16 Jun 2004 @ 9:33 AM 

I got another great Faux News Alert moment just a few minutes ago. First, some background. When I was a G.I. here, we watched CNN Headline News in the break room, or History Channel or the occassional South Park episode on swing shift. Now, they invariably have the Fox News Channel on. Could there be a more blatantly biased network? Fair and Balanced, my eye.

Anyway, this morning the news anchor was talking to another journalist by remote. The remote journalist was discussing the recent polls in Iraq which indicated that the average Iraqi would really like the U.S. troops and _coalition_ to leave so they could get on with their sovereign government work. The anchor interrupted (!) the remote so he could burst in with, “How reliable is this poll?” The answer: It was conducted by the coalition authority, so it can’t be much more reliable. “Well, the next question you have to ask is if the Iraqis would prefer to have Saddam back in power.”

No, that’s *not* the next question, unless you’re a simpleminded twit. The next question is, “How quickly can we get out of Iraq while not leaving the country in anarchy or civil war?” Of course they don’t want Saddam back, they’re not children. That doesn’t mean we need to be just a little better than a psycho; we need to be near-perfect. We haven’t been.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Jun 2004 @ 10:49 AM

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 15 Jun 2004 @ 9:09 AM 

Looks like General Karpinski isn’t going to just go away and be a good little scapegoat. She actually spoke to BBC News and spilled some fun little details.

She claims that she was ordered to treat the prisoners like dogs. Nice, eh?

This still doesn’t take away any of her responsibility. The buck doesn’t get passed along so easily in the Army. I’m ashamed to be a veteran associated with people who let these kinds of things happen, no matter how proud of my service I may be otherwise.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Jun 2004 @ 10:15 AM

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 31 May 2004 @ 3:19 PM 

Bush Honors U.S. Military Dead from War on Terror

Is this the first time he’s been at the cemetary since the war in Iraq began? He’s gone to such lengths to avoid anyone else seeing the caskets, it is a valid query, no? More than 200 American men and women died in the past two months; compared to the 138 who died during the “actual combat” phase. One wonders what this is, if not combat.

As a side note, the Reuters wire article uses the phrase “Bush, who avoided combat in Vietnam.” I guess the media isn’t going to let that one go, no matter how much the President wants them to.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2007 @ 07:37 AM

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 30 May 2004 @ 6:08 PM 

Thanks to ThrowingStarDNA on Livejournal for this article:
Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012

An excerpt:

bq. What made this all the more disheartening was the wretched performance of our forces in the Second Gulf War.[73] Consumed with ancillary and nontraditional missions, the military neglected its fundamental raison d’etre. As the Supreme Court succinctly put it more than a half century ago, the “primary business of armies and navies [is] to fight or be ready to fight wars should the occasion arise.”[74] When Iranian armies started pouring into the lower Gulf states in 2010, the US armed forces were ready to do anything but fight.

Preoccupation with humanitarian duties, narcotics interdiction, and all the rest of the peripheral missions left the military unfit to engage an authentic military opponent.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Jun 2004 @ 09:23 PM

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 30 Apr 2004 @ 2:04 PM 

This prison junk in Iraq is really bothersome to me. First, I can’t believe there is a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. military who would attempt to use the excuse that he’d never gotten any specific training in handling prisoners of war. EVERY soldier gets that in basic training, and as a SSG he would have gotten it again in two separate leadership training classes over the years. To pretend that he didn’t realize that beating and humiliating naked prisoners was wrong beggars the imagination.

The entire thing makes me so mad. I want those soldiers court martialed, I want their commander thrown in prison, I want a huge apology to the PWs for their maltreatment. And it’s not that I think those prisoners are good guys, but they are HUMAN and the U.S. military is supposed to be a beacon of honor and dependability. Those men and women don’t deserve to be put in the same category as their compatriots.

And then, there’s the “thanks for helping” part. The soldiers and marines in Iraq have a hard enough job (whether it’s a job they should be doing is moot – they don’t get to choose the missions they only carry them out), now they’ve got to deal with the encouragement these assholes have given to the insurgents. The al Sadr nutcases didn’t need a justification to be violent, but now they have a great one.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 30 Apr 2004 @ 02:04 PM

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 30 Apr 2004 @ 6:57 AM 

According to the Guardian, the Abu Ghraib prison story is even stranger than first thought. Although the photos we’ve seen so far only show GIs, Titan and CACI (two defense contractors) are apparently involved up to their necks.

One civilian contractor was accused of raping a young male prisoner but has not been charged because military law has no jurisdiction over him.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 30 Apr 2004 @ 06:57 AM

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 27 Apr 2004 @ 6:26 PM 

According to the Associated Press, among the weaponry currently arrayed around Fallujah is an AC-130 gunship.

bq. The side-firing weapons array consists of one 25mm GAU-12 Gatling gun (firing 1,800 rounds per minute), one 40mm L60 Bofors cannon (with a selectable firing rate of single shot or 120 rounds per minute) and one 105mm M-102 Howitzer cannon (firing 6 to 10 rounds per minute).

Yeah, don’t you think that may be overkill?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Jun 2004 @ 09:22 PM

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Skippy

 
 22 Mar 2004 @ 7:09 PM 

Things Skippy is no longer allowed to do in the U.S. Army.

This is an oldie, but if you haven’t seen it before, you must read it.
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 22 Mar 2004 @ 07:09 PM

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 10 Dec 2003 @ 7:09 AM 

Bitter medicine

A reaction to vaccinations, including anthrax, probably killed 22-year-old Rachael Lacy — and her grieving father thinks the Army has a lot of questions to answer.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Dec 2003 @ 07:09 AM

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 21 Sep 2003 @ 11:25 AM 

According to some people, Wesley Clark’s opinions while employed by CNN are tantamount to treason. I decided to do some research and find these traitorous statements myself. Here’s what I found:

h3. Apr 5, 2003

bq. “U.S. troops met them face-to-face and slugged it out. The U.S. troops were within range of their weapons, and the Americans were *just better.* They are actually moving forward. They’re finding the enemy. They’re bringing fire against them.”

h3. March 25, 2003

bq. The scenario of a quick coalition victory in Iraq is “not going to happen,” according to retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark, a CNN analyst and former NATO supreme allied commander. “The simple fact is that the liberation didn’t quite occur. They didn’t uprise,” Clark said.

h3. January 2003

bq. “Those predictions are incredibly overoptimistic,” he said. “What we have to be prepared for is an indefinite stay in Iraq, at least 100,000 people there for the first year or two, *several billion dollars a month in costs*, continuing frictions and problems politically as a result of this, some casualties on a monthly basis coming out as Arab sentiment rises, and a deepening resentment of Americans from this war. ”


Now, I may be exceptionally dense, but I didn’t find anything in those statements that offered aid or comfort to the enemy. He made it clear that the war and followup would take time and money. He also made it clear that the American military can and will be victorious against any foe, no matter how devoted or fanatical they may be.

I particularly noticed that his statement in January, 2 months before the war began, sound especially prescient.

Talking to coworkers who are Southwest Asian experts, I find much the same sentiment. The war was begun with insufficient preparation to win the peace. For other traitors, see General(R) Shinseki, former Secretary of the Army White…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Jun 2004 @ 09:21 PM

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 18 Sep 2003 @ 9:15 PM 

It amazes me that the writer of this article, which lambasts Wes Clark for (as far as I can tell) having an ill-fitting suit, actually served in the United States Congress. It’s astounding to me that someone actually elected this guy. Maybe he only became completely unhinged and part of the lunatic fringe after he lost reelection…
Full text of article follows.
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 18 Sep 2003 @ 09:15 PM

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 07 Aug 2003 @ 3:45 PM 

On occasion, as I have spent so many years in association with the military, I encounter people whose names make them obvious focii of humor. For example, there was the soldier with the last name of Sargent, who would one day become Sergeant Sargent (assuming he stuck around long enough). I met an Army O-3 named Minor – that’s Major Minor.

Today, as I was leaving work, there was a saucy little blonde Navy woman in front of me. As she was wearing that silly Naval uniform with the family name stitched above the rear pocket, I was amused to note that her last name is Creamer. Yes, that would be Seaman Creamer. That’s not quite as bad as the (possibly apocryphal) Seaman Swallow that I’ve heard about, but still a very unfortunate name for a junior Naval person to have.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 07 Aug 2003 @ 03:45 PM

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 17 May 2003 @ 10:52 AM 

The WSJ has an article about a US Army Major who has been relieved of duty for not following orders. This is a toughy…
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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2006 @ 10:26 AM

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 12 Apr 2003 @ 8:54 AM 

Proving, if anyone was unsure, that the military has a twisted sense of humor, we have Iraqi Personality Identification Playing Cards, sponsored by DOD.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Apr 2003 @ 08:54 AM

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POWs

 
 24 Mar 2003 @ 8:04 AM 

I know how the military will react to the POW issues in Iraq – greater resolve, less mercy, more firepower.

How does the average civilian feel though? Will the faces of our servicemembers, scared and confused on international television, make them more sure that war is just, or will it make them waver? I can see it either way. If you see these men, who are obviously out of their depth as POWs, who have recently watched their compatriots executed in the streets, who know that Iraq cares not one whit for the Geneva Convention, do you (as a viewer at home) feel that we really are doing the right thing? Does it make it more clear who is the bad guy and who is the good guy? Or, does it make you queasy and make you want to give in to any demands Iraq may make, just to get our soldiers back safely?

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 24 Mar 2003 @ 08:04 AM

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 21 Mar 2003 @ 12:40 PM 

The answer, apparently, is ratings. All my coworkers are crowded around the lone TV in the office, watching CNN’s live coverage of the death and destruction.

Some things that cheer me, to some degree – the targets so far have all been military, not infrastructure. Also, we’ve only lost two US servicemembers to hostile fire and less than a dozen total so far.

Let’s get this over with and then follow through on our promise of humanitarian aid and infrastructure construction.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 21 Mar 2003 @ 12:40 PM

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 17 Mar 2003 @ 8:56 PM 

I actually wrote this before the president’s speech, but didn’t get it posted until after. Timing is everything.

One should never discuss politics or religion unless prepared to have a battle of wills. I suppose sexuality could be added to that old axiom, but that tends to be either political or religious depending on your point of view.

The USA certainly is embroiled in a real battle royale between peace-loving hippies out of touch with reality and the gun-toting neanderthal warmongers. That should offend just about everyone.

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Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Oct 2007 @ 07:40 AM

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 14 Mar 2003 @ 7:53 AM 

This is kind of geek news, but more interesting to me is that I used to work for this guy. He wasn’t a Mac-head then, though.

Wired News: Army’s Apple Shines in the Desert

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 14 Mar 2003 @ 07:53 AM

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 17 Sep 2002 @ 10:05 PM 

Patches!

The army has patches for every major unit, but the clipart collections that are out in the retail market only have some of them. Shoot, the 1st Cav patch in Corel Gallery is in greyscale! Like it would have taken any extra effort to slap in some yellow? Anyway, in my efforts to do many things in the army, including an awful lot of off-duty graphic design work, I’ve made a few patches and scrounged others together. So, click on a patch below to get the WMF file for it, or click here for the ZIP file containing all of them. The big image, by the way, is painted on my office door. No, I didn’t paint anything myself. I’m more a computer geek. 🙂

Korea

25th Infantry Division2d Infantry Division1st Cavalry Division101st Airborne
INSCOM201st MI Brigade501st MI Brigade500th MI Brigade
Special Forces GroupAirborne Tab504th MI BattalionKorean map with flags
Army SealAnd, of course, there’s the Army seal, since the one that gets passed around the most has some Yen symbols in the middle of the words!
Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 12 Jul 2006 @ 07:33 PM

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 12 Sep 2002 @ 11:17 AM 

Thursday –

I’m a pretty patriotic person (12 years of army service, honorable discharge and all that), and I’m completely tired of the memorialization of last year. I do believe it should be remembered, much as Pearl Harbor is remembered every December 7th. But, let’s not make a holiday out of it – that just cheapens the whole thing, adding a celebratory aspect that shouldn’t be involved.

Meanwhile, the media have been memorializing September 11th ever since September 12th, so I think we’re all a bit numb from the onslaught. If they’d have let it rest for a few months, maybe I could get up some energy to give a shit about anything other than, “This is gonna foul up traffic on Wednesday.”

There are obviously serious deepseated root causes for the anger toward the US felt by many people. That’s something for politicians to deal with by changing our rather arrogant approach to other countries. The amazing intolerance of some cultures, though, is not our fault and I refuse to believe that we are at fault for the muslim extremists being extremist.

The proximate cause of the attack, though, is certainly knowable. I spent 12 years in the intelligence community, and I trust that the information the country is using to justify Bin Laden as the main bad guy is correct. His own statements and actions have more than removed any lingering doubts. Since the root causes are primarily cultural, and since the President is unwilling to change our unilateral approach to foreign policy, the only thing left to deal with is the proximate cause.

I think we’ve done a good job of taking care of Al Qaeda’s near-term ability to do any harm, and hurt their power base considerably by showing that we are willing to react to force with force. Those who claim violence never solved anything should really study history in more detail. We spent many years rattling sabers without any intent to follow through; we became caricatures of a world power. We’re back to being a world power, but I don’t think our current administration has the right path.

The Kyoto Accord should be signed. The International Criminal Court is a good idea. And, for the short-term, we definitely should not ignore Afghanistan. We promised them we would rebuild their country if they didn’t object to us bombing the piss out of it. Well, I don’t see a lot of cash flowing to Afghanistan right now, and that’s just amazingly poor policy. It shows the world that we don’t keep promises to our allies.

So, we’ve now shown the world that we will react with overwhelming force once we’ve been provoked repeatedly. This contrasts with Israel’s method of overwhelming force when laughed at too loudly. And, we’ve shown that we can’t be trusted to keep promises to friends and we don’t want to play well with others.

Damn, I hope we become isolationist. At least that would be consistent with the President’s views on things. I don’t know how he can think we can be a world power but not be part of the world community. We can’t be first among equals and have anyone take us seriously. We have to actually submit to being one of equals, and that’s something that the right-wing nuts won’t stand for quietly. Meanwhile, the left-wing nuts just want us to self-destruct, since we’re so evil. To them, I say, “find another country.”

Yep, I love America, warts and all. We really need to fix some major flaws, but it’s one of the best places to live.

Back to 9-11, I avoided network TV last night, since every channel was a pandering smarmy 9-11 memorial. Too much sacharine for me. 🙂

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 20 Mar 2014 @ 02:03 PM

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