Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, American and Muslim On Jack Bauer and CAIR's Whining

How to stop CAIR whining about Jack Bauer in one easy lesson:

As an American and as a Muslim, I find 24 to be not only a profoundly engaging program, but one whose portrayal of Muslims is quite fair. In the show, the president’s sister works for a “leading” Muslim civil-rights organization in D.C.; she is portrayed as a protector of constitutional freedoms. The head of this Muslim organization, who is in detention, reports to authorities on prisoners’ terrorism-related conversations that have alarmed him.

The show also shows the darker, extremist side of Islam — for example, an Arab-Muslim youth, a previously beloved neighbor in suburban L.A., turns out to be a terrorist thug who provides a key part of the nuclear device while terrorizing his friend’s family. This is another, undeniable part of today’s Muslim reality: While suitcase nuclear devices have yet to be used, the threat is there, and such characters are probably quite true to life in their depiction of members of al Qaeda cells or other jihadist networks in the West.

Any ethnic group can, of course, voice complaints regarding its portrayal in pop culture. From the frequently maligned American Italian community in organized-crime dramas to the Russian community that was the focus of last year’s 24, no ethnic group is entirely safe from the silver screen. But the sad reality is that such crime rings or “networks,” which exploit ethnic and religious communities, exist; and they do affect our security.

For American Muslims, though, 24 offers an opportunity to address a key question: To the extent Muslims have a bad image on TV, what can we do to change that?

All patriotic American Muslims who watch 24’s evil Muslim characters unfold their plot to destroy the U.S. quite naturally are enraged. We have an overwhelming desire to reach into the TV set and let all the non-Muslim characters witness a Muslim leading the nullification of this radical Islamist threat.

But the public face of American Muslim activity against terror — and the against the ideology that feeds it — has so far been inadequate. Other than press-release condemnations, there has been virtually no palpable public effort from the greater Muslim community in this regard. If that public movement against Islamism existed, 24’s writers would probably have included it in the story line.

So if this drama hits too close to home, perhaps offended Muslims should use this TV program as an emotional stimulus for change. To this point, the Muslim community has been able to completely avoid any real debate over Islamism. In fact, we see now a movement in England and the West to blame the West’s foreign policy as a root cause of terror rather than the real root cause — theocratic Islamist ideology.

It’s time for hundreds of thousands of Muslims to be not only private but public in their outrage — and to commit themselves to specific, verbal engagement of the militants and their Islamism. We, as American Muslims, should be training and encouraging our Muslim-community youth to become the future Jack Bauers of America. What better way to dispel stereotypes than to create hundreds of new, real images of Muslims who are publicly leading this war on the battlefield and in the domestic and foreign media against the militant Islamists.

Condemnations by press release and vague fatwas are not enough. We need to create organizations — high-profile, well-funded national organizations and think tanks — which are not afraid to identify al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah by name, and by their mission as the enemies of America.

If Muslim organizations and the American Muslim leadership were seen publicly as creating a national, generational plan to fight Islamism — rather than searching for reasons to claim victimhood — then the issues and complaints surrounding such TV shows would disappear. The way to fight the realities of 24 is to create a Muslim CTU, a deep Muslim counterterrorism ideology and a national action plan for our security.

—M. Zuhdi Jasser is the chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Kill Orcs, Kill More Orcs, Kill More Islamic Orcs

Michael McBride condenses my headline into a palpable condition:

The Surge should be aggressive in its combat action. It needs to be forceful, lethal, and determined. It needs to re-establish our military supremacy over the situation in Iraq, and in doing so it will re-establish a determined Iraqi populous support for our efforts and their democracy.

Forget hearts and minds, winning insurgencies is about winning the confidence of the general population. If you fail to build a confidence in your inevitable victory and the chances for a long lasting piece, they will waffle in support, biding their time until a clear winner emerges.

Insurgent forces are usually unimaginably brutal in their tactics, not so much to garner support, but more in their efforts to establish security around their ruthless operations. Populations paralyzed in fear, typically do not act against insurgent forces that have a hope in prevailing. Our Surge must extinguish any ray of hope that a post-US Iraq will degenerate into a vengeful free-for-all amongst all the competing political and military entities. To do so, we must crush the ability of our enemies to threaten the general population.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lessons Learned: Keep Killing ORCS Until They Realize Their Fate.

About time News:
Green Light to KILL or CAPTURE Iranian Orcs inside Iraq. Better than nothing.

"The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort."

