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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Salman Rushdie calls for 'Muslim Reformation'
08/11/05 02:27 PM, EDT
British author Salman Rushdie on Thursday called for a reform movement that would move Islam into the "modern age" to combat jihadists and closed Muslim communities in the West that produce disaffected youths wielding "lethal rucksacks."

Helping the Wounded with Operation Valour-IT

Visit Castle Argghhh! to find out the details on how you can help our wounded heroes with Soldiers' Angels and Operation Valour-IT - providing discounted computer equipment and voice-control software to assist our wounded troops.

To donate, click here.

Thanks to the Denizens and friends of Castle Argghhh! for helping to get the word out.

Way to Go, Iraqis!

What are the odds of THIS hitting the MSM?

from the U.S. Army website:

...Iraqi civilians took unusual action to protect coalition forces after a car-bomb attack Aug. 6.

After U.S. medics treated the wounded at the scene in the Sumer al Ghadier District, local residents constructed a hasty barricade with trees, bricks and anything else available to protect the soldiers from additional danger.

"This is the first time that I can remember where Iraqi civilians actually built a barrier to protect my soldiers," U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steven Merkel, commander of 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said. "The soldiers are still talking about the helpful actions of the local community and have asked to go back to the neighborhood to thank those responsible."

Capt. David Ahl, 1-9 FA information operations officer, said, "It became very obvious that the Iraqi people are tired of terrorist activity. When I saw them putting up barricades to protect us after the (car bomb) exploded, I knew right then that the days of terrorist activity are counting down fast."

The Baghdad citizens not only helped to physically protect the soldiers, but also were forthcoming with valuable information about the area, which led to the apprehension of a man suspected of involvement in a previous car-bomb attack.

"The continued commitment of the Iraqi people to help their Iraqi security forces and coalition forces demonstrates, more than ever, that they are growing increasingly intolerant of the violence brought on by the terrorists and more eager to play a positive role in the future of Iraq," Merkel said.
Brave rescue from 'Killer Mountain'
08/11/05 12:34 AM, EDT
An army helicopter plucked a renowned Slovene climber from an icy ledge in the western Himalayas where he'd been trapped for six days at around 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) after attempting to ascend an unconquered face of Pakistan's "Killer Mountain."
Pacific Ocean (Aug. 9, 2005) – Air Department personnel secure an F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the “Golden Dragons” of Strike Fighter Squadron One Nine Two (VFA-192), left, next to an F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102, on a deck-edge elevator aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). The Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group is participating in the third annual Joint Air and Sea Exercise (JASEX) with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps in the Western Pacific. JASEX focuses on integrated joint training proficiency in detecting, locating, tracking and engaging units at sea, in the air, and on land, in response to a range of mission areas. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Jonathan Chandler

When "Angels" Mourn

“I think what you’re doing is wonderful. I would just be afraid something would happen to him.”

Those were the words my mother said when I excitedly told her I had joined Soldiers’ Angels back in 2004, and that my Soldier was a Cavalry Scout in Iraq.

“I am, too, Mom,” I said. “But he’s the one taking the risk, and the least I can do is support him.”
My Cav Scout is home safe now. I cried the day he emailed me to tell me they were leaving for Kuwait, and again when I got the email telling me he was safely home. It was an overwhelming sense of relief.

I’ve been lucky. My first Soldier came home safe. I haven’t heard from my two current adoptees in a while, which is a little odd, but knowing how busy they are, it isn’t causing a huge amount of alarm.

Other Angels have not been so lucky. I had to make a few of those calls – the call no Angel wants to get. It took me about an hour to actually dial the phone the first time – trying to figure out what the hell to say. What would I want to hear? Well, dammit, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to hear what I was going to hear, so there really weren’t words.

And I don’t mean to in any way belittle the grief that the family members, friends, comrades must feel, or to imply that ours is the same. I cannot imagine how it feels to lose a husband, a wife, a father, a mother, a child, a friend, in war. I hope I never have to know.

There are a number of Angels who check the casualty list regularly. It’s a grim task. I’ve seen familiar names before. But never so many as I found tonight.

Soldiers’ Angels is mourning the following heroes, all KIA this week:

SPC Kurt E. Krout
SPC Gennaro Pellegrini, Jr.
SGT Brahim J. Jeffcoat
SPC John Kulick

All were members of the 1st Battalion, 111th Infantry Regiment, US Army National Guard. There are two other fallen Heroes from that unit whose names have not yet been released.

I usually take the news fairly stoically, though the loss of a local hero tends to be felt more keenly. My husband knows when we have lost one even before I tell him; I am usually quiet (a rarity for me), but I keep it together. I am not indifferent, but I am unwavering in my belief in what they are doing, and I keep doing what I do. Today, all stoicism left me, and I cried. I’m crying now, typing this.

My antiwar acquaintances seem to take this as some sign that I should immediately abandon all support for the war. That is not the course I choose. I wish that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines never had to die in war, but that isn’t the way things go. I hope, because it helps to ease my sorrow, that what we do at least provides some comfort to those that risk all to protect people like me. I hope that my letters, the goofy things that I’ve been known to send in care packages, provide a smile in a time of war to the Heroes that I write to. I hope saying thank you means something. I hope they know how very, very proud so many of us are of everything they do. I hope they all know they are loved, respected, admired. I hope that it means something, however small, to know that the passing of a Hero does not go unnoticed – that an entire country feels the loss.

I hope that I won’t see another name added to that list. But I know that I will, for that is the way of war. I hope that there continue to be more men and women willing to take those risks for people like me, to protect this country, to draw the line and stand to guard it, because I can sleep at night knowing they are there. I hope they know…

Today, Angels mourn, and I shed tears for Heroes lost. But they will not quit - how dare I? I have letters to mail, and so the time for tears will not last. There is work to do.

Sadly, an UPDATE: Two other Soldiers in that unit have lost their lives defending freedom for others:

Sgt. Francis J. Straub, Jr. (a Soldiers' Angels adoptee)
PFC Nathaniel A. "Nate" Detample

Please keep the families, friends, Angels, and comrades of these fallen Heroes in your thoughts and prayers.
CONVOY ROUTE — U.S. soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery from Forward Operating Base Loyalty, conduct Operation Double Steal to clean up debris along a frequently used convoy route and prevent any planting of improvised explosive devices near Baghdad, Iraq, Aug 7, 2005. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Reynaldo Ramon

In Today's News - Thursday, August 11, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Hit hard, hit fast, hit often."
-- Admiral William "Bull" Halsey

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Medevac Improvements Save Lives
U.S. Marines, Iraqi Troops Finish 'Quick Strike'
Poll: Iraqis Do Not Support Terror

Operation Enduring Freedom
Medical Outreach Visit Treats Afghan Villagers

Other News of Note
Navy Corridor Reopens in Pentagon
Army Meets Recruiting Goal

Fox News
DOE: Gasoline Above $2.10 Through 2006
Crude Prices Touch $65
Fugitive couple nabbed without incident in Columbus, Ohio
Trip Around the Moon: $100M
Bush Signs Highway Bill
Iran Revs Up Nuke Site
9/11 Panel Probes Atta Claim
Five Marines Killed in Iraq
Army Meets July Recruit Goal
Explosives Truck Blast in Utah

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Gunmen kidnap senior Iraqi official
Ex-rebel to replace fallen Sudan commander
U.S. gambles in handing security to Iraqis
Iran resumes full conversion operations
Israeli troops hold drill before pullout
3 U.S. missions in Saudi Arabia reopen
Newsview: Nuke diplomacy is delicate work
Gaza pullout critics hold prayer, protest
Gaza settlers differ in pullout response
Iraqi: Iran smuggling reports exaggerated
Turkish police detain al-Qaida suspects
Forces watch for 'mule trains' along Syria
Iran may draw rebuke over nuke activities (Glad to see the U.N.'s getting tough...)
Timeline for beginning of Israel pullout

Reuters: Top News
UN watchdog to urge Iran to resume nuclear freeze
Air Force officer charged for anti-Bush graffiti
Israeli rightists in last-gasp prayers over Gaza
Four US troops killed; Iraqis spar on constitution
UN watchdog to urge Iran to resume nuclear freeze
Democrats push White House for more on Roberts

Department of Defense
Aeromedical Staging Flight Sees Lull in Hectic Routine
IED, Small-Arms Fire Kill Five U.S. Soldiers

U.S. Medics Treat Iraqi Injured by Car Bomb — Story
Najaf Road Work Benefits Agriculture, Schools — Story
Buffalo Joins Hunt for Explosive Devices — Story
Coalition, Iraqi Ministry Sign Health Charter — Story

Soldiers Help Iraqi Troops Get New Barracks
Task Force Not Deterred by Car Bomb Attack
Security Forces Airmen Keep Contraband Off Kirkuk

Bagram Runway Reopens After C-17 Incident
Marines, Sailors Endure Afghan Heat Wave
82nd Airborne Unit to Bolster Election Security

Humvees Now Rolling From New Refurb Site

Clinical Instructor Honored for Work — Story

Rumsfeld: Iraqi Constitution Critical
Police Detain Terror Suspects
Suicide Car Bomb Kills U.S. Soldier
Najaf Projects Supply Potable Water
43 More Schools to be Renovated
Army Assumes Authority in Diyala
Project Focus: Electricity System
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Clashes Leave Six Enemy Dead
U.S. Troop Killed in Firefight
Former Taliban Rejects Tactics
Army Opens Healthcare Facility
Forces Stymie Attacks
Villagers Turn in Weapons
Afghanistan Daily Update

Program Recruits Native Speakers
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Troop Health Library Launched
Reserve Center Honors Sailors
Chem Weapons Disposal Continues
Center Supports Recovering Troops
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Army Casualty — Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
1772 - In Java, an explosive eruption blows 4,000' off Mt. Papandayan Java, killing 3,000
1909 - The S.O.S. is first used by an American ship, the Arapahoe, off Cape Hatteras, NC.
1914 - Jews are expelled from Mitchenick, Poland.
1945 - The Allies refuse Japan's surrender offer (including retention of Emperor Hirohito).
1954 - More than seven years of fighting in Indochina between the French the Communist Vietminh end with a formal peace.
1960 - Chad declares independence.
1962 - Andrian G. Nikolayev, aboard Vostok-3, becomes the third Russian in space.
1975 - The U.S. vetoes the proposed U.N. admission of North and South Vietnam.
1984 - During a radio voice test, President Ronald Reagan jokes that he has "signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes."
1988 - Meir Kahane renounces U.S. citizenship in order to remain in the Israeli Parliament.
1989 - Voyager 2 discovers two partial rings around Neptune.
1990 - Egyptian and Moroccan troops land in Saudi Arabia in order to help prevent an Iraqi invasion.
1991 - Shite Muslims release American hostage Edward Tracy; the Space Shuttle STS-43 (Atlantis 9) lands.

1833 - Robert Green Ingersoll NY, author/politician/agnostic (Attorney General, IL)
1837 - Sadi Carnot, engineer, French president (1887-94, assassinated)
1921 - Alex Haley, author (Roots)
1930 - William A O'Neal (Gov-CT)
1941 - Elizabeth Holtzman, Bkln DA, Rep-NY, Watergate Committee
1959 - Linda Rhys Vaughn, Playboy playmate (Apr, 1982)
1971 - Julie Anne Clark, Playboy playmate (Mar, 1991)

1956 - Jackson Pollock, abstract artist, auto accident

Reported Missing in Action
Berube, Kenneth Allen, USMC (MA); A4E crashed, KIA, body not recovered