Publius Forum

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Maxine on Healthcare

This is hilarious. Is there a better way to make things more clear than with cartoons? If so, I don't know it.

Now, let me get this straight … we're trying to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president who also is exempt from it and hasn't read it and who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?

If it were only a cartoon, it would be funny. This is some serious stuff. They are after our Liberty. We must push back non-violently. Get out there and vote! In the mean time, man those phones, emails, and faxes. We've got a country to save.

Hat tip: Thanks Ticker.

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. Digg! Digg!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tea Party At DC 3/20, 3/21

I was sent some videos from the Tea Party at DC on March 20th and 21st. It is remarkable that the dinosaur media has the audacity to lie to its audience. What can we expect, though? They have no character.

If that were President George W. Bush trying to do this, they would be investigating every little word. Not with this mob. They say something, they print it. No questions asked. That is why I could not work for a rag like that. Dispicable.

Here is part 1 of the videos:

Just in case that video is not working, here is the link to YouTube.

Here is part 2:

Same here. Here is the link.

Hat tip: secularstupidest's Channel. If you'd enjoy some humor, why don't you subscribe? This way he can just send them to you through the email. Have a nice 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. Digg! Digg!

Video Potpourri 3/27/10

Today's video collection is lengthy but good. There is something here for everyone. Humor, politics, history, opinion, and religion. Have a fun time and relax. We deserve it. The fight is still on the roll. :)

New Videos from machosauceproduction.
  • You're Entitled.
  • Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley & the Wailers covered by 20 LB. SLEDGE.

  • New Videos from RightPunditsMedia
  • House Health-Care Vote.

  • New Videos from votemcclintock
  • Congressman McClintock: In Defense of Dissent.
  • Defend the Constitution: Don't Wait to Repeal Health Care.

  • New Videos from idfnadesk.
  • First Sergeant Marina Izmailov to Receive a Citation of Excellence from President Shimon Peres.
  • What Does a Soldier Receive in the IDF Kit?

  • New Videos from ryanpdixon.
  • People Voted For Change So They Should Just Shut Up.
  • Al Sharpton admits Obama = Socialism.
  • Democrats: "There Are No Rules Here... We Make Them Up As We Go Along".

    New Videos from CBYakima.
  • "HOLOCAUST"~AUSCHWITZ A Memorial for a Witness/Father.
  • Rapture Before Tribulation~The ABALONEKID.
  • Rebecca St. James - America (US National Day Of Prayer Theme Song).

  • New Videos from ReasonTV
  • Tucker Carlson on The Daily Caller, Jon Stewart, & Libertarianism.
  • The Case Against Jamie Oliver.
  • 3 Reasons Health Care Reform Won't Cut The Deficit By One Thin Dime.
  • New Hampshire Nannies: Why is The "Live Free or Die" State B.
  • Why The Stimulus Isn't Working: Q & A with economist Richard McKenzie.

  • 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. Digg! Digg!

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    More News From Steve Vaus

    Steve has put together another CD with all original songs. I can't wait until I get mine. I'm letting you know so you can get in on a great deal, too. BTW, he is also running for the City Council of Poway, CA. I'd really appreciate it if you could contribute even a little (or much!). God bless, and have a great day.
    1st ALL NEW Steve Vaus cd in 10+ years!!

    This is the first ALL NEW cd I've done in many many years - Steve Vaus AMERICAN DREAMS. Over a dozen songs. It's unlike any release I've ever done - I promise you will be moved.

    We are offering a LIMITED NUMBER (100 orders) of advanced copies. These will be burned direct to disc from the master recordings in my studio and autographed by me. I suppose you could call them a collector's item - but the main thing is you can be the first to own this new collection.

    For $25 (including shipping & handling) you will get two copies (so you can share!) of AMERICAN DREAMS hot off the press!

    ORDER NOW (order with credit card via Paypal) - limit four sets per order.
    You can also order by mail - send $25 to: Steve Vaus Productions, PO Box 28700, San Diego, CA 92198
    FINAL DAYS - 4 cds for only $27

    FOUR STEVE VAUS CDs - Best of Steve Vaus; Voice of America; Never Had a Chance; and I Still Believe - are on sale now for only $27! For that price you get forty-three songs!

    This music that speaks to the hearts and souls of America - the songs Vaus has performed when sharing the stage with Glenn Beck, Ted Nugent, Joseph Farah (WorldNetDaily) and others.

    Only a few more days to get this deal on the most inspiring contemporary patriotic music available. Click here to order.

    (You can also buy mp3 downloads of selected songs here.)
    I'm running for office

    I've decided to run for City Council in Poway, California. I spearheaded a Recall to get rid of a corrupt politician. And though I never dreamed I'd run for office the Recall convinced me there's more work to be done.

    Please come and visit my campaign web site

    I'd be in your debt if you'd consider making even a small donation to my campaign (click here to donate).


    Steve Vaus

    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. Digg! Digg!

    This You Have To See

    This morning I was listening to Doug Stephan, and he has a collection of videos that people send to him. This one is my favorite, because I am an animal and bird lover. It's only 2:42 minutes long. Enjoy.

    If the video doesn't work, here is the link.

    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. Digg! Digg!

    Founders' Daily Quote(s): 3/22-26/10

    Monday, March 22, 2010.
    "[T]he present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political foes -- rejecting all changes but through the channel itself provides for amendments." --Alexander Hamilton, letter to James Bayard, 1802

    Someone should explain that to these Socialist Democrats and stupid Republicans!

    Tue. 3/23.
    "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" --Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775

    Here, here!!!

    Wed. 3/24.
    "A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober, industrious, and frugal." --John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

    Thu. 3/25.
    "I trust that the proposed Constitution afford a genuine specimen of representative government and republican government; and that it will answer, in an eminent degree, all the beneficial purposes of society." --Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788

    Fri. 3/26.
    "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." --Thomas Jefferson, fair copy of the drafts of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798

    Essay from Mark Alexander: The Patriot Declaration.
    "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them." --Thomas Jefferson [Continue reading.]

    Source: Patriot

    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, March 24, 2010

    Mullen, Gates press Congress for Afghanistan funding

    by Donna Miles
    American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON (March 24, 2010) – The stakes in Afghanistan are “too high for failure,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress today as he urged quick passage of funding legislation that supports operations there.

    Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates testified before the House Appropriations Committee in support of the $549 billion fiscal 2011 base budget proposal and funding requests for overseas contingency operations during 2011 and the rest of fiscal 2010.

    The latter two requests, for $159 billion and $33 billion, respectively, primarily fund operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    With almost 10,000 additional troops already in Afghanistan and the rest of the 30,000 surge troops to arrive by early fall, Mullen said the proper force will be in place to help in reversing the Taliban’s momentum.

    “Right now, the Taliban still believe they’re winning,” he told the committee. “Eighteen months from now, if we’ve executed our strategy, … we’ll know they aren’t, and they will know that they can’t.”

    That turnaround will take discipline, hard work and more cooperation with Pakistan, Mullen said. “And it will most assuredly demand more sacrifice and more bloodshed.”

    U.S. forces making these sacrifices and taking on these challenges require proper funding to ensure they have what they need to succeed, the chairman added.

    “All they want right now is guidance on the mission before them and the tools to accomplish it,” he said. “That’s why we’re asking you to fully fund our fiscal year ’10 supplemental and the fiscal year ’11 overseas contingency operations request.”

    The mission in Afghanistan is “no mission of mercy,” Mullen reminded the panel. “This is the place from which we were attacked in 2001, the place from which al-Qaida still plots and plans.”

