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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.
Iraq SOFA Approved -- [Greyhawk]
Thanksgiving in America, and in Iraq the Parliament approved the Status of Forces Agreement. The news was scarcely noted on our shores as coverage of our national day of plenty gave way to that of the busiest shopping day of the year even as both vied with reports of terror in faraway places for the attention of those not otherwise engaged.
U.S. security pact concerns Iraq's top Shiite cleric -- [AP/Post Gazette]
Iraq's top Shiite cleric has expressed concern about the country's security pact with the United States, fearing it gives too much power to the Americans and does not protect Iraqi sovereignty, an official at his office said yesterday. . . .
Sunni, Shi’a, Christians work together to equip Iraqi Security Forces -- [MNF-I]
Senior Iraqi and Coalition leaders marked the transfer of the 3,000th armored Humvee to the Government of Iraq on Nov. 22 through a program employing 522 Iraqis from different ethnic and religious backgrounds including Sunni, Shi’a and Christian.
Almonds and Base Closures -- [S4 at War - in Iraq]
Stay tuned for a post on how one goes about closing a FOB. I’d write about it now but I haven’t exactly come up with a plan yet. I’ll be doing that over the next few days just in case the SOFA requires us to close our FOB and collapse to the larger COBs.
Bosnians mark end of mission -- [MNF-I]
In a ceremony at Hope Chapel on Victory Base Complex Nov. 29, a contingent of military forces from Bosnia-Herzegovina was honored by their Coalition partners for their service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The historic event marked the end of a commitment that started in June 2005.
Funny how things go -- [Armed and Curious]
Its been an interesting time in Baghdad according to my friends still there. Most of my colleagues are finding themselves in incredibly quiet times watching the Iraqis take more and more of the mission out of our hands. My media friends are about sick of the whole SOFA discussion.
They passed it with an agreement to put it to a referendum for the whole country by July. So that gives them a provincial election in January, the referendum for the SOFA in July and then district elections in the fall. Man, they love their elections in Iraq. They just eat that whole democracy thing up.
But in spite of it all ...
Field Report #1: -- [Grim's Hall - in Iraq]
I've said below that the violence is a shadow of what it was a year ago. About this time last year, AQI cells south of Baghdad were attacking checkpoints with technicals (i.e., a civilian truck with a heavy weapon mounted on it, DSHK-type machineguns in this case). They crashed one and burned the town of Hawr Rajab, in retaliation for their loss in a 24-hour battle with the then-new Sons of Iraq movement in that area. Arab Jabour was Indian country. All that is gone.
In the war: Iraqis save NPR reporter from car bomb -- [Newsday]
An American journalist and three Iraqi colleagues escaped injury yesterday when a bomb attached to their car exploded as it was parked along a street in west Baghdad. Ivan Watson, 33, of National Public Radio, on temporary assignment in Iraq from his normal post in Istanbul, ...The group returned to their armored car about 45 minutes later but were stopped by Iraqi soldiers who said they had been informed minutes earlier that a bomb was attached to the car, Watson said. The bomb, which had been placed under the driver's side, exploded about 15 feet from the NPR journalists. It destroyed the car but nobody was injured, according to NPR.
Band of Geldings -- [The War on Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
This is the third time that I have eaten Thanksgiving dinner out of a Styrofoam tray because I have been deployed.
Boo fucking hoo. Poor me. Hey, I should write a heartfelt, rambling post where I act like I’m smarter than everybody and spend the entire post complaining. Better throw in some pictures of the Iraqi sunset too.
Full Circular Saw -- [The War on Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
...Note that my commander is a very smart man and always talks like he is trying to sell something. He speaks:
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you. You know, the whole convoy thing isn’t really set in stone because I need a couple knuckleheads to replace the ones I give up. So you know, it’s not really there, but its there, you know what I’m sayin’?”
I have no fucking clue what he is saying.
“Yes sir, I understand,” I say.
Iraq Controls Its Coast -- [Strategy Page]
November 29, 2008: Having recently received several new patrol boats, and after several years of training, Iraqi sailors and marines are now beginning to take over complete responsibility for patrolling and guarding offshore oil facilities and...
US military defines Mahdi Army as "militia insurgency group" -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The move may signal a change in posture against the Mahdi Army and Muqtada al Sadr. It also highlights the decline of the Sadrist movement over the past two years.
Thanksgiving in Iraq -- [Chris' Almost-Daily Update - in Iraq]
Another milestone has been passed during my time here in Iraq. I was here last month for Halloween as well, but this holiday brought a more acute feeling of being apart from home. I've grown accustomed to having to choose a family to spend the holidays with, but this year I'm away from everyone. I'm still feeling okay. I'm surrounded by my
brothers in arms, and that's good enough.
Awards -- [Fobbits need ice cream too - in Iraq]
Today we had a battallion (squadron) formation. Our company was inducted into the Order of the Golden Spur, authorizing us to wear golden spurs on our ACUs or Class A footwear while attending a Cav function or while attached to a Cav unit. We can also wear Stetsons (the Civil War era cowboy hats). I was awarded an Army Achievement Medal and an Army Commendation Medal as well as a Squadron and Company coin. Shit like this used to excite me but it doesn't anymore.
30NOV08 -- Major Wentworth's Promotion -- [Notes from Iraq - in Iraq]
Today, Aaron Wentworth of Michigan was promoted to major from captain. We had a cookout to celebrate, and Major Wentworth invited the Iraqi Army to participate. Read more »
On Fence Sitting and Operating in the Fringe -- [Afghanistan Shrugged - in Afghanistan]
..."I did, I told you they were here, what else do you want from me"
He's right, the doctor has done more than 80% of the people would do, he told us they were here and left. We can't protect his guy at night and they will cut his head off. He won't even get the dubious honor of having it done on the internet, it'll just be done in the dark of night and we'll get a report about it after several days.
That's the central issue here, how do you protect them? Those who defend everything, defend nothing. We aren't here at night and the ACM are. When we roll in they roll out. It's whack a mole on steroids! We try to build the ANA and ANP, the last two ANP chiefs were shot in the face in broad daylight by ACM
The doctor is indicative of a great number of the population. It's not that they hate us they just don't know if we're going to win. We will, we just have to show them in tangibles. Promises are empty. Deeds not words. If the ANA says that they'll protect them then they have to 100%.
It's a battle of inches, slow, plodding, and deliberate. It's low tech. We dig through the trash to find them. It's happening here. Predator, Reaper and all of the other cool billion dollar weapons systems help very little. As T.F Farenbach wrote, "It is a battle of wills in the dirt".
How Pvt. Monica Brown Won A Silver Star -- [60 Minutes]
Pak shifts from Afghanistan to India -- [PRESS TV]
Pakistan may pull out nearly 100000 troops from its western borders with Afghanistan and will deploy them on the eastern border with India
Afghanistan not in crisis: UN Security Council -- [AFP]
KABUL — Afghanistan is not in a security crisis and disillusionment and recriminations about its situation should be avoided, a UN Security Council team said at the end of a three-day assessment tour.
There were even reasons for "cautious optimism," the delegation told reporters before wrapping up a visit which comes as attacks linked to the insurgency led by the Islamic Taliban are at record levels.
Taliban Leader Wearing Burqa Killed -- [Military.com]
KABUL, Afghanistan - Gunbattles and airstrikes by NATO and Afghan troops killed 53 militants in Afghanistan, including a wanted Taliban commander who tried to hide from Soldiers under a woman's burqa, officials said Saturday.
IN THE COMPANY OF HEROES part 1 -- [Soldier's Angels - Medical Support]
One of my contacts is a Sgt with a combat stress unit. They travel all over the outlying country by chopper and convoy, distributing snacks, Monster energy drink, advice, counseling and a shoulder when needed.
You might think that a "social worker's" job is pretty routine; not when it's in Afghanistan. Here's his latest update:
Bare Feet -- [The Left Captain - in Afghanistan]
...What do you tell a man who beats his fist against the table, once for anger, once for pain, and once for shame because his body and mind went silent when he saw the children's bare feet and small fingers curled and still.
Soldiers Spend Thanksgiving In Afghanistan -- [The Left Captain - in Afghanistan]
Steve Inskeep checks in with four members of the New York National Guard, currently deployed to Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan. They are spending Thanksgiving overseas and talk about what they're thankful for — and what they'll be telling their families when they call home today.
Computer Virus Hits U.S. Military Base in Afghanistan -- [US News]
U.S. military officials speculate the cyber attack may have originated in China
KABUL—The largest U.S. military base in Afghanistan was hit by a computer virus earlier this month that affected nearly three quarters of the computers on the base, U.S. News has learned.
Afghan Army Suffers Major Losses in Baghdis -- [Battlefield Tourist]
A miles long resupply convoy in northwestern Afghanistan was attacked November 27 by up to 300 militants resulting in 13 dead and another 16 missing. The casualties are a mix of security forces, including Afghan National Army. ...International troops called to the scene say as many as 40 of the militants also died in the battle.
Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security -- [WaPo]
The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.
Holiday Spending Up 7 Percent Over Last Year, Early Reports Show -- [Washington Post]
By Ylan Q. Mui Consumers swarmed the nation's stores over the weekend in search of deeply discounted electronics and apparel, sending sales rising and giving retailers a little Christmas cheer, according to early reports released today.
Mumbai probe focuses on Pakistan-based militants -- [AFP]
MUMBAI - Investigations into the Mumbai attacks shifted further towards the suspected role of the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba Monday, threatening a fragile peace process between New Delhi and Islamabad.
Pakistan Declares Baitullah Mehsud Patriot -- [Captains Journal]
"While the new Pakistan administration sees the need for the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda, the Pakistan Army mostly doesn't and wishes not to be fighting their own people.
War hero returns from the front to be beaten up by police -- [Daily Mail]
A soldier who served his country in Iraq and Afghanistan was allegedly ... War hero returns from the front to be beaten up by police
Brutal Police Attack On War Hero
Iran proposes nuclear plants with Arab countries -- [AP]
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The head of Iran's nuclear power agency said Sunday the country is willing to help neighboring Arab countries build joint light-water ...
U.S. Forces Help Lebanese Military Assert Control -- [Defense Link]
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2008 – The U.S. military is helping the Lebanese military establish itself as the sole arm of the democratically elected Lebanese government, a senior Pentagon official said in a recent interview.
Chavez seeks indefinite re-election, again -- [AP]
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez asked supporters Sunday to petition for a constitutional amendment that would let him seek indefinite re-election and buy more time to build a socialist economy in Venezuela.
Panel Fears Use of Unconventional Weapon -- [New York Times]
An independent commission has concluded that terrorists will most likely carry out an attack with biological, nuclear or other unconventional weapons somewhere in the world in the next five years unless the United States
A Quick Backgrounder on Lashkar-e-Taiba -- [Bill Roggio]
There is a lot of talk about Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that is strongly suspected of being behind last week's terror assault in Mumbai, India. Below is a quick primer on Lashkar-e-Taiba I've excerpted from an update on the situation in Mumbai I wrote yesterday. There is far more to the terror group than this, but it should help explain the relationship between what is called "al Qaeda Central" and their affiliated groups. There are a lot of people out there twisting themselves in knots to disassociate Lashkar-e-Taiba from al Qaeda. They are wrong to do so.
The U.S. Terror Support Network Exposed -- [PJM - Patrick Poole]
The Holy Land Foundation trial unveiled the extent of the financing of terrorism among leading American Islamic organizations.
Al-Qaida No. 2 to US: Overcome meltdown with Islam -- [APN News]
Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader appeared in a new video posted Friday calling on Americans to embrace Islam to overcome the financial meltdown, which he said was a consequence of the Sept. 11 attacks and militant strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ayman al-Zawahri, whose 80-minute recording touched on a number of subjects, also lashed out at Afghanistan's government and said any U.S. gains in Iraq will be temporary.
Zawahri's new recording came in the form of a question-and-answer session with an off-camera interviewer.
The War Against Terror, in case you forgot -- [This ain’t Hell]
It’s been easy to forget that the war against terror is actually a war against terror the last few years while Iraq and Afghanistan became (and still are) political footballs. With the Left trying to call the war “imperialistic” and “immoral” they seem to forget that there are folks out there trying to kill us all. The action in Mumbai last week has brought that home to those of us who remain sane.
Ten Terrorists Caused "India's 9/11"? Correction: 20 to 40? -- [Ace]
Above the Post Update: The NYT reports estimates of 20 to 40 terrorists -- the nine killed and one captured are just the hold-outs and the ones who didn't flee.
Troubling: "Deccan Mujahideen" YouTube Video from THREE WEEKS AGO [UPDATED] -- [Jawa Report]
Here's a video commenter "./." found over at YouTube titled "Deccan Mujahideen". The most troubling part? It was added on November 3rd, which means it preceded the Mumbai attacks by three weeks.
I Have PTSD (MTV's True Life) -- [A Soldier's Perspective - White Rose]
Over the last few months, MTV's show "True Life" has followed my oldest son, Kenny, around from time to time. They are doing a show on soldiers coming back from Iraq with PTSD. When MTV left a message on my blog months ago asking for help in contacting soldiers with PTSD, I was a bit nervous. Kenny was living with me at the time and making progress in healing from his PTSD. After his being suicidal back in February and my knowing what I know about PTSD, I wasn't sure I wanted him contacting the show.
...So, after having a camera in my house for several days and ...
'Angels' helping wounded soldiers with electronic gifts -- [jconline, Lafayette, IN]
..."I've seen the smiles, and seen soldiers get jobs and reconnect with their families and buddies," Patton-Bader said. "All kinds of things come out of this. It helps the actual patient.
"We're in the midst of a big, harsh and strong war and it's up to all of us to heal the heroes who are returning."
Through Project Valour-IT, wounded members of the military also can receive Wii equipment and personal GPS systems.
Iraq Veteran Gives Thanks
Topps Salutes the Troops With Trading Cards -- [You Served - CJ]
I’m constantly in search of good stories about our troops. I’m even more interested in stories about name brand companies honoring the troops in some way. As a former collector of trading cards of all types - from basketball to Magic: The Gathering - so this sort of speaks to me.
Need to buy Christmas Cards? -- [Soldiers’ Angels Louisiana - Greta]
If you have a business or need at least 2000 Christmas cards, I would like to suggest Prudent Publishing’s GalleryCollection.com. During these tough economic times, this company made a generous donation of $10,000 to Project Valour-IT.
Fight For The Troops -- [Miss Ladybug]
I've now seen several commercials promoting Fight For The Troops. It seems that UFC and SPIKE are teaming up to raise money to benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. UFC Fight For The Troops is a charitable services fund of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
You can make a donation - from yourself, or in honor of someone else, or even in memory of someone
RAFFLE FOR THE SUPPORT OF OUR SOLDIERS -- [Anysoldier.com]
Any Soldier Inc. has been approached by Steve & Natalie Skyrm of Prince Frederick, Maryland, to donate the net proceeds from the sale of their home to our non-profit organization for the support and care of our soldiers in the United States military.
Any Soldier Inc. with the help of over 39,000 volunteer contacts and countless supporters worldwide, has served over one million troops!
It is our hope to raise money so that we can continue our efforts. The Any Soldier® effort has given hope to most and inspired many of our soldiers knowing we will care for them and support them until they return home safely.
Deserter applies for asylum in Germany -- [This ain’t Hell]
Meet Andre Shepard, the latest in a short line of deserters from the US military. Shepard is unique in that he has applied for asylum to Germany. Asylum. As if he’s persecuted in his own country, instead of being one of the unique few who’re allowed to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Why did he desert? Well, because he had a revelation of sorts;
Soldiers Returning From Iraq Trigger Baby Boom At Ft. Bragg
U.S. Army Desertions Drop 24 Percent -- [Strategy Page]
November 30, 2008: Desertion in the U.S. Army declined 24 percent last year, to 3,559 (the army fiscal year runs from October to September). In the last five years, the U.S. military has had about 30,000 deserters.
Welcome, thanks returning troops -- [Chronicle-Tribune]
We also encourage Grant County residents, when you run one of these soldiers in church, in a restaurant, in town, to offer your welcome home and thanks.
Troops showered with warm welcome home -- [Clarksville Leaf Chronicle]
With a double-stroller donning a sign that read "Welcome Home, Daddy," Crowell stood in the rain until she was sure her husband, Capt. ...
