Saturday, July 19, 2008

Obama's aides furious at McCain for blabbing about Dem's Mideast trip

Poor Obama. He is such a troubled guy that everyone picks on.

Obama's aides furious at McCain for blabbing about Dem's Mideast trip: "For weeks now, Barack Obama has closely guarded the details of his planned fact-finding trips to Afghanistan and Iraq, citing security concerns.

But Friday, the Democratic presidential hopeful's Republican rival, John McCain, may have let the secret out of the bag - infuriating some Obama supporters and putting Camp McCain on the defensive.

'I believe that either today or tomorrow - and I'm not privy to his schedule - Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators' who make up a congressional delegation, McCain told a campaign fund-raising luncheon. 'I am sure that Sen. Obama is going to arrive in Baghdad in a much, much safer and secure environment than the one that he would've encountered before we started the surge,' McCain added.

While refusing to confirm or deny anything about Obama's schedule, his aides were furious with McCain's comment. They noted every major news outlet has resisted speculating on the timing or location of Obama's war-zone maneuvers out of safety concerns."

The Story Is About Honor & Valor, Not Victims

This is the true story about what happened at the Combat Outpost in Afghanistan where the US slaughtered the hundreds of attacking Jihadis. It sounds like a great movie to me!

Now that I know the full story, this turned from a horrible incident into a heroic incident. Too bad the MSM could not report it that way.

Wolf Howling: The Story Is About Honor & Valor, Not Victims: " The story the MSM should be reporting has nothing in common with the NYT article. The story is how a reinforced platoon size element of soldiers, vastly outnumbered, defeated a joint Taliban and al Qaeda attack on their position. The nine men who died at that Combat Outpost were not nine victims. They were nine soldiers who paid the ultimate price for their bravery. Their bravery and valor and that of every man on that mountain is the story.

This from Jeff Emanuel provides the entire story:

. . . Three days before the attack, 45 U.S. paratroopers from the 173d Airborne, accompanied by 25 Afghan soldiers, made their way to Kunar province, a remote area in the northeastern Afghanistan-Pakistan border area, and established the beginnings of a small Combat Outpost (COP). Their movement into the area was noticed, and their tiny numbers and incomplete fortifications were quickly taken advantage of.

A combined force of up to 500 Taliban and al Qaeda fighters quickly moved into the nearby village of Wanat and prepared for their assault by evicting unallied residents and according to an anonymous senior Afghan defense ministry official, "us[ing] their houses to attack us."

Tribesmen in the town stayed behind "and helped the insurgents during the fight," General Mohammad Qasim Jangalbagh, the provincial police chief, told The Associated Press. Dug-in mortar firing positions were created, and with that indirect fire, as well as heavy machine gun and RPG fire from fixed positions, Taliban and al Qaeda fighters rushed the COP from three sides.

The attackers quickly breached the outer perimeter, and, under a withering barrage of supporting fire, a contingent of a mere 70 U.S. and Afghan soldiers combined were forced to fight for survival on their own outpost against the all-out assault from nearly 100 assailants.

The overwhelmingly outnumbered U.S. troops called in artillery, as well as fixed and rotary-wing air support, to help the repulse the attacking forces.
As recounted by the AP and other media outlets, nine U.S. paratroopers lost their lives -- a full fifth of the American contingent.

Further, fifteen U.S. and four Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the attack, meaning that, against an assault and support force of nearly 500 militant fighters, only 21 U.S. and 21 Afghan soldiers were able to fight at full strength -- and they succeeded not only in killing dozens of attackers, but in repelling the onslaught completely.

. . . Perhaps the most important takeaway from that encounter, though, is the one that the mainstream media couldn't be bothered to pay attention long enough to learn: that, not for the first time, a contingent of American soldiers that was outnumbered by up to a twenty-to-one ratio soundly and completely repulsed a complex, pre-planned assault by those dedicated enough to their cause to kill themselves in its pursuit.

That kind of heroism and against-all-odds success is and has been a hallmark of America's fighting men and women, and it is one that is worthy of all attention we can possibly give it."

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hizbullah moves into 'every town'

Naturally, Israel is worried about Hizballah moving back into the areas that it has announced it will stay out of, since the UN is totally worthless and seems to even be openly aiding them to rearm.

I wonder if nuking southern Lebanon is out of the question? The fallout would travel to Syria... Something to think about.

Hizbullah moves into 'every town' | Israel | Jerusalem Post: "Hizbullah is bolstering its presence in south Lebanon villages with non-Shi'ite majorities by buying land and using it to build military positions and store missiles and launchers, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The decision to build infrastructure in non-Shi'ite villages - where Hizbullah has less support - is part of the group's post-war strategy under which it has mostly abandoned the 'nature reserves,' forested areas in southern Lebanon where it kept most of its Katyusha rocket launchers before the Second Lebanon War.

Behind the change is the mandate given to UNIFIL by the United Nations after the war in 2006. According to the mandate, the peacekeeping force can patrol freely throughout southern Lebanon but cannot enter villages or cities without being accompanied by soldiers from the Lebanese Armed Forces, which regularly tips off Hizbullah ahead of the raids.

