Wednesday, February 23, 2005

First Lady - Classy Lady 

First lady Laura Bush visited U.S. troops yesterday at a military base in Germany which supports forces in Iraq, telling clapping soldiers that "we believe in you and we're proud of you."

After being introduced, she said: "I'm the one that should be applauding you. Thank you all very, very much. Thank you for the very warm welcome to Ramstein Air Base."

She continued:

"I am thrilled to be at the home of the 435th Air Base Wing, the 86th Airlift Wing and the 38th Combat Support Wing. I told my father-in-law that I was coming here today and he suggested that I make a grand entrance by parachute. I told him I thought I'd wait for my 80th birthday."
The San Diego Union-Tribune put it this way:

First lady Laura Bush on Tuesday thanked U.S. soldiers for giving up their safety and the comforts of home to fight for democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Each of you has a greater impact than you can ever imagine on people that you will only know for a brief time," she told troops and their families in an aircraft hangar.

"All of you are delivering the greatest gift they'll ever receive by sacrificing your own comfort, your own safety and your own lives so that others might know freedom."

Mrs. Bush, who also visited about 20 wounded soldiers at nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, flew to Germany a day ahead of the president, who was attending meetings with NATO leaders in Brussels, Belgium. Ramstein Air Base has been heavily used in support of post-Sept. 11 U.S. military campaigns.

I just love that lady and am so proud that she is our First Lady.


Patrick Ruffini Blog 

Yesterday on Hugh Hewitt’s program RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman mentioned some blogs he visits from time to time.  Among the usual suspects he mentioned patrickruffini.com.  I had not heard about Patrick’s site so I visited.

 From his ‘about’ page:

Patrick Ruffini is never far from the place where politics meets technology. Until recently, Ruffini was webmaster for the Bush-Cheney '04 presidential campaign, proudly serving as part of the team that executed the most sophisticated online strategy in political history. At the campaign, Ruffini was responsible for day-to-day website operations, designing creatives to crisply communicate the President's message, and developing special features surrounding major events like the Conventions and Presidential debates. Ruffini also designed and served as chief writer for the campaign's official blog, and managed the campaign's outreach to the blog community.

I found his Research page very interesting and worth visiting.  Continuing to quote from his ‘about’ page:

The important 2000 election spurred Ruffini into his study of voting trends in America, seeking to apply scientific rigor to the analysis of precinct-by-precinct election results. His ongoing work in this area is available through the Research section of this web site.

All and all a nice find.  Stop in and visit Patrick’s blog and you will learn that the President has an iPod and what music he enjoys and that the First Lady enjoys on line shopping, just like my wife.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Troops Deployed 

 As of February 16, 2005, DoD reports that 185,432 members of the National Guard and Reserve who have been mobilized. This includes:

156,195     Army National Guard and Army Reserve

    3,830     Naval reserve

  11,584     Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve

  13,063     Marine Corps reserve

       760     Coast Guard Reserve

Don’t forget to support these troops, visit Soldiers’ Angels and adopt a hero today.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Weapons Sweep - The 10th Mountain Division in Baghdad  

Pam at Iraq War News has a great photo post titled

Weapons Sweep - the 10th Mountain Division in Baghdad

It’s worth a visit to see heros in action.


Minstrel Boy Blog - go visit 

I am happy to direct your attention to a recently started blog. The circumstances of why this blog came into existence is, however, most unfortunate.

Minstrel Boy was started by Brian Hart, the father of PFC John D. Hart who was killed in Iraq Oct. 18, 2003. This is not just a memorial site in his son’s name. For that you can go here or here or here and I encourage you to visit them.

Rather, Brian and his wife Alma have been very active over the last year following their son’s death lobbying for body armor, vehicular armor, IED jammers for the troops and on behalf of Gold Star Families. )For those of you who don’t know about Gold Star Mothers go here.)

PFC Hart was 20, and from Bedford, Massachusetts when he was killed in action in Taza, Iraq. Enemy forces ambushed his patrol using rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire. He was assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 508th Infantry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade, Camp Ederle, Italy.

