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Archive for December 2008

Afghanistan Today-The GWOT Hot Spot: January 1, 2009-Thurs.

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2009:  A new year at war. While the war in Afghanistan rages on, with a promised surge of troops by the new president, the war in Iraq appears to wind down. Other wars never ended, such as the one in Korea. A story linked at the number one slot below details some measure of justice for the sailors tortured by the North Koreans after their ship, the USS Pueblo was captured with them aboard, many years after the Korean War ended. Several other links follow, with an emphasis on what may happen in 2009, plans being made for the wars looking ahead. A look to the past can help us here and now and into the future. God bless the USA in 2009 and please pray for our troops on the front lines in these wars which continue into the new year. God bless them in 2009, and may the USA find the way to victory. Links:

1.)  The USS Pueblo is still held by the North Koreans. Some small amount of justice came to the survivors who were tortured after their ship was captured. This bit of history should not be forgotten. Link:

Several links below. In the first link, it mentions the apology used to secure the release of U.S. sailors after 11 months was revoked. I believe apologies issued in error by U.S. generals and officials should similarly be  revoked. This first link has a story which includes a link to the official USS Pueblo site. The USA should demand return of the USS Pueblo before one cent of U.S. food aid or humanitarian relief goes to North Korea. Link:

http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2008/12/barnes-thornburg-helps-tortured-sailors-of-uss-pueblo-40-years-later.html

Link to survivor site:

http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/aftermath/afterframe.html

Link to news stories. I am glad they won their case. Link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/31/washington/31pueblo.html

 http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705274174,00.html

Good story about USS Pueblo Court of Inquiry:

http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/aftermath/afterframe.html

Double Standards-same thing happening with Marines today:

http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/aftermath/afterframe.html

Commander Bucher testimony at Court of Inquiry:

http://www.usspueblo.org/v2f/aftermath/afterframe.html

2.)  Trial of Marine in Fallujah battle postponed. They should drop this case of a Marine doing his job in battle. Write your congressman and senators and ask them to drop this, also ask them for a written response so you know how they will treat Marines in battle. With a troop surge in Afghanistan in store in 2009 our politicians need to loosen the rules of engagement so our troops can win and not face trials. Link:

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2008/12/30/military/zda4f8ca3dfe904118825752f0060baa8.txt

3.) NATO waits for Obama handling of Afghanistan. A look forward to 2009 in the Global War on Terrorism. Link:

http://www.voanews.com/english/2008-12-31-voa22.cfm

4.)  Commandant of the Marine Corps James Conway says it is “high time” U.S. Marines move into Afghanistan. Well, the politicians better pass the law for Obama to sign on day 1 which reads, “SOLDIERS AND MARINES IN A BATTLE HAVE TO BE ALLOWED TO SHOOT BACK.” We don’t need more trials, investigations, or Marine Court of Inquiries for Marines doing their job in battle. Link:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/31/terror/main4694266.shtml

5.)  U.S. needs more supply lines as a troop surge is planned in Afghanistan:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/31/world/asia/31military.html?ref=us

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7806453.stm

6.) Guantanamo: release denied for terrorist suspects:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123003031.html

Judges agrees with Bush:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/31/washington/31gitmo.html?hp

7.)  Taliban surge of activity in Afghanistan:

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december292008/afghan_update_12-29-08.php

8.)  Marine legend, Victor H. Krulak, retired lieutenant general dies at 95. We need more like him to win the wars we face today, if only they would have listened to him on how to win in Vietnam. A look back into the past can tell us what we need now and in the future: no nonsense leaders who want to win the wars they are sent to by politicians. Links:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-krulak31-2008dec31,0,3033208.story

“Brute’s” no-nonsense style needed in today’s war:

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2008/dec/30/n27313165445-bn30krulak/?zIndex=29867

9.)  Afghanistan and Pakistan to take center stage in 2009:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0102/p05s01-wosc.html

10.) Afghanistan faces many hurdles in 2009 election year:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/081231/national/afghan2009_elxn_1

Written by orangekite1

December 31, 2008 at 11:57 pm

Posted in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Today-The GWOT Hot Spot-12/31/08-Wed.

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Last words of the year. What could I say? What would they be? I can say nothing even comparable to what our heroes are doing for us in the Global War on Terrorism, trying to keep the war off U.S. shores. Our greatest generation is living now, and if we are lucky enough, we might be able to reach out and touch them in the flesh, us mere mortals, can reach out and shake their hand, in solemn debt to United States Marines, living legends keeping us free. But, all too often, as they are  out there fighting the good fight, they may even give up their good lives, and we may have missed that opportunity. While fighting the good fight, too many are criticized and second guessed for defending themselves in a war.

The politicians who send them to battle must hear from us, those who depend on these Marines, for our very way of life. Our Marines must be equipped properly, and in battle under tactics which promote victory, not those, such as “Pay and Apologize”  which demoralize U.S. troops and get Americans killed and injured. This is the least the politicians who send them to war can do and it’s not costing them a bit of flesh.

God bless our troops who serve in war zones in 2009 and may it be the year Americans are allowed by their generals and politicians to win the war in Afghanistan. The new president is calling for a troop surge and has stated he intends to win the war there. May he get his wish and declare VICTORY in Afghanistan in 2009, and not just “mission accomplished.”  May he know enough to act, as a commander in chief who wants to win, who fires inept generals who have not won in over 7 years, who backs his enlisted troops and officers on the ground, drops the “Victory Through Apology” tactics, and puts an end to restricted rules of engagement putting our troops at a disadvantage.

God bless the USA in 2009 and may it be the year of victory. Pray for our troops fighting out a tough victory in Afghanistan. They are our greatest generation. They need our prayers and support.

Hold your politicians feet to the fire and contact them and ask them to support the troops by passing a law such as this, which should be signed into law by Obama on his first day in office: “SOLDIERS AND MARINES IN A BATTLE HAVE TO BE ALLOWED TO SHOOT BACK.”

