Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Iraq Political Progress -- [WSJ]
For some better news this week, turn the channel to Iraq. The Parliament in Baghdad just undid the biggest political knot in the country. Wednesday's deal to hold provincial elections opens the way for former insurgents and their supporters, mainly Sunni Arabs, to join the democratic process in Iraq. That in turn should help consolidate the stunning security gains of the past year.
Sons Of Iraq Transfer
Former Sons of Iraq transferring into the Iraqi army and how it helps the country.
Not so open -- [Abu Muqawama]
The first two Iraqi elections in 2005 were run under a "closed list (CL)" system. In this system, voters voted not for individual candidates but for lists--coalitions of parties--which were then allocated a number of seats proportional to their votes. ...In practice, however, many voters ended up not having access to these lists and thus had very little information about the leaders they elected.
The CL system has since been criticized by Iraqis and outsiders alike for multiple reasons. First, it severed the link between the voter and his elected representative and awarded a dominant role to the political party bosses who, rather than the voters, actually chose the representatives. This selection, unsurprisingly, tended to be based on patronage and loyalty and willingness to toe the line rather than competence or ability to represent constituents.
Local elections and moving goal posts -- [Armed and Curious - in Iraq]
Lost in the lunacy that is the economic train wreck unfolding yesterday was the news that the Iraqi parliament overwhelmingly passed the provincial elections law after finding a compromise on the issue of how to handle Kirkuk. With the law finally passing they have set the stage for elections to occur at the local and provincial level in late January. This is a very important event in a number of ways. Most importantly is, as Tip O'Neil famously stated, "all politics is local" and frankly it hasn't been in Iraq. The national parliament was elected based on party slates so the people voted for a party and not a person. With a certain percentage of the vote the parties got that many seats and there is no answering to a constituency or angry voters. Many of them haven't visited their home towns since returning from exile in the last five years
Rebuilding Iraq: Babil Province - SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS PALPABLE BUT FRAGILE -- [Hillas' Histories - in Iraq]
I arrived in Al-Hillah in the beginning of March 2008, and the changes since then have been notable. The gains in security during that time are reflected in an improved quality of life for the province's citizens. Babil -- the most populous (1.6 million) province in the south central region -- is the keystone for the south central region. The U.S. maintains a Regional Embassy Office (REO ) in Al-Hillah, one of four in Iraq (together with Basrah, Kirkuk and Erbil). Babil is largely located between the Tirgris and Euphrates and has been Iraq's breadbasket as well as an industrial center. The northern part of the province lies within the so-called "Triangle of Death," south of Baghdad. This was a Sunni area lying on the Sunni/Shia fault line and the stage in which active fighting was still taking place until early 2008.
Confiscated Terrorist Video Showing Failed IED Attacks Against US Marines In Iraq -- [avrage poet - in Iraq]
This footage has been confiscated by Marines when they raided a terrorist house and killed 6 and arrested 20 terrorists From "Anssar Alsunna Group" and confiscated about 500 mortar rounds and rockets in Alanbar Province, and my fiance Cpt Ali got a copy of the video and told me to upload it on LL, for more info please contact Cpt Ali because he was with the Marines while they raided that terrorist
Why the Surge Worked -- [Matel - in Iraq]
I read a great article today about why the surge worked. Many of the opinions I read are from those who don’t know. This is different. Please follow the link to the original. It is based on an interview with General Jack Keane. Below is my block quote summary. It is mostly from the article.
Almost Out -- [Matel - in Iraq]
...It is quieter in Baghdad now, or maybe that is just my impression. It may be because whenever I have been here before it has been part of some kind of conference, so there were always other transients around. I have the luxury of a “wet” trailer (i.e. one with a bathroom) but I sort of miss Al Asad. With its Marines and its austerity, Al Asad is like Sparta. Baghdad is more like Babylon.
Frem og tilbake er like langt, but it really does make a difference which way you are going. Last year when I was going into Iraq, I was a little fearful and apprehensive but excited. Now that I am going out, I feel satisfied that my part of the job is done but still vaguely apprehensive.
Silence -- [ ...feeling of absurdity... - in Iraq]
There is an odd state of silence after an operation in which more than 10 Al Qaeda insurgents and supporters were detained in our little section of central Diyala Province. The local nationals no longer ignore the Strykers as they drive by, but now look on with fear, respect, hatred, or appreciation. Either way, they look at us knowing that we can directly effect their lives in either a positive or negetive way - depending on whose side they are on.
