Gotta love the Marines!!


The Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant in the picture is Michael Burghardt, known as "Iron Mike" or just "Gunny." He is on his third tour in Iraq. He had become a legend in the bomb disposal world after winning the Bronze Star for disabling 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance during his second tour. Then, on September 19, he got blown up. He had arrived at a chaotic scene after a bomb had killed four US soldiers. He chose not to wear the bulky bomb protection suit. "You can't react to any sniper fire and you get tunnel-vision," he explains. So, protected by just a helmet and standard-issue flak jacket, he began what bomb disposal officers term "the longest walk", stepping gingerly into a 5ft deep and 8ft wide crater. The earth shifted slightly and he saw a Senao base station with a wire leading from it. He cut the wire and used his 7in knife to probe the ground. "I found a piece of red detonating cord between my legs," he says. "That's when I knew I was screwed."

Realizing he had been sucked into a trap, Sgt Burghardt, 35, yelled at everyone to stay back. At that moment, an insurgent, probably watching through binoculars, pressed a button on his mobile phone to detonate the secondary device below the sergeant's feet. "A chill went up the back of my neck and then the bomb exploded," he recalls. "As I was in the air I remember thinking, 'I don't believe they got me.' I was just ticked off they were able to do it. Then I was lying on the road, not able to feel anything from the waist down."

His colleagues cut off his trousers to see how badly he was hurt. None could believe his legs were still there. "My dad's a Vietnam vet who's paralyzed from the waist down," says Sgt Burghardt. "I was lying there thinking I didn't want to be in a wheelchair next to my dad and for him to see me like that. They started to cut away my pants and I felt a real sharp pain and blood trickling down. Then I wiggled my toes and I thought, 'Good, I'm in business.' “As a stretcher was brought over, adrenaline and anger kicked in. "I decided to walk to the helicopter. I wasn't going to let my team-mates see me being carried away on a stretcher." He stood and gave the insurgents who had blown him up a one-fingered salute. "I flipped them one. It was like, 'OK, I lost that round but I'll be back next week'."

Copies of a photograph depicting his defiance, taken by Jeff Bundy for the Omaha World-Herald, adorn the walls of homes across America and that of Col John Gronski, the brigade commander in Ramadi, who has hailed the image as an exemplar of the warrior spirit. Burghardt, 35, wouldn't accept painkillers when he was brought back to camp by the medics. He knew he might need them later. And he's not looking to leave Ramadi for five more months. Sgt Burghardt's injuries - burns and wounds to his legs and buttocks - kept him off duty for nearly a month and could have earned him a ticket home. But, like his father - who was awarded a Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action in Vietnam - he stayed in Ramadi to engage in the battle against insurgents who are forever coming up with more ingenious ways of killing Americans.
"I don't want a ticket out," he said. "I want to stay here so we can take as many people home as possible."

News From The Front in Iraq
By A Marine Stationed Near The Syrian Border

Subject: News from the front.
From: Cliver Jeff G Contr AFFTC/JT
Date: December 28, 2005 10:03:46 AM MST

Things are going real well over here.  We had a fantastic turnout for the elections a couple of days ago.  I should preface that by telling a story of a couple of nights ago.  On the night of the 13th, I was up at one of our satellite bases on the Syrian border in the city of Husaybah.  The Company Commander for the area was having a sit down with some tribal sheiks that evening and he asked me to go along.  Our entire area is Sunni for the most part.  We have had very little participation in this area during previous elections and the area was largely anti- Coalition Forces.  The Company Commander wanted to have a sit down with this sheiks to talk to them about the upcoming election and to urge them to talk to their followers about voting on election day.

We went to the house of the sheik around 7:30 at night.  We rolled up with armored humvees and 2 dozen Marines who cordoned off the house.  It was a real big, stone house with a walled off yard in front, which is common for many of the homes in this area.  We went inside the house, took off our shoes and were ushered into the dining room.  They do not eat at tables or use chairs here.  Instead, they lay down a blanket on the floor and sit cross legged.  Also, all meals are communal and family style, rather than having individual plates and meals.  In the middle of this room, there was a giant metal dish, approximately 3 feet in diameter.  The plate was piled with rice, nuts, dates and grilled mutton.  They have large circular flat bread, looks like a cross between an Indian Nan and a giant wheat tortilla, that are about 1 foot and a half across.  You sit cross legged around the metal dish and tear the bread into pieces.  Then, no forks or utensils, you use the bread as a tool to pick up the food off the plate and eat it.  It was really good and a very interesting experience.  Of course, being that America is everywhere, we washed it all down with an RC Cola.  

After the dinner, we retired to the edges of the room.  The sides of the room were surrounded with pillows lining the walls in a U shape.  The pillows looked and felt similar to couch cushions.  The younger men of the tribe, probably teenagers, swept away the meal and the elders took their places against the wall.  The chief sheik sat at the curve of the U, like being at the head of the table.  This guy was the top sheik for the entire tribe in the country of Iraq.  He was an older man, probably 70, had a white mustache, headress and robes with golden trim.  There was small talk around the room (difficult because everything was being done through interpreters) while the young men of the tribe served chai tea and fresh fruit.  Suddenly, the chief sheik called everyone in the room to quiet and gave a long speech to the Captain who is the Company Commander.

