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The UN actually had an expert on East Timor back in the day; he was the fellow who refused extra security measures and got killed by a Baghdad car bomb that hit the UN embassy back in '03. Viera de Mello understood the link between Timorese and Australians, for instance.
From what I understand, he was a good man, and will be sorely missed in this latest round of Timor trouble (bottom line: the folks in Timor are trying to keep rule of law going with the west side guys wanting to make things ugly). I don't know anything about the new guy.
My first introduction to the Stokely family was via email late last year, and I just received another timely message from Robert Stokely, and this seems the perfect time and place to share it with his intended audience.
Dear friends in the MilBlog World: By now, it would be understandable if you and others were tired or hearing from me and what I say. But, I feel a need to talk about my experiences. It makes me feel better to not hold it in. It also is my hope that others can find something in what I say that makes them feel better, cope, or just think of things said from a perspective I now hold. This weekend is a very traditional time in modern day American culture - it is Memorial Day Weekend whose premise is on remembering those who fell on the field of battle for the cause of freedom and in the service of our great country. Realistically, it is a three day weekend that signals the start of summer fun for friends and family alike. To be very honest with you, I can't claim to have placed the proper focus on this important weekend in so many years in the past. But, this year I have a new perspective, to say the least. Sadly, it probably took my son Mike dying in Iraq to make this holiday a time to truly focus on what Memorial Day means. No doubt, I'd rather be remembering "someone else's" fallen soldier. But, I also recognize that the lineage of fallen soldiers is one of privilege for the fallen's family members. No soldier wills to die in battle, nor does a family hope such privilege is accorded them. But, as the dad of a fallen soldier, I can say that I recognize such privilege is given me and our family for who else would it be given if we chose not to accept it? SGT Mike Stokely is an example of a life lived well, boldly committed and bravely given. He believed in God, Family, Duty, Honor, Country. He left nothing in reserve when it came to any of those life character traits. How little it is for me and his family to show our love for him, to honor him, and serve in comfort and safety by simply accepting the privilege of service we have been given by his death in Iraq. Thank you soldiers generations past and present for your sacrifice and giving us reason to have a Memorial Day. I never got to tell Mike thank you, so I'll say it now - Thank you son for your life, a life well lived, boldly committed, and bravely given. You made a difference, you died for a just cause, you will be remembered, and you are forever loved. John 15:13 - No greater love... Thank you God for the privilege of being Mike Stokely's dad. God Bless America and those whose time of privileged committment is yet to come. The Stokely Family stands ready to serve with you. Robert Stokely proud dad SGT Mike Stokely KIA 8/16/05 Yusufiyah Iraq E Troop 108th CAV 48th Brigade GA NATL GUARD US ARMYAll done!
If it seemed I was treating the UN harshly in an earlier post on this topic, I suppose in balance I should note that they have indeed taken bold action. Not only is Koffi Annan sending an envoy there to look around, the envoy is also an expert on East Timor:
New York, 25 May (AKI) - United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan is sending a senior envoy who is an expert on East Timor for a first-hand assessment of the situation there following serious unrest after a large portion of the national army was recently dismissed in the country which the United Nations help lead to independence from Indonesia in 2002.Hopefully the 1300 troops Australia sent in won't get in his way and muck everything up.
Oh, and if it seems like I'm being sarcastic in this post it's because I am.
You'll find some familiar names in the Amazon reader reviews for Home of the Brave.
He's already fought for that picture once before.
Shocked! Shocked, I tell you!
Update: Comment at Blackfive's from Capt B: "To hell what (HFM) stands for now, its going to stand for Hiding From MilBloggers......."
I wish it were true, Hawk, but the fact is they were invited, and waited on a status-of-forces agreement to boot.
There are some whom one may feel safe stealing from. There are, however, others from whom one should seriously reconsider.
What this guy said. H/t, Jim C.
Secretary Rumsfeld Delivers Memorial Day Message
“On this Memorial Day, we again pause to remember and to honor those who dedicated their lives to the service of others.
“From the first citizen soldiers who stood fast to defend their homes at Lexington and Concord, to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines securing our liberty and our way of life today, our country has been truly blessed by those who stepped forward to say, “send me.”
