Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1) the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2) in the public domain, with free use granted for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2006 - 2008 by the respective authors. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Site contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com
WASHINGTON — The U.S. and Iraqi governments have failed to take advantage of a dramatic drop in violence in Iraq, according to a report issued Tuesday by a U.S. watchdog agency
I guess various Senators will have to "suspend disbelief".
Buck Sgt. writes about a mother who wrote what it is like in her world to have a son at war... I have written about that at length myself.
I wondered as I read Ms. Reed's article why she was so focused on -- as she puts it -- "the worst case scenario"... not once does she ever mention or even consider that her son may make many Iraqi friends... that he will be bringing security to Iraqis... that he will probably help open any number of schools and medical centers or clinics... that he will actually SAVE the innocent sons of Iraqi mothers... Not once does she even consider that her son is working to establish peace for Iraq... and we hope help bring peace to the Middle East. It was all about her and what her friends think.
It's eerily coincidental that I just posted on the very same topic - although the source material was different.
So, Dear Rochelle, I know how you feel... I have felt the fear... but I have also felt immeasurable pride in my soldier -- something I am very sorry that you apparently do not share. And I will tell Ms Reed what I told the (anonymous) Military Mom on my blog: It's Not About You
Air Force, Army Clash Again On Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
The Air Force and Army are again clashing over the control of high-flying drones, despite a Pentagon decision last month that no single service would own and operate those aircraft.
Gen. Michael Moseley, the Air Force chief of staff, and his cadre of legislative officers have been urging lawmakers to give the Air Force control of all medium- and high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a move strongly opposed by the Army, Marine Corps and Navy. In particular, the Air Force has been pressing lawmakers recently to reject a provision in the Senate defense appropriations bill added by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) that would prohibit the transfer of research and development, acquisition or program authority of tactical UAVs from the Army, according to Pentagon and congressional sources.
Shelby’s language would also ensure that the Army would retain operational control over and responsibility for the Extended Range Multi-Purpose UAV. That drone is known as the Sky Warrior, a system that is still in development and has been in the Air Force’s crosshairs. The Air Force flies and favors the Predator UAV.
Both drones are built by General Atomics. While similar in capability, the Army contends the Sky Warrior is better suited for the service’s mission. The Air Force contends that, as the executive agency, it would ensure the UAVs operate compatible command and control systems.
The Air Force has been pushing to become the executive agency for all drones flying above 3,500 feet since 2005, but brought its fight to Capitol Hill earlier this year.
A North Korea freighter's crew, captured by Somali pirates seems to have been emboldened by the arrival of a U.S. Navy destroyer and retakes their ship, leaving a couple of dead pirates in their wake.
Story unfolding here.
Good on the Norks.
And go get 'em, Navy!
via CS Montor
By Jerry Lanson - Boston - Coordinated antiwar protests in at least 11 American cities this weekend raised anew an interesting question about the nature of news coverage: Are the media ignoring rallies against the Iraq war because of their low turnout or is the turnout dampened by the lack of news coverage? I find it unsettling that I even have to consider the question.
Well Jerry...if you actually had been paying attention to the war...rather than whining about lack of news coverage of your protests you might...just might... come to the conclusion that the Iraq War is going to end. Not because of any protests...but because of the hard work and sacrifices of the 160+ thousand US Military in co-ordination with 370+ thousand Iraqi Security Forces and 67+ thousand Concerned Iraqi Citizens.
The story of the 600+ thousand people in Iraq courageously working 24/7 to end the war is a lot more compelling than what a handful of people who think they can stop the killing in Iraq by just wishing it away.
Let me be the first to go ahead and blame Bush. He hates brown people, remember?
Actually, this faulty dam is a pretty good metaphor for everything that is/has been wrong with Iraq since we got there. We didn't break it; Iraqi society had been fundamentally broken for a very long time. But at times it seems to have only gotten worse. We're trying to fix it, but likely getting tangled up in a combination of Iraqi red tape, laziness, and incompetence. But in the end, if we don't solve the problem and thar she blows, the blame will come down squarely on you know who.
Locals will ruminate why we didn't just use our giant American bottle of Gorilla Glue. Truthers will claim Blackwater set C4 charges at the base. Sunnis will pin the blam! of the dam on the JAM. Spike Lee will put out another 17-disc HBO documentary that no one will watch. Anderson Cooper may finally figure out where in the wide, wide world of sports Mosul actually is. And Bin Laden will take credit for all of it, praise be to Allah.
