« June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

July 2008

NPR: Was the Surge Successful?

I like NPR.  They are one of the very few media outlets that have treated me extremely fairly.

But here, in this NPR interview with General (retired) Jack Keane, you can hear the bias of host Alex Chadwick, and the surprise in the response of GEN (ret) Keane - one of the architects of the Surge.  I think it's important to hear both Alex Chadwick and Jack Keane discuss the events around the Surge.

To me, this is an indication of the level of effort being made to spin away the Surge as not successful or due to the the planning and efforts of our active military and people like GEN (ret) Keane and David Kilcullen.

It is horribly false for anyone to claim that the Surge is not a success.  Make no mistake, there's a long way to go, but some people on the left seemed determined to throw our progress away.

The Fate of the Montagnards...

Here's a story about the fate of the Montagnards...and how a few retired Special Forces Soldiers helped them:

Veterans Assist Indigenous Survivors
Story by Pfc. Benjamin Watson
Posted on 07.30.2008 at 11:46AM

In 1986, several hundred natives of Vietnam, called either DeGas or Montagnards, and their families were relocated to the United States as refugees. In the latter part of 1992, close to 400 additional DeGas were granted asylum in the United States and were resettled in North Carolina, particularly in Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheboro.

Were it not for the involvement of retired U.S. Army Special Forces Soldiers, it is unlikely that the Montagnard people would have ever gotten to the U.S.

When the leaders of the Montagnards were brought to the U.S., they were asked where they wanted to settle, according to retired U.S. Army Special Forces Master Sgt. George Clark, who today is President of Save The Montagnard People, Inc. The Montagnards were offered land in Florida and Louisiana, but were uninterested.

The Montagnards reply, said Clark, was that “‘we’ve got to be close to the Special Forces. They grew up with us, we grew up with them.’ That’s why they’re in North Carolina.”

In 1975 there were seven million Montagnards living, said Clark. Today there are approximately 600,000.

“I got involved with these folks way back in the sixties,” said Clark, “I spent a lot of time with them in Vietnam. I stayed with them from ’67 through ’70. April Fool’s Day 1970, I got made a fool of: I found out what an [AK-47 rifle] felt like. When I got shot up, Montagnards jumped on my body to keep me from taking any more hits…How do you pay that back?”...

Find out how, after the Jump.

Continue reading "The Fate of the Montagnards..." »

Opsrey Refuel


An MV-22 connects to a refueling hose during training exercises over the eastern North Carolina coast, July 14, 2008. The MV-22 Osprey aircraft is assigned to Marine Medium Tilitrotor Squadron 263. The Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 refueled the Osprey from a KC-130J aircraft.    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Curvin.

Brett Favre playing for the Vikings

If it happens, I will take the piece of stock that makes me part-owner of the team and I will rally the rest of the part-owners and we will stage a coup and take over the team. Rich Eisen on the NFL Network just said he believes that is where Brett will start opening Day. I can think of no worse example of professional leadership of any group than the Packers management managing to f**k this up so royally. Aaron Rodgers has never managed to even play a complete game and has a total of about an hour of pro experience. How in the hell can you call him your starter and tell the best quarterback ever to play the game to go play in the highway? And yes I said that. Before you argue with me ask yourself this, whatever other QB you pick think about his receivers.

Montana- Rice, Taylor
Marino- Duper, Clayton

Go ahead and name any world class receivers Brett played with (Sterling Sharpe was close but not long enough to count). If you have others, let them go, and Tom Brady has so many great players on his teams he is already booted. He may change that if he does something with non-superstars but spare me for now.

The other reason he cannot play for the Vikings is the deep and uncompromising hatred we have for the Queens. While "The Bears still suck" polka is a great song, we have always had a grudging respect for the Monsters of the Midway. But the Vikings just inspire disgust. Purple uniforms, a domed stadium, and a history of failing to win the big one. We hate the Vikings and seeing Brett Favre in the pussified uniform of the ViQueens would be too much. After assuming control of the Packer franchise through the coup, it would not be outrageous to foresee a storming of the field if the blasphemy of Brett treading the frozen tundra as the most-hated enemy of all happened.

As a side note, if anyone gets chafed about my non-military postings my email is posted and I pay attention. Don't email Matt and complain about me. He takes considerable care about who he invites to write here, but he is not and does not want to be our editor. So, jimbo AT unclejimbo.com. And yes I realize I had a "God I cannot believe BHO is this close to the Oval Office" spasm.

