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Now the world knows Britain's Prince Harry is in Afghanistan, the question on many lips is whether it was right for the media to keep quiet about it for so long.Don't know about you, but that question never crossed my mind.
More to the story:
In a series of meetings at the Ministry of Defence late last year, British media and selected international outlets agreed not to report Harry's deployment in exchange for getting regular pictures, video and text of his day-to-day activities once the planned four-month assignment was completed.Which, if you think about it, explains who's "many lips" had that question... the same ones who probably couldn't stop telling everyone they knew.
There was a reluctance to sign up to such a deal, and an expectation among many that the "understanding", as it was called, would inevitably, rapidly be broken given the nature of Britain's cut-throat, "exclusive-or-nothing" tabloid press.
But once everyone was on board it was a case of seeing who would blink first and if no one did, then the agreement might just end up working in everyone's interests -- the Ministry of Defence, the media, Harry and the soldiers fighting alongside him, and the public who would read and hear all about it.
In the end, those who were party to the understanding stuck by it, but word leaked out and rumours slowly spread.
An Australian Web site got wind of something in January, but not enough to make it stick.
German newspaper Bild ran a gossip item on Wednesday, but again the Ministry of Defence hoped the chatter would quickly die down. Until the U.S. Drudge Report blog picked it up.
One thing that was missed was someone else with something else on his lapel. Something done on purpose in full knowledge of the head-wind he was going against, and in full knowledge that the few who saw it would know the message he was sending.
See that guy on the right? Well, get a new angle on Mickey Rooney. Someone, as John might say, we should know - or at least know better.
The Joint Chiefs chairman has a word of warning to Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: A rapid of withdrawal from Iraq would lead to a "chaotic situation" and would "turnaround the gains we have achieved, and struggled to achieve, and turn them around overnight.Elsewhere:
Admiral Mullen's comments came in a response to a question about what the Joint Chiefs are doing to prepare for a new president, given that two of the candidates have called for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
"We need to be prepared across the board for what a new president will bring," Mullen said. "I do worry about a rapid withdrawal. . . [that would] turn around the gains we have achieved and struggled to achieve and turn them around overnight."
Asked to define a "rapid withdrawal," Mullen said, "a withdrawal that would be so fast that it would leave us in a chaotic situation and the gains we have achieved would be lost."
That said, Mullen added: "When a new president comes in, I will get my orders and I will carry them out."
A senior foreign policy adviser to leading Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has told The Nation that if elected Obama will not "rule out" using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in Iraq. The adviser also said that Obama does not plan to sign on to legislation that seeks to ban the use of these forces in US war zones by January 2009, when a new President will be sworn in.Then there's this...
Obama's broader Iraq withdrawal plan provides for some US troops to remain in Iraq--how many his advisers won't say. But it's clear that Obama's "follow-on force" will include a robust security force to protect US personnel in Iraq, US trainers (who would also require security) for Iraqi forces and military units to "strike at Al Qaeda"--all very broad swaths of the occupation.
"If Barack Obama comes into office next January and our diplomatic security service is in the state it's in and the situation on the ground in Iraq is in the state it's in, I think we will be forced to rely on a host of security measures," said the senior adviser. "I can't rule out, I won't rule out, private security contractors."
Obama will immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months. Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq. He will keep some troops in Iraq to protect our embassy and diplomats; if al Qaeda attempts to build a base within Iraq, he will keep troops in Iraq or elsewhere in the region to carry out targeted strikes on al Qaeda.
You never know, if he sounds funny - he might be Royalty.
As part of his answer, Obama responded, "As commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."
Sounds to me like
A womans perogative is to change her mind.
Unbfortunately, that quote isn't true either...every woman knows that deciding she wants the house to be a different color immediately after her husband has spent the entire summer painting the house is a very bad idea.
The house of "New Iraq" has taken a long time to paint...it is going to take even longer for the paint to dry.(See history of house of Bosnia, house of Europe, house of Japan, house of South Korea)
...to one question.
