Saturday, December 31, 2005
Meet Baby Noor(via Mudville Gazette)
" High above the clouds, Delta Air Lines Captain David Damare had something to tell the passengers on Flight 15 from Frankfurt to Atlanta.
All of Delta’s customers were special, he said. But Saturday there was a particularly special person on board. Her name was Noor al-Zahra.
She was three months old and traveling from her native Iraq all the way to Atlanta to receive surgery to correct a life-threatening problem in her spinal cord.
“We are very excited about this trip,” said Soad. “We are thankful to the people of Georgia.”
Sergeant's gutsy push nets Navy Cross
"Sgt. Maj. William Skiles, who was with Austin that brutal morning in Fallouja, will presented the award — the nation's third-highest medal for bravery in combat."
"All the Marines stepped up, and Aaron led the way," Skiles said.
Marine Who 'Wouldn't Quit Fighting' Is Honored
St. Mary, Kan., native earns Bronze Star
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Description: Sale Number: 1678. Quantity: 4. (4) LIGHT ARMORED RECONNAISSANCE VEHICLE TIRES WITH RIMS, MICHELIN X RADIAL TIRE SIZE 11.00-R16-XL. Lot URL: http://web.govliquidation.com/auction/view?id=737034
"The new vehicles are being purchased with war-emergency funds that were appropriated by Congress last year. A bare-bones LAV hull costs about $1 million. A weapons turret ranges from $1.5 million to $2.5 million each.
A purchase agreement for the 120 LAVs was expected in early 2006, said a spokesman for the manufacturer, General Dynamics Land Systems. The vehicles will be delivered about 18 months after the contract is signed."
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Leonard Perez , Sgt. Mario Perez - DefendAmerica News Article
Sunday, December 25, 2005
This is not your old man's war : Dramatic contrast to VN War U.S. Troops now are treated to strangers' spontaneous bursts of gratitude/v-LA-Times
"Many Americans have conflicted feelings about the Iraq war, but not about the warriors. The gestures of gratitude and generosity that occur with regularity at Peggy Sue's — across Interstate 15 from Ft. Irwin, a military desert training site — have become commonplace across the United States.From Heckles to Halos - Los Angeles Times
A spontaneous standing ovation for a group of soldiers at Los Angeles International Airport. Three $20 bills passed to a serviceman and his family in a grocery store in Georgia. A first-class seat given up to a servicewoman on a plane out of Chicago.
These bursts of goodwill have little to do with the holiday season or with political sentiments about the war. In contrast to the hostile stares that greeted many Vietnam veterans 40 years ago, today's soldiers are being treated as heroes throughout the year, in red states and blue, by peace activists and gung-ho supporters of the Iraq mission. The gestures are often spontaneous, affiliated with no association or cause, and credit is seldom claimed.
"It makes you feel great. It may just be a burger and a shake, but it's the thought behind it," said Parks, 41, who has served two tours in Iraq. Stationed at Ft. Jackson, S.C., he goes to Barstow regularly for training.
"My father went over to Vietnam three times, and he felt like he was not respected," Parks said. "Sometimes he felt like he was not even an American. But I see a big difference. I feel we're appreciated. An airport is about the best place for a soldier to be."
Bobbi Fedricks hugs her son, Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Firman, at Camp Pendleton, Calif., after he arrived home in October 2004 from his first tour in Iraq. Firman is now on his second tour with First LAR. A couple of weeks ago Rumsfeld pinned a Bronze Star on him for actions under fire. For Christmas, "she gave him a light that attaches to his M-16 rifle, a light that illuminates rooms as he and other Marines clear buildings across Iraq"
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Military News - Blackanthem.com
Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lutz, Cpl. Byron Smith and Cpl. Justin Glass hold up phone cards they had just received from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, Dec. 23. The Wal-Mart Corporation gave Rumsfeld $125,000 worth of pre-paid telephone calling cards to pass out among the troops. Senior noncommissioned officers have distributed them to American servicemembers all over the Middle East. Photo by Jim Garamone
Have your kids join in the fun folks, this is a very cool program.
NORAD TRACKS SANTA"
Friday, December 23, 2005
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Military News - Blackanthem.com
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Vice President Surprises Service Members at Al Asad: "Corporal Jeffery A. Firman, a 20-year-old light armored vehicle crewman from 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion had his Bronze Star pinned on by the Vice President of the United States during a surprise visit to Iraq. Firman was awarded the Bronze Star for exposing himself to enemy fire to rescue wounded Marines during a firefight. After seeing Marines fall under machine gun and small arms fire, Firman returned fire, directed his vehicle toward the wounded, carried wounded Marines to safety and then returned to his vehicle to provide fire, covering the Marines’ evacuation. “It was awesome, but I was nervous at the same time,” Firman said. “Of all the things you go through, I never expected to have the vice president give me a Bronze Star.”
After the presentation the VP took questions from the Marines. Firman asked the VP:
"From our perspective, we don't see much as far as gains. We're looking at small-picture stuff, not many gains. I was wondering what it looks like from the big side of the mountain — how Iraq's looking."
"Well, Iraq's looking good," Cheney replied, noting that progress is difficult.
"We're getting the job done. It's hard to tell that from watching the news. But I guess we don't pay that much attention to the news," he said.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
which required a 3/5 vote result to pass, failed 52-to-47 (with one non-voting senator).
Rupblicans to remember in November. Voting NO:
Larry Craig (R-ID),Chuck Hagel,(R-NE) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK),John Sununu (R-NH)
Thursday, December 15, 2005
"... conclusions of intelligence analysts , ... contradict the commonly held notion that Islam is a peaceful religion hijacked or distorted by terrorists. They've found that the terrorists for the most part are following a war-fighting doctrine articulated through Muhammad in the Quran, elaborated on in the hadiths, codified in Islamic or sharia law, and reinforced by recent interpretations or fatwahs.
