Archive Logo.jpg

July 08, 2006

H&I* Fires 8 July 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...

A Whitefish man was sentenced Thursday to spend 50 hours wearing a sandwich board with the words, “I am a liar. I am not a Marine. I have never served my country.”

Chief U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula also sentenced William Horvath to four months of house arrest for making a false statement.

Horvath, 36, was convicted of making a false statement — a felony.

According to court documents, in 2001 he told a probation officer that he served time in the U.S. Marine Corps. The probation officer was gathering information on Horvath on a prior charge of being a fugitive in possession of firearms or ammunition.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Read the whole thing here. H/t, Castle Adjutant, lazy blogger Barb.

That was funny - this is, of course, troublesome.

Neo-Nazis infiltrating the US military: civil rights group Jul 07 1:44 PM US/Eastern Email this story

Neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate groups are taking advantage of relaxed recruiting standards to infiltrate the US military to get combat training, a civil rights group reported.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks domestic extremists groups, called on US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward white supremacist groups in the military.

That said, I can shoot these a$$holes just as easily and quickly as I can shoot any enemy bearing arms with bad intentions.

The Right Place has their End of Year One Caption Contest going - Out to Launch Edition.

SWWBO has an interesting link to a fascinating article written by a Catholic Prelate - George, Cardinal Pell, of Australia. -the Armorer


Speaking of Australia, come read the comments in this post at Trias' place. Behave - Dreamkatcha is holding a decent convo down there, even if I think he's *way* on the outside of the issue.

Bow Ramp puts out his take on Cartman Jong Il.

AFSis does *not* wish to live in a world lit only by fire.

Fuzzybear Lioness on playing in traffic... in Sandy Eggo.

Princess Crabby comes to the Joy of Team America late. Better late than never. Sheesh, you coastals can be *so* insular!

Kat goes home, to small town America. Nice place to visit, and hey - I live there too! - the Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 08, 2006 | General Commentary

Revolting Generals.

Commander Salamander has an interesting view of what he calls "The Revolting Generals," in response to Jed Babbin's piece at Real Clear Politics. Much to chew on - but up front, I agree with the Salamander that the Generals are playing a dangerous game with politics in the context of how we structure the Military-Civilian relationship - and are setting the stage for even more 'political vetting' of senior General Officer positions than occurs already - exactly the opposite of what they intend, I believe, or that is good for the Republic in general... to coin a phrase.

Jed opens with this:

There was a time not long ago when a general would resign rather than follow an order he could not, in good conscience, obey. A conscience is an essential part of the character we expect our officers to possess. But it is an inconvenience to a politician. Some generals who become politicians - such as Dwight Eisenhower - overcome the inconvenience by remaining faithful to their conscience. Lesser men overcome conscience by letting it fall prey to the fatal flaws of political character: ambition and the desire to take revenge.

Just how long is 'not long ago'? Smedley Butler? There was the "Revolt of the Admirals" but I didn't see any resignations - other than the ones forced upon the rebels (ya lose, ya get stood in front of the metaphorical wall). General Harold Johnson talked the Chiefs into resigning over the prosecution of Vietnam, but backed down - no resignations there, either.

Okay, there *was* the AF Chief of Staff General Fogelman who played chicken with Secretary of Defense Cohen and lost during the Clinton Administration - and he reputedly did so because of HR McMaster's book, Dereliction of Duty (Colonel McMaster is the hero of Tal Afar, most recently)

Of course, one of the strengths of the Republic is that, for the most part, outside of their areas of expertise, we ignore the Generals, don't know who they are, and don't notice when they change jobs. All in all, that's a good thing. And that's just those of us who wear uniforms - much less the bulk of the population.

I think Jed Babbin overstates the case stretching to make his point that the Revolting Generals didn't resign in protest and are only doing so now from safe ground. We frankly don't want the Generals to willy-nilly resign every time their bosses over-rule them - except in the case of illegal orders or truly, earth-shatteringly bad directives. It's the officer's job to make his professional military opinion known, and then to execute the orders given to the best of his ability, as long as they are legal.

Mitchell Lewis says it all quite nicely, here.

It's all very interesting to watch - and see the motivations unfold.

by John on Jul 08, 2006 | Politics

In honor of recent court activity... seems appropriate to pull this out of the archives.

Military Police prepare to refuel before entering the city of Whew!, Mudholistan on December 5, 2020, while their International Court-appointed solicitor ensures that their field-refueling permits are still valid, and that all proper environmental impact forms have been filed, examined, rejected, resubmitted, approved, and thus the refueling operation is permissable, after which the forms will be buried in a peat bog and recycled as fire lighters.  There was a problem with one of the weapons registration certificates (carrying more ammunition than permitted) but that was dealt with by the individual soldier paying a 15K Euro fine and surrendering the contraband to United Nations personnel who transferred it to indigenous forces to achieve military balance.(Released) </p>

<p>(U.S. Army Photo by Spc Daniel Broward) Military Police refuel before entering the city of Whew!, Mudholistan on December 5, 2020.</p>

<p>Photo by Spc Daniel Broward</p>

<p>Released by Maj. Hawthorne-Smythwaite, Esq.

Military Police prepare to refuel before entering the city of Whew!, Mudholistan on December 5, 2020, while their International Court-appointed solicitor ensures that their field-refueling permits are still valid, and that all proper environmental impact forms have been filed, examined, rejected, resubmitted, approved, and thus the refueling operation is permissable, after which the forms will be buried in a peat bog and recycled as fire lighters. There was a problem with one of the weapons registration certificates (carrying more ammunition than permitted) but that was dealt with by the individual soldier paying a 15K Euro fine and surrendering the contraband to United Nations personnel who transferred it to indigenous forces to achieve military balance.(Released)

(U.S. Army Photo by Spc Daniel Broward) Military Police refuel before entering the city of Whew!, Mudholistan on December 5, 2020.

Photo by Spc Daniel Broward

Released by Maj. Hawthorne-Smythwaite, Esq.

by John on Jul 08, 2006 | Politics

One day out on the golf course...

God is teeing up on 13 when a scientist says to Him, "Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the 'beginning'."

"Oh, is that so? Tell me..." replies God.

"Well, " says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of You and breathe life into it, thus creating man."

"Well, that's interesting. Show Me."

So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

"Oh no, no, no..." interrupts God,

( I love this )

"Get your own dirt."

H/t, Rich B. Betcha didn't know God was a Missourian, either!

July 07, 2006

H&I* Fires 7 July 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...

Oops. One wonders where the Convoy Commander's Checklist was? You know, the one that says - determine height of tallest vehicle - and of lowest bridge?

