Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mail Call


I've been working my way through a list of emails that I had left unattended for well over a year- and I found some pretty fun ones. Before I get to the featured item, I'd just like to say thanks for all the nice well-wishes and kind words- it's much appreciated, and I apologize for taking so long to write back. Most of the emails I get are really nice and thoughtful. And then I get some like this:

----- Original Message ----
From: kaofpm@jcn.net
To: cpt2slick@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 9:42:34 PM
Subject: Discovery!

Heard about mil blogs. your name came up. just what i expected. im not a lefty. im a veteran of our last big war on the dark skinned poor - in central america. you seem to be a part of the machine. a muscle fiber in the corporate bicep that is "redifining" american power in central asia. you are rewarded by your "fortune 500" job. horde those green backs captain before that corporate bicep outsources your ass and you find yourself teaching government classes at a community college.

xo our knight in shining gunship
or does 2slick refer to medivac?

Don't bother trying to send this person an email- the address is no longer valid. I tried to send him a response that went like this:

Cool. Thanks for checking out my site.

I think I'll start by telling you something that your parents probably told you a long time ago, but you just never liked to hear- people who are "anti-establishment" tend to be people who were soundly rejected by said "establishment." They're the ones who got beat up in school because they were always trying to be the center of attention- but never had any good reason to command said attention. Not typically the sharpest bulbs in the drawer- but really convinced that they were so much smarter than everyone else. Simply put- "anti-establishment" people (like you) are the ones that most "normal" people try so very hard to avoid.

Seriously, man- I'm sorry that nobody likes you or wants to hire you. Keep blaming "the man" for all your problems, and maybe your pain and suffering will begin to subside. Maybe- just maybe- the good people of the world will see how you've been wronged, and maybe everyone will line up to apologize to you. I know that would be really AWESOME for you!

Me? I'm just going to keep "redefining" American power with my corporate biceps while I step all over the poor dark-skinned people. You just sit there and think about what an awful and terrible person I am- I'm certain that will make you happy. See how thoughtful I am?

Seriously, though- you're right. You're not a lefty. You're just a run-of-the-mill fraud. A sad and pathetic loser who never got enough hugs.

Just what I expected....

P.S.: What's wrong with teaching government classes at a community college? Is teaching not an honorable profession? I happen to have a great deal of respect for teachers, and I certainly appreciate all the ones who taught me...


I love getting emails from these clowns!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Miss the Swifties


I guess I have to admit that a small part of me hopes that John Kerry does run again in '08. It's a little twisted, but it really was fun to see a glory-chasing self-serving traitor get what was coming to him right there on the world stage. And now I read this hilarious interview where he says that he's now "prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other." Oh, man I can't wait to see that!!!! Yeah, this time he'll really nail 'em! Go get 'em, Johnny!!!!

John O'Neill's response was priceless:

It is a little difficult to imagine Kerry (“I voted for it before I voted against it”) kicking the most decorated living serviceman, Bud Day, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, or our salty commander, Adm. Roy Hoffman, anywhere. Perhaps Kerry had in mind using a “Rice Fanny Grenade” as he did by mistake on himself shortly before leaving Vietnam. If so, based on the record, he is in far more danger than anyone else.

Kerry and his friends certainly seem to show much greater anger and hatred toward us than toward the murderous al Qaeda terrorists.


Reminds me- my wife is always asking me to post my thoughts on the left's current obsession with blaming all the world's problems on Republicans instead of terrorists. I had always planned to write something about it, but then I read Pam Foster's now-famous letter and I knew that I would never be able to say it better- so here goes:

WHAT'S ALL THE FUSS?

Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania?

Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet? Well, I don't. I don't care at all.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia.

I'll care when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi tells the world he is sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots, who blow themselves up in search of nirvana, care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs.

I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care.

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college hazing incident, rest assured that I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank that I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts that I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and ---- you guessed it - - - I don't care ! ! ! ! !

