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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

It's About Time

I am pleased to report that Michael Crook's reprehensible website is gone - hopefully for good.

There appear to be no lengths to which he won't go, including, apparently, faking his own death.

He is, however, alive and still twisted.

The sad irony in all of this is that our troops protect his right to slam them.

While I have been reluctant to post about his site, not wanting to generate any more traffic for the weasel, I think that this is an opportunity - it can serve as a reminder that people like him are out there.

During the Vietnam War, there were troop-haters who called the families of those fallen to rejoice in their deaths. My father-in-law, who served in Vietnam, can tell you first-hand about how some "free thinkers" treated returning troops. Now, often, the troop-hating is a little more subtle. It's found in major media outlets who zealously cover alleged mistreatment of murderers, and yet cover precious few of the incidents of kindness, courage, and outstanding honor displayed by our troops on a daily basis.

It's found in the anti-war demonstrators who cry out against the presence of US troops in Iraq because of the plight of the masses, yet did nothing when Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands - or more - of his own people.

It's found in politicians who demand explanations for every vague rumor of misconduct, yet stall on funding for those on the front lines.

It's out there.

My father doesn't agree with me on quite a few things, one of them being my viewpoint on supporting the troops. During the Gulf War, he told me I couldn't wear my American flag / yellow ribbon pin to work (where he worked, too). I told him the pin was staying on until the last of the people I knew there came home. When he tried to force the issue, I told him there was NO WAY I was taking that pin off, and basically to bring it on if he wanted to fight me on it. To tell you the truth, I haven't really talked to him in quite a while, for a number of reasons - one of them being the fact that I don't trust myself to be civil if we have the war discussion again. Especially since my involvement with Soldiers' Angels, it just isn't a topic I'm willing to wade into with him.

Fortunately, unlike in the Vietnam days, the American people support our troops. But the mindset hasn't faded completely, and we should remain vigilant. September 11th has largely faded from mainstream media; the terrorists are largely considered to be "over there." But the danger of attacks by zealots who hate us is still present. And the danger posed by those who hate the men and women who defend our freedoms, who go where they are sent and fight when they are called, is still there too.

It is up to those of us here at home to watch the backs of those who watch ours wherever they are needed.

They are the best of all that this country is. They are our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.

Newsweek's Track History

BlackFive posted a reminder that Newsweek has been getting it wrong for a long time.

How ironic it is that Newsweek's apology is going out in their May 23 issue. For the reason, see BlackFive's post:

Haven't Read Newsweek Since May 26th, 2003

At Work In the US Army

by Styves Jean
May 16, 2005
Spc. Scott McCarthy, from 2nd Brigade, 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, provides security for fellow Soldiers during a building search in Abu Ghraib, Iraq.

by Sgt. Thomas Benoit
May 13, 2005
A Soldier from 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, provides security as fellow Soldiers distribute humanitarian supplies to Iraqis in Lutafiyah.

by Edward Martens
May 11, 2005
Spc. Brandon Ashley, from the 940th Military Police Unit, 155th Brigade Combat Team, stands the night watch at Forward Operation Base Hotel near Najaf, Iraq.
Rice Visits Iraq, Iraqi Children Assist U.S. Soldiers in Baghdad
Iraqi children led Task Force Baghdad Soldiers to a large weapons cache in Baghdad. Later, the Soldiers uncovered another weapons cache in the same area. "The majority of Iraqis do not support the insurgency," said a Task Force Baghdad leader. "Most Iraqis want to give the new Iraqi government a chance to work, and that's why they're turning in these terrorists and their weapons." In southern Baghdad, Soldiers conducted a series of early morning raids and captured three specifically targeted terrorist suspects and their weapons. Meanwhile in Mosul, Stryker Brigade Combat Team Soldiers detained 21 suspected terrorists. Also, Soldiers of 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, seized a large weapons cache near Qayyarah. More


This Day in 1987 - the USS Stark

Early in the day on May 17, an Iraqi jet had fired on a Cypriot tanker, crippling it.

Shortly after 8pm, an AWACS detected an inbound aircraft, and the USS Stark's radar operators tracked it from 200 miles away. Due to the common Iraqi warplane presence, the ship's captain was not significantly concerned. He did, however, order a radio message requesting identification - twice. There was no response, but as the targeting radar on the plane was not locking on the Stark, it was expected to veer off.

