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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.
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Daughters of Iraq Help Thwart Female Suicide Bombings -- [Amy Proctor]
The first Daughters of Iraq group is forming in Baghdad within the Sons of Iraq, the highly successful group of Iraqi men that is helping maintain security throughout Iraq at the grass-roots level.
The newly formed Daughters of Iraq, comprised of Iraqi women, have been credited with increased security.
The Army Times:
The female group will be in the city of Yusafiyah, which had long been an insurgent stronghold and scene of battles with U.S. forces. The “DOI,” as the military referred to them, “would be able to search other females at security checkpoints,” which Iraqi cultural norms do not allow men to do.
Officials with the 3rd ID said this was necessary because of “insurgents utilizing females to carry out suicide attacks,” according to a Friday news release. The release also said the “Daughters of Iraq” would facilitate “female empowerment” and a “step toward a properly functioning democratic society.”
Through A Heat Stroke Darkly -- [Iraq: The Purgatorium - in Iraq]
The boys all strap on their fancy high tech super soldier gear, oppressive body armor and an assortment of pads and doohickeys, and plop down on the benches in the Stryker. Prepare your nightvision. Click. Good to go.
The truck transports us to another nowhere neighborhood in a nowhere town of a nowhere country that makes big news and the ramp drops, and all of it is very familiar. Very.
Boots hit the dirt and good God is it hot tonight. Flip the NODs (nightvision) down over the eye and dart your focus in all directions, scanning through a green lens in search of that evil bastard that probably isn't out there.
...Boots hit the dirt and good God is it hot tonight. Flip the NODs (nightvision) down over the eye and dart your focus in all directions, scanning through a green lens in search of that evil bastard that probably isn't out there.
The men in black vanish and Basra comes to life -- [Times Online]
The first Western journalist to enter the city since Operation Charge of the Knights was launched a month ago
Reconstruction In Basra
Rebuilding in Basra, while Sadr takes his city back to the 7th Century.
The Battle For Basra -- [Greyhawk]
A look back at media coverage of the British capture of Basra in the spring of 2003. This post is not intended to be all-inclusive. Additional expansion will occur as time permits.
The day before the invasion, the British role was explained in general terms:
At that point in time, few would risk stating anything for the record other than the obvious regarding the pending assault
A Dissertation on Getting It Right -- [Castle Argghhh! - CW4BillT - in Iraq]
"I thought you might like to know that there was one part of the Basra op that was planned *right* and went according to plan from Day One all the way through. I'll let Ali tell it -- it was his story, after all.
"So, on the first day, we knew the troops will be needing the ammunition, the food, the medicine for casualties. The C-130 [an IqAF Herky, BTW] lands and offloads the ammunition first. We put the ammunition into the Huey IIs and fly resupply. The Bad Guys shoot to drive us off, but we shoot back and continue into the area to land because the troops, our troops, need ammunition."
Mahdi Army Fades Away -- [Strategy Page]
April 28 , 2008: After a month of fighting, the Mahdi Army has disappeared from the streets of Basra, the largest city in the south. The army and police are everywhere, and people are providing information on where Mahdi Army personnel are hiding out, and the locations of their weapons caches.
Evansville veterans have unique approaches to the deployment -- [IN Iraq - in Iraq]
...Sergeant James Eckerty, 41, of Evansville walked Iraqi roadways looking for IEDs and cleared houses in Kasul, Iraq in 2003, now he’s serving in the operations unit for the 1/151 convoy security mission.
“I’m one of the crazy ones,” Eckerty said. “I got out and came back in. I missed the thought of them going with out me.”
Sergeant Josh Auxier, 27, of Evansville, who was in the Kasul with Eckerty and also deployed to Bosnia said, “Back then we had no classes on IEDs. Now that’s over 90 percent of our training.”
Women in Action -- [Lt Nixon - in Iraq]
No all you male pervs! Don't let the title of the post fool you. This is about female soldiers in Iraq in the Lioness program. Traditional Muslim culture prevents male soldiers from searching women, so it has been necessary to have all-female units deal with these situations. There's a documentary coming out about it, which the Fayetteville Observer has an extensive article well worth the read. One thing I've been flabbergasted with is the prominent feminist movement giving women serving our country very little attention.
Clashes ongoing in Sadr City -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Seven Mahdi fighters killed in airstrikes. Mahdi Army attacks a police patrol and mortars the International Zone. Iraqi general links weapons back to Iran.
Fighting Continues Between Sadr Followers And Iraqi Forces.
Clashes between Sadr followers and Iraqi forces continues in north of Basra
Iraq News (28 April) -- [Lt Nixon - in Iraq]
The Good: U.S. forces are seriously pushing utilities, services, and humanitarian aid in Sadr City in an effort to wrest the district of Baghdad from militia control. This coincides with the offensive to take out militia thugs, 38 of whom were killed in fierce fighting yesterday amidst a Hades-like sandstorm that resulted in steel rain on the Green Zone. Vice President Hashimi and Prime Minister Maliki are finalizing political arrangements for the Iraqi Accordance Front's return to the Iraqi cabinet. Three members of the dangerous insurgent group, Ansar al-Sunnah, have been detained in Western Mosul by Iraqi Security Forces.
Iraqi Army Takes Control of Sa’id Abdullah Corridor -- [MNF-I]
FOB MAHMUDIYAH — In an effort to deal a blow to al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) west of Mahmudiyah, the 2nd battalion, 25th brigade, 6th Iraqi Army (IA) Division established permanent battle positions in the Sa’id Abdullah Corridor
...“I wouldn’t have expected to be setting up out here,” said 2nd Lt. Mohammed Shakur, 2/25/6 IA Div. “I find it amazing how much safer this area has become, and only in a few weeks time.”
Britons kidnapped in Iraq are ‘held by Iran’ -- [Times Online]
Five British hostages who were kidnapped in Iraq almost a year ago are being held inside Iran by Revolutionary Guards, according to two separate sources in the Middle East and London.
The hostages were handed over to the Revolutionary Guards by their Iraqi kidnappers last November, the sources believe. One of the sources said they were being held in the western Iranian city of Hamadan.
If confirmed, the involvement of Revolutionary Guards would be seen as evidence that senior figures in the Iranian government had backed the decision to hold them in the country.
MNF-I Commander visits Island Warriors, tours battlefield -- [Fearless 1st Marines’ blog - in Iraq]
KARMA, Iraq (April 23, 2008) – Gen. David H. Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, visited Marines and Iraqi Police at the police headquarters here, April, 23, to survey progress in the area.
Petraeus met with Marines of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, that conduct operations out of the IP station and presented them each with a coin.
Basra Iraqi Army School Supply (Mature) Leaked: 15 hours ago
Supplies being handed out to Iraqi school kids by the Iraqi army. Scenes include the unloading of supplies, the handing out of supplies to the children and interview.
Uday's House -- [Sarah Hostetler - MNF-I DCSINT C2SUPT - in Iraq]
Uday was one of Saddam's sons. We bombed his house out. TODAY I got a
VIDEO: British EOD teams help destroy weapons found in Basra surge -- [Ministry of Defence]
British bomb disposal teams have been helping their Iraqi counterparts destroy hundreds of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and other munitions recovered from Basra City during the recent Iraqi led surge into the city.
The amount of weaponry and munitions captured is a measure of the success of Operation Charge of the Knights, and with so much being recovered the Iraqi Security Forces' asked the Coalition Forces to assist them in its disposal.
Managing Deployment Stress -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
I meant to write about this topic for some time, but always had something better to write, or was not feeling like writing anything. Before I get into this, I want to share some of the things that can cause deployment stress, just to give ya'll an idea. Grumpy may or may not have experienced any of these.
COMBAT COMICS, help survive a deployment... -- [THE CI-ROLLER DUDE ]
From the Soldier side: SGT Grumpy (at: http://sgtgrumpy.blogspot.com/) was talking about his tips to survive a deployment. He's asking for good practical jokes that can be used. I have a few simple rules about particle jokes in combat zones:
1.) You don't want any good guys to be injured or killed (no explosive devices!)
2.) You don't want to get an Article 15 or some other punishment
3.) You shouldn't play one on someone of lower rank unless they really deserve it
4.) You want to involve as many people as possible in the "Delivery" for more enjoyment
5.) You have to survive to be able to tell about it, so if someone bigger than you kicks your ass, you failed.
Hundreds of Looted Artifacts Returned to Iraq Museum -- [Fox News]
BAGHDAD — Iraq's National Museum recovered on Sunday 701 artifacts stolen in the wake of Saddam Hussein's ouster, raising hopes of restoring the nation's rich cultural heritage after five years of war.
Syrian authorities, who seized the looted treasures smuggled across the border, turned them over to the Iraqis, who carefully packed them in 17 boxes and flew them back to Baghdad on Saturday
The Big Dog -- [From the Halls to the Shores - in Iraq]
Toby Keith played Baghdad tonight and your truly was there. This finally puts me even with the Wif, who saw him in 2006 in San Diego without me. Now if we could only see a show together!
TF Saber and COIN in Afghanistan: “Where the road stops is where the insurgency starts.” -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
More top-notch reporting and photography from Drew Brown of S&S about operations of the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment in Nuristan Province. Operation Mountain Highway II is Task Force Saber’s largest operation to date.
U.S., Afghan troops retake key bridge
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan — U.S. and Afghan troops have secured a key bridge in volatile northeastern Afghanistan, a move U.S. military officers say will allow Afghan border police to return to the area and help quell the insurgency there.
Taliban Confirms 3 Of Its Fighters Killed By Afghan Forces In Attack On Karzai.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has escaped unharmed after militants attacked a military parade with rockets and gunfire, killing three people, including an MP, and wounding a dozen others.
Al-Qaeda and Taliban totally pwned -- [Michelle Malkin]
Fascinating story in the Asia Times about Al-Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s successes and failures in Afghanistan. They were having a great deal of success raiding NATO’s supply lines in the Khyber area. They’d even managed to secure the loyalty of the local sheikh, Namdar, who was providing them with cover and safe houses. They knew they had to be careful, but Namdar was a Salafist Muslim, just like Al-Qaeda:
A propaganda coup for the Taliban: Analysis -- [Telegraph]
In a war where perceptions are crucial, the attack in Kabul was a huge propaganda coup for the Taliban.
Hamid Karzai survives assassination attempt
They claim six of their fighters breached the security of the most high profile military parade in the Afghan calendar, and were able to put machine gun rounds within a few yards of the Afghan president.
In doing so they captured headlines and demonstrated to the Afghan people and the wider world that the country's government and its Western backers are incapable of securing even the capital city.
Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the Taliban attack in Kabul -- [ISAF]
27 Apr. - On behalf of NATO, I condemn in the strongest terms the Taliban attack in Kabul this morning. The Taliban has demonstrated once again that they will use the most extreme violence to oppose Afghanistan's freedom and democratic development.
Paved Roads part II -- [The Satirist at War - in Afghanistan]
When my Commander told me I’d have an opportunity to do a bit of traveling with a Platoon, I was very enthusiastic. Going on patrols, no matter how limited (and the patrols I lead are very limited, owing to local circumstances I’m not at liberty to disclose due to OPSEC), is great fun, and helps move the time along nicely.
...The first leg landed us a bit to the North, in one of the largest FOBs in Afghanistan, and which I’ve made mention of in previous posts. The 1SG of the Company I was previously a part of (before I moved to the “Band of Brothers” Company) took us to this FOB in November, and assured us that it was connected to other areas of Afghanistan via a developed network of paved roads—these assurances, sadly, were all for naught at the time. When our patrol arrived there recently, I was surprised to see that since November they’d laid a good 10km (at least) of paved roads. Driving those ten short kilometers was a short but surreal experience (locals would still pull off to the side of the two-lane road and stop while our convoy passed… but instead of dirt roads, we were on paved roads,
Road march in Afghanistan -- [baltimoresun.com - Military Watch - journalist embed in Iraq]
A journalist goes on a mission carrying 18 bottles of water and four MREs, stripped of cardboard and packaging. Poncho liner. Laptop and satellite transmitter, nestled in hard foam panels. Spare note books and pens, one T-shirt, three pairs of socks, razor, toothbrush, malaria pills. Satellite phone.
All that goes in the pack. Sleeping pad lashed to the outside. Flak vest with attachments: two first-aid pouches, one on each side, with two tourniquets, gauze, QuikClot, compression bandage, burn dressing. Far left side pouch for camera, spare batteries; right side for gloves, headlamp. Full Camelbak strapped to back of flak. Pens clipped to chest beside infrared blinker. Notebook in side pocket in plastic bag to keep dry. Kevlar helmet with mounted night vision device. Shaded and clear goggles. On shins, thick knee pads to be yanked up for kneeling.
...My inspiration to keep going is a Marine named Jesse Bosnak (right). A 20-year-old, 5-foot-6 Alpha Company radio operator from Lancaster, Calif., Cpl. Bosnak carries a 115-pound pack. His own weight: 110 pounds. Add on his flak vest, Kevlar, ammo, etc., and he’s carrying 145 easy (not eas-ily).
Afghanistan - "Tribal Trickery" (April 2008)
"Coalition troops have set up outposts in Afghanistan's least accessible regions, taking the battle for hearts and minds right to the Taliban's doorstep. But with deployments both short and rare are they doing any good?" journeymanpictures
Karzai wants US to stop arresting Taliban suspects: report -- [AFP]
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged US forces Saturday to stop arresting suspected Taliban and their sympathizers, arguing that these arrests and past mistreatment were discouraging Taliban from laying down their arms.
The New York Times said the Afghan president, in an interview, also criticized the allied conduct of the war and demanded that his government be given the lead in policy decisions.
Karzai said the real terrorist threat lay in sanctuaries of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. He argued that civilian casualties needed to end completely.
The Taliban......If your not with em your gonna pay.
Talibans methods on the people of Afghanistan. Destroy your house, belongings and most likely take your life if you aren't on their side.
A dozen insurgents killed, dozen more wounded in failed Kunar attack -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101 - in Afghanistan]
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (April 28. 2008) – A dozen insurgents were killed and a dozen more were wounded during a failed attack, Sunday, on Afghan National Army and U.S. bases in Kunar province’s Korengal Valley. An estimated 30 to 40 insurgents attacked five bases in the Korengal valley with small-arms fire, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and indirect fire.
ANSF, CF disrupt suicide bomb, IED cell in Bati Kowt -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101 - in Afghanistan]
ALALABAD, Afghanistan (April 28, 2008) – Afghan National Security Forces, advised by Coalition forces, conducted an operation in Bati Kowt District, Nangarhar province, April 27.
The target of the operation was a known suicide bomb and IED facilitator.
The combined force came under machine-gun fire as they cleared the objective, and was able to eliminate the threat. Two insurgents were killed during the operation and four others were detained.
One ANSF member was killed during the operation.
Coalition forces reported no casualties as a result of this operation.
Taliban Hillside IED house taken out, 2. a few camera angles
Various angles of a planned take down of hillside Taliban IED bomb and IED making house.
ISAF train Afghan Police in Logar Province -- [ISAF]
28 Apr. - A new group of Afghan National Police soldiers start basic training at Forward Operations Base Shank in Logar province. The training is given jointly by ISAF and Afghan instructors.
Seoul Invaded by “The Ugly Chinese” -- [OneFreeKorea]
The most disastrous Olympic torch run in history has ended with a new low:
On Sunday, clashes broke out in Seoul near the relay start between a group of 500 Chinese supporters and about 50 demonstrators criticizing Beijing’s policies, carrying a banner reading, “Free North Korean refugees in China.” The students threw stones and water bottles as some 2,500 police tried to keep the two sides apart. [AP]
And so we add another excellent reason, if any more were needed to avoid Beijing 2008: your safety. Our State Department is both powerless and unprepared to protect the safety of Americans in Beijing, but hey, at least you’re still safe in your own damn country. That’s more than they can say in Seoul today, where the Chinese government went to its population of visiting students in South Korea and recruited a highly disciplined force of ambassadors to show you that the transcendental brotherhood that is The Olympic Spirit must never, ever be contaminated by politics
Videos of Chinese Protesters” Violence in Seoul -- [GI Korea]
I just got home from work and had a chance to look at all the videos of the violence that took place on the streets of Seoul as the Olympic torch passed through the city. The first videos I watched were the ones linked to on the Marmot’s Hole that were on the Chosun Ilbo website that were quite shocking. I then went on to YouTube and searched for some more videos there. I posted the ones I found below:
Chinese demonstrators severely bash a Free Tibet protester in the lobby of the high end Plaza Hotel in downtown Seoul:
Women's Rights: Kuwaiti women hope to enter parliament despite obstacles -- [Live Leak]
Kuwaiti women show optimism of winning seats in legislative elections next month.
KUWAIT CITY - Kuwaiti women are optimistic of winning seats next month when they contest legislative elections for only the second time, but analysts believe their chances are slim for lack of political support.
None of 27 female candidates who contested the previous general elections in June 2006 was successful, but a number did make an unexpectedly strong showing despite having little time to prepare for the polls.
"I am really very optimistic about the chances of women winning seats in this election as political awareness has increased," Salwa al-Jassar said after registering to contest the May 17 elections for the 50-seat parliament.
"My optimism is based on facts, not illusions," said the activist who heads the Centre for Enabling Women and who is standing for the first time.
U.S. Weighing Readiness for Military Action Against Iran -- [WaPo]
The nation's top military officer said yesterday that the Pentagon is planning for "potential military courses of action" as one of several options against Iran, criticizing what he called the Tehran government's "increasingly lethal and malign influence" in Iraq.
Iran demands Russian nuclear shipment -- [AP]
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran demanded Sunday that Azerbaijan deliver a Russian shipment of nuclear equipment blocked at its border with Iran for the past three weeks.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said in his weekly briefing that his country has asked the Azerbaijani ambassador in Iran to get his government "to deliver the shipment as soon as possible."
Iran Friday Sermon: Hillary's Comment – "Psychological Attack" -- [MEMRI Blog]
In his Friday sermon, Tehran Interim Friday Prayer leader Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani responded to U.S. senator and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's recent comment on eliminating Iran from the world map if she is elected.
U.S., Allies See Progress in Selling Al-Qaeda As an Enemy to the Muslim World -- [WaPo]
The top White House terrorism expert thinks some gains are being made in the worldwide public relations battle against al-Qaeda, as the administration and its overseas allies press efforts to show that Osama bin Laden's network is killing Muslim civilians rather than defending its interests.
"More and more Muslim and Arab populations -- [including] clerics and scholars -- are questioning the value of al-Qaeda's program," Juan Carlos Zarate, deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism, said Wednesday at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Discussing War and Decision With Douglas Feith (Audio) -- [Gateway Pundit]
I had the privilege this weekend to talk with Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith who served the Bush Administration from July 2001 until he resigned from his position effective August 8, 2005.
Douglas recently completed:
War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism
It is being described as the best account to date of how the Bush Administration debated, decided, organized and executed its military responses to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. And, it is said to be the most balanced, detailed, and lucid account of this story that’s come out yet.
Britain's first Jihadi 'Lone Wolf' bomber? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Big time terrorism plots are always big news whereas more subtle and interesting trends are often recorded as footnotes. One such footnote occurred over Christmas 2007 in the British city of Birmingham. A 38-year-old man, Hassan Muhammed Sabri Al Tabbakh of Syrian origin was arrested by local police on terrorism charges. He is accused of stockpiling chemicals and information on how to construct a bomb. He appears to have acted alone and this continues to be a conspiracy of one. Further, details may be forthcoming during the trial (now scheduled for May 16 at Birmingham Crown Court) but this little noted case has a number of features, which are -- noteworthy.
Early Season Log Rolling -- [Lumberjack in a Desert - injured in Iraq]
Yes, there is ice on the lake. Yes, it is snowing out. No, I do not care. Dust off your spikes, it's log rolling season.
Walter Reed Medical Team Honored in Staff Appreciation Day -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 25, 2008 - Walter Reed Army Medical Center today honored its 4,000-person team during Staff Appreciation Day, citing efforts to improve wounded warrior care.
“Over the past year, we’ve looked very carefully and honestly at every aspect of health care delivery. And where we found room for improvement, the staff moved out, busted through any bureaucratic challenges, and set a new standard for care, for compassion and for healing,” Army Col. Patricia Horoho, commander of the Walter Reed Health Care System, told the crowd.
"Warriors...in their own words" -- [View from the 8th Floor]
I hadn't seen anything about this yet.
The trailer for the documentary is powerful. Go have a look **HERE**.
Why did they make it? From their website:
"Help build our project to change the way America sees our Warriors - not as victims, but as intelligent, honorable, and brave people they are, standing in the way of the free worlds demise. Help us help our wounded warriors."
...P.P.S Wouldn't you like to be an Angel to a warrior like this?
Louisiana Needs You -- [Soldiers’ Angels Louisiana - Greta]
Looking for 2 Louisiana groups to host care package drives. One drive to send to a Louisiana National guard unit and one for Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home
Pentagon suspends program for military 'media analysts' -- [AFP]
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Pentagon has suspended a public affairs program that has come under fire for using retired military "media analysts" as surrogates to get out its messages on the Iraq war, a spokesman confirmed Monday.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the program was undergoing an internal review following criticism that the retired officers offered Pentagon talking points as their own during the run-up to the Iraq invasion and thereafter.
"It's temporarily suspended so we can take at look at some of the concerns," said Whitman
DoD Announces New Relocation Tool for Families -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2008 – It’s almost peak moving season again for military families, and Defense Department leaders want families to know new resources are available to help.
“Plan My Move,” soft-launched in late summer, is the next generation of DoD’s MilitaryHomefront tools to provide an integrated “e-moving” solution, officials said.
Moving to a new community can be a stressful event for all service and family members,” Leslye A. Arsht, deputy undersecretary of defense for military community and family policy, said. “This tool helps to ease that burden. It will put our servicemembers and their families in direct contact with those who can help every step of the way, from their current home and community to the new one.”
Carrier: Life Aboard the USS Nimitz -- [ HT: OPFOR ]
Navy Re-Establishes U.S. Fourth Fleet -- [Defense Link]
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced today the re-establishment of the U.S. Fourth Fleet and assigned Rear Adm. Joseph D. Kernan, currently serving as commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, as its new commander. Fourth Fleet will be responsible for U.S. Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
“Re-establishing the Fourth Fleet recognizes the immense importance of maritime security in the southern part of the Western Hemisphere, and signals our support and interest in the civil and military maritime services in Central and South America,” said Roughead. “Our maritime strategy raises the importance of working with international partners as the basis for global maritime security. This change increases our emphasis in the region on employing naval forces to build confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests. “
McGinnis to receive Medal of Honor -- [Army Times]
Spc. Ross McGinnis, who was killed Dec. 4, 2006, in Iraq when he smothered a grenade with his body, will receive the Medal of Honor, sources told Army Times.
McGinnis, 19, is the second soldier to receive the nation’s highest valor award for actions while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, who was killed April 4, 2003, fighting off insurgents in a fierce firefight south of Baghdad, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor two years after he died.
Thousands Honor Matt Maupin -- [BlackFive - Laughing_Wolf ]
Soldier's Mom wrote me this weekend about the funeral of SSG Matt Maupin, letting me know that more than 4,000 people filled the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati for his funeral. He is home, he is honored, and his family knows that people truly care about him and -- most of all -- about them.
WLWT has a story and video here, the Enquirer an article here (and actually notes why the missing are important)
A Father Keeps the Faith -- [GOE]
PFC Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Michigan and Spc. Alex R. Jimenez, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts both of the 10th Mountain Division have been listed as POW/MIA since their patrol was ambushed on 12 May, 2007. In Michigan, Byron’s stepdad has refused to accept anything but that Byron and Alex will one day come home. I have spoken to him on numerous occasions. He is a salt of the earth type. To honor and remember these men a Ride and Rally will be held 17 May, 2008. We can only keep the faith that we will, eventually, get to welcome these brave warriors home. Brothers Byron and Alex, you are not forgotten.
