Unrealistic Expectations Of Our Troops In Combat
By The Media
Evidence accumulates of a hoax in Haditha. Read the full story at AmericanThinker.com.
Two "Pictures of the Year"
Here are two pictures that were awarded first and
second place at the picture of the year international this year.
Very very touching photos.
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News
When 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno
Airport, Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped
the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on
the tarmac. During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year
at Denver International Airport,
Major Steve Beck described the scene as one of the most powerful in
the process: "See the people in the windows? They'll sit right there
in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going
through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought
him home," he said. "They're going to remember being on that plane
for the rest of their lives. They're going to remember bringing that
Marine home. And they should."
Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News
The night before the burial of her husband's body,
Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next
to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking
in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her
laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one
of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch
as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing
it," she said. "I think that's what he would have done..........
An Infantry Colonel’s Foxhole
Report from Iraq
March 30, 2006
note: our contributor LTC Joseph Myers forwards this report from
Iraq with the following introduction:I received
this ‘update’ from a friend, written by
a great American and Infantry officer, it represents his view
of things in Iraq…a personal foxhole snapshot from someone “over
there” for ten months. This is not an official report
of the Army or the MNF-I, but I thought you might want to post
it; it’s a very telling and inspiring story. But just
between you and me and the reading audience, the American media
is failing the American people—and terribly so. Is it just
an accident or partisanship? I suspect books will be written
on the coverage of this war as much as its conduct.
Meanwhile the American
Army and the rest of our armed forces in this fight is the only thing
standing between us and tyranny. One
day the American people might understand this, no thanks to the American
media of course.]
This was attached to the email that
I received from a viewer, the publication the Editor works for is unknown....Webmaster
Sorry it has been five months since my last update,
but then, we have been busy. Let me give you the bottom-line up front (BLUF), and
then catch you up on things. Feel free to forward this to whomever,
since we still can’t seem to get the press to tell folks what is
going on. This is how the fight is going from my foxhole, and it
is much more than the bombings, US casualties, and rumors of civil war
the press seems to be focused on.
are not, and have not been, on the verge of civil war. We have had an increase
in killings by militia groups in the past five weeks, and that is
not helping get the new government seated, but we (the Iraqi Security
Forces (ISF) and Coalition Forces) are far from losing control.
As you probably noted, Al Qaida and the other
insurgent groups were not able to mount a Tet like offensive this past
fall. Iraqi and
US operations prevented them from organizing major attacks, and the ISF
did a superb job of securing the polling sites. Iraq ratified a
constitution and conducted a credible election. Although the Iraqis
face some significant challenges forming the new government, the basics
of democracy are present and taking root.
Saddam’s trial is making progress, albeit painfully slowly. The
new judge is ensuring the defendants receive due process and a fair trial,
while eliminating their ability to turn the trial into a political circus. Saddam’s
and the others’ security continue to be one of my personal headaches,
so I am a big fan of keeping the trial moving.
2006 is the Year of the Police, which means our
focus is to get the Iraqi police forces trained and operational. We continue to work
to rebuild the Iraqi Army, which assumes responsibility for more battle
space each week. It is the ability of the Iraqi Army to take the
fight to the enemy that allowed us to turn off two US replacement brigades
at the end of 2005. The Iraqi Army is having successes and failures,
but is steadily improving. Recently they have conducted a number
of truly outstanding operations, both in conjunction with us and on their
own. The police are not as far along, hence our focus on them in
2006. What you don’t see in the media is the tremendous courage
of most of the Soldiers, Policemen, and Judges who take significant risk
each day to bring stability to their country. I lost an Iraqi friend
last week who was the leader of the security of the prison where we send
our convicted terrorists to serve their sentences. Another equally
brave corrections officer stepped up immediately to take his place.
The fight against Al Qaida is going well. They have chosen to
make Iraq the battleground against the US, and this has enabled us to
kill or capture significant numbers of their senior leadership, and put
a dent in their funding. They believe they can prevail by killing
US Soldiers, and waiting for the US public to tire of the war and casualties,
and bring us home. As I talk to Soldiers around Iraq, they overwhelmingly
believe in what they are doing and why they are doing it. They
know they are winning, and are frustrated by what they see and hear in
the news about America questioning why we are here. In my opinion,
it is much better to fight these terrorists in Iraq vice in the US.
Our counterinsurgency strategy continues to focus
operations to kill or capture insurgents; train and reinforce the Iraqi
Army and police forces to conduct the counterinsurgency; establish a
strong democratic Iraqi government; and rebuild the infrastructure and
economy. The interagency process is working fairly well in Baghdad
(Washington could take a lesson), with most of my contacts being with
the Departments of State and Justice.
