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"...Marines on the ground, still engaged in combat, raised a spontaneous yell when they saw the flag. Screaming and cheering so loud and prolonged that we could hear it quite clearly on top of Suribachi..."
The first flagraising atop Mount Suribachi, February 23, 1945. Hank Hansen (without helmet), Boots Thomas (seated), John Bradley (behind Thomas) Phil Ward (hand visible grasping pole), Jim Michaels (with carbine) and Chuck Lindberg (behind Michaels). Photo by Lou Lowery. 10AM, Feb. 23, 1945
Private First Class Ray Jacobs was one of those flag-raisers. He didn't make it into the pictures. They were kind of busy, taking the island and all. They had other things on their mind, I'm guessing.
He died today.
The media hasn't noticed, yet. But we'll make sure they do.
So make a hole down there in Fiddler's Green! War hero, genuine, 1ea, Inbound
Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance, In Memoriam.
A year ago Task Force Pathfinder lost its first Soldier Killed in Action. Remember Corporal Stephen Shannon.
AFP is touting a new study claiming even more Iraqi Deaths than the infamous Lancet Study here.
LONDON (AFP) - More than one million Iraqis have died because of the war in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, research published Wednesday showed. According to data compiled by the Opinion Research Business (ORB) and its research partner the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies
Only one problem...the Independent Institute for Administration and Civil Society Studies was the "Research Partner" for the Lancet Study as explained here
Confirmation doesn't generally mean asking the same person the same question twice. There used to be a rule in journalism that one something wasn't true unless two different people confirmed the facts. New rules...two different people...quoting the same person...makes something true.
The NY TImes Public editor ignorantly blathers on about their series pedaling Veterans as a group of psychotic killers here (reg required)
Some readers wanted to know how the rate of homicides by veterans compared with the civilian rate. Several bloggers did back-of-the-envelope calculations and said the homicide rate for returning veterans was lower than the rate for the general population. So, what’s the problem, they wondered. I asked Martin T. Wells, a professor of statistical sciences at Cornell University, to take a stab at a comparative calculation. The homicide rate for returning combat veterans could be better or worse than the civilian rate, he determined, depending entirely on how many of the 1.6 million military personnel who have been deployed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars actually saw combat, a number the Pentagon does not have.
Last I checked, there is something called the Combat Action Badge with varations Combat Infantry Badge and Combat Medical Badge)..and the military does keep track of how many it hands out. So the fact that a statistical analysis is impossible is just plain ignorance on the part of the NY Times or whoever their super secret contact in the Pentagon is.(You know...the one who leaks secrets). Unfortunately, for the Times..to do an actual comparison would inolve excluding those 121 Psychotic Killers without a Combat Action Patch or equivalent from their article.
I really don't have a problem with the NY Times doing an article on the difficulty returning Vets have re-integrating into civilian life. I also don't have a problem with doing stories on problems the VA faces....it's been a long time since WWII and Vietnam...the VA is better equipped to deal with 70 year old men with Kidney Stones and 80 year old men with Alzheimers than recently returning 20 year old combat veterans.
I do have a problem with the NY TImes perpetuating the Pychotic Killer Myth...not only does it dishoner our Vets...it compounds their problems in re-integrating. All job applications ask veterans status...planting the seeds in some idiot in the Corporate Human Relations Department that Vets pose a grave threat to the safety of the other employees is just making Vets problems worse. It is hard to describe the feeling when you see the look in the eyes of the prissy little HR clerk that suddenly change to fear when they find the "Vet" box on the application form checked.
Remember the Coughlin vs. Islam kerfuffle? Well, it is getting much more interesting. I hope this is all a great misunderstanding - or Mr. Islam is going to have a very bad 2008.
Well, news that news will be coming soon....
I've received a lot of inquiries about the 2008 MilBlog Conference. We will have a conference this year, but some big changes are in the works. The first being the dates. As it stands right now, we'll be changing the conference from spring to fall (September).
We're hoping to have a more substantial update in the next couple of weeks. Just wanted to let you know that we are working on it.
Sometimes you just have to win. Some conflicts just need to run their courses and some bad guys just need killing. Nazi ideology was not discredited UNTIL it was defeated on the battlefield. No amount of peaceful persuasion or appeasement worked. People thought communism was a viable alternative to the free market UNTIL it ignominiously collapsed. Massive economic evidence and even the presence of a very large and deadly wall running down the middle of Berlin did not convince the believers to abandon their failed ideology. Earlier forms of terrorism from the Barbary Pirates to the Bader-Meinhof didn’t go away until they were defeated. We tried appeasement in the 1930s and we tried ignorance in the 1990s. These things did not work.
