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As a service to those that believe all the dfficulties the US is suffering in South West Asia started the day GWB got elected I have posted excerpts of a Secret(now declassified) Presidential Directive - NSC-63 dated January 15th, 1981 signed by none other than Jimmy Carter here.
Never be casual when evaluating flood possibilities in your AOR... no matter how many qualifiers you use, it looks bad later.
CAMP PENDLETON, California (CNN) -- The government will not seek the death penalty against one of eight servicemen charged with the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian in April, a military prosecutor said Wednesday.
Lt. Col. John Baker made the announcement during a hearing for Pfc. John J. Jodka III, 20, one of seven Marines and a Navy corpsman facing charges in the case.
"The recommendation of the prosecution team is that a capital referral not be sought in this case. It is our position that a capital referral is not appropriate," Baker said.
The preliminary hearings for Jodka and Cpl. Marshall Magincalda, 23, were held at Camp Pendleton on Wednesday. Separate hearings are to be held for each of the suspects.
Jodka's lawyers pushed for statements made by Jodka and other Marines to be kept sealed.
"To openly discuss contents will completely pollute the local and national jury pool," said Col. Jane Siegel, an attorney for Jodka.
Baker argued that it would be difficult to question the witnesses -- all members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service -- without at least referring to some of the statements.
The eight men, members of the Camp Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, were taken out of Iraq and jailed at the base after accusations emerged that they killed Hasham Ibrahim Awad, 52, a disabled veteran of Iraq's war with Iran in the 1980s.
The troops are accused of removing Awad from his home in Hamdaniya and fatally shooting him. Jodka is accused of being one of the shooters.
But Joseph Casas, another of Jodka's attorneys, said the government has little evidence and there was no DNA connection.
"Take the statements out of the picture and, I submit to you, the government has nothing," Casas said.
Jodka's parents and grandparents were in the courtroom, which was packed with journalists. The Marine appeared to be listening carefully while his lawyers spoke, and occasionally took notes.
The judge said he would review all the evidence by Thursday afternoon and would hold a telephone conference with the lawyers.
Magincalda is accused of taking a shovel and an AK-47 from a home, walking to another house and taking Awad to a hole by the side of the road where Magincalda bound Awad's hands and feet. He also is accused of distributing shell casings around the man's body to make it look as though he was an insurgent.
He is charged with conspiracy, making false official statements, murder, larceny, assault, housebreaking, kidnapping and obstruction of justice.
All of the suspects have been in pretrial confinement at Camp Pendleton since the investigation began May 7. The investigation was ordered after Iraqi officials brought the allegations to Marine commanders.All done!
While doing the Lord's work off Algeria, the USS Boone (FFG-28) has coined, perhaps, a new moto for the Frigate Navy, "We'll take your drugs, then save your life."
Not as scary as some folk's moto, but that's ok.
...he also recently backed out of a planned appearance at a photo-op. Japanese-American war vets were a bit disappointed...
Nisei veterans were disappointed in being informed that the press conference for Ehren Watada, originally scheduled at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center on Wednesday, Aug. 16, was cancelled at the last minute.Read it all.
The veterans had planned to attend the press conference to show their opposition to Watada’s supporters for having their press conference at the JACCC, which is the location of the memorial monuments honoring those Americans of Japanese heritage who made the supreme sacrifice in World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.
The site is to also be the location of a new monument being designed and built in memory of the five Americans of Japanese heritage who have given their lives in the Iraq War and one in the war on the Island of Grenada.
The veterans were opposed to the planned use by the Watada supporters of the sacred grounds at the JACCC. The veterans also oppose Watada’s constant barrage of press conferences and public rallies to gain supporters. The veterans have remained silent until now in respect of Watada’s right to choose his own destiny, but feel he must also suffer the consequences for his choice.
We've said it here before, but it bears repeating. "Watada" should be a descriptive term for anyone who serves (and draws benefits) up until the moment they actually have to start earning their pay.All done!
Beware if you go TDY--or this might happen to your office:
You've been warned.All done!
As far as I can determine, the only news sites reporting on Paul Smith Middle School are military news sites. Guess the MSM didn't get the memo.
But the NY Times did run an op-ed complaining about the lack of Medals of Honor given for Iraq and Afghanistan - because of Bush!!!
By Fred Burton
By Fred Burton
During the past month, since British authorities announced the disruption of a bomb plot involving airliners, there has been a worldwide increase in security awareness, airline security measures -- and fear among air passengers. At least 17 public incidents involving airline security have been reported in the United States and parts of Europe since Aug. 10. Most of these were innocuous, but many resulted in airliners making emergency landings off their scheduled routes, sometimes escorted by fighter aircraft.
The spate of incidents -- each of which rings up significant financial costs to the airline company and governments involved and causes inconvenience and delays for travelers -- is a reminder that terrorism, philosophically, is not confined to the goal of filling body bags or destroying buildings. At a deeper level, it is about psychology and the "propaganda of the deed." And as far as al Qaeda is concerned, it is also about economic warfare: Osama bin Laden personally has stated that one of the group's strategic objectives is to "bleed America to the point of bankruptcy."
To say that the governments and industries targeted by terrorism face difficult choices is a gross understatement. The problem lies in the fact that decision-makers not only must protect the public against specific groups using known tactics (in al Qaeda's case, bombs and liquid explosives) but also must protect themselves in the face of public opinion and potential political blowback. Officials naturally want to be perceived as doing everything possible to prevent future acts of violence; therefore, every threat -- no matter how seemingly ridiculous -- is treated seriously. Overreaction becomes mandatory. Politicians and executives cannot afford to be perceived as doing nothing.
This powerful mandate on the defensive side is met, asymmetrically, on the offensive side by a force whose only requirements are to survive, issue threats and, occasionally, strike -- chiefly as a means of perpetuating its credibility.
The Impact to Air Travel
Following the thwarted U.K. airlines plot, security measures in Britain, the United States and elsewhere were tightened. These new regulations have included a ban on liquids and electronic items in the passenger compartment, more stringent baggage checks and tighter scrutiny of prospective passengers.
These new security measures already have had a financial impact on the airline industry. On Aug. 25, Irish discount airline Ryanair filed the lawsuit it had previously threatened against the British Department for Transport. The lawsuit represents an effort to change the new restrictions the department placed on carry-on items following the disruption of the airline plot. Ryanair officials have publicly called the new restrictions "nonsensical and ineffective" and have called for "a return to common sense" regarding airline security. The company claims it has lost 3.3 million pounds (nearly $5.9 million) in earnings as a result of the new measures.
What Deity, race or tribe might we still raise against the horde of Basiji?As Fernandez suggests, we will need to find a “sustaining faith.”
My own guess is that neither Israel nor the West at large can long resist radical Islam without some sustaining faith of its own, a faith it will not find unless it makes up its mind to look for it. Men will fight on for as long as there is something left to fight for and not otherwise. Despair comes when we are finally convinced that even our hopes are futile. Winston Smith’s final question in 1984’s Room 101 after having despaired of the existence of God was to ask after the possibility of freedom: the existence of the Brotherhood, the only resistance to Big Brother.
(Winston)”Does the Brotherhood exist?”
(O’Brien) “That, Winston, you will never know. If we choose to set you free when we have finished with you, and if you live to be ninety years old, still you will never learn whether the answer to that question is Yes or No. As long as you live it will be an unsolved riddle in your mind.”
That is the weakness of reason, Winston Smith’s weakness: to stop when there is no reason to continue. And that is the power of faith: to go on without the answers, but to go on.
A steely determination surely fortified that faith of the Basij that allowed Iran’s current President to drape the necks of children with dollar store trinkets, and march them off into minefields. Can we match our enemies in resolve, if not in sheer brutality?
We look into the face of pure evil, as we have before. What will we see this time? Where will be our resolve? From whence will come our hope of deliverance?
It will always be extremely hard to argue with those gentler souls among us, who would never rise to the challenge of the oppressor, or tyrant, or murderer. We can appreciate their natural reluctance in the face of threat. But we must not tolerate their interference in those actions necessitated to ensure our very survival.
I heard a couple of stories recently from a couple of our veterans. A Marine sniper, undergoing treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) describes having to take down a woman with an AK47 engaging his fellow Marines. Snipers, I am told, are taught not to look their targets in the eyes. He didn’t, but he couldn’t shoot between them, either. A well-aimed shot at one arm, hoping she would stay down, drop the weapon. She didn’t. A shot in the other arm, and then a leg, same reaction both times, up and threatening. Only then did the Marine place one in what he knows should have been his initial target, and she was taken out. All the while working against what he felt inside, “no women or children.”
Another Marine remembers the boy coming at them with a grenade. He knows the boy may have been forced, to protect his family, or promised some eternal reward, or even temporal approval or encouragement. Slam dunk, ROE-wise, and poof, he’s blown away.
They both have nightmares where loved ones take the place of the terminus of their torment. Another observes, “When you were in the fight, you did what you had to do, you saw it as a soldier, it was alright. Now, you remember it as a husband, a father, a civilian, and you war within yourself, against what you ‘know’ is right.”
The men and women of our military are among the finest our Nation can produce. They go to war, “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right,” to quote Lincoln’s Second Inaugural.
With such resolve, many have faced the threat. We have seen the carnage from many hard and brutal fights, not all of them, unfortunately, political. Some have seen first hand the worst havoc that humanity can wreak.
Every man and woman in the fight must find their own sources for inner and outer strength. We need as a society to come alongside, nurture, sustain, encourage, and comfort them in their afflictions on our behalf.
But we need to do something more, as well. We need to find that sustaining faith in our own foundations, our principles, and the bedrock faith in the great experiment in Democracy that is America, and take a stand. That the civilization we lead, the values and principles our very existence embodies, is worth whatever price, whatever cost, whatever sorrow there may be in fighting against those who would destroy us.
Paul R. Smith Middle School, Holiday, Florida.
HOLIDAY, Fla.(Army News Service, Aug. 29, 2006) – What began last year as a suggestion by retired Maj. Gen. Fred Raymond came full circle last Friday during a dedication ceremony of the new Paul R. Smith Middle School in Holiday, Fla.
More than 500 family, friends, Soldiers, veterans, legislators, county officials and students were present.
Good. Whether or not you understand why I say that right now - Read the whole thing here and you will understand.
If you're still confused... which I doubt, but I wanna link it anyway - Damn Good.
Has anyone started a war by drawing a map? Ralph Peters gives the Mid-East a Churchill....but if I was him I would be careful going on travel anytime soon. Kind of like briefing a bunch of Saudi officers about a training exercise in the Persian Gulf.......
Over at OPFOR, Major P shares a personal note from a fellow Marine officer currently on the Jordanian border, sharing some experiences with Iraqis there. It's an excellent read that you should make time for today. (Thanks for sharing, Major P.)
One of the few things I am confident of is that none of them see any correlation between what they’re doing (or allowing someone else to do) and the problems their country faces. I did my best to walk them through it step by step – You have to get water from the shepherds because your government can’t get you water… It can’t get it to you because it can’t afford to fix the water trucks it owns (and that you’ve broken) or dig wells...It’s the same reason they can’t get you food or gas for your patrol vehicles on anything approaching a regular basis…They can’t afford it because, 1) they have to spend a fortune cleaning up the messes the “dangerous criminals” (insurgents) keep making and 2) they have no income because the people that should be collecting taxes and customs duties – not to mention the people who are supposed to make sure things actually go through the proper ports of entry instead of across the border – aren’t doing their jobs. I got mostly blank stares, at least from those who hadn’t already gone back to watching Egyptian music videos on TV.
One fine January day in 2005, I was in the village of Mohammed Omarkhel, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan. We were dropping off some humanitarian assistance, using the local school staff to distribute it to the local populace. I was quite pleased with myself while taking the short clip. Two minutes after turning the camera off, we got bum-rushed by a whole crowd of people wanting to get theirs. My interpreter, the dapper gentleman you see in the video had to employ his formidable judo abilities to, uh, retrieve an NCO from a pile of people. I was busy using my rugby skills to tackle young men off the truck as they tried to make off with the contents. Took a few minutes (and a few swats with sticks by the school staff too) to get things under control. No injuries, but it was startling. I kept the clip to use as an example of how not to become complacent on an HA mission, heh heh. Watch my incorrect conclusion HERE.
In addition to USS Wahoo probably being found by the Russians, USS Grunion (SS 216) was likely found off Adak by a team led by the last CO's children last week as well. I discussed both of them over at my home submarine blog last week.
And while the boats won't be disturbed to retrieve them, I'd venture to say that LCDR Dudley "Mush" Morton's dolphins aboard the Wahoo would probably the most sacred "holy relic" the Submarine Force has. He taught submariners how to fight.
Yesterday at Castle Argghhh!, I pointed to a NYT article which features a former colleague of mine, BG Dana Pittard, which pretty much focused only on the negatives from the video press conference.
Today, I have up the Armed Forces Press Service press release covering the same conference. Both articles start with and cover the negative story - the refusal of Iraqi soldiers to deploy from their home region to Baghdad. But after that, they diverge greatly.
Come on over, take a look - and see which one you think actually provides more information to the reader. Castle Argghhh!, we post, you decide. Unless I'm feeling dictatorial.
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Cpl. Joshua D. Milligan’s first words when he uncovered his largest weapons cache can’t be printed.
He used the word “holy,” but there was nothing religious about the second word.
Scouts from TOW Platoon, 2nd Tank Battalion, recently uncovered their largest weapons cache yet. They found the enormous stash of weapons in the back of a blue “Bongo” truck while conducting snap vehicle checkpoints along one of the regularly patrolled roads near Fallujah. They detained two insurgent along with confiscating hundreds of munitions and weapons.
TOW Platoon is attached to Team Gator, centered around D Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion. They are serving in the Fallujah area with Regimental Combat Team 5.
“I told the other Marines to get over here, I needed them to flex cuff these guys,” said Milligan, a 22-year-old from Greenville, S.C. “It seemed like such a dumb place to hide it.”
Milligan and his team of scouts were conducting routine operations along a main highway near Fallujah when they pulled the blue Bongo truck over to inspect it. Initially, they had nothing to suspect there would be any weapons. Bongo trucks are driven by many Iraqis, especially farmers.
Marines approached the truck and asked the drivers to get out.
“They were really calm,” Milligan said. “I asked them to open the back and they didn’t hesitate. Inside, there were rice bags, covered in blankets and plastic chairs. It looked like they just threw them in.”
Milligan said that caused him to raise an eyebrow. It appeared to him that the rice bags were being intentionally covered. Marines started to question the Iraqi men.
One man produced an identification card, titled “National Counter-terrorism of Iraq,” according to Sgt. Thomas W. Busch, a 26-year-old from St. Paul, Neb. He said he never heard of any organization such as that and his suspicions were soon borne out.
Milligan continued his search while Marines spoke to the two Iraqi men. He reached his hands under the blankets and felt what he thought was a handle to a rocket-propelled grenade launcher inside one of the rice bags. That’s when he uttered the two words that can’t be printed.
Milligan cut open the bag and had proof. Inside were several RPG launchers, rusted, but otherwise usable.
“Not even the Iraqi Army is allowed to have RPGs, so we knew we had something,” Busch saidAll done!
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (Aug. 26, 2006) -- Sgt. William D. Dycus didn’t write the book on what it takes to be an amphibious assault vehicle commander. He completely rewrote it.
Dycus, a 21-year-old from Vidor, Texas, is redefining what it means to be a combat leader. His performance in combat was impressive enough to earn him a combat meritorious promotion to his present rank from Regimental Combat Team 5. He’s a Marine respected by his peers and admired by his Marines because of the cool, calm demeanor he displays even in the hottest of action.
Dycus is assigned to D Company, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, RCT-5.
“He’s an aggressive vehicle commander who knows how to support the infantry on the ground,” said Capt. William E. O’Brien, the 36-year-old D Company commander from Moline, Ill. “He earns a huge amount of respect from his seniors. He’s calm and collected in stressful situations and tactically aggressive.”
Dycus has a track record of combat success. He earned a selection as Marine of the Quarter for RCT-8 on his first tour to Iraq and was selected as Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter for RCT-5 before being selected for his promotion.
“He’s a stud,” O’Brien said. “I’ve known him for almost two years and from the beginning he’s been a quiet kid with the fortitude to stand up.”
Master Sgt. Richard W. Cover, a 41-year-old operations chief for the company, said Dycus is the sort of leader Marines flock to in combat. He anticipates needs, prepares his crew and puts the mission ahead of everything.
“He’s a good strong presence,” said Cover, from Mars, Pa. “He portrays a lot of force. He’s not boisterous, just a quiet strong leader.”
Dycus is all business around his Marines. Prior to a recent patrol, he stood inside his amphibious assault vehicle, also called an “amtrac,” with beads of sweat dripping off his cleanly-shaved head. His crew moved about him, listening to his instructions. In minutes, they were ready to leave.
[I guess I shoulda said... "In this space" since I seemed to have tweaked Chap's nose a bit... he didn't even leave comments open so I could genuflect properly!]
Aegis cruiser arrives in Japan as noted here.
With all the talk around success; in a macro sense the key is letting Iraq be run by Iraqis. This slide from CENTCOM last week tells the story better than 1,000 words. Methinks.
AL ASAD, Iraq (Aug. 28, 2006) -- To some people dedication is just a word in the dictionary. To others the word becomes a way of life.
For Bonifacio Vergara, a 76-year-old contractor working for the Naval Air Depot detachment in Al Asad, dedication means commitment and sacrifice.
Vergara, or "Pops" as his co-workers call him, has been working on aircraft for more than 50 years.
"'Pops' joined the U.S. Navy in the Philippines at Sangli Point on September 23, 1955," said Navy Cmdr. Donald F. Bailey, officer-in-charge, NADEP detachment in Al Asad and Al Taqaddum. "He was enlisted for 24 years, retiring as a petty officer first class on August 14, 1979."
"I joined the Navy so that I could have a better life," said Vergara, a resident of San Diego. "The Navy offered good work and good pay."
Vergara was an aviation structural hydraulic mechanic while in the Navy and received the chance to travel and see the world during his many years of service.
"I was deployed for six months every other year," said Vergara. "It gave me the chance to see things I never would have seen."
After a long career in the Navy, "Pops" decided that retirement didn't mean he couldn't work.
"As soon as I was out of the Navy, I applied for a job with NADEP," said the gray-haired workaholic. "I was too young to stop working."
Bailey explained, NADEP prefers hiring naval retirees because they have the experience needed for the job, along with the discipline that comes with being in the military for 20 years.
The NADEP crew is responsible for depot level repairs, according to Bailey, a native of Henderson, Colo.
"Depot-level repairs are the equivalent of major overhauls," said Bailey. "'Pops' handles the sheet metal repairs on all Marine Corps rotary and fixed-wing aircraft."
"Pops" has performed maintenance for many of the squadrons on Al Asad Air Base and all of them speak highly of his first-class expertise and his unwavering work ethic.
"'Pops' came up to our squadron to do some work on the tail of one of our (AV-8B Harriers)," said 1st Lt. Anemia Godwin Eddie Utuk, assistant aircraft maintenance officer for Marine Attack Squadron 513, Marine Aircraft Group 16 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. "When he showed up for his initial inspection, it was clear that he had a lot of experience in his field. He was able to give us a timeline for the repairs of the aircraft and that was critical to our mission planning."
"Pops" arrived in Iraq on April 17 and had orders for 90 days. Once his orders were up, he volunteered for another 90, said Bailey.
"I have been trying to get deployed to Iraq for a long time now," said Vergara. "I wanted to get out and do something different."
"Pops", like everyone working in Iraq, works under sweltering heat, blinding dust storms and adverse working conditions, and he does it without complaining.
"'Pops' is an amazing worker," said Bailey. "I have to talk him into taking a break. Once he starts a job, he is driven from inside to get it finished in a quality manner. His work is outstanding and he shows pride and professionalism throughout."
Being at an age triple that of your average service member, Vergara still keeps to a grueling schedule that is just as, if not more, demanding than those that work with him.
"He works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and he still gets up at 3 to go running," said Bailey. "It's incredible. He makes us younger guys look bad."
"I work hard because if I get lazy, my body will get lazy," said Vergara. "I want to keep my energy."
With a great work ethic and an incredible willingness to help, it is no wonder that Vergara's work is in high demand.
"I would keep him for my whole one-year tour if I could," said Bailey. "It is rare to find an individual with the humble qualities that 'Pops' displays day in and day out. I am extremely proud to be able to identify him as a member of my team."
The soldier under oath promises to "protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, both foreign and domestic"
The link takes one to a 9/11 conspiracy movie. The referring URL is a search of blogs with the words Soldier and Iraq.
So far it appears like normal Looney Left nonsense posting links to stuff meant to demoralize our soldiers until...
One looks where the post originated from....
P Address 85.140.110.# (ZAO MTU-Intel)
ISP ZAO MTU-Intel
Location: Russian Federation (Facts)
State/Region : Moscow City
John, throw another Pole in the mix.
81% Free French!?!
75% British and Commonwealth
Bottom 3; Soviet Union, Germany, and Japan.
No pictures, I refuse to pollute OPFOR or Milblogs with their disgusting rhetoric. Military members have been instructed to "stay away from downtown and avoid interaction with the protestors." Fine with me, although my route home took me past the funeral site. No sign of the Westboro Baptist cult, kind of hard to see past the flag waving supporters and patriot guard riders who were occupying several square blocks.
Guess that means the good guys are doing their job.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office announced that 50 gunmen loyal to firebrand anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had been killed in clashes in the southern city of Diwaniyah with the Iraqi army, which lost 23 troops.
Monday's fighting in Diwaniyah was some of the worst in recent months between the Iraqi army and Shiite militiamen loyal to al-Sadr. At least 10 civilians were killed before the cease-fire was reached.
