Saturday, May 31, 2008
On Turner Classic Movies...
Last night for fans of John Ford's cavalry movies, there was a triple feature; Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande. Just awesome.
I realize it's not everyone's cup of tea...but they don't make 'em like that anymore. Here's some lines that I found particularly good...they ring true even today. There's more HERE.
Newspaper reporter: Of course, you're familiar with the famous painting of 'Thursday's Charge', sir?
Captain Yorke: Yes, I saw it when last I in Washington.
Newspaper reporter: That was a magnificent work.
[to other reporters]
Newspaper reporter: There were these massed columns of Apaches in their warpaint and feather bonnets... and here was Thursday leading his men in that heroic charge!
Captain Yorke: [knowing what really happened] Correct in every detail.
Newspaper reporter: [speaking of Col. Thursday] But what of the men who died with him? What of Collingworth and...
Captain Yorke: Collingwood.
Newspaper reporter: Oh, of course, Collingwood.
Reporter: That's the ironic part of it. We always remember the Thursdays, but the others are forgotten.
Captain Yorke: You're wrong there. They aren't forgotten because they haven't died. They're living - right out there.
[points out the window]
Captain Yorke: Collingwood and the rest. And they'll keep on living as long as the regiment lives. The pay is thirteen dollars a month; their diet: beans and hay. Maybe horsemeat before this campaign is over. Fight over cards or rotgut whiskey, but share the last drop in their canteens. The faces may change... the names... but they're there: they're the regiment... the regular army... now and fifty years from now. They're better men than they used to be. Thursday did that. He made it a command to be proud of.
Girl Friday for 30 MAY 08
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I have flown over two thousand hours all over the world in the Bell Helicopter UH-1 Iroquois also known as the Huey. It's been over ten years since I've flown one, but even today I can recall the start sequence, the before landing checks, the ticking of the igniter's when the trigger for engine start is pulled on a quiet morning at some field site...it's all still there.
Remembering all of that and all that this aircraft has done and continues to do all over the world, makes me wonder why it never gets the credit it deserves. 16,000 UH-1s were built...when most people think of Vietnam this aircraft pops in there somewhere...literally. Maybe because it's a helicopter that it isn't a "sexy" as an F-4 or some other design. But I seem to recall the great celebration among the aviation world when the DC-3 reached certain plateaus in its life. I don't know just wondering.
The Huey will be 52 in October by the way.
Yep, I missed that anniversary too, somehow. I guess it slipped my mind...but I least I have somewhat of an excuse, I was in Iraq.
Here's a short history of the design
Bell model 204
The typical Bell main rotor design uses a notable feature in the form of two wide chord blades and, at right angles to them, the stabilizing bar with small weights at its tips (See Arthur Young in the Pioneers section )
XH-40 : ( later redesigned XHU-1 ) The Bell Model 204 first flown in October 1956 with one 700 hp turbine engine. The 3 prototypes built were the first turbine engine aircraft of the US Army. ( serial number 55-4459 )
YH-40 : ( later redesigned YHU-1 ) 6 test units with a fuselage 30 cm (1 feet) longer
HU-1 : ( with the normalization of 1962 became the UH-1 Iroquois ) 9 pre-productions units with one 770 hp T53-L-1A tested during 1959
HU-1A : ( later UH-1A ) 173 units produced up to March 1961. A crew of 2 plus 5 troops.
TH-1A : 14 UH-1A converted to dual control trainers
UH-1B : 1014 units built between 1961 and 1965 with a 960 hp T53-L-5 engine. 7 troops
UH-1C : 750 units with the same fuselage of the UH-1B but a larger engine (L11) and a newer rotor system that give them much greater manoeuvrability
UH-1E : 192 units built between 1964 and 1966. Was the UH-1B/C for the US Marines for assault support with salt-water corrosion protection and extra avionics. 8 troops.
TH-1E : 20 trainers of the UH-1E variant
UH-1F : ( also called UH-48 as missile site support helo ) The UH-1B variant for the USAF with a 1300 hp T58-GE-3 turbine engine. 119 units built from 1964 to 1967. 10 troops
The UH-1F had a General Electric engine rather than the Lycoming engine used on other models at the time. It was more powerful than the Lycoming engines until the Lycoming TH-53-L13 engine was introduced in mid 1967.
