Maybe it is bumper sticker buying time. That "Endless War" bumper sticker is starting to make a tiny bit of sense.
It appears that our feckless leader's continued leadership from behind has resulted in the crafting of an agreement that was reached today that would obligate us to the first part of our own Hundred Years War in the mountains of Southwest Asia.
For that foothold in this volatile mountain region wedged between Pakistan and Iran, the United States would agree to sustain and equip Afghanistan's large security force, which the government in Kabul currently cannot afford. The deal, according to the text, would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and “shall remain in force until the end of 2024 and beyond.”
Please, everyone stand clear at least 25 meters because I don't want to hurt anyone while I am jumping for joy..... And forgive me if my sarcasm is about to get up off its' beach lounger, set down its' Jack and Coke and get back in the game.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Warrior Princess....
Posted By Deebow
UPDATE: link to the original essay here (my opinion remains unchanged).
I try not to spend my time poop-hammering veterans that don't need it. Everyone's experience is different, and the fact that you served is 99 percent of all I need to hear.
But that being said, I, along with my combat MOS/Combat Service brothers and sisters, am a bit of an elitist. The guys that have spent their time living in places with light, noise and litter discipline with Death not only tuggin at their elbow, but tying off on it with a swiss seat are more likely to be the people that I tend to bond with. People who have seen the elephant are my people.
Long days in the Finance Office at Camp Phoenix or scheduling aircraft maintenance at Bagram are likely to get me shoveling a mountain of well deserved poo-poo on you.
So I don't feel bad for what I am about to do.....
On Facebook this morning, I asked for people to put forward ideas on how we fix the problem of the troops being treated as infants. In my previous post here you (our readers) posted comments discussing all the ways this was being done -- and the problems created by the practice. Deebow had a comment that included a suggestion I liked, which was to get Gen. Mattis involved in the reform.
So, sound off! What suggestions do you have to fix the problem?
I ran this back on 1 March, but think I am going to be posting it every six months instead of once a year.
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Not that I haven't had a sickening feeling from politicians in both parties whose spine has an elemental consistency that ranges somewhere between gelatin and mannecoti since about 2008 (ish), but the blood pressure machine was about to spontaneously combust after I saw this about the testimony of the parents of Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods and then read this list of the people who walked out that hearing.
And one name stuck out to me because her hackitude is epic; Rep. Tammy Duckworth.
I have searched for a way to say this, but I can think of no other way: You madam, are an epic POS.
You, Representative Duckworth, of all the people who sat on that esteemed panel, should be acutely aware of what must have been running through the minds of Tyrone and Sean as they waited on the ground for a rescue force while enduring hostile fire. A rescue force, that it turns out, the President in Name only was of no mind to send, because he had something pressing in the morning and he wanted to get his rest.
You, having endured being grievously wounded and fighting to land an aircraft that was falling out of the sky in hostile territory probably can tell the story of how the minutes felt like hours until you saw a QRF that had IR "U.S." tabs on the chest plates of their IBAs coming to secure your aircraft, help treat you and your crew for your wounds, and evacuate all of you to safety at the risk of their lives so that you could be treated and returned to your families.
I bet you are glad that the QRF did their duty November 12, 2004 huh? Couldn't be bothered to do yours though right? Didn't you want to hear how those men and those families deserved the same response you received? For you to walk out on those families and not even give them the common courtesy to listen to their story speaks to the epic hackery that is your career in politics and speaks volumes of your (in)ability as a leader.
You have insulted those families by refusing to hear their concerns, as elected representatives are duty bound to do. "Leave No Man Behind" evidently means nothing to you, along with your oath to protect and defend the Constitution.
My bet is that you don't know this, but when you are a leader, you can't just take the easy ones, you have to take the hard ones too. And sometimes, you have to do the hardest thing and take the lead when you are in the wrong and make something right, that in this case, has your political party's fingerprints all over it.
But evidently, that is just a bridge too far for you because your allegiance to your party trumps your humanity, integrity and common sense. You dishonor your service to this country as a member of the US Army and as a Congresswoman and your dereliction of duty is noted.
This morning, a graphic made the rounds on Facebook purporting to show the number of mass shootings on military bases before and after the gun ban. The graphic was questionable in some regards (gun ban started under Bush Sr. and was taken to new "heights" by Clinton, numbers not verified, etc.), but it raised a much larger and more interesting question: How has the whole idea of infantilizing the troops worked out?
Just a bit over a year ago, I was asked for an honest opinion by a commander over something done months previously to which I was witness. Short version is that because the commander wanted to make a good showing at something, he had ordered his troops locked-down (confined) to barracks so that no one would/could drink the night before. My response that if he wanted his troops to act like adults they should be treated as such was not well received, but did appear to sink in at least somewhat.
I would invite you to share your thoughts over on my Facebook page (specific link here), and for those of you who aren't on Facebook, here. What have been the results of the ongoing efforts to treat the troops as children who not might make the "right" choice but as children who WILL make the wrong choice gone? Is it time to rethink not only the gun ban, but the entire philosophical approach?
PS: One, Facebook has the old Soviet crowd green with envy over the perfection of the memory hole, as not only did the graphic disappear but all posts related to it/linking it. Two, my page is approaching 500 likes, would love to break that number and if I can tell who was #500 and #501 I will send them a print if they like.
For once, I find myself completely and totally in agreement with President Obama: the shooter yesterday was a coward, who committed a cowardly act.
