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It's not like I got me a lovely set a few months ago or anything.
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 5, 2006) – Army service uniforms will be streamlined to one blue Army Service Uniform, the Army announced today.
“World-class Soldiers deserve a simplified, quality uniform. The blue Army Service Uniform is a traditional uniform that is consistent with the Army’s most honored traditions,” said Sgt. Maj. Of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.
“We have all of these variations of uniforms – green, blue and white,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker. “It makes sense for us to go to one traditional uniform that is really sharp and high quality and which Soldiers will be very proud to wear. And that’s what we’ve done by adopting this blue Army Service Uniform that reflects simplicity, quality, utility and tradition.”
Many Soldiers already own an Army blue uniform (now to be called the Army Service Uniform) and may continue to wear it.
Improvements will be made to the fabric and fit. Reduction of the number of uniforms will reduce the burden on Soldiers for purchases and alteration cost.
Introduction in the Army Military Clothing Sales Stores should begin in fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007. Introduction in the Clothing Bag should begin first quarter 2009. The Mandatory Possession Date is expected to be fourth quarter fiscal year 2011.
A wear-out date for the Army Green Class A and White dress uniforms will be determined at a later date.
Damn you Marlow White! Damn you!
Not my words, but the title of THIS ARTICLE about Kerry & his crowd's continuing obsession with all things Swift Boat Vets...
And then the even more interesting comments and dissection that followed HERE
Addendum: Blackfive has this story perking on John Lipscomb's response to the NYT piece "fawning all over John Forbes Kerry's " latest efforts vis a vis his war record... Lipscomb does a fine job...
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment," according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards.
Among the directives being rewritten following Bush's 2002 order is one governing U.S. detention operations. Military lawyers and other defense officials wanted the redrawn version of the document known as DoD Directive 2310, to again embrace Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention.
That provision - known as a "common" article because it is part of each of the four Geneva pacts approved in 1949 - bans torture and cruel treatment. Unlike other Geneva provisions, Article 3 covers all detainees - whether they are held as unlawful combatants or traditional prisoners of war. The protections for detainees in Article 3 go beyond the McCain amendment by specifically prohibiting humiliation, treatment that falls short of cruelty or torture.
I disagree with this reading of Common Article 3. While it's true that CA3 does provide sort of a baseline protection for peoples in non-international conflicts, that does NOT mean that it provides more protection than things like the McCain Amendment. A quick glance of CA3 shows the sorts of things it is intended to prevent:
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
That's the level of punishment that CA3 is designed to prevent. Violence/Mutilation, hostages, and (arbitrarily adjudged) executions. With that in mind, do things like not having immediate access to a lawyer sound like an "outrage upon personal dignity" or "humiliating or degrading treatment?"
Better yet, considering the standard set by (a), (b), and (d), do things even like standing for extended periods of time, solitary confinement, or sensory deprivation reasonably rise to the level of "outrage" as that relates to the other elements? I suppose some COULD argue that point, but they'd have to to it in the context of (c) being an outlier that drastically reduces the level of conduct required to violate Article 3. It's a stretch to make such an argument, again, in light of the rather explicit prohibitions contained elsewhere in CA3.
The problem is, is that as time goes along, primarily as a result of the political winds, have begun to read (c) as just such an outlier. This includes, unfortunately IMHO, some JAGs:
The Pentagon tried to satisfy some of the military lawyers' concerns by including some protections of Article 3 in the new policy, most notably a ban on inhumane treatment, but refused to embrace the actual Geneva standard in the directive it planned to issue.
The military lawyers, known as judge advocates general, or JAGs, have concluded that they will have to wait for a new administration before mounting another push to link Pentagon policy to the standards of Geneva.
Given the twists and turns that CA3 has gone through to harangue the US--it is not unreasonable for the Pentagon to want to avoid including the language of CA3 in its new policy.
Oh, and Andrew Sullivan declared the US a "rogue nation."
An odd conclusion to this story of the 43-year old Iraqi journalism student who was home on break from classes and captured video of the aftermath of the incident at Haditha. It seems that Time Magazine wasn't his first choice for a distributor:
But he and the human rights group he works with failed to generate interest from international organizations and Arabic media, he says.No specific groups or media outlets are named, but I've noted before that this really isn't much of a story in the Iraqi or Arab media.
I suspect that's partly for lack of a "Jack Murtha" type to ignite the media and fan the flames of outrage. While Sadr is similar in character, as a Shiite he won't fuss much over the deaths of Sunnis.
OIF Alphabet V2.0, from the usual suspects.
Anybody with recent experience of dealing with TRICARE for returning reserve component soldiers - especially if you have experience fighting your way through the bureaucracy to get some straight answers are asked to head over to Two Blue Lines and give Sher and Greg some assistance.
They've got lots of prayers and suggestions to contact their Congresspeople - they need some real, substantive guidance from you guys who've already dealt with this issue.
Two years ago today, Sgt. Ryan Doltz died a soldier's death in Iraq. He is sorely missed.
