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Friday, May 11, 2007

Military Spouse Appreciation Day!!

President Honors Military Spouses at White House

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2007 – President Bush today paid tribute to military spouses across the nation and presented the Presidential Volunteer Service Award to six military spouses who he said “represent the very best of what volunteering means.” (See Video)

“You cannot be a nation with a volunteer Army unless you honor the military families, and that's what we're doing today,” Bush told an audience in the White House’s East Room that included Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and more than 200 service members and their families.

“As one wife in this audience recently noted,” Bush told the group, “military spouses do not raise their right hands and take an oath of enlistment. Yet, their service begins as soon as they say two words, ‘I do.’”

Today’s ceremony marked Military Spouse Day, as proclaimed by the president yesterday to recognize spouses’ sacrifices particularly during deployments. Military guests marking the occasion at the White House included Marine General Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Lynne; along with Mary Jo Meyers, wife of former chairman, Retired Air Force General Richard Meyers.

Other military leaders and civilian guests included Navy Admiral Michael Mullen, chief of Naval Operations, and his wife, Deborah; Marine General James Conway, U.S. Marine Corps commandant, and his wife, Annette; and Army General George Casey, U.S. Army chief of staff, and his wife, Sheila. Acting Secretary of the Army Peter Geren also attended, as did Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson and his wife Suzanne.

In his remarks, the president praised both the troops who volunteer to protect the country in the face of grave danger and emphasized the important roles family members play in service members’ lives.

“Through many conflicts, America's war fighters have counted on their spouses for love and support,” he told the military families. “Our communities have depended on your energy and your leadership. Our nation has benefited from the sacrifices of our military families.”

The president said that during his term in office he and his wife Laura have met with many military families at bases around the world. They’ve visited the wounded and hugged the loved ones of troops lost in combat.

“In these meetings I have found that what motivates our service members most is their love for their families,” Bush said. “Oh, they love our country, but they really love their families. You're in their prayers every morning, their thoughts every day, and their dreams every night.”

He noted that the Bush family has also experienced what it’s like to have a loved one go off to war.

“Some time ago,” he said, “a Naval aviator about to deploy to war wrote a letter to his fiance. … His words back then were these: ‘For a long time I had anxiously looked forward to the day when we would go abroad ... but you have changed all that. I do want to go because it is my part, but now leaving presents itself not as an adventure but as a job.’

“That letter was mailed more than 60 years ago, addressed to my mother from my father,” Bush said. “Millions of similar letters have been written since that war. And most of you likely have one that is special to you that you keep close to your heart.

"I know that nothing can compensate for the sacrifices you endure while your spouse is away. And so do a lot of people in Washington understand that," Bush said. "But you also got to know that our entire country stands with you -- we love you and we respect you.

“America has seen and survived many wars over many generations,” Bush said. “What has remained constant is the love we have for each other, the nobility of duty, and the strength that our men and women in uniform find in their heroes who serve at home.”

In 2003, Bush created the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation to find ways to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to our nation.

The council created the President's Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who inspire others to engage in volunteer service through their demonstrated commitment.

Today’s recipients were:

-- Cindy Beerky, co-chairwoman of the Patriot Family Readiness Group, which provides information and resources to about 500 military families of soldiers stationed on Fort Lewis, Wash.

-- Michele Langford, president of the Coast Guard East Bay Spouse Association. Langford plans fundraising events for the annual scholarship which benefits dependent children of military members from all services and branches.

-- Shannon Maxwell, co-founder of Hope for the Warriors, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing servicemembers’ and their families’ quality of life after her husband, Tim, a Marine, suffered a severe head injury in Iraq.

-- Linda Port, a Navy wife for nearly 21 years who mentors servicemember spouses through enlisted spouse support groups. During one of her husband’s deployments, she served as ombudsman for nearly 1,200 sailors and their spouses.

-- Denise Rampolla, who works for the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming National Guard. Rampolla serves as a volunteer with the National Military Family Association, which strives to increase servicemembers’ and their families’ quality of life.