Then it goes on to say "please forward to all your friends" and yadda yadda. I didn't even bother to snopes it, but it was supposedly written by "Pam Foster of Pamela Foster and Associates in Atlanta. She's been in business since 1980 doing interior design and home planning." Maybe she wrote it, maybe she didn't. Either way, you can bet your holy head scarves that I simply do not care who wrote it. It's awesome no matter what.

I have not, do not, and damn most certainly will not ever support the idea that terrorists should be protected by the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Convention needs to be "reconvened" and the international community needs to accept and deal with the fact that Islamic Militants are out there chopping off heads and blowing up school busses. The Geneva Convention means absolutely nothing to them- so come up with a plan for dealing with these animals and fix the problem.

When I hear people like Colin Powell say that we need to be nice to them in order to protect our own soldiers from harm, I feel like smacking him in the head with a rockfish. General Powell, with all due respect- are out of your freaking mind???? Do you honestly believe that these disgusting viruses will respond to our kind treatment with kindness? Trust me on this one, my 4-star friend- any soldiers captured by these sick thugs are damn near certain to suffer a fate worse than you or I could ever imagine- the terrorists have proven this time and time again. Stop kidding yourself. Your foolish banter is only serving to embolden them. You should seriously know better...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Letter to Senator Reid


I guess it's been a long while since I've put anything on this site- I'm still trying to shake off some of the cobwebs around here...

I read a recent interview with Cindy Sheehan- she says that she wants to build a "Center for Peace" or something in Crawford, Texas. It's her attempt at making sure that war never happens again. The interviewer asked her why she would build it in Crawford, and Cindy said that it wouldn't be in a big city because blah blah words whatever blah blah. Not sure what she was talking about and I REALLY don't care.

If I were interviewing her, I would have asked why she wasn't building a "Center for Peace" in Iran or maybe adjacent to one of Saudi Arabia's many madrasses. The answer, of course, is that if she tried to do that she would quickly find that it's hard to get any work done when your head is no longer attached to your body.

So please, Cindy, build your "Center for Peace" in Crawford, Texas. I'm sure that would have prevented 9/11 had you thought to do that 6 years ago. Oh, the missed opportunities! Tell you what, Cindy- while you build your "Center for Peace" in Texas, I'm going to start construction on "2Slick's Obesity Prevention and Weight Control Clinic" in the middle of Ethiopia.

So I was perusing Drudge this morning, and I found an excellent letter that was written by Josh Bolten, and I think it deserves mass dissemination:

Dear Senator Reid:

Thank you for your September 4 letter to the President. I am responding on his behalf.

A useful discussion of what we need to do in Iraq requires an accurate and fair-minded description of our current policy: As the President has explained, our goal is an Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself, and sustain itself. In order to achieve this goal, we are pursuing a strategy along three main tracks -- political, economic, and security. Along each of these tracks, we are constantly adjusting our tactics to meet conditions on the ground. We have witnessed both successes and setbacks along the way, which is the story of every war that has been waged and won.

Your letter recites four elements of a proposed “new direction” in Iraq. Three of those elements reflect well-established Administration policy; the fourth is dangerously misguided.

First, you propose "transitioning the U.S. mission in Iraq to counter-terrorism, training, logistics and force protection." That is what we are now doing, and have been doing for several years. Our efforts to train the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) have evolved and accelerated over the past three years. Our military has had substantial success in building the Iraqi Army -- and increasingly we have seen the Iraqi Army take the lead in fighting the enemies of a free Iraq. The Iraqi Security Forces still must rely on U.S. support, both in direct combat and especially in key combat support functions. But any fair-minded reading of the current situation must recognize that the ISF are unquestionably more capable and shouldering a greater portion of the burden than a year ago -- and because of the extraordinary efforts of the United States military, we expect they will become increasingly capable with each passing month. Your recommendation that we focus on counter-terrorism training and operations -- which is the most demanding task facing our troops -- tracks not only with our policy but also our understanding, as well as the understanding of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, that Iraq is a central front in the war against terror.

