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Okay, Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Vent

Since we don’t see a newspaper over here more than once every six weeks (hey, Stars & Stripes – what’s up with that, anyway?), I’m not even as minimally attuned as normal to what’s going on in the Land of Balmy Temperatures. However, I do get some inklings of what the buzz is from my li'l buddy, ry, who recently asked my thoughts on a subject he'd heard bruited about: “Why haven’t we gotten a better Iraqi Army for all the money we’ve spent?”

Ummmmm -- huh?

First, *we* didn’t get an Army -- Iraq did. Sure, we foot the bill -- just like we foot the bill for most of NATO during my growing-up years (pssst -- Marshall Plan, remember?), and for a lot of our other allies during their growing or reconstruction spurts (*waving hi to all our buddies in South Korea and Japan*) -- and Iraq is now an ally.

Second, everything else. Let’s take a look at the Army Iraq got.

  • Light infantry, with a decent mech capability and recent airmobile experience.
  • Operates jointly with allies as necessary or solo as required.
  • Battle-tested in urban warfare against urban guerrilla terrorists (hey, there’s a catchy term from the past – urban guerrilla. You know, what Weather Undergrounders like Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers were calling themselves before they decided to stop planting IEDs *in US cities* and go work for the Lightwalker).
The New Army kicks butt, takes names and, when it runs out of paper, stops taking names -- because it was recruited, trained and organized while its officers, NCOs, soldiers and recruits were being bombed, shot, rocketed, kidnapped and executed en masse by the same scuzzballs who demand that *we* roll over and die because our existence offends their tender Wahabi sensibilities.


The New Army has some tough people, in my book, and I've got a real small book. They appreciate the hell out of what we've done for them -- remember all those articles in the MSM about the cash donation the Iraqi *Army* made to California Wildfire Relief? About passing the hat for us while they and their families were getting killed just because they wanted an Iraq with a future?

Huh? There *weren't* any?

Why am I not surprised.

And that wasn't a question.

/vent

N
ow for an update on the IqAF, courtesy of El Capitan.

Airmen with the Iraqi air forces' 3rd Squadron took over a wide variety of maintenance duties on the unit's Cessna [C-208] intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance fleet, a task formerly performed by U.S. contractors.

"The 3rd Squadron was recently asked to transition from contracted maintenance to full Iraqi support," said Capt. Gordon Beran, the 870th Expeditionary Air Advisory Squadron combat aviation adviser. "Having the ability to take over maintenance for their new fleet is very important. It brings them one step closer to a fully autonomous Air Force." 

Third Squadron’s the folks I taught some instrument flight tricks to a couple of months back. They’d never flown at night before.

Guess who was out doing aerial surveillance over
Mosul during Lion's Roar -- at night?

Guess who's out there tonight, looking for scuzzballs?


I’ll have some pix of the other good stuff as soon as I finish putting together the instrument training course for the Rotary Wing side, getting the new Iraqi flight surgeon oriented to the oddball things that helicopter pilots are subjected to, helping 3rd Squadron assemble a unit library, teaching the kaydets aerodynamics and general handling of the fearsome C-172TD, formalizing Mr. T’s Inadvertent IMC Survival Course, tutoring the new C-208 pilots in…

And in the afternoon, I'll be...

Heh.

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On Site - The Iraqi Army from America's North Shore Journal on July 3, 2008 9:30 AM

Bill is still in Iraq, and in his latest post he describes the status of the Iraqi Army. As always, a well written and expert analysis from someone who is there. ... Read More

23 Comments

Bill,

   You go, shipmate!  In case no one else sats so, thanks for the work you're doing. The money and time we invest now will pay us (and, more importantly, the Iraqis) back in the long term.

   I fo believe that that is one of the greatest failings of the Democrat party, among others, the inability to see anything as a long term foal, as part of a larger picture.  They are always looking for the "here and now" patoff, seeing how much points they can generate from the immeodiate, rather than looking down the pike and planning for what might be coming.

   Ah well... A Happy Independance Day to you tomorrow. 

   Respects, 
 
Great post. They get far too little credit, Bill.
 
Thanks, Tim. Have a beer for me tomorrow. Have two, in fact.
Drink slow, though, 'cuz I may have lost my tolerance for alcohol since I've been here...

Thanks, Fobbit  Cass -- Ties in kinda nice with your post on the kids.
 
