Tuesday, February 28, 2006

E-mail Between Friends

A very good friend sent me an e-mail the other day. He was asking for advice. I thought about how I should answer it and after writing my response to him, I though that maybe I should share that advice. By all means, if you follow my advice, please keep in mind who is giving it. I have left his name off of the e-mail to protect his privacy.
I read your blog with some regularity. I can imagine how much time you put into it. Thank You, from myself, my wife, and my and sons. I believe God is working through you, Barry, and I know he will bless you for your efforts.
Please tell me what I can do to help. You, your Son and all of the troops are in my prayers, but other than that (and mandatory weekly federal income tax deductions), I'm basically doing nothing to support our mission in the Middle East, and I'm very ashamed of that.
Please, give me some idea of where to start. Whatever comes to your mind first is what I need to do.

I trust that God knows what he is doing. But, are you sure that he is working through me?

You may be right, though. I hope that you are. I may average 40 or so visitors a day. That seems pretty humble. But, if I can count you and God among them, then, I am pleased.

But, the way I look at is, that if I only ever have one visitor and that visitor is a soldier, then I will have been a success. I just want that one soldier to know that I and others support him and his comrades.

I had been sending jokes and amusing pictures to four soldiers. One was an Air Force Security Sgt., one was a Marine captain, one was a National Guard Lt. and the fourth was a National Guard Sgt. They are all home now. I will have to find others to correspond with.

Where I will look, is where you should look. I'll suggest to you that you go to Soldiers Angels. There you will find at the top of the right side bar, Adopt-a-Soldier. You can send letters or whatever you feel that you can do. I can tell you, that the guys I was e-mailing seemed grateful that someone would take the time to think about them. The Sgt. e-mailed me to ask if I would send the same things to his buddy, that I had been sending to him. I told him that I would be delighted to. The buddy turned out to be the NG Lt.

I spend a great deal of time on my blog for 40 visitors a day. As you know, I am computer illiterate. So, many things have been difficult or frustrating. But, I never gave up and I will never quit. I'll feel that I will let that 'one soldier' down, should I give up, because, it is too hard or too time consuming.

How could what I do, be any harder than riding in a Humvee through the streets of Iraq?

The other day, I had to pat down a soldier who had been injured by an IED. He and all of the others, that I have had to search, have said, "Thank you, sir." It should be, and is, the other way around. I thank them.


More Americans abducted along Mexico border than in Iraq

Since, I live in Texas, this isn't news to me. It shouldn't be news to the MSM, either. But, you'll only hear how lawless and dangerous Iraq is. If the MSM says anything about the Mexican border, it will be about how out of control the Minutemen are. Iraq will be alright. Can the same thing be said for Mexico?

LAREDO, Texas – This border area is one of the least publicized international crisis zones. More Americans have been kidnapped just in this area than in all of Iraq by Islamic terrorists.

Twenty-six Americans are now officially listed as missing in the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo region of the U.S.-Mexico border—in addition to the more than 400 Mexicans reported to be suffering a similar fate.

The number of American civilians missing or kidnapped in Iraq since the beginning of the war is 23 as of last September, the latest figure released by the State Department.

The Rest of the Story

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bin Laden 'likes hugs not kisses'

I never figured Osama for the 'touchy-feeley' type and Jack, you shoulda stayed with the beer.

Australia's "Jihad Jack", convicted of receiving funds from al-Qaeda, says Osama Bin Laden does not like being kissed but is happy to be hugged.

Joseph "Jack" Thomas, who met Bin Laden three times in Afghanistan, discussed the al-Qaeda leader's preferences in an interview broadcast after his trial.

Thomas, 32, also said his own love of beer had made his conversion to Islam, which bans alcohol, a dilemma.

Thomas is still to be sentenced but his lawyers say he plans to appeal.

An interview with Thomas was shown on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners programme on Monday and other details have also been published in The Age.

"I never really thought I'd be a Muslim," he told ABC. "I'd say, 'Oh look, you know, I really love your religion but I really love my beer'."

The Rest of the Story

Sunday, February 26, 2006

First Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker

I saw Lt. Baker's story on NBC's Olympic coverage tonight. I was impressed with Mr. Baker's quiet dignity, when he himself had suffered so much indignity. A truly heroic man of great honor.

moh_army.gif (14215 bytes)

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor

First Lieutenant Vernon J. Baker

General Order:

For extraordinary heroism in action on 5 and 6 April 1945, near Viareggio, Italy. Then Second Lieutenant Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company's attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. When his company was stopped by the concentration of fire from several machine gun emplacements, he crawled to one position and destroyed it, killing three Germans. Continuing forward, he attacked and enemy observation post and killed two occupants. With the aid of one of his men, Lieutenant Baker attacked two more machine gun nests, killing or wounding the four enemy soldiers occupying these positions. He then covered the evacuation of the wounded personnel of his company by occupying an exposed position and drawing the enemy's fire. On the following night Lieutenant Baker voluntarily led a battalion advance through enemy mine fields and heavy fire toward the division objective. Second Lieutenant Baker's fighting spirit and daring leadership were an inspiration to his men and exemplify the highest traditions of the Armed Forces.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Marines Join Special Operations Community

By ESTES THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer
Fri Feb 24, 10:06 PM ET

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - The Marine Corps formally entered the world of military special operations Friday by establishing a separate command devoted to small-unit tactics and stealthy reconnaissance.
It's work they've done as far back as World War II, but never before as part of the U.S. Special Operations Command. The change means battalions of Marines will be focused on special ops work just as Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets and Rangers are.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made the change official after arriving at Camp Lejeune aboard an Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. He said special ops Marines will help "seek new and innovative ways to take the fight to the enemy."

The Rest of the Story

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Fair Request.

Vatican to Muslims: practice what you preach
By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammad cartoons row, the Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance toward their Christian minorities.

Roman Catholic leaders at first said Muslims were right to be outraged when Western newspapers reprinted Danish caricatures of the Prophet, including one with a bomb in his turban. Most Muslims consider any images of Mohammad to be blasphemous.

After criticizing both the cartoons and the violent protests in Muslim countries that followed, the Vatican this week linked the issue to its long-standing concern that the rights of other faiths are limited, sometimes severely, in Muslim countries.

