A U.S. Navy diver, attached to Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, prepares a lift bag to salvage tires off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MDSU-2 is conducting salvage operations in conjunction with U.S. Army Deep Sea Divers, and U.S. Coast Guard divers through the Innovative Readiness Training program. The goal of the salvage mission is to retrieve approximately two million tires. The tires were placed on the ocean floor in the 1970's to act as an artificial reef. However, coral would not stick to the rubber and the tires now present an environmental hazard. Salvage operations will continue for the next month then resume next year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jack Georges)
I'm back for a bit. Came in to check on things stateside, and will be posting (I hope) soon. I have to tell you, things are not as they seem there at all. I've made over 50 flights in/out of Iraq (various destinations) and met with hundreds of our military, as well as people from the various countries in the M.E.
I've received a real 'education' over the last 5 months in establishing business there, and what I've seen and experienced has been both highly rewarding, and extremely revolting. That we allow such practices to continue is disgusting; that US personnel will stoop to such low levels of conduct is disheartening.
We know what it takes to re-build Iraq. The Iraqis are ready to do it, for the most part. But some of the conduct by the Coalition has given them pause, as has Iraqi conduct to us. I don't know yet how much to reveal, or when, but when I do, the readership here will NOT like it, at all. There are stories of true heroes and great people, but I'm sorry to say many of these deeds are offset by the greed and stupidity of others. It is time for change.
I'm glad to be back for a respite, and will soon be 'back in action' trying to support our efforts over there. Please stay tuned.....
UPDATE: I should be clear- its not the conduct of the troops on the ground, but some of the leadership involved- government and non-government. Sorry to be so 'evasive' but I'm priming the pump. I said this would not be easy to swallow, but you have to be there to understand it easily. -W
This is video of an improvised explosive device striking a 1-40 Cav (2nd BCT, 3rd ID) convoy on patrol. Looks like the convoy and soldiers all survived intact (no serious injuries). Specialist Jay Townsend (1-40 Cav) was filming in the Humvee that was hit.
The Rock of the Marne (3rd Infantry Division in Iraq) decides to take out a building used by snipers (June 24, 2007). Should we use a Hellfire?
Watch for the answer, the pilots reactions, the heat dissipation from the missile and snipers cooked with the extra crispy recipe.
Here's a story from the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Iraq:
A local Sunni man who had escaped his al-Qaida kidnappers arrived at an Iraqi army checkpoint pleading for help in rescuing his brother, a local sheik, late at night June 23.
The man came to the check point at about 11:30 p.m. where soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division were securing the road from improvised explosive device emplacement by al-Qaida cells.
The IA took the man to Patrol Base Shanghai, manned by Company B, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (light infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., in the village of Rushdi Mullah.
He claimed he and his brother had been captured by al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists about two weeks ago and had been tortured in a nearby house. They escaped, he said, but his brother was unable to keep up. He left the sheikh in an orchard and went to the nearest coalition patrol base he could find. He was still in shackles when he arrived at PB Shanghai.
A combined Iraqi and U.S. patrol left the base to find the man, who was still in the orchard.
The man and four Iraqi army soldiers launched a patrol into the orchard and found the sheik.
Both men had dislocated shoulders and bore other signs of torture.
The men claimed that they had been captured and tortured for cooperating with coalition forces and for failure to pledge alliance with the al-Qaida. They were able to give more than 40 names of people involved in their capture and attack.
The men were treated for their injuries at the patrol base.
Water vapor flows over the wings of an F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Gunslingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 105 as it performs a high-speed pass during an air power demonstration on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Truman Sailors brought over 4,000 guests on board for a day-long Friends and Family Day cruise on June 2. Photographer for all photos in this post: Petty Officer 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson of the Navy Visual News Service
An F/A-18C Hornet attached to the "Raging Bulls" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37 punches through a cloud of water vapor while breaking the sound barrier during an air power demonstration on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
An F/A-18C Hornet attached to the "Raging Bulls" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37 climbs through rainbow-colored clouds during an air power demonstration on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
Colonel (and Ph.D.) David Kilcullen has a piece up explaining the current operations in Iraq from a COIN perspective. Dr. Kilcullen is, as BlackFive readers know but Pandagon readers probably do not, an Australian officer who has rewritten much of current COIN theory. He is currently serving as General Petraeus' senior advisor on COIN in Iraq.
He is posting to the web in order to talk to you, the citizens of Coalition nations, to tell you what we are doing in Iraq -- what the plan is, and why that is the plan.
Why did I mention Pandagon? Well, there was this post:
Meanwhile, the right-wing plan for Iraq still boils down to the Parker-Stone calculus**:
Phase 1: Escalate hostilities
Phase 2: ?
Phase 3: Peace
I just have to shake my head. We publish our COIN manual; nothing. We let our senior officers blog about their plans; nothing. They give interviews to The Atlantic Monthly; nothing. They make themselves available to bloggers for interviews; nothing.