Hero's welcome -- [Today's News-Herald]
Trubia and the attending supporters were invited into the American Legion for a reception of refreshments and pizza to complete the welcome home festivities
Families welcome home Fighting 69th from Afghanistan -- [Newsday]
The 306 soldiers of the New York National Guard unit were sent to Afghanistan late last year and early this year and are expected to return home sometime
NY Times Scurrying To Give Obama Victory Credit For Their Shared Defeat In Iraq -- [Confederate Yankee]
Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have famously done everything in their power to try to lose the Iraqi War while President Bush is in office, but now that everyone with any understanding of the conflict knows that the war is effectively won, Democrats are trying to steal credit for the victory they fought so hard against:
Will networks ignore military analyst report? -- [Politico]
"Through seven years of war an exclusive club has quietly flourished at the intersection of network news and wartime commerce.
Turner: KGB 'Honorable,' Iraq 'Naked Aggression' Like Soviets in Afghanistan -- [NewsBusters]
“The KGB, I think, was an honorable place to work” with “worthwhile” achievements, CNN founder Ted Turner contended in an interview aired on Sunday's Meet the Press in which he blamed the U.S. for starting the battles with Vladimir Putin “by putting the Star Wars system in Czechoslovakia and Poland” and, when host Tom Brokaw recalled that Leonid Brezhnev reacted to Jimmy Carter's outreach by invading Afghanistan, Turner retorted with moral equivalence: “Well, we invaded Afghanistan, too, and it's a lot further -- at least it's on the border of the Soviet Union.” Brokaw called it “naked aggression on the part of the Russians at the time,” prompting Turner to charge: “Well, going into Iraq was naked aggression on the part of the United States.”
Snap Damn! -- Must Read -- [Abu Muqawama]
"On NBC and in other public forums, General McCaffrey has consistently advocated wartime policies and spending priorities that are in line with his corporate interests. But those interests are not described to NBC’s viewers. He is held out as a dispassionate expert, not someone who helps companies win contracts related to the wars he discusses on television."
Great reporting or unfair smear?
Couple Claims CNN Endangered Their Lives During Mumbai Attacks -- [NewsBusters]
A British couple caught in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, last week claimed Sunday that CNN endangered their lives by broadcasting their whereabouts.
High Praise For Obama's National Security Team -- [US News]
President-elect Barack Obama is expected to announce his national security team today, and media reports reflect virtually unanimous praise for Obama's selections
Episode 47 BACK IN BLACK The Sgt. Freedom Campaign
'Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat,' Says General
'Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat,' Says General
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
This Dawn Patrol is a request for readers to give thanks (leave them a comment) to those deployed away from their families in unfriendly places.
UPDATE: I want to give a shout out to the three people who took the time out of their Holiday to stop by and leave a comment of thanks to our men and women listed below. With a links from BlackFive, memeorandum, Hot Air, Michelle Malkin and a few others, you'd think there'd be more, tsk tsk.
I left mine, it's not too late for you to leave yours.
Thank You for thanking them:
Something on the staff
Navy Gal-Off To Iraq
S4 at War
Bad Dogs and Such
Up Country Iraq
Notes from Iraq
Fobbits need ice cream too
Armed and Curious
The Gun Line
Bill of Castle Argghhh!!!
The Marching Camp
Embrace The Suck
The Left Captain
Stay in Touch
Conversations in the Desert
Good Morning Afghanistan
I have only listed milblogs I know of that are deployed, if anyone knows one I have missed please leave a link in the comment so others may visit.
And while your at it thank any veterans from past and present wars for their service.
Here a few milblog vets that come to mind to start you off (sorry I cannot list them all but you can leave their link in the comment section as well so others can visit them).
Paule at Seize Adventure
An American Soldier
Boots In Baghdad
From the Halls to the Shores
Bill Faith at Old War Dogs
One Marines View
LT Nixon Rants
Fun With Hand Grenades
Doc in the Box
Toby Nunn's Briefing Room
JP at Milblogging.com
T-Bone's War Journal
Jumping without a Parachute
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.
The Iraq war is over. -- [Michael Yon, New York Post]
THE Iraq War is over.
Flames still burst from various sources and wild cards remain, such as the potential that Muqtada al-Sadr might stomp his feet and encourage his diminished militias to attack us. Yet support for Sadr among Shia is hardly monolithic. In fact, many Shia view him as a simpleton whose influence derives strictly from respect for his father. Others cite the threat from Iran, but the Iranian participation in the fighting here remains overstated.
Whistleblower: U.S. Snooped on Tony Blair, Iraqi President -- [ABC]
Former Intercept Operator Tells ABC News He Saw Blair File, Heard "Pillow Talk" of Iraqi Leader
A former communications intercept operator says U.S. intelligence snooped on the private lives of two of America's most important allies in fighting al Qaeda: British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Iraq's first interim president, Ghazi al-Yawer.
VI Day – The Beginning -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Late March, 2003. I’m travelling within Germany on business and get into a taxi. I notice by his accent the driver isn’t a German national. Because there’s kind of a bond between ex-pats, we start talking. I ask him where he’s from.
“Iraq. What about you?”
“I’m an American.”
The anti-war sentiment in Germany is high during this time, so we start slowly. But soon the words come tumbling out as he tells me his story.
Victory in Iraq day? -- [Fobbits need ice cream too - in Iraq]
So yesterday was apparently Victory in Iraq day. I guess we didn't get the memo. Stars and Stripes (deployed newspaper propaganda) has the names of dead people in it everyday, so I'm not sure how we achieved victory when people are still dying. Did al-Qaeda sign a treaty? Did all the foreign jihadists go home? Have major combat operations stopped for the second time? People are still walking the beat right now in full kit with mags in condition red; it's not over yet.
The future of Iraq -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
is in excellent hands. Those would be, of course, my hands.
Yeah. That's Your Author, with a cigarette in one hand and an Iraqi child in the other. And, yes, if you look closely, that Iraqi child is carrying a gun. Yes, it's a real gun, a .25 of some sort. And no - it wasn't loaded.
TAJI and the Fun Haters -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
...The P-CSMs are known for constantly enforcing standards that don’t really fit in a war environment. As the rockets and bullets have decreased, the P-CSMs have increased their haranguing of soldiers who’s drip pans aren’t under their vehicles, aren’t wearing reflective belts with their PT uniforms, aren’t saluting every officer they pass and, in-general, aren’t behaving in a professional pogue-ish military manner. The Pogue CSMs are just a pain-in-the ass.
Recent Pictures: Stampede and New Iraqi Commander -- [Notes from Iraq - in Iraq]
Below are recent pictures. A stampede of sheep on the roadway and meeting the new Iraqi Brigade Commander.
Another day in Iraq... -- [Two Brothers, Two Countries, One Army - in Iraq]
well here I sit, not much to report. The last 10 -14 days have been plenty exciting enough that I don't need to see or do anything for a little while at least. But you never know when something might happen. There were some things that have happened since then, but you know the phrase, "if I told you, I'd have to kill you..." so that's about as far as i can go with that. They didn't make the news this time....they weren't as significant for say, as the last two things that happened that did. We haven't had any cookouts lately, no parties, not much going on. Other than the normal run-around from my unit....nothing new there I guess.
Al Maliki calls for US pullout if pact fails -- [Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network]
“Extending the presence of the international forces on Iraqi soil will not be our alternative,” Al Maliki told journalists. “The alternative will be their immediate withdrawal from Iraq.” Al Maliki affirmed that the Coalition is acting towards persuading other political parties and blocs of the necessity to engage in the security agreement and approve it before it’s too late.
One Surge Does Not Fit All -- [DONALD H. RUMSFELD - NY Times]
... As one who is occasionally — and incorrectly — portrayed as an opponent of the surge in Iraq, I believe that while the surge has been effective in Iraq, we must also recognize the conditions that made it successful. President Bush’s bold decision to deploy additional troops to support a broader counterinsurgency strategy of securing and protecting the Iraqi people was clearly the right decision. More important, though, it was the right decision at the right time.
Marines drafting plan to send more troops to Afghanistan -- [LA Times]
MISSION: A U.S. Marine meets with elders in Kunar province, in eastern Afghanistan. Marines are eager to join the fight against the Taliban, with some feeling a sense of unfinished business from 2001 when they were abruptly called off.
2/7 Marines got more than they bargained for -- [Bouhammer]
I have posted many stories about the accomplishments of 2/7 Marines, and have interviewed their Battalion Commander several times and even emailed with him personally. This story in the LA Times does a good job summarizing some of the obstacles and combat hardships they faced.
The Marines of the Two-Seven were not even supposed to deploy to Afghanistan.
Herding Ferrets, And I Have Underwear Now... -- [Embrace The Suck - in Afghanistan]
Two things happened today. First thing in the morning we had another airdrop of water and supplies. Fun for me given the fact that I just got off the towers and had to move directly into gunning for this mission. Always good to be behind a fully automatic weapon with no sleep. So it goes.
Al-Qaeda Thanks Iranian Regime For Infrastructure Assistance -- [Gateway Pundit]
The Iranian regime is providing "monetary and infrastructure assistance" to Al-Qaeda according to a letter signed by terrorist leader Ayman al-Zawahiri that was intercepted recently.
U.S. Troops Attacked in Philippines -- [AP]
The details are sketchy, but the Associated Press is reporting American troops riding in a convoy were fired upon by suspected Muslim militants in the Philippines earlier this week. Here's the report in full
Chavez faces test in Venezuela elections -- [CNN]
Venezuelans swarmed the polls on Sunday to cast ballots in hundreds of gubernatorial, mayoral and legislative elections.
But for President Hugo Chavez, the election is about himself -- and he's not even on the ballot.
Hezbollah, an imminent danger? -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
CIA Director Michael Hayden said last week that al-Qaida was still the largest threat to the United States. He added, "If there is a major strike on this country, it will bear the fingerprints of al-Qaida."
But some analysts say that the focus should not go entirely on al-Qaida, stressing that the capabilities of the Shiite organization Hezbollah should not be underestimated.
USAF VALOUR-IT BABY -- [Greyhawk]
The Auction Takes A Turn -- [LW - BlackFive]
Please, if you have not donated, consider even just a dollar. Five would be great, and no one is going to object to more. But, make that start, for every dollar has a direct and tangible benefit to our wounded and disabled.
Overlooked Deployment Benefits -- [Sgt Grumpy]
As is my normal routine at this time of year, I have begun planning for my tax return and looking at end of year tax moves. In the process of reviewing tax changes that have occurred since I deployed, I realized that there are a number of benefits related to the "tax free income" aspect of being in a Combat Exclusion Zone. This is something they do not brief us on as we redeploy, and it is something I think troops should at least be aware of.
WWII vet receives Bronze Star 63 years later -- [Army News]
Retired Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore congratulates former Pfc Douglas W. Kearney after presenting him the Bronze Star Nov. 12 for achievement during combat in World War II.
Home at last -- [thepaper24-7.com]
With signs and banners waving, the soldiers of 3-139th Field Artillery returned home to a hero's welcome Sunday as dozens of family,
Locals rally to welcome troops home -- [Journal Review]
Celeste Strickler choked back tears Saturday morning as she tied ribbons on light posts along Washington Street. ...
CNN Corrects Its Pathetic 'Bush Snubbed By World Leaders' Story -- NewsBusters]
CNN has corrected a bogus story the network's Rick Sanchez pathetically aired Wednesday about leaders at last Saturday's G20 meeting snubbing President Bush as if he had "cooties."
Palin rocked by Turkeygateposted -- [Hot Air - Allahpundit]
Send to a Friend | Share on Facebook | printer-friendly Starts cute, then takes a turn at around 2:30. Pay attention to the mocking chyrons as the video rolls, which are par for the course on this network for this particular politician. They could have and should have treated this lightly, as a shared laugh at a goofy moment, but Shuster’s tone at the very end says it all.
Maybe the Gray Lady should eat crow for Thanksgiving -- [Ed Morrissey - Hot Air]
...One man butchers a turkey for food (two, actually), and the New York Times gets the vapors. Have any of them ever eaten meat? At all? The editors of the Times should declare right now whether they plan to eat real turkey on Thanksgiving, and/or use turkey in sandwiches from now on. If so, how would they expect to have that available to them without the kind of process seen in this clip? Did they think that turkeys somehow committed suicide and left wills donating their bodies to family dining tables around the world?
Drug Warriors Holder and Rambo: Fighting the Wrong War At the Wrong Time -- [LT Nixon]
Obama's top pick for Attorney General, Eric Holder, has been going through the wringer for the Marc Rich pardon and the Elian Gonzalez debacle during his Clinton daze. But, the only major media publication that has been grilling him on his failed drug policies are those pesky libertarians at Reason.
Obama 'Selling Out' On Foreign Policy? -- [Threats Watch - Steve Schippert]
The headline in the UK’s Telegraph says it all: “Barack Obama accused of selling out on Iraq by picking hawks to run his foreign policy”. If elaboration is needed, read the first graphs. Mr Obama has moved quickly in the
Satirical Article on Iranian Website: Imaginary Letter from Obama to Ahmadinejad -- [MEMRI Blog]
..."Dear Mahmoud, I hate to tell you that your letter caused us quite a bother. The White House translators couldn't or wouldn't translate it, saying it was a job for the department of religious propaganda. Eventually we had to ask for the help of our friends the Israelis who know Persian better than us and even maintain trade relations with you guys on the quiet.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Sorry very busy today, ONE, I'm working behind the scenes for Valour-IT Don't forget to donate to help our injured troops in their recovery.
And TWO, one of the Greyhawk chillins is turning 21 and we must bake a cake and celebrate.
This should get you started:
First, the Good News... - [BIll - in Iraq]
Spring -- [Greyhawk]
Continuing a series begun here, in which General Petraeus was unanimously confirmed by the Senate and sent to Baghdad with instructions not to involve himself in political arguments back home.
4 years later, it never gets easier -- [Bouhammer]
Our Troops, Thanksgiving, and You -- [The Corner]
Faux Coconut -- [Jules]
IBM and five universities are teaming up to make a fake brain for the military VentureBeat
Boom. Boom. Boom. -- [Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
...I open the door and see a private from my company.
“First sergeant wants to see you,” the private says.
...I shut the door and change into my PT gear. As I pull on my shorts, fear suddenly overtakes me.
The commander is pissed off at my blog.
And last but NOT least if you want to read our troops in Iraq and in Afghanistan I have a current list of them here
Have a great weekend!
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.
Winter -- [Greyhawk]
Some very predictable (and unfortunate) reactions to military victory in Iraq. Imagine the surprise so many of these people would feel if they discovered the war was won a year ago.
America! F*ck Yeah! -- [From my position... On the way!]
WE did it. We, the American Service Member, the patriots who supported us, the men and women at home who sent us everything from postcards to Kevlar Blankets, who never lost faith in us or our mission, won.
November 22 is VI day--Victory in Iraq. We, the people, declare it as such. We do not need an elected official to tell us we are victorious, nor do we need some booze-addled hack with a journalism degree to bleat it on the nightly news.
Chicago is more dangerous than Iraq--An estimated 125 people were shot and killed over the summer. That's nearly double the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq over the same time period.
War’s Over Indicator No. 52 -- [Jules Crittenden]
$3 billion subway planned for Baghdad. Either the war’s over, or some bright Iraqi bureaucrat familiar with the Big Dig saw how $3 billion can turn into $14 billion worth of cost overruns and good jobs at good wages.
November 16, 2008 - Democracy for the world -- [S4 at War - in Iraq]
A Brigade Commander was commenting the other day on his interactions with Iraqis across his area of operations in the wake of our election. He said that the reaction from everyone he met, people in the cities to remote villages, was that the election showed the United States practices what it preaches and that we are still an example of Democracy for the world.
Peace Comes To A Deadly City -- [Washington Times]
Iskandariyah was once one of the country's bloodiest war fronts. But the violence began to wane in mid-2007 after the U.S. troop surge and the decision by some tribal leaders and insurgents to cooperate with the Americans. For the past year, Col. Getchell's troops from Fort Campbell, Ky., have struggled to hold the fragile peace together.
