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.
Bosnia to send more troops to Iraq -- [The Guardian]
Bosnia will send more troops to serve in Iraq, Bosnian media reports said today.
In addition to the 36 Bosnian ordnance experts already in the country, the army will send an additional 49 soldiers from the 6th Infantry Division in August.
The Sarajevo-based Dnevni Avaz newspaper reported that the army commander, General Sifet Podzic - who is visiting Bosnian troops in Iraq - said infantry troops had been training for the last three months.
The contingent includes soldiers from all three Bosnian ethnic groups, Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs, the report quoted Podzic as saying.
Foreign firms investing in Iraq -- [USA Today]
WASHINGTON — European and Asian companies are beating their American rivals into Iraq now that security has improved the investment climate, Iraq and U.S. officials say.
"It's starting to turn … and the people who are getting in on the ground floor are not American," said Paul Brinkley, the Pentagon official who is leading U.S. efforts to help Iraq rebuild its economy. "It's ironic."
Foreign companies, including U.S. investors, have committed to deals worth about $500 million so far this year and Brinkley expects at least $1 billion in foreign investment by the end of the year.
Al-Qaeda foreign network disabled (Bi'aj) -- [MNF-I]
BAGHDAD – Coalition forces killed one terrorist and detained 15 suspected terrorists while targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq operatives in northern Iraq Wednesday.
Using information from associates within the network, Coalition forces continue to target al-Qaeda in Iraq’s foreign terrorist facilitators, responsible for bringing foreigners into Iraq to conduct terrorist attacks. When the force arrived at a location near Bi’aj, about 130 kilometers southwest of Mosul, they came under attack by small arms fire. Responding in self-defense, Coalition forces returned fire, killing one armed terrorist and wounding one suspect. The wounded man was treated on site and taken to a military medical facility. Six other suspected terrorists were detained in operations in the area.
Emergency Response Unit captures suspected AQI cell member -- [MNF-I]
BALAD, Iraq – Emergency Response Unit captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq cell member in Baghdad June 17.
The ERU conducted an operation to arrest a suspected AQI cell member on a Ministry of Interior warrant reportedly responsible for extra-judicial killings, improvised explosive device and small arms fire attacks against Iraqi and Coalition forces and local intimidation.
“The successful execution of this operation demonstrates the capabilities of the ERU as a proficient security force, committed to providing a secure and stable Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Neil Harper, a spokesman for MNC-I.
MG Bergner Briefing
Iraqi violence down; war's root causes unresolved -- [AP]
Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets.
Those positive signs are attracting little attention in the United States, where the war-weary public is focused on the American presidential contest and skeptical of talk of success after so many years of unfounded optimism by the war's supporters.
‘The U.S. Doesn’t Do Military Occupations’ -- [Amy Proctor]
With violence down by 90% in Anbar Province, assistant intelligence officer for 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jim Roussell says the Iraqi economy is booming and Iraqis understand we aren’t there to occupy their country but to help them become self-sufficient. Iraq’s spending budget increased nearly $30 billion in 2008 from $41 billion in 2007 to $70 billion for 2008.
The U.S. death toll is also at an all time low with 19 U.S. soldiers killed in May 2008, the lowest of the war.
...Sgt. Billy J. Benskin, a team leader with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines. Noticed the dramatic change in Anbar since two years ago saying...
Iraq Ain't No Insurgency, Say Former Petraeus Aides -- [Danger Room]
...But in Iraq, "the bulk" of what used to be the insurgents have "now realign[ed] themselves with the American forces" against "the nihilistic-Islamist terrorist Al Qaeda in Iraq," Lt. Col. Douglass Ollivant notes in the latest edition of Perspectives on Politics, which is devoted to a critique of the now-famous counterinsurgency manual. "With the Sunni nationalists at least temporarily allied and AQI deprived of its sanctuary among the Sunni population, just who are the insurgents in Iraq against whom a counterinsurgency might be conducted?"
Video from Aerostat Surveillance Balloon of Apache Insurgent Attack
Combat Logistics Battalion-1 Marines Train Sisters of Ferris -- [DVIDS]
FERRIS, Iraq – Five women graduated a female searchers training course June 5, which prepared them to work alongside Iraqi policemen at entry control points.
The Sisters of Ferris, trained by Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, with support from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, will inspect women for weapons, suicide vests, large amounts of cash and contraband at ECPs.