1456 An ecclesiastical court clears Joan of Arc of witchcraft,
posthumously - Oops. Sorry about that whole burning thing!

Elephant Walk, indeed. -the Armorer

Some people ought to be hung slow but since we can't do that I'll settle for lettin' them Ride the Lightning.

Meanwhile Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom has a Troll of Professorial Proportions Nothing says education like a adjunct psychology professor at a Major University making threats against a 2 year old to get a rise out of a blogger.

Pathetic. -BloodSpite


CDR Salamander engages in one of my favorite activities - Ruining Promotion Chances By Sniping At Flags. I was good at it, too. One of the reasons the only flags I have are ones I bought... If you'd like a little example of the minefield of Command Influence in the arena of the Courts Martial - here's a little primer.

BTW - we got moved to a new server at Hosting Matters - there's been a great improvement in response time and other back-office things that make me happy - are you guys seening fewer server timeouts?

And even *with* the supplemental appropriations bill being signed, the Army budget crunch that caught up Bill has finally spread to me - with me taking a month-long siesta (my employer hasn't furloughed me, I still have a job) from the contract I was working on - part and parcel of the rolling shortages in the stateside Army. When you retire, if you're going to go into the Beltway Bandit biz - pick the right company! -the Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 07, 2006 | General Commentary

A Firearms Whatziss!

Why not? You guys have been working hard on all the obscure stuff.

Not that this isn't obscure, in it's way.

Your first instinct is probably wrong.

The usual questions: Who used it, what is the whole item (not just the closeup portion), etc.

It's on the net, in several places, too - not a complete cypher.

Update: Okay, John S, the gun dealer who *sold* me the rifle, gets it correct.

Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, No 1 Mk V. An experimental rifle that led to the No. 4 Mk1 of WWII fame.

Fuller view of the receiver here.

Hi Dbie!  How're ya doon?

This is the rifle that usually holds the rifle-mounted barbed wire cutter. Which it *never* did in service I might add - I just have more stuff to stick on my No. 1's than I have rifles...

Jim B's crack about Australia is actually on the mark - many of these rifles *did* find their way to Australia - this one did. It sits in a No 1 Mk III stock (incorrect for the rifle, technically - the Mk V had an extra reinforcing band and one-piece upper handguard) marked to the New South Wales police.

One year ago today.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

On year later, the Brits, after their initial shock, don't seem to have made much headway in addressing root causes.

Of course, it's not like we've mastered it, with more years and more dead to both motivate and hinder us.

Despite a rather Montague Milquetoast "elite" - there is still some iron in the core of the British nation - if they choose to be Brit, and not just let their immigrants assimilate *them*.

John Bull's Iron at Castle Argghhh!

by John on Jul 07, 2006 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Shining City Atop a Hill links with: Important Lessons From The London Bombings
» Planck's Constant links with: You Have to Be Catholic to Get to Heaven

July 06, 2006

H&I* Fires 6 July 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...

Snerk. Ken Lay dies, and the fringe Kossacks are on it. The DU-er's are in their usual fine form, too. Good lord, idiots, if he was going to roll on someone he would have done it before now!

Jay at Stop The ACLU is the victim of a surf-by mugging *and* the victim of profiling... by Kossacks. Look at it this way, Jay - more traffic, free advertising, and a chance to get your particular editorial stance clearly laid out for all to see. Might as well have some lemonade. -the Armorer


Who Betrayed the SWIFT Program?

More interesting thoughts on the SWIFT program:

...Here, the [Bush] administration endured unjust, uninformed criticism [that they weren't strongly pursuing terrorist financing] first from the GAO, then, echoed and amplified, from the press. It must have been tempting, and surely would have been politically helpful, for the administration to leak the existence of the SWIFT program and the fact that its anti-terror financing programs have been successful--have, in fact, contributed to the capture of one of the world's most wanted terrorists. But the administration didn't do that. The administration endured unjust criticism and political damage rather than expose a program that was important to the nation's defense. How sad that Bill Keller and Eric Lichtblau didn't learn from President Bush's example.

And if you haven't been reading Fun with Hand Grenades, why not? Just start here and keep on reading the previous posts (comments are good, too).

U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and her strike group are coming home to San Diego after their first deployment today! - FbL

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 06, 2006 | General Commentary
» Shining City Atop a Hill links with: Daily Kos Let's Get Back To Reasoned Debate

Lieutenant Watada.

Sanger, in a comment in yesterday's H&I, has one word for Lieutenant Watada.


The Federal Prison Industries.

We don't do Unicor here, Sanger. He'll come to the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, not the USP Leavenworth, if convicted and sentenced to confinement.

To help you (and others) get oriented...

Here's a map laying out some of our local facilities.

Lieutenant (eventually Private) Watada would reside here, at the USDB.

Vice here, the Federal Penitentiary and Prison Camp (Everybody there gets to start in the "Big House")

Provided as a public service for those who might wish to come visit Lieutenant Watada if this goes as I suspect it will.

Perhaps I'll get an Ehren Watada original...

by John on Jul 06, 2006 | Politics

Boquisucio sponsors a Caption Contest.

Okay, they aren't really contests. No judging or anything. Cassie's roped up all the good captioners anyway.

Regardless - have fun with this. I expect some serious service-snarking.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

by John on Jul 06, 2006 | I think it's funny!
» Villainous Company links with: Tsk, Tsk...

Max Boot on the two campaigns of the GWOT.

Writing in the LA Times he opens with:

Max Boot: Our enemies aren't drinking lattes July 5, 2006

'AMATEURS TALK strategy. Professionals talk logistics." That well-worn saying, sometimes attributed to Gen. Omar Bradley, contains an obvious element of wisdom. Modern militaries cannot fight without a lengthy supply chain, and the success or failure of major operations can turn on the work of anonymous logisticians.

Yet there is a danger of professional soldiers becoming so focused on supply lines that they lose sight of larger strategic imperatives. In Afghanistan and Iraq, we may already have crossed that threshold.

There is undoubtedly a kernel of truth in the question he raises. US Forces are unparalleled logistician - it is a reflection of our society and economy, and an embedded feature of our warmaking - and has been at least since the Civil War.

In a piece I can't find anymore, from sometime last week, Boot or a similar pundit was talking to a Vietnam Vet contractor who was at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, looking over at the Golden Arches of a McDonald's and saying "When it gets this big, you've lost."

That vet's perceptions are shaped by his war, methinks. Doesn't make them wrong - but it *does* make them a single datapoint, hard to extrapolate trends from.