Driving In The Dark: Another long, strange trip -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
I just returned from a trip up north the Anaconda. Anaconda is one of the super bases here in Iraq. that I wrote about it earlier this summer. I had to attend an Intel meeting so I decided to go there by the Saber Squadron's preferred means on transportation: a convoy.
One of the reasons I went was to go on one of our convoy escorts. Its one of our regular missions and it’s our biggest one
Suspicious Minds -- [Strategy Page]
In the most violent parts of Iraq, terrorist activity is down over 80 percent from 2007. But that's still 3-4 incidents a day in Baghdad. Most of this violence is gunfire, or an RPG or grenade, not bombs. There appear to be only a few bomb making cells still operational. Much of the American military activity is dedicated to tracking down and shutting down these cells. It is assumed that the terrorists will be true to their vows to fight to the death.
Rocks in a Hard Place - Episode 15 -- [royalairforce]
a shooter and a spotter. It requires a lot of patience and a lot so skill. ... RAFLife Royal Air Force Snipers Squadron ...
B*N*S*N1 -- [MNF-I]
More than 3,000 Iraqis, including 58 women, joined the ranks of the Kirkuk province’s police force during a graduation ceremony held Tuesday at the Kirkuk Police Academy.
Referring to the unprecedented number of graduates, Maj. Gen. Jamal Thaker Baker, the Kirkuk provincial police chief, hailed the moment as “an historic event for the people of the Kirkuk province.”
Welcome to Democracy -- [Zen Traveler - in Iraq]
Today was a first. I witnessed a non-violent protest outside one of the Iraqi ministries; eighty or so people with signs and banners in Arabic protesting the forced eviction from "their" homes. Well, they're really not "their" homes, but more accurately the homes that these people are squatting in, the owners having been displaced, are now returning and want their houses back. The government is forcibly evicting the squatters.
Iraqi Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Calls For Law To Protect Journalists -- [MEMRI Blog]
Iraqi deputy parliamentary speaker Arif Tayfur has called for a law protecting Iraqi journalists and restoring rights that have been stripped from them.
Day 96. Sight Seeing -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
We recently did a little sight seeing. We got to look at the ruins of Babylon. Or as the locals call it "Babil". We had to get special permission to see it because the person in charge does not like American soldiers on the property. In any case, here is what we saw.
A feel good story that the press won’t pick up… -- [The SandGram - in Afghansitan]
I think that victory over here can be measured by small battles as we pursue to improve the lives of the Afghan’s. If you step back and look at how business has been done here, it’s an overwhelming feeling as you are fighting hundreds of years of instilled behavior that is totally foreign to what we believe to be right and wrong in a modern western society. They base a lot of their laws on tribal traditions, a bit on the Koran and “this is how it’s always been done” which brings me to this next story.
Afghanistan Can Wait -- [Strategy Page]
Although American commanders and politicians are calling for more troops in Afghanistan, the U.S. Army believes maintaining morale is more important than reinforcing Afghanistan right away. So three more combat brigades won't arrive there for another 6-9 months. That's so troops back from Iraq will get at least a year at their home bases before heading for Afghanistan.
New 'Unity' to Fight Taliban
The continuing fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan will now be led by a change in the existing command structure.
General McKiernon, a US commander, will now command both the US and Nato forces who are currently based in Afghanistan.
Hello, and welcome -- [Sgt Trevor Skeggs - Eoyal Commando - in Afghansitan]
I have been asked to write this blog whilst deployed on Op Herrick 9 in Afghanistan. Not only do I see it as a great opportunity to stay in touch with those back home but to also give those in Plymouth who aren’t aware of what my Regiment does a great chance to find out. Over the next 6 months I hope that those of you who read this will get to know not only me and my close colleagues, but also gain an understanding of what it is we are trying to achieve in Helmand province Afghanistan.
A letter from Afghanistan, from a hero -- [BlackFive - Maj Pain]
How do we really know what is going on in Iraq or Afghanistan? This solder gives his thoughts, in a letter that was recently published in the Crescent City (California) Triplicate, and I quote
Marines host ‘shura’ to address Afghan needs -- [Bouhammer]
...Since deploying here in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Task Force 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix, has focused its efforts on bringing peace and prosperity to the Afghan people. Organizing and working with local Afghans on various civil military operations projects is one of many tools used by civil affairs Marines to strengthen relations with local residents.