TH-1F : 26 UH-1F trainers
HH-1K : The UH-1E for the US Navy for SAR duties with a 1400 hp engine. 27 units in 1970
UH-1L : The UH-1E for the US Navy for multi-purpose duties with a 1100 hp engine. 10 units in 1968
TH-1L : 90 trainers for the US Navy
UH-1M : 3 UH-1C updated with a 1100 hp engine and 6 french AS.11 anti tank missiles for evaluation. They had a different rotor system and the tailboom had a sweeping vertical fin.
UH-1P : 20 UH-1F updated for psychological warfare
AB.204 : Model 204 built by Agusta in Italy
Fuji 204B-2 : Model 204 built in Japan
Bell model 205
YUH-1D : 7 prototypes ordered in July 1960 with a larger main rotor and a bigger fuselage for a 12 / 14 troops capacity
UH-1D : 2000 units with a 1100 hp turbine engine. First unit enter service in August 1963
UH-1H : The most important variant of the Huey was an updated version of the UH-1D with a 1400 hp T53-L-13 engine. 4900 units built for the US Army and 50 countries
EH-1H : UH-1Hs modified for electronic warfare in variations EH-1H Phase A and B and the UH-1X Model. Were replaced with the Sikorsky EH-60A
HH-1H : 30 UH-1Hs for the USAF for combat / SAR duties
The modification included moving the tail rotor to the right hand side of the tailboom. This modification was picked up by the US army and later UH-1H type aircraft were configured with the tail rotor on the left side.
UH-1V : 200 UH-1Hs modified for medevac duties in the 80s
AB.205 : Model 205 built by Agusta in Italy
Fuji 205 : Model 205 built in Japan
Bell model 212
UH-1N : After the successful of the Models 204 / 205, Bell joined Pratt & Whitney Canada for develop a twin engine derivate of the UH-1H to achieve a specification came from the Canadian Armed Forces. The result was the Model 212 Twin Two Twelve adopted by the USAF (79 units ) and the US Navy / Marines ( 221 units)
VH-1N : 8 units Marine One for the US president.
UH-1Y : Remanufactured UH-1N
AB.212 : Model 212 built by Agusta in Italy, including the AB.212 ASW naval helicopter
The Huey continues to soldier on and when the last Black Hawk is sent to the boneyard the crew will be picked by by a UH-1.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Bud Light Ad
Enjoy Mister Way Too Proud of Texas Guy.
Of course the Aggies aren't going to like the ending...sorry I didn't make it, I just linked it.
Monday, May 26, 2008|
Heritage Flight on Memorial Day
From This Article
Fri May 23, 12:49 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Military officers who denounce policies they helped implement are "cowardly," the top U.S. officer charged on Friday in an apparent reference to retired generals' attacks on Iraq war policy.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of staff, told U.S. Naval Academy graduates that military officers face two options when political leaders do not follow their advice -- obey orders or quit.
Mullen said officers should not follow orders only to later leave the military and publicly criticize the plans they implemented.
"We give our best advice beforehand," he said. "If it's followed, great. If it's not, we only have two choices -- obey the orders we have been given, carrying them out with the professionalism and loyalty they deserve, or vote with our feet.
"That's it. We don't get to debate those orders after the fact. We don't get to say, 'Well, it's not how I would have done it,' or, 'If they had only listened to me,"' he said in Annapolis, Maryland. "Too late at that point and too cowardly."
In the past four years, some retired military officers who were on active duty during the initial stages of the Iraq war have publicly criticized the Bush administration's policy and management of that conflict.
Yeah, what he said
H/T Neptunus Lex
Thug Life Thailand Style
Labels: Weird Stuff
Sunday, May 25, 2008
When We Left Earth
Space Exploration Seen as Never Before.
An HD Exclusive
SUNDAYS @ 9pm E/P BEGINNING JUNE 8!
When We Left Earth is the story of mankind’s greatest adventure, leaving the earth and living in space. For the first time this series has digitally re-mastered the original film and audio recordings from NASA’s vault, including and all the key on-board footage filmed by the astronauts themselves. From John Glenn's Mercury mission to orbit the earth, to Neil Armstrong’s first historic steps on the moon, to the unprecedented spacewalks required to repair the Hubble telescope, these epic stories are shown in stunning clarity and told by the astronauts and engineers who were there.
