing in, but there's something missing in the reporting:
National Guard Troops Denied Benefits After Longest Deployment Of Iraq War
Without getting into what's behind the formula for allowing benefits, I'd support a max in that regard - but how long is 22 months, the time they served?
Are U.S. troops being force-fed Christianity? -- [The Christian Science Monitor]
A watchdog group alleges that improper evangelizing is occurring within the ranks.
At Speicher base in Iraq, US Army Spec. Jeremy Hall got permission from a chaplain in August to post fliers announcing a meeting for atheists and other nonbelievers. When the group gathered, Specialist Hall alleges, his Army major supervisor disrupted the meeting and threatened to retaliate against him, including blocking his reenlistment in the Army.
Congress to Allow New Internet Taxes? -- [Weekly Standard]
Ever since 1998 the U.S. Congress has, under Republican leadership, extended the Internet Tax Freedom Act. That statute forbids states and localities from enacting taxes on internet access, with few exceptions. That moratorium is scheduled to expire on November 1, and Congressional leaders can't agree on how to extend it. In fact, rather than coming together to pass legislation, the Senate committee of jurisdiction recently canceled a vote on the bill with little warning.
RE: Losers -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
Kathryn points to a poll in which nearly one in five Democrats responded that "the world would be better off if the United States loses the war in Iraq."
My first reaction: Well if that's so, then why aren't 4 in 5 Democrats trying to win the damned thing?
Obama Will No Longer Wear American Flag Pin -- [PJM]
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama explained in an interview Wednesday that he doesn’t wear the American flag lapel pin because it has become a substitute for “true patriotism” since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Trivializing Torture -- [Weekly Standard]
Andrew Sullivan is yet again calling the president a "war criminal." This time in response to today's New York Times article revealing that the Bush administration has subjected terror suspects captured abroad to 'severe' and 'brutal' interrogations.
Sullivan has a history of trotting out the charge of "war criminal," sticking the label on George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon counsel Jim Haynes, and Berkeley law prof John Yoo.
Chris Matthews: Bush Admin Has Finally Been ‘Caught In Their Criminality’ -- [Ian Schwartz]
We all know Chris Matthews dislikes Bush and absolutely hate Cheney, so it should come as no surprise that he went on tirade against this administration:
NBC Sees Scandal in 'Abusive' Interrogations; MSNBC: 'More Lies' -- [NewsBusters]
Presuming Bush administration dissembling and illegality, NBC anchor Brian Williams considered it “big” news Thursday night that the administration “secretly authorized abusive interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects, including torture, despite denial from everyone from President Bush on down. And the policy remains even though the Supreme Court ruled against it.” Picking up on the front page New York Times disclosure of the classified documents, which neither the ABC nor CBS evening newscasts considered newsworthy, the NBC Nighty News ran a very slanted story that, other than one short soundbite from White House Press Secretary Dana Perino about how “they were safe, necessary and lawful, these techniques, and have helped save American lives,” aired only condemnatory comments as reporter Andrea Mitchell assumed the methods are torture
CNN: McCain: "Limbaugh should not have said phony soldiers"
Rush Limbaugh Gets Swiftboated! -- [Gateway Pundit]
Heroes of Truth from the 2004 election are back to defend Rush Limbaugh!
SWIFT & POW's FOR TRUTH SPEAK OUT AGAINST PHONY SOLDIERS!
Swiftboat Veteran For Truth member and patriot John E. O'Neill comes to bat for Rush Limbaugh at Human Events today.
And, once again O'Neill's truth and honesty ring out above the dishonest attacks on Rush by Hillary Clinton's Media Matters.
John O'Neill points out the phony...
Video: Sgt. Mark Seavey Cut Off When Explaining Rush’s Remark -- [Ace of Spades]
I really enjoyed how Norah O'Donnell asked him why Rush had referred to phony soldiers -- plural -- and then when Sgt Seavey attempted to explain there were plural phony soldiers, she immediately cut him off and invited the VoteVets prick to change the subject.
From the Mouths of News Babes -- [Jules Crittenden - PJM]
I thought then, when the leggy leightweight went to Iraq to establish her street cred, that she might actually emerge as the anti-Cronkite.
She alone among our nation’s premier news anchors recognized that progress in Iraq was the story of the hour, of the day, of the week, month, year and decade, and she went there. Then, she reported that undeniable progress was being made.
Vent Checking up with The New Republic -- [Michelle Malkin]
Still Waiting -- [Confederate Yankee]
Just how long does it take to pen a retraction?
I only ask because it's been roughly a month since The New Republic had their first solid chance to interview Scott Thomas Beauchamp since he returned from duty at COP Ellis.
Since then, he's been online--hence, available--at least several days every week, including today. Beauchamp even had time to talk with Laughing Wolf from Blackfive as recently as September 30. Why not TNR?
SpouseBUZZ Blog Series: Blog Etiquette -- [Andi - SpouseBUZZ]
Before we get into "blog etiquette," I realize that the information in this section may seem harsh, but there really isn't a way to write about blog etiquette in a happy-go-lucky manner. That's because we have to use examples of bad blog behavior (usually mine) in order to demonstrate good blog behavior.
I'm having visions of my mother standing over me with a hickory switch saying, "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you." Seriously, we want to help bloggers, particularly new ones, avoid some common pitfalls. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've been guilty of all but two of the following offenses and trust me, I would have preferred to read a post like this before I began blogging. It would have saved me a lot of embarrassment. Just remember that most of us have exhibited bad blog behavior at one point or another, and many times, we didn't even realize it. If you feel a sting, or have an "oh gosh" moment while reading this, don't take it too personally. Just note it and keep on bloggin'.