“The people think highly of the Afghan National Army; they want to support the government, and they want the Taliban out,” said Maj. Mark DeVito, team leader, 3rd Civil Affairs Group, TF 2/7, and San Diego, Calif., native. “As a community, they need to determine what affects the most people.
New Militant Outfit Threatens U.S. Facilitators In Pakistan -- [MEMRI Blog]
The website of Pakistani daily The News reports that Fidayeen-e-Islam, a little-known group that claimed responsibility for the truck bomb attack at the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad, has threatened to target individuals working for the U.S.
U.S. says Pakistan shot at U.S. copters in Afghanistan -- [Reuters]
Two NATO helicopters fired upon by Pakistani forces on Thursday were U.S. military aircraft operating inside Afghanistan, the Pentagon said.
"They were U.S. helicopters," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters at a briefing. "The flight path of the helicopters at no point took them over Pakistan."
Navy engineers having success with reconstruction efforts in Southern Afghanistan.
Whatzis? -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
...Jalalabad is mostly safe, and I felt no threats walking the backstreets and the crowded bazaar, save for one time my danger bell chimed. There was a young man wearing a black shawal kameez with a bandage on his head and one eye puffed closed. He gave a long hard look with his one good eye, and I stared back. But the other thousands of people I saw either seemed to ignore me or were overtly friendly. I felt safe. When I travel in northern India, if someone says “hello” in an urban environment, I am immediately suspicious about what’s coming next. Yet here in Jalalabad, dozens after dozens of people said hello, or gave a thumbs up, and that was it. Sometimes we shook hands and they just said goodbye and walked away smiling
French and NATO Intentionally Deceiving the Public -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
NATO and the French military continue to deny that a secret report exists concerning the loss of ten French soldiers last month in Afghanistan. For the record, I have no intention of publishing any part of the secret report. Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper heavily cited the report, and I merely confirmed that the report does in fact exist, that the newspaper article accurately reflected the contents of the report, and warned that if NATO and the French military maintained their position that the report was either inaccurate or nonexistent, they might find themselves contradicted by its publication. More importantly, the document was handed to me with zero expectation that I would keep it secret. In fact, there seemed to be an expectation that I might publish something, though I did keep it secret, other than to verify the Globe and Mail story
To Prove A Lie; But Why? -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure]
Not to suppress the truth, but I respectfully disagree; with the comments, that is. To his credit, Mr. Yon did not break the news after reading the French AAR, while he did describe the Globe and Mail story as accurate in its depiction of the facts. There is no sense in denying the factuality once it has been leaked.
...there is a developing microburst over French/NATO denials of the leaked AAR's as an official document. Noises are being made about this issue begging a leak of the document to prove the denial to be a denial in fact.
For those of you who don't know, AAR's contain certain information about the operation it describes; including what went right and what went wrong and how to do it better. We in the military realm, when we get ahold of the other guy's AAR refer to it by another moniker entirely.
We call it intel.
...I have nothing but respect for Michael Yon. His writing is riveting, and he can tell the stories of soldiers in combat like few others I have read.
...I have written before about the issue of telling the truth, and I thoroughly agree with Michael Yon in his call for truthfulness from NATO, ISAF, and the U.S. Army. However, one must balance that with a reasonable assessment of the need to disclose certain information. What is the value of revealing intelligence in the name of truth?
All Eyes on Bajour -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
The analysis coming out of media outlets in the US and Pakistan say the ongoing, all-out battle in Bajour Agency, Pakistan, could very well be the crux of the Pakistani army’s fight against that country’s Islamic militantcy.
The fight is so important to all parties involved that the Taliban are moving forces from Afghanistan to reinforce fighters in Bajour, particularly from Kunar Province. To the Pakistani government, and the Americans closely watching, the fight for Bajour may be the tipping point where either the Pakistani Army or the militants will gain strength, or lose clout, across Pakistan’s entire tribal agency.
Peace Day in Afghanistan -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
"It's crazy, but apparently the Taliban sent out an email saying they were going to abide by it if we were, and we definitely are," he said.
"It's a great day to show Afghans exactly what peace is like and how their everyday life would be if they just booted out the bad guys."