“Theirs is a noble calling that founded a nation, drove back the forces of Fascism, Communism, and terrorism, and made historic advances in the cause of human freedom.
“Their service strengthens our will to persevere through every challenge. They remind us of what it means to be an American.
“So to all of those serving our country today, know that we are deeply grateful to you and to your families. May God bless you. And May God bless our wonderful country.’
BAGHDAD, Iraq—First Lt. Yarub Altawee, 26, wandered in and out of the stores along bustling Palestine Street, the upscale shopping area in east Baghdad, asking, "How's business?" In the late afternoon, the street was jammed with cars and people, many of the women dressed in chic, Western-style clothes. The small stalls displayed brightly colored goods and trinkets.(Via INDC)
Tim Blair notes Aussie troops in East Timor, while New Zealand awaits instruction from the UN.
...Vietnam vet Russ Vaughn's story at vietnam vet Bill Faith's blog, with additional comments from WWII vet John Werntz.
My own departure and return from Iraq were very low key affairs, partly because both happened in Germany. In the virtual world the crowd was a bit bigger.
Guys, this is old news. Noam Chomsky spoke at West Point on April 20, to a crowd of about 500 polite cadets. C-SPAN is just showing re-runs this weekend.
Patrick Lasswell, an honest-to-God-real-life Navy reservist, has some tips on "How to Catch a Fake Veteran" (drink alert).
1. Ask Direct Questions. When were you there? What unit were you with? Who was with you? Where were you at? Why did you take those obviously illegal orders? How many times did this happen? Were the goats consenting adults? These are the sorts of things that imposters give vague and implausible answers to that can be checked afterwards.
2. Record All Answers. If they are speaking in public or posting their comments online, they have no expectation of privacy. When you have them recorded, share the media online so everybody can review their statements, not just the gullible few. It will come back to haunt them in a manner reminiscent of Genghis Khan…
I originally wrote this post upon finishing Carl Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln, and been particularly moved by the final pages that documented Lincoln’s death by assassination. It was – it is – a powerful testament to a giant figure in the history of our Nation, of the world itself.
Carl Sandburg may have been a fine historian, but he was first and foremost a poet from the Midwest. There was no finer craftsman of prose to so properly render tribute to this American.
I thought about Lincoln and his words a lot in Iraq.
God knows, Lincoln spoke to my soul.
As I reflect on words written many years ago now, by Carl Sandburg and others, about Abraham Lincoln and the bitter losses from the Civil War, I think about Memorial Day, and about the sacrifices many are called to make, in the name of Freedom.
Lincoln and the words spoken about his sacrifice, about his commitment to the Union, apply as much for the men and women who have served this nation in times of war and threat. Many perished in their duty. Many more suffered, not just from separation from their loved ones, but with injury, illness, debilitation, and foreshortening of young lives.
On this Memorial Day, we reflect on an eternal chain of service and sacrifice, and humbly offer up our gratitude. May we also offer up our own measures of devotion, and may we measure with the full and truthful measure that Providence has used, to bestow blessings and favor on us.All done!
David Salie was one of my son's instructors in Airborne school... he was in Bravo Co. while Noah was in Able Co. on the same Brigade Combat Team when they deployed. They had just arrived in Iraq when Sgt. Salie was killed. His widow, Deedy, continues to be an influence in the lives of the young men that David led, and in the lives of other military wives and mothers... offering them counsel and a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold in good times and bad. I am proud to call Deedy Salie a friend. She is MY hero...
Joe Galloway writes about our Heroes... and their families. Read: On Memorial Day, remember the families of our fallen heroes
Regarding the new law against protests at military funerals, it looks like it only applies to services at national cemetaries. Phelps and his ilk will still be "free" to spread their hate in funerals held other places, as he did here in Idaho last year.
I have a comment... For every story like that one there are dozens like this one, which won't make the MSM because it just isn't news to them. American troops saving people in the middle of a firefight isn't news because it's... normal? Whereas, American troops possibly shooting noncombatants *is* abnormal...
Coalition Forces Save Abandoned Boy
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces saved a young boy from imminent danger during significant fighting that resulted in the deaths of over 25 terrorists May 14th in Yusifiyah. In one incident during the course of the hours-long operation, several terrorists abandoned a two-year-old boy in an attempt to save themselves.