Back In The USA -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure - home from Afghanistan]
Coming home is an adventure all its own.
The final flight out of Afghanistan, for us, was on a C-130. The C-130, a four-engine turboprop whale, is a slow and torturous ride to go the distance from Kabul to Qatar, where we boarded a C-17 for the short hop to Kuwait, from where we embarked on a civilian charter that took us through Germany and then to New Jersey and finally Kansas. In Kansas the whirlwind of out processing started in earnest. There were briefings followed by a welcome home ceremony in a gymnasium attended by a few officers and NCO's who had been responsible for training us to go to Afghanistan and the few families who had been able to make the trip to Ft Riley
Welcome home New Orleans Marines -- [Soldiers’ Angels Louisiana - Greta]
We are glad to have you back. Let Soldiers’ Angels know if you need anything!
Obama's Connection to Terrorist Deeper than Once Thought -- [Jawa Report]
I'm not sure if all of the points made in this post by Larry Johnson hit the mark, but I did learn a few things about Barack Obama's relationship with Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
Obama Says Petraeus Did Good Job But Will Pull Troops Anyway -- [Gateway Pundit]
Figure this one out--
Senator Barack Obama says that General Petraeus did a good job in Iraq and that he will back Petraeus for his new command post.
Senator Barack Obama also says he will withdraw troops from Iraq immediately if he becomes president even if his generals in the field believe it is a bad idea.
Jeremiah Wright Spouts Off KKK Propaganda to Detroit NAACP & Gets Standing Ovation -- [Gateway Pundit]
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright spouted off KKK propaganda to his audience in Detroit last night at the Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner.
Last night at the 53rd Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner in Detroit, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright described to his audience of 10,000 that the very structure of the brains of Africans differ from that of European-descent brains:
Rev. Wright Takes His Message Directly to the Media -- [Fox News]
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright took dead aim at the U.S. government Monday — saying American soldiers in Iraq have died “over a lie” and called the war “unjust” — as he called for reconciliation and understanding between blacks and whites.
Wright, the controversial former pastor of Barack Obama’s church, was speaking Monday to members of the national media at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as he continues a series of nationwide appearances following an uproar over remarks he made in some of his sermons delivered from the pulpit.
Wright says criticism is attack on black church -- [The Associated Press]
Wright spoke at the National Press Club before the Washington media and a supportive audience of black church leaders beginning a two-day symposium. ...
The Wright Stuff: McCain goes after Wright -- [Hot Air - Ed Morrissey]
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly Barack Obama has a rhetorical gift that allows him to convince audiences to believe in him and in his arguments, a blend of charisma, intelligence, and argument. It certainly worked on John McCain. Shortly after Obama declared that Jeremiah Wright was a “legitimate political issue,” McCain started criticizing Wright’s equation between Roman armies in Jerusalem and US Marines in Iraq
2008 GI Film Festival - [Andi - MilBlogs]
The second annual GI Film Festival will take place in Washington, DC from May 14-18. In addition to film screenings and other fun happenings, the festival will present a series of panel discussions.
The festival has added a panel on milblogging to this year's agenda.
The nation’s military blogging community (Milblogs) prides itself on providing military news and context that you won’t often find in the mainstream media. Join some of the nation’s most popular milbloggers in a spirited discussion on how GIs and military families are portrayed in the media and on film. For more information about Milblogging, see www.milblogging.com, the world’s largest index of military blogs.
We should stop fooling ourselves. Our armed forces are no longer world class -- [THE GUARDIAN]
Max Hastings The Guardian, Monday April 28 2008
Public distaste for Blair's unpopular wars, coupled with the unfitness of our teenagers, has left Britain woefully short of soldiers
...Everybody knows that a major defence programme must be cancelled. The navy's cherished aircraft carriers? These would be the first choices of most soldiers, but because the ships mean jobs in Labour constituencies, they are almost certainly safe. Some frigates and destroyers? At least two planned escorts are likely to be axed. The army is fearful about its next-generation armoured vehicle. Several headquarters will have to go. General Sir Richard Dannatt, chief of the general staff, has failed in his attempt to persuade ministers to increase the army's numbers.
Dannatt's case is founded on the fact that his soldiers are attempting to fight one major war, in Afghanistan, with inadequate resources, while 4,000 troops are in another theatre, Iraq, to appease American sensitivities. The army also maintains a significant peacekeeping presence in the Balkans. It was announced last week that another infantry battalion is to be sent to Kosovo.
US making PR gains in Muslim world — but apparently not in US media -- [Hot Air - Ed Morrissey]
Would progress in public opinion against al-Qaeda in Muslim nations constitute important news? One might think so, considering the lengthy and difficult war we fight against the radical Islamist terrorists of the AQ network, especially in recruitment. The Washington Post took four days to report this progress, however, and stuck it on page A13, where Walter Pincus briefs us on some real progress
Former NBC Analyst Confirms He Quit Due to Network's Move to the Left -- [NewsBusters]
Last February, NewsBusters reported the resignation of retired Col. Ken Allard from NBC News as a result of the military analyst's view the network was undergoing a "precipitous retreat from journalistic and ethical standards."
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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.
Iraqi forces see victory in Basra -- [Times Online]
Iraqi soldiers are standing proud in Basra one month after launching a surprise offensive to wipe out murderous gangs of Shia militants that had been allowed to flourish under Britain’s watch.
Many of them say the operation has boosted their confidence, but the militiamen warn that the only reason the fledgling Iraqi army had any success was because they continue to observe a ceasefire order by the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
The men in black vanish and Basra comes to life -- [Times Online]
Young women are daring to wear jeans, soldiers listen to pop music on their mobile phones and bands are performing at wedding parties again.
All across Iraq’s second city life is improving, a month after Iraqi troops began a surprise crackdown on the black-clad gangs who were allowed to flourish under the British military. The gunmen’s reign had enforced a strict set of religious codes.
Report: New U.S. Military Discovery Shows Iran Still Sending Arms to Iraq-- [FOX News]
WASHINGTON — The U.S. military says it has found caches of newly made Iranian weapons in Iraq, leading senior officials to conclude Tehran is continuing to funnel armaments into Iraq despite its pledges to the contrary, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Officials in Washington and Baghdad said the purported Iranian mortars, rockets and explosives had date stamps indicating they were manufactured in the past two months. The U.S. plans to publicize the weapons caches in coming days.
Iraq News (25 April) -- [LT Nixon - in Iraq]
The Good: More excellent embedded reporting from Michael R. Gordon of the NY Times. This one's about our military providing medical aid to residents of the southern portion of Sadr City. On the political front, the Iraqi Accordance Front (Sunni bloc) will return their ministers to the government, since they see the Prime Minister being tough on Shia militias and not just out to marginalize Sunnis. The reconstruction of the Al-Askari mosque in Samarra is helping with reconciliation. This was the mosque bombed by terrorists in February 2006 that caused a disastrous increase in ethnic reprisal killings throughout Iraq. Oh yeah, for our Aussie allies and drinking buddies, it's Anzac Day.
Someone You Should Know - Staff Sergeant Carletta Davis, Combat Medic. -- [Castle Argghhh! - CW4BillT - in Iraq]
Davis was worried about returning to Iraq and made sure to spend more time with her family, including her husband and three sons before her most recent deployment.
“I think she was concerned particularly for her children,” [her mother] said. “She knew the danger of going back a third time.”
Yet she went. She died in Tal Al-Dahab, a few miles from here, on 5 November, 2007, along with four other soldiers when an IED detonated near their Humvee. They were enroute to set up a combat aid station.
Coaltion Forces Aim to Boost Fish-farming Industry in Mahmudiyah -- [MNF-I]
A Task Force Marne initiative to revitalize Iraq’s fish farms is in full swing in the Rakkasans’ area of operations.
The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) began a comprehensive assessment in February of hundreds of fish farms throughout the Mahmudiyah Qada.
“Fish farming was one of the top three agricultural businesses in Iraq,” said Maj. Robert Bertrand, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT), civil military operations officer. “Right now the farming has diminished significantly due to the war, but as capacity building is increasing, fish farming is becoming more and more important.”
Moment of Truth in Iraq’ author Michael Yon -- [9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America]
Syndicated talk radio host Mark Levin interviewed former Special Forces soldier and now author Michael Yon about his book ‘Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New ‘Greatest Generation’ of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope.’ Having spent much of the past three years as a self-embedded journalist there, Michael talked about Iraq and the situation now: (Audio)
Iraq War Is Everyone Else's Fault, Feith Explains -- [WaPo]
Feith Explains — Mistakes were made. But not by him. — Doug Feith, the No. 3 man at the Pentagon before, during and after the invasion of Iraq, has come in for his share of blame for the failures there — in large part because he led the Pentagon policy shop
Sadr City – Reconciliation or bloody fight -- [OPFOR - Richard S. Lowry]
Last Tuesday evening an Apache helicopter crew noticed three criminals loading a mortar into the trunk of their car in Sadr City. After insuring there were no civilians nearby, the American soldiers fired a Hellfire missile which obliterated the front end of the vehicle. The criminals rushed to the mangled auto and grabbed the mortar, tossed it into a second vehicle and sped away.
Events like these have become commonplace as neither American nor Iraqi Security Forces have been patrolling the streets of Sadr City. Even though Muqtada al Sadr has declared a cease-fire, the Sadr City District has been a very dangerous place for Coalition forces.
Musings and Memories -- [Acute Politics]
...I never understood the guys who complained about the mess, saying that "no one here cares enough to pick up the trash" (I would have a hard time caring, too, if the trash in my neighborhood covered IEDs), and then use the trash as an excuse to toss old water bottles-turned bathroom breaks out of the trucks.
An old favorite pit stop was Saddam's Mosque, the grandest structure in Ramadi, and oddly (I thought) named for the primarily secular former leader. Every night there was an IED on the corner next to the mosque- often, the wires ran inside the wall. Every night, the Explosives Ordnance Disposal techs blew up a little more of the mosque wall. No sense, after all, in moving the bomb too far from the site in the interest of preserving architecture. Every night, piss bottles sailed over the broken wall in a barrage directed at the IED triggerman.
Major Ryan talks about Iraqi Army, Police and Coalition
the Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police and Coalition Forces are working together in Eastern Baghdad!...Iraq Baghdad Iraqi Police Army Soldiers Ft Carson Talking with Heroes
To the Principles! Office -- [Kaboom - in Iraq]
There are moments in this war – albeit more sporadic than the movies of the future will show and almost always spontaneous – when we’re conducting the combat operations I envisioned us executing prior to our arrival to Iraq. Running through side streets in the midnight black to storm known insurgent safe-houses. Digging up caches of homemade RPG launchers and warheads while the local leaders stammer that they have no idea how those things got in the ground in the first place. Penetrating deep into the unknown through a hail of flying bullets, effectively ending a firefight simply because we’re the biggest dog on the block - if said big dog had a long-barreled 50-caliber machine gun mounted on top of it. Still being over here doesn't negate the ability to already recognize that these are the times that will stick to my psyche like quicksand for the succeeding ever after. I’m no adrenaline junkie, but these lethal operations make getting up in the morning worth it.
One step closer; MWSS-172 provides key step in mission-accomplishment -- [3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd) - in Iraq]
...Using heavy equipment, the Marines level the area, compact the dirt and lay down a coat of “rhino snot,” a soil-stabilizing substance which hardens the ground, preventing excessive dirt and sand clouds, or “brownouts,” when aircraft land on site.
Limiting brownouts increases visibility, allowing pilots to land their aircraft safely.
“Having these Marines improve this LZ will allow us to continue to conduct operations out here and sustain a safe and smooth command post,” said Maj. Paul D. Mackenzie, the future-operations planner with Multi National Force – West. “We’re heavily dependent on the air wing for resupplies, close-air support and aerial reconnaissance missions.”
VMU-2 CO talks about their mission and transfering authority from VMU-1 [3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd) - in Iraq]
Citizenship Ceremony -- [Something on the staff - in Iraq]
Two of my interpreters are now American citizens. I’ve never been to a citizenship ceremony, so I had to go.
Fatima, side-kicking interpreter, had to pass a test before she took the oath. The test shouldn’t be a challenge to any high school graduate, but I doubt most Americans can find Iraq on a map. She had some trouble understanding the Judicial branch, so I directed her to the world famous “How a Bill Becomes a Law” video, presented by YouTube. She didn’t get it. Anyway, she passed the test.
There were over 250 soldiers there to swear the citizenship oath. A big part of the oath is about ‘picking up arms’ to defend America.
Time is Shorter than You Think -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
In March 2006 our Operations officer (S3) and I were sitting around the office having a conversation. Both of us were already on active duty orders, preparing to take the 321st Engineers to war. We had a daunting schedule ahead of us; an NTC rotation at Fort Irwin, work in Boise, two to three months mobilizing at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Kuwait, and then Ramadi, Iraq.
Taliban IED operations disrupted in Khowst provinc... -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101- in Afghansitan]
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – A suspected Taliban militant was detained April 22 during an Afghan National Security and Coalition forces’ joint operation to disrupt militant IED activities in the Jaberi District, Khowst province.
ANS and Coalition forces conducted a search of several compounds in Jaberi District targeting a Taliban militant known to have facilitated IED attacks against Afghan government and Coalition forces.
During the course of their search, ANS and Coalition forces detained a suspected militant.
Special Forces Finding Weapons Cache
Special Forces troops in Afghanistan finding a weapons cache near the Pesch Valley. Scenes include a group of U.S. service members and Afghan security forces recovering a weapons cache. Interview with a U.S. Special Operations officer.
Taliban operations disrupted in Paktya province -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101- in Afghansitan]
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Five suspected Taliban militants were detained, April 24, during an Afghan National Security and Coalition forces joint operation to disrupt Haqqani Network financing activities in Zadran District, Paktia province.
ANS and Coalition forces conducted a search of several compounds in Zadran District targeting a Taliban militant, suspected of both financing and facilitating attacks on Afghan government and Coalition forces.
During the course of their search, five suspected militants were detained and several weapons were discovered on the compounds and removed or destroyed.
New Terror Tactics For a New Year -- [Strategy Page]
April 25, 2008: This year's Taliban "Spring Offensive" has gotten off to a slow start. This is largely because Taliban recruiting efforts have not produced as many recruits as last year. Most Pushtun tribesmen many be illiterate, but they can count. And over the Winter they counted far fewer of their friends who had joined the Taliban last year. The smart bombs and UAVs, plus better trained Afghan troops, has made it very difficult for groups of armed Taliban to survive.
Freedom Watch Afghanistan
Road-Building in Afghanistan -- [SWJ- Dave Kilcullen]
Part 1 of a Series on Political Maneuver in Counterinsurgency
...A few weeks ago I was out on the ground with coalition and Afghan units in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan, and spent a short time with a Provincial Reconstruction Team and its associated Brigade Combat Team in the Kunar River Valley.
I last worked this area in summer and fall of 2006, supporting General Karl Eikenberry, then commanding Combined Forces Command Afghanistan. He was about to wind up his headquarters and hand over to the NATO International Security Assistance Force; at his invitation I took a small inter-agency field team into Afghanistan to study and record U.S. counterinsurgency techniques. Incidentally, this produced a body of knowledge on best-practice counterinsurgency which informed our efforts to execute the “surge” strategy in Iraq a few months later, so that some of the techniques we ended up applying in Iraq were first developed in Afghanistan.
ANZAC Day 2008 -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Half mast ... the Australia flag in Sydney's Darling Harbour flies at half mast as a mark of respect to the nation's fallen. Picture: Charlie Brewer
Lest we forget ... Hobart's Cenotaph was the venue for many to remember the contribution of Australias servicemen and women. Picture: Kim Eiszele
S. Cargo Ship Fires on Iranians -- [Jawa report]
Breaking from Reuters:A cargo ship contracted by the US Military Sealift Command has fired at least one shot toward an Iranian boat, a US defense official said on Friday. "It was an MSC vessel," the official said, confirming the ship...
Wallet stolen from 18-year-old ROTC cadet having a seizure and convulsions -- [Live Leak]
Dallas police arrested yesterday a man accused of mugging a teenage ROTC cadet who had collapsed in a seizure outside the downtown Greyhound bus station.
...The security video shows the victim standing outside minding his own business when a homeless man strikes up a conversation and the cadet digs deep in his pockets for some spare change to help the man out.
But when the cadet collapsed a few minutes later the man who rushed to the cadet's side was only interested in helping himself.
The video shows the 18-year-old ROTC cadet, who was on his way home to Mississippi, flailing on the ground from a seizure as a man digs into his pocket to steal his wallet.
"He sees an individual that can't fight back. Can't call for help. Can't flee," said Dallas Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse. "This guy's down on the ground having a seizure and he knows he's got an easy target."
Photographs of the Syrian Nuclear Reactor Released -- [ROK Drop]
More and more information briefed to Congress in regards to the Syrian-North Korean nuclear connection is making its way into the media to include many of the photographs to include one of the nuclear reactor itself: (PICS)
It is nice to see what the nuclear facility looks like from ground level instead of from all the satellite imagery:
...It is pretty clear from this picture that this facility is much more then just the box like shape that it appeared to be in the satellite imagery. The new information also has answered one of the questions I have been thinking about, which is whether the reactor was about to be operational or not:
US accuses Syria of building weapons reactor
The Last of America’s Army in Vietnam -- [PJM - Richard Fernandez]
..After the abandonment of South Vietnam, about two million Vietnamese fled the country, half a million of whom eventually found their way to America. Two million Cambodians died from the “re-education” efforts of the communist Khmer Rouge. But while these catastrophes are well known, the genocide in Cambodia even having been made into a Hollywood movie, the tragedy that befell the Hmong was forgotten with the 1960s. Unlike Tony Poe, who believed in keeping faith with peoples who joined America’s cause, the Hmong who stayed behind were forgotten by their “friends”; but they were remembered by their enemies. In the years following the Vietnam War, the Hmong were “hunted like animals.” And they still may be. The Center for Public Policy analysis reported that the Laotian and Vietnamese governments have begun a campaign to wipe out the last holdouts against their regimes.
The War on Terror Is Not a Crime -- [WSJ - DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and LEE A. CASEY]
...Many positions taken by these attorneys, laying the fundamental legal architecture of the war on terror, outrage international activists and legal specialists. Nevertheless, in a series of cases beginning with Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004), the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld many of their key positions: that the country is engaged in an armed conflict; that captured enemy combatants can be detained without criminal trial during these hostilities; and that (when the time comes) they may be punished through the military, rather than the civilian, justice system.
Who is America Fighting - Jihadists or Extremists? -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Jeffrey Imm]
Now we officially know the answer - the U.S. Government states that America is definitely not fighting "jihadists", based on new guidelines directing federal agencies not to even use the term "jihadist". So who is America fighting? Defense Secretary Robert Gates tells us: "the enemy is extremism".
White House to Lighthouse Challenge - April 23-27, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Annapolis, Maryland SOLDIER RIDE returns TO THE white house!
On Thursday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m., President George W. Bush will welcome a group of wounded warriors to the White House as they kick off Wounded Warrior Project’s second annual “Soldier Ride: White House to Light House Challenge”.
-On Thursday, April 24th, Soldier Ride will start at the White House, stop at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and continue to Baltimore. This day of riding is by invitation only.
-On Friday, the ride will begin with a "support the troops" rally at Baltimore Maryland's Inner Harbor Harborplace Ampitheater at 10 am and proceed to Jonas Green Park in Annapolis. The kickoff event will honor the wounded veterans and the recently redeployed 58th Infantry Brigade of the Maryland Army National Guard.
SoldierRide/Wounded Warrior Project
Kinard, other Wounded Warriors show drive in bicycle benefit -- [GoUpstate.com]
WASHINGTON - Eighteen months after a roadside bomb in Iraq left Marine 1st Lt. Andrew Kinard of Spartanburg a double amputee, he embarked on a journey Thursday that would challenge many with both legs.
...Bush describe the event as "one of the most inspiring athletic events in our nation's history" during his brief remarks on the South Lawnbefore the ride.
"The three-day bike ride that you're starting today at the White House says a lot," Bush said. "It says that you're showing that even when you are wounded, you're not done fighting."
...Bush's statements centered largely on Marine Cpl. Chad Watson, who lost his right leg after the vehicle he was in was hit by a bomb. Watson is cycling with a prosthetic leg.
"The technology you are witnessing today is helping our troops regain their lives, and it's state of the art," Bush said. Thursday marked Kinard's fifth meeting with the president.
President Bush Welcomes Members of Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride to White House -- [Whitehouse.gov]
THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. Doocy, thanks for the introduction. This has got to be one of the most inspiring athletic events in our nation's history. At least it is for me, and I hope it is for you.
I was going to ride with the guys today, but Laura told me I probably wouldn't be able to keep up. (Laughter.) There is no doubt in my mind the people behind me are some of the most bravest people in our country's history. I admire their courage; I admire their determination. (Applause.) We're honored to have you here.
...One of the riders today is Marine Corporal Chad Watson. I've gotten to know Chad. I met him when I was at Walter Reed three weeks after his Humvee was hit with an IED on patrol in Fallujah. He lost his right leg, he shattered his left ankle and foot, he took shrapnel to his face. And when I went into his room, he wanted to stand at attention and shake hands with the Commander-in-Chief, as well as salute.
He got up to his walker. His daddy helped him and so did his brother. He held himself upright with his arm strength while a fellow Marine read his accommodation, and I had the honor of giving him the Purple Heart.
I told him to sit down. He didn't want to. He was a Marine. (Applause.) And now he's here. He's got a new leg, and thanks to that leg, Chad will be able to start on even a greater journey than the one he begins today -- this summer he's going to walk down the aisle to get married to his beautiful bride. (Applause.) We're glad you're here.
What the heck are we fighting for? -- [MilBlogs - Badger 6]
Since at least the pin-up era of World War II, service members have somewhat half-jest referenced those pretty girls as what we were fighting for. Now maybe we were not really fighting for Betty Grable, Raquel Welch, or Jessica Simpson specifically, but surely we were fighting for the right to express ourselves by adorning our barracks, lockers, and personal space with pictures of pretty women. And in this day and age, sometimes those women have no clothes on.
That is why this story is so outrageous.
Plainfield soldier stuck in Iraq as airline bringing troops home goes bankrupt -- [Times Argus]
PLAINFIELD – Waneta Mayhew has waited 12 long months for her son to come home from Iraq. She found out Tuesday she'll have to wait a little longer.
Mayhew's son is one of at least two Vermont soldiers stranded in Baghdad due a transportation snafu that has delayed the return of hundreds of American servicemen.
ATA Airlines, the private company contracted by the Department of Defense to ferry servicemen from Iraq to the United States, went bankrupt earlier this month, leaving soldiers in the lurch after their tours had expired.
..."I'm pissed," Mayhew said from her Plainfield home Wednesday. "He's done his year. Bring him home."
Mayhew's son, Spc. Clinton Holt, deployed to Iraq last May. He was the subject of statewide media interest last month when Congressman Peter Welch credited him as the driver behind a new Vermont law that sets aside five moose hunting permits for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mayhew, who lost two brothers in the Korean War, said she has worried long enough.
"I know it's only a couple weeks. But tragic things happens in the last few days of a tour," Mayhew said. "Don't we have some army planes? Why do we have to depend on commercial airlines to get our men to and from Iraq?"