I note also the absence of another candidate in the story. Given current views of Iraq as
a. a mistake slowly being made right
b. a necessary effort from which we can't withdrawal
c. bad from the get-go and worse every day
(three short form opinions which I think generally encompass the thinking of a huge majority of Americans)
it seems Senator Clinton may have a difficult time finding a unique position that Americans will support. But it also seems to me that option "a" is available...
Update: Glenn Reynolds:
“There was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.”More:
The problem with this statement is that, although it's an article of leftie faith, it's not true.
As part of his answer, Obama responded, "As commander in chief, I will always reserve the right to make sure that we are looking out for American interests. And if al Qaeda is forming a base in Iraq, then we will have to act in a way that secures the American homeland and our interests abroad."Unless there's a longer quote somewhere else, I don't see any pledge to return troops to Iraq in that comment.
And more (same link) from McCain: "I look forward to continuing this debate."
... Having our troops from downrange, introduce a film on homosexuality was ridicules enough, but then have them immediately followed by the anti Iraq war film, "Taxi to the Darkside" was just disgraceful. "A film about American soldiers beating an Afghan man to death." Some of the filmmakers and actors wore orange ribbons or rubber bracelets to protest these alleged incidents of torture by the United States at its prison in Guantanamo Bay, and in Afghanistan and Iraq
Had to have been a deliberate attempt to humiliate our troops.
And the biggest kicker was the troops thanked the Academy for letting them be there but did ANY of those attending the awards thank them for their service.
Not a one.
Just a day before the inauguration of new South Korean president Lee Myung-bak, an announcement has been made by the Korean government that the relocation of the US 2nd Infantry Division from its frontline camps near the Korean Demilitarized Zone will be delayed until 2015. The division was originally supposed to be relocated by 2009 at an expanded Camp Humphreys facility south of Seoul. However, when the former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned in 2006, the Korean government unilaterally announced a delay of moving the 2ID until 2013 and now has pushed that date back even further to 2015.
The reasons for this South Korean foot dragging are various which I have listed in detail here.
An Academy Award to an Army film about a now obscure part of a war fought in a remote area that most people have never heard of, but which involved an invasion of U.S. territory?
The last daylight surface ship gun battle fought without air power or submarines?
Fights among flag officers?
All this and more here.
An army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon in Afghanistan in 2003 tells Barack Obama his undermanned, under-equipped team was able to capture enemy weapons and ammo and use them against that enemy.
Question: will that news bring an increase or decrease to al Qaeda recruiting?
For those more interested in 2009, a few more questions here.
I wrote a post at Some Soldier's Mom the other day detailing how those medically discharged from the services up until January 28 this year have had to pay back their severance payments to the service branches from their VA disability compensation. (Yes, they do... and did) and how Congress refused to make the "ok, that's bad policy" retroactive claiming not to be able to fund such a provision under the "tax neutral" restriction. (Note to Congress: cut some @#$%!&* pork.)
Today I blogged about how many veterans -- including those medically discharged -- have no health insurance for themselves and their families.
Many people assume that Veterans receive free health care based solely on their status as Veterans. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here's what my research and some new Veterans have told me: Veterans of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan who are medically unable to continue in the service but receive less than a 10% disability from their service branch, receive no medical insurance once they separate. For those with service-connected disability ratings of 10 or 20% (ratings are 0% or greater in 10% increments), they receive UP TO 12 months of medical insurance (Tricare) for themselves and their families after separation; for 10% and 20% ratings it is typically 6 months but can be 9 or 12 months depending on the medical condition. If a service member receives a disability rating of 30% or greater from the service branch (a medical retirement), medical insurance for themselves and their families continue at no cost to them FOR LIFE.
Remember: 90% of Soldiers, 83% of Marines, 73% of Airmen and 64% of Sailors who were injured, wounded or became chronically ill while in the service received a disability rating of 20% or less. Unless they were covered by an employer or can afford other insurance within say 6-9 months after their discharge, they and their families have no health insurance coverage.
There's more... (a little long to be taking up bandwidth here) with some interesting numbers and links at Some Soldier's Mom.
Pete Hegseth is on his way to Iraq. This time, to cover the story.