MAY GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS IN 2009, AND MAY GOD BLESS THE USA. PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS, THEY FACE A TOUGH FIGHT IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2009, AND A SPECIAL PRAYER FOR OUR UNITED STATES MARINES.

Various links below from around the GWOT world at war:

1.)  Official press release from Department of Defense. Of note is the emphasis on the cyber wars, and need to protect our computer systems. From the story and link below:

“Meanwhile, assignment of the cyberspace mission to Stratcom recognizes cyberspace as a warfighting domain critical to joint military operations, officials said. The revised unified command plan will give new emphasis to this capability, they said, ensuring it is protected, defended and leveraged for the United States.”

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=52450

2.)  A true Marine hero, read about him and thank God for this man and our freedom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Krulak

In today’s military, chances are he would be put in the brig, with the high civilian death toll in the Battle of Okinawa. We would not have victory in Okinawa, Japan where Marines still have a base today. Today’s Marines are criticized and falsely accused of “killing civilians” when they are defending themselves in a war zone. In a war we won, WWII, our greatest generation of the day, fought to win on Okinawa, and I don’t recall any charges being brought against them for civilian deaths on Okinawa.

It was a war we had to win back then, and today’s Global War on Terrorism should be a war we fight to win, as it too is a war we MUST win. We must end senseless investigations and stop the trials based on false charges of our brave fighting men. Read about the Battle of Okinawa at the link below also, and read this:

“Hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed, wounded or attempted suicide. Approximately one-fourth of the civilian population died due to the invasion.”

At some battles, such as at Iwo Jima, there had been no civilians involved, but Okinawa had a large indigenous civilian population and, according to various estimates, somewhere between 1/10 and 1/3 of them died during the battle.[6] Okinawan civilian losses in the campaign were estimated to be between 42,000 and 150,000 dead (more than 100,000 according to Okinawa Prefecture[12]). The U.S. Army figures for the campaign showed a total figure of 142,058 civilian casualties.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa#Civilian_losses

3.)  “First to Fight”. Note it DOES NOT say: “First to Apologize”. Link to this book:

http://books.google.com/books?id=qncsAAAACAAJ&dq=Victor+H+Krulak&source=an&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result

4.) Photo of Lt. Gen. and son the Gen.:

http://www.frankdeangelis.com/Lieutenant%20General%20Victor%20H.%20Krulak.htm

5.)  Whose theory on how to win in Vietnam was better? From the story and link:

“The conclusion acknowledges that every insurgency is unique and that there is no absolute formula for victory, but that Krulak’s method offered a higher probability of success given the circumstances of this conflict.”

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA328122

6.)  “The Strategic Corporal”-a 1999 article by Victor Krulac from 1999;  the part below seems to describe our wars today. (Please note: I am trying not to get Lt. General Victor Krulac mixed up with his son, Gen. Victor Krulac, former Marine Commandant) From the story and link:

“Compounding the challenges posed by this growing global instability will be the emergence of an increasingly complex and lethal battlefield. The widespread availability of sophisticated weapons and equipment will “level the playing field” and negate our traditional technological superiority. The lines separating the levels of war, and distinguishing combatant from “non-combatant,” will blur, and adversaries, confounded by our “conventional” superiority, will resort to asymmetrical means to redress the imbalance. Further complicating the situation will be the ubiquitous media whose presence will mean that all future conflicts will be acted out before an international audience.”

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/strategic_corporal.htm

7.)  Obama has been going onto the Marine base on Hawaii and going to work out at Semper Fit. Some commented as to how he got permission to go onto the Marine base with his wife and friends? The story below explains it for anyone who wondered. From the story  & link below: (My comment: the spokesman’s cites Obama sets an ‘example’ working out, but fails to mention Obama smokes cigarettes and that is not a good example for Marines to follow if they value physical fitness!)

“He’s been very gracious in his visits, and he’s been welcomed very warmly,” said Marine Maj. Alan Crouch, spokesman for Marine Corps Base Hawaii. “He’s made it clear that he is not yet the commander in chief. But as the upcoming commander in chief and definitely a person of importance to the country, to the DOD (Department of Defense) and to the Marines, he is of course welcomed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii anytime.”

Especially at the Semper Fit gym, Crouch said.

“We, the Marines, value physical training and appreciate the good example he sets for all of us,” Crouch said.”

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20081230/NEWS01/812300344/1190/localnewsfront

8.)  Female 2MLG Marines give up locks for love:

http://www.marines.mil/units/marforcom/iimef/2ndmlg/Pages/FemaleMarinesgiveuplocksforlove.aspx

9.) Award Medal of Honor to Sgt. Peralta: Marines, family to ask Obama when he is sworn in as president. Marines let down again by Sec. Gates. The actions of this fallen Marine obviously don’t fit in with his “Victory Through Apology” tactics. Maybe if we could apologize to the insurgent’s families and pay them money for the actions of the Marines that day in battle, Gates will change his mind and award the Medal of Honor. Nothing else makes any sense, and why the expense of going to the panel, when you have real live Marine heroes who survived the battle give their statements as to what happened? Let’s see if Obama steps forward for Stg. Peralta and his family. RIP Sgt. Peralta. God bless our Marines in battle and may they have leadership which appreciates their sacrifice, supports them, gives them the supplies they need, and most importantly, give them rules of engagement where they have a chance to live, and DROP “Victory Through Apology” as it will not lead to victory. As I have noted before, Congress CAN get behind our troops and pass laws to support them, as the young Congressman-elect Hunter states. Congress also needs to have this law ready for Obama to sign on Day 1 of his administration, please write your Congressmen on these 2 laws, the one for the Medal of Honor for the Marine, and I suggest this one as Obama wants to ramp up troops in Afghanistan and win the war there, in order to put an end to endless investigations of Marines and soldiers defending themselves. Here is the law Congress should pass: “SOLDIERS AND MARINES IN A BATTLE HAVE TO BE ALLOWED TO SHOOT BACK.”  From the story and link:

“It is like calling us liars,” he said. “The panel that Gates had pretty much said it didn’t happen, that there’s no way it could have happened. Obviously there is a way, because I’m still here. He obviously took that grenade in. It didn’t roll up under him. He had to tuck it there.”

http://www.starbulletin.com/news/hawaiinews/20081230_Award_the_Medal_of_Honor_to_Peralta_warriors_urge.html

“It is also possible, although it has never happened before, that Congress could pass a bill to give Peralta the Medal of Honor which would become law if Obama signs it.”