Community Puts Out Welcome Mat for Maupin -- [WKRC-TV Cincinnati]
As the Tri-State prepares for to say a final goodbye to Matt Maupin this weekend, an army of volunteers is cranking into high gear. Many of them are members of the Yellow Ribbon Support Center in Eastgate. Men, women, even children, all dedicated to doing their part to support our community, the Maupin family, and our troops.
Local 12's Rich Jaffe visits Eastgate with a look at a few of our dedicated neighbors.
The path from Lunken Airport, where the memorial procession will begin, all the way to the Union Township Civic Center, where the visitation will take place Saturday, is lined with yellow ribbons. These, the signs along the way, and much more have all been done by people who felt a need to do something. Julie Holcomb's dad was in the Army. So was her grandfather. Up until the wee small hours of the morning making yellow ribbons, today... she was out tying them on the guardrail along State Route 32.
Raging Bush-Basher Pummels Disabled Girl in Wheelchair! -- [Gateway Pundit]
"He began yelling about Iraq and Iran at Jenna Bush. She was waving at the crowd. I told the guy, 'What are you doing? Shut up. This is about a child and books,' " said John Lovetro. "He was unperturbed. I said, 'Get out of here! You're being a moron!' "
The next thing he knew, Talis was allegedly punching Maureen - a fan of the first lady since meeting her in 2004.
"I heard my daughter hysterical yelling, 'He's hitting me!' " said Wendy Lovetro.
"He punched her on the shoulder blades, but that wasn't enough," she said.
"My husband pushed the wheelchair away from him and he reached beyond my husband and began pounding my daughter in the thigh."
German Talis is reportedly a member of "We Are Change" a Truther organization.
Rev. Wright Steps In It Again -- [Flopping Aces]
The mentor of Obama who said the following:
Now says that it was unfair to air his statements...
This doesn’t shock me in the least. I never thought the man would back away from his statements because he IS a racist fanatic. What is surprising, and very welcome is this statement from him:
BILL MOYERS JOURNAL | Rev. Jeremiah Wright | PBS | Clip #3
Bill Moyers interviews the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in his first broadcast interview with a journalist since he became embroiled in a controversy for his remarks and his relationship with Barack Obama. Wright, who retired in early 2008 as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where Senator Obama is a member, has been at the center of controversy for comments he made during sermons, which surfaced in the press in March.
Has the Press Failed in Iraq: War Torture and Accountability
A conversation with Robert Silvers, co-editor, New York Review of Books; Michael Massing, contributing editor of Columbia Journalism review, writer and author of "Now They Tell Us," and UC Berkeley...
Abu Ghraib gone to Hollywood
A new movie gives the stories behind the shocking pictures from the Abu Ghraib scandal.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are 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.
Return of a Season -- [False Motivation - in Iraq]
...The security situation in Baqouba has changed drastically since I arrived. My first time on the streets of Baqouba was met with fearful residents who refused to speak or be loosely associated with Americans, a Muqtar (a neighborhood leader) had been murdered for working with Americans to better the lives of his neighbors, and House Born IEDs (HBIEDS) were a normal thing.
...Now if you walk the streets of my platoon’s area, people will wave and greet you in the street, children run and try and shake your hands, Muqtars greet us in the streets to discuss business, and we now have double the Muqtars than we started with. Electricity runs to almost all of the houses, trash gets picked up, water runs, and the markets are bustling. Even school is packed with eager young students, whom we surprised with 500 lbs of school supplies donated by Mead.
I can’t affirm to you that the surge has been a complete success all over Iraq, but I can assure you that where I work, and from what I have seen, it has changed the lives of these Iraqi Citizens here in Baqouba. I have seen this city move from an Al-Qaeda stronghold of fear and oppression, into a blossoming community.
Nothing Improves Morale Like Victory -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
They did well in Basrah. And they are happy about it. They are the men of the Iraqi Army. Good job guys!
Ultimatum issued to Mahdi Army in Basrah; 15 Mahdi fighters killed in Sadr City -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The senior-most Iraqi general in charge of the security operation in Basrah has issued an ultimatum for wanted Mahdi Army leaders and fighters to surrender in the next 24 hours as the Iraqi and US military ignore Muqtada al Sadr's threat to conduct a third uprising. US troops killed 15 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad yesterday and have killed 56 fighters since Sadr issued his threat last weekend.
Embedded Reporter gets more than he wanted when on Patrol in Baghdad -- [HT: The Last of the Few]
The Real Surge Continues: Iraqi Army Corps Formation -- [LWJ - DJ Elliott]
In the "Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: April 2008 Update," the additional elements forming in the Iraqi Army were projected as probable indicators of additional divisions. Additional information and reappraisal indicates that was incorrect. While the Iraqi Army plans to add divisions, they will not be stood up this year. Other formations have priority.
Iraqis Displaced from Homes Now Returning in Droves -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD — With security improving, local economies flourishing and community reconstruction underway, Iraqis who once fled their South Baghdad homes in fear are now returning to the villages they deserted.
This is a good sign, said Maj. Mark Bailey, the officer in charge of the Multi-National Division – Center governance cell.
“Once people are convinced that security is good in their area, they come back,” said Bailey, who is with 401st Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 3rd Infantry Division. “If they own a business, they re-open their business, which helps the economy.”
Out of the approximate 18,700 Iraqis who left their homes, it is estimated that 10,450 have returned, according to MND-C records.
Al Qaeda Decapitated in Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
April 22, 2008: Between mid-March and mid-April, al Qaeda suffered major losses in Iraq. American and Iraqi troops killed or captured 53 al Qaeda leaders. These include men in charge of entire cities (or portions of large cities like Mosul or Baghdad), as well as men in charge of various aspects of terror operations (making bombs, placing them or minding the bombers). Most important, nine of the ten most senior men involved, were captured, and interrogated. This led to locating more al Qaeda staff, and assets. Hundreds of weapons and explosives caches have been discovered this year, as a result of interrogating captured terrorists. The result has been a sharp fall in suicide bomber attacks,
Criminals attempt to assassinate Iraqi Army commander, injure innocent Iraqis citizens (Baghdad) -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – Criminals attempting to assassinate an Iraqi Army commander with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, wounded numerous Iraqi civilians, including five Iraqi Army soldiers, in the Al Mansour district of Baghdad April 22.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device struck an Iraqi Army brigade commander’s patrol. Initial reports indicate 16 innocent Iraqi citizens were injured in the attack.
“In cowardly attacks, innocent civilians continuously are the victims,” said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, spokesman for the 4th Infantry Division and Multi-National Division – Baghdad. “With the Iraqi Security Forces in the lead, U.S. Soldiers remain committed to protecting the people of Baghdad.”
Iraq News (23 April) -- [LT Nixon - in Iraq]
The Good: Depending on where you get your news, the conference with Maliki and countries in the region could either be a smashing success or a total bust. This Saudi newspaper seems stoked that Maliki is finally taking on the Shi'ite militias that have their mitts all over the place in Iraq, but if you get your news from the WaPo, you're going to get the impression that it was a big waste of time. Only time will tell, but even Iran is pleased with the crackdown on Shi'ite militias. It's looking like Sadr is becoming more and more isolated diplomatically.
Security Over Watch in Sadr City
U.S. Army Soldiers working with the Iraqi Army to bring security back to the district of Sadr City from criminals
Kamikaze Kelly -- [Iraq: The Purgatorium - in Iraq]
After my last day of tower guard, I was afforded a day off. When the boys got back for the day, [StanMarsh] popped his head into my living area and sat down on my bunk to enlighten me on what I missed.
He pulled his camera out. On the screen, he showed me what looked like a black mop head lay on the ground, covered in dust.
"Oh, damn, is that a head?" I asked.
Rucksacks, Rugs and Rain -- [Courage without Fear - in Kuwait]
...One of the things I did before the rest of the unit got here, was go on a convoy up into Iraq. You might think that's not a very safe thing to do since I'm living life down here in nice cozy Kuwait. But you're wrong. It's the right thing to do. oh, maybe I haven't put this out there yet, my soldiers will be escorting convoys into Iraq. So that's why I went. So i could see the dangers they'd be facing. That's what leaders do. It's a military thing.
Baghdad 360 Episode 2
A Few Good Women, II -- [BlackFive - Grim]
Since we're on the subject, meet the Daughters of Iraq and the Sisters of Fallujah.
Did anyone think, in November of 2004, that there would be a group of native Fallujah women who volunteered to help the Marines find terrorists? There is, and the movement is spreading across Iraq, to Sunni and to Shia areas.
'Disneyland' comes to Baghdad with multi-million pound entertainment park -- [Times Online]
Llewellyn Werner, a California investor, admits he is facing obstacles most amusement park developers never have to deal with. Such as insurgent attacks and looting.
But when the amusement park you’re building lies in downtown Baghdad, those risks come with the territory.
Mr Werner, chairman of C3, a Los Angeles-based holding company for private equity firms, is pouring millions of dollars into developing The Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum. It is being designed by the same firm that developed Disneyland.
“The people of Iraq need this kind of positive influence. It’s going to have a huge psychological impact,” Mr Werner said.
The Case of Bilal Hussein -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
...Iraq is full of such sketchy characters, as everyone knows, and large media companies require an enormous staff and network of locals to produce daily news coverage. They can’t cover breaking news every day in a low-intensity war zone without them, especially if violent activity—car bombs, fire fights, assassinations, and the like—are the bulk of what makes up the news. Someone is killed almost every day in Iraq, but the chances that an individual writer or photographer will happen to be present as an eyewitness are minuscule. Reporters who cover breaking daily news spend much of their time on the phone with stringers and sources. They don’t personally investigate every incident in the field. It just isn’t physically possible if they're required to write every day about what happens in a country the size of California, especially when it can take literally days to travel from one part of Baghdad to another.
Soldiers of the 1st/151st prove themselves under attack -- [IN Iraq - in Iraq]
...The driver of the 5-ton, Sergeant First Class Spencer Kohlheim, 37, of LaGrange, was most concerned about getting them out of the kill zone quickly. “We had a mine plow on the front of our truck and after the smoke cleared," Kohlheim said, "I just remember dropping it in first gear and pushing it as hard as I could.”
But the truck was smoking and losing fluids.
“I was in shock,” said Sgt. Chenault who got out to set up perimeter security. “It all happened so fast all you had time for was just to react. After things had settled down, I just kept looking for suspicious people and there were cars coming up from our nine o’clock down a little alley. I wasn’t going to let anyone around us.” He raised his M-4 rifle until they backed away.
Down the convoy line, the Indiana Humvees moved into defensive positions. Gunners scanned the second story buildings. They knew the very real risks of a secondary blast or sniper attack. For some, it was the first real test of their National Guard training.
Update #2 from Joe, the Castle's Sailor in Iraq. -- [Castle Argghhh! - dispatches from Iraq]
...A few days ago I find out from the provincial team that the Marine Brigadier General in charge of civil affairs wants a briefing on a sheep feed program I inherited from the previous Ramadi area agriculture rep. Now it’s not the first time I’ve spoken to general officers but the provincial agricultural rep said he would do it. So several layers of agricultural experts get together and I used my experience as a planner and came up with some planning assumptions, courses of action and a way ahead for what we were trying to do. Everyone is nodding their heads, and the staff rep says the general is coming by at 1300. The provincial rep says “I can’t be here at 1300!” and all eyes tuned towards me.
A New Oasis for Al Asad
Though Al Asad Air Base in Iraq's Al Anbar Province draws plenty of water from wells and nearby Euphrates Rives, water storage is insufficient to supply the base in high-demand months. USACE is overseeing an $8 Million Project to install water tanks with a combined capacity of 5 million gallons.
Dust -- ["Because We're Here Boy, No One Else; Just Us." - in Iraq]
We had a dust storm here recently, a lot of dust storms recently. The images above and below were taken at around noon and 4:00 p.m. respectively. It wasn't that windy. For some reason parts of the world turn yellow.
New Map of Iraq -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
Quick update here is that we have relocated somewhere where we wait before catching the freedom bird to Kuwait, where we will promptly wait again. And that is how it goes in Army these days, we go from busting-your-ass busy to nothing to do. I don't think I will be posting much more, as I shouldn't have to many stories of interest - "there we were building our pallets, when out of no where one of the Conticos flew off and hit Johnson in the head..." Of course there is a lot idiocy around here, and far to many REMFs who have nothing better to do than look for uniform violations on troops returning for combat.
Severely burned JTAC continues his recovery -- [Air Force Times]
Airman hopes to stay in service, wants another chance at presidential visit
A message to President Bush: There is an extremely courageous joint terminal attack controller in Texas who really, really wants to meet you.
This time, he promises, he’ll remember it.
That was Dec. 4, 2005. In the weeks that followed, as Del Toro lay comatose in a San Antonio burn ward, the president found time to visit the unconscious airman and whisper a blessing the JTAC never heard.
Tech. Sgt. Israel Del Toro, one of the Air Force’s most severely injured airmen, continues to recover from the roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan that melted his features and sent him limping into a nearby creek.
...Surgeons are still reconstructing Del Toro’s face and cutting away flesh seared around his fingers, which fused to his palm during the blast. Though improving at public speaking, Del Toro wants to keep serving the Air Force as a JTAC trainer or possibly an unmanned aerial vehicle operator — although enlisted members do not qualify to become pilots.
“I’m a qualified JTAC,” he said. “Who would be better in that job than a JTAC?”
Del Toro is also continuing to work his connections to score another meeting with Bush. The two narrowly missed each other at Wright-Patterson when the president happened to visit at the same time Del Toro was speaking.
Pakistan pushes peace with the Taliban -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The Minister of Law for the Northwest Frontier Province said further peace deals with the Pakistani Taliban are in the works. Details emerge on the deal with the TNSM.
Special Forces Finding Weapons Cache
Special Forces troops in Afghanistan finding a weapons cache near the Pesch Valley. Scenes include a group of U.S. service members and Afghan security forces recovering a weapons cache. Interview with a U.S. Special Operations officer.
Militant operations disrupted in Kandahar Province -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101- in Afghanistan]
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security and Coalition forces detained a suspected militant April 21, during an operation to disrupt Taliban operations in Panjwayi District, Kandahar province.
Afghan and Coalition forces conducted a search of compounds in Panjwayi District targeting a Taliban leader linked to militant financing operations, the recruiting of suicide bombers and bomb makers. The targeted militant was also suspected of attacks against Coalition forces, Afghanistan government personnel and property.
Taliban Logic -- [Neptunus Lex]
If Afghanistan, coaltion forces are experiencing a high degree of success targeting mid-level Taliban leadership and placing precision warheads on their foreheads. The technical means are unknown (at least to me), but the Talibs are blaming their cell phones.
Rice still cooking -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
My cerebral love affair with fellow Alabama native and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice continues as she and her office show a genuine understanding of what Afghanistan needs.
They are also addressing those needs with some creative solutions that I believe have a lot of merit.
While Pres. Bush and the State Department recently confirmed their commitment to building roads, schools, wells, bridges, clinics and the like through the military Provincial Reconstruction Team, they also recognized more is needed here.
The White House wants to create a "reserve force" of civilian Americans with expertise in banking, law, education and other areas, who are willing to travel the world and share their experience with needy communities.
Climate change 'may put world at war' -- [Telegraph]
Climate change could cause global conflicts as large as the two world wars but lasting for centuries unless the problem is controlled, a leading defence think tank has warned.
The Royal United Services Institute said a tenfold increase in research spending, comparable to the amount spent on the Apollo space programme, will be needed if the world is to avoid the worst effects of changing temperatures.
"CHICAGO SOUNDS LIKE MOSUL:" -- [Instapundit]
That's an email from . . . Michael Yon, who knows his Mosul. Here's the story on last weekend's violence. Still, they're different: One has crooked officials, violent gangs with their hooks into government and law enforcement, and a culture of corruption that has resisted the central government's effects to clean it up, and the other is a city in Iraq.
Truth Behind Gas Prices -- [Cajun Tiger's Rants and Raves - in Iraq]
One of the good things about being here in Iraq is that I don't have a vehicle, so I'm not having to buy any gas. As I'm sure ya'll are aware, the MSM is crying every day about the rise in gas prices. Of course they love to blame President Bush and the Iraq war for causing this "crisis", but the truth is quite different.
First, it wasn't until last week that gas prices, when adjusted for inflation, even went higher than the prices in the early 80's. This chart shows the historical prices going back to the 1920's adjusted for inflation and in 1981 the price per gallon was $3.31. It was also over $3 per gallon in the early 20's. It was only in the last couple of weeks that we crossed that record to be at $3.38 this past week
...Second, why the big increase? Certainly the Iraq war and unrest in the Middle East has played a part in it, but there are much bigger culprits. The biggest being we haven't built a new refinery in the US since 1976!
CIA to describe North Korea-Syria nuclear ties -- [LA Times]
Officials will tell Congress members this week that North Korea was helping Syria build a reactor last year when it was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, a U.S. official says.
WASHINGTON -- CIA officials will tell Congress on Thursday that North Korea had been helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, a U.S. official said, a disclosure that could touch off new resistance to the administration's plan to ease sanctions on Pyongyang.
UFO Filmed over Arizona - 4-22-2008
This is a report of strange multicolored light formations filmed over the skies of Arizona during this last week. The military has issued a statement saying there was no military aircraft operating in the area at the time.
75 Iranian Youths Arrested For "Immoral Acts" -- [AKI]
Seventy-five young people accused of 'immoral acts' have been arrested by police at a birthday party in the city of Shiraz in southwestern Iran.
The young men and women were accused of "immoral acts" and of holding a "non-authorised promiscuous gathering" said the chief commander of the police forces, Ali Moayyedi.
"These young people were dancing, drinking alcohol and listening to forbidden western music," said Moayyedi.
It is not the first time police have raided private parties and arrested people.
While they may not approve of such behaviour at parties, some Muslim clerics consider these kinds of police raids unjustified and an intrusion into people's private lives.
Debt Impound Uncovers Chinese Arms Shipment to Zimbabwe Tinderbox -- [Threats Watch - Steve Shippert]
After a German bank got an impound order for a Chinese ship’s Zimbabwe-bound cargo in order to settle Zimbabwe’s debt owed the bank, the ships contents are learned to be an arms shipment to the Mugabe government after the contentious...
Reality Hits Jimmy Carter in the... Face -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Andrew Cochran]
Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki delivered a Niagara Falls-magnitude of cold water to Jimmy Carter today, pronouncing his meeting with Hamas leaders worthless. More quotes:
Actually, by acting as a yellow-bellied, back-stabbing, terrorist-sympathizing idiot, Carter did have two achievements: (1) He made it possible for Congress to save some money by cutting federal funding to the Carter Center; (2) He forced Congress to take a bipartisan stance on his trip and on Hamas, as Members from both parties sprinted to microphones to denounce him.
Jihadist Questions for Ayman al-Zawahiri -- [US News and World Report]
New report shows al Qaeda supporters concerned about Iran and civilian killings
...One of the prime topics of concern among jihadists is whether al Qaeda has been unwilling or simply unable to attack in places like Iran, Egypt, Palestine, or even Israel, according to a new report by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point titled "The Power of Truth? Questions for Ayman al-Zawahiri."
Brit Lawyer Makes Millions Defending Terrorists -- [Jawa Report]
It's not so much that Mudassar Arani defends terrorists--even terrorists need a lawyer. It's not so much that Mudassar Arani's firms has made millions of dollars defending terrorists--what's wrong with making a buck? It's not so much that Mudassar Arani supports terrorism--at least she believes in her client's cause.
Islamophobia: Annan’s Proposal -- [Jihad Watch]
Filipino commentator Patricio Diaz takes apart Kofi Annan's silly arguments that Islam is equivalent to other religions in its peacefulness, and his dhimmi analysis of "Islamophobia" in MindaNews (thanks to Anthony):
Iraq Boom--Not Boon--To European Jihadists -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
The Iraq War has long been feared by Europeans as little more than a training ground for terrorists and potential terrorists in their midst, who will learn their deadly trade in Iraq and then bring it back home. Well, it hasn't quite worked out that way, and, as the International Herald Tribune reports, "Europe's Fears Subside."
Child Soldiers -- [SWJ]
John Sullivan; a senior research fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies on Terrorism, a member of the board of advisors for the Terrorism Research Center, Inc., a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and SWJ Blogger to boot; sent an e-mail alerting us to an Air & Space Power Journal (Spanish Edition) issue on child soldiers.
Here are the links to the English translation versions of the articles:
Send a “Thank You” to General Petreaus -- [Hello Iraq] HT: LT Nixon
Sen. Mitch McConnell is providing a chance for people to send General Petreaus and our troops a “thank you” for a job well done. If you have been following Michael Yon, as I have, you know that the surge has been an amazing success. Though there is much left to do in Iraq, the increased Iraqi citizenry support has been a direct result of the successful efforts of General Petreaus and our troops.
Book Intro - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 -- [Lunberjacl in the Desert - injured in Iraq]
The post below is basically the beginning of the book I'm writing, Lumberjack in a Desert. Let me know what you think in the comments. I apologize for the language used, but I feel it needs to be conveyed exactly as it happened without pulling any punches.
America's Favorite Mom Contest - Next Steps -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Thanks to all of you who voted for Patti Patton-Bader of Soldiers' Angels during Teleflora's "America's Favorite Mom" contest in March.
With your support, enough votes were generated for Soldiers' Angels to win the March prize of $5000. The funds were used to make a bulk purchase of 1000 sweats for medevaced service members and veterans.
The America's Favorite Mom Contest continues in April, and this time the prize money is $25,000.
In the world of Soldiers' Angels, $25,000 can buy 425 Valour-IT laptops for our wounded hereos. It can buy 500 wounded hero backpacks to send to those most in need. It can buy 50 airline tickets for families and soldiers in need to get back and forth in emergency situations.
500+ Troops Waiting for an Angel!!! -- [View from the 8th Floor]
If you were waiting, now's a terrific time.
Click ***HERE*** to adopt one of the wonderful volunteers in our United States military services who need a little support while deployed away from home.
Iraq War Veteran and Family Assaulted! -- [GOE]
Peace Fascists, College Professors and Hillary Supporters assault Iraqi War Veteran and Family while citizens do nothing to intervene.
Edinboro, PA, Apr. 22 - For the second time in as many weeks, an Iraq War Veteran and his family held a Support the Troops rally across the street from the weekly “peace” protest in this college town. This week the true nature of the ‘peace’ activists was revealed for all to see. When the veteran’s 14 year old son crossed the street to videotape the protesters and their signs, the protesters became agitated and began harassing the boy. The right to record video in any public venue is long established in law and any attempt to interfere with that right is a violation of civil rights.
Petraeus Gets Promotion; Odierno Gets Iraq -- [Danger Room]
By Noah Shachtman April 23, 2008 | 11:20:00 AMCategories: War Update
Breaking: "Army Gen. David Petraeus, the four-star general whose led troops in Iraq for the past year, will be nominated by President Bush to be the next commander of U.S. Central Command, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Wednesday. Gates also announced that Bush will nominate Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno to replace Petraeus in Baghdad." Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, who had also been mentioned as a possible Petraeus replacement, "has been nominated for a fourth star and the position of Army vice chief of staff," the Defense Department says. More to come...
Gates Urges Air Force to Do More for War Effort
US AIR FARCE -- [New York Post]
April 23, 2008 -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates just de livered a surprising public rebuke of one of his own branches of the armed services - chiding the Air Force for not doing enough in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Such a public dressing-down by the nation's civilian defense chief is highly unusual; it plainly reflects Gates' frustration at military leaders whom he complained are "stuck in old ways of doing business."
