Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mohammed my friend ...

This is from Iraq The Model:

Monday, May 30, 2005

Following Operation Lightning.
Yesterday operation lightning began and we noticed an excessive presence of the Iraqi army and police forces on the streets and main squares in Baghdad with an obvious readiness for confronting the terrorists.

It's become clear that the phenomenon of seeing terrorists taking control of streets and government buildings in Baghdad had diminished long time ago but it's not completely over yet. And I guess that operation lightning will mobilize the terrorists out of their hides because awaiting clashing with the security forces is worse (from the terrorists point of view) is much worse than the fight itself and they realize that having their hides assaulted one at a time will render them weaker as they would have to fight in much smaller groups.

Baghdad had witnessed high activity for the terrorists in the western part of the city which is geographically close to Anbar province; around a hundred armed men tried to control a police station where many of the most dangerous criminals were kept in custody and it seems that one of the prisoners is of significant value to the terrorists and my assumption is that the police force in charge wasn’t aware of the importance of that prisoner.

The attackers detonated a number of car bombs in the nearby intersections apparently in an attempt to prevent Iraqi or American reinforcements from reaching the operation scene while they attacked the police station with mortars and RPGs.
The battle lasted for more than 2 hours and helicopters and jet fighters attended the scene and eye witnesses said that some f-16's patrolled the area at very low altitudes but didn't fire at anything.

The policemen fought bravely and defended their station and the attack was successfully repelled after a number of the attackers got killed while the rest fled the area but additional army and police forces blocked the adjacent streets and started chasing the terrorists.

According to news sources in Baghdad, hundreds (nearly 500) suspects were captured in the 1st 24 hours of operation lightning and many weapons were confiscated; some were hidden in caches while others were found during inspecting vehicles in checkpoints.

If we follow the curve of the terrorists power we'll find that the curve is going down in general and I believe that they cannot win the battle on the strategic or the tactical level.
The illusion of the "resistance" had anaesthetized many people that they even forgot all logical and scientific calculations and I don't know how those people are going to deal with the facts when the terrorists are completely defeated.
We've been challenged in our home and we cannot afford to runaway from the challenges and keep weeping about the past. It's our battle and it's a battle for existence and that's why we must fight it to the end.


Of course - we won't see anything like this in the MSM ... and the left will probably lament all the "innocents" that get caught up in the round up.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Sith ... yet another review.

I could not have produced a better review than the one written by NC's own Orson Scott Card.
(Hat-tip: vodkapundit)

Here's a snippet:

But the story itself, the epic that had so inspired Young Mr. Lucas, does have grandeur in it that his own ineptness was unable to destroy. There is power in the sheer ambition of it. Sitting in the flickering light of a dying fire, listening to the old man tell us the tale he learned in his youth, we are captivated despite the cracking of the old man's voice and the fact that everything he says is a cliche. For we know, at some level, that the tale has some truth in it.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I was reading an article on Chrenkoff commenting on Donald Trumps proposal for replacing the WTC towers.

I have to agree with the man. I think the best thing for New York, New Yorkers and this country is to rebuild the towers bigger, better and stronger. I don't like the Freedom Towers concept. The last 276 ft of the tower is basically a skeleton. The architectural homages included within the design are just too fancy for my taste and don't reflect the true nature of the American People post 9/11.

Of course, as always, this is just my opinion. Please feel free to comment.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Moore Minutemen die for the "cause" ...

From the StrategyPage:

May 13, 2005; Sunni Arab terrorists have stepped up their violence, with over 400 civilians killed so far this month. American casualties are up as well, with about two coalition troops dying each day, versus one a day two months ago. But more and more of the killers are foreigners. Syrians, Egyptians, Yemenis and Saudis are among those being captured, or identified after their are dead. Raids on terrorist safe-houses usually yield documents and computer records that list the large number of foreigners involved in the terrorism. Over the last two decades, Saudi Arabian charities have established tens of thousands of religious schools that preach Islamic radicalism and hatred of non-Moslems. Most of the Sunni Arabs coming to die in Iraq are the products of those religious schools. These "martyrs" can't get to North America or Europe, and are unable to get organized sufficiently to kill Infidels (non-Moslems) in their own countries. But in Iraq, the Baath Party will supply weapons and some direction for those who want to kill, and are willing to die in the process. The foreigners are particularly wanted because they are willing to kill Iraqis. To an Islamic radical, the wives and children of Iraqis who collaborate with the Infidels are worthy of death. Thus the majority of terror attacks are in neighborhoods where Iraqis support the government. Everyone there is considered a legitimate target by the terrorists. There are still many neighborhoods where the terrorists are welcome, and where the terrorists do not set off their bombs. These are the neighborhoods where police, soldiers and coalition forces encounter ambushes and hostility.

