The Last Word
BY: Resa LaRu Kirkland
Your 15 minutes of fame are over. No one cares what you have
to say. As always the last word will be written by someone like
Casey Sheehan, not his glory mongering, America hating, anti-Semitic
mother. Someone who, like your son, actually grasps what’s
at stake. Someone who knows there are things out there bigger
and more important than himself.
Someone who does believe that America and its freedoms aren’t
just worth fighting and dying for, but are worth fighting and dying
in order to bring to peoples who have never known them.
And this goes for the hippy press too. Your lies are unraveling
in pure Dan Rather/Mary Mapes “Let’s make up a story” fashion. So
listen up, you modern-day Goliaths, because I found a David to bitch-slap
you to hell.
He is SPC Keith A. Nations, from Marmaduke, AK, and for the past 8
months he has been restoring hope and creating belief in Afghanistan. He
is part of Cco 391st Combat Eng. Bn., Spartenburg, SC. His
story is the reason I fell in love with warriors…America still
grows only the best. He knows that our press has been lying to
us. He gets the word over there, and is as disgusted as the rest
of us. In fact, when he first thought I was a journalist—horrors,
now that it is that most foul word that the hippy press has turned
it into!—he wouldn’t speak to me. Because of the
continuing lies that the hippy press tells ad nauseam about our soldiers,
these magnificent men view them as the enemy, and rightly so. Read
anything those commie wannabes write and their vitriol hatred for these
men who fight for their freedoms shines through. They
did it to our warriors
in Vietnam, and their desperate attempt to do it again would be
hilarious if it wasn’t so damned evil.
When he found out that I write military history, and am writing my
FORGOTTEN WARRIOR series on men of valor from the Korean War, that
all changed. He knew at once that I was a friend, not a foe. You
hear that, hippy press? Our fighting men view you as a foe. Well,
what’s good enough for them is good enough for me. I have
reserved a special place in my catalogue of hatred for these particular
So enemies of America—I’m talking to the ones here in
my beloved nation—be prepared for a world of hurt. (Spelling/grammatical
changes made in the following excerpts.)
I’m here to fight, not to just sit back and draw a paycheck
from our tax payers. I was making more money back in the states
than I do here. But to me that doesn’t matter. I came back
in the army to do what I set out to do for many years of prior service,
and that was to protect my country and protect innocent people from
ever having to worry about things like 9/11 ever happening. When
it did happen I was furious, madder than hell. The first time
I tried to get back in I was too old. Then one day I went to
a recruiter and he said, “Well take you right now! Prior
servers are desperately needed.” The first thing I did
was volunteer to kick ass over here and so far I think I have proven
to be an asset at 39 years old…I think what our Pres. Bush
did was the most upstanding and right thing. He is the only
president that has ever done the right thing, and that has grabbed
his balls and shown the world we may have been asleep for many years
and had a pussy for a president but now we ain’t taking shit. It
took a lot of guts to take American men and women and put them in
war, but hell, that’s what our military is there for; that’s
what we do and we do it proudly! I truly love my country and
the people. We may be mean to each other a lot of times but
if we all had the same personalities it would be awfully boring.
I have seen first hand what the Taliban and Al
Qaeda are capable of still doing and still want to do to us. I’ve
seen what they have done to their own people over here and I’m
telling you, America should see what we’ve
seen. They would know then how lucky they really are! That’s
all I can say about that, Resa. When we roll into their towns,
the children hold up their little hands and laugh and holler at us. They
run to an American soldier because they know when they see us they
don’t have a damn thing to worry about; we’ll protect
them and give them that thing that no other military has ever
given them: love and protection. This country wants us
here and they need us here. And by God, we need to
be here. I am so honored to be a part of all
this, and I would gladly and honorably lay my life on the line and
fall if I have to—to ensure my country and Afghanistan is rid
of the self-righteous, hateful, no good bastards called Taliban and
Al Qaeda. Not only are we keeping our own beautiful country
free, but we are keeping 2 other countries free. Now tell me: are
we one hell of a military or what?
Keith, you bet your American ancestry…you are one hell of a
Have any of you read anything like this in the New York Times, or
seen anyone blathering about it on CBS? No you haven’t,
and you won’t either. The MSM and their Klan hate everything
about Keith and his core values. They are desperately trying
to force us to believe that the average American is against the war,
wants open borders, wants every earthly language to be the “official” language
of America, just loooooooves Islam but hates other religious people,
and that Cindy Sheehan speaks for all mothers everywhere.