So far it's working, despite occasional flare-ups. But American involvement in almost every aspect of daily life has expanded the vacuum to be filled when U.S. forces leave.
Most of the American troops based here have moved to the edge of the city, and the last soldiers will leave Iskandariyah to head home next month. Some U.S. officers express confidence the calm will survive their departure, but the city's Sunni and Shi'ite sheiks are far more nervous.
U.S.: Senior Iranian Commando Arrested in Iraq -- [FOX News]
The U.S. military says it has arrested an alleged senior member of the Iranian security forces suspected of funneling weapons into Iraq.
Taking Amtrak to Taji -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
Today I was the audience along with three other convoys going out that night . After the Intel dump we went to the staging lanes where we conduct our final PCCs/PCIs before we hit the road.
I’d like to tell you some exciting story about the journey north but it was pretty uneventful. After we linked-up with the vehicles we were escorting we pointed north and drove….and drove….and drove.
...Well, that’s a convoy. 600 miles, 3 days, no incidents. I’ve done it 6 times so far. Our regular escort teams do it once every 5 days. Escorting convoys is our primary mission and it’s what we have done every day since my Squadron has been in-country.
Sadr Takes Aim at New U.S.-Iraq Agreement -- [PJM- Omar and Mohammed Fadhil - Iraqi bloggers]
The document is signed but its future is uncertain.
General (R) McCaffrey's latest AAR from in-theater. -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
I've stripped a lot of the contact data out. I'll put up the .pdf later for those who want to see who Gen(r) McCaffrey visited during his latest swing through the region. Bottom line - things are looking up, and very much so - though always with a caveat that the enemy still has a vote. McCaffrey is not one to paint a rosy picture to soften a blow - as previous consumers of his AARs can attest!
Admiral Mullen speaking to the press yesterday... -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
...on the subject of the change of Administration here at home, along with a discussion of the SOFA agreement with the Iraqis.
Infrastructure in Iraq -- [Matel in Iraq]
As the introduction says, I am a career Foreign Service Officer who recently returned from a year in Iraq leading a provincial reconstruction team (PRT) embedded with the Marine Regimental Combat Team in Western Iraq.
...What I can tell you is what I saw in Iraq with my own eyes. What I have seen may indeed make more sense to you when I describe it than it does to me. Your training gives you insights I don’t have. My eyes and your expertise may create synergy.
Our PRT was tasked with helping rebuild – or in many case just build – infrastructure in Iraq.
Baghdad's Bayaa Market (video) -- [Outside the Wire - JD Johannes]
The biggest threat these days may be food poisoning if you are not used to the local "flora" of the Kebabs and Smoothies. Secondary threat--a septic infection from a cut at the barber shop.
But, with some Immodium and an up-to-date tetanus shot, you should be fine.
Odds and Ends -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
...Our Work Here is Done.
Then there is his poster of Aunuld. (1970's Aunuld). I can't read the poster but it appears to be advertising something going on in Baghdad.
Quick note to any local readers I might have... -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
If the US Army in your immediate area is being friendly, driving carefully so as not to knock down powerlines and, in fact, walking around your city to check things out, it is not in your best interest to start shooting at those walking Soldiers.
Further, if you live in a neighborhood where you think you'd like some stuff - like, oh, say, new powerlines, or a park, or new sidewalks, or whatever - it is really not a good idea to allow people to shoot at the Civil Affairs element as they walk by.
Which One's Pink? -- [War on Big Tobacco - Pink - in Iraq]
Pink brings a different perspective on the entire cohort of horny infantryman roaming the FOB… but I’ll let her explain that for herself:
seeing as how you're reading this right now. I have to tell you, I am pretty excited to of been asked to write something for his blog.
What brought this on was a comment I made to him about how you cannot put a bunch of Infantrymen and females together and tell them that they cannot have sex. Desperation and lame pick-up lines are sure to follow.
...Like any female, it’s nice to know that someone wants you, even if they're using a stupid line to try to get you. I laugh it off and go about my day, after all, I'm the one that picked this job. I have to deal with all of it, the good and the bad, and even the horny Infantrymen.
Suspected US missile strike kills 6 in Pakistan -- [AP]
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A suspected U.S. missile strike hit a village deep inside Pakistani territory Wednesday, officials said, killing six alleged militants and indicating American willingness to pursue insurgents beyond the lawless tribal regions.
The strike was the latest in a surge of cross-border attacks in Pakistan's militant-plagued northwest in the last three months. The attacks have killed scores of suspected al-Qaida and Taliban militants, but have enraged the country's civilian leadership.
The attack was the first to hit an area outside the semiautonomous tribal belt that directly borders Afghanistan, something which could trigger extra anger among Pakistanis.
Hours after the strike, a large Islamist political party warned it would block two major supply routes for U.S and NATO forces in Afghanistan that run through Pakistan unless the attacks ended.
Winter -- [The Left Captain - in Afghanistan]
...I still feel positive about my ongoing work with Soldiers. There are a lot of good guys here who have very stressful jobs. I do what I can to help them; regardless of whether that is treatment in country or getting the out of here. The ongoing combat in Afghanistan is off the radar screen of American media—there are still firefights and mortar barrages and guys sleeping out in the cold and the dirt. They say the winter is hard on the Afghans but I am observing that combat operations in the cold are hard on anyone. From what I read in the newspapers, the generals want to wage a busy winter campaign here. Winter isn't even here yet, but it is getting cold fast.
A cold wind is blowin' -- [Cheese's Milblog - in Afghanistan]
It's getting a lot colder here. As an upstate New Yorker I'm pretty used to the cold, but it's like all of the sudden my ears are freezing off the side of my head.
We're still rotating to one of the overstaffed bases in the area to sit in towers while they have parties and poker tournaments.
Dogs, And Ponies, And Sergeant Majors, Oh My... -- [Embrace The Suck - in Afghanistan]
...Tonight brings another shift of guard duty. Which basically is two of us stuck in a tower that is roughly the size of the trunk of a honda civic with a heater blowing in the window that is made to heat an area the size of a football field. I mean these fucking heaters can melt concrete. All the while staring out at the Afghani countryside through night vision goggles and wondering if and when something is actually going to happen. I have had to do this for 12 hours a day for the past two days. Not really bad duty, I got to hang out with the ANP (Afghan National Police), and the "terps".
Strikes in Afghanistan decline as flights rise -- [Air Force Times]
As criticism increased that airstrikes in Afghanistan were killing too many civilians and endangering the support for U.S. troops there, the number of bombs dropped by Air Force, Navy and other coalition warplanes declined.
Air Forces Central figures show that since June, the number of bombs dropped by fighters and bombers decreased each month, even as ground combat increased.
Letter to the New President -- [From the Frontline]
I received this letter from a good Afghan friend of mine recently. As you can read in the short biography below, Orzala was involved for a long time in founding and building an organisation called HAWCA, one of the few local NGOs whose work I have always been genuinely and uniformly impressed by. She wrote these few comments in response to Obama’s election victory:
Beer For the Troops In Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
Last year, Germany shipped about a million liters (equal to nearly three million 12 ounce bottles) of beer to its 3,600 troops in Afghanistan. About 70,000 liters of wine were sent as well. Each German soldier is allowed nearly a liter of beer a day. This is believed to be good for morale. In a further boost to German troop morale, their government will not allow them to be sent to any area experiencing heavy combat.
SOMALIA: Pirates Reach the High Seas And The Big Time -- [Strategy Page]
So far this year, the Somali pirates have attacked about 90 ships, and captured 35. They get a ransom of up to $2 million per ship (depending on size and cargo.) The pirates are expected to get over $40 million in ransoms for the year.
Al Qaeda Score Card -- [Strategy Page]
November 18, 2008: Without revealing the detailed scoreboard they are known to maintain, the American CIA revealed that they believe al Qaeda has suffered major defeats in Iraq, North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Southeast Asia, Chechnya, Europe and North America. The terrorist organization is still present in all those areas, but in a much diminished state.
Ayman al-Zawahiri on the "Parting of Bush and the Arrival of Obama" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
During the recording, al-Zawahiri issued a message to U.S. President-Elect Obama, warning him of the "heavy legacy of failure and crimes [which] awaits you" and accusing Obama of having the "same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims" as the Bush administration. Zawahiri added, "in you, and in Colin Powell, Rice, and your likes, the words of Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning 'House Negroes' are confirmed. You... must appreciate, as you take over the presidency of America during its Crusade against Islam and Muslims, that you are neither facing individuals nor organizations, but are facing a Jihadi awakening
New on MEMRI: Al-Rai TV – A Syrian Platform for Iraqi Terror Broadcasts -- [MEMRI Blog]
Al-Rai TV, which began broadcasting several months ago from Syria, provides coverage of events in the Middle East, focusing on terrorist attacks carried out by Sunni insurgents against U.S. forces and Iraqi security forces.
Faith -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Well over 50,000 patients have passed through Landstuhl since the beginning of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Three times each week, medevac aircraft leave Germany for the US. They carry those requiring "transfer for continued care". We can't keep them here; we need to make room for "incoming".
In some cases I keep in touch with the families of those who have gone home. But mostly, I can't.
National Resource Directory For Wounded Warriors, Families And Caregivers -- [Some Soldier's Mom]
When my son was wounded -- and then when he was being medically discharged -- I spent a hundred hours or more researching what treatments and benefits were available, how to access care and benefits, the process of who, what, where, when, how... So I was pretty thrilled to see the email below announcing a single resource guide for Wounded Warriors and their families. I haven't reviewed this new resource directory yet, and I hope it is everything they say it is, but something is always better than nothing! And it's about time!!
Marine Returns to Help Others on Road to Recovery -- [Maj Pain - BlackFive]
When Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Kachmar extends his right hand to greet combat wounded Marines, there is an instant rapport.
A combat veteran himself, having fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Kachmar, 24, can trade stories of blood and war; of buddies lost and battles fought.
But, Kachmar's three-finger grip speaks louder than his words ever could. It says he understands the pain, the process and the path to healing.
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS AND YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL! -- [Operation Gratitude]
The Rogers Family Company - Operation Gratitude "Letters to Our Troops" contest is heading into its 3rd week and going strong! You still have time to enter and encourage everyone you know to write letters to our deployed service members for the holidays and at the same time earn fun prizes for yourselves and much-needed money for your favorite schools!!
The impact of a personal letter is incalculable: "My Husband was stationed in Iraq and I signed him up for Operation Gratitude. While there he received a letter from a lady in New York. This letter touched him dearly. She had lost her son, an EMT, in 9-11. This letter still means a lot to him.
What to Say to Your Soldier or Veteran Who Confess to You Their Sins of War -- [A Soldier's Perspective - Roman General]
By listening without judgment and negativity you are giving your soldier something extremely valuable that they need. It may seem insignificant to you, but to them they are pouring out their soul to you and by doing so you can help them reclaim a lost self forgotten on the battlefield.
Hate Crime Legislation -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
Susan Keating has a couple of posts up about some legislation that would make it a hate crime to attack Soldiers. I've weighed in over there and I'd like to hear your thoughts.
U.S. Troops Question Military No-Beard Rules in Afghanistan -- [US News]
KABUL--As the U.S. military garners increasing counterinsurgency experience in America's long-standing war in Afghanistan, soldiers are questioning one military restriction that has long been the norm within the U.S. armed forces: the prohibition against beards.
The military says it has good reasons for the beard ban for most American troops--including hygiene, soldierly discipline, and the ability to get a good seal on gas masks should troops need them.
There is an exception, though,...
It's What's Inside That Counts -- [Strategy Page]
If you look at the history of armored vehicle design over the last 70 years, you'll note that victory tends to come to the side with the better crews, not the superior vehicle designs. For a long time, this played little role in the design of new armored vehicles. But now it is becoming a crucial factor.
Home from Iraq -- [Evansville Courier & Press]
A group of 130 troops from the brigade arrived about 12 hours earlier late Monday to a similar welcome. "They could not ... do what they do without your ...
Houston Area Soldier Coming Home -- [ireport]
Tillman Troops.org^TM^ Announces that Commander Henry C. Tillman is returning home on November 18, 2008 to The Woodlands after serving an estimated 300 days
Families welcome 163rd -- [Courier Press]
The troops are scheduled to return later this week to Evansville, where a welcome-home parade is planned. Monday's late-night arrival was scheduled to be
General Dunwoody Photo Altered... -- [Greyhawk]
AP bans all U.S. Military photos:
Shocked, shocked I tell you. What did the military do? Get ready to be outraged, outraged I tell you, by this manipulation of public perception:
Real Milestones -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
Tonight, the AP reported that the number of US military deaths in Iraq had reached 4,200. No doubt, this number will continue to be used by the media and liberals in this country to make some sort of point about the pointlessness of the war. To counter this, allow me to publicize some numbers that I think should make far more headlines from Iraq
The BBC speaking to the Taleban -- [from the Frontline]
Last Thursday, the BBC World Have Your Say radio programme built their show around a discussion with a Taleban spokesperson. Through the BBC’s Security Correspondent, Frank Gardner, and a translator, listeners from around the world could put their questions to the Taleban.
There was much debate on the programme and on the World Have Your Say blog about whether the BBC should be giving the Taleban this sort of platform.
Media Panel Before "Media Project" -- [tvnewser]
The panel discussed at length whether prime time hosts like Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly could be called "journalists." "I admire all these people, they're very smart, but they are not classical journalists," said Buckley.
Huffington thought a "distinction" should be made between MSNBC's and FNC's hosts.
...The video below shows the panel disagreeing on Iraq War coverage, and after the jump, arguably the most heated minute of the panel (as a side note, Yago later rephrased his use of the word "mercenary" and apologized for using it):
Keith Olbermann Broke Up with Me -- [Shannyn Moore - Huffington Post]
In two of the three, the AIP holds at least 4% of the vote. The felonious Ted Stevens looks like he has convinced over a hundred thousand Alaskans what he couldn't convince 12 jurors of a few weeks ago.
Now, Keith Olbermann has the temerity to ask if it's too late to sell Alaska back to the Russians. Repeatedly. America's liberal boy-wonder is breaking up with me. He's not the only one suggesting putting Alaska up on eBay, but I can only handle one break up at a time. Consider this partner counseling; the circle of truth; the trust tree.*
Al-Qaida No. 2 insults Obama in new audio message -- [Breitbart]
Al-Zawahri says in an audio message, which appeared on militant Web sites Wednesday, that Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X. He calls Obama a "house negro."
How Obama Got Elected -- [Powerline]
Here are some highlights of Zogby's poll of Obama voters:
* 57 percent thought the Republicans still control Congress. Note that this is worse than a random result, since there are only two possible answers.
* Only 12 percent could identify Obama as the candidate who said that his energy policies would cause the cost of electricity to skyrocket.
...It's worth noting that the Obama voters in Zogby's sample were 97 percent high school graduates and--rather shockingly--55 percent college graduates. It's almost enough to make you wonder about the future of democracy.
How Obama got elected
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Surprised? -- [Greyhawk]
"THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON:" Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good.
I've been saying "we won" for some time now, so no argument on that point from me. But if there's any war left in Iraq, it's up north. No one has been reporting from Mosul for a while. That's usually a good sign (recall how news from Anbar disappeared during the surge, as that province tipped into the "win" column) but I'd still like to hear from a trusted source on how things are going up there.
Victory in Iraq Day - November 22, 2008 -- [The Liberty Boys]
I declare November 22, 2008 to be "Victory in Iraq Day." (Hereafter known as "VI Day.")
By every measure, The United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies. The war has come to an end. And we won.
Leaving Baghdad, battalion recalls a long deployment -- [LWJ - Wesley Morgan]
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment reflect on a year’s tour in Northwestern Baghdad, where the security situation has improved drastically since last spring, and the changing nature of the mission.
Day 149. The Incredible HESCO -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
More pictures of HESCO basket abuse. You may recall my previous post on these marvels of technology and all the wonderful things the Iraqi Army does with them.
The Battle of Wanat Article Archive -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
I have devoted considerable time covering this event, which to me, was immediately recognizable as culminating in one of those iconic string of battles that great American military tradition is born from.
Below is a chronilogical archive of articles I have written regarding this incident. I hope this helps ease the hassle it takes to locate good, reliable information regarding Chosen 2/503 and their time in eastern Afghanistan.
