June 30, 2006

Scheduled for Surgery

Yep, you heard that right. I met with the other surgeon this morning and I'm scheduled to go under on Thursday, July 6 at 0830 hours.

Hopefully all will go well and I'll be back home on Friday.

Thank you all for your wonderful emails and comments!

June 29, 2006

My Prognosis

...is not looking good. As some of you know my pain returned earlier this week and I've been fighting it since Monday. This has been a long 3 month journey for me with some great results and a lot of hope, but this week it appears all of the previous work was for naught.

I had an appointment with my sugeon of choice this morning but the earliest he can get me in is July 19. That is just too long to be waiting and in pain, sure Percocet and Flexerall work wonders, but I'm tired and I want to get on with my life. I honestly have no idea how some of those guys in Walter Reed do it, Captain Z you are amazing for being able to deal with this stuff, Carren, you must be a Saint.

Anyway, since 7/19 is too long to wait in my opinion, my doc has scheduled a meeting between me and another surgeon he recommends for tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'll be able to get an appointment for sometime around the 4th for the surgery.

I hope all goes well, and if once again you are the praying kind, I'd appreciate a couple of lines to the man up stairs on my family's behalf, they are going to need it to be able to deal with me. Thanks for all you have done for me in the past and hopefully I'll be back in full stride before long.

See you all soon.

Oh if anyone wants to do a little guest blogging, please let me know.

David M

We're Off to See the Wizard

I must apologize for the lack of blogging this week, but the truth is my back flaired up again and my pain returnned, so all week I've been in bed trying to find that happy spot where the pain goes away.

It hasn't.

This morning I'm off to the Doctor's to discuss scheduling surgery.

Wish me luck.

June 28, 2006

Mr. Stokely: A True Story About Cheese Pizza, 4th of July, True Love and a Family Forged

July 4, 1985: A divorced dad of two years and his three year old son climb on a bus ride to a rail station, and transfer to the train going downtown to Atlanta. The bus / rail transfer cost the dad 50 cents of the only three dollars to his name till pay day. They had packed a lunch and small cooler of canned cokes to picnic on the curb of Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown. At times, the little boy would sit atop his dad's shoulders to get a better look. They spent the hot afternoon clapping, cheering, waving an American Flag, and having the time of their lives as they celebrated freedom and watched the parade. 50 cents and an hour and a half train / bus commute later, and they were at the bus stop a half mile from the dad's apartment. The little boy's legs tired quickly and his dad carried him most of the way home.

Back at the apartment, getting close to time to think about supper, the dad asked his son what he wanted. CHEEZE PITZA the little boy called out, can we have cheeze pitza? The dad couldn't possibly buy his son a pizza, much less tip money for the delivery. So, he did the next best thing he could, and put his son on his shoulders and across the street they went to a grocery store to buy a Chef Boyardee cheese pizza mix. Mix with water and bake 25 minutes or so, and you have CHEEZ PITZA for about a buck fifty. The dad still would have 50 cents till payday.

With Chef Boyardee in hand, the dad and his little boy headed to the cash register. But at the end of the aisle, he ran into a young lady who went to the same church the dad had visited off and on for a few months(an elderly friend who was like a mom had asked the dad to come and sit with her after her son died in a train accident in February). The young lady said she was there with a friend from work and they were moving into their new apartment near by, and then she pointed her friend out at the register. The dad turned to look and an amazing thing happened - his heart lept - love at first sight. He said to himself "I am going to marry her". They didn't even make eye contact at first, and then the young lady at the register looked their way - kind of impatient like. The friend said to the dad "gotta go, see you at church" and out the door they went - without even an introduction to the other young lady. All this time, the little boy doodled around with the Chef Boyardee CHEEZ PITZA mix proudly clutched in his little hands.

On the walk home, the dad couldn't stop thinking about the young lady he had just fallen in love with and didn't even know her name. The little boy,riding on his dad's shoulders, was singing at the top of his lungs and waving the box to others "we gonna have CHEEZ PITZA tonight, we gonna have CHEEZ PITZA....". As you would expect, a buck fifty box pizza mix with water added can't be that great, but the little boy loved it. His dad barely touched it, hardly choking down one piece. Maybe because the dad thought it tasted like cardboard, or maybe he was so smitten with love..

Several weeks later, still trying to figure out how he could meet this young lady, maybe even get her phone number, the dad was at the church he was visiting, and out walks his "love at first sight" to sing in the choir. After church, the dad managed to fumble around and find an excuse to speak to her and eventually got properly introduced - but didn't get far enough along in conversation to get a phone number But, in that day "information" or 411 was free and the phone turned out to be a listed number. For the next three months he would call and hang up when the young lady answered - good thing no caller ID or call return. At church, he barely managed to fumble out small talk with this young lady. Go figure - a dad 32 years old who survived a tough divorce, has his small son half the time to care for, works full time in pipeline construction management, and goes full time to law school at night - choked with fear to talk to this young lady.

Finally, after nearly three months, the dad forces himself to call this young lady - when the young lady answers, the dad swallows hard, and mumbles a nervous "hello, this is...." to which the young lady excitedly says hello and the conversation takes off. The young lady eventually asks why the dad and his son were at the grocery store that July 4 and the dad tells her. She then quipped "I love pizza - how about making me one sometimes." The dad tells her he was thinking of having pizza that evening, but too bad she had to work that night at 11:00 p.m. No problem is the reply, for she said she could come by and then leave from there for work.

The first date was set! But, the dad was in a pickle, for he didn't have a pizza mix, and no longer lived across from a grocery store - and he needed to do a rush clean up job. So, he calls Domino's and orders a medium cheese pizza for five bucks and writes a check he doesn't have money for, but thank goodness in 1985 it took five to seven days for a check to clear, giving the dad time to cover the check at his work credit union. That October evening, 1985, the dad and the young lady finally revealed their hearts to one another over pizza, laughing why it took so long when each was secretly so much in love with the other.. Oh, and the little boy - she considered him a treasure to love - in fact, he was a prominent reason she was first attracted to the dad.

There was no looking back and the next year on July 4th the dad, the son and the young lady were at a rehearsal picnic for their wedding on July 5 and then the three went to a Fourth of July fireworks show. The son, now four, was ring bearer, dressed in a white tux with tails like his dad. He did well - but, in the middle of the vows he began to tug on his dad's tux tails. "Dad, Dad" he urgently whispered in a not so quiet whisper, tugging more insistently on the dad's tux tails. Finally, with the preacher moving along, as he held his bride's hand, he gently bent down to calm his son. But the son became more insistent and urgent and finally the dad asked him what was it, to which the little boy, with a gleam in his eye, put his shoe on top of his dad's and loudly, proudly and boldly, proclaimed "DAD WE GOT SHOES JUST ALIKE!!"

The entire church broke apart in laughter, while the radiant bride choked backed laughter laced ltears. The dad cackled as softly as he could, proudly acknowledging his son's excited observation. The preacher never missed a beat. The little boy, now satisfied and proud, let his dad pull him closer and remained still as the dad gave his wife to be a gentle squeeze of the hand. In that moment, three became one as a family was forged by a life time memory.

In the years to come there were many 4th of July celebrations, anniversaries and life events to share - and a brother and sister to share them with. July 4, 2005 saw this family march proudly in honor of their son and brother - the little boy grown up and serving his country proudly in Iraq. The next day, the dad and his wife celebrated a quiet 19th wedding anniversary with an anxious eye on the day their "boy" would come home. They had never been them without him.

Next Wednesday, July 5, 2006, the dad and his wife will celbrate 20 years of marriage and a family that had grown from three to five. The dad, his wife, and their two chilren will proudly take part in a 4th of July parade the day before in honor of their son and brother. But both special days will be somber and tempered, for the little boy who cheered for his country went on to be a soldier who served while others debated. The little boy who went from eating Cheez Ptza to eating MREs in the harshness and hostility of war was killed in action last August 16, 2005 near Yusufiyah south of Baghdad.

During the two years before this son died, his dad, now in his 50s, quit eating heavy carbs like pizza, so as to drop and maintain his weight. The son kidded his dad a lot - he loved to tease and have a good time. "hey dad, you ever going to eat pizza again", "ah come on dad..." usually holding a piece under the dad's nose. Even when in Iraq, the son kidded his dad "you still not eating fries and pizza - you ever gonna eat them again - hey come on dad, live a little." This 4th of July the dad has decided to break his diet and eat one piece of Cheez Pitza in honor of his son and will do so every Fourth of July. Maybe with luck, this dad can eat it while a parade passes by. But this dad will have to take small bites, for how else will he swallow it with the lump that will be in his throat, choking back tears of remembrance.

