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Makes paying up for Valour-IT a little easier for some folks.
I am back to the world of private broadband, was looking for the Michelle Malkin has it wrong link from Eddie, and have discovered that, well, no one here is having fun with Cpl. Joshua Belile and The Sweater Kittens.
My favorite quote is;
"I cannot say if there is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice or the law of armed conflict. Lawyers have looked at it and they're kind of scratching their heads, which is why we're doing this preliminary inquiry," said Lt. Col. Scott Fazekas, a U.S. Marine Corps spokesman at theDoes anyone read/listen to the lyrics? Can any PIO take a clue from Tony Snow? Do you now what Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad means?
Just read/watch and bask at the world’s only SuperPower pick at its navel - and the miracle that our women aren’t in burkas already..
UPDATE: My bust. Uncle Jimbo had it two days ago over at BLACKFIVE. Well, you can get an update today from him today as well..
Motion to Table(Defeat) Amendment To require the withdrawal of the United States Armed Forces from Iraq and urge the convening of an Iraq summit.
Vote Counts: YEAs 93
Not Voting 1
The usual suspects voting as the usual suspects vote
Why doesn't the State Dept. recognize its independence? With the rest of Somalia seemingly going to the Horn Of Africa chapter of the Taliban, this would seem to be a good idea.
Curzon of Coming Anarchy has more on Somalia's mess.
James Lileks uncovers some transcripts, previously unreported, from key Al Qaeda leadership in Iraq (as they are identified).
Apparently Jihadis in the know have great fun at the expense of whoever is identified as the new “Al Qaeda’s #1 man in Iraq.” One of the recent office folders even made this complaint, and called for restraint on the part of his fellow Jihadists:
Making a whistling sound with a descending pitch in my presence was funny the first time. We all had a good laugh. It is hereby forbidden.This made me smile especially:
Finally, patience is our ally. We need not defeat the Americans, only outlast them. Have they not abandoned every battlefield they ever entered? Besides Germany, Japan, Korea, Kosovo and Afghanistan, of course. But just as they left Somalia when their “Democrats” took power, so will they leave Iraq when the criminal Zionist Bush regime is replaced by a slightly less criminal, albeit equally Zionist, Democratic regime. The Democrats wish to quit the war and return to their important issues, such as permitting men to marry, have a child with the cloning of cells, and then abort it. Such a people cannot fight; they can only beseech the United Nations to send Danes to frown from great distances. And I need not remind you that no one was ever killed by a 226 kilogram laser-guided Dane.Perhaps the Milbloggers can suggest an appropriate nomenclature for a “226 kilogram laser-guided Dane.”
Read the whole thing. It’s good.
Since we're all about milestones today... here's one for you.
Is there a need for Project Valour-IT?
That's $330,000 of assistance, folks. A goodly chunk of that raised via the Milblogs and blogs who support us.
I.e., you guys.
More importantly - it's 500 severely wounded soldiers we've helped.
That's a battalion. 1/3rd of the combat strength of a Brigade.
Pat yourselves on the back.
You deserve it.
As long as someone is keeping track of death tolls, during the period from 2003 to 2006, over 120,000 Americans will have been killed simply trying to get from Point A to Point B.
In 2005, some 16,972 of those traffic deaths were alcohol related. So, about 48,000 in 3 years killed in preventable, alcohol-related traffic accidents.
Just thought you might like to know.
Rumors have circulated about what erstwhile Jihadi compatriots might have tipped off Jordanian Intelligence and US forces about Zarqawi’s whereabouts prior to the aristrike that killed him. Several have also suggested that Al Qaeda leadership – whoever is left in leadership roles, who direct Al Qaeda elements to do their bidding -- might have increasingly viewed Zarqawi as more liability than asset.
A BBC Report, covering comments by Iraq’s National Security Advisor, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, may unintentionally have shed light on who might be those behind-the-scene Master of Al Qaeda.
The BBC reports that al-Runaie stated that ""We believe that this is the beginning of the end of al-Qaeda in Iraq."
Great news, likely true. But this last part caught my attention:
One of the documents showed Zarqawi planned to widen the rift between the US and Iran by carrying out attacks on US interests falsely attributed to Iran, the prime minister's office said.Where have we seen anything like this reported previously? Intelligence and governmental sources have long acknowledged in one form or another that Al Qaeda in Iraq sought to foment sectarian violence by targeting the Sunni community, and portraying those attacks as perpetrated by Shia militia. Or targeting Shia, making it look like Sunni holdouts were involved.
But targeting US interests, and causing the US to blame Iran for these attacks? (Which we often do, for good reason, as Iran has been waging war against our interests for years, in one clandestine or proxy manner or another.)
