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.
Mother's Day Shoutouts -- [Task Force Marne - in Iraq]
Task Force Marne Soldiers' Mother's Day Greetings
View Download: MSG Marca Triggs, SSG Jusin Espinosa, SSG Matthew Love, MAJ Alayne Conway, CPL Pedro Muriel, CPL Pedro Muriel 2, MSG Reginald Creech, MSG Raney Young, MSG Rietta Owens, CPT Valerie Foddrill, CPT Pete Christake, LTC Ross Flavel, LTC Ross Flavel 2, MAJ Gail Evans, MAJ Gail Evans 2, MAJ Vinston Porter, MAJ Vinston Porter 2, MAJ Vinston Porter 3, SPC Amie McClintic, SSG Gerald Vance , SGT Carl Cueliar, MSG Laura Paz, SPC Waldemar Madsen, SPC Jessica Stockton-Nugent , MAJ Portia Benson, MAJ Randy Edwards, SGT Cole Hawkins, SGT Cole Hawkins 2, SPC Tazanyia Mouton, MAJ Jay Hearn, SFC Gregory Dorsey, SFC Kito Queen, SPL Thomas Toomey, SSG David Ortiz, SSG Enrico Mascino, SSG Timothy Eye
One Deep Breath -- [Toby Nunn - in Kuwait]
There has always been something weighing very heavy on my heart from the second I walked off the Bus at Camp Roberts in California. I looked at the motley crew of men that were potentially going to be under my charge and wondered who wouldn’t make it. I tried harder than ever before to truly look into the eyes of each soldier so that if I lost them or I should perish my memory and what I could have or would have said would be presented in one form or another. The awesome responsibility perhaps held me down sometimes while others it helped me soar above and fight harder for them and or what I thought was right by them.
Yesterday, I looked at the sun that fittingly was setting over the chain linked and razor wire fence that separates Iraq and Kuwait. As the sun was lowering itself in the sky I watched the remaining Bad Voodoo members still in combat leave the enemy territory for the last time. It was like an Old Western with the good guys riding off into the sunset. I was proud and found myself in a moment similar to LTG (ret) Hal Moore on that fateful day in Vietnam who hit the battlefield first and was the last to leave.
Live from Iraq: MG Rick Lynch -- [Castle Argghhh! - FBL]
I’m convinced, more than ever, that the people of Iraq want what you and I want.
Last Thursday I spoke by phone with Major General Rick Lynch, Commanding General, 3rd Infantry Division (Multi-National Division - Central), currently in Iraq. He answered questions for about 35 minutes, discussing the current security situation, redevelopment efforts, the strains of long/repeated deployments and his attitude toward media outreach. I did not bring up the issue of Iranian influence in Iraq, as he recently spoke about that in great detail here. 3ID is headquarters for MND-C, with an area of operations beginning on the southern edge of Baghdad province and continuing south through Karbala and Najaf, stretching from Iraq's eastern to western border.
MG Lynch, Part II: Security -- [Castle Argghhh! - FBL]
As outlined in Part I, the shift in security in 3ID's Area of Operations since they arrived has been startling. The biggest reason attacks are down to less than two per day is that there are simply fewer hardliners left to cause problems. In the last year, reports MG Lynch, 3ID has killed or captured over 6,000 al Qaeda terrorists and insurgents in the AO. But though attacks are down sharply, Lynch refers to the security situation as "tenuous" because he considers the enemy still capable of isolated spectacular attacks such as lethal bombings.
...I also asked MG Lynch if he believes the AO has "turned a corner," that if current troop levels and Iraqi capabilities were unchanged there would be no going back to the violence and chaos of the past. He declined to use such language, but he is obviously optimistic. "We’re working towards irreversible momentum," he replied. "And we’re close to that."
ISF, SOI Presence Allows Families to Begin Moving Home -- [MNF-I]
FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — Two years ago, al-Qaeda destroyed the Chalabi village in the Sayafiyah region. A Shia tribe in a predominately Sunni area, the Chalabis fled to Mahmudiyah, Baghdad and other surrounding areas.
About four months ago, Coalition forces entered the area and set up Sons of Iraq security and Iraqi Army checkpoints. Soon after, Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), discovered residents had returned to the area.
“These families had heard from word of mouth that the area was now secure so now they are back,” said Capt. Joe Johnson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-187th Inf. Regt.
Small town values help in Iraq -- [Regimental Combat Team 5 - in Iraq]
CAMP RIPPER, Iraq — Hometown values are prominent in these two Schuylkill County, Penn., natives.
The odds of two people from the same small county near Philadelphia working side by side in a foreign country are odds many people wouldn’t bet on.
Iraqi lawmakers, Sadrists sign four-day cease-fire -- [AP]
Mahdis sign over Sadr City to Maliki, victory celebrations in media pending
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Representatives of firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and lawmakers from Iraq's main Shiite political bloc signed a four-day cease-fire Monday in an effort to end seven weeks of fighting in Baghdad's Sadr City slum.
It was unclear if the agreement would be respected by all the extremists who have been fighting in Sadr City. Al-Sadr is thought to have influence over some of the militants, but not all of them. Many of those fighting Iraqi and U.S. forces are thought to have splintered away from al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.
