Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eight VFF Combat Vets Return to Iraq to Assess Progress

Below you will find one of the finest groups of men in which America is honored to be considered their home. Eight of them shall undertake the grueling task of going back to Iraq to report about the situation on the ground…the TRUTH this time. Apparently that is NOT something they teach in journalistic ethics anymore.

This was written by Pete Hegseth of Vets For Freedom, and I hope you will keep them in your prayers. Also read their articles. They will be writing often, and with eight of them? It should be daily! lol. Oh, there's going to be video, too! This is where you will find the news. If you’d like to follow as they go into dustbowl hell again, join and follow the reports from the Vets For Freedom.


Dear Vets for Freedom Members:

I'm excited to announce that next week, Vets for Freedom is sending eight Iraq war combat veterans "back to Iraq" to embed with U.S. combat units and assess the security and political situation on the ground. The media—-along with recent Iraq visitors—-have not sufficiently reported the gains on the ground…so we’ll do it ourselves.

We will return to the Iraqi cities where we once patrolled—-cities like Fallujah, Baqubah, Samarra, and Baghdad—-to provide a true "before and after" perspective and analyze the results of the surge, observe ongoing counterinsurgency operations, and examine future scenarios that might confront U.S. and Iraqi forces, as well as the Iraqi government.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF EMBEDS AND WHERE THEY'LL BE

All eight Vets for Freedom members have received their media credentials through Blackfive, National Review Online or The Weekly Standard. And while in Iraq, we will provide regular updates through the above media organizations and at www.vetsforfreedom.org. We will be blogging daily, writing full-length pieces, shooting video footage, and reporting live from the ground.

Embeds will be meeting with U.S. and Iraqi military and civilian leaders, and will focus our analysis on determining the durability of recent gains, the potential consequences of a rapid American withdrawal, the proper "conditions-based" metrics needed to measure future force levels, the status of displaced Iraqis, and the prospects for the return of al Qaeda to Iraq, amongst other issues.

CLICK HERE TO READ ALL FUTURE DISPATCHES FROM IRAQ

I'm honored to be heading back to Iraq with such an incredible group of vets. I also want to thank the corporations UnderArmour and Wiley-X for outfitting our group with the proper tactical clothing and eyewear, as well as North American Rescue for supplying us with medical supplies.



Be on the lookout at www.vetsforfreedom.org for forthcoming updates about the trip!

Moving out—-with 7 fellow vets—-to Draw Fire!





Chairman, Vets for Freedom.
This is their first article:
WASHINGTON, DCVets for Freedom (VFF) today announced that eight Iraq war veterans who are members of the organization will return to Iraq to assess conditions on the ground and analyze policy options for future U.S. military involvement. Next week they will return to the Iraqi cities where they once patrolled, to provide a true “before and after” perspective.

Success in Iraq demands a fact-based policy built on an objective assessment of conditions on the ground and the advice of U.S. commanders. Through this extensive review, VFF embeds will provide an informed understanding of the best future course for the United States in Iraq.

“The great danger is that policy becomes divorced from events on the ground. The only responsible course is to ensure that decisions on troop levels and other matters reflect the demands of the battlefield. To reduce forces ignorant of, or despite, the consequences would be to risk disaster,” remarked VFF Chairman Pete Hegseth.

Individuals participating in the embed in Iraq include Hegseth, David Bellavia, Joel Arends, Erik Swabb, Kate Norley, Shawn Bryan, Daniel Bell, and Ben Hayden. Biographies for these individuals, as well as where they will be embedded, may be found at www.vetsforfreedom.org/backtoiraq, and additional details about the trip will be made available as schedules in Iraq are finalized.

The assessment will include a series of real-time updates from key strategic points in Iraq, with visits to Ramadi, Fallujah, Baqubah, Samarra, Baghdad, amongst others. Following the return of the group, VFF will issue a report to elected officials and the public with findings and recommendations.

The analysis of the group will focus on determining the depth and durability of recent gains, the troop levels required to achieve stability, the potential consequences of a rapid American withdrawal, the proper "conditions-based" metrics needed to measure the right balance of U.S. and Iraqi forces, the status of displaced people seeking to return to their homes, and the prospects for the return of al Qaeda to Iraq, among other issues.

“Senator Obama has stated his intention to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq on a fixed timetable and without almost any consideration for facts on the ground and events in the region. A policy of effectively unconditional withdrawal from Iraq raises troubling questions. Through this on-the-ground assessment, members of VFF are committed to providing fact-based analysis of critical policy decisions,” concluded Hegseth.

For interviews, please contact those listed above. For more on Vets for Freedom and the “Four Months, For Victory” campaign, visit www.vetsforfreedom.org/fourmonths.
These are wonderful people, and they are sacrificing much to bring us so much information to you. They have already served in Iraq when it is was at its roughest and almost impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel that John McCain saw so clearly. Let us be grateful for such men as these, and let us pray for them. Also, let us support them. Yes, I mean MONEY!

God bless you guys for doing this for us, and God bless everyone who truly supports them. Have a great day.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having a Linkfest party for all my friends, they ones I know and they ones I will come to know. If you have a post you would like to share with more people, why not trackpost it here? All you have to do is add my Permalink somewhere in your article (usually at the bottom), then trackback to it. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback Everyone have a nice day.

Friends I have trackbacked today through Linkfest and others: The World According To Carl: Mercedes Benz’s New Luxury Vehicle: The MZ-3000 Illusion, 123beta: Saddam Hussein’s Rolls Royce For Sale On Ebay.

Friends who have shared their posts for your reading pleasure:
1. Right Truth: Guilty or Innocent?
2. Pirate's Cove: Drilling: The Election Issue Of All Election Issues.
3. Conservative Cat: Saner Men Would Need Therapy.
4. Leaning Straight Up: Another loved one, departed.
5. third world county: “Sitemeter down”? NOT!
6. Shadowscope: Tyson's Cancels Labor Day Holiday.
7. Pursuing Holiness: New site in the creation/evolution debate - DetectingTruth.com.
8. Right Truth: Never Surrender.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas and Adam's Blog. Digg! Digg!

Politician vs. Statesman

I read something this evening that I had not heard about anywhere else expect over at Blackfive's. He led me over to Mrs. Greyhawk's wonderful article at the Mudville Gazette that distinguishes the true difference between Sen. Obama - a politician - and Iraq's Minister of the Interior Jawad Karim al-Bolani - a true Statesman.

Why do I declare one this way and the other one in a better light? Read this article. Someone made time for our wounded troops. There was no entourage. A few reporters, but no front-page headlines. No. This MOI al-Bolani came to America to see our wounded and to thank them for freeing his country from that tyrant, Saddam Hussein. Can you imagine that?! HEY! NY TIMES! THEY'RE THANKING THE SOLDIERS! Not you, though, huh? I wonder why...

Source(s): Blackfive.net and Mudville Gazette.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon. Digg! Digg!

Founders' Daily Quote: 31 July 2008

"I believe a time will come when an opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil. Everything we do is to improve it, if it happens in our day; if not, let us transmit to our descendants, together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot and an abhorrence of slavery."

--Patrick Henry (letter to Robert Pleasants, 18 January 1773); Reference: The Spirit of 'Seventy-Six, Henry Commager and Richard Morris, 402.

