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Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
WINNING: Really, Really Trusting Iraqis -- [Strategy Page]
October 31, 2008: Yet another sign that peace has come to Iraq. The U.S. is beginning to replace foreign workers with Iraqis. The foreign contractors are cheaper than soldiers, mainly because most of them are unskilled labor from countries with very low pay scales. These civilians still make several times what they could back home, if they could find a job back home.
Coalition Forces Capture Wanted Men, Additional Suspects -- [Defense Link]
Coalition forces further debilitated al-Qaida in Iraq networks during operations yesterday and today, capturing four wanted men and detaining six additional suspects, military officials reported.
Today in Sadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, coalition forces captured a wanted man assessed to be associated with al-Qaida weapons and foreign terrorist facilitation networks in the region. One additional suspect was detained for further questioning.
Two more wanted men were captured by forces operating in Baghdad today. One of the men, believed to be an al-Qaida financier, surrendered to coalition forces and turned in his associate.
Forces in Mosul targeted al-Qaida's communication lines yesterday. A wanted man believed to be an al-Qaida courier associated with multiple regional leaders was captured along with three suspects during the operation.
Iraqi troops find EFP factory in Sadr City -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Third massive cache found inside the former Mahdi Army stronghold; 49 explosively formed penetrators found in Sadr City since Oct. 20. Seven Special Groups fighters killed and 118 captured during October.
Greeting local Iraqis at Basra COB's main gate -- [Ministry of Defence]
Hundreds of local Iraqis work at Basra's Contingency Operating Base (COB) and every morning they arrive for work at the main gate where RAF police meet and greet them. The RAF police have built up good relationships with the Iraqis and have found their attitudes to be much more relaxed recently.
...Sergeant Phil 'Flash' Ashman, who is in charge of the RAF police at the front gate and is coming to the end of his four month deployment, said that since he has been here nothing hostile has in fact been found.
Soldiers Help to Turn Abandoned
Carnival Into Public Park -- [Defense Link]
Dover Park, as it is known by Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers, sat abandoned for years. Located in the Qahira neighborhood of Baghdad’s Adhamiyah district, its carnival rides were unusable, and the land was overgrown with weeds.
... I am so pleased that we have such a park in our neighborhood,” said Aum Achmed, who was there with her daughter and a niece. “It’s important for every kid to have a place to go to.”
The younger set agrees. “It’s good. It used to be awful before. I wouldn’t even look at it before,”
JAM Boss Reinvented -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes - in Iraq]
Look at this man.
All the picture will tell you is that he is an Arab.
But the man, Firas, is much more.
He is an Iraqi, a Shia Muslim. He was a leader in Jaish Al Mahdi--the Shia insurgent group. Even more, Firas as JAM Special Groups.
The Denial of Failure in Afghanistan -- [Small Wars Journal - Noureddine Jebnoun]
The Afghan geopolitical terrain, which historically never had the reputation of being easy to negotiate, has made life particularly difficult for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and its allies, which have witnessed internal political quarrels being added to the tactical military failures.
The Taliban guerrilla and the Arab fighters who joined them had no chance to militarily defeat the modern Western armies deployed in Afghanistan. But in contemporary asymmetrical warfare, an unvanquished guerrilla is a victorious guerrilla. However,...
Mayhem On Feroshgah Street: More 'Propaganda Of The Deed' From The Taliban -- [Terry Glavin - embed in Afghanistan]
This was the scene I came upon this morning at the Ministry of Information and Culture headquarters here in Kabul. I took this photograph about an hour after the bombing, and it was still a madhouse.
An Afghan 'future without insurgents' -- [BBC]
The commander of US forces in Afghanistan's four north-eastern provinces says he is not hopeful the insurgency in the war-torn country can be brought under control "any time soon".
"If we reinforce our forces and improve our training and equipment on the Afghan and Nato sides, then it'll take less time," says Col John Spiszer.
Three out of four provinces under his command border with Pakistan.
But the commander is hopeful an Iraq-like deterioration in security would be a flawed assessment, because Afghanistan has "different dynamics".
UAV Predator Takes Out IED Emplacement Team With A Hellfire Missile In Afghanistan
Quick Update -- [The Left Captain - in Afghanistan]
Things have slowed down in our part of the world, which is fine by me. I know it drives some of the Soldiers nuts. I enjoy the steady and quiet rhythm, the monotonous days. Ramadan (September) was active for the "enemies of peace" in eastern Afghanistan. I don't want to overstate this, because there is still a lot going on in certain places, it's just that our slice has been absent casualties for some time now, which I like very much.
Dichotomous -- [Conversations in the Desert - in Afghanistan]
It's very rewarding when a project is finished and the people are grateful for it. Especially schools or orphanages. Unfortunately it frequently happens that you finish a project and a week later the locals are complaining that it's not good enough or that Ahmed the villager thinks he is an engineer and says that a building made of stone, cement and rebar is going to fall in after a stiff breeze. That aspect of it is endlessly frustrating. Some of these villages are full of the most selfish ungrateful people I've ever met in my life. However some are full of some of the most beautiful people I've ever met.
Pakistan And Afghanistan Hold 'Mini-Jirga' On Violence -- [AFP]
"Pakistani and Afghan officials and tribal leaders met for talks in Islamabad on Monday to find ways to end mounting Taliban and Al-Qaeda violence along their troubled border … The meeting features 50 members -- 25 from each side -- including government officials, representatives of political parties and members of the ethnic Pashtun tribes that straddle the Afghan-Pakistan border … The leader of the Afghan delegation, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, said terrorism was a global challenge but "unfortunately both countries are at its centre
US strikes kill al Qaeda operatives in North & South Waziristan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Abu Kasha served as a key link between al Qaeda's Shura Majlis and the Taliban, as well as involved in al Qaeda's external operations. Khalid Habib is also reported to have been killed in an Oct. 16 airstrike.
Iran threatens US with suicide bombers -- [Jerusalem Post]
Only a few days ahead of the American presidential election, Iranian parliamentary speaker 'Ali Larijani and
"The US method and conduct, expressed by this aggression, will only be stopped by a clear-cut and unexpected response, whose grounds were set by the martyr Hussein Fahmida," Larijani said during a parliamentary session on Wednesday.
..."America should be aware not to put its huge body on top of the suicide bombers' explosive devices," Larijani said. On the same day, Khamanai said the differences between Iran and the US were far beyond differences of opinion. "The Iranian people hate the US… [because of] the various plots the US government has hatched against Iran and the Iranian nation for the past five decades," Khamanai said.
Exclusive: Petraeus Wants to Go to Syria; Bush Administration Says No Petraeus Proposed Visiting Syria But Was Rejected By Bush Administration -- [ABC News]
Apparently Gen. David Petraeus does not agree with the Bush administration that the road to Damascus is a dead end. ABC News has learned, Petraeus proposed visiting Syria shortly after taking over as the top U.S. commander for the Middle East. The idea was swiftly rejected by Bush administration officials at the White House, State Department and the Pentagon.
..."When the timing is right, we ought to go in there and have a good discussion with the Syrians," said a Defense Department official close to Petraeus. "It's a meaningful dialogue to have."
Petraeus would likely find a more receptive audience for his approach in an Obama administration, given Barack Obama's views on the need to engage America's enemies.
End of Week Update on Syria -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Yesterday, the Asad regime organized a mass protest in response to Sunday’s US cross-border raid into Syria targeting a high value Al Qaida figure. The Syrian Government continues to protest the incident. Meanwhile, the US has shuttered the embassy in Damascus based on security concerns.
Gates Calls Nuke Capability Critical to Deterrence, Reassuring Allies -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2008 – Calling nuclear weapons one of the world’s “messy realities,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today that as long as others who could potentially threaten the United States possess or seek them, it’s critical that the United States does as well, and that they be kept safe, secure and reliable. Video
“As long as others have nuclear weapons, we must maintain some level of these weapons ourselves,” Gates noted in a speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Gulf of Aden Declared Warlike Operations Area -- [Information Dissemination]
British shipping employers and unions have agreed to declare the Gulf of Aden a warlike operations area, in a deal that will double the pay of seafarers on many ships operated from the UK while serving close to piracy prone Somalia.
Reuters also has some comments from Pottengal Mukundan, director of the London-based International Maritime Bureau regarding a desire to actually go to war with pirates, including some sage tactical advice.
Exclusive: U.S. Expects Bin Laden Message Near Election -- [ABC News]
Multiple senior government officials tell ABC News the intelligence community is anticipating a message from Osama bin Laden before or just after the presidential election.
As we race toward Election Day, sources say a number of intelligence analysts have concluded it is critical for al Qaeda's top leader to be seen or heard, if only for public relations purposes. Those analysts believe that if bin Laden is not heard from, he runs the risk of being considered irrelevant or impotent.
Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush "humiliated": Web video -- [Reuters]
DUBAI (Reuters) - An al Qaeda leader has called for President George W. Bush and the Republicans to be "humiliated," without endorsing a party in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, according to an Internet video posting.
"O God, humiliate Bush and his party, O Lord of the Worlds, degrade and defy him," Abu Yahya al-Libi said at the end of sermon marking the Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, in a video posted on the Internet.
Hunter’s visit with Gary Sinise -- [Army Household6]
Hunter had a visit with Gary Sinise today …
Just got an update from Blake:
Talked to Hunter today. He had an awesome time with Gary!! His visit definitely uplifted his spirits. He said Gary is just a normal guy.
This Is How To Name a Warship -- [Information Dissemination
...Ever since the Navy began naming submarines after states, which I still consider a significant change from naming them after cities, it only makes sense to name our battleships after the nations hero's. In that regard, it is appropriate that we name our soon to be biggest battleship after one of our biggest hero's from the latest war.
It is time again to start thinking about Christmas for the Troops. -- [Operation Give]
Once again, Operation Give is sponsoring, for the 4th year, Operation Christmas Stocking. Let’s get behind our troops 100%
This project is being carried out by Operation Give, an “America Supports You” organization who works throughout the year to support American troops. Last year Operation Give sent more than 50 tons of stockings to our troops in Iraq & Afghanistan. This year, help us send even more!
GROUP LAUNCHES NATIONAL "LETTERS TO OUR TROOPS CONTEST" TO MAKE HOLIDAYS BRIGHTER OVERSEAS AND BENEFIT SCHOOLS AT HOME -- [Operation Gratitude]
ENCINO, CALIF (Oct.30, 2008) - The Holidays can be a lonely time for Military service members deployed in combat zones thousands of miles away from home and loved ones. Receipt of an unexpected letter with words of appreciation and good cheer can lift morale and put a smile on a service member's face.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES or commonly referred to as the BX/PX or Exchange) is launching their blog, Salute to Your Service -- [Salute to Your Service]
this upcoming Monday, 3 November. The AAFES: Salute to Your Service blog is not a "corporate" blog, but a blog where AAFES will be celebrating the military family.
Of course, this is still a blog representing AAFES, so you can appreciate there will be limits to what we can say and who we respond to, but our intention is to create a voice that truly represents who we are – a company of individuals who are military, former military, military spouses, and friends and family of military loved ones.
Office Readies Defense Department for Transition to Next Administration -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2008 – No matter who wins the election Nov. 4, Defense Department officials will work to ensure a smooth and efficient transition to the new administration, DoD officials said today.
“There is a … rather robust structure to deal with transition,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
Robert Rangel, special assistant to the secretary and the deputy secretary of defense, is in charge of the process in the department. Marine Brig. Gen. Frank McKenzie reports to Rangel in leading the effort for the Joint Staff.
How the transition moves forward will depend largely on the president-elect, Whitman said, noting there is an added emphasis on the transition this year because it will occur as the United States is involved in two wars and operations around the world.
Springboro Mayor Fakes Military Heroism -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
I love telling stories about guys like SPC Ruske. The kind of heroism that is pervasive in our military should be saluted and honored with all our might, mind, and strength. These young people are putting their lives on the line daily to bring freedom, security, and prosperity to this country and others. It's unfortunate that some politicians have to try and fake that sort of heroism to feel good about themselves:
SPRINGBORO — Mayor John Agenbroad is accused of falsely claiming a Silver Star among his military honors in a report published by the Chicago Tribune.
Finally home in Texas -- [The SandGram - from Afghanistan]
I’ve been home for a week now and apologize for not getting a post out sooner. The trip home is a long and painful process that included a four day visit at Bagram Airbase north of Kabul, then a four hour flight over to Kuwait and out from there. Now that I’m home, I guess I can let you in on some of my stuff and I will be posting stories about my time there that I just didn’t have time to write or didn’t feel it was appropriate to write about at the time.
On the Road Home -- [Miserable Donuts - from Iraq]
I'm on the way home at long last. It isn't a quick process, however. I will be coming back in four stages - and stage 1 starts tonight. I may be out of touch while I make my way down South. I'll update as possibl
Back in Virginia -- [The Army 2.0 - home from Afghanistan]
I am safely home with my family in Northern Virginia. As far as I know I have no further obligation to the Army for the next 6 months, and after that I'll be eligible to resign my commission. Sultan Jeff is home as well, but Chris is still over in Afghanistan. He was the last of my group to arrive, and he'll be the last to come home.
Going Home -- [Zen Traveler - home from Iraq]
T...his past week I traveled back to Maine and spent time with both my family and a the myriad of memories that I still have. I was assaulted with smells, sights and sounds, rushing the past to the very forefront of my mind; piles of Autumn leaves, cool breezes through the birch trees, my mother's apple dumplings, each triggering a flood of memories that were like old friends who have not changed at all.
A Moment of Opportunity for the New Media -- [PJM - Michael Yon]
As budget cuts increasingly turn old media organs into fish wrap, the alternative media must be ready to take advantage.
Big Media is taking a big hit during this global economic avalanche. As New York Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena noted in the October 23, 2008, paper of record, “The New York Times Company reported a 51.4 percent decline in third-quarter profit on Thursday and swung to a loss on continuing operations as deeper-than-expected expense cuts could not keep pace with falling revenue...
Tito The Builder Clashes With Liberal Co-Host
"FREE THE TAPE" PROTEST AT LA TIMES -- [Gateway Pundit]
Great turnout at the Los Angeles Times "Free the Tape" Protest today!
The LA Times is holding a video that shows Barack Obama celebrating with a group of Palestinians who are openly hostile towards Israel. Barack Obama even gives a toast to a former PLO operative at this celebration. If the American public saw this radical side of Barack Obama it is unlikely he would ever be elected president.
But, the media refuses to release this video.
An American Journalist -- [SWJ - Bing West]
Good for Dave Dilegge for speaking out in Small Wars Journal about the October issue of Rolling Stone magazine, wherein Nir Rosen, an American reporter, described his visit with Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Rosen left no doubt about his active cooperation with the Taliban fighters. “They have promised to take me to see the Taliban in action: going out on patrols, conducting attacks,” he wrote, “…. once we are on the road we should take the batteries out of our phones, to prevent anyone from tracking us.”
...had Rosen been captured by Afghan soldiers, it is likely Rolling Stone magazine would have asked the US military to intercede for his release. But if the reporter has no obligation toward the soldier, does the soldier have the obligation to protect the journalist? Should Rosen, if captured, have been released or put on trial for aiding or abetting the enemy?
If only we could all be as tough and patriotic as Bing West -- [Abu Muqawama]
... the past two things I have read written by West have struck me as absurd and beneath the man. First he went after Bill Murphy's book in Forbes, sniping -- among other things -- that the contemporary American officer corps had not sacrificed on a level equivalent to those who fought in World War II and Vietnam
...And now West goes after Nir Rosen -- a journalist employed by Al-Jazeera International, the channel with whom West happily sat down for an extended interview -- in this piece in SWJ. He spends his words on a lot more bile. Aside from accusing the Department of Defense -- en masse -- of lacking "commitment and passion in the cause," West also accuses Sec. Gates and Adm. Mullen of lacking "moral clarity and courage."
Bing West Furious At Everybody -- [LT Nixon]
I empathize with the resentment, like when Washington Post stringers of dubious association were watching the Mahdi Army launch attack against the U.S., and of course there is always terrorist AP photographer Bilal Hussein. However,...
Blasphemers Cast out of The One's Presence -- [Ace of Spades]
Barack Obama's campaign made a few last-minute changes on the campaign plane and oddly enough, all of those left without chairs were from papers that endorsed John McCain.
The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states -- and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!
Getting the 'Ayers Issue' Straight -- [American Thinker]
1) In 1995 Obama kicked off his Illinois Senate run in the living room of Ayers. Also in attendance at this political coming-out party was Communist Party member Quentin Young. The obvious question: Did Ayers introduce and launch someone he did not know, someone not in accord with his own agenda?
2) The same year, Obama had been chosen by Ayers to be the first chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a public school reform project co-founded by Ayers. We are once again faced with the question: Did Ayers hire someone he did not know, someone not in accord with his agenda?
Having reviewed the CAC Board of Directors meeting minutes, Stanley Kurtz concludes that it "clearly involves significant consultation between the board, headed by Obama, and the Collaborative, co-chaired by Ayers." The materials "show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda."
Ohio Dem attacks Josh Mandel's Iraq War military service
Yes, He Can -- [Slate]
Barack Obama should be able to disclose his small-dollar donors pretty easily.
Barack Obama refuses to release the names of the 2 million-plus people who have given his campaign less than $200. According to campaign officials, it would be too difficult and time-consuming to extract this information from its database. ...So how come we were able to do it in a couple hours? Not literally—we don't have access to the campaign's list of donors—but we created a database of similar size and format in a Web-ready file and posted it online . .
This Is the Khalidi Obama Embraced -- [PJM - Jennifer Rubin]
Many others have surmised that the Los Angeles Times is running interference for Barack Obama, declining not just to provide the tape of the Rashid Khalidi goodbye event which Obama attended in 2003, but a complete transcript. It is reasonable to ask what could have been so bad about the event. What could possibly have been so objectionable about the speeches or proceedings that might concern voters at this late date?
Well, the original Times report gives us only the sketchiest account. But now we have a video of a complete Khalidi lecture from June 2007. It is quite an eye-opener.
Dear Mr. Obama
Brunner: Federal Law Requires Me To Have a System for Double-Checking Registrations in Place, But Does Not Actually Require Me to Double-Check Them or Use That System -- [Ace of Spades]
...So I won't.
More: Brunner tied to ACORN.
An ACORN whistleblower testified in a Pennsylvania state court on Wednesday that "in November 2007 Project Vote development director Karyn Gillette told her she had direct contact with the Obama campaign and had obtained their donor lists." Project Vote is the voter registration arm of ACORN. (Wall Street Journal, 10/29/08)
"Jennifer Brunner's ties to a top ACORN official, who is also accused of collaborating with the Obama campaign, suggest she's orchestrating a cover-up to protect her friends," said Ohio Republican Party Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine. "
...Gillette is not Brunner's only tie to ACORN
Obama Supporter: If I Vote For Obama I Won’t Have To Pay For Gas, Pay My Mortgage
"I won’t have to work on puttin’ gas in my car. I won’t have to work at payin’ my mortgage."
