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June 2007

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

Continue reading "Human Events" »

June 24, 2007

Nypmasthead2 THE SURGE PROGRESSES

I caught this editorial from the NY Post.  Unfortunately no one signed their name to it, but the summary of the current situation in Al Anbar is similar to what I saw in the area the press no longer calls the "Sunni Triangle".*


*Not to be confused with the "Triangle of Death", a neighborhood in Baghdad.

Continue reading "" »

June 22, 2007

Extreme Home Makeover Iraqi Style

For all the people who believe the troops are out here moping around feeling sorry for themselves, you've got to see this.


Full Disclosure: This is not my video, but I wish I had thought of it  :)

Continue reading "Extreme Home Makeover Iraqi Style" »

Muir Agrees

Chris_muir_cartoon After reading the piece in Right Wing News (one of the most commented pieces on the site) Chris Muir of Day by Day Cartoon and  cartoonist extraordinaire, wrote me from the United States to share a similar tale.  Muir came to Iraq as an embedded representative of the media and met an NPR journalist who was reporting "news" from dubious sources.  So, he drew up a new cartoon today to illustrate what seems to be an "industry term."   


Updates on media coverage:  I've gotten some replies back from the mainstream media and we'll be doing a report on the 25+ dead who never were. 

Continue reading "Muir Agrees" »

June 21, 2007

Right Wing Police Training!

Right_wingThe latest on Right Wing News where I talk about the enormous challenge Iraqi police recruits will face.  Also check out some of the video I just uploaded from the Green Zone, here in Baghdad.

June 12, 2007

Pot Shots from the Ivory Towers

Washington_postgif The MSM (Mainstream Press) will pretty much say anything to stake out their sacred territory of doom in gloom in Iraq.  This afternoon, I observed Iraqi police and military recruits train.  There is literally a surplus of Iraqis who want to join the police and military.  Yesterday, I had lunch with one of the leading Al Anbar sheiks, Khamis Abdal Karim of the Fahad tribe.  I've spoken to Iraqis, Marines, soldiers and politicians.  Everyone has said that the situation has changed enormously here in the province and for the better.  Unfortunately, you wouldn't get that impression if you read articles like this one from the Washington Post.

June 11, 2007

Dinner Chez le Sheik--Reports from Al Anbar

Sheik There's a lot going on, but before the mainstream press mangles it, I want to point out that many prominent people in the Al Anbar province have sided with coalition forces and "change" is on the lips of anyone worth listening to.   

Continue reading "Dinner Chez le Sheik--Reports from Al Anbar" »

Oil, Oil, Everywhere but not a Drop of Fuel!

Pic_0152

For years, I’ve heard the fantastic tales of untapped black wealth beneath the sun-beaten Iraqi earth.  So, when the mayor of Fallujah insisted he had no gas to run school and hospital generators, I had to ask the obvious question, where's the gas?

From day one, we've seen the slogan "No war for oil" painted on makeshift signs and held up in different languages.  Kein Blut für Öl smeared on the boulevards of Berlin, but the streets of Fallujah are empty as the mayor of the city of a thousand mosques has declared a city-wide ban on automobiles after a vee-bed bomber killed over 30 people who were attending a funeral.  At the weekly Fallujah City Council meeting, Pic_0153members representing the city services, hospitals, engineers and police all had plans for securing Fallujah and preventing future attacks on the civilian population.  There were suggestions for new barriers, promises of round the watch patrols and different procedures designed to prevent the infiltration and threatening of health clinic employees.  There was just one thing missing to make it all happen--the fuel!

The mayor of the city of Fallujah, a young man whose life is constantly threatened, was happy to receive the gift of an armored truck.  Now he was going to be able to get to the various meetings without having to mobilize a military squad, but right after the government agent handed him the keys he asked if he could bum some gas.

Lt. Colonel Mullen, Battalion Commander of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines out of Camp Lejeune was not buying it.  "We've registered over 100 fuel trucks going Pic_0213through various checkpoints and into the city, where's all the fuel going?"  Everyone I've asked, Iraqi Police, members of the civil affairs unit, interpreters, shop owners and even grunts on the ground all have a different variation of the same answer, different shades of "I don't know." But everyone has an idea what is done with the fuel.  It shows in the city infrastructure. Download oil_oil_everywhere_1.mp4

Pic_0454Since the aging city powergrid is insufficient for a population with increasing electrical needs, almost every block has a private generator.  Like an oversized spiderweb, extension cords and improvised wiring bring electricity to many homes .  Those generators run on gasoline and the gasoline somehow makes its way to the owners of those generators who collect money from the homes that feed off the system.  A similar makeshift distribution system is how fuel gets to the roadside stands and kids sell it in plastic jugs like pink lemonade.  There's something fishy going on, and it's possible the revenue rasied through evaporated gasoline is making its way to fuel the insurgency. 