FrontPage magazine.com :: The Pentagon Breaks the Islam Taboo by Paul Sperry
"Islam is an ideological engine of war (Jihad)," concludes the sensitive Pentagon briefing paper. And "no one is looking for its off switch.".....
The internal document explains that Islam divides offensive jihad into a "three-phase attack strategy" for gaining control of lands for Allah. The first phase is the "Meccan," or weakened, period, whereby a small Muslim minority asserts itself through largely peaceful and political measures involving Islamic NGOs -- such as the Islamic Society of North America, which investigators say has its roots in the militant Muslim Brotherhood, and Muslim pressure groups, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, whose leaders are on record expressing their desire to Islamize America.
In the second "preparation" phase, a "reasonably influential" Muslim minority starts to turn more militant. The briefing uses Britain and the Netherlands as examples.
And in the final jihad period, or "Medina Stage," a large minority uses its strength of numbers and power to rise up against the majority, as Muslim youth recently demonstrated in terrorizing France, the Pentagon paper notes.
It also notes that unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam advocates expansion by force. The final command of jihad, as revealed to Muhammad in the Quran, is to conquer the world in the name of Islam. The defense briefing adds that Islam is also unique in classifying unbelievers as "standing enemies against whom it is legitimate to wage war."
Right now political leaders don't understand the true nature of the threat,\ it says, because the intelligence community has yet to educate them. They still think Muslim terrorists, even suicide bombers, are mindless "criminals" motivated by "hatred of our freedoms," rather than religious zealots motivated by their faith. And as a result, we have no real strategic plan for winning a war against jihadists. Even many intelligence analysts and investigators working in the field with the Joint Terrorism Task Forces have a shallow understanding of Islam.
"I don't like to criticize our intelligence services, because we did win the Cold War," says a Northern Command intelligence official. "However, all of these organizations have made only limited progress adjusting to the current threat or the sharing of information."
Why? "All suffer heavily from political correctness," he explains.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud Writes 20 million buckaroo check to Georgetown U. "for the study of Islam and the Muslim world"
"He said that during last month's street protests in France, the US television network Fox -- owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in which Al-Walid himself has shares -- ran a banner saying: 'Muslim riots.'Tell me that 40 million to Georgetown and Hahvard doesn't come w/a long leash and a phone tied to Prince Charming's office. Gee, you think he'd mind if, maybe,
'I picked up the phone and called Murdoch... (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty,' he said.
'Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots.'"
Georgetown could use a fraction of the 20 million to set up an adjunct for its plans to "use the gift, the second-largest in its history, to expand its Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding." and fund a chair on our First Amendment Made Simple for Muslim students.
I know the Marriott, just down the road from the campus, would appreciate the news. Last month the poor little hotel keepers were so scared of Moslem students kicking their butt if they allowed The Peoples Truth Forum to hold a conference so close to the campus they just flat out said 'get lost':
Keith Thomas, Marriott Special Services Department, Corporate Headquarters, November 16, 2005:
"Due to the high density of Muslim students on the Georgetown campus, members of the staff at Marriott Georgetown were afraid of the potential for violent protests, injured hotel employees and property damage. This is the official stance of the Marriott Corporation."
"Patrick Hardy, Sales Manager for Marriott Georgetown, November 11, 2005: “I need to inform you that you will not be permitted to host your event on the hotel grounds, because your organization is not only too controversial, but the venue is not appropriate for this type of function. Marriott corporate headquarters was contacted about this and was supportive of our decision.”
PTF is an organization devoted to educating the public on national security consequently any speakers that are invited speak at their forums are experts in their field and not just any Harry Homemaker with an opinion.
Forbes.com: Forbes World's Richest People
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
December 13, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Sunday, December 11, 2005
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Thomas Paine 1737-1809
The idea that we are going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong.
— Howard Dean
And there is no reason… that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the — of — the historical customs, religious customs.
— John Kerry
The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It is time to bring them home.
Some will object to the word, "surrender," but there is no other word to describe the immediate withdrawal of troops from the war zone in Iraq. The simple fact is that two of the nation's three highest-ranking Democrats are advocating an enemy victory over U.S. forces in a foreign land. That not only is appalling in its contempt for the troops who have died to liberate Iraq, it is astonishing in its brazen disregard for the lives and well-being of the Iraqi people". The Union Leader
Saturday, December 10, 2005
* "Abu Harira al-Hijazi": A foreign-born suicide bomber from the Hijaz region (in western Saudi Arabia and Yemen) who insisted to his Al-Qaida commanders, "I want to launch a martyrdom operation against the apostates. I don’t want to launch one against the Americans. Indeed, there are those who would like to see an operation carried out against the Americans, but it is the apostates who are the true scum. I have a priority and I cannot help but notice how others are refraining from seeking revenge on the apostates."
* "Abu Umair al-Suri al-Halabi": A foreign-born suicide bomber from "Greater Syria" (i.e. Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories) who was part of a devastating twin suicide attack on "the headquarters of the Polish forces in the city of Karbala" with another Kuwaiti Al-Qaida operative.
* "Al-Hajji" Thamer Mubarak Atrous: A former Iraqi military officer who abandoned the Baath Party and became one of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's top terrorist operatives, judged "directly responsible—serving as deputy commander—for carrying out two of the greatest operations that were launched in Iraq": "the killing of the enemy of Allah, servant of the Jews, and leader of the infidels, Mohammed Bakr al-Hakim, [and] the first attack against the United Nations headquarters that wiped out many infidel leaders, including their top leader Sergio de Mello." Al-Hajji Thamer's sister, Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, was the failed female Al-Qaida suicide bomber who targeted the Radisson Hotel in Amman, Jordan on Nov. 9, 2005.