'cuz I may have lost my tolerance for alcohol since I've been here...

What? An admission of less-than-omnipotence from an aviator? 

[Checks under the world to see if the turtles are still there]

 
I said *may* have. I can't exactly nip down to the corner pub to gain empirical data on it, ya know.

Besides, I'd feel awful if Tim tried to live up to my rep and got all giddy after the third six-pack...
 
Great stuff, Bill. I linked this one (trying to pay back all the kindness you and our host have shown me). I don't think people understand just how hard it is to organize an army. Then add in the fact that they are doing that on the battlefield, under fire, and add in the cultural and language differences. The fact that they can do as well as they can is one hell of a testament to them. Gives me great hope for the future.
 
I'll have to add alcoholic contriband to my next Twin Care Package, just to test that theory.  heh.

And you're right, of course, the American media outlets ignore all the good we do in the ME, and all of the things the Iraqi and Afghanistani's are doing for themselves- and others- now.   It's no wonder so many Americans think we shouldn't be there- they are completely CLUELESS about the truth.
 

" ... It's no wonder so many Americans think we shouldn't be there- they are completely CLUELESS about the truth.  ..."
 

And yet a great many of them will vote for Obama in November, confident that America needs change because newspapers and broadcast news have assured them that this country is headed in the wrong direction.
 
Relax John!  I'm sure the Chief is still potent.  Do you need me to go check?
 

I know, fdcol.
It scares the hell out of me to realize who the Dem's have running for president.  He's been linked to urban terrorists, Code Pink, Chavez, his hate-whitey preacher, and on and on and on, yet somehow, he's gotten himself nominated for president!  WTF are they THINKING?????

 
WTF are they THINKING?????

1. Nominate a chameleon and everyone will only remember the last coloration.

2. Pray the Chicago machine gets another 500,000 dead Democrats to vote in Illinois.

3. Wish really, really hard.

4.

5. Aaaaaannnnd it's Obie by a landslide!
 
To paraphrase something I  heard on Rush the other day:

When midgets cast long shadows, you know sunset is near.
 
So Capt Brad stopped by, on leave from SF Ranger slot somewhere in Iraq, to dine with a group of guys that have adopted him and his troops. He listens to local NJ radio station on the net over there and sent a request to the DJ to play a song for his Mom. The DJ is a friend and kept up communications. One night we passed the hat at this up scale yuppie bar we frequent and collected $200 for stuff Capt Brad said the troops may need. With some extra we had laying around we hustle down to Costco and bought up 13 cartons of stuff and shipped it.

We just sat on the patio of the restaurant listening to Capt Brad explain about what was really going on and what the IA was doing and all about some of the Ranger type units in the Iraq Army that are kicking ass and taking names and what it takes to build a good NCO corp and why we shouldn't believe what we read in the NYT. He was quite happy we were all Republicans and had our heads on straight and that we will do this again in Jan when his tour ends. I didn't tell him I don't read the NYT anyway cause my lips get tired when I read that much.

Ya gotta love a 28 year old Capt with his whole life a head of him looking forward to getting back with his men in a war zone. His drop dead gorgeous fiancee was reason enough for me to go AWOL, buy hey...war is hell.
 
from my li'l buddy, ry
Oi!  You aren't *round* enough to play Skipper to my Giligan, Chief.  Though I'm sure you make a mean coconut telephone so how about you be the Professor instead? 

I'm sure the Chief is still potent.  Do you need me to go check?
How is that performed?  Does he have an expiration date tatooed somewhere?  (IS that what all this thong business has been about?)
 
Often human fate is heavily influenced by God, individual quirks, destiny, fate and all that jazz.

Take America's history for example. There were so many moments when things could have just gone kaput and the patriots could have threw up their hands and said "no way, it ain't worth it".

And many did, either because they had families that were starving that they had to worry about or various other things going on. But many did not. Many more did, and by some kind of providence, they pulled through.

This isn't about me thinking that America will pull through because American ancestors pulled through. No, I know how uncertain life is and how there are no guarantees and no "inevitables". Nothing is inevitable except death and taxes.

But I have noticed something in American history. Usually when America makes a mistake, she gets a second chance to correct that mistake, and it is with that second chance that true redemption and power is made available.

The Civil War was America's second chance to get liberty and equality working. WWII was America's second chance to prevent the British and French from making Euroasia a perpetual war zone. Iraq is America's second chance at fighting terrorists, insurgents, and guerrillas given Vietnam.

