Publius Forum

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flight 93 Blogburst 4.30.08

Congressman Ramstad comes out in opposition to the Flight 93 memorial.

Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) gave a House speech this month supporting Mr. Burnett's opposition to the crescent design. The speech is entered in the Congressional Record here, along with supporting statements from Tom Burnett Sr. (father of murdered Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Jr.).
Blogburst logo, no accident<
That makes two Congressmen now who have come out publicly against the crescent memorial. (Tom Tancredo took the lead last November, asking the Park Service to choose a completely new design.)

News coverage revs up confrontation at this Saturday’s public meeting

Ramstad's speech, and our ongoing petition drive, netted a full width banner headline on the front page of the Somerset Daily American, with the story continuing full width on an inside page as well. This high profile local news coverage should make for an interesting Memorial Project meeting at the Somerset County Courthouse this Saturday. Several critics will be speaking during the public comment period, and the first batch of petitions will be delivered in bulk (over 5000 signatures to date, 4700 online and 500 on paper).

The Daily American article includes lots of powerful language from Mr. Burnett and other critics of the crescent design, along with some remarkably disingenuous evasions from the usual defenders. Most egregious is Patrick White, vice president of Families of Flight 93, who tries to pretend that the criticisms of the design are all about Mr. Burnett trying to get an undemocratic "do over" after failing to stop the Crescent of Embrace design when he served on the design competition jury.

While on the jury, Mr. Burnett only complained about the giant Islamic shaped crescent and the minaret-like Tower of Voices . No one on the jury, including Mr. Burnett, knew anything about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent; or about the placementof the 9/11 date in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag; or about the 44 glass blocks on the flight path; or about the fact that the Tower of Voices turns out to be a year-round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial.

Not that the jury is beyond reproach. It was bizarre for these family members and design professionals to plant a bare naked crescent and star flag on the graves of our murdered heroes, but given everything that the jurors did NOT know, this configuration at least COULD have been an accident. What came out after the design was selected is absolute proof of terrorist memorializing intent, with every Islamic and terrorist memorializing feature being repeated in the Tower of Voices portion of the memorial.

One example is the 38 Memorial Groves. (There were supposed to be 40.) By itself, it is merely suspicious that the arc of 38 groves can be seen as a set of 19 nested crescents: one for each 9/11 hijacker. But architect Paul Murdoch proves this terrorist memorializing intent by surrounding the Tower of Voices with a second set of 19 nested crescents. And on it goes. EVERYTHING gets repeated in the Tower of Voices , and the 93 foot tall Islamic sundial is itself a very precise structure that could NEVER occur by accident.

Patrick White wants to dodge all this by pretending that the controversy is about the initial jury decision, instead of the ensuing blindness to voluminous evidence of terrorist memorializing intent. No one exemplifies this willful blindness better than Patrick White himself.

Patrick White denies the Mecca orientation in public while admitting it in private.

At the July 2007 Memorial Project meeting, a critic of the crescent design engaged Mr. White in private conversation, asking how he could be unconcerned about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. White's reply was to suggest that this orientation cannot be seen as a tribute to Islam because the inexactness of it would be "disrespectful to Islam." (The crescent points 1.8° north of Mecca , ±.1°.)

But this isn't what White was telling the public. That same week, Patrick White told the press that all of the claims about Islamic symbolism had been thoroughly investigated and been found to be untrue and "preposterous." In private, White was acknowledging the almost exact Mecca orientation of the crescent and making excuses for it, while issuing sweeping denials in public.

He is still doing the same thing. He KNOWS that the giant crescent points almost exactly to Mecca , yet claims that such "assumptions," have been "repeatedly shown-to-be-false." In fact, not a single factual claim about what is in the design has ever been rebutted. If the crescent did not point to Mecca , it would be trivially easy to demonstrate. This is a simple geometric claim. But all the Memorial Project has ever offered is unsupported denials, denials that they acknowledge in private to be FALSE.

Patrick White’s dishonest attack on Tom Burnett.

The jury process is irrelevant. No one is criticizing it. The jurors bear no responsibility for hidden Islamic and terrorist-memorializing features that they knew nothing about when they chose the crescent design. If it were not for two ugly bits of misinformation, put forward by Patrick White in his effort to make the jury process the issue, there would be no reason to mention the jury process at all. Both of White’s falsehoods are aimed at discrediting Tom Burnett Sr.

1. In the Daily American article (half way down) White claims that Mr. Burnett: “gave his consent to support what the majority picked.”
Mr. Burnett was incensed in 2005 when the Memorial Project announced that the jurors had united behind the majority choice. Without ever consulting with Mr. Burnett, the Memorial Project wrote in their jury report that: "By consensus the Stage Two jury forwards this section of the Flight 93 memorial to the partner [Paul Murdoch] with the full and unqualified support of each juror." Tom has been trying to correct the record ever since, and Patrick White OUGHT to know it.
2. White also claims that: “No one agreed then with Mr. Burnett’s preferred choice for a final design.”
"To the contrary" says Mr. Burnett, "the vote not unanimous; it was 9 to 6." Five people were with Mr. Burnett in rejecting the crescent design. This on a jury made up of 8 design professionals and 7 family members. It could even be that a majority of family members opposed the Crescent of Embrace. Tom requested the vote tally in a formal letter to the Memorial Project which was never answered. Now Patrick White throws the vote tally in Tom’s face, and completely misrepresents it.
3. Bonus badness. White claims that: “Jurors gave all of Mr. Burnett’s concerns a complete airing.”
In fact, the design professionals on the jury tried to shut Mr. Burnett up. Tom Sokolowski, director of Pittsburgh 's Andy Warhol Museum called Mr. Burnett “asinine” just for noticing that the crescent is a traditional symbol of Islam. This overt hostility to Mr. Burnett’s concerns is not what most of us would call “a complete airing.”
So no, the jury process is not the issue here, but if it were, it couldn't stand up to scrutiny either.

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Hat tip: Error Theory.

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Cougar Squadron Kicks Off Raider Typhoon

Friday, 25 April 2008
By Staff Sgt. Brent Williams
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON — Knocking on doors; greeting the family; talking about politics, the neighbors or just the weather over a hot cup of overly sweet chai – a pleasant side of operations for Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers who have operated in the southeastern Rashid District for the past eight months.

For Soldiers of “Fox,” Company F, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, MND-B, interpersonal relations, consensus information and the pictures they create are the biggest contributors to the safety and security of the citizens living in the Saha and Abu T’shir communities of southern Baghdad.