Cut Them Off At The Bank -- [Strategy Page]
November 16, 2008: Economic problems are getting worse. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where much of Iran's foreign trade is handled, local banks are refusing to do business with the 10,000 Iranian trading firms based there. This has caused delays and cancellations of Iranian imports
Failed Delta Hunt for Bin Laden -- [One Marine's View]
It was bitter cold. The harsh wind swept across their high mountain redoubt with only thin native blankets to shelter them from the bitter Afghan air. They were hours from resupply, carrying only what they could on their backs.
And that's just how they wanted it.
...In a first ever account, the man who shepherded those bearded warriors into Tora Bora's thin mountain air writes of the near misses, frustrated plans and weak-kneed guerrillas that stymied their quest for al Qaeda's top commanders.
Happy Veterans Day -- [Lumberjack in the Desert - injured in Iraq]
Written Sunday, January 21, 2007
I’m doing the best that I can, considering. I spend a lot of time really pissed off or really upset. I know I am getting better at a pretty good rate, but still. In Iraq I was the go to guy for anything that could go wrong with my CET’s (convoy escort team) humvees. I was the guy that could build or fix anything. Heck, I even built the door and a bench for the building our company stages in for convoys, simply because I was bored and had a little extra time before I went on R&R in November. There was nothing I couldn’t fix, build, or do.
Now I’m struggling with the mentality that I’m just a one armed, four fingered gimp. I have sharp memories of the accident that haunt me everyday; the sudden explosion, the taste of blood in my mouth, realizing the bottom half of my arm was missing
Wars That Matter, That You Hardly Ever Hear About -- [Strategy Page]
November 17, 2008: Many critical military events never get much publicity. Sometimes it's because they involve espionage; often it's because, well, the media never really gets interested. Here are ten (in alphabetical order) you should at least be aware of:
Obama Gussies Up Website to Take Credit For Iraq Withdrawal -- [LT Nixon]
Iraqis and an American Soldier Dancing as SOFA is Announced, which Obama had nothing to do with [h/t MadTom]
The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in Iraq was put together by the executive branch of the current administration and is currently in the approval process by the Iraqi government. It was just approved by the Iraqi Cabinet today [AP], and awaits Parliamentary approval. The agreement requires that Coalition Forces be withdrawn from Iraq by 2012.
And Back to the SOFA -- [Greyhawk]
...Reuters headline: "Iraq, US sign pact on troops withdrawal deadline". (As predicted, that's what they're calling the SOFA now.)
And so the Communism Begins -- [Lumberjack in the Desert - injured in Iraq]
Obama will call on citizens of all ages to "serve America", by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year.
Thats right, he is going to require that all your children, whether they want to or not, volunteer their time to the government for at least 50 hours a year. College students, like myself, will be required to give 100 hours of our time (thats 2.5 forty hour work weeks). This is one college student who will be dropping out of college long before I volunteer one hour to your socialist programs. I've given enough for my country, and its a hell of a lot more than you have ever given.
Double Amputee Marine Wants to Stay in to Help Others -- [One Marines View]
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Matthew Ryan Bradford was part of a patrol to clear an area near Haditha, Iraq, of roadside bombs with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, on Jan. 18, 2007.
"We found it," he said with a chuckle, admitting that he'd gone about it the hard way. "Another guy got hurt, but he just had shrapnel go through his right calf. I pretty much took the full blast."
The bomb, hidden under a pipe, cost Bradford his left leg above the knee and his right one below the knee. He lost his left eye when a piece of shrapnel went through it and lodged in his brain, and retina damage cost him sight in his right eye. He also suffered intestinal damage.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
US troops leave more security in hands of Iraqis -- [AP]
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. military in Iraq is abandoning - deliberately and with little public notice - a centerpiece of the widely acclaimed strategy it adopted nearly two years ago to turn the tide against the insurgency. It is moving American troops farther from the people they are trying to protect.
Iraqi Insurgents Issue Open Letter to President-Elect Obama -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has obtained an Arabic-language communiqué issued by the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance (PCIR), an umbrella organization which oversees the political interests of several major Sunni insurgent groups in Iraq—including the Islamic Army in Iraq (IAI), the Salahudeen al-Ayyubi Brigades (JAAMI), Hamas al-Iraq, and the breakaway “Shariah Committee” from the former Ansar al-Sunnah Army.
Day 145. Winning-- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
More signs of winning are showing up.
1. US Forces have been directed to take the signs off of the backs of our vehicles. No longer do we say, "DANGER, STAY BACK 100M". No longer will we drive aggressively and hog the roads. Now we will share the roads and obey traffic signals. This is a big deal and demonstrates the real confidence senior army leaders (a real risk averse bunch of guys if ever there were any) have in the current security situation here in Iraq.
Winding Down -- [Up Country Iraq - in Iraq]
Things are winding down here in Multi-National Division-North (MND-N) for the 1st Armored Division (1AD) soldiers, which means that they (and I) will be heading home in the not too distant future. Meanwhile, the beat goes on.
...I joined the MPs on mission on Halloween Friday. The day began as we relieved a Special Ops group after they conducted a successful early morning mission against some not-so-friendlies out in town. The MPs and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team arrived on scene at the raid and the EOD folks went to work clearing explosives and other IED making material from the front yard of one of Tikrit’s finest insurgents. He and a couple of neighbors were obviously on the wanted list of the special operators, and now that list is a little shorter.
Kurdistan Is a Model for Iraq -- [WSJ]
Iraq's Kurds have consistently been America's closest allies in Iraq. Our Peshmerga forces fought alongside the U.S. military to liberate the country, suffering more casualties than any other U.S. ally.
And while some Iraqi politicians have challenged the U.S.-Iraq security agreement, Iraq's Kurdish leaders have endorsed the pact as essential for U.S. combat troops to continue fighting terrorists in Iraq.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is committed to a federal, democratic Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors.
Greener Days in Iraq
A new recycling plant in Iraq and the efforts to spread enthusiasm about recycling to the surrounding areas.
Veteran's Day -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
I used to think of Veterans as a group of old men who were once in the Army. Now that I am one, and I serve with so many young Americans abroad I have a different view. Veterans, young and old, men and women, have put on the uniform of our country and voluntarily served all over the world in conditions that cannot adequately be described....and we come back multiple times to do it again.
Has he lost his mind? Can he see or is he blind? -- [Fobbits need ice cream too - in Iraq]
...All the crews in the lot are getting ready to push back south, and I have 30 fellow Joes staring in our direction as I get cut down. I had my fists clenched, and was getting ready to open up on him when the little bit of sanity left in my head advised me to walk away. After I left, he smoked Misfit in the mud because Misfit refused to take a side when Shitty TC asked him if he thought I could have avoided the ditch or not. I went to the bravo team leader and asked for his advice and was basically told that everyone's hands are tied with Shitty TC because he is getting out of the Army as soon as we get back (he is on stop-loss). I've never met a more bipolar person or a bigger failure of a human being. One of his character quirks is that he's in constant competition with everyone, even if they are unaware that they are in a competition.
On My Way to Baghdad -- [Michael Totten]
...I’m told the city will be unrecognizable to me now. I know this is true. It is beyond controversy at this point that the war has wound down. But I still have a slightly difficult time believing it on a gut level. News reports from Iraq have been so few and far between lately that I can’t help but picture the old Baghdad in my mind. My experience hasn’t yet caught up with reality. This trip will remedy that. So stay tuned for an in-depth tour through Baghdad after the surge.
Louie and the Irishman -- [Notes from Iraq - in Iraq]
Soldiers sometimes take in dogs and cats here in Iraq as pets or unit mascots. We try to justify this practice, saying that they'll keep mice away or alert us of dangerous persons. But, to be honest, many Soldiers just have big hearts. Read more »
Afghan Quicksand Awaits Obama -- [Michael Yon]
Our enemies are winning. The enemies know it. We know it. Who are they? The Taliban, with its deep local roots, is enemy number one. Al-Qaeda is hanging around to make trouble. Some Paks, who don’t want to see a thriving Pushtun state on their border, are our enemies. They fund and shelter the Taliban even though we rely on them to help us defeat it. Nothing is straightforward in this part of the world. We have other enemies in Afghanistan who hate the Taliban.
...So, let me stipulate that it’s still a real fight. While the AOGs are making progress on some fronts, success is no more assured for them than for us. Mostly they destroy things that their countrymen want — including peace and the prospect of increased prosperity. They cut off lips and noses and douse women with gasoline and burn them alive. Just recently, a group of enemies apparently tried to bait us into killing a wedding party.
A Plea to Obama Regarding Afghanistan: Don't Be Ellis! -- [NT Nixon]
It is true that the Iranian theocracy has a vested interest in keeping the bordering countries of Afghanistan and Iraq stabilized. But the past few years has shown that they are much more interested in fighting their holy war against The Great Satan. Whether it be using Hezbollah surrogates to murder our troops, shipping weapons to the Taliban, or deliberately undermining newly-formed democracies to make America look bad, the motivation for Iran's nefarious activities remains clear.
The President-Elect needs to weigh these options carefully and consider the consequences.
Afghan girls scarred in acid attack -- [Al Jazeera]
Battery acid was thrown at the girls while they were walking to school
Five Afghan schoolgirls have been attacked with battery acid by suspected Taliban fighters in the southern city of Kandahar.
Walid Phares: "How can we ally ourselves with Iran in Afghanistan and tell them we don't want them to have the nuclear bomb at the same time?" -- [Gateway Pundit]
Walid Phares explains why liberal foreign policy is so very dangerous for the international community
Our Humble Home -- [Jake's Life - in Afghanistan]
Well, I guess next up would be our actual living area. There's REALLY not a whole lot to write about here... Let's see- no water, no AC, no toilets, occasional power, lots of bugs/mice/cats, and nonstop explosions right outside our front door. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
The 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month... -- [Jake's Life - in Afghanistan]
Today, as many of you know, is Veteran's Day. My email box has already been flooded with thank yous and God bless yous, and I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate it. Being a veteran is certainly something that I am proud of, my whole life I looked at veterans with sincere admiration. Every time they were asked to stand to be honored at sports games, or when they marched down Main Street for every parade, I looked at them and thought about the things they had done, the things they had seen. I was too young to truly understand what it meant to fight for your country, I thought it was all parades and uniforms and funny hats with ribbons on them. I thought it would be neat to watch a movie some day and be able to say, "I was there, they're making a movie about what I did."
Guardsmen receive Bronze Star at Veteran's Day ceremony -- [Stay in Touch - in Afghanistan]
Two New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix received Bronze Star Medals with Valor during a Veterans Day ceremony at Camp Phoenix in Kabul on Tuesday.
Getting the Basics Right in Afghanistan - (pdf) -- [Small Wars Journal]
Although there is much to do at the strategic level in Afghanistan … it is at the tactical level … that the most immediate and tangible change for good can be made. Tactical actions resonate throughout the local communities ISAF troops are supposed to protect and influence audiences across the world. And, because insurgency is a violent political competition, tactical actions can have significant political impact.
Operation Combat Blue Balls Is A Go... -- [Embrace The Suck - in Afghanistan]
Everyone knows that soldiers have to wear a ton of stuff and have to carry around all sorts of shit. Weapons, body armor, tools, knives, ammunition, food, water, and whatever else the soldier deems necessary. (Cigarettes, pornography, skittles, iPod's and what not.) So when you have all this stuff on you are significantly larger that you would normally be. Now the buses that they used to transport us from the tents to the airport were the school bus kind and we are going to have to fill every single seat with 2 GI's who are loaded down with about 60 pounds of gear and have expanded a few dress sizes due to the wearing of all this shit.
....In any event, seeing a bus load of soldiers looking as pitiful as we must've looked, singing all those songs would really be a sight to see. Where was I, the airport. ...
Syria Glows In The Dark -- [Strategy Page]
NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS
November 12, 2008: UN nuclear weapons inspectors found traces of processed uranium at the site of a suspected nuclear weapons research center in Syria. Commercial satellite photos of the suspected Syrian nuclear facility,
Iran test-fires new missile, Israel within reach -- [Reuters]
Iran said it test-fired a new generation of surface-to-surface missile on Wednesday and that the Islamic Republic was ready to defend itself against any attacker.
New Video on "Voting in the Midst of the New Crusade" -- [MEMRI Blog]
An English-language video posted November 11, 2008 on Islamist websites explains why Muslims must not participate in elections held in the U.S. and other non-Islamic countries.
The Return Of The Russian Game -- [Strategy Page]
November 10, 2008: Russia is returning to its Cold War espionage techniques, in an effort to stay current on NATO secrets. Recently, for example, Estonian counter-intelligence efforts revealed that an Estonian defense official, and a Spanish citizen working for the Russians (but passing himself off as a businessman, while secretly recruiting spies for Russia), were stealing NATO secrets.
Oldest veteran recalls end of war -- [BBC]
Henry Allingham is one of a tiny number of people left to tell the story of the moment the Great War ended.
He was on active duty with the Royal Navy Air Service in Flanders when World War I ended on 11 November 1918.
"You try to forget, you want to forget, but you couldn't forget," he said.
"Those men must not be forgotten ever. They sacrificed everything on my behalf, and your behalf as well."
Cell Phone Payments Make the World Easier For Terrorists, Too -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
A Reuters article discusses the ease with which developments in cell phone technology are rapidly enabling mobile payments, replacing credit cards and other instruments controlled by traditional financial institutions.
UK Terrorism Intelligence Report highlights extremist 'enclaves' -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
A report entitled ‘International Terrorism’ drawn up by the intelligence branch of the Ministry of Defence in the UK, was leaked to the Sunday Telegraph newspaper in the UK. The document outlines the continued high threat to the UK from international terrorists aligned with al-Qaeda and in particular the severe threat to the Government Security Zone (GSZ) in the center of London, which covers the Houses of Parliament, Whitehall and Buckingham Palace. The report also highlights
Figuring out where they fit in.... -- [SouseBuzz - AWTM]
Dr. Suzanne Best, who contributed to the book Courage After Fire, will be joining us at SpouseBuzz Talk Radio this Thursday night at 8pm CST to discuss reintegration. This show will be part 1, of our 2 part series on the book of the month.
I seriously think reintegration is one of the most important issues facing our Veterans who have served this great Nation.
Private Group Aids Military Personnel -- [The Bulletin]
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saluted the Soldiers' Angels, an organization dedicated to keeping America connected with its military last week. "You reflect America's communities, united in spirit, and action, across thousands of lighted hilltops across the land," Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told members. The group's motto is "May no soldier go unloved."
...Adm. Mullen said the nation still has much to do to reach out to service members and to wounded warriors. Aiding wounded service members is the job of all Americans, he said.
The government has made progress in helping service members and their families. The GI Bill is more generous today, and there are new efficiencies between the Defense Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs, the admiral noted.
"We have, no doubt, sent a new sense of urgency down the spines of our governmental organizations," he said.
Anyone who wants to participate in these programs can go to each group's Web site:
* Soldier's Angels: www.soldiersangels.org
* Adoptaplatoon: www.adoptaplatoon.org
Fundraising Competition 2008 -- [Valour-IT Blog]
It's that time of year again, and the wonderful bloggers out there have stepped up to raise money for Valour-IT (the mission has expanded recently, so make sure you're up-to-date). This year we are particularly proud to have a Coast Guard team aboard.
Please pick a branch and join the fun! The competition lasts through Thanksgiving Day.
Give it Up for the Troops! -- [Valour-IT Blog]
The need is great right now--the accounts are empty and the only way the wounded will get laptops, Wiis or handheld GPS from Soldiers' Angels to assist their recovery is through the money raised by this competition. Financial times are uncertain, of course, but that doesn't change the needs out there.
Veterans -- [Wizbang]
What makes America different, is that Americans do not like war. Even our troops have no desire to do the business of war, the destruction and the killing things they would just as soon not see happen, and these soldiers are only too happy to come home to a normal life. That's why it matters, that we respect these men and women, not just when we know the cameras are rolling and there's political gain or cost to a gesture, but in recognition of genuine sacrifice.