Orcs Tucking Tail and Running For Home:"feels demoralized, disillusioned, and hunted"

The wider Sunni insurgency — the groups beyond Al Qaeda — is being slowly, and surely, defeated. The average insurgent today feels demoralized, disillusioned, and hunted. Those who have not been captured yet are opting for a quieter life outside of Iraq. Al Qaeda continues to grow for the time being as it cannibalizes the other insurgent groups and absorbs their most radical and hardcore fringes into its fold. The Baathists, who had been critical in spurring the initial insurgency, are becoming less and less relevant, and are drifting without a clear purpose following the hanging of their idol, Saddam Hussein. Rounding out this changing landscape is that Al Qaeda itself is getting a serious beating as the Americans improve in intelligence gathering and partner with more reliable Iraqi forces.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Navy 1st Riverine Squadron ready to rock and roll

The Yankee Navy's first Riverine Squadron in thirty five years will complete their final unit-level training exercise this week at Fort Pickett, Va., before deploying to Iraq to take over from our own Marine Riverines AKA Dam Security Unit-3. .
Squadron 1 will take over security on the Euphrates River and Hadithah Dam from Marine Riverines now on station keeping watch . The Navy's new brown water sailors had to pick up a boat load of skills not normally a part of the blue water sailors. For the last eight months these sailors had to learn basic infantry skills such as calling for fire-support and coordinate close-air support among the more basic grunt skills such as fix-bayonets, fire and manuver that are the bread and butter of every Marine.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

100 Orc Terrorists Killed, 50 In the Bag, in Operation Turki Bowl

On any day, a hit this big would, in a world free of ORC Enablers, be Front Page news but in this world news this successful is quietly ignored by the members of the antiques news media. But not this Day! This day, bloggers will reprint and pass the word. This Day, Evil low life Orcs known as "The Council" who preyed upon defenseless civilians with murder, mayhem and kidnapping are dead.

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2007
U.S. and Iraqi forces killed 100 terrorists, detained 50, and dismantled a large terrorist group in January during Operation Turki Bowl, the senior U.S. Army officer in Iraq’s Diyala province said yesterday.

The operation, conducted from Jan. 4 to 13, occurred south of Balad Ruz in the Turki Village, Tuwilla and 30 Tamuz areas of the province. During the operation, U.S. Army and Iraqi soldiers isolated and defeated a terrorist group known as “The Council,” Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, told reporters via satellite connection from a news conference in Iraq.

“The group, made up of former Baath Regime members, al Qaeda and Sunni extremists, refused to participate in any political dialogue and preferred attacking innocent civilians in the Diyala province,” Sutherland said.

The council killed as many as 39 civilians in one kidnapping and mass murder in November, he added.

"The fear of the people and the weapons used by these individuals are used to attack the core of Iraqi values and beliefs,” Sutherland said. “They are interested in preventing individual human rights and freedoms that the people of this region want so much."

Leading up to the large-scale operation, coalition forces discovered a large weapons cache in November in the area, resulting in “major combat operations with several large organizations” of terrorists, Sutherland said.

“Upon defeating them, we intentionally moved back to our base of operations so that we could exploit the intelligence that we would … gather over the next several months,” he said.

While developing plans for Operation Turki Bowl, U.S. military leaders, with the 5th Iraqi Army Division, studied the enemy’s early warning systems, their actions, and “how they reacted to our initial contact with them,” Sutherland said.

Coalition forces conducted smaller-scale raids in the area prior to Operation Turki Bowl, to give civilians a perceived safe-haven and encourage their cooperation with troops, he said. Through tips and phone calls to coalition forces, civilians provided invaluable information about the enemy, Sutherland added.

“What we wanted to do was isolate (terrorists) from the population so they could not blend in,” Sutherland said. “It (was) a counterinsurgency operation, but the difference is we were able separate the terrorists from the people they were living off of.

“Since I’ve been here, we have not conducted an operation where we have been able to bring to bear against a group of this size that was willing to fight us out in the open,” Sutherland said.

In addition to defeating the council, troops found 25 weapons caches containing more than 1,150 Katusha rockets and 1,000 rocket-propelled grenades, 170 anti-tank missiles, anti-tank mines, small- and heavy-arms ammunition and sensitive terrorist documents.

Soldiers are now focused on interacting with the local populous and reinforcing the security and stability of the region, according to a Multinational Force Iraq news release. The Iraqi army will maintain a permanent presence, while coalition forces are focusing on reconstructing roads, essential services and other basic services to help the people of Turki, the release stated.

"This operation clearly was a significant tactical success for (coalition forces), (Iraq army), and most importantly, the citizens of Turki and surrounding areas," Sutherland said. "The long-term affects we hope to achieve are stability for economic growth, increased political action for all parties and self-reliance for the Iraqi government and security forces."

SOTU---Not the Call to Saddle Up That Is Needed...

POTUS made nice, was gracious and touched all proper bases to be a "united not a divider" in his SOTU message to the nation and did not call congress on their moral bankruptcy with their gutless support for a "non -binding" resolution against the "surge". While POTUS made a good call to arms speech to an essentially could-care-less congress yet his failure to point out that the cowardly resolution is aid and comfort to the enemy and nothing less than treason.
Victory. Is. Not. Negotiable.
Aid and comfort to the enemy puts our men at risk and POTUS failed in his duty to point this out to a congress more interested in their next reelection then Victory. Vampire Crocs at the door, incoming Angels of Death at our six o'clock and the gutless Congressional Croc enablers get a pass on their failure to realize we are at War?! NUTS!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Say goodbye to England.....Paul Weston, London

After “Undercover Mosques” was transmitted on UK television last Monday here is my take on a week that has left me bemused, depressed and shameful. Is the Britain we have become really what our grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought and died for?