The Sheik said that the Sunnis understood that democracy is the only option for Iraq.  He said that in the past, they had boycotted the election process.  This was completely true for our area.  Last January, when the elections for the transitional government took place, our area did not have 1 single voter.  Not 1 vote.  In October, when the constitutional referendum election was held out here we had a few hundred voters.  This was a big success in our minds, because we had been told that no one was going to vote, but still not the turnout that one would hope for.  The sheik explained that they knew that these boycotts of the process had only hurt the Sunnis because they were not able to get their agenda and their representatives into the process to help form the new government.  The sheik further stated that before, the insurgents had told the people that if they voted they would be killed.  He said this scared many Sunnis away from the polls who might have otherwise wanted to vote.  Now, though, he said that things have changed.  He claimed that because of our two operations, Steel Curtain and Iron Fist, and because of the Coalition presence in the area, the people felt safer and more secure.  They felt that the insurgents had been largely neutered in the area and they wanted to participate in the process.  He also said that they wanted to get involved to ensure that they had representatives in the new Parliament.

Well, when the elections came about on the 15th, we had 20,000 voters show up to cast ballots in our area alone.  From 0 one year ago to 20,000 for this election.  The lines were a half mile long and people waited for hours to get inside the several polling places out here.  That was close to 60% of the entire eligible voter pool.  A pretty amazing turnaround in less than a year's time.  Things are getting better out here.

Not that you will hear about it on tv.  I watched CNN last night while I was eating dinner.  They ran a story about my battalion that was originally run 5 weeks ago when we were in the middle of combat operations in the area.  It was a story about a family that was killed by American bombing runs in the city of Husaybah.  The family had been kidnapped by insurgents and held inside their house while the insurgents shot at Marines.  Air strikes were called in and the family was killed inside the home when the bombs dropped.  The video showed people wailing and crying and talked about how Americans had caused the deaths of the family.  This story was 5 weeks old.  When we were doing offensive operations out here, we had 25 plus reporters from CNN, USA Today, the NY Times, Time Magazine, among others. Now that the bombs aren't dropping and the cities have been stabilized... we had 1 reporter here for the elections.  She is from the Christian Science Monitor.  Not exactly the most widely read publication in the U.S. of A.  So, instead of CNN coming out here to report on the current situation and the success of the elections, they ran a 5 week old story showing wailing and crying and dead children.  CNN has it out so bad for George Bush, that they cannot even bring themselves to accurately report the gains that are being made by us out here.  They are complete misinformation artists - and I have seen first hand how they warp and manipulate the "truth" to fit their agenda.  I have been on the scene and witnessed a situation with my own 2 eyes, while CNN was standing right next to me (Arwa Damon and Jennifer Eccelston have been our 2 offenders by the way).  Then, the story that I read on their website or saw on CNN International did not even remotely resemble the actual scene.  The video had been altered, edited out of order, and the narration used in such a way to warp the situation and twist it into what they wanted it to be.  It is amazing and despicable.

Jeff Cliver, a Marine stationed near the Syrian border

This poster kind says it all, doesn't it?

Poster is courtesy of

A Story From Iraq
as told by a U.S. Marine Sergeant.

As you know, I asked for toys for the Iraqi children over here, and they've come over by the box. On each patrol we take through the city, we take as many of these toys as we can fit in our pockets and hand them out as we can. The kids take the toys and run to show them off as if they are worth a million bucks. We are as friendly as we can be to everyone we see, but especially so with the kids. Most of them don't have any idea what is going on and are completely innocent in all of this.

On one such patrol, our lead security vehicle stopped in the middle of the street. This is not normal and is very unsafe, so the following vehicles began to inquire over the radio. The lead vehicle reported that a little girl was sitting in the road and she just wouldn't budge. The command vehicle told the lead to simply go around her and to be kind as they did. The street was wide enough to allow this maneuver and everyone waved to her as they drove around.

I soon saw her sitting there, and in her arms was a little toy bear that we had given her a few patrols back. Feeling an immediate connection to the girl, I radioed that we were going to stop. The rest of the convoy paused, and I got out to make sure she was okay. The little girl looked scared and concerned, but there was a warmth in her eyes toward me. As I knelt down to talk to her, she moved over and pointed.

There was a land mine in the road.

Immediately, a cordon was set as the Marine convoy assumed a defensive posture around the site. The mine was destroyed in place.

It was the heart of an American that sent that toy. It was the heart of an American that gave that toy to the little girl. It was the heart of an American that protected our convoy from that mine. Sure, she was a little Iraqi girl, and she had no knowledge of purple mountain's majesty or fruited plains. It was the heart of acceptance, of tolerance, of peace and grace - even through the inconveniences of conflict - that saved our convoy from hitting that mine. Those attributes are what keep Americans' hearts beating. She may have no affiliation at all with the United States, but she knows what it is to be brave and, if we can continue to support her and her new government, she will know what it is to be free. Isn't that what Americans are, the free and the brave?

If you sent over a toy, you took part in this. You are a reason that? Iraq has to believe in a better future. Thank you so much for supporting us, and for supporting our cause over here.

Semper Fi,
Mark J. Francis


What Went Wrong?
An Honest Muslim Tells it Like it Is
By: Dr Farrukh Saleem

The combined annual GDP of 57 Muslim countries remains under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $10.4 trillion; China $5.7 trillion, Japan $3.5 trillion and Germany $2.1 trillion. Even India's GDP is estimated at over $3 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).

Oil rich Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $430 billion; Netherlands alone has a higher annual GDP while Buddhist Thailand produces goods and services worth $429 billion.