Stay In Touch -- ["Because We're Here Boy, No One Else; Just Us." - in Iraq]
...I met an interpreter who was coming back also. He had moved to the United States from this country in his teens and had been working over here as an interpreter with the American military since 2005. He is civilian contractor and he loves his job. All the things the troops do, raids, searches, interviews and interrogations, he is there to assist them. Sometimes they go out for days and days at a time. It can be extremely interesting and he likes the action; but not too much action. He didn't care to be ambushed again but raids are great fun.
We were talking about various things to do with the conflict here and he said something very revealing about how cultural differences can have an effect upon the war.
Guardian Angels: Security Platoon protects rebuilding of Rutbah -- [Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson, Regimental Combat Team 5 - in Iraq]
RUTBAH, Iraq - Over the course of two years, the city of Rutbah has encountered change towards its people and government. With Coalition forces support, the town has been able to rebuild its structure and remain safe from insurgency.
Life on Mars -- [Up Country Iraq - in Iraq]
...I am based out of COB Speicher mear Tikrit, Iraq. I am attached to Multi-National Division North (MND-MN), and our main insurgency problem up here is a Sunni problem. Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) is the largest and most vicious of the groups, but none are afraid to kill. There is some Shiite activity down around Diyala Province, which is in the southeast sector of MND-N. AQI is fighting hard for its last stronghold up here, which is in Mosul.
After the Charge -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
Back in late March, I was preparing for something quite different than what I have done the past 2 ½ months. I was called into the colonel’s office and told “things in Basrah have really heated up and everything has changed.” I was then informed that I was to be sent to Basrah to assist a US team in the area, and I would also be working with the Iraqi Army’s 14th Division.
Important Sheik Meeting
A Reconciliation Conference being held the governor the the Diyala province.
Another fear for the enemy... -- [One Marine's View - in Iraq]
The flying beast came into the world of the dirt people. The Osprey (V-22). Although we weren’t use to seeing controlled flying objects, we welcomed its arrival. It brought me back to the early 2000s where I was at the command that conducted “exiting” research for the Osprey. Fast roping, rappelling and other “exiting” techniques had to be tested and with experimental apparatuses’ that fastened onto the aircraft.
Thank You -- [Vince's experiences - in Iraq]
I am thankful for the millions of Iraqis who are grateful to our country for the freedoms and prosperity they now enjoy. I am thankful for the fact I have had no trouble breathing in the dust, hazy air of Baghdad. I am thankful for the great support everyone has provided my wife and family. I am thankful that I was protected during intense indirect fire starting Easter Sunday and several weeks following.
...This past week, I had the opportunity to visit and talk with a young soldier. He was recovering in the Combat Hospital adjacent to our compound. He was injured in the lower legs an attack. During our conversation he was grateful to be alive and was committed to the mission he was on. He was proud of the role his unit played to support the Iraqi Army and together, with the Iraqis in the lead, win the battle of Sadr City.
Iraq at a Crossroads -- [Goodies2Choose]
It’s hard to believe good news from Iraq.
For five years, the drumbeat of insurgency, terrorism, and civil war was relentless, while successes were few and far between. Even when there was good news, it was reported by an Administration that had little credibility. People felt manipulated by the way the war was sold, and the Administration did little to win back trust after the war began. Until the Republican losses in the 2006 election, the Administration delivered only rosy pronouncements, as if seeing only success in Iraq would make it so. But since the mission was not accomplished and the insurgency was not in its last throes, skepticism was not only appropriate but necessary.
Iraqi security forces ramp up for Maysan operation -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Iraqi troops replace border guards. Local police forces are raised. Maliki gives deadline for Mahdi Army to disarm. Sadrists fear being targeted.
Genesis (VI) -- [Greyhawk]
Deja vu - the Washington Post's story from September 2004:
U.S.-Led Forces Retake Northern Iraqi City
About 2,000 men -- two battalions from the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and a battalion from the Iraqi National Guard -- pushed into Tall Afar at 3:15 a.m. to confront what U.S. military officials had expected would be about 200 insurgents who had taken over the local government.
... seemed eerily similar to this one from September 2005: 5,000 U.S. And Iraqi Troops Sweep Into City Of Tall Afar
Jonathan Finer - in the city with the 3d ACR - would produce a fine series of reports on the 2005 battle over the following weeks. But those who discovered and read those stories - consigned to the Post's back pages - could be forgiven if they experienced a sense of deja vu, along with outrage.
Mahdi Army cell leader behind deadly Baghdad bombing -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
US military intelligence indicates Haydar Mahdi Khadum al Fawadi executed car bombing attack in the Hurriyah neighborhood.