Second, your letter proposes "working with Iraqi leaders to disarm the militias and to develop a broad-based and sustainable political settlement, including amending the Constitution to achieve a fair sharing of power and resources." You are once again urging that the Bush Administration adopt an approach that has not only been embraced, but is now being executed. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is pursuing a national reconciliation project. It is an undertaking that (a) was devised by the Iraqis; (b) has the support of the United States, our coalition partners and the United Nations; and (c) is now being implemented. Further, in Iraq's political evolution, the Sunnis, who boycotted the first Iraq election, are now much more involved in the political process. Prime Minister Maliki is head of a free government that represents all communities in Iraq for the first time in that nation's history. It is in the context of this broad-based, unity government, and the lasting national compact that government is pursuing, that the Iraqis will consider what amendments might be required to the constitution that the Iraqi people adopted last year. On the matter of disarming militias: that is precisely what Prime Minister al-Maliki is working to do. Indeed, Coalition leaders are working with him and his ministers to devise and implement a program to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate members of militias and other illegal armed groups.

Third, your letter calls for "convening an international conference and contact group to support a political settlement in Iraq, to preserve Iraq's sovereignty, and to revitalize the stalled economic reconstruction and rebuilding effort." The International Compact for Iraq, launched recently by the sovereign Iraqi government and the United Nations, is the best way to work with regional and international partners to make substantial economic progress in Iraq, help revitalize the economic reconstruction and rebuilding of that nation, and support a fair and just political settlement in Iraq -- all while preserving Iraqi sovereignty. This effort is well under way, it has momentum, and I urge you to support it. Three of the key proposals found in your letter, then, are already reflected in current U.S. and Iraqi policy in the region.

On the fourth element of your proposed “new direction,” however, we do disagree strongly. Our strategy calls for redeploying troops from Iraq as conditions on the ground allow, when the Iraqi Security Forces are capable of defending their nation, and when our military commanders believe the time is right. Your proposal is driven by none of these factors; instead, it would have U.S. forces begin withdrawing from Iraq by the end of the year, without regard to the conditions on the ground. Because your letter lacks specifics, it is difficult to determine exactly what is contemplated by the “phased redeployment” you propose. (One such proposal, advanced by Representative Murtha, a signatory to your letter, suggested that U.S. forces should be redeployed as a “quick reaction force” to Okinawa, which is nearly 5,000 miles from Baghdad). Regardless of the specifics you envision by “phased redeployment,” any premature withdrawal of U.S forces would have disastrous consequences for America’s security. Such a policy would embolden our terrorist enemies; betray the hopes of the Iraqi people; lead to a terrorist state in control of huge oil reserves; shatter the confidence our regional allies have in America; undermine the spread of democracy in the Middle East; and mean the sacrifices of American troops would have been in vain. This “new direction” would lead to a crippling defeat for America and a staggering victory for Islamic extremists. That is not a direction this President will follow. The President is being guided by a commitment to victory -- and that plan, in turn, is being driven by the counsel and recommendations of our military commanders in the region.

Finally, your letter calls for replacing Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. We strongly disagree.

Secretary Rumsfeld is an honorable and able public servant. Under his leadership, the United States Armed Forces and our allies have overthrown two brutal tyrannies and liberated more than 50 million people. Al Qaeda has suffered tremendous blows. Secretary Rumsfeld has pursued vigorously the President’s vision for a transformed U.S. military. And he has played a lead role in forging and implementing many of the policies you now recommend in Iraq. Secretary Rumsfeld retains the full confidence of the President.

We appreciate your stated interest in working with the Administration on policies that honor the sacrifice of our troops and promote our national security, which we believe can be accomplished only through victory in this central front in the War on Terror.

Sincerely,

Joshua B. Bolten
Chief of Staff

Now that's a great letter...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Why We're Going to Succeed in Iraq


Wow, you people really are coming by here to see what 's going on. I'm amazed and flattered and humbled and everything in between. Thanks, I hope you'll continue to drop by...

I heard there was some big uproar about illegal immigration last week? I missed it all- you see, I was vacationing in Mexico. And guess what (I'm not joking)- President Bush was there, too. It was in all the Mexican newspapers, and I know because I can read espanol. For the record- Mexico is really amazing. Wow.