American Marines are still finding and shutting down terrorist safe-houses along the Syrian border. There, well armed groups of Islamic radicals have stood and fought. But these fanatics are not well trained, and suffer over twenty dead for each American they manage to kill. Iraqi border guards are already making it more difficult to cross the Iranian, Saudi and Kuwaiti borders. But most of the killers come across from Syria, where the government does not want to stop the flow, fearing that these Islamic killers would realize that they have plenty of targets in Syria (where the government is dominated by Alawites, an Islamic sect considered heretical by Islamic conservatives.).

To paraphrase Hannibal Smith: "I love it when a plan comes together."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

From Daily Kos:

Can't recruit? Hire private soldiers
by kos
Tue May 10th, 2005 at 15:17:06 PDT

Job Posting
Government contractor seeking applicants for overseas assignment in KUWAIT. Excellent pay & benefits up to $60,000+.
The FPO performs duties under the direct supervision of the Shift Sergeant and the Shift Supervisor. The FPO is responsible for providing security, force protection and support for the U.S. Army's ARS (Area Support Group) assets at various U.S. Army Compounds in the country of Kuwait. FPOs serve as team members performing individual basic combat tactics and techniques unique to military service. They adhere to post orders unique to individual posts that range in function from static posts to roving patrols to escorting VIPs or military asset convoys and other missions as assigned. They must be able to perform as a fire team member to provide defense against attacks and terrorist operations. The duties of the FPO are similar to those of an Army MP.

Army 2005 pay scale.

Private: $13,711
Private E-2: $14,822
Private First Class: $17,475
Specialist/Corporal: $19,352
Sergeant: $21,108
Staff Sergeant: $23,040
Sergeant First Class: $26,640
What is wrong with this picture?

Well .....

Base Pay is just that - Base.
You need to add:
Housing Allowance - both enlisted and officers are provided housing on most bases. They are provided a stipend if housing is full or if they decide to live off-post. The stipend is based of the cost of living in a certain area.
Clothing allowance - Enlisted (Officers get a one time Clothing allowance) are provided a stipend to help defray the cost of uniform upkeep.
Subsistence Allowance - Those authorized to mess separately are provided this separately. Most single enlisted who live in the barracks are feed in the mess hall.
Separation Allowance - for those assigned to posts where dependents are not allowed.
Dislocation Allowance - to help defray the cost of moving. This does not include the actually shipping of household goods which the military pays for - this is equal to two months Housing Allowance.
Cost of Living Allowance - to help defray the cost of local economies.
Free Health and Dental Care for soldiers and their dependents.
Special Pay - amount varies depending on pay type. Foreign Language pays an additional $100/month. Combat Pay (Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger) pays $150-$225/month. Jump Pay is $150/month.

It all can be found here.

I think Kos is asking the wrong questions. What corporation would pay an employee for each certification he/she holds? Would increase that pay based on where he/she lived and what he/she did? Would give that person extra money if they filled a much needed skill? Would not only pay to move that employee but also give that employee a "loan" to help with movement costs? There are also numerous hidden benefits that civilians, even most soldiers, don't know about. Every base has a fully stocked garage. Want to change your oil? Rent a bay for as little as $3 and you have all the tools you need. They even dispose of the oil for you. Need to register your car - done onbase. PXs and BXs offer tax-free shopping to military personnel and their dependents.

I know. I know. The point of the article was to show how the "Military" is getting screwed over by Bushco. Well, I'd hate to break it to them (and the moonbats that read that site would probably ignore me anyway) but cuts in Defense Spending have been going on since well before the Clinton Years™. Despite the misinformation that is presented by Kos - if you really wanted to know what was spent where all you have to do is research (omg - not that!). Of course - these are numbers from the White House and as you know Rove probably spun it.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

One small step ...