Upon initiating the attack, the troops immediately killed two terrorists in response to hostile activity emanating from a suspected safe house and an associated vehicle.
Only trying to preserve their own lives, escaping terrorists literally threw a toddler inside a vehicle near a burning van filled with ammunition and anti-aircraft rockets (the safe house and vehicle were previously struck by Coalition forces to neutralize the threat). The troops made the choice to save the child in lieu of pursuing the terrorists, rescuing the boy just before the rockets exploded.
The troops took custody of the two-year-old and provided him security for almost an hour before they could safely return him to his mother. The boy and his mother were residing in a nearby safe house from where the terrorists originally fled and had abandoned other women and children.
Coalition forces previously reported that three females - one child, one teenager, and one adult - were injured in the initial raid; the youngest only required on-site treatment, the two older females were medically evacuated. As troops transported the two injured females and an unharmed maternal escort to the hospital, the terrorists attempted to shoot down the departing medical sortie (there was no red cross, the helicopter was being used as a medical evacuation transport to expedite care).
The pilots averted the small arms fire and safely delivered the two injured females and their escort the 10th CSH where the wounded were provided further treatment. Both females received additional medical care and were released from the hospital May 15th.
Just sayin'. Story came from the CENTCOM website.
A classic example of target fixation leading to an accident. I.e., on a motorcycle, if there is road debris in your way you want to avoid - you look at where you want to go, not what you want to avoid. Therein lies tragedy.
Or, in this case... comedy. (do my server a favor, "right click and save as" rather than streaming direct, it's a 3 meg file. No, Greyhawk, it's on *my* server, not yours...)
OMG, too funny for words! Your Air Farce in Action! "Glad I already had that one concussion..." Kudos to all concerned for a professional demeanor, however. I suspect that Guidon Bearer had a rough rest of the day...
Any further thoughts or observations are welcome.
One of my readers clued me into this. Apparently Noam Chomsky is going to be on CSPAN-2 this weekend, speaking to the West Point Corps of Cadets. I think I'll TiVo the speech, just to see what he says.
Show will air on Saturday, May 27 at 7:00 pm and Monday, May 29 at 10:30 pm.
The following are the key paragraphs in this story:
“If the allegations are substantiated, the Marine Corps will pursue appropriate legal and administrative actions against those responsible,” said Col. David Lapan, a spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters.
“The investigations are ongoing, therefore any comment at this time would be inappropriate and could undermine the investigatory and possible legal process,” he said. “As soon as the facts are known and decisions on future actions are made, we will make that information available to the public to the fullest extent allowable.” Murtha, an outspoken war critic and retired Marine colonel, has maintained for several weeks that the reality of the Hadithah incident was far more violent than the original reports suggested.
Unlike Murtha, I have no comment at this time.
Reported here, a law against the Rev. Fred Phelps and his ilk. The law sets limits on where and when protests at National cemeteries may be held. Phelps is shouting "unconstitutional." You may reasonably anticipate that the ACLU will help challenge the law.
The law's restrictions:
...the "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act" would bar protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery and within 150 feet of a road into the cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Those violating the act would face up to a $100,000 fine and up to a year in prison.
And, no, there is no law against being a lowlife slimeball.All done!
...over what is starting to look like a war crime, though who can say how much of the movement will now be driven by political considerations, vice good deliberative investigation.
Good news, bad news, I suppose.
The good news is while we may be slower than *some* people would like, we don't sweep everything under the rug as our political foes would have the world believe.
The bad news is - that it happened, and there appears to be enough smoke to indicate there may be a fire.
Heh. Wouldn't it be nice if *all* the lines we're suppsed to be careful of in combat were bright and shiny? Vice fuzzy and camouflaged?
No matter. Therein lies the core of dscipline. If there's enough evidence, charge 'em and let 'em defend themselves.
If they are successful, hooah. If not, they can come visit us here at Leavenworth. For a long tour.
Read about it in The Marine Corps Times.
Just a quick diversion, a little humor.
