Friday, January 28, 2005

Job Hunting

I'll be back in a week. While I'm gone, many things will happen in Iraq. I'm sure you'll all be watching Drudge and all that. Don't forget to check the Iraq Election Diatribes. Great information there. Don't miss history in the making.

See ya...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Marine Chopper Crash

This is just an awful tragedy. Please keep these brave warriors and their families in your thoughts. I won't speculate about what happened, but I'm sure the facts will come out soonest...

Condi Rice

I haven't mentioned anything about the Barbara Boxer fundraiser...I mean, the Dr. Rice confirmation fiasco until now. Go check out Power and Control and you'll know everything you need to know.

Meet Rambo

That's right- Rambo is alive and well, and he's working for the US Army in Afghanistan:

By Afghan standards, Udin had a good life. He had a steady job, an apartment, six children and a wife he adored.

The turning point for Udin, he said, came several years ago when a rocket-propelled grenade apparently fired by a Taliban soldier slammed into his apartment, killing his wife.

Udin remembers the time of day — 10 or 11 a.m. — but not the year. The Taliban captured Kabul in September 1996, but were beating back counterattacks for sometime afterward, so it could’ve been 1997.

“We loved each other,” Udin said of his wife, “which is why I will never remarry.”

You can't afford to miss this story...

Cut to the Chase

In case you missed it in yesterday's update, here's my recent interview at Cut to the Chase. We had a great discussion about some very relevent topics...

Quick Hits

Michael Moore got snubbed by Hollywood. Maybe he'll find comfort in a brontoburger with cheese and an extra large milkshake.

Thanks to Liz for this excellent tip regarding the U of Oregon's "brilliant" decision to forbid employees from overtly supporting our deployed soldiers.

Get a box of Kleenax and go check out Froggy's Victim of the Week. It's a heartbreaker of epic proportions.

Read this post from LGF and then decide whether or not you can believe your own eyes.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Before You Read This... have to go read this post at Black5's site. It's excellent. After you read it, come back and see why I disagree with most of what his military friends had to say about the war in Iraq.

1) Duration Plus Six. Just like World War II. Wow- that's a far out concept. Except this isn't WWII. In WWII, we were working towards a surrender. When Hitler (or his post-suicide stand-in) surrenders, we win. When Emperor Hirohito surrenders, we win. What an unbelievably simple concept! Those days are long gone, my friends.

Remember when the Taliban surrendered in Afghanistan? That's because they didn't. Remember when Saddam surrendered his control of Iraq? Me neither. Ask Saddam who the lawful ruler of Iraq is, and you'll hear something far different than what Emperor Hirohito would have said in 1946. Our objective in Iraq was to defeat Saddam (took 3 weeks), and to create a free and stable Iraq (still working on it). To think that this should have been done in 6 months or less is pure fantasy. This war will continue after we leave (the Iraqis will defeat the insurgency- not us), and I promise you will never see a formal surrender come from Zarqawi, bin Laden, Saddam's henchmen, or anyone else involved in the terrorist-sponsored insurgency. To say that we should have deployed forces for "the duration of the war plus 6 months" would have been laughable if it had been said before the initial invasion. The fact that people (military people even) are saying it now is simply hard for me to believe- but they did say it! Maybe I'm not understanding them...

2) Troop Strength. First off, I do agree that Shinseki wasn't forced out. He would have said something by now if he felt like he was forced out, and the whole conspiracy makes no sense. He served his time, and he served it well (except for the beret thing- that was just plain stoopid). Yes- he happened to be of the opinion that more soldiers would be needed in Iraq for the post-conflict Stability and Support Operations (SASO). The fact is, there were plenty of Generals who took that view. My take on this is simple- so what? Most Generals (notably including the one who was in charge of CENTCOM at the time- Tommy Franks) shared the view that the SECDEF ultimately decided on. So what's the argument here? Was it stupid to go with the majority view as opposed to the minority? I think not. When high-ranking military and government officials have conflicting opinions, they discuss them. They weigh the pros and cons of each Course of Action, and they have healthy and productive debates. The one in charge makes the decision after weighing all the facts and opinions. The majority often rules, but not always. Folks, this is how it's supposed to work, and this is how it happened. Did Rumsfeld end up making the wrong decision? I won't pretend to know (because it's impossible to know for sure), but I certainly haven't seen anything to convince me that it was the wrong decision.