Iraq Briefing - 12 May 2008
And The Rockets Red Glare.... -- [False Motivation - in Iraq]
The bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night.... So, as those of you who read Suspect's blog already know: we endured another indirect fire attack here on our FOB. Al Qaeda does not care that I'm going home soon, those insensitive bastards. Of course my friends and I all joke about it. What else do you do? You drive on, sure it's scary as all hell and as you hear the first whizz and whistle, followed by the boom, all you envision is it hitting your location. You vividly see the explosion, your reaction, your friends' injuries all in your mind. Again, screw you AQI, I hate you.
U.S. and Iraqi Troops Take Fire in Sadr City -- [DVIDS]
Living the Dream -- [One Marine's View - in Iraq]
So we got a break from the 110 temps. Last night a kick in the butt sand storm hit and visibility was slim. The enemy is frustrated and can't stand that every time they turn around there is a Marine there. We thwarted a complex ambush last week as we patrolled with the Iraqi's. They are getting stronger by the day and before you know it, they will ask us to leave. They have become so much stronger since my last deployment here it would truly astonish you. We had a young Marine get informed that he is now a dad. Proud and a bit different now that he knows he is a dad shows the true caliber of these studs over here. They too should make you proud.
They continue to put in long days, bear the difficult environment and continue to accomplish the mission. All are in good spirits because they see first hand the difference they are making.
Bradley Crushes Insurgent Car - Iraq
Day Trip to Sadr City -- [INDC Journal - in Iraq]
...Some of the cops are "eager to learn" but many "won't say" where they live, added 1-91 MP Sergeant Travis Sand. He describes his unit's mission as "trying to build up the local area, to make a better workspace for [the Iraqi Police] and us."
The busy surrounding area is urban residential, with a few shops and other businesses. The streets have been closed to vehicle traffic, spurring interaction between walking citizens and patrolling American units.
"They seem interested to meet you, to get to know us," said Sand. "Not a lot of frowns or anything, a lot of smiles. When I talked to a few of the people, they want peace, and they are more glad we're here and that we're trying to work on a solution."
He said the locals studiously avoid mentioning the Mahdi Army, which continues to take heavy losses in daily conflict with US and Iraqi forces.
After Al-Qaeda Life Returns to Hawr Rajab -- [Live Leak]
Please visit http://aliveinbaghdad.org for new videos from Iraq each week!
Hawr Rajab, Iraq - If you’ve ever wondered what its like to live in a village under the sway of insurgents, criminals, or Al-Qa’eda, today you’ll hear about it from the survivors themselves. The criminal and terrorist gangs controlling Hawr Rajab imposed tight curfews and “justice” based on their regressive interpretation of Islam.
Civilians told horror stories of being afraid to leave their homes for fear of retribution. According to one member of the Sahwa, those who smoked regularly could have their fingers amputated or their tongue burned. Many other residents, Sunni and Shi’a alike, fled the neighborhood to other nearby areas, such as Abu Dsheer and Mahmoudiya. Shekih Al-Ma’eini told Nabeel Kamal that the residents of Abu Dsheer and other areas deserved great thanks for their willingness to support the residents of Hawr Rajab with shelter and food.
Once the situation had calmed, Sheikh Malik, the district representative of Hawr Rajab worked with Sheikh Al-Ma’eini and others to begin implementing a reconstruction plan for the area. Young men who formally fought against the United States or terrorized their neighbors are finding work clearing wreckage and paving main roads in the village. Many of the men working for the Sahwa Councils, or “Concerned Local Citizens” as the United States military often calls them, openly admit they once fought the United States and Coalition Forces. One of the most interesting things happening in Hawr Rajab is that animosity against the United States appears to have been subsumed by a desire to attain real reconciliation within their communities.
Operations continue in Sadr City -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
US and Iraqi forces continue to strike at the Mahdi Army in Baghdad despite the agreement reached between the Iraqi government and the Mahdi Army late Friday. Seventeen Mahdi Army fighters were killed in northeastern Baghdad over the past 24 hours.
Multinational Forces Iraq indicates the building of the wall and operations against the "Special Groups" will continue despite the cease-fire. EFPs are "the number one killer of our soldiers" in Baghdad.
Iraqi Army desecrates Mahdi bodies (graphic video) -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
Many like to smear the US and our troops as jack-booted thugs who routinely torture, kill and mutilate innocents; there could hardly be a more inaccurate portrayal. I have seen far too many examples of man's inhumanity to man and shockingly it was always someone other than our folks. This footage is revolting and the Iraqi government needs to take control of their troops. Parading the bodies of your enemies around may be a disgusting, ages-old tradition but we are destroying any number of ages-old traditions in Iraq.
The Montagues and the Capulets -- [Kaboom - in Iraq]
Evenings spent at Sheik Stack-On-Me’s compound never fail to entertain. The old man, despite his questionable loyalties and general creepiness, has that fatalistic flair for melodrama many of his countrymen share. In addition to his Thighmaster fetish, his Sheikliness has a weakness for all things caramel, regales us with old soldier stories from the Iran-Iraq War in the eighties, and blames all violence in history on feminine wiles. (Normally, I’m all for sweeping misogynistic rants, but considering the Arab tradition of not allowing their women outside of the house, I don’t follow his logic. It’s not like war is crashing the party here in Mesopotamia, two hours after the keg got tapped.) Perhaps not so coincidentally, his place is a standard stop during the Gravediggers’ evening patrols of Anu al-Verona.