I'll have to miss this one....

....and, I so wanted to be there. I wondered why money raised by the concert wasn't being donated to an organization that would help surviving family members of fallen warriors. But, then, I'm not promoting or attending the concert. Before somone asks, money is taken out of my paycheck for families of fallen Spec Ops soldiers. That's why I wondered why they didn't do the same.
Lineup set for anti-war concert

NEW YORK, N.Y., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan will be the guest of honor at the "Bring 'Em Home" concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.

Among the performers scheduled to play March 20 are R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, Bright Eyes, Rufus Wainwright, Fischerspooner, Public Enemy's Chuck D, Devendra Banhart and Peaches, Billboard.com reported.

Sheehan will address the audience at the concert noting the third anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Billboard said.

Janeane Garafalo will broadcast her Air America Radio show "The Majority Report" live from the concert.

Money raised by the show will go to Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Well said and freely spoken!

This a great piece on the press's surrender to the Islamo Facists. The print media waved the white flag quicker than a Frenchman at the sound of a car backfire. My apologies to all frenchmen for lumping you in with the MSM.

A Failure of the Press
By William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz
Thursday, February 23, 2006; Page A19

There was a time when the press was the strongest guardian of free expression in this democracy. Stories and celebrations of intrepid and courageous reporters are many within the press corps. Cases such as New York Times v. Sullivan in the 1960s were litigated so that the press could report on and examine public officials with the unfettered reporting a free people deserved. In the 1970s the Pentagon Papers case reaffirmed the proposition that issues of public importance were fully protected by the First Amendment.

The mass media that backed the plaintiffs in these cases understood that not only did a free press have a right to report on critical issues and people of the day but that citizens had a right to know about those issues and people. The mass media understood another thing: They had more than a right; they had a duty to report.

We two come from different political and philosophical perspectives, but on this we agree: Over the past few weeks, the press has betrayed not only its duties but its responsibilities. To our knowledge, only three print newspapers have followed their true calling: the Austin American-Statesman, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Sun. What have they done? They simply printed cartoons that were at the center of widespread turmoil among Muslims over depictions of the prophet Muhammad. These papers did their duty.

The Rest of the Story
A Hat Tip to Bob of Crazy Politico's Rantings for alerting me to the story.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Job with Benefits!

Of course, they offer benefits. No one lives long enough to collect retirement. You'll notice that retirement isn't mentioned in the contract.

Pentagon papers offer insight into al-Qa'eda's hidden world of terror
By Anton La Guardia(Filed: 22/02/2006)

It could be any employment contract setting out salary, paid holidays, home leave and grievance procedures - except in this case the employer is al-Qa'eda and the recruit's job is "carrying out jihad".

By signing the contract, the recruit commits himself to al-Qa'eda's objectives: "Support God's religion, establishment of Islamic rule, and restoration of the Islamic Caliphate, God willing."

An al-Qa'eda "mujahed brother" is paid a monthly wage of 1,000 Pakistani rupees (about £10 at current rates) if a bachelor, 6,500 rupees (£65) if married, with an additional 500 rupees (£5) for every child. Air fares for home leave are paid for by the firm. Tickets cannot be cashed in but are transferable for performing the Haj pilgrimage.

The contract is one of thousands of documents captured by US forces, mostly in Afghanistan and Iraq during the past four years of the "global war on terror", and stored on a Pentagon database known as Harmony.

The Rest of the Story

U.S. Joins Landslide Rescue Effort

Here's a story that received limited MSM attention (the Marines not 'killing innocent civilians', that is). I don't remember seeing the photo at all.

A search-and-rescue mission to find survivors of a landslide that completely wiped out a farming village in the eastern Philippines went into high gear Monday as hundreds of U.S. military personnel arrived to help dig through the mud and debris.
While the largely Filipino crew had made progress in the search and recovery mission before the Americans arrived on Sunday, the use of U.S. equipment and manpower considerably improved the operations.

Two military ships and several helicopters were diverted from military exercises in the Philippines to help with the rescue operation. About 3,000 U.S. military personnel, or half of the contingent sent to the country for the exercises, would be participating in the operations, according to officials in Manila.

"I've put in as many people as requested. We're going to respond as quickly as we can," Brigadier General Mastin Robeson said in Manila on Monday during the opening ceremonies for the military exercise called Balikatan, which means "shoulder to shoulder."

"We're still working together shoulder to shoulder. We're not skipping a beat," Robeson said.

The Rest of the Story

Sue the Bastards!!!

What a great idea!
GI, Widow Win $102.6M for Attack
Associated Press February 20, 2006
A soldier wounded in Afghanistan and the widow of his slain comrade were awarded a $102.6 million judgment from the estate of a suspected al-Qaida financier.

U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell said the lawsuit may be the first filed by an American soldier against terrorists under the Patriot Act.

Sniper shot that took out an insurgent killer from three quarters of a mile

Toby Harnden in Ramadi

Gazing through the telescopic sight of his M24 rifle, Staff Sgt Jim Gilliland, leader of Shadow sniper team, fixed his eye on the Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier.

His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barrelled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow's commander aimed 12 feet high.
A single shot hit the Iraqi in the chest and killed him instantly. It had been fired from a range of 1,250 metres, well beyond the capacity of the powerful Leupold sight, accurate to 1,000 metres.
(The Iraqi sniper had killed SSG. Gilliland's friend minutes before.)

Longer shots have been made. But, they were with a 50 cal. weapon. SSG. Jim Gilliand, was using an M24 7.62 for this shot. From Wikipedia:

Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock of the United States Marine Corps achieved 93 confirmed kills of North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong guerrillas during the Vietnam war. He held the record of longest confirmed kill at a distance of 2,250 meters for 35 years until a Canadian team broke it in 2003. He is the subject of two biographies, Marine Sniper and Silent Warrior.

The longest-ever recorded and confirmed sniper kill was made by Master Corporal Arron Perry of the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan during combat in 2003. Using a .50-caliber (12.7 mm) McMillan TAC-50 rifle, Perry shot and killed an opposing combatant soldier from a distance of 2,430 metres(1.5 miles).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pak anti-terror court sentences 11 to death for attack on general

And, they were ordered to pay fines! That's the way to do it.

