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December 2011

Dec. 21 in US Military History

1861: President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill authorizing the creation of an award for sailors and Marines who "distinguish themselves by their gallantry and other seamanlike qualities during the present war." The Medal of Honor is born.

1866: In the biggest defeat on the Great Plains until Little Big Horn, Crazy Horse leads 79 soldiers and two civilians into a deadly ambush at Fort Kearny in present-day Wyoming. The 81 Americans are wiped out by approximately 2,000 Indians.

1943: The submarine USS Grayback sinks its fourth Japanese ship in three days.

1944: German troops from the 5th Panzer Army surround the 101st Airborne at Bastogne, Belgium.

1945: Nearly one month after a vehicle accident that paralyzed him, Gen. George S. Patton dies of a pulmonary embolism in a military hospital in Heidelberg, Germany.

1950: Airmen from the Fifth Air Force conduct "Operation Kiddy Car," the evacuation of nearly 1,000 Korean War orphans to the island of Cheju-do to escape approaching communist forces.

1968: Frank Borman (Col. USAF, ret.), James Lovell (Capt. USN, ret.), and William Anders (Maj. Gen. USAF, ret.) blast off aboard Apollo 8, becoming the first humans to leave Earth's orbit and on Christmas Eve, would become the first to orbit the moon.

Medal of Honor: 67 years ago in Belgium, Private Francis S. "Frank" Currey kills one tank, disables three others, and forces a German unit to retreat after inflicting heavy casualties with a bazooka, automatic rifle, a halftrack, and anti-tank grenades.

Dec. 20 in US Military History

1803: The Louisiana Purchase is completed, doubling the size of the United States. France sells 828,000 square miles of territory west of the Mississippi River for less than three cents an acre.

1860: Delegates meeting in Charleston, S.C. unanimously adopt the ordinance to dissolve ties with the United States. South Carolina becomes the first state to secede from the Union.

1862: Confederate forces under Gen. Earl Van Dorn attack the supply depot for Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s troops, derailing Grant’s plan to capture Vicksburg, Miss.

1941: The 1st American Volunteer Group, better known as the “Flying Tigers,” enters combat with the Japanese over China.

1989: 27,000 US troops, supported by 300 aircraft, invade Panama to protect American lives and overthrow dictator Manuel Noriega.

1992: US Marines and Belgian paratroopers secure the Somalian port city of Kismaayo in the first combined amphibious assault since the Vietnam War.

Medal of Honor: 68 years ago over the North Sea, Tech. Sgt. Forrest L. “Woody” Vosler‘s B-17 was damaged and forced to leave the formation after a bombing raid on Bremen, Germany. Despite his wounds, Vosler left his station to man the machinegun when the tailgunner was wounded. Vosler was blinded by shrapnel, and had to repair the radio by touch in order to send a distress signal as the damaged plane was about to ditch in the North Sea.

Photo of the Day: Elvis Presley firing a bazooka

Article 32 hearing for Manning underway

Bradley Manning is taking the first few steps toward a lengthy stay ay Club Leavenworth this week. The Army is conducting an Article 32 hearing (think Grand Jury) to determine if there is cause for a court martial. The good news is that there sure seems to be plenty.

Prosecutors presented new evidence Monday that appears to link Pfc. Bradley Manning to a massive leak of government material to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, including the existence of computer chat logs between Manning and WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange discussing the exchange of government information.

At a pretrial hearing, which is scheduled to continue in a military courtroom at Fort Meade this week, a government witness on Monday described a memory card he said belonged to Manning and contained nearly 500,000 field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. Prosecution witnesses also testified that a file allegedly deleted from one of Manning’s work computers contained more than 100,000 State Department cables. And a May 2010 e-mail that was sent to an acquaintance — and that Manning apparently thought he had encrypted — said, “I was the source of the 12 July 07 video from the Apache weapons team which killed two journalists and injured two kids.”

There are plenty of folks who are claiming that no damage was done by Manning's perfidy and so he should get leniency. Yeah, well, no. He purposely leaked classified information with the express purpose of damaging our war efforts and national security, his relative competence in doing so is not at issue. And the damage is as much to our ability to get allies and others to trust us as it is about embarrassing things revealed in the documents. Oh that's right, no evidence of a single war crime of any fashion was revealed in the spewing of data onto the internets.