The Dadmanlies have come across a wide range of re-enactors of late, which suits history-minded Little Manly just fine. Re-Enactors, for the few out there who haven’t discovered them, are those dedicated hobbyists who adopt period personas, learn vast amounts of detailed history, and spend their free time acting out historical periods.
Often re-enactments are re-creations of battles or other wartime events, although more and more historical periods or environments are subject to re-enactment. Little Manly is quite taken with these forms of “first person” history, and peppers the re-enactors we’ve met with all manner of specific questions, exploring intricate details of weapons (especially), practices, artifacts, and what can only be described as historical footnotes.
We’ve met Revolutionary War Re-enactors, both Colonial Army and Militia, and British Regulars. We’ve spent a lot of time around Civil War Re-Enactors, who must be the most common sort. We visited Baltimore during our visit to DC for the 2006 MILBLOGGER Conference.
We recently came across World War II Re-Enactors, which surprised me – how soon before things get re-enacted? (Now comes to mind the Monty Python sketch about a Ladies Group that re-enacted a famous British Naval Battle, complete with dueling purses and scrabbling in the mud. But now I really digress.)
Mrs. Dadmanly and I talked it over yesterday, and decided that if she was going to be a re-enactor, she would be a Polish Immigrant, and portray a woman like her Babci (Polish Grandmother).
She could wear a housedress and smock, put on one of those hair bonnets we see on Pierogi-making day at the Polish Catholic Church, and she could spend her re-enactment rolling dough, mixing cabbage or cheese and potato, and showing her audience the precisely correct way to pinch the ends together to make the doughy treat.
Someday, I suppose there’ll be Anti-War Hippie re-enactors.
No wait, we have those already. Check out Code Pink and others of their ilk. A good portion of the current anti-war sentiment (of a certain generational flavor) is a thinly disguised nostalgia for the “anti-war protest days." Call them Hippie Re-Enactors.
(Excerpt from home.)
"CNN Presents" travels with injured troops in Iraq on the journey from frontlines to their homes. "Wounded Warriors" takes a personal look at fallen soldiers and the medics and pilots who save them. "Wounded Warriors" airs Saturday and Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.
From CNN Press Center...
CNN Presents: Wounded Warriors May 27 & 28 (Memorial Day Weekend)
Americans trust, if their sons, daughters, husbands or wives are sent to Iraq, that the military will take care of their loved ones and bring them home quickly should they be injured. On a very special documentary CNN PRESENTS: "WOUNDED WARRIORS" we will show you exactly how that happens… from the point of injury on the battlefield… all the way home. CNN Correspondent Alex Quade follows the medical care our troops receive in Iraq at each "level of care": from the time they are wounded, through “the golden hour” with buddy care and helicopter medevac, to field hospitals, and then aeromedical evacuation to Landstuhl, Germany, where these wounded warriors have more treatment before returning to Walter Reed and other facilities in the U.S. Ms.Quade follows a number of these warriors as they receive stateside treatment and make hard decisions about their futures.
For more than 18-months, Ms.Quade has been documenting the stories of these battlefield heroes… not only those who have been wounded but those who are providing medical care. She also came across what could become a brand new level of care for all branches of the military: the first “Wounded Warriors Barracks” in America, an experiment conceived by one of the injured Marines Quade has covered from the moment he was wounded near Iskandiriyah, Iraq
It is unprecedented coverage. An inside look that civilians have not seen. Alex Quade traveled to Iraq on several occasions to embed with units in all branches of the military… not only with combat medical teams, but also field hospitals and air medevac units on the frontlines. She was given permission from the injured, and their families, to share their personal stories. And, for the very first time, to show their faces. The footage was shot carefully and respectfully.
Quade’s initial “Wounded Warriors" stories on CNN garnered an overwhelming response from across all branches of the military, as well as families of servicemen and women. Several U.S. military units are now using copies of it as part of their training for troops about to deploy to Iraq. And now with brand new follow-ups 18-months into the recovery of the wounded... this has become a very special one hour documentary for the award-winning CNN PRESENTS unit.Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd, USAF (ret.), CNN military analyst has this to say about CNN PRESENTS: “WOUNDED WARRIORS”... "The piece is one of the best and most powerful pieces of TV journalism you will ever see. You cannot view it without a lump in your throat and mist in your eyes - the strength of our troops, the strength, expertise and kindness of those who care for them and the strength of the families will make you feel inadequate."