News of the change in Hizbullah strategy came as Israel is trying to persuade the UN to strengthen UNIFIL's mandate to give it the right to patrol the villages freely."

Mandatory Death Sentences for Internet Promotion of Apostasy in Iran

Tolerance? Since when does the Koran tolerate other religions? Well, it does tolerate Christians and Jews who admit that Muslims are their masters and pay money to be allowed to breathe.

Since I personally feel that Islam took a horrible shift at one point and left the Way of Peace for the Way of Jihad and War, I preach that Muslims should return to Judaism and Christianity. This means that if Iran gets its way, I will be dead, but they can piss up a rope until then.

The Jawa Report: Mandatory Death Sentences for Internet Promotion of Apostasy in Iran: "Iran is considering making the death penalty for apostasy mandatory. Not only for the apostate--the person leaving Islam--but for any one who promotes apostasy on the internet.

If the law takes effect, it would replace the current punishment for apostasy which gives the judge the option of imposing the death penalty.

Yes, Muhammad himself declared that apostates should have their heads cut off. Yet, Muslims insist that religious tolerance is part and parcel to the Religion of Peace.

I do not think that word tolerance means what they think it means.

Many liberal Muslims are opposed to anything in sharia that smacks of this kind of religious fascism. But you'd be hard pressed to find a single 'moderate' country with a Muslim majority that legally and openly allows religious conversion out of Islam."

US lawyer wants to promote the cause of terrorists

He wants to what??

Can we refuse to take this admitted terrorist back? Leave him in Yemen!

Besides, the known terrorists held at Gitmo have injured the guards many times, so of course they are carefully searched multiple times a day.

Law Blog - : Covington Partner Demonstrates Treatment of Detainees: "In a recent interview with the Yemen Observer, David Remes, a Covington & Burling partner who was in Yemen working on his representation of 15 Yemeni detainees at Gitmo, told the journalist that he had “two missions” during the visit: “first to meet the families of the men that I represent in Guantanamo and second, to do what I can to promote the cause of these men.”

RemesIt was in the name of this zealous advocacy that Remes (Columbia, Harvard Law) removed his pants at a news conference on Monday. This morning, we caught up with Remes, who had just landed at JFK after a 14-hour flight from Dubai.

“I’d been to Guantanamo in mid-June,” explained Remes, “and there’s a certain amount of normalcy that has settled over the normal miserable conditions of confinement, which amount to solitary confinement without sleep and without sunlight and without anyone to talk to. So at the news conference, I said that, in addition to this torment, which has become so typical that we don’t even talk about it anymore, now the torment also consists of constant body searches in which the men are required to pull their shirts up to their chest, drop their pants, and then the corn-fed U.S. military sticks their"

Police officers attacked by mob over litter row

What silly cops! Don't they know that making a black girl pick up litter is racist? The appropriate response would have been to toss more litter on the ground to make her feel good about herself.

Or to beat her insolent, gang-banging butt into having a little respect for society and the laws there unto pertaining.

Police officers attacked by mob over litter row - Times Online: "Police said violence was sparked after the patrolling officers confronted the teenage girl at about 3pm.

They asked her to pick up a fast food wrapper from a nearby takeaway which she did, before immediately dropping it in front of them.

When they asked her to pick it up again a friend with the girl became aggressive towards the officers.

The incident escalated quickly as a group of 30 people gathered around the officers and attacked them. Around five young females were joined by a group of older males in their thirties and forties. All members of the gang were described as black."

On Samir Kuntar

Before you follow the link, try to answer the question yourself.

I think this terrorist pig needs to be released and then his welcome home rally needs to be bombed flat. The terrorists traded two corpses for this guy and bunch of others. Now make them corpses. It is only fair.

Anyone have a better idea of what to do to this scum bag?

Rantings of a Sandmonkey » On Samir Kuntar: "Samir Kuntar, in case you didn't know, is the main guy that Hezbollah kidnapped the 2 israeli soldiers to get back. This is how Hezbollah sees it:

media refer to Kuntar as the 'dean' of Lebanese prisoners in Israel. He
has been in prison for 28 years, and Hizballah wants him out.

Kuntar was jailed for an attack launched by a Lebanon-based Palestinian
terrorist group before Hizballah was even established, Hizballah
depicts itself as the vanguard of the Islamic campaign against Israel
and regards winning freedom for the prisoners a 'sacred duty.'

What was he jailed for exactly?"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Debate in Iraq for removing US Forces

It is interesting to see the similarities between the Iraqi and Leftist American positions for the US leaving Iraq. There are some differences, naturally, but even those can be whittled down a little and be even more similar.

The Left in the West does not want the Iraqis to be Westernized if there is anyway to blame failure on Bush and the Right Wing. The Iraqis do not need to be Westernized, just brought up to a civilized modern standard so that they are less tempted to harm others unless attacked first.

Iraq: Shia Saddams Standing By: "The war is basically over in Iraq, but the peace brings with it a return to the corruption and inefficiency that has cursed this part of the world for centuries. There are other annoying habits, like demanding "compensation" for any real or imagined loss that might possibly be pinned on U.S. troops. It's also popular to demand, with a straight face, that U.S. troops fix utilities, schools and whatever else people want, but are unwilling to take care of themselves. Peace has not brought out the best in the Iraqi people.