    Troops carrying out the mission there aren’t asking for a lot, he said.

    “All they want right now is guidance on the mission before them and the tools to accomplish it,” he said. “Without your continued support, we will not be able to show the meaningful progress in Afghanistan that the commander in chief has ordered, the American people expect and the Afghan people so desperately need.”

    The budget requests support warfighters with more funding to support U.S. Special Operations Command, develop and field a next-generation ground combat vehicle, grow two more Army combat aviation brigades and continue rotary-wing production, Mullen noted.

    The requests also provide more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets – an initiative Gates has championed to better support troops on the ground.

    “We are asking for more capability in unmanned aircraft and ground-based collection systems,” Mullen said, “including nearly $3 billion to double the procurement rate of the MQ-9 Reaper by fiscal year ’12.”

    Gates emphasized in his opening statement that the budget requests provide a critical balance between what the military will need to face future threats, and what today’s warfighters need to succeed.

    “The commitments made and the programs funded in the [overseas contingency operations] and supplemental request demonstrate the administration’s determination to support our troops and commanders in combat, so that they can accomplish their critical missions and come home safely,” he said.

    “I believe the choices made and priorities set in these budget requests reflect America’s commitment to see that our forces have the tools they need to prevail in the wars we are in,” the secretary added, “while making the investments necessary to prepare for threats on or beyond the horizon.”

    PHOTO: Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Under Secretary of Defense, Comptroller, Robert F. Hale testify to the House Appropriations Committee on Defense regarding the fiscal year 2011 Defense Authorization Bill.

    Source: US 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.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Steve Vaus Brings HOT News

    There is a man who writes songs, his name is Steve Vaus. I have just received some very HOT news. He pulled off a recall of a corrupt councilwoman, and he threw his hat in the ring. No more sitting around and letting things stay the same. You GO Steve!

    His songs are wonderful (they're still on sale for $27 for 4 of them! Just a few more days, so hurry), and his common sense is rare. We need him. It may be only a council seat, but look how the Tea Party started! One person said to the other person, "I want to do something, but what?" The other person responded, "Let's have a Tea Party!" And then the movement was born.

    After that, we wanted to do it again. So on July 4, 2009 (INDEPENDENCE DAY) we had another. And another and another.

    In order to clean up our state and our country, we need to start somewhere. I believe this is a very good place to start. If not here, where? If not now, when?

    Here a few words he has spoken:
    Steve Vaus news.

    I've decided to run for office here in my corner of the world, Poway CA.

    I'm running for City Council to replace a corrupt Councilwoman who I launched a Recall to unseat. The Recall qualified for the ballot and I will be one of the replacement candidates.

    Please visit this YouTube link to see the video I released today to announce my candidacy.

    I'd love to have hundreds or thousands of hits in the next 24 hours - so please take a look and send the video to your friends.

    If you'd like more info about my run visit
    Just in case you enjoy music (haha), he explains about his music.
    CD sale.

    Our four cds for $27 deal expires in a few more days.

    I hope you'll take advantage of the offer while there's still time. Visit for details

    As always, don't hesitatet to be in touch if you have any questions or suggestions.

    I've been doing business with him (not big business, personal business) for over one year now, and he has been a gentleman all the way. The way he does business, I know he will make Poway proud. Even if you do not live in his district, may I please ask you to contribute at least $5? You could always give more but if everyone who reads this gives just a little, he'd be on his way. Thank you so much for reading this. God bless your family, and have a great day.

    PS. Steve, is Ted related to Ed? I love that show. :)

    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. Digg! Digg!

    Pakistan's Chief of Naval Staff visits CENTCOM

    U.S. Central Command

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (March 23, 2010) — Pakistan's Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Noman Bashir met with U.S. Central Command Commander, Gen. David Petraeus in Tampa, Fla., Mar. 23, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between Pakistan and the United States.

    Gen. Petraeus and Adm. Bashir discussed Pakistan's efforts to combat drug trafficking, terrorism, and piracy, while highlighting positive U.S.-Pakistan military-to-military relations. Adm. Bashir reinforced the Pakistan Navy's commitment to strengthening the bonds between the U.S. and Pakistan Navies. He also discussed the Pakistan Navy's anti-piracy efforts and peacekeeping operations with the United Nations.

    The Pakistan Navy has commanded Combined Task Force (CTF)-150 four times since the task force was established by the United Nations in 2001. CTF-150, a multinational task force, conducts maritime security operations in and around the Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. The task force was created to counter terrorism, prevent smuggling, and deter other destabilizing activities in the maritime environment.

    Adm. Bashir is in the United States on a ten-day visit at the invitation of the U.S. Navy. While there, he is scheduled to meet with various U.S. military and government officials to discuss opportunities for continued coordination and cooperation between the U.S. and Pakistan navies.

    PHOTO: CENTCCOM Commander Gen. David Petraeus greets Pakistan's Chief of Naval Staff, Adm. Norman Bashir, Tuesday in Tampa.

    Source: US 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.

    Talks aimed at strengthening ties between U.S., Pakistan

    by Jim Garamone
    American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON (March 23, 2010) – Talks between Pakistani and American officials seek to strengthen, broaden and deepen the ties between the two countries, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said here today.

    High-level talks between the United States and Pakistan are designed to chart the course of the relationship between the two nations as they move forward. “This is a meeting between equals,” said a military official speaking on background. “Both countries will gain from this discussion.”

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will participate in the discussions, but the Strategic Dialogue – as it is being called – is not primarily a security discussion.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will lead the American side and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi is her opposite number. The dialogue stresses the U.S.-Pakistani partnership that goes far beyond security. “It represents a shared commitment on the part of both nations to strengthening the bilateral relationship and building an even broader partnership based on mutual respect and mutual trust,” Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, President Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said last week.

    The meetings begin at the State Department tomorrow, and the dialogue encompasses all aspects of U.S.-Pakistani relations. Also participating are Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar, the adviser to the prime minister on social issues, Wazir Ali; the adviser to the prime minister on agriculture and water, Majid Ullah; the chief of staff of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, and many others.

    Among the American delegation are Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Deputy Secretary of State Jack Lew, Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin, National Security Council Senior Director David Lipton, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development Rajiv Shah, and others.

    “This dialogue is designed to produce a better long-term strategic relationship between our two countries,” Morrell said. “This is not simply about asking and receiving items.”

    The whole range of U.S-Pakistani relations will be discussed. The United States and Pakistan can discuss agricultural methods and new means of irrigation. “Water and electricity are becoming problems in Pakistan,” said the military official. “We can certainly share some experiences on those.”

    Delivering education is important, as is increasing the effectiveness of civil service personnel. Participants in the dialogue also will address ways to improve the image of America among the Pakistani population, officials said.

    Gates and Mullen met with Gen. Kayani at the Pentagon yesterday. They will continue the meeting on Thursday. Pakistani lessons in the counterinsurgency campaign, intelligence-sharing and training will be discussed.

    The military-to-military relationship between the two countries is improving. Both sides are trying to overcome the effects of the Pressler Amendment, which forbade the U.S. military from dealing with the Pakistanis for 12 years. More exercises, more training together, more military exchanges between the United States and Pakistan are needed, the official said, and that is being planned.

    The bottom line is that both the United States and Pakistan are democracies and it is in both countries’ interests to work together. “The United States is supporting Pakistan as it seeks to strengthen democratic institutions, as it seeks to foster more economic development, expand opportunities, deal with its energy and water problems and defeat the extremist groups who threaten both Pakistan’s security and stability in the larger region and American national security as well,” Holbrooke said.