An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan today handed down death sentence to 11 members of an al-Qaeda-linked militant group for attacking a top military general in 2004 in which 11 people were killed.

The attack by "Jundullah" (Army of Allah) group was a clear bid to kill Deputy Chief of Army General Ahsan Saleem Hayat, who at that time was the Karachi corps commander Lieutenant General, Court officials in Karachi said.

Hayat survived the attempt as he was being driven to work in the port city of Karachi but at least seven soldiers, three policemen and a passerby were killed in the firing in the city's posh Clifton area.

Pakistani officials say that Jundullah group is a new terror group which has links with Al Qaeda, and their members have been trained in the tribal Waziristan.

The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) judge Feroz Mehmood Bhati, announced the verdict in the presence of all the accused, who chanted slogans "Allah-o-Akbar" (Allah is great) in the court room as the verdict was announced.

The judge also ordered them to pay fines of USD 833 each and pay twice as much to the relatives of those killed. Five other accused in the case have been declared absconders in the case but were not sentenced.

Security was tight outside the court room.The convicts have the right to file an appeal in high court and their lawyers said they will challenge the punishment. Jundullah is one of the new and, perhaps, the most fierce of militant groups which was been behind continued violence in Karachi in 2004. The group hit the headlines after the daring attack on the motorcade of the Karachi's Corps Commander.

It was the most serious attack targeting the military since the two failed assassination attempts on President Pervez Musharraf in Rawalpindi in December 2003.

Jundullah has also been involved in attacks on paramilitary rangers, police stations, as well as the twin car bombings outside the Pakistan-US Cultural Center in July 2004.

Holy Toledo!

And, we shouldn't wiretap or listen in to electronic transmissions of terrorists for what reason? This story is less than an hour old.
Update: From historymike's musings come this, Toledo-on-the-spot report, with photos: http://historymike.blogspot.com/2006/02/toledo-terror-central.html
Toledo-Area Men Arrested for Terrorist Activity
Feb 21, 2006, 10:12 AM CST
TOLEDO -- A federal grand jury has indicted three Toledo-area men for terrorist activities. Prosecutors say the three conspired to wage a "holy war" against the United States and coalition forces in the middle east.

According to the indictment from the US Attorney's office, the suspects are Mohammad Zaki Amawi, Marwan Othman El-Hindi, and Wassim Mazloum. The indictment says all three are citizens of the United States, and have been living in the Toledo area.

In count 1 of the indictment, prosecutors say the three met together many times, going back as far as November 2005. The three reportedly conspired to recruit and train others for a violent jihad against United States forces and US allies in Iraq. They also reportedly put together the funding needed for the operation, and collected the equipment needed.

Prosecutors also say the three communicated by computer with an individual in the Middle East, passing information about potential attacks and terrorist training materials back and forth, as well as communication about potential weapons and targets.

In count 2, the grand jury found that the three had similar plans to kill US citizens abroad in addition to service members.

The last two counts in the indictment dealt specifically with Mohammad Zaki Amawi. One count said Amawi distributed information on bomb-making, which in itself is a federal crime.
Prosecutors also said he verbally threatened President George W. Bush. Those crimes are separate from the conspiracy.

The indictment was filed with Judge James Carr in Federal Court in Toledo. The Justice Department says Amawi is being held at a jail in Cleveland, and will be arraigned in Cleveland some time this afternoon. El-Hindi and Mazloum are being held in a jail in Toledo. They are expected in Toledo's Federal Court this afternoon.

HATE MAIL from the 'Religion of Peace'

A sample: To: MetroSpy 2 days or we killing your family.From: gost_and_darkness@hotmail.com

Conservative t shirts Mohammed cartoon t shirts are in stock! MetroSpy delivers the fun, witty, hard hitting conservative messages you've been looking for. Our tees are guaranteed to quell the whiney hum of any liberal co-worker, democrat relative or left-wing, Iran-loving crazy person.

Scores of liberals and hundreds of Islamo-fascists have written in to tell me that I should respect ALL religions. Most of the comments are pretty funny to people who know me. Some of the comments further confirm what I've always thought about the so-called "religion of peace"...there is nothing peaceful about it. [>>]

Patriot Guard Riders

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The Patriot Guard Riders are a very worthy organization. I wish that they had been around in my time. Their Mission Statement is below. The bold italics are mine. The video is from a newscast on a local station here in Dallas and can be found on the Patriot Guard Riders website.

Patriot Guard Riders Mission Statement

The Patriot Guard Riders is a diverse amalgamation of riders from across the nation. We have one thing in common besides motorcycles. We have an unwavering respect for those who risk their very lives for America’s freedom and security. If you share this respect, please join us.

We don’t care what you ride, what your political views are, or whether you’re a "hawk" or a "dove". It is not a requirement that you be a veteran. It doesn't matter where you’re from or what your income is. You don’t even have to ride. The only prerequisite is Respect.

Our main mission is to attend the funeral services of fallen American heroes as invited guests of the family. Each mission we undertake has two basic objectives.

1. Show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes, their families, and their communities.

2. Shield the mourning family and friends from interruptions created by any protestor or group of protestors. We accomplish the latter through strictly legal and non-violent means.

From the Army Times:

February 20, 2006Bikers drown out funeral protesters
By Ryan LenzAssociated Press

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Wearing leather chaps and vests covered in military patches, a band of motorcyclists rolls from one soldier’s funeral to another in hopes their respectful cheers and revving engines will drown out the insults of protesters.

The motorcycle club members calling themselves Patriot Guard Riders are trying to shield mourners from cruel jeers by adherents of a tiny fundamentalist church who picket military funerals to reflect their belief that U.S. combat deaths are a sign God is punishing the United States for harboring homosexuals. Some protesters’ signs said, “Thank God for IEDs,” the improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs, that kill many U.S. soldiers.

