29 November 2006

Charles Rangel (D-NY)

You know, a week or two ago I had some earnest idiot try to convince me that the leadership of the Democratic Party neither despises or hates Soldiers.

"I want to make it abundantly clear: if there’s anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment. If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq."

Charlie the Scumbag is right about one thing. We aren't out here fighting for educational benefits or a bonus (though I do appreciate them both). But then again, like most rich liberals, he is purely a Marxian economic animal and is incapable of understanding non-economic reward systems. Having no soul, he cannot comprehend things which motivate Soldiers.

In other words, things like 'honor' and 'comradeship' and 'duty' and 'patriotism' and knowing you aren't letting down your buddy. That's not something Democrats can understand. The things the Army offers, he can't wrap his tiny little brain around.

I've deployed three times, two of them to Iraq. I've reenlisted twice, both times in Iraq. Rangel and his crowd don't understand me and can't understand me. I'm not too worked up about it, though. I'll keep doing my job, and if I do it right then he'll never understand. Of course, faced with reality, he'd likely curl up into a ball and die rather than have a moment of discovery. But that's not my worry.

26 November 2006

Today's Definition of Loser

Today's definition of loser is not something I normally like to spend my Sundays mediating upon or writing about, but when I called Jen this morning, she told me the truck had been broken into.

They smashed out the driver's side window to let themselves in.

The losers stole a leather jacket which was plainly visible hanging in the back, and this is likely what they were initially after.

They also jacked Jen's very nice Rayban sunglasses. Since they are losers, they did not realize that they were stealing prescription sunglasses which aren't wearable by very many people.

They jacked a camera. They probably have no idea the value of the camera, but it is Federal Government property and worth in excess of $10,000 dollars, which makes them felons. CID may be involved in doing the rounds of the pawn shops and whatnot.

They did steal Jen's purse, with usable credit cards (at least for a couple hours) but couldn't think of anything better to do with them than buy gas and twinkies. The cards have since been cancelled and reported stolen and the charges were reversed. We do not buy twinkies for felons.

I doubt, given the immense skill and criminal acuity involved in this heist, that more complex identity theft is within their reach, but we are taking the appropriate precautions.

But the defining thing about these losers is this:

They stole a $5.99 faux leopard print dice bag with probably 20 or 30 bucks worth of dice. Economic value: Nil. Practical use to anyone who isn't a roleplayer: Nil. Practical use to a roleplayer: Are you joking? Stolen dice would never act right. Ewww!

I can just see some gansta[tm] shooting craps with "da boys" with small pink dice. I do not think this enhances your "street cred".

The thing is, though, is that silly little bag full of dice is the first thing I bought Jen as a present. I hadn't even proposed yet, I don't think. Maybe I had. It was the same place, though.

I like buying Jen stuff because it really doesn't matter how expensive it is, she goes 'squeeee' if it is right for her. And I like making her happy. It's really that simple. Especially since we are seperated so far, and get to see each other so rarely, I like knowing that every time she goes for some random number generators she might think of me and smile. You know, cheesy little newlywed stuff that makes people roll their eyes.

Insurance will cover most of it, and the dice are already replaced. But the real value?

23 November 2006


I am responding to a number of comments in one central location.

Yes, I am aware that there are people with some criminal records in the Armed Forces. They require a waiver, which means that they managed to convince someone that they really have turned their lives around. In one case I recall from Ft. Hood, the Soldier was turned down until he went to community college, earned an associate's degree, and then returned to the recruiting station and was accepted. This I am cool with. I am unconvinced we could remain this picky in the case of a draft.

Regarding the disposition of the IA and IP. Yes, some elements would be rolled into a combined Shia army/militia/random bunch of assholes with AKs. Others would quietly become Peshmerga again. But those who were honestly trying to do their job the right way (and anyone with the 'nads to be Iraqi Army or IP in al-Anbar has got their hearts in the right zip code, at least) would either die or flee.

Regarding the imposition of Sharia and the wishes of the majority of the Iraqi population. Are you frickin' retarded? Please name one nation in the entire Middle East (other than Israel) whose government has more than a passing resemblance to the one that would make the "majority" of their inhabitants happy. In case you have been hiding under a rock since the 7th century AD, governments in the Middle East are set up at the point of sword (muzzle of gun in the last 150 years or so) and maintained that way. The desires of the "majority" of the population have less to do with it than the desires of 30 randomly selected penguins in Antartica.