By 10:10, the plane suddenly turned towards home. Undetected, the French-built Iraqi Mirage had launched two Exocet air-to-surface missiles, which slammed into the Stark only seconds after they were spotted. From the 10' x 15' hole at the point of impact, fire spread up into the combat information center, crippling the ship's electrical systems. The destroyer USS Waddell picked up a distress signal, and responded.

The AWACS called for airborne Saudi planes to pursue the Iraqi plane, but ground controllers in Dharain stated they were unable to do so. The Iraqi plane escaped back into home airspace.

The Stark's crew battled fires all through the night. They succeeded, and the Stark was able to make it back to port. She was repaired, with only a memorial plaque to mark what had happened.

37 Sailors lost their lives. In the wake of the incident, Congress ordered analysis of what had gone wrong, and delayed shipment of aircraft to the Saudis because of what was seen as it's apathetic response to the call for pursuit of the Mirage.

The USS Stark was decommissioned in May, 1999.

More information can be found here:
Wikipedia - USS Stark
USS Waddell History
Shipmates Not Forgotten
Haze Gray & Underway - The USS Stark

Welcome Home to the Big Red One

Welcome Home, Thank You, and Job Well Done to the Soldiers in the 1st ID, now safely back home in their base in Germany.

The 1st ID lost 117, and there were 1,000 wounded, during their deployment.

See more here:
U.S. 1st Infantry Division Celebrates Return Home Following Tough Year in Iraq
1st ID celebrates homecoming

"No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great - Duty First!"

In Today's News - Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Quote of the Day
"The future battle on the ground will be preceded by battle in the air. This will determine which of the contestants has to suffer operational and tactical disadvantages and be forced throughout the battle into adoption compromise solutions."
-- Erwin Rommel

News of Note:
Rice Chastises Syria for Loose Iraq Border
Bush Nominates No. 2 to Head Air Force

Newsweek Controversy:
Official Calls Desecration Story 'False'
Newsweek Retracts Koran Story
Newsweek urged to do more to repair damage
Review Finds Problems with Mitch Albom's Columns

Abu Ghraib Trials:
Harman guilty on 6 Abu Ghraib abuse counts
Abu Ghraib Conviction

In Iraq:
Extremists targeting Iraqi civilians in attack spree seen aimed at stirring up civil war
Iraq's Qaeda claims suicide attacks in Baquba
Militants, GIs Battle in Mosul

In Afghanistan:
Afghan investigators hunt for kidnapped Italian
'Thieves' Kidnap Relief Worker in Afghanistan

UN Oil-For-Food Scandal:
Ultranationalist Russian Lawmaker Denies Wrongdoing Under Iraq Oil-for-Food Program
Oil-for-Food Committee Probes U.S. Graft

War on Terror:
ETA blamed for 4 bombs at Basque businesses
Gunmen kill 5 police in Indonesian islands

Fallen Heroes:
2 Pennsylvania GIs die in Iraq Associated Press
Police foil missile plot in Jerusalem
At least 24 Iraqis killed; 50 bodies found

The US News: Iraq News
White House refutes UK Iraq memo
US Secretary of State heartened by talks with Iraqi leaders
U.S. forces wrap up Iraq offensive near Syrian border
U.S. blasts Uzbekistan government
U.S., China to exchange president visits
Special U.S. visa approved for Australians
Musharraf says al-Qaida is broken
Nepal army rescues 600 kidnapped children
Iraqi Government Vows to Crack Down as More Bodies Are Found in Iraq
Uzbek authorities tighten grip on rebels
UK's Galloway arrives in U.S. to clear name on Iraq
With Liberals losing control, will Canada shift to right?
Body of Pakistani killed in Iraq arrives
Iraq Shiite leaders plead for end to sectarian killings

Various Sources
Probe said to give sensitive info to Annan
Four Iraqi soldiers killed in attack on army camp
Rice: U.S. will put more pressure on Syria

Fox News
N. Korea Sought Nukes in '60s
9/11 Prof: I Am an Indian
Senate Filibuster Talks Fail
Israel: Jewish Radicals Plotted to Disrupt Pullout
President Promotes Alternative Energies
Rumsfeld: Panel May Have Released Secrets
Support Grows for Iran Sanctions
Bush Honors Slain Officers

Department of Defense
Counterterrorism Initiative to Focus on Africa — Story
Army Leaders Salute Task Force Danger — Story
Bush Adviser Discusses Iraq Violence — Story

