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July 01, 2006

H&I* Fires 1 Jul 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

HAVE A FUN AND SAFE HOLIDAY!

Some history for the day.

For our Canadian guests (Especially certain Maritimers): The Royal Canadian Legion of Newfoundland and Labrador at Beaumont Hamel.

On July 1 in broad daylight one hundred thousand men, the Newfoundlanders among them, climbed out of their trenches and advanced shoulder to shoulder in line, one behind the other, across the crater-torn waste of No-Man's Land. Weighed down by 30 kilograms of equipment each, they advanced slowly towards the waiting German guns.

From their starting position in the British support trench known as St. John's Road, the Newfoundlanders had to cross 230 metres of fire-swept ground before they reached even their own front line. As they made their way through zigzag lanes previously cut in the British wire, casualties came with increasing frequency. Those of the leading companies who finally emerged into No-Man's Land could look down at a incline to see for the first time the barrier of the German wire, 550 or more metres away. It was a wonder that any man could remain unhit more than a minute in the inferno of fire that swept across the exposed slopes. Nevertheless, holding as best they could the parade-ground formations then prescribed for assaulting infantry by the General Staff, the thinning ranks pushed steadily forward. Half-way down the slope an isolated tree marked an area where the enemy's shrapnel was particularly deadly. Called "The Danger Tree", its twisted skeleton has been preserved and still stands at the spot where many a gallant Newfoundlander fell on that tragic July day.

Read the rest here. H/t, CAPT H.

For us 'Muricans, of whatever region, Gettysburg. Union General John Buford's finest hour.

The concept that John Buford employed in the initial defense of Gettysburg is called a "defense in depth". The theory behind a defense in depth is for the defending force to select a position far from the point that it ultimately wants to defend, so that there is a place to fall back to. A delaying action is fought, with the idea of slowly making a fighting withdrawal. The defending force makes use of the terrain to delay the enemy's advance. Buford recognized the good high ground to the south and east of the town square and elected to fight a defense in depth to hold it until the infantry could come up. Buford had been consulting with John Reynolds in Emmitsburg on the way to Gettysburg on June 30, and knew how close the infantry was. He would defend the town from the west and north. Gamble on the west side, and Devin on the north. Buford set up his videttes on an arc seven miles long. Gamble's farthest post was four miles from the town square, Devin's six. The idea of videttes is to serve as an early warning system. They make contact with the enemy, fire warning shots, delay as long a possible, and then fall back to the next chosen defensive position. Gamble covered an arc from the Fairfield Road to the Mummasburg Road. Devin covered the Carlisle, Harrisburg and York Roads. The next fall back position from the west was Herr's Ridge (which combines with Belmont School House Ridge), and then finally, the main line of battle was atop McPherson Ridge.

Read the rest here. H/t, Me.

Take me to your leader!

No, it's not a new character from "Star Wars." It's Sgt. Tommy Hughes, crew chief on a UH-60 Blackhawk, 1/108th Aviation Regiment, 36th Combat Aviation Brigade wearing a dust guard during the brigade's final exercise before deploying this summer to Iraq.


Speaking of CAPT H, he sent this link to a video along with some snarky comment about Gunner versatility on display. All I thought was - looks like a tanker to me... I wouldn't show it to impressionable teenagers unless your insurance is fully paid up.

The Right Place has their weekly caption contest up. -The Armorer

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I had plans to commemorate this with a celebratory post of my own, but the relocation madness made it impossible. However, Chuck did a great job of looking back himself:

But other things have happened in this year. I came to truly appreciate and understand the depths of love, and inner strength that my darling wife has. The trauma I suffered physically and emotionally cannot begin to compare with the ordeal she faced in putting me back together again. When she finally smartens up and sees what a rat bastard I am, I’ll miss her.
All Things Considered, a year after he got his "ass splattered all over" Iraq... I'm so glad he's still with us and so proud to count him my friend [more here and here]. - FbL

[You are depriving yourself if you don't go read Chuck's post. Since I don't want any deprived visitors - go. That's an order. We'll be here when you get back. -The Armorer. Thanks, Armorer. You're exactly right, of course. - FbL]

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 01, 2006 | General Commentary
» A Rose By Any Other Name links with: Yesterday's Heroes
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Nobody Cares About Soldiers

Argghhh!

How'd I miss this! Jim, I *knew* you were ill, but damn, fella, this is taking it too far.

Jim Baen is dead.

Little SciFi authors (and we who love to read 'em) have lost a great friend.

Flip side - the Other Side has now been blessed with the arrival to two Dyed-in-the-Wool Curmudgeons, as Jim joins Acidman Over The Rainbow.

How'd I miss this? I've been so busy I haven't been keeping up with my Snarkatron.

Raise a glass my friends - to Army Security Agency Analyst, Greenwich Village Coffee shop manager, but most importantly - A Father of Science Fiction - Jim Baen.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

Whatziss for a Saturday.

This item is complete, less the straps that fit the slots.

For full credit: War, Nation, Purpose.

It's 9 inches across, measured diagonally.

So, whatziss?

Perhaps another view will help.

I'm probably late on this, especially since I tend to be a...

...World Cup? Oh, that interests me as much as the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals kind of guy - but -

Anti-Americanism Has Reached A New Low by James Dunnigan June 30, 2006


Anti-Americanism has reached a new low. FIFA, the international sports organization for football (soccer to Americans) refused to allow U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (and warships at sea) to view any of the current World Cup games being played in Germany. The U.S. AFN (Armed Forces Network) has no budget for sports programming, and usually gets a free feed for major sporting events, in the same spirit that movie studios and TV networks provide free access to their product for troops in combat zones. FIFA demanded money, and would not budge on that. While soccer is not a major sport in the United States, it's estimated that a quarter or more of the troops are fans, and would enjoy seeing some of the World Cup matches. However, once this situation became known, several wealthy Americans stepped forward to correct the situation. The first one to make a move was media magnate Robert Murdoch, who ordered his Fox Network to make arrangements, and pay whatever FIFA was demanding, to get the soccer games to the troops, as soon as possible. This was accomplished in 24 hours.

BTW - I actually support the FIFA in that it's their product, they can do what they want and we can draw whatever conclusions we wish and modify our behaviors to suit - I would no more compel them to give their product away than I would do so to General Motors.

This is about High Fiving those who *did* make it possible for the troops to catch the games.

H/t Jim Dunnigan of Strategy Page - and Rupert and whatever other wealthy 'Muricans stepped up to the plate.

by John on Jul 01, 2006 | Politics

June 30, 2006

Someone you should meet.