But I digress...

Sometimes I think I'm the only person in America who thought the War on Terror was going to be tough one.

I never thought that we shouldn't fight it.

I never thought that we couldn't win it.

I just thought that it was going to be a tough struggle.

Why? I don't know- maybe because there are so many people out there who are more than willing to blow themselves up in order to enjoy a night out with some virgins that they'll never meet, or even worse- recruit others to blow themselves up for some "cause" that seems to involve enslaving women and chopping people's heads off for the simple act of intellectual noncompliance.

Yes, there will always be a pool of poor young teens looking for glory; mentally retarded "outcasts"; "disgraced" women seeking redemption after having the audacity to entice someone to rape them; even "normal" people who are just too plain stupid to figure out that if "martyrdom" was really such a cool thing, people like bin Laden and Zarqawi would be doing it too!

Lots of them out there- lots and lots.

And how prepared were we for this war before 9/11? Here's a hint. Almost 5 years later, we're STILL postured for that big showdown with the Soviets. If those commies ever decided to cross that line in Germany, we'll have more than enough troops to fight 'em off, dammit!

So yes, I was pretty sure this would be a tough one.

People are surprised by a lot of things, but I think the thing that surprises me most is that here we are going on 5 years since 9/11, and number of American troops lost in combat has yet to surpass the number of innocent lives that were taken from us on that one day that we all remember so clearly. We do remember what happened, right? Just checking.

I always thought that the one of the most important keys to winning this thing was to understand what we're up against- sooner than later. We still don't fully comprehend what this enemy is and how we're supposed to fight it, but I think our old friend and my former Commanding General, LTG David Petreaus, is leading the way to understanding. Check this out:

Observations from Soldiering in Iraq

1."Do not try to do too much with your own hands."

2. Act quickly, because every Army of liberation has a half-life.

3. Money is ammunition. (This is so true- capitalism can really put a dagger through the terrorist's hearts -2Slick)

4. Increasing the number of stakeholders is critical to success.

5. Analyze "costs and benefits" before each operation.

6. Intelligence is the key to success.

7. Everyone must do nation-building.

8. Help build institutions, not just units.

9. Cultural awareness is a force multiplier.

10. Success in a counterinsurgency requires more than just military 0perations.

11. Ultimate success depends on local leaders.

12. Remember the strategic corporals and strategic lieutenants.

13. There is no substitute for flexible, adaptable leaders.

14. A leader's most important task is to set the right tone.

Read the whole thing, because this guy knows what the hell he's talking about...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Here I Come


Okay, so it's been a few months- I had to rest up and tend to my new civilian family life. Now I'm dusting off my keyboard and preparing for the next phase. To quote the immortal GEN Douglas MacArthur- "I shall return!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

King of Iraq

From Seconds Out:

King's morale boost for troops in Iraq

Legendary promoter Don King said he would like to host a morale-boosting boxing exhibition in Iraq featuring world champion boxers he represents. King made his comments to CNN's Wolf Blitzer while appearing on The Situation Room last week.

Major General Thomas R. Turner II of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division told King earlier this year he would welcome such an event.

"There are many things that make a unit successful in combat," Turner said. "They need good equipment, the right number of people and good training. The army does that very well but the solider also needs to know that the American people support them and Don King has done that."

King never forgot the major general's comments and later presented a check for over $200,000 he raised to help create a 101st Airborne Memorial in Ft. Campbell, Ky.

He also visited troops fresh from the front lines in Iraq at Germany's Landstuhl Hospital near Ramstein Air Base in September, and he now wants to bring a boxing exhibition to Iraq to give soldiers a taste of home.

"Major General Turner and President George W. Bush are absolutely right about helping the troops," King said. "I intend to answer the President's call and do all I can to support our troops. Our men and women in uniform around the world are defending our freedom and liberties. They need to know that we appreciate their service and sacrifices to honor their bravery and dedication.

