« January 2006 | Main | March 2006 »

February 2006

What's so civil about an Iraqi civil war, anyhow?

I read all the breathless headlines about looming civil war in Iraq and I wonder, so what?

Firstly the Sunni reprobates have been conducting one for a goodly while, and the remaining Sunnis have not distinguished themselves with their opposition to the carnage. We put considerable effort into solving this problem politically, but the recalcitrance of the Sunnis has been a constant drag on these efforts. I certainly don't advocate warring on civilians, but as Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) now represent an increasing and likely soon the dominant force in the country, I would not want to be living in the Sunni areas where the bad guys operate.

The Sunnis have a serious choice to make, and the clock is tick, tick, ticking. The time bomb that goes off will have largely been of their own devising. While many voted and they have engaged in the political process, too little substantive opposition to the bad guys has been shown, and obviously far too many support the terrorists.

Increasingly Zarqawi has had to fill the ranks of his group with Iraqis as we have ventilated or captured many of his leaders. This puts the cross hairs squarely on the former oppressors of all Iraq, and I would have no qualms about pulling our folks back to their bases, while the ISF lay some smackdown on the whole Sunni Triangle. The ISF represent the legitimate arm of the legitimate Iraqi government, and if you want to call operations by them against the hiding places of the Baathist scum attempting to regain the keys to the rape rooms civil war, then so be it!

Continue reading "What's so civil about an Iraqi civil war, anyhow?" »

The Reverse Crusades

"The Reverse Crusades"

That's what some of my friends still in the Special Ops community have been calling the War on Terror since 9/11 (and maybe since Khobar - I just may not have been paying attention).  We're fighting the crusaders this time - crusaders that want us either converted to their religion or dead. 

And our fear and unwillingness to fight in various ways may be our undoing.

Osama and his murderers want to drive a wedge between the West and Islam, and guess what?

It's working.

Believe me, there's times where this slightly right of center guy wants to say to the Islamic world, "You want a fight?  Good!  You've got one." (Just insert a few choice expletives and you've pretty much got it.)

Then on other days, you have people like me on this blog asking sincerely, "where are the moderate Muslims speaking out against these atrocities, or denouncing these violent riots attacking American embassies over cartoons published in Denmark, or working towards reform for women or religious tolerance in their countries?", you get some commenter who weighs in with two or four links of quotes from moderate Muslims.

That doesn't quite cut it.  They either aren't there or aren't being heard (thanks, media!).

But rational, tolerant people do live in Muslim countries.  I know they do.  I have friends in Turkey, Jordan, India, and Indonesia (and here in the States) that are socially liberal moderates who are devoutly Muslim.  Not to mention muslim soldiers of countries that I've served with and trained with...And they are terrified of both the extremists in their lands and our deaf ears here in the States.

How in the hell did we get here?

You can blame our media for displaying the worst of the Islamic extremists daily (and for bowing to the pressure of the worst of them - they're cartoons for crying out loud), and you can also blame the theocracies for feeding the blood lust and keeping their followers uneducated and duped in order to retain or build power.  You can blame their governments for not protecting the moderates and the socially liberal among their societies.  You can blame the rich oil sheiks for playing geopolitical games with their billions.  And you can blame the moderates themselves for being cowards, much like the cowards in our own country who acquiesce at the first sign of a fight - whether that fight is taking down a murdering tyrant or cow-towing to the Politically Correct Police.

Glenn Reynolds wrote an excellent short piece on Sunday about the Tipping Point where Americans just don't trust (all) Muslims anymore.  Apparently, we've had enough.

Have we?

Have we had enough BS from the extremists to taint our feelings towards every Muslim in the world?  Have we let the media influence us so?

I doubt it, but that's the story that's being told now.

This Tipping Point just points out that Osama is winning as long as we let him drive that wedge between us and the Islamic world.  He's got the media figured out.  He's got the right people in place in the theocracies.  We've given that bastard enough ground already in the Reverse Crusades.

After the first crusaders took Jerusalem in the eleventh century, a Kurd Sunni from Tikrit by the name of Saladin took it and much of the crusader gained territory back.  Saladin, even seen as a conquering enemy, was revered by European courts for his grace, kindness and intelligence.  They regarded him as a Knight.  In actuality, he embodied more of the gentle and honorable traits of a Knight than most of the European gentry sent off to rid the world of non-Christians.

In the Reverse Crusades, our Saladin is not a "who", but a "what".  Our Saladin must be the idea that all men and women were created equal and free.

We need to wage both war and peace at the same time.  Both require strength of will, both require passion and understanding.  Both require love.  And both require that we understand that some people just need their chops busted AND some people need to be protected.

The Clash of Civizations has not occurred yet, but it is coming.  It.is.coming.

Don't let that sonofabitch Osama win.

RIP "Col." Robert L. Scott

Brigadier General Robert L. Scott, who wrote the famous book God Is My Co-Pilot has passed away. General Scott was one of several local aviation legends, and was an influence on a number of future pilots, including myself. His determination to fly, and to fight, and the unique way in which he reached his dream, were an inspiration indeed. One of the first plane models I ever built was a P-40.

One of the best things that came from taking an unexpected year to stay with my Dad (other than time with Dad) was that I finally got to meet the man behind the legend. He worked at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, and cheerfully met with all the visitors he could. He wasn't what I would call shy about himself and what he had done (which was more than most know), but he preferred to talk of others, in particular his hero: Lt. General Claire L. Chennault. I had hoped he would be there the day Tammi and I went, but alas that was not to be. A fond memory of mine was to receive an invitation to his 90th birthday party at the museum, and it was quite the party.