* "Abu Hamza al-Urdani" (a.k.a. Nidal Mohammed Arabiyat): A hardened Jordanian Al-Qaida operative trained in Afghanistan as an expert in the manufacture of VBIEDs (car bombs) who "played a role in most of the martyrdom operations that were carried out [in Iraq] prior to his death", including "but not limited to—the killing of [Mohammed Bakr] al-Hakim, as well as the killing of [Sergio] De Mello from the United Nations... the attacks against the Italian forces, and the assaults on the al-Shahin Hotel and the Nabil restaurant."
Friday, December 09, 2005
Al Harbi has appealed his sentence of 750 lashes w/the whip and three years and four months in prison for the crime of trying to enlighten his students on the dangers of extremism. There is no current news about his appeal or if the sentence of 750 lashings has begun.
From OP 29 Online
Ayersman and his platoon were providing security for civil affairs personnel traveling in a mounted assault patrol to a hospital in Hit, Iraq. After the mission concluded, two light armored vehicles became stuck in the mud.
A third vehicle began recovery efforts when suspicious movement was seen in nearby buildings, said Ayersman, who has been deployed to Iraq once before.
"We set up our turret and readied our [tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile] just in case," said Ayersman.
Immediately after, small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds began raining upon the approximately 60 Marines in 3rd Platoon and the MAP unit.
"From my vantage point on my LAV, I could see the plumes coming from the mortars [in front of me]," said the 32-year-old Ayersman.
"I actually had to shove my driver down and slam the hatch on him in order to swing my machine gun around," continued Ayersman. "I keyed in right on the insurgents when they started firing and the other Marines keyed in on my direction of fire."
Ayersman received praise from fellow Marines and in his citation for maintaining his calm during the attack.
"I know he was so steadfast that his calmness really calmed everyone else," said Cpl. Joshua S. Adams, who was also submitted for a Bronze Star and was Ayersman's TOW gunner. "People were yelling and screaming on the radio, and he came on and was very calm and spoke in a normal voice that they could all hear and it really reassured everybody."
After Ayersman radioed to his commander, authorization was given to fire the TOW missile at the mortar positions, which were hidden and firing from behind two walls.
While continuing to suppress enemy fire with his machine gun, Ayersman gave fire commands to Adams. Adams made ready to launch the missile when it misfired.
"When the TOW misfired, my training kicked in, and I knew almost instinctively what was wrong and I was able to fix that," said Adams.
When the hasty wiring repairs were completed, Ayersman gave fire commands again to Adams, who successfully launched the TOW missile over the walls more than 300 meters and down onto the enemy mortar position.
"After we fired the TOW, it was pretty quiet," said Ayersman. "We continued our recovery operations and carried on from there."
"I think it's simply amazing that after all the small arms fire, the mortars, and the RPGs that no one was injured at all," added Ayersman.
During the attack, Ayersman was pelted with shrapnel from a nearby mortar round hit. Shrapnel hit him in the face and helmet and knocked his goggles off.
"The concussion of that mortar threw me back into my hatch," said Ayersman. "I checked myself out real quick and I was fine, so I grabbed my machine gun and fired back at them again."
Adams received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device alongside Ayersman.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Wesley Pruden ,editor in chief of The Washington Times nails it just right with this:"Better to confront misinformation with facts and trust the people to recognize the difference."
The Washington Times, "Mr. Rumsfeld is right about the double standard by which most of the reporters and their editors measure American sacrifice. A dispatch by Reuters, the British news agency that stubbornly refuses to call terrorists 'terrorists,' grudgingly reported a few paragraphs of what the secretary said and then cited a three-month old speech by a tiresome Senate critic of the war 'about the increased detentions and shootings by U.S. forces of reporters in Iraq.'
But citing the shortcomings of the media, which are many, and the bad faith of many of the reporters covering the Bush administration, which is well documented, is a fool's errand. Better to confront misinformation with facts and trust the people to recognize the difference.
For months the president and his men studiously declined to do that. 'The strategic decision was to be forward-looking,' a senior White House aide tells Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. 'The public was more interested in the future and not the past.'
This is the kind of cliche the public-relations geniuses learn in 'schools of communications' and are wont to parrot when the grown-ups, like Karl Rove, are busy elsewhere trying to stay out of the way of ambitious special prosecutors and their compliant grand juries. Only a president with a degree from the Harvard School of Business would listen. Unfortunately, the public listens, too, and when scabrous partisan attacks go unanswered real damage is done. George W. watched his Gallup approval ratings sink from 52 percent just after his second inaugural, almost exactly his margin of victory, to 37 percent last week.
But now everyone at the White House appears to be awake, and the president and his men have found their fighting clothes. They can't afford to go back to bed."
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
He said that during last month's street protests in France, the US television network Fox -- owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation in which Al-Walid himself has shares -- ran a banner saying: 'Muslim riots.'
'I picked up the phone and called Murdoch... (and told him) these are not Muslim riots, these are riots out of poverty,' he said.
'Within 30 minutes, the title was changed from Muslim riots to civil riots.'"
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Ave N.W.
Washington D.C 20307-5001
Monday, December 05, 2005
Last month, Muriel Degauque committed suicide by blowing herself up in a stupid attack against U.S. troops. Muriel succeeded in being the only casualty. She also acquired the dubious distinction of being the first European convert to Islam to blow herself up. Muriel converted to Islam after marrying her second husband, Issam Goris, seven years her junior, a Belgian of Moroccan origin. Muriel and Issam entered Iraq together and he was killed in still unconfirmed circumstances while trying to set up a separate suicide blow up.
"'She was absolutely normal as a kid,' said Jeannine Samain, who lives a few doors down from the Degauque family home in the shadows of a towering coal pile. 'When it snowed, they would go to the hill together with the sled.'"
She recalled the last time she saw Degauque, eight months ago: 'She was veiled. By that time she would just say 'bonjour' and that was it.'"
Reward 50000 Danish Krone or $7854.97 US for Death of Danish Cartoonists who Criticized Islam| The Brussels Journal
Plan to get out of Pakistan ASAP if you are Danish or cancel your trip as the thugs at Jamaat-e-Islami are gunning for you as a substitude for the Danish cartoonists.
