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October 02, 2004

It's a Saturday, I'm going to the RenFest, so here's something to keep you busy...

We've had a pretty good response to the Ugly Airplane post (more on that later today or tomorrow) so here's another challenge for you.

What's this? Jack of Random Fate took this picture in the Belgian military museum in Brussels during a recent trip. Three levels of Geekdom can be displayed here.

One, generic identity.
Two, specific identity (i.e., correct nomenclature - and not just of the base model)
Three. Find another picture of this type vehicle on the net. This model - again, not the generic base vehicle. That would be too easy.

I think you'll get One pretty easily. Several of you, I'm sure, already know it off the top of your heads, like Monteith, CAPT H, Chris. But I want the specifics.

No comments on this one - drop me an email. I'll give out the answers tomorrow.

October 01, 2004

Someone lost a bet.

I'm guessing.

Not work safe - but not horrible, either. It's mostly a matter of taste, rather than actual visual.

I must admit, I *felt* like that guy looks, whenever I was under fire - to include the exhiliration at the end, when, like Churchill, the gunman discovers that "Nothing is so exhilarating in life as to be shot at with no result."

Hat tip to The Ghost of a Flea!

Something not politics...

Seems there are some aircraft buffs amongst us. We heard about some favorites, let's go the other way - what are the ugliest?

If you don't know airplanes, you can still play - surf the 'net. Find pictures of ugly planes. Make a nomination.

I'll offer up three, just to get you started. I know their names, but I'll leave 'em blank and let anyone who wants to compete for bragging rights to name 'em. One will be pretty easy, the other two may present more of a challenge.

This is the easy one.

Another view (of a variant)

A hi-res here, if you want it.

These will probably be tougher, except for geeks - though it won't be horribly hard to find 'em on the web.

Run with it!

by John on Oct 01, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» uruloki's lair links with: Ugly birds
» Sworn Enemy links with: A Change Of Pace
» Cowboy Blob links with: Gaumtlets, Gauntlets Everywhere
» The Politburo Diktat links with: Show Trial #10
» TexasBestGrok links with: Aircraft Cheesecake 3
» FunctionalAmbivalent links with: In the Air...On the Air...Whatever. It's Still Not as Ugly as Joan Rivers.

September 30, 2004

Once again, Islam's 'Holy Warriors' slay the infidel.

The heroic face of Militant Islam.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Insurgents detonated three car bombs near a U.S. military convoy in Baghdad Thursday, killing 41 people, 34 of them children, and wounding scores.

More dangerous to their own than to their enemies...

Ten U.S. soldiers were wounded in the attack, two of them seriously, the military said. Iraq's Health ministry confirmed 41 dead and 139 wounded, the vast majority children.
Instability is steadily mounting just weeks before the U.S. presidential election in November and four months before Iraq is due to hold its own nationwide polls. Attacks on American troops have risen to around 80 a day from 40 a month ago.

Of course it is. The insurgent nightmare is that Kerry loses. They hope to do a Spain. Somehow, I wonder if killing Iraqi children is the way to do that. It just pisses me off.


A mild Fisking.

Joe Gandelman, over at A Moderate Voice, has this interesting post up about how Vice President Cheney changed his mind regarding the utility of taking down Saddam in the years intervening between 1992 and 2002. I should take this time to note that Joe also is member of Dean Esmay's stable of writers.

Using information from this article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, he notes that Vice President Cheney is quoted as saying in 1992:

And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth?...

And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq....

For the record, I agreed with him then. And I was on active duty as a combat arms soldier.

Joe next throws up this quote from Mr. Cheney:

All of a sudden you've got a battle you're fighting in a major built-up city, a lot of civilians are around, significant limitations on our ability to use our most effective technologies and techniques.Once we had rounded him up and gotten rid of his government, then the question is what do you put in its place? You know, you then have accepted the responsibility for governing Iraq.

Gandelman himself then closes with this:

But the guy who made these comments -- Vice President Dick Cheney -- talks differently today.

And None Dare Call It Flip-Flops.

None dare call it a flip-flop because it isn't.

