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December 2009

System worked v. System failed miserably

What a difference a day makes. After beclowning herself yesterday by ridiculously claiming that the airline security systems worked since panty man's bomb didn't take the plane out, utter failure Janet Napolitano admitted what all sentient beings already knew, her agency and the rest of those tasked with air security failed miserably. I have some complaints as well as some suggestions, you may be shocked to see what I propose, or not.

Spirit of America in WSJ

Jim Hake, founder of Spirit of America, has an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining how everyone can help the effort in Afghanistan. That war is a battle for the hearts and minds and his group has a proven method of helping our troops do just that.

Our troops in Afghanistan are engaged in counterinsurgency, a type of war that depends on winning over the local people. Marine Gen. James Mattis, commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command (which supports ongoing military operations and helps shape military forces for future conflicts), has said that, "One way we create the necessary credibility among the people and dissuade them from supporting our enemies is to show them hope of a better future." This is where the American people can play an indispensable role.

For the past six years, Spirit of America, the group I head, has supported our troops' humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. With donations from American citizens and businesses, we have provided sewing machines, medical supplies, tools, shoes, blankets, toys and more—all at the request of our troops for the benefit of local people.

Iran's Ashura Uprising: May God Defend the Right

Trial by combat, once the final appeal to court cases in Europe, asked a miracle of God each time by invoking His aid in bringing about a just settlement to the case. Surely the mullahs would join such a prayer today, would they not?  So must we. 

This is the point at which the entire Bush-and-Clinton administration strategy for Iran is coming to a head: to pressure the regime while offering at least rhetorical support to those Iranian people who seek democracy in their hearts. The current administration wanted a different strategy, of engagement with the regime; and therefore, has chosen to allow the regime to isolate the people we once encouraged.

There is little we can do but pray, as the levers of power belong to those who have set that course. We must abide the result of the prayer, and the wager it represents.

Ashura, by the way, is the day of mourning for the martyrdom of Ali, who stands at the fountainhead of Shi'a Islam. Modern men, born centuries after the battle in which Ali was killed, cut and whip themselves to shed their blood in sorrow for the fact that 'we were not there to defend you.'

Mark that well. It may be we will one day wish that we had been there, now, when it mattered.  There is much they need, that we will not provide.

12/25 We Got Lucky

If you haven't been following current events, a would-be suicide bomber almost made 12/25 a date on par with 9/11.  Bad planning and individuals responded to prevent a cowardly and horrific mass murder. 

If you really want to learn more about Yemen, which plays a huge role in this attempt, you need to be reading Armies of Liberation.  Jane lays out a lot of good information, information that the Yemen government and to some extent the current administration here would prefer you not to read.  The sheer idiocy of releasing any prisoners from Gitmo to Yemen becomes clear from just skimming Jane's information and analysis.  The idiocy of bringing them here to the US is amply demonstrated elsewhere.  

Our own government has responded quickly with new restrictions on passengers that do nothing to improve security (like most of what is done by TSA), only cause inconvenience to show that something is being done.  TSA and the procedures used are largely a joke, and this is just more of the same.  We need realistic and proven effective methods to truly increase safety while maintaining liberty.  It can be done (just look at El Al), we just choose not to do it because it is not PC.  Screw PC.  Screw the PC victim mentality and those that take full advantage of it (looking at you CAIR, among others).  Get real security, real data sharing, and make the tough decisions, or admit it's a joke. 

It has been said elsewhere this weekend, probably better, but on 9/11 individuals rose up on Flight 93 and kept the day from being much worse.  We were saved from outdated and ineffective security by those individuals who decided to fight and die to keep others safe.  On Christmas, one individual, Jasper Schuringa in particular rose up and acted.  He, and those that helped him, saved us from the ineffective PC-riddled crap that is our current security.  The lack of data sharing and the fear of facing the reality of the red flags -- just as with the coward Hassan at Ft. Hood -- almost resulted in the first publicly acknowledged successful mass attack in the US since 9/11. 

We need a massive overhaul of what is being passed off as security.  Until that day, we all remain at very high risk, for the enemy will keep trying.  Even if we do get effective change, keep one thing in mind:

Each citizen, each individual, is truly the last line of defense.  

If Armies of Liberation is not a daily or near-daily read, it should be.  Go check it out. 