With the stated intent of discussing rumored weapons traffickers working in a rival group of Sons of Iraq, and the implied intent of securing SSG Boondock his own chai set to bring home to his fiancée, we dropped by Sheik Stack-On-Me’s headquarters on a dry spring night.
Usually, I banter with local leaders for a few minutes, easing them into the uncomfortable specifics that generated the meeting in the first place. Tonight though, Sheik Stack-On-Me skipped over these niceties, deferring to his very own Frago.
“I just receive a call from my men!” he said, as soon as we sat down on his immaculately clean couches of gold. “They say they capture someone trying to run over here from Sunni side of town in the dark. Maybe they trying to plant IED!”
From The Frontline - May 2, Part 1
Iraq News (12 May) -- [LT Nixon - in Iraq]
The Good: Iraqi media is reporting that the Iraqi Army has killed one and detained 36 suspected terrorists in new operations in Mosul. The LA Times Mosul correspondent cites the inconvenience for the citizens due to the operations (the curfew and what not), but that Iraqis were tired of living with insecurity. Operations in Sadr City (Long War Journal has all the details) continue to construct the security barrier, which has been reported as 80% complete. This comes at a time when the Mahdi Army has backed off, but according to the WSJ, the decline in hostilities between the Mahdi Army and US/Iraqi forces was brokered by Iran last week! Shows the complexities of the US-Iraq-Iran tap dance. Kuwaiti officials have busted a drug smuggler coming from Iraq into Kuwait.
Drive in Basra by Iraqi Army Makes Gains -- [NY Times - STEPHEN FARRELL and AMMAR KARIM]
BASRA, Iraq — Three hundred miles south of Baghdad, the oil-saturated city of Basra has been transformed by its own surge, now seven weeks old.
In a rare success, forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki have largely quieted the city, to the initial surprise and growing delight of many inhabitants who only a month ago shuddered under deadly clashes between Iraqi troops and Shiite militias.
Back to Busy -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
I have had to switch from working on incorporating lessons learned from the battle for Basrah, back to current operations.
The bad guys are trying to harrass us outside of the city of Basrah, from which they have been chased. A place as important to the Jaish al Mahdi for revenue (smuggling, extorsion, theft and ransoms) and refuge won't be ignored by them - or us. If we can keep the malign Iranian influence out of the area, things will stay calm. When they manage to smuggle rockets or such into the area, we see innocents killed or wounded.
Camp Renamed -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
One of the locations I work is a camp used by the Iraqi 14th Division HQ. It is called Mahmud Al Kasim (or as the British call it "Camp MAK"). Or rather, I should say it was called Mahmud Al Kasim. It has now been renamed after the commander of the 51st Brigade, S/BG Wassem, who died of injuries sustained in an IED attack in Basrah.
Checking in on the 'Sons' in the dark -- [IN Iraq - in Iraq]
...It was time to disembark the MRAP into darkness. The route, more Western desert than village, was known for recent trouble, which is why Alpha Battery was out to support several brand new SOI (Sons of Iraq) checkpoints that had been staked down with little more than a tent and some AK-47s.
“The reason we’re coming out here is to show the good and bad guys that we support this checkpoint," said Lt. Brian Reynolds, 24, to the armed citizens who gathered around him. The Iraqis nodded in agreement.
What Does A Firefight Feel Like - Iraq
"Colonel Matthew Dougherty describes what it feels like to command during a firefight.
Intended for the Marine Corps Documentary called Green Monster by Ben Feibleman."
This is Baghdadhi -- [Tales from the Sandbox - in Iraq]
Al Anbar is pretty quiet now. Good job, everyone. Keep it up.
Still with the wires -- [Tales from the Sandbox - in Iraq]
Same as last year - wires everywhere. The lack-of-power issues seem to be about the same.
We have heard some Iraqis ask “Why don’t you share with us? You have plenty of light (and water) on your bases - why can’t you send some our way?”Here’s a close-up of a home-made splice. I am only 5′2″, so you can see how low these wires hang. Not safe for children, and definitely a problem for big American vehicles trying to make it through the streets.
Ready! Fire! Aim! -- [Something on the staff - in Iraq]
Last week I was at my desk, minding my own business, when the shop sergeant asks me “Hey, sir. You know you’re moving to a new unit in three days?” This was news to me! I immediately hunted down one of the many colonels I work for and confirmed that yes, I was moving in three days.
A number of questions came up:
Who am I replacing? Who’s replacing me? What will I be doing? Will this affect my leave? How do I get down there?
...The reason for the sudden officer shuffle is genitalia. Female soldiers are not allowed to fill certain positions in combat units. The battalion I moved to had a female officer in a position she shouldn’t have been in (but was doing a fine job). Someone somewhere raised a stink about a female soldier in a position she wasn’t supposed to be in. Once the dreaded words “15-6 Investigation” start circulating, suddenly every unit realizes they may have someone in a position they shouldn’t be, and there’s a race to fix everything. So, here I am.
Helicopters and things -- [James Aalan Bernsen - in Iraq]
It is a rare moment when there aren't helicopters flying overhead over here. If I'm outside for any more than five minutes, I'll see one. Since we're close to the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP), I see lots of transports taking off as well. Heck, I even saw an Iraqi Airways 737 the other day, complete with Iraqi flag on the tail.