Military Enlists Convicted Felons -- [CJ- Military and Veteran Blog]
There’s been a lot of talk by those who detest this administration and are clinging to anything they can that “supports” their notion of an unjust war. One of the reasons they site for why we shouldn’t be at war in Iraq is that the military has had to resort to “lowering our standards” with more moral waivers than ever before. The fact is that moral waivers have been increasing since prior to the war in Iraq.
...I have another perspective I’d like to share.
From old to new -- [Bob Krumm]
Joining the military members were contracted civilian security guards, cooks, translators, and maintenance personnel. Lots and lots of maintenance contractors. Over the years the same thing that had happened to civilian mechanics has also happened to their military counterparts as well. Mechanics in the Army no longer “fix” mechanical problems. Instead, they diagnose which component is causing the problem and then swap it for a new one. Someone else fixes the component. Oftentimes that somebody is a defense contractor. It’s a system that makes sense. Soldiers on the battlefield don’t have time to diagnose and repair which circuit board or what connection in a wiring harness might be the source of a malfunction. Their purpose is to return the vehicle or weapon system as quickly as possible. Swapping components is how they do it. It also makes sense that contractors and not Soldiers do more of the rear area repairs. As much as the Army pays contractors it pales in comparison to what it costs to make a Soldier. All the training, all the years of investment in the individual Soldier is not something to be “wasted” on a mundane task like replacing circuit boards in the rear.
There is another reason why this change in how business is done in the Army makes sense:
Army Reserve Looks Forward to Further Transformation on 100th Anniversary -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 22, 2008 – After undergoing a century of change, the Army Reserve is now in the midst of its biggest transformation, the component’s chief said.
Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz characterized the first 100 years of the Army Reserve as a metamorphosis from an Army medical reserve corps to a strategic force and toward an operational force. The future of the service, however, will usher in an ever-greater period of transformation, he said.
“Throughout the 100 years, as the Army has changed, the Army Reserve has changed,” he said. “Most significantly, I would say, is after Sept. 11,
It's the tail end of a long journey -- [seattlepi.]
280-foot naval flag signals home
It is the biggest flag Carol Anderson has ever sewn. It's the biggest she has ever seen, in fact.
The artisan, who works out of rented quarters in Fremont, has created a 280-foot-long, 17-inch wide, swallow-tailed pennant at the request of the USS Carney.
That guided missile destroyer, itself 505 feet long and displacing 8,300 tons, has been serving in the Middle East and is about to return to its home port of Mayport, Fla.
Carol Anderson was commissioned to make a 280-foot-long, 17-inch-wide "homeward bound" banner for the USS Carney.
U.S. naval tradition allows returning ships that have been outside the country for at least nine months to fly a ceremonial flag, properly known as a homeward-bound pennant, as they steam home and enter port.
After delays, families of the 218th are ready to welcome them home -- [WIS News]
LUGOFF, SC - The wait on travel delays for 218th soldiers stuck in Kuwait is excruciating for family members here at home.
One of those still waiting is Carol Bowling. But Tuesday she finally got the news she has been waiting for.
Around the Bowling residence in Lugoff there are signs that a soldier is fixing to come home.
A yellow ribbon on the mailbox, and balloons in the den next to a family picture were all supposed to be in place for Doug Bowling's return last week, but now Doug is scheduled to get back later.
Guardsmen receive award, welcome home -- [Nashuatelegraph.com]
CONCORD – It was welcome-home day for 30 citizen-soldiers who served their country in Iraq.
On Saturday, family, friends and dignitaries officially welcomed home the men and women of the 34th Rear Area Operations Center, a New Hampshire Army National Guard unit that served in Iraq for the past eight months.
The members of the unit, who returned to the Granite State on Tuesday, were honored with the Freedom Salute Awards at a ceremony at the Joint Force Headquarters Building.
Gov. John Lynch thanked the guardsmen for "the sacrifices you have made and the sacrifices you will continue to make.
“______” Terrorism -- [Commentary Mag - Abe Greenwald]
Yesterday, Muneer Fareed, head of the Islamic Society of North America, called for John McCain to cease using the terms Muslim or Islamic in describing–Mohammedan?–terrorism. Here’s Fareed, as quoted in the Washington Times:
You want to call them terrorist criminals, fine. But adding the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islamic’ certainly doesn’t help our cause as Americans . . . It paints an entire community of believers, 1.2 billion in total, in a very negative way.
In fact, it does no such thing. The modifiers “Islamic” and “Muslim” are critical in helping to identify the methodology, motivation, and personnel working against us. What does paint the moderate Muslim community “in a very negative way” is Fareed’s evident refusal to face up to a blunt fact: people calling themselves Muslims have waged a war against people they’ve labeled infidels.
The argument goes, of course, that terrorists who kill innocents in the name of Islam are not observant Muslims.
THE IRAQ THEY WON'T TALK ABOUT -- [NY Post]
April 23, 2008 -- BOTH opponents and supporters of the war in Iraq seem reluctant to raise the issue of what's going on there now as an issue in the presidential race.
Opponents, of course, can't deny that things are better than a year ago - and may fear that this could persuade voters that President Bush was right after all.
After all, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided that the war was "lost" a year ago. And critics have sounded the tocsins about the supposedly coming Iraqi civil war for five years. (Some even suggested at times that Iraq was already in civil war.) They've also predicted "the end of Iraq," including its de facto partition into sectarian cantons. Yet Iraq has defied all those predictions.
Perhaps worse for the antiwar crowd, close examination of Iraq's situation today might lend credence to Bush's analysis that the Islamic Republic in Iran has emerged as the chief troublemaker there. That could lead only to one conclusion: the need to act against Tehran.
Obama's $845 Billion SECRET - He NEVER talks about this. Why?
Obama is the lead sponsor of U.S. Senate bill S.2433 that most people never even heard about - his $845 BILLION Global Poverty Act
More of the socialist agenda to redistribute the wealth that we no longer have to the rest of the WORLD when the US is already in financial straits. Shouldn't charity begin at home?
Again - Obama's actions contradict his words.
LA Times Staying Classy -- [BlackFive - Deebow]
Seems that the LAT believes that McCain, as a result of being shot down, severely injured during ejection, and then held prisoner for 5 years, as well as tortured while in captivity is unfit to be the Commander in Chief because he receives a VA Disability Pension. And it is tax free!!!
The Arab media gang up on Rice -- [LA Times]
Try as it might, the U.S. has apparently failed again to convince its Arab allies in the Persian Gulf to promise to step in with their cash and credibility in support of the fledgling, Shiite-led Iraqi government.
In a visit to Bahrain on Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried to convince oil-rich Persian Gulf nations to relieve Iraq of billions of dollars of debt, open embassies in the war-torn country and help counter Iran's growing influence.
She walked away empty-handed. Instead, Rice's latest visit to the region has prompted a fresh storm of criticism against U.S. policy in Iraq, which is the subject of a big conference in Kuwait today.
Welcoming her there was a fiery column in the Kuwait Times lambasting U.S. efforts to bolster the Sunni Arab states' involvement in Iraq after triggering chaos in that country:
ABC News Caught Lying About Guns... Again -- [Confederate Yankee]
Today, Ross and accomplice Richard Esposito continue that fine ABC News tradition of making up the news, in a story claiming that the U.S. Second Amendment is to blame for Mexico's drug cartel problems.
The deception starts with the picture at the beginning of the article.
The focus of the story, according to ABC News, is that U.S. dealers of civilian firearms are to blame for Mexico's drug cartels and their violence problems... so why do they highlight an M60 general purpose machine gun, a weapons still in use in Mexico's military, but impossible to find in the open U.S. civilian market?
From that visual deception, we'll transition to outright lie number one in the text, an attempt to smear the Bush Administration...
Questioning Assumptions -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
One of the tenets of Counter Insurgency I imparted upon my Platoon Leaders and senior N0n-Commissioned Officers was the idea what we always needed to question our assumptions about the situation we were in; whether those assumptions were about the enemy, the local populace, the weapons status, our equipment's capabilities, whatever affected our mission we needed to question those assumptions.
...So as a I browse the internet I am always questioning this assumption, the MSM has an agenda to misrepresent the progress of the war and the success we are having here. And every time I am ready to invalidate that assumption, it is revalidated.
The AP/McClatchy Newspapers brings us a story headlined Pentagon institute calls Iraq war 'a major debacle' with outcome 'in doubt'.
Pundits or Puppets Cont. -- [Intel Dump]
Glenn Greenwald notes today on his blog that several media organizations continue to evade questions raised by Sunday's New York Times article on relationships between their military pundits and the Pentagon. Glenn takes great umbrage at this silence, saying it amounts to "height of hubris, and unmistakable proof of their core corruption." I wouldn't go that far, though the Times piece certainly reflects poorly on the judgment of the media organizations who knew about these ties and failed to disclose them.
After thinking about this story for a few days, however, the more interesting questions seem to be about the relationship between American society and its military
Pentagon Briefings of Retired Officer Talking Heads -- [CounterColumn]
The usual reliable dolts are making much hay out of the fact that the retired military officers that are frequently used as sources and talking heads on news programs get the occasional briefing from the Pentagon.
Those who believe that this is somehow awful are simply confirming every suspicion of their own paranoid, simpering ignorance.
News flash: We have a professional military, led by professional and trained officers. Everyone who makes enough rank to be sought after by news programs has been through months or even years of specialized training in a variety of military schools - from the old Command and Staff course and Advanced Courses (now called the Captains Career Course) through the War College.
...Apparently, though, twits like Greenwald would prefer that these sources go without access to the Pentagon, and that their information be based entirely on informal and unaccountable contacts in country (with conflicts of their own), and the incompetent coverage of the news media.
How Many Military Suicides? -- [Confederate Yankee]
The San Francisco Chronicle posts this without question:
We're looking at the conflation of multiple claims here, so lets take them one at a time:
...If they do mean all veterans, regardless of war, but measure from the start of the Afghan war at a rate of 18 suicides a day, we wind up with 43,002 suicides for all veterans of all wars during this time period. If we instead use the 18 suicides/day figure from the beginning of the Iraq War, we wind up with 33,480 suicides for all veterans of all wars during this time period.
Are they trying to tell us between 33,000-43,000 U.S. military war veterans have committed suicide in the past 5-8 years, and we're just now starting to notice?
Biased Media Reports Outrageous Military Suicide Numbers -- [Gateway Pundit]
...120 suicides every week???
That comes out to 6,240 veteran suicides each year or 17 suicides every day.
Actually, that number is about four times higher (1,858 in 2006) than the total military fatalities each year.
That number is also 40 times higher than the total number of military suicides in 2006.
In 2006, 155 US military members in all branches committed suicide:
In fact the average number of suicides dropped during the Bush years compared to the Clinton years.
But, leave it to the mainstream media to report some hugely inaccurate military fatality numbers and not question it.
Did anyone read this before it was published???
Retired Drill Team HT: The Last of the Few
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are 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.
Iraq: After the bombs, the tomatoes -- [AFP]
..."It's the first time in three years I am able to work in my lands," said Ammar Wadi, a 30-year-old vegetable farmer who also runs a small dairy herd.
His lands, on the banks of the Tigris, are thriving. Besides tomatoes, he also grows ochre and wheat, while some of his 30 acres is devoted to pastures.
"When Al-Qaeda was here it was impossible to farm," said the jolly-faced farmer from under an orange cap while taking time out from his labours to visit his cousin's newly-reopened grocery store on a dusty rural road.
"They cut the power so we couldn't pump water," said Wadi. "We couldn't buy fuel. They would shoot at anyone they saw in the fields. They kidnapped and murdered many people. They destroyed life here."
..."Al-Qaeda are the worst criminals on earth," he said standing before large posters of his slain relatives displayed among others killed by Al-Qaeda at a memorial set up at the local community centre.
"I hope they never come back. We now just want to farm in peace. I hope the Americans stay here for a long, long time," he said.
Greetings from Camp Phoenix -- [Cheese's MilBlog - in Iraq]
This place is surprisingly similar to my expectations. As I anticipated, Kabul is the safest place in the world! The traffic is out of this world, though, and I hope to post pictures of it soon. The people are amazing, though...vastly different from Iraq. They are the most industrious and creative people I have ever seen. Again, pictures will be up soon.
Our living conditions are great, too. I have internet in my room now...how insane is that, especially when you're used to Midland, Iraq? We don't have a lot of down time right now, but we're working furiously to get all of our equipment ready. Things should calm down soon.
Iraqi PM to neighbors: 'We've passed the crisis' -- [AP]
KUWAIT CITY (AP) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is trying to persuade his Arab neighbors in a meeting in Kuwait that his country has "passed the crisis" and is much better off than a year ago....
Al-Qaeda in Iraq: Determined but Desperate -- [PJM - Omar Fadhil (Iraq the Model)]
The latest three messages from al-Qaeda addressing the Sunni community uncover the depth of the crisis that al-Qaeda is facing in its former host community.
The threatening tone of the missives from the alleged Abu Omar Baghdadi and Aby Ayyub, and the insulting tone of the second by Zawahiri, reflect mistrust, anxiety and a dire need to retrieve what was lost.
Death threats do not represent a serious call for cooperation on an achievable objective. This “work-for-me-or-I-kill-you” tone is completely different from the usual recruiting slogans that have focused on the ideology of fighting for absolute truth against absolute evil.
Those slogans have failed, which is why they have been discarded and replaced by threats and an effort to seek out third parties to render verdicts on disagreements, which is what Baghdadi alluded to when he proposed that some (not all!) Sunni clerics come forward to mediate between al-Qaeda and the public.
Fox, 2/24 unearths massive weapons caches -- [Fearless 1st Marines’ blog - dispatches in Iraq]
HABBANIYAH, Iraq (Apr. 18, 2008) – Marines of third platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, can thank the local Iraqi people for the numerous weapons caches found from Apr. 7-11.
The Marines are grateful for the intelligence given by a local Iraqi, which lead to unearthing 6.5 tons of ordinance, ammunition and an abundance of enemy weapons from several cache sights; taking away an enormous amount of possible threats to coalition forces from the enemy.
Iraq News (21 April) -- [LT Nixen - in Iraq]
The Good: Arab Jabour is located south of Baghdad and was once safe-haven for terrorists and other undesirables. This made life a living hell for its residents. Due to the surge strategy of US/Iraqi combat operations followed by a rigorous "Sons of Iraq" program, the place has completely turned around. AFP has been running some interesting stories on what has taken place and here's one about a butcher. 40 militia fighters have been killed in combat operations in the southern Dhi Qar province...so much for the "uprising" there. Kuwait is thinking about opening an embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone.
I and My Brother Against My Cousin -- [Weekly Standard]
Is Islam the best way to understand the war on terror? Tribalism may offer a clearer view of our enemies' motivations.
...Culture and Conflict in the Middle East (Humanity Books, 224 pages, $34.95). It is a major event: the most penetrating, reliable, systematic, and theoretically sophisticated effort yet made
to understand the Islamist challenge the United States is facing in cultural terms. A professor of anthropology at Montreal's McGill University, Salzman specializes in the study of Middle Eastern nomads. He, too, is something of a last survivor of a once proud band. What Salzman has managed is to have preserved, nurtured, deepened, and applied to our current challenge a once-dominant anthropological perspective on tribal societies: the study of tribes organized into "segmentary lineages." It was one of the great achievements of modern anthropology. Yet, over the past 40 years, scholars have largely rejected and forgotten the study of segmentary lineage systems.
Nearly a century after Ishi's surrender, the United States finds itself locked in a struggle with fierce jihadi warriors shaped by the pervasively tribal culture of the Islamic Near East. Whether hidden in the mountain sanctuaries of Waziristan or in the fastness of the Iraqi desert, the heart of the jihadi rebellion is tribal. The classic tribal themes of honor and solidarity inspire and draw recruits to the cause--from among lowland peasants and educated urbanites as well. Yet tribalism has been vastly overshadowed by Islam in our attempts to understand the jihadist challenge.
Sadr threatens new uprising; Iraqi and US forces press attack -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The battle between the Mahdi Army and Iraqi and US forces intensified over the weekend. As the Iraqi Army took control of a Mahdi Army stronghold in Basrah, Muqtada al Sadr, the leader of the Mahdi Army, threatened to end the self-imposed cease-fire. Iraqi security forces have also stepped up efforts against the Mahdi Army in the center-south region of Iraq, and captured more than 40 of the Iranian-backed Special Groups, a Mahdi Army splinter group.
Muqtada al-Sadr Threatens War
2217 Dec 19, 2006. Baghdad, Iraq -- [Lumberjack in a Desert - injured in Iraq]
I woke up to the sound of my gunner screaming. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!!” He was brushing and patting down his legs. I’m not sure if it was because he thought his legs were on fire, or if it was from the searing burn of hot copper shrapnel and bone fragments that had just entered his legs. Everything was suddenly very loud.
Our gun truck had somehow come to a stop on the MSR. The road through the windshield was unusually dark. Usually lit up like daylight with eight spotlights in front of our gun truck, it was now barely lit by a couple of surviving lights. The smell of burning copper, electronics, and flesh was thick in the air to the point of being nauseating. It’s a smell I will never forget, a smell that still permeates some of my surviving gear to this day. It still reminds me of death.
After a second or two of dazed confusion, I said out loud in a pleading, quiet, murmur to myself, “Oh Josie, oh Josie!” This was only my fourth mission out since I returned from my two week R&R back home. My young wife of 9 months was fresh on my mind, even if we had only spent a total of 3 weeks together as a married couple.
“I can’t feel my arm!” I groaned.
Of chow and mortars -- [From the Halls to the Shores - in Iraq]
It was a sound I wasn't used to. And so I froze for a second - a little "deer in the headlights" action - waiting to see what the protocol was. My first response was to head for the exits. I mean, the only thing I was familiar with that was close to the sound I was hearing was a fire alarm. And so - flashing back to being ten years old in school - line up and head for the exits. Right?
Of course, that would be monumentally stupid, which I realized before even a second passed. Why? Because there were shells falling outside... somewhere. Which the "big voice" on the PA system made abundantly clear, when - in between the whooping, dive klaxon-like sound I was hearing - it stated quite clearly, "Incoming. Incoming."
Iraqi Army Memorial Service -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
The Iraqi Army lost some men, including a Brigadier, during the recent fighting around Basrah. Yesterday began a three day period where a memorial/rememberance would be held for a portion of the day. I was invited to attend, and was allowed, even encouraged, to photograph any part of the event.
We came to the place it was held, where banners were hung announcing the mourning.
Rodeo, VBIEDs, and other life in the Grinder -- [The Alley - in Iraq]
VBIEDs -The last few days have brought us a dozen or so pretty severely injured national patients, many of them from this incident. You just shake your head every now and then at what suffering some will inflict on their fellow human beings, without remorse. This VBIED (Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device), or car-bomb, was detonated in front of a crowded Baqouba restaurant, killing scores of men, women, and children. The pattern of injuries is gruesome, too, with a combination of fragment peppering and full-thickness burns. Given the number tallies on CNN, I think one of my Iraqi colleagues in Baqouba is pretty busy himself with more of the injured victims.
Day to Day -- [Vince's experiences - in Iraq]
It has been a busy couple of weeks but all has been quiet here for the past week. Starting Easter Sunday and for two weeks we received one of the
largest number of indirect fire (IDF) attacks in the past year...mainly 107mm and 122mm rockets (a few 240mm). Except for the IDF and IEDs, most
of the kinetic operations are in the north or south provinces. Kinetic operations was a new term for me and now I like to throw it around.
It means shooting and killing. Non-kinetic operations are the reconstruction efforts, engagements with the ministries, governance, and anything relationship or construction related. Engagements means coaching, teaching, mentoring the Iraqis.
Rice Backs Iraq's Government After "Open War" Threat.
The Secretary of State's visit to Iraq. Scenes include meet and greets, photo sprays, a sit down at the Iraqi Prime Minister's house and meeting with troops and State Department employees. Part 1 of 2.
Another Person Deserving a Pat on the Back -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
The military takes a great deal of flack for making decisions that might follow regulations, but some times seem to lack compassion. That is why I like to post things where the compassionate thing was clearly done. It if involves dogs, so much the better.
Late last sumer I published this about a dog handler and his dog that were killed here and then cremated and buried together.
Now we have this story.
House of the Holy -- [Kaboom - in Iraq]
...My scout platoon has returned to the combat outpost from an all-night mission. Twenty men out, twenty men in. We are hungry. We are exhausted. We can smell the stench from our own bodies. What we want has made that dangerous evolution into what we need. Despite all of this, the dreamer in me – ignored for many hours, and desperate for attention - seizes my mind with ironclad resolve, forcing me stare off to the east, into the sun and towards the mosque. My soldiers trudge ahead of me, out of the motor pool and into the outpost, spurred on only by the hope that they’ll be left alone for a few hours. I promised them nothing in this regard, something they all seem to understand. The Frago gods enjoy smiting those that ignore their omnipotence.
Dust Storm in Baghdad -- [James Aalan Bernsen - in Iraq]
This week, the City of Baghdad was choked and covered with fine dust as high winds pushed in a sandstorm from the West.
I knew it was coming, since I get a weather briefing every day from an Air Force meteorologist, but it was nonetheless a surprise when I stepped outside and saw a dense, impenetrable fog cast about the horizon.
Afghan Army Making Progress; Police Force Needs Work, U.S. General Says -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 18, 2008 – Afghanistan’s growing army is starting to take the lead in battles against Taliban insurgents, but the country’s constabulary still requires work, the U.S. commander in charge of training and equipping those forces said today.
The pace of Afghan Army development has been “quite remarkable in terms of their ability to field a force,” said Army Maj. Gen. Robert W. Cone, chief of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan.
In addition, Afghan soldiers have been taking the lead in most of the major operations against the enemy over the past three months, Cone told Pentagon reporters from his base in Kabul during a satellite news conference.
Iranian, Afghan forces clash along border -- [MSNBC]
Kabul says Iranian patrol crossed border; civilian killed, 2 Iranians hurt
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan police clashed with Iranian forces at the southwestern border between the two countries, leaving one civilian dead and two Iranian officers wounded, officials said Sunday.
The incident in the village of Pul-e-Abreshum in Nimroz province happened Saturday after an Iranian patrol entered Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Afghan police dispatched a unit to the village and a gunbattle ensued. A teacher from the village was killed during the firefight, said provincial police chief Gen. Ayub Badakhshi.
International Doubts about the Afghanistan Campaign -- [Captain's Journal]
The Canadians are having misgivings about the Afghanistan campaign, even as Canadian Brigadier General Denis Thompson is preparing to take over head of NATO forces there. The disagreement is over the very nature of the mission and how to ensure the departure of Canadian forces as soon as possible.
Paras tread warily in Helmand province as they learn the skills of ‘going lethal’ -- [Times Online]
The British sniper lay on the rooftop of a compound within sight and range of about 20 Taleban armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades in a dugout, and waited for the order to “go lethal”. He had already fired warning shots but the rounds from his long-range 338 rifle had failed to scare them from their bunker.
Overhead, a lone Desert Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), not much more than a polystyrene model plane but with a fancy camera on board sending pictures back to the commander, detected that the Taleban were preparing for a fight.
Small Rewards Program pays big dividends in insurgent weapons finds -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101 - in Afghanistan]
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – An Afghan man assisted Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition forces in uncovering more than 325 pieces of ammunition when he led them to a weapons cache in a cave in Northern Afghanistan, April 13. According to a Coalition soldier who participated in the ANSF-led mission...
2-82 Afganistan 82nd Airborne
Cash tender -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
...FOO stands for "Field Ordering Officer" and as an Embedded Training Team FOO, you get to spend between $10,000 and $15,000 every month helping and equipping the Afghan National Police. You have to account for all of the money spent, getting receipts and making sure all of the purchases are allowed.