The tag line for Minstrel Boy reads: "We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Give us the tools and we will finish the job." -- Winston Churchill. Brian brings attention to the ongoing need to provide as much protection to our troops as possible as soon as possible and give them the tools they need. I encourage you to visit.


Friday, February 18, 2005

More on 2ndLt Pantano 

Chester at The Adventures of Chester posted late last night about Lt. Pantano. He pointed to another post at Positaria by Van Mendenhall:

For a soldier during the Vietnam War, shooting yourself in the foot was seen as a good way to get oneself removed from that tropical bloodbath alive and plenty of them did exactly that. With the war in Iraq it is not the soldiers who are shooting themselves in the foot this time but the brass.

All military service commands these days are faced with leftist media that attempts to paint the military as raging, pillaging barbarians intent on imperialist conquest, mindless murder and destruction. As the recent CNN/Eason Jordan affair unarguably proves, the media hates the military, the current president, and is not too fond of the USA either. The media has spun virtually every hint that US soldiers were not behaving like Shirley Temple at a tea party, into atrocities worthy of a war crimes tribunal. And it is our American soldiers, young kids, really, who are being made the victims in this media-politics-motivated propaganda warfare, aided and abetted by roughly one half of congress or a certain political party.

In the latest case, Marine Lt. Ilario Pantano was charged with premeditated murder during an operation when he attempted to stop fleeing terrorists during a raid. This case is similar to the November Fallujah incident in which an unnamed marine shot and killed a captured, wounded prisoner who appeared to be making a move toward a concealed grenade. Here we have another case of the military command second guessing the actions of soldiers in battle, repeat, in battle, where their own lives are constantly in danger. Unless one has experienced warfare, it is impossible to image the degree of terror experienced by soldiers and under which they are expected to make rational decisions as if they were sitting behind a desk.

Well worth reading.

While I was off playing with the colors of my blog (see below) I missed an update on this story by Riding Sun. He brings a new twist to the overall story. We will have to wait and see what shakes out.


Flying Purple People Eater 

My blogging has ground to a temporary halt as I tried to rework my blog template yesterday. Perhaps you stopped by during the 38 seconds that my blog colors had changed to purple and pink! Not quite what I was looking for.

I did discover that my limited knowledge of HTML is not enough to do what I want to do, instead I have to learn some CSS. Bummer.

I have set up a temporary blog to practice on so that this one will not undergo a rainbow of color changes as I practice different color combinations. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them. If you know anybody who can do redo Blogger templates for a modest fee, feel free to post.

Thank you.


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

BLACKFIVE on Lieutenant Pantano 

Matt at BLACKFIVE offers The Case for Marine Lieutenant Pantano.

If the details of this story don't change (meaning that we know everything at this point), the charges will be beaten, but that doesn't mean that Lt Pantano doesn't need your support. He absolutely does. And, while this story is making the rounds on every single cable news channel, it's time to cover this Marine's six. Please bear with me for a moment:

The main problem with this story is the effect that the legal wrangling will have on combat - this will cause Marines to either second guess their options/hesitate around suspects or to not get engaged in the area of operations at all. Why would you take a risk if you knew that you might be charged for making a legitimate mistake?

Either some details are missing in the media or there is pressure coming from the civilian side about this. The fact that Pantano was also charged with Destruction of (private) Property for shooting out the tires of the vehicle and having the Iraqi suspects tear out the seats of their vehicle to search for a bomb indicates external pressure. Seriously, it's a ridiculous charge. So be sure to visit Rosemary's blog and call your representatives. If there is undue pressure from the civilian side of the DOD, you can help offset it.

Read it all at BLACKFIVE.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

More on Marine 2ndLt Pantano 

I see that Bill O’Reilly has picked up the story and aired a segment tonight with Lt. Pantano’s Attorney, Charles Gittins. Bill is not happy and he is “troubled” by it and plans to “keep an eye on it.” Bill’s initial reaction is that he does not like what is happening. This will probably generate more buzz in the blogosphere and maybe bring in more MSM.