I don’t know that analysts claim to understand the exact relationship between Al Qaeda and Iran. Iranian Intelligence and operatives have been busily at work in Iraq. Clearly, there share common interests and oibjectives, but how much do they coordinate their activities?
Could it be that Iran had been using Zarqawi, in an official capacity as the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, or in some manner of cooperation based on confluence of interests, all along? And it was Iran who reached the conclusion that Zarqawi was hurting their interests, more than helping?
If Rubaie’s statement is true, that Zarqawi planned to carry out attacks on the US and try to have these (falsely) attributed to Iran, and thus widen the rift between the US and Iran, that would have come at a time very critical to Iranian national interests. Would it be too coincidental that this occurs on the eve of what has widely been described as the US “backing down” on a more aggressive Iranian nuclear program? When Iran seems to be gaining the carrot without risk of a stick?
Maybe Zarqawi, as arguably the more doctrinaire among the Jihadi compared to Iran’s Mullah’s, viewed Iranian attempts to play their diplomatic brinksmanship as having too much traffic with the Great Satan, and wanted to keep pushing the US towards crossing that brink, against Iran’s desired objectives?
Could it be that Iran decided Zarqawi was more useful dead than alive? And decidedly easier to control that way.
(Excerpted from a post at Dadmanly, with more excerpts from the BBC Report.)
...for your Project Valour-IT donation?
I heard from the sister of a severely wounded Marine how much it helped her brother's rehabilitation to have one of our Valour-IT laptops. He lost use of both arms temporarily due to burns, so the laptop was an incredible blessing to not be isolated. Last word was that he was far ahead of the expected progress for his rehabilitation (I think he lost one or both feet too it was a very severe injury).
Max Borders conducted a very enlightening interview with former Marine Sergeant and syndicated news reporter J.D. Johannes, with the results posted at Tech Central Station.
Borders: Nobody is going to want to read the story about the soldiers who were in the dessert getting sunburned. But what other kinds of things will they want to read about and that the mainstream media is missing?Me too. Go read the whole thing.
Johannes: The daily successes. The Marines would joke about this. Their MOS [military operation specialty] was in 0311 or 0352 is 0350 as in infantry police officer. You gather Intel. You set up ambush and bait-and-kill operations. You track down a bad guy when they were bringing in a bad guy every other day. Finding a weapons cache every other day in the area... But those weren't the things making the headlines.
Capturing a wanted, low-level terrorist in Amiriya is a big success in that area. Would there ever be a story on it? No. One reason is there wasn't a reporter there when the individual was captured. Even though there was a compelling story in how they gathered the Intel, tracked the person, conducted a raid on the suspect's home, captured them, etc. A big success not covered in the media. What is covered is a car bombing in Baghdad. What happens on aggregate is you get a distorted view of the war that shows only car bombings and few successes, when there are successes every day -- little successes that add up.
Borders: So it sounds to me like this phenonomenon is a mix of an urge to find "real" stories -- something that can actually get into print -- and reporters' ideological baggage. Do you believe that objectivity in journalism is even possible with those kinds of dual pressures on journalists?
Johannes: Journalists are human beings. I mean, we come into everything with our own personal views, which are formed by our experiences; how we're brought up, the way we view things. It's impossible to say that people can be blank slates.
One of the biggest flaws in the media -- and I wouldn't exactly always put it on individual reporters themselves -- the problem is in the structure of the overall media coverage. You just have a handful of reporters covering a major conflict in a large country. The pressure comes in the various complexities of covering Iraq.
Case in point: I get a call (about a month or two ago) from a TV news director who had known what I had done in Iraq. He was hoping I was still there so he could hire me to go out and do what I had done in the past because there was a reserve unit from their area being deployed. But the parent affiliate said: "nope, we don't leave the Fortified Hotel -- ever." So a lot of the employers aren't willing to bear the risk. And that is the structural program that really tilts the war.
Also, and this is probably the most disturbing part, many journalists have not figured out that they're being targeted by the enemy on purpose to help shape the coverage of the war. The insurgents don't want the reporters out and about running around. They're completely satisfied with the "balcony" report and some video shot by a stringer of the daily car bomb. That's the message that the insurgents want to get out. They don't realize that warfare is both the kinetic and non-kinetic. And, therefore, they miss how they're being played by the insurgents. I wish more reporters realized that.
Fort Sam Houston threatened with utilities cut-off... because they're deadbeats?
Ahhh, the joys of how the Federal Budget works, and Congress and the Executive fiddling while the lights go out.
A problem not specific to either party being in power.
Youse guys is grand! Act vice bloviate, indeed!
Stuff this in your pipe and smoke it, WW!
97 donations since Friday Weekend 2214.11 Monday 2475 Tuesday 3801 Total: 8490.11
Nice trend, too!