Every American has a right to comment on the war. If you're going to avail yourself of that right, however, make an effort to learn something about military science and history, so you can understand and engage the discussion.
Our military men want nothing more than for you to get what they're trying to accomplish. No military has ever gone to the lengths ours has done to try and help you understand their mission.
Reducing their plan to "?" is the mark of a mind that simply doesn't want to understand. It's fine to disagree -- as I said in the comments to the previous post, I respect Gen. Zinni in spite of the fact that he and I disagree about when war is useful (in general) and what to do about Iraq (in particular). Nevertheless, he is a serious thinker who is honorably engaged in the questions of the day.
That's not too much for a nation to ask of its citizens.
I have always had fairly cordial relations with the large collection of liberals, progressives, moonbats, anarchists and other assorted lefties here in Madison. I've even been to an Independence Day Tea Party and Re-Revolution that was decent theater. This truce was tested on Memorial Day when some anti-war wankers decided to try and stop me from filming in a public park. It didn't work out for 'em and it made me question their peacefullness.
Well now they have gone and stepped right over the line. It's always a sign of the sorriness of your argument when you have to play the Nazi card, but it doesn't mean we have to let it slide. Madison area reader Bob sent me this piece of shite that was hung up in a local grocery store.
If this is how they wanna play then I can sure as hell take the gloves off. I will be there with bells on and already invited my buddy Don from Memorial Day up. Now I will put out an invite to anyone around the Mad City who thinks this deserves an answer.
The sad thing is that they immediately turn themselves into punks by making the reference and don't seem to care. At least we can get that whole "Supporting the troops" BS out the window. Even the unhinged haters on the left can't spin a Nazi reference into support. What complete jackasses to blatantly insult the people who give them the freedom to act so disrespectfully.
I don't know exactly who is behind this garbage, but sadly it seems to represent the sentiments of far too many of these clowns and that well and truly chafes my cones.
So game on, you sorry losers. You can chant your chants, but I'm bringing the rants, and I will be heard.
Charles W. Lindberg passed away. Corporal Charles Lindberg, USMC. Corporal Lindberg was one of the first Marines to reach the summit of Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi during that crucial battle in February of 1945.
Lindberg was there first though, and passed away last Sunday, the last living member of that first patrol, led by 1LT Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier.
Charles W. Lindberg, one of the U.S. Marines who raised the first American flag over Iwo Jima during World War II, has died. He was 86. Lindberg died Sunday at Fairview Southdale hospital in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina, said John Pose, director of the Morris Nilsen Funeral Home in Richfield, which is handling Lindberg’s funeral.
Lindberg spent decades explaining that it was his patrol, not the one captured in the famous Associated Press photograph by Joe Rosenthal, that raised the first flag as U.S. forces fought to take the Japanese island. In the late morning of Feb. 23, 1945, Lindberg fired his flame-thrower into enemy pillboxes at the base of Mount Suribachi and then joined five other Marines fighting their way to the top. He was awarded the Silver Star for bravery.
“Two of our men found this big, long pipe there,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2003. “We tied the flag to it, took it to the highest spot we could find and we raised it. “Down below, the troops started to cheer, the ship’s whistles went off, it was just something that you would never forget,” he said. “It didn’t last too long, because the enemy started coming out of the caves.”
Read about the first flag raising here.
Hat tip to reader Kevin with an assist from Michelle Malkin! Thanks, Kevin, for sharing this.
Cross posted at the Instapinch
Some may question the timing of this, but my people saw fit to point out to the Islamists that they have lopped a few heads off themselves. The fact that this occurred the same weekend that I was reunioning with Hansons, Swansons and Piersons should be dismissed as pure Kismet. I mean we're Swedes, they're Danes, totally different. Although I would have to say this is one issue where much common ground is shared.
The Gates of Vienna did the reporting on this and shows that blogs are breaking more and more stories. The Danes hold a festival where a witch has customarily been burned to drive out evil. Well this year they decided that there was another more representative evil than a witch, so they burned Bomb-Head Mohammed in effigy instead. And the whole thing is set to a twisted Light my Fire remake, like a Danish Death Metal lounge singer version. Go to Gates of Vienna and read the translation of the Danish at the beginning and enjoy a beautiful example of free speech and tolerance.
The reason this should and must be done is to provoke the barbaric, deranged, uncivilized response that will follow like clockwork. Islamic Rage Boy will rage, and we will be treated to a choice between appeasing an unthinking beast hoping it eats us last or showing it our steel. Thank you my Danish brothers, I have had my stone working my sword as well. To the jihadis I join the Danes in reminding you that we will countenance any religious BS you want to practice, right up until you try push it on us. Ya' don't scare me none either, so back off 'cuz payback's a medevac.