One of our two largest challenges is to get the
Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds to work together. No one party/sect has
a majority in the newly elected Council of Representatives, so learning
to compromise and put together alliances in the government will be
key to success.
Who is selected to head the Ministries of Defense
and Interior (police) is also key; we really need individuals who are
secular, and are clearly not tied to any of the various militia groups. The militias are
the other major challenge to success here. We will have to disarm
them, weed them out of the government, and neutralize their ability to
terrorize the citizens of Iraq. This will be at least as challenging
as getting the major sects to work together, but not impossible.
On top of these two challenges, we have the Iranian
influence to combat. Our
neighbors to the east are intent on destroying this attempt at democracy,
and infiltrate and support terrorists at every opportunity. The
Judiciary continues to be a success story, and it remains strongly independent
and resistant to executive branch influence. As a side note, we
got our first death sentence in a Coalition case this week; one of the
Al Qaida terrorists who participated in the beheading of Nick Berg.
I could not have been prouder than to spend my
final Thanksgiving and Christmas in uniform with the outstanding young
Americans who are serving here as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. Thanksgiving morning
dawned clear and crisp at 45 degrees with a 20 knot wind. Although
it was warm by Minnesota and Korea standards, it was chilly for the desert
as we donned our body armor and loaded our HMMWVs for the convoy to Abu
Had a great dinner in the mess hall there with
the Soldiers, and spent the afternoon checking fighting positions and
guard towers. That
evening I spent some talking with the joint service members of our intelligence
unit, a section of which is dedicated to finding our one MIA, SGT Keith
Maupin. They are out on missions each week, intent on bringing
Troop morale continues to remain high. The Soldiers can see the
difference they are making, whether killing bad guys, training the Iraqi
forces, or improving the living conditions for Iraqis. They can
no longer give beanie babies to the kids, because Al Qaida has taken
to placing explosives in them, giving them to kids, blowing their arms
off or killing them, and blaming the Americans.
This is a tough fight, and we are once again
up against an enemy who has no moral compass. Our kids continue to excel at every mission,
and are undaunted in their task. If anyone has any doubts about
this generation, they can erase them. 2006 will be a decisive year. We
have the opportunity to do a battle handoff to the Iraqis for the lead
in the counterinsurgency fight, and begin to reduce our combat presence. Concurrently,
we must continue to coach and mentor the Iraqi Government as it continues
its journey toward democracy. We will need to be here for awhile,
but my assessment is that this is the make or break year.
I’m betting on our Soldiers and the Iraqi
Colonel William Ivey, Infantry
A Soldier Challenges The Hollywood Left
By Capt. Paul Carron
I was fascinated to watch the exchange
between actor Richard Belzer and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen ("Into the
lion's den," Inside Politics, March 26, 2006). I have completed four
combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I participated in the initial invasion
of Afghanistan in 2001 and parachuted into Iraq three years ago this
month. Most recently, I had the privilege of leading an infantry company
in Mosul, Iraq. I use this as context, not authority, because, according
to Mr. Belzer, participating in a conflict indicates a lack of understanding.
When I was younger, my father made
me read a book by James Michener, "The
Bridges at Toko-Ri." When I finished, I told him the book was about naval
aviators during the Korean War. He looked at me a little disappointed
and told me I had missed the point. The book to him was not about pilots
or the Korean War — it was about the bravery of men. At the end
of the book, the captain of an aircraft carrier is watching his men suit
up for yet another mission when he asks himself out loud, "Where do we
get such men?
Why is America lucky enough to have
such men?" Today,
while actors and talk-show hosts see fit to broadly characterize the
men and women of the armed forces as "19- and 20-year-old kids who couldn't
get a job," we should be asking the same question.
I wish Bill Maher,
Richard Belzer and the young adults of my generation who comment from
campuses and talk shows all over the country and mistake knowledge for
understanding could see what's really happening over there. I welcome
their right to disagree, but I wish they would educate themselves well
enough to disagree intelligently.
They should see a 22-year-old spend
two hours sitting on a hard concrete floor negotiating an electricity
contract or generator plan only to hit an improvised explosive device
emplaced by the very people he seeks to help; a 19-year-old female medic
advise a 19-year-old Iraqi mother on how to treat her child's ear infection;
or men still dazed from a bomb blast that killed a friend and wounded
seven others return from a mission and roll up their sleeves to give
blood for the wounded, then clean the blood out of their vehicle to do
a night patrol.
They do it without ceremony or formality;
they do it because it is their job and they are driven by sense of purpose
few in other professions can understand.