    Source: US 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.

    Monday, March 22, 2010

    Stupak, You're a Liar

    How many people believed Congressman Stupak when he said he would not vote tax-payer funded abortions? HE'S A DEMOCRAT. Got it?

    If the video doesn't work, here's the link.

    I will not be writing a post about this, because I don't want to say what is really on my mind. If you guess it, you're probably right.

    Hat tip: Earl B.

    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. Digg! Digg!

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Nawa residents celebrate Afghan new year

    by Staff Sgt. Luis Agostini

    NAWA DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan (March 21, 2010) – Residents celebrated the Afghan New Year at Nawa's market square March 21, under a blanket of security provided by the Afghan national security forces and Marines from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.

    Complete with drama, poetry, feats of strength and demonstrations from Afghanistan's Olympic Tae Kwon Do team, Afghans celebrated the traditional Islamic New Year, known as Nowruz, which coincides with the annual spring equinox. Islamic culture celebrates this day as the day the Islamic prophet, Mohammad, began the migration, or Hijra, from Saudi Arabia to Medina.

    "It's traditional, like Christmas," said 'James,' an Afghan Pashto interpreter with the Marines of 1/3. "There's drama, dancing, poetry; we go to each other's homes and celebrate."

    Nawa's district administrator, Haji Mohammed Khan, spoke to the crowd of nearly 1,000, addressing the district's economic and security improvements. Lt. Col. Matt Baker, commanding officer of 1/3, and Sgt. Maj. Dwight D. Jones, sergeant major of 1/3, attended the event as honored guests, complete in Afghan garb and headdressings.

    Just one year ago, a few weeks shy of the Marines' arrival in this farming community, thoughts of music and celebration were simply unimaginable.

    Sadar Mohammad, a 31-year-old Afghan national police officer, spent last Nowruz fending off the Taliban from the Nawa district center. Over the last 365 days, Mohammad, a lifelong Nawa resident, has helped bolster Nawa as one of Helmand province's success stories.

    "I saw a lot of changes – the arrival of peace, and people's interest in government rising," said Sadar Mohammad.

    A stronger job market and economy followed the arrival of peace, and remained instrumental in maintaining security, Sadar Mohammad said.

    "Before, people were jobless. If they work, they will not fight," he said.

    Nawa has been touted as a model of success in Helmand province for others to follow. Many foreign dignitaries and senior government and military officials have walked through the bazaar to witness firsthand the transformation. Sadar Mohommad still sees the need for improvement, particularly in Nawa's infrastructure.

    "Now with the arrival of peace, comes the need to improve the canals, roads and hospitals," Sadar Mohammad said.

    The fledgling Afghan national security forces, comprised of the Afghan national army, Afghan national police and Afghan border police, have made great strides in their professional development and training over the past year, thanks in large part to the embedded training teams and training academies provided by the Marines and other members of International Security Forces Afghanistan.

    "Before, we were blind. We had no social skills, and did not know how to deal with problems. Now, I'm not blind. I can see what is right and what is wrong," said Sadar Mohammad.

    Even older Afghans like 55-year-old Lal Mohammad, an Afghan farmer, embrace the new year with optimism.

    "Before, there was nothing. Nawa was not peaceful. The Taliban were in control," said Lal Mohammad, a former poppy farmer who now cultivates wheat, corn and watermelons.

    Making a difficult living under Taliban rule, Lal Mohammad now enjoys a prosperous income and ability to support his family.

    "Now I am a king, compared to that time," Lal Mohammad said.

    Lal Mohammad has seen enough to know that the Marines are still needed in Nawa, and the Afghan forces have a ways to go before Nawa, and other areas of the country, are completely turned over to the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

    "The Marines must work with the ANP and the ANA. The ANA and the ANP should be strong. I'm waiting for that," said Lal Mohammad. "They [Afghan forces] are working nicely, for now. If the situation stays like this, in the future it will be good."

    For now, Lal Mohammad will enjoy the return of the festivities, and prays for it to remain an annual event.

    "Now we are happy to celebrate together, and I pray to God that every year will be like this," said Lal Mohammad.

    PHOTO: A young Afghan boy uses a homemade Afghan flag to shield his eyes from the sun March 21, during a celebration of Islamic New Year near the Nawa District center.

    Source: US 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.

    Saturday, March 20, 2010

    Photographer documents Iraq's economic growth since 2003

    by Judith Snyderman
    Defense Media Activity

    WASHINGTON (March 20, 2010) – A former White House staff photographer who started photographing Iraq in 2003 said Thursday that comparing old images to recent ones presents a picture of staggering economic growth there. (Click here for slideshow.)

    Tina Hager snapped her first photo of Baghdad from Air Force One while accompanying then-President George W. Bush on a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to meet with U.S. troops. A few years later, she moved to Dubai as a freelance photographer documenting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. On several assignments, she embedded with U.S. troops.

    “I felt it was my photographic obligation after seeing history unfold at the very top to be able to continue to photograph the same situation, the same subject matter at ground level,” Hager said during a “DoDLive” bloggers roundtable.

    In 2009, Hager started working as a photographer for the Defense Department’s task force for business and stability operations in Iraq. She said the assignment has given her access to record scenes of everyday life throughout the nation.

    “In 2006 flying over Iraq, it was dusty, it was colorless. And now you fly over, and it’s just the Fertile Crescent.”

    In addition to revitalized farmlands, Hager said, she’s photographed hundreds of new factories and businesses that are generating employment. Women, she observed, not only are part of the work force, but also are dominating the top ranks of the banking industry.

    Today, she said, the landscape of Iraq looks like “a big green ocean” of agricultural success and factories that make everything from tractors to carpets based on classic patterns.

    When a blogger participating in the conference call asked Hager whether she might be biased as a task force staff photographer, she said her job simply is to observe and photograph the subject matter.

    “I get a great sense of satisfaction to encourage investment and economic stability in Iraq, and that is for me the most interesting way for me to help,” she explained.

    Hager said she hopes to publish these images, along with others, in a book to create a permanent record of the transformation.

    “I hope that people who contributed to this effort can see the progress that’s been made in Iraq,” she said. Hager added that she will return to Iraq next month and continue to photograph the nation’s comeback.

    Source: US 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.

    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Video Potpourri 3/19/10

    It has been one heck of a week, eh? The build up by the media for this ObamaScare, the unemployment numbers being lied about, the ups and downs, the Tea Parties, whoa. There has to be some humor in all of this! Why? Otherwise we'll go nuts. *heh* I have a variety for you again today. I hope you enjoy something. God bless.

    New Videos from machosauceproduction.
  • Zo's Dallas Tea Party Address Pt. 2.
  • Zo, Dallas Tea Party Address.

  • New Videos from JasonChaffetz.
  • Chaffetz on Fox with Megyn Kelly about Federal Tax Bill.
  • Chat on HeaCot-Side lth Care Bill.
  • 3-17-10 Chaffetz Opening

  • New Videos from RightPunditsMedia.
  • "Obama Cross Photo, New York Times".

  • New Videos from ryanpdixon.
  • Senate Republicans Will Watch for Sweetheart Deals in Health Care.
  • What Happens in DC, Doesn't Stay in DC.
  • LGBT Organization Uses 10-Year-Old Boy As Spokesperson.
  • Barbara Boxer Getting Her Blimp Deflated in November?

  • New Videos from unclejimbomadcity.
  • In the Crosshairs- Team America.