Private First Class David Nicholas Crombie.

"The last call I got from him, I think it was Memorial Day weekend, he said, 'Mom, I saved an Iraqi soldier today -- it was so cool. I put my training to effect; I saved someone. I'm scared, but it's so great doing this.' "

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

We can't highlight each of them, but we can highlight a representative sample. This post will remain on top all day.

H&I* Fires 30 June 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

Almost July. Year has flown. But no matter. If I have learned at least 2 things while hanging in Purgatory with Ry-Gollum, it's 1: Don't eat the moving rice and 2: I'm Batman I'm back to the land of foreign speaking devils, heat and hard labor. No, not Arizona. The hotel down the road where I'm working for a time heh.

-BloodSpite
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After a six week blogging hiatus, I've FINALLY got a new post up, complete with a video highlighting the Golden Medic exercise at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. Enjoy!
-1SG Keith

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Mark Levin on the Hamdan Decision. Me - I think the decision split 50/50 for the President, and laid out the path the Executive can take to get what they want... all without being required to submit to treaty obligations beyond what it already has.

Follow that up with Andy McCarthy. Perhaps Alan will weigh in and give us that Canadian Lawyer thing.

And while we wait on Alan - here's an Army Lawyer's take.

And we'll follow that with an anti-war Left fantasy from Rosa Brooks.

I've read Cobra II, Gordon and Trainor's quick history of the March Upcountry and aftermath. I was going to write a review - but I don't have anything substantial to add to Victor David Hanson's, so I won't indulge my ego and I'll just send you there.

Denizens - think we ought to add Trias to 'Roll? He's a participant in commentary *and* that would give us a vaguely leftish Aussie to balance Murray's New Zealand "Clank clank I'm a tank" tankerishness, to go with our righty Torch and lefty Alan from Canada. Still need to conquer Blighty!

BTW - Jack is back, sneaking around the 'sphere, if not here. The Contrarian Corps is rebuilding.

And you *have* to check out the results of Cassie's caption contest. Sigh. She gets the best captioners. -The Armorer

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Sigh. Stand by for ram.

BEIJI, Iraq - Five U.S. Army soldiers are being investigated for allegedly raping a young woman, then killing her and three members of her family in Iraq, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press on Friday...

{snippage}

...However, a U.S. official close to the investigation said at least one of the soldiers, all assigned to the 502nd Infantry Regiment, has admitted his role and has been arrested. Two soldiers from the same regiment were slain this month when they were kidnapped at a checkpoint near Youssifiyah.

At least four other soldiers have had their weapons taken away and are confined to Forward Operating Base Mahmoudiyah south of Baghdad. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.

Read the rest here.

If they're guilty, the impact of their actions upon the mission in Iraq must be a consideration in the punishment phase. Simply must. -The Armorer

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GI Korea has some common-sense advice for the Commander of Camp Humphreys, Korea.

Changing subjects: Noonan, what's your new job again?

It's not this, is it?

Automated Ontologically-Based Link Analysis of International Web Logs for the Timely Discovery of Relevant and Credible Information

That’s the name of the study. $450,000 for three years.

Or are you the *subject*...?

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research recently began funding a new research area that includes a study of blogs. Blog research may provide information analysts and warfighters with invaluable help in fighting the war on terrorism.

Interested? Read the rest over at America's Northshore Journal. -the Armorer

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Gollum. Pianos are hard.

Put something up at Kat's as part of the work release program of Castle Purgatory(it's worth it Bloodspite). Not the next installment of the series I'm working on (sorry Trias, but I'm certain your rhetorical knives will be sharpened for when that bit is ready), but something on the Fighting Keyboardists that's been on my mind since the formation.

Just keep in mind that I am part of the Castle Contrarian Corps when if you read that. It isn't meant as a slap in the face of anyone.
ry
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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 30, 2006 | General Commentary
» My Side of the Puddle links with: Doggie Style
» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy links with: Why virginity sucks
» Planck's Constant links with: Why there are only 72 Muslim Virgins in Heaven

Denizens in the Assault.

Castle Adjutant Brab and Bad Cat Robot keep an eye on the Moonbats.

H/t, Princess Crabby. I've been remiss while shutting down this contract and moving out of the office.

Getting an early start on the 4th of July...

Over in Iraq.

Getting an early start on the 4th

by John on Jun 30, 2006 | Observations on things Military
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Bin Laden praises al-Zarqawi as "the lion of holy war"

Whatziss for the smarty-pantsed crowd.

This isn't as unfair as it looks.

1. It's been mentioned on this site, in conjunction with these kinds of posts, within living memory, even of those of you who slay brain cells with alcohol with reckless abandon.

2. It's been pictured on this site, in other contexts.

3. It's about 1/3 the size it appears to be in the pic.

C'mon, impress me!

Go ahead, impress me.

Oh, here. A hint.

Update: Okay, Monteith got it. Striker spring for the Mills bomb (this one a No 5). Was hazarded as a guess on this post, is seen here with the striker, and has been viewed before (in context) in this pic.

Okay. That was an easy one. Let's continue the adventure. Tomorrow I'll put up something a little more challenging.

June 29, 2006

H&I Fires* 29 June 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

Cassandra at work. Ahhhhh. -the Armorer

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The Supreme Court punches the President in the nose. I think I'll leave this to the legal beagles to discuss, though I find the logic that al Qaeda is a covered combatant to be... odd. But, we've pretty much always, last century and this, had to follow rules our opponents didn't. So, who will be the first Big Name to call it impeachable? And will anyone note - it essentially validated the concept of we can hold them for the duration - i.e., that Gitmo isn't illegal? -The Armorer

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The missing VA laptop has been recovered. The investigation continues. -The Armorer

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Oh please let this be the beginning of gas price accountability by major oil companies in the US! ~AFSis

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Denizenne FbL checking in after an extended period of absence or shirking of duties and lack of substantive posting (substantive posting to come)... - FbL
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Gollum here. We're tired. Yes, we're tired. Feel like John Belushi pounding his head on the piano in the SNL Beethoven skit; but not singing Ray Charles tunes or wearing the cool sunglasses. We got some sun today. Part of the work release program The Armorer has us on over at The Middle Ground.

The first installment of War is hard, Peace is harder, and we prepared for neither is up over at Kat’s place. Don’t blame me if you’re dumber, have fewer functioning brain cells, or are angry that you have taken time off of your life that you can’t get back after reading it.

