Sunday, July 10, 2005

Missing Recon Team 3

The body of the last Navy SEAL from the reconnaissance team which encountered a large number of Taliban has been recovered. CNN reports:

The body of a U.S. Navy SEAL has been found and recovered in Afghanistan, a senior defense official said Sunday. This would account for the fourth member of a reconnaissance team that disappeared two weeks ago in Afghanistan. Only one of the four survived. The body of the SEAL was found near the other two bodies and all three had died in a shootout with insurgents, according to an initial assessment from the field, the senior official said. This senior official said that "no way" had the SEAL ever been in captivity, contrary to Taliban claims that he had been abducted.

The fourth SEAL, who survived, evaded superior numbers until he escaped. Sixteen more Special Operations soldiers died in an attempt to reinforce the recon team when their MH-47 was shot down. The US response to the loss of the recon team was not to run but insert hundreds of troops into the area to find the missing men and possibly to complete the unfinished mission. The Al Qaeda might ask themselves what manner of men these are, who fight to the death rather than surrender, and who though injured evade over high and cold mountains until they have outdistanced their unwounded pursuers. It's not an idle question. One of Osama Bin Laden's strategic assumptions when he wrote contemptuously of the US in his 1996 fatwa was that he was facing cowards.

But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.

Bin Laden understood and accepted that American logistics, technology and science would be superior to his own. What he was less prepared to believe was the possibility that their fighting spirit would be equal or greater than his. Sixty two years ago the Imperial Japanese Navy fought the USN for three straight days and nights in the waters surrounding Guadalcanal, from November 12-15, 1942. Both sides fought at point-blank range in some cases. Two USN Admirals, Scott and Callahan, died in a single night. Still the IJN and USN came on. Only after the USS Washington sank the battlecruiser Kirishima on November 15th did the Japanese break off. But it was not the material loss that shocked the Japanese: losses were about even on both sides; it was the realization that USN would not give up.

It is the canonical assumption of those who set out to conquer the world that all men are not created equal: that there are ubermensch and untermensch, men of divine descent and mongrel races, jihadis and infidels; that somehow these differences in quality will allow the chosen few to dominate the many. Yet in each case these beliefs have proven wrong, whether in the snows of Russia, the waters of Ironbottom Sound, or in the mountains of Afghanistan.

193 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

I wonder why they did not pick up and mutilate the hero's body?
After all, the Americans posed no threat since all they ever do is cut and run.
The Marines and honor:
Inseparable.

7/10/2005 07:57:00 PM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

The whiff of freedom compels warriors to perform exceptional deeds of bravery. History has seen this in all ages in every continent. Evil men ignore this trait at their peril.

7/10/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger sugar said...

The US response to the loss of the recon team was not to run but insert hundreds of troops into the area to find the missing men and possibly to complete the unfinished mission.

I'd do it like Russians in Chechnya. Clear the area. Fire a salvo of Fuel Air Explosvies. Then sift thru the ashes.

But thats just me =)

7/10/2005 08:11:00 PM  
Blogger jonejinx said...

As a former Marine I can tell you that the US military (yeah, including the squids) is the best in the world. It is only when they are led by lesser men that they fail. Even then it is not for lack of desire but rather their loyalty and discipline that leads them to follow orders. When Bush said in the Fort Bragg address that he would only listen to the opinions that matter, the commanders, my heart soared. This man reminds me so much of Lincoln.
Men step up and lead and it is the hubris of the left that they look to offer understanding to someone like Bin Laden. Is it their belief that they are so educated, so refined, so intelligent that they can talk their way to liberty?
Don't get me wrong, there is a time for diplomacy but when the fighting starts the diplomats should know enough to hand it over to the men who will water the tree of liberty with their .
"What manner of men are these that will stand in the breach?"
Semper Fi.

7/10/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Terrorists living in immigrant districts:

It is a world of run-down rented houses in immigrant districts where men travelling on false passports doss down among cardboard boxes stuffed with gory videos of suicide bombings and war-zone atrocities. The furniture is of battered chipboard and the drawers are stuffed with forged documents, the unsorted documentation of credit frauds and propaganda espousing hatred of Jews and the western world.

It was only thanks to a lucky break that the two Leicester men are no longer quietly committing their frauds and recruiting British-born Muslims to travel abroad for terrorist training.

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/732a8dfa-f1a8-11d9-9c3e-00000e2511c8.html

7/10/2005 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Wretchard, what's your favorite AFL team?

7/10/2005 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Matski said...

Yes, America's fighting spirit is the best we can buy from a despondent underclass with no prospects save the gladitorial kind.

Jonejinx, you comment:

When Bush said in the Fort Bragg address that he would only listen to the opinions that matter, the commanders, my heart soared. This man reminds me so much of Lincoln.

That you could be so fooled by a draft-dodging priveleged son who needs Cheney and Rummy to chew his food for him is a great tragedy. I pity you that you're currently led by such a dufus. Brave men deserve to die for better.

7/10/2005 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Don't have one because I made a decision not to buy a TV set, so I don't follow sports at all.

7/10/2005 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger neuroconservative said...

In my undergraduate military history survey, the professor began the first lecture by stating: "The history of warfare is the history of technology." Throughout the semester, he elaborated his belief that technological innovations were the decisive factors in battle.

I think instead that the decisive factors are belief and will. Belief in the rightness of your cause, and the will to keep fighting. Technological superiority, kill ratios, tactical maneuvers, and the rest are only relevant to the extent they impact the enemy's will to continue the fight.

Unfortunately, there are large segments of our society that have neither belief nor will. Fortunately, the enemy is not monolithic in this regard either.

7/10/2005 08:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Prof_Matski"

With all the past talk about the academia, I thought that might be of interest to some.

7/10/2005 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ray said...

There is no doubt in my mind that our military is the direct descendant of the hoplites of old, and that the special forces are made of the same flesh as the Spartans of Thermopolyae when the need calls. Given proper leadership, the citizen-soldier armed with the best that innovation rooted in free socieites can provide, is unbeatable.

Let us hope that the flesh that is willing will not find the political spirit to be weak.

7/10/2005 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

If you understood the selection process that goes into Special Warfare units and the emphasis on character development along with skill at arms you would begin to understand just what manner of men these people are. The Marines are also bringing character training online.

SEAL BUDS/S, SWC/Robin Sage, SAS/Breacon Hills, USMC Boot Camp/The Crucible are all tests of mental and physical endurance. They also require something else. In a world of moral relativism it takes some work to produce warriors. (Unless you're Scots-Irish. Then it's in your genes I think.)

doug: It was a SEAL team, not Marines.

Bloomie: We don't leave our dead behind. Period. And, we always attack an ambush.

matski: You have my pity BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) is an awful thing to witness. Bush drove an aircraft which made almost as many peacetime widows as the Starfighter. You needed to clank when you walked just to get off the end of the runway in one of those birds. there was no role for them in Vietnam and he didn't have enough time left to transition into Thuds. Matski, incoming rounds go, "Hisssszipp". Now, stand up, turn your head and say in a clear voice of command, "Follow Me!".

Can't won't? That's OK. Who will do it in your place when the need arises?

7/10/2005 10:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pofarmer said...

matski

I've gotta wonder where you're from that you have no better of an idea where the U.S. military comes from than that. A good part of the officers corps have Masters and PHD. Most of the men and women serving as enlisted are from solid middle class backgrounds and above.

This whole picture of the military as just the bottom of the barrell picked over in life is not just ludicrous, but untrue. But I wouldn't expect the truth to stop you.

7/10/2005 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

andrew,
you might want to delete that and rewrite:
I'd bet he's being sarcastic of the left, not the military, but what do I know?

7/10/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

God, I guess he's serious!
Couldn't believe someone could be that bad!

7/10/2005 10:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks, Cutler:
"So while we can -- and should -- think long and hard about the proper role of armed adventure in maintaining national security, we should also caution ourselves against giving too much credit to Bush and Co. After all, America has the armed forces it does in no small part because of the limited economic prospects of so many of our young people. And just because we have demonstrated our willingness to fight for empire does not yet mean that we have articulated a compelling argument for the empire."

7/10/2005 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

pofarmer: Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.

Matski doesn't care that you must have an advanced degree to achieve field grade or you're out.

He doesn't care that the average Special Operator takes more than two years to train before he even becomes a newbie. And this after a selection process which can take a class of over 200 and reduce them to only 15 to 20 training candidates. He is a civilian, unless he decides to become a target.

7/10/2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

andrew,
jonejinx says the squids pass muster!

7/10/2005 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and I betcha there were more than a few Marines in the area!

7/10/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"(I)n many ways there is nothing wrong with the way U.S. generals wage the wars they are tasked to fight. They follow their elected and appointed civilian leaders' orders, which in the past twenty years amount to a three-part directive: fight and win quickly; do not kill many of the enemy, destroy much of his property, or kill many of his civilians; and, above all, lose the barest minimum of U.S. soldiers because the soft American public will not tolerate high casualties. The trouble with this formula is not that the U.S. military executes it; that is their duty, their lawful, constitutional responsibliity. No, the trouble is in the generals' acceptance of the order without telling their civilian leaders that it is a recipe for disaster, that it ignores the long, bloodly history of warfare, and that it invariably leaves behind half-finished or, more accurately, half-started wars that will be refought later. The years since 1990 have seen a series of ill-conceived, half-started U.S. wars: the 1991 Iraq war, Somalia, Haiti, Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq again. Their remains litter the landscape like huge land mines waiting to be detonated by an unanticiapted pressure. All these wars satisfied the military's political masters - in itself, a scathing critique of U.S. politicians and their brainpower - and were, for the most part, dazzling displays of what America's high-tech-armed professionsal soldiers can do. They were, simultaneously, glaring examples of the careerism and moral cowardice that appear endemic in our general officer corps.