The bounty now offered by the Jamaat-e-Islami for the murder of the Danish cartoonists is 50,000 Danish crowns (6,725 euros) or 7854.97 USD. The Danish ambassador in Pakistan, Bent Wigotski, said the Pakistani party ordered all Danish diplomats out of Dodge, pronto.
Wigotski admitted that the situation was nevertheless serious. “They might want to get to the Danish illustrators, but if they cannot reach them, they could make do with a scapegoat,” he said. The embassy has warned that the scapegoat could be anybody and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel advisory for Pakistan warning Danes not to visit the country.
Bounty Offered for Murdering Cartoonists | The Brussels Journal
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Dhimmitude begins At Home-Marriott in Georgetown aka You can't meet here cause It is FORBIDDEN to criticize Islam ---bad for business-get lost, bud
Dhimmi Watch: Kaufman and Epstein: CAIR Hotel Hell:Keith Thomas, Marriott Special Services Department, Corporate Headquarters, November 16, 2005: “Due to the high density of Muslim students on the Georgetown campus, members of the staff at Marriott Georgetown were afraid of the potential for violent protests, injured hotel employees and property damage. This is the official stance of the Marriott Corporation.”"
"Patrick Hardy, Sales Manager for Marriott Georgetown, November 11, 2005: “I need to inform you that you will not be permitted to host your event on the hotel grounds, because your organization is not only too controversial, but the venue is not appropriate for this type of function. Marriott corporate headquarters was contacted about this and was supportive of our decision.”
"Peter Cantone, General Manager for Marriott Georgetown, November 14, 2005: “Your event is too controversial to be held on the property. This decision is based upon business considerations, as the event would call for heightened security since protestors might be attracted from both the student body and off campus. I’m concerned that these protestors might block the main hotel entrance, leading to confrontations with hotel guests and/or room cancellations. Our decision was made due to the objectionable content on your group’s website. Marriott corporate headquarters did not play a role in our decision.”
"The People's Truth Forum (PTF) is a non-partisan, fact-based organization founded with in order to educate the public on issues concerning national security. To do this, PTF creates panels and symposiums featuring only top experts in the field of counter-terrorism. PTF’s website is no more than a news clearinghouse that utilizes published stories from all mainstream media sources. There is nothing illegitimate about what this group does or with whom this group associates."
"That said, why would this hotel -- a hotel that is part of an upstanding corporate chain -- bar a well-intentioned group such as this from using its facilities? What could make them so afraid? The answer came two days later."
Keith Thomas, Marriott Special Services Department, Corporate Headquarters, November 16, 2005: “Due to the high density of Muslim students on the Georgetown campus, members of the staff at Marriott Georgetown were afraid of the potential for violent protests, injured hotel employees and property damage. This is the official stance of the Marriott Corporation.”"
TCS: Tech Central Station - The Riot Act: "it is forbidden to criticize Islam."
Navy QB Lamar Owens, voted MVP, in the latest match up that puts Navy ahead 50-49-7 was interviewed by New York Times reporterJOE LAPOINTE who noticed: Owens "had an insignia for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy on his jersey. He said he is going into surface warfare and could serve on a ship like that. On his left side, he wore an insignia that said First Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion Delta Daggers, the words surrounding a human skull with blades going through it. The patch also said, Tip of the Spear. Owens said he wore it to honor a classmate, Joey Kistler, who is commanding a platoon in Iraq.
Miserable Donuts: An Army Broken?:Unmitigated crap. And I don't say this out of defensiveness or service pride - I'll tell you about how far we have had to come ......What really infuriates me is that someone like Rep. Murtha knows better. Ask any veteran who served between 1975-1982/3 what the Army (or the rest of the Armed Forces for that matter) were like. Drugs everywhere, low pay, morale was non-existent, equipment was falling behind or scarce, there was no great sense of mission or purpose. ....... "Oh my Lord - I had joined an Army National Guard that was about to get dragged into readiness, professionalism and competence, whether it willed or no. The first field exercise I went to featured Miller High Life to wash down the first generation MREs. By 1988, things were WAY different. I remember taking a 14 hour convoy from central Illinois up to Ft. McCoy, WI. We went straight to the field site, tactically, and didn't come out for 12 days. When we did come out, it was just in time to take a strictly graded Physical Fitness Test, clean up, pack and convoy home the next morning. The look on some of the old-timer's faces was something I will NEVER forget.
But the Gulf War (I) showed that we still had a ways to go. The National Guard Brigade called up to go fight in Desert Shield/Desert Storm never made it. We still had work to do. Bosnia, 1996-onward showed that we were awfully close. I was part of the Army Reserve serving in Operation Joint Guard/Joint Endeavor (my time was FEB 1997-NOV 1997). We didn't do too badly - even the Regular Army folks said as much. But we weren't finished yet.
The Guard and Reserve had been getting shoved through two of the worst places God made (to steal a line from Lawrence of Arabia) JRTC and NTC. I thank the Almighty I only had to go through JRTC, and not both. The same beat-you-to-your-knees-training that the Regulars had to do. It helped. You never get so good an insight into your strengths and weaknesses as when you have been worn down to exhaustion, attacked constantly and been living in a frickin' bayou the whole time...in July.
As anyone who has read this blog knows, The Inner Prop and I served in Operation Enduring Freedom V (Afghanistan, March 2004-March 2005). We stood at the end of the longest sustained supply line in the history of human conflict. We were in war-torn Central Asia. Af-frickin'-ghanistan. We had decent food, e-mail, phone (OK, sometimes they weren't always working, but almost all the time) excellent medical support, good pay, regular (if slow) mail. We had a PXs at most of the larger bases, and coffee places sprang up too. We had so damned much ammunition that we needed to build a bigger ammunition supply point at Bagram, AF. We had so many vehicles that we were constantly squabbling over where to put them all - and we had enough up-armored ones too. Our supply warehouses were stuffed with clothing, boots, body armor and the like. 'Living hand to mouth' is the worst lie of the bunch.