American forces, since the Civil War, have *always* built huge support infrastructures as quickly as we could, consistent with the demands on shipping assets. One has only to look at the 'boring' pictures from WWI, WWII, Korea, to see that as soon as we are able, we build large camps, filled with recreational facilities and troop comforts. It has oft times caused our enemies, and allies, to call us soft, even as we were steamrollering them into the dirt and surrender - if anything, it added to their annoyance.

What's happening over in Iraq (and less so in Afghanistan) is a logical byproduct of the deployment and modern logistic capabilities, especially in an environment where the war in question is very self-contained, and much of the materiel moves in civil airframes and ships until (and even in) the combat zone. It's not like we're losing ships to the U-Boat menace and other threats that smacked Convoy PQ-17.

Nor is as much being diverted from the war effort as you might think - MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) activities are not funded using appropriated monies (though they do leverage facilities). Those activities are funded via donation, contract services, the profit from the Exchange system (on-base department stores) and revenues from MWR activities. For example, here at Castle Argghhh! the Equine Family Members live in the stables at Fort Leavenworth - a service we pay for. That activity does *not* pay for it's building (the old 1909 Quartermaster Stables) but do pay for any new construction, electricity, employee salary, etc - and, since 2001, we've been hit with a surcharge of 10% - that goes directly to fund the overseas MWR activity for deployed troops. We tax ourselves, in a sense. So the diversion of assets is minimized - but certainly there - and in this war, as in Vietnam - there is certainly this aspect Boot observes that deserves consideration.

In the middle, we find this:

Among the more surrealistic moments of my travels was pausing at a base near Baqubah — a far-from-pacified Iraqi city that was Abu Musab Zarqawi's last base of operations — to enjoy a fresh-brewed iced latte at a Green Beans coffee shop. It hit the spot, but when I later told a Marine captain about the experience, he took away some of my enjoyment by asking, "I wonder how many men had to die to get those coffee beans to Baqubah?"

Probably not many, if any, but it begs the question - should any have died? They'd still be dying - the convoys also bring in food and munitions and troops, but exposure would certainly be less. That doesn't mean we should go back to tents and start digging wells, either.

Boot's real point is in his closing:

Successful counterinsurgency operations require troops to go out among the people, gathering intelligence and building goodwill. But few Iraqis are allowed on these bases, and few Americans are allowed out — and then only in forbidding armored convoys.

Most of our resources aren't going to fight terrorists but to maintain a smattering of mini-Americas in the Middle East. As one Special Forces officer pungently put it to me: "The only function that thousands of people are performing out here is to turn food into [excrement]."

How to explain this seemingly counterproductive behavior? My theory is that any organization prefers to focus on what it does well. In the case of the Pentagon, that's logistics. Our ability to move supplies is unparalleled in military history. Fighting guerrillas, on the other hand, has never been a mission that has found much favor with the armed forces. So logistics trumps strategy. Which may help explain why we're not having greater success in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Perhaps. But the commanders - and more importantly, the troops, are trying to figure out ways to do that better - and want the comforts of home, too. And the troops are going to find ways to get 'em, whether or no Boot likes it - as this article JTG sent me regarding "Hajiinets" - troop run ISPs to deal with the lack of Internet access.

It should come as no surprise, then, that some enterprising military personnel have engineered an alternative. Hajjinets, the common term for troop-owned ISPs, have sprung to life on almost every base around Iraq. A typical Hajjinet is built and maintained by one or two soldiers and can provide nearly 24-hour internet access (until the region is stabilized and electrical lines can be installed, generators must occasionally be powered down for maintenance). Most Hajjinets are small, serving between 20 and 30 troops, but ISPs serving as many as 300 are known to exist. In a country wracked by war, where even the capital city receives only intermittent electricity, where people's lives are in constant peril, and where even basic necessities are scarce, this is no small victory. A Hajjinet's key elements are satellite service from an international provider, a satellite dish to send and receive data, and a central location inside a base where network hardware is safe from attack. Like an internet-age Frankenstein, a Hajjinet's hardware must be purchased from an international source, shipped in, then cobbled together by military personnel, many of whom have little previous experience running a network.

A lot of what you see building out there is also maintaining a measure of control.

It's just not as simple as Boot would like to think - we can't win the war we don't want to fight, so we'll just sit around and jerk ourselves off. Which is the bottom line of his reasoning, starkly put.

There is food for thought there - and most people don't know about what the services are doing to try and fight these campaigns better while maintaining the ability to fight other kinds of battles as well. A lot of that is OPSEC, and a lot of it is boring. And none of it lends itself to much in the way of sardonic bon mots for pundits.

Aside from OPSEC, it's one reason I don't write about it much - all y'all don't really want to read it.

I should note Max Boot is a supportive voice - but I think he's trying too hard here.

The whole LA Times piece is here.

Whatziss help.

You guys have *actually* hit all the component elements of the answer. You just have to figure out which ones from the clues.

I will acknowledge I inadvertently misled you with the scale referent. The artifact in question is at least 60 years younger than the grenade.

Here's another pic to help you on your journey.

C'mon, you can do it!


Frank got it - Riot Control round, in this case a French "baton round" that fired a hollow rubber ball from a 37mm launcher - similar to this gun.

What's interesting about this one is that it's a 12 gauge blank inserted into a larger caliber plastic case, vice the aluminum cased more classic design of this Brit baton round in the Castle holdings. Fairly low velocity and hits with a sharp sting. I've been hit, in training, with a baton round from 50 yards. Not fun. Certainly, getting hit at close range in the wrong place can cause (and has) fatalities or serious injury. There are rules of engagement covering these weapons as there are any others.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Like I leave the keys laying around...

In the comments to the H&I Post below, Jim B, former Marine, Erudite Edumacator, and Bogey-man of Argghhh opines thusly:

Well as usual I have a keen eye for detail (yea right ususlly I classify things like this; If you can't eat it drink it or take it to bed with you what good is it?)

I noticed the Militaria Bar of Argghh, and the Booze Vessels of Argghh, and noted there was no Scoresby present. Therefore on future trips to the land of Argghh (yes Dorothy there is an Argghh) I will be compelled to brink [sic] the official Scoresby hip flask with me. Which is, of course and empied [sic] out plastic bottle that formerly contained Sprite.

Snerk. Looks like it's well-used, too.

1. I don't leave the keys laying around for Denizens to find. If I did, it would be the Empty Liquor Cabinet of Argghhh!

2. We've not yet felt compelled to light the Jim B. Grail Beacon. Close, but you've not *quite* dropped out of sight.

3. Just to make you feel more comfortable, I will send Ry up the High Tower to light the Beacon.

There. Go behind the Curtain into the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry and see what awaits.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

July 05, 2006

H&I* Fires 5 July 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...