I am sending this to various other sites. If you wish to use it I would be grateful if you would attribute it to me under my full name.

I am currently writing a book regarding consequences for the West that 50 years of liberalism has ensured. Hence a little publicity is no bad thing.

Kind Regards
Paul Weston

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Week Britain Died
by Paul Weston

When future historians look back at what was Great Britain, they would do well to note the events of January 15th-22nd 2007.

In a quite extraordinary week, the people of Britain were given several clear indications of where there country was going, yet these indications were resolutely ignored by the media, the people and the government.- - - - - - - - - -
The TV Company, Channel Four, was at the forefront of the news, but for all the wrong reasons. In one programme they bought the nations attention to the sheer bigotry, intolerance and racialism of one section of our community, which was subsequently endlessly debated by the media and deemed worthy of such importance that even Gordon Brown and Tony Blair were sucked into the national breast beating.

This programme was “Big Brother” which for those mercifully unaware is a reality TV show charting the ignorance, pathology and hysteria of social degenerates locked together in a house for the viewing delectation of British people of ALL social backgrounds. Last weeks programmes focussed on the unpleasantness with which an English girl and her friends treated an educated Indian actress. By mimicking her accent and calling her “that Indian” so a continental political rift ensued between Britain and India, smoothed over by the intervention of the aforementioned Blair and Brown. By the end of the week this unedifying spectacle attracted over 9 million viewers.

In another Channel Four programme, “Undercover Mosques” an intrepid journalist with a hidden camera put his life quite literally on the line and bought us news from various Mosques around the country. This news, essentially, was that homosexuals should be killed, paedophilia condoned, women as second-class citizens beaten — as should girls who do not wear the hijab, and lastly, Islam must take over the UK and run it under Sharia law whilst waging Jihad against the infidels.

To rub salt into the wound it transpired that some organisations calling for all the above have been singled out and praised by Tony Blair and the British police as role models for their inter-faith and multicultural activities. Perhaps this is why our politicised police, so keen to prosecute the BNP’s Nick Griffen for accusing Islam of being wicked, have done NOTHING in the face of Islamic calls for murder and conquest.

The viewing figures for this highly important programme were between 1 to 1.5 million people. Given the pre-release advertising and the importance that UK Muslims would put on such a programme it is probable that the vast majority of viewers were not of the race and faith singled out for extinction, but the Muslims themselves. Indigenous Brits may have numbered in the low thousands.

For the first time in this Country the mainstream population was given information previously only available to the tiny minority of people with sufficient interest and intelligence to seek it out via “right-wing” websites or books conspicuous by their absence in Waterstones. I have always thought that if the general population knew what I knew, then the political scene would change. I was sadly mistaken, and not just about the population at large. What should have triggered outrage was ignored by all, including the so-called highbrow newspapers. The Guardian refused to even mention it, whilst the rest of the British media were interested in one thing and one thing only, Big Brother.

“Undercover Mosques” is perhaps the most important programme to have been made in the UK since the invention of the television. It is not the time to detail the transcript here, but it was chilling, terrifying stuff. That the British, in their entirety, ignored it in favour of the appalling and degrading Big Brother, possibly the worst programme ever made is cause for concern, yet could the pathologically suicidal British fall any lower? Well yes, they could.

There were two other stories in the papers this week, both related to the European Union. The first was that the British Parliament would nod through a watered down version of the EU constitution without, as previously stated, a referendum. The second was that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was intending to re-introduce said constitution despite the previous no vote from the Dutch and French. It would appear obvious that the EU Socialist Super State will be inflicted upon us undemocratically. Should we care about this or is Big Brother still uppermost on the warped, adolescent minds at the BBC? Both stories, of course, went unmentioned by the TV media.

Angela Merkel was an East-German Communist. Whilst at the Karl Marx University in Leipzig she was Secretary for Agitation and Propaganda in the Community youth wing. She will find this in keeping with the unelected EU Commissioners where ex Communists make up seven of their twenty seven members, including it’s current President, José Manuel Durão Barroso, once one of the leaders of the underground Maoist MRPP (Reorganising Movement of the Proletariat Party).

Vladimr Bukovsky is on record as stating that Communism never died and is now being inflicted incrementally on the West via the European Union. Do the British know anyting of Bukovsky, or indeed of Communism? No, they do not, the BBC et al refuse to talk to him, after all, as an imprisoned and tortured dissident what does he REALLY know about Communism in comparison to the utopian, idealistic British liberal elites who run our government, media, civil service, police and educational institutions.

Do the British in fact know anything, absolutely anything of any significance at all anymore or is the limit of their thought process set at the bar of Big Brother? We also learned this week that a pass mark of 18% is all that is necessary to gain a C grade exam pass. 50% of our schoolchildren leave school without attaining this in English and Maths, yet 100% of them know everything about TV “celebrities” who can barely speak their native language.

And so we ignore the ideology of one movement who state they wish to eradicate us and another which killed close to 100 million people, whilst we embrace the ideology of celebrity, ignorance and pathology.