...Most American helicopters are named after American Indian tribes. Blackhawk, for example, refers to the Blackhawk Tribe. Apache is obvious. The Cobra's official name is actually the Iroquois. We also have the Bell D-255 "Iroquios Warrior", the Bell 207 "Sioux Scout", the OH-58 Kiowa, the CH-21 Shawnee, RAH-66 Comanche, the AH-56 Cheyenne, the UH-19 Chickasaw, the CH-37 Mojave, the H-34 Choctaw, and the workhorse heavy-lift helicopter, the CH-47 Chinook.
But here at Camp Victory, it's pretty much the Blackhawk show,
Big Morning -- [Pearl in the Desert - in Iraq]
I had a great morning today! This might take a while to write up so you might want a cold drink to keep you company.
I received my end-of-tour award from the Regiment this morning. During the presentation the Colonel said a number of humbling things about the work I've done here (really the work my people have done) and added that he'd found my blog and was reading it last night! In addition to my work with the Regiment, he added that this blog was worth a read because it was insight from a man who was doing something completely out-of-normal and yet managed to keep the focus on the important people in the fight here - the average Soldiers. Like I said, very humbling. My audience for this blog was family and friends back home but it turns out I have incoming EWOs, desperate for information, as well as Regimental leadership reading my thoughts about being a stranger in a strange land.
Happy Mothers Day from Afghanistan -- [SandGram]
Greeting from, Afghanistan. First of all I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to all you gals out there in Cyberland!! I can say that this is going to be a long tour. We travel around our city in armored Military vehicles and it’s a bit nerve racking, as we have to attend meetings in different spots. Crazy stuff.
A Mother’s Day message from Lt. Col. Ricky Brownposted by Jennifer Hlad on May 11 -- [From the ’stan - in Afghanistan]
Lt. Col. Brown (the commanding officer of CLB-24) sent this to me to share with y’all. Happy Mother’s Day!
I have been married to a wonderful woman for over twenty years. I was married before I entered the military and my wife and mother of my three children has lived the entire military spouse experience; base housing, moving from coast to coast and overseas, extended deployments, and trying to stretch a paycheck from one payday to the next. It didn’t go far when I was a Lance Corporal and a young Marine’s pay still doesn’t go very far today.
The global war on terrorism has made the job of a military spouse and mother even more trying. We are deployed much more often, for longer periods of time, and there are many, many more variables. Most deployments are to places where there are people whose sole ambition in life is to kill Americans.
Pakistani Taliban, Iraqi al Qaeda operatives killed in Afghanistan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Mullah Nazir's deputy and the former leader of Islamic State of Iraq killed during recent clashes in eastern Afghanistan.
Two Sides of the Afghan Spring Offensive
NEFA Foundation: Al-Qaida Reports "Martyrdom" of Senior Saudi Terrorist Abu Sulaiman al-Otaibi in Afghanistan -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained a copy of new letter from Al-Qaida leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid confirming the death of Al-Qaida lieutenant Abu Sulaiman al-Otaibi (a.k.a. Mohammed al-Thibaiti) during clashes with the "crusaders and apostates" in the Paktika province of Afghanistan. According to Saudi media, Abu Sulaiman was a former student at Imam Mohammed bin Saud University and had close contacts with influential Muslim clerics in Saudi Arabia. Upon leaving Saudi Arabia and arriving in neighboring Iraq, he was appointed by Al-Qaida to be the ‘Justice Minister’ of its so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq’ (ISI)--even making rare personal appearances in Al-Qaida propaganda videos.
Allies Take Control of Vital Bridge in Nuristan -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
More than 200 American paratroopers and their Afghan allies air assaulted into the mountains overlooking Gowardesh Bridge, Nuristan Province, firmly reclaiming full control of the area following nearly a year of fighting.
...Beginning this week, the Americans will start withdrawing in stages, slowly weaning the Afghans off the American presence as confidence among the Afghans builds. The Americans say a majority of local and provincial tribal leaders are supporting the operation, which is raising hope that the desertion problems of the past will not be repeated here.
Marines Success In Afghanistan
The Taliban Spring Offensive: Pointless Bickering -- [Captain's Journal]
Enemy activity appears to be increasing in Afghanistan according to ISAF medical personnel.
...But according to U.S. personnel, its all just a myth.
But what difference does this make? This argument has become rather passé. The Taliban know that any “fire and maneuver” engagement of U.S. forces brings a disadvantageous kill ratio. They tried it again in Garmser with the Marines, and lost. This is why The Captain’s Journal had previously clarified the issue of a “spring offensive” in the context of distributed operations and what it does or doesn’t mean. “When NATO speaks of a spring offensive, they are talking tactical maneuvers and larger scale kinetic fights. When we speak of a spring offensive, we are talking about guerrilla tactics - small teams, fire and melt away, etc.”
"Bronx Girl" Drives 120 Convoys in Afghanistan -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
As a member of the most elite Air Force in history, today’s Airmen often get the news that Senior Airman Vanessa Velez received when she was first notified of her 365-day deployment.
“I was told, ‘you won’t be working vehicle maintenance; you will be a driver,’” said Airman Velez, who took the news in stride. “At Fort Bragg, I found out I wouldn’t be driving shuttles, distinguished visitors, or commanders around in a car or bus like I was mistakenly told at my duty station. I would be driving a fully-loaded Humvee outside the wire in enemy territory at least five times a week.”