Afghani is the currency here and that is how the monthly funds are issued. The exchange rate works out to about 1,000 Afghani being equal to $20.
Old home week -- [Voices from the War - in Afghanistan]
My team finally reached Afghanistan. We are in the capitol for inprocessing. It's really great to see all the guys from Buffalo. It's like old home week for me.
I received news that the team is moving out to the Southern region in a few days. There is a mix of excitement and melancholy. I am always excited to get to new places and people, but here I already know so many people and have such a support network in place; so i am divided.
Geopolitical Diary: Syria and Israel Consider a Deal -- [Stratfor]
Rumors are circulating once again that Syria and Israel are engaged in serious peace talks. Syrian President Bashar al Assad announced April 19 that he had exchanged back-channel messages with Israel about possibility of resuming talks, adding that Israel knows well what Syria will and will not accept, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Sunday.
In a similar vein, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on Thursday that the two countries have been engaged in talks, stating “They know what we want from them, and I know full well what they want from us.” Stratfor sources also say that an undercover meeting took place between April 17 between Syria and Israel.
Bush: U.S. Will Maintain Troop Levels in Korea -- [Defense Link]
The United States will keep its current number of troops -- roughly 28,000 -- deployed to the Republic of Korea, President Bush said during a joint news conference with his South Korean counterpart President Lee Myung-Bak.
Al-Qaida No. 2 says 9/11 theory propagated by Iran - [AP]
CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden's chief deputy on Tuesday denied a theory that Israel carried out the Sept. 11 attacks and blamed Iran and Shiite Hezbollah for spreading the idea to discredit the Sunni al-Qaida's strike against the U.S. The comments in a recording posted on an Islamic Web site reflected the increasing criticism by al-Qaida's No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri against Iran. Al-Zawahri has accused Iran in recent messages of seeking to extend its power in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and through its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon.
Al Qaeda No. 2: Attacks on Western nations in works -- [CNN]
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Al Qaeda still has plans to target Western countries involved in the Iraq war, Osama bin Laden's chief deputy warns in an audiotape released Tuesday to answer questions posed by followers.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, seen in 2006, said in a recent tape that Iran and Hezbollah sought to discredit al Qaeda.
The voice in the lengthy file posted on an Islamic Web site could not be immediately confirmed as al Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri's. But it sounded like past audiotapes from the terror leader, and the posting bore the logo of As-Sahab, al Qaeda's official media arm
The two-hour message is billed as the second installment of al-Zawahiri's answers to more than 900 questions submitted on extremist Internet sites by al Qaeda supporters, critics and journalists in December.
Responding to a question of whether the terror group had plans to attack Western countries that participated in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent war, al-Zawahiri said, "My answer is, yes.
Al Qaeda in Yemen: mercenaries or terrorists? -- [LWJ - Jane Novak]
Yemen is a hotbed for al Qaeda activities in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. The current government fosters and deploys Islamic extremists as mercenaries and as a tool of foreign policy, according to Yemeni observers.
Terrorist State: Majority of Palestinians Support Suicide Bombings -- [Jawa Report]
The number of Palestinians who support terrorist attacks against Israel continues to rise:
Palestinians who support bombing attacks against Israeli civilians rose from 44.8% in June 2006 to 48% in September 2006 and to 50.7% now.
At the same time, confidence in Palestinian leaders is at extremely low levels:
Resiliency Center: Guidelines for Listening to War Veterans -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
The main problem for many war veterans and survivors of torturous experiences is not what they went through. Their problem is that very few people have the emotional strength to listen to them talk about what they went through. The poor relationships that survivors often have with spouses, children, relatives, neighbors, employers, and co-workers are not merely a result of delayed reactions to stress. The feelings of isolation and poor relationships with others are, in part, from having bad experiences with people who are poor listeners.
Pictures of the war in Iraq did not show the gruesome carnage caused by the bombing. "Most people would go weird," one combat veteran says, "when they hear about what I saw."
iTunes Gift Cards and iPod Shuffles -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
The Soldiers' Angels have adopted the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and all the Military hospitals worldwide. Soldiers’ Angels Germany supports the patients at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. See About Medical Evacuations to Germany.
Almost all service members these days have iPods. Unfortunately, they can get left behind during a medevac to Germany or destroyed during the incident in which injury was sustained. Without music, a hospital stay can be very boring for a young Soldier or Marine, and the medevac flights are long.
Help a Fellow Milblogger -- [MilBlogs - Andi ]
Many of you remember the story of Reid Stanley, a milblogger who lost his beloved wife Ellicia to cancer. Reid wants to honor his wife by participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Reid needs a total of $1800 in pledges to qualify as a walker. He's only $330 away from that goal. Let's put him over.
Soldiers' Angels Unveils the Silver Star of Hope, an Exquisite Jewelry Piece Designed by Anne Dale -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
Soldiers' Angels Unveils the Silver Star of Hope, an Exquisite Jewelry Piece Designed by Anne Dale
April 18, 2008, Pasadena, CA- Soldiers' Angels is proud to unveil the addition to the Soldiers' Angels Store with the exquisite piece of jewelry called the Silver Star of Hope designed by Anne Dale. The Silver Star of Hope brings together two great American traditions; the silver star and the yellow ribbon, in a design that combines the valor and heroism of a soldier with the longing to reunite with family, friends and community. The Silver Star of Hope is available as a pendant or a pin and a portion of each Silver Star of Hope is donated to Soldiers' Angels.
President Bush Brings Luck To Army Captain -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Did President George W. Bush bring luck to a soldier who was a contestant on the television game show "Deal or no Deal?" Stay tuned.
Bush taped a "surprise good luck video" in the White House Library on March 17 for Army Captain Joe Kobes who served in Iraq and was a contestant on the NBC show "Deal or No Deal," the White House said on Friday.
Honored by a Scout -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
I've likely opened my last care packages in Afghanistan and many of them have included Girl Scout Cookies.
We've received several boxes of all varieties. We are thankful for them all. Even our terps are chowing down on the cookies.
But one special little Brownie in St. Louis did something extremely special.
Katie, a second-grader in Girl Scout Troop 1012, sold cookies this year but then had the gumption to ask people if they would like to buy extra boxes to send to the troops. Apparently she's quite a salesperson because she had several people take her up on her offer.
We are among the proud recipients of Katie's and her customers' generosity
Dad calls from Iraq, son gets suspended -- [GOE]
Master Sgt. Morris Hill is serving his country in Iraq, a long way away from his beloved sons back in Texas. Luckily, these days, we have the means for people on opposite sides of the planet to talk to each other in real time, almost without regard to where they actually are. We have cell phones.
Unfortunately, the only time Hill could call his son Brandon was during the school day — a time when students are generally forbidden from using their cell phones. It would seem, however, that this situation would count as extraordinary circumstances and an exception could be made, but administrators disagree. Brandon was suspended for taking the call.
Screwing Private Ryan -- [Strategy Page]
April 21, 2008: Once again, the U.S. Army shot itself in the foot by doing the right thing, then screwing it up. In this case, a soldier, one of three brothers, was released early from his enlistment because of the 60 year old "sole survivor" rule. This regulation allows for the sole survivor of a group of siblings to be released from service. In this case Specialist Jason Hubbard had two other brothers killed (one by a roadside bomb, the other in a helicopter crash), and he decided to take advantage of the sole survivor rule. But another rule, introduced after the sole survivor rule, prohibited soldiers who got out before their enlistment was up, from receiving veterans health and education benefits.
A Suit with Agenda -- [Dadmanly]
The Associated Press ran a story today reporting on a class action lawsuit that’s been filed against The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). According to the AP, the lawsuit was filed by two “non profit groups representing military veterans.”
...MILBLOGGERS have long recognized this line of criticism against our military, the VA, and the Bush Administration. Much of what’s been written and press-released for the public has been filled was misinformation and distortions, if not outright fabrications. There’s been no “epidemic of suicides” in the military, and the suicide rate for the military is actually lower than the rates for non-military when like data sets are compared.
Interviews -- [FBL]
...I keep getting bumped off MG Lynch's schedule, but the PAO swears she'll fit me in before they redeploy. I'm also hoping to have a one-on-one with someone working MITT in 3ID's AO who can talk about their Iraqi mentored units' experiences in Basra. In the meantime, here are all the interview reports I posted over at The Castle, in chronological order:
Live from Iraq I - COL Mark McKnight, Chief of Staff
Live from Iraq II - CSM Jesse Andrews, Division Command Sergeant Major
Redevelopment and Reconciliation - BG Edward Cardon, Asst. Division Commander
On Iraq's Economic Development - Ambassador Charles Ries
No News is Good News - BG Jim Huggins, Deputy Commanding General
A Canadian In Iraq - LTC Darryl Mills, Deputy Chief of Staff
The Military Judgment Rule -- [Badgers Forward - in Iraq]
I have found the adoption of the "Military Judgment Rule" to be of benefit in my military career. Obviously those of us that are in the military are legally compelled to follow lawful order, but in my view the military judgment rule transcends that mere legal obligation. The military judgment rule invites the subordinate to give their superior their best informed advice about a particular course of action to take when asked for that perspective.
Sometimes however the person asking your advice may not take your recommendation in its total form and even more obviously many decisions are made without ever consulting you. The question the service member should ask them self, aside from legality of course, is "is this decision reasonable." Given that somewhat objective standard my experience is that 99.9% of the decisions made by my higher commanders have been reasonable.
That is why I find this story so puzzling.
Steven Vincent, RIP -- [Villainous Company]
...How many people remember that Steven was the first American journalist to be attacked and killed during the war? Before his death, several journalists (most notably Michael Kelly of the Washington Post) had died in vehicle accidents or from illnesses.
Vincent was the first to suffer a violent death at the hands of the enemy. This was, perhaps, fitting for a man whose outlook on life would not have been unfamiliar to anyone in the armed forces:
Applause Of A Nation -- [Zen Traveler - home from Iraq]
“Announcing the arrival of a military flight from the middle east with 263 of America’s finest men and women on board”. These were the words that came across Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s public address system, the busiest airport in the world, while I waited in baggage claim. Down the escalator emerged a snaking line of tired looking uniformed soldiers and Marines, daypacks slung over their shoulders, smiles on their faces, all happy to be back home to the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. The applause started as a ripple and grew to a sustained, heavy crescendo as the hundreds of passengers in the terminal, US Customs agents, flight crews, and airport personnel recognized the job that these men and women had done for the past 15 or so months of their lives.
I was happy and deeply touched to witness the welcoming that this country, or at least the Atlanta airport, gave to its returning heroes.
Democrats seek to avoid Iraq funding vote this fall -- [AP]
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats in Congress, seeking to avoid a vote on funding the Iraq war during the fall campaign season, are considering combining President Bush's two pending requests into a single bill to be voted on this spring....
Huffington Post & MoveOn.org Caught in Major Afghan War Lie -- [Gateway Pundit]
After the audio was released this weekend of Hillary Clinton slamming the Far Left Obama-supporting MoveOn.org for not "even wanting us to go into Afghanistan," the Executive Director of MoveOn.org responded:
... "Senator Clinton has her facts wrong again. MoveOn never opposed the war in Afghanistan, and we set the record straight years ago when Karl Rove made the same claim.
...unfortunately for the Move-On nuts, Tom Maguire at Just One Minute , via Instapundit, found the actual MoveOn.org petition against the Afghanistan War, via the Wayback machine:
What Newsweek Didn't Tell You About Obama & Nadhmi Auchi -- [Gateway Pundit]
Obama says he can't be "swiftboated" according to Newsweek Magazine today.
(Nice slam on 250 Vietnam vets and POW's, Barack!)
The article focuses on only two of Barack's curious links-- His links to the terrorist Ayers and his link to Saddam's frontman Nadhmi Auchi.
Here is what Newsweek reported on Obama's ties to Auchi:
Don't Recruit Me -- [Iraq: The Purgatorium - in Iraq]
I have no place on any more bandwagons. This includes IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War). I have no problem with them whatsoever and I commend them for doing what they feel is right, but that ain't me.
...I don't want your sweatshop petitions or dates of when your next rally is. Don't want to protest anything. Don't want to read about your Scientology. Don't want to know where mankind came from or even where it's going. Don't want to hear about evil political agendas. Don't want to fight "the good fight", don't even want to fight the bad fight.
The Webb amendment -- [Foreign and Domestic]
Freshmen Senator Jim Webb has been making headlines with his bill on 'dwell time' for the US military. In short, it would limit active duty units to one year deployed for every one year at home. Guard and reserve units would be limited to one year deployed for every 3 years at home. Sounds great, right? Who could be against it?
Well, me, for one.
Marines demonstrate against Code Pink -- [American Thinker - Thomas Lifson]
Today I attended a demonstration of Marine veterans against Code Pink, held in front of the group's headquarters, on Solano Avenue in Albany, CA, just over the city line from Berkeley. Needless to say, it was quite a sight, and I took a few pictures, which more or less speak for themselves.
The mood was ultra-calm. A cop I spoke to was mellow as he confirmed there were no incidents. The Code Pinkos were absent, but left a couple of signs
Code Pink does not relish having to face critics. They prefer to yell and disrupt hearings, but are not interested in real communcation face to face with people who disagree.
Iraq After U.S. Withdrawal -- [Iraqi Pundit]
While Hillary Clinton (within 60 days) and Barack Obama (in 2010) argue about who would withdraw U.S. troops faster, al-Qaeda announces its plans for a post-US Iraq.
Ayman Zawahiri, OBL's number two, says this about the U.S. withdrawal: "This is a stupid drama to cover up the failure in Iraq and for Bush to escape from the decision of withdrawing his forces, which would be considered an announcement of the defeat of the Crusader invasion of Iraq, and to pass the problem to the next president."
In today's tape Zawahiri says Bin Laden is "healthy and well." He also tells Muslims to "make Iraq a 'fortress of Islam' and railed against Shia Iran for siding with the US against Iraq – a plot which he said would lead to an explosion of violence in the Middle East."
Shirley Phelps of Westboro Baptist on Obama Pastor Wright, 2008 Elections
Shirley Phelps Roper interview on Obama's pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright and who she's not voting for in the 2008 Presidential elections. Filmed at Pope Benedict visit to New York City April 18 2008.
Phelp and Radical Islamists Have a lot in Common -- [Jawa Report]
Apparently this "God" worshiped by Fred Phelps & the Westboro Baptist Church hates the Pope.
What about Sami? NY Times Buys Into American Ikhwan Lobbying on Behalf of Convicted Terrorist -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The New York Times today became the latest tool in an aggressive lobbying campaign aimed at sabotaging a terror investigation in northern Virginia.
The campaign to free Sami Al-Arian started last year, led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS), and other American Islamist groups after the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) operative was held in contempt of court for refusing to comply with consecutive grand jury subpoenas. He now is defying his third subpoena to testify in a terror finance investigation involving a Virginia-based network that provided Al-Arian's organizations with tens of thousands of dollars in the 1990s.
All the News that’s… -- [SWJ - Robert Bateman]
An editor somewhere at the New York Times should probably be very worried for his job right about now. Not because he or she missed a comma splice, or permitted a run-on sentence, that is actually the job of people called copy editors. No, that editor should be worried because today, on page A1 and above the fold, he or she failed in their job to present a logical and intellectually coherent article. In short, they let a reporter run wild with an a historical collection of claptrap which displays both a stunning ignorance of the military as well as the even more unforgivable sin of being ignorant of how the Pentagon press corps (to include the Pentagon correspondent for the Times) works.
Here is the short version of the thesis: The political appointees in the Pentagon try to counteract adverse news stories and also try to increase what they believe are positive news stories.
What The Times Was Up To -- [Commentary Mag - John Podhoretz]
Max Boot’s post earlier today about the preposterous New York Times story on the relationship between the Pentagon and former-military men-turned-war-pundits was spot on. I think, based on many years of experience working at various newspapers, that there is an explanation for the extreme length — 7800 words — of the story and the fact that it manages to find nothing more than an effort by the Pentagon to get good coverage. The Times thought it was on to something very big, ended up with something very small, and then took what little they had and tried to make a silk purse from the sow’s ear that was reporter David Barstow’s investigation.
Miami Herald’s “major debacle”: a lack of journalism -- [Hot Air]
The Miami Herald reports on a study at the National Defense University that it claims calls the war in Iraq a “major debacle” with the outcome in doubt. However, what the Miami Herald didn’t report was that the study looked at a specific time period and has little bearing on the current status of the conflict. How do we know that? A blogger decided to do what the Herald couldn’t — journalism.
Conservatives Have It Rough in Hollywood -- [PJM - Burt Prelutsky]
The WGA hosted a reunion lunch for all the “MASH” writers. There were two large tables filled with us old duffs. Over coffee, one of the fellows at my table announced that he had recently canceled his subscription to the L.A. Times. That grabbed my attention, and I said, “Really, Gene? I always thought you were a liberal.”
“What makes you think I’m not?”
“Well, I’m a conservative, so it would make sense for me to cancel that rag. But why did you?”
“Because the Times has gotten too damn conservative!”
Two interesting things then took place. First my jaw hit the floor. Next, the writer who had been seated between us for the entire lunch turned to glower at me, and said, “You’re really a conservative?”
As soon as I admitted I was, he got up and walked away so quickly, you might have thought I’d acknowledged being a leper. But his glower was nothing compared to the sneer I was getting from Gene. “How can you be a conservative?”
I wasn’t sure if what confused him the most was how I could possibly be a conservative if I was Jewish or a humorist or a former “MASH” writer or simply dare to be in his immediate proximity. But all I said was, “It’s easy. I think conservatives are right and liberals are wrong.”
“Wrong about what?” ...
Benny Hill Troops in Qalat, Afghanistan
Comedy spoof by the soldiers. Some pretty funny bits along the way.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Am I Supposed To Be This Bored? -- [False Motivation - in Iraq]
Yea, so it's been a little over a week since my last post, partly due to a crazy patrol schedule and partly due to a lack of anything to write about. I'm amazed at how bored I actually am, nothing is going on at all; I'm almost willing to bet that I could go running through my platoon AO without gear or my weapon and I'd be completely untouched.
I'm not the only one feeling the boredom, on one of our patrols we paid 4 donkey cart drivers to race, the stipulation, one soldier on the back of each donkey cart. My donkey lost, it tried to kick it's driver.
So is this what we've been waiting for in Iraq? Or is this silence just the prelude to more attacks and violence? In Baqouba I can say that I think this peace will last, at least while my unit is here.
Iraq News (18 April) -- [LT Nixon - in Iraq]
The Good: Sadr City operations are now involving Tanks N' T-Walls (Michael R. Gordon reports). Significant humanitarian assistance is going to be needed from the Iraqi government to coincide with this in order to avoid a "siege" mentality. This will also undercut support from poor Shi'ites for the militias and Iranian-backed goon squads that operate in the area. The Iraqi Accordance Front is talking about returning its ministers to the government after a months-long boycott.
The Two Wars in Iraq & Mistaken Republican Support for Obama -- [Jawa Report]
...This conclusion is inevitable when one comes to the same realization as me. There was a war in Iraq and there is a war in Iraq. In fact, we've had two wars in Iraq: Iraq War I & Iraq War II.
The war now is not the same as that war. The first war in Iraq was against Saddam Hussein, the second war is against Islamists of various stripes, but mainly al Qaeda.
Many of the arguments used by those who keep reminding us that Bush's decision to invade Iraq was a mistake are valid. While Saddam Hussein strategically supported groups linked to Osama bin Laden, there was not a substantial al Qaeda presence in Iraq prior to the invasion. Ansar al Islam, the main Sunni Islamist group in Iraq prior to the invasion that would eventually morph into al Qaeda in Iraq, operated nearly exclusively in the Kurdish north---a zone not firmly under Hussein's sovereignty.
All would agree that the invasion liberated Iraqis from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. That was the First Iraq War.** It ended the day Saddam Hussein was captured.
The relationship between coalition forces and the Iraqi police continuing to grow while conducting an air assault mission in the Salah Ad Din province.
The Break Point: AQIZ Establishes the ISI in Zaganiyah -- [SWJ - CPT James Few]
Upon my arrival in Iraq in August 2006, Zaganiyah appeared to be a potentially shining example of democratization; a relatively peaceful, heterogeneous mixture of Sunnis and Shias, a robust security force consisting of both local police and Iraqi Army (ISF), and an adequate government representation in both the local Nahiya (County) and Diyala Provisional Councils (GOI). Furthermore, population samples indicated thriving economic metrics, moderate religious leaders, and marginal but improving essential services (A/5-73 Recon Operational Summary, August 2006).
Yet, in the shadows of this overtly optimistic US perspective, a storm of epic proportions brewed as tribal and sectarian differences clashed outside of the Coalition Forces' (CF) purview.
Sadrists vow to keep the Mahdi Army -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
A Sadrist member of parliament said the Mahdi Army would keep their weapons unless they were ordered to disband by senior Shia leaders. Sistani has said only Sadr can order the Mahdi Army to disarm.
2nd LAR Assumes Control of Western Anbar -- [DVIDS]
CAMP KOREAN VILLAGE, Iraq – Marines with 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, took the reigns from 3rd LAR Bn., March 31, to continue the mission of making a safer and better Iraq.
...The battalion will have several missions to conduct, but one of the most important is the continued transition from coalition forces to Iraqi security forces controlling the area.
“We are here to return the control of the country to the Iraqi people and to provide them with a self-sufficient and stable government,” said Maj. Stuart M. Harness, executive officer of 2nd LAR Bn.
Harness added the battalion’s other main goal is to bring everyone back home safely.
Town Hall opens in Jurf as Sahkr -- [Task Force Marne - in Iraq]
FOB Kalsu, Iraq, Friday, 18 April 2008 - Approximately 500 people gathered to commemorate the grand opening of the Jurf as Sahkr Town Hall April 15 in Jurf as Sahkr, Iraq.
Soldier re-enlists 340 feet off the ground -- [Task Force Marne - in Iraq]
U.S. Soldiers opt to stay Army on a daily basis. In an office among peers or outside a headquarters building are frequent spots for re-enlistment ceremonies.
One Soldier in the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, wanted to make his commitment to the Army unique. Spc. Bobby Nieto, from Stonewall, Texas, chose the top of a 340-foot smokestack to raise his hand to re-enlist April 8.
Honoring those who "endure the unendurable" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Aloha Dragon Families,
We are approaching 5 months since we’ve left you, and though our rendezvous with destiny still continues our reunion with you still awaits. As many of you already know, President Bush announced his decision to return to twelve-month theater deployments. Unfortunately, this decision will not affect the Golden Dragons. It will affect units deploying after 1 August 2008.
I know that all of you held hope that there would be some reprieve bestowed onto our families, but what you need to know is – this decision was made possible by your Golden Dragon. It was by their hands that security improved in Tarmiyah, Iraq and the fruits of precious family time are given to others so they may RESET before return.
Marines invited to chill out in a Iraq's home while on foot patrol
Hawaii-based Marines help provide medical care to Iraqis -- [Fearless 1st Marines’ blog]
KARMA, Iraq – A convoy of humvees, 7-ton trucks, and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles pull up to a sheik’s home. As they arrive, local citizens, already lined up, wait outside the gate to receive aid through the teamwork of the local government, Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition forces.
On April 12 and 13, Marines of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, alongside Iraqi doctors, conducted a cooperative medical engagement to provide medical care to Iraqi civilians in the Gnather and Lahib villages.
3rd Bn., 6th Marines return to familiar territory in Iraq -- [Fearless 1st Marines’ blog]
...Almost like a homecoming for these Marines and sailors, the battalion is familiar with the area of operations around Fallujah. They have returned to some of the same streets and surroundings, local populace, mosques and tribal leaders.