Iraq's political parties wrangle over the status of forces agreement -- [LWJ - Omar Fadhil - Iraqi blogger]
The signing of a long-term security agreement between the US and Iraq has been contentiously debated within Iraq. The status of forces agreement (or SOFA) is a proposed deal between the US and Iraq that is designed to establish the principles for a continued US military presence in Iraq beyond the expiration of the UN mandate at the end of 2008. Among the most debated points in the deal are the number and location of US bases, the legal status of US troops and private contractors, and the jurisdictions and freedom of US military to carry out counterterrorism operations and arrests without consulting the Iraqi government.
U.S. trainers have key mission in Afghanistan -- [LA Times]
FARAH, AFGHANISTAN -- There were two good reasons why Army Capt. Dave Panian made a perilous journey across the desert to this dusty provincial capital.
He wanted to check on his close friend, a district police chief whose family had been threatened by the Taliban. He also wanted to pry loose salaries for the chief's police officers, who were owed two months' pay.
...Khudaydad provides the Americans entree into the tribal power structure, an important component of the fight against the Taliban. He also in effect acts as the district sub-governor because the appointed official rarely shows up for work, Panian said.
And because of his tribal ties and lifelong connections to local elders, Khudaydad provides valuable intelligence. His information was instrumental in operations last month that killed 72 to 115 Taliban fighters, trainers said.
But there are tensions among police units over equipment and authority, and between some police and Afghan army units. Khudaydad's policemen got into a shootout with an army unit that tried to push past a checkpoint this month.
The next morning, Panian brought the police and army unit commanders together; it was the first time they had met.
"We need to be brothers here, not split up into separate little groups," the captain told the officers, who sat cross-legged on the floor of Khudaydad's cramped office. Other commanders should rely on Khudaydad to bridge differences between the police and army, he said.
"He might look like Taliban, but he has the heart of a lion," Panian said. "I trust him with my life."
Taliban Take District - Or Not -- [America's North Shore Journal]
Curiously, the Taliban are running rampant, everywhere but where Coalition troops can see them. I wonder who is telling the truth?
Is the Taliban Making a Comeback? - Time ...
Afghanistan : Taliban Gearing Up?
Hundreds Of Taliban may be preparing for a major battle near Kandahar,including many from the recent major prison break reports say.
Taliban Suicide Squad 'Ready To Strike' -- [Sky News]
A Taliban commander in Afghanistan has told Sky News there are dozens of suicide bombers ready to launch new attacks.
A Taliban fighter in AfghanistanThe militant leader, who said his name was Hazar Gul, mounted the recent attempted assassination against President Karzai. He claimed insurgents are finding it increasingly easy to launch attacks because they have infiltrated the Afghan National Army.
Taliban Commander Speaks.
A day after Gordon Brown pledged to send more British troops to Afghanistan a Taliban commander says there are dozens of suicide bombers ready to launch attacks.
Taliban Mass Around Kandahar -- [The Captain’s Journal]
We recently covered the break of approximately 400 low- and mid-level Taliban fighters from prison by motorcyclists and suicide bombers. The families of these fighters were said to be slaughtering sheep in anticipation of their return. Now for the consequences of the laxity in prison and judicial operations. The freed Taliban fighters are massing in villages around Kandahar and digging in anticipating a fight with the Afghan Army or ISAF.
The Problems with Afghan Army Doctrine -- [SWJ]
...So a few critical questions one must ask is; are we on track with the current doctrine development program? Do we have the right formula for developing doctrine on behalf of the ANA? Is developing doctrine for the ANA the right approach?
Joint Pub 1-02 defines doctrine as the “Fundamental principles by which the military forces or elements thereof guide their actions in support of national objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application.” It is important to note that this definition of doctrine does not describe doctrine as how the Army wishes to fight, or how it may be able to fight at some point in the distant future. Obviously, doctrine profoundly affects a nation’s military development, but it should not be used too heavily as the catalyst for change in terms of simultaneously trying to quickly modernize an immature force. In the writing of Afghan doctrine we fail to account for Afghanistan’s history, technology, social constructs, and the nature of the threats that its armed forces face.
Afghans Defend Corruption -- [Strategy Page]
June 18, 2008: Foreign nations have pledged some $25 billion, since September 11, 2001, to help rebuild Afghanistan. The U.S. pledged about 40 percent of that, and has already spent about half the money promised. Overall, only about half the money pledged has been spent (or applied to long term projects). Many nations, including the U.S., are holding off on turning over the rest until Afghanistan does something about the corruption. Some government officials are pretty shameless with the theft of public funds, which is largely made up of donations from foreign nations. Pressuring senior Afghans about the corruption often just brings forth earnest pleas for patience, and admissions that the corruption is considered a traditional way to keep the peace among powerful factions in the country
Afghans start anti-Taliban offensive in south -- [Reuters]
ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan - Helicopter gunships and troops with small and heavy arms blasted a valley in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday as local and NATO forces launched a huge offensive against hundreds of Taliban insurgents, many of whom broke out of jail last week.