The war is still going on, but now it's more of a police operation. U.S. and Iraqi forces are searching for several hundred known terrorists. Some of them are showing up outside the country, giving rise to the belief that al Qaeda has abandoned Iraq. This is apparently the case, but there are several other Sunni Arab terrorist organizations that will never give up. For these groups, tolerating Shia Arab rule of Iraq is a sin, and the sinners must be punished. Terror attacks are way down, but they can be expected to continue for years.

The U.S. is negotiating, with the Iraqi government, a renewal of its authority to operate in Iraq. This authority expires at the end of the year. As part of the negotiations, the Iraqis are asking for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. This is popular with many Iraqis, especially those in the government who are getting rich by stealing oil money. As long as the American troops are in the country, auditors have armed protection and can be very effective at revealing the thefts and getting the thieves punished. This makes thieving government officials very uncomfortable. Corruption in general remains a major problem (as it is in all Middle Eastern countries). While many Iraqis would like to see clean government, they are usually not the ones who get elected (elections involve a lot of bribery and trading of favors.) "

Death penalty call for man who spread Koran translation

Sometimes I wonder why we are trying to help these people to return to the barbarian ways. Well, I guess even barbarians can desire to live in peace and freedom for their leaders. They should be able to live in peace, as long as they are not trying to harm others. No war, or get back a war yourself. Just ask the Taliban!

AKI - Adnkronos international Afghanistan: Death penalty call for man who spread Koran translation: "'This is all an American conspiracy to deviate Afghans from their faith,' said Al-Hajj Farooq Hussaini, the leader of a Muslim prayer association in the western city of Herat in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).

'They want us to be converted Christians or simply atheists. This American occupation of Afghanistan is worse than the occupation of Afghanistan by the Soviets,' he said.

Hussaini also referred to the case of Abdul Rahman, an Afghan Christian convert who was granted asylum in Italy in 2006. Rahman escaped a possible death sentence in Afghanistan for becoming a Christian.

'Earlier they protected Abdul Rahman who left Islam and converted to Christianity and now they are encouraging the distribution of the fake translations of Koran,' said Hussaini who is also the leader of a group led by Ismail Khan, Afghanistan's Energy Minister.

'Ghows Zalmay should be given an exemplary punishment for his crime,' he said.

Many Muslim bloggers have labelled some new translations of the Koran, as the 'American Koran', which they say is unauthentic and aimed at distracting Muslims from their faith."

If it weren’t for the Marines

I love these humanitarian stories from the War zones. It is always nice to see Americans taking care of things that are within the abilities of the greatest nation on earth! Especially my Marines! Semper Fi, boys!

Go read the rest of this story to find out if you can help this poor kid. He needs the help. Thank the Lord for the people who help out kids like this.

If it weren’t for the Marines « MK’s Views - Down under on the right side: "Since his birth, Ahmed has suffered from a rare but fatal heart condition that if left untreated, will eventually kill him at an unthinkable, young age. Ahmed’s parents first noticed there was something wrong with their son when he was a year old. The medical condition present in Ahmed’s cardiac system keeps needed oxygen from reaching organs like a normal person’s circulatory system would, causing a bluish coloring around the eyes and on the face. Tasks such as walking up a set of stairs are very tedious for the young boy because of his medical condition.

Ahmed runs completely out of breath performing the simplest of daily activities. “I was extremely worried all these years, that I might not be able to get the help my son needs,” said Mallouki. “In our culture, the first born is very important and this is our first son.” Only recently did the light begin to peak through at the end of a dark tunnel for Ahmed and his family when Marines from Company B, Police Transition Team 8, Regimental Combat Team 1, and a charitable organization called “Gift of Life,” based in Tampa, Fla. intervened.

Ahmed’s condition was diagnosed at Fallujah Surgical when Marines took him in for an examination, said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Craig W. Pasanen, a corpsmen with the team. Doctors discovered a hole in the septum of his heart that causes oxygen and deoxygenated blood to pass through the heart and not the lungs. Mallouki and his son have been working with coalition forces for the past year in attempts to get the money and medical attention that they so desperately need to help Ahmed."

Blagojevich Says Chicago Is 'Out Of Control'

Blagojevich Says Chicago Is 'Out Of Control' - News Story - WMAQ | Chicago: "As Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday signed a new law that will put in place tougher penalties for selling guns to minors, he also announced he's got a new idea to help combat the violence that Chicago is experiencing: he's talking to the Illinois State Police and the National Guard to see if they could help.

The Chicago Sun-Times depicted Blagojevich as the 'new sheriff in town' Thursday morning in its coverage of the governor's plan to form an 'elite tactical team' to help the city fight crime.

'Violent crime in the city of Chicago is out of control,' Blagojevich said at the bill signing ceremony. 'I'm offering resources of the state to the city to work in a constructive way with Mayor Daley to do everything we can possibly do to help stop this violence,' said the governor.

The summer of 2008 will be remembered as especially violent. Blagojevich said there's been a child shot nearly every day since June 26, with 29 Chicago Public School students shot since last fall."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My thoughts on Blackwater

I was recently asked to comment about Blackwater and their PR spin.

