Saturday, October 21, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The Night of Power
I have attached some transcripts from the USC Compendium of Muslim Texts. If you wonder why I read this you must learn a valuable lesson taught by Sun-Tsu and von Clausweitz. "To beat an enemy you must first understand him." Two powerful military minds 1000 years and an entire continent apart knew this simple axiom and so do I. Make no mistake, I consider radical, fundamentalist Islam to be the enemy. Here is the transcript describing the meaning of this night.
This chapter (surah) was revealed in Makkah, and its basic theme is honoring the revelation of this blessed book, the Holy Qur`an. The Night of Power or honor is a special gift only to the community (Ummah) of Islam. The night is one which even the angels in the heavens see as worthy of witnessing. The night is so rich with holiness, as the night when good deeds are returned, and is equal to a thousand months in the sight of Allah.
In a report by Abi Hatim and Al-Wahidi, by way of Mujahid, the Messenger (saas) mentioned that there was a man among the Israelites who devoted his life to the cause of Allah for a thousand months. The companions were amazed and impressed, but were saddened because they knew there would be no way that they could reach this status of devotion. So Allah (SWT) revealed this surah to inform them that He had just blessed this Ummah with the Night of Honor, which is equal to a thousand months.
This is the night that some of the most fanatical will try and become martyrs to their cause. The mullahs will get some of them wound up supertight and they are reckless. That's OK with me. Reckless equals dead in combat.
There are so many things about this religion that we spoof but that they consider to be above reproach. The cartoon flap is a good example. Another is that you cannot say Muhammed in print unless you add this (PBUH). I wondered just what the hell that meant until it dawned on me one day. PBUH means "Peace Be Upon Him". They don't say this in day to day speech but it is in the newspapers and magazines.
On the personal side I gotta say, "its' friggin miserable weather here". It is late October and it is still over 100 degrees. At least I am not in Djibouti. Some of the guys who are assigned there tell me that they have two seasons. They have Summer and Hell. Add the humidity in and it is like Texas in June here. In Djibouti it is like Texas in August right now and they think that it is "Getting nice outside."
I added these pics I took a few weeks back. This is the same mosque about 15 minutes apart. I wish i had gotten the sun at the perfect angle between the minarets but I took what I could.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
CAMELS! Part III
I raced up close as I dared. Traffic usually bad on this road. By bad I mean that they fly down it at 160 KPH or so and the limit is 120. Add that to the fact that camels spit and dare I must to get this close.
I snapped that shot and then pulled around to the side. I was eye to eye with this beast doing 120 KPH on one of the most dangerous roads on earth. I have seen a lot of weirdness in my time on earth but this one goes in the book for sure!
Saturday, October 14, 2006
A normal day
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
The Return of the First Team
When you see a soldier notice where the unit patches are. The patch on the left sleeve denotes the unit they serve in. These are 1st Cavalry Division Troopers. That is important but the one that means the most is the one on the right shoulder under the flag. That is the Combat Patch. These men are veterans who have been in a combat zone for a minimum of 6 months. This means something to them and to me. They wear the big yellow patch (subdued for deplyment) on this sleeve as they were both here in 2004 with me in Taji.
It was a bad year to be in Iraq but even though it was filled with difficulty and fear it was a time I will always remember as the time we all went through a crucible together. I dodged mortars with these men, ate countless meals with them, sat through droning endless planning meetings, played poker with AFEES pogs, drank near beer with them, and got up at 03:00 to watch College Football with them. We talked about our families, friends, experiences, wants, needs, desires, and future plans.
We talked about how we all agreed that even though it was hard on us individually, it was in the best interest of the country for us all to use our own special sets of skill, experience, and education to make Iraq a better place so that none of our sons have to return unless they come as tourists.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Another Warning from BIAP
A - How slow the authorities here are behind the last terrorist plot to incinerate innocent airline passengers.
B - That it has finally been discovered that cooking oil is a lethal weapon. After all, those Trans Fats are a killer.
C - They still have not learned how to use spell check.
Monday, October 02, 2006
My Friend Chris
Sunday, October 01, 2006
More Kuwait Towers
Look at this shot of the sequins up close. You can see why it starts to remind you of a fishing lure after a while. The only fish it ever caught was Saddam. He saw the bait and went for it and that is what precipitated his eventual downfall.
Isn't that sad? To think that some educated engineer designed it is sad enought but some one had to actuall fund this travesty of taste!
They did manage to have a good idea though and that was to build a kiddie park. This is a cool little water park that they built but the funny thing is that it was so hot there was no one there.