The mandate for Desert Storm didn't include going to Baghdad. There wasn't a plan to go to Baghdad. There wasn't an intent to go to Baghdad. The Arab allies weren't going to support going to Baghdad. And we, as a military force, weren't very well prepared to go to Baghdad, because it wasn't what our orders said to do. No one expected (nor would we have planned for) the Iraqis to fold after 45 days of combat, only four of those in direct fire contact. All of a sudden the road to Baghdad was open. Remember how hard it was to keep the Third Infantry and Marines supplied on the March Upcountry in 2003? Same thing would have been a problem for going to Baghdad back in 1991... but THAT WASN'T THE MISSION and no one expected that it would be. Had the mission been to depose Saddam, well, sure, it would have been nice and we probably could have gone on - but everybody was short-term happy with the mission accomplishment and wasn't looking for a new mission - and it would have been a much larger force we were trying to sustain over those distances.

As for Saddam being worth the casualties - 9/11 changed that calculus now didn't it?

As someone who spent the latter part of his career in the Army involved in reinventing how we trained and what we trained on, I perhaps can offer some insight.

As an Observer/Controller at the National Training Center prior to Desert Storm, we trained brigades to fight conventional fights in open terrain against conventional enemies. And we did it well. And when we fought the Iraqi Army in a conventional fight in open terrain we turned that Army into mush and junk. Granted, they were poorly led and poorly trained - but in those few places where we did run up against marginally well-led forces, such as 73 Easting, it was still no contest. (N.B. - the 73 Easting link takes a long time to load, but the text is there and you can start reading - and what's the irony of my linking to a paper written by the tanker who stole my first wife away - though in the final analysis, he did me a favor!)

But in examining the war and it's aftermath, combined with the collapse of the Soviet Union, we saw that the near-to-mid term threat environment was changing, and we needed to change with it. "Blackhawk Down" in Mogadishu (really the whole Somalia deployment) really brought home that we didn't have a doctrine for, nor did we adequately train for, urban combat - which was looking to be more and more likely the kind of fight we'd find ourselves in.

No soldier likes city fighting. It's even more messy, chaotic, and dangerous than close-quarters direct-fire combat in open terrain. It's a knife fight that tends to wipe away a whole lot of conventional military tech advantages. In other words, for a mech army, it's an asymetric environment.

We also ran into the bogeyman of Military Government issues, i.e., if you take it, you're responsible for it - but that's a much harder nut to crack and we're busy learning by doing now. Which would be true of any Army trying to do what we're doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, with the Marines leading the way, with visions of Hue in their minds, we started building MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) training sites, started thinking hard about how to bring our tech strengths to bear on the problem while still keeping our large-scale combat capability, and how to train the individual soldier for the new challenges. Much money, sweat, time was spent reinventing urban combat skills and not just dusting off the old WWII/Korea era TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures). And we started leavening in the lessons we were learning from the Peacekeeping and Enforcement operations in the Balkans - where it became very obvious that the junior leaders, the Company Commanders and below, were really key to success. They had to be soldier-diplomats... and we were training near pure warriors up to Desert Storm. The "Strategic Corporal", where a young man at a checkpoint, 19 years old and an E4 (junior enlisted) could find himself confronted with a situation that could turn into an International Incident because Christiane Amanpour was there with a camera crew - and there was no time to call higher and ask for an answer. The Corporal had to act - and make a good decision right then and there.

Training had to be adjusted to include that kind of situation. With the Joint Readiness Training Center leading the way - role players were introduced into training, actors who would portray all the 'white' elements on the battlefield that soldiers would have to deal with. Mayors, bus drivers, people being evacuated who wanted to bring their dogs with them - and who would get belligerent when the soldier solved the problem by shooting the dog (yes, we put laser engagement system harnesses on dogs so they could become casualties - shooting the dog was not usually the 'best' answer, either). And there is a role-player media person there to report it. And faux-CNN broadcasts are done, and real journalists are brought in to conduct interviews, so senior people can learn how to deal with real journalists - and the effects of all those actions are fed back into the training, so that the 'locals' may well become more hostile. Or they might become very cooperative.

With the change in the battlespace encountered in Afghanistan, the National Training Center in California changed dramatically. The old mines out there were made safe and modified and reopened as cave complexes. Villages dot a once-empty landscape. Actors portray the locals - we even brought in expat Iraqis to help train the role-players. Units have to conduct long convoy movements - and deal with IEDs, ambushes, etc. They have to conduct major military operations in one area while simultaneously conducting SASO (Stability and Security Operations) in the region and move their logistics along routes that might find them having to fight their way through... and the fighters blend back into the local population. In other words, they have to fight the Three Block War.

We've re-learned that while any echelon can lose a war - they are won by companies. And Company Leaders are crucial to combat and SASO success. I've put a Wall Street Journal article in the extended post that illustrates just what I'm talking about.