Manning will get what he deserves and the only really sad thing is that Assange won't be nearby for him to chat face to face with.

Maria Conchita Alonso calls Sean Penn communist a**hole

You go girl.

WASHINGTON -- An actress and former international beauty pageant queen had a heated run-in with actor Sean Penn at Los Angeles International Airport recently, in which she says he called her a pig and she responded by calling him a communist...

"So I'm like, 'You are in favor of Hugo Chavez and [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad.'  Because I also saw a picture of footage from TV where Chavez and Ahmadinejad are together and Sean Penn is next to them.  And, you know, he's like 'I've never said that about Ahmadinejad.  You're a pig.'  And I go to him, 'And you are a communist, Sean Penn!'"

The actress says the exchange of words in the airport caused a scene where others were looking on with amusement or shock.

"The second time I called him a communist, I said 'You're a communist a**hole," Alonso said.  She added that she later regretted using profanity, but is not sorry.

She is not sorry, but Sean Penn certainly is. Although I would call him a brain-dead, fellow-traveling, useful idiot more than an actual communist. Nicely played Ms. Alonso.


Alonso may have been referring to an interaction between Chavez and Ahmadinejad in September, when the Venezuelan President asked the Iranian President to release two detained American hikers at the urging of Penn.

Penn and Alonso share a scene in the 1988 movie "Colors"

The actress says the exchange of words in the airport caused a scene where others were looking on with amusement or shock.

"The second time I called him a communist, I said 'You're a communist a**hole," Alonso said.  She added that she later regretted using profanity, but is not sorry.

Good going, Texans!

At the Houston Texans game, a plot was revealed...

Marine Scott Wood died four weeks ago after suffering injuries during combat in Iraq. Before his burial, his wife dressed him in two uniforms. On the outside, Scott wore his military dress blues. Underneath, he wore the blue No. 80 jersey of Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Sara Wood had been married to Scott for eight years. They have a five-year-old son together named Landon. Now he and Sara live in a single room in her parent's house.
When Sara got an offer to go watch the Houston Texans play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, she jumped at the opportunity. She knew her husband would have loved to go the Reliant Stadium to watch his beloved team play. Plus, she and Landon had never been to a game before.

As described in a column by Tully Corcoran on FSHouston.com, the team brought Sara to the game under the pretense that she and her son would be part of a halftime ceremony in which Landon would receive a bike and Scott's memory would be celebrated by the 71,500 in attendance. Both those things happened, but a much bigger surprise awaited...

Go check out what awaited Scott Wood's family.  Nice going, Texas!

Blackfive Exclusive - Chuck Jong IL

We've all been waiting for the news for the next dictator benevolent leader of The Best Korea™...

Here are never before seen images from inside the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Chuck jon il3Excuse me, but isn't that Major Chuck Zeigenfuss of From My Position...

How in the hell did this happen?  If you go back a bit, you'll see that Major Z, err I mean Chuck Jong IL, had a role and friendship with the late Dear Leader.


Continue reading "Blackfive Exclusive - Chuck Jong IL " »

Dec. 19 in US Military History

1777: Gen. George Washington's Continental Army establishes its winter camp at Valley Forge.

1862: Confederate cavalry under Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest dismantle railroad tracks north and south of Jackson, Tenn., disrupting Union supplies.

1941: Adolf Hitler replaces Field Marshall Walther von Brauchitsch as commander-in-chief of Germany's armed forces.

1972: Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene A. Cernan (Capt., USN ret.), Ronald E. Evans (Capt., USN ret.), and civilian Harrison H. Schmitt splash down in the South Pacific after spending a record 75 hours on the Moon's surface. Cernan is the last human to set foot on the moon.

2000: The UN Security Council voted to impose sanctions on the Taliban in Afghanistan, directing them to close terrorist training camps and to hand over Osama bin Laden, who was suspected in attacks against United States embassies.

2001: Fires that had been burning for over three months under the rubble of the World Trade Center are finally declared to be extinguished.

2003: Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi halts his nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs after secret negotiations with the United States and Britain.

Medal of Honor: 67 years ago, Tech Sgt. Robert E. Gerstung braved eight hours of intense tank, artillery, and mortar fire. He crossed the killzone to retrieve more ammunition, and later, another weapon when his malfunctioned. When the order was given to withdraw, Gerstung provided the only covering fire for the unit.