  “He said it is wrong to favor forensic evidence over the eyewitness accounts of five Marines who were there.

“I don’t think science can determine it (heroism),” he said. “There is only one true gauge of what happened, and that is those who saw it.”

A spokesman for Obama declined comment on Peralta’s case yesterday.

Reynolds said he has written the president-elect and asked for justice.

In what is perhaps a silent protest, the Marine Corps has never given Peralta’s family the Navy Cross.

“They’ve never offered it, and the family has never asked for it,” Sabga said.”

 10.) Wounded Marine returns home, read this account of your smalltown hero and reailze this Marine represents the best fabric of our nation. This single Marine is holding us together, keeping us warm, allowing us to live in freedom, letting us sleep at night. God bless him, God bless the small town he came from, God bless his family, and those who honored him. I am truly humbled. It’s a story for the ages. A story for us all, a representation of the best that is America. Link:

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews/news/southwest/1352650,4_1_JO29_OLSON_S1.article

Written by orangekite1

December 31, 2008 at 2:33 am

Posted in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Today-The GWOT Hot Spot-12/30/08-Tues.

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The Global War on Terrorism aptly describes what is going on across the world now. Hamas lobs bombs at Israel, and how smart was that as Israel finally fought back and there is word of all out war. The Taliban wage war across Afghanistan, and in Pakistan as described in the first story below describing how they are burning and beheading their way across the Swat Valley in Pakistan. At the same time, Iraq is still in play in the GWOT. Oh, and not to forget the tensions between Pakistan and India after the attack by radical Muslims in Bombay a few weeks back. The ball bounces out of control, or rolls down the hill, faster and faster, who will stop the ball, or who will stop the terrorism? God bless our U.S. military around the world trying to put a stop to the war being waged against our country, and may the government who sends them to war give them the rules of engagement and the equipment to come home with a victory. Links below:

1.)  Taliban beheading and burning their way across scenic Pakistan valley. In addition, as stated by one of their leaders, women are supplying the insurgents with help by cooking and helping out with support. Since none of them are wearing uniforms, they are both enemy combatants, the men fighting and the women providing support. Often when the U.S. bombs an enemy compound like this they claim women are killed, or “civilians” are killed, but as this story says, they are supporting the Taliban or enemy cause. Link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081230/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan_valley_of_fear

2.)  Hamas defiant; hits Israel again with rockets:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081229/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

3.)  4,219 Americans killed in Iraq since war begin in March 2003:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081230/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_us_deaths;_ylt=Aszvwu92r.DaSu.zWNW8LDELewgF

4.)  Hamas military barely dented by Israeli attacks:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1868929,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-world

5.)  Bomings across Afghanistan, including mention of yesterday’s suicide bomber who drove his SUV into school children walking to school, killing all 14. Link:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/12/29/afghanistan.attacks/index.html?eref=time_world

6.)  Don’t be naive about Muslim law if you decide to have sex on the beach in Dubai. Link:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/12/29/uk.sexonbeach.dubai/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

7.)  No longer the forgotten war, Afghanistan will be a hard one for Obama to win. Quick!! Somebody tell Obama: STOP the pay and apology plan the Secretary of Defense he retained champions! Drop the restricted rules of engagement! Stop investigating and sending Marines and soldiers for defending themselves! Let the Marines do their job. Let the soldiers and Marines kill the enemy and get this war over with! Obama can win the war in Afghanistan but he MUST get his generals out from Tampa, FLA, from the Pentagon, and wherever else they go and put them on the front lines and lead the troops in battle and he must quit the PC tactics which have us on the losing side after 7 years at war. God bless our troops, and pray our new president does the right thing to win the war in Afghanistan. He appears to like Marines, going to their base in Hawaii daily. Let the Marines fight and win the war. Stop the trials for Marines doing their job. WIN THE WAR. Link:

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/obama/2008/12/29/no-longer-the-forgotten-war-afghanistan-will-be-a-hard-one-for-obama-to-win.html

8.)  Yes, Marines are still on Okinawa, Japan, over 50 years after the war ended in the Pacific. Here are the top 10 stories of the year there:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=59704

9.) Jan. 1, 2009 the U.S. military in Iraq must request warrants before doing searches. I believe the American generals and military lawyers should secure the warrants, serve them, search, then call the Iraqi police or army for a paddy wagon and arrest the terrorists. Leave the U.S. military out of it, let them stay on base. Link:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=59692

10.)  Funeral for British Royal Marine murdered by 13-year old with wheel barrel bomb in Afghanistan. God bless our British fighting Marines and this Marine’s family should be in our prayers, after all he was fighting for our freedom too. Link:

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article2077222.ece

Written by orangekite1

December 30, 2008 at 2:43 am

Posted in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Today-The GWOT Hot Spot-Mon. 12/29/08