Mike - thanks for loving Cheez Pitza so much. And thanks for loving your family and your country even more. How could you have possibly given us more? We wouldn't be us without you.

Robert Stokely
proud dad, SGT Mike Stokely
KIA IED near Yusufiyah south of Baghdad 16 August 05
E Troop 108th CAV 48th Brigade GA NATL Guard
US Army Purple Heart and Bronze Star
God, Family, Duty, Honor, Country
John 15:13 - No Greater Love

Has Border's Seen the Light?

Dear David,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the premiere issue of Shock Magazine.

The premiere issue of Shock Magazine that went on-sale earlier this month contained an allegedly unauthorized photograph on the front cover and retailers were directed to remove copies from sale and return them. In response to this directive and the fact that it is now time to place the second issue of Shock on sale, Borders is in the process of removing the premier issue from our shelves.

I hope that this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions or comments.

Sincerely,
Scott
Borders Customer Care
http://www.bordersstores.com

No I guess they haven't as they are still selling SHOCK Magazine.

June 27, 2006

Border's Books, You Lost Me.

I recently learned that you have agreed through negotiations with Hachette Filapachhi Media (HFM) to distribute Shock Magazine, their newest publication. In your letter to another concerned customer you were erroneous in stating that the dispute had been resolved. On the contrary, HFM and Michael Yon had agreed upon a settlement but immediately upon leaving the table HFM abruptly ceased to abide by the terms of the agreement, there by rendering the settlement null and void. Shock Magazine and HFM have continued their willful infringement of American Law and you by distributing their publication are an accomplice after the fact, which makes you liable under US law to pay damages to the photographer. You should also know that this case would clearly be decided in the photographers favor if it goes to trial, and that in the court of public opinion you have already lost.

I find it incredulous to say the least that you refused to carry a publication (April May issue of Free Inquiry) simply for the matter that it contained representations of the Mohammed Cartoons on the grounds that you were only concerned for the welfare of your Muslim customers, yet, now have decided to carry a publication that is embroiled in legal maneuverings from its inception. No law had been broken in the publication of that journal and yet you decided to pull it, I can only assume that you feared some type of potential backlash against your establishment by the Muslim community since your company representative clearly stated in a news article, "For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," - Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham.

I currently have an unused gift card to Borders, a Father's Day gift. You can rest assure that I will not be using this card to purchase any more items from your store and all future book, magazine and music purchases done by me and my family will no longer be done in your establishments as long as you carry Shock Magazine. When the new Barnes & Nobles opens at the local mall, you can be assured that I will do all of my shopping there.

You have lost a valued customer.

June 26, 2006

VDH’s Despair and Hope: The short and long wars against radical Islam

Victor Davis Hanson writes this essay on his web site VDH’s Private Papers. He provides us with an analysis on why the current war against Islamic Terrorists only benefits the West in the long run. While many of our “leaders” have only seen despair in the current war, he sees Hope, and quite frankly so do I and so does most of those men and women currently engaged in the War on Terror. He writes:

In the short-term, the ongoing war with Islamic fascists from Afghanistan to Iraq , and in peripheral areas from Canada and Manhattan to Madrid , Bali, and London , seems surreal.

Not to mention frustrating: almost every day the press highlights another furious outburst from some entertainers or intellectuals who are just enough on the fringes of American popular culture to warrant momentary coverage of their lunacy. Neil Young is worried about the reception of his new album? He hypes George Bush’s malignancies. The Dixie Chicks and Madonna are bothered about being pegged abroad as part of George Bush’s empire? Presto, they call Iraq the real problem. The dropout Sean Penn can’t quite shake his off-screen image of Jeff Spicoli? He seeks acceptance from the Western Left as a serious critic of U.S Middle-Eastern policy.

The largest American aid program since the Marshall Plan has become the receptacle for all the conflicting personal frustrations, unhappiness, and thwarted idealism of Western elites, a sort of scapegoat or totem through which the ennui and angst of contemporary sensitive man can be momentarily excised.

The terrorists in Iraq know this and thus trust that our press corps will harp on the last minutes, rather than the last four years, of the wretched life of the mass-murdering al Zarqawi — did he receive proper medical attention? Was he roughed up by us? Did he die immediately or suffer?

Indeed, the more our own troops are tortured and exploded, the more our own media will rush to judgment on Haditha to assure the world, before an inquiry has even finished, that the U.S. Marine Corps murdered innocents. The more non-uniformed Islamists behead civilians and torture innocents, the more international “rights” organizations will accuse the United States of humanitarian violations in Guantanamo Bay — at least up until the point of calling for the return of such killers to their native countries.

In such an asymmetrical war of perceptions, the gruesome death of a single American does more harm to our cause than does the image of a martyred Zarqawi in sensual Paradise with his virgins. For Westerners, death ruins the precious good life; for the topsy-turvy Islamists, death salvages the bad life.

Our rules of engagement are aimed at winning “hearts and minds.” That precludes the age-old formula for such postwar rebuilding: reconstruct only after the enemy has been humiliated and defeated. A Curtis LeMay would have advised leveling Fallujah in April to save the war; we shrug that doing so would surely lose it. Somewhere the ghost of a Thucydides or Hobbes or Churchill might adjudicate our debate in ways that we might not like.All this the enemy knows and manipulates to its advantage.

The terrorists also understand that their overtly fascistic ideology — intolerance for other religions, execution of the apostate, subjugation of women, killing of gays, and theocracy — will never earn the proper Western revulsion once reserved for a similar reactionary Nazism, since it butts up against the pillar of multicultural tolerance; no non-Western people can be any worse than the present-day West.

Al Qaeda and its followers can’t manufacture a machine gun or design an RPG. No problem — they realize there are enough petroleum-generated dollars floating around in the region, and enough eager arms merchants, to get what they need.

Politically, the Islamists accept that the world detests them — perhaps even the Chinese and Russians. But they also have discovered that much of the world finds them useful. For the Arab Street , macabre resistance to the West offers a vicarious sense of pride, especially if it is cost-free and does not completely forfeit access to Europe or the United States. Aspiring hegemons like the Chinese, or those in decline like the Europeans and Russians, enjoy it when America bloodies its nose, if for no other reason than envy and spite — and the hope that in the future they are given more consultation, befitting their prior status.

Oil is their best ally, or so the Islamists trust. The Iranians, even if shackled, boast that, Samson-like, they can pull down our entire petroleum temple upon all of us anytime they wish. The terrorists know that billions will always filter down from autocracies as bribe money into their coffers. And no gas-hungry American wants his Labor Day Winnebago parked dry on his pad because some nut let off a bomb in the Middle East.

But in the longer-term war, the Islamists have real problems. Their acquisition of weapons is always parasitical and can’t quite keep up with constant Western innovation, whether in the form of drones that take out terrorists sitting in front of their TVs, or anti-ballistic missile systems that might nullify Ahmadinejad’s nuclear blackmail.

The Islamists are also in a dilemma about escalation. They have a deep-seated suspicion that another 9/11 might unleash an unpredictable Western response that would pollute the favorable Middle East waters in which they swim. Behead a Canadian prime minister; blow up the Eiffel Tower or the Vatican; take out the Empire State Building — and Western bombs may be dropped first, beyond Iraq and Afghanistan, and questions asked later. So for now, jihadists accept that their best strategy is not to upset too much the multifarious forces that conspire to restrain Western power.

Even more depressing for the Islamists is that their enemy is not the American or European West per se, but a far more insidious Westernism, something that has infected diverse peoples from South Korea and China to Central America and enclaves in the Middle East like Beirut and Dubai . Westernization — whether we define that as a C-SPAN televised gripe session on Palestinian rights at a Western university or navigating through 7,000 tunes on an iPod or flipping on the CD, air conditioning, and power seats in a Honda Accord or watching assorted bare navels on MTV — is insidiously seductive and ultimately subversive to the patriarchal world of the eighth century.

