Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I'm Baaack!!!

Sorry for the lack of inactivity lately. Been a busy little bee lately. Lots and lots of work, and three kids tend to take up a lot of free time. I promise lots of good stuff in the days to come. For now, here's a little something to wet your appetite;-) A letter from a marine who was part of the taking of Fallujah.

Just came out of the city and I honestly do not know where to start. I am afraid that whatever I send you will not do sufficient honor to the men who fought and took Fallujah.

Shortly before the attack, Task Force Fallujah was built. It consisted of Regimental Combat Team 1 built around 1st Marine Regiment and Regimental Combat Team 7 built around 7th Marine Regiment. Each Regiment consisted of two Marine Rifle Battalions reinforced and one Army mechanized infantry battalion.

Regimental Combat Team 1 (RCT-1) consisted of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (3rd LAR), 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5); 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines (3/1)and 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry (2/7). RCT-7 was slightly less weighted but still a formidable force. Cutting a swath around the city was an Army Brigade known as Blackjack. The Marine RCT's were to assault the city while Blackjack kept the enemy off of the backs of the assault force.

The night prior to the actual invasion, we all moved out into the desert just north of the city. It was something to see. You could just feel the intensity in the Marines and Soldiers. It was all business. As the day cleared, the Task Force began striking targets and moving into final attack positions. As the invasion force commenced its movement into attack positions, 3rd LAR led off RCT-1's offensive with an attack up a peninsula formed by the Euphrates River on the west side of the city. Their mission was to secure the Fallujah Hospital and the two bridges leading out of the city. They executed there tasks like clockwork and smashed the enemy resistance holding the bridges. Simultaneous to all of this, Blackjack sealed the escape routes to the south of the city. As invasion day dawned, the net was around the city and the Marines and Soldiers knew that the enemy that failed to escape was now sealed.

3/5 began the actual attack on the city by taking an apartment complex on the northwest corner of the city. It was key terrain as the elevated positions allowed the command to look down into the attack lanes. The Marines took the apartments quickly and moved to the rooftops and began engaging enemy that were trying to move into their fighting positions. The scene on the rooftop was surreal. Machine gun teams were running boxes of ammo up 8 flights of stairs in full body armor and carrying up machine guns while snipers engaged enemy shooters. The whole time the enemy was firing mortars and rockets at the apartments. Honest to God, I don't think I saw a single Marine even distracted by the enemy fire. Their squad leaders, and platoon commanders had them prepared and they were executing their assigned tasks.

As mentioned, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry joined the Regiment just prior to the fight. In fact, they started showing up for planning a couple of weeks in advance. There is always a professional rivalry between the Army and the Marine Corps but it was obvious from the outset that these guys were the real deal. They had fought in Najaf and were eager to fight with the Regiment in Fallujah. They are exceptionally well led and supremely confident.

2/7 became our wedge. In short, they worked with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. We were limited in the amount of prep fires that we were allowed to fire on the city prior to the invasion. This was a point of some consternation to the forces actually taking the city. Our compensation was to turn to 2/7 and ask them to slash into the city and create as much turbulence as possible for 3/1 to follow. Because of the political reality, the Marine Corps was also under pressure to "get it done quickly." For this reason, 2/7 and 3/1 became the penetration force into the city.

Immediately following 3/5's attack on the apartment buildings, 3/1 took the train station on the north end of the city. While the engineers blew a breach through the train trestle, the Cavalry soldiers poured through with their tanks and Bradley's and chewed an opening in the enemy defense. 3/1 followed them through until they reached a phase line deep into the northern half of the city. The Marine infantry along with a few tanks then turned to the right and attacked the heart of the enemy defense. The fighting was tough as the enemy had the area dialed in with mortars. 3/5 then attacked into the northwest corner of the city. This fight continued as both Marine rifle battalions clawed their way into the city on different axis.

There is an image burned into my brain that I hope I never forget. We came up behind 3/5 one day as the lead squads were working down the Byzantine streets of the Jolan area. An assault team of two Marines ran out from behind cover and put a rocket into a wall of an enemy strongpoint. Before the smoke cleared the squad behind them was up and moving through the hole and clearing the house. Just down the block another squad was doing the same thing. The house was cleared quickly and the Marines were running down the street to the next contact. Even in the midst of that mayhem, it was an awesome site.