Russia May Launch Nuclear Cooperation With Venezuela -- [Fox News]
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says relations with Latin America will be a foreign policy priority for the Russian government.
Putin, who is meeting with visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, says Russia is willing to discuss further military contacts with Venezuela and help it develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Chavez said during Thursday's meeting that close ties between Venezuela and Russia would strengthen a multi-polar world.
Syria Conducts Large Military Exercise.
Al Qaeda-linked suspects emerge in Islamabad Marriott attacks -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, and Qari Mohammad Zafar, the leader of the Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, are thought to be behind the devastating Sept. 20 bombing.
Al-Qaeda man feared hiding in Tanzania -- [Jawa Report]
Word out of Tanzania today that security forces are on high alert after reports Al Qaeda leader Fazul Abdallah Mohamed has entered the country.
Soldiers Angels Web Surfing -- [Hooah Wife]
Another weekly surf of the web for news by and about Soldiers Angels
Here’s a new Angel at Everything is going to be all right Welcome! and ‘Happy Angeling’:)
And Soldiers Angels get a Thank You from Balad CASF Medic to all Angels over at Soldiers Angels Germany
From the Victorville,CA Daily Press, a story about Quilters Honor Soldiers
A Request from Bagram -- [Castle Argghhh! - FbL]
This arrived in the mailbox at Soldiers' Angels this morning: a note and a request from the "forgotten war," where winter is setting in...
Secretary of the Army visits Landstuhl -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
I see a couple of familiar faces here with the DVs :-)
Feeling the strain -- [Staying in Touch]
...The major was out of the office when he came around. Something was troubling him, and I knew he wanted to talk about it, so I offered to listen. He told me that Sgt. Leimbach’s mother wanted to speak with him. She had reached out, probably through the chain of command, and asked to speak with him, and he was unsure of himself now
After he had spoken, I paused for a moment and then told him that I had some experience with this topic that may be helpful, ...I looked him in the eye and told him that this was an opportunity. I told him that it was clear to me that this is something he wanted to do; otherwise he would not have brought it up. I told him that I was sure that the reason she wanted to talk to him was because he was clearly close to her late son and speaking to him will bring her closer to her son, even though he is gone.
I explained that he was in a unique position. Because of the relationship he had developed and the fact that he was there at her son’s final moments, he could offer her a gift no one else can.
Tonight on SpouseBUZZ Radio! -- [SpousrBuzz - airforcewife]
Tonight SpouseBUZZ Radio has a very special program! We'll be speaking to Christina Thoreson - The Federal Programs Marketing Manager at Microsoft.
Yes, THAT Microsoft!
For the second year in a row, Microsoft has partnered with the USO and has rented out Radio City Music Hall to provide a big show, free of charge! - to service-members and their families. Now that is a big deal!
My Combat Puppy -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
I wanted to share a combat story with you about some puppies we saved. I love dogs, but my military service always seems to get in the way of owning one. We had a small jack russell terrier named Jack Jack when we were stationed in Georgia, but not long after we got it, I was deployed to Kuwait. My wife was left to raise three kids, one just a few months old, all by herself. The last thing she wanted to worry about was a high maintenance dog and we had to sell it. I was crushed, but I understood what the stress that having to deal with basically four kids would cause her.
You Served Blog Talk Radio Recap -- [Bouhammer]
First I would like to thank all who called in, my son, and anyone who was listening. In case you did not get a chance to listen, you can listen to it here.
Vandal leaves message of hate on soldier's Jeep at Dallas Baptist University (VIDEO)-- [Dallas News - Jeff Brady]
An Army Reserves sergeant studying at Dallas Baptist University was surprised this week to find the message "soldiers are murderers" spray painted on his Jeep Wrangler.
Detailed Plans on Gulag for US Soldiers over at AZ Central -- [C.H.U.D. Busters - LT Nixon]
At the Arizona Republic website, there's an article about the deployment ceremony for the 29th Brigade Support Battalion of the Arizona National Guard. Azcentral.com left it open to comments. The antiwar keyboard warriors took this opportunity to spew the venom that lurks in the dark corners of their minds, showing their faux bravado that they wield when safe behind their cloak of internet anonymity.
