Back online after a great vacation on/in Lake of the Ozarks (thanks to my in-Laws).
Had a 185hp waverunner that I was able to sink/submerge in one wave (from a wake) and then accelerate out of the water launching off of the next wave and getting a foot or two out of the water. *SPLASH!!!*
Little Blackfive got to pilot a boat for the first time (not over 25mpg). He is also becoming a really good swimmer for a four year old. He also seems to be able to putt better left-handed.
Pinkfive was mostly just along for the ride and was sleeping most of the time getting ready for her big 1st Birthday Tuesday.
Okay, I've been getting a few emails every minute or so with negative reactions to the FX show "Over There". I had checked the site a few days ago and found the characters to be cartoonish and stereotypical. I figured it wouldn't be very complimentary or truthful or real.
I decided to nurse a Guinness here on Lake Ozark rather than watch it or TiVO it.
If you've seen it, sound off in the Comments. I'd be interested to hear what you have to say.
Could we start withdrawing troops from Iraq as early as next spring?
Most likely, hell no.
At least, that's my opinion. But now General Casey (the top General in Iraq) has just made a comment that troops could begin a draw down in Iraq as soon as next Spring (2006) or Summer. That's pretty @#$%ing crazy.
Of course, there could be some logical and very Sun-Tzu-ish reasons for this statement - via the Financial Times:
..."If the political process continues to go positively, if the developments with the [Iraqi] security forces continue to go as it is going, we will still be able to make fairly substantial reductions after these elections, in the spring and summer of next year," Gen Casey said...
This could be a carefully crafted ploy to (1) increase the activity (non-violent) of the insurgency in order to facilitate finding them, (2) get the Iraqis in gear to take responsibility for their country, and (3) appease some politicians in the US that we are looking at leaving sometime in the near future. There are many other theories too ("HELLO, SYRIA!"). And let's keep in mind that we aren't talking about sending 100,000 troops home right away...
However, General Casey has never been a great public speaker (see the last testimony in front of the Armed Services Committee) and often speaks out of step with some in the chain of command and some of the civilian leaders.
Hard to say one way or the other. But at least you can count on Cool Blue to answer the question of How Will We Know If We're Winnning?....
Whatever you do, never, ever, never visit this guy...
His name is
Bill Chip and he is mostly unstable, often makes ridiculous threats (can't believe he threatened her...of all the sweetest, most beautiful girls to be mean to?), and definitely is not funny. So whatever you do, don't visit his site (although, apparently, his brother is very cool).
And don't link to him either. I heard he likes links.
(Hhhmmm. I wonder what Wind Rider thinks of this - I thought Chip was dead.)
Michael Yon's latest is another must read - Empty Jars:
...There is a pattern of cascades in counterguerrilla combat operations. In this kind of warfare, information drives maneuvers, and a single capture of a key person frequently cascades into a shower of raids and captures, each pregnant with the next storm.
That night, Iraqi police took the 4 captured men out to identify targets. On route, one "tried to escape" and was killed, intensifying the pressure on the remaining three. The cascade had begun with the snippet of information, but now was fanning open, as police, operating alone, uncovered the original cache in the village northwest of Mosul. While this catch was merely a depot to Mosul, it led to the giant cache we raided ["The Devil's Foyer," 21 July 05], and from there to yet another large cache uncovered on the same day on the east side of the Tigris River in Mosul. The cascade fizzled to the end of its run at a fourth cache that rendered only empty munitions containers.
Of greater interest was the prisoners' admission that the munitions were being readied for the next elections...
Tom C. sends some cool photos of the new F/A-22 Raptor in case you haven't seen them before. The first Raptor (combat-ready...the USAF has some others) was delivered to the USAF last week.
Dayton Daily News (print version only):
The Air Force's newest warplane, the F/A-22 Raptor, is scheduled to make a flyby at the Vectren Dayton Air Show in July, air show officials said Thursday.
Not yet operational, the stealthy Raptor is the Air Force's most advanced and most expensive fighter jet. The first combat-ready F/A-22 was delivered this week to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia for maintenance training.
The Air Force's Aeronautical Systems Center manages the F/A-22 program at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base...
Click on the thumbnails for larger versions:
First, here is a video of the first basic training graduating class of women in the Iraqi Army. It should be noted that they were trained by Iraqi female and male NCO's.
And here's a nice report about a female MP on patrol. You can just tell she eats "tough" for breakfast...
McQ at QandO has a great post about our new citizens - soldiers serving in Iraq are sworn in...McQ links to several articles which feature some pictures of the ceremony.
Here are a few more I found that, I believe, didn't make it into the articles. All photos taken by Sergeant Lynne Steely (click on the thumbnails for larger version of photo):