"I intend to stage exhibition matches in Iraq displaying the skills of many great champions from the boxing world. I want to entertain the troops, raise their morale and let our soldiers know that the American people are 100% behind them. It will be an unforgettable, historic event. I'll even stage a true championship match if I am allowed."

King added: "While politicians in Washington debate the issues, we must show through action and deed that we support our troops fighting for our liberties and way of life. I honor them. I want to be the black Bob Hope of boxing," King said with reverence to the comedian's achievements.

King is now discussing the formal arrangements with the White House, USO and the Department of Defense.

"I am proud to be an American, I love my country and I love my troops," King said. "I want to do everything I can to lift them up in their hour of need but I cannot do it without the blessing of our commander in chief."

King has quietly provided all telecasts of boxing matches he promotes free of charge to Armed Forces Network for over 20 years, so troops stationed abroad can view his telecasts.

Yeah, I remember watching a bunch of great title bouts on AFKN when I was in Korea. It was great because we wouldn't have to stay up until 2 am to watch them- they'd come on at around 3 pm Korea time. Now that I think of AFKN, I remember they had a PSA spot (AFKN ran PSA's instead of commercials) featuring an 18-year-old Kobe Bryant preaching to us soldiers about "doing the right thing." Wow, that was some great stuff. -2Slick

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Voting


My Godmother's son-in-law sent this dispatch a few days ago- sorry it took so long to get it posted. Cool stuff...

Today the Iraqi soldiers got their turn to vote so they are able to secure the polling sites on election day. It was amazing to see how happy these soldiers were to vote in a free election. Soldiers were dancing around and singing. It was the happiest I have ever seen these soldiers.

Enjoy,

Jeff


Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bruce Willis is Cool


"Hollywood" people don't typically impress me much, but I think Bruce Willis is pretty cool. He came out to visit the 101st in 2003. My buddy Mark took some pics during his concert in Tall 'Afar:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Just recently I read that he showed up to be the guest speaker at the Deuce Four's Punisher's Ball. Looks like he's going to play LTC Erik Kurilla in a movie based on Michael Yon's writings. That's excellent. It's nice to see something positive come out of Hollywood for a change.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Another Great Letter from Iraq


SGT Rausch and his buddies in 1st Platoon just crafted a masterpiece that needs to be seen by everyone you know. I've been trying to say this stuff for years now, but I couldn't quite figure out how to put it all into words. Well, these guys just cracked the code. Thanks to Becky C for bringing this to my attention:

Cpt2slick,

I am passing this on from a dear friend of mine. Her son wrote her this email and asked her to get it out to everyone. So she told me to send it to you too. Here is his email he wrote to her today. God bless those 101st soldiers. We love em all. Hope you will share his email with your readers.

Becky C

I will gladly pass this on, Becky. Thanks for doing your part in helping to spread the good word...

2Slick

SGT Rausch's email follows:

Mom

Be my voice. I want this message heard. It is mine and my platoon's to the country. A man I know lost his legs the other night. He is in another company in our batallion. I can no longer be silent after watching the sacrifices made by Iraqis and Americans everyday. Send it to a congressman if you have to. Send it to FOX news if you have to. Let this message be heard please.

My fellow Americans,

I have a task for those with the courage and fortitude to take it. I have a message that needs not fall on deaf ears. A vision the blind need to see. I am not a political man nor one with great wisdom. I am just a soldier who finds himself helping rebuild a country that he helped liberate a couple years ago.

I have watched on television how the American public questions why their mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters are fighting and dying in a country 9000 miles away from their own soil. Take the word of a soldier, for that is all I am, that our cause is a noble one. The reason we are here is one worth fighting for. A cause that has been the most costly and sought after cause in our small span of existence on our little planet. Bought in blood and paid for by those brave enough to give the ultimate sacrifice to obtain it. A right that is given to every man, woman, and child I believe by God. I am talking of freedom.

