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October 21, 2006

H&I Fires* 21 OCT 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...

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Soldier's wife with cancer. They're moving back to CONUS from Germany. Need some financial padding. The boys at Op-For are trying to help. -the Armorer for ry

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Greyhawk points us to another jaw-dropping case of lying headlines and selective quoting.

The chair of the House Armed Services Committee responds to CNN. - FbL

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Quiz time! Who said the following?:

The Bush administration changed that policy [the agreement negotiated by Clinton and Carter in 1994, which North Korea promptlly violated for years]. They put in the trash can the agreement with North Korea...

It's like night and day. It was daytime when Clinton was in office that totally prohibited and prevented any sort of plutonium enrichment. All that was dramatically changed under George Bush and now we have the North Koreans having exploded a plutonium bomb.

[We should negotiate with Korea, but] unfortunately, the U.S. government has established an unprecedented international policy of not talking to anyone who disagrees with us.

Answer here. In all honesty, I'm starting to question his mental faculties. - FbL

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 21, 2006 | General Commentary
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Rice: No promise on 2nd nuke blast

After the Early Halloween Post below...

...I owe you something soothing. If you find this more frightening than the post below it, you've probably wandered in here by mistake! You might be more comfortable here. 8^D

Just some stuff on the shelves

Just some random stuff on the shelves. Two cut-away Lee Enfields, one Brit, one Aussie (the Ozzie is on the right), Swedish battleaxe, German warhammer, some Hotchkiss ammunition (two old-looking brass-cased rounds upper right), military theodolite (center bottom), Enfield trainer rifle (wood and metal thing on the left).

Since Saturday is a low-traffic, high google day...

...I think I'll post scary stuff.

On the issue of Right-thinking people staying home on Election Day to punish the Republicans. Among other things, remember people - perfect is the enemy of good. You're never going to get perfect. Here's a sample of what you *will* get with a Pelosi House.

New Faces and Ideas? Hardly.

As if, AP! [Tim Graham]

There is no funnier headline today than this AP one: "If Democrats Win House, Moderation Rules." Andrew Taylor notes the potentially incoming chairmen may be measurably liberal by their voting records, but they "promise to rule from the center." Stop, AP, my ribs hurt!

Has anyone considered how the Democrats can present themselves as a vote for "change" when you consider the term-unlimited people that will chair the committees, as AP reviews it? John Dingell: first elected December of 1955. That's almost pre-rock-and-roll. John Conyers: first elected 1964. Charles Rangel? 1970. Henry Waxman? 1974. George Miller? 1974. Fresh faces, anyone?

House Majority Whip Blunt has his own take on the issue:

PELOSI'S HOUSE Pelosi's House


"I pride myself in being called a liberal."


"I don't consider myself a moderate."


Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) (Time, 9/4/06)

...And she's not the only one.


"This list of the bills most likely to be championed by committee chairmen in a Pelosi-led House of Representatives would be great fodder for the latenight talk show hosts if it weren't true," House Majority Whip Roy Blunt said. "Instead, it's just plain scary. While Republicans fight the War on Terror, grow our robust economy, and crack down on illegal immigration, House Democrats plot to establish a Department of Peace, raise your taxes, and minimize penalties for crack dealers. The difference couldn't be starker."

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Department of Peace and Nonviolence Act -- H.R. 3760: Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and 74 Democratic cosponsors propose a new "Department of Peace and Nonviolence" as well as "National Peace Day." Cosponsors include three would-be Democratic Chairmen: John Conyers (Judiciary), George Miller (Education and the Workforce), and Charlie Rangel (Ways and Means).

Gas Stamps -- H.R. 3712: Jim McDermott (D-WA) and eight Democratic cosponsors want a "Gas Stamps" program similar to the Food Stamps program to subsidize the gasoline purchases of qualified individuals.

Less Jail Time for Selling Crack Cocaine - H.R. 2456: Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and 23 Democratic cosponsors want to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for possessing, importing, and distributing crack cocaine. John Conyers, the would-be Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over the bill, is a cosponsor.

Voting Rights for Criminals - H.R. 1300: John Conyers (D-MI) and 32 Democratic cosponsors, and H.R. 663: Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and 28 Democratic cosponsors would let convicted felons vote. Rep. John Conyers is the would-be Democratic Chairman of the Judiciary Committee which would consider this legislation.

Expand Medicare to Include Diapers -- H.R. 1052: Barney Frank (D-MA) supports Medicare coverage of adult diapers. Barney Frank is the would-be Chairman of the Financial Services Committee.

Nationalized Health Care - H.R. 4683: John Dingell (D-MI) and 18 Democratic cosponsors want to expand Medicare to cover all Americans. John Dingell is the would-be Democratic Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee who along with cosponsors Charlie Rangel, would-be Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Henry Waxman, would-be Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, would have jurisdiction over the proposal.

Federal Regulation of Restaurant Menus -- H.R. 5563: Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and 25 Democratic cosponsors authorize federal regulation of the contents of restaurant menus.

Taxpayer Funded Abortions & Elimination of all Restrictions on Abortion, Including Parental Notice - H.R. 5151: Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and 66 Democratic cosponsors want to overturn even minimal restrictions on abortion such as parental notice requirements. The bill would also require taxpayer funding of abortions through the various federal health care programs. John Conyers, the would-be Chairman of Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over the bill, is an original cosponsor.

Bill of Welfare Rights -- H.J. Res. 29-35: Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) proposes a Soviet-style "Bill of Welfare Rights," enshrining the rights of full employment, public education, national healthcare, public housing, abortion, progressive taxation, and union membership. On some these measures, Rep. Jackson is joined by up to 35 Democratic cosponsors, including would-be Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.

A note about this list: While by no means an exhaustive list of the liberal, out-of-the-mainstream bills introduced by Democratic Members, these bills deserve particular attention because the principle advocates are the very individuals who would be in a position to schedule committee markups and move the legislation through the Congress should the Democrats take control.


For more details on the would-be chairmen….

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.)
Elected 1969, 18th term
Rep. Obey voted with the AFL-CIO 100% of the time. Obey voted against the Deficit Reduction Act, against Defense Funding (FY06), against the Legislative Line Item Veto, and against funding the Global War on Terror (FY04).

“Mr. Obey was one of those Democrats who ripped Mr. Clinton for endorsing a balanced budget in 1995. Rather than cut spending, his goal would be to spend less on defense and more on domestic programs and entitlements.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.)
Elected 1970, 18th term
Rep. Rangel voted with the ACLU 94% of the time. Rangel consistently voted against free trade agreements, against the Bush tax cuts, against Pension Reform, and against Welfare Reform.

Rep. Rangel “opposed the Bush tax cuts and recently voted against free trade with tiny Oman. His committee's crucial health care subcommittee would be run by California's Pete Stark (1972), who in 1993 criticized Hillary Clinton's health care proposal because the government wasn't dominant enough.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

“No question about it.” -Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), when asked whether tax increases across the spectrum would be considered should Democrats take control of Congress. (CongressDaily, 09/26/06)

Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.)
Elected 1964, 21st term
Rep. Conyers voted with the AFL-CIO 100% and the ACLU 100% of the time. Conyers consistently voted against any liability reform, against the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization, against REAL ID, against the Child Interstate Abortion Notification bill, and against Border Protection and Immigration Reform.