Apaches Attack Sadr City
In Iraq, a Surge in U.S. Airstrikes
Military Says Attacks Save Troops' Lives, but Civilian Casualties Elicit Criticism
By Ernesto Londoño and Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, May 23, 2008; Page A10
CAMP TAJI, Iraq -- From an Apache helicopter, Capt. Ben Katzenberger's battlefield resembles a vast mosaic of tiny brown boxes.
"The city looks like a bucket of Legos dumped out on the ground," the 26-year-old pilot said. "It's brown Legos, no color. It's really dense and hard to pick things out because everything looks the same."
He uses a powerful lens to zoom in on tiny silhouettes, trying to identify people with "hostile intent" among hundreds of ordinary citizens in Baghdad.
In recent weeks, Katzenberger and other pilots have dramatically increased their use of helicopter-fired missiles against enemy fighters, often in densely populated areas. Since late March, the military has fired more than 200 Hellfire missiles in the capital, compared with just six missiles fired in the previous three months...
...U.S. officials say they go to great lengths to avoid harming civilians in airstrikes.
"It's not Hollywood and it's not 110 percent perfect," said Col. Timothy J. Edens, the commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, of the accuracy of his unit's strikes. "It is as precise as very hardworking soldiers and commanders can make it. These criminals do not operate in a clean battle space. It is occupied by civilians, law-abiding Iraqis."
Those civilians include people like Zahara Fadhil, a 10-year-old girl with a tiny frame and long brown hair. Relatives said she was wounded by a missile on April 20 at approximately 8 p.m. in Baghdad's Shiite enclave of Sadr City. The U.S. military said it fired a Hellfire missile in Zahara's neighborhood at that time, targeting men who were seen loading rockets into a sedan.
Her face drained of color and her legs scarred by shrapnel, Zahara spoke haltingly when asked what she thought of U.S. troops.
"They kill people," she said. Lying in bed, she gasped for air before continuing. "They should leave Iraq now."
What is really striking to me are the comments on the article...
War, schnore. It's an occupation and we don't know who we're "fighting." Bombing a population, not unlike mass retaliation, is a desperate tactic AND a war crime. Congrats, once again, bu$hler. Pathetic.
5/24/2008 2:45:18 PM
A lot of posts crying and wailing because they are so saddened by their evil government. Do you really want to draw attention to this matter? I suggest you crybabies start setting yourselves on fire in the middle of Main Street. That would maybe convince me that you are serious.
5/24/2008 1:49:47 PM
Katzenberger is also a name of a Jew known for being a victim of the nazi injustice (see the trial of Nuremberg)
so it is ironically enough to see it linked to the biggest trial against warcrimes so far.
Hellfire missiles are antitank weapons The iraqi resistance has no armored vehicles. To fire these Weapons against populated areas is without any doubt a warcrime.
The use of such disproportionate force only makes sense in the context of terror. It is used to terrorize the civil population to stop them supporting the resistance. Whatever the success of this strategy it is nevertheless called "Terrorism"
The disproportionate force use is well know strategy used by the wehrmacht in occupied territories.
The trial of Nuremberg was called a winners justice with reason which means you will never see Bush jailed whatever his guild.
5/24/2008 11:24:37 AM
Daedelus Rex wrote:
"Furthermore, there's absolutely NO mention of the key contextual issue: that the increase in air support is due to requests by the *Iraqi Army*, which is trying to clear out the area largely by itself."
Thanks to your sophistry and hair-splitting is you who are not seeing the larger context. The US should not even be there. The uninvited invader is always wrong and always a legitimate target. The Iraqi Army is under the control of the invader - or its paid minions in the Iraqi government, so stop bleating that "they asked us". There is no independence.
Furthermore, NONE of this would have happenend if America didn't invade Iraq on a bunch of sick lies. Every lost soul is on Americas conscience (such that it is). Where is your basic humanity, man?
5/24/2008 4:54:13 AM
Most "suicide bombs" and "truck bombs" are really Predator strikes. Ask Bad A$$ Ben how many gasoline trucks in crowded markets he has hit?
"The team of Tennile Stocking,
nursing major, and Ben Katzenberger,
criminal justice major, was first in the
He'll make a great cop when he gets out. Sand Ni___s, Asphalt Ni____s, what's the diff?