As such, I will not name it as it deserves no fame, no recognition, only obscurity. Already its photo is huge upon many homepages, front pages, and other media outlets.
These names, their photos, their stories, deserve to be writ large in memory bright:
John Roger Johnson
No only is it the right thing to do, but I will bet that any outlet that bucks the trend and does so will do well by it. Do the right thing, the different thing, and push it off the front page and put them upon it.
Remember and honor them and the others murdered and wounded yesterday.
I'm covering this on Facebook, and want to remind everyone of the following:
Initial Reports Are Always Wrong
That said, it appears to be a multiple-shooter event. There are NO accurate numbers for wounded/killed at this time. Twitter #NavyYardShooting brings you the best and worst of coverage/discussion. The only confirmed info out right now from the Navy says that there are multiple injuries and reports of fatalities, but latter are not confirmed.
All we can do now is hold those affected in our thoughts and prayers, wait for real numbers and solid info, and hope for the best. Oh, and let idiots self-identify.
UPDATE 1356 hrs: The only solid info right now is that three wounded were transported to the hospital, and that is because the hospital confirmed it. Of the three, all were reported consious and alert. They also confirmed there are casualties, no word on number or anything else. That was a few hours ago. It appears that there was more than one shooter, but that is not confirmed. The old media has once again identified an innocent person as the shooter, and there is a LOT of bad info out there. Take anything in the media with a tun of salt for now. Is things develop will update at FB and here as I can.
UPDATE 1400: Per Navy, shelter in place order remains in effect. RPT Shelter in place order at Navy Yard remains in effect.
UPDATE 1430 Hrs: DC Mayor and Police Chief are confirming that 12 have died, police are seeking two suspects, and that FBI is taking over as lead agency for investigating the shooting. Navy has confirmed that shelter in place order remains in effect. Situation is still active.
UPDATE 1455 Hrs: As a result of the incident, the Navy has issued an "Order to Account"
for all Navy uniformed personnel, both active duty and selected Reserve,
assigned to commands in the D.C. metro area. The order also applies to
family members, Navy civilian employees, as well as, NAF and NEX
personnel. Personnel muster through the Navy Family Accountability and
Assessment System (NFAAS). To muster, visit the NFAAS website at https://navyfamily.navy.mil. You know the drill, report in.
UPDATE 1500 Hrs: White male being sought has been identified and is NOT a suspect or person of interest. Search continues for "B/M 50 yrs, w/rifle, drab olive military uniform"
UPDATE 1630 Hrs: Transcription notes from press conference. Press conference notes: additional suspect still being sought; no idea
of motive at this stage, that will be investigated, no reason to suspect
terrorism but not ruled out; additional victim has died (male); no
additional information on victims at this time; baseball game is
postponed; still active scene, please continue
to shelter in place if there/nearby; still looking for info from public
on shooting/shooter; FBI confirms Alexis is shooter, seeking info,
everything they can about him, his associates, etc.; oh sweet fluffy
lord save me from politicians near a mic; FBI dot gov will be releasing
information; 13 confirmed dead including shooter, a "dozen or more
wounded" or injured without being shot; we don't know that there's a
second gunman on the loose, but need to run down lead/info; multiple
engagements with suspect leading to final gun battle with suspect; one
of the worst things we've seen in DC. Another press conference in two hours.
Anyone in the Media want to ask Howard Dean About This?
Posted By Deebow
He had quite a bit to say about foreign policy and war in the Middle East back in 2003....
Maybe you could have him on the Sunday Shows, do an analysis, quote for quote, then to now? You know, kind of a comparison thing. I promise, there is much to be mined here:
"When Congress approved the President's authorization to go to war in Iraq, no matter how well-intentioned, it was giving the green light to the President to set his Doctrine of preemptive war in motion. It now appears that Iraq was just the first step. Already, the Bush Administration is apparently eyeing Syria and Iran as the next countries on its target list."
This dude should get a lottery ticket, how could he have known that?
"Theirs is a radical view of our role in the world. The President who campaigned on a platform of a humble foreign policy has instead begun implementing a foreign policy characterized by dominance, arrogance and intimidation. The tidal wave of support and goodwill that engulfed us after the tragedy of 9/11 has dried up and been replaced by undercurrents of distrust, skepticism and hostility by many who had been among our closest allies."
Wow. That sounds pretty familiar. He must be reading the latest updates on the interwebs....
"This unilateral approach to foreign policy is a disaster. All of the challenges facing the United States, from winning the war on terror and containing weapons of mass destruction to building an open world economy and protecting the global environment can only be met by working with our allies. A renegade, go-it-alone approach will be doomed to failure, because these challenges know no boundaries."
Hmmm.... You don't say? Unilateral action is bad?
"Even the largest, most sophisticated military in the history of the world cannot be expected to go to war against every evil dictator who may possess chemical weapons. This calls for an aggressive and effective diplomatic effort, conducted in full cooperation with a united international community, and preferably with the backing of the multilateral institutions we helped to build for just this purpose. This challenge requires treaties such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that this Administration has sometimes treated cavalierly. In any case, war should be a last resort or an option to be used in the face of an imminent threat."
Anyone of the alleged journalists out there want to ask him about his apparent change of heart? I guess having principles and beliefs is tough...
It is a short, but interesting read... And before you do, see someone with an Air Assault Tab to get some TAPE, Pressure Sensitive (100 MPH variety) and wrap it around your head first so the hypocrisy doesn't cause your head to explode.
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
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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.
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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.