“He recently made his plans clear in a 370-page report… the report accuses the Administration of violating no fewer than 26 laws and regulations, and is a road map of Mr. Conyers's explicit intention to investigate grounds for impeaching President Bush.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.)
Elected 1955, 25th term
Rep. Dingell voted with the AFL-CIO 100% of the time. Dingell voted against exploring for American-made energy in ANWR and OCS, against reforming the Endangered Species Act, and against the Telecom Reauthorization bill.

“The Michigan Congressman would do his best to provide taxpayer help to GM and Ford. But telecom companies would probably get more regulation in the form of Net neutrality rules, and a windfall profits tax on oil would be a real possibility.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.)
Elected 1974, 16th term
Rep. Miller voted with the ACLU 95% of the time. Miller voted against Higher Education Reauthorization, against Head Start Reauthorization, and against Pension Reform.

Rep. Miller is “the chief sponsor of the ‘Employee Free Choice Act,’ which would make it much easier for unions to organize by largely banning secret elections… The Californian also wants to raise the minimum wage and fulfill the National Education Association wish to spend more federal dollars on local school construction.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Elected 1980, 13th term
Rep. Frank voted with the AFL-CIO 100% and the ACLU 95% of the time. Frank voted against the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act, against Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement, and against Credit Rating Reform.

“…the ascension of Barney Frank (1980) would mean a reprieve for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite $16 billion in accounting scandals. His main reform priority has been to carve out a new affordable housing fund from the two companies' profits. And forget about any major review of Sarbanes-Oxley.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)
Elected 1974, 16th term
Rep. Waxman voted with the AFL-CIO 100% and the ACLU 95% of the time. Waxman voted against the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, against the formation of the Bipartisan Katrina Committee, and against 527 Reform.

Rep. Waxman “would compete with Mr. Conyers to see who could issue the most subpoenas to the Bush Administration.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

Intelligence Committee Chairman Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.)
Elected 1992, 7th term
Rep. Hastings voted with the AFL-CIO 92% of the time. Hastings voted against declaring that the U.S. will prevail in the Global War on Terror, against the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act, against Supporting Terrorist Finance Tracking, against the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization, and against Border Protection and Immigration Reform.

Rep. Hastings “who, should Ms. Pelosi succeed in pushing aside current ranking Member Jane Harman, would take over the House Intelligence Committee. Before he won his Florida seat in 1992, Mr. Hastings had been a federal judge who was impeached and convicted by a Democratic Congress for lying to beat a bribery rap. He would handle America's most vital national secrets.” (WSJ, 08/31/06)

*Group ratings are from 2004. Key votes are from the 108th and 109th Congress. Wall Street Journal quotes are extracted from “Back to the Congressional Future” editorial, August 31, 2006.

So vote, people. And in the next election cycle, get off your butt and get involved in the primaries. Otherwise, you're going to have the same choices on election day. The bulk of us who have either abandoned (or, like me, *never* participated) in the primary elections are part and parcel of why our options seem to be Dumb and Dumber.

by John on Oct 21, 2006 | Politics

October 20, 2006

The war comes home to Leavenworth.

This post will remain on top through the day.

A member of my son's 2003 graduating class at Leavenworth High School was killed this week in Iraq. While not the region's first casualty, he is the first one to hit this close.

Leavenworth soldier killed in Iraq By RACHAEL BOSSOW, Times Staff Writer Published: Thursday, October 19, 2006 1:43 PM CDT

David Unger would have been 22 years old on Halloween. Instead, the U.S. Army specialist and father was killed in Iraq earlier this week.

Thought of as a comedian and a role model, Unger called his mother, Diana Pitts, last Thursday to reassure her that he would be coming home.

“Mom, I’m the one in the bunch that keeps everyone’s spirit up. Everyone relies on me to be the clown, so I have to make sure I’m there for them,” Unger reportedly told family members.


“That is who David was,” said Caitlin Sullivan, Unger’s cousin. “You couldn’t help but love his humor and sincere kindness toward others.”

While news of Unger’s death spread throughout Leavenworth on Wednesday by a network of friends and family members, the U.S. Department of Defense did not release the names of 10 American troops that were killed on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, nine soldiers and one Marine were killed by roadside bombs and enemy fire.

Three of the soldiers killed were attached to Task Force Lightning, assigned to the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division of Fort Hood, Texas. Unger, a 2003 graduate of Leavenworth High School, was deployed in December 2005. He was scheduled to return from Iraq in two months.

For those with an interest who haven't seen it yet - here is a link to the Leavenworth Times article (from which the above was taken).

The Master and Mistress of Argghhh! extend our condolences to Corporal Unger's family and friends.

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

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Update: The official release is out:

DoD Identifies Army Casualties


The Department of Defense announced today the death of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Oct. 18 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Killed were:

2nd Lt. Christopher E. Loudon, 23, of Brockport, Pa.

Cpl. David M. Unger, 21, of Leavenworth, Kan.

Cpl. Russell G. Culbertson III, 22, of Amity, Pa.

Spc. Joseph C. Dumas Jr., 25, of New Orleans.

For further information related to this release the media can contact the Fort Hood public affairs office at (254) 287-9993.

Update II. More from the Leavenworth Times.

Corporal Unger will be buried at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery. For those locals wishing to attend the funeral, I'll post those details when they're set.

H&I Fires* 20 OCT 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...

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Guess what? Dusty's been heard from. As in "Neener neener neener - this is *my* cubicle!"

Dusty in his cubicle.

Bassid. He's the guy with the big shite-eating grin. -the Armorer

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Do not miss this inspiring story! It's a long read, but worth every single word.

And as long as you're over there, check out this list of great quotes from a year of One Marine's View. Here's a sample:

I'm pretty certain the enemy has someone watching me with Binos as they once again have dropped incoming when I'm in the head!!!!(restroom) It's gotten to the point now of when I go to the head people might want to run for cover.
The best ones are toward the end--scroll down. - FbL

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 20, 2006 | General Commentary

Non-citizens using military service as a path to citizenship.

Just go scan the whole 19 Oct thread in The Corner for the details. Start here and move up.

I sent Stanley Kurtz this comment:

Just as in Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, non-citizen warriors who obtain their citizenship through service and sacrifice will treasure it more than the doughy yuppie spawn who look down on the soldiery in general will ever value the citizenship bestowed on them by their native birth.

Just sayin’

Jonah’s Military Guy

Stanley said in response:

Sounds right to me. Thanks much.
by John on Oct 20, 2006 | Citizenship

A gloom and doom moment.

