Monday, April 30, 2007

Apaches on the Warpath

From the Telegraph out of the UK via The Jawa Report comes this report of our guys in Afghanistan taking the fight to the enemy.

US aircrews show Taliban no mercy
By Gethin Chamberlain in Kandahar, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 1:17am BST 29/04/2007Page 1 of 2

Caught in the middle of the Helmand river, the fleeing Taliban were paddling their boat back to shore for dear life.

Smoke from the ambush they had just sprung on American special forces still hung in the air, but their attention was fixed on the two helicopter gunships that had appeared above them as their leader, the tallest man in the group, struggled to pull what appeared to be a burqa over his head.

As the boat reached the shore, Captain Larry Staley tilted the nose of the lead Apache gunship downwards into a dive. One of the men turned to face the helicopter and sank to his knees. Capt Staley's gunner pressed the trigger and the man disappeared in a cloud of smoke and dust.

By the time the gunships had finished, 21 minutes later, military officials say 14 Taliban were confirmed dead, including one of their key commanders in Helmand.

For the rest see this LINK

To be honest there is nothing really remarkable about this story other than the fact this stuff is never reported on...even now only by a UK newspaper. Your soldiers are carrying out missions like this every day in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. Good job CPT Staley...I'm sure there was a Warrant Officer in there somewhere we weren't told usual.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

I Do Not Like Good News!

Hot INTERNET babe, Mary Catherene Ham reads us a poem in the style of literature that is best suited to some of the idiots involved in this entire debacle...

H/T The Jawa Report



Friday, April 27, 2007

It's A Party...You Can Come

These young ladies dance around and celibrate at last years Eeyore's Birthday party

Tomorrow, the 28th of April is Eeyore's Birthday Party.
The 44th annual Eeyore's Birthday Party. You know, the donkey from Winnie the Poo.
Eeyores Birthday Party is a fund-raiser to benefit non-profit groups in Austin, TX. These groups will be selling hot and cold food (including vegetarian), soft drinks, juices, spring water, and Texas beer. Look for commemorative Eeyore cups and T-shirts. For more info go to this WEBSITE!
Keep Austin Weird...indeed.
From Wikipedia: In more cynical workplaces such as newspaper newsrooms or universities (or Iraq), a co-worker who is constantly a source of depressing and incongruous commentary is sometimes secretly referred to as "Eeyore." Eeyore is also the subject of a long-standing celebration in Austin, Texas called Eeyore's Birthday Party.



Girl Friday, 27 April 2007

Lauren Anderson, Playmate of the Month at some time or another (I'm too lazy to look it up) is the Girl Friday for this Friday the 27th of April.

Have a nice weekend...I know I will.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Maybe We're Not SO Bad After All

Redstate reporting from Iraq tells a story of soldiers winning over the hearts and minds of reporters who embed with them...

It was in the process of performing that mission, of coping with the loss of loved ones, and of just being themselves as American soldiers, that these young men were able to win over the admiration and affection of more than one journalist who had arrived in their midst harboring a less-than-positive opinion of the Iraq war, and of those who were tasked with prosecuting it.

“I love those guys,” Beriain said, looking wistfully out the window of our cloister here in the Green Zone. “From the first time you go kick a door with them, they accept you – you’re one of them. I’ve even got a “family photo” with them” to remember them by. “I really hated to leave.”

Of course the cynical among us would say that the reporters are just suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome. This might explain why a lot of news folks don't want to go there...other than just plain being scared.

Read the rest of this wonderful article HERE

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The Faces of Freedom

The wife of a good friend of mine has produced a book featuring one person from each state who has lost their life in the Global War on Terror. Proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Read about it HERE or go to her website HERE. It's all for a good cause, so check it out.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Corrections and Clarifications

If you scroll down two posts below this one you will see a picture of a soldier on patrol in Iraq where it appears he is "shooting the bird" at the has come to my attention that this may not really be the case.

Please go to Confederate Yankee and see his take on it. It's worth considering.

And another thing...