5/24/2008 2:00:46 AM
We've been there six years and it's still too dangerous to patrol on foot so we have to fire from helicopters? What the hell is going on over there? We sure aren't winning as bush claims if we have to bomb away from afar knowing that innocent civilians will be killed. This just makes our whole point of being there useless. How can we pacify these people and win them over to our way of government when after six years we're are still on free fire mode from 2000 feet high. What a waste.
5/24/2008 1:17:01 AM
"So, a question: if this is the only way to strike these targets, do we take a pass, understanding that the result will be more dead Americans?"
"Fighting in the Iraq "War" is about as dangerous as skiing. If those Dead-Enders weren't in Iraq, they would be boozed and doped up and running their cars into trees on Saturday Night.
5/24/2008 1:14:07 AM
Maybe Katzenberger will get over his "detached feeling" if he goes and visits the children that he blew the legs off of.
5/23/2008 10:42:40 PM
The fact that they write "HAJI" on the missiles shows the total lack of respect for the Iraqi people and culture.
So, the US military is not there because Iraq attacked the US - they are not there because Iraq was a threat to the US - they are not there to bring them "freedom and democracy" if they don't even feel basic respect.....
CONCLUSION: they are there to help the oil corporations steal the oil. They are nothing but mercenaries, and there is nothing noble about this war crime that they are committing.
5/23/2008 10:38:32 PM
I just watched the video where the guy firing at the Iraqi people thinks he is a hero. In my eyes, he is a murderer.
5/23/2008 10:33:39 PM
WHY ARE WE BOMBING THESE PEOPLE?
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT THEY ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?
WHY ARE THE CRIMINALS WHO STARTED THIS NOT IMPEACHED?
I am 52 years old and do not recognize my country any more.
Those are some of the 172 comments. Since none of the people who commented there have ever flown over Sadr City or Iraq for that matter, I find their judgement somewhat misguided and faulty...that's the nice way of saying they are fucking wrong.
I am sure none of these brave souls would ever have the cajones to say the things that they did about CPT Katzenberger to his face.
It is interesting that they can be so filled with hatred that they would automatically assume that American Soldiers would fire on civilians, would indiscriminately lay waste to neighborhoods...etc, when the truth so totally the opposite.
I have flown more hours over Sadr City than I care to recall...anyone who has ever seen the amount of fire coming out of there would find the descriptions given in that article somewhat laughable...even given all of that, I know of nobody who would ever just open fire on that area, and no commander who would put up with it for one second if anyone ever did.
Finally I reserve the right to call someone who is trying to kill me whatever name I choose...so fuck off Washington Post reader, "dancwater" in your easy chair telling us all how it realy should be...god damned oxygen thief.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.
H/T LT Nixon Rants
Memorial Day in "The Garden"
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Memorial Day Weekend
...for some reason it really started to piss me off. Don't get me wrong being a Soldier's wife isn't easy. I have met some wonderful women during my time in the Army, and also met some real bitches. But toughest job?
Check these stories out...
From Jules Crittenden
On Dying And Continuing To Be Alive
Hal Moore, 1/7 Cav CO at the Ia Drang in 1965 and co-author with Joe Galloway of “We Were Soldiers Once … ” and the forthcoming “We Are Soldiers Still,” with a pre-Memorial Day essay on making peace at USA Today: How Enemies Became Friends:
When the blood of any war soaks your clothes and covers your hands, and soldiers die in your arms, every breath forever more becomes an appeal for a greater peace, unity and reconciliation.
It was Vietnam. I was their commander and accountable for them. We charged the enemy with bayonets fixed to our rifles in face-to-face combat. I still hear the ugly sounds of war. …
… I still see the boots of my dead sticking out from under their ponchos, laces tied one last time by their precious fingers. … I still carry the wounded to the helicopters as they bled, screamed and begged to live one more day … and I still hold those who die in my arms, with their questioning eyes dreading death, as they called for their mothers … their eyes go blank and my war-crusted fingers close their eyelids. The blood of my dead soldiers will not wash from my hands. The stains remain.
And this one from Neputnus Lex
May 24th, 2008 · 1 Comment · Military
Read the story of Ross McGinnis - son, juvenile delinquent, soldier, hero, Medal of Honor winner:
On the morning of Dec. 4, Spc. McGinnis was riding atop a Humvee, manning a 50-caliber machine gun as the truck rolled through the violent Baghdad neighborhood of Adhamiyah.