The Rest of the Story

Best Ranger Competition

From the Ranger Training Brigade 2005 Best Ranger Competition website:

The Best Ranger Competition is an annual event conducted by the RTB in honor of LTG (R) David E. Grange, Jr., past Director of the Ranger Department and Fort Benning Post Commander.. The original concept for this competition was developed by the Chairborne Rangers of Clearwater, Florida. To determine the best two-man buddy team in the Ranger Department. Over the years the Competition has been expanded to include all Ranger qualified personnel in the United States Armed Forces as well as some foreign countries. The competition is a 3-day event consisting of physical and mental tasks undertaken with very little rest between events. Selected events must be completed to remain in the competition. The historical attrition rate averages approximately 60%. Competitors are not aware of test sequence until arriving at the test site. The competition has grown over the years to be one of the highlights for Fort Benning with multi-media coverage and outstanding guest speakers.
If you ever have the chance to watch the Best Ranger Competition, live or on the Discovery or Military channels, you should. It is a grueling, three-day event that is open to all Ranger qualified personnel. It gives you an idea of just how elite and well trained these Special Operations soldiers are. These "rough men" who watch the night!

The photo is of the 2005 winners crossing the line.

Rangers readying for contest
April 21 challenge couples Ranger skills, triathlon-like endurance events

Staff Writer

The annual Best Ranger competition is just two months away.

But don't bet for a minute that serious training for the event, which started in 1982, hasn't already begun. And not just at Fort Benning, where last year's champions and runners-up reside, but at Army Ranger units around the globe.

The first event in the competition, named for David E. Grange, is scheduled to start at 6 a.m. April 21 at Malvesti Field. The formal awards ceremony will be held April 24.

The competition has been compared favorably to the Eco-Challenge and to Hawaii's Ironman triathlon. It challenges two-man Ranger teams in events that test their physical conditioning, Ranger skills and team strategies.

The events are purposely scheduled back-to-back and around the clock for 60 hours, allowing little time for rest and meals.

The competition is conducted on a "come as you are" basis, with no tasks or events announced prior to the competition. In the past, these events have included weapons firing, extended road marches and land navigation courses, Rangers skills and parachute jumps. All events are timed and competitors score points for each completed event. Both team members must complete each task.

Of the 23 teams that started the 2005 competition, only 11 finished. The competition was not conducted in 2003 because of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The only other time the competition was canceled was during Operation Desert Storm.

Capt. Corbett McCallum, 29, and Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Nelson, 37, of Fort Benning's 4th Ranger Training Battalion, won the event last year and were presented Colt pistols by Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army's chief of staff, and then post commander Maj. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley.

Capt. Marc Messerschmitt and Capt. Rick Ahern, also members of the 4th Ranger Training Battalion and winners of the Best Ranger Competition in 2000, finished second in 2005.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


The United States Olympic hockey team goalie, Rick Dipietro wears a helmet that honors his country, his country of heritage and military veterans, specifically his father, who is a Vietnam Veteran. I posted this in contrast to the idiot, in the post below. One man loves his country. The other man loves himself.

Et tu, Alec?

What is it with these backstabbing Hollywood types? First, it's Billy Zane and Gary Busey (see my post) in a Turkish anti-USA film. Now, we hear from Alec Baldwin, expert on U.S. politics. I guess that if you can barely act, then you'd have to know more about what makes a person a terrorist than what it takes to be an actor. Although, in Alec's case, it's one in the same.

Alec had this to say in Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post blog. It gags me to mention him and her in the same sentence.

Will They Go to Court?

So, I suppose the question is...what kind of civil trial will we see, or not see, between Cheney and Whittington? Whittington is certainly no stranger to a court room and to civil litigation. Will Cheney pay him off, preemptively? Will they go to court? I would imagine if a guy with a few beers in him shoots you in the face on a hunting trip, how could you turn down that opportunity?

What would Cheney do about the whole secrecy thing then? I mean, this is the guy that sicced Enron on Gray Davis and the state of California to embarrass Davis, trigger the recall and then watched Arnold Schwarzenegger become governor of California. (To this day, perhaps, still the low point in American political life.) Then Cheney covered it up.

Cheney's the guy who told Libby to out Valerie Plame. The rumor I heard is that someone yelled, "Look out! Shooter!" and Cheney thought he said Scooter and fired in that general direction.

Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately. Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America's prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions.

Please note that I placed the picture to the far left of this post.

Friday, February 17, 2006

"We don't need to honor any more rich white males."

From the blog, Paradosis, comes this story of the disgraceful treatment of an American Hero, by the Student Senate of the University of Washington. Pappy Boyington is a true American Hero who deserves better from those ingrates at UW, who don't deserve the freedoms, free speech among them, that Pappy fought to preserve.

We don't need to honor any more rich white males

So says one member of the University of Washington Student Senate. And here is a picture of the rich white male this person was speaking of:

Gregory Pappy Boyington...graduate of the Univeristy of Washington (went to High School in Tacoma), winner of the medal of honor, shot down 28 enemy aircraft, was a prisoner of war for 20 months, and apparently does not - according to the student senate - deserve a memorial on campus. Apparently we are told that he "is not the type of person we want to honor" and some even went so far as to liken his duty in WW2 to murder. One of the biggest antagonists of the proposal was apparently the leader of the student Democratic Party. How sad.

Pirates of the Indian Ocean

Arrgh, Matey. They be blackards, all. Hang'em from the yardarm. Jack Sparrow, they ain't.

Officer testifies in Kenya against accused pirates
Associated Press

MOMBASA, Kenya — A Navy officer testified in a Kenyan court Friday against 10 Somali men accused of piracy, saying U.S. sailors detained the suspects after firing warning shots that forced their vessel to stop.

Lt. Lucas Michael Grant told the court that the sailors, who are part of an anti-terrorism task force based in Djibouti, detained the 10 Somalis on Jan. 22 in an operation involving U.S. military helicopters and a warship that fired several warning shots.

Grant said the U.S. troops, who were responding to a hijacking report from the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur, tracked down an Indian-based vessel that the suspected pirates had taken over and were using to attack other ships.

Days earlier, the Somalis used the hijacked ship in a failed attack on the MV Delta Ranger, a bulk carrier sailing under the flag of the Bahamas, when it was 200 miles off the eastern coast of Somalia, Grant said.