Well, I’m a mom, and she doesn’t speak for me. I
have a feeling that she doesn’t speak for Keith’s mother
either; after all, such a noble man surely had a good and unselfish
mother teaching him.
These aren’t the baby-killing war mongering rapist/murderers
the press has shoved down our throats for the past 40 years. These
are men with tender hearts and spiritual souls. They are hope
in khaki uniforms. And lest there be any doubt that they are
still needed, I’ll let Abu al-Zarqawi erase those for you: "First,
chase out the invaders from our territory in Palestine, in Iraq and
everywhere in Islamic land. Second, install Sharia (Islamic law)
on the entire Earth and spread Islamic justice there…The
attacks will not cease until after the victory of Islam and the setting
up of Sharia.”
Stephen Ambrose once said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that
in Europe in the 1930’s, if you saw a dozen teenagers or twenty-somethings
walk into a village, armed with guns and tanks, it meant torture, rape,
theft, and death…unless they were Americans. Then it
meant C-rations, candy, medical care, and freedom. The
same will someday be said about turn of the century Afghanistan, and
it won’t be said because of the press, it will be said because
of the Keiths. The American warrior has to be the most spiritual
being on earth, for they are willing—every damned day—to
die not only for their friends, but for any brother in need of hope
I AM A PROUD AMERICAN SOLDIER. I GO WHERE OTHERS FEAR TO
GO, I DO WHAT OTHERS FEAR TO DO, AND I GLADLY LAY MY LIFE ON THE
LINE EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR PEOPLE I DONT KNOW AND FOR PEOPLE WHO DONT
KNOW ME. I AM A PROUD AMERICAN SOLDIER…IS THERE ANYTHING
MORE HONORABLE THAN THAT? I AM ONE DAMNED PROUD AMERICAN SOLDIER.
“For people I don’t know and for people who don’t
know me.” Let’s see Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite
do that. (Don’t hold your breath.)
Keep the faith, bros, and in all things courage.
Major Terror Plot Against
By: Carl Limbacher, NewsMax.com
The mainstream U.S. media outlets have failed to report a major terrorist
plot against the U.S. - because it would tend to support President
Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance, according to media watchdog
News of a planned attack masterminded by three Algerians operating
out of Italy was widely reported outside the U.S., but went virtually
unreported in the American media.
Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps
to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside
Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks
would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists'
goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11.
Italian authorities stepped up their internal surveillance programs
after July's terrorist bombings in London. Their domestic wiretaps
picked up phone conversations by Algerian Yamine Bouhrama that discussed
terrorist attacks in Italy and abroad.
Italian authorities arrested Bouhrama on November 15 and
he remains in prison. Authorities later arrested two other men, Achour
Rabah and Tartaq Sami, who are believed to be Bouhrama’s chief
aides in planning the attacks.
The arrests were a major coup for Italian anti-terror forces, and
the story was carried in most major newspapers from Europe to China.
"U.S. terror attacks foiled,” read the headline in England’s
Sunday Times. In France, a headline from Agence France Presse proclaimed, "Three
Algerians arrested in Italy over plot targeting U.S.”
Curiously, what was deemed worthy of a worldwide media blitz abroad
was virtually ignored by the U.S. media, and conservative media watchdog
groups are saying that is no accident.
"My impression is that the major media want to use the NSA story to try
and impeach the president," says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the
Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media
"If you remind people that terrorists actually are planning
to kill us, that tends to support the case made by President Bush.
They will ignore any issue that shows that
this kind of [wiretapping] tactic can work in the war on terror.”
"The mainstream media have framed the story as one of the nefarious President
Bush ‘spying on U.S. citizens,’ where the average American is a
victim not a beneficiary,” commented Brent Baker, vice president of the
Media Research Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to encouraging
balanced news coverage, "so journalists
have little interest in any evidence that the program has helped save
lives by uncovering terrorist plans."
The Associated Press version of the story did not disclose that the
men planned to target the U.S. Nor did it report that the evidence
against the suspects was gathered via a wiretapping surveillance operation.
Furthermore, only one American newspaper, the Philadelphia
Inquirer, is known to have published the story that the AP distributed.
It ran on page A-6 under the headline "Italy Charges 3 Algerians.” The
Inquirer report also made no mention of the plot to target the U.S.
- although foreign publications included this information in the headlines
and lead sentences of their stories. Nor did it advise readers that
domestic wiretaps played a key role in nabbing the suspected terrorists.
One obvious question media critics are now raising: Did the American
media intentionally ignore an important story because it didn't fit
into their agenda of attacking President George Bush for using wiretapping
to spy on potential terrorists in the U.S.?