“During our last deployment, there was significant progress during the (Anbar) Awakening,” said Maj. Mark Clingan, executive officer of the battalion, about the alliance that Iraqi tribes built with coalition forces to rid local neighborhoods of al-Qaeda (AQI) members last year. “Now that we’re back after seven months, we’ve seen huge progress and we’re anxious to continue the progress under our watch.”
An airman preparing for flight, the flight in a Blackhawk, a crew chief test firing his doorgun and arriving and walking through Talil Airbase.
The Gravediggers' Cache of Quotes (1) -- [Kaboom - in Iraq]
This is long overdue. Four months into the Suck, and some brilliant (or otherwise) quips have been uttered by me and my men – usually in the hazy, ambiguous hours after midnight and before dawn. Rip-It abuse can only carry a man so far. Here’s the initial collection of bodacious, quotalacious wisecracks; some of them were intended, but as is the case with something so repulsively serious as war, most of them were not.
Sons of Iraq lead MND-C Soldiers to weapons cache -- [MNF-I]
(Tameem) - BAGHDAD – Sons of Iraq led Multi-National Division – Center Soldiers from Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, and Iraqi Policemen with 3rd Brigade, 1st National Police Division to a large weapons cache in Tameem, a town east of Baghdad, April 14. The cache was buried approximately 500 meters from the NPheadquarters in Tameem.
Headed to Baghdad/Sadr City -- [INDC Journal]
I'm going to Baghdad next week to embed with the 2/1 Stryker Cavalry Regiment operating in and around Sadr City. The showdown between the Mahdi Army and US and Iraqi government forces is currently the most important story in Iraq being covered (and miscovered) by the mainstream press, and I'd like to provide an accurate, on-the-ground perspective.
Bara bin Malek Front commander killed in Pakistani shootout -- [LWJ - Matt Dupee]
A senior leader of a Taliban splinter group known as the Bara bin Malek Front, one of the most dangerous insurgent groups operating in northeastern Afghanistan, was killed during a blazing shootout with Pakistani police in the Northwest Frontier Province earlier this week. Security forces opened fire on Mullah Ahmad Shah, better known as his nom de guerre Commander Ismail, after he failed to stop at a police checkpoint near the Afghan border. Ismail was attempting to smuggle a kidnapped Afghan day laborer back to an insurgent hideout on the Afghan side of the border, according to Pakistani security officials who spoke with CBS. Taliban spokesman Zabibullah Mujahid also confirmed the killing of a top Taliban commander in the area according to the same report.
From FOB Keating to COP Warheit with the 1-91st Cav and Marines ETT in Nuristan -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...The outpost’s only "running" water is the melting snow. A platoon from Bravo Troop rotates monthly to COP Warheit along with a platoon of ANA Soldiers.
Just days earlier a large fight had taken place between Bravo Troop and the Taliban. FOB Keating was on high alert and extra vehicles were set around the perimeter with 50 Cal. machine guns and Mark 19 grenade launchers locked and loaded.
Taliban IED Team Targetted by Canadian TUAV
Taliban attacked by Unmanned aerial vehicle. Job carried out by Canadian Forces.
NATO Admits To Dropping Weapons & Supplies To Taliban -- [Jawa Report]
Update on "Coalition Accidentally Drops Weapons and Supplies" to Taliban
Nato had previously denied they had anything to do with the incident. Now it comes out a private helicopter company was contracted by NATO's International Security Assistance Force. Very interesting development.
Afghanistan - "Tribal Trickery" (April 2008)
"Coalition troops have set up outposts in Afghanistan's least accessible regions, taking the battle for hearts and minds right to the Taliban's doorstep. But with deployments both short and rare are they doing any good?" journeymanpictures
Special Forces bring Afghan, U.S. students together -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101 - in Afghanistan]
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Elementary school children from the U.S. and Afghanistan met face to face last night, over video teleconference, facilitated by the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, as part of a partnership program and cultural exchange.
CJSOTF-A has been working with village elders, teachers, parents and students of the Jan Qadam Elementary School, outside the gates of Bagram Air Field, to enable the school to become a more effective center of education. Coalition troops have been able to supply more than 1,200 students with notebooks, pens, pencils, backpacks, rules and glue to get them started on a good school year, with the help of Calvert City elementary School in Calvert City, Kentucky.
NORAD Releases Mother Lode of 9/11 Tapes -- [Danger Room]
The Web site governmentattic.org says NORAD and U.S. Northern Command "have released a copy of their audio files, telephone conversations and situation room discussions, from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001."
And governmentattic.org has posted them all to its site, in .zip files linked within a .pdf document
Police Find IED and Iraqi Cash in Stolen Car in New Mexico -- [Gateway Pundit]
The owner of the car was filling up his motorcycle when his stolen car pulled up for gas.
The FBI is now involved in the theft of a car after it was found in Los Lunas with an explosive device and Iraqi currency inside. FBI agents say that they have ruled out terrorism
Hijackings impede UN food deliveries in Darfur -- [Hot Air]
The UN has found it difficult to keep the “food pipeline” open to the people in Darfur, thanks to a lack of security along the roads and in the villages. The Sudanese government does not provide reliable escorts, and UN workers have had their trucks hijacked and their stations robbed. Thanks to the rainy spring, the crisis could escalate into a deadly famine — and all of this may sound familiar to Americans:
Chinese ambassador calls for closer ties with Iran -- [Tehran Times]
TEHRAN – Chinese ambassador to Tehran Xie Xiaoyan on Wednesday called for improving economic and political relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Chinese ambassador made the remarks in a roundtable meeting held between the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR).
Cables, dispatches and memoranda -- [Peace Like A River]
-AFP - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday proclaimed Iran the “most powerful nation” on earth as the country’s air force showed off its prowess at a time of mounting tension with the West.
-MEMRI - Pakistani Taliban have successfully held a two-day jihad conference at the shrine of 20th-Century local Islamic preacher Haji Sahib Turangzai in Pakistan’s tribal district of Mohmand Agency.
-Spiegel - Germany’s top security and law officials have agreed to a plan to enact new computer surveillance regulations. But Muslim leaders fear imams could face more scrutiny than their Christian counterparts.
NEFA Foundation: Videos of Pakistan Terror Training Camp, UK Airline Bomb Plotters -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Evan Kohlmann]
Two new items have been added to the NEFA Foundation online multimedia library:
- Video footage of a terrorist training camp in northwestern Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU). The video shows the production and testing of explosives, and the recruitment of young children as fighters. On May 25, 2005, the U.S. State Department announced the designation of the IJU as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). ...
- Excerpts from the "martyrdom wills" of of Abdullah Ahmed Ali, Tanvir Hussain, Ibrahim Savant, Arafat Waheed Khan, and Waheed Zaman. The five men—along with Assad Sarwar, Mohammed Gulzar, and Umar Islam—are currently on trial in the United Kingdom for plotting the destruction of several U.S. and Canada-bound commercial flights in August 2006.
Muhammad Nazzal, Hamas Political Bureau Member: If Al-Qaeda Wants to Come to Palestine, They are Welcome (Video) -- [MEMRI]
Interviewer: As you have heard, Ayman Al-Zawahiri talked about the role of Al-Qaeda in what is going on. He threatened that Al-Qaeda would intervene. Will you stand in the same trench with him and with his group?
Muhammad Nazzal: We support any effort against the Zionist enemy. One of the disagreements we have with several Islamic groups was that we believe that the resistance should be directed primarily against this Zionist aggression and occupation. We should concentrate our efforts in Palestine, and in the resistance against the Zionist aggression in Palestine and Lebanon, because this will result in great achievements for the nation. All Arabs and Muslims agree on this issue.
Interviewer: Muhammad, in short, what you are saying is that you are ready to support Al-Qaeda, right?
Muhammad Nazzal: If Al-Qaeda or any Palestinian, Arab, or Islamic faction wants to come to Palestine to fight the Israelis, we welcome this.
Al Qaeda's #2, Zawahiri, in New Audio Tape: "Fortress Iraq" -- [Jawa Report]
A new audio from al Qaeda's #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, just hit the forums. It's called, "Iraq: Five Years Later".
It's an audio speech, and it's available only in Arabic. I expect an English transcript will be released in the next few days.
Which leads me, once again, to wonder: where the hell is Adam Gadahn, al Qaeda's chief English language propagandist? He's either dead, as I've been hearing, or alive, and very dangerous. Why so? Because if he's no longer in charge of propaganda then he's moved to the operational side of things. And that means al Qaeda has a Jewish kid from Southern California available as a human bomb.
Al-Zawahiri Calls On Muslims To Turn Mosques, Schools, Factories, Universities into 'Centers of Support for Jihad' -- [MEMRI Blog]
On April 18, 2008, Al-Ikhlas and other Islamist websites posted an audio message by Al-Zawahiri, produced by Al-Sahab, titled "Five Years after the Invasion of Iraq; Decades of Oppression by the Tyrant." Al-Zawahiri states that the Democrats in the U.S. are deceiving their voters when they promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by forming an understanding with Iran. This understanding, he says, is meant to allow the Americans to focus on fighting Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but will in fact only "only serve Iran's interests in the region and add fuel to the fire."
Al-Qaida's Finances: Evidence of Organizational Decline? -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Matthew Levitt]
The latest issue of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point's excellent online journal, CTC Sentinel, was released today, inlcuding an article in which I present a snapshot of al Qaeda's continuing ability to raise funds through traditional methods, even as the al Qaeda core itself is reportedly short on cash. A reverse directional flow of funds from disparate al Qaeda cells back to al Qaeda senior leadership in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area may suggest a further degeneration of the al Qaeda core. There is no question that the al Qaeda core remains highly capable of spectacular attacks and continues to pose the single greatest terrorist threat to the West today. But if, over time, al Qaeda senior leadership continues to lack the funds necessary to train recruits, produce and disseminate propaganda, etc, it could lose the financial leverage that enables it to control the activities and direct operations of cells worldwide.
Recruiting Trends, Theirs -- [Jules Crittenden]
Know your enemy. Small Wars Journal and DoD offer up some recent findings, with an eye to combating enemy recruitment. We’ll start at Small Wars Journal with a study of foreign jihadi recruitment trends by Clint Watts, a former US Army Infantry Officer, FBI Special Agent and Executive Officer of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, now a private consultant:
AP’s Terror Operative Freed but Not Cleared -- [PJM - Bob Owens]
Iraqi terrorism suspect and award-winning Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein was released from U.S. military custody on Wednesday after more than two years in prison. Various news outlets are reporting the release as the triumph of an innocent man, though that journalism community-based supposition is unsupported by known facts.
An amnesty committee reviewing the charges against Hussein judged neither the merits of the case nor his guilt or innocence, but instead looked “exclusively at the categorization of the charges relative to provisions of the Amnesty Law,” according to a U.S. military release.
Americans could get tax credits for supporting troops -- [HeraldTimes HT: Soldiers Angels Network ]
Indiana Congressman Baron Hill will introduce legislation today that would give Americans up to a $500 tax credit for their role in providing support to U.S. troops fighting in the Iraq war and their families.
The idea was conceived by Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor Catherine Dalton, whom Hill said has spent thousands of dollars sending care packages to troops overseas.
Hill is calling the two bills the Heroes Tax Relief Package.
Americans who send care packages overseas to troops for a designated period of time would be eligible for a $500 tax deduction.
The second bill would allow for a $500 deduction for those who donate at least 10 hours of volunteer service for four straight weeks to military families who have soldiers fighting abroad.
One Man and A Symbol of Freedom -- [Castle Argghhh! - Kat]
I can hardly write this post. I am equally angry, sad, proud, and filled with something I can't describe because it is all of these things and more.
I just watched a video over at Gateway Pundit. It seems the University of Maine put up, or should I say "down", an "art" display by laying down United States Flags all through the hall way for people to walk on.
One man, a veteran, came and tried to pick up the flags. They called the police and told him that he could not. It was property, just a piece of cloth, they said. He told them that he had fought for that flag. He stood in front of one of the flag with a sign: Disgraceful.
Disgrace of the Flag, at UMF
Al Qaeda in Iraq : When losing, flail away and kill as many as you can. -- [John of Argghhh!]
...Yesterday, I linked to Cassandra's crie-de-coeur over at Villainous Company, regarding her view of a rising willingness of the Usual Suspects to express their contempt of those of us who donned the uniform or support those who wear it. Oddly enough, they aren't as contemptuous when the Powers That Be send us off to do thing that the Usual Suspects approve of... well, they aren't as openly contemptuous, anyway.
I'm not reopening that discussion here, so much as I'm going to cherry-pick from her commenter who took issue with her, a Mr. Schwag.
You finally put it all together Casandy. The majority of Americans now feel contempt for the military.
Why is it that the "greatest military of all time" can't defeat a few thousand camel jocks?
Gas is now over $4 and all we hear is about how great are "heros" are.
You and your ilk have trashed our country and soon you will get a major domestic ass kicking.
difficult it is to say goodbye -- [Jake's Life]
...My family came down to Palm Springs for my graduation from School. It was a great time, but it was of course bittersweet. Upon saying goodbye, my little sister said that until that point she hadn’t let herself think that it was going to be the last time she’d see me before going to Afghanistan. It’s difficult in those awkward moments with your family when they are asking you if you are scared or nervous or any one of the other million emotions you could be feeling on the verge of heading back. To be truthful, it’s a cocktail of everything. I could quite honestly put any name on the gut feeling I have sitting in my stomach. The fact is that I’m going back and that’s why I signed up in the first place, so there aren’t any complaints on my end.
Chivalry and Women - [MilBlogs - Grim]
(Ah! I do still have the link to post here! Here is a post I think could benefit young soldiers, particularly: but also ladies, trying to understand the men in their lives.
About Those Recruitment Issues -- [Jules Crittenden]
They want a draft? OK, let’s have a draft. No problem. A couple of things, though. The last thing we want to do is screw with the world’s greatest professional volunteer Army. And there has to be an alternative for principled peaceniks. The Works Corps. Sounds harsh, I know. The W-word. Just wait till you hear about the Punishment Battalions.* It might sound a little more Stalinist than FDR, but hey, it’s what the lefties want. Let’s engage America’s youth in a great common venture.
Guidelines for the War Poetry Contest -- [Winning Writers]
Now in its seventh year, this contest seeks today's best poems on the theme of war. We will award $5,000 in prizes. Click here to read winning entries from the past.
Entries accepted November 15, 2007 - May 31, 2008 (postmark dates)
What to Submit
1-3 original, unpublished poems on the theme of war. Their combined length should not exceed 500 lines. Contestants may enter once per year.
First Prize, $2,000 cash and publication on WinningWriters.com (over one million page views per year)
Second Prize, $1,200 cash and publication on WinningWriters.com
Third Prize, $600 cash and publication on WinningWriters.com
Twelve Honorable Mentions, $100 cash each and publication on WinningWriters.com
$15, payable to Winning Writers.
3rd ID is full of warriors -- [TacOps Security]
The 3rd Infantry Division, headquartered at Fort Stewart, Ga., completed its fiscal year 2008 retention goal in less than six months, which most view as a phenomenal act.
This is unprecedented according to the division’s retention sergeant major. “I’ve been in this career field for 16 years, and I’ve never known of a division to meet its goal in such a short time,” said Sgt. Maj. Kelvin Raibon, the 3rd Infantry Division Retention sergeant major.
This is the division’s third deployment to Iraq since 2003, but its high operational tempo did not stop 4,000 Soldiers from re-enlisting. Even more troops will follow their lead, and by the end of March one battalion with the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, out of Fort Benning, Ga., will have met its retention goal twice.
Demise of the Green Berets? -- [Military.com]
For a glimpse into the future of Special Forces, read the Capstone Concept for Special Operations on the USSOCOM web site. Read through it carefully. Can you find the words "Special Forces" anywhere? Or "Special Forces group?" Can you find "ODA" (operational detachment - alpha)? Or "ODB" (operational detachment - bravo)? Or "Special Forces battalion?"
You can't find these words. We can read that as a strong signal that you won't be able to find Special Forces anywhere before very long. Many other signals suggest that the senior leadership in both United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and Department of the Army (DA) are working to do away with the Green Berets.
Thank you, 1st Lt. Shaun Blue, for a life of integrity and service -- [CS Monitor]
Consequences of pulling out of Iraq
Five years after the start of the Iraq war, and a year after Blue's death on April 16, I feel we are obligated to the Iraqi people and the rest of the world to not hastily abandon what we have invested so much in. I truly believe America can be an agent for change. I have often asked myself: If we pull out, what type of future would we be allowing to come about?
Sometimes I feel alone in my reasoning. That day in Munster I did not. That day I was proud to be a marine and proud to be an American.
I like to think that if the streets of heaven are guarded by marines, as the Marines' hymn suggests, that 1st Lieutenant Shaun Blue is now forever walking the lines of the perimeter checking on the marines defending their eternal post.
Merlin's Miracle -- [Miss Ladybug]
I received an email earlier today from Haole Wahine about Marine Sergeant Merlin German. He was serving in Iraq in February 2005 when he was burned over 97% of his body when he did not have time to warn the driver of the Humvee of the IED he had spotted. He had been standing in the gun turret and was blown out of the Humvee. Doctors in Landstuhl said he would not survive. Somehow, he beat the odds, and became "The Miracle Man" to the staff at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. Merlin passed away unexpectedly on April 11th while recovering from his most recent surgery.
Merlin seems to have touched many people with his spirit and courage. He will be greatly missed by those who knew him.
Loris soldiers receive a big welcome home -- [Myrtle Beach Sun News]
SC - Apr 17, 2008 - After serving for more than a year in Afghanistan, the troops arrived home to their friends and families a few months ago. Recently, Boucino finally got to ...
National Guard to get big welcome home -- [Pekin Daily Times]
IL- Apr 15, 2008- Welcome-home activities include complimentary pork chop sandwich lunches at 11 am at the American Legion hall for the families of the soldiers. ...
Update -- [OP-FOR - Slab - home from Iraq]
Well, another deployment down. I returned home to Mrs Slab this past Sunday, and have spent the past few days getting reacquainted with my lovely wife. The Missus spent the past seven months turning my former bachelor pad into a real home, and did an amazing job at it. She even turned the bonus room above the garage into a Man Den worthy of the name.
...I will be making a few posts in the upcoming days about my general impressions of the situation in Al Anbar, and a review of the MRAP. In the meantime, I look forward to becoming a more active member of the blogosphere again.
A Fred Smith Rally In Wilmington -- [Right Wing News]
...Next up, here's an interview I did with Will Breazeale, an Iraq Vet who's running for Congress and Benny - Bangin al Dosakee, an Iraqi interpreter who worked with Will in Iraq and is now an American citizen. You may particularly enjoy Will explaining how Barbara Boxer and Harry Reid got so frustrated because they couldn't understand what one of the generals in Iraq was saying to them, that they actually got up and walked out on the briefing.
MoveOn’s definition of “hurting the country” -- [Malkin]
Yes, it’s true. The left-wing anti-patriots at MoveOn.org, who didn’t think twice about handing jihadists potent ammunition the day before the sixth anniversary of 9/11 with their despicable attack on Gen. Petraeus, are now worried about actions that “hurt the country.”
Dangerous, perilous, damaging, harmful actions…like having a Democrat debate moderated by journalists who aren’t complete and total sycophants.
Rep. Myrick Calls for Former President Jimmy Carter’s Passport to be Revoked -- [Myrick (NC09)] HT: Glenn
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Sue Myrick (NC-9) called on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to revoke former President Jimmy Carter’s passport. This is in response to the former President traveling to Syria to meet with Hamas, an organization officially designated by the United States as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
“Former President Carter has acted in contradiction of international agreements to isolate Hamas. He has acted in defiance of both United States policy and international policy. His actions reward terrorists, lend support, and provide legitimacy to their belief that violence will eventually get them what they want,” said Rep. Myrick.
10 Surefire Ways to Get Your MilBlog Unwanted Government Attention -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
I learned an important lesson on April 1st - People are gullible!! I also learned that you can draw a lot of attention by saying the right (or wrong) thing on a military blog. Not long ago the military tried to crack down on military bloggers with new and improved regulations (we didn't take it lying down!). In an effort to prevent drawing unwanted attention by Big Brother, I humbly offer some rules to those military bloggers concerned about crossing the line (and how to avoid it).
Winning or Loosing -- [Guidons, Guidons, Guidons]
I am currently traveling across the USA in route to a short school I am required to attend. I've stopped for the evening in Baton Rouge, LA, not exactly a military town. After I had a bite to eat, I visited the local Barns and Noble Bookseller...front and center was this book - DEFEAT - Why America and British Lost Iraq
I guess the war is over and we lost...nobody told me and we were winning when I left last December...but I guess Jonathan Steele knows better than me.
The Anti-RAND Report -- [Gathering of Eagles: NY]
Yesterday a huge RAND report, “Invisible Wounds of War“, was released which claims that 20% of our veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan will suffer PTSD or depression. Among other myths this report perpetuates is “With the increasing incidence of suicide and suicide attempts among returning veterans, concern about depression is also on the rise.” Undoubtedly deep in the report they will cite other smears about our troops such as their increased propensity for criminal activity.
Doom and Gloom, the one sure product of the unhinged left is in full production mode today as news outlets around the world will trumpet this supposed scientific analysis as another hidden cost of the War on Terror.
As an avid reader of milbloggers and having talked with returning veterans about their experiences over there and back home, I have a different take on this whole depression subject.
Pentagon Study? Current Events in Iraq? Not so Fast... -- [SWJ]
Today's Miami Herald carries a story on page 3 titled Pentagon Study: War is `Debacle' by Jonathan Landay and John Walcott...
...The Miami Herald piece on a NDU "occasional paper" (Choosing War: The Decision to Invade Iraq and Its Aftermath), quoted alternately as a Pentagon or NDU study, raised some flags here at SWJ. So we asked the author, Joseph Collins, to provide some context. His reply:
...SWJ Editors Note: Unfortunately this is not the first instance - nor will it be the last – of highly selective use of source quotes and excerpts as well as distortion of context by members of the "mainstream media" in reporting on recent events and trends in Iraq…
Time Tramples Iwo Jima Image to Push 'War on Global Warming' -- [NewsBusters]
In our nation's history, there are few images more heroic, more sacred in a civil sense, than that of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. Time has now twisted, and enlisted, that image for its "war on global warming."
The Continued disrespect of our Armed Forces... -- [BlackFive - Deebow]
The best part of this story may be some of the quotes from some of the veterans of that battle...
Donald Mates, an Iwo Jima veteran, told the Business & Media Institute on April 17 that using that photograph for that cause was a “disgrace.”
...But the trifecta for this little journey into libtardedness is the quote from Time managing editor Richard Stengel about what he believes the reporters and the news-room of Time Magazine need to do to be most effective in their jobs;
“I think since I’ve been back at the magazine, I have felt that one of the things that’s needed in journalism is that you have to have a point of view about things,” Stengel said. “You can’t always just say ‘on the one hand, on the other’ and you decide. People trust us to make decisions. We’re experts in what we do. So I thought, you know what, if we really feel strongly about something let's just say so.”
Bush Depicted as Foul-Mouthed Frat Boy -- [Military.com]
Oliver Stone's new film,"W", portrays George Bush as a foul- mouthed, dried-out drunk with a baseball obsession and a difficult relationship with his father. Filming is expected to begin any day in Louisiana. The movie should be in cinemas before Bush leaves office next January.