It's kinda funny that the Marines, possibly the most conservative branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, is taking the first steps at total integration:

Marine raid breaks gender barrier
By Sandra Jontz, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, May 4, 2005

KARMAH, Iraq — Lance Cpl. Erin Libby doesn’t want to be treated the same as her male Marine Corps counterparts. But she does want to be treated as an equal — even in combat.

In a way, she got her chance last weekend when Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment led a raid into the city of Karmah in search of high-value targets and hidden weapons.

“We’re out here, and we’re rocking on the front line,” said Libby, a 21-year-old from Niceville, Fla., who pinned on the rank of lance corporal during a break in the mission.

In all, 14 women from Combat Logistics Battalion 8 were called away from their usual jobs of supplying ammunition, food, water, fuel and mail for the three-day offensive that kicked off in the pre-dawn hours Saturday about 15 miles northeast of Fallujah.

Cultural sensitivities precluded male Marines from searching women, so the female Marines were meant to deflate fears of Iraqi men and women, said the battalion executive officer, Maj. Larry Miller. It was a first in Iraq to have female Marines embedded at the lowest levels of infantry companies and working alongside their male counterparts, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jill St. John, 39, an embark officer with CLB-8.

“This is history. This is huge for us,” St. John said. “I’ve been in the Marine Corps for 18 years, and this is my first opportunity to be out with an infantry company. Even five years ago, the Marine Corps wouldn’t be doing this. This is a major change in how we think women can be used in the military.”

While female Marines were used in similar fashion during missions in Afghanistan, they were not fully integrated with line companies, St. John said.

“It wasn’t quite as dynamic as this. They’d wait at a camp in the rear and were called in when needed, often called in for resupply,” such as bringing in food and water.

“I’m so sick of hearing females can’t do this and females can’t do that. Blah, blah, blah,” said Cpl. Rachel Bergstrong, 20, of Cumming, Ga. “We’re in it as much as the grunts, and we love it.”

The battalion’s Lima and India companies absorbed the women into their ranks, giving them the primary mission to search women and children suspected of hiding anything. But the female Marines’ presence was not intended to show a softer side of the Marine Corps, said Capt. Mark Liston, commander of India Company.

“They’re still a fighting force for us,” he said. “With them, we can grab a wife [of a suspected insurgent], for example, put the screws to her, and find out where the husband might be hiding. And while it hasn’t been used here, [the insurgency has] been known to use female suicide bombers,” Liston said.

But there were times in which the softer side appeared in both the male and female Marines. When they weren’t raiding homes and businesses, the Marines were on humanitarian missions, handing out food, water and toys, especially to the hordes of children who flocked to the streets when the Humvees rolled in.

“Whenever I read about these humanitarian missions, I always thought it was so cheesy,” Libby said after tossing out handfuls of stuffed animals. “Now I’m the one sounding cheesy, but I like this. It makes you feel good inside.”

They’re often referred to as the WMs, or women Marines. They hate it, and the crass distortions of the acronym some say they’ve heard.

“We’re Marines, bottom line,” said Cpl. Dawn Lansberry, 31.

“I’m out here to prove a point,” Libby said. “A lot of males think females are weak. It’s time to shine, and I’m going to leave here golden.”

I just have to say - it's about damn time!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Journalist Tells Her "Truth", Comes Up Short

I just got finished reading the U.S. report on the March 4, 2005 shooting in Iraq that involved an Italian journalist. I found a link in the comments section on an article about the new Ridley Scott film Kingdom of Heaven over at LGF.

I found the report to be pretty well balanced. Of course I'm pretty pro-military so my opinion is biased.

Some highlights from the report (I quote the actual report in boldface):

The scene of the incident wasn't a Checkpoint but rather a Blocking Point. Both are a means of controlling traffic but a Checkpoint allows for inspection/searches of vehicles traveling along a road and a Blocking Point (BP) is used to prevent travel on that road altogether. The BP consisted of a Blocking Vehicle and an Overwatch Vehicle. Both Blocking and Overwatch vehicles had automatic weapon points but neither had their weapons pointed directly at the on-ramp, where the BP had been established. The BP had established an Alert Line and a Warning Line along the onramp which acted as designated points for certain warnings to be given to oncoming traffic. Prior to the Alert Line a spotlight would be directed at an approaching vehicle. As the vehicle neared the Alert Line, a green laser pointer would be directed against the driver side window in an attempt to get the drivers attention. If a vehicle approaches the Warning Line the shots are fired in yet another attempt to get the vehicles attention. If the Warning Line is breached then shots are fired into the vehicles engine block in an attempt to disable the vehicle. This is basically what happened that night. The BP had successfully turned around between 15 and 30 vehicles from 1930 (when the BP was established) to 2050 (when the Italian's car arrived).

