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Here is an excerpt from the leading South Korean daily newspaper the Chosun Ilbo that best describes why South Korea gets highly concerned when US government official start talking about bombing North Korea:
The precariousness of the security situation in Korea is expressed in an op-ed column in the Thursday issue of the Washington Post, written by William Perry and Ashton Carter, who were secretary and assistant secretary of Defense under president Clinton. "If North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched," they said. "North Korea could respond to U.S. resolve by taking the drastic step of threatening all-out war on the Korean Peninsula. But it is unlikely to act on that threat. An invasion of South Korea would bring about the certain end of Kim Jong-il's regime within a few bloody weeks of war, as surely he knows."
Perry and Carter casually mention "a few bloody weeks of war," but that could indeed turn the Korean Peninsula into a "sea of fire." Millions of people in the two Koreas could be killed. It is unbelievable that Perry, who served as North Korea nuclear coordinator under Clinton, could make such an irresponsible remark.
The North Korean missile test fire "crisis" has turned into the perfect issue for politicians to demagogue. Mostly Democrats and even some Republicans that are seen weak on defense by the American public are keen to demostrate that they are hawkish on defense before this year's elections. So now they are coming out and demanding a bombing of North Korea knowing full well that the Bush Administration won't do it because of the risk of beginning a full scale war with North Korea.
While US politicians are demanding a bombing campaign, South Koreans are sitting back listening to all of this rhetoric from Washington and are thinking, it easy for you to advocate a bombing campaign when you don't live within North Korean artillery range like 20 million South Koreans do.All done!
Just in time to respond to John Murtha's latest outrage, at long last the top 5 John Murtha Inscription Contest entries are in and listed below. To atone for the tardy announcement, all five entrants below will receive an inscribed copy of Home of the Brave.
And now, drum roll, please....
1. To John Murtha,
In hopes that this will help you find what you have lost and remember what you have forgotten.
Posted by SSG K at 1904Z
2. Dear Rep Murtha:
Shut up and read.
Posted by kat-missouri at 2239Z
3. Mr. Murtha,
Let these stories be a reminder of the bravery of those that defend your Freedom of Speech. You know -- the ones that fight to protect your Right to wrong.
Posted by Some Soldier's Mom at 2208Z
4. To John Murtha,
An unhung zero.
5. Dear Mr. Murtha,
" It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
" It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
" It is the soldier, not the organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
" It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag."
- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC
...and it is the soldier, who braves enemy fire to defend freedom, who provides you freedom to fire upon him with political propaganda.
Posted by I. Ronnie at 1434Z
***Winners: email me your preferred mailing address and the name(s) you'd like your book made out to.
Here's your Iraq media vocabulary quiz for the day. Ready?
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's efforts to end terrorist violence in Baghdad are best described as:
The answer to today's quiz comes from the LA Times:
Iraq's prime minister on Friday tightened an already draconian security clampdown in the capital in an attempt to restore order as Iraqi and American forces subdued clashes between Shiite and Sunni Arab gunmen.Give yourself a dollar if you got it right. It should pay to enrich your word power, after all.
Thanks for playing.All done!
The trick question about the Korean War - one that used to be taught to all newcomers, wasn't "when did the war begin?" It was "when did the war end?" The answer, of course, was "it hasn't - we're in a lengthy ceasefire" (in which American soldiers have died). I'm not sure how many people are aware of that.
Likewise few people are aware that the US Air Force has been involved in a shooting war, quite literally, since 1991.
Another anniversary occured in that war today, June 25 1996:
No one in the 58th Fighter Squadron could go home from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, until all rooms were clean. The contract airliner was to arrive on June 27, 1996, to fly most of the main body of 100 people home to Eglin AFB, Fla. Six of the squadron's F-15Cs would make the hop across the Atlantic, while the others were to join an Air Expeditionary Force exercise in progress.Literally "caught napping". No insurgent attack in Iraq has claimed as many American lives.
It was Tuesday evening, June 25. For two days, personnel from the 58th had been swapping desks and packing their personal belongings, preparing to hand over duties to the incoming 27th FS. Lt. Col. Doug Cochran, the 58th FS commander, was scrubbing the bathroom in his quarters in Building 127, where most squadron members lived. Others lived in Building 131, at the north corner of the Khobar Towers complex, sharing it with a rescue squadron from Patrick AFB, Fla., and people from other units.
