Honoring the Sacrifices: Police Officers in Washington State
Posted By Grim
A reader writes to point out that the Washington police officers killed at a coffee shop were all married with children, and that it is right we remember the police who serve as well as those in the military.
I asked for, and have now received, information for those who wish to help the children. I don't know how it is in Washington, but judging from what I've seen of firefighters in Georgia, their families may have a long road before they receive anything like due compensation from the state for their breadwinner dying in its service -- if they ever do. Here is the information on how you can help.
The Lakewood Police Independent Guild is accepting donations for the families of the slain officers.
Every penny will go to the families; if you want to donate to a specific officer you can write his or her name in the memo section.
Please make the check out to the LPIG Benevolent Fund and mail to: P.O. Box 99579 Lakewood, WA 98499. Visit their web site for more information: The Lakewood Police Guild.
Forza sets up donation boxes
Forza has set up donation boxes inside their stores for the families of the fallen Lakewood officers. The coffee company's web site also is accepting donations. Go to their web site: Forza Coffee Company.
Well this is just too rich to ignore. Michael Moore is offering the
Obama his sage advice on military strategery. I was gonna compare that
to me advising Mikey on film making, but I realized I actually make
videos with a measurable level of expertise. Mikey has less than zero
experience in war fighting. Anyhow Tally ho!
Dear President Obama,
Do you really want to be the new “war president”?
Of course he doesn’t Mikey, but the evil W invented this enemy that
wants to take over the wingnut world and he is stuck until you can make
a documentary proving that al Qaeda is a fictional, neocon, Zionist invention.
I've been saying for the last two months (sometimes with the media so it's documented) that President Obama will deploy more troops to Afghanistan. After all, he made it his fight, picked McChrystal to run it, and appeared to be working to find a solution. Due to General Jones insistence, he will send less than General McChrystal has requested (there are reports that the request was 80k) - the news reports that the request was for 40k more. Most likely it will be tens of thousands of US troops and thousands of NATO troops (reports coming in that the UK will send one more battalion than scheduled).
With regards to NATO and COIN, more work needs to be done. We have heard about the good work of the Canadians, the Brits, the Lithuanians, the Poles and even the French (yes, the French - I had a good friend who worked with them tell me he could use hundreds more like the men he worked with). And we need more of them. I think we could do without the Germans and some of the others. We need to expand the COIN academy to be able to train those troops effectively. We also need a lot more State and NGO involvement.
We also need to move off of the FOB. Push out. And that goes for Bagram too. If you're wearing a glow in the dark belt to go to chow or the gym or Pizza Hut and you're not working at a hospital or the flight line or depot maintenance, chances are you could be doing more away from the FOB. If you're on Bagram and you're carrying a brand new rifle, perhaps we should think about getting the new equipment to the men in the COBs and FOBs and outposts that are using damaged (combat) or barely acceptable equipment.
My criticism for the President, believing as I do that he wants to have victory in Afghanistan, is that he has used the delay ("dithering" to some) to try to club Karzai into reforming his government. Perhaps the administration thought that Karzai would have lost the election. Perhaps the administration believed that they could strong arm Karzai. Perhaps the administration wanted to give their political base the imagery of the President's agonizing over the unpopular decision to fight the war. Perhaps the administration was waiting for the right photo opportunity. Perhaps the administration was waiting to see how close Pakistan was to the precipice of collapse.
It's probably all of the above.
Which points to a distinct lack of experience and a distinct disregard for the troops fighting this war. It's also evidence of a President who is campaigning rather than governing. That's not the "get 'er done" mentality - that's the "how can we use this delay" mentality. That's ignoring the need for a unified will to win. While that may not sit well for us, we need to come together behind Generals Petraeus and McChrystal and finish this thing.
So, tomorrow, when the President announces this troop increase along with a plan to end the conflict, be wary of those who deem it an "exit strategy." We might not ever leave Afghanistan - there most likely will always be advisers. Most likely, in terms of endgame, his plan will be like the one for Iraq (no distinct timetables...yet). We all know that Afghanistan is completely different than Iraq. We all know that Afghanistan is the most formidable territory to fight and win on. We all know that this won't be over in 2011 so don't let anyone off the hook who tries to claim that it's possible.