"Where do we get such men?" From
all over — not just America, but from many other countries, but
I know for sure the dedication required to do what they do every day
is equal to the demands of any "real job."
Capt. Paul Carron, U.S.
Army, Fort Lewis, Wash.
This may be the most outrageously gorgeous
truck ever painted.
Hands need to clap for those creators.
There is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy
25 in rural Iowa . For generations, kids have painted slogans, names,
and obscenities on this rock, changing it's character many times. A
few months back, the rock received it's latest paint job, and since
then it has been left completely undisturbed. It's quite an impressive
A Soldier Who Is Tired
I hope John Murtha sees this tired
soldiers remarks. . . . WebMaster
Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was
forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior
to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq in January to finish
my tour. I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are
winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned
to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I'll turn 60
years old in just four months, but I'm tired:
I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who
lack the courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks
I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history
when the going gets tough.
I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they 'Support
the Troops' by wanting them to 'Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.
I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and
casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of their
hotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are
having on the battlefield.
I'm tired that so many American's think you can rebuild a dictatorship
into a democracy over night.
I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go
to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent
I'm tired of the so called 'Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving
aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.
I'm tired of anti-war protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen
soldiers. A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble
cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters
is beyond shameful.
I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom - Vietnam generation, who
have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult
tasks through to victory.
I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives
than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.
I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the
press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.
Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn
from history that there is no substitute for Victory.
U. S. Army
101st Airborne Division
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) met with leaders of the anti-American group
Code Pink last week at the anti-Operation Iraqi Freedom meeting in
Arlington, Virginia hosted by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.)
Code Pink posted pictures of the meeting along with a statement indicating
they will be working with Rep. Murtha to deliver "kindness and support
to the wounded soldiers" at Walter Reed.
Code Pink has given $650,000 to the terrorists in Fallujah, participated
in war crimes tribunals against America and has
called American soldiers "killers" on
their website among many treasonous actions.
Text of Code Pink's statement on meeting Rep. Murtha:
Thank You Congressman Murtha! CODEPINK
co-founder Gael Murphy and DC coordinator Allison Yorra met with Congressman
Murtha to thank him for his courageous stand on Iraq. We presented
him with our pink badge of courage and pink flowers sent by CODEPINK
members nationwide. Rep Murtha was very appreciative of these gestures
and requested that we ask legislators to support H.J Res 73 (Murtha's
resolution). He also requested that we use additional donations for
the wounded at Walter Reed. DC CODEPINK along with other peace groups
involved in the weekly vigil at Walter Reed recently delivered baskets
of goodies to the wounded at Walter Reed. Together, with Murtha's office,
we will be continuing this outpouring of kindness and support to
the wounded soldiers from CODEPINK.
The ANTI-MILITARY ANTI-WAR group Code
Pink and their associates disguise themselves at Walter Reed Hospital.
Here is their Real Nature and some of their banners:
For more information about the dastardly
acts of Code Pink at Walter Reed Hospital, see the following links:
Where Did Code Pink Evolve From?
FrontPageMagazine.com, March 26, 2003
Like any other group, Communists
come in a lot of shapes, sizes and colors. This time they’re wearing pink,
they’re on the nightly news, and more than anything, they want
the mothers and grandmothers of America to identify with them.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d
think the leaders of the women’s anti-war group Code Pink got
lost on their way to the carpool line. Since October, these hot pink-clad "marching
moms" have been spinning the same tale to reporters from coast to
coast, the one about how concern for their families moved them to
trade their oven mitts for placards and take to the streets in protest
of an unjust war on Iraq.
They’ve played the part so convincingly that
over the last six months, they’ve become the media darlings
of war protest movement, raking in the television talk show invites
and making national news when they were arrested in front of the
White House. But the untold story is what they were doing before October.
Unless you travel in Marxist circles or work for
the FBI or CIA, the names of the Code Pink moms may not ring a bell
with you, though you’ve probably been reading news reports
about their collective exploits for years. In the wake of their war
against capitalism and self-determination, they’ve left a trail
of anarchy and destruction that has cost property owners, corporations
and consumers millions of dollars.
Naturally, they’ve toned their Marxist rhetoric
down for their stint with Code Pink. Though they’ve taken great
pains to differentiate themselves from the other, more radical anti-war
protesters, they are one and the same. The leaders of Code Pink didn’t
merely take part in the Washington and San Francisco protests that
made international headlines – they also organized them. In
the process, they’ve provided a rare public glimpse of the
faces behind the modern, highly organized American Marxist movement.
Needless to say, these women have little in common with the carpool
moms of America.
