Friday, March 30, 2007

Republicans: Stay in your Chairs!

This was sent to me via email today. You know Liberals worldwide are laughing their silly arses off at MC Rove. Hey, I gotta give Karl props. At least he hauled his white butt up there and made a go of it, right? Rock on, brothah Rove! ;o)

Thanks for sending this my way today, Art! Ick, indeed.

Chocolate Jesus vs. Muhammed with Bomb

Someone please tell me what the difference is here...

Chocolate Jesus versus Mohammed with a bomb in his turban

Granted, the Muslims rioted. That's bad form. Period. The Christians are up in arms over someone disrespecting their central figure... the Muslims REALLY didn't like a cartoonist disrespecting THEIR central figure. Isn't this just plain old religious intolerance?

Frankly, I hold neither figure sacred. I don't understand why Christians and Muslims can't simply throw a shrug and understand that not everyone holds their saviors sacred. End of story.

Someone, anyone... please tell me why this is a big deal?

What We Call the News

The boys at Jib-Jab have done it again! It's eerie, actually. I found myself in an email debate about using the New York Times as a credible source for a story when they have often mislabeled fiction as news in recent years... and then, lo and behold, a new Jib-Jab hits my inbox. "What We Call the News" is about this very thing! Enjoy!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Iraqi-Coalition Hit Parade just keeps on rollin'

More good news on the hit parade of Coalition successes (released 3/25/07):

RAMADI, IRAQ-Iraqi Police apprehended a suicide truck bomber and captured his vehicle, containing a large quantity of chlorine and explosives, when it failed to detonate in Ramadi March 23.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., a white cargo truck came to a halt near the entrance to the Jezeera police station, located about 150 meters from a water treatment plant. The police approached the truck for further investigation and detained the driver when they discovered the truck was rigged with explosives and the driver was attempting to detonate the vehicle.

Upon further investigation, the truck contained an unknown number of 55-gallon drums, which were used to camouflage five 1000-gallon barrels filled with chlorine and more than two tons of explosives.

The driver is being held for further questioning and all explosives were removed from the truck and destroyed by demolition experts.


MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi and coalition forces detained 62 suspected terrorists, discovered four improvised explosive devices and found a massive weapons cache in the Mahmudiyah, Iraq area near the Al QaQaa Weapons Facility March 23.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment’s advisory team, also of the 2nd BCT detained the suspected terrorists and found the weapons cache during Operation Eagle Dive, an operation intended to disrupt anti-Iraqi forces within the 2-15 FA area of operations.
During the operation, Soldiers discovered a series of small caches and consolidated it into one massive cache.

In the nine caches was a 120mm mortar tube with a base plate, five 82mm mortar tubes, a 82mm base plate, three 82mm tripods, a complete 60mm mortar system, a mortar bore brush, 30 boxes of mortar primers, 70 loose mortar fuses, two sniper rifles with scopes, nine 155mm projectiles, 122 82mm projectiles, a 105mm projectile, 122 82mm projectiles, 106 60mm projectiles, six rocket-propelled grenade-7 systems, an RPG scope, an RPG night scope, 55 RPG-7 rounds, seven RPG-9 rounds, 15 boxes of PKC ammunition, 18 AK-47s, 10 pounds of unknown explosives, 15 hand grenades, a partial 14.5mm projectile, a M-759 fuze, 15 complete sets of Iraqi Army uniforms, 20 feet of detonation cord, 24 blasting caps, three anti-aircraft platforms, two anti-aircraft barrels, 100 loose rounds, four acetylene tanks, three Motorola radios, a 8mm video tape, various medical supplies, various anti-Iraqi forces compact discs and religious paperwork.

“These caches are probably related to larger trafficking of arms throughout that area,” said Lt. Col. Frank Andrews, the 2nd BCT executive officer and native of Apex, N.C. “The IA uniforms found in the cache were likely to be used by the terrorist to intimidate local nationals in the area in an effort to discredit the Iraqi Army.”

The caches were destroyed during a controlled detonation conducted by an explosive ordnance disposal team.

Four improvised explosive devices were also discovered in the area along Route Jackson, one of the main routes leading into the Mahmudiyah area.

During the operation, Soldiers discovered two bodies of local nationals who appeared to have been executed.

The 68 detainees were taken to Patrol Base Mahmudiyah, Iraq for further questioning.

“This operation highlighted the competence of the extremely capable 4th Brigade., 6th Iraqi Army Division, who planned and executed it (the operation) with support from their partnered unit, 2-15 FAR,” Andrews added.

Who's got the swatter?

As you can probably tell based on the news I've been posting from CENTCOM, our fight in Iraq is taking a turn for the better. I have been wondering when we'll see another big sweep, another big offensive to take down a larger number of the bad guys at once. And, guess what wanders my way? Well, news on the next big offensive in Iraq, of course!

According to Erick Stakelbeck in a story at CBN News, look for the next big offensive in Iraq to be in Diyala province:
... "If you want to diminish the amount of car bombers and suicide bombers, you have to take the fight right to the source. And in this case, the source is Diyala," said CBN News consultant Daveed Gartenstein-Ross.

Gartenstein-Ross says the Diyala offensive will be even bigger than the major U.S. operation in Fallujah back in 2004-which cleared out a city that had been a major insurgent stronghold.

Military sources say the Fallujah operation directly led to the success of the 2005 Iraqi elections. ...

"Could Diyala be al-Qaeda's Waterloo?" Great question. The best answer is, of course, hell yes it could be! We know that the Iraqi front has drawn al-Qaeda fighters in like moths to a porch light. As we start shutting off their porch lights in Baghdad, thanks to the Iraqi security forces and the American troop surge, al-Qaeda and other insurgents are fleeing in search of a new light. Apparently, we know on which porch that light is lit. Gee, who's got the swatter?

(You all might recognize our old friend, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross who is cited in that story. He's now consulting for CBN News. This means we'll be getting the scoop faster and with more context, as is his hallmark. Congrats, Daveed!) has a recent piece that seems to provide a little bit of detail to this major offensive in the making:

During Friday's news conference, General Mixon, the northern Iraq commander, said any insurgents that try to seek refuge in Diyala, or use it as a base for operations in Baghdad, will be disappointed.

He said, "It is a natural part of an insurgency that the insurgent will try to move [to] where he feels no pressure. But we're keeping the pressure on them. And I think by what they have seen us do over the last month and a half - I have sent reinforcements down in Diyala - they've seen a different picture."

This new offensive promises some tough fighting ahead. It also holds the promise of another victory for our troops and the Iraqi security forces. Just what we need when we need it most! Stay safe but kick some butt in Diyala, troops!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Scott Ott: President of Satire!

This is priceless! Scott Ott for President! ... well, not really... he'd just like your donation!

Standing Up? You Betcha!

I've failed to keep up with all the news out of CENTCOM lately due to a larger focus on work and the Gathering of Eagles. (Bad, ConservaChick!) Now that things have calmed down a bit on both fronts, I'm able to refocus my efforts on other matters.

While my attention was temporarily diverted, I missed some really good news, and possibly, so did you since I haven't seen one word about these things in the MSM lately. After you catch up on the good news, I'm pretty sure we'll be in the same boat -- wondering how anyone could still be saying it's time for the Iraqis to stand up for themselves. Apparently, given the first item below in addition to many others in this batch alone, that's exactly what they've been doing. The MSM simply hasn't bothered to let the average Joe know it.

Without further ado, here's the good news lately out of CENTCOM (presented from most recent to oldest). Enjoy!
Released 3/24/07:


BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) convicted 25 individuals from March 11 - 17, for violations of the Iraqi Terrorist Law, Penal Code and Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Orders enforced by the Iraqi judiciary.
The trial court sentenced four individuals to death Mar. 14 after being found guilty of violation 4/1 of the Iraqi Terrorist Law. The four individuals were apprehended Jan. 4 by Multi-National Forces.

Multi-National Forces found an anti-tank mine near one of the convicted individual's vehicle and a video camera and video tape in the vehicle's glove compartment showing the convicted individuals making Improved Explosive Devices. Detailed instructions on how to use a sniper rifle and scope were also found. Two of the convicted individuals told Multi-National Forces they were paid to emplace IEDs.

CCCI sentenced another individual to death Mar. 11 after being found guilty of violation 4/1 of the Iraqi Terrorist Law. The convicted individual was apprehended in Fallujah Dec. 18, 2006 after the individual and two insurgents attacked an Iraqi Police Recruiting Center with Rocket Propelled Grenades and a PKM machine gun. After a small arms firefight, where the two insurgents were killed and the convicted individual was injured, the convicted individual was apprehended. Iraqi Police discovered two RPG launchers, two RPGs and one PKM machine gun.

The trial court also sentenced another individual to death on Mar. 15 after being found guilty of violation 4/1 of the Iraqi Terrorist Law.

The convicted individual was apprehended by Multi-National Forces and Iraqi Police near Al Rutba Dec. 9, 2006. After searching the individual's vehicle, Iraqi Police found four feet of detonation cord, ten electric blasting caps, sixteen 120mm mortars and two 155mm explosive mortar projectiles.

Ten individuals were convicted Mar. 11 - 17 for possessing illegal weapons in violation of CPA Order 3/2003. The convicted received sentences ranging from one to 30 years imprisonment.

Six individuals were convicted for possessing illegal weapons in violation of 27/3 of the Iraqi Weapons Law. The convicted received sentences ranging from a 100,000 dinar fine to 15 years imprisonment.

The remaining three individuals were found guilty of violation 4/1 of the Iraqi Terrorist Law, violation 10/1 of the Iraqi Passport Law and violation of Article 430 of the Iraqi Penal Law. The convicted individuals were sentenced to 10 years, 15 years and one year imprisonment respectively.

Since its establishment under an amendment to CPA Order 13, in April 2004, the Central Criminal Court has held 1,965 trials for suspected criminals apprehended by Coalition Forces. The Iraqi Court proceedings have resulted in the conviction of 1,706 individuals with sentences ranging from fines to imprisonment to death.


BAGHDAD, IRAQ - A Coalition Forces air strike killed three terrorists Saturday and 12 other suspects were captured during operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq and foreign fighter facilitators.

During an operation in a rural area southeast of Ar Rutbah, Coalition Forces attempted to detain four armed terrorists. One terrorist detonated an explosive device killing himself. The other three attempted to escape in a vehicle. Determining hostile intent, Coalition Forces engaged the vehicle with precision fires from a fixed wing aircraft killing the three armed men. Coalition Forces found a suicide vest, grenades and multiple weapons during a search of the scene. No civilians or friendly forces were injured during the operation.

In Mosul, Coalition Forces captured nine suspected terrorists with alleged involvement in foreign fighter facilitation and weapons distribution.

Two suspects were captured in Baghdad with reported ties to vehicle-borne improvised explosive device manufacturing.

A suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq courier was also detained east of Balad.

"These operations serve as a message to terrorist elements that they will not operate freely or find safe haven in Iraq," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.

Released 3/22/07:


BAGHDAD – Nearly 1,600 partnered Iraqi security forces and coalition Soldiers continued clearing operations today in the Iraqi capital’s Mansour Security District. This was the second day of clearing in the southern Ghazaliya and Ameriya neighborhoods.

During clearing operations coalition Soldiers from A Co, 1-23 Infantry Battalion, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division rescued a kidnap victim in an empty house handcuffed to a chair. The victim had three gunshot wounds in his leg and was evacuated to a coalition forces medical treatment facility. After a more extensive search of the house, Soldiers found a weapons cache consisting of one rocket propelled grenade launcher with 10 rounds; three AK-47 assault rifles; nine 60mm mortar rounds; seven hand grenades; plastic explosives; containers of ferric nitrate, sodium hydrogen and chromic oxide; and numerous explosive making materials.

In addition to the weapons cache above, five other weapons caches were discovered today totaling one 155mm artillery shell, three 120mm mortar rounds, two 60mm mortar rounds, three mortar rounds of unknown diameter, two improvised explosive devices, 15 pounds of homemade explosive, three RPG rounds, and two hand grenades.

Iraqi Army soldiers also detained two suspected terrorists with two assault rifles and 18 magazines of ammunition.

The operation coined as Arrowhead Strike 9 included approximately 500 Iraqi security forces from 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division; 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division; 4th Brigade, 10th Iraqi Army Division; and 5th Battalion, 2nd National Police Brigade. Nearly 1,100 U.S Army Soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division were also involved in the operation.


BAGHDAD -- Over the past several days, Coalition forces in Basra and Hillah captured Qais Khazali, his brother Laith Khazali, and several other members of the Khazali network, an organization directly connected to the kidnapping and murder in January of five American soldiers in Karbala.

Yesterday in Baghdad, Coalition forces captured the individual believed to be the head of the Rusafa car bomb network, the Al Qaeda-Iraq organization responsible for some of the horrific bombings in eastern Baghdad in recent weeks. In yesterday's operation and in another operation early this morning, Coalition forces also captured three other individuals believed to be key members of the network, a vehicle prepared as a car bomb, and a cache of weapons and explosives.

Early this morning in Mosul, Coalition forces captured a former Saddam Fedayeen leader involved in setting up training camps in Syria for Iraqi and foreign fighters.
These actions, and others underway, reflect intensified and even-handed efforts to reinforce the rule of law in Iraq. They have also been complemented by recent initiatives to promote dialogue and reconciliation in Iraq.

We will provide further details of the ongoing initiatives and operations as they become available.

Released 3/21/07:


BAGHDAD, Iraq -Coalition Forces killed five terrorists, destroyed a bomb-making factory and detained three suspected terrorists during an operation Wednesday near Taji.

As ground forces entered the target buildings, they encountered several armed men. Coalition Forces used self-defense measures killing five terrorists and detaining three suspected terrorists.

During the raid, Coalition Forces discovered an adjacent building was being used as an explosives factory. Inside the building, Coalition Forces found large caliber ammunition and explosive manufacturing materials including numerous 50-gallon barrels of explosive material.

Coalition Forces conducted an air strike to destroy the explosives factory, associated vehicles, ammunition and weapons.

At least four large secondary explosions were noted after the initial bomb was dropped on the target, indicating the destruction of the explosive material within and beneath the structure.

A careful analysis was conducted prior to the strike, and every possible precaution to avoid unnecessary collateral damage was taken. No Coalition Forces or civilians were injured during the operation.

"Coalition Forces will continue to systematically kill or capture al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorists regardless of where they may hide or operate," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. "No place is safe for a terrorist in Iraq."


BAGHDAD, Iraq - Coalition Forces destroyed a weapons cache and detained 23 suspected terrorists Wednesday morning during raids targeting foreign fighter facilitator and al-Qaeda in Iraq networks.

During a raid near Balad, Coalition Forces detained 10 suspected terrorists and found a large amount of weapons in two targeted buildings.

The weapons found included numerous machineguns, assault rifles, AK-47s, grenades, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a DShK anti-aircraft heavy machine gun. Due to the large amount of weapons found, Coalition Forces destroyed the two buildings and the weapons inside to prevent further use by terrorists.

West of Taji, Coalition Forces captured three suspects with alleged ties to vehicle-borne IED operations and foreign fighter facilitation.

Six suspected terrorists believed to be involved in foreign fighter facilitation were detained in Mosul.

Coalition Forces also conducted a raid west of Abu Ghurayb targeting foreign fighter facilitators. During the raid, ground forces detained four suspected terrorists at the targeted building.

"Coalition Forces will continue systematic and methodical operations in order to hunt down and capture or kill terrorists trying to prevent a peaceful and stable Iraq," said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. "This is especially true when those terrorists are employing weapons that can damage or destroy Coalition aircraft or vehicle-borne IEDs that can be used in headline grabbing attacks against Iraqi citizens."


KHANAQIN, Iraq - The governor of Diyala met with the province's director general of oil, the 5th Iraqi Army Division commander, the provincial director of police, the Department of Border Enforcement commander and the province's top Coalition Forces' commander Sunday, to discuss solutions for the fuel shortage throughout the province.

Governor Ra'ad Hameed Al-Mula Jowad Al-Tanimi, governor of Diyala, addressed Mr. Dhai al-Namie, the DG of Oil, about the distribution of fuel to all areas of the province, as the shortage of fuel remains a major problem for the people of Diyala, and coordinated with Iraqi Security Forces for any security requirements necessary for distribution.

"This is the Iraqi government taking the lead in solving a very complex and difficult problem within Diyala," said Col. David W. Sutherland, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander. "The province needs the support of the Iraqi National Government to solve the severe fuel problem; however, the provincial leadership is taking the initiative to solve all problems they can at their level."

During the meeting, The DG of Oil agreed to move to Baqubah, placing him in the center of the provincial capital of Diyala. He stated he is also working on authorization to draw fuel from Rasafa, Iraq, and will continue to work with the Ministry of Oil in Baghdad to reconcile the fuel problems for the province.

"The meeting included very direct discussions focused on finding resolutions and answers. The Diyala government will never lose their will to fight for the people," Sutherland said.


RAMADI, Iraq (March 20, 2007) - The Western Ramadi District Police conducted a massive police operation targeting insurgents today in Ramadi.

Coordinating between several stations within his district, Brig. Gen. Khalil Ibrahim Hamadi, chief of the Ramadi District Police, personally led more than 500 policemen as they conducted house-to-house searches in the capital city of Al Anbar Province.

"The Sons of Ramadi work tirelessly to eradicate criminals and bring them to justice," said Khalil. "Today we achieved a noble goal in providing security and stability to our families and the people of Ramadi."

During the 10-hour operation, named Operation Lions of Ramadi, police detained more than 45 suspected insurgents, confiscated propaganda material and discovered several caches containing assault rifles, machine guns, and mortar and artillery shells used to produce improvised explosive devices.

Insurgents utilizing an IED during the operation killed one civilian and injured five. The wounded were transported by local citizens to a nearby Joint Security Station, then evacuated to a Coalition medical facility for further treatment.

Released 3/20/07:


BAGHDAD - Iraqi National Police entered the Al Houda and Al Aqsa mosques during a daytime operation in a southern district of the Iraqi capital March 18.
The National Police received tips from neighborhood residents of insurgent activities being conducted at the mosques.

Iraqi security forces seized two caches of weapons, munitions and bomb-making materials at each mosque. A total of five people were detained in connection with suspected anti-Iraqi activities and are being held by the police for questioning.

Six AK-47 assault rifles and a shotgun were found at the Al Aqsa mosque, along with small caliber ammunition and bomb-making materials.

Two AK-47s, and several mortar rounds and bomb-making material were confiscated in the Al Houda mosque.

The 1st Battalion of the 7th Brigade National Police entered the mosques, while MND-B forces provided the outer cordon for the operation.
No MND-B troops entered the mosque or immediate premises.


BAQUBAH, Iraq - Soldiers from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, uncovered an anti-Iraqi forces' operating cell with large quantities of weapons Sunday, while conducting combat patrols throughout the palm groves in Buhriz, an area within Baqubah, Iraq.

As Soldiers conducted operations, they initially discovered weapons and munitions in a one-room concrete building. After securing the site and conducting a more detailed search, the Soldiers discovered more munitions throughout the area, mainly in an underground chamber created by a septic tank.

"This success highlights the added benefit of the Stryker battalion working in Baqubah," said Col. David W. Sutherland, 3-1 Cav. commander. "The discovery demonstrates the unique capabilities of this battalion, while simultaneously building the Iraqi army with a different type of force structure, all the while securing the population."

The search resulted in the discovery of large amounts of munitions to include direct-fire weapons systems such as a recoilless rifle, rocket-propelled grenade munitions, more than 1,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition, indirect fire munitions containing more than 30 mortar rounds, and mortar-firing systems; and improvised-explosive device materials to include approximately 300 blasting caps, detonation wire, batteries and timers, and other terrorist documents.

"Noteworthy is the immediate impact of the Stryker battalion and their discovery of this large cache after only 48 hours of offensive operations," Sutherland added. "They are a vital asset in disrupting the enemy's territory."

A Coalition Forces' explosive ordnance disposal unit arrived on site to conduct a controlled detonation.


BAGHDAD - Iraqi Police captured a suspected insurgent, reportedly linked to an Improvised Explosive Device cell, during operations with Coalition advisors Mar 19 in Ramadi. The suspect is allegedly involved in multiple bombing attacks targeting Coalition Forces and Iraqi Security Forces in the area.

Iraqi Forces detained 3 additional persons for questioning.


CAMP TAJI, Iraq - A contraband search turned firefight yielded two caches for Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers March 19 in Falahat, Iraq.

Soldiers from Troop C, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment raided three buildings in Falahat, where they detained three suspected insurgents and confiscated two AK-47s, one shotgun and five magazines.

Troop C was preparing to enter a fourth building when a vehicle with four men drove by and fired weapons at the Soldiers, who reciprocated with shots of their own.
Three of the men fled the scene on foot but were captured by the Soldiers. Follow-on searches yielded the day's second cache: one 122 mm artillery shell, four fuses, one grenade, four rocket sleds, four ammunition vests, one AK-47 and more than seven magazines.

No U.S. Soldiers were killed or wounded in the engagement.

Released 3/19/07:


TIKRIT, Iraq – Iraqi police and local tribesmen killed or captured at least four heavily armed terrorists after the insurgents tried to attack locals and police Thursday, at the Hardinia police station near Balad, Iraq.

The group of insurgents parked their white sedan in front of the police headquarters around 7 a.m., and they immediately opened up with small-arms fire. IPs repelled the initial attack and moved toward the vehicle, which was actually a car bomb. One terrorist was killed when the car bomb prematurely detonated before he could flee.
The remaining terrorists fled the area as one individual killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during his escape.

“The people of this area have always known that the terrorists have very little to offer, but they’ve often been too afraid to take action on their own, preferring to leave it to the Coalition or Iraqi Security Forces,“ said Maj. John Throckmorton, operations officer, 3rd Combined Arms Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.
“In the past month, however, we’ve seen an increasing trend of neighborhoods standing up for themselves and against the terrorists,” he said. “There’s a sense that the extremist’s days are numbered. The terrorists are definitely being beaten back in this area.”

The attack resulted in three terrorists killed, two IPs wounded, one local national killed and one wounded. One terrorist was detained.


BAQUBAH, Iraq – Iraqi soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, shot and killed a suicide bomber Saturday, south of Shakarat, Iraq.

Coalition Forces near the area where the incident occurred reported that the suicide bomber was running toward an Iraqi tactical check point, and after failing to obey several verbal warnings to stop, the IA shot him, which prompted the vest to detonate.

This is the second suicide bomber incident in two days in the Diyala province. Friday, a suicide bomber targeted the Balad Ruz Chief of Police during his visit at the Balad Ruz Hospital.

Iraqi Police reported that the suicide bomber was walking toward the hospital between the Iraqi Police’s posted vehicular security. The IPs warned the individual to stop, but were forced to engage him when he continued toward them. The vest detonated when the individual was shot, injuring three IPs on site.
“The terrorists are now seeing and experiencing the effectiveness of the Iraqi Security Forces,” said Col. David W. Sutherland, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division commander, and senior Coalition Force officer in Diyala province.
“This is why we are seeing an increase on audible attacks — attacks that are attempting to create fear within the local population.”

“I applaud the ISF members whose vigilance and attention prevented those suicide bombers from achieving their targets,” said Sutherland. “Those are the actions of a professional force, which is helping gain the support of their people.”


JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The first 30 graduates from the new Afghan National Auxiliary Police training program in Jalalabad took their oath to defend and serve their country March 15 at a facility run by American military and DynCorp trainers.
The new ANAP program will serve the federal government in a capacity similar to that of current militia units. Although the new policemen have only been through a basic curriculum, their skills will be improved through quarterly training.
The program is intended help increase security throughout the region by adding 1,500 new policemen to the current force.
“The center helps provide more people willing to sacrifice and work for the future of their government and country,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. McGowan Anderson, an instructor at the facility. “One of the progress benchmarks of a government is how many people you have working in unison to improve the country and this program increases that number dramatically. It also demonstrates how many people have faith in the government and that is a dramatic change from when the Taliban was here.”
The effect of the increase is substantial in more ways than one, said Anderson.
“Security happens to be one of the priorities right now,” Anderson said. “This training program elevates the preparedness of people who wish to participate in that area. Having an auxiliary police force such as this allows the Afghan National Police to do their job while knowing they have a better support system.”
The commitment of the students was applauded by their American counterparts, including Army Lt. Col. Steven Anderson, Task Force Spartan’s deputy commanding officer.
“I would like to thank you for your commitment to the security of your country,” Anderson said. “Even though I haven’t met with you individually, I feel a bond with you. I am a Soldier, you are policemen, but we have both sworn an oath to defend our countries. Like you, we stand between our families and people who would hurt our families.”
Anderson also pledged TF Spartan’s continued support to the new lawmen.
“When you go out into your districts you will see Soldiers from our brigade,” he said. “Our Soldiers will face danger out with you in your districts to defeat the enemy together.”
The Jalalabad Provincial Reconstruction Team commander, Air Force Lt. Col. David Naisbitt, commended the students on the high standards they have set for those who follow them and asked the students to make a good reputation for themselves.
“I ask you to take what you’ve learned here and put in to practice what you have been taught,” said Naisbitt. “I ask you to always be professional and remember you represent your profession as a police officer, your country and your family.”
The new policemen saluted and reaffirmed their oath with pride after receiving their certificates.
“I am very proud to have received this training here,” said one of the graduates. “We will work hard for a bright future for Afghanistan. I used to be a farmer but I was inspired to work for my country and that’s what led me to become a police officer. I urge other people to come forward and work towards building Afghanistan’s future.”
Remember, you can read all these releases directly on CENTCOM's website too. Share the link with your family and friends. Given the current state of the mainstream media, I am afraid there's just no way we'll stay informed during this war without seeking the information directly from the source.

God bless you all and keep up the great work, Iraqi and Coalition forces!!
We're all counting on you!

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Text/Video/Audio from The Gathering of Eagles

You know there had to be a whole heckuva lot of us there on March 17th because stories from The Gathering of Eagles counter-protest in DC are all over the internet now! There were numerous bloggers that made up for the lack of fair media coverage on our side. One blogger, Citizen Smash, even infiltrated the ANSWER rally and march! So, if you'd like to check out more of the online coverage -- some of it is simply outstanding! -- check out these links:
The most informative and entertaining account of that day comes from Citizen Smash of Indepundit -- he infiltrated the moonbats! Read all about it here.

Tantor at Conservative Propaganda has great pictures and an extensive first-hand account of the day. It's a must read.

Michelle Malkin did a terrific video report for Hot Air. You've got to watch this!

Concrete Bob at the DC Protest Warrior blog has posted a FANTASTIC slide show of pictures from The Gathering of Eagles. BRAVO, BOB!

The Washington Post has a pretty good video online. Watch at about 1:49 into this video when an America-hater spits at a pro-victory supporter. She misses, of course.

YouTube has a number of videos from The Gathering of Eagles. Here's the list.

Award winning journalist, Catherine Moy, has a great story up on Melanie Morgan's site: "Media miss the story again: Historic Pro-troop Movement surges on war anniversary"

Jack Langer wrote a piece in Human Events called "Power to the People" which is a fun read. He puts it all in perspective.

A message from Harry Riley, Col, USA, Ret. about the success of The Gathering of Eagles on March 17th. He's the man!

Right on the Right has an extensive collection of write-ups and great photos in the "Gathering of Eagles" category -- check them out.

The Gateway Pundit has a fun write-up about how we outclassed the "socialist hacks" of Code Pink.

Kit Jarrell from Euphoric Reality (and a major part of organizing The Gathering of Eagles), does an internet radio show called "The Front Line." She did a special edition for those who attended The Gathering of Eagles to share their experiences. Here's the podcast.

Gathering of Eagles: Recap, Part 3

In the last part, I showed you the major area of confrontation between the protesters and the pro-victory Eagles. Where the two factions came closest was in the gathering area for the starting point of ANSWER's march across the bridge to Arlington. Patriots gathered along the sidewalk at the Lincoln Monument directly across from that area and lined the sidewalk all the way up to the bridge.

As protesters were lined up by the march orchestrators, they were carefully watched by SWAT team members. Evidently, there was some fear that anarchist pukes could cause some damage to life or property that day... I think SWAT underestimated the intimidation factor of having 30,000 pro-victory supporters and military veterans in such close proximity to the little punks.

Now gather up, children! Does everyone know their bus number?...

They led their march like it was a Broadway production -- everyone of any importance had a pre-determined order in the march. Cindy "I'm a disgrace to my son's memory" Sheehan and some other folks led the march with their banner followed by a few of the "Veterans for Peace." According to some first-hand accounts, these so-called vets numbered about six and the authenticity of some of them was highly questionable. In some accounts, one of the vets sobbed as he was called a "traitor" by the Eagles in his march past us.

The band of unwashed march off across the bridge to invade the Pentagon!

Eagles lined the road and onto the bridge as far as we could reach until that movement was stopped by police. We were told that the Gathering of Eagles did not have a permit to be on the bridge and so we were restricted to the area just before the start of the bridge.

Of course, being law-abiding citizens, we didn't want to cause the police more trouble. Although Mark was determined that we were going to have a presence on that bridge anyway... so the two of us strolled across on the opposite side with our "We Support the Troops" and Old Glory whipping in the wind. We stopped and stood our ground in the middle of that side of the bridge.

As you can see in the picture below, the full force of the Eagles was unable to line the bridge. The unwashed paraded on the other side.

What I found highly amusing is the number of protesters who felt a need to spout their nonsense at us as they passed by. It was clear why we were there. Did they really think that shouting at us in 30mph winds was suddenly going to convert us to idiots on parade? It was really bizarre.

The other bizarre thing about these Communist organizations who attend all these anti-America protests is the trash trail they leave in their wake. Unfortunately, I didn't get good pictures of the big messes they left but the one below is a typical trash wake left on their side of the bridge. This is extremely minor compared to the way they trashed up their rally areas and the sidewalks throughout the National Mall.

Litter bugs and their minor trash trail

As they were busy strewing trash everywhere, beating their plastic buckets, and skipping along the bridge, I'm sure they had no idea what awaited them on the other side... what a treat!

There were pro-victory supporters and a huge banner in the large triangular median just before Arlington Cemetary! You can't really make out the text of their banner from this picture but it says: "Go to hell Traitors -- You dishonor our dead on hallowed ground!" You'll see pictures elsewhere in the media of a young guy with his face painted red, white, and blue shouting into a bullhorn. As this guy stood in front of the banner and the pro-victory supporters, he did a wonderful job taunting the hate-America crowd as they marched past him. It was fun to watch him and cheer him on in his mission to irritate the idiots on parade.

As the last of the unwashed filed past on their way to the Pentagon, Mark and I gave up the fight. We had been out in the cold and windy weather all day and were chilled to the bone. The wind across that bridge had just about frozen me to the core. It was time to head for warmth. We knew others would witness and report the rest.

What a day it was for those of us who love our country and support our troops both past and present! March 17, 2007 will be forever seared into my memory as the day the silent eagle was finally heard on the streets of Washington, DC. It felt especially good to this daughter of a Vietnam vet because I was finally able to welcome thousands of Vietnam vets home the way they should have been welcomed decades ago -- flags waving, big smiles, and many thanks for all they did back then and all that did that day in DC.

God bless the organizers of The Gathering of Eagles and everyone who put in so much time to make it a huge success. Mark and I were very proud to have been a part of history with so many fine Americans!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Gathering of Eagles: Recap, Part 2

The rally speakers carried the spirit of the banners on display.

The Gathering of Eagles -- more of the story (Part 2)

In the first part, I told you what the rally was like, what the mood and the spirit of the crowd felt like, and how awed I was by the number of American flags on display throughout the crowd and in the area where the rally was held.

Now, on to the rest of the day...

Mark and I enjoyed the rally very much but found ourselves in need of some exercise to revive blood flood in the hope that it would revive some numbed limbs. I swear with the wind chill it had to be 20-degrees outside that day! Brrrr!

Here's where it gets interesting. Here's where the mainstream media lost the thread of the REAL story that day... As we wandered the grounds of the National Mall that day, we ran into Eagle after Eagle after Eagle. I think the MSM couldn't tell the difference between the Commie crowd and the Patriots because many of the Eagles were average-looking Joes -- some with leather vests (Rolling Thunder) and some without. We could tell the difference because of the way we were greeted in the crowd. "Hey, great flag!" or "Thanks for your support!" definitely designated the Eagles from the average tourists.

Rolling Thunder and other veterans organizations were congregated everywhere throughout the grounds.

Operation Iraqi Freedom was well-represented!

Veterans found common ground and a common flag!

There were so many groupings of vets throughout the grounds that it's
no wonder the MSM didn't bother to look for themselves... that would have been a lot of walking!

The media reported (barely) that there was an unusually large number of us but the truth is that we outnumbered the anti-war protestors at about 3 to 1 that day. It didn't immediately sink in for Mark and I as we wandered the crowd because we thought we were simply on the "right side" of the proceedings and weren't running into the "enemy" for that reason. As it turns out, we wandered far and wide, including "enemy territory" and still ran into very few of the unwashed that day in our travels. It finally sank in when we saw the estimated number from the Park Police (reported by The Gathering of Eagles website). It makes sense now. Funny how being a part of the "story" limits your view of the overall picture. Maybe that's the real problem with the MSM, huh?

First on the list of places we wandered into and found ourselves right at home was the sidewalk outside of our rally area. This was the site of the now famous "gauntlet" that the idiot parade had to walk through to get to their gathering site for the "idiots on parade" march across the bridge to Arlington. Ah but it was such a pleasure greeting them all as they strolled under the flags to the jeering and insults of Eagles!

You can't tell from this picture, since I was part of the gauntlet, but these boneheads had to stroll down about a half-mile of sidewalk that was lined with veterans and military supporters.

The picture above does not do justice to the gauntlet that was formed by vets and supporters. We had about a half-mile of sidewalk lined with veterans and supporters. Most of us were on our best behavior. And occasionally a few of us would say things that we might otherwise not say... I'll leave it at that. Just know that if you dislike these idiots, you were well represented in the gauntlet! Those who thought they were in the right in their America-hating ways strutted through and yelled at us; however, the less foolhardy among the idiot parade diverted their course out to the street to avoid their just desserts.

After the excitement on the sidewalk gauntlet, we really didn't think anything could top that. A stroll down the sidewalk and we found ourselves getting an education on what the Park Police and their horses had anticipated for the day. Not only were the police in riot gear, their horses were geared up for action as well. Those shields across the horses' eyes are to prevent them from being hit with projectiles. That "peace loving" crowd can certainly get violent.

Horses ready for a riot. Little did they know that Rolling Thunder and other Eagles were there for them!

In our travels that day, we ran into barrier after barrier. As we walked, we found ourselves fenced in at many different points. It was a bit frustrating. Only with some creative detours were we finally able to get out of the designated areas into the other more open areas of the National Mall. It was in one of those creative detours that we finally stumbled upon what we thought was a gathering of anti-war protesters... turns out it was just a bunch of horses' arses.

Hey, look! There are nine Commie America-haters up ahead!
Oh! Never mind... those are REAL horses' arses. False alarm. My bad.

Oh look! Even the horses' arses were aggitating each other... must have been something in the air!

The Park Police were vigilant on Saturday. Wherever it was possible for the two sides to collide, there were Park Police on horseback to walk into the fray and break it up. As we wandered closer to the barricaded ANSWER rally area, we ran into multitudes of mounted Park Police. The barricades made it hard for us to find our way to the area just opposite the ANSWER rally area. Persistence pays off in more endeavors than just winning a war... we finally found our way to freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and free-reigning banner-ville!

This was no easy maze to decode. It took quite a while for us to find our way past
all the fencing and barricades over to the sidewalk around the Lincoln Monument.

Once around the barricades and fencing and on the side of the Lincoln monument, we ran into a greater number of Eagles. Many had been there all day guarding the monument, others had wandered in after the rally. Regardless of when they took up the station, there were larger numbers there than anywhere else on the grounds of the National Mall. We found out why very quickly... this was the one spot where you could face the ANSWER Commie pukes. It was the hotspot of the day.

Hotspot though it was, veterans are ever cognizant of the need to leave space for their disabled brothers. This was the theme all down the sidewalk. Space was cleared for the wheelchair-bound.

Don't let pictures in the MSM fool you. The ANSWER rally organizers announced, at one point, to their crowd that they should pile in against the fence. The Leftists in this country are VERY savvy when it comes to how they are portrayed in the media. These guys knew that they had to make their numbers look large. And, of course, that's exactly what they did. One of the alert bloggers onsite that day recorded the announcement (link to be posted asap).

Hurry! Every Commie against the fence for the photo op!

For your enjoyment -- heck, who am I kidding... for mine too! -- I collected a number of pictures of the banners and signs on display at this particular spot. These were among the best of the day!
The view from the "right" side of the street.

This sign clearly represents the predominant sentiment of the Eagles crowd.
Victory should NEVER be a "positive outcome," it should be the goal.

Okay, you've seen this one (still my favorite)... now for the flipside of this vet's sign (next picture)...

Blunt but probably dead on!

The guy wearing this sweatshirt said his wife made it for him --
his wife is most definitely a ConservaChick in the truest sense of the word!

Park Police were constantly having to move protesters back to their line on the other side...
the idiots kept wanting to get up close to our side... Maybe they wanted a badly needed education?

Need we continue to state the obvious? Or are the neo-hippies in need of some Ritalin?

Ronald Reagan lives! Amen, brother Eagle!

My favorite picture from the Iraqi elections. Do we really want to see
these folks slaughtered on our way out??

Cindy, is this really what you're about? Or is it just fun to have so much media attention
that you don't care who you support or who you hurt?

Now THERE'S a novel idea! I'd be willing to settle for simply not re-electing them.

Some memories are still VERY fresh in the minds of pro-victory Americans.

Even the Aussies were on hand for the Gathering of Eagles.

As Tiny Tim would say, "God bless us, everyone!"

How does this guy REALLY feel about Congress's actions of late? ;o)

Okay, I thought I could do this in just two posts but there is much more to tell and it's getting late. I suppose this will have to go to three separate posts. In the next one, I'll cover the parade of idiocy across the bridge and their welcoming committee on the Arlington side as well as some links to other write-ups of the event.

In Keeping with the Anti-War Protest...

As if in answer to my heartfelt question, "Why do some Americans hate their country and wish for defeat?" comes this dispatch from the Middle East Media Research Institute: "Islamist Website Instructs Mujahideen in Using Popular U.S. Web Forums to Foster Anti-War Sentiment among Americans"

Gee, go figure...

(Baaaaah, baaaaaah, baaaaah, follow the Jihadi shepherd to the pasture, neo-hippie.)

The Gathering of Eagles: Part 1

I have so much to write about my time at The Gathering of Eagles that I'll never accomplish it all in one sitting. As it's already well past midnight, I will have to break this into two parts. Please bear with me. It isn't easy being a full-time workin' gal, Eagle, and blogger! ;o)

Part 1: The Rally

With enthusiam in our hearts and coffee in our veins, Mark (my "partner in crime") and I left La Grange, KY for Washington D.C. on Friday. We drove for over 10 hours that afternoon, taking the northern route up through Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and into DC. Unfortunately, we hadn't anticipated that nasty little snow storm -- we weren't alone there, were we? -- and got bogged down in Maryland for a while.

We ran into some of the Rolling Thunder guys on our way into the hotel near the Iwo Jima memorial. This was indeed welcome confirmation that we had finally made it to our destination! I had quit smoking the day before we went on this roadtrip so we avoided the bar at the hotel... in retrospect, I wish I had spent some time there or anywhere we might have gotten to know our fellow Eagles a bit better. All weekend long, everyone we ran into at the hotel, at the Metro, and at the National Mall was genuinely nice. Camaraderie was in the air all over D.C. this weekend -- there were smiles on the faces of those of us with flags and armbands. It was hard to miss.

Saturday morning came very early for those of us who were delayed by the snow on Friday evening. However, we pulled ourselves together and joined muster in the cold and biting wind for The Gathering of Eagles rally on Saturday morning.

The first thing we noticed when we arrived was all of the American flags flying -- my God! I don't imagine the National Mall has EVER seen so many American flags in all the years of its existence. It made our hearts swell with pride! We had our Old Glory and a "We Support Our Troops" flag with us but we really hadn't anticipated that so many others would bring Old Glory with them too. I guess we should have known, eh? After all, we were among true patriots -- men and women who served (and are serving) this country. Who best to fly Old Glory?

Where would a ConservaChick be without her flag and armband?

Mark (ConservaChick's partner in crime) flying Old Glory

The opening rally for The Gathering of Eagles included an awesome variety of speakers and song: a rousing rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" in which everyone sang along, a very assertive Pledge of Allegiance, a prayer that said everything we all needed to hear on its way to God's ears, an original song called "So Brave" (by Angela Lashley), and original songs by Lloyd Marcus. We heard from the founders of The Gathering of Eagles, from a California congressman, from a Gold Star Mom and a Gold Star Dad, from a Green Beret, from a Purple Heart recipient, from the President of Rolling Thunder, and from other veterans and organizers. I wish my hands hadn't been too numb from the cold to record the names of each of the speakers. I apologize for being less than specific here. Each person who spoke at this rally certainly deserves to have his/her words recorded online as they were all very moving.

The Rally stage and the entire area were covered with over 1,000 American flags -- that's not even counting the flags that the attendees carried with them throughout the day!

Prayers were in order -- from our hearts to God's ear.
George Washington would have been proud.
It's clear that a contingent from Oklahoma was present and accounted for on Saturday!
Lloyd Marcus did a rousing job with "United We Stand" (acapella)!

Not only were there American flags everywhere, there were well-made homemade signs everywhere as well. I took pictures of as many as possible just to share with you all the sentiment that ran through the crowd. You'll notice in later pictures that the signs carried by the anti-war protesters were all mass produced by ANSWER. These signs came from the heart. We were all there to support our troops, to protect our monuments, and to ensure that those watching knew that there was another point of view that was worth supporting. The signs said as much.

Yes, indeed.

Pearl and other victims of radical Islam were remembered in our crowd.

While we were certainly the minority among the Eagles on Saturday,
we women made ourselves seen and heard!

In addition, The Gathering of Eagles was an awesome showing for "payback" -- Vietnam veterans who had been silent all these years were finally making their voices heard. It was a moment in history that will be replayed over and over and over again in my heart and my mind. I know it's probably politically incorrect for me to call it "payback," but that's what I felt during the day. I even felt as though I were paying back the idiot hippies of yesteryear for the way they mistreated my father and his brothers in arms when they returned from Vietnam.

I couldn't help but enjoy watching this vet. He had no problem expressing himself.
Give 'em hell, brother Eagle!

These men and women, Vietnam veterans, who had been so badly betrayed by our government, our people, and some of their fellow warriors during the Vietnam War, were finally able to unleash all of the resentment that they'd held inside for so long on a whole new misled generation of idiots. I hope this generation of idiots was paying attention. They need not be so naive and so hateful as those who came before them; they need not inflict emotional and mental wounds on a whole new generation of patriots the way their parents did.

I'd like to sincerely thank Carla and John Fleming for the thoughtful gift that Carla handed me to give to my Dad. Carla was asking everyone in the crowd if he/she was a veteran. When she asked me, I told her that I was not but that my Dad was a Vietnam vet. She handed me a nicely presented gift and told me to get it to my Dad for her. I will be giving it to him tomorrow evening. I know he will be touched to have been remembered in such a lovely way by folks he's never even met. God bless you both, Carla and John. You've touched more people than you know.

In part two of this recap, I'll tell you more about our crowd, the protesters who had to "run the gauntlet," and the bridge crossing. Stay tuned!