« October 2006 | Main | December 2006 »

November 2006

Beccy Cole and Blackfive make the Australian Defense Ministry Newsletter

This was an interesting surprise.  Listed with other defense information, the Australian Ministry of Defense's newsletter includes:


In the last edition of Defence Direct, I referred to Beccy Cole and her song, Poster Girl (Wrong Side of the World), which was written in response to the harsh reaction she received from a fan for having gone to entertain our troops in Iraq.

Poster Girl had already received a lot of attention, having topped the country charts earlier this year. It now appears to have a second wind and a new audience, after the short passage in Defence Direct was picked up by Melbourne blogger, Andrew Llanderyou, which was the source of Andrew Bolt’s Herald Sun blog, which in turn was the source for some American blogs like Blackfive, from which Poster Girl appears to have “gone viral”. The spread of Poster Girl across the internet caught the attention of the Australian newspaper and even the Toronto Sun.

A flurry of visits to Beccy Cole’s website in the final week of October produced, I am told, an eight-fold increase in traffic volume over the previous month. Judging from the quantity and quality of messages on her guestbook, many more people are proud to have Beccy Cole as their “Poster Girl”.

The fact that a simple, monthly e-mail service with a modest number of subscribers can provide one ripple, which along with others can help build a wave and help a good idea (in this case, a fantastic song) be heard around the world, is testament to the power of free and open communication.

Under Saddam Hussein, Iraqis did not have access to free and open communication. By May 2006, Iraq had 54 commercial television stations, 114 commercial radio stations, 268 independent newspapers and around 200,000 internet subscribers (not including internet cafes).

This new right, of everyday Iraqis to hear diversity of opinion and voices from around the world, is itself a powerful reason to defend this new democracy.

Heh.  Cool.


    "Suppose you were an idiot ... and suppose you were a member of Congress... but I repeat myself."- Mark Twain

Representative Charlie Rangel "I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it."

As Jimbo said in a comment on Froggy's post, there simply is nothing like a pissed off Navy SEAL ripping on an asshat like Charlie Rangel.  See post below.

I just can't let Rangel's words stand.

Face it, veterans, active duty soldiers, reservists and guardsmen, Charlie Rangel just delivered the most heinous of insults - that you do not serve because of a sense of honor or duty or sacrifice or cause or brotherhood, but because you simply lacked options.  You serve because you weren't good enough to do something else.

    Daniel Unger wrote this letter on September 12th, 2001, about why he wanted to fight and defend his country.  He died just a few years later protecting Iraqi civilians during an insurgent mortar attack.

    Chris Adlesperger left college to enlist in the Marines.  He wanted to be a warrior.  In one engagement, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor.  He was killed a month later leading a fireteam into an insurgent stronghold.

    Specialist Nathaniel Aguirre wanted to serve his country (he didn't want to wait four years to finish college and then go in as an officer), and, as a medic, was saving lives in the middle of an ambush when he was killed.

Do I need to keep going?  Those are just three of the most recent heroes honored here.  None of them were high school drop outs living on the streets who couldn't get a job as a fry cook at Harold's Chicken Shack #46 (btw, fry cook is an honorable job, but I had to pick something).  The judge did not give them a choice of go to war or go to jail.

Representative Charles Rangel dishonors their memory.  Dishonors what they fought for.  He dishonors my service, my soldiers, my friends who died fighting this war.  When I was a Sergeant, my pay was about $1267 per month.  I once made the mistake of calculating my hourly rate (and I included housing allowance and hazardous duty pay, too).   Most months, I made close to about 3.75 an hour before taxes.  I think that was a dollar or more below minimum wage back then.

To be honest, I had more options than most people should have a right to.

It's a good thing that I have so many options, otherwise, I might have run for Congress in order to support myself.

Update:  You can always tell when we're ticked off. Jimbo, Froggy, then me.  I think we came at the issue from different angles with the same result.  Consider it a trifecta.

Ask NORAD Where Santa is this Christmas Eve

Last year, Brenda Freeman sent the link to NORAD Tracks Santa! - a Joint military effort (between Canada and America) to track and protect Santa on his flight delivering toys to all of the good little boys and girls. 

Here's the details:

In 1955, a Colorado Springs based Sears placed an ad for local kids to "call Santa" on a special hotline that the department store had set up. No one seemed to notice that the hotline's number was misprinted. So instead of calling Sears on Christmas Eve, children all over the Colorado Springs area ended up calling Colonel Harry Shoup, director of operations at NORAD's predecessor CONAD, asking "where's Santa?"

NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) is responsible for air and space tracking, originally designed as a sophisticated detection system for inbound Soviet ICBMs and nuclear-armed bombers.

Colonel Shoup realized what had happened, and played along. He asked his staff to check their radars to see if there was any indication of Santa moving on a south-ward vector from the North Pole. Thus, a tradition was born.

Every Christmas Eve, NORAD tracks Santa's journey around the world. Volunteers spend Christmas Eve at Cheyenne Mountain answering phone calls from kids all over the globe, while Air Force personnel from Canada and the United states track Santa using four high-tech systems: radar, satellites, Santa Cams and jet fighter aircraft.

According to the Track Santa website, Santa gets a fighter-jet escort upon entering North American airspace:

Canadian NORAD fighter pilots, flying the CF-18, take   off out of Newfoundland to intercept and welcome Santa to North America. Then at numerous locations in Canada other CF-18 fighter pilots escort Santa, while   in the United States American NORAD fighter pilots in either the F-15 or F-16 get the thrill of flying with Santa and the famous Reindeer Dasher, Dancer,   Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph. About a dozen NORAD   fighters in Canada and the United States are equipped with Santa   Cams.

On Saturday, your kids can call Cheyenne at 1-888-HI-NORAD, email NORAD at [email protected], or email Santa at [email protected].

Have your kids join in the fun folks, this is a very cool program.


Who exactly is lacking a connection to our armed forces?

Rep. Charles Rangel is no doubt sincere when he says that,

"No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq."

But he could not be more wrong. His impetus for proposing the draft he says is to shift the burden of defending America from the poor, minority community who are economically pressed into service to the rich, white community which has been shirking its duty and using the black man as cannon fodder to line whitey’s pockets. His basis for this policy change is also demonstrably false, but if he is sincere in this contention then I would have to question his sanity.

I was having a conversation with my mother this weekend about how it is that in school, girls are now catered to and boys are expected to conform behaviorally to what is essentially a female standard. It seems to me that the principle behind this mindset has, to a great extent, pervaded the society at large and the consequences of it can be seen in various places across the nation. The rise of the metrosexual man and more importantly the homosexual to a position of faddish stature in pop culture, the over representation of women in college, and the degradation of the volunteer soldier to the position of victim are some of the more obvious consequences of this philosophy in action. The philosophy of which I speak is, of course, liberalism and it is no surprise that a Democrat controlled Congress having given birth to these notions would go out of its way to promote them.

But there is a difference between a boy and a girl, a man and a woman, a warrior and a civilian. These differences do not disappear according to who is empowered in Congress or in the media driven culture, but the tolerance for the existence of warriors has shifted to some extent. The truth is that military service as a career is, for many, an extraordinarily fulfilling one and a place where the innate virtues of a man are completely validated. In the same way, a woman’s innate virtues are completely validated by nurturing children either as a mother or as a teacher. There are no politics in this observation, merely a statement of facts established over the past 10,000 years of human history.

Speaking as a Navy SEAL, to the extent that guys leave the Navy prior to retirement (as I did), it is a result of the fact that military service does not offer the opportunity to make a handsome living. In fact during the 1990’s when I was an active duty SEAL and the Naval Special Warfare community had not been to war in a significant way for more than 20 years, we felt as if we were members of a massively underpaid professional sports team that didn’t have any games to play-only practice. Imagine having a job where you work out every morning for 90 minutes on company time and then either go shooting, skydiving, ride on fast boats, blow stuff up, or go diving and travel the world for free. It is every man’s fantasy, but there is emptiness when you know that you aren’t training for the big game, but rather the paycheck. In fact, I used to refer to the Teams as "Naval Special Welfare" because it became a place by the end of the 90’s where tough men went to never grow up.

The complete fulfillment came when the opportunity to face the enemies of America came. It is in a man’s nature to protect, to compete, to overcome a challenge, to face danger, to be victorious. It is nice to get paid to have fun like an NFL player, but it is life enriching to win the Superbowl or make a headshot at 900 meters or to see the target of your DA wearing the door that you just breached. A warrior lives for the fight-and sometimes dies for it- but always voluntarily. I have often heard the cliché that "it is the soldier who prays most for peace, because he knows the horror of war." That may be true for soldiers generally, but for warriors I have not found this to be the case. I never felt that way (although I haven’t seen those horrors…yet) and very few SEALs have ever conveyed that sentiment to me. Quite the contrary, at this point in America, there is no one left in the military who has not re-enlisted since we have been in a state of war. Nobody is joining up for the GI Bill or for some advanced computer training; they are joining to fight for their country. Some for an enlistment, some for a career, but with the economy and record low unemployment, nobody is serving to escape poverty.