  • New Videos from ReasonTV.
  • Bring Back The People: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Care.
  • Encourage Bottom-Up Redevelopment: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey, Ep. 5.
  • Take Care of Business: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey, ep. 4.
  • Privatize It: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey, Ep. 3.
  • Fix The Schools: Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey, Ep. 2.
  • The Decline of a Once-Great City: Reason Saves Cleveland Wit.

  • 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. Digg! Digg!

    Commanders apply Marjah lessons to other regions

    by Jim Garamone
    American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON (March 19, 2010) – The Marjah operation has served as proof of principle for operations in Afghanistan, and commanders are working to adopt the principles in other areas in the country, a senior military official said.

    The official, speaking on background, said that although much remains to be done, operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province have proved that the counterinsurgency strategy does work.

    Still, actions in the region are in the early stages. Clear, hold, build and transfer are the steps in the strategy, the official said, and operations in the region are still in the hold and build stage.

    The best counterinsurgency strategy is one the local government and people embrace, the official said, and operations in Helmand have that. Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government came up with the plan in Helmand, and many Afghan troops and police participated in the operation. Local tribal elders and district officials asked for the offensive, the official said, and Afghan officials wanted the operation designed in such a way so that it would minimize civilian casualties.

    Local officials did not want Afghan police participating, the official noted, because local people regard the police as corrupt.

    Now, the official said, the idea is to extend the effort to Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan and the spiritual home of the Taliban movement. Taliban leader Mullah Omar had his palace in Kandahar, and it is the heart of the Pastun area of the nation.

    Shaping operations – mainly political -- already have begun in and around Kandahar, the official said. Government officials and NATO commanders are working with local councils and provincial officials to get buy-in from the people of the city. The area around Kandahar is just as important, the official added, and shaping operations in the outlying areas also are going on.

    “These operations need to support and protect the population,” the official said. “Once this happens [and] the population sees the government as legitimate and the insurgents are marginalized, they become little more than brigands.”

    The shaping initiatives will continue and will pick up steam, “but there won’t be a D-Day” in Kandahar, the official said.

    The enemy’s “order of battle” is anything but orderly, the official said. Taliban are in the city, and some people sympathize with the group. But other extremists not affiliated with the Taliban or al-Qaida are there as well, and they don’t want order in the city. Criminal gangs and local warlords also want the status quo to continue, the official said.

    Marja was a physical stronghold for the Taliban – the Taliban flag flew over the town, and fighters built fortifications in the area. Kandahar has problems with Taliban shadow governments, courts and community councils, the official said, and disassembling them will take different capabilities.

    Training the country’s security forces is important to getting the Afghans to take the lead, the official said, noting that the Afghan army is doing well. “It’s uneven, but the Afghan National Army is a respected entity in the country,” he said. “The Afghan police are not regarded as highly.”

    Overall, the goal is to train and field just over 300,000 Afghan security force members.

    In December, President Barack Obama ordered 30,000 additional American troops into Afghanistan. The Afghan surge is going well, with about a third of the troops in place with their equipment, the official said. Most of the rest of the forces will be in place by the end of August, with a few units moving in later. The flow of forces is proceeding, and the official said that U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Central Command and the NATO International Security Assistance Force have surmounted many obstacles.

    “It’s like FedEx on steroids,” he said.

    The American transportation effort is all the more incredible when the full scope is taken under consideration, the official said. U.S. military planners supplied the needs of two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have maintained supplies going to bases and operations around the world. Then, “when Haiti happened, they managed to supply that without a hiccup,” the official said, referring to the recent earthquake relief mission.

    PHOTO: U.S. Army MRAPs transport hundreds of Afghan troops to Camp Shorbak in Helmand Province. Transporting large numbers of troops to the battlefield is one of several lessons commanders are applying to other regions in Afghanistan.

    Source: US 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.

    Founders' Daily Quote(s): 3/15-19/10

    Monday, March 15, 2010.
    "On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?" --Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, Query 12, 1782

    Apparently not enough...

    Tue. 3/16.
    "A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of Congress than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular States." --James Madison, Federalist No. 46

    Wed. 3/17.
    "For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects." --James Madison, Federalist No. 46

    Yes, why is it the federally elected pests desire to run our lives? Do they not fear for their safety upon the day we stand up and declare, "NO MORE!"

    Thu. 3/18.
    "But they have two other Rights; those of sitting when they please, and as long as they please, in which methinks they have the advantage of your Parliament; for they cannot be dissolved by the Breath of a Minister, or sent packing as you were the other day, when it was your earnest desire to have remained longer together." --Benjamin Franklin, letter to William Strahan, 1784

    It maybe me, but this one sounds funny.

    Fri. 3/19.
    "Next Monday the Convention in Virginia will assemble; we have still good hopes of its adoption here: though by no great plurality of votes. South Carolina has probably decided favourably before this time. The plot thickens fast. A few short weeks will determine the political fate of America for the present generation, and probably produce no small influence on the happiness of society through a long succession of ages to come." --George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette, 1788

    Essay by Mr. Alexander: Pulling the Plug on our Constitution.

    Source: Patriot

    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, March 18, 2010

    'The Eagle and The Lady'

    I've met this man over the internet, and he has a very passionate heart. He also has high hopes for America, and I agree with him. Please enjoy his song. You may share it if you like, just give him the credit. Thanks.

    Hat tip: Allen F. Orchowski.

    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. Digg! Digg!

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Mark Levin on Healthcare

    Hat tip: patriotsandheroes.

    Just in case the video doesn't work, here's the link to YouTube.

    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. Digg! Digg!

    Saturday, March 13, 2010

    ISF capture suspected AQI leaders for Baghdad, Tarmiyah regions

    Written by United States Forces - Iraq PAO
    Saturday, March 13, 2010 09:03

    Press Release 20100313-03
    March 13, 2010

    BAGHDAD – During two joint security operations conducted today in central Iraq, Iraqi Police arrested three suspected terrorists, two of whom [are] believed to be al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders.

    In the city of Tarmiyah, located approximately 41 km north of Baghdad, ISF and U.S. advisors searched two buildings for a suspected AQI leader who allegedly provides financial support, explosives and weapons to numerous terrorist cells operating in the region.

    The building in which the wanted individual was found also contained a hidden room where the security team discovered several AK-47 assault rifles and cases of ammunition.

    After conducting preliminary questioning and examining the evidence collected at the scene, ISF identified and arrested the wanted AQI leader and a suspected criminal associate.

    During a second security operation in southwest Baghdad, ISF and U.S. advisors searched a residential building for a suspected mid-level AQI leader who is believed to have helped plan past high-profile vehicle-borne improvised explosive device attacks in the capital.

    Information and evidence gathered during the operation led ISF to identify and arrest the wanted AQI leader.

    Both security operations were conducted in accordance with the Security Agreement and in coordination with the Iraqi government.

    Source: OIF-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.

    Friday, March 12, 2010

    Video Potpourri 3/12/10

    Here are today's (12th) videos by 5 different artists. I hope you enjoy them.

    New Videos from machosauceproduction.
  • Playing Doctor is Naughty.

  • New Videos from JasonChaffetz.
  • CNN_03-04-2010_1055pm_Congress on a Cot.
  • KSTU_03-10-2010_11.16 am_ Burger Taste Test.
  • FOX_03-07-2010_12.34pm_ Federal Employees/Taxes.
  • CNBC_03-05-2010_7:33.pm_Federal Employees/Taxes.

