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Dear Bos'un, I couldn't get the musical video to work, so I removed it. If you can fix it, please use 450px width and 250px height. :)
Yellow Ribbon Greetings-Patriotic & Military greeting cards-2006 Christmas Collection now available!

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Joint Cargo Aircraft: Legislative Alert: #06-19

The Issue: Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program. Time is Running Out!
Action Required: Contact your Senators to ask them to urge Senate Conferees to recede to the House language and authorize full funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft program in the FY07 National Defense Authorization Act conference negotiations.

Congress is returning from the August recess on 5 September. Senators and House members will be meeting to finalize the differences in their versions of the FY07 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House version authorized and included funding for the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) program while the Senate did not. Both chambers of Congress will reconcile their differences to the 2007 defense authorization and appropriations and pass this important legislation by mid-September.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Vice Chiefs of the Army and Air Force was signed on June 20, 2006, establishing the “way ahead” for merging the Army Future Cargo Aircraft (FCA) and Air Force Light Cargo Aircraft (LCA) to form the overall JCA program. The Senate began consideration of their version of the NDAA before the MoA was signed, and subsequently declined to fully authorize the program in their bill. It is critical that the Senate revisit this most important issue.

The Army National Guard is scheduled to field the JCA to replace aging and lesser performing C-23 and C-26 aircraft. The National Guard Bureau is also promoting the JCA as a follow-on mission for Air National Guard wings that will lose aircraft as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). When not deployed in support of the Global War on Terror or other contingencies, these aircraft will be available for state missions such as disaster response and homeland security needs.

The National Guard Association of the United States and our partners fully support this program. It is critical that you contact your Senators and urge them to recede to the House language for JCA program authorization during negotiations right away. We must act now to ensure funding of this critical program!

By using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS webpage, you can email your elected officials immediately and send a pre-written message, or edit it as you desire for the issue described above. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to the President or members of Congress.

Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to "Write to Congress" as well. For more in-depth information and background, visit our web site at www.ngaus.org. Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Chris DeBatt, NGAUS Army Programs Manager at: 202-408-5899.

Category: NGAUS.

Soldier Attacked Outside Military Base in Washington State

As hear on KTTH AM radio, Sytman and Boze morning show, Pierce County Sheriff's Department and local Tacoma area law enforcement officers are looking several individuals who "allegedly" attacked a National Guardsmen in uniform as he was walking into a convenience store. Sytman and Boze said that a sport utility vehicle pulled up alongside him and someone asked if he was in the military and if he had been in any action.

Apparently the Guardsman indicated that he had. The individuals exited their vehicle brandishing a weapon and proceeded to beat the guardsman.

As they left the scene, the attackers called the guardsman "a baby killer."

The driver as described as a white man, 25-30 years old, with short blond hair, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans. The passengers were white males about the same age with red baseball hats and red sweatshirts during the attack. Apparently a $1,000 reward is being offered.

Also reporting the story, Tacoma News Tribune: Guardsman attacked, beaten in Parkland.

Investigators suspect the man was attacked because of his uniform. "The indication is it’s because he was a soldier," sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

"There are some specific questions (the attackers asked) that were military related and what his involvement in the war was."

Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to arrests and charges filed in an attack against a uniformed National Guard soldier in Parkland. Callers remain anonymous. Reach Crime Stoppers at 253-591-5959.

Are our Pacific Northwest peace activists and left wingers changing tactics, or, were there other reasons for the attack?

Stand by for more information.

Update: Excuse me, Bos'un. This is Rosemary here. I was going to post this elsewhere, but I see you've beaten me to it again. May I please add mine to yours? Why, thank you.

Those of us with a brain between our ears have had to listen the garbage spewn across our TV's (for those who still them on) as if these were 'peace' protests. They are not. I, for one, refuse to allow this charade to continue.

Over at Little Green Footballs, I found this article: National Guardsman Brutally Attacked. I beg you to read it. Then I dare you to show your true colors. Are you a patriot or a communist-fascist-sympothizer? How will we know?

Write to the SeattleInsider at:
    2807 Third Avenue
    Seattle, WA 98121
    Phone: (206) 728-7777
These are the brave souls that reported this story. Show them your support, and ask if there is any new information. Then, go around in your town and find another person who gets as angry as I am at this happening (and it is not reported except for the local area).

This must not be allowed to stand. We must fight back with PRO-VICTORY protests. I do not care that you have a job. Those people are dead because they had a job on September 11, 2001, or have you forgotton?

Category: (Military) Blogger News and (Freedom) America.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Coalition Forces Free Kidnap Victim

Release Date: 8/30/2006.
Release Number: 06-08-03P
Created by: Sharbe L. Clark.
Last modified: Sharbe L. Clark.

KIRKUK, Iraq – Bastogne Soldiers of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division freed a kidnap victim and captured three of the terrorists who had taken him hostage just outside of Kirkuk today.

An aerial reconnaissance team, flying missions near Kirkuk, spotted four men wearing black robes and wielding AK-47 rifles. The men stopped their sedan several times along one of the area’s main roads and set up illegal checkpoints at each stop.

As coalition ground forces moved into the area, the group made their last stop, holding 10 passengers in a van at gunpoint before pulling one of the men out of the vehicle. The four then forced the man into the trunk of their car and sped away.

As Bastogne Soldiers on the ground were moving in on the vehicle, the sedan stopped, allowing one of the terrorists to get out of the vehicle. The remaining group continued to a nearby building where they jumped out of their car and ran into the building, taking their victim with them.

A team of Bastogne Soldiers air assaulted to the area and quickly moved into the building, capturing the three assailants and freeing the hostage. A careful search of the building revealed three AK-47 rifles and several magazines, as well as a barrel filled with ammunition.

This is the third Iraqi citizen rescued from the hands of kidnappers by Task Force Band of Brothers Soldiers this month.

Kidnapping, whether for ransom, terror or propaganda use, continues to be a tactic of terrorists and criminals throughout Iraq. Teamwork between coalition forces and increasingly capable Iraqi security forces, with the help of local residents, is aimed at identifying and capturing these individuals.

Tip lines have been established in the Provincial Joint Communication Centers in Iraq’s northern provinces to allow residents to anonymously provide information about terrorist activity.

Text Provided by the Public Affairs Officer for Multnational Force - North.
For more information, contact Jeffrey.allen1@us.army.mil and Christopher.peavy@us.army.mil

Category: (Military) Press Release.

Training and leadership in Lutifiyah

Wednesday, 30 August 2006
By Spc. George Welcome
2nd BCT PAO, 101st Airborne Division

LUTIFIYAH — In the early morning of Aug. 16, a combined force of U.S. and Iraqi Soldiers conducted “Operation Babylon” just outside Lutifiyah. The operation marked one of the first time Iraqi forces have taken the lead in a mission since taking over responsibility for the Lutifiyah area Jun. 15.

A joint force composed of Soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division, along with the U.S. Soldiers from Military Transition Team 1, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, captured six suspected terrorists.

The success of the mission is not only further proof that the Iraqi Army is maturing in its role as defender of Iraq, said the U.S. commander, but also that the hard work and training of MiTT 1 has not been in vain.

“The purpose of the mission was to seize brigade and battalion targets and deny (terrorists) safe haven in the area,” said 1st Lt. David Cochrane, commander of U.S. ground forces during Operation Babylon.

An Iraqi Soldier checks the contents of a small box during the search of a home as part of Operation Babylon. Department of Defense photo by Army Spc. George Welcome.“What prompted the raid was intel we’d gotten over the past few months indicating a large group of individuals belonging to a terrorist cell was in the area,” Cochrane said.

While making tangible anti-insurgent gains, the mission also served to boost the Iraqi troops’ confidence in taking the lead on a combined effort.

“When we first got here, we did more of these types of missions,” said Cochrane. “Since we handed over the sector, they have kind of tapered off. We let them build the intel, build the mission and go do it own their own.”

MiTT 1 Soldiers said their Iraqi cohorts are doing well in their new roles.

“With the IA taking the lead, they really have been doing a good job,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Jones. “Their initiative is there. Their officers have been doing a good job explaining task and purpose to their Soldiers. We are here more in an advisory role to help them out in situations that they get stuck in.”

The teamwork between the two groups has been key to strengthening the Iraqi Army.

“Our relationship with them has been excellent … Especially when Col. Ali was here,” Cochrane said. “We built a good rapport … they’d invite us over for dinner.”

As with many of the best trained Iraqi units, however, success earned them a promotion.

“Unfortunately, a lot of those officers left when Col. Ali transferred up to brigade,” Cochrane explained. “We’ve had to start over from scratch since most of the original officers are gone.”

There has been more continuity in the relationship between non-commissioned officers and Soldiers on both sides.

