Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1) the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2) in the public domain, with free use granted for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2006 by the respective authors. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Site contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
By William H. McMichael - Staff writer Posted : Wednesday May 23, 2007 15:46:46 EDT
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle ripped the Bush administration Tuesday over what they say is a continued failure by the Pentagon to provide witnesses and information on the training of Iraqi security forces.
“If we cannot get answers, democracy is in trouble,” said Jones, who originally supported the war.
A bit of information that did emerge Tuesday: As of May 9, a total of 337,200 Iraqi Security Forces are “trained and equipped,” according to a biweekly Defense Department update to its quarterly Iraq status report.
Well Congressman...I don't know where you have been getting your information.....but it is out of date..
Last weeks State Department ReportState Department Report lists the size of the Iraqi Army at 151.800 soldiers.
I once wrote to the individual at the State Department who compiles the weekly report with a minor correction...he wrote back thanking me for reading his report because he didn't think anyone read his weekly report.
In any case...I blog a lot about the status of Iraqi forces here.<
This Arkin Clown over at the WaPo thinks Milbloggers depend on the MSM for statistics...well congressman...we don't.
If you want to know how many trucks,rifles, bullets etc the Iraqi Army has I suggest asking DJ here. To be fair to the Washington Post...they don't employ anyone who spent 20 years as a Naval Intelligience Analyst
The Pentagon is being a bit coy about how many C-2 battalions the Iraqi Army has at the moment due to the Force Generation Model the Iraqi Army unit is using. The Iraqi Army has come up with an extra 24 batallions as part of Plan 'B'. But lets not blame the MSM for missing Plan 'B'...they were busy covering every sordid detail of various congressman and senators shouting mindless talking points at each other instead of tending to the nations business.
IMHO The earliest date for Plan 'B' to be ready is September 2007...but then...I get my info from blogs raher than the Washington Post.All done!
According to recently published reports, the Bush administration quietly approached several retired four-star generals last March about accepting a newly created position to coordinate military and political/diplomatic activity in Iraq. None accepted. One of those who refused was highly decorated retired Marine Corps Gen. John J. Sheehan, who was quoted in The Washington Post as saying, "So rather than go over there, develop an ulcer and eventually leave, I said, 'No, thanks.' " How unreasonable indeed it was of the president of the United States to ask a retired Marine Corps four-star general -- during a time of war -- to do something hard, particularly at the risk of an upset tummy.
(Update: h/t CDR Salamander. Whoops, I had forgotten where I found this--apologies for stepping on your post!)
William "The Troops Also Need To Support The American People" Arkin? "Obscene Amenities" Arkin?
The same guy who spends most of his time criticizing anything we do? The guy who wrote an entire book of leaked American code names?
Who the expletive pulled his string this week? Was he feeling lonely or looking for attention?
Andi just wanted to prevent the spittle from flecking everywhere. To continue the analogy, Arkin at the baseball game is Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem: loud, out of tune, and missing the point.
I guess the idea of insulting the dead on Memorial Day just hasn't been good enough for the former Senator from N.C. (who would not have been re-elected had he chosen to run). He wants to allow all the "poor" people serving in the military to upgrade their companions, as Sister Toldja tells us here:
Echoing an insulting theme expressed by Rep. Charlie Rangel and Senator John Kerry, among other reprehensible Democrats, presidential hopeful John Edwards made a call yesterday for not only protesting the war on Memorial Day, but also for a “mandatory military service” requirement to take the ‘burden’ off the poor:What he said was (placed in context):
Last week, Edwards sent a Web notice asking his supporters to use the holiday to speak against the war. Paul Morin, national commander of the American Legion, called the request "as inappropriate as a political bumper sticker on an Arlington headstone."It would be hard to come up with a better response than Sister Toldjah did: "Um, don’t they already have that “chance”, Senator?"
Edwards also called Monday for spreading the burden of serving the country by mandating national service.
"One of the things we ought to be thinking about is some level of mandatory service to our country, so that everybody in America -- not just the poor kids who get sent to war -- are serving this country," he said.
After the event, Edwards said he had not meant to imply that only the poor go to war, only that everyone should serve in some way.
"We have people from all walks of life in America who are serving, including Reservists and National Guard," he said. "What we want to do is to have all Americans to have a chance to serve their country."
I wonder if he is concerned that only "rich people" seem to be able to run for high public office?
UPDATE: Maybe Mr. Edwards could learn something by embedding with the troops?
The most spectacular recent case of a journalist with an antiwar mindset being completely overwhelmed into a change of heart by American soldiers, according to the public affairs officer, was a Greek public television reporter who had been embedded with an infantry unit that became entrenched in a 45-minute firefight with insurgents. Yanked out of the line of fire by a soldier who put the journalist's life above his own, he waited under cover and in fear of his life for the almost hourlong duration of the battle, with the best view possible of American soldiers in action against an armed and murderous enemy. He credits his having lived to tell the tale directly to those young troops.