"While U.S. general officers have resigned since 1990 for personal reasons, misbehavior, and - most often - lucrative defense-industry jobs, I recall no general resigning because he recognized the surefire failure, and utlimately larger body count, of trying to wage quick, casualty-free wars."

Imperial Hubris,
Michael Scheuer

7/10/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger john marzan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/10/2005 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Doncha just love it a lot that all the left has to offer is repeated assurances of how stupid the rest of us are?

7/10/2005 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Marzan - this is an Afghanistan/SEALS thread. Give the Phillippines a rest, could you?

7/10/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger john marzan said...

oh sorry.

7/10/2005 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/10/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

The Ubermensch was never meant to be a singularity, which is why Islamism will fail. The will to power will always break itself upon the infinite.

Matski's heart has not yet resigned; he cannot understand the knight, much less the faith. Look to the right, Matski, and be awed.

7/10/2005 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Fallen Seal Steve Reich:

Because of the nature of Special Operations work, Steve Reich could never tell his family, or even his wife, what he was doing. He won a Bronze Star. To this day, Ray Reich said, the family doesn't know why he won it.

"We'd get letters and phone calls and E-mails,'' AnnMarie said. "But he was always vague about what he was doing or even where he was He'd say things like, "I'm in a place with a lot of sand.' ''

http://news.newstimeslive.com/story.php?id=72780

7/11/2005 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

The Japanese thought they owned the night. They sent two battleships full of bombardment ammo to shell Henderson Field and smash the Marines on Guadalcanal. They planned to knock out the airfield, then safely land men and equipment from eleven transports.

This battle saved the airbase. The planes sank the Japanese supply ships, and Guadalcanal was saved. This was one of the crucial battles of WWII. If we had feared taking casualties in this battle, we would have lost the island.

Today, Iraq is our Guadalcanal. It is a meeting engagement. Controlled by an enemy, both were seized by America. The question in both cases was and is; can they be held?

To me the irony is that Guadalcanal was by far a more near run thing. We could have easily lost the island half a dozen times. In Iraq, all we must fear is fear.

I thank the sailors who fought and died in that battle for Guadalcanal. I have a personal interest. My wife's father was a marine on Guadalcanal. Without those brave sailors, she might never have been born.

We face a new battlefield today. Just as those marines lives on Guadalcanal were saved by the navel battle, today we battle in this country to prevent a fifth column from shelling our armed forces with lies just as dangerous as the shells the Hiei & Kirishima carried.

7/11/2005 12:45:00 AM  
Blogger deuceboy431 said...

Wretchard,

I found this most outstanding and informative blog yesterday after seeing the quote attributed to you on Drudge. Your insight, and that of most of the others leaving posts, is very refreshing.

I really wish that we had found that last young SEAL alive. But at least we have found him and are bringing him home. My prayers are with both his family, and with his brothers in arms who have taken a pretty tough loss. But they will bounce back and hit those bas****s even harder. They always do.... God bless them all!

For Matski:

"Brave men...."? Don't you really mean "Members of 'a despondent underclass with no prospects' deserve to die for better."? I left behind a very promising academic career (not to mention friends and family) to go serve this country in a time of war, sir, and to protect your constitutional right to spout such inane drivel. It seems that I left the "despondent underclass" behind in the wan, withered grove of Academe. I have no regrets regarding my decision, and no further time for such prejudicial idiocy as yours.

For Andrew: Thanks for explaining, once again, what our president faced when flying F-102 interceptors. Unforgiving to begin with, they were aging aircraft in the late 1960s. Two of his squadron mates died in accidents during his time with the Texas ANG. With regards to his time in Alabama, I think that they were flying RF-101 Voodoos rather than "Thuds" at that time. This was an airplane with very different flying characteristics than the F-102, and probably the most unforgiving aircraft ever flown in American service. They simply could not put him in a cockpit there. It's easy for these guys to throw out the "draft dodger" smear, isn't it?

Glad to be aboard!

7/11/2005 01:03:00 AM  
Blogger sugar said...

SEAL BUDS/S, SWC/Robin Sage, SAS/Breacon Hills, USMC Boot Camp/The Crucible

Just an aside...

There is really another US special warfare group in Ganistan. They're the SAS. Not talking about the British SAS but the CIA's Special Actvities Staff. They are hand picked from military special warfare units like SEAL Team 6 and Delta. Because they're "civilian", they dont get to wear uniforms. Well, at least not the regular mil uniform. Theyre actually the unit that spearheaded the invation into Ganistan. Theyre also called Military Special Projects.

7/11/2005 01:28:00 AM  
Blogger deuceboy431 said...

Neuroconservative, Presbypoet:

It sounds like you guys have been reading up a bit on "4th Generation" warfare. If you haven't run across it yet, I recommend an excellent book called "The Sling and the Stone" by Col. T. X. Hammes, USMC. It is the most relevant thing that I have run across yet regarding the challenges that we will continue to face in the coming years and is a thoroughly stimulating, controversial read. Recognizing that the most critical aspect of this fight is that it is taking place at the Moral level is the key to beginning to develop a game plan to win it and to win decisively. Check it out!

7/11/2005 01:43:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

"neuroconservative":

Certainly the German and Hun tribes that overran the Roman Empire were not on the whole technological superior to the Romans themselves. Rather a castle is only as good as the men defending it and the Romans had lost the will and heart for protecting themselves - or to use Edward Gibbon’s words: luxury and affluence had turned the hardy Romans and Gauls, effeminate, unmanly and pusillanimous. That’s what I think the Islamists believes has happened to the west, e.g. their mantra “we love death more than you love life”. And while it’s certainly not true for the best of American soldiers, sadly I’m not so sure of the population as a whole, both of America and especially Europe.

Incidentally here’s an outrageous clip from today’s newspaper (Fogh is the Danish PM):

"You’re asking for the bomb Fogh

The Danes has only themselves to blame if Copenhagen becomes the next great city hit by a terror attack. That is the opinion of Jan Jan Hjärpe, 63 year old, professor of islamologi at the university of Lund in Sweden.

“When people across the globe could see Fogh flatter Bush during his visit in Copenhagen, it was like he simultaneously ordered a terrorist attack” says the professor.

He has no doubt Denmark is on top of bin Laden’s hatelist right now.

Turn tail
“When the bombs detonated in London, I was amazed to hear that it wasn’t Copenhagen which had been hit. When Al-Qaeda didn’t choose you this time because the G8 summit in Britain had a larger symbolic value than the Bush visit in Denmark, but that only means then most probably will become the next target, says Jan Hjärpe.

He isn’t merely a professor of islamlogy – but also cand.phil (philosophy) and cand.theol (theology) – and a former trusted advisor of Olof Palme.

[...]

While the professor rate Denmark as the European terror target number one, he still has, despite the attack of London, Britain as number two.

Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Usbekistan are also up there on the list, while the Italians, like the Spaniards, perhaps will be fortunate enough to crawl past the terrorsts, because Berlusconi cleverly plays with a troubled relation to Bush.

[...]"


Apparently the professor thinks it’s a good idea to lay low, keep your head down and hope the terrorists don’t notice you. "Unmanly" and "pusillanimous" would be perfectly acceptable words to describe such a mentality. I hope it is a difference between Danish and Swedish mentality, but I guess time will tell – after the Danes have had their terrorist attack, which I also expect will come.

7/11/2005 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

I get the feeling that this professor *wants* to see Dennmark hit.

7/11/2005 03:04:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Lt Victor Belenko of the Soviet Air Force, PVO Strany, reported that he was told:
1. The Americans are very poor.
2. They have lots of cars.
3. They fight like demons and are very aggressive.
4. They hate their country.
And one day he got in a Mig-25 and flew it to Japan.
One wonders how the typical terrorist - or anti-war type -handles such inevitable cognitive dissonance. Could be thay are nowhere near as smart as Blenko. Or as brave.

7/11/2005 04:10:00 AM  
Blogger redcatcher21 said...

There is real evil in the world, even if the general population tends to believe otherwise.
Let them sleep well, America's warriors are taking the fight to the enemy. It is warfare waged with astonishing lethality,
unbelieveable restraint and a resolve that the enemy cannot fathom. If the politicans hang in there, it's a done deal.

7/11/2005 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger Saur♥Kraut said...

Beautiful post, and very informative. I check you out every day. Thanks!

7/11/2005 04:32:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

They will come from the small towns and cotton fields and wheat fields and the ghettos and ranches and mountains and deserts and reservations and cities and take up arms if they feel the homeland is threatened. They will answer the call by enlisting or waiting to be called via draft. It is really that simple, about as simple as a couple of planes ramming the towers.

7/11/2005 05:36:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Good salute, Wretchard. And great comments (except for the useless agitprop of prof ingrate) re the people that hold--and have held--the front line against the totalitarian impulse.

USN in the WWII Pacific has some mightily stirring stories indeed. One such was the charge of the destroyers--the charge of Taffy 3--off Samar during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Here's just one sailor's account.

7/11/2005 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger midwich2 said...

I need help - can anyone point me to some clear statements by Bin Laden outlining his desire for an Islamic fundamentalist superstate? I need this fast, as I'm arguing on a forum against people who think the London bombings were all because of Iraq!

Any help greatly appreciated...

7/11/2005 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Trish:

I'm reading Scheuer now, and taking copious notes. He's certainly a proponent of total warfare, but is also strangly unrealistic of political realities, domestic and international. He also overestimates Al Qaeda and Bin Laden to a degree, because he respects them so much. I believe as a fellow professional, but sometimes he goes a bit over the top. He's also a defeatist, believing that we cannot win against Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, and therefore shouldn't fight. In order to justify this, he's rationalized that if we only were to appease Al Qaeda's stated goals, cutting ourselves off from the Muslim world, they'd leave us alone. Surprisingly naive conclusions from a man whose book is filled with realistic non-quixotic thinking.