The fighting has been incredibly close inside the city. The enemy is willing to die and is literally waiting until they see the whites of the eyes of the Marines before they open up. Just two days ago, as a firefight raged in close quarters, one of the interpreters yelled for the enemy in the house to surrender. The enemy yelled back that it was better to die and go to heaven than to surrender to infidels. This exchange is a graphic window into the world that the Marines and Soldiers have been fighting in these last 10 days.

I could go on and on about how the city was taken but one of the most amazing aspects to the fighting was that we saw virtually no civilians during the battle. Only after the fighting had passed did a few come out of their homes. They were provided food and water and most were evacuated out of the city. At least 90-95% of the people were gone from the city when we attacked.

I will end with a couple of stories of individual heroism that you may not have heard yet. I was told about both of these incidents shortly after they occurred. No doubt some of the facts will change slightly but I am confident that the meat is correct.

The first is a Marine from 3/5. His name is Corporal Yeager (Chuck Yeager's grandson). As the Marines cleared and apartment building, they got to the top floor and the point man kicked in the door. As he did so, an enemy grenade and a burst of gunfire came out. The explosion and enemy fire took off the point man's leg. He was then immediately shot in the arm as he lay in the doorway. Corporal Yeager tossed a grenade in the room and ran into the doorway and into the enemy fire in order to pull his buddy back to cover. As he was dragging the wounded Marine to cover, his own grenade came back through the doorway. Without pausing, he reached down and threw the grenade back through the door while he heaved his buddy to safety. The grenade went off inside the room and Cpl Yeager threw another in. He immediately entered the room following the second explosion. He gunned down three enemy all within three feet of where he stood and then let fly a third grenade as he backed out of the room to complete the evacuation of the wounded Marine. You have to understand that a grenade goes off within 5 seconds of having the pin pulled. Marines usually let them "cook off" for a second or two before tossing them in. Therefore, this entire episode took place in less than 30 seconds.

The second example comes from 3/1. Cpl Mitchell is a squad leader. He was wounded as his squad was clearing a house when some enemy threw pineapple grenades down on top of them. As he was getting triaged, the doctor told him that he had been shot through the arm. Cpl Mitchell told the doctor that he had actually been shot "a couple of days ago" and had given himself self aide on the wound. When the doctor got on him about not coming off the line, he firmly told the doctor that he was a squad leader and did not have time to get treated as his men were still fighting. There are a number of Marines who have been wounded multiple times but refuse to leave their fellow Marines.

It is incredibly humbling to walk among such men. They fought as hard as any Marines in history and deserve to be remembered as such. The enemy they fought burrowed into houses and fired through mouse holes cut in walls, lured them into houses rigged with explosives and detonated the houses on pursuing Marines, and actually hid behind surrender flags only to engage the Marines with small arms fire once they perceived that the Marines had let their guard down. I know of several instances where near dead enemy rolled grenades out on Marines who were preparing to render them aid. It was a fight to the finish in every sense and the Marines delivered.

I have called the enemy cowards many times in the past because they have never really held their ground and fought but these guys in the city did. We can call them many things but they were not cowards.

My whole life I have read about the greatest generation and sat in wonder at their accomplishments. For the first time, as I watch these Marines and Soldiers, I am eager for the future as this is just the beginning for them. Perhaps the most amazing characteristic of all is that the morale of the men is sky high. They hurt for the wounded and the dead but they are eager to continue to attack. Further, not one of them would be comfortable with being called a hero even though they clearly are.

By now the Marines and Soldiers have killed well over a thousand enemy. These were not peasants or rabble. They were reasonably well trained and entirely fanatical. Most of the enemy we have seen have chest rigs full of ammunition and are well armed are willing to fight to the death. The Marines and Soldiers are eager to close with them and the fighting at the end is inevitably close.

I will write you more the next time I come in about what we have found inside the city. All I can say is that even with everything that I knew and expected from the last nine months, the brutality and fanaticism of the enemy surprised me. The beheadings were even more common place than we thought but so were torture and summary executions. Even though it is an exaggeration, it seems as though every block in the northern part of the city has a torture chamber or execution site. There are hundreds of tons of munitions and tens of thousands of weapons that our Regiment alone has recovered. The Marines and Soldiers of the Regiment have also found over 400 IEDs already wired and ready to detonate. No doubt these numbers will grow in the days ahead.

In closing, I want to share with you a vignette about when the Marines secured the Old Bridge (the one where the Americans were mutilated and hung on March 31) this week. After the Marines had done all the work and secured the bridge, we walked across to meet up with 3rd LAR on the other side. On the Fallujah side of the bridge where the Americans were hung there is some Arabic writing on the bridge. An interpreter translated it for me as we walked through. It read: "Long Live the Mujahadeen. Fallujah is the Graveyard for Americans and the end of the Marine Corps."