An insurgent on a rooftop threw a grenade at the Humvee. Spc. McGinnis tried to bat it away, but the explosive dropped into the Humvee, where the other four soldiers essentially were trapped.
Spc. McGinnis shouted a warning to them, then jumped back inside the vehicle.
“An average man would have leapt out of the gunner’s cupola to safety,” the Army said in its official account. “McGinnis decided to stay with his crew. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own life … he threw his back over the grenade.”
Yeah, I shouldn't be mad at some lady whose proud of her service...but toughest job? I think not.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY.
Labels: Real Heroes
Friday, May 23, 2008
There's a Whole Lot of Shouting Going On...
From the article that started it all...
...I'm an Air Force man and I'm telling it to you as plain as I can. We're screwed. Donezo. Kaput.
Pity, as the USAF would be our front line against any of those scenarios.
The Air Force needs a George C. Marshall. Oh, do they need a Marshall. Someone who gets it. Someone who has the stones to tank a generation of officers who just aren't helping. Someone who understands how to communicate the service's needs, what it can bring to the fight—the Air Force's abilities are unmatched—and someone who will rediscover the service's purpose: to support the infantry.
And I suppose to deter peer/near peer adversaries as well.
But as Marshall said, “The chariot, the longbow, the airplane... all wars in history have been decided by the man standing on the smoking battlefield with a sword in hand.”
Just so. The Air Force exists to support the infantry.
Careerist Air Force officers have it in their head that the infantry supports the Air Force. If you can think of a better way to describe that than rot, I'm all ears.
Don't get me wrong though, folks. When the sun sets I still love my blue suit and love the sound of thundering jets overhead. Love it. But that's why it pains me so much to see a once-proud service fall into disrepair and irrelevance because of cowardly leaders who value their own stinkin' promotions over the good of the service and the good of the country. Some are well-intentioned. Most are just plain arrogant. I see both types every day. It pains me.
And I want it to stop...
And then in the comments a true believer comes to save the day
There are a lot of complaints about the Air Force not contributing to the war effort and I’d like to ask one question: What do you want us to do? No, seriously, tell the Air Force what you need. I’ve read the guidance from the CFACC and from the MNF-I and MNC-I commanders (I didn’t serve in Afghanistan, so I haven’t seen their guidance) and I can tell you, there is nothing in there that specifically tasks the Air Force with a line of operation. There are some minor requests in there, which the Air Force is meeting, but there is no major line item that anyone (that I know of) can point to and say, “the Air Force isn’t living up to its end of the bargain, we asked for this and you guys didn’t provide it.”
As any good Air Force officer, I have read FM 3-24. So I know that in a counter-insurgency fight, there are three things expected of air power: limited close air support, air re-supply/transport, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). And lo and behold, these are the three things that MNF/C-I have asked of the Air Force. So let’s look at each of them in turn.
Close Air Support. The MNF/C-I requirement is for us to be able to have aircraft over a Troops-in-Contact situation in a given amount of time. The Air Force has scheduled aircraft and established orbits that allow us to meet that requirement anywhere in Iraq. If you want us there sooner, put it in the guidance and we will adjust as necessary. There is a problem with the air tasking process that involves both the Air Force AND the Corps, but its outside the scope of this discussion for now.
CAS is a difficult and highly dangerous mission. From 20,000 feet, or even as low as 10,000 feet, you can NOT tell the difference between friendly and enemy ground forces with the Mark 1 eyeball. Targeting pods have made this much better and additional technologies such as Blue Force Tracker and Situational Awareness Data-Link, help but they don’t solve the problem. The actual solution to this problem is correct processes.
In the history of CAS there are many, many unfortunate incidents of fratricide. In the vast majority of these cases, the problem was not that the pilot couldn’t tell friend from foe (as noted above, he can’t), but that the process was not adhered to and somebody inadvertently called in fires on their own position. So it takes specialized training and PRACTICE to make sure that these things don’t happen under the stresses of combat.
