Thursday, August 30, 2007

Let's Try Video

video

This is an experiment to see how a video link works. This is an original WankerVision Productions short we made in Bosnia. Unlike Iraq we were often quiet bored in Bosnia as the USAF had bombed the Serbs back past the stone age.

The cow came form one of the local Bosnian girls in the office and the rude Teddy Bear is English as is our star, The Wanker.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is is safe to be a soldier?

Thanks to my buddy BIG LOU for sending me the following article. I read and went, "Na, can't be true. This has to be skewed info. I know enough about statistics to know you can colorize them to say anything you want." Then I popped the link and read the report. I am stunned. I knew the Army AKO Safety plan had paid dividends but I did not realize just how many personnel were killed in accidents during the Clinton years. Read the info below and then read the official Congressional report. I think you too will be surprised. It is actually safer to be a soldier now during a hot war than it was during the 90s.

Why has the media not complained about military casualties before the Iraq war? Here are
some rather eye-opening facts:

As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is,
consider the following statistics:

Annual fatalities of military members while actively serving in the
armed forces from 1980 through 2004:

1980 .......... 2,392
1981 .......... 2,380
1982 .......... 2,318
1983 .......... 2,465
1984 .......... 1,999
1985 .......... 2,252
1986 .......... 1,984
1987 .......... 1,983
1988 .......... 1,819
1989 .......... 1,636
1990 .......... 1,508
1991 .......... 1,787
1992 .......... 1,293
1993 .......... 1,213
1994 .......... 1,075
1995 .......... 1,040
1996 ............ 974
1997 ........... 817
1998 ............ 826
1999 ............ 795
2000 ........... 774
2001 ............ 890
2002 .......... 1007
2003 ......... 1,410 ----- 534*
2004 . .........1,887 ----- 900*
2005 ............ 919*
2006 ........... 920*

* Figures are Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom
fatalities only

Does this really mean that the loss from the two current conflicts in
the Middle East are LESS than the loss of military personnel during
Mr. Clinton's presidency? Were we at war?

Now, are you confused when you look at these figures?

Especially look at 1980, during the reign of President "Nobel Peace
Prize, Jimmy Carter" himself, there were 2,392 US military fatalities.

What this clearly indicates is that our media and our liberal
politicians pick and choose, and they tend to present only those
facts that support their agenda driven reporting.

Another fact our left media and politicians like to slant is that
these brave men and women losing their lives are minorities.

Wrong again - The latest census shows the following:

European descent (white) . 69.12%
Hispanic ....................... 12.5%
African American ............ 12.3%
Asian .............................. 3.7%
Native American ............... 1.0%
Other ............................... 2.6%
Now, the fatalities over the past three years in Iraqi Freedom are:
European descent (white) .. 74.31%
Hispanic .......................... 10.74%
African American ..... ..........9.67%
Asian ................................ 1.81%
Native American ... ............. 1.09%
Other ................................. 2.33%

These statistics are published by DOD and may be viewed at:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL32492.pdf

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Monday, August 27, 2007

The Things We Miss

It was my son's first day of Kindergarten today. I have missed birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgivings, Christmases, and many others that I will never get back. My son does not remember ever having his daddy live at home. We have had one Christmas together in 6 years.
I'm not whining, I chose to come here and do this. I just know that I have made sacrifice after sacrifice for the job, the mission, and my future. I hope to God it all pays off because at the end of the day the main reason I am here is so that in 12 years my son does not have to come over here for any reason other than to be a tourist.
I'm really busy right now so off I go.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Bravest Woman This Year

In our PC world of apologists and revisionist historians we never seem to get straight answers or straight talk from anyone in the media or on TV. It seems that most people are concerned about stating what the masses want to hear, whatever liberal stance is the popular one, or whatever will not offend loud radicals. We hear shrill voices arguing for everything except exterminating the bad guys which would just stop everything in its tracks.
A friend sent me a link to a refreshing bit of dialogue from Al Jazerra which has English subtitles. Here is a totally unafraid Arab woman stating what many of us say in private. We say what she says. Islam is 600 years behind the rest of the world. This about where Christianity was 600 years ago. Christians were slaughtering people who did not believe what they did. The Pope had absolute power and could send armies marching by his word alone. Christian martyrs believed they were going to heaven because they were fighting infidels. Women were cattle for sex, breeding, and work. If you did not profess full belief you could be burned at the stake as a heretic. In Spain the accusation of being a Jew or Muslim was enough to have you literally skinned alive.
I invite you to listen to this and commend this brave woman for what she says. I want to hear more!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Carrying the Load