How do you arrange a marriage, insist on a beheading for adultery, conduct a proper honor killing of your daughter, or calmly call Jews “pigs and apes” when the wider Westernizing world broadcast into your living room, car, and workplace thinks you are some groveling zombie? Can an Airbus or Compaq be constructed according to the principles of Sharia? How can you demand amoxicillin as your birthright, but hate the system of free thinking and rationalism that created it? Does the Islamist despise equally Chinese internet pornography; does he issue fatwas against South Korean video games; does he ostracize Latin American evangelical Protestants, or burn down Bollywood? In the short-term maybe; in the long-term it is not so easy.

The Middle Easterner is also starting to realize that his once romantic jihadist has turned even approving bystanders into international pariahs. You doubt that? Try getting on an international flight with a Saudi or Egyptian and watch the passengers’ reaction; or wear a veil in Paris or Rome , and see how many smiles you receive. That radical change in attitudes toward radical Islam and its appeasers, the jihadist — and those in the Middle East who tolerated him — begot. How they finally wore down the Western therapeutic mind from Amsterdam to Copenhagen , I don’t know, but somehow they have nearly accomplished that once impossible feat.

So there is no guarantee that the multiculturalism, utopianism, cultural relativism, and moral equivalence that infect Western capitals today will necessarily always predominate, being as they are a fashionable relish in times of calm and plenty. The more the Islamist insults his benefactors, the more he gradually tries their patience.

A Cindy Sheehan or Noam Chomsky still resonates with a minority of the public because he can; thanks to Western capitalism and freedom, both jet at will around the globe, live comfortably, and count on the tolerance of the Western bourgeoisie society that they so roundly condemn. But should the Islamist endanger that comfortable embryo — as they almost did on 9/11 — then folks like these would be as quickly forgotten as were Neville Chamberlain and Charles Lindbergh by 1941.

As for Iraq , while the post-Saddam reconstruction may not have started out as the new ground zero in the war against Islamist terrorism, it has surely devolved into that, as the Islamists themselves concede. In the short term, because they understand that the juggernaut of Western capitalism, freedom, and choice will spell their death knell, the jihadists have imported and adopted as their own every conventional Western munition, repackaged every Western self-critique, manipulated every Western media outlet, and tried to boomerang every Western liberal virtue and humanitarian protocol back at its creators. And, if the polls on Iraq are any indication, such a strategy has worked, for a time, brilliantly.

But these are ultimately not acts of confidence, but of desperation. As an al Zarqawi knew, the world is evolving; if for the present we can keep our heads, then for eternity the Islamists will eventually lose theirs.

Mark Steyn: The Defeaticrats' ‘Redeployment’ is Ingenious

Writing at Jewish World Review Mark Steyn latest "The Defeaticrats' ‘redeployment’ is ingenious" is itself ingenious. He writes:

Last week John Kerry revealed his plan to "redeploy" U.S. forces from Iraq. This plan is different from fellow Defeaticrat Jack Murtha's plan to "redeploy" U.S. forces from Iraq to Okinawa, which Congressman Murtha seems to think is in the general neighborhood of Iraq. Iraq's in the Middle East, Okinawa's in the Far East: C'mon, how far can it be to get from the Far to the Middle? After all, the distance between the farthest fringe of the kook left and the center of the Democratic Party seems to be closing up every week.

Anyway, Sen. Kerry doesn't want to waste time "redeploying" to Okinawa. When America "redeploys," it's not going to take a connecting flight via Japan and risk its luggage getting "redeployed" to Bratislava. No, sir, in John Kerry's America, we "redeploy" nonstop, straight back to Main Street in time for the Redeployment Day parade.

You gotta hand it to these guys: "Redeployment" is ingenious. I'll bet the focus-group consultants were delirious: "surrender," "lose,","scram," "scuttle ignominiously," "head for the hills" all polled poorly, but "redeploy" surveyed well with all parts of the base, except the base in Okinawa, where they preferred "sayonara" — that's "redeploy" in any language. The Defeaticrats have a clear message for the American people. Read da ploy: No new quagmires.
This is the most artful example of Leftspeak since they came up with "undocumented immigrant." In fact, if it catches on, I'll bet millions of fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community now start referring to themselves as Redeployed Mexicans.

The only teensy-weensy problem is this: If America ever adopts the Kerry plan, the Murtha plan or some variation thereof, does anyone think al-Jazeera, the BBC, Le Monde, Der Spiegel et al will be using the word "redeploy" in their headlines? Or will they use a word closer to what's actually going on?

In a sense, the Democrats have already psychologically redeployed. Last week they unveiled their "New Direction for America." It's a six-point plan, two of whose points are "Cut College Costs" and "Ensure Dignified Retirement." On the first point, it's true the education system remains a problem: Many hardworking Americans are trapped in low-paying dead-end jobs as U.S. congressmen because an inadequate education left them with the impression Okinawa's in the United Arab Emirates. On the second point, I'm all in favor of a "dignified retirement": Why not try it on Kerry as a pilot program? As for the other four points, none has anything to say about national security or foreign policy.

The Defeaticrats' "New Direction for America" foresees a future for this country as a kind of Lesser France. That would be problematic enough: The dependency culture favored by the Dems has mired much of Europe in permanent double-digit unemployment, a moribund economy and unsustainable social programs. Presumably, Nancy Pelosi and Co. would respond by saying that their pledge to "give America a raise" — i.e., increase the minimum wage — shows that their party is in tune with real people's real needs rather than a lot of foreign adventuring that's got nothing to do with how real people really lead their really real lives. Sorry, it doesn't work like that. Not even the Democrats can redeploy from the whole planet.

If you were a 5-year-old boy standing in the London streets in 1897 for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee parade and marveling as the hussars and lancers of the mightiest empire the world had ever known passed before your eyes, it would have seemed inconceivable that you'd be celebrating your 80th birthday in a decrepit ramshackle broken-down strike-bound basket case of a state. Permanence is the illusion of every age. And, if you're interested in a "dignified retirement," you might want to give some thought to the shape of the world the day after tomorrow.

Today, lots of experts crank out analyses positing China as the unstoppable hegemon of the 21st century. But the real threat is not the strengths of your enemies but their weaknesses. China is a weak power: Its population will get old before it gets rich. Russia is a weak power: If Africa has health crises, the Middle East has Islamists and North Korea has nukes, then Russia's got the lot: a dying population whose men have a lower life expectancy than Bangladeshis with a Muslim separatist movement sitting on top of the biggest pile of nukes on the planet. Europe is a weak power, remorselessly evolving month by month into Eurabia.

Islam is a weak power: In the words of Dr. Mahathir Mohammed, the former prime minister of Malaysia, one of the least worst Muslim nations in the world, "We produce practically nothing on our own, we can do almost nothing for ourselves, we cannot even manage our wealth." But in Iran they're working full-speed on nukes that will be able to hit every European city.
North Korea is a weak power: Its population is starving but it's about to "test" the latest variation on its aptly named No Dong missile. I mean "test" in the sense that I test my new shotgun by firing it through your kitchen window. They're going to launch it and see where it comes down — maybe Tokyo, maybe San Diego; maybe they'll aim for Los Angeles but it'll fall in Vancouver. Hey, that's why we call it a "test," right?

The danger we face is not a Chinese superpower or an Islamist superpower: If it's a new boss, you learn the new rules and adjust as best you can. But the greater likelihood is of a world with no superpower at all in which unipolar geopolitics gives way to nonpolar geopolitics, a world without order in which pipsqueak thug states that can't feed their own people globalize their pathologies. There would be more stories like that one the other day about the three decapitated policemen whose heads were found in the Tijuana River. But Pelosi would carry on talking about college tuition as the world sinks into economic decline, arbitrary bombings and kidnappings, and the occasional nuking.

Kerry gets all huffy if he thinks you're questioning his patriotism, so let's be charitable and assume the Defeaticrats are simply missing the point: For the rest of the world, what's at issue in the Iraq war is not the future of Iraq but the future of America. Can the world's leading nation still lead or is Kerry's Vietnam Syndrome "seared" (as he'd say) into its bones? Luxembourg can be Luxembourg. America doesn't have that option. In a nonpolar world, there's nowhere to redeploy to.

Fred Barnes: The My Lai Lie

In his Weekly Standard article, crossposted at FrontPage Magazine Fred Barnes writes the following:

The media coverage of the killing of 24 Iraqis at Haditha has given rich new definition to the phrase "rush to judgment." The coverage, plus the reaction of antiwar politicians like Democratic representative John Murtha, amounts to a public verdict of guilty, rendered against a handful of Marines, before an investigation of the bloody incident is completed or a trial (if there is one) held.