While you're at Buck's (reading a post that should be as heavily quoted as anything by Mark Steyn) be sure to watch a few of his "home movies" from Iraq.
I stumbled across an earlier AP version of the story this morning (my time), with that event right up front:
BAGHDAD, Iraq Jun 5, 2006 (AP)— Masked gunmen stopped two minivans carrying students north of Baghdad Sunday, ordered the passengers off, separated Shiites from Sunni Arabs, and killed the 21 Shiites "in the name of Islam," a witness said.Seems pretty clear exactly what was going on here - if you have some knowledge of the situation. The "name of Islam" quote is the hallmark of the Takfiri - "those Muslims who regard other Muslims as infidels " - a better designation than the overly broad "Sunni" or the too narrow "al Qaeda" for those who share al Qaeda in Iraq's 'kill the Shia' ideology.
This is not stated in the AP piece - some background knowledge is required - and the subtlety is no doubt lost on anyone who only learns of Iraq via TV soundbites. The shorthand "sectarian violence" is correct, and fits those soundbites, but it also leads many to the conclusion that we have no business involving ourselves in "those peoples" problems.
To the even more casual observer it is only "senseless violence" - and while that's true on one level it is absolutely violence with a very specific purpose - kill Shiites, sow chaos, terrorize the population, make them think the authorities can't keep them safe, and weaken support for the elected government of Iraq.
One might think the function of a good reporter - or a large, credible "news" organization not hampered by the time limitations of TV news - would be to report exactly this sort of background facts, shed some light on exactly what's going on - rather than to simply throw up their arms and declare it all "sectarian" or "senseless". But have a look at the New York Times' coverage:
It was a brutal killing, even by the standards of this violent country. Gunmen set up a fake checkpoint north of here Sunday morning, stopped two minibuses and killed 20 passengers, including students on their way to final exams.Gone are the references to the victims' religion altogether - that (apparently too complex for Times readers) bit about the victims being Shiites, along with the quotes from the killers, had been excised completely from the record. But the Times did find one quote "fit to print":
The police official, who spoke by phone from Baquba and was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, offered a now familiar conclusion, "There was no reason for the killing."The Times not only withheld known details as to the reason for the murders, they worked a bit harder to bring readers a quote that "there was no reason" for what happened.
So there you have it - "sectarian" violence in which we shouldn't be involved, or "senseless" violence - in which we should not be involved. Take your pick.
The Times report does give some analysis of the event beyond the simple facts:
The killings were in keeping with the nature of attacks here now, and, in a grimly familiar pattern, were not hindered by authorities of any kind, Iraqi or American.and
The killings are a grim illustration of how badly security has deteriorated in and around Baghdad.Both of which could have come from Takfiri press releases on the murders.
I suppose I could expand my list above: kill Shiites, sow chaos, terrorize the population, make them think the authorities can't keep them safe, weaken support for the elected government of Iraq, and get the cowardly Americans to turn tail and run.
Tomorrow is the 62nd Anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy. I usually put together a list of links to more posts about D-Day.
If you are going to post a D-Day story or something about D-Day, send me the link and I'll include it in a D-Day round up for tomorrow.
The standard phrases, "US Led" and "Bush Administration....blah blah" seem to have dropped out of the daily AP/Reuters content feed.
With any luck, AP/Retuers will eventually get to the real issue, that the violence in Iraq is between various groups that want to govern by subjugation of the people as well as groups that want to govern by consent of the people.
Blathering on about "sectarian" violence is just a way to obscure moral clarity.
It appears the CIA couldn't get it done with the last-minute support of the local warlords. What happens now?
Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, chairman of the Islamic Courts Union, said his forces have fought off a secular alliance of warlords who have been trying to retain their grip on Somalia. The militia appeared in control of the capital.
Considering how chaotic life in Somalia is, if the Islamist warlords can keep their noses relatively clean, this could actually end up being beneficial. Somehow I doubt that's the case though.
Fore more info, PINR has a great background report.
A flurry of recent FOB business has kept me away, but to paraphrase MacArthur, “People of the milblogosphere, I have returned.”
Some of you who’ve followed me from the beginning may recall last Veteran’s Day when went ballistic on the antiwarrior peace-at-all-costs crowd in an open-letter gonzo rant titled MESOPOTAMIA NUTS. So in the spirit of the recent Memorial Day and the upcoming D-Day anniversary, I’ve gone off and done it again. Not quite half-cocked this time, but rather locked & loaded on three-round burst.
A reduced op-tempo certainly hath it’s privileges.
I’ll bid y’all adieu with some suggestions for new taglines:
“Milblogs: Free PR for those who shamelessly exploit it.”
“Milblogs: More site traffic in one month of existence than the rest of us get all year.”
“Milblogs: We ain’t got time to bleed.”
“Milblogs: The cure for Black Hawk Down’s Syndrome”
“Milblogs: First they are ridiculed, second they are violently opposed, and third they are accepted as self-evident.”
The Associated Press (AP) continues to carry water for al-Zarqawi and Al Qaeda, demonstrated in the way in which they frame today’s report of ongoing violence.