ACLU Defends Limbaugh, Sharpton Demands Reid Apology -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-10-04) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today offered free legal services to defend talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, whose civil rights, the ACLU contends, “are in jeopardy from powerful officials in the U.S. government.”
Bush Vows to Win ‘War on Science’ -- [ScrappleFace]
(2007-10-05) — Criticized by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, for waging a “war on science” by limiting taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research and refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol on climate change, President George Bush today vowed to “win that war too.”
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
Iraq's Golden Silence -- [INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY] HT: Dude, where's the beach?
Media And War: Ever since the Sept. 10 testimony of Gen. David Petraeus, we've heard less and less from the mainstream media about the war in Iraq. The old adage "no news is good news" has never been truer.
Confidence is Key: The Evolution of the Fallujah Police Department - Part One -- [INDC Journal - in Iraq]
As former Police Transition Team (PiTT) Commander Major Brian Lippo said at the time: “For the overall success of the mission, the [Iraqi Police] have got to get out there in the streets and take a more active role in patrolling … driving around the streets in your white police car, showing the flag and letting the bad guys know that 'hey I have to get off this street corner.’"
There were hopeful signs: an increase in recruitment and new Iraqi leadership that talked the talk and fitfully began to walk the walk. But the city grew even more violent over the next two months, with attacks and casualties reaching an all-time peak in March as al Qaeda in Iraq attempted to break the will of the police. One Marine remarked on the nightmares he acquired after seeing the second-story landing of the police station covered in black bags, slick with blood and broken bodies.
IED Strike/Aviation Engagement
Killed al Qaeda in Iraq operative sheds light on foreign influence -- [The Long War Journal]
The US military has long maintained that al Qaeda in Iraq is led by foreign al Qaeda. Over the past year, senior al Qaeda operatives such as Omar Farouq, one of Osama bin Laden's lieutenants and al Qaeda's operations chief in Southeast Asia, and Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, one of bin Laden's senior deputies who was "personally chosen by bin Laden to monitor al Qaeda operations in Iraq," have been captured inside Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq's leader, Abu Ayyub al Masri, is an Egyptian selected by al Qaeda Central. Al Masri was a close aide to Ayman al Zawahiri, and was a member of Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Its prior leader, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, was an experienced al Qaeda operative of Jordanian origin. Much of al Qaeda in Iraq's senior leadership is of foreign origin.
Success for Concerned Citizens
Footage of of U.S. Forces and local Iraqis engaging known terrorists in the city of Hawr Rajab. Provided by Headquarters, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs.
Settling in -- [Iraq Partii - in Iraq]
My unit is responsible for manning several guard towers and entry control points around Camp Taji. We haven’t had any incidents yet, except for the other day when some gunfire (I think celebratory) hit near one of our towers. Camp Taji has been really quiet so far. The outgoing force protection officer said that the area around this base use to be really violent. Mortar and rocket attacks were a common occurrence up until a month ago.
First Interviews from Third Trip to Iraq Now Available 24/7 -- [Talking with Heros]
The first hour of interviews from our third trip to Iraq can now be listened to 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Please help us get this information out to as many people as possible.
TalkingWithHeroes.Com host Bob Calvert and Altitude Sports & Entertainment Cable Network CEO Jim Martin recently returned from a third trip to Iraq interviewing our men and women in the military, civilians and Iraqis. The focus of this trip was on progress.
The Realignment of Iraq -- [Opinion Journal]
We're winning because the Iraqis want us to--Moqtada al-Sadr included.
The war in Iraq was always going to be won by the Iraqis, and so it has proven. But the Iraqis who have won it are on our side.
...Thousands of Americans and their allies have died helping to give Iraqis this opportunity. We have shown enormous skill and bravery in helping them fight their enemies, and immeasurable goodwill in sending our young men to protect Iraqi schools, mosques and polling booths. The reason we and Iraqis are winning this war together is that its purpose is to give Iraqis what they want.
Al Qaeda in Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
October 3, 2007: After a year of ever increasing violence against Iraqi civilians, the Islamic terrorists have gone into decline over the Summer. Civilian deaths in September were about half what they were in August, and that was after a decline in August compared to July. But the twelve months before that were the most horrendous in Iraqi history. While the Shia death squads became more active, the Sunni Arab terrorists kept using spectacular car and truck bomb attacks against civilians (mostly Shia). Sunni Arab death squads, especially from al Qaeda, increased their attacks on Sunni Arab leaders who were backing away from supporting the Sunni Arab terror campaign.
More Success in Anbar -- [ON Point]
ON Point: Iraqis begin replacing U.S. troops in Anbar World Tribune, 10/3/07 BAGHDAD - The Iraqi military has begun to replace the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq."Iraqis are taking the lead in Anbar in planning and conducting operations with some advice from the coalition," U.S. Brig. Gen. Charles Gurganus said.Officials said Iraqi soldiers and security forces have been replacing thousands of U.S. soldiers and sailors deployed in Iraq. They said the expansion of the Iraq Army and security forces has...