We also saw the Superman movie on our working parole from Castle Purgatory. The Wife’s parents knowing The Wife is a big comic book fan sent her some cash for us to go. (WK need not worry that some upstart will supplant Vin Diesel says The Wife.) I enjoyed it (but remember I was about the only Denizen who like X-Men3) and actually thought they did what should be important in comics well: visually spectacular conflicts and showing the characters struggling with ethical questions(comics are modern fables, they’re supposed to more about the morals than the 3 dimensional-ness of the characters taking part. Want developed character? Go read a novel.). Found it to be rich with metaphors, as comics should be. Could Superman be a metaphor for ‘The City on a Hill’ perhaps? Probably better to take that up with Dean Esmay though.
ry
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Hey na, hey naw The Jawa's back. You bet he's gonna make some trouble. Hey na, hey na, The Jawa's back.
ry
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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 29, 2006 | General Commentary
» The Discomfort of Thought links with: Stolen Laptop Recovered, but...
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: The Soccer Ball

Someone you should meet.

The six soldiers walked out to the chopper and lifted Sergeant Lisk's body into it. The door went back up. The helicopter flew away.

The soldiers saluted a final time.

In the darkness, as the sound of the helicopter faded, Colonel MacFarland addressed his soldiers.

"I don't know if this war is worth the life of Terry Lisk, or 10 soldiers, or 2,500 soldiers like him," Colonel MacFarland told his forces. "What I do know is that he did not die alone. He was surrounded by friends.

"A Greek philosopher said that only the dead have seen the end of war," the colonel said. "Only Terry Lisk has seen the end of this war."

The soldiers turned and walked back to their barracks in the darkness. No one said a word.

The NYTimes isn't entirely worthless. Even if I possibly walked away from this story with a different take than they intend. But, maybe not.

Read the rest here. H/t, Cassandra.

Speaking of Cassandra - she had a *lot* more time to put words to the thoughts today on this subject than I did.

by John on Jun 29, 2006 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Villainous Company links with: The Cost Of Freedom
» Villainous Company links with: The Cost Of Freedom
» Villainous Company links with: The Cost Of Freedom

Trias - this post's for you.

Wounded Warrior Program leads Soldiers, families through recovery By Katisha Draughn

June 28, 2006

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 28, 2006) – Staff Sgt. Jarod Behee was patrolling in Iraq last spring when his life forever changed, courtesy of a sniper shot to the head.

The bullet left the California National Guardsman critically wounded, and he’s since endured numerous surgeries to decrease the swelling of his brain and repair damaged blood vessels.

Enter the Army Wounded Warrior Program, which has assisted Soldiers who’ve been severely injured while supporting the Global War on Terror since April 2004. Their injuries range from loss of limbs and sight to extreme burns and brain injuries.

“We want them to know there is someone here for them,” said Sgt. Maj. Robert McAvoy, lead NCO for the AW2. “They’ve been through a traumatic event, and they don’t need anything worse.”

The AW2 supports Soldiers and their families through a three-phased process. Phase one is notification and evacuation; phase two is the medical care and board evaluation; and phase three involves helping Soldiers reintegrate into the Army or transition to civilian employment.

“We’re there to assist and advocate for them as they face the bureaucracy in front of them, whether it be normal Army systems or the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) as they transition into the civilian world,” McAvoy said.

When Behee’s wife, Marissa, was informed of her husband’s accident, AW2 officials immediately linked her to a Soldier/family management specialist.

“The program has been great to us,” said Marissa. “Our [specialist] called every week and was always there to listen to me and help. It was good just to have someone to vent to and talk to about my frustrations.”

While Behee moved between hospitals and eventually to private rehabilitation facilities, Marissa had her own share of hard times. Beyond being a military wife and a mother to their 5-year-old daughter, Madison, Marissa become a constant bedside supporter to her injured husband. But looking out for his wellbeing and managing his TRICARE coverage isn’t always easy.

“We’ve had good days and bad days, and we’ve hit every worse-case scenario there is,” she said. “But I don’t give up because I know that there are better days to come.”

The AW2 has helped the Behee’s and other families see better days by helping them meet financial needs. If a family has trouble paying personal and medical bills, for example, AW2 officials coordinate with non-profit organizations to seek donations that will help Soldiers and families.

William M. Years has been a Soldier/family management specialist with the AW2 for almost two years.

“When I see the light in Soldiers’ eyes and see them interact with their families again, I know I have made a difference,” he said.

Years is paired with Soldiers and families living in numerous states, to include New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Michigan, Kentucky and Europe. He visits them often, and provides information on military benefits, transportation needs, monetary issues, loans and counseling.

“We help do things that the Soldier’s unit may not be able to,” Years said.

Thanks to efforts of AW2 officials, Behee goes through intense physical therapy at the Casa Colina Rehabilitation Center in California. He has regained considerable movement in his left arm and hand, and can now walk without assistance.

The hospital has also given the Behee’s a house on hospital grounds, making it possible for Marissa’s parents to live close by and help out.

“His injury has been a blessing in disguise because it has brought our family together and helped us realize what is important,” said Jan Szymanski, Behee’s mother-in-law.

The AW2 stays with Soldiers for five years from the date they restart their Army careers, until they transition to the civilian community or retire.

“We want our Soldiers to know they are always Soldiers, and our Army and nation will not leave them or their families behind,” McAvoy said.

For more information call (800) 237-1336 or visit www.aw2.army.mil.

To read about a wounded Soldier who has overcome some of the greatest obstacles of his injury, go to http://www4.army.mil/ocpa/read.php?story_id_key=9231.

I'm sure there are flaws in the program. No program meets every need, or all needs well. And I'm sure it took too long to get going, as the leadership resisted the idea that significant casualty-producing combat would last this long.

But there *is* a program.

Now if the Executive would ask and/or Congress would fund the VA for health care as readily as they are willing to fund credit checks... but of course, the data fiasco affects 26 million vets who might vote. The health care bill (for which there wasn't 160 million laying around like there is for credit monitoring)... well, that doesn't affect as many people, now does it?

Can I have a 'Hoo-ah! please?

Not so much for the guy on the left, as the guy on the right. The guy on the left gets plenty of attention.

Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, who lost both legs in Iraq last year when a roadside bomb hit his Humvee, runs with President Bush June 27 on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo by William Moss.

Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, who lost both legs in Iraq last year when a roadside bomb hit his Humvee, runs with President Bush June 27 on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo by William Moss.
by John on Jun 29, 2006 | Observations on things Military
» Welcome To Andi's World links with: Sick and Twisted
» Welcome To Andi's World links with: Sick and Twisted

June 28, 2006

H&I Fires* 28 June 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

"I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say... "

Well, I've got *some* time. Iowahawk needs some help:

When I first started posting the comely mugshots of selected arrestees from Des Moines' Polk County Jail (h/t State 29), I had no idea so many readers shared my fascination with caged pulchitrude. To commemorate the anniversary of this popular feature, I think it's finally time to select the official Hawkeye Hoosegow Honey of the Year.

