September 5, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/05/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
No Relief From Fear - BAGHDAD -- Driven by fear and desperation, Um Abdullah's parents, who are Sunnis, swapped homes with a Shiite family they have known for years. Her parents moved to a section of Baghdad's Saidiya neighborhood controlled by Sunni insurgents. And their friends moved into her family home in the Risala... (READ MORE)

Bill Clinton's Got What It Takes for 'Giving' - NEW YORK -- When you write a book called "Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World," a typical send-off party with Chablis and beef satay will not work. You need earnest. You need serious. You need "panel discussion," preferably with Tavis Smiley... (READ MORE)

Military Officials in Iraq Fault GAO Report - A bleak portrait of the political and security situation in Iraq released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office sparked sharp protests from the top U.S. military command in Baghdad, whose officials described it as flawed and "factually incorrect." (READ MORE)

Army Exceeds Recruitment Goal For August by 528 - The Army surpassed its active-duty recruiting goal for August by more than 5 percent, using higher enlistment bonuses and additional recruiters to turn around an early summer slump that threatened the service's fiscal year goal of 80,000 by the end of September. (READ MORE)

Germany Arrests Terror Suspects - Three men were charged with plotting "imminent" and "massive" attacks on Ramstein Air Base and Frankfurt's international airport, German authorities said today. (READ MORE)

Murtha Shows Appetite for Pork - The largess of Rep. John P. Murtha — hundreds of millions of dollars in pork projects over the years — is on display in and around his district in southwestern Pennsylvania. (READ MORE)

Craig Reconsiders Resignation - Sen. Larry Craig says he may fight for his Senate seat, by clearing his name with the ethics panel and a Minnesota court where he pleaded guilty after his arrest in an airport men's room sex sting. (READ MORE)

Subprime Squeeze Hits Automakers - Automakers reported that sales fell victim to the credit crunch last month, with Ford sales plummeting 14.4 percent, Chrysler down 6.1 percent and Toyota posting a rare 2.8 percent decline. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
On Point: Businessmen or Baathists…Economic Reconstruction in Iraq - There are two “Surges “being implemented in Iraq today. While the military surge commanded by Gen David Petraeus is responsible for regaining control of the country from the various insurgent and religious militias, the economic surge led by 25 Provisional Reconstruction Teams are only a half-step behind the Marines and soldiers as they provide the after-surge political and economic support that is designed to keep the cities