Hi, CL

I think that Blackwater might do something like this to improve public relations, but it is also good business for them to work to help their employers (the US military) to do things. Since they work closely with the government at all levels, look at the good they do at the local level in US disaster areas, it is natural that they would help out when they can. By doing a small favor like moving freight, they have made friends in the Guard and Reserve and among the locals. Not a bad deal!

This means that they can now find a little help with locals for labor and interpreters, and maybe even recruit a few of the Americans for their company.

I like Blackwater, and even admit they have faults, but their faults are no where near as horrible and some people would have us believe.

For example, the whole mess that got them examined in Iraq, where they claimed to have returned fire, but it seems they fired first, I tend to split the blame. I think that if you have a bunch of people keyed up for an attack, even a little honest mistake can lead to a big disaster. In a war zone, good people will make mistakes and kill innocents. I feel sorry for the people in the crossfire, but the terrorists have a nasty habit of hiding in crowds before they fire on the security forces. They are the real criminals! It amazes me that the Blackwater boys are able to restrain themselves enough to not make that mistake more often.

Thanks for asking!

Also, you might want to review the use of private contractors since medieval times. General Washington used many private contractors to fight to free America from the British Empire and it has been that way until after WWII. Then the US military removed most, but not all civilian berths and replaced the civilians with trained fighting men. As a Grad Student you are an excellent researcher, I know! Good luck.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The dollar’s slide: 1/3 down and falling faster

I saw this linked in another blog's comments and decided to post it here. It is not a big article and does not draw any conclusions, it allows us to think about the facts and decide for our selves. That is certainly different from most papers who want to tell us what to think about something.

FT Alphaville » Blog Archive » The dollar’s slide: 1/3 down and falling faster: "We’ve posted this before - but as the ailing US currency drops through $1.47 against the euro and $2.10 against sterling, it merits a second (and updated) airing.

The chart comes from Sempra Metals, who make a couple of additional points:

* The US dollar has now lost more than a third of its value (-35%) against a basket of major currencies since Feb 2002.
* The decline is accelerating. The USD has shed -12.5% of its value in the last year, -3.5% in the last month, and -1.5% in the last week alone."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Western Resistance: Russia: An Eye for an Eye, Islam on the Streets

Go read this story! It made me sad for a little, then it turned into an inspirational piece that make me very happy. It is wonderful. Enjoy it.

Western Resistance: Russia: An Eye for an Eye, Islam on the Streets: "Russia: An Eye for an Eye, Islam on the Streets

The story below was told to me by a Russian friend, a most respectable and upstanding person, and so I have no reason to doubt its veracity.... I've typed it below pretty much as he told me over dinner a few nights ago... At the end, some readers might think, ``Well, whatever happened to `Turn the other cheek''... That's a valid comment; but when violent and fanatical Muslims take their malicious plans and aspirations into one's own front yard, the right to self defense is even more valid."

Israelis Helped Secure Betancourt's Escape From FARC rebels

Israelis Helped Secure Betancourt's Escape From FARC rebels - Middle East Times: "Betancourt's captors put her on a helicopter that arrived as scheduled, little knowing that their comrades-in-arms were actually undercover Colombian soldiers. Betancourt and 14 other hostages who had been held in the jungle, including three Americans, were freed.

As Betancourt savored her first moments of freedom, the international media went into a collective feeding frenzy as her face appeared on newspapers and TV screens around the globe.

The Israeli media in particular made a meal of the moment as Betancourt had referred to Israeli help in gaining her freedom. It was ex-Israeli commandos who were responsible for advising and helping Columbian forces to free the captives.

Last year, a group of Israeli military advisers, on receiving approval from the Israeli Defense Ministry, took up residence in Colombia in order to assist the army there, the special units in particular.

This followed a request by Columbia asking Israel for help in its struggle against FARC which had become infamous for kidnapping civilians and military figures for ransom and drug trading."

Iranian Early Warning Station, Anti-Air Base on Lebanese Peak

DEBKAfile - Iranian Early Warning Station, Anti-Air Base on Lebanese Peak: "military sources reveal that military movements carried out in the last two weeks by Hizballah in conjunction with Tehran and Damascus can only be interpreted as preparations for war. Lebanese sources have been saying openly that Syria, Iran and Hizballah are now in position for a new Middle East confrontation.

This development was kept under tight wraps by prime minister Ehud Olmert, the defense and foreign ministers and the chief of staff. Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

Senior IDF officers told DEBKAfile: If the new military facts on the ground in Lebanon are allowed to stay in place, the next war Hizballah launches with Syria and Iran will find Israel’s ground, sea and air forces at a grave strategic disadvantage.

Yet there are no signs of Israel’s policy-makers budging."

