Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Christiane, I'm sorry, I guess I missed the part about coalition soldiers, more specifically, American soldiers, that have been killed or injured defending your right to free speech. Journalists have been injured or killed covering every war (Ernie Pyle comes to mind), whether that war was a "disaster", as you call this one, or a not. I'm trying to remember if CNN was the network that suppressed reporting of Iraq attrocities at Saddam's request, or not. Hmm, let me think......

From the Drudge Report:

Mon Jan 30 2006 21:56:52 ET

CNN's top war correspondent Christiane Amanpour now says the Iraq war has been a disaster and has created a "black hole."

Amanpour made the comments Monday evening on the all-news network.

"The Iraq war has been a disaster, and journalists have paid for it," Amanpour explains to Larry King, a day after ABC NEWS anchor Bob Woodruff was hit injured by a bomb.

"This is not acceptable what's going on there and it's a terrible situation."

AMANPOUR: "It's a spiraling security disaster... And by any indication whether you take the number of journalists killed or wounded, whether you take the number of Iraqi soldiers killed and wounded, contractors, people working there, it just gets worse and worse."


Pentagon Announcement

Redneck Special Forces Training photo.

The Pentagon announced today the formation of a new 500-man elite Fighting unit called the United States Redneck Special Forces.

These Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma,Tennessee and Texas boys will be dropped into Iraq and have been given only the following facts about terrorists:

1. The season opened today.

2. There is no limit.

3. They taste just like chicken.

4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music or Jesus.

5. They are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the death of Dale Earnhardt.

We expect the problem in Iraq to be over by Friday.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Army decorates Jessica Lynch's rescuers

Hooah! Rangers lead the way!
Associated Press Jan. 29, 2006 12:00 AM

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Army unit that helped rescue prisoner of war Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital during a nighttime raid has been given an award for valor.
The 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, based in Savannah, received the Valorous Unit Award during a ceremony Friday. It is the Army's third-highest unit citation.
"Being a special operator, a Ranger, is not a job. It's who you are," said Lt. Robert W. Wagner, a special operations commander.
A convoy from Lynch's company took a wrong turn and was attacked in Nasiriyah in March 2003. Eleven U.S. soldiers were killed and six captured, including Lynch. She suffered spinal fractures, nerve damage and a shattered right arm, right foot and left leg when her Humvee crashed.
The Rangers helped rescue her and dug up the bodies of eight soldiers who had been killed in her unit, the 507th Maintenance Company.
Lynch started classes in August at West Virginia University, one of several universities that offered her a scholarship so she could achieve her dream of becoming a teacher.
The battalion returned this month from a three-month split deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, a spokeswoman said.

Women working for women's welfare

From Centcom comes this story about courageous Iraqi women making a difference in their country:
By Denise CalabriaGulf Region Division
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Baghdad, Iraq - While dirt-covered construction workers toil to rebuild Iraq’s decimated infrastructure, two Iraqi-born women more accustomed to “basic black with pearls”, are busy erecting a different type of foundation for their female counterparts in Iraq. Their work may take place out of the limelight, yet both are highly determined in their endeavors and dedicated to realizing their goals.

The first woman, Dr. Azhar Al-Shakhly leads the Iraqi State Ministry for Woman Affairs. The previous government established the office that, unlike most ministries, does not have a budget.
The other woman, Azza Humadi is the Women’s Issue Coordinator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division (GRD). Through the GRD’s work funded with Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (IRRF) monies, many Iraqi women-owned businesses have been highly successful in the Iraq reconstruction efforts. Humadi contributes to this accomplishment and has assumed the lead in establishing an Iraqi women’s database with over 200 registered, women-owned businesses.

She also regularly meets with 250 Iraqi women’s organizations and other non-government offices to enhance women’s participation in Iraq reconstruction. Additionally, she hosted a series of three highly successful Contracting Outreach Conferences and two round-table meetings for women during 2005. The word quickly spread about the Outreach Conferences and participation rose from 120 at the first conference, to more than 400 at the last conference held.

“Traveling out to the Red Zone is not easy for me or anyone else, but you cannot expect people to support and believe in you if you don’t show them that you are willing to take risks for them. I do not believe I can remain within the International Zone if I want to network and develop strong relationships,” said Humadi.

“Seeing the Iraqi women face to face in their own environments makes a huge difference. They want to see how you look and think - and not only via email messages,” she said.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

'Day by Day' by Chris Muir

Funny and conservative, 'Day by Day' by Chris Muir
should be regular reading for the political thinker.'

Blogger Gains Following With Iraq Reports

This AP story features Michael Yon. It is good to see that Michael and his blog continue to gain well deserved attention. Michael's blog has always been fair to the military and served as an excellent counter balance to the MSM.

Associated Press Writer
Sun Jan 29, 6:33 AM ET

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - He didn't have to go, it wasn't his job and nobody paid him to do it. But Michael Yon says he went to Iraq because he wanted to see for himself what was going on.

The 41-year-old former Army Green Beret, self-published author and world traveler didn't know exactly what he was going to do when he got to the war zone last year, nor did he have any particular plans to report what he saw to the world at-large.

But that's what he did.

After getting himself embedded as a freelance journalist with troops last year, he used his Internet blog to report on the car bombs, firefights and dead soldiers. But he also wrote descriptively about acts of compassion and heroism, small triumphs in the country's crawl toward democracy and the gritty inner workings of the military machine.