"It's clear to me," says AIM's Kincaid, "that
they're trying their best to make this NSA program to be an impeachable
offense, saying it is directed at ordinary Americans. That's why
they keep referring to this as a 'program of spying on Americans'
- whereas the president keeps pointing out it's a program designed
to uncover al-Qaida operations on American soil."
MP Battalion CO's Report
Subject: Iraq Report from a Battalion CO
A message from COL Jim Brown, written on his last night in Iraq.
It is my last night in Iraq. Tomorrow night I will begin the long journey
home as we depart BIAP and fly to Kuwait and then fly on to our homes
in Germany at 0300 the next day.
Cindy has forwarded me a lot of your discussions of strategy in Iraq,
discussions about Nate Sassman, the media and questions about the way
ahead. I just wanted to share with you some observations that I have
now in my 12th month here and on the eve of our redeployment.
I commanded the 18th Military Police brigade for
its second rotation to Iraq. We were among the first brigades to return
having served in OIF I. 45% of my unit were returnees-tremendous heroes.
Several of them stop-lossed from approved retirements. I looked them
in the eye and told them that we needed them and they never complained.
In fact the two that this applied to did incredible feats in supporting
our team here. The morale of our Soldiers in the mission was very high. Only
three of our Soldiers in the headquarters chose not to reenlist and
all three have clear plans for their futures. All our other eligible
soldiers reenlisted here among us in Iraq.
Our mission in Iraq was to support all Iraqi Police
Services in Najaf, Karbala, Diwaniya, Kut and Hillah (ancient Babylon).
We were charged with developing the Iraqi Highway Patrol into a Federal
law enforcement Agency and establishing a training academy for the
highway patrol, building a national headquarters for
the highway patrol and contracting for the construction of all Iraqi
Headquarters. We also were in charge of the security of our corps Main
Supply Routes in the most embattled areas of our lines of communication
and the escort of convoys. Finally, we were in charge of Abu Grhaib
and Camp Bucca Detention Facilities. In the fall, our mission changed
dramatically to where we ran all detention operations for all theater
level detainees in Iraq.
As with most units in the Army, we accomplished our
mission with excellence, values and the compassion that has marked
American Soldiers since our inception as an Army. We had no scandals
due to NCOs and Officers selflessly serving with our soldiers 24/7
and enforcing standards and combat disciplines that keep Soldiers alive,
alert and successful. If something didn't look right we
investigated right away and took immediate action to correct any minor deficiencies
before they were allowed to fester and create the impression that the
standards were not enforced. our soldiers responded to their NCOs and
junior officers with pride and confidence-they represented you well
Leading a brigade that included up to 4,000 members of Army Reserve,
national guard and Active battalions as well as two active U.S. Air force
expeditionary Security Forces Squadrons (Battalion equivalents), two
US Marines Corps companies, and one Airborne Battalion Task Force, my
CSM and I committed ourselves to a program of leader development sessions
to insure that all leaders had a common understanding of standards and
that we professionally grew as a joint team. It was an amazing ride.
In order to lead, coach and mentor this team, we were on the road constantly
and we logged just over 40,000 miles in our HMMWVs to do this. This gave
us a tremendous situational awareness and experiences that were perhaps
not completely unique, but are shared by a fortunate few who got to traverse
Iraq as we did. I'd like to offer some insights into the strategy here,
the media and our enemy here that I have formed over the past year.
Who ever designed the plan for the transitional government here is a
genius. The employment of three elections in one year, while frenetic,
has first taught the value of voting and then has allowed those who
didn't previously vote to step forward and join in the process. When
the first election occurred in the end of January, I had been here
two months. Up to the 30th, I had seen very few women in public. On
the 30th of January, I was in Najaf, Karbala, Hillah and
Diwaniya and I saw thousands of excited citizens streaming to the polls
to vote. Many of the voters were women. It was so exciting to see them
finally have a voice in their future. The Iraqis did a great job of securing
their country that day and it was the first true democratic election
in Iraq. The election resulted in an Iraqi transitional government that
had the charter of drafting a proposed Constitution for the Iraqi people.
The government achieved this and the second election on 15 October was
a referendum to see if the people would approve the document. Participation
in the second election now included large numbers of Sunnis-many who
would oppose it, but they were voting to let their voice be heard.
Two days before the nation-wide referendum, we conducted
the referendum actually in our major detention centers at Abu Ghraib
and CampBucca where
half of our detainees chose to vote on the referendum as well!