Vote here.

Murray is, um, well, a little *miffed* at the New Zealand justice system at the moment. Seems a little light on the justice, he thinks. I'm tending to agree - certainly in *this* case.

That'll hafta do for now. Spent most of this morning doing back-office cleanup. -The Armorer

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Who says the MSM doesn't have a sense of humor? hehe.....

Deep in the heart of Texas.... an illegal Mexican drifter is put to death. THANK GOD. See ya, Railroad Killer, who brutally murdered and sometimes raped his 15 or more victims. You should have stayed in Mexico, where there's no death penalty.

Saaaaa-WEEET! "I'm free -- I'm free, and freedom tastes of reality!" Belile is free to sing whatever he wants, as long as he's not representing the US Military. It's about damn time, brass! ~AFSis

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Letters from Afghanistan - from Canadian soldiers. H/t Small Dead Animals via CAPT H. - the Armorer

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{gollum here. On a working parole over at The Middle Ground. John apparently thought I was getting a little too pale, a little too blind, and a little too much like a naked mole rat. [actually, Ry, that was Bill] So he let me out of CP and sent me to The Middle Ground to caretake Kat's place. I'm taking the comic books with me.}

I initially started working on this as a rebuttal of something,
but found in the writing that there was more to it. That when my wife would come in and read over my shoulder I’d hear her say, ‘I didn’t know that;’ and when she claimed I was just making stuff up she was shocked when I’d proffer a book or other reliable source to back my argumentation. If she was going thru that I realized that quite a few people didn’t understand much of the issue. There was something better to do than be Eric Cartman and write something that was Oh look, another hippy.

The anger expressed and the points made were emblematic of arguments made by many who opposed the Iraq war and have now claimed to hold more authentic support for ‘The Troops” than the rest of us. In a sense, Mr. Rodgers is right. “We have met the enemy and he is us.” But, in other sense, Mr. Rodgers, and the movement that uses his logic, is utterly wrong.

The argument breaks down into two parts essentially: 1) Iraq is not part of GWOT/The Long War; 2) Failure to provide The Troops with everything they need is a travesty, and it is, but the means to remedy the problem is to turn out the current Administration. Both points show a major misunderstanding, one I suspect exists for many on all sides of the issue, not just those like Rodgers; and is something I will attempt to clarify with a group of essays.

The first will be entitled, ‘War is hard, peace is harder, and we prepared for neither.’ It will deal with misperceptions in what ‘giving The Troops all that they need and well defined missions’ arguments carry. More than likely this will be multi-part. Actually, I guarantee you that it is.

The second will be about what the Global War on Terror is and isn’t.
(Ooops. Forgot to do my links as outlined in the CFM(Castle Field Manual): Proper Linking initially. There. Is that better?) [Marginally. we're still gonna work on that spell check thing. Wrong word, spelled right, still wrong!]
ry
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Heroes.

The Victoria Cross has been awarded for 150 years this year. To commemorate that event, all the living holders of the Victoria and George Crosses (for exceptional heroism not involving direct combat with the enemy) gathered for a ceremony marking the anniversary.

Overheard conversation:

The quiet heroes swapped stories and bonhomie before the ceremonial, which was to be capped by a reception hosted by the prince at St James's Square.

"How do you keep looking so good?" one VC-wearing old soldier asked his Royal Navy buddy among the GCs.

"Guinness," replied the sailor, "that's my secret: lots of Guinness."

"I'm a Viagra man myself," laughed the soldier, his chest heaving so that those "bits of metal" tinkled merrily.

I suspect Lex will approve.

Read the rest here. You want to. Really. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 28, 2006 | General Commentary

Acidman sings...

...for those who never met Rob, or heard him sing, I'm hosting a song sent me by a friend of his.

John, Jen (Jinxie, from Ala's) sent me an audio clip of Acidman singing and playing guitar. It's a strange song, about his ex breaking up with her new boyfriend, and him telling her she can "come home anytime", but I like it, and the music itself is very nice. Anyway.... Jen sent it to me to pass on to you. I think you'll like it too. Dbie

1. Do *not* hotlink this file. Link the post.

2. Do my server a favor and "right click and save as", save it to your machine and play it locally. Your quality will be better, my server will be happier. If you don't know how to do that, you should learn how just as a matter of politesse!

Okay, The Armorer's Stern Warnings® haven been given - I give you Rob Smith...

Acidman sings.

Update: From the comments, LoopyLibertarian of Chromed Curses adds:

This was originally posted by Lil Toni who was sent the file by Rob's good friend Catfish. I just want to acknowledge them for bringing this music to us.

Update II. Heh. (Looks at Trackbacks) I finally got linked by Acidman. Now *that's* reach, folks.

by John on Jun 28, 2006 | Something for the Soul
» Gut Rumbles links with: Rob's Music
» Gut Rumbles links with: Rob's Music
» Gut Rumbles links with: Rob's Music

The Flag Burning Amendment

The Flag Burning Amendment failed by 1 vote. Good, sez I, as I don't like amending the Constitution for issues like this. There are other remedies the Congress can take - legislative remedies to remove the issue from the purview of the Courts (all perfectly legal under the Constitution) and put the issue back with the Legislative bodies, where it properly belongs. When the Courts decide, the issue is vigorously debated by lawyers in front of lawyers. When the 51 legislatures decide - the issue is argued by a heckuva lot of people, and a greater societal consensus is formed, while leaving room for experimentation and regional values to assert themselves, vice New York, Washington, and Los Angele's values being imposed on everyone. As for me - as I have said before - I've worn that flag on my shoulder as an aiming reference point for people who hate the flag and all it stands for - I say let 'em burn 'em. It just makes target identification easier. In a political sense, people, get a grip!

I think, though, that AP writer Laurie Kellman missed the boat in this bit of analysis that opens her piece:

By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer Wed Jun 28, 6:39 AM ET WASHINGTON - The narrow defeat of a proposal to ban flag desecration marks the second time in a month Senate Republicans have lost bids to amend the Constitution in ways designed to inspire social conservatives to vote in the midterm elections.

The failure of the questions *are* exactly what they intend to inspire the voters to vote. To change the demographics of the Senate and House to make things like that pass.