“The NCOs here have spent countless hours training the Iraqi army from basic soldier skills to what we’re doing now – leading Soldiers on missions,” Jones said. “The IA Soldiers and NCOs have come a long way since we started, and that has a lot to do with the rapport we have built from the beginning.”

One of the biggest challenges facing Iraqi forces in the Lutifiyah area is the lack of local Police force. Lacking any first responder on maintaining law and order, the problems of fighting both crime and the insurgents falls squarely on the Iraqi Army.

Internally, the institution is hindered by the lack of a solid NCO corps.

“The structure of the Iraqi Army does not emulate the American structure,” said Sgt. 1st Class John Greis.

“What we know as an NCO Corps, they do not have in their army. Their NCOs don’t get paid any extra money for added responsibility, and they might not even have the same soldiers from day to day,” he said.

Though the U.S.-led training program hasn’t always been easy, troops say that each day they are able to see the fruits of their labor.

“They’re coming slowly but surely,” said Greis. “From June until now, they have been in charge of about half of the missions. You train on a task today, and tomorrow you are out in combat doing it. It’s not like you are just training, you are out there with them the very next day facing IEDs and everything else that comes with war.”

The American’s ability to prepare the Iraqi forces to defend their territory will play a crucial role in determining the duration of the U.S. presence in Iraq.

“The guys I have had the pleasure of working with for the last year on the MiTT are the best this battalion has to offer,” Greis said. “They’ve done a hell of a job under extreme circumstances. It’s not easy to go out on patrol; it’s even harder to go out with people you don’t know and you can’t speak their language. It’s a testament to their ability.”

Category: Press Release.

Know Thy Enemy


Courtesy of Dallas News with permission of the Author, Rod Dreher.

Forty years ago, the godfather of Islamic terrorism was executed, says Rod DREHER, and America today is no closer to understanding his apocalyptic vision.....

Two days from now, the country will observe the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and its catastrophic aftermath. What will pass unnoticed on that day is the 40th anniversary of a hanging of a revolutionary in Cairo, an event that is incalculably more important to the present and future of the United States than any meteorological event.

The pious life and martyr's death of Sayyid Qutb, and the legacy the Islamic theologian left behind, extend a powerful challenge to the West. Until we provide an answer to him and his followers, we can't hope to prevail in the war of ideas with Islamic extremists. And most of us have no idea who this man even was.

Sayyid Qutb (pronounced KUH-tuhb) has been called "the philosopher of Islamic terror." He rose from humble origins in rural Egypt to become an influential theologian and leading light of Egypt's fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood movement. He advocated global Islamic rule imposed by the sword.

Also Online: English translation of 'Milestones.'
The Egyptian dictator Gamal Abdel Nasser ordered him hanged for treason Aug. 29, 1966.
Yet, his ideas have spread like a prairie fire over the parched landscape of Islam's last generation. As writer Paul Berman observed, Qutb was "the intellectual hero of every one of the groups that eventually went into al-Qaeda."

We Americans have a bad habit of assuming that there's nothing to radical Islam but fury, grievance and bloodlust. We think of jihadist leaders as wild-eyed mullahs far removed from our experience. It's a fatal form of condescension. Qutb may have been a madman by our lights, but he was no fool – and, in important ways, he had our number.

Americans also cherish the idea that lack of understanding is at the root of conflict – and that there are few disputes that can't be worked out by people getting to know each other. Not so with Qutb, whose sojourn in America as a foreign exchange student between 1948 and '50 radicalized him and confirmed his hatred for Western materialism and freedom.

Qutb spent most of his time in the Colorado State College of Education in Greeley, Colo. The pathologically prudish Egyptian scholar was shocked by the morality of Greeley's women, appalled by its racism and scandalized by the wealth of American society.

As Lawrence Wright writes in The Looming Tower, his acclaimed new book about the roots of 9/11:

Qutb saw a spiritual wasteland, and yet belief in God was nearly unanimous in the United States at the time. It was easy to be misled by the proliferation of churches, religious books and religious festivals, Qutb maintained; the fact remained that materialism was the real American god. 'The soul has no value to Americans,' he wrote to one friend. 'There has been a Ph.D. dissertation about the best way to clean dishes, which seems more important to them than the Bible or religion.' Many Americans were beginning to come to similar conclusions. The theme of alienation in American life was just beginning to cast a pall over the postwar party. In many respects, Qutb's analysis, though harsh, was only premature."

It is tempting to laugh at the Islamic pietist overwhelmed by the sensuality of the Rocky Mountain Gomorrah. But when Qutb returned to Egypt, his ardor to fight Western cultural hegemony led him to write: "We are endowing our children with amazement and respect for the master who tramples our honor and enslaves us. Let us instead plant the seeds of hatred, disgust and revenge in the souls of these children."

Qutb believed that if Muslims accepted democracy, capitalism, civil liberties and the Western way of life, they would commit spiritual suicide. He dedicated the rest of his life to convincing Muslims that their only hope rested in surrendering totally to a stringent form of Islam.

But why, according to Qutb, are modernity and Islam irreconcilable?

Because modernity was only made possible by a fundamental theological error that guaranteed man's alienation from God and from his nature. This alienation had reached a point of crisis worldwide, with the world's richest and most powerful nations producing masses of well-fed, well-off people who are rootless, miserable, hedonistic and self-destructive.

This was not a novel insight. As Paul Berman points out in his 2003 book Terror and Liberalism, many Western thinkers of the same era were writing about alienation amid the freedom and plenty of modern society. Qutb located the source of the modern world's ills in Christianity's separation of the world into sacred and secular realms, creating what he called a "hideous schizophrenia" that caused Western man to split the material realm from the spiritual.

Islam holds the two to be one under God's sovereignty. But this unnatural divorce had material benefits for the West, enabling it to leapfrog far ahead of the Islamic world in science and technology. The West's success made it powerful, true, but its culture grew increasingly debauched, and its people were turning into moral and spiritual wrecks. Yet – and here, Mr. Berman writes, is where Qutb is most original – the all-powerful West was in the present day imposing its false and destructive ideals on the weakened Muslim world.

What is to be done? Lenin famously asked about Czarist Russia. Qutb's answer to the same question about the West was, in part, "Milestones," a Leninist-style tract advocating worldwide Islamic revolution.

In this thin volume, Qutb argues that the Islamic nation must overthrow modernity if it wishes to continue to exist. Only Islam, with its divinely given law regulating all aspects of daily life, is capable of rightly ordering the soul and body, and of being most true to God-given human nature. He believed the West, whether or not it realized it, was engaged in a fight to the death against Islam. Though the conflict had military, economic and cultural aspects, for Qutb, this was essentially a religious war.

"Milestones" calls for the subjugation of all non-Islamic peoples, the total crushing of all non-Islamic institutions and entities, and the universal imposition of harsh sharia law. Reading "Milestones" as a guide to the mentality of jihadists is a bone-chilling exercise (even more so when you consider that Muslim teens participating in a 2004 quiz competition at the Dallas Central Mosque were assigned "Milestones" as part of their contest reading).

His is the voice of the genocidal utopian, an apocalyptic idealist who – like Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao – will stop at nothing to create an earthly paradise on the bones of the Crusaders, Zionists, moderate Muslims and sundry infidels.

It's difficult to imagine why anybody fell for Nazism or communism, but neither ideology could have gone anywhere if it didn't speak deeply to the hopes, needs, fears and passions of millions. As fanatical as Qutb's Islam sounds – as fanatical as it is – it provides an explanation for the misery and backwardness so much of the Muslim world lives in today. It gives its followers dignity and solidarity, a focus for their anger, a sense of purpose and of being on the right side of history. It holds out the false promise, that old siren song, that perfect happiness and oneness can be achieved in this life, once the Enemy has been destroyed. And it is a vision that Qutb gave witness to by courageously sacrificing his life.

What are we to do? There are no easy answers, but we should begin by jettisoning as folly the naive idea that all Muslims want the same things the liberal West wants. Followers of Qutb's brand of Islam hold that our wealth, secularity and freedom, especially for women, are evidence of our corruption.

While Qutb's prescriptions are quite mad, his diagnosis of the Western spiritual and psychological condition was serious, and it requires a serious response. If we Westerners cannot look at the world we've created for ourselves and understand that Sayyid Qutb was not all wrong, we will never figure out how to convince the Islamic masses he lived and died for that their holy martyr was a false prophet.

Rod Dreher is an assistant editorial page editor. The views expressed here are his own. His e-mail address is rdreher@dallasnews.com .

Find a link to an English translation of Sayyid Qutb's "Milestones" at DallasNews.com/Extra.