7/11/2005 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Midwich2

7/11/2005 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Defeating the terrorists involves two objectives: (1)Taking the heart out of their foot soldiers, and (2) Going after and taking out their sources of finance. I keep arguing that the second is the more important

The ones who seem to be doing the recruiting are the radical imams. But how do the imams pay their bills?
From an archived NY Times article ( http://faculty.washington.edu/ewebb/E301/Europe%20Struggling%20to%20Train%20New%20Breed%20of%20Muslim%20Clerics.html ): Vicente Motta al-Faro, 29, a Spanish convert to Islam and the sole graduate of the Burgundy school last year, could not find a job as an imam and is about to start a job teaching Islamic culture at a center in Valencia. Becoming an imam, he said, "depends on which Muslim community has money, which few have."

An imam with an independent outside funding source has an advantage. He can work full time on a radical agenda if he does not have to worry about the rent. Going after the money men would cripple the activities of the radical imams and the madrassas. Unfortunately, the money trail seems to lead to many people who cannot be touched right now

7/11/2005 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

new caliphate
(one of the links from the above)

7/11/2005 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

http://wikisource.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden%27s_Declaration_of_War

Midwich, you can probably find it in there. A quick skim shows he makes oblique references to the future "Islamic state." It's a fairly clear look into his goals and propaganda, before it was twisted to suit short term purposes for the ongoing War on Terror.

A quick google of "Bin Laden recreate caliphate" will return a host of links.

Short term goals: Removal of US forces and other impedients to a restored Caliphate.

Intermediate: Forming Calphate.

Long term: War against non-Islamic world.

7/11/2005 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger midwich2 said...

To Buddy Larsent - thanks very much, will go through this now.

7/11/2005 06:04:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

The London bombings were due to the UK's involvement in Iraq? Now, how could that be? I've heard over and over that Operation Iraqi Freedom had *nothing* to do with Al Qaida, and was in fact a complete diversion. So if that's the case, why would Al Qaida want to bomb London over it?

Of course, the corporate right-wing media is just telling you that Al Qaida was responsible for this. That's just what Karl Rove wants them to tell you.

7/11/2005 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Just in case:

I was being sarcastic.

7/11/2005 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"An imam with an independent outside funding source has an advantage. He can work full time on a radical agenda if he does not have to worry about the rent. Going after the money men would cripple the activities of the radical imams and the madrassas. Unfortunately, the money trail seems to lead to many people who cannot be touched right now."

Euphemism for Saudi Arabia, where the House of Saud survives for lack of a better alternative. At least until they fall to domestic radicals.

7/11/2005 06:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

http://www.videofact.com/english/defectors2_4en.html

Victor Belenko: First of all American super-market, my first visit was under CIA supervision, and I thought it was set-up; I did not believe super-market was real one. I thought well I was unusual guest; they probably kicked everyone out. It's such a nice, big place with incredible amount of produce, and no long lines! You're accustomed to long lines in Russia. But later, when I discovered super-market was real one, I had real fun exploring new products. I would buy, everyday, a new thing and try to figure out its function. In Russia at that time (and even today) it's hard to find canned food, good one. But everyday I would buy new cans with different food. Once I bought a can which said "dinner." I cooked it with potatoes, onions, and garlic-it was delicious. Next morning my friends ask me, "Viktor, did you buy a cat?" It was a can of chicken-based cat food. But it was delicious! It was better than canned food for people in Russia today.

7/11/2005 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Sorry, one more:

I bought a box of Freedom with the picture of nice looking lady. I did not know what it was. (I'm talking about maxi-pads.) I brought it to my apartment, I opened it, and I tried to figure it out. I thought well it's probably some cleaning device for the kitchen to give these American women freedom in the kitchen to clean up and absorb everything, because even today Russian women do not have this convenience.

Imam Dwug, what's the official stance on maxi-pads?

7/11/2005 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"Thanks SO much, ladies, for handling the reproduction details!" ?

7/11/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Tyler said...

That location in Afghanistan must be godaweful. Tell this story to those who can not understand why we have not captured bin Ladan. These whiney types imagine it like hunting someone in Central Park. Indeed, I believe that all those who are critical of the War on Terror - including Iraq - are coming from a base in ignorance.

7/11/2005 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Stephen Tyler said...

Speaking of ignorance, scroll up to 8:51PM and read matski's post. This guy is a class A dufus (to use his own word) He/she makes 5 assertions 1) That there is a despondent underclass in America. 2) That Bush was a draft dodger. 3) That Chaney and Rumsfelt are a shadow team running the presidency. 4) That Bush has a low IQ, and 5) That the brave men and women in uniform are dying because of these above 4 reasons and for no other greater cause. None of these assertions have any basis in fact. What is really distressing is the mind-set that supports this kind of stupid commentary. It is the mind-set that lies behind 30 years of failed social policies and self-congratulatory assumptions spewing from a political faction that is, thank God, finally strangling on its own spit.

7/11/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger WillyShake said...

As I've expained here , there is also a lesson to be learned by the media.

Great post--thanks! --Will

7/11/2005 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Go, Arrowsmith!

7/11/2005 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

midwich2,

I am sorry I can not be specific as to a location regarding the text. Shortly after 9/11 Bin Laden was talking about the shame of losing Al-Andalusia. The Moors were kicked out of Al-Andalusia roundabout 1492 by the Spanish.

Yes, he is talking about restoring the Caliphate to Spain.

7/11/2005 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard's testament to the fortitude of the troops infers the only danger we have of "losing" - it won't be the troops, or even their careerist leaders, it will only be the weakness of the electorate, driven to despair by the media, the "loyal opposition" politicians, and certain "professors" who teach lies and ignorance.

Thanks Jonejinx.

7/11/2005 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

Our men will perform but our leaders must lead and inspire confidence.

Look even further back to the American Civil war, where the Union had more men and materiel to make war. What it did not have was capable generals able to use these advantages. The Army of Northern Virginia believed in Lee and followed him on empty stomachs and bare feet into battle. It was only when Grant took over and began to USE the Army of the Potomac to strangle the South that the tide changed.

By the way, Clinton is no Lincoln - thankfully he was not as emasculated as Jimmy Carter was either. On the other hand, George W Bush is certainly doing his part to emancipate the Middle East amidst a storm of criticism both here and abroad. I guess that's the sign of doing something right and worthwhile - when everyone is mad at you for doing it.

7/11/2005 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Papa,
I heard AQ has a 500 million dollar internal budget in Saudi Arabia!

7/11/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

though crushed that we didn't find him alive, i'm relieved that he avoided captivity - and what that would have implied for the nature of his death.
somewhat OT, but not really, the BBC is making a lot today of the 10th anniversary of Srebrenica, which it describes as "Europe's worst atrocity since World War II."
They manage to take a pause in their tireless vendetta against the campaign to end the horror of Saddam's Iraq, to admiringly quote Jack Straw saying this about Bosnia: "For it is to the shame of the international community that this evil took place under our noses and we did nothing like enough. I bitterly regret this and I am deeply sorry for it."
That's the BBC: never act to end horror - but be ever ready to apologize earnestly afterwards for not having done so.
Further, in a column of some 500 words, they seem unable to find room for any use of the words: "United Nations."

7/11/2005 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

>Goesh said...
>They will come from the small towns and cotton fields and wheat fields and the ghettos and ranches and mountains and deserts and reservations and cities and take up arms if they feel the homeland is threatened.

Well, they appear to be waiting for others to come first. Talk is cheap, and so is supporting a war from afar. Stand up brave Republicans! You voted for it, now fight it!

7/11/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jim's right--let's all drop everything and fly to Baghdad--right now! The generals can use us if we bring our own food and water! And some tents and sleeping bags! I have some extra deer-rifles and shotguns! Let's get started right now! Screw the military, they don't know what they're doing! But Jim does!

7/11/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Shortchanging Arab Bank’s victims.
Though Arab Bank denies it was ever knowingly involved in terror financing, the public record appears to contradict such assertions. Various jihadist web sites openly raising funds informed prospective donors to direct contributions to numbered accounts at Arab Bank.
But even more openly than that, advertisements in prominent Palestinian newspapers told families of “martyrs”—suicide bombers—to collect money from Arab Bank. One February 2002 ad listed names entitled to receive $5,316.06 from the “Saudi Committee.”

The “Saudi Committee” referenced is likely at least part of the reason that the feds are hustling to shield Arab Bank, despite the wealth of evidence that led to the partial shuttering of the institution’s New York branch.

7/11/2005 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey Bud,
You ready for 115 degrees in full combat gear w/armour?

7/11/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

It's going to be a total bitch auditing every check written by thousands of Arab "charities". But shutting down half of it is probably doable--and that's big.

7/11/2005 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Buddy, the military knows exactly what it's doing. It's falling short of it's enlistment goals every month. It's deploying grandmothers, single moms and old farts who are already locked into the system, because it doesn't have enough volunteers.
And the armchair warriors sit safely at home and know they're right.
I'm 60 years old and have fought my wars, 3 of them. Have you?

7/11/2005 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger luckent47 said...

if you have ever participated or witnessed the selections of spec ops soldiers, they pick themselves, really...the cadre just ask themselves over and over "who looks like he'd cover my six?" the rest is just moving.
I guess my beef with this op is the planning.its not a problem with higher and all that( I had a huge problem with mogadishu,the raid and the one right before it were just asinine..)I just get super frustrated with results that seem avoidable.
the frogs have a helicopter (squirrel) that can get up there.
--ithooks are great but theyre huge targets just like the HIND-D.
A super high altitude slow mover that can haul a squad and stay on station for more than a minute and doesnt cost 8 billion dollars would be nice...no wait, lets build a prius.