Yon's dispatches have been extolled by loyal readers as gutsy and honest reporting by a guy who's not afraid to get his hands dirty. He has been interviewed and his blog quoted by major newspapers and TV news networks, and he has drawn comparisons to Ernie Pyle, the renowned World War II correspondent who shared the trenches with fighting soldiers.

Actor Bruce Willis is a fan and has said he wants to make a movie about the exploits of the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment — aka the "Deuce Four" — which Yon followed through battles against insurgents in Mosul.

"Deuce Four is an overwhelmingly aggressive and effective unit, and they believe the best defense is a dead enemy," Yon wrote in one dispatch. "They are constantly thinking up innovative, unique and effective ways to kill or capture the enemy; proactive not reactive."

The Rest of the Story.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Iraqi Insurgents Now Battling Al Qaeda Terrorists

Poor Abu, where ya gonna go? The Americans want to kill you, the Jordanians want to kill you and now, the Iraqis want to kill you. You might want to surrender to the Americans. At least that way, some bleeding heart group will try to reform and save you.

By Gerry J. GilmoreAmerican Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2006 –

The al Qaeda in Iraq network has lost scores of key leaders as the result of anti-terrorist operations and now it's being attacked by Iraqi insurgents, a senior U.S. military officer told reporters at a Baghdad news conference today.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has had 111 of its leaders killed or captured in the past year, Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, a spokesman for Multinational Force Iraq, said. Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi runs al Qaeda in Iraq.

"We indeed have had significant impact on terrorists and foreign fighters, al Qaeda in Iraq, in terms of their leadership," Lynch said.

In addition, U.S., other coalition and Iraqi security forces, Lynch said, have been getting help from an unexpected quarter in the past several weeks.

"The Sunni rejectionists, if you will, are conducting planned attacks against Zarqawi and his network," Lynch said. The Sunni Iraqis were favored under now-deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. Some Sunnis are suspected of carrying out a home-grown insurgency against U.S. and other coalition troops in Iraq.

However, al Qaeda has routinely killed innocent Iraqi citizens during its attacks. That's a situation that Lynch said has galvanized most Iraqis -- including home-grown insurgents -- against the foreign terrorists.

In fact, Iraqi insurgents have killed six key al Qaeda in Iraq leaders since September 2005, Lynch said.

And "recently we've seen significant operations where the local insurgency has turned on the Zarqawi network and forced them out of Ramadi," he said. Ramadi is an Iraqi town in Anbar province.

Al Qaeda in Iraq's ability to conduct operations has become degraded, Lynch said. Iraqi insurgents' actions, he said, are now contributing to this state of affairs.

"Zarqawi's on the ropes," Lynch said, noting U.S., other coalition and Iraqi security forces will continue offensive operations against the terrorist leader and his network.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Newly American Pianist Loves Entertaining Troops

Now, she gets it! Because, she's from Siberia and not Hollywood. She understands that you love your country and you support the troops that defend it. Her attitude, is why I support legal immigration. That way, we (those who love the United States of America) have a chance of getting american citizens who appreciate, rather than denigrate, their country of choice.

America Supports You: Newly American Pianist Loves Entertaining Troops
By Paul X. Rutz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2006 – A Russian-born, classically-trained pianist with a wide range of performing styles has been entertaining American troops overseas for years. Now she has a special reason to thank the troops who protect the United States.
Born in Altai, Siberia, 27 year-old Oksana Kolesnikova received her American citizenship on Jan. 18.

Via telephone from her home in Los Angeles today, she explained why she thinks going overseas to entertain the troops is one of the most important things she does.

"I truly enjoy entertaining the troops -- because, for me, they're protecting my newly found homeland," she said. "I'm so grateful to be in the position to go there and take a few hours of worries away from them." (The italics are mine)
Kolesnikova said becoming a U.S. citizen after a long wait was one of her proudest moments.
"For me it's been 12 long years," she said. "It has been my dream to become a citizen, and it has finally been achieved."
Thank you, Oksana Kolesnikova, for choosing the United States of America as the land that you love.

Prince Harry could be sent to Iraq

"There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country.

"That may sound very patriotic, but it's true. It's not the way anyone should really work."
Prince Harry

That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse;

We would not die in that man's company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

Henry V (Shakespeare)

Spoken like a King, Prince Harry. Well said! The story follows below.

LONDON (AFP) - Prince Harry, completing his army officer training, has chosen to join a regiment which could be deployed in Iraq.

Harry, 21, third in line to the throne, has opted to join the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry, his father Prince Charles's Clarence House residence said Wednesday.
The Household Cavalry are expected to be deployed to Iraq in the future.

He could also have to guard Queen Elizabeth II, his grandmother.

Harry is due to complete his officer training at Britain's elite Sandhurst military college in April. He will become a second lieutenant in the cavalry once commissioned as an officer.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "It's fair to say that if his squadron goes to Iraq, he will probably go with it."

The prince could see front-line action if officials allow him to take part.

A Clarence House spokesman said: "He based his decision on the variety of roles which the regiment undertakes, including reconnaissance support to airborne forces right through to ceremonial duties."

Harry hopes to become an armoured reconnaissance troop leader at the forefront of army operations.

In an interview to mark his 21st birthday in September, Harry insisted he would be willing to serve on the front line once his training days as Officer Cadet Wales are over.

"There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country.

"That may sound very patriotic, but it's true. It's not the way anyone should really work."