Washington Post Publishes Terrorists [NRO Media Blog - Kevin D. Williamson]
The Washington Post published a column by Mahmoud al-Zahar of the terrorist outfit Hamas, arguing that this will help bring "clarity" to the discussion. LGF asks the obvious question:
How many times is the Washington Post going to use that excuse? They’ve published op-eds by Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marzook, CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood’s front group MAS, and the spiritual leader of Hizballah, Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, just to name a few of the terrorists and sympathizers who have graced their pages. And they host a permanent eulogy to the father of modern terrorism.
How much more clarity does the Washington Post need?
In the interest of clarity, here's Hamas in its own words:
L.A. Times: Cross Al Qaeda, Get Nasty Memo -- [Danger Room]
Yesterday's Los Angeles Times taps recently declassified al Qaeda memos to paint a picture of the bureaucracy that runs the terrorist organization -- and the memos (.pdf), at times, bring to mind Dilbert as much as death and destruction.
Hamas Backs Obama, Other 'Superdelegates' to Follow -- [ScrappleFace]
(2008-04-17) — The chief political adviser to the Prime Minister of Hamas on Sunday said the terror group would like to see Sen. Barack Obama become the next U.S. president because “he has a vision to change America.”
One Obama campaign insider said, “Getting this endorsement is tantamount to picking up a superdelegate vote. But with Hamas, Sen. Obama didn’t have to compromise his principles or positions, or make any commitments beyond what he has already promised.”
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Intercepted al-Qaida Letter Reveals Tactics, Strategy -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, April 16, 2008 – Use silenced guns to kill coalition forces at Iraqi security checkpoints, smuggle weapons in gradual shipments to reduce the risk of detection, and poison Iraq’s water supply with nitric acid to spread disease and death.
Coalition forces found a chart showing senior al-Qaida leaders recently killed or captured and several pages of a letter found on the body of a terrorist. The items were released April 16, 2008, in Baghdad, Iraq, during a media briefing by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman.
Such tactics were fleshed out in a terrorist letter intended for Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the foreign-born leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. But the document never reached Masri. Instead, coalition forces lifted it from the body of a terrorist they killed last month during an operation 30 miles northwest of Baghdad.
The slain terrorist and author of the 11-page missive was Abu Safyan, from Diyala, Iraq, according to military officials who made available all but two pages deemed “not releasable” on the Multinational Force Iraq Web site.
Providing a glimpse into the proposed inner workings of al-Qaida in Iraq, the author discusses the need to split jihadists into three groups: snipers, assassination experts and martyrs. Each well-trained group should have an emir, or unit commander, at the lead. Through a series of coordinated surprise attacks, groups should work in unison to “bring down the city or the area,” he wrote.
Now They Have Turned to the Tribes -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
Sheikh Sattar Abu Risha, leader of the Iraq’s Anbar Salvation Council before he was murdered by a car bomb in front of his house in late 2007, summed up the Anbar Awakening movement in a few concise sentences to Johns Hopkins University Professor Fouad Ajami. “Our American friends had not understood us when they came,” he said. “They were proud, stubborn people and so were we. They worked with the opportunists, now they have turned to the tribes, and this is as it should be. The tribes hate religious parties and religious fakers.” The tribal system in Anbar Province is ancient. Attempts to overthrow it are not wise. Both Americans and Al Qaeda learned that the hard way.
Targeting al Qaeda in Iraq’s network, March-April 2008 -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Coalition and Iraqi forces killed or captured 53 senior al Qaeda in Iraq operatives over the past month, including three senior leaders in Mosul and four leaders and facilitators in Baghdad.
New Blow To Brits As Maliki Fires Basra Commanders -- [Pat Dollard]
Point is simple. Maliki, who already blames the Brits for turning a blind eye to the Mahdi Army's control of Basra and has decided to use the iron fist of the Iraqi Army, with support from the Americans, to reclaim control of the city, has kicked the Brits' two favorite "do-nothing" Iraqi generals "upstairs", and replaced with two other Iraqi ...
Iraq News (17 April) -- [LT Nixon Rants - in Iraq]
The Good: Prime Minister Maliki is schmoozing with the EU to get their help building oil infrastructure so that Europe can get their gas somewhere other than Russia. Could be a huge windfall for the Iraqi government, and whether or not they will use the revenue to improve their country remains to be seen. A press conference was held yesterday detailing the recent kills/captures of bad dudes in AQI.
What A Dipshit -- [Iraq: The Purgatorium - in Iraq]
I perked up in the tower when I saw my platoon rolling back into the gate. I waved at the first truck, waved at the second one, waiting until I was out of their view, then proceeded to give the third truck both middle fingers. Then I turned around and stood in the doorway to the tower so I could flip the rear air guards off.
So, what did I do today -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
Lets see...I helped the Scots move a radio antenna, set up my own satellite antenna, worked with an Iraqi G-4 on some supply and transportation situations, had an Arabic lesson from our interpreter, ate three dinners (normal one at 5, accepted an invitation from the G-4 for another at 7 and finally one of the G-1 officers at 8 - Centurion, bring me a feather!) tried to help the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Air Force coordinate some moves
Heroes and Citizens -- [James Aalan Bernsen - in Iraq]
The stirrings of patriotism run deep in all who fight for their country. For many of us, it is a calling and a debt we owe to those who have gone before, as well as to those who are yet to come.
Serving our country is a part of our heritage. Among the many soldiers in Iraq are some who can trace ancestors who fought in the Revolution.
The Perfect Sandstorm -- [Zen Traveler - in Iraq]
I’m currently stuck in the Baghdad airport riding out what appears to the Perfect Sandstorm. All flights are cancelled and it looks like I’ll be spending the night at one of the security compounds near the airport. No hotels here. Airlines are hesitant to cancel flights until the very last moment because it means lost revenue for them, so passengers wait, hoping against all hope that the storm will clear.
Soldiers’ camaraderie spans cramped spaces, grinding mission -- [IN-iraq - in Iraq]
(left to right- Sgt. Ballman, Spc. Greener and Sgt. Dearing in their quarters at Camp Speicher)
Tikrit, Iraq- Sweating inside a dirty Humvee. The air-conditioning tepid. Left knee throbbing. Helmet, ear phones, eye protection, vest- an armor oven.
“One minute ‘til detonation,” comes the announcement through the static of our headsets.
Another convoy had found what they believed to be a buried improvised explosive along the road ahead of us. They’ve been waiting two hours for the bomb team to come to dispose of it.
The Thieving Politicians Of Iraq -- [Strategy Page]
April 17, 2008: Several dozen Iraqi government officials have been caught making a corrupt $833 million deal, with Serbia, for weapons and military equipment. The deal was done last Fall, about the time rumors started coming out of Serbia about sales to Iraq. But the Iraqi government denied it. Earlier this year, Iraqi complaints about the deal grew louder, as well as anger over the abolition of the Supreme Economic Committee, which was supposed to examine and approve any government contract for more than $50 million.
Afghan villagers save school, clinic from insurgents -- [Combined Joint Task Force - 101]
PIRCUTI, Afghanistan – A village elder and his sons saved a school and clinic after insurgents attempted to burn the infrastructure in the village of Pircuti, Paktika province, April 1. The school, which was constructed by the Swedish government in 1996, educates more than 1,100 children
Codes and Children -- [The Satirist at War - in Afghanistan]
Walking to chow from the gym this morning, I saw something peculiar. One of my interpreters was carrying a very young female child that couldn’t have been more than two years old, walking in the FOB. I immediately had three thoughts, one of which was that it was the first infant / toddler I’d seen in months, the next being: “what business could a two-year-old possibly have on our FOB?” and the last: “I guess the two-year-old can’t cause any harm.” In leaving that last thought alone, I was taking a calculated risk, because the children in this region are a pack of some of the most dangerous, desperate, fearless criminals the world has ever seen.
First Week In Country -- [Voices from the War - in Afghanistan]
What to say? I'm finally here! I have to admit I'm in awe at everything I look at. The army can train you how to shoot a rifle, start an IV, and live out of a bag but a lot of what I see is people learning to adjust. It isn't as easy as most people would think, getting used to a whole new culture, land and way of acting. I live in the suburbs of Buffalo where I had my SUV parked in my two-car garage with my green lawn where I would get up and go to work at a doctor's office. This morning I looked out of my tent and finally a break from our week of rain, I finally got my first look at the mountains surrounding our camp. Breathtaking. Later on in the day when I went on a convoy, we went outside the wire and all you can say is wow. Never at any moment in life could anybody be more grateful for what you have until you see how some of these people live.
Last meal -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
As we prepare to leave Ghazni, some of our friends are insisting we break bread with them one last time.
The sub-governor of Deh Yak recently took us out to eat in a restaurant in downtown Ghazni. We feasted on goat kabobs, rice, naan and other good food.
I walked out on the balcony and surveyed the city that has been my home for nearly a year now. There were women in burqas walking children home from school.
There were school girls heading home.
Canadian tanks go 5-hole -- [War, the military, COIN and stuff]
So you think that heavy tanks—entire squadrons of heavy tanks—have no place in a counterinsurgency fight? You better take it up with Major Trevor Cadieu of Lord Strathcona’s Horse, the storied Canadian armored regiment.
Recently returned from his second tour in Afghanistan, Maj. Cadieu has taken to the pages (PDF!) of The Canadian Army Journal to argue that tanks are an integral part of the fight in Afghanistan. In December 2006, the Canadians deployed a squadron of Leopard C2 tanks armed with 105-mm L7A3 guns, which come with computerized fire control systems, thermal imaging, and a laser range-finder.
Experts Discuss Outlook and Options for U.S. Policy Towards Iran -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
...To engage or confront Iran: That is the question on one of the most critical issues of the day — the Middle East nation’s nuclear program. But Matthew Levitt, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute on Near East Policy, told a Capitol Hill audience Tuesday that the question is being framed the wrong way. The two options, engagement or confrontation, are poles of a spectrum whose middle ground offers a number of alternatives, with sanctions one possibility, said Levitt, who was participating in a panel discussion of the outlook for U.S.-Iranian relations over the next decade. The discussion was part of a forum sponsored by the Counterterrorism Foundation, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies and the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.
Chinese Ship Sending Arms to Zimbabwe Docks in South Africa ...Update: SA OK's the Shipment of Arms -- [Gateway Pundit]
A Chinese ship carrying arms for the Mugabe regime docked in South Africa this week.
The Times reported:
Al Qaeda Officially Hates The Counterterrorism Blog -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
When I started this website in January 2005, I never envisioned that that Al Qaeda would target us for a hit piece over the Internet. Well, voila, the blessed day has arrived. The wonderful folks at the SITE Intelligence Group found the item below on Al-Ekhlaas, one of Al-Qaida's central messaging forums on the Internet, which has begun a new series in English titled, "Watching and Monitoring the Jihad Media Watchers." They passed along the item below to Evan Kohlmann, who sent it to me, and I want to share it with our readers and contributors. They also passed out a "Badge of Honor" to SITE, Evan Kohlmann, IntelCenter, the NEFA Foundation, and Internet Haganah (my congrats to them). Here is our Badge below - I am especially amused at their twist on our logo (if you can't see it, download it here into a separate window):
Al-Shabaab Welcomes U.S. Terror Designation, Threatens New Campaign of "Praiseworthy Terrorism" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained and translated a new communiqué released on April 5, 2008 by the Shabaab al-Mujahideen Movement in Somalia. The statement welcomed the recognition of Shabaab as an international terrorist organization by the U.S. government: "As we are a part of the Salafi-Jihadi Islamic trend which opposes the dominance of the crusaders and the aggression led by America, we do not find it unlikely that America would add us to the names of these other honorable men, for whom we are honored to join, at the bottom of their list.”
You Shook Me All Night Long -- [Badger Forward - in Iraq]
Last night we were visited by Tour de Force, the Australian Defence Forces equivalent of our USO. It was a great show, probably the best I have seen in Iraq.
Need to lock up my daughter -- [From my position... On the way!]
Turns out the former POTUS (the great adulterer) is visiting campus today at 0915. It was really nice of him (or whichever intern scheduled the visit) to not so much as inviter the ROTC department. As a matter of fact, the University was alerted to the visit Monday, and we weren't aware of the visit until we cam to work this morning for PT.
Just for kicks, I think I'll use the indoor range this morning at about 0920. it's in the building RIGHT NEXT TO where he'll be speaking, and you can hear the shot outside.
Should be fun to watch.
Homecoming Purgatory -- [Iraq Partii - home from Iraq]
I’m happy to write that I’m now back in New Jersey—not home exactly, but close enough. I have to stay at Fort Dix, NJ for about 10 days to arrange all the logistics for the guys in my unit who will arrive here shortly. They’ll need things like barracks space, their demobilization schedule, a place to store their weapons, flights home, etc
Flying out of Taji was, to put it lightly, an ordeal. I had about 250 pounds of equipment to lug around from helicopter to helicopter, helicopter to plane, tent-to-tent, and so on.
Finally -- [TheAngryAmerican - home from Iraq]
I sit here posting this one from the comfort and safety of my own home. Hanging out with my wife and she finishes up some homework she has due on Monday. It felt like forever from Rusty, to BIAP, to Kuwait and then to here. I stay in Kuwait was nice and short and they have the Customs portion down to an exact science it seems. With customs knocked out we were herded into the waiting area until our plane was ready for us. The weight of 15 months slowly started to drift away as the pilots roared away from Kuwait.
Home, and Reintegrating. -- [Richard's 15 Month Deployment - home from Afghanistan]
Well, I've been home for over a week and I still don't know how to answer the question, "So, are you glad to be home?"
Of course I'm glad to be home. But, I also miss the sense of mission and the friends I had in Afghanistan. And even though I spent 15 months in Afghanistan, I sometimes feel guilty being home and safe while others are still serving overseas. I don't ever want to forget that I have friends and colleagues away from home and in harms way, and I'm ready to go back when necessary to do my part again.
A Suspension of Contempt -- [Villainous Company - military wife]
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less."
...During Petraeus' September testimony, Hillary Clinton loftily informed him it would require a "willing suspension of disbelief" before Congress would credit his testimony on Iraq. To these ears, the Senator from NY had called the good General a presumptive liar. Well, this Marine wife is an ordinary American; college educated, hard working, with an above average IQ. She pays her bills and her taxes on time.
When politicians and public figures like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Dick Cavett sneer at and treat military officers with contempt, she sees her husband in their place. And she remembers. She remembers everything she has given up for nearly thirty years to support his military career, and as she watches her husband's service being spit on by the very people he has served so loyally and so well, she can't help but wonder what any of these men could possibly have done to invite such treatment, or when doing ones' duty became grounds for contempt and derision?
Instead of a suspension of disbelief, how about a suspension of contempt for a change from the snooty elitists in Washington and the leftist punditocracy?
Ex-Marine Murtha At It Again -- [BlackFive - Laughing_Wolf]
Yep, there are indeed a few ex-Marines around, and John Murtha is one of the few I have seen formally repudiated in writing by his former brothers. Today, Soldier's Mom let me know that the venal (Abscam, pork) and possibly senile Blue Falcon opened his mouth on age. That is, he spewed forth that John McCain was too old to be the President; and, that he was younger and things were too much for him.
The Bigger Picture in Sadr City -- [The Weekly Standard]
The Iraqi government’s willingness to take on the Mahdi Army in its strongholds in Baghdad, Basra, and elsewhere in the South is perhaps the most significant news story from Iraq this year. In 2006 and 2007, analysts, pundits, military officers, and politicians said the Shia militias--particularly the Mahdi Army, pose the greatest long term threat in Iraq. Now that the Iraqi government has decided to take on the Mahdi Army, the press is fixated on distinct incidences of failure of the Iraqi security forces in their efforts to dislodge the Mahdi Army from their strongholds.
In today's New York Times, Michael Gordon focuses on the desertion of a company of Iraqi soldiers from their outpost in Sadr City. The story is factually accurate. A company of about 80 Iraqi soldiers abandoned their post. They deserted while engaged with the enemy, which is a serious crime during war. This is the main focus of the article.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Combat Blue Balls -- [Iraq: The Purgatorium - in Iraq]
..."Hey," my Ugandan counterpart broke the silence, "That ambulance is coming down the wrong side."
I looked down the entrance and sure enough, there was an Iraqi ambulance with lights flashing heading down the military lane. I snatched my M4 up and chambered a round (I don't chamber one until I dismount or need to fire) and waited for him to reach a point that justified a warning shot.
"Wait, call it up first," the Ugandan Tower Guard Veteran advised. I grabbed the radio with my free hand.
"[BossMan] this is [TowerDude], we've got an Iraqi ambulance attempting to enter [EntryPoint]."
"....Say again, over?"
Ambulance slows as a couple Iraqis near the gate try to tell him he can't come in this way. Thing is, when the insurgency first kicked off, they'd use ambulances to get through checkpoints and ambush people. When I saw it coming with lights a-flashing, it flipped that Activate Infantryman switch.
Let's 'Surge' Some More -- [MICHAEL YON]
It is said that generals always fight the last war. But when David Petraeus came to town it was senators – on both sides of the aisle – who battled over the Iraq war of 2004-2006. That war has little in common with the war we are fighting today.
I may well have spent more time embedded with combat units in Iraq than any other journalist alive. I have seen this war – and our part in it – at its brutal worst. And I say the transformation over the last 14 months is little short of miraculous.
Gen. David Petraeus
What your not hearing -- [Sergeant Grumpy - in Iraq]
As I said in an earlier post, things here are both better and worse than what is being reported. I say that because, while things were/are, in my opinion much worse in Basrah than the media reports (probably because they won't go down there and don't know.), things in other parts of southern Iraq are better than reported. If they are reported at all.
In several other southern Iraqi cities, the Iraqi Army, and the lesser known ISWAT units, kicked JAM's ass. In at least one town they pretty much eradicated JAM and destroyed the OMS office (the political front for JAM) where weapons were cached. That success is due to the dedicated training provided these forces by their US counterparts. I know our guys did a great job, and our "top ten" board was almost cleaned off.
Iraq’s Moment of Truth in Baghdad and Basra - [PJM - Iraq the Model - Mohammed Fadhil]
The battle between criminal gangs and the state continues, yet the war is far from being over. Public statements keep coming from both sides and they don’t seem to promise a diplomatic resolution for the crisis. The latest exchange included a pledge for a “final battle” by Sadr’s spokesman Bahaa Aaraji and an assertion by Maliki that the government will not stop pursuing gangs militarily and politically. Telling Sadr that his movement cannot take part in elections unless he disbands his militias and surrenders weapons is a turning point in Iraqi politics, especially because a broad political front including leading Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish powers emerged to back this new trend in dealing with this issue.
Sons of Iraq -- [Acute Politics]
There's been a lot of buzz lately over the Sons of Iraq (or "Sunni militias", depending on who you ask). I have a new article up over at The Long War Journal going into a bit of detail about the direction we are trying to go with the SoI.
With the security situation improving daily, especially in Sunni towns, within sight is the future that worried so many at the beginning of the grass-roots level movement: What will these fighters do when the Coalition tells them it is time to put their guns down and go home?
Go read and understand.
UAV Kills 6 Heavily Armed Criminals
Footage of Coalition forces from Multi-National Division - Baghdad, operating an unmanned aerial vehicle, observing a large group of criminals with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and a mortar tube in northeast Baghdad at approximately 9:30 p.m. April 10. The UAV fired a Hellfire missile killing six heavily armed criminals at approximately 9:45 p.m. Provided by Multi-National Division Baghdad.
".....In The Order They Were Taken From Us" -- [All Quiet on the Southwest Asian Front - in Iraq]
...Our long period of grace came to an end 31 March 2008 when one of our route clearance patrols drove into an EFP ambush north of our sector proper. The bolt of molten copper, traveling faster than a bullet and meant to take on the hull of a Main Battle Tank, went right through the thinner skin of the lead truck and SGT D. He was killed instantly.
The patrol towed the disabled truck with his body still inside to the nearest base, and then had to face the trip back. In almost the same spot they were hit again. This time the EFP was aimed lower, and took both SPC M's legs off above the knee as it passed all the way through both sides of the truck. The truck caught fire and a heavy barrage of machine gun fire started coming in from both sides of the road. The platoon leader had his Bradley begin firing all weapons at the shooters he could see while the platoon sergeant and the company First Sergeant ran to the burning truck to pull SPC M out, all while under intense fire.
There are no Saturdays in Iraq -- [Kaboom - in Iraq]
I woke up this morning and it was last year. A rolling haze of nothing. That’s all I see and hear and feel until a faint sound pings at my mind like a stone tossed down a well. I roll over and pick up my cell phone. Five minutes past 11. Damn it, I think. I was dreaming I was having a near-life experience. Whether this is true or not, I cannot recall. I never remember what I dream. It’s a text message from City Girl. “Wake up sleepy-head!” it says. “And call your adoring girlfriend!” I smile, in spite of my creeping consciousness. It takes a special kind of being to be both classy and demanding in a text message sent from six time zones away.
A day like any other
...I went in and picked up the land line handset. The XO in Baghdad was on the line. He was a no nonsense ring knocker from West Point who also had a MBA from the Wharton School of Business. What he told me chilled my blood. "MiG, you have three shot up convoys heading your way. We have been taking fire all over the country on the MSRs since the early hours of the morning. We don't know how many casualties there are or the condition of the rolling stock. Find these men and give them shelter. We have put out a call for Safe Harbor all over the country. Send an immediate SitRep for each convoy through our COSCOM LNO in Balad. Git r Dun." Holy shit, this is a real war. I took a few deep breaths and went out to find my rocks. Where the fuck was Big Lou? What about Bob? Fritz? Billy?
Freed Journo Explains How The Iraqi Forces Freed Him.
A British journalist who has been freed by forces in Iraq has said he is looking forward to seeing his family and friends.
Richard Butler and his Iraqi interpreter, who were both working for CBS News, were seized in Basra in February.
Baghdad Ballet School -- [Zen Traveler - in Iraq]
We went to a ballet school in central Baghdad today and did a story on the school and its students. It was a fun time and I took over 200 shots. Below are a few of them...
Iraq News (14 Apr) -- [LT Nixon - in Iraq]
The Good: The Government of Iraq has ordered a crackdown on militias selling black market fuel to Iraqi citizens (about damn time). This has been a continuous cash flow for the Mahdi Army, and this move will put the squeeze on their ability to purchase weapons and payoff their thugs. They might need to stock up as the Iraqi Police have seized a cache that was concealed in a hay truck bound for Baghdad. The Iraqi Cabinet has passed the draft Provincial Elections law and it will be sent to the Iraqi Parliament. This will most likely be bitterly disputed, but is ultimately necessary for political progress in Iraq. The Bad: A mass grave of badly decomposed corpses has been found in Diyala province, which was Al-Qaeda in Iraq central through the better part of 2007.
The view this morning -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
My camera couldn't focus past the back ramp... too bright this morning. Not to worry, the crew could see out, heh heh. I was escorting some Iraqi Army officers and NCOs, as we just happened to be going to the same place. We made quite a comic scene when we all exited with a some fairly heavy bags.
This is War: Memories of Iraq -- [Badger Forward - in Iraq]
If you read Milblogs then you know your single best source of what is happening in Iraq is the people who have been there; the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen that have been slugging it out on the ground for the last five years. The Milblog was the first outlet that allowed those serving here access to the world at large to tell their story.
No news is good news -- [IN-iraq - in Iraq]
Camp Speicher, Iraq- A soldier’s wife hears about an IED attack on her husband’s unit, she passes the news to another soldier’s wife. Pretty soon a dozen families are in panic. Is my husband ok? Why weren’t we notified?
It’s the kind of rumor mill that spins out of control. “We’ve had it happen twice already,” said Lieutenant Colonel Ronald A. Westfall, Commander of the 1st/151st Infantry Battalion out of Jasper, IN.