I would note a significant difference in approach between the parties on the issues... the Democrats seem to prefer to find a judge or 5 to get their agenda passed if they can't otherwise, thereby bypassing the people (who are obviously stupid or deluded) altogether in favor of a an unelected oligarchy (who are smarter and wiser than the collective 'we' are) - the Republicans prefer to send the issue to the states, where the people have a voice in the process, and a super-majority have to agree. Which is the more democratic way of accomplishing legislative and policy objectives?

You can read the whole piece here.

Heh. The issue makes for strange bedfellows. ;^ )

by John on Jun 28, 2006 | Politics
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Flag amendment faces close Senate vote
» Silicon Valley Redneck links with: Forget the flag - burn a politician!
» The Prodigal Sheep links with: American Idols

A little window into Europe.

While I would argue *no* state has the ability to match that first sentence at the indvidual level, setting that aside - this report from Belgium is a dark window into today's Europe.

The Belgian state is no longer able to guarantee the security of its citizens. On Saturday afternoon Guido Demoor, a 54-year old Flemish train conductor on his way to work, was kicked to death by six “youths” on a crowded bus near Antwerp’s Central Station. The incident recalls the rush-hour murder ten weeks ago of Joe Van Holsbeeck, 17 years of age, in a crowded Brussels Central Station on 12 April.

I find it interesting how supportive the Cardinal is. Good on him.

Another colleague told the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “After the Van Holsbeeck murder some whined that no-one had intervened. Guido did intervene and paid with his life.” After the assassination of Joe Van Holsbeeck Belgium’s Cardinal Danneels had said that Joe was a victim of “the indifference in Belgian society” because no-one had come to his rescue when two youths stabbed him to death for not handing over his MP3 player.

Today the Cardinal issued a statement saying: “Guido Demoor acted very bravely. The fact that he paid with his life does not mean that he acted wrongly.” In contemporary Belgium it is heroic for an unarmed adult to tell immigrant youths to calm down.

I wonder what, besides anguished hand-wringing and pompous bloviating, will result?

by John on Jun 28, 2006 | Politics

June 27, 2006

H&I Fires 27 Jun 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

WASHINGTON - The annual cost of replacing, repairing and upgrading Army equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan is expected to more than triple next year to more than $17 billion, according to Army documents obtained by the Associated Press.

Prediction - as is already happening in the Air Force and Navy - this bill will get paid from the personnel accounts. It's the quickest and easiest bill-payer, politically. And if done right, can make sense. But we rarely let operational assessments drive the decision - we look at how much money we need to cut, figure out how many people that is, and then manufacture an operational assessment to match. T'was ever thus it seems. Well, that's not true - only since the creation of the Department of Defense have we done it that way. Before that we just demobbed as fast as we could. So I suppose it's an improvement...

Color me a part of the group who thinks Sandy Berger should have done some jail time - like I might well have if I had pulled the classified papers in my pants stunt - and it would have been a *lifetime* ban on a security clearance, not just a couple of years) - but Louis Freeh's bit in the WSJ, highlighted by the Vodkapundit - fills me with contempt. I would love to hear Mr. Clinton's and Mr. Berger's defense of their actions.

If I was the Indian Army - I'd be really glad that I wasn't facing a fight with anyone at the moment. Problems with tank ammo *and* with the sights.

1787 Edward Gibbon completes "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" - Which is more than I can say for myself. I only got through volume 1.

And this is just my life, lately. Happy Day Late Birthday, Chesty, wherever you are!

Dick Tracy call your office. H/t, CAPT H. -The Armorer

*************************

This may be old, but given The Armorers style book change, the argument over possible insurgent amnesty I think this a piece worth looking back at and contemplating. Leaven that with BH Liddel-Hart's admonition that you should give the enemy a chance to surrender and enter into a situation of peace.

(Drinks down the ale The Cheif so kindly provided. Back to serving out my sentence(or is it sentences?) in Castle Pergatory.)
ry
*********************************

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 27, 2006 | General Commentary
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Wars force Army equipment costs to triple

General Gordon Sullivan on Billpayers.

In the H&I post today, I discussed the upcoming budget crunches and ways they are going to be met, mostly, I predict, by mortgaging the future and the warfighters.

Here's a little insider email running around the opinion makers of the retired General Officer corps, from former Army Chief of Staff Gordon Sullivan.

Friends---I have been observing very carefully the ongoing saga regarding the approval of the Supplemental for 2006. What my analysis suggests to me is the signals for the future of our Army are not good. Oh, I know there are many in town who will tell you that it is too soon to tell how things will evolve but I see too many signals to conclude otherwise. Needless to say this bothers me because by any measurement the Army as an institution has accomplished every mission it has been assigned. Furthermore, the leadership has looked to the future in a very enlightened and programmatic way which suggests to me a forward look which is both imaginative and practical. Yet the near future funding profile is beginning to look and smell a lot like what we lived through in the early 90's when Army leaders were forced to dramatically reduce the size of the Army, increase mission responsiveness and attempt to move onto the information age while being told we were in a strategic pause and fiscal resources available to the DOD would be used to fund other programs which I feel are nice to have, but not required. Just my opinion.

Think about what our Army leaders and Soldiers have set in motion and are accomplishing:
+ Fighting /Nation Building- Iraq, Afghanistan, elsewhere
+Sustaining the force/Recruiting -Retention- Reset
+Resourcing the augmentation of the Southern Border/Expanding Homeland security missions
+ IGPBS- Integrated Global Presence /Basing Strategies {Come home from Europe /Asia - rotation to Eastern Europe}
+ BRAC
+Transformation

I am starting to see signs indicative of a shifting of priorities in the funding steam without a change in strategy or requirements. Without appropriate fiscal resources, provided in a consistent stream, the Army cannot be expected to execute the national strategy and every other mission in as effective a manner as originally intended. This funding stream must flow for the next six years at least or the responsible parties must recast the National Defense Strategy as well as accept that all enabling programs are not feasible. Unless all appreciate the relationship of dollars to programs priorities will dictate tough choices and Army capabilities will diminish.

Part of my concern is that many opinion leaders in Congress and elsewhere believe that as long as the war goes on, their funding focus must be on current operations and not funding modernization programs like the Future Combat Systems, modularity and equipment reset so critical for active and reserve force readiness. Likewise, while all would applaud a successful outcome in Iraq and Afghanistan I fear that should hostilities end, the funding stream will end abruptly in order to recreate the illusion of a "peace dividend" instead of continuing funding for reset for at least two years as well as funding for the Army to refresh itself. In the coming days, I believe we must begin to speak out and let the public know that Army funding must be supported in the near term, but viewed in the long term during which multiple, high cost, long term missions of increasingly complexity such as those envisioned in the QDR and National Defense Strategy will continue.