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I am going to step back  a bit to Sept. 2008 and Sec. of Defense Robert Gate’s “VICTORY THROUGH APOLOGY” tour of Afghanistan. I will list several links to stories about the tour and the change in tactics when he ordered commanders on the ground to offer money and apologies quicker  and before an investigation of accused American troops. “Victory Through Apology” will not win the war in Afghanistan and undercuts the rights of our troops to a fair investigation, or trial. It will encourage more Afghans who want to collect money to falsely accuse U.S. troops of killing their relatives or injuring them. With the upcoming troop surge of 30,00+ U.S. troops to Afghanistan, Americans should contact the president, and their senators and congressman and ask for less restricted rules of engagement for U.S. troops, and for the “Victory Through Apology” tactics to be dropped. If the U.S. wants to win this war, they need to train for victory and proceed as such. The Afghans should apologize for allowing terrorists on their soil to train for 9-11-01 and for Osama Bin Laden being able to run terrorist training camps from their land, and for the 3,000+ killed in the 9-11-01 attacks. The Afghan president can begin to apologize for each American wounded so far in Afghanistan, and write the family of our wounded or killed troops and offer sincere thanks for fighting for their freedom and his safety, and offer an apology for their injuries or deaths. Until I read that the Afghan president writes letters of apology to each American already wounded in his country, or to the families of those already killed, and continues to do so from this day forward for any future casualties, I do not believe the United States should offer apologies or money.

Who is watching out for our troops? How does proclaiming our troops “guilty” before a trial promote democracy? Does Sec. Gates offer an apology and money to Americans killed or injured by Afghans? How about those American troops falsely accused of crimes by the Afghans, where is the apology on their behalf?

In addition, a few more links to Afghanistan stories, such as one in which dogfighting, stopped under the Taliban rule, is coming back there. There is also a story where Afghan enemy fighters bombed a house and killed 3 girls inside. Where is the apology from the insurgents to the Afghan President? Various other stories as the GWOT marches on throughout the world. Links below:

1.)  Gates on his “VICTORY THROUGH APOLOGY” tour of Afghanistan in Sept. 2008 before the troops surge of 30,000 Americans.

From the story:

Comment by Gates: “I think the key for us is, in those rare occasions when we do make a mistake, when there is an error, to apologize quickly, to compensate the victims quickly and then carry out the investigation,” Gates told reporters later at Bagram airfield,

Link:

http://a.abcnews.com/Politics/WireStory?id=5819924&page=1

2.) Another take on the “Victory Through Apology” tour by Sec. Gates from NY Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/18/world/asia/18gates.html

3.) Dogfighting coming back in Afghanistan: Where is PETA and the animal rights gorups?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/world/asia/28dogfight.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

4.) 3 girls killed in their home by enemy fighters in Afghanistan:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/world/asia/28afghan.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

5.)  14 Afghan school children murdered by fellow Afghan suicide bomber. This link includes a video from a security camera showing the SUV weaving down the road while the shool children walk to school. All were killed in the explosion. How can Afghans be so cruel to their own country’s children? Where is the apology from the Afghan government for letting this suicide bomber do this? We have paid billions for the Afghan police and Army. We need to question why they allowed this to happen? Link: (Be sure to click on video to see the cruelness of the suicide bomber driving the SUV into the children’s path, then exploding.) (Also click on ‘US in Afghan Troop Pledge”) Link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081228/ap_on_re_as/as_afghanistan

6.) Locate enemy, connect with villagers in Afghanistan, story direct from CENTCOM. Link:

http://www.centcom.mil/en/what-we-do/air-assault-locate-enemies-connect-with-villagers.html

7.)  Israel and Hamas fighting it out:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/27/2008-12-27_pros_see_a_tragic_cycle_of_retaliation_r.html?ref=nl&nltr_ct=1&nltr_id=Pros%20see%20a%20tragic%20cycle%20of%20retaliation%20resuming

8.)  Al-Qaeda leader killed in Iraq:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2008/12/27/2008-12-27_al_qaedalinked_terror_thug_who_escaped_i.html

9.) Major John Pryor-KIA Iraq-hero doctor went to Iraq to help our troops survive their injuries, helped Iraqi civilians also. Say a prayer for the family of this 42 year old soldier, a medical doctor. Another Purple Heart earned, another family’s heart broken forever. Link:

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/warzone/2008/12/nj-soldier-killed-in-iraq-on-c.html

10.) President-elect Obama went to the Semper Fit gym on the Marine base in Hawaii again today. Outlined in this story from TIME Magazine, he visited with the Marines on base. Let’s hope he lets the Marines he sends into battle win the war, and he sends them with the proper equipment, backing, less restricted rules of engagement to keep them alive, and puts a halt to the “Victory Through Apology” tactics in effect now. Link:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1868842,00.html?imw=Y

Written by orangekite1

December 29, 2008 at 3:25 am

Posted in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Today-The GWOT Hot Spot-Sun. 12-28-08

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The year is fast winding down, but for troops on the front line the wars never stop as 2008 blends into 2009.   Some make it back to tell the tale of their deployment, some live on only in the memory of those who love them.

 I am going to to focus on some of our individual tales of bravery and heroism, especially stories featuring our United States Marines. We live free another year because of these men-if you recall  what happened on 9/11/01, the terrorists want us dead. God bless our troops and say a prayer for them as you read. Links:

1.)  Flagstaff Arizona Marine displays the best attributes of one of the few, the proud.  He doesn’t want attention brought to himself, he didn’t even want a Purple Heart for his injuries. He serves to keep us free, people he never even met.  We have the honor of seeing the greatest generation serving right before our very eyes. If you can touch one in the flesh and shake their hand, you are reaching out to the very best fabric in our society, the very best our nation has to offer. Men and women who willingly offer up their life and limbs to continue our way of life in America.  May they receive the full backing of the U.S. government that sends them to do battle. As citizens, we can have a positive role in victory, as we no longer have to ration rubber, butter, oil and other items as citizens did in World War II. Many of us do not have to fight ourselves, but we can write our Congressmen, Senators, and the President himself and request that our troops do not have to operate with restricted rules of engagement which may get them killed, and we can request that they are properly supplied, and backed by those who send them, not torn down. You can write your representatives via e mail, send a fax, snail mail, or contact them by phone.

