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November 2008

First thoughts on Mumbai

Mumbailobby I emphasize first thoughts, as this will become much clearer in days to come.

UPDATE: As always read Bill Roggio although he seems to take the same view this was too complex for a local group. I disconcur.

The attacks appear to have been planned, but I am not going to fall in the trap of calling them sophisticated. How hard is it to gather a dozen fanatics, hand them an AK, a backpack full of ammo, hand grenades and almonds and tell them to shoot westerners in a hotel. If they came in on boats that is an additional degree of difficulty, but it's not like they were storming Normandy. In addition if they launched from the cargo ship already identified, they have given valuable info to those who will investigate the crime.

They hit a number of targets (10 or more) and again while a complicating factor not much more difficult. The reason the degree of sophistication matters is in determining who did this, and were they a local Indian group, a local group that was trained abroad, or a foreign group infiltrating. The news reports seem to have decided that an attack of this complexity is beyond the capability of local Indians. I find that comical given the fact that half of India works in IT shops pounding out the complicated computer code that runs the rest of the world. Most of the 9-11 bastards were college-educated , India has plenty of potential recruits so it is certainly possible local groups could have done this.

That said, Pakistan has many groups capable and desirous of making attacks like this and their Intel svc, often acts as a terrorist support unit. India's leader Manmohan Singh already stated this event had outside influence and neighbors should expect them to take action. Another thing to consider is where the heck is al Qaeda? If they weren't involved, then what relevance do they still hold. I mean if an unaffiliated group can pull this off and bin Laden can't even be roused from room temp to make a video, well maybe their time has passed. It will be a while before we know who did this and even then we won't really know because we have no human intel to speak of.

Continue reading "First thoughts on Mumbai" »

10 Arrested in Acid Attack on School girls

RE: The Nature of the Enemy - Taliban Throw Acid in Girls Faces Because They Were Going to School

At the link above about Taliban throwing acid in girls faces simply because they were going to school, I wrote:

While it's probably wishful thinking, I hope we find the Taliban who attacked the girls...

Acid Attack Shows Nature of Taliban
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON - It's a measure of the enemy in Afghanistan that Taliban terrorists attacked girls walking to school in Afghanistan on Nov. 12 by throwing acid in their faces, a senior Defense Department official said today.

"It was obviously a despicable attack," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. "It's a reflection of the brutality and backwardness of the enemy we're dealing with here. I certainly hope this is not any trend of tactic that the Taliban have, because it is a truly despicable act."

Three girls were seriously injured in the attack...

Well, looks like it wasn't just "wishful thinking." 

According to the IHT:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

KABUL, Afghanistan: The police in Kandahar Province arrested 10 Taliban militants they said were involved in an attack this month on a group of Afghan schoolgirls whose faces were doused with acid, officials in Kandahar said Tuesday.

The officials said that the militants, who were Afghan citizens, had confessed to their involvement in the attack on the schoolgirls and their teachers on Nov. 12 and that a high-ranking member of the Taliban had paid the militants 100,000 Pakistani rupees ($1,275) for each girl they managed to burn.

The girls were assaulted by two men on a motorcycle who were apparently irate that the girls had been attending high school. The men drove up beside them and splashed their faces with what appeared to be battery acid.

Zalmay Ayobi, the spokesman for General Rahmatullah Raufi, the governor of Kandahar, said the orders to carry out the attack had been given from a foreign country, although he did not identify it.

The militants were arrested by the police last week. Ayobi said a joint delegation from the Interior Ministry and the office of the attorney general in the capital, Kabul, had arrived in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, on Monday to evaluate the cases of the suspects.

The delegation, led by the deputy interior minister along with the governor of Kandahar, announced today that the suspects confessed their involvement in the attack, Ayobi said.

He said Afghanistan's courts would decide the attackers' fate after the investigation was completed.

At least two of the girls were hospitalized by the attack, their faces blackened and burned.