Regarding certain people's luuuuv for America or otherwise. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Suck it up,. I notice you couldn't get a job in Europe (maybe because Europe's socialized economy is moribund) despite your vaunted education, and you don't have the balls to try the Third World. Criticize the teat you're sucking on all you like, but please don't tell yourself no one notices the hypocritical bullshit you spew is content-null when viewed in the context of your actions.

Funny how I remove comment moderation and all of a sudden I've got the Communist Manifesto in my comments section.

The observant will note that this is not a coincidence. I deliberately pulled moderation after making a military/political post just to satisfy my curiosity regarding my decision to moderate comments. Seems that, like locks, moderation keeps troll honest.

Finally, regarding the essential fairness of the American economic system:

Our counteroffer of $74,000 was accepted. Some time next month, this Buck Sergeant and my waiting-tables-while-working-on-a-degree wife are going to become landowners. On a 7.62 acre piece of property.

How would that work in Europe? Do tell.

The American Dream [tm] may be harder to achieve than it was when you went and cut down the trees on a piece of land and it was then yours, but it is still within reach. I love this country.

VDH would have something trenchant to say on the subject of land-owning linedogs being the core of Western military tradition. I just think it rocks.


The Commemoration of the Rightly Believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod

Today is the only uniquely American religious holiday. In these latter days it is fashionable in some circles to gloss over the religious nature of the holiday in favor of a vague 'thankfullness', but that begs the question of who one is thanking.

Though this holiday falls almost two weeks into the Nativity Fast for Orthodox Christians, it is a general rule that the celebration of this holiday trumps this, especially for those of us who have non-Orthodox relatives. It has also become associated with an Akathist said to have been found in the effects of Hieromartyr Grigori Petroff (+1942) and variously attributed to him or to Metropolitan Tryphon of Turkestan.

Kontakion 5
The tempest of life does not frighten one in whose heart shines the light of Thy divine Fire.
Around me are whirling storms and roaring winds;
terror and darkness surround me;
but in my soul is peace and light.
Christ is here.
And my heart sings:

Kontakion 11
Across the cold chain of ages I feel the warmth of Thy Holy Spirit and the surging of Divine Life. Thou art near, Time is nonexistent.
I see Thy Cross – it is for my sake.
My spirit is humbled into dust before Thy love,
limitless and incomprehensible.
Wherefore, beneath Thy Cross I will unto ages glorify Thee,
my Savior, with song:

This sort of sums up how we, Christians, are supposed to approach life. It is said that we are created to be Eucharistic and Doxological beings. In other words (English ones) we are created to give thanksgiving and glory to God. Thanksgiving is supposed to be our purpose every day, not merely on the one day that is set aside for the function. Is it any accident that the Sacrament which brings us most closely into communion with God and each other is called simply The Thanksgiving (The Eucharist if you prefer the Greek)? This is supposed to be who we are.

Today is also the Commemoration of St. Alexander Nevsky, the Rightly Believing Prince of Novgorod.

Alexander was born the fourth son of Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich of Vladimir, but was asked by Novgorod's council to serve as their Kniaz, or Prince. Novgorod was unique among medieval states in that 1136 they had banished their prince and proclaimed a republic. Novgorod was ruled by a council of merchants and nobles and the function of the prince was largely restricted to that of war leader, a duty which Alexander's father had also performed.

Alexander's role as a leader began when Novgorod was faced with an invasion by the Swedes, who used as their justification a Papal bull calling for an attack on the Finns who were alleged to have left Catholicism under the influence of their Russian neighbors. On 15 July 1240, warned of the approach of the Swedes by a Finnish chieftan who had converted to Christianity, the 19 year old prince led Novgorod's army in a sudden attack on the Swedes on the banks of the Neva river which threw their army into confusion, ended the attack, and resulted in the appelation 'Nevsky' being attached to the Prince in honor of his victory. Reviewing his troops before he set off, he used an allusion to the Psalms which has remained famous: "God is not on the side of force, but of the just case, the pravda."

However, his relations with the boyars of Novgorod worsened, and he was exiled from the city. He was summoned again a year later as Novgorod faced simultaneous invasions of both Tartars (Mongols) from the East and the Teutonic Order's German and Livonian knights from the West.
Realizing that the Tartars demanded political submission and tribute, but would not interfere in Novgorod's internal affairs, private lives, or religious faith, Alexander made the humiliating and difficult decision to pay tribute and acknowledge the Mongols as overlords.