General Electric and Iran: CEO Jeffrey Immelt is killing American troops in Iraq -- [Boot In Baghdad]
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt admits General Electric is doing business with Iran.
Iran has been sending platter charge improvisational explosive devices, also known as Explosively Formed Penetrators, into Iraq that have been maiming and killing American soldiers and marines since I was there in 2005. They have also made continuing and substantial fiscal contributions in support of anti-American and anti-Iraqi forces.
President Bush's Daughters Wedding.
President Bush's daughter Jenna has married the former White House aide Henry Hager. The couple tied the knot at the President's ranch in Texas in front of some 200 guests.
Victory over Nazi Germany -- [News We're Not Getting From MSM]
May 11, 2008 - It is an important day today... 63 years ago Nazi Germany was defeated, and with this defeat the current state of word affairs was born. I am not going to write about politics on Math Pages, but I will note two facts about this date.
First of all, the victory over Nazi Germany is celebrated on the 9/5 in Russia and some other countries. In the west 8/5 is the official date of the war end. This is simply because different time zones. The end of war was announced at 8/5 11:30 PM at Germany - for Moscow that was 9/5 2:30 AM.
Secondly, this day is not celebrated or mentioned in Israel. It is a sad fact, but because of political issues with Russia this date is totally forgotten. People who were born in Israel don't know a thing about this date and don't celebrate it in anyway.
Study Shows 25 Percent Of L.A.'s Welfare Goes To Illegal Aliens -- [KHTS AM-1220 HT: Murdoc]
Supervisor says county spends more than $1 billion a year on benefits to illegals.
According to new data from the Department of Public Social Services, nearly twenty five percent of Los Angeles County ’s welfare and food stamp benefits goes directly to the children of illegal aliens, at a cost of $36 million a month -- for a projected annual cost of $432 million.
“The total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education,” said Antonovich. “With $220 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $432 million in welfare allocations, illegal immigration continues to have a devastating impact on Los Angeles County taxpayers.”
Will Media Cover Historic Hearing on Democrats Violating House Rules? -- [NewsBusters]
An historic hearing will be conducted on Tuesday to determine whether House Democrats in August 2007 violated parliamentary procedure in defeating a motion to deny illegal aliens welfare benefits.
Invasion Burma -- [Belmont Club]
Time Magazine has an article entitled "Is it time to invade Burma?" In it, they argue that "with as many as 1 million people at risk" from the leaders of this Chinese-allied country, "it's time to consider a more serious option: invading Burma." In a very clever phrase the author says, "we still haven't figured out when to give war a chance". There are probably any number of people who are now rhetorically asking 'if we will go to war for oil, then why not go to war for humanitarian reasons?' But anyone who examines this sentence carefully soon notices it contains a number of assumptions, none of which are true. First of all the United States does not acquire oil by conquest. It buys it on the open market. If America actually made war to seize oil it would be lifted without paying the invaded country a dime or at artificially low prices. That's the definition of "seize". Not a single barrel of oil in Iraq has been "seized". It's all being sold at world market prices.
U.S. Flies Cyclone Aid To 'Outpost Of Tyranny' -- [Reuters]
...Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, is also on the flight, which is landing in the midst of a massive humanitarian disaster that could get much worse unless the military government approves a huge international aid effort within days.
Jumblatt's Men Set Back Iran's Militia in Lebanon -- [Michael Totten - Lee Smith - in Lebanon]
Our friend and colleague in Lebanon Elie Fawaz writes in to remind us that The War for Lebanon has not even begun yet in earnest and Hezbollah's “victory” in Beirut is not all it seems:
“So, we know that Hezbollah's well-trained fighters are in control of most of west Beirut. The decision taken by Walid Jumblat and Saad al-Hariri not to fight back in Beirut, but rather hand most of their positions to the army ended any illusion regarding the sanctity of the “resistance” – that it would never turn its weapons inward, for now its hands are dripping with the blood of innocent Lebanese. But it's different in the Chouf where Jumblatt's forces bloodied Hezbollah.
FROM MEMRI'S Islamist Website Monitor Project: Islamist Forum Member: Bush To Be Targeted During Visit To Saudi Arabia -- [MEMRI Blog]
On May 10, 2008, a member of the Islamist forum Al-Ikhlas (hosted by Piradius Net, Malaysia) posted a message claiming that an "official in the Jihadi Intelligence Organization" has learnt about a plan to assassinate President Bush. According to the posting, members of a pro-Al-Qaeda cell from a Gulf country have undergone sniper training in a Western country, and "will lie in wait during [Bush's] upcoming visit [to Saudi Arabia]."
FITNA, the movie
Counterfeiting – A Matter of National Security -- [Threats Watch]
No matter how you look at the problem, counterfeiting is a serious issue. Counterfeiting affects companies, it serves as a means of funding of terrorist activities and it preys on the unknowing customer who is victimized by faulty products, phony documents or worse, substitute ingredients or parts of products whose quality is assumed and depended upon by the purchaser. The strange thing is that there are really no products that are immune to the counterfeiter.
Market globalization and the spread of technology have combined to create an environment where piracy is widespread and highly sophisticated. In this environment, manufacturers and intellectual property owners face increasing threats of counterfeiting, product diversion, licensing/royalty fraud and intellectual property theft.