Afghanistan : On Patrol With Para Pathfinders.
Taliban fighters have claimed the lives of five British servicemen in the past 10 days in Helmand province.This video shows first hand evidence of the risks members of the Parachute Regiment are facing.
Afghan, NATO troops kill 36 Taliban near Kandahar -- [AP]
ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan - Afghan and Canadian forces moved into villages outside Kandahar on Wednesday to root out Taliban militants, killing at least 36 insurgents, while an explosion elsewhere killed four British soldiers, officials said. Troops in Arghandab district just outside of Kandahar, southern Afghanistan's largest city, exchanged fire with militants during "a few minor contacts," NATO spokesman Mark Laity said.
Battle Against The Mighty Mississippi Continues In Clarksville -- [FOX]
Clarksville, Missouri is one town fighting back against the rising river. There could be a record breaking Mississippi River crest later this week. The Missouri National Guard spent all night Monday building a sandbag wall and the work did not stop Tuesday Morning. More than two dozen levees on the Mississippi river could overflow during the next week. A federal government analysis shows that massive sandbagging efforts are needed to raise the level of those levees.
Bush to call for offshore oil drilling -- [CNN]
WASHINGTON — President Bush will ask Congress Wednesday to lift the ban on off-shore drilling, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Tuesday. The request will come a day after presumed Republican presidential candidate John McCain issued the same call.
Around the Services
War Shifting To Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
June 18, 2008: The war on terror is shifting from Iraq to Afghanistan, as al Qaeda members have been doing for most of this year. Last month, more foreign (U.S. and NATO) troops died in Afghanistan (19) than in Iraq (17, according to the official count, unofficially, 19 troops died). And that's with twice as many foreign troops in Iraq. It's part of a trend. Foreign troops, especially Americans, are operating more as peacekeepers in Iraq this year. This is because Iraqi security forces are completing the process of building a Kurdish and Shia force that can match the abilities of Saddam's Sunni Arab thugs that controlled the country for decades. The new force does not use all the barbaric techniques Saddam's butchers employed. But the new guys can be pretty nasty, and will provide foreign journalists with much breathless copy in the next few years.
NEFA Exclusive: Interview with Pakistani Taliban Commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad -- [NEFA]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained an exclusive video-recorded interview with Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, a senior commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and an acknowledged deputy of notorious Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud. When asked during the interview whether the TTP would host Usama Bin Laden and fugitive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar as guests in northwestern Pakistan, Faqir responded, "Throughout the world, a war is being fought under the leadership of Sheikh Usama and Amir al-Mumineen Mullah Mohammad Omar. The war against America and its allies has being going on under the leadership of these two personalities. We have stated that if we were given the honor of hosting these guests, it would be a great privilege for us… We consider them as our leaders. They are Muslim heroes. The activities of both these leaders are against the U.S. and its allies." Faqir also boasted of having personally met with both Usama Bin Laden and Mullah Omar inside Afghanistan, and confirmed that the TTP has been providing logistical support for foreign nationals traveling through Pakistan to the jihad in Afghanistan: "Traditionally, we do cooperate fully with our guests. The tribals are providing assistance and hospitality to all those guests who are fighting against America."
Richard Clarke: Osama Bin Laden Has Habeas Rights -- [Weekly Standard]
I noted earlier that John Kerry seemed to say that Osama bin Laden has the constitutional right of habeas corpus. ABC News reports (something that I missed) that Richard Clarke directly said that bin Laden would have habeas rights:
Ceding To Terrorists Through Incoherent Courts -- [Threats Watch - Steve Shippert]
So you think the United States has problems with its courts, namely the Supreme Court, when it comes to dealing with terrorism and terrorists?
Step aside, SCOTUS. Britain just saw your habeas corpus and raised you one bail and threw in government subsidies for good measure when it awarded bail to Abu Qatada today and was then freed at 10PM London time.
What an Incredible Smell You've Discovered! Britain Releases al Qaeda's #1 Man in Europe -- [Jawa Report]
Abu Qatada al-Filisṭînî is out of jail. I only have a few thoughts to add to APs commentary here.
Abu Qatada is a specially designated foreign terrorist. When Mohammad Atta's apartment in Germany was searched after 9/11, police found 19 video tapes of Qatada's preaching violent jihad against the US.