20 brothers gone. All lost to clean up the mess of a sex addict communist that would rather shoot dogs and hillbillies.

7/11/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Shit we just comandeer the planes! I've seen pictures of pilots, they look like me, I can probably fly an airliner! Meet at the end of the runway? How 'bout 8AM sharp, all 300 million of us!

7/11/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

No, Jim, I'm almost your age, and would've served if I hadn't flunked my physical. I was classified 1-Y due to a couple of HS knee operations. I've felt bad all these many years over not trying harder to over-ride the 1-Y--I was in good shape, the knees were from sports and I had plenty at the time left over, physically. But I let it stand. Now, what does that have to do with whether or not the USA has anything at stake in the mideast?

7/11/2005 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy,
Read that short Joel mowbray article:
It isn't about a problem doing it,
but a CONGRESSIONAL COVERUP, thanks to lobby dollars, and one lone GOP pol trying to get the truth out.

7/11/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

Jim - why are you singling out the Republicans? I don't recall the military checking party credentials at the door, and I'm pretty sure there was some bipartisan agreement that what our military was/is doing is necessary.

I don't think this is a matter of who's fought what wars either - I appreciate your service but this shouldn't come down to comparing battle scars in some sort of pissing contest as to who's opinion matters more, much less is right.

Besides, this is not some sort of involuntary conscription. Our military is all volunteer, which means they are there because they signed up. That includes the Reserves and National Guard. They agreed to serve in that role, got paid for their trouble, and accepted the chance that they could be activated.

7/11/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

luckent47, I'd never made my silly ass posts if i'd read your heartbreaker. I'm sorry. Your last para is hard, hard. No way around it.

7/11/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

jim: I agree talk is cheap.

I'm 65 years old. I had my war. US Army '62-65, US Army Reserves, 65-82, w/ two active duty stints. INTC. PhD. rural economic/political development.

I run, work out and burn about 300 rounds a month to keep hand eye co-ord. I talk to my detailer quite often. If there is a role in training and/or analysis, I'm ready.

And, you?

7/11/2005 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Jim.

I appreciate and respect your service, but maybe you should take a look at this. Then, please share with us why you think Jeff might be wrong.

Just so you know, some of us serve in other ways.

7/11/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, Col. David Hunt's book "They Just Don't get It" makes similar points. Go into the banks, he says, bring up the suspicious accounts, and hit the 'send' button. Then, let the owners argue their case for an unfreeze.

7/11/2005 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Dave,
I shouldn't have singled out Republicans. Hell, I've voted Republican almost all my life. It just amazes and frustrates me that the 'mandate' the President received hasn't translated into more than vocal support, while our small all volunteer military is being slowly ground into the dust. My old helo squadron is gearing up for it's 3d rotation. Each time more of the guys come home in a bag. These guys shouldn't have to carry the ball alone.

7/11/2005 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nathan, that's that new bow, isn't it?

7/11/2005 09:05:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Buddy,

Yes. Reagan has it too.

7/11/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Jim, the kids in school are taking a lot of sh*t from some teachers and some peers, about serving in a 'fake' crisis. I know, my 22 yr old is interviewing with the navy as we speak--she just finished her undergrad degree, and is catching flak for wanting to serve. You're right--it is bad. But if you want to hit the party politics, you're missing by 180 degrees, in my opinion. Recruits are coming out of stridently pacifist institutions.

Is there a case for quitting this war? What will happen if we do? In a year? 5 years? 10 years? I'm with you insofar as if the country won't support it, lets bring the kids home now. And let Nathan add on a dozen Carriers and SSBNs, and just do foreign policy crisis resolution with the hammer of Thor.

7/11/2005 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

It's a small thing, but at least here you can do more than offer vocal support: American Military Family

7/11/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Jeez Andrew, you're older than dirt!
I enlisted for 4 in the Corps in '65. I retired from active duty as a burned out AF Major in June '96.
I'm done.

7/11/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Tony, here's another, that GWB mentioned in his July 4 speech in West Virginny.
http://www.americasupportsyou.mil/

7/11/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now we just gotta get Dessert Rat on Board for those Carriers!
...then we'll start calling him Desert again!

---
French, from Old French desservir, to clear the table : des-, de- + servir, to serve; see serve

7/11/2005 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

jim,
The Belmont Club is sometimes refered to as the old folks at home.

7/11/2005 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger david bennett said...

For the record the buzz in ex intelligence community is that the individual being sought was a certain Gubeddin Hekmayet not OBL

http://noquarter.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/07/four_men_alone.html

Given the fact that the army dominates special forces operations and friends of the Seals have gone so far as to recently publicize their dissatisfaction this is not surprising. The really really big targets would go to Delta.

7/11/2005 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

Jim -

Ok - I agree. AMERICA is carrying the ball for most of the rest of the world, with the exception of our allies who have ponied up troops and materiel to support the effort in Iraq.

We've played "world policeman" many times and many places over the years. Apart from Britain, the rest of Europe basically sits on their can while we do the heavy lifting and dirty work. I seriously doubt the French would (or could) lift a finger, much less a baguette, to defend itself or anyone else from a serious and credible threat.

Part of me was insanely curious to see how Germany and South Korea would react when we finally scaled down our presence. I served in Germany for a few years and felt the love the closer I got to the then East German border. Now there's no one left to blame, and they finally got to take care of themselves.

Being the "policeman" is a two edged sword - on the one hand we get done what others cannot or will not do. With that comes scorn and accolades from various quarters who agree or disagree with our actions.

The other part is our actions enable other nation-states to neuter their capabilities and consciously or unconciously shirk their responsibilities. Why bother investing in a strong military when you can call the "big dog" to take care of business? Except when the big dog cannot or will not come - as evidenced in the Sudan and elsewhere - - not all conflicts are media friendly and certainly not all are created equal.

7/11/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Andrew,
My neighbor flew Super Connies for the Navy, and a bunch of others, then commercial, including DC-3's!
Still runs 6 miles every other day after cutting down from 12.
...plus all the gardening, tree trimming, etc on his large yard!

7/11/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Hanba'al said...

Buddy, I always love the charges of the Taffy 3
Jim, sound likes you were a desk top major and talk like a warrior. Been through 3 wars eh? I was just damn lucky to survive 1 war from 1970 to 1975. And I am a Vietnamese American.

7/11/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

Jim: Ya' gotta keep your eyes bright!

Age is relative and pain is just weakness leaving the body. Exercise your brain. I do networking quals and other stuff.. Use it or lose it.

Look on the bright side. Pootang isn't a de-focuser anymore and you're a bunch smarter than the kids. I spar w/ one of my kids who's a Brazilian combatives world champion and every once in a while I can get one over on him. Age and treachery....

Join a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in your community. In my city we're First Responders to some incidents.

Introduce yourself to a local recruiter and work with him to get his message out. I currently have a little subversive discussion cell at our local university. We meet in the belly of the beast.

7/11/2005 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nathan,
Why doesn't someone paint some P-40 Warpaint on that Submarine like nosecone?

7/11/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Buddy,
You have to be very proud of your daughter.
Tough times come & go. But service to the Country is a way of life. People who choose it have the strength to follow their own path, and don't give a sh*t what other's think.
My 30 year old stepson just blew out his knee in training and was discharged while trying to get a Commission in the Navy. My son-in-law is an AF C-5 Loadmaster.

7/11/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Pootang isn't a de-focuser anymore and you're a bunch smarter than the kids.
---
?

7/11/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lan Nguyen said...
---
What a line of crap!
You had John Heinz there to protect you!

7/11/2005 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I thought some defocusers were eternal.

7/11/2005 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Doug,

Do a google for "Golden Chain" Osama. here is the first article to come up. The real structure of international terrorism seems to involve the money men (Golden Chain) funding and supporting groups like Al Queda, who provide organizational and training support to local jihaadists

If we take out bin Laden, it's only going to be a temporary victory if the untouchable money men can just hire a replacement

7/11/2005 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Ian,
I spent 67-68 in your country with the Marines. Sorry we couldn't save it.
I flew during my entire AF career
& finally put in my retirement papers when they grounded me for physical reasons. Then I went to work in Saudi as a contractor, training Saudi AF officers.
I did see a desk once though.

7/11/2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right, Jim--I didn't mean to smart-off--I jumped to a conclusion, that you were a typical antiwhatever. As a matter of fact, if we DID have 300 million willing to go fight, we'd never have to fight in the first place. But, as people like Lan prove, the thing just has to be finished right. I wish I knew what to say. The truth is, the military bears the burden. Period. It's too serious to be smart-assing on--I'll watch it in the future.

7/11/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

No shit, Wretchard.

Skip bombing at Guadalcanal in a B-17 at wave-top level. One engine blown off, nose blown out, but he goes back for another attack, all in heavy squall conditions.


http://www.afa.org/magazine/valor/0594valor.asp

Some of the photos from skip bombing show the wings just clearing the smokestacks of the targets.

7/11/2005 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

Jim,
re: Well, they appear to be waiting for others to come first. Talk is cheap, and so is supporting a war from afar. Stand up brave Republicans! You voted for it, now fight it!

Based on voting patterns of the military (heavily Republican), the Republicans are doing the fighting

7/11/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Talk about a rock and a hard place, long, long flight over the open Pacific--mostly in single-engines--not to mention the carrier landing after. Guts. The story of Torpedo 8 at Midway, a fiction-writer wouldn't touch it, nobody'd believe it. The whole squadron shot down--which opened it up overhead for plain lucj timing arrival on the dive-bombers which turned the war in 5 minutes, sinking 3 of the 4 IJN fleet carriers. It's just an incredible, incredible story.