Where do we get such men and women who defend us at such great personal cost? Americans and our politicians who send these brave men and women to war may wake up one day and realize it is the greatest generation in their midst keeping them free. It won’t hurt for you to remind them. That is what they are fighting for, our Constitutional Rights, and our freedom of speech, so use it wisely and defend the ones who defend us. Our only cost is perhaps a .42 cent stamp while our troops offer up their limbs and their very life for us. Please pray for our heroes. From the story, and link below:

“This year he received a Purple Heart military decoration after his left leg was injured by shrapnel in Afghanistan, but he doesn’t want credit. “

“I didn’t even want it because it didn’t really do anything to me,” he said about the medal and his injury. “It didn’t seem right. I don’t expect to get anything for what I did. I just did it for everybody else.”

“Afghanistan is different than Iraq, because they are all moving around,” his mother said. “They don’t really have a home base. They’re living in tents. There’s a fine dust everywhere. It was all over his gear.”

“One of ours has come home, and he’s safe,” said his mother on Monday, when she came into the Daily Sun offices to talk about her son, even though he doesn’t want publicity. “I’m ecstatic. I had dreams he was in danger, and I would wake up and pray for him. He tells me he’s had so many close calls.”

http://ktar.com/?nid=6&sid=1015270&r=1

2.)  Ladies take out your tissues. OK, for this one even the real men can take out their handkerchief, in case something gets in their eye while they are reading this story. A British Royal Marine, one of his country’s finest, and in fact, defending those of us ‘across the pond’ , is murdered in Afghanistan by a 13-year old suicide bomber who pushed a wheel barrel up next to him and 2 of his fellow Royal Marines who went down with him, three brave souls living on in memories of those  brothers in arms who served with them, and their beloved families.

Read this whole story and let it sink in. Say a prayer for our troops tonight around the world, and those in Afghanistan who face increased violence, such as this violent act from a 13 year old boy who killed the 3 British Royal Marines. RIP to our 3 allies in arms. From the story and link:

“Damian Davies, 27, died after they were reportedly approached by a 13-year-old boy pushing a wheelbarrow in which a bomb was hidden in Helmand province.

Mr Davies’ pregnant widow Joanne and his 18-month-old son Matthew were among mourners at St George’s Parish Church.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/7799149.stm
 
More on this brave British Royal Marine. From the story and link:

Around 20 members of the Royal British Legion formed a guard of honour at the entrance to the church. On top of the coffin, which was draped with the Union flag, sat Marine Davies’s Royal Marines cap, alongside a Christmas hat.

Pink and white flower tributes included the word “Daddy” and, from his wife, the initials “MSHMX” – which stands for “My Sexy Husband, Merry Xmas”.

A note attached to the flowers read: To my darling Mr sexy husband man, you sleep tight now and I will see you again one day. Nighty nighty, pyjama, pyjama. Love always and forever, your Mrs Princess Tinkerbell, Joanne. xxxx xxxx”

Around 150 Royal Marines attended the 40-minute service, led by the Rev Peter Lawley. Many in the congregation – which numbered around 400 – fought back tears as Marine Davies’s brother, Sergeant Warren Davies, 34, read the poem Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5iEnY-pNq4M83y9bH5O3MH-cJ1b-Q

Another story on the British Royal Marine. Look and the poignant photo of his coffin with his Marine cover next to a Christmas hat. From the story and link:

Mr Davies, from Telford, died alongside two of his fellow was Marines, Sergeant John Manuel and Corporal Marc Birch, as a result of the explosion south of Sangin.

On top of the coffin, which was draped with the Union flag, his Royal Marines cap, alongside a Christmas hat.

 http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/campaigns/our_boys/article2071347.ece

Pink and white flower tributes included the word “Daddy” and, from his wife, the initials MSHMX, which stood for “My Sexy Husband, Merry Xmas”.

Padre Graham Titchin said at Marine Davies’ funeral: “A pre-pubescent child is sent to his death with a barrow of explosives. Damian died in this act of wickedness.”

 3.)  A 20 year old British Royal Marine goes down fighting in Afghanistan. Take out your tissues again for this one, that’s what I’m having to do. These men are fighting for the benefit of the free world. Read from beginning to end and let it sink in. From the story and link:

Mrs Whatley said: “We would have had a turkey meal with crackers and poppers once he was home. There was no way we could have had a proper family Christmas while he was away.
“You never stop worrying when your son is away on a tour. You are on edge for seven months because you never know if you are going to get phone call or a visit to say something has happened. “The only time you know you son is safe is when you speak to him on the phone. Then you can relax for that time – but as soon as you put the phone down you  will begin to get worked up again. You don’t know what he will be doing in ten minutes time.

“Now we have had that visit which we were dreading. I suppose it is something we don’t have to worry about any more.”   Mrs Whatley said her 6ft 5ins tall son wanted to be a Royal Marine from the age of 12.  Mr Whatley added: “He enjoyed being with his unit. I don’t think he considered the political side of things too much. He was a Marine. It was a job he simply adored. I can’t imagine him being anything else or wanting to be anything else.”
Major Rich Cantrill, the officer commanding Lima Company, said: “Lance Corporal Ben Whatley was a tough, uncompromising commando. Tall with a booming baritone voice, Ben Whatley had in abundance that magic ingredient of ‘presence’.”

Cpl Luke Colman, section commander of 9 Troop, Lima Company, said he could not have wanted a better second-in-command and said he would be seen “going up and down the line encouraging the other lads when things were getting hard.”