Remember the Mosul blast last month? Let me ask you a simple question. If more troops had been in the dining tent that day, would the blast have been prevented? Or would the blast have killed more troops? Think about it. We're fighting an insurgency here. We already have them grossly outnumbered. If we were up against the Nazi horde, things would be different- but this isn't WWII.

I agree that future military action is imminent, but I believe that there will be lots of behind the scenes diplomacy and coalition-building preceding it.

I disagree that we need more than 40,000 additional soldiers and I can assure you- there will not be a draft. The issue isn't numbers- we have enough troops. The issue is restructuring- force modernization. We need less artillery soldiers and more MP's, Civil-Military specialists, and intelligence specialists. We need fewer tanks (but we still need tanks!) and more armored humvees. We need a flexible, rapidly deployable, modular force- with just the right amount of light brigades and heavy brigades. We need fewer troops in Europe and Korea than we have right now. This is all being fixed as I type this. It won't happen overnight, but it might not happen at all if it weren't for the wisdom of Rumsfeld and his staff. Which brings me to my next point...

3) Rumsfeld Should Resign. This is a fun one to debate. Let's take the first point:

-He should accept responsibility and step down.

Now the obvious question- he should accept responsibility for what? The fact that Iraq is about to hold it's first free election in it's history? The fact that the people of Afghanistan held free elections last year and are now more concerned with opium crops than Taliban/al-Qaeda goons? Should he accept responsibility for restructuring our military to reflect the current threat environment as opposed to the non-existent Soviet threat that Clinton and the gang were poised to fight while terrorists enjoyed 8 long years of unhindered aggression towards the United States? Or should he accept responsibility for the left-wing/media-concocted "quagmire" that used to exist in Afghanistan before it moved to Iraq?

And the second point:

-Most feel that it's not fair to have higher standards for Soldiers than for the Civilian leaders of the DOD.

Absolutely correct. But let's not forget that soldiers (like me) are not under the media microscope. Let's not forget that Rumsfeld takes the spotlight whenever something goes wrong (or in most cases- when the media or Ted Kennedy pretend that something goes wrong), and is ignored for anything and everything that goes well. As a soldier, I can't relate to this sort of treatment. But I can say that if the media covered the actions of every soldier (including me) the way they covered SECDEF Rumsfeld, you would think that we were the most incompetent military in the history of the planet- and those who were dumb enough to believe all the media spin would be calling for all of our resignations! Wouldn't that be interesting?

I guess my advice to Blackfive's friends would be to stop watching so many CBS news broadcasts, start reading more blogs, and talk (and listen) to their friends who were there. He didn't mention whether any of his friends ever served in Iraq, but I'm guessing most of them haven't. I could be wrong.


I discussed many of these same issues in a recent interview with Marshall Masters of Cut to the Chase:

26-January-2005: Iraq War Fighter Captain Rick: "Is President Bush Writing Bigger Checks Than Our Military Can Cash?"

Last December, Captain Rick 2Slick, as he is known to netizens, weighed in on the honesty of the American media. Now, he does the same with the Iraqi people and gives his honest, boots-on-the-ground perspective on whether or not democracy can flourish in Iraq. He knows them well, having fought his way into Iraq in 2003 as a Captain in the US Army. He has just finished his second tour of duty in Kuwait and continues to fight the injustices of the American media on his war blog <>. He also addresses a key concern for YOWUSA.COM, that being the possibility that we may, ourselves, be dangerously over-extended in the Middle East. If you have nagging doubts, as we do, you'll appreciate his no-fluff assessment.

Back to the U of O

I haven't been able to follow up on this, but I got a great tip from GaijinBiker at Riding Sun- he caught University President Dave Frohnmayer squirming under the weight of an ever-increasing blogolanche. Go check it out.


Check out what Deb the Marine Mom had to say...

Monday, January 24, 2005

This Might Hurt a Little

Before you read this post, I want to caution you- this is not for the weak at heart. Our friend Jordan at Cheese and Crackers tipped me off to this nice little story out of Oregon- courtesy of ABC affiliate KEZI:

"Support our Troop" Stickers...Creates a Stir at U of O

That's right- the University of Oregon has banned the Yellow Ribbon sticker. Writer Andrew Padula is to be commended for bringing this saga to our attention. Thanks, Andrew. Now let's discuss the piece.

In an e-mailed statement.. the University of Oregon says it is unclear if the decals are a political statement.

But to make sure they are in compliance with state restrictions... all stickers were ordered to be removed.