Staff Sgt. Koke Pomele, an infantry squad leader attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, MND-Baghdad, answers questions of a resident Son of Iraq (Abna al-Iraq) during cordon and search operations around the Saha apartments in the southeastern Rashid District of Baghdad. Photo by Staff Sgt. Brent Williams.“We want to build a relationship to give the people a normal life – to bring the resources into the community,” said Lt. Col. Scott Reineke, commander, 2nd “Cougars” Sqdn., 2nd Stryker Cav. Regt., MND-B. “This is about building relations in Abu T’shir and Saha,” said Reineke to his commanders and staff officers during the unit’s final rehearsal for a three-phase operation that began, April 16, in support of 1st BCT’s Operation Raider Typhoon.

Stationed at Vilseck, Germany, and deployed as part of the “surge” force sent to reinforce security in support of MND-B and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Stryker infantry unit, will handover their areas of responsibility [AOR] to the troops of 7th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., in May.

In the meantime, the Soldiers of Co. F, occupying a combat outpost in northeast Rashid, want to take a few more bad guys off the streets before they leave Baghdad. “We are conducting point operations to improve security for the people of Iraq,” said Capt. Kevin Ryan, commander, Co. F, 2nd Sqdn., 2nd Stryker Cav. Regt. “Once security improves, we can focus on improving the quality of life for the people of Abu T’shir and southeastern Rashid.”

The ongoing clearing operations are part of 1st “Raider” BCT’s first effort since assuming its mission, April 13, to deny terrorists and criminal elements a safe haven in the area that is home to approximately 1.2 million citizens in Baghdad. The three-phased operation is reminiscent of the same work that the squadron has undertaken since the unit assumed responsibility for the area in August, said Ryan, a native of Quincy, Mass., and a graduate of the Citadel Military Academy, S.C.

Soldiers conducted pinpoint raids, April 16-17, acting on military intelligence and information from Sons of Iraq (Abna al-Iraq), to capture some of MND-B’s most wanted terrorists and criminals, said Ryan, who is on his third deployment to Iraq.

The units then transitioned into the second phase of their operations, conducting ongoing atmospherics in the neighborhoods, working with the SoI, the sheiks, and members of the local community, to gather data with the intent to build better relations with the predominately Shia and mixed Sunni-Shia communities, he explained. “People who are sitting on the fence, and don’t know which way to go, will go our way just because we talked with them,” Ryan explained. “If we do this right, we will build relationships with the people which will empower them to be able to keep these bad guys from coming back into their neighborhoods.”

Conducting census operations, checkpoint inspections, joint patrols, combined operations and traffic control points with Iraqi security forces is nothing out of the ordinary for the Stryker Soldiers, said Sgt. 1st Class Roberto Huie, a platoon sergeant assigned to Co. F, 2nd Sqdn., 2nd Stryker Cav. Regt. “Us walking through the neighborhoods – that is an everyday thing,” he explained. Early morning operations hunting down 1st BCT’s most wanted criminals is just an added bonus for the ‘Fox’ Soldiers, said Huie, a 19-year veteran, who hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., and is the company’s acting first sergeant while his senior non-commissioned officer is on environmental leave.

“Our preferred method is to knock, and 90 percent of the people are more than willing to let us in,” stated Huie. “Conversely, if we find a house that looks suspicious to us, or a family that looks suspicious to us, and they don’t want to let us in their house, sometimes we have to cut their locks. “We may not see the results in the next three weeks, but I think this (operation) is going to generate a lot of tips and a lot more leads … and eventually we will get them,” added Huie. “Whether the people like it or not, we are coming through their whole neighborhood to get these criminals off the streets.”

The company’s mission has varied greatly during their time as a “surge unit” operating in southern Baghdad since August of 2007, said Huie. The Fox Soldiers have worked throughout Saha and Abu T’shir in southeastern Rashid to assist with essential services, force protection for Iraqi contractors to fix sewage or electricity issues in the Iraqi mulhallas (neighborhoods), as well as providing over watch for ISF and SOI manning checkpoints, providing security for the local communities, he said.

Staff Sgt. Scott Campbell, squad leader, Co. F, 2nd Sqdn., 2nd Stryker Cav. Regt., said that he hopes to see more changes for the better as the unit prepares to leave Baghdad for the unit’s future mission in Baquaba. “There’s a better peace now, than there was before the ‘surge,’” said Campbell, a native of Orlando.

Campbell a veteran of 11 years, said that in three deployments in support of OIF, from 2003 to today, he has seen many changes, especially in the security situation around southern Baghdad. “I think that when we go around and meet the locals and get to know them better on a personal basis, they become more at ease with us,” he explained. “The more we get to talk with them the better they trust us; the more they like us.”

Campbell said that in addition to improving security, units must continue to work to improve the infrastructure to better meet the needs of the Iraqi people. “They need to improve faster,” he said. “Iraqis need to start pushing a lot more effort into rebuilding their infrastructure; power, water, medical treatment, jobs, ways to create jobs. Stuff that could be making them money is not making them money right now, and I believe that we need to pursue those endeavors more.”

The Cougars will begin their third phase of the operations in May, as they begin to transition the Abu T’shir and Saha neighborhoods to 7th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div., MND-B.

Freedom Facts: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ $288.5 million hospital program includes 25 renovation projects at 20 hospitals that focus on children’s and maternity care. Two new hospitals also are being constructed in Basrah and Maysan provinces. Currently, we have completed 17 of the projects, with the remaining eight (8) renovations expected to be completed by May 2008..

Source: Multi-National Force - Iraq. Digg! Digg!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On the ground: Inside Iraq

Matt ( has an incredible video that takes a look at the situation in Iraq by interviewing Bill Roggio ( and another man who is also with the Long War Journal. It is 22:54 minutes long, and it is very insightful.

My hope is that you will put away your biases and hear what these men are saying. They are there. They are on the ground. They do not get their information from terrorists who willingly lie to reporters who gleefully take them at their word without checking it, yet will not believe our own men and women. (Remember Haditha.) Good or bad, these guys on the this video know of what they speak. Have a nice day.

Hat tip: Matt and Uncle Jimbo and Bill Roggio. Also, the link to this video is here.

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, and they will share their work with you (if you like). Not familiar with trackbacks? First, choose the article you want to promote. Copy my permalink URL to your post. Then send a trackback to me.

If you don’t have a trackback, you can use Wizbang Standalone Trackback Pinger. Otherwise, leave a comment for me with the permalink URL for your post, the name of your blog, and a small excerpt, and I will add it to the list.

Posts I've trackposted to at Linkfest and other sites: Faultline: Dallas CBS Affiliates Buries Negative Jeremiah Wright News, Right Truth: The problem is ignorance, as Obama turns tail and denies Rev. Wright and his church, The World According To Carl: Redneck Mansion, Right Voices: In 2001, Democrats Told Us The Drilling In Anwr Was Not Viable To Our Needs Because It Would Take 5 Years To Benefit, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe, The Yankee Sailor: Tuesday Open Post.