7/11/2005 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Buddy,
Remember, too, that they were flying towards a moving/often unknown target, and coming back to a moving target, which might have been sunk. So they often ran out of fuel. With navigation aids nowhere near to what is available today.

But I think that the Catalina crews, flying out alone, with very minimal defensive capability, no way to outrun anybody, searching for the enemy, may have had it toughest in some ways.

7/11/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Hanba'al said...

Jim, no need to feel bad about Vietnam, old soldier (if you remember the words of McArthur). If Vietnamese couldn't foresee what would come their way and hence standing up to fight, there is nothing you could do.

In the same token, I often wonder how many Americans seeing it coming their way if they don't fight the war against the Muslim fanatics now and rather wait until the enemy gaining strength and weaponries?

7/11/2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Jim, especially, and all the rest:
Check out Papa's long der Spiegel article on the bin Ladens and the Sauds.
...always thought flying all those f....... back after 9-11 was not the best idea in the world.

7/11/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Jim might have gotten off on a wrong foot with a "I'm more military than thou" claim, but his concern about the state of the military is growing in the American public.

And for good reasons.

There is a sense among even those of us who track the military, generally support Bush, and support the war that there is something really "OFF" about Pentagon management under Rumsfeld and within the Bush Administration itself seemingly being content with sloganeering.

The fact is that many units have been used, and used harder than anyone expected. Not only active duty going on their 3rd combat tour since 9/11, all the extended deployments, but Reserves being burned out. Some pure Bush supporters say, well too bad, they are volunteers and "elite" troops and commander's morale is high. True, but the volunteer military is under tremendous strain and there was no major effort to increase force size until recently - because within the Pentagon the feeling was that Army and Marines were growing obsolescent and small numbers of super soldiers were the answer...

But that still leaves insufficient troops to seal the Iraq border, destroy weapons & explosive stockpiles, secure the Baghdad airport road, or garrison towns where the Marines dislodged the insurgents at heavy cost. Everybody there knows this.

As we watch the BRAC process go on and the Chinese Navy and Air Force rise - we find out that BRAC relies on assumptions of continued reduction in conventional war fighting assets in favor of new wonder weapons and the Bush tunnel vision that only a few thousand "evildoers" challenge America. BRAC assumes 40% less submarines exist 5 years out, 30% less surface ships, less A-10s, bombers, refueling tankers, fighter jets, one less aircraft carrier, less M-1 tanks, artillery.

Already the Bush Administration has considerably less of these assets than Clinton handed Bush - from wear & tear associated with uptempo (war on drugs, flying in circles around major cities after 9/11, the Iraqi Grinder, and Afghanistan..

And morale in the Navy and Ary, two branches I have friends and relatives in, inc. in Iraq is not as high as the Administration says it is. There is a lot of cynicism about strategy, Rumsfeld's transformation, and contempt for the "Noble Freedom-loving Iraqi People".

7/11/2005 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Quite long article, maybe this will entice some of you:

"Be generous when doing God's work"
Carmen bin Laden, a sister-in-law of the terrorist, who lived with the extended family in Jeddah for years, says, "I absolutely do not believe that the bin Ladens disowned Osama. In this family, a brother is always a brother, no matter what he has done. I am convinced that the complex and tightly woven network between the bin Laden clan and the Saudi royal family is still in operation."

Even as a boy, Osama was always considered the "holy one" in the family. He drew attention to himself when he denounced school soccer tournaments as a godless waste of time and assiduously monitored the houses of neighbors, taking it upon himself to enforce the state's prohibition of music.

In 1990, after his triumph in Afghanistan, OBL offered the Saudi royal family the use of his troops to battle Saddam Hussein, whose forces had invaded Kuwait. But King Fahd decided instead to bring in American forces. The decision proved to be a financial coup for the family business, which helped build military bases for the outsiders, but it was turning point in Osama's life. Embittered, he went to Sudan in 1992

According to Scheuer, members of the bin Ladin family who were doing business in the United States or studying at US universities were almost completely inaccessible. "My counterparts at the FBI questioned one of the bin Ladens," the former CIA agent recalls. "But then the State Department received a complaint from a law firm, and there was a huge uproar. We were shocked to find out that the bin Ladens in the United States had diplomatic passports, and that we weren't allowed to talk to them."

"The Saudi Arabian Wahhabites are the luxury version of the Taliban," says Carmen bin Laden.

She rarely saw Osama. She noticed him because he turned away in horror when she opened the house door: "I was unveiled, and he was afraid of the sight." The family saw OBL as fanatically pious -- and he was also admired for the same reason. But Carmen thought he was odd. She says that Osama's young wife, Najwa, was not even permitted to give her baby a bottle when it was very hot, because the merciless father felt that the bottle's nipple was "haram" -- impure in a religious sense.

The outsider observed the trench warfare that was taking place for power within the family dynasty, a battle in which her husband, son number 10, soon moved to the top. "The daily realty within the family was jealousy, envy and intrigue," she says. "But the all-powerful Islamic traditions of Wahhabism ensure that no one is excluded from the clan. No individual destiny is more important than the shared system of values."

This is why Carmen bin Laden believes it is impossible that the brothers have severed all ties with Osama. "No matter what he has done, they cannot disown him -- it would be a violation of the Sharia laws." And because of the close relationships between the royal family and the construction company, Carmen also believes that there are still secret links among Osama, various princes in senior government positions and leading religious scholars.


Dir is famous throughout the region for its sharp knives and the Kalashnikov knockoffs that every young man older than 14 carries in the streets. It's also known for smuggling along dozens of hidden paths across the border into Afghanistan, only 40 kilometers away. Asmar, the Afghan village on the other side of the border, is the place where Osama bin Laden was last seen by credible witnesses -- well over a year ago

The world's number one terrorist has moved on. Some intelligence experts believe he has gone north into the remote Wakhan region, with its jagged mountains and thousands of caves in which to hide. Others believe he is in the rugged mountainous Khost region south of here, on either side of the border town of Parachinar.

It seems difficult to believe that OBL can move around in this region entirely without the knowledge of Pakistani intelligence and military officials. American special forces are repeatedly seeing the same pattern: Whenever they believe they are close to bin Laden's followers in the border region, someone tips off the terrorists -- presumably high-ranking sympathizers within the ranks of Pakistani intelligence or military.

7/11/2005 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ardsgaine said...

"It is the canonical assumption of those who set out to conquer the world that all men are not created equal: that there are ubermensch and untermensch, men of divine descent and mongrel races, jihadis and infidels; that somehow these differences in quality will allow the chosen few to dominate the many. Yet in each case these beliefs have proven wrong, whether in the snows of Russia, the waters of Ironbottom Sound, or in the mountains of Afghanistan."

And the hills of Pennsylvannia.

The Confederates said before the civil war that one southerner could lick ten yankees. It turned out to be more like 1.5, maybe 3 or 4 if the southern boy was dug in with artillery support. He couldn't keep doing it every day, though, with no shoes, no food, no shelter, no blankets.

Spirit counts for a lot, and the South had plenty, but the yankee soldiers had it too; and spirit plus superior material and logistical resources combined with a little leadership and the determination to fight as long as it takes adds up to victory. The yankee soldier supplied the spirit, capitalism supplied the resources, Grant supplied the leadership and Lincoln supplied the determination to win or bust.

Our boys now have the spirit, they have the best equipment that money can buy, and they have good leaders. The only question that remains to be seen is whether the American public has the will to insist on victory. Even now, we are only fighting half of a war. There are lots of countries on the list, and we're not yet done with the first two. We won't get done with them either, until we take on the rest.

7/11/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I keep tellin ya, C-4, disarming is TRADITIONAL.
(and has traditionally predicted war with 100% accuracy.)
---
And besides, how we going to have free medicine and mortgages for illegals if we don't cut SOMEWHERE?

7/11/2005 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I think there is a dearth of inspirational leadership an all fronts.

7/11/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

In Russia, when you turn 18 you serve in the army, period. If you can't, or wont fight, you peel potatoes, or do laundry, or drive or cook for those better than you. There's lots of utility that can be derived from those that wont and can't. And everyone gets to share in the patriotic duty.

7/11/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mika,
The Belmont Club alone could put out a better paper giving our side of the war than the entire US Govt!

7/11/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Lan,

If Belmont has a central theme, you just hit on it: In the same token, I often wonder how many Americans seeing it coming their way if they don't fight the war against the Muslim fanatics now and rather wait until the enemy gaining strength and weaponries?

7/11/2005 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

C4, what's the solution? Inspiring victory on the morale side by accentuating the negative? Re-ups signal high morale among the deployed units. Anybody got any links on that crucial "tell"?

7/11/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger luckent47 said...

check this thread at lucianne
http://www.lucianne.com/threads2.asp?artnum=223527
seems i'm not the only one ?ing the ch-46e.
wired.com has an osprey blurb too.

larsen,iwastalkingabout clintoon and ruby ridge.

my only adviceto any parentsending a kid into the service is to MAKE THEM LEARN ARABIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4187 for a dlab test
defense language aptitude battery.
first things first,leave all that hooah shit to the humps, we need BRAINS with GUNS.
This from a grunt that was at battalion,so save it wannabees.

The NEA and the internationalists have removed all languages of consequence from the curricula. French,German...why?!!
We need mandarin and arabic asap.

Do it.

7/11/2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Doug,
Maybe you should have them peeling potatoes. You'd be surprised how motivated after that they'll become.

7/11/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

luckent47: my only adviceto any parentsending a kid into the service is to MAKE THEM LEARN ARABIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or have those people (those in the ME) learn English.

I know that in my area, cable and satellite services, provide automatic audio and text captions to all their TV programing. Just pick the one wish: English Russian Hebrew Arabic.