Technorati Tags: 'War on Terror' ... Terrorism ... Russia ... al-Qaeda ... Bin Laden ... Milestones ... Islamofascism ... Osama Bin Laden ... Caliphate ... Domestic Terrorism ... Islamist ... Sayyid Qutb ... Islamic Theologian ... Muslim Brotherhood ... Mullahs ... Lenin ... Czarist ... Islamic revolution ... religious war ... holy martyr ...
Category: (Military) Blogger News.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Transitioning for the long-haul

Tuesday, 29 August 2006
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — Coalition training teams with Iraqi military units, police battalions and border guard units are making a tremendous difference in the performance and professionalism of the Iraqi security forces, said the commander of the Iraq Assistance Group on Monday.

Army Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard told the Pentagon press corps in a video teleconference from Iraq that Iraqi forces are well-equipped, but require help in sustainment.

Pittard confirmed that 100 members of an Iraqi battalion had refused to redeploy to Baghdad. The soldiers were part of the 10th Iraqi Army Division, in southern Iraq’s Maysan province.

“There were some soldiers … that said that they would not deploy as a part of the operation,” Pittard said. “A decision is going to be made whether or not that battalion will actually deploy.”

This is part of the growing pains of the Iraqi security forces, he said. The Iraqi Army now is a regionally recruited force.

“The majority of this particular unit was Shia, and … the leadership of that unit and their soldiers felt like they were needed down there in Maysan in that province,” he said.

The Iraqi government will work on how to deal with the situation, and the Coalition transition teams will support that, the general explained.

Hundreds of Coalition transition teams are operating throughout Iraq. The 11-man units are embedded with their Iraqi units from the battalion through division levels. Advisers also serve with the local Police, the National Police and the border guards. The Coalition Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines comprising these training units work with their Iraqi counterparts to plan and execute operations.

Their efforts extend beyond the kinetic.

From the readiness side, Coalition logistics personnel train up their Iraqi peers on processes and procedures, while maintenance experts work with the Iraqis to ensure their units’ vehicles remain combat-ready.

For now, logistics remains a sore point for the Iraqi forces.

“We are focusing on just basic sustainment: sustainment of fuel, sustainment of ammunition, their medical supplies and their maintenance,” Pittard said. “Those are the key areas that we're focusing on with the Iraqi security forces.”

The general said he sees a long-term job for coalition training teams with the Iraqi forces.

“Our major mission is to help develop and support the Iraqi security forces, and of course to advise them … U.S. forces will be here as long as the Iraqi government wants us here,” he said.

“But I'll tell you … after the majority of U.S. forces leave, we'll still see some level of advisory teams that'll still be here. In fact, I feel like we'll be the last men standing at the end of the U.S. presence here.”

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U.S. Central Command
Public Affairs
1Lt. Anthony Deiss
Spc. Patrick Ziegler
Spc. Chris Erickson

Category: (Military) Press Release.

A Collection of My Links-April

Lockheed Martin Delivers New-production MH-60R to US Navy Apr. 1, 2006.
Links to Sikorsky.
Iran Ups the Ante Mon. 4/2.
Yale Needs to Burst the Bubble They Live In Mon. 4/3.
Links to the Opinion Journal.
This is the Flag, you should hold up 4/3.
Links to OldSgt'sOutPost.blogspot.com.
Warlord Taylor to Face Justice! 4/3.
Saddam Charged for Gassing Kurds in 80's Tue. 4/4.
Links to Yahoo news.
Old Sgt's Out "Post": Calling All BLOGGERS, Time To Rally Around The Flag Wed. 4/5.
Links to Old Sgt's Out Post.
America Supports You 4/06/2006 Thu. 4/6.
Iranian Missiles Possibly Can Carry Nukes Fri. 4/7.
Plane carrying House members fired on with Russian missile Sun. 4/9.
Links to The Bos'un Locker. He does a LOT of the writing around here, the ol' seadog. :)
DoD Announces Recruiting and Retention Numbers for March Mon. 4/10.
Links to Defenselink.mil.
Pentagon Channel Adds Video Podcasting to Production Line Wed. 4/12.
Links to The Bos'un Locker.
Operation Mountain Lion - Afghanistan 4/12.
Links to Rumors of War (.blogspot.com)
Hilton to oust veteran-honoring steakhouse Fri. 4/14.
Links to The Bos'un Locker.
Casey Sheehan, Rest in Peace Sat. 4/15.
Links to The Bos'un Locker.
ANA graduates 1st radio operator & maintenance class Sun. 4/16.
Links to Centcom.
Clean Water for 2.5 million Basrah Residents 4/16.
Links to Centcom.
Docs Work Hard, Save Lives 4/16.
Links to Centcom.
Provincial, Coalition Authorities Open School for Girls. By Combined Forces Command. 4/16.
Renovated Maternity Hospital Delivers Improved Care 4/16.
Links to Centcom.
IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). 4/16.
Religion: He is Risen. Hallelujah! 4/16.
Links to www.Bible.org.
Afghan aviators make historic return to Bagram Airfield Mon. 4/17.
Links to cfc-a.Centcom.mil.
Operation Mountain Lion update Tue. 4/18.
Links to cfc-a.Centcom.mil.
Afghan Update Fri. 4/21.
National Guard and Reserve Legislative Alert. Mon. 4/24.
Interview with Secretary Rumsfeld. 4/24.
Military Tribunal Hearing to Start Today. Tue. 4/25.
300,000 Liberian Refugees Resettled. 4/25.
Terrorists Strike Egypt. 4/25.
It's Official 4/25.
Links to World Net Daily.
Press Availability with Secretary Rumsfeld Wed. 4/26.
The Pig Barks. 4/26.
Navy: Littiral Combat Ships (LCS) Thu. 4/27.
Links to DefenseLink.mil.
Making Democracy Work. 4/27.
Legilative Alert: National Guard. 4/27.
Laura Ingram inteviews Sec Def Rumfeld. Fri. 4/28.
The New Kid on My Block is Pretty Cool! Sat. 4/29.
Iran Gets First North Korean-Made Missiles. Sun. 4/30.

Well. I think I'm going to stop at April. My goodness. I still have to write my one for today, and there is breaking news about a mass shooting in San Fran. I have to go check it out. It happened sometime around 1 pm, but no one is reporting it. They're all caught up with Katrina. Oh, btw, it was in a Jewish area.


Category: (Military) Misc.

A Collection of My Links Jan.-Mar.

This post has moved to Rosemary's Thoughts. Please visit me over there. Thanks.

A Real Hero You Should Know and Help

Allow me to begin with the acknowledgement that I am biased toward children. I love them. Now that this is out in the open, I would like to share with you a story that is still in everyone's prayers who knows of this.

SPC Selena Lassien spent her time in OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) from October 2004 to September 2005. If you thought that was hectic, you haven't heard anything yet.

When Selena returned home to Vinton, La, on September 24, 2005, she found herself being chased out of her home by Hurricane Rita. For her 26 years of life, the worst was yet to come.

After this, her family and she were settled in many different places, with Selena moving from one Fort to the next. Until one day, her boyfriend Darrell and she settled in at Lake Charles. After they had settled in, they received the news. Selena was pregnant.

It just so happened that she flew to her cousins high school graduation party in Jamaica Plain, Mass. in June 2006. Two hours before she was ready to fly home, she noticed there was something wrong with her pregnancy. She called her doctor back home, he told her to relax and fly home, but Selena knew better. (Not too hard, if you ask me, to second guess a doctor!)

It was a good thing, too. She went to the hospital emergency room. Being six months pregnant, she was already dialating. They admitted her that day. "After another four weeks in a special bed at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, tiny Kameryn Bias was born. She was soon transferred to Children’s Hospital, where surgeons dealt with the intricate complexities of this fragile but determined life." She weighed no more than 1.5 pounds.

As of today, she weighs in at 2 pounds. At this very moment, Kameryn is having another surgery. I have just learned this from Patty Patton-Bader, President and Founder of Soldiers' Angles. Soldiers' Angles will be accepting donations into their general fund for 48 hours, starting last night, to help Selena find an apartment near the hospital.

She is far away from home, and she really needs our help. She helped us by going to war on our behalf, this is a very simple way for us to show our gratitude.

You may also find some information at Blackfive's website. Also, Pundit Review held a three hour vigil of sorts on their radio program last night for Selena.

Please, no matter if you only have $10, it all counts. Do not be embarrassed. Think about it this way. How would you feel after going to war, living through a hurrican, and then your child is born premature and needed surgery on her heart and intenstines? Would you like to be near your daughter? Would you do whatever it took to do so? Well, we're just trying to make it a little easier on her. After all, doesn't she have enough on her mind?

Please use the paypal, or write to:
Soldiers’ Angels
Care of SPC Selena Lassien
1150 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248
You may also call SA at (615) 676-0239.
Thank you so much for all that you do. That includes the Veterans who have also stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately, they can only offer housing which is very far away from the hospital. I love you guys, but come on. I wouldn't even leave the hospital, let alone go far away!