The last British royal to see military action was Harry's uncle Prince Andrew, who flew as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War in 1982.

See ya in court, Saddam.

Saddam to sue Bush and Blair

Defence lawyers for Saddam Hussein Wednesday distributed copies of a lawsuit against President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair for destroying Iraq.

The suit accuses Bush and Blair of committing war crimes by using weapons of mass destruction and internationally-banned weapons including enriched uranium and phosphoric and cluster bombs against unarmed Iraqi civilians, notably in Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi, al-Kaem and Anbar.

The Amman-based legal team had said Sunday that the ousted president intended to start legal action against the two leaders of the Iraq war in the International Criminal Court in the Hague, but the text of the suit was made available Wednesday.

The suit also accuses the U.S. president and British prime minister of torturing Iraqi prisoners, destroying Iraq's cultural heritage with the aim of eliminating an ancient civilization, and inciting internal strife.

Bush and Blair were also accused of polluting Iraq's air, waters and environment. The lawsuit demanded that Bush and Blair appear before court to answer the charges filed against them and requested the harshest punishment in line with Dutch legislation and the rules of international and humanitarian laws.

It also requested compensation for all material and moral damage inflicted on the Iraqi people.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

L.A. Times writer defends incendiary Iraq column

See 'Warriors and wusses' post below.
Joel Stein thinks that all of the furor over his column will die down. Think again Joel. Visit Michelle Malkin for 25 WAYS TO IGNORE JOEL STEIN AND SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. She has many good suggestions.

By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -

A Los Angeles Times columnist who infuriated conservatives by writing that he does not support American troops fighting in Iraq -- and calling those who do "wusses" -- stood by the article on Tuesday.

Joel Stein said he has been "bombarded" by hate mail over the incendiary article -- which was headlined "Warriors and Wusses" and held that U.S. soldiers in Iraq were "ignoring their morality" -- but does not regret writing it and stands by the premise.

"I don't support what they are doing, and I don't the see point of putting a big yellow magnet on your car if you don't," Stein told Reuters in an interview. "I don't think (soldiers) are necessarily bad people. I do plenty of things that are wrong too. But I don't agree with what they are doing so I don't see the logic of supporting it."

The article, which ran on the Times opinion page on Tuesday, was quickly linked on conservative sites across the Internet, where readers poured scorn on Stein, on the newspaper and on liberals in general.

"If I ever run into the a**hole, I'm going to knock his frickin' block off," one man wrote on the Little Green Footballs (www.littlegreenfootballs.com) Web site, one of nearly 500 people who had commented on the article by mid-afternoon.

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin quickly nominated Stein as "one of the most loathsome people in America."
The Irish Pennants (www.irishpennants.com) site slammed him as "slime" but gave credit for honesty, adding: "At least he is straightforward slime."

A Times spokesman said he could not immediately determine how many complaints the newspaper had received or if any readers had canceled subscriptions.

Stein said that, despite the fact that his e-mail address was not made public by the paper, he had received some 100 "hate e-mails" by noon.

"They're telling me to leave the country, which sounded good at first because I thought they meant a vacation. But they didn't mean a vacation," he said. The columnist said he suspected the reaction was largely fueled by the Web sites, adding: "My guess is that it will die down pretty quickly."

Stein said he had long considered the issue and that whenever a politician opposes the war but supports the troops "I just always think they are covering their ass."

Asked if he had regrets, he said: "No, because I'm against the war. (I have no regrets) if this helps us get out of that war and bring our troops home safely."

Iraq's Most Wanted

Good job, Rakkasans!
Captured: Two of Samarra’s Most Wanted
U.S., Iraqi forces detain seven men linked to making and trafficking improvised explosive devices.

By U.S. Army Spc. William Jones133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
SAMARRA, Iraq, Jan. 24, 2006 — U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Campbell’s Rakkasans and soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army detained seven men linked to making and trafficking improvised explosive devices.

The Rest of the Story.

Soldiers Make Olympics

Army News Service Jack L Gillund January 18, 2006
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Two Soldiers in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program captured spots on the U.S. Bobsled team and will compete at the twentieth Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Feb. 10 through 26.

Spc. Steve Holcomb, a combat engineer from Park City, Utah, and Capt. Lorenzo Smith III, an air defense artillery officer from Kankakee, Ill., have been selected to compete for the United States on the U.S. Bobsled Team.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Warriors and wusses

Is this son-of-a-bitch abusing his right to free speech?
If anybody finds his e-mail address, I want it. I'd like to excercise my right to free speech.
Joel Stein:
Warriors and wusses

I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on.
I'm sure I'd like the troops. They seem gutsy, young and up for anything. If you're wandering into a recruiter's office and signing up for eight years of unknown danger, I want to hang with you in Vegas.
And I've got no problem with other people — the ones who were for the Iraq war — supporting the troops. If you think invading Iraq was a good idea, then by all means, support away. Load up on those patriotic magnets and bracelets and other trinkets the Chinese are making money off of.
But I'm not for the war. And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition. It's as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward.

US anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan hails Venezuela's Chavez

I have tried to give this woman the respect that she is due, as her son lost his life in Iraq. I just can't do it anymore. I will, at least this time, avoid the strong language that I think applies to her and to what she is doing.

CARACAS (AFP) - Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, mother of a US soldier killed in
Iraq, joined more than 10,000 anti-globalization activists in Caracas, where she hailed Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez.

