Friday, August 31, 2012
From the Toronto Sun:
TORONTO - The first female U.S. soldier to seek refuge in Canada rather than return to duty in Iraq is facing deportation, a group that advocates for her said on Thursday.
Kimberly Rivera, a 30-year-old private who served three months in Iraq and came to Canada while on leave in 2007, has been ordered out of the country, said Michelle Robidoux, spokeswoman with the War Resisters Support Campaign.
“She developed an opposition to what was going on in Iraq based on her experience in Iraq,” Robidoux said.
Rivera, who has been living in Toronto with her partner and four children, could face jail time in the United States....
I have never understood WHY you would volunteer to be a soldier in war time if you don't agree with - approve of - going to war. What did she think she would be doing? Basketweaving?
Read more on the latest claimant of the "I'm not too smart medal" here.
Army Times is also running this story here, and is worth reading for the comments if nothing else.
Update: This Ain't Hell has more on this deserter's background here.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
A few days ago, I referenced an American Veteran's thoughts on this state of affairs, in a column called On the Path to Defeat.
From War On Terror News:
There has been a lot of criticism about the "Rules of Engagement" in Afghanistan. There have been times when it was reported that Troops were not authorized to have magazines in their weapons. There have been times when air assets could not fire within 250 meters (or some other distance) from a manmade structure. Artillery support has been denied Our Troops when they were going into the heart of enemy territory. The Administration mandated that all night operations be approved by an Afghan court. There have been times when US Troops were told to disarm so their disarmed Afghan colleagues would not feel slighted while in the presence of Leon Panetta. ..(source)
This nonsense of bending over backwards so as not to offend our Afghan "colleagues" has now gone beyond the ridiculous, to the point that the daily news more often than not has OUR kids as fatalities - OUR Troops shot and killed by those very same "Afghan colleagues."
Out of England, comes news of how our Brits are getting around the ROE BS. From the Independent:
British soldiers resort to 'baiting' Taliban to beat rules of engagement
Platoon commander describes frustration at being forced to lead troops 'to get shot at'Jonathan Owen
27 August 2012
British soldiers in Afghanistan are being forced to act as bait in an attempt to draw the Taliban into opening fire, a serving platoon commander has alleged.
Soldiers are risking their lives to get round strict rules of engagement that allow them to shoot only if they are being attacked or are in "imminent danger".
The Taliban are increasingly exploiting the rules by hiding weapons in undergrowth near patrol routes – meaning British forces cannot act against them until they actually pick up their guns.
The number of British soldiers being shot dead in Afghanistan has spiralled as new tactics stop them from shooting at the Taliban until they have been fired at. Fourteen have been killed by enemy gunfire in Helmand Province in the past four months, compared with three in the same period in 2011.
Last month it emerged that the US general John Allen, head of coalition forces, had instructed the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) not to shoot first unless attacked, although the Ministry of Defence has denied this amounted to a change in the rules of engagement.
In a statement the MoD said: "We have always been very clear, as has ISAF, that our troops go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. Recent amendments to the ISAF tactical directive reflect that commitment."
You know there is more, here.
No Military stategist here, but I thought shooting and killing an enemy first - before they kill us - is the whole point of taking the fight to them. This ROE is all well and good for demonstrating our commitment to the Afghan people, but my question is: How about showing a commitment to OUR Troops? Anybody?
(My regular readers knows what my non-verbal editorial comment is on news like this.)
Defence has confirmed that five Australian soldiers have been killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan.
Three Australian soldiers were killed by a man in an Afghan army uniform in a 'green on blue' attack at a base in Uruzgan province in the south of the country yesterday.
Two other Australian soldiers were wounded in that incident.
In a separate incident early this morning, two special forces soldiers were also killed when their chopper crashed in the Helmand province.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard said that in a war of so many losses, this was Australia's single worst day in Afghanistan and "the most losses in combat since the days of the Vietnam War".
Much more here.
Always remembered. ALWAYS honoured.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
'Black Rats' prepare to continue Afghanistan transition process
A Military Operations news article
24 Aug 12
Members of 4th Mechanized Brigade (4 Mech Bde) are finalising their training ahead of their deployment to Afghanistan this autumn as the UK's Task Force Helmand on Op HERRICK 17.
Due to the significant progress in the development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in Helmand province, the deployment will see the Task Force begin the UK's phased drawdown in numbers of manpower and materiel in Afghanistan, with Brigadier Bob Bruce, Commander 4 Mech Bde, committing to sending 500 British troops back to the UK by the end of the year.
4 Mech Bde, also known as 'The Black Rats', is based in Catterick but made up of units from across the UK, including a number of reservist as well as regular military units.
At a facility held at Bulford Camp on Salisbury Plain yesterday, Brigadier Bruce, who has deployed with 4 Mech Bde three times in the past in three different ranks, praised the training and the new equipment that his men and women have received:
"As we have deployed Task Forces to Helmand of course we learn the lessons of that deployment, and we constantly adapt the training to make it better and better, and we are regularly in receipt of new pieces of equipment," he said...
Read the rest here.
Pakistan tries 14 yo Christian for Blasphemy
The girl, Rimsha Masih, was taken into custody earlier this month after angry neighbors surrounded her house in Islamabad and accused her of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Koran. Some say she was burning papers from the garbage for cooking. Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan.
On Tuesday, her attorney, Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, said a medical board has determined that the girl is 14 years old, but mentally younger than that. He told reporters in Islamabad that as a minor, Masih can be tried in the juvenile justice system.
Chaudhry said a bail hearing has been scheduled for Thursday....