From my viewpoint, and I say this with great sadness, we deserve all that we get, which barring a revolution will be one of the following.

  • An Islamic State.
  • A Totalitarian Socialist State within the European Union.
  • A Failed State — after the economic collapse of the EU — caused by bureaucracy, an illiterate and inumerate workforce and unopposable competion from the East.
  • Revolution — in the event that the British revolt before these scenarios unfold there will be carnage and civil war, possibly even European war. This is the least probable. We sit slack-jawed and glassy-eyed on our draylon sofas, worshipping at the Altar of television, dressed in polypropolene casual wear, remote in one hand, chips in the other. We have all the Soma we need to insulate ourselves from reality.

So, this week we have been shown our choices and we have chosen the path that 50 years of progressive education, Communist subversion, mass immigration and media brainwashing has pre-chosen for us. Much as we may wish to continue shopping on credit cards, watching reality TV shows and imbibing drugs and alchohol, I am am afraid it is no longer up to us.

This was the week that Britain died from infantilism, liberalism, ignorance and decadence, manifesting themselves in our utter indifference to our survival. We deserve to go, just as future Arnold Toynbees will relate.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

For America's Nine-One-One Team

International AS50 sniper rifle (Great Britain)

Accuracy International AS50 sniper rifle

Caliber: 12.7x99mm / .50BMG
Operation: gas operated, semiautomatic
Barrel: 692 mm
Weight: 14.1 kg empty
Length: 1369 mm
Feed Mechanism: 5 rounds detachable box magazine

The AS50 fifty caliber (12.7mm) sniper / antimateriel rifle is the latest development of the famous British company Accuracy International Ltd. First displayed in January 2005 in USA at the ShotShow-2005, this rifle reportedly has been developed especially for US SOCOM users, and is now being tested by the US NAVY Special Operations center. The AS50 is to provide combat operators with highly accurate and rapid aimed fire at extended ranges. To achieve such goal, the AS50 is built around gas operated, semiautomatic action, with "single rear locking" (most probably, this mean a tilting bolt). The two-part receiver is machined from high grade steel, the barrel is free-floated and fitted with effective muzzle brake. Easily detachable buttstock is fitted with recoil-reducing buttpad, as well as with folding rear grip, which also serves as a rear support leg. The folding quick-detachable bipod with adjustable legs is fitted as a standard. Top of the receiver is equipped with full length Picatinny type rail which can accept any compatible scope mount; two additional rails are mounted on either side of the short handguard / barrel jacket. Rifle is fitted with four sling mounts, and can be brought down to basic sub-assemblies within three minutes for maintenance or compact transportation or storage. Rifle is fed using single stack detachable box magazines, which holds five rounds of ammunition.

The Navy SEALs just got a new weapon for the war on terror: a .50 caliber rifle light enough to carry, and easy enough to disassemble in three minutes. Check out the fruits of NSWC Crane and Accuracy International's labors.

Accuracy International AS50 Semi-Automatic Rifle
At the ready: The Accuracy International AS50 Semi-Automatic Rifle.
AS50 Semi-Automatic Rifle (Accuracy International)

Type of Equipment:
Sniper Rifle

Killer Features:
  • .50 caliber
  • Light at 27 pounds
  • Disassembles in 3 minutes
  • Accuracy of 1.5 MOA
  • All parts fully interchangeable
  • Can be field-serviced without tools

Outside the Air Locker for sure...Abu Sulaiman,thugmaster

Philippine Armed Forces Chief Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. shows photo of Abu Sayyaf thugmaster Jainal Antel Sali Jr., AKA Abu Sulaiman. Abu Sulaiman, wanted dead or alive, had a $5-million U.S. bounty on his head was killed in an fire fight with Philippine Army Special Forces in Jolo in southern Philippines Tuesday Jan. 16.

Friday, January 12, 2007


WASHINGTON(Jan. 12, 2007) -- The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to


for service as set forth in the following

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifle Squad Leader, 4th Platoon, Company K, Third
Battalion, Seventh Marines (Reinforced), Regimental Combat Team 7, First Marine
Division (Reinforced), on 14 April 2004. Corporal Dunham's squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in the town of Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt approximately two kilometers to the west.
Corporal Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander's convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Corporal Dunham and his Marines advanced, they quickly began to receive enemy fire. Corporal Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led one of his fire teams on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles in a column attempting to depart, Corporal Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Corporal Dunham. Corporal Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. Corporal Dunham immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat. Aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Corporal Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. By his undaunted courage, intrepid fighting spirit, and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Dunham gallantly gave his life for his country, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Clink on the link below for more information on Cpl. Jason L. Dunham and the Medal of Honor

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Five brigades – deployed to Baghdad--CIC

Good evening. Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror – and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America’s course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.

When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation. The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together – and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.

But in 2006, the opposite happened. The violence in Iraq – particularly in Baghdad – overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq’s elections posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis. They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam – the Golden Mosque of Samarra – in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq’s Shia population to retaliate. Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today.

The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people – and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.