2006 was the year of al-Qaeda and civil war, 2007 the year of America’s “re-liberation” of Iraq, and 2008 promises to be the year of Iraqi progress. Make no mistake about it, there will be more setbacks — some dramatic — but a continued American commitment in Iraq has incredible potential.
But don’t just take my word for it today. For the next ten days I will be back in Iraq to cover these developments firsthand. I will walk the same streets I walked as an infantry platoon leader in 2005, and will report back on National Review Online. Stay tuned.
Pete Hegseth, who served in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division from 2005 to 2006, is executive director of Vets for Freedom.
You know, I've heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon -- supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq.I would REALLY like a name, unit, work of non-fiction --- some "REF A."
And as a consequence, they didn't have enough ammunition, they didn't have enough humvees. They were actually capturing Taliban weapons, because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief.
UPDATE below the fold.
Tapper has more information on the "Captain," though we don't have any more specific information on him.
If we take what Tapper has at face value, which we should, it still doesn't change the core problem with Obama's comments. It also asks more questions. More over at my place.All done!
She says about all that needs to be said.
...and safe and sound, and all is well. My thanks to those who expressed concern (or those who simply felt it) and my apologies for being so completely out of touch. I've been busy since my return from Iraq, but at least some of the truth is that after five years of (mostly) unrelenting effort I was in much need of a blogging sabbatical, and could barely bring myself to log on. Such cleansings are good for the soul.
And now I'm ready for five more.
Here's to new beginnings. Let's start with a (would-be) anthem.
(Mrs G assures me a Dawn Patrol is in the near future, too.)
I am still trying to get to my eventual destination. But for now I am stuck, enroute, at a large (but will remain unnamed) Camp. As we were given our transient tent, the LNO tells us "yeah, we haven't had an attack for 30 days". You all just KNOW what happened next. A couple of hours later - mortars. Incoming. Nothing spectacular, just a few rounds and they didn't hurt anyone....but I still have now had my irony quotient filled for this week.
The day before Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's spokesman was suspended for three weeks for allegedly using vulgar language with an off-air radio producer, the mayor himself used a profanity during a live interview broadcast.I certainly hope none of our Marines were exposed to this sort of vile language.
Mr. Finkbeiner uttered the "f-word" followed by "ruckus" to describe the "few days" after his order last week to cancel a Marine Corps weekend-long urban warfare exercise in downtown Toledo and in some abandoned buildings.
Look forward to hearing reactions/analyses once this airs.
Please excuse me, Mr. Bedouin, but could you possibly move your camels off the range. Thanks very much.
[Udairi Range, Kuwait]
Workers at a Raleigh, NC metal processing plant got a little more than they expected when there was a hot antitank round in the pile of metal they were processing - which exploded...and apparently several more in the mix.
Army EOD from Ft. Bragg is on scene and 2 or 3 "Hispanic" males have been arrested (for immigration violations) as set out here.
Illegal immigrants with live ordnance? Oh, my. This could have been much worse.
Let's start out by telling you (if you don't already know) that a service member who receives a service disability rating of 30% or greater receives an annuity payment and medical insurance for him/herself and their families FOR LIFE.
Next, understand that approximately only 10% of all service members that are medically discharged receive a rating of 30% or higher. 90% receive a rating below 30%. (Service disability ratings are 0% and up in 10% increments.)
"SEVERANCE PAY". From 2000-2006, approximately 9,600 service members each year (a total of approximately 67,200) were discharged from military service as medically unfit with service disability ratings of 0%, 10% or 20%. These service members received a lump sum "severance" payment of roughly twice their monthly base pay for each year of service. If you want to do sample calculations, here's the 2006 pay charts. For an E-4 with 4 years of service, that equates to about $15,000.
For those service members medically discharged before January 28, 2008 (the effective date of the 2008 National Defense Authorization) that elected to enter the Veterans Administration system and -- after a full evaluation -- received a disability rating (this is separate and is not connected with or dependent upon the "disability percentage" the Army/Navy/AF/USMC doled out) and were awarded disability compensation (VA compensation schedules), a portion of this VA allowance was or is being WITHHELD FROM THE VETERAN UNTIL THE SEVERANCE PAYMENT IS REPAID.