I'm busy for the nonce - yer on yer own! -the Armorer


GOP Vixen on "You know your missile sucks when..." I believe in mockery as commentary - as long as NORAD takes a *serious* attitude about it. Don't let relief at apparent failure go as far in the other direction as angst over "What might happen" took us last week. If they were doing their jobs right - they learned something from the failure.

This guy thinks like I do on Global Warming - but he's too narrowly focused. There are *two* axes that have to advance on the tech side - Samuelson already lays out his answer on the energy production/consumption side - the other is developing ways and means - and plans - to adapt to the changes as they occur. Just as human populations made mass movements due to the ice ages and warming epochs in the past, so too will we have to make accomodations in the future - especially if this *is* nature-driven, whether solar output or sea-floor spreading or a combination of the two, driving the equation - because we're going to do diddle-all about those at the source. Adapt or die.

As Kat notes - Chai and mud huts. Taking the road less traveled.

"We've had some success in making inroads to the population there," said Army Col. Sean MacFarland, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, which oversees all U.S. military forces in the city. "We're beginning to see a turn there for the better."
Marines based in western Ramadi now regularly knock on people's front doors instead of storming through. Instead of roaming the streets in armored Humvees, Marines took a census of the area -- sitting down and listening to people's concerns and complaints.
"You'd be surprised at how many people in Ramadi are shocked when we knock and ask to come in. And in Arab culture, it makes all the difference," said 2nd Lt. Ryan Hub of Sumter, S.C., who as a teenager lived in Kuwait for two years while his Air Force officer father was stationed there.
To reinforce their goodwill gestures, Marines are trying to repair Ramadi's water works to demonstrate that Americans can improve conditions. Reconstruction projects in the city have long been stalled because of persistent sabotage by insurgents.

Read the rest here.

There's something really wrong in the US intelligence community.

A senior intelligence official is leading an effort within the Bush administration to defend former Defense Intelligence Agency China specialist Ronald Montaperto, who pleaded guilty recently [emphasis mine] to espionage-related charges involving Chinese intelligence.

Read the rest here.

Oh, my - this is just *tasty.* Nowhere *near* enough fuel for the fire (not talking the kerosene, either) nor the concentrating effects of the cement floors, just to name two huge flaws in this methodology. But it's earnest and comes from the left - so it *must* be correct! Snerksnerksnerk. -the Armorer


There's another world inside of me
That you may never see
There're secrets in this life
That I can't hide
Somewhere in this darkness
There's a light that I can't find
Maybe it's too far away...
Or maybe I'm just blind...

So hold me when I'm here
Right me when I'm wrong
Hold me when I'm scared
And love me when I'm gone
Everything I am
And everything in me
Wants to be the one
You wanted me to be
I'll never let you down
Even if I could
I'd give up everything
If only for your good
So hold me when I'm here
Right me when I'm wrong
You can hold me when I'm scared
You won't always be there
So love me when I'm gone

Now... you've read the lyrics. Go watch the video. And visit the site of Sniper's girl, Days Gone By. Watch the video, and listen to the lyrics as Days does, and you'll understand why she tears up every time she hears the song. (Yes, it's Sniper being awarded the Purple Heart. The other injured Marine, Iceman, is still in a coma). God bless the USMC! ~AFSister


No tornadoes 'round us this year so far. Let's hope it's a trend, and not just the calm before the storm.

Via Xavier Thoughts - Idiots with Guns (No, I'm *not* the feature). -The Armorer


Y'know, apropos to adding Trias to the Denizen blogroll - I should drag this up out of the Archives to let him know he's can feel at home here at the Castle, as can Murray (who just opened a store, btw - copying *my* marketing techniques - may they work better for him!).

The Militaria Bar of Argghhh!


The Booze Vessels of Argghhh!

-The Armorer


{Sigh. Gollum can’t read, write, or spell apparently. More time to spend in castle Purgatory. It ain't easy being green.}

Update on the Ehran Watada saga.

Army charges him with three offenses (conduct unbecoming an Officer, missing movement, and contempt of his superiors). Watada’s legal team claim using Watada’s public statements is a mistake by the Army (I wonder what Armylawyer has to say on that count ?).

Looks like Team Watada intends on putting the war on trial. Poor guy. I hope the team he gets to work his appeal doesn’t try to use him for a political stunt like his current team is.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 05, 2006 | General Commentary
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Science??? Engineering?? I think not!
» Don Surber links with: Why porn stars are Republicans


C'mon, impress me!

Go ahead, give it yer best shot. You guys with the right kinds of jobs (i.e., daytime surfing ability) are getting pretty good at this stuff.

Okay - here's a little bit of help for scale. That's a german "egg" grenade.

MajMike hits the closest - but isn't there yet.

The Guns of Argghhh!

Hosting provided by FotoTime

The Guns of Argghhh are silent now, just as the guns at Gettysburg fell silent, though it was a *lot* more fun here and there was alcohol involved (in safe amounts).

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Much powder (and a little tequila) were consumed in the making of this post.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

There might have been some bugs killed by the aerial bursts. I hope so, anyway. But otherwise, no mammals or non-flying bugs were harmed in the making of last evening.

by John on Jul 05, 2006 | Artillery

Fight! Fight!

Well, such as there is at the Castle. Knowing that a lot of you *don't* go burrowing through the comments, I thought I'd bring a conversation from the comments up into the light.

The post that generated the commentary was this one, on Supporting the Troops.

The discussion revolved around perceptions of right wing vs left wing support for the war and the manifestations thereof - along with some side commentary about political assumptions being made about the political leanings of the soldiery. I'm going to leave that aside and will bring up here the discussion between Castle Contrarian and Leftish Canadian Alan of GenX@40 and our own rightish buried-in-the-academy Ry, currently guest-posting at Kat's place, The Middle Ground.

Alan starts out:

To be fair, there are a lot of right winger civilians who do not exactly care deeply about the lot of the military either, asking it to do far more without the civilian side of the community pulling its weight behind the effort in the war on terror through increased taxes, bonds, etc. You see some community outreach in a town like Watertown, NY near me as Fort Drum is so close but you might find a greater national effort might also find that soldier feeling less like no one cared.