Cairo to Damascus: St. Patrick's Day with the Green Shirts

Solomonia is doing a history of Islams war on Israel. I like it and figured that any Lefties who read my comment can use the education. Go read this
Solomonia: Cairo to Damascus: St. Patrick's Day with the Green Shirts: "A dust cloud became visible in the distance. A welcoming shout went up. It turned out to be a column of soldiers, marching with their banners in the wind -- a contingent of about two hundred volunteers bound for Palestine under Misr el Fattat auspices. They were dressed in war-surplus khaki and the Arab headpiece...Their faces were bronzed by the Nile sun, their hands bony from toil. They were fellaheen -- those lowest in the social scale, usually tenant-slave farmers or unskilled workers. They joined the Green Shirt columns, and together marched past a guard of honor of Green Shirt officials. I began to photograph the scene with one policeman behind me, the other at my side. Suddenly, as the massed banners and flags passed by, a dozen Green Shirt arms shot out in the old-fashioned Fascist salute. To snap or not to snap! What would the police say? Nervously, I took two photographs of the saluting soldiers. Nothing happened...

...'Take a picture of my daughters,' Hussein said. 'I have named them Faith and Liberty.' Hussein's wife was nowhere in evidence, faithful to the Moslem tradition that no decent woman ever shows her face to strangers. In his military dress and cap, hands on hips, jaw stuck out, Hussein on the balcony of his home imitated Il Duce. Hussein had..."

Lab holding fatal germs loses power

Lab holding fatal germs loses power: "An Atlanta laboratory holding several potentially harmful germs, including a fatal strain of avian flu, lost power for at least an hour, officials said.

Four buildings were left without electricity Friday when a backup generator malfunctioned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said no employees or members of the public were harmed in the incident.

The power failure is the most recent incident in a series of technical problems at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention campus, the newspaper said.

It's important for people to understand that even though we lose power to these facilities from time to time, worker safety and the public's safety is not in jeopardy because multiple, redundant systems are in place, separate from those that rely on power, Skinner said."

BORELLI CONSULTING: Recreational Equipment Reviews

I am worried about planning at all times and am often looking for a good survival kit so that when the Left finally gets openly violent and starts to attack everyone else I will be prepared. Mr Borelli is a great guy for advice on this subject and I thought this review might help anyone else who is worried about the same stuff.

BORELLI CONSULTING: Recreational Equipment Reviews: "Depending on your background, whether or not you spent time in the military, what type of family you were raised in, etc you may or may not have received any training in the basic necessities of survival. It’s okay if you haven’t received any training because there are only about a gazillion survival kits available for sale through a boatload of catalogue and online companies. But which one do you need? This isn’t a review of which ones are best, but instead a look at what items such a “kit” should contain. Then you can select which one suits your purposes and/or build one of your own."

Iraq War Media Deceptions 101

SBVOR: Iraq War Media Deceptions 101: "1) Iraq had WMD stockpiles and the United Nations knew it!

If Saddam had no stockpiles of WMD, how do you explain 17 UN Security Council Resolutions over a period of 12 years, 14 of which deal directly with WMD?

Pay special attention to UNSCR 1441, which essentially said to Saddam (paraphrasing):

“Better hide the WMD, The United States will be invading 30 days from today”

But, that notice was given on 11/8/02 and we did not invade until 3/20/03. No wonder we have not found most of the WMD which the United Nations KNEW was there!

Even so, ISG, post war, REPORTED they found limited quantities of WMD. ISG also found clear evidence of intent to produce more WMD, including thermonuclear weapons. They failed to find clear evidence of large quantities of recently manufactured WMD. But, they were also:

“unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war.”

Various other sources offer evidence that the WMD was evacuated to Syria.

Given fighter jets were buried in the desert, there clearly exists the possibility that WMD was buried in the desert."

British bust terrorist drug shipment

British bust terrorist drug shipment - "The British Royal Navy announced the seizure of more than 25 tons of narcotics during an operation in the Persian Gulf.

Royal Navy crews from the HMS Chatham, HMS Montrose and HMS Edinburgh, while patrolling the Persian Gulf, discovered the drugs, including hashish, opiates, cocaine and amphetamines, hidden in fishing vessels.

British officials suspect the drugs were part of a terrorist network's efforts to raise funds for insurgency operations in Afghanistan, the British Ministry of Defense reported.

'The scourge of illegal drugs is one of the gravest threats to the long-term security of Afghanistan and a vital source of funding for the Taliban warlords who seek violence against Afghan, British and NATO forces,' Commodore Keith Winstanley, commander of the Royal Navy in the Persian Gulf, said in a statement.

'Our mission in Afghanistan is one of absolute importance, and by seizing these drugs we have dealt a significant blow to the illegal trade.'"

Dogs of War: The founding contractors -

Dogs of War: The founding contractors - "According to the U.S. Merchant Marine, during the six years of the American Revolution, the Continental Navy consisted of only 64 ships. The Continental Navy had an arsenal of 1,246 guns aboard its boats and ships; the privateers had 14,872. The Continental Navy captured 196 enemy ships compared to the privateers' 2,283.

If current private military firms had a record like that, nobody would ever question their claims of cost effectiveness. Indeed, their actions were so vital to the creation of the country that private contractors are even referenced in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which concerns the right of Congress to issue letters of marque and reprisal to attack enemy shipping. Today's private military firms can only look enviously at testimonials like that.

This wartime privateering was essentially a conflict between business and morality, and has been central to the way America thinks about military and war issues since the country's beginnings."

The Irish wonder why we are even voting

BLACKFIVE: The Irish wonder why we are even voting: "An email from Ireland to the brethren in the States...a point to ponder despite your political affiliation:

'We, in Ireland , can't figure out why people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States .