"I admire him for his resolve against my government and its meddling," said Sheehan, who gained notoriety when she camped outside U.S. President George W. Bush' ranch last year to protest the Iraq war. She said she hoped to meet Chavez later in the week.

Sheehan was among more than 10,000 people from across the Americas who took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital Tuesday in an anti-war protest that launched the six-day Caracas World Social Forum (WSF).

My government should not meddle anywhere, the "peace mom" told AFP during the march, which was marked by anti-Bush slogans. (She should follow her own advice here!)

We must stop the Iraq war, we must not let it happen again, said Sheehan, who has been arrested at least twice while demonstrating outside the White House.

Tuesday's march ended outside the armed forces headquarters, on an avenue usually reserved for military parades. "It's a peace route now," Sheehan said.

Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004, said she would remain in Caracas until the WSF concludes on Sunday, and would address participants on several occasions.

She said Venezuela's foreign ministry sponsored her visit.


I received this in an e-mail from Capt B and I thought that I would share it with you.
The other night I heard a song called “ Have You For Gotten “ by Darryl Worley. If you get a chance to hear it, I’m sure you’ll like it. I started to think about my freedom and the high price that’s been paid for it. I began to think of the battles you have fought, lives that have been lost and families that have touched for that price of freedom. All the tears and blood that have soaked into the ground as the price of freedom we all take for granted.
I thought about that ten year old boy, who just became head of the household because he just learned his father had fallen fighting the British during the Revolutionary War. How scared a thirteen year old young man must have felt during the Civil war his brothers on one side, father on the other & townsmens around him. In his cross hairs his best friend, fighting alongside the Union Army.
I began to think about the window mother down the street from my grandmother’s house. She lost all three of her sons during World war One. How many empty, lonely nights did she cry herself to sleep ?
What about the sixteen year old young man bones shaking so bad from the icy cold water splashing him in the face and blowing off the Normandy frontlines. He’s praying to himself, hoping he makes it home to his bride.
I drop a tear for all the men that walked for days during the Great Bataan March.That freshly graduated high school eighteen year old man, who went off to war in 1968. His parents are still waiting to this day for him to walk in the back door.
I mostly remember the Delta & Special Force Rangers being dragged through the streets of Somalia.
You have made more personal sacrifices than I can even began to imagine.
These words, HONOR,COURAGE & COMMITMENT mean more to you than words can express. I mean you guys are the best of the best ! Toughest of the toughest ! You move in the shadows like demons in the night, stalking your prey like a wild tiger. When the timing is right you strike like a Kentucky lighting storm.
You see, I grew up in the back yard dirt like any every other normal boy. Playing army digging trenches, tunnels, bases, with sixty-five helicopters and about one hundred US Marines on my side.
Of course I always won, because I had you guys on my side.All I thought about when I was growing up, I would follow in my fathers footsteps, joining one of the toughest elite force in the world. So I could become one of the best America had to offer. Standing toe to toe with my brothers on the frontlines defending this great nation. To know that feeling of putting my life in someones else’s hands and theirs in my hands. I mean you guys are incredible !
You’ll go in a moments notice, leaving your loved ones on the docks, eyes full of tears. Hiding your emotions so deep in the bottom of your soul. Pushing your bodies to the max, and your state of mind to the breaking point.
You’re the first to go last to know, but always willing to fight. You’ll fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, who are to week to fight back. You’ll travel to far off islands and strange countries, to fight for total strangers. You’ll fight for us back home who can’t fight.
I’ve seen the news with anti-war protests and human shields, Americans going to Iraq. I just have to shake my head. I sometimes wonder if they are would step out of their three million dollar Malibu homes? Locking their luxury vehicles in the garage and tossing the keys into the deep blue sea? Canceling their country club membership and winter trips to Aspen? Are they willing to lace up your boots & run 1.5 miles in 13 minutes?
They might know how it feels to watch that first drip of sweat roll off your forehead, in a push up position on hot black asphalt in the middle of July. With a drill instructor screaming in your ear, less than two inches from your face. You watch that drip of sweat hit the asphalt.They might know that victorious, joyful look in your eyes, when dawn breaks on graduation day. The satisfaction that you made it and no one can take that away from you. They just might realize how much pain, blood and raging emotions you have pushed through your body, to see that dawn break on graduation day.
I’m serious as a heart attack when I say “ WE STAND BESIDE OUR TROOPS & SUPPORT WHAT THEY DO. LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND !"
There have been some things said over the years about the Marines Corps. When I read these quotes, it hits my bones & I say a small prayer for our guys.
They remind me why you’re standing on that line and they make me proud to be an American."
Behold a pale horse and upon him sat death & hell followed “ God“
The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines, Lord how they could fight. “ MGen Frank E Low USA Korea 26 January 1952
“ Come on you sons of *censored*es you want to live forever ?" GySgt Daniel J “ Dan Daly"USMC near Lucy Le Bocage as hed led the 5th Marine attack into Belleau Wood 6th June 1918
Josh W.
Downey, Ca
P.S. That’s just where I stand !!
And, I stand there with him!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Response to a "Dear John" Letter

I remember seeing fellow soldiers reading 'Dear John' letters and seeing the pain and hurt in their faces. It is important to write to a military member. Write anything at all. But, keep it kind and remember that what you say in a letter could not only end the relationship, but, possibly , as you will see below, the life of the letter's recipient as well. From Military.com's LINES OF FIRE series:

Response to a "Dear John" Letter

Lines of Fire January 17, 2006
“I never said I was the greatest guy on earth; you did....”