Now Congress has seen the error of its ways and stopped that practice with the 2008 Defense funding bill... BUT IT ONLY APPLIES GOING FORWARD... BECAUSE
Even if Congress couldn't bring themselves to cut some meaningless crappy little piece of pork (or a small percentage of all those crappy pork projects) to cover all the vets back to 2001 that have had to PAY BACK THE ARMY OR USMC (etc.) FOR INJURIES RECEIVED IN DEFENSE OF THEIR COUNTRY, THEY SHOULD AT LEAST STOP ONGOING REIMBURSEMENTS.
Now someone in Congress needs to "find the money for any veteran being docked on or after January 28. FIND THE FRIGGIN' MONEY. JUST DO IT.
I don't know what kind of outfit they're running there, but I'm certain these Veterans have earned it.
Next post I'll talk about Health Insurance... or rather, the lack of it.
x-posted at Some Soldier's MomAll done!
....as usual, everyone wants the Navy to do it.....
U.S. officials say the Pentagon is planning to shoot down a broken spy satellite expected to hit the Earth in early March.When you're good ... well ....
The Associated Press has learned that the option preferred by the Bush administration will be to fire a missile from a U.S. Navy cruiser, and shoot down the satellite before it enters Earth's atmosphere.
UPDATE: Hey, it's official.
From this story
On Jan. 29, the city council approved a resolution that included letters to the Marines advising them that their recruiting station is unwelcome in Berkeley. It also called for an investigation into whether the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for homosexuals violated city anti-discrimination policy.
As Andi so clearly pointed out back in October (and other milbloggers have ad nauseum) IT IS NOT THE "MILITARY'S POLICY". IT IS A FEDERAL LAW... one the military has no choice but to [publicly] enforce.
So to the Beserkeley City Council: as Andi said, "Contact Senator Obama and ask him to introduce legislation that will overturn Don't Ask, Don't Tell. For the 448th [ed. millionth] time, the military cannot "scrap" a policy just because someone wants them to."
You can also contact Sen. Clinton (her husband signed it into law) or Sen. McCain... or any of your other Congressional representatives. Just stop blaming the military. They didn't make the policy... the Congress did.
via UC Berkely News
BERKELEY – Chancellor Birgeneau has written to 52 elected officials in Washington, D.C., to clear up an incorrect notion that the UC Berkeley campus has any connection to actions taken by the Berkeley City Council.
In his letter the chancellor makes the following points:
The campus is a completely separate entity from the city of Berkeley.
UC Berkeley has long-standing ROTC programs, dating back to 1870.
Military recruiters from all branches of the service are welcome on campus and frequently participate in career events at UC Berkeley.
The campus, and the UC system, make special efforts to assist active members of the military, their dependents, and veterans who attend the university, including granting financial aid and other preferences.
In conclusion, the chancellor states that he believes the initial action by the city council was "ill advised, intemperate, and hurtful, particularly to the young men and women and their families who are sacrificing so much for our country."
First - you really need to click this link and read Chuck's post . If ya do, this post will make more sense.
[Enters the auld, broken-down soldier]
Ruck up, Chuck.
You're channeling any Post Commander, Army of the Plains.
You're channeling LTC Henry Leavenworth.
You're channeling Captain Eisenhower, BG MacArthur, Colonel Marshall.
You're channeling the Lieutenant and his detail that were all that was left of the Continental Line. Guarding the stores at West Point.
I was 11 when my Dad went to Vietnam. I was the son of a career soldier throughout the whole period.
I lived through the vile calls to the house that my mother took while we were sitting in Denver, waiting for Dad to come home.
I saw the signs. I saw the mass demonstrations. I read the papers, watched the news.
We've got it good, in comparison to the active hatred and benign neglect our predecessors went through.
Oh, sure, it's not perfect, and in this media environment things seem universal that are not.
And this time, there's us, too. The Milblogs and our fellow-travelers. The other voice on the 'net, smaller though it is, taking the fight to the patchouli-scented pencil-necked sunken-chested geeks with stringy hair whose idea of risk is tagging a recruiting office, and who have the time to sit at a keyboard all day feverishly reading all sorts of carp, and then adding to it.