Godspeed Marcus Kujat

The photo below is from just a few weeks ago.  Marcus Kujat was visiting Chicago from Osnabruch, Germany.  It was his birthday and, in typical Marcus fashion (and German fashion), he didn't grasp the logic that, when it's your birthday, you don't pay.  Of course, Marcus was generous to a fault and we kept interrupting his attempts to pay the substantial bill.

Here we are at Sullivan's a few weeks ago (Marcus was here in Chicago shopping for hair care products for a convention).


Last Thursday, Marcus was murdered in his home in Osnabruch, Germany.  He was shot four times in the back, probably by someone he knew well (no break in, no theft, no struggle).  That kind of thing doesn't happen in Deutschland and I expect the police to conclude the investigation successfully.  For those who read Deutsch, you can Google articles about his murder.

Marcus was a soldier once.  He loved working with US soldiers because of the abundant resources we were given as compared to soldiers like him in the German Army, and he liked to tell the tale of a time during a soldier exchange program when a smart ass American officer gave him full ammo cans and told him not to leave the range until he was an expert.  He shot expert the first time qualifying, but used all the ammo anyway (thumbing his nose at Teutonic efficiency) before telling the officer he was good to go.

Marcus was a very good friend to my family - one that we will not forget.

Godspeed Brother.

Dem Leben sind Grenzen gesetzt, die Liebe ist grenzenlos.


Ok, we have NOW gone just a little too far...

Pledgeless_obama Ok, if any of you recall (or care) I get a bit tweaked when people refuse to honor the traditions of our country and our nation.  Another 'activist' judge has taken it too far, again.

An 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judge has ruled that a student may be permitted to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance; the ruling didn't touch, however, whether or not they could remain silent.

According to this article, Sen Bob Graham is pushing to bring civics courses back into schools in the manner in which we grew up.  Amen, Senator.  I'm all for that.  Of course, those opposed prefer we NOT do so apparently due to the fact it creates real citizens full of patriotism and zeal rather than whiny dimbots who have NO moral center and can't commit to ANYthing. 

In a prepared statement, Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith said the state Department of Education was "pleased" that the court "recognized the balance between the exercise of free speech and parents' right to direct and oversee their child's education and civic values."

WHAT civic values?  If you refuse to participate, you HAVE no ''civic values''.  I fail to see how they cannot comprehend this.  One teacher is quoted:

"If a kid has told me that he or she doesn't believe in acknowledging the flag or it's a religious issue, I don't push it," he said. "But for the other kids who have not expressed some specific objection, it is a matter of respect and patriotism. They should be there for the pledge."

I agree with this teacher (who was also a retired Ranger).  No one seemingly is willing to learn what respect is, or how to earn it, or how to give it. 

I really, really, REALLY would like to see what would happen if someone didn't stand during the pledge near me, or extend the same respect during the National Anthem.  It could get ugly.

Be sure to let the editor of the St Pete Times know about their editorial, too:  [email protected].  Inspiring civics?  Some things need more than inspiration to instill.  Forcing patriotism isn't one of them, but learning respect certainly is.


Mad Scientist becomes Dead Tango

An al Qaeda leader who was notorious for the chemical weapons experiments where they killed some dogs has been sent along to his 72 goats.

One of al Qaeda's top chemical and biological weapons experts was killed in an air strike by a CIA pilotless drone in a remote Pakistani border region, senior Pakistani intelligence officials told CBS News Tuesday morning.

Intelligence officials investigating the early Monday missile attack confirmed that Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, also known as Abu Khabab al-Masri was one of six men killed and his remains had been positively identified.

We don't know if AQ has given up attempting to build their own chemical weapons, but al Masri was also teaching bomb-making and other naughty tricks. Burn in Hell buddy.


Shiite Pilgrimage

While you can find news of its destruction, there isn't much on the reopening and use of the Sarafiyah (or Sarifiyah) bridge.


Throngs of Shiite pilgrims stream across the newly-rebuilt Sarifiyah bridge July 29, 2008, on their way to the Kadhamiyah shrine in northern Badghdad. The bridge was blown up last year by insurgents and reopened to traffic about a month ago.  Photographer: Staff Sgt. Lorie Jewell, Multi-National Forces Iraq Public Affairs.