But you gotta love the final paragraph:
The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says the debate over the dam has gone on largely behind the scenes so as not to cause public panic or attract the interest of insurgents.
Hear that? Shhh... don't tell anyone.
Now frankly I was surprised the State Department even asked people about where they want to be assigned.
In the military they call them "dream sheets," IIRC.
That's absolutely fair. I should have been more clear. The military does have you put together a "dream sheet." Of course when you list Europe, Hawaii, and Fort Carson - you may very well end up at Fort Drum. You are directed the needs of the Army. The articles I cited indicated it had been since Vietnam since State Department assignments were directed.
Foreign Service Officers. My perception of most them is thus: Ivy Leaguers who so enjoyed their junior year abroad they want to make a career of it. They seek to spend a make a career out of moving from Paris to Rome to London; hardship posts are the capitals of Eastern Europe.
The remaining Foreign Service Officers appear to be professional Peace Corps volunteers. Noble efforts, but in the macro scheme of things, not a very significant part of how US foreign policy is conducted.
There's perception and then there's a reality. The map is not the territory and you need to know when to get a new map. You need a new map, badger 6. The Foreign Service you're conjuring out of old stereotypes hasn't existed in at least a generation.
I thought my post invited that. Consul says I need a new map, but he offers no evidence that my map is wrong. The WaPo article certainly reinforces my map and Consul offers no evidence to counter it other than, well I should have a different map.
"Foreign Service Officers have a union?
It's called the American Foreign Service Association. It's not as if we'd ever go on strike, but it's a professional association nonetheless.
So it is a professional association and not a union. Good to know.
Maybe the WaPo greatly misrepresented the issues with the Foreign Service; we in the military certainly know what it is like to be misrepresented. if that is what is going on Consul-At-Arms issue is with the WaPo, not my post.
When I read that there are 400 volunteers on a list for 200 positions, or something similar, I will think that my position on Foreign Service Officers is wrong. I hope Consul-At-Arms can dispel my notion that is a "generation old."
Or: "How many media reports on the failure of the media to report the horrors of Iraq will we need to see before realizing the magnitude of their failure?"
Stray thought. A quote from a recent WaPo piece:
"This is a dangerous place," said Capt. Lee Showman, 28, a senior officer in the battalion. "People are killed here every day, and you don't hear about it. People are kidnapped here every day, and you don't hear about it."I've discussed the broader implications of the piece elsewhere, but wanted to point out something specific (and specifically annoying to me) here. Whenever the media takes a break from broadcasting the horror/quagmire/failure/mistake/death toll that is Iraq and instead publishes a quote from a GI that they will insist supports their view of Iraq as horror/quagmire/failure/etc., the story will invariably include a quote from said GI to the effect that the media doesn't ever report what a horror/quagmire/failure Iraq is. This may even be in the stylebook. If not, it's an unwritten but inviolable rule*. And apparently there's no limit to the number of times some people can hear/read that without catching on.
The American people don't fully realize what's going on, said Staff Sgt. Richard McClary, 27, a section leader from Buffalo.
"They just know back there what the higher-ups here tell them."
While reasonable people can argue the degree to which Iraq is any of those things, it's absurd to argue Americans are ignorant of the issue due to some failure of the media - an absurdity compounded when included in the latest in a long line of stories arguing an extreme view. One is entitled to his or her opinion, but not to his or her own facts.
*Greyhawk's rule of media reports from Iraq: Whenever using a GI quote to support the view that Iraq is every bit the disaster we say it is, always include a quote implying that said GI resents the media failure to report it as such.
We do a lot of talk about taking care of our POW/MIA and recovering the remains of those lost. Sometimes though, we don't walk the walk. It is way past time to bring the rest of "George One" home.
While the 6 survivors of the crash were able to make it to the coast for pick up by a sea plane, those three men killed in the crash were left behind, their bodies buried in what was meant to be a temporary grave were buried beneath a specific and well-marked area under the starboard leading-edge of the large PBM-5 wing by their fellow crewmen. Weather precluded the Navy from recovering their bodies at the tail end of Operation Highjump. Its always been the wish of these fellow crewmen, the Navy rescuers and the families to have their loved ones returned to US soil.That was 1946. We have the team ready to go - we have the location - we have the technology. What we don't have is the funding and the leadership's decision to make it happen.
It is time to bring them home.