It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq. So my national security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a comprehensive review. We consulted Members of Congress from both parties, allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts. We benefited from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group – a bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. In our discussions, we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq. And one message came through loud and clear: Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.

The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq’s sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.

Let me explain the main elements of this effort: The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad’s nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades committed to this effort – along with local police. These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations – conducting patrols, setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.

This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence – and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I have committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them – five brigades – will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.

Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents – but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighborhoods – and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.

I have made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people – and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this. Here is what he told his people just last week: “The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation.”

This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad’s residents. When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq’s Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace – and reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible.

A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.

To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend 10 billion dollars of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws – and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq’s constitution.

America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government as it works to meet these benchmarks. In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi Army units – and partner a Coalition brigade with every Iraqi Army division. We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped Army – and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq. We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance. We will double the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams. These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self reliance. And Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq.

As we make these changes, we will continue to pursue al Qaeda and foreign fighters. Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq. Its home base is Anbar Province. Al Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of Iraq outside the capital. A captured al Qaeda document describes the terrorists’ plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province. This would bring al Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq’s democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks on the United States at home and abroad.

Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders – and protecting the local population. Recently, local tribal leaders have begun to show their willingness to take on al Qaeda. As a result, our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to the terrorists. So I have given orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops. These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to step up the pressure on the terrorists. America’s men and women in uniform took away al Qaeda’s safe haven in Afghanistan – and we will not allow them to re-establish it in Iraq.

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilizing the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing – and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

We will use America’s full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists – and a strategic threat to their survival. These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors – and they must step up their support for Iraq’s unity government. We endorse the Iraqi government’s call to finalize an International Compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region – to build support for Iraq, and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.

The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy – by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom – and help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists – or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?

The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the world of enormous importance to American security. Let me be clear: The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience, and they will make the year ahead bloody and violent. Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue – and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties. The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will.

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship. But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world – a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people. A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them – and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and grandchildren.

Our new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq. Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States – and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq’s borders and hunting down al Qaeda. Their solution is to scale back America’s efforts in Baghdad – or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces. We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale. Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.

In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If Members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms. It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.

Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror. This group will meet regularly with me and my Administration, and it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century. We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas – where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.

In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us. These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary – and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty. We mourn the loss of every fallen American – and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.

Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a Nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed. Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can and we will prevail.

We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours. Thank you and good night.

Outside the Air Locker: Fazul Abdullah Mohammed

"I have received a report from the American side chronicling the targets and list of damage," Abdirizak Hassan, the Somali president's chief of staff said. "One of the items they were claiming was that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed is dead."
  • planned the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 225 people.
  • suspected of planning the car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and the near simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner in 2002. Ten Kenyans and three Israelis were killed in the blast at the hotel, 12 miles north of Mombasa. The missiles missed the airliner.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Meet U.S. Army Spc. Jotyar K. Tile-- American Kurd

U.S. Army Spc. Jotyar K. Tile, 35, returns to his homeland in northern Iraq to serve both his countries.

By Maj. Juanita Chang

MOSUL — Eight years and many small miracles later, U.S. Army Spc. Jotyar Tile retuned to his native land and will be serving both his countries.

Tile remembers the day his family fled northern Iraq after years of bombing and terror by Saddam Hussein’s government.

“If we had stayed one more day we would not have made it out alive; they were using chemicals against us and destroying our villages," Tile said.

“My father was a hard headed and proud Kurd and did not want to leave our home. We were the last family to leave Qumri,” he said.

For years his family had endured the anti-Kurdish campaign led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein

“I remember every Friday we had to dress up and wear army clothes to school and march around and raise the flag and act like soldiers,” Tile said. “Saddam demanded we do this from about age 5 and up.”

In August 1988, then-18-year-old Tile, his parents, five sisters and seven brothers fled his home in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq to a refugee camp in Turkey.

Tile explained the conditions in the refugee camp were appalling with approximately 16,000 refugees in tents in four to five square miles. Refugees were not allowed to work and all had fled with no belongings; not even bringing pots to boil water in. Many became ill and died because of the poor health and hygiene conditions and simple preventive medical issues like frostbite were rampant, he said.

“Then, one day, the U.S. and U.N. visited us and asked if we wanted to go to the U.S. or Europe,” Tile beamed. “I said yes, I want to go to the U.S.,” he said, but his parents declined and they returned to their home 1992 along with his siblings.

On Sept. 29, 1992 Tile arrived in New York City as a refugee and was giving a green card. Within days he moved in with a sponsor in Fargo, N.D.

“I did not know anything about U.S. except California and New York,” he said. “And I didn’t speak a word of English.”

Tile explained how “a very nice and beautiful lady volunteer named Karen Harris” changed his life.

This lady, with whom he has not had contact in years, taught him how to speak English, drive a car, and got him his first job for $4.25 an hour.

“I would love to contact her and thank her but don’t know how,” he regretted. “When I received my first paycheck, I went back to the social service and thanked them and told them I didn’t want any more of their help,” he said with a smile.