Family last: The British press finds Barack Obama's aunt and uncle -- [TigerHawk]
It took the respectable British press to do what the entire American media -- even the evil Fox News -- could not do. The Times of London has actually located Barack Obama's Kenyan-American aunt and uncle. In Boston. Massachusetts. The story reflects so poorly on Barack Obama that if you saw it on a no-name righty blog you would write it off as libel:
Northern Virginia Registrar Reversed: Military Absentee Ballots to Be Counted -- [NewsBusters]
Two days ago I noted the downplayed coverage the Washington Post devoted to a Fairfax County, Va., registrar tossing aside military absentee ballots. Rokey Suleman II, a Democrat who had previously lived in Ohio and unsuccessfully ran for officer there, was alone among Old Dominion registrars in throwing aside military absentee ballots for lack of witness signatures and addresses.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Cognitive Disconnects... -- [Castle Argghhh!!! - Bill - in Iraq]
…an Iraqi coming toward me with a drawn knife -- is looking to borrow my ceramic sharpener……one of my hootchmates chows down on kimchi and peppers drenched in hot sauce and then complains that the bottled water here gives him gas……an obscene period of time elapses between the *last* rockets smacking in and the “Take Cover” warble, but mere seconds elapse between a distant clap of thunder and the “Alarm Red” announcement…here’s a better chance I’ll be electrocuted in the shower than killed by an incoming rocket, mortar, or RPG…
ISI War Minister Threatens: Countries Taking Part in Iraq Coalition Will Be Attacked on Their Own Soil -- [MEMRI Blog]
In an audio message published October 24, 2008 by the ISI media company Al-Furqan, ISI War Minister Abu Hamza Al-Muhajir threatened the coalition countries with attacks on their own soil. He specifically threatened to target...
US turns over control of 12th Iraqi province -- [AP]
BABYLON, Iraq (AP) — The U.S. relinquished control of a southern province that includes Sunni areas once known as the "triangle of death," handing security responsibility to the Iraqi government on Thursday. In the capital, where insurgent attacks continue nearly daily, a car bomber targeted a government minister's convoy, killing at least 13 people. Babil is the 12th of 18 Iraqi provinces to be handed over and a sign of the improving security. U.S. forces will remain in the area to assist the Iraqis when needed.
At a transfer ceremony held near the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, said security gains have been remarkable — with the number of attacks falling about 80 percent from an average of 20 per week a year ago. But he cautioned that "while the enemies of Iraq are down, they are not necessarily defeated."
Patrol Base Inchon Transfers from Rakkasans to Iraqi Army
Iraq: US forces hand over Triangle of Death -- [Telegraph]
US forces in Iraq have handed over control of a province once part of a so-called 'Triangle of Death'.
The fall in violence coincided with the "surge" of thousands of extra US troops deployed in Iraq.
But America and Iraq are now trying to reach agreement over the future presence of US and coalition forces in the country. The United Nations mandate allowing their deployment expires on Dec 31.
America wants to conclude a "Status of Forces Agreement" (SOFA) allowing its troops to stay beyond this deadline. But Iraq wants guarantees that any US forces on its territory will not attack its powerful neighbour, Iran.
Iran urges Iraqi solidarity on SOFA -- [Middle East Times]
TEHRAN, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Iranian officials said all Iraqi ethnic and political groups should stand in unity in negotiations with Washington over the long-term security arrangement.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a meeting in Tehran with Kurdish President Massoud Barzani that the American presence in Iraq only serves to undermine unity and create friction in the region, the Islamic Republic News Agency said Thursday.
Egyptian Daily: Only National Resistance Will Expel U.S. Occupation From Iraq -- [MEMRI Blog]
The Egyptian daily Al-Gomhouriyya has accused the U.S. of forcing the U.S.-Iraq security pact on the Iraqi government despite the Iraqi people's extensive opposition to it.
It also said that only national Iraqi resistance can expel the U.S. occupation from Iraq.
On the SOFA -- [MilBlogs -Greyhawk]
...Most of my concern is due to the abbreviated descriptions provided in the story. In addition to "complete" (???) draw down, for instance, what exactly does this mean: "Iraq will also be in control of its air space once the agreement comes into effect." I can offer five different definitions of "in control of its air space" off the top of my head. At least one of those (no US Forces performing actual air traffic control) scares the living Shiite out of me (though maybe they've advanced and expanded more than I know). Other possible interpretations (UAV flight approval) raise other concerns. Again, that's one example of many, the AFP report does not provide anywhere near the fidelity required for cogent analysis or additional comment, might be inaccurate, and is assuredly incomplete. Other than that, no problem.
Inside Story - Iraq security deal - Oct 24 - Part 1 with Bill Roggio Speaking
Iraq News: Someone Take This SOFA To The Dump -- [LT Nixon]
The Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq (SOFA) has been a topic of conversation in the media ever since Ambassador Crocker had to explain to the Iraqis, American politicians, and everyone in between that it would not mean permanent bases. But now this political beast has taken on a life of its own, and implications of coalition troops staying past the U.N. mandate (which expires on Dec. 31) have become increasingly controversial.
Inside Story - Iraq security deal - Oct 24 - Part 2 - with Bill Roggio Speaking
Adventures in ROE: Waiting on the Lawyers -- [Captain's Journal]
In Prosecution of U.S. Troops Under Iraq SOFA we broadly outlined some problems we have with the draft Status of Forces Agreement awaiting Iraqi parliament approval. Review of the draft SOFA raises even more questions and forces the conclusion that things could very well be worse than first suspected. A few examples are in order, followed by a review of international lawyer hand-wringing over Somalian pirates.
Iftar dinner in Hilla. -- [HILLAS' HISTORIES - in Iraq]
This news may be a little dated, but it was just reported by the US Embassy: PRT Shares Iftar with Iraqis in Babil Province. Saying good-by to Al-Tufail tribe leader Sheik Al-Shanan at the end of Iftar.
"The [PRT's] yearly tradition of hosting an Iftar dinner during Ramadan is an excellent opportunity for members of Babylon's local government to come together with local NGO representatives, tribal leaders and businessmen.”
Iraq Stock Exchange Enjoying a Boom
The ISX index has soared 40 percent since September, boosted by increasing confidence in security gains and largely ... The ISX index has soared 40 percent since September, boosted by increasing confidence in security gains and largely shielded from international market woes by its isolated status. Stock market chief Taha Abdul-Salam explains. (Oct. 12)
Honey, I'm Home -- [Outside the Wire]
To paraphrase the Jr. Senator from Illinois, "this is not the Baghdad I used to know."
Organized soccer matches between teams in uniforms. Children and families on playgrounds. Packed restaurants.
In the spring and early summer of 2007, those were things you did not see in Baghdad's West Rashid District. In the early days of the surge, Baghdad residents referred to West Rashid as "the arena." Sunni and Shia assassins added to the daily body count in a blood fued for hire that sprialed nearly out of control.
Ghost of Anbar: One Marine: A Model Approach by Michael Yon
A note, Michael Yon is currently in Afghanistan and posting dispatches, he gets access many do not and has an insight most reporters cannot.
Oh, That Way Madness Lies; Let Me Shun That -- [The War on Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
...I trudge back to my room, saluting on the way. I have to be straight with you. I love the Army. I love the infantry. I love my unit and I have faith in my commander and my soldiers. We are a good team with a good mission and I am happy to be a part of something greater than myself. We are an army that has set a nation free from years of oppression. I see this on the faces of the Iraqi Army as they come to work in the morning determined to steer their country toward peace and prosperity. Even though I may not like my useless job in the BDOC, I am honored that I am a part of this great American effort. I am proud that I did my part.
Two-Year Anniversary of the Only Missing Iraq War Soldier -- [A Soldier's Home - David Botti]
Two years ago today Army Specialist Ahmed Kousay al-Taie, a translator and native of Iraq, went missing as he visited his wife's family in Baghdad. He remains the only U.S. soldier still missing in action from the current war in Iraq. The Associated Press provides the latest information on the search for al-Taie:
Rough Men Stand Ready -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
...Your Army is a practical Army. We have to be since we deploy in the most ugly, God-awful locations. So, when we stop somewhere and stay awhile, such as at places like COB ADDER, we start to make things better. We paint rocks....line them up and call it ‘Improving our foxhole.” When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right? Well, KBR is fresh out of lemons but they have provided us with a few thousand concrete barriers. They come in all shapes and sizes and paint adheres to them very well.
The Obligatory Crossed Swords Post -- [Miserable Donuts]
The former parade ground for the Iraqi military still has the famous "Crossed Swords" at both ends. If you are in Baghdad, you simply must have your picture taken there. I am no different, so here it is.
Insurgents use children as human shields -- [ISAF]
Insurgents used two Afghan children as shields while they attempted to emplace IEDs in a road in Farah province Oct. 18 ...Marine snipers shot two of the positively identified insurgents as they emplaced an IED. After the initial shots were fired, the other two insurgents grabbed the two children they had brought with them and held them in front of them to use them as shields.
Thousands protest killing of Afghan civilians by Taliban -- [AFP / Canada.com]
MIHTARLAM, Afghanistan - Thousands of people took to the streets of eastern Afghanistan Friday to protest against the killing of 27 civilians by Taliban insurgents.
Taliban commander arrested in S Afghanistan -- [Xinhua]
Afghan police on Thursday carried out an operation against a notorious Taliban commander, Mullah Juma Gul, Thursday morning and arrested the target successfully in southern Afghan province of Uruzgan, said a police official on Friday.
QRF and EOD
The Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in Afghanistan who still have to respond to roadside bombs although they are in Bamyan, one of the safer areas of Afghanistan.
Lashed to vehicle, wounded SAS soldier fought on -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...DESPITE being shot twice during an ambush in Afghanistan, an SAS soldier lashed himself to the front of his patrol vehicle so he wouldn't be left behind if he passed out from loss of blood and kept on fighting. The Digger is expected to be recommended for a high level bravery award.
Suffering from serious upper body wounds, the soldier struggled on to the front of his SAS long range patrol vehicle (LRPV) and, under heavy fire, used a rope to attach himself firmly between the vehicle's bull bar and radiator. Once he was secured, and there was no chance that he would fall off if he fainted, he picked up his rifle and ...
Afghan National Police and Army Work Together to Save the Day -- [Afghan Regional Security Integration - in Afghanistan ] - HT: Bouhammer
The Taliban are so distraught that coalition forces are kicking their butts lately, that they have begun attacking villagers to include women and children, as witnessed recently, in an effort to force Afghans into supporting their campaign against U.S. and coalition forces here.
Villagers and their small, local Afghan National Police (ANP) detachment were under attack and upon learning what was happening, the Afghan National Police and the Governor of Kandahar, Rahmatullah Raufi, requested support for rescue of wounded police and civilians caught in a perilous situation.
NEFA Foundation: Taliban Reject Notion of Iraq-Style "Awakening" Movement in Afghanistan -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained a new statement from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Taliban) rejecting the notion that a U.S.-sponsored "Awakening" movement in South Asia -- styled after the model recently developed in Sunni areas of Iraq -- has any chance of success in Afghanistan. According to the statement, "the Americans should not look at Afghanistan in the context of Iraq. Here sectarian differences do not exist
Exclusive New Interview With Pakistani Taliban Deputy Commander Maulana Faquir Mohammed -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained an exclusive new interview with Maulana Faquir Mohammed, deputy commander of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). During the interview, Maulana Faquir insisted that the TTP closely supports the activities of Al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan because these jihadi operations represent the "will of all Muslims."
What the Taliban's media campaign fails to mention... -- [ISAF]
Afghanistan Photostory: The Taliban's media offensive is as notable for what they don't show as what they do. This photostory gives a few examples.
Home, for now -- [Military Times - Reporter’s Notebook]
I learned a lot on our assignment - the Afghan people are resilient and resourceful; the Afghan army and police are still struggling but they’re making progress; we need more troops on the ground; we need to better understand the role of the United States and its ISAF allies; we need to define, if possible, success in that country.
I also learned that while our troops are stretched thin in that vast, unforgiving country, they are working hard to make things better. Sometimes it’s frustrating because progress seems to come so slowly, but the troops we met just kept pushing forward.
Heavy Fighting in Oruzgan Province Leaves Dozens Dead -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
...The fighting erupted on October 21 when coalition intelligence pinpointed the location of Taliban commander Sharif Agha. Agha was spotted, with 14 other militants, near a river bed as they were preparing an attack against a Coalition patrol. An air strike was called in killing all 15 militants.
The War Briefing -- [Frontline]
The War Briefing begins in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, where FRONTLINE embedded with Bravo Company
Pakistan on the Taliban: "Dialogue must now be the highest priority" -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
A unanimous 14-point resolution passed by parliament on extremism in Pakistan stresses talks and fails to mention a counterinsurgency plan for the turbulent northwest.
Coalition, Afghan forces battle Taliban in Uruzgan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
More than 70 Taliban fighters, including a senior commander, are killed in three days of clashes in the southern province.
Pakistan on the Brink of Collapse -- [Captain's Journal]
In NATO and Pakistan Commitment to Defeat Taliban Wavering we discussed the deep ambivalence of the Pakistan parliament towards the fight against the Taliban. The parliament has little stomach for a protracted counterinsurgency against the Tehrik-i-Taliban. The problems with properly understanding the horrible danger they are in run deep, and so do the overall problems with Pakistani society, both culturally and financially. In fact, the country itself is on the brink of collapse and civil war.
Jihadist Ideology and the Targeting of Humanitarian Aid Workers -- [Stratfor]
...In September 2007, we discussed the burgeoning kidnapping industry in Afghanistan and how the Taliban were beginning to focus on humanitarian workers — not only as a moneymaking enterprise, but also as a political lever. Indeed, reports from organizations such as the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) and the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief indicate that attacks on aid workers have increased dramatically in 2008. According to ANSO, the 19 humanitarian aid workers killed in the first half of 2008 surpassed the 15 killed in all of 2007, and the death toll has continued to mount.
Today's News Update 24 October 2008 -- [A Major's Perspective]
The OPEC cartel on Friday decided to slash oil production by 1.5 million barrels a day as of next month in an attempt to stem plunging prices for crude.
...But prices sagged, suggesting that the market was more concerned with the economic turmoil reaching into all corners of the globe than crude availability. If economies in the U.S. and other leading crude consumers continue to deteriorate, industries will use less oil, making it a buyer's market.
U.S. Stepping Up Sanctions On Iran -- [MEMRI Blog]
Iranian Interior Minister Ali Qordan has announced that Iran would not permit the Iranian-American Council to open an office in Tehran.
At the same time, it was reported that Washington was stepping up sanctions against Iran, including another bank, the Tatwir Saderat bank that is suspected of helping Iran's nuclear program.
Al Qaeda's Propaganda Aims to Affect US Election and future Strategies -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
A recent Associated Press report and a Washington Post article reported that al Qaeda's web sites have expressed a strategic preference of their organization for the next President of the United States. The Washington Post analysis, observing that multiple sites and commentaries close to the Bin Laden group expressed a similar point of view, concluded that this indeed is al Qaeda's agenda: that a John McCain Presidency would benefit the Jihadi goals.
Ayers' Weathermen planned "re-education", genocide
I asked, “well what is going to happen to those people we can’t reeducate, that are diehard capitalists?” and the reply was that they’d have to be eliminated.
And when I pursued this further, they estimated they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these reeducation centers.
And when I say “eliminate,” I mean “kill.”
Twenty-five million people.
I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.
And they were dead serious.
A Blemish on America From Not Long Ago -- [LT Nixon]
As much as I like to bitch about all the anti-military crazies these days (cf. C.H.U.D. Busters), it was probably peanuts compared to what the Vietnam veterans had to go through. Zombietime has a detailed look at a Weather Underground manifesto (of which Ayers co-wrote): Prairie Fire. From the "Strategies for Revolution" section
Eco-Terrorism Possible Motivation Behind Canada Pipeline Bombs -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Two bombs detonated along Canada's natural gas pipeline on the border between Alberta and British Columbia in the last two weeks. The first explosion, which occurred on October 11, did not rupture the pipeline but did create an eight-foot wide by four-foot deep crater. The device was placed at a vulnerable point where the pipeline emerges from the ground. The second bomb detonated in the early hours of October 16th and caused a gas leak that forced the energy company to shut the pipeline down temporarily.
Operation: Wrapped in Holiday Spirit -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
...During this time of political division, Americans can reach across our divides to support the troops. This December, an estimated 180,000 men and women will be serving overseas, away from their families for as much as a third or fourth tour in a combat zone. Wrapped in Holiday Spirit helps ensure each deployed hero is touched by the generosity of Americans the Holiday season.
"Together as a country, we can make a difference in a soldier's winter Holiday. Soldiers' Angels is proud to offer America the chance to directly impact those who serve our great country by giving them a Wrapped in Holiday Spirit care package full of love and support," says Patti Patton-Bader, founder of Soldiers' Angels.
Quadriplegic Veteran on Adventurous Trek -- [Soldiers Angels]
Veteran Paul Christian is on a mission... from his wheelchair. Paul will be spending the next eighteen months traveling the U.S.--alone--to meet with fellow wounded or ill veterans and other people overcoming disability. He will be blogging his preparations and the trip itself on his website, Seize Adventure, as he speaks to veterans groups about the technology and benefits available to them, volunteers at the Disabled Veterans Summer and Winter Sports Clinics, and volunteers at both the 2010 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada. He also hopes to visit much of the the American countryside and its people, whom he has spent so much of his life protecting as a soldier and defense contractor.
A quadriplegic due to his service in the Army as part of Operation Desert Storm (1991), Paul is motivated by the challenges he sees the current generation of severely-wounded veterans facing.
Through The Eyes Of A Gold Star Mom -- [A Soldier's Perspective - Amy - Gold Star Mother]
On August 20, 2006 my life changed forever. With a visit to Utah from President Bush scheduled in ten days, I was busy sending out emails to encourage people to turn out for a rally to support the troops and our Commander-In-Chief. Seems easy enough, but with Salt Lake City’s mayor Rocky Anderson leading a protest against the President and the war, aided by anti-war, anti-military activist Cindy Sheehan, we had work to do. As it turned out I was the one who would not be present to show my support because in ten days I would be attending my son’s funeral.
Forever in our hearts -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
“It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives – the one they were living and the one they would have lived.
PILOTS INTERNET BLOG -- [BlackFive - Maj Pain]
'We have H. R. on this flight', she said. (H. R. stands for human remains.)
'Are they military', I asked.
Yes', she said.
Is there an escort', I asked.
'Yes, I already assigned him a seat'.
'Would you please tell him to come to the flight deck, you can board him early', I said.
A Broken Toe, or Two… Perhaps -- [Seize Adventure - Paul]
Usually, when in my wheelchair, I wear some sort of shoes or slippers, even in the house. The only time that I go barefoot is when laying in bed or on the couch. The reasoning behind this is that I have no feeling (other than nerve induced pins-and-needles) in my left foot and only some in my right foot.
We have pain for a reason… to let you know that you’re doing something stupid to your body. In my case (and other people with disabilities) No Pain = Not Knowing that you’re injuring yourself.