Airman 1st Class Brooke Goose poses for a photo Aug. 24, 2012, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Goosen is the only female out of 28 Airmen in the 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Dyess metal shop and has more than seven years experience with welding.
Photo Courtesy AF.mil taken by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Stefanko
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Aug 24, 2012 by SOforAmerica
Paid for by Special Operations for America.
Ryan Zinke, the former Navy SEAL who started the super PAC, spoke exclusively with Breitbart News today. “The ad itself accurately portrays where this President is,” said Zinke. “It accurately portrays his core belief that America should not lead. This president is shaping America to be one of the followers, to relinquish our role as a world leader. I didn’t fight 23 years as a Navy SEAL to watch America bow to anybody.”... (emphasis mine)
GO read the rest here.
As further proof, as if any was needed, of WHY our SEALs have every reason to be pissed off with the MIC, the Obama camp yesterday posted a video called 'One Chance'...Yes, it has former POTUS Clinton waxing *ahem* eloquently on how couragous MIC was to make the call. I am not going to post it, but it is here.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard that a few days ago England's Prince Harry was photographed nude, while attending a private party in Las Vegas. Apparently those pictures were sold to an American media outlet and have now been seen around the world. News out of England now is that, despite earlier reticence to publish naked pictures of Prince Harry, one British 'news'paper has also shared them. They seem to justify it as coming under 'the public's right to know' or some such rot. Every sleaze rag in America jumped on board to share the proof that *gasp* Prince Harry is a normal male. I am presuming he is normal, since I have heard no follow up story along the lines of *Prince Harry is alien baby: picture proof* or some such nonsense.
No, I have not seen these pictures, and no, I have no intention of seeking them out, because I DON'T CARE! Shocking, I know!!! However, it seems that my total lack of interest in such private pictures is rare, at least among the msm who have fallen all over themselves to express their faux outrage. Not as if England has any other really important issues to cover - or uncover as the case may be. Yes, that was sarcasm.
Fact is these pictures were taken at a PRIVATE party in a PRIVATE room by - one presumes - a private individual. Should all participants (including Harry) have a reasonable expectation that their privacy would be respected? Of course they should, and that quite apart from the old cliche "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
As Prince Charles pointed out to the British media, any publication of these pictures is a gross invasion of privacy, no matter WHO the subject is.
The msm may be flogging this issue, and being oh so terribly serious (as they run to the bank, no doubt) but leave it to our British Military men and women to show the appropriate response to this non-issue.
According to the Daily Mirror, there is now a FaceBook page dedicated to showing support for one of their own by shedding all their clothes. In the Mirror article there are some great pictures with this story. In true British fashion, the Troops - and in some cases, their missus' - poke fun at the stodgy public image portrayed by the msm, and have posted pictures of themselves baring all as they stand tall and salute Prince Harry. The comments are hilarious as they prove that this whole non-issue has been overblown and that they, at least, are not buying into it. Of course, they also prove, in case anybody EVER doubted it, that some British can always laugh at themselves.
In all seriousness though, the msm has proved once again, that there are no lengths to which they will not go, in order to portray a public figure in a bad light, and if that is Prince Harry, so much the better. The fact is, Harry and his mates were at a private 'do' and doing what young lads have done since time began: having fun.
Despite what the msm is saying about how seriously Prince Charles and Buckingham Palace may be viewing this 'incident,' (did any of them suggest that Harry would get a 'dressing down' by his dad? I don't know,) none of us really have any way of knowing, since I am sure none of the family will be saying anything quotable for the media.
Bottom line for me is that this should be a cautionary tale for Harry and his friends: Know who you are trusting, before you strip off. Yes, as a Royal he is a public figure, but he also knows how the media has salivated over every detail of his family's life for years. Sad to say, the media has always pushed the boundaries of the family's right to privacy, and for an opportunity to show Harry in his birthday suit I guess the sky was the limit in terms of the price they were willing to pay.
We don't know who sold those pictures to the media, but I suspect that by now Harry and friends most certainly DO know who did. If nothing else, I hope it was a reminder to them all to be ever wary of who they include in their merrymaking. It is said that everybody has their price, and I hope that the seller of the Harry pictures made a bundle, since that will be the last time she'll ever be invited to a party with that crew.
Good on the British Military for standing with him, and displaying an attribute the seller will never understand: loyalty, which cannot be bought, for any price.
Soldier ON, Harry....
Interesting commentary on this video here as MIC pontificates on "Victory" and proves - yet again - that he is ignorant of history.
As MIC used to demonstrate, he can talk a good talk; well, he used to be able to do that! These days, he is being outed as an inarticulate, out-of-touch, bitter ignoramus (add your own adjectives) who can't put more than two words together, unless it is a scripted attack on Romney/Ryan - but I digress. This video is from 2008 and is the MIC's stated approach - at least then - on Afghanistan.
Obama in 2008.
Many have been watching the MIC's overseeing of the Global War On Terror, and none more closely than our Troops and our Veterans. Over at War On Terror News is the usual clear-eyed analysis and commentary.
Monday, August 27, 2012
On the path to defeat in Afghanistan
For those that have been paying attention, it is obvious that the War in Afghanistan is going poorly in 2012, that it is far worse now than in 2008. National Security should be on the campaign stump, and how the candidates would win the war should be part of the discussion, but its not.
Rarely do we hear in what little discussion there is, why we went there to begin with. That's an important detail because before we can pronounce the "war has been ended," or that the mission is complete, we must remember what the mission was and what was so important that we were unified as a Nation to go to the other side of the world, to a country landlocked and surrounded by less than friendly Nations, to fight a war in the 14th Century.