For this reason, we have JOINT terminal attack controllers. The JTAC is a graduate of the JOINT Firepower Control Course (or its equivalent). The Marine and Navy ANGLICOs count. The British/Aussie/Canadian/Dutch/German/and hell even the ROK JTACs all count. Nobody says that Air Force jets will ONLY drop for Air Force JTACs. What the JOINT publication 3-09.3 does say is that you will have a certified JTAC controlling close air support. The Army has chosen not to send its troops through the JFCC, instead, demanding that the Air Force put Air Liaison Officers and JTACs into their units to help not only with the control of CAS but also with the planning of integrated air-land battle. And the Air Force said, “okay.” But nobody said, “I’m not going to drop bombs for some Army dude.”...
As to that last statement, yes someone did say that they won't drop bombs for some Army dude. Without getting too inside baseball, there was an Army aviaiton unit that sent fully qualified attack helicopter instructor pilots to the USMC school where they teach USMC cobra pilots to be Forward Air Controllers (Airborne) or FAC(A). These pilots went through the entire course of instruction and in the end were certified by the USMC as FAC(A)s, able to control air-strikes and clear a jet hot on a target. Guess who didn't want to recognize that certification?
Guess which service a General was from who said that using CAS assets for road recon in Iraq was a waste of resources?
Guess which service said they couldn't do it when the SECDEF said we need more UAV crews?
Guess why people are saying you aren't a team player.
There's a war going on...for those who don't realize. Sometimes it is necessary to think outside of the box to get answers to problems. Just throwing up your arms and saying you can't do it isn't an answer. Bitching about the mission you are given in the press isn't an answer. To sit there and rationalize things and try to explain how there really are no problems, it's just how you are looking at it, is no answer.
Every service has issues they need to solve...some of the them are solving theirs better than others.
Girl Friday, 23 May 08
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Jessica Alba Almost Killed...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Still Doesn't Beat Steve McQueen
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Ralph Peters Gives Them Both Barrels
SUCCESS IN IRAQ: A MEDIA BLACKOUT
May 20, 2008 -- DO we still have troops in Iraq? Is there still a conflict over there?
If you rely on the so-called mainstream media, you may have difficulty answering those questions these days. As Iraqi and Coalition forces pile up one success after another, Iraq has magically vanished from the headlines.
Want a real "inconvenient truth?" Progress in Iraq is powerful and accelerating.
But that fact isn't helpful to elite media commissars and cadres determined to decide the presidential race over our heads. How dare our troops win? Even worse, Iraqi troops are winning. Daily.
You won't see that above the fold in The New York Times. And forget the Obama-intoxicated news networks - they've adopted his story line that the clock stopped back in 2003.
To be fair to the quit-Iraq-and-save-the-terrorists media, they have covered a few recent stories from Iraq:
* When a rogue US soldier used a Koran for target practice, journalists pulled out all the stops to turn it into "Abu Ghraib, The Sequel."
Unforgivably, the Army handled the situation well. The "atrocity" didn't get the traction the whorespondents hoped for.
* When a battered, bleeding al Qaeda managed to set off a few bombs targeting Sunni Arabs who'd turned against terror, that, too, received delighted media play.
* As long as Baghdad-based journalists could hope that the joint US-Iraqi move into Sadr City would end disastrously, we were treated to a brief flurry of headlines.
* A few weeks back, we heard about another Iraqi company - 100 or so men - who declined to fight. The story was just delicious, as far as the media were concerned.
Then tragedy struck: As in Basra the month before, absent-without-leave (and hiding in Iran) Muqtada al Sadr quit under pressure from Iraqi and US troops. The missile and mortar attacks on the Green Zone stopped. There's peace in the streets...
...If the Kurds would only start slaughtering their neighbors and bombing Coalition troops, they might get some attention. Unfortunately, there are no US or allied combat units in Kurdistan for Kurds to bomb. They weren't needed. And (benighted people that they are) the Kurds are pro-American - despite the virulent anti-Kurdish prejudices prevalent in our Saudi-smooching State Department.
Developments just keep getting grimmer for the MoveOn.org fan base in the media. Iraq's Sunni Arabs, who had supported al Qaeda and homegrown insurgents, now support their government and welcome US troops. And, in southern Iraq, the Iranians lost their bid for control to Iraq's government.
Bury those stories on Page 36...
...Our troops deserve better. The Iraqis deserve better. You deserve better. The forces of freedom are winning.