The Surge: Sitrep South of Baghdad -- [ON Point]
Andrew Lubin The rational behind the Surge strategy was to bring stability and constancy to the villages and towns in Iraq. With the insurgents killed, captured, or fleeing due to the increased American military actions, the local Iraqi populace could finally concentrate on rebuilding their towns, governments, schools, and essential services as their own Iraqi Police and Army units used the American time and treasure to build and train their organizations. While known today as “The Surge...
Soldiers Escort Iraqi Civilians To Safety Before Air Strike
So Very Tired -- [Major Andrew Olmsted - in Iraq]
...We hit the jackpot, finding a store of IED-making materials, mortars, RPGs, huge artillery rounds, ammunition, fuzes...it was an incredible amount of stuff, and it took close to three hours to unearth it all, catalog it, and destroy it. (Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the explosion...most impressive.) That was the high point of the day, as we struck out at the other places we searched, even during a mildly stressful search of an Iraqi compound where the enemy was reputed to have a hiding place we had to find while being prepared to be engaged by defenders. As it turned out, it was abandoned and we couldn't find any hiding places, so after about ten hours we called it a day and headed back to the FOB.
Cavalry Soldiers, ISF detain high-value individual -- [MNF-I]
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Elements of the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment and Iraqi National Police conducted a raid east of Baghdad resulting in the detention of a high-value individual and three other suspected extremists Sept. 30.
Soldiers from Troop A and the Time-Sensitive Target platoon of the 3-1 Cav. Regt. conducted the raid with their police partners to kill or capture the HVI and to deny extremists sanctuary in the regiment’s area of operation.
The HVI is suspected of maintaining a leadership position in a local extremist network. Information obtained by the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team officials links the HVI to indirect fire attacks against Coalition Forces and weapons smuggling.
Troops foil IED attacks, detonate cache -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers prevented a pair of roadside bombs from detonating in East Rashid Sept. 30.
Troops from the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment “Wolfpack” spotted one improvised explosive device consisting of two 60mm mortar rounds with wire while conducting clearing operations in Doura.
After properly securing and cordoning off the area, an explosive ordnance disposal team detonated the IED in place.
Soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment “Warriors” also foiled a potential roadside bomb strike when, acting on a tip from a resident, they entered a neighborhood and observed an individual acting suspiciously.
Al-Huda residents celebrate new fresh-water well -- [MNF-I]
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER — Mada'in Qada Mayor Abu Bahar and al-Huda village's Sheik Shanno cut a ribbon, marking the opening of a new fresh-water well pumping station in al-Huda Sept. 23.
Hospital project provides jobs in Basrah -- [MNF-I]
BASRAH — The construction site of the Basrah Children’s Hospital is a hotbed of activity these days, with an average of 750 workers on the job each day, according to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chad Lorenzana.
Why Blackwater is Invulnerable -- [Strategy Page]
October 3, 2007: Iraqis are upset with Blackwater International, the security firm that provides protection for American diplomats (and many other VIPs) when they travel about. Blackwater recruits experienced military veterans, especially commandos, to do the job. When Blackwater is attacked, they attack right back. Blackwater's aggressiveness and competence is well known in Baghdad, and Iraqi police and civilians stay out of the way. As a result, Blackwater has never lost any of the State Department people they have escorted.
Humanitarian Mission - Iraq
"...this is what we did. I pulled security while the upper echelon went house to house ...and then gave them all kind of food and stuff."
PM UNVEILS IRAQ TROOPS CUT. -- [Rogue Gunner]
Britain's military force in Iraq is to be cut by 1,000 by Christmas as the UK hands over security responsibility for Basra province to local troops, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced during a surprise visit to the country.
Greed and Guns -- [Strategy Page]
October 3, 2007: For thousands of years, Afghans have viewed foreigners as a source of loot. Whether it was in the form of extortion payments or ransom, the opportunity was always there for the greedy, ruthless and well armed. Things have not changed. For example, because Western troops will pay compensation when a civilian is killed in the crossfire, but Afghan troops will not, any nearby foreign troops will be badgered for "compensation" for civilians recently killed by Afghan troops, or even Taliban action. A demonstration will be organized for any media present, and compensation demanded. This scam is well known to most foreign troops, and doesn't work as well as it used to.
Mass of Contributions" Arrive in Afghanistan -- [Spirit of America]
The saffron bulbs, clothing, toys and school supp that have shipped for SoA's Army Request to Aid Afghan Farmers project have arrived! The SGM describes the arrival and the importance of these supplies in his message below.
With the assistance of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the Army will plant the saffron bulbs so that they will multiply for an even larger crop planting next February. As we have previously posted, the saffron bulbs will help farmers replace the poppy crop that has become so prevalent in Afghanistan. Saffron is one of the few crops that generates a revenue comparable to poppy and hopefully will give poor Afghani farmers a viable means to support their families. Tools from Home Depot are on their way as well and should arrive in just a few weeks.
Iran: Insiders See Doomsday Approaching -- [Strategy Page]
October 2, 2007: Efforts to impose more sanctions on Iran are gathering more adherents. France, and most European nations are willing to make it more difficult for Iran to smuggle in components for weapons, particularly nuclear bombs. This forces Iran to be more dependent on Russia and China for their weapons and industrial needs. That suits Russia and China just fine, as they compete with European firms all the time, and it's nice to have an edge in Iran.
American Veteran Cuts Down American Flag - CNN Report:
A store flying the Mexican Flag over the American Flag, Enraged an American Veteran (Rightly So!) prompting him to cut down the American Flag and have someone challenge him in taking it away from him.....
