When Palestinian terrorists slaughter innocent civilians the correct thing is to condemn them, lay some concrete consequences on the Palestinian government and send condolences to our friend and ally the Israelis. President Obama felt the need to blame both sides and as usual he is wrong morally and strategically. Until the Palestinians renounce violence and their deranged belief they can destroy Israel, we should not give them a dime.
President Obama is poised to ignore the voters and Congress and pass amnesty for 5 million illegal immigrants. This abuse of power is a danger to our Constitution, economy and national security. We must all work to stop it. Obama doesn't even agree with himself about whether it hurts or helps Americans. And let's dispense with the idea that Reagan and Bush did the same thing, in those cases Congress passed a law and they acted in harmony with the law.
There are soon to be protests and almost certainly riots in Ferguson, MO when no charges are brought against the police officer who shot Mike Brown. The facts of the case do not seem to matter to the professional outrage mongers who are organizing the mayhem. They made their closed minds up months ago and if the officer is not thrown to the wolves, they will rampage.
What might surprise you (or not) is that some of the folks are not just the racial grievance groups we are used to, but activists with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. They are using the (non-existent) civil rights aspect of this case to infiltrate the African-American community and bring them into the Islamist fold. Kyle Shideler of the Center for Security Policy exposes some of these connections.
If you are playing at an event designed to thank veterans for their service and honor the military, and you play an antiwar ditty from the Vietnam era, you are doing it wrong. I could understand this of it was just the King of Constipation Bruce Springsteem, but Zac Brown and Dave Grohl were up there too for a rousing rendition of Fortunate Son. And who invites Bruce to something like this, he belongs at Obama/Code Pink rallies.
The song, not to put too fine a point on it, is an anti-war screed, taking shots at "the red white and blue." It was a particularly terrible choice given that Fortunate Son is, moreover, an anti-draft song, and this concert was largely organized to honor those who volunteered to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Zac Brown has been a solid supporter of the military and his guitars are always covered with military unit stickers, but Zac this was a bad call. Playing onstage with Brucie, just ain't worth throwing away your well-deserved respect from all of us. There are a million good songs, and Fortunate Son is actually one of them, but time and place matter. Last night in front of a bumch of vets, troops and supporters was no time to show your dirty nasty hippie side.
There also seems to be an attempt to say this isn't an anti-war, anti-troop song because it is complaining that the rich get out of war. Well then explain this line.
Some folks are born made to wave the flag Ooh, they're red, white and blue And when the band plays "Hail to the Chief" Oh, they point the cannon at you, Lord
Yeah, some folks inherit star spangled eyes Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord And when you ask them, "How much should we give?" Oh, they only answer, more, more, more, oh
The Obama administration claims to have partnered with over 60 nations in "degrading and defeating" the Islamic State. Several nations have provided humanitarian support, but very few have in fact provided military aid - and details of what each nation has contributed have been scarce. Below is a list of other nations’ known involvement in terms of military assistance.
Albania: Transported arms and ammunition to Iraqi Kurds.
Australia: Has sent hundreds of military advisors to the region. Conducting airstrikes against targets in Iraq and also supplying arms and ammunition.
Bahrain: Conducted airstrikes in Syria.
Belgium: Conducted airstrikes in Iraq.
Bulgaria: Contributing arms and ammunition to northern Iraq.
Canada: Providing several million dollars-worth of military assistance. Has sent several dozen military advisors. Conducting airstrikes against targets in Iraq as well as airlifting supplies.
Czech Republic: Supplying Iraqis with arms and ammunition, including fighter jets. Also pledges training assistance for Kurdish forces.
Good morning, my name is Matt H and my daughter, is one of your 8th grade classmates. Last December, I retired from the Navy after serving 23 years of combined active and reserve service as a Navy SEAL. I am a combat veteran having served in the city of Ramadi, Iraq where I earned the Bronze Star Medal for Valor.
I joined the military for a few reasons. First of all, both of my parents are veterans. But more than just that, I wanted to become a Navy SEAL because of the adventure and noble purpose that it promised. Through those years, I've jumped out of airplanes at night over the ocean, treated young children in Africa for malaria, spent five weeks living in the jungle along the Panama Canal, planted limpet mines on the bottom of an aircraft carrier in the middle of the night, and led the ambush of four suicide bombers.
I also wanted to be able to look anyone in the eye and tell him, “Yes, I served my country.” It may be difficult to understand now, but believe me when I tell you that you will absolutely derive more joy and personal satisfaction from doing something for someone else than you ever will by simply doing things for your own benefit.
Serving also means that you come to understand that you are not as important as the team or the platoon. Recognizing that the goal of the unit is more important that your individual success, allows you to form very close bonds with those around you. This also helps you to become the most important kind of person that there is in this world. A reliable one. No talent or skill will take you very far if you cannot be counted upon. Becoming a reliable friend, student, employee, or even CEO starts with understanding your true value to an organization, not its value to you.
Nearly every day as I face life and the many challenges that it involves, I look back on my SEAL training experience and know that nothing that I will ever do will be any more difficult than that. This is a powerful source of self-confidence and resilience that I can draw from at any time. This power is not limited to Navy SEALs either. All of us Veterans have had to face extreme challenges during our duty, and they have made us stronger. My service taught me not to fear challenge, but to embrace it because I know that each time I overcome something, I become stronger for it.
Last year when a local congressman spoke to you on Veteran’s Day I believe that there was a lot of confusion. When my daughter came home that day, she told me that a few of her classmates asked her questions about me like, “Is your dad dead?” and “Does he have a job?” Aside from the clear insensitivity of questions such as these, I felt that there surely are many more unanswered questions from last year.
Before I left for Iraq, I thought long and hard about what could happen to me there that could change me in a way that would be harmful. I thought that there were three things that could happen and that I had control over only two of them. First, was that if I faced a dire combat situation and acted in a cowardly manner, the shame of that would never leave me. Second, that if during combat, I was to shoot or be responsible for the death of someone innocent that would leave a lasting scar on my heart. And third, that if I were to witness an especially gruesome situation where my comrades suffered or died painfully that those visions would haunt me.
So before I left, I prayed and I asked God to protect my heart from those things, and He did. But where I was blessed, many of my comrades were not. Many do suffer from one or more of those afflictions, and it can be difficult to recover from it. This is why the one question that you should NEVER ask a Veteran is, “How many people have you killed?” This is a deeply personal matter, and one that you have no right to the answer. As Veterans, we are entitled to your respect, but I also ask you to give Veterans your compassion as well. All of us have accepted the safety of America as a personal responsibility and have made sacrifices on your behalf. Veterans are not victims, we are your protectors, and perhaps someday, some of you might step forward and accept that responsibility for yourselves.
There is a deadline looming in the talks with Iran about their nuclear power weapons program.
US and Iranian negotiators are preparing to enter the intense endgame in the Iran nuclear deal talks, amid mixed assessments of prospects for completing the deal by the self-imposed Nov. 24 deadline, just under a month away.
“This is the time to finish the job,” lead US negotiator Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Maxwell School of Public Affairs on Oct. 23 in rare public remarks about the sensitive Iran nuclear negotiations.
There is almost zero chance that any deal struck will actually stop Iran from pursuing what it sees as its destiny to become a nuclear power, and I don't mean the kind that makes electricity. Our President is currently stuck with only the giant fail of ObamaCare as his legacy, so he really, really wants a deal that he can put on the shelf with his Nobel. That makes him a grave danger to give away the farm. The only upside is that the Iranians are just bullheaded enough to walk away without taking all his lunch money. Bottom line is in the high stakes poker game going on, we have a guy who doesn't even understand the game.
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.