The desired end state is also missing from the discussion. That hasn't always been missing. It was quite clear in 2001 and slightly fuzzy but stated from 2003 to 2008.
Since we don't remember where this war came from, nor have a plan on where we want to take it, it is not surprising that we are confused as to how to get there. Instead, politicians have gotten mired in tangential side issues. The big issues pushed by the current political leadership have been: repeal of DADT, putting women in combat units, establishing no-fire zones around structures, and pushing talks with an enemy that has no desire to compromise.
Former Marine Paul Szoldra, in Business Insider writes:
"And yet all the blood, destruction—all the efforts of our military—cannot change the unfortunate and highly probable outcome that our 2014 exit from Afghanistan will be marked as a failure."
"I don’t want to believe it, but we are losing this war." (Paul highlights the post here)And he is right. We are losing. And it is not because Our Troops lack the motivation, dedication, or will to win. They are winning, in every encounter with the enemy. We are losing because the politicians tried to play General, and tried to play politics on the battlefield. They tried to use the buzzwords that were used to describe things that worked before, but stripped those strategies of key components under the cover of "Afghanistan is not Iraq."...
If you read nothing else about Afghanistan this week, read the rest of this column here
With the US election coming up in November, we have another opportunity to decide how future national defence policies are executed by the politicians. The time is long past when any of us who value freedom can give carte blanche to empty suits whose only qualification is empty words dressed up as 'soaring rhetoric.'
By paying attention, maybe voters will actually make informed and educated choices.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
'Rabbis for Obama' Boycott Israel and Cozy Up to Ahmadinejad
by Rachel Hirshfeld
President Obama’s re-election campaign announced last week the launch of “Rabbis for Obama,” an initiative aimed at rallying Jewish support for the president in the upcoming elections.
What has recently come to light, however, is that the list of over 600 rabbis, many of whom are Reform, Conservative and female and would thus not be considered as such by the Orthodox community, also includes many unabashedly anti-Israel figures, who align themselves with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state.
Lynn Gottlieb, for example, has met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and sits on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization that has been listed as one of the “Top Ten Anti-Israel groups” by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
According to the ADL, JVP “…calls for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, accuses Israel of ‘apartheid’ policies, and supports divestment campaigns against Israel. Like other Jewish anti-Zionist groups, JVP uses its Jewish identity to shield the anti-Israel movement from allegations of anti-Semitism and provide a greater degree of credibility to the anti-Israel movement…. JVP activists regularly attend anti-Israel events wearing T-shirts and holding signs proudly broadcasting their Jewish identity. In March-April 2010, leaders of JVP unsuccessfully lobbied for the passage of a divestment resolution at the University of California, Berkeley, targeting companies that do business with Israel.”
Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), Matt Brooks, said in a statement that “there can only be two explanations for her inclusion in the list: 1) the Obama campaign failed to properly vet the rabbis on their official list, or 2) they did properly vet the rabbis and chose to ignore... Gottlieb’s radical views.”
“This speaks volumes about the Obama campaign’s judgment and the RJC calls on the Obama campaign to immediately remove her from any formal or official involvement in the campaign,” Brooks said.
Another name on the list, Chava Bahle, is a member of “14 Friends of Palestine,” an organization that advocated condemning Israel for the Gaza flotilla incident in 2010 and falsely accuses Israel of preventing food and medical supplies from reaching Gaza.
In his book, “Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi's Path to Palestinian Solidarity,” Brant Rosen, a clergyman who is also listed among Obama’s supporters, wrote a wholly biased and inaccurate description of Operation Cast Lead, in which he portrays Israel as the undeniable oppressor, aggressor and pariah. Rosen is also a member of the BDS movement.
Another name on the list, Aruthur Waskow, is associated with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an organization that is also on the ADL’s most anti-Israel group list.
The above are merely a few of the many anti-Israel figures whose names appear on the list.
At the time “Rabbis for Obama” was announced, Ira Forman, Jewish outreach director for the campaign, issued a statement saying, “These rabbis mirror the diversity of American Jewry. Their ringing endorsement of President Obama speaks volumes about the President’s deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel and his dedication to a policy agenda that represents the values of the overwhelming majority of the American Jewish community."
Chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), William Kristol, wrote a letter to President Obama calling on the administration to repudiate such anti-Israel figures.
“Far from demonstrating a ‘deep commitment to the security of the state of Israel,’ these figures have demonstrated a deep hostility to the state of Israel and a deep commitment to demonizing the Jewish state and undermining the U.S.-Israel alliance,” Kristol wrote. “We are sure that you will be distressed to discover that your own campaign has included so many of them on the list of ‘Rabbis for Obama.’ We cannot imagine their endorsements are ones you welcome.”
“This is, as you have pointed out, a particularly perilous time for the people of Israel. We trust you do not want, however inadvertently, to signal in any way a lack of commitment to Israel’s security or a lack of concern for Israel’s well-being. So we look forward to your repudiation of the anti-Israel figures among the “Rabbis for Obama.” And we respectfully suggest that you have an urgent and serious conversation with whoever in your campaign thought it appropriate to trumpet their support as a way of making your case to the pro-Israel community.” Kristol added.
Coming soon: Alien Grannies for Obama... Okay, maybe NOT!!!~
I know I am not the only one who has been bombarded with constant emails from the OfA never-ending campaign begging for $3 donations.