I have always Patrick Henry, but now I like him even more! AMEN.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas and Adam's Blog.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Pentagon: Surge a success by any measure

by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2008) — The surge in Iraq has been a success by any measure, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said during a news conference June 23. The policy, announced by President Bush in December 2006, pushed additional brigades in to Iraq to provide a security umbrella so the Iraqi military could build and the country’s government could grow.

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell holds a press briefing to update reporters on the latest news and events within the Department of Defense.The surge has allowed Iraq to make improvements from security, political and economic standpoints, Morrell said. The last of the five surge brigade combat teams recently left Iraq. “By every metric that we measure violence in Iraq, there has been a dramatic improvement from where things were before the surge,” Morrell said. “I'll just point to one, and that is [that] in July of last year, we had 79 U.S. [servicemembers killed in action] in Iraq. We have four thus far this month.”

The dramatic security gains have provided room for political and economic successes. “You name it, it is happening in Iraq,” Morrell said. “Do you want to talk about political gains? We've had basically all the major benchmark legislation passed.” The Sunni bloc has returned to the government, 10 of 18 Iraqi provinces are under local control, and Najaf International Airport has reopened. “You see a $300 million luxury hotel opening up in the Green Zone [and] $50 million in refurbishment of the airport road,” Morrell said. “There's economic investment, and there's political progress. There's increased security. All those things are undeniable, and they are attributable to the fact that we plussed up forces in there.”

There were, of course, other factors at work in the security improvement, Morrell said, but the surge and the change in U.S. counterinsurgency strategy made all else possible. The “Anbar Awakening” that allied formerly insurgent Sunni Muslims with the coalition and influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s cease-fire were other factors, he said, but he noted they didn’t happen independently of other events.

“If we think that Sadr acted in a vacuum, I think we're kidding ourselves,” Morrell said. “There clearly was political and military pressure which caused him to make a decision to have his troops stand down. But we benefitted from it, no doubt,” he continued. “There's no question that the awakening in Anbar, the cease-fire by Sadr, simultaneous to the surge, has helped the overall security situation in Iraq.”

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell holds a press briefing to update reporters on the latest news and events within the Department of Defense.

Source: CENTCOM. Digg! Digg!

Sheikhs discuss upcoming elections in Samawa

by Capt. Robin Worch
1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs

SAMAWA, Iraq (July 28, 2008) – More than 500 tribal leaders gathered in Samawa to discuss upcoming Iraqi elections and issues affecting their tribes, July 16. “This is the spirit of democracy that is encouraging progress throughout Muthanna and Iraq,” said Paul O’Friel, a provincial reconstruction team leader operating in the region.

More than 500 sheiks mingle outside a tent during an annual meeting to discuss issues concerning their tribes and upcoming elections in Samawa, July 16.Sheikh Hakim Khazl led the meeting under a theme of “free and fair elections,” where he proposed introducing United Nations electoral monitors to validate upcoming elections. “We are honored to be invited to such an event and witness first-hand Iraqi people’s moving forward toward a truly democratic country,” said Lt. Col. Scott Kendrick, the commander of the 2nd Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

The sheikhs discussed short falls in the election system in Iraq and agree there is a vital need to hold the national government accountable to the people. The sheikhs’ tribes are gathering, organizing and developing strategies for peaceful and democratic elections scheduled this fall.

The 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., Long Knife Brigade, is providing oversight and aid to the Iraqi security forces in the region.

More than 500 sheiks mingle outside a tent during an annual meeting to discuss issues concerning their tribes and upcoming elections in Samawa, July 16.

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas and Adam's Blog. Digg! Digg!

Founders' Daily Quote: 30 July 2008

"The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of THE CONSENT OF THE PEOPLE. The streams of national power ought to flow from that pure, original fountain of all legitimate
authority."

--Alexander Hamilton (Federalist No. 22, 14 December 1787); Reference: Hamilton, Federalist No. 22

I hear ya, Alex, but they won't listen to us. Is this why the 2nd Amendment was so necessary for the citizenry? ;)

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas and Adam's Blog.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Founders' Daily Quote: 29 July 2008

"Have you something to do to-morrow; do it to-day."

--Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard's Almanack, 1742); Reference: Poor Richard: The Almanakcs for the Years, 1733-1758, intro by Van Wyck Brooks (94).

Hat tip: PatriotPost.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

From Vegas to San Diego - We Was a Shakin' and a Rollin'

At approximately 11:42 am, there was an earthquake with a magnitute of 5.8 (estimated. We now know it was 5.4). I'm fine, but it felt like it lasted for over a minute, but it was only about 30 seconds. The reports are coming in fast and furious. I cannot type that fast! lol.

Am I shaken up? No, not really. I've been through these before. It's just like you people who live in Tornado Valley or Hurricane Lane. It's just something that happens. At least with an earthquake, you know what to do and it only lasts for anywhere between 20 seconds to a couple of minutes.

The people on Channel 7 news (ABC) are saying you never get used to it. Grow up! Yes, you do. Just as long you are not in the epi-center and nothing is damaged, I just ride them out. My brother and I went to the doorway, and I said, 'Wheeee!' So give me a break! lol.

There are now aftershocks. They are saying Disneyland is evacuting everyone from the rides. Everyone is pretty calm, and he finds it amazing because there's a lot of out-of-towners there. I guess they probably thought it was part of the fun!

I'm going to sign off now. They don't know if this was a foreshock or the real deal. I have a clue for them. It was the real deal. Good grief. lol. Aren't I terrible? ;)

At this time, there have been at least 27 aftershocks with the biggest one being 3.6. The depth of this quake was 7-8 miles, and it was located 2 miles SW of Chino Hills. There is a 5% chance that this could be a foreshock, and within hours, usually 24, the chances lessen.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas and Adam's Blog.

I owe the MOPHSF and you an apology

This is more than a correction, because I crossed the line. I used language that was hurtful and uncalled for, and I jumped the gun on an article I wrote before having all the facts. I will not put on a defense, because there is none. What I can do is to stop name calling, keep my research links to every article with the article (so it's easier to find), and be more respectful to everyone.

This is what I had previously written (with an update):
There has been an issue that came up recently, and people who do not know the difference can very easily be taken by this. MOPH stands for Military Order of the Purple Heart (and it is led by fellow Eagle and Special Forces soldier Henry Cook of Shreveport, LA), and MOPH Services Foundation stands for FRAUD another group who works to help our Soldiers as well, although it is not related to the Military in anyway.

Henry received word of this, and this is the result:
Larry Bailey:

A late follow up—Dick Esau, the Executive Director of the MOPH service Foundation was terminated on July 7, 2008—it seems that embezzlement is in the air too. More to follow. But this basic fact needs to get out to all veterans–

Yours in Patriotism,

De Oppresso Liber

Henry J. Cook, III
I want everyone to know about this, and please know that this situation is going to be corrected. You have people watching your back all over the place. We may not be out there on the battlefield with you, but I swear to do all I can do stateside for as long I'm alive. God bless you all!

Cross-posted @ Talon.
After reading this, you will see that only one person was relieved of their job. That should not tarnish the whole organization. Not the way I did. I understand I can get carried away when it comes to our Military men and women, but I should at least give them time to straighten out their own affairs. Otherwise, I end up hurting the rest of the people who are doing good things to help our men and women.

We are on the same team. I get so upset when other people jump the gun. So I hope you can understand the deep regret, disappointment, and sorrow I truly feel. This deserves much more than a correction, this deserves an apology. I apologize. Please forgive me, and have a nice day.