And Thank You Jasper Schuringa!


UPDATE: Over at This Ain't Hell there is a good read here, here, and here.  And, you can add me to the chorus saying that Janet "Baghdad Bob" Napolitano needs to go (along with some others).  If the system truly is counting on the terrorists to not set the detonator properly and to have a foreign national take said terrorist down before anything else could be done, then it worked and may God truly help us. 

Female officer on pregnancies in theater

Elise Cooper for BLACKFIVE

Major General Anthony Cucuio’s implementation of a policy last month making pregnancy a punishable offense stirred debate on whether the army’s policy was discriminatory against women.  Retired Major Merideth A. Bucher who wrote the articulate article, “The Impact of Pregnancy on US Army Readiness,” adamantly feels the need for a policy to deal with the problems created by pregnant soldiers.

There are sacrifices American soldiers must make, some of which cannot even be imagined.  Since the current military service is voluntary and the deployment date is given about a year in advance, the individual who joins, male or female, agrees to become ready for deployment. Bucher explained that “military service is a sacrifice.  If they can’t make the sacrifice maybe they are in the wrong line of work.  They signed on the bottom line.”

She passionately felt that a pregnant soldier has a major impact on their unit. The example cited was of a supply sergeant who becomes pregnant.  Bucher commented that “it would be extremely difficult to replace her since her job is crucial to the unit.”

She emphatically felt that the role of a soldier is to perform their duty by being an intricate part of a unit.  Bucher pointed out that by losing one person everyone else has to work that much harder to get the mission accomplished.  Just think about all those cases when athletes were irresponsible by taking chances and getting injured.  By being unavailable to play, the whole team was hurt.  Soldiers being part of a unit are no different.

Does Bucher think the male soldiers get a free pass?  Her answer was “yes, but guess what, life is not fair.  Women will have to live with that difference forever. As a female military person you assume different burdens than your male counterpart.” By getting pregnant, a soldier makes all women vulnerable to the argument that they did it to get out of the deployment.  She commented that “it weakens every female soldiers standing as a member of that unit.” 

Should those women who take the steps not to become pregnant be singled out, given the fact that no birth control is 100% full proof?  Take for example a male soldier who goes on a motorcycle, bike, or skate board and becomes injured so he cannot be a part of the unit.  Why is that any different than a woman who becomes pregnant while on birth control?  In both cases the intent was not to be irresponsible and was accidental.  After hearing this scenario Butcher stated “the argument is valid and makes sense.” 

When thinking about this issue she wants people to understand that a uniform person has a completely different perspective than a civilian.  She commented that “soldiers need to have very high levels of discipline.”

For his family

A beautiful story of sacrifice and service that brought us a good soldier and brought his family the help they need.

Fort Knox, Ky. — When the summer was racing by, Michelle Caudle had wondered what it would be like to battle ovarian cancer without her husband, Bill, beside her. Now she knew.

On Nov. 24, the 49th day since Bill Caudle left to join the Army so his family could have health coverage, Michelle sat in a small hospital room at Aurora Women's Pavilion in West Allis. Wrapped in a blanket, the 41-year-old waited to hear if her body had recovered enough from the last dose of chemotherapy to receive the next one.

Merry Christmas from Afghanistan

If you watch no other video this year, you really, really need to go watch this one.  It is simply amazing, and deserves the widest possible audience. 

Merry Christmas to CAAT1, WPNS CO, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines.  May the light shine on you all, and bring you each the best new year.  Godspeed and good hunting.


Winter Ops in Afghanistan

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U.S. Army soldiers establish a security perimeter after being inserted into a remote area to conduct combat operations in Paktika province, Afghanistan, Dec. 18, 2009. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

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U.S. soldiers provide security before loading a CH-47 Chinook during an air assault mission Dec. 18, 2009, Parwan, Afghanistan. The soldiers are assigned to the 82nd Division's Company B, Special Troops Battalion. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Allison

Christmas Culinary Creations

Hope all y'all had a very Merry Christmas, we sure did. My parents came up from Knoxville and less than a year from moving down from Wisconsin were complaining about the cold here in DC. We met up at my brothers and took care of some holiday traditions foodwise. We always make cinnamon rolls from scratch Christmas Eve, but they brought some brilliant bacon and I was inspired. Voila, the Baconamon sandwich.


The taste test video and another creation.