One of the finest and most compassionate Armies to march on this planet wears an American flag on it's collective shoulder.

So yes, Joe, something changed in the 10 years that intervened. The world didn't get more dangerous, we just learned the hard way that it was dangerous - something our geography had shielded us from.

And the US military was well on it's way to learning how to fight the fight that it didn't want to fight in 1991 - and didn't want to fight in 2003, but found itself with no choice. (I should note that I know OIF was an 'optional' war at the policy level - what I mean here is that no army with a collective brain *wants* to fight in a city!)

So no, I don't see it as a flip-flop. But given how long it just took me to explain why it isn't - do you really wonder why Cheney hasn't bothered? Would the MSM take the time? Especially the visual component, vice the written?

Shoot - how many of my readers got this far?

Hat tip: Jack at Random Fate for the pointer to Joe's piece. Cross posted to Mudville Gazette.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Sep 30, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Mudville Gazette links with: A mild Fisking

September 29, 2004

Attack Analysis.

In a previous entry, I pointed to a post at the Commissar's place where a reader of his had done a little geographic analysis in support of Prime Minister Allawi's contention that most of Iraq is secure, and that the problem areas are largely (not completely) to the Sunni strongholds of Baghdad, Fallujah, Tikrit, and Mosul.

The MSM has caught up. The New York Times has published a map [surrender to the marketing god - register (just put in bogus data...)] pretty much showing what CrudeNXS pointed out. Somewhat finer detail, perhaps - because the NYT had access to a firm that had access to data that CrudeNXS didn't.

Well done, CrudeNXS and Commissar!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

The New "Greatest Generation"

...and they are volunteers all. In terms of the recently recalled IRR types, maybe reluctant volunteers, but they knew the requirement was there when they enlisted! Heck, I'd love to get recalled. My budget sure wouldn't, and WonderWife™ and WonderMom™ and WonderSis™ would be annoyed... but WonderDad™ would understand, being an old warhorse himself.

Austin Bay, back from his own stint of duty as a called-up reservist, has a good one up at Strategy Page:

The New Greatest Generation by Austin Bay September 28, 2004

A new greatest generation is emerging -- in Afghanistan, in Iraq and in the other, less-publicized battlegrounds of the War on Terror.

Focused on the U.S. political cycle, America's press elites are missing the extraordinary story of the 19-through-35 year olds who are winning this war. The detailed history of this new cohort of American and Free World leaders -- the people who will shape the 21st century -- is being written by themselves, chiefly on the Internet, via email or web logs.

Go read the rest here.

There's some other good stuff there today, as well.

HUDs for Vehicle Commanders - this has the potential to revolutionize training, too - as it will allow for live soldiers to engage virtual and constructive elements. Lot of work before we get there, but with the addition of the tech to vehicle gunsights, the possiblities are there.

Civil War General Hooker (the source for the term, "hookers" [read to last paragraph]) would empathize with the troops. It's a tricky issue, but it's not like anyone is going to let us bring back the 'official bordello'.

Lastly, but possibly most important - a discussion of the casualty ratios in Iraq, and how they support the contention that Coalition Forces are doing their damndest to keep the casualties down among the non-combatants - a compunction not shared by their opponent. Of course, the anti-war types will dismiss this as propagandistic bilge.

OK, So We Can't Have a Large Fixed-Wing Force...

Still smarting from the 1947 Key West Agreement with the Air Force on who flys what, the Army today demo'd its latest foray outside what has been a predominantly rotary-wing force...

Shrewdly borrowing from the Carter Administration's follow-on air superiority fighter research and prototyping program, the Army's Vice Chief of Staff (an experienced aviator in his own right) could hardly contain his enthusiasm, citing the platform's impressive turning performance and short-field takeoff and landing capabilities.

"We've got the zoomies, er, our Air Force colleagues, looking with unabashed admiration on our innovative approach to today's national defense challenges" the General said. "Right now, we're looking at putting Hellfires on the thing...but are still working on the platform's post-launch fire suppression issues--we don't want another "Hindenberg Effect" to put the kabosh on what we feel in a very promising system."

(Hat Tip to JJM at The Corner)

Instapilot

by Dusty on Sep 29, 2004

Dusty and I have some interesting email exchanges...

We were discussing the time I shot down some Air Force guys in sim (I always thought it was a fluke - Dusty's analysis took what little wind was in them sails completely out!) and we got into aesthetics. Not a whole lotta context here, but a little insight into Jonah's Military Guy and Airpower Guy and some talk for you airplane buffs who visit.