According to the International Anti-Counterfeit Coalition, U.S. corporations alone lose approximately $200 billion annually. The breadth and danger created by counterfeiting is described in the IACC White Paper, ”Facts on Fakes.” If there is any doubt about the connection of counterfeiting to terrorism, here are a few important points:
"The World Will Be Dominated By The Sharia Law".
GOLD STAR MOTHERS -- [Trying to Grok]
If you have a quiet moment today, please reflect for a second on our dear internet friend Debey. Think of her and all the other mothers who have lost their children in Iraq and Afghanistan, and maybe take a minute to go tell her that you're thinking of her today, that we are grateful that there are mothers out there who raised sons like Gunnar.
1000 882 deployed service members waiting for adoption -- [Soldiers' Angels]
We might have to close the submissions page if we don't catch up with adoptions.
Please consider standing up and becoming a Soldiers' Angel, or help spread the word.
To adopt a soldier you must commit to sending a card or letter each week and a minimum of 1 or 2 care packages a month. This is one of the most important things we can do to help bring home a healthy hero. It is so very important for each of them to know that we care and support them, and your letters and care packages will do just that.
Face of America 2008 -- [BlackFive - Laughing_Wolf ]
The Face of America 2008 Bicycle Ride from Bethesda to Gettysburg was full of such moments. A mix of wounded or ill service members and "regular" riders, it was a collision of roads, a test of wills, and a testament to courage and tenacity. The "bikes" ranged from advanced racing bikes to specialized recumbents that were adapted to a variety of needs. Indeed, about the only means of motion not seen was through the use of teeth and biting, though I wouldn't put such past some taking part as there was that level of determination present.
ESPN Walter Reed Interview 1 -- [jrsalzman - injured in Iraq]
ESPN Walter Reed Interview 1
More ESPN Interviews from Walter Reed. Normally these videos would never see the light of day. I think that is a total waste, so why not put them up on here? This was shot last summer.
Inspiring Wounded Warriors To Excel -- [Soldier's Mind]
Hearts & Minds, Life, Motivation, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Military Medical Issues
I’ve published stories here at A Soldier’s Mind in the past about the great things that have been accomplished by some of our Wounded Warriors. I’ve introduced you to two very special wounded veterans, both in this story and this one. Bob Kunkle and Joe Beimfohr have demonstrated time and time again, that with the desire to excel, even our Wounded Warriors can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Both of them were wounded in different wars, Bob in Viet Nam and Joe in Iraq. Both of them have overcome their injuries to lead full and productive lives and both of them have dedicated themselves to showing fellow wounded warriors, that being disabled, doesn’t mean they can’t protect themselves and it doesn’t mean that they can’t achieve their goals. I can’t say enough about the many lives that these two men have touched, especially the lives of other Wounded Warriors. They’re both inspirational and both have accomplished so much, despite the injuries they have fought to overcome.
Vanguard Brigade receives Valorous Unit Award -- [Task Force Marne - in Iraq]
The 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, was presented with the Valorous Unit Award and streamer during a presentation ceremony here May 7 for their accomplishments throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom III.
“As I look back to those colors right there I think back to 26 May, 2004 and I think back to when the brigade started with about 20 Soldiers and at its peak in Baghdad it had about 8,000 Soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Edward Cardon, deputy commanding general for support, Multi-National Division – Center.
The award’s citation read, “For extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy of the United States in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom during the period of 15 January, 2005 to 14 January, 2006. The unit’s dedication and professionalism went beyond the call of duty and contributed greatly to the advancement of political, economic and security objectives throughout the region.”
RAF doctor honoured for Iraq bravery -- [Ministry of Defence]
An RAF doctor has won a prestigious award at a ceremony in Glasgow in recognition of his bravery and skill while he was working as part of an emergency medical response team in Iraq.
...Sqn Ldr Potter served in Iraq in 2007, at a time when attacks by rogue militias on UK troops had increased dramatically resulting in significant casualties. As the Medical Officer with the helicopter borne Immediate Response Team (IRT), he was regularly tasked to attend incidents in Basra City which involved delivering his life-saving care under hostile fire and a constant threat of surface to air missile and Rocket Propelled Grenade attack.
Cremation: Deceased Members Of U.S. Military Need To Be Treated With Dignity -- [Jawa Report]
When I came across this article it made me sick and damn mad. Our finest and bravest deserve better than this.
It has since been rectified but that doesn't undo the insensitivities done.
The U.S. military has, since 2001, cremated some of the remains of U.S. service members killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in a Delaware facility that also cremates pets, a practice that ended Friday when the Pentagon banned the arrangement.
The facililty, in an industrial park near Dover Air Force Base, has cremated about 200 service members, manager David Bose said Friday night. It uses separate crematories a few feet apart to cremate humans and animals, he added.
Pentagon officials said they do not think any humans were cremated in the pet crematory. "We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever at this point that any human remains were at all ever mistreated,"
Soldiers, pets cremated at same facility
Injured Vets' Medical Bills Could Cost $59B Yearly -- [Arizona Daily Star]
Increasing numbers of U.S. troops have left the military with damaged bodies and minds, an ever-larger pool of disabled veterans that will cost the nation billions for decades to come — even as the total population of America's vets shrinks.