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Posts that trackbacked to this post:
1. 123beta: Pink's Get Punked.
2. Beagle Scout: Wicker on the KC-45 Contract and Boeing’s Challenge.
3. Beagle Scout: Smiley Face Killers: Life Imitates Grand Theft Auto.
4. Beagle Scout: Blast from the Past: Bill Buckley on the Trojan Horse of American Public Education.
5. third world county: Black Racism as an Employment Opportunity.
6. Pirate's Cove: Lebanese Hottie Causes Islamist Uproar.
7. Right Truth: OPERATION CORDUROY CAPACITOR: Taking the planet back from the radical Islamists.
8. Woman Honor Thyself: Obesity CauseS Global WarminG?
9. Beagle Scout: Buckley in 1955: The Liberal Mind and Democratic selection of the Republican presidential candidate.
10. The Yankee Sailor: Up To 20,000 Sailors & Civilians Eligible for Re-Education [Update].
11. Woman Honor Thyself: Mark Steyn is da MaN.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm beat

I've posted 2 posts over at The Talon (that are waiting to be approved), I've completed 6 CENTCOM reports, I've written a couple of articles, I called to order cigs which I did not know that there is one brand that is BANNED from Califonia, I've swept, I've called the plumber...twice, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Now if you'll excuse, GOOD NIGHT! ;)

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Another anchor on the GWOT

As I have stated several times before, the DoD is at war and the DoS is asleep. This is a disaster. Not could be, it is. The State Department has now declared that the words 'jihad' and 'mujaheddin' are unacceptable language to be used by our government. Okay. Then what, pray tell, do we call these animals that are whacking off people's heads? Will they now be allowed access to due process if McCain wins and shuts down Gitmo?

Who is going to define this war? I can do that. We are fighting Political Islam. Many people are afraid to say so, because they don't want to offend anyone. Neither do I, but how else can we win if we don't define the enemy? Hitler had the Nazi's, Stalin had the Communists (which are now teaching in our schools). So we are supposed to say we at war with those nice boys who just happen to be Muslims? NOT ME, thank you very much.

What I am saying is not very nice to the Muslims who are not following the faith, but I am not supposed to be nice when I am telling the truth. A branch of their religion is threatening to destroy the integrity, perpituity, and the liberty of my country!

So you would like to know what put the in spark in me this morning? I was reading at the CounterTerrorism Blog when I came across this piece by Jeffrey Breinholt:
Bill West's post (immediately below) hits on something I started worrying about today as I thought more about the practical implications of the State Department's decision to forbid government employees from publicly using the terms jihad and mujaheddin. Plenty of post-9/11 indictments contain these words. They are also in the names of terrorist organizations. How is this going to work where the government employee is a prosecutor or FBI agent responsible for describing a defendant's words?

I first became aware of the terms from the news reports of the 1993 WTC attack and the trial of Sheik Rahman in the New York Landmarks case a few years later. I joined the Justice Department’s Terrorism Section in 1997, and soon found myself reading FBI reports frequently containing these words. If the State Department’s edict applies to the Justice Department (which it purports to, though I have doubts it will apply this far), it is going to complicate efforts to redress terrorism in American courts.

Anyone who doubts this should read Andrew McCarthy’s excellent book, Wilfull Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad, which will soon be released by Encounter Books, about his prosecution of the Sheik Rahman case. If Justice Department and FBI personnel find that they are in a trick bag because of the State Department’s decision, I hope they will contact Bill, Andrew, me, or any law enforcement friend now on the outside, so we can shed some sunlight on this problem.

The views in this article are not those of the Department of Justice. [Source: CounterTerrorism Blog.]
What, pray tell, shall we tell our Soldiers to call them (besides the usual scumbag)? This just does not make any sense to me which is why I believe it did come from the State Department. They have been trying to sink this war from the beginning, and I don't believe they'll be happy until they do. After all, this is the department where all those leaks came from to the NY Times and the Washington Post. But that's another post.

Now that I've ranted about this, let us find a solution. I find there is no use in ranting without a more successful outcome. What we can do is to call the State Department at 202-647-4000 and bug the daylights out of them. Another thing we can do is contact any and all congressmen and senators toll free at 866-340-9281! Have at it. Let these servants of ours know that the State Department is at it again, and we demand they leave the Justice Department and the DoD alone to fight this we ARE fighting. If we don't fight this war, the enemy will not stop fighting. What would that make us? THAT is UN-American.

PS. Whenever you call the Capitol, please remember to be polite. I know most of you already know this, but I just like to remind everyone. This way, I remind myself. ;)

Cross-posted @ The Talon.

Posts I've trackposted to: The Amboy Times: Anatomy of Surrender, Woman Honor Thyself: FAT-wa on Barbie?, Planck's Constant: Barbie Conquers Iran, The Yankee Sailor: Tuesday Open Post, 123beta: Pink's Get Punked, Beagle Scout: Wicker on the KC-45 Contract and Boeing’s Challenge, Beagle Scout: Smiley Face Killers: Life Imitates Grand Theft Auto, Beagle Scout: Blast from the Past: Bill Buckley on the Trojan Horse of American Public Education, A NEWT ONE: War News: Muqtada al-Sadr and al-Qaeda?, Right Truth: The problem is ignorance, as Obama turns tail and denies Rev. Wright and his church. Digg! Digg!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Eagles UP! blog: Talon

Tomorrow (Monday, April 28, 2008) is the scheduled day for the opening of a blog for Eagles UP! I have been asked if I would like to participate, and I jumped at the opportunity to support our troops and write news that is seldom heard or read.

The name of this site is the Talon. It is a very nice looking site! Mike did a fine job creating it. There are a few contributors already, and they are:

Monday - Rurik.
Tuesday - Rosemary and Concrete Bob.
Wednesday - Wednesday Hero and John Lilyea.
Thursday - Cao and Dave Jeffers.
Friday - Ron Winter.

I am deeply honored to be writing with such a fine group of men and women. For example, David Jeffers is the father of Eddie Jeffers, author of the following:

Hope Rides Alone.
USA Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, USA (Iraq)

February 1, 2007

I stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has been given to me from my government for the purpose of taking the lives of others.

I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families again...and yet, I too, am just a age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid...because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.

There are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my own...but that are necessary for survival. I've made compromises with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who walk in the same streets... who feel the same things, whether they admit to it or not.

And to think, I volunteered for this...

And I am ignorant to the rest of the world...or so I thought.

But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn't fit your average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America, and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our President to Hitler.

I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because that's what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First Class.

People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don't realize its effects on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy's brutality because it's against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward’s war against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of their service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our nation's news outlets. And every day, the enemy changes...only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they are isolating the military from society... and they are becoming our enemy.

Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word "quagmire" around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or third times; some even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is interfering with our war.

Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the internet...and there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed...for doing their job.

It is absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we've done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed? It's all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of President Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show people that Bush was right.

America has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is right and just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It’s not like World War II, where people rationed food and turned in cars to be made into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a servicemember, its life as usual...the war doesn't affect you.