Please remember to pray for Darrell, Selena and Kameryn. Thank you.

Sources: Blackfive, Pundit Review, Soldiers' Angels, and two articles from the Boston Herald: Infant at home in the Hub -- for now and Fellow vets reach out to mother in need.
Category: (Military) Someone You Should Know.

New Counter

If you have noticed, there is a new count on each site. That is so we can tell which site is actually attracting an audience! The sites with groups that are not attracting visitors, maybe we could do more to help our fellow members? Maybe we could have a round-up on our homepage! Just a thought.

For the visitors, we sure would appreciate it if you would add us to your blogroll. It is just like starting over again! OMG, to see a 5 after seeing 42,000 hits could be depressing! lol. Please write about our site, and if you'd like to join one of them--contact me, Rosemary. Thanks much. Have a great day.

Category: (Military) Blogger News.

"My Love's in Arizona"

My friend, Bill Faith of Old War Dogs, has done a wonderful thing. I would like to pass it along to you. Please feel free to go to his site and help. We all need a little bit of help from our friends at one time or another. Imagine how important it would be to have the help from a total stranger.
Carol Gell Crowley, whose father died for his country in the Ia Drang valley in 1965, sent me an email yesterday about an important project she's involved in to provide scholarship money for the children of this war's KIAs. Please click here to read more about it.
Thank you and have a blessed day.

Category: (Military) Blogger News.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Baghdad operation improving security

Thursday, 24 August 2006
BAGHDAD — Operation Together Forward, the Iraqi-led operation to reduce violence in Baghdad, is progressing well and improving the security situation around the Iraqi capital, a Joint Staff official said Aug. 23.

Over the last five weeks, the number of incidents of sectarian violence in Baghdad has decreased steadily, Army Brig. Gen. Michael D. Barbero, deputy director of regional operations for the Joint Staff, said at a Pentagon news conference. This success is a direct result of the efforts and dedication of Iraqis, he said.

“I attribute it to an Iraqi government that has committed itself to ending sectarian violence, and I attribute it to the capability of the Iraqi security forces,” Barbero said. “Two-thirds of the forces on the ground in Baghdad are Iraqi security forces. The feedback … from the population in the areas we’ve cleared are all very positive about removing the threat of this violence, the performance of the Iraqi security forces, and their confidence in the government.”

As the operation progresses, Iraqi forces take more and more responsibility for areas and missions, Barbero said. Last week, Iraqi forces were the lead for security for the annual Shiite pilgrimage to Baghdad, and U.S. leaders say they did a superb job.

Barbero added Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced that Iraqi security forces will be able to assume responsibility for more provinces in the coming year.

“We see continued improvement of the Iraqi security forces -- by now, about 275,000. The numbers, the capability and the equipping increase continuously,” Barbero said.

The operations in Baghdad are important because 90 percent of sectarian violence in Iraq occurs within 30 miles of the city, the general said.

Border operations are also crucial, he explained, as Iranian influence is strong among extremist groups.

Training and equipping border police will do a lot to decrease the Iranian influence, and the U.S. will continue to support the Iraqi border forces as they develop capabilities, Barbero said.

Operations targeting the extremist groups in Baghdad also will help solve the problem of Iran, because it will cut off that country’s direct influence into Iraq, he said.

In addition to targeting extremist groups, the U.S. is working on refocusing the Iraqi Police to hone their civil policing skills, so they will be ready to take over security in the city when operations conclude, Barbero said.

After areas are cleared of violence, civil works and economic development will be brought in to improve the overall situation in the city, he said.

U.S. Central Command
Public Affairs
1Lt. Anthony Deiss
Spc. Patrick Ziegler
Spc. Chris Erickson

Category: (Military) Press Release and Iraq.

Iraqi Leader Takes Action Toward Peace

Release Date: 8/24/2006
Release Number: 06-08-02P
Created by: 8:05am, Patrick A. Ziegler.
Last modified: 8:05am, Patrick A. Ziegler.

Description: FOB KALSU, Iraq – Seeking a unified province free from terrorism and sectarian violence, leaders of groups in Babil came together Aug. 20 in Al Hillah to reconcile and denounce sectarian violence.

Iraqi Security Force leadership, representatives of the Iraqi national government, local government officials, social leaders, tribal sheik leaders and religious leaders, joined together at the Iraqi police academy convention hall to map out a strategic plan to shape Babil’s peaceful future.

“This was Iraqi generated, Iraqi led,” said Col. John Tully, commander, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, an invited guest of the ISF leadership present at the conference “They are clearly trying to come to grips with the issues their society is facing.”

The meeting was orchestrated by Maj. Gen. Qais Hamza, Babil provincial police chief, to bring representatives of every facet of Babil culture to the conference and provide them a forum to speak. It is hoped the meeting would signify the commencement of a new era in the region and the end of terrorism in southern Iraq, said a sheik in attendance.

“We have Sunnis, Shias, women, children – that is a miracle in this day of age,” he said. “Everybody knows what needs to be done, but Gen. Qais is the person who decided that it was time to quit talking and start acting.”

The idea came in coordination with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki’s 24-point national reconciliation initiative plan he outlined to the Iraqi National Council of Representatives in June. Sectarian violence has plagued Iraq for much of the year, and leaders of Babil said they wanted to lead the rest of the nation in heeding al Maliki’s words.

The meeting started off with children from the area singing the Iraqi national anthem and readings from the Holy Koran. Many of those in attendance took turns speaking about the current situation in Iraq and Babil and then gave their suggestions on how to unify the region.

“There is no winner in war,” said Aeman Alkhafaji. “Everybody is a loser.”

Speaking on behalf of a women’s rights group, Alkhafaji said sectarian violence is destroying the greatest part of Iraqi culture – the family. When the man of the house dies, there is no one to provide for the family, no backbone present to steer their children to their future. Or when a woman is killed, it crushes the family dynamic and children lose the comforting tender side of the family.

“A woman without her man is like land without water,” she said. “And a man without his woman is like a ship without sail.”

Numerous Sunni and Shia tribal leaders spoke before the congregation and offered their hand to one another, promising to not let the trouble witnessed in Baghdad infiltrate their region.

“We are not Sunni or Shiite, Kurdish or Christians,” one sheik said. “We are Iraqis, and we intend to secure Iraq. The people who are fighting the old regime and each other are the same people that have lived together for over a thousand years and have drank from these two rivers.”

After a brief recess for lunch, Qais proposed a reconciliation agreement draft he drew up. The agreement’s last paragraph reads: “We have sworn this oath; we accept the promise of the Provincial Government to provide security for all citizens without regard to their sect, ethnicity or political party affiliation and to work toward inclusive, representative government unencumbered by bias and disenfranchisement.

Qais then challenged the more than 500 in attendance to sign the oath and make every effort to make Babil the place all of Iraq strives to be. A large reproduction of the oath each person received was placed near the door and everyone signed it as they exited the conference.

“Let Babil be the example for the freedom and the mixture that we have in Iraq,” said Col. Abbas, Al Hillah police chief.

Smiles were abundant as the participants left the conference, shook hands and offered kind words to each other. More work is left to do, but the initiative Qais introduced seemed to have struck a chord with the people who attended.

“It was very uplifting,” said Tully. “In this society, when you get that many Sunni and Shia sheiks to support a plan, there is a chance for success.

“If Babil can keep people like Gen. Qais in leadership positions, it will be the most progressive and truly democratic province of the southern provinces in Iraq.”

Category: Press Release.

Hugh Hewitt Interviews Gen. Abizaid on air

Fellow blogger Hugh Hewitt interviews CENTCOM Commander Gen. John Abizaid as he gives an update to the global war on terror. For your listening pleasure, there is an audio version. There is also a written manuscript.

Since I am a listener to the Hugh Hewitt Program, I have already heard it. I highly recommend it. Have a great day.

I would also like to thank 1LT Anthony Deiss, Public Affairs Officer, US Central Command, for providing these links. Thank you!

Category: (Military) Blogger News.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

NG Empowerment: Legislative Alert #06-18

The Issue: Homeland Defense and the National Guard - National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act of 2006

Action Required: Contact your Congressmen and Senators and Urge their support during Conference Negotiations
Although USNORTHCOM is the combatant command with the ultimate responsibility for defending our homeland it is the National Guard, located in over 3000 communities across our country that will answer the call. The Guard’s unique Constitutional responsibility to respond quickly to natural disasters or terrorist attacks logically leads to the conclusion that the Guard deserves a seat at the table as Deputy Commander of USNORTHCOM, and in the Pentagon as a four-star Chief of NGB when decisions are being made concerning force structure and defense budgets. The Guard is the governor’s first choice for assistance to first responders.