Bloggers with new posts today that caught my eye:

GaijinBiker at Riding Sun chimes in with a post from Japan: Marine deserves medal, gets murder charge

Pantano's situation is tragic not just because his valiant service is being rewarded with a potential court-martial, but because it will lead all our troops, in Iraq and elsewhere, to second-guess themselves. And if the fear of ending up in Pantano's position causes them to hesitate an extra second before pulling the trigger, some of them will die.

Mrs. Greyhawk at The Mudville Gazette offers a Line In The Sand. she says in part:

We have one side of this story and I hope for the sake of our military and for this Marine that this becomes a clear cut case with no grey areas. If not, one thing is certain, the line drawn in the sand will become less visible to our troops. These sort of charges could set a new precedent for our troops that could leave them confused and less productive and possibly get them killed.

Hindrodket at PowerLine also weighs in with this:

Pantano's mother has been active in his defense, and he appears to have a good lawyer. Based on Scarborough's report, this is the kind of case that a lawyer would love to take to a jury. There may be more to it, of course.

We do have only one side of the story at this point and will have to wait for further details. Until then we offer support to Lt. Pantano.

Lastly, John at Commonwealth Conservative “the internet’s first elected blogger” has several good comments and observations plus a post by a Naval JAG officer:

While the facts set forth make it readily apparent that this officer is innocent of murder, it would be reasonable for the Convening Authority’s staff judge advocate to recommend convening an Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a civilian grand jury proceeding pursuant to 10 USC sec. 832, to guide the CO’s decision on how to handle this.

I think that’s lawyer talk for what Lex was saying in an earlier post – Let the system work and we’ll see what shakes out. Commonwealth Conservative is a wealth of information on this case.


Update on Lt. Pantano 

Yesterday I posted on the story of 2ndLt Pantano. I also e-mailed several other bloggers that I read and asked them to post as well. The first to honor my request has responded.

Lex at Neptunus Lex has a well written essay that takes neither side in the case but suggests we wait for more information to come out.

Did 2LT Pantano stay inside the lines? Don't know, can't say, not enough information, not from those few sources. But as people on the right side of the blogosphere should be all too well aware, the problem with taking an article from a single source and using that to pass judgment on an event which happened months ago and half the world away is to risk making a grave error. It's the kind of error I've made before.

To do otherwise is to admit the possibility that because the cause is just, that all acts which come from that cause are righteous, that the end justifies any means. That there is no crime a soldier can commit on the battlefield. That the only innocents are here at home. Down this lane is found error, tyranny and despair. A crime has been alleged - by all means, let us have a court martial. Let us take witness, evaluate testimony, discover the truth, make judgments.

Because I also know this: If LT Pantano is indeed innocent of the crimes he has been charged with, no better place will he find than a court of military law to discover that fact. And if he is found guilty? Then I believe the horrible circumstances of war surrounding the shootings will serve in mitigation of his punishment.

But not his guilt.

Let the truth out.

Lex is correct that we only have one side of the story so far and by all means we have to wait for the process to fully vet itself. From what we know at this point, however, I am willing to stand up for Lt. Pantano. I post about his ordeal as a way of showing support and honor his service. If his story is shown to be false then I am willing to condemn him as well.

As an aside, I think that Lex is a gifted writer and I enjoy reading his blog. I encourage you to visit.

There are other posts that have come to my attention that take a strong position in this case and Commonwealth Conservative is a prosecutor who weighs in here. His mind is made up at this point.

Jack of Clubs is also asking other bloggers to post and Opinion Bug has has an excellent post from LTC (R) Allen B, West. He concludes as follows:

I do not know the specifics about 2LT Ilario Pantano but he is an American and a combat Marine. Unless his offense was so heinous and unnecessary to his prescribed orders, I stand with him. Let’s stop the laughter, either get serious or get out but stop sacrificing and killing the young men if you do not want to WIN!

Michelle Malkin is also covering this here.


Prayers Requested for Captain Ed's Wife 

Captain Ed at Captain’s Quarters unfortunately is hospital-blogging as his wife, Marcia, is recovering from a pancreatic transplant yesterday.

The good Captain has requested prayers for his wife. Rightfully so, he also asks us to remember the the family of the donor “and his/her generous soul.”