Muslims are 22 percent of the world population and produce less than five percent of global GDP. Even more worrying is that the Muslim countries' GDP as a percent of the global GDP is going down over time. The Arabs, it seems, are particularly worse off. According to the United Nations' Arab Development Report: "Half of Arab women cannot read; One in five Arabs live on less than $2 per day; Only 1 percent of the Arab population has a personal computer, and only half of 1 percent use the Internet; Fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed, and this number could double by 2010; The average growth rate of the per capita income during the preceding 20 years in the Arab world was only one-half of 1 percent per annum, worse than anywhere but sub-Saharan Africa."

The planet's poorest countries include Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Mozambique. At least six of the poorest of the poor are countries with a Muslim majority.

Conclusion: Muslims of the world are among the poorest of the poor.

Fifty-seven Muslim majority countries have an average of ten universities each for a total of less than 600 universities for 1.4 billion people; India has 8,407 universities, the U.S. has 5,758. From within 1.4 billion Muslims Abdus Salam and Ahmed Zewail are the only two Muslim men who won a Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry (Salam pursued his scientific work in Italy and the UK, Zewail at California Institute of Technology). Dr Salam in his home country is not even considered a Muslim.

Over the past 105 years, 1.4 billion Muslims have produced eight Nobel Laureates while a mere 14 million Jews have produced 167 Nobel Laureates. Of the 1.4 billion Muslims less than 300,000 qualify as 'scientists', and that converts to a ratio of 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The United States of America has 1.1 million scientists (4,099 per million); Japan has 700,000 (5,095 per million).

Fact: Of the 1.4 billion Muslims 800 million are illiterate (6 out of 10 Muslims cannot read). In Christendom, adult literacy rate stands at 78 percent.

Consider, for instance, that Muslims constitute 22 percent of world population with a 1 percent share of Nobel Prizes. Jews constitute 0.23 percent of world population with a 22 percent share of Nobel Prizes.

What really went wrong? Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak. What went wrong? Arriving at the right diagnosis is extremely critical because the prescription depends on it. Consider this:

Diagnosis 1: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because they have 'abandoned the divine heritage of Islam'. Prescription: We must return to our real or imagined past.

Diagnosis 2: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because we have refused to change with time.

Keep pace with time -- al Quran

The writer is an Islamabad-based freelance columnist


New Modern Age Cowboy

A viewer, after viewing "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," sent me a photo of what depicts the new cowboy hero (see below). He goes on to state in his email, this new cowboy "is the baddest cowboy in the alley." I concur - insurgents BEWARE.

Old Cowboy Hero

New Cowboy Hero


There's A New Marshall In Town

Military Survivor Benefits Lacking
By Rush Limbaugh

This article is a somewhat old, but is still relevant and needs to be sent to all members of Congress . . . . WebMaster

I think the vast differences in compensation between victims of the September 11 casualty and those who die serving our country in uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either, because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11. Well, I can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country. If you lost a family member in the September 11 attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million.

If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000 direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt. Keep in mind that some of the people who are getting an average of $1.185 million up to $4.7 million are complaining that it's not enough. Their deaths were tragic, but for most, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Soldiers put themselves in harms way FOR ALL OF US, and they and their families know the dangers. We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11 families are getting. In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well.

You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad. Every time a pay raise comes up for the military, they usually receive next to nothing of a raise. Now the green machine is in combat in the Middle East while their families have to survive on food stamps and live in low-rent housing. Make sense?

However, our own U.S. Congress voted themselves a raise. Many of you don't know that they only have to be in Congress one time to receive a pension that is more than $15,000 per month. And most are now equal to being millionaires plus. They do not receive Social Security on retirement because they didn't have to pay into the system.

If some of the military people stay in for 20 years and get out as an E-7, they may receive a pension of $1,000 per month, and the very people who placed them in harm's way receives a pension of $15,000 per month.

I would like to see our elected officials pick up a weapon and join ranks before they start cutting out benefits and lowering pay for our sons and daughters who are now fighting.

Ditto . . . .WebMaster


Professor Urges Fragging of U.S. Officers

When Rebecca Beach, a freshman at Warren Community College in New Jersey e-mailed faculty announcing a campus program yesterday featuring decorated Iraq war hero Lt. Col. Scott Rutter, the response she got from one English professor took her aback.

English professor John Daly replied: "Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors."

A Grim Milestone

Say it isn't so!
The war in France is rapidly nearing a grim milestone.
The car deaths are now closing in on the magic number of 10,000.

How much longer can this quagmire go on?
How much longer before the French admit defeat and pull out?
Where's the United Nations?
Isn't it time for a Security Council resolution and a peacekeeping force?

But as we all know,
it is Bush's fault: Bush lied, cars fried.


With a nod to Joseph Farah at World Net Daily

Jacques and his frères are surely weeping
Les pauvres immigrès have caught them sleeping,
Paysans revolt, their emotions churning,
What’s that odeur? Is Paris burning?
Within the banlieues there’s no joy
Among les jeunes who are sans emplois
What, take a job? Not the way to go;
We’d rather riot, torch your Peugeot.

Ah, Mother France you took us in,
Then left us with no way to win.
We’re not ègal, not garçons blanc,
We’ve no real chance to earn a franc.
No, what we are, we’re useful fools,
For leftist dreams, just brown-skinned tools.
So the Rèpublique’s butt is in a crack,
Give your merci to Jacques Chirac.