... bostonblackie (Sep-25 @ 12:00 PM) tells us all that what we need is reeducation camps for all the atrocity-committing soldiers whowill not be able to contain their bombing, murdering, raping ways once they come back from Iraq
Local chefs throw welcome home bash for troops19 Sep 2008 -- [WTOC - News]
Local caterers deliver a monsterous welcome home meal to more than 450 soldiers and their families in Daffin Park.
Volunteering with National Charity League -- [North Texas Kids Mommy Blog]
However, at the top of the list now, was last weekend when we welcomed home the Iraq troops landing at DFW. The program is called "Welcome Home a Hero" and it truly felt like each one of them was a huge hero. ...
'It's just good to be back' -- [Las Vegas Review - Journal]
David R. Evans, thanked his troops for their service and gave special mention to 1st Sgt. Gonzales. "We did it," Evans said. "We got everybody home."
Exonerated Marine vs Ex Marine -- [Greyhawk]
Exonerated Marine to sue Rep. Murtha
If you've never read Lieutenant General Mattis' letter to Sharrat, you should take a moment to do so here.
...Marine/Vietnam veteran Bing West , in his book The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq offers a recap of Murtha's attack on the young Marines:
Good to know. -- [Castle Argghhh!]
I lived, breathed, worked, and paid a physical price (well, you pay the price, in the form of my 70% disability rating) working with nukes in the Army. It was a zero-defects environment, where you got fired for passing a tool over a warhead, vice under or around it. Or for failing to stop in the middle of an assembly operation and explain to the evaluator why you were using a cross-tip screwdriver instead of a slot-tip, because the technical specs hadn't caught up on paper with a materiels change in the manufacturing process - automatic career-ending bolo
First Flight -- [Neptunus Lex]
Someone pointed out last weekend - after I’d shared the story of flying John - that I had never written of my own first flight. There’s a reason for that really: The truth is probably anticlimactic.
The polite thing, of course, would be to say that it was a roller coaster ride, the full E-Ticket, love at first sight. The real story is a little more… pedestrian?
Solving Stop Loss -- [Strategy Page]
September 26, 2008: U.S. troops are getting a 3.9 percent pay raise next year, on top of a 3.5 percent raise this year. The U.S. Congress has been generous with the troops, providing money for more recruiting bonuses, combat service benefits and increased veterans benefits.
Distinguishing Warfighters from War Fighters -- [The Tank - Steve Schippert]
Gen. David Petraeus is a warfighter. History will record him as one of America's great ones. He did not, however, prosecute war without opposition and obstruction from "war fighters," as they may be called in contrast.
My fellow Tank contributor, the widely respected Mackubin Owens, has a very important piece up at the Wall Street Journal on civil-military relations and the conduct of war. In reading it, you will come to know the difference between a warfighter and a war fighter,...
If I had a dollar to spend on executive protection training, where would I spend it? -- [Zen Traveler - in Iraq]
...Many perspective employers have under-lying medical issues, and often look for medical skills in their protectors. It gives them peace of mind, and when it gets right down to it, that's what we do for a living. The medical world is stratified, thus making it very easy for an informed employer to ascertain exactly what your medical qualifications are. Sometimes the military medical qualifications trip them up a bit, but for the most part anyone hiring an EMT-B qualified protector knows what he or she's getting.
I contend that anyone seriously working as an EP agent should have an EMT certification as a minimum.
Mother, son going to war together -- [The News Observer]
Jane Strand won't have to wonder how her son is doing as he deploys for the first time with the N.C. National Guard to Iraq in a few weeks. She'll be right there with him.
...Strand, 48, of Jacksonville joined the Marine Corps at age 17 and served 11 years. She got out to raise her six children and waited, she said, for her husband -- also a Marine -- to retire. As soon as he did, she joined the Guard.
When she did, she says, she also assumed the rank of mom to a collection of younger recruits. Some have a lower rank than hers, others a higher rank.
Army drafting new blogging guidelines -- [Stars and Stripes]
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — The Army is working on a set of guidelines for soldiers’ conduct in online forums such as blogs and message boards, but it might be a while before the message reaches the troops.
The guidelines — a compilation of the scattered rules and regulations governing online activity by soldiers — will be included in a rewrite of Army public affairs regulations to be published in the next six months to two years, Department of the Army public affairs specialist Lindy Kyzer said in an e-mail. Soldiers will be told about the guidelines during pre-deployment public affairs training, she said.