The vote was observed by UN workers and went extremely well. The election
throughout Iraq was more successful than the first as it included a growing
number of participants. People like to be heard. They like to vote and
we are seeing democracy move forward here in Iraq. The evening before
the election, I stopped in a village just South of Scania near Najaf.
I had the opportunity to speak
with a village elder who told me with great pride about the fact that
he now had a cell phone, red car and TV with satellite. He
showed all off to me and told me that "without the American Army,
none of this would ever have been possible, Saddam never allowed us to
have these things." He was so excited about the vote the next
day and he i insisted that we join him for his Ramadan supper as the
sun was just setting. I thanked him, but told him I had to be heading
on---the reason I had stopped is that the temperature in my vehicle
had been over 140 degrees for several hours and we needed a break!
I also was fascinated to see his village as it looked like it came
out of the pages of the Bible, the only differences being electricity,
satellite dishes and cars! The third election this year is now coming
and it will be to elect the first true Iraqi Parliament-I expect that
due to the trend with the past two elections that the turnout for the
next one will be the highest yet.
It is too costly not to vote and to risk going under represented. This
is why I think the framers of this process were geniuses. They have educated
the populace as to the value of participating in democracy all prior
to actually electing the first government. The momentum of democracy
is gathering steam and people want their voices to be heard.
We have learned a lot about our enemies this past year. One of the
most significant events was the interception of the Al Qaeda strategy
letter from Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to Al Qaeda leaders in
Iraq. The letter demonstrates that our enemies are waging a global
war against us and all free peoples. The desired end state of our
enemies is to take us from a multi-cultural society with freedom
of religion and thought to an eighth century caliphate dominated
by a religious zealot who will tell us what to wear, what to think
and how we are to worship. This war has truly become one of good
versus evil. We are fighting an enemy that threatens the whole world
and he has declared that this is the decisive battleground for the
struggle: "As for the battles
that are going on in the far-flung regions of the Islamic world, such
as Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Bosnia, they are just the groundwork
and the vanguard for the major battles which have begun in the heart
of the Islamic world." (Letter from al- Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi
p. 2). What I have seen of our enemies here tells me that we
are fighting in the right place. We have all seen people butchered
because they worship in different mosques than those of our enemies-men,
women and children. My personal experiences here have shown me an enemy
far more evil than I have encountered anywhere else.
On 20 March 2005, one of our squads was involved
in a very famous fight against an ambushing element of 45-50 highly
trained insurgents that sought to annihilate a supply convoy. Fortunately,
our squad was only three minutes behind the convoy and immediately
attacked into the flanks of the enemy. As the squad of 10 initially
attacked, they were going at 1 to 5 odds. The odds changed immediately
with the loss of the third team to rifle fire that critically wounded
the team leader and driver of the third vehicle while wounding the
gunner as well. The medic of the squad was in this vehicle and fought
to hold the attackers at bay while kicking the wounded bodies under
the vehicle to save them from further injury.
The lead vehicle of the squad had been hit by
an RPG right as they turned into the enemy and the gunner was thrown
down into the vehicle. Thinking he was dead, the squad leader, SSG
Timothy Nein, began to climb towards the gun when the gunner came to
and jumped up on the .50 Cal and returned fire. The enemy was filming
this attack up to this moment as the .50 Caliber machine gun killed
the cameraman with its first burst of fire. SSG
Nein and SGT Hester both charged into the enemy positions and killed
many of the enemy in close quarters combat. At the end, 27 enemy were
killed, 7 WIA and one was captured with no injuries. This heroic
action, which resulted in three Silver Stars for valor including the
first to a woman since WWII, has been well reported in the Washington
Post and now Soldier of Fortune Magazine. What is not reported is that
in the cameraman's pocket was another film. It was of a beheading that
the sesame insurgents had done in the day prior. The victim was a man
of different religious belief. He was also bound with hand-cuffs. The
insurgents we fought and killed were extremely well armed and they
were all carrying hand-cuffs. Their vehicles, which were destroyed
by the .50 cal gunner as well, were all parked with trunks and all
doors open. It seemed that the enemy wanted to take US hostages and
they clearly showed what they intended to do with them.
This summer, one of our squads came across three vehicles on the side
of the road. 15 people had been taken out of the vehicles and machine-gunned.
Five were already dead, but the squad called for a medevac and began
to treat the wounded. What they didn't realize at the time was that only
two of those vehicles belonged to the victims. The third was a VBIED
that had been placed there waiting for our MPs to lend life-saving aide.
When it went off, it wounded 11 of our heroes, but miraculously killed
Just last month, my squad and another MP Squad
were intended victims of a similar ambush when I saw three men hooking
up a tow truck to a broken vehicle shot by a sniper. As the men fell
and pleaded for help, an MP Squad directly in front of me responded
right away, pulling the men from the scene. I moved my security
squad into a security position guarding the MPs as they went to work.