7/11/2005 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I knew who you meant, luckent47, the clintoon. My kid talking to Navy IS a language minor--just fin 3rd yr intensive Russian this 1st summer session--which graduated her. Navy told her, maybe Intelligence. So, you're right about the language interest--it's there in spades.

7/11/2005 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mika,
High Tech has ruined everything:
Way back in the 60's in Basic Training we had a neat powered peeler!
Had a big spinning steel globe with spikes inside a bowel poured in the concrete!
I was impressed!
(and appreciative!)

7/11/2005 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

spikes inside a bowel

Ouch.

7/11/2005 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Doug, the nineteen 60s?

7/11/2005 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

doug said... Mika, High Tech has ruined everything

uh yes, I should have prefaced that by saying: in Soviet Russia. :P

Well, if not peeling potatoes, how about polishing boots. :)

7/11/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Caltrop said...

I am a retired reserve SEAL who served in Afghanistan.


The movie, "the Seven Seal," is about a man who seeks answers about life, death, and the existance of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.

The matter of the Fourth SEAL in Afghanistan was a problem more current, but also about life and death, a plague of another variety, and perhaps another form of chess. This subject has brought me a barrage of emails for the past ten days and weighed heavily on many of my friends.

The matter was resolved today with the discovery of the body of the Fourth SEAL in proximity to the original firefight on or about 1 July 2005.It seemed up until today there were four possible outcomes based upon reports:

a. He'd be found alive.
b. He'd be found dead as the result of enemy contact.
c, He was captured, tortured, and executed by the Taliban (as they the Taliban had reported); or
c. We'd never know what had happened to him.

Strangely, the second choice, as we now understand was the outcome, is viewed by many as a relief. We'd figured he'd run out of water several days back, if he was alive.It seems strange to be happy a man is dead, but as DeGaulle said about growing old, "you must consider the alternatives," and perhaps consider the existance of God and the many tricks of the Grim Reaper.

r,

Caltrop

7/11/2005 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nathan must be Mr. Potato Head!

7/11/2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Caltrop,
The times article says the guy that made it was blown down a mountain by rocket fire to a place where he couldn't be seen!

7/11/2005 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(wondered if you heard any chatter on that.)

7/11/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Larsen,
Nah, I heard the Gettysburg Address,
LIVE!

7/11/2005 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Nathan,
Memory grows dim:
Might have been an inverted cone, not a globe:
Sit on that one!

7/11/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger luckent47 said...

found the article about the osprey.
velly intellestingk
http://wired.com/wired/archive/13.07/osprey.html

now that they have actually fixed the problems will they just throw it away?!!

7/11/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

They really do need the Osprey, or the equivalent. Compared to helos, it has a much greater carrying capacity, and is much faster, with a greater range. With the potential for more ship-based operations, that extra range is very significant. Add in the fact that the heavy lift helos are getting old, and are going to need to replaced anyway, and it seems like this is an obvious choice. Unfortunately, it is expensive, and had some bad PR (some the fault of the Marines, some just due to the typical problems new technology has).

7/11/2005 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Pat Patterson said...

The guys with the muddy boots will do what is expected of them as long as they do it under the radar. Most modern societies treat the military as the last resort when the thinkers and the elites cannot agree on a solution. But societies do not really want to know of heroism or cowardice, because these notions are primal and cannot be understood by taking a grad course in psychology. Socities want the results of a strong military but not the cost or the details.

7/11/2005 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Doug,

Heh :)

7/11/2005 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I read somewhere that Osprey is in, or going to be in, the future. Not dead, not gonna be dead.

Caltrop, there was a lot of unclenching, everywhere, when the story reached the end.

7/11/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

effeminate, unmanly and pusillanimous?

-- sounds like Matsky

7/11/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

One wonders how the typical anti-war-type handles such inevitable cognitive dissonance?

They handle it just like an ex-girlfriend of mine...

...intense depression. Her world fell apart, and she holed up in her hovel-of-a-home, all her friends left, even the leftist ones, who couldn't themselved share any common ground with each other because it commonly brought up the cracked world-view that they shared - which only increased the pain.

7/11/2005 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

It's almost like autism.

7/11/2005 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

...which makes me wonder if leftism is a form of autism.

7/11/2005 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

One such was the charge of the destroyers--the charge of Taffy 3--off Samar during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Here's just one sailor's account.

...which may have saved the life of a close relative of mine who was the LSO on the Gambier Bay.

"beautiful photographs he's got, of Fuso class BC's less than 3 clicks away. I have no idea how he kept the camera out of the seawater while he was in his life preserver".

7/11/2005 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Something turned that IJN fleet around--that was the 'kill' fleet, IIRC, and it reversed away from it's mission soon after smashing thru Taffy 3. What turned them?

7/11/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Here, found a good recap of the five major engagements of the Battle of Leyte Gulf:
(loss of Gambier Bay in Samar engagement)

7/11/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Buddy,

Chapter 11 of Robert Cox' excellent book, The Battle Off Samar - Taffy III at Leyte Gulf.

7/11/2005 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Jim: thanks for your service. However, I do believe the Army surpassed their recruiting goals in June.

From what I can find out, the Army lowered the target a bit, or moderated their standards, but they did surpass the goal. Remember, the overall annual goal was to increase the Army by 30,000, I believe (though the number could be more). This is of course a nit-pick, and your overall point that the military is strained is a correct one. Not sure what you can do about it, though, since we are in a war that needs to be fought, and the military fights our wars.

Respectfully, the "chickenhawk" argument is distasteful and just completely wrong. Those that serve deserve my thanks and respect, but do not be so quick to debase your fellow citizens. If a bank is robbed, I do not feel bad in asking the police to find the suspect and bring him to justice, though I myself am not a policeman. Our military fights the wars, but the threat is universal; we are all on the frontline of this war, and like all other wars, some bear an inordinate amount of the burden. I find your implication -- that I have no right to clamor for my country's protection, unless I strap on boots and fight -- insulting. I may yet join, and it is a decision that weighs heavily on me, but I am not embarrassed to leave my options open until the threat is dire.

I am 24 years old, in good health, in my second year of law school. My grandfather fought at the Bulge, my father fought during Tet. When my mother died when I was very young, my father worked three jobs so that I could get a good education and attain levels of security that had eluded him his entire life. At what point to I put aside his dream, and my duty, for a greater one? I know many Americans that live this story everyday, and some have indeed chosen to enlist. For me, we are not yet there.

In the meantime, I have taken it upon myself to learn our proud history, to immerse myself in data where I can find it and knowledge where it is available, so that, while I may not serve, I will not be misled. I have read an enormous amount of information about Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and all the other troublesome spots. I educate all those around me, and I keep the faith as best I can here at home. So, if we are indeed in the fourth generation of warfare, my service on the moral front could be where victory is determined.

We are in the opening salvos of a long war. I do not serve in the military at this point. Who knows what will happen in the future. Should I shut up? I think not.

7/11/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Ladder,

Well said.

7/11/2005 02:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 02:11:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Braudel, 1:00 PM
"Almost like Autism"
---
Braudel, you fool!
You have a major best seller there!
(I'll settle for movie rights only for saving your bacon.)
Lefties eat that s... up:
The ones that think they aren't as bad off use it to congratulate themselves that they are not THAT bad,
and the ones that are worse off use it as an excuse that they have to finish it before committing suicide.
They turn into very slow readers, but the upside is they also tend to be slow breeders.

7/11/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll use preview for a week as punishment.

7/11/2005 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ladder,
re:
"In the meantime, I have taken it upon myself to learn our proud history, to immerse myself in data where I can find it and knowledge where it is available, so that, while I may not serve, I will not be misled. I have read an enormous amount of information about Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and all the other troublesome spots. I educate all those around me, and I keep the faith as best I can here at home. So, if we are indeed in the fourth generation of warfare, my service on the moral front could be where victory is determined."
---
Thanks for that: I'm probably not the only one here that could have avoided a lot of foolish behaviour had I taken the time and effort to better educate myself about our proud and UNIQUE heritage.

7/11/2005 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

fernand braudel, that's a pretty good diagnosis, "autism", since it is a stage that many ordinary) people today reach in a process of trying to escape from the mass hysteria that is common on the left (a stage I have passed through). Whether this phenomenon is at all akin to the autism that affects infants is a whole other question, that I would like to see answered one day. Anyway, here is a passage from an article that your observations led me to recall:

Modern psychology was called into existence by a symptom of distress that amounts to the most explicit declaration of our imitative propensity that one can imagine – sympathy intensified to the point of reproduction – what René Girard calls mimetic desire. Girard was the first to give due weight to mimesis, but Freud was not the first to notice its role in hysteria. “At least since
the late seventeenth century,” writes Mark Micale, “medical observers have noted in hysteria an
extraordinary, chameleon-like capacity to reflect the environment in which it develops.”37
Psychologically speaking, the hysteric is someone especially vulnerable by reason of mimetic
predisposition and emotional circumstances to the influence of others, and who, having fallen
under such influence, finds it suffocating or intolerable, resorting to a kind of private exorcism ritual – involving, typically, either exaggerated histrionics or autistic dissociation – each an effort
to ward off or neutralize a mimetic influence which the subject experiences as ontologically threatening. A person risks being diagnosed as hysterical if his attempts to ward off mimetic influence and retain or assert his self-sufficiency are debilitating enough or flamboyant enough to attract the attention of clinicians. The oddest thing about the epidemic of hysteria which
accompanied and occasioned the birth of psychoanalysis, and which was quickly determined to be the oldest human psychological distress, dating back four thousand years, is that in the latter half of the twentieth century it disappeared altogether, and no one knows why. But did it
disappear? Clinical forms of hysteria disappeared into a sea of sub-clinical ones. Freud himself
likened “anxiety” – that most familiar of psychological symptoms – “to an individually acquired hysterical attack.”38 And today low-level, chronic versions of the hysteric’s rituals of disidentification with others are virtually the norm in contemporary Western culture, especially
among the young.

http://www.stthomas.edu/gaudium/papers/Bailie.pdf

7/11/2005 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Nathan, chapter 10, CVE "combustible, vulnerable, expendable"--gallows humor at its finest, LOL.