But that doesn’t mean soldiers can blog with impunity until the new guidelines are published.
Behind the Scenes: A Kawasaki Moment -- [MilBlogs - Andi]
Who's Guy Kawasaki?
He points to Guy
Oh, no. I didn't invite him to speak. In fact, I didn't even know he was going to be here.
Should you ask him to speak?
Why? He's not on the agenda. Speak about what? I don't understand.
No, no, he's not Keith Kawasaki, he's Guy Kawasaki.
Who's Guy Kawasaki?
Um, he's one of the original Apple/Mac guys.
So yeah, Guy Kawasaki got a taste of milblogs. But little did I know, he already had a clue.
A Few Thanks Are in Order -- [Andi]
A conference doesn't just happen. It requires an army of volunteers. A few people deserve some special thanks for lending a hand. First of all, both Greyhawks and Some Soldiers' Mom (and hubby) volunteered their time to help stuff the attendee gift bags, and they were life savers. Mrs. G also designed the graphics for our conference, as she has every year. Homefront Six and AF Sister manned the registration desk. Some Soldiers' Mom was the go-to gal for the Bozik baby shower and David Marron worked our charity piece. Fuzzy and other angels were on hand to man the Military.com booth, which featured Soldiers' Angels. Oh, and most importantly (heh), Boston Maggie graciously ran downstairs to Starbucks to fetch some green tea when I thought I was going to drop dead from green tea withdrawal.....
Thanks to everyone for your help.
Thank You! -- [Thunder Run]
[Promoted from the Comments - because it deserves a post of its own.]
How can I adequately say thank you to such generosity and kindness that has been shown Mike's memory and our family? This is the largest single source donation ever received by the Mike Stokely Foundation and I promise every penny will be be spent actually buying a book for a child in need or helping a deserving student go to college.
MilBlog Conference - Wrap Up [Thunder Run]
One of the things we do every year at the MilBlog Conference is pick a charity to support. The Milbloggie winners each get a substantial donation made in their name to that Charity in addition to their other gifts. Meanwhile during the conference we also take up a collection to add to those donations being made by our conference sponsor USAA.
Vegas isn't a place to send bloggers -- [Doc in the Box]
because we write about everything.
The USO Girls tell a good tale but they left a few parts out. Lt Nixon was as cool in person as he was onlin, Blackfive threw a bash and here's his words, next time, I'll bring my blackhawk bag. Not only did he hook us up with an open bar at the Penthouse Club but he also talked his way into staying at the penthouse at the Mirage, thanks Penthouse Magizine for the support. The rest of us wished we were as cool they were, no wonder they are blogging Rock Stars.
Our Bloggie Friends -- [USO Girls]
It was also exciting to meet our other favorite reads :Doc in the Box, Army Wife Toddler Mom - she was so much fun! FBL from Fuzzilious- another USO Girl from the west coast, Boston Maggie-hilarious and the best dancer on stage. Greyhawk from Mudville Gazette- I didn't get to meet him at the party but he was a panelist at the conference. I could listen to him all day, he had a great voice, and who could
LTG William Caldwell addresses 2008 Milblogging Conference
Reflections of the Conference -- [CJ - You Served]
I wasn’t impressed this year. I loved that it was in Vegas, but the panels were too closely packed together. There was no time to enjoy each panel AND have a chance to speak with the speakers before or after their turns. There was supposed to be a 10-15 minute break, but even if the panels didn’t run over their time allotment, which is not enough time to use the bathroom and/or hold a conversation. Condensing the conference down to one day was an unnecessary strain.
Having the conference in conjunction with the BlogWorldExpo was a brilliant idea, but we failed to capitalize on the benefits this could have reaped. I’m not sure if this was a requirement or not, but the door to our panels was always closed; very uninviting. Additionally, there was no huge announcement – a la GodBlogCon – announcing the presence of the greatest bloggers in the world. After all, the military blogging community is the creator of the term “blog” ...
Live From Blogworld: The Political Blogosphere in Transition
For the right, the efforts to support the troops and the war effort was headed by the relatively small community of Milbloggers - people whose commitment to veteranss issues as well as giving reasonable and incisive critiques of strategy provided conservative bloggers with the basis for their own views on the war.