An egregious example was MSNBC host Chris Matthews's interview with Murtha on May 17. Asked to "draw us a picture of what happened in Haditha," the congressman said he'd tell "exactly" what occurred. "One Marine was killed and the Marines just said we're going to take care. They don't know who the enemy is. The pressure was too much on them, so they went into houses and they actually killed civilians."


"Was this My Lai?" Matthews interjected, referring to the slaughter of more than 300 civilians by American soldiers in Vietnam in 1968. "Was this a case of--when you say cold blood, Congressman, a lot of people think you're basically saying you have got some civilians sitting in a room [or] out in a field and they're executed."

"That's exactly what happened," Murtha replied.

Murtha, of course, doesn't really know if the Haditha civilians were killed in cold blood. There's no way he could know. He's been briefed by Marine Commandant Michael Hagee, but so have other key members of Congress. Republican Duncan Hunter, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, talked to Hagee and did not conclude either that the case was all but closed or that 24 Iraqis had indeed been executed. Murtha, an ex-Marine, claims to have other Marine sources, but it's doubtful any of them were in Haditha on November 19, 2005, the day of the killings. So Murtha is winging it--and in a particularly shameful way.

But Murtha's accusation is only the worst example of prejudicing the case against the Marines. There are others:

* The press has repeatedly likened the Haditha killings to the My Lai massacre, an invidious comparison if there ever was one. Newsweek, for instance, wrote that Haditha "may turn out to be the worst massacre since My Lai." True, the magazine writes that "the scale" of Haditha "should not be exaggerated" and the 24 Iraqis killed are "a fraction of the 300-plus lined up and murdered at My Lai." But with the facts in Haditha so sketchy or in serious dispute, the mere association of Haditha with My Lai is, to say the least, tendentious.

* In breaking the Haditha story last March, Time relied heavily on statements from a 9-year-old girl, a self-styled human rights activist with credibility problems, and a doctor who has publicly expressed his hatred of America. Since then, Time has issued three corrections. A video of the 24 dead bodies and the places where the killings occurred was not taken by "a Haditha journalism student," as first reported, but by a 43-year-old Sunni Muslim who heads the two-person "Hammurabi Human Rights Group." Nor is that group associated with Human Rights Watch, the respectable if anti-American outfit, as the magazine had said. The magazine also allowed that it could not confirm that an alleged photo taken by a Marine, suggesting the killings were executions, even exists.

* The nastiest swipe at the Marines came in a cartoon in the Chicago Sun-Times by Jack Higgins. It showed dead men with their hands behind their backs. One had the word "Haditha" on his body. Underneath were the words, offered as an ironic counterpoint: "We will be greeted as liberators." The cartoon was based on a photo, not of the 24 slain civilians but of 19 Shiite fishermen executed by Iraqi insurgents in Haditha. The photo had appeared in the Times of London, which misidentified the dead as U.S. victims. To its credit, the Times promptly apologized, and so did the Sun-Times and Higgins. Another cartoon, this one in the Arizona Republic, showed the Marine emblem and said USMC stood for "United States Massacre Cover-Up." An investigation by an Army general later found there was no coverup in the case.

* Perhaps the worst part of the immediate coverage was the failure to provide anything more than minimal context for the Haditha incident. The New York Times gave a little in its lengthy June 17 article, noting that Haditha "had taken a heavy toll in Marines that spring and summer." Six from an Ohio reserve unit were killed, then 14 more by antitank mines, and four in a firefight. Haditha was a hotbed of Sunni insurgent activity and an enormously dangerous place for Marines. At least one resident said she knew about the planting of an improvised explosive device (IED) in the town's main road that killed a Marine in a convoy of Humvees. That explosion preceded the killing of the 24 civilians. A reporter for the British Guardian newspaper who spent three days in Haditha last year called it "an insurgent citadel." The town the Marines encountered was anything but a peaceful village.

In truth, we know very little with certainty about what really happened that November morning in Haditha. We know one Marine was killed. And we know his fellow Marines killed 24 civilians, an alarming number of victims. Whether the Hadithans were killed as Marines carried out their duties or whether they were murdered in retaliation for the death of the single Marine--that we don't know. And that's what a probe by the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, not yet finished, is supposed to determine.

For several months, the Marines took an unmitigated beating in the media. "But in recent days," Ed Pound noted in U.S. News & World Report last week, "another side of the story has begun to emerge, this one from defense attorneys who insist that their clients did not intentionally kill unarmed civilians. Instead they describe a harrowing house-to-house search for insurgents that ended in tragedy."

Through their lawyers, the Marines say they were following the official rules of engagement (ROE) or the warning of their officers "to be aggressive in taking care of themselves." It was in this manner, they claim, that they killed 5 Iraqi men as they fled and the other 19 in three houses. The Marines say they had been fired on from the area of the houses.

After the IED exploded, they spotted five men in a nearby car, men they assumed were insurgents. The Marines called to them, in Arabic, telling them to stay put. When the men tried to flee, they were shot dead. Inside the houses, the Marines claim they adhered to the ROE by first throwing a grenade in a room where they heard activity, then entering the room and spraying it with gunfire. This resulted, they say, in the accidental deaths of civilians. Given the town they were in, their story is at least plausible.

What's amazing is that so few questions have been raised about the witnesses against the Marines. Were they free to tell the truth about what happened, though the insurgents were likely to return? Or were they forced, on pain of death, to make up stories about a premeditated massacre? We don't know. And why did the "human rights activist" wait months before stepping forward with his tape? At this point, there are more questions than solid answers.

Congressman Hunter has wise advice on what we should do as the true story of Haditha unfolds. "We should slow down and let the military justice system work and let the chips fall where they may," he says. "The military system has integrity." Hundreds of Marines and Army soldiers have been punished, many severely, for abusing Iraqis. Eight Marines were charged last week with murdering an Iraqi man. Whatever occurred at Haditha, Hunter adds, "shouldn't reflect on the value of this mission." In World War II, he says, unarmed Germans were killed by American troops, but "we didn't stop the war." We shouldn't in Iraq either.

Web Reconnaissance for 06/26/2006

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Some Soldier’s Mom writes If Dirt Were $$$$ “If Dirt Were Dollars (with apologies to Don Henley) I’m on a tear here. Two rants in four days… I have been thinking -- ok, fuming -- about this most recent New York Times infringement and self-serving proclamation that the reporter and editor of some yellow fringed newspaper has a greater authority than the President and people in the government we elected to decide things like what is necessary for the national security.” (read more)

Expose the Left has Rutherford Institute To Defend Brittany McCombs’ Free Speech “Isn’t it ironic that it was probably the fear of a lawsuit that prompted the school to censor Brittany’s speech in the first place? It is sad that our culture, including many Christians, have bought into the politically correct culture and allow this censorship to go on. It has gotten to the point that our First Amendment has been turned on its head by activist lawyers like the ACLU.” (read more)

Jay Tea at Wizbang writes What if they gave a war and only one side came? “One of the more tired cliche's of the left is "what if they gave a war and nobody came?" Like most ideas from that crowd, it's a nice, fluffy, warm, fuzzy thought that makes you feel good, and has absolutely no bearing on reality. What usually happens is one side decides that it believes in something enough to fight for it, and the other side has to choose whether it wants to fight or yield.” (read more)

GayPatriot of Gay Patriot writes Iraq IS Vietnam — To Democrats and the News Media
“Jack Kelly writes a spot-on piece at RealClearPolitics about the Leftist propaganda war in Vietnam and now in Iraq. It really makes you question — do American Liberals and their co-conspirators in the American news media want us to lose in Iraq? And if we do, are they prepared to face the consequences of that loss by a resurgent al-Qaeda that will strike our allies and our nation?” (read more)

Dafydd at Big Lizards writes The InSpecter General “Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA, 63%) announced on Fox News Sunday that he and la Casablanca were nearing "agreement" on a bill to gift the president with the power he already has via the Constitution.
That's mighty big of him.” (read more)

Blackfive writes Will Some General Officer Speak Out “Personally, I've been waiting for LTG Mattis to say something...Retired Marine Officer Steve Clayton sends this plea out via Seamus to find some General with the cojones to say something to the Murthas:” (read more)