The Kurds and Shia got a first chance at Saddam and didn't make it all the way, even though the Kurds got more in the end. OIF was their second chance at total freedom and good governance. The Sunnis had their first chance in OIF and their second chance after Fallujah II and Al Anbar Awakening. The Spartans missed the Battle of Marathon because their women were prancing around naked in a festival to honor Apollo. They would have missed Thermopylae as well had Leonidas not taken his personal troops to the pass, which is allowed by Spartan religious festival rules. Leonidas made good on Sparta's second chance.

All these are examples of when people and nations have taken advantage of a second chance to rectify their mistakes or previous actions.

But what about people or nations that have failed to exploit their second chances?

The foremost example that comes to mind is Carthage. They had three Punic Wars with Rome. Three. I guess they overran the patience of destiny.

In the end, America has been very lucky or blessed to receive so many second chances and not only that, but so many instances where people have correctly utilized such instances of potential redemption and correction. But I doubt America is so blessed that we will be given a third chance if we fail the second.
 
To Democrats or Leftists or socialists, I get the impression that the only higher power they believe they are beholden to exists only as a fabrication to manipulate weak minded fools. They believe that if they seize power, they can then decide what fate, destiny, God, or human beings will or can do.

They are wrong. They will always be wrong, for such individuals will never acquire god power nor the power to change destiny in their favor. They can only destroy and create a desert called peace, in order for some other poor bastid to start anew in.
 
missing a Marathon because a bunch of Spartan women are prancing around naked....

..and you say this like its a BAAAAAD thing.
 
Yo, Fishmugger -- has 101.5 dumped the idiots-in-the-afternoon format yet?
 
BillT,

Don't know 101.5. Capt Brad Listens to 91.9 WNTI, WNTI.org Hackestown, NJ. Spider Glenn, DJ Afternoon Drive Time, 1500-1800 Eastern New Jersey Double Dutch Savings. Simulcast on the internet for your listening pleasure. But not mine so much, some of that music is just noise.

Capt Brad's mom lives in Sussex County just north of the station.
 
Hackettstown? Sussex? Geez, we probably flew over her house in the late 70s when we started doing NOE at High Point State Park. Then the Sierra Club got mad at us for scaring the endangered rock-burrowing giant DelMarVa moles that were so rare that nobody ever saw one.

So we had to share airspace with ospreys and bald eagles in the Pines....
 
BillT,

Haven't seen any of those DelMarVa moles either, but we have more critters now then ever. There's so many black bear that towns have banned bird feeders in peoples back yards and the State should issue Deer tags with every drivers license. We have those Bald Eagles and Ospreys but also Goldens and Red Tails and all kinds of other raptures. Coyote, Red Fox, Wild Turkey and more Canada Geese then you can shake a five iron at. They actually opened a season for geese now. And Mink, we have mink again; not enough for a coat but enough to fight you for the trout population.

And that's in a state where at 5 o'clock you can't drive over 30mph any where in any direction. Go figure. SWWBO's post of George Carlin hits the nail.

 

Bill that was a fairly well controlled rant.

 

Good point: “…we foot the bill for most of NATO (pssst -- Marshall Plan, remember?), our other allies during their… reconstruction spurts (*waving hi to all our buddies in South Korea and Japan*)…”

 

I hear you about crappy NYT, Bill Ayers and Wahabi groups – the latter which probably owns a good chunk of NYT stock.

 

When things get a little depressing I head over to Iowahawk who does a good job at skewering Obama.

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/07/a-clarification.html

See: Clarification

 

Good luck with Iraqi flight surgeon. They only thing I got from the flight surgeon was the finger and sore rear-end.

I was just thinking about that Cessna 208. If you could just modify the windows so they would open just enough so you could stick a gun barrel out - you’d have a mini AC-130 gunship.

 
ledger -- that wasn't a rant, that was a vent. If I ever did a rant, PG-17c would fuse into slag, John would *never* get posting privileges at The Corner and my rep as a gentleman and a scholar would get tubed so low, even the Prince of Darkness would have to look down to see it.

BTW, the Iraqi Flight Surgeon is safe back home in Baghdad and the flight surgeon who'll be giving me my Class II is a lovely lady with slender fingers.

The 208 has an optional cargo pod -- you could stick a rearward-firing Ma Deuce in it and get a single-engine Ju-88...