Military Life From Two Different Perspectives -- [SpouseBuzz - Andi]
Here at SpouseBUZZ, we generally examine life from the perspective of being a military wife, but it's nice to examine other perspectives, too. ....Milspouse Thomas addresses a study which appears to have concluded that male milspouses cope better with deployments than their female counterparts. Click here to see what Thomas has to say about that.
The Personnel System at War -- [SWJ - Robert Goldich]
A View from the Generation at the Tip of the Spear
Five junior officers, all veterans of combat, recently came together for a day-long dialogue with current and former senior manpower and personnel officials from the Department of Defense. Their major assessment was that an "industrial age" personnel system is being used to fight an "information age" war.
Is the outlook bleak for military blogging? -- [MilBlogging.com]
"Thinking about launching your own blog? Here's some friendly advice: Don't. And if you've already got one, pull the plug. Writing a weblog today isn't the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter..."
Now, although there is quite a bit of truth to this story, I really don’t think there's any impact to military blogs. Sharing raw experiences from the frontlines and the homefront is what separates us from nearly every other genre of blog on the internet. In my opinion, some (not all) journalists should stay in the mainstream media. As you can see, based on the Nick Meo Embedded Journalist story. Those in the MSM who can't blog, should just stick with gripping and breathtaking reports on cream cheese and the weather.
Editing Their Way to Oblivion: Journalism Sacrificed For Power and Pensions -- [PJM - Michael S. Malone]
The traditional media is playing a very, very dangerous game. With its readers, with the Constitution, and with its own fate. ...So, when I say I’m deeply ashamed right now to be called a “journalist”, you can imagine just how deep that cuts into my soul.
A PEW POLL STATES THE OBVIOUS Most Voters Say News Media Wants Obama to Win: -- [InstaPundit]
"Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election. By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov. . . . In the current campaign, Republicans, Democrats and independents all feel that the media wants to see Obama win the election."
AN OLD-MEDIA BAILOUT IN THE OFFING? -- [InstaPundit]
"The reason the press are going to such shameless lengths to drag Obama across the finish line is because he's their last best hope at restoring the old media environment, including a new Unfairness Doctrine for radio, and regulation of the Internet."
MEDIA REFUSING TO REPORT, INSISTS CONTRIBUTIONS ARE REAL-- DESPITE OCT. 9 NYT REPORT NOTING FICTITIOUS CONTRIBUTORS -- [Ace of Spades]
Mark Steyn cautions, though: Stop donating just to test it out. It's clear it's deliberately set up to facilitate campaign donation fraud, from both people going over the limit and of course Saudis, Pakistanis, and Gazans donating illegally.
"Testing it" at this point just puts more money in this cocksucker's pocket.
NewsBusted 2-12 -- [NewsBusters]
Topics in today's show: Fidel Castro endorses Barack Obama, Washington state sends ballots to felons Warner Bros. blocks "Hanoi Hilton" to avoid helping John McCain, and a movie about Dan Rather's "Memogate" controversy?
Frank envisions post-election stimulus from Democrats -- [SouthCoastToday]
In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay.
The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said.
BarackObama.com's Lax Security Opens Door to Online Donor Fraud -- [Next Right]
I just contributed $5 to Barack Obama. I didn't want to. Ideally, I could have contributed $0.01 and cost them money. But it was the only way to confirm the root cause of the fraudulent micro-donations to the Obama campaign ("Doodad Pro" for $17,300 and "Good Will" for $11,000). The Obama campaign has turned its security settings for accepting online contributions down to the bare minimum -- possibly to juice the numbers, and turning a blind eye towards the potential for fraud not just against the FEC, but against unsuspecting victims of credit card fraud.
Fred Thompson on the election
Archbishop attacks Obama on abortion -- [Wa Times]
The archbishop, without getting into much detail, said, "Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most committed 'abortion-rights' presidential candidate of either major party since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973," adding that "the party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is not only aggressively 'pro-choice,' it has also removed any suggestion that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing" and is "clearly anti-life."
War Briefing -- [Frontline]
The next president of the United States will inherit some of the greatest foreign policy challenges in American history--an overstretched military, frayed alliances, and wars on two fronts. FRONTLINE gives viewers a hard, inside look at the real policy choices the next president will face. The report features strategists and diplomats giving their best advice about how to correct past failures and how to shape a realistic foreign policy approach in the war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Protester Attempts to Handcuff Karl Rove for 'Treason' -- [FOX News]
An anti-war protester confronted former Bush administration aide Karl Rove while he spoke at a San Francisco mortgage bankers' meeting. A statement by the group Code Pink identified the woman as 58-year-old Janine Boneparth, who tried to handcuff Rove in what she called a citizen's arrest for "treason."
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs and other sources around the world. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. Hat Tips to the Dawn Patrol are greatly appreciated.
Iraq to take over security of Babel from US -- [Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network]
Babel Governor Salem Al Missilmawi affirmed that the province will take over on Thursday security of the province from US Forces due to stability therein and understanding between all parties. For his part, Babel police Chief Fadel Radad affirmed that security forces are ready to take over as they are in control of the security situation therein due to the competence of recruits and the cooperation of citizens with the government.
Iraq: Sadrist cleric issues edict against security pact with US -- [AKI]
Qom, 21 Oct. (AKI) - Ayatollah Seyyed Kazem al Hosseini al-Haeri, the Iraqi cleric said to be the spiritual mentor of radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, has issued a fatwa against a security pact with the United States that would keep US troops in Iraq until 2011. In a fatwa or religious edict, al-Haeri said the planned pact contravenes Islamic law. Citing verses 89 and 90 of a sura in the Koran dedicated to Mary, al-Haeri said that a pact between Iraq and the US would be against the laws of Allah.
Al Maliki vows to protect Iraq Christians -- [Reuters]
BAGHDAD, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed on Sunday to protect Christians in Iraq's northern city of Mosul as police were deployed following a surge of attacks that have prompted hundreds of families to flee.
Maliki made the promise in a statement after receiving Christian officials in his office, pledging that security forces in Nineveh province would take all necessary measures to provide security for Christians in predominantly Muslim Iraq.
Muqtada And Iran's Forming Iraqi Hizballah -- [ThreatsWatch - Steve Schippert]
I’ve said this before here at ThreatsWatch, and have suggested the same today at The Tank on National Review Online. Muqtada al-Sadr, from Iran, has laid down the Mahdi Army’s arms not due to any genuine change of heart or admonition of violence. Rather, Iran has determined the best path to an Iraqi Hizballah foreign legion is first through political legitimacy, and then the force of terrorism. Too few recognize what’s going on here.
BG Perkins Briefing In Iraq -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
BG David Perkins was my Brigade Commander during OIF1. He was Commander of 2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). He's a guy I would follow anywhere and it's good to see that star on his chest! I wanted to share an unedited interview with him and Tahseen Al-Sheikhly, Spokesman for Operation Fardh al-Qanoon in Baghdad.
Corpsman Saves Life of Drowning Iraqi Boy -- [dvids]
Navy Chief Roger Buck, a 34-year-old battalion medical chief from Niceville, Fla., with Task Force 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, saw the limp child cradled in his father’s arms during an Iraqi key-leadership, joint-forces dismounted patrol. Buck ran toward the boy and immediately began administering CPR on the drown victim. “[Our] interpreter explained I was like a doctor,” said Buck. “They told us they found him face first in a canal. He had a light, faint pulse. I tried to calm the parents down then immediately started applying medical treatment. I cleared his airway and started giving him CPR.” Within a few minutes the boy regained consciousness, coughed up water and was taken to a local hospital for follow on care.
Day 124. Death and Taxes -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
Instead of focusing on the children, look at the cars behind them to the right. You will notice a large box on top of a car. That is a coffin, presumably with a body inside. In Iraq, as in most third world countries, there is no burial industry to take care of all the arrangements. No stretch limos, hearses, somber men in black suits and no bills running into the thousands of dollars. Dieing here is free. Getting buried is up to your family. Often, they use whatever they have to get the job done with a minimum of fuss. It is very common to see a coffin atop a small sedan, with a large number of people squeezed inside and ...
CLS: Sticking It To A Buddy -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
Last week about 40 of us received medical training in the Combat Lifesaver course. Combat Lifesaver (CLS) is a level of medical training that is somewhat advanced but not as medically educated as a Medic.
Interloper - [Outside the Wire - embed in Iraq]
One of the great ironies of combat reporting is that I can go some pretty intense missions, shooting video of everything from the classified briefing to the classified intelligence gathered on the way. But I am not allowed to shoot video of a big base. When I'm with a Battlion or infantry company I become a member of the unit. Here, I am treated as something else. I have also always disliked the sheer scale of Camp Victory. The SUVs,the restaurant style dining facilities, the gyms the Walmart like PX. Oh and did I mention all the SUVs? Parking lots filled with them.
Give me OP Omar, COP Battle or some patch of canal country. That is the war.
Yes, this place may help us get to some really intersting places--and that is the mission this time.
I just hope to get back outside the wire where I belong.
Saudi confirms it sponsored Afghan-Taliban talks -- [AFP]
RIYADH — Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal confirmed for the first time on Tuesday that the kingdom has been sponsoring talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban militia.
But Prince Saud warned that any further talks would require a readiness by the warring Afghan factions to lay down their arms and embrace the political process.
"At the request of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the kingdom has led an attempt with the Afghan parties to put an end to the fighting in Afghanistan and restore security and stability," he said.
Jurassic Trailer Park -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
...The bat caves were near “Little Barabad,” a village on the outskirts of Jalalabad. When we parked in Little Barabad, villagers came out to greet Tim, who knew the names of some of the kids and elders. The village head-man treated Tim like an old friend. Kuchi people are nomadic and semi-nomadic herdsmen, ever in search of pasture for their animals. I’ve seen their camel caravans in numerous provinces, but there were no camels around Little Barabad. Tim says these are “reformed Kuchis” who have settled down. Ken Kraushaar, an American I got to speak with for many hours on many occasions, says he has been visiting Little Barabad for over a year. Ken comes out here paying from his own pocket and rolls around without security. Lots of people come to Afghanistan on big budgets and heavy security, yet they hardly leave their guarded compounds. Ken goes out alone. Ken said that the 80 families of Little Barabad actually call their village Sak, and that the elders’ names are Ghani and Koko. He also said that perhaps another 100-120 families are expected to arrive due to a refugee crisis.
Taliban kill 15 troops in Swat ambush -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Six Pakistan paramilitaries are still missing after a military convoy was attacked in Swat.
The Taliban conducted a deadly ambush on a paramilitary convoy in the district of Swat in Pakistan's violent Northwest Frontier Province. Fifteen troops were killed and six are still missing after a roadside bomb attack and battle in the Kabal region, police told Reuters.
Face of a Suicide Bomber -- [ABC]
ABC's Jim Sciutto reports from Kabul, Afghanistan:
This is the face of a suicide bomber. Ahmed Khan, a 30-year-old Pakistani, was captured outside a US military base this summer moments before he intended to strike. He was wearing a suicide vest, packed with several pounds of plastic explosives.
When asked who he hoped to kill, he responded, "Americans."
Senior Iranian Official Recommends that Iran Mark London as a Target – In Order to Deter Bush from Attacking Iran in Last Months of Presidency -- [MEMRI Blog]
In an October 18, 2008 article on the Iranian website Aftab, Wahid Karimi, director of the Europe and U.S. department in Iran's Foreign Ministry, recommends that Iran mark London as a target, since it is the capital of the country that is the U.S.'s closest ally in Europe. This, says Karimi, would be with the aim of ensuring that the Bush administration does not attack Iran in its final weeks, after the U.S. presidential election next month and before Bush officially leaves office on January 20, 2009.
Iran, Russia, Qatar move on natural gas cartel -- [Jerusalem Post]
Russians, Qataris and Iranians met in Teheran on Tuesday to discuss setting up a natural gas cartel, similar to the oil-based Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The notion of a gas cartel was brought up in January 2007 by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but it is now gaining momentum and may require just a few more meetings before an accord is finalized.
Iran, Russia and Qatar account for nearly a third of the world's natural gas exporters.
Military Report Says Terms 'Jihad,' 'Islamist' Needed -- [SWJ]
Military Report Says Terms 'Jihad,' 'Islamist' Needed - Bill Gertz, Washington Times
A US military "Red Team" charged with challenging conventional thinking says that words like "jihad" and "Islamist" are needed in discussing 21st-century terrorism and that federal agencies that avoid the words soft-pedaled the link between religious extremism and violent acts. "We must reject the notion that Islam and Arabic stand apart as bodies of knowledge that cannot be critiqued or discussed as elements of understanding our enemies in this conflict," said the internal report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times. The report, "Freedom of Speech in Jihad Analysis: Debunking the Myth of Offensive Words," was written by unnamed civilian analysts and contractors for the US Central Command, which is responsible for the Middle East and South Asia.
Al-Qaida-linked Web site backs McCain as president -- [AP]
WASHINGTON - Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.
Osama Bin Laden 'inspired' N.J. plot on Fort Dix -- [Daily News]
Five men who planned an attack on Fort Dix got their inspiration from Osama Bin Laden and their terror training from paintball games, a prosecutor charged Monday. ..."Their inspiration was Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. Their intent was to kill members of the United States armed services."
A Soldier Needs Some Support & Encouragement (Updated) -- [Soldier's Mom]
Over at Parents Zone, Household6 has posted the story of 20 year old PFC Hunter Levine who was wounded in May while conducting combat operations in East Baghdad. He received a very serious injury to his face, resulting in the loss of his entire bone structure, mouth, nose, and vision.
His 1SG reports that Hunter is currently receiving treatment at a VA hospital but is suffering a bout of severe depression and could use some support... care packages, cards & letters.
So here are the details… as promised! -- [HomeFront 6]
Febreze has joined forces with Family Dollar stores nationwide to send bottles of Febreze To Go to deployed troops! The donation — a direct response to military requests — will eliminate odors on military gear and uniforms and bring the troops a refreshing piece of home.
So how can you help the effort?
For every Febreze item purchased at Family Dollar stores from now through Veteran’s Day - November 11, 2008 - Febreze and Family Dollar will send one 2.8 ounce bottle of Febreze To Go to a deployed servicemember for every Febreze item purchased. They also partnered with Operation Gratitude to facilitate distribution to deployed military servicemembers.
Operation Love From Home -- [Operation Love]
Our goal at Operation Love From Home is to bring light to those who suffer and combat the darkness for us. We can never fully comprehend the hardships that our enlisted men and women endure while deployed to ensure our safety and freedom. We know we can offer them the classic comfort of compassion, the simple gift of gratitude, and the knowledge that their countrymen at home are behind them.
Celebrating 30 Years of Women in the Army -- [HomeFront 6]
Beginning Oct. 20 through Nov. 14, the U.S. Army will honor the achievements of its women warriors as part of a three-week “Celebration of Women in the Army.” The commemoration coincides with the anniversary of the full integration of women into the Army for 30 years, with the disestablishment of the Women’s Army Corps by former President Jimmy Carter.
Spread the Word: A cowardice act by a reporter -- [Bouhammer]
Nick Meo was an embed journalist from the UK who was recently in the Khandahar area embedded with PMT and ETT mentors of TF Phoenix. I have been alerted to some terrible articles he wrote about that experience. Articles full of lies, slander and twisted truths. Articles that pump his own ego and try to make him seem more than he is, but at the same time show him as a coward by jumping on a medevac helicopter to leave the combat area rather than ride back, and he was not even wounded.
Nick Meo - The Most Self-serving and Incompetent Journalist in the World -- [BlackFive]
I received the real reason the soldiers wanted Nick's video. He was filming the dead and the dying. When being treated for non-existent wounds back at Kandahaar, Nick Meo denied having that footage. When pressed, he recanted.
No wonder the soldiers were angry with him. I can only imagine if a parent or friend of the Fallen soldiers had seen that footage.
I received a note from a soldier who arrived on the scene 20 minutes after the IED hit the cougar. He writes:
What was that I was saying about biases shining through? -- [The Torch]
Oh, yeah: what the reporters choose to report, and how they choose to report it shows a lot about their own agenda - conscious or unconscious. Jessica Leeder, case in point...
Let's look at some of the characterizations, starting with "steroidal summer camp." I'm not sure what's more insulting, the insinuation that fit soldiers must be on the juice despite regulations and testing to the contrary, or that a military base at the heart of a dangerous insurgency is just a place to play away the summer holidays before heading back to school.
That attitude carries through to the author's assertion that "on most days, soldiers drive around in armoured tanks," as though they're just burning gas, cruising up and down the drag like kids on Yonge Street
A Soldier’s View -- [SWJ - Colonel Gian Gentile]
Since Andrew Bacevich placed me in the “Conservative” camp in his Atlantic article and based on the two outstanding pieces just penned in SWJ by Shawn Brimley and Tom Donnelly I thought I would add a few comments of my own. As Joint Force Quarterly editor Colonel (retired) David Gurney has stated publicly on this blog, myself and John Nagl have a set of point-counterpoint articles due out in the next edition of JFQ that address the Bacevich Atlantic article and the issues involved.
Dan Rather’s two-fer -- [Bob Krumm]
How bad was the coverage surrounding Joe Biden’s, If you elect him, they will bomb remark? Even Dan Rather recognizes the media double standard.
Notice also this remark from Rather about how he expects the Biden-gaffe story to get more traction on the internet
"Mark my Words"
Media Refuses to Release Video of Obama Toasting & Praising Close Friend Rashid Khalidi-- A Former PLO Operative, Jew-Hater & Friend of Bill Ayers -- [Gateway Pundit]
The LA Times refuses to release video of Obama toasting close friend & Jew-hater Rashid Khalidi--
Khalidi and the Obamas were great friends in Chicago and often spent time at each other's homes.
Khalidi was also best friends with Bill Ayers.
Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights? -- [Meridian] HT: Glenn
Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.
An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:
I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.
This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.
It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. ...Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?
I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."
Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.
Military Times poll: Troops backing McCain -- [Military Times]
Sen. John McCain enjoys overwhelming support from the military’s professional core, a Military Times survey of nearly 4,300 readers, indicates, though career-oriented black service members strongly favored the Democratic Party candidate. McCain, R-Ariz., handily defeated Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 68 percent to 23 percent in a voluntary survey of 4,293 active-duty, National Guard and reserve subscribers and former subscribers to Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times.
Military Prevented From Voting In Virginia -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
The Fairfax County Registrar—and possibly other Registrars in Virginia—is rejecting most Federal Write-in Absentee Ballots (FWAB) cast by our men and women in uniform.
The FWAB is a federally mandated write-in ballot that allows military servicemembers and their dependents to cast an absentee ballot when they have not received a ballot before the election. It is a safety net that allows a servicemember to vote even if the mail truck hasn't reached his or her remote base in Iraq or Afghanistan in time to cast a regular absentee ballot.
Military Times poll: Troops backing McCain -- [WND - Matt Sanchez]
That's nearly a 3 to 1 spread favoring Senator John McCain over Senator Barack Obama. By all accounts the national race is very close, so what accounts for this enormous gap?