A-10 Unit Continues 'Flying Tiger' Legacy — Story
U.S. Mentors Help Afghan MPs Face Threats — Story
Caldwell Air Medics Respond to Injured Soldier — Story

Reconstruction Efforts Progress in Iraq
Al-Oubaidy District Improvements Continue
'King Bee' Visits Deployed Seabees

U.S. Soldiers Build Base in Bermel District

Sisters Serve their Country in Iraq — Story

Auction Helps Wounded Troops — Story
Indiana School Supports Troops — Story


Base Realignment and Closure 2005

Soldiers Target Terrorists
Rice: 'Intensify' Political Process
Operation Matador Ends
Abu Ghraib Officer Loses Job
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Iraq Reconstruction
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Roadside Bomb Kills Afghan Troops
Colonel Works to Control Borders
Afghanistan Daily Update
Afghan Reconstruction Group Recruiting

Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Mobile Security Unit Deploys
Bush Approves Funding
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Marine Casualties — Story

This Day in History
218 - 7th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.
1536 - Anne Boleyn's 4 "lovers" are executed.
1672 - Frontenac becomes Governor of New France (Canada) .
1673 - Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette begin exploration of Mississippi.
1733 - England passes the Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from non-British territories.
1756 - Britain declares war on France (7 Years' / French & Indian War)
1804 - Lewis & Clark begin exploring the Louisiana Purchase.
1862 - In West Virginia, the Battle of Princeton ends with a little over 125 casualities.
1863 - Battle of Big Black River Bridge, Mississippi
1864 - Union troops force a Confederate retreat at the Battle of Adairsville, GA.

1871 - General Sherman escapes Comanches in an ambulance.
1876 The 7th U.S. Cavalry under Custer departs from Fort Lincoln.
1884 - Alaska becomes a U.S. territory
1916 - Daylight Savings Time (British Summer Time) is introduced for the first time.
1926 - Chiang Kai-shek is made supreme war lord, the German Government of Marx takes power.
1938 - Congress approves the Vinson Naval Act, funding a two-ocean Navy.
1940 - Nazis bomb Middelburg
1944 - Allied aircraft conduct a raid on Surabaja, Java, Chinese and U.S. forces take Myitkyina Airport, Burma, General Eisenhower sets D-Day for June 5th, the Allies land in Netherlands New-Guinea as part of Operation Straightline.
1945 - 2 U.S. P-47 Thunderbolts bomb Kiushu.
1946 - President Truman seizes control of U.S. railroads to head off a strike.
1948 - Israel liberates Acre, Nebi Yusha and Telel-Kadi, the U.S.S.R. officially recognizes Israel.
1949 - The British government recognizes the Republic of Ireland.
1954 - The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reverses the 1896 "separate but equal" decision (Plessy vs. Ferguson).
1973 - The Senate Watergate Committee begins hearings.
1983 - Israel and Lebanon sign a peace treaty.
1987 - Iraqi missiles strike the USS Stark, killing 37 sailors.

1741 - John Penn, Declaration of Independence signer
1812 - Union Brigadier General Joseph Warren Revere
1836 - Joseph Norman Lockyer, discovered Helium
1886 - Alfonso XIII, King of Spain
1900 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
1903 - Douglas Packard, British Lieutenant General
1911 - Knut Anders Haukfield, British Special Operations Executive (SOE) Operative
1912 - Archibald Cox, first Watergate special prosecutor
1923 - Michael Beetham, RAF Marshal
1924 - Thomas Baird, Vice-Admiral
1926 - David Young, Lieutenant-General
1932 - Rodric Braithwaite, British ambassador to USSR
1945 - D.A.S. Pennefather, Major General / Commandant (General Royal Marines), George Miller (Representative-CA)
1953 - Nicholas Bacon, premier baronet of England

1606 - Forges Dimitri, Czar of Russia, murdered
1727 - Catherine I, Empress of Russia
1945 - Jan van Geenen, resistance fighter
1996 - Willis Conover, broadcaster

Reported Missing in Action
Deere, Donald T. , US Army SF (TX)

Dodge, Ronald Wayne, USN (CA) ; Remains returned July, 1981
Lewis, Charlie G., US Army (NC)

Young, Charles L., US Army (NY)

Stewart, Virgil G. USAF (LA)

Westwood, Norman P., Jr., USNR (CT)

Pearce, Dale A., US Army (OH)
Soyland, David P. US Army (SD)