He said they tried to tell him that he could continue to receive support for months, but he said he wanted it go to someone else who really needed it.

“I wanted to join the U.S. Army ever since I came to the U.S.,” he said, “to show my appreciation for everything they did for my people.”

However, Tile did not have a high school diploma and did not know how to obtain a general equivalency diploma.

The next several years meant several moves for Tile. He moved to Sioux Falls and worked in a meat-cutting factory cutting pork “even though, as a Muslim, I do not eat pork.” He also lived in Nashville, Tenn., and Georgia.

Eventually he learned through a friend of his that there was a special program created for allowing native language speakers to join the Army as interpreters.

“I contacted this guy and they flew me out to California and I joined the Army as an E-3 after taking the ASVAB test, physical, language exam and others.

“Since then I have also recruited two others,” Tile said.

After completing basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Jackson, S.C., Tile found out he was assigned to a unit scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan.

“I went to my commander and told him I would do my duty as a Soldier, and I would go anywhere they told me to go. But I asked him not to rely on me as an interpreter for Afghanistan because I do not speak those dialects,” Tile explained.

Within a few weeks, and with some help from his first sergeant, Tile was reassigned to a unit deployed to Iraq. Upon arriving in Iraq, he joined his new unit, the 352nd Corps Support Battalion from the Army Reserves out of Macon, Ga. The unit performs a wide variety of logistical support for coalition forces serving in northern Iraq.

Tile said he has spoken with his family, and they now know that he is back in Iraq and are proud of him for serving both his countries. He will spend his deployment in the Kurdish region serving as an interpreter and will be only an hour or so from his original home and family.

“My first goal is to make enough money to fix my family’s roof and to help them.,” he said.

When Tile’s family returned to their village in 1992, there was nothing left, and the family was forced to start over and rebuild a house in a different location.

Tile, now 35, said he loves his family and wants to help them and still misses his mother’s cooking even though has hasn’t seen them in more than 14 years.

“The U.S. did a lot for my people and this is only a little bit that I can give back,” Tile said.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Nasiriyah Water Treatment Plant --Snapshot of Progress for Iraqi communities

One critical feature of the Nasiriyah Water Treatment Plant is its 12 water clarifiers. These do the final purification, through charcoal and sand filters. Once the water comes out of the clarifiers, it is pumped to holding tanks for use. When completed, the plant will provide water for about 500,000 people in five southern Iraq communities. (U.S. Army Photo by BJ Weiner)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

"Saving this girl's life, was like saving all of Iraq.

Commanders Susan P. McKeefrey, a nurse with Taqaddum Surgical and Pamela C. Harvey, a doctor with Taqaddum Surgical, got to see recovering patient Riyam Shihan again during an arranged meeting in Habbaniyah.

Story and photo by Lance Cpl. Geoffrey P. Ingersoll
I Marine Logistic Group
Marine Cpl. Justin T. Abraham spotted him first: an Iraqi man stumbling toward his position, his arms clutching a bundle of blankets.

"At first I thought he was carrying a bomb," said Abraham, a 23-year-old native of Oxford, Mich. and a Marine with PTT 6, Regimental Combat Team 5, 1st Marine Division.

Then Abraham saw the girl and all of the blood, and he knew his first instinct was wrong. "We dropped everything," said Abraham, "to save her life."

Riyam explained how her cousin had been trying to close a heavy, metal door in front of her aunt's house when the door became unhinged and crashed down upon her body. Her skull was crushed. Bruises on her brain caused swelling and internal bleeding, which increased the pressure in her skull, causing further damage to the brain. Surgeons were forced to remove a part of the bone to relieve the pressure. Cmdr. Theodore D. Edson, a general surgeon with Taqaddum Surgical, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) and an team of surgeons assembled to receive and treat the girl, including Edson, 39 from Lexington, Mass. and Lt. Cmdr. Pamela C. Harvey, 39 from Muscatine, Iowa.

When the girl arrived with her father, she was delirious and disoriented, said Edson.

"She was hostile in a way that didn't make sense," said Harvey. She said the translator reported the girl was speaking gibberish.

"These are all signs of brain injury," said Edson.

The surgeons struggled to treat the girl, to stabilize her, but it soon became clear that she needed a higher level of care. A call went out for a helicopter to medically evacuate the girl to a better equipped hospital.

"As our evaluation continued, she deteriorated right in front of us, and our worst fears came true," said Harvey.

Surgeons and corpsmen "launched into action," said Harvey. They quickly medicated the girl intravenously and inserted a breathing tube. But because of the injury to her brain, she lost her ability to clot blood.

If the girl did not get blood soon, she would die.

A 'walk-in' blood bank message was sent out on Camp Taqaddum. The camp responded immediately with almost two dozen donors offering aid.

The girl got her blood. But stormy weather blocked flights from leaving Camp Taqaddum. With no specialized neurosurgeons in TQ Surgical, it appeared hope was lost.

"Back in the states, with an injury like this, the patient would be operated on within forty-five minutes," said Edson.