We had pulled our vehicle next to the victims in a blocking position.
Scanning for the sniper, I told my Soldiers to keep stay in the vehicles
and scan for the enemy.
Right then an explosion went off in the median. My gunner shouted "IED!" It
seemed like a plausible tactic, but it wasn't a very large IED. Right
then another went off and we realized we were being mortared. We took
several more hits and shrapnel damage before reinforcements tipped
the scales our way. What an evil enemy we face.
LTG Vines reminds us that this is an enemy who would
kill every man, woman and child attending a sports event in the US and
call it a good day. I'm thankful
that I have been here with my brave and heroic Soldiers to face this
enemy and stand up for freedom here. It is my belief that we are fighting
an enemy who has both the capability and the will to follow us home if
we don't win this fight here. I don't want my grandchildren to face the
terror that our enemy would want to impose on them.
There has been much concern about our media reporting only the bad
in this war and not what is going well. I have had the opportunity
to work extensively with our media and I have almost always found
them fascinating, informed and engaging. I have not been overly disappointed
with our coverage. I do get a sense when I see CNN playing in a mess
hall that you will see much more gore in one week of CNN than the average
Soldier in a year of service here. There are some exceptions
among us, but you get a lot more of it bombarding you there at a faster
rate than most of our Troops have here. When the media reports bad
news about Soldiers it is because that is the exception.
American Soldiers are expected to be moral and to employ their weapons
and force in accordance with our Rules of Engagement and the vast majority
do. So when an aberration occurs it does make the news. I found out personally
that the thing that most disturbs the American people is when our soldiers
are undisciplined. The average troop may be college aged, but he/she
is expected to act like a Soldier and not a sophomore on spring Break.
Fortunately we haven't had a problem with that here, but I did get some
high adventure when the antics of some troops prior to our arrival here
hit the news after we were here!
There is a lot of good news to report on here and to see how much the
Iraqi Army and Police have improved in year is simply miraculous. In
late September, I was driving from Um Qassr to Baghdad and was just north
of Basra where our FM communications were in a momentary blackout. We
came upon a bus of religious Pilgrims that had been returning from Najaf
to Basra and the driver had apparently fallen asleep and flipped the
It was a tragic scene of carnage with the roof
of the bus crushed in and one woman still pinned inside and another
man dead inside. Another Army medic, was applying an emergency measures
to try to establish an airway for another woman whom we were fighting
a losing battle to save. A team of our Soldiers worked feverishly to
cut the trapped woman out of the bus and we set up two casualty collection
points. I was able to get a medevac request out through my FBCB2 Computer
in my vehicle and we where now working to stabilize patients and calm
them. Right then the Highway Patrol showed up in the trucks we had
given them and began to evacuate the wounded to local hospitals. They
did everything that you would expect of the Highway Patrol in California
or New York! It
was so wonderful to see the team that we had raised, trained and outfitted
doing exactly what we had envisioned! Together we saved more than a few
lives that day. There is much good news indeed.
I just want you all to know that I leave here in the continued belief
that it was very important to come and work to transform this ravaged
country to a democratic representational government. There is much
hope ahead for Iraq. The output of fuel is only 40% of its possible
capacity at present and in the future they will be much more able to
stand on their own. The true wealth of Iraq is not oil though,
it is fresh water and soil. I have been amazed how much land the people
here can cultivate using Nebuchadnezzar's canals and ancient farming
methods. I have no doubt that in the future-with modern irrigation
and farming methods, Iraq will feed most of this region of the world.
This war will go on for some time in my opinion. But it also has been
going on for sometime as well. Our enemies tried to blow up the World
Trade Center in February 1993 and they never stopped till they achieved
their evil objective. This war has actually been going on since the late70s.
We must continue this fight until we have won it. The cost is very real.
For the 18th MP Brigade this time it was 10 more heroes who have given
up their lives for our Freedom. The 18th MP Brigade has now lost 28 heroes
in the Global War on Terror and there are many who have been wounded.