What I'm really saying is... t'was ever thus. And, *in balance* better this than the adoring worship of things military that served the Germans so well. Or Argentines. Or, fill-in-the-blank place run by a Man On Horseback. Which I know you weren't suggesting otherwise.
Remember, too - while the punks rant and rave... we're *still* members of one of the most trusted organizations in the nation. When our numbers slip, they drop into the low 80's.
Most of the organizations beloved of our detractors can't climb into the low 50's.
Go into any nursing home, Chuck - and there are lots of lonely non-veterans in them, too. I can't speak for where you are at - but the VA domiciliary here at Leavenworth routinely has more holiday visitors in it than do most of the local nursing homes.
And let's face another side of things - when we're in the news, the news is usually bad for someone. But we get to do the good stuff, too.
It sorta puts us between the fire services and the police. Everybody likes firemen. They come and save people and things.
People are usually wary of the police, because as often as not, when you see them - you are either doing something naughty, like running a stop light, or you've been mugged, or you just witnessed something like that, or, you're a bad person who needs arresting.
Us? We're in the middle, trending to the high side. We usually our jobs out of sight and out of country. Most times, we're doing what people think needs doing. But sometimes, what we do is just an ugly slog, and that can be a hard sell to PSP-generation attention spans.
Talk to a Vietnam vet, Chuck - see if they think it's as bad now as it was then. Heh. One of the reasons it's better now than then is because of their efforts - like all those guys at the Gathering of Eagles, and in Move America Forward, etc.
As for Toledo... that is a new twist. Americans aren't used to seeing troops training in their cities. We're somewhat conditioned (by the news if aught else) that large numbers of uniforms carrying rifles... is bad. Gunfire in the streets... is bad. Just watch your nightly news. So the fact that some people are upset by it isn't all that surprising. Okay, conducting urban warfare training in downtown Toledo perhaps isn't a good idea... But I'm betting there are places around that would love to host the training. But that's a different issue.
Get it off your chest, ruck up, and soldier on.
We're the rough men and women. And while we aren't always well used, we're Dispensible. Indispensably so, until humanity no longer produces wolves. We're the sheepdogs. But some people can only see the wolf.
C'mon - next Milblogger Conference, this auld soldier will buy the first round.
[Exits the auld, broken-down soldier.]
Cross-posted at the Castle.
(Not you guys at the Castle...)
I know this is serious... and I can't imagine what the Russians were thinking... but... What part of "secret" didn't he understand??
A U.S. military official says that one Russian Tupolev 95 buzzed the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice, at a low altitude of about 2,000 feet, while another bomber circled about 50 nautical miles out. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because the reports on the flights were classified as secret.
About the only english class I ever got more than more than a 'C' in was Critical Reading. It basically involved yanking pejoratives(words with negative connotation) and emotives(words meant to elicit an emotional response) out of various articles.
Politicos and propagandists the world over are masters in the use of emotives and pejoritives.
During WWII, US Forces Liberated "Occupied" countries. France was "Occupied" by the Germans...on D-Day...US Forces began the "liberation" of France...of course the US left rear-guard forces in France when they reached the German border. No US leader called the forces left in France "Occupiers".
One calls their own forces liberators, or stabilizers, or peace keepers...and the other guys forces occupiers or terrorists or fascists. One uses neutral or positive emotives to describe ones own nations actions...and pejoritives to describe the other guys actions. The other guy will use pejoritves to describe you...no reason to do his job for him.
I have one seriously grave concern about a United States Presidential Candidate - a quote taken off of his website -
I worried about, ‘an occupation of undetermined length
Yep...there it is...he uses a pejortive to describe his own country. He's quoted in a number of other places using the pejortive as well. Leaders of countries don't use pejoritives to describe their own countries policies. That is the job of the other countries propagandists. It is not the job of the President of the United States to cast the United States of America in a bad light. IMHO One can not faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States if one uses pejoratives to describe the United States
The U.S. Navy's new Africa Partnership Station is not the first Navy experience in Africa.
This one had cannibals, Great Powers, missionaries and more.
Lets be honest here
Young strong abled bodied men in Uniform roaming the streets of Toledo would have resulted in the many of the hot young Voluptuous Toledo woman running off with Marines. Toledo suffers the same problem as Beserkely...real men threaten the chances of Effeminate men to get lucky....something the Mayor of Toledo just won't tolerate.
NPR has a rather in depth piece on another unfortunate military related murder here
A couple of quotes stuck out -
Kevin Shields' mother, Debra Pearson(ed Mother of the Victim), believes the problem isn't so much what happens to soldiers after they get back from Iraq, but how they got in the Army in the first place.
"I believe Bressler and Eastridge had mental problems even before they enlisted," Pearson said. "I just feel that what I know of their background, they weren't very good people before they went in. And I guess I feel that they should have been screened closer before joining."
In defense of the Army...a significant portion of teenagers suffer from Teenage Assholiness Syndrome...if the Army(or any other employer) excluded every potential recruit who had suffered from this syndrome they wouldn't have any recruits. Teenage Assholiness Syndrome occasionaly masks more serious mental illnesses(Trained psychologists have difficulty telling the difference). Serious mental illness is rarely accurately diagnosed until young adulthood.
The we have the lawyer for the accused blathering(It is a lawyers job to point out potential mitgating circumstances)
Bastien's court-appointed lawyer, Rick Bednarski, would only say this about the case: "I think the military is sending kids over to fight a war, and then coming back and not giving them the right treatment in order to get them to relate back to real life, rather than life back in Iraq."
I'm going to take issue with the word "treatment". There are any number of major life changes people of all stripes and professions deal with. Marriage, Divorce, Career change, Birth of a Child andDeath of a Loved One are the big five.
Big Corporations have people called "Outplacement Counselors" or more euphamistically.."Life Coaches". The psychological stressors of impending unemployment and carreer change are well documented. We don't tend to diagnose people suffering such stressors as "mentally ill"...although providing counseling and assistance is a good thing to do. The Army also offers "Outplacement Counseling". Unlike the Corporate Outplacement Counselor, the Army has little or no knowledge of the employment market and various employment resources that the Soldier will be facing in his/her home community. The "Outplacement Counselor at Ft Hood" doesn't ahve any way of knowing the Personnel Manager at XYZ corporation(which may be hiring) in Omaha or DesMoines. This logically leaves the task to the Veterans Administration.
The Army to Veterans Administration handoff is beyond broken. We shouldn't be sending Combat Soldiers home without their first appointment with a VA transition assistance counselor(or in the case of those with wounds..there first medical appointment) already scheduled. Not because Soldiers are somehow 'broken' or 'sick'...but because they will be dealing with multiple life stressors.All done!
I don't know about you, but I think I'd feel pretty safe if I found myself surrounded by Marines.
Reservists received a cold send-off from downtown Toledo yesterday by order of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.
The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.
Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.
"The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.
"He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area."
The frightening men vowed to work around the "break in communication."
"But we're Marines," Major O'Neill said. "We'll adapt and overcome."
Drills are being rescheduled for October 31.
A piece in the WallStreet Journal gets all worked up over the possibility of sending Gen Patraues to look after NATO here
Recently it was reported that Pentagon leaders were considering Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq since February 2007, for a prestigious redeployment to Europe. It is good news for Americans and Iraqis alike that Gen. Petraeus decided to stay in Baghdad through the fall.
What's depressing is that top political and military leaders in Washington asked him to consider the move in the first place. The proposal to shift Gen. Petraeus out of Iraq reflects the unwillingness of the military as a whole to make the larger cultural changes required to succeed in tough counterinsurgency missions.
Here (pdf) one can find the Model for the Counter Insurgency Doctrine now being applied throughout most of Iraq. It wasn't written by a General...it was written by a Captain Travis Patriquin. It was written in such a manner that any 3rd grader could grasp it.
Captain Patriguin is no longer with us to explain his Doctrine to the leaders of NATO. General Patraues is.