Two hours passed. Then three. Then four. Outside the storm raged, and inside anxiety peaked. The staff was beginning to consider opening her up here despite lack of resources and experience. At some points "you could barely see your hand in front of your face," said 31-year-old Marine Capt. Justin J. Hall, a pilot for air refueling transport squadron 352, Marine Air Group 16, 3rd Marine Air Wing (Forward).

Then they received a call from Taqaddum to do a casualty evacuation. Since helicopters usually do most "casevacs," the crew knew this had to be important.

"I knew that it was a head injury... (on a) 9-year-old Iraqi girl," said Hall, "that kind of brought it home for me." Hall has two children of his own.

The old mission was scrubbed, and feelings of urgency filled the crew. The determined Marines sat on the runway with the engines running, waiting for visibility to clear up.

"If there was any way we could get (the mission) done, we were going to get it done," said Hall.

They got it done, eventually delivering an unconscious Riyam to neurosurgeons in time for surgery.

"I just hoped she was all right," said Hall.

"Even when the Marines took off, we weren't sure if she would make it," said Cmdr. Tracy R. Bilski, a trauma surgeon with TQ Surgical. The injury was so bad that doctors and corpsmen doubted whether she would survive the operation, much less walk and talk again. So when Riyam, patient number 1267, walked back into TQ Surgical a month later and asked for strawberry bubble gum, the staff was amazed.

"The surgeons all ran in different directions to find her some strawberry bubble gum," said her 36-year-old father, Younis Aved Shihan, a taxi-driver who became an Iraqi Policeman because he wanted to help prevent insurgents from taking over his town.

"The Iraqi people of Habbaniyah hear what the coalition forces have done to save my grand daughter, and they cry. They are very grateful and you have gained them to your side," said Riyam's grandfather, 70-year-old Aved Shihan Ghathaib. After Riyam's operation, coalition forces learned that Ghathaib was a sheik, or tribal leader, in the town of Habbaniyah.

"It's because we were there, advising the Iraqi people, that we had the opportunity to save this girl," said McCarthy.

Riyam's uncle, 41-year-old Capt. Hameed Aftat Shihan, a chief security officer said this humanitarian effort has far reaching affects in the Iraqi community. Police Transition Teams in the area are now revered by the people. They meet with smiles, waves and friendly greetings almost every where they go. Some of the team members said that saving the girl has made more progress toward stability in the region a few weeks than is usually made in a few months.

"(The sheik) is in charge of 6,000 people, and all of them know this story, and soon all of their friends will know this story," said Hameed.

Riyam's grandfather has also informed many other sheiks, who will probably inform their people, he added. The effects of saving this one little girl have reached far beyond just those involved. The relationship between the Iraqi Police, the Police Transition Team, and the local population has changed for the better. The citizens of Habbaniyah have a new-found respect for the work of the Americans, who strive not only to improve the quality of the Iraqi Police, but also the lives of the Iraqi people.

"Saving this girl's life," said Hameed while in Habbaniyah PTT Headquarters, "was like saving all of Iraq."

But Riyam's fight for life is far from over. With a piece of her skull incubating inside her stomach, Riyam currently lives with only soft tissue to protect that part of her brain. Riyam is forced to wear a helmet now when she plays with her friends.

Another problem is that Riyam is still growing. Without her skull intact during her growth, she could face problems associated with irregular brain growth, such as a decrease in motor function capability and speech.

Within the next six months, she will need a follow up operation to replace the missing piece of her skull. It is a delicate operation that, due to the rebuilding of Iraq's infrastructure, will be almost impossible to provide in her home nation.

The efforts of coalition forces have bought her more time, but without this operation, Riyam's future still remains stormy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

CMC General James Conway Visits Marines in Al Anbar Province

The CMC visits with Marines in Iraq

story/photo LCpl. Geoffrey P. Ingersoll

CAMP TAQADDUM — The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James T. Conway, and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. John L. Estrada, paid a visit here to speak to Marines, Tuesday, Dec. 26.

Camp Taqaddum was one stop of many for two of the military's top leaders, who plan to visit Marines all around the Al Anbar Province. During their appearance in TQ, Conway and Estrada fielded questions from Marines, and spoke about current topics of concern.

Conway commended the Marines for the job they are doing and the sacrifices they make.

"You guys and gals are doing a magnificent job out here. I thank you for your service, and the nation thanks you," Conway said.

Conway added that deployed Marines should remember that they are in Iraq so their families and friends can safely enjoy Christmas.

"You're doing a job that has to be done, so they can be back there ... living a relatively peaceful existence," Conway said. Conway also expressed confidence in the progression of the war.

Since 2004, the Al Anbar province has become a better place, and the Marine Corps has made big steps toward victory, Conway said.

Conway went on to talk about new technology the Marine Corps plans to deploy to the battlefield. From new types of vehicles to enhanced safety systems, the Corps is always working to protect its war fighters, said Conway. Conway also mentioned that any changes made in troop levels require good reason.

In order to increase the number of troops, "we need a definable military objective," Conway said.

Conway ended his speech by talking about the new Marine Corps physical training uniforms, and then answered any questions the Marines had to offer.