The constant stream of re-enlistments was a revelation to me. When I was the Executive Officer of the garrison at Bagram Airfield (a job I gladly traded away after 5 months) I had to find room to more than double the size of the Retention Office. I personally administered the oath of re-enlistment to an E-5 and an E-7. The E-5 was a mother of two young children and the E-7 was eligible to retire when we got home!
Broken? Hardly. Is it difficult work? Yes."
Do not mistake hard work for foundering. Respectfully, Rep. Murtha - you are wrong. Dead wrong.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
He was among five people who died in an explosion Thursday in the North Waziristan tribal area. Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Rabia's remains were identified via a DNA test.
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2005) -- Like hail during a thunderstorm, the bullets landed all around the Marine as he simultaneously fired two M-16 service rifles, one in each arm. His own weapon and the weapon of his platoon sergeant, who was busy carrying another wounded Marine on his back to safety, continuously erupted as he methodically emptied magazine after magazine into the insurgent position.
The four Marines were in an open field in Fallujah, Iraq, with no cover. It was later called a miracle that any of them survived, especially considering that two rocket-propelled grenades had also been fired upon them, the shrapnel going every which way but inexplicably missing their flesh.
For his actions that day, and throughout Operation Iraq Freedom II, while serving in an officer’s billet as the platoon commander for 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Staff Sgt. Ralph Scott was awarded the Bronze Star with the “V” device — authorized for acts or service involving direct participation in combat operations.
But that medal only begins to tell the story of Scott, a man with an unyielding sense of duty toward his fellow Marines, according to his platoon sergeant who served with him that fateful day — Sgt. Michael Chambers of Lexington, S.C.
“When Staff Sergeant Scott first came to us in Charlie Company, all he said to us was, ‘My whole entire job — I don’t care if it takes my life — is to bring you all home,’” said Chambers, recalling his initial meeting with Scott. “I’m here to tell you that he stood behind his word.”
Nine of the 14 Marines in Charlie Company’s 1st Squad from 1st Platoon were wounded that day in Fallujah, but all of them survived, and are alive today, either directly or indirectly because of Scott’s leadership and actions, noted Chambers.
“Anybody from that platoon, seeing what he did …” started Chambers, his words drifting off into the contemplative reflection of a man who has seen things others care not to imagine. “My words can’t do him justice,” continued Chambers. “All I can say is you won’t meet another man like him. Every battle we were in, while Marines would naturally and instinctively hit the deck when the first barrage would hit, Staff Sergeant Scott would be there standing, already simultaneously returning fire. We would follow his lead. There’s no finer man, no fiercer warrior that the Marines have ever sent into battle than that man. I would go back to combat with him in a second.”
Chambers may get his chance, as both he and Scott are slated to deploy with 1/3 on its upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, although Scott, who currently serves as the 1/3 assistant operations chief, is no longer in Charlie Company.
“In my heart, I’m still with Charlie Company,” said Scott, a Tallahassee, Fla., native who joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17, soon after graduating high school. “Whatever job the Marine Corps gives me, I will do it to the best of my ability, but I’d be lying if I said I’d rather be here than back with the grunts.”
The men of Charlie Company said they felt the same way, in particular, the ones who served with Scott in Fallujah.
“Staff Sergeant Scott is one of those Staff NCOs who you can tell cares about his Marines,” said Lance Cpl. William Duffield, a 1/3 rifleman from Ridgway, Pa. “I saw with my own eyes the way he was over in Iraq. It would be hard for me to pick a particular day where he distinguished himself, because he was distinguishing himself every single day, every single battle. It makes me proud to know I served with him.”
“I got hit with 13 pieces of shrapnel from my legs all the way up my back in Iraq,” added Lance Cpl. Christopher Harris, a 1/3 rifleman from Jasper, Texas. “There were other Marines who got shot up worse than me that still lived. Sometimes I feel lucky to be alive. Marines like Staff Sergeant Scott are a big part of the reason we are still here, still breathing. He would never leave another Marine behind. We were like a big family over there. Staff Sergeant Scott knows what it’s like. He was raised in the grunts.”
Indeed, just two years into his first enlistment, Scott found himself in Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991, but he characteristically downplays the numerous accomplishments throughout his Marine Corps career.
“I wake up every morning, and I come to work,” said Scott. “Whether work happens to be behind a desk in Hawaii or on a battlefield in Iraq isn’t really the point. The point is to do your best and give your best effort at all times and in all situations.”
According to Maj. Michael Miller, 1/3 executive officer, Scott’s philosophy is one he respects.
“Nobody goes out and says, ‘Hey, I’m going to get the Navy Cross today or the Bronze Star today,’” said the Boalsburg, Pa., native. “You just stumble into a bad situation, and the only way to make it go away is to prevail over your foe. It is an exceptional person who steps up above and beyond what is considered normal duty — and those types of Marines have prevented some catastrophic events due to their personal actions.”
There is no argument among the Marines in Charlie Company who served with Scott in Iraq that he is one such Marine.
“He (Scott) stepped up to the plate in Iraq,” said Lance Cpl. Justin Deleon, a 1/3 anti-tank assaultman from Marquez, Texas. “He was holding an officer’s billet. He was an underdog, but he stepped up and delivered. Under his leadership, we all formed a bond in Charlie Company that can never be broken.”
“If Staff Sergeant Scott gets a mission, it gets done. Simple as that,” added Lance Cpl. Chris Berggren, a 1/3 rifleman from Lincoln, Neb. “Seeing with my own eyes what he did over in Iraq, it doesn’t surprise me at all he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor. He deserves it.”
As Scott prepares to deploy to Afghanistan, he reflected back to his days in Charlie Company.
“When I look back and think about Fallujah, I don’t think about the things I did,” remarked Scott. “I think about the things the Marines did. One of my squads was pretty much decimated from a casualty perspective, but they still kept fighting. Only by the grace of God, nobody was killed.”