GySgt.Mel Greer, USMC, one of the wounded warriors Quade followed for 18-months, from Ramadi, Iraq to Camp Pendleton, California, has this to say about this CNN PRESENTS special: "You do not get shot and get home and everything is fine, as Hollywood would like you to believe. It is a long process. Recovery takes time, for some people, it takes years. And by showing viewers this, they will see the truth and it will help their families and other servicemen and women going through the process."
Please join us in watching this very special hour of award-winning journalism. We extend our invitation to you and you’re your families to watch CNN PRESENTS: “WOUNDED WARRIORS” on Saturday and Sunday, May 27TH and 28th at 8pm and 11pm eastern. A final word from Gen.Don Shepperd (USAF, ret): "We are well to remember that there are those who also serve in danger in addition to our troops; however, Alex’s piece is a tribute to our military and to America."
IMHO: The current version of the Senate comprehensive immigration bill is a piece of hastily crafted, poorly written and marginally thoughtful legislation. They should get this right and not rush just because after doing nothing for 20 years they feel they have to act before the next election. Get this right -- not rush. Secure our borders... THEN we can talk immigration reform. The reform part doesn't have to be done in a day or a week... We should be putting together legislation that can actually work and that the American public will support... and this isn't it. (And if Ted Kennedy is all for it -- we should be really wary!)
I'm ranting about it over at my place...
According to this CNN article, the Navy recently conducted a successful terminal phase interception of a test missile on the Pacific Test Range. One part of the article jumped out at me:
"The Navy already can shoot down a missile in its final stage with a Patriot Advanced Capability 3, or PAC-3, missile launched from land."
I always thought the Patriot was an Army program. Has the Navy been muscling in, or is it just that the AP writer didn't understand the difference between the Army and the Navy?
I have some more info on the Navy Area Defense System (yes, it's a bad acronym) here.
In Update III to this entry at Q and O, McQ seems to be stating that the Yahoo profile of the person with the same E-mail address as MacBeth's "sister" has a picture that would seem to make it unlikely that the poster is, in fact, his sister. I don't think that this is slam dunk for saying it's not his sister, though; other than the possibility that MacBeth may have been adopted (he did have the name change when he was two), we also have to consider the fact that no one puts their actual photo up on their Yahoo profile.
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, "The Rich Get Richer."
...because this story is indeed rich. And getting richer.
Is she really his sister? Or is this more "fake but accurate?"
Also: McQ uncovers some evidence that Jesse might be an Army boot camp dropout. Too bad he never learned how to wear his uniform properly.
These people and more are at every commencement at West Point... They have been for years. They usually show up outside the gates with fake coffins and dressed in costumes... carrying signs.
Frankly, the only signs that are appropraite are ones that say "Thank you for volunteering to fight for my freedoms."
Moonbats. They just don't get it.
1. Matt is a soothsayer. He predicted that Home of the Brave would anger the MSM and that they’d slam it in reviews. And thank God they did! The Washington Post hit piece sent the book soaring over 40,000 spots on Amazon.com and spurred on our friends at NewsMax to run this.
2. The news cycle reigns supreme. Don’t fight against the tide; flow with it. Ergo the revamped Memorial Day publicity and release. TV and radio are set to kick into high gear. More to come...
4. Steve Forbes has a heart for our Armed Forces like no other; he hosted an amazing book launch party and was so gracious to the Home of the Brave heroes who were able to attend. [see pictures] When I got home there was an email waiting in my inbox from Steve Forbes. He wanted to thank US for allowing him to host the event. Unbelievable. It was a truly moving event.
5. The safest lectern in America is one flanked by SGT Marco Martinez, LTC Mark Mitchell, MSGT William Markham, and SGT Leigh Ann Hester. [Again, see pictures]
Thanks, again, to all those who are supporting Cap's final book through blogging and/or Amazon.com reviews.