Captain Ed writes Palistinians Claim WMD Capability “The Fatah terrorist faction has claimed the capability of chemical and biological weapons and has threatened Israel with a WMD attack, according to the Jerusalem Post. Leaflets distributed in the Gaza Strip state that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has spent the last three years developing the capabilty, the start of which seems oddly coincidental to the fall of Saddam Hussein (via Reliapundit):” (read more)

Ray Robison writing at FOXNews and his own blog writes Was Saddam Regime a Broker for Terror Alliances? “Newly declassified documents captured by U.S. forces indicate that Saddam Hussein's inner circle not only actively reached out to the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan and terror-based jihadists in the region, but also hosted discussions with a known Al Qaeda operative about creating jihad training "centers," possibly in Baghdad.” (read more)

Mohammed at Iraq the Model writes Seven militant groups accpet al-Maliki's offer “So far, everybody in Iraq feels good about Maliki's plan and expressed their hopes for it to meet success and ease the suffering of the Iraqi people; everybody except for the Sadrists and the association of Muslim scholars who both criticized the plan and said it wasn't acceptable and expected it to fail.” (read more)

WO1 Michael Fay writes Quick, Hand Me the Ducktape! “Well, the Democratic slight of hand, as predicted, begins. The Washington Post today, in an article titled Democrats Site Report on Troop Cuts in Iraq, heavily quotes Dem spokesmodel Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif). She says (get ducktape out now and begin wrapping your head):” (read more)

Dadmanly writes No Time for the Times “Please, please, please, please. If you currently subscribe to the New York Times, cancel your subscription. Don’t buy it, discourage anyone you know from buying it. It is the primary mouthpiece of sworn enemies of the United States, and happy to be so. If you care about the national security of the United States, cancel your subscription. If you think Americans need to be Americans first before we start yielding our freedoms to those in the world who hate and despise us, cancel your subscription.” (read more)

Pam of Iraq War Today writes A Hero's Tale “Today marks our units 125th day in Iraq and the days are dwindling fast. The Marines here have been working hard to keep the flight line running and insurgents from planting road side bombs and various other tedious tasks. I want to share a moment when a Marine from our unit really had a gut check and to tell you how serious road side bombs can be here.” (read more)

T.F.Boggs writes Letter to NY Times “I recently wrote a letter to the NY Times in response to their decision to print information concerning a U.S. secret program designed to track financial transactions of suspected terrorists. I'll post the letter in full below. I urge everyone to write to the NY Times and their congressmen and let them know how you feel about the NY Times yet again sharing secret information with America's enemies.” (read more)

American Citizen Soldier writes OPERATION ENDURING BOREDOM - EPISODE XIII “We leave Kabul today, nearly two full months older, bolder, and wiser. 2nd Platoon has now officially spent more time here than at our battalion’s main camp at FOB Salerno. The FOB is going to feel like a foreign country (!) when we step off the bird. It’ll be interesting to see how it’s changed in the interim.” (read more)

Bandit36 writes Best. News. Ever! “On 25 June 2006, at 1750 local time in Mannheim, Germany, my son Mark entered this world! After roughly 36 hours of labor, the doctors decided that he was too big for a natural birth and opted for a C-section, after which both Mark and my sweetie are doing fine.” (read more)

Video Shows Russian Hostages Killed

Reuters is reporting that a video released by an Iraqi al Qaeda-led group has executed the four Russian embassy staff that they kidnapped.

ABC News reports: In the footage, two men clad in black and wearing black ski masks shout "God is great!" before beheading the first man. Then one militant appears standing over the decapitated body of a second victim lying in a pool of blood, with the head placed on top of the body.

Michelle Malkin posts that Dan Riehl sends links to the story. And the video. She adds, Warning: Only watch if you are prepared to look the evils of jihad in the eye. On the contrary I believe everyone should watch this video and be prepared to look evil in the face. If somehow you think that the fraternity stunts committed at Abu Ghraib, or the hotel like conditions at Guantanamo Bay are torture then you are in for a rude awakening. And if after watching this you find yourself making excuses for the butchers that committed this heinous act, I suggest you visit you friendly neighborhood psychologist, because you’ve got some serious problems my friend.

Will the Main Stream Media now start doing their job and stop their sophomoric war on George Bush and stop aiding and abetting the enemy by showing this video? Apparently the enemy wants it put out there for all to see, so let’s show it to them. If you are a blogger, your mission is simple, to counter the MSM in their silence and show this heinous act to the world.

We must expose the enemy for the butchers they are, and we must not let the MSM’s silence on this matter continue any longer.

Also talking about this:
Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
Demon Blog
Wizbang
Old Controller
Sierra Faith
Discarded Lies
Liberty And Justice
Euphoric Reality
Darleen’s Place
Howie’s Moisture Farm
Sneakeasy’s Joint
Small Town Veteran
Paxalles
Blue Star Chronicles
Blogs of War
E L Frederick
Passionate America
A Tic in the Minds Eye
Red Hot Cuppa Politics

June 25, 2006

Web Reconnaissance for 06/25/2006

A short recon at what’s out there that might draw your attention:
Sunday Edition

Cassandra writes Liberal Anti-War Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds “For the past six months, this nation has been embroiled in controversy over the illegal "outing" of an entire classified anti-terrorism program by James Risen of the New York Times. Oddly, the very same people infuriated by the alleged "outing" of a single CIA operative who had so little regard for her own cover that the editor-in-chief of the liberal New Republic knew who she worked for long before Novak's fateful article throw their wholehearted approval behind the illegal "outing" of entire classified anti-terror programs:” (read more)

Laughing Wolf writing at Blackfive posts Posters For The Times “I do wish that this was a time when people took war and the need for secrecy in war seriously. Having said that, here is a great collection of WWII security posters redone for the present day. While I like the first one, and agree they need a huge glass of it, the second one is the one I like the best.” (read more)

Kevin McCullough writing at Townhall.com posts WMDs: The real scandal “By now much of the nation has finally heard the truth; George Bush never lied about weapons of mass destruction. By now most of America is realizing that the President who has been pummeled mercilessly on the fact that such weapons were missing, is deserving of public apologies from every Ted, Dick, and Harry the Senate can cough up.” (read more)

Oliver North writing at Townhall.com writes Defeatism “'Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.' Winston Churchill Sir Winston delivered that line in the House of Commons on May 13 1940, in his first address as Prime Minister. As he was speaking, the French and British armies were reeling from Hitler's onslaught through neutral Belgium. It's a good thing Churchill didn't have "war heroes" like Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., in Parliament. Otherwise Great Britain might have been compelled to surrender at Dunkirk.” (read more)

Crazy Politico writes ALTERed Reality “Jonathan Alter has an interesting op/ed piece in this weeks Newsweek Magazine, "How To Beat Cut and Run". It is not, as the title suggests, a way for the Democrats to beat the charge that every Iraq policy they've proposed has been the equivalent of cutting and running. Instead, it's a look at how he feels Karl Rove can beat the Democrats by turning their Iraq strategy into a political liability, and getting them to ignore it.” (read more)

Red Cuppa Politics writes Chemical WMD's: Looks Like A Skunk, Smells Like A Rose ... “I'm so sick of the double standard, I could scream. Reliability of press sources seems to depend basically on the content of what is reported. Consider the contrast between Iraqi sources on perceived US troop abuse, and Iraqi sources regarding WMD's.” (read more)

Captain Ed writes The Washington Post Doesn't See The Problem, Either “The New York Times has come under fire from a wide spectrum of observers for their hysterical and tabloidesque revelation of a national-security program that turns out to break no laws and endanger no one's civil liberties. Today, the Washington Post joins the chorus of criticism, albeit sotto voce, in their lead editorial today:” (read more)

Blue Crab Boulevard writes Ready For The Spotlight? “Someone asked at the time of YearlyKos whether the Koz Kidz would be ready for their time in the spotlight. I can't remember who said it, but it was a very pertinent question. It appears to be getting more pertinent every day, too. It's not just TNR coming down on Kos, Newsweek is now taking the offensive with an article that is not at all flattering.” (read more)

Chickenhawk Express writes OOPS THEY DID IT AGAIN - DAMN THE NYT! “DAMN! How much more classified national security information does the NY Times have to print before we can hang them from the highest tree? Fresh on the heels of the latest Risen-Lichtblau terrorist assistance, the Times publishes info about a classified briefing from Gen. Casey about troop withdrawal!” (read more)

They Deserve the Respect of the Entire Nation.