Here be the Rest of the Yarn.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Critics slam Cheney's interview choice

CNN-Crybaby News Network.

New York -- For days, the White House news corps has pounded the Bush administration, demanding to learn more about Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting companion Saturday.

Cheney finally addressed the incident Wednesday, but the forum in which he chose to do so -- in an exclusive interview with Fox News host Brit Hume -- quickly became another source of contention.

Fox News executives cast the scoop as the result of persistence and the growing clout of the top-rated cable news network.

"We've been after the vice president since Sunday, as everyone has, and our efforts paid off," said John Moody, Fox's senior vice president for news editorial. "I think he wanted to make sure he got a fair interview and a good interview -- good in the sense of thorough -- and Brit is sort of the pre-eminent journalist in Washington right now."

But some Democrats and competing broadcasters charged that Cheney chose to speak only with Fox News because of a perception that the cable channel is sympathetic to the Republican administration. They called for the vice president to hold a news conference with the rest of the media.

"Now that he feels forced to talk, he wants to restrict the discussion to a friendly news outlet, guaranteeing no hard questions from the press corps," Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., said in a statement.

On CNN, commentator Jack Cafferty called the interview "a little bit like Bonnie interviewing Clyde. ... I mean, running over there to the Fox network -- talk about seeking a safe haven."
The interview came after days of sniping between the White House news corps and White House press secretary Scott McClellan over why news of the hunting accident wasn't released earlier to the national media. Supporters of Cheney called it a nonissue that was only of interest to the media itself.

Although Fox News is known for its outspoken conservative commentators, network officials reject the idea that partisanship creeps into its coverage.

"What we try to do is not shut out any points of view," Moody said.

Cheney "wouldn't have come to Brit Hume if he wanted a softball interview," he added, calling the criticism sour grapes. Fox News sought to make the most of its exclusive on Wednesday, airing excerpts of the interview throughout the afternoon. During an appearance on "Studio B With Shepard Smith," Hume previewed the highlights of Cheney's comments, even as he questioned whether the public was as upset as the White House news corps about the administration's handling of the incident.

"If my e-mail is any guide, and the things I'm hearing from just people in the street that you talk to and people that you know, I don't think much of the nation feels particularly deprived that they found out about this on Sunday afternoon or Sunday evening instead of Saturday night or Sunday morning," Hume said.

Iran Renames Danish Pastries

Yeah, and maybe we'll take the 'Persian' out of Persian Cat and then it'll just be another Pus...out of respect for the ladies, I'll not finish the thought.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranians love Danish pastries, but when they look for the flaky dessert at the bakery they now have to ask for "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad."

Bakeries across the capital were covering up their ads for Danish pastries Thursday after the confectioners' union ordered the name change in retaliation for caricatures of the Muslim prophet published in a Danish newspaper.

"Given the insults by Danish newspapers against the prophet, as of now the name of Danish pastries will give way to 'Rose of Muhammad' pastries," the union said in its order.

"This is a punishment for those who started misusing freedom of expression to insult the sanctities of Islam," said Ahmad Mahmoudi, a cake shop owner in northern Tehran.

The Rest of the Story

German Navy Fights Terrorism along the Horn of Africa

Vielen dank Deutschland!

Story by Cmdr. Dirk Peters,
Armed Forces of Germany

The German Navy’s commitment to supporting US Forces in the fight against terror is as sincere now as ever. From the very first pledges of solidarity in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001 – symbolized by the display of a banner reading “We Stand by You” on the German destroyer Lütjens while passing the USS Winston Churchill on Sept. 14, 2001 – German vessels have continuously been present in the waters off the Horn of Africa to support Coalition actions in Operation Enduring Freedom.

Der Rest der Geschichte.

Photo: Boarding teams search suspects during an intel stop of a dhow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


This photo was on the Drudge Report. I don't think that
Matt Drudge had any hidden agenda. But, I still find it
interesting that the Presidential Seal is featured prominate-
ly over, President wannabe, Hillary's right shoulder. I hope
that she has a copy for herself.

PS: If this story ain't one of the pot callin' the kettle black.

Who is your hero?

Army Times is looking for heroes. Not the types who make headlines for combat exploits, but rather the quiet, everyday heroes whose dedication, professionalism and concern for their fellow soldiers and community set a standard for us all.

They are unsung heroes who lead by example — giving their time, sharing their knowledge and inspiring others — without drawing much attention to themselves.

Through April 7, we are accepting nominations for the sixth annual award. The only way someone is nominated is by our readers.

To nominate someone, send us:

• Your name, address, commercial phone number and e-mail address.
• The name, address and commercial phone number of your nominee and his/her unit commander.
• An explanation of why your nominee deserves this award in 300 words of less.
• Names and contact information for three people who can verify nominee’s achievements that took place in 2005.

You can submit nominations in one of four ways:

• Online at www.armytimes.com/soldier.
• By e-mail.
• By fax to Army Times Soldier of the Year Award at 703-642-7325.
• By mail to Army Times Soldier of the Year Award, 6883 Commercial Dr., Springfield, VA 22159.

The awards presentation will take play July 13 on Capitol Hill in Washington.
*Disclaimer: I know that John Wayne is a Marine in the photo. But, he's dead and, therefore, ineligible to be voted for. So, please give me and the Duke a break.

No Weapons of Mass destruction?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Secret Saddam Tapes on ABC 'Nightline'
This article by reporter Sherrie Gossett
originally appeared at CNSNews.com

Secret audiotapes of Saddam Hussein discussing ways to attack America with weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be the subject of an ABC "Nightline" program Wednesday night, a former federal prosecutor told Cybercast News Service.
The tapes are being called the "smoking gun" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The New York Sun reported that the tapes have been authenticated and currently are being reviewed by the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The panel's chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., declined to give the Sun details of the content or context of the recordings, saying only that they were provided to his committee by former federal prosecutor John Loftus.

Story Continues

Terrorist Bastards!

Schoolchildren blown up in Baghdad blast

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Three Iraqi children were killed by a roadside bomb near their school in a wave of explosive violence in Baghdad that claimed a total of 11 lives, police said.