At the center of Code Pink is legendary leftist
organizer Medea Benjamin, the 50-year-old mother of two widely credited
as a chief organizing force behind the 1999 Seattle riots in which
50,000 protesters did millions of dollars worth of property damage
in their effort to shut down meetings of the World Trade Organization.
In addition to Code Pink, Benjamin’s San Francisco-based human
rights organization Global Exchange was the founding force for United
for Peace and Justice coalition, the nexus of the anti-war protests.
The United for Peace coalition, which includes
Socialist Action and the Socialist Party USA, is also led by Leslie
Cagan, who has a long history of activism with the American Communist
Party. If you want to know what anti-war activities United for Peace
and its more radical partner, Act Now To Stop War & End Racism
(ANSWER) have planned for the near future or contact information
for how you can join in, you can click on the Communist World Workers
Party website, one of the central grassroots clearing houses for
communist organizers in the United States and around the world.
The mindset of Benjamin and her friends can best
be summed up by her description in the San Francisco Chronicle of
how she felt on her first pilgrimage to Cuba in the early 1980s.
Compared to life in the United States, the communist social equality
of Cuba "made it seem like I died and went to heaven," Benjamin enthused.
Now it appears that Benjamin is trying to recreate it here.
The ties that continue to bind Benjamin, Cagan
and the others behind Code Pink and today’s anti-war movement
were formed in the early-to-mid 1980s when the still young Marxist-American
activists found the cause that first unified them: a communist government
in Nicaragua. Using the same sort of incestuous, sprawling coalitions
they created to oppose the war in Iraq and the invasion of Afghanistan
after Sept. 11, they helped aid the Marxist Sandinista regime in
its struggle against the American-backed Contras for control of the
Benjamin worked as a project coordinator for Institute
for Food and Development Policy (IFDP), which was widely credited
with aiding the Marxist Sandinista regime while Cagan, coordinator
of the National Mobilization for Justice and Peace in Central America,
led marches against US aid to the contras at home that at times attracted
upwards of 75,000 people.
When Sand Brim, the widely interviewed voice of
Code Pink, insisted to the reporters who interviewed her in January
that she was not an activist, just a businesswoman with reservations
about war, her 1985 stint in Nicaragua must have slipped her mind.
As the executive director of Medical Aid, Brim flew an American neurosurgeon
to San Salvador to operate on Marxist Revolutionary Party Commander
Nidia Diaz’s hand, which had been injured in combat. That Diaz’s
group had claimed responsibility for the murders of four U.S. Marines
and nine civilians two months before was apparently not an issue
for Brim. Nor were such ironies a problem for Kirsten Moller, the
current executive director of Global Exchange and Code Pink organizer
who, like Benjamin, also worked for IFDP in the 80s.
In the 1990s, Benjamin and other Code Pink Marxists
focused their energies on organizing sometimes-violent protests against
free trade across the globe, targeting large corporations with high-profile
campaigns and lawsuits that cost consumers and companies like Gap,
Nike and Starbucks millions of dollars. As with the anti-war protests
of the moment, the Marxist World Worker’s Party website has
played a crucial organizing role in their anti-corporate activities,
letting would-be agitators know when and where to show up for demonstrations.
Meanwhile, other Code Pink organizers were making
a name for themselves in domestic and eco-terrorism in the 1990s.
Code Pink Co-Founder Jodie Evans also sits on the board of directors
of Rain Forest Action Network (RAN), a radical anti-capitalist, anti-corporate
coalition of environmental groups co-founded by Mike Roselle, who
also founded the domestic terrorist organization Earth Liberation
Front (ELF), which along with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is
ranked the No. 1 domestic terrorism threat by the FBI. The FBI attributes
over 600 criminal acts and $43 million in damages to the two groups
since 1996. Wherever RAN pops up, you’ll also tend to find
the Ruckus Society, which has trained activists for ELF/ALF. Ruckus
Society organizer Steve Kretzmann, also a Code Pink coordinator,
has helped train activists in the agitation tactics that have earned
the Ruckus Society its reputation. The Ruckus Society, it’s
also worth mentioning, is a coalition member of Benjamin’s
United for Peace and Justice.
Code Pink may be communism central for the moment,
but if the past is any indication, the group will be left to die
on the vine as soon as public attention shifts away from the war
in Iraq. Like the other wedge issues these activists are so skilled
at creating and taking advantage of, the Iraqi conflict is little
more than an opportunity to ingratiate themselves with the American
public and swell their volunteer rosters while energizing and solidifying
the organization they’d been building since the Seattle riots.