Wow, that's great. If there's ever any doubt, always default to the old "Screw the First Amendment" tactics- it's the best way to silence all those idiots who are dumb enough to love their country.

And then there's this:

The university determined that some may view the yellow ribbons as a political statement....therefore they demanded that all those stickers be removed.

That's brilliant. Imagine the possibilities! Let's ban SUV's and those cool little electro-hybrid thingies- might as well call them politimobiles! Let's ban Heinz ketchup while we're at it. Can we allow the employees to say things like "I love my country" or "Man, I'm glad I don't live in France?" Too political? I thought so.

U of O student Terra Wegner puts it in perspective for us-

"I think it's really a tough situation... because both sides have valid arguments."

Well said, Terra! Can you please share the "valid" arguments in support of the university's decision? No fair saying that they just didn't know what to do so they banned the stickers- they've already made that argument and we all laughed. I want a valid argument. Terra?

Andrew's article is chock full of valid arguments, but I couldn't find any that supported the University of Oregon's dubious position. Check it:

"I don't know how they think these are political.. I think they're patriotic," said Pete Baker, U of O delivery driver. "I'm not democratic or republican.. and I was really surprised the university deemed them to be political," said Baker.

We're all surprised, Peter.

"These are like their offices- they work in them for eight hours a day.. they're going to do something personal with them," said Ron Lattion, facilities Maintenace worker. "I don't think it's political I think they're just trying to support the guys who are putting their lives on the line for this country. Be it right or wrong.. be it right or left."

Good point, Ron. You might very well be the smartest man in Oregon. Hey, I'm just going by what I'm reading in this article. Stay with me here.

"It really comes down to the question of should state employees be allowed to express their opinions," said Morgan Goulding, a Eugene resident.

Ouch. Thanks for playing, Morgan. That's not what it comes down to at all. The university decided that displaying a "support the Troops" sticker is an expression of a political opinion (which it is not) as opposed to an expression of support for the troops (which it clearly is)- and sold it by saying "some people may think this- therefore it is so." Once that was accomplished, they tricked people like you into thinking that the whole debate is about whether or not state employees have the right to express their political opinions. It's an evil trick, but it only works on stoopid people. Sorry. Just read some blogs and you'll get more smarter, I promise.

For you really smart folks out there- I give you this (thanks again, Jordan):

Email University President Dave Frohnmayer ( or call his office at 541.346.3036 and let him know how you feel about this policy.

Yes. Tell him what you think. It's fun!

Best Story of the Year Thus Far

This Washington Post article is the most informative and compelling piece of journalism I've seen in quite a while. Here's a teaser:

Imaad began to slap his mother, he said. "The American people are devils," Um Imaad recalled her son repeating.


"I used to have a good opinion of the Americans," Imaad said. "But they are the enemy. They are bad."

I know it sounds hard to believe, but please read the whole article. If you read it, you will learn absolutely nothing about American soldiers and even less about Iraqi people. Instead, you will discover how painfully easy it is to be a journalist in today's market. You will begin to understand why more and more people are turning to publications like US Weekly and People for their news and information. No, let me finish. You will hate yourself for laughing about a guy who slaps his momma, but if you go visit Tim Blair's site- you will find comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

So You Say You Support The Troops?

Hello again. Sorry I've been so scarce. Lots going on these days. I'll get things moving here shortly, I promise. In the meantime, here's a great scoop from Russ Vaughn- thanks, Russ!

So You Say You Support The Troops? 2d Ed.

It's so easy to say you support the troops, regardless of which side you come down on in the issue of the War in Iraq itself. Yeah, you can send care packages and put yellow ribbon magnets on your car to make you feel all warm and fuzzy that you're doing your own small part. You can do as I do and use forums such as this one to expound the viewpoint of the folks we send in harm's way, hoping that someway, somehow, someone who can make a difference may read your rant and actually do that something that makes a difference.

But right now, folks, we have a rare opportunity, a seldom-held power for ordinary citizens, to actually do something for the troops that will bring them more comfort than any supportive letters or boxes of cookies and candy ever possibly could. You see, right now we have the ability to provide them with comfort of mind, to lift a mental and emotional burden that they all carry with them when they enter any theater of combat. We hold in our collective hands the ability to grant them assurance that should the worst befall them, we, their grateful nation, will provide for their loved ones in a manner that will approximate what they would have provided in the normal course of their lives.