I've had several remarks on the blog trying their best to enlighten me and the other unwashed exactly how it is that all is lost in Iraq and the war machine just grinds on oblivious to that fact.

Can you tell me how many actions coalition forces have been involved in during the past 24 hours in the Baghdad AO? How many AIF have been detained or killed in the same period of time? You read about a car bomb or suicide bomber in the paper, but exactly how many AIF actions took place today versus a week ago, two weeks, a month or last year?

The answer is you don't know...the reason I know you don't know is because the coalition doesn't release that information. The why fors and how tos is beyond my level, and I'm sure there are those out there will gin up various conspiracies for why they don't release the numbers or if they did how the numbers are skewed to favor the desired outcome. Whatever, I don't really give a damn what you have to say about that. For someone sitting in Chicago to tell me my observations about combat and the war in Iraq are wrong, is like me telling Neil Armstrong he's full of crap when he tells me about what it was like to walk on the moon.

I have a unique position as a helicopter pilot, I get the broad overview of the city every time I fly. As an attack pilot I usually end up going to the bad spots, where there are troops in contact, roadside MEDIVACs and other ugly things that you don't want to see. Lately there have been a lot less of these ugly things. I write what I see and I become the spreader of government propaganda...I guess so, in bizarro world. If you have a different view than mine about things, that's cool, that's your right as an American citizen...but please don't lecture me about things I see with my own two eyes every day of the week.

For those who want to quit, that's great, that's your opinion...but understand the end result of your actions and accept responsibility for said same.

Those who actively campaign for our immediate withdrawal (because it won't and can't practically happen...even if we wanted it to) only serve to encourage our enemies to fight on, because their relief is just a unilateral surrender away. So thanks for your non comrades in arms and I appreciate it.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TR Tuesday, 24 APR 07

Mr. Roosevelt shows he's a man for all seasons with this quote...

When they call the roll in the Senate, the senators do not know whether to answer 'present' or 'guilty.'



Monday, April 23, 2007

Soldiers and the Media

A Soldier expresses his feelings toward an AP photographer (AP via BLACKFIVE)

Some days a reporter can't catch a break. He's out there actually going into battle or at least on patrol alongside some American soldiers he takes a picture and they reward him with the bird. Now why would they do something like that?

Perhaps THIS might help explain.

For those that will actually read and understand what they have read, you'll see that there is a lot more to what is going on in Iraq than CNN or FOX or any of the others care to tell or have time to tell you about. At first I was willing to think that the fact that all these "news" organizations chose to report about were the VBIDs, dead soldiers and other assorted atrocities was a product of the business of news. If it bleeds it leads. People want to hear about the latest fantastical train wreck of a story...if it doesn't have a bite then the viewer doesn't want to see it. In some ways I feel that is true, but at what point do those organizations have a responsibility to provide context and a sence of the overall picture?

Many, many people will tell you that what you see on TV or read about in the papers is not the entire picture of what is occurring in Iraq. So why does the common perception differ so much from what I see with my own eyes? Why do they contribute continually to the cause of their country's enemies on the field of battle? I suppose their reasons will differ from news room to editors desk, but the end result is the same. The media has become a de-facto propaganda machine for the AIF and either the majority of Americans will have to see though this and demand change or we can continue this half assed approach to war that magnifies our mistakes, minimizes the enemies savagery, encourages the enemy to fight on, and in the end strings out the conflict and extends the misery of all parties involved.

To be sure there have been some reporters come over here and report favorably about what is occurring. And while I am sure the guys in charge of this thing would like 100% favorable coverage, I am also pretty sure that right now they would just settle for fair.

The military is by no means free from blame is this situation. The miss-steps of PAOs and the difficulties that people wishing to embed has been well documented by Michael Yon and others.

It's just really sad that we end up not only fighting a fanatical enemy, we also battle rhetorically our own countrymen who refuse to even consider that what we are doing here might just be the right thing at the right time. I'm sorry we aren't completing our business to your timetable folks but no one EVER said it would be least one one that actually knew what they were talking about.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Happy San Jacinto Day!