Contrary to Rep. Rangel’s misguided concept of military service, if I could have made $150,000+ a year as a SEAL, I would never have left. An empirical demonstration of this concept can be seen the in the security contractor world, where men with even quite modest military skill and experience can easily make such a living. For the warrior with a family, it is not the lack of economic opportunity that causes a man to join the military, it is the lack of economic opportunity, once there, that causes him to leave it. This is reality and it is precisely the opposite of what Mr. Rangel so foolishly babbles on about.

There is no question that since the election results earlier this month, many service members are wondering if they are going to be left hanging by the American people who seem to want to quit early on a military operation that those fighting believe they are winning. This has happened before and those who serve today are well aware of the way things went last time. But as difficult as it must be to fight and bleed for your country and come home unappreciated and derided, it might be worse to be pitied as a hapless moron duped by the Man and used for his enrichment. Today’s warriors are facing the prospect of both.

So instead of sending us cowards, metrosexuals, and the truly stupid to swell the ranks of the victim pool, why not just f*cking pay us what we are worth so we don’t have to give a damn about your scorn or your pity.

h/t Jimbo & Allah

Charlie Rangel- Another condescending jackass

I realize I ruffled some feathers here when I agreed with Charlie Rangel about a draft. He was being a grandstanding, scumbag politician, I was serious and still am. That aside Charlie Rangel better steer clear of the military for a while. He has joined F John Kerry and for that matter far too much of the left in demeaning his betters who currently serve in the military. I am well aware that Charlie served in Korea as a young man, but instead of taking that experience as a positive that helped an uneducated loser like him become an educated loser and member of Congress, I repeat myself, he decided that anyone who chooses the noble goal of keeping all of us safe is an inferior who couldn't compete in the rarefied air he breathes in DC. I'll let him hang himself. h/t Allah who has video of the over-processed punkass

I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.

I guess it's inconceivable to Chuck that there are actually people who can look at the world see the dangers we face and consciously choose to meet that threat so others don't have to. He also repeats the repeatedly debunked BS about the poor brown kids dying so W and Cheney can make money. What a world class jackass. Enjoy your two years in the sun you sanctimonious, s**thead, You , Pelosi, Jackass Murtha, Freakin' Lurch, Al Gore, Howard Dean, there is no way that cast of clowns doesn't remind America that even though things have been tough, handing the keys to to a bunch of asylum inmates doesn't make much sense either.

Thanksgiving Running of the Hounds

With global warming kicking us a Thanksgiving day to bask in, we took our stinky little dog out to my wife's parents house. We spent most of the day outside and Karma found an admirer in the resident Great Dane, Tux. He spent a good part of the afternoon in a fruitless chase after a dog that runs like the wind, half shepherd/half greyhound husky. Tux ended up sucking most of the oxygen out of the air, while Karma just kept singin' "Never gonna get it, never gonna get it". Hope all y'all had great days too.

MSM Falls for Iraqi Stringer Lies?

Flopping Aces has been following the story that the MSM has been publishing about Sunnis dragged from a mosque, doused with kerosene, and burned alive...among other reports of atrocities and mosque burning.

Curt at Flopping Aces has been asking questions and trying to piece together the truth out of the reports.  Looks like he has been doing the MSMs job for them...

It's a must read.

Christmas Charity Ideas to support our troops

As usual, Hugh Hewitt is on the leading edge and has called out the B5 community to suggest some worthy military charities that people can donate to in lieu of giving Christmas gifts.  I find this to be a fantastic idea especially since my father is a man who has all that he needs and wants, is a proud veteran, and whose birthday is in the midst of the Christmas season. 

Hugh linked to one of my favorites already, the United Warrior Survivor Foundation which is run by a personal friend of mine and fellow SEAL Reservist, Nick Rocha.  This charity is unique because it focuses its efforts on the widows and families of fallen Special Operations Forces operators.  They provide money, counseling, and financial planning advice to the widows left behind.  Nick and the UWSF were featured on NBC Nightly News a week or so ago, here is the story with video.