Kim Jong Il Dead



Our Dear Leader Comrade Kim Jong Il, the evil and loony dictator of North Korea, is dead at last, supposedly suffering a heart attack while riding a train.  His funeral follows on December 28, which will be a vast creepy spectacle of mass wailing.  Don't miss it.

They'll probably feature his theme song, "No Motherland Without You":

You pushed away the severe storm
You made us believe, Comrade Kim Jong-il
We cannot live without you
Our country cannot exist without you!

It may well be true that North Korea can not exist without Kim Jong Il, that it will unravel without him.

Kim has been grooming his slacker son, Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong-un, to succeed him, promoting him to four star general at 27 years of age.  It's unlikely he will win the power struggle which will follow his father's death.  Without Kim Jong Il holding the country together with fear, North Korea will likely implode.

There is no great fear of the North Korean military.  Even though it gets first priority for resources, it has suffered considerably from the terrible economic situation brought about by Communist management.  Their ill-fed soldiers can not perform a full hour of physical exercise.  After firing a couple hundred artillery rounds at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeongdo, North Korea scrambled its air force to make a demonstration of force.  They lost several aircraft just launching them, due to lack of experience by pilots who simply have not flown much.  North Korea has a large military, but it is a paper tiger.

The real threat of the North Korean military is that it has the guns, which means it can take what ever it wants.  Most of the population is unemployed and living hand to mouth.  The harvest was bad again.  Winter is coming on.  Expect anarchy to rule in the hinterlands, which will spread to the cities and eventually to Pyongyang, the capitol.

North Korean civilians will starve if they stay in place, so expect them to be on the move.  Hundreds of thousands will probably flee north to China, led by the border guards.  Many will flood the southern border into South Korea, probably overwhelming the defenses of the DMZ.  Expect a massive crime wave in Seoul by North Koreans accustomed to breaking the law to survive.

The worst nightmare of South Koreans is the ten thousand artillery tubes facing Seoul to open fire.  The second worst nightmare is the fall of North Korea, prompting astronomical costs of assimilating the failed North Korean state.  The North Korean population, for the most part, is probably untrainable.  The last generation of North Korean children suffers from retardation from malnutrition.  South Korea will be carrying the dead weight of North Korea for a generation.

The Chinese have the most penetration into North Korea and will probably have the strongest presence there after it collapses.

Without the security forces to impose order, North Korea will fall apart.  The bad economy has corrupted the security apparatus, which has been taking bribes to survive.  We'll probably see some top leaders fleeing to China and South Korea within the week.  The unravelling of North Korea will be the top story for months to come.

If you want to read up on North Korea, I might suggest "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea" by Barbara Demick, who interviewed in detail a handful of defectors. It gives you a good view inside the heads of North Koreans and their deteriorating lives. Another revealing book is "North of the Dmz: Essays on Daily Life in North Korea," by Andrei Lankov. Lankov is a Russkie who went to North Korea on an exchange program. He gives a good view of the everyday life of North Koreans back in better times. There is a lot of interesting information, but it is a collection of newspaper columns and often repeats itself.


Au Revoir Iraq

Years ago, I watched in horror as an arrogant and foolish administration came into office with the naive belief that a major threat was gone.  One that honestly seemed to believe that not only was it gone, but it had never been a real threat or problem in the first place.  An administration that was so focused on domestic issues that it never learned the cultural, social, or political mores of Russia and the (former) Soviet Union.

The net result was to poison the relationships with the various leaders extant and emerging in Russia, the loss of an opportunity to cultivate a potential new ally (or at least prevent the emergence of a new enemy), and to almost start a full-scale nuclear exchange because of the first two parts.  And, yes, I suspect that the weather rocket incident was not the only time.

Continue reading "Au Revoir Iraq" »

Gloating about something he had little to do with

You know its bad when even TIME takes the President to task:

When we suggested Thursday that it might be nice if people toned down their political rhetoric for awhile over the end of the U.S. military’s role in Iraq, we didn’t have President Obama in mind. Turns out, we should have.

Ya think?!

Remember, this is someone who voted against funding for our soldiers in combat in Iraq.  Also remember that this plan that has now been executed, i.e. our withdrawal from Iraq, was one negotiated by the previous administration before he ever took office.

But that doesn’t at all keep him from using the event as a campaign ad.

All in good taste, of course. [/sarc]