Bad Boys Make Better Soldiers -- [Strategy Page]
May 12, 2008: Recently, there were a number of media stories about how the U.S. Army has been recruiting more men with criminal records. When pressed about this, the army released a report showing that recruits let in via "moral waivers" made better combat soldiers. That is, they got promoted faster, re-enlisted at a higher rate, got more awards for valor and were noted for superior combat performance. They were also better educated, and more likely to talk back. A slightly higher percentage of them got punished for that.
All this is nothing new. It was noted as far back as World War II, when detailed records of troop performance were first compiled and analyzed.
Roundtables: Life of the Mind -- [BlackFive - Grim]
Last week, there were two roundtables on two different projects that both have something in common. Both point to the way that the US military serves to harness the minds of America's true "best and brightest" to create good in the world.
The first was with Dr. Thomas Mahnken, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning, on the Minerva Project. This project offers to rebuild some of the ties between the military and academia.
...The other was on regenerative medicine.
The People You Meet -- [Badgers Forward - recently redeployed from Iraq]
...The other young man I met was when I arrived at the Saint Louis airport. He was waiting for me at the end of the jetway, but had evidently just got off the same plane. He had seen me in uniform and was looking for direction to the "military place." He was in fact on his way to Basic Combat Training. We talked for a few minutes as we walked down the concourse. I explained I was returning from Iraq and he was excited to be on the way to becoming a Soldier.
Show us your tats -- [Murdoc Online]
Kyle Cassidy is working on a new book of veterans tattoos called "War Paint". You can see some of it on his website at www.kylecassidy.com/warpaint.
At the moment, he's specifically looking for WWII and Korean war vets with military tats. If you work with a VFW post or know a group of vets with ink, Kyle's interested in coming out and spending a weekend taking photographs and recording stories.
Murdoc interviewed Mr. Cassidy and discussed his book Armed America recently.
Fallen American -- [Jules Crittenden]
Doesn’t really look like the kind of guy who would be killed in the lead Humvee of a four-vehicle combat patrol, riding with the 101st Airborne’s Task Force Currahee in Khowst Province, does he? A little bookish, maybe. But it maybe there’s something there in the eyes. Hard to tell from a snapshot. Easy to read it in, after you find out a little about how he lived, how he died, and the company he died in.
Local boy goes out into the world, makes good, makes a sacrifice. Michael Vinay Bhatia, 31, of Medway, Massachusetts, magna cum laude Brown University, Oxford University doctoral candidate, didn’t have to be in Afghanistan, but he wanted to make a difference, and he did.
One Of Last Marines Out Of Saigon Dead At 66 -- [One Marine's View - in Iraq]
Kean Commanded Vietnam Embassy Evacuation
One of the last men on the roof of the United States Embassy at the Fall of Saigon has died on Cape Cod, according to his family.
Lt. Col. Jim Kean was in command of the embassy evacuation on April 30, 1975. The U.S. signed a peace agreement ending its involvement in the Divisive Southeast Asian conflict in January 1973. By 1975, with North Vietnamese forces moving in, Americans fled the South Vietnamese capital as throngs of Vietnamese civilians scrambled to escape with them.
SERGEANT GRUMPY IS BACK IN THE USA! -- [THE CI-ROLLER DUDE]
I just got an e-mail from Sgt Grumpy's mom....Sgt Grumpy is back in the USA. I suspect he'll be busy going through the "De-Mob" stuff that National Guard pukes like us have to go through. The Army likes to make us go through a long slow torture process when we get home...before they'll give us a DD 214.... prepare for Power Point slide shows, Stress talks, physicals, hearing checks, dental checks, VA briefings, BS briefings, people telling you "I'm proud of the great job you did in Iraq...bla bla bla bla, welcome home, now wait" turn in that gear you humped all around the world and didn't even use (like bug nets?)
Sgt Grumpy at http://sgtgrumpy.blogspot.com/
National Guard Returns Home To Welcome Celebration -- [NewsChannel 5]
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Sunday was a day of celebration for the friends and families of 300 Tennessee National Guardsmen and women. The 1175th Transportation Company was away from home for a year.
The 1175th transportation company returned home Sunday after a one year tour of duty in Iraq. They left for Iraq in May of 2007. Friends, family and supporters welcomed the soldiers as they flew in to the guard's flight facility in Smyrna. Soldiers got a hero's welcome as they stepped off the plane, and loved ones say perhaps best of all, every member of the company returned home safely.
Voter ID Battle Shifts to Proof of Citizenship -- [NY Times]
The battle over voting rights will expand this week as lawmakers in Missouri are expected to support a proposed constitutional amendment to enable election officials to require proof of citizenship from anyone registering to vote.
Obama Campaign Introduces Customized Lapel Pins -- [Suitably Flip]
In celebration of his having traveled to an impressive 57 states in his bid for the Presidency (and to finally put to rest the notion that he abhors patriotic accessories), Barack Obama's campaign has introduced a custom line of American flag lapel pins.
BUSTED!... Obama Can't Rewrite History When It's Still Posted On His Website! -- [Gateway Pundit]
Charles Johnson caught this attempt by the Obama Campaign and The New York Times to rewrite history today:
Susan E. Rice, a former State Department and National Security Council official who is a foreign policy adviser to the Democratic candidate, said that “for political purposes, Senator Obama’s opponents on the right have distorted and reframed” his views. Mr. McCain and his surrogates have repeatedly stated that Mr. Obama would be willing to meet “unconditionally” with Mr. Ahmadinejad. But Dr. Rice said that this was not the case for Iran or any other so-called “rogue” state. Mr. Obama believes “that engagement at the presidential level, at the appropriate time and with the appropriate preparation, can be used to leverage the change we need,” Dr. Rice said. “But nobody said he would initiate contacts at the presidential level; that requires due preparation and advance work.”Charles points out that Obama did announce he would meet with Iran unconditionally, in front of a lot of people, at the CNN/YouTube Democratic debate last July. And, Charles even found the video .