I re-posted it here, because I posted it here first. It is only fair for you to see my error in judgement.

Here is the link for MOPH: MOPH and here is the link for MOPHSF: MOPHSF. Please visit them and see all the good that they do. I wish I could do more. It will be hard not to express my opinion, but I shall to refrain. Have a nice day.

Cross-posted @ Talon.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Konar, Afghanistan: 'Almost' Poppy Free

I have found this article, written by Navy Lt. Neil Myers Special to American Forces Press Service, at DVIDSHub. It is amazing to me that we do not hear more of these stories from Afghanistan, but the media wants us to believe this is the forgotten war. Forgotten by who? Not you. Not me. Maybe them? Anyway, who needs them?

The UN has a special office named, "United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime", and apparently they reward people for cleaning up their drug problem. Let's take a look first at what has occurred in past few years. In the years 2006 and 2007, this province was nearly poppy free.
U.N. Agency Declares Afghan Province 'Nearly Poppy-Free'.

During a July 6 trip to the province, Afghanistan's minister for counternarcotics, Gen. Khodaidad, announced that Konar has qualified for two monetary awards totaling $750,000 from the Counternarcotics Trust Fund.

Konar Gov. Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi and his provincial council decided to use $420,000 of that money to upgrade the Konar Teacher Training College with a 60-room dormitory, dining facility and meeting hall. A lack of dormitories requires students of either to commute or to rent local accommodations while attending school.

"This is a great day for Konar and Afghanistan", said Navy Cmdr. Daniel Dwyer, Konar Provincial Reconstruction Team commander. "When you see the government of Afghanistan, on its own, bringing projects to its people that provide for long-term jobs and economic growth, it shows everyone that progress is well on its way."
This is wonderful. This is good encouragement, by using other methods of working to achieve a good economy, and this is a way to show other provinces how to prosper without growing the poppies that are aiding the Taliban and AQ. Without this money, who knows? They may even have to get a job! LOL. Seriously though.

The governor of this province is not quite sure yet how spend the rest of the money, but he does have some ideas. He would like to build some irrigation canals, improve education, and then possible use the rest for either one big project or many smaller district projects. I vote for the smaller districts, but that's me.

He is very proud of the people in his province, especially the elders, as am I, because he knows this would not be possible without their support and efforts.
"The people of Konar deserve the credit for the poppy eradication," Wahidi said. "All the tribal elders and people of Konar are committed to putting an end to this [poppy] seed, because the smuggling, trafficking and growing of narcotics is forbidden by Islam."
I don't care much for the so-called religion, but I'm grateful to them for stopping the spread of heroin. Good job, you guys. Keep up the good work.

PS. I just want to add something that was not in this story but I know to be true. It was also done with 'a little help' by the US Military. HOOAH!

Source: DVIDS News.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon, Rosemary's News and Ideas and Adam's Blog.

Founders' Daily Quote: 28 July 2008

"The moral precepts delivered in the sacred oracles form a part of the law of nature, are of the same origin and of the same obligation, operating universally and perpetually."

--James Wilson (Of the Law of Nature, 1804); Reference: The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, Wilson, ed., vol. 1 (137-138)

I am unfamiliar with this book, but I am going to take a stab at it. The law of nature has received its same origin from the same place we all did. God Almighty. That is why it is universal. He is at the depths of the seas, He is at the loneliest place on earth, He is as high as a plane may fly, He is as wide and long and high and as deep in knowledge, love, mercy and justice. He is also our Creator. Just don't let anyone hear you say that, because it's illegal to let the people know the truth in some places. Don't be dismayed. At least you can publically be a homosexual! /s

Hat tip: PatriotPost.us.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

And it came to pass

...as most kidney stones do. Let me first give you a clue as to the European media, for those who do not know. Do you believe we have freedom of the press in Europe? Not so! There is a union-controlled by the state-that has to give you the okay for you to write for the AP, IPU, etc. The people in charge of hiring are Marxists or Socialists who hate Capitalism and America. Now that we are square on that, please remember this as you watch this video.


Oh really? Um...now do you understand why there is no good news coming out of either Iraq or Afghanistan? They had to wait for their god to appear.

Now if you ask me, anyone who looks to a politician for all their answers is a NUT. A dangerous one at that. Dear Gerard Baker, you are forgetting one thing. You do NOT get to decide who will be president in America. Get it?

Anyone who parades themselves as the next messiah could be campared to Ahmadinejad as far as his 'seeing' the 12th imam. Not only that, but he claims he IS the 12th imam! This is unacceptable to me, and it should be unacceptable to you too. I do not like McCain, but this only makes me want to work harder to make sure America is never saddled with this person in the WH.

PS. Did you know that Obama has plans to open an office for an Islamic Liason?
The Huffington Post announced this week that Obama has chosen Hiam Nawas to serve in the position of ‘Muslim liaison’ though an aide later hurried to assert that the final decision on Nawas hadn’t been made yet: [Continue reading this article by Aurora at The Midnight Sun.]
Does this raise the hair on the back of anyone's neck but mine?

Hat tip: National Black Republican Association, Chairwoman Francis Rice, who also gave me the link to the UK article. If you cannot see the video, here is the link to see it at YouTube.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas and Adam's Blog.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

FOOTBALL TRAINING SEASON IS ON!

2008 NFL Training Camps Reporting Dates.
Click here.

Favre expected to submit letter of reinstatement to NFL by Friday.

Team-by-team training camp previews.

Ten things to watch for throughout training camp.

Westbrook, Sheppard report to camp despite contract disputes.

Long-time Broncos WR Smith retires after 13 seasons.

Updated player news from around the NFL.

Click here for more News and Articles.

Don't forget your Fantasy Football!


Training Camp Spotlights:
Training Camp battles: Watch Video.
Chargers training camp update: Watch Video.
Ravens camp update: Watch Video.

NFL Total Access. 32 team cams, exclusive inside access to the NFL ALL YEAR LONG! Weeknights, 7pm EST.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Great articles that I have trackbacked to for your reading pleasure:
Mark My Words: Sincerity vs political calculation.
Mark My Words: One bad apple, so let's punish the entire class.
Right Truth: AP writers now admit: "U.S. is now winning the war in Iraq".


May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

The 86th Anniversary of the 'Mandate for Palestine'

This anniversary was on July 24, 2008, but I have been too busy until now to post this. (I'm still busy, but this is very important.) This is a part of history which must not be forgotten. Not now. Not ever.
86 years ago - on July 24, 1922, the League of Nations (equivalent to today's UN) published the historical document "Mandate for Palestine" that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine - the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law.

The "Mandate for Palestine" was not a naive vision briefly embraced by the international community. Fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:
"Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."
It is important to note that political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates - in Lebanon and Syria [The French Mandate], Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan [The British Mandate].

Any attempt to negate the Jewish people's right to Palestine - Eretz-Israel, and to deny them access and control in the area designated as the Jewish National Home by the League of Nations is a serious infringement of international law.

Those claiming that Jewish settlements in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea are illegally occupied, should answer just one simple question: In 1922 Jewish settlements were perfectly legal - What has changed?

For the entire commentary please click The Mandate for Palestine.
This was written by Eli E. Hertz, and the name of the site is Myths and Facts. I like this site, and I just wanted to share it with you on this very important anniversary. Have a very nice weekend, and G-d bless you all.