But it affects us. And when it is over and the troops come home and they try to piece together what's left of them after their service...where will the detractors be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most of which have been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of their friends? They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can't touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.

We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It's supporting our President, our troops and our cause.

Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.

Let's stop all the political nonsense, let's stop all the bickering, let's stop all the bad news and let's stand and fight!Isn't that what America is about anyway?

Sergeant Eddie Jeffers is a US Army Infantryman serving in Ramadi, Iraq.

From The New Media

Hat tip: Gazing at the Flag.

I'm not even going to pretend I can top that, so I will stick with what I do best. This is going to be a wonderful way for us to show our support and share the news and the truth with those who seek it. We must remember, we are fighting a war on many fronts. One of those fronts is right here at home. Rurik has tackled one aspect of that in his post for Monday, "The Edinboro Abuses." He has done a wonderful job expressing what many of us are feeling. Good job, Rurik. ;)

I'm not sure, but they may still be seeking contributors. Please visit the site, and have a wonderful day! BTW, if you come across a Marine, a Soldier, a Sailor, or someone else in the service of our wonderful country, please remember to shake their hand and thank them for all the sacrifices the made to keep us free. Yes, remember...

The following is 'borrowed' from Maggie's Notebook. She does it so well! ;)

Welcome to Open Trackback Weekend and Linkfest Haven. I’ll will manually add your trackbacks, with excerpts if available, to this page as they come in. Be patient: some trackbacks mysteriously travel the entire blogosphere before they arrive.

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"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!
And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"

Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Az).
Ronald Reagan was a Goldwater speechwriter in the 1964 campaign.

Hat tip: Quote from Ronald Reagan came from The Blue State Conservatives.

Posts I've trackposted to at Linkfest and other sites:
Salt and Light: Talon Blog.
The Yankee Sailor: Tuesday Open Post.
third world county: Black Racism as an Employment Opportunity.
Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis Add this post to Technorati Add this post to Digg! Digg!
Posts that have trackbacked to this post:
1. The Amboy Times: Anatomy of Surrender.
Just in case you missed this over at Hot Air or Dhimmi Watch. Bruce Bawer's latest article examines the cultural jihad.What has not been widely recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie intro...
2. Woman Honor Thyself: FAT-wa on Barbie?
Perhaps a preventive strike against a declared genocidal Iran, might actually be a bit of a blow to world terrorism and just might significantly reduce our problems with the terrorist state of Syria, the Hezbullies and Ham-ASS.
Ya think? ...
3. Planck's Constant: Barbie Conquers Iran.
...without coercion, people will always choose to be like Americans. If Muslims were free to abandon their faith without fear of being whipped, tortured, burned and killed, and were exposed to American culture, in short order, Islam would cease to exist...
4. A NEWT ONE: War News: Muqtada al-Sadr and al-Qaeda?
Really. Who would have thought such a thing as that? The Democrats, when the label "Liberal" became anathema - no pun intended - they had to change it to "Progressive" to at least pretend that they were trying to "progress". Progress towards what...
5. Right Truth: The problem is ignorance, as Obama turns tail and denies Rev. Wright and his church.
As I type this, Barack Obama is on television denouncing his 'old uncle', his 20 year spiritual adviser and mentor. Seems Obama's political advisers got through to him, advised him his campaign was in the crapper thanks to Rev. Jeremiah...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Atrocities in-the-name-of abortion

As I was seeking research about the 15 dead in a gang shoot-out near the Mexican border, I came across this tragic death of a 15 year old child who died due to an abortion. I have the story for you below.

Dead at 15.
Teenager first mother to die from legal abortion in Mexico City.

Ten months after Mexico’s capital city legalized abortion for any reason before the twelfth week of pregnancy, the new law has claimed its first mother – a 15-year-old girl.

Vianney “N” died on Feb. 15 at Balbuena Hospital from a hemorrhage that occurred when her baby was being sucked out of her by the aspiration method of abortion.

“Authorities were worried about the public repercussions of this case, almost a year after the penal code reform was approved, because they think anti-abortion groups will use it as a battle flag to repeal the law without considering the numerous successful cases,” the Mexico City daily El Universal reported on Feb. 20.

The “successful cases” mentioned in the story include 5,845 unborn children who were killed legally by abortion in the 10 months since April 2007.

Proponents claimed legalized abortion would protect women from the inadequate medical and sanitary conditions of clandestine abortions. But, according to the Federal District Health Department, Vianney arrived at the hospital suffering from acute anemia two days before her abortion and nothing was done about it by those responsible for her care. So, when the hemorrhage began, Vianney’s situation rapidly deteriorated, and she died.

Another aggravating factor was that the girl was in her 16th week of pregnancy, way beyond the 12-week limit established by the changes in the penal code.

The physician who performed the abortion didn’t verify through an ultrasound exam the gestational age of the unborn child, as the abortion law mandates, nor did he check the patient’s general health status before the abortion.

The law that permitted the abortion applies only to the Federal District, which includes Mexico City. Last September, two very important institutions – the National Human Rights Commission and the federal Attorney General’s Office -- challenged the constitutionality of the law before the Supreme Court based on provisions in the Mexican constitution that recognize and protect human life from the moment of conception. The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision any day now.

Source: California Catholic Daily.

This article was written February 22, 2008. I wonder how their Supreme Court decided? Has anyone noticed that their Human Rights Commission was on the side of life? I wonder what they would think about the mandatory abortion access that has been foisted on all Europeans?

Center Applauds Landmark Abortion Decision by European Court of Human Rights.
[March 22, 2007]

The European Court of Human Rights held on March 20, 2007, for the first time, that governments have a duty to establish effective mechanisms for ensuring that women have access to abortion where it is legal. The case centers on the tragic story of Alicja Tysiąc, a Polish woman who nearly went blind because she was forced to continue a pregnancy that threatened her health. "There are thousands of women who are denied access to abortions they need and are legally entitled to in Poland every year," said Christina Zampas, Senior Legal Adviser for Europe at the Center. "This decision means that the Polish government—and other governments in Europe—must take steps to make sure that women like Tysiąc don't needlessly suffer at the whim of doctors."

Read the Court's decision. (.pdf)
Read the Center's press release.
Read the Court's press release.
Read the Center's legal memorandum. (.pdf)
Read the Reuters article on the case.
Read the Guardian article on the case.

Source: Center for Reproductive Rights. (Otherwise known as the center for legal genocide).

How long must we sit silently by and weep at the loss of our young? Our most innocent, our most precious, our most promising? THIS is something worth protesting. You don't have to be religious to understand that this is wrong. This is a world-wide attempt to take control of all governments and all people. I, for one, refuse to capitulate!

So what can we do and why? You are concerned about your Social Security, eh? You have stood by while the next generation was slaughtered. I wouldn't say too much if I were you. If there's no money, it's because our children are all dead, murdered. There is no one to do the work. So, bring in the illegal aliens? HELL NO! Period.