  • New Videos from RightPunditsMedia.
  • Eric Massa + Rahm Emanuel: shower + headlines.

  • New Videos from ryanpdixon.
  • Democrats Reveal Facts About Health Care.
  • Pelosi: We have to pass the health care bill so that you can find out what is in it.
  • They Lie!
  • Capitalist vs Socialist: Equality.

  • New Videos from unclejimbomadcity.
  • Story Time- Typhoon Parties & Buddies.
  • In the Crosshairs- Afghan ROE & Commander's Intent.

  • New Videos from ReasonTV.
  • Advice Goddess Amy Alkon on Beating Some Manners into Impolite Society.
  • John Avlon: "How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America".
  • Virginia Postrel: How to Reform Health Care Without Killing Innovation.
  • Virginia Postrel: Glamour, Politics, & Voter Expectations.
  • Pork Party House: Where DC insiders go for taxpayer-subsidized fun.
  • Judge Jim Gray on The Six Groups Who Benefit From Drug Prohi.

  • 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.

    Founders' Daily Quote(s): 3/8-12/10

    Monday, March 8, 2010.
    "It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please. Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It [the Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could not be carried into effect." --Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on a National Bank, 1791

    Tue. 3/9.
    "The legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex." --James Madison, Federalist No. 48

    Wed. 3/10.
    "One hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one." --James Madison, Federalist No. 48

    Thu. 3/11.
    "Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob." --James Madison, Federalist No. 55

    Fri. 3/12.
    "If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send 150 lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, & talk by the hour? That 150 lawyers should do business together ought not to be expected." --Thomas Jefferson, autobiography, 1821

    Essay by Mark Alexander: When Debating a Liberal, Start With First Principles.

    Source: Patriot

    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.

    Dr's Are Suggesting CCR

    Below you will find a video which describes just what is CCR and when and how to use it. They do not, however, suggest we should not learn CPR. They are just describing in which circumstances you may want to use CCR instead.

    In case the video does not work, here is the link.

    Educational wouldn't you say? I was glad to have watched it. Thank you for sending this to me, Steve M. A big hat tip. :)

    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. Digg! Digg!

    Thursday, March 11, 2010

    Elections: Turning point for new democracy

    Written by Spc. Shantelle Campbell, 1st Infantry Division
    Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:28

    TIKRIT – Since assuming responsibility for Salah ad Din province in October, the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division has been advising and assisting the Iraqi Security Forces and the Government of Iraq in securing the population and helping to defeat violent extremists.

    An Iraqi man near a Karbala polling site displays his marked finger – a sign of having voted – during the Iraqi national elections, March 7, 2010. Iraqi Security Forces took the lead on Election Day security, as U.S. forces observed from the background, ready if called upon. U.S. Army file photo by Spc. Samuel Soza.
    Col. Henry A. Arnold, III, commander, 4th IBCT, 1st ID, discussed the elections from here with Kansas-based media via a video press conference, March 8.

    During the press conference, Arnold noted that the success of the elections was due in large part to addressing the conditions that help to create the extremist networks in the first place.

    "Since October, we have created environments where the people overwhelmingly support the Iraqi Security Forces and reject violence and the message that violent extremists have to offer," he said.

    Seventy-three percent of the Iraqi population voted in the recent elections despite the impending threat of violence.

    During the elections, there was very little U.S. involvement. According to Arnold, the only involvement of U.S. forces was during the movement of ballots.

    "On the day of [the elections], the Iraqi Police were responsible for each polling site, and the Iraqi Army held an outer cordon that was about 50 to 100 yards out from the actual polling sites," he said. "U.S. forces were positioned at various places but not visible. We were a backup just in case they needed us."

    Arnold regards the success of the elections as "the most decisive point" of the brigade's tour in Iraq and as one of the most significant events here since 2003.

    He said he also believes the outcome of the elections signifies the beginning of the end of the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq.

    "The greatest threat to the survival and destiny of this nation is no longer terrorists and guerillas; it is the failure of the political process," Arnold said. "If by [giving] this nation the ability and the opportunity to exist as a democracy that is secular and wants to be a responsible member of the international community, then yes, we've won. We set those conditions and allowed them to do it. It's up to them now."

    PHOTO: An Iraqi man near a Karbala polling site displays his marked finger – a sign of having voted – during the Iraqi national elections, March 7, 2010. Iraqi Security Forces took the lead on Election Day security, as U.S. forces observed from the background, ready if called upon. U.S. Army file photo by Spc. Samuel Soza.

    Source: United States Forces-Iraq.

    I'm Back...Almost

    Okay. I have a migraine. That's why I said almost. Below you will find out what I've been doing and what I've stopped doing. (Same thing.) It was interesting, frustrating, fun, and all the emotions you can squeeze into it. I now know I can do more in front of my computer than I can in office. Any office! Talk to ya later. I will be back in full force soon. (As soon as I get rid of this migraine.)
    I have a migraine right now, so this may not be as creative as I would prefer. I am dropping my bid for Congressional District 37 so that I may support Star Parker. Yes, she is running! I am very grateful to her for letting me know so that I can stop my campaigning and put my efforts into her campaign.

    I am somewhat relieved. I didn't know how I was going to overcome the distance between Long Beach and DC. Take a plane, you say? HA! Not on your life. ;)

    If you are still interested in my opinions and military issues, please come visit me at Rosemary's Thoughts. If you are interested in a Tea Party, then visit Long Beach Patriots. This is the last post that will be posted here (Rosemary Welch for Congress 2010).

    I'd like to thank all of you who have visited me. To all of you who have supported me (LORI), THANK YOU! Hugs. :)

    Do me one last favor. Enjoy your lives. They are so short as it is, and we never know with each coming day which day shall be our last. Make sure you are right with God, love one another, be charitable, be cheerful, and take it all in so you enjoy it to the fullest. God bless you all.
    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.

    US troops in Iraq adapting to new role

    Written by John J. Kruzel, American Forces Press Service
    Thursday, March 11, 2010 11:03

    WASHINGTON – Some of the 98,000 U.S. military forces in Iraq have already made the transition from security to stability operations ahead of the September deadline, American military commanders report.

    In accordance with an agreement brokered between Baghdad and Washington, the drawdown to 50,000 U.S. troops before September will happen as the American mission shifts from its current role as a partner of Iraqi Security Forces to primarily one of training and advising.

    But on the heels of what has been touted as a “historic” parliamentary election in Iraq this week -- months before the drawdown milestone -- U.S. forces in some instances have begun to change missions, said Army Maj. Gen. Terry A. Wolff, commander of U.S. Division - Center.

    “We're pretty close to what that will look like already,” Wolff, whose area of operations includes Baghdad and the western Iraqi province of Anbar, told Pentagon reporters in a news conference yesterday.

    What allows U.S. forces to pivot from accompanying Iraqi units in joint operations and providing aerial and intelligence support upon request to a role that centers on training, advising and assisting is the evolution of Iraq’s indigenous forces, the general said.

    Since his previous rotation in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, Wolff said ISF have passed tests of their quality “with flying colors.” He cited security during the March 7 election in which attacks reportedly killed some 38 people across the country but failed to close any polling sites or dissuade any of the estimated 12 million Iraqis -- about 62 percent of the electorate -- who cast ballots.

    “I worked helping to train the [ISF] on my last rotation,” Wolff recalled. “It was an army of about 110,000. Well, it's grown to about double that. It was a police of barely 150,000; it's nearly triple that. And so the Iraqi Security Forces demonstrated on Sunday that they're up to the task.

