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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A Top Sergeant reports on Rumsfeld  

Hat Tip to: One Hand Clapping

This email is from a first sergeant serving in Iraq who was present last week for one of the troop visits by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The email was forwarded to me by a Tennessee Army Guard field-grade officer. One of his comments was,

Once again our soldiers (and vets) do not recognize what the press reports. Our experience is in the full context of events and I suppose only we can or will tell that complete story.
Here is the first sergeant's report:
This is a shotgun blast response to the media reports on Secretary
Rumsfeld's visit to our Camp. I was fortunate enough to be there and even shake the man's hand. When the media reports were released concerning the event, I could not believe what I saw and heard. There are over 12,000 troops on our base. Only 2,000 or so had the opportunity to attend the gathering and I can tell you, those were hotly contested seats.

Not as the media would have you believe, so we could voice our displeasure, but rather to have the opportunity to see and hearthe man we admire. Mr. Secretary spoke for 10 minutes or so on the war in Iraq and what freedom meant to the people of Afghanistan. He was there for the recent elections and shared his wonderful insight. After his prepared remarks he opened up the floor for questions and made it very clear that nothing was off limits.

Folks, this is extremely unusual for a dignitary to do. Also, we as leaders, were instructed to not screen our soldiers questions. They were to be honest and from the heart. Mr. Rumsfeld fielded a number of questions, took down notes for the ones he did not have answers to and genuinely enjoyed talking to the soldiers.

Afterward, he spent over an hour with the enthusiastic troops who literally mobbed him and would not let him leave. He smiled forall, shook hands and had pictures taken. It ended only when his security forced us away.

He was applauded, he was given a standing ovation and he was loved. He stood there like a professional, like a man, and he took the heat because that's what leaders do. And yet somehow, the American media turned that wonderful event into "disgruntled troops meet with Secretary Rumsfeld" headline. Incredible.

The morale is high, the equipment is good and improving daily. Disregard what you read and hear from the media and trust in the American fighting men and women to do the right thing. We have excellent leadership and are doing what we signed up to do.

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"We're Fighting To Get Back To Iraq!" 

"We're Fighting To Get Back To Iraq!"

Hat tip to BLACKFIVE;


Here is an email that I received yesterday from Catherine in Alabama:

I
am a frequent reader and occasional commenter to your site. I just wanted to
relate a story that happened this weekend. I was in New Orleans on Christmas
Day, trying to put children on a flight to visit relatives. However, the weather
was unusually severe for New Orleans...snow and ice. The airport and the city
pretty much shut down. While my husband was in line trying to reschedule the
children's flights, my youngest stepson and I noticed a group of soldiers
clustered around a payphone, apparently trying to reschedule their flights. We
walked over to tell them "Thank you" for serving our country. I also told them
that I wasn't flying, but that if I was, I would give up my ticket to them so
that they could get home for Christmas. The soldiers smiled, but one of them
spoke up, "Thank you ma'am. But we've already been home and now we're fighting
to get BACK to Iraq." I was moved to tears...all these travellers, frazzled and
exhausted, are just trying to get to their families. And here are these brave,
brave men working to make travel arrangements to LEAVE their families so that
all these other families can be together safely and in peace. God Bless all our
military men and women. Y'all are the greatest!!!


I've heard from friends of similar accounts at different airports over the last few months. Doesn't surprise me that much but still makes me damn proud of those men and women serving our country.



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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Yahoo! News - 60 Killed, 120 Wounded in Iraq Car Blasts 

By ABDUL HUSSEIN AL-OBEIDI, Associated Press Writer

NAJAF, Iraq - Car bombs tore through a Najaf funeral procession and Karbala's main bus station Sunday, killing at least 60 people and wounding more than 120 in the two Shiite holy cities. In Baghdad, gunmen launched a bold ambush, executing three election officials, in their campaign to disrupt next month's parliamentary ballot.
Yahoo! News - 60 Killed, 120 Wounded in Iraq Car Blasts

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Saturday, December 18, 2004

NORAD To Track Santa's Christmas Eve Trip 

Welcome to the 2004 NORAD Tracks Santa Website

Once again, everyone will have the opportunity to know exactly
where Santa is on Christmas Eve. The North American Aerospace
Defense Command, better known as NORAD, will train its radar
on Santa as he makes his deliveries around the world.

NORAD has been tracking Santa for 50 years. In recent times, it has
allowed the world to watch on its Web site. There are other things
on the site, too, including declassified pictures of Santa taken over
the years.

NORAD officials also promise information on the number of cookies
Santa will eat on Christmas Eve. They don't say where they will get
that information. Well, of course not! It's probably classified!

No doubt, you'll want to tune in early and often on Christmas Eve.
You'll find NORAD's site at:
http://www.noradsanta.org/english/index.html

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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Iraq War News
Assailants set fire to Iraq oil pipeline: "Unknown assailants set off a fire near a vital oil pipeline in northern Iraq, raising concerns that the heat could damage the line, an official said Tuesday."

In Seattle Post-Intelligencer: War on Iraq



in



Suicide attack kills 13 in Baghdad: "BAGHDAD, Iraq â?? A suicide car bomber linked to al-Qaida killed 13 people in Baghdad on Monday, the first anniversary of Saddam Hussein's capture, and clashes resumed in Fallujah, a one-time insurgent stronghold that American forces believed they had conquered. Seven Marines died in combat in western Iraq."

In kgw.com: Iraq News



Peace elusive in Iraq as US hunt for final success still on: "The insurgency, the protection of US troops, and troubled preparations for elections still scheduled for January 30 now dominate US headlines rather than Saddam and moves to bring him to trial.




[in Khaleej Times]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



Two Marines, one soldier killed in Iraq: "Al-Zarqawi organization claims attack BAGHDAD, Iraq â?? Two Marines were killed in Iraq's volatile Anbar province, the military said today. A military statement said two Marines assigned to ...




[in The Seattle Times]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



Explosion Rocks Baghdad Close to Green Zone: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A loud explosion rattled central Baghdad on Tuesday and a cloud of smoke rose close to the Green Zone government and diplomatic compound. A Reuters journalist near the scene sai...




[in Reuters]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



Iraqi's Family Wins Battle over Death Probe: "The family of an Iraqi civilian allegedly unlawfully killed by British troops today won a High Court challenge against the Government's refusal to order an




[in The Scotsman]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



We can't sell democracy in Iraq: "survival high, but more are maimed; Refined care keeps severely wounded alive." It goes on to say, "For every American soldier killed in Iraq, nine others have




[in Sun-Sentinel.com]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



Iraq's security will determine US troop levels after elections: "BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) The United States will reverse troop increases in Iraq only when events allow after the country's Jan. 30 elections, Gen.




[in Boston Globe]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



Iraqi families begin new life: "December 14, 2004 FOUR families were among a group of 23 Iraqi asylum seekers who arrived in Australia tonight to begin a new life after being detained on the Pacific island of Nauru. The 23 people w...




[in The Australian]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



A Look at U.S. Military Deaths in Iraq: "As of Monday, Dec. 13, 2004, at least 1,296 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,016 died as a r...




[in Gadsden Times]
"

In The US News: Iraq News



Baghdad and Kabul approved for WTO entry talks: "Washington told the WTO's ruling general council that it was still reviewing its relationship with Iran, the answer it has given 21 times since 2001, when the Islamic republic's 1996 membership reques...




[in Financial Times]
"

In The US News: Iraq News


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