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Thursday, August 25, 2005

If This Doesn't Make You Sick, Nothing Will

Police ask help in finding assault suspects

Two veterans of the Iraq war were among those savagely beaten recently in Pioneer Square by a group of men.

Now, Seattle police are looking for the attackers. On Wednesday, they released a videotape of the attack filmed by a witness and still photos captured from the tape.

Read the rest at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

There just aren't words.

Gates of Fire

Michael Yon's latest, Gates of Fire, is up.

Combat comes unexpectedly, even in war.

On Monday, while conducting operations in west Mosul, a voice came over the radio saying troops from our brother unit, the 3-21, were fighting with the enemy in east Mosul on the opposite side of the Tigris River. Moments later, SSG Will Shockley relayed word to us that an American soldier was dead. We began searching for the shooters near one of the bridges on our side of the Tigris, but they got away. Jose L. Ruiz was killed in action.

Although the situation in Mosul is better, our troops still fight here every day. This may not be the war some folks had in mind a few years ago. But once the shooting starts, a plan is just a guess in a party dress...

Required reading - go check it out.

Happy Birthday to a Hero

Rebekah sent some more great photos of her uncle, Captain Robert B. , which I'll post tomorrow, but we've got more important things to do right now...

It's Captain Robert's Birthday!!!

So, Captain Robert, here's a message from Rebekah:

Happy Birthday Uncle Robert!!
You are so special. Thank you for
all you do!



And this is from all of us at Iraq War Today!

Click here for your song!
('cause you know you have to hear it today....)

My Two Cents - Crossing the Line

You'd think the Anti-War crowd didn't have too many lines it hadn't crossed. Well, now it's got one less.

Imagine that you’re an American Hero. You’ve gone to Iraq or Afghanistan, doing your duty. One day, much like every other in your deployment, suddenly becomes like no other, and suddenly, your whole world has changed. An IED, an RPG, small arms fire – in an instant, you've gone from doing your job to fighting for your life. The fine medical personnel in our armed forces are able to save your life, stablilize you, and get you medevac’d out. You are then transported to Walter Reed Medical Center, where the fine staff there are waiting to do all in their power to get you healed up.

And then you find that something else awaits you at Walter Reed - Code Pink Women for Peace (good friends of Cindy Sheehan), and their ilk. Standing outside Walter Reed, with protest props like makeshift coffins, signs that say “Maimed for Lies,” and more – outside Walter Reed! Protesters of the war, not taking their protest to a center of political activities, but to a medical facility where our heroes are recovering from wounds sustained while doing their duty, and protecting the rights of these idiots to be idiots. It’s nauseating. It’s completely inappropriate. It’s just plain wrong.

This is the kind of thing I’ve been talking about. This is where the Anti-War crowd becomes Anti-Troop. It happened forty years ago, and it is happening now. This is, quite possibly, the only similarity of the present conflict and Vietnam – the radical left. With some of the same players, even - Joan Baez, Hanoi/Jihad Jane, John Kerry. Early criticisms of the President became attacks on the troops then - it cannot be allowed to happen now.

I urge you to do whatever you can, in your own little corner of the world, to make sure that this IS NOT allowed to go on unaddressed. Do not accept the unacceptable. And no, I'm not advocating violent methods. I'm just saying, do something to make it clear that they are not in charge. They are NOT going to be permitted to dictate whether or not this country protects itself. (And while we're on the subject, I doubt any of these "peace" folks will answer how many times they've become violent at "anti-violence" demonstrations. Spitting on troops is assault, by the way...)

For those of you that live near Walter Reed, the Freepers and other supporters of our troops are holding counter-demonstrations in the area. If you can get there, please do.

It has been said by some that you cannot support the troops if you don't support the war. I'm not entirely convinced of that, but I do know that the threat is there. That anti-war lunatics become anti-troop real quick. For the record, I support our troops 100%. And although I don't necessarily agree with every single thing the President does, I sure as hell agree with the choice he made in Iraq. I've stated the reasons before. The man was a threat. He was defying UN sanctions. And because that organization lacks the intestinal fortitude to do what it should, it was left to us to do it again. The man was a mass murderer, an enemy of the U.S. who shot at our fighters every chance he got in the no-fly zone. He needed to go - period. We no longer have the luxury of waiting to react to an attack. We need to deal with threats BEFORE they are in our front yard, and that's exactly what we did here.

People who think that "War is never the answer" ought to talk to a few Holocaust survivors. Sometimes, it damn well IS the answer. Sometimes, it's the ONLY answer.

You want to blame someone for the deaths of civilians in Iraq? Blame the madman who refused to follow UN sanctions, and dared the U.S. to come and deal with him. And thank whatever higher power that you believe in that there are men and women to wear the uniform and defend your right to speak your mind.

Don't tell me your anti-war protests support the troops. It was a lie forty years ago, and it's a lie now.

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My Hero...

Rebekah sends these great pictures of her uncle, Captain Robert B. Here's what she had to say:

My Uncle, Capt. Robert B., and some other soldiers handed out soccer balls to some local children near Taji, Iraq. The Sheikh of the village invited the soldiers to dinner.


Rebekah, thanks so much for sending these! They're great pictures.

Captain B., thanks for everything you do, and especially for going beyond the call. Keep your helmet on - take care, and stay safe.

Received Via Email...

Author Dan Castro has donated hundreds of copies of his new book "Critical Choices That Change Lives: How Heroes Turn Tragedy to Triumph" to our troops in Iraq.

The book is about the common principles that heroes have followed for thousands of years to turn tragedy into triumph. It's filled with dramatic and inspiring stories about heroes from the ancient past to the present.

The principles set forth help to confirm that our troops are making a difference in this world and explain how and why. The book will provide much needed encouragement and inspiration to our troops as well as to their families and supporters back home.

You can download the first two chapters at

I've read the first two chapters, and I'll be picking up a copy - go and check it out!
IED TRAINING — Light armored vehicle crewmen, Alpha Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, pause to communicate with the rest of the platoon in a field training exercise that took place at Emerson Lake, Calif., Aug. 11, 2005. The company went over platoon formations in reaction to enemy contact and improvised explosive devices. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Michael S. Cifuentes

In Today's News - Thursday, August 25, 2005

Quote of the Day
"Great has been the Greek, the Latin, the Slav, the Celt, the Teuton, and the Anglo-Saxon, but greater than any of these is the American, in which are blended the virtues of them all."
-- William Jennings Bryant.

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Two Infantry Battalions to Deploy to Iraq
Marine Squadron Begins Third Tour in Iraq
Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers Keeping Sadr Streets Safe
Pentagon: 1,500 More Troops to Iraq
Iraq Shi'ites clash, parliament to vote on charter

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Army, FBI Lead N.C. Anti-terrorism Exercise
Israel hit by fire from Lebanon

Gaza Withdrawal
Four Palestinians, Jew Killed in Mideast Violence
Israel kills 5 Palestinians in raid after pullout

Panel Spares Two Bases

Other News of Note
Troops Fight for American Ideas, Ideals

Fox News
Robertson Apologizes for Chavez Remark
'Save the Blood'
Shiite cleric asks for unity
Bush: U.S. 'Bringing Justice'
Iraqi Court: Saddam Fires Lawyers
Bush On Iraq
Baghdad Violence

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq
Iran calls for broader nuke negotiations
Japan scrubs Iraq marshland donor meeting
Iraqi marshes show signs of rebirth
Text of the draft Iraqi Constitution
U.S. challenges fence outside Jerusalem
Israelis, Palestinians back demolitions
Facts and figures about the Iraq Wetlands
Al-Sadr allies to boycott gov't duties
Security concerns leaders at Sudan camp
Groups round up pets abandoned in Gaza
Key issues in dispute for Iraq treaty
Talks between Sudan, rebel groups delayed
Israel group removes trees in settlements
3 dead, 10 hurt in Iraq police attacks

Reuters: Top News
Oil hits record $68 on storm, gas draw
North Korea talks next week, some reports say
Bush: Terrorists converging on Iraq, US must stay
US urges quick negotiations, changes on UN reform Associated Press
Panel to debate Air Force base-closures
Tropical Storm Katrina nears Florida
Groups lining up for or against Roberts
Armstrong goes on the counterattack

Yahoo! News: War with Iraq
'Peace Mom' Returns to Texas War Protest
Pope Meets With Iraqi Foreign Minister
Iraq rebels treated in hostage deal-Italy Red Cross
Bush Says U.S. is Achieving Strategic Objectives in Iraq
Gunfights erupt in Iraqi capital

CENTCOM: News Release

Department of Defense
U.S. Forces Will Stay Until Fight is Won — Story Remarks

Medics Provide Aid and Election Information — Story
Security Forces Airmen Get Frozen Treats — Story

Iraqi Engineer Regiment Focuses on Training

Military Doctor Gives Afghan Girl Gift of Life
Team Builds Up Remote Corner of Afghanistan

Chaplain Helps Troops Deal with Deployment — Story

Santa Barbara Welcomes Sailors — Story

Rumsfeld: Delays Part of Process
Bombing Kills Americans, Iraqis
Forces Kill 2 Attacking Insurgents
Canal Work to Benefit Basra Area
Iraq Reconstruction
Iraq Daily Update
Multinational Force Iraq
Iraq Progress Fact Sheet (pdf)
Weekly Progress Report (pdf)

Bridge Provides Link to Kandahar
Afghanistan Daily Update
Afghan Reconstruction Group Recruiting

Tripartite Commission Meets
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

BRAC Begins Final Deliberations
National Guard, Reserve Update

Officials Identify Casualties — 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
- In the Battle of Alcantara, Spain defeats Portugal.
1609 - Galileo demonstrates his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.
1689 - The Iroquois take Montreal.
1718 - Hundreds of French colonists arrive in Louisiana, founding New Orleans.
1825 - Uruguay declares independence from Brazil.
1830 - Belgium revolts against the Netherlands.
1862 - The U.S. Secretary of War authorizes General Rufus Saxton to arm 5,000 slaves.
1864 - Petersburg Campaign-Battle of Ream's Station
1875 - Matthew Webb becomes the first to swim the English Channel - in 21 hours, 45 minutes.
1912 - For the first time, an aircraft recovers from a spin.
1915 - A hurricane kills 275 and causes $50 million in damage in Galveston, TX.
1916 - The National Park Service is established in the Department of the Interior.
1919 - The first scheduled passenger service by airplane occurs (Paris-London).
1920 - Ethelda Bleibtrey becomes the first U.S. woman to win at the Olympics.
1921 - The U.S. signs peace a treaty with Germany.
1929 - The Graf Zeppelin passes over San Francisco, bound for L.A., after its trans-Pacific voyage.
1940 - The first parachute wedding takes place.
1943 - U.S. forces overrun New Georgia in the Solomon Islands.
1944 - Paris is liberated from Nazi occupation.
1945 - Jewish immigrants are permitted to leave Mauritius for Palestine.
1950 - President Truman orders the Army to seize control of the railroad to avert a strike.
1967 - Paraguay accepts its constitution.
1981 - Voyager-2' makes its closest approach to Saturn (63,000 miles/100,000 km).
1983 - The U.S. and U.S.S.R. sign a $10 billion grain pact.
1988 - The Challenger Center opens its classroom doors in Houston; NASA launches space vehicle S-214.
1989 - Voyager-2 makes its closest approach to Neptune.
1990 - The U.N. security council authorizes military action against Iraq.

- Ivan IV (the Terrible), first Czar of Russia (1533-84)
1841 - Theodor Kocher, Swiss surgeon / thyroid specialist, Nobel Prize winner (1909)
1845 - Ludwig II, mad king of Bavaria (1864-86)
1906 - William J. Brennan, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1957-90)
1912 - Erich Honecker, East German political leader
1919 - George C. Wallace (Gov-AL), Presidential candidate
1930 - Sean Connery, actor (James Bond)
1931 - Regis Philbin, TV host (Live with Regis and Kelly)
1934 - Valery F. Bykovsky, cosmonaut (Vostok V, Soyuz 22 31/39)
1949 - Gene Simmons, rocker (KISS)
1951 - Rob Halford, heavy metal rocker (Judas Priest)
1970 - Claudia Schiffer, super model (Elle, Rolling Stone)

- Mary Ball Washington (George's mother)
1822 - William Herschel, discoverer of Uranus.
1900 - Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher
1967 - George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party, assassinated
1988 - Price Daniel (Gov/Sen-TX)

Reported Missing in Action

Bullard, William H., USN (CA); A4E crashed due to mechanical problems, Killed, body not recovered

Bois, Claire Ronald A., USN (AZ); RA3B shot down (aircrew); KIA, body not recovered

Jacobs, Edward James, Jr., USN (WA); RA3B shot down (pilot); KIA, body not recovered

Zavocky, James John, USN (OH); RA3B shot down (aircrew); KIA, body not recovered

Gregory, Kenneth R., US Army (OK); released May, 1969

Johnson, Bobby L., US Army (MI); released by PRG February, 1973

Jones, Thomas N., US Army (IN); released January, 1969

Doyle, Michael W., USN (PA); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Ensch), POW, remains returned August, 1985

Ensch, John C., USN (IL); F4B shot down (RIO, w/Doyle), released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998