...If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000
heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there,
they’re crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired
of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from
those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those
I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House
mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no
doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s
Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied
about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never
worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and
carelessly about those who have.
The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick
Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign
policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers,
and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These
Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the
concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that
sent our brave troops to war without body armor.
Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because
they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because
we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a
sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by
an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a
stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.
I would like to talk, representing
all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit,
we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged
and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes
committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes
committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers
at all levels of command....
They told the stories at times
they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped
wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up
the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians,
razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle
and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged
the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage
of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done
by the applied bombing power of this country.
An Army pal of mine just acquired a German Shepherd female pup and requests your help in picking out a name. He specifically asks for names that will upset the jihadis. I said, "name it Mohammed". Call her, Mo.
Okay, all of you Vets and active/reserve/guard folks can stop emailing me now. I've got the emails. Basically, most of you have said "@#$% that guy." I've got 120+ emails about this jacka$$ before 0800...
I've posted many times before that I have never been interested in investigating what he claimed he did during the Viet Nam War (I know many of you disagree with that). I still hold that it's what he did afterwards that makes him unfit for public office. His lies, protests, lack of support while in office, and his treatment of our troops while a Senator (yes, the story of how he treats the air crews is true) are certainly enough evidence that he is a huge, huge, tool...and, certainly, unworthy of your support.
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Veterans Day came a week early in 2004 when former and present military kept him from being President of the United States. Instead of being the POUS, he's just a POS.
And, now (as if we needed it), we have more evidence of how much disregard he has for the military.
Many of you have sent the link to Michelle Malkin and Hot Air where you can hear for yourself what he says. Both have a ton of links and some excellent reader responses.
During a campaign stop to support the Democrat gubernatorial candidate for California, Phil Angelides, John Kerry spoke about Education...and Iraq:
“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and
you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you
can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
Thanks to Joanie for sending the audio clip. I'll provide it below - I know my hosting charges are going to go through the roof for distributing this, but this is worth it - download, email, distribute - make sure everyone that you know hears this *cough* "patriot":
Update: If you want to turn a negative into a positive, please see the post below about supporting our wounded troops. Let's show them that the only one who thinks the way John Kerry does is John Forbes Kerry.
"At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers' Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed." - Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss at TC Override (wounded in Iraq)
Want to be part of something big?
Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss (Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss' father), provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.
Valour-IT's online fundraising competition begins today! Let's see who can raise the most money to help reconnect our wounded warriors with the world!
WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT. WHEN: October 30th through Veterans Day, November 10th . WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else. WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world. HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians "up for grabs."
Now, normally, I don't take part in the brutal gentle inter-service rivalry, especially during war. But this is for a very important charity. So, civilian bloggers, choose your branch. Choose wisely...
The World's Strongest Dad - Someone You Should Know
Posted By Blackfive
The first time that I was ever "published" was centered around an event when my son was injured and needed surgery at the age of two. I've been through a lot in my life, but nothing ever like that terrible night in 2003. We were at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago - a phenomenal organization. I remember asking our amazing nurse if she went home and drank herself numb every night because I couldn't understand how someone could be that strong and not need a crutch. My wife, at one point, thought we should set her up with one of my friends. I thought about it, and then said, "None of them are good enough for her." (Sorry guys)
I wrote a letter about my experience feeling helpless as father and asked for support for Children's Memorial Hospital. It was published by a major Chicago paper on Father's Day. And my son was fine a few days after our visit. I remember thinking about all of the parents at the hospital who's sons and daughters had bigger problems than we faced. Parents will be strong because they have to be strong. But exactly how strong can one dad be?
So, this brings us to the world's strongest dad - a father among fathers. Ron sends this story from Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly about Dick and Rick Hoyt (Dick is a retired Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel). It's a great story about a father and son who saved each other. It's been making the email rounds and I thought it would be a great story to read before the weekend:
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work
nights to pay for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.
But compared with Dick Hoyt, I'm suck.
Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2
miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a
wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled
him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars -- all in the same day.
Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on
his back mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes
taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?
And what has Rick done for his father? Not much -- except
save his life.
This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago,
when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him
brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life," Dick
says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old.
"Put him in an institution."
But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's
eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the
engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to
help the boy communicate. "No way," Dick says he was told.
"There's nothing going on in his brain."
"Tell him a joke," Dick countered. They did. Rick
laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.
Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the
cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to
communicate. First words? "Go Bruins!" And after a high school
classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run
for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that."
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described
"porker" who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his
son five miles? Still, he tried. "Then it was me who was
handicapped," Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks."
That day changed Rick's life. "Dad," he typed,
"when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!"
And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed
with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly
shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
"No way," Dick was told by a race official. The
Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair
competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran
anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran
another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following
Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a
How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a
bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon?
Still, Dick tried.
Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling
15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud
getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No
way," he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling" he
gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their
24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their
best time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992 -- only 35 minutes off the world
record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held
by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time.
"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad
is the Father of the Century."
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years
ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his
arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape,"
one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago."
So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and
works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland,
Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country
and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he
really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.
"The thing I'd most like," Rick types,
"is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."
If there ever was a candidate for the proverbial bullet between the eyes and his 72 goat reward, it is Muqtada al Sadr. Mookie is the idiot son of a family that can trace its lineage directly to Mohammed but he has failed to distinguish himself at any religious scholarship. He excels at gathering groups of thugs together, getting them jacked up on old time religion, and collecting satchels of Mullah money. He is currently causing considerable difficulty as Bill Roggio notes.
The media loves to talk as if all aspects of our campaign in Iraq were awful ideas, well in the case of Mookie they are right. We should have sent him along to Allah the first time he poked his head up with a religious militia. It's not like his allegiances to Iran were too tough to suss out. We have far too much aversion to the use of precision-aimed rifle fire or bombage to ensure that bad guys running bad groups stop acting bad. I had always been an advocate of shooting Sadaam and seeing what happened next. Doesn't sound so bad now, does it? Well, same logic applies to Mr. Sadr. A judiciously placed round a year or so back might have made the rest of the wannabe religious rabble rousers a little less froggy. Granted I am a big fan of dirty tricks, but the logic is very compelling.
Bloggers' take on military life ...[Rachelle] Jones says she stumbled on the world of milblogs in an attempt to get
information of her husband's unit, which was in the area of Taji, Iraq.
She found the blog of a private contractor working in the area and read
it — and later other military blogs — for news.
"The whole time
he was deployed … I didn't watch the TV news. I didn't want the kids
picking up on it," she said, relating how she'd do her searching from
10 p.m. to midnight, after the youngsters were put to bed.
read news not from journalists or pundits, but soldiers and civilians
actually in the field who wrote not to entertain or push political
agendas, but merely to share their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan,
be they harrowing firefights, mundane monotony, tales of dozens of
soldiers and volunteers pulling together to save one life, or the
shared, cathartic release of mourning a friend lost in the line of duty.
don't think it's hyper-patriotic ranting or anything like that. Most
people just feel they really need to do this for their families," Jones
said. "It's not journalism and it's not meant to be. It's just an
account of what happened to you...
Blog of War Now Camouflaged When
something good is happening in the military, you can rely on someone
high up and behind the lines to try to kill it. Slowly.
Bureaucratically. Bleed the life out of it.
is what is happening to milblogging, the Internet phenomenon that lets
soldiers in Iraq tell us what they see, do and think...
Beccy Cole - "Poster Girl" on the Wrong Side of the World
Posted By Blackfive
[Edit. note: This has gone viral. Thank you, everyone, for sending links and telling people about Beccy Cole. Reposting today]
Australian SAS in Afghanistan (Operation Annaconda). Photo Courtesy of Australian Ministry of Defense.
Seawitch sends this awesome video of Aussie lass Beccy Cole who is singing "Poster Girl" in response to some of her fans who disagree with her supporting the Diggers, the Australian soldiers fighting in The Long War.
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.