PS. During WWII, the Jewish fighters against Hitler were known as PALESTINIANS. Put that in your so-called peace pipe and smoke it all of you Arabs that are hostile against Israel and all anti-semetic racists in America and the world. Yes, I dislike you with every cell in my body, but I do not 'hate' you. I understand being lied to for your whole life. I understand being brainwashed. I also understand how to fix things so that there is no longer hatred. That is my real problem. I dislike any person who hates someone based on ignorance. That includes red, yellow, black and white.

Don't you remember the song?
Jesus loves the little children.
All the children of the world.
Red, yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves them all!
Now go out today and love someone. ;)

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Posts I have trackbacked to through Linkfest and others: Mark My Words: This would not be an apples to apples comparison, Wolf Pangloss: Bobby Kennedy in British Palestine, Right Truth: PATIENT EVIL - An R.J. Godlewski / Right Truth Blog Exclusive - Chapter Twenty-Eight, The World According To Carl: Kennedy vs. Obama — Germany, The Amboy Times: Muslim Women suing McDonalds over hijabs, Mark My Words: Let us reason together, Wolf Pangloss: Conversion, Death or Taxes: A Jihadist Jizya threat in the Philipines.

Great articles that have trackbacked to this post:
1. Mark My Words: Sincerity vs political calculation.
2. Mark My Words: One bad apple, so let's punish the entire class.
3. Right Truth: AP writers now admit: "U.S. is now winning the war in Iraq".
4. Cao's Blog: that was a short trip!
5. Mark My Words: They say laughter is the best medicine.
6. Woman Honor Thyself: Doozie of the DaY: Bali Bombers.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Founders' Daily Quote: 25 July 2008

"Remember, that Time is Money."

--Benjamin Franklin (Advice to a Young Tradesman, 1748); Reference: Franklin: Writings, Lemay, Library of America (1198)

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All of the Founders' quotes distributed by FQD have been thoroughly researched and authenticated by the Heritage Foundation. For a complete database of Founders' quotes on various topics, link to the Internet's most comprehensive resource page on our Founding documents and select Founders Quote Database.
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Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Airport provides travel, economic boost to Najaf

by Staff Sgt. Michel Saure
MND-Center

BAGHDAD (July 22, 2008) – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki stepped off the first plane landing in Najaf International Airport and waved to cheering crowds, July 20. The celebration marked the opening of a new airport, which will facilitate travel, boost business opportunities and increase tourism to the third-most-popular destination for Islamic pilgrimages.

Members of the Iraqi army salute while the Iraqi national anthem plays during the Najaf International Airport inauguration ceremony, July 20."The Najaf airport is a starting point for competition among provinces and local governments to make extraordinary progress toward reconstruction ... We were determined to face the terrorism that was about to destroy Iraq. The strong will of the federal government has fought and defeated it in all of its forms,” Maliki said when he addressed the crowd. [Oh really???]

Members of the Iraqi army and Iraqi police maintained control over the mass of media and photographers who came to record the historic event. Young children laughed and waved Iraqi flags. Men and women posed for pictures, hugging one another, kissing cheek-to-cheek with greetings. Musicians played enchanting melodies, and singers sang with spirit.

The capital of Najaf is considered one of the holiest cities for Shia Islam. The city is renowned as the site of the tomb of Imam Ali Talib, whom Shia consider the prophet Muhammad’s heir. The site is believed to be the third-most-popular destination for Islamic pilgrimages, after the Saudi Arabian cities of Mecca and Medina.

Additionally, the airport will employ hundreds of people from security guards to customer service representatives. The airport will also create new opportunities in the economy for hotels and restaurants, travel agencies, banks, currency exchange, even agricultural processing to feed Najaf’s new visitors. Moreover, the presence of this airport will attract businesses and investors.

“The benefits of this facility will ripple throughout the local, provincial, regional and national economy,” said Angus Simmons, of Reston, Va., team leader for Provincial Reconstruction Team Najaf.

The Najaf PRT helped facilitate construction contracts as well as linked the airport with a U.S. transportation adviser who specializes in airport management. The new airport is part of a multi-billion dollar project led by investment firm Al-Aqeelah, based in Kuwait. The firm plans to build thousands of new homes and hotels in the city. A total of $80 million has been committed to the airport’s construction, $50 million of it already invested in the project.

“I would say the Najaf people and the leadership here at the provincial level have a very national viewpoint on what this airport does for Iraq,” said Col. Jefforey Smith, deputy commanding general, support for Multi-National Division – Center and the 10th Mountain Division.

“About the only other way you could have gotten into this part of the country previously was by vehicle. There’s no train system that comes through here,” Smith said. “So this airport is going to be huge not only for Najaf, but ... it will affect the other major cities in the province of Karbala [and others] north and west of here.”

The airport will help not only the province of Najaf prosper, but also the neighboring Karbala, Babil and Qadasiyah. Before now, the closest airport was centralized in Baghdad, hundreds of miles north of these areas. They too will take advantage of economic plans provided by the new travel. “I think it’s a positive time—it’s a good time— to open this airport,” Smith said.

Members of the Iraqi army salute while the Iraqi national anthem plays during the Najaf International Airport inauguration ceremony, July 20.

Source: CENTCOM.

Editor's Note: Apparently al-Maliki has not been listening to his top aides and top Generals. Again, this reminds me of someone who shall remain nameless for now, but this is disgusting. If he thinks all the AQI and jihadis are gone, then let's go! Let us see how long he lives! I know we won't do that, because it is not in our best national security interest. But just once, wouldn't you like to hold someone to their word? *sigh*

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Iraqis gain responsibility for security in Qadasiyah

by Sgt. David Turner
4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

FOB ECHO, Iraq (July 21, 2008) — The governor of Qadasiyah province assumed security responsibility from Multi-National Force - Iraq during a ceremony in the provincial capital of ad-Diwaniyah, July 16. Lieutenant General Lloyd Austin, commander of Multi-National Corps - Iraq, signed an agreement with Provincial Governor Hamed al-Khoudari, which gives responsibility of providing security to the people of Qadisiyah and the Government of Iraq.

Iraqi children celebrate the transfer of security responsibility to Qadasiyah province from Coalition forces in a parade during a ceremony in ad-Diwaniyah, July 16. (Army photo by Sgt. David Turner)Austin thanked Maj. Gen. Andrjez Malinowski, Polish Army commander in charge of Coalition forces in the province, for helping to keep the area safe for the past five years, but gave credit for the transfer of security responsibility to the performance of the Iraqi Security Forces in the area.

“The ISF have done a tremendous job in providing security for the population,” said Austin, in his remarks during the ceremony. “They have fought hard, and the freedom to celebrate today is the result of their efforts.” Austin said that MNC-I would continue to support the ISF, as well as the Government of Iraq and provincial government to provide “sustainable security” for the people of Qadasiyah province.

Qadasiyah is the 10th of Iraq’s 18 provinces to transfer security responsibility to the local government. The Joint Commission, which includes members of the GoI and MNF-I, decided to transfer security responsibility. The commission based their decision on the capabilities of local governance and the readiness of ISF in the area, among other factors.

The recent decrease in violence in the area contributed to the decision, said Lt. Col. Andrjez Tomanek, planning officer with the Polish contingent of Coalition forces, stationed near ad-Diwaniyah. He cited operations carried out by ISF in March as proof that local police and Iraqi Army can keep the area secure in the future.