Kat in Ga informs us via email that:

I just found out (and their website confirms) that the westboro baptist "church" [those evil psychopaths don't know what a true church is! ugh!] is going to be picketing the funerals of those two soldiers who were tortured & killed. OMG I wish I could do SOMETHING to counter-balance that - to cancel them out... to make them GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have not, as of yet, been able to find out here & when the funerals are .... Of course it's not like I could go anyway, they are thousands of miles from me - but at least I'd know on what day to be saying a few trillion extra prayers!!!! I did hear that the Patriot Guard Riders, god bless them, will be at at least one of the funerals to hopefully drown out the evil idiots.....


If there was ever a funeral that deserved the respect of our entire Nation it would be this one. Regardless of how you feel about the war, NO ONE should have to suffer the way these two fine men did.

For those of you on the left that believe that somehow you are morally right in your crusade against the war, let me remind you, the dogs that did this to these two men, will do this and more to you for these two men were soldiers they at least respect that, you on the other hand, in their minds, are no better than the shit from a dog.

You are less than human for you are dhimmini, and you have no rights, no place in their world. If you wish that to happen, then please continue supporting your heros over in Iraq and where ever militant Islam takes hold. For you will not be the first to be sacrificed for their religion of peace, you will be made to watch in horror as your whole world is torn down until you find yourself the last person standing and then when your servitude no longer pleases your new master, then they will dispatch you with utmost ruthlessly.

I wish you peace in your new profession as slave.

June 24, 2006

An Open letter to Congressmen John Murtha

TacoBell also known as SandGram writes this open letter to Congressmen John Murtha, its a must read!

Dear Sir,
I know you have been taking a lot of heat lately about your stance on the Marine Corps and the war on Iraq. Know a secret? I just compare you to Lord Darth Vader from “Star Wars.” He, too, was once part of a band of elite fighters, the Jedi Knights, who protected the universe from the dark powers of the “The Force.”

He knows how to solve the problems over there and it only is a 3 letter word. Read it all!

Web Reconnaissance for 06/24/2006

A short look at what’s out there that might draw your attention: Weekend Edition

Huntress writes The MSM Is sinking Fast, and shareholders are Furious "…These monolithic media empires are like huge ships believed for decades, by their owners and shareholders, to be unsinkable. Today these ships are sinking fast and shareholders are furious…” (read more)

American Soldier writes Another day in the Neighborhood “…In the heat of battle you have to make decisions and have to do things that don’t always make sense. You all expect us to come home safe and all that happy horse shit right? We have a set of rules that we must obey but the very 1st fucking rule is: ‘If you suspect that you or any member of you unit is in danger you have the right to defend yourself!’” (read more)

Froggy writing at Blackfive writes Doing the "Right" Thing “I find it very interesting that within a week of the news of an impending North Korean missile test, a whole host of former Democrat office holders are now clamoring for the US to PRE-EMPTIVELY destroy that missile BEFORE it is even launched.” (read more)

Dafydd writes The Questions Never Asked “According to the New York Times, global warming -- excuse me, global climate change; I keep forgetting -- has raised world temperatures to the warmest it's been in at least 1,000 years, maybe more. But this immediately raises a number of questions that, alack, are never even asked, let alone answered in the article.” (read more)

Robin of Chickenhawk Express writes ACLU Wants to Review Haditha Docs “Rant #2 - The ACLU... Just saying those letters makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Is there anything the ACLU won't do to undermine the United States? And why are my tax dollars paying for them to shoot my country in the ass? Now the ACLU thinks they can do a better job investigating the Haditha incident than the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.” (read more)

Cassandra writes Selective Outrage, Media Coverage As A Means Of Asymmetrical Warfare “Open a newspaper or turn on the nightly news and you'll see horrifying accusations of human rights violations by US troops. Though the Haditha investigations are far from incomplete, it is nearly impossible to find press coverage that omits the requisite head-scratcher from Jack Murtha. To hear Murtha tell it, there's "no question" these "cold-blooded killers" "snapped" due to "the strain of repeated deployments".” (read more)

Captain Ed writes ACLU, Right On Schedule “The ACLU has jumped into the fray over the publication of national-security efforts to trace financial transactions of suspected terrorists and their organizations in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal this morning. To no one's great shock, the ACLU has leveled more accusations of malfeasance against the Bush administration:” (read more)

Expose the Left has San Fran’s Sandoval Wants Illegals To Have Jobs, Not Be Punished For Murder (VIDEO) San Francisco Supervisor Geraldo Sandoval seems more interested in getting illegal aliens a job than deporting them or even, gasp, punishing those who kill two innocent people.” (read more)

Jay Tea of Wizbang writes To the liberals, every silver lining is wrapped around the dark cloud of "racism" “Last week, there was a story I kept meaning to discuss, but never got around to it. Massachusetts' governor, Mitt Romney, was seeking cooperation with federal officials to allow state troopers to arrest illegal aliens.” (read more)

June 23, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Murderers Captured

Via Soldier's Angels Germany:

Sources with ABC News tell KATU News that some of the people responsible for the deaths of Pfc. Thomas Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca have been captured by the U.S. military.

Video here.

UPDATE: 06/24/2006

Indigo Red writes:
I've tried to track this story, but the video link doesn't work.Googling the news brought up KATU News from "5 hrs" ago. The story has been removed from the TV site. I suspect the story was false.


MaryAnn also is having problems verifying the story now.

I had such high hopes.

DADISM # 30

"Anything worth doing is worth doing right."

{Used to promote perfection, especially when it comes to waxing the car, painting the house, or cleaning out the garage, the 'worth doing right' part defies argument. It's the 'worth doing' part that kids will argue about.}

More About the Change in the Army’s Re-Enlistment Age

The news about the Army raising its age limit from 40 to 42 is pretty amazing but what does it really mean? To me it seems to imply that so many people want to come back that it is willing to change its rules to accommodate them and at the same time help the Army meet its needs.

The Army has consistently met its enlistment/re-enlistment goals. So far this year they have exceeded their yearly goals and must now go to Congress requesting that it be able to exceed its authorized staffing levels. With all of the cries lately coming out of Congress that the Army is woefully understaffed by the liberal mouthpieces, why aren’t they also telling us that it is they who are the people that have set these artificial limits on the level of staffing? If the Army is so hard-up for people, why only authorize them a certain amount. Is this limit strictly a bean counting function or is it something else?

Are you supporting the troops and our country or are you just looking out for your own pet projects?

Mr. Murtha Can’t You See

While I was out exercising this morning this old cadence just came to mind, and this is my first stab at changing the words to make it timelier. I’m sure some enterprising young NCO out there can add more to this, and even improve upon this first take at letting Mr. Murtha know exactly how we feel about his current position. So have at it!

Mr. Murtha Can’t You See
*Sung to the tune of Momma Can't See You*

Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me
Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me

You used to say Semper Fi
Now you only scream good bye
You used to say Semper Fi
Now you only scream good bye

Chorus:
Sir, I want to say
But they wont let me say
F*ck you, oh you, oh you and Kerry too

Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me
Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me

They put me here to guard a gate
But all you do is spew your hate
They put me here to guard a gate
But all you do is spew your hate

Chorus:

Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me
Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me

I came to fight our enemy
I never thought you’d turn on me
I came to fight our enemy
I never thought you’d turn on me

Chorus:

Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me
Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me

You no longer seek the truth
Now I think you need the boot
You no longer seek the truth
Now I think you need the boot

Chorus:

Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me
Mr. Murtha can't you see
what the hell you’ve done to me

In Recruiting News...

Yesterday the Army raised its re-enlistment age from 40 to 42.

Looks like I might be having that conversation with the wife after all.