My other submission is the Naval Special Warfare Foundation, which provides money for the immediate needs of the families of fallen SEALs and college scholarships to the children of fallen SEALs.  The NSWF has committed to putting all the kids of SEALs who gave their lives on the battlefield through college.  This is a long term project and very expensive but very important.  Capt. Bob Rieve (Ret.) is the chairman of the NSWF and he was the Commodore for NSW Group 2 when I was at SEAL Team FOUR.  He was a great Commodore and his stewardship of the Foundation has been outstanding.  I spent quite a bit of time speaking with him at the UDT/SEAL Reunion last summer and he impressed me as a man who is deeply committed to his SEAL brethren.

I personally donate to both of these charities every month and I am quite certain that they are both being managed properly and provide a crucial service to our SOF operator's families.

Froggy OUT

Why Sadr must die

You heard it here first.  I'm going to call it- snuff of Mr Sadr should happen soon.  Why we have not carried this out before is something I truly do not understand about international relations.  We removed Saddam, why would we let someone who is obviously as bad remain in power in that government?

Sadr_picture1aThis is a picture of some of his work- from Aug 27th, 2004, of the aftermath of a Sharia court that Sadr held during an Najaf.  (AP photo by Alaa al Murjani).  Did anyone see this photo run?  Any other Muslim clerics condemn it?  10 bodies were found after this 'trial'.  Sadr set up the court, ordered arrests, and meted out punishment.  More pics after the jump...

Continue reading "Why Sadr must die" »

Is the LA Times Publishing Enemy Propaganda?

Answer:  Patterico examines a recent article published by the LA Times which got all of its information from a stringer about an American airstrike that alledgely killed 30 civilians in Ramadi:

Is the L.A. Times reporting unconfirmed enemy propaganda from an Iraqi stringer with ties to the insurgency? Or is the paper simply misreporting the facts, and failing to seek out and report the military’s side of the story?

You be the judge.

On November 15, the L.A. Times ran an article titled Iraqi residents say U.S. airstrike kills 30.  The article emphasized that 30+ people, including women and children, were killed in an airstrike.  A headline proclaimed: “Victims include women and children, witnesses in Ramadi say. The military has no immediate comment.”  The story began as follows:

BAGHDAD — A U.S. airstrike in the restive town of Ramadi killed at least 30 people, including women and children, witnesses said Tuesday.

The aerial attack, which took place late Monday, brought the number of violent deaths reported in Iraq on Tuesday to at least 91, according to military sources and witnesses.

. . . .

A Times correspondent in Ramadi said at least 15 homes were pulverized by aerial bombardment and families could be seen digging through the ruins with shovels and bare hands.

Last Friday, my reader Tom Blumer sent me a link to an interesting blog post, by a blog called “One Oar in the Water,” which attacked the L.A. Times story about the Ramadi airstrike.  The post quoted what purported to be an e-mail from a soldier who was involved in the Ramadi incident. The e-mailing soldier claimed that the “Times correspondent in Ramadi” has ties to the insurgency, and is knowingly repeating enemy propaganda:

The [L.A. Times article] is an example of why you simply cannot believe most media reports coming out of Iraq. The LA Time[s] reporter, Solomon Moore, is not in Ramadi. He relies on an Iraqi stringer here who has ties to insurgents. In this article, Moore repeats almost verbatim, insurgent propaganda we have intercepted. The fighting in question occurred in my battle space within Ramadi and I was personally and intimately involved.

The soldier then disputed certain assertions made in the L.A. Times article. The soldier said that there had been no airstrike, and that only a few insurgents had been killed, by small-arms fire and tank fire. The solder concluded the e-mail with a slap at the L.A. Times:

Every target engaged was well within what our restrictive rules of engagement authorize. I am disgusted by the editorial slant of this article, by what passes from journalistic integrity at the LA Times, and by their complicity with our mortal enemies. My Soldiers fight with great precision and skill on a very difficult urban battlefield. The LA Times dishonors them and give aid and comfort to my enemies.

Assuming this alleged e-mail from a Ramadi soldier was genuine and accurate, it made an explosive allegation: that the L.A. Times is relying on a stringer with ties to the insurgency, and is repeating enemy propaganda.

But was it true?  I decided to check into it...

Go here to read the whole post and see what Patterico dug up.