On one side, you have a pants wearing lawyer, married to a lawyer who can't keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer who goes to the wrong church who is married to yet another lawyer who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run.

Now...On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate Mc terminology, married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship.

What in Lords name are ye lads thinking over there in the colonies??"

California Fire Relief

More good news about Blackwater. Thanks for all your help around the world!

Untitled Document: "

Blackwater Worldwide Provides Relief within a Fire
90,000 Acres Burn, 211 Homes Destroyed

Maintaining a source of contractors with firefighting and disaster relief training and experience, Blackwater Worldwide stood poised to come to the aid of southern California amidst recent fires sweeping across San Diego County.

A few miles north of the U.S. and Mexico border, nearly 350 residents from the rural town of Potrero, were trapped by the fires that has destroyed at least 473 homes and buildings and consuming 90,440 acres of prime real estate. In this crisis, residents living a normal life found themselves suffering from lack of power, fuel, food, and relief supplies.

After the wildfires swept through the area, Blackwater donated food and supplies while offering aid in the form of supplies and service. State Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (R-36th District) announced to the Potrero community that Blackwater has set up a “tent city” at nearby Barrett Junction, providing shelter for 200 displaced residents

Land near Dulzura, California was cleared of debris and flattened with where the tents, donated by Blackwater went up. Brian Bonfiglio, vice president of Blackwater West said, “Each tent has air conditioning, heating and lighting. The tents were inspected by county officials before residents moved in.”

Nearly 10,000 pounds of boxes arrived from Blackwater’s headquarters in Moyock, North Carolina. These supplies included tents, sleeping bags, clothing, televisions, DVD players, VCR’s, microwave ovens, boots and such creature comforts as coffee makers. Trailers arrived shortly after with male and female showers, one including three washing machines and three clothes dryers. These conveniences are being made to local residents, even those who don't stay at the tent city. Blackwater offered a three-month commitment to the displaced residents, including everything from food to shelter all free of charge.

Bonfiglio said, “Blackwater believes in helping communities and in keeping with the American spirit, wants to aid those in California in this great time of need. This is something we've always done. This is what we do.” "

Operation Backpack

I like hearing about good humanitarian efforts that bring goods to the poor, and not to their usually brutal overlords. I am also glad that Blackwater is getting a little good press for their efforts. Of course, it is only a little good press because the Media can not admit that Blackwater could do anything good.

Thank you to the Guard and Reserve units that started this effort. It is guys like you that make America great.

Blackwater Foundation: "Operation Backpack: Blackwater Worldwide in Action -
Camp Alamo, Afghanistan

Blackwater Worldwide logistics and procurement team members are known for their ability to acquire and transport anything, anywhere, and deliver it on time. But it’s not only contract work that motivates Blackwater logisticians to be the best. Working with U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan, Blackwater helped make a dramatic impact on Afghani families living near an American base.

Beginning in late 2006, U.S. Army National Guard and Navy Reserve unit personnel took action to help stem the tide of misery and poverty just outside their base, Camp Alamo near Kabul, Afghanistan. Dubbed “Operation Backpack”, the project began as a small, grass-roots effort on the part of several soldiers and sailors to gather donations; school supplies, clothes, and personal items for the children were in great demand. The response from donors in the United States was overwhelming, but the logistical challenges were daunting as donated items piled up stateside waiting for delivery. With no charitable infrastructure to pack, warehouse, and ship the larger-than-expected donations streaming in, the deployed servicemen turned to Blackwater Worldwide for assistance.

For over six months in 2007, Blackwater donated expertise, time, and supplies to help make Operation Backpack a success. Blackwater logisticians contributed by sorting and loading donated goods stateside and by providing temporary warehouse space until shipments could be sent forward to Afghanistan. Once the flights were scheduled, supplies were crated in tri-wall shipping containers at Blackwater’s North Carolina headquarters, trucked to the airport, and flown to Afghanistan. Upon arrival in Kabul, Blackwater personnel stored the containers in warehouses and helped U.S. servicemen distribute the donated goods to needy families. In all, more than 25 tri-wall containers were packed and shipped by Blackwater to help make Operation Backpack a resounding success. "

Strong Medicine - Combat Information Center analysis, facts and figures about military conflicts and leaders: "Strong Medicine

The launching of H.M.S. Dreadnought in 1905 touched off a naval arms race that saw something like 125 battleships and battlecruisers laid down before the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Of these, almost a third were built by Britain. In a show of imperial unity, several dominions and colonies offered to help defray the cost of this great shipbuilding program. In this way, two new battlecruisers of the Indefatigable Class were laid down in 1910, sponsored by Australia and New Zealand, and named, appropriately enough, in their honor. Of these, Australia became the nucleus of the new Royal Australian Navy. New Zealand , on the other hand, was presented to the Royal Navy, because the Dominion could not afford to man and operate her; in fact, New Zealand had to go into debt to find the £1,684,990 to pay for the ship, a loan that was not finally paid off until two world wars had past.