We have opened our doors to our country for far too long, and we have learned (at least some of us have learned) that not everyone likes us. In fact, they want to KILL US, they want to take over our country. If you are too ignorant or too busy to see this or care, then shut up. What makes you think your voice matters now that your time has run out?

Am I angry? Yes. I am. This is one more child that did not have to die. Why didn't someone teach her that women do not have to have sex to impress a boy? Why didn't they teach her that if your boyfriend leaves you because you won't have sex him, he is a scumbag and you deserve better than that! Why are we not teaching our daughters the TRUTH? WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS? He is crying over every loss. Yet, if you had an abortion and are truly sorry, you may seek forgiveness from Jesus.

Yes, it is true. He died for our sins, all of them. He did not pick and choose which sins He would die for and which ones He would not! That feeling of guilt, that feeling of overwhelming shame, He can heal you. He will and He wants to. Just reach part of the way, and He will you up the rest of the way. But you must admit your sins to Him. Do not worry. There is not one thing on this earth that is left unknown to Christ! He is calling out to you. Will you answer His call?

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May God bless everyone, and may He heal our land and our souls.

Update: Here is a link for the other story I was researching: Shootouts in Mexico leave 15 dead, by MarketWatch.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Today I am having an open post trackback, and you are welcome to trackpost or ping an article you wish to share with others. I like to use Linkfest for this, because there are many people with good posts already up over there. It is also a good way to share your articles to more people. Give it a go, eh? The only rules I have is that you must link the post's URL you are using for your trackpost and there shall be no porn. You don't have a trackback?! (Why not?) You can use Wizbang's stand alone trackback or pinger. Thanks, and have a great day.

Posts I've trackposted to at Linkfest and other sites: 123beta: Open Trackback Weekend, Eric's Writing Corner: NaPoWriMo 26, The World According To Carl: The Culture Of Corruption Revisited, thanks to: Linkfest Haven Deluxe. Wolf Pangloss: Robert Service: The Other One Grandinite: Executive Order 13463: Feds Trade Economic Policy For Counter-terrorism in New Orleans, Stop the ACLU: Blog of the Day.

Posts that have trackbacked to this post:
1. Right Truth: Sunday Reading List, April 27, 2008.
2. Maggie's Notebook: Energy IQ: Man on the Street - Video.
3. Right Truth: ESCAPE FROM A BROOKLYN MOSQUE. Digg! Digg!

Creating legal, profitable economy leads to Afghan success

By Navy Lt. Jennifer Cragg
Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (April 17, 2008) – A commitment to long-term success and improving cooperation with the Afghan government are the keys to success in Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman there said Thursday. “We can see a new way of doing things or development on doing things,” NATO spokesman Mark Laity said in a conference call from Kabul, Afghanistan, with online journalists and “bloggers.” During the call, Laity referred to the NATO summit held in Bucharest, Romania, on April 3. During the summit declaration, the United Nations-mandated International Security Assistance Force mission, currently comprising 40 nations, was made NATO’s top priority.

Laity explained that he hopes NATO’s summit declaration will have an impact in Afghanistan. “There was a lot more unity there than in the run up to it, and I think you saw a willingness by NATO nations to bury their differences and actually try and get on with something better than they had in the past,” he said. “At the same time, you saw the United Nations come out with a strengthened mandate and new special representative [Ambassador Kai Eide] to the United Nations’ secretary general, who is being told to take more of a leadership role, cooperate more with ISAF, and finally we saw a commitment to the long term.” Laity said he is pleased to see the reinvigorated strategy.

“To win in Afghanistan, we’re not going to win by fighting, we’re not going to win by development, we’re not going to win by having government -- we’re going to win if all three are working together,” he said. That has been the problem up to this point -- working together hasn’t always gone well, which can be problematic, he said. Despite some difficulties in getting all areas to cooperate, he said, the NATO force in Afghanistan has had an impact on the Taliban insurgency, which he stated is currently contained. “It’s not resurgence, as some people say, but it still is a potent threat,” he said. “They can still do a lot of damage and keep the pot boiling, but to defeat them, it’s not just enough to do it in the field; we got [have to] have better development, more jobs, better government -- everything working together. That’s the challenge for us now.”

Another challenge facing ISAF is convincing farmers to cultivate crops other than poppies. The best way that NATO can help in reducing the menace of narcotics is by improving security. “The essential problem is not just eradicating poppy; it’s what the people who are growing poppy should do,” he said. “What we need to do is create the alternative economy, which being legal is also profitable, and to do that, we need better security. “If we can make an area secure, people can build roads; they can grow alternate crops and get them to market,” he said.

Despite reducing the areas where poppies are grown, ISAF has seen an increase [in] poppy farms in concentrated areas. Laity said four percent of the agricultural land in Afghanistan is being used to grow poppies, and the Taliban and narcotics warlords continue to reap the benefits of this crop. “There is a close and, we think, increasing linkage,” he said. “So whether you are growing poppy just because you want to make money or whether you’re a Taliban, you want one thing, and that's insecurity.” He added that the Taliban are increasingly being funded by the proceeds of poppy, often through allowing its transit through areas they are fighting over. “In effect, poppy is helping to fund the insurgency,” he said.

Securing narcotics-prone areas is one key to successfully eradicating [of] both the Taliban and the drug lords. “Eradication is only the beginning. Security is important, but it is only the beginning. You need to give people an alternative to poppy,” he said. Laity cautioned that security still remains one of the biggest problems. Without security, the sense of synergy can’t take hold. The lack of security continues to allow the movement of illegal drugs and profits to grow from the illegal wealth, he said. “It’s a huge problem, and I don’t want to understate it,” he added.

Laity said he is encouraged by the increasing number of Afghan police and Afghan soldiers assisting with security efforts. “They understand their territory better than we do, and they can often smell the bad guy,” he said. “They can deal with these issues in a way that we can't.”

Source: Digg! Digg!

Reward program leads to more weapons finds

Bagram Media Center.

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (April 20, 2008) – An Afghan man assisted Afghan National Security Forces and Coalition forces in uncovering more than 325 pieces of ammunition when he led them to a weapons cache in a cave in Northern Afghanistan, April 13. According to a Coalition Soldier who participated in the ANSF-led mission, the cave was “very effectively covered up” and required a great deal of digging to get to the entrance. Inside, the cave opened up to reveal neat stacks of unburied munitions in almost pristine condition. The combined force confiscated some of the munitions and destroyed the rest in place. The man will receive a monetary reward for the information he provided, as part of the Small Rewards Program.