305 Heroes waiting for adoption -- [Soldiers' Angels - Adopt a Soldier]
Sure you might not be here on the front line covered in filth, smelling like hell, your heart going a mile a min not knowing what's coming next. If your next step is on that TRP or if your going to be the latest recruiting tool for some insurgent's new video while they take pot shots at you. But what you all do with those cards, care packages, cookies is just as important...
I don't know it this makes any sense to you but, when I get a box or anyone else gets a box its hard to describe. You find a nice quiet corner and everyone knows not to bother you. You sit there and look over the box as if you had never seen anything like it before. You read who it's from and a smile crosses your face, you recognize the name. You might already know what's inside, but it does not matter. Some tear it open as fast as they can, others take their time and enjoy every second of it. Once inside, you go through it, every little item once, twice, sometimes three times, it's a very delicate process. You breathe it in and you think of the person who sent it to you. You think of home, family, cars, summer.....everything all at once and for a very short time, you are there away from this SH*T hole. You are grateful. Then you look around and there's always a buddy who is down or having a bad day. You share your box--sometimes just with the one guy, sometimes with everyone, and it's electric. Everyone catches that feeling and we start talking about home, about things we miss, things we are going to do when we get back and the heaviness of the day lifts and it's not so bad.
...It's not the "things" that are sent that matter to us, it's the thought. That's the power ALL of you have who take the time to send things. You can change the worst day into the best day, in a split second. - MP in Iraq
Silver Star Recipient Honored
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED RE: 4TH OF JULY CARDS! -- [Yikes]
Total cards gathered and shipped: 5,916 (this number includes 330 cards that were shipped early, on June 2, to a remotely-stationed group of Marines with very slow mail delivery times!)
Total Cost of Shipping Supplies: $60.33
Total Cost of actual shipping: $10.95 from early shipment on June 2 of 330 cards; today's shipping cost $241.19, for a combined total shipping cost of $252.14
Grand total of Supplies & Postage: $312.47
GREAT JOB EVERYONE!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!
Another Miracle on the Way -- [BlackFive]
If you're wondering who the baby in the ultrasound photo belongs to, go here. If you're a long time Blackfive reader, you'll be very happy to know an SYSK who's gonna be a Daddy. Great news!
Purple Heart Message
A message from Maj. Gen. Hammond honoring service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Healing, hope, and restoration for our courageous troops -- [Vets for Freedom]
Physicians and nurses are a part of the surgical teams that bring our troops hope and healing. They are proud to serve awesomely brave men and women of America's armed services who fight the war against terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. With skilled, trained hands they help our wounded warriors heal both physically and emotionally. Dedicated medical teams with heart and soul provide our troops a faster return to a well and productive life. They help improve the quality of life of our injured service men and women.
"Jealous Wives Threaten Military Spouse Over Calendar" -- [SpouseBuzz]
Their headline, not mine. A couple of weeks ago, I received a press advisory about an Army wife/model who is selling a sexy calendar to help "boost troop morale." Her name is Alessandra Bosco and she is incredibly beautiful.
Well, it seems that Alessandra and her soldier husband are having a rough go of it out in Germany.
...The veteran of deployments to Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa, who works as the 12th CAB operations sergeant major, said Army leaders have told him his wife is a disgrace.
"I’ve never been in this situation but I’ve been told my career is on the line," he said. "I’m probably going to be relocated because my wife is a disruption to the community and it is affecting wives’ morale and they can’t have that in [the 12th CAB] rear detachment at this point."
President Signs Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 -- [Whitehouse.gov]
President Bush yesterday signed H.R. 6081, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008, which was unanimously approved by both the House and the Senate:
"From the Front Lines." -- [MoveAmericaForward]
More big name celebrities have signed on to support Move America Forward's pro-troop push to send the largest single shipment of care packages to U.S. troops in history - and will be joining the June 26th Internet web-a-thon broadcast of "From the Front Lines."
Actor Kelsey Grammer, singer John Ondrasik (of Five for Fighting), comedian Jackie Mason, radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy, Townhall.com's Matt Lewis, and former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, are among the latest celebrities to confirm their participation in this patriotic effort!
Americans have so far sponsored just over $200,000 worth of care packages for this effort
The above-named celebrities join this star-studded list of A-Listers and patriots who are supporting this effort and participating in the June 26th "From the Front Lines" telethon that will be broadcast on U-Stream.tv here
USA Olymbic Shooting -- [Nat'l Governing Body for Olypic Shooting]
1) Staff Sgt. Libby Callahan, age 56, will be the oldest U.S. female Olympian when she competes at the Summer Games in Beijing. This three-time U.S. Olympian also has a shot at becoming the oldest female Olympic medalist in history. Competing in women's sport pistol, this South Carolina native learned to shoot as a member of the D.C. police force.