Ladder--please finish, and go help rescue a court or legal department from the insidious Left. The war has many fronts, and at your age,you can join up later if/when the time comes.

7/11/2005 03:00:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Here is my hysterical link, again

7/11/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

My god, can you put that in english?

7/11/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

I suspect that it is the same autism, since autism is a spectrum of which only the most extremely non-functional is diagnosed clinically.

At other points on the spectrum there are forms which do not get clinically diagnosed as autism but instead get their own peculiar form, Asperger's Syndrome come's immediately to mind.

I think I may have to share the bookrights with the Michael Savage who wrote "Liberalism is a mental disorder". I think I merely found where to classify it.

7/11/2005 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger 5050noline said...

Special Forces:

We are the Pilgrims Master; we shall go,
Always a little further; it may be
Beyond the last blue mountain barred with snow
Across that angry or that glimmering sea,
White on a throne or guarded in a cave
There lives a prophet who can understand
Why men were born; but surely we are brave
Who make the Golden Journey to Samarkand.

James Elroy Flecker
(1884 – 1915)

7/11/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

HOW DARE YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT HYSTERIA ?????

7/11/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

To Cutler way upthread @ 5:45 AM:

The exerpt is from what I refer to as the "amen" section of Scheuer's book, "Generals, G-Men, and Lawyers: The Architects of Non-War." "Amen" because, if you've been in and/or around the military (Army especially) for a couple of decades now, you know exactly, depressingly what he's talking about. (The author has greater esteem for the Marines, whose leaders seem somehow never to forget who they are, what their fundamental purpose is, and where their corresponding priorities lie.)

I don't at all consider Scheuer a defeatist wrt the war against global Islamic insurgency - a ferocious critic, yes. I think it's extremely unfortunate when, as is often the case now, vocal and stubborn criticism is dismissed as defeatism, or worse. The Clinton WH and, to a certain extent, the Clinton Pentagon (if you will) possessed a certain paranoia of criticism as well as the dumbest habit of dismissing out of hand the voices of experience and hard-won wisdom. 'Brook no dissent' was a kind of default policy; touchy defensiveness was a common behavior. Unreality wasn't exceptional.

Every couple of years the Army (and, I believe, the other services as well) conducts an opinion survey of its members. For more than a decade, the results have had one remarkably static feature: a dramatic lack of confidence in leadership above the battalion level. Another such survey was just recently completed; I expect it to show the same result.

Jonah Goldberg exhibited perfect, corrective wisdom when he said, some months before the presidential election, that he liked GWB well enough, and supports him in many things, but understands at the same time that "the sun doesn't shine out of his shirtsleeves." I think it's very easy to forget, in a time of war and of bitter controversy, fierce partisanship, and almost inevitable doubt, that the sun doesn't shine out of anyone's shirtsleeves - that to err, even tragically, is human. To be unquestioning, uncritical, is anything but.

In any event, I recommend both of Scheuer's books, especially the first, "Through Our Enemies' Eyes." He has his blind spots, but offers a lot of valuable insight.

7/11/2005 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

In English, i hope (let me know): the idea in the passage I quoted is that we all learn our desires from each other; we mimic each other's desires; hence the key conceptual term used here is "mimesis" which is the process by which our desires feed off each other. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo falls in love with Juliet; he first is attracted to her because his rival already loves her. Romeo mimics (learns) his rival's desire, and the result is tragic.

In modern society, desires are everywhere in our face, in the form of advertising, rhetoric, the images of mass communications. If you are highly suggestible and inclined to imitate many of the many desires that are thrown before your senses, you are inclined to fall into that state of being that Freud called "hysteria". But, once you find yourself on the verge of hysteria, you may well try to escape from the mimetic force of other people's desires and go to the other extreme, i.e. "autism". In other words, the paradox in this argument is that the commonly witnessed "autism" among morose western youth may be a sign not so much that they are incapable of sympathizing with other people, but rather that they are all too good at it and have to withdraw in an extreme fashion to protect themselves, because they have no more solid sense of personhood to withdraw to. It is a notion of Christian personhood that the author of the article, Gil Baillie, is ultimately promoting as the solution, but whether your sense of personhood is explicitly Christian or not, you can learn something by taking the time to consider Gil's diagnosis of the problem. I don't think his English is half as convoluted as that found among the hysterical intellectuals who rule our universities.

7/11/2005 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

FB, fwiw, my own reflections on the professional discourse surrounding "autism" is that they have barely begun to understand the problem. To speak of a spectrum of disorders is akin to saying we are all, at least many of us, to some degree, "autistic" and only the extreme cases are really problematic. OK, does that really tell us anything?

A key recent discovery in the neurosciences was that of "mirror neurons", the observation of those who image brains in action, that we learn through mimicing what we see others do. Rene Girard's theory of mimesis provides a much more insightful account, however, of how our mimetic capacities play themselves out in human interaction. But such accounts from humanist (and in this case an explicitly Christian) intellectuals have yet to be assimilated by the neuro or social scientists. When that happens we will be able to more effectively explain the paradoxes of why people who suffer autism often are highly skilled in learning specialized, or narrowly-routinized, skills - the Rainman phenomenon - "autistic" skills which nonetheless entail learning from others through some kind of mimicing. Or, e.g., the paradox of why some kids can be very slow to learn how to speak, but very quick and good readers who can use books to go off into their own "autisitic" worlds. Such kids can empathize with the author's imagination but have troubles mimicing people in the "real" oral world. Autism, it seems to me, is not simply an inability. It is tied to abilities that often depend on the mental capacities deemed to be missing in the autist. We must become better skilled at paradoxical thinking to crack this nut.

7/11/2005 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Truepeers, your finding vocabulary unintimidating is like Mr. Asbestos not noticing the heat.

7/11/2005 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

referring to "... I don't think his English is half as convoluted as...."

7/11/2005 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Buddy,

The scary thing is that if we bug him a little he can rewrite it as Johnny Canuck without even pausing.

I've always wondered what it would be like to be intelligent.

7/11/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"We must become better skilled at paradoxical thinking to crack this nut."
---
Or,
Just better at calling a spade a spade:
Liberalism is a mental illness!

7/11/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Fernand_Braudel said...
"My god, can you put that in english? "
---
Yeah, Fernand, we'll do that twisted sister novel in English first, and then when it hits the NYTimes Bestseller list, we'll come out with the French version.
If it sells well enough, they'll get a terminal case of the vapors.
Then we take on Kofi and Co.

7/11/2005 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I started thinking he was intelligent, but then I realized I was missing about 85% of what he was trying to say, so I decided he is an inarticulate moron!

7/11/2005 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

truepeers:
"among morose western youth may be a sign not so much that they are incapable of sympathizing with other people, but rather that they are all too good at it and have to withdraw in an extreme fashion to protect themselves"
---
It has been my observation that at around 12, a majority of kids can pretty well figure out most of what is going on around them, human interaction wise.
(with severe limitations due to limited experience)
I think that is just about the most vulnerable time for those lacking adult models, attention, mentoring, and etc.

7/11/2005 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

and Ladder - don't let all those well-heeled champagne socialist law partners and painfully self-actualized associates deter you from following your better instincts.
As buddy suggests, you may be able to do more for the war effort by carrying the flag in the legal profession than on the (other) battle-field.

7/11/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/11/2005 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Cutler,
Be sure to read popa's link to articl on the bin Ladens:
I came out having more respect for their capacity for further evil than I had before.

7/11/2005 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

Doug, you're right. If there is one way to quickly sum up my thinking it is that the great crime of left liberalism is that it fosters false ideas of individual freedom that depend on denying the absolutely central importance of good role models, at 12 for sure, but really at every stage of life. If you don't have 'em when you're young you can spend years chasing words, or worse, heh heh...

7/11/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This that I posted before goes well with the bin laden article:

"The “Saudi Committee” referenced is likely at least part of the reason that the feds are hustling to shield Arab Bank, despite the wealth of evidence that led to the partial shuttering of the institution’s New York branch."

7/11/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

peers,
Yeah, when y'all see me chasing words around all day, just be thankful it ain't worse!

7/11/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now they are even denying the necessity for a period in life called childhood, where kids are protected from the "adult" world.
...all the evidence and common sense to the contrary, including that French guys research.
What was that? Pig O's?
Muslims wouldn't like that.
They'd take Marmite first!

7/11/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Round up on US - Saudi business relationship. Dumping cash in the Saudi stock market might be interesting:

SUSRIS: So the Saudi stock market is becoming more accepted as a place for people to invest their money?

Omar Bahlaiwa: Oh yes. I'll give you an example. Three months ago there was an initial public offering for shares of Al Balad, a new bank that was established. Fifty percent of the population bought shares. Eight million buyers went to buy shares in that stock. The high level of interest is due to the prospects of the capital market itself.

The stock market is becoming very attractive to Saudis. They have the expectation of at least doubling their money. In the case of Al-Balad Bank the opening share price was about 50 Riyals, or $18. Today a share is worth about 700 Riyals.

http://www.saudi-us-relations.org/newsletter2005/saudi-relations-interest-06-14.html

7/11/2005 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Wrt the opening Saudi capital markets--the staggering velocity of money, the terror infrastructure within the warp and woof of the mideast economies, plus the fact they can do dirty on a thousandth of a percent of our DoD budget, is mighty sobering. Oh, we gotta keep going after the golden chain--but, jeez, soberly as to expectations.