“Compared with our last rotation, the security situation has improved,” said Tomanek. “All of our activities are coordinated with the ISF. [They] are the basic elements to [maintain] security in this province; we only support them.” Referring to the clashes between the ISF and criminal groups in the area in March, Tomanek said, “[They] passed the exam.”

Before the official signing of the agreement, local officials spoke to the crowd and Iraqi police, IA and other groups, including Iraqi children participated in a parade. An Iraqi SWAT team demonstrated its counterterrorism capabilities as part of the parade.

PHOTO: Iraqi children celebrate the transfer of security responsibility to Qadasiyah province from Coalition forces in a parade during a ceremony in ad-Diwaniyah, July 16. (Army photo by Sgt. David Turner).

Source: CENTCOM.

Founders' Daily Quote: 24 July 2008

"It is not necessary to enumerate the many advantages, that arise from this custom of early marriages. They comprehend all the society can receive from this source; from the preservation, and increase of the human race. Every thing useful and beneficial to man, seems to be connected with obedience to the laws of his nature, the inclinations, the duties, and the happiness of individuals, resolve themselves into customs and habits, favourable, in the highest degree, to society. In no case is this more apparent, than in the customs of nations respecting marriage."

--Samuel Williams (The Natural and Civil History of Vermont, 1794); Reference: American Political Writing during the Founding Era: 1760-1805, Hyneman and Lutz, ed., vol. 2 (952)

So if I am to read this properly, there are laws against homosexual behavior because it is NOT beneficial to the duties and customs and habits, nor is it favorable in the Highest degree, to society therefore banning it in such a way as they banned more than one wife for the Mormons. This is to be understood for a society to survive. When we all turn inward as to our own pleasures, consequences be damned, then that is a very selfish and intolerant person. Usually people of this nature are narcissistic. This is by no means of any benefit to any society except that society which has the inclination of disappearing in a few generation.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Huge weapons cache destroyed near Samarra

MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ
PRESS DESK
BAGHDAD, Iraq
.

Press Release A080722a - 257
July 22, 2008


BAGHDAD – Coalition forces discovered a massive cache of weapons during an operation targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq elements near Samarra that concluded July 19.

During the 48-hour operation, Coalition forces discovered three weapons caches and two buildings believed to be used in terrorist operations. One building was assessed to be a classroom where terrorists learned to build car bombs. The building had diagrams cut into the walls showing how to install bombs in vehicles, and a “test range” outside, littered with car parts. Coalition forces called for supporting aircraft to destroy the building and prevent its future use in terrorist operations.

Coalition forces systematically cleared the area, about 90 kilometers north of Baghdad, which is known to have weapons caches and hideout locations used by AQI leaders. The caches contained 810 105 mm artillery rounds, numerous rockets and mortars, 50 rocket-propelled grenades, several anti-aircraft weapons, vehicle mounts and ammunition, as well as bulk explosives. Munitions experts safely destroyed all the weapons on site.

Founders' Daily Quote: 23 July 2008

"Without wishing to damp the ardor of curiosity or influence the freedom of inquiry, I will hazard a prediction that, after the most industrious and impartial researchers, the longest liver of you all will find no principles, institutions or systems of education more fit in general to be transmitted to your posterity than those you have received from your ancestors."

--John Adams (letter to the young men of the Philadelphia, 7 May 1798);Reference: The Works of John Adams, C.F. Adams, ed., vol. 9 (188)

In simple English: Whatever is written has already been written. You just didn't pay attention until you read it for yourself! lol

PS. This was written under the assumption that everyone understands that Truth is the same as it was yesterday, today and tomorrow. ;)

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

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The Pink Flamingo.
Dumb Ox Daily News: John McCain Speech To Pro-Life...
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Iraqis, Soldiers Make New Friends During Patrol In Suwayrah

Wednesday, 23 July 2008
By Sgt. David Turner
4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

COMBAT OUTPOST SUMMERS — Walking down the busy streets of Suwayrah at sundown, the city’s residents met Soldiers with handshakes and friendly smiles. Children gathered everywhere the Soldiers stopped to talk to residents.

As the patrol of Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment continued on its way, the children followed, practicing their English and enjoying the early evening stroll.

Staff Sergeant Brian Doty (left), of Orange, Va. and Cpl. Sam Weaver, of Fayetteville, N.C., both with Company B, 13th Psychological Operations Battalion, are accompanied by local children while on a foot patrol in the city of Suwayrah in northern Wasit province. Photo by Sgt. David Turner.“Wherever we roll, it’s like a parade,” said Sgt. Robert Delong, an infantryman from central Minnesota, whose previous deployment to Iraq was in Ramadi. This time around, he said, things are different.

Soldiers of Co. B, 2nd Bn., 6th Inf. Regt. conducted joint patrols with their Iraqi Army counterparts in the northern Wasit province. The patrol was not only a way of showing their presence, but to gather information on local businesses and to hear local citizens’ concerns.

Soldiers of Co. B’s 1st Plt. began their day with an early morning patrol in Raminiyah, along the west bank of the Tigris River, visiting Sons of Iraq checkpoints and talking with local citizens and community leaders. In the rural parts of Co. B’s area, where there are few police, the SoI help keep the roads safe and prevent insurgents and weapons from coming into the area. It’s an around-the-clock task, and many of the checkpoints have tents or shelters nearby where SoI members rest between shifts.

The Soldiers of Co. B, attached to the 1st Bn., 76th Field Artillery Regt., 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, make sure the checkpoints are manned and the SoI have what they need as part of their patrols.

Later, they met up with IA Soldiers of the 3rd Bde., 2nd IA Div. in the city of Suwayrah. After pairing up with their IA “battle buddies,” the Soldiers conducted a joint patrol on foot, taking them through the city’s main streets.

“At this stage we try to get the population on our side,” Delong said. “We try to maintain their happiness and give them things that they need. Basically, we ask them what they need, and we take notes.”

“It’s been unusual for me, because I’m not used to working with the population. This deployment, it’s candy and sunshine every day. People come out of their houses to see you. It’s been difficult for a lot of us vets to get used to. It’s just like talking to friends back home.”

Another difference Delong noted is the quiet.

“When I go to sleep, I don’t hear bombs going off. I don’t hear gunfire,” he said.

In recent years, Suwayrah has been a relative island of peace in comparison to its neighbors to the north and west. Since Company B arrived here more than two months ago, there have been no attacks aimed at Coalition forces, said Capt. Dustin Ornatowski, commander of Company B. With little insurgent or criminal activity in the area, his company’s main mission now is to help local citizens repair damaged infrastructure and build their economy, he said.

“Economics and infrastructure are the biggest problems in this area,” said Ornatowski, of Edwardsburg, Mich. “You’re always going to have leftover insurgency elements and criminal elements wherever you go. Right now, those elements are not actively fighting against us in this area,” he said.

Company B Soldiers are working to identify key leaders and find out what the communities in their area need the most. Currently, they hear mostly of the need for reliable electricity and water pumps to keep the region’s irrigation canals flowing, said Ornatowski. Many pumps are damaged or missing, and getting them running again is necessary to supply farmers in the area.