The Germans, on the other hand, were intent on imposing German and Livonian knights in direct control of fiefs carved out of Russian territory and on forcibly converting the population to Catholicism. They occupied the three towns of Pskov, Koporye, and Iborsk. Somehow the story got started (true? Who knows) that in Pskov, at least, the Estonian auxilliaries of the Order burnt local children alive in bonfires. Alexander ordered a mobilization of the city militia, and pushed out, recapturing Pskov and Koporye. In retaliation for the burning, he hung every one of the foot soldiers he captured, but ransomed the knights for cash to pay his bodyguards/retainers (druzhina) which formed the core of the mobile force under his command.
After the Order defeated a small reconaissance force of Russians, the Prince decided to engage the main body of the Order's knights--between 2,000 and 2500 men--with his approximately 1,000 druzhina and 4,000 militia. The battle was fought on the frozen lake of Peipus. The chronicles are vague on tactical details, but both Order and Russian sources agree that the Russians stood on the defensive, stopped the charge of the Order knights, and then encircled them. When the Knights cut their way free, they attempted to regroup on the opposite side of the lake and the thin ice broke under the weight of their horses, and the Russians pursed them for several miles (7 versts).

After spending three years fighting the Lithuanians and removing the threat of Lithuanian raids for the first time in the history of Novgorod, the remainder of St. Alexander's life was taken up in managing the effects of the Mongols of the Golden Horde. When summoned before the Mongol Khan after the death of his father (recognized as the Great Prince over all the Russians by the Mongols) he consulted with the leadership of the Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Cyril gave his approval to the decision to go to the Mongols as a vassal, on the condition that he worshipped no idols and did not deny his faith in Christ. Skillful diplomacy and the willingness to pay tribute so long as the Mongols did not intrude themselves on the internal affairs of the Russians were his only weapons, as the Mongol forces could have not merely defeated the Russian armies and militias, but would have also devastated Russia and destroyed them as a people. On at least four occasions the Great Prince made long and difficult journeys to intervene with the Mongols on behalf of his people, once going as far as Karankorum and spending nearly three years on the road. He calmed situations where civil unrest almost exploded into armed resistance against the Mongols--a circumstance which would have resulted in a catastrophic response. As a result, Russia survived to throw off the Tartar yoke some time later.

St. Alexander was well noted during his lifetime for his piety. In his last days he repaired to a monastary and took vows as a simple monk, and it was as such that he reposed and was buried. Less than 20 years later he was added to the calendar and formally commemorated by the Church in Russia.

I have a great fondness for the military saints, and it would be a shame to let the Great Prince's commemoration get completely swamped by the American holiday. :)

21 November 2006

I have a question:

Let's suppose that, as seems likely, the United States Congress will have a collective failure of nerve in Iraq and we withdraw without adequately providing the support required to maintain the government of Iraq in power. Let's sort through some likely consequences. Please, do call me if you think I'm actually wrong on any of these.

1) Every surviving member of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police, many other government employees, members of many political parties (pro-US, pro-Western, pro-Democracy, whatever), and all of their families will flee the country. So will everyone who doesn't want to live under strict Sharia. Most of them will wish to resettle in the United States. This is based on our experience the last time we sold a US ally up the river, in 1975.

2) Al-Qaeda will take credit for throwing the United States out, and will be accorded the credit in the Arabic world. This results in huge amounts of new followers and new cash.

3) Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Gulf Emirates, all go under within a year or two. The pro-US faction will be terrified and unwilling to ask for US assistance (which we wouldn't be willing to give them), and the loony factions will be greatly emboldened. They will also have the resources of Iraq to draw upon. Now, instead of the Saudis trying to straddle the fence, we have the Saudis openly and publically sponsoring al-Qaeda. Without a focus on Iraq, al-Qaeda can resume planning and resourcing attacks on American assets worldwide and even in America.

4) Oil triples in price. At least.

5) Emboldened, Syria decides that the US cannot and will not support the Lebanese. Lots of dead Lebanese later, Lebanon is again a Syrian protectorate. Israel decides to conduct services on their nuclear weapons to make sure they are ready to go.

6) Iran does precisely as it pleases, knowing that the US isn't going to do a damn thing.

So on and so forth.

Anyone else seeing what I see?