“We want to fight Al Qaeda!” -- [The Tank - W. Thomas Smith Jr - in Lebanon.]
BROUMANA SPECIAL FORCES CAMP — Nestled here deep in the mountains beyond east Beirut — between the summer village of Broumana and Mar Shaaya, a Maronite Christian monastery — is a rugged tract of land where the Lebanese Army is training to fight Al Qaeda.
GWOT NOT -- [Dadmanly]
I thought we'd put this nonsense behind us, well the really reality-based world that is.
Sure the NYT has to include a paragraph worth of political commentary masked as caveat, every time they have to report of AQ misdeeds and misadventures in Iraq, formerly known as Mesopotamia several thousand years ago...[and so on].
But that's the Times under current ownership.
The new CJCS doesn't like the Global War on Terror, how it sounds? What, he gets a lot of crap from his fellow country clubbers? He's jockeying for a key appointment in what he expects will be an incoming Dem administration?
Top Saudi Cleric Issues Warning -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Earlier this week, Sheikh Abdel-Aziz Al-Asheikh – the most senior Wahhabi cleric in Saudi Arabia -- released a rather surprising religious edict. In this fatwa, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia instructed Saudis not to leave the Kingdom to participate in jihad – a statement directed primarily at those considering going to Iraq. Al-Asheikh said that he decided to speak up, “after it was clear that over several years Saudis have been leaving for jihad” and that “our youth…became tools carrying out heinous acts.” Perhaps even most significantly, Al-Asheikh also addressed potential donors, urging them to “be careful about where [their money is] spent so it does not damage young Muslims.”
Modern Heroes -- [Opinion Journal]
Our soldiers like what they do. They want our respect, not pity.
I'm weary of seeing news stories about wounded soldiers and assertions of "support" for the troops mixed with suggestions of the futility of our military efforts in Iraq. Why aren't there more accounts of what the troops actually do? How about narrations of individual battles and skirmishes, of their ever-evolving interactions with Iraqi troops and locals in Baghdad and Anbar province, and of increasingly resourceful "patterning" of terrorist networks that goes on daily in tactical operations centers?
CHUCK links to OMV -- [One Marine's View]
MR Chuck Norris has been a huge supporter of all American military forces around the world and probably the biggest star to give some love to the troops. When he is in Washington DC he always makes a special trip to the wounded and to honor the Marines. On his web page today he links to OMV and ...
A Tribute to those who fight to keep us free
"Freedom is never Free"
SoldierWorks is just that. Works by Soldiers from their War Experience; Soldier Stories, Soldier Poems, Soldier Songs, Stories of war, and War Stories. Our goal is to bring to the public the self published, or heretofore unpublished Story of War by those who actually experienced it. They never forget the Lost Soldier, the Wounded Soldier, or the Soldier that became a Friend forever on the Battlefields of time.
SoldierWorks is an effort to bring stories of war that you can find nowhere else. Here you will find here the words of those sent to war, who discovered their very soul, and wrote down the experience of it. If you have never seen combat except on on the big or small screen, you might consider the words of those that have seen it first hand. Wars simply refuse to go away, and the insight you will find here will be worth the time you spend
A salute to General Pace
From Sudan to Iraq: Soldier Overcomes Many Obstacles on His Way to U.S. Citizenship -- [Blog-ah]
...Mayom replied that he is glad he joined the U.S. Army.
“If you have a love and a vision of freedom, you should be in this Army,” Mayom said. “In this Army, it’s not about what we can do to make America better. It’s about what we can do to make the world a better place. It’s the world’s Army. It has all the races of the world in it.”
U.S. Army Speeds Up Expansion -- [Strategy Page]
October 3, 2007: The U.S. Army wants an additional $2.8 billion so that it can increase its strength by 74,000 troops in four years, instead of five (as Congress has mandated.) The army believes it is capable of recruiting the additional personnel more quickly than it believed possible last year, when army officials and Congress hammered out the deal. The techniques the army is using are somewhat controversial, as they include recruiting more people who did not graduate from high school, or have had trouble with the law (drugs or petty crime). For decades, it's been accepted that the most successful recruits are those who have graduated from high school, and have no police record. But the army has long known that many high school drop outs, or young people with police records, can make excellent soldiers.
It's Never Easy"... -- [Jim Spiri - home from Iraq]
Eventually, I arrived in Albuquerque, to a cool drizzle. The southwest desert has an aroma to it after a fall rain. There was no way to get home from the airport, as my wife is still in Kuwait, awaiting her departure in a few days for her journey home. I called a friend of ours who picked me up and drove me to my house. It was now midnight as I looked out the windows of the car thinking back to where I had just come from. I was not looking forward to coming home.
It is never easy.
I've now been home less than 24-hours and I find myself hiding in my office that has photos on the wall as well as maps. I begin to wonder where the next photos will go. I realize soon there is no energy left in my being for anything. I'm home, I've made it. There is no euphoria. There is just a place to lay my head. The house is empty. I look at the pictures my wife has placed on the fridge. There is one of my son Jesse that I had not seen before. It was when he was in Quantico learning to become a US Marine officer. I had not seen this photo before. I determine to go visit his grave site when I'm ready.
It's been a year.
Wesley Clark -- [Counter Column]
Now that former General Wesley Clark is trying to reassert himself on the public stage, I think it's worthwhile to take a brief look at the man.
Like Westmoreland, by all accounts he was a stellar junior officer, and had tremendous success at his middle management jobs as Battalion Commander, etc.