Background information and commentary by Andrew Carroll: Last week's letter was by a female Army officer who was undestandably upset by the fact that her husband rarely wrote to her, and, when he did, his letters seemed emotionless and perfunctory. Probably the only thing worse than getting such letters from home is receiving an outright rejection by a loved one. A nineteen-year-old artillery gunner named Leon (his full name is being withheld in the interests of privacy) received a “Dear John” letter on June 14, 1952 from his sweetheart, while he was serving in a field artillery battalion in Korea. Heartbroken, he responded the next day. (The full text of his reply was published for the first time in WAR LETTERS .)

I just received your last letter in this morning's mail. I held it in my hand for a minute while a little voice in the back of my head whispered, "This is it. This is the one." Oh yeah, I knew it was coming. I could tell from the tone of your last few letters. Have you forgotten how well we know each other?…

You ask me if I understand. I do. I never said I was the greatest guy on earth; you did. I just agreed with you: but, to be fair, we didn't mention any other places. You didn't mention what planet you were going to live on, either; this, or his.

Anyway, he's there. I'm here.

"Be careful," you tell me. "Take care." I almost laughed out loud. We wouldn't want to see me hurt, would we? There's no need to worry about me. I'll be all right. I swear it….

Do I say something brilliant like "may all your troubles be little ones"? Or do I treat this like a tennis match? "I did my best; it just wasn't good enough, and the best man won." How's that?
How about "If you ever need a friend"?

That presumes a future. There are 500,000 N. Koreans and Chinese on the other side of that hill bound and determined to make sure I don't have a future. Over here where your post is your last breath, your present is this breath, and your future is your next breath, you don't make too many promises. Which leaves me what ?


Two days later Leon singlehandedly charged a Chinese machine gun nest on his own initiative. He was killed instantly in a hail of bullets.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Rough men

Rough Men
by Russ Vaughn

There’s a character trait that’s decided by fate
Comes “sadly” to many, far too faint, far too late.
They won’t face the aggressor, stand up to his ire
They have not the will to fight his fire with fire.
So they bend over backwards to see all sides as fair,
Till they’re faced with dragon breath fire in their hair.
Like our brethren in France, who’d know better than we,
Yet seem never to learn, seem doomed never to see.

Yes, it seems there are some who’re determined by fate,
To possess not the courage to step up to the plate,
Who shrink from all threat because nothing’s worth war.
But how can they know lest they’ve been there before?
Thank God some have courage, the will, yes, the grace,
To stand for the shirkers, stand strong in their place.
Thank God we have stalwarts who’ll stand for us all,
Who will rise to the challenge at their nation’s call.

The faint-hearted, who fear, whose reaction is flight,
Have no comprehension of those who will fight.
To hide their own trepidation they attempt to demean
The rough men, who defend them, as barbaric, obscene.
Yet these rough men stand ready, hard weapons to hand,
To put placaters behind them, draw a line in the sand,
To preserve for the peaceniks what they won’t defend,
So their own unearned freedom won’t perish, won’t end.

To appeasers, rough men are coarse government tools.
To rough men, appeasers are dumb delusional fools.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-

Now, This is a gun!

New super-gun to be tested in Feb
By PAMELA HESSUPI Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Next month a new high-explosive munition will be fired in Singapore and then tested again by the U.S. Army, heralding what may be a sea change in weaponry: a gun that can fire 240,000 rounds per minute.

That's compared to 60 rounds per minute in a standard military machine gun.

Metal Storm Inc., a munitions company headquartered in Virginia but with its roots in Australia, has been developing a gun that can shoot at blistering speeds, albeit in short bursts as each barrel is reloaded.

A Metal Storm gun of any size -- from a 9 mm hand-gun up to a machine gun size or a grenade launcher -- has no moving parts other than the bullets or munition inside the barrel. Rather than chambering a single slug for each shot - very quickly in the case of machine guns -- the bullets come pre-stacked inside the barrel and can be shot all at once, or one at a time, as the shooter decides through the electronic controls.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Send Your Valentine Message to the Troops

Send Your Valentine Message to the Troops Via Stars and Stripes

Cox & Forkum's take on Iran Sanctions

Friday, January 20, 2006

Soldiers Take Out Snipers in Salah Ad Din

Rakkasan platoon kills one sniper and detains another while on patrol.
By Pfc. Cassandra Groce 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

SAMARRA, Iraq, Jan. 18, 2006 — One sniper was killed and another detained near a canal along the Tigris River in Samarra, Iraq by a Rakkasan platoon while on patrol Jan. 9.

The soldiers of Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, known as “Choppin’ Charlie” company, were investigating an IED report when they received gun fire to the north of their position. The soldiers advanced down the road toward the incoming fire and crested a hill, where they saw two men on top.

One man was throwing ammunition out of his pockets and the other attempted to get to a nearby vehicle to escape. Soldiers asked the men to stop in order to search them, but one man took off running. He was shot and killed.

The second man was detained and the vehicle was searched. Two Dragonov sniper rifles were found in very good condition, as well as approximately 30 rounds of ammunition. The vehicle came from outside of Samarra.

“They [the rifles] were in excellent condition,” said Sgt. Jimmy Sutton, a non-commissioned officer involved in the capture. “It looked like someone knew what they were doing.”