Web Reconnaissance for 06/23/2006

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Captain B writes POW/MIA FLAG OUTDATED? “Robert Dorr’s recent Colum in the Marine Corps Times suggests that the POW/MIA flag is out of date and reflects out of date imagery that should be retired. His opinion of the imagery is that it is counter productive and has out lived its usefulness.” (read more)

Life in Iraq – As a US Army Sniper writes Post 8, December- “It was a hot summer day and the sun was starting to come down when we were walking in a wedge formation through the city, exfilling back to the FOB. My teammates and I were exhausted and dripping sweat but none the less we were focused and alert.” (read more)

Fast Bunnies writes Still here “I don't really have much to contribute today, except to say that watching the news affirms my current political leanings, and that having been a Marine once, or a Soldier once, or a Seaman, well, doesn't make you a damn expert. I can look all around the Army right now and know that our participation in this great undertaking will make us no more rational than other people in exercising future political judgement. In fact, for a good majority, it will be a liability.” (read more)

Bandit36 writes More Progress!!! “Here is my challenge. Pass this story to everyone whose opinion of progress in Iraq matters to you and see how long it takes to make hit the main stream. This kind of story is a primary enabler of force drawdown! It paves the way to victory and, thereby, to bringing troops home Let me suggest the headline for the MSM:” (read more)

Glen Morris of The Babylon Blog writes A Word from the Commanding Officer “Despite the nickname “Grunts,” the Marines I serve with here are a sharp group of young men. Among the sharpest is their leader, Captain Andy Lynch, a man I have quickly come to respect and admire. He is an expert at juggling the many tasks that are required of a combat commander in this difficult counter-insurgency fight.” (read more)

Dafydd at Big Lizards writes Those Darned 500 Chemical Artillery Shells That Shouldn't Exist “So far, besides the Cybercast News System (CNS) article cited in our previous post on this subject, I've found only a few other MSM reports on the WMDs that have been found in Iraq since 2003. Here's the story by Fox News; it's well written and gives us both sides -- actually "fair and balanced," if you like.” (read more)

Laughing_Wolf posting at Blackfive writes NYT Stikes Again “…And blows the lid of yet another secret and successful operation to stop terrorism. Once again, something done overseas, with oversight, and not a hint of domestic abuse. Something that worked, and of which the terrorists are now fully aware. Way to go NYT, your war against Bush carries on even if it gets Citizens of this country butchered and endangers our freedoms.” (read more)

Captain Ed writes NYT Reveals Secret Banking Anti-Terrorist Program “The New York Times Eric Lichtblau and James Risen have exposed yet another clandestine method used by American intelligence to track terrorists at home and abroad. This time, the pair has revealed a complex surveillance system in the international banking system that traced financial transactions of people suspected of terrorist ties. The system, called Swift, has resulted in at least one capture of a high-value target, al-Qaeda's leader in Southeast Asia:” (read more)

Omar at Iraq the Model writes Forward Together update; Maliki sends a powerful message to the militias. “It is day eight of operation forward together now, the operation so far has met some relative success according to an official statement from the ministry of defense: Baghdad has witnessed a decrease in number of attacks; terror attacks in the past week-first week of operation forward together-were 19% less than attacks in the week before the operation was launched.” (read more)

John Hawkins writes Kos-ola Payola? “Are you ready for an exciting foray into the seamy underbelly of the blogosphere? Well then, strap on your seatbelt and let me tell you a little bit about the still unfolding Kos-ola scandal. To make a long story short, Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga of the Daily Kos has had a long business relationship with Jerome Armstrong, who has left MyDD to consult. And what's interesting about that is people have noticed that in several instances, after money has gone into Jerome Armstrong's hands, the people shelling out the cash suddenly seem to have good things happen to them on the Daily Kos.” (read more)

Captain Ziegenfuss writes All Things Considered “Yesterday marked the 1st anniversary of me getting my ass splattered all over the lower al-Abarra province. Since then, Lieutenant Colonel (at the time Major) Kareem saw to it that the son of a whore who set off that IED was brought to justice. He took the attack very personally. He is one of the very few people I met in Iraq that I would loved to have hosted here in the US, or even taken my family to visit in a few years. Unfortunately, he was killed by another son of whore later that year.” (read more)

David with Vets for Freedom writes Ramadi... with the Iraqi Army “This is amazing. I have not spoken to wade in three days. And I have to return this laptop to its owner in two mintues... the Iraqi army is taking real estate from the enemy. Seeing these men in action is amazing. The people of Ramadi trust them.” (read more)

Major John writes News of Afghanistan XII “Alrighty then. What are we at...week 12 of the information round up? Let's get to it then!Everybody is after the independent press in Afghanistan [follow the link for extra bonus cattiness between Musharraf and Kazai - meow!] Here is some more reaction.” (read more)

Expose the Left has Another Liberal Unhappy About WMD in Iraq, Coulter Discusses Murtha Remark (VIDEO) “Ann Coulter appeared on FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes Wednesday night to discuss the WMD found in Iraq and a comment she made about John Murtha. Coulter was opposite of liberal Laura Schwartz, who downplayed the WMD and made it sound like it wasn’t what we were looking for. One question; why aren’t liberals happy like all conservatives that we found WMD? Don’t question their patriotism, though.” (read more)

GayPatriotWest posting at Gay Patriot writes House Democrats’ Disunity & Their “Unimaginative” Agenda “If it were not for the intense animosity Democratic congressional leaders (and prospective committee chairs) harbored for the President of the United States, I would not be so concerned about a Democratic takeover of Congress. While there have been signs of improvement in the Republican caucus in recent days, it still has not fully embraced the Reaganite agenda of The Contract with America, the series of policy proposals which helped the GOP win a majority in Congress in 1994.” (read more)

June 22, 2006

The True Nature of the Enemy

Do you want to know what kind of enemy we are fighting in Iraq, then go read this dispatch from Michael Yon who paid his own way and embedded with the Deuce-Four Infantry regiment in Mosul last year.

He gives you an example of how ruthless the enemy is, and for those who view these terrorists as freedom fighters, there is no excuse for these acts upon the innocent.

Brave Men and Demons


No matter how a person feels about the war in Iraq, or the rationale for having started it, or how it was managed, or whether or not we should be there still, it is increasingly clear that some how, some way, despite the inertia of history and the fickle meddling of politics, progress is being made in the most unlikely of places. But epic progress is costly.

On average, we lose several soldiers each day in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our people who fight in these lands face an often savage enemy. How else to describe people who resort to barbarism to assert a claim to power for which their very barbarism declares them unfit? If cutting off a child’s head will get attention for thirty seconds, they’ll do it. If cutting out a child’s intestines and sticking a bomb in her belly to kill her mom or dad will send a message of fear to other moms and dads, they’ll do it. Sometimes, the children are just convenient cover:

Go read it all.

He is correct when he writes:

We did not create this evil, although it does reveal itself more sharply by comparison in the presence of decent people. When the tactics of an enemy cross the line, sentient peoples recognize that they are no longer entitled to be called opposing forces, insurgents, freedom fighters, revolutionaries, or Jihadists — they are terrorists.


If you think those soldiers got what they deserved in Iraq over the weekend, because they were murderous occupiers then there is truly no hope for you and no place for you in this society. It is courage we need now to stand against the devil your cowardice is only a hindrance to our success

Technorati

Technorati Profile

DADISM # 29

"Whatever happened to 'Respect your elders'?"

{Symptomatic of the so-called Rodney Dangerfield syndrome, dads say this when they feel like they "get no respoect," which is approximately 94 percent of the time.}

This is Grand!

Via Little Green Footballs

“Stand back! He’s gonna sue! Daily Kos: TNR’s defection to the Right is now complete.

‘People talk about the need for the left to work together and have a unified message in the face of a unified conservative noise machine. So a google group was created called “Townhouse”, and it included many bloggers and other representatives of the netroots as well as a large number of partisan journalists and grassroots groups. It allowed us to discuss policy, issues, tactics and coordinate as much as you can ever get a bunch of liberals to coordinate.

There was one big rule for this list, an important cog in the growing Vast Left Wing Conspiracy — everything discussed was off the record.

That was obviously violated today as the New Republic betrayed, once again, that it seeks to destroy the new people-powered movement for the sake of its Lieberman-worshipping neocon owners; that it stands with the National Review and wingnutoshpere [sic] in their opposition to grassroots Democrats.’”


Go read the rest.