Monday, February 14, 2005


Linking to MilBlogs today.


Marine Charged With Murder For Defending Himself 

Rosemary at My Newz ‘n Ideas has brought to my attention the story of Marine 2ndLt Ilario Pantano. It seems that Lt. Pantano shot and killed two Iraqis last April and now last week he was charged with murder.

Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times has an article today that outlines the story. In part it reads:

To Lt. Pantano, the two Iraqis who came toward him despite his order in Arabic to stop were mortal enemies. Booby-trapped suicide bombers are killing Iraqis by the score and some have even feigned surrender in order to get close to U.S. soldiers. But the Corps views it as murder and filed charges against him Feb. 1.

On April 15, commanders dispatched Lt. Pantano's men to a house believed to hold insurgents and weapons. The Marines found bomb-making equipment and were removing it when two Iraqis tried to speed away in a sport utility vehicle, according to Lt. Pantano's account.

The Marines stopped the SUV by shooting out the tires, apprehended the two and placed them in flexible handcuffs. After setting up a security perimeter, Lt. Pantano took off the cuffs and had the two search the vehicle as he supervised. If it was booby-trapped, the Iraqis, not Marines, would pay the price.

It was at this point that the Iraqis stopped searching and moved quickly toward Lt. Pantano.

"They start talking in Arabic and turn toward him as if they are going to rush him," Mr. Gittins (his attorney) said. "He says, 'stop.' They don't stop and he kills them. He didn't know what they were doing but they weren't listening to him. He was in fear of his life and he killed them."

Of course it turns out that they were unarmed and there were no weapons in the car, however, Lt. Pantano did not know that at the time. Pantano reported this event to his superiors and continued to serve in combat in the area for an additional 3 months.

His fitness report for that time period shows that no one thought twice about the incident:

His Company Commander states:

“Lieutenant’s Pantano progression as a young platoon commander and leader has been impressive.… he has dedicated himself to subordinate development resulting in the weakest platoon becoming one that is often the Company’s main effort. With a calm demeanor that speaks of confidence, Lieutenant Pantano has led his platoon into urban combat in Latafiyah, and he has also conducted convention operations in Falluja and Zaidon Province, Iraq. He is a proficient communicator, who should be promoted with peers. A proven warrior, Lieutenant Pantano is a Marine that I would proudly serve in combat with at any time.

His Battalion Commander, the reviewing Officer then noted:

“Concur with RS (Reporting Senior). Lt Pantano’s performance during the reporting period has been noteworthy and established his reputation as an accomplished infantry leader. His actions during the fighting in Falluja and Al Zaidon highlighted a solid understanding of tactics and an ability to anticipate the enemy. Leads form the front always and balances his aggressive style with true concern for the welfare of his Marines. Exceptional communication skills for a 2ndLt. Organized, aggressive, focused and driven. Ready for increased responsibility. Retain, promote and assign to challenging assignments.” (Emphasis added.)

So what happened? It was not until a "disgruntled” enlisted man, after being relieved from two jobs, complained to commanders that an investigation began. Today a Marine officer is being second guessed for a split second decision that he made to protect his life and the lives of this men.

Pantano’s mother has established a web site Defend the Defenders.org with all the details. There is a great deal of information posted as well as supporting comments from fellow Marines and their families.

Rosemary has several posts here and here and here.

UPDATE: Eric Hogue has posted as well US Marine Faces Murder Charges


Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Eason Jordan Mess 

As most people in the blogospher know, there has been a big brew-ha-ha over Eason Jordan of CNN.  His slanderous remarks to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that the US military in Iraq was targeting and killing journalist started it all.  The basic outcry was “Prove it!”

He couldn’t because they weren’t and now he has resigned from CNN.

CNN put it this way:

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan resigned Friday, saying the controversy over his remarks about the deaths of journalists in Iraq threatened to tarnish the network he helped build.

Jordan conceded that his remarks at the January 27 World Economic Forum were "not as clear as they should have been." Several participants at the event said Jordan told the audience U.S. forces had deliberately targeted journalists -- a charge he denied.