Over at "The Corner" on National Review Online yesterday, they were having an interesting discussion on foreign nationals using military service as an avenue to citizenship. Just go scan the whole day yesterday to catch the discussion. Something Mark Krikorian said caught my attention:

Re: Military Path to Citizenship [Mark Krikorian]

Not only do I agree with Derb that recruiting foreign soldiers (Max Boot has been flacking an American Foreign Legion for a while now; see here) is a terrible idea, I'd go further and ask whether even legal residents who are not yet citizens should be permitted to serve in the military (for instance, see here).

If there's a problem in persuading enough Americans to fill the ranks, then the problem may be that our foreign policy is not be in line with our national character. One of the most important considerations in crafting a response to today's global jihad is whether that response is politically sustainable over the long term — and in a democracy that means whether enough of the public will support it for the many, many, many years the struggle against radical Islam is going to last. The kinds of sustained counterinsurgency and "nation-building" we are attempting in Iraq and Afghanistan, however advisable it may seem on paper, requires the American public to go along with things, for decades to come, that are simply contrary to our national character — like bribing tribal chieftains to kill troublemakers, killing lots and lots of civilians, ripping out the fingernails of bad guys to get them to talk, lying on a scale and with a sang-froid that would make even one of congressmen uncomfortable, and in general the permanent committment of large numbers of troops in very dangerous but very ambiguous situations.

Other countries, with a less moralistic character, may well be capable of sustaining this sort of thing over the long haul. Remember the Rainbow Warrior? The French secret service blew up the Greenpeace ship in New Zealand in 1985 to prevent it from interfering with nuclear tests in Polynesia, killing one of the 12 people aboard. Here, this would have been a big deal; in France no one cared — after all, that's the kind of thing you have to do when you're a Great Power, right? (I don't want to debate whether France is a great power; the point is that the French think they are.) Heck, it seems the brother of the current socialist (socialist) presidential candidate is the one who set the bomb, and no one cares.

My point is not that there's some clear popular will that's going to tell us what strategy to follow, just that if you're going to sail to windward, you at least have to take account of the wind. The difficulty Boot notes in increasing troop levels ought to be a clue that, while we're happy to sign on to kill Saddam or nuke Japan or burn Atlanta (sorry to you Georgians out there), not enough of our people are interested in playing nursemaid to a bunch of crazies to make that a sustainable policy. To ignore that, and call instead for the recruitment of foreign soldiers, stems from the same impulse as Brecht's crack about "dissolving the people and electing a new one" — if the American people aren't interested in signing up for police duty in Araby, lets find people who are.

That brought to mind an exchange I had with Ry, which I was working into a post. It's a bit muddled, but it isn't getting any better with me staring at it, either.

I *was* uncomfortable with the invasion. I don't like to see the US in that mode, absent the obvious provocations. I wasn't happy with Kosovo for the same reason.

Doesn't mean I don't recognize that good can come out of it - but in my heart of hearts, I don't like that role for us, "regime change." Doesn't mean I'm right, and it might well mean I'm not the guy to be President... 8^)

I know the "world is different now" argument *does* apply. That said, it's one thing to go in and kick someone's a$$ because they've obviously done something to you, and quite another to go kill someone because, well, they've talked badly about you, they keep bumping you in the subway, and you know they've keyed your car and TP'd your house, and now, because they said they're going to burn your house down you decide to pre-empt by going over to kill them, and, oops, they're a Hatfield, aren't they, Mr. McCoy? And I understand that "keying your car" and "TP'ing your house" trivializes death and destruction - but in the environment of relations between states, some stuff falls into the realm of "friction" - though if you are one of the molecules in that friction, it hurts.

I'm wary of the unintended consequences.

I do know we aren't "Edwardian and earlier" Britain. We don't do "The Long Game" well, especially if it involves shooting, as the Brits did while building the Empire. We can do the Cold War pretty well, but a seeming never-ending Hot War? Of course, I don't think any major nation, in this kind of media environment, can do so except perhaps China. Taking down a nation like Iraq and rebuilding it into something more like a western democracy is a decades-long process - and whatever it grows into, it's going to look like an Arab/Middle East/Muslim Democracy, not a western-style. And no one, except Imperial Britain, has really interested in the job in that way and over those time-spans. The French, Spanish, Portuguese, Belgians... were all more about stripping the riches and shipping them home (which, ironically, is what we keep getting accused of) than developing markets, which was the Brit interest. Which is one reason why the former Brit colonies are, on the whole, more successful than those places where other colors flew.

Iraq could still tip either way, but I strongly suspect it's gone far more down the path that I thought it would likely go than it did down the path the people who decided on the invasion thought it would go.

This was more than regime change - it was a culture change. And that takes a long time - even when it comes from within, much less is imposed from without.

Unless you go the Carthage, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan route of death-dealing, which either eliminates the issue by leaving "no stone standing, one on the other," or creates a tipping point. We did neither in Iraq. And we weren't prepared to. We were expecting a response more along the lines of France in 1944 than what we got, which was Germany 1945... without the full imprint of military disaster upon the vanquished, because we weren't able/willing, nor did we want to, inflict the requisite amount of damage.

We essentially expected Saddam's people to rise in revolt. I would note the Germans didn't. And while the French did, in a fashion, after we invaded, they did so to throw out the *foreign* invader. If we had been removing an Iranian-led regime, this would have gone differently, I think. As it is, it's gone somewhat as I expected/feared in very broad terms - and while I'm willing to pay the cost, the US as a people don't have a good track record in this kind of thing... my concern from the get-go. And I don't often publish stuff like this, because the leftoids will seize on it for all the wrong reasons. That, of course, is a major problem with discourse these days - you can't have a chat like this in public, without someone trying to turn it into "See? Throw the bums out and run away!" which is not what I'm saying. But the Army AAR process doesn't work well in the political world. Which is too bad, because it really does do a pretty good job of getting at problems and solutions, and applying the lessons learned to the future. At least in the narrow sense of unit training and event analysis.

Sigh. So, the big guys can't admit to mistakes (and this doesn't matter which party is in power) without it being presented as proof positive that the whole idea was wrong, bad, evil, and in fact, the bums should be impeached and thrown in jail because they didn't do it our way (leave aside that that way hadn't worked either, that's *different*). I live in the belly of the beast. Those "what went right/what went wrong, and how do we do it better" discussions take place all the time - but stay inside, because if we let them slip out, the political opposition misuses the discussions - again, regardless of which party is in power. But if you think there is no internal self-examination going on, or that Rumsfeld completely squashes dissent, you aren't paying attention. LTG Petraeus, who has not always been complimentary of the way things happened during the initial stages of the campaign in Iraq - is in charge of writing Army doctrine and the education system. That's not where you put people to silence them. I'm sure among my military readers we can come up with other examples that are similar - and we can come up with examples of people who *have* been sidelined. My point is - nothing is ever quite as simple as it seems from the outside looking in. But the external environment makes it very difficult to engage in any form of nuanced discussion - and actually, that does lend itself to reinforcing the bubbles - which isn't what we want, is it?