Staff Sergeant Brian Doty (left), of Orange, Va. and Cpl. Sam Weaver, of Fayetteville, N.C., both with Company B, 13th Psychological Operations Battalion, are accompanied by local children while on a foot patrol in the city of Suwayrah in northern Wasit province. Photo by Sgt. David Turner.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mullen: Timeline for drawdown would be dangerous

by Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (July 20, 2008) – Setting a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq would be “dangerous,” and troop reductions there should continue to be made based on security conditions on the ground, the nation’s top military officer said Sunday. President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki this week agreed to set a general “time horizon" for bringing more U.S. troops home from the war, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” but he added that to his knowledge, the agreement does not include specific dates. “I think the consequences could be very dangerous in that regard,” he said.

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, Washington, D.C., July 20.The admiral stressed his view that troop-strength decisions must be conditions-based, but said he wants to see more U.S. forces come home. “I think the strategic goals of having timed horizons are ones that we all seek,” he said, “because eventually we would like to see U.S. forces draw down and eventually all come home,” he said.

Though he said he worries that a “rapid” movement of U.S. forces out of Iraq could create instability, Mullen said he found during a trip there two weeks ago that security conditions were better than he expected they would be, and that could mean more troops can come home if the trend continues. “If conditions continue to improve, I would look to be able to make recommendations to President Bush in the fall to continue those reductions,” Mullen said.

With the return home this month of the last “surge” brigade, commanders will spend the next several weeks assessing post-surge conditions in Iraq, including political and economic progress, before making their recommendations concerning future troop levels. “We’re engaged very much right now with the Iraqi people,” Mullen said. “The Iraqi leadership is starting to generate the kind of political progress that we need to make, [and] the economy is starting to move in the right direction.”

The admiral said he doesn’t know if that means more troops could be home by the end of this administration in January. Logistics and other security details would factor into that, he explained. “There is a physical challenge with respect to moving troops around,” he said. “You just can’t do it overnight.”

Asked about recent struggles in Afghanistan, Mullen said safe havens across the border in Pakistan are allowing extremist groups free movement into the region. “[It] is [a] big challenge for all of us, and it’s having an impact on our ability to move forward in Afghanistan,” he said. A “syndication” of various extremist and terrorist groups in the region is creating a more intense internal threat, the chairman said, and recent attacks have become more serious and sophisticated, such as the attack last week on an outpost in which nine U.S. soldiers were killed. However, he said, commanders on the ground say that forces are making progress and moving into villages and territories previously out of reach.

Mullen acknowledged that progress has been mixed, but he said he is “not concerned at all that we are losing at all in Afghanistan.”Concerning Iran, Mullen said he is “encouraged” by talks between Iran and the European Union yesterday in Geneva, Switzerland, and that the international community needs to continue its pressure on Iran’s nuclear weapons development program. “I fundamentally believe that they are on a path to achieve nuclear weapons in the future,” he said. “I think that’s a very destabilizing possibility in that part of the world. We don’t need any more instability in that part of the world.”

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, Washington, D.C., July 20.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Okay, so you know if Iran gets nuclear weapons it will bring "instability" to the region and beyond. So what is so darned encouraging about having talks with the Europeans ONE MORE TIME? They have used these Europeans for God only knows how long to what end? MORE TIME TO BUILD THEIR NUCLEAR WEAPONS, PERHAPS? You don't have to be a rhode scholar to figure this one out. There really is only one question...when are we going to put a stop to it? You do know that they are killing our sons and daughters and running back to Iran, don't you? When did that stop being an act of war? I don't mean to question your manhood, but have you checked down there lately? We've been waiting and talking and sanctioning since 1979. Do ya think maybe, just maybe, it's time to act?

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Isabela is the capital of Basilan island in the Philipines. The rest of the Island “belongs to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.” [catholic explorer] On July 21, five Catholic parishioners of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Sumisip wer...
2. Right Truth: PATIENT EVIL - An R.J. Godlewski / Right Truth Blog Exclusive - Chapter Twenty-Eight.
PATIENT EVIL...
3. Mark My Words: Let us reason together.
Or is that not allowed when it involves Barack Obama? That question of course is not directed at all Obama supporters. I know some who are willing to discuss the mistakes and perhaps even their disagreements with the candidate they...
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Lenny Ben-David found several articles the 22-year-old Bobby Kennedy wrote when he visited the British mandate of Palestine in March 1948, two months before Israel’s May 14 declaration of independence. They are well worth reading...
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But it does give an indication of Barack Obama's priorities...
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7. The Amboy Times: Muslim Women suing McDonalds over hijabs.
Here we go again, the Islamic battle over dress codes for work. In February, it was the uniforms at a Torilla factory. In England, a hair salon was sued for rejecting the hijab. There have been complaints over exposed arms in the medical practice for s...

Marines strengthen relationships through medical care

by Pfc. Jerry Murphy
RCT-1 PAO

MUDIQ, Iraq (July 17, 2008) – To strengthen their relationship with local Iraqis, Marines of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, conducted a combined medical engagement earlier this month. “The people need to see our presence – know we are here to help them,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. McDonald, a corpsman with Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines. “Our support through (medicines), food, stickers, suckers and interaction with the children is very important.”

Two Iraqi sisters pose for a photo after receiving medic treatment at a combined medical engagement in Mudiq, Iraq. Medical care was provided by Marines and Sailors of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1.Combined medical engagements provide medical attention to those incapable of affording or reaching a clinic that provides proper medical care. Throughout the afternoon, corpsmen treated several hundred Iraqi patients. “The Iraqis see that we are here to help them and, in turn, begin to realize that we are not here to hurt them,” said McDonald, a 25-year-old from Hanover Park, Ill. “We’re here to bring them hope.”

Female Marines were on hand to search Iraqi women and children in accordance with Muslim traditions. “Having us there really fostered a positive image, showing the Iraqis that we care enough about them to (respect their traditions),” said Capt. Lisa M. O’Brien, the communications officer for Marine Wing Support Squadron 374. “We’ve seen at least 300 people today and without (female Marines) here helping, it would make it hard on not only the Marines, but the Iraqis as well.”

Attending her first medical engagement, Lance Cpl. Amanda R. Carnagey, 20, from Vancouver, Wash., said she was a little nervous beforehand, but calmed down eventually and had fun interacting with the Iraqi people for the first time. “It was a blast. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but it turned out to be a great experience,” Carnagey said. “It was funny; the Iraqi women would come at you and try to do everything they could to get us to understand what they needed, using hand gestures while speaking in Arabic. It was confusing at first, but I got it towards the end and just had fun. If I could volunteer to go out again, I would in a heartbeat. It was very rewarding knowing that I was actually out there helping the Iraqi people.”

Two Iraqi sisters pose for a photo after receiving medic treatment at a combined medical engagement in Mudiq, Iraq. Medical care was provided by Marines and Sailors of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1.

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Gates: Pakistan must do better job near border

by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (July 16, 2008) – Pakistan must do more on its side of the border with Afghanistan to combat terrorist extremists, U.S. defense leaders said Wednesday. “We're seeing a greater number of insurgents and foreign fighters flowing across the border with Pakistan, unmolested and unhindered,” Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a news conference. “This movement needs to stop.”

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, address the media during a press conference at the Pentagon Wednesday.Mullen, who recently returned from a trip to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, said all involved with operations on the border must do a better job of policing the region and eliminating the extremists’ safe havens in Pakistan’s federally administered tribal areas that are launching pads for attacks on coalition forces. The most recent example was an attack on a coalition and Afghan military outpost in Wanat, in which nine soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team were killed. “We either find ways to work better together or we fail to secure a better future for the people we've all pledged to protect,” Mullen said. “We can and must do better.”

