May 19, 2009

From the Front: 05/19/2009

News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

Bill Roggio: Shabaab on the offensive in Somalia - The newly formed Somali government is in danger of being ousted from its remaining strongholds in Mogadishu and central Somalia as Shabaab and Hizbul Islam took control of a key city. Shabaab and Hizbul Islam seized the central town of Jowhar in Hiran province after several days of fighting with the pro-government Islamic Courts. Dozens civilians and fighters from both sides were killed as the rival Islamist groups battled for control of the region. Shabaab, or the Somali Youth Movement, is an al Qaeda-backed Islamicn terror group that has lobbied to join the international terrorist organization. Hizbul Islam was created in January of this year. (READ MORE)

Misuchan's Milblog: I’m female, I couldn’t be in charge. - When we get a new person on the FOB and they come into our work area for the first time, they always seem to introduce themselves to the wrong person. Part of the reason is that we don’t wear our ACU tops in here due to the heat. So myself and a male soldier will be sitting here, and they automatically start talking to him as if I don’t exist. Then my soldier directs them to discuss the issue with his sergeant, and motions his hand towards myself, the “female.” And they wonder why I seem like a bitch when they first meet me. (READ MORE)

Notes From Iraq: 17MAY09--Short Notice - Today, one of our interpreters came to me while we were at the Iraqi base, saying that he needed to talk to me. As the co-terp manager with Sergeant KC Connaughton, I have long ago grown accustom to the terp's trying to haggle for extra leave days. So I asked, "Is this about leave?" And he responded, "No, it is about something that you would never expect." He was right. Maybe it is a cultural difference or maybe it is just human nature to try to work the system, but our time in Iraq has definitely illuminated work ethics outside the States. How in the world can someone expect to start work in the late morning, nap in the 'hot hours' of the afternoon, have liberal amounts of vacation and still expect to be successful? There are some things that peoples from different cultures will never understand about each other. (READ MORE)

Joshua Foust: The Logic of Drone Strikes - Spencer Ackerman wonders what some conservative perspectives on the drone strikes might be. He’s asking in response to a Kilcullen-Exum op-ed in the New York Times, which argues a point I have argued many times before. I am not exactly a conservative, but I did find their op-ed curious. I would argue with the assertion that the drone war is why the people of the FATA feel beseiged, just as I would argue that it is NOT exactly like how the U.S. handled the ICU when they swept through Mogadishu. Given the level of local anger towards the U.S. after the invasion of Afghanistan—and before the start of the “drone war”—I would question just how much the drone strikes have created new problems, rather than simply making existing problems with Pakistan’s people worse. (READ MORE)

Time constraints do not allow a more in depth dissemination of news today…more later.

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