Army World Class Athletes & Olympians
'I love her now and always' - husband's tribute to Sarah Bryant, first female soldier killed in Afghanistan -- [Time]
The husband of the first British woman soldier to be killed in Afghanistan said today that his wife had died doing the job she loved.
Corporal Sarah Bryant, 26, was killed on Tuesday together with three reservists with the Special Air Service when their Land Rover hit a mine in Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan.
This is important. Moreso than many of you will realize. -- [John of Aegghhh!]
Important for shaping the future leadership of the Army and for capturing and holding the lessons hard-learned this time around. And for many of you who don't realize the importance of this message... you're probably reading it and going, "D-uh, no brainer, what's the big deal?"
Let's go into that, shall we?
Soundtracks for torture -- [The Guardian]
What is Barney the Dinosaur doing on Mother Jones's US military Torture Playlist?
It might not be that surprising that Deicide's Fuck Your God (even if its message was anti-Christian) topped Mother Jones's US military Torture Playlist (listen below), but just what was Barney the Dinosaur doing there?
Welcome to 'the disco' -- [The Guardian]
For US interrogators seeking to disorientate and break Iraqi prisoners it's 'torture lite' - rock music played at excruciating volumes. But while the song choices may sometimes verge on the unintentionally funny, this appropriation of music by the military is anything but a joke
Update - Marine Jailed for Exercising 5th Amendment -- [BlackFive]
Tomorrow, Wednesday (June 18th), Sergeant Jermaine Nelson will, once again, take the stand in the US District Court in Los Angeles.
The details are found at this post. Essentially, the US civilian courts can try our military for war crimes with no limitation. So, California courts could prosecute soldiers from WWII if they wanted to...here are some facts from the case in the original post:
US Soldier Refuses To Deploy In Iraq
A month after US army reservist Matthis Chiroux publicly refused to deploy to Iraq, the former sergeant on Sunday set himself up for possible prosecution by failing to report for active duty with his unit in South Carolina. If Matthis is prosecuted in court, he faces either jail time or the Death Penalty for his actions.
Women Of The Military. -- [My American-Iraq Life]
say hello to ten intelligent, amazing, women who are serving or have served in the military or have dedicated their time to make female soldiers voices heard. some have went to Iraq, some have spent years traveling around the world, some have paved the way for other females...we have all given years of our life to be apart of something bigger than ourselves...now its your turn to pay attention
Gift from Riza in Dahuk -- [manrymission - in Iraq]
...Roza heard that this was COL Pfenning’s last visit to Dahuk, so he wanted to give him a gift. As we were standing in the office after dinner, I told COL Pfenning that he was getting a gift from Riza. COL Pfenning tried to decline, but soon came to realize that Riza is persistent.
As I went up to get my present from Riza, I gave him a big hug, which he was not expecting. He smiled and laughed. Then I had him move him pistol from the back to the front for the dramatic effect in the picture. As you can see, the gift was a small rug decorated with the Kurdish Flag.
ASP Banned on Military Computers -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
About ten days ago, I noticed a disturbing trend: our readership had dropped dramatically; almost overnight. Then, I got an email from a friend in Afghanistan that he could no longer access ASP. Then, I got an email from a friend in Iraq that he could no longer access ASP. Then, I got an email from Terri and a few other buddies at Fort Hood that ASP was blocked on their computers. So, it occurred to me to check the backend to see what was going on. It used to be that .mil extensions would account for upwards of 30% of our traffic. Now, it's down to about 1%.
Waterloo -- [Jules Crittenden]
The following was produced at the request of Norm Geras and originally ran at his site in November 2006 as a book review, though it was as much an ode to war and an exploration of the experience as anything. Today, on the 193rd anniversary, here’s ”The Battle,” with some art and links added:
Great News -- [Greyhawk]
The White House and leading House Democrats agreed yesterday on a massive emergency spending bill that would provide more than $162 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and create an education benefit for veterans of those battlefields.
...The veterans benefit, drafted by Sen. James Webb (D-Va.), won overwhelming support in previous votes in the House and the Senate. Making the benefit transferable to family members raised the 10-year cost of the plan from $52 billion to $62 billion.
No More Gazas -- [Michael Totten]
Robert Dujarric and Andy Zelleke challenge Senator John McCain in the Christian Science Monitor. They ask three important questions that everyone in the United States ought to have answered before casting a vote in the November election.
...I am not affiliated with the McCain campaign in any way and cannot be considered one of its spokesmen. These are important questions, however, and Senator McCain shouldn’t be the only one with some answers.