Brig. Gen. Terryl J. Schwalier, commander of the 4404th Wing (Provisional), was already packed, ready to leave after the change of command ceremony planned for the next day. Then came the blast. At approximately 9:50 p.m., a truck bomb exploded, throwing the force of more than 20,000 pounds of TNT against the concrete structure of Khobar. By the next day, the Air Force knew the worst. Nineteen Americans had died in the line of duty.
Within weeks of the bombing, the US would launch a "decisive" response - dubbed "Operation Desert Focus" - in which US forces "redeployed" from Dhahran and Riyadh to the remote Prince Sultan Air Base.
At approximately the same time as that "redployment", Osama bin Laden, enraged by the presence of US troops on sacred Saudi soil (there to enforce the UN "no-fly zone" in southern Iraq following Operation Desert Storm) issued a Fatwa...
Clearly after Belief (Imaan) there is no more important duty than pushing the American enemy out of the holy land...Those events in context of the larger war here.
Under such circumstances, to push the enemy-the greatest Kufr- out of the country is a prime duty. No other duty after Belief is more important than the duty of had . Utmost effort should be made to prepare and instigate the Ummah against the enemy, the American-Israeli alliance- occupying the country of the two Holy Places and the route of the Apostle (Allah's Blessings and Salutations may be on him) to the Furthest Mosque (Al-Aqsa Mosque).
I would like here to alert my brothers, the Mujahideen, the sons of the nation, to protect this (oil) wealth and not to include it in the battle as it is a great Islamic wealth and a large economical power essential for the soon to be established Islamic state, by Allah's Permission and Grace...
Today your brothers and sons, the sons of the two Holy Places, have started their Jihad in the cause of Allah, to expel the occupying enemy from of the country of the two Holy places...
Few days ago the news agencies had reported that the Defence Secretary of the Crusading Americans had said that "the explosion at Riyadh and Al-Khobar had taught him one lesson: that is not to withdraw when attacked by coward terrorists". We say to the Defence Secretary that his talk can induce a grieving mother to laughter! and shows the fears that had enshrined you all. Where was this false courage of yours when the explosion in Beirut took place on 1983 AD (1403 A.H). You were turned into scattered pits and pieces at that time; 241 mainly marines solders were killed. And where was this courage of yours when two explosions made you to leave Aden in lees than twenty four hours!
But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu...
I say to you William (Defence Secretary) that: These youths love death as you loves life.
...Those youths know that their rewards in fighting you, the USA, is double than their rewards in fighting some one else not from the people of the book. They have no intention except to enter paradise by killing you. An infidel, and enemy of God like you, cannot be in the same hell with his righteous executioner.
...Those youths are different from your soldiers. Your problem will be how to convince your troops to fight, while our problem will be how to restrain our youths to wait for their turn in fighting and in operations. These youths are commendation and praiseworthy.
It took 56 years, but at least now we know the South Koreans didn't start the Korean War:
The study published ahead of the 56th anniversary of the Korean War by Prof. Jung Byung-joon of Mokpo National University is titled, "The Korean War: Confrontations at the 38 parallel and the formation of the War." It concludes that the Korean War started indeed as a sudden surprise invasion of the North in accordance with a directive from Stalin. The academic says the Haeju attack had been drawn up as part of regular defensive planning in March 1950 by the Korean Army in accordance with Operation Command 38. The directive ordered a decisive offensive to the north of Haeju to disperse North Korean forces if they attacked in the direction of Seoul but was not an order for a preemptive attack on North Korea.
Yes, I know it is ridiculous to suggest that North Korea did not start the Korean War, but many leftists believe that South Korea in fact started the war led by a theory put forth by American "historian" Bruce Cummings. Basically Cummings believes that a contigency plan that the South Korean military had drawn up to invade North Korea was executed on the morning of June 25th, 1950 thus provoking a North Korean counter attack. Militaries draw up contingency plans all the time to deal with possible scenarios that may occur and South Korea had one for invading North Korea. However, documents from the former Soviet Union have clearly showed that Stalin ordered the attack plus captured military records from North Korea during the war show that the North Koreans in fact started the war with a highly organized invasion plan. The South Korean government did try to execute the Haeju plan after the North Korean attack but it failed because the units in that area of the DMZ had already been crushed by the North Koreans.
Also in commemoration of the Korean War a South Korean researcher has uncovered recently unseen photographs from the US National Archives from the Korean War. The pictures are quite interesting and worth checking out.
In addition USFK is holding commemoration ceremonies across the peninsula in rememberance of the war. During the three years, one month and two days of the Korean War until the armistice was signed, some 149,000 South Korea troops, 294,000 North Korea troops, 32,000 American and 4,000 allied troops from countries including the the U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, and Turkey died in the Korean War. The war also claimed some 244,000 South Korean and 406,000 North Korean civilians. More than 1,000,000 civilians are still missing. Not to mention the estimated 1+ million Chinese who lost their lives during the war.All done!
But Saddam clings to hope, believing the way out is to become the United States' "last resort; they'll knock on his door," the lawyer said. "The United States will use this sentence to pressure Saddam to save it from its mess."
Saddam even believes the United States might reinstall him as president of Iraq, al-Dulaimi told the Times.
I guess Saddam has joined the "Reality Based" community.All done!
The Telegraph is reporting that the wives of British soldiers are receiving threatening phone calls from terrorists in Iraq.
Wives and family members of soldiers fighting in Iraq have received telephone calls, believed to include death threats, from insurgents, according to military documents seen by The Sunday Telegraph.
The "nuisance" calls have been made with increasing frequency over the past few weeks after insurgents managed to obtain home numbers from soldiers' mobile telephones.
The growing number of calls has led to an investigation by the Royal Military Police, which has issued a warning to all soldiers in Iraq to take great care when using mobile telephones to call home.
Apparently, the terrorists are electronically intercepting phone numbers dialed from the cellular phones of soldiers.
The extent of the problem emerged in a restricted Army document issued to soldiers of the London Regiment, a Territorial Army unit, which has soldiers from its ranks serving in Iraq.
The document warns soldiers preparing to take part in operations that insurgents in southern Iraq have managed to obtain the home telephone numbers of soldiers by using electronic intercept devices to hack into mobile phone systems.
It is understood that the threats range from claims that a husband or son is dead or will be killed fighting in Iraq, to verbal abuse. Many of those who have received calls say that they were made by people with a poor command of English or with a Middle Eastern accent.
The military document states that there have been "many instances in the last weeks of relatives and friends of personnel serving abroad on operations getting nuisance phone calls" from Iraq.
That's one way to really tick a soldier off. Though I'm sure these phone calls are frightening, it's not wise to mess with Army wives, they're a tough lot.
Here I posted about a intelligence gathering operation, but obviously did not post about it in the approved New York Times manner. What I should have written:
A large government intelligence collecting operation involving the Defense Intelligence Agency was exposed when a American agent admitted that he had passed sensitive domestic information to government authorities. While the agent denied that he remembered all the information submitted, he did admit that "it included both 'secret'and 'top secret' data."
Once again thie Bush administration is involved in a matter in which information of vital import was passed to agencies that could use that information to the detriment of the well-being of all Americans. Congress should immediately investigate this shocking abuse of power through a clearly illegal and unauthorized program that, it can safely be assumed, was authorized at the highest government levels in callous disregard of the U.S. Constitution.
Of course, the NYT would never cover the story that way.
Especially since the government involved is People's Republic of China and the sensitive information was US military secrets.
Know what I mean?
I'm out for a while, as I'll be moving out of North Korean missile range to the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Final evaluation on Tuesday, graduation on Wednesday, start driving on Thursday, operational squadron Saturday!
You know, granted this is only my second permanent change of station, I would have thought my summers spent working at a moving company would prepare me for the suck that is the military PCS. I'm oh-so-slowly learning that there's no real substitute for having to navigate the obtuse beaucracy of Air Force outbound assignments and dealing with movers who make my packed clothes smell like a fifty-cent 7-11 cigar.
Will report back sometime next week. Zoom.