 

"It's being sold on the black market," answered one interpreter.  No one understood what would stop the Fallujah police from confiscating a contraband newly refined gas trucked in from neighboring Jordan, but it turned out "the black market" was actually just a Pic_0188faulty translation of the term "free market".  Of course, under Saddam the private sale of fuel was prohibited, today things have changed, but it takes time for engrained figures of speech to update.  The council speaker reiterated his request for more fuel.  Lt. Colonel said he couldn't oblige them. "When we get them to think for themselves they usually come up with a solution."  The parent who won't give the teenager the keys to the car is familiar with this technique.  The Fallujah council carried on with the session and somehow, like the week before, they'll find a way of getting the fuel no one can find, but everyone is using.   

Continue reading "Oil, Oil, Everywhere but not a Drop of Fuel!" »

Instapundit

Instapundit I want to thank Instapundit for contacting me and posting my blog!  That's the biggest leap in traffic I've ever had!

June 10, 2007

Outside the Wire and Right on the Bullseye.

Outside the WireJ.D Johannes just departed Iraq, but he made some very fascinating predictions on where he thinks this is all going.  I had the good fortune of picking JD's brain for hours, while he smoked cigarettes and I'll be looking at many of the details he pointed out to me.  Have a safe trip JD

Continue reading "Outside the Wire and Right on the Bullseye. " »

June 09, 2007

Black Five

Bf_logo Black five, one of the great Milblogs out there posted a blurb referring to the Right Wings News article.  Thank Jimbo!

June 07, 2007

Outside the Wire

Outside_the_wire The term "outside the wire" is used for those who leave the relative security of the base and head into hostile territory.  JD Johannes did a documentary on the experiences of a Marine Corps grunt unit, his old unit.  I remember seeing the trailer for the documentary on Hannity and Colmes.  I never imagined I'd end up having J.D. as my next-door neighbor.

Chick-ification of the Culture

Rush_2 One of the bizarre things about my time here is that when I'm back on the base, in my "can" things are actually really comfortable.   The juxtaposition is startling.  One moment you're on the streets of Fallujah scanning windows and rooftops and a few hours later, you're back on base, eating ice-cream.  The internet can be slow, but I let the Rush Limbaugh podcast download overnight, so I have it the next day.  I almost flipped when I heard this next story.  I heard the gentlemen involved were on Fox News today, if anyone has seen it on Youtube.com let me know.

Download chic-ification.mp4

Continue reading "Chick-ification of the Culture" »

Operation Alljah

Pic_0169

Sometime after 0200 Operation Alljah began in a middle-class neighborhood in northern Fallujah.  The Marines of the 2nd Battalion 6th Marines occupied a police precinct and began a swarm or strategic blocking off of the streets, in order to control access both in and out of the neighborhood.  That morning, by the time I arrived with the 5/10, a civil affairs unit out of Camp Lejeune, the 2/6 were firmly ensconced in the east side of the concrete precinct, the 5/10 took the west and the Iraqi Police seemed to have everything in control.

Continue reading "Operation Alljah" »

June 06, 2007

Some Things Take Time--But It's Worth It!

Cu_logo_2 For a couple of years now, we've asked Dean Awn at Columbia University and head of the School of General Studies, to extend a letter of invitation directly to members of the military.  Well, it turns out that he did!  I know it doesn't sound like much, but this is a major event at a university that prides itself on having thrown out the military in 1968. 

Continue reading "Some Things Take Time--But It's Worth It!" »

June 05, 2007

A great Barometer

Socialist_3 If you want a no spin point of view of what's going on in the world, get your news from the World Socialist Web Site and believe the exact opposite. 

Continue reading "A great Barometer" »

June 04, 2007

Martha Zoller

Martha_zoller_2 I need to make the point that unlike so many of the couch generals who comment on the war, Martha Zoller, a mother of teen-age children, has BEEN to Iraq TWICE and has left the Green Zone to report from various parts of the war-torn nation  Don't let the country accent fool you, this is a worldly woman who knows what she's talking about.  We arranged for a call-in this morning and I'm posting it below.

To listen to the interview, click here

Right Wing News!

Right_wing I just finished an article for Right Wing News.  The media has had an enormous influence in this conflict, but if the press is the eyes, ears and voice of a nation, we are currently deaf, dumb and blind.Pic_0106

 

Continue reading "Right Wing News!" »

June 03, 2007

Answer to Question

Sgt. Kokesh

Adamatofcsq I haven't had too much of a chance to follow what's going on back home, but the current proceeding against Sgt. Kokesh did come to my attention - partially because it has received so much press from the major media when so many Marines who believe in their mission and work hard to accomplish it, get no media attention at all.   

Continue reading "Sgt. Kokesh" »

June 02, 2007

Alphabet Soup Can be bad for the Nation's health

Dsc00538 If the press is the eyes, ears and voice of a nation, we in the United States, are currently deaf, dumb and blind.  I spent the better part of the week in the Green Zone where I got to hob-knob with the people who inform the American public of what's "going on" in Iraq.  You may just be surprised by what they choose to focus on.

Continue reading "Alphabet Soup Can be bad for the Nation's health" »

June 01, 2007

Remotely Yours

Onassignment_4One never seems to appreciate the luxuries of America until they're gone.  Such has been the case over the last couple of days.  I'm currently on assignment in a remote area of Iraq and internet access has been sparse at best.  It has given me a true appreciation for the troops' ability to adjust as conditions change in this terrain.

Continue reading "Remotely Yours" »