Congradulations to SandBox -- [Briefing Room - Toby Nunn]
In the past week there has been a lot of great things happen in the Military Blog World. I want to draw your attention to something that I have a personal stake in but in future endeavors while our Friend here at the Briefing Room and and other places Troy from Bouhammer.com helped make famous. I am referring to the SandBox! If you look in our BOOK SECTION you will see the write up and way to purchase the book. It is a compilation of bloggers that have sent frontline dispatches. There is an Online Version that I have been published on many times for those of you that have followed but this print version is wonderful. I had been introduced to Troys work by JP Borda whose brother used to work with him back in the day but the SandBox was the reason
A PHOENIX CALLED VEGAS -- [Trying to Grok]
...The war is different from when Colby Buzzell started writing. It's different from when my husband was there last. I wish he could share stories of the things he's doing these days, because those are the things that are preparing Iraq for her future. But Civil Affairs teams can't talk about any of the good stuff, and the occasional press release can't even name names.
But they're out there and they're working. It's a shame that some of the best stuff out of Iraq can't be blogged. But that's a tradeoff we gladly make.
I spoke on the community panel, which is in many ways the heart of what keeps milblogs relevant.
Milblog Reports -- [Concrete Bob]
From my friend CJ on the VA Mortgage Center site. The incredible Army Wife Toddler Mom, the always vivaciousHomefront6, and the irrepressible Hooah Wife and Friends. Blackfive has evidence, er, I mean pictures.
Marcus has a good post, which was actually a live blog of the last panel. Greyhawk moderating, and Toby, JP, Christian Lowe, and Troy Steward on the panel.
He also live-blogged the closing ceremony, which I hope someone got on video.
Why the Media Really Won't Embed -- [Thunder Run]
... I want to talk about something that Christian Lowe said during the final panel discussion - The New Cadre of War Reporters at the 2008 Milblog Conference. He stated that every journalist in the world wants to get to Iraq, because it’s the biggest story of the generation, and that he was mad he couldn’t get there until he could.
I can understand that sentiment, but when the talk turned towards the lack of imbeds and the use of stringers by news agencies instead of actually sending their journalists there, not only because of the danger but also because of the cost, I became very interested. I would like to offer up another possible alternative for this phenomenon that wasn’t put forth by me but by one of those journalists.
The World Is Upside Down... -- [Tanker Brothers]
Wall Street is on the front page, while Soldiers protecting and fighting for the newest of democracies are relegated to the nosebleed section of the New York Times. In July of this year (2008), there were 13 Coalition Service members that gave their lives protecting the fledgling democracy in Iraq. In Senator Barack H. Obama's hometown of Chicago, 62 people were murdered in that same period.
You won't see that little tidbit on the front page, I assure you.
But here we are, a little over a month from a Presidential Election during one of the most pivotal times in our nation's history, and no one is talking about the one most important issue: our War on Terror.
Is Wired Magazine’s ‘Military Correspondent’ a Kremlin Dupe? -- [PJM - Kim Zigfeld]
Axe has made a few freelance trips to Iraq and calls himself a “military correspondent,” with his main claims to fame being that he (a) often writes about Iraq for Sun Myung Moon’s Washington Times and the Village Voice and (b) he writes graphic novels about war. It doesn’t appear that he has any expertise in Russia at all, or any military or national security credentials. The Daily Gamecock described Axe this way in 2001: “David Axe is 23 years old, a graduate student, a movie theater manager, and an overall nice guy, but, first and foremost, he’s a writer.
Is Wired Magazine’s ‘Military Correspondent’ a Kremlin Dupe? (Part 2) -- [PJM - Kim Zigfeld]
On September 12, I published a column on Pajamas Media raising questions about some reporting about the Georgia conflict by Wired magazine’s David Axe. I pointed out that Axe, in attempting to argue Georgia was at fault in the conflict, had relied on a single source, Professor Gordon Hahn, whose background indicates a web of Kremlin connections that Axe did not disclose, calling his journalistic ethics and/or competence into question. I also noted that Axe himself is by no means a qualified military expert, so he should have reached out to a corroborating source to verify the story — which should have been child’s play if he really has the access he claims.
On that same day,...
US Combat Troops to Patrol our Streets — Or not -- [Murdoc Online]
Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1
Army Times had a story a few weeks ago about the 3rd infantry Division’s 1st BCT upcoming mission:
Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.