According to Sgt. Maj. Michael Berg, 1/3 sergeant major, men like Scott are a breed apart.
“Most people hear gunfire and they run away from the danger,” said the Plymouth, N.H., native. “Marines don’t have that luxury. Marines run directly into danger, and Marines like Staff Sergeant Scott lead the way.”
Scott, a 1989 graduate of Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla., is currently in the process of writing a book about his experience in Iraq. He also plans on completing his degree in criminal justice from Florida State University before attending law school at FSU after he retires from the Marine Corps.
“I had two dreams as a kid,” said Scott. “The first one was to be a Marine. The second was to graduate from law school. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a practicing attorney, but I want to have the option.”
According to Scott, after retirement, he plans on settling down in Florida. Though he plans on doing some traveling with his wife Ingrid, including a trip to Europe, he said after seven deployments — Afghanistan will be his eighth — that he is ready to stay put for a while.
It was a deployment, however, that led to Scott meeting the woman who would eventually become his wife.
“I was on a goodwill float to South America in 1993 and was on liberty just walking around,” recalled Scott. “It was God’s will that we even met. We struck up a conversation, and after I returned to the U.S. we started corresponding, then dating, and eventually we married. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
For her part, Ingrid, a professional language translator, said she is proud of her husband’s accomplishments, but worries about him just the same.
“Before my husband left for deployment, I had the chaplain bless him,” said the Valparaiso, Chile native. “Having your husband deployed to combat is very stressful. I couldn’t find the words enough to describe the stress you go through; how you become a slave to the news — not knowing who’s dead — waiting endless hours for the knock at the door. It’s something that can really tear you apart.”
Ingrid said her faith in God and the emotional encouragement she has received from the 1/3 key volunteers has been a blessing.
“It helps so much, having the support of the other wives from 1/3,” commented Ingrid. “It makes you know that you’re not alone — that you’re not the only one going through it.”
As Scott gears up for another combat deployment, he speaks with the confidence of a man who knows what he’s headed for.
“I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I’ve been to war before,” said Scott. “I can tell you 1/3 is ready. I’m ready. The Marines will always be ready. That’s just a fact. Our commanders are the best infantry commanders in the world. They’re ready. They got a game plan. I’m excited — not for the purpose of loss of life, because I know Afghanistan is going to be hazardous — but from the perspective that I know we are ready to accomplish the mission. I feel totally confident.”
|Sgt. Joe Lindsay|
Story Identification #:
Students, faculty and community members dropped off supplies in four bins the group placed around SVSU's campus. Rotaract Club President Rosemary L. Kramer and Solosky also collected donations at a booth for two days shortly before Thanksgiving.
-2700 finished square feet -An additional full attic that can be finished. Attic has high peaked roof and runs the length of the house. Is accessed by stairs not a ladder. -2 bathrooms
-First floor has 10 foot ceilings (which means lots of storage and cupboard space in the kitchen! -Stained glass windows in every room of the house (even bathrooms and laundry room)
-Large new front porch which wraps around the front of the house -Shed -1 car garage with full attic (garage is 2 stories)
2 small storage rooms and 1 large main area
Furnace and Water Heater
Above the third floor:
Turret (finished with lighting and carpeting)
All rooms are large, bedrooms included. No small rooms here! No closets posing as bedrooms!
Friday, December 02, 2005
Delta Fourth LAR CO Major Benjamin Busch will have photo show University of Dayton's McGinnis Center through mid-December.
Busch — who plays detective Anthony Colicchio on the HBO series The Wire, and has appeared on The West Wing and Homicide: Life on the Street — will talk about his photographs at the center
He also will show new images he shot during his most recent deployment, which ended two months ago.
Those are part of another, "darker exhibit" titled "Occupation," he said.
"I was wounded this time and had two cameras destroyed by explosions during that deployment," Busch said Thursday.
The exhibited photos "do both the American military and the Iraqi people a certain unique justice," said Busch, 36.
"My photos are not pro-war; they're not anti-war. They don't say the war is a mistake or it is the best thing we have done. What they do say is, 'It was war, it was Iraq and we were there.' "
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
"Christian Peacemaker Teams, (aka CPT,) does not advocate the use of violent force to save lives of its workers should they be kidnapped, held hostage, or caught in the middle of a conflict situation."
Monday, November 28, 2005
Instapundit has the latest word from Bill Roggio. I especially liked the comment by Lifton.
BLOGGER-TURNED-REPORTER BILL ROGGIO reports back from a patrol on the Iraqi/Syrian border. He also sends this, by email: "My internet access has been limited but I'm having the time of my life in Iraq. I've had great access to all of the Marines and soldiers out here, and am being treated like royalty. These guys are extremely frustrated with the media and make no bones about their distaste for those who are undermining the war effort by calling for withdrawal."
Bill also has a report on Operation Steel Curtain.
UPDATE: Reader Jack Lifton emails:
You had a link this morning to a report from an embedded newsman in Iraq who said that the troops were frustrated by the lack of support from the folks at home (at least from the MSM) and by the operational advice being given to them by strategists from deep in their armchairs.
"I worked in military research and development during the Vietnam era. Many of my friends served in Vietnam and some didn't come home. At no time during that period do I remember morale being as high as it is now in the ranks. In those days a lot of the boys (there were very few girls) didn't have much education or exposure to high tech. My group designed, manufactured, tested, and trained them in the use of night vision equipment. I remember well our quiet pride and admiration for a soldier who had jumped into a river from a helicopter under fire to retrieve the latest starlight scope that had been lost by an injured comrade, so the enemy would not have access to it. This was at the same time as we all had a good laugh listening to Robert MacNamara tell the country that an electronic fence would keep the enemy at Bay and therefore the boys would be home by Christmas. Those of us working on the "electronic fence" knew that the junkyard dog smart Viet Cong wouldn't be stopped by this toy or MacNamara's strategic imagination....