Westfall said the first time he was in Iraq in 2003, there was one computer and one phone for an entire battalion of 600 soldiers.
Now with many of his troops’ rooms wired, soldiers don’t even have to step outside to send an email home.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Lt. Col. Westfall. It’s good that a soldier can get in contact with their loved ones, he said, but sometimes soldiers talk too much about their missions, scaring family members who don’t know the whole story.
“Stuff will happen every day, but if there’s no damage, families don’t need to know,” Westfall said bluntly.
The iWar-- [News::KWWL.com Extra]
Wars are often defined by the technology that records them.
The Civil War was the first to be photographed. News reels brought images of World War II back to America. The Vietnam War was broadcast into our living rooms. And the Gulf War was the first to bring us live satellite reports.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, now being dubbed the iWar, is no different.
...Americans disturbed by reports and videos on some insurgent sites have formed online coalitions of their own in an effort to convince service providers to remove the content.
The Internet is giving users a glimpse into the minds of those on the ground. Everyone from soldiers to Iraqis are creating Internet journals.
Sadr Admits He Called for Iraqi Troops to Rebel -- [Weekly Standard]
We are continually told how the Iraqi government was beaten and humiliated in Basra after it launched an offensive to clear the Mahdi Army and other Iranian-backed Shia militias from the city. Yet when the Iraqi Army announced it was going to dismiss the approximately 1,300 soldiers and police who either failed to carry out their duty or openly defected to the Mahdi Army, Muqtada al Sadr pleaded that they be allowed to keep their jobs and even be "rewarded for their loyalty."
US troops plan to stay put in Sadr City -- [Iraq Updates]
Top US general says his aim is to push the 107-mm rockets being fired from Sadr City out of range.
US and Iraqi forces plan to stay put in a southern sector of Baghdad's Sadr City where they are battling militiamen rather than push deeper into the Shiite bastion, a top US general said on Monday.
There are "no plans to go beyond where we are," said Major General Jeffery Hammond, commander of US forces in Baghdad. Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh on Sunday said that the operations launched more than a week ago would carry on until the sprawling district in eastern Baghdad is entirely cleared of Shiite gunmen.
"We will continue until we secure Sadr City. We will not come out, we will not give up until the people of Sadr City have a normal life," Dabbagh said.
On Owning A War -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
Pat Buchanan says today, "The neocons may yet get their war on Iran."
...I feel compelled to restate that fully 10% of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq have come and continue to come at the hands of the EFP armor-piercing roadside bomb that Iran designed, manufactures, and supplies.
Iranians seek us out and kill us on the battlefield. Whether they do this with their army, with proxies, or with Peter Pan - I fail to see how that matters. Our dead brothers are our dead brothers. Yet there is no Iranian war.
If, however, we dare to retaliate by reducing the Iranian cross-border terror camps to dust, is a "Neocons' War" suddenly materializing out of a vacuum? Does America - or more specifically President George W. Bush - instantly become the wild aggressor? How on Earth does one possibly navigate that leap of logic?
Iraqi government: "We will continue until we secure Sadr City" -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Iraq's spokesman said the military will press operations in the Mahdi Army stronghold in Baghdad. The Iraqi cabinet has approved the bill that will prevent political parties from contesting elections if they have a militia; the bill has gone to parliament for approval.
Hope for Iraq's Meanest City -- [Michael Totten - in Iraq]
... Even though it was a quieter city than most in Iraq after the American invasion in 2003, with less looting than in Baghdad and a staunchly pro-American mayor, the Americans should have known that Fallujah was trouble.
But they didn’t, and so they were unprepared when a rogues’ gallery of Islamists, Baathists, and garden-variety malcontents made the city the launching pad for an Iraqi insurgency. The Fallujans who embraced the insurgency were foolhardy, too: had they looked at what similarly-minded Islamist totalitarians had done to Afghanistan, they would have known what hell awaited them at the insurgents’ hands. General David Petraeus’s radical transformation of counterinsurgency tactics has come at just the right time:
Coalition forces detain 18 suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – Coalition forces detained 18 suspected terrorists Monday and Tuesday during operations targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network in the Tigris River Valley and northern part of the country.
Coalition forces analyzed intelligence from several sources to develop a series of operations targeting key links in the AQI network west of Samarra. Ground forces conducted eight missions there Monday and Tuesday and detained 12 suspected terrorists.
In Bayji Tuesday, Coalition forces captured an alleged weapons facilitator also believed to work with an AQI leader who directs attacks in the area. The ground force detained two additional suspected terrorists.
Coalition detains alleged AQI leader, three other suspects in Mosul -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – Coalition forces captured a reported al-Qaeda in Iraq leader and detained three additional suspected terrorists during operations in Mosul Tuesday.
In a precision operation in Mosul, Coalition forces captured an alleged AQI leader. The suspect is believed to be in charge of an illegal terrorist court system in the area, and is also suspected of involvement in a local bombing cell.
My kind of immigrants. -- [John Of Argghhh!]
Legal, with a stake in the system, and demonstrated commitment.
Servicemembers from throughout Iraq met at the Al Faw Palace at Camp Victory April 12 in which 259 troops became U.S citizens during the largest overseas U.S. naturalization ceremony in history. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Crisp
Afghanistan: Kandahar -- [CitizeNews - David Tate - in Afghanistan] (VIDEO)
In effort to demonstrate the strength of their candidacy for NATO entry, Romania has contributed to the the coalition forces in Afghanistan. They are based in one of the more dangerous areas, Kandahar, which has been a Taliban stronghold. Afghan soldiers, relatively new recruits, learn that they will not be paid, and most decide between serving their country or returning to their homes.
Taken em out with Artillery Fire
Taliban coming over and down the hill didn't last too long. Artillery with attitude.
India, Afghanistan: Price of Reconstruction -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Animesh Roul]
Two Indian engineers were killed and at least five others injured in April 12 suicide attack in Nimroz province, located in southwestern Afghanistan when Taliban militants targeted the convoy of road construction workers involved in 218 km strategic Zaranj-Delaram highway project. The slain engineers were working for the Border Road Organization of India (BRO).
Saturday’s blatant terror act came immediately after Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak visited India seeking counterterrorism assistance and training for its armed forces. This might have fuelled the already existing Taliban anger against India and its endeavours in Afghanistan.
Hope for the future: Afghanistan's future in its children's hands -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
GHAZNI, Afghanistan -- There are moments here - never full days or even hours, but moments - where I think about the problems facing this country, and I wonder if Afghanistan will crumble under the weight of it all, despiteour best efforts to prevent it.
It's easy enough to do. The problems are vast and complex. A culture that holds on to anchoring ideas about women and tribes will have difficulty progressing. An economy unable to move into the modern age is subject to the whims of weather and corruption. A government too young and weak to fight its own battles and serve all its people is vulnerable to enemies.
But then I think about the children.
That which doesn't kill me . . . -- [Yellowhammering Afghanistan - in Afghanistan]
We at Camp Vulcan were recently surprised by an old friend, one who is lucky to be alive.
Both legs are in a cast.The Khogiani police chief who was in the IED strike with one of our district teams a few weeks ago stopped by for a visit. Both of his legs were in casts but, despite initial reports, he still has both of his feet.
The district sub-governor had the chief in a makeshift bed in the back of his SUV and brought him by to see us.
Cpt. Knueven, the mentor who works with the Khogiani chief, was with him when his police truck was hit by the IED. He lead the rescue effort for the chief and his assistant, the only two passengers in the truck.
The chief's visit was the first time he and Knueven had a chance to sit and talk about that day. Knueven told him he was surprised to find them both alive when they went to the truck, which had been blown apart and flipped over backwards after the IED went off.
US releases $215 million for emergency food aid -- [ABC News]
US President George W Bush has ordered the release of $US200 million ($215.8 million) in US emergency food aid to help alleviate food shortages in developing countries in Africa and elsewhere, the White House said.
Mr Bush took action a day after top finance and development officials from around the world called for urgent steps to stem rising food prices, warning that social unrest would spread unless the cost of basic staples was contained.
"This additional food aid will address the impact of rising commodity prices on US emergency food aid programs and be used to meet unanticipated food aid needs in Africa and elsewhere," the White House said in a statement.
Far Left Routed in Italy!!! Communists Wiped Out! -- [Gateway Pundit]
Another staunch Pro-American leader is elected to office in Europe!
All communist party parliament members eliminated for the the first time since WW II.
...After only two years leading the country, the Far Left Prodi government was not just beaten yesterday they were completely squashed in the Italian elections. The communists were completely wiped out.
Chaotic situation in Syria could lead to important changes in the neighborhood -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Olivier Guitta]
Syria has been regularly popping up in the news. In fact, recent events point to the importance of that country for the future of the Middle East. Syria's political situation may indeed have an important impact on a few countries: first of course Lebanon, second Iraq, third Israel, and finally Iran.
First, one should not underestimate Syria's potential for creating havoc on a whim by using some of the militant groups it actively supports: such as Hezbollah and Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon, or Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Palestinian territories.
But also one should not forget Syria's active role in facilitating the transit of foreign fighters joining insurgent groups in Iraq to attack coalition troops or the Iraqi army.
Cables, dispatches and memoranda -- [Peace Like A River]
- McClatchy - Guantanamo detainees facing trial before military commissions have thrown the process into chaos by refusing to cooperate with their military lawyers, who then worry that their licenses might be revoked for defending clients who fired.
- Press TV - The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps says the recent accusations leveled by the enemy against Iran signal their ‘weakness and desperation’. Referring to accusations that Iranian boats confronted a US Navy warship in the Persian Gulf, General Ali Razmjou affirmed that the army boats were carrying out their ‘routine check’ of the area.
- BBC - The Chinese authorities put to death at least 470 people last year, but may have killed up to 8,000, human rights group Amnesty International has said.
Terrorism and Rock 'n Roll -- [Counterterrorism Blog - Jeffrey Breinholt]
Rock and Roll is an American art form. We proudly invented it. Believe it or not, it is related to what we are talking about at this conference - terrorist financing.
You doubt there’s a clash of cultures? Well, unfortunately, it’s now official. We are well beyond arguing over “root causes” of terrorism. That argument is over. It’s time to declare an impasse, assign sides, and let the games begin.
Do not mistake what I am saying for militancy. I am not talking about killing anyone. I am not talking about what my friends in the Pentagon euphemistically refer to as “kinetic” activities.
...Are you inclined to worry about the legitimacy of the complaints by Muslims about the West, and to struggle for answers to the question, “Why do they hate us"?
The answer is obvious: al Qaeda hates everyone they don’t know, everyone who is not like them. It’s not limited to us. After all, they have enemies in Saudi Arabia, and in Egypt. They hate us because we are not as prickly as them. They hate us because we love life. In our parlance, they hate us because they are neither multiculturists nor art lovers, whereas we are. Yes, they hate us in part because of Rock and Roll.
New Intel on Al Qaeda's Western Recruits -- [Counterterrorism Blog - James Gordon Meek]
On the heels of CIA Director Gen. Mike Hayden's recent "Meet the Press" appearance, in which he disclosed that Al Qaeda is recruiting and training operatives who "look western" in order to penetrate the U.S., another top spook offered a few additional scraps of information about the new threat on Friday.
"There is attention being given to finding people who can live in the west, have lived in the west, comfortably, and who can appear western, wear western clothing," Charlie Allen, chief of intelligence and analysis at the Homeland Security Department, told reporters. "I'm talking about people who are Caucasian and non-Caucasian."
Allen, who spent decades as a top CIA official, said there was "a shift in Al Qaeda's strategy" after the late 2005 assassination of Al Qaeda's external operations commander, Abu Hamza Rabia.
Murtha's Office Calls Cops on Iraq Vet's Mom-- Staff Member Calls Marine Moms "Cowards" -- [Gateway Pundit]
...Bev Perlson is the founder of "Band of Mothers" a group of mothers who support the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This week after leaving Rep. Murtha's office a staff member told her group that they were "cowards."
Rep. John Murtha refused to meet with the Iraq War Veterans and family members when they came to town to rally for the troops and General Petraeus last week. This enraged some marine moms who made a visit to Murtha's office only to have the cops called on them!!
Hell on Wheels 2008 -- [Chuck Zeigenfuss - wounded in Iraq]
The first weekend in May is going to be a big 'un. Friday night, 2 May, I will host a military ball here at the University to honor my graduating senior class, their last formal function before pinning on their gold bars a week later (another event I am greatly proud of--I grew these soon to be LTs, they are the ones who passed the "Post Injury Angry Chuck" litmus test.)
Immediately following the ball, I will change out of my dress blues, load up my shiny new bike (donated by the independence fund, and built by Scott at Bike-on.com) and drive to Bethesda, MD. The next Morning, I will get up early, and along with 500 new friends, will ride said bike to Gettysburg, PA--a ride that should take two days and will cover 110 miles. Don't worry, I'll be bringing extra pain meds.
The ride is a welcome home for the wounded. Many of the participants are fellow former and current patients. Everything they need is taken care of--from the helmets and bikes to the food and lodging. All donated by people like you.
...So my goal, in the next month, it to raise $5000. That's a 10% increase of their current funds. Obviously, more is better, but every single dollar counts.
Thanks For Supporting The Troops - From Maj. Gen. Lynch and myself
Notes on Supporting the Troops -- [BlackFive - Grim]
Two projects you may not have heard about:
Brigade America is an organization that is trying to find ways to support the troops against slander and abuse
...Jim Cannon of "Thinking Right" is doing another "letters from home" project, this time in support of the crew of the USS Russell DDG-59. He'd like to ask you to write a letter (which he will compile and send to the crew, so as not to create strain for them
Army Wives Go on Air - [military.com]
Every Monday night at 8 p.m. a group of Army wives gathers to hear news, relationship advice, parenting tips and deployment support, but this isn't your traditional readiness or support group.
Most of the women haven't met and don't even know each other's names. But over the Internet radio waves and blogs, " Army Wife Talk Radio" founder and host Tara Crooks tries to help Army Families and empower Army spouses.
Chehalis Tribes Announce Benefit to Help Returning Combat Veterans -- [Blog-ah]
ROCHESTER, Wash./PRNewswire/ -- The Chehalis Confederated Tribes will host a special benefit for returning combat veterans at The Lucky Eagle Casino May 17 and 18, tribal officials announced this week. The fundraising effort, appropriately named "The Return To Honor Veterans Benefit," will provide much needed support for the
Dragoon Raiders Soldier and Family Fund and the Freedoms Foundation's Return to Honor Program.
A Nice Amount for a Great Cause -- [INDC Journal]
Folks may recall the story of 1LT Travis Manion, a fallen Marine I wrote about here. More than a year after his tragic yet heroic death, his family has raised over $200,000 for his memorial fund. The money has and will be allocated to help families of fallen servicemen and servicewomen, as well as support a scholarship awarded in Travis' name. I'm unsurprised at the success of the effort; I met the Manion family at the Marine Corps Marathon event, where they gathered friends and family to run in Travis' memory, and their dedication to eulogizing him and raising money for a great cause was truly inspirational.
A Debt that Can Never Be Repaid - Michael Monsoor is Awarded the Medal of Honor -- [Michael Fumento]
...Last week I looked on as President Bush, tears glistening on his face, presented the parents of Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class (Sea, Air, and Land) Michael Monsoor our nation's highest award – the Medal of Honor. "Mr. and Mrs. Monsoor: America owes you a debt that can never be repaid," he said. "This nation will always cherish the memory of your son."
Before the shooting began in Ramadi, the SEALs made clear their disapproval of my presence. Two journalists had previously embedded with my unit, first battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Snipers shot and wounded them both because they stood too long in one spot. This forced soldiers and SEALs to run to where they knew a sniper scope was trained and drag the men to cover. A 101st sergeant was seriously wounded during one rescue. On the evening of the ceremony, at an Irish pub, one after another shook my hand and thanked me telling the world of their heroism and sacrifice. But in Ramadi I was just another casualty waiting to happen.
Iconic Ariz. mountain named for slain soldier -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
Remember Spc. Lori Piestewa? Well after five years, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names voted to change the name of a prominent peak in Phoenix, AZ in her honor.
Remembering our Heroes -- [SWJ]
Four years ago Corporal Jason Dunham did the unimaginable when an insurgent tossed a grenade into the middle of his unit. In a split second, he placed the welfare of his comrades above his own. Covering the grenade with his Kevlar helmet and his body, he saved the lives of the Marines around him. Tragically, he died of his wounds eight days later. Jason’s actions may come as a shock to us, but not to the people who knew him because they reflect the character of the man he was.
Jason was always concerned for others. He had extended his term of enlistment because he wanted to stay with his squad for their entire tour in combat. His good friend, Lance Corporal Mark Dean said “you’re crazy, why would you do that?” Jason’s response was “I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive. I want to be sure you go home to your wife alive." Shortly before deploying to Iraq, Lance Corporal Dean was a little short on cash and Jason bought him a phone card so he could call his wife.
The Army Alphabet -- [TigerHawk]
Upstairs in the boys’ room is a glass bookcase that has largely held the same books since about 1915, with a few additions and subtractions over the years. Most of these are what we could call “chapter books” in 21st century progressive child reading lingo, but there is also a stack of picture books for smaller children, several of which, published in the 40s, no doubt belonged to my father and his brother, and many of which belonged to the preceding generation.
A book that seems to have captured the imagination of my boys is from this last, older stack. It is The Army Alphabet, an ABC book from a different time. Written by L. Frank Baum, author of the myriad Oz books, the Army Alphabet was published in 1900 and depicts US troops as they might have looked in the Spanish American War, wearing blue uniforms, cowboy hats, swords, and on foot or horseback. It is a confident, patriotic book and profoundly politically incorrect by today’s “popular” standard.
The Army Alphabet is always the first choice of my 5 year old son, who can’t get enough of it,
New Web Site for Air Force Retirees -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
Air Force has new Web site for retirees
This public Web site offers the retiree family in-depth information on the Survivor Benefit Plan, plus a list of Air Force retiree activities offices worldwide and various other resources. There are also sections dedicated to the Afterburner and Air Force Retiree News Service.
Soldiers and Kids -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
I love these the best (Photo Gallery)
Rocking those babies -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
We get lots of requests from the combat support hospitals for supplies to help them care for their Iraqi and Afghan patients. And the patients that they see way too much is kids. It's an unfortunate fact that the impact of war and accidents falls really hard on kids.
One request we ocasionally get is for rocking chairs that can be put in the wards. Any parent knows how there's nothing better for soothing a small child than a rocking chair.
Scenes from Savannah: -- [Grim's Hall]
I'm still very busy.
Reunited!!! -- [Eighty Deuce on the Loose - home from Iraq]
Well this past week has been pretty awesome. The main reason for that is because of a cute little 4 legged friend that I have been able to spend time with again, CHARLIE! Last weekend, I finally was able to make the trip up to Washington DC to reunite with our dog that we had brought back from Iraq. He had been in the States since Feb 14th, and it had been almost a month and a half since I had seen him and was anxiously awaiting this day.
Politico Reports on the Marxist Ideology of Barack Obama Sr. -- [Gateway Pundit]
The article "Long-lost Article by Obama's Dad Surfaces" by by Ben Smith and Jeffrey Ressner discusses the Marxist thesis published by Barack Obama's father back in 1965:
Obama: 'Islam Can Be Compatible With the Modern World' -- [Amy Proctor] (transcript)
At the CNN’s Faith in Public Life’s Compassion Forum, Barack Obama was asked about his understanding of Islam and his experience with it:
Obama is both right and wrong. Right in that Islam can be compatible with the modern world, right that we shouldn’t paint Islam with a broad brush and right that the majority of Muslims are good people trying tot raise their families with similar concerns as we do.
Obama is wrong that there isn’t a “clash of civilizations” going on, particularly within Islam itself let alone between apostates in the religion (like Osama bin Laden and other extremists) and westernized countries in the world. With this philosophy, Obama would have a tough time as president explaining why al-Qaeda attacks so many countries all over the world. This was an uninformed attempt at a cheap shot at the Bush administration by Obama.
Obama Big Money 'Bundler' A Hugo Chavez Supporter, Will Media Report? -- [NewsBusters - Warner Todd Huston]
Adding to the growing mountain of evidence that Barack Obama either intensely dislikes the very country of which he wants to be elected president, or at the very least surrounds himself with those who do, news is breaking that one of Obama's big money donation "bundlers" is virulently anti-military and a supporter of Hugo Chavez -- the well-known Venezuelan dictator famous for his hateful anti-American rhetoric. There is even a photo of Obama "bundler" and Code Pink operative Jodie Evans arm-in-arm with Hugo Chavez. (Evans is the red head in the middle)
Biden, Lugar Agree - Iraq Report Card A Failure, Bush Punting The Troops To Next President
Democratic Senator Joe Biden and GOP Senator Richard Lugar appeared on Late Edition and one thing was clear: they both agreed that the Petraeus/Crocker report card on Iraq showed nearly zero success and demonstrates how our drawn-out occupation has hurt our security, our military and our economy and clearly shows that President Bush is punting on the troops and the American people, leaving the next president to deal with his mess.
Carter offers to act as 'communicator' between Hamas, U.S., Israel -- [Haaretz - Israel News]
Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, defending a contentious plan to meet the leader of Hamas, said Monday he hoped to become a conduit between the militant group and Washington and even Israel.
"Isolating Hamas is counterproductive," Carter said.
ABC Plugs Egyptian: U.S. Is a Dumb 'Jock' Becoming 'Useless Nation' -- [NewsBusters - Brad Wilmouth]
On Monday, ABC's World News with Charles Gibson highlighted and seemed to glorify anti-America comments made by a young Egyptian woman, whom the show interviewed as part of a regular series about young people from other countries, who compared the States to a dumb "jock" that in a few years will "die down and burn out, and what's left is a totally useless nation."
Bush to Appoint Jimmy Carter Ambassador to Hell -- [ScrappleFace]
(2008-04-15) — As former President Jimmy Carter meets this week with Hamas leaders in the West Bank and Syria, sources at the State Department say President George Bush will soon honor Mr. Carter’s decades of freelance diplomacy by appointing him as the first U.S. Ambassador to Hell.
“Bush just wants Carter to go there,” said an unnamed State Department source, “and to set up an embassy, and try to be a good listener, open a communication channel, find common ground.”
Hamas Greets Carter with Gift of 'Traditional Vest' -- [ScrappleFace]
(2008-04-15) — Jimmy Carter’s Middle East mission of peace got off to a “promising start“, the former U.S. president said, as he returned today from meeting with prominent Hamas member Nasser al-Shaer, wearing what he called, “a lovely traditional ceremonial vest” that the Nobel laureate received as a gift from Mr. al-Shaer.
Dems Slam Bush for Latest Unilateral Move -- [ScrappleFace]
(2008-04-15) — Democrats in Congress today attacked President George Bush’s latest $200 million “go it alone adventure”, just a day after the Commander in Chief ordered the bombardment of Haiti, Egypt, Bangladesh, Mozambique and several other countries with thousands of tons of food.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
The Mrs is away for a while.
One of those knew it was coming phone calls came from home, and within a few short hours she had packed the black dress and boarded a plane. The rest of us are here contending with work and duty and school and school plays that mom won't attend and hopefully remembering to feed the dogs and hoping we don't each feed them more than twice a day because the dogs won't utter a word of complaint about that...
So if you don't see a Dawn Patrol around for a while, that's why - though I wouldn't be surprised if we do. (Still, perhaps it's a good time to review the archives, see what you might have missed.)
But back here in the control room there's a post waiting - one she wrote last week because she wanted to make sure it wasn't forgotten. That's the same reason she does everything she does here.
But for a few days she'll be spending time with someone else who won't be forgotten. Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.