First let’s get something out of the way. Not every war is fought for the purpose of achieving something good or creating something new that has never existed--an Arab democracy in Iraq, for example. Wars are also fought to maintain a status quo and to prevent a bad outcome.
There Is Much to be Won in Iraq -- [Grim]
In The Christian Science Monitor, Robert Dujarric and Andy Zelleke declare that there is nothing left to be won in Iraq.
...I am also not affiliated with the McCain campaign, and in fact am a Southern Democrat by political leaning. I agree with Mr. Totten that we all ought to respond to this question.
So I'll point to three things, each of which individually justifies the cost in my opinion.
Remember Those Iraqi Benchmarks? Well, Guess What… -- [PJM]
Way back in the dark days of 2007, when the only popular question about the Iraq war concerned the degree of tragedy, Congress’s Iraq “benchmarks” were all the rage among Democrats. Every argument against a continued U.S. presence in Iraq was constructed around the Maliki administration’s apparent inability to meet the political and security-based milestones as outlined by America’s Democratic-majority Congress.
Then something happened. The gains of the troop surge allowed the Iraqi government and citizenry to implement the security measures and legislative acts called for by the U.S. The benchmark line of argument quietly died. Here, then, is the brief life and glorious death of the great benchmark trope.
Muslims barred from picture at Obama event -- [The Politico]
Two Muslim women at Barack Obama's rally in Detroit Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women's headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.
The campaign has apologized to the women, all Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.
Obama v. Iraqi Foreign Minister -- [Weekly Standard]
Barack Obama spoke earlier this past week with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. Their accounts of the conversation differ in politically convenient ways for the junior senator. Obama's version:
Iraqi FM Zebairi contradicts Obama's version of discussion -- [Air Force Pundit]
"I speculated that something seemed odd about Barack Obama’s account of his conversation with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshay Zebari. Obama said that Zebari didn’t express any concern about Obama’s immediate withdrawal plans. Well, according to Zebari that is a lie.
Washington Post editors sat down with Zebari and this is what he said: The foreign minister said “my message” to Mr. Obama “was very clear. . . . Really, we are making progress. I hope any actions you will take will not endanger this progress.” He said he was reassured by the candidate’s response, which caused him to think that Mr. Obama might not differ all that much from Mr. McCain.
Obama on response to a terrorist attack
OBAMA SUPPORTS AND HAILS MILITARY TRIBUNALS -- [The Astute Bloggers]
Democrat Barack Obama said today he would bring bin Laden to account in a way that wouldn't allow the Sept. 11 mastermind to become a martyr.
At a Washington news conference after meeting his security advisers, he acknowledged that bin Laden might not be taken alive, but suggested that the Nazi war crime trials at Nuremberg after World War II would be a good model if he is. -The Nurebmberg Trials were Military Tribunals
-Defendents were not reaf their Miranda Rights or allowed to sue to get their cases heard by a Federal Court.
-Most convicted were executed.
Something tells me we should expect Obama to backrack from this statement in a day or so as usual.
Pro-Obama Iraqi-American Ex-Convict Supports Increased Attacks on U.S. Troops -- [Talisman Gate - Iraqi blogger]
There’s so much vileness here that I really don’t know what to mop up first.
Ayham Alsammarae, Iraq’s slimy ex-Minister of Electricity under the Bremer and Allawi administrations, who had escaped from an Iraqi prison by hiring an American security company to break him out back in December 2006, has resurfaced in the Jordanian capital Amman where he gave a press conference today saying, among other things, that he hoped that the insurgency in Iraq “would continue [against U.S. occupation] and avenges the Iraqi people.”
In another vein, Alsammarrae also tells Radio Sawa that he’s contributed money to the Obama campaign. I wonder how Obama would react to a paycheck and an endorsement from ex-con buddy of Rezko’s who is now braying for more American soldiers to be killed.
Obama's Shifting Positions on Iraq: A Rezko Connection? -- [PJM]
The time line of Obama's flip-flops on Iraq just happens to correlate to his friend's business dealings in that country.
Barack Obama's position on Iraq has shifted significantly over the last six years. What is interesting is how his position on Iraq matches up with developments in Chicago. Specifically, there appears to be a direct correlation between the rising and falling prospects of his longtime friend and fundraiser Tony Rezko's attempts to secure multi-million-dollar contracts to build and operate a power plant in Kurdish Iraq and the senator's Iraq flip-flops.