The military is very much a practical application workplace, a place where skill and experience mean a lot more than hope and change. In the military, rank achieved-- especially as you go higher up-- is earned through a proven track record and backed by time served. For Senator Obama who has little or no practical experience, members of the military have trouble believing that a newbie deserves to be promoted to Commander-in-Chief, principally because those serving understand that the President of the United States has a very specific function making life and death decisions.
Powell Endorses Obama Candidacy
General Blind Spots -- [NRO]
Questioning Powell’s judgment and global perception
On this vital matter, Powell was short on specifics. He spent most of his remaining time on camera slamming John McCain and lamenting the “narrowing” of the Republican party. One need not love the Republicans to notice that Powell seems strangely blind to the failings of a Democratic party which has gone so overboard in its broadening that its Obama ticket is attracting the endorsement not only of Powell, but of the terrorist group, Hamas.
But Powell has had his blind spots before. Here I am not referring narrowly to his famous United Nations presentation in 2003, in which he argued the case for invading Iraq, based on intelligence at the time about weapons of mass destruction. (Though one might well wonder: Had Powell had endorsed John McCain instead of Obama, would the mainstream media now be writing off the same Colin Powell as a washed-up former Bush loyalist, who misled the world about Saddam Hussein?)
Biden: "Mark My Words"
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Iraq Government Set to Pay More Reconstruction Costs -- [MNF-I]
WASHINGTON — Today’s increased price of oil is fueling Iraq’s ability to pay more for its reconstruction costs that up to now have been heavily funded by U.S. taxpayers, a senior U.S. official said at the White House Wednesday.
Mosul Market District Secure, Thriving -- [MNF-I]
Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Brigade, 2nd Military Transition Team conducted an assessment on how the markets in the southeastern region of Mosul have changed, Oct. 9.
In January 2007, the markets here were barren and plagued by terrorist activities, said Maj. Chad Arcand, team chief for 3-5-2 MiTT.
Marines Return Camp Al Qa'im to Iraqi Government
Control of Camp Al Qa'im being returned to the Iraqi government.
Last One Turn Out the Lights -- [Maj Pain - BlackFive]
A surge? Brilliant! Go figure, its working so good now I wonder what the bitch & moan will be next?
We are training the Iraqi’s too well now? I knew that we would turn over Fallujah this month upon our departure in Aug and that base won’t be the last. All of the Coalition Forces are following the same plan and are able to execute it because of the steadfast operations the young warriors are doing on the ground.
Enjoy the weekend, because the Marines have landed and everything is well in hand!
Last One Turn Out the Lights: Marines Quietly Begin Leaving Bases in Iraqi Cities -- [FOX News]
When Marine Maj. Gen. John Kelly deployed to Iraq in February, the violence had fallen so low in Anbar province that he began figuring out how to start closing bases and prepare to go home.
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap -- [Strategy Page]
October 17, 2008: Baghdad is turning into Moscow, or at least Moscow in the 1990s, when criminal gangs carried out assassinations in broad daylight, oblivious of the police. In Baghdad, the defeated terrorists have been replaced in the headlines by the criminal gangs that have always been there (even when Saddam was in power.)
AQI Terrorist Killed
The killing of a top al-Qaida terrorist in Mosul, Iraq.
Al Qaeda in Iraq’s second in command was a Swedish citizen -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Abu Qaswarah, who was killed by US forces on Oct. 5, has been identified as Mohamed Moumou, a Swedish citizen. He was a member of Ansar al Islam and was listed a Special Designated Global Terrorist in 2006.
"This could be my brother" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Package from Air Force News about the Mississippi Air National Guard's 172nd Airlift Wing. Their mission originates in Jackson, Mississippi, flies to Ramstein AB in Germany to pick up medical supplies and personnel from the 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, then continues on to Balad AB in Iraq where patients are loaded on to the aircraft for medical evacuation back to Germany.
The video gives a sense of the tremendous effort around a single medevac mission which of course involves many, many additional personnel not shown here.
Iraqi PM says British no longer needed for security -- [ME Times]
British troops are no longer necessary for the security of Iraq and should go home, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said in a newspaper interview published here Monday.
"We thank them for the role they have played, but I think that their stay is not necessary for maintaining security and control," he told the Times.
British Troops in Iraq No Longer Needed
Prosecution of U.S. Troops under Iraq SOFA -- [Captain's Journal]
In U.S. Troop Immunity Barrier to SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) one month ago, The Captain’s Journal fired a warning shot on the issue of Iraqi right to prosecute U.S. troops regardless of the sovereignty of U.S. laws and rules of engagement. As it turns out, our warning was prescient and this is indeed a problem.
Taliban Getting Ground Down --[Strategy Page]
October 16, 2008: In Pakistan, the new government has united in its rather violent war against the Taliban and al Qaeda. The continued American UAV missile strikes inside Pakistan stoke public anger against the U.S., but this is tempered by the fact that the Americans are taking out the very people who are trying to overthrow the Pakistani government and establish a religious dictatorship.
Pakistan: Top Taliban militant announces split -- [AKI]
South Waziristan, 17 Oct. (AKI) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Pakistani Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud's opponent faction in North Waziristan announced on Friday the creation of a new parallel organisation, called Muqami Tehrik-i-Taliban...
US kills 6 in strike in Baitullah Mehsud's territory -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The latest US Predator strike in Paksitan's tribal areas hit in the town of Ladha, where the Pakistani military abandoned a fort earlier this year.
Taliban mock West for calling Afghanistan unwinnable -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The Taliban have seized on what US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates described as "defeatist" comments made by Western officials on the ability to succeed in Afghanistan to score a propaganda victory.
'New Look' Rays = Neo-Taliban? -- [Abu Muqawama]
Gang, the only thing more incredible than the Red Sox rallying from 7-0 to win 8-7 and prolong the series against the Rays is this ridiculous* article by Nir Rosen in Rolling Stone. I read a draft of this story a few weeks ago and was, no kidding, glued to the page. There are two dramas going on here. One is the drama of Nir Rosen embedding with the Taliban and almost getting his head taken off for his trouble.
Morale... -- [Cheese's Milblog - in Afghanistan]
I never thought it would get this bad. I feel ashamed to even talk about how miserable it is here while people are living in much worse conditions other places. That being said, I've lived on patrol bases before and they were heaven compared to this.
There are many things that are hard to explain to people who have never been in the military and the "Joe" mentality is one of the hardest. "Joe" is the nomenclature for the average lower-enlisted soldier.
The Promised Ride Through The J-bad Pass Switchbacks -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure]
This particular clip was shot on December 15th, 2007. The total trip from Kabul to Jalalabad takes over three hours and is about 90 miles in length. Along the way you lose about 5,000 feet in elevation. This clip is nearly seven minutes in duration, and is the most exciting part of the trip; the switchbacks. It is the most dramatic elevation change, probably around a thousand feet or so. The first time I made the trip there were no retaining walls, which was really interesting as I was driving at the time with O in the turret.
Boom and boom -- [PJM - Belmont Club]
The search for the culprit in the current financial crisis continues. The Washington Post has an article which appears to put the blame on the Clinton Administration for failing to extend regulation into the burgeoning field of derivatives — but really puts the onus not on the Clintons but on financial industry lobbyists and the misguided spirit of a Republican deregulatory mania who led his administration astray. The basic storyline is
Ahmadinejad Sets Preconditions For Talks With the US -- [Gateway Pundit]
A top advisor for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has set preconditions for talks with the US . (ISNA)
Even the Iranian regime knows enough to set preconditions before holding negotiations with an adversary- something that is completely lost on Barack Obama.
Terrorism: Focus - Taliban money trail from Pakistan to United Arab Emirates -- [AKI]
Karachi, 9 Oct. (AKI) - Since the Pakistani border city of Chaman and the Afghan city of Kandahar play a pivotal role in financing the Taliban's operations in southeastern Afghanistan, there is growing speculation that the Taliban is funnelling money through hawalas or money brokers in the United Arab Emirates where Chaman and Kandhari businessmen trade. Many Chaman businesses have offices in Dubai and the port city and free trade zone of Jebel Ali, and insiders say that the Taliban have convinced local businessmen to move their money through hawalas to Taliban leaders including Mullah Abdul Razaq, Mullah Abdul Rahim and Mullah Rozi, and several others.
Link between child porn and Muslim terrorists discovered in police raids -- [Telegraph]
A link between terrorism plots and hardcore child pornography is becoming clear after a string of police raids in Britain and across the Continent, an investigation by The Times has discovered. Images of child abuse have been found during Scotland Yard antiterrorism swoops and in big inquiries in Italy and Spain.
Secret coded messages are being embedded into child pornographic images, and paedophile websites are being exploited as a secure way of passing information between terrorists.
British security services are also aware of the trend and believe that it requires
NEFA Foundation - Saudi Terror Operative in Yemen: Target Oil to Cause "Total Collapse" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained and translated a new selected article from the official magazine of Al-Qaida’s network in Yemen, “Sada al-Malahim”—in this case, featuring an interview with most wanted Saudi Al-Qaida operative Nayif bin Mohammed al-Qahtani (a.k.a. Abu Hummam al-Qahtani). During the interview, al-Qahtani acknowledged that he had recently sought sanctuary in neighboring Yemen, explaining, “there is one [united] land of the Muslims, and it does not acknowledge the narrow borders drawn by the colonialists with the cooperation of our treacherous rulers… However, the true secret of my arrival in Yemen is the search for good military preparation.” When asked why he had chosen the jihad in the Arabian Peninsula over Afghanistan or Iraq, al-Qahtani outlined his “military rationale”: “if the enemy's interests in the Arabian Peninsula were devastated, his access to our petroleum interrupted, and the oil refineries put out of order, this would cause the enemy to collapse—and ...
Proposal to Amend Bank Secrecy Act Released -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The American Bankers Association, the largest banking trade association in the U.S., today released a proposal to amend the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (officially the "Bank Records and Foreign Transactions Act"). The proposal was drafted by a committee of experts in the industry, many of whom were senior federal officials responsible for implementing the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing sections of the USA Patriot Act
blanket of hope story -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
I am sharing with you today a feel good story about the blankets in the Soldier's Angels backpacks. Yesterday was one of the busiest days yet and we had one of our Purple Heart Warriors coming back in from the Operating Room to the ICU for recovery, the ICU was cold and this poor guy was lying on his side shivering. As God would have it, I entered the ICU with his Purple Heart backpack at the same time he was being wheeled in. When they parked his bed in his room, I opened the backpack and laid his new warm blanket over him to keep him warm.
Patti'sPayPalParty -*What?* -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
Our Passionate Patti Patton-Bader turns 55 on October 21, 2008. In her honor, as 'heaven forbid' she want any Personal attention, we have opted to host an online Party for Patti via PayPal. Angels and friend of Soldiers' Angels are enouraged to make a donation -may we suggest $5.55? This is just a suggestion, any amount will help and will be placed towards the Soldiers' Angels 'Wrapped in Holiday Spirit' project.
Please join us in making Patti's 55th a memorable event. She does so much for others so selflessly, the least we can do is to say Happy Birthday to her through supporting her passion.
A life with purpose -- [Bookworm Room] HT: Castle Argghhh!!!
You have to understand as you read this that, while I’ve always managed to admire the military (and I say “managed” because that’s not easy as a liberal), I had never actually met people in the modern American military. I’d met plenty of people in the Israeli military because a visit to Israel, especially to visit old family friends, automatically means meeting people your own age who serve in the military. Likewise, through my parents’ generation, I’d met people who had served during World War II, both in the American and the British military.
...In the last two or three years, I’ve spoken with a young Marine about to head off to Afghanistan; spent an enjoyable lunch with an Army recruiter who served a tour of duty in Iraq; got the benefit of a fascinating hour and a half with the XO on a destroyer; crawled in and out of Marine landing craft under the tutelage of Marines anxious to explain all the wonders of the vehicle; been shown more weapons than you can imagine, to my son’s great joy and, again, with sailors or Marines who were just delighted to tell about their “toys”; spent a lovely day on the bridge of a Coast Guard ship; and had a Captain take the time to walk me and my family all over his wonderful Amphibious Assault Ship.
A common thread tied together each of my encounters with our military: The people to whom I spoke (and who spoke to me) were completely delighted with their jobs...
Episode #8 - Iraq Veterans Against the War & Big Tobacco
Folks, this is a show you do NOT want to miss. I've been trying to get someone from IVAW to come on the show for weeks. One has stepped forward and accepted the challenge. We will talk about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the war on terror, Winter Soldier, the upcoming elections, and what makes an IVAW Soldier. We will also get a phone in from Iraq blogger Big Tobacco who is currently deployed in theater. He blogs at http://www.sargeasmic.com/
QUICK CLASS - Marines deploy? -- [One Marine's View]
Yip, Marines deploy and if you are thinking about joining the Marines, you better like to travel. But, before you go anywhere we are crazy sick in making sure you are thoroughly trained. Not kinda, but very thoroughly and professionally.
Usually infantry Marines will do a six month work up prior to doing a 6-7 month deployment.
Barack Obama for President -- [Washington Post]
THE NOMINATING process this year produced two unusually talented and qualified presidential candidates. There are few public figures we have respected more over the years than Sen. John McCain. Yet it is without ambivalence that we endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president.
The choice is made easy in part by Mr. McCain's disappointing campaign, above all his irresponsible selection of a running mate who is not ready to be president. It is made easy in larger part, though, because of our admiration for Mr. Obama and the impressive qualities he has shown during this long race.
MORE TROUBLE FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - [Instapundit]
"Tribune Company has given a two-year notice to the Associated Press that its daily newspapers plan to drop the news service, becoming the first major newspaper chain to do so since the recent controversy over new rates began." Well, as bloggers have noticed, the quality of their product has been declining in recent years. So raising their prices was probably a bad move.
BBC boss says Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity -- [Telegraph]
Mark Thompson claimed that because Muslims are a religious minority in Britain and also often from ethnic minorities, their faith should be given different coverage to that of more established groups.
No BS about the Wall Street Mess -- [NewsBusters]
When the Dow hit below 8,000, the media went nuts, crying the economy was on the brink of collapse. But a lot of that same economy is still doing quite well, despite the mainstream media. Businessman Dan Kennedy, a new columnist with the Business & Media Institute, shows how skewed the standard view really is.
Operation Destroy Joe the Plumber -- [Malkin]
My syndicated column today reports on Team Obama and the Obamedia's mission to tear down Joe the Plumber. Yes, we are in the midst of a new contagion: Joe The Plumber Derangement Syndrome. JTPDS. — Now, pay close attention to how the MSM rushes
Albright opposes Iraq pullout deadline -- [Wa Times]
Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said Thursday the Iraq war has created damaging consequences for U.S. diplomacy, but Washington should not agree to a specific deadline for withdrawing troops in the midst of conflict - something proposed last year by the candidate she now supports, Sen. Barack Obama.
"I never was for a date certain," Mrs. Albright told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. "In Bosnia, we gave a date certain, and then we couldn't get out and that undercut our credibility."
She was referring to the pullout of 20,000 U.S. troops from the war-torn Balkans. The troops were sent to help enforce the 1995 Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnia war, following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, but stayed beyond a 1996 deadline initially set by President Clinton.
The Next Presidents Iraq War -- [Austin Bay]
In a month Iraq will be the next presidents war.
From the American perspective the next presidents phase of the Iraq War will be twofold. First off, it will be a proxy war with Irans tyrannical mullahs. The second fold will be even more strategically significant: The next presidents war will measure Americas commitment to defending democracy and promoting genuine international security in the 21st century.
Big mistake, but, hey, if you want to lose an election . . . -- [Bob Krum]
Idiots. What could go wrong was that you, with cameras in tow, could be caught having to answer an honest question. Joe the Plumber didn’t set you up; you came up to him. At his house. And he asked you a question. You have only yourselves to blame. Of all the neighborhoods in all the counties in Ohio, you had to come in to Joe’s.
And now you and your media allies are tearing him apart for all the things that people hate about big government liberals: simple licensing that is too restrictive, unions who pretend that they hold the only keys to authority, and a media that treats you like a criminal . . . unless you’re, well, an actual criminal.
You can't Hide your Lyin' Eyes -- [Greyhawk]
Which brings us to this new mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia:
Continue reading "You can't Hide your Lyin' Eyes "
On the flip side, this close-up of eyes emphasizes the slogan "America must look evil in the eye and never flinch"
Some might be outraged at the "scare tactic" (after all, America hasn't been hit by a terrorist strike in years...), but over at Talking Points Memo, Greg Sargent has a different visceral response: Ohmygodohmygodohmygod - those are BARACK OBAMA'S EYES!!!!!
Obama Organizer Targets the Big House -- [Washington Wire]
Barack Obama’s campaign prides itself on grassroots organizing, with thousands of staff members targeting numerous subsets of the population for voter registration and persuasion. One even sought to register inmates.
An internal email from the Michigan Department of Corrections in August describes a request from the campaign to enter jails to register those inmates set to be released before Election Day.
An Obama spokesman in Michigan acknowledged that a new organizer made the request, but supervisors nixed the idea as soon as they found out about it. The campaign denied all association with a second request to the Department of Corrections. The emails say that a Theresa Collins, identified as the national coordinator of “Inmates to Support Barack Obama,” asked the prison to post information about how prisoners could make campaign contributions to Obama.
Define "Winning" In Iraq-Franken V Coleman Debate
Al Franken Angrily Rushes Senator Coleman After Debate, Media Cameras Miss it -- [NewsBusters]
Al Franken has shown himself to be an angry, easily enraged man and after the October 16 Minnesota Senatorial candidate's debate he allowed his overwrought emotional state to send him over the edge once again. After the debate was over and the Media had turned off their microphones and cameras, Franken rushed over to Senator Norm Coleman's table and proceeded to angrily get in his face over some point or another made during the debate. Franken was getting so angry that his own wife had to rush over and force him to back off from a mounting confrontation with Coleman.
Obama Campain Calls Joe the Plumber Mythical -- [ScrappleFace]
(2008-10-17) — A viral video of an alleged ‘plumber’ talking to Barack Obama which inspired last night’s game-changing debate performance by Sen. John McCain is “a fake,” according to an unnamed strategist working for the Obama for America campaign.
Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher, of Holland, Ohio, “is a fictional, mythical character made up out of whole cloth by the Republicans,” the Democrat insider said.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Passing the torch -- [Castle Argghhh - Bill T - in Iraq]
The place was overrun with Distinguished Visitors -- Ministry of Defense, IqAF HQ, CAFTT (the Coalition Armed Forces Transition Team, formerly *Training* Team), and Iraqi media. Interesting ceremony, too – it started with both the Iraqi and US national anthems, and I got a mild case of the startles when the AK-armed Iraqi security guy standing next to me transitioned from the Iraqi-style “Present Arms” during his anthem to a flawless US-style when ours was played. The DVs spoke in Arabic, which I couldn’t follow very well, but there were translators aplenty sitting with the Coalition contingent. Which is where I *wasn’t* -- I'd moved to keep the new Baby Class company in the bleachers. One of the kids nudged me when a DV started getting passionate in his address, and was interrupted by a standing ovation:
“He is saying that for the first time in our history, we are not doing things for one man, but we are doing it for all the people of Iraq. He is saying the US has showed us how, and we must not forget when we thank God every day, we must also ask him to bless the US.”