In amongst the latest flurry of bleating "The corporate bullies of the Republicans are outspending us blah blah blah" comes a clear sign that inflation has, indeed, touched the OfA. This 'just' in:
Jim Messina, BarackObama.com
From: Barack Obama
Subject: The end?
It's August 23rd. And 75 days from now, I'll either be looking at another four years in the White House -- or the end of this opportunity.
I know what's at stake for the parents worrying about health care, the kids who need help to go to college, and the seniors who want a secure retirement.
But we're getting outspent by wide margins in critical battleground states -- and what we do about that today could be the difference between winning and losing on November 6th.
So as we near one of the last fundraising deadlines of this campaign, I'm asking you to pitch in $5 right now:(emphasis mine)
Thanks for all you do,
Paid for by Obama for America
And today's CanCon - because I can:
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I remember this so well, sitting in London, and joined with the world in wonderment. It was through this event that I first got the spark of awe and amazement that the reach of the "one small step" could turn into a "giant leap."
Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand. – Neil Armstrong
Thank YOU, Sir. Soar Through the Heavens.
Friday, August 24, 2012
Yankee Stadium awarded SAFETY Act designation
24 August 2012
The SAFETY Act designation has been given to many defense and security companies since DHS started awarding it in 2004, but Yankee Stadium is the first sports arena to become immune to general lawsuits which could be filed by victims of future terrorist attacks
The new Yankee Stadium (right) next to the original // Source: daum.net
The New York Yankees are baseball’s most storied franchise, setting the tone for a professional sport franchises on and off the field. Now they have set the bar higher yet again, but not without controversy.
Last month Yankee Stadium became the first sports facility to earn the federal SAFETY Act designation, meaning that the facility has passed a battery of tests and won approval from DHS, giving the franchise broad immunity against lawsuits stemming from a terrorist attack on the stadium.
The designation has been given to many defense and security companies since DHS started awarding it in 2004, but, as NBCnews reports, Yankee Stadium is the first sports arena to become immune to general lawsuits which could be filed by victims of future terrorist attacks. The National Football League was also placed on the list in 2008, but that designation only applies to the Super Bowl according to experts....
The rest of this interesting article here.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Now comes word that Captain Semrau has written a book: The Taliban Don't Wave
The CBC is reporting:
Canadian soldier writes of stoned Afghan fighters
Accused of 'mercy killing' Taliban fighter, author was convicted of lesser charge
The Canadian Press
Posted: Aug 22, 2012
The day he was alleged to have killed a wounded, unarmed Taliban fighter, Capt. Robert Semrau watched in dismay as stoned Afghan soldiers passed around "King Kong" marijuana joints and carried their rifles like baseball bats.
The former Canadian infantry officer, who was at the centre of a national debate over mercy killing in war, has broken his silence in a book that paints a stark, searing portrait of the chaos in the Afghan war.
Throughout his trial for second-degree murder and in the aftermath of his dismissal from the military, Semrau has been silent about what happened on Oct. 19, 2008, following a horrific firefight.
And anyone looking for a tabloid-type revelation, an explanation — or even contrition — in his book, The Taliban Don't Wave, will be disappointed....
CBC has more, and it tells of a book that is important reading in the current quagmire that is Afghanistan.
Go read the rest of the article here.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Border Patrol kiosk detects liars trying to enter U.S
21 August 2012
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is using border crossing stations in Arizona to test new technology to detect liars as they attempt to enter the country; travelers are subjected to a 5-minute interview with the kiosk, while microphones monitor vocal pitch frequency and quality, an infrared camera monitors eye movement and pupil dilation, and a high definition camera monitors facial expression.
Demonstration of the AVATAR kiosk // Source: arizona.edu
The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time (AVATAR) kiosk interviews travelers while searching for signs of deception.
Doug Derrick, a member of the University of Arizona team developing the AVATAR thinks the kiosk will be a success.
“What we’re looking for is changes in human physiology,” Derrick told CNN. “We’ve had great success in reliably detecting these anomalies — things that people can’t really detect.”
Emergency Management reports that currently, the AVATAR is being tested at the Dennis DeConcini port in Nogales, Arizona on low-risk travelers who have been preapproved by human screeners as part of the CPB’s voluntary Trusted Traveler program. ...
Really? There are so many things I could comment on with this 'news,' but instead I'll suggest you go read the whole story here.
Pakistan: Muslim honor murderer boasts of triple killing
Muslims commit 91 percent of honor killings worldwide. A manual of Islamic law certified as a reliable guide to Sunni orthodoxy by Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, says that "retaliation is obligatory against anyone who kills a human being purely intentionally and without right." However, "not subject to retaliation" is "a father or mother (or their fathers or mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring's offspring." ('Umdat al-Salik o1.1-2). In other words, someone who kills his child incurs no legal penalty under Islamic law.The Palestinian Authority gives pardons or suspended sentences for honor murders. Iraqi women have asked for tougher sentences for Islamic honor murderers, who get off lightly now. Syria in 2009 scrapped a law limiting the length of sentences for honor killings, but "the new law says a man can still benefit from extenuating circumstances in crimes of passion or honour 'provided he serves a prison term of no less than two years in the case of killing.'" And in 2003 the Jordanian Parliament voted down on Islamic grounds a provision designed to stiffen penalties for honor killings...
Much more here.