Dear Mr. Rangel

For the record, as a Noncommissioned Officer in the United States Army, I do not want your scuzzball son or the pot-smoking spoiled brats in his peer group in my beloved Army.

I do not want sulky conscripts, I do not want the fat and the stupid, and I most certaintly do not want those with criminal records. I don't want anyone who doesn't want to be here, with me, in Iraq. I don't want those who failed to become adults because of your incompetent parenting techniques and expect the world to be handed to them on a silver platter without any effort.

Thanks for the offer, but I just don't want them. You created them, you deal with them.

20 November 2006

More requests

Taking his points in order:

1) I agree. The two examples mentioned strike close to home. We had some lasers which were wonderful--innocent Iraqis got the hell out of Dodge when we pointed them at them. It was an excellent Non-Lethal Warning Shot (as it was termed) and probably saved many Iraqi lives. But since they aren't eyesafe, we now use flares and such for the same purpose. Because shooting a star cluster at someone is so much safer. . .

As for the point re: IED disposal, any jackass can clear an IED if they have the right tools. A remote means of delivering an explosive charge, or a Buffalo which can tear up the IED and render it safe is a perfectly good way to do business. However, the EOD guys (overtasked, frequently taking 4 or more hours to show up) can tear it apart while preserving its evidentiary value.

Who cares about evidentiary value? It isn't enough to mean anything. Better would be a modified MARCbot (cheapo robot which is good enough for the task. We have some, but rarely use them) which would send back pictures to a thumb drive plugged into the controller (that is the main mod that is needed-there's no way to save the video and bring it back for analysis). You roll up, shoot a little bit of video to establish what kind of bomb it is, and then roll up with a C-4 charge hanging on the robot arm and a 5 minute time fuze. Robot drops the charge, rolls back, story over, and the convoy is on the road again. But we aren't permitted to do this.

We, as Engineers, have permitted EOD to take the lead in what should be a core Engineer mission, the protection of mobility corridors. We should be fighting this fight with an Engineer mindset of clearing an obstacle and assuring mobility for the maneuver forces and CSS convoys. Instead, we are finding them, and then sitting on them like damn local beat cops waiting for the bomb squad. In the United States, in peacetime, when EOD is providing support to Law Enforcement, this is fine. This is not the brightest thing to do in combat, especially because it creates operational patterns which can be exploited by agressive insurgents.

2) Ummm. . . we do need to maintain core proficiency in fighting High Intensity Conflicts. We aren't fighting any this year, or next year. But we may have to some time in the future. They are trying to adapt the training to fighting in Iraq, but essentially peacetime safety restrictions heavily limit the realism of the training. Further, since the ARTEP-style objective evaluation is maintained, we are still training to checklists of standards which are still in the format of "perform step 1 as described, perform step 2, perform step 3". It's much better than what I had the first deployment. It still isn't good.

3) No comment, it sounds right but is above my paygrade so I can't go into much further.

4) Above my paygrade to discuss in detail, but it seems to me from the end user level, the Cold War style compartmentalization of intelligence has become an end unto itself.

5) Yes, I agree totally. Further discussion this point tends into TTP discussions which would violate OPSEC.

6) Yes, this one is a basic common-sense measure which would be well served by the military Chain of Command supporting bloggers to speak to the American people. As for communicating with the Iraqi people, I'm not involved in that enough to speak to it usefully.

19 November 2006

Apologies, Theology of

The Commemoration of the Prophet Obadiah and the Martyr Barlaam

Ok, since I guess I’m blogging requests, let’s talk about one way in my wife rocks. I don’t do sonnets, but I’ll riff for a little while on the subject.

Specifically, let’s tie it into the homily the RC chaplain gave this morning on the subject of forgiveness. That’s always a fun thing.

Jen mentioned on her LJ that she was looking for an "I'm sorry" card because we had a misunderstanding, one of those married things where nothing either one of you says seems to be the right thing to say at that moment. We both crabbed at each other, feelings were hurt, etc.

Seems she couldn't find one at Walmart, although she could locate a card which expresses fulsome appreciation for your partner's ass. I could go on a riff about that why your average American marriage has a shelf life of 5 years, people are more interested in commenting on each other's physical features than in developing a relationship and moving past difficulties by apologizing and forgiving. I will bet any three internal organs that you cannot find anywhere a card which reads, "Apology accepted. I was a bonehead too, will you forgive me too?" Or how about one that says "Apology accepted. This incident is closed." People don't want to apologize, because they know it won't be accepted—the same incident gets brought up over and over. Women are notorious for this—their Significant Other screws up and they make him pay and pay and pay for years.

One of the greatest arguments I have found for Christianity is that many of the moral precepts are common sense. If you discard Christianity, suddenly you need marriage counselors to tell people this. That's ridiculous. Marriage is a sacrament, and everything you need to know about it is found within the Church and Holy Scripture.

As married Christians, we are supposed to be Christ for each other. We are supposed to love as Christ loves the Church. We are supposed to forgive as Christ forgives. Not a lot of leeway there, when you think about that.

Fr. Rochefort spoke this morning of a retreat which he went on with a group of fellow priests, and the retreat director asked one evening each of these men to recall something they had not forgiven themselves for or something they had not forgiven someone else for. He then asked, "What part of Christ’s sacrifice was inadequate to cover that sin? What more do you require of God?"

Where there is forgiveness, there is no more sin. God does not merely hold off punishing you immediately, and wait to see if you screw up again. He's not composing a list of offenses with which he will berate you at an opportune time. We do this to ourselves and each other. That’s not how the Almighty rolls, and for us to do this is a sin, a gross impiety by which we reject forgiveness not only of others but of ourselves. For we pray, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

One of the reasons that Jen and I are still together after all the stress and even though I'm a knucklehead, and that our marriage is stronger now than it ever has been is because we both understand this reality. I have a real tendency to be less diplomatic than I should be sometimes. And I'm also irrationally prickly about certain topics and blow up or shut down when Jen broaches them. But we both seek forgiveness from each other quickly, and the reason I'm willing to do that is because Jen is willing to grant it in truth. I know that when she does accept my apology, that is the end of things. When she talks to me after a fight and apologizes for her part, I forget it—often literally. And I don't forget things easily.

In case anyone is wondering, this morning we both exchanged apologies over the silliness last night which provoked this line of thought.

18 November 2006

Just not feelin' it.

I've been kinda quiet, not because there's anything wrong, I'm just not feeling terribly inspired to write. The muse comes and goes. Besides which, nothing much exciting has been going on lately.

15 November 2006

Eternal Memory

We had the memorial service today for SSG Martinez, SGT(P) Jackson, and SGT Lucio.

Couple interesting points:

SGT Lucio got married on leave this year.

SGT(P) Jackson's leave was coordinated to coincide with the birth of his daughter, his fourth child.

All three of these men were on their second tour in combat, SSG Martinez was on this third.

The reason all three NCOs from 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon were in a single vehicle was because the EMs had been running for six days straight, and the NCOs decided to take the escort duty in order to provide them the time to drink their 2 beers on the 10th and get some down time.

The Army is exceedingly good at memorial services. I mean, really good. I wish each of you had the opportunity to see one for yourself, not to hammer away at you or create a sense of guilt, but for the insight into a Soldier's mindset and to see how we say goodbye.

At least we never have to ask why a Soldier died. These three NCOs died in the process of attempting to pick up a wounded infantryman from a Bradley. They pulled up to the damaged vehicle, and the secondary IED went off, destroying their vehicle. Proximate cause.

Root cause, they died because of who and what they were, and they died doing what they loved, in accordance with their calling. Every one of them was a professional who knew the score and knew the risks, and rolled out on mission every day regardless. They set the example for their Soldiers and took care of them the best they knew how.

I'm not saying I'm thrilled or anything like that, but the formal goodbye, the three volleys and the Roll Call, and then the rendering of honors. . .

13 November 2006

Most of you read Jen's LJ, so most of you know that the reason I've been off the 'Net for the past couple days was that on the 11th of November, 3 Soldiers from B Company were killed. I knew them all, and one was SGT Jackson, who was a very good friend of mine. SGT Jackson was married and had three little boys.

10 November 2006

You predicted it here.

From http://newsbusters.org/node/8981

It's amazing how quickly Afghanistan turned around! Suddenly all is roses and flowers, now that the Democrats are in Congress.

I betcha we do get a lot cheerier news on Iraq and the economy, etc.

Things Generals are Too Politically Correct to Say These Days.

Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bullshit. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle. You are here today for three reasons. First, because you are here to defend your homes and your loved ones. Second, you are here for your own self respect, because you would not want to be anywhere else. Third, you are here because you are real men and all real men like to fight. When you, here, everyone of you, were kids, you all admired the champion marble player, the fastest runner, the toughest boxer, the big league ball players, and the All-American football players. Americans love a winner. Americans will not tolerate a loser. Americans despise cowards. Americans play to win all of the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That's why Americans have never lost nor will ever lose a war; for the very idea of losing is hateful to an American.

You are not all going to die. Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle. Death must not be feared. Death, in time, comes to all men. Yes, every man is scared in his first battle. If he says he's not, he's a liar. Some men are cowards but they fight the same as the brave men or they get the hell slammed out of them watching men fight who are just as scared as they are. The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared. Some men get over their fright in a minute under fire. For some, it takes an hour. For some, it takes days. But a real man will never let his fear of death overpower his honor, his sense of duty to his country, and his innate manhood. Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best and it removes all that is base. Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men. Remember that the enemy is just as frightened as you are, and probably more so. They are not supermen.

All through your Army careers, you men have bitched about what you call "chicken shit drilling". That, like everything else in this Army, has a definite purpose. That purpose is alertness. Alertness must be bred into every soldier. I don't give a fuck for a man who's not always on his toes. You men are veterans or you wouldn't be here. You are ready for what's to come. A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you're not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!"

There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily. All because one man went to sleep on the job. But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did. An Army is a team. It lives, sleeps, eats, and fights as a team. This individual heroic stuff is pure horse shit. The bilious bastards who write that kind of stuff for the Saturday Evening Post don't know any more about real fighting under fire than they know about fucking!

We have the finest food, the finest equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world. Why, by God, I actually pity those poor sons-of-bitches we're going up against. By God, I do My men don't surrender. I don't want to hear of any soldier under my command being captured unless he has been hit. Even if you are hit, you can still fight back. That's not just bull shit either. The kind of man that I want in my command is just like the lieutenant in Libya, who, with a Luger against his chest, jerked off his helmet, swept the gun aside with one hand, and busted the hell out of the Kraut with his helmet. Then he jumped on the gun and went out and killed another German before they knew what the hell was coming off. And, all of that time, this man had a bullet through a lung. There was a real man!

All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don't ever let up. Don't ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain. What if every truck driver suddenly decided that he didn't like the whine of those shells overhead, turned yellow, and jumped headlong into a ditch? The cowardly bastard could say, "Hell, they won't miss me, just one man in thousands". But, what if every man thought that way? Where in the hell would we be now? What would our country, our loved ones, our homes, even the world, be like? No, Goddamnit, Americans don't think like that. Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war. The ordnance men are needed to supply the guns and machinery of war to keep us rolling. The Quartermaster is needed to bring up food and clothes because where we are going there isn't a hell of a lot to steal. Every last man on K.P. has a job to do, even the one who heats our water to keep us from getting the 'G.I. Shits'.

Each man must not think only of himself, but also of his buddy fighting beside him. We don't want yellow cowards in this Army. They should be killed off like rats. If not, they will go home after this war and breed more cowards. The brave men will breed more brave men. Kill off the Goddamned cowards and we will have a nation of brave men. One of the bravest men that I ever saw was a fellow on top of a telegraph pole in the midst of a furious fire fight in Tunisia. I stopped and asked what the hell he was doing up there at a time like that. He answered, "Fixing the wire, Sir". I asked, "Isn't that a little unhealthy right about now?" He answered, "Yes Sir, but the Goddamned wire has to be fixed". I asked, "Don't those planes strafing the road bother you?" And he answered, "No, Sir, but you sure as hell do!" Now, there was a real man. A real soldier. There was a man who devoted all he had to his duty, no matter how seemingly insignificant his duty might appear at the time, no matter how great the odds.

And you should have seen those trucks on the road to Tunisia. Those drivers were magnificent. All day and all night they rolled over those son-of-a-bitching roads, never stopping, never faltering from their course, with shells bursting all around them all of the time. We got through on good old American guts. Many of those men drove for over forty consecutive hours. These men weren't combat men, but they were soldiers with a job to do. They did it, and in one hell of a way they did it. They were part of a team. Without team effort, without them, the fight would have been lost. All of the links in the chain pulled together and the chain became unbreakable.

Don't forget, you men don't know that I'm here. No mention of that fact is to be made in any letters. The world is not supposed to know what the hell happened to me. I'm not supposed to be commanding this Army. I'm not even supposed to be here in England. Let the first bastards to find out be the Goddamned Germans. Some day I want to see them raise up on their piss-soaked hind legs and howl, 'Jesus Christ, it's the Goddamned Third Army again and that son-of-a-fucking-bitch Patton'.

We want to get the hell over there, the quicker we clean up this Goddamned mess, the quicker we can take a little jaunt against the purple pissing Japs and clean out their nest, too. Before the Goddamned Marines get all of the credit.

Sure, we want to go home. We want this war over with. The quickest way to get it over with is to go get the bastards who started it. The quicker they are whipped, the quicker we can go home. The shortest way home is through Berlin and Tokyo. And when we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler. Just like I'd shoot a snake!

When a man is lying in a shell hole, if he just stays there all day, a German will get to him eventually. The hell with that idea. The hell with taking it. My men don't dig foxholes. I don't want them to. Foxholes only slow up an offensive. Keep moving. And don't give the enemy time to dig one either. We'll win this war, but we'll win it only by fighting and by showing the Germans that we've got more guts than they have; or ever will have. We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-bitches, we're going to rip out their living Goddamned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We're going to murder those lousy Hun cocksuckers by the bushel-fucking-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts. When shells are hitting all around you and you wipe the dirt off your face and realize that instead of dirt it's the blood and guts of what once was your best friend beside you, you'll know what to do!

I don't want to get any messages saying, "I am holding my position." We are not holding a Goddamned thing. Let the Germans do that. We are advancing constantly and we are not interested in holding onto anything, except the enemy's balls. We are going to twist his balls and kick the living shit out of him all of the time. Our basic plan of operation is to advance and to keep on advancing regardless of whether we have to go over, under, or through the enemy. We are going to go through him like crap through a goose; like shit through a tin horn!

From time to time there will be some complaints that we are pushing our people too hard. I don't give a good Goddamn about such complaints. I believe in the old and sound rule that an ounce of sweat will save a gallon of blood. The harder WE push, the more Germans we will kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed. Pushing means fewer casualties. I want you all to remember that.

There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, "Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Louisiana." No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, "Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!

God bless the Marine Corps!

231 years ago, the Marine Corps was founded by a recruiting party who hit up a tavern and enlisted everyone not sober enough to get away.

In honor of their founding, the USMC engages in government-sponsored alcoholism annually on this date.

This would be about as meaningful as Camerone Day to me, normally, but here in Ramadi we fall under I MEF (Fwd) and hence are permitted to participate in the Marne Corps Birthday festivities.

Or, in concrete terms, I got to have two beers, and I got there early enough to get two Heinekens (that being the only non-US beer option).

Woot. Here's to the USMC, and may they, in their next 231 years, actually find a few good men.

09 November 2006

Given a Democratic Congress. . .

First, the election is over. Screaming hysterics will not serve anyone. No one is running for anything for another two years. Well, really the presidential campaign will start next year. But no one is running for squat now. That hysteria over concluded campaigns is really unappealing, and one of the things that grated on my nerves since 1994 is the Democratic inability to let any election go. We, as Conservatives and as Republicans and as Citizens of the United States, need to take a deep breath, and remind ourselves that this election is not rpt not the end of the world.

We need to be more mature about losing than the Democrats. It positions the Republicans to make the most out of an oppositional position in Congress.

Second, there is nothing served by fighting every Democratic proposal like it is tatamount to sacrificing our firstborn. Not every hill is worth dying on. What can be compromised on, should be. What can't, fight. But distinguish the two.

Third, remember that the best way to position the Republicans for a comeback in 2008 is to let the Democrats have their head. They havn't got any new ideas, and it won't take long for that to be obvious. The hysterics of the past few years need to translate into a real legislative agenda, or the Dems will blow their credibility, badly.

More thoughts later.

08 November 2006

Now what?

OK, you wanted it, you have it.

Having the House of Reps, and quite possibly the Senate, the Democrats are now in a put-up or shut-up position. It will be interesting to see how badly confused this will make them.

"We hate George Bush" is apparently a platform worthy of control of Congress. But is it a legislative agenda?

06 November 2006

Who is joining the military these days?


Not many surprises for people who actually deal with Soldiers, but I'm sure this sort of information would come as a huge surprise to the junior senator from Mass. if he bothered to do any research before opening his mouth.

"From 2003 to 2005, the representation of the highest-income quintile rose 0.68 percentage point, from 22.17 percent to 22.85 percent. As conflict in Iraq continues, youth from wealthy areas continue to volunteer for duty despite increased risk. Addition­ally, over the course of these three recruit years, representation from the poorest quintile has decreased dramatically. The representation among recruits of the lowest-income quintile fell nearly a full percentage point, from 14.61 percent in 2003 to 13.66 percent in 2005."

"The previous study noted the significant differ­ence between the national recruit high school grad­uation rate of 98 percent and the national youth graduation rate of 75 percent. This strong distinc­tion continues among the 2004 and 2005 recruits when compared to the national educational attain­ment levels reported by the Census 2004 American Community Survey (ACS)."

"The military defines a “high quality” recruit as one who has scored above the 50th percentile on the AFQT and has a high school diploma. The percentage of high-quality recruits has increased from 57 percent in 2001 to 64 percent in 2005 (67 percent in 2004),[10] indicating not only that the military is accepting intelligent and well-educated recruits, but also that the representa­tion of these recruits has increased strongly since the 9/11 terrorist attacks."

05 November 2006

Damn the antiwar movement to hell, (with Profanity)

Now, I've been waiting to write about this story for a while, so that hopefully I would calm down and not publically vent my overwhelming urge to kill.

Why am I pissed?

Aside from the repeated personal insults and indignities, it has now come out, on the front page of the New York Times, proof that the antiwar movement in the United States is built on knowningly lying to the American people.

Let me quote the New York Times story in question. You all know about it. It's the "George Bush is such a chimp that he posted nuclear weapon plans on the internet" story.

"Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990’s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away."

OK, maybe I'm just an illiterate who is so stupid that I'm "stuck" in Iraq, but even I can take 2002, add one year, and come up with 2003.

I could be wrong, but I seem to remember 2003 as the year we rolled in an kicked over Mr. Hussein's little setup here based on the imminent danger of developing nuclear weapons. The illustrious editorial board of the New York Times and the Democratic Party have declared repeatedly that this argument was fraudulent, dishonest, etc.

You all know that meme underlying the antiwar movement?

"George Bush lied to the American People. There was no WMD program at all. No threat to America. No nuclear weapons program."

It is impossible to believe this and also believe:

"Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency fear the information could help Iran develop nuclear arms... contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that the nuclear experts say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums..."

You cannot believe both things! It is impossible, unless you are a Democrat and have the mental flexibility to believe that proposition a and proposition not-a are both simultaneously true. Logic is. . . confining, with all those rules made up by Dead White Males.

Integrity is a foreign concept to some of these people.

When will the Democrats and their Media allies admit their lies, deceit, and failure? Yeah, that would be sometime after the heat death of the universe. Anything is acceptable to gain power, telling two contradictory stories at the same time is small potatos.

Seen on Livejournal

How to be a Good Democrat.

1. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese & North Korean communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth's climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUVs.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand.

8. You have to believe that businesses create oppression, and governments create prosperity.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe that the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E.Lee, and Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.

16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and really a very nice person.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried is because the right people haven't been in charge.

18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belonged in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese government is somehow in the best interest of the United States.

21. You have to believe that this letter is part of a vast, right-wing conspiracy.

Offered without comment

WND read Pelosi's remarks to the terror leaders, who unanimously rejected her contention an American withdrawal would end the insurgency.
Islamic Jihad's Saadi, laughing, stated, "There is no chance that the resistance will stop."
He said an American withdrawal from Iraq would "prove the resistance is the most important tool and that this tool works. The victory of the Iraqi revolution will mark an important step in the history of the region and in the attitude regarding the United States."
Jihad Jaara said an American withdrawal would "mark the beginning of the collapse of this tyrant empire (America)."
"Therefore, a victory in Iraq would be a greater defeat for America than in Vietnam."
Jaara said vacating Iraq would also "reinforce Palestinian resistance organizations, especially from the moral point of view. But we also learn from these (insurgency) movements militarily. We look and learn from them."
Hamas' Abu Abdullah argued a withdrawal from Iraq would "convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance."
"The victory of the resistance in Iraq would prove once more that when the will and the faith are applied victory is not only a slogan. We saw that in Lebanon (during Israel's confrontation against Hezbollah there in July and August); we saw it in Gaza (after Israel withdrew from the territory last summer) and we will see it everywhere there is occupation," Abdullah said.