Now when it should be only too obvious that our endeavors in Iraq and Afghanistan must be supported it is becoming painfully and clearly obvious that some are taking their eye off the ball. For instance, we have seen dithering over supplemental funding critical to Army operations which must maintain a steady state. Additionally, I also detect an indication that weapons which were either killed or modified during QDR deliberations are somehow creeping back into the FYDEP planning process. This doesn't surprise any of you I am sure, but watch how the numbers dance. I have no access to POM fiscal guidance 08/13 but the way folks are hedging their bets is not a good sign.

I am no longer in a position of responsibility and am simply one of those proud to be a Soldier. As such I am concerned that in the heat of battle aka "LONG WAR" Army leaders will find themselves forced into making choices between today and tomorrow and unfortunately could wind up being forced to make decisions with negative long term impact. I understand the Army ethos and our oath and the primacy of mission just as I understand that the defense of America is a shared responsibility between elected, appointed and uniformed people as well as our citizens. I believe now is the time to accept facts as they are--we are in a fight which must be continued to a successful conclusion and we must be prepared to face unknown crises. We are about to see if the resources are available to those who are carrying the load on the ground, Army and Marines, are forth coming.

I hope I am wrong, but I fear I am not. It is time to watch things very closely and accept the fact we might soon be facing a serious strategy resource mismatch which will in turn stretch our magnificent Army to the breaking point .

Gordon Sullivan

I should note I'm not on General Sullivan's email list, and probably got this with at least six degrees of separation. (Note to Sir - feel free to add me, however!)

Castle Argghhh! Style Manual Change

From today's Stand-to:

In dealing with Islamic extremists, the West may be giving them the advantage due to cultural ignorance, maintain Dr. Douglas E. Streusand and Army Lt. Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV. The men work at the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C.

Okay. So, whattaya mean, fellas?

A case in point is the term "jihadist." Many leaders use the term jihadist or jihadi as a synonym for Islamic extremist. Jihad has been commonly adapted in English as meaning "holy war." But to Muslims it means much more. In their article, Steusand and Tunnell said in Arabic - the language of the Koran - jihad "literally means striving and generally occurs as part of the expression 'jihad fi sabil illah,' striving in the path of God."

This is a good thing for all Muslims. "Calling our enemies jihadis and their movement a global jihad thus indicates that we recognize their doctrines and actions as being in the path of God and, for Muslims, legitimate," they wrote. By countering jihadis, the West and moderate Muslims are enemies of true Islam.

The men asked Muslim scholars what the correct term for Islamic extremists would be and they came up with "hirabah." This word specifically refers to those engaged in sinful warfare, warfare contrary to Islamic law. "We should describe the Islamic totalitarian movement as the global hirabah, not the global jihad," they wrote.

jihadist Hirabah.

Another word constantly misused in the West is mujahdeen. Again, in American dictionaries this word refers to a holy warrior - again a good thing. So calling an al Qaeda terrorist a mujahid legitimizes him.

The correct term for these killers is "mufsidun," Streusand and Tunnell say. This refers to an evil or corrupt person. "There is no moral ambiguity and the specific denotation of corruption carries enormous weight in most of the Islamic world," they wrote.

mujahideen mufsidun. Okay.

I'll be implementing this at Castle Argghhh! (to include, over time, editing the archives).

Read the rest here.

Addendum: Bollixed link fixed (in case anybody wondered why you got linked to your e-mail). The original report is available here--do the "right-click, save as" trick... --cw4(ret)billt

What the heck.

Bill having snarked me today, and his Whatziss having been figured out pretty quickly - let's try another one. Following Bill's rule of showing the whole thing, sorta.

But while this has been alluded to in posts in the archives, it has not been pictured.

So, whatziss?

So, Grognards - whatziss? Purpose, nomenclature, etc.

WHATZISS "DÉNOUEMENT" STUFF?

Okay, SangerM gets the brag. He undoubtedly remembers looking down at it on more than one occasion...

It's the skid toe shoe for Hubert.

I don't care *what* kind of shoe it is--it's too tight around my toes!

MajMike was savvy enough to guess that Sanger knew what he was talking about, but he muffed the location. Nope, not vegetation-dings, either, John. The chipped areas are from gravel 'n' stuff kicked up by the rotorwash in "unimproved" LZs (never did see an "improved" LZ, except the hot ones that got worked over by suppressive fires) and the abrasions (red circle) are from contact with the towbar during ground-handling. The towbar attaching ring is on the inside of the skid, just aft of the skid shoe and the bar angles up when it's hooked to a tug; hence, the abraded area is always on the side facing toward the fuselage. In this case, the fuselage was to the right, so the toe shoe was on the left. Elementary, my dear Mikey.

A little tip-toe on the skid-toe, eh, AFSis? Makes getting in-and-out of a Huey a whole bunch easier than a Cobra...

Over at Milblogs...

Interesting discussions regarding Effects Based Operations, pro and con.

Plus, ArmyLawyer dispenses legal guidance on political activity by active duty service members... which is acted upon by Commander Salamander, and is instantly contested by Soldier's Dad.

Now ArmyLawyer needs to take a gander at DOD Directive 1344.10 Enclosure E-3 and opine for us.

Thankfully, the Retired Reserve isn't covered, so I can play, regardless.

So, if you live in Murtha's district and would like to see someone else represent you... consider Diana Irey.

Just sayin'. Cuz I can.

Whatziss, indeed...

“Whatziss?” sez John. And, after a torrent of guesses (“It’s the nano-black hole that ry installed in the garderobe to to keep from having a Kevin moment.” “It’s an aerial view of Tehran on the Day After.” Et cetera…), the dénouement.

“Nope, it’s the ventilation hole in the spike of an uhlan's pikelhaub from the Franco-Prussian War. Snerk.”

*sigh.* But do *I* post a picture like this

Huh?

and say, “Whatziss?”

Nope. Not I. You guys get to see the *entirety* of the whatziss.

Huh?

Yup, that’s the whole thing.

And it even comes with clues--you may not have consciously absorbed the information, but if you saw The Green Berets, or Hamburger Hill, or We Were Soldiers Once… or even Cartoon --uhhhhh--Platoon, you should be able to dredge the image up through the neuron net.

Ummmm--and it's been cleaned up. A *lot*...

Heh.

[Apropos of Bill's comment - it could be here. Or here. Or several other places. If you are new to the Castle, you should *definitely* click the first link. Actually, you should click through and read *both*. -The Armorer]

June 26, 2006

Acidman, RIP.