Afghan and Coalition troops uncovered 109 Chinese and Russian 82mm mortars and 150 107mm rockets. The Small Rewards Program monetarily compensates Afghans for giving Coalition forces information that leads to the location or destruction of weapons caches. (U.S. Army photo)ANSF-led forces have had considerable success with the SRP. Approximately $65,000 has been paid to individuals who have provided information resulting in locating and destroying weapons caches throughout Afghanistan. With the help of intelligence reporting and local villages, the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, Afghan Commandos and Coalition forces have been able to locate or destroy more than 7,000 enemy weapon systems, including rocket-propelled grenades, land mines, rifles and various types of munitions.

Afghan and Coalition troops uncovered 109 Chinese and Russian 82mm mortars and 150 107mm rockets. The Small Rewards Program monetarily compensates Afghans for giving Coalition forces information that leads to the location or destruction of weapons caches. (U.S. Army photo).

Source: CENTCOM. Digg! Digg!

Officials outline Sadr City security plan

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD (April 21, 2008) — Recent operations in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood are part of the overall Baghdad security plan and necessary to rebuilding in the area, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman told reporters Sunday. “The Baghdad security plan is to come in and create security in Baghdad, and as the neighborhoods become safe, then we can bring in other services,” Navy Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll said in Baghdad. “In the southern part of Sadr City, they’re establishing that — an area of security.”

Specifically, coalition and Iraqi forces conducted Sadr City operations to facilitate the delivery of day-to-day essentials like food, water and some emergency medical supplies, Driscoll said. Once the area is totally secure additional service will be brought in. Larger reconstruction projects -- fixing and building hospitals, and restoring electricity and water -- will take time, he added. “You’ve got to have security first before you can get the people in … to do those things,” Driscoll said. “Otherwise, … construction workers will come in [and] they’ll be subject to intimidation and extortion. They’ll be threatened, and they won’t be able to get the job done.”

Thanks to $150,000,000 the Iraqi government has allocated to Sadr City, Driscoll said, he hopes the infrastructure reconstruction will begin quickly once the area is secure. Driscoll conducted the brief with Tahseen Sheikly, the civilian spokesman for Operation Fardh al-Qanoon. Sheikly said the government’s priorities are to bring basic services back online to “hot zones.” “The government of Iraq has set the priorities that such places need some good care and … providing the basic services and also getting out the projects for the infrastructure so that we can provide the best services to the inhabitants of those place,” he said. “As Prime Minister (Nouri al-)Maliki announced, … this year will be a year of construction, and it cannot be done without having a good security.” Iraqi security forces are taking the lead on providing that security with support from coalition forces, Driscoll said.

Source: Digg! Digg!

Soldiers create 'Daughters of Iraq' program

by Capt. Mike Starz
Armed Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (April 22, 2008) — Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division are working with Iraqi army troops to help create a Daughters of Iraq program to complement the work done by the Sons of Iraq. The Iraqi women in the program would be able to search other females at security checkpoints, expanding the capabilities of the Sons of Iraq currently manning the checkpoints.

The Sons of Iraq are an organization of volunteers who have united to stand against terrorists in their homeland. They have been credited with helping bring peace to much of Iraq.

Steve Martinez, a law enforcement professional attached to the division's Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, said it became necessary to integrate women into security roles because terrorists began using females to carry out suicide attacks against Iraqis and coalition forces. Employing women at checkpoints, Martinez said, would "provide a complete and thorough search of suspect females with the utmost respect for the individual and local customs without compromising the safety of others."

The Daughters of Iraq will search other women in and around Yusifiyah to help prevent trafficking of weapons, explosives and dangerous materials. In addition to the significant security gains that these women will bring to the checkpoints, there are other advantages. "The Daughters of Iraq will facilitate female empowerment and the creation of the group represents a significant step towards a properly functioning democratic society," said Sgt. Jason G. George, Company C intelligence non-commissioned officer. "While the group may face criticism from traditionalists, ultimately, their success will demonstrate their value to the populace."

Another benefit of the creation of the program is the opportunity for some of the more disadvantaged women to receive benefits, most of whom have been specifically targeted to join the program. "We have been working to assist the impoverished women and, particularly, the widows in the area. There are limited employment opportunities for women widowed by insurgent violence and burdened with supporting their children," said 1st Lt. Chris Hafner, Company C intelligence officer. "This program is ideal for these women." The details for Daughters of Iraq contracts are being finalized and will start with 30 women.

"Integrating patriotic Iraqi women into the Daughters of Iraq is a huge step in the right direction of freedom for the Iraqi people," said Staff Sgt. Thai A. Starkovich, military transition team non-commissioned officer in charge. "With the cooperation of the Iraqi Army and the Sons and Daughters of Iraq, the safety of Iraqis is a goal that is now visible on the horizon."

Source: DefenseLink News. Digg! Digg!

WH nominates Petraeus for top CENTCOM job

Department of Defense

WASHINGTON (April 23, 2008) – The White House will nominate Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, currently commander of Multinational Force Iraq, to be the next U.S. Central Command commander, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced Wednesday. “I recommended him to the president because I am absolutely confident he is the best man for the job,” Gates told reporters. He cited Petraeus’ in-depth understanding of the situation in Iraq as well as counterinsurgency operations, and the successes seen in Iraq under his leadership.

Gen. David Petraeus speaks to reporters in Sab al Bor, Iraq, in March. Petraeus has been nominated to lead United States Central Command. (U.S. Army photo)“The kinds of conflicts we are dealing with not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan and some of the challenges that we face elsewhere in the region in the CentCom area, are very much characterized by asymetric warfare,” he said. “And I don’t know anybody in the United States military better qualified to lead that effort.”

Gates also announced that the White House will nominate Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who commanded Multinational Corps Iraq until just two months ago, to succeed Petraeus as Multi-National Force - Iraq commander. Odierno served as Petraeus’ right-hand man in Iraq, Gates said, and like Petraeus, has the experience required for the job. “I believe in most parts of the world, especially the Middle East, personal relationships make a difference,” Gates said. “And General Odierno is known recently to the Iraqi leadership, he’s known to the Iraqi generals, he’s known to our own people. He has current experience, so the likelihood of him being able to pick up for this baton-passing to be smooth – the odds of that are better with him than with anybody else I could identify.”

Odierno had been nominated as Army vice chief of staff. That nomination will be withdrawn, with Army Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, currently Gates’ senior military advisor, to be nominated for a fourth star and to serve in that position, the secretary announced. Gates said Navy Adm. William J. Fallon’s decision in March to step down as CENTCOM commander came unexpectedly, creating a big hole at “one of our most important combatant commands, one engaged in two wars and on many fronts and perhaps the most sensitive part of the world.”

Gates said he turned to the person most up to speed on the region to fill the post quickly without losing momentum. Petraeus said he is “honored to be nominated for this position and to have an opportunity to continue to serve with America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and civilians." Gates said he expects the Petraeus-Odierno team to work together to continue building on progress taking place in Iraq. “I think the course … that General Petraeus has set has been a successful course, so frankly I think staying that course is not a bad idea,” he said. “I would say it’s a good idea.” Because Odierno served directly under Petraeus for the past year, his assumption of the Iraq command with Petraeus at CentCom “probably preserves the likelihood of continued momentum and progress,” Gates said.

