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Friday, November 18, 2005

Understanding the Chain of Command Orders

Found at My Life as a Military Spouse:

"Tomorrow evening at approximately 2000 hours Halley's Comet will be visible in this area; an event which occurs only every 75 years. Have the men fall out in the battalion area in fatigues, and I will explain this rare phenomenon to them. In case of rain, we will not be able to see anything, so assemble the men in the theater and I will show them films of it."

"By order of the Colonel, tomorrow at 2000 hours, Halley's Comet will appear above the battalion area. If it rains, fall the men out in fatigues, then march to the theater where this rare phenomenon will take place, something which occurs only once every 75 years."

"By order of the Colonel be in fatigues at 2000 hours tomorrow evening. The phenomenal Halley's Comet will appear in the theater. In case of rain in the battalion area, the Colonel will give another order, something which occurs once every 75 years."

"Tomorrow at 2000 hours, the Colonel will appear in the theater with Halley's comet, something which happens every 75 years. If it rains, the Colonel will order the comet into the battalion area."

"When it rains tomorrow at 2000 hours, the phenomenal 75-year-old General Halley, accompanied by the Colonel, will drive his comet through the battalion area theater in fatigues."

A New Monthly Feature - Where am I?

I travel once a month for business - if you remember, last time I was on the road, I posted some pictures from Pearl Harbor.

This month, I'm about spittin' distance from another military installation.

So - divinely inspired here, I've come up with a new game. Each month, while I'm on the road, I'll post about a place that I'm at, and you guess where I am.

Winner this month gets a 100-minute phone card donated in their name to a Hero through Operation Phone Home. If the winner is a deployed servicemember, I'll send you the phone card.

I'm within 10 miles of a military installation that approved by the War Department in 1853. Troops from here used to guard and patrol the Santa Fe Trail. The base is home to a number of units, including the 24th Transportation Company, who just returned from Iraq earlier this week (Welcome Home, all!). It also has a Cavalry Museum.

I'm not at the base - I'm actually in a town that boasts Heritage Park, which has this state's Vietnam War Memorial (pictured below), a Civil War arch, and a fountain that shoots water 12 feet in the air. There are signs all over the place expressing their support for the troops, and welcoming their returning heroes home.

So Where Am I? (I'll take either the name of the nearby military base, or the name of the town I'm in).

WE HAVE A WINNER: Margaret correctly identified Fort Riley, in Kansas, as the military base in question. I'm actually in Junction City, not far away. Good job, Margaret!

The Punishers' Ball

For anyone who's followed Michael Yon's dispatches and the efforts of the Deuce Four in Iraq, this is a must read. The Deuce Four is home, and marked their return with a celebration Yon attended.

After a hard year of fighting and nation-building in northern Iraq, the Deuce Four has finally and completely returned home to the United States, where they threw a party to mark the occasion. Distinguished guests flew in to attend what was officially called the Redeployment Ball....

The overwhelming joy of being home with families and friends was grounded by the permanent losses and severe battle scars of those who paid the highest price for the success of the mission. The ghosts of the fallen took their places alongside widows and family of the fallen comrades....

Read the rest, and check out pictures, at The Punishers' Ball
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. - Marines with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, recently conducted an eight-mile hump through the northeastern ridgeline of the Combat Center’s Mainside area. The company set a fast paced hike of three mph hauling all essential field gear and equipment. The company has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 3 times. Photo by: Pfc. Michael S. Cifuentes
Read the Story Associated with this photo - at Marine Corps News
Bermuda Triangle dead honored after 60 years
House resolution doesn't solve mystery of planes' disappearance
11/17/05 06:14 PM, EST
The disappearance of Flight 19, a Navy mission that began the myth of the Bermuda Triangle, is still unexplained, but not forgotten, 60 years later.
Persian Gulf (Nov. 15, 2005) - A catapult shooter gives the signal to launch as an F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the "Golden Warriors" of Strike Fighter Squadron Eight Seven (VFA-87), launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW-8) are currently underway in the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Steel Curtain, a joint U.S.-Iraqi military offensive aimed at preventing cells of Al Qaeda from entering Iraq through the Syrian border. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Stephen Early

My Two Cents - Surrender Speak

It's been quite a while since I went on a real rant. But it's time.