The children were on their way to school Wednesday when they stopped to examine a bag in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Fadel, a lower-income predominantly Sunni area, witnesses said.

"I saw the children playing with a bag lying in front of a photography store and suddenly it exploded," said Ali Mahmud, 35, who was driving by in his minibus.

Five store fronts were destroyed and walls smeared with bits of flesh and blood from the two boys and girl caught in the blast.

"I saw the body of one of the children thrown five meters (yards) into the street and I didn't have time to stop my bus and ran over it," Mahmud said. "It was awful."

The children were believed to be aged about 11.

"These are takfireen (Islamist extremists)," said Mohammed Sami, standing on the street near the blast site littered with rubble and bits of bone. "This is not jihad, this is terrorism."

The Rest of the Story

Baby, you can drive my car...

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said "Baby, can't you see
I wanna be famous, a star of the screen
But, you can do something in between."
"Baby, you can drive my car.
Yes, I'm gonna be a star.
Baby, you can drive my car.
And, maybe, I'll love you."
I told the girl that my prospects were good.
And, she said "Baby, it's understood.
Working for peanuts is all very fine.
But, I can show you a better time."
"Baby, you can drive my car.
Yes, I'm gonna be a star.
And maybe, I'll love you.
Beep beep mm beep beep, yeah.

Personally, I'm sick of the White House 'Press Corps' feeding frenzy. I found this line on Bob's Crazy Politico's Rantings blog: Remember Ted Kennedy's Car Has Killed More People Than Dick Cheney's Shotgun. Say's it all for me. Now, White House 'Press Corps', SHUT UP!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It was a nice day in Texas.

A view of the Trinity River, taken today, near Ft. Worth, Texas. The Trinity has been identified as the stream that the Caddo Indians called Arkikosa in Central Texas and Daycoa nearer the coast, as well as the one that Réne Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, in 1687 called River of the Canoes. The name Trinity (La Santisima Trinidad) is supposed to have first been applied to the present stream by Alonso De León in 1690. Domingo Terán de los Rios in 1691 called the same stream Encarnación de Verbo. Domingo Ramón in 1716 probably applied the name Trinity to the present Brazos, for, when he later reached the Trinity, he was told by the Indians that other Spaniards called the stream the Trinity. The Marqués de Aguayo and other later explorers used the name Trinity consistently.

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day!

New Yorkers Send World's Largest Digital Valentine to Troops

NEW YORK CITY - Operation Love Our Troops, billed as a “Guinness Book of World Records” attempt to create the largest digital Valentine for America’s troops, took center stage Feb. 7 in Times Square.The campaign has already received more than 10,000 messages from around the world since it was launched Jan. 4.

It’s a joint effort between Soldiers’ Angels, a nonprofit military support group, and Library of Life.org, a “digital scrapbooking” Web site whose pages include numerous tributes to fallen service members.Organizers said they hoped their presence in Times Square would give a significant boost to the number of signatures by Feb. 14.

The Rest of the Story

Top Ten Dick Cheney (Quail Hunt) Excuses

10. "Heart palpitation caused trigger finger to spasm"

9. "Wanted to get the Iraq mess off the front page"

8. "Not enough Jim Beam"

7. "Trying to stop the spread of bird flu"

6. "I love to shoot people"

5. "Guy was making cracks about my lesbian daughter"

4. "I thought the guy was trying to go 'gay cowboy' on me"

3. "Excuse? I hit him, didn't I?"

2. "Until Democrats approve medicare reform, we have to make some tough choices for the elderly"

1. "Made a bet with Gretzky's wife"

Monday, February 13, 2006

Gore Laments U.S. 'Abuses' Against Arabs

Thank God, that this man wasn't elected President. While, there is nothing wrong with suggesting that we all get along, there is something very wrong with saying that your government committed "terrible abuses". No matter how much Gore sucks up to the Saudi government, they will not allow him to visit Mecca or Medina (after all, his audience would consider him to be an infidel) and may ask him, if he were to visit Saudi Arabia, to ask his wife to cover herself up. Saudi women 'enjoy' second class status. Why would Tipper be exempt from abuse in such an enlightened country?

Associated Press Writer

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia

Former Vice President Al Gore told a mainly Saudi audience on Sunday that the U.S. government committed "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that most Americans did not support such treatment.

Gore said Arabs had been "indiscriminately rounded up" and held in "unforgivable" conditions. The former vice president said the Bush administration was playing into al-Qaida's hands by routinely blocking Saudi visa applications.

"The thoughtless way in which visas are now handled, that is a mistake," Gore said during the Jiddah Economic Forum. "The worst thing we can possibly do is to cut off the channels of friendship and mutual understanding between Saudi Arabia and the United States."

Gore told the largely Saudi audience, many of them educated at U.S. universities, that Arabs in the United States had been "indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable."

The Rest of the Story.

Unreported History in Baghdad

Interesting commentary from Lt. Col. John Kanaley and posted in RealClearPolitics.com. I'm not surprised by the lack of attendance on the part of the Mainstream Media.
I'm reminded of a Vietnam anti-war question,
"What if they had a war and nobody came?"
In this case, "What if they won a war and nobody came?"

February 13, 2006
Unreported History in Baghdad
By Lieutenant Colonel John M. Kanaley

The silence was deafening and the seats were empty. The western press was nowhere to be found. The location was Baghdad and the event was a February 10th, 2006 press conference announcing the final verification of December's election results. Although the final allocation of parliamentary seats did not change from last month's tentative reports, the conference was nonetheless significant for American and Iraqi history. What was equally significant was the absence of members of the western press.

If the pre-release of the topics to be discussed included reports of widespread voter fraud, complaints by detained terrorists of maltreatment, or a sudden clamoring for the return of the deadly former dictator, certainly, the major news networks and the print media would have found time to attend. Of course, their reports would have consisted of their own perceived failure of western style elections in a part of the world that they deem to be unprepared for democracy. Since they were unable to report a "disastrous" event of this war, apparently, their budgets did not allow for attendance in Baghdad.

The Rest of the Story

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Your View

Stars and Stripes , the daily military newspaper,
features miltary photos that are worth seeing.
I mean that they are Taken by the military and
not by the MSM. They give a truer view of military
life. A view with no hidden agenda.