The attack was condemned at the time by Laura Bush, who described the Taliban as "cowardly and shameful" for carrying out the attack.

"The Taliban's continued terror attacks threaten the progress that has been made in Afghanistan," the first lady said in a statement, adding, "These cowardly and shameful acts are condemned by honorable people in the United States and around the world."

Mrs. Bush has been an advocate for the women of Afghanistan during her husband's tenure. She has visited Afghanistan three times to put a spotlight on development and women's issues, most recently in June, a trip cloaked in secrecy so she would not become a target of terrorists.

This is who we are fighting.  Don't ever forget it.

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

    "You know we have a lot to be thankful for today.  Our boys are home safe." - Barbara Filicsky, mother of Specialist Jason Filiscsky

Alpha Battery, 2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery of the Indiana National Guard returned home from Iraq to Indianapolis on Thanksgiving morning...the Patriot Guard Riders were there to welcome them home.  Here's some photos of the reunions:


Indiana National Guard 1st Sgt. Euripides Perez hugs his wife, Lupe, at a Stout Field hangar in Indianapolis, Nov. 27. Perez, of South Bend, Ind. is the top enlisted Solder with Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery. Perez returned to Hoosier soil along with more than 320 Citizen-Soldiers with the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Thanksgiving morning.  Photographer for all photos: Staff Sgt. Jeff Lowry, Indiana National Guard.


Stacy Wilson of Rossville, Ind. kisses her husband, Staff Sgt. Mark Wilson, at a Stout Field hangar in Indianapolis, Nov. 27. Wilson, Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery squad leader, returned to Hoosier soil along with more than 320 Citizen-Soldiers with the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team after a nine-month deployment to Iraq.


Indiana National Guard Capt. Logan Goettler, of Indianapolis and Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery commander, proposes marriage to his girlfriend, Amanda Cook, Nov. 27. The couple has been together for nearly two years. Goettler returned to Hoosier soil after a nine-month deployment to Iraq with the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.


Indiana National Guard Capt. Logan Goettler slides an engagement ring on his fiancee's finger, Nov. 27. Goettler, of Indianapolis and Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 150th Field Artillery commander, and Amanda Cook have been together for nearly two years.


Indiana National Guard Spc. James Gulley receives hugs from his daughters, Emily, left, and Mercedes, right, at a Stout Field hangar in Indianapolis, Nov. 27. Gulley, of Indianapolis and a fuel specialist with Company E, 113th Brigade Support Battalion, returned to Hoosier soil along with more than 320 Citizen-Soldiers with 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team after a nine-month deployment to Iraq.

Thanksgiving Around the War

Some photos of Thanksgiving in Iraq and Afghanistan:


Baghdad soldiers and airmen wait in line outside the Ironhorse Oasis Dining Facility at Camp Liberty, Iraq, for their turn to eat the Thanksgiving Day feast, Nov. 27, 2008.   U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Lyndsey Dransfield.


U.S. Army Col. Stephen G. Yackley helps dish out Thanksgiving dinner, Nov. 27, 2008, to the servicemembers of Camp Eggers, Kabul, Afghanistan. Yackley is deputy to the commanding general, Police Development, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.   U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Cliff Williams. [B5 note:  Check the hat.  I've got one just like it]


U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joshua Toth, a heavy equipment operator in the 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, smooths wet concrete on Thanksgiving, Nov. 27, 2008.   U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse


U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Nick Biggs, a C-130 Hercules copilot, enjoys a Thanksgiving dinner, Nov. 27, 2008, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. A contracting company providing catering services to deployed coalition forces put extra effort into providing the time-honored feast to American servicemembers at Bagram.   U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse.