The detainee was brought to nearby Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora before being transported to another location for further questioning.The capture comes as great news to the soldiers, who have received sniper fire before while in the area, including one injury to a 3rd Infantry Division soldier.

Snipers have been harassing us in this area and been a problem, said 1st Lt. Richard Hawkins, 1st platoon leader, who was shot at in the same area a few days before.

Soldiers hope that this capture will decrease sniper fire incidents and boost the confidence of the Samarra citizens in the Coalition Forces. These soldiers are dedicated to rooting out Anti-Iraq Forces in a city that has long been a problem in the Salah Ad Din province.

People around here know we mean business now, said Pvt. First Class Michael George, a gunner in the lead vehicle of the capture. If there is a problem, were going to take care of it.

Excellent work, 'Choppin' Charlie' company.

Bryce Fisher: Seattle Seahawk, Air Force National Guard Captain.

A really good story about a really good man.

NFL Defensive Player Guards End Zone, America
Samantha L. Quigley American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2005 - When Seattle Seahawk's defensive end Bryce Fisher isn't staring down an opponent across the line of scrimmage, he's standing in defense of freedom.

Fisher, a native of Renton, Wash. , recently took the oath of office as a captain in the Washington Air National Guard, where he now serves as a public affairs officer.

The Rest Of the Story.

Special Operations Makes Mark on Global War on Terrorism

From Military.com, comes this story on the demand for Special Operations soldiers.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2006 - Demand for special operations forces capabilities has increased dramatically since Sept. 11, 2001, the deputy commander of U.S. Special Operations Command said here yesterday.

"There's been much demand for our capabilities," Navy Vice Adm. Eric T. Olson said, "more than we can meet." Olson spoke at WEST 2006, a technology, communication and national security conference co-sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the U.S. Naval Institute.

First on the ground in Afghanistan in October 2001, SOCOM used nearly every tool in its toolbox to remove the Taliban from power and render al Qaeda less effective, Olson said. The success in Afghanistan led to an increased demand for the special forces' capabilities in Iraq.
"They were involved in every significant action of the opening weeks of the (Iraq) campaign and since," he said.
He added that in the recent past, nearly 85 percent of deployed special operations forces have operated in the U. S. Central Command area of responsibility. But, the admiral pointed out, "we still woke up in about 50 non-CENTCOM countries this morning."

Thursday, January 19, 2006

From The Drudge Report

I'm not sure why Drudge had Osama's photo upside down. But, here it is.
I immediately though of a bat hanging in his cave.

Bin-Laden: Let's Make a Deal

Bin-Laden wants to cut a deal. Is he out of his mind? Are we starting to get a little close to him with airstrikes? Is he beginning to have the fear of Allah put in him? Does he think that maybe, since so many of his buddies have preceded him, that heaven is running out of virgins?
It doesn't matter. No deal!

Text: 'Bin-Laden tape'

The tape was broadcast shortly after 1500 GMT on ThursdayThe pan-Arab TV station al-Jazeera has broadcast an audio tape purporting to be by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, in which the speaker says al-Qaeda is preparing new attacks on the US.
Here is the full text of the message as broadcast.

My message to you is about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the way to end it.

I had not intended to speak to you about this issue, because, for us, this issue is already decided: diamonds cut diamonds.

Praise be to God, our conditions are always improving, becoming better, while yours are the opposite.

However, what prompted me to speak are the repeated fallacies of your President Bush in his comment on the outcome of US opinion polls, which indicated that the overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of the forces from Iraq, but he objected to this desire and said that the withdrawal of troops would send the wrong message to the enemy.

Bush said: It is better to fight them on their ground than they fighting us on our ground.

In my response to these fallacies, I say: The war in Iraq is raging and operations in Afghanistan are on the rise in our favour, praise be to God.

The Pentagon figures indicate the rise in the number of your dead and wounded, let alone the huge material losses.

To go back to where I started, I say that the results of the poll satisfy sane people and that Bush's objection to them is false.

Reality testifies that the war against America and its allies has not remained confined to Iraq, as he claims.

In fact, Iraq has become a point of attraction and recruitment of qualified resources.

On the other hand, the mujahideen, praise be to God, have managed to breach all the security measures adopted by the unjust nations of the coalition time and again.

The evidence for this are the bombings you have seen in the capitals of the most important European countries of this aggressive coalition.

As for the delay in carrying out similar operations in America, this was not due to the failure to breach your security measures.

Operations are in preparation and you will see them on your own ground once the preparations are finished, God willing.

Based on the above, we see that Bush's argument is false.

However, the argument that he avoided, which is the substance of the results of opinion polls on withdrawing the troops, is that it is better not to fight the Muslims on their land and for them not to fight us on our land.

We do not object to a long-term truce with you on the basis of fair conditions that we respect.
We are a nation to which God has disallowed treachery and lying.

In this truce, both parties will enjoy security and stability and we will build Iraq and Afghanistan which were destroyed by the war.

There is no defect in this solution other than preventing the flow of hundreds of billions to the influential people and war merchants in America, who supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars.

For The Male Troops

Golden Globe Eye Candy!

More Eye Candy for the Guys

For the Female Troops

Some More Candy For the Ladies

And, For the Trekkies:

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fort Worth Stockyards

Edited from a picture that I took today.

"...but, you turned to (out) be the terrorist..."

I received the comment, that follows below, from 'Joey'. In it Joey says: "Of course i know that you will remove my comment because you want your people to see the one side of things...is this freedom? you feel free? are others free to speak to you, to express their opinion? (The italics are mine.)