Representative John Murtha today said that the war is unwinnable - that there is nothing good that is coming of us being there. Among other things. He called for us to withdraw our troops from Iraq - basically, starting now:

"The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion...It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region."

Really? Right - 'cause throwing the Iraqi people to the terrorist wolves is a MUCH better idea. Letting Al Qaeda dictate government policy - like they did in Afghanistan - is a wonderful plan. Worked great in Afghanistan...oh, wait, no. I seem to remember this planes-into-buildings, coupla thousand Americans killed thing.... But once we leave Iraq, things will be rosy and sunny there; the streets will be paved with gold, and the terrorists will join hands, sing Kumbayah, and everyone will be happy, right?

I have about reached my limit of anti-Bush, anti-war rhetoric in the Democratic party. The reality is that the terrorists are looking to people like this to bolster their efforts. They are citing the comments from people like this as evidence that the U.S. will turn tail and run, "just like they did in Vietnam." The reality is that people like this are some of the terrorists' best friends.

Knowledgeable people on both sides of the political aisle say that even if they don't agree with the decision to go to war, pulling troops out before Iraq is in a stable position, and can take care of things themselves, is absolutely ridiculous. How can anyone possibly believe that an immediate and total withdrawal of troops from Iraq is a good idea?

My problems with Murtha's statements today are many.

For starters - nothing good? When was the last time Iraqis voted in free elections? And no, a choice between "Saddam is great and we swear eternal loyalty to him" and "Death" is NOT a free election. Maybe in pacifist, anti-Bush, anything-but-actually-standing-up-for-ourselves Wussland, but not in the real world.

Nothing good? Kurdish people not having to worry about the next time Saddam is going to gas several thousand of them in a campaign to exterminate them is a bad thing?

Nothing good? Roads rebuilt, power stations and water treatment plants rebuilt, women with seats in the government, and self-determination are bad things?

Nothing good? The removal of a psychotic dictator who murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people, sanctioned rape and torture ad nauseum, who killed anyone he thought might eventually be thinking about maybe not liking him much, is a bad thing?

Nothing good? The capture or elimination - and yes, I mean the killing - of lowlife terrorists is a bad thing? I don't lose a single minute of sleep over the death of a terrorist. In fact, I actually - gasp - am glad when we kill a terrorist - 'cuz one less terrorist makes the world a better place.

When are these people going to wake up? Harry Reid is saying we should take the "training wheels" off the Iraqis. Of all the insulting, pompous, arrogant statements....he's a jackass. Just like Kerry. John Kerry doesn't want to play the "politics of smear and fear." Oh, no. He just wants to play the game of turn tail and run. Duck and cover. Roll over, pull the blankets over your head, and hope the terrorists forget we exist. There's a reason they've got a jackass as their mascott.

And it was only recently that the President started fighting back. It's about flippin' time. As for the rest of our "wonderful" politicians, I'm with this guy - Not.One.Freakin.Dime. Grow a spine and we'll talk. Then again, if you have to fling that dime somewhere, here's a guy who deserves it: Texas Congressman Sam Johnson, who said yesterday that "Pulling our troops out of Iraq now is unconscionable and irresponsible...We’ve got to support our troops to the hilt and see this mission through." Bravo - maybe there is hope after all.

Of course, this kind of talk from the Left is nothing new -- the libs have been trying this stuff almost from day one in Iraq. And now they want closer oversight of operations there. Great - liberal politicians in charge of a war. Worked real well in Vietnam - NOT.

And they steadfastly refuse to deal with the reality that Saddam Hussein, and his Iraq, were absolutely threats to this country. They were absolutely the enemy. Hell, even the libs said so - often. Whether or not he had the immediate ability to launch a nuke is not the point. He was - Iraq was - an enemy of this country. And I, for one, am not of the opinion that we should have waited until he had weapons that could reach this country to deal with him. If we had, of course, they'd now be blaming Bush for NOT going in. These are, after all, the same people that griped about not "finishing the job" when we listened to the morons and left Iraq fairly quickly the last time. The people that have perfected the arts of surrender speak, "political correctness," and descending to any low as long as it's anti-Bush.

Apparently, we have lost the ability to identify the enemy. They're guerillas, freedom fighters, insurgents now. How civilized. Goodness, we wouldn't want to call a terrorist a terrorist. We might offend the terrorists. We wouldn't want to call a bunch of people who behead innocent people the enemy - that might upset them. Well, boo flippin' hoo.

No, Saddam did not apparently have a direct role in the planning or execution of the attacks on this country on September 11, 2001. Then again, Bush didn't say he WAS directly connected to the attacks. He said Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda. And he did, though it's unclear as to who approached who, and the exact extent of those ties. And, of course, he also had a nifty little mural that glorified the events of that day. Doesn't that tell you where he was at?

He DID fund terrorism. He paid rewards to the families of suicide bombers.

What happened to the resounding cry of "YES" uttered by Americans when President Bush said, "We fight the terrorists and we fight all of those who give them aid. America has a message for the nations of the world: If you harbor terrorists, you are terrorists. If you train or arm a terrorist, you are a terrorist. If you feed a terrorist or fund a terrorist, you're a terrorist, and you will be held accountable by the United States and our friends." ?

Saddam funded terrorists. He gave them aid. Ergo, he was a terrorist. He's not in power anymore. And I say, job well done on that score.

By early 2004, mass graves - almost 300 of them - had been found, representing the loss of approximately four hundred thousand people. And nearly another 300,000, by some estimates, may have just "disappeared."

If these numbers prove accurate, they represent a crime against humanity surpassed only by the Rwandan genocide of 1994, Pol Pot's Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s, and the Nazi Holocaust of World War II. (USAID)

He did have chemical weapons. He used them on the Kurds. He did work to develop nuclear and chemical programs. Am I supposed to feel sorry for him because he didn't quite get there? Because he couldn't nuke our troops? You're going to be waiting a L-O-O-N-N-G time for that one.

The UNITED NATIONS - not just the U.S. - gave him an order to fully disclose ALL records, or face action. He didn't. He jerked weapons inspectors around for over a decade. Throw them out here, deny them access there, and let them back in when it's convenient.

In the no-fly zone, he shot at our planes almost daily at some points. According to General Tommy Franks' statement to Congress in 2001, "Our forces have been engaged by surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft fire more than 500 times during the period, and coalition forces have responded to these provocations on 38 occasions."

Maybe it's me, but isn't that an act of war? Don't we see shooting at our pilots as something that we can respond to? Don't we see shooting at our pilots as something that identifies an enemy?

He did NOT comply with the U.N. resolution. Period. The resolution told him if he didn't comply, he'd face action. He didn't comply. He faced action. We kicked butt, and continue to, and I'm not one bit sorry about it.

Not to mention the fact that since I'm finally ticked off enough to wade into this WMD discussion after all, it's a little hard to say for sure he didn't have the things. Give the guy months and months while the U.N. drags its feet about enforcing its own resolutions - heck, give the guy TWELVE YEARS after he surrendered the first time we had to do the work of the U.N. in Iraq - and he can hide or move a whole heap of things. Geeeez, we dug MiG 25's out of the flipping desert!!!

He did have banned weapons - stuff he wasn't supposed to under the resolutions - things he'd claimed were destroyed. And the U.N. passed resolution after resolution after resolution. Stop it, or we'll tell you to stop it. Comply, or we'll.....well, we'll pass yet another resolution you can ignore.

Dammit, when are these people going to stop being such a bunch of spineless, fickle, self-serving cowards? When are they just going to realize that we can NOT afford to wait until we are attacked to deal with a threat? When are they going to stop playing this political game and realize that we are at war - and that it's a war we need to be in? Why don't they devote their energies to improving benefits for the military, improving equipment, assisting the wounded, saying "Thanks"?

I won't hold my breath. Nor will I apologize for supporting our troops - and the wars they're currently fighting.

Tracked at the Mudville Gazette

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IRAQ SUNSET — A Humvee departs the Marine Combat Logistic Battalion 8 motor pool at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, at sunset, Nov. 13, 2005. U.S. Marines from the battalion are deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Chief Warrant Officer 2 Craig J. Shell

In Today's News - Friday, November 18, 2005

Quote of the Day
"This republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it."
-- Elmer Davis

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Dem Calls for Iraq Withdrawal (Dems undermining efforts in Iraq? Say it isn't so....)
Iraqi Interior Minister: Torture Claims Exaggerated
Big Bangs Destroy 2,000 Munitions
Iraqi Court Denies Saddam Was Attacked

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan Women Increasing Role in Army

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Accord on anti-terror law faces opposition

Troops on Trial
Abuse Charges Referred to Court-Martial

Guess Again - Cheney not Woodward's source
Miller Wants Shield Law
Woodward's 'Bombshell'

Pit bull ad insults lawyers: court
A story to show your hairdresser

Other News of Note
Trial of man accused in Bush plot goes to jury
Jews' Belongings Unearthed at Polish Camp

Fox News
Bush, Putin to Collaberate on Terror War, N. Korea Nukes
GOP Group Denies Donations for Interior Dept. Access Plot
Senate Fights Back Windfall Tax on Oil Companies
GM CEO: Not Going Bankrupt
54 Guns Seized From Double Murder Suspect's Home
Stocks to Watch: HP, Disney
House Spending Bill Defeated
Ex-Media Tycoon Indicted
MLB Owners OK Steroids Deal
One Iowa Escapee Nabbed
Carlie Brucia's mother laments daughter

Reuters: Top News
Conrad Black indicted for fraud
Two blasts rock central Baghdad: witness
Castro laughs off CIA report he has Parkinson's
FDA probes deaths of Tamiflu patients
S.Lanka PM wins unofficial tally
ABC News to air Jennings' last documentary
Climate change threatens world fish stocks: WWF
Lead poisoning could explain dour Beethoven: study
One third of cancer deaths due to avoidable factors

AP World News
Bush, Putin Seek Unity Among Differences
South Korea Plans Partial Iraq Pullout
Russia Angered by Iran's Nuke Activities
France Enjoys Peace After Weeks of Turmoil (Yeah, things are "almost normal" - only 163 cars were burned on Tuesday night!)
China and Chile Sign Free-Trade Agreement
U.N. Panel Concerned About N. Korea Abuse
U.S. Asks Fair Trial for Ugandan Leader
Hu: China Will Contribute to Global Peace.
Jordanians Adjust to Increased Security
Israel Heading for Elections in Spring
Haitian Elections Postponed a Third Time
Pope Watches Latest John Paul II Movie
Young Female Immigrants in France at Risk
Central America's Poor Hit Hard by Storm
Dispute Arises Over Diana Wedding Dress
CENTCOM: News Releases

Department of Defense
Troops Make Gains Against Insurgents -- Story
Forces Detain Suspects with Munitions -- Story
IED Kills Marine; 3 Insurgents Detained
Abuse Charges Referred to Court-Martial -- Story
Progress Drives Terrorists Out, Allows Iraqis In -- Commentary

U.S.-Georgian Effort Improves School Yard -- Story
Ordnance Disposal Airmen Share Expertise -- Story

Airmen Give Iraqi Children Cheer, Supplies

Communications Airmen Lay Foundation for Future
New Technology Connects Afghan Army

Iraqi War Veteran Receives Purple Heart -- Story

Sept. 11 Survivor Helps Injured -- Story
Exchange, AT&T Offer Phone Cards
Country Music Star Meets Sailors

Iraq Transition of Power

5 Marines Killed in Firefight
Marine Killed; Iraqis Nab Suspects
USAF F-15s, F-16s Hit Insurgents
School Renovations Benefit Iraqis
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq (pdf)
Multinational Force Iraq
Eye on Iraq Update (pdf)
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (pdf)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Iraq Reconstruction

Bomb Detonates Near U.S. Convoy
New Radios Aid Border Police Ops
Afghanistan Daily Update

Rumsfeld: U.S.-Australia Ties Firm
Strike Group Conducts Maritime Ops
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Employers View Simulator
Transportation Supports Guard
Agreement Helps Disabled Athletes
National Guard, Reserve Update

Defense 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


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
- William Tell shoots an apple off his son's head.
1421 - The Zuider Zee floods 72 villages, killing an estimated 10,000 in the Netherlands.
1497 - Bartolomeu Dias discovers the Cape of Good Hope.
1755 - The worst quake the Massachusetts Bay area has seen strikes Boston; no deaths are reported.
1776 - Hessians capture Fort Lee, NJ.
1803 - At the Battle of Vertieres, the Haitians defeat the French.
1820 - U.S. Navy Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer discovers Antarctica.
1883 - Standard time zones are established by railroads in the U.S. and Canada.
1889 - The Oahu Railway begins public service in Hawaii.
1903 - The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty gives the U.S. exclusive canal rights in Panama.
1905 - Prince Carl of Denmark becomes King Haakon VII of Norway.
1909 - The U.S. invades Nicaragua, later overthrowing President Zelaya.
1911 - Britain flies its first seaplane.
1912 - Albania declares independence from Turkey.
1913 - In San Diego, Lincoln Deachey performs the first airplane loop-the-loop.
1918 - Latvia declares independence from Russia.
1928 - Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse debuts in "Steamboat Willie."
1929 - A large quake in the Atlantic breaks the Transatlantic cable in 28 places.
1936 - Germany and Italy recognize the Spanish government of Francisco Franco; the main span of the Golden Gate Bridge is joined.
1940 - George Matesky - the Mad Bomber - makes his first time-bomb.
1943 - Ray Atherton is appointed as the first U.S. ambassador to Canada.
1955 - The Bell X-2 rocket plane is taken up for its first powered flight.
1960 - The U.S. Copyright Office issues its 10 millionth registration.
1961 - The U.S. Ranger-2 is launched to the Moon; it fails.
1964 - J. Edgar Hoover describes Martin Luther King, Jr. as a "most notorious liar."
1966 - U.S. Roman Catholic bishops do away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.
1970 - Russia lands a self-propelled rover on the Moon.
1976 - Spain's parliament establishes a democracy after 37 years of dictatorship.
1985 - The Space Shuttle Enterprise (OV-101) flies from Kennedy Space Center to Dulles Airport Washington, DC, where it is turned over to the Smithsonian Institution.
1990 - Saddam Hussein offers to free an estimated 2,000 men held in Kuwait.
- Muslim Shites release hostages Terry Waite and Thomas Sutherland.

- Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Rear Admiral USN / astronaut (Mercury-3, Apollo-14); Ted Stevens (Sen-AK)
1928 - Mickey Mouse
1929 - William (Pete) Knight, X-15 pilot
1951 - Mark N. Brown, Major USAF / astronaut (STS-28, STS-48)

- Chester A. Arthur, 21st U.S. President
1962 - Niels Bohr, physicist, Nobel Prize winner (1922)
1969 - Joseph P. Kennedy, politician, Kennedy patriarch
1978 - Leo J. Ryan (Rep-CA) and four others killed in Jonestown, Guyana by members of Jim Jones'
Peoples Temple, followed by the ritual mass suicide of over 900 members, including Jones.

Reported Missing in Action
Arnold, William T., USN (WI); A4C crashed at sea

Burdett, Edward B., USAF (GA); F105D shot down, DIC November, 1967 - remains returned by DRV March, 1974

Dardeau, Oscar M., Jr., USAF (LA); F105D shot down, remains returned November, 1987

Hauer, Leslie J., USAF (MI); F105D shot down, remains returned June, 1977

Lehnhoff, Edward W., USAF (KS); F105D shot down, remains returned November, 1987