...I pointed out that there’s nothing in the story about patrols, but my comments are sure to be downvoted because instead of playing nice I’m getting all factual and everything.
What Happens in Vegas Goes on a Milblog -- [Military.com - Beth (Castle Argghhh), Ward Caroll - Rachel (AWTM), Toby Nunn]
This week Ward reports live from Las Vegas where the third annual Milbloggers Convention was held. What is the future of milblogging? What do milbloggers recommend for those who want to help the troops? And what is Army Wife Toddler Mom calling her new blog?
Figures. Media Ignores Biden's Outright Lie About Iraq... Focus on Visiting African 'Witchcraft" Pastor At Palin's Church -- [Gateway Pundit]
In October 2007, Senator Joe Biden introduced and sponsored Amendment 2997 in the US Senate.
It was an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 and its purpose was- "To express the sense of Congress on federalism in Iraq."
MSNBC described Biden's federalism bill:
The bill passed.
The Iraqis were furious. They protested in the streets and called a special meeting in parliament to reply to the U.S. Congress resolution on the division of Iraq into three Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni entities.
Now, Joe Biden is denying he ever pushed the federalism bill.
Paul Murdoch channels Allahpundit -- [Talon]
The loss of her powerful voice is hard enough, but there is also the seeming implication. Even the most internet savvy conservatives–the people we most need to reach to have any hope of stopping this–presume that if Michelle is not still objecting to the Flight 93 memorial, it must be okay now.
It is NOT okay. It is a thorough-going memorial to the terrorists. As Tom Burnett Sr. (father of Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Jr.) keeps urging, we have to “do something,” as his son got up and did something. We have to stop this re-hijacked Flight 93 before it reaches its destination.
If Michelle is going to hand such an important portfolio to Allah, doesn’t he have an obligation to check a few facts before smearing fellow conservatives as truther-like? Allah and Michelle are good friends and much beloved for their excellent judgment and hard work. There is no anger here. Just an appeal for both to take another look. Paul Murdoch has even provided a fitting pretext, if any is needed.
Reid v. McCain -- [Rabble Rouser Ruminations]
It would seem that the Democrats are playing the ultimate game of "GOTCHA!" with Senator McCain. No doubt, if you have paid ANY attention at all to the discussion around the Bail Out, you will hear Democrats reaming McCain for coming back, saying it was unnecessary since he wasn't needed, and he isn't saying anything anyway. Unlike Obama, who took over the meeting at the White House. It was shades of his time in the IL Senate from what I can tell. What do I mean? That it dissolved into shouting and yelling. What a leader. What a uniter. And by the time you read this, Obama will be winging his way to Oxford, MS, for the big debate - the first time he has ever shown ANY interest in debating. Huh.
Congress did something useful this week -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
No, I don't mean the bailout.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pain Care Policy Act.
...Among the millions of Americans affected by pain are thousands of young veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, the cause of so-called phantom pain from amputated limbs is not fully understood, and much more research is needed to develop effective methods of treatment.
Debate commissioner: If McCain doesn’t show, it’s cancelled; Update: McCain says he’ll be there; Update: “We need a deal” -- [Hot Air]
Ole Miss wants a townhall with The One if Maverick bails, but don’t expect the Debate Commission to participate, says Frank Fahrenkopf. To do so would constitute an in-kind campaign contribution. Where would that leave us tonight, though? If Obama’s willing and the university’s willing and the networks (surely) are willing, can’t they just usher Jim Lehrer and Commission personnel out the door and go on with the show?
Code Pink Meets Up with BFF Ahmadinejad -- [LT Nixon]
This isn't much of a surprise, seeing how these hags already met with Hugo Chavez, but Code Pink is totally stoked to meet up with the infamous holocaust-denying, terrorist-financing, Ahmadinejad. Code Pink press release:
Top Obama Bundler & Code Pink Co-Founder Meets With Ahmadinejad. -- [Gateway Pundit]
A group of radical Leftists, Marxists and loons met up last night with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
Kristinn at Free Republic first reported on the meeting.
Jodie Evans, a top 500 Obama bundler and RNC Palin protester, attended the event.
Evans has raised nearly $100,000 for Barack Obama.
Veterans Urge Obama to Finally Tell the Truth About the Surge -- [Gateway Pundit]
"I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there in fact I think it will do the reverse."
Air Force Baby
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