Ideology is weakened AFTER its defeat. That is often the direction of causality. In our recent case, more people are drawn to be takfiri when being takfiri is easier and more beneficial. People are attracted to success and avoid losers.
F-51 chase planes.
Mogul, Genetrix, Moby Dick, Gopher,Grandson.
Russia, China and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers.
And this thing:
Maybe tied together here.
Heh. Usually I'm the one two minutes late on the 'save' button...
And the TNR's version of the Scott Thomas Beauchamp story collapses. There's more where that post came from, too.
You may well be part of an investigation in your career. Might be useful to file away for further use what gets released and what doesn't.
On TNR's blog, a two year old TV ad, politics, and football. I wonder what's missing.
The smugness will make you feel so much better - especially because, deep down, you know you would never be able to make it through Journalism School like they did - and it eats you up inside every day.
Get them help before it's too late.
The wife of a soldier serving in Afghanistan will appear tonight on NBC’s hit game show, “Deal or No Deal,” in a special episode devoted to military spouses.
The show, hosted by Howie Mandel, will air 8 p.m. Central Standard Time and feature an audience of military members and spouses.
The contestant, Shequila Farrelly, 39, is the wife of Staff Sgt. Patrick Farrelly, who is currently serving in Afghanistan on a military transition team attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Riley, Kan.
There's an Army wife looking to write a book about The Life and dog tags that has asked for my assistance. Dog tags aren't huge in naval aviation, although some guys will lace one up in their boots as a kind of memento mori. Anyway, the full story and contact data is over here if anyone thinks they could help a lady out.
Capt. David Adler (USS PORT ROYAL) and Cmdr. Jeff James (USS HOPPER). Spoken Word poetry of the 1st person report.
The New York Times on Sunday commenced a reporting series called “War Torn,” described as “A series of articles and multimedia about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have committed killings, or been charged with them, after coming home.”
The Times starts War Torn with "Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles," written by Deborah Sontag and Lizette Alvarez, consisting of atypical anecdotes, seemingly contradicting data, and an absolute lack of statistical context.
One can only speculate on what the Times plans for future installments.
Several statistically informed and militarily knowledgeable bloggers have already criticized the Times for faulty reporting and even faultier data analysis techniques.
Phillip Carter of Intel Dump, no slacker as a critic of our efforts in Iraq, reached a one word conclusion about the Times piece: “bullsh*t.”
That’s at the end of a somewhat more elaborate criticism:
So, basically, the reporters went trolling on Lexis-Nexis and other databases to find "murder" within the same paragraph as "veteran" or "soldier," and built a front-page story around that research. They compared the pre-war numbers to the post-war numbers and found that, voila!, there's a difference. And then it looks like they cherry-picked the best anecdotes out of that research (including the ones where they could get interviews and photos) to craft a narrative which fit the data.Marc Danziger of Winds of Change documents how the lack of statistical context in the Times report evades some rather simple mathematical comparisons, and helpfully provides the email address of the Times Public Editor:
The article makes no attempt to produce a statistically valid comparison of homicide rates among vets to rates among the general population. Nor does it rely at all on Pentagon data about post-deployment incidents of violence among veterans. It basically just generalizes from this small sample (121 out of 1.7 million Iraq and Afghanistan vets, not including civilians and contractors) to conclude that today's generation of veterans are coming home full of rage and ready to kill.
That means that the NY Times 121 murders represent about a 7.08/100,000 rate.Danziger sparks a rather one-sided debate at Winds. There, Times apologists suggest that Danziger, Carter and other critics misrepresent what is intended as mere “anecdotal” reporting, and that the Times report is actually very sympathetic to soldiers experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other combat effects.
Now the numbers on deployed troops are probably high - fewer troops from 2001 - 2003; I'd love a better number if someone has it.
But for initial purposes, let's call the rate 10/100,000, about 40% higher than the calculated one.
Now, how does that compare with the population as a whole?
Turning to the DoJ statistics, we see that the US offender rate for homicide in the 18 - 24 yo range is 26.5/100,000.For 25 - 34, it's 13.5/100,000.
See the problem?
Damn, is it that hard for reporters and their editors to provide a little bit of context so we can make sense of the anecdotes? It's not in Part 1 of the article. And I'll bet it won't be in the future articles, either.
Because it's not part of the narrative of how our soldiers are either depraved or damaged.