"Today's troops are light-years ahead of Vietnam in education and technical awareness. Morale is high. They are fighting an army of thugs who cannot face them one-to-one and so try to "terrorize" the people on whose behalf our soldiers are fighting into asking them to leave. The thugs are in fact doing a good job on the self-absorbed opportunist seekers of power we call our elected representatives. They may have schemed themselves into and paid for some elections, but they don't represent those of us who know that you need to fight for freedom."
topcat marine security: "Charleston, SC February 23, 2005: Top Cat Marine Security (TCMS) delivered its 31’ Cobra Predator Patrol Boat to Calvert County Maryland’s Special Operations/Counterterrorism teams. The boat was purchased to combat the threat of terrorism toward its nuclear power plant and liquid natural gas facility both located on Chesapeake Bay.
Sheriff Mike Evans of the Calvert County Sheriff’s department, Ricky Thomas Head of the Special Operations team and Frank Wysocki, a 29 year Navy Seal team expert, Special Ops innovator, President of Survival Strategies and founder of Special Ops teams specializing in counterterrorism were all instrumental in selecting the 31’ Patrol boat. TCMS’s maritime experts also provided extensive training for the Special Ops team aboard the 31’ Predator.
According to Sheriff Evans” we needed a vessel that would allow us to stop violators and suspicious individuals in a rapid fashion. The way it took the waves, the way is handled was quite impressive”. Ricky Thomas went on to say “We looked at a variety of boats and were very impressed with Cobra’s ability to handle many sea states. It turns on a dime, this boat is set up for intercept work and we are delighted we got it.” Sgt. Steve Jones added, “The stability of the boat will allow our long gunners to stay on target while never losing sight range. The front end was very stable. That is key in patrolling and responding to a potential threat to our plants and our ports”."
Eagle Speak has a post detailing the news that this company also has the contract to do an S&D on pirates off the coast of Somalia. The pirates have a couple of motherships that operate further off the coast as well as the local puppies that work closer to the shore.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
"After learning the Marines were not in the mix, Rumsfeld decided that long-standing position should change. The Marines "wanted to do what they do, and they did not want that pool of people to be used for that function," Rumsfeld said. "I thought that was maybe fine before but not so good now." As initial steps, the Marines added liaison officers at SoCom and expanded training initiatives with the command, SoCom officials said.
To test the concept in a real-world setting, a small Marine Corps special operations outfit known as "Detachment One" deployed to Iraq last year.
Rumsfeld, however, kept pushing for a permanent commitment."
As U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine wrote in a 2003 article for National Review Online, "Special operations units in the Marines are not accorded the same respect [by the Marine leadership] as they are in other branches. The Marines view special operations as simply another realm of warfighting. Marines are Marines, and no individual Marine or Marine unit is considered more elite than the other." That's long been the Corps' approach to special operations, and one of the reasons the Marine Corps successfully resisted becoming a component part the U.S. Defense Department's Special Operations Command (SOCOM) when it was formed back in 1986.
Anyway, that's all agnst outside the air locker. No more talk of who is gonna eat whose lunch and though the brass and senior NCO's at Force Recon are worried about how they are going to replace the troops MARSOC will take-- the commander's intent has been given. The new "who ya' gonna' call" team is set for Camp Lejune w/a regimental HQ a couple of BN's, support group and a training unit that will work with foreign military units under the watchful eyes of Brigadier Dennis Hejlik.
Marines' Elite Unit Breaks Ground - News - MSNBC.com
Friday, November 25, 2005
Marine Corporal Brian Zwart of Fruitport, Michigan, said, "Serving my country is important but losing friends makes me more thankful for what I have and for what I used to take for granted.''
Lance Corporal Kyle Maxwell, a 21-year-old from Petaluma, California, said yes he could be sitting on a couch back home watching football with his dad. Right now he has an important mission at hand driving an LAV-25 war pig loaded with a reception committee of LAR Marines and an unforgiving 25 mm chain gun loaded for thuggies keeping America safe.
The Nation owes a great debt of gratitude and thanks for all Marines near and far. OOORAH!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Cpl. Stein shared his March to Baghdad photos with his students at Interboro High School:
By Alex Rose
"Retired Marine Cpl. Chris Stein, an alum and 11th-grade American history teacher at Interboro High School, where some 340 of his students got a more personal look at the war Tuesday during an all-day presentation of his own deployment.
"I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to share my experiences with the students of today so they can see it from a different perspective," said Stein, 31, a former reservist and Delco native now living in Oxford.
"And I guess it makes it even more special that it's within the community I grew up in. That adds to the experience of the situation."
Stein was activated for an eight-month tour of duty in February 2003. He was awaiting orders in Kuwait by the beginning of March, and when the war began March 17, Stein set out with the 157 other Marines of the 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion's Bravo Company to become a part of history.
"I think it hits a little more home when it's someone (students) know or someone they deal with," said Stein, having now traded dusty boots and tan fatigues for sensible shoes and striped ties.
Many of the pictures Stein showed his classes illustrated the lighter side of military life during "down time." With 10 days out of every 30 devoted to time off, sheer boredom gave birth to a syrup chugging contest and mock trial (someone was "sued" for child abuse after he let another Marine's pet scorpion escape).
But other photos showed all too clearly the constant danger the 4th was in during those other 20 days.
Marines slept in "graves" they'd dug next to their vehicles to avoid shrapnel from falling artillery - it explodes up and out, not down. There were images of burned-out or still flaming tanks, and one picture, taken on the second day of fighting, showed a giant fireball rising from the Al-Ramallah oil fields on the horizon. The Marines were heading toward it.
Stein was set for a medical evacuation in June 2003, but elected to stay until the rest of his company shipped out in October of that year.
"It was, you left with a certain group of men, you want to come home with them," he said. "I wouldn't have felt comfortable coming home knowing they were still over there. My grandfather spent two years in a prisoner camp (in Austria during World War II). Spending a couple more months (in Iraq) wasn't too much to ask.""