The vehicle approaches the BP at high speed:
Though not in the habit of checking his speedometer, Mr. XXXXXX estimated his speed at 70-80 kph as he exited off of Route Vernon, heading toward the on-ramp to Route Irish.

It is at this point the vehicle is lit up with the spotlight:
Specialist XXXXX, holding the spotlight in his left hand, shined his spotlight onto the car before it arrived at the Alert Line.

The car did not slow down:
Both Specialist XXXXXX and Sergeant XXXXXX perceived the car to be traveling in excess of 50 mph. (Annexes 79C, 87C, 129C, 134C).
(U) The car crossed the Alert Line still heading towards the Soldiers’ position without slowing down.

Of interest at this point is that at least two of the soldiers at the BP were Police Officers in their civilian lives and are trained to judge car speeds. The car is also traveling at a speed faster than that of any car previously encountered that evening.

At this point the car has crossed the Alert Line and is approaching the Warning Line:
(U) The car continued to approach at a high rate of speed, coming closer to the Soldiers than any other vehicle that evening. (Annexes 79C, 87C, 129C). When the car got to the Warning Line, Specialist XXXXX, while still holding the spotlight in his left hand, used his right hand to quickly fire a two to four round burst into a grassy area to the on-coming vehicle’s right (the pre-set aiming point) as a warning shot. (Annexes 79C, 87C, 125C, 129C, 134C).
(U) The vehicle maintained its speed as it went beyond the Warning Line.

So - spotlight, laser pointer and now warning shots are all used in an attempt to gain the drivers attention. What does the driver do? He hits the gas:
(U) Mr. XXXX told Sergeant XXXXX who Ms. Sgrena was and that he was trying to get to the airport. He told Sergeant XXXXX that he heard shots from somewhere, and that he panicked and started speeding, trying to get to the airport as quickly as possible. Mr. XXXXX further told Sergeant XXXXXX that he continued to speed down the ramp, and that he was in a hurry to get to the airport. (Annexes 91C, 136C).

After the vehicle crosses the Warning Line, shots are fired into the engine block in an attempt to disable the vehicle. It is only after the shots hit the vehicle that the driver hits the breaks and the car comes to a rolling stop.

As for Ms. Sgrena's "avalanche of bullets":
This analysis disclosed 11 entrance bullet holes. They are consistent with 7.62 mm bullets. Three bullets perforated the front section of the car at the bumper, right head light, and right fender. Two bullets perforated the windshield. Six bullets perforated the right side, right door, right front and rear passenger windows. No bullet holes or ricochet damage was noted on the car’s undercarriage.

...(U) The ammunition box in the blocking vehicle originally contained 200 rounds. There were 142 rounds remaining in the M240B ammunition box. No casings were collected. Eleven rounds hit the vehicle. The weapon had been fired on seven previous occasions using the same ammunition box. As such, there were no more than 40 additional rounds that could have been fired.

U) Specialist XXXXX was the only one to fire his weapon. (Annexes 77C, 79C, 81C, 83C, 85C, 87C, 89C).
(U) The car was traveling at approximately 50 mph as it crossed the Warning Line. (Annex 83C). (U) Mr. XXXXX did not apply his brakes until after the rounds began striking the car. (Annexes 104C, 105C).
(U) Given the cyclic rate of fire of the M240B, Specialist XXXXXX's expertise with the weapon, and that only 11 rounds struck the vehicle with only five of those impacting the front of the car, it is highly unlikely that any shots were fired after the car came to a stop.

Of course this will be disputed by the Italians. It's expected, especially since their government is in flux and their leader is trying to garner popular support before elections. Machiavelli was Italian was he not? I can't wait until their report comes out.