Ry Responds:

The points Alan and SD are making are exactly why I have tried(proll'y in vain, knowing me) to not make my essays on the subject over at Kat's a partisan issue. Rogers did, in the end he really did because it comes down to getting the people in power now instead of looking at how the system is messed up. [Armorer's note - "Rogers" refers to another comment thread on a different post that you don't have to be read in on to follow this discussion]

People do tend to just put up the yellow sticker and think the jobs done. It ain't. Not by a long shot. These same jokers did the same in '91(and voted for Bush the Elder in 1992), but by '94 wanted Slick Walrus(having voted for him) to slice off 4 divisions and cut the Navy in half because they thought they had better uses for it than letting the Mil have it(and when you're strapped for getting current gear, repairing gear, and getting the pipeline for future gear decision makers aren't going to worry about things like the VA so much, particularly when it isn't being stressed so hard in peacetime.).

But, to be fair, the anger at 'liberals' is fair too. Nine times out of ten it is 'liberals' who want to cut mil spending to fund something like Headstart for everyone(instead of just for really impoverished or disabled children).

Al, I always have a problem with the 'war tax' argument. You do realize that we took in more tax revenue last year than just about any year ever? That we funded WW2 with lesser taxes? And temporary taxes usually aren't---just like temporary presidential powers typically become permanent(like the power grab by FDR, over which a SCOTUS battle was being fought and to win said battle FDR was going to pack the court, that means every pres now has immense pull on domestic issues when they didn't prior to FDR). There's enough revenue coming in to do this without a war tax. How about we get rid of Amtrak, a perennial in the red service? Sell it to a private provider. There's a ton of other things that could be axed because they are entirely unnecessary before we need a war tax.
And again(have you read my essay Al?), a war tax now really wouldn't fix the problem. It'll take a few years before that cash infusion will begun to be seen in the field. And then, when the war in Iraq is over, the public will demand we scale back again---producing the late 90s situation all over again, and this all over again the next time a pres decides to go to war without a 5 year build up.
I really think we've mythologized WW2 and the rationing scheme too much. My Mom lived thru it and the way she talks about it it wasn't a great thing. It was hated. It sucked. 3 years of it had people in backwoods Wisconsin(and other places) talking about voting in someone who would get us out of the war(which makes me question why so many are so in favor of a war tax. Is it because they know it will kill support? Rather a cheap trick to get your way if so ain't it?).

SD and Trias, most of my childhood friends joined, myself being the only one who went to college(Craig went to The Point after being JROTC) instead. They do write/call me saying how pissed off they are that they are being turned into a political football, how much they hate us Normals because we don't understand and can't understand. One side arguing that they more authentically care about 'The Troops' more. This guy and Beth have a point(though, I would be a little more kind to Murtha. He may want to pull out any time there's trouble but he typically votes to get the gear.). While they, my buddies and their Brothers, like seeing that yellow bumper sticker they're also aware of the triteness of it. It's bitter sweet for them(We're remembered, but, damn, why's that $itch driving an f'n Hummer, with perfectly manicured nails and coiffed, dyed blonde hair, and wearing Gucci sunglasses while my buddies and I had to sleep in 115 degree heat, eat crap food, and mickey mouse $hit?). And they absolutely want to skull hump those who say things like, 'Support the troops. Bring them home.' Because it's cheap to do either. Because it's easy. Because it isn't substantive help(though it is a psychological boost to some when they first came home.).

I've known some of these guys longer (Moran(20 some odd days longer) and Boner(yes, his last name really is Boner and I've known him a few years longer)) than my wife's been alive. the group's collectively gotten into spittle inflected rages over this. Support shouldn't start when Bush said we're going to war and it shouldn't stop when the last man steps of the Starfrog ladder Stateside. That's what they're pissed about: the easy stuff's being done now, but none of the hard stuff was done years ago when it could've mattered. They're tired that they have become a political football.

And yeah, it's a lot easier to point the finger at someone else. It's a lot easier to try and make our own efforts seem much grander than they really are. (I could've made arguing budgeting in places other than living rooms and restaurant tables the last 15 years). So let's not fault Beth for this overmuch. We sacrifice what we can without making utter messes of our lives. That's all we can do at this point. We can't undo the late 90's.

Later today or tomorrow, I will post the next installment in the series. While I really like just having fun in the comments, it's stuff like this that differentiate blogs from the other forms of media. Especially when people follow the Rulez and it doesn't degenerate into a Sunday Morning Talk Show/Daily Kos/LGF shout-fest.

July 04, 2006

H&I* Fires 4 July 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...

Project Valour-IT Cluebats are finished! I should start shipping them this week. These aren't just *any* cluebats, either. These are serially numbered Specials! No. 1 goes to Frank C. This one, #5, goes to Don D.

Project Valour-IT cluebat for $100 donations.

If I've lost your addresses, I'll be hitting you up. If I don't contact you, just watch your mailbox early next week.

BTW - this is *not* an in-kind premium that reduces the value of your contribution. The bats are *my* non-tax-deductible contribution and an outright gift from me to you. Soldier's Angels spent not a dime on these - but got $2K worth of donations for 13 bats. Yeah, some of you *rather* exceeded the minimums! -The Armorer


"But aren't they just the poor, the uneducated or, worse yet, Southern RedStaters that don't know any better?"

For the Kos Kids, the Hollywood and Upper West Side sophisticates and maybe the Editor of the NYT, here's something to ponder.
They probably don't (or can't) believe it. --Instapilot

H/T: Powerline


Many were the Black Cats launched into the Inner Bailey of Argghhh!, to end their short lives in a bang and a flash.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

[And, for some reason, this photo was up until about 2AM, then the added stuff disappeared. But since Ledger asked a question in the comments, I hadda put it back in so all y'all wouldn't get confused... like I *still* am, since there is no login activity to support why the addition went away. Unless a Denizen left the post open for hours and then saved it...]

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 04, 2006 | General Commentary

USA, 230 years old today...

Fireworks over the National Mall


...and still behaving like a rebellious teenager, sticking our thumb in the eye of European plutocrats.




Despite the pinchfaced nose-in-the-air bemused disapproval of our maple-syrup-sipping sibling...


And we still hang around with Mom, though we did move her into the Carriage House out in back.


Apparently, we've annoyed a lot of family members with our antics of late.

Oh well. There was a reason we left, and many of them still exist. And lots of people still want to come live in our neighborhood.

Other's blogging it today...

Princess Crabby
Fuzzybear Lioness
Adjutant Barb
Alan (Hey, he's Canadian, give 'em a break)
Murray (who's a Kiwi) celebrates mid-winter in his own idiom.
Trias (The New Kid, and an Ozzie, has this to say)
Sanger (late, as usual)
SeawitchDaisy Cutter (okay, not a Denizen mebbe, but we likes 'em! And, um, came recommended by Seawitch, whom we likes!)