But remember, after Kosovo, he was all but relieved of his command by President Clinton, who made him an offer he couldn't refuse:
Retire three months early.
Anyone who didn't see that as a public rebuke just short of the level of firing MacArthur just wasn't paying attention. ..
H&I Fires October 3, 2007 -- [Denizens of Argghhh!]
Rush Limbaugh, kind of amusing, sometimes annoying, occasionally funny, but, honestly, not an appropriate debate topic for 24 hours or more in congress. These people literally must have nothing to do. They have certainly accomplished little over the last two years. Of course, they're after Limbaugh, not just because of the MoveOn mess, but because they can't quell talk radio through competition, they can't make it give up its market share by the "fairness doctrine" and now they are doing some lame "Mom, he hit me, too" dance in congress.
Better America, Better World -- [Jules Crittenden]
Harry Reid isn’t the only one who’s decided our soldiers are making a worthwhile sacrifice for freedom. Here’s Obama:
… they embody the spirit of those who fought to free the slaves and free a continent from a madman; who rebuilt Europe and sent Peace Corps volunteers around the globe; because they are fighting for a better America and a better world.
So how come Obama wants to pull them out? It’s a mystery. Let’s give it a read, and see if we can pluck out a clue.
Clinton to Magazine : "Kill This Story--or Else" -- [Jawa Report]
Likely only a taste of things to come:
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign forced a magazine to drop a negative story about her by threatening to cut off the publication’s access to the former President Bill Clinton, it emerged yesterday.
Blackwater is the NYT's new Abu Ghraib -- [The Monkey Tennis Centre]
The New York Times famously carried a front page story about Abu Ghraib virtually every day for a month back in 2004. While its obsession with Blackwater hasn’t quite reached those levels, it’s clear that as far as the Times is concerned, the private security company’s name has become the new byword for failure in Iraq.
Once again, milbloggers have somehow become “conservative bloggers” in the media -- [Cannoneerno4]
Are all milbloggers conservative?
From the perspective of the MSM, anybody who supports victory must necessarily be conservative. Some milbloggers would not be comfortable self-identifying as conservatives, but even fewer would care to be called lefties. It’s not a complement.
Most milbloggers are assumed by the general public to be right-wingers, and that’s a perception the lefties want to create and benefit from. I read a lot of milblogs, and link to them, and consider them to be the key element in CYOP,
Kos Traffic Numbers Inflated by 60% -- [Patrick Ruffini]
Yesterday, I had the good “fortune” of being frontpaged on Daily Kos. The post sat atop the site for two hours. According to Google Analytics, the link produced 1,164 visitors yesterday.
For the traffic behemoth Kos is portrayed as, that seems low, especially since he linked to two posts of mine. I went and looked at other notable traffic spikes this year, and this one isn’t really even close to some other blockbuster links. For instance
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)
US military deaths in Iraq lowest in 14 months -- [Breitbart.com]
US military losses in Iraq for September stood at 70 on Sunday, the lowest monthly figure since July last year, according to an AFP tally based on Pentagon figures.
The figure also marks the fourth consecutive drop in the monthly death toll following a high of 121 in May. June saw 93 deaths, July 82 and August 79. The monthly toll in July 2006 was 53.
Tribal Members Join in Effort To Assist U.S., Iraqi Forces -- [Washington Post - Page A23 ]
30,000 Volunteers to Serve With Police and Military Units
More than 30,000 tribal members in Iraq have come forward to work with U.S. and Iraqi forces over the past six months, a phenomenon that is spreading beyond Anbar province to Baghdad and other regions of the country, according to U.S. commanders.
The Iraqi government, at the urging of U.S. authorities, this month ordered Iraqi army and police units to integrate the volunteers into their operations. "That is huge. This gives them the approval that we are looking for," said Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, deputy commander of the U.S. military in Baghdad.
I Have Arrived -- [Sgt Hook]
Film at eleven… or whenever I get another chance to log on here. Sgt Hook out.
Al Shura Village -- [manrymission - in Iraq]
Last week, I went on a site visit to a project south of Mosul. The nearest town, Al Shura, is about 7 kilometers away from this water compact unit (WCU) that is being built. Although the site is only about 30 miles south of Mosul, the drive lasted about 2 hours. The trip there was worth it. This WCU is going to provide clean drinking water for 5 small villages in the area. The WCU draws water from the Tigris River, purifies it, and then pumps it into the water distribution network for the villagers. While we were visiting the site, there were some local kids swimming in the Tigris.
Stryker Sandwich -- [The Unlikely Soldier - in Iraq]
...We slowed or stopped or something, and all this dust started pouring through the hatches.
"Wow, that's a lot of dust," I thought, and I was immediately thrown in the direction of the front of the truck.
I stopped, pondered. Felt like I had ALMOST maybe been close to pulling a muscle in my arm, nothing more. So what the hell was that? Did we get blown up? Was I so disoriented that my mind processed the dust BEFORE it could grasp the impact or explosion or whatever the hell that was? Can't be, because it wasn't quite like that when we got blown up on top of that house... so what then?
Captured Iranian agent identified, 15 Special Groups operatives captured in Iraq -- [Long War Journal - embed in Iraq]
Task Force 88 captured 15 Special Groups operatives, as Multinational Forces Iraq names the Iranian Qods Force officer captured in northern Iraq. Multinational Forces Iraq also states Iran is providing shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles to insurgents.