My brief email exchange with Mark Krikorian ended this way:

Me:


Bingo.

Exactly my concerns about us engaging in nation building that gestates from us having destroyed the initial nation, so to speak. Not because it isn't necessarily needful, but because I'm not convinced we'll finish what we start - and if we won't, we shouldn't start.

Cheers,

Jonah's Military Guy

Mark Krikorian's response:

Yes, that's what I was trying to get at -- nation-building and the like may be a great idea in political science class, but if our national character makes it unlikely that we'll be able to stick it out to the end, don't go down that path.

Therein lies the rub. If you're President Clinton, you just go with the herd, and do what the polls tell you. If you're President Bush, you try to lead the herd down a different path.

And, as President Bush is finding out - inertia, especially when a lot of the bigger steers in the herd are stubborn and contrary simply because it's easier to be contrary than offer true enlightened opposition, can be very very hard to deflect.

Sadly - the lesson the political class is likely to take away from it is... leadership is too hard, lets just ride the wave.

Which is *not* how I define their role.

Update: I would note I wrote this *before* I read the Blogfather's piece.

October 19, 2006

H&I Fires* 19 OCT 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...

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More on the on-going Art 32 hearing for LTC Jordan regarding Abu Ghraib:

Testimony has differed over whether Pappas or Jordan was in charge of the interrogations at Abu Ghraib.

Lt. Col. Jeff Hamerick, who was assigned to protect U.S. forces at the overcrowded Iraqi jail, said the leadership problems at Abu Ghraib were complicated by internal tussles.

"It was broken there - absolutely broken, the leadership was," Hamerick testified over the phone from South Carolina.

Brigadier Gen. Janis Karpinski, who was in charge of the U.S.-run prison system in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, and Pappas, who was in charge of military intelligence in Iraq, "would not work together," Hamerick said.

"It was a dysfunctional relationship" between the military intelligence and the military police brigades, Hamerick said.

Leaders of the two forces, which were supposed to cooperate in detaining and questioning thousands of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, couldn't agree over who should protect the prison's walls from outside attack. So one of the four walls went unprotected, Hamerick said.

General Sanchez, Colonel Karpinski... your office is calling. Read the rest here.

A new Airborne School... in Germany? Kewl.

“An airborne school in Europe would allow us to get a large number of soldiers qualified locally without spending TDY (temporary duty) money to send them back to the States,” Davis said, adding that any move to give soldiers full airborne training in Europe is likely years away.

Well, we live in interesting times. Hopefully not another Diem-like episode in our future? Geez, does *no one* read a little history...?

The escalating violence raking Baghdad and other Iraqi cities is pushing that nation's leaders, neighboring Arab countries and U.S. advisers to consider a dramatic change of direction in the conduct of the war.
Leaks from a U.S. task force headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III are contributing to the widespread sense that the Bush administration is preparing for a "course correction" in the coming months.
The options cited most frequently in Washington include the partition of Iraq into three ethnic- or faith-based regions, and a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops, with some remaining in neighboring countries to deal with major threats.
Another scenario is being discussed -- and taken seriously in Iraq -- by many of Iraq's leading political players, under which the U.S.-trained army would overthrow struggling Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and replace him with a strongman who would restore order while Washington looks the other way.

Read the rest here.

Regardless - something is in the wind.

With the violence in Iraq flaring dangerously, a national consensus is growing, even among senior Republicans, that the United States must consider a major change in strategy in the coming months.

But in a sign of the growing sense of urgency, a member of a high-powered government advisory body that is developing options to prevent Iraq's chaotic collapse warns that the United States could have just weeks, not months, to avoid an all-out civil war.

"There's a sense among many people now that things in Iraq are slipping fast and there isn't a lot of time to reverse them," said Larry Diamond, one of a panel of experts advising the Iraq Study Group, which is preparing a range of policy alternatives for President Bush.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, the enemy flexes and adapts - sometimes in ways that hurt him, sometimes in ways that help. Keeping up is a bitch.

In the void forged by the sectarian tensions gripping Baghdad, militias are further splintering into smaller, more radicalized cells, signifying a new and potentially more volatile phase in the struggle for the capital.

Iraqis and U.S. officials blame militias for mass kidnappings and slayings, for setting up unauthorized checkpoints and for causing much of the recent carnage.

Senior U.S. military and intelligence officials say they have identified at least 23 militias -- some are Sunni, but most are Shiite. Some are paramilitary offshoots of the Mahdi Army or have broken away entirely from Sadr's command structure. Others seem inspired by Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah guerrilla movement.

"In some ways it makes it easier for me because I have digestible doses I can deal with that might not be reinforcing one another," a senior U.S. military official said at a recent briefing with reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. "But at the same time, it creates problems for me because it is harder to find them when they are splintered, to identify who they are."

Read the rest here.

In the meantime, we deal with our own internal miscreants. More potential visitors to our long-term accomodations here at Leavenworth. -the Armorer

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Important note! If you are planning on attending the welcome home ceremony for the 1/127th FA at Washburn U. in Topeka - the time of the ceremony has been changed to 12 Noon today! -the Armorer

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SWWBO sez: Vote Republican!

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Don Surber (who *used* to link here a lot. *sniff, sniff*) got ahold of some bad dates and is having nightmares... President Pelosi? Egad, that's as bad as President Rodham-Clinton. Worse, even. Hopefully just the fevered imaginings caused by too much rich food down in Charleston. -the Armorer

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Kewl! Invisibility! -the Armorer

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I’m having a real Innigo Montoya (I don’t think that means what you think it means) moment thanks to this little bit.
ry
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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 19, 2006 | General Commentary
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Bill O’Reilly vs Rosie O’Donnell
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Operation Forward Together is Failing

Soldiers with two of their favorite things...

Dogs and children.

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Sandoval, from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, juggles a soccer ball before giving it away to a boy in the Maghdad district of Kirkuk, Iraq, Sept. 30, 2006.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet) (Released)

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Sandoval, from Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, juggles a soccer ball before giving it away to a boy in the Maghdad district of Kirkuk, Iraq, Sept. 30, 2006. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet) (Released)

An Iraqi boy salutes the camera while U.S. Army Pvt. Aaron Croussore provides security during a visit to a local street market in Kirkuk, Iraq, Sept. 25, 2006.  Croussore is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steve Cline) (Released)

An Iraqi boy salutes the camera while U.S. Army Pvt. Aaron Croussore provides security during a visit to a local street market in Kirkuk, Iraq, Sept. 25, 2006. Croussore is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Steve Cline) (Released)

by Sgt. Thomas Wheeler October 12, 2006<br />
A Soldier from the 549th Military Police Company takes a rest with his sniffer dog during Operation Medusa in Mosul, Iraq. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.

A Soldier from the 549th Military Police Company takes a rest with his sniffer dog during Operation Medusa in Mosul, Iraq. This photo appeared on www.army.mil. by Sgt. Thomas Wheeler October 12, 2006

Pretty much true of any soldier,

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any era...