June 26, 2006 News... This is Sam. Rob has passed away. They found him at 2:00 this morning slumped over on the couch. He did not shoot himself and no pills or alcohol were found in the house. When I find out anything else I'll let you know. Out of respect for my family please do not leave nasty comments.

~Sam

Go in peace, friend.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

[Wherever he is, Rob is pissed right now that I used such sappy, if appropriate, music. Hee! Have one on me, fella!*]

And I should note - Acidman was one of the first big bloggers to link to SWWBO and blogroll her. And he *never* once, linked to me, or blogrolled me. Rob was *not* good for my ego - but he did make me laugh. The world is briefly a smaller place without Rob in it.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Jun 26, 2006 | Something for the Soul
» La Shawn Barber's Corner links with: Rob at Gut Rumbles…
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: The Acidman departs
» basil's blog links with: Picnic 2006-06-27
» Outside The Beltway | OTB links with: Rob Acidman Smith, RIP
» My Side of the Puddle links with: Unexpected Influences
» Classical Values links with: Rob Smith, R.I.P
» Classical Values links with: Rob Smith, R.I.P

H&I Fires 26 Jun 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

Carnival of the Recipes, Roadtrip Edition, is available at Booklore.

If you're in the area, and are looking for something to do in the middle of the month (The Master and Mistress of Argghhh! intend to be in Seattle at the Milblogger Shootout) and can't make it to the Right Enclave on the Left Coast - try this one: The Midwest Blogmeet in Chicago, 14-16 July. They've made reservations and everything! Bloggers and readers invited, no minimums!

Other than the generic ones, I doubt we have any seriously fleshed-out plans for invading Venezuela. But if Hugo Chavez would like to make his military facilities the US Southern Bombing Range (Conditional) buying the wrong stuff from this character would be a good start.

I let this pass unremarked yesterday. I shouldn't have.

The Somme - 90 years on.

Way to go Denizenne Kat!

I wonder if my sense of duty would last this long. -The Armorer

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Very interesting. JRobb's Open Source Warfare isn't just for the Jihadis and Professional Malcontents. This woman rocks.
ry
(yeah. I know. Back to Castle Purgatory. I'm going.) [Just think of it as writing sentences, Ry]
**************************

Adding to the "Mud Huts and Chai Tea" post below, another story about men and women in uniform doing something other than killing people and breaking things: Air Evac for girl injured in Taliban bombing of School. If you don't get it yet with all the beheadings and dead civilians, this school bombing was not an accident, was not during a larger fire fight with an opposing force nor did it harbor, protect or otherwise assist the Coalition forces. The bombing was strictly because it was a school for girls. If women can learn, if they are free, then everything about their ideology would be proven false.

Long ago, when they showed the video of the woman being executed by the Taliban (something they no longer show you) in the stadium in front of her family with a shot to the back of the head, that was not an aberration. Neither is this. This is the enemy. The same who behead Russian diplomats, Iraqi pharmacists, NGO workers, contractors and US soldiers. The same that sees a group of children around soldiers and imagines it is a good target to blow to pieces. The same that operated Fallujah torture chambers. Some folks just refuse to recognize it. - Kat

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 26, 2006 | General Commentary

Since there are some people...

...upset by my NYT posters in this post (can't read the rulez, sadly) and don't quite seem to get my point - I'll throw these remarks by the VEEP, delivered in my region of the Great Fly-Over today. I've highlighted some passages that are appropos to my poster:

Remarks By The Vice President At A Luncheon For Congressional Candidate Adrian Smith

Grand Island, Nebraska

June 26, 2006

THE VICE PRESIDENT: "In the decade prior to 9/11, we spent more than $2 trillion on national security. Yet we lost nearly 3,000 Americans at the hands of 19 men armed with box cutters and airline tickets. In the case of al Qaeda we are not dealing with large armies that we can track, or uniforms we can see, or men with territory of their own to defend. Their preferred tactic, which they boldly proclaim, is to slip into countries, blend in among the innocent, and kill without mercy and without restraint. They have intelligence and counterintelligence operations of their own. They are using the most sophisticated communications technology they can get their hands on.

"In pursuit of their objectives, they have carried out a number of attacks since 9/11 – in Casablanca, Jakarta, Mombassa, Bali, Riyadh, Baghdad, Istanbul, Madrid, London, Sharm al-Sheikh, and elsewhere. Here in the U.S., we have not had another 9/11. Obviously, no one can guarantee that we won't be hit again. But the relative safety of these past nearly five years now did not come about by accident. We've been protected by sensible policy decisions by the President, by decisive action at home and abroad, and by round-the-clock efforts on the part of the people in our armed forces, law enforcement, intelligence, and homeland security.

"Some in the press, in particular The New York Times, have made the job of defending against further terrorist attacks more difficult by insisting on publishing detailed information about vital national security programs.

[emphasis mine - and whereby I based my second poster]

"The first was the terrorist surveillance program. Sometimes the press calls it domestic surveillance, it is not domestic surveillance. It's a program aimed at the communications that are international in nature – at least one end of the communication has to be outside the United States, and one end has to be affiliated with or associated with al Qaeda.

"The second program that The New York Times has now disclosed is the terrorist financial tracking program, just within about the last week or so. These are both good programs. They provide valuable intelligence. They are very carefully managed to safeguard the civil liberties of the American people. They have been successful in helping break up terrorist plots. They are done in accordance with the Constitution, and there has in both cases – both programs have been properly notified to the appropriate officials in the United States Congress.

"The New York Times has now twice – two separate occasions – disclosed programs; both times they had been asked not to publish those stories by senior administration officials. They went ahead anyway. The leaks to The New York Times and the publishing of those leaks is very damaging. The ability to intercept al Qaeda communications and to track their sources of financing are essential if we're going to successfully prosecute the global war on terror. Our capabilities in these areas help explain why we have been so successful in preventing further attacks like 9/11. The New York Times has now made it more difficult for us to prevent attacks in the future. Publishing this highly classified information about our sources and methods for collecting intelligence will enable the terrorists to look for ways to defeat our efforts. These kinds of stories also adversely affect our relationships with people who work with us against the terrorists. In the future, they will be less likely to cooperate if they think the United States is incapable of keeping a secret.

"What is doubly disturbing for me is that not only have they gone forward with these stories, but they've been rewarded for it, for example, in the case of the terrorist surveillance program, by being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for outstanding journalism. I think that is a disgrace."