Under current law, Uncle Sam is a rather parsimonious patron when it comes to providing for the families of fallen warriors. For example, when an American is killed in combat, the surviving spouse receives a one-time death gratuity of $12,400. Service Member's Group Life Insurance coverage (SGLI) up to $250,000 is available for those service members who can afford to pay the premiums. If the fallen trooper has been in service for an extended period of time, the surviving family may also qualify for the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), which is paid up to age 62 or until the spouse remarries. This SBP benefit is limited to 55 percent of the soldier's retirement pay, in the pay grade at the time of death. With so many combat deaths occurring among the youngest service members, we must keep in mind that this is frequently a pay grade that actually qualifies the family for food stamps and aid for dependent children.

The annual base pay of a sergeant E-5, with six years of service is less than $30,000. With twenty years service his retirement benefit is half of that. Think for a moment what 55 percent of less than $15,000 amounts to. Think about being a young widow trying to raise small children on less than $700 a month. And for lower pay grades, which constitute the majority of combat deaths, the situation is even grimmer because most of them will not have served long enough for their families to qualify for even this miserly benefit. Even if the service member is insured to the maximum amount, an unlikelihood for younger troops, think about how little $250,000 amounts to over the twenty-plus years required to raise and educate children in today's world.

Now think about the benefits conferred by our government on the survivors of 9/11. Yes, think about it long and hard: millions awarded to families because their loved one happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Millions handed to them not because their loved one had volunteered for the hard service of fighting in combat, but had simply shown up for work. Tell me, America: where's the justice in this situation?

Fortunately, there are some in government who have taken notice of this gross injustice and are preparing to attempt a legislative correction long overdue. Senator Joe Lieberman, D-CT, and Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL, are scheduled to introduce the Honoring Every Requirement of Exemplary Service (HEROES) Act on January 24th. This legislation will increase the benefit paid to the survivors of military personnel killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and future conflicts, from $12,400 to $100,000, retroactive to October 2001. The benefit for non-combat deaths will remain at $12,400. The Act will raise SGLI Insurance coverage from $250,000 to $400,000, with the government paying the premiums for the first $150,000 for military personnel serving in a combat zone, also retroactive to October 2001.

So you say you support the troops? Then as soon as you finish reading this, start hammering that keyboard and let your two senators and your congressman know that you expect no less than their full support for early passage of the HEROES Act. To a person, they all swear they support the troops, regardless of party affiliation or individual positions on the war. Let them know, their future electoral efforts will, in your mind, be dependent upon their actions on behalf of those troops and those families who have given that last full measure of devotion, to their nation.

Want a place to start? For a list of sites with congressional contacts, go here:,GGLD:2004-16,GGLD:en&q=contacting+congress

Get off your butts, America and show you really do support the troops.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne DivisionVietnam 65-66

Paulette Supports the Troops

An excellent email from our friend Paulette Nelson:

Hey !! I wanted to share something with you. Last night I went to Hunter Army Air field, here in Savannah. I went as a volunteer for the USO. It was first trip and I sort of nervous. I get really emotional when it comes to certain things. And our troops as you probably know happen to be one of those things. There were a couple hundred troops from the 3rdID leaving last night. So I went to help. My job was hand out Krispy Kreme doughnuts! OH NO not Krispy Kreme!! I LOVE those sugar balls!! Anyway, I was so amazed at how relaxed and young these guys were!! They were ready to do their job. I watched them line up and board the plane. I was lucky enough to be on the tarmac when they left. I stood in the 30* temp waving a tiny flag. I watched a plane filled with American pride disappear into the night sky. I watched the lights until I could no longer see them. I wish I could describe what I saw and the feelings that I felt. I am overcome by the emotions today. I hope I can go back many many more times. I wish I could have thanked each one of them. But instead I had several actually thank ME! Thank ME for standing there and handing out doughnuts. They made a special effort to come and say thank you. There are just no words to express my gratitude to them or to you. Take care my friend.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are the best. Thanks, Paulette- and thanks to all the other great Americans who take the time to send us off and welcome us home. I know there are lots of you out there, because I'm a multiple beneficiary of your efforts...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Back In the Saddle

Thanks for all the kind words- it's really great to be back. Let me try to catch up with a few things that I missed during the hiatus:

1) Charles Graner: I agree with Black5- he should've gotten the max. Still, I won't complain. Kudos to the military jury that saw fit to ignore the outrageous defense thoery that he was "following orders." As if somebody would ever give the order to play naked twister with a bunch of prisoners and expect it to be followed. If I had been given such an order and been dumb enough to follow it, I'd be ashamed to admit it. Anyway- my heart goes out to the child that Charles and Lynndie conceived. Good luck, kiddo...