The secretary urged the Senate to move quickly on the nominations, confirming them by Memorial Day, if possible, to pave the way for Petraeus to take the CentCom helm. Gates cited the “high respect” many Senate leaders have for Petraeus and said he expects a fairly smooth confirmation process.

Meanwhile, Petraeus will remain in the Multinational Force Iraq job through late summer or early fall to ensure a smooth hand-off to Odierno. Gates said he expects Petraeus to be on site to evaluate ground conditions following a 45-day pause to begin after the final surge forces withdraw from Iraq. “I would expect that General Petraeus would carry out not only the evaluation, but that first decision in terms of are we able to draw down another brigade combat team or not, depending on conditions on the ground,” Gates said. At CENTCOM, Petraeus will broaden his responsibilities to address challenges not only in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region. Gates said he expects Petraeus to follow in Fallon’s footsteps building relationships throughout the region.

Gates said he believes Petraeus, Odierno and Fallon all share the same views about the dangers of Iranian interference in Iraq. “What the Iranians are doing is killing American servicemen and women inside Iraq,” he said. The secretary expressed special appreciation to Odierno for his willingness to accept another tour in Iraq so soon after returning home, and to his family for supporting the decision. “I think his extraordinary sense of duty that has led him to accept this tough assignment,” he said. “I am personally very grateful to him and to his family for their remarkable service to this country.”

Army Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, who was Fallon’s deputy commander, has served as acting CENTCOM commander since Fallon handed over the reins March 28.

Gen. David Petraeus speaks to reporters in Sab al Bor, Iraq, in March. Petraeus has been nominated to lead United States Central Command. (U.S. Army photo).

Source: CENTCOM. Digg! Digg!

Warij residents become Sons of Iraq

by Jason Stadel
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

FOB KALSU, Iraq (April 23, 2008) – One hundred and fifty residents of Warij volunteered to become Sons of Iraq on April 12, 2008. On April 20, the new SoI began guarding a stretch of the southern Baghdad community, which falls in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division’s area of operation.

The Warij program is unique in its make-up. “It is the only area within the brigade that has both sects operating jointly at SoI checkpoints,” said Capt. Gregory Curry, commander of Troop A, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. “It is the so-called ‘check and balance’ that we need to move forward with the people of Iraq seeing each other as equal and not as Sunni and Shia.”

Sons of Iraq in Warij stand guard at a checkpoint on April 22. The Warij SoI program is composed of both Sunni and Shia residents. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Stadel)First Lt. Dan Henry, executive officer of Troop A, said criminals have threatened business owners in the area and used Warij as an area to coordinate and execute attacks against the government of Iraq, coalition forces and Iraqi security forces.

Curry, a native of Walnut Creek, Ohio, said the Sunni and Shia SoI working together would help quell the violence that had plagued the community. Two sheiks, one Sunni and one Shia, will collectively manage the Warij SoI command post and monitor checkpoints throughout the area. Curry said the sheiks realize they need to set aside their differences for Warij to be a safe community. Coalition force leaders hope the example in Warij of Sunni and Shia working together will encourage citizens who fled during the violence to move back to their homes.

“The importance of this program is that it will enhance the perception of security to where families will return to their homes and establish another multi-ethnic, multi-tribal and peaceful population center in the Spartan (2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.) operating environment,” said Maj. Rob Kaderavek, from Green Bay, Wis., 6-8th Cav. Regt. executive officer. Along with 6-8th Cav. Regt., the 5th Battalion, 25th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, will monitor the SoI group. Kaderavek said the IA division has been an integral part of the SoI program and helps monitor and supervise the SoI checkpoints.

Sons of Iraq in Warij stand guard at a checkpoint on April 22. The Warij SoI program is composed of both Sunni and Shia residents. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Stadel)

Source: MNF-I. Digg! Digg!

Friday, April 25, 2008

'Go In Peace'

There are times our lives seem so overwhelming, yet all we have to do is to stop and reflect a while. Reflect on those taken so young, reflect on those scarred for life. Reflect on those who spoke not a word of complaint, but lived in the secret chamber of hell in their sleep.

I am referring to those brave men (and women) who have seen our country through war after war. This war, WWII, in particular. They call it a great war, and they also call it the 'Greatest Generation'. But why?

Because they knew then, as we know now, that freedom is not free. Because they stood up to the enemies of their time, and perserved. Just as we are doing and with hope, we shall perserve as well.

There is one, though, who was touched that he has written a song of thanksgiving for each of these men. He has found that they are dying at a rate of 2,000 per day. He is hoping that we may be able to reach all of them through our blogs with his song of gratitude. I would like to be a part of this effort.

First off, however, allow me to share with you how I came upon this music. I was going down my list of Wednesday Heroes, when I came upon Before You Go at Yankee Mom's site. She has quite a site over there!

On with article. She has a bit of the story captured in the way that is hers:
The elderly parking lot attendant wasn’t in a good mood! Neither was Sam Bierstock. It was around 1 a.m., and Bierstock, a Delray Beach, Fla. , eye doctor, business consultant, corporate speaker and musician, was bone tired after appearing at an event. He pulled up in his car, and the parking attendant began to speak. “I took two bullets for this country and look what I’m doing,” he said bitterly.

At first, Bierstock didn’t know what to say to the World War II veteran. But he rolled down his window and told the man, “Really, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you.” Then the old soldier began to cry.

“That really got to me,” Bierstock says.

Cut to today.

Bierstock, 58, and John Melnick, 54, of Pompano Beach - a member of Bierstock’s band, Dr. Sam and the Managed Care Band - have written a song inspired by that old soldier in the airport parking lot. The mournful “Before You Go” does more than salute those who fought in WWII. It encourages people to go out of their way to thank the aging warriors before they die.

“If we had lost that particular war, our whole way of life would have been shot,” says Bierstock, who plays harmonica. “The WW II soldiers are now dying at the rate of about 2,000 every day. I thought we needed to thank them.”

The song is striking a chord. Within four days of Bierstock placing it on the Web, the song and accompanying photo essay have bounced around nine countries, producing tears and heartfelt thanks from veterans, their sons and daughters and grandchildren.

“It made me cry,” wrote one veteran’s son. Another sent an e-mail saying that only after his father consumed several glasses of wine would he discuss ” the unspeakable horrors” he and other soldiers had witnessed in places such as Anzio, Iwo Jima, Bataan and Omaha Beach. “I can never thank them enough,” the son wrote. “Thank you for thinking about them.”

Bierstock and Melnick thought about shipping it off to a professional singer, maybe a Lee Greenwood type, but because time was running out for so many veterans, they decided it was best to release it quickly, for free, on the Web. They’ve sent the song to Sen. John McCain and others in Washington. Already they have been invited to perform it in Houston for a Veterans Day tribute - this after just a few days on the Web. They hope every veteran in America gets a chance to hear it.