This time, it’s to juxtapose the killing of 21 Shiite students north of Baghdad, killed in the “name of Islam” according to a witness, with an earlier police raid and gun battle with insurgents in a Sunni mosque.
When is violence just violence, terror attacks, just acts of terror, and when do they represent “sectarian tensions?” When the AP has a storyline to reinforce, of course. Odd that it completely support media objectives of al-Zarqawi and Al Qaeda. You’d think it was…planned that way, or something.
Would it be possible for the AP to realize how they play right into the hands of the terrorists in Iraq? Not anytime soon, apparently. Sure, Al Qaeda doesn’t prepare press releases quite the way a Western democracy would. They use bombs and indiscriminate brutality as their means of tipping off the media to a story they’d like in print, and Western media eagerly complies.
It’s nice, too, how they make the direct reference to the most recent military communiqué from Zarqawi. Perhaps that’s to make sure they get credit for running the AQ “press release”:
Violence linked to Shiite and Sunni Arab animosity has grown increasingly worse since Feb. 22, when bombs ravaged the golden dome of a revered Shiite mosque in predominantly Sunni Arab Samarra.In no way do I want to suggest that continued violence isn’t newsworthy, or worrisome. But to the extent that the AP, NY Times, and other Western media insist on describing this as sectarian violence, they aid and abet the Al Qaeda propaganda and Information Operations campaign.
Sectarian tensions have run particularly high in Baghdad, Basra and Diyala province, a mixed Sunni Arab-Shiite region. And Sunday's attacks came just days after terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi renewed his call for Sunni Arabs to take up arms against Shiites, whom he often vilifies as infidels.
For if violence against one ethnic or religious faction is all that is required to equate to sectarian violence, all AQ needs to do is keep killing Shia and Sunni in separate attacks.
I guess I expect too much nuance from mainstream media (MSM), but come on. Are religious or sectarian differences the real motivation behind these attacks? Or is that assessment somewhat disingenuous?
Think about all the much simpler, more direct motivations of those who mean us harm in Iraq.
Those out of power (Baathists) want the Iraqi experiment in Democracy to fail. Iran (through Intelligence Service and terrorist proxies) want the Americans out; for that matter, they don’t like Democracy either. Al Qaeda shares those objectives, and their image has been badly tattered in recent months, and need some operational successes (at least favorable press reporting that portrays their sporadic violence as “growing success.” Some disenfranchised Sunnis and disgruntled Shia no doubt think there are advantages to continued reluctance to fully engage in Democratic processes, and so sit on the sidelines at times when unity is most in need.
But “sectarian” violence? Just because one group is singled out for attack in any specific attack? That’s a far cry from the you killed some of us, we kill some of you, you respond, and we retaliate kind of sectarian warfare that is being ginned up -- ginned up by AQ and the unwitting proponents of the civil war theme in the media.
(Cross posted at Dadmanly.)All done!
A response to something that came up in the comments of Greyhawk's famously Instalanched post regarding the media and Haditha last week.
Acting vice just bloviating about things.
In case you missed it, Howard Kurtz gave him 5 min 45 seconds on Reliable Sources. I have the full video here. Solid report.
An interesting bit of reading from the Military Officers Association of America...
What's in the FY2007 Defense Bill?
As Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess, it's worth highlighting and comparing selected provisions of the House and Senate versions of the FY2007 Defense Authorization Bills (H.R. 5122 and S. 2766, respectively).
We've put a quick-reference chart on the MOAA Web site that summarizes key provisions and outlines MOAA's position on them. Click here to check out the summary.
The outlook on final congressional action is murky at this point. The House passed H.R. 5122 last month. The Senate bill has been cleared by the Senate Armed Services Committee, but Senate leaders haven't said when it might be brought before the full Senate for a vote.
Last year, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) concerns over the large number of amendments delayed consideration of the Senate defense bill until November, and Congress didn't finally approve it until just before Christmas. Hopefully, things won't get that bad this year, but the number of proposed amendments is unlikely to be any smaller this (election) year. Our sources are concerned that Senate action may not come before July...or later.
Can somebody at DOD or the FCC waive the bull**** flag on this travesty?
On the Kitty Hawk alone, we've got 400-500 sailors begging MWR to find a way to show matches in one of the hangar bays on a projection monitor. This is a big deal for military folks (just like the rest of the world). To miss out on the World Cup (in a year when the US is ranked 5th in the world and actually has some great talent) is a real shame. Its not like a soldier in Iraq or a sailor floating in the Indian Ocean can pick up ESPN on their own.
No Gun Ri is a great flashpoint for America-bashing in Korea. I'd heard rumors of such things going as far back as a 'war story' collection written right after the armistice (Korean Tales, Lt. Col. Melvin Voorhees, USA).
But the Associated Press story was pretty thin, and this "new revelation" sounds to me more like a description of checkpoint ROE (warning shot then shoot to kill) than a description of atrocity.
I'm guessing a kernel of truth buried in a lot of political pointmaking and hype unless shown other evidence.
Striking while the media iron is hot, North Korea is officially on the Bandwagon.