Please keep their sacrifice and their families, loved ones and comrades
in your hearts. I ask that you specifically pray for:
SGT Leonard Adams, HHD 105th MP Bn
SPC Jonathan Hughes, B/1-623 FA
SPC Eric L. Toth,A/1-623 FA
PFC Michael R. Hayes, 617th MP Co
SPC Ryan J. Montgomery, B/1-623 FA
SSG James D. McNaughton, HHC 306th MP Bn
SGT William A. Allers, 617th MP Co
A1C Elizabeth N. Jacobson, 586th Expeditionary
Security Forces Squadron
SGT Steven Morin, A/1-133 FA
SGT Christopher T. Monroe, HHC 785th MP Bn
Well, tomorrow we begin movement back to our wonderful
families. I wish you could see these heroines and heroes whom we know
as our best friends, encouragers and confidants. Just today,
Cindy was back at Landstuhl visiting and ministering to our newest
wounded. The incredible strength, patriotism, sacrifice and service
of our spouses is most humbling to me. I hope that my comments have
helped some of you to at least see some more of the perspective that
our great teammates and heroes like Casey Haskins, Kenny
Dahl have been sharing. God bless you all, and God bless our wonderful
Soldiers and Spouses.
Jim Brown Baghdad, 4 Nov 2005
James B. Brown
COLONEL, MILITARY POLICE COMMANDING
18th Military police brigade
CAMP VICTORY APO AE 09342
Letter From A Marine Leaving Iraq
Note: This is a recent letter from 1st Lt. Brian Donlon USMC
to a group of friends and supporters with whom he had stayed
in contact during his deployment to Iraq. It was provided
to DefenseWatch by a mutual friend.
All,This will be my final letter from Iraq. I will be leaving
the country in the next week and should be home in the United
State soon after. Spring is now here in Iraq. The weather
is pleasantly warm with the occasional sunny day.
a recent trip, I flew in a helicopter north of Baghdad over
miles of small farms, criss-crossed by irrigation canals,
each surrounded by bright green fields. It all gave an impression
of timelessness, life unchanging but for the season. In the
days since the elections it has been very quiet here and
all my Marines remain safe. Everyone is very ready to go
I give my final impressions of Iraq, I have one final experience
to relate. Recently, I spent several days in Fallujah. As
the largest battle fought in this war and the most brutal
fight for the Marine Corps since Vietnam, the name, "Fallujah," tends
to engender visions of smoke and fire, death in the streets.
I cannot speak for the condition of the city before and during
the assault, but what I witnessed was perhaps the most secure
and peaceful urban area I have yet encountered in Iraq, including
the Green Zone.
four days on security patrols in and around the city, I did
not even once hear the report of gunfire in anger or the
echo of an explosion. Of course, when you systematically
kill or capture every insurgent in a completely cordoned
city and search, blast or burn every single structure, you
can expect resistance to become light or nonexistent.
hosts were the warriors of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, who
fought along the regiment's right flank during the battle
and back-cleared the entire northern sector of the city following
the operation's conclusion. These men fought a grisly, tedious
and exhausting battle street-by-street, block-by-block for
almost two months. For all my imagination, until I walked
the streets, listened to the stories, saw the pictures and
read the after-action reports, I had no concept of what a
fight it had been.
enemy dead with ponchos as they went, they killed Muj (as
they nicknamed the insurgents) in the streets or toppled
buildings on top of them with mortars, artillery and aerial
bombardment. They shot dogs and cats caught feasting on the
dead, found the mutilated corpse of aid worker Margaret Hassan,
discovered a torture chamber with full suits of human skin
and refrigerated body parts right out of "Silence of
the Lambs," opened a cellar with chained men who had
starved to death and broke down doors to find rooms full
of corpses, hands tied behind their backs, bullet holes in
the back of their heads. These are just in the pictures I
enemy they encountered was fanatical and often fought as
if pumped up on drugs. His ethnicity was varied and his tactics
ranged from insurgents attempting to cross the Euphrates
River on inflated beach balls to houses detonated on top
of Marines as they entered the first floor.
I listened to the stories, I had visions of Henry V's warning
before the walls of Harfleur to "take pity of your town
and of your people, whiles yet my soldiers are in my command;
whiles yet the cool and temperate wind of grace o'erblows
the filthy and contagious clouds of heady murder, spoil and
thought of all the times in history where invaders had systematically
destroyed a city, extinguishing the population and sowing
salt in the earth.
for the battle damage on all sides, the city of Fallujah
had more children and a more industrious citizenry than any
other I encountered here in Iraq. Almost every house had
been re-occupied following the invasion, gutters cleaned
of garbage, white flags flying over newly patched garden
walls, "Family Inside" written in large letters
in both English and Arabic. Marines control access to the
city; Marines mediate civic disputes; Marines provide food,
water and are protecting those who are repairing city infrastructure;
Marines patrol the streets, policing both the citizens of
Fallujah and the Iraqi Army who sometimes abuse their authority.