Happy San Jacinto Day!

Also today Aggies all over the world today are observing the Aggie Muster even here at Camp Taji.

Aggies gathered together on June 26,1883 to live over again their college days, the victories and defeats won and lost upon the drill field and in the classroom. By April 21, 1903, this annual gathering evolved into a celebration of Texas' Independence on San Jacinto Day. These early meetings included field games and banquets for Aggies to reflect and celebrate their memories of Aggieland. 'Let every alumni answer a roll call' wrote the former students. It was not until 1922, however, that April 21 became the official day of events for all Aggies, thus, the annual tradition of Muster was born. The March 1923 Texas Aggie urged, 'If there is an A&M man in one-hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, and live over the days you spent at the A&M College of Texas.

For the rest go HERE



Friday, April 20, 2007

The Battle of San Jacinto

The 21st of April marks the 171st annaversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. Included below is a short synopsis of the events that lead up to the battle and then the battle itself.

In March of 1836, things were not going well for Sam Houston’s Texas revolutionaries. Having declared independence from the official Mexican government, they were now running from the Mexican army, being run from their homes—and running out of time.

Since January 1836, Texas settlers had been abandoning their homes and the lives they’d created on the Texas frontier. Known as the Runaway Scrape, this retreat began as the Mexican government initiated military reoccupation of the newly settled land. The event was marked by sickness, freezing weather, hunger and panic among the citizenry.

But their main problem was the feared Napolean of the West, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Realizing—perhaps a bit late—the strategic importance of controlling the Texas coastline and hoping to capture the Texas government, Santa Anna led his 700 men to Harrisburg on his way to the coast, burning the town.

On April 11th, the Texas army received its only artillery. The town of Cincinnati, Ohio, purchased a pair of six-pound guns manufactured in their home state and shipped them to New Orleans to help the Texians. Known as the Twin Sisters, they did not stay idle.

Houston’s men, their families uprooted and futures uncertain, were ready to fight. On April 17th, their retreat led them to a fork in the road. One road led to Louisiana and possible refuge in the United States. The other road led to Harrisburg and the edge of the coast. Houston's army marched down the road to Harrisburg without objections from Houston.

On the 18th, Houston reached White Oak Bayou, where he learned that Santa Anna’s nearby forces had just crossed the bridge over Vince’s Bayou. On the 19th, Houston crossed Buffalo Bayou between Sims' and Vince's Bayous just outside of Harrisburg. Marching down the bayou, they captured one of Santa Anna’s supply boats.

Just miles away from Houston’s men, Santa Anna’s forces now numbered around 1200. The Texans numbered 900. On April 20th, Sidney Sherman gave the Mexican army a quick jab with a small skirmish that quickly fizzled out. Both sides then camped for the night.

On the morning of April 21st, General Houston held a council of war. The majority of his officers voted to await Santa Anna’s attack in order to leverage their position. General Houston let each man in the council plead his case. Then he made a decision, which he kept to himself until that afternoon: they would attack.

Around 4:30 p.m., the Mexican soldiers awoke from their afternoon siestas to the smell of gunpowder and cries of vengeance. Flushed with victory from the siege of the Alamo, Santa Anna had failed to post sentries to monitor the Texans’ activities.

In eighteen minutes the Texians were in control of the Mexican camp.

The Mexican soldiers were far more trained in martial field tactics and strategy than their Texian opponents. But they were unable to organize under the feverish surprise attack. And the short-range unorthodox brawling of frontiersmen with long knives and clenched fists did not work in their favor.

Over 600 Mexican soldiers were killed, and over 700 were allowed to surrender; nine Texians were killed or mortally wounded. Sam Houston was shot in the ankle. Santa Anna was found the next day hiding in the grass and dressed as a common foot soldier.

For Mexico, the defeat was the beginning of a downhill martial and political spiral that would result into the loss of nearly a million square miles in territory. For the Texans, their victory led to annexation into the United States and the United States' war with Mexico. In the end, the United States would gain not only Texas but also New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming.