Special Forces, Iraqi Style -- [Matt Sanchez - in Iraq]
The Peace Corps with Muscles -- [Michael Totten - embed in Iraq]
RAMADI, IRAQ – Now that major combat operations are finished almost everywhere in Iraq’s Anbar Province, the United States Army and Marine Corps are more like a United Nations peacekeeping force with rules of engagement that allow them to kill if they have to. “We’re like the Peace Corps with muscles,” is how one soldier put it when I left with his unit at 4:00 in the morning to deliver food stuffs and toys to needy families in the countryside on the edge of the desert.
The Surge – 6 -- [ON Point]
Andrew Lubin With all the excitement, recriminations, and bombast of the recent Petraeus – Crocker Hearings, there was a simple question that many of the Congressmen and Senators neglected to ask: Is the military aspect of The Surge actually working? To answer this question, OnPoint talked with three of the senior officers leading the action on the ground, and will be presenting their answers in today’s and Monday’s Features. BrigGen Mick Bednarik is the Deputy Commanding General for...
Fighting In Fallujah
Paranoia... -- [Eighty Deuce On The Loose - In Iraq]
Basically heres the deal. Right before people are about to go on leave they try everything they possibly can to get out of heading outside the wire. The reason for this is due to a variation of short timers paranoia. They are worried that something might happen right before they are getting ready to head home. For this reason people tend to snake out of patrols and missions that take place in the last few days before they are to turn in their weapons and go on leave.
The thing is this is not a totally unfounded idea. See there is a perfect example of this fear being manifested in to reality in an incident that I was involved with many months ago earlier in this deployment.
Beauchamp Talks -- [Weekly Standard]
Last week we heard from Scott Beauchamp's commanding officer, Col. Ricky Gibbs. Gibbs said that Beauchamp had admitted to the investigating officer that his stories for the New Republic were false--or, as he put it later in the briefing, that, while Beauchamp had not "recanted," he "does not stand by the story." Col. Gibbs also said that Beauchamp was free to speak with the press. The New Republic's last update on the matter (on August 10) had suggested that the Army was preventing them from speaking with their author.
Now one of the bloggers from Blackfive has sat down with Beauchamp in Iraq. He does not report the substance of his conversation with Beauchamp, but he does have this to say:
As I sit here in Afghanistan, I wonder how many people truly appreciate . . . -- [Richard's Deployment - in Afghanistan]
As I sit here in Afghanistan separated from my son, my family, and boyfriend, I wonder how many people truly appreciate the sacrifice that we as American soldiers and airmen make.
With so many people arguing that we need to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, you'd think they've forgotten what caused us to be here in the first place.
Life -- [ETT PA-C - in Afghanistan]
...We finally get outside the wire the last couple of days and had some great interaction with the locals in a fairly poor section of town next to one of our police check points. These kids came out of this makeshift medical clinic and we had the ANP hand out about 3 bags of stuffed animals and toys. It was so great. That's what its all about. We handed out paper, crayons and whatever else we had. I pulled out my medical bag and started to see people on the hood of my Humvee. The pic is of a little girl with a lacerated finger. Another is a girl that grabbed our hands and kissed them. It was breaking our hearts but it was so fulfilling to have and be able to give. Thank you all for sending what you have to give to these children who have nothing, literally.
Newsnight - report from Sangin valley, Helmand province, Afghanistan
President Karzai, negotiations and the UN -- [The Torch]
I think the Afghan president's offer is meant to express a simple desire for a reasonable peace--which I have no doubt he wants. Moreover the offer should help gain internal and international support. But note the conditions in the offer which the president clearly would not have expected the Taliban to acccept:
Dirty talk -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghansitan]
Outside of our own little piece of dirt here, dirt's role in Afghan life is even more evident. Afghans use the dirt to construct homes, villages, walls - virtually everything. There are brick kilns and those who use modern materials to build homes and buildings, but those are rare outside of downtown Ghazni. Dirt is the building material of choice in the majority of places here.
...But dirt tells another story here. The dirty faces, clothes and bare feet of children underscore the hard, poor life they lead. "Dirt poor" might be an applicable phrase here if one didn't get the feeling that it would be a step up in the level of poverty many of these children experience.
Dear all, -- [Mordechai Sorkin - in Afghanistan]
... Why do we allow ourselves to suffer because of foreign domestic problems? Why do we support this country when their security forces tip off the enemy before operations? Why do we work with corrupt politicians who lie to our faces? Why do we allow the host government to impose restrictive and dangerous rules on American forces? Why do we allow men who don’t shower, yet wipe themselves with their hands, to treat women and Hazaras like second-class citizens? Why don’t we just do the right thing for them, and force them to follow suit?
I’ll be honest: I didn’t joint the Army to make Afghanistan or Iraq into better places. I would like to help these countries, but that’s not why I’m here. I find some things about Afghans endearing, and there are parts of their culture that humble me. But I’m not an Afghan patriot. I am an American. I’m here to fight for the United States; to eliminate those people who would do us harm, and to prevent them from spreading their beliefs to others who would do the same.
Freedom Watch Afghanistan
Final Article -- [A JAG in Afghanistan]
Many members of the recently returned 1st. Corps Artillery faced hot combat against the Taliban on the battlefronts of Afghanistan during their yearlong tour of duty.