2) To everybody who's been asking me about what's happening in Fallujah: It should be obvious. You're not hearing anything about it on the MSM. Draw your own conclusions. Remember when Najaf was the hottest topic of the day? Whatever happened to Najaf?

3) Brad and Jennifer: I'm just as stunned as everyone else. To the best of my knowledge, the Pentagon had nothing to do with this unfortunate split. That doesn't mean that Rumsfeld won't have to answer some questions about it- stay tooned.

4) To anyone who sent me an email during the last 2 weeks: I'll respond, I promise. Please give me a couple days. Thanks for caring enough to write. I greatly appreciate all your emails and comments.

More Current Stuff

I watched the exchange between Condi Rice and Barbara Boxer today. It reminded me of my last post before the hiatus- that big debate we had. I think Ms. Rice handled it well. We'll hear more about this...

The Iraqi Election is coming up. It will happen, and it will be historic. I'll devote all of next week's post to this subject, and I have a "Cut to the Chase" interview set up for the 24th. It'll probably be available for streaming on the 25th. I promise to deliver the most honest and informative assessment possible.

Has anyone heard Sean Hannity's new Weekly Wrap-up segment? It's some of the funniest stuff ever. I love the guy who does the Ted Kennedy impression. They're all really good with the voices. There's a free link on his site right now. Go check it out...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Long Time Gone

Has it really been almost 2 weeks? I think time flies faster in the US. It sure is nice to be back home. Thanks for all the nice comments and emails.

I didn't mean to imply that I was "retiring" from the blogosphere- I'm just not sure what direction I'm going to take with this thing as I make my big transition into the civilian sector. No big deal- I'm sure I'll figure something out. There's plenty of time for all that.

In the short term, we've got some work to do. The Iraqi elections are coming up. I've got some ideas.

Somebody suggested that I renovate the site- give it a big facelift or something. I'm open to change. We'll see what happens.

On Tuesday the 18th, the Forum will once again be open for business. Hope to catch you then...

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Begin Hiatus

Well, folks- the time has come at last. In just a matter of hours, I'll be climbing aboard a great big piece of tin foil that will somehow transport me to my beloved homeland. I'm obviously very excited, and of course I'll be taking some time off from the ol' blogosphere whilst I tend to personal matters. I'm not sure what will happen to this blog in 2005. I like the Commissar's indefinite light blogging idea, but I'll just have to see how it goes.

Some of you may not know this, but in two months I'll be a civilian for the first time since I was 17. Yep, I'm getting out of the Army. It's an Unqualified Resignation from Active Duty- no National Guard, no Reserves. A clean break. This is a decision I made a few years ago, so it's not like I've been doing a lot of soul searching or anything like that. I've enjoyed every minute of my time in the service, and the Army's done more for me than I'll ever be able to put into words. I'm just ready to move on and enjoy other things in life. That doesn't mean I'll stop supporting the cause. I'll just be serving in a different way.

In the meantime, please visit the sites on my blogroll- I put them there because I really like them, and I think they're run by great people. Also, please continue to check the Desert Sky website for updates.

If you're ever in the mood for something "different"- I invite you to check out my brother's site. Yes, we have very different political philosiphisies (my word- I invented it), but we're the best of friends and we both want to help make the world a better place. He is the "yin" to my "yang"- and he's the smartest kid I've ever known. Listen to his music- the kid's a genuis. You might laugh when you see his "optimistic" plans for the Acoustic Circus, but trust me when I tell you- he'll be laughing all the way to the bank when he pulls it off! Most of my family believes he'll wind up being a wealthy Republican Senator after he gets tired of showbiz...but I digress.

Many have asked what I'll be doing and where I'll be living and all that- the truth is I just don't know. I'm sure I'll find something great out there, but it's really not something that anybody needs to be concerned about. As I've said before, this blog was never meant to be about me (today is just an anomoly)- it's supposed to be about the troops who are deployed, who have been deployed, and those who will be deployed. If I can use my combat experience and things I've learned on Active Duty to help debunk fascist mythos or help people understand what's going on over here, then I'm honored to do so. Mostly because I know that it will ultimately help those who chose to answer the call- as well as those who care enough to support them.

Thanks to all of you for making this last "mini-deployment" so much more enjoyable (and rewarding) than it otherwise would have been...