Iraq: The calm before the storm? -- [Reuters]
For a city that used to shut down at 5 p.m., it seemed to be full of life once more. I have never seen it looking more beautiful. Iraqis were gradually but cautiously returning to their normal lives, spending time at parks and restaurants and going out at night. They seemed less worried about Sunni-Shi’ite conflict.
The mood amongst the Iraqi staff in the Reuters news bureau was different too. Each one has been touched by the violence that swept the country over the past five years and most had moved their families abroad. Many had to stay in shared rooms in the bureau because it was too dangerous to travel to and from work each day.
Now, these rooms are only occupied when employees visit from outside Baghdad.
You can sense hope in the air.
Al-Qaeda's No. 2 in Iraq Is Killed by Coalition, Military Says -- [Bloomberg]
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S.-led troops killed the No. 2 leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq during an operation in the northern city of Mosul, the military said.
Day 114, Hescos -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
The IA really likes Hescoes. These barrier devices set up quickly with very little ground preparation or special equipment. Just fold them up and fill them with dirt and you have a bullet-proof barrier. In proper thicknesses, they also stop car bombs and RPGs. Because they are filled with dirt or sand, they don't add to fragmentation like a concrete barrier would.
An interview with Ambassador Crocker -- [LWJ - Bill Murray - in Iraq]
...It is transferring ownership. Iraq’s leaders want to be in charge of their own destiny. At the same time, they want to do it in a way that doesn’t risk everything they and we have paid so much in blood and treasure to achieve. This will be an evolving process. There will also be an evolving process of what shape this state will be.
You mentioned earlier, will the center hold? It’s not just a security question; it’s also a political question. What is going to be the relationship between the center and the provinces and the Kurdish region? The constitution laid out a frame work, the provincial powers law that was passed last February further refined that but there is still a lot of work to do. The commitment I see from Iraqi leaders is to say, `OK, there are a lot of issues here, but we have to solve them peacefully.’ And that’s important, because there are a lot of challenges.
Iraq Security- The Inverse Relationship -- [Zen Traveler - in Iraq]
There is a misconception here in Iraq among both security operators and clients alike that as the security situation improves that less security is needed. In actuality it's the exact opposite.
...Now the security environment in Iraq is better, the threat has diminished a bit, albeit there are still bad people doing bad things to clients and their friends. Mobility has increased and as a result clients want to get out of the confines of the safe areas and venture forth to explore and do their jobs. The result is that the security elements are now busier than ever
Dujail recovers from recent bombing, violent past -- [IN Iraq - in Iraq]
A boy approached the Sergeant Major and a cultural advisor outside the bombed building. He told the cultural adviser that he lost his brother and father in the attack. His mother, he said, is home by herself. That there’s no reason for him to go to school. We’re all going to die, the boy said. (A boy named Ismael, who said he lost his brother and father in the Dujail bombing.) “The people who did this, they won if you live your life depressed,” Estep said. “Don’t let them win. Take care of your mother, go to school. Learn how to make this so it doesn’t happen to others.” Ismael seemed to listen as he clung to the advisor's arm.
Over Tigris, in the Night. A (Rough) First Draft -- [Miserable Donuts - in Iraq]
In a quiet waiting line
of Soldiers at the twilight.
Stirring when we hear
the rotor whine of
blades come near.
Queen For A Year -- [The War on Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
...when marginally attractive girls join the military, they suddenly become slightly more attractive. This is due to the reduced availability of women who serve in the military. Currently, the ratio is about one female for each eight males, although this depends on the type of unit. Some units, such as hospitals, will have more females, although the ratio rarely approaches to civilian ratio of 50/50.
This phenomenon of becoming slightly Hotter can be demonstrated with the equation:
H = C+ 2
Where H is the final Hotness level, and C is the current Hotness level.
But let’s add one more variable: time.
Legendary Marine battalion completes Iraq deployment -- [Fearless 1st Marines’ blog - in Iraq]
Just over seven months ago, service members with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, packed their bags and traveled halfway across the world to Iraq, marking the unit’s first battalion-sized deployment since its reactivation in late 2005.
The battalion, also known as “The Walking Dead” because of an extremely high mortality rate (above 90 percent) it suffered during the Vietnam War, has completed its tour in Ramadi and is now making its way back to its home station in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Security and Reconstruction – Building Basra's future -- [Ministry of Defence]
Sustaining the improved security in Basra is now dependent on improving the essential services of sewage, water, electricity and rubbish collection as well as enabling the right...
Life at Camp As Sayliyah -- [Brad's Excellent Adventure - in Qatar]
...One thing that makes CAS different is that among other military activities, it is the R&R center for the whole AOR. There is a constant rotation of people here on four-day passes from Iraq and Afghanistan. The USO has a large center which is colocated with the MWR (Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) offices in a building right across the street from my office. It has a restaurant, an Irish Pub, and a wine bar. It has a large central area with a stage for bands and other shows, lots of large screen TV’s with perpetual football and basketball games on, darts, pinball, pool, bowling, video game consoles, reading rooms with comfy couches and hundreds of books, a computer area with desktop machines as well as two wireless networks for personal laptops (that’s where I am now).
The Road to Hell -- [Michael Yon - in Afghansitan]
On our first trip, we drove from Kabul to Jalalabad. The road passes through a village called Sarobi. Sarobi has become known as the place where ten French soldiers were killed on 18 August, 2008, although they were not actually killed in Sarobi, but near Sper Kundy. The French soldiers were on a reconnaissance patrol in the Uzbin Valley, about 40 kilometers east of Kabul. At approximately 15:00 local time, they were spread out over a steep slope and started taking fire from the ridges above. The gunfire was fierce and accurate. After 90 minutes, the French vehicles ran out of ammunition, and they abandoned a counterattack. They fought for four hours without reinforcements, which were slow to come because the French troops lost radio contact and could not call in air support or reinforcements. According to a secret after action report that I have read and was quoted extensively and accurately in the Canadian Globe and Mail newspaper, the loss of radio contact was probably due to the fact that they only had one working radio. Soldiers from the Afghan National Army (ANA) had accompanied the French patrol, but they were apparently worse than ineffective, “lounging on the battlefield” until they finally dispersed, leaving their weapons and equipment, according to the report.
Reinforcements eventually arrived, but the fighting continued into the next morning. The French dead were not recovered until mid-day. By then, some had been stripped of their weapons, equipment and uniforms.
Not reported: The body of an interpreter who had worked with the French was left on the field.
Scott Kesterson: Unity of Command -- [Bouhammer]
...Afghanistan today is a myriad of military command structures. There is CSTC-A, CJTF-VI, ISAF / NATO, CJTF-101, and CJSOTF, all acronyms for what is otherwise an alphabet soup of jurisdiction. In short, there lacks a single “supreme commander” for operations in Afghanistan. Depending on which command structure a unit falls under, dictates to a large degree how and to what extent they can function as a war fighting unit or as something other. This division of command is an unprecedented departure from the unity of command doctrine that has been the back bone to US military success.
Taliban may give up al Qaeda, ex-minister says -- [Reuters]
The Afghan Taliban could cut its ties with the militant al Qaeda group it once harbored as part of a peace agreement in Afghanistan, a former foreign minister for the austere Islamist movement said Wednesday.
But severing links with the radical Islamists behind the Sept 11, 2001, suicide attacks on the United States should not be a pre-condition for talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil said.
Dawn over Turtle Bay -- [Jules Crittenden]
Afghanistan needs a political solution, but won’t get it without ongoing, robust military action, says UN envoy to the ‘Stan, who adds things aren’t as bad as they say they are.
PERIMETER WALL -- [One Marines View]
Local Afghan workers perform maintenance on the perimeter wall at International Security Assistance Force Forward Operating Base Bala Murghab, Afghanistan, Oct. 2, 2008. ISAF is assisting the Afghan government in extending and exercising its authority and influence across the country, creating the conditions for stabilization and reconstruction.
Civil Affairs Marines hit the streets
Marines travel to Afghani communities to help with local concerns and projects.
Taliban leader killed by SAS was Pakistani military officer -- [Jawa Report]
More evidence that the Pakistani military is actively aiding the taliban. Not that any more evidence is needed.
Last year British SAS forces had killed a taliban leader in the Helmand province. Upon inspecting his body they found a Pakistani military ID on him. However,
Taliban mock West for calling Afghanistan unwinnable -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
"Defeatist" statements made by Western officials are capitalized by the Taliban in a recent statement issued on their website.
Congressional visitors -- [Staying in Touch - in Afghanistan]
Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives came to Camp Phoenix in Kabul on Sunday as part of an official congressional visit to Afghanistan. The delegation was led by Congressman Steve Israel (NY 2nd District) from Long Island and included Congresswoman Shelly Berkley (NV 1st District) and two more New Yorkers, including Congressman Michael Arcuri (NY 24th District) from Utica and Congressman Thomas Reynolds (NY 26th District) from Williamsville.
Standard & Poor's Affirms USAA's Financial Strength -- [Forbes]
Today Standard & Poor’s affirmed its Insurer Financial Strength Ratings of AAA (Extremely Strong, highest of 21 possible ratings) for USAA’s Property & Casualty Companies and Life Insurance Companies. S&P’s AAA rating is recognition of USAA’s high capitalization and financial strength, which is built on profitability, steady recent increases in net worth (more than doubled since 2000), minimal debt, and access to strong liquidity sources.
USAA is one of only a small, elite group of companies retaining the highest ratings from one of the world’s largest and well-respected rating agencies. In fact, there are only two Property & Casualty Insurance Companies with a AAA rating -- and USAA is the only one to provide homeowners insurance -- the other is an auto insurer only. From a Life Insurance Company perspective, there are only eight companies with a AAA rating.
Dirty Bomb! Somali Pirates Thwart Iranian Dirty Bomb Attack on Israel? -- [Stop The ACLU]
On August 21st, 2008, the MV Iran Deyant, 44,458 dead weight bulk carrier was heading towards the Suez Canal. As it was passing the Horn of Africa, about 80 miles southeast of al-Makalla in Yemen, the ship was surrounded by speedboats filled with members of a gang of Somalian pirates who grab suitable commercial ships and hold them and their cargos and crews for ransom. The captain was defenseless against the 40 pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades blocking his passage. He had little choice other than to turn his ship over to them. What the pirates were not banking on, however, was that this was no ordinary ship.
'Great terror plot building up' -- [Independent]
"Another great plot" is being investigated by the authorities, counter-terrorism minister Lord West warned today.
"There is another great (terrorist) plot building up again and we are monitoring this," he told peers during a debate on new security laws.
From a Soldier's Mom -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
My son, PFC (at the time), now SPC Charles J Smith, was in Germany after he was injured by an IED in Iraq. I would like to say Thank You to the Soldiers' Angels for being there for him.
I have attached a picture of him in his "Soldiers' Angels" T-shirt. I had no idea even who the Soldiers' Angels were, as when I got this pic sent to me online, I could not figure out what it said, or meant.
Now I do know both.
I appreciate so much what you did for him, and would love to personally thank the person who was with him. He is now medically retired from his injuries, but is doing quite well.
The DJ Emery Highway -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Last Thursday a 5-mile section of State Route 26 in Centre County, PA was named after our Hero DJ! He drives along the highway at least once a week on the way to therapy and says it feels "weird" to see his name on the signs ;-)
Here's a short video story from the local TV station about the renaming ceremony. Doesn't DJ look GREAT?
This is Our World, and it's a Very, Very Small One -- [SpouseBuzz - Andi]
... I realized that the SpouseBUZZ readership doesn't need much commentary. You'll understand, and you'll address the points which interest you. So, about the link....It's a blog entry written by a fellow milspouse and posted on CNN's website.
...If I could sum up what Rebekah's post meant to me in one short sentence, I would say, "This is our world, and it's a very, very small one." I'm certain Rebekah's post was not written to solicit pity, which some of the comments seem to suggest. Nobody needs to remind Rebekah, or the rest of us, that our spouses volunteer to serve. That's yet another reason to admire and respect those who wear the uniform. But try as we might to explain the military culture to those on the outside, the age-old wisdom of "not understanding it until you've lived it" seems to hold true. There's a huge disconnect between civilians and the military when it comes to war, and that's likely to remain throughout generations.
Courage After Fire, the SpouseBuzz Book Club announcement -- [SpuseBuzz - AWTM]
My DH returned from a Military Wellness conference this summer, and returned with Courage After Fire. In good news, I had heard about this book before from SpouseBuzz Radio, in which one of our listeners, suggested the book. I have read the book, but I am going to read it again, because there was SO MUCH information to absorb.
Great Job Opportunity! EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR -- [Spirit of America]
Spirit of America's mission is to help Americans serving abroad assist people in need. We do this by providing crucial humanitarian aid and improving relations between Americans and people suffering from armed conflict and terrorism. At the request of U.S. military and Foreign Service personnel in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa, Spirit of America has provided an incredibly broad range of humanitarian assistance that includes everything from sandals, soccer balls and blankets, to irrigation equipment, tools and medical supplies. For example, Spirit of America has provided equipment for women's sewing cooperatives in Iraq and books for schoolgirls in Afghanistan.
When PTSD Is An Excuse -- [A Soldier’s Mind]
Those of you who are regular visitors to A Soldier’s Mind, know that PTSD and how the military treats our Troops who are suffering from PTSD, is high on my list of things that I watch very closely. I see the effects of PTSD on a regular basis and have dealt with it’s effects on people suffering from it for quite a few years. I strongly advocate for, is better health care for our returning Soldiers, whether they have physical injuries that can change their lives, or whether they’re suffering from TBI or PTSD. Something that I’ve been seeing lately that really alarms me however, is Soldiers suffering from PTSD, committing crimes and then using their mental disorder as an excuse to not be held accountable for the crimes they commit. Unfortunately, that’s occurring more and more and it frightens me that they would be allowed to do so.
The one thing that I want to stress here, is that just because someone is suffering from PTSD, doesn’t mean that they don’t know the difference between right and wrong and it doesn’t mean that they don’t have control over their behavior.
When PTSD is an Excuse and Ignorance Not -- [A Soldier's Perspective -- Roman General]
This piece I found was on a blog that I never would have thought would allow such lowbrow lack of insight and wholly judgmental holier than thou attitude perpetuated against our soldiers and veterans who have PTSD.
Just because we have a shortage of mental health workers to help our returning soldiers and veterans does not mean we should let just anybody in the doors to help. More damage can be done than good, even if they mean well. Especially if they have the kind of mental prowess and short sightedness such as this "counselor" who wrote this piece that I read...
Project Promise Soldier -- [Project Promise]
Project Promise Soldier is a new non-profit dedicated to helping soldiers. The group is simple in mission and broad in scope. Project Promise recognizes that there is an unspoken promise we, as citizens, make to care for our veterans and their families. Project Promise’s mission is to be part of the network of organizations that care for our wounded soldiers; to give something back to those who serve and protect our country and our citizens and to keep that unspoken promise.
Bad Economy=Higher Recruiting numbers? -- [Bouhammer]
Yep, week before last CJ asked me during the You Served Radio Show if I thought the bad economy would help recruiting efforts. I told him I did not think so because of the wars we have been in since 2001. However it looks like I could have been wrong. CJ was onto something when he asked me that. Not sure if he knew that at the time or not.
Sunday Ship History: U.S. Navy's Birthday -- [EagleSpeak]
Birth of the U.S. Navy On Friday, October 13, 1775, meeting in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels, armed with ten carriage guns, as well as swivel guns, and manned by crews of eighty, and to send them out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America. This was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth certificate of the navy.
Written in Red… -- [Collabman's Thoughts - son home from Iraq]
They all are looking forward to something. For some it is reconnecting with a friend. For others, it is all about settling down, choosing a college, moving to a new unit or maybe reenlisting. I could sense that they were finally beginning to relax and look ahead.
For me…well, I found myself wondering how they would respond to the unspoken pressure to neatly fold up their feelings and pack them away – how would they react? How many of these warriors will struggle with depression, anxiety and/or post-traumatic stress disorder? You know, those hidden wounds that many would prefer not to talk about. Despite the smiling faces and buoyant attitudes I saw on the tarmac, I already knew the answer to my questions…As Chris cleared the galley and paused I peeked over his shoulder and there they were...rows of empty seats that stretched from window to window. I struggled to grasp the numbers and the emptiness of those seats. Had we lost that many? Did I lose count of my fallen angel blogs? My eyes began to fill…
One reached out his hand and placed it on the top of one of the empty seats. I struggled to hear his words as he spoke in a reverent tone "...rest in peace Aaron and Zachary – I miss you guys."
Politics and Pentagons -- [Greyhawk]
Unnamed Pentagon officials discuss prospective presidents in the LA Times:Some officials privately express a degree of enthusiasm for Obama, hoping for better relations with allies and an improved US image in the Muslim world.
...At first glance the headline of the piece somewhat confusing: "Pentagon divided over John McCain". That's an odd description - the headline "Pentagon divided over Barack Obama" would be equaly true. Likewise a headline "America divided over Barack Obama" (or John McCain) would, too. But the Times finds it interesting that not everyone in the Pentagon supports McCain just because he's a veteran.
U.S. News "Hates To Say It," But Folks Associate Voter Fraud With GOP -- [NewsBusters]
Hey, did you know that "when one thinks of voter fraud, one usually associates it with the GOP?" That's what U.S. News's Bonnie Erbe's lead-in is in her online article today picked up by CBS news online. (NOTE: I initially indicated Erbe wrote for CBS. CBS actually picked up Erbe's US News article. I regret the error. -- DS Hube.) In an otherwise balanced story regarding Barack Obama's ties to the group ACORN, ...
Defeatist Double Standard -- [WSJ - JAMES TARANTO]
Journalists didn't flee Iraq when things were tough. Why did they expect the military to do so?
With the success of the surge, and Barack Obama's surge in the polls, the American military presence in Iraq seems likely to diminish in the coming months. CNSNews.com reports that the American journalistic presence is already on the wane:
The number of embedded reporters working in Iraq in September fell to an all-time low for any month since the U.S. surge in troops in Iraq began in January 2007, according to data provided to CNSNews.com by the Multi-National Force in Iraq.
Media Blogs in Memeorandum Lean Left -- [The Nect Right - Patrick Ruffini]
The script will highlight various blogs linking to an item in shades of red or blue depending on their linking behavior in the last three months. The script doesn't measure political bias per se, but if you've recently linked to a lot of liberal blogs, you are colored blue.
Look at the colors assigned to MSM sources and media-sponsored campaign blogs. Every single one that I could see -- except for Yahoo News in a separate link -- is colored blue:
In Campaign Ads, Vets Makes Cases for Both Sides -- [Soldier's Home]
In blog posts over the past few weeks I've made reference to various campaign ads featuring veterans who support either Sen. Obama or Sen. McCain. They contain powerful imagery and messages: veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, and past wars -- including some who are wounded -- talk about their frontline experiences and deride the opposing candidate for his platforms on Iraq and/or domestic veterans issues. No matter which candidate is being supported in an ad there are common threads that appear as the veterans speak of their service, yet at some point messages divide and the criticism begins.