He was positively gleeful in telling of his breaking away from most official Communist Chinese handlers years back, and not only walking most of the route of the Great Wall, but in returning to AVG country and putting in place a plaque honoring General Chennault at a special spot.

His was a story of perseverance, of striving to do well, and doing what he felt most strongly was right. Thank you "Colonel" for the inspiration, for being yourself for so many, and for keeping the history alive.

Rest in the light, and know that you will be missed.


SPC Lopez Update 2

CJ at A Soldier's Perspective has another update with a photo of SPC Lopez with his wife, daughter, and, um, Johnny Knoxville.

And, SPC Lopez has a message for those of us who sent cards, letters, banners, toys for his daughter and other things.  Be sure to read it.

[First Blackfive post about SPC Lopez here and first A Soldier's Perspective post about SPC Lopez here]

Please don't hurt me Mr. Buckley

I hesitated and actually quivered a bit Buckley_choke as I contemplated writing this, but honesty means taking on your icons too. William F. Buckley Jr. is one of the most brilliant and entertaining thinkers in American history. When he recently wrote a column saying we need to admit defeat in Iraq, I was disheartened. He has opposed the endeavor from the start but now he moves in a direction not reflective of the actual situation. I realize that I step way above my station to say that we should not take his view, but I don't rise to gainsay WFB. I rise to gainsay those who have held powerful views during their lives and fought the good fight, but counsel against action in their advancing years. For WFB it could be simply the solidification of a life of conservatism, although he seemed considerably more keen for action during the anti-communist rather than the current anti-Islamist battle, or maybe that was just Blackford Oakes.

Yitzhak Rabin transitioned from hawk to dove as he aged, and eventually opposed the same policies that gave him the security to oppose them. Former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger underwent the same pacification and opposed the Iraq War warning of the cost to humanity and the tens of thousands of casualties we would suffer taking Baghdad. Now I am not saying WFB is becoming a dove, but I think he is taking a more fatalistic view than is warranted. People's views often evolve from the heady world-changing activist days of youth, to the grind of middle age where every good thing must be earned, to the twilight where it's tougher to see why you should upset any stability.

Continue reading "Please don't hurt me Mr. Buckley" »

Bode Miller- Nike's Million Dollar Ski Bum


Update: This piece sounds more down on Bode than I actually feel, I openly invite him to come party with Matt & I in Chicago. But I hated the Nike ads, for their glorification of an I don't give a fark attitude. For a rip by someone who is really down on the Bodacious one read this.

Bode Miller gave an exemplary reminder of the difference between an Olympic athlete and a self-absorbed, over-exposed, ski bum.

I figger Nike spent $10-20 million or more on the JoinBode.com campaign
during the Winter Olympics. The commercials were full of the Bode-man
spewing bushels of new age tripe about how he is just a free spirit, he
trains when he feels like it, he parties when he feels like it, and he
basically just surfs the Karmic wave dude. Nike assumed he would rack
up some golds, get on the cover of Sports Illustrated and they could
market slacker-chic to America and the world. Don't get me wrong, he is a
great skiier, but Nike focused on his Me, I, My philosophy and how this powers him to amazing feats.

Problem was, he sucked like a Hoover. He didn't even contend in any of
the five races he was in, and now I will be quite interested to see
what Nike does with all their Bode booty. I really hold no beef with the
Bodemeister himself, he was just exploiting the foolish folks at Nike
and their insatiable need to create new shite we have no need for. I hope
he gave the money they paid him to someone other than the dude
who grows that wicked hydroponic though. Ah heck, he can always give
ski lessons to rich maroons in Aspen and regale them with how he "rocked" in

I don't begrudge him his flakestyle life, there is something
quintessentially American about it. I just enjoyed watching it all blow up in
Nike's face. They ruined pro basketball, by paying prodigy dunkensteins 
with zero basketball skills, tens of millions. At one point Nike was
Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods embodying the best as athletes and
sportsmen, now they offer the chance to JoinBode on the couch to watch the
medals ceremonies. HA!   - Uncle J

Filmaker Wants to Interview soldiers of Polish heritage

If you know of someone who would be a good candidate for a documentary (for a Polish TV station) about Polish people serving in Armies around the world, email me and I'll put you in touch with the filmaker working on the documentary.

He's specifically looking for American military people of Polish heritage or Polish citizens serving in the American military, and he's very interested in those who've served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Cindy Sheehan wants our wounded to die

HouseholdSix has a post about Cindy Sheehan bringing her protest to Germany outside of Landstuhl Army Medical Center.  Landstuhl is usually the first stop for our wounded coming back from the war on their way to Walter Reed or Bethesda or Brooke (San Antonio).

Sheehan is trying to get Germans to not support the war by demonstrating where our wounded can see her.  The goal is to get Germany to deny the use of American bases in support of the war...por ejemplo, she wants Germany to deny our use of a hospital to care for our wounded coming back from Iraq

Evidently, Sheehan wants our troops to die instead of receiving care to stabilize enough to survive the flight back to the States.  Once this horrific intent gets enough attention from us, watch her deny it or claim that she's being used by other groups, but that's the purpose of the protest.

Greyhawk has a good post about her and I agree that she'll hear some language best left off of this PG-13 blog.

Soldiers' Angels Germany is posting about it.  So is Iraq War Today which posts the timetable for the protest.

Honor Casey Sheehan for what he willingly gave his life to do - save his fellow Soldiers - something that his mother has lost site of and is working against.