The NY Times Public Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No doubt, in the same way the Times and others of their media ilk show sympathy for all other murders and malcontents who society has abused or neglected. Apparently, no one is responsible for their own bad behavior anywhere in Times World – unless you happen to be a member of the GOP that is.
But to address the notion that the Times report doesn’t make an argument that the Iraq War (uniquely) causes these soldiers to act out violently, consider the following.
Town by town across the country, headlines have been telling similar stories. Lakewood, Wash.: “Family Blames Iraq After Son Kills Wife.” Pierre, S.D.: “Soldier Charged With Murder Testifies About Postwar Stress.” Colorado Springs: “Iraq War Vets Suspected in Two Slayings, Crime Ring.”“Town by town,” adding up to 121 cases nation wide? That’s town by town if you only count every 1,000th town or so, isn’t it? “Patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon?” Aside from the triteness of either of the mixed metaphors, some patchwork where 1000 patches show no pattern whatever, but that 1,000 and first one, oh boy. Quiet, you could correctly call it. Darn near silent. “Cross-country trail of death and heartbreak?” That’s a vanishingly small number of trail markers on that trail, dwarfed by any mid-sized or larger town or city in America.
Individually, these are stories of local crimes, gut-wrenching postscripts to the war for the military men, their victims and their communities. Taken together, they paint the patchwork picture of a quiet phenomenon, tracing a cross-country trail of death and heartbreak.
The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.
Three-quarters of these veterans were still in the military at the time of the killing. More than half the killings involved guns, and the rest were stabbings, beatings, strangulations and bathtub drownings. Twenty-five offenders faced murder, manslaughter or homicide charges for fatal car crashes resulting from drunken, reckless or suicidal driving.
Note to the careful evasion in that third paragraph, about how “combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage” for the tragedies that the Times bemoans. So which is it, combat or substance or family or none of the above, which factor is most responsible? A combination? And do they “set the stage,” or only “appear to”? What kind of journalism is this? I thought the model was to describe facts, let the readers make value judgments.
And in that last paragraph, over 20% of the Times 121 cases are manslaughter or other charges stemming from fatal car crashes, “resulting from drunken, reckless or suicidal driving.” Talk about padding the numbers. How many of those cases involve alcohol or substance impaired driving – even if someone might consider such driving suicidal as well? How is this any different from the prevalence of such behavior among anyone in the age range of most of the soldiers involved? Doesn’t sound exclusive to military veterans, by a long shot.
Ack, I've gone on here long enough. More analysis of the "anecdotes" the Times puts up to buttress their propaganda, over at Dadmanly.
I see Blackfive noting the story, and linking to WoC and Intel Dump as well...All done!
Pete reminds some folks that the tipping point may be behind behind them .....
Democratic leaders in Congress — and on the campaign trail — should take a lesson from the Maliki government. Swallow your pride, admit you were wrong about the surge, and get behind our courageous military....but I think they already know it - they seem to be taking credit.
SEN. CLINTON: “The point of the surge was to quickly move the Iraqi government and Iraqi people. That is only now beginning to happen, and I believe in large measure because the Iraqi government, they watch us, they listen to us. I know very well that they follow everything that I say. And my commitment to begin withdrawing our troops in January of 2009 is a big factor, as it is with Senator Obama, Senator Edwards, those of us on the Democratic side. It is a big factor in pushing the Iraqi government to finally do what they should have been doing all along.”All done!
(Meet the Press, NBC, January 13, 2008)
SEN. OBAMA: “I welcome the genuine reductions of violence that have taken place, although I would point out that much of that violence has been reduced because there was an agreement with tribes in Anbar province — Sunni tribes — who started to see, after the Democrats were elected in 2006, you know what, the Americans may be leaving soon, and we are going to be left very vulnerable to the Shi'as.”
(Democratic presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., January 5, 2008))
Get ready to go for a ride if you see something like this:
And it played a role in the truly Cold War, as set out here.
..the very best.
A request has been made by top commanders in Afghanistan to send 3,000 Marines to the country, FOX News has learned.The rest of NATO isn't going to fill any of their own 7,500 shortfall and fight'n season cometh....
The goal would be to have the Marines in the region by April, the time of year when offensive actions by the Taliban usually pick up after the Spring thaw.
The plan calls for sending one ground and one air Marine contingent plus one battalion for a "one-time, seven-month deployment," Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morell said Wednesday.