Hang Your Head in Shame

I wasn't going to touch on this topic, but the outrage has become more than I can bear. How can anyone- I mean anyone- find it in their heart to politicize or in any way agendicize (my word- I invented it) the Tsunami Disaster? It boggles the mind to think that anyone (other than maybe Osama bin Laden) can do this. But it happens. I won't rant about it. It's been done already. Here's what John Podhoretz had to say about the Bush-bashing opportunists from hell:

The political and ideological exploitation of perhaps the worst natural disaster in all our lifetimes is almost beyond belief — were it not for the fact that nothing these days is beyond belief.

Even as tears spring into the most hard-hearted person's eyes at both the unimaginable scope of the tragedy and at the wrenching individual stories of loss, opinion leaders just can't help themselves.

They are using this cataclysm as little more than cheap debate fodder about the nature and character of the United States, its president and its citizens.

Don't misunderstand.

It is fine and proper to have a debate and discussion about the degree of generosity the United States could, should and must show in the wake of this literally earth-shaking event.

But at this moment, the United States is not the issue.

The foreign-aid budget of the United States is not the issue.

Our government should not be the focal point of the discussion right now.

Don't we owe the dead, dying and injured the minimal grace not to convert their suffering into a chat-show segment — the latest left-right clash over the Bush Presidency?

And couldn't the editorialists at The New York Times have forborne — even just for a week — making use of the tsunami to complain about U.S. government spending on "development aid"?

There's more.

Here's what Neal Boortz had to say about the anti-American opportunists from hell:

In the meantime, certain people aren't missing the opportunity to use this disaster to attack the United States and President Bush. CNN was carrying a video clip yesterday showing a disaster survivor screaming "Please tell the world, where is America?" Bear in mind, there is no way in the world that this individual could have had any idea as to who was doing what insofar as relief efforts were concerned. He had just survived a terrible natural disaster and may well have lost members of his family, and there he is asking "Where is America?" His screams just validate what most of us already know ... when times get rough pretty well anywhere in the world the people affected look to America for help. One day they may be demonstrating outside an American embassy demanding for the withdrawal of all things American from their part of the world, and they next day they reflexively look to America for rescue.

America will once again show its generosity and goodness to the world as this disaster unfolds. Ironically it is the very strength that allows us to help at times like these that will insure the continuation of the animosity against our country. It might be a good time to remember that poll that was taken just prior to the presidential election. A surveyed showed that 58% of the various nationalities polled wanted to see the United States and its role in world affairs weakened. A weakened United States could not respond to this disaster in as meaningful a way. These people will put aside their desires for American weakness until this tragedy is passed. Then it will be back to business as usual.

There's more to this one as well. Make sure you go and check out the picture he shows with this post. Make sure you have a barf-bag handy.

If you find anyone spouting off with any of this nonsense, then by all means- command them to hang their head in shame. There's just no excuse...

Meet Logan, Iraqi Boy Wonder

This just in from my new favorite Milblog- In Iraq for 365 (thanks, Andre):

Iraqi boy assists Soldiers as an interpreter and a friend
MOSUL, Iraq – If the Army had an adopt-a-child program, Logan would be the poster child. For more than a year, the 13-year-old boy, who contends he’s 13 and a half, has lived and worked with Coalition forces at a forward operating base in Mosul. The boy speaks four languages and his official title at the FOB is translator and supervisor, but he is a Soldier at heart.

“I want to be an American Soldier when I grow up,” he said. “I really want to be a specialist because those are the guys doing all the work.” With tours with the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division and the Stryker Brigade, when Logan enlists, he may be the most experienced private to ever join the Army.

Go read it. Quick!

Back to the War

Great debate about my last post- if you haven't read the comments, please read them. I believe that the most valuable information and perspectives come out in debates. Real debates- not scripted dog and pony shows.


There's a great post about Chalabi at the Iraqi Elections Blog. I met him when he visited Mosul last year (before he "fell from grace"). I'm not sure what to think of the guy. When the professors complained about pay, he blamed it on the US. We had been breaking our backs trying to fix the pay issues- but the red tape disaster that existed in Baghdad was difficult to overcome. We weren't to blame- Chalabi was. But he ducked the shot and laid the blame on us while we were standing right next to him! Unbelievable. On the other hand, Geraldo Rivera likes the guy. I'm so confused. Anyway- read the article before you form your own opinion. And make sure you bookmark this site! It's important stuff, I assure you.

And Finally

Hope everyone is enjoying a spectacular New Year!