Monday, August 20, 2012
August 20. 2012
DOD Identifies Army and Navy Casualties
The Department of Defense announced today the death of seven service members who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died Aug. 16 in a helicopter crash northeast of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Chief Warrant Officer Brian D. Hornsby, 37, of Melbourne, Fla., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
Chief Warrant Officer Suresh N. A. Krause, 29, of Cathedral City, Calif., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer Technician 1st Class Sean P. Carson, 32, of Des Moines, Wash., assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego;
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks, 28, of Edgewater, Md., assigned to a West Coast-based naval special warfare unit;
Sgt. Richard A. Essex, 23, of Kelseyville, Calif., assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii;
Sgt. Luis A. Oliver Galbreath, 41, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and
Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class David J. Warsen, 27, of Kentwood, Mich., assigned to a West Coast-based naval Special warfare unit.
Always remembered. Always honoured.
Others have addressed his stoopid remarks about rape and abortion. Go read what Michelle Malkin has to say here.
I refuse to contribute to the msm 'distract and divert' tactic used to ignore other important issues for America - like the economy, for instance.
However, Akin's comments are a classic example of the power of words. We may intuitively know what he really meant by the oxymoron 'legitimate rape,' but he should have said what he meant clearly, with no room for misinterpretation. For the record: there is NO such thing as a legitimate rape. NO rape is EVER legitimate. IF Akin really meant those proven cases of rape, versus those claims later found to be false, then that is what he should have said.
As Malkin says:
GOP candidates in critical races that could swing the balance of the U.S. Senate ought to be ready for prime time. Period.
And that's the truth.
I am the very last person to minimise ANY claim of rape, and was appalled at first, Akin's garbled comments on the topic, and second, the furore caused by them. And yes, I am deliberately choosing NOT to address Akin's assinine commentary on what the female body does following a rape. Way too moronic to even go to, for me.
BUT the major lesson every politician should carry away from this cautionary tale is this: words do, indeed, have power. In this particularly ugly election campaign - which promises to get even more down and dirty - every politician needs to be mindful of every word they utter - BEFORE they open their mouths.
We have the 'great orator' and his minions proving almost daily that they will say anything, even provable, utter nonsense (notice I did not say 'lies'. ) They need no help from the Republicans to lose this election.
Words have power, and at this time, stoopid words can lose the Republicans this most important election. Mr Akin? Zip it.
One of the latest emails I got from the MIC's "Truth Team" is from John Kerry; the Vietnam Veteran who is a legend in his own mind. Normally, I wouldn't bother to share his diatribe, but this one is just too 'precious' not to have out there, on the record. Read on:
Never assume [Really, that IS the header...lol]
It's easy to look at the attacks, smears, and lies being told about President Obama and his record and say, "Come on, that's ridiculous. No one could possibly believe that."
Trust me: You and I learned the hard way eight years ago this August that in the new world we're living in -- one with 24-hour news cycles, the internet, blogs, the echo chamber, and now the new Citizens United-fueled Republican money machine -- even completely baseless attacks can stick if people don't call them out quickly enough. No matter how self-evidently false the attacks are, or how disreputable the people telling them may be, there's no attack that can't take hold.
Seeing the new outrageous attacks made against President Obama from a shadowy Republican-allied veterans group called OPSEC, which take issue with the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, remind me all too well of the notorious "Swift Boat" attacks I faced in the 2004 campaign. I honor and appreciate the service of my fellow veterans, but a false attack is a false attack -- no matter who's making it.
It's not enough to wish them away or dismiss them because they come in part from "birthers" who still won't concede that President Obama was born here in the United States.
No, we need to get moving now -- before it's too late.
Take a look at this blog post that fact-checks these most recent smears, and be sure to share it with others:
In 2008, then-Senator Obama said he'd end the war in Iraq in a responsible way and refocus on taking out Al Qaeda's leaders.
You and I know he's followed through in a big way on both those promises.
In contrast, the Republicans have a candidate with absolutely no foreign policy experience, who thinks Russia is our "number one geopolitical foe" and who is advised by people who think -- and have repeatedly said -- the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia are countries that still exist. Romney's two major foreign policy speeches never even mentioned Al Qaeda once, and he's prone to stumbles when he steps onto the foreign policy stage. (He can't even manage to visit London without causing an international incident!)
Faced with all this, it shouldn't be a surprise that Romney and his allies are resorting to the same national security smear tactics I faced in 2004. We have to take it seriously. Forward this email to your friends, and encourage them to join us on the Truth Team today:
Thanks for fighting back -- forewarned is forearmed!
Senator John Kerry
Really???! Yep - John Kerry is STILL an ass...
Mali's Islamist warlord declares war on the West
Monday 20 August 2012
A militant Islamist leader whose forces have just conquered two-thirds of the West African state of Mali vows to launch holy war against the West.
Omar Ould Hamaha, the military commander of Ansar Dine, or "Defenders of the Faith", which has scored a stunning victory in Mali against the failed state's armed forces, now controls a region larger than France which includes three paved runways that could be used to fly in weapons or drugs.
He said: "Even if they (western forces) don't come here, when we have finished conquering France, we will come to the USA, we will come to London and conquer the whole world. The banner of Mohammed (peace be upon his head) will be raised from where the sun rises in the east to where it sets in the west."...
Is there anybody who still believes the old 'what happens over there has nothing to do with us'??? Read the rest of this one here.
Senior staff cuts to make MOD less top-heavy
20 Aug 12
25 per cent of civilian and military senior personnel based at the Ministry of Defence's Head Office will be cut over the next two years to form a new senior staff structure.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced today that the new structure, which will be introduced from April 2013, will ensure that the MOD is less top-heavy, and is expected to save the Department around £3.8m a year.
Around 26 civilian and military posts at Senior Civil Service level, the equivalent of Commodore, Brigadier, Air Commodore or above, are set to go.
