I had wanted to post this earlier, but I wanted to research the entire text of his 'message' before doing so. Here is an excerpt of it...
[We] Both greatly value and readily embrace the promotion of human ideals
such as compassion, empathy, respect for the rights of human beings,
securing justice and equity, and defending the innocent and the weak
against oppressors and bullies...
If this wasn't the biggest C0S ever bestowed upon us...
The Iraq Study Group will advocate a policy of cut and start packing it seems, relocating our forces either to bunkers in Baghdad or perhaps a nearby country, presumably not to Okinawa. Hey maybe we could head back to Saudi Arabia that worked out pretty well didn't it? They also will issue a timeline for withdrawal with no dates. These realists have an interesting version of real.
I don't think there is a chance in hell that will be adopted since like most bi-partisan wanks it produced nothing but a fleeting sense of joy for the individuals involved and not a damn thing of substance.
So we have a fairly simple choice here, reinforce and aim for a victory or retreat and manage a defeat. That's it. One must be chosen decisively and then implemented with a full effort. I choose to reinforce and here is what and why.
We never defeated Sadaam's Baathists and that has been our greatest problem. They cut and ran when the Thunder Run to Baghdad rolled by and when we disbanded the military we left a huge batch of thugs with no skills other than killing sitting idly by. They waited for the reprisals they assumed were coming, but when no one rounded them up for slaughter they cranked up the insurgency. Their initial successes led Al-Qaeda to begin the influx of foreign terrorists and we have been engaged with them ever since. Early on the Sadr brigades acted up and in a huge miscalculation we decided that the help of Al Sistani was more important than the trouble represented by Mookie and his iron-sandaled thugs. Wrong! A well-placed round or 2,000 lb bomb would have bought a lot more stability than a kow tow to a Shiite leader who, like the pope has no divisions.
father of one of our wounded troops told me that he saw exactly what he
wanted to see on Christmas Day in Ward 57 -- the ward where many of our
most critically wounded reside -- people arriving with their arms
loaded with goodies for our troops. The wife of one of the soldiers
told me that it didn't matter that they were spending their Christmas
in a hospital, "our family is together".
milbloggers are familiar with Carrie Costantini, the wife of a Marine
and a frequent commenter on milblog sites. I had the incredible
pleasure of meeting Carrie over breakfast last week. Carrie and Deb worked on Operation Santa last year. This year, Carrie had the brilliant idea to expand the project out to include wounded troops at Walter Reed and Bethesda...
The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home,
in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.
The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he
would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled
and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the
remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban
orders to stop educating girls.
Mr Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the
Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the
south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the
Taliban and US and Afghan forces...
This is why it's important for NATO (who has the Afghan mission) to stay together, stay focused, on eliminating the Taliban.
I think there ought to be a requirement that all communications from W be read by some one else. I often tell progressives who have no clue what our government is trying to do, to go read his second inaugural speech. They usually hadn't seen it when he delivered it, and when read, in my head I hear Reagan, the words are beautiful and inspiring. The left has forgotten that the other team truly does have good intentions. Disputes over policy and technique have been amplified to the point that all actions and objectives of this administration and it's supporters are not just questioned they are presumed to be nefarious.
"I know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq," he said. "This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all."
I am going to hope that short bit was crafted by one of the master communicators who have written his major speeches. It is two sentences that eviscerates the Baker commission right before they offer a plan for a graceful exit. Then in a delicious shot right in the mouth bone he says that a graceful cut and run has no realism, Baker and the other dinos of the Iraq Study Group being Realists or apppeasers or heartless pragmatic, dictator-supporting, plutocrats. He took their there away. No realism in a graceful exit, Bravo!
I think the country as a whole would be well-served to remember that the other team in our little internal civil squabble is not really the enemy, it's the rat bastard Islamists. Maybe we could hire actors to play Bush and Pelosi, it would have to be an improvement and then we might see that our goals are the same we simply differ on what methods will best achieve them.
...The people live like other villagers except that the “roads” are water.
(Keeps the dust down.) Tonle Sap lake feeds about half of Cambodia and
the people export fish to other countries nearby. This is the biggest
lake in Southeast Asia. There are gigantic catfish and many smaller
fishes and the people eat them all. They also eat spiders: big,
tarantula spiders. They’ll eat just about anything, actually. Some
small boats drift around selling eggs with half-formed birds (embryos)
and the people love to eat the un-hatched baby birds...
I think too, that instead of creating a running list of the bad guys, there should be a list of the good guys. I will add Emma Krumbees in Belle Plaine, MN to that list. Whenever a soldier is in uniform they they either give them a free meal of free pie. They are a great bunch of people who are proud to have soldiers in their restaurant. My husband does not like to abuse their kindness, so he does not wear his uniform there unless he absolutely has to.
We all remember the much-lamented Fran O'Brien's. We must all know stories of places where a man in uniform gets his coffee on the house, or is otherwise shown due honor by the community.
Pile on in the comments, and let's build that list. It's at least as important to praise good men as to condemn bad ones.
At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia’s newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn’t long before Bush found him.
“How’s your boy?” Bush asked, referring to Webb’s son, a Marine serving in Iraq.
“I’d like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President,” Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.
“That’s not what I asked you,” Bush said. “How’s your boy?”
“That’s between me and my boy, Mr. President,” Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
I've seen quite a few clips of W asking folks about their kids who he has ordered into combat. In every instance he was the model of decorum and genuine concern. The left/Dems can say what they want about him, but any charge that he doesn't care deeply about military members and their families is complete BS. Webb ought to have the decency to put his politics aside and treat the President with some respect. He will have plenty of opportunities to air his opinions about the war and anything else he wants.
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.