-- Michael Winton, the primary care-giver for his daughter while his wife serves in the Air Force, who also coaches sports teams, works with Habitat for Humanity and Fisher Nightingale Houses, visits veteran centers and volunteers to improve reading levels of at-risk children.

Related Stories:
Bush Proclaims May 11 Military Spouse Day
Transcript: Bush Commemorates Military Spouse Day
Chairman Recognizes Military Spouses
Marine Wife, Officials Reflect on Military Spouse Day
The President’s Volunteer Service Award
AFRTS Video Reports: Military Spouse Awards at the White House

Places to Visit:
Soldiers' Angels Operation Outreach


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PACIFIC OCEAN (May 9, 2007) - An F/A-18A/B Hornet, assigned to the "Red Devils" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232, lands on the flight deck of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed in support of Maritime Security Operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice David L. Smart

Full Story

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Meet May's Hero of the Month!

Dear Pam,

We are students who have been writing to troops this year in school from Ms P’s class in Indianapolis, IN. We have one very special hero we would like to tell you about. Her name is [rank edited by me] Anita J. A----. She is in the Indiana National Guard. When she is not in the guard she is a detective [location edited by me].

We would like you to do something nice for Anita. This year she has not only written to our class and sent emails, but she has sent presents to each of us. Can you believe that she sent each student a backpack? Not just any book bag, but one that is made out of camouflage material. And she had each back pack monogrammed with our names in both English and in Arabic. It is also monogrammed with the words Operation Iraqi Freedom. And it has both an Iraqi and American flag.

Speaking of American flags, Anita also had an American flag flown over the Headquarters of the Multi – National Corps – Iraq in honor of our class and teacher. Each of us has a copy of the certificate saying this flag was flown on March 29, 2007. That is really cool.

We are sure you agree that Anita is really cool and special. That is why we are writing to you. We would like to nominate [rank edited by me] Anita J. A---- as hero of the month. She has reached out to a classroom full of students who she has never met and has given us tangible things we will always cherish.

She has helped teach our class and shown us someone cares. From her we have learned compassion. Our teacher states, “That it does take a whole village to raise a child.” And who would every have known that a total stranger some 8000 miles from home has changed the lives of kids they have never known. For these reasons we would like to nominate SFC Anita J. A---- [unit information edited by me], as the hero of the month. Thank you for listening and thanks again to SFC Anita [home location edited by me] for all she has done for us and the world. She truly makes a difference in all she does


It's a no-brainer! Anita, thanks for going above and beyond to show what a true Hero you are. You are certainly a perfect choice for IWT's Hero of the Month.

Soldiers' Angels will be shipping out a special care package to you shortly. Thank you for everything you do. Keep your helmet on - take care, and stay safe.

Feel free to leave messages for Anita in the comments section of this post, and I'll get them to Mrs. P so they can be passed on to Anita.


To find out how you can nominate your Hero for IWT's Hero of the month, click the link at the top of this page.

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PRESENCE PATROL — U.S. Army soldiers conduct a presence patrol near a new amusement park in the Altun Kapri District of Kirkuk, Iraq, May 9, 2007. The soldiers are from 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment. Defense Dept. photo by Staff Sgt. Isaac B. Scruggs.

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In Today's News - Friday, May 11, 2007

Quote of the Day
"Our soldiers
cannot choose the wars they fight,
unfortunately our politicians
can choose the ones they support"
-- Mike Smith, Soldiers' Angel and Dan's P.A.D.

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Bombers kill 26 in attacks on Iraqi bridges
Iraqi officials discourage U.S. pullout

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan Civilians Receive Treatment for Injuries Suffered in Sangin Battle

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
No Bail for Fort Dix Six (Was that "Dix Six" or "Six--" er, never mind)
Report: Officials Fear Imminent Terror Attack on Americans in Germany
U.S. officials say Germany threat may involve Kurds
Peres says Israel prepared for "serious" Arab talks
U.S. drops plans to limit lawyer Guantanamo visits
Hamas TV airs anti-Israel kids' show despite protest (Gee, that's weird...and just yesterday they said that they weren't going to...could Hamas be untrustworthy? Naaaah...)