The war in Iraq and Afghanistan (parts of the same war, though some would lie and pretend otherwise) is controversial, not least because it requires stamina and patience, and the democrats have seen fit to use the war as a political football in more than one election. The soldiers simply want to win, finish the job, leave a stable and independent and free Iraq and Afghanistan, and come home. Anyone who wants to settle for less neither respects nor honors the troops.
Veterans Day 2008 -- [SOME SOLDIER'S MOM]
I have written before about the members of my family that have served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States and how proud I am of them. I have also stood as personal witness to the terrible cost of Freedom (start with the picture of my father at left... notice he has lost his left arm above the elbow)
Program sends holiday cards to troops -- [Army Times]
WASHINGTON — This holiday season, Americans can send soldiers and wounded troops greeting cards — even if they don’t know their names.
Court rules for Navy in dispute over sonar, whales -- [AP]
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday lifted restrictions on the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises off the California coast, a defeat for environmental groups who say the sonar can harm whales. The court, in its first decision of the term, voted to allow the Navy to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats by enemy submarines.
Yea for Me Day! -- [Miserable Donuts - home from Iraq]
That is what I facetiously call Veteran's Day. I always say it is my one day each year where I say "good for me." It means an awful lot this year, as I have now been home from OIF for all of 48 hours.
Free welcome home banners -- [From my position... On the way! ]
I'm an employee at Buildasign.com, and we just launched a promotion in honor of Veteran's Day. We're giving military families a free customizable banner to help welcome home their loved ones returning from overseas or the option to send a free customizable jumbo card to a loved one overseas. I was wondering if you could offer me any tips or suggestions on who to get in contact with to get the message across to people that can take advantage of this promotion. Also, it would be great if you could help spread the word by posting about our promotion on your blog. The link to this promotion is www.buildasign.com/Troops.
Kalb Suggests Wartime President Bush ‘Avoided Military Service,’ Forgets About Clinton -- [NewsBusters]
On Tuesday’s The O’Reilly Factor, FNC host Bill O’Reilly showed clips from the Kalb Report show in which moderator Marvin Kalb, a veteran of both CBS and NBC News, interviewed O’Reilly. During the interview, which was recorded on September 27, O’Reilly managed to embarrass Kalb as the liberal host seemed to criticize President Bush for ordering American troops into war after the President himself "avoided military service," but he seemed to forget that Bill Clinton, who ordered a war against Serbia,
Shame on The New Yorker for Glorifying Bill Ayers -- [PJM - Ron Radosh]
Now he's a well-connected celebrity, not a sordid chapter in America's past.
Walls and Bridges -- [Greyhawk]
On Iraq, the UK newspaper the Guardian has declared: "peace has come to stay".
Missed that, you say?
...Although they were generally ignored in contemporary "news" coverage, others expected a different result.
Pentagon launches TroopTube, its own YouTube -- [AFP]
US soldiers are still allowed to write online journals, or "milblogs," using Department of Defense networks as long as they adhere to requirements not to ...
The 2008 Weblog Awards are taking nominations -- [TigerHawk]
Nominations are rolling in for the 2008 Weblog Awards. Check out the many award categories and nominate your favorite blogs.
Soldiers in the Blogosphere -- [Greyhawk]
The motivation for this blog is to discuss how we could tap into the power of blogs to help get the Army's story out - how blogs may be used to help round out traditional media. I'm an Army Major and currently a student at the Air Command and Staff College. As a graduation requirement, we each must complete a research project and I've
The Fifth -- [Greyhawk]
This Veterans Day marks the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Milblogs Ring.
Obama taps veteran Dems for DoD, State handovers -- [WaPo /AP]
President-elect Obama has hired former Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sam Nunn to help shepherd his Pentagon transition, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Can We Talk? -- [Powerline]
We and others were alarmed when Hamas endorsed Barack Obama for President, even though the endorsement was later withdrawn. We were also concerned about Obama's feckless promise to meet with the leaders of hostile states--not for any particular reason, but just because talk is good. But Obama did say Hamas was one group he wouldn't be meeting with; not until they renounce terrorism and recognized Israel's right to exist.
Apparently, though, that assurance was inoperative even when Obama gave it. Yesterday, in an interview in the London-based Al-Hayat, Ahmad Yousef, political adviser to Hamas's Prime Minister, said that Obama's aides have already been meeting with senior Hamas officials:
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
EU aims to re-engage in Iraq after Obama takes office -- [Aswat Al-Iraq]
The Lebanese Daily Star on Saturday reported that the European Union is set to step up its engagement in Iraq once a new U.S. administration takes office, according to an internal paper by the French EU presidency.
“Our common interest is to contribute to the success of Iraq,” the document seen by The Daily Star says. “Therefore, the European Union intends to re-engage in the country without delay.”
NEFA Exclusive: Translation of Controversial Interview with Al-Qaida in Iraq Leader Abu Hamza al-Muhajir -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
The NEFA Foundation has transcribed and translated a highly controversial new interview with Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, the leader of Al-Qaida in Iraq. During the interview, produced by the official media wing of Al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Hamza pointedly accused various other Sunni insurgent groups—including the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI), the Mujahideen Army, and the 1920 Revolution Brigades—of treachery and collaboration with U.S. forces and the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government.
Al-Qaida-Iraq's Message to the New "Rulers of the White House" -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Few days ago, a jihadist outlet, al-Furqan, released an audio speech by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, self-described as the "emir of the Islamic State of Iraq."
The under 30-minute Internet broadcast was titled, "Message to the New Governors of the White House (and Other Christian Leaders)." It can also be translated as "to the new rulers," i.e. the president and vice president-elect.
...In essence Baghdadi, one of al-Qaida's most lethal "generals" on the battlefields of the Middle East, asked the United States under the new administration to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and to withdraw its military presence from the Muslim world.
Iraq still needs U.S. military, official says
BAGHDAD – Iraq's deputy prime minister said Saturday his country still needs the U.S. military to ensure security and warned that time is running out to approve a new security deal with Washington.
Girl, 13, is Iraq's latest suicide bomber -- [Times Online]
A 13-year-old girl became Iraq's latest suicide bomber today, killing four people at a security checkpoint in the town of Baquba.
Day 141. Blah, Blah, Blah -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
There is a lot going on but nothing important. I have a few really important ideas to blog about, but I just don't care right now. I am overcome by melancholy, malaise and apathy. So, whatever.
Who I think will Win the election
U.S. Soldiers and 8th Iraq Army Special Forces going to a meeting with the Sheik of Siniyah, Iraq to maintain open communication with the local community
Iraq Set To Pay Sons Of Iraq -- [USA Today]
"Iraq's government will begin paying salaries this week to more than 51,000 members of Sunni neighborhood patrol groups … Known as the Sons of Iraq, or Awakening Councils, the U.S.-created program helped turn the tide against the insurgency by offering steady employment to disaffected Sunni Arabs in exchange for help battling al-Qaeda and other militant groups."
Sons of Iraq -- [Something on the staff - in Iraq]
The Iraqi Army hates the name “Sons of Iraq.” Our local Iraqi Army Major General likes to say, “If those guys are sons of Iraq, then what are we [the Iraqi Army]? Sons of bitches?” Whenever I talk to the Iraqi Army about the Sons of Iraq, I refer to them as the “volunteers.”
To make it even more complicated, the Sons of Iraq will refer to themselves as “Sahawa,” which is Arabic for “awakening.”
Ribbon Cutting in Musayib -- [HILLAS' HISTORIES - in Iraq]
Below is a release by MNC-I on the November 5 ribbon cutting that I participated in to celebrate the renovation of the District Council building. One year ago there were tanks in the streets of Musayib. Today you can stroll the streets.
How Technology Won Sadr City Battle: -- [CBS Story]
...in this battle of Sadr City, as 60 Minutes learned in a high-level debriefing with the U.S. commander in Iraq, the Americans overpowered the Shiite militias with hi-tech, including the most advanced, sophisticated, whiz bang hardware and software on Earth, like electronics, lasers, and high-resolution cameras that can literally cut through the fog of war.
Looking back -- [Navy Gal-Off To Iraq - in Iraq]
As my time in Iraq is quickly approaching the end I have found myself looking back over the past 9 months. From the training in Williamsburg, VA to the crazy trip up to Iraq to the hotter than hell months spent in Iraq it has been a wild ride but a worthwhile one. I signed up for this deployment not sure what to expect and I'm leaving as an Iraq veteran. I'm one of "those" people now. Granted, I'm not an M-4 wielding, ACU wearing soldier, but I did experience some aspects of war. I may have spent most of my time making sure nothing infiltrates American soil, but that doesn't mean that my job wasn't any less important. I have come to realize that now. It has been an honor and a privilege to send these guys and gals home to their families while the rest of us stay behind and carry the torch for them just a little bit longer.
November 8, 2008 -- [S4 at War]
I was on a convoy the other day riding in the back of an MRAP. These vehicles are still new to me since all we had last deployment were Humvees. I happened to be riding with a couple of mechanics and a commo guy. For 30 minutes I listened to these guys break down the MRAP and talk about all the maintenance issues, all the new challenges it poses them which are different from the Humvees, how the design of the MRAP makes a lot of simple tasks very labor intensive, and a myriad of other issues I couldn’t hear after I turned my iPod on. I’ve encountered this a few times since taking over my job but its always interesting to see the Army from this different perspective.
More daily living -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
On those not-outside-the-wire days, I knock out NCO bidness. I wander around and talk to the guys who have stuff I need, shoot the breeze with the other "attachments" (those of us not assigned to this particular battalion, but who are nonetheless here to help), struggle to make phone calls (DSN to VOIP? VOIP to cell? Cell to DSN?) and generally handle the small stuff.
Afghan Quicksand Awaits Obama. -- [Mike Yon]
While security in Iraq continues to improve, Afghanistan is drowning in a frothing quicksand. While most of the 2008 fighting season is over, we can be assured that the Afghan national sport — guerrilla warfare — will become the 2009 Taliban Olympics by April. They know this is a marathon.
Exclusive: Inside a U.S. hostage rescue mission -- [Navy Times]
Spec ops conducts night raid in Afghanistan mountains
The American businessman lay shackled in a mud hut 8,000 feet up a remote mountain in Afghanistan, armed captors posted inside and outside to prevent any escape attempt.
Earlier in his captivity, he had made a run for it, but — barefoot and much older than the insurgents who held him — he was snatched back before he could get far.
After nearly two months in captivity and out of contact with anyone who cared about him, the hostage reviewed what his fate might hold — whether ransom negotiations or rescue efforts or a miracle might bring him freedom.
This is the story of one of the most daring and successful U.S. hostage-rescue missions in years...
Will Obama Sign Off On New Afghan Strategy? -- [NPR]
President-elect Barack Obama will have to grapple with conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will have to decide whether to negotiate with members of the Taliban as a way of stemming the violence in Afghanistan
Afghan Forces Lead Security Tasks
Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have assumed lead responsibility for the security of Kabul. NATO TV looks at challenges they face as well as how civilians see their own security.
Airmen combat explosive threats in Afghanistan -- [455th Air Expeditionary Wing - in Afghanistan]
KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- The phone rings. A three-man team grabs their pre-packed gear and jumps in a truck or a waiting helicopter. These Airmen don't always know where they are going, how long they will be gone, or exactly what they will encounter - all they know is there is an explosive device somewhere and they need to make it safe.
Bandwidth -- [The Left Captain - in Afghanistan]
The relative calm for us has continued since early October. In the last 39 days we have done three missions to outlying outposts and two trips to Bagram. We have two more missions scheduled in the latter half of November. Contact with the enemy seems to have quieted down but I'm not sure why.
Sir Jock Stirrup warns ministers not to transfer troops from Iraq to Afghanistan -- [Telegraph]
The head of the armed forces has warned ministers that troops should not be transferred from Iraq to Afghanistan when Britain's military commitment there is scaled down next year.
The Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, said it was "crucial" for the armed forces to experience a reduction in the tempo of operations, in order to recover from several years of overstretch.
His comments come as US President-elect Barack Obama prepares to order a significant increase in troop numbers in Afghanistan in the hope of finally quelling the Taliban insurgency in the country.
ISAF assists ANA in retaking Arghandab
The Afghan National Army (ANA) supported by NATO-ISAF troops from Canada retake the Arghandab district, North of Kandahar.
Nangarhar PRT takes reconstruction to new level --
JALALABAD AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- The U.S. military nominated and oversaw the funding and construction of approximately $8 million worth of construction in Nangarhar Province in the last two years. Currently, almost $40 million worth of U.S. military funded construction is ongoing in the province as Fiscal Year 2008 came to a close.
Iranian Activist Amir Fakhravar Speaks Out Against Obama Foreign Policy-- Holding Talks With the Iranian Regime Will Not Work(Video) -- [Gateway Pundit]
Amir Fakhravar understands that you cannot hold talks with the brutal regime in control of Iran.
CNN interviewed Amir recently on his time in the notorios Evin Prison. Amir also discussed what he thinks of Barack Obama's plans to talk with the brutal Iranian Regime:
Warning of new bin Laden attack -- [The Age]
OSAMA bin Laden is planning an attack against the United States that will "outdo by far" September 11, an Arab newspaper in London has reported.
- bin Laden 'planning US attack'
- Goal to 'outdo' September 11
- al-Qaeda reinforces training camps
And according to a former senior Yemeni al-Qaeda operative, the terrorist organisation has entered a "positive phase", reinforcing specific training camps around the world that will lead the next "wave of action" against the West.
Report identifies UK terrorist enclaves -- [Telegraph]
Secret enclaves of al-Qaeda extremists based in London, Birmingham and Luton are planning mass-casualty attacks in Britain, according to a leaked Government intelligence report.
Wii for the Wounded?! -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
Project Valour-IT Offers Additional Technologies
Teenagers and families aren't the only ones going wild for Wii. Whole-body video game systems like Wii can help wounded warriors recover! As part of refocusing Project Valour-IT, Soldiers' Angels is working to ensure the wounded have the Wii systems and other technologies that support their recovery.
In Lighter News...A Veteran as Soap Star -- [Soldier's Home]
It's been a long exhausting week, and now that Friday's finally here we present a veteran's story of lighter fare. J.R. Martinez, a 25-year-old Iraq veteran who was severely injured when a 2003 landmine explosion trapped him inside a burning Humvee, will join the cast of the ABC soap All My Children in the role of an Iraq vet. The show actually put out a nation-wide casting call for Iraq veterans to play the part, citing a need to bring true-life accuracy to the performance.
Happy Birthday Marines-Nov 10 -- [One Marine's View]
There is no greater joy than to serve. If its to serve your family,a beliefe or especially your country, there is no greater joy than to serve. Its not for everybody and its not for profit. Many will never understand what the term “serv” comes with as far as dedication, devotion or sacrifice.
Semper Fi -- [Tanker Brothers]
The First Flag-Raising
The photograph at the right of Marines raising the American flag at the summit of Mt. Suribachi during the battle for Iwo Jima has become an enduring image of bravery and heroism. However, this was actually the second flag raised on the mountain's summit that day. The first flag-raising occurred a couple of hours earlier
...Scott Tank sent us this eyewitness account of Cpl. Charles W. Lindberg, a friend and the last surviving member of the team that raised the first flag on the crest of Mt. Suribachi. Scott asked that we share Mr. Lindberg's story with you - we are honored to do so. Thank you Scott for sending us this account, and thank you Mr. Lindberg for the sacrifices you made during that bloody nightmare called Iwo Jima:
Triumphant Homecoming Turns Tragic For The Wilno Family -- [Soldiers Angels New York]
On Saturday, November 1, the Warriors' Watch Riders escorted Marine Corps Iraq War Vet Ryan Wilno on his Welcome Home celebration. He rode with us to his home in Marlton, New Jersey. The entire town turned out, it seemed. We had 60 riders, the Yellow Ribbon Club, the Mayor of Marlton along with other dignitaries. It was a glorious homecoming celebration for a local hero. Ryan's mom and dad, Betsy and Ron, in particular, were as proud as proud can be. Ron and Besty had suffered some tragedy with their younger son, Ryan's brother, a couple of years ago and it was only by the grace of God that the younger son is now still living. As a result their fear for Ryan's safety in Iraq was magnified, and they were so very grateful for his safe homecoming now. There was much celebration that day, Warriors' Watch Riders motorcycle escorts, Yellow Ribbon Club cheers and honors, and an official proclamation honoring Ryan. We shook Ryan's hand, hugged Ryan's mom, and slapped the back of Ryan's dad. Six hours later Ryan's dad was dead.