The new Head Office will focus more on providing strategic direction. It will no longer get involved in the day-to-day management of the front line commands, which will take over responsibility for managing their own budgets....
Yes, there's more here.
Veteran diplomat Brahimi replaces Anan as UN envoy to Syria
20 August 2012
The UN Security Council last Thursday decided to end to UN observers mission to Syria, and replace the Kofi Annan, who resigned as UN envoy to Syria two weeks ago, with veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahhimi; Annan’s efforts at mediation were equally pointless. The reason: both sides believed they would eventually prevail, and thus had no incentive to negotiate or compromise
The UN Security Council last Thursday decided to end to UN observers mission to Syria, and replace the Kofi Annan, who resigned as UN envoy to Syria two weeks ago, with veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahhimi.
A few hundred UN observers were sent to Syria to monitor cease-fire agreements between the regime and the insurgents, but there were no such agreements and thus nothing to monitor. The observers were able, on a few occasions, to verify claims of atrocities by the regime and its militias against civilians in towns and villages in insurgent-controlled areas, but even such reporting typically lagged behind smartphone videos and journalistic reports from the field....
Read more here, as the new envoy says his mission is to end the [un]civil war.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Guardsman Jamie Shadrake killed in Afghanistan
19 Aug 12
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Guardsman Jamie Shadrake of the Reconnaissance Platoon, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 17 August 2012.
Guardsman Shadrake died of gunshot wounds when his checkpoint was attacked by insurgents in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand province.
Guardsman Jamie Shadrake
Guardsman Jamie Shadrake was born on 14 of August 1992 in West Bromwich. He was brought up in the Cardiff area, subsequently moving with his family to Wrexham. He played rugby for his local team at Llanharan and was looking forward to playing for the Battalion team at the first opportunity. A keen sportsman, he also enjoyed kayaking and rifle shooting.
Guardsman Shadrake joined the Army as an 17-year-old in 2009. Upon completion of the Combat Infantryman's Course at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, in London where he conducted public duties at the Royal Palaces and participated in state ceremonial tasks.
In April 2010 he moved to 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards in Aldershot, joining his elder brother in The Queen's Company. So competent was his performance on a training exercise in Canada in the summer of 2011, that he was placed into the Battalion's elite Reconnaissance Platoon. He subsequently completed Mission Specific Training and deployed with the Platoon to Afghanistan on his first operational tour.
He was an impressive soldier with a huge number of friends, who had a promising future in the Army and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Guardsman Shadrake leaves behind his parents, Cathryn and Philip, brothers Carl, Kieran and Shane, and sister Kerry-Anne.
Guardsman Shadrake's family paid the following tribute:
"Jamie was a tremendous son and brother. He was proud to be a soldier and died doing a job that he loved. We are all devastated by the loss of Jamie who was such a loving son and brother.
"We are very proud of the fact that Jamie was prepared to do his duty in helping the people of Afghanistan.
"Jamie lit up any room with his infectious smile. He will be sorely missed by so many who loved him."...
Go here to learn more of the life of this Fallen Hero.
Rest In Peace, Sir.
(picture courtesy of Veterans Affairs Canada)
From the CBC:
Canadians mark ill-fated Dieppe raid 70 years later
Aug 18, 2012This weekend marks one of the most devastating and bloody chapters in Canadian military history. On Aug. 19, 1942 nearly 5,000 Canadians took part in the raid on Dieppe, France. Less than half of them returned.
Over 900 Canadians were killed in roughly three hours. Another 2,000 were captured, and many spent the next year and a half shackled to one another.
A Canadian delegation is in France to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Dieppe raid....
CBC has more - plus videos. Well worth the time here.
The Allied situation in the spring of 1942 was grim. The Germans had penetrated deep into Russia, the British Eighth Army in North Africa had been forced back into Egypt, and in Western Europe the Allied forces faced the Germans across the English Channel.
The Russians were demanding a Second Front --- a full-scale invasion of Western Europe. Since the Allies had not the logistical power to mount an invasion, they decided to stage a major raid on the French port of Dieppe. Designed to foster German fears of an attack in the west, compelling them to strengthen their Channel defences at the expense of other areas of operation as well as to placate Stalin, the raid would also provide an opportunity to test new techniques and equipment, and be the means to gain the experience and knowledge necessary for planning the great amphibious assault.
The attack upon Dieppe took place on August 19, 1942. The troops involved totalled 6,100 of whom roughly 5,000 were Canadians, the remainder being British Commandos and 50 American Rangers. They had received extensive commando-type training earlier in the summer, when the first attempt had been cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather. The raid was supported by eight Allied destroyers and 74 Allied air squadrons (eight belonging to the RCAF).
The plan called for attacks at five different points on a front of roughly 16 kilometres. Canadian forces would launch simultaneous flank attacks just before dawn on the cliffs east and west of the port (at Pourville and Puys), followed half an hour later by the main attack on the town of Dieppe itself. British commandos were assigned to destroy the coastal batteries at Berneval on the eastern flank, and at Varengeville in the west....
GO here and read the rest.
Matthew Worth, a Canadian Serviceman, shared these facts, as well as creating an awesome video:
The Dieppe Raid, code-named "Operation Jubilee", saw more than 6,000 men come ashore at five different points along a 16 kilometer-long stretch of heavily defended coastline. Four of the attacks were to take place just before dawn at points east and west of Dieppe, while the main attack on the town itself would take place half an hour later. The raiding force was made up of almost 5,000 Canadians, approximately 1,000 British commandos and 50 American Army Rangers. The Raid on Dieppe, France, on August 19, 1942, was a pivotal moment in the Second World War. With virtually all of continental Europe under German occupation, the Allied forces faced a well-entrenched enemy. Of the 4,963 Canadians who embarked from England for the operation, only 2,210 returned, and many of these were wounded. Casualties totalled 3,367, including 913 Canadian dead and 1,946 prisoners of war.
Aug 3, 2012 by canadianmatt3
Canadian Forces in World War II. More than 1.1 million Canadians served in the armed forces in the Second World War. Of these 42,042 members of the Canadian Armed Forces gave their lives, and another 55,000 were wounded, a heavy price to pay for such a small young nation.
Video made by: Matthew Worth (Canadianmatt3)
Audio: "Fate Has Smiled Upon Us"
Veterans Affairs Canada has a series of photos of Dieppe; far too many for me to choose one, but they all should be seen. There are also many other materials on the Dieppe Raid here.
As our precious Veterans of bygone eras grow old and pass on, it more important that we learn, honour, and remember.
Lest we forget.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Aug 15, 2012 by OPSECTeam
Intelligence and Special Operations forces are furious and frustrated at how President Obama and those in positions of authority have exploited their service for political advantage. Countless leaks, interviews and decisions by the Obama Administration and other government officials have undermined the success of our Intelligence and Special Operations forces and put future missions and personnel at risk.
The unwarranted and dangerous public disclosure of Special Forces Operations is so serious -- that for the first time ever -- former operators have agreed to risk their reputations and go 'on the record' in a special documentary titled "Dishonorable Disclosures." Its goal is to educate America about serious breaches of security and prevent them from ever happening again.
Use of military ranks, titles & photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement of the Dept of the Army or the Department of Defense. All individuals are no longer in active service with any federal agency or military service.
THIS civilian *gets it* that some things the general public does NOT need to know... Period.
Others than the QP have had harsh words for the MIC and his disgraceful jeopardizing of our Troops and their families.
From War On Terror News:
Dishonorable Disclosure: The Silent Professionals Speak Up
"Loose lips sink ships!"
There are thousands to millions of individuals that have devoted their lives to silently serving and sacrificing to keep this Nation safe. Having sacrificed their bodies, having given up holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, births, deaths, and graduations with their families to serve in the worst s***holes of the world, they've withheld from even those families, the valorous acts they've undertaken. They've lived the law of "need to know" even when their colleagues had the security clearance to hear. Video produced by Special Operations (OPSEC) Political Committee.
It should be no surprise that there's a burr under their saddles, when politicians put those lives at risk, to prove how smart they are. The video above spells out why pretty clearly. I encourage readers to not only watch the video but share the video with everyone they know. But, before I saw the video, I heard complaints about it, from supporters of the Politician leaking the information. Those supporters "couldn't understand" why this would be an issue. As such, I'll throw my own two cents in the ring:
WOTN does, indeed, put his 2 cents in and it IS a must read here.
It seems that the current leakers are not happy with the QP's, so have defaulted to their usual response to facts they can't manipulate and gone directly to smear:
Swift Boat 2.0: Conservative groups behind false attacks on the President’s national security record
August 16, 2012
When President Obama took office, the U.S. was engaged in two wars and and al-Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden was still at large. As commander-in-chief, President Obama refocused our priorities on the most significant security threats to the country and on fulfilling our promises to our servicemembers. Under the President, we have eliminated more than two-thirds of al-Qaeda’s core leadership—including bin Laden.But a new cadre of conservative groups are trying to “Swift Boat” the President by manufacturing false attacks about his national security record. A collection of super PACs and organizations are deploying the same “discredited” and “hardball smear tactics” against President Obama that were used to attack Sen. John Kerry’s military service in 2004. ...(here)
Blah blah blah, and more attempts to smear our Troops. I found that BHO non-response via This Ain't Hell and yes, there is more (plus comments) here. BlackFive weighs in, here.
Go read them all.
There are so many things wrong with the current administration, even as they loudly proclaim themselves as the only credible purveyors of truth and light (and the American way???!)
Truthfully? From where I sit, the MIC and the ObamaBots can insist all they like they are just sharing the truth as they work for the average American people blah blah blaaaaaaah. I'm not buying it. From what I can see, (and you don't need to be a news junkie to come to this conclusion) the MIC endangers not only our QP's but all our Troops.
As one of the QP's on the video says: 'Obama needs to shut the f*** up.'
THAT'S the truth.....
Added(with H/T to TAH) : Check out Debbie Lee's response on Fox and Friends to the well-reported "SEALs are gutless" comments here.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Aug 16, 2012 by ISAFMEDIA
Brig. Gen. Günter Katz, spokesperson for Headquarters, International Security Assistance Forces, gives a statement announcing a helicopter crash in Kandahar province, Afghanistan which resulted in the death of seven U.S. soldiers, three members of Afghan National Security forces and one Afghan civilian interpreter.
About America’s 911 Foundation
America’s 911 Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Leesburg, VA and dedicated to the support and advocacy of Active First Responders (EMS, Fire, Police) and their families.
The Foundation’s goal is to provide support and assistance for families of those who protect and serve the larger public by answering the 911 call. Every year, the Foundation leads philanthropic initiatives including the annual ride to pursue and promote continued support for its mission.
Our annual Motorcycle Tribute ride serves to honor the fallen heroes from the 9/11 attacks and their families, as well as to raise money for the Foundation’s Scholarship for children of Active First Responders in the EMS, Fire, and Police Departments across the country. Over the past 9 years, the Foundation has awarded over $150,000 dollars in scholarships to over 75 children of Active First Responders.