We’ll breed you into minority,
Till only mullahs hear your plea,
And Shari’a rules throughout your land,
A Frenchman steals, he’ll lose his hand.
Your licentious lifestyle, long extolled,
Will leave your women stoned, dead cold.
But everything will turn out fine,
In the Muslim Republic of Paristine.

Russ Vaughn

Kids Stay & Eat Free All Inclusive From $499

Truth From A Marine In Iraq
As Told To His Father

I received this from a friend. He received it from a friend of a retired Marine, now a UAL pilot on the East Coast. He's describing Intel brought home by his son (Jordan), a Marine currently between assignments in Iraq......WebMaster

Hello to all my fellow gunners, military buffs, veterans and interested guys.  A couple of weekends ago I got to spend time with my son Jordan, who was on his first leave since returning from Iraq.  He is well (a little thin), and already bored.  He will be returning to Iraq for a second tour in early '06 and has already re-enlisted early for 4 more years.   He loves the Marine Corps and is actually looking forward to returning to Iraq.

Jordan spent 7 months at "Camp Blue Diamond" in Ramadi.  Aka: Fort Apache. He saw and did a lot and the following is what he told me about weapons, equipment, tactics and other miscellaneous info which may be of interest to you.  Nothing is by any means classified.  No politics here, just a Marine with a bird's eye view's opinions:

1) The M-16 rifle :  Thumbs down.  Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder like sand over there.  The sand is everywhere.  Jordan says you feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower.  The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it's lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems also.  They like the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picattiny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment.    They all hate the 5.56mm (.223) round.  Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits cant be reliably counted on to put the enemy down.

Fun fact:  Random autopsies on dead insurgents shows a high level of opiate use.

2) The M243 SAW (squad assault weapon):  .223 cal. Drum fed light machine gun.  Big thumbs down.  Universally considered a piece of shit.  Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly.  (that's fun in the middle of a firefight).

3) The M9 Beretta 9mmMixed bag.  Good gun, performs well in desert environment; but they all hate the 9mm cartridge.  The use of handguns for self-defense is actually fairly common.  Same old story on the 9mm:  Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight.

4) Mossberg 12ga. Military shotgunWorks well, used frequently for clearing houses to good effect.

5) The M240 Machine Gun:  7.62 Nato (.308) cal. belt fed machine gun, developed to replace the old M-60 (what a beautiful weapon that was!!). Thumbs up.  Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts 'em down. Originally developed as a vehicle mounted weapon, more and more are being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry.  The 7.62 round chews up the structure over there.

6) The M2 .50 cal heavy machine gunThumbs way, way up.  "Ma deuce" is still worth her considerable weight in gold.  The ultimate fight stopper, puts their dicks in the dirt every time.  The most coveted weapon in-theater.

7) The .45 pistolThumbs up.  Still the best pistol round out there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put 'em down with a torso hit.  The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK military model and supposedly love it.  The old government model .45's are being re-issued en masse.

8) The M-14Thumbs up.  They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special ops guys.  Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights.  Very reliable in the sandy environment, and they love the 7.62 round.

9) The Barrett .50 cal sniper rifleThumbs way up.  Spectacular range and accuracy and hits like a freight train.  Used frequently to take out vehicle suicide bombers (we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy. Definitely here to stay.

10) The M24 sniper rifleThumbs up.  Mostly in .308 but some in 300 win mag.  Heavily modified Remington 700's.  Great performance.  Snipers have been used heavily to great effect.  Rumor has it that a marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has actually exceeded Carlos Hathcock's record for confirmed kills with OVER 100.

11) The new body armorThumbs up.  Relatively light at approx. 6 lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round.

The bad news:  Hot as shit to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees).  Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible.  All the bullshit about the "old" body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED's was a non-starter.  The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn't make any difference at all in most cases.

12) Night Vision and Infrared EquipmentThumbs way up.  Spectacular performance.  Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period.  Very little enemy action after evening prayers.  More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams.  We've all seen the videos.

13) LightsThumbs up.  Most of the weapon mounted and personal lights are Surefire's, and the troops love 'em.  Invaluable for night urban operations. Jordan carried a $34 Surefire G2 on a neck lanyard and loved it.

I can't help but notice that most of the good fighting weapons and ordnance are 50 or more years old!!! With all our technology, it's the WWII and Vietnam era weapons that everybody wants!!! The infantry fighting is frequent, up close and brutal.  No quarter is given or shown.

Bad guy weapons:

1) Mostly AK47's: The entire country is an arsenal.  Works better in the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably.  PKM belt fed light machine guns are also common and effective.  Luckily, the enemy mostly shoots like shit.  Undisciplined "spray and pray" type fire.  However, they are seeing more and more precision weapons, especially sniper rifles. (Iran, again).

Fun fact:  Captured enemy have apparently marveled at the marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight.  They are apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for their lack of toughness.  Let's just say they know better now.

2) The RPG:  Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys.  Simple, reliable and as common as dogshit.  The enemy responded to our up-armored humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank range.  Still killing a lot of our guys.

3) The IEDThe biggest killer of all.  Can be anything from old Soviet anti-armor mines to jury rigged artillery shells.  A lot found in Jordan's area were in abandoned cars.  The enemy would take 2 or 3 155mm artillery shells and wire them together.  Most were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous.  You're not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank. Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do over there.  Lately, they are much more sophisticated "shape charges" (Iranian) specifically designed to penetrate armor.