My support counterpart was transferred to a FOB in Iraq. His replacement is months out so I get the whole enchilada for a while. Oh well, done it before. It just means less sleep and more decisions to be made. The CO is going on R&R in a few days and the S-3 is leaving for good as he is done and headed home. It is going to be a very, very busy time for me the next couple of weeks. until the CO gets back.
I am actually so busy that I was able to duck a mission to Iraq and send some one else. It ain't chicken talking, it is just reality. I get that busy some times. I have never ducked a movement into Iraq or anywhere else but it was kind of nice to be able to send some one else. Of course if he gets hurt I will be feeling guilty for a while. I can't let that bother me though. Others have to make those decisions every day with even more tragic possible consequences. At least I dont have to worry about combat missions. I have always felt that combat unit leaders never get the respect they are due. It is bad enough to have to send some one across the berm or out the wire but to actually have to tell'em to go waepons hot and have a live load looking for Haji is something that I hope I never have to do. My hat is off to all of them.
My friend Butch came into Kuwait a couple of days ago. He walked up to an operation that he knows belongs under my AO and told the guy there to "Get Mig on the phone!" Now keep in mind that Butch is over 6 feet tall, a football coach in the land of the big PX, and a full Colonel who was wearing full battle rattle. The poor sap there just about crapped his pants and thought I was in deep doo doo. Butch got on the phone and we had a great chat. He was going up north and will cycle back in a coouple of weeks. I promised him I would bring pizza out when he gets here as he can't leave post. It is really funny to see the reaction that he has on people. He is very intimidating looking and his bearing is one of absolute malice but he is a big'ole teddy bear of a man. I cherish my relationship with him and many others. As I have stated many times, the finest people I have ever met have been part of this effort. Every other relationship (except family) will pale in comparison. Every expereince will too. I won't get so melodramatic as to say Band of Brothers but there is a comradeship and bond that no one else can break. We were here. We saw it up close. We were part of it. Proud I am of that, damn proud.
Oh well, thats my SitRep for today.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Heroes Part II

More proof that we don't see who in our midst are the real heroes. Here is a story that I bet bottom dollar never made the MSM or your local news. I have no doubt that the father of that child does not see him as the enemy and I'll bet that when he comes of age the little boy will not either. CPT Powell's actions are the type that will win this war. These stories spread by word of mouth in the tribal environment of Iraq and according to the code of Wasta and Baksheesh that tribe now owes him and his men a favor of equal value in return.
CPT Powell is from Newport Beach, CA. For those of you who do not know; NB is a high dollar spread and you don't live there unless you have some serious ducats. CPT Powell is regular Army and a member of the 1st Cavalry Division. Those of you who know me know how I feel about the Cav so don't be surprised if you hear one day that I ran into CPT Powell at a bar in Killeen or NB and bought him a beer.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Heroes