As I came back across the bridge there was a squad sitting in their Amtrac smoking and watching the show. The Marines had written their own message below the enemy's. It is not something that Mom would appreciate but it fit the moment to a T. Not far from the vehicle were two dead enemy laying where they died. The Marines were sick of watching the "Dog and Pony show" and wanted to get back to work.

Is your grate Overlord the benevolant one or what? I told you it was good stuff. God I love these guys. It's a shame our counterparts on the left don't feel the same as the rest of us. Oh well, their loss. Just remember, the best thing we mere mortals can do is to try and be worthy of the risks and sometimes sacrifices that the fine folks of the U.S. Armed Forces make for us everyday.

Semper Fi

(Oh yea, I still hate hippies)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Have you Hugged a Vet Today?

Happy Veterans Day!! Hope everyone took a moment to remember what today was actually about, and no I don't mean the day off of work (if you're lucky) and the BBQ grill. I'm referring to the great men and women of our Armed Forces who make up the Single Greatest Fighting Force on the Face of the Planet. Remember, if not for them, you wouldn't be able to read this most outstanding blog.

War, is an atrocious, but necessary part of our world. Without it, men would not be free. In a perfect world, we could live in peace, and we would never have to raise arms against another nation. But men are imperfect beings. There will forever be Saddaam Husseins, and Osama Bin Ladens; there will always be Stalins and Hitlers and Napoleans. It's comforting to know that so long as there are these monsters out there, we will always have the United States Armed Forces to keep us free. Without war there can be no peace, no justice, no freedom.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Reign of Witches....

Well, it seems Miss (or is it Mrs., or maybe just Ms., never could get those right) has her own take on the recent presidential election. I suppose when your career is in the toilet, you have to get your name out there somehow. So what did ole' Babs have to say? Well, it's....interesting.....I guess.

We Must Have Patience ...Barbra Streisand
Posted on November 8, 2004
In response to the results of the Presidential election last week, I would like to share with you a quote from Thomas Jefferson. Although written in 1798, I feel his words speak perfectly to the strong sentiments of frustration and disappointment 48% of the country feel.

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt......If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

Poverty Breeds Terrorism.....NOT!!!

One of the left's favorite talking points regarding terrorism is that if they weren't so poor, they wouldn't be inspired to go all 'splodey on people. Apparently the idea for liberals is, "give them money, and they'll suddenly and magically like us". Well, our friends over at John F Kennedy School of Government have a different point of view. Thier findings indicate that terrorism is caused not by poverty, but by the level of political freedom. Gee, who'da thunk it? Where, oh where have we heard this one before?

A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom.

Associate Professor of Public Policy Alberto Abadie examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks.

Abadie, whose work was published in the Kennedy School's Faculty Research Working Paper Series, included both acts of international and domestic terrorism in his analysis.

Though after the 9/11 attacks most of the work in this area has focused on international terrorism, Abadie said terrorism originating within the country where the attacks occur actually makes up the bulk of terrorist acts each year. According to statistics from the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base for 2003, which Abadie cites in his analysis, there were 1,536 reports of domestic terrorism worldwide, compared with just 240 incidents of international terrorism.

Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation's wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences.

Please, indulge yourself and read the rest.

I See Your True Colors......

Ah, remember that old tune? Brings back some memories, doesn't it?

"I see your true colors, shining through. I see your true colors, that's why I love hate you!"

Well, it seems our old friends over at DU have finally shown their true colors.

Huh? What ever do you mean, Oh Mighty Overlord? Hawkins has the scoop.

As expected in the wake of their loss at the polls, the looniey lefties over at the Democratic Underground Forums are even more out of their minds than usual. The general theme seems to be that the election was rigged using electronic voting machines. Here are just some of the threads -- less than half easily -- about how the election was stolen from John Kerry....

Gyre: "I don't support them (the troops). We've exported our illiterate little kids with their tiny brains filled with images of Rambo. We've armed them and told them the enemy is a demon who doesn't deserve to live. Most of them are more than willing to believe that. They are stupid and dangerous and have no intellectual capacity to grasp basic concepts of democracy. They're a symptom of a disease that infects my country."