Nobody knows better than Stars and Stripes what you go through downrange. Except you. So we want your help in telling your story. E-mail us your digital photos, depicting what life is like wherever you are, whether on the FOB or on a mission somewhere in the wild. It’s “Your View” of your role in the wars, whether Iraq, Afghanistan or somewhere else. Candid (not posed) shots are best, and please include your name, unit, location and a short caption explaining the picture and your thoughts when you took the shot. Selected photos will be used in the paper and here at stripes.com. E-mail your photos to: view@mail.estripes.osd.mil.

Photos published February 6, 2006

Your View Photo 1

Submitted by Staff Sgt. Marcus McDonald, stationed in Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Senior Airman Christopher Riley salutes Capt. Christy Nelson while a controlled detonation takes place in the background. Riley, an explosive ordnance disposal team member, was being re-enlisted in the Air Force for an additional four years. Nelson is a duty officer for the 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. Riley is from El Paso, Texas.

Your View Photo 2

Submitted by Staff Sgt. Mark Wojciechowski, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. Sgt. Shawn Snyder of 3rd Infantry Division’s 2/7 Scout Platoon poses with the helmet that saved his life from a sniper in downtown Tikrit, Iraq. “I didn’t get a concussion, didn’t even get a headache,” he said.

Your View Photo 3

Submitted by Tech. Sgt. Jesse Eladjoe, 332 Expeditionary Medical Group/Intensive Care Unit — Air Force Theater Hospital, Balad, Iraq. Pictured is Chief Master Sgt. Bradley, 332 EMDG-Group Superintendent, during a Black Hawk trip to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. During the flight out of Balad, we all kept an eagle’s eye out for anti-aircraft. Out of all the photos I took in Baghdad, this photograph was really one of my most profound. This says and shows it all — the importance of the trip itself for me, the compassion of the chief to stick with his troops, the nervousness of the passengers on the Black Hawk flight and the attentiveness of the gunner on the chopper.

Your View Photo 4

Submitted by Staff Sgt. Joseph Cappitte. Pfc. Christopher Pickett, a gunner with the 828th Quartermaster Company, takes a quick nap on the hood of his High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle while the rest of his convoy picks up their loads at LSA Diamondback.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dumbass!! Pay attention. Because, I'm only going to do this once, o.k.?

When I read the following story, the line that I've highlighted in red italics, jumped out at me and reminded me of this cartoon:
How the hell, do you shoot yourself in the head? Actually, I don't care. He saved the American taxpayers the expense of the bullet. If we can get others of his ilk into a class, like the one in the cartoon, then we can withdraw the military and the'insurgents'(that term makes me want to puke) can all shoot themselves in the head. Problem solved!

Insurgents (I prefer the term, 'terrorists')Nabbed After Attack on Police

American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2006 – In separate incidents over the past several days, Iraqi police caught two insurgents after they attacked a station, Iraqi soldiers conducted a raid through Safra village, and a suicide car bomber hit a U.S. patrol north of Baghdad, officials said.

Iraqi police officers apprehended the insurgents after they attacked a station checkpoint at the Rasheed district headquarters yesterday.

According to reports, the insurgents drove up to the checkpoint and began shooting. When checkpoint police returned fire, the three attackers jumped out of their vehicle and attempted to flee the scene. Officers caught two of the attackers; the third escaped.

An Iraqi police officer, injured by gunfire, was transported to a medical facility for further treatment.

The arrested insurgents were injured by small-arms fire during the incident. One insurgent shot himself in the head while trying to escape. Both insurgents were turned over to authorities for further questioning and investigation.

On Feb. 8, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army Division, conducted a raid through the village of Safra with support from U.S. soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

The Iraqi soldiers searched more than 45 structures while U.S. soldiers provided outer cordon security and served as tactical advisers throughout the operation.

The Iraqi soldiers detained a suspected terrorist linked to bombings of an oil pipeline, and talked to the village religious leader regarding further questioning for wanted possible insurgents.

The operation was planned and led by the Iraqi army, U.S. military officials said.

In other news, a patrol from 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, was hit by a suicide car bomber Feb. 7 north of Baghdad. There were no coalition casualties in the incident, but a terrorist attacker was killed, and a coalition vehicle received minor damage.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news release.)
Related Site:Multinational Force Iraq

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just Damn!

From the blog, The Dax Files, comes this story on 'commitment'. I'm honored to post it here.

After I graduated from High School, I had several choices to make. I had to choose between going into the workforce, Tech school, or college. The one choice that I never even considered was military service. For a long time I never appreciated the commitment young men were making when it came to military service. I pretty much figured that I wasn’t cut out to be a trained killer. I was a lover not a fighter. That being said, I never discounted the value of military service either. I never ridiculed anyone for making that choice. I just knew that military service wasn’t for me.

As I grew older and realized that I didn’t know everything, I came to appreciate the sacrifices that young men and women make when they join the military. Now more than ever before I have come to respect the commitment and the sacrifice our soldiers make when they decide to enlist.

Sometimes commitment comes easy. The biggest and easiest commitment I ever decided to make was when the lovely and talented Priscilla became my bride. That commitment was a no-brainer for me. However, the decision to commit to military service isn’t easy to make, especially now that our country is at war. That’s why I was extremely honored and proud today.

With Fort Gordon right around the corner from my restaurant, I am privileged to serve many, many servicemen. I make it a point to learn the different insignia and ranks so that I can properly address each soldier. I have befriended many of these heroes who come in regularly. However, I was totally shocked and surprised when a Captain approached me today and asked me if it was alright to have a re-enlistment ceremony in my store. I emphatically answered, “Yes.” It turns out that when a non-commissioned officer re-enlists, they get to choose where the ceremony takes place. This young Sergeant chose my restaurant. I was truly humbled and honored and proud.

This Sergeant was making one of the biggest commitments he will ever make in his life, and he wanted to make it in my restaurant. Even though my lunch crowd was going strong, about twelve soldiers gathered in the corner. The Captain and several Lieutenants watched as the sergeant read, and signed the re-enlistment papers. Then the Command Sergeant Major swore him in with an American Flag as a backdrop.