Here in the Land of the Free, of course, freedom of the press means the freedom to boycott good news from Iraq. But the truth does have a way of coming out.
The surge worked. Incontestably. Iraqis grew disenchanted with extremism. Our military performed magnificently. More and more Iraqis have stepped up to fight for their own country. The Iraqi economy's taking off. And, for all its faults, the Iraqi legislature has accomplished far more than our own lobbyist-run Congress over the last 18 months.
When Iraq seemed destined to become a huge American embarrassment, our media couldn't get enough of it. Now that Iraq looks like a success in the making, there's a virtual news blackout...
Go read the rest HERE
Saturday, May 17, 2008
The Cowboy Cheerleaders Are Shooting Their Calendar
Friday, May 16, 2008
Remembering Our Friends...
From the 1st Cavalry Division Website
Cav memorial rededication honors Soldiers’ and families’ sacrifices
By Spc. Jeffrey Ledesma
1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas – More than five years have passed since a Coalition of military forces of roughly 300,000 marched onto Iraqi soil in the invasion that ended Saddam Hussein’s 24-year rule. As operations in Iraq persist, Soldiers continue to pay the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division understand the losses of battle and gathered with Gold Star Families and friends to remember fallen troopers during the division’s recent deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08 at a memorial rededication ceremony held on Cooper Field May 16.
“Our cavalry heritage gives us the strength we need, and on a day like today, we need every bit,” said Maj. Gen. Daniel P. Bolger, the division’s commanding general.
When the memorial was originally dedicated in 2006, after the division’s first Iraq deployment, 168 Soldier’s names were etched into the black stone. Now, 493 additional names are immortalized.
“Their names have been inscribed here in a role of honor for all Americans to see, maybe for years, but maybe forever,” said Bolger, a Aurora, Ill., native. “This impressive memorial; these names are etched to last.
“They should be because these troopers’ deeds are etched in history.” The division’s former commander, Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Fil, Jr., currently commanding the 8th United States Army in Korea, made a trip half way around the world to honor the fallen Soldiers.
With his Stetson on his head, Fil chokingly addressed the audience, “We gather to pay tribute to their courage, honor the sacrifice and sanctify their memory.” “This service today, these slabs of (stone), this monument, this ceremony is unique, especially to me,” he said. “It is humbling that we stood and fought together.” The Portola Valley, Calif., native pointed out the diversity of the American heroes whose names are cemented into Cavalry history.
“They were from all 50 states and from all walks of life,” he explained. “From brand-new, newly-arrived troopers, senior noncommissioned officers to field grade officers. The Soldiers who died, organized under Multi-National Division – Baghdad during the division’s recent campaign in Iraq, represented 29 different brigades and were augmented by Sailors, Airmen, Marines, civilians and Iraqis,” said Fil, who commanded the division during their 15-month tour to the Iraqi capital “The names engraved forever on this monument serve as a reminder to all of us of the determination, dedication and valor of the American fighting hand,” he said.
“As we carry the memory of the fallen in our hearts, I also want you to carry the pride that people served there earned for your months of selfless sacrifice and service to our nation even as our division prepares again to deploy.” In front of family members wearing shirts and pins decorated with the photos of their fallen heroes, the former commander described the formation of Soldiers who fought in Iraq as “the finest fighting force,” he has ever seen.
“Whenever we faced the enemy we won, but those victories came with a cost – the cost was high, but our cause was and is just, and our Soldiers know that and are proud of it,” he said.Although it was an honor to be a part of this, Spc. David Bates said, the cost was definitely felt by everyone.
Bates, an infantryman who deployed with the First Team, said he knew a couple names on the wall. He explained that he didn’t get to go to their funerals, the memorial ceremony served as a symbol of closure for him. During the rededication, the Lima, Ohio, native served as an usher, getting face-to-face with family members.
“It was difficult being there, because they were crying and very emotional,” said the Soldier with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, after he handed tissues to tearful families in the risers.
One of those families came all the way from Long Beach, Calif., to pay their respects to their hero, brother, son and father, medic Pfc. David Toomalatai.
“He’s a hero in our family. He sets an example for all of us,” said his sister Doreen Toomalatai. “I think that’s why (the ceremony) was so symbolic. The bells echoed name after name. They seemed to ring on for future generations.”
