Monday, February 21, 2005

To the field.....

For a certification exercise

No booze, no real life, just me, Holland Drop Zone and 3000 of my closest friends.

Living in tents together. Cool.

Time is dribbling away from us again. Less than a month left and all my gear shipped. And still fiddling around in the field at Fort Bragg. Love it. Absolutely love it.

Blogging, might or might not be light. Connectivity is supposedly established. I've heard that one before. I'll let you know how it goes. I'm bringing cigars and I've started chewing tobacco again. There is no single malt scotch in Afghanistan, I've seen.

And BTW the Makarov shoots great. Put about 100 rounds through it on Sunday instead of going to church. More fun than church.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fair is fair: why handguns are better than men

Equality, equality. This is why I love this country.

1. You are guaranteed satisfacation with a handgun.

2. You are likely to be satisfied more than once.

3. It's okay if handguns are small.

4. Average size of a handgun is more than 5 inches.

5. Handguns don't roll over and go to sleep.

6. A handgun still fires after more than one round.

7. A handgun can be hidden away when you are tired of dealing with it.

8. A handgun doesn't needlessly compete with other handguns for matters of the ego.

9. Handguns don't complain when you want to go shopping.

10. Handguns don't complain when you want to watch a chick flick.

11. A handgun won't come home drunk at night.

12. Handguns don't leave the toilet seat up.

13. You can still play with a handgun during your period. In fact, you might even enjoy it more than usual.

14. It's not a problem to share your gun with your girlfriends.

15. Handguns aren't intimidated by assertive, intelligent women.

16. Handguns don't suffer from barrel envy.

17. You don't have to worry about whether your hair and makeup are done for a handgun.

18. Handguns don't mind if you wrap your hands around another one.

Hat tip to The Bitch Girls

Wednesday, February 16, 2005













heh-heh, no offence ladies, really

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ralph Peters on the USAF

Peters is a retired Army LTC who is a prolific writer and considered by some, to be an expert in terrorists and the ways to kill them. Usually he shoots at the Army, looks like he has bagged his limit and moving to another hunt stand. also, he was sitting next to Marine LTG Mattis last week when he made comments about killing Talibanis. Peters wrote a piece in support of what Mattis said.

Interesting comments and painfully on the mark for the USAF. I'm not certain and Army or Marine General is right for Air Force Secretary, but maybe a a Special Operations Air Force General or a retired Colonel who can purge the establishment and bring them in line with the transformation of the rest of the military.



February 11, 2005 -- We need to save the United States Air Force -
from itself. This critical component of our national security has
become corrupt, wasteful and increasingly irrelevant. The problem
doesn't lie with the front-line pilots or ground crews. The cancer is at the top, in the Department of the Air Force and on the Air Force Staff.

Consider just a few recent problems: Former Air Force Secretary James G. Roche, who resigned last month to evade a corruption investigation, has just been cited for ethics violations in dealing with the defense industry. The service's top acquisition official, Darleen Druyun, is in prison for her role in a corrupt tanker-leasing deal. The scam had been a top priority under Roche. The Air Force's top lawyer got the boot for sexual shenanigans with subordinates. The service continues to demand the nearly useless, $300-million-per-copy F/ A-22 fighter, a Cold-War legacy system wildly out of sync with our security needs. The Air Force's "shock and awe" effort that opened Operation Iraqi Freedom was a complete bust. The sound-and-light show over Baghdad was supposed to prove that we no longer needed ground troops to win wars.

The reverse proved true. In our current operations in Iraq, the Air
Force's procurement choices have left it searching for missions to
prove its relevance. Recently, one Army division commander shook his
head and told me, "I had aircraft stacked up, begging for missions so the pilots could get combat credit. But I just couldn't use them."

America needs a strong Air Force, but we have the wrong Air Force. The service's leadership, military and civilian, displays greater loyalty to the defense industry than to our national defense (the contractors who supply the Air Force teem with retired generals). Today's Air Force clings to a fight-the-Soviets (or at least the Chinese) model with greater passion than yesteryear's Army clung to the horse cavalry. And Air Force leaders lie. Last year, in war games with the Indian air force, our blue-suiters suffered embarrassing defeats. Our guys were arrogant and failed to think innovatively. We also had crucial high-tech gear turned off. The Indians used imaginative tactics - and overwhelmed us with numbers.

Our Air Force's response?

To insist the humiliation "proved" the need for the F/ A-22. Yet
purchasing that gold-plated piece of junk means that we could afford
still fewer aircraft in the future - we could be swarmed by other
countries with lower-tech, affordable planes, just as the Indians did it. Numbers matter. The Air Force doesn't need fewer, "more capable" aircraft. It needs more metal. But not the junk the contractors want to foist on the taxpayer and that ethically challenged senior officers want to buy. We need: A revitalized transport fleet: We rely on the workhorse C-130 for tactical lift, but the design is nearly a half-century old. The Army and Marines are told to make tomorrow's combat vehicles fit into the C- 130's tight hold. That's backward.

Next generation combat vehicles will be so systems rich that no amount of miniaturization will let them fit in a C-130. We need to design the fighting systems we need, then build planes to lift them. An affordable replacement for the great, but aging B-52 bomber: Those magnificent craft continue to outperform later, platinum-priced bombers, such as the Rube-Goldberg B-1 and the fragile B-2. We need a new, cost-efficient and robust bomber to replace B-52s nearly twice as old as their crews. A no-nonsense ground-attack aircraft to replace that splendid killing machine, the A-10. Ground-attack operations - especially in urban environments - are the wave of the future. The Air Force needs to stop dreaming of the missions it wants and face the missions we've got. A multi-role-fighter fleet that rejects Cold-War-era designs and starts afresh. Billions already spent are no reason to waste billions more on yesterday's concepts. Don't throw good money after bad. Our Air Force needs fresh thinking, adequate funding and an increase in the numbers of airplanes we can launch.

Instead, we get old thinking, massive waste and a shrinking fleet. The Air Force has been Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's darling. The Army and Marines were supposed to shrivel to free up more funding for Air Force whistles and bells. Rumsfeld was so happy with the state of affairs in our disintegrating Air Force that he actually tried to move arch-scoundrel Roche over to become Secretary of the Army.

Fortunately, Sen. John McCain put a stop to that. Now Rumsfeld is
fighting to prevent desperately needed permanent increases in the size of our ground forces, while struggling to preserve disgraceful Air Force legacy buys. It's time for the Senate to call him on the carpet. The Air Force badly needs reform. Our men and women in uniform deserve it.

For a start, the service needs a secretary chosen from the ranks of
retired Marine or Army four-stars, a man with joint experience who can do what a series of corporate- America secretaries could not: Hold the Air Force's renegade generals to account.

Second, the senior Air Force generals need to be purged. Instead of
intellectual relics with fighter or bomber backgrounds, Air Force
special-operations commanders - men who know what postmodern warfare
means - should be given the service's top jobs. With the mission of making the Air Force relevant to the 21st century.

Ralph Peters is the author of "Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Family and Friends

I just received this today. Joan

I hope you are having a great Sunday morning where ever you may be in America. I want to thank each of you for the pride you feel for America and for the support you extend to those of us who serve her. Today I may be the proudest I have ever been of being and American Soldier. As I walked the streets of Sadr City today, I saw the best the human spirit has to offer. Despite the many cultural and religious differences between our soldiers and the local people, I saw men, women, and children genuinely ecstatic and thankful because they had tasted the first morsel of freedom. Don't believe any negativity that may be in the news today. There were a few very isolated incidents in which Iraqi patriots lost their lives, but freedom and democracy moved forward despite it. You may have seen on the news that there was a rocket attack in Sadr City today. That was in our area of operations and I went there after the incident. The rocket hit about 40 meters from a polling station and killed 3 Adults and a child, destroyed 7 vehicles and damaged buildings. Despite that, the people cleaned up the mess and continued to flood into the polling center to vote. While neighborhood members mopped the blood into the gutter, others continued to enter the station to take advantage of their new found freedom. The mother of the dead child voted, despite her grief. Elsewhere in our brigade's sector two suicide bombers attacked polling stations. People were killed and injured, but the polling stations remained open.

I walked with my patrol today throughout Sadr City, down the very same street on which I was almost killed on the 7th of September, and the people thanked us for providing them the security they needed to see this day through. It was heartwarming, it made me full of pride for our soldiers and their efforts, not just this week but since this all began. It convinced me, maybe for the first time, that this is genuinely worth it. It absolutely convinced me that David Heath, Brandon Titus, Henry Risner, Yoe Aneiros, David Waters, Mark Stubenhofer, and the over 1000 others did not die in vain. It convinced me that SGT Mendoza lost both of his legs in the pursuit of a higher purpose. I am assured that the 91 soldiers from this task force that have bled in the streets of this city did so in order to make this day a reality. Today exceeded my wildest expectations, and while much remains to be done, a seed is planted, and I don't believe any amount of tyranny and terror can thwart its growth. Today as I watched men and woman swell with joy and pride as they showed me the indelible ink on their finger that proved they had voted, I developed new hope for the future. It took today, made possible by nearly two years worth of blood, sweat, and tears of both Iraqis and coalition forces, to make the hope for freedom a reality and paint genuine hope for the future in both the minds of our soldiers and that of the people of Iraq. I don't know if deep down, anyone ever thought today could happen. IT DID!

There will be more violence and deaths, and there is so much more work to do here that on any given day it seems overwhelming. Today convinced us who witnessed it, beyond any doubt, that the cause is just and the cost and effort are worth it. Today was an amazing day for Iraq, for America and her allies, and for the world. As I type this I am nearly brought to tears by the pride I feel for the flag that adorns my right sleeve, and for all that it stands for. God Bless you all, God bless the seeds of freedom, and God Bless America!

Maj. John Vermeesch

S-3, 1 / 41 Inf

Tower Talk

Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"

"TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."

"Center, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"

"Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm bored!"

Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!"

Unknown aircraft: "I said I was bored, not stupid!"

O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound."

United 239: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this...I've got the little Fokker in sight."

A DC-10 had come in a little fast and thus had an exceedingly long roll out after touching down.

San Jose Tower Noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked." Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind an eight-engined B-52 that had one engine shut down.

"Ah," the fighter pilot remarked, "the dreaded seven-engine approach."

A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following:

Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"

Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."

Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"

Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent) "Because you lost the bloody war."

Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency 124.7"

Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."

Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"

Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger...and yes, we copied Eastern. We've already notified our caterers."

One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, "What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?"

The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a
short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.

Speedbird 206: "Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."

Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."

The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.

Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"

Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."

Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"

Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, and I didn't land."

While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727.

An irate female ATC ground controller lashed out at the US Air
crew, screaming:

"US Air 2771, where the hell are you going?! I told you to
turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!"

Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting

"God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to
sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?"

"Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded.

Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit out around Gatwick was definitely running high.

Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking:

"Wasn't I married to you once?"

Intimate Killing

BG Mattis came to speak to us at Marine Command and Staff at Quantico in '02, shortly after he had returned from the initial stages of OEF. A very frank and direct Marine. He speaks the truth as he sees it.

"If you are offended by these emotions, then seriously consider joining an Army or Marine infantry unit so that you can demonstrate how to kill an enemy in a more humane and politically correct manner."

Washington Times
February 7, 2005
Pg. 19
'Intimate Killing'
Close combat and the art of war
By Robert H. Scales

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on the future of warfare. Marine Lt. Gen. Jim Mattis was one of the panelists. During his remarks he made a statement about the pleasure that young soldiers and marines feel when killing in close combat, a statement that seems to have gotten him in trouble with the fourth estate — prompting an apology and some counseling by the Marine Corps Commandant.

First, a confession: I know Gen. Mattis. He is a central figure in the book I coauthored with Williamson Murray, "The Iraq War: A Military History." For those of you who might have the image of a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, let me assure you that he is one of the most urbane and polished men I have known. He can quote Homer as well as Sun Tzu and has over 7,000 books in his personal library.

Jim is the product of three decades of schooling and practice in the art of war. No one on active duty knows more about the subject. He is an infantryman, a close-combat Marine. He is one of those very few who willingly practices the art of what social scientists term "intimate killing." Those of us who have engaged in the act understand what he was trying to explain to an audience of defense technologists and contractors.

Intimate killing is a primal aspect of warfare unchanged since the beginning of civilization. It involves a clash of two warriors, one on one, armed with virtually identical weapons. The decision goes to the soldier with the right stuff, the one with the greater cunning, strength, guile, ruthlessness and will to win.

For a moment put yourself in the place of a young soldier or Marine fighting house to house in the mean streets of Fallujah. Burdened with over 60 pounds of gear, sweat dripping constantly into your face, you can't stop shaking from the fear of what the enemy has in store for you around the next corner. Just ahead is a darkened house with doors and windows closed and shuttered. The only sound is the crunching of your boots on the trash and broken glass as you move in slow motion to surround the dwelling. You watch as the sergeant signals you to cover a side entrance. Through the faint haze you can see your buddy kick in the door and immediately come face to face with an insurgent who greets him with a burst of AK-47 fire that tears a hole in his chest. Your buddy doesn't die. The terrorist wants him to live just long enough for his buddies to rush in for a rescue and become additional trophies to be laid at the altar of heaven.

Now, it's your turn. You use your superior discipline and skill to approach the insurgent such that you're detected just at the last second. Both of you raise your weapons simultaneously and open fire in a crushing tear of bullets that scatter and ricochet wildly across the room. One bullet finds the bad guy and he falls in a bloody lump just inches from your boots.What exactly do you "feel" at this moment? Relief, to be sure, but also something else that cannot be explained to anyone who hasn't committed an act of intimate killing. It's not joy, exactly, more like exhilaration and an enormous sense of self-satisfaction that in one of the most primal challenges — where all the satellites, planes, ships and smart weapons are of no use whatever — you prevailed, one on one, over a diabolically evil enemy.

Who should be offended by the emotions of "joy" or whatever one feels at the moment of a successful kill? It's a fair fight, you win and the bad guy loses. It's that simple. One more terrorist will not threaten your unit or your buddies. Remember, this isn't a reality show. There are no retakes. Donald Trump doesn't fire you and the price for second place is death.

My point simply is this: We must celebrate the fact that we have men like Jim Mattis willing to devote (and give) their lives when necessary to commit an act that most of those in our society would be horrified to even contemplate. If you are offended by these emotions, then seriously consider joining an Army or Marine infantry unit so that you can demonstrate how to kill an enemy in a more humane and politically correct manner.

Until such an unlikely day occurs, we must all remember that leaders like Gen. Mattis and the men he commands are the rarest commodities that a protected society like ours can produce. All they want is the opportunity to serve a country that truly appreciates the difficulty and dangers inherent in the duties they perform, duties that very few are willing even to contemplate.

Retired Maj. Gen. Robert H. Scales is a former commander of the Army War College

We should all be thankful we have men like these. I support them with forward observers and liberal amounts of HE. What have you done for them today?

GI Tips

Sometimes referred to as Murphy's Laws of Combat



"IF THE ENEMY IS IN RANGE, SO ARE YOU." - Infantry Journal




"TRACERS WORK BOTH WAYS." - U.S. Army Ordnance









I owe my Mother

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm go ing to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21.My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Very good reading....

Evil but good

She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.

"Cash, check or charge?" I asked, after folding items the
woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet
I noticed a remote control for a television set in her
purse. "So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked.

"No," she replied, " but my husband refused to come
shopping with me, and I figured this was the most
evil thing I could do to him legally."

I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax
pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root,

and still be afraid of a spider.

While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with
communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the
instructor, "It is essential that husbands and wives know
the things that are important to each other."
He addressed the man,
"Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?"
Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and
whispered, "It's Pillsbury, isn't it?
The rest of the story gets rather ugly, so I'll stop right

A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up and down
the aisles. The sales girl notices him and asks him if she
help him. He answers that he is looking for a box of
tampons for his wife. She directs him down the correct
aisle. A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of
balls and a ball of string on the counter.
She says, confused, "Sir, I thought you were looking for
some tampons for your wife? He answers,
" You see, it's like this, yesterday,
I sent my wife to the store to get me a carton of
and she came back with a tin of tobacco and some rolling
papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper.

So, I figure if I have to roll my own
........... so does she.

(I figure this guy is the one on the milk carton!)

A couple drove down a country road for several miles,
not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an
argument and neither of them wanted to concede their
position As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats,
and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of

"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."

A husband read an article to his wife about how many
words women use a day... 30,000 to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we
have to repeat everything to men...
The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"

A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you
can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.
"The wife responded, "Allow me to explain. God made
me beautiful so you would be attracted to me;
God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!

A man and his wife were having an argument about who
should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up
first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our
The husband said, " You are in charge of cooking
around here and you should do it, because that is your
job, and I can just wait for my coffee."
Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it
is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."
Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me."
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New
Testament and showed him at the top of several pages,
that it indeed says.......... "HEBREWS"

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

A good one. And I'm not even religious.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Right Thinking Girl

Very good. While I don't agree with everything she says, a very thoughful post. But liberals won't think so.

Right Thinking Girl

And wish her luck on training for the marathon. Even if I think she's carzy for doing it. Running for fun? Ugh.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


This one is a little late and my father in law forwarded it to me.

This was passed from one of my Coast Guard friends. The message below had been forwarded from a Marine friend of his in Iraq. Interesting to all except Rather.

Hope everyone is well. Elections right around the corner here.
Everything is going very well (except for the visit we just had from Dan Rather and his freakin' entourage.). A more pompous (but scared and nervous) bunch of individuals I have never met before. Actually, keep your eyes out for Rather's report on our company in Lutufiyah (Golf Company, 2nd Bn, 24th Marines from Madison, Wisconsin). Should be
interesting. The report should air on 60 Minutes II on Wednesday night your time, if somebody could tape it for me. I would really like to see what they keep in the report and what they edit out. Rather, that lowlife clown, kept trying to bait my young Marines with loaded questions and they kept putting it right back in his face. Best part
was when he asked one of the Marines why they don't like the media.

The answer he got was, "that you idiots make the terrorists look like giants whenever they explode a bomb. They're not
they're nothing but a bunch of cowards. But they do know that you guys in the press will eventually beat down public opinion with your constant focus on only the negative." Rather just looked at these guys with a scrunched up face, and did not give an answer back. I think he was ready to leave the "Mad Ghosts" area as soon as he could. Funny part, none of
us were really sad to see him and his traveling circus hit the road.

Bottom line on this whole thing is that on Sunday, we will be involved in an historic event of immense proportion. A democratic election in Muslim country has never before taken place in this region. These people, over the ages, decades, and centuries of their existence, have always lived under the direct rule of one monarch type of leader or another. This
is a momentous occasion, to say the least.

Sincerely and Best Regards,
I Remain, As Always, Semper Fidelis,
Nick Sass

Major Sass, N.J., United States Marine Corps
S-3/Battle Officer (Mayhem Forward)
Callsign: "Snapshot"
Task Force 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines "The Mad Ghosts"
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit
1st Marine Division
Mahmudiyah, Iraq

Ouch Dan, Ouch

Monday, February 07, 2005

Don't Forget What I Died For

Read this now.

Don’t Forget What I Died For…

Hat tip to Tim Blair

Remember we are not sending our soldiers out there to die. We are sending them out there to make the other bastard die for his country/cause. Remember them and their sacrifice.

Friday, February 04, 2005

New Sisyphus

Excellent analysis of the SOTU

Very far reaching analysis and a great interpretation of President Bush's speech on the 2nd of February.

Payday activites here and prepping ourselves for movement. A beautiful if chilly day which was far better than the miserably chilly and rainy yesterday. Truly infantry weather yesterdiddy.

I am very disappointed in the short range thinking of some of my higher headquarters as a Brigade loads out for war. Incredibly frustrating thinking from combat seasoned professionals but in the end my soldiers found a solution. Sadly my higher leadership did not help them in this mission. Being deliberately vague on purpose here so bear with me. Which leads me to my next point.

I am not disappointed in the exceptional young men I have serving with me. Young officers learning their jobs by feel and doing great work by dint of intelligence, agility and great initiative. Because I can't always be there to give guidance or even sometimes to know the right thing to do. And yet these young men, officers, sergeants and privates are out there getting it done every day. These lessons on how to do their jobs right, the first time, every time without someone looking over their shoulder is what got us through Afghanistan the last time. And they will do it again. I know that, but why?

Because I have faith in them. I, a very simple man myself, who has never been able to find religious faith in anything (a true agnostic- I like to sleep in on Sundays), has the utmost belief in my fellow soldier. They can do it, any mission, as long as I give them the tools and the intent behind the goal. They have never failed me unless I failed them first or didn't lead them correctly. The widely disparate firebases and FOBs of Afghanistan will make them rely on themselves and each other to get the mission done...whatever it is.

And so it irritates me when my team refuses to let them have the tools to do that job to the best of their ability. To deliberately choose to do nothing because it is easier than saying "yes". No is the start point for all negotiation, it has recently been told to me. And we start to get it done. And we will. But sometimes I wish we were smarter about it.

A great NCO once told me, quoted below too, "I can teach him how to make a better decision. I can't teach him how to make a decision." Truer words never spoken this day.

Thank goodness I am not wearing greens today. Too close to this to wear a tie today. Must have beer soon, or a scotch.

I hope my Makarov parts have arrived to let me vent my frustration this day.

Let me tell you what I think...

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin...


How do you really feel? Don't sugar coat it for me now.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Incredible stuff

at least one on the left can reevaluate his position. Read for yourself. Fascinating, and this guy is a dyed in the wool leftist.

and I am not lying…

Will wonders ever cease?

A little bit of pessimism from the left? Or ignoring reality? Oh No, can't be...

this speaks for itself

Brigadier General Jones on the Iraqi vote

got this from my father in law who says he has good sources, but it has not yet been verified. Please take it for it's worth. BG Jones is one of the ADCs (Assistant Division Commanders) for the First Cavalry Division. A good guy by all accounts and great leader.


Dear Friends,

It isn't over yet, but today there was a resounding victory for freedom and democracy here in Baghdad. Having been here for a while now, many of us have grown weary of the hand-wringers, worriers, pessimists, whiners, and host of others who have been telling us for so long that all is lost in Iraq. Today we witnessed just how courageous the Iraqi people can be and how much they love their new-found freedom.

After listening to the pundits tell us how terrible the Iraqi Security Forces are, today I watched the Iraqi Security Forces stand tall. They protected 1,188 polling sites in Baghdad. Although there were a number of suicide bombers who attacked today, not a single one penetrated the perimeter of a polling site. There were several Iraqi policemen, and several Iraqi soldiers who lost their lives today. But they did not lose their honor or their courage; none of the 30,000 plus Iraqi Security Forces on duty in Baghdad ran away from danger today.

At the site of our first suicide bombing of the day, voters did not lose their courage either. They quickly lined back up at the same site, spitting on the body of the suicide bomber as they passed by in line to vote. A woman came out of line and took the shoe of the bomber and put it on his face- a great insult to an Arab. The same was true at any polling site that had violence. Voters immediately lined up again to cast their vote. How many Americans value their privilege to vote enough to show that kind of courage?

We have listened to many experts talk about how the Sunnis would not participate in the election. Polling sites in Abu Guyreb were moved to Gasaliya because the Iraqi Election Commission was concerned about security in Abu Guyrb. We watched thousands walk down the highway- Sunni Moslems- on the 7 mile round trip to the polling sites so they could vote. All under the threat that terrorists had been making that they would kill anyone who voted. How many Americans would do that?

All over Baghdad the story was the same and I could tell a dozen stories of great courage and determination. Despite the enemy's campaign of terror, despite danger, threats, intimidation, and the sporadic incidents of violence and terror today, Iraqis turned out in determined, large numbers to vote. The excitement was moving. Even though the terrorists have said they will kill anyone with a "marked finger" (when you voted your finger was dipped in ink to keep people from voting a second time), voters paraded down the street holding their fingers up in joy and overwhelming pride.

When I told one Iraqi I was sorry that people had died or been wounded today, he just said "freedom has a price, and this is the price that we must pay". And every Iraqi I talked to said thank you to the United States for this opportunity, for this freedom, and how grateful they were for our help.

I am sure it will only be hours until you start hearing all the "experts", most of which have never been to Iraq, start trying to convince us that today was flawed, failed, or somehow less than a wonderful day and a blow for freedom. They are the same people who say we are failing here, that you couldn't do an election on the 30th of January, and on and on. It is true we haven't "won" here yet. It is not predetermined that we will win, and it will take continued sacrifice and determination on our part. Those who hate freedom and democracy will still fight, many to the death, to try to stop this march to freedom and prosperity by the Iraqis with our help. They are terrified of the thought of a free and democratic Iraq that leads this whole region to a democratic future.

But despite this, I encourage you from here in Baghdad, for at least one day, to ignore the pundits and experts, to enjoy a day where a blow for freedom was struck. Know that somewhere in the world, because of the sacrifice of your friends, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and countrymen, good won over evil, freedom over terror, and democracy over despotism.

Last June 30, Iraq was given their sovereignty. Today, they earned their freedom. And we should all be joyful for that.

All the Best,


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Read VDH....

Now. You will feel smarter is just a few short moments. Even you TWD.