As a result of the Battle of San Jacinto, almost a third of what is now the United States of America changed ownership.

Maybe I will be allowed to retain my Texas citizenship for another year now.



The War is LOST?!? WTF!

I you might imagine it came as a great surprise to me to find out that our self appointed commander and chief SEN Harry Reid (D) NV (or was that Congresswoman Pelsoi) has surrendered to the enemy. Extra, Extra, read all about it...HERE

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday the war in Iraq is "lost," triggering an angry backlash by Republicans, who said the top Democrat had turned his back on the troops. The bleak assessment - the most pointed yet from Reid - came as the House voted 215-199 to uphold legislation ordering troops out of Iraq next year.

Reid said he told President Bush on Wednesday he thought the war could not be won through military force, although he said the U.S. could still pursue political, economic and diplomatic means to bring peace to Iraq.

"I believe myself that the secretary of state, secretary of defense and - you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows - (know) this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday," said Reid, D-Nev.

As a rule I avoid reading, watching listening or otherwise pay any attention to anything that might cause me to get more aggravated than having angry Arab dudes shooting at me already does. Unfortunately, I was unable to escape this gift SEN Reid has given our enemies.

I have stated several times on this blog how much I despise those who would use the war, the soldiers I serve with and the future of thousands of innocent Iraqi people as a pawn in their lust for political power...I can't even begin to express my disgust for those who would cynically sell this effort and everyone involved in it down the rhetorical river just to try and gain political ground.

Their sick partisan efforts puts me and every Soldier, sailor, airman and Marine currently serving in Iraq at greater risk because it emboldens the enemy. It gives them cause to think if they kill one, ten or fifty more Americans we will quit. If they down another helicopter we will quit. And they believe this because our so called "leaders" tell them we are ready to quit.

It can't be too good for morale either to hear the Majority Leader of the Senate say we have lost...well, I don't think so Senator, at least from the seat of my aircraft I don't see things that way. And that's a lot closer to what's going on over here than you've ever been.

Shame on any American who would embolden the enemy and undermine the morale of our troops while they are engaged on the field of battle...that is truly disgusting.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...this crap amazes the hell out of me. What the HELL are you people doing back there?

If you are here looking for pictures of Regan Yun...try HERE...I apologize if I made you think or read about something other than her hot steamy Amerasian good looks. Scroll down and you won't have to think about that nasty war stuff anymore...ick.

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Girl Friday, 20 APR 2007

With all the stupidity that we are witnessing here in Iraq and back home in the is time to forget about all that crap for a few minutes sit back and relax and enjoy the sight of a little old fashioned T&A...besides it pisses off our enemies to no end to think that we have this kind of unbridled sexuality running loose in our streets and on the INTERNET.

Pilar Lastra (AUG '04 Playmate of the Month) is the Girl Friday for 20 APR 07...y'all have a great weekend. We'll try not to surrender to the insurgents while you're out running the BBQ.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

TR Tuesday, 17 APR 07

Teddy Roosevelt Tuesday is back with this quote from the great man...

Measure iniquity by the heart, whether a man's purse be full or empty, partly full or partly empty. If the man is a descent man, whether well off or not well off, stand by him; if he is not a decent man stand against him, whether he be rich or poor

Think about that one for a while...or not.

If you didn't appreciate that one consider this one from GEN William Tecumseh Sherman...

“Newspaper correspondents with an army, as a rule, are mischievous. They are the world's gossips, pick up and retail the camp scandal, and gradually drift to the headquarters of some general, who finds it easier to make reputation at home than with his own corps or division. They are also tempted to prophesy events and state facts which, to an enemy, reveal a purpose in time to guard against it. Moreover, they are always bound to see facts colored by the partisan or political character of their own patrons, and thus bring army officers into the political controversies of the day, which are always mischievous and wrong. Yet, so greedy are the people at large for war news, that it is doubtful whether any army commander can exclude all reporters, without bringing down on himself a clamor that may imperil his own safety. Time and moderation must bring a just solution to this modern difficulty.”