"After 23 years at CNN, I have decided to resign in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq," Jordan said in a letter to colleagues.

He resigned because he was WRONG.  His remarks by them self did not tarnish CNN.  CNN’s failure to follow up on the story in a timely and accurate manor tarnished them!

There are many places to find the whole story.  Start with Michelle Malkin for an excellent re-cap and then on to Easongate (run in part by Blackfive) for all the little details.  Rebecca MacKinnon played an important part from the beginning with personal thoughts and of course our main source for where to find the latest has been Hugh Hewitt. As Hugh would say, “This has been a blog swarm in action.”  There are too many other links to post here, but you can find them all at The Truth Laid Bear.

For the slanderous charges Jordan made against the fine men and women serving our country in the military, resignation is the least he could do.  He has chosen the coward’s way out.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hannah E. Foote - R.I.P. 

The lovely Mrs. Prince has been in New Hampshire this week due to the untimely death of her niece, Hannah. The funeral is today. The obituary below is from the Concord Monitor.

God speed Hannah. She will be missed by many.

Hannah E. Foote - Was a dedicated therapist and new mother

OW -- Hannah Elizabeth Foote, 33, a resident of Bow, died Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2005, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center after a short battle with breast cancer.

Hannah was born in Concord Hospital, May 3, 1971, the daughter of Morris C. Foote Jr. and the late Anne Louise (Lindemann) Foote of Bow.

Hannah graduated from Bow Memorial in 1985, followed by Concord High School in 1989. She received her bachelor of science degree in occupational therapy (OT) from the University of New Hampshire in 1995.

Hannah was an independent, strong, intelligent and generous person in all areas of her life. Once finished with school, she decided to leave the Bow area to visit her brother, Anthony, in Colorado Springs, Colo., and begin her OT internship in Pueblo.

After completing her internship, she found her first therapy position working for Nova Care. Following her dream to work in outpatient care, she found an opening at Memorial Hospital in CSC.

During her eight years in the Colorado Springs area working as an OT and enjoying the picturesque Colorado countryside, she fostered many treasured friendships. She loved Colorado and all of its outdoor activities. There isn't a photo album from the Red Rock State that doesn't have a picture of her with family and/or friends on skiing trips, camping trips, mountain bike rides, horseback riding, white-water rafting and/or rock climbing.

Hannah had an unwavering passion for life, a lesson learned early from the loss of her mom. She lived every moment to the fullest.

While in Colorado, she purchased her first home, a major feat for a single woman from New England. Once she settled into her new home, she began taking trips to visit friends and experience the world. Some of the places she visited included the surf and sandy beaches of Hawaii, the Alaskan frozen tundra, the rolling hills of the South Korean peninsula and the historic sites of Europe.

After she quenched her thirst to see the world, she decided it was time to move back home. In 2002 she loaded up the bright yellow, 36-foot Hertz box truck with her entire house and her "big headed" wolf, Nama, and made the move home. Within a month of arriving she landed a dream position working as an OTR specializing in hand therapy at Derry Sports and Rehab in Derry. While living in a close family friend's second home, she began planning for her own personal "dream home."

Anyone who knew Hannah realized how intent she was on making this the perfect home. From planning for fengshui to choosing the proper flooring and kitchen appliances to how to best utilize the kitchen space to what color to paint the walls and trim to bathroom fixtures, she planned everything down to the final detail. With many long hours and many lengthy discussions with her contractor, she finished her dream home just prior to Thanksgiving of last year. To her pleasure, she was able to host the Thanksgiving dinner at her home, with everyone from her family present.

An especially precious moment happened on this Thanksgiving: Her boyfriend of three years proposed to her. A complete and wonderful surprise to both families! At Christmas, she beamed with pride and joy as she again welcomed everyone into her new home. The final miracle in Hannah's life that touched everyone was the birth of her child, a miracle that even the hospital could not explain. Emma Anne, a one-pound, 10 ounce, 12-inch long beautiful baby girl.

Although the Lord has taken her from us early, she lived a full and wonderful life, never wasting a moment.