One More Time... NY Times Leaks Information on Secret Strikes Against Al-Qaeda -- [Gateway Pundit]
The New York Times' gives the Bush Administration the finger one last time...
The NY Times published another report on secret military operations today.
Of course, this information was fed to the paper by anonymous sources like all of the other secret operations they reported these last 8 years.
***EXCLUSIVE REPORT***OBAMA PHONE APOLOGY NOT RECEIVED WELL -- [THIRDWAVEDAVE]
After insulting former first lady Nancy Reagan at his first press conference, president-elect Obama had to call Mrs. Reagan to offer an apology.
ANDREA SHEA-KING HAS A SOURCE close to the Reagan family who told her how that phone call went...EXCLUSIVE!!!
Rahm Emanuel - FBI file - MOSSAD -- [LiveLeak]
This is an excerpt from the 6 Nov 2009 Wayne Madsen Report :
November 6, 2008 - Obama faced with security problem at outset of transition process.
"WMR has learned from informed U.S. intelligence sources that prospective Barack Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has an active FBI counter-intelligence file maintained on him.
"Emanuel's rise to t More..he Chief of Staff position may pose a significant security problem for President-elect Obama if the FBI insists on conducting the full background security investigation normally required for senior White House officials.
"Questions about Emanuel's links to the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, were allegedly so great that President Bill Clinton was forced to dismiss Emanuel from the White House staff in 1998..."
'Unproven Missile Defense Systems' Are 'Proven' To Russians -- [ThreatsWatch - Steve Schippert]
Last week in ‘Fettering’ the ‘Unfettered’ Defense Budget at The Tank on National Review Online, I included Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to “cut investments in unproven missile defense systems” as part of a look at new Defense priorities under an Obama administration. In a message one year ago to supporters, Candidate Barack Obama pledged the following:
I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems.
I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems.
And I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.
Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons, I will seek a ban on the production of fissile material,
and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBM’s off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.
The Russians were listening attentively. And they have beaten President-Elect Obama to the negotiating table,
Voting for the Party of Patriotism -- [LT Nixon]
The military vote may not be the largest voting bloc in America, but its coveted by politicians across the country because "Supporting the Troops" is about as non-controversial and gratifying a statement to a voting public as "America Rocks". But, the military is a fairly diverse cross-section of people, therefore the opinions on politics are going to be all over the spectrum. That's why Peter Kauffman's article at Politico about the military lurching way to the left is rather bizarre:
Bill Engvall-live #2 Air Force Thunderbirds HT:THIRDWAVEDAVE
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Iraqis on the US Presidential Election -- [Iraqi Mojo]
Some Kurds pined for Sarah Palin, McCain’s running mate, famous for her pointy glasses and snug red dresses. “Obama’s victory froze my heart. I liked Sarah Palin, her leadership, with its mix of innocence and courage. She was beautiful and sweet,” said Shadman Rafiq, who works in a computer repair shop in Sulaymaniya. Rafiq believed that McCain and Palin would protect the country’s Shiites and Kurds, but he feared Obama would abandon them. In the ethnic powder keg of Kirkuk, people rallied to Obama because he has promised an end to the American intervention in Iraq.
Iraqi thoughts on, Obama or McCain?
CA Stuff -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
Another day, another excruciating meeting. Today's focused on a local contractor who appears to be building a water purification station in a location and manner utterly divorced from those specified in the Scope Of Work.
This is, of course, a no-go.
These days, we spend Iraqi dollars (through the Iraqi Commanders Emergency Relief Program - ICERP) through city councils, but we still provide contract and procedural oversight.
So when we heard the contractor was not purchasing actual real filters, but instead building them himself with his own two little hands, that required visual inspection.
Welcome, new citizens -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
One-hundred eighty-six service members sit as brand new U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq, Nov. 4, 2008. Photo by Pfc. Christopher Gaylord, Multi-National Corps - Iraq Public Affairs.
Big Advice From Big Tobacco -- [Ranger-UP - Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
I scan my email inbox: I'm asking for your advice. Anything you can tell me about what I should (or shouldn't) bring as far as creature comfort items, gear, what have you. I don't know exactly where I'll be or what my living conditions will be like, so I'm trying to cover all the bases.
It isn’t often that I get a chance to help a fellow NCO anymore, so I think about this soldier’s request. I look over at my wall locker and see a pile of useless gear.
This is my second deployment, but it was totally different than the first. If I knew six months ago what I know now, how would I pack differently? What would I do differently? How would I train differently? What would I want to know if I were deploying to Iraq?
I am Deployed Again, Part I -- [Ranger-UP - Tim Kennedy - in Iraq]
So here we are again. I’m a few thousand miles away from everyone I love, and doing things that make…well…life worth living. I think the last time I wrote you all I was elaborating on the eccentricities of the FOREIGN LAND culture. I continue to enjoy the kamikaze flies that have some special hydrogen and oxygen vision that allow them to spot moisture from miles away. In particular, their suicide-bombing missions into your eyes (which I think they learned from the indigenous Homo sapiens) are a blast. Apparently, they do this because the only moisture for miles resides in Americans’ eyes. Well with every new place that I get to go to, there is always something “special” to enjoy. I’m not going to numerate them for you, but I will highlight some of the extraordinary elements of this diverse culture. First off ...
Day 134. Got Cholera? -- [Rocinante's Burdens - in Iraq]
...The cause is not the lack of an EPA, but the lack of the mentality among the general population that other people's property is worthy of their personal efforts at preservation. They know what they are doing and just don't care. Their own gardens are clean and well maintained, but they will dump their household garbage over the garden wall, where it will stay 'till it rots away or catches fire.
EOD -- [Up Country Iraq - in Iraq]
...TF Troy has played a major role in attacking the IED networks. To give you an idea of the decline in IED incidents across Iraq, in July 2007, there were about 2600 IED incidents across Iraq (an incident is defined as an IED that exploded against a target or an IED that was discovered and cleared). Keep in mind all of the categories of IEDs that are included here – HBIED, VBIED, SVBIED, you know the list. Anyway, as of July of this year, the number of IED incidents across Iraq was down to 500, and the overwhelming majority of those incidents involved IEDs that were found and cleared. In July of 2007, the number of IED incidents where there was a coalition force (CF) casualty was about 250 for that month – casualty being injury or death. In July of this year, that number was in single digits. Zero incidents is better than 500, but you can see the progress that has been made. Once the IED suspects are detained, they are held for trial in Iraqi courts.
The Other Side of Paradise Part 2 -- [Bounammer - Scott Kesterson: - in Afghansitan]
“The guys have their opinions. It’s definitely interesting.” He smiled and then chuckled.
“And what about you? How are you feeling about the election?”
“The media seems to be focusing on the fact that he is a black President. It has never been about race for me.”
He continued, “I looked at each candidate for what I thought would be best for the country. I felt Obama had a better approach for the country and what we are facing. Black candidates of the past have had black agendas. I felt Obama was speaking to all of America.”
The Staff Sergeant’s focus then shifted, “People get wrapped around the person who is President. But he can only do so much. We need to be focusing on the legislation that comes from the Democrats and Republicans we elect to Congress. They affect America more. Obama can come in and push an agenda, but if the Congress doesn’t buy off on it, nothing will happen.”
As we talked I asked the Staff Sergeant about some of the discussions that had been happening throughout the day.
Re: Scott Kesterson's "The Other Side of Paradise" -- [Huffington Post]
Not only were their contemptuous words heard by their soldiers, who, as of January 20th, will come under direct command of a President Obama, but now their words have leaked out to millions of civilians who read the Huffington Post and Scott's blog on KGW.com. They should have been aware of who was listening to their words before they spoke them aloud.
The entire reason for this law is to make sure military officers remain nonpartisan while on duty in uniform and in front of their troops.
US Predators strike al Qaeda camp in North Waziristan -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
Up to 14 killed in the first cross-border attack in Pakistan's tribal areas in one week. Three of al Qaeda’s top 20 leaders have been killed in recent strikes, said General Petraeus.
Three Summers in Afghanistan
The Road to Want (Wanat) Part 1 -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
The Battle of Want on July 13, 2008 is looked at by the US military as a culmination of events over the previous twelve months that must be looked at in context with the action at Want. This is the first of a muti-part series that will break apart the 40 page after action report and put into context using other credible, open source reporting, which includes my own research.
Fertilizer Bombs In Afghanistan -- [Strategy Page]
In Afghanistan, the Taliban have apparently run out of munitions left over from the 1980s war with Russia, and are increasingly using fertilizer based explosives for their roadside bombs. Mix fertilizer with the right amount of diesel or gasoline, use a detonator to set it off, and it goes off like second rate explosives.
World's Troublemakers Weigh in on Obama -- [LT Nixon]
Iraqpundit writes that many of our allies are pleased with the selection of Obama as President. This is good news, as America's standing in the world needs some serious repair in light of recent worldwide opinion polls. But what about the quasi-dictator hooligans who continue to oppress their suffering people? Iran says Obama must stop the "war mongering", Chavez hopes he can meet the president select on "equal and respectful terms", and Al-Qaeda thugs in the online forums said "Today America elected Obama because al-Qaeda wanted it, after God desired it! In 2004 America elected Bush because al-Qaeda had wanted it, after God desired it!". Ho-hum.
Ahmadinejad To Obama: Get Out -- [Threats Watch]
With a perceptible smile in his written words, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sends a congratulatory letter to President-elect Obama and essentially tells him, too, to get out. “People in the world expect war-oriented policies, occupation, bullying, deception and intimidation of nations...
Ahmadinejad Sends Message to Obama
Syrian TV shows men 'confessing' to deadly bomb blast -- [GEO World]
DAMASCUS: Syrian state television on Thursday broadcast statements by men it said were Fatah al-Islam militants, in which they admitted carrying out a bomb attack in September that killed 17 people.
The men included Abdul Baqi al-Hussein, described as the head of security in Syria of Fatah al-Islam, who said the aim of the attack was to "harm the regime in Syria."
Assad's next move -- [Counterterrorism Blog]
Not a week goes by now without Syria showing up on the radar. In fact, after I analyzed the recent slew of incidents and their possible interpretations in my article last week titled "It is Clutch Time for Syria," this week brought new puzzling developments.
It all started with the U.S. raid in Syrian territory that allegedly targeted a major al-Qaida in Iraq recruiter, Abu Ghadiyah. While this happened five years too late, the timing seems odd.
Interestingly, an Arab diplomat based in Beirut told the Saudi news Web site Elaph.com that the U.S. operation was not only destined to target al-Qaida facilitators but also to send a clear warning to Damascus.
Islamist Forums Post an Audio Message by the Emir of Al-Qaeda's 'Islamic State of Iraq' (ISI) Abu 'Omar Al-Baghdadi to 'the New Rulers of the White House and Their Allies in Other Christian Countries': -- [MEMRI]
'...The Warriors of Jihad Hope that, in the Distant Future, They Will Dwell Under the Roofs of the White House...'
On November 7, 2008, the Islamist forum Al-Hesbah posted a 25-minute audio message by ISI Emir Abu 'Omar Al-Baghdadi, produced by ISI media company Al-Furqan.
Following is the summary of the audio message:
Al-Baghdadi stated that the message was not meant to threaten the Western countries, but only to urge them to "[act] fairly," and expressed hope that it would be conveyed to the Western rulers "by their intelligence agencies and satellite channels [in the Arab world], which profess neutrality."
E.U. Legislators Invite Hamas Lawmakers to Visit E.U. Parliament -- [MEMRI Blog]
– Including Palestinian Legislative Council Acting Speaker Who Has Called On Allah To Kill Jews And Americans 'To The Very Last One'
Media organizations, including Reuters, have reported that a European parliamentary delegation visited the Gaza Strip on November 3, and that it had invited all elected Palestinian lawmakers, including Hamas, to visit the parliament in Brussels.
Both the E.U. and the U.S. consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization, and are boycotting it.
The Little Caesars Veterans Program -- [The Little Caesars]
To provide honorably discharged veterans with a business opportunity when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change, and thank them for the sacrifices they and their families made for our country
“The Little Caesars Veterans Program provides honorably discharged and disabled service members with an outstanding opportunity to utilize their leadership skills to run a business. The significant credits and discounts, as well as special financing options, make this truly unique program a valuable and excellent option for our service members who transition to the civilian workforce each year - especially our wounded warriors who have sacrificed greatly for our Corps and country.” – Lt. Col. Francis Piccoli, U.S. Marine Corps
I’m so honored -- [Household6]
We just recently found out that we were nominated as an exceptional military family for Headquarters Company, Walter Reed Medical Center Brigade. Thanks so much to SSG Z, SSG E and CPT L for the nomination.
The award dinner (as part of the Hospital’s Military Family Appreciation Week) will be held on Thursday November 13 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The hospital newsletter, Stripes, is doing an article on all the winners.
More Volunteers Than Are Needed -- [Strategy Page]
November 7, 2008: The U.S. Army had its highest recruitment and retention success in five years, in the fiscal year ending this past September. The army recruited 185,000 troops, with 43 percent for the active force, and the rest for the reserves. All the other services combined recruited a bit less (139,000) than the army total.
The Wedding Crashers -- [Greyhawk]
...Another story from last week is less well known - likely because there were no claims of civilian casualties. Instead, the reporter merely portrayed American soldiers as panicked, trigger-happy goons responding to an IED attack by sending "thousands of rounds" into the darkness of the night, in a location where "there could be Afghan homes". That response might be expected, might even be excusable to some degree - but amazingly, it didn't happen. How can I state that emphatically? Because the reporter was there, and the video he shot of the incident demonstrates his claims are false.
British journalist covering Obama caught on camera in drunk, plagiarism rant
Raw video:Miami,November 04/08:Adam Smith, of the Birmingham Mail newspaper after drunken 'F*ck you' resignation and admitting to copying and pasting BBC web pages for his report.
I Hate This Guy -- [The Sniper]
This is an excerpt from a story by an ex-pat journalist about how “Now, it may suddenly be cool to be an American again.” “Cool to be an American again?” So now being an American is part of some kind of global popularity contest? Hmmm, nobody seemed to mind how cool we were when our soldiers were getting shot to ribbons on Omaha and Iwo Jima. And if being “cool” is what makes terrorists think they can fly planes into our buildings and kill American citizens without repercussions, then I think I would prefer to stay “un-cool”. But read on about what our intrepid reporter has written…
Obama's former pastor says he was exploited -- [MSNBC]
Rev. Wright accuses media of using him as a 'weapon of mass destruction'
Barack Obama's former pastor complained Thursday that the media used him as a "weapon of mass destruction" in an attempt to derail Obama's campaign for the presidency.
Emanuel Was Director Of Freddie Mac During Scandal -- [ABC News]
— New Obama Chief of Staff, Others on Board, Missed “Red Flags” of Alleged Fraud Scheme — President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac
Candy Security Clearances -- [A Soldier's Perspective - CJ]
"We are providing intelligence briefings to the President-elect and his team," she told the White House press corps. "We're giving security clearances to members of his transition staff."
Can they "give security clearances" to those of us that need them too?! I'm interested what types of background investigations are conducted on members of Presidential staffs and officials. After all, look at these stats for our Congressmen and women:
36 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
3 have done time for assault
71, Repeat…71, ...
Obama Appoints Foul-Mouthed Abusive Hyper-Partisan Freddie Mac-Staffer Bully as Chief of Staff -- [BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT]
Way to keep it real, Barack.
In his first major cabinet appointment in what he promises will user in the fruits of hope and change, Barack Obama appointed RAHM EMANUEL, a Democrat U.S. congressman from (where else?) Chicago and one of the most volatile political partisans in DC today, to be the incoming administration’s Chief of Staff.
(Need more? Dawn Patrols Archives are here.)
Iraq confident Obama won't withdraw troops too quickly -- [Reuters]
BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government is confident that president-elect Barack Obama will not jeopardize Iraq's improving security by hastily withdrawing U.S. troops, Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Wednesday.
Iraq Clears Hurdle for Elections -- [Iraq Updates]
Iraq's parliament on Monday approved quotas guaranteeing minorities a handful of seats on provincial governing bodies, an action...