Coventina: "I agree the war is dead wrong. And yes, I've made bad choices. If it turns out that the military vote went Kerry, I'll start caring for them again. But as long as the evidence points that they think Bush should be their leader, well, I don't need to worry about them, because they're doing exactly what they want to be doing. And I feel justified in despising them for it."

buff2 "Support the troops........who overwhelmingly voted for Bu$h. Phuck that. I don't feel sorry for any of those people who supported that moron who put them in harms way for NO GOOD REASON,AND LIED TO THEM. I'm sorry,anyone who voted for that lying no good cheating bastard gets NO sympathy,respect or support from ME. No phucking way!"

Marx_redux: "What in gods name says that the troops are sacred? You are telling me that we should worship them because they can see the carnage they are helping to create and remain silent? Hell maybe we should just give em the keys to the city and say thank you very much, we love the way you got used in the holy war. I respect the soldiers, airman and marines that come home and speak out against this American jihad. The other ones that mindlessly kill "rag heads" and cheer about it should go straight to hell."

livinbella: "I do not support the majority of our troops in Iraq. In no way shape or form. What in hell has happened to personal integrity? No man has the right to say "I am not to blame for the things I have done." I do not support the majority of our troops."

Oh there's so much more. Go over to RWN and check it out.

Stupid, stupid, stinky, pot smoking hippies

It's the Economy Stupid

Liberty, over at My Arse from my Elbow, has a draft of a paper she wrote on varying economic policies. It's a long read, but well researched and easy to read. Here's a bried exert of the work in progress:

The Left thinks wealth is natural, and what needs to be explained is poverty. How many articles have you read in issues of Time and Newsweek down the years about the causes of poverty? There is intense investigation into the causes of poverty, as if poverty were not natural. How can you explain it? Would it not be wonderful to figure out the answer, .What is the cause of poverty?. Because then we could make more poverty.

Terrific. That is the wrong question. The important question is: What are the causes of wealth? That question was not asked until very late in human history, in 1776. The answer to it has somehow not been learned by a large part of the political class. [1]

As we go about comparing different strategies for tackling poverty we must ask ourselves two important questions:

How do we define poverty?
What is our measure of success?

If we define poverty by a hard number- an amount of income per year – then we must ask if and how that number might change year to year and what it includes (unearned income etc.). We also must define how we may compare this number country to country – beyond exchange rate, are there other factors to consider?

She had even opened it up for debate here. Like I said, well worth the read. So go read!! Why are you still here? Go read NOW!!!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Post Election Rally

This is why the far left should never be allowed to be in control. And people wonder why Bush won when Kerry had such great people supporting him. I think I'll start taking up a donation to buy plane tickets for those who want to leave America. We'll start by buying one for Rober Redford.

Life Sucks for Deserter

Gee, this just breaks your heart, no?

TOKYO - Far from finding a communist paradise, four American soldiers suspected of deserting to North Korea (news - web sites) in the 1960s were forced to live together in a tiny house under constant surveillance, to scrounge for food and to study the works of "Great Leader" Kim Il Sung for up to 16 hours a day.

Two died before ever again seeing the outside world.

So they decided to abandon thier positions in the U.S. military, into communist North Korea, and found out that communist dictators really do suck. Awww, shucks. My heart bleeds for this guy. No, really. It does. Ok, maybe not. This douchebag got exactly what he deserved. Of course to hear the rest of the story, written by the AP's Eric Talmadge, this guy is a victim and suffering hero.

Read the rest if you like, to me it's enough to know the guy's life was nothing but a living Hell after he deserted.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I've Been Disenfranchised!!!!!!!!!

That's right, the Might Overlord has been disenfranchised, and thus far have been denied my right to vote. Here's the story thus far:

In June of '04, I moved from Tampa, Florida; to Prattville, Alabama. In early July, my wife and I registered to vote here in AL, through RocktheVote.com (mistake on my part obviously). Here's where the problem comes in. About 99% of the folks in Prattville, AL live in Autauga county. My registration card says Autauga county. There are about 400 of us, that live inside of Prattville, that are in the neighboring county of Elmore. In fact, if I go into my back yard and walk off my property line, I'm in Autauga county. It's about 60 feet from my back door. But I live in and am registered in Elmore. Or so I thought. I left this morning to vote, in Elmore county. When I arrived, I was informed that I had to go to Autauga county to vote. Kind of irritating, but OK. So I go to Autuaga county precinct, (the one on my card), and I get turned away again. The Autauga county reps tell me I'm not registered there, except for the city/municipal elections. For the federal elections, I have to go to Elmore county. So I make the drive to Elmore county again. The gentleman there is kind enough to make a few phone calls, and finally puts us on the phone with the Elmore county supervisor of elections office. As it turns out, apparently the fine folks over at Rock the Vote dot com, because Prattville is 99% Autauga county, attempted to register me in that county for the federal elections. Obviously, it didn't work. It turns out that I am not registered to vote in the federal elections in any county. So I make a phone call to the Alabama Secretary of State's office. The word so far is that I should go to the voting precinct on my registration card (Autauga county) and file a provisional ballot, and basically hope it all works itself out. And I thought Florida was effed up. I'll continue to try and vote today, though it seems unlikely as I am on the night shift and have to be at work in about 3 hours. I'll let you all know if I'm able to vote. If anyone has any advice or information that could be helpful to me in this situation, send me an email. I would dearly appreciate it.