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said there is no question that the absence of pressure on the Pakistani side of the border is creating an opportunity for more terrorists to cross and launch attacks. “There are efforts under way to try and improve that on both the Pakistani side and on the Afghan and coalition side,” he said. “There is a real need to do something on the Pakistani side of the border to bring pressure to bear on the Taliban and some of these other violent groups.”

Gates and Mullen said the enemy in Afghanistan has grown bolder, more sophisticated and more diverse. They also said the enemy is taking advantage of the safe havens to train and plan attacks. Mullen said that doing something about the situation was the main message he delivered to all leaders he met in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The new Pakistani government needs to face the reality that it faces a security challenge of its own from these groups, Gates said. The number of terrorist attacks inside Pakistan has doubled in a year, he noted.

“One of the things that is really important is the civilian government gaining a full appreciation of the magnitude and reality of the danger to them posed by these groups and the lack of control or the lack of pressure in the FATA and in the Northwest Province,” the secretary said. “So it seems to me the first thing is for the Pakistanis to have a clear understanding of what's happening. We can make a contribution there. And then, … as I've said before, we are ready, willing and able to help them in any way we can.”

Defense Department officials are looking closely at sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. President Bush said the United States would like to send three brigade combat teams to Afghanistan in fiscal 2009. “I think that we are clearly working very hard to see if there are opportunities to send additional forces sooner rather than later,” Gates said. “No decisions have been made; no recommendations have been made.”

Gates said a need clearly exists to provide additional forces. Commanders in Afghanistan are looking within Afghanistan to see how to reposition the forces they have. The French, for example, are sending a 700-man battalion to Regional Command East that could free up U.S. troops for action elsewhere in Afghanistan.

Gates indicated that military planners are looking at a variety of options on how to respond to the need for more troops. “I will tell you that I have sought assurances that there will be no return to longer than 12-month deployments,” Gates said. “That's not something we're considering, and I'm not aware of any plans to extend anybody beyond the extensions that have already taken place.”

PHOTO: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, address the media during a press conference at the Pentagon Wednesday.

Source: CENTCOM.

Founders' Daily Quote: 22 July 2008

"Men of energy of character must have enemies; because there are two sides to every question, and taking one with decision, and acting on it with effect, those who take the other will of course be hostile in proportion as they feel that effect."

--Thomas Jefferson (letter to John Adams, 21 December 1817); Reference: The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Memorial Edition), Lipscomb and Bergh, eds., 15:109.

As a child, I used to wonder why people couldn't talk out the differences. As an adult, I understand slightly more. There is a difference between not agreeing with policies than a difference between one side stating, "I want to kill all of you," and we won't allow that. We did not start this jihad, so we cannot walk away from it. If we do, we shall have confront it at a later date with a much higher cost. This is exactly the difference between Obama and McCain.

Obama wants to quit playing, pick up his marbles and go home. The only problem with that is these are real people's lives we have to consider. McCain is good for nothing else but this. I'd rather live. This way I can try to correct the damage he will do. Oh wonderful...

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Coalition ships intercept drug vessels

Royal Navy

BAHRAIN (July 15, 2008) — Coalition warships operating in the Gulf region have seized 23 tons of narcotics, which could have been used to fund the insurgency in Afghanistan. The British warships involved were frigates HMS Chatham and HMS Montrose, and the destroyer HMS Edinburgh. They were supported by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary helicopter support ship Argus and her embarked Sea King aircraft.

A team from HMS Chatham boards a dhow found to be carrying drugs. (Royal Navy Photo)Sailors and Royal Marines from the ships discovered hidden drugs in vessels along the so-called "Hash Highway," and often operated in the most unpleasant of conditions. The narcotics they seized included hashish, opiates, cocaine and amphetamines.

"The scourge of illegal drugs is one of the gravest threats to the long term security of Afghanistan, and a vital source of funding for the Taliban warlords who seek violence against Afghan, British and NATO forces. Our mission in Afghanistan is one of absolute importance and by seizing these drugs we have dealt a significant blow to the illegal trade," said Commodore Keith Winstanley, commander of Royal Navfy forces in the region, speaking from the Combined Maritime Forces headquarters in Bahrain. "News of these successes has been kept quiet for operational reasons, but I am delighted that the tremendous efforts can now be recognised."

Winstanley stressed the Coalition aspect of the counter-drugs operations, pointing out that tactical command at sea had been under the auspices of Pakistani, French and Canadian Task Force Commanders.

Martin Connel, commanding officer of HMS Chatham, said, "This is a really positive result for HMS Chatham, but is in fact routine business for us. We managed to locate the vessel and then conduct a very unpleasant boarding in demanding conditions. My sailors and marines did an outstanding job in managing to locate six tons of illegal narcotics plus other significant intelligence."

By some estimates hashish accounts for half the profits from the drug trade in the region. The United Nations World Drug Report estimates that drug addiction rates have almost tripled in the Arab world.

"Boarding operations are always quite physical and arduous tasks but this particular boarding displayed the determination and professionalism of my team in an excellent light. We all worked hard to achieve the aim of securing, searching and collecting evidence from a vessel crawling with cockroaches and rats in the extreme heat of the Gulf," said Lt. Joanne Cave, the HMS Chatham Warfare Officer who led the initial phase of the boarding.

"The success of the deployed Boarding Teams and the concurrent activity from HMS Chatham herself just goes to prove how versatile and capable the ship's boarding assets are. The support of the boats' crews and flight were also vital to the smooth running of the operation. To say that we have made a small effort towards stopping the trafficking of illegal drugs is a rewarding experience and one that I would gladly participate in again," Cave said.

"We realised something wasn't right when the crew said they had been fishing for five days but there were only a handful of fish in the freezer. The helicopter crew had also told us that the dhow's crew had been ditching bails out the back as we approached," said Lt. Tom Philips, one of the boarding officers involved. "However, around 35 of us were involved in the operation, supported by the main ship's company of 250 in HMS Chatham. We were working in pretty horrible conditions. When you are crawling through tight compartments in [1]50 degree heat and surrounded by rats and cockroaches, you have to remain pretty focused. However, we had a job to do and everyone carried out their duties with the utmost professionalism; ultimately, the result was more than worth it."

Seizures by Coalition naval forces over the past five months total 30 tons, over 70 percent of which (23 tons) were due to Royal Navy interceptions.

A team from HMS Chatham boards a dhow found to be carrying drugs. (Royal Navy Photo).

Source: CENTCOM.

PS. Great job gents! Wowser!

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

This is an open trackback post. Feel free to put your best, funniest, or misc. work here. Share it with others. Not familiar with trackbacks? First, choose the article you want to promote. Copy/paste my permalink (URL) to your post. Then send a trackback to me. Don't have one? You can use Wizbang Standalone Trackback Pinger. Otherwise, leave a comment for me with the permalink for your post, the name of your blog, and a small excerpt, and I will add it to the list.