After the Sergeant was officially sworn in, the small group of soldiers broke out in applause. I was pretty wrapped up in the whole ceremony thing and not really paying attention to the line of customers. But when the soldiers began clapping for their Sergeant, the line of customers also began clapping and cheering for the young man. Twenty or so people put aside their own personal thoughts and focused their attention on the young Sergeant and his fearless commitment to protecting our country and our freedoms. I was speechless.

I hear in the news that people are tired of the war on terror. I hear reports that the backs of our young soldiers are broken. I hear reports that enlistment numbers are down. I call bullshit!
Today I watched the truth happen before my very eyes. Today the truth set me free.

Just Damn!

Internet T-shirt Vendor Profits from Mohammed Cartoon Conflict

You had to know that this was coming. I couldn't link to the t-shirt website. They are already that busy. Here is their notice:

The Mohammed Cartoon T Shirt is in stock!!
Due to exceptionally high traffic, our web server is running slow.We apologize for the inconvenience. Please bookmark this page and try back throughout the day or tomorrow.

PRWEB) February 8, 2006 -- To see the latest creation from conservative t-shirt maker MetroSpy some would think the Muslim world had every right to be upset. MetroSpy's new t-shirts depict an unflattering caricature of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb on his head.

The controversial cartoon, which first ran in European newspapers, has outraged Muslims around the world because Islamic tradition forbids a graphic depiction of the Prophet Mohammed.

Many in the U.S however, are angered by the violence being displayed by extreme Islamic protesters -- torching buildings, desecrating flags and in some cases even killing people. Annoyed by the violent images broadcast from the Middle East, MetroSpy decided to sell t shirts with the controversial caricature emblazoned across the front.

“We can't let the terrorists win. We can not encourage this uncivilized behavior by caving in to their wishes,” said Nate Thomas, product manager for MetroSpy.

On their website (http://www.shopmetrospy.com/), MetroSpy denounces the tactics of Islamic extremists and encourages its customers to stand up against terrorism. "Failing to print these images mean the terrorists have won", the site says.

“We wanted a simple way to exercise our freedom of speech and to stand up to the terrorists. This design was perfect,” said Thomas.

So far, the Mohammed t-shirt has become their best selling item of the year -- more than 120 orders the first day it became available.

Critics of the Mohammed t-shirts say this is a perfect example of why Americans are hated around the world. Finding humor in the desecration of another's religious symbol, even if you disagree, is just plain wrong.

Despite the critics, MetroSpy intends to keep selling the Mohammed cartoon t-shirts.

Iraqi General: Saddam Flew WMDs to Syria

From KurdishMedia.com, comes this story

Webcast News Service - Former Iraqi general Georges Sada, who served as second-in-command of the Iraqi air force under deposed dictator Saddam Hussein, says Hussein moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the US-led invasion by loading them into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The revelation is made in the newly published book, Saddam's Secrets. Speaking to The New York Sun, Sada reported that special Republican Guard units led by Saddam's cousin, Ali Hussein al-Majid, nicknamed "Chemical Ali," loaded "yellow barrels with skull and crossbones" in two Boeing jets.

The planes made 56 flights to Syria in the weeks leading up to the war. Hussein also sent WMD out on trucks. "Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming," Sada said. "They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians."

The revelation follows by one month Israeli Gen. Moshe Yaalon's comments that Israel had intelligence showing that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."

The Rest of the Story.

Danger? Drabness? No Date? Iraqis Find an Outlet Online

I hope that the Internet will do as much to bring about democracy in Iraq, as anything else that might be tried. I believe that knowledge is a beacon of light that pushes back the darkness of hate.

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Feb. 9 — On a recent rainy afternoon, Ahmad Nader Ali sat in a booth at the ShreifiNet Cafe, sending instant messages to his brother who lives in Finland on one screen window and his fiancée, Nour, on another. A tiny Web camera sat atop the computer, beaming live images of him to Nour's home screen across Baghdad.

"Because of the situation, I'm not able to go and see her often," said Mr. Ali, a confident 20-year-old with slicked-back hair who runs a men's clothing store. "Everybody does it like this."
Nearby, partially hidden by wood-paneled booths, were a dozen other young men staring intently at their screens, most chatting simultaneously on three or four different e-mail accounts. All of them were paying 1,500 dinars an hour — about a dollar — to escape the gray confines of Baghdad's blasted walls for a while. Two heavyset men sat on a black faux-leather couch by the door, keeping a watchful eye on the street.

Three years ago, the Internet was virtually unknown in Iraq. Today, Baghdad has dozens of Internet cafes like ShreifiNet, which consists of three sparely decorated rooms with a total of 34 computers and a satellite dish on the roof. Most of the cafes also transmit wireless services to home Internet users in the surrounding area for a monthly fee; in parts of central Baghdad there are about 20 overlapping wireless networks.

The universal hunger to get online has made computer and Web services one of the few bright spots in Iraq's stagnant economy. On Sinaa Street, the two-lane thoroughfare in central Baghdad lined with computer and software stores, business is brisk. Companies that install wireless networks and satellite dishes are also thriving, despite the irritation caused by frequent power failures. So are many Internet cafes.

The Rest of the Story.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Corps set to join Special Operations community

This should have been done long ago. I assume that the delay in forming an elite unit was due, in part, to the long standing Marine tradition that all Marines are equal. But, whatever the reason, the Marine Corp now has a special operations unit. I expect that they will carry on with another long standing Marine tradition -severely kicking the enemy's ass.

Submitted by: MCB Quantico
Story Identification #: 200629132558
Story by Pvt. Andrew Keirn

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (Feb. 9, 2006) -- The Corps finally has a reserved seat at the joint special operations table.Marine Corps Special Operations Command, which is slated for activation later this month at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will be first commanded by Brig. Gen. Dennis J. Hejlik.

In a long awaited move, MARSOC will unfurl its guideon Feb. 24, formally putting leathernecks under U.S. Special Operations Com-mand for the first time.

With the global war on terrorism creating more tasks best suited for the special operations community, Hejlik is set to guide MARCSOC toward history.

Rest of the Story.

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