I agree. Hence I do not apologize for my poster. The NYT will be the first media outlet screaming shrilly should another 9/11 happen - yet they do not offer alternatives, only nay-saying. Fie on them.

BTW, RTD - I'm *not* a fan of Coulter. I don't hate her or anything, but trust me, I'm not on the Republican Party Talking Points email list.

Though I am on the White House's. And the LA Times, and New York Times, and several Brit papers - and I have a Candian Clipping Service (Hi John and Damian!) and subscribe to The New Republic (and National Review, natch). Betcha weren't expecting that, were ya?

by John on Jun 26, 2006 | Media Morons

News from other fronts.

Task Force Rebuilds School, Clinic in Yemen

By U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Robert Palomares

Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa

ADEN , Yemen , June 20, 2006 — The quiet, yet steady, humanitarian efforts of U.S. and coalition forces continue to foster stability in the region.

Thomas Krajeski, the U.S. Ambassador to Yemen , and U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen Johnson, the chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa , were on hand to officially dedicate the Zenab Girls’ Secondary School and the Al Mansura Clinic here on June 6.

"We believe the school will inspire young women to learn and we are confident that it will provide educational opportunities for future leaders. This work represents another step towards peace and prosperity throughout the region", U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen Johnson.

“I am happy to be here with you all today to dedicate - or rather, to rededicate - the Zenab Girls’ School,” Krajeski said.

“This project is for you,” he said to the young women who will study at the school.

“We - the United States, our coalition partners and Yemen together - believe in your potential, and have great hopes for your futures,” the ambassador added.

The $256,000 project, which was sponsored by Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, included adding a third level to the existing building, replacing all electrical and plumbing fixtures, reinforcing all of the walls and painting the building.

“Yemeni women are scaling new heights in their achievements and their opportunities,” Krajeski added during his remarks. “But we have more to do to ensure that our young women have as many doors open to them as our young men.”

"We believe the school will inspire young women to learn and we are confident that it will provide educational opportunities for future leaders,” Johnson said. “This work represents another step towards peace and prosperity throughout the region.”

Hosting provided by FotoTime

After the school dedication, the ambassador and chief of staff then traveled to the Al-Mansura Clinic, where the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa civil affairs team repaired the roof, repainted the clinic rooms, upgraded all of the windows and doors, and installed brand new electrical systems.

Dr. Elham Fahim, director of the clinic, welcomed Krajeski and Johnson and took them on a tour of the facility.

“This clinic represents a long-term investment in future generations of this community, the country of Yemen , and the entire region,” said Johnson.

“The clinic sees up to 200 patients a day,” Dr. Fahim said.

“That is less than we used to see, because there are more clinics being built around the city. But there is a need for more,” she said.

“The clinic provides a variety of needed services to the community, such as primary care, general practice, pediatric care, as well as vaccinations,” Dr. Fahim said.

“This clinic is good here, but there is a great need for care in the rural areas, because the mothers do not have the means to come here,” she concluded.

Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, which is based at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti , is focused on detecting, disrupting, and ultimately defeating transnational terrorist groups operating in the region.

Things that make me go, "Hunh."

I use a spam blocker. Frustrated with a recent onslaught of spam for ci@lis, I took a brute force approach and just added ci@lis to the block list.

Which caused Ry no end of frustration this weekend, trying to post a comment in his chat with Trias in the comments to this post (a fun discussion if you've not been following it).

"Yeah, so?" I can hear your fingertips drumming in the desk.

It blocked the comment because of the word "socialism" in Ry's comment.

There's a joke in there, somewhere...

A hint! A hint!

For yesterday's Whatziss?

You guys are sniffing all around it - though many of you are *right* next to it - you are looking at it 3200 mils (180 degrees) off.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

This hint is in keeping with that, in grammatical, if not rhetorical, terms.

I see Gwedd finally got it! Neffi knows his grenade butts, as he amply demonstrated.

This would have been clue #2 of the day, had it been needed.

But that's it - the ring puller used by Mills Bombers.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

This one being a No 5.

Public Service Announcement:

Bored with the same old dull, sit-in-chairs-listening-to-bloggers-earnestly-discuss-how-important-they-are kind of conference? (Hey, I was there, I was as self-important as anyone, and lord the Press made sure we knew about YearlyKOS!)

Interested in attending about the most dangerous gathering of bloggers since YearlyKos? The Gunblogger Rendevous in Reno, Nevada! Well, dangerous if you're Sarah Brady, or The Senators SchuBoxerClinStein The pic says it all!. C'mon, Blogs, guns, booze, and gambling. Pretty much what we're fighting for around the globe, ain't it? At least *the bad guys" think so.

SWWBO and I are going to try to be there, too - client willing and the creek don't rise.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

H/t to Ride Fast and Shoot Straight for the pic.

by John on Jun 26, 2006 | Gun Rights

June 25, 2006

H&I Fires 25 Jun 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

Someone you should know (and do, if you've read Chuck Simmins) Sergeant Paul "Scruff" Mcgough, British "Special Boat Service," retired.

Speaking of eccentric Brits (anyone who does Spec Ops is eccentric, hero or no) where *is* the Jihadi sense of humor? One reason I think Western militaries (despite the best efforts of *some* of their officer-class) generally do as well as they do in direct combat (leave aside mismanaging the wars in general) is directly related to... things like this video.

Snerk. It's all Brit All Day here in the H&I so far...

Billy, a six-year-old goat that is the mascot for the Royal Welsh Regiment in western Cyprus, was demoted to fusilier from lance-corporal Saturday after his superior officers ruled that his disruptive behaviour ruined a regimental parade at the British army base in Episkopy.

H/t, CAPT H for the first and third bits, Milblogs for the middle one. -The Armorer

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I'm just guessin' here - throwing it out for consideration - but *this* Republican hopeful's problem probably *is* the Debbil. Inside him. But hey, I could be wrong and control of Congress by the Party of Abortion, etc, *is* going to hinge on this one district in Utah... -The Armorer

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From our 42nd President, I was expecting THIS; but from our 39th? Oh Jimmy we hardly knew ya. - BOQ

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 25, 2006 | General Commentary

Otay - For a lazy Sunday while I paint...

...what used to be Prodigal Son's Crib, but will soon be the Armorer's Retreat, you guys can puzzle out this thingy.

Yes, it's on the web.

Last century, prior to 1950. This is a battlefield recovery.

So, whatziss?

Think expansively. Rapidly.

It's hard to see - but that straight part to the left ends in a hook.

Caption this!

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Tough neighborhood.

by John on Jun 25, 2006 | I think it's funny!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies