The KC Sheriff's Department and the Patriot Guard Riders gave us the royal treatment escorting us down the interstate and all through town with a dozen bikes. Thanks much gentlemen from VFF and the NHT.
Sadr City — the Baghdad nerve center for the powerful Mahdi Army — is suddenly back on edge as the militia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, and Iraq's government lock in a dangerous confrontation over clout and control among the nation's majority Shiites.
The epicenter of the showdown has been the southern oil hub of Basra, where clashes have claimed dozens of lives this week and al-Sadr's forces face a Friday deadline to surrender.
But a more finely tuned measure of the tensions may be found among the one- and two-story homes and shabby storefronts of Sadr City. As the crisis deepened, The Associated Press toured Sadr City on Wednesday to observe its rapid swing from relative quiet to a return of the Mahdi Army swagger before the U.S. military troop buildup in Baghdad last year
Here we have the press doing their usual spin trying to take what is actually a positive development and a necessary step toward lasting peace. Mookie and his organization are beaten and all this talk about their resurgence would be better described as the last gasp efforts of a dying power.
One of the complaints from the usual suspects is that the government and it's security forces have done nothing to stop the Shia militias. Now that they do, the narrative becomes the resurgence of the soon to be dead tangos Mahdi Army.
If you missed the controversy about Forest Lake HS cancelling the Heroes Tour visit the info is here. It has been a PR bonanza for us as every news outlet in the country has picked it up. Heh. When the left is allowed to show it's true colors they always beclown themselves and this boomeranged completely. It is like they wrote us a half-million dollar check to promote Vets for Freedom and the National Heroes Tour.
How long it is going to be before we award an MoH to a living recipient?
Now, before everyone gets all crazy about what I am talking about here, let me explain.
I have seen the complaint by many in the blogosphere and elsewhere that based on the number of years at war with the Islamofascists and the number of MoH's awarded (in comparison to the other conflicts we have fought), that we are way behind in recognizing our heroes for their selfless acts of heroism that give of themselves for their country, and for the men and women who are standing next to them on that midnight raid or walking patrol somewhere outside the wire.
And for years, the military has unfortunately suffered from a belief that medal quotas are the way to ensure that medals and awards are fairly awarded, and not cheapened by giving everyone some shiny metal and colored ribbon. I fail to see how a quota is fair or equitable, that may be a whole other topic though. I was on a deployment once that the criteria was actually spelled out the break down via rank about who would be awarded what; E1 - E4 got an Achievement medal, E5 - E6 got a Commendation Medal, E7 and Above got a Meritorious Service Medal.
My problem with that was (and still is), what if an E-3 did something to deserve a Meritorious Service Medal? Would he get it? Some sacrifices or actions above and beyond the call are more worthy than any others; and because of some artificial limit on how many medals or awards can be awarded and who they can be awarded to, someone who deserves an award may not be recognized.
Many of us in the military have been the victim of this, and yes, it sucks. But I don't do it for the ribbons or the medals, and many of the soldiers I have served with feel the same. Additionally, the sacrifices of Jason L. Dunham, Paul R. Smith, Mike Murphy, and now, Mike Monsoor are not to be in any way minimized or pushed aside based upon the comparison of their actions to the actions of others in combat. The heroic individual actions that this medal are awarded for cannot be quantified or added up to get a definite answer.
And that is exactly my point. You just know what it takes to get the MoH when you see it.
For instance, would something like this merit an MoH?
And as any Clint Eastwood fan will tell you:
Is one detained terrorist with some information better for the war effort than two dead terrorists? To hell if I know; it’s kind of one of those “is the glass half-full or half-empty” questions. I do know though, that the lesson I’ve retained from this sequence of events is simple and straightforward, and something that could be garnered from any Clint Eastwood film ever made: shoot first, ask questions later
.... makes a lot of sense.
UPDATE: Video of the event too dangerous for High School kids to see.
Apparently the left doesn't have any heroes, they believe that anyone in or out of uniform who is not protesting or telling tales of atrocities reminiscent of Jenjis Khan, is simply a tool of the vast right-wing conspiracy. In the La La land inhabited by the liberals in Minneapolis the voices of our heroes cannot be heard unless countered by the progressive voices of the anti-war crowd, and even then they are not suitable for High School children. I mean God forbid they gain a positive view of our military or hear that brave deeds have been done in support of Bush's illegal war.
The National Heroes Tour is in Minneapolis today for a number of events, however we will not be visiting Forest Lake High School because the right of whiny left-wing buttheads to censor the troops out weighs the right of American students to hear from and meet the folks who have risked their lives for the freedoms we all enjoy. This is Pete Hegseth's High School and he had personally arranged for a non-partisan event where students could hear from the vets and ask them questions about their service. This so offended the delicate sensibilities of the usual suspects that they began hassling the Principal and threatening protests.
Steve Massey, the school principal, said the decision to cancel was prompted by concerns that the event was becoming political rather than educational and therefore was not suitable for a public school.
He said the school had received several phone calls from parents and others, some of whom indicated that they may stage a protest if the event took place.
"The event was structured to be an academic classroom discussion around military service. We thought we'd provide an opportunity for kids to learn about service in the context of our history classes," Massey said. "As the day progressed, it became clear that this was becoming a political event ... which would be inappropriate in a public setting.
The only politicization of the event came from the anti-military activists and their need to censor any message that shows the military and the war in anything but a negative light. So as usual the left has decided that they will shout down anyone who dares to believe that, like the vast majority of Americans, the military is our most-trusted institution. They know that if the students are exposed to these brave patriots they will think well of them and maybe even support their mission. That is anathema to them and so they began agitating and sadly the Principal caved. The very idea that the troops espouse a message that is somehow inappropriate is a sad commentary on the mental processes of these people, but sadder yet is that the leadership of a public school would favor their deranged yammerings over straight talk from our heroes.
About time in my mind, and hilarious as always Jihad Gene channels Great Reader Kim Jong Il and other notable nuttahs. Go take a look.
I've been mulling this over for a bit, and wondered how to pull this off, so I'll throw it up and see how we can make it happen.
I'd like to have submissions that you've seen or taken yourself in the following categories:
1. Best Afghanistan photo & video
2. Best Iraq photo & video
3. Best Stateside photo & video
4. Best quote of a Soldier/Sailor/Marine/Airman
5. Best story- can be link, can be the entire story.
6. Best composition- best described as some essay or powerpoint presentation that you've seen.
You can send me a link, the material itself, or whatever you can, so that we here at Blackfive can judge the entries. We'll post them up here in a few weeks. Original, never-before-seen material gets extra points. Let's share the awesome work that our guys and gals have done!
I've got my favorites, but I'm not posting them up here until we have the other entries. Maybe we'll post the faves of the Matty O'five staff. Maybe the big guy will see this while he's on vacation and cut it short, coming back to pound my butt, I don't know. Heck, maybe some of his vacation footage could end up here? (hint hint)
Anyway, send it all to 'the dot mr dot wolf at gmail dot com'. Thankfully, I have lots of storage (for now) left on the account. Something tells me that may change soon.
Seems that they cannot get past this- and no, I'm not counting the 'grateful' articles that seem to be written just to say 'thanks' to those that have given the ultimate sacrifice in their service. But I will say they have a nice write-up on Maj Olmstead.
No, given the sum total of the articles, all they can do is talk about ''its 5 years, we got 4,000 dead, and we are stuck in Iraq...''.
For example: The only articles on Monday in my local RMN are about those that have died in the Iraq war. Coincidence? I think not- seeing as how the Denver Post, which is run by the same agency, was posting editorials like this one. It is sad beyond belief when a father equates military service with becoming a drug dealer (and himself being a veteran.) Yeah, I posted to both of them. Seems no one around here wants to take me up on my free speaking engagements.
In the NYT (MTRIH) their blog has been busy trying to make up 'lost time' and coverage in the rest of the rag by posting up numerous stories, again most are melancholy pieces decrying the tragedy of Iraq and service there. None that I could find, outside FOX, were detailing the changes over time that have occurred that SHOULD be outlined. Ones that who the evolving nature of this beast of a burden; comparing it say, to the changes from Pearl Harbor to the battle of Midway, just to make a point. We've got a surprise for our blogging friends over there. Stay tuned for this one. Very tuned.
Others have pointed out that every time our press makes such statements, the insurgent media and online campaigns heat up and gain more readership and leverage. Do you think Jihad Daily News has links to Huffington Post and the NYT?
We cannot give up; we cannot lose faith in those who've sacrificed so much will not have done so in vain. My wife, who's seen far more horror in her short life than 99.999% of Americans could ever stand, vehemently stands behind the fight, and she's Buddhist, for goodness sake. (and according to this article, has married very very well, I might add.) Later this week, I'm off to meet the Marines and SEALs of San Diego, and get an update and some excellent footage on their training. This, I'm stoked about. (I'll blog it next week.)
I cannot say it enough- we are in for one ugly 8 months. Take this week as but a primer. But the news is not all bad- take a look at this one: our friends in the USAF cyber unit are being copied, it seems.
Here's why I haven't been posting very much:
It has been mostly rain and clouds here on Estero Island (Ft. Myers Beach), but it sure beats the hell out of this photo from Laughing Wolf:
Anyway, posting from me will continue to be few and far between for the next week (as I am experimenting with Mojitos - the trick is to gently crush the mint).