From Greyhawk's Milblogs group
Austin Bay
The Stupid Shall Be Punished.
CDR Salamander
Neptunus Lex
Miserable Donuts
Soldier's Mom
The Will To Exist

by John on Jul 04, 2006 | Defending the Homeland
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Happy Independence Day!
» The Glittering Eye links with: Catching my eye on the Fourth of July, 2006
» Echo9er links with: Challenger

Selective Memory

Dave the Tomb Robber (which is what his wife calls him when he clambers too far up his Professor of Archaeology pedestal) tells me the following quote from John Stuart Mill--liberally-laced with *tsk*-ing pontification on the "illegal war to impose our values on others" trail that we're treading--is enjoying a renewed popularity with the Brie and Chablis Set up the road:

The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.

They apparently forgot that JSM also said:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

No pontification necessary. Kinda restores your faith in philosophy without having to wipe runny cheese off your chin...

Dear Time Magazine.

Screw you and your editorial decisions.

Assholes, er, jerks. (Just STFU PG-17C or I'll kick you into scrap). My own private Googlebomb.

This is the story that should have Sergeant Major Brad Kasal and the picture associated with it. Not one that uses his picture and ties it (indirectly, the caption does not place the Sergeant Major at Haditha) to the Haditha scandal.

by John on Jul 04, 2006 | Media Morons

Nobody cares about soldiers?

Pfc. Matthew J. Mongiove assigned to the 10th Mountain 4th Brigade, supporting the 561st Military Police Company, provides security for the Canadian Mobile Training Team (MTT) on May 16, 2006 in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan.  The Canadian Military Police out of Spin Boldak provides refresher training to the border patrol police who patrol the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan.  (U.S Army Photo by Sgt. Andre' Reynolds)<br />

Pfc. Matthew J. Mongiove assigned to the 10th Mountain 4th Brigade, supporting the 561st Military Police Company, provides security for the Canadian Mobile Training Team (MTT) on May 16, 2006 in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. The Canadian Military Police out of Spin Boldak provides refresher training to the border patrol police who patrol the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. (U.S Army Photo by Sgt. Andre' Reynolds) (Released)

Blue Star Chronicles has up a post about a conversation she had with a US soldier.

Who avers that Nobody Cares About Soldiers. (They should read more milblogs..., but that's a different issue)

Go, read. How 'bout you guys and gals serving? Overstated? Understated? Message mixed?

by John on Jul 04, 2006 | Observations on things Military
» My Side of the Puddle links with: GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

July 03, 2006

H&I* Fires 3 July 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...


{Gollum. Pianos are still hard (touches head bruises). The sun burrrnnnnsssss ussssssss. We're seriously regretting leaving Castle Purgatory on work release on account of that (touches sunburned arm. Owwie!)}
I’ve put something new up at Kat's for you to kill time and brain cells with. Like the rest of you I can't wait for her to get back. She's smarter, a better writer, and better looking.

And have any of the heavyweights here read my first real essay over there? Even if it's telling me an idiot(so long as I'm also told why I'm an idiot) I'd love to get some feedback from you guys.

Izzat a sly swipe at me I detect up there, Ry? [Unlids the Hairy Eyeball]

Those wacky Baathists!

A dog-faced soldier in front of naked women in Iraq. This wall-sized mural was found behind a sheet in a former ambassador’s house on a raid. He had photos of Saddam all over the place as well as one of him with Andrei Gromyko not to mention an armory of AK47s, and RPG launcher, sticks of dynamite, grenades, and over 15 million Dinar stashed in a hidden room behind a 600-pound armoire.  H/t, Strategy Page

A dog-faced soldier in front of naked women in Iraq. This wall-sized mural was found behind a sheet in a former ambassador’s house on a raid. He had photos of Saddam all over the place as well as one of him with Andrei Gromyko not to mention an armory of AK47s, and RPG launcher, sticks of dynamite, grenades, and over 15 million Dinar stashed in a hidden room behind a 600-pound armoire.

They like their wimmin zaftig. Me too.

H/t, those purveyors of pr0n over at Strategy Page.

Here's an interesting take on term limits (the removal thereof) to replace them with "competitive districting." Though how that changes being beholden to special interests, I'm not sure. I like the idea of metaphorical heads on pikes, but the electorate just won't do it all that often. Mebbe it's time to try *drafting* people... excluding of course, those dimwitted enough to buy lottery tickets. Oops. That's me.

Here's another one that resonates... slightly. Wanted: President - no MBA required. While it takes half-heartedly obligatory swipes at both sides, it's pretty much a slam of the author's interpretation of the Republican Beau Ideal of a President. He does manage to put McNamara and Rumsfeld on the same ideological/vocational shelf, which is somewhat bemusing, too - which doesn't make it wrong (full disclosure, I currently work as a military analyst in a Operations Research organization, so I'm hardly objective - though that doesn't mean what you're thinking either if you are new to this space). This guy longs for the decisiveness of Carter, with the rhetorical skills of Clinton and Reagan. -The Armorer


30 years ago today: Operation Jonathan.

On Saturday, July 3, shortly after dawn, the combat units loaded their equipment, and drove on deserted roads to a nearby airbase, where ground crews loaded them and their vehicles securely in the cargo space of the C-130s. IDF doctors and medical orderlies were loaded on board the "hospital" Boeing 707. At 13:20, they were airborne, southbound for Ophir at the tip of the Sinai peninsula, where they refueled and then headed for Entebbe. With the planes already in the air, the full Israeli cabinet met and gave final approval.

Too bad the missing Israeli soldier can't be rescued as comparatively simply. -The Armorer


Nick-Nack, the pussycat who gave the dog a bone - grows up and goes into business for himself. (that will make a *lot* more sense if you follow the links in sequence) -The Armorer


Reveille. 'Nuff Said. H/t, Mrs. Greyhawk. -the Armorer

{Sigh. Gollum can't catch a break. Knowing we was dead tired and not wanting to screw stuff up so we save it as a draft instead of posting, but wanting to put an idea to 'lectrons lest we lose it, we get blamed for stuff we didn't do. Evil Tribbles. Don't make us bite your ring finger off.}
Grim's got something interesting to read over at Milblogs. Mosey on over and check it out. Pleeease. {Maybe this will get The Armorer's Boot off of our neck?}
{Umph. Guess that didn't appease The Armorer. Umph. Hey, I'm trying to type here. Umph.}
I've put new stuff up at Kat's to kill your brain cells with. Yes, I imagine you're all sick of reading Gollum over there. Yeah, Gollum's sick of Gollum too. Can't wait until Kat comes back because she's smarter, a better writer, and better looking than me.
{There. Does that make you happy? You now realize that wasn't snarkage targeted at you earlier in the day, Armorer? Can't a guy cap on himself without being harassed? Huh? Umph. (muffled and nasally) Guess not.}

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 03, 2006 | General Commentary

Guilded Idiots

As usual, Mark Steyn harpoons the guilded idiocy of our institutional "elites."