The Senate passed an amendment to The National Defense Authorization Act (S.2766) that would incorporate features of the National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act (S.2658) that provides significant leverage for the National Guard to carry out their critical homeland security mission. Since the House of Representatives did not pass their version of this important legislation, it will now be resolved during conference negotiations.

While Congress is in recess during the month of August, you will have an opportunity to visit personally with your elected officials to voice your concerns. However, if a personal visit isn’t possible, we urge you to phone, fax, or email as soon as possible. It is imperative that we act NOW by doing the following:

Priority #1: Contact your Congressional representatives and urge him/her to recede to the Senate language of the National Defense and National Guard Enhancement Act of 2006 during conference negotiations. In addition, ask them to contact Reps Davis or Taylor to become a co-sponsor of HR.5200, the original House legislation.

Priority #2: Contact your two Senators and urge their continued support for the intent of the National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act of 2006 (S.2658) during conference negotiations with the House.

A list of sponsors to HR 5200 and S 2658 is attached. If your member is listed, be sure to thank them.

HR 5200 Cosponsors: 77 Total (44 Democrats, 32 Republicans, 1 Independent)

Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) Ford, H. (D-Tenn.) Osborne (R-Neb.), Alexander, R. (R-La.) Gerlach (R-Pa.) Otter (R-Idaho), Andrews, R. (D-N.J.) Gibbons, J. (R-Nev.) Oxley (R-Ohio), Bass (R-N.H.) Goode (R-Va.) Pastor (D-Ariz.), Bishop, R. (R-Utah) Gordon, B. (D-Tenn.) Porter (R-Nev.), Bishop, T. (D-N.Y.) Hayes (R-N.C.) Rahall (D-W.Va.), Blumenauer (D-Ore.) Herseth (D-S.D.) Rehberg (R-Mont.), Boswell (D-Iowa) Holden (D-Pa.) Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Bradley (R-N.H.) Hooley (D-Ore.) Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Butterfield (D-N.C.) Jackson, J. (D-Ill.) Ryan, T. (D-Ohio), Calvert (R-Calif.) Jackson-Lee, S. (D-Texas) Sanders (I-Vt.), Cardin (D-Md.) Jefferson (D-La.) Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Case (D-Hawaii) Kelly (R-N.Y.) Shays (R-Conn.), Christensen (D-Virgin Is.) LaHood (R-Ill.) Simpson (R-Idaho), Clay (D-Mo.) Larsen, R. (D-Wash.) Smith, A. (D-Wash.), Cubin (R-Wyo.) Latham (R-Iowa) Souder (R-Ind.), Davis, D. (D-Ill.) Lewis, Jerry (R-Calif.) Strickland (D-Ohio), Davis, L. (D-Tenn.) LoBiondo (R-N.J.) Tanner (D-Tenn.), DeFazio (D-Ore.) Matheson (D-Utah) Taylor, G. (D-Miss.), Delahunt (D-Mass.) McDermott (D-Wash.) Terry (R-Neb.), Doyle (D-Pa.) McIntyre (D-N.C.) Tiberi (R-Ohio), Duncan (R-Tenn.) Meehan (D-Mass.) Udall, M. (D-Colo.), Emanuel (D-Ill.) Miller, C. (R-Mich.) Upton (R-Mich.), Emerson, J. (R-Mo.) Miller, B. (D-N.C.) Wilson, J. (R-S.C.), Etheridge (D-N.C.) Murtha (D-Pa.) Wu (D-Ore.), Evans, L. (D-Ill.) Myrick (R-N.C.)

S 2658 Cosponsors: 38 Total (25 Democrats, 12 Republicans, 1 Independent)

Akaka (D-Hawaii) Feinstein (D-Calif.) Murray (D-Wash.), Baucus, M. (D-Mont.) Grassley (R-Iowa) Nelson, Ben (D-Neb.), Bennett, R. (R-Utah) Gregg (R-N.H.) Pryor (D-Ark.), Biden (D-Del.) Harkin (D-Iowa) Reid, H. (D-Nev.), Boxer (D-Calif.) Hatch (R-Utah) Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Burns, C. (R-Mont.) Inouye (D-Hawaii) Salazar, K. (D-Colo.), Cantwell (D-Wash.) Jeffords (I-Vt.) Smith, G. (R-Ore.), Carper (D-Del.) Johnson, Tim (D-S.D.) Snowe (R-Maine), Collins, S. (R-Maine) Landrieu (D-La.) Stabenow (D-Mich.), DeMint (R-S.C.) Lautenberg (D-N.J.) Stevens (R-Alaska), DeWine (R-Ohio) Leahy (D-Vt.), Sununu (R-N.H.), Dodd (D-Conn.) Menendez (D-N.J.) Wyden (D-Ore.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Mikulski (D-Md.)

By using the “Write to Congress” feature on the NGAUS web page www.ngaus.org you can email your elected officials immediately and send a pre written message or edit it as you desire for the issue described above. This is the quickest and most effective method of expressing your views to the President or members of Congress.

Also, contact your friends and family and urge them to "Write to Congress" as well.

For more in-depth information and background visit our web site at www.ngaus.org.

Please direct any questions concerning this issue to Scott Hommel, NGAUS Deputy Legislative Director at: 202-454-5307 or email: scott.hommel@ngaus.org.

Category: NGAUS.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Legislative Update 8/25/2006

This post moved to Rosemary's Thoughts. Please visit me there. Thanks.


NGAUS Notes: Aug. 25, 2006

This post has moved to Rosemary's Thoughts. Please visit me over there. Thanks.


World proclaims Hizbollah victor, Lebanon does not

I was going to start this column with an apology, because I have refused to read anti-semitic material. I receive the The Daily Star on a daily basis, but I have been deleting it. Then I retrieved the last one sent, and here are some of the headlines:
Syrian ports gain from Lebanon blockade
US claims 'great progress' in Iraq as violence kills 14 The terrorists blow people up, we get blamed?
Aoun says Hizbullah should try to 'reassure' rest of country Isn't he supposed to disarm Hizbullah?
Wake up, America! Israel is no friend of yours They never attacked us on purpose or murdered any of our servicemen that were there to protect and help you.
Be grateful that exasperation has not stifled moderates It is not what you think.
That is just an example from yesterday, Aug. 25, 2006 (their time). All the while, they are marching in the shoes of our western media. They may not like this, but they have been westernized!

I have read this wonderful article in the Opinion Journal online. Now I am pretty much confused. Are the reporters still being threatened? Is the IRGI (Islamic Republic Guard of Iran) still there? Do we need to confront this group? (I say, "Yes." We should have done so 3 years ago, but that's a different issue.)

Mr. Amir Taheri has written this article today. He sites many people of fine distinction. Michel Aoun (a maverick Christian leader and tactical ally of Hezbollah, has called for the Shiite militia to disband), Walid Abi-Mershed (a leading Lebanese columnist), Sayyed Ali al-Amin (the grand old man of Lebanese Shiism, has broken years of silence to criticize Hezbollah for provoking the war, and called for its disarmament), Mona Fayed (a prominent Shiite academic in Beirut) and many more.

Here is what he concludes:
Hezbollah's position is no more secure in the broader Arab world, where it is seen as an Iranian tool rather than as the vanguard of a new Nahdha (Awakening), as the Western media claim. To be sure, it is still powerful because it has guns, money and support from Iran, Syria and Hate America International Inc. But the list of prominent Arab writers, both Shiite and Sunni, who have exposed Hezbollah for what it is--a Khomeinist Trojan horse--would be too long for a single article. They are beginning to lift the veil and reveal what really happened in Lebanon.

Having lost more than 500 of its fighters, and with almost all of its medium-range missiles destroyed, Hezbollah may find it hard to sustain its claim of victory. "Hezbollah won the propaganda war because many in the West wanted it to win as a means of settling score with the United States," says Egyptian columnist Ali al-Ibrahim. "But the Arabs have become wise enough to know TV victory from real victory."
I do believe there is a movement in Beruit that will be unstopable, just as the March 14 Cedar Revolution. It is up to the people of Lebanon to demand justice from their government. A state within a state which does not abide by any of the same rules as the Superior State is unjust. As we know, that tension, that struggle, cannot stand. One state will survive, but only one.

Technorati tags: , , , and .
Category: Lebanon, terrorism, Syria and Iran.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Suspected terrorists captured near Paru Khyl village

Release Date: 8/22/2006
Release Number: 06-08-02PL
Created by: Sharbe L. Clark.
Last modified: Sharbe L. Clark.
Description: KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan and Coalition forces conducted a pre-dawn raid on a compound housing suspected terrorists Aug. 22 near Paru Kheyl village in Khowst Province.

Three suspects were taken into custody.