My response to 'Joey' is below his comment.

Joey was right about one thing. I try to post one side in my blog and that would be the side least, or not at all, represented in the mainstream media.

I thought that I would give to any who wish, a chance to "express your opinion". As if any American would have the right to take the right of free speech away from any other American.

Always speak freely. That is why I have this blog. So, that I may excercise my Free Speech rights. I love all of you. I love my country. May God bless you. May God bless the United States of America.

since i was a child, i loved America!!! But, unfortunately the american dream is totally dead, i'm afraid... You were example for the world to follow, but you turned to be the terrorist...
you...Your own goverments are misleadeading you and we can understand this because we are watching as third person.
Your children would be heroes if they had't killed so many innocent people... You don't have any right to invade other countries. No one wants you alone to help, this is a job of the people and the international community to do, not yours...
I can't imagine how you live with your actions! You don't feel any guilty? You need new markets for your product to sell and you send your beloving sons to kill themselves in battles for others interests? Don't you have any dignity left? No one declared war on you, no terrorists exist (exept you..), but only people trying to keep their heads up and lead their future.
It is like you have a wealthy neighbour who is arguing with his wife for the financial management of the family and you send your son to resolve the conflict by force. But your deeper desire is to obtain for yourself a part of your neighbour's wealth by deciding for his life and his finances. Although, all thing don't go as you wish and your son may get killed by your neighbour for interfering in his life. You like this? We don't...
Of course i know that you will remove my comment because you want your people to see the one side of things... is this freedom? you feel free? are the others free to speak to you, to express their opinion?
Also, i want to tell you that i don't feel good by saying these things, because sometime i loved this country and respected its people...Joey 01.16.06 - 4:43 am #

Joey, I feel very free!! It is something that you obviously know nothing about. Freedom is earned. Apparently, you think that it should be given to you.
This quote is at the bottom of my blog page and applies to you:
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature who can never be free except made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." --John Stuart Mill
Joey, you seem miserable.
At first, I was not going to dignify your comment with a response. But, I couldn't let your unfounded criticism go unchallenged. I would not remove your comments, as you accused me of. My son fights for freedom to speak one's mind. Even your right to do so.
There isn't a need to invade other countries to create new markets. But, you might want to keep your eye on the Chinese. The United States imports a great many things from China, as it always as from Japan.
We (the U.S.) did not declare war on Iraq. The conflict began with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Iraq had violated many U.N. (of which your own country is a member) resolutions. We had the balls to do something about a cruel, despicable tyrant who declared war on and terrorized his own people.
I had two hits from a website in Greece about the time your comments were posted. Assuming that you call Greece home, you might want to call on the U.N. the next time the Turks invade. Or any member of the 'international community' who might be willing to shed blood to bail your happy ass out. I don't wish to insult the good people from Greece or Turkey. I think that both countries are an asset to the world.
I feel no animosity towards you. You seem young and naive. Wisdom will come with age. Everything else, including freedom and respect, you will have to earn. You should start now.
PS: One more thing-there are terrorists! There are men who wish to see you and all that you love, die and vanish from the face of the earth. They will kill you. Be vigilant. In spite of what I said, when that time comes, the United States of America will be there for you.
Griz Homepage 01.16.06 - 2:55 pm #

Cox and Forkum Editorial Cartoons

Endorsed by Saddam!
I urge you to visit Cox & Forkum Editorial Cartoons. The illustrative work is excellent, as is the blog's writing. It is the blog that I would like to have. My life's road twisted and turned, more than I would have liked and I just wasn't that talented an artist. But, I'm artist enough to recognize very good work. The blog is conservative and that was icing on the cake for me.

God and the Spider

Received this in an e-mail.

God and the Spider

During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and
the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades.

Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his
direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed.

As he waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen."

After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw
close. He thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one." Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave.

As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.

"Hah, he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor."

As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while.

"Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web is stronger than a brick wall."

We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to
forget what God can work in our lives, sometimes in the most
surprising ways. And remember with God, a mere spider's web becomes a brick wall of protection.

Lord, I thank you for all our
Military, and their families.
I Pray for your Brick wall of protection,
to protect them everyday!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Letter From Mom

Click on the header to view the accompanying video.

"So Often we hear "Pray for our soldiers overseas". The word "Soldier" is so generic. It does not begin to make known the person behind the title. As my son prepares to go to Afghanistan, my mission, as a mom, is to raise the awareness of each American. To make it known that these are soldiers, yes, but more importantly, someone's son or daughter. Someone's child. I wrote this to help you see MY son as more than just a faceless man in uniform. Please SEE my son, please be grateful for my son, and to please pray for my son.

21 years ago, as I began to labor with my child, I realized this was the beginning of our separation. The start of a process of growing for both of us. Never again would I be so literally between him and the world, protecting him. Early in the morning of December 10, the beautiful eyes of a precious soul looked into mine. My heart was overflowing with feelings I had never known before. Would I be a good mom? Will I always be able to keep him safe? I wanted to hold him close forever. I still do.

As he grew, I watch the first tentative steps on pudgy little feet. An unsteady gait, taking him precariously close to the danger of another bump or bruise. I would rush to catch him. Now, those feet march in military confidence. Again, marching precariously close to danger. I cannot catch him if he falls this time.