Displacing some 22,000 tons at full load, H.M.S. New Zealand was an imposing vessel, toting eight 12-inch rifles at speeds up to 26 knots. Shortly after she was commissioned, in November of 1912, the Royal Navy thoughtfully sent the new battlecruiser on a good will visit to New Zealand, to show the folks what all that debt had gotten them.

While touring New Zealand in April, May, and June of 1913, the ship was visited by a delegation of Maori chiefs. The chiefs pronounced some traditional Maori blessings on her, and also presented a number of gifts. One of these was a ship’s wheel made from native woods and inscribed with the defiant war cry of the famous Maori chief Rewi Maniapoto, "Ake! Ake! Ake! Kia Kaha! –We will fight on, for ever and ever and ever!” In addition, the ship’s captain was given a green stone tiki pendant and a traditional Maori piu-piu, a black and white flax war kilt, and told that if he wore these in battle the ship would never come to harm.

New Zealand’s captains followed these instructions. And no harm befell the ship at the battles of Helgoland Bight (August 14, 1914) and Dogger Bank (January 24, 1915). Indeed, at Dogger Bank, when Vice-Admiral David Beatty came aboard New Zealand after having to abandon his flagship due to damage, he found Captain Lionel Halsey wearing both the tiki and piu-piu.

At Jutland (May 31-June1, 1916), New Zealand’s skipper, John Green, wore only the tiki, for he was little too plump to look good in the piu-piu. Nevertheless, Green kept the piu-piu close at hand, hanging in the ship’s conning tower. Even so, the talismans provided excellent protection; of six ships in the Battle Cruiser Fleet, two blew up under enemy fire, Indefatigable and Queen Mary, while Princess Royal, Tiger, and Lion, were heavily damaged, suffering several casualties, Lion only surviving by chance and raw courage. In contrast, New Zealand took a single hit, and lost only one crewmember, a pet canary.

The battlecruiser returned to visit New Zealand in 1919, carrying Admiral Lord Jellicoe on a good will tour of the Dominions. She was shortly afterward decommissioned, and was scrapped in 1922 as part of international arms reduction efforts.

Battlecruisers were known for the weakness of their armor, but H.M.S. New Zealand was clearly much better protected than most. And the tiki and piu-piu? Well, they’re preserved at a museum in New Zealand, but are apparently not currently on exhibit."

Red Cross spokeswoman equates Nato with the Taliban over civilian casualties

I think that if the Red Cross can't tell the difference between the Taliban and NATO, then they should be able to ignore the difference between my contributions and my lack of contributions. When they learn to distinguish between suicidal bombers attacking a market and a NATO bomb accidentally destroying a party, then they will get my money again.

The Monkey Tennis Centre: Red Cross spokeswoman equates Nato with the Taliban over civilian casualties: "The BBC has been making hay with the news that a US airstrike in Afghanistan last week apparently killed around 50 civilians, sending its reporters hiking through the mountains to collect first-hand accounts of the tragedy, and generally giving the incident the sort of coverage that it wouldn't give to a story about 50 civilians being killed by the Taliban.

It's no more than we've come to expect from the BBC, and the Western news media in general. But grudging credit where it's due: when Peter Allen of the Beeb's Radio Five Live interviewed Carla Haddad, a spokeswoman from the International Committee of the Red Cross, about the incident he at least attempted to make a distinction between civilians being accidentally killed by Nato forces, and the Taliban's deliberate targeting of civilians.

Haddad was having none of it. Despite being invited to do so by Allen, she refuses to accept that there's any difference between Nato's actions and those of the Taliban, instead falling back on platitudes about appealing to 'all parties' in the conflict, and generally doing a passable imitation of a greased weasel playing Twister."

17 Women Freed From UAE Slavers In Brussels

I thought that the Black Panthers in the US became Muslims because Muslims did not have slaves? So, I guess the UAE is starting to allow other religions! This is good news!

Well, it is good if you believe in crap like I spewed above. To me, it is just further proof that Muslims refuse to live by the standards of the local population, as they enforce in their own lands. Free the Slaves! Ban True Islam!

(Just kidding! I respect the early Islam that Mohammad preached, but lost it as the Prophet became very violent. )

Gateway Pundit: 17 Women Freed From UAE Slavers In Brussels: "17 'slaves' were freed from an Arab royal family at a hotel in Brussels.
The 17 women were enslaved by the widow of a senior royal figure from the United Arab Emirates and her four daughters.
The Telegraph reported:

Seventeen women have been taken by police from a luxury hotel in Brussels amid allegations that they had been enslaved by an Arab royal family.

Police officers and officials from Belgium's Labour Audit Authority raided the Conrad Hotel, the city's most prestigious and the preferred choice of many national leaders during European Union summits, on Tuesday evening."

Israeli Lifeguard Finds 2,500-Year-Old Sea Relic

This is a cool find. One of the things I love about Israel is that they have so much history. So many civilizations have passed through that area that it is possible to frace most of the world's history from finds in Israel. Very cool. - Israeli Lifeguard Finds 2,500-Year-Old Sea Relic - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News: "An Israeli lifeguard taking his regular morning swim off the Mediterranean coast in southern Israel discovered a 2,500-year-old marble talisman to ward off the evil eye, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Sunday.

The lifeguard turned over the ancient disc that once adorned the bow of an ancient warship or cargo ship to keep evil away, the Israeli archaeology body said.

Experts say the relic, discovered off the coast Palmahim beach where the ancient Yavne-Yam port city once stood, dates back to the 5th or 4th century B.C. The white disc, flat on one side and convex on the other, measures 8 inches in diameter. The center of the disc is perforated, and the remains of two circles are painted around the center of it to represent the pupil of an eye."

Taliban launch deadly attack on a combat outpost in Afghanistan's Kunar province

Honest bad news from the front. Still, in any other war the loss of nine guys at a forward outpost would not make a headline. If this is the best the Taliban can do to harm our troops, then they are doomed.

Taliban launch deadly attack on a combat outpost in Afghanistan's Kunar province - The Long War Journal: "The Taliban launched a complex attack against a newly established combat outpost in the Pech district in Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar. Heavy fighting is currently underway, and US forces have taken multiple casualties in the attack. Nine US soldiers have been killed during the battle.

The Taliban launched the attack early this morning at approximately 4:30 AM according to a press release from the International Security Assistance Force. The Taliban initiated the battle 'with small arms, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars using homes, shops and the mosque in the village of Wanat for cover.'

Afghan and US forces based at the outpost have fought back and called in artillery and helicopter support and airstrikes.

Afghan, US, and Taliban casualties had not been released as the fighting is ongoing, but ISAF reported that 'there have been casualties on both sides of the fight.' The Associated Press reported that nine US soldiers have been killed. ISAF later confirmed nine US troops were killed, and 15 US soldiers and four Afghan troops were wounded. The attack is one of the largest incidents of US casualties during a ground engagement in Afghanistan."

For more information this is good: - Officials: More Than 100 Militants Attacked, Breached U.S. Base - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News: "An insurgent force of more than 100 fighters breached the outer walls of a small, remote U.S. outpost that was built just last week, allowing insurgents to attack American soldiers from the inside, where they inflicted heavy casualties, officials said Monday.

The assault early Sunday killed nine American soldiers and wounded 15 in the deadliest attack against U.S. forces in Afghanistan in three years.

The insurgent assault was launched from multiple sides and was a "concerted attempt" to overrun the small base completed on Friday, said an official with NATO's International Security Assistance Force who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to release the information.

A huge wave of insurgents attacked the outpost and an unknown number of militants got inside, the reason the fighters were able to inflict such high casualties, a second military official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

After the breach, U.S. troops pushed back against the invading militants, and attack helicopters swooped in. The second official said more than 40 insurgents were killed in the fighting.

The insurgent force was described as being in the "low three figures," meaning low hundreds, the first official said.

Ghulam Farooq, a top police official in Nuristan province, which neighbors Kunar and the region of the attack, said that Afghans living in the village of Wanat deserted the area on Friday and Saturday — the days the U.S. base would have been first constructed.

Farooq said the insurgent forces of Hezb-i-Islami, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and the Taliban are in the area. He said Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters operate there.

The militants fired on the American outpost from homes and a mosque in the village of Wanat. The attack began around 4:30 a.m. and the fighting lasted much of the day."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mediterranean union wants to rid Mideast of WMDs

This 'union' sounds predestined to fail. But it is a nice idea.

Mediterranean union wants to rid Mideast of WMDs: "Forty-three nations, including Israel and Arab states, pledged Sunday to work for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction at the close of a summit to launch an unprecedented Union for the Mediterranean aimed at securing peace across the restive region.

In a final declaration, Israel, Syria, the Palestinians along with countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa agreed to 'pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction.'

The countries committed to 'consider practical steps to prevent the proliferation' of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their delivery systems. It was unclear, however, how the signatories—who included Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Syrian President Bashar Assad—would enforce the pledge.

Israel is widely believed to have a stockpile of nuclear weapons but neither confirms nor denies it has them—an ambiguity meant to scare potential enemies from considering an annihilating attack while denying them the rationale for developing their own nuclear deterrent."

Gloves Off in Pakistan?

About freakin time that someone started to notice this. If the Jawa has, then the Media might not be far behind.

The Jawa Report: Gloves Off in Pakistan?: "The problem the Pakistanis face is that a majority of their own population has some sympathies with the Taliban. To directly confront them would be a disaster. To do nothing would also be a disaster. So they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Letting us do their dirty work for them while the publicly make a stink about us is about as good as it's going to get for the world's largest failed nuclear state.

This IBD editorial has background:

It appears hawks within the Pentagon and CIA have won a long-running policy battle with risk-averse officials in the administration and diplomats at the State Department. The result is a more aggressive, go-it-alone policy in response to Pakistan's failure to disrupt terrorist training camps and cross-border attacks against our troops and the Afghan government....The U.S. military confirms it is sending extra air power to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border by moving the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln from the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. The battle group ostensibly will provide air support for special forces who reportedly have been given the green light — after tumultuous debate within the White House — to conduct raids deep inside Pakistan's tribal belt to eradicate al-Qaida and Taliban bases.

Unfortunately, we will never have a solution to the Pakistan problem. The best we can hope for is that when the smoke clears from the inevitable escalation of what already is a civil war, that the anti-Taliban factions will hold all the keys to Pakistans nukes."

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