Fact:  Most of the ready made IED's are supplied by Iran, who is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics.  That's why the attacks have been so deadly lately.  Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges in Styrofoam containers spray painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads.  We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.

4) Mortars and rocketsVery prevalent.  The soviet era 122mm rockets (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent.  One of Jordan's NCO's lost a leg to one.  These weapons cause a lot of damage "inside the wire". Jordan's base was hit almost daily his entire time there by mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue (It did).  More of a psychological weapon than anything else.  The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few rounds, and then haul ass in a matter of seconds.

5) Bad guy technologySimple yet effective.  Most communication is by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops.  They use handheld GPS units for navigation and "Google earth" for overhead views of our positions.  Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent.  Their explosives and bomb technology is TOP OF THE LINE.  Night vision is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the captured GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of Intel when captured.

Who are the bad guys?:

Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group.  They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi).  These are mostly "foreigners", non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadists from all over the Muslim world (and Europe).  Most enter Iraq through Syria (with, of course, the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian govt.) , and then travel down the "rat line" which is the trail of towns along the Euphrates River that we've been hitting hard for the last few months.  Some are virtually untrained young Jihadists that often end up as suicide bombers or in "sacrifice squads". Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.)  These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off.  The Chechens (many of whom are Caucasian), are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters. (they have been fighting the Russians for years).  In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites.  The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local govt.'s, the police forces and the Army.  The have had a massive spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80's.   Most of the Saddam loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long ago.

Bad Guy Tactics:

When they are engaged on an infantry level they get their asses kicked every time.  Brave, but stupid.  Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur.  They will literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing Ak's and RPG's directly at our bases just to probe the defenses.  They get mowed down like grass every time.  (see the M2 and M240 above).  Jordan's base was hit like this often.  When engaged, they have a tendency to flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that's the end of that more often than not. These hole-ups are referred to as Alpha Whiskey Romeo's (Allah's Waiting Room).  We have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science.  The fast mover's, mostly Marine F-18's, are taking an ever increasing toll on the enemy.  When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night.  Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all.

Fun fact:  The enemy death toll is supposedly between 45-50 thousand.  That is why we're seeing less and less infantry attacks and more IED, suicide bomber shit. The new strategy is simple:  attrition.

The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover.  They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) Mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo and flee to when engaged.  They have absolutely no regard whatsoever for civilian casualties.  They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi gov't.  Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is common to influence people they are trying to influence but can't reach, such as local gov't. officials, clerics, tribal leaders, etc.).

The first thing our guys are told is "don't get captured".  They know that if captured they will be tortured and beheaded on the internet.  Zarqawi openly offers bounties for anyone who brings him a live American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise don't give a shit about the war.  A lot of the beheading victims were actually kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi.  As such, for our guys, every fight is to the death.  Surrender is not an option.

The Iraqi's are a mixed bag.  Some fight well, others aren't worth a shit. Most do okay with American support.  Finding leaders is hard, but they are getting better.  It is widely viewed that Zarqawi's use of suicide bombers, en masse, against the civilian population was a serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqi's were galvanized and the caliber of recruits in the Army and the police forces went up, along with their motivation.  It also led to an exponential increase in good intel because the Iraqi's are sick of the insurgent attacks against civilians.  The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters.

According to Jordan, morale among our guys is very high.  They not only believe they are winning, but that they are winning decisively.  They are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them.  The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted.  They are inflicting casualties at a rate of 20-1 and then see shit like "Are we losing in Iraq" on TV and the print media. For the most part, they are satisfied with their equipment, food and leadership.  Bottom line though, and they all say this, there are not enough guys there to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren't enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria.  The Iranians and the Syrians just can't stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally (with, of course, permanent US bases there).

Navy, Marines Block Commercial Email Sites
By Sandra Jontz
Stars and Stripes - October 19, 2005

Hotmail account not working? Or Yahoo!?

It’s not a glitch with the computer connection.

On Tuesday, October 18, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps blocked all access to commercial e-mail services, such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, America Online and Google, from overseas government computers.

And not just at office workstations.

The block includes access to e-mail services from computers at base libraries and liberty centers that are connected to an official government network.

“This concerns us, because so many of our patrons won’t be able to access their e-mail, and many come to the library to do just that,” said Ciro Giordano, supervisory librarian at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy.

But access to such services leaves the unclassified government network too susceptible to hackers and computer viruses, said Neal Miller, a senior plans and policy manager with Naval Network Warfare Command in Norfolk, Va.

“By going through some of the commercial Web-based e-mail accounts, it opens up vulnerabilities to government-run networks and presents too high [of a] risk to be acceptable,” Miller said.

The policy covers sailors, Marines and DOD employees and contractors using Navy Department computers, and applies to those downrange who operate on Navy computer systems.

Navy and Marine Corps personnel attached to Army, Air Force or joint combatant commands fall under those services’ policies.

Margaret McBride, spokeswoman for the Army’s Chief Information Officer, said the Army has no similar restrictions on commercial e-mail access and no current plans to block those sites.

The Air Force did not respond in time for this edition.

The policy blocks viewers from accessing commercial e-mail accounts while using a government computer, but does not prevent them from using their .mil accounts to send e-mail to, or receive e-mail from, those who use commercial e-mail accounts.