is a city on lockdown and ironically is probably the safest
and most progressive place in Iraq right now. I now understand
why the citizens in a nearby neighborhood here in Baghdad
worriedly asked the Army command we are attached to, "What
have we done? Why are Marines here?" when we began to
patrol there.With that experience, I more or less close my
time here in Iraq. I have a few more hurdles to overcome
before I am home but now all tasks are related to ensuring
a safe journey there. Reflecting on what I have seen here
in Iraq, the overwhelming emotion I feel is of pride, not
in myself or even in my Marines, but in being an American.
sentiments tend to gravitate between cliché and taboo
in the sensibilities of popular culture, but if I was not
defined before as a "patriot," I am now. I am very
proud to have been a small part of this effort and to come
from a nation where not only could such an effort be sustained
but whose aim was the betterment of another people a world
few months ago, I was walking at night through a logistics
yard and as I weaved between mountainous stacks of crates
stamped with the names of a dozen nations, I was struck by
how fortunate I was to be an American. The perspective bordered
on the sublime. Just outside the wall lived people in poverty
and squalor who had been subjected to their lot by a tyrannical
ethnic and political minority who shrugged off human misery
with the medieval belief that it was the "will of Allah." Not
much has changed in the Middle East in the last few thousands
of years, except for the religion and identity of the tyrant
in question. Just south of where I sit now, in the city of
Babylon in the 5th Century B.C., the Persian Xerxes planned
his doomed invasion of Greece, his logisticians collecting
mountains of supplies, compiled from the labors of subject
millions.There is no difference between that tyrant 2500
years ago and Saddam Hussein whose palaces dot across this
country like vainglorious lesions, one built just miles away
from here, complete with fresh water dolphins in artificial
lakes, observation towers with night clubs, and irrigated
tree-lined walks, built in the midst of international sanctions
levied against his country.
I stood dwarfed by piles of water bottles and phone cable,
I realized two distinctions. The first is this: as countless
millions of dollars are spent, what American citizen can
truly point to the cost that this war has had on his quality
of living? What a magnificent nation we live in where we
can wage so massive an effort without bankrupting our citizenry
in the process.
second contrast is our motive: for all the insinuations of
imperialism, corporate benefit and hawkish war-mongering,
the most dramatic moments I witnessed here revolved around
an election, not an exploitation. What other nation would
spend such sums to give a people so far away self-determination?
am not advocating war. Being so far from home for so long,
smelling and seeing the dead and placing Marines in harm's
way are not truly enjoyable experiences. Yet I agree wholeheartedly
with the much-criticized statement by [Lt.] General [James
N.] Mattis, it is fun to wage war against a foe who seeks
only his own self-gratification, who tortures, murders and
abuses the weak. You can opine all day long about Wilsonian
self-determination, but without the will to do what is necessary
to make such visions reality, they remain mere words.
short, as I give my farewell to this country in the next
week, I leave with overwhelming pride in being an American
and an unshakable belief, based in what I have seen here,
that this effort will not fail. Whatever comes in Iraq, the
impact of this invasion will not be as that of every other
conqueror, relegated to a wind-worn mound of stones in the
want to thank all of you who have taken the time to read
these often-verbose letters. Just being able to write to
this audience has been a great stress relief. I especially
want to express my gratitude to those who have written to
me both electronic and snail mail, sent care packages and
kept me in their thoughts and prayers. This was without a
doubt the best experience of my life thus far and would have
not been so without the support and generosity you have shown
my Marines and me.
all came together,
Both young and old.
To fight for our freedom,
To stand and be bold. In
the midst of all
We stand our
we protect our country
all terror around.
and not war,
what some people say.
I'll give my life,
you can live the American way.
give you the right
talk of your peace.
stand in your groups,
protest in our streets.
still I fight
don't bitch, I don't
just one of the people
is doing your time.
harder than nails,
than any machine.
the immortal soldier,
a U.S. MARINE !
stand in my shoes,
leave from your home.
for the people who hate you,
the protests they've shown.
for the stranger,
for the young.
they all may have,
greatest freedom you've won.
when your time comes,
what I've done.
if you stand up for freedom,
stand when the fight's done.
Corporal Aaron M. Gilbert, US Marine Corps
SAIPAN, PERSIAN GULF
Sergeant Herbert Hancock - USMC Sniper
time we were killing terrorism from more than 1,000 yards." - Marine
Corporal Geoffrey Flowers, spotter for Sergeant HancockSergeant
Herbert Hancock was credited with the longest kill shot
in Iraq - 1,050 yards. That's 3,150 feet, or roughly 10
football fields. He used a M40A3 with
a twenty power scope. He and his spotter (Corporal
Flowers) made that shot after fighting for hours in Fallujah
while insurgents were shelling his compound.