The event gathers together all types of people affected by the 9/11 tragedy, from avid motorcyclists to police, fire and emergency personnel. Over the past 9 years, the ride has created a sense of camaraderie between participants and given the opportunity to pay tribute to those who served our country that day as well as those who currently serve. In past races, the ride has gathered many followers who get together on the route and at stopping points to cheer on the riders and show their support for the cause.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
22 years old from South Cle Elum, Washington
October 11, 1919 - September 27, 1942
Douglas Albert Munro was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada but moved to the United States when his father, a U.S. citizen, moved back to the States for work. He, along with his mother and sister, became a naturalized citizen in 1922. He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1939 after a year of college.
Signalman First Class Munro was fatally shot when he put his boat in the path of direct fire to protect U.S. Marines they were evacuating during the Second Battle of the Matanikau. His last words were, "Did they get off?" For his action that day, Douglas Munro was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and became the only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to receive the Medal Of Honor. He has also has a Coast Guard Cutter and Naval Destroyer named in his honor.
"For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Officer-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land, and then in order to draw the enemy's fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft with its two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning, and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country."
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.
Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look
This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
August 14, 2012
ANALYSIS :: Can You Guess the October Surprise?
We recommend you read this valuable article by Bill Siegel of Family Security Matters:
One should never underestimate the audacity of President Obama to do anything to hold onto his presidency. It is safe to assume that, should his currently close but favorable poll numbers drop significantly, he has some critical "October Surprise" hidden away in his back pocket. Election fraud aside, some postulate that some form of pre-election adoption of (or, at least, nod to) some or all of the Simpson-Bowles Commission recommendations remains available. These same believers question why Romney does not do something similar as well.
More likely, however, the October (or September) maneuver will lie abroad; foreign policy is the natural playground for an incumbent commander in chief to manipulate. International crises tend to bring our nation together in support of the president while making it difficult for a challenger such as Mitt Romney to attack. After all, we can't change leaders in the middle of a crisis. Furthermore, while the choice of Paul Ryan as candidate for Vice-President doubles up on fiscal issue strength, it adds little toward foreign policy expertise. Obama will likely press the issue to both distract from the economy while stressing the advantage of being in the White House. And just as Romney was careful to not criticize Obama when he traveled on foreign soil, he will be pressured from many fronts to quell campaign attacks should the country find itself in some form of actual battle.
While Obama rode the wave of anti-pre-emptive war fervor in 2008, the most critical last minute ploy, however, may be to stage some aggressive use of force against either Iran or Syria in order to further what has been a successful theme of "Obama as warrior." The Obama campaign has been able to sell the narrative that Obama is "gutsy" and uninhibited when it comes to national security interests. The killing of Bin Laden, originally staged to occur and be announced immediately preceding a media packed White House Correspondent's Dinner, was sold to the public as an "agonizing" decision by a uniquely gifted executive. One need only ask how the supposed "spontaneous" flash mobs of college kids that so quickly assembled to celebrate obtained that many American flags to see the fine hand of a David Axelrod storyline being sold to America...
Much more of this MUST READ here. Are you paying attention America?
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith killed in Afghanistan11 Aug 12It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce the death of Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith from the Corps of Royal Engineers. Lance Corporal Smith was killed in action on Friday 10th August 2012.
Lance Corporal Smith was part of a Troop tasked to build a new checkpoint next to the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal in the Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province when he was hit by small arms fire. He received immediate first aid and was evacuated by helicopter but, despite all efforts to save him, he sadly died of his wounds.
Lance Corporal Matthew Smith
Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith was born on 12 March 1986 in Hong Kong. He grew up in Aldershot, going to school in the local area and playing his favourite sport, football, for Hale Football Club. He enlisted in January 2003 and joined the Corps of Royal Engineers in September of the same year. He quickly progressed, and successfully completed a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer cadre in July 2008, promoting three months later.
He continued his passion for football throughout his career. He played numerous times for 26 Engineer Regiment and was part of the team that won the Corps Championship, the Blythe Cup, in 2011. He was a dedicated team member, immensely popular and extremely talented.
Lance Corporal Smith deployed to Afghanistan on 16 March 2012 with 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 26 Engineer Regiment. He was based in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province where he supported 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment as a section second in command, crane operator and driver. Since arriving, he had been heavily involved with the transition to Afghan-led security, using his specialist skills to assist in the closure and drawdown of International Security Assistance Force bases. As a crane operator, he was involved in the construction of a new bridge allowing the local population of Nad-e Ali to cross the Nahr-e-Bughra canal. In this task, as with everything, he was the epitome of professionalism.
Lance Corporal Smith had been a member of 26 Engineer Regiment for nearly three years. In his time in the Regiment his personality had touched a lot of people. He will be justly remembered as one of the most popular, professional and devoted soldiers by anyone who was lucky enough to work with him. His irrepressible spirit, even in the toughest of situations, was legendary and will be sorely missed by the whole Regiment.
Above everything else, Lance Corporal Smith was devoted to his family. He talked about them endlessly. He leaves behind his father, Kenneth, mother Caroline, fiancée Laura, brother Bradley and four children, Lainie, Ella, Tilli and Jai (aged between one and seven).
Lance Corporal Smith’s Mother, Caroline Smith, paid the following tribute:
"A loving father to four beautiful children, who will be dearly missed by his fiancée, mother, father, family and friends. Our Hero R.I.P."
Much more here.
Always remembered. ALWAYS honoured.