The partisan theory of Osama bin Laden's freedom -- [TigerHawk]
The wire service that shall not be named is reporting that Barack Obama said that Osama bin Laden is still free because of Republican "failed strategies." Perhaps. But that is no different than saying he was both free and able to attack the United States in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001 because of Democatic "failed strategies." Free he may be to live in his cave under constant fear of betrayal, but for the last six years -- since Bali, really -- the only targets he has been able to hit are unarmed Muslims or hardened Western military targets that are ready to face him. That is one rather large difference between Republican "failed strategies" and Democratic. I mean, if we're going to be partisan about it.
Stuck on Stupid -- [Hot Air]
Barack Obama suggested that we return to the posture we took in 1993 of simply arresting people after they commit terrorist attacks, blithely ignorant of the series of escalating attacks al-Qaeda committed during the 1990s after the conviction of the Blind Sheikh and his henchment for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. Apparently, Americans need to die before Obama will take action to stop terrorists rather than stop them before they attack.
The Final Purge and a Jackass of the Day Award -- [Knee Deep in the Hooah!]
Posted on June 14th, 2008 , In my own particular idiom, Claire
So that I do not dwell on this any further, I feel the need to do a “final purge” of the happenings the past few days on this blog. Some of you know of the huge dump that the Washington Post’s blog “IntelDump” took on my blog the other day. We were an easy target for the blog author Phillip Carter, so we were thrown under the bus and he got noticed. Nice, eh? The funny thing is, Carter claimed in his article that the real issue at hand was the fact that “Stand To” linked to an article that was clearly an anti-Obama piece, but the problem is he did not really make that the focus of the entry.
AP vs. Bloggers Update -- [Bill Hobbs]
Patterico catches the Associated Press doing what the AP threatened to sue bloggers for doing. Meanwhile, now that the AP is proposing that bloggers should pay it per-word for excerpting as few as five words from AP content, some folks are suggesting bloggers charge the AP for using content from blogs. Like I said when I first noted the AP's attack on bloggers: Bet on the bloggers.
By the time this fight is over, the AP may well be offering to pay bloggers to link to AP stories. And it will be too late.
Media Snoozing Through Another Haditha Development -- [NewsBusters]
Jeffrey Chessani is the latest Marine to turn out not to be a "cold-blooded killer" that the media and Democratic politicians painted Marines charged with the Haditha "massacre" to be. This two weeks after another Marine was acquitted ...
AP Explains Why It Will Ignore Iraq Now That News Is Better -- [NewsBusters]
An unbylined Associated Press report yesterday, at least as carried at MSNBC, acknowledges improvement, and then explains why it's not going to get much future coverage from the wire service as long as things stay that way:
Olbermann Hypocritically Linked McCain to Bin Laden, Decried Anti-Cleland Ad -- [NewsBusters]
...Olbermann himself recently employed a photograph of Osama bin Laden as he introduced a story contending that "John McCain's top guy [Phil Gramm] on the economy made it easier for bin Laden," and charging that Gramm was "on the side of the terrorists' bankers before and after 9/11." The MSNBC host has also accused McCain of "betraying" U.S. troops, and has suggested that McCain does not "understand risk and sacrifice" of U.S. troops serving in Iraq, and has "abandoned" them. He even went so far as the suggest that McCain had ulterior motives for supporting an extended U.S. presence in Iraq because he supports "war-profiteering" by U.S. firms who would benefit. And Olbermann once mocked McCain as "awol" during as Senate vote because he was at a fund-raiser "supporting himself instead of the troops."
The Marines Vs. Haditha Smear Merchants -- [Real Clear Politics - Michelle Malkin]
Yet another U.S. Marine, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, had charges dropped Tuesday in the so-called Haditha massacre -- bringing the total number of Marines who've been cleared or won case dismissals in the Iraq war incident to seven. "Undue command influence" on the prosecution led to the outcome in Chessani's case. Bottom line: That's zero for seven for military prosecutors, with one trial left to go.
I repeat: Haditha prosecution goes 0-7. But you won't see that headline in the same Armageddon-sized font The New York Times used repeatedly when the story first broke.
Media: Worse for military than terrorists -- [Matt Sanchez]
Anyone who believes unfair and biased press on Iraq is a recent phenomenon has a short memory.
In 2003, following the fastest advance in the history of warfare, the media began to wring their collective hands, as one microphone holder after the next cautioned of Marines and soldiers outrunning their support in the charge to Baghdad.
Reporters, editors and producers really love to play follow the sound byte.
In April 2003, the buzzwords "stretched thin" and "unprotected" got a lot more attention than "Iraqis are surrendering by the thousands." As the troops cut into uncharted territory, the media played up the strength of Saddam's "dedicated" Republican Guard, while openly discussing the weaknesses of American troops.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)