Is This Legal? Obama Activity in Polling Place
Ron Paul's forces quietly plot GOP convention revolt against McCain -- [LA Times]
Virtually all the nation's political attention in recent weeks has focused on the compelling state-by-state presidential nomination struggle between two Democrats and the potential for party-splitting strife over there.
Code Pink Holds a DC Mother's Day Protest -- [This ain’t Hell,... ]
I went to the Code Pink Mothers’ Day protest in front of the White House two years ago and they were able to scrape together a few hundred people;
But those heady days of yore are gone. Today, they couldn’t even get in front of the White House. The closest they could get was about twelve blocks away up Connecticut Avenue at DuPont Circle. On their website, they called it a Mother’s Day “Peace-nik” and they urged people to bring their children for fun and games. I expected a hundred or so, but, by my count they were a little over thirty; They started begging as soon as they got there. Apparently they thought the thirty or so people there were flush with cash.
Time Magazine Declares Sadr Capitualition as "Win[ning] Another Round" -- [Ace of Spades]
jI had oked that the media would portray Sadr's latest defeat as a victory . I have to tell you I didn't really believe that. I was being hyperbolic. There was no way they could spin a near-complete surrender as a victory.
I was wrong.
The Difference -- [Outside the Wire]
As a producer (among other titles) of the Outside the Wire documentary series, people often ask me the difference between our documentaries about Iraq and other documentaries.
I tell people that JD embeds long term with our troops...he never just goes in, gets some soundbites and goes somewhere else. I usually add the story about the News Director who told me, after we sent him a tape, that JD's footage should have been shot using a tripod...yeah, like JD's going to set up a tri-pod in the middle shootout in Nasser wa Saalam. The News Director didn't get the whole 'this is actual combat in Iraq' thing.
But, just the other day, I found another answer to that question people often ask me. The difference is neatly summed up in a quote from this GQ article about Errol Morris' documentary about Abu Ghraib prison, Standard Operating Procedure .
Child 'Forrest Gump' actor leaving Army -- [AP]
FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) -- As a boy, Michael Conner Humphreys made a splash on the silver screen as "Young Forrest Gump." As an adult, he somewhat mirrored the life of his movie character: He joined the Army and fought in an unpopular war.
Humphreys' enlistment ends June 4 and Hollywood is already calling. He's landed a role in an independent film, playing, of course, a soldier.
...He joined the Army in 2005, fulfilling a deep-seated desire to serve his country.
...After a year deployed to Iraq in its dangerous Anbar Province, Spc. Humphreys was transferred to Fort Riley. His unit is training to go to Iraq after he gets out.
"It was a good experience and you saw a lot of bad things, a lot of people got hurt over there," he said. "There was definitely a lot of violence. I just hope that we did some good. In the end, I learned a lot and I hope it made me a better person."
Malkin's Offensive New Feature: 'Stuff Muslims Don’t Like' -- [Amy Proctor]
Michelle Malkin’s appalling new series on her blog, Stuff Muslims Don’t Like: A new feature, is inflammatory, insulting and ignorant. My husband is a MSG in the Army and a Religious Leader Engagement subject matter expert in the war on terror, particularly relating to Iraq, and he is equally appalled. She justifies her series by comparing it to a blog called Stuff White People Like:
...Unbelievable. It goes on with comments of blathering ignorance of proportions that make me shudder. Do Malkin readers hold those views toward this man and his son? Or these Muslim women who are laying down their lives for their country? How about this man? Or these blind children and their amazing teacher?
Newsweek: Republicans Are Successful Because They Scare Voters -- [Gateway Pundit]
If any conservative still buys Newsweek or TIME they ought to be taken out back and pistol whipped.
The media has the serious hots for the Messiah and this year they will not let any bit of God d*mn truth get in the way of pushing their own personal Jesus through the front doors of the White House in '09.
Look out Republicans and John McCain- It's on!
...Here's some news for Newsweek--
Republicans don't have to "paint" anything-- Obama's done a fine job all by himself.
Fisking Newsweek: It's The CIA, Not The KGB -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
Newsweek is trying to kick up dust in a paved parking lot with an article by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball titled "Keeping Secrets From The CIA". The subject is serious—and deadly—business. Yet reading it at times feels like watching the closing scenes of a "Rocky & Bullwinkle" episode, complete with hints of ominous conspiratorial scores playing suggestively in the background.
...This conclusion is not simply conjecture that I alone ascribe to this Newsweek article. Read the authors' ending and such a conclusion is self-evident:
If the committee's criticism of the administration's performance is as mild as advance reports suggest, critics who felt the Rome meetings could unravel deeper Bush scandals about the selling of the Iraq War are likely to be disappointed.
Why disappointed? Because no one will call the 2001 intelligence meetings on Iran and Afghanistan illegal. And yet somehow it's about 2003 and the Iraq War.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)