Doreen explained that her brother’s heroism will live on in his 2-year-old son, who was less than a year old when his father passed. Pfc. Toomalatai, along with his fellow comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice, are written into the history books.
“We remember them as they were in our silence, in our prayers,” Bolger said. At the end of the day, America’s First Team kept the promise written into the black stone, “Their sacrifice will always be remembered…”
Labels: Real Heroes
Girl Friday, 16 May 08
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
And Now We Present...
I. SHIT. YOU. NOT.
Labels: Wacky Stuff
Monday, May 12, 2008
PM of the Y
Ms. Jayde Nicole has been named Playboy's Playmate of the Year for 2008.
Interesting fact: she has the word "RESPECT" tattooed above her lady parts...classy!
Labels: Hot Chicks
Here He Comes...
From what I've heard, either or these is more entertaining and has more of a plot. The cartoon was never my fav so I wasn't going anyway.
Labels: The Movies
Wednesday, May 07, 2008|
Monday, May 05, 2008
Is This A Great Country Or What?
Now That's What I Call Classy...
Wife guilty of draining guardsman’s funds
The Associated Press
Posted : Monday May 5, 2008 18:07:05 EDT
ST. PAUL — A jury has convicted a woman of draining her husband’s investment accounts while he was serving in Iraq with the Minnesota National Guard.
It took a Ramsey County jury only a couple of hours to find Dana Kieser guilty on two felony counts of check forgery.
She was accused of forging the signature of her husband, John Kieser, to drain $25,000 from his investment accounts and to sell their Maplewood house. She used some of the money to buy a new house in Fargo, N.D...
I wish I could say this is the only time I've heard of this happening. Twice now during deployments I've know guys whose spouse has pulled something similar to this.
The word "bitch" springs to mind for some reason.
Labels: Controlling Bitches
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Pilot Breaks 6000 Hours In The F-16
From an USAF Press Release
Congratulations Lt. Col. Brill.
Air Force pilot breaks own world aviation record
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq -- Two F-16 Fighting Falcons stop at the arming pad here before embarking on a mission, May 1. Lt. Col. Michael Brill (top), a 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron pilot, broke his own world record of 5,000 flying hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon when he surpassed the 6,000 hours milestone May 2.
Not to pick nits but is being the high time guy in a certain aircraft really a "world record"? It's not like he ate the most hot dogs in 2 minutes or anything like that.
H/T The Jawa Report
It's A Small World After All...
Which all brings me to this...
As part of our staff course that I am compelled to attend, we are asked to attend a mentor-ship dinner where us, the grizzled old guys, are supposed to give advise and council to the Warrant Officer Candidates who are about to earn their bar and go on to flight school or whatever other MOS (military occupational specialty) they are there for. As it turns out the morale boost goes both ways.
We were asked to arrive at a certain time and we were segregated by MOS at tables in the same DFAC I swore I would never eat in again, when I left this place almost 20 years ago. Sitting there I wondered, since they had told us all of these soldiers had prior military experience, what did they really want from us...other than to be left alone, and get on with their version of the flight school experience.
As they sat down, it turns out they had a lot of the same concerns and feeling i had when I went through all those years ago. But then here's the catch, as looked around at these guys who had careers in the Army already, combat veterans, wearing patches, CABs and CIBs...these were their credentials. Something made them want to go to flight school. I asked the guy across from me wearing an 82nd airborne combat patch, "where did you serve?" He told me, "Baghdad" during the same time I was there. "Did you ever talk on the radio?", I asked. He answered in the affirmative and I then asked him if he recognized the call-sign, "Crazyhorse" (my unit call-sign). This opened up the floodgates of something I was not prepared for...immediately three out of the four candidates around me stated that "Crazyhorse" had saved them or their unit at one time or another. One soldier told me that our aircraft had saved him personally three times. To be honest I didn't know what to say. I was honored to sit there on behalf of all the pilots who used that call-sign and hear those expressions of gratitude. I was humbled to be in the presence of heroes who wanted to now join us. It's hard not to become a little cynical from time to time but after spending a few minutes with these soldiers, I think I got more out of this mentor-ship than they did from me.
Labels: Army Stuff
Friday, May 02, 2008
Hell, for all I know a Hughes Helicopter engineer did this arrangement...it's pretty cheesy.
LTC White's Graduation Speech
Labels: Real Heroes