Assorted weapons and ammunition were confiscated in the operation. Weapons included automatic and bolt-action rifles, a shotgun and ammunition-carrying chest racks.

Three other males found in the compound were released after questioning. More than 20 women and children were also located within the facilities. The Coalition notes that extremists are deliberately and immorally surrounding themselves with innocent civilians, knowing the Coalition takes extraordinary measures to prevent civilian casualities.

The purpose of this operation was to capture a known al Qaeda facilitator. Credible intelligence linked the targeted individual to suspected terrorist activities and attacks against the Afghan and Coalition forces in Khowst Province .

The Coalition is currently assessing information taken from the raid and determining the level of involvement of the three suspected terrorists taken into custody.

No shots were fired and no Afghan or Coalition forces were injured during the operation.

This operation was a coordinated effort between Afghan and Coalition forces,” said Col. Thomas Collins, Combined Forces Command - Afghanistan spokesman. “This joint team will continue to target the al Qaeda network and remove their means of support in order to extend the reach of the government and ultimately improve the lives of the Afghan people.”

For more information please contact: Kabul-Presscenter@cfc-a.centcom.mil.

Category: Press Release, Terrorism and Afghanistan.

CentCom Notices Blackfive!

Wow! It is such a pleasure to introduce you to Matt at Blackfive. He had the wonderful opportunity to interview one of the men he has admired from afar for quite a while.
Thanks to the good folks at Central Command Public Affairs, I was able to interview a Marine that's sort of been one my favorites to watch in Iraq. He is US Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Erik E. Duane, and he's a Civil Affairs detachment chief in the Denver Area of Operations. Since the Iraqis call their Gunnys "Lions" and Gunny Duane was inducted into a local tribe as a Sheik, he is Sheik Lion. [read the rest]
What a great interview it is, indeed. Please go check it out. You won't be disappointed. Have a great day.

Category: Someone You Should Know.

Extremist's Rockets Injure Nomads

Release Date: 8/22/2006
Release Number: 06-08-02P
Created by: Sharbe L. Clark.
Last updated: Sharbe L. Clark.
Description: BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Several rockets fired by Taliban extremists struck a Kuchie (nomad) encampment injuring two civilians in Gardez on Aug. 21. The injured are being treated by Coalition medical personnel. Their condition is not known that this time.

“Taliban extremists continue to show a blatant disregard for human life as demonstrated by the injuries suffered by innocent Kuchie civilians,” said Lt. Col. Paul Fitzpatrick, Combined Joint Task Force-76 spokesman. “It doesn’t matter if the extremists were aiming at Coalition forces or not, the end result is that two innocent people were wounded by their rockets. The extremists make no apologies for the negligence of their tactics. Their actions are inexcusable and indefensible.”

Coalition forces often come to the aid and rescue of civilians injured by Taliban extremists. Citizens should report suspicious activity to their Provincial Coordination Center , Afghan or Coalition security forces.

For more information please contact: Kabul-Presscenter@cfc-a.centcom.mil.

Technorati tags: and .
Category: Afghanistan and Terrorism.

Encouraging results in Police recruiting

CAMP AL ASAD — More than 500 Iraqi men were screened and accepted for service as police officers in their local communities during a three-day recruiting drive in Iraq’s western al-Anbar province recently.

U.S. Marines screened thousands of applicants Aug. 11-14, in various regions along the western Euphrates River valley, including the border cities of al-Qa’im, Haditha, and Baghdadi – a small town just miles east of this sprawling U.S. air base.

The three-day event was the most successful recruiting for U.S. and Iraqi forces in this region to date, according to Maj. Lowell Rector, officer-in-charge of the police transition team for Regimental Combat Team 7.

Police transition teams are composed of U.S. service members who mentor, train and oversee the establishment of Iraqi Police forces throughout the province.

RCT-7 is the U.S. military unit responsible for providing security and mentoring Iraqi security forces in western Anbar – an area stretching over more than 30,000 square-miles.

With the addition of the 500 new recruits, western Anbar province will have more than 2,200 officers in uniform.

Rector attributed a variety of “variables” to the success of the recruiting drive – consistent pay, new and better equipment, and a rigorous screening process to ensure only high-caliber candidates are accepted.

“They’re getting paid, they realize the benefits, the environment’s becoming more secure,” said Rector. “They want to serve.”

New applicants must attend eight to ten weeks of training before they can begin service in their districts, said Rector. Police academies are located in Baghdad and Jordan.

To qualify for service, applicants had to endure a physical fitness test, medical exam, background check, literacy test and an interview process with retired U.S. Police officers who work hand in hand with Iraqi police forces.

A similar recruiting drive in the Fallujah area netted 176 new applicants, adding to an existing force of about 1,700 Police officers in the area.

Category: Press Release and Iraq.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Great Lie

It has come to that point in time whereby one must decide. Do you want to live in fear of offending someone, or do you simply want to live? Sometimes, you may have to fight for that right.

Liberty was never gained by the weak nor the mild. Freedom was never won by the pacifist nor the lazy. Life was never more precious as when one gave up his for another.

Conspiracies are born from ignorance. They are also born of denial. Then there are those times when there simply is no conspiracy theory but a lie! Yes. People who want to kill you will lie to you. Are you surprised? What makes you think that that a murderer has the moral compass not to lie?
This just in: The Lebanese men suspected of having deposited bombs on German trains last month were hired hands -- in the employ of the German government itself.

That, at least, is what one 27-year-old from Saudi Arabia believes. "It's all a Protestant crusade," the man explains. "All of northern Germany is Protestant, isn't it? And so is President Bush." Then the man launches into a melange of confusing arguments and historical facts. The bubonic plague, Martin Luther and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl all make a cameo. It's all connected somehow, the man is sure of it. [continue reading]
Was not Hitler a liar? Was he not a dictator? If you disagreed with him, was this hazardous to health? Then what do say to people who worship him? Yes, the Islamofascists. After all, was not Hitler a fascist?

Hat tip: Spiegel Online and Little Green Footballs.

Category: Terrorism and Germany.

8 Military Personnel to Have Article 32 Hearing

KFMB San Diego, channel 8 is reporting that the Marine Corps has denied four Marines accused of killing an Iraqi civilian in Hamdania, Iraq, the option of going straight to trial even though they apparently waved their article 32 hearing to go to trial. Defense lawyers claimed that perhaps this was a sign that prosecutors don't have a solid case. The generals and administrative weenies will keep the pressure on until those eight lads break, regardless of the truth.

According to Camp Pendleton spokesman Lt. Col. Sean Gibson the move was made "to make a fair and impartial decision on the disposition of these cases."

Lt. Col., save it for the MSM, libs and anti-war groupies.

The seven Marines and one Navy corpsman allegedly went into Hamdania, and among other things took a man from his home, tied him up and shot him without provocation April 26. The men ---- all accused of premeditated murder, kidnapping and related offenses ---- were first detained in late April in Iraq. All were jailed in the Camp Pendleton brig on the same day in May, and all were charged on the same day in June. Soon, 12 men ---- 11 Marines and one sailor ---- were pulled from their units, kept on house arrest in Iraq, then returned to Camp Pendleton two weeks later.

Eight of the men were jailed and charged on June 21 with premeditated murder, a charge which carries the possibility of the death penalty if they are convicted. The other four men, including platoon commander 2nd Lt. Nathan Phan, were restricted to the local base ---- but not jailed.

On of the defense attorneys, Joseph Casas said he views the recent decision by the Marines to bringing charges in the assault case as a pressure tactic to get the men not accused in Awad's death to tell what they know about the alleged slaying.

It sure as hell makes me wonder what is going on with this case.

More from KFMB channel 8>>

More information courtesy of Nationally syndicated talk-show host, Michael Savage:

Demand for immediate trial signals change in Pendleton 8

Military Justice on trial

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pulitzer Prize Recipient Joe Rosenthal Passed Away, 08/21/2006

Courtesy of a good friend Jerry W. who emailed me on our loss:


Photographer Joe Rosenthal, Who Won Pulitzer Prize for Photo of Iwo Jima Flag-Raising, Dies

In a file photo with the Iwo Jima Memorial in the background, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Joe Rosenthal poses for photographers Wednesday, June 28, 1995 in Arlington, Va., during a ceremony honoring photographers who lost their lives covering military conflicts around the world. Rosenthal won a Pulitzer Prize for making the photo that the Iwo Jima Memorial is modeled after. Rosenthal died Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006. He was 94. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)


SAN FRANCISCO Aug 21, 2006 (AP)— Photographer Joe Rosenthal,
who won a Pulitzer Prize for his immortal image of six World War II servicemen raising an American flag over battle-scarred Iwo Jima, died Sunday. He was 94.