Web Reconnaissance for 06/22/2006

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Some Soldier’s Mom writes Cruel and Inhuman Islamists “I know a lot of what I’m about to write/rant is not politically correct or may be considered insensitive to some and others will think it over the top in some respects. I don’t care. It’s my opinion, it's my blog and I’m allowed to rant and wail whenever I want. And I want. Don’t like it? Go away. WE STILL LIVE IN A FREE COUNTRY AND NO ONE IS MAKING YOU READ THIS.” (read more)

Crazy Politico writes Looking For New Ideas “I mentioned last week in "Kos The King Maker?" that at some point the establishment would start to decide Kos shouldn't be the King Maker. Evidently it's happening a little quicker than even I thought it would.
In this morning Washinton Post David Broder not only takes a couple of well placed swipes at Kos and his followers, but offers up some reading for folks looking for a different perspective from the Democratic party.” (read more)

Expose the Left has Santorum Discusses Newly Found WMD In Iraq, Liberals Unhappy With Finding (VIDEO) “Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R – MI) appeared on FOX News’ Hannity & Colmes Wednesday night to discuss the breaking news of WMD being found in Iraq.
Alan Colmes, like liberal bloggers are trying to downplay this situation. Why are they not happy that we found WMD in Iraq, and more importantly why are liberals trying to question the authenticity of them?” (read more)

Gay Patriot West at Gay Patriot writes Andrew Sullivan Declares War on Civil Discourse
“For more than two years now, Andrew Sullivan has been launching a war against a civil discussion of gay marriage and the Administration’s policies on the treatment of terrorists captured on the battlefield. And just as importantly, he launched a war to besmirch the president’s policies to win the War on Terror.” (read more)

Captain Ed writes More On The WMD “But not much more, as most media outlets chose to ignore the Santorum/Hoekstra press conference on WMD discovered in Iraq since 2003. The Washington Post put the story on page A10:” (read more)

Beth at Blue Star Chronicles writes Send a Clear Message “I went out into the dinning area at work today to chit-chat for a few minutes with my employees. It was the usual conversation for a minute or two and then one lady asked me how my son is doing.
I started replying, but before I could say much she got to what she apparently was wondering. She asked, ‘How does it make you feel to hear about what happened to those soldiers?’” (read more)

Tom The Redhunter writes Outrage “I haven't written anything about Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, or Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, Madras, Oregon, the two solders who were captured, tortured, and killed by the terrorists in Iraq because no words seemed adequate. The whole thing was so horrible that words cannot really express what I think or feel about it. Here, then, for what it's worth, are a few thoughts about the situation.” (read more)

Midnight in Iraq writes Electrons, Hand Sanitizer, and Sunflower Seeds “It’s been a while since I last posted new and relevant info to the blog. This has partly been deliberate, since I recently found I was starting to expect masterpieces of myself every time I sat down to write something. It became easier to just let things ride for a while and not worry about the blog. It was also partly accidental, since I have been consumed with several things at work. Alas, I have broken the chain, and I am back—not to deliver a masterpiece, but simply to tell you about the past few weeks.” (read more)

Serving the People of Iraq writes A Joyful Homecoming “I'm back home now, and I do miss the people of Iraq, but it's just as joyful being back home as I anticipated. Friends and family have reinforced the idea in my mind that it has been worth it to serve.” (read more)

June 21, 2006

The Flags Are For Heros

WOW!

Here is today's must read, via Blue Crab Boulevard. Hat tip: Confederate Yankee

"The long walkway to the doors of the church have ranks of men and women positioned almost shoulder to shoulder. Each has a flag, snapping in the brisk wind. These people wear leathers, most have designs on the back. Patriot Guard Riders or Legion Riders the lettering says. You pause, almost afraid to walk that gauntlet, it seems almost sacrilegious. But they wave you in and you walk past calling your thanks to them for what they are doing, what they are standing for. You can't say it to each one, your voice keeps choking."


Go here and read it all!

Allen Drury Responds - kinda

In my response to Allen’s attack on one of his commentors Allen responded to me via his comments section where I also posted my response he wrote:

Any long time reader of my blog will note I have tackled Democrats as well as Republicans. Politics, Politicians, And Principles.

On issues of ethics and political process you will note I am tough on each side and challenge them all to do better for the people they represent.Since Bush and Company are the ones who perpetrated the misconceptions and fostered the lies that led our nation to war they should face justice. The person who ran for President and swore an oath to the nation should be held accountable.



My readers know what I meant when I wrote: What Would Jeb Bartlett Do?

You will be glad to know I support Bush on immigration and the Dubai port deal. I think he was correct on each issue and you will find strong examples of my support for him in my columns. I have approved of Senator Graham often. If he is ‘outed’ for his sexuality I will have words about that too.

I wrote the following in a post that sums up my feelings on public service, which also would apply to Bush.

Hours before this news broke I had written a quick note to a young friend who is trying to get a job in the Statehouse. Knowing how difficult and frustrating it can be, I wanted him to know the hard work was worth the time, and mental investment. I closed my note to him with the following about how he should conduct himself once employed under the dome. At the time it was just for him, but following the news tonight it applies to every person who enters into that magnificent building and prepares to work on behalf of the public.

…in your job make each day count, and affect change in every way possible; honoring the public’s trust in every action you take….

I replied:

Allen thanks for commenting but I really don’t see an answer to the question above, instead you spout out old and tired lines about how ‘Bush lied and now people died,’ instead of getting stuck with your head in the sand because of your obvious contempt for President Bush why don’t you actually read the reports that have been given, by the Bi-Partisan Committees. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence did find that the intelligence was flawed, the stock piles of WMDs just weren’t found, you BDS sufferers stop right there and fail to read further to see that even though stockpiles were not found the resources and documentation found by the Iraqi Survey Groups did indicate that Saddam had temporarily suspended his production of WMDs and or transferred them to another country, Syria is the most logical assumption.

The fact that Saddam had WMDs can not be lied about or ignored, he used them on his own people and he continually threatened to use them again. What part of that truth is so hard for you to grasp?

As late as January of 2003 the Telegraph was reporting that “United Nations weapons inspectors have uncovered evidence that proves Saddam Hussein is trying to develop an arsenal of nuclear weapons, The Telegraph can reveal. The discovery was made following spot checks last week on the homes of two Iraqi nuclear physicists in Baghdad.”

How then can you say that his possession of and desire to obtain WMDs was not true, even Joe Wilson in his official report indicated that the British Intel report linking Iraq to purchasing Yellow Cake was true, the fact that he later changed his story for the press does disguise this fact. And before you go there: let me remind you that 2 years and millions of tax-payer money spent by Mr. Fitzgerald have resulted in not one conviction or indictment for the outing of a CIA operative, quite frankly because Joe Wilson and his wife ‘outed’ themselves long before that. Scooter Libby’s sole indictment is not for violating federal law on the disclosure of under cover operatives; it was for not remembering the actual timing and conversation between him and a journalist.

The fact that you agree with Bush on two policies does not make you a balanced reporter, in point of fact one of the two policies you support him on is opposed by the majority of his ardent supporters, that being his plan to grant Amnesty to the estimated 20 million illegal aliens currently operating in this country.

And yes while many on both sides of the aisle hammered Bush on the Dubai Port Deal, I still do not see them complaining that the same company is performing the same functions at US Naval bases around the world. The decision while it may be right for the security of the country was a xenophobic reaction that was made to placate the masses. You seem to have fallen for it.

Since according to the Constitution of the United States article 1 Section 8, Congress has the power “To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;” when are you going to hold those members of your party responsible for authorizing what you so ignorantly call an “illegal war?” President Bush presented to Congress the same information that Bill Clinton presented to Congress when he was authorized to bomb Iraq after the first Gulf War. Furthermore since you claim that our presence in Iraq is completely illegal how then do you resolve the text of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546, adopted unanimously June 8, which “endorses the new interim government of Iraq, allows the multinational force to provide security in partnership with the new government, sets out a leading role for the U.N. in helping the political process over the next year, and calls upon the international community to aid Iraq in its transition:

Recognizing the request conveyed in the letter of 5 June 2004 from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iraq to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution, to retain the presence of the multinational force,

Recognizing also the importance of the consent of the sovereign Government of Iraq for the presence of the multinational force and of close coordination between the multinational force and that government,

Welcoming the willingness of the multinational force to continue efforts to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq in support of the political transition, especially for upcoming elections, and to provide security for the United Nations presence in Iraq, as described in the letter of 5 June 2004 from the United States Secretary of State to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution.”

Allen your arguments are not based upon fact but rather feelings, feelings that everything that has been done since November 2000 has been done illegally and it is these feelings that guide you and send you down the wrong path. If you are to condemn George Bush for what is happening now then you must also condemn every administration prior to his as far back as 1969.

Appeasement in the hopes of security put us in this position and in my opinion; George Bush is finally saying enough is enough appeasement can no longer be our foreign policy standard we must stop this and if not now when?


Note: Allen has now enabled comment moderation and as such I will need to wait to see if my reply to him will be posted.

UPDATE: Allen has already responded to my comments, I salute him! I still completely disagree with him, but I can't fault him for attempting to stiffle debate at this point.