H/T: Jonah

"The same kind of inspired jurisprudence conjuring trick that detected in the emanations of the penumbra how the Framers of the U..S Constitution cannily anticipated a need for partial-birth abortion and gay marriage has now effectively found a right to jihad — or, if you're a female suicide bomber about to board an Israeli bus, a woman's right to Jews."

I love the last phrase.

The Hamdan decision brings to my mind the bleatings of the MSM, Dems, RINOs and the rest of the usual suspects on the "dangers" of a "Unitary Executive." The phrase has come to mean an-out-of-control autocrat who threatens our freedom and embodies all the Founders thought so important to prevent in a viable republic (read: any elected US president who disagrees with the Left's view of the Separation of Powers or does anything they don't like when in power.)

So who's to stop what has become, in the most recent decades, the Unitary Judiciary? In practical terms, the United States is governed by 5 people--any 5 of the Supremes who decide to make shite up about: abortion, national defense, gay rights, treaty obligations and virtually anything our ELECTED representatives embody in federal law. Could it be that the only reason every standing law—enacted by the people through their elected and accountable representatives—isn't overturned by our "robed masters" (to borrow George Will's phrase) comes down to two: 1) They're not that interested in the subject; 2) they just haven't had time to get around to the subject yet?

Personally, I think we are in serious trouble when 5 unelected individuals decide, out of thin air, that our present laws don’t apply to our enemies when the Congress clearly meant them to and that literally centuries of precedent had until now UNANIMOUSLY held that the Executive (those would be: Washington, Lincoln, FDR and Bush II, up to now) has every right, in time of war, to hold enemy combatants until hostilities cease and to subject them to military justice when warranted. Moreover, it points to what even Thomas Jefferson saw as a glaring flaw in our system—the unchallenged authority of one Branch over the other two.

There are no practical checks and balances, at least none that I can see, on the decisions of the Supreme Court, no matter how fanciful their logic or distorted their interpretation of the Constitution. What the f*** is a “penumbra,” anyway? If the Constitution is “emanating” something, who’s to say The Five are wrong in “seeing” same in striking down or upholding a law? In essence, we are being jerked around by schizophrenics in funny clothes…whatever emanations they uncover, penumbras they discern or voices they hear in the night define our liberty. Sure, a Justice can be impeached, but that’s a very remote possibility, and certainly not a player (politically speaking) simply because his or her opinion runs counter to the desires of the President and Congress.

However, when legal travesties like Roe occur, in which the Supremes “nationalized” a medical procedure thus disenfranchising 50 state governments whose job it is to govern and monitor medical practice, and impose in a deeply anti-democratic way a fiat that flies in the face of national law and international treaty, as in Hamdan, well, I don’t know what to think. Except this: the Separation of Powers is under attack…and it’s a fairly successful campaign, so far.

Hamilton in The Federalist papers lamented an attempt to weaken the Executive, citing the need for a single individual who could make rapid decisions and take decisive action…to paraphrase, “ a weak leader makes for a weak government and a weak government makes for a bad government.” Fortunately, he was listened to and the Framers established a strong Executive while weaving in effective counterweights to that power in the Constitution. Though, alas, looks like they were caught napping when dealing with the courts.

Here’s a thought—let’s suppose Congress builds an Amendment that provides a means to overturn a SCOTUS decision under the premise that the missing element in the Separation doctrine is an ability to check the Judiciary’s power. They do so via, say, a supermajority vote of both Houses. I’d bet a month’s pay that, failing to defeat the effort politically, the elitists attack via the Judiciary. I don’t know if that’s possible—conceivably rising to the SCOTUS level in an attempt to block a national political effort to democratically amend the law of the land—but I’m pretty sure there will be a concerted attempt. Moreover (and this is the scary part), I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of today’s federal judiciary supported these reactionaries.

by Dusty on Jul 03, 2006 | General Commentary
» Big Tits links with: Big Tits

Whatziss, solved!

Eric was very close - and Frank, building on Eric's work, finally bridged the last tiny gap.

The plate was used by German Stormtroops to pull the fuzeloops not of the Steilhandgranaten - stick grenades, but rather the wire loops of the egg grenades.

German Egg Grenade with wire puller plate.

In other words - like this.

Well done guys - it wasn't an easy one, it's not a well known, nor very common, piece of kit. As far as I know - until I posted these pics - the website that Frank found was the only other place you could find a picture of this - in far worse shape than that in the Arsenal of Argghhh!

by John on Jul 03, 2006 | Grenades

In Rapid Succession

Monday (19 June) through Tuesday (27 June): Daily downpours. Delaware River decides to flood again.

Wednesday (downpour now continuous) morning:

0300: Phone call: "The Island section of Trenton is already under water. We expect the river to crest five feet higher than it did in last year's flood. Prepare for probable evacuation."

0305: KtLW panics.

0600: Fishwrapper headline: "GET OUT!" in 2,000 point Arial Black. *hmmm--how'd the delivery guy make it through the water in his Yugo-clone?*

0605: KtLW panics.

0700: KtLW panics.

0800: KtLW panics.

0900: Fire guys making the rounds, telling everybody, "If you stay, you won't have electricity, water, telephone or access to emergency services. Plus Route 29 and half of Trenton is under water." On cue, power fails, water fails, telephone is dead as a doornail. KtLW panics: "I can't flush the toilet! I refuse to stay here if I can't flush the toilet!"

*real reason--no phone*

1000: Scruples safely at the vet's (he's on high ground), house prepped, I'm packed, Jeep's set to go, dropped a case of beer on Ed the Neighbor (who's been itching to try out his new generator and will be hanging around "until the water starts creeping under the deck"), KtLW still trying to decide on Evacuation Wardrobe.

1200: Back from watching the storm drains backing into the street, ask KtLW if she'd consider limiting the Evacuation Wardrobe to less than three cubic yards of stuff because I'd kind of like to take the spare tire, too.

1300--1740: Giving serious thought to mowing the lawn, despite torrential downpour.

1745: Commence lugging 2.7 cubic yards of KtLW Evacuation Wardrobe to Jeep.

1845: On the way to visit Maryland via the back roads to South Jersey, because the only local bridge still open is backed up for ten miles (I have a sudden insight into the Lemming Phenomenon and its contribution to transforming a simple "go from point A to point B" into an Emergency Ops guy's recurring nightmare).