While it may seem chaotic with its mass of groups
with varied interests, "the movement" as the organizers like to call
it, is built around a simple theme: that America and the rest of
the world is increasingly controlled by corporate powers that threaten
democratic rights. Its goals, as laid out by Benjamin and others
in a variety of newspapers over the years, are clear-cut.
They want to redistribute wealth from the top tiers
of society to the poorest Americans by raising minimum wages, choking
off trade, pushing up inflation, limiting corporate growth and dragging
down the stock market, cutting into the profits of the country’s
largest corporations or shutting them down completely and prompting
white collar layoffs.
As Benjamin explained to The Sunday Oregonian in
2000, these changes would be made slowly, perhaps over 20 years or
more. Though she admits that the above would cause an economic shakedown
or even a stock-market crash, she insists the changes would lead
to a "healthier, more stable economy."
"Seattle was this kind of battle cry," Benjamin
told the San Jose Mercury News in 2000. "We now know we
can mobilize hundreds of thousands of people."
But to the dismay of the movement’s organizers,
September 11 crushed some of that momentum. Ironically enough, September
11 was the day they’d planned to announce their biggest demonstration
yet, which was slated to draw well over 100,000 protesters to Washington
from around the world in late September. It was instead replaced
with a small peace demonstration.
The Code Pink ladies have been biding their time
ever since, reaching out to middle America, building their contact
lists and dreaming of the Marxist America that might one day be.
Letter From An
From GrassFire.net via
the 545TH MP Association
Read full CNSNews.com article
Outrage at Anti-War Protests at Army Hospitall
I am a reservist out of Dallas, Texas,
who is currently deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom. I also was deployed to Iraq for one year in support of Operation
Iraqi Freedom. I was part of the initial invasion into Iraq. During
my first deployment to Iraq, my MP unit was called up. I volunteered
for this deployment because I felt I had more to give my country and
felt it was the right thing to do. I would like to comment on the article
you wrote in reference to the Code Pink group at Walter Reed Medical
Center. I first saw your article on the Sean
Hannity website and then listened to Marc Morano’s interview
with Mr. Hannity via-pod cast from here in Afghanistan. (‘Anti-War
Protests Target Wounded at Army Hospital,’ August 25)
When I read the article I was assuming that the group was just close
to the Medical Center. But when I listened to your interview with Mr.
Hannity and your confrontation of the Code Pink lady, it became a lot
clearer. I was taken aback by her and her group’s arrogance to
what they are really doing there and who they are actually hurting.
To carry the signs, heckle the troops and to have mock caskets with
an American flag over them is beyond protest. It is downright harassment
of my brothers and sisters of the United States military who have been
By the end of the interview I was shaking and was even in tears for
my fellow brave soldiers who not only have to endure the loss of a
limb(s), loss of sight, or even worse – the loss of a battle
buddy (fellow soldier serving with your team). I know the guilt that
soldiers feel when they are not taken or injured but someone else is.
I feel guilt now that I made it through Iraq and now half way through
my tour in Afghanistan and yet I am fine. Over 2,000 of my fellow soldiers
have not made it. I can only imagine what my fellow injured soldiers
are feeling as they look out that window and see the Code Pink group.
I then went from thinking of my fellow soldiers to thinking about my
family and what they would have to go through if I were injured and
the emotional stress and guilt they would feel that they were unable
to protect their 34-year-old son, even though I made a decision to
protect my family and country.
Even though I disagree with what all of these groups such as Code Pink,
Moveon.org and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan stand for, my fellow
soldiers and I have fought, died, been injured and are still fighting
for their right to protest and speak their mind. But what angers and
hurts me as a soldier is that they parade their anti-war views in the
face of my brothers and sisters who are recovering from the same battlefield
that I fought on and am still fighting on as I type this e-mail. Is
there no honor or dignity left in the anti-war movement? Do they have
no shame? Do they have no integrity? Do they have no heart? Do they
have no soul? I can answer that with a simple no! How can they say
they support the troops but protest where they try to recover from
war? You interviewed one gentleman, and I use that term loosely, who
stated ‘If I was injured I would want someone to speak for me
like this.’ Well let me tell him something, we do not want you
to speak for us and we do not need you to speak for us! …
In closing, I would like to thank you for bringing their conduct to
the public eye, not only in your article, but on ‘The Sean Hannity
Show.’ I actually began to have some faith in the media again
when I heard Morano stand up for us soldiers like he did. I wish there
was something that I could do to personally thank him for your actions.