Meeting of the Sheiks -- [Notes from Iraq - in Iraq]
Today, my team attended a meeting of sheiks, who are prominent, influential men in local communities. This was the first time that all 41 sheiks, or even a sizeable majority, of the area southeast of Baghdad met at one time.
The sheiks discussed pressing problems in depth, including schools, jobs and healthcare. The meeting also featured their election of one sheik to represent the rest in working with the local government.
Seeing progress in action and Iraq moving in the right direction is quite exciting.
Meeting with Sheik of Sumar
U.S. Soldiers from the 69th Force Support Company, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion and Agriculture Team Borlaug, joining the 8th Iraq Army to have a meeting with the sheik of Sumar
Talabani says U.S. base offer conditional -- [Iraq Updates]
Iraq's president has dismissed Kurdish leader Massud Barzani's invitation to the U.S. to set up military bases in the Kurdish...
So...about that election -- [Bad Dogs and Such - in Iraq]
Well. That was a little more...definite than I had thought it would be. I spent most of the morning in a room full of Sons of Iraq leadership, watching Al Arabia's coverage of said election. Explaining the electoral college through an interpreter is, in case you've never done it, kind of an adventure.
Lollerskates -- [Fobbits need ice cream too - in Iraq]
Things are getting busy around here; two of the cav troops have been pulled off the lines to train the new guys which means we have to step up and carry the extra mission load. No big deal really, we've been doing the brunt of the work since we got here.
Heading North...again -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
I am part of a Cavalry Squadron whose mission is to escort logistics convoys in Iraq. Usually we escort 30 or 40 semis full of parts, fuel, supplies and various other things to support the coalition forces based in and around Baghdad. These missions last for several days and span a few hundred miles. If you total all of the miles that our trucks have driven since we got here in April we’ve driven over 1,500,000 miles.
Petraeus Makes First Afghan Visit Since Taking Command, AP Says -- [Bloomberg]
US General David Petraeus made his first visit to Afghanistan since taking over the US Central Command last week, the Associated Press
First Stop: Pakistan
Army blames Afghans for attack on GIs -- [Stars and Stripes]
U.S. officers cleared in July firefight that killed 9
An Army inquiry into the July attack that killed nine 173rd Airborne Brigade soldiers in Afghanistan has absolved U.S. commanders of fault and suggested that Afghan officials might have been in on the attack.
According to a report in The New York Times, the 44-page inquiry found that in the five days between establishing the outpost near Wanat and the attack, locals warned them militants were plotting an attack.
Attack in Nuristan Probably Planned Well in Advance -- [A Battlefield Tourist]
New information is out suggesting the attack on a small outpost in Nuristan July 13, which resulted in 9 dead paratroopers, likely had been in the works before the mixed US/Afghan detachment ever arrived in Want, where the attack occurred.
An article from The New York Times claims a post-action report, made by an unnamed colonel, outlines the events that lead up to, and through, the four hour firefight in Nuristan’s Waygal Valley.
6-4 Cav Trains ANSF Forces
Soldiers in the Nuristan province training Afghan National Security Forces in order for them to eventually be on their own.
US urged to differentiate between Al Qaeda, Taliban -- [Daily Times]
Akram writes in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, “We need a realistic approach to the Taliban. It is Al Qaeda, not the Taliban, that threatens the US homeland. Separating Al Qaeda from the Taliban will make it easier for the US, Pakistan and allied intelligence, police and military operations to disrupt the group’s operational system.”
He suggests that the US should open negotiations with the Taliban.
Taliban suicide attack kills seven in Pakistan's northwest -- [LWJ - Bill Roggio]
The attack is the fifth suicide bombing in 10 days that targeted the police and the paramilitary Frontier Corps in the Northwest Frontier Province.
"In Kabul, Obama Fans Ready To Party" -- [Terry Glavin - embed in Afghanistan]
Among the things you'd least expect to find in this teeming, heartbreaking, war-ravaged city is the prompt pizza delivery service, the great Italian restaurant called Bocaccio's that's run by a family of Tajiks, and you can bring your AK47 to the bank with you. You just check your gun with the door clerk and pick it up on your way out. ...But one of the oddest things about Kabul is that it's home to some of the most hardcore Barack Obama supporters in the world.
ISAF forces kill key Taliban commander -- [ISAF - in Afghanistan]
04 Nov. - ISAF soldiers killed a Taliban commander who was intimately involved in the procurement, construction and emplacement of IEDs 29 October following a successful ISAF operation.
Fifteen militants detained, one killed by Afghan and Coalition forces -- [Combined Joint Task Force - in Afghanistan]
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – One armed militant was killed and fifteen suspected militants were detained during Coalition and combined operations with Afghan National...
Here's An Embed Who Got It -- [Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure]
Steven Featherstone’s article, “Human quicksand for the U.S. Army, a crash course in cultural studies,” in the September, 2008 issue of Harpers Magazine is a much more insightful piece of analysis than anything I’ve seen lately from journalists. Mr. Featherstone embedded with an HTT (Human Terrain Team) in Khost Province, Afghanistan in July, 2007 and came away with a valuable critique of our basic way of functioning in such an environment as Afghanistan.
I am Cheese's overwhemling curiosity -- [Cheese's Milblog - in Afghanistan]
I am no longer in charge of my truck. I'm still the squad leader, but I finally decided to turn over TC (truck commander) duties to my driver. He's actually been in a lot longer than me, knows at least as much as I do and has a lot of leadership potential. He's doing well, actually, and I enjoy driving again. For all his strengths, my new TC isn't exactly the most patient person. I attribute this to the fact that, at 28, he's much nearer to death from old age than anyone else in the truck.
Markets Fall After Obama Victory -- [ABC News]
American and European markets fell this morning after the election of Democrat Barack Obama and Democratic gains in both the House and Senate.
Medvedev: Russia to Deploy Missiles in Response to U.S. Missile Shield. -- [FOX]
President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will deploy missiles in its Baltic Sea territory in response to U.S. missile defense plans.
What the world wants from its president -- [Independent]
In Poland and the Czech Republic, the reaction was more muted. The Polish foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, said that he hoped the future President Obama would ignore Democratic Party misgivings and push ahead with the Bush administration's plans for an anti-missile defence and radar shield based in Poland and the Czech Republic. The shield – angrily opposed by Moscow - is likely to become a key litmus test of future US and European dealings with Russia.
Hamas fires over 35 rockets towards Israel... -- [Reuters]
Hamas fired dozens of rockets at Israel on Wednesday after Israeli forces killed six Palestinian militants in an eruption of violence that disrupted a four-month-old truce along the Gaza Strip's frontier.
Iran warns US forces after Obama win -- [Reuters]
Iran warned US forces in Iraq on Wednesday that it would respond to any violation of Iranian airspace,
the view from Iran
Iran army warns US forces to steer clear of borders -- [AFP]
TEHRAN — Tehran's military on Wednesday urged US forces to steer clear of Iran's borders with neighbouring Iraq and warned it would respond "to any invasion," the official IRNA news agency reported.
Iran will "take down" any overflying aircraft which fails to respond to warnings, a high-ranking Iranian air force commander was quoted by Fars newsagency as saying.
China, Emerging Asia to Fight `Protectionist' Obama (Update1) -- [Bloomberg]
Asia's leaders, led by an ascendant China, say they hope Barack Obama didn't really mean those campaign promises to protect American trade.
South Korea warns next U.S. president on trade deal -- [Reuters]
South Korea on Wednesday urged the new U.S. president not to renegotiate a free-trade deal signed last year, saying the winner of the vote will find the pact beneficial to both sides.
Democrat Barack Obama has said he opposes the free-trade deal with South Korea unless it is renegotiated to grant greater access to the Asian market for U.S. automakers.
Kim could make Obama flinch -- [Asia Times]
The problem of North Korea's intractable nuclear development could grow even worse for Tokyo and Seoul if Barack Obama, the next United States president, seeks direct diplomacy without preconditions to end the threat from Pyongyang. Experts in East Asia are raising serious concerns about the adverse effects of the next US administration's possible conciliatory approach against North Korea on regional security.
Yet again, Kim Jong Il caught proliferating right under Chris Hill’s nose. -- [One Free Korea]
Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother.
India blocked a North Korean plane from delivering cargo to Iran in August, responding to a U.S. request based on fears about the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
This, nine weeks before President Bush removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, ostensibly to reward it for some sort of good behavior.
Kenya Celebrates Obama Win (raw feed fromm CNN)
Europe's Obamamania -- [Guardian]
Why do Europeans adore president-elect Obama? Stupid question, you might say. He is young, handsome, smart, inspiring, educated, cosmopolitan, and above all, he promises a radical change from the most unpopular American administration in history. ...The other reason for the European love affair with Obama is that he is seen as something more than an American. Unlike McCain, the all-American war hero, Obama looks like a citizen of the world.
Obama Wins, Europe Sells -- [Forbes]
London - For all the talk of a bold new dawn under newly-elected American president Barack Obama, European investors chose not to echo the rally in Asia on Wednesday and sold their holdings instead.
Killing a Crocodile -- [Michael Totten]
Last week the United States military conducted a raid inside Syria and killed Al Qaeda leader Abu Ghadiya in a shootout in the village of Sukariyeh. Syria’s government raged against the violation of its sovereignty and staged a massive anti-American protest in downtown Damascus. But, according to the Times of London, the Syrian government itself may have quietly green-lighted the raid in advance.
The Next Crisis (Mp3) -- [Strategy Page]
Jim and Austin discuss the next potential international crisis the next President may face.
Life Sentence for Bin Laden Propagandist at Gitmo War Crimes Trial -- [FOX]
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba — A U.S. military jury sentenced Usama bin Laden's media specialist to life in prison for terrorism, a victory for Guantanamo prosecutors who painted him as a hardened Al Qaeda operative during his war-crimes trial.
Bin Laden's Son Seeks Asylum In Spain -- [Times Online]
One of Osama bin Laden’s sons has claimed political asylum in Spain, insisting that he is a pacifist who does not share the beliefs of the world’s most wanted terrorist.
Wounded Air Force Major Returns to 'Fight Another Day'
The Conlans' life, for the most part, appears to be normal. But like some 440 other airmen seriously wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Conlan and his family have struggled for normalcy. While on the surface, their life now looks like a slice of Americana, underneath the layers of Conlan's uniform, and behind the smiles on the faces of his family, lie the scars and memories of a bomb blast three years ago that nearly tore them apart.
USPS Announces Military Mailing Guidelines for the Holidays -- [GI Korea]
The Christmas holiday period is quickly approaching and the United States Postal Service has now issued this year’s military mailing guidelines:
Lori Peoria from Greenville doing great Angel work -- [Soldiers Angels Network]
For the outgoing Peoria, it has been the ideal outlet. For the past three years, the Greenville resident has served as a community team leader, and in the past two years, she and husband Tony have "adopted" Marines who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The former role is a highly visible one -- Lori is often spotted in her booth at festivals throughout Greenville County, educating the public about Soldiers' Angels and encouraging visitors to encourage military personnel abroad. The latter role is more personal: It calls for a commitment to write a soldier at least once a week and send him "care packages" at least once a month.
Military Health System
As Defense Secretary Gates continues to emphasize that caring for the wounded, ill and injured service members and their families is DoD’s highest priority, the Military Health System recognizes that a majority of that job is ours. Support for the wounded and their families has been enhanced and improved on a continual basis since OEF/OIF began, yet we know there is still more that can be done. In some locations we hear that things are going very well, in other locations we hear that things need to be improved. Each individual and each family has specific needs, and our goal is always to provide services which meet or exceed the expectation of those we serve.
As part of Warrior Care month, the Military Health System launched a short, anonymous questionnaire for ounded, ill or injured service members to provide input about the care they received and what can be improved.
1st Annual Long Island Run for the Warriors~Nassau County NY~11/9/08 -- [LongIslandGirl]
This Sunday, November 9th at 9:00 a.m., Hope For The Warriors™ will be hosting the 1st Annual Run For The Warriors™ on Long Island at Eisenhower Park. This run/walk is dedicated in honor of our nations wounded, their families and the families of the fallen. We will be hosting (10) wounded service members and their families for this event. Please join us.
U.S. Navy On Alert For Ingratitude -- [Strategy Page]
The U.S. Navy is finding that there's a downside to turning up for disaster relief missions. While the navy gets much praise when there's a disaster, and a hospital ship or strike group shows up to lend a hand, it can be a mixed blessing. Local folks will, in the short term, be very happy the fleet's in, and U.S. prestige will soar. But, if we stay too long or do too good a job, give away too much stuff, etc., the local authorities sometimes become unhappy, because we've set too high a standard of skill, honesty, even-handedness, dedication, and the list goes on.
Welcome home, HMM-365 (Rein) -- [From the Stan]
The aviation element returned yesterday!
Click here to read the story I wrote for today’s paper.
Click here to watch the video.
And here are some photos taken by one of the Marines at New River Air Station. I know his name was O’Brian, but I am not sure of his first name. I’ll find out.
"...and free election this is a holiday of the democracy." -- [Castle Argghhh!!!]
Tom Shales writes today in the Washington Post a piece titled After a Night of Illusions, Television Records Reality
One reason I found that interesting was SWWBO's Polish friend, who wrote this to her yesterday (I'm assuming he uses Babelfish or something like it to help his English...). Bias that may not be apparent to the MSM is apparent to a Polish photographer.
Telegraph journalist, Nick Meo vs Milbloggers: a summary -- [Outside the Wire]
One of the ways in which bloggers have acquitted themselves in the media space is by acting as a ‘fifth estate’ - scrutinising what the fourth estate - the mainstream media - do, challenging facts and publishing corrections, clarifications, and rebuttals.
...This post is a collection of links demonstrating how bloggers got on the case of Daily Telegraph journalist Nick Meo, who was embedded with a US Police Mentor Team in Afghanistan.
President Bush Congratulates President-Elect Barack Obama, Says "I Promise To Make This A Smooth Transition." -- [WaTimes]
"President Bush on Tuesday night called President-elect Barack Obama to congratulate him on what he deemed an 'awesome' win. …
Obama Supporter Admits Voting Several Time On Live TV - PA
Congratulations President-Elect Barack Hussein Obama -- [A Soldier's Perspective]
I'll admit, I had hoped that I never would have to say those words. It's no secret that I believe that Senator Obama was the worst of our crappy choices for President this year. I stand by that belief. However, I will not treat him with the same disrespect and overt contempt that the Democrats and others have given to President Bush during the past eight years - especially the past two!
Fox News Confronts Black Panther at Polls
A New Dawn? -- [Far From Perfect]
Well, wasn’t this a historic election. Not my man, but I recognize the historical importance of this election. Now I will have a “wait and see” attitude and see if the president-elect can pull off what he says or if he’ll be a party puppet. We will look back on this election long in the future and see what change this brought to our nation. Hopefully, its for the better. Anyway, I would just like to say it is time in this country for the Electoral College to go away. I have argued this issue since the days when Perot was considered a real candidate. The President was chosen well before 10 or so states had even closed the polls. That means all those votes were worthless. None of them really counted for anything in the presidential election. ...Secondly, if you look at the popular vote, the country is actually almost evenly split 51% / 48%. That means half this country was alienated ...
U.S. Troops Cautious About Obama Victory
Begrudgingly -- [The Sniper]
I don’t like you because I don’t trust you. I think you’re a socialist, I think you’re a media whore, I think you’re a flash in the pan… but you won. So congratulations… you now own the most powerful office in the world. Everyone in the world is looking at you as an example of America and more importantly, an example of an African-American. Little black kids across America are lloking up to you. Try not to eff it up.
History, Lincoln and Kennedy Parallels -- [Illini6. - formerly known as Miserable Donuts]
...I'm afraid that this president is an unknown factor as far as defense and he will be pushed, just to see what he will do. I think this is similar to Kennedy and Khrushchev with the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is why I say, "Calm down." Let's see what the man does when his back is against it.
This election may have made some of our friends friendlier, but remember, regardless of the outcome of this election, America still has people who hate us and I think the world has just gotten a little less safe.
Why I am okay with Obama -- [From my position... On the way!]