Freedom. One word but yet countless words could never capture it's true meaning or power. "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know." I read that once and it couldn't be more true. It's not the average American's fault that he or she is "blind and deaf" to the taste of freedom. Most American's are born into their God given right so it is all they ever know. I was once one of them. I would even dare to say that it isn't surprising that they take for granted what they have had all their life. My experiences in the military however opened my eyes to the truth.

Ironically you will find the biggest outcries of opposition to our cause from those who have had no military experience and haven't had to fight for freedom. I challenge all of those who are daring enough to question such a noble cause to come here for just a month and see it first hand. I have a feeling that many voices would be silenced.

I watched Cindy Sheehan sit on the President's lawn and say that America isn't worth dying for. Later she corrected herself and said Iraq isn't worth dying for. She badmouthed all that her son had fought and died for. I bet he is rolling over in his grave.

Ladies and gentleman I ask you this. What if you lived in a country that wasn't free? What if someone told you when you could have heat, electricity, and water? What if you had no sewage systems so human waste flowed into the streets? What if someone would kill you for bad-mouthing your government? What if you weren't allowed to watch TV, connect to the internet, or have cell phones unless under extreme censorship? What if you couldn't put shoes on your child's feet? You need not to have a great understanding of the world but rather common sense to realize that it is our duty as HUMAN BEINGS to free the oppressed. If you lived that way would you not want someone to help you????

The Iraqi's pour into the streets to wave at us and when we liberated the cities during the war they gathered in the thousands to cheer, hug and kiss us. It was what the soldier's in WW2 experienced, yet no one questioned their cause!! Saddam was no better than Hitler! He tortured and killed thousands of innocent people. We are heroes over here, yet American's badmouth our President for having us here.

Every police station here has a dozen or more memorials for officers that were murdered trying to ensure that their people live free. These are husbands, fathers, and sons killed every day. What if it were your country? What would your choice be? Everything we fight for is worth the blood that may be shed. The media never reports the true HEROISM I witness everyday in the Iraqi's. Yes there are bad one's here, but I assure you they are a minuscule percent. Yet they are a number big enough to cause worry in this country's future.

I have watched brave souls give their all and lose thier lives and limbs for this cause. I will no longer stand silent and let the "deaf and blind" be the only voice shouting. Stonewall Jackson once said, "All that I have, all that I am is at the service of the country." For these brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice, including your son Cindy Sheehan, I will shout till I can no longer. These men and women are heroes. Their spirit lives on in their military and they will never be forgotten. They did not die in vain but rather for a cause that is larger than all of us.

My fellow countrymen and women, we are not overseas for our country alone but also another. We are here to spread democracy and freedom to those who KNOW the true taste of it because they fight for it everyday. You can see the desire in their eyes and I am honored to fight alongside them as an Infantryman in the 101st Airborne.

Freedom is not free, but yet it is everyone's right to have. Ironic isn't it? That is why we are here. Though you will always have the skeptics, I know that most of our military will agree with this message. PLease, at the request of this soldier spread this message to all you know. We are in Operation Iraqi Freedom and that is our goal. It is a cause that I and thousands of others stand ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for because, Cindy Sheehan, freedom is worth dying for, no matter what country it is! And after the world is free only then can we hope to have peace.

SGT Walter J. Rausch and 1st Platoon
Charlie Co. 2/327 Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

Monday, November 14, 2005

101st Airborne Back in Action


The Screaming Eagles are back in the Land of the Awful Sand. I'll be posting periodic updates in an effort to document their progress. The following update comes from SFC David Abrams...

U.S. combat ops continue to defeat terrorists on street

Blackanthem.com, BAGHDAD, Iraq, November 13, 2005 6:54

Operation National Unity, an on-going operation by Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces to root out terrorists in the Baghdad area, continues to meet with great success, said Task Force Baghdad officials.

"Iraqi and U.S. Soldiers are bravely carrying out their mission to provide a safe and secure environment for the democratic process to grow in Iraq," said Lt. Col. Robert Whetstone, Task Force Baghdad spokesperson. "Terrorist activities continue to attempt to derail that process, while Iraqi Security Force and Coalition Force successes occur daily."