One more thing I should mention is as I was coming out of the Elmore county precinct, we were stopped by a reporter from the Montgomery Advertiser, a local newspaper. It turns out the young lady was very interested in our situation. Although I seriously doubt my vote will be cast this year, hopefully we can shed some light on this and make sure it doesn't happen again.


So the office of Alabama's secretary of state tells me to fill in a provisional ballot and basically, hope for the best. Screw that. Per Mike's advice, I tried to call the Rush Limbaugh show, as he was giving folks a number off the air that they could call for assistance. However, as I expected, I was unable to get through before I got to work. So I ended up just filing a series of complaints (a whole lot actually) and just be happy that Alabama went to Bush anyway.

Update2: It seems I'm not the only one having problems.

Update3: A message to all the democrats who were running for office yesterday--Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodye!! Have a great day folks;-)

Voting Tomorrow

I just wanted to remind everyone about voting tomorrow. No, not just getting out to vote. But knowing who you're voting for. I'm not (just) referring to the president. Just as important, if not more so, are your choices for other elected offices. Your congressmen/women, state senators etc... Many people give these choices little if any thought. What many of us don't realize is that these choices (or lack thereof) can have even more impact than our choice of president. Think of the POTUS as the quarterback on a football team. One of the most important players. You can't play witout one. Yet a quarterback alone cannot win football games. He is just the one in the forefront, the one who; rightly or wrongly gets the credit...or the blame when the rest of the team falters. The president has one major function. Commander in Chief of the Great Armed Forces of the United States. As a member of the executive branch, the president doesn't actually make the laws (yes he signs bills etc.. but I'll get into that later this week), that's the job of the legislative branch. I'm working on a post for this week on the branches of government (most notably the Judicial branch, as I'll be covering Judicial activism tyranny is this post). With that said, I'll save the rest for a larger, more in depth post later this week. I just wanted to remind everyone to take the necessary time to look into ALL of the voting decisions you will be making tomorrow. Here's to four more years:-) Toodles.

That's It, I Give Up

We've lost. There's no point in going on now. The Redskins lost. Why does that matter? C'mon, everyone knows the ole' story. When the 'Skins win, the incumbent president wins; when the 'Skins lose, the incumbent president loses. You've never heard that one? Well obviously you know this means the right doesn't have a chance tomorrow. We should just pack it up and go home, don't even bother voting.

Bull****!!! If you don't go and vote tomorrow, I will personally come to your house and kick your a$$. Get up, get out, vote. The Lovely Mrs. and myself will be out early in the a.m. doing our part to make sure the right carries the state of Alabama.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Choice.....Or Murder

Exert from the Prattville/Autauga County Gazette

Partial Birth Abortion:

"The mother was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down in to the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms----everthing but the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus. The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a bay does when he thinks that he might fall. The doctor opened up the scissors , stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out."

One abortionist is quoted in the New York Times that some mothers find such abortions comforting because after the "procedure", the small body can be "dressed and held" so the mother can "say goodbye."

Another abortionist at the Dayton clinic is quoted as saying that 80% of these procedures are elective.***
***From Newsweek, December 11, 1995 (George F. Will)

Most of you know very well my stance on abortion, as I stated most recently here. The idealist in me would like to see abortions made completely illegal, except in the most extreme cases (rape, incest, or a serious risk to the mother). The realist in me, however, realizes that this will most likely never happen. Most of my objectivism friends, (The Mighty Sicilian, and the Omnipotent Neil) do support abortions, in the early stages of pregnancy, when the fetus cannot survive outside the womb, has no consciousness, feels no pain etc... I understand this point, I don't agree, but I understand it. But I cannot begin to fathom, why any woman would willingly, and for no health related reasons what-so-ever, would "elect" to undergo this procedure. What really strikes me as bizarre is that the same people who support this procedure are for the most part the same people that call capital punishment barbaric. Un-effing-believable.