Sergeant Hancock is a Bryan, Texas, police officer when
not protecting his fellow Marines. Corporal Flowers is
a college student from Pearland, Texas.
The rifle used:
Marine Corp M40 A3 Sniper Rifle
These are individually hand made by the USMC
Armorers at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
- Caliber - 7.62 mm NATO (.308 Win)
- Weight - 7.5 kg (16.5 lb)
- Overall Length - 1.124 m (44.25 in)
- Barrel Length - 610 mm (24 in)
- Barrel - Schneider Match Grade SS #73
- Magazine Capacity - 5 rounds
- Sight - Unertl 10x with Mil-Dots and BDC; specially designed
- Stock - Fiberglass McMillan Tactical A4
- Max Effective Range - 915 m (1000 yd)
The movie clip link below is a night
vision movie from Iraq, showing
live action against Iraqi insurgents. The pictures were taken
from an AC130 Specter gunship two and a half miles away.
The guys in the picture are setting up a roadside bomb and planning
to ambush an American convoy which followed a short while after the
pictures were taken. They were setting up for the ambush and
were pacing off the distance from the bomb to where the convoy
was to pass by. Turn your sound up. The level of effort these
crews put forth to control the enemy's antics is commendable,
and their marksmanship with those electronically controlled
40mm cannons is astounding.
This ain't Hollywood.....
" War is hell Gentlemen. If it wasn't we'd love it too much."
Robert E. Lee
View more video clips at Military.com
Shock & Awe
December 9, 2005 (CNN)
While interviewing an anonymous US Special Forces soldier,
a Reuters News agent asked the soldier what he felt when sniping
members of Al Quaeda in Afghanistan.
The soldier shrugged and
San Francisco Collision
On Button Below, To Read
To See A Destroyer Hit With A MK
Is Quite Impressive!
- ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE
Rumsfelds visit to Iraq.....not newsworthy, just one 1SG's opinion
All, this is a shotgun blast response to the media reports
on Secretary Rumsfeld's visit to our Camp. I was fortunate
enough to be there and even shake the man's hand. When the
media reports were released concerning the event, I could not
believe what I saw and heard. There are over 12,000 troops
on our base. Only 2,000 or so had the opportunity to attend
the gathering and I can tell you, those were hotly contested
seats. Not as the media would have you believe, so we could
voice our displeasure, but rather to have the opportunity to
see and hear the man we admire.
Secretary spoke for 10 minutes or so on the war in Iraq and
what freedom meant to the people of Afghanistan. He was there
for the recent elections and shared his wonderful insight.
After his prepared remarks he opened up the floor for questions
and made it very clear that nothing
was off limits.
this is extremely unusual for a dignitary to do. Also, we
as leaders, were instructed to not screen our soldiers' questions.
They were to be honest and from the heart. Mr. Rumsfeld fielded
a number of questions, took down notes for the ones he did
not have answers to and genuinely enjoyed talking to the
soldiers. Afterward, he spent
over an hour with the enthusiastic troops who
literally mobbed him and would not let him leave. He smiled
for all, shook hands and had pictures taken.
ended only when his security forced us away. He was applauded, he
was given a standing ovation and he
was loved. He
stood there like a professional, like a man, and he took
the heat because that's what leaders do. And yet somehow,
the American media turned that wonderful event into a "disgruntled
troops meet with Secretary Rumsfeld" headline. Incredible.
morale is high, the equipment is good and improving daily.
Disregard what you read and hear from the media and trust
in the American fighting men and women to do the right thing.
We have excellent leadership and are doing what we signed
up to do.
The Mosque Shooting
watching the footage of the Marine killing the guy in the Mosque,
here are a couple of points on shooting wounded guys in Fallujah:
like self-defense to me.
1) The guy was a terrorist.
2) He was breathing.
What’s there not to understand?
For those learning-impaired (morons/Leftists/bleeding hearts/liberals)
out there, here’s a nice little picture to make it clear:
Fi!!! Good Job Marine!!!
*** UPDATE ***
Marine Corps announced on May 4, 2005, that this Corporal
will NOT face court-martial.
review of the evidence showed the unnamed Marine's actions
were "consistent with the established rules of engagement
and the law of armed conflict," said Maj-gen. Richard
F. Natonski, commanding general of the 1st marine Division
in San Diego.
I said "good job Marine . . . . Semper Fi"
. . . . Webmaster