Monday, November 21, 2005
Harbi crime was to "encourage moderation and tolerance".
Saudi Teacher Jailed for Praising Jews
The Counterterrorism Blog:
Sunday, November 20, 2005
"I received an email from a mother whose son is currently fighting in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division. He and his platoon have penned a message to the American public that is a little different from the message we are getting via the MSM. He asked his mom to help get this message out and she asked me. Here it is from the soldiers on the ground…
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
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
I’ve never met this young Sergeant, but if I get the chance I’ll buy the beer for him and his platoon as nothing goes better with the taste of freedom than a couple of cold
ones. This We’ll Defend. Sgt Hook out."
Posted by Hook @ 20:29 hrs zulu | | Permalink
Saturday, November 19, 2005
The behavior of Senior NCO's during coffee breaks before the battle led scientists to the discovery of Brocadia anammoxidans a bacteria capable of making rocket fuel and High Explosive.
Astonished scientists were led to the discovery of this vital ingredient by their observation of coffee break conversations between senior NCO of equal or nearly equal rank that nearly always were about ex-wives, ex-girl friends, ex-mother in laws stepmother and mothers who acted like wicked stepmothers.
"Not once did these men express concern or anxiety about the coming battle instead they were expressing strong opinions about the women no longer in their lives. This not the norm for men under stress so we decided to take armpit swabs and in the lab discovered Brocadia anammoxidans" said a scientist involved in the project.
"particularly potent were samples from Marine NCO's who had not filed an MCI in the last 2 years of their last promotion. We are not sure why this is so and we will continue to keep this under observation" said the unidentified scientist.
The HAG is the standard issue of the Shoulder Mounted Assault but with a new explosive in the War head described as PYB or the pack your bags you're going for a guilt trip.
The war head unleashes stathmin in the amygdala area of the brain where unconscious fears appear to be stored. An unidentified marine spokesman said: Oh man, its awesome. The HAG comes out and hits you right between the eyeball with every criticism from a woman a man ever heard from the time you were in diapers to the time you came home drunk and missed the toilet to every time you pissed off your stepmother or goal you didn't make....its there and it literally sucks the air right out of the room creating a thermobaric reaction and a hugemongus shockwave kicking tuckas like you would not believe. We were hoping to keep this sucker on the QT but certain Hot Shot whinny butt surfers let the Hag out the bag." said the young Marine Lieutenant who was not ID'ed for security reasons.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Are Muslim leaders derelict in not denouncing acts of terrorism? Yes. :via: The Daily Herald, Provo Utah
When a suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad killed five Israelis and wounded dozens more in the coastal town of Hadera earlier this fall, the silence from America's Muslim leaders was deafening.
There was no statement of denunciation or even regret from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the most influential Muslim-American organization; nor was there one from
the American Muslim Council, the Muslim Public Affairs Council or the Islamic Society of North America.
Unfortunately, this silence was not surprising. When it comes to terrorism -- that is, the indiscriminate murder of innocent men, women and children to advance a political agenda -- time and again the most influential of America's Muslim groups and leaders have been quiet.
The roots of the problem are twofold: First, some Muslim-American leaders simply do not oppose terrorism. They have proclaimed support for some of the world's most lethal terrorist organizations and they have cavorted with prominent advocates of terrorism. Second, and worse, some of those leaders have been linked to, charged with, or convicted of illegal activities related to terrorism.
Consider the way some American Muslim leaders have spoken about terrorism and its manifestations:
One of CAIR's founders, Nihad Awad, called himself a supporter of Hamas, the Iran-backed group that has waged a long campaign of terror against Israel. He also called the trial over the 1993 World Trade Center bombing "a travesty of justice" and suggested that Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, and Egyptian intelligence agents played a role in the bombing. In recent years, a CAIR spokesman repeatedly refused to condemn Hamas, Hezbollah or Islamic Jihad.
Even condemnations of terrorism from America's Muslim leaders seem lukewarm at best. After this year's bombings in London, the Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa, endorsed by 140 Muslim groups and leaders, against terrorism directed at civilians. But, as Judea Pearl, the father of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, noted in The New Republic soon thereafter, the fatwa fell far short of a full-fledged condemnation of terrorism and was much weaker than one issued months earlier by the Spanish Muslim Council on the first anniversary of the Madrid train bombings.
Consider, too, the growing list of American Muslim groups and leaders with alleged or proven ties to terrorism.
After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, CAIR solicited donations for a charity whose assets were later frozen by the Treasury Department because it allegedly funneled funds to Hamas.
CAIR's civil rights coordinator pleaded guilty to conspiring to help al-Qaeda and the Taliban; its director of community relations was arrested for his alleged ties to groups that fund Islamic terrorism and agreed to be deported to Egypt; and a founding board member of CAIR-Texas and his two brothers were convicted of terrorism charges related to Hamas.
CAIR officials are not alone among American Muslim leaders, however. The Treasury Department announced this year that Abdurrahman Alamoudi, the founder of the American Muslim Council and American Muslim Foundation, facilitated the transfer of $1 million to al-Qaeda from a British-based group that the department had designated as a terrorist organization. Late last year, Alamoudi was convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison for his activities with nations and organizations that have ties to terrorism.
This sorry record by America's Muslim leaders has prompted well-meaning Muslims to seek their own platform. Kamal Nawash, a young Washington lawyer, created the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism last year to provide a Muslim voice of unalterable opposition to terrorism.
His efforts are laudable, but they highlight the larger problem. When it comes to combating terrorism, America's most influential Muslim organizations and leaders are doing far too little.
Lawrence J. Haas is a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, a think-tank that advocates aggressive action in the war on terror.">Are Muslim leaders derelict in not denouncing acts of terrorism? Yes. :: The Daily Herald, Provo Utah: "Are Muslim leaders derelict in not denouncing acts of terrorism? Yes.