"Marines don't always get to see the 'higher-ups,' to ask them direct questions," said Sgt. Christian R. Lebron, a 24-year-old electrician with Communications Company, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward).

It's good because the junior Marines don't have to go through the chain-of-command to ask about whatever is going on in their minds, said Lebron, from Queens, N.Y.

Marines asked questions about possible deployment extensions and new tattoo regulations. Conway handed the microphone to Estrada a few times during the question and answer session, most notably to answer a question about tattoo regulations.

"We are going to revisit the tattoo issue," said Estrada, who added that the regulation has received differing interpretations, and that he plans to make sure it is enforced uniformly across the military.

Their visit says "We hear your concerns and we're going to do something about them," said Lance Cpl. George C. Gardner, 34, a field wireman with Communications Company.

Both Gardner and Lebron agreed that the appearance of the two Marine Corps leaders struck a cord with the deployed service members, it raised morale and dedication.

"It does lift the morale ... (Conway) is not just talking. He's in the region, coming to us, coming to find out what we're doing here. He cares about us," said Gardner, from Greenwich, Conn.

Conway said that he was doing everything he could to protect the interest of his Marines. And he assured them that the country and the president were behind them.

"The president and Congress support the troops, and your countrymen are behind you," Conway said.

Asserts a Muslim's right to be respected OVERRIDES YOUR right to speak freely--singles out a single religion, Islam, for kid glove treatment

This is a CAIR-sponsored Trojan horse, ready to be rolled through the gates into the First Amendment. And its sponsor is about to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Gates of Vienna


1st Session
H. RES. 288

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.

May 19, 2005

Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Ms. ESHOO, Mr. FILNER, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. MEEHAN, Mr. PASCRELL, and Mr. SERRANO) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives condemning bigotry and religious intolerance, and recognizing that holy books of every religion should be treated with dignity and respect.

Whereas believers of all religions, including the Abrahamic faiths of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, should be treated with respect and dignity;

Whereas the word Islam comes from the Arabic root word meaning ‘peace’ and ‘submission’;

Whereas there are an estimated 7,000,000 Muslims in America, from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds, forming an integral part of the social fabric of America;

Whereas the Quran is the holy book for Muslims who recite passages from it in prayer and learn valuable lessons about peace, humanity, and spirituality;

Whereas it should never be official policy of the United States Government to disparage the Quran, Islam, or any religion in any way, shape, or form;

Whereas mistreatment of prisoners and disrespect toward the holy book of any religion is unacceptable and against civilized humanity; and

Whereas the infringement of an individual’s right to freedom of religion violates the Constitution and laws of the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives —
  1. condemns bigotry, acts of violence, and intolerance against any religious group, including our friends, neighbors, and citizens of the Islamic faith;
  2. declares that the civil rights and civil liberties of all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith, should be protected;
  3. recognizes that the Quran, the holy book of Islam, as any other holy book of any religion, should be treated with dignity and respect; and
  4. calls upon local, State, and Federal authorities to work to prevent bias-motivated crimes and acts against all individuals, including those of the Islamic faith.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Never a dull day for tech leader of Team ‘Chuck Norris’ EOD Platoon USMC

The Zero Mistakes Department: 2nd EOD Platoon, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward)
Staff Sgt. John Pado, 27, team leader of Team ‘Chuck Norris’, 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), in Al Anbar Province. Official Marine Corps photo.

By Lance Cpl. Ryan L. Tomlinson
1st Marine Logistics Group
“The great element of this job is I’m able to work tight with my unit,” said Sgt. Harry W. Parker, an EOD technician with 2nd Platoon. “We’re one team and that is it.”

Cohesion is important, and EOD units consist of small teams for a reason. The Marines said that in a job with no margin for error, trusting each other is vital. “I joined EOD to better myself,” said Staff Sgt. John Pado, leader of Team ‘Chuck Norris’, EOD Platoon. “In this (occupation) you have the skill to minimize a threat to save Marines.”

The threats of IEDs are real, and not only are these Marines aware of the dangers they face, but it drives them to keep executing their missions.

“The danger is a given factor,” said Parker, 34, a Cedar Hill, Texas. “When you go out you have to be in a mind set where you have to be as cautious and know what you are doing.”

“It’s an adventure beyond what I could imagine,” said Pado, a native of Toledo, Ohio. “Because of the experience, it has opened up numerous opportunities for me to become a better Marine.”

The Marines remain enthusiastic about their job despite their high deployment rate. They spend six months away from their family every year.

Pado said the job takes a lot of self-discipline and family support to exercise caution during day to day operations counteracting IEDs.

“You have to have the love for the job,” said Sgt. Sean D. Pinckney, 30, an EOD technician with 2nd Platoon and a native of Jeffersonville, Ind. “The explosions, gathering up wire, it takes a lot of patience.”

“It has been greatest decision of my career,” said Pado, 27. “Nowhere in the Department of Defense will you find anyone who can perform at a level as (EOD does). If you did, you would be back at square one…face to face with an EOD Tech.”

Happy New Year 2007

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