...Truth be told, the next four years won't damage the country that much. Historically, our government is really only truly effective when the president and the congress aren't from the same side of the aisle. That's when compromises are made, and truly important bills and resolutions get passed--laws that people have put a great deal of thought into, because laws that are meaningless or stupid won't get approved. Now that we are a one-party gummint, congress is going to be stepping all over itself writing laws to push their own agendas, instead of doing the deep thinking that is required for good legislation.
Election Day News Part Three -- [A Major's Perspective]
I was shocked to hear about this, but unfortunately it is so true. Watching the news, they were discussing Bill Ayers casting his vote. A women called in and said she had seen it, and was disgusted since here is a terrorist casting his vote, and her son could not cast his because he was overseas and part of the absentee ballots being disallowed. Myself personally, it disgusts me that a brave young soldier defending his country overseas, in harms way, can not vote.
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Iraq expects answer on security deal after US vote -- [AP]
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq expects an American response to requested changes in a draft security pact soon after this week's U.S. presidential election, an aide to the prime minister said Sunday. Another Iraqi official said the U.S. indicated it would accept all the proposed changes except one — greater Iraqi legal control over American soldiers and contractors. Yassin Majeed said the U.S. response would come after Tuesday's vote so the president-elect — either Barack Obama or John McCain — could be briefed on the Iraqi proposals, which were submitted by Iraq's Cabinet last week.
Leaders -- [Annex B - in Iraq]
Ok, it is time to vote…so go do it. I’ve seen a lot of media stories about the presidential race. Who’s ahead. Who made the gaff of the day. Which candidate is qualified to be president and for what reasons. I think we’ve all seen our share of stories.
Voting absentee has been a huge push over here. We have all had the opportunity. Some exercise their right to vote. Others are more complacent to do nothing. I am our Squadron's voting assistance officer which means its my job to make sure all soldiers are aware of and get assistance with voting.
Iraqis attention on US elections -- [Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite TV Network]
US elections taking the upper hand worldwide is the focus of politicians and citizens in Iraq. Head of Accordance Front Adnan Al Dulaimi announced that Iraqis wish for the next President to help Iraq and contribute to its economic reconstruction as well as efforts deployed to achieve political unity and ascertain security the main concern of Iraqis. MP Mahmoud Othman affirmed that he supports Obama since the latter endorses most Kurdish minority aspirations seeking more independence. ...Similarly, MP Ahmad Al Massoudi noted that he tends to support Obama though he doubts the latter would withdraw US Forces from Iraq
...However, Iraqi citizens are divisive over which candidate is able to help them most improve their situation five years after the topple of the former regime.
What's the word on the street in Baghdad? -- [IN-Iraq - in Iraq]
(Rumors surrounding the future of agreements between Iraq and the U.S. abound.)
...However, recent events related to SOFA show that this alliance is nonsense, and the Shiite Alliance has really never left its Iranian loyalties. Just recently the U.S. discovered that the delay in signing the security agreement by the Shiite Alliance is not based on national interests but it is an Iranian demand. (A fear and hatred of Iran by many solidified with the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-88, which claimed half a million lives. Many Iraqis still speak of hardships and family members lost during this time.)
November 2, 2008 -- [S4 at War - in Iraq]
A new PRT (provincial reconstruction team) arrived at our FOB a few days ago. These guys are State Department employees who help with reconstruction efforts in unstable regions. One of the new guys was talking to a friend of mine so I stopped to introduce myself and see what he could do for me (always wheeling and dealing). Turns out he was in the middle of laying out his grand world view and happened to mention that “Muslims are trying to take over the world.” I don’t happen to agree with that and said as much.
Positive leadership -- [Armed and Curious - in Iraq]
I think I have mentioned before that I was fortunate to have worked for General Petraeus when he was commanding as a three-star in Baghdad in 2005. I was reminiscing about those interesting days as he prepares to take command of CENTCOM this Friday and stumbled onto some of my notes from our morning meetings.
Throughout my career I have always chuckled at the things we soldiers will say and have always had the habit of scribbling down the funnier quotes as I hear them.
...As he prepared to leave us in September of 2005 I strung together some of his best lines from our meetings and threw them up as my portion of his last morning update. Here are a few of my favorite quotes with context added...enjoy.
Animal Farm -- [The War on Big Tobacco - in Iraq]
...“Ok,” I say. “What is the problem?”
“The problem is these twelve hour shifts. But a twelve hour shift isn’t a twelve hour shift. A twelve hour shift is really a fourteen hour shift. But it’s not really a fourteen hour shift. Because you also have to eat. And as per the commander, you have to go to the gym and do PT too. So when do you sleep?”
He has a point. The line units run patrols for over twelve hours a day and the soldiers always come back tired. I sit in the TOC doing nothing for twelve hours and that to is mysteriously fatiguing.
We Ain’t In Kansas Anymore… -- [The Gun Line - in Iraq]
We recently (as in, yesterday) conducted training that caused us to spend the night out in the middle of the desert. To the north, I could see the glow on the horizon that could only be NavStar, the outpost on the border of Iraq.
Beyond lay Iraq, and the future…
A picture is worth a thousand words -- [Combined Joint Task Force - in Afghanistan]
Conspiracy theories surrounding military bases are not just limited to the sci-fi community. The rural villages surrounding Bagram Air Field, a former Soviet air base in eastern Afghanistan now being used for the headquarters for Regional Command - East operations, have been upset about a local enigma surrounding an important creek for some time.
...While at the base, the village elders were shown various places along the creek where the silt and debris had severely narrowed the creek bed or blocked its path. Now with all the vegetation burned away, the mess was clearly visible. The elders showed a lot of excitement during the visit. There seemed to be no end to the handshakes, smiles and hugs from most senior of the elders. The reason for their excitment? Because after six years, they can see for their own eyes that something is being done to fix their main water supply.
USO offers entertainment, relief of deployment woes -- [Combined Joint Task Force - in Afghanistan]
BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Oct. 27 2008) – The United Service Organization has been supporting U.S. forces for more than 67 years. Adapting to the needs of the troops, the USO has continually invented and reinvented programs to help troops. They have now put together a program called “USO 2 Go” to
Slinger's first firefight: "This is real! They're actually shooting at me now!" -- [Syracuse Post-Standard - Dave Tobin -in Afghanistan]
During my firefight, I had been returning fire.
I was reloading my 240 (M-240 machine gun) that's up on my truck, and I could hear pops and cracks over my head. I looked over the side for a second and I noticed they were starting to walk rounds in to my truck. Because I was the only one. It just opened my eyes - this is really real! They're actually shooting at me now! That doesn't make me feel real comfortable.
The hard road to progress in Afghanistan -- [Syracuse Post-Standard - Dave Tobin -in Afghanistan]
Through rocky ravines and streambeds, through foot-deep dust, the convoy wound into the mountains of southern Afghanistan, churning up a ribbon of brown haze.
Before starting out, Capt. Odelle Means, the convoy commander, had passed out a map that located each bomb exploded along the route in the last four months. The red dots marked their path.
"The Taliban are everywhere," he said.
Feeling the loss of fallen friends -- [Stay in Touch - in Afghansitan]
While war is full of “waste,” the strength and determination of a citizen soldier in the face of the threat and adversity will never be.
Taliban Two-Step: Can’t Sit Down Yet -- [Newsweek]
Everyone's talking about talking to the Taliban. But before we jaw-jaw, there will be more war-war.
Don't even ask Mullah Sabir about peace talks. There's nothing to talk about, says the tall, burly Afghan, one of the Taliban's highest-ranking commanders. "This is not a political campaign for policy change or power sharing or cabinet ministries," he tells Newsweek at a textiles shop on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. "We are waging jihad to bring Islamic law back to Afghanistan."
Canada's last turn in command at ISAF Regional Command South -- [The Torch]
Major-General J.G.M Lessard has turned over command at Kandahar to his Dutch successor Major General Mart de Kruif (more here--note what ISAF commander General David McKiernan said). The period of command has been extended from nine months to one year and Major General de Kruif' will be followed by a British officer; that takes one up to November 2010. Since Canada is scheduled essentially to end our military mission in 2011 I see no chance that a Canadian officer will be in charge at RC South again.
Wandering Around This Great And Hospitable City, Allegedly "Baghdad At Its Worst." -- [Terry Glavin - embed in Afghanistan]
Took the day off. Spent my time strolling around Murad Khane, Kabul's ancient centre, and its adjacent bazaars and neighbourhoods. Packed with people doing their afternoon shopping and errands; strangely, everybody's stock portfolios appear to have have held up here (joke). Lamb and naan for lunch. Met some Sikh spice merchants, Shujah bought a kite, that kind of thing. You can tell I'm some sort of kaffir, so people go out of their way to smile and say hello.
Thousands more Syrian troops deployed on Lebanon border -- [Jerusalem Post]
Syria has mobilized some 3,000 troops and heavy equipment near its border with eastern Lebanon, Beirut's As-Safir newspaper reported over the weekend.
The troop movement is being carried out under the banner of a bid to stop illegal smuggling and cross-border criminal movement, but Middle East analysts are viewing it as a signal from Syria that it intends to return Lebanon to its sphere of influence.
Syria response to US will be 'painful' -- [PRESS TV, Iran]
Damascus has warned that it will carry out 'painful' measures if the US fails to explain over its recent cross-border raid into Syria.
Iran needs oil at $60.60/barrel till March-report -- [Forbes]
TEHRAN, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Iran needs oil to average $60.60 a barrel till March, the end of the current Iranian year, to avoid 'big problems' in its economy, Iranian media reported on Monday.
America votes 2008: What it means to us -- [The Star]
For Canadians, Obama is the sentimental choice. But on matters of our national interest, he and McCain are closer than you might think.
Britain's Brown meets and shakes hands with al-Qaeda linked terrorists in Saudi Arabia
He also just got done imploring the Saudis for financial aid, going so far as to promise "business leaders in the Gulf that they would have a say in any future new world economic order." To which JW reader Morgaan asks, "Who is Gordon Brown to be making pledges on behalf of the whole Western world that Saudi Arabia will have a say in sculpting the new world financial order?"
Saudi Cleric Abd Al-Aziz Fawzan Al-Fawzan: (Video) -- [MEMRI Blog]
Allah Be Praised, America Is Collapsing; If the Skulls of America's Victims Were Placed One on Top of the Other, the Pile Would Be Higher than the WTC
Terrorism and Technology -- [ThreatsWatch]
The battlefields of the Global War on Terror have expanded. That is a reality. Earlier attention raised to the possible use of new technology including social media, virtual life spaces and the evolving use of blogs by terrorist organizations was...
Wounded troops’ pay overhauled -- [Stars and Stripes]
Wounded servicemembers whose combat-related injuries are diagnosed after they return home can keep their special pays while hospitalized, Defense officials said Tuesday.
The move is one of the major changes that are part of the Pay and Allowance Continuation Program, or PAC, which allows wounded servicemembers to continue to collect special pays after they are hospitalized.
Previously, wounded servicemembers’ injuries had to be diagnosed in the combat zone for them to receive the compensation.
Now servicemembers are eligible for PAC if they for injuries that were not detected in the combat zone, such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"This blanket is proof that there are still many back home that love and support us." -- [Soldiers' Angels Germany]
Received by one of our sewers from a former patient at Landstuhl:
My name is SGT ( ... ), and I just received one of your beautiful blankets. I want to thank you for not only your support, but the time that you put into showing how much you care.
This blanket is proof that there are still many back home that love and support us.
Any Soldier -- [Sgt Stryker]
This Holiday Season, one organization is making sure that soldiers are not going without. Founded by Sergeant Marty Horn, Any Soldier was created in August of 2003 to ensure that every soldier received mail. When Sergeant Horn realized that many soldiers never received care packages or even letters of encouragement from friends and family members, he created Any Soldier to make certain that all soldiers are encouraged and supported. The program was a great success and within six months time, what started as a program strictly for the Army grew to include all branches of the armed forces. Today, Any Soldier includes Any Marine, Any Sailor, Any Airman, Any Coast Guard, and now includes the program Treat any Soldier.
Exclusive: California Capital Ignores Veterans -- [A Soldiers Perspective - CJ]
I just finished talking with a friend whom I've been working with on getting stuff prepared for Veteran's Day. He made a comment about Sacramento not having a Veterans Day Parade or any other city observance of the holiday. That peaked my interest and I decided to give the city a call.
The Tea Leaves -- [MilBlogs - Greyhawk]
At first read these quotes from the CENTCOM change of command ceremony might seem unimportant. Perhaps they are. Or perhaps the things that people who are trying to keep it short say are worth close attention.
It IS Election Season, After All.... -- [Spouse Buzz - Andi]
Voting for Milspouse Mag's 2009 Military Spouse of the Year, sponsored by USAA, has begun. Click here to read about the finalists, and cast your vote. There are ten finalists representing each branch of the service. So many incredible spouses to choose from! I haven't confirmed this with Babette, but I'm pretty sure absentee ballots and hanging chads won't be an issue...
Do you know this man? -- [Castle Argghhh! ]
In an interview, he said: "The idea that I would be able to even finish the job before the enemy got me was ludicrous. When you know you're not gonna make it, a wonderful thing happens: You stop being cluttered by the feeling that you're going to save your butt."
The man is John W. Ripley, Colonel, USMC. He passed away this last week. He was a holder of the Navy Cross (and arguably, I think, it should have been a Medal of Honor, but we weren't giving those out as the government was desperate to depart Vietnam and didn't need any heroes like that to fire the imagination, thank you very much).
He's the man who ...
Unreadability in the defense of liberalism is no vice -- [The Corner]
Ed Driscoll writes: — When the MSM moans about the gallons of red ink it's spilled since 2001, it needs to ask itself if it's prepared to actually report the news, in a fashion that interests readers, or if it exists as a non-profit ideological support system.
Some Military Votes May Not Be Counted -- [NPR]
All Things Considered, November 2, 2008 · Voting experts are expecting a huge wave of military absentee ballots this year. The 184,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have a lot at stake in the vote to choose their next commander-in-chief.
The mechanics of military voting are better than they used to be. But "better" doesn't always cut it for troops in war zones. Teresa Purcell got a call from her husband nine days before Election Day. "You're not going to believe this," he said, "we're not going to be allowed to vote for president of the United States because we're not getting the ballots."
Obama camp wants every military vote counted -- [Air Force Times]
The Barack Obama campaign is urging state election officials to make an extra effort to count all military absentee votes, even though most of those votes might be expected to support the Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Who will get the military vote? -- [OneNewsNow]
A non-partisan military watchdog organization says Republican presidential candidate John McCain may not receive the overwhelming support among military
Common questions asked by Wisconsin voters -- [Chicago Tribune]
...My daughter is serving in the Army in Iraq and she just mailed her absentee ballot today. There's no way it will arrive by Nov. 4 at the municipal clerk's office. Will it still be counted? Ballots mailed by military personnel serving overseas can arrive up to 10 days after the election and still be counted.
...If I vote absentee and change my mind before Election Day, is there anything I can do to change my vote? If you beat your absentee ballot to the polls, the ballot you cast at the polls will be counted and the absentee ballot will be discarded. If your absentee ballot arrives first and is counted, it cannot be pulled.
Where in the world -- [Michelle Malkin]
An unhinged left-wing talk show host from San Francscio wants JTP dead.
Radio Equalizer has the scoop and audio. Kerry Picket at Newsbusters notes that the nutball host has quite the track record. Meanwhile, JTP was ambushed at a campaign event in Ohio.
KGO Talker: I Want Joe the Plumber Dead
KGO / San Francisco libtalker / Obama supporter Karel has been caught on tape calling for the death of Joe The Plumber.
My prediction -- [Bob Krumm]
Here is my prediction. Wednesday morning you can grade me on how well I did.
Arizona: Don’t believe the hype. John McCain is in no danger of doing an Al Gore and losing his home state. McCain by ten.
Colorado: Bush won here by almost five. Barack Obama thinks
...Florida: McCain will do better with Jewish and older voters than did Bush
Obama will bankrupt the coal industry
Bankrupty: The change Obama thinks the coal industry deserves…
What I've said is that we would put a cap and trade system in place that is as aggressive, if not more aggressive, than anybody else's out there.
I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.
So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.em>
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