On the legal front, a Dr. Viet Dinh of Georgetown Univ--one of the framers of the Patriot act-- was just on Fox saying things that need to be said, such as that terroristic speech should lose its First Amendment Protection, that this open espousement of murder in our virtual/real public square is one thing we may eventually have to look at restricting, in order to dry up the AQ incitement.

7/11/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

You all might identify:

My dentist told me the reason I have a swollen jaw and bad toothache this weekend is because I have fractured a molar. I gritted my teeth more than usual over the news from Afghanistan and London lately, but that has nothing to do with it. To those of you who never forget we're in a world war, watch out for your emotions.

Here's something from "Yeager" the autobiography.

"It's a very different war at fifty feet off the ground; you see everything, especially in winter, when cars and trucks and people are easily spotted against a blanket of snow. Coming in so low, my eyes once met with the driver of a German staff car. I was coming straight at him; one quick burst and that car disintergrated, four bodies tossed out on the icy road like rag dolls. Another time, I spotted a five- or six-truck German troop convoy; by the time I swooped down on them, the troops had jumped out and were hunkered down in a roadside ditch. I opened up with my six fifty-caliber machine guns and watched those sparkling butterlies dance right up the line in that ditch. ...

... "By definition, war is immoral; there is no such thing as a clean war. Once armies are engaged, war is total. We were ordered to commit an atrocity, pure and simple, but the brass who approved this action probably felt justified because wartime Germany wasn't easily divided between 'innocent civilians' and its military machine. The farmer tilling his potato field might have been feeding German troops. And because German industry was wrecked by constant bombing, munitions-making was now a cottage industry, dispersed across the country in hundreds of homes and neighborhood factories ...."

Yeager, an Autobiography

7/11/2005 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Last night on one of the history channel types (Perhaps the military channel, or NYT Discover whatever) they had a special on about the SEALs hell week.

I recall leftists complaining about how the climate was cold and our oh-so tender boys would not be able to deal with it.

Let me tell you if what I saw on that show last night is true at least the SEALs know about cold.

7/11/2005 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

More Yeager:

"The forward air controller pinpointed the ridge as the most probable location of the hidden V.C. They figured it was just honeycombed with underground tunnels. We went in and dropped one bomb at a time. I had a wingman with me, rolled in, picked a point where the ridge seemed most likely to be hiding the V.C., and dropped my bomb. I pulled up, but failed to see an explosion. I thought it was a dud. Suddenly, I saw an eruption of red-brick dust and smoke from either side of the ridge. We later discovered that my delayed-action bomb had gone right down the main entrance to the V.C. tunnel, shored with red bricks. So we went to work on that ridge, and about every other bomb would result in red dust blowing out the side. Two days later, we received a report from Army intelligence that we had killed a tremendous number of V.C. troops. As a wing commander, I was credited with killing fifty V.C. soldiers. And it was pure chance, like a blind man pitching a ringer in horseshoes."

All I can add is the best line from "The Right Stuff" -- "Is that a man?"

7/11/2005 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Wrethchard has a fitting tribute to recon team (and brings up an interesting point of weakness upon the part of terrorists). I need not repeat what Wretchard wrote.

Next, I do agree with deuceboy431: "I really wish that we had found that last young SEAL alive. But at least we have found him and are bringing him home... they will bounce back and hit those bas****s even harder. They always do.... God bless them all!"

So did I. But, it's water under the bridge. I am just glad to have such fighters on our side. I noticed that one of the 16 Army and Navy fighters killed in the helo crash was one "Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric S. Patton, 22, of Boulder City, Nev... assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii [see: DoD release]." I wonder if he was related to Gen. George S. Patton.

In any event, to quote Gen. Patton: "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

As for bring justice to those thugs Gen. Patton said: "The quickest way to get it [the war] over with is to go get the b*stards who started it... We're not going to just shoot the sons-of-b*tches, we're going to rip out their living Godd*mned guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks..."

see: Charles M. Province Recounts Gen. Patton's Speech [90% down comments]

See: DoD Release

7/11/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

He was shotdown over WWII France and escaped via thefrench underground. ETO policy was he could never fly in that theater again--a capture/interrogation could compromise the underground. Yeager somehow managed to get back in combat anyway7. No one knows quite how but my dad--8th AAF vet (B-17 pilot shot down on the Regensburg mission on the last day of Big Week, POW in Barth on the Baltic, liberated by Red Army)--said Yeager had made a promise to brass that he'd never be taken alive...and the brass believed him, and let him fly again.

7/11/2005 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Buddy: You really should read Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors about the Taffy 3 battle at Leyete. It was worse - and more glorious - than you think

7/11/2005 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Buddy,

Yeager is an undeniable reminder of how meager all of the rest of us are.

That such men walk the earth, like the men we're talking about in this post, THAT is an inspiration.

7/11/2005 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Jim,I kind of feel where you're at.Guys who've stared the reaper down on the battlefield feel like commentators and pundits and politicos are a little too free and easy with war jingoism.I don't read that here though.
These special ops guys are holy men,or crazy as a loon or both.I did eight months as a conscript in the 25th division in Duc Hoa province in 1968 and 1969.I'm a much better man for the experience.The thing that worries me for the guys in the meat grinder now is the Chinese water of media negativity and bloated amoral pigs like Kennedy degrading the war effort.
All we had was Stars and Stripes.We didn't know there were Quislings in america until we came home.Now there is the internet,etc.It has to play on morale
Leftists like Matsky may have their first amendment right to be a horse's ass,but that doesn't mean I have to think of them as anything but contemptible.I saw men light years better than matsky do incredibly heroic deeds for nameless defoliated rice paddies because they were the best of our generation.Love these G.I.'s and support them.

7/11/2005 06:48:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Great post Ladder.

My sentiments exactly.

7/11/2005 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

rwe--gonna read that for sure. This is some thread. A lot of honesty. That was a good thing you said, trangbang. You guys who've "stared down the reaper"--if there's any justice, someday when we've all gone to the great beyond, you guys will have the seats at the big table, in Valhalla.

7/11/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Trish:

I agree with Scheuer about the country's and its leadership's [military and political] unseriousness towards warfare. My latest blog post was a very un-pc treatment of the issue of torture and the nature of warfare. So, believe me, I agree with Scheuer 110% there. Unfortunate, we can't "dissolve the people" and off touch institutions such as the mainstream press and academia.

I was already planning to move onto Through Our Enemies Eyes, but unfortunately the bookstore I visit only had the most recent book.

My comment about defeatism was oriented towards "How the West is Losing the War on Terrorism," which I'm half way through, and I do believe is generally defeatist.

However, I'm not dismissing his words and suggestions. It is one of the most brilliant books I've read in a long time, and he references many of my favorite writers, especially Ralph Peters. Indeed, I thought it was unfortunate that so many people on the right quickly labeled labeled him an anti-semite and moved on [although he most certainly is in the Cedarford/Buchanon vein there].

In a way, the media treated him badly by promoting it as purely an anti-Bush book, thereby alienating the very people who should be listening to him. So far, the reality is that in the absence of a political capitulation to Bin Laden and the Muslim world, Scheuer is way to the right of Bush, and the American public. Not exactly what the media was promoting.

Eventually, however, I think we're going to get there, because I have just as dismal a view of the Arab/Muslim world as Scheuer does, especially wrt Arab support for Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. He says what both sides sweep under the table. The ironic thing is that I agree with Scheuer's pessimism towards our chances at avoiding a Clash of Civilizations, but I still think it [Iraq] was/is worth a shot at avoiding it. And unlike Scheuer, I don't think that politically we can or should treat the Muslim world's and Bin Laden's demands seriously. I think it is impractical [we're supposed to influence China, Russia, and India?], invite weakness, immoral [especially the implicit suggestion to throw Israel to the wolves], and that ultimately the demands come from a never-ending well.

7/11/2005 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Doug, I will do so. And I strongly suggest you read Mike Scheuer's "Imperial Hubris: How the West is Losing the War on Terror." Although I think some of it is over the top, he'll also give you serious pause. It is very un-pc.

7/11/2005 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Sorry about all the typos/misspellings in the above post, typed it all up quickly.

7/11/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

I tend to think that people do have huge amounts of courage in them.

Time and time again I have been suprised by grit.

The one thing I learned from the military and leadership is that every soldier is precious when the fighting begins.

You don't know who will stand and shoot and who will hide behind the log. Whose voice will rise above the firefight and who will carry ammo to the machine gun. Who will manuever their team or squad under or across your base of fire. Or who will still be able to run after an hour long fire fight. Or trust your orders time after time after time while shaking with fear or exhaustion.

I never knew who had it and who did not until it started.

--

Now look around you. The single mom who completes college. The father who works three jobs. The college athlete who works full time. The high school student whose parents' marriage is falling apart who gets straight A's. The parent up all night with a sick child. The farmer with five hundred calves and no help.

7/11/2005 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

tony,

I picked up Yaeger's autobiography in a used bookstore many years ago. Not a fan of autobiographies (or biographies), but a quick glance inside was enough to get me to hand over a few dollars.

I loved it.

7/11/2005 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Obbop said...

I am saddened that America's best are wounded and dying via the orders from a traitorous elite class that is allowing the USA homeland to be invaded by millions of illegal alien invaders.

The mass media does not convey the carnage to the masses. There is evidence that far more Americans have died at the hands of illegal aliens inside the USA than from all terroristic acts combined.

The best I hope for is that the training our people receive in the military can be used to defeat our most deadly enemy; America's elite class, and return the elite-owned government back to the hands of the citizenry.

It appears to me that only a military coup with an eventual return to civilian control will save the Founder's Great Experiment.

3/31/2007 10:14:00 AM  

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