Hannah is survived by her father, Morris; her brothers, Anthony and Jeffery; her fiancée, Christopher Normandeau; her daughter, Emma; her stepson, Benjamin; and cousins, aunts, uncles and too many close friends to attempt to mention.

Memorial donations may be made to the Susan B. Coleman Breast Cancer Foundation; or to Bow Mills Bank and Trust, c/o the Emma Anne Normandeau education fund.

Calling hours will be held Tuesday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Waters Funeral Home, 50 S. Main St., Concord.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. at Jon Wesley Methodist Church, 79 Clinton St., Concord.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ohioan Staff Sergeant Zach Wobler KIA Iraq 

Our hearts are heavy and sad with this news.

From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Staff Sgt. Zachary Wobler, of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, was shot three times after his unit was trapped in a warehouse during a firefight in Mosul and died Sunday during his second tour in Iraq.

Six insurgents in a car fired on Wobler when he emerged from the warehouse to alert a support team to his unit's location. Although shot, Wobler shot and killed the car's driver and continued to fight as he was being put on a stretcher.

Zachary Wobler played football and ran track in high school. He joined the Ohio Army National Guard in 1998, after graduating from Ottawa-Glandorf High School. He later entered the Army and started planning a career. He won the 82nd Airborne Paratrooper of the Year Award in 2002.

From Blackfive:

“Staff Sergeant Zachary Wobler - a best-of-the-best paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division - was killed in Mosul, Iraq, on February 6th. His troops and his family mourn his loss.” He went on to quote an e-mail from SPC(P) Ryan Juliano, one of Wobler’s paratroopers:

Zach was a Scout Team leader, and I was his sniper. He was Ranger and Jumpmaster qual'd. He was also Division Trooper of the year when he was an E3 or E4, for the 82nd Airborne. He was far and away the best marksman in the battalion, beating out all the snipers. He served a year on the first deployment and about 2 1/2 months on this one. He had also been through SERE school. As an NCO he was the epitomy of technical and Tactical proficiency. He always put his men first, and took care of our needs, booth professionally and personally. He was my mentor, like my older brother. He will be sorely missed by all the scouts as well as the rest of our battalion.


SPC(P) Ryan Juliano


They Never Got The Memo 

As a volunteer for Soldiers’ Angels, we have been in contact with several Soldiers in Iraq over the past year, sending letters of support and care packages. One of our Soldiers, who is on his way home at this time, was stationed at Camp Bucca in southern Iraq for 12 months.

So, it is quite fun to run across this photo post from Daniel at Schadenfreude showing several photos of Camp Bucca. The last photo took place in October 2004 and offers a humorous tweak at the activity pictured.

A Sample photo of Camp Bucca.

If you are living here for a year, I can understand why you might want to roll around in a swimming pool of muddy water.

I don’t see any info about the two bloggers who run this blog, but I like their posts and will add them to the blog roll under Warriors.

Hattip to InDC.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

82nd Airborne Photos 

Pam at Iraq War News has some great pictures of the 82nd Airborne at work in Iraq.  Way to go Pam!


Hero Salute 

In case you missed it yesterday, here is the Anheuser-Busch super bowl ad thanking US service men and women.

Hat tip to Blackfive.


Monday, February 07, 2005

Testing BlogJet 

I have installed an interesting application - BlogJet. It's a cool Windows client for my blog tool (as well as for other tools). Get your copy here: http://blogjet.com

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." -- Pablo Picasso


Sunday, February 06, 2005

LtGen Mattis Gets Hosed by the MSM 

By now you've no doubt heard about the media pile-on over Lt. General James Mattis remarks.

The San Diego Union-Tribune put it this way:

General's Fun-to-fight Comments Draw Fire

A Marine Corps general with ties to Camp Pendleton has sparked global debate by saying "It's fun to shoot some people" and poking fun at the manhood of Afghans during a speech Tuesday in San Diego.

Lt. Gen. James Mattis made his comments at the San Diego Convention Center amid an exposition sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

A career infantry officer, Mattis until recently commanded the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton. Now stationed in Quantico, Va., he is in charge of developing better ways to train and equip Marines.

Sounds like he was walking down the street shooting people left and right!

We support General Mattis and recognize the context in which his remarks were made. We support the Marines who are placed in these situations where it is necessary to act. We understand the mind-set necessary to carry out their mission. The MSM disagrees with this straight forward, non-PC, tough talk directed at fellow Marines and tries to portray it as an abomination. Those of us in fly-over country recognize it for what it is - motivation. Not to kill people, but to do a difficult job that needs to be done. You hear similar "dark" talk in police stations, fire houses and prisons across the country when people are asked to perform their jobs under dangerous, difficult and often hellish conditions where their very life is in jeopardy every minute that are "working."

Many bloggers have thoughts that are better phrased than I, so here is a quick round-up.

Cassandra at Villainous Company posts
In Defense of Jim Mattis

Was what Jim Mattis said smart? Hell, no. But it was true. I'd wager to say that if you asked most Marines, the reason they joined the Corps was just that: to protect women and children against the kind of bullies who brutalize the weak.

Do they "enjoy" killing? I doubt it. That was probably a poor choice of words. But I imagine there is something tremendously satisfying in removing those scum from the face of the earth once and for all.

Chester over at The Adventures of Chester makes the case that General Mattis was using the same plain language that General George S. Patton would and also offers first person stories. (About Mattis, not Patton.)

The man is harder than woodpecker lips. Comments like this will probably keep him from being Commandant, but don't rule him out for a three or four star field command, even CentCom. Remember, two and a half years ago, he was just a Brigadier General.

Beth at My Right Wing Conspericcy says that it is indeed "Fun to shoot some people.... if they are Jihadis, that is."

God, you know this is going to get the liberals all riled up, forgetting, of course, that he’s indirectly supporting feminism. But then again, to them, Muslim women don’t need freedom. None of those “brown people” do.

“Prompting laughter from some military members"? How about cheers? OOH-RAH! I raise my glass to General Mattis–he’s just saying what a lot of us (veterans and civilians included) would say. Call me what you want, but I’d happily go and fight those bastards if I could.

Romeocat at CatHouse Chat offers this and this.

We train our armed forces to blow things up and kill the bad guys, why should we ping on them when they take satisfaction in their job?

Hat tip to Matt at Blackfive who started it all (for me) here.


Petition Drive by Peter Robinson 

If you are an alum of Dartmouth College, consider this effort by Peter Robinson to join the Board of Trustees by petition.

Petition Drive for the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees

I don't know Peter personally but I've read his book, How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life and I feel like I do.

Hat tip to Hugh.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith to be Awarded Medal of Honor 

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith who died outside Baghdad defending his outnumbered soldiers from an Iraqi attack, will receive America's highest award for bravery.

President Bush will present the Medal of Honor to Smith's wife and children at a ceremony at the White House, possibly in March. The official announcement will come soon, but the Pentagon called Mrs. Smith with the news Tuesday afternoon.

Smith's story is told in great detail at this site. It is an excellent multi media compilation of Sgt. Smith's brave actions as well as comments by his family and comrades.

In an unsent letter found on his laptop following his death, Sgt. Smith comments on how old the pictures of his kids in his wallet are and how hard it is to picture his kids now that they are older. This prompted me to establish a program at our photography studio called "Operation: Memories From Home" . We offered to photograph the families of service men and women and send a copy of their family portrait to their service member to help them remember their loved ones, all at no charge. It has been a rewarding success.

The St. Petersburg Times has a story here. Hat tip to One Hand Clapping where I saw the story first.


Photos At Iraq War News 

Pam, the blogger extraordinaire, at Iraq War News has two photo posts worth seeing.

The first is a series of flight deck photos from the USS Harry S. Truman
here. Hardworking Sailors and Marines in action.

Further down the blog are more photos of our men and women serving in Iraq. No bloody shoot-um-up pictures, just boring things you never see in the MSM like building new schools for Iraqi children. Check it out

Example of an old school in Iraq... Made of mud...

New school... Not made of mud.

Full story here. This particular New Hampshire National Guard unit, the 197th Field Artillery Brigade, has overseen the rebuilding of 11 schools!


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