In one 96-hour period alone in November, Task Force Baghdad conducted more than 1,030 patrols, carried out 100 cordon-and-searches and raids, and set up more than 400 tactical checkpoints during aggressive combat operations throughout the capitol city.

While the threat of improvised explosive devices still lingers for Soldiers on patrol, Task Force Baghdad officials report the number of successes far outweigh the number of IEDs struck by humvees and other military vehicles.

During combat operations Nov. 6-11, Coalition Forces detained more than 250 terror suspects, found seven weapons caches, and discovered 37 IEDs before they could be detonated.

This is typical of the missions U.S. Soldiers in Baghdad engage in every week as they work to create an environment where a strong Iraqi Security Force can contain and eventually defeat the insurgency, Whetstone noted.

Task Force Baghdad officials cite operations on Nov. 11 as examples of how U.S. and Iraqi forces are "taking the fight to the terrorists."

For instance, Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment interrupted a suspected assassination attempt in progress in the Ghazaliyah district. Around 6:30 p.m., the U.S. patrol reported taking small-arms fire from three individuals running from a store where they were believed to be intimidating or attempting to assassinate civilians inside. The Soldiers returned fire on the fleeing terrorists, killing two of them. No civilians were harmed in the incident.

Earlier in the day, an Iraqi-U.S. patrol northwest of Baghdad turned an IED strike into an opportunity to nab a terror suspect. The patrol from 2nd Battalion, 70th Armored Regiment, and 2nd Mechanized Battalion, 1st Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division hit the roadside bomb around noon and immediately took small-arms fire from two nearby cars. U.S. Soldiers returned fire and chased the vehicles from the area. The Soldiers returned to the IED site and found a secondary device. An explosives ordnance disposal team was called in to destroy the 155-millimeter round. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Soldiers noticed an individual throw a possible trigger device into a nearby canal. The suspect was detained and processed into the Iraqi judicial system. There were no injuries to Iraqi or U.S. forces during the incident.

In another example of Coalition troops responding with a show of force to a terrorist attack, a patrol from 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry killed a terrorist who fired on them with an AK-47 assault rifle around 7 a.m. south of the Abu Ghraib Prison Facility.Iraqi forces with 1st Battalion, 4th Public Order Brigade operating in Doura reported a success of their own around 5:30 p.m. when they caught a terrorist emplacing an IED along a major highway. A U.S. EOD team recovered the 107-millimeter rocket and the Iraqi Army unit detained the terrorist for questioning.

Other potential IEDs were discovered by U.S. Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team working the streets of east Baghdad.

Around noon, Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment reported finding a 130-millimeter round in the median of a major road. They secured the area and called for an EOD team. The Soldiers also found a secondary device consisting of 120-millimeter and 100-millimeter rounds encased in concrete. EOD recovered both devices.

In another location, Iraqi civilians waved down a patrol from the 26th Forward Support Battalion and told them of a suspicious device at the intersection of two main roads in the area shortly after 3 p.m. The U.S. Soldiers cordoned off the site and called in an EOD team to recover what turned out to be a potentially deadly IED.

"We (U.S. Forces) are not the determining factor with respect to the ultimate defeat of the terrorists—the Iraqi people are," said Col. Joseph DiSalvo, 2nd BCT commander. "The terrorists have no chance as long as the Iraqi people stand up against them." Task Force Baghdad Soldiers also seized weapons and munitions during combat operations Nov. 11.While searching a house, Soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division found three cases of 20-millimeter anti-aircraft ammunition, about 7 million in dinar (equivalent to nearly $5,000), and two loaded AK-47 assault rifles. Two terror suspects were detained at the house and held for further questioning.

Another 2nd Bde., 101st Airborne Div. unit found a cache consisting of four 3-foot rockets at a site southwest of Baghdad.Task Force Baghdad officials said Nov. 11 is just one example of how Operation National Unity is succeeding on all levels to keep the city’s terrorists on the defensive.

By Sgt. 1st Class David Abrams
Task Force Baghdad PAO