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even Generals... and dogs mourned their soldiers.

Faithful Friend Mourns American Hero<br />
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------<br />
Along with the many millions to mourn the passing of American hero, General George S. Patton, Jr., is his dog

Faithful Friend Mourns American Hero -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Along with the many millions to mourn the passing of American hero, General George S. Patton, Jr., is his dog "Willie," the late general's pet bull terrier. Bad Nauheim, Germany. International News Photos [NWDNS-208-PU-153C(14)]. Picture reproduced courtesy Still Picture Branch (NWDNS), U. S. National Archives.

As we mourn (and honor) them...

There are some exceptions, of course - people who, as a rule, see dogs as rather something else. Just another reason to disrupt their plans for the world, if the opportunity presents.


Army Captions... gotta love 'em.

Like the one for this pic, f'rinstance - of an MLRS launcher in Korea... which was possibly "ripple-firing" (i.e., multiple launches) during this exercise.

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M270 A-1 launchers fired ripper rockets at pre-determined impact zones during a bi-annual live fire excercise by troops from 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment recently.

Despite CAPT H's (and other's) protestations to the contrary, we never fire them at *random* impact zones...

by John on Oct 19, 2006 | Artillery

October 18, 2006

H&I Fires* 18 OCT 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...

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CAPT H points us to the Story of a Piper:

It has been 2 month and 2 days since I deployed to Afghanistan, with 8 Platoon, Charles Company, 1 RCR. I was honored, as a reservist augmentee, to be attached to such a great group of probably the best soldiers our country has to offer.

In the three short weeks I was in Afghanistan, I learned more about commitment to my military family than most soldiers learn in a life time. It seemed both unfortunate and amazing that it took battle and blood shed to forge such a strong bond.

It has been 1 month and 12 days since I was wounded and pulled from the battlefield. When I was in the hospital in KAF, I had hoped that I would stay in Afghanistan to recover. Why would I want to stay in such a horrible place that almost claimed my life? I didn’t want to leave my family.

Read the rest here.

David Perlmutter, a journalist-turned-academic at Kansas University, who does some guest lecturing here at the Command and General Staff College, will be doing a little radio-blogging tomorrow. David and I have a sort-of email relationship, stemming from discussions about the photoshopping incidents during Israel's recent tiff with Hezbollah. I'll be tuning in.

"Live from the Front Lines – The Words of War"

Tuesday October 17, 2006 - On October 19th at 7 PM est. history will be made on BlogTalkRadio.com. Scott Kesterson an embedded reporter with the US Army's 41st Brigade in Afghanistan will be calling in live to BlogTalkRadio for a one on one interview with David Perlmutter.

This is Scott's first live interview since being embedded at the beginning of March 2006. Scott will be discussing what is going on in Afghanistan behind the scenes and on the front lines. From his first hand experiences alongside our solders during battle armed with only a camera, to filming our troops training of the Afghanistan National Guard.

Interviewing Scott will be David D. Perlmutter; David is a professor and associate dean for graduate studies and research in the William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. He writes regularly for the Chronicle of Higher Education and has published over 130 opinion essays for U.S. and international newspapers. In addition, he is frequently interviewed by wire services, newspapers, magazines, and television media such as the New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN, Reuters, UPI, the AP, and ABC News as well as featured in a number of documentaries.

How to tune into The Words of War.

Stream the show live from your computer by visiting Scott Kesterson's host channel at www.blogtalkradio.com/kesterson, and dial in live at 646-915-8531 to have the unique ability to talk to Scott live from the frontlines.

About BlogTalkRadio.com

BlogTalkRadio.com helps bloggers and other individuals extend their reach through hosting their own live talk show. People can listen live and call in to comment, interact, and engage the host. All in real-time and all for free. Each host is provided a dedicated phone number for the show and listeners can use any phone, whether land line, cell phone, VOIP, etc. to listen in or to participate. Blogtalkradio enhances traditional podcasting, by allowing live interaction recorded in a downloadable format complete with RSS feeds.

To learn more about the website and upcoming news, visit www.blogtalkradio.com

-the Armorer

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For those of you needing some ammo to respond to moonbattery vis-a-vis the death toll in Iraq (the recent Lancet/John Hopkins "study" claiming the war has claimed 655,000 lives), go here.

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Wounded Warriors:

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 17, 2006) – When Spc. Jay Erwin used to hear reporters speak of “wounded” Soldiers on the evening news, he envisioned troops with minor scrapes and bruises who medics could quickly patch up and send back into the fight after a day or two.

Today, as Erwin sits in a wheelchair on the second floor lobby of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he sees things much differently.

“Hearing about our guys who were wounded didn’t really affect me,” he said. “I was just glad that guys I was fighting with were still alive. It didn’t occur to me that there’s a lot more mental and physical pain involved with being wounded, and I’m learning that now.”

Read the rest here. -the Armorer

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There's an update on the hearing I mentioned yesterday, the one to determine if LTC Jordan should face charges for his actions and lack thereof, at Abu Ghraib. Colonel Pappas, the commander of the MI units in the region, who himself was given an Art. 15 for his allowing the improper use of dogs in questioning the prisoners, testified under a grant of immunity. I thought Colonel Pappas got off easy before - and this only reinforces my thought on the subject. There is something distasteful to me that we're letting the senior guy off the hook in exchange for information on the subordinate. The whole Abu Ghraib thing stinks - and for me, this just adds to the stench. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 18, 2006 | General Commentary

Transformation, Agility... and gun pr0n!

This is a kewl picture.

U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Walsh checks his weapon's scope while performing overwatch security in Sekeik, Iraq, Sept. 16, 2006.  Walsh is from 1st Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery Regiment, Wyoming National Guard Police Training Team. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Billy Brothers) (Released)

If you've the time and interest (Like I did, with the rifle) - here's a hi-res version.Here's the caption:


U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Walsh checks his weapon's scope while performing overwatch security in Sekeik, Iraq, Sept. 16, 2006. Walsh is from 1st Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery Regiment, Wyoming National Guard Police Training Team. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Billy Brothers) (Released)

Heh. Something old (the rifle and the crossed stick antenna segments rest (harkens back to buffalo hunters), something new - the furniture for the rifle... and the advent of "Transformation" and "Agility" in the service.

Cold Warriors - take a look at that caption... a National Guard soldier, acting as Infantry, who is a member of the 2nd Battalion, 300th Field Artillery, which has duty as the Wyoming National Guard Police Training Team.

How many of us, when we took the oath, would have expected to find ourselves in a situation like that?
The times they are a'changin'. And thank heaven's we've got the quality of troop to make it happen!

Welcome home, Kansas Redlegs!

...and other news of militant Kansans.