    “I'm pretty confident that they can continue to secure the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi people,” he continued. “There's no doubt in my mind that they can do that exceptionally well. And as the next government settles in, they're more than up to the task, and they demonstrated that.”

    Asked about the Iraqi Army’s progress since reports in 2006 of disloyalty, unreliability and a lack of professionalism in the ranks, one defense official said the Iraqi forces have “matured beyond our wildest expectations” – echoing the resilience Wolff described yesterday.

    “I kind of liken them sometimes to a boxer,” he said. “They're very robust, they take a jab, once in while they take a body blow, but they rarely get knocked down any more.”

    Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said the United States already has shifted from performing counterinsurgency operations to taking on the task of training, advising, enabling and partnering with Iraqi forces.

    “I believe that's really what we're doing today. We are not doing any independent operations any more,” Odierno said at the Army and Navy Club here last month. “We are doing counterterrorism operations, but we're really not even doing those independently. All our highest-end counterterrorism operations are done in complete coordination with Iraqi Security Forces, and with Iraqi Security Forces.”

    Asked if a reduced combat role of American troops was tantamount to a reduction in overall productivity in Iraq, Wolff sought to dispel such impressions.

    “There are aggressive operations every day and every evening to deal with terrorists and extremists that try to have an impact on the Iraqi people,” he said. “So it's not as if we're all sitting on our operating bases and doing nothing.

    “There's this belief at times that no one's doing anything; that 96,000 Soldiers are just kind of waiting for something to happen,” he continued. “We are not in the observe-and-write-about-it mode. We are effectively out there doing things every single day.”

    Source: United States Forces-Iraq.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Maj. Gen. Wolff, USD-C, March 10

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010 00:00.

    DOD News Briefing from Baghdad with Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, commander, 1st Armored Division and United States Division - Center, March 10, 2010

    BRYAN WHITMAN (deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Public Affairs): General Wolff, this is Bryan Whitman at the Pentagon. Can you hear me okay?

    GEN. WOLFF: Bryan, I hear you loud and clear. How are you today?

    MR. WHITMAN: Very good. And thank you for joining us this morning.

    It's my privilege to introduce to all of you here, in the press corps, Major General Terry Wolff, who is the commander of U.S. Division-Center. He assumed those duties in January of this year. And this is his first opportunity to be with us in this format.

    And we appreciate you taking the time this evening to give us some perspective on what you've been doing: of course most recently the most important elections that have taken place there. So I know that you have a few words that you'd like to set the context with, before we start taking questions. So let me turn it right over to you.

    GEN. WOLFF: Great, Bryan. Thanks a lot. I would like to make a very brief opening statement. So that will provide the context you just talked about. So first of all, thanks to the members of the press for being here today. And good evening from Baghdad.

    As Bryan said, I'm Major General Terry Wolff. I'm the commanding general of United States Division-Center. As many of you know, Multinational Division-Baghdad and Multinational Division-West were brought together in two separate transfers of authority, which occurred in January. And that created the organization we presently know today as United States Division-Center.

    Our team is built around the 1st Armored Division headquarters out of Wiesbaden, Germany, and also the 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, which is an AAB out of Al Anbar province.

    In Baghdad, we've got the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which is a Stryker unit out of Fort Lewis, the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, which is organized as an AAB, and the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, another infantry brigade.

    Additionally we've got an aviation brigade out of Fort Hood, Texas, and the 16th Engineer Brigade. Just as a point of reference, 1st of the 3rd AAB arrived in Iraq simultaneously with 1st Armored Division. But the remainder of these forces that I've previously mentioned have been on the ground for a number of months, before we arrived.

    As you all know, Sunday's election was an historic event. The Iraqis in Al Anbar province and Baghdad were protected superbly by the Iraqi security forces, and the Iraqi people came out and voted in large numbers. In Al Anbar there were no high-profile attacks, no attacks on polling centers and no loss of life. In Baghdad, the ISF succeeded in preventing vehicle-borne IEDs and also suicide-vest attacks.

    While there were a few incidents which produced casualties, and a number of noise-bottle bombs, the Iraqi security forces secured the population and provided a secure, credible election process. And so before I close and take a question or two or three, I'd emphasize that Sunday's election-day success didn't just happen. The ISF owns security responsibilities in Iraq. The battlespace is theirs. They're in charge. They set the conditions for the elections through their hard work in the months leading up to the election day, and it paid handsome dividends on Sunday.

    The ISF task didn't begin on or end on Sunday, as I just mentioned. And since then, they've continued to provide security on a daily basis for the last couple of days. We know that the ISF has an important role to play in the future, and we look forward to continuing to partner with them.

    And so with that, I'll take your questions, please.

    MR. WHITMAN: Okay. Thank you, General.

    We'll get started right here. Go ahead.

    Q General, it's Anne Flaherty, with Associated Press.

    As we await the election results, do you see any outcome that could change the pace of U.S. withdrawal, or should change the pace of U.S. withdrawal?

    GEN. WOLFF: You know, at this point -- at this point, no. You know, we've been told, based on the president's announcement last year at -- during his Lejeune speech, that we -- that USFI would come down to 50,000 folks. And so that's what we believe will occur, and that's the -- that's the planning process we move forward with, to move to that number.

    In USD Center the number's going to be, obviously, smaller than it is today, but will come down a fair bit. And some of the planning for that has already begun as you well can imagine.

    MR. WHITMAN: Joe?

    Q General, this is Joe Tabet with Al Hurra. From now till September 1st, what kind of operation are the U.S. military involved in, and if you could give us what kind -- if you have any concerns during this transition period from now till September 1st?

    GEN. WOLFF: Yeah, you've really given me an interesting question. What I would say is -- and I'd like to use the opportunity to talk to you a little bit about how the partnering has changed. I mean, the partnering has been reconfigured since the end of June when, based on the security agreement, we moved out of the Iraqi cities. And so how that applies in Baghdad and Al Anbar is a -- is a bit unique.

    But what -- but what has effectively happened is that we've kind of changed the partnering model that we have worked with, with the Iraqi security forces, and that will continue up until 1 September and then beyond.

    Where in the old days -- the old days being during the surge -- we used to have, you know, partnered units down at the battalion level and even lower, right now most of our partnering happens at the -- at the brigade level and above. And so we put a lot of interest and emphasis in partnering with the Iraqi security force, at -- with their brigades and with their division headquarters and with their operations centers which exist above the division level.

    Additionally, we continue to provide some enabler support to the Iraqis. But as I said before, they're in charge. So kind of a case in point for the election period -- and even out now -- we help provide the Iraqis a number of things. We provide some aviation support. We help them with some intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms. We help with some military working dog teams. We assist with some Backscatter Vans which help them search vehicles coming into Baghdad and other cities.

    And then we are -- we are partnered with them and do combined and associated training with them at just about every echelon.

    It's taken a little different shape than what you might remember in 2008 and 2007 during the surge period. And so I expect that to continue out until September. And you may have heard General Odierno talk a little bit about this yesterday or the day before, where he believes that to some degree we're already in the process of transitioning to stability operations, we're pretty close to what that will look like already.

    Q Could I follow up on that?

    MR. WHITMAN: Sure.

    Q General, this is Anne Flaherty again with AP. It sounds like there are a lot of troops, though, in Iraq to be doing the task that you just outlined. Are there examples or -- can you give us a sense of how many troops there are actually not -- don't have that much to do? It just seems like 96,000 troops are a lot to do the tasks that you outlined. Are they there for the psychological value of security or in case something happens?