A reader of mine is engaging in a survey about military folks transitioning from the service to the private sector. Her employer is a major insurance company looking to expand their outreach. There are a lot of use-to-be's out there that are now something-else's.
Want to help the next wave?
Always an interesting place to get sea time.
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said, "This aggressive and hostile behavior by IRG (Iranian Revolutionary Guard) is a cause for real concern.
"It is perplexing why five small Iranian boats would confront three U.S. warships operating in international waters. Such actions are dangerous and could have quickly escalated.
"We see it as further evidence that Iran is unpredictable and remains a threat."
The Iranian boats came within 200 yards of the U.S. ships — a cruiser, a frigate and a destroyer that U.S. officials said were on a routine transport mission.
The U.S. ships were forced to take defensive action to avoid striking the close-by Iranian boats and armed their weapons, but neither side fired any shots.
Corrugated metal goes to war and comes back.
As set out here.
I think I would use the term "Anantomy of Aiding and Abetting Mass Murder"....but hey...coming up with some fraudulent study that gives some 20 year old young and dumb Muslim guy a reason to kill thousands is like "Free Speech" or something.
John Hopkins and the Lancey folks need to review the Hippocratic Oath.....physicians my backside...mass mudering asshats.
Since April 2004, I've shared hundreds of wonderful stories about the Marines who preserve our way of life and our liberties. And, I've received thousands of emails from parents, family members, and supporters of our military - most very appreciative of men and women in uniform. Many of their stories have been shared here at Marine Corps Moms. A good friend of mine, Mary Helen Bartch, shared with me pictures of her husband, Col. Richard Bartch, who was deployed at the same time my son was during the 2004 holiday season. We coped by immersing ourselves in supporting ourselves and our troops through Operation Santa,sending thousands of filled Christmas stockings to Iraq, and many late night phone calls. And, we celebrated when my son and her husband came home safe and sound that next year.
Last October, I became aware that this site had been used for another purpose. A low-life scammer had taken the pictures of Col. Bartch and a few details of his life to create a fictitious identity, posting details on a number of dating websites. I don't know how many women responded to the identities, thinking that they were corresponding with a divorced Marine Officer who was interested in meeting them.
Instead, they were corresponding with someone who had nothing in common with the Marine he impersonated. Honor, integrity, courage, and commitment - none of these were part of the scammer behind the persona of a Marine Colonel. I've corresponded with a number of the women who were victimized, but I'm sure there are many more out there.
Neil Munro and Carl Cannon undertook an autopsy of the highly-suspect 2006 study by British medical journal The Lancet, purporting to estimate "excess" Iraqi deaths after the 2003 invasion at 654,965.
Munro and Cannon publish the results of their autopsy in National Journal. In brutal summary, based on their analysis, the state of the “science” behind the Study has only further decomposed since its publication. Yet somehow, this will be the rotting corpse of the Iraqi debate, the stench of which mainstream media (MSM) won’t notice.
Munro and Cannon are painstaking in their dissection of the many flaws in the study, as well as what amounts to the rather obvious the circumstantial evidence that the Study was intended as an assault on US electoral politics:
Three weeks before the 2006 midterm elections gave Democrats control of Congress, a shocking study reported on the number of Iraqis who had died in the ongoing war. It bolstered criticism of President Bush and heightened the waves of dread -- here and around the world -- about the U.S. occupation of Iraq.That’s an understatement, not as it applied to the MSM, and Munro and Cannon provide several examples.
Published by The Lancet, a venerable British medical journal, the study [PDF] used previously accepted methods for calculating death rates to estimate the number of "excess" Iraqi deaths after the 2003 invasion at 426,369 to 793,663; the study said the most likely figure was near the middle of that range: 654,965. Almost 92 percent of the dead, the study asserted, were killed by bullets, bombs, or U.S. air strikes. This stunning toll was more than 10 times the number of deaths estimated by the Iraqi or U.S. governments, or by any human-rights group.
In December 2005, Bush had used a figure of 30,000 civilian deaths in Iraq. Iraq's health ministry calculated that, based on death certificates, 50,000 Iraqis had died in the war through June 2006. A cautiously compiled database of media reports by a London-based anti-war group called Iraq Body Count confirmed at least 45,000 war dead during the same time period. These were all horrific numbers -- but the death count in The Lancet's study differed by an order of magnitude.
Queried in the Rose Garden on October 11, the day the Lancet article came out, Bush dismissed it. "I don't consider it a credible report," he replied. The Pentagon and top British government officials also rejected the study's findings.
Such skepticism would not prove to be the rule.