More on the combat death in Afghanistan on this tough, fighting Royal Marine:

http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/Tributes-fallen-Marine/article-571507-detail/article.html

4.) This is a must read, news of British Royal Marines taking it to the Taliban in Afghanistan, something  you don’t hear much about. From the story and link:

But the battle-hardened companies of 42 Commando are not deterred. We met them on Christmas Eve tucking into a curry, surrounded by festive decorations, at Camp Bastion, in Helmand. To a man, they were up for the fight.Cpl Matt Hoey, 27, from Emsworth, Hants, said: “It’s what the lads are here to do.”
  
Mr Ainsworth said: “When everyone at home woke up on Christmas morning, these guys had been facing the enemy for hours.   “And on Boxing Day they were still going, with no sleep. They’re amazing.”

 http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/news/111900/Silent-fight.html

5.)  Two Kansas Marines return home from war tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the story and link: (there is also video link)

“We prayed a lot, and relied on our faith,” said Gina Tromp, Tucker’s mother. “The whole time they were gone, it was just a constant worry and you pray for both of them,” said Marie Hughbanks, Dean’s mother
 
http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/36768344.html
 6.)  Marine Combat Hunter training, there is a link also to the USA TODAY story about it. The story is from earlier in the year, but explains Marine training and is interesting to read. Link below:

http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/g/ae15697d-f3f3-4815-96c4-d02c3e0970bf

7.) This is a family portrait that makes you proud to be an American. This is the real America that keeps our country strong. As soon as I looked at the photo I guessed which of the 4 military sons was the Marine! Four military sons, gladly serving our country, God bless them and God bless the USA they serve. And, don’t forget the military mom, supporting the whole endeavour. Link and from the story:

Christine Jason also has shown some grit and courage over the years. A divorce nearly 20 years ago left her and the boys without a house or any means of support. She enrolled in nursing classes at Sarasota Technical Institute and got a job at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. She is now the administrator at the Urology Treatment Center in Sarasota.
 
The Jason boys were high achievers from an early age.
 Marc, Mike and Nick were Eagle Scouts. Chris studied karate and earned a black belt.
Mike and Chris graduated from Sarasota High School and kept each other focused on their respective dreams of getting into West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy.
“This is our choice,” Mike said. “We wanted to be a part of this. The military reflected our family values.”
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20081226/ARTICLE/812260348/-1/NEWSSITEMAP

 8.) I find this story to be so unassuming it just makes you want to burst with pride for this brave 19-year old Marine. He was injured in combat and it makes no mention of the Purple Heart I think he would have had to have earned for his wounds from a bombing in Afghanistan, which killed 4 Marines in the vehicle in front of him. I believe this had to be the 2/7 Marines who were hard hit in Afghanistan and written about in the LA Times by writer Tony Perry. This is another example of the real America, a real hero, fighting for the red, white, and blue, and here he is, walking among us average citizens. Link and from the story:
The 19-year-old Marine’s return was celebrated on Saturday night.

Lance Cpl. Tanner Cleveland of Kingston, who recently served an eight-month tour in Afghanistan, has come home for Christmas. Bill plans to drive with his son to California. They will stop to visit a friend in Texas.

 Tanner was deployed to train Afghan police. Shortly after arriving in Afghanistan in June, he was injured by a roadside bomb.

“He had a concussion, a gash in his arm, and wounds from shrapnel,” Bill said. “His vehicle was totaled. He spent a couple of weeks in the hospital.”

Four fellow Marines who were riding in the vehicle ahead of Tanner’s vehicle were killed.

When Tanner recovered, he continued serving with his comrades until his current leave.

  http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/couriernews/news/1343021,3_1_EL22_A1TANNER_S1.article

9.) Another American family on the front lines. This Marine’s life was changed by the experiences he has had while in the Marine Corps. When we look for heroes we don’t have to go far, there are about 200,000 of them, the few the proud…the Marines. God bless this family and this Marine. America is going to need families like these in the years and months ahead as the Global War on Terror plays out under a new administration. A quote from the mother (what an understatement!)  about says it all, read it below plus the link to entire story:
Kitchen added that she never expected her three boys to have such strong military aspirations. ‘I never intended to raise a family of warriors, but that seems to be what happened,’ she said.
http://www.galesburg.com/news/x1060487978/Lance-Cpl-Robb-Fitch-home-for-Christmas
10.) Home town type newspapers are the ones picking up the stories of our heroes. For the most part they are not being promoted on the national news night after night or in the mainstream media. Unless you really look, chances are stories like the one linked below are ones you won’t be reading about. Again, this story highlights one of our true American heroes back home in the USA from the front lines of Afghanistan, where he served with the hard hit 2/7, as this story details. The greatest generation lives among us mere mortals allowing us to live in freedom. We are truly blessed by their presence. Link and from the story below:
 
Alina-Sierra Bardos has her husband, Marine Cpl. Brandon Bardos, safely back in her arms from deployment to Afghanistan.
He was part of a California-based battalion that was the hardest hit while serving in southern Afghanistan. A Marine Corps publication reporting it suffered heavy casualties during its eight-month deployment. Honestly, my and my entire family and friends’ Christmas dream already came true. My husband came home safe and sound,” Alina-Sierra said. “There are so many that they have lost this deployment, and I’m so thankful to have my Marine home.”
 Alina-Sierra’s mother, Tracy Kalama, is also happy to have her son-in-law back from the war.  “I’m so excited,” she said, holding back tears. “They are so young, but yet so devoted. We have so much to be grateful for. . . .We don’t know the severity. . . . Freedom doesn’t come for free. I’m so proud of him.”
http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/512867.html
  
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Written by orangekite1

December 28, 2008 at 4:19 am

Posted in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Today-The GWOT Hot Spot-12/27/08-Sat.