Rosenthal died of natural causes at an assisted living facility in the San
Francisco suburb of Novato, said his daughter, Anne Rosenthal.

"He was a good and honest man, he had real integrity," Anne Rosenthal said.

His photo, taken for The Associated Press on Feb. 23, 1945, became the model for the Iwo Jima Memorial near Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The memorial, dedicated in 1954 and known officially as the Marine Corps War Memorial, commemorates the Marines who died taking the Pacific island in World War II.

The photo was listed in 1999 at No. 68 on a New York University survey of 100 examples of the best journalism of the century.

The photo actually shows the second raising of the flag that day on Mount Suribachi on the Japanese island. The first flag had been deemed too small.

On the Net:

More on Rosenthal:



News and Views for putting America first.
Hosted by: http://www.3.9cpm.com/

Ed Evans

MGySgt., USMC (Ret.)
Not as lean, not as mean, but still a Marine.




Stop being a good Democrat. Stop being a good Republican. Start being a good American.” Immigration -- "There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." - Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

-- "A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American, and the man who goes among you to trade upon your nationality is not a worthy son to live under the Stars and Stripes." -- Pres. Woodrow Wilson

Spread the word about the sacrifices, dedication and hard work of our Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen and their collective efforts to accomplish a challenging but worthwhile mission in Iraq: http://www.imef-fwd.usmc.mil/

For the straight scoop on Iraq, forget the mainstream media, check out Michael Yen's in-country Online Magazine at http://www.michaelyon-online.com/?BMIDS=17052130-30c03440-115850.

Please pray Psalm 91 on this day, and every day, for our Armed Forces
standing in harm's way around the world in defense of our liberty,
and for the families awaiting their safe return.

Pray also for the defeat of our enemies, foreign and domestic.

God Loves Marines


Thursday, August 17, 2006

General: Trust key to Baghdad security

Sunday, 13 August 2006
Story by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD — The Coalition commander responsible for operations in the Iraqi capital is optimistic about what he has seen since operations to quell sectarian violence here started.

Army Maj. Gen. James Thurman, commander of Multi-National Division - Baghdad, said forces have been concentrating on four major hot spots.

Essentially, the concept calls on Coalition and Iraqi forces to cordon off an area and search each street, house by house, Thurman said.

Al-Doura, a mixed Shiia and Sunni area, is one of the hotspots. The area had 20 sectarian murders one night before the operation started. The plan zeroes in on reducing the number of murders, kidnappings, assassinations and car bombs, Thurman said.

Al-Doura has about 135,000 people living in more than 16,000 homes. Iraqi forces carry most of the water in the operation. They search the mahalas – neighborhoods – that are causing the problems. “We’ve dropped the violence down to near nothing,” Thurman said.

Multi-National Division - Baghdad officials said the Iraqis, backed by Coalition forces, have cleared 5,500 homes in Doura. “We have to clear those mahalas and get the cells out of there and then hold those areas, protect them and build civil capacity,” Thurman said.

Iraqi security forces, supported by Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers, continued their combined effort Sunday in western Baghdad’s Shula and Ameriyah neighborhoods.

The combined operations on simultaneous objectives are led by the soldiers of 1st and 5th Brigades from the 6th Iraqi Army Division, and policemen from 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, supported by Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, and 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

“Security in Baghdad is the top priority for everyone working in Operation Together Forward. We continue to work very closely with Iraqi security forces in a major effort to clear this area of terrorists and death squads,” said Col. Robert Scurlock, 1st Armor Division's 2nd Brigade commander. “Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces are working side by side every day to increase security in Baghdad and help the Iraqi people return to a more normal domestic life.”

The 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team gives Multi-National Division - Baghdad added mobility, flexibility and agility to maneuver anywhere in the city, Thurman said. The unit was due to rotate back to Alaska following a year in the Mosul area. The Army extended its time in Iraq for up to 120 days and assigned it to Baghdad.

The civil work is key to getting the Iraqis to stop the cycle of tit-for-tat sectarian murders. Iraqi officials in al-Doura are clearing the garbage from the streets, dismantling illegal roadblocks and engaging with district and neighborhood advisory councils. The people in the mahalas have confidence that life will improve for them, and that the government is the way forward, Thurman said.

Once the Iraqi security forces clear the neighborhood, Iraqi police hold the area and Iraqi officials work to ensure the essential services – electricity, water and sewage – are working in those areas. Other local officials work to ensure economic opportunity in the area.

“The Battle of Baghdad is about perception and building trust and confidence in the average citizen of Iraq,” Thurman said.

The general said the operation will spread to other hot spots in Baghdad. “The whole Mansour area is a hot spot,” he said. “We’ve got a positive trend happening, but it’s the will of the Iraqi people that we need to continue (to encourage). We will work closely with the Iraqi government to deal with the sectarian strife. I believe the average Iraqi is tired of violence.”

U.S. Central Command
Spc. Patrick Ziegler
Spc. Chris Erickson
1Lt. Anthony Deiss

Category: Press Release and Iraq.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

NGAUS Notes: Aug. 11, 2006

This post has moved to Rosemary's Thoughts. Please visit me over there. Thanks.


Legislative Alert: Aug. 11, 2006

Things to Do! NGAUS Alerts
Check our two new legislative alerts on the NGAUS website http://www.ngaus.org. The National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act of 2006 and #06-14 and #06-13 Voicing Strong Opposition to Section 511 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. (Section 511 language pulls command and control of the Guard from the Governors during, certain emergency operations).

Now is the time to take action. Your Member of Congress is at home in your district looking for votes. Make a point to call or visit their local offices and urge support of National Guard issues. Letters are also available on our “write to congress” feature on our website http://www.ngaus.org for each Alert. You can fax or e-mail as well.

Nation’s Governors register opposition to Section 511 in the House Authorization Act of FY07 (30 Governors have signed)
To: Senate Majority Leader Frist, Senate Minority Leader Reid, Speaker of the House Hastert and House Minority Leader Pelosi.

The nation’s governors strongly oppose legislation to allow the President to federalize the National Guard in a state without the consent of the governor. The House passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5122) would authorize the President to take control of the Guard in case of “a serious natural or manmade disaster, accident, or catastrophe that occurs in the United States, its territories and possession, or Puerto Rico.” The provision was drafted without consultation or input from governors and represents an unprecedented shift in authority from governors as Commanders and Chief of the Guard to the federal government. We take very seriously our constitutional duty to protect our citizens and lead our Guard. We are responsible for the safety and welfare of our citizens and are in the best position to coordinate all resources to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. The current process by which we use our National Guard emergencies and request federal assistance when necessary works well and should not be changed. We urge you to drop provisions that would usurp governor’s authority over the National Guard during emergencies from the conference agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act.

Senate Appropriation
Senate Report 109-292

The Senate left town without finishing the Senate Appropriation Act. Right now there have been 95 amendments included in the act.

Wyoming Delegation Visits
Brigadier General Don Hough, Assistant Adjutant General-Air and Colonel Harold Reed, 153rd Airlift Wing Commander and members of his staff were on Capitol Hill last week. They met with members of their Congressional delegation to discuss support for the Air National Guard.

NGAUS meets with the DoD Health Affairs Secretary
NGAUS legislative staff was invited to take part in a discussion on August 8th with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Dr. William Winkenwerder. The discussion centered on the current TRICARE budget and what type of strategic plan will be needed in the future to ensure current, past and future beneficiaries receive the care they deserve. Although no concrete decisions were made at the meeting, NGAUS was glad to participate and looks forward to opportunities to add our voice along with those representing the Guard’s active duty counterparts.

Parliamentarians Needed!
As the NGAUS Legislative Staff prepares for the General Conference in New Mexico, the call is going out for volunteers to serve as parliamentarians for the resolutions sessions. Each resolution subcommittee (Army and Air) needs an experienced individual parliamentarian for the respective resolutions committees. One parliamentarian will serve the Joint committee as well. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Bernie Phelps at (202) 408-5884.

NGAUS Legislative Deputy Returning to New York
Scott Hommel, NGAUS Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, has announced his intention to leave NGAUS to return permanently to New York. Citing a need to spend more time with family, Scott will be joining Peduzzi Associates, Ltd., working out of New York and traveling to Washington as required. He will continue to serve at NGAUS until 1 October 2006. Scott has played a major role in developing the proactive legislative team here in Washington. His friendly demeanor and aggressive style will be sorely missed. Brig. Gen. (ret) Rich Green is beginning an immediate search for Scott’s replacement. We wish Scott well.

Mark your calendars

NGAUS CACO Conference
In anticipation for next year, NGAUS has already secured hotel rooms for next year’s CACO Legislative Conference. The conference will be held on March 5 & 6, 2007. For information regarding the 2008 conference, check out the Legislative page of the NGAUS website.

Need information!