First up... an award for valor to a Kansas City, Kansas native, Specialist Anthony Tonasket:

CAMP SLAYER, Iraq Spc. Anthony Tonasket (right), a native of Kansas City, Kan., is awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge and Army Commendation Medal with a (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Richard Phelps, 2nd Bn, 137th Inf. Regt. UPAR, 38th DISCOM, MND-B)">

CAMP SLAYER, Iraq Spc. Anthony Tonasket (right), a native of Kansas City, Kan., is awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge and Army Commendation Medal with a "V" device for Valor by Col. James Trafton, commander, 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, 38th Divisional Support Command, MultiNational Division, Baghdad, during an awards ceremony for his actions during an attack on his convoy March 7. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Richard Phelps, 2nd Bn, 137th Inf. Regt. UPAR, 38th DISCOM, MND-B)

Well done, Specialist Tonasket!

HHB (-) of the 1st of the 127th FA is coming home from Iraq on Friday:

News from The Adjutant General's Department

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 17, 2006
No. 06-109
1st BATTALION, 127th FIELD ARTILLERY COMING HOME OCT. 19
Approximately 150 Kansas National Guardsmen of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (-), 1st Battalion, 127th Field Artillery will be welcomed home to Kansas on Thursday, Oct. 19. The ceremony which is tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. (See Note) will be held at Lee Arena on the Washburn University campus, Topeka.

The unit is returning after a year-long deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The public is cordially invited to attend and welcome the soldiers home.

The soldiers will be released to join family and friends at the conclusion of the ceremony. The battery mobilized to Fort Lewis, Wash., in July 2005 where they received training before deploying in September 2005 to Baghdad, Iraq.

NOTE: The 1 p.m. time is based upon current travel arrangements for the unit. Due to unforeseen circumstances this time could change.

As was forcefully brought home last week with the death of Specialist Wood, the 891st Engineers still have people in Iraq. While not a current photo (the Kansas Guard doesn't show up much in the Army photo collection at the moment) it's illustrative of what they are doing - and taking casualties while doing it. (see H&I Fires for 17 Oct for funeral details for Specialist Wood).

by Master Sgt. Lek Mateo July 15, 2005</p>

<p>A South African-built Buffalo of the Kansas Army National Guard's 891st Engineer Battalion stands by to investigate a suspected IED that was spotted along the shoulder of a highway in southern Iraq.



by Master Sgt. Lek Mateo July 15, 2005

A South African-built Buffalo of the Kansas Army National Guard's 891st Engineer Battalion stands by to investigate a suspected IED that was spotted along the shoulder of a highway in southern Iraq.

In other Kansas Guard news...

Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame Induction Set

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Contact: Michele J. Henry
National Guard Association of Kansas
(785) 862-1066
Topeka-The Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame Board of Governors has announced the 2006 inductee for the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2006 at the Holiday Inn West, 605 S.W. Fairlawn, Topeka, Kan. The public is invited to attend.

The inductees for 2006 are retired Brig. Gen. Alfred P. Bunting and retired Brig. Gen. Ronald D. Tincher.
Bunting retired from the Kansas Air National Guard with more than 42 years of service. He spent the last five years of his service as the Assistant Adjutant General and Commander of the Kansas Air National Guard. Bunting and his wife, Marjorie reside in Burlingame, Kan. They have four children and three grandchildren. Their son, Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, is the current adjutant general of Kansas.

Tincher retired from the Kansas Army National Guard also with more than 42 years of service. His last years serving in the Kansas National Guard were spent as the Assistant Adjutant General for the Army. He was also appointed Commander of the Kansas Army National Guard. Tincher and his wife, Judy reside in Olathe, Kan. They have 7 children, 17 grandchildren and one great grandson.

This marks the 28th year for the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame induction. The 2006 inductees will make the 82nd and 83rd Kansas Guardsmen to be so honored. Guard men and women may be nominated and selected by their peers and associates for truly exceptional contributions to both the Kansas National Guard and the communities in which they live. Selection is made following a rigorous grading process by two committees and final approval by the Hall of Fame board of directors.

The Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame is located in the Museum of the Kansas National Guard, Building 301, at the main entrance to Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan. It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, except holidays.

Now that the Kansas Adjutant General's office and I have connected, we'll try to keep up with the doings of the Kansas Guard. Now if I could just get the Missouri Adjutant General to see some utility in exploiting willing bloggers...

"Bare is brotherless back"

And Jay over at Stop The ACLU has somebody guardng his back on this particular issue.

Two-point-seven million somebodies, actually.

The American Legion declared war on the ACLU.

Now, picking on the Boy Scouts is one thing -- Scouts are supposed to be Brave (although being assaulted by lefty lawyers would be more a trial of patience than courage). But, in 2002, the ACLU found a flaming a$$hat an Oregon resident who claimed his civil rights were flagrantly violated on those occasions he drove into California because he *gasp!* saw the Mojave Desert Veterans' Memorial -- a cross erected in 1934 to honor the dead of the First World War.

Interestingly enough, the Memorial sits on I-15, which is an east-west 'pike running from LA to Nevada. And, come to think of it, the Memorial is in the Eastern Mojave, right near the -- ummmm -- Nevada border. Now, I don't get out to the Left Coast that much, but I seem to recall that, in order to access California from Oregon, one must travel *south*, rather than one of the other cardinal directions. Such as south-and-then-*east*...

Using the Freedom From Religion clause in its (considerably abridged) copy of the Constitution, the ACLU took the cross to court and the court caved -- it ordered the cross destroyed and awarded the ACLU $63,000 for its efforts.

As I mentioned above, picking on the Boy Scouts is one thing; the living can defend themselves. But dead soldiers can no longer defend themselves, so their surviving brothers must do it.

Clever strategy -- take the profit out of religious litigation and you take the profiteers out of the religious litigation business.

H.R. 2679 has passed the House (check the political pro and con percentages) and went to the Senate, which has it's own version -- naturally -- S. 3696.

Meantime, send 1SG Keith a get well card. Take your pick, but I'd go with the Army version...

by CW4BillT on Oct 18, 2006 | Spirit of America

October 17, 2006

H&I Fires* 17 OCT 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...

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For a little lesson in Parliamentary politics (Brit-descended version) comes this link from Murray in New Zealand. A Petition to Withhold the Royal Assent from Legislation. (Mind you, no point in signing if you aren't a Kiwi - not your fight) Perhaps Murray, Geoff, Damian, Alan, CAPT H, or one of our other Commonwealth readers will drop in and provide a fuller (and more accurate, I'm guessing) description of what's going on. A very short precis - there were some electoral shenanigans in The Shire last cycle, and the Kiwi Parliament is apparently poised to pass (or has) legislation which would retroactively make the shenanigans legal. Some Kiwis are, um, *upset* about it. Like, well, Murray, Castle Blacksmith - who also manages a swipe at *us* in his post... snarky snarky, Murray!