Last night, Fuzzybear Lioness provided this update:
58 Donors today: $5,850.00
Including $1000 from someone we believe is an orthopedic surgeon. I think that's particularly cool because he would recognize the need for and impact of this program. Pretty cool, huh?
[sound of shoes being removed and mumbled counting going on]
Lessee, that's $14,340.11 Which was more than NRO had raised as of last night in their fund-raiser.
Today we also had someone who will be adopting a soldier and paying the entire cost of his/her laptop. We also have someone who will be donating a top-of-the-line new laptop.
So, the fundraising for Project Valour-IT continues. Please click on the graphic below - and give up a little beer/winecooler/pack of cigarettes/movie rental money (or more, like Blackhawk!) to help the wounded re-connect to their wired lives. At this point - I'm just wanting to stay ahead of NRO!
Feel free to join us!
(Feel free to swipe the roll-code)
(If you are a supporting blog and aren't listed - drop me a note!)
TAKING THE LEAD from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Reuters has now reported that the U.S. death toll in Iraq has surpassed 2,500.
WASHINGTON - The number of U.S. military deaths in the Iraq war has reached 2,500, the Pentagon said Thursday, more than three years into a conflict that finds U.S. and allied foreign forces locked in a struggle with a resilient insurgency.
Reuters may have some inside sources, but the Pentagon has not made any such public announcement.
I was glad to see John Noonan jumping on this story over at Newsbusters, following up on an outrageous postscript to the New York Times awarding a terrorist gang family member a guest editorial (aka propaganda piece).
I noted yesterday how the Benchellali Family’s attempt at gaining sympathy from the Times was successful, and that Jihadis get as good a reception at the Times as they likely receive from Al Jazeera.
This from the AP report, carried by CNN:
In handing down sentences, the court followed the prosecutor's office by giving the maximum 10-year term to the group's alleged chemicals expert, Menad Benchellali. However, Menad's father, Chellali Benchellali, an imam, or prayer leader, in the Lyon suburb of Venissieux, received only an 18-month suspended prison term -- far lower than the prosecution's demand for six years behind bars.For those not already familiar with the French investigation, investigators uncovered gas canisters, fuses, chemicals, a chemical protective suit, and other chemical products such as ricin. For those as yet unfamiliar with the Benchellalis, they form the backbone of a France-based terror network, formed in Algeria and active in support of Islamic terror efforts in Chechnya.
The court convicted 24 defendants of criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise, a broad charge used by France to sweep wide in bringing terror suspects to justice. One other was convicted of using false papers.
The Benchellali family was at the center of the case, with Menad's mother, Hafsa, and brother, Hafed, also on trial for roles in the plot to carry out an attack in France.
As I stated yesterday:
It really can’t be possible that the New York Times doesn’t know that long-suffering, despairing MOURAD BENCHELLALI was a member of a reputed Jihadist family (make that gang), on the eve of the French conviction of large numbers of said “family.” A Terrorist propaganda press release, from a member of a family on the eve of their convictions for support for terrorism, and association with a busted terror plot against France.Is their crusade against Guantanamo worth whatever shred of dignity or reputation the Gray Lady has left? Or do they really want to take sides?
(Cross-Posted at Dadmanly)
Funny how this contrast to Iraq doesn't get much play... And I won't even mention Somalia.
CBS is in a hurry to get rid of Dan Rather.
OK, fine. But can we please reassert that there remains a difference between real POWs and these unlawful combatants?
Despite my misgivings over how many people who've been in Gitmo aren't terrorists but just folks in the wrong place at the wrong time (or enemies of someone who then told coalition forces they were "terrorists"), I somehow feel this will be the law of the future after terrorists attack America and inflict enormous damage again. In addition, I feel this is what should already be in place for war criminals like the Janjaweed (Dar Fur), Hutu Power (Rwanda), the Lord's Resistance Army (Uganda), the leadership of North Korea and Burma, etc etc.
Sanction Four is a punishment meted out by the Multinational Forces in John Birmingham's Axis of Time novel Designated Targets.
Under the rules of engagement of January 15, 2021, Sanction Four is authorized against enemy forces who have committed atrocities against civilians and military Prisoners of War. The condemned are led (or dragged) to a large trench, where their hands are cuffed together. A Multinational Force member announces that they have been convicted of a "crime against humanity". No last rites are performed. The prisoner is then executed with a single shot to the back of the head by a member of the Multinational Force selected for field punishment duty (medical personnel can ask for exemption from this detail).
My latest is up at Newsbusters. Piece discusses the anti-Gitmo op-ed from suspected terrorist Mourad Benchellali, published in yesterday's New York Times.
It's been six days since Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in an airstrike, and the world is still glad to be rid of him.