We must be behind the effort and support our troops in a time of war.
No matter who our President is...
Update: Two additional points.
1. We will take a lot more casualties. It always happens when we go on the offensive. And now the Taliban have all winter to refit and plan.
2. I want to be clear that more troops is not the whole answer to victory. A change in mentality, strategy, and willpower is the change we need in Afghanistan. I probably could have written an entire treatise on the need for more COIN training for troops prior to setting foot on Afghan soil.
I attended a short-lived course run by the same Scuba Nazis who teach
the Combat Diver qual at Key West called the Waterborne Infiltration
Course. It was by any account an epic adventure and I have many tales
to tell about it. One of my favorites is this one about a foolhardy
attempt to spear a trophy shark.
Is the "Brothers" movie a big, Ugly Military Stereotype, or is that just the trailer?
Posted By Uber Pig
Please take a moment to look at this synopsis for a movie called "Brothers," with Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Tobey Maguire:
When a decorated Marine goes missing overseas, his black-sheep younger
brother cares for his wife and children at home—with consequences that
will shake the foundation of the entire family. BROTHERS tells the
powerful story of two siblings, thirtysomething Captain Sam Cahill
(Tobey Maguire) and younger brother Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), who are polar opposites. A Marine about to embark on his fourth tour of
duty, Sam is a steadfast family man married to his high school
sweetheart, the aptly named Grace (Natalie Portman), with whom he has
two young daughters (Bailee Madison, Taylor Grace Geare). Tommy, his
charismatic younger brother, is a drifter just out of jail who’s always
gotten by on wit and charm. He slides easily into his role as family
provocateur on his first night out of prison, at Sam’s farewell dinner
with their parents, Elsie (Mare Winningham) and Hank Cahill (Sam
Shepard), a retired Marine.
I haven't seen the film but a cursory examination of the trailer suggests a movie chock full of wistful looks between former child-actor Natalie Portman (not only beautiful but hey -- she went to Harvard!), dreamy Jake Gyllenhaal (not just dreamy, but military cred from Jarhead! and acting chops from Brokeback Mountain!), interspersed with what looks like an epic spazzing out session by recently returned Marine Tobey Maguire (Showing the same dark side he showed us in Spiderman 3!). Of course you can't judge a movie from it's trailer. It's entirely possible that this is a thought provoking film about the difficulties servicemen
and women have on returning from a combat zone with PTSD, and reintegrating into family and civilian life. More likely, I think, is the possibility that this is just another Big Hollywood
movie that stereotypes soldiers or Marines as angry (because the military is where people go when they can't get into prison!), humorless men (which is why they don't go to college!) who
scream a lot, beat up on family members, hate hippies (because they hate their own latent homosexuality!), throw dishes
for no good reason at all, and beat up on women and little brothers. Okay, well, I never actually saw Tobey's character beating up on Jake's or Natalie's characters, but I definitely got the feeling that if he didn't, then he was like, THIS CLOSE to pulling out his belt and using those awesome hurt skilz (Because the Marine Corps brainwashes hurt skilz into their paid killers using psychotropic drugs! (Jacob's Ladder!)). Even more stereotyped is the shortened version of the trailer, which they showed during a commercial break in the Steelers Ravens game. The short trailer is only about 10 seconds long. It's pretty much all yelling and screaming and throwing dishes by Tobey, without the leavening influence of wistful looks from Jake and Natalie. Because they only had 10 seconds, dig? So they had to get in the important stuff? The stuff people want to see? The stuff we can't get enough of? You know, like flipped out, mentally unbalanced servicemen with PTSD! So even if the movie is thoughtful and sensitve and has something interesting to say, I'm kind of hoping it fails miserably because of the studios' very Jody-like marketing tactics. I'm hoping that I'll see it in the $3 bin at Blockbuster soon. Right next to "Redacted."
-- Uber Pig
PS: If anyone has a way to get a copy of the shortened version of the trailer, I'd love to put it up to better illustrate my point. Here's the longer version:
I grow bored of rehashing something we have been rehashing so long that the links to where I did an exhaustive analysis of it at Madison.com are no longer even active. So Tora Bora, let me make this simple.