Speaking of Electoral Politics - SWWBO is peeved with the "I won't vote!" right-wingers. -the Armorer

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 16, 2006 No. 06-108
SERVICES SET FOR KANSAS GUARDSMAN
Funeral services have been set for Spc. John Edward Wood, a Kansas National Guardsman killed in action in Iraq on Oct. 7

Visitation will be Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Waugh-Yokum & Friskel Memorial Chapel, 16 N. Buckeye St., Iola.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, at Dayton Cemetery, in Bourbon County.*

Wood was a member of Detachment 1, Headquarters Support Company, 891st Engineer Battalion, in Garnett. He was attached to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 110th Engineer Battalion, Missouri National Guard, Kansas City, Mo.

Wood enlisted into the Kansas Army National Guard in October 1988 with Company D, 891st Engineer Combat Battalion, at Fort Scott, Kan., as a Construction Equipment Repairer (62B10). He completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., as a Technical Engineer (62B10). He completed Primary Leadership Development Course and was a Combat Life Saver. In September 2004 he mobilized to deploy with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 891st Engineer Combat Battalion, Iola, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and in December 2005 he chose to extend with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 110th Engineer Combat Battalion.

Wood is survived by his wife, Lannette, and four children; Kimberly, Wayne, Dannielle and Lila.

-30-

* Dayton Cemetery – From Iola, go east on Hwy 54 to the junction of Hwy 54 and Hwy 7. Go north on Hwy 7 to Tomahawk Road, approximately two miles north of Devon, Kan. Go west approximately 2.5 miles to 130th Road and turn north. Go north one-half mile. The cemetery is on the west side of the road.

Fred, you are most certainly *not* invited. -the Armorer

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Farewell to MASH... (no, Jim B, not that kind of mash)

And remember, troops - appearing in Campaign Ads is... wrong. Not criminal (which I take issue with - is it not "failure to obey?") - at least according to this article.

And even though no one seems to understand how to get Andi's permalinks, her article about blog-quashing made today's "Stand-to". Why is that important? It's an internal Army news-media round-up, that is read by senior folks. -the Armorer

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The trial's not been held, but pending all those caveats of innocent until proven guilty... we may yet score another more senior scalp over Abu Ghraib. I wish LTC Stevens a vigorous and spirited defense - but if he's guilty, I'll also welcome him here to Leavenworth. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 17, 2006 | General Commentary

Major Ryan Worthan... someone you should know.

Silver Star awardee receives Nininger Award for Valor October 12, 2006

Maj. Ryan L. Worthan, Silver Star Awardee and recipient of the inaugural Alexander E. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms.

Maj. Ryan L. Worthan was awarded the inaugural Alexander E. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms by the U.S. Military Academy’s association of graduates.
Maj. Ryan L. Worthan was awarded the inaugural Alexander E. Nininger Award for Valor at Arms by the U.S. Military Academy’s association of graduates for demonstrating conspicuous valor and gallantry while serving with the 10th Mountain Division in action against al-Qaeda and Taliban guerrillas on Sept. 29, 2003, at Shkin Fire Base in Afghanistan.

Worthan received the Silver Star earlier for his leadership during a 12-hour battle at the fire base, which served as a choking point of enemy fighters coming out of the mountains on the Afghanistan and Pakistan border. Worthan’s actions led to more than 20 al-Qaeda and Taliban guerrillas being killed after he ordered several Apache attack helicopters and an A-10 Warthog gunship into the area.

“I’m honored beyond words to represent the U.S. Military Academy and to represent my classmates,” the 1997 West Point graduate said. “I have a ton of classmates who have received valor awards and have fought many more battles and, in my opinion, many tougher battles than I.

As Worthan addressed cadets during his award ceremony, he gave thanks to 1945 USMA graduate Doug Kenna, who endowed the Nininger Award. Nininger, a 1941 West Point graduate, received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions in the Philippines during World War II.

“Kenna’s thoughts on why we should have this award are very forward thinking,” Worthan said. “His vision was for this to be a long-term award for cadets to identify with junior leaders, that in the future may be received by lieutenants who the cadets will know, allowing them to identify with the awardees.”

Worthan credits West Point as a place that taught him great fundamentals for leadership and confidence.

*NININGER, ALEXANDER R., JR.

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 57th Infantry, Philippine Scouts. Place and date: Near Abucay, Bataan, Philippine Islands, 12 January 1942. Entered service at: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Birth: Gainesville, Ga. G.O. No.: 9, 5 February 1942. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Abucay, Bataan, Philippine Islands, on 12 January 1942. This officer, though assigned to another company not then engaged in combat, voluntarily attached himself to Company K, same regiment, while that unit was being attacked by enemy force superior in firepower. Enemy snipers in trees and foxholes had stopped a counterattack to regain part of position. In hand-to-hand fighting which followed, 2d Lt. Nininger repeatedly forced his way to and into the hostile position. Though exposed to heavy enemy fire, he continued to attack with rifle and handgrenades and succeeded in destroying several enemy groups in foxholes and enemy snipers. Although wounded 3 times, he continued his attacks until he was killed after pushing alone far within the enemy position. When his body was found after recapture of the position, 1 enemy officer and 2 enemy soldiers lay dead around him.

by John on Oct 17, 2006 | Observations on things Military
» A Rose By Any Other Name links with: What is a Hero?

Note for Fred Reed...

...here's your Army, preparing to frag its officers.

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More than 300 Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, participated in the Army’s largest-ever reenlistment ceremony held during a deployment Oct. 14.

More than 300 Soldiers reenlist in record breaking ceremony
By 4th Brigade Combat Team,
25th Infantry Division, Public Affairs

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait (Army News Service, Oct. 16, 2006) – On the way to a yearlong deployment in Iraq, 307 Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, participated in the Army’s largest-ever reenlistment ceremony held during a deployment Saturday.

Headquartered at Fort Richardson, Alaska, the unit ceremony took place at Camp Buehring, where the Soldiers stopped for final preparations before entering Iraq.

“This ceremony says a lot about the personal courage and selfless service of these paratroopers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David Turnbull, command sergeant major for the 4th BCT, 25th Inf. “They understand they have a tough mission ahead of them and are still willing to commit themselves to continue in the Army.”

The large turnout underscores the service’s new campaign slogan, “Army Strong,” said the brigade’s commander, Col. Michael X. Garrett.

“Many are going to attribute this record-setting event to reenlistment incentives. But, on the eve of deploying north to Iraq, these paratroopers show that it is on a much more personal level,” Garrett said. “These paratroopers have seen something in someone, somewhere – whether it was a squad leader, platoon leader or commander – that led to this moment.”

Cpl. Brian Anderson, a recon scout with the unit’s 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, said he reenlisted for much the same reason as his comrades.

“I am reenlisting for the same reason as any other paratrooper here in this formation. I want to serve my country and I love the Army,” he said.

Of course, it isn't your Army, is it, Fred? And hasn't been, since, oh, 1980 or so, but you wouldn't recognize that, would you? Doesn't fit the 1972 template you're still carrying around.

by John on Oct 17, 2006 | Observations on things Military
» A Rose By Any Other Name links with: What is a Hero?

Hey Buddy.... can you spare a joint?