The more things change...the more they stay the same.



Monday, April 16, 2007

My Extended Thoughts About Being Extended in Iraq

I found out earlier this week via AFN (Armed Forces Radio Network) (thanks to some WEASEL, who I will discuss below) that I may have to stay in Iraq up to fifteen months instead of the twelve that was usual. As you might imagine the news was disappointing to most if not everyone around here. Philosophically and militarily, I can understand the reasoning behind the move, but it doesn't make it any more palatable to the soldiers that are affected by it.

While I was home on leave the disconnect between our society at large and what is going on over here and in Afghanistan couldn't have been more apparent to me. It is no wonder that people are "tired" of the war. Every day they are fed news about nothing but car bombings, bridges being blown up, Iraqi politicians threatening to leave the government...bla bla bla etc etc. Unless one digs for it you can never find the success stories only the obituaries. So it doesn't surprise me that this announcement of extension was met by a rousing Bronx cheer announcing how this is somehow symbolic of our impending doom, how the chickens are coming home to roost and we are committed to failure. The only thing the extension is symbolic of is the fact that our Army is a LOT smaller than it was in 1991 and to be able to accomplish what needs to occur to ensure success and still allow Soldiers time with their families this move needed to be made.

As I said before nobody is happy about this, I know the people who made this decision did not relish having to inform the only thing more fearsome than a Soldier, his wife, that he would not be coming home for 3 extra months. Which brings me to the aforementioned WEASEL.

Someone in the Pentagon is a mouth breathing idiot.

That may come as disappointing news to some, but most of us realize that this has been the case ever since they built the place. But, while it is par for the course, this latest move takes the cake. For someone who is so desperate to score political points, who hates what we are doing, who wants to make themself feel important or wants to hurt the President politically, for that person to hurt every family of every soldier by making them read or hear about this decision through the media rather than their CHAIN OF COMMAND is beyond the pale.

I'm fairly certain that this info was SECRET before it was to be released, so there may be legal action that could be taken. If that is so, I hope they string this person from a rhetorical yard arm. If it was a Soldier person serving in the Army who did this, they need to be on the next plane to Iraq, for a job burning porta potty waste at a FOB near the Iranian border or some other suitable task, like riding shotgun for KBR trucks on Route Tampa for 15 months or so.

Of course it was more than likely some GS civilian, mid-level type who could give a rats ass about the soldier really, he's been working in the puzzle palace so long, he feels those bastards don't value his service and he'll show them a thing or two..."I'll just call ABC...that'll show them. Now maybe they'll understand."

Yeah, they'll understand alright, they'll understand just what a conniving piece of crap bastard really is. Out here on the front line, where the rubber meets the road and soldiers are fighting and dying every minute of every day, Mission First, Never Accept Defeat, Never Quit, Never Leave a Fallen Comrade...the Warrior Ethos...these words mean something. Those words mean nothing to this weasel. This person is beneath my contempt, worse that those who have never served who show contempt for what I do, this person is supposed to support and assist me in my mission and not only has this person failed in that task, they have tried to undermine what it is that we do, by hurting those we love and for that you are a truly contemptible swine.


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Sunday, April 15, 2007

The End IS Near...

An event that has got to be a sign of the coming appocolypse...

Trans Am owners and trailer park dwellers in New Jersey rejoice, your wait is over. The Jon Bon Jovi "action figure" is on it's way!



Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's BACK!

I have made it back to my little trailer in the desert. Frankly I had too much to do and the food sucked back home anyway...oh wait...that's here.

I enjoyed the time I had back in Texas (even if it did SNOW, in April), the folks who meet the soldiers at DFW are simply awesome, please if you live in the DFW area, or even just visit from time to time get over there and thank those people for what they means more than you might think for we soldiers to have those people there when we get off the plane.

Now to the business at hand...I know this is why I get most of my traffic without furthur delay, Ms Amy Sue Cooper welcomes us to a great weekend and the rest of my Iraqi vacation.

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