Posts that I have trackbacked to over at Linkfest and other sites: Perri Nelson's Website: Perri, Leaning Straight Up: Back Again, Why Do Computers Hate Me?, Right Voices: The Obama Camp on McCain Fundraiser with McCain's Price Tag, Some of that Money Should Be Given To a Food Bank, Shadowscope: Blogs for Borders Video Blogburst, Democrat=Socialist: N & O Roundup (21 July 2008) Post Right Online Conference Edition, The World According To Carl: Welcome To The Nanny State, thanks be to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

General says Iran launch justifies missile defense

by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (July 15, 2008) – Iran’s launch of a missile with a 2,000-kilometer range last week is a concrete example of the threat the world faces from missile proliferation, the chief of the Missile Defense Agency said Tuesday. Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. “Trey” Obering, said the United States is concerned specifically about the threat posed by developments North Korea and Iran are making in their missile programs.

“Iran is working on an extended-range version of the Shahab-3 and a new 2,000-kilometer medium-range ballistic missile, which they term the Ashura,” the general said at a news conference. Iran also claimed that it had successfully launched an exploratory space vehicle in February, which, analysts concluded, also was a Shahab-3. Last week, Iran launched several short- and medium-range ballistic missiles capable of striking Israel and the U.S. bases in the Middle East. Longer-ranged missiles are capable of striking Europe.

The U.S. concern with the spread of the technology was such that the current and previous administrations invested in fielding the missile defense program. “We needed to protect the United States and then to expand that protection for our deployed forces and our allies and friends in the European theater,” Obering said. The layered missile defense strategy melds boost-phase defense, mid-course defense and terminal-stage defense together. Various systems from ground-based interceptors, to airborne lasers to sea-based platforms provide protection against a rogue regime trying to launch one or two missiles at the United States or its allies.

U.S. officials are making great progress in integrating the missile defense systems with NATO programs, the general said. Obering discussed some of the systems’ successes. “In the boost phase, we've had great success with the airborne laser,” he said. The laser is mounted in a Boeing 747 and fires through the nose of the aircraft to destroy missiles just launching. “We have generated the power that we needed on the ground in a 747 fuselage mock-up, and we've also flown the aircraft,” he said. “We've demonstrated the tracking laser performance and an atmospheric compensation laser performance. All that goes together to show that we can shoot down a boosting missile. And we're on track to do that next year in a flight test.”

Thirty interceptor missiles at bases in Alaska and California make up the only defense the United States has against long-range missiles, Obering said. As time goes on, the general said, U.S. defense planners are concerned where countries like Iran and North Korea will go. They worry that the missile proliferators will develop more and more complex countermeasures to go along with their missiles. The agency is working to counter those moves, the general said.

Terminal-phase defense soon will receive another arrow in the quiver, as the agency prepares to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system. The THAAD, which will come on line in the next year, shoots down missiles just inside and outside the atmosphere. Other agency projects include the launch of two space-tracking and surveillance system satellites and a test of missile interceptors scheduled July 18, Obering said. Tests have indicated the systems are working.

“Overall, since 2001, we have now conducted 35 of 43 successful hit-to-kill intercepts,” Obering said.

Source: CENTCOM.

PS. I am NOT adding the picture to this post, because it has been debunked as a photoshop forgery of the 9 missiles. There may have been one missile, and the others were copies. I do not know enough about it, and I cannot find the link to someone who does. Maybe you can find one from someone who has trackbacked to me! Ain't life grand? ;)

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas.

Money is not America's God

For many years I have been arguing that the dollar is not the guiding force behind the American Dream. It is only a result of it. Allow me to explain.

America was founded upon an idea. The idea all men are created equal. The idea that Life, Liberty and Private Property were essential and attainable only by a free society governed by those chosen by the people to represent them.

Ideas are powerful things which need vigilant defending. Especially when they are as good as ours are. Those ideals were and are the fact that we are individuals, responsible for ourselves, we have the capacity to dream and to fulfill those dreams or at least to try, we strive for goodness, we know men are of an evil heart so we do not leave all power in the hand of any one person, we have ownership of property of the people not the government (although you'd never know it today), and along with all these ideals we have responsibilities that come alongside them.

The only thing I mentioned that costs money is the private property. That is the fruits of the freedom we possess because some people sacrificed their home comforts and went to fight for them. We did not get here freely, and we shall not remain here freely. We all owe a debt to one another to do our very best to do whatever it takes to remain free. Let's face it. If we are not free, what good is all the money in the world?

So where is this leading? Glad you asked. Wealth is not about money. Not in my book. In my book, this is what wealth is. I have a family that knows me and still puts up with me anyway because they love me, I have a roof over my head and food in my belly, I have everything I need and most of the things I desire, and I am equal to Bill Gates. I live in a country where I can strive to attain this or that, I have so many rights because they were given by God not man, and I am able to worship my Christian God as I choose. Show me another country with all of this. I dare you.

How did this country come to offer such freedoms and rights? Through wars. Many wars. Some declared but most not. This is not the first time we've had a run in with Islamo nuts. Does anyone remember the Barbary Coast? They were Muslims. Jefferson finally stood up to them, and we became famous for our Navy. (Okay, so I would like to think so.) Actually, they were stealing our trading ships, and we refused to pay the ransom. We went and took back our men, and that was the end to that.

NOT LIKE TODAY when Israel trades dead bodies for terrorists to appease a world that doesn't give a crap about them in the first place. Politically Islamists will not change their minds, because we are their enemies. They have declared war against us, and if you're not going to get on board, then get out of the way and let our men FIGHT.

War is not pretty. It is not courteous. It is not civilized. So stop expecting this from men who have been trained to handle these monsters. More men have died because of political correctness than anything else, and I, for one, am sick to death of it.

Our country IS worth fighting for, as we are in battle with them now. The one thing I would change about this whole scenario is that I would abolish the force behind the onslaught of murders, beheadings, rapes, hangings, genital mutilation, etc. Islam appears to fit the bill. We did it when we came here, we did it in Japan. Why can't we do it there? Don't tell me we're afraid, because we're not. It is not a religion of peace, it is a political war tool. As long as we fight as if they are equal, as if they read the geneva convention, they are going to win. That is the one thing I will not, cannot, accept.

What does this have to do with money? Ask the politicians! They can tell you how much we spend every month, and they can also tell you what they would prefer to spend that money on. Funny thing though. If we were not at war, there would NOT be this money. So please, tell me Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain, where would you get the money from because I'm sure not going to give it to you! It may be your god, but it certainly is not mine.

PS. Don't forget, the money we are spending for gas is going into the pockets of the terrorists indirectly. Are you walking when it is possible? The exercise is good for you. I have walked ever since my car was stolen. Long story, not going to tell it. How's that for short?

The accelerant that lit my beehive was that the banks are accepting money in a way that this group claims is under Sharia law. However I couldn't find the basis for this fact. (Maybe this has something about Sharia law.)

It still burns me up inside. If it is true, then they should all be shut down in my humble opinion. This is why I say we must rid this scourge from the face of the earth. I am not referring to the people who follow it, unless they are jihadis. Of course not. But if they don't choose America above this scourge, then get them out of here.

There is another article about a mole. It speaks about all the arrests of people who have already been allowed into this country, some are not even citizens and they have been HIRED by our own government and had access to sensitive secrets. Just what the heck is going on over in the State Department?! Oh yeah, diversity is their priority. Living just happens to be one of mine!

PSS. Remember this. We can serve one master. Some people believe in global warming as if it were their master, some people believe there is no God as their master. My master is the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him, I can do everything, and I live in a land that was built on this principle along with the tenents of Christianity and the Ten Commandments. Thank GOD!

Cross-posted @ Talon and Rosemary's News and Ideas.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.