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Naw, I'm going for RADM Painter.
Full transparency: He says I can pretend to be his choice for Secretary of Defense! I realize a lot of people will pretend to hate me as a result, but I can pretend to take that in stride.
The candidate's home page is here.
Setting aside the pork issue for a moment, it's notable that various ultra-left groups are split on supporting the Democrats efforts to destroy the American effort in Iraq. Some are in favor of the "slow bleed" method:
When Eli Pariser, the executive director of MoveOn.org, looks at the Iraq spending bill that Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders managed to pass in the House today, what he sees is a way to end the war....but others are holding out for immediate death:
The plan is not perfect, Pariser concedes. It does not require complete withdrawal. Still, this week, MoveOn signed on to Pelosi's supplemental funding bill, citing a poll of its members showing overwhelming support of the idea.
MoveOn's longtime allies in the antiwar movement, however, look at the bill -- and MoveOn's support for it -- and see something very different. Groups who call for immediate withdrawal argue that MoveOn's position is a betrayal of their cause, and that Pelosi's bill merely continues the war while allowing Democrats to say they've done something to oppose it. Cindy Sheehan, the "peace mom" who favors immediate withdrawal, describes MoveOn as supporting "the slow-bleed strategy of the Democratic leadership." Gail Murphy, of the group CodePink, says, "MoveOn has taken a compromised position -- in fact I think they were involved behind the scenes in creating a compromised position." Other peace activists call MoveOn's e-mail poll of its membership a sham. If MoveOn's millions of members knew the full details of the bill, they would surely oppose it.More: Nancy Pelosi isn't pretending this is a "funding bill" either: "Proudly, this new Congress voted to bring an end to the war in Iraq. It took one great, giant step in that direction."
Royal Navy personnel seized at gunpoint by Iran in the Gulf have admitted being in the country's waters, an Iranian general has claimed.Well, that settles that.
House majority leader Steny Hoyer defends the Democrats "new plan for Iraq":
Those who call this additional funding "earmarks" or "pet projects" are wrong.In short, the $20-billion plus in add-ons are totally legal, and the way we've always done business in the past. So there.
First of all, it must be noted that this legislation is absolutely transparent. Members and the public have had a week to examine it. In addition, no earmarks — specific amounts directed to specific projects or entities — are included. And, much of the funding has been authorized during previous Republican congresses and received bipartisan support.
Furthermore, wartime spending bills often include funding for other emergencies. In fact, in the last Congress, we approved — on a bipartisan basis — emergency funding for reconstruction in the Gulf Coast and to prepare for a potential flu pandemic.
No argument here.
Update: I should add that Hoyer is scrambling to counter USA Today's condemnation of the bill. They joined the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal who exposed the ugly particulars earlier in the week. The LA Times (and other Tribune group papers) joined the club today. "Members and the public have had a week to examine it" - indeed. Since many are rightfully upset about the "business as usual" aspect of the bill, defending the "new direction" as being "business as usual" might not be the best track.
IA Captures suspect connected to kidnapping and murder of Iraqi civilians
Iraqi Police detain driver of car bomb
Golden Dragons finds second weapons cache
Patrol Struck by Roadside Bomb
Mansour Security District Clearing Continues- Soldiers Find 7 Caches Including 150 Cases of Alcohol
Nine officers, including up to four generals, should be held accountable for missteps in the aftermath of the friendly fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, a Pentagon investigation will recommend.(Link)
The official, who like the others requested anonymity because the Army has not publicly released the information, said it appears senior military leaders may not have had all the facts or worked hard enough to get the facts of what happened on April 22, 2004, when Tillman was killed by members of his own platoon.
Dozens of soldiers _ those immediately around Tillman at the scene of the shooting, his immediate superiors and high-ranking officers at a command post nearby _ knew within minutes or hours that his death was fratricide.
Even so, the Army persisted in telling Tillman's family he was killed in a conventional ambush, including at his nationally televised memorial service 11 days later. It was five weeks before his family was told the truth, a delay the Army has blamed on procedural mistakes.
The Inspector General's report is expected to be publicly released after a closed-door briefing Monday on Capitol Hill and after a meeting with Tillman's family.All done!
Although the report did not focus on the chain of events that led to Tillman's death, the Army Criminal Investigations Command produced a short video that re-creates what happened on the Afghan mountainside where he died. That video is to be shown at the congressional briefing.
Tillman and his brother, Kevin, were members of 2nd Platoon, A Company 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, an elite unit. The brothers were assigned to root out "high value" Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the rough and mountainous country near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan.
According to an earlier investigation by Army Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, a series of mishaps led to the friendly fire incident. The platoon, ordered to move faster, split in two because of a disabled vehicle.
Tillman's group moved ahead but deviated from its planned route and then heard an explosion, which led the Rangers to believe the second group had come under attack. Tillman, another solider and an Afghan militia fighter climbed a hill, hoping to clear the enemy fighters.
A vehicle gunner from the second group, mistaking the Afghan for the enemy, opened fire on Tillman's three-man squad. Although both Tillman and a soldier near the gunner yelled for him to stop, he did not understand them.
Tillman also set off a smoke grenade in an effort to stop the firing, but the barrage of bullets killed him.
BEIJING, March 22, 2007 – Chinese leaders today warmly welcomed Marine Gen. Peter Pace here as he began a visit intended to expand military-to-military contacts between the United States and the world’s most populous nation. “Our military, economic and political ties are important to peace in Asia and the world,” Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said. “This visit is very important to the militaries of both nations. I truly believe the future is very bright for U.S.-Chinese cooperation.”
I think it was '78 when the first entourage of Russian Generals paraded thru Eilson AFB, Alaska inspecting the "disassembled" ABM sites. Eight years later, the cold war was over. Did the fact that the US Generals and Russian Generals saw each other in person as "men" rather then dehumanized enemies play a role? Probably a small but important one.
BEIJING (AP) -- China's military is proposing officer exchanges and other confidence-building measures with the U.S. Army and may be inching closer to setting up a "hotline" for emergency communication with Washington, the top U.S. general said Friday...
Liang's proposals included sending Chinese cadets to the Army academy at West Point as well as participating in joint exercises and humanitarian and relief-at-sea operations "that might be able to build trust and confidence amongst our forces."
Filling in the blanks of the unknown with Malevolent Intent is a basic human survival instinct. It has been around a long time...there has been no shortage of virgins sacrifed to angry Gods who brought flood,famine, earthquakes or belched with hot molten lava.
No one stays awake at night in the Chinese Ministry of Defense worrying about American Diplomats...and vice-versa. With all due respect to the Diplomats...if the Generals aren't chatting...the diplomats are just adding to Global Warming.
SD's rule of Geopolitics: Pacifists can't make peace...because they can't make war. (See also - Carter Administration)All done!
That's odd... I'm getting a 404 error on one of the old links in this story - apparently the page no longer exists.
...my friend, fellow military spouse, volunteer extrordinaire, SpouseBUZZ blogger and one of the most remarkable women I've ever had the pleasure of knowing - Ginger Dosedel.
Those of you who read my blog know about Sew Much Comfort. I've blogged about this organization repeatedly because I've seen firsthand what a difference it makes in the lives of our wounded heroes. Watch this ABC video, which features some of our wounded troops, and you'll know why I have tried and tried to convey how important this clothing is. You'll have to sit through a 30 second commercial, but it's worth the wait.
Well done, ABC. Well done.
Update: I forgot to mention that someone featured in the video will be a familiar name to readers of milblogs - Joey Bozik.
As reported here:
The Department of Navy announced March 23 that the Navy's newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), honoring the late Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, the first Marine awarded the Medal of Honor for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Donald C. Winter, made the announcement in Dunham’s hometown of Scio, N.Y.
"Jason Dunham, the friendly, kind-hearted, gifted athlete who followed his star in the United States Marine Corps went on to become one of the most courageous, heroic, and admired Marines this great country has ever known," said Winter. "His name will be forever associated with DDG 109. May those who serve in her always be inspired by the heroic deeds of Jason Dunham, and may all of us strive to be worthy of his sacrifice."
Yes - anyone with a few years of military experience is qualified to work in a zoo:
BAGHDAD — “It was kind of a shock because I didn’t know they had a zoo,” Sgt. 1st Class Herbert Mowery said of his initial reaction upon learning that one of his new responsibilities would be working with the staff of the Baghdad Zoo.
Mowery, the special projects noncommissioned officer for the 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, recently moved with his battalion from Forward Operating Base Falcon located in southern Baghdad to FOB Prosperity located in the International Zone.
With this move came new missions, among those overseeing an area of Baghdad known as Al-Zawra Park, which is home to the once renowned Baghdad Zoo.
The three-square block park, nestled in the heart of the city, was a surprising sight to the Parkersburg, W.Va. native the first time he visited the area.
“It was a big shock because of how well they had maintained it throughout this whole time, and then to see the people out there and the animals that they have,” said Mowery. “It was a welcome surprise.”