> --- Instapilot: Did you know the Hurricane was covered in fabric (vs. Monococ--stressed sheet metal--construction) aft of the cockpit? If you're gonna buy a Brit WW II fighter, the only one to buy is the Spitfire. Amazing airplane and one of the most difficult wing shapes to manufacture (oval) but aerodynamically a brilliant design. BTW, I attended the 60th reunion of BoB [Battle of Britain. ed.] vets while at RAF Mildenhall. We arranged for a two-ship flyby--F-15 and Spit. What surprises many is how small fighters were back then and how big they are now. I think the F-4 is only a few feet shorter than the B-17 and carrier several times the explosive load. Gotta love those J79s! Cheers, Dusty

The Armorer responds:

Yeah, I know about the construction of the Hurri. I just like 'em, they're pugnacious, kinda like the A-10, vice the Metrosexual look of the Spit. The Typhoon's even better. Since I don't fly except in sim, I'm all about the aesthetic... The one fighter that kind of goes against the bigger better bit is the F-16 (gee, John Boyd's bird... whodathunk?) which doesn't quit overshadow the WWII birds as much. One F4 can carry the load of 10 B-17s... then there's the BUFF and the BONE... which are almost Thousand Plane Raids by their lonesomes. Much has changed. Far fewer people at risk (on the delivery side *and* the target side... at least in terms of collaterals - but no one ever gives us credit for that. Nor for the risks we take personally to avoid the collateral casualties. /rant

John

Instapilot:

Here's something I didn't know...you know why the BONE is still flying? Aside from the fact that it's less than half the BUFF's age, it can carry more than the venerable B-52, internally at least. I didn't believe it until I stood under the weapons bay and looked up. You could hoist a bus up in there.

Aside from the most beautiful piston-driven fighter ever built...

There’s the toughest...

...and my jet’s namesake. The biggest, heaviest single-engine fighter ever built and, besides being called the “Jug” (about as bad as “Hog”), it was known as “The Unbreakable.” This was brought home to me when I was working at Langley and a colleague told me about his dad having engine trouble while he was ferrying his new airplane back to the ETO...crash landed in the trees in New York somewhere. They got the airplane out, dropped the gear, banged out the dents on the wing leading edges, fixed the engine problem and he was on his way.

Look closely at the above picture and compare the size of the cockpit/pilot with the engine cowling. This was a BIG motor. That’s one thing we didn’t get in the Hog, but that may change as they retire a few to upgrade the rest.

As far as bombing goes, I’m sure you are aware of the air attack paradigm shift with the advent of JDAM: Curtis LeMay had to calculate the number of planes required per target. Now his successors calculate the number of targets per plane—16 for the B-2.

I'll post the Instapilot's ego-crushing AAR of my flight of fancy some other time!

by John on Sep 29, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» uruloki's lair links with: The BONE

September 28, 2004

Woo-woo!

Made it into The Corner today!

Which is cool, since I wasn't even trying. I was having an email conversation with someone else.

But - for the record - I know that Fort Snelling is in Minnesota, my fingers sometimes play tricks on me and type things when I'm not looking...

Update! Welcome to the NRO-surfers... one of the most important things for One of Jonah's Military Guys is to get noticed by Cosmo!

In history today...

In some respects, not a lot of good news today.

1066 William the Conqueror lands in England. England suffers her last successful invasion (not counting all those Over-Paid, Over-Sexed, and Over-Here Yanks during WWII) by a foreign power. (cool website, btw)

1781 Siege of Yorktown begins, the last major battle of Revolutionary War. Wherein we learn that we, too, can fight wars like the British, i.e., lose a huge chunk of the battles - but win the right ones, usually the ones at the end.

1850 Congress outlaws flogging in the Navy and Merchant Marine. Seems kinda late, doesn't it?

1901 Balangiga, Samar: 48 of 78 men of Co. C., 9th Inf killed by Filipino insurgents. There was another long quagmire that turned out alright in the end. I had a relative in this war. Not this fight (he wasn't in the direct line, so it wouldn't have mattered...) Another example of asymetric warfare and a weaker foe adapting to overcome weakness. In the long run, it didn't matter - but it did serve to make the war that much uglier.


1922 Fascist "March on Rome". Il Duce' starts his road to ruin.

1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact, two butchers agree to divide up Europe. Much woe to Poland and the world.