But among their ranks are three soldiers, all from Utah County, who fought against injustice on a different kind of battlefront — the courtrooms of Afghanistan
Afghan president offers Taliban a place in government for peace deal -- [Herald Tribune]
KABUL, Afghanistan: President Hamid Karzai offered Saturday to meet personally with Taliban leader Mullah Omar for peace talks and give the militants a high position in a government ministry as a way to end the rising insurgency in Afghanistan.
Taliban Rebuffs Karzai's Offer -- [SF Gate]
... for the militant group on Sunday said it will "never" negotiate with Afghan ... would not meet demands that foreign troops must first leave the country.
Shifting Targets -- [Seymour M. Hersh]
The shift in targeting reflects three developments. First, the President and his senior advisers have concluded that their campaign to convince the American public that Iran poses an imminent nuclear threat has failed (unlike a similar campaign before the Iraq war), and that as a result there is not enough popular support for a major bombing campaign. The second development is that the White House has come to terms, in private, with the general consensus of the American intelligence community that Iran is at least five years away from obtaining a bomb. And, finally, there has been a growing recognition in Washington and throughout the Middle East that Iran is emerging as the geopolitical winner of the war in Iraq.
The Losers Lament -- [Strategy Page]
September 30, 2007: The September 6 Israeli air raid in Syria has been a major setback for Russian arms sales. The Syrians had invested heavily in new Russian air defense systems, and the Israelis apparently brushed right by them. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russians have been trying to rehabilitate the reputation of their weapons. Throughout the Cold War, whenever Russian and Western (especially American) weapons met on the battlefield, the Russians lost.
MASS SLAUGHTER IN BURMA!... Hundreds, Maybe Thousands, Dead! (Video) -- [Gateway Pundit]
There are reports coming from Burma that the slaughter of innocent democracy protesters and monks was massive.
The Real Reason for Normalizing Relations with North Korea -- [GI Korea]
If you are wondering why the Koreans have been trying so hard to have the United States normalize relations with North Korea well now you have your answer:
Clashes after Pakistan ruling
A Pakistan court has approved President Musharraf's nomination for re-election, amid angry protests.
Wedges and Mauls -- [Cannoneerno4]
The Global War On Terror is misnamed. Terror is a tactic, not the name of an enemy. And it’s not really global. America is not at war with LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka or Basque terrorists in Spain. Why can’t we name the was the ruthless old general Ne Win, branded his local juche as “the Burmese Way to Socialism.” Despite the regime’s nominally Marxist character, Burma remains devoutly Buddhist, and monks are still revered and highly sought for the exhange of alms for blessings. enemy and correctly name this war?
Why has America fought this war with both hands tied behind it’s back?
Why didn’t President Bush ask for a formal declaration of war on 9/12?
Why is the Middle East not a radioactive glass parking lot by now?
Why can’t anybody in authority answer these questions to our satisfaction and put our minds at ease?
Because the answers contain painful truths that few in authority care to voice.
Roddy Stinson: Passenger sitting behind soldier reports 'a very moving moment'
Last Wednesday, while flying from Phoenix to the Alamo City on U.S. Airways Flight 207, a San Antonio man, Gil Anderson, witnessed something memorable.
Shortly before takeoff, he overheard a flight attendant tell a young uniformed soldier sitting in front of him:
"A lady in first-class wants to switch seats with you." -- [MY SA]
The soldier accepted the offer and walked up to the first-class section.
"When the lady came back to our area, I had a tear in my eye," Anderson said when he phoned this column soon after his plane landed. "I gave her a little round of applause.
"Then, by golly, everybody in that area started applauding," he said in a voice tinged with emotion. "It was a very moving moment."
The price of service -- [Intel Dump]
...It's a story which is much bigger than PTSD, TBI, or the particular rigors of combat, although that's part of it. The bigger story has to do with the economic, social, and personal transition that soldiers must make when they leave the highly institutionalized world of the military for the competitive and often-unforgiving world of civilian life. It's a massive life change, and as one person tells the AP: "What the VA has to offer is insufficient economically to take care of the impact of what happens." Right. But how should we take care of veterans when they come home from war, or leave the service?
Eagle Scouts Assist the Wounded -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
One of my jobs at Soldier's Angels is to work with Eagle Scout candidates who want to do a service project to help wounded American Soldiers. A few facts about Eagle Scouts: only about 3% of boys who enter the scouting program earn the Eagle Rank. It takes over 300 individual requirements and several years to accomplish the necessary steps. The final, and one of the most challenging requirements is performing a service project to aid the community. The scout is responsible for planning, organizing and running the project, which can often run into hundreds of hours of work.
NORTHWEST CRACKDOWN ON FAKE VETERANS IN “OPERATION STOLEN VALOR” -- [UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE]
Phony Vets Scam more than $1.4 Million and Damage Image of Honorable Veterans
U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Sullivan today announced some of the results of “Operation Stolen Valor,” a year long effort to investigate and prosecute those who lie about their military service for financial gain or other reasons. Sullivan and Doug Carver, Special Agent in Charge of the Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General detailed eight prosecutions in the Veteran’s Affairs Northwest Region in 2007.
...“The ‘phony war hero phenomenon’ plagues the American landscape and tarnishes the service of thousands of veterans who have served honorably. It strangles VA resources from providing critical care and benefits to deserving veterans returning from war,” said Douglas J. Carver, Special Agent in Charge of the VA Office of Inspector General, Western Field Office.