MILBLOGGERS, those of us on the ground at the time or recently returned, knew the numbers bore no semblance to reality for lots of obvious reasons. Here’s the gist of my initial reaction:
You don't have to be an "expert" in social scientific "method" to recognize crap when you see it.(Excerpts from the National Journal story, and more commentary, back over at Dadmanly.) All done!
Much like polls in general, anything based on anecdotal evidence is going to be hopelessly biased and potentially orders of magnitude from reality. Even if we take these researchers at their word that they "checked 92%" of death records, how did they ensure they didn't double count? Did they keep a copy and reconcile no dupes? In a tribal community, many "families" would claim the same family member as "one of their own."
I remember clearly when the earlier report came out from these researchers. Then, it was clear that any “insurgent” who managed to die away from the location of combat would almost surely be counted as a “civilian” casualty, as the Al Qaeda in Iraq and Baathist holdouts we were fighting at the time purposely hid their identities and wore no uniforms. Many injured and killed were showing up at Iraqi hospitals and morgues, mis-identified as “civilians.” Call it an early prototype of the same public relations and deception efforts that Hezbollah would later professionalize.
The same objection applies to this new report. Death certificates are no doubt completed in many cases without adequate or sufficient information to know whether those deaths were the result of combat or not, or whether the corpse was that of a combatant.
And more on the sample: how did they statistically ensure that their neighborhoods, streets, blocks, cities were a good sample? Methinks the answers sought dictated the scope for questioning.
Surveys often breed a response whereby the survey subjects steer their answers towards subtle survey or survey taker biases. They get social "credit" and approval from providing information.
One last point on methods. In Social Science in particular, statistical extrapolations are notoriously unreliable. Results need to be checked for validity (call it the sniff test).
As this post suggests, the idea that more than 700 (out of 770) deaths go unreported daily -- in an atmosphere where reporters and their sources are rewarded for high body counts -- is unbelievable on its face.
That these boobs from Johns Hopkins retain zero credulity for the magnitude of disconnect between physical evidence and what anecdotal "data" they've gathered says far more about their own biases, rather than denial on the part of us skeptics.
This should provide some insight why the full story does not get told to senior policy makers.
Mr. Coughlin wrote a memorandum several months ago based on documents made public in a federal trial in Dallas that revealed a covert plan by the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian-origin Islamist extremist group, to subvert the United States using front groups. Members of one of the identified front groups, the Islamic Society of North America, has been hosted by Mr. England at the Pentagon.Remember how important it is, as we were told 1,001 times in the last half-decade+, to connect the dots? Well, to some, there are more important things than truth. You'll figure it out.
Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, has been fired from his position on the military's Joint Staff. The action followed a report in this space last week revealing opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.At least England isn't SECNAV anymore ... no, he can do much more damage where he is now..... All done!
Mr. Coughlin was notified this week that his contract with the Joint Staff will end in March, effectively halting the career of one of the U.S. government's most important figures in analyzing the nature of extremism and ultimately preparing to wage ideological war against it.
He had run afoul of a key aide to Mr. England, Hasham Islam, who confronted Mr. Coughlin during a meeting several weeks ago when Mr. Islam sought to have Mr. Coughlin soften his views on Islamist extremism.
Mr. Coughlin was accused directly by Mr. Islam of being a Christian zealot or extremist "with a pen," according to defense officials. Mr. Coughlin appears to have become one of the first casualties in the war of ideas with Islamism.
The officials said Mr. Coughlin was let go because he had become "too hot" or controversial within the Pentagon.
Misguided Pentagon officials, including Mr. Islam and Mr. England, have initiated an aggressive "outreach" program to U.S. Muslim groups that critics say is lending credibility to what has been identified as a budding support network for Islamist extremists, including front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
I was waiting for the official announcement, although it's all over the Net. Killed in Diyala in an ambush.
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Jan. 3 in As Sadiyah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked their unit using small arms fire during combat operations. Both Soldiers were assigned to the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
Maj. Andrew J. Olmsted, 37, of Colorado Springs, Colo.
Cpt. Thomas J. Casey, 32, of Albuquerque, N.M.
Both men were doing a difficult job well. Both men were victim to the cruel arbitrary nature of war; all the risk management and hardening won't protect you when it's your turn. I wish they had come home alive and well; I hope their families can heal, given enough time.
Fox News is reporting that we may soon be treated to a new al Qaeda video featuring "Azzam the American." The Iowa caucuses are mere hours away. Does that explain anything? Guess we'll soon see...