"He had tears in his eyes as he talked about it," said the public affairs officer. "He just kept saying, 'They saved my life, they saved my life. . . . These are great men; they are heroes.' Even after telling it several times, he couldn't get through the story without choking up--and this was a man who had arrived here with all of the disdain for the Iraq mission and for the American soldiers who he [like seemingly most Europeans] had seen as the bad guys in this fight."
This story is sort of disheartening. Needless to say, I am disappointed in several people that figure in this tale. I would like to say I was shocked, but I am in Illinois (John Kass once held a contest to replace the State Motto "Land of Lincoln" - the winning entry was "Illinois - Will the Defendant Please Rise").
I can only hope that the replacement for this fellow turns out for the better.
Andi, add this to "What They're Saying" about the MilBlog Conference.
And shame on you for not inviting him.
The MilBloggers got an extra boost of attention after the news about the Army's "crackdown" on blogs, with the overheated claim that the new operations security (OPSEC) and bandwidth rules cut off soldiers from their families and restricting people's freedoms. An extra boost from whom, you ask? From the mainstream media they so seemingly despise -- with various noterati of the MilBlog world being interviewed and quoted regarding the impact of the military's new rules.
As I see it, beyond the social networking and communications functions, the Milblogs have set themselves up as an anti-news media squad. The conference included many discussions of the deficiencies of mainstream press coverage of Iraq. In fact, some people actually believe that, with the availability of worldwide news on the Web and the emergence of military blogs, the Pentagon press corps and even the mainstream news media is obsolete.
Which brings me back to the Red Sox game -- specifically, Section 15, where I was sitting. I couldn't help but notice that the baseball aficionados felt quite confident about their knowledge and views. Everyone had an opinion on the game; everyone was an expert.
For the super-fans who can actually afford to go to the games, or who commit their lives to the Sox, the professional reporters are hardly the enemy. These are people who can't get enough news and analysis. They depend on the news media for commentary and amplification and insight; they study and memorize the statistics.
I've often thought if we could cover the military like sports, with transparency and intimate knowledge and a play-by-play that was both affectionate and unsparingly critical, we'd have a healthier debate. Interest and knowledge on the part of the typical American in foreign affairs and national security would actually increase.
But alas, it is the military, and whether it is the death of Pat Tillman or a war plan, the impulse of the institution is strategic defense. Secrecy, of course, is always justified on OPSEC grounds.
It's guys like this that just don't get it.
Affectionate and unsparingly critical... Heh, no comment.
They depend on the news media for commentary and amplification and insight; they study and memorize the statisticsIf this were true, the media would be reporting the many many successes that our men and women are accomplishing, and not just the doom and gloom and the body count.
If this were true, the media, just as a sportscaster, would understand the game, the rules, the lingo and the MilBlogs would not need to correct them daily.
AND THE SPORTCASTER WOULD NOT REVEAL THE PLAYBOOK DURING THE GAME!
This is not the first time and will not be the last. Milbloggers here, are aware of this problem, however I don't think the average Joe realizes how often it happens and the problems it causes.
I wish the media would quit taking freedom of speech for granted and realize, that with that freedom comes responsiblity.
Milbloggers are obligated to follow OPSEC rules , unfortunately it means nothing to the MSM
In fact, some people actually believe that, with the availability of worldwide news on the Web and the emergence of military blogs, the Pentagon press corps and even the mainstream news media is obsolete.As stated in the MilBlog conference, we are NOT anti-media. The MilBlogs could work well with the media. They would benefit from our constructive critism. REPORT THE GOOD WITH THE BAD!
The MilBlogs need the media as a resource, however the media has not recognized that they need MilBlogs.
Obsolete? Not just yet.
UPDATE: Jules has a perfect example of misreporting
OK my rant is done, I'll go back to my little corner and stick to Dawn Patrolling.
What the Tank doesn't tell you is that this kind of article happens in the Navy Times every time there's a random cluster of firings or groundings or whatever. I've seen it over and over again over the years. It's related to the phenomenon you see every time we get an overlap of carriers in the Gulf and the uninformed scream "OMG!!! Invasion!!!!11!!".
Not so--although it sells copies of the Navy Times. These things happen at more or less random times, most of the time. Random things tend to cluster. Just because they're clustered does not mean something's behind it. Correlation does not imply causation (and these firings range from violations of the Three Kiss Principle to other issues).
It's that letter 'e' in the name that changes everything.
--I wonder what the post-speech discussion was like. Did he call her out on it?
--The "atrocity" issue may have soured his desires in that direction.
Get a chance to read what former Democrat Senator Bob Kerry wrote at OpinionJournal.com? Worth a full read, but it is the kind of conversation and ideas I wish we had coming out of the Democrat Party right now.
No matter how incompetent the Bush administration and no matter how poorly they chose their words to describe themselves and their political opponents, Iraq was a larger national security risk after Sept. 11 than it was before. And no matter how much we might want to turn the clock back and either avoid the invasion itself or the blunders that followed, we cannot. The war to overthrow Saddam Hussein is over. What remains is a war to overthrow the government of Iraq.Sigh.
This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified--though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.