... Life Continues -- [ Acute Politics - home from Iraq]
...I've been home for five days now, and I'm mainly occupying myself with beer drinking and lazing around. It's strange to have to contend with the realities of an "ordinary" life- making sure the bills are paid, looking for a new car, buckling up to ride in the car, getting my own mail, etc etc. I looked through some of my pictures and video with a couple friends tonight and felt what I can only describe as homesickness. I'll get over it, I'm sure.
I'm tired already of hearing the same questions from people: "So what's it like?"- you might as well ask an astronaut about the moon. The other standbys of "So are we winning?", "Did you kill anyone?" and "So how bad is it, really?" aren't any better. I realize that such questions reveal what is in many cases an honest desire to understand, but I still find it irritating to answer them over and over. Selfish and irrational, I know. I'm back, and ignorance and curiosity are in full swing.
Murtha must testify in defamation case -- [Powerline News]
WASHINGTON - A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition about his comments alleging “cold-blooded murder and war crimes” by unnamed soldiers in connection with Iraqi civilian deaths.
A Marine Corps sergeant is suing the 18-term congressman for making the charge, which the soldier claims is false. Murtha, who opposes the Iraq war, made the comment during a May, 2006 Capitol Hill news conference in which he predicted that a Pentagon war crimes investigation will show Marines killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005.
Rush Limbaugh, phony soldiers, and the Left’s desperate need for its own “Betray Us” moment -- [Michelle Malkin]
So, word is that the Democrats will introduce a House resolution Monday condemning Rush Limbaugh for his remarks about phony soldiers. Brian Maloney points out that ABC News aired a report on phony soldiers and Operation Stolen Valor two days before Rush made his remarks. Asks Maloney: “Given the overwhelming evidence to support Limbaugh’s contention that he really was talking about phony soldiers who have faked their service, how does the left justify continuing this fabrication?”
Here is what this phony fiasco is really all about:
Gore In Iraq -- [Roger Simon - PJM]
...Yes, you read me correctly. Forget the Nobel Prize and the global warming Oscar, if Al Gore had been elected in ‘00, he’d be burning excess Air Force One fuel, jetting behind the lines to Anbar Province, dealing with an ornery (possibly antiwar) opposition party and doing his best to ignore wretched poll numbers, a hostile media and whacko Code Pink demonstrators (not to mention his quondam allies on the Moveon-Kos end of his party who by now would be calling for his impeachment).
Desperate for Bad News -- [Weekly Standard]
Today's Huffington Post cherry picks a four year old
quote from Atkinson's report on IEDs.The Washington Post today prints the first in a series of stories by Rick Atkinson on the IED threat in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Pentagon's response to it. The title of the piece: "'The IED problem is getting out of control. We've got to stop the bleeding.'" That quote is damning, but fortunately, it's also four years old:
The Sounds of Silence -- [The Tank - Pete Hegseth]
As the director of an Iraq & Afghanistan veteran’s organization, I follow the headlines from Iraq very closely. So, it’s always news to me when there is little news from Iraq…at least from the mainstream media.
Over the last few weeks, with the exception of the unfortunate Blackwater story, headlines from Iraq have been few and far between.
Why is this the case? There must be a reason. And I believe the reason is rooted both in what has happened and what has not.
NYTimes: Thomas Friedman Wants America to Get Over 9/11-- [NewsBusters]
Thomas Friedman thinks you are "stupid" if you still care about the atrocity committed against this country by Islamofascists in New York on 9/11/2001. He thinks "9/11 is over" and we all should just move on. Even worse, he has decided that we are no longer a great country, but are filled with seemingly meaningless "fear," that we have a dilapidated infrastructure, and that while America used to be "the gold standard," he believes "We aren’t anymore." Friedman is falling for the typical, leftist doom-and-gloom scenario and imagines that China is better than we are, Europe is more inviting, and we have become the new Rome after the fall. His closing line is "We can’t afford to keep being this stupid!" By contrast to Friedman, my opening line to him is "We can't afford to be this self-loathing!"
ABC Reported on ‘Phony Heroes' Two Days Before Rush Limbaugh Did -- [NewsBusters]
This is really hysterical, folks, and definitely requires all drinking vessels be properly stowed before continuing.
Just days before Rush Limbaugh was attacked by a number of press outlets for discussing "phony soldiers" on the air, ABC's Brian Ross did a segment on "World News with Charles Gibson" dealing with "phony heroes...scam artists...posing as the war heroes they never were, claiming credit for acts of courage in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Final Bow - [Cox & Forkum]
With mixed emotions I announce: John and I will no longer be producing editorial cartoons. John will continue posting his work at his blog, John Cox Art, and he and I will continue working together on various projects, but there will be no more regularly scheduled editorial cartoons. The Web site will remain running indefinitely, as a means to market our books and as an archive of our work.
Let me start by saying that quitting editorial cartooning has been one of my toughest decisions. Having such a creative outlet for expressing my opinions is immensely satisfying. It's an art form I've admired for decades, so I do not take lightly having the opportunity to work in the medium and to have that work seen by others. One of my proudest moments came soon after 9/11 when I held in my hands our first published cartoon. It was easy to feel useless, even helpless, in the weeks and months following the attacks. But to be able to fight in the battle of ideas was empowering.
Dem Rivals Call for Pull Out Now, Long Occupation -- [ScrappleFace]
The leading Democrat presidential candidates joined forces this week to immediately call for the eventual pull out of U.S. forces from Iraq on a time line that could have all of the troops home as early as the end of the second term of the president who succeeds the next one.
(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)