    GEN. WOLFF: I mean, no, I would say not really. I mean, the -- our -- the soldiers in USD-Center are pretty busy. And it's not make- work, either. And if you think about the election and you look at what occurred during the election period -- I mean, consider the fact that out now in Anbar province there are about 350 polling centers, and then in Baghdad there are about another 1,500. And so part of what we did was partner up with our Iraqi brothers and help them work their way through their plan which they had developed for the election support.

    And so let me give you an example. At the Baghdad operations center, which owned all of -- all of the security for Baghdad and Baghdad province, we have a -- we have a transition team that works with the Iraqi staff in that headquarters on a daily basis. I spend a fair bit of my time over there with the BOC commander, seeing him and talking with him and dealing with the issues that he brings up as he puts his security plan in place.

    My deputy commanding generals, or DCGs, spend time with their counterparts, usually other operation center commanders, where we have training team staff that assist their staffs. And then down at the Iraqi division level, whether they are Iraqi army or federal police -- and in Baghdad there are six of those -- we're also partnered with them with these training teams.

    And so what we've done at that level is work to help the staff training to give them a menu of things which has enabled them to prepare themselves for the election. And we've also worked to have a common operating picture between our headquarters and theirs. So I effectively see the same thing that the BOC commander does. My intelligence teams provide me intelligence at the same time he's getting intelligence from the fused staffs we've put together. Now, that's just at the higher level. That happens out in Al Anbar, as well, with the Iraqi army divisions and the police in that province.

    And so what we have done is we have kind of lifted and shifted. Where back in 2007 and 2008 we were partnered at a lower level out doing combat operations with them, in some cases unilaterally but in many cases partnered -- in partnered operations, now effectively Iraqis have the lead for combat operations. We are still partnered with them in some cases, but we are partnered at a staff level and at a higher level, commander level, much more effectively, I think, than we were before. And it has enabled us to work on command-and-control skills together.

    So we'll see if that helped answer the first part of your question. You may have a follow-up, please.

    Q No, I think that answers it. Thank you.

    MR. WHITMAN: Al?

    Q General, it's Al Pessin from Voice of America. So do you have any of your troops actually involved in combat at this point?

    GEN. WOLFF: Sure. We work with the Iraqis to help them train a number of different elements. And so -- let me give you an example. Many of these Iraqi brigades have what we call commando elements or strike platoons.

    They're little -- they're platoons or companies, commando companies, that help them execute offensive operations. This is in addition to many of the soldiers they have out on checkpoints and doing that sort of duty.

    And so when -- let's say a federal police unit goes out and executes a mission of this nature to go get a bad guy. There will usually be a U.S. partner element that will move and operate with them.

    And so the answer is yes, we partner in that regard. But the person who's knocking on the door of the house that they're going into is Iraqi. It is a warranted operation, based on rules of evidence under the Iraqi system that have been brought forward, with a Article 4 warrant that has been issued by an Iraqi court.

    So it really has changed since the 30th of June, with the -- with that part of the security agreement going into place.

    But yes, we are partnered and -- but it is -- we are not the guys going through the door first, nor are we apprehending Iraqi citizens. The Iraqi security forces are doing that. And so, as I said, it's a very different-looking partnership than what you might remember.

    Q Has this been reflected in your casualty figures for the last couple of months?

    GEN. WOLFF: Gee, I think that you do make an interesting point. I mean, the number of U.S. casualties has certainly gone down, and the number of Iraqi casualties has certainly gone down. And there are reasons for that. Part of it because we're seeing their tempo of operations increase significantly.

    And it leads me back to my point that I made in my comments about the Iraqis just didn't stumble onto election security on Sunday. They have been executing a lot of missions, and they've been partnered a lot of different ways. They have been some of the searches that the Iraqis do to go into an area based on their intelligence tips that there might be some IEDs there, or there might be a cache there. Well, they will effectively put that operation together, they will issue the orders and instructions, and they'll go search those areas.

    When we get to an operation where there might be a combined offensive operation to go get a bad guy, some of those Iraqis do by themselves, some of those we partner with them. And then there are other higher- order and counterterror operations that are also partnered. There are no more U.S. unilateral operations here, but we still do participate in some combat operations.

    You know, many of our -- the casualties we have suffered, at least since we have been in Baghdad, really have been through vehicle accidents or suicide attempts. One happened just as we arrived on deck here. But that still doesn't mean it's not dangerous out there. Our soldiers go out there ready to protect themselves, and -- as do the Iraqis.

    And so the growth that I've been talking about is really about a much more capable Iraqi security force that, even in our short time here, we've seen get better and a lot more focused.

    Q So considering this picture that you painted for us, now that the election has passed, when do you anticipate beginning to draw down the forces in your AOR? And from what level now to approximately what level in August?

    GEN. WOLFF: Sure. I won't talk about exact numbers, but what I can say is that -- you know, you've heard us talk about this as a responsible drawdown. Well, some of the responsible drawdown has already happened. I basically took the place of two division headquarters across two provinces. So responsible drawdown began with the arrival of the 1st Army Division assuming its role as the United States Division-Center. We've already had one of the brigade combat teams that were part of the United States Division-Center off-ramp and return to home station.

    So in Baghdad province we're down to three brigade combat teams, as you -- as I commented. And now, Anbar, we're down to one; one -- now Anbar is end-stage. In Baghdad, we will eventually come down to one over time. And so the decision that will be made when to start that off-ramp is General Odierno's decision.

    That will certainly be made based on some planning factors that his staff and ours are working through at this time.

    Q Thank you.

    MR. WHITMAN: Mike.

    Q General, it's Mike Mount with CNN.

    As you're well aware, the north still has some problems with violence and insurgents. Are you -- or have you moved any of your forces up to the north to assist there? And do you also anticipate possibly moving some troops from your AOR to the north if General Odierno needs to keep more troops in the country past the August deadline?

    GEN. WOLFF: There was one organization of United States Division Center that was moved up north to reinforce USD -- United States Division North, and that happened just before we arrived. So there is some internal movement of organizations around, you know. I have no orders and instructions to prepare for that at this -- at this time.

    And again, what I would say is that while, you know, I've talked a lot about the successes, you know, the successes don't come easily, and that there are aggressive operations every day and every evening to deal with -- to deal with terrorists and extremists that try to -- to try to have an impact on the Iraqi people. So it's not as if -- that we're sitting all on our operating bases and doing nothing. So I really emphasize that and try to dispel that notion, because there's this belief at times that no one's doing anything, that 96,000 soldiers are just kind of waiting for something to happen. We are not in the -- we are not in the observe-and-write-about-it mode. We are effectively out there doing things every single day.

    And the battlespace that each of the U.S. battalions operate in in concert with their Iraqi counterparts looks uniquely different. And because it looks uniquely different, each of those commanders have a much different tempo, based on whether it is in a -- in a(n) urban area, or whether it's outside of Baghdad proper, out in a rural area.

    MR. WHITMAN: Mik.

    Q General, Jim Miklaszewski with NBC. There are reports coming out of Iraq this morning that a U.S. convoy accidentally opened fire on perhaps a group of civilians today and there were some civilian casualties. Do you have any information on that?

    GEN. WOLFF: There were two incidents this morning that it sounds like perhaps they got mingled together. One was a -- one was a convoy that was hit by an IED, and you know, we're still trying to sort out the -- sort out the nature of that.

    The second incident was a -- an incident out in downtown Baghdad in which there were -- there were shots fired. And we know that there were several Iraqis -- the report is several Iraqis were killed. We're trying to get to the bottom of that.