But I am going to ask that you please do not stop speaking of these
actions at Walter Reed. Please find a way to help stop the protesting
at Walter Reed. Please write more articles, ask why they were granted
permission, get public officials to speak out on the record and petition
people to withdraw their right to protest within a certain distance
from a military hospital. It scares me that next will be a fellow soldier's
funeral. That is the next step! Please, I ask that you continue to
investigate this protest and their rights to be there! Not to stop
people’s freedom of speech, but protect and respect my fellow
Sgt. Mark Leach, U.S. Army
Murtha The Turncoat
By Kieran Michael Lalor
LAST spring, I dropped by an
anti-war rally in White Plains. When I made it clear that I was an
Iraq vet who supported the war, the insults began to fly. Most slurs
were boilerplate anti-war clichés, but one man struck a nerve:
He marched up to me, looked me straight in the eye to ask, "You joined
the military?" — and when I proudly answered "yes," responded,
with utter disgust, "You are a sucker."
I felt the same rage last weekend
just watching Rep. Jack Murtha declare on TV that, were he younger,
he wouldn't join today's military.
I expect that kind of rhetoric
from the washed-up anti-war rabble that congregate on street corners
to relive their glory days — not from retired Marine colonels.
Murtha's call last year for
a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq was one thing — irresponsible
and unwise, but basically just stating a policy position. This is
What a nice New Year's treat
for the beheaders and suicide bombers to know that a decorated Marine
and lawmaker thinks the U.S. military is not only "broken" but
not worth joining. Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi will no doubt use Murtha's
words to inspire his band of thugs to hold out longer and kill a
few more Americans assuring them that ultimately we will wilt like
Why would Murtha not want to
be part of a military that in the past four years has liberated 50
million souls and heroically brought aid to tsunami and earthquake
victims, saving untold lives? Surely he knows that all was chaos
in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina until Gen. Russell Honore's
1st Army and the 82nd Airborne came to town and provided relief and
a security presence.
Evidently, Murtha doesn't think
this is noble work.
Or, rather, the congressman
doesn't like the way Iraq is going, so he disparaged the entire military — forgetting
about our sailors working tirelessly to keep the seas open, Marines
bravely guarding our embassies and soldiers standing watch in Korea
and elsewhere to protect the democratic from the despotic.
Thirty-seven years in the Marine
Corps should have taught Murtha that our military has historically
been and continues to be the world's greatest meritocracy. No other
institution has allowed people to climb the ranks and reach their
potential regardless of their socioeconomic status like the U.S.
Similarly, Jack Murtha should
know that millions of men and women have personally benefited from
the discipline, training and structure of the military and used the
traits learned in uniform to make countless contributions to civil
society after their service.
If Murtha wouldn't want to
be a part of a military that did in Afghanistan in three months what
the Red Army couldn't do in seven years and that put genocidal maniac
Saddam Hussein behind bars and his brutal sociopath sons in the ground,
I am glad he is not.
But he's surely undermined
military recruiting. Think he'll resign his committee assignments
relevant to the military?
Last year, despite a media
that overemphasizes the negative aspects of the war and an organized
anti-recruitment effort, the Marine Corps exceeded its recruiting
goals by 2 percent. The Navy and Air Force met their goals. The Army,
which fell short of expectations last year, is exceeding them in
Fiscal Year 2006 (which started in October).
Fortunately for the United
States, a turncoat blowhard like Murtha won't stop the tens of thousands
of good men and women inspired to serve this great nation.
Kieran Michael Lalor is the founder of Eternal
Vigilance Society (eternalvigilancesociety.org),
an independent organization supporting leaders who put protecting
the nation ahead of politics.
Damaging to Recruiting and
Morale in time of War!
Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked to comment on remarks by Rep.
John Murtha, D-Pa., a Marine Corps veteran who has become a leading
voice in Congress advocating an early withdrawal of U.S. forces from
Iraq. Murtha told ABC News this week that if he were eligible to
join the military he would not, nor would he expect others to join.
''That's damaging to recruiting,''
Pace said. ''It's damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed
and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in
what they are doing to serve this country.'' ... ''When a respected
leader like Mr. Murtha, who has spent 37 extremely honorable years
as a Marine, fought in two wars, has served the country extremely
well in the Congress of the United States ... says what he said,
and 18- and 19-year-olds look to their leadership to determine how
they are expected to act, they can get the wrong message,'' Pace
I agree with Gen Pace, do you?
I am urging you to send a letter
to your congressman/congresswoman urging them to take some action
against Rep Murtha. A suggested letter/email is provided below.
As a Congressman from __________
you are not only suppose to represent the citizens of your district
but all of the citizens of __________ and the United States of America.