...Below is a collection of eight video advertisements featuring veterans as they promote their chosen presidential candidate. Watching them all in succession gives an interesting look at how they draw in their combat service as they promote either McCain or Obama.
Never Find Out
Incendiary New Ad Attacks Obama's "Wrong Values" -- [CBS]
CBS News' Michelle Levi reports that a PAC called Our Country Deserves Better is now running an ad that is essentially a compilation of most of the character and association attacks made against Barack Obama throughout the year.
The ad, "Obama's Wrong Values," began running Sunday night in Reno, Nevada and has since expanded across the state.
Obama's Wrong Values
Action Alert /Moonbats in the Wire! -- [Gathering of Eagles]
IVAW staged a similar demonstration at the Democratic National Convention in Colorado that 'forced' Obama to let IVAW members in to the convention to deliver him a list of demands regarding the war.
"IVAW now has a meeting scheduled with Obama himself to discuss and push him further on his actions around the war."
They expect opposition from the Gathering of Eagles and are advising their members to be mentally prepared.
“spread the wealth” comment warns of socialism
New Evidence of Nancy Pelosi Associate Supporting Chavez, Marxists, & Terrorists -- [NewsBusters]
A Colombian associate of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is once again linked to FARC terrorists and Marxist Dictator Hugo Chavez with the revelation of damning new messages concerning Colombian Senator Piedad Córdoba that are currently being investigated by Colombian military officials. Once again we have a powerful American politician, this one the Speaker of the House of Representatives, linked to those attempting to institute Marxist regimes to our South.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Iraq to outline oil contracts to foreign companies -- [Reuters]
Iraq will next week provide foreign oil and gas companies with details of the contracts under which it hopes the companies will help boost the country's oil output by 1.5 million barrels per day.
The Wall...Comes Tumbling Down -- [Castle Argghhh! - Kat]
Nope, not Wall Street. The walls in Iraq. While we are all angst ridden about the markets on Wall Street, the walls surrounding once volatile neighborhoods in Baghdad are slowly, but surely coming down. Both the physical and metaphorical walls.
Iraqi Based Industrial Zone aims to employ Sons of Iraq -- [IN - Iraq - in Iraq]
Abdul Rabman Amhomed shakes his head. He is mayor of Yethrib, a town that was once controlled by insurgents near Joint Base Balad. “The terrorists prevented work with the coalition,” he said. “Now we have defeated the terrorists, but we have many unemployed…Most of the terrorists used the uneducated and young.”
2nd SCR - Soldiers in Diyala Governor Center
Iraq: After the Dust Washes Off -- [World-Wide Matel]
I never expected people to pay attention to all my stories. I understand that I can talk longer than most people can listen. But I am surprised at the general lack of interest in Iraq, which used to be and still is a big deal. At first most people approach me sympathetically. They thank me for my service and commiserate about the hardship of my ordeal. They are a little disappointed when I explain that it was less exciting and not as bad as they heard. And some seem almost offended when I tell them about the transformation that has taken place and the success we have achieved. They really don’t want to hear about it. I don’t think they believe me.
Pixilated -- [World-Wide Matel]
I recently was asked about how I adjusted to life in Iraq. State Department even has a course we have to take when we get back re adjustment. They worry about our mental health in a high stress environment and they want to figure out how our experience can help the next group. I don’t know how much my experience can help others. Each experience is unique and I was lucky in my timing and my place. I arrived in Anbar just as the violence was ebbing. Given the extreme pessimism and scary stories in the media, I was ready for a horrible experience. Instead there was steady improvement and strengthening peace. It is much easier to adjust to better than expected conditions than the opposite.
IS IT OVER? -- [One Marine's View - in Iraq]
S o we finish another week in the “normal” life without IEDs and Hummers and eating goats. Between dealing with idiots who drive 30 in a 45mph, snot nosed morons who don’t know the meaning of “customer service” that work at the customer service counter, I forge on dealing with people who lack the principle of sense of urgency and I tend to have one way conversations with them.
Early Morning Baghdad -- [Zen Traveler - in Iraq]
Baghdad is having a bad morning today. As I sit here watching the sun rise in the eastern sky working on my first cup of coffee there have been several near-by explosions, punctuating the post-dawn stillness. Smoke rises in the distance somewhere between the buildings, marking the location of the carnage.
Fightin’ Fox Marines familiarize themselves with new battle space -- [3MAW - in Iraq]
...In addition to security patrols, the Marines of the company will serve as a quick reaction force and support relationship-building activities with Iraqis in local villages. Cpl. Joseph J. Schiller, a 23-year-old squad leader with 3rd Platoon, Company F, recognizes the security mission as integral to relationship-building.
It Can Be Done -- [Strategy Page]
October 10, 2008: NATO and U.S. commanders are urging their governments to allow them to go after the drug gangs. The reason is simple; the billions of dollars in cash the heroin trade generates sustains the Taliban violence, and the widespread tribal resistance to government control in southern Afghanistan ...
Air Assault Mission in Parwan Province
Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division Alpha Company, Division Special Troops Battalion (DSTB) conducting an air assault mission in the mountains of Parwan province, Afghanistan.
Negotiating (or not) with the Taliban (whoever they are) -- [Abu Muqawama]
A minor kerfuffle of sorts occurred earlier this week when the Financial Times reported that the Karzai government was engaged in Saudi-brokered peace negotiations with representatives of the Taliban (ed: Which Taliban? More on that later). CNN took the story one further by alleging that “Taliban leaders are holding Saudi-brokered talks with the Afghan government to end the country’s bloody conflict — and are severing their ties with al Qaeda.”
The Afghan government has denied that such negotiations have taken place,
back in the groove -- [Cheese's Milblog]
After all the shakeups and everything else, I think we've finally caught a rhythm again. Our 3-day tower rotation at one of the local bases initially sucked pretty hard, but we've figured out how to manage it much better. Another guy and I pull the two tower shifts all night long so everyone else gets to sleep for at least 8 hours and they don't have to change up their schedule so much.
Afghanistan redux, Part 2 -- [Bouhammer - Scott Kesterson in Afghanistan]
I carry a lot of gear. Traveling internationally on commercial flights through both Delhi and Kabul makes you think carefully about what you will check and what you will carry on board. My checked baggage included by backpack with all of my clothes, my tripod and by body armor
German Commandos Withdrawn From Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
October 9, 2008: Germany is pulling its commandos out of Afghanistan. The KSK commandos have been there for most of the last seven years. Many Germans, especially leftist politicians and journalists, have not been happy with that. This has resulted in several unflattering, and largely inaccurate, articles about the KSK in the German media.
US strike kills 9 al Qaeda and Taliban in North Waziristan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Two homes belonging to a local Taliban leader near Miramshah are targeted in the attack; six al Qaeda reported killed.
Diplomats: North Korea bans United Nations staff from Yongbyon nuclear complex -- [AP/Daily News]
Diplomats say that North Korea has made all of its Yongbyon nuclear facilities off limits to international inspectors
North Korea reported to fire short-range missiles into sea -- [Reuters/ Boston Globe]
SEOUL - North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the Yellow Sea, a South Korean news report said yesterday, raising tensions as global powers try to make Pyongyang uphold a nuclear disarmament deal.
Understanding the al-Qaeda Enemy in Three Volumes (Full PDF Article) -- [SWJ - Dr. Donald J. Hanle]
Sun Tzu’s admonition to the general that in order to defeat his enemy, he must know his enemy as well as he knows himself was never more true than in the current struggle between the West and the Salafi jihadist organization known as al-Qaida and its allies – hereafter referred to as the al-Qaida Associated Movements (AQAM). Although the war had most certainly begun not later than Osama bin Laden’s 23 February 1998 declaration of war on the United States, and probably much sooner, it took the events of 9/11 to ensure the American population and their government were fully aware of their status as a co-belligerent in an armed struggle between the last remaining superpower and a small, fringe element of the Islamic faith.
Treasury Reports on Assets in U.S. of Terrorist Countries and Designees-- [Counterterrorism Blog]
As of December 31, 2007, the amount of assets of international terrorist organizations and individuals which were blocked totaled over $20.7 million. Of that, over $11.3 million constituted assets of Al Qaeda, and that level was an increase of almost 46 percent over the level blocked as of the end of 2006. The report states, "The increase in blocked terrorist organization assets in 2007 is due to new or additional blockings, interest paid on blocked funds, and increased share price on certain blocked securities."
Holiday campaign -- [Soldiers’ Angels Louisiana - Greta]
HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN FLIER
Start printing them out and handing them out and hanging them everywhere. Pre-cut the website at the bottom for easy tear-off. Here is a copy of the flier.
Talking With Heroes interviews from Kuwait, Iraq and more! -- [Newsblaze]
Talking with Heroes continues with more interviews October 12, 2008 with a call in from Kuwait and Iraq. Listeners will hear from a WWII Veteran, plus a singer with her song 'Letters from War'.
Geronimo, Colonel Murphy -- [Blackfive]
Awesome article about Colonel Bob Murphy being laid to rest (probably in the front leaning rest position)...
Advance Party - 2nd SCR Warriors Are Home... -- [Collabman's Thoughts]
Families wait for the first 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment soldiers to arrive home to Vilseck from a 15-month Iraq mission on Thursday
Stone says no malice intended in Bush film "W." -- [Reuters]
So Stone decided to open "W." in U.S. theatres less than three weeks before Americans select their next president -- a calculated move aimed at prodding voters to think about the past eight years and the future.
The movie is part drama, part satire, yet the director of "JFK" and "Nixon" argues it is no hatchet job on Bush -- and so far, critics agree. The final verdict awaits the October 17 debut for one of this fall's most widely anticipated films.
The Plot to Bomb Fort Dix -- [The Tank - Gregory S. McNeal]
As Andy McCarthy and Peter Kirsanow point out, it's imperative to make clear to the American people what exactly Bill Ayers and his comrades plotted to do. Jim Geraghty's idea was to host an event near Fort Dix.
Obama, Ayers, and the Economy-- [The Conner - Peter Kirsanow]
Whether the McCain campaign should stress Obama's judgment/radical associations or the economy isn't an either-or proposition. McCain should do both. And as Stanley Kurtz demonstrates, McCain can do both at the same time.
Stanley distills the connection between the Obama/Ayers relationship and the economy as follows:
Obama and Ayers serve together on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge where they funnel tons of cash to finance ACORN —>
ACORN pressures banks ...
Ayers, Revolution and Community Organizing -- [ThreatsWatch - Steve Schippert]
A PBS documentary on William Ayers, the Students for a Democratic Society, the Weathermen and then the Weather Underground is a fairly thorough history, and one told in large part by the revolutionary members themselves.
Terrorists Ayers & Dohrn Admit They Wish They Would Have Done More... Obama Says He Didn't Know -- [Gateway Pundit]
Barack Obama said yesterday that he thought friend and terrorist Bill Ayers was rehabilitated.
Connie Chung Interviews Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn - "We'd do it Again"
IAVA ranks the Senate on "troop support" -- [Greyhawk]
The non partisan veterans group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) has ranked members of the House and Senate based on their votes on troop support issues. Like several other milbloggers, I was notified of this via email from Phil Carter, a founding member of the non partisan group who is now serving as the Obama campaign's Veterans Director.
Obama Operatives or Straight Shooters? [IAVA and the Obama Campaign] -- - [Blackfive]
Operation Truth was up and running 2004. They had a lot of support from the left and from people like Joe Galloway. At the time, I thought it was mostly a Winter Soldier II effort on behalf of John Forbes Kerry who was up for election in a four or five months. I believe that Paul Rieckhoff, one of the two founders of Operation Truth, supported the Kerry Campaign.
Some of you may wonder why I give people a chance to respond on Blackfive, why I gave Paul Rieckhoff the opportunity. For one,
Obama tried to sway Iraqis on Bush deal -- [Wa Times]
In private conversations on troop presence, candidate pitched delay
At the same time the Bush administration was negotiating a still elusive agreement to keep the U.S. military in Iraq, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama tried to convince Iraqi leaders in private conversations that the president shouldn't be allowed to enact the deal without congressional approval.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Iraq removes separation wall -- [Iraqi Satellite TV Network]
Iraqi recruits took position at a checkpoint in Baghdad on Monday where was set the separation wall in Al Fadel District between Sunnis and Shiites, which was removed this week.
Members of awakening councils stood as well in front of the checkpoint in Al Fadel Dsitrict.
It is to be noted that since April 2007 US Forces set a number of separation walls and checkpoints in different districts of Baghdad to separate between Sunnis and Shiites after violence escalated.
Iraqi business center opens in Balad -- [MNF-I]
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Iraqi government and business leaders joined Coalition force officials Oct. 7 to celebrate the opening of the Iraqi-based Industrial Zone Host Nation Business Center near Joint Base Balad, a strategic logistical hub in Iraq.
The business center will help local business owners to receive coalition contracts to provide services and materials to Coalition forces. Coalition officials point to strategic security gains made by the Iraqi government and security forces as a primary factor in enabling Iraqis and Coalition forces to collaborate on the initiative.
Striker Storm Package
Looks like things are pretty quiet in Iraq. Certainly hope the insurgents don't get all excited if Obama wins and start up agin. I think they will.
Movies with the Iraqis -- [Something on the staff - in Iraq]
Building rapport with the Iraqis is always a good thing. Arabs value relationships, and will go to great lengths to build and support the friendships that come from good relationships. As an American in Iraq, I like building rapport as someday my Iraqi friends will tell me if I’m about to drive over an IED, or convince them to eat me last. Similar interests are great way to build rapport, and I try to work that angle through movies.
Commander of Mosul
A military report about the recent Iraqi Police Graduation in Mosul Iraq. The Commander's name has been purposely withheld.
Hyposmia -- [Playing in the Sandbox - in Iraq]
I think my sense of smell is gone. Or if not gone, then certainly skewed.
...who really cares if man-stink or burnt donkey shit no longer sends them to seek a sensory sanctuary? In this kind of environment that might actually be an advantage. But losing one side implies loss of the other, and as a consequence I don't think I can even smell good things anymore! This realization didn't hit me until just a few days ago. I
The Afghanistan paradox -- [NY Daily - Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
Can the war in Afghanistan be won? It depends on whom you ask.
The senior British commander in Afghanistan recently was quoted in The Times of London, "This war cannot be won." A French diplomatic dispatch reports that the British ambassador said the best solution would be to find an "acceptable dictator" to take over the troubled country.
Life Before Death -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
Afghans say that in the old days, there were no walls around the houses when the Americans were here en masse. But then the Soviets invaded and walls went up. I asked several Afghans who was worse, the Soviets or the Taliban. One man said the Soviets were far worse. The Soviet approach to counterinsurgency bordered on genocide, but that strategy backfired. The Soviets left under a hail of bullets, and their loss of the war in Afghanistan helped bring down the entire Soviet Union. British soldiers told me that they held joint patrols with some of the Eastern European troops, who still use Soviet-style vehicles. When the people saw the Soviet vehicles coming, they threw rocks at them, though they did not throw rocks at British vehicles.
Other Afghans told me the Taliban, and years of civil war, was even worse than the Soviet invasion.
Title: Afghanistan redux, Part 1 -- [Boumhammer - Scott Kesterson - in Afghanistan]
It has been nearly three weeks since I left the United States, and this is my first entry. My head has been full of story threads, but the cohesion to tell it only settled in during the past few days. My previous year in Afghanistan from May 2006 to May 2007 has given both insight and burden. The war that I seemed to understand so well when I left has been showing a different face of what one soldier referred to as an “occupation.” What it is, what it has become is now what I am seeking to find. With Afghanistan now back on our political map, woven into the two campaigns as the war we have neglected, understanding where we began and where we have arrived has become the theme of this embed. It is a journey that will take me three months this time, a focus not on the whole of the country but in a more specific geographical area.
Donations from home help with Afghan mentoring and support mission -- [Staying in Touch - Lt. Col. Paul Fanning - in Afghansitan]
Donations of school supplies and children’s clothing from military families and friends at home are helping deployed New York Army National Guard soldiers in their mission to mentor and train Afghan national security Forces and support the Afghan people.
Afghan Basic Training
Coalition forces providing basic military training in Afghanistan to build up the Afghan National Army.
Taliban have not split from al Qaeda: sources -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The Taliban have not broken ranks with al Qaeda, senior US military and intelligence sources told The Long War Journal. The idea that the Taliban has severed relations is promoted by European countries who wish to back out of Afghanistan after years of bloody fighting, the sources, who wish to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject, said.
Taliban rebuild children’s suicide camp in South Waziristan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Qari Hussain's notorious child terror camp camp in Spinkai is back online despite a military offensive in January that destroyed the terror nursery.
Empowering Women In Afghanistan-
In the province of Bamian, women are uprooting traditional gender roles by taking up leadership positions. In Poverty and Strife, Women Test Limits
Earthquake rattles Afghanistan -- [CNN]
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook central Afghanistan early Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The quake struck at 3:26 a.m. (2256 GMT Sunday). The epicenter was about 70 km (40 miles) south of the capital, Kabul. There were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage
Earthquake -- [The Left Captain - in Afghansitan]
Last night I woke after 3am to my room shaking. I came out of a deep sleep and wondered what was causing the movement. It moved the building, wood creaking, and rocked my cot back and forth. My sleepy mind slowly ruled out wind, someone shaking the building, and a rocket attack.
Who lost Iceland? -- [MilBlogs - CDR Salamander]
While everyone has been yelling at Wall Street - looks like no one on our side has been looking at the SLOCs.
...Mr Haarde confirmed that he was sending a delegation to Iceland's "new friend" Russia to negotiate a £3bn capital injection into the country's finances, after the country's traditional Western allies refused to help the collapsing banking system.
Russia is not doing this out of the goodness of her heart.
The Forgotten War -- [Michael Totten]
Immediately following Russia's invasion of Georgia and its de-facto annexation of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the phrase “frozen conflicts” was bandied about so often among the world’s foreign policy commentariat that it briefly became a cliché. Yet there is another frozen conflict in the South Caucasus that few have even heard of, fewer know much about, and even fewer have thought to include in any analysis. This war, the forgotten war of Nagorno (or “Mountainous”) Karabakh, has so far racked up a much higher body count – tens of thousands – than any in Georgia lately.
Russia starts troop pullback from Georgia -- [Reuters]
KARALETI, Georgia - Russian troops started pulling back from buffer zones outside South Ossetia on Wednesday, two months after Russia's brief war with Georgia which increased tension with the West
That Old Gang Of Mine -- [Strategy Page]
Islamic terrorists pay for things by using many of the same techniques employed by organized crime. That, however, has proved to be a major weakness, and is being exploited to hasten the demise of the latest wave of Islamic terrorism
Gitmo Detainees Ordered Released in DC -- [The Tank - Gregory S. McNeal]
Andy McCarthy's prediction yesterday that judges may begin ordering the government to release Gitmo detainees has come true. The first order came in the case of the Chinese Uighurs, and the order is for release into the United States.