It's so cool to see Milbloggers flexing their growing media muscle. Cap and I wanted Home of the Brave to spark a broader, national debate over the MSM's portrayal of our Armed Forces broadly, and OIF specifically. This is, of course, a battle milbloggers wage daily--and deftly. I continue to tell my NYC book buddies that the MSM and the snooty literary types can no longer ignore milbloggers as a real and expanding force. Not all of them believe me yet, but they will. They will.
I already had the answer to this question... but let's see what Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) said on Neil Cavuto's show yesterday:
NEIL CAVUTO: well, is ted kennedy a threat to our national security? Not quite. My next guess says his constantly mouthing off on the iraq war is. Senator, what's got your goat?
SEN. JOHN ENSIGN: Well, i think that politicians and leaders in this country have a very serious responsibility when we are at war to carefully choose the words that they say. When we are at war, the enemy will look for ways to politically divide our country. Certainly the terrorists are looking at ways to divide our country and i think that many of the leaders, including ted kennedy, nancy pelosi, dick durbin and others have been very irresponsible in the way that they have chosen their words, i guess, is the best way to say t i mean, when you talk about abu abu ghraib as being the same as reopening saddam hussein's torture chambers, as ted kennedy did, dick durbin compared what we were doing in guantanamo bay to the soviet do you go logs and the nazis those kind of comments do our nation harm and they build support for the terrorists around the world.
CAVUTO: what do you want to do about it?
SEN. ENSIGN: Well, you know, my purpose for, you know, talking about it is to call people to be more responsible. It is irresponsible, i think, to give fundraising help to the terrorists who give recruiting help to the terrorists by making our country look like that we are one of these evil dictators. I think that that's irresponsible and we should have leaders in this country that are much more responsible, much more measured in what they say and some of these leaders have been irresponsible in what they have said.
CAVUTO: some of those leaders include your what co-senator harry reid the senate minority leader from your state called the president a loser, what do you think of that?
SEN. ENSIGN: Well senator reid and i have an agreement we are senators from the same state and we have to work together on a lot of issues and we have an agreement not to criticize each other. We have a good working relationship.
CAVUTO: i know you do, senator, but when you call the commander in chief in this case a loser, that's pretty strong stuff.
SEN. ENSIGN: I let my other republican colleagues talk about what senator reid has talked about as i respect the agreement that senator reid and i have but i certainly have not hesitated to criticize others in the democrat party who i believe have been irresponsible by almost giving, you know, aid and comfort to the enemy by what some of their comments have done.
CAVUTO: another way to flip it around and i have talked to some of those same senators who have said that's the one thing that's great about our system we can debate heatedly in this country and that's the one thing that the terrorists hate. What do you make of that?
SEN. ENSIGN: I think that it is great that we have freedom of speech but with freedom and our founders understood this comes responsibility. During of the civil war, we had a situation where the politics of the north were very, very shaky. And general lee used to read the newspapers. It's one of the reasons he came north one or two victories of the politics of the north would collapse and that would mean victory because of the politics of the north. Well, the terrorists right now are looking at this country. What is happening politically? And the division that they are seeing in this country is giving them strength. It is embolden in them to carry on. They think that they are close on breaking the political will of america and if america and especially american leaders would stand together, would stand behind our military, would stand behind the mission, we, i believe, would be much closer to complete victory over there and having a much more stable iraq.
CAVUTO: do you think that it is likely that by the end of the year we are going to start withdrawing troops from iraq?
SEN. ENSIGN: Oh, i think it's possible that we could withdraw some troops. The numbers are still up in the air. Really, the key is can the iraqis protect their own country with their own troops? And that is a matter of training not only the front line soldiers but it's also training their commanders. And that's not something that is simply done in a six-month period of time. But they are getting more and more trained. They are getting more and more battle tested. Battle hardened and their commanders are getting more experience in working with our folks and so we will be able to take much more of a backup role so that the iraqis are on the front line and as we do we should –
CAVUTO: when do you think that will be? I'm sorry, senator.
SEN. ENSIGN: It's not all of a sudden by a certain date it's happening gradually and happening right now. We are taking more of a backup role and putting them out there and bite end of the year i think we will be able to draw down, who knows how many, but it probably in the thousands and then next year even significantly draw down a lot more than that.
You can watch it all HEREAll done!
He managed to get through the trailer without blaming America for 9/11, let's see if he can make it through the whole movie...