Looking for information about the 128th NGAUS Conference, what the legislative team working on and what is the latest news on the National Guard go to http://www.ngaus.org.

“We Serve”

Providing NGAUS members with effective and knowledgeable representation on Capitol Hill.

Published by the NGAUS Legislative Staff:
Brig Gen (ret) Richard M. Green, Director
Scott Hommel, Deputy Director
Michele Traficante, Joint Programs
Chris DeBatt, Army Programs
Andy Vanlandingham, Air Programs
Bernie Phelps, Senior Legislative Analyst
Emily Breitbach, Legislative Analyst

For more information on NGAUS, check out our website: www.NGAUS.org.

Category: NGAUS.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Horn of Africa in the GWOT

by SGT Claude Flowers (on page 8 and 9)
CENTCOM Public Affairs

It's no accident that the Horn of Africa is a military front in the Global War on Terror. Four countries from that region--Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea--have liaison offices serving at US Central Command to help build a bright future for their corner of the globe.

"The Horn is a hotbed now," said Eritrean Navy Cdr. Berhane Tesfamichael, who serves as his country's Senior National Representative (SNR)to CENTCOM. "There is the Sudan problem, the Somalia problem, and the Red Sea is a strategic place connecting the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. It is actually a main transport line and it is in the Middle East where the terrorists are now."

He also noted that his countrymen have a personal interest in combating extremism.

"Eritrea had its own war on terrorism before 9/11. We had our own terrorists that we've been fighting for ten, fifteen years. It is not so big that we can't handle it. We are handling it ourselves. We don't need any help, but they come from the Sudan to their neighboring countries. In 2003 and '04, they tried to bomb our towns. They were putting bombs on buses. They were captured, but we had people killed and wounded."

Indeed, while most of the public's focus on Operation Enduring Freedom centers on the mission in Afghanistan, important work is also being done in Africa. The nation of Djibouti hosts the regional headquarters of the Combined Joined Task Force-Horn of Africa, which oversees the Coalition's work in that part of the world. It is a partnership which is aiding both the country itself, and the GWOT.

Djibouti's geographic location, at a narrow point where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden, makes it strategically important.

"Just see a map," said Lt. Col. Mohamed Robleh, Djibouti's SNR to CENTCOM. "It's a chokepoint. There are about 40 kilometers between us and Yemen. Whatever happens in the Arab side affects us. The only difference is there is a small sea between us. We are not in the Gulf region, just looking at it!"

He added that the Djiboutian people are grateful for the presence of American servicemembers.

"First of all, it is a great honor for us to host the Coalition headquarters in our country," he said. "After a lot of studies and analysis, our country was chosen to be the headquarters. Also, the presence of the Coalition in our country means they are doing a lot of work. Our people get a lot of jobs -- employment. There are a lot of (humanitarian projects): drilling wells, constructing the schools and giving medicine, helping our people. All that, we appreciate. It is a very good thing that we are gettting from the Coalition."

Robleh also enjoys the exchange of ideas that comes from working alongside fellow Coalition officers at CENTCOM headquarters.

"No one had ever imagined that anything like this would happen somewhere in the world before 9/11," he said. "For me, it is a great feeling. This could only happen in this great country, the USA."

"We have one objective, all the SNRs," Tesfamichael said. "It doesn't matter what political positions they have in their countries, everyone is working on the GWOT."

"They're similar," Robleh agreed. "First off, everybody has the mission to defend his country. That's a shared mission, even though we are from different countries. Also, we just look alike: Uniform, boots, hats. It's all the same! Militaries are militaries."

According to Kenya's SNR, Brig. Gen. David J. Baburam, "Apart from the different colors of uniform that we see, everything else (about the Coalition countries) is common. Absolutely. We think in the same way. Apart from small peculiarities here and there, the philosophies, concepts and procedures are basically the same. Everything in the military stands on precision. That is common to all militaries. Things are done according to procedures, very, very precise, well-defined procedures. The way we do our business in the Kenyan military is basically the same apart from the size--and to a degree the sophistication--as the USA, Russia, Pakistan, and all these other countries which are in this coalition. The military language is the same. Whether you're speaking in Russian, or in English, or in Urdu, it's the same."

"It's very nice working together in a consolidated force," said Col. Negash Y. Abreha, Ethiopia's SNR to CENTCOM. "It enhances our capacity and makes it easier to fight the threat of terrorism."

Ethiopia is a participant in Operation Enduring Freedom. Abreha said his nation is committed to fighting terrorism because, "It is not one country's threat. It is a global threat. It is widely interrelated. The terrorists are working in a network and to fight it, we should not apply (solutions as) individual counttries. We must consolidate our forces' capacities."

He cited freedom as a weapon against the terrorists, who "use people' differences of religion" to drive a wedge between populations. Ethiopia's Christian and Muslim citizens coexisst harmoniously.

"In my country, which is a democratic country, anybody is free to believe what he wants to believe," he said. "Every religion respects the other unless there is imposition. They are living together, brotherly."

What else is required to ensure a bright future for Ethiopia and its neighbors in the Horn of Africa? Economic progress.

"We believe our strategic enemy is povery. To fight poverty, there must be peace and stability," Abreha said. "Therefore, for Ethiopia this Coalition means working for peace throughout the world. When we consolidate our forces, when we share ideas, when we share training, we will achieve peace. Therefore, we see the Coalition working in this direction.

"Our enemies use backwardness as an instrument to call for violence. They use peoples' problems for their agenda. Therefore, we, the people of the world, should come together and assist each other."

He was quick to distinguish between asistance which leads to self-sufficiency and charity which only addresses the symptoms of a problem rather than the root causes.

"If you give someone something-food or money-they will use it and need it again. We must assist each country's basic development so that it can rely on itself. This could be through opining markets so Africa can export commodities without any taxation and benefit from trade.

"The developed and undeveloped states cannot compete (on the same level). Therefore, the undeveloped-as my country is-have to be assisted with skilled manpower, with training, and having some opportunities to work closely. If we share ideas, so many problems can be solved."

"I think all future security problems will be dealt with through an undertaking which is global in nature, a coalition of many countries together," Baburam said. "And the reason for that is that with the majority of security threats in the world now, there's a shift from the traditional military threat."

"That has actually receded. What we see now is a different nature of threat. We have terrorism, we have radical ideologies, we have natural disasters to deal with. We are facing individuals now and individuals in networks, like Osama bin Laden and his network of al Qaida. This is not an entity that you can pinpoint as a threat, like a country. This is a network, and so to deal with such problems--because they are wide and expansive--would require a coalition and grouping of several countries together. So, the Coalition will survive even beyond the threat of terrorism because any other threat conceivable in the future will be dealt with through policing of this kind."

Military relationships also allow for an exchange of ideas. Soldiers from [the] Horn of Africa have been training alongside their allies in the Coalition, learning how to better protect their own corner of the world.

"That is the way forward," Baburam said. "See, the biggest problem that makes this area (of Africa) so-called fertile ground for terrorism and piracy is instability. The military, I think, has got a very, very critical role to play to enable the states in the region to achieve effective stability in the respective countries: Improve on governance, improve the ability of those governments there to effectively police their boundaries. That's where the military training aspect will be very, very critical in the future. Apart from creating competence and skill within those individual countries, it also promotes regionalism, tackling this problem in the form of a cooperative model." While optimistic about the ultimate outcome of the GWOT, Tesfamichael stressed the importance of peatience. "From my perspective, this will take a lot of time. This is not a short-term war. The Horn of Africa, being near the Middle East, is one of the areas where terrorism will last for some time." Eventually, however, Eritrea and its African neighbors stand to gain much from their partnership with the Coalition, since stability will allow them to invest in domestic development.

"Mining and exploration is going on," Tesfamichael said. "I'm sure by 2008, we'll begin producing gold, diamonds, zinc and copper. We have oil, I'm sure, but we haven't started exploiting it due to financial (limitations). "Eritrea is a very beautiful country. The sea is not polluted. We have very beautiful coastal waters with plenty of fish, coral reefs and beaches. There is a big tourist industry. Everyone comes there, but some people are still scared because of the tensions in the region." Eritrea has welcomed its Coalition partners within its own borders, allowing them both to train alongside Eritrean servicemenmbers and to utilize the nation's infrastructure.

"We can't afford to give a lot," Tesfamichael said. "Eritrea is a small country, a poor country. Our government announced that the Coalition can use the ports, the airspace, the airports free at any time. We are not contributing (forces) to Iraq and Afghanistan, so we are giving moral and political support." Lt. Col. Robleh belived this spirit of cooperation will endure.

"The GWOT may last many years," he said. "I think this Coalition will not only last longer but will also grow and it will evolve."

Category: Press Release, HOA, Horn of Africa, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia.