Apologies folks, I'll be traveling and unable to update this blog for a couple of weeks. Please enjoy this Ramones video in the meantime and check out some links on the sidebar. So long and thanks for all the fish everybody!
30 May 2008
To The Iraqis: I wish you the best for your country. I can't imagine what it's like to have a genocidal dictator like Saddam followed by 5 years of chaos and confusion in post-invasion Iraq. Please know that those in the coalition only want to help you, but some egregious decisions were made in 2003 (de-ba'athification, disbanding the Army, etc.). I hope our current mission has helped kick out the Takfiris and weakened the militia thugs. While my words may ring hallow, please know that I hope your country becomes prosperous and you have a better life.
To The Troops: You guys are by far the best our generation has to offer. We count on you to do America's most dangerous work. Please keep your experience in your heart, and consider entering a profession that will influence society after you transition from military service. I see a lot of problems with what America has become, and you may be our last hope to fix that. For the fallen and injured, we will never forget you.
To The Lefty Pundits: While I understand that you may not like BushCo and his war, please consider that your frequent highlighting of the failures in Iraq may have a devastating psychological effect on those trying to make Iraq better. I am a huge cynic, but I think the current plan is on the right track (at least for Iraq).
To The Right-winger Pundits: While Iran is certainly a troublemaker, you have to ask yourself if an all-out military conflict is really the solution to Hezbollah, EFPs, and a possible nuke. If it is, then you have to take into consideration the huge amount of life that will be lost as well as the fact that we will need a no-joke draft. Are you ready to make that sacrifice?
To The People Reading This: Thanks so much! I've loved each and one of your comments, both supportive and nasty. This has been a unique experience and I appreciate all the feedback and good times. I'll be continuing blogging once I get back to WA state assuming I don't get too damn drunk all the time. While my blog posts have been hate-filled and offensive at times, you have to understand that I'm not a professional writer or intelligent, so being obnoxious is a good way to compensate for that. Please drop me a line if you're in the Puget Sound area, as I'm not a total asshole in person.
Since Kath accused me of being a woman for some reason, I've enclosed a picture of myself plus my one-dollar briefcase my roommate purchased for me at a thrift store, which clearly symbolizes that I'm leaving town.
In the words of the Ramones, Adios Amigos!
LT Nixon Sux
- Who has a petition to recognize the importance of U.F.O.-ET Realities in the state of Colorado
- Who encourages folks in the community to Think Intergalactically, but Act Locally at his homepage
- Who still shows respect for his parents by living with them at age 54 according to a comment left by Psyoperator
- Who assures us that he has video footage of an alien popping his head into a window
- Who has doubled traffic to this blog today with incoming hits from Google searches for the legendary "Jeff Peckman"
- Who has shown his humanitarian side by saying that even though the universe is big, we humans must learn to get along with aliens from other galaxies
You Handsome Devil!
29 May 2008
Don't Ask Don't Tell was a policy instituted for the military during the early years of the Clinton administration, which didn't allow gays to serve openly, but prevented the chain of command from questioning someone's sexual orientation. Prior to this policy, homosexuals were not allowed into the military at all. Of course, there are no secrets in the military due to0 the close proximity of living quarters and conversation being the number one way to help pass the time. Everyone knew if someone was gay, and no one really gave a shit. The law is archaic and should probably be repealed. Admiral Mullen even suggested that Congress should consider getting rid of the policy earlier this month, but he made it clear that it was in the hands of elected lawmakers. So why are these know-it-all, self-righteous pukes at Harvard protesting military recruiting stations instead of Washington lawmakers? Politico explains:
“I wouldn’t be able to be completely honest about such an important part of who I am,” he said. “I’m prevented from serving my country in the most open and sincere way.” On May 24, Harvard students — regardless of sexual orientation or desire to serve in the military — will embark on a weeklong coalition-sponsored trip around the east coast to protest the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. At these cities’ military recruiting centers, one openly gay or lesbian student will attempt to enlist for military service. If the student is turned away, volunteers from the group will refuse to leave the recruiting center.
Do these brainiacs at Harvard really want to serve their country or change the system? Please. Harvard has no love for the military, and it booted their ROTC program off campus in 1969 like it was a deranged, smelly homeless man at a wine n' cheese party. The real answer lies in 4 of the protesters being rightfully arrested for makin' trouble. They call it a "badge of honor", which shows that they are just looking for some attention and self-martyrdom. The real losers here are these kids parents who are shelling out 47 grand a year for tuition and board for these ungrateful young punks.
Get a Job, You Fancy Lads! (photo from Harvard Crimson)
Colorado's favorite nut who lives with his parents at age 54, Jeff Peckman, is back in the news again. To enable the Denver city council to go along with his Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, which would provide a framework of laws to deal with hazmat produced from crashed alien spaceships, he reportedly has a videotape of an authentic alien. Rocky Mountain News explains:
Peckman, 54, said the video was among the reasons he was "compelled" to launch the proposed ballot initiative, which has generated news coverage as far as South Africa. "It shows an extraterrestrial's head popping up outside of a window at night, looking in the window, that's visible through an infrared camera," he said. The alien is about 4 feet tall and can be seen blinking, Peckman said this month. In a statement, Peckman said "other related credible evidence" proving aliens exist will be shown at Friday's news conference, too.
Let's hope that this alien is from a planet that likes to party (like the aliens in Heavy Metal), and not a planet destined to enslave humanity (like the Psychlos in Battlefield Earth).
- ABC News has cited Maliki's "Midas Touch" as Sadr City's markets are opened back up again after a huge Iraqi Army offensive.
- Another surge brigade of U.S. forces (~4000 troops) is being redeployed with no replacement, as U.S. force structure decreases to 15 Brigade Combat Teams.
- FIFA has lifted the ban on the Iraqi Football Association so that Iraq can play in the World Cup qualifying match.
- U.S. forces killed 10 IED-emplacers just outside Sadr City, and Iraqi troops have made huge cache finds in Sadr City.
- Recommended reading from AFP: Now that Al-Qaeda has fled Mosul, the citizens are allowed to drink and smoke again. I don't know how the Iraqis could have gone without smoking. Almost every Iraqi male I know smokes. One gentleman mentioned he could open up his ice factory again. Ice was banned by Al-Qaeda, because it didn't exist in the time of Prophet Mohammed.
- A suicide bomber has killed at least 16 in the Sinjar district of Ninawa province (West of Mosul).
- The Iraqi Accordance Front says the Maliki government is hindering its return to the cabinet. Iraqi politics as usual, and it's going very, very slow.
- A militia commander in Sadr City says "duh, we was duped!" in regards to the cease-fire.
28 May 2008
Come they did, causing a lunchtime traffic nightmare that left Lincolnshire Police Chief Randy Melvin fuming. He had almost half of his 25-officer staff directing traffic, which nearly came to a standstill."We have cars trying to come in from every direction," Melvin said during the event. "We've probably had fist fights. Cars are lined up for at least 1.5 miles. I'd say there's a couple hundred easy."Melvin said that what particularly irked him was no one from the Seals campaign alerted him about the event until just before it started. By that time, traffic was a mess, and it remained snarled even after the scheduled 1 p.m. finishing time.
Former colleague and partner in crime, Olegreydog7, brings us some sad news. A Navy Individual Augmentee and submariner has died in Afghanistan on 20 May from an IED. The submarine JO community is small, and while I didn't personally know LT Ammon, Olegreydog knew him well and served with him on the USS Alabama. He had this to say:
LT Ammon (R.I.P.)
- The Sarafiyah bridge in Baghdad has been reopened after a suicide truck bomber destroyed it in April 2007.
- The Jordanian King has called for more economic and political support in dealing with Iraqis. Some Arabic nations have been hesitant to have strong diplomatic ties with the Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi government.
- An oil smuggling gang in Basra has been detained.
- Former U.S. counter terrorism czar, Richard Clarke, has said that having U.S. forces in Iraq "helps Al-Qaeda". I would agree with him that a long-term presence is not beneficial to counter-terrorism, but U.S. forces have been instrumental in crushing extremist elements in Iraq by utilizing COIN strategy.
- The Iraqi Accordance Front was supposed to end its boycott of nearly one year, but they have suspended negotiations. While security improvements have been tremendous in the last month, political progress has seriously lagged.
- Australian OIF/OEF vets are reportedly "ashamed" that they have been kept out of combat roles in Afghanistan and Iraq. I've served with a lot of Aussies, and they're all awesome, but some people have that mentality that they need to see action (I'm not one of those, but I'm thankful there are people like that).
- The State Department needs more of their Foreign Service Officers to volunteer for Iraq or they'll be "voluntold".
- Sadr has called for protests on Friday because of the Strategic Framework Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq to extend the military presence beyond the U.N. mandate (which expires at the end of 2008). Last time Sadr called for protests in April, they were cancelled. Let's see how this turns out before we start freaking out.
The recent decline of violence in Iraq must have some elements of the blogosphere looking for new and improved tactics to slam the military. In light of this earlier post on Memorial Day slander, Suspect getting called a "rotten apple" of a soldier, and the Ygleisas thread where "Spike" suggests that soldiers lack the "critical thinking" skills for college, it can only be surmised that the military is getting no respect ala Rodney Dangerfield (h/t McClatchy Watch for this hilarious meme).
Since many of us are all about the self-deprecation, and Rodney Dangerfield is the king of hilarity (R.I.P.), here are a list of one-liners to employ in regards to getting no respect:
- I tried to file a TBI claim at the VA, they told me I was too crazy and threw me in a room with padded walls and a helmet
- I asked the bartender how much for a gin and tonic, he said 5 bucks, I told him I just got back from Iraq, then he said it'd be 10 and spit on me
- My girlfriend said I was lousy at sex, I said sorry and told her I had PTSD, she went and got checked for VD and then dumped me
- I went to go collect my GI Bill at school, they told me to get in the wrong line when I showed up at their office, the next thing you know I'm landing in Helmland province with an M-4 and IBA, how the hell did I end up there
- I went looking for a job downtown, the interviewer asked me what I did in the Navy, I said I worked in engineering, so they locked me in a dark room for 18 hours a day turning wrenches and paid me 3 bucks an hour, which is still better than being in the Navy
- I met this beautiful woman who worked as a news anchor, she said to take her out to dinner in my uniform, I showed up to the restaurant and the next thing you know I'm on CNN in the "War Crimes Trial of the Century" with cameras in my face, I get no respect around here
Now that the Iraqi Army offensive in Mosul, Operation Mother of Two Springs, has seen substantial success with over a thousand detained and Al-Qaeda on the run, the citizens are facing another problem: high housing prices. Azzaman English explains:
The sudden hike in property prices in the northern city of Mosul is seen as a sign that relative peace was finally returning to the restive city...Ahmad Azzam, a real state agent, described the surge in rents as “crazy”, claiming that one political faction offered to pay $100,000 a month for a spacious house in one of Mosul’s smart districts.
While this might lead to some levels of corruption and low-level intimidation, it is certainly heartening to hear that this type of problem is making the news. A few months ago, the only thing you heard from Mosul was which suicide bomber blew himself up or who got kidnapped. For the sake of the Iraqis in Mosul, let's hope the terrorists don't come back.
27 May 2008
- Iraq: The Purgatorium is Headin' Back to the States
- Army of Dude recalls Memorial Day in Iraq, 2007
- Iraqi Mojo highlights Iraqi patriots
- Spencer Ackerman gives a shout out to those who care about Iraq
- Words From Warriors talks about how she supports the troops
- GI Kate, an Iraq vet, talks about Memorial Day
- Iraqpundit warns us if soccer meets demise in Iraq
- Michelle Malkin says the LA Times can't find any bad news about Iraq
- Small Wars Journal says reducing the mission is not the answer
- Gateway Pundit on Iran conducting psyops on the Iraqis
- Guidons Guidons Guidons talks about Sadr City and helicopters
- The Tension has photos from western Baghdad
- Inside Iraq not impressed with the Ministry of Education
- Navy Gal is bored senseless (she's not alone!)
- A Soldier's Perspective talks about General Petraeus and troop cuts in Iraq
- VetVoice on the phony patriot
- The Long War Journal discusses the Iraqi Army finding huge caches in Sadr City
- Talisman Gate hears rumors that many militia thugs are heading to Maysan province
- Hot Air talks about VFF slamming Obama
- The Captain's Journal discusses Jihad
- CI-Roller Dude reminisces on Fallujah
- Democracy Arsenal highlights Hillary Clinton questioning Petraeus
- False Motivation talks about switching from deployment mode to garrison mode
- Abu Muqawama talks about the Iraqi Army in Sadr City
- Yankee Sailor argues that Bin Laden has surrendered in Iraq
- Muqtada al-Sadr might be trying to brush up on his studies and boost his theological credentials according to WaPo, but the LA Times reports that the Mahdi Army is losing popular support in the Shi'ite district of Sadr City due to its racketeering and thug-like tactics.
- The U.S. Presidential hopefuls may address the women in combat issue. Haha, silly politicians, military women are already in combat roles, get with the times!
- Reuters reports that major heads of the state-run oil industry have been replaced, which is most likely an attempt to curb the corruption that has plagued the Iraqi oil industry.
- Six young boys, who were being trained to be utilized as suicide bombers by a Saudi foreign fighter, have been rescued by Iraqi security forces in Mosul.
- The Long War Journal reports that a Special Groups commander has been detained in the Shula neighborhood.
- The law to allow Provincial elections later this year has been met with some serious foot-dragging in Iraqi parliament. Some of the Kurdish lawmakers stormed out of Parliament yesterday when the issue of Kirkuk came up.
- A suicide bomber killed 6 Sahwa members yesterday north of Baghdad.
- Many countries (including the U.S. and Iran) are set to meet at the upcoming Stockholm conference on Thursday to discuss Iraq's security. Not sure if it's going to be productive or not, and it sounds like more of a boondoggle. Condi is already ramping up the anti-Iranian rhetoric, and this thing might degenerate into a shouting match.
- As far as I can tell, Iraqis are nuts about soccer. The recent announcement that Iraq could be suspended from FIFA, thereby preventing Iraq from a shot at the World Cup, will result in some pissed off Iraqis. This shit needs to get resolved in a expeditious manner.
26 May 2008
Mankind is unique due to the capability of abstract thought, which has allowed us to progress from mere anomalies of the animal kingdom to our current modern civilization. As tribes of people began to congregate and unite under various banners throughout time, disputes have arisen. Various tribes were beholden to different ideologies and some were ruled by oppressors seeking to impose their harsh rule over their subjects. While leaders of these people often bickered with one another, a failure of diplomacy often led to hostile conflict. War could best be described as a crass, barbaric act, pitting man versus man in a struggle for survival. To the victor go the spoils. As people became more educated and allowed more freedom to express their opinion, many of these influential thinkers exposed the horrendous consequences of tyranny and its absolute power. The strength of a nation lied within the ideas and innovation inherent in all of its citizens, not one corrupted ideal of an all-powerful overseer.
A nation emerged, which was unique at the time, focusing on the rule of law and natural rights granted to all individuals. A courageous war against a terribly powerful foe was fought to ensure that the abstract concept of liberty could be enforced under a nation-state without the corruption imposed by a meddling outside authority. However, the implementation of equality and liberty did not come immediately to fruition, internal strife and hatred remained a norm in some aspects of society. Over time, these irreconcilable beliefs were exposed for the atrocities they were, and when things could not be resolved politically, war was imminent.
Anyway, we have one more day, where we'll pick our national chair. Then I'm hanging around and hope to see a little bit of Denver.
25 May 2008
Prior to the launch of Operation Salam by the Iraqi Army into the northen two-thirds of Sadr City this month, rogue Special Groups thugs (code word for Shi'ite militants not loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr) were launching mortar and rocket attacks from Sadr City willy-nilly. Most of them were targeting the International Zone (often referred to as the Green Zone, home to the Government of Iraq and the many embassies), but they often missed and killed/wounded scores of Iraqi civilians in the process. To stop this violent activity, American helicopters and UAVs targeted these murderers while they were launching or setting up these vicious attacks. Unfortunately, the rocketeers often conduct their operations amidst hospitals, schools, and amongst civilians. While Abu Muqawama raises concern that hellfire strikes may be contradictory to COIN, these brave helo pilots have done everything they possibly can to avoid civilian casualties. Unfortunately, war is hell, and some civilians have been caught in the cross-fire. Iran has used their propaganda apparatus to exploit every one of these events which result in civilian deaths (see Press TV coverage here, here, and here), but it is necessary to kill/capture all of these Special Group rocket networks to ensure stability in Baghdad.
Obviously, it is a bit of a conundrum, but I didn't expect to see such rampant, one-sided yellow journalism from a reputable American media outlet like the Washington Post when portraying this aspect of the Iraq war. The article quotes some Sadr City residents who have some hateful things to say about America:
Relatives said she was wounded by a missile on April 20 at approximately 8 p.m. in Baghdad's Shiite enclave of Sadr City. The U.S. military said it fired a Hellfire missile in Zahara's neighborhood at that time, targeting men who were seen loading rockets into a sedan. Her face drained of color and her legs scarred by shrapnel, Zahara spoke haltingly when asked what she thought of U.S. troops. "They kill people," she said. Lying in bed, she gasped for air before continuing. "They should leave Iraq now."
Sure, fair enough, journalism is all about getting both sides of the story, and I'm not going to deny that some Iraqis hate Americans. But take a look at what they have to say from the U.S. perspective:
At a sprawling air base on the outskirts of Baghdad, Edens, Katzenberger and their colleagues live in small trailers surrounded by blast walls, play volleyball on sand courts and eat at an outdoor food court. Many of the pilots are in their 20s. The pilots sometimes scrawl messages on the five-foot-long missiles strapped to their "birds." During a recent visit to the base, a reporter saw a missile addressed to "Haji," an honorific for people who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Many U.S. soldiers use it to refer dismissively to Iraqis and Arabs in general. Someone wrote "rock this thang" on another. The small, white trailers adjacent to the airfield where the pilots do paperwork have Christmas lights strung from the ceiling. Two bumper stickers on windows say: "I [heart] Sadr City."
Washington Post's journalism takes it one step further than Iranian propaganda by characterizing the helo pilots as a bunch of callous yahoos! This narrative conjures up images of that crazed Russian pilot that mercilessly shoots up the Afghan villagers in Rambo III.
Not one bit in the article about these operations targeting the militia networks who are responsible for most of the pain and suffering for Baghdad's citizens. Of course, a cynic could say I'm the guy with the "biased" perspective. Sitting in the Green Zone like an asshole, knowing that any time day or night I could be killed by that rocket with my name on it. Certainly it affects my psychological perspective on this contentious issue. I guess you could say I'm pretty supportive of these "gung-ho" pilot types. They're the difference from me coming home in a box or not, after all. I might even by them a beer if I see one of them around!
Some might find it cute and silly that a cat named Tama is a "Super-Stationmaster" employed by Wakayama Electric Railway, who has delighted Japanese train-goers since 2006. But underneath the surface of feline employment belies a seedy underbelly of Dickensian-like serfdom. From Breitbart:
"Tama is the only stationmaster as we have to reduce personnel costs. You say you could ask for the cat's help, but she is actually bringing luck to us," Wakayama Electric spokeswoman Keiko Yamaki said. The company feeds her in lieu of salary....Those who want to greet her must be careful so as not to miss her. "She works nine to five and takes Sundays off," Yamaki said.
48 hours for a work week and only getting fed instead of a true "living wage" is an egregious violation of this cat's rights. These brave worker cats need to be unionized and someone needs to alert PETA.
In all seriousness, this article begs the eternal question I've puzzled over in my time in Japan with the Navy, why the hell are the Japanese so damn weird?
Instead of going on hokey shopping sprees for Memorial Day, let's take a minute to give props to our Medal of Honor Recipients since 9/11 (all awarded post-humously). An important story of yesterday's troublemaker being today's hero is SPC Ross McGinnis. From Scripps:
At age 14, in eighth grade, Ross bought marijuana from a classmate and foolishly discussed the transaction at Keystone Junior-Senior High School. Staff members searched his locker, where they found a couple of knives, his father said.
Ross had no malicious intent, but this was less than two years after the mass murders at Columbine High in Colorado. School districts across the country no longer had patience for students holding weapons.
The school board expelled Ross and the district attorney prosecuted him in juvenile court. He spent a year on probation. During that time, he had to get permission from his probation officer to go out in the evening...
… Tom and Romayne McGinnis, parents of the fallen soldier, say it is difficult to think of their skinny, rambunctious son as a national hero.
"He'd remind you more of Bart Simpson than anything else -- you know, sort of an underachiever," said Tom McGinnis, 58. "But when it really meant something, he produced."
Other Medal of Honor Recipients are shown below:
24 May 2008
The Good: An injured female Iraq vet urges Michiganders to reflect on what Memorial Day really means. An LA Times correspondent visits Mosul and says the recent security offensive has brought about better stability, but it will need to be followed up by some serious reconstruction efforts (classic COIN doctrine). Basra's ports are much more productive now that the government is in control of them as opposed to militia thugs. Aswat al-Iraq refutes the AP article yesterday that suggested Sistani was moving towards jihad against America (h/t Gateway Pundit). According to the Sadr Trend, 300 "Sadrists" were detained in Baghdad by Iraqi Security Forces. Mr. Sadr's people aren't drawing a lot of water in this town right now, and these "Sadrists" were most likely militia. Operations are going so well in Sadr City, that the Iraqi soldiers are chillin' out by blasting Lebanese music. Of course, most Sadr City residents say that the trash needs to be collected and services need to be provided, posthaste. The Iraqi government really needs to push this aspect of the operation, or else the citizens will be sympathetic to the Mahdi Army for quite some time.
The Bad: Sunni Imams are still furious about the Qur'an as target practice incident, as reported from Friday's prayers. Damn, another attack in Fallujah...This time 6 Marines got injured and an interpreter was killed. One U.S. soldier was killed near Baghdad.
The Ugly: Joe Galloway of McClatchy says we need to help vets be able to go to college this Memorial Day, and coincidentally the War Funding/GI Bill just passed the Senate. Too bad that thing is probably DOA with a Presidential veto due to all the greedy pork and add-ons. Congress wants to shut down the military analyst program at the Pentagon due to the stink made last month by the NY Times. There's talk about splitting up the mega-KBR contract to cut in other corporations (DynCorp and Fluor) according to the NY Times. I thought this person's quote was pretty funny: "But what is KBR doing for all this money? They are slinging hash, washing laundry." I'd say KBR workers are, for the most part, just guys and gals trying to do their job, and I've been impressed with their service. But the way contracting is set up seems to favor a few richie-rich types back in Houston, and could provide justification to drag the Iraq war on endlessly. That and there is little oversight of the few bozos that commit crimes while serving in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.
Question #2: Bob Barr got zinged by National Review today (h/t Eric Dondero) saying that a vote for Barr is essentially a vote for Obama? How does the LP respond to these nay-sayers in the conservative movement?
Question #3: Mom, David Weigel writes at Reason that there is a group called the "Libertarians For Justice" at the convention that appears to be a creepy 9/11 truther organization. The website talks a lot about Building 7 and "bringing the terrorists to justice". By the "terrorists" I assume they mean the government, which your son works for. How do you propose to distance the more moderate factions of the party from these yahoos?
Question #4: Did you ride in on the guy on the left's hog (he is a delegate, after all)?
(Stolen from Reason)
Does Dad know about this gentleman?
Question #5: Wonkette reports that Tucker Carlson has shown up to the convention. The snarky website also called him a loser. What's the story with that guy?
Question #6: Which group of delegates throw the most wild parties in the hotel?Your Bestest Son,
A correction is in order from my post earlier today. Yesterday, the AP ran an article about Grand Ayatollah Sistani issuing religious edicts in Najaf about resisting the U.S. presence. While I respect the opinions and analysis of Juan Cole, Eric Martin, and Allahpundit, I'm more inclined to listen to people from the Middle East on religious matters of this sort. Iraqpundit and Talisman Gate offer up different analysis suggesting that Iraq's Shi'ite community will not be rising up against us American brutes in the near future. When one doesn't fully understand a culture, it's best to listen to people who hail from that culture. It's just common sense.