    And a good example of how I do business with General Hasham, the Baghdad operations center commander: Once the report of that incident came in, he and I talked through my training team chief who's down there with him and put together a combined or joint inspection team, which is on site now, taking a look at what happened, and why we think it happened.

    So what we do know at this point is that there was an incident. There were two people killed, and the details will follow once we get to -- get to the bottom of it, based on the combined investigation that's ongoing.

    Q Any casualties in the U.S. convoy hit by an IED?

    GEN. WOLFF: There were -- that was a -- that was a contractor convoy, and there were several people wounded. And they've been medevaced, and details will follow later.

    Q And was the second incident involving the Iraqi citizens, was that a U.S. convoy also?

    GEN. WOLFF: It wasn't a convoy. It was a -- it was a platoon that was moving into a site that both we and the Iraqis worked together in Baghdad.

    And there was an incident which caused some weapon firing. And as a result, we know that a couple of people were killed. So again, that's about all the exact details we have now.

    But it was a normal movement. And movements that normally happen in Baghdad are partnered movements. We usually move with our Iraqi security force brethren or they clear the movement. So another indicator of kind of the partnering that goes on here. We work all these movements in these operations centers and coordinate for movement in the city of Baghdad, which is, you know, what we have agreed to do as part of the security agreement, out of courtesy to our Iraqi -- Iraqi friends.

    Q Can I clarify on that, General? Was the platoon moving into the site -- was that a platoon of Iraqi soldiers with some U.S. troops as advisers? Is that correct?

    GEN. WOLFF: No, it wasn't. No, it wasn't. It was a platoon moving into a fixed site, and there was already an Iraqi element there. So it was a movement, it was a daylight movement, and it was on -- in downtown Baghdad on the west side of the city, in the Karkh area. And so just a routine movement.

    Q Movement of U.S. troops?

    GEN. WOLFF: Right. It was a platoon -- it was a platoon of U.S. troops that were moving, that's correct.

    Q And General, what was this site? Was it like a FOB or was it a site where they were clearing, looking for a bad guy or doing something?

    GEN. WOLFF: It wasn't a -- it was not a -- it was not a combat operation in the way you've descried it. It wasn't -- all they were doing is moving to a fixed site to link up with another American platoon.

    MR. WHITMAN: All right. We have any others out there? (No response.)

    Well, General, it looks like we've completed our questions here. So before I bring it to a close, though, let me throw it back to you in case you have any final thoughts that you'd like to share with us.

    GEN. WOLFF: Well, I would give you a couple of perspectives.

    See, you know, you touched on responsible drawdown today. And there's a lot of work that has been ongoing with that. And it didn't just -- doesn't just start or stop with the end of the election process. And so you know, there's a lot of movement that's happened. We're positioning now to turn over a number of American JSSes to the Iraqis. We will also turn over some other bases to them.

    It's a fairly comprehensive plan that we've been -- we've been working for a number of months, that our predecessors worked as well, that we continue to refine. And that's based on discussions we have with the Iraqi security forces. So responsible drawdown has been going on for a while around here. And it will continue to September and then beyond.

    Secondly I would state that the environment out here is incredibly complex. And while casualty levels seem down, and we acknowledge that the Iraqi security forces did a bang-up job securing their population for the elections, I'd also tell you that we're asking an awful lot of these young American leaders and young American soldiers.

    These young officers, these noncommissioned officers and soldiers, are just doing a great job. And what we have learned over the years serving here and in Afghanistan is just how complex the human terrain is here.

    And so we have gotten much better at learning that -- at learning how to deal with tribal sheikhs, with provincial leaders, with district leaders out in these cities and towns -- how to partner better with our Iraqi security forces and all the while doing, you know, combat operations or partnered operations now.

    This Army and our military has grown significantly. And I just have enormous respect for these great folks out there doing this heavy lifting. And all the while keep in mind that the enemy threat continues to evolve and change. Whether it's an al Qaeda threat or other extremists, they like we are learning organizations. They continue to adapt as well.

    Additionally we're doing a fair bit out here working with the State Department and these provincial reconstruction teams doing civil capacity operations.

    And so we kind of consider that a supporting line of effort of ours. Security and helping the ISF deal with the security is mission number one, but we also have a strong and vibrant effort working with our State Department and other interagency brethren who partner with us on -- every single day.

    So it's not unusual to have a session, either out on the ground or back in headquarters planning, where we have Provincial Reconstruction Team members, State Department folks working side by side with USAID with a small American element, be it a platoon or a small company, that's out there doing business with Iraq tribal sheikhs, provincial leadership and Iraqi security forces all together. That's much different than what we experienced in 2003 or even 2004, and we've gotten a lot better at doing that. And that's what you're seeing play out both in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

    So I tell you that I'm incredibly proud of these Americans and other forces that partner with us as we do this job on a daily basis out here.

    I'd also mention that the Iraqi security forces, again, have grown significantly. Some of you know I worked -- I worked helping train the ISF on my last rotation, in 2006 and '7. It was a -- it was an army of about 110,000. Well, it's grown to about double that. It was a police of barely 150,000; it's nearly triple that. And so the Iraqi security forces demonstrated on Sunday that they're up to the task.

    If it were -- if it were a test, they'd pass with flying colors. And I'm pretty confident that they can continue to secure the government of Iraq and the Iraqi people. There's no doubt in my mind that they can do that exceptionally well.

    And so as we move beyond the election period and all the back- and-forth that will go on with election results and, you know, challenges and things of that sort, I'm confident that the ISF can provide the backbone necessary to form the next government. And as the next government settles in, they're more than up to the task, and they demonstrated that.

    And they have a very robust command and control. And I kind of liken them sometimes to a boxer, that they're very robust, they take a jab, once in while they take a body blow, but they rarely get knocked down anymore.

    And so that's the major change that I've seen out here, and it's pretty encouraging to see. And it's really a pleasure seeing how far they've come and grown over the years here. And I'm just -- I'm just confident they're ready to take these next steps.

    And as I said, they're in charge now. We're in kind of a supporting role, and we're proud to be there. And you can only imagine how proud they were after the elections. On Sunday evening, as the polls closed, every Iraqi leader that I ran into had -- you know, had a big broad grin on his face and was absolutely beaming with pride, with his ability to have led his organization to do what the nation -- his nation demanded of him. And they did it pretty doggone well. And they responded to the challenges they saw on Sunday and worked their way through it. And the Iraqi people knew they would, so that's why you saw voters flocking back out in the afternoon to get to the polling sites. And they're pretty encouraged by what they saw.

    So with that, I'll just close by thanking our great -- our great soldiers and our airmen and our sailors and Marines that are part of our great organization. And they're joined by State Department folks. They're joined by other agency friends that make this a real team of teams out here. And they operate across a pretty complex battlespace that's constantly changing, as we've talked about, with this responsible drawdown business.

    And so thanks to you for asking lots of questions today. I know that there are a lot of other things competing with Iraq now and everyone basically thinks Iraq is solid, based on the elections. We believe that as well. But again, thanks for your time. And I'll stand by for any final questions.

    MR. WHITMAN: General, we're good from here. But thank you. Thank you again for your time. And we hope that perhaps in the not too distant future we'll get another update from you.

    GEN. WOLFF: Yeah, I sure look forward to that. Thanks a lot, Bryan.

    Transcript of Maj. Gen. Wolff, USD-C, March 10 (77.26 kB) (pdf).

    Source: United States Forces-Iraq.