I remember a little boy standing at my door with a Bert and Ernie book bag hanging loosely off little shoulders. It is the first day of school and he doesn't want to go but knows he has to. He had tears in his eyes. "I'll miss you, mom." he whispered.

The years rush by and bring into reality the young man I want you to see. He loved dinosaurs, lasagna, Indian Jones and peanut butter cookies. He had fish (they all died!), rode a bike, got stitches and went to prom. He set an example, became a member of the National Honor Society and received a scholarship. He forgot to take out the trash, continually lost his mittens and washed his colored clothes and white clothes together. He grew up, trusted God and joined the Army. The little hands full of dirt and dandelions that gave me my first bouquet now hold a weapon that gives you freedom.

Now, there is a young man with strong broad shoulders standing at my door, holding a green duffle bag. He doesn't want to go, but it is his duty. He has tears in his eyes. "I'll miss you, mom." he whispers. I'll miss you, too my son. I'll miss you, too...

So, please when you say your prayers for the "soldiers" overseas, see my son. See someone's daughter. Pray not only for the soldier, but also for the child behind the uniform and the family that loves them.

(This performance and reading was based on a letter written by Ms. Tami M. Ketteman from Ohio whose son is currently based at Fort Richardson in Alaska and is currently deployed to Afghanistan. Through this letter she shares the anxiety, the fear, and the proud patriotic spirit of a mother, of an American soldier fighting for freedom.)

Special Forces Soldier Awarded Silver Star

From Jack Army comes this story:
Special Forces Soldier Awarded Silver Star
Via the Army Times:

"CAMP H.M. SMITH — Even as Master Sgt. Suran Sar charged multiple enemy firing at him in the mountains of Afghanistan, he knew it wasn’t his turn to die. But he came within a hairbreadth. As Sar burst into a windowless wood-and-earthen mountain shelter near the Pakistan border, an enemy fighter fired a burst from his AK-47 at point-blank range.
Two of the bullets missed. A third creased Sar’s Kevlar helmet and snapped his chin strap. Sar won’t give the specifics of what happened next, but the Army Special Forces soldier collected a handful of firearms — most of which weren’t given voluntarily. And yesterday a Silver Star was pinned on Sar’s chest.
The awards were given voluntarily, they just weren't received voluntarily:
“He didn’t want this,” Army Brig. Gen. David P. Fridovich, commander of Special Operations Command-Pacific, said of the ceremony attended by more than 100 command members and local media.The attention was not intended to embarrass Sar, 39, which it did. Rather, it was to recognize his achievements and “what he has given back to the nation,” Fridovich said.
In the style of all "Quiet Professionals", MSG Sar just wants to be left alone to do his job, but this is what most impresses me about MSG Sar:
Sar grew up in Cambodia under the oppression of the Khmer Rouge, which separated his family members by age, he said. His father was prosecuted by the Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese, and his older brother was executed by the Vietnamese.
Speaking in a quiet voice, Sar said his mom and two little brothers died of starvation.He came to the United States in 1981, became a U.S. citizen five years later and has been in the Army for 20 years — the past 15 in Special Forces.
“I tell you, I love this country more than my birthplace,” Sar said. “I came from Cambodia and I lost (a lot) of my family there, and nobody here can tell me what it’s like, the loss of freedom. ... This country gave me so much, and this is a small price to pay, the long deployments away from home.”
I wish more people that were born in the United States believed they way MSG Sar does. It's a shame that many Americans take what they have for granted."
A Hat Tip to Blackfive, where I first found the story.

My Favorite Iraq Photo?

This is such a classic photograph, that it is possibly my favorite Iraq photo. From Stars and Stripes come this story surrounding the photograph and the defiant Marine, Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt.

Marine bomb expert shaken but not deterred by IED
Photo taken after blast has become symbol of resolve

By Monte Morin, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Sunday, January 15, 2006

RAMADI, Iraq — For Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt, the business of hunting down and defusing roadside bombs is something of a deadly chess game.

Burghardt, 36, of Fountain Valley, Calif., is probably one of the best-known and most well-respected improvised bomb experts in Iraq, where his skills are in constant demand.

Last September, an embedded journalist snapped a photo of Burghardt moments after a roadside bomb exploded on him in a notoriously troubled corner of western Ramadi — a city that Burghardt describes as “the scariest place on Earth.” The image shows Burghardt with bloodied legs and shredded uniform, flipping the bird to an unseen insurgent who triggered the bomb.

The photo has circulated widely among military personnel in Iraq, who view it as a powerful symbol of resolve and fighting spirit.

“It’s one hell of a picture,” said Col. John L. Gronski, commander of U.S. troops in and around Ramadi.

The 2-28 Brigade Combat Team commander keeps an enlarged, autographed copy on his office wall.

Whether Burghardt is using a Mars rover-type robot or a knife blade to probe for bombs, or searching for them in a heavily armored Buffalo mine-clearing vehicle, his goal is to outmaneuver the fertile yet deadly imagination of the unseen bomb-maker and, he hopes, save the lives of fellow soldiers and Marines.

Now, with roughly two months remaining in his third Iraq tour, Burghardt shakes his head in wonder at the variety and evolution of the roadside bombs he has encountered and the relentlessness with which they’re planted.

Washing machine timers, cordless telephone docking stations, battery acid, shaped charges and artillery rounds seemingly scrounged from all corners of the globe are the insurgents’ currently preferred tools. Yet Burghardt said it’s only a matter of time before they move on to newer and deadlier devices.

The Rest of the Story.

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