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July 2007

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July 09, 2007

Marines Mentor "Spray and Pray" Iraqi Troops

Marine_instructor_ezelIraqslogger

Habbaniya - All Marines are riflemen, but can Marines master all rifles? With security as the key for bringing stability to a war-wary Iraq, Marines are tapped to train a novice national army with a shaky reputation.

It's a clear, hot day beneath the Al Anbar sun, 50 miles northwest of Baghdad. Habbaniya is a former British airbase ceded from the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. Next to the long runways that required more space to take off are the remains of an upscale ex-pat community. The British officer—a respected position of social mobility in a class-fast society—could live a very comfortable life in the post-Great War Iraq of the 20's and 30's. The type of life where the help were confined to the Coolie Town and Olympic sized pool parties entertained the lady of the house while the husbands gathered for Pimms at the officer's club after a day of test flying aircraft.

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July 08, 2007

THE "GOOD WAR"

Afganmap2The “forgotten war” or the one that should have been remembered, Afghanistan is a place that looks suspiciously like Palm Springs despite the occasional IED and the lack of senior citizens. The craggy landscape is vast, mountainous and, from perspective of the aircraft, far beyond the view of my eyesight.  This is the “good war”, the legal and justified war, but like the sibling to the prodigal son, the son who did everything right,  Afghanistan is often neglected.   

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July 07, 2007

Iraq's Illegal Immigration Problem

Iraqflag2 Title02 On top of busted sewers, unpaved streets, faulty electricity, the city of Fallujah, in the Al Anbar province, had a problem with illegal immigration. Foreigners were filtering into the city, taking up whole neighborhoods and driving the locals out. The populace felt intimidated and didn’t protest much. Besides, there were plenty of Fallujans who felt they needed to support the new arrivals in a show of solidarity. But when city security butted heads with the ideology of violence, most Fallujans decided they just wanted peace of mind and the extreme measures they took were meant to provide just that.

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July 05, 2007

LIVE FROM BAGHDAD! The Press' War

TvscreenI wrote this story for The National Review on Thursday, July 5, 2007.  I would welcome your feedback on this article and feel free to share your personal views. Just look for the comment button at the conclusion of this story.

Logo_new_afbee0 In Baghdad, at an informal meeting of the incoming U.S. ambassador to Iraq and members of the media, the ambassador got an earful about how difficult it was to cover this war. Despite the dainty hors d’oeuvre and wine (in the first real glasses I have seen since my arrival in Iraq), the press brought out a laundry list of issues preventing them from doing their job: checkpoints, transportation, the bureaucracy of blood tests at the border, and the need for more personal security.  For what was supposed to be a meet and greet, the greet did not last long. Ambassador Ryan Crockerwas gracious, and some thanked him for inviting us to his home, which was rumored to be the former residence of Saddam’s sister. But like so many things here in country it’s not always possible to separate the rumored from the real. Discerning facts from fiction is an obstacle the media trips over daily.

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July 03, 2007

The Baghdad Chef Speaks On Camera

Iraqichef
I had the privilege of eating at a restaurant in Baghdad and had the greater privilege of meeting the chef who prepared the meal for those seated at our table.  He was a quiet, yet, friendly man who is an excellent chef and also owns the restaurant.  I wanted to find out how he felt about the conditions of the city he calls home and what, if anything, he misses about Saddam Hussein in power.

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July 02, 2007

Hear it "In Their Own Words"

Inownwordslogoshadow Corporal George Quinton Rhubi was born to be a Marine.  After all, his father was a Marine and he says, "It's all I know."  Just before a day of handing out soccer balls to the children of a neighborhood that had seen some of the fiercest fighting in all Iraq, Corporal Rhubi sat down to talk about his life as a Marine and why he chose to serve.

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June 29, 2007

Articles in Review

Nro Two of my buddies happen to be in the National Review Online this week.

J.D. Johannes has been to Iraq and back and back and then....?  He just gave his thoughts on the Surge.  Johannes is a deceptively simple man who has had the almost unheard of advantage of seeing both the small and big picture , up close and personally. 

Buzz Patterson has also penned an article for the NRO, where he sounds the alarm that a leftist anti-American (and in my opinion nihilist) culture will never accept victory in any sense of the word.  His book is already picking up traction from the "progressive" press, and they are NOT happy.






June 26, 2007

Flag Waving--Marine Charles Lindberg Dead at 86

Iwo_jima
The raising of the flag at Iwo Jima ensured the survival of the Marine Corps for another 200 years.



Within five weeks, over 6000 Marines had perished in a battle to occupy a small island that was named for the sulfur in it's bowels.  The taking of Iwo Jima allowed for the landing of planes and the continuation of the island hopping campaigns that eventually lead to the defeat of Japanese Imperial forces. 

Semper Fi,

Sgt. Lindberg    



Thanks Michelle

June 25, 2007

Operation Arrowhead

Photo1 Military Blogger extraordinaire, Michael Yon, reports from the fighting in Baqubah in Eastern Iraq.  Al Qaeda Iraq (AQI) has attempted to impose the same type of talibanesque laws as they had in Afghanistan.

The US and Iraqi Army spoke of this and I have heard rumors of the imposition of Sharia law in Anbar province, but Yon apparently ran into the real thing.


Here is an excerpt.

There is much work to do here, especially if the Iraqi Police continue to perform below expectations. The absence of strong local leadership is a large part of the reason AQI was able to move in and set up a shadow government in Baqubah, complete with its own court system, torture house and prison. These three pegs of the AQI justice system have been found here in the past week. The judges who administer Sharia law and issue fatwas are called Muftis. A Mufti is a “high value target” because he would have deep connections in AQI in order to have such a trusted position of power.

On the evening of the 24th I spoke with a local Iraqi official, Colonel Faik, who said the Muftis would order the severance of the two fingers used to hold a cigarette for any Iraqis caught smoking. Other reports, from here in Diyala and also in Anbar, allege that smokers are murdered by AQI. Most Iraqis smoke and this particular prohibition appeared to have earned the ire of many locals. After an American unit cleared an apartment complex on the 23rd, LTC Smiley, the battalion commander, reported that residents didn’t ask for food and water, but cigarettes. In other parts of Baqubah, people have been celebrating the routing of AQI by lighting up and smoking cigarettes.

Human Events

He_headerWith a chip off of the Constitutional cornerstone, Human Events was first published in 1944, as the the infiltration of Communism rose and the temperature of the Second World War dropped.  Over the years, the magazine has been the home of some of the most distinguished conservative voices of the last century.  I'm proud to have my article "The Prophet Loves You", featured exclusively at Human Events

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