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For a hell of a long time I've been waiting for some news agency somewhere in America to point out that virtually everything John Murtha claims is a fact about Iraq is actually complete bulls#!t. The Washington Post has finally done it:
Mr. Murtha's cynicism is matched by an alarming ignorance about conditions in Iraq. He continues to insist that Iraq "would be more stable with us out of there," in spite of the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that early withdrawal would produce "massive civilian casualties." He says he wants to force the administration to "bulldoze" the Abu Ghraib prison, even though it was emptied of prisoners and turned over to the Iraqi government last year. He wants to "get our troops out of the Green Zone" because "they are living in Saddam Hussein's palace"; could he be unaware that the zone's primary occupants are the Iraqi government and the U.S. Embassy?That's the paper's editorial - not an opinion piece by one columnist.
Update: Let's cruise down memory lane:
...has revamped its web site, making it much more user friendly, and easy to embed videos like this:
Some day YouTube might look this good.
These video clips depict soldiers of the 5-20th Strykers operating in Eastern Baghdad, paratroopers from the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment ("White Falcons") returning fire at insurgents from the roof of their combat outpost in the Adimiyah district of Baghdad near Sadr City, and soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment conducting day long knock and search operations in Baghdad's Shaab and Ur neighborhoods - all part of the new Baghdad security plan.
Part of a longer entry I'm working on for Mudville, will link that when complete.
This is how dull Baghdad might be if "the surge" could play out as planned.
Update: Here it is.
I'm venting at Some Soldier's Mom... on what "the vote" really means:
I don't give a damn what little weaselly words about "supporting our troops" you included in your resolution. I don't care about all your self-serving statements about what your friggin' "intent" was. You can say what you want to the media -- we KNOW what the effect is just as you knew when you voted: You slapped our Soldiers and Marines, our Sailors and Airmen... you undercut their authority on the battlefield... you have not helped them complete their mission but you have hampered them in their abilities to do so... you have put their lives at greater risk because you have told our enemy that they can and should.
You have told our men and women fighting that they can not do the job... that you have no faith in them... that you will not support them under any circumstances...
You have told them that no matter how well they have performed, how many schools they have rebuilt, how many hospitals and clinics they have refurbished... no matter how many innocent Iraqi lives they have saved from the brutality of Saddam's regime... no matter how many people have been liberated from oppression and despotism and might now live in democracy and freedom... you have told them that you do not, cannot and will not support them. You have told them that they and their mission are unimportant... that your politics is more important than they are and the job they do.
Most importantly, you -- you Pelosi, Murtha, Reid, et al. -- YOU have told those that seek to kill OUR troops -- OUR children -- that it is OK to do so because you have told them publicly and emphatically that the more deaths and injuries they cause to our troops, the more likely it is that we will cut and run... that YOU will cut and run if you have your way.
Yes... there's more... at SSM
Why, yes, I am retired --why do you ask?
Ralph Peters (also retired) doesn't mince words:
Now that Donald Rumsfeld's gone, the Democrats are doing just what they pilloried the former Secretary of Defense for doing: Denying battlefield commanders the troops and resources they need.
Congresswoman Pelosi, have you no shame?
As a former soldier who still spends a good bit of time with those in uniform, what infuriates me personally is the Doublespeak, Stalin-Prize lie that undercutting our troops and encouraging our enemies is really a way to "support our troops."
Cultural reference here.
H/T to Chap for the Peters link.
UPDATE: For some reason I am reminded of the great speech given by President Reagan at Pointe du Hoc on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day in contrast to words of Pelosi and Murtha and their ilk:
Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.
The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One's country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.
Had to make some "subtle" changes in my site layout due to the fact that I forgot the cardinal rule of upgrading: "Finally out of beta!" really means "all new bugs for you to sort out on your own. Good luck, sucker!" Thus, I'm back to old Blogger, but at least with a new look. Yes, and a new post as well. You didn't think I was coming around just to chat, now did you?
Meanwhile back in Gotcha City, the World's Greatest Derivative Body spent three stemwinding days of debate over their unbinding nonsolution for Iraq. But really, what's to debate? Their firmness of purpose over the last four years has been about as resolute and binding as Army Lieutenant Watada's Oath of Allegiance. Ironically, one of my own New Year's resolutions (also nonbinding, mind you) was to quit being surprised by the utter uselessness of our elected profiles in discouragement.
As always, you find the rest HERE.
The cliché on deployment videos is hair metal and testosterone. This one beats the cliché. Great work.
There's a bit of a minor media dust-up (I should clarify: major media, minor dust-up) surrounding a Pentagon PowerPoint presentation from 2003. It's certainly not news that the current situation wasn't the desired end state, but looking at the slides will give you a great idea of what Iraq might have been like today - without terrorists. (Visiting the Kurdish regions will too.)
Of real interest to anyone knowledgeable about the war is the speculation that only 5,000 U.S. troops would remain scattered throughout Iraq by December, 2006. This should - beyond question - eliminate the long standing claims made by terrorist groups of various stripes that Americans had no intention of ever leaving Iraq, that we were an eternal occupation force. (An idea also promulgated by the anti-US Left.)
But it won't.
The premise of the story fails, but they run it and pretend it didn't.
You know what, Harvey, I need to get some info from you to find out if you're even qualified for the military, because usually only three out of ten are qualified to process, and one out of ten actually make it.That's what a recruiter said to one of the prank callers.
And here's how the piece portrays recruiters:
A couple of generations ago, the military would have rejected them faster than you can say quagmire. But despairing recruiters have some serious quotas to meet. And for the promise of a fresh, warm body, it seems they're willing to overlook a few flaws.But certainly none the author could come up with.
The head of the United Nations' refugee agency says that at least 2 million Iraqis have fled to neighboring countries, and 1.8 million are internally displaced. The U.N.'s refugee agency has appealed for $60 million and plans to hold a conference soon to get donors to ante up.That via NPR. Audio here.
[U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio] Guterres says that Syria and Jordan in particular have been overwhelmed with Iraqis now out of work and becoming increasingly poor.Syria wants a large chunk of that 60 mil.
By the way, that 2 million figure represents just under 10 percent of Iraq's population (or about one-third of Baghdad's). I'm not disputing the existence of refugees, but I'd want to see some hard evidence of the real numbers.
We all know the UN is pretty strict when it comes to demanding proof.
By the way, check my math: 60 million divided by 2 million = 30 dollars per refugee.
We owe our troops a debt of gratitude, for their patriotism, courage, and service. As a sign of respect for them, particularly those who have lost their lives in the war, and for their families, I request that we observe a moment of silence.Such a moment, extended long enough, could actually end the war.
In victory for us, of course, so don't hold your breath.
My big moment like that was on the boat when I met the Rhodes Scholar SEAL.
I told him to quit hogging all the durn talent!