Thursday, January 31, 2008

Michael Yon update

From email:


I am back in Iraq, currently in South Baghdad on FOB Falcon with 1-4Cav. This battalion is doing so well with counterinsurgency that it has not been attacked a single time since 9 September 2007. Their area was one of the worst in all Iraq before they got here.

Men of Valor Part VII (from my time with British troops in late 2007) is published.

My book "Moment of Truth in Iraq" is a work in progress; information about ordering advance (signed) copies is available here: Moment of Truth in Iraq.

There is not enough time to write long dispatches while the book is still in progress; I plan to run a lot of missions during February. But I will try to publish short dispatches nearly daily through February. I will not send an email with each new dispatch, so please check the site frequently.

There likely will continue to be an increase in US casualties as a result of the fact that Iraqi and American forces have their teeth sunk deeply into al Qaeda in northern Iraq. Iraqi and American forces are crushing the wind out of al Qaeda, but the enemy still has strength and is fighting hard.



Short post pointing to a long read

Another good summary of where we are in Iraq by Max Boot at The Weekly Standard is We Are Winning. We Haven't Won.
  • Baghdad
    Nine months ago, when I was last in Iraq, the conventional wisdom about the war effort was unduly pessimistic. Many politicians, and not only Democrats, had declared the surge a failure when it had barely begun. Today we know that the surge has succeeded: Iraqi and American deaths fell by approximately 80 percent between December 2006 and December 2007, and life is returning to a semblance of normality in much of Baghdad. Now the danger is that public opinion may be turning too optimistic.

Air strike in Pakistan

From what I understand, we struck inside Pakistan from Afghanistan on Tuesday and took out a top Al Qaeda operative. If it really was us, then the silence from the world is interesting. Sending more troops and equipment to Afghanistan might allow us to "sneak" in and really start taking apart Al Qaeda in their safe havens.

Bill Roggio has a couple of posts up in regards to the air strikes.

Arab, Asian al Qaeda operatives reported killed in North Waziristan raid
  • The Jan. 29 airstrike against a Taliban safe house in Pakistan's North Waziristan may have targeted two senior al Qaeda leaders, the Pakistani press is reporting.
Senior al Qaeda leader Abu Laith al Libi killed in North Waziristan
  • The fallout from the Jan. 29 airstrike is settling, and it appears a senior al Qaeda leader was killed in the attack in North Waziristan, Pakistan. Abu Laith al Libi was killed in the attack, according to a posting at a prominent jihadi website.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Gaddafi's kid

You might have seen it splashed across the news websites last week that Moammar Gaddafi's son is accused of sending in the foreign fighters responsible for last weeks devastating explosion in northern Iraq. Omar over at Iraq The Model has his viewpoint up with Al-Qaeda's in Iraq New Sponsor: Libya.

What comes next in Iraq

Right now there's the ongoing battle for Mosul. Bill Roggio has the latest on The Mosul Offensive
  • Just over one year after the surge officially began Coalition and Iraqi forces continue to pursue al Qaeda in Iraq. After al Qaeda has been driven from its havens in Baghdad and the surrounding belts regions, and most recently in Diyala, the city of Mosul has emerged as the latest battleground.

Looking down the road would help, especially to help us determine what effect if any it will have on the elections. David Ignatius at The Washington Post has a good longer term look with his The Next Iraq Phase
  • BAGHDAD -- America's future role in Iraq is being shaped by two discussions underway here and in Washington. One is a Bush administration debate about the timetable for reducing U.S. troops this year, and the other is a U.S.-Iraqi negotiation about the status of the residual American force that will remain after 2008.

The new tree feeder

I didn't blog last night because I was out purchasing a new tree feeder. Check it out!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Michael J. Totten

He has a new one up worth reading called The Final Mission, Part I
  • FALLUJAH – At the end of 2006 there were 3,000 Marines in Fallujah. Despite what you might expect during a surge of troops to Iraq, that number has been reduced by 90 percent. All Iraqi Army soldiers have likewise redeployed from the city. A skeleton crew of a mere 250 Marines is all that remains as the United States wraps up its final mission in what was once Iraq's most violent city.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Vets for Obama?

Uncle Jimbo over at Black Five weighs in with Veterans for Obama? Puhleaze.
  • Now the fact that Obama has vets stumping for him shows more about the diversity of our military than Obama's appeal as a candidate. Every thing I have heard him say about the military or national security has been dangerously naive. It is all well and good to mouth feelgood platitudes about a new way and change, but a political tool with zero relevant experience is not much of a choice if you consider our world a dangerous place.

General Petraeus

Michael Yon gives his view of the recent reporting by the New York Times about General Petraeus possibly being reassigned to a top NATO command. My initial feeling was that it would be a bad idea to take General Petraeus out of Iraq, but I'm certainly not qualified to make any judgment on it. Michael Yon is a good one to realistically look at and comment about the move and he does with News Flash: General Reassignment
  • Folks have been asking me what I think about the prospect of General David Petraeus being re-assigned out of Iraq. It’s something I’ve been thinking and talking about for months. We need General Petraeus in Iraq, but I am concerned that we need him more elsewhere.

The Iraqi army

It looks like the Iraqi army continues to improve. They are about to start the battle of Mosul in the lead. From Pat Dollard Iraqi Army Poised For Battle Of Mosul
  • BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraqi army reinforcements moved Sunday into positions near the northern city of Mosul, ready to strike al-Qaida in Iraq targets in their last urban stronghold, a top Iraqi officer said.

It looks to me like the Coalition forces there will be working in a supporting role as the Iraqi army goes after Al Qaeda in it's last safe haven.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pat Dollards Young Americans

In case you didn't understand it, Pat Dollard's reason for being in Iraq last year was to make a documentary in which he hoped he could accurately portray the situation there, since everyone else in Hollywood seemed to get it all wrong. That documentary is called Young Americans and will be on Showtime sometime next spring. Matt Sanchez gives his viewpoint on Young Americans--Hollywood will Finally get it Right. Matt is there in Iraq and has been reporting on it so he is an ideal person to give it a review.
  • This spring, Pat Dollard's Young Americans will air on cable television, the result of years of work. But there's a good reason for the time it has taken: Pat Dollard is a man obsessed with reality, his reality of the war he experienced while embedded with the 3rd battalion 7th Marines in Ramadi.

How us FredHeads feel right about now...

Hat tip to Pat Dollard

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Empty beer can

I know, it doesn't really sound like it's worth blogging, but...

The empty beer can problem is that it's replacement weighs 160 pounds and I have to carry up three steps from the garage into the house and then lift it into the kegerator.

So, I don't want to hear it from any of you on how I don't work out. That, and remember I take numerous walks out to the smoking section every day.

So there...

Outside the wire

I keep forgetting to check in on J.D. Johannes over at Outside the Wire. He has a good one up that you need to check out called A Point of Honesty
  • I know and correspond with many Muslims.

    I have broken the flat bread with many Muslims, drank tea, smoked cigarettes, shot the breeze and swapped jokes.

    The vast majority of Muslims are as hospitable as Mormons.

And the hits just keep rollin' on AQI

Bill Roggio has an update on the push against Al Qaeda in Iraq. Task force 88 is continuing the dismantling of the Al Qaeda network and Bill reports on a couple of their successes as well as more Diyala province activities. It's not real in depth and more of just a short update. Thirty al Qaeda in Iraq killed in Diyala
  • Iraqi and Coalition forces continue to press the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq in the northeastern province of Diyala, where the terror group maintains small pockets. In the latest series of raids as part of Operation Raider Harvest, Iraqi and US forces killed 30 al Qaeda operatives and captured 21, including a senior al Qaeda leader, during raids and operations.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The end of the campaign

So, it's goodbye to the Fred08 campaign. I wished it would have stayed together through super Tuesday, but it didn't. It's now time to wrap up and review.

Fred could still get the nomination if no candidate has the required delegate count come convention time. At that point it would become a brokered convention and the wheeling and dealing would start. Fred has great appeal to pretty much each faction of the party, so in that instance he'd have to be considered as the ideal compromise candidate. This is most likely just a pipe dream thing though. It's possible, but I'd give it pretty low odds. I'll wrap up and review but keep all the Fred08 stuff handy just in case.

It was an interesting ride. This is the first time I've seen a candidate drafted by the people. I thought (wrongly) that meant it was a can't miss idea. During the draft Fred movement, I studied up on a candidate more than I had ever done before. Read all the white papers, looked through the voting histories, and really feel like I learned the candidate. Also for the first time, I opened up the wallet for a candidate. It feels good. I didn't give much, but I really couldn't afford to either, so I did what I could do. I'm sure others did as much as they could do too. For whatever reason it was for naught, but I still feel it was worth it. I don't see anything I would have changed. To be a part of the draft Fred movement was pretty cool. I have a Fred08 member card and number that I'll just keep right there next to the birthday card from Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Well, it didn't turn out the way it was supposed to, and now I need to invest some time looking over the other candidates to see which ones faults are ones I can live with and which ones are ones I can't. Hopefully, a supportable candidate appears out of that, but if not, I'll just step back and support the party in November.

And just for old time sake, I'm putting up the contribute blog bumper sticker one last time. Obviously, it's not intended that you contribute, it's just there to look cool...


Fred withdraws from the Presidential race

Statement from Sen. Fred Thompson

McLean, VA - Senator Fred Thompson today issued the following statement about his campaign for President: "Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."

Monday, January 21, 2008

The chicken or the egg...

A train of thought started by a clip I heard on the radio on the way home of Mark Levin's radio program. It was Mike Huckabee in a MLK day speech today. I can't really paraphrase it as I only caught a small part, so I'll have to go on the idea it spawned. Hopefully, it stays along the lines that Huckabee intended.

In what I took to be a shot across the bow to Hillary, Huckabee was pointing out that Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights movement. Without his leadership, Lyndon Johnson would have had no motivation to pass any legislation on it. Huckabee made a great point, and one I'm sure that played well with his audience, that without the activist, the President wouldn't have been pushed to enact the legislation.

I thought that was a great way to counter Hillary's claim that it took a President to get a civil rights law passed.

I'm not a Huckabee fan, but he gets two thumbs up from me on this one.

Iraq and the November elections

Going on pure speculation, I’m wondering if Iraq will be a non-issue come November, and the elections. There are several indicators that it might be.

First off is the move by the Soros funded ultra left to admit defeat and change tactics from trying to stop funding and start pulling out troops to fighting against a long term security agreement with Iraq. Even they see we’re winning the battle against Al Qaeda there.

Next, President Bush is moving forward in signing that very same security agreement and I don’t see any way the anti-war crowd will be able to stop it. If this goes through, pretty much all the wind goes out of the sails of the surge against the surge.

And, probably the most important factor, Uncle Jimbo over at Black Five is still pushing everyone to get onboard for a Victory in Iraq parade on the mall in DC on July 5th of this year.

If this comes about, I think we need to look at where we will be standing. The GWOT will still be a major issue, but the Democrats don’t believe it even exists. They will have lost that “get out of Iraq now!” chant, and will try to explain to the general public that all is just peachy keen. Of course, that in itself is a problem for them as their main campaign themes are how George W. Bush has everything all screwed up.

So, I see it very possible that we will be standing on very good ground here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Debunking the NYT

You've probably heard about this weeks hit job by the New York Times on our returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. They tried to paint an inaccurate picture of how our vets are out of control murdering psychopaths but a quick look at the figures they used to base their story on and it was determined that our vets are only 1/5 as likely to commit the crime as "normal" 18 to 34 year olds.

Pat Dollard has a good take down posted with Some Fictional Horrors Of War that covers it well.
  • Thus, with declining deaths in the war zones, the media narrative evolves. Old story: “America’s soldiers are being cut down by violent irrational insurgents we can never hope to understand.” New story: “Americans are being cut down by violent irrational soldiers we can never hope to understand.” In the quagmire of these veterans’ minds, every leafy Connecticut subdivision is Fallujah and every Dunkin’ Donuts clerk an Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

So, what's Sarkozy up to?

Pajama's media has a post up regarding France wanting to build a military base in the United Arab Emirates called 'Sarkozy of Arabia' Sending Troops to the Gulf
  • “The French military may be the butt of a thousand chortling American jokes,” says Scotsman Mr. Eugenides, but France’s new deal with the United Arab Emirates to build military bases in the Persian Gulf should be taken seriously.

It's an interesting read.


LTC. James Crider has a post up over at Michael Yon online regarding the situation in Doura called Commander’s Update #9 JAN 08
  • A major factor in our success here has been the bond that has developed between the people in our area and the soldiers of 1-4 CAV. We are a part of the community. It is commonplace to smile, wave and exchange customary greetings with people on the streets. Or the children who follow many soldiers to shake hands and speak every word of broken English they know (Hello, Mista! How are you? What is your name? Give me chocolate! Football!). I will often stop by to visit someone at their home just to say hello and they always ask why it has been so long since I stopped by even if it has only been a few days. Apache Troop knows one man who drives to the main road in the neighborhood with sandwiches and chai to find them if a trooper fails to come visit him every 2-3 days.
The anti-war crowd always state that they don't understand what victory in Iraq will be. I think they just need to open their eyes a little and the question might just answer itself.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

I'm still with Fred

Fred didn't do as well as I would have liked in South Carolina today, but I will not be jumping to another candidate just yet. When Fred says he's done, I'll pick another one, but until then I'm still on board. There are way to many delegates left to be picked up for Fred to even consider bowing out right now.

Man he sure is getting hammered at the conservative blogs though. I'm totally amazed at the so called conservatives that are attempting to dance on his grave tonight. That's pretty disheartening to me. I had hope that the conservative movement would think a little harder before throwing the Reagan coalition out the window. That's what I get for thinking.

Phantom Phoenix update

I'm a couple of days late in getting to this, but MNF-I has an update on operation Phantom Phoenix. Phantom Phoenix Update, Jan. 16. Did you realize the Iraqi government passed the Accountability and Justice Law? Yeah, me neither. It somehow was overlooked by the nightly news.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Writers block

I'm once again trying to get something up on the blog, but I'm somewhat sidetracked. Yes, the researching is actually part of the fun of blogging, but doesn't help with giving the reader something to read. While I get me a rum and coke, I'll go ahead and stick this up for the entertainment value. Some of you probably remember it, but I think you need to see it again.

Hope that tides you over until I dig up a proper blog. I've raided the rum locker though, so I might be sidetracked for some time...

And, raiding the rum locker and typing later on might become a problem...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friday humor

After every flight, Quantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet", which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor.

Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Quantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, Quantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident..... Enjoy!

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what they're for.

P: IFF inoperative.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny. (I love this one!)
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last..................

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget
pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget

Al Qaeda in Iraq

Bill Roggio has an article up regarding Al Qaeda in Iraq's shrinking area of operations in Iraq complete with map. Operation Phantom Phoenix started on January 8th and is still ongoing.
  • Operation Phantom Phoenix, the current nationwide operation targeting al Qaeda's remaining safe havens, was launched on Jan. 8. Iraqi and US forces have captured killed 121 al Qaeda fighters, wounded 14 and detained an additional 1023 suspects. Al Qaeda's leadership has been hit hard during the operation, with 92 high values targets either killed or captured.

Bill reports that the Iraq Security Forces are stepping up well and are conduction independent operations and deployments during Phantom Phoenix including moving an entire brigade from Anbar to Diyala province.

Iraq reporting

First, Michael J. Totten reports that he's got Tons of Material On the Way. Make sure to check his site in the near future.

Next, Teflon Don of Acutepolitics has some New News. He's on his way back to Iraq working with Bill Roggio over at The Long War Journal.

Michal Yon is also in route back to Iraq for another year of independent news reporting so don't forget to keep checking in on his site.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Fair Tax

I've read up some on the fair tax, but mostly just understood some of the basics of it. In order for it to be put into place, the 16th amendment would need to be repealed, several Democrat Congressmen would need to support it, and then you would need to sell it to the baby boomer generation that has saved their money (after paying taxes on it already) to retire on. It looks to me like a non-starter and the political candidates that use it as part of their platform aren't helping their case to well, in my opinion.

J. Bradford Delong is a liberal economist who has a good writeup on it that shows even more downside. I ran across Brad DeLong: The Fair Tax while looking for an article from him about working with Hillary and her health care fiasco back in 1993 and 1994. I haven't found that one yet, but for those of you curious about what an economist thinks of the fair tax check Brad's article out.
  • Mike Huckabee wants to abolish the IRS: His loopy tax plan would be an economic disaster -- but it's more honest than the schemes being peddled by the establishment Republican candidates.
Brad points out that the actual consumption tax would end up being higher than the 23% claimed by the fair tax supporters. Up to as much as 57%.

He also points out that it's a tax break for people making over $200,000 a year, but a tax hit for people making $30,000 to $200,000.

He has several other points to, so go check out the whole article.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What to blog, what to blog....

My mind is all messed now as I've been trying to watch the Democrat debate from Las Vegas. What to blog is a problem. The only option is to try and purge all thoughts of the love fest from my mind.

How to do that? That's a tough one. Apparently, there are two Americas. One we all know well. That one I can blog in a short amount of time. The second one, which the Democrats live in, is just totally bizarre. That one just keeps rattling around in my brain. It has a lot of the same components as the real world... hold on.... cell phone is ringing...

It was Randy (NightTwister). He has just finished a "caucus party" at the Romney camp in Fort Collins. We've been trying to figure out the Colorado caucus system so he found a way to get info. We now know how it works. It's your basic convoluted mess. I'll need to get him to run it by me again tomorrow, just so I see what it is. The basics I got were, we vote on who runs the party, then we vote on who the delegates are, and then we vote on the candidates. One key point he found out is, who we vote for our candidate doesn't matter. The delegates go to Minneapolis uncommitted. Yeah, you read that right. The key point out of this is, the important vote is on who we send as a delegate, not who we vote for a candidate.

I need to let that soak in before I can sign on to Randy's plan of attack. Yeah, he has one. It's Randy.

In the meantime, let's go back to the Democrat's second world...

So, the Democrats world has some of the same components as the real world. There's evil trying to undermine our sovereignty, parts of our government trying to undermine our interests, and people running for president that just don't understand you.

You'd think that would mean, terrorists, Congress, and the Democrat candidates, but you'd be way off base.

It's big business, the Bush administration, and the Republican candidates.

And you wonder why I have a headache...

Joe Schmo's author added

I"m allowing Randy (NightTwister) to post to Joe Schmo's so he can defend himself.

Colorado's Caucus System

I got an invitation to a Mitt Romney campaign event via email. I took the "don't ask, don't tell" approach. They didn't ask who I'm supporting, and I didn't tell them.

I learned some good information about how Colorado's caucus system works. I'll start with the highlights:

1. Colorado conducts a straw poll. The selections for the Presidential nominee are non-binding on the delegates selected.

2. Delegates are selected from each precinct. Some of these delegates will eventually end up at the national Republican Convention where they will be able to cast their vote for whomever they want.

Now for some details. The caucus begins at 7:00pm and lasts for 90 minutes. You meet at your precinct location with your neighbors. You'll chit-chat for a bit and then get down to business. The first thing you'll do is select two precinct committeepersons. This is for the party leadership. Some people are interested in that, but it's not really important for votes.

Next you'll select delegates to the county, congressional and state assemblies. These delegates will go to the assemblies and select delegates that eventually become a state delegate. This is the most important thing you'll do this evening. You want to select people that you know will eventually vote for the candidate you're supporting. What that means is, you need to KNOW that you'll have a majority of people at the caucus supporting your candidate. Contacting people beforehand and getting them to the caucus crucial to success. Otherwise, you'll be on the wrong side of all the votes that night.

The last thing you'll do is fill out a straw poll ballot selecting the candidate of your choice. These will all be sent up to be counted and this is what will be reported on the news that evening (or the next morning). The important thing to note is, this is non-binding. No actual delegates are committed to any candidate at this time.

Hopefully that explains the process, and more importantly what you'll need to do to be prepared. Go to the county clerk and ask for a list of registered Republicans in your precinct. Call your neighbors and encourage anyone that supports your candidate to show up at the caucus. You may not need that many. The person that was telling us about this said there were only three people at his precinct caucus: himself, his wife, and another person. Instant majority!

I have to say I'm impressed with the Romney organization here in Colorado. No one else has anything here, and these guys are way ahead of the curve.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

Randy Ketner (NightTwister)

Monday, January 14, 2008

South Carolina road sign

My Aunt emailed this one that I need to share with you:

They need you to be uninformed

In the New Hampshire debate, Barak Obama stated that the Sunni's in Al Anbar province had turned on Al Qaeda in Iraq because they saw the Democrats elected in 2006 and knew that the they would have the U.S. pulling out shortly. It was the election results that caused the rebellion against AQI. He was lying or very unaware of the situation in Iraq.

I started scouring the Internet right around the time of the 2006 elections in order to determine what was happening in Iraq because the reporting from the MSM was just body counting. I shortly found Bill Roggio, Michael Yon, Michael J. Totten, TD at Acutepolitics, Badgers Forward, Pat Dollard, and many other bloggers who were independently reporting on what was happening there. The Anbar Awakening had been going on for 6 months to a year at that time, and I verified it through the multitude of bloggers who were there.

Obama was going along the time line the MSM followed. It was 6 months or so after the election when they picked up on anything at all happening in Anbar. Obama either solely relies on the MSM for his world affairs information, or he's convinced that you do.

He needs you to be uninformed...

Now, Hillary says something similar, but on top of the Obama incorrect position, she adds "I know very well that they follow everything that I say". Haystack over at Redstate has the details in Democrat Dementia.

She needs you to be uninformed...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Syria rebuilding nuke plant

You remember the Nuclear site that the Israeli's took out? According to satellite imagery it appears they are rebuilding it. According to J. Peter Pham at The Tank Syria Rebuilds Bombed Nuclear Site; IAEA Chief Unveiled
  • The New York Times reports today that satellite imagery shows Syria is rebuilding the site of what Israeli and American analysts believe was a partially completed nuclear reactor before it was destroyed in an Israeli attack in September.

I'm guessing it's just a matter of time then before Israel has to make another run up there and take it out again.

Another view of Iraq

A great write up with a view of Iraq over the holidays is Iraq's Progress, Safety and Blessing by Catherine Moy at Human Events.
  • If terrorists fall in Iraq and nobody hears them, do they still make a sound? Only if you read new media who have the backbone to see the truth and report it.

Hat tip to Op For


But well worth it. Ed Morrissey over at Captain's Quarters has a short one complete with "must see" artwork called Something's Happening?

You old time rock and roll Fredheads will appreciate it.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The not so lame duck President

Pejman Yousefzadeh at Redstate has an interesting read up called Think Of It As Saving A Certain Potential President From Herself.
  • Understanding that it is entirely possible that a Democrat may be elected President and understanding as well that such an election may throw any gains and advances in Iraq in peril, the Bush Administration is now working to ensure that it solidifies the gains that have been brought about by the surge and the implementation of the counterinsurgency plan
This will be a nice little deal that will mostly defeat the Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, Clinton, and Obama's of the world from surrendering Iraq back to Al Qaeda.

Video: Interview with Amabassador Crocker

Gail McCabe talks to Mr. Crocker about the progress in Iraq, Provincial Reconstruction Teams, Concerned Local Citizens groups and the progress of Iraqi security forces and civilians.

Courtesy of DVIDS

Iraq update January 12, 2007

Pat Dollard reports on the Iraqi's passing a deBaathifacation law. Political Reconciliation: Iraqi Lawmakers Pass Pro-Baath Party Law

Bill Roggio at The Long War Journal reports on operation Phantom Phoenix - 34 al Qaeda killed in day's fighting during Phantom Phoenix
  • Coalition and Iraqi security forces were active during Thursday and Friday's fighting as part of Operation Phantom Phoenix. Two senior al Qaeda in Iraq operatives were killed along with 32 foot soldiers during fighting in Arab Jabour, Miqdadiyah and the Samarra region. Another 34 al Qaeda fighters were reported captured.
And the weather in Baghdad got interesting as Snow falls on Baghdad for first time in memory
  • "A few minutes ago, I was covered with snowflakes. In my hair, on my shoulders. I invite all the people to enjoy peace, because the snow means peace," he said.

Hate to point it out to the guy but snow doesn't bring peace, it just brings idiots driving cars.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Friday humor

A little boy was sitting on the curb with a gallon of turpentine, shaking it up and watching all the bubbles.

A Priest came along and asked the boy what he had.

The boy replied, "This is the most powerful liquid in the world, it's called turpentine."

The Priest said, "No, the most powerful liquid in the world is Holy Water. If you take some Holy Water and rub it on a pregnant women's belly, she'll pass a healthy baby."

The boy replied, "That ain't nothin'. You take some of this turpentine and rub it on a cat's ass and he'll pass a motorcycle"


Historic moment on the horizon

For those of you who have been following along, we've seen some amazing things come out of Iraq in 2007. Personally, I started looking for information towards the end of 2006 and ran across Bill Roggio's The Fourth Rail which has migrated now to The Long War Journal. It was Roggio that was pointing out the Anbar Salvation Council and the Anbar Awakening. At that point it had been going on for many months and it took many more months for us to hear anything of it from the MSM.

Well, guess what...

According to Pat Dollard Al Anbar Ready For Complete Handover it is scheduled to go to full Iraqi control in March. 18 or so months ago, Al Anbar was pretty much written off as a loss, and now, through the actions of the Iraqi's in Al Anbar and the coalition forces, it's become an almost impossible turnaround.
  • As Al Qaeda in Iraq fights for whatever is left of its life against a punishing assault of 7 U.S. battalions in Diayala ( 6 were used to liberate Fallujah from Al Qaeda, and previously, only 1 battalion was used to secure all of Diayala )…
That will make 10 of the 18 provinces turned over, for those keeping count. I'll keep an eye on Roggio's site to see if he confirms this over the next couple of days, cuz he'd be the guy to know.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Iraq stuff

First off, Michael J. Totten has a new one up called The Rings on Zarqawi's Finger.
  • Since Abu Musab Al Zarqawi formed the Al Qaeda in Iraq franchise, the terrorist group that destroyed the World Trade Center has fought American soldiers and what they call the near enemy, fellow Muslims, instead of civilians in the homeland of the far enemy, the United States.
Dan Senor at the New York Post has OBAMA'S OBSCENE IRAQ FANTASY.
  • January 9, 2008 -- THE punditry's focus on horse- race analysis of the '08 race has obscured a remarkable event: The debates of the last few days actually taught us something meaningful about the difference between the two parties on national security.


Cry me a river

Well, the demise of Hillary Rotten Clinton isn't coming about like I thought. She's recovered in the strangest way, too. She almost shed a tear and was emotional in that interview yesterday. I would have thought that was the worst possible move for her, but it somehow worked. I'll stay away from whether it was all contrived or not, as that doesn't really matter. It's looking like we might actually get her through her primary after all.

I don't think she can cry all the way to the white house though. Not that I'm any kind of expert on this.

Victor Davis Hanson from National Review Online has his take in The Crying Game, Hillary, Part Two.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Michael Yon, again

Dang, I posted the previous Yon stuff one day to early.

So add to yesterdays, Michael Yon today has Moment of Truth in Iraq. Yon gives a good recap of what he observed in 2007 and announces a soon to be released book which sounds like will cover the Petraeus strategy past, present, and what it might lead to in the future. I think I'll have to hit the Yon store again...
  • In January 2007, growing doubts I had about our ability to stave off an eventual genocide in Iraq were intensified by our failure to competently manage the media battlespace. Within the military I sensed a growing censorship and was myself denied access to the battlefields in 2006. After months of fighting with Army Public Affairs for access, they relented, but only due to public pressure following the publication of an article in the Weekly Standard. An expanded version of the article “On Censorship” was published as the dispatch “Al Sahab—the Cloud” on my website. The article was blunt; by then I’d been fighting for about six months to re-embed with troops.


Iraq update January 8, 2003

A major milestone in Anbar province today. From MNF-I - Giant Step Forward: Iraqi Police Assume Security Mission in Anbar Province City
  • COMMAND OUTPOST BAGHDADI — How many Marines does it take to secure Baghdadi? Last year, it took an entire company. Then, as the situation improved, that number dropped to a platoon. And now, with the onset of 2008, the grand total is zero.
Bill Roggio at The Long War Journal is reporting Operation Phantom Phoenix targets al Qaeda havens. Al Qaeda safe havens all over Iraq are the target. Petraeus brings the hammer down.
  • Despite the recent success in reducing the violence in Iraq, the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shia extremist terror groups is not over. Coalition and Iraqi forces have launched Operation Phantom Phoenix, a new operation targeting the terror groups throughout Iraq.

And, on the political view of Iraq we have the Washington Post with See No Good
  • Why do the Democratic candidates refuse to acknowledge progress in Iraq?


Fred stuff

I hit the Fred store online and ordered us up some Fred stuff. I have a whole wad of bumper stickers included. The order should be here late in the week or early next week. Anyone wanting to put a Fred bumper sticker in their window, just look me up next week. I'll have them at work for those of you there, so just stop by my desk.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Michael Yon

As I mentioned in the previous post, Yon is headed back to Iraq. There's more though, so I'll get right to it. It was probably a year or so ago when I ran across his site as I was looking for Iraq news and milblogs to get a clearer picture on what was happening. I've been donating when I can to help keep him supplied in cameras and equipment, and I signed onto his email list.

When I first started to read his dispatches, I noticed the guy had also written a book. It was called Danger Close. He had the first chapter online so I made a note and came back to it later, when I had the time to read it. I eventually did. It was another well worth the time read and, I've been meaning to purchase the whole book. He mentioned in his email that chapter one is back up on the site and so I need to pass along the link to Danger Close - Chapter One. The book can be purchased via his website.

Speaking of that. He has photo's for sale to. That's nothing new, but I checked the gallery again tonight and was a little surprised to see that he has the iconic photo which I've referred to before as the photo of the Iraq war, as a limited edition, signed and numbered 8 x 12 photo which is mounted and framed museum quality. to refresh your memory the initial story is Little Girl, and the online store framed photo is Strength and Compassion .

So, once again, I've made a note to hit his site when I have some money and buy the book, and hopefully I'll have enough to buy the photo too.


Another bucket

Rather than several small blogs, I'll do this one as the standard, random, bucket.

First stop, Uncle Jimbo over at Black Five - Song Trickeration & Spousal Experience
  • In a news conference earlier this week, Deanna Favre announced she will be the starting QB for the Packers next season.
And, yes, you won't figure it out by the tease, you'll have to go read it.

Next, Hillary's "moments" today include comparing Obama to George W. Bush - Clinton: Decision Between Experience and 'Pizzazz'
  • "A lot of people voted for George Bush in 2000 because he made a lot of promises and presented himself a certain way. He was the guy that everybody wanted to have a beer with,"
And then, it was the emotional little girl - Clinton Fires Back: Obama, Edwards Given 'Free Ride'
  • Campaigning Monday before the first-in-the-nation primary, the former first lady got emotional and had tears in her eyes as she spoke with voters about how hard it is to balance a busy campaign life, and her passion for the country's future.
And, lastly, Michael Yon sent out an email that he's on his way back to Iraq for another year of war reporting.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

The possible demise of Hillary

Being a registered Republican, I was hoping Hillary would get the nomination on the Democrat side. I think she's going to be taken down shortly, though. I can see the problems Democrats face, but she's become a really ugly candidate to them. Obama may lack some in world wide politics, but the Democrats are waking up to the fact that, so does she.

Dang. I was hoping the Republican nomination would have the pleasure of shredding her resume. Instead, I have a feeling that will be destroyed in the Democrat primary.

What leads me to this, and to what is likely to happen, is the fact that I've actually spent some time this weekend flipping around all the cable news shows for the political coverage. Mainly it's to see if Fred can get any traction from his good showing in Iowa.

What jumped out at me was interesting. One Democrat strategist was commenting on Hillary's stance (which she's trying to drill home in NH today) of experience. She then went to what the Republicans would have done. She pointed out that Obama actually has more experience in elected office than she does. On top of that, she enjoyed pointing it out. My impression of that and the way the host acted was that these people are actually sharks in the water and they're circling. Once someone in the MSM picks up on the attack Hillary theme, the others will be falling all over themselves to get a piece.

Personally, I'm hoping the Clinton machine can somehow contain that as I'd still like her to be their nominee, but that will essentially be a snowball effect that could sweep her political career away.


Saturday, January 5, 2008


We haven't seen one in years, but last night we had one of those "snow eaters" roll through. I have even managed to pull up some of the Christmas yard ornament stakes today. Pretty cool. Looking out at the mountains though, more snow appears to be on the way.


Friday, January 4, 2008

The Sword, The Swordsman, and Swordlessness

This one is going to take up some of your time. I normally try to avoid that. This time, I can't. I ran across the following article over my lunch break today, and it ate most of it up. It was a very worthwhile use of time though, so, if you don't have 1/2 hour to an hour right now, make a note to come back to this sometime over the weekend.

I find that, when I need to get a feel for what it's like and what's going on in Iraq, I go to Michael Yon and Michael J. Totten, and I link to them so you can benefit also.

When I try to understand the big picture stuff, it's a little harder. First stop is always The Long War Journal where Bill Roggio and company do a great, detailed job on, exactly that, the long war. After that though, I can just link you to whatever else I find. I've run across a few over time that are worthwhile and pass along the link, but it's a matter of a lot of poking around the net until I run across something. It's my nature to go look for it, so it's no big deal to me to post a link and short commentary so you can go read and evaluate on your own.

Yes, we have another "must read". Think of it as the reading of a short novel with a powerful ending. Pictures and video included. Hat tip to The Victory Caucus. It's an amazing writeup called Bill Whittle: Forty Second Boyd and The Big Picture.
  • This is a story about success and failure. It is a story about Iraq, and of something much bigger than Iraq. It is, perhaps, a small look into what makes victory, and defeat. It is a tale of infantrymen, of brave soldiers in dusty alleys a world away. It is a story of generals and strategies, too.

    But to understand our newfound success there, to know a little of how we achieved it and most importantly, how to keep it, we need to move away from that Mesopotamian desert and those boots on the ground, and back to a different desert on the other side of the world a half century ago. For there, a vision was vouchsafed to a most unlikely warrior priest… the kind of insight that comes once or twice in all of human history.

Like I said, powerful story with a powerful ending.


Fred has a ticket to the next dance

Just a quick appeal to see if any of you can possibly help out.

Fred did great in the Iowa caucus yesterday and is off to New Hampshire for a couple of debates this weekend, and then it's on to South Carolina. He wants to run some media ads to accompany his upcoming bus tour of South Carolina, so if you can afford $25, $50, $75, or more, just follow the link I have up on the right hand side of the page and it'll take you right to the contribute page.



Thursday, January 3, 2008

Friday humor

The new Terrorist Catch and Release program:

US Navy Releases Terrorist

The US Navy today announced that it has released a senior Al Qaeda terrorist after questioning him extensively for 27 days while being held prisoner aboard a US aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea .
In a humanitarian gesture, the terrorist was given $50 US and a white 1962 Ford Fairlane automobile upon being released from custody.
The attached photo shows the terrorist on his way home just after being released by the Navy.



Pat Dollard has a story of a 61 Year Old Gold Star Dad Joins Up, Headed To Iraq.
  • Fathers usually inspire sons into action, to achieve life goals. But in this family that relationship was turned upside down when Dr. Krissoff received news of his older son’s death.


Not that anyone would care...

The failed goat farmer from California who is a spokesman for Al Qaeda is supposedly releasing a new video message.

Told ya you wouldn't care. I'll check the reviews in a couple of days to see if there's any humor I need to pass along to you though.


Diyala Province

Task Force 88 kill 7 Al Qaeda fighters in the city of Miqdadiyah. Also, in another raid, a high ranking commander in Al Qaeda's network was captured in Diyala province. From Bill Roggio at The Long War Journal - Seven al Qaeda killed in Miqdadiyah
  • The region north of the city in Diyala continues to be an al Qaeda “haven” and raids in the region have resulted in dozens al Qaeda operatives killed or captured over the past several days. Fifty-one al Qaeda leaders, including a media emir in Diyala, were killed or captured in December.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Iraq update January 2, 2008

Al Qaeda's last stand, maybe? Operations have started in Diyala Province. From Pat Dollard - Operation Rock Reaper Clears Al-Qaida Strongholds West Of Baquba
  • Like I’ve said, keep a close eye on the Iraq province of Diyala and its capital Baquba. It’s the last spot in the country where Al Qaeda can re-develop a foothold.
Michael J. Totten reports on Falluja - A Plan to Kill Everyone
  • FALLUJAH — A sign on the door leading out of India Company’s Combat Operations Center says “Have a Plan to Kill Everyone You Meet.” For a fraction of second I thought it might be some kind of joke. But I was with the Marine Corps in Fallujah, and it wasn’t a joke.
And, lastly spree over at Wake Up America has Baghdad Parties on New Years Eve
  • Baghdad parties to bring in the new year, saying that it is the first real party they have seen in years.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

This year is starting off just like most of them do. I have a hangover, headache, and I've eaten more ham than should be possible for one person. 2008 is off to a good start! Happy New Year, everybody!