Gitmoless -- [From the Halls to the Shores]
Now, unless the 4th District overrules Urbina in the next 72 hours, we will knowingly transport 17 Uighers who lived in terrorist training camps to our nation’s capital, and release them on their own recognizance. Why? Because we can’t send them to China, who might mistreat them.
It's About DamnTime!! DoD Compensation & Benefits Handbook -- [Some Soldier's Mom]
DoD announced today it has developed a comprehensive handbook describing compensation and other benefits service members and their families would be entitled to upon separation or retirement as a result of serious injury or illness. "The Compensation and Benefits Handbook is the one source of information that covers everything a seriously ill and injured service member will need during his or her recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration,"
Bitching And Complaining… Or Not… -- [The Gun Line - in Iraq]
...Perception plays a major part of how one views one’s military experience as well. A private won’t see the factors involved in decisions made at the Sergeant Major level, and thus will perceive directives passed down from on high as idiotic, not realizing that the Sergeant Major isn’t simply sitting on his duff making up ways to inconvenience Joe, but is simply enforcing directives that have been passed down to him from higher headquarters. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t some monumentally soul-crushing knuckle-headed orders passed down from on high; they simply were generated by somebody who may not have taken into account whether these orders conflict with the reality of the situation:
Surprise!! -- [Two Brothers, Two Countries, One Army]
Well...I'm going to make this pretty short too...I am home!! I am in TN with my brother and my family. John wanted me to be home while he was here...and different from what I said in previous posts about hunting being more important....well, bro...it's not true. I got home two days ago and am having a great time so far!! My brother and everyone went to Ohio for a couple days but I'll see them when they get back.
Camille Paglia, a REAL liberal, versus a drooling libtard -- [CounterColumn]
"I am very concerned about whether our professional class, buffed all shiny and bright by the elite universities, will ever have the will or stamina to defend this nation in a major crisis."
--Camille Paglia, in Salon, responding to this letter:
"Would you care to justify your view that "Americans owe every heroic, wounded veteran an incalculable debt of gratitude"? I am sorry that John McCain spent years in prison. But I am even sorrier that the U.S. ever went into Vietnam. I am an American, and I do not feel that I owe Mr. McCain "an incalculable debt of gratitude" for his participation in that stupid, unnecessary war. If he willingly went to a war which was unjust and uncalled for to begin with, then I, as a American, definitely do not owe him a debt of gratitude.
SNL rewriting bailout skit, “didn’t meet their standards;“ NBC posts edited video -- [Malkin]
Well, well, well.
Peter Viles at L.A. Land reports that Saturday Night Live is rewriting its forbidden Soros/Sandler-bashing
bailout skit because it “didn’t meet their standards.”
Translation: It didn’t meet George Soros’s and the Sandlers’ standards!
It Is Here! The Banned SNL Skit Cannot Hide From Louie -- [Pat Dollard]
It gets put up, it gets yanked, put up, yanked.
Yank this, bitches (FULL SNL VIDEO)
Slick Strategy on Gays in the Military -- [The Tank - Elaine Donnelly]
Is Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama consulting with Bill Clinton? Could be. Recent statements from Obama appear to suggest moderation on the issue of homosexuals in the military, even though his goals remain quite extreme. In 1992, presidential candidate Bill Clinton downplayed his campaign promise to lift the ban on homosexuals in the military, and then-President George H. W. Bush allowed him to do so. Clinton’s strategy worked. Will Republican candidate John McCain allow Senator Obama to play the same game?
On September 18, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Barack Obama’s statements to Philadelphia's Gay News, indicating that he “would not proceed unilaterally” in fulfilling his promise to do away with the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy for gays in the military. Instead, the Democratic presidential candidate said that he would “work through a step-by-step process with the military brass.”
Massive US military budget passed
While debate over the Paulson bailout package dominated the headlines, the US Congress quietly passed a landmark $615 billion defense spending bill. One of the few people to comment on the measure was Chalmers Johnson, in his article "We have the money." Chalmers explains to Real News Network's Senior Editor Paul Jay how the military-industrial complex is a driving force behind the current financi More..al crisis and a determinant of much of what happens in Washington. He also criticizes the omission of the military-industrial complex from the political discourse determined by the two major parties and the media.
Veterans Group Rates McCain/Obama Voting Record (and the Rest of Congress Too) -- [Soldier's Home - David Botti]
The veterans group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released a "scorecard" today which gives letter grades to members of congress based on their voting record for veterans issues. Senator John McCain received a D, while Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden both received a B. According to the group's Website, the grades were based off of how many times a member of Congress voted along the same line as the IAVA's own position on 22 key votes affecting veterans (nine in the Senate and 13 in the House). From the IAVA:
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
2 U. S. copters collide in Baghdad -- [Buffalo News]
Two U. S. helicopters collided Saturday while landing at a base in Baghdad, killing one Iraqi soldier and injuring four people, including two Americans, the military said. It was the second American helicopter crash in two weeks.
The U. S. military said hostile fire did not appear to be the cause.
Also Saturday, the military said U. S. troops killed an al- Qaida in Iraq leader suspected of masterminding one of the deadliest attacks in Baghdad, several other recent bombings and the 2006 videotaped killing of a Russian official.
IED Failed To Blow Up On US Humvee
Iraq, confiscated footage
Going For The Head -- [Strategy Page]
n the past two months, Iraqi and U.S. forces have captured at least 30 members of Iranian group Kataib Hezbollah. This gang specializes in smuggling weapons and military equipment from Iran into Iraq, and then distributing it to pro-Iranian Shia groups. As police and army personnel take control of Shia towns and neighborhoods formerly dominated by Shia militias, it's possible to get information from locals who oppose violent groups.
A Lioness on the Prowl -- [3MAW - in Iraq]
Lance Cpl. Melissa Tugwell is a 23-year-old, Lake Charles, LA-native. She is a combat correspondent with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward).
...After completing training, I was assigned to a security checkpoint in Karma, Iraq, with fellow lioness Seaman Christina Follmer. We fell under the supervision of the infantry staff noncommissioned officers of Weapons Platoon, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines.
I’ve found that our mission as lionesses is different than the mission carried out by the first female Marines who manned security check points in Iraq.
Ladies of the 191 Update -- [Ladies of Liberty - in Iraq] HT: MaryAnnWe are down to the double digits, looking at some 80 days or so left in country. The days go by slow at times, but for the most part this deployment has flown by. Ramadan is over. Ramadan is the time for Muslims to fast and focus on God. They fast during daylight hours (no water and food), they don't go on dates, drink, smoke, eat candy, etc. It is a time for them to pray and become closer to God. After the 30 days of Ramadan, they have a 4-day celebration, called EID. It is time for feasting, celebration, dancing, music, carnivals, presents, new clothes, etc. It is a joyous time right now all over Baghdad.
Kirkuk -- [Up Country Iraq - in Iraq]
Over the past couple of weeks I made my way up to Tamim Province to the north of my location. The most well known city up there is the city of Kirkuk. Tamim Province is a mixed province of Arabs and Kurds, yet despite the mixed population, it is also one of the most stable provinces in the northern region, not counting the three provinces that are officially in the Kurdish region.
...Many people refer to Tamim as Kirkuk province, and I noticed that some newspapers do that as well. As most of you have probably heard, the Iraqi Parliament has passed the provincial election law, setting provincial elections for January 2009. These elections are likely to bring greater Sunni representation to the Iraqi parliament since Sunnis are unlikely to boycott the elections as they did in 2005. The original intent of the election law was to include a question on the future of Tamim province. Kurds would like to see...
Day 104. Baghdad -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
We were awakened to gunfire all around our camp this morning. No one got hurt. It was celebratory fire, like the 4th of July, to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
It’s a Long Story -- [The War on Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
For those of you who are not in the military, walking in front of a formation is considered disrespectful. But walking BETWEEN a leader and his formation is an act of disrespect that I have never seen in my 14 year career. And by the manner that SFC Rocksalt was walking, he did it intentionally.
“Hey Sergeant Rocksalt,” I shout. “How ‘bout next time you walk behind my formation!”
He turns around: “How ‘bout next time you shut the fuck up!”
Tonight would have been perfect if... -- [Photography, Software, and Sand - in Iraq]
...In addition to the temperature, I was walking with a buddy of mine here on the compound and came across the spot where two brick walls blocked out all the lights and the nighttime sky suddenly became clear. I couldve easily spent the night there looking up, not just because I enjoy stargazing but because aside from my time in Thailand I'd never seen some of these stars before -- the southern sky is totally different from the northern sky and I'm just starting to see both
Comedy with a Message
Comedy with a message, thats what the cast members of the television show "Mud House" brought to the Iraqis, live, at the Al Kut Touristic Hotel. Though laughter filled the air of Al Kut, the message to be heard by all was one of self government and sovereignty for Iraq.
One Unit, One Fight... -- [Collabman's Thoughts - son in Iraq]
Despite already having served 15 years of service to country, Staff Sgt. Brian Pritchett, with 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, re-enlisted indefinitely two months ago. Now, following in his father’s footsteps, Spc. Bobby Pritchett, a driver with 3rd Squadron, 2SCR, is doing the same.
Warrior Cops Train New Iraqi Police -- [American Ranger]
The following article discusses the invaluable assistance that American police officers are providing to the new Iraqi police. I am also a cop and I will return to my police department in February. I am extraordinarily proud that my fellow law enforcement officers are willing to enter the world of war to make a difference, just as they are willing to put their lives on the line back here in the States.
NATO Captures Senior taliban leader -- [Jawa Report]
NATO forces in Afghanistan have captured a senior taliban leader, without even firing a shot. I guess the taliban leader wasn't anxious to find out if there are 72 brown eyed virgins waiting for him on the other side.
War in Afghanistan cannot be won, British commander Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith warns -- [Telegraph]
Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith said the British public should not expect "a decisive military victory" and that he believed groups of insurgents would still be at large after troops pulled out.
In June, he claimed that British forces had reached a "tipping point" against a weakened Taliban after their leadership was "decapitated".
But on Sunday the army officer said it was time to lower expectations and focus on reducing the conflict to a level which could be managed by the Afghan army.
British Cmdr. in Afghanistan: war on terror can not be won -- [Al Jazeera]
Victory Impossible! -- [Jules Crittenden]
That’s the lede in this Times of London article quoting a Brit general re Afghanistan, whose troops have been bloodied fighting a Taliban that seems endlessly capable of replenishing itself despite heavy losses. Damn, that sounds familiar. That’s what they used to say about Iraq. Though when you get into it, that isn’t exactly what he’s saying: Don’t give up. More troops, more counterinsurgency, cut political deals, divide and conquer.
On Negotiating with the Taliban -- [Captain's Journal]
This comment at the Small Wars Journal Blog by a British officer reminds us again of the myth that has sprung up around the narrative of Anbar.
… dialogue with Afghan tribes/groupings that provided the ‘freedom’ for them to accept localised security responsibility. Given the nature of some of these local forces it was this aspect of our tactical activity that I recall being the subject of friction between the Brit and US chains of command. Slightly ironic when one considers the subsequent endorsement of the ‘awakening’ in Al An bar and Baghdad. Clearly this latter course of action was driven by our own limited means and was fraught with risk. However, compromise is, I submit, an enduring tenet of COIN.
The irony is only apparent, and belongs to the realm of myth-telling concerning the U.S. experience in the Anbar Province.
Afghanistan begins registering voters for 2009 election -- [Reuters]
Afghanistan began registering voters on Monday for elections due next year that will test support for President Hamid Karzai and democracy itself which is threatened by a virulent Taliban insurgency in which thousands have died.
Like fingers of a hand: Four Soldiers, Sailor secure safe passage in Afghanistan -- [John of Argghhh!]
Afghanistan (Oct. 4, 2008) — “Stay alert and stay vigilant,” shouted a chiseled-face Soldier during a pre-convoy briefing at Camp Eggers, Afghanistan, today. Staff Sgt. Carlos Padilla was one of five service members charged with securing the safe passage of troops from Camp Eggers to Bagram Air Field.
Like the fingers on a hand, each member of the five-man team is paramount to today’s mission,
Sorry, all -- [Cheese's Milblog - in Afghanistan]
It's been an interesting few weeks, and my whole company is counting down the days until we get out of here.
It's funny...last deployment I didn't even realize that it was time to go home until we were moving out of Bayji and back to Tikrit...this time we started counting down at 80 days! The routine that we're stuck in here is enough to drive anyone crazy and as it stands right now, we spend less than three days out of every nine-day rotation living out of our rooms. That isn't as much of a bid deal now that I live in a glorified closet, but it's still nice to see "home" every now and again.
Provincial Reconstruction in Afghanistan -- [SWJ]
The conflict in Afghanistan has been running now for more than six years but, after some early successes, the situation appears to have developed into a classic insurgency with the prospect of it becoming a long-term commitment for the coalition forces. Since taking the lead of the UN established International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2003, NATO has pinned a lot of its hopes on the ability of its multi-agency Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) to deliver stabilization to the country. The PRTs try to bring together the three strands of security, governance, and development through the contribution made by the military, political and economic elements of the teams. This paper considers how NATO is tackling the particular difficulties of managing the PRTs, and how it is attempting to harmonise the potentially disparate aims of their three separate dimensions.
...In the conclusion some of the current problems that the coalition faces in Afghanistan are identified, and the specific areas where the lessons from CORDS might be helpful are discussed.
Peace Under Friendly Fire -- [NY Times]
AS civilian casualties mount, American and NATO forces in Afghanistan are facing an erosion of their public legitimacy. The Taliban and Al Qaeda are exploiting this distrust, aiming to transform it into a popular rage against the Afghan government and its foreign allies. Unless the insurgents are denied propaganda tools — in particular, the growing number of images of dead women and children — no number of additional troops will bring success to the American-led mission.
Pakistan has poor track record reporting deaths of senior terrorist leaders -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Reports indicate a senior al Qaeda or Taliban leader may have been killed in the Oct. 2 cross-border strike, but Pakistani sources must be treated with skepticism based on past performance.
U.S. to allies: Fight in Afghanistan or write check -- [Reuters]
The United States has asked Japan and NATO allies who have refused to send troops to Afghanistan to pay the estimated $17 billion needed to build up the Afghan army, according to U.S. defense officials.
Iran Friday Sermon: U.S. Economic Woes 'Divine Punishment' -- [MEMRI Blog]
'The Unhappier They [Americans] Become, The Happier We Get'; 'Americans Should Wait To Be Slapped In The Face By Islam, Muslims, And The Islamic Revolution'; Since
Interim Tehran Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said today in his sermon that Iran's enemies have targeted its economy in vain hopes of countering the Islamic Republic.
Al-Qaida: US economic crisis equals Muslim victory -- [AP]
An American member of al-Qaida pointed to economic troubles in the United States as proof that "the enemies of Islam" face defeat, in an English-language video released Saturday.
In a half hour video message, California-native Adam Gadahn urged Pakistanis to unite against their government and U.S. forces, and taunted Americans over their economic crisis, relating it to their military interventions.
Adam Gadahn resurfaces in new al Qaeda tape -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Al Qaeda's American spokesman was rumored killed in a January airstrike that killed Abu Laith al Libi. Gadahn references the US "economic meltdown."
Security, Surveillance and Satellites -- [ThreatsWatch]
Last week as part of the Continuing Resolution that funds the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security through March 2009, Congress provided partial funding for the first phase of a controversial satellite surveillance program run by the National Applications Office
Personal Attachments, Before and After Combat -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
...Our returning soldiers and veterans can begin to readjust to the psychological trauma they have received during combat. Especially the ones who have developed strong attachments within a group they identify and interact with regularly. They will need to seek others who have experinced similar situations so as to lessen the internal pain of severing the ties of blood brothers back in the battlefield. The soldier or veteran did not choose for these bonds with family members to be broken, it was a matter of necessity for their survival.
Family understanding and involvement has an integral impact on our returning troops successful reintegration back into society.
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s Acute Lung Rescue Team: The "Delta Force of military medicine" -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Here's more from Steve Mraz on Landstuhl's special lung team mentioned here. Although the vast majority of critical patients can be safely medevaced from theater by the highly specialized personnel of the Critical Care Transport Team, there are exceptions. That's when this team goes into action...
Best Charity in America -- [Neptunus Lex]
Do you remember Senior Chief Tommy Valentine? Navy SEAL veteran of multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq? Got a workout named after him. Earned the Silver Star, and Bronze Star (twice).
...The Navy Special Warfare Foundation - certified by the Independent Charities of America as a “Best Charity in America” - is giving us that opportunity. On November 8, 2008. On board Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. It’s Navy for Navy, with MWR all in, and the hopes of at least covering the administrative costs so that something comes back to the foundation, and the families.
They’re looking for individual and corporate donations. Tax exempt, of course. A chance to tell the family of Senior Chief Valentine, and the families of too many heroes like him, how much we value what they’ve done for us.
Jobs for Veterans -- [Soldiers’ Angels Louisiana - Greta]
Helmets to Hardhats is to commended for their great work in Louisiana.
Naomi Wolf Freaking Out the Puget Sound With Lies About the Military -- [LT Nixon]
The radio segment is absolutely painful to listen to. The normally liberal NPR station in the normally liberal town of Seattle isn't even buying this nonsense, as evidenced by the radio host laughing when Naomi Wolf says "Everything I've predicted has come true!". She then calls 3ID the "blackshirts", criticizes police for having a "Rovian S&M fetish" for their riot gear, and somehow the Mayor of NYC is involved in all these fascist shenanigans, which veers sharply into LaRouche territory. An ex-military recruiter calls in and cites the last time an American was killed by the military was in the 90s, which was the result of Clinton stationing Marines on the border in the misguided drug war.
The Battlebook III: A Guide for Spouses in Leadership Roles -- [From my position... On the way! ]
Today's military serves a Nation at War. The Battle Book III: A Guide for Spouses in Leadership Roles offers a wealth of information and resources that address the tough requirements of our times.
This handbook represents the caring work of spouses of students of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) Class of 2005 and was recently updated by the USAWC student spouses of the Class of 2007.
It is designed to help Families learn about the military and better understand the Soldier's mission.
On this date in history…
-- [Strike - Hold!]
6 October 1973: The Yom Kippur War (also known as The October War) began as Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on the holiest day of the Jewish year. All this month, in honour of the 35th Anniversary of this conflict, I will be posting a series of relevant articles.
6 october 1981: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, who did much to bring peace between Israel and her Arab neighbour states, was assassinated in Cairo by...
MCAS Miramar Airshow and the people I worked with -- [Doc in the Box]
Part of being attached to Third Marine Air Wing for a corpsman is the annual airshow work drive, last year, we ran a food booth. This year, we actually did medical coverage and I was the LPO (leading petty officer) for the Mini-ambulances on the east side of the flight line.