A knee joint, to be exact.
Today's the day 1SG Keith has been putting off for years- he's getting his knee repaired. FINALLY. It's about gall-derned time, 1SG! I know it'll be a while before you'll be able to get around, so I thought that maybe we could give you something to do during recovery.

Knowing how much you appreciate beautiful images caught on film, I thought I'd start you out with a video, American Heroes. Then... as you get more restless, you can move on to WOOHOO! and blow some $hit up!

So have at it, Denizens. 1SG Keith needs some "Well, helk. I'm laid up in bed for a few weeks and have NOTHING TO DO" ideas, and anything else you think might help him recover.
Maybe she can help.......
Hosting provided by FotoTime

[Y'know, like *this* JTG. -the Armorer]

Update.... it's been 5 hours, and he's still in surgery. It was only supposed to be a 2 hour surgery. Pray harder, folks. Please?

Update #2- Your prayers must have worked! He's out of surgery and in his room. I'm still waiting for you guys to leave presents in comments!

by Denizens on Oct 17, 2006 | Denizen Link-Fest!

October 16, 2006

H&I Fires* 16 OCT 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...

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Remember Cindra Smith? She was the 40-year-old mother who enlisted after her soldier daughter was seriously wounded. It turns out things are not quite what they seemed... - FbL

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Today Jihadi-lawyer-sympathizer Lynn Stewart will learn her fate for her "aiding and abetting" conviction. Jay over at Stop the ACLU will be keeping an eye on the sentencing. Here's hoping for a long one. Face it - if she wants to be a media martyr, we need to indulge her by giving her the opportunity for a real sacrifice... -the Armorer

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Andi also discusses recent changes/enforcement emphasis in DoD rules on blogging. As Matt of Blackfive and others predicted, the heavy hand is winning over the nuanced approach. Especially when dealing with weak commanders who don't like criticism, but cloak their weakness in OPSEC concerns. -the Armorer

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Welcome to Third World, USA.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 — Companies are not building power plants and power lines fast enough to meet growing demand, according to a group recently assigned by the federal government to assure proper operation of the power grid. The group, the North American Electric Reliability Council, in its annual report, to be released Monday, said the amount of power that could be generated or transmitted would drop below the target levels meant to ensure reliability on peak days in Texas, New England, the Mid-Atlantic area and the Midwest during the next two to three years.

Which is exactly how the enviros want it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for building old-tech plants and spewing sulfur everywhere. But much of the resistance to new plants is dang near Luddite in nature. A fact conveniently overlooked in the NYT article. -the Armorer

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This might explain why the Chinese haven't been tut-tutting us on fence building along our southern border... -the Armorer

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I spent part of my morning explaining not all bloggers are in their pajamas. It's a silly thought really, you know I don't own pajamas.....Maggie

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 16, 2006 | General Commentary
» A Blog For All links with: Sentencing Day

Connecting dots...

First, a picture, courtesy of Haji-o-matic, who comments from the 'Stan.

<b><a href=Hosting provided by FotoTime">

Note the Urban Combat uniform...

Finally, an article to tie it all together...

Now it's Bra-vo two zero By TOM NEWTON DUNN, Defence Editor October 10, 2006 ARMY commanders have secretly tested two GIRL troopers to see if they could join the SAS, The Sun can reveal.

The pair performed brilliantly, passing all the endurance tests on the Who Dares Wins unit’s notoriously gruelling selection course.

But they were pulled out at the last minute when top brass who expected them to FAIL realised they were about to SUCCEED.

It was decided the Army was not ready to face a row over dropping current rules which bar women from frontline combat service.

The Sun can also disclose that one of the two potential recruits was a British Asian Muslim — ideal for undercover SAS missions to combat al-Qaeda terrorism.

The soldier, who we will not name to protect her from attack, said: “We both proved we were just as good as any of the men on selection with us. I am confident we would have gone all the way.

“The problem was nobody in the Special Forces establishment thought we would get as far as we did. So they hadn’t thought through how to deal with that.

“It’s a shame because we were both very keen to serve our country at the highest level. And we could have done a good job.”

Read the rest here.

No comment, just postin'.

CAPT H went scouting, and found out where Haji-o-Matic does some of his surfing... or at least the source of the pic - Mitchell's Mausers. However, at $6,500 a copy, the Arsenal will not be adding one of these to the List.

AFJ Meets PJM

AFJ is, of course, the Armed Forces Journal, which has been transforming / morphing / re-inventing itself as a bridge between the dead tree media and the recycled 'lectron ones.

PJM is, aside from a type of mini rhododendron, the PeeJay Media, the modest alternative to Those Who Blog Nekkid.

AFJ's newest feature is "The Blogs of War," which allows Contributing Editor Chris Griffin to collect a modest financial remuneration for doing what the rest of us do for free.

*sigh*

Nice work, if you can get it. Such milblog luminaries as Blackfive, Greyhawk, the Bubbleheads, Armorgeddon and Cliopatra have suddenly become familiar to readers who don't normally do their surfing in such gritty neighborhoods.

Guess what? We made this month's cut...

Excerpted from "Revenge of the Staff Weenie":

One of the most widely read pieces of Iraq war humor so far is the "OIF Alphabet," a 26-slide PowerPoint file. The original was followed by "OIF Alphabet Part 2." Both can be downloaded from many milblogs. The original, for example, can be found at the Mudville Gazette's milblog archives [my note: yeah, the article spells out the url, but so far, spammers haven't figured a way to download from wood pulp] and Part 2 is available at Castle Argghh!
--Armed Forces Journal, October 2006, p. 64

Okay, so he left off an aitch. Considering that some of the Usual Suspects aren't all that consistent (and on a regular basis, too -- tsk!), I vote we let him slide on this one. Those of you with paper copies, hang on to 'em -- John will be doing autographs at the next MilBlogCon. Those of you hopelessly online will have to wait a few weeks -- AFJ's current 'lectronic offering is always the previous month's paper one (gotta bring in the money to pay the utilities, right?)...

October 15, 2006

H&I Fires* 15 OCT 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...

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I'll start it off today, with a nod to the Zoomies and their new Memorial.
-Barb

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 15, 2006 | General Commentary

Dirty thieving weasels...

SWWBO just got off the phone.

Someone scored our debit card information and just ripped us for $360 - down in Mexico. Good on VISA, they caught it and killed the card - and we'll get reimbursed... but that's the billpaying account, and there are autopayments that will come due... which means we have to be fast with the credit union tomorrow getting things straight at *their* end, or there will be that endless roundelay of bounce, "not our fault," "we'll credit it," bounce, "not our fault," "we'll credit it," bounce, "not our fault," "we'll credit it," for a week or so as they try to get their records straight and we keep fighting fees and holding off creditors and having to send creditors letters about why it's not our fault... etc, etc, etc.

And then there's the dawning realization that until the credit union issues the new cards, and they get here (two weeks, easy, they're a small credit union), and they get activated... you're in a real spending flexibility hurt! I've almost forgotten how to write a check...

And can't forget the police report... sigh.