2130: Arrival Maryland to hang out at a place with electricity, water, telephones and *no* cyber access.

Sunday (2 July) 2300: Back at stately Tuttle Manor. Flood's receded, power's back, water's (boil-before-drinking-or-bathing) restored, telephone's on. KtLW flushing toilet and giggling like an idiot--just like I did when I got back from RVN.

Monday (3 July) 0830: Scruples bailed out of the pokey, happy as clams, now sprawled on the kitchen floor--hoping I'll drop something interesting while I clean out the unidentifiables in the fridge. KtLW upstairs, wondering out loud (*very* out loud) why I can't do a simple thing like cleaning a refrigerator without raising a stink.

Planned for the Fourth: Neighborhhod Barbecue to eliminate up all the food that was in the freezers that unfroze--an event which has assumed "Annual" status. Anyway--I'm back. Got some interesting Gun Pr0n for you guys--if I can find the camera that's still trapped in the middle of 2.7 cubic yards of Evacuation Wardrobe...

by CW4BillT on Jul 03, 2006 | General Commentary

July 3, 1863. July 3, 2006

Pickett's Charge, the core event of Longstreet's Grand Assault.

"General, I have no division..."
-Major General George Edward Pickett to General Lee at Gettysburg
July 3, 1863

Keep this in mind, when considering the Iraqi Amnesty Plan, however it goes forward.

The names of the places associated with the charge are deeply indented on the American conscience. Every summer, "The Angle" and "The High Water Mark" are crowded with visitors who come to commemorate the event and ponder those terrible minutes when American killed American in a desperate contest of wills and ideals. So much carnage in such a small place- it is difficult for us today to realize the horror those young men faced, and how quickly the hopes of the North and South were determined in this famous battle.

The genius of Lincoln (I can hear Jim C. and JTG gagging, while Rich B. applauds enthusiastically - the war isn't over yet...) was his plan for post-war reconciliation. Leave aside the arguments about who started the war and why - keep focused on how it ended. The main Army of the loser defeated in the field, smaller Armies still intact, with not a few guerrilla bands active. And a continuing insurgency in some places.

But the key piece is there had recently been a lot of Americans killing Americans - and a lot of Northerners who wanted several mass hangings after the war. President Andrew Johnson got impeached essentially for staying the course Lincoln set for Reconstruction. The nation went through a lot during that period, with a Military Occupation, the Carpet Baggers, the slow recovery of the more devastated areas of the South, the rise of the KKK (a Saddam Fedayeen of it's day - like that comparison or no) and paroxysms of violence - especially aimed at blacks - that lasted a long time. A century after the seminal event itself.

Yet our anti-Bush and anti-war elites act as if Iraq should resolve itself immediately or that it is indicative of total, abject failure. And if Iraq doesn't look like a Mayberry RFD equivalent damn soon, then the whole thing was a cock-up (as if the Civil War wasn't a 4 year long cock-up, too).

And then, when the Iraqi's try to exercise a little sovereignty - the amnesty plan - many from that herd erupt in righteous indignation. "No amnesty for people who killed Americans!"

Heh. Like there isn't ample precedent for just such an amnesty. And if it will bring peace to the region... hmmm... wasn't that what we went in for?

Oh, right. It was Oil, and the sekrit directions from the Israeli Cabinet. Sorry, I forgot.

Point being - to me the model that appeals is the one we applied in Germany after WWII. De-Nazification. Essentially amnesty for the German regular military establishment and government officials, investigation and prosecution of the most egregious of the senior military and civilian leadership, and the making of the SS anathema. While you can argue the merits of the way the bulk of the Waffen SS were treated, because we largely didn't understand the labyrinthine organizational structure of the SS in general (a discussion I'm not delving into here) it strikes me this model can apply to Iraq, under the aegis of the Iraqi government - with the Saddam Fedayeen types filling the role of the Waffen SS, the Baathist party the Nazi Party, and yes, absent the war crime style killings (such as PFCs Menchaca and Tucker), give those militias/insurgents willing to work the issues a pass on their military activities, peel them away from the foreigners, and further isolate those bastards. The foreign fighters? They can be handled as were the Totenkopf Verbande - the Death's Head units that comprised the Einsatzgruppen and Concentration Camp guards. Hang 'em, shoot 'em, imprison 'em.

And let the Iraqis stumble their way into their future, which will hopefully include fewer and fewer of us.

But lets not just get in a high dudgeon whenever the Iraqis start to actually exercise a little sovereignty. They aren't us, they are going to make their own way.

Yeah, it may fail - but that was true from the start. The region isn't famous for stable well-run states except the small ones awash in money... who import a lot of the people who make it work for them. So nothing over there is going to be easy or fast or cheap.

July 02, 2006

H&I Fires* 2 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...


July 2, 1863. Little Round Top. Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine.

1934 General Lázaro Cardenas elected president of Mexico. That's important for a reason I'll tell ya about later.

1943 Lt Charles Hall is the first black pilot to shoot down a Nazi plane. The distinction of "shoot down a Nazi plane" is important. Because Lieutenant Hall (whose accomplishment stands on it's own merits) was *not* the first black fighter pilot to shoot down a German. That honor goes to Eugene Jacques Bullard, the "Black Swallow of Death" who had to accomplish that feat in the French Flying Corps - because he wasn't allowed to do so in US uniform. And, despite being one of France's most highly-decorated veterans of WWI, was denied entry into the US Armed Forces.

Okay - "One of these things is not like the other..."

Forward Operating Base Uvanni, Iraq--United States Army soldiers part of the 3-187th Infantry Regiment 101st Air Assault, perform a raid inside Samaria on June 20, 2006 (U.S. Navy Photo By photographers Mate Third Class (AW) Shawn Hussong) (RELEASED)

Go visit Dave at Heartless Libertarian for a little example of intel analysis of a photograph.

SWWBO and her buds in the Cotillion do some odd web-surfing.

CAPT H is *sure* you all want to hear (and see) the Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen Song.

BTW - all y'all *do* know Jeff Quinton is getting married - in blog-style?

Carnival of the Recipes, July 4th Edition, is up at Caterwauling! .-The Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jul 02, 2006 | General Commentary
» Don Surber links with: My favorite cover songs

Continuing the Whatziss from yesterday...

You guys haven't figured it out yet, but the random darts you're throwing into the underbrush have, in fact, produced a few yelps.

1. WWI
2. German
3. While not body armor, it was worn by German troops.

In service it would have had this orientation on the soldier - if he was right-handed.

What am I?

Or like this, on a left-handed soldier.

And would have been found in the kit of certain members of Stosstruppen units.