"Life is back to normal, the shops are open and Iraqi police and soldiers are deployed everywhere in Diwaniyah," said police Lt. Raid Jabir, contacted by telephone.
I would have hoped for a somewhat more lopsided victory on the part of the ISF, but the fact that the ISF is standing up to Muqtada's Goons is a good sign.All done!
Deadline approaching for filing body armor claims
ARLINGTON, Va. (Army News Service, Aug. 29, 2006) – Soldiers have until Oct. 3 to file reimbursement claims for private purchases of such protective and safety equipment as body armor.
If you've been holding off - get off the dime.
Heh. I'm... Poland. Followed by the US and Finland. But I'm 94% Poland... and only 70% US and Finland. And definitely not Germany (44%), Japan (25%), or the Soviet Union (19%).
C'mon - y'know ya wanna do this...
A Navy JAG is being charged with sending information about Gitmo prisoners to someone "outside the government". From the linked article:
A Navy lawyer who was stationed at Guantanamo Bay has been charged with copying and sending secret information about detainees in U.S. custody to someone outside the government.Now, I don't know for sure that the person he sent the information to, and who subsequently ratted him out, was a journalist, but it would make sense. More broadly, this lesson could apply to everyone in D.C. who wants to release secrets to make a political point.
Lt. Cmdr. Matthew M. Diaz could face more than 36 years in prison if convicted of three violations of military law. Diaz, now based in Jacksonville, Fla., is tentatively scheduled for a preliminary hearing in October in Norfolk, said Beth Baker, a spokeswoman for the Navy's Mid-Atlantic Region.
According to the eight specific counts against him, which the Navy released Monday, Diaz deliberately made "a print out of classified secret information connected with the national defense" between Dec. 20, 2004, and Feb. 28, 2005...
...Baker would not identify the person with whom Diaz is accused of sharing secret information. She said only that the recipient was a non government official whose identity likely would come out in testimony. The recipient of the document notified federal authorities, Baker said, and the Navy Criminal Investigative Service began an inquiry in February 2005.
US diesel subs? Going away?
Six words I never thought I'd say: I could use an actual submariner.
FALLON NAVAL AIR STATION, Nev. - Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Monday he is deeply troubled by the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media" to influence Westerners.
"That's the thing that keeps me up at night," he said during a question-and-answer session with about 200 naval aviators and other Navy personnel at this flight training base for Navy and Marine pilots.
"What bothers me the most is how clever the enemy is," he continued, launching an extensive broadside at Islamic extremist groups which he said are trying to undermine Western support for the war on terror.
"They are actively manipulating the media in this country" by, for example, falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.
"They can lie with impunity," he said, while U.S. troops are held to a high standard of conduct.
Is it "manipulation" if one party is willing, even eager, to play along?
"You know, the thing here is that journalists can't be pawns in covering world stories. And more and more people are becoming aware that the journalists are there to do a job and they shouldn't be used or misused or whatever when they're covering these things. So maybe there's a growing awareness of that."
Those were the words of FOX News headman Roger Ailes in the aftermath of the release of Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig. While it would be nice if he were correct, that journalists can’t be pawns and that there is a “growing awareness” that they shouldn’t be used as such, I don’t think he’s right.
I don’t want this to sound insensitive, but it well may. But I think so long as those taken captive by jihadists fail to denounce, in the most forceful language imaginable, their kidnappers, then the utility of kidnapping Western journalists remains.
Again, it’s hard to make this point without sounding like a prick. But comments about how “very beautiful and kind-hearted” the Palestinians are in light of a gunpoint conversion to Islam or that Centanni “learned a lot of good things about [Islam]” (presumably during his captivity) strikes a discordant chord in the typical Westerner’s ear.
Have kidnapped reporters told their stories? Yes, Jill Carroll being the most famous with her highly readable series recounting her own captivity. But even that seemed, at least to me, somewhat tepid in its denouncements of her captors. At most, Carroll’s denunciations tended to focus on the obvious hypocrisy of her captors as their brutal actions ran 180 degrees counter to their rhetoric.
While such an approach certainly serves a purpose, I don’t know if it’s the best way to protect journalists from becoming the “pawns” that Ailes warned against. Again, so long as those captured journalists continue to self-censor their criticism of their captors, then it remains worthwhile for terrorists to kidnap them.
The utility in continuing to capture Western journalists is twofold, the first being the more mundane and practical goal of seeking ransom money from Western corporations hoping to free their people as quickly as possible. The second is the scenario we’re talking about here—kidnappers attempting to “turn” western journalists to their cause or, supreme irony here, put a “human” face on their fundamentally inhuman actions. Accordingly, what you have are journalists that still want to stay in country to report, but can’t really do so if they have the most rational of responses to being kidnapped—i.e. a big hearty “eff you” to those that did and their sponsors. Such a response won’t get them too many contacts with a particular side.
This is not necessarily a conscious decision, I think people like Centanni truly do think that the Palestinians are a beautiful people and that his captivity taught him a lot about Islam. The rub is that his ordeal has taught the rest of us a great deal about it as well.All done!
Sometimes, American comes to you....and when it does.....it kind of leaves you all fuzzy headed, bug-eyed, slack-jawed, and sweaty.
The FuzzyBearLIoness has noticed the same thing.
No doubt the ACLU would be offended by the gratuitious Christian imagery.
The loss of USS Mount Hood (AE-11) is the topic here.
I don't know why it took me so long to post this story, in light of all that is happening in southern Lebanon.
Standing on the Lebanon border.
Really demonstrates how patient Israel has been in dealing with the Hezbollah goon squad.
Groton native injured in Iraq Burns on half of body serious, not life-threatening; By Scott Waltman American News Writer Bratland
A Groton native serving in the Army was severely burned Saturday in Afghanistan
I have to come to the sad conclusion that those among us that are the most mentally challenged are journalists.
A student in a 3rd Grade class, submitting a paper with such a glaring error would get a big fat F.
The parents would be called in to discuss "Special Education" opportunities for their obviously learning disabled child.
The Fall, 2006 edition of Today's Officer magazine includes this article on milblogs. I was interviewed for this many weeks ago - but I think my prediction of a big chill effect on milbloggers is accurate. However, the Mrs has been a bit too busy these days to keep up with the latest new milblogs online, so perhaps there are several of which I'm not aware.
Article includes quotes from some others whose names will be familiar to readers here.
on his way to the waters off Lebanon... on 4 days notice...
If you want to read more, there are links at Some Soldier's Mom
Also words and a link to listen to the Navy Hymn... by the Navy Choir, of course!
To all on board the Wasp, safe journey, calm seas. Home soon.
Anyone having claims against or debts owed to the estate of Pfc. Andrew Small, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, may contact his summary court-martial officer, 1st Lt. Aaron Lang
Pfc. Andrew Small, 19, was a member of a platoon of the 10th Mountain Division facing enemy fire Friday and died from battle wounds received during a mission, according to a report from Gov. John Baldacci
Does the Army just not have a term to describe a "Probate Judge" or are we actually court-martialling soldier's who are killed in battle?All done!
The Department of Defense announced today that it transferred five detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Afghanistan. These detainees were all recommended for transfer due to multiple review processes conducted at Guantanamo Bay.
With today’s transfer, approximately 120 detainees remain at Guantanamo who the U.S. government has determined eligible for transfer or release through a comprehensive series of review processes. Departure of these remaining detainees approved for transfer or release is subject to ongoing discussions between the United States and other nations. The United States does not desire to hold detainees for any longer than necessary. The department expects that there will continue to be other transfers and releases of detainees.
There are ongoing processes to review the status of detainees held at Guantanamo. A determination about the continued detention or transfer of a detainee is based on the best information and evidence available at the time, both classified and unclassified.
With this transfer, approximately 315 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries, including Albania, Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom, and Yemen.
Approximately 445 detainees remain at GuantanamoAll done!
ABU GHRAIB, Iraq (Aug. 25, 2006) -- Editor’s note: Maj. Riordan is the executive officer for 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.
Marines are helping Iraqis take control of an infamous icon of their past.
Marines from “America’s Battalion,” 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, are helping Iraqi soldiers set up their newest forward operation base at Abu Ghraib Prison. Iraqi Army soldiers are moving into the facility permanently as they continue to grow and expand their independent areas of operation.
The prison was used for years by Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s former dictator, where he locked up political prisoners, tortured and killed them. Standing near the Al Khandari Souk, or market, on the western fringes of Baghdad, Abu Ghraib Prison was a Coalition Force prison from 2003 until it recently closed. The prison was at the center of a prisoner abuse scandal that affects the way both Iraqis and Americans view this place.
The move into the prison will expand the zone of operation for 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division. They currently operate in battlespace independent of that of Marines.
“It’s easy to forget that the Iraqis are the main effort,” said 1st Lt. Cameron Browne, a 24-year-old from Arlington, Texas, assigned to G Company. “We are not the future of Iraq. They are.”
Browne is leading a platoon of Marines on the specially-organized mission. Marines aren’t going to run the prison, or even guard it. Their mission is to train the Iraqi Army to do it for themselves.
This mission is particularly important because of the iconic value of the prison to the Iraqi people. Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Anderson explained the historic and cultural significance of Abu Ghraib by comparing it to a well-known American landmark.
“It is a historic site to the Iraqi nation; they can’t lose it,” explained the 29-year-old from Alexandria, La. “The insurgents can’t take it back from them. It’s something like the Alamo to many Americans.”
This will be the first opportunity for many of these Marines to train Iraqi soldiers, and they all seem prepared for the challenges. “America’s Battalion” has been on the ground in Iraq for just more than a month.
Official Statement of National Japanese American Citizens League (pdf) here
After careful consideration of Lt. Watada’s situation and stance on the war in Iraq, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has concluded that its defined mission of protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans is not expressed broadly enough to include Lt. Watada’s circumstances. As a soldier who volunteered for the Army and who took an oath as an officer, Lt. Watada placed himself under military law and orders. As such, and in refusing to accept his orders for deployment, his case is not, per se, a civil rights case. We are not in a position to defend his position on the legality of the war in Iraq, nor are we in a position to judge his criticism of the war’s morality. That he defied a direct military order falls under the aegis of military law and beyond the reach of the JACL’s authority based on the organization’s mission statement.
Somehow, I don't find the position of the Japanese Americn Citizens Leage to be very supportive of Lt Watada.
Seems to me another Left Wing group has managed to blow smoke up the back side of some naive young person as to how much the public "Supports The Cause".
Watada's Support Network comes from here
COURAGE TO RESIST is a group of concerned community members, veterans and military families that supports military objectors to illegal war and occupation and the policies of empire. Our People Power strategy weakens the pillars that maintain war and occupation in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere by supporting GI resistance, counter-recruitment and draft resistance, which cuts off the supply of troops.
Oh, and we have a list of usual suspects here/
Such household names as -
Medea Benjamin - Co-Founder, CodePink; Founding Director, Global Exchange
Andrea Buffa - CodePink; Global Exchange
Barbara Lubin - Director, Middle East Children's Alliance; Nat'l Steering Cmte., ANSWER
Cindy Sheehan - Gold Star Families for Peace
Tom Hayden - author; antiwar organizer
These people really need to step away from the Crack Pipe. One Lt. spending the rest of his life in jail for their cause is not going to affect the war effort.All done!
Details at over at Castle Argghhh!.
Looks like the alleged individual has cheesed off some folks I respect.
The decision by a Hawai'i-born Army officer to disobey deployment orders to Iraq drew fire yesterday from some Japanese-American veterans on the Mainland, who said the action shamed them and other veterans like them.
In their first public statement, the members of nine veterans groups in California and a Korean War Medal of Honor recipient expressed outrage at Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada's decision.
Robert M. Wada, a charter president of the Japanese American Korean War Veterans, said veterans are angry at what they view as an attempt by Watada to "make himself a martyr and a hero." He said Watada's actions disrespect a legacy of military service dating back to World War II.
"No Japanese-Americans did anything like that and that is why Japanese-Americans are so upset," Wada said by telephone yesterday from his office in Fullerton, Calif. "He is doing something that has never been done by Japanese-Americans."
Japanese-American veterans in Hawai'i have not issued a collective statement, but when asked yesterday, agreed with their Mainland colleagues.
Ron Oba, the 82-year-old president of the 442nd Veteran's Club of Honolulu, was blunt.
"It is not for us to question why, but to do and die," he said. "That addresses the entire Watada case."
Oba said the veterans in the club haven't spoken much about Watada's case.
Oh, and there's this new magic association, the "Japanese-American Citizens League of Honolulu", supporting the lieutenant. Doesn't sound like any Japanese-American group I knew in Hono in 2000; looks like astroturfing to me.
LTC Keith recommends that Lieutenant Watada stand trial. Based on what I know just from press reports, that sounded like a slam-dunk. But I admit that Watada's lawyer just pisses me off.
"We always believed that when they went so far as to convene an Article 32 hearing that they had already made a decision to proceed," he said.
Well, yeah, funny how that works - but I assure you, Barrister, that when I convened an Art. 32, my recommendations weren't a given. The fact that you didn't have much of a rebuttal to the public statements of your client is not really grounds for backhanding LTC Keith, who gave you plenty of opportunities to show why there was no cause to proceed.
Bubba, unless the purpose of this trial from your perspective is to provide a martyr for the cause, your comments here show you don't understand the Courts Martial. And that must be driving Watada's Trial Defense Lawyer batty.
Mebbe Army Lawyer has a more informed view?
CAMP AR RAMADI, Iraq – At approximately 12:30 p.m. today, Coalition Forces were attacked from the Al Qadir Al Kilami mosque in Ramadi. The complex attack included small arms and machine gun fire, rocket propelled grenades, hand grenades, and an improvised explosive device attack.
I think the Mosque lost it's Geneva Convention priviledges...and what should we do about it?
using escalation of force procedures...finally fired several main gun rounds from M1 tanks into the mosque in order to defeat the attackers.
Maybe the next Imam will think twice before allowing his Mosque to be used as a Military Fighting Position.All done!
I'd love to stay, but I have to go read the News!
Meet Matt in Afghanistan.
What a stir.
Over the past couple days, this blog has been temporarily offline at the request of my higher-ups in the forces. Agreeing with this request, I took the posts offline for the time being and talked with my mom.
"Mom," I said over MSN Messenger, "I've been asked to take my postings offline for a little while as (my higher-ups) deal with blogging in camp."
My mom didn't have to say anything, but knowing her my whole life, I knew she would be hurt that I wouldn't be allowed to post anything for the time being.
"I can have a blog though, mom," I said to her, "I just need to list it with the Army."
Heh. Like *we* haven't been here before. Mebbe the Canadian Army Higher-ups should call their Southron cousins.
Not that Damian Brooks hasn't been trying to get 'em energized.
To our syrup-swilling, plaid cap wearing, northron brothers blogging from the 'Stan or elsewhere, I offer up this advice.
The Milblogger ROE, courtesy Yankee Sailor.
It's good to see clueless leadership not attuned to the young soldier is *not* an exclusive to the middle of the continent...
We need to extend the hand of brother and sisterhood to our northern compatriots and include them in the next milblogger conference!
I met Jim Mayer almost two years ago at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Jim is known as "The Milkshake Man" because he delivers McDonald's milkshakes to our wound troops. Jim is also involved with the Friday night troop dinners that were once held at Fran O'Briens, but you'll remember that Hilton kicked Fran's, and our troops, to the curb.
Jim Mayer is a Vietnam veteran and double amputee. Just as Fran's wasn't about the steak, Jim's visits aren't about the milkshakes.
Retired Army Capt. Lonnie Moore benefited from that power. He lost his right leg above the knee in an incident near Ramadi, Iraq, and found himself on the receiving end of one of Mayer’s milkshakes. Two years after he met Mayer, Moore still looks to the Milkshake Man for mentoring and friendship.
“It was much more about what Jim provided to me as a mentor and as a friend than it was the milkshake,” Moore said. “Jim told me that life as an amputee is not going to end my life and I’ll be as productive and I want to be.”
Moore added that Jim deserves the recognition he received. “I know he doesn’t publicly seek it, but he’s touched many, many lives,” he said.
The troop dinners continue. I'll have more information on the status of Fran's and the dinners soon. For now, keep boycotting Hilton properties.
Soldiers hate it. Commanders fear it. Nobody understands it. It is the Domestic Violence Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968, more commonly known as the Lautenberg Amendment. (18 USC 922)
Under Lautenberg, it is unlawful for any person (including military) who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to receive, own, or possess any firearm or ammunition.
This poses an obvious problem as the military tends to use firearms and ammunition...a lot.
Well, on 7 June 2006, the Army Command Policy (AR 600-20, para 4-23) “clarified” the policy on Lautenberg Amendment. (My focus is on the Army policy--though I presume other services are largely similar)
Note that the Lautenberg is an amendment to Title 18 of the US Code--Crimes and Criminal Procedure. That means it is a CRIME for one convictved of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to receive/own/possess any firearm or ammunition.
For commanders, if you have reason to believe a Soldier has a “qualifying conviction,” It is a crime to issue ammunition or a weapon to that soldier.
So what is a "crime of domestic violence?
A “crime of domestic violence” is an offense involving the use or attempted use of physical force, or threatened use of a deadly weapon:
(1) by a current or former spouse/parent/guardian of the victim;
(2) by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
(3) by a person who is living with /has lived with the victim as a spouse/parent/guardian; or
(4) by a person who was similarly situated to a spouse/parent/guardian of the victim.
Ok, that makes sense. We all kind of know what "domestic violence" is and that definition isn't too complicated.
But what about "qualifying convictions?"
A “qualifying conviction” is “a state or federal conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and any general or special court-martial for an offense that otherwise meets the elements of a crime of domestic violence.
Note that bolded portion. The UCMJ does not differentiate between misdemeanors and felonies. So even though the amendment states that only convictions of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes fall under Lautenberg, the Army has expanded that definition to include both general and special court martials. So long as the crime itself meets the definition of "crime of domestic violence" listed above, then Lautenberg applies and that lucky convicted offender can't carry a weapon or ammunition.
Commander Responsibilities (the high points):
(1) Investigate cases where a soldier has or is reasonably believed to have a qualifying conviction. Soldiers with qualifying convictions must be identified and reported to HQDA.
(2) Notify Soldiers that they have an affirmative, continuing obligation to inform commanders or supervisors if they have, or later obtain, a qualifying conviction.
(3) Refer Soldiers who have or may have a qualifying conviction to a legal assistance attorney.
(4) Immediately retrieve all government-issued firearms and ammunition from soldiers who have or are believed to have a qualifying conviction and notify them that it is unlawful to possess, ship, transport, or receive firearms and ammunition.
(5) Prominently display an excerpt of the Army policy outside unit arms rooms and all facilities in which government firearms or ammunition are stored, issued, disposed, or transported.
(6) Implement an annual program of instruction to educate all Soldiers on the Lautenberg Amendment and the policy as stated in AR 600-20.
(7) Give soldiers a reasonable time (including extension of up to one year) to seek a pardon or expungement of a qualifying conviction.
Fun stuff isn't it?
So what are the ramifications of a qualifying conviction? The big one: separated from the Army. The Army gives the soldier time to pardon or expunge the conviction--but pending that, there are other consequences:
(1) Soldier is barred from enlisting/reenlisting.
(2) Soldiers are flagged (denied favorable personnel action--including PCSing)
(3) Unable to be promoted.
(4) Unable to attend service schools where handling firearms/ammo is part of the curriculum or attend any service schools that require an active duty obligation.
(5) Soldier will not be considered a mobilization asset and is nondeployable.
(6) Cannot be detailed to any duty requiring handling of firearms or ammunition.
If in doubt, call your friendly neighborhood Spider....err...JAG.
(this was taken largely from something I wrotefor my installation--it's only plagiarising if somebody else wrote it)All done!
Today’s international terrorism was conceived at the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB, in the aftermath of the1967 Six-Day War in the Middle East. I witnessed its birth in my other life, as a Communist general. Israel humiliated Egypt and Syria, whose bellicose governments were being run by Soviet razvedka (Russian for “foreign intelligence”) advisers, whereupon the Kremlin decided to arm Israel’s enemy neighbors, the Palestinians, and draw them into a terrorist war against Israel.
When I look back at the last 40 years of violence in the Middle East, I am haunted by this map of Soviet Strategic Supply lines in 1942.
Hamas, Hezbollah, AlQueda, Iran et al have believed for decades that they were fighting the infidels for the glorification of Allah. I can't look at the map of Soviet Strategic Supply lines without coming to the conclusion that they were fighting the Joooos so the Godless communists could control the port of Haifa, or they were kidnapping US Embassy personell so that the Godless communists could control the Straits of Hormuz, or they were blowing up a Marine Barracks in Beirut so the Soviets could control the port of Beirut.
It is a step forward, that finally at least one Soviet General has the courage to admit the truth.All done!
Rev. McNellis’s review stands as an excellent essay on what constitutes courage, as applicable on September 10th, 2001, as it was on September 11th. The difference, McNellis poetically underscores in his piece, is that courage built in the day to day, remains constant at a moment of greatest danger, and fear:
We see people putting others first, on this, the worst day of their lives because they’ve been doing it every day of their lives. And if you spend your life as a husband and father putting those you love first, then when the crucial day comes chances are that as a policeman you’ll put the people in the North Tower first as well.
Courage as a virtue is increasingly misunderstood in our society, especially among the keyboard class. As our lives become more comfortable and protected, we forget who does the protecting.We in the military recognize this attitude of service, we’ve lived it, more or less, though always with less certainty of our own steadfastness and resilience, than what we see clearly in our fellow soldiers. “If you weren’t afraid, you’d be a moron,” one of my Master Sergeants often said.
See a short clip of avalanche pre-emption in the Salang Valley, February 2005.
Well, in case the Iranians hadn't figured it out for themselves, some blabbermouths have revealed a success story in spotting weapons transfers to our Iranian friends:
In the closed world of spy satellite photo analysis, it's called "crate-ology": the science of identifying a weapon or some other key component by the size and shape of its box.I guess the process will now be moved indoors or under other cover because the idiots "not authorized to discuss the incident" couldn't keep their yaps shut and USA Today couldn't help itself in revealing the process.
The technique came into play last month when a U.S. spy satellite, looking down on an Iranian air base, captured images of military crews loading what U.S. intelligence analysts concluded were eight C-802 Noor anti-ship cruise missiles on board a transport plane, according to intelligence officials.
The episode was detailed by one U.S. intelligence official who saw a report on the incident. It was confirmed by a U.S. official from a second intelligence agency and by a diplomat with a foreign government. They did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.
Many warriors blogging in theater and in the states want to tell you like it is in their stories. However, they are bound to restrict their entries due to the “enemy” looking in as well. I had a couple of unique emails and comments in Iraq sent to my acnt from Iraqi’s…
Is the Navy the only service that still puts its enlisted members through the torture of advancement exams?
I know Sean Dustman personally. He's a bookworm. He reads more than most people would consider healthy. And even he is complaining about the sheer volume of material he is expected to "know" in order to pass his HM1 exam.
I needed a break so I decided to figure out how much we were actually studying, I'm a number type of guy and I'm good at laying down figures and stats. So I pulled up every piece of information that the bib said we should know about and added it all up. Five thousand four hundred and forty four pages. Egad! 5444 minus 1500= 3944 divided by 15 days till the exam, each day I need to read 263 pages of adult Snoppy language and let it sink into my noggin. Bleh.
Good luck with that, Doc.
If the meda were in the business of celebrating American heroes (and if this particular humble hero would allow it) this lady's name would be a household word. The time and effort she devotes to wounded troops in Germany (many of whom are treated at locations other than Landstuhl and would otherwise be unnoticed as they transit homeward from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere - or return to the front) is amazing. I won't reveal her home, but her weekend trips (Mon-Fri she works for a living) to the Kaiserslautern area are the equivalent of someone driving routinely from Pittsburgh to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC.
Her birthday is this week. Y'all know the drill.
Is there such a thing as "martial" poetry nowadays? Antiquity is rife with such poetry--come on, who doesn't get a little choked up reading In Flanders Fields, The Charge of the Light Brigade, or Simonides' Thermopylae epigram? But as for modern examples of such verse, I am at a loss. Lord knows local bookstores don't exactly have a big (i.e. any) selection of the stuff.
A Google search for "Iraq Poetry" gives you crap like Death Is All Around Me written by "Mal the Best" who says:
I'm 12 years old and I write poems about war when I'm depressed.Great, now I'm depressed and I can't get that Google search back damn it.
You get the idea. So any suggestions/recommendations for some quality modern martial verse?
The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) today announced three airmen missing in action from World War II have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are 2nd Lt. David J. Nelson, Chicago, Ill.; Tech. Sgt. Henry F. Kortebein, Maspeth, N.Y.; and Tech. Sgt. Blake A. Treece Jr., Marshall, Ark., all U.S. Army Air Forces. These men are to be buried along with group remains of their aircrew at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men in their hometowns on behalf of the Secretary of the Army to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors.
On August 8, 1944, Nelson, Kortebein and Treece departed an allied air base in England in their B-17G Flying Fortress with six other crewmen aboard. Their mission was to bomb enemy targets near Caen, France. The aircraft was seen to explode and crash after being struck by enemy flak near the village of Lonlay l’Abbaye, south of Caen. The other six members of the crew were 1st Lt. Jack R. Thompson; 2nd Lts. Charles Bacigalupa and Charles Sherrill; and Sgts. Richard R. Collins, Gerald F. Gillies and Warren D. Godsey. The hometowns of these six are not available.
German forces and French villagers living near the crash site recovered some of the remains of the crew and buried them nearby. Advancing U.S. forces found additional remains. Six of the nine crewmen ultimately were identified, but Nelson, Kortebein and Treece remained unaccounted for.
In August 2002, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) operating in Luxembourg was informed that a local French aircraft wreckage hunting group (Association Normande du Souvenir Aerien 39/45) had located a crash site near Lonlay l’Abbaye. The JPAC team surveyed the site, excavated it in July 2004 and recovered human remains, personal effects and crew-related materials from amid the wreckage. Also found were six unexploded 250-pound bombs.
Later that year, a French explosive ordnance disposal team turned over a bone fragment to the U. S. Defense Attaché in Paris. It was found by French technicians working to secure the site where the bombs had been found.
Among other forensic identification tools, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains of the three, matching DNA sequences from maternal relatives.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/ or call (703) 699-1169.
Some Soldier's Mom highlights an important part of the war we face, and its full impact.
From what Mrs. Dadmanly and I are seeing among our families, I'm convinced PTSD for dependents back home is not possible, but predictable. I have no doubt this was far harder on Mrs. D and Little Manly that it ever was on me...
The ladies must be in on some kind of vibe this week, Mrs. Dadmanly put up a post with similar reflections over at Dadmanly.
In addition to Capt. B's post below; today I am just swimming in good news from Iraq. I picked three. Take a peek; a Iraq Colonel leading from the front, an Iraq Division ready for varsity football, and Baghdad crime starts to fall a month prior to the heat. Good day, not for a bad-attitude Marine IRR guy, (unless you like Russian kettlebells), but a good day for me.
The other day Dadmanly wrote about the effects on his soldiers upon the return from War. Today, I'm writing about how a soldier's deployment affects families even after... I know it's not just me because I have talked to others... moms, wives, children. It lives in us all...
Isn't it amazing how certain simple phrases can evoke such intense emotions?
“I love you.”
“Will you marry me?”
“It’s a boy.”
“Head up, ass down, son.”
“Your son has been wounded in a VBIED attack.”
Yup. That about covers it. But it’s the last one that stabs at me to this day. Just saying those words will bring tears to my eyes… alarm to my heart… pain to my spirit.
It's all HERE at Some Soldier's Mom
See an Afghan Militia General (later to become a Provincial Police Chief) demonstrate how to take an RPG shot.
Tom Cruise's career crashed and burned less than a month later.
FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Marines, working in tandem with Iraqi Army soldiers and Iraqi Police, recently swept through Fallujah’s industrial section, or “Sina’s District,” of the city in order to confirm or deny anti-Iraqi Forces operating there.
Marines from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 worked with the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police to search the industrial area. They also conducted a census of the local workers and populous. They turned up several small caches of weapons and put in display the resolve the three units share for Fallujah’s security.
“It was a good day for us because we successfully cleared the industrial zone,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher R. Porylo, a 31-year-old platoon sergeant with C Company from Middletown, Conn.
Coalition Forces recently received reports of the industrial area being a historical place for insurgents to hold meetings. They were believed to use the area to build improvised explosive devices and fire shots at both Iraqis and Marines from this portion of the city.
Hundreds of shops owned by local Iraqis are located inside the several-block area that also houses bread, yogurt, and masonry factories. Individual shops range from welding and custom metal design garages to automotive parts stores.
Marines and Iraqi Army soldiers each took half of the area and swept through every building looking for weapons or signs of insurgents operating within the compound.
Marines did not locate any weapons, but their Iraqi Army counterparts did find some in their area while searching through the buildings.
Several assault rifles, two artillery rounds commonly used in IED making, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and parts used to detonate IEDs were found by the Iraqis.
“They did extremely well, said Lt. Col. Christopher A. Landro, a 46-year-old battalion commander from Kennesaw, Ga. “The Iraqi Army demonstrated its best capabilities that I have seen since I have been here, from the command level down to the individual soldier.”
For Marines, not finding anything wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“We didn’t find anything, but we sure did try,” Porylo explained. “Not finding anything is not a lost cause because the insurgents know that we are looking and that no matter where it is in our area of operation, we are going to look at where they are hiding things.”
“We proved the absence of large caches that locals had fueled the rumor mill about,” Landro said.
Throughout the operation Marines spoke with shop owners to gauge their concerns about problems with their personal shops and the area itself. They filled out census forms with the owners’ names and business information of each shop to make way for future plans to help with jobs and economics.
“We did a lot of interacting with the people to see where they stand … what kinds of things that they need and to see what we can to do try and help out,” said Sgt. Julio C. Feliciano, a 27 year-old squad leader, from Springfield, Mass.
The operation also demonstrated to Fallujans the resolve of not just Marines, but Iraqi soldiers as well. Fallujans witnessed Iraqis operating in their sector independently with Marines supporting their efforts. They were able to demonstrate their ability to sweep any sized area and do it with the help and direct involvement of the Iraqi Army and police, according to Landro.
An interesting interview with CENTCOM Commanding General John Abizaid:
HH: Can you begin, General, by giving us an overview of the situation in Iraq as of mid-August, 2006?
JA: The situation in Iraq right now, as you've seen, of course, there's an awful lot of sectarian violence, particularly in the Baghdad area. We've found it necessary to move additional troops down into the Baghdad area by extending some forces that we were going to redeploy to help shore up some of the work that the Iraqi Security Forces are doing. We're putting additional Iraqi Security Forces in the field there as well. It's very clear to all of us that have been serving in this region that Baghdad's the key to Iraq, and that we've got to get the levels of sectarian violence down in order for Iraq to stabilize. We're confident it can be done. We've seen some changes already that are somewhat positive. It's still too early to say, but the combination of Iraqi Security Forces and our forces, along with some measures being taken by the new government, we're confident can, over time, move Baghdad in the right direction.
Read the rest at Hugh Hewitt.
As I said in the comments to CDR Salamander, this looks like a commercial transaction headed way south. See here for some additional background.
This affair, in various parts. has been going on for a couple of days.
The gunfire just adds spice to an on-going dispute.
I like this quote: "Analysts said this looked like a rare case..."
Don't they all!
UPDATE: 8/23/06 - Clarifying report here..
Pretty much to the same level the MSM supports the troops, so far as I can tell in that interview Blackfive did with Gunny Duane, I MEF, RCT-7, 3rd CAG. Sample graf:
B5: Do you think the media has fairly portrayed our efforts in Iraq?
Not in my experience. During this deployment I have tried to stay away from negative things like MSM because I don’t want it to affect my own morale thereby affecting the mission. Mission accomplishment is every Marine’s priority and I don’t want to be deterred by MSM negativity. In other areas like media embeds we have had great success. Embeds are able to see things from the ground perspective and it usually gives them a positive outlook on what we are doing here.
I tie it all up in a nice tight bow with the recently published book "Fiasco."
I'm not entirely sure how, though.
Where do you place this?
Iran attacked and seized control of a Romanian oil rig working in its Persian Gulf waters this morning one week after the Iranian government accused the European drilling company of ``hijacking'' another rig.1 -- Act of war.
An Iranian naval vessel fired on the rig owned by Romania's Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) in the Salman field and took control of its radio room at about 7:00 a.m. local time, Lulu Tabanesku, Grup's representative in the United Arab
``The Iranians fired at the rig's crane with machine guns,'' Tabanesku said. ``They are in control now and we can't contact the rig.'' The Romanian company has 26 workers on the platform, he said.
But really, where do you put this? Not that Romania is in any position to do anything about it - though they are in NATO. Article V a bridge too far? Could you make an argument?
With the midline approach, looks like Iranian waters...but...Like an old boss liked to say, "Get me the d@mn JAG..."
Eagle1, give it a shot. Looks domestic to me, with wiggle room to make trouble.
Updates to the Brain Injury story:
The Washington Times gets the run-around - maybe not deliberately, but it's *still* a run-around. I'd love to hear what DoD has to say on the issue.
A letter to the Editor from a founder of the centers, Dr. George Zitnay (you'll have to scroll a bit).
And last, but not least... so, it's all wrapped up in Senatorial Snits? Really? Sigh.
But, by golly, I provoked a decent exchange in The Corner today! Whee!
CDR Lippold takes another hit. Let this be a lesson to young officers.
See also Kimmel, Husband E.
More on Cole attack here.
According to USA Today, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury center, which is devoted to the treatment and understanding of war-related brain injuries, is set to lose half its funding, from $14 million down to $7 million, next year. The House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain only half of the funding the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center received last year. "Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee told the paper. "They didn't have any flexibility in such a tight fiscal year." Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is becoming one of the most common injuries among soldiers fighting in Iraq. Research by the center has concluded that ten percent of troops in Iraq suffer concussions during combat.
"Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee told the paper.
That would be the same bleeping Senate Appropriations Committee that didn't have any trouble finding $160 Million for the VA so that the VA could pay for a service - credit monitoring - that victims of identity theft can, with a touch of a telephone keypad, get for free?
Lessee, $160 mil, minus $7 mil, equals (takes off shoes) um, $153 mil.
Y'know, it just TORQUES ME RIGHT OFF that the Honorables of this Committee could rummage about and find $160 mil for an unneeded service to cover an embarrassing faux pas by an agency of this government, but, well, there just isn't $7 mil to continue funding research into what is the Signature Injury Of This War.
Gee, Honorables, our soldiery and the medical personnel who serve them are sorry that we are surviving injuries that used to kill us - so that these injuries weren't as, um, noticeable as they are now. We beg your indulgence.
One wonders how someone can say something that bloody insensitive and bleeping ignorant with a straight face and not have their head implode? I had to stick my head in the Armorer's Helmet to keep it from exploding...
Oh, I forgot. They really do think we're simpletons with short memory spans.
Thank heaven's for Google.
Note to the Kansas Congressional Delegation... I'm a medium fish in a small pond - but Kansas is a small pond too. I'll be watching this one, and I will be *very* interested in your staff's responses to my inquiries on the subject. Especially Senator Brownback, as you sit on the Senate appropriations committee in question. But I'll be interested in Senator Robert's views, as you on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Ryun, as you on the House Armed Services Committee.
C'mon Senator Brownback, Congressman Ryun - you both have "Support Our Troops" banners on your websites, there isn't 7 million where once there was 160 million?
I do my bit of taking care of the wounded - via Project Valour-IT. Let's hear what you gentlemen have to say.
At least that is what we ran into in February 2005 out in the countryside near Charikar.
Well, they call it a Frigate - but look at the details. That is a Pocket Cruiser. I know the Marines wish we would build a few - 155mm main gun and MLRS on something built to fight hurt in a hull slightly smaller than an Arleigh Burke. Nice kit. Nice program. We should benchmark.
I always followed SOPA's advice and Col. Sensing's directive (retired), myself. Both links are on the bottom of this post.
I figure talking on blogs is like talking at a bar. You don't fraternize; you don't assume your rank equals your brainpower. Works for me, and you can have vigorous discussions without having to play the "who's the senior guy" game and both sides learn something.
But then again, maybe it's something in ArmyLawyer's pugilistic nature.
(Skippy says there are more senior bloggers out there, but on active duty?)
Soon, the taps will be back on here, with a little help from Marines.
The “Betio Bastards” of 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, along with Marines from 3rd Civil Affairs Group and Army soldiers here, worked together to finalize plans to fix a water treatment facility in Sadiquiyah Aug. 18.
“This area’s water purification infrastructure is in pretty bad shape,” said Capt. J.R. Rinaldi, a CAG officer who is responsible for civil-military operations while attached to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.
The treatment plant’s dilapidated state is mostly because of wear and tear of a combat environment. Maintenance is lacking and broken parts weren’t replaced, both secondary effects of Iraqi technicians not being able to keep up with it due to insurgent threats.
That’s had a noticeable affect on the local community. Rinaldi, a 37-year-old from Vancouver, Wash., got reports that many people were getting sick because they drink directly from the Euphrates River. The river is one of the few sources of water in this arid environment and dumping ground for waste and pollution.
“The biggest problem in Iraq is basic services – the water and electricity,” he added.
Rinaldi met with the Iraqi directorate general for the region and discussed the cost to refurbish and refit the water distribution system before coming out to see the site for himself.
“Then I spoke with the technician to get an understanding so I can better manage the project,” Rinaldi said.
He decided to fix the purification facility. The trip to the treatment plant brought CAG Marines and the plant owner together to set up the arrangements. The Marines from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment also brought an Arabic interpreter to help.
Marines worked as armed security while the CAG and the interpreter met with the water treatment facility owner. It wasn’t the normal counterinsurgency operation to which Marines here are accustomed. Still, it’s an effort they know will pay off for the Iraqis they’re protecting.
“Drinkable water is a necessity to make sure this country survives way after we’re gone,” said Lance Lance Cpl. Andrew E. Kaylor, a 24-year-old tow gunner from Weirton, W.V., assigned to Headquarters and Service Company.All done!
We all know that journalists can ask some dumb questions during military briefings, but I'm thinking we might have a new winner here. Check out this passage from an AP story on the recent fighting in Afghanistan:
In the clash in Farah province, attackers ambushed a highway police patrol, killing one officer before two attackers were shot dead, said Ghulam Dastagir Azad, the governor of neighboring Nimroz province.(Emphasis mine)
The ambush also left six officers and three attackers wounded, he said.
Azad referred to the attackers as "enemies" -- a term usually used by Afghan officials to refer to the Taliban -- but he was unable to provide a motive for the ambush.
In debating online, have any of you ever pulled rank on the person you were arguing with? Ever had them do it to you?
Had it done to me the other day, good times.
Liquid love (the kind that goes from your heart straight to your eyes) about some Gnarmax Guys surfing in Cali... These guys were definitely packing large in the Stone Zone (for translation, see HERE)
Good Morning "Mom," I just want to thank you and all of the others who helped to support and get the word out about the Surfamp clinic in Pismo Beach this past weekend. As a member of the Pismo Beach Longboarders, I was fortunate enough to be a volunteer working with the vets all week, and it was an experience I'll never forget. We helped them to surf, but they showed us so much more. I'll think twice before I ever complain about lousy conditions or poor wave selection again.
Read the rest over at SOME SOLDIER'S MOM
("Weapons Grade" = Epic... Read more of that lingo HERE
May is National Military Appreciation Month. What better month to hold the 2007 MilBlog Conference? The date is May 5, 2007. The conference will take place in Washington, D.C. again. Look out CodePINK!
If you have photos from the 2006 Conference, I would appreciate it if you could send them to me via email. Do not send photos that you would not want posted on the conference site, or other public forum.
Email: andi at andisworld dot com
See you in May!
COUNTRYWIDE - Iraqi army arrested 103 suspected insurgents during the past 48 hours in different cities of Iraq, the army said on Monday. ISKANDARIYA - Two policemen were wounded when a roadside bomb went off beside their patrol in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. BASRA - Gunmen killed Fadhil al-Magsusi, a colonel in the Facility Protection Services (FPS), on Sunday in the southern city of Basra, 550 km (340 miles) south of Baghdad, police said. BASRA - Gunmen killed two off-duty members of the Interior Ministry Intelligence Service on Sunday in Basra, police said.
The Irish Exmainer has an interesting theory -
Violence-scarred Iraq enjoyed a rare day of relative peace today, as residents made special efforts to watch on television the opening of Saddam Hussein’s trial for genocide.
Imagine...a Civil War interrupted by a particularly good episode of Court TV. Could not possibly be anything to do with the tremendous efforts of Coalition and Iraqi security forces. All those arrests had nothing to do with it.
Maybe we should beam Arabic translations of "Desparate Housewives" and the "OJ Trial" into Baghdad.
On the recent run-ins the Taliban have had with the Canadians (who, despite the snark-droids droll commentary) have obviously not forgotten how to fight:
“This was clearly a disproportionate use of force,” he said during a visit that included an inspection of mud huts destroyed by a NATO air strike. Thousands of civilians have fled the conflict.
"Canadians must take responsibility for not limiting the losses inflicted on the Taliban to numbers more in line with their own paltry losses in this conflict."
So... if they won't surrender, the Canadians have to like, pick, oh, 15-20 of their own guys and send them out naked to be shot or something? Egad. When I read this I first thought it was Scrappleface...
Oh, wait... it's KATE! You EVIL WOMAN you! Snerksnerksnerk... H/t, CAPT H.
For a more nuanced view of the fight, 72-0, read Damian at The Torch. Money Graf:
"They acted the way that we expected they would act and became decisively engaged and had insurmountable difficulties breaking contact with us."
Lessee, Allah's Quartermaster had to put in an emergency req for 5, 472 virgins, yes?
February 2005, I went to go look at the school at Deh Qadzi. See for yourself what it looked like...
Many months ago now I started a series of posts in an effort to wrap up my time in Iraq, from a military perspective, and more personally as a MILBLOGGER. It didn't get very far. For some things, you need to get pretty far away from the source to get the right shape of a thing. That's as true of experiences as it is for other landscapes.
I had quite a bit of time between STARTEX and ENDEX this past week -- what with all the inevitable PAUSEXs -- so I got down to finishing off a piece on Changes and After-Effects.
An excerpt, excuses, and appropriate warnings in the extended entry.
This post won’t seem to write itself, and I’m not doing much better getting it done myself.
I started with a disclaimer to what I planned on writing here, all well and good, but then it stalled right there. Lots to talk about, some reluctance I guess to pick it back up. So here goes. First, I’ll repeat a very short summary of my disclaimer to refocus.
A deployment to a combat zone – and experiencing combat first hand – changes a person forever. Yet some of our soldiers, including many Veterans of prior combat, seem quick to dismiss such thoughts from their consciousness.
Very few of our soldiers saw anything remotely like combat. Yet as leaders, we’re trained to look for, anticipate, and help our soldiers cope with inevitable effects of their deployment experiences. We try to help our soldiers deal with their experiences. If you lost something while you were there, if your mind and heart and feelings and attitudes changed, let people know. That’s a big part of what makes a MILBLOG, too, as I think about it.
So much of what we say can be twisted and used as anti-war propaganda by the usual useful idiots. But better that stuff that needs to get talked about, gets talked about. The useful idiots we will always have with us, biting ankles while the grown-ups talk things over like adults.
On the whole, most of our soldiers view their service in Iraq as an overall positive experience. Most are relieved it’s over. Here’s the bottom line up front for most: glad they went, gladder still to have it done.
(The rest over at Dadmanly. It's long. You've been warned.)All done!
As if you all needed any more reason to trash talk Zoomie LTs (coughdonovancough), any one up for a milblogger fantasy football league?
What do service members do?
Have you ever thought that or asked that? Some may have one idea in their mind about what service members do and others have something totally different. I began college and studied aerospace science and meteorology to assist my education in becoming a commercial airline pilot. After obtaining my private pilots license and perusing my instrument rating, I became interested in the Marine Corps. Working for United Express I applied for an USMC officer slot. To my surprise the response was we don’t need any 21 year old males to join our program, we have a list a mile long of them.
What is worse for your brain -- exposure to an IED blast wave, or service in Congress?
News you probably haven't heard, unless you have an interest in the Coast Guard.
Fair winds and a following sea, sailors.
Rosenthal died of natural causes at an assisted living facility in the San Francisco suburb of Novato, said his daughter, Anne Rosenthal.
"He was a good and honest man, he had real integrity," Anne Rosenthal said.
His photo, taken for The Associated Press on Feb. 23, 1945, became the model for the Iwo Jima Memorial near Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The memorial, dedicated in 1954 and known officially as the Marine Corps War Memorial, commemorates the Marines who died taking the Pacific island in World War II.
ANKARA, Turkey -- The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday that it had forced two Syria-bound Iranian planes to land and be searched for rockets and other military equipment during the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. The newspaper Hurriyet reported Wednesday that Iranian planes were forced to land at Diyarbakir airport on July 27 and on Aug. 8 - but that no military equipment was found. Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Murat Ozcelik said those were not the only planes that were forced to land. "We inspect Iranian planes upon any suspicion that they may be carrying any weapons," Ozcelik said. He declined to give further details.
I've got to say, of all the messages one could send to someone like Assad Jr, letting him know his logistics lines are completely compromised is a pretty slick tactic. Doesn't really matter that he has Big Brother Iran on his side, if big brother Iran can't deliver supplies.
An old phrase comes to mind -
"Amatuers talk tactics, professionals talk logistics"All done!
In the beginning, the prisoners were mostly U-boat crew members who had survived the sinking of their submarines in the Atlantic Ocean. As the war progressed, P.O. Box 1142 shifted its attention to some of the most prominent scientists in Germany, many of whom surrendered and gave up information willingly, hoping to be allowed to stay in the United States.
The prisoners stayed at Fort Hunt for as little as two or three weeks and as long as nine months. They were held incommunicado; when they had told everything they knew, they were transferred to regular POW camps elsewhere in the United States, and the Red Cross was then notified of their capture. After the war, some returned to Germany, and some stayed in the United States, slipping into the fabric of American life.
Further explanation was forbidden. The more than 3,400 prisoners who stayed there were off the books, too, partly because operations at Fort Hunt were "not exactly legal" according to the Geneva Conventions, the National Park Service said.
I eagerly await the condemnation from Andrew Sullivan proclaiming that the Allied forces were no longer the moral superior to the Nazis.
A couple of German cruisers, a sea chase, an alliance forged under naval guns. Changes begun that continue to affect our lives today. Sunday Ship History here.
Who is the subject of this description by the UK Guardian?
[He is] the spokesman for a repressive, authoritarian, static, hierarchical society in which everything up to and including sexual relations and birth control is regulated by the political classes, who deliberately use lies for the purpose.It's not Bush or Newt, but a far earlier "Republican." Indeed, perhaps, the first.
The next time someone comes around your place and slams something you've written in similar terms, take heart! You're in good company.
Some people will do almost anything to get a good spot. I bet this guy is a joy to work with.
BAGHDAD – Soldiers from 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, detained two suspected terrorists and seized a large weapons cache in a warehouse during a search of Nur and Ghazalyia today in support of Operation Together Forward.
The weapons and munitions seized included 272 120mm mortar rounds, 212 82mm mortar rounds, 99 60mm mortar rounds, 33,800 14.5mm rounds, 5,000 7.62 rounds, 90 5.56 rounds, 165 19mm rounds, 104 rocket-propelled grenades, 240 23mm rockets, 200 60mm primers, 22 107mm rockets, nine 069B rockets, 11 RPG rounds, two landmines, a .30caliber shape charge, a crater charge, 11 fragmentation grenades, a machine gun, two AK-47s, a PKC machine gun, an RPK machine gun, two 14mm machine guns, 20 full AK-47 magazines, ammunition drums, various loose ammunition, 5,000 feet of detonation cord, three bayonets, five 82mm tubes, four 60mm tubes, three 60mm mortar bipods, four 81mm mortar bipods, two 60mm mortar bases, an 81mm base, two land mines, an 81mm mortar base, an aiming circle, two aiming poles, 54 rocket motors and various bomb-making materials.
Sorry about the extension, but that is one huge pile of death that isn't going to happen thanks to you and your buddies.All done!
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Nearly 17 years after Romania's communist regime collapsed, the first of an estimated 1.3 million files amassed by its secret police are finally about to become public.. A respected former BBC journalist known as a fierce critic of the post-Ceausescu leadership turns out to have been keeping tabs on a friend. Journalist Sebastian was a second-year literature student when the Securitate summoned him and told him it knew his secret: He had made a fellow student pregnant and refused to marry her. It then forced him to keep tabs on his friend, poet Andrei Bodiu, during the late 1980s.
I wonder how many journalists worldwide have been compromised by various intelligience agencies over the years.
If the Romanian's were doing it, then the KGB certainly must have been doing it. If the KGB was doing it, then all the former Soviet client states were doing it.
Everyone in the Miitary knows that if you get yourself jammed up in your personal life, your security clearance gets yanked in a New York minute.
Do newspapers yank the "Truth" clearance if a reporter or editor is jammed up in their personal lives?All done!
An interesting read from The Jamestown Foundation: Silent Partner: China and the Lebanon Crisis. More information on the C-802 anti-ship cruise missiles fired by Hezbollah:
On July 14, just two days after the conflict erupted, an Anti-Ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) launched from the coast of Lebanon hit an Israeli Hanit (Spear) Sa’ar 5 corvette, an anti-aircraft warfare ship that is said to be the best in its class. Not fatally damaged, the vessel managed to return to active service after a couple of weeks of repairs, but four servicemen were killed in the fire caused by the hit. A second missile hit an Egyptian merchant ship. Positively identified by its electronic signature as a Chinese-made C-802, the existence of such a missile in Hezbollah’s arsenal had been unknown to Israeli intelligence. Designated in China as the YJ (Yingji)-8 (or 82), around 60 to 75 (some say 125) C-802s had been delivered to Iran by 1997. Several of them subsequently found their way into Hezbollah hands. In addition, Arab sources have reported that Iran had supplied Hezbollah with Chinese-made Houdong fast-attack crafts (al-Sharq al-Awsat, July 29) as well as with Chinese-made multiple barrel rocket launchers, including the 12-tube Type 63 (also known as the Fajr-1) and the WS-1/WS-1B, which was redesigned by Iran as the Fajr-5 (Strategic Update, July). *** Considered one of the best ASCMs in the world, the C-802 carries a 165 kg time-delayed semi-armor-piercing high explosive warhead to a range of 120 km at Mach 0.9 speed and at an altitude of 5-7 meters above the sea. It has a 0.75 single-shot hit probability, and under ideal conditions, could have, according to some sources, 0.98. Conditions for hitting Israeli vessels opposite the Lebanese coast were more than ideal. On the night of July 14, when the soldiers where busy preparing for the Sabbath, the vessel’s CIWS (Close-in Weapon System) was most likely not set in auto-engage; given their lack of intelligence, as they were not expecting any ASCM attacks. Moreover, the vessel was located about 16 kilometers away from the coast, giving them, at Mach 0.9 speed, approximately 55 seconds to respond if the missile was immediately detected upon launch. In reality, however, because the C-802 flew at such a low altitude and because its radar was activated only close to the target, the crew had no more than 20 seconds to react. The first C-802 hit but failed to sink the vessel. The second missed another Israeli vessel and instead sank an Egyptian freighter. Three more C-802s were fired on August 1, China’s Army Day, against Israeli Navy vessels—all missed. A PLA study of the missile’s performance is probably already under way.Information on the Houdong fast attack boats here. Info on the C-801/802 Chinese missiles here.
Lots more on China's ambivalent role...
H/T: Simon World.All done!
Friday, August 18, 2006
WASHINGTON — Veterans who patrolled the waters off Vietnam can claim disability benefits for exposure to Agent Orange under an appeals court ruling that opens the door for thousands of servicemen to seek medical coverage.
The ruling was handed down this week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in the case of a former sailor who served on an ammunition ship during the Vietnam War but never stepped foot on land.
It reverses the Veterans Affairs Department's denial of benefits for Jonathan L. Haas, who blamed his diabetes, nerve damage and loss of eyesight on exposure to Agent Orange.
Haas argued that clouds of the toxic defoliate, which the U.S. sprayed on Vietnamese jungles, drifted out to sea, engulfing his ship and landing on his skin.
Veterans officials said that to qualify for coverage, Haas was required to have docked in Vietnam and come ashore.
STORY HERE at Fox
Waaaay beyond sticking a magnet on your car.
Go here, read this. Read it for the pictures, if nothing else. And when you reach the end of it - read the linked blogpost, too.
Then, to have your Amusing Moment of Zen, read this.
For those of you who love the melodious sound of my sweet, sweet voice, I'll be on the Lynn Woolley Show this Monday at 9:30pm.
We'll be discussing ROTC on campus, and why Greyhawk is so terrible at answering emails.
Link has a "Listen Live" feature on the left sidebar.
One hundred twelve of the "world's biggest thinkers" will gather in Berlin next month to answer some of the international community's most pressing questions, in a first-ever global town hall to be moderated by actor Willem DaFoe. One hundred questions will be selected from the tens of thousands being submitted at the dropping knowledge web site.
I haven't yet received my invitation to be on the panel, but I don't think the questions are all that difficult. Click here to read twenty of the questions submitted to the web site, and my answers.
In response to defense questions, Keith affirmed he was open to considering arguments about the war's legality and allowed Boyle, former United Nations Undersecretary Denis Halliday and retired Col. Ann Wright to speak about the legality and conduct of the war. Boyle, an outspoken critic of the administration policy in Iraq, went into considerable detail about the rules for war as detailed in the Army Field Manual. He accused the administration of using fraudulent means to persuade Congress to authorize the war, twice-failing to get U.N. Security Council authorization for the war and then allowing war crimes to occur.
Keith listened, his finger on his chin.
In questioning, he appeared skeptical.
"I am struggling with the connection between what you have just discussed ... and how that relates to Lt. Watada," Keith told Boyle at one point during the professor's testimony.
Read the whole thing here.
Posted at 1511Z
Fuzzybear Lioness has a visitor from somewhere east of Kos. Aside from dissing Enormous State Universities of the Interior, he's spouting all the usual anti-war blather. The usual Moonbat Ravings of Emotion trumping anything else with that soupçon of "even if you're retired military" you can't have an opinion on the war, because you aren't fighting it. Unless it's an anti-opinion, of course. That's *always* a moral stance and allowed... If you're bored and would like to go watch the debate, especially you warfighters, since you apparently *are* allowed an opinion, do go visit.
Well, it has been a golden rule at CDR Salamander that if retired LtGen Robert Gard stands on one side of the issue, it is a good idea to get on the other.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard, one of the letter's signers and a former military assistant to Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara in the 1960s, said the group was particularly concerned about administration policies toward Iran, believing them to be a possible prelude to a military attack on suspected nuclear sites in that country.Talking has done so much good with the "EU Three." The Iranians have such a good history on solving problems by talking to those they want to kill. Yes, very good idea. We should do the same with AQ. They just want to be respected and free universal healthcare anyway.....
Gard said the signatories — who included retired Marine Corps Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, head of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994, and Morton H. Halperin, a senior State Department and National Security Council official during the Clinton administration — did not believe that Iran had the wherewithal to build a nuclear weapon in the immediate future and would push the administration to open negotiations with Tehran on the issue.
If this report is true, journalism is in more trouble than any of us could have imagined.
I ain't specially good at math or nuthin, but seems like if we's findin' more Eye-EE-Dees and they's killin' less folks, that adds up doin' better all 'round, not worst like that reporter sayed. Maybe it ain't the numbers what's lyin. But like I sayed, I ain't good at sypherin'.
Or jernalisms neither.
No, it's not one of those "Carnak the magician jokes." It's a serious disagreement on the timeline: Mr. Murtha said he was briefed by the Commandant and went forward with his ill-judged "cold blood" accusations on 17 AUG. General Hagee's office insists that the CMC's first brief to Murtha, et al, was on 24 AUG. Patterico puts it all together.
I can only speculate about where Murtha got his information, but according to Gen. Hagee’s Public Affairs Officer, it wasn’t from General Hagee himself (as Murtha had claimed to the Philadelphia Inquirer). Not only did Murtha make his statements before the investigation was complete, he didn’t receive his preliminary information from the top brass before accusing Marines of cold-blooded murder.
And the L.A. Times covered for him, and continues to do so — even after I have told them that Hagee’s office says otherwise.
Let's review -
Hezbolla starts war with Israel.
Israeli invades Lebanon
Usual suspects demand immediate Israeli withrdrawl
Various nations promise UN peacekeepers if Israel withdraws
Israel agrees to withdraw when UN peacekeepers deploy
Hezbollah claims Victory and refuses to disarm
Various Nations develop Amnesia about promises of troops.
Israel stays in Southern Lebanon in Accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1701 awaiting UN troops that may never show up.
2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the Government of Lebanon and UNIFIL as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the South and calls upon the Government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel;
11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers,
equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force
strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in
addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):
(a) Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
(b) Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy
throughout the South, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed
forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
Nasrallah will be saying very bad words about that "Double Crossing Chirac" about now.All done!
France is backing off its commitment to head the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
Le Monde reported that France wanted to send just a dozen officers and around 200 personnel from an engineering division for the beefed-up U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Many diplomats had expected France to provide at least 2,000 men.
Is anyone surprised?
Really, I can quit uploading video clips onto YouTube anytime I want....just not right now. I want to put two more up - some Afghan Militia setting up a 107mm rocket, then firing it. Check it out - then I will quit....for a while at least.
I am a proud member of this Band of Brothers!
Onward, to Victory!
Or the Club.
And then that sweet contracting job. Or better yet, Civil Service, where we can really screw with the Butt-Kissing Back Climbers...
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 — The number of roadside bombs planted in Iraq rose in July to the highest monthly total of the war, offering more evidence that the anti-American insurgency has continued to strengthen ..The deadliest means of attack, roadside bombs, made up much of that increase. In July, of 2,625 explosive devices, 1,666 exploded and 959 were discovered before they went off. In January, 1,454 bombs exploded or were found.... 70 percent were directed against the American-led military force
An analysis in IED fatalities here shows a decline IED fatalities since a peak 49 in April to 23 in July. A more than 50% drop in effectiveness can't be explained away due to Armor Improvements that have occurred in the last 4 months.
I'm going to go way out into tinfoil land now.
WIth the possible exception of the Chinese, no military organization has believed that they could actually win on the battlefield against the US Military since WWII. Since they already know this, their stategy is not going to be winning on the battlefield. It is a losers game that only a fool would play.
So the strategy of our opponents has got to be "Creating the perception" that the US is losing on the battlefield.
The simplest technique is to target key measures.
If the Americans are focused on Attack trends, increase the number of low cost, low effectiveness attacks.
If the Americans are focused on kill ratios, hide your dead, or even better yet, dump them in the streets and start screaming about "Death Squads".
If the Americans are focused on the possibility of civil war, dump half your dead with ID indicating one sect, and the other half with ID indicating the other sect.
If a US General claims an area is pacified, get some drug crazed yahoo to go into the area and blow himself to bits the very next morning.
If your the enemy, just remember it doesn't matter if you have any combat effectiveness, or if your mortar men couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from 50 meters. What matters is keeping a constant feed of plausibile doom and gloom on the front pages of the NY Times. The American Left will do the rest of the work for you.All done!
Have you forgotten?? Have you lost that burn in your gut when those Americans died Sept 11th? Have you turned your head when American warriors die for defending America? See a in your mug reminder HERE
AnyMarine.com is a great website established to help the deployed troops. A creative team has now come up with putting together numerous photos of the troops they support into a calendar to help raise money for the website!
Crude photoshop of a Scud on a North Korean cargo ship is my fault.
The revelation in the UK Guardian that Pakistan intelligence services may have tortured one of the suspects implicated in Britain's air terror plot raises some interesting questions:
Balanced against all that of course is the “ticking bomb” scenario - the theoretical reductio in which we have a terrorist whom we know has planted a bomb that will, if undetected, kill hundreds or thousands (or millions) of people. I suspect most people, even the most decent ones, would willingly avert their eyes - all other options being exhausted - to whatever lesser evil is employed against a guilty party to forestall an even greater crime committed against a multitude of innocents...
Framed this way, the question can become one not of “if” we should apply duress, but when and how. How do we “know” our suspect has the knowledge we seek? If we are relatively certain, does that alter the level of discomfort we can inflict? What constitutes permissible discomfort, and what impermissible inhumanity? Upon what scale do we balance the needs of physical security for the many against the rights of the individual?
It would help if we could collectively decide what exactly "torture" consists of, but to even raise the issue is to risk excoriation - it is the untouchable, unviewable, unspeakable elephant in the room that persists in being there, even when we would all like it to go away.
More questions, some thoughts, but very few answers over at my place.
A fellow milblogger (Citizen Deux) is asking for some help from current and retired military personnel. If you could, please go here and answer his survey questions on DADT. Thanks.
Today is the anniversary of the death of Sgt. Michael Stokley. His father, Robert, writes a moving tribute over at the Tanker Bros. site
On August 16, 2005, at 0700 hours eastern daylight savings time, a call that changed the life of every member of the Stokely family came to our home in Sharpsburg GA - "Mr. Stokely, this is Major Hulsey; I am here with Chaplain Dicoppo and we need to speak with you urgently but your dog will not let us to the door." I knew the moment I hung the phone up and ran at a fast gait to the door and down the steps, meeting them in the driveway that they were at my home to tell me my "boy" was dead.
I close by saying this - while others debated, Mike Stokely served. While others continue to debate, we, as a family, stand committed to the service Mike Stokely gave his country and the principles of peace and freedom he found just causes worth dying for. Mike Stokely would do it all over again even knowing the eventual outcome of his own death.
I cannot begin to imagine the pain, but I understand completely the love... and pride. Be sure to read the full tribute and leave the Stokley family a comment on this most difficult day.
(And while you're there, read about the Rolling Victory Fast... and sign up for a day or two... it will do your body -- and your spirit -- good.)
OK, one more little clip of a patrol and I'll lay off...for a while. This one is a little bit of time spent bouncing around the inside an uparmored HMMWV in March 2005.
Jim Wooten has some interesting points about where the Left is trying to spin the national debate. Sad to read, but for many on the Anti-American Left (yes I called them that), I think he hits the target.
(the people who are driving the anti-American Left's) drift to pacifism and appeasement define Vietnam’s deaths as the product of misdirected adventurism. Abandon Iraq now and the lives of young dead soldiers are debris on the desert floor, for the worth of their sacrifice will be defined, as Vietnam was, as misguided adventurism or worse, the product of lies.They will never want victory because they feed off defeat.
The following web pages link to all 1,202 exhibits admitted into evidence during the trial of U.S. v. Moussaoui, with the exception of seven that are classified or otherwise remain under seal.
Scores of Iraqis volunteered to join the Iraqi Police during a recruiting drive held at several locations in and around Fallujah recently.
In total, 176 Iraqis from the greater Fallujah area signed on to become police officers. Marines from Regimental Combat Team 5 assisted in the recruiting effort.
“In spite of the fact that the police are being targeted, these guys stand forward and join the force,” said Col. Larry Nicholson, RCT-5’s commanding officer. “That speaks more eloquently than any Iraqi or American commander can. They are voting with their feet.”
Since Aug. 1, nine Iraqi policemen were killed in the line of duty, according to Lt. Col. Frank Charlonis, the RCT-5 police implementation officer.
While sporadic bursts of small-arms fire echoed from several blocks away and mortar rounds landed nearby, the eager Iraqi applicants signed their way through a stack of paperwork in a sweltering gymnasium.
“I want to protect my city and fight against terrorism,” said one applicant through an interpreter while waiting in line.
Another applicant readily agreed and added, “I have a big desire to be a police officer.”
Though many of the applicants were inspired to join the force by sentiments of patriotism, others were enticed more by the economic incentives.
“This is a function of economics,” said Capt. Mark Jamouneau, an infantry officer from Dullsborg, Pa., serving as officer-in-charge of the Fallujah Police Transition Team.
“I don’t think any of us would do this for free,” Nicholson said. “But this is a demonstration of their faith… clearly, there are other ways for these guys to make a living.”
Regardless of their motivations, these men will risk the same fate as do all those who commit themselves to promoting the stability of Fallujah.
The 2007 MilBlog Conference will take place in Washington, DC on either April 28, or May 5. I'm throwing the dates out there in the event that most of you strongly prefer one date over the other.
Panel topics are already being hammered out, and other exciting events are being planned. The 2007 conference is going to top the 2006 conference by leaps and bounds.
Most of the complaints I received about the 2006 conference centered around the fact that there wasn't enough time for personal planning (finances for travel costs, babysitters, etc.) between the time the conference was announced and the time it actually took place, so we're going to do better in that regard this time around.
More details in the coming weeks.
Today is the 61st Anniversary of V-J Day.
And while denigrating no one's efforts in the Pacific - this soldier acknowledges it was the Navy Department's war.
My first attempt at posting a movie clip. A whopping minute and twelve seconds of a foot patrol I went with in February of 2005. Not bad quality for a tiny camera (DiMage XT) set on "movie".
Check it out for a laugh (at my photography skills, or lack thereof).
All pre-paid handphone users will be required to register their personal particulars with their service providers under a new cabinet directive.Neal Boortz also reportedfrom July of last year that cell phone service had been "disabled" in certain key areas following the Londan attack:
"The decision was made not just because of recent SMS abuses, but also for national security as we saw the London bombs were triggered off by mobile phones," Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said Sunday.
Cell phone service was disabled in the four tunnels leading into Manhattan following the Islamic terrorist bombings in London. Now just why would they do that? Because cell phones make excellent remote detonation devices for bombs. As our troops in Iraq have found out too many times, any cell phone can apparently be rigged to blow a bomb as soon as the number is called. Quite convenient.In my view, the registration of pre-paid cell phones is a logical security step.
Three Texas men remained in custody in Michigan on Aug. 14, a day after police there discovered about 1,000 prepaid cell phones and several photographs and videos of Michigan's Mackinac Bridge in the suspects' van. An early investigation revealed that Adham Othman, Louai Othman and Maruwan Muhareb had purchased a suspiciously large number of phones at convenience stores in several states. Employees of one of the stores alerted police after the men purchased 80 phones at one time.
At first glance, the concern might be about the phones themselves -- that they would be used as timers and/or detonators for improvised explosive devices (IED) targeting the bridge, which connects Michigan's Upper and Lower peninsulas.
GHARMAH, Iraq -- Marines from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, are demonstrating to insurgents there is no safe passage through their area of operations.
Marines from the battalion’s Weapons Company performed mounted and dismounted patrols in Gharmah, Aug. 10. The battalion is serving with Regimental Combat Team 5 near Fallujah.
Marines executed snap vehicle checkpoints and patrolled a portion of the city to interrupt insurgents moving in the area. The aim was to disrupt insurgent activity, interdict insurgents and weapons being transported through the area and maintain security in the region.
“Vehicle checkpoints are important because, although, we don’t always catch people, it shows we are out here,” said Lance Cpl. Thomas A. Upton, a 20-year-old assaultman from Mooresville, N.C. “We’re still constricting the flow of supplies from the north to the south.”
Marines stopped vehicles along a road in the area, searching the drivers and passengers. At the same time, Marines checked every corner of the vehicle – peeking under hood, into trunks and even in the fold in seat cushions – for hidden weapons or insurgent paraphernalia.
Most times, searches went without incident. Identifications were returned. Marines thanked the Iraqis for their patience and they were sent on their way.
Still there was one intense moment
One Iraqi driver approached the checkpoint and stopped his car. He hesitated a moment, drove in reverse and stopped once more. Then he approached the checkpoint one more time, passing the first Marines guarding the checkpoint.
Another Marine grabbed a signal flare and shot it over the top the Iraqi’s truck. He stopped immediately as Marines approachedAll done!
Anti-war activists are sure to make some hay out of this:
The number of alleged and substantiated violations by U.S. military recruiters increased by more than 50 percent in one year, a rise that may reflect growing pressure to meet wartime recruiting goals, according to a Government Accountability Office report released yesterday.
What none of the articles mention is the hostility that many recruiters face from increasingly aggressive anti-war nuts. This hostility manifests itself in "takeovers" of recruiting centers, acts of vandalism, and even assault. It's all part of an orchestrated effort by groups like United for Peace and Justice and the G.I. Rights Hotline to, in their own words, "bring down the war machine."
Not that any of this excuses unethical or illegal behavior by military recruiters. It should be noted (but generally isn't), however, that all the active services are exceeding their recruiting goals for 2006 (the GAO report only covers up through 2005). Re-enlistment rates are also high across the board, especially in front-line units.
Can't blame all of that on unscrupulous recruiters.
I was able to attend and watch this honorable presentation. It was truly humbling!
Twenty-six Marine heroes were honored at a Medal of Honor flag presentation ceremony here yesterday.
A crowd of more than 1,000 friends, family members and patriotic spectators watched as Marine Commandant Gen. Michael W. Hagee and Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, presented flags to 16 Medal of Honor recipients and family members of 10 other Medal of Honor recipients.
"On behalf of all Marines, thank you for your service and example for the thousands of Marines that followed you," Hagee told the recipients. "Your legacy is these Marines."
Both houses of Congress approved the concept of the Medal of Honor flag and President George W. Bush signed it into law in October 2002.
The Medal of Honor flag commemorates the sacrifice and blood shed for freedom and emphasizes the Medal of Honor's place as the highest award for valor that can be given to a U.S. military member. The flag's light blue color and white stars match the colors found on the Medal of Honor ribbon.
At the ceremony, each MOH recipient or family member accepted a flag from Hagee. As Vietnam War MOH recipient former Sgt. Maj. Allan J. Kellog Jr. was presented with his flag, the final presentation of the evening, the crowd gave the honorees a standing ovation.
Cpl. Amber T. Chavarria, a Marine Barracks Washington protocol non-commissioned officer who assisted in presenting the flags, said she felt proud just to be in the presence of such heroic individuals. "It's hard to describe how it feels being a part of this," Chavarria said. "These gentlemen did so far above and beyond what they were asked, and they did it in order for me to be able to do my job."
"Being in the presence of these Marines is a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Lance Cpl. Sean J. Sorbie, a training NCO, said. "I am proud just to have been a part of it."
The parade ceremony concluded with the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps' playing of the “Marines Hymn” and a pass in review. The pass in review brought the crowd to their feet as nearly 200 Marines of the oldest post in the Corps saluted.
"Nobody does it up like the Marine Corps," said World War II veteran Jack H. Lucas, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions against Japanese forces on Iwo Jima. "To have these young men here in our presence -- it just rejuvenates this old heart of mine. I love the Corps even more knowing that my country is defended by such fine young people."All done!
A mystery is solved.
For years, authorities wondered about the identity of a U.S. Marine who appeared at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, helped find a pair of police officers buried in the rubble, then vanished.
Even the producers of the new film chronicling the rescue, "World Trade Center," couldn't locate the mystery serviceman, who had given his name only as Sgt. Thomas.
A commenter a couple of posts down gave various folks the beatdown for being downbeat. The two articles referenced here, by Michael Gerson and Bill Quick, are illustrative.
Both the Gerson article and the Quick article are worthwhile reads, and I commend them to you for your consideration.
So did you read about the jurist in Yemen who freed the 19 al Queda allied fighters on the "technicality" that, well: Jihad isn't actually against sharia law?
I get the feeling some times like we're talking past each other.
Those that regularly read my blog will know that we retired to a town in northern Arizona that we find reflects our values and also values its military -- active and veterans. We have a very large veterans population here and, thanks to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a representation of active military and about-to-be military since E-R has the largest college ROTC program in the country (predominantly AF, but with a growing number of the other services represented as well.) I recently met an Army instructor just re-assigned here to the mountains and pine forests and he's actively building the green-to-gold contingent there.
However, this town of 33,000 +/- is composed principally of farmers, ranchers, people who work at the regional medical facilities...
So today, our local paper highlighted the first ever JROTC program at our local high school (enrollment 2,000):
When U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel Denny Peeples (Ret.) received the official go ahead for a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Prescott High School, he ordered 100 books.
Peeples thought that would be plenty since the average new ROTC program begins with less than 50 students. He got a big surprise when 146 students signed up for the program.
Gasho said the honor code says it all: I will not lie, cheat or steal, nor will I tolerate those who do.
For Peeples, his message is that life is a choice and students will always be faced with them.
"Cadets will gain respect for others and themselves. They will gain a new outlook on life and school. They will look at the world more optimistically through the process of understanding where people come from and not judge them," he said.
Read it all HERE... the quotes from those teenagers who will lead us through the rest of this century will make you proud.
(and to those who claim that our servicemembers are somehow coerced into service... you should read this article too!)
Some of the US forces in South Korea got a treat last night:
"It felt great to come here and do something for the troops," said Wade, who plays for the Miami Heat. "It definitely helps us get motivated by realizing there are a lot of people behind us and we're representing our country." ............ Coach Krzyzewski said the trip to Yongsan, home to 25,000 personnel, was well worth the effort of getting up early and practicing in the stifling heat of the base gymnasium.
"It added depth to our trip," said Krzyzewski. "To be able to meet the servicemen and women and thank them for their service was a great feeling."
Now go make us proud and stop the losing streak of late in international competition.
Fuzzybear Lioness today:
Isn't it awfully presumptuous for me to think some stranger cares what I think of him, cares that he has my verbal approbation? If someone I didn't know told me they thought I was a nice person, I'd look at them like they were nuts; I don't care what some random unknown thinks of me. Does a warfighter?
In days when people claim to be able to "support the troops but not the war," does an easily-spoken "Thank you for your service" really mean anything anymore?
Go with your gut, Fuzzy. They do care. Even if they never say it. They notice, somewhere, deep inside. Your presence, there, at the USO, says more than all the magnets on all the cars put together.
You go, girl. I'm proud to have you as a Denizen.
There is always a problem in a culture when the great mass of "elites" decide that they no longer wish to march to the sound of war drums. I know we have talked about it here in the American sense, but I didn't know Israel has the same problem.
Step by step, the top 1000th percentiles abandoned the existential national effort. They stopped doing reserve duty, they stopped sending their sons to the fighting units. They mocked those officers who warned about unilateral withdrawals. They mocked those officers who warned that the emergency warehouses were emptying out and the enemies were becoming stronger. And they deceived themselves and those around them that Tel Aviv is in fact Manhattan. Money is in fact everything. And thus they bequeathed to young Israelis a legacy of values that makes it very difficult for them to attack even when the attack is fully justified. Because a country that lacks equality, that lacks justice and that lacks faith in the rightness of its path, is a country for which it is very difficult to go on the attack. It is a country for which not many are willing to kill and be killed.
And in the Middle East of the 21st century, a country whose young elites find it difficult to kill and be killed for it is a country on borrowed time. A country that cannot endure.
who are they NOT frightened of? [AP slanting and snotty insinutations aside, that is].
TEHRAN, August 13 (RIA Novosti) - Iran said Sunday it had lost confidence in Europe's intentions to settle its nuclear problem peacefully.
The five permanent UN Security Council members, including Russia and China, voted July 31 in favor of a resolution to set August 31 as a deadline for Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities. If Iran fails to fulfill the UN's demands, economic and diplomatic sanctions may be imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the Islamic Republic was surprised by the Europeans' behavior (the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution on Iran) and now did not believe in Europeans' good intentions to solve its nuclear issue by way of negotiations.
Let me see if I can translate Islamo Speak.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry was disappointed that the Europeans didn't vote on a resolution to push Israel into the sea after Israeli's "nearly not provoked" aggression against Iran's puppets, Hezbollah.
Without being able to threaten Israel with Hezbollah, the foreign ministry doesn't see anyway of keeping it's nuclear program with suffering painful UN imposed sanctions or even more painful US/Israeli Bombing runs.
It is now clear to Iran, that despite the assurances of variance Left Wing European Wingnuts, the Europeans have absolutely no intention of letting Iran geta few Nukes, or allowing Iran to push the Jooos into the sea. In the opinion of the Ministry, allowing these events is the only way Europeans can demonstrate their acquiescence to permanent Dhimmitude.All done!
I keep reading that Israel was "surprised" by the number and quality of Hezbollah rockets (see, for example, this from the Corner at National Review On-line:
Basically, Kramer argues, Iran gave Hezbollah a wide array of rocket technology (far more of it than Israel realized) for use against Israel in the event of an American and/or Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. But Iran’s orders were vague, and Hezbollah jumped the gun, thereby degrading the value of one of the key modes of (proxy) retaliation Iran had planned to use in the event of a move against its nuclear program. (emphasis added)While the underlying argument in question has to do with whether Hezbollah's rocket attacks were planned or a mistake in timing, I keep getting stuck on the idea that Israel was unaware of the 12,000+ rockets Hezbollah has acquired or the nature of those rockets...
As I linked to here, the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin reported back in 2002 that Hezbollah had built up an arsenal of rockets, including "10,000 short and long-range rockets, including hundreds capable of striking into the civilian and industrial heartland of the Jewish state." Further, the report by Gary C. Gambill states:
Israeli officials have been complaining about massive Iranian airlifts to Hezbollah since March 2001, when Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned that Iran, "in full cooperation with Syria," was providing Hezbollah with large numbers of rockets capable of hitting "the center of the country."1 By late January 2002, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was declaring before the Knesset that Iranian airlifts had expanded Hezbollah's arsenal to 10,000 "missiles" (this frequently-used term is technically incorrect, as even the long-range rockets lack in-flight guidance systems).2Again, while I have no idea whether Hezbollah's rocket firings as part of this recent skirmish were "premature" as far as Iran's grand strategic scheme, it is my opnion that reports of Israeli "surprise" in the types and numbers of rockets being fired at them are not based in reality. If the MEIB had the information, so did the government of Israel.
Although Tehran issued repeated denials and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah carefully avoided confirming the airlift, other Hezbollah officials were less reserved. In May 2001, a member of the group's political bureau, Nawaf Moussawi, declared during a rally that "2.5 million Israelis are now in range of our missiles," a boast which appeared to confirm Sharon's claim.3 A February 2002 report by the Christian Science Monitor quoted a "well-connected . . . Hezbollah insider" as saying that "truckload after truckload" of military equipment had been arriving in the border district since the Israeli withdrawal in May 2000.4
After a New York Times article in September cited American officials as confirming that Hezbollah had received long-range Iranian-manufactured Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets,5 even Nasrallah could not resist alluding to them. While careful to speak in hypothetical terms, he boasted of the suffering that such an arsenal could inflict on Israeli civilians. "In 1996 . . . with Katyushas alone, the resistance was able to displace two million people and [the Israeli government] had to look for places in central Israel to settle them," he declared last month. "[If] Hezbollah's missiles can now reach all population centers in Israel, then where can they flee?"6
Notwithstanding Nasrallah's wishful claims, most of Hezbollah's arsenal consists of old stand-byes (albeit in unprecedented numbers): 122mm Katyushas with a range of 12 miles (20 km) and 107mm Katyushas with a range of 5 miles (8 km). However, it also includes several hundred 240-mm Fajr-3 rockets and 333-mm Fajr-5 rockets.
Last month, the London Sunday Times reported that Iran has deployed Zelzal-2 "ballistic missiles" in Lebanon, capable of "carrying half a ton of chemical or conventional warheads as far as Tel Aviv." (footnotes omitted)
Not there probably weren't a couple of real surprises. For instance, the appearance of a suspected C-802 Anti-ship Cruise Missile in the area seems to have been a real stunner.
Fellow brats: Come relive the fun!
Owner-Operators of Brats: Come see the dangers.
The Ironic Headline of the Day Award goes to the Washington Post, for "Cease-Fire Takes Effect; More Fighting Expected."
It would be funny, were it not so true...
Yon's dispatch outlines his argument that Iraq's in a civil war and the Iranians are getting ahead.
I've heard others mention similar about Iran, where Iranian-funded NGOs (similar in structure to the Lebanese hospital the Israeli SOF hit last week because it was also a command center for Hizballah) are moving into the security space provided by the Brits in the south of Iraq. Austin Bay (podcast, about thirty minutes in) isn't as in agreement.
What Yon is saying about civil war has good points, and there certainly is conflict, but I'm not so sure that he's right. The first reason is the scale; it's not exactly Appomattox, more of a slightly bigger version of the Troubles. The second is something that GI in Korea might have comments on, that the forces of reaction (keeping things like they've been for a thousand years) are fighting the forces of modernity (everything from social mores circa 1895 to today), and that sometimes those fights can be stalled and lengthened due to external pressure.
Ralph Peters is on the same theme as you. I've summarized his latest over at my place.
And let me tell you, I've got a lot of "Air Power Über Alles" to deal with in an Air Force environment...
For those taking notes; after the jump you can find my Top-5 that came to mind this AM as I reviewed the fish-rap and looked at what seemed to be goofy as things start to coagulate around the Litani River.
Man-oh-Manischewitz, I would love to see the Israeli OPLAN to know what they were looking at when this started.
1 - Don’t believe the Air Power Cult priesthood’s Bull. Shock and Awe will only shock and awe the user on how little it actually shock and awes anyone.
2 - As America has learned in Iraq, to win it will take infantry moving door to door; town to town – taking causalities in spitting distance to take and hold ground. Your tanks need to go in harms way. No matter how good your tanks, they will be lost.
3 - Do not wish away your enemy's technical ability, weapons proficiency or will to fight.
4 - No matter how just your cause or how blood drenched your enemy, if you are an American to the right of Senator Lugar, a Jew, or anyone standing up to an Muslim country (unless you too are a Muslim country) – you will not get a fair shake from the Global Media or the United Nations. Understand that without extraordinary measures, without America’s support, the Arabs will allow the death of millions of other Arabs to see every Jew driven into the sea. Point Final. Don’t let your plan get tripped up because you allowed yourself to forget it.All done!
...A state of war with no clear end point makes it more likely for a country to overreact in ways that hurt itself, especially by losing the moral high ground that was crucial to America's victory in the Cold War. It also makes it harder for the country to do the patient work of tracking down, catching, and thwarting the "copycat" groups, since that depends so heavily on relations with allied countries and with sympathetic Muslim groups. Remember: it was police work, surveillance, and patient cultivation of sources that broke the airline bombing ring – not speeches about a state of war.
CNN is reporting that
The cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah will start at 5 a.m. GMT on Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says.
How do you get oil and gas (and water) supplies from the sea to fighting forces on the beach?
One Navy answer was the AOG - the subject of the Sunday Ship History here.
Lebanon has a total population of 3.8 million people with a total landmass of 10,400 sq /km.source CIA fact Book
The largest UN Peacekeeping Force is 17,992 Peace Keepers in the Dem Rep of Congo, which has 2.3 million sq/km and a population of 62 million. IMHO Little more than "Window Dressing" to show that "someone" is solving the problem.
15,000 UN Peace Keepers for Southern Lebanon is a significant, and IMHO realistic commitment source UN
Complete with flying fighters in foreign climes? Strange chow, glimpses of history and vertical departures?
Enough sturm und drang for a bit, you can't be serious all the time. Go on - Live a little.
Here's a teaser, for the unconvinced:
I broke out of the clouds first, because being the flight lead, that’s the nature of things. I looked over and down to check my wingie’s position in the gloom below, and if I tell you will you believe me? That in all my years of flying I don’t know that I ever saw such a wondrously beautiful thing as the glow inside that cloud deck resolve itself all suddenly into an FA-18 leaping from the clouds like a beast darting from a snare, highlighted against the darkness and contrasted with the suns dying rays like a rocket ship, herself in full grunt, the afterburners lighting up the cloud and the sky. It made my heart skip, and if I’d had a camera at that moment to take a picture you’d all know my name by now, because that’s how famous I’d be for the taking of it.
If that doesn't bring you over, we don't want you ;-)
I started wondering why so many Americans just don't get the nature of the War on Terror... even outside the Afghanistan & Iraq Theatres...
I posit that there are three principle reasons: No set field of battle or timeline (short memories), . a disconnect from the soldiers who fight on the front line and remoteness from danger... and an inability to put a name or face to the enemy...
(and I have two little rants in closing, as well...) at my place HERE
NEW YORK, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Iran is pressing Shi'ite militias to step up attacks against the U.S.-led forces in Iraq in retaliation for the Israeli assault on Lebanon, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq told The New York Times in an interview. Khalilzad told the Times Iranian incitement had led to a surge in mortar and rocket attacks on the Green Zone, now the seat of the Iraqi government and the American Embassy.
USS Robin (MHC-54) getting towed to Beaumont, Texas, to join the mothball fleet and make room in the Navy for the littoral combat ships (LCS )ships.
That's what is says here.
H/T: Glenn Germaine of Seaward Services. That's his tug in front, towing Robin.
Israel has expressed approval, Lebanon is "studying" the proposal. The Security Council has yet to vote.
Text of the proposed resolution after the jump.
THE SECURITY COUNCILAll done!
Determining that the situation in Lebanon constitutes a threat to international peace and security;
1. Calls for a full cessation of hostilities based upon, in particular, the immediate cessation by Hizbollah of all attacks and the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations;
2. Upon full cessation of hostilities, calls upon the government of Lebanon and UNIFIL (The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon) as authorized by paragraph 11 to deploy their forces together throughout the south and calls upon the government of Israel, as that deployment begins, to withdraw all of its forces from southern Lebanon in parallel;
3. Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;
4. Reiterates its strong support for full respect for the Blue Line (separating Israel and Lebanon);
5. Also reiterates its strong support, as recalled in all its previous relevant resolutions, for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders, as contemplated by the Israeli-Lebanese General Armistice Agreement of 23 March 1949;
6. Calls on the international community to take immediate steps to extend its financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people, including through facilitating the safe return of displaced persons and, under the authority of the government of Lebanon, reopening airports and harbors, consistent with paragraphs 14 and 15, and calls on it also to consider further assistance in the future to contribute to the reconstruction and development of Lebanon;
7. Affirms that all parties are responsible for ensuring that no action is taken contrary to paragraph 1 that might adversely affect the search for a long-term solution, humanitarian access to civilian populations, including safe passage for humanitarian convoys, or the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons, and calls on all parties to comply with this responsibility and to cooperate with the Security Council;
8. Calls for Israel and Lebanon to support a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution based on the following
principles and elements:
— full respect for the Blue Line by both parties,
— security arrangements to prevent the resumption of hostilities, including the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani River of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11, deployed in this area,
— full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state,
— no foreign forces in Lebanon without the consent of its government,
— no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government,
— provision to the United Nations of all remaining maps of land mines in Lebanon in Israel's possession;
9. Invites the Secretary-General (Kofi Annan) to support efforts to secure as soon as possible agreements in principle from the government of Lebanon and the government of Israel to the principles and elements for a long-term solution as set forth in paragraph 8, and expresses its intention to be actively involved;
10. Requests the secretary-general to develop, in liaison with relevant international actors and the concerned parties, proposals to implement the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), including disarmament, and for delineation of the international borders of Lebanon, especially in those areas where the border is disputed or uncertain, including by dealing with the Shebaa farms area, and to present to the Security Council those proposals within thirty days;
11. Decides, in order to supplement and enhance the force in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operations, to authorize an increase in the force strength of UNIFIL to a maximum of 15,000 troops, and that the force shall, in addition to carrying out its mandate under resolutions 425 and 426 (1978):
a. Monitor the cessation of hostilities;
b. Accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south, including along the Blue Line, as Israel withdraws its armed forces from Lebanon as provided in paragraph 2;
c. Coordinate its activities related to paragraph 11 (b) with the government of Lebanon and the government of Israel;
d. Extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons;
e. Assist the Lebanese armed forces in taking steps towards the establishment of the area as referred to in paragraph 8;
f. Assist the government of Lebanon, at its request, to implement paragraph 14;
12. Acting in support of a request from the government of Lebanon to deploy an international force to assist it to exercise its authority throughout the territory, authorizes UNIFIL to take all necessary action in areas of deployment of its forces and as it deems within its capabilities, to ensure that its area of operations is not utilized for hostile activities of any kind, to resist attempts by forceful means to prevent it from discharging its duties under the mandate of the Security Council, and to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment, ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, humanitarian workers, and, without prejudice to the responsibility of the government of Lebanon, to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;
13. Requests the secretary general urgently to put in place measures to ensure UNIFIL is able to carry out the functions envisaged in this resolution, urges member states to consider making appropriate contributions to UNIFIL and to respond positively to requests for assistance from the force, and expresses its strong appreciation to those who have contributed to UNIFIL in the past;
14. Calls upon the government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the government of Lebanon at its request;
15. Decides further that all states shall take the necessary measures to prevent, by their nationals or from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft,
(b) the provision to any entity or individual in Lebanon of any technical training or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of the items listed in subparagraph (a) above,
except that these prohibitions shall not apply to arms, related material, training or assistance authorized by the government of Lebanon or by UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11;
16. Decides to extend the mandate of UNIFIL until 31 August 2007, and expresses its intention to consider in a later resolution further enhancements to the mandate and other steps to contribute to the implementation of a permanent cease-fire and a long-term solution;
17. Requests the secretary-general to report to the council within one week on the implementation of this resolution and subsequently on a regular basis;
18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;
19. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
A Naval aviator I am quite fond of has told me (and our Airborne-qualified son) that only two things fall [willingly] from the sky: Airborne and bird poop...
But for those in the former category, you might enjoy THIS
From Kev Gillette's blog, via CAPT H.
I never thought I’d live to see the day. In todays Australian the Vietnamese have admitted Australia won the Battle of Long Tan. With several hundred Vietnamese versus 18 Australians dead; with the fact neither the North Vietnamese Army nor the local Viet Cong never ever engaged Australians in major battles after that day and with their plan to annhilate the Australian Task Force by attacking the base with a 2,500 man regiment stopped dead by 108 Aussie infantrymen from Delta Coy, 6RAR; one wonders why anyone could ever think differently.
But wait - there's more!
If I was amazed to read the Vietnamese had finally acknowledged D Coy kicked their arse at Long Tan, I was stunned to read in the Australian editorial that it was their considered opinion that our presence in Vietnam has been vindicated.It has been more than 30 years since the fall of Saigon. Although this newspaper opposed the war in hindsight, the history of Vietnam under communist rule seems to vindicate the effort. Ho Chi Minh’s Stalinist regime was monstrous, even as it was lionised in the West. Vietnam still struggles under political and economic repression. But by stemming the totalitarian tide that was sweeping southeast Asia at the time, Australian and US troops may have saved countless millions.
Thirty eight years ago, I, as an army NCO was well aware that all Stalinist regimes were monstrous and that if anything, Ho Chi Minh’s regime would be worse - the Australian finally gets the picture and agrees publically.
Up here we have a saying at times like this, I'll Ozzie it up a bit: "Welcome home, Digger."
The Wall Street Journal Opinion has got it right when it questions just how Dems have undermined and opposed the very things that broke the plot in Britain.
"This wasn't supposed to happen today," a U.S. official told the Washington Post of the arrests and terror alert. "It was supposed to happen several days from now. We hear the British lost track of one or two guys. They had to move." Meanwhile, British antiterrorism chief Peter Clarke said at a news conference that the plot was foiled because "a large number of people" had been under surveillance, with police monitoring "spending, travel and communications."
Let's emphasize that again: The plot was foiled because a large number of people were under surveillance concerning their spending, travel and communications. Which leads us to wonder if Scotland Yard would have succeeded if the ACLU or the New York Times had first learned the details of such surveillance programs.
and, after detailing many of the ways the Democrats have undermined efforts, they conclude
The real lesson of yesterday's antiterror success in Britain is that the threat remains potent, and that the U.S. government needs to be using every legal tool to defeat it. At home, that includes intelligence and surveillance and data-mining, and abroad it means all of those as well as an aggressive military plan to disrupt and kill terrorists where they live so they are constantly on defense rather than plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.
As the time since 9/11 has passed, many of America's elites have begun to portray U.S. government policies as a greater threat than the terrorists themselves. George Soros and others have said this explicitly, and their political allies in Congress and the media have staged a relentless campaign against the very practices that saved innocent lives this week. We doubt that many Americans who will soon board an airplane agree.
Go read it. HERE
Some food for thought for you long-range thinkers here.
Strategery or too much coffee this morning?
Grim posts a harshly beautiful essay at Blackfive, On the Virtues of Killing Children, that’s an absolute must read -- if only to consider a deeper truth revealed beyond the sensationalist title. Follow-up, too, with the comments, Grim and his readers add some excellent post-scripts to his reflection.
Grim transcribes an all too realistic dialog with a perhaps hypothetical pacifist friend, or if not pacifist, someone thoroughly immersed in the “war is bad for living things” kind of philosophy.
This "peaceful, gentle soul" starts, and frames an old argument:
The gentle soul -- how I respect her! -- will begin by pointing out how many innocents have died in the recent wars, and especially the children, who are the most obviously innocent. She will point out figures for Iraq, for Afghanistan, for Lebanon, and ask: "How can you justify this? These poor children, who might have been good men, good women, lain in the cold earth?"Grim’s vignette is well worth the whole read, if only to walk through the unassailable logic of his argument against the self-defeating and contradictory claim to pacifism, however well intended.
We have all had the conversation that far, have we not? We are accustomed to reply: "But the enemy is the one that targets children. We try our best to avoid hurting children. That makes us better. Furthermore, the enemy hides himself among children. As a result, in spite of our best efforts, sometimes children die on the other side also. But again, it is not our fault -- it is his fault. He endangers them."
She replies: "But how can you justify their deaths? Regardless of how hard you try, will you not kill them? Some of them? Should we not choose peace instead?"
(More commentary, with Grim's rejoinder to the argument, posted back home at Dadmanly.)All done!
I weary of the meme, "The US is overreaching, overcommitted and wearing out". I have a few questions about the same view taken toward Iran. Help me out if you can.
William Wilson, a blog troll that has a history of pestering OPFOR, Blackfive, Capt B, and others, has taken his milblog bashing to the pages of the Dallas Obsever.
Your article on military blogs ("Other Sides of the Story," by Jesse Hyde, August 3) never mentioned a dirty little secret: Most of them routinely censor dissenters.
If you don't believe me, then try consistently offering a contrary voice on, say, Blackfive, one of the blogs praised by your publication.
William is a Seattle resident who is known for leaving comments such as this one, at my place:
Oh yes, George W. Bush and his final act of desertion. What will the knee-jerk right-wing liar followers say? What will Faux News and Bill O'Leilly say? We know that none of you believe in accountability or personal responsibility, so who will you blame the defeat on? Cindy Sheehan? The New York Times? Death rays from outer space?
He couldn't get more trollish if he was shouting this crap at billy goats from under a bridge....
The plot as we all know by now involved British born Muslims to bring liquid explosives onto planes and detonate the bombs in mid-flight on UK flights bound for the USA... more than 20 arrests made with continuing apprehensions and investigations...
So hundreds of thousands of people are inconvenienced, flights cancelled... and it just makes me want to ask the following:
Instead of grounding flights, why aren't we just grounding young Muslim men (ok, so it's not "PC". and your point is?)
Do you think those that want to "talk" "negotiate" and "reason" with these terrorists GET IT NOW??
Mass murder on an unimaginable scale... indefensible.
I am frankly surprised and disappointed with some commentary appearing today over at The Corner, courtesy of Andrew Stuttaford.
Stuttaford expresses alarm over the current impasse in Lebanon, describes Belgravia Dispatch as “currently a must read.” If you view Diplomacy as a zero-sum net good and the current Administration’s Counter-terrorism foreign policy a disaster, then yes, BG’s a must read.
If you think the failed policies of the past led us precisely to where we are with Islamic Fascism, its rogue state sponsors, and “moderate Middle East state” Vichy Governments, then you might have a different perspective.
I think it most significant that the deadly, avowed enemies of Israel and the US are the ones screaming most loudly for an unconditional ceasefire, and negotiations for an International Peacekeeping Force to separate Hezbollah from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind such a ceasefire, such an eventually, under any conceivable scenario, timetable, architect or participants, is a perfect return to the status quo in terms of Hezbollah capabilities for terror – and an even degraded potential for the Lebanese to defang or prevent Hezbollah from resuming their proxy terror war.
Those who suggest this is a disaster for US relations in the region are naïve, ignorant, or stupid, or feigning one or more of the above.
Remember 1979 in Iran? Remember the 1993 [corrected] attempt against the doomed World Trade Center? Remember 9/11? I think that’s pretty indicative of (at least a virulent strain) of foaming at the mouth Anti-Americanism in the Muslim world.
Anyone who is at all familiar with the constant and unwavering stream of hate spewing from Madrassas and even “moderate” Islamic scholars for the past 30 years knows how ridiculous it would be to suggest that anything we’ve done in the past 5 years could possibly have worsened our standing in the world. Every time the Muslim world gets offended, that’s one more in an orderly succession of justifications and “causes” of one brutality or crime against humanity after another.
It’s sick, immoral, and pathological in the extreme. It’s the basis of the “blame the victim” mentality that our enemies want so very much for our ruling elites to adopt. After all, such a first step is essential to our eventual submission to Islam as dhimmi.
I don’t know if Stuttaford admires “the most talented foreign policy practitioner currently active in the Democratic party,” Richard Holbrooke, but Gregory Djerejian certainly does.
In today’s today’s Washington Post, Holbrooke conflates Lebanon and Iraq into “a single emergency,” the resultant chaos of which only benefits “Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and the Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr.”
UPDATE: I now note an extended debate over Stuttaford's post, between Stuttaford and Rich Lowry at The Corner, well worth an extended visit, just start at the original post and scroll back up...Thanks too to Smash who points out my slip of the brain in referring to the earlier 1993 attack on WTC as 1983...
(Further commentary on the Holbrooke article over at Dadmanly.)
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE
WHY DID THE IRAQI CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?
MNSTC-I (Multi-Nat'l Security Transition Cmd-Iraq)
The fact that the Iraqi chicken crossed the road affirmatively demonstrates
that decision making authority has been transferred to the chicken well in
advance of the scheduled October constitutional transition of power. From
now on the chicken is responsible for its own decisions.
We were asked to help the chicken cross the road. Given the inherent risk of
road crossing and the rarity of chickens, this operation will only cost
the US government $326,004.99 (per chicken)
Muqtada al Sadr
The chicken is a tool of the evil coalition and will be killed
US Army Military Police
We were directed to prepare the chicken to cross the road. As part of these
preparations, individual soldiers ran over the chicken repeatedly and then
plucked the chicken. We deeply regret the occurrence of any chicken rights
Peshmerga (indep Kurdish fighters)
The chicken crossed the road, and will continue to cross the road, to show
its independence and to transport the weapons it needs to defend itself.
However, in future, to avoid problems, the chicken will be called a duck,
and will wear a plastic bill.
The chicken was not authorized to cross the road without two forms of
picture identification. Thus the chicken was appropriately detained and
searched in accordance with SOP's. We apologize for any embarrassment to
the chicken. As a result of this unfortunate incident, the command has
instituted a gender sensitivity training program and all future chicken
searches will be carried out by female soldiers.
The chicken was forced to cross the road multiple times at gunpoint by a
large group of coalition soldiers, according to eyewitnesses. The chicken
was then fired upon intentionally, in yet another example of the abuse of
innocent Iraqi chickens.
Blackwater (security contractors)
We cannot confirm any involvement in the chicken road crossing incident.
Iraqi Provincial Police Chief
Chicken she cross street because bad she fried the tangled regulation.
Future chicken table against my request.
U.S Marine Corps
The chicken is dead.
We saw the whole bloody thing and threw the chick on the Barbie then went
to getting on the piss
MNC-I (Multi-Nat'l Corps-Iraq)
The chicken crossing situation is reflected in the TRA as an amber rated
capability within only those regions prioritized to receive road marking
equipment and should not be confused with units non-operationally qualified
to partner, yet, with chicken crossers. This will be briefed in the next
MNF-I (Multi-Nat'l Force-Iraq)
There are no cross chicken operations in theater but by June 15, 2006 we
will have 24,300 chickens fully prepared to cross.
Welsh (British Army)
Whale Ya' know what its like to be laying out dead chickens when your
dressed like a brownie right? So, thar we were, surrounded by these crazy
In the last seven days the USAF has cargo-lifted 732,361 chickens across
In Northern Ireland we used to conduct chicken crossing operations all the
time. If you will *finally* listen to us, we'll show you...here, in fact,
let me show you now...
British (Navy variant)
Fer cripe's sake, what am I doing here dealing with chickens? There isn't
salt water for 400 miles from here! Have I shown you pictures of HMS
FA 59s (Strategists)
In 1835, just two years before his untimely death from Cholera, Clauswitz
wrote this about chickens, "blah, blah, blah..."
Deputies stopped Osama Sabhi Abulhassan, 20, and Ali Houssaiky, 20, both of Dearborn, Michigan, on a traffic violation Tuesday. They found the flight documents along with $11,000 cash and 12 phones in the car, said Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.
Abulhassan and Houssaiky admitted buying about 600 phones in recent months at stores in southeast Ohio, said sheriff's Maj. John Winstanley. The men said they sold the phones to someone in Dearborn, a Detroit suburb.
...also found a map that showed locations of Wal-Mart stores from Ohio through Kentucky, Tennessee and into North and South Carolina, Vessels said.
So not only do we have a plot today of some nutters trying to take out a dozen or so airliners, we also have some nutters with 600 cell phones and whose purposes are questionable. Being the tinfoiled lunatic I am I can only imagine that the 600 cell phones are for setting off IED's in every Walmart on the East Coast.
The Jihadi's may have misunderstood Ned's Statement when he said to "Wake Up Walmart"All done!
Lex - I think the latter explanation in your post is more correct - they've got their own time schedule and agenda without regard to the timing on US politics.
I don't know if we know yet how imminent the threat was, but 8/11 might add to 9/11 as dates in infamy. Or, I suspect that a 5th Anniversary gift on 9/11 might have been planned. Maybe there is some regression of the moon thing that works and makes 8/11 the same as 9/11...sort of like Ramadan moves around...
Or even, as set out here, that 8/22 is a magic date:
In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time--Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.
Or the alternative explation: The fact that they just don't care what we think? That they plan to keep on killing us no matter who is in charge?
Much more at my place.
Reports indicate that the submarine Sailor charged with attempting to pass secrets apparently made "first contact" with the foreign power during a port visit to Bahrain in March 2005. I have much more on the story, including links to a couple of interviews with his Dad (who says many interesting things) over at my submarine blog.
James Forest, an Assistant Professor and Director of Terrorism Studies at the United States Military Academy, West Point, has an answer here: Spend it on the Coast Guard.
THE NAVY CONFIRMS that they are holding Petty OfficerAriel Weinmann, who was UA from the USS Albuquerque, on suspicion of passing secrets to Russia.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A sailor facing espionage and desertion charges has been held at a Norfolk, Virginia, brig since March, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday.
Ariel Weinmann, 21, is suspected of having worked on behalf of Russia, said military sources close to the case.
He was likely to have had access to technical manuals and other material on how submarine systems work, Navy sources said. It's not believed that anyone else in the Navy worked with him, they said.
Haven't we heard this story too many times before? You'd think with all the secrets they've stolen from us, the Russians would have a first-class submarine fleet by now...
Here is a hint as to the type of neighborhood where you find my armory.
It would have been nice if they had used a photo of the actual ship, or one without the ASDS on it, but the Jerusalem Post has a rumor they got from the Saudi media...
A US Navy sailor, Ariel J. Weinmann, is suspected of spying for Israel and has been held in prison for four months, according to an article published Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Watan. It reported that Weinmann is being held at a military base in Virginia on suspicion of espionage and desertion.
According to the navy, Weinmann was apprehended on March 26 "after it was learned that he had been listed as a deserter by his command." Though initial information released by the navy makes no mention of it, Al-Watan reported that he was returning from an undisclosed "foreign country." American sources close to the Defense Department told Al-Watan that Israel was the country in question.
You remember Ilario Pantano I hope. In an OK written bit, he offers - after some wandering off message here and there - a word of caution as all these investigations going on about service member accused misconduct in Iraq.
I’m not suggesting that our forces can do no wrong. I am merely asking that the same high standard of professionalism that we demand of our troops be applied to those who scrutinize their conduct.Always wise to let the jury decide....and point out media reaching and smearing when you see it.
......and yes Chap, I checked to see if you already posted here on this.... ;)All done!
Young Diego Santiago - the son of a Navy chief petty officer afflicted with cancer at age six - has come to a sad close with the young man's recent passing.
He left us as the youngest member of the CPO mess ever, having been "pinned" - with the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy's permission - just a few short months ago.
Pray for his family's healing, if it suits you.
Cori Dauber at Ranting Profs finally finds a mention of Brian Chontosh in the New York Times. Her take here.
The Coasties do more with less than anybody. Here's a nice pitch for them to get some modern tools to work with. The SBI is the Secure Borders Initiative.
With its increased responsibilities since 9/11, the Coast Guard is wearing out its equipment faster than ever. Deepwater, the Coast Guard modernization program funded by Congress before 9/11, envisioned retiring the service’s aging inventory of ships and planes over 30 years, gradually replacing them with an integrated set of assets including new vessels and sophisticated communications, computers, and sensors.Support the Coast Guard!
As the SBI makes progress on its five-year timeline of securing U.S. land borders, the sea border will certainly become an attractive route for smugglers. Congress’s 30-year timeline for Coast Guard modernization simply will not meet post-9/11 needs or support the SBI’s goals.
Speeding up Deepwater would make America safer by introducing more capable assets sooner. A faster modernization would also save as much as $3 billion. Buying units at a faster rate would reduce costs per unit, and more quickly retiring older equipment that is more expensive to operate and maintain would save money as well.
Jed Babbin asks: When do you think that letter will get printed?
There is so much mis-reporting about the successes of Iraq, even our generals sometimes get fed up sufficiently to write a letter to one of the offending papers. The Washington Post is one of the chief offenders, and has been for years. (If you have any doubts about it, see the ravings of WaPo Pentagon reporter Tom Ricks posted in yesterday's PowerLine.)
The latest offense by the Washington Post is another example of news manufacturing concocting stories in contravention of facts. Here's the letter Gen. Bill McCoy - who's in charge of construction projects in Iraq -- sent to the Washington Post on Sunday. They haven't printed it yet. Will they ever?
When I arrived here a year ago we planned to complete 3,200 reconstruction projects. Today we are focusing on the completion of 3,700 projects. We’ve started 3,500 of those projects and completed almost 2,800…and work is continuing! This is not a failure to meet our commitment to the Iraqi people as the article states. In some cases we are not executing the same projects — we have changed to meet new priorities of three government changes in Iraq since our arrival — but in all cases, rest assured, these projects will be completed. We discussed this at length with the reporter…and he was taking notes and recording our conversations.
We told the reporter that, while 141 health clinic construction projects were taken away from a U.S. contractor who failed to perform, they were re-awarded to Iraqi contractors who are already demonstrating progress, have improved quality and shown their great desire to work with the United States to help Iraq improve … and they are doing so phenomenally!
We did talk to the reporter about on electricity. Three-quarters of Iraq gets twice as much electricity today as they did before the war. Furthermore, we are working with the Minister of Electricity to improve the situation in Baghdad daily and have doubled the hours of power from four to eight in the capitol in the last six months in spite of the fact that demand is markedly increased with Iraqis’ new ability to buy personal electrical products.
What is truly amazing to me is that we took the reporter to the Nasiriyah prison project and, while it is true that we terminated the prime U.S. contractor for failure to perform, the Iraqi sub-contractor continues to work there (now directly for us) and his progress and quality have improved significantly ... and he saw that! We are not turning unfinished work over to the Iraqis as he stated in his article; we are fulfilling the U.S. commitment to the people of Iraq and using Iraqis to do it!
But this sounds different.
I wrote in a posting a year ago that the Korean government at least owes the United States military an honorable face saving redeployment of forces from the peninsula. My argument centers around that if the Korean government wanted USFK to reduce or redeploy forces from the peninsula it should be done in a face saving way in which it doesn't appear that the US is retreating from South Korea due to rabid anti-Americanism running out of control in the country. The US should be able to redeploy forces off the peninsula with honor; however the ruling South Korean government thinks otherwise:
Seoul also insists on the loaded term withdrawal as the official designation for the project. "Since the issue first came up, the U.S. has asked Korea not use the word 'withdrawal'," the government official said. "But Cheong Wa Dae at the urging of the National Security Council has insisted.
The above comment was made in reference to the negotiations currently going on between the US and Korean governments over the handover of war time operational control of the ROK military and the US force reductions on the peninsula. The current Korean government is openly anti-American and seems determined to make the reduction of USFK an embarrassing "withdrawal" for the United States with public comments from the government and the Korean President Roh Moo-hyun about the US using failed policy with North Korea, encouragement of anti-Americanism in Korea, delay of the Camp Humphreys camp consolidation plan with violent anti-US protests, giving government subsidies to these violent anti-US groups, the fraudulent environmental issue, distribution of pro-North Korea propaganda in Seoul, and the denying of a bombing range for the US Air Force for a few quick recent examples off the top of my head.
All of this is maybe reaching a point where the US government may have had enough:
The U.S. is playing tit-for-tat by offering to hand over wartime operational control of troops to Korea at what experts say is the unfeasibly early date of 2009-2010, a high-ranking official speculated Monday. Seoul aims at the withdrawal of wartime control of Korean troops, as it is officially termed, in six years time. "Perhaps this is a counterattack motivated by anger because [U.S. authorities] feel Korea is seeking the 2012 withdrawal for political reasons," the official said.
A Korean source quoted a U.S. official as saying in recent bilateral discussions that Korea will not realistically be ready to exercise independent control of its forces even by 2012, but since that deadline appeared to be politically motivated, there was no reason for Washington to cling to military logic either.
The above statement comes on the heels of the uni-lateral handover of vacated USFK camps plus an announcement today of further USFK troop reductions below the 25,000 number agreed upon with the South Korean government:
The United States will lower troop levels in South Korea beyond a previously agreed reduction to 25,000, but the cut will not be "substantial," a senior defense official said on Monday. "As the adjustments (in capabilities) take place, there will be a reduction in the number of U.S. forces located in the Republic of Korea beyond the level of 25,000 that we've currently agreed to," the official said.
What the current South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun is trying to do is score domestic points with his political base in South Korea for standing up to the US on what are basically hypocritical and demagogued issues, while at the same time avoiding the fall out of a USFK pull out during his presidency. The Korean president is limited to one 5 year term and next year President Roh's term ends and with approval ratings in the 20 percentile he will probably leave office as the greatest lame duck president in Korean history. His unpopularity will probably open the door for a South Korean conservative to regain the presidency.
However, if President Roh can keep the operational control handover date at 2012, that would mean the possible conservative president in power at the time will be blamed for when the country's economy bottoms out from the USFK pull out. A pull out does not happen over night. It will probably be a 2 year process which if the operational control happens in 2012 that means 2010 the first US forces will start to leave the country, right in the middle of the presidency of the next Korean president. This would open the door for another Korean liberal to take power in the 2012 election if that president is held responsible for the country's economic woes. However, if the hand over happens in 2009 that means the first forces will start pulling out next year, during President Roh's term in office. Any bottoming out of the Korean economy will fall squarely on his shoulders and will forever be his legacy as he leaves office.
The old guard of Korea's security understands very well the game that President Roh is playing and have now begun mobilizing to stop the hand over of operational control from the US to Korea:
A group of senior military experts including 13 former defense ministers have urged Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung to stop seeking the return of wartime operational control from the U.S. The meeting came at Yoon's invitation on Wednesday.
It is rare for the contents of such a meeting to be made public, especially when it focuses on a call to end a core government project.
The group included Lee Sang-hoon and other former defense ministers as well as retired Gen. Paik Sun-yup and former vice defense minister Lee Jung-rin. They said now is not the time to reclaim wartime operational control of troops but rather the moment to strengthen the Korea-U.S. alliance.
These old defense ministers fought and lived through the Korean War plus helped build the country into the economic miracle that is today, knowing full well it would not have been possible without the assistance of the United States. So now they see one Korean presidency undoing the 50 years of work they have done to keep the US-Korea alliance strong and beneficial to the economy and most importantly the security of South Korea. In fact this is the advice that these ministers have given to USFK officials:
I've sought a meeting with Gen. [Bell], the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea. If I meet him, I'll suggest that he ignores what the South Korean government says.
These statements have even led some to speculate that South Korea may be headed for a military coup if the current Roh policies remain in effect. Military coups have happened before in South Korea so it wouldn't be stretch to say it couldn't happen again. For the sake of South Korean democracy let's hope this doesn't occur and that these issues can be worked out before something drastic such as a military coup happens.
Obviously it is interesting times in South Korea and the coming months are really going to shape the future of Korea for decades to come. The South Korean media has now circled the wagons and have become extremely critical of the Korean president with articles such this, this, this, and this. All these competing dynamics in South Korea means that for USFK, leaving the country with honor is easier said than done.
However, shouldn't liberation from the Japanese after World War II, 36,000 lives lost during the Korean War, and over 50 years of stability and economic development on the Korean peninsula provided by the United States be at least worth an honorable redeployment of US forces from the Korean peninsula? Is that asking too much?All done!
A bitter-sweet article in the NYT about some Marines of Arab extraction and the problems they have with their family, friends, and community when they come back. No yellow ribbons, no welcome home parties, no Blue Stars in windows. Makes you proud of these Marines, and thankful that you have a better support system at home (imagine your wife protesting against what you are trying to do, because THEY not YOU are “her people”). BTW, I like Ace. I know a few Aces. All sorts of colors and extractions, but they are the same to me.
OK, Maybe they're just lost...
FBI Warns Law Enforcement to Look Out for 11 Missing Egyptian Exchange Students
The FBI alerted state and local authorities Monday to be on the lookout for 11 Egyptian exchange students who arrived in the U.S. last month but never showed up for class.
The men, who range in age from 18 to 22, were scheduled to attend a month-long program in U.S. history and culture, plus English language instruction, at Montana State University along with six other students. The group flew from Cairo and arrived in the U.S. on July 29. All entered the U.S. legally, but officials said the no-shows violated the terms of their visas and that the government would likely send them home once they turn up.
FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko emphasized that there was no indication that the men were involved in any illicit activity.
From Fox News... HERE
Brian Fountaine has “smoke in his blood,” a condition that was passed on to him by his father and grandfather, two Boston firefighters who spent their lives in service to our city.
Fountaine, 24, has every intention of becoming the third generation in that heroic bloodline, a goal he set as a determined little boy, one of the many kids in Dorchester who played in his daddy’s BFD bunker gear.
But Fountaine may become the first Boston firefighter to work with prosthetic feet. The Army sergeant lost his lower legs in a bomb blast in Iraq on June 8.
Heh - a reminder that the Cuban regime is following a very worn playbook.
[this entire post pre-empted by Chap's post]
(semi-substance over at my place)
Tom Ricks regrets saying what he said.
HH: Great to have you here. I want to spend the vast bulk of our time on Fiasco and Iraq, but first, yesterday, you were on with Howard Kurtz' Reliable Sources, CNN, and in response to a question, you said that some military analyst had told you that Israel had, "purposefully left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon." That was reported on Powerline, Rush Limbaugh read it on the air today, quite a controversy. Anything to add to it, Thomas Ricks?
TR- Yeah, I wish I'd kept my mouth shut. What I said was accurate, that in an off-the-record conversation with some military analysts, a couple had said to me that they thought it was a smart strategy to leave some rocket pockets in place to help the Israelis shape public perceptions, and give their forces more freedom of maneuver in Lebanon. They weren't saying it was a bad strategy. They thought it was pretty intelligent, if it were the case. But I've since heard today from some very smart, well-informed people, that while such a strategy might be logical, and even morally defensible, that they thought the Israeli public just wouldn't stand for it, and they also expressed personal dismay to me that I had passed on the thought, which they thought was irresponsible.
HH: Do you want to name any of the analysts?
TR: No, it was an off-the-record conversation, and I want to honor that confidence.
HH: Okay, last question. Do you think they were leading you on at that point, or just telling you what they honestly meant?
TR: No, I think...I know from the context of the conversation, it was about many different things. That came up as a part of the conversation. These are very good, smart, retired U.S. military officers.
Cindy Sheehan now owns five acres of land near the Presidential Ranch. Five acres that just can't compete with the lure of a ditch.
Cindy Sheehan and about 10 others protested the war with Iraq in a ditch across from a roadblock near President Bush's ranch Monday - not on their own 5-acre shaded lot closer to town.
Sheehan said she bought the $52,500 lot, more than seven miles from the ranch, last month as the main site for weekend rallies and other activities during August, as well as other protests when Bush is in town.
But Sheehan said she plans to be at the checkpoint a few hours a day in case the president drives by.
FOXNews is reporting that North Korea is claiming that an "ultra-small unmanned submersible vessel was captured during a reconnaissance mission in waters off North Korea's eastern city of Hamhung" sometime last year. I found what I'm pretty sure is a picture of what they're claiming is the "spy vessel", and it looks a lot like a non-American exercise torpedo. More over at my submarine blog.
Peggy Noonan says its time for some "free-market love bombing". (Perhaps the first, and only time, we'll ever hear that term in a context that both makes sense and is feasible.)
How about this: Treat it as an opportunity. Use the change of facts to announce a change of course. Declare the old way over. Declare a new U.S.-Cuban relationship, blow open the doors of commerce and human interaction, allow American investment and tourism, mix it up, reach out one by one and person by person to the people of Cuba. "Flood the zone." Flood it with incipient prosperity and the insinuation of democratic values. Let Castroism drown in it. .................... With Castro gone, why not seize the moment for some wise, judicious, free-market love-bombing?
As in: Allow Americans to go to Cuba. Allow U.S. private money into Cuba. Let hotels, homes, restaurants, stores be developed, bought, opened, reopened. Use Fidel's death to reintroduce Cubans on the ground to Americans, American ways, American money and American freedom. Remind them of what they wanted, what they thought they were getting when the bearded one came down from the Sierra Maestre. Use his death/illness/collapse/disappearing act as an excuse to turn the past 40 years of policy on its head. Declare him over. Create new ties. Ignore the dictator, make partnerships with the people.
Jon Lee Anderon's "Letter From Cuba" is a good look at the current state of and potential aftermath of Fidel's rule. What kind of post-Communist rule could we be looking at here? A Chinese style capitalism with few limits and no political freedoms, a Balkans-esque mess of drug lords and streets gang or something more enduring and peaceful like Eastern Europe or Mongolia?
A CUBAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL announces that a "peaceful succession" has been set in motion in that country.
"They (the U.S. government) had not expected that a peaceful succession was possible. A peaceful succession has taken place in Cuba," Fernandez Retamar said at a news conference.
Is Fidel alive or dead? Where is Raul? Who's in charge down there?
What's going on???
It's not just photos, Hawk. Follow the link for an instance where Reuters hijacks the Lebanese response to the UN proposal..by quoting as an authority one of the terrorists who killed Petty Officer Stethem.
Expect a lot of purple scrutiny in the wake of the Reuters story. Here's a good starting point.
Some claims will be stronger than others, but this doesn't diminish the significance of the obvious examples.
I'm seeing the terms "reutered photo" and "reutering a photo" used widely - wonder if that will stick.
According to this blog, Ricks says the Israelis are having their own people killed on purpose.
THOMAS RICKS, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it will be. But I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.
KURTZ: Hold on, you're suggesting that Israel has deliberately allowed Hezbollah to retain some of it's fire power, essentially for PR purposes, because having Israeli civilians killed helps them in the public relations war here?
RICKS: Yes, that's what military analysts have told me.
Chap referenced the Reuters photoshop incident below - it's well covered throughout the blogosphere, but for the record, here's the link to the original.
This is an obvious Photoshop (or to be fair, Paintshop Pro) effort - there's nothing subtle about it. Not sure how Reuters allowed it to happen.
Chap's link is a must-read too.
BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Lebanon's prime minister said Monday an Israeli airstrike on the southern village of Houla left 40 people dead.Ooops:
"An hour ago, there was a horrific massacre in the village of Houla in which more than 40 martyrs were victims of deliberate bombing," Fouad Siniora told Arab foreign ministers in Beirut.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Siniora now says one dead in Houla, not 40 as he said earlier.
One of my best friends had a nice little happening on Sunday... here's a hint as to what it was:
Maj. Gen Robert H. Scales in the latestArmed Forces Journal
One thing is certain, however: We are in for decades of psycho-social warfare. We must begin now to harness the potential of the social sciences in a manner not dissimilar to the Manhattan Project or the Apollo Project. Perhaps we will need to assemble an A team and build social science institutions similar to Los Alamos or the Kennedy Space Center. Such a transformational change is beyond the resources of a single service, particularly the ground services.
Thus a human and biological revolution will have to be managed and driven by the highest authorities in the nation. I sincerely hope they are listening
Makes for intriguing reading, especially the introduction of historian Alan Beyerchen's "amplifier" principle:
Beyerchen has developed a taxonomy of war in the modern era in terms of four world wars. Each war was shaped by what he calls "amplifying factors." Amplifiers are not "multipliers" or "enablers" in that their influence on the course of war is nonlinear rather than linear; amplifiers don't simply accelerate the trends of the past, they make war different.
For example, World War I was a chemists' war in that the decisive strategic advantage on the battlefield was driven in large measure by new applications of chemistry and chemical engineering. The war should have ended for the Germans in 1915 when their supplies of gunpowder nitrates exhausted. But the synthesis of nitrates by German scientists allowed the war to continue for another three horrific years. World War II was a physicists' war. To paraphrase Churchill, the atom bomb ended the conflict, but exploitation of the electromagnetic spectrum in the form of the wireless and radar won it for the allies. "World War III" was the "information researchers'" war, a war in which intelligence and knowledge of the enemy and the ability to fully exploit that knowledge allowed the U.S. to defeat the Soviet Union with relatively small loss of life.
If you have not seen his American Spartan speech, you are missing something unique and hard hitting. If we could all speak to our Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors like this man - well, just watch it and you will know what I mean.
In what's got to be a disappointing piece of news for Hezbollah and their Iranian missile suppliers, the Eliat-class frigate INS Hanit, hit by a C-802 missile off the coast of Lebanon last month, is back out to sea. While the article says the ship "reassumed its combat role in Lebanon", I think it's more likely that it's out on post-repair sea trials. Still, it shows the Israeli naval establishment was able to do a good job repairing combat damage, so that's another upcheck for them from this story.
Some clumsy work this weekend by Reuters revealed to others how easy it is to manipulate information flow in the press. Here, the Jerusalem Post editorializes on the nature of the information fight.
If you know "Green Helmet Guy" or "cloned smoke" you see what's obvious and on the surface; imagine what else is going on.
BAGHDAD – Based on imagery, an estimated 14,000 Iraqi citizens gathered in Baghdad’s Sadr City today in a peaceful demonstration to show support for Lebanon.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Tens of thousands of Shiites draped in white shrouds gathered in Iraq's capital Friday for a pro-Hezbollah rally
Sadr City has a population of 2 Million, 20 thousand would be one percent.
As reported by ITM
that's only after Sadr summoned demonstrators from the southern provinces and sent busses to fetch them
IMHO We've been seeing an Iranian "Show of Force" from Baghdad to Lebanon in the last month. They've rained rockets on Israel, and the so called "Muslim Street" has risen up. The world isn't "shaking in it's boots", what are they going to do now?
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Sunday that Iran will expand uranium enrichmentAll done!
Now this is a graduation speech worth earning. Blackfive's got the video of an infantry light colonel who, throughout a well analyzed and executed, heartfelt, and unpolished speech, puts a lot of philosophy into twelve minutes a lot of guys will remember for a long time.
The wars of the last 100 years or more have been for the most part a battle between rigid highly regulated societies(most commonly referred to as "Communists" and flexible, lightly regulated societies (most commonly referred to as Capitalists).
Historically, rigid societies can't live in peace beside flexible societies without hard physical seperation, such as the worlds largest mine field between North and South Korea, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, or in the case of Cuba, surrounded by water.
Various commentators will blather endlessly about how elections in Lebanon and the Palestinians territories have been an abject failure. Iraq is a disaster...etc...etc..
The elections in Lebanon, Iraq and the Palestinian territories are the starting point of building a flexible, lightly regulated societies.
The current phase of fighting in Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza is about removing the means of those who favor rigid society from imposing a rigid society.
In the Middle East, Egypt and Jordan are relatively flexible unregulated societies, they are at peace with Israel. Syria, Southern Lebanon and the Palstinian Territories are rigid, highly regulated societies, they are at war with the Israel.
If we look at the main trouble makers in Iraq, they are all groups that favor a rigid, highly regulated society.
Kim Il Jung, Hugo Chavez, Moqtada AlSadr, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Fidel Castro don't share the same religion, they do however share the same belief that a rigid society is best.
Iran admits providing long-range missiles to Hezbollah.
Thomas Ricks, Washington Post senior Pentagon correspondent and author of the new book FIASCO: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, was interviewed by Bill Maher. Video here.
Currently, FIASCO is #1 on Amazon.com.
A common criticism of the War on Terror (and of Israel's fight against same) is that you can't defeat a tactic. It's certainly a seductive argument. On its surface, it makes sense.
But is it true? Why can't you defeat a tactic?
Are not tactics merely particular methods of achieving goals? Can't any tactic be "defeated" once you neutralize its effectiveness? Is not history (and military history in particular) replete with examples of particular tactics being resoundingly neutralized and hence, no longer utilized?
For example: The phalanx, the horse led cavalry charge, the line of fortification, the kamikaze pilot, etc etc. Haven't each and every one of these particular tactics been suffered, adjusted to, and defeated? Accordingly, what makes the tactic of terrorism all that different?
You could say that terrorism is different because it's a less direct form of warfare and hence, more difficult to target and eventually neutralize. But that's a difference of degree rather than kind. That terrorism (i.e. warfare designed to instill terror in a populace generally by targeting that populace) has proven difficult to neutralize doesn't mean that the tactic cannot be defeated, it just means you haven't done so yet. Same argument can be made for any generally novel form of warfare (as urban terrorism in the open modern world certainly is).
But suppose terrorism is different because there are so many ways in which it can be accomplished. A terrorist is limited only by his imagination. Whereas you can only flank a target in so many ways. Fair enough, but even then, it's still a difference of degree rather than kind. The particular method of terrorism will be limited to what's effective. Can you instill terror by yelling at people on the sidewalk? Yes. But it's probably more effective to use an IED. Odds are the terrorist will go with what works. In that case, your goal is to neutralize that particular tactic of IEDs, which in turn, neutralizes (read: defeats) terrorism.
As with any method of warfare, it ebbs and flows. You defeat the kamikaze, you get the suicide bomber, you defeat him, you get the IED. All are tactics, and all can be defeated.
If you still doesn't think that terrorism can be defeated, at the least terrorism of a particular stripe surely can be. Terrorism towards a particular end (here: Islamic terrorism) tends to have a handful of specific goals in mind: (1) global caliphate; (2) destruction of Israel; (3) imposition of Islamic law on secular states; etc.
Consistently capitulating in the face of said terrorism makes it effective. Stop capitulating and you neutralize its effectiveness as a political tactic. Combined with the neutralization of the particular military expression of terrorism (ex: IEDs) defeats the tactic in toto. By making its employment so expensive both politically and militarily as to shift the cost benefit analysis in your favor, people will stop engaging in terrorism, be it Islamic or otherwise.
So can terrorism as a tactic be defeated? I say yes. Thoughts?All done!
Please forgive in avdance one more foray into media criticism...
Today I see a post from Iraq The Model, courtesy of The Corner, who speaks angrily about the distortions of the Arab media, but I think his criticism applies just as forcefully to Western MSM as a whole.
Whether one believes that the MSM is a willful, consenting partner in enemy propaganda efforts, is in some ways a different argument entirely than whether in fact media reporting serves propaganda purposes.
Here’s how Mohammed introduces his essay:
Although we have greater issues to be concerned about here in Baghdad I feel I must talk about the Arab media and its deception campaign and that's because wars in both Lebanon and Iraq are largely the same.Actually, Mohammed, we’re getting pretty much what you’re getting from Arab media.
In both cases the media functions not only as a means to deliver news but had long turned into an effective weapon that is not the least interested in objectivity or factuality. The Arab media shamelessly sided with terrorism (or resistance from their perspective) and this propaganda machine funded by the evil powers in our region continues poisoning the minds of their Arab audience to feed the totally needless hatred towards the world.
I'm frankly tired of all this, tired of showing defeats as victories and tired of all the lies about power, heroism and legends…lie, lie, lie and then lie again and add some flavor to the report with some poetry or irrelevant words of wisdom and turn that report into a commemoration of a fading era of countless defeats.
I wish the world could see what we are watching here and know the truth about this war, if what you outside the middle east are watching is news, know that here we are getting lies, deception, propaganda and slogans in the outfit of news and analysis, all for the purpose of keeping the region and especially Arabs in the seemingly forever lasting dream that is directed to keep them on the same side with terrorists and , sooner rather than later, collapsing regimes.
Mohammed derides the ugly scenes of Hezbollah press minders (Green Helmet Guy et al), parading around the corpses of children, as “an attempt to sell the dead childhood to serve an evil cause.”
He compares to the over-exploited and perhaps manipulated Qana (interestingly the scene of similar media manipulation in 1996), to terror attacks in Baghdad in 2004 and 2005, “in 2004 in Hay al-Amil and 2005 in New Baghdad.” He asks, why not UN Security Council emergency sessions then, why no shedding of tears in the media, why “no demonstrations in the so called Arab street?”
I tell why, it's because the murderer was Arab and Muslim and holding him responsible would've blown away the ideology of "resistance"…and to me the criminal in Qana is the same and I wish the people here open their eyes and identify the real criminal, it is Nesrallah and Saddam and al-Qaeda who used and keep using civilians as human shields.Mohammed is even more direct in offering a solution for the Arab world:
We need another ' June 67' more than anytime in the past because like that defeat put an end for the days when pan-Arabism was in the top we are now in need for another defeat that wakes the region up and open its eyes to see the danger of terrorism and extremism and remove it from the top and put it where it belongs to.Opponents of our efforts in Iraq chant, “US Home Now,” and claim that the Iraqi people resist our “occupation.” Many Europeans, even majorities, share that view. Critics of the war, as always, point to the negative public opinion, of sentiment in Europe, as evidence that we need to come back into agreement with our one-time partners for peace.
Again I hope to see no half-solutions because we have had enough. I do not want to see the terrorists and their allies open their mouth when the war ends to brag about how "courageous and devoted" they were in defending the faith and the nation.
Meanwhile, let Europe argue for another decade to agree on a definition for terror…I thank God it isn't Europe handling this war, the cowardice and reluctance of Europe disgusts me as much as the Arab media does.
Iraq The Model suggests a very different point of view: Thank God America and President Bush are handling this war. Thank God the Iraqis are not dependent on the cowardice and reluctance of Europe.
In the end, Mohammed’s view is highly subjective. His view, after all, is a lonely data point in a sea of the white space of who knows what the Truth is.
I can accept that too, if the MSM could make just a tiny amount of room for the data points of ITM, and others like them.All done!
Cicero at Winds of Change passes along a link from Andrew Sullivan to a speech by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Like Sullivan, Cicero is quite taken by Blair, at least as reflected by his rhetoric:
We only win people to [our] positions if our policy is not just about interests but about values, not just about what is necessary but about what is right.Cicero wishes Blair were his President. Here’s how Sullivan responds:
Which brings me to my final reflection about US policy. My advice is: always be in the lead, always at the forefront, always engaged in building alliances, in reaching out, in showing that whereas unilateral action can never be ruled out, it is not the preference.
Blair is calling for a "complete renaissance" of our war on Islamist terror. He fuses the best insights of the right and left in a strategy that makes sense for the West as a whole. We must be unrelenting in hunting down the enemy - but we must never abandon our ideals and values in the process. We must aggressively move toward a low-carbon economy. We must redouble our efforts for an Israel-Palestine settlement, however daunting the prospects. We have to be confident in our own way of life, and refuse to engage in the masochism of the far left. This may be the Fulton, Missouri, speech of our day. I sure hope it is. All we need now is a Truman.Quite remarkable, considering that the only evidence against a conclusion that the US has already “fused the best insights of the right and left,” is the incessant carping from a hostile (and left leaning) media establishment and Opposition Party. I suppose, since everyone says the US is unilateral, dismissive of human rights, and imperial minded, why, we must be. Gosh, the world just can’t stand our President, or for that matter that rude and mouthy UN Ambassador Bolton.
What is our Foreign Policy but an assertive combination of the best qualities of the historic high water marks of the left and right sides of our politics?
Our foreign policy fights tyranny, terrorism, and the deprivations of autocracy, and we are the leading financier of altruistic efforts all over the world. We save Muslims, we treat our enemies as we would wish to be treated, we absorb all manner of mistreatment, abuse, and criticism, and only in the mildest terms offer objection or attempt to suggest that our adversaries consider a more peaceful way.
We carry the values of diversity and civil rights and the principles of our founding into every aspect of international affairs. We hold ourselves to the higher standard, and Americans are the first to call foul when Americans stray into wrong. American military misdeeds are first reported to military authorities by military men and women, because they live our values. They then suffer in silence the indignities then foisted upon us by both domestic and international, hate-filled media.
We rarely fight our enemies militarily, and only when provoked by 9/11 or the perceived threat posed by the emergence of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of rogue nations. We even refrain from entirely warranted military responses, when such might endanger our allies or risk grave collateral damage. Kim Jong-Il still breathes free.
I love the man to death for his courageous stand with President Bush on Iraq, but Blair is either naive or playing to a hostile press.
(More commentary over at Dadmanly.)
SSgt Chris Short is asking for your help to assist a fellow Airman and his family in their time of need.
I have a young Airman that has a tremendous family emergency on his hands. I can't give out all the details but essentially his wife and two-day-old son are in critical condition.
I'm trying to get three of the Airman's family members and his immediate family some assistance with airline tickets (already bought) and hotel rooms (already paid for). I'm calling in every favor I can to help this family out in their darkest days and now my call is going out to you.
I still find these things interesting... ok, annoying as hell...
On a news story on this evening's CBS national news broadcast, they did a story on Kimberly Dozier's release from the hospital today.
After noting that her cameraman and soundman Paul Douglas and James Brolan had been killed in the explosion that wounded Dozier, here is what the story ended with in text on the screen and also read by Bob Schieffer:
“Not a day goes by without thinking of Paul and James -- two of the most remarkable characters I’ve ever known.
Here's what this part of Kimberly Dozier's written statement said
“Not a day goes by without thinking of Paul and James -- two of the most remarkable characters I’ve ever known. My heart goes out to their families, and I know no words to stop their grief. The last I saw Paul and James, they were rushing from their Humvee to ‘get the shot’ of a young U.S. Army Captain, James Funkhouser, Jr., greeting Iraqi locals at a streetside tea stand. The bomb hit all three of them, together with an Iraqi liaison officer, and took all four lives," Dozier said in a statement Thursday.
"I choose to remember them from the instant before the blast – each one of them consummate pros doing a job they loved to support the families back home they loved even more," she added.
and no mention of these passages from her statement....
“Folks, I’m leaving hospitals behind, ahead of the deadline, or at least ahead of schedule. I’ve had a couple setbacks, and I still face a couple minor surgeries, but overall, the prognosis is far better than the docs had hoped just after I’d reached Germany. The teams at Balad, Landstuhl, and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. worked overtime – something like a dozen surgeries at least, including one that lasted 11 hours,"
nor this part of her statement
"I’ve learned slowly how close I came to joining my friends, cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan, both killed by the blast. I owe my life to the quick actions of the 4th Infantry Division’s Sgt. Daniel Mootoosammy -- who took charge of the scene, with his commander down and many of his men injured – and medic Spc. Izzy Flores Jr., who patched me up. Even with a car bomb cooking off, sending shrapnel through the air just a couple dozen feet from us, Spc. Flores just kept calmly speaking to me and working on my legs -- no wavering, no pause. >
and while I might have missed it, I don't recall a mention of this either...
Douglas, 48, and Brolan, 42, died at the scene of the explosion, which also wounded six U.S. soldiers. The soldier killed has been identified as Army Capt. James Funkhouser, 35, who had been in Iraq only a few months, and leaves behind a wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, Caitlyn and Allison.
The whole story HERE...
James Fallows thinks so in a cover story for the September Atlantic:
The United States is succeeding in its struggle against terrorism. The time has come to declare the war on terror over, so that an even more effective military and diplomatic campaign can begin.
The good news:
But the overall prospect looks better than many Americans believe, and better than nearly all political rhetoric asserts. The essence of the change is this: because of al-Qaeda’s own mistakes, and because of the things the United States and its allies have done right, al-Qaeda’s ability to inflict direct damage in America or on Americans has been sharply reduced. Its successor groups in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere will continue to pose dangers. But its hopes for fundamentally harming the United States now rest less on what it can do itself than on what it can trick, tempt, or goad us into doing. Its destiny is no longer in its own hands.
the threat that remains:
“It is not the people al-Qaeda might kill that is the threat,” he concluded. "Our reaction is what can cause the damage. It’s al-Qaeda plus our response that creates the existential danger.”
Our New Mission:
The United States can declare victory by saying that what is controllable has been controlled: Al-Qaeda Central has been broken up. Then the country can move to its real work. It will happen on three levels: domestic protection, worldwide harassment and pursuit of al-Qaeda, and an all-fronts diplomatic campaign.
Domestically, a sustainable post-victory policy would mean shifting from the early, panicky “Code Orange” days, in which everything was threatened and any investment in “security” was justified, to a more practical and triage-minded approach. Four analysts—Mueller, of Ohio State; Lustick, of the University of Pennsylvania; plus Veronique de Rugy, of the American Enterprise Institute; and Benjamin Friedman, of MIT—have written extensively about the mindlessness and perverse effects of much homeland-security spending. In most cases, they argue, money dabbed out for a security fence here and a screening machine there would be far better spent on robust emergency-response systems. No matter how much they spend, state and federal authorities cannot possibly protect every place from every threat. But they could come close to ensuring that if things were to go wrong, relief and repair would be there fast.
Internationally, the effort to pin down bin Laden—to listen to his conversations, keep him off balance, and prevent him from re-forming an organization—has been successful. It must continue. And the international cooperation on which it depends will be easier in the absence of wartime language and friction. The effort to contain the one true existential threat to the United States—that of “loose nukes"—will also be eased by smoother relations with other countries.
An intriguing article that is unfortunately available only to subscribers.
Without a doubt, an announcement by Pres. Bush along these lines would likely bring out the worst in partisanship as conspiracy theories and people with all kinds of debased human motives would come out of the woodwork. But the enormous amount of resources and time spent already, the human sacrifice, has resulted in a victory that we need to acknowledge.
Regardless of certain political groups and leaders, the "emergency" would be over. Let there be a slight pause between the War on Terror and the "Long Struggle/War" for clear thought, real reform and calm discourse after the announcement. We can't win a "Long Struggle/War" on short-term emergency thinking. We need to step back and see where we're going. In particular, too much of the world is freeloading off our sacrifice and hard work, and we need to recalibrate our strategy and efforts in the long run to reverse this untenable situation. A nation may not have "friends", but it certainly has and needs allies.All done!
I read an Op Ed in the New York Times today that warranted closer scrutiny, beyond the particulars of its argument. If this piece reflects the level of mastery of logic possessed by a typical Political Science Professor, than God help those students of the political arts.
The basis for my prayer is Ground to a Halt, written by Robert Pape of the University of Chicago. Here’s how he launches his argument:
ISRAEL has finally conceded that air power alone will not defeat Hezbollah. Over the coming weeks, it will learn that ground power won’t work either. The problem is not that the Israelis have insufficient military might, but that they misunderstand the nature of the enemy.Hezbollah. Not a terrorist gang, not a radical Islamic militia, not a tool of the Iranians and Syria. Hezbollah, more a state of mind or movement, just like the US Civil Rights Movement. Rights for terrorists and other dreamers of the 7th Century Caliphate. That’s more reprehensible a comparison than oft-criticized Hitler and Nazi allusions (made by those all over the blogosphere).
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, Hezbollah is principally neither a political party nor an Islamist militia. It is a broad movement that evolved in reaction to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in June 1982. At first it consisted of a small number of Shiites supported by Iran. But as more and more Lebanese came to resent Israel’s occupation, Hezbollah — never tight-knit — expanded into an umbrella organization that tacitly coordinated the resistance operations of a loose collection of groups with a variety of religious and secular aims.
In terms of structure and hierarchy, it is less comparable to, say, a religious cult like the Taliban than to the multidimensional American civil-rights movement of the 1960’s. What made its rise so rapid, and will make it impossible to defeat militarily, was not its international support but the fact that it evolved from a reorientation of pre-existing Lebanese social groups.
I think it folly for casual observers such as Pape to assume that Israel somehow “conceded” anything, or that the chain of events from initial Israeli response to Hezbollah aggression to the current ground offensive weren’t part of a long range plan. Wretchard of The Belmont Club makes the point better than I in posts here and here.
That’s the same false assumption that lies behind a lot of uninformed reporting about Iraq, where the US military and Iraqi Security Forces continue to work through a long and involved process that may have bumps and unexpected developments, but pretty much going as one might expect, and the smart folks at the Pentagon clearly understood and anticipated. Not that that convinces the chatterers.
Israel may as well surrender, this line of thinking goes, because the enemy they face is against ideas and states of mind, a “multidimensional movement” rather than an armed militia. (A movement, by the way, that sustains its existence by force of arms, violence and physical intimidation.)
I say baloney. Hit them hard, attack their terrorist-making and violence making capabilities. Deny them safe havens anywhere. Block their retreat and supply lines. Make it very difficult for their allies. Kill them. Once they are destroyed by overwhelming force, let’s see how much staying power the “Hezbollah state of mind” retains. I have a hunch that the other long-suppressed political factions in Lebanon may have a different point of view when the Israeli’s finish the job and pull back to wherever they choose to pull back to.
Looks like we'll be getting involved in Lebanon, again.
WASHINGTON - The United States plans to help train and equip the Lebanese army so it can take control of all of its territory when the warfare between Israel and Hezbollah eases, the State Department said Thursday.
Fortunately, this proposal doesn't appear to include American "boots on the ground" in Lebanon. Because I don't expect the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah to "ease" anytime soon.
If Hezbollah gets any angrier, Lord knows what they’ll try next.
“And if you continue your insane aggression against us, we shall throw our mighty rockets even further, and cause them to land upon the Egyptians and Jordanians!”Meanwhile, the ever predictable Palestinians cheered on their own destruction, and threw a party in response to the errant Hezbollah targeting.
(Cross-posted at Dadmanly)
Being that August 3rd is an important day in Navy history (from 48 years ago), I was doing some research on Presidential Unit Citations, and found that there are two instances of PUC awardees being authorized to wear a specific distinguishing device (other than repeat pips) on their PUC ribbon. Any guesses what they are? (Answers in the comments, please; although I hesitate to leave comments open until the spammenter receives the punishment John Noonan mentioned earlier, I'll keep them open for a couple days.)
More than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers backed up by 700 tanks invaded the Gulf state of Kuwait in the early hours of this morning.
Iraqi forces have established a provisional government and their leader Saddam Hussein has threatened to turn Kuwait city into a "graveyard" if any other country dares to challenge the "take-over by force".
Iraqi jets have bombed targets in the capital and special forces have landed at the defence ministry and at the Emir's palace. Road blocks are in place and there are reports of looting in the city's shops.
Initial reports suggest up to 200 people have been killed in heavy gunfire around the city.
It is reported that the younger brother of Emir Sheikh Jaber al-Sabah has been killed whilst trying to defend the palace, while the Emir himself has escaped to Saudi Arabia.
All communication has been cut with Kuwait and many people, including thousands of foreign nationals, are trapped in the city.
But France, considered a possible leader of a peacekeeping force, wants fighting to stop immediately, to create the political framework, and then to send the troops. France has refused to take part in a meeting of nations willing to contribute troops. That refusal has now led the U.N. to postpone the meeting twice.
Pretty soon they'll just start giving up territory because Germany "was lookin' at 'em funny."
Talk about learning the lessons of the last war in the next. David Ignatius, writing at Real Clear Politics, looks back at the Yom Kippur War of 1973 in search of understanding modern Islamic terrorism and Middle East violence.
Ignatious thinks he finds lessons applicable to today’s situation, and says that to find a unique opportunity for a negotiated peace, Israel (and their US sponsors) must “alter its view” of the Palestinians and the Lebanese. I’m not sure he means us to think of Hezbollah as “Lebanese,” and mentions not at all how we’re to view Iran or Syria.
For Ignatius, it’s all about perceptions and understanding. Israel and Egypt and Syria forged lasting peace, because Egypt enjoyed a very short tactical advantage due to a surprise sneak attack, which gave them dignity, in contrast to earlier ignoble defeats. Israel was ready to “bargain” because they learned that their Arab enemies “wouldn't run from battle.”
Looking at today’s war, Ignatius thinks the same kind of “opportunity” awaits. Israel “will have to revise their doctrine that their adversaries can be coerced solely by military force.” Arabs can now make peace as “plausible negotiating partners,” due to their “resistance on the battlefield.”
Pity Ignatius’ perceptions lead him to such grand misunderstanding. His comparisons ignore the real consequences of 1973 (and any and all previous negotiations and peace-making efforts). He assimilates Hezbollah propaganda, exaggerates their performance, fully ignores their terrorist methods, and virtually exalts their depraved Secretary General Nasrallah.
Ret. Brig Gen Kevin Ryan makes a compelling case for a modest but controversial expansion of what most of us in the military already realize is a gold mine of valuable potential, skills and leadership: the active recrutiment of immigrants into national service.
Heavy rolls all the way around.
In the spirit of our treasured system of justice, let's don't jump to any conclusions, though.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some people are still convinced that Jesse MacBeth was the real deal.
PS- if we could please find the person who is spamming Milblogs, and have him put to death, that sure would be appreciated.
From day one, I always thought they were the same. Over at OpinionJournal.com, Frank Gaffney is thinking the same thing.
For the United States, the current phase of this War for the Free World began on Sept. 11, 2001. For others, like Israel it has been going on for decades and represents an unmistakably existential threat. We cannot afford to pretend that there is an appropriate way for the United States to fight Islamofascist totalitarians and the terror they wield against us, then insist that our allies must negotiate with and try to appease such groups when they are in the Islamofascists' cross-hairs.
Well maybe not paradise, but at least the Worker's Paradise. Some Russian tourists have posted some outstanding quality photos of their trip to a casino in Najin, North Korea which is located just across the border of the Maritime Province in the Russian Far East. Yes, you heard that right there is a tourist casino in North Korea. It may not be Vegas, but it is a way for the cash strapped North Koreans to generate some revenue from Chinese and Russian tourists.
The photos provide some great insights into every day North Korean life, and keep in mind that what they saw was the staged demonstrations of every day life given to the foreigners that visit the casino there. Just imagine how the people they are not allowed to see live. You can view the original Russian slide show here or try this link with very rough English translations. No matter the language, the pictures are what you want to see.
Here's a CNN story on a Court Decision...
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that federal prosecutors investigating a leak about a terrorism funding probe can see the phone records of two New York Times reporters.
so take a look at the CNN page HERE and tell me what you see that is just plain wrong... (Hint: Don't just look at the story... look at the full CNN page...
OK, give up? (answer in the jump...)
CNN has 19 categories of news stories... one is "Politics" and another is "Law". They classified this story as politics... hhhmmmm... no bias here.All done!
Col. Michael Steele, whose heroics were portrayed in the movie "Black Hawk Down," is under investigation for allegedly encouraging his men to go on a killing spree. The investigation begins just as the Army has started to make its case against four soldiers who are charged with murdering three Iraqi civilians while under Steele's command, ABC News has learned.
Israel's fight against their existential Hizballa foe is more than just another bout in the endless series of struggles in a violent corner of the world. It is a test case as to whether Western-style democracies still have the sand to do what's necessary to survive, far less prevail, against those who are committed to their destruction. We used to know the answer - now, I am afraid, we are not so sure. The Qana tragedy is a kind of signpost:
These things are tragedies, but they are not unique in time of war, nor even unique to warfare itself. Horrible things do happen, and these are the consequences of taking up the sword, or returning the blow. If our new standard is that we must be perfect not merely in intent but also execution, then we should admit that there’s nothing that we have left worth fighting for; not our lives, not our way of life, not our freedoms. We should forswear warfare forever.
We can recover your email. Like, all of it. Seriously.
If all the news does is depress you, and you'd like to have a bright and shiny little military moment - click here. That's the archive to the Story Thus Far (start at the bottom and work up) regarding bringing the Jolly Rodgers home.
The saga isn't over. If you've been following this, save that link, and you'll have access to all the posts (and only those posts for you who hate the rest of the site...) regarding the Rodgers and her return.
I had a lot of fun doing this. I am fortunate to have been given this opportunity.
Unrelated note... the Mexican Navy flies Mi-8's.
For most of my career Mi-8's were... targets.
So, it just seemed natural to track 'em when I was testing the training gear on the twin 40's....
In case there was any doubt, the US has been under attack for 25 years... and we're still trying to wake up some Americans to that fact...
That's what we think we heard on the 11th of September 2001 and maybe it was, but I think it should have been "Get Out of Bed!" In fact, I think the alarm clock has been buzzing since 1979 and we have continued to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes of peaceful sleep since then.
We are fighting an enemy that doesn't think twice about blowing up civilians and the planes they ride on... or the buildings they live and work in... schools where our children should be safe... hospitals that should be havens... They don't care. Understand? They.don't.care. They just want you dead.
The rest at Some Soldier's Mom... HERE
The Chicago Tribune says Hizballah is inspiring Hamas, and that is most certainly the case.
But Hamas loves martyrs, and I say Hizballah Is On The Ropes, though you'd never know it from media reports. Little time for analysis between Qana images, after all.
Why do I say Hizballah is on the ropes? Because the IAF(Israeli Air Force) has been obliterating re-supply convoys convoys from Syria once they reach Hizballistan and the terrorists are beginning to starve for resources.
Assad, for all his banter, loves his palaces more than Nasrallah. He also knows his army would be dispatched and discarded with far greater ease than Hizballah and Iran is simply trapped on the wrong side of the Persian Gulf.
Once again, logistics determines the course of protracted warfare.
You have probably been impressed, as I have been, with the devotion of The Old Guard's Caisson Platoon in the performance of its sad duties. You may not have known, however, about this new effort to help the living as well as honor the dead.
As if things weren't dangerous enough overseas. Now this!
I'd been wondering about whether Israel had/would use its Arrow Defense System in the current conflict.
The CDI recently published this interesting article that discusses Arrow's limited ability to intercept short-range rockets.