Other Military News
Military moms stressed and need help
Army tries incentives to keep officers
House Bill Calls for Higher Troop Pay
First SEAL Tapped to Head SOCOM

Worldwide Wackos
Cuba says U.S. broke anti-terrorism treaties
Iran, North Korea seek to boost cooperation (Now there's a match made in Hell)
Cheney warns Iran to keep sea lanes open

Homegrown Moonbats
Moore blasts Bush over film-trip probe

Politics / Government
Giuliani Explains His Choice
Read Giuliani's NARAL Questionaire (pdf)
New York mayor goes to Texas, outlines energy plan
House OKs Spending Bill With Iraq Provisions
Witness granted immunity in prosecutors probe (Immunity for what??? I can't believe we're still dealing with this!)
White House takes hard line on spending
Brown vows to learn from Iraq mistakes
Romney's estimated wealth in millions
War tensions follow Bush to commencement

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Sorry About That - Cops failed to follow procedure in Duke case (Is anybody surprised by this?) Pennsylvania Court Orders Sperm Donor to Lesbian Couple to Pay Child Support (Un-flippin'-believable)
South Carolina Prosecutors Charge 28 in Marriage-for-Citizenship Scam
Austrian Police Arrest 40 Suspects, Seize Computers in Child Porn Sweep
Cops: Man Longing for Son Buries Newborn Twin Girls Alive
Beckham Makes Appeal for Missing British Girl
3.3 Pounds of Cocaine Found in Leg Cast
Cops: Man Kept Sons Hostage, Wife in Stupor
Kidnapped girl's dad says no "stone unturned" in hunt
Texas mother accused of mutilating baby

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Opie and Anthony Apologize for Joking About Raping Condoleezza Rice

Science / Medicine / Technology
Lasers Used to Examine Dinosaur Footprints
Doctor's Advice on Tanning: Don't
Sake may power cars in the future
NASA shuttle tank an eyesore but ready to fly
"Smart cameras" to tackle abandoned luggage alarms
U.S. government calls for end to dairy weight loss ads

Mother Nature
Nothing Left - STORY (California Wildfires)
Massive Ice Sheet Partial Cause of Missing Canadian Gravity (What?)
Biting Gnats Attacking Farmers, Killing Birds in Illinois
Wildfire on California Resort Island Spurs Evacuations
S. Calif. island fire turned from town
Second Wildfire Breaks Out in Georgia Swamp
Florida wild fires force evacuation of 100 homes
NASA study: Eastern U.S. to get hotter
Knoxville Zoo displays albino alligator

German man found after 7 years dead in bed
Fistfight mars Boston Pops' opening night
Mysterious object probably space junk
Wis. farmer finds new calf has two noses
How Did We Get Into This Mess? (And you thought YOU had a bad day at work)

Other News of Note
Cyclist Floyd Landis Says Anti-Doping Agency Offered Deal to Implicate Lance Armstrong
Costa Rican Police End Embassy Standoff

Fox News
Virginia Tech Holds Graduation - PHOTOS
3 Dead After 2 Small Planes Collide in Ohio
NEWS IN PICTURES: The Day in Photos
Ricky Williams Tests Positive for Marijuana (This is news?)
Pop Tarts: Angelina Jolie 'Livid' Over Paparazzi Shots of Her Kids in the Bath
Lights Go Out on 'Studio 60'

Reuters: Top News
World Bank board majority want Wolfowitz to resign
Spielberg joins Hollywood chorus on Darfur
Pope tells Brazil bishops to help poor, stop exodus - Video
Google sees mergers big and small
"Star Wars" voted most influential effects movie
Japanese artist breathes new life into bonsai
Bullock gets order against female stalker
Mel Gibson praised for progress in alcohol rehab
Wall Street bounces back as worries ease - Video
Sun-Times shareholder to discuss sale with company
Oil rises towards $67 on output woes
AMD shares rise on bullish Nvidia comments
Post Properties shares fly on buyout rumor
Weak dollar to keep fueling M&A boom
Shift may change shape of oil market
Wall St Week Ahead: Investors look for stocks pullback
CME looks to seal CBOT deal
Trial set for Google ad trademark case
IAC to launch Ask Mobile GPS service
Retail sales drop, inflation muted
Thomson beats expectations with sale

AP World News
Crow adopts baby boy, names him Wyatt
Lefty leads by 1 at Players Championship
'Idol' finalist visits alma mater
Men apologize for Boston cartoon stunt (ATHF promotion)
Stocks rise on inflation, sales data
Gas prices a drain on consumer dollars
"Thank a Military Spouse" Contest
Advisors: Hey, You . . . Smile!
New Must-Have Benefits Guide
What To Do This Weekend?
Podcast: An Immigrant's "Act of Honor"
Def Tech: The Aging C-130 Career Fair Coming to Jacksonville on May 16th

CENTCOM: News Releases

USJFCOM and Microsoft announce cooperative research and development agreement - podcast
More about CRADAS
U.S. Joint Forces Command modeling and simulation division wins award
Liveblogging: Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation Conference 2007

Cheney to Sailors: U.S. Committed to Middle East - Story
Transcript of Cheney's Comments
Video: Cheney aboard the aircraft carrier USS Stennis
Petraeus Urges Troops to Use Ethical Standards - Story
Petraeus Letter to the Troops (pdf)
Army Must Be Prepared for ‘Persistent Conflict’ - Story
Iraqi Lawmakers Must Make Political Decisions - Story
Blocking Flow of ‘Accelerants’ Critical in Iraq - Story
Official: Progress Slow but Vital to Iraq Stability - Story
Casey Addresses Bonuses, Stability Operations - Story

More Headline News
Bush Asks for Time, Resources for Iraq Plan
America Will Stay on Offensive Against Terror
Chairman Honors Service Members and Spouses

Military News
Military Displays Equipment, Technology to Public
Deployed F-22s Leave Pacific, Return to Langley
Center Helps Find Sailor's Family After Tornado

War on Terror
Bomb-Builders Killed in Raid - Story
Air Strike Kills Terrorists
Three Servicemembers Killed
General Discusses Milestones

America Supports You
Gala Raises Funds for Troops - Story
Kids Salute the Troops
Mother Pours Out Support
Auto Group Supports Troops

Pentagon Channel Documentary Focuses on Military Technology - Story
Unmanned Aircraft Wing Debuts
New Concept Ensures Latest Technologies Reach Warfighters
Technology Leaves No Place to Hide

Face of Defense
Sons Follow Mother’s Footsteps - Story
Softball Champ Fixes Aircraft
Deployed Soldier Will Rely on ‘Ohana’
Specialist Sews for Others
Airman Dedicates Work to Fallen

Devil Dogs Take a Bite Out of Anbar Insurgency - Story (Military Working Dogs)
Transportation Mechanics Keep Group Rolling - Story
Deployed Moms Stay in Touch with Families - Story
Liaison Officer Builds Cohesive Relationship - Story
Iraqi, Coalition Forces Focus on Rashid District - Story
‘Fire Base Delta’ is Home Sweet Home for Troops - Story

Teamwork Pays Off for Iraqi Farmers, Residents
Iraqi Special Ops Forces Show off Capabilities
Soldiers Continue To Build Schools Amid Attacks
Iraqi Soldiers Say They Serve for Country, Family
Wolfhounds Secure Economic Success in Iraq
Bombed-out Baghdad Building Has New Mission

Djiboutian Institute of Arts Embraces Americans
Army Reserve Chief Visits Troops in Africa
Marines Donate Fitness Equipment to Villagers

Former Infantryman Finds Calling in Civil Affairs
Base Dedicated to Fallen ‘Spartan’ Leader
Vanguard Engineers Pave Way for Victory
Mental Health Care Moves to Military Front Lines

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

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

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
1189 - German King and Holy Roman Emperor Frederik I (Barbarossa) leaves Regensburg with 100,000 crusaders.
1330 - Constantinople /Istanbul becomes the new capital for the Eastern Roman Empire.
1421 - Jews are expelled from Styria, Austria.
1502 - Columbus begins his fourth, and last, trip to the "Indies."
1674 - The Netherlands and Cologne sign a peace treaty.
1678 - French Admiral Jean d'Estrées' fleet runs aground in Curaçao.
1689 - The French and English naval Battle of Bantry Bay occurs.
1690 - English troops conquer Port Royal, Nova Scotia.
1749 - The British parliament accepts the Consolidation Act, reorganizing the fleet.
1751 - Pennsylvania Hospital, the first in the U.S., is founded.
1792 - U.S. Captain Robert Gray discovers and names the Columbia River.
1814 - Americans defeat the British at the Battle of Plattsburgh.
1858 - Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd U.S. state.
1862 - The CSS Virginia is scuttled off Norfolk, VA.
1864 - General J.E.B. Stuart is mortally wounded in the Battle of Yellow Tavern (Sheridan's Raid), VA.
1916 - Einstein presents his Theory of General Relativity.
1921 - Tel Aviv becomes the first all Jewish municipality.
1925 - The Communist Party of Holland splits.
1931 - Austria's largest bank, Credit-Anstalt, fails. It is the start of the financial collapse of Central Europe.
1941 - The first Messerschmidt 109F is shot down over England.
1942 - Japanese troops conquer Kalewa.
1943 - A German division in Tunisia surrenders; The U.S. 7th division lands on Attu, in the Aleutian islands - the first U.S. territory recaptured.
1945 - U.S. marines conquer Awatsha Draw, Okinawa.
1947 - Laos accepts a constitution for a parliamentary democracy.
1948 - Haganah takes control of Safed and the port of Haifa.
1949 - Israel becomes the 59th member of the United Nations; Siam changes its name to Thailand.
1955 - Israel attacks Gaza.
1960 - Israeli soldiers capture Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1962 - The U.S. sends troops to Thailand.
1963 - Racially motivated bomb attacks occur in Birmingham, AL.
1965 - Ellis Island is added to the Statue of Liberty National monument.
1967 - The 100,000,000th U.S. phone is connected.
1968 - Students and police clash in Paris, resulting in hundreds of injuries.
1973 - The Dutch Government of Uyl is formed.
1975 - Israel signs an agreement with the European Economic Market.
1978 - Margaret A. Brewer becomes the first female U.S. Marine General.
1985 - In India, a booby-trap bomb kills 86.
1987 - Corazon Aquino is elected President of the Philippines.
1989 - Kenya announces a worldwide ban on ivory; President Bush orders approximately 2,000 troops to Panama.
1994 - 6 white racists are sentenced to death in South Africa.

1568 - Christian I, ruler of Anhalt-Bernburg
1821 - Union Brigadier General Charles (Carlos) John Stolbrand
1830 - Union Brigadier General John Converse Starkweather
1852 - Charles Warren Fairbanks, Vice President to Theodore Roosevelt
1881 - Jan van Gilse composer/resistance fighter
1888 - P. A. J. Losecaat Vermeer, leader of the Dutch High Council
1891 - Henry Morgenthau, Jr., US Secretary of the Treasury
1894 - Anton A. Mussert, Dutch Nazi leader
1905 - Marjorie Sykes, peace activist
1911 - Roy James Alfred Kaulback, soldier
1918 - Richard P. Feynman, physicist, 1965 Nobel Prize winner
1927 - Justice Hollis
1929 - Edward Anson, British Vice-Admiral
1933 - Louis Farrakhan, minister, Black Islam Nation leader
1934 - James M. Jeffords (Representative-VT)
1957 - Luca Urbani, M.D. / astronaut (STS 78-alternate)

1742 - Francesco Stradivari, Italian violin maker/son of Antonius, dies at 70
1772 - Joseph Kerckhoff Limburg, surgeon/robber captain, hanged
1778 - William Pitt, Sr., English premier (1756-61, 66-68), dies at 69
1779 - John Heart, US farmer (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at about 68
1871 - John Herschel, cataloguer of southern hemisphere stars, dies at 79
1927 - General Henry Martyn Robert (Robert's Rules of Order), dies at 90
1976 - J. Anaya, Bolivian military/ambassador to France, murdered
1981 - Bob Marley, reggae singer, dies of brain & lung cancer at 36
1985 - Chester Gould, cartoonist (Dick Tracy), dies at 84
1988 - H. A. R. (Kim) Philby, British double agent
1991 - Ho Dam, foreign minister North-Korea (1970-83)
1996 - Nnamdi Azikiwe, President of Nigeria (1963-66)

Reported Missing in Action
Feneley, Francis J., USAF (MI); F105D shot down, KIA/BNR

Villeponteaux, James H., Jr., USMC (SC); A4E shot down, KIA/BNR

Jiminez, Juan M., US Army (TX); KIA at FOB Ngok Tavak, BNR

The following US Army personnel reported MIA in a single ground incident:
Daugherty, Lenard E. (GA); released by PRG March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Horio, Thomas Teruo, (HI); released by PRG March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Jacquez, Juan L., (NM); released by PRG March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Also reported MIA this day in 1969:
Ryan, William C., Jr., USMC (NJ); F4B shot down, KIA/BNR

Allmond, Barry K., USAF (TX); remains recovered, DIC

Blassie, Michael Joseph, USAF (MO); A37 shot down - remains exhumed from the Tomb of the Unknown and ID'd June, 1998

Haselton, John Herbert, USAF (VT); O2A shot down - remains recovered April, 1974

Kittinger, Joseph W., Jr., USAF (FL); F4D shot down (w/Reich), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel with a Silver Star - alive and well as of 1998

Padgett, James P., USAF (FL); F105D shot down (w/Talley), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

Reich, William J., USAF (WI); F4D shot down (w/Kittinger), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive as of 1998

Strobridge, Rodney L., US Army (CA); AH1G shot down (co-pilot, w/Williams), likely KIA

Talley, William H., USAF (OK); F105D shot down (w/Padgett), released by DRV - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Williams, Robert J., US Army (AL); AH1G shot down (pilot, w/Strobridge), likely KIA

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My Two Cents: Reality Check

Today's News post - and the Hero of the Month post, are coming later. There are some things I need to say, lest my head explode. I apologize if this is somewhat stream-of-consciousness, but I'm just not all that worried these days about phrasing things the right way. Basically, at this point, it's either rant, or snap like a dried twig...

Sometimes, I hate being right.

When the "Fort Dix Six" plot first came to light, I knew what else was coming - the apologists. The excuses. The placing of blame on the person who exposed the plot. The placing of blame on the FBI. The finger-pointing - everywhere except at the people who planned to MURDER OUR TROOPS.

I hoped I was wrong. I hoped we would wake from the collective intellectual coma we seem to be in.

I really, really wanted to be wrong. But I wasn't.

It is now being said that the Circuit City emnployee who prevented the deaths of an unknown number of troops at Fort Dix might be sued. Sued - for saving the lives of American troops.

There is a movement to get rid of language referring to a fight against Terrorism.

Our Congress is calling the war in Iraq lost. They are legislating defeat. They are using the war for political gain.

The American media is flat-out lying about what is going on in Iraq. They're ignoring Afghanistan - until one of our troops dies, that is.

Six Imams acting suspiciously won a lawsuit in our court system that may prevent others from saying anything. Apparently, it's more important to be politically correct than it is to prevent another terrorist attack.

And where is the outcry? Nowhere.

It makes me nauseous.

One of my first rants here was one in which I listed just a fraction of terrorist attacks over the years. It's here. There's more here. Why is it that no one can see the absolute necessity of dealing with these people?

Wait - I think I made a critical mistake there. Let me rephrase - Why is it that no one can see the absolute necessity of hunting the terrorists down and KILLING THEM?!? 'Cause that's what I mean. I'm tired of political correctness and euphemistic niceties. They are killing this country - literally.

I can't understand why we have forgotten. Granted, the Left is doing everything it can to make that happen, but still...!

First, we took 9/11 footage off the air. Why? It upset people. Well, it damn sure SHOULD upset people - it should enrage every fiber of their being!

Then, we made every possible effort to use terms that indicated that the religion of the attackers was not an issue. That Islam is a peaceful religion, and we certainly don't want to offend.

Well, you know what? Five and a half years after Muslim extremist lunatics murdered nearly 3,000 people, I'm not buying the "Religion of Peace" thing. At best, it's a religion of apathy. How many Muslims are actively working to keep the terrorists from taking over? How many are openly condemning the work of terrorists? How many Muslim countries are taking all possible steps to root out Al Qaeda in their midst? There are varying estimates - CAIR puts the number at 1.2 billion; a little over 20% of the world's population.

A note to moonbats here - I don't want a slew of emails telling me I'm a warmonger. I don't want emails telling me I'm a bigot. Save your energy. Yes, I know there are Muslims working with our troops to fight Al Qaeda. Yes, I know there are good people who are Muslims. But when you look at the fact that over 20% of the world's population is Muslim, you need to face reality - peaceful Muslims who are actively taking a stance on terrorism are the EXCEPTION, not the RULE. Deal with it.

And I don't want to hear that they're not standing up because they're scared. Our troops, deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other regions are scared, too. But they go into harm's way every single day. All these people need to do is not turn a blind eye to the lunatics derailing their religion.

At any rate, I don't buy it. A Muslim friend of a friend said once that although he's lived in America all of his life, although he loves this country, if a fatwah came down to kill Americans, he'd be obligated to do it.

Let's think about that for a second. If the Pope said, "OK, folks, time to kill all the Jews - it's the religious obligation of all Catholics to do so," the collective Catholic following would say, "Time for a new Pope," not "Where do we start?!"

At best, Islam is tolerant of the murderers in their midst. While certainly, active terrorists are the small minority, those who would stay silent about them make up a majority. If the religion abides terrorists - at times, even openly states that although terrorism is wrong, it's not all that wrong when it involves killing Americans - then it is NOT peaceful. Do Muslims have a right to exist - of course. Do they have a right to practice their faith in the U.S. - absolutely. But let's at least acknowledge that it is Islam as a whole that has failed to address the terrorists in their faith.

Another note to moonbats - yes, I know, there are Christian terrorists. Abortion bombers, for instance. Those people are NOT supported by the world's population of Christians. Those people end up in jail for murder. The Pope says, "Murder is WRONG," period - not "Murder is wrong unless you're killing x, y, or z."

While I expect excuses and the assigning of blame on America coming from Islam's terrorist lunatics, I have a different set of expectations when it comes to America as a whole.

Apparently, they're ill-founded.

The United States as a whole has only ONE thing they need to do. They don't need to fight the terrorists. They don't need to spend a year away from their families. They don't need to risk a damn thing. The only thing this country needs to do is support the people trying to ensure that 9/11 never happens again.

But it ain't happening.

Maybe it's because we've forgotten. Maybe it's because all of that political correctness and sanitizing of mass murder has removed the reality of what happened from our collective consciousness.

I can fix that.

Remember this?

Do you?

Do you remember what it is these people want? What they're about?

Do we even care anymore?

The country is "tired of the war." Yeah? Well there are thousands of people who are tired of not seeing their loved ones because they were murdered by terrorists.

What is it we're not getting? Do we not understand that we can NO LONGER AFFORD to wait? We can't appease, we can't negotiate, we can't hide. They want to kill us - they HAVE killed us. Be it Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, or anywhere else, we cannot wait until they hit us first. We cannot afford to give the enemy the first shot - no matter what enemy that is.