A Special Thanksgiving


I probably played it closer to the vest than I needed to, but I spent Thanksgiving with Patti and Jeff, Chuck and Caren, Toby, and just a few others out in Texas. To be honest, I'm not sure how many where there throughout the day, but I think it was better than 20 that sat down to eat the formal meal. We had some special guests with us, and the fearless young lady above was one of them (and Guitar Hero was quite popular). There were games, treats, and prizes during the day, and anyone who knows Patti will be unsurprised to know that we probably could have fed a company: one roasted turkey, two deep fried turkeys, and one smoked; a couple of hams; mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, asparagus, salad, rolls; and, some other assorted items that escape me at the moment. I don't think anyone left without treats and food, and it was amusing watching one vehicle get packed at the end of the day.

It was a great day, filled with friends old and new. I hope yours was a good one too.


Continue reading "A Special Thanksgiving" »

A note about the National Anthem

OK, I will not allow the ass-ification of our culture to simply go un-opposed. Today I saw two of the worst renditions of our National Anthem outside of the excremental Rosanne Barr's version. Some silly, little yotch sang to open up the slaughter in Dallas, and since the Cuda declared this T-Day to be about slaughter, the first two games have been on theme. But back to this ridiculous excuse for a singer deciding that she would put so many BS trills in the song that Mariah Carey threw up. She was awful and watching her preen and enjoy how great it was that so many people were watching her made me throw up. She just didn't want it to end.  I sure as hell did. She desecrated the song and I would have loved nothing more than Simon Cowell ripping her a new one saying that even as a jackass Brit he was offended.

Now on to the chump who needs a prompter for the freaking lyrics at the night game in Philly. He intones "FOR the ramparts we watched" Know the words to the only song you will ever sing that actually matters you stupid punk. He screwed up a few more times before actually causing me to jump up and threaten his f**king life (Literally out of my mouth, figuratively for legal purposes). He sang "Land of the Free, and the Home of the...." and then the bastard stopped and did one of those spin around snapping and pointing at the crowd moves to allow them to acknowledge how cool he was before he deigned to actually finish the song. OMFG!

We have a challenge ahead as those who know nothing about our culture, and don't like the things they don't know, try to remake America. It doesn't need a makeover, it needs a little respect. And pull up your pants.

My Thanks Giving

I have had perhaps the happiest year of my life just now. My blessings are legion. I want to give thanks to some of those who made it possible. Family always leads and mine makes me proud and happy. I am also blessed with some amazing friends and gladly count Matty O among them.

But there is a large group of people who as much as anyone else have allowed me to chase dreams as a 44 year old Calvin. That is you people, the mighty BLACKFIVE audience. Thanks to every one of you because the power we all bring to the table is why I am now a full time new media guru. You are informed, engaged, patriotic, wild, strong, and un-repentantly proud to be Americans or friends of ours. I love the comments we get and the emails both pro and con. I use you as a resource to correct my lameness and I know I aggravate the shit out of some of you. Thanks for being part of our fight to make sure that our best and brightest don't ever doubt that America has their back.

2009 will be epic and I can't wait to unveil some of the amazing stuff on the way. Enjoy the holidays, love your families and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Here are some pics from a walk around my brother's neighborhood in DC.

Dog Day

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For This, We Are Thankful...


Today, the day which we reflect on what we as Americans have come to be thankful for, I wanted to post a few things from Thanksgiving's past.  This is my 2d anniversary here at the 'Five, and I, for one example, am VERY thankful to be a part of such a fantastic team.

Today, I give thanks for:

A family I care about, and cares for me;

A soldier or sailor away from home, doing their duty, away from their family and friends, allowing me to be with mine;

A country that is the best in the world;

A home;

People who want to read the drivel I write here;

The chance to make a difference- anywhere, any time.

I hope each and EVERY one of you are with family and friends this day, and remind you to give thanks for that opportunity and the men and women out there who ensure we have that chance- and this includes those First Responders out there!

Thanks, to all of you, who make this possible...  bless you one and all!


BELOW:  Pictures and the menu for those serving overseas!

Continue reading "For This, We Are Thankful..." »