There is a TV series named "Heroes" which I have never seen. Sports personalities are sometimes called Heroes. Hollywood wimps are sometimes called Heroes. They are not. Never were. Never will be. We have let the media and glitz machines beat it into our collective psyche that they are but my years over here have taught me they are not. I love sports and am rabid about baseball and hockey but at the same time I just have the feeling that all the hype, hyperbole, and hoopla surrounding the games are not necessary. I look at all the Barry Bonds ink and teletype I see and think to myself, "What difference will this make? Just how does this change anything?"
There are heroes out there. They live among us. They are in little places all over America and all over the world. I am blessed to have met some of them and to call some of them "Friend." Chris, Butch, Vic, Mike, Joe, Jeff, Vaughn, Fritz, Joshua, and Jerry are all heroes. Yeah, they have last names but I don't use them. They are known to me by those names because they are my friends. They became heroes in places like Vietnam, Somalia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Iraq. They had all the spine and inner qualities that were needed to be heroes and these episodes provided the time and place for them to become that. You have never heard of them because they are quiet professionals just doing their jobs. They are extraordinary men doing an extraordinary task in extraordinary ways and damn well should be recognized.
One hero I am proud to know has finally been recognized. I know John. I met him in 2004 when he lived on my post. I knew he was in action and had a bad day but I didn't know the details until today. Please read the dispatch and understand that heroes are teachers, firemen, cops, and National Guardsmen. Where can you find them? You can find them on weekends at any NG armory in America. Common men with a common purpose for the common good is what the National Guard is all about.
I used to make fun of Arkansas but I don't anymore. I am proud of the fact that I know many of the heroes of the 39th Brigade Combat Team, Arkansas National Guard. They protected me, I took care of them. We sheltered in bunkers during incoming barrages, ate together, built shelters together, laughed together, worked together, trained Iraqis together, treated wounded Iraqis together and became friends. They awarded me the honor of being an "Arkansas Traveler" and took me into their confidence. I gave them back dignity and respect.
I have seen a lot of units pass through. Some are good, some are not. Some are full of esprit d'corps, some are not. The 39th is full of common men who are what everyone in the Army wants to be. They are Warfighters. They protect you regardless of whether you live in Arkansas, Texas, California, Canada, or even Iraq. They are called "National Guard" but what they really are is more like what the ancient Spartans were. Every citizen a soldier who is called upon in time of war or time of need. Much like the real Spartans at Thermopylae (Not the movie version) they train constantly for something they hope never comes. They just go when needed to do what they have to do to protect those at home. They should really be called "International Guard." No matter what they are called by nomenclature I know what I call them. I call the Heroes. They are and I am proud to know them.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

English is Lingua Franca for our times

WWII ensured that Democracy was safe, that human rights would continue to develop, that capitalism would grow and that English would become the language of business and commerce. The simple fact that all sea borne and air traffic was conducted in English is what precipitated this. To this day all air traffic and sea traffic world wide is conducted in English regardless of nation or nationality of the vessel. Even so there are changes on the horizon.
The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement, and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".
In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.
Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.By the 4th yer, pepl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united Urop vil finali kum tru.Und, efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German lik zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Marines 1 - Murtha 0

Pundit Review has a terrific article and blog roll on the fact that Lance Corporal Justin Sharratt was exonerated on charges of murder in Iraq. First of all, it is a war zone and $hit happens there. Secondly, it ain't Vietnam and no matter how many times those of us who have seen that particular Elephant say it, there are those that don't believe it. I think my buddy Fritz may have the best take on all of this if he will comment on it.
Here below is the reply I posted on Pundit review regards the situation.
How can Justin Sharratt stay in the Marines after this? Can he ever overcome this and get on with his career? I think he is made of strong stuff (All Marines are) and hope to God that he sticks it out to be the face that wins the fight. How many young men and women will be dismayed by this and decide to not be part of the few and proud out of fear of persecution from their own government? Enemies of the state exist in many places and sometimes they are from within. Murtha should be ashamed for his actions. He should not be re-elected. Who do I send a donation to for "None Of The Above" for his district at the next election? Even better, who is better to represent us in Congress; an embittered washed up hack job specialist like Murtha or a exonerated and proven warrior and volunteer to his country like Justin Sharatt? DRAFT SHARRATT FOR CONGRESS!!!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Pimp My Ride - Kuwait Style

This Gawd-Awful colored beast was parked behind my crib and I could not resist taking this shot of it. There is some Kuwaiti in my neighborhood who is just proud as punch over this Jewel Tool of a Ghetto Fab cruiser.

Later in the day I am pulling up to a stop light and I see something moving in the back of this pick up. Is it what I think it is?My Gawd, it is. It is a pair of goats. Which is worse; the awful Big Bird Yellow wanna be HMWWV built on a Chevy Tahoe chassis or the Nissan complete with goats tied to the fake roll bar? You decide but what ever you pick just remember that this does not raise an eyebrow in Kuwait except mine!
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