As such, what are you going to do about Rep. Murtha's despicable
statements that have resulted in the increase in deaths of civilian
men, women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as increased
the casualties of America's bravest? His actions embolden our enemies,
put our country at risk, and his remarks are such as to attempt to
dissuade US men and women from joining the military, opening us to
further attacks from terrorists. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, Gen Pace, says Rep Murtha's recent remarks are damaging
to recruiting and to morale. These statements, from a member of the
U.S. House of Representatives - a fellow member of yours - are shameful!
As a military veteran, and
constituent of yours, I want to know what you are going to do about
YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS
True Blue In Iraq
By John B. Dwyer, Washington Times
December 2, 2005
Cartoon By Mike Shelton, Orange County Register
And so the debate continues. Should
U.S. forces pull out of Iraq? It has gone from a question of when to
one of how. Quickly, or in a staged manner? Doesn't matter, just bring
them home, sooner the better.
Now think about it; American troops
have only been in Iraq for a relatively short period of time. As President
Bush noted in a recent speech: "By any standard or precedent of history,
Iraq has made incredible political progress ? from tyranny, to liberation,
to national elections, to the writing of a constitution, in the space
of two-and-a-half years."
Two-and-a-half years into our Civil
War, Fredericksburg was over and Chancellorsville was in the offing;
into World War II, GIs were fighting in Normandy hedgerows and combat
in the Marianas. In both cases, hard-won victories had not yet been
achieved, but they would be. Now, a mere two-and-a-half years into
Operation Iraqi Freedom, the central theater for the global war on
terror, calls for retreat are being heard. They must not be heeded.
At this time 222 years ago, British
troops were finally departing American soil after forces under Cornwallis
were defeated at Yorktown in 1781. The war for our independence lasted
six years, marked by initial defeats and retreats. What if those volunteers
and regular Continental Army forces, the "true blues," hadn't persevered?
A sizeable British army under Gen.
Clinton remained in New York until late 1783. After it set sail, American
troops marched through the city. As Richard M. Ketchum tells us in
his excellent book "Victory At Yorktown": "A New Yorker, a woman used
to seeing British troops in their perfect uniforms, was astonished
seeing the victorious Americans, 'ill clad and weather-beaten, (they)
made a forlorn appearance; but they were our troops and as I looked
at them and thought upon all they had done and suffered for us, my
heart and eyes were full, and I admired and gloried in them the more.' " Those
men were the "one-third true blue," as John Adams described the percentage
of Americans who fought for and gained our independence. The rest were "the
Tories and the timid."
Those men — New Englanders,
including Glover's "Marblehead Mariners," New Yorkers, Marylanders,
Delaware Continentals, Pennsylvanians, Dan Morgan's Virginia sharpshooters
and Henry Knox's artillerymen, among others — had persevered.
And then, Yorktown. Mr. Ketchum sets the scene: "A surprising number
of these men had six years of punishing, bloody warfare behind them;
six years of hardship and suffering, hunger and tedium, no pay, and
unparalleled neglect by their government and fellow Americans... some
of these men standing under the hot Virginia sun were survivors of
the fights at Concord and Bunker Hill, had been part of the humiliating
loss of New York and the retreat across New Jersey, and endured the
killing winters of Morristown and Valley Forge. They had experienced
the... all too rare victories of Trenton and Princeton and Saratoga...
yet somehow, they had endured to participate in and savor this glorious
If the patriot few had not persevered,
this blessed country, this redoubtable republic, would not exist. We
are still free because their uniformed descendants have fought and
died to keep us so.
Twenty-first-century true blues
are at this very moment fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and serving elsewhere
in the global war on terror. At this pivotal point in our history,
with craven calls for retreat polluting the air, Americans must honor
their service and sacrifice, and remain true blue themselves, anchoring
their perseverance in their hallowed revolutionary roots until victory — as
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently described it, "unconditional,
unapologetic and unyielding" — is achieved.
John B. Dwyer is a military
historian, author and contributor to the American Thinker.
Fonda: U.S. Troops Are 'Killing Machines'
Source: NewsMax.com, Tuesday,
Dec. 13, 2005
Cartoon By Mike Shelton, Orange County Register
"Hanoi Jane" Fonda is claiming
that ever since Vietnam, U.S. troops have been trained to commit
atrocities against innocent civilians as a matter of military policy.
"Starting with the Vietnam
War we began training soldiers differently," the anti-American actress
says in an email to the Washington Post.
Fonda claims she learned of the
policy switch in "secret meetings" she had with military psychologists "who
were really worried about what was happening to our combat personnel."
One doctor, she insists, told her
U.S. troops had been deliberately trained to be "killing machines."
"This began," Fonda maintained, "because
the military discovered that in World War II and Korea, [U.S.] soldiers
weren't killing enough."