Hat tip: Strategy Page!

If you don't know what you are talking about...

...it's better to just shut up and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. (This may be a punishing post for you guys on dial-up, I apologize in advance)

How 'bout the Amazing Kerry? Another one of those 'searing' memories...

"My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam," said Mr. Kerry, a veteran, according to the October issue. [Of Outdoor Life] "I don't own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle."

Guess he had to have that because he threw away his medals. Oh, wait, those were someone else's.

Mind you, this fellow is sponsoring an Assault Weapons Ban that would have been more strict than the late, unlamented one. So, we expect him to know something about the things he wishes to legislate and regulate, right? Or to rely upon the advice of those who do. And to have staff who understand these things. Is that unreasonable?

Well, out here in the 'sphere, we right wing gun nuts (and prolly some lefty gun nuts, too) had fun with and pointed out his cluelessness regarding a subject near and dear to many voters hearts - such as the shotgun he accepted (and later returned) which would have been illegal under the awful wording of his law (but he and his staff said, "No, it wouldn't." but which most people, on both sides of the issue said, "Yes, it would, Senator." Then there is the fact that the laws are labyrinthine enough now that the well-intentioned gift of the shotgun was illegal, though only those of us who are 'into' guns apparently knew that - but that doesn't stop the good junior Senator from Massachusetts from wanting to add more to the pile of badly-written, feel-good, ineffective law on the subject.

So, what does the Senator (or his staff, depending on which version of events the campaign is putting out now) think is an assault weapon? According to the New York Times:

Senator John Kerry's campaign said yesterday that Mr. Kerry did not own a Chinese assault rifle, as he was quoted as saying in Outdoor Life magazine, but a single-bolt-action military rifle, blaming aides who filled out the magazine's questionnaire on his behalf for the error.

Leaving aside that I don't know of any double/triple/quadruple-bolt action rifles (Department of Redundancy Department alert), we find the Senator, as is his wont when things break the wrong way - blaming subordinates. And, from this, we are to infer that subordinates made up and supplied the quote? Or is there a program the campaign uses, that strings together phrases from the Senator's past speech to generate plausible-sounding verbiage for campaign questionnaires? Who is this "Campaign," guy, anyway? Can we speak to him? Did he write the Senator's legislation regarding assault weapons? We're beginning to think he might have... Oops, we can - because it wasn't the campaign speaking (I know the artifice, I'm being Safire-ishly snarky here) because:

Michael Meehan, a spokesman for the campaign, said Mr. Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, owns two guns, a double-barreled 12-gauge shotgun and the rifle, which Mr. Meehan said Mr. Kerry "keeps as a relic" and had never fired. Mr. Meehan said the gun had no make or model markings on it and that Mr. Kerry "got it from a friend years ago," adding that such rifles were first manufactured in Russia more than 100 years ago and were used by the North Koreans and the Vietcong.

Okay, so which of you guys thinks that thing is an assault rifle? Five-shot bolt action rifles are now assault rifles? Well, in WWI and WWII they were, true enough- at least until true 'assault rifles' came along in the form of the German Maschinen Pistole/Sturm Gewher 44 (Sturm = Storm/Assault, Gewehr= weapon). So was the Springfield Model 1903 in the US Army. Sigh. And yet this gentleman and his underlings want to regulate this stuff. When they are clueless about it, other than "Guns are dangerous, and people can do bad things them... so we must regulate them, and, preferably, ban them altogether, because, well, like, you know, it's good for the kids and man-in-the-moon-marigolds, or something. And you people who want guns and stuff are too stupid to be allowed them, because, like, well, - you don't know anything about 'em and stuff, like, well, um, we do.

So, here's a primer, courtesy the Arsenal at Castle Argghhh!, to help you guys tell the difference.

Chinese (Bulgarian, Russian, Polish, fill-in-the-AK-blank) Assault Rifle. (Though even this isn't - it's a semi, and doesn't have a bayonet lug).

Not Assault Rifle. But, it *is* on of those "rifles were first manufactured in Russia more than 100 years ago" a 1895-dated Imperial Russian Mosin-Nagant Model of 1891, M91 for short. (And I bet, if you clueless dolts had brain cells that make contact, there's markings on it... they just don't say "Chinese Assault Rifle" in english - but unless it's been scrubbed, it'll tell ya who made it, when, and where. And as far as I know, there aren't that many of the 'scrubbed' rifles in the US - since the ones that were scrubbed for clandestine use had their S/Ns removed, too. But - pull that action, and I'll bet you find proofs on the tang.

Hi-res here.

Plus, it's just a bit longer than those AK's and SKS's.

Just a bit...

Unless of course, it is one of the younger siblings of this rifle, the M38, without a bayonet, or the M44, with a built-in bayonet. Lot of them floating around in Korea and Vietnam, too. In fact, this M38 came home with a soldier from the Korean War, and the M44 came home from Vietnam.

M38 hi-res here.

M44 hi-res here.

Remember your pals, the French? Who said yesterday they won't play with you either?

This is a French Assault Rifle. Post-WWII, notice how nice and clean and shiny and unused it is.

It even has one of those dreaded bayonet mount-cum-grenade launcher-cum-flash suppressor thingys you don't like.

Hi-res here.

But it's still pretty short, Senator.

Hi-res for the MAS 49/56 is here.

Okay, Senator (and your underlings). Here's a test. One of these is a Dreaded Assault Weapon. One is not. Can you tell?

Hi-res for the M1903 is here.

Hi-res for the L1A1 is here.

September 27, 2004

Food for thought.

George McClellan, 1864. John Kerry, 2004.

Now imagine if, having defeated Hitler, we were subject to knowing assertions that while Hitler was bad, deserving of a special place in hell in fact, that his dictatorship was no threat to America and preferable to the chaos of post-war Europe. If Nazi holdouts and a strengthened Soviet hand and unfinished business with Japan all made front page news with the word "quagmire" in the headline. If weedling, weak-kneed excuse were offered of voting for the Marshall Plan before voting against it.

1864. 1944. Welcome to the bizarro world of 2004. In this thing Karl Marx was right: History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce.

Since the crisp September morning of America's second Antietam some who hold true to the strength of the West have remembered the shame of Chamberlain. Let us not forget the shame of McClellan, another name that lives in infamy.

The Ghost of a Flea has more. I do so love it when people use a little history to good effect. I just wish more 'Muricans could do so!

After you peruse that, go visit the Carnival of the Liberated, at Dean's World! Iraqi voices, that John Kerry never lifted a finger to help find a voice.

You know you wanted it.

...but you didn't want to dig through the archives or visit the Castle. But you knew you wanted to take another look at a french Chassepot Needle Gun with Cartridge inserted. If only for a firearms moment of Zen...

Besides, some of you are new, and haven't seen this stuff at all!

by John on Sep 27, 2004 | Ammunition | Rifles

September 26, 2004

The "hidden Iraq" that the Press doesn't believe in...

AlphaPatriot has a post up channeling Winds of Change regarding the war Kerry wants us to lose. Ok, to be fair, the war he wants to go horribly until the day after he assumes office so he can take credit for everything, while doing nothing but undermine the effort.

I have my own picture of the War the Press Doesn't Believe In. From Leavenworth Kansas, to Mosul, Iraq - courtesy of the Stryker Brigade: school supplies for Iraqi schoolkids.

If you'd like a clearer picture, go here.

by John on Sep 26, 2004 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Dummer 'n' Dirt links with: Cool Bloggings
» Passionate America links with: Passionate America Blogger Roundup

A banker after my own heart...

My undergrad degree is in geography. The Commissar does a little basic geographic analysis.

Well well well. It appears the Prime Minister of Iraq just might know what he's talking about. Not that the MSM would acknowledge it.

Kerry didn't show up for Allawi's visit to Washington -- he was in Ohio again, which is evidently becoming the proverbial Vietnam-type quagmire for him. Nonetheless, barely had the prime minister finished than the absentee senator did a daytime version of his midnight ramble and barged his way onto the air to insist that he knew better than Iraq's head of government what was going on in the country. One question from his accompanying press corps was especially choice:

''Prime Minister Allawi told Congress today that democracy was taking hold in Iraq and that the terrorists there were on the defensive. Is he living in the same fantasyland as the president?''

Update: As Teri points out in her comment - I didn't read it right. The Commissar credited it, but I just blew on by that... CrudeNXS, The Commissar's emailer - did the analysis.

The Armorer regrets the error!

"...while rough men stand ready..."


Official US Army photo.

In this case, a soldier with the National Guard's 39th Infantry Brigade, with the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq.

For those with the bandwidth or inclination, a hi-res version is here.

Then, a nice surprise in my inbox... more pictures from people with Cool Toys™!

For another view from a different angle, click here.

Thanks, Chris!