What happened to the country that knew why we were going to war? What happened to the country that listened to the President say that this would be a long war, and just set its jaw in collective resolve?

Why have we allowed the cowards and traitors to take over? Why are we ignoring reality?

We now have a clear case of terrorists inside our borders (including some who were illegal aliens, but that's another discussion) trying to murder American troops, and already we're starting with the excuses. On the heels of that, the House of Representatives votes for defeat in Iraq!

I really, really want to believe that my country is smarter than that...

But the reality is that this country is rapidly swirling down the bowl. We don't have much time to make a change. We don't have much time to stop the Left from destroying this country. Our enemies - at home and abroad - are still lurking.

I'm just not sure that the American people even care about reality anymore.

But in the interest of taking a stand, and in the interest of not allowing the cowards and traitors to go unanswered, there are some things I need to say:

I believe that the United States of America is the best country in the world.

I believe that terrorist attacks are not our fault.

I believe that invasion of Iraq was necessary and right.

I believe that Saddam's regime supported and condoned terrorism, and that military action was necessary to enforce U.N. sanctions.

I believe the U.N. to be unwilling or unable to enforce its own sanctions. I believe it to be a useless, collectivist entity that deserves to have our funding pulled, and to be shown the door.

I believe that the United States of America does not need the permission of any other nation or entity to defend itself and neutralize threats.

I believe that our troops are Heroes and deserve all resources necessary to do their jobs.

I believe that politicians, celebrities, or anyone that actively works to harm the efforts of our troops, malign our troops, or aid our enemies, are traitors, and should be charged as such.

I believe that if you enable a terrorist, or turn a blind eye, you may as well be a terrorist yourself.

I believe that the only way to ensure that terrorists are not a threat is to kill them. I believe that terrorists are murdering thugs who deserve no mercy.

I believe that the Left is immersed in Communist / Socialist ethos, which is the enemy of a Capatalist Republic.

I believe that altruism, communism, and socialism represent real and present dangers to the American way of life.

I believe that Liberals inside this country are far more dangerous to America than any foreign terrorist could ever be. Terrorists can kill people. Liberals can destroy America. There are some fates worse than death.

I believe that the apathy, the silence of the American people, represents a betrayal to every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine who has fought to protect our liberties.

I believe that freedom of speech is sacred. I also believe that if you call our troops murderers, you deserve to be held accountable for that. You do not deserve to be arrested for disagreeing with the government, but you do deserve to be exposed for what you are when you are working against America and those who protect her.

I believe that illegal aliens, and foreign terrorists, are not entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution. I believe those protections to be guaranteed to U.S. Citizens.

I believe that spying on foreign terrorists - including phone conversations - is just ducky. I believe that you do not have a right as an American citizen to plot with terrorists without being taken to the mat.

I believe that the Constitution does NOT guarantee that you will never be offended. If you're maligning the troops or this country, or you're working against either, I really don't care if calling you out offends you. In fact, I hope it does.

You have the right to believe that killing Americans will guarantee you 72 black-eyed virgins in Paradise. We have the right to send you to meet them at the earliest possible opportunity.

I believe that war is not the only answer, but that sometimes, it is the only answer that will work. I believe that war is sometimes a necessary thing. I believe that peace at all costs is not peace - it is subservience. It is cowardice.

I believe that anyone who refuses to be a part of the solution - speaking out about terrorists, supporting our troops, speaking out about the dangers of the Left - is part of the problem.

I believe I've ranted enough for now....


UPDATE: Correction / clarification - the "flying Imams" have filed a lawsuit, not won the lawsuit. Conflicting accounts exist on whether they sought an out-of-court settlement or not. The lawsuit also may include passengers as defendants, and the whole thing is being underwritten, at least in part, by none other than C.A.I.R. My central point in that paragraph is unchanged; the fact that this lawsuit was allowed to gain any ground whatsoever leads to the possibility that others will stay silent for fear of "looking prejudiced."

I apologize for the misleading statment - chalk it up to my seriously irked mood.

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