"So they changed training
procedures" to teach troops how to commit atrocities.
Still, the anti-war gadfly cautions,
it's important not to blame the soldiers themselves for carrying out
Recalling the "Winter Soldier" hearings
that she and John Kerry staged in 1971, Fonda lamented: "When you put
young people into an atrocity-producing situation where enemy and civilian
are commingled, where the 'other side' is dehumanized, we cannot be
Anti-war vets now returning from
Iraq, Fonda cautioned, should be listened to instead of being dismissed
"We have not learned the lessons
of Vietnam," she declared.
First we have Kerry calling the troops "Terrorists,"
now Jane Fonda refers to the troops as Killing Machines!" And,
the Democrats say they support the troops?! I think the extreme left
has taken over the party and that they are self destructing!. . . .
Wikipedia: force multiplier-a military term referring
to a factor that dramatically increases (hence multiplies) the combat-effectiveness
of a given military force.
In Iraq an IED explodes,
An American soldier dies,
But that blast will grow as the media blow
It up before our eyes.
And trumpet to the watching world,
These fifth column falsifiers,
Like sheep they bleat we face defeat,
Our foe’s force multipliers.
Osama and his minions know,
In combat they can’t beat us;
So they hope and pray will come a day,
Our own media will defeat us.
Ignoring all the good we’ve done,
Liberals focus on the gore,
On losses mounting and body counting,
To prove we’ve lost this war.
They disgraced us once in Vietnam,
So now these leftists feel,
That again they’ll win with media spin,
And make America kneel.
But defeatists aren’t the only ones,
Learned lessons from the past;
Back then we swore we’d lose no more,
This time we’re standing fast.
The Internet’s exposed them,
As elitist media liars;
They stand unclothed and widely loathed,
Our foe’s force multipliers.
Some day when all our troops return,
With Iraq on freedom’s path,
The liberal elite who sought defeat,
May face some Righteous wrath.
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Cartoon by Mike Shelton, The Orange County Register
Weighing the Options
time I hear some liberal Democrat ranting about our not providing
enough armor to protect the troops I just shake my head and tell
myself, that idiot’s obviously never humped a ruck in combat.
Hell, most combat infantrymen in my day didn’t want to wear a steel
helmet even though they knew it offered significant protection from head
wounds. I wish I had a dollar for every time I had to say, “Put
that steel pot on, soldier! Now!” I knew fellow NCO’s who
volunteered for Special Forces just because those guys never had to
wear pots, even into combat.
For an infantryman, who must carry not only the weapons, ammunition
and communications gear with which to fight, but also the food, water
and clothing to sustain his fighting ability for up to several days,
everything has a weight to value ratio as well as a weight to mobility
ratio. In Vietnam, every paratrooper in my battalion was issued a gas
mask in a canvas, carrying bag. After several months in country, I
was instructed by the battalion CO to inventory all the chemical protection
equipment in our unit. Guess what? While nearly all of the troops still
had the carriers strapped to their legs when they went out on operations,
most contained changes of socks and underwear or candy or smokes, all
things which were of greater value to them than a bulky, heavy, rubber,
seldom-if-ever used gas mask.
Unless the infantry has changed
a great deal from my time, which this article makes
me doubt, (among the subjects interviewed are a truck driver, a graves
registration marine and a military police officer) the actual groundpounders,
who need to be fleet of foot when the balloon goes up, don’t
want to be inordinately weighed down when the ability to move may be
the most important factor in surviving a firefight. When the shooting
starts, you want to be able to jettison that rucksack or whatever else
you’re carrying that isn’t essential to the immediate situation
at hand. You can always come back for that gear once the shooting stops.
Conversely, and by necessity, body armor must be worn all through the
fighting and may in fact encumber some individuals to the point their
combat skills are degraded.
If you read the comments following the article, you will see that
others who have been there agree. The most astute comment is the one
observing that intelligent local command discretion should be used
in making the determination as to whether additional armoring up contributes
to or takes away from the success of the immediate mission. If this
sort of mission-specific logic is applied to the use of body armor,
I will wager that infantry units, when involved in foot operations,
where they have always gone into battle with minimal protective gear,
will consider that weight to value/mobility ratio and opt for less
weight and more mobility. It is significant that even some of the non-infantry
personnel are complaining of armor-induced constraints.
Believe me, if the troops doing
the fighting really need something badly in this email- connected
age, you can bet they’ll be letting
their families and their politicians back home know about it. As for
the combat-deprived, reality-challenged, liberal Democrats attacking
the administration over this issue at every opportunity, I would remind
them there is a reason for the military designation, Light Infantry:
It’s the weight, Stupid!
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division