Well, if John Noonan's post below isn't enough to get your blood moving, there's always this news from the IAF:
It might harm their reputation, but Israel’s air force is considering giving its combat pilots Viagra to improve their performance — in the air.
Me? I've got reservations.
Finally, I am leaving Fort Riley and headed off to OIF-land. Kuwait, then Taji and then...? I'll update when I get settled.
It's finally on.
So Gina Elise, certifiable hottie (I know, she showed me the certificate) has been planning this trip out to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for a long...long time now. Gina is the chick who won Outstanding Young Californian for her Pin Ups for Vets Calendar project, which supports VA hospitals nation wide. She's headed out to Walter Reed to remind our wounded what they're fighting for over there, and needs ya'll to help buy calendars for her to sign and donate to WRAMC's troops.
So here's what you do. Click the picture below, go to "Order Calendar for Hospitalized Veteran," write a message, pay, and pat yourself on the back for doing a good deed today.
The more calendars ya'll buy, the more calendars wounded soldiers receive personally from Gina. So chip in!
Gina's great, even though she hangs with some shady company:
Hey, so are you a recently deployed veteran? Then sign up for this!
If you’re a veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan, or another theatre of the War on Terror, sign up below to show up on April 8 and tell Congress to support General Petraeus and our fellow troops as they continue to succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sign up through our web-portal below, and within two weeks your travel will be arranged. Veterans will be flown in to Washington, DC late on Monday, April 7th, will participate in events and meetings on Capitol Hill on April 8th, and will be flown home on the evening of the 8th. Attendance will only require one day off of work, and Vets for Freedom will cover all travel expenses for the trip—travel, lodging, and food.
Ask any of the 250 veterans who joined us on Capitol Hill in September, and they’ll tell you what a great trip it was—especially since we helped stop Congress from voting to undercut the troops. Join us!
Please sign up early. By signing up in the next two weeks, Vets for Freedom can schedule meetings for you with the Senators and Representatives from your home state.
There is no reason not to attend. You have 8 weeks notice, travel will be reimbursed, and our cause is just. Tell your buddies. Meet them in Washington, DC. And together, tell your representative where you stand.
Pete Hesgeth and the Vets for Freedom crew (including Rob MacLean, VMI '03, my brother rat!) seem to be pretty good at this grassroots stuff. On their way to their April rendezvous in Dee Cee, they'll be packing up a bus full of real American heroes and bouncing around the continental US as part of their National Heroes Tour. Check out the schedule to see if they'll be popping up near you (and if they are, you better park your happy ass on main street with a little American flag, and possibly an apple pie).
And if you see Rob, please give him an atomic wedgie for me.
Cross Posted (do you capitalize both 'cross' and 'posted'? weiiiird) at my stupid blog.
"On the rocks" is not something ship drivers like to hear, especially in this context:
One tool to avoid it has a history, as set out here.
"UC Berkeley, also without a medical school, received six percent of its 2007 grants from industry, $32 million of $504 million total....At 56 percent of the 2007 research budget, taxpayer-funded federal grants still comprise the majority of funding at Berkeley"
56% of $504 million = $282 million by my reckoning. Pulling that kind of cash out of any local economy is liable to turn it into a Third World Utopian Paradise.
Here is an e-mail adress for a Major Employer in Berkelye...I've tossed all their products in the trash...if my children aren't welcome in their community, their products aren't welcome in my home.
Civilian Casualties in Iriaq for December continued to decline...of course this good news was tempered by a major Suicide Bombing in Baghdad on January 1st.
Civilian Casualties in Iraq for January continued to decline...of course AlQueda had two major Suicide Bombings in Baghdad today, the 1st of February.
This should pose an ethical dilema for News Editors...innocent people are being deliberately killed in order to influence story placement in their publications. Major Sucide bombings have now occured two months in a row on the day that the major Iraq story should have been that violence levels continued to drop.
We are all familiar with the maxim, "it it bleeds it leads"...but what if the inverse is true 'it bleeds,because it leads"
If story placement can be shown to be a causul factor in Murder, does that make News Editors an accessory to murder?
A serious ethical and moral dilema to be sure.