GOD BLESS every EVERY veteran…and THANK you to those of you veterans who may receive this!

Just in case our VietNam Vets are feeling that old familiar 'unappreciated' feeling, there is also a song for you! Yes. We thank you as well. Welcome Home. ;)

You may find these songs at this link: "Before You Go." As of right now, these songs are free. All they are asking is that you would please take a look to see if you are interested in anything they in their store. It is the only way they have of continuing to make this free offer available to all Vets - then and now. God bless you all.

Cross-posted at Christians Against Leftist Heresy. You may need to register. (It is a Yahoo group.) Also at a site that is soon to open (Monday, April 28, 2008. More news to come about this site.)

Join the Christians Against Leftist Heresy
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Hat tip: Yankee Mom, and she's PROUD!

Cross-posted @ The Talon.

Today I am having an open post trackback, and you are welcome to trackpost or ping an article you wish to share with others. I like to use Linkfest for this, because there are many people with good posts already up over there. It is also a good way to share your articles to more people. Give it a go, eh? The only rules I have is that you must link the post's URL you are using for your trackpost and there shall be no porn. You don't have a trackback?! (Why not?) You can use Wizbang's stand alone trackback or pinger. Thanks, and have a great day.

Posts I've trackposted to at Linkfest and other sites:
The Virtuous Republic: I’ll Ask Again, How Do You Taken God Damn America Out of Context?
Nuke Gingrich: Black Conservatism.
Woman Honor Thyself: Sweet NothinS Kinda Weekend.
Maggie's Notebook: Soldiers Arm Wrestles! Open Trackbacks April 25-27, 2008.
The World According to Carl: Open Trackback Friday — April 25, 2008.
D equals S: Jimmy Carter Playin Stoopid.
Thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.
Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis Add this post to Technorati Add this post to Digg! Digg!
Posts that have trackbacked to this post:
1. Wolf Pangloss: Robert Service: The Other One.
Robert Service dedicated this very sad poem to his friends, who will have other children, to help heal their hearts after their child died young...
2. Eric's Writing Corner: NaPoWriMo 26.
3. Grandinite: Executive Order 13463: Feds Trade Economic Policy For Counter-terrorism in New Orleans.
Guess what, New Orleans! The Feds have given up on the economy’s role in helping the Gulf States recover after Katrina. The Gulf Coast Recovery office has dumped economic policy from its modus operandi, and has thrown in some additional counter-...

Attacks on Christians in Iraq continue

Earlier I wrote to you about the Assyrian/Chaldean Christians who are Iraqis also, and I informed you that they were finding refuge in Kurdistan. Sadly, I have to report that this was the best evidence I had at that time. I have now come to learn why the Kurds were allowing them into their territory, and I must report on the billions of dollars that was sent for these people but never used for their benefit.

This is the report I wrote earlier: Iraqi Christians find safe haven in Kurdistan. I received a comment from a very nice lady who gave me further evidence of this abuse. Yesterday Kenneth R. Timmerman also wrote about this travesty. The title of his article is, "Christians Face Extinction in Northern Iraq." I want to cry.

Please pray for these Christians whose only crime is being a Christian. The next time you think of stating how evil and bad this country is, I want you to think of these people who are losing everything they own. Yes, some of them even their very lives.

This lady's name I am going to keep to myself, because she did not give me permission to use it. However there is a website she directed me that I think may do you some good to read it. You may also keep up with what is happening in Iraq to these dear people. The name of it Iraq Democracy Project. A very important section which you may want to read is Iraq Sustainable Democracy Project. If you could add this website to your blogroll, I would appreciate it very much.

So, you want to know what has happened? Why have I changed my tune? It turns out that the Kurds are stealing their land, mistreating them, impoverishing them, they have none of the necessities that Kurdistan could easily share with them, and they refuse to give them aid. But don't believe me. Let's see what Kenneth Timmerman has to say:

While they have escaped the Islamic militias who slaughtered family members and burned down their houses and churches in Baghdad and Mosul, now they face a new battle. Today’s enemies are poverty, joblessness, and despair.

Jamal Dinha, mayor of Bartella, a large Christian village east of Mosul, painted a dire picture of the life these persecuted Christians now face in this Kurdish-controlled safe haven.

“The situation in our region is critical. Our young people are unemployed. We have IDPs [internally-displaced people] from everywhere. Our infrastructure is bad. Our cultural and scientific institutions don’t exist. We have no electricity, bad water, broken streets.”

The plight of these Assyrian/Chaldean Christians has been aggravated by the collapse of any central government authority in the Nineveh province, to which they officially belong, and by the actions of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which is seeking to annex this fertile land where Christians have lived for 2,000 years because it is believed to contain rich oil resources.

While the Kurds are providing much-needed security and emergency refugee housing, they also are seeking to manipulate the Christians for political gain though a sophisticated system of patronage, local officials, refugees, and international aid, organizations told Newsmax.

“The goal of the KRG is clearly to get this land under Kurdish control,” said Dr. John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International. “As Christians are driven out of the Nineveh Plain, this place will become a great museum of churches and cemeteries. And ultimately, the churches will end up as mosques. The Christian community in Iraq is on the verge of extinction.”

I highly recommend you read the rest of his article, but this should give you a taste of what is happening. Where is our State Dept? For once, they are asking questions. They are checking into this, and they are upset that the Christians are not receiving their aid. (It's about time the state department did anything worthwhile.)

I hope for all the Christians who read this, you do not feel so much despair that you do nothing. These people cannot simply do nothing. They are our brothers and sisters. We must pray for them, and we must speak out for them. You may call your Congressmen and Senators toll-free at 1-866-340-9281. Be polite, please. The State Department's number is 202-647-4000. You may have better luck than I did. Be prepared to answer the question, "How may I help you?" Be careful. You may get the Embassy in Iraq! Have a nice day, and God bless you.

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Posts I've trackbacked to at Samantha Burns' OTA that have posts for this week: S. The Crazy Rantings of Samantha Burns: OTA Weekend and Petition, F. Pirate's Cove (M, F): Weekend Pirate Linkfest Sticky 4/25-4/27, F. The World According To Carl: Open Trackback Friday — April 25, 2008, F. Woman Honor Thyself: Sweet NothinS Kinda Weekend, Wknd. Maggie's Notebook: Soldier Arm Wrestles! Open Trackbacks April 25-27, 2008, Wknd. 123beta (F, Wknd): Open Trackback Weekend, Su. Grandinite: Executive Order 13463: Feds Trade Economic Policy For Counter-terrorism in New Orleans, Su. Stageleft: If Necessary, With Deadly Force, S. Case Notes from the Artsy Asylum. Digg! Digg!