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Two days after Christmas and the  Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) lumbers on. Around the world, terror and wars prevail.  Our U.S. Marines stand ready and able to defend our freedoms, and our government officials should provide rules of engagement where they can actually win the war, especially with the upcoming troop surge in Afghanistan being planned. This time, let’s get it right and let the American troops win the war. The CIA is even paying off Afghan tribal leaders with Viagra! If you don’t believe it read about it at the links below. Links from the GWOT follow.

1.)  If it wasn’t advertised enough on TV, here is is being given to Afghan trilbal leaders by the CIA in exchange for intelligence. Links:

http://www.freep.com/article/20081226/NEWS07/81226059/-1/rss07

Little blue pills: One way the CIA wins friends in Afghanistan, by passing out Viagra! (No word on if the women want birth control pills passed out).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/25/AR2008122500931.html?hpid=topnews

2.)  Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan, three wounded:

http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/5233899/canadian-soldier-killed-in-afghanistan/

3.)  56-year old British doctor goes to the front lines in Afghanistan to help the British troops; several examples of bravery of their troops, despite horrific injuries; first hand example of what happens in this war, should be read by U.S. politicians who want to send 30,000 more troops there under restricted rules of engagement. Links:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5400667.ece

4.)  11 enemy Taliban fighters killed by U.S. troops. How long before the cry goes out that they were “civilians”? Link:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081226/wl_sthasia_afp/afghanistanunrest_081226062542

5.)  Suicide bomb wounds troops in Afghanistan:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081226/wl_sthasia_afp/afghanistanunrestsuicideusnato_081226082012

6.)  U.S. claims 3 enemy killed, Afghans claim 3 civilians, here we go again, how long before the pay and apologize tactics favored by U.S. Sec. of Defense Robert Gates are used? Link:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-12-26-uscoalition-afghanistan_N.htm?csp=34

7.)  Pakistani troops supposedly have moved toward India’s border:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081227/ap_on_re_as/as_pakistan

U.S. urges calm:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081227/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_pakistan_troops_5

8.) Obama visits Marines in Hawaii; note commander calls him ‘great’ (is a promotion far behind?). Link:

http://www.marines.mil/units/mciwest/mcbhawaii/Pages/PresidentelectObamavisitstroops.aspx

9.)  Islamic Republic of Afghanistan: At least now the official Marine Corps page gets the word out that they are operating in an Islamic Republic. The official name of Pakistan is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan too. I am not sure how the Marines can spread democracy in an Islamic republic? This story is about Marine Commandant Conway visiting the troops in Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  I just wanted to see if it was reported that Gen. Conway and Sgt. Major Kent led some combat patrols and killed some Taliban or did some combat hunting with shotguns while out there so as not to waste so much taxpayer money, at least they could have got some hunting in. (Combat Hunter is a Marine program Conway designed to teach Marines to ‘hunt’ the enemy armed with shotguns too). It does not say how many kills Conway or Kent got in while out at the outposts. With all the violence in Afghanistan they had to see some action, I am almost sure they would not waste a trip at taxpayer expense to the front line to just speak a few words and not get into the action of killing the enemy. I am almost sure they got some, they just are not reporting it here from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. I would think they had to have led some of the young Marines out there on patrols to show them how it is done. From the story and link:

Conway gave the Marines some patriotic and encouraging words during the visit. “Your country knows that you are over here, and your country supports you in all the good things that you do out here,” he said. “All of us joined the Marine Corps knowing that one day we would probably see some combat because that is what we do. That is our heritage.”

http://www.marines.mil/units/marforcent/spmagtfa/Pages/CommandantmakesholidayvisittoMarines,sailorsinAfghanistan.aspx

10.) The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was aglow with brass over the Christmas holiday’s! Here is a story of another general who actually took time out of his busy day to eat lunch with the troops he leads. Amazing!! I would hope on our taxpayer dime he went out on some combat patrols and didn’t just fly over there, eat, and leave. Leading by example would be good, and I hope he went out and led some patrols and killed some Taliban and enemy fighters while in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan after he ate. From the story and link:

Lt. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer, commanding general of III MEF and Marine Corps Bases Japan, took time out of his busy schedule to visit Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan and thank them for their sacrifice and service during the holiday season.

http://www.marines.mil/units/marforcent/spmagtfa/Pages/IIIMEFcommandinggeneralvisitsAfghanistanMarines.aspx

Written by orangekite1

December 27, 2008 at 5:21 am

Posted in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Today-The GWOT Hot Spot-12/26/08-Friday

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The 2008 Christmas holiday is over, and our troops in the Global War on Terror (GWOT) enter another year at war in 2009.  Marines as usual are leading the charge in Afghanistan and elsewhere, not sitting on the big bases, but actually going on missions outside the wire. Note in the first story below, how your United States Marines live, and say a prayer for them. As an added bonus, you should write your United States Senator and Representative and ask them to pass laws which actually SUPPORT the troops and not just “feel good legislation.”  A real example of a law they could pass and have ready for Obama to sign on Day 1 of his administration is very simple, and as follows: “SOLDIERS AND MARINES IN A BATTLE HAVE TO BE ALLOWED TO SHOOT BACK.” With this simple piece of legislation, your Senators and Representatives can write a law which will not allow our troops in harms way to be second guessed by generals, lawyers, politicians and others with the power to start endless investigations and trials. If our Senators and Representatives vote to send our sons and daughters into battle, they must back up their vote with legislation to protect our nation’s current greatest generation. We are sending our sons and daughters to war now in the GWOT against a well-trained, equipped, and ruthless , enemy, especially in Afghanistan, without legislation which gives these troops, some as young as 18, legal protection which may save their lives and that of their buddies, if they have to decide in a split second whether to shoot, or hesitate, due to wondering if they may face legal charges, and could end up dead, or gravely injured without their legs, sight, an arm, or other serious injury. If our sons and daughters are good enough to be sent to war by Congress, this same Congress must back them and pass the law indicated above, as a simple gesture to show the troops they are operating under the law Congress passed for them, which should read: “SOLDIERS AND MARINES IN A BATTLE HAVE TO BE ALLOWED TO SHOOT BACK.” If they are good enough to send to war, they are good enough for Congress to feel strongly enough about supporting our troops, that they pass this law and have it ready for Obama to sign on Day 1. Various story links:

1.) U.S. Marines living like Marines at war. Here are a few descriptive words from the story detailing their living conditions:

“barren military base”, “cold tents”, “one of the few televisions on base”, and “chow tent”. (As opposed to the huge KBR/contractor chow halls on base). Excellent words for these excellent Marines defending our freedom on the front lines of Afghanistan. 

They should be supported by the Congress and President who sent them to Afghanistan. They need the proper equipment to keep them alive in a tough battle. I am sending this story to my representatives for their review.

 These Marines also need the legislation mentioned above so they will be operating under the law of the Congress and President who sent them. One concern is the mention of Marines passing out candy. I read elsewhere British troops are going to stop doing this due to the deaths earlier in the week of 3 British Royal Marines who were tricked by a 13 year old wheel barrel pushing enemy fighter who pushed it right up to them, where it went off, and killed himself and all 3 Marines.  Stay safe Marines and God bless in 2009, may you be allowed to do your part to fight and win the war in Afghanistan. From the story:

“About an hour in, a Humvee broke down, a common problem here as armored vehicles outfitted for Iraq’s flatter conditions encounter Afghanistan’s rougher terrain. Transmission fluid leaked from the chassis, and eventually the drive shaft fell off. The troops hooked the vehicle to the back of another and headed back to the base. They scrapped the original mission.”

“Instead, they headed to the center of Delaram to meet residents and quietly gather intelligence. As Gilreath’s troops handed out candy from the thousands of care packages they received for Christmas, intelligence officers spotted a man they suspected knew about Taliban activity. But he refused to help.”

Link (s):

http://www.kansascity.com/451/story/952369.html

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20081225/wl_mcclatchy/3130872_1

2.)  British Marine, U.S. .soldier among those killed in Afghanistan, along with the common announcement that U.S. forces “killed civilians”:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081225/wl_asia_afp/afghanistanunrest_081225183326

3.)  Contracts point to significant build-up  in Afghanistan. My question is whether this should even be printed as it tells the enemy what we are doing? (More information than they already have?) Link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/24/AR2008122402306.html?wprss=rss_nation

4.) BBC rundown of British military deaths in Afghanistan, very good chart and information on how the troops were killed, district, etc.:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7799610.stm

5.)  Marines may request more troops in Taliban area, from K.C. Star:

http://www.kansascity.com/451/story/951567.html

6.)  Main effort: Troop surge in Afghanistan to focus on the southern part of the country.  From the story:

Taliban have increasingly targeted foreign soldiers, Afghan security forces and Afghan civilians with a relentless wave of bombings and other “asymmetric” tactics,”said Maj. Gen. Maart de Kruif, commander of the International Security Assistance Force’s Regional Command-South. Link:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=59641

7.) U.S. troops in Afghanistan get  BEER and PORK LOIN for Christmas, now that is some progress at least. Link below:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=59628

8.)  Beer for U.S. troops in Iraq too, during Super Bowl game. Link:

http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=59546

9.)  Taliban threaten to blow up girls schools if they don’t close. From the story:

“According to the local authorities, 50 per cent of girls have stopped attending school because of the militants’ threats. Hazir Gul, a teacher, said that the inability of the authorities to provide protection against attacks had emboldened the Islamists. “Militants can burn the remaining schools whenever they want,” he said. In some areas state school buildings have been turned into madrassas, or religious seminaries.

Attacks on girls’ schools are not confined to the Swat district. In the past two years another 100 schools have been burnt down in Waziristanand other tribal areas, leaving tens of thousands of children between the ages of 5 and 15 with no access to education.

In many areas hardliners have established Sharia, or Islamic law, setting up their own courts and introducing public executions for those who break it. This month militants killed a pro-government cleric and hung his body up in Mingora, the main town of Swat, in full view of the Pakistani military and the local administration. “

Violence by the Taliban, al Qaidaand other militant groups in Afghanistan is at an all-time high, and 2008 has been the deadliest year for U.S. and other foreign troops since the U.S.-led coalition ousted the fundamentalist Taliban regime in 2001. Bombings, suicide attacks and assassinations have become an almost daily occurrence, and the Taliban and other groups now control large swaths of the countryside

Link:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5397901.ece

10.) One more holiday story on this day after Christmas: Remember all the empty chairs at holiday tables. God bless our troops, and God bless the USA. And a special thanks to the United States Marine Corps whose members are few, proud, and so often on the front lines, outside the wire, there for us to keep us the land of the free and the home of the brave. Link:

http://www.centredaily.com/145/story/1031528.html

11.)  Deep down Obama knows he will be depending on Marines if he is serious about the troop surge in Afghanistan and the need to kill the enemy there, which will be even more important as he plans to close Gitmo, so we can “take no prisoners,” as they will have nowhere to go. Here he is meeting some of them in Hawaii. He needs to make sure they have rules of engagement so that during his administration no Marines are in a courtroom for doing their job and staying alive in a battle. Link:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/26/obama.holiday/index.html

12.) A still dangerous Iraq is highlighted in this story about a prison break in Ramadi and resulting deaths.  I have also read elsewhere the same tactics this prisoner used are what the Gitmo terrorist detainees try to use in their continued jihad; daily attacking our guards and throwing feces at them among other things; they just haven’t grabbed a gun as this detainee did in Iraq. Our guards and workers dealing with terrorist detainees need prayers and support for the daily abuse they take from terrorist detainees on a jihad. Link to Iraq jailbreak story:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081226/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq

Written by orangekite1

December 26, 2008 at 6:34 am

Posted in Afghanistan