Pentagon Seeks $57 Billion More in 2010, Jonas Says (Update1) -- [Bloomberg]
Oct. 2 -- The U.S. military wants an increase of $57 billion in fiscal 2010, about 13.5 percent more than this year's budget of $514.3 billion, according to the Pentagon's outgoing comptroller.
The White House hasn't approved the request and Pentagon officials will make a strong case for it, Tina Jonas said.
...``Just how big a boost this would be also depends on what happens'' with emergency wartime supplemental budgets, Kosiak said.
The senior foreign policy adviser for Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama, Richard Danzig, said Obama believes emergency wartime funding measures are ``an unfortunate mode of budgeting.
Troops return to California with good news -- [Los Angeles Times]
The troops came home to a joyous welcome from family members. It was a night for good news: the troops are confident that the US is winning the war.
Homecoming -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Posted on LiveLeak by an Airman with the title: "My Dogs greeting me after returning from 14 months in Iraq".
817th thanked for service in ceremony -- [In-Forum, ND]
On Sunday at the Jamestown Civic Center amid hundreds of supporters and well-wishers, the 817th received its official welcome home. To honor the guardsmen
English Student Reflects on Military Blogs, War -- [milblogging.com]
Before this class I never really never thought about the soldiers involved in this mess. I mean, I knew there were citizens over in Iraq carrying out a madman’s wishes, but I never really connected the implications of this. I knew people were dying there almost on a daily basis, but I never had a face to correlate with the number. In this way the milblog has opened my eyes to a whole new but strikingly similar culture.
The thing that I noticed from the beginning about these soldiers is how amazingly similar they are to the average, everyday, mainland American. They play video games, they write, they joke, surf the net, etc. In a big way this is a wakeup call for me. Seeing how similar these people are to me caused me to question, “What if I was in the army?” I never thought about this before because I always thought that it took a different, disconnected sort of person to join the army, but that is not the case.
Milblogging Tip: How to expand your Military Blog to Podcasting -- [milblogging.com]
If you’re interested or have questions about getting into podcasting, I’d recommend contacting Military Blogger CJ of A Soldier’s Perspective and You Served. He’s been hosting a weekly radio show on BlogTalkRadio discussing military topics. You can also check out BlogTalkRadio’s About page to learn more how their service works.
LA Times Won't Release Video of Obama Publically Praising Former PLO Operative & Jew Hater -- [Gateway Pundit]
Not only does Barack Obama's church of 20 years support Hamas and Hezbollah but Barack Obama also has a long close friendship and financial association with suspected former PLO operative and Israel hater Rashid Khalidi.
...The LA Times may not release the video of Obama praising a good friend and former PLO operative but they did publish an attack on John McCain's military service today.
Barack Obama was never in the military, of course.
Newsweek: Palin Too Common, Too Stupid to be Vice President, She's 'Dangerous' -- [NewsBusters]
Newsweek's John Meacham thinks that Governor Sarah Palin is too much a commoner and too stupid to be allowed to become vice president of the United States of America and apparently his employer agrees with him. The October 13 cover of Newsweek features a close up photo of the Governor with the headline "She's One of the Folks (And that's the problem)," and Meacham writes the accompanying cover story.
Racism rears its ugly head -- [Greyhawk]
Barack Obama has assured his supporters that Republicans will attack him because he's black.
The AP has found an example of just that - headline: AP: Palin's Ayers Attack "Racially Tinged".
...Let me abbreviate why the AP feels Palin's attack is racist: "Anyone who holds a different opinion ('not like us') than Barack Obama on anything is a racist."
See your future?
Barack Obama's Association with Former PLO Operative Khalidi
Obama doesn't weed out illegal cash, GOP says -- [Reuters]
The Republican Party on Sunday said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama had not done enough to screen out illegal campaign contributions and asked U.S. election officials to look into the matter.
Citing news reports, the Republican National Committee said Obama had accepted contributions from foreigners and taken more than the $2,300 maximum from donors who give in small increments. The Obama campaign denied the charges.
The RNC said it will ask the Federal Election Commission to examine Obama records in detail to determine the extent of the problem.
Why He’s Voting for McCain/Palin
Exclusive: Obama to hit McCain on Keating Five -- [Politico]
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Monday will launch a multimedia campaign to draw attention to the involvement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the “Keating Five” savings-and-loan scandal of 1989-91, which blemished McCain's public image and set him on his course as a self-styled reformer.
Ex-officials misled by pro-Obama video -- [Jerusalem Post]
A video released by the Jewish Council for Education & Research which appeared to show several retired senior IDF and Mossad officials supporting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has proven to be misleading, with a number of officials
A timeline. -- [One's Marine View - in Iraq]
After watching the VP debate, one major issue I paid attention to because, I’ve lived in it was the Iraq AND Afghanistan issues. Granted I think the candidates did a great job. However, you cannot establish a black and white time line to a troop withdrawal.
Interview with Pete Hegseth: Update on VFF -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
VFF has a long-term viability, not strictly a short-term play leading into the elections. While Pete heavily reiterates that getting issues addressed now in the media is important, it's primarily because the DEBATE on these issues are at the forefront during and election cycle. Pete says that they will remain quite relevant far beyond Nov 4th, as they will also address support for GWOT going forward,...
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Iraq civilian, U.S. troop deaths fall in September -- [Reuters]
The number of civilians killed in Iraq last month more than halved to 359 compared to a year ago, Iraqi government figures showed, and the number of U.S. troops killed in action also ...
"Security Incidents Had Declined To Levels Not Seen In Four-And-A-Half Years"
As this graph shows, the secuity situion in Iraq continues to improve in a dramatic way ... (Click to enlarge)
Cholera, Elections and Security Turnover -- [HILLAS' HISTORIES - in Iraq]
It has been a busy time in Babil the last two weeks. The cholera outbreak, which was heavily concentrated in Babil, appears to have stabilized. On September 24, the Iraqi Council of Representatives (Parliament) passed legislation paving the way for holding provincial elections no later than January 31.
Iraq 'needs a common vision' for the future -- [Gulf News]
Recently General David Petraeus handed over the command of the multinational forces in Iraq to General Raymond Odierno. While there has been a remarkable decline in the violence in Iraq over the last few months, the peace process in the war-ravaged nation is still believed to be very fragile.
...Gulf News: How fragile is the peace situation in Iraq? Are we going to witness a collapse of the current situation in the near future?
Iraqi Police discover stockpile; largest find to date -- [Regimental Combat Team 5 - in Iraq]
HADITHA, Iraq - Almost 9,000 pieces of ordnance lined the recently excavated trenches. Iraqi Police officers and Marines smiled and congratulated each other on preventing such a large explosive-remnants-of-war (ERW) stockpile from falling into the...
My Head Hurts -- [Zen Traveler - in Iraq]
I treat a lot of headaches. That seems to be the chief complaint of our local Iraqi staff, but they describe it in such debilitating terms that it often makes me suspicious.
...The truth is that I found many Iraqis to be attention seeking. All they want is someone to listen to their near-death complaint, give them something that looks like medicine and they're merrily on their way. I'm not sure what the cultural reason is for this.
So what's your day job? -- [IN- Iraq - Jim Foley in Iraq]
(Lt. Erich Almonte briefing his platoon before a mission in Samarra.)
"I get to work on the Samarra court system," Almonte said with an almost boyish enthusiasm. When his company, the 2nd/327th, first got here, (around Nov. of 2007), there were no judges, no courts. It was a corrupt pay to release system, he said. Not to mention that Samarra was a very dangerous place for U.S. forces.
With Almonte's help, Charlie company has been able to convince the province to assign Iraqi judges to Samarra, and over 339 prisoners who had never been tried in an Iraqi court, have been released.
Lifestyles of the Rich and FOBulous -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Cpl. Stephen McGinnis follows up his barbershop vlog by showing us how Marines at Camp Ramadi are living. He shows his room, the showers, and bathrooms.
Day 103. Chicken -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
Today I went to the range. I got a new combat optic, the ACOG. It has a mild magnification, making farther targets easier to see and it needs no batteries to create the red dot aim point. I had already boresighted it with a laser device so I was pretty close already. Then I blew off a few rounds just for fun. After all, what is the point of having unlimited ammunition if you don't use a little now and then?
Day 101. Being There -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
We released some more prisoners. During the release procedure, we ask around and see if anyone has a good reason to keep the guy locked up. Sometimes they do. This time, we discovered that there was another outstanding warrant for one of the guys we were releasing. So instead, we just transferred him to Iraqi police custody.
Boots on the Ground -- [Brad's Excellent Adventure - in Kuwait]
We got into Ali Al Salem on Saturday evening, too late for a flight. As I scanned in (the military ID now has a bar code which makes it much easier to process in and out of places), a soldier read off of a sheet and told me “I-10”. I had heard him tell this to the two people in front of me, but had no idea what it meant. So I asked him “What does ‘I-10’ mean?”. He said “that’s your tent.”. Ahh, I see – we aren’t getting out tonight. So after the briefing I went and found my tent (rows A-R, columns 1-13, 12 beds per tent, you do the math…). They don’t have linen here, so I showered and changed underwear, and slept on the bare mattress in my pants and t-shirt with a towel for a blanket.
In A Time Of War -- [Acute Politics]
If you want to know what pre-surge Iraq looked like, if you want to understand why soldiers volunteer for multiple tours, and conversely, if you want to understand why those same soldiers serve their time and leave, you should read this book.
Compounds -- [Michael Yon - in Afghanistan]
Some days ago I visited the bazaar at Jalalabad, and took a bunch of colorful photographs and met many friendly people. Walking through Jalalabad, one could almost forget there was a war. But for the most part, this war is today being fought not in the cities, but the villages and small family compounds where most Afghanis live.
...In Afghanistan, the cities are mostly won (for now), despite terrorist attacks that are often planned and supplied from militants in Pakistan. For instance, I am today in Mazar i Sharif and have been going all over the city for several days with zero dramas. I will not hesitate to walk on the street or go to restaurants. The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. In places like Jalalabad and Mazar i Sharif, it’s easy to see why so many foreigners, including Americans, tend to like Afghans.
New center speeds Afghan army's growth -- [Stay in Touch - in Iraq]
A new organization is improving the ability of the Afghan National Army to move capable forces from its training center to the operational commands.
...“The ANA was faced with tremendous problems when it came to fielding new units down range,” said Lt. Col. Jesse Edwards, senior mentor and team chief for the center. “The CFC was built to address system challenges that were preventing the ANA from growing capable units at a critical time in Afghanistan’s development.”
Badlands -- [Military Times - Michelle Tan /M. Scott Mahaskey - in Afghanistan]
Scott and I are now in Shah Joy, southeast Afghanistan, with Team Nomad, which is charged with mentoring the district’s Afghan police.
This is an unforgiving place, surrounded by mountain ranges accessible only through dry, hard packed dirt roads. The villages we visited today with the Afghan police were isolated and desolate, poor and humble, primitive and yet potentially dangerous.
As we made our way to these villages, we knew we were being watched. Radio chatter proved Taliban fighters were watching our every move. It was disconcerting, for sure, but what is even more troubling is, as any soldier ever deployed here or Iraq knows, the enemy could be anywhere.
Smell that? Its hitting the fan -- [Bouhammer.com]
Since the first of this year I have been saying over and over that 2008 would be the worst year ever in violence for Afghanistan and its coalition partners. It did not take a glass ball or a Dionne Warwick psychic to figure this out. Every year since 2005 had gotten worse and worse with the number of US deaths in Afghanistan.
Changes -- [Strategy Page]
Banditry has always been a big problem in Afghanistan. There has never been an effective national police force, and army operations merely caused the bandits to scatter back to their villages. The basic problem is that there is not one Afghanistan, but hundreds. Each tribe and warlord has its own army which polices its neighborhood.
General David McKiernan, Commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, speaks with reporters at the Pentagon on 1 October 2008.
Afghanistan Must Be Viewed Through Regional Prism, General Says - Gerry J. Gilmore -- [Defense Link]
NATO’s top military commander in Afghanistan said today he is “cautiously optimistic” regarding recent Pakistani military efforts to rein in insurgent activity in areas near the border with Afghanistan.
The Pakistani leadership now appears to be acting against terrorist sanctuaries located in the country’s remote federally administered tribal area, Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, told Pentagon reporters.
Commander in Afghanistan Wants More Troops. -- [Washington Post]
The new top US commander in Afghanistan said yesterday that more American troops are urgently required to combat a worsening insurgency, but he stated emphatically that no Iraq-style "surge" of forces will end the conflict there. "Afghanistan is not Iraq," said Gen. David D. McKiernan, who led ground forces during the 2003 Iraq invasion and took over four months ago as head of the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan.
British Envoy Says Mission in Afghanistan is Doomed, According to Leaked Memo -- [The Times]
Britain’s Ambassador to Afghanistan has stoked opposition to the allied operation there by reportedly saying that the campaign against the Taleban insurgents would fail and that the best hope was to install an acceptable dictator in Kabul.
Suicide bomber targets chief of Pakistani Pashtun political party -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Five were killed after a suicide bomber detonated in the home of the leader of the Awami National Party during Eid celebrations.
Russia says NATO bases in Ukraine, Georgia would be major threat -- [RIA Novosti]
NATO bases in Ukraine and Georgia, if deployed, would threaten Russia’s strategic military and economic infrastructure, the Russian Security Council secretary said. In an interview published in the Izvestia newspaper Wednesday, Nikolai Patrushev described the U.S. and NATO policy of increasing their military presence in Eastern Europe as seeking strategic military superiority over Russia.
A Warning from Eastern Europe -- [Michael Totten]
In August, while covering the Russian-Georgian war in the South Caucasus, I sat down with Dr. Mátyás Eörsi, Deputy Floor Leader of the Hungarian Liberal Party and President of the Liberal Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He has been particularly concerned with Georgia’s troubles for some time now, and he flew from his native Hungary to Tbilisi as quickly as he could as soon as the fighting broke out.
Al-Qaida's Foreign Fighters Shift Focus from Iraq to Pakistan and Afghanistan -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained and translated Arabic-language biographies of foreign fighters—particularly those from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait—which appear to document a shift in focus away from the jihad in Iraq and towards the growing conflict in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The biographies include the story of “Abu Ubaidah al-Najdi”, a 25-year old Saudi medical student who spent six months fighting in northern Iraq before leaving and “heading for Afghanistan”
al Qaida + Pirates = Jihad on the High Seas -- [Jawa Report]
Al Qaida has claimed responsibility for the increased pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia this year. So far this year there have been around 60 attacks against cargo ships in the Gulf of Aden, in 2007 there was 13. The islamic pirates are currently holding up to 300 crewmen hostage and 14 cargo ships for ransom.
Someone You Should Know- SFC Colin Fitts -- [BlackFive - Uncle Jimbo]
Today Dave and I spoke with a good friend of his who just got out of the hospital at Landstuhl where they were taking some shrapnel out of his face. He and Dave reminisce about the good old days back in 2004 when Fitts caught three rounds and kept on trucking. He is nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross, which he richly deserves.
Christmas at Landstuhl 2008 -- [Soldiers Angels Germany]
The motto of Landstuhl Hospital is "Selfless Service" and that is truly what the staff here do.
There is no better time to acknowledge the efforts of these "selfless" Medical Warriors than during the holidays.
Soldier Charity Faces Closure: Corporate Donations Dry Up -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
Booksforsoldiers.com has sent thousands of care packages to our troops deployed outside the US since March 2003. But Booksforsoldiers.com is in dire financial need now, and may close. The site must raise $22,000 by October 31 or it will stop taking new requests on December 1, finish filling remaining care package requests for the holidays, and cease operations December 31.
Willamette National Cemetery Vandalized -- [Flag Gazer]
This beautiful place has suddenly become yet another Military Cemetery defiled by the the greedy and the disrespectful. Recently and on three different occassions, vandals, called ‘metal thieves’ by law enforcement, went into the cemetery and stripped the copper gutters, downspouts and roofing from the shelters used during burials. Additionally, brass name plates and metal urns have been stolen.
Green Party Loser Think Natl Guard Killed 5,000 in New Orleans -- [C.H.U.D. Busters]
Despite significant press releases and news coverage about the heroic National Guard response to the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Green Party presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, has chosen to bring the crazy about how she remembered events. Citing the reliable source of a friend's son's recollection, she states that 5000 stiffs with bullet wounds in the head have been processed into some super secret "Pentagon Computer". The bodies were dumped into the swamp, presumably to be delicious snacks for Republican alligators.
Lions and tigers and soldiers oh my! -- [Castle Argghhh]
...This comes up in the context of the recent meltdown of Glenn Greenwald at Salon and John Cole's rather less breathless reaction over at Balloon Juice, not to mention the *koff* what passes for analysis over at Daily Kos, All stemming from a badly written (or, perhaps, poorly interviewed) Army Times article. In the blogger's defense, they didn't know just how significant an error of data conflation was made by the author of the article, Gina Cavallaro. Shows how important it is for us to get our details right, though, eh campers?
The Truth About The Army's Homeland "Deployments" -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
I've gotten emails from many sources, including my father, about the decision to "deploy" Army units and assign a brigade to Northern Command. The unit will be known as the Consequence Management Response Force (CCMRF). The Army Times is the main instigator in spreading the news about this, but I've seen it on other blogs and news sources (I get Google News alerts anytime "Army" is mentioned). According to the Army Times,
Anatomy of a Biased Headline: Part III -- [NewsBusters]
Today’s version of our exercise, in which we dissect the media’s attempts at interjecting bias into a simple headline, may stun some of you.
The shocking aspect? The Washington Post didn’t partake in the liberal doctoring of the headline. Let’s take a look…
The Pentagon just released a report entitled ‘Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,’ which highlights a decline in violence in the country in 2008.
Poll: 41% Say Iraq War Succeeding, 48% Say Will Get Even Better -- [NewsBusters]
Granted the focus of today's news is overwhelmingly on the bailout and the presidential race, but there is also big news on how Americans are now seeing the war effort. The pendulum has swung from despair to hopeful belief and this is important news that impinges on the elections.
Media Aired Dubious Anti-Israel Video, Not ‘Even-Handed’ to Expose Palestinian Hoaxes Only -- [NewsBusters]
It was eight years ago this week that France 2 TV introduced the world to Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian boy who was allegedly shot and killed during a gunfight between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen, in a video whose authenticity has increasingly been called into question years after it inspired anti-Semitic violence around the world. The American news media not only highlighted the story -- as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning newscasts aired the video at least 28 times between September 30, 2000, and June 30, 2003
Battle buddies -- [Foreign and Domestic]
While my unit was training for Iraq in 2005, each of the soldiers in my squad was responsible for memorizing the name of a soldier who had been killed in Iraq. Name, age, hometown, and when they were killed. This was their 'battle buddy in the sky'.
When you screw up in the Army, you do pushups. In my squad, when you did pushups you did one extra one for your battle buddy.
Vets for Freedom ad: “Skipped” -- [Hot Air - Ed Morrissey]
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly Vets for Freedom has a new ad attacking Barack Obama for his lack of attention to Iraq as well as his record of missing votes. However, VFF has more of a problem with the votes Obama managed to cast, as the ad shows:
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