1. We invade A-Stan with small number of Spec Ops guys and partner w. Northern Alliance and in amazingly successful operation kick Taliban and al Qaeda asses.
2. Many of them die, some run to Paktia province, some (incl. bin Laden) run toward Pakistan and stop in highly-fortified Tora Bora.
3. We do the math and since Tora Bora is way the hell up high in the mountains figger out we would have a wicked time resupplying any troops we managed to get up there w/ our limited helicopter support and also they would be ambush bait for bad guys who are real good at that.
4. So we decide to try the same thing that worked to kick their asses already. We partnered with local tribes to provide the manpower while we sent Spec Ops support and massive air power.
5. We push up there and even the Spec Ops guys have a helluva time because of the terrain. The local tribes more or less screw us and take the money but don't fight much.
6. We still kills hundreds of Taliban and AQ but bin Laden slips off to become a ghost.
7. A talking point for the ignorant left, their enablers and military geniuses like F John Kerry is born.
8. Rinse and repeat whenever the left needs a club to try and lose a war.
An unusually common sense piece
from Tom Friedman in the NY Times. He takes up a question that many of
us would consider common sensical but which most of his compatriots in
the media have been willfully ignoring, the terrorist motivation of
Here’s my take: Major Hasan may have
been mentally unbalanced — I assume anyone who shoots up innocent
people is. But the more you read about his support for Muslim suicide
bombers, about how he showed up at a public-health seminar with a
PowerPoint presentation titled “Why the War on Terror Is a War on
Islam,” and about his contacts with Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni cleric
famous for using the Web to support jihadist violence against America —
the more it seems that Major Hasan was just another angry jihadist
spurred to action by “The Narrative.”
I have a bad feeling that we are going to be seeing a lot of folks claiming that our forces have roughed them up. First of all it is right in the al Qaeda training manual. They are told to start whining early and often that they were tortured or otherwise abused. We saw last week that the guys scarfed up by our SEALs complained about a fat lip. Did it happen? Did he do it to himself? We don't know, but we know they are taught to make the claim. Today we read that two Afghans are claiming they were "tortured" in the Spec Ops holding facility at Bagram Air Base in AStan.
At the beginning of his detention, he was forced to strip naked and
undergo a medical checkup in front of about a half-dozen American
soldiers. He said that his Muslim upbringing made such a display
humiliating and that the soldiers made it worse.
"They touched me all over my body. They took pictures, and they were
laughing and laughing," he said. "They were doing everything."
Can we get this guy a Whaaambulance? Don't mouth off about your Muslim upbringing buddy, there's an awful lot of goat raping going on over there, so I don't want to hear about your delicate sensibilities. Hell all prisoners in the US get a strip search. Now these two make some claims that they were beaten and forced to look at pornography, but all in all pretty weak tea. Here is the problem though, the chump who runs the International Criminal Court has decided he has jurisdiction over our troops in Afghanistan, even though we aren't signatories to his tribunal. He is making noises like he wants to investigate us for war crimes such as torture, bombing civilians etc. The even bigger problem is that our own government makes this more likely by trying terrorists as criminals thereby undermining our claim to be at war with them.
By undermining the legal architecture supporting the use of military
force against al Qaeda and its allies, this decision carries further
profound implications for the United States' ability to defend itself
in the future.
Even as it jettisoned the term "war against terror," the Obama
administration has confirmed that the United States is engaged in an
"armed conflict" -- an international law term for "war" -- with al
Qaeda, the Taliban and their allies. President Obama has not withdrawn
the United states armed forces from Afghanistan and even plans to
Characterizing the struggle against al Qaeda as an armed conflict is
critical because it is the law of armed conflict that permits the
United States to use military force in Afghanistan and elsewhere. If
the law of war does not apply here, if al Qaeda and Taliban operatives
are not enemy combatants but civilian criminal suspects, then armed
attacks by American soldiers against them are illegal.
Such attacks would be war crimes leading to potential criminal
liability not only for the individual U.S. servicemen involved, but all
the way up the chain of command to the president himself.
The attempts by this administration to make everyone like us may backfire and wouldn't it be kinda ironic if they brought Obama up on charges for the drone strikes he has been using to kill terrorists? The law of unintended consequences is a mofo.
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.