People still can take care of personal business using their unclassified work e-mail accounts, within reason, and only if work schedules permit. The Navy assigns all sailors and Marines an official, unclassified e-mail address, which they can use to communicate with family and friends.

“There’s no substitute for sound judgment,” Miller said.

The block will not stop users from using commercial search engines, Miller said.

People can still pay car insurance, order contact lenses, or e-mail mom and dad from government computers — which are subject to monitoring — but they cannot visit hate group Web sites, view pornography, or run their own business, he said citing a few examples.

The block was effective Oct. 12 for computers on ships and most of the computers using the Navy-Marine Corps intranet servers in the United States.

There are some Navy and Marine Corps bases where Morale, Welfare and Recreation operates its own servers or networks and won’t be affected by the blockage, Miller said.

Other bases — such as Naples — don’t have that luxury.

While MWR is looking for options, such as its own network, until Tuesday it was the library’s government-connected network that provided a crucial service for those without private access to computers, such as the single sailors living in the barracks or those in transit and staying at base hotels, librarian Lucinda Simpson said.

And it includes dependents like Patricia Rovito, 40, who after 10 months in Italy only recently got her home telephone turned on, let alone having Internet access.

“This is the only way I can check my e-mail,” she said, sitting at a library computer. “This is going to be a pretty sizable hit to morale. I understand the Navy has its concerns, but this is not going to be favorably accepted.”


Common Sense - Media Milestones
Commentary by Col. Oliver North for FOX News
October 28, 2005

Washington, D.C. — In the movie "For the Love of the Game," actor Kevin Costner plays a major league pitcher nearing the end of his career. A lady friend who is unfamiliar with the nuances of the sport asks him why a particular obscure statistic is kept. "This is baseball," Costner's character answers, "we count everything!"

So do journalists. With ceaseless polling, they gauge the public's opinion on everything from the president's job approval ratings to his favorite vegetable. Newspaper editors live and die by the number of column inches they have for a story. From baseball scores to inflation figures, journalists are nearly lost without statistics that help them put their slant on the news.

The masters of the mainstream media have been opposed to the war in Iraq from the beginning and have expressed that opposition in numbers. They've told us how many bombings have occurred in a particular week or month, how many days the war has lasted, how many "leading experts" are also opposed, and the number of ways Iraq compares to Vietnam.

This week, with the 2,000th American casualty in Iraq, they were provided the opportunity to quantify their outrage yet again. The story was given ample coverage on the nightly network news programs, while the official results of the Iraqi constitution, which passed overwhelmingly, were barely mentioned. Perhaps that's because the New York Times, from which the networks take their cue, called it a "deeply flawed and divisive document."

The Seattle Post Intelligencer said the deaths in Iraq are being met by the American people with "anger, regret and uncertainty about the future." Writing in the Los Angeles Times, John Mueller, a professor at Ohio State University, claimed that "casualty tolerance in Iraq is clearly much lower than it was in Vietnam." He repeated the media's mantra for the past year -- that support for the war "is eroding," and the people are "[losing] their stomach for war," a conflict which, referring to President George W. Bush, Mueller called "his war."

Mueller did get one thing right. In the media, there is a "steady drumbeat of carnage" that focuses on the horrors of war. Last week in this column, I cited a report from the Media Research Center showing that the nightly network news programs have overwhelmingly portrayed the war in a negative light. They've given very little network time to stories of bravery, heroism and sacrifice that occur on a daily basis.

Even a cartoonist joined the protest of the war dead. Mike Luckovich, who draws for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sketched a cartoon that asked "WHY?," wherein the block letters W-H-Y contained the names of the 2,000 U.S. casualties. Luckovich explained that he "was trying to think of a way to make the point that this whole war is such a waste. But I also wanted to honor the troops I believe our government wrongly sent to Iraq."

One way to honor the troops is to stop spreading the idea that they died for a mistake or that they were "wrongly sent to Iraq."

It's a protest that Democrats were eager to join. The Democrat National Committee (DNC) had a news release pre-written, all ready to go, once the word came forth from the Pentagon that the target had been hit. "The U.S. military today," the release said, "crossed a tragic, painful milestone in the war in Iraq." Then DNC chairman Howard Dean chastised the President's speech at Bolling Air Force Base saying the President "failed to mention the mounting death toll." That omission, Dean said, "is not the type of leadership that the brave men and women serving in Iraq and their loved ones here at home expect or deserve from the commander-in-chief."

Listen Howie, the president doesn't need lessons in leadership from the “Screaming Wonder.” He meets with the families of fallen military personnel. He visits the wounded in the hospitals. He has cried with them. He has prayed with them.

On Capitol Hill, Senators observed a moment of silence to commemorate the 2,000th casualty. (The moment passed before John Kerry could make up his mind whether to be for it or against it.) But one thing Kerry does favor is pulling American troops out of Iraq.

"The insurgency will not be defeated unless our troop levels are drawn down," Kerry inexplicably told a group at Georgetown University. Senator Russ Feingold used the occasion of the 2,000th casualty to renew his call for an artificial deadline and said the U.S. has "created a breeding ground for terrorism in Iraq."

The loss of every life in Iraq is heartbreaking. But the number 2,000 is not, as Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan said, "a milestone." Frustrated by the media's anticipation of the 2,000th casualty, and the planning of anti-war protests to commemorate it, Boylan called it what it is - an "artificial mark on the wall set by individuals or groups with specific agendas and ulterior motives."

What is truly worth noting is the number of young men and women who are willing to serve their country in an age of such cynicism. Amen! . . . . Web Master


Washington Post, 18 October 2005

RISKING death, Iraqis of every background came out to vote on Saturday. Terrorists proved powerless to halt the country's progress. The final count isn't in, but the people appear to have approved a new constitution.

Never before in the Arab world have a country's citizens been permitted to vote on the laws that would govern them. Even had the draft constitution been rejected, this would have been a historic moment in the Middle East and beyond.

Our media's response? The vote doesn't matter. The constitution's flawed. Iraq's Sunni Arabs will resort to civil war. Enormous problems remain.

Well, big problems do remain in Iraq. There's certainly a potential for more internal strife. The constitution isn't perfect.

But to suggest that at least 9 million Iraqis casting peaceful ballots don't matter is just sour grapes on the part of those journalists and editors who've have been relentless in predicting failure in Iraq — and who've been wrong every single time.

If the day comes when the last U.S. troops leave a peaceful, democratic, prosperous Iraq, the headlines will read: "FAILURE IN IRAQ: THREE SUNNIS STILL UNHAPPY. "

Iraq may yet fail as a unified state. Violence will continue. But what's frustrating is the determination of so many in our media to convince the American people that Iraq's a hopeless mess. It's an example of vanity, selfishness and spite virtually without precedent in the history of journalism.

The greatest tragedy imaginable for our "mainstream media" would be to have to admit that President Bush was right about Iraq.

A startling number of editors and opinion columnists have been wrong about every development in Iraq (and Afghanistan). First, they predicted a bloody, protracted war against Saddam's military. Then they predicted civil war. They insisted that Iraq's first elections would fail amid a bloodbath. Then they declared that Iraq's elected delegates would not be able to agree on a draft constitution. Next, they thundered that Iraq's Sunni Arabs wouldn't vote.

Most recently, the sages of the opinion pages declared that the proposed constitution would be defeated at the polls by the Sunni Arabs. All along they've displayed a breathtaking empathy with the Islamist terrorists who slaughter the innocent, giving Abu Musab al-Zarqawi a pass while attacking our president and mocking the achievements of our troops.

A herd mentality has taken over the editorial boards. Ignoring all evidence to the contrary, columnists write about our inevitable "retreat" from Iraq, declaring that "everyone knows" our policies have no chance of success.

That isn't journalism. It's wishful thinking on the part of those who need Iraq to fail to preserve their credibility.

We are dealing with parasitical creatures who, never having done anything practical themselves, insist that the bravery and sacrifice of others has no meaning. Their egos have grown so enormous that they would sacrifice the future of Iraq's 26 million human beings just so they could write "I told you so." And, of course, the greatest military experts are those who never served a day in uniform.

The mission we've set for ourselves in Iraq is a tough one. Mistakes made it even harder. But any man or woman of integrity would have to admit that our troops have performed with remarkable skill and tenacity — and that the Iraqi people have displayed confounding courage in their efforts to build a just government for themselves.

There are two things the "mainstream media" are simply unwilling to face regarding Iraq. First, the stakes are immensely high and the premature withdrawal demanded by the pundits would fatally increase the power and allure of Islamist terrorists. Second, we're not only asking a major state to change its form of government — we're asking people to fundamentally alter a failed civilization.

Such a goal cannot be accomplished overnight. Or even in the course of a single administration. Iraq is about the greater fate of the realm of lethal failure stretching from Gibraltar to the Indus.

But we won't see a rational discussion of the roots of the Middle East's cultural collapse — such honesty is taboo. Instead, we'll just hear more about our own "failure" in Iraq, no matter how many successes there are on the ground. Our columnists and editors resemble those diehard communists who kept on praising Stalin right through the purges, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the revelations about the Gulag.

We'll hear that Iraq's new constitution is flawed (so is ours — that's why we have amendments). We'll be told that the Sunni Arabs are dissatisfied (so are many American Democrats). Allegations of electoral fraud will never go away (sound familiar?). And political partisans will continue to claim that our military efforts are useless (as demagogues have claimed since the Civil War).

Despite the attacks by international terrorists and the media, Iraq continues to move forward. The process is imperfect, as are all things on this earth. But the bravery and determination that Iraqis displayed at the polls again last weekend deserve better analysis than smug pundits' party-line declarations of failure.

Ralph Peters' lastest book is "New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy."


F-15 Midair--One Wing Recovery

F15 Landing w/o Wing

A simulated dogfight training took place between two F-15D's and four A-4N. Skyhawks over the skies of the Negev, Israel..."At some point I collided with one of the Skyhawks, at first I didn't realize it. I felt a big strike, and I thought we passed through the jet stream of one of the other aircraft. Before I could react, I saw the big fire ball created by the explosion of the Skyhawk. The radio started to deliver calls saying that the Skyhawk pilot has ejected, and I understood that the fireball was the Skyhawk that exploded, and the pilot was ejected automatically.There was a tremendous fuel stream going out of my wing, and I understood it was badly damaged. The aircraft flew without control in a strange piral. I reconnected the electric control to the control surfaces, and slowly gained control of the aircraft until I was straight and level again. It was clear to me that I had to eject. When I gained control I said: "Hey, wait, don't eject yet!" No warning light was on and the navigation computer worked as usual; (I just needed a warning light in my panel to indicate that I missed a wing...)." My instructor pilot ordered me to eject. The wing is a fuel tank, and the fuel indicator showed 0.000 so I assumed that the jet stream sucked all the fuel out of the other tanks. However, I remembered that the valves operate only in one direction, so that I might have enough fuel to get to the nearest airfield and land. I worked like a machine, I wasn't scared and didn't worry. All I knew was as long as the sucker  flies, I'm gonna stay inside. I started to decrease the airspeed, but at that point one wing was not enough. So I went into a spin down and to the right. A second before I decided to eject, I pushed the throttle and lit the afterburner. I gained speed and thus got control of the aircraft again. Next thing I did was lower the arresting hook. A few seconds later I touched the runway at 260 knots, about twice the recommended speed, and called the tower to erect the emergency recovery net. The hook was torn away from the fuselage because of the high speed, but I managed to stop 10 meters before the net. I turned back to shake the hand of my instructor, who had urged me to eject, and then I saw it for the first time - no wing!"

Pilot and author unknown

Bird Strike & Aircraft Crash

Click on the below link to see the actual Head-up-Display [HUD] video, intercom chatter and radio transmissions following a bird being injested into the engine which failed with no option but for the pilots to eject and make a Silk Let Down.

The film begins on take-off roll. 

Just after lift-off near the end of the runway you will see a hawk pass from the top of the screen to the lower left-hand side of the HUD display.

After impact, you can hear one of the pilots rapidly sucking oxygen into his face mask as the adrenalin kicks into high and his breathing accelerates accordingly.  

The pilots are unable to restart the engine, notify the tower that they are ejecting – after which the HUD display goes SPLAT when the aircraft hits the ground.

 These Low level ejections and mid-air collisions with birds and other aircraft can spoil one’s entire day.

Download Clip

You may want to turn off the background music first - go to top of page and locate flashing speaker and click on "OFF"

Osama’s “Great Ramadan Offensive” from October 4 – November 4,
With Attacks on the U. S., Netherlands, Italy, Australia, and Russia,
Will be More Spectacular than September 11 !!

Joseph Farah on reports that terrorism expert Yossef Bodansky, who was director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare for over ten years, discovered a letter from Abu Musab Zarqawi to Osama bin Laden describing Ramadan attacks on the U. S., Europe and Russia as a “fateful confrontation” with the U. S. and Israel. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama’s second-in-command, has warned of “horrific attacks” against U. S. cities. He has also said that Osama has acquired thirty suitcase nuclear bombs from the former Soviet Union.

Dr. Paul Williams, author of Osama’s Revenge: the Next 9/11 and The Al Qaeda Connection, says that Osama has already smuggled seven to ten suitcase nuclear bombs into the U. S. through the Mexican border. In addition, 8,000 illegals from terror-suspect countries such as Yemen, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have come across the Mexican border into the U. S. in the past six months. And, most alarming of all, Adnan el-Shukrijumah and Amer el-Maati, Osama’s ringleaders of his “American Horishima” Project, where he plans to blow up seven to ten American cities with nukes, have now entered the U. S. through Mexico! The American Hiroshima starts now!

So what can people do? Our only hope is to put the faces of el-Shukrijumah and el-Maati, the "Mohamed Attas" of Osama's "American Hiroshima", on America's Most Wanted TV Show. The FBI has been looking for these two without success for 2 years. 300 million Americans could find them in 2 weeks! If we don't do this, we are doomed! At this late date, since our government has failed to do the things necessary to stop Osama, about the only other thing people can do is to get out of the cities Osama has targeted – New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Washington, Houston, Las Vegas, and Valdez, Alaska, where oil tankers are filled from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

After seven to ten of our cities, or more, are destroyed by nuclear blasts from terrorists in the next few days (if frightened by publicity, the terrorists may hold off until the last two weeks of November, the Mahdi’s birthday), months, or years, what can we do?

  • We can bomb and destroy the headquarters of the ruling regimes such as Iran and Syria that sponsor terror.
  • We can go into Pakistan and get Osama bin Laden.
  • We can build a 50-foot wall, if need be, across the Mexican border to prevent terrorist illegals from coming in.
  • We can provide funding to make available the radiation sickness medicine, Neumune, that cuts the death rate of people exposed to radiation from 50% to 10%.
  • We can send in 150,000 more troops into Iraq and win the war in Iraq.
  • We can cut off all funding to the Palestinian Authority until they stop all terror attacks on Israel.
  • And we can deport every Wahhabi cleric that spouts violence against the U. S.

Only then can we possibly live in safety.

If we fight, we will survive. If we do not fight, we will die.

Those who espouse pacifism will be overcome by the Islamo-terrorists. Being nice to the terrorists will no more ensure our safety then giving Czechoslovakia to Hitler stopped him from invading Europe in World War II.

Those who would pull out of Iraq, consider this: if we didn’t like al Qaeda in Afghanistan, just think about al Qaeda taking over Iraq, with 10 billion dollars of Iraqi oil money per year to fund their worldwide war of terror!

The way to survival is clear, America. Fight or die!

Source: From a link on

You can read more about Al Qaeda's nuclear weapons ambitions, and an even scarier terrorist weapon scenerio of possible use of the Bird Flu as a Bio-Tech weapon, at


What To Wear When Sen. Kennedy Gives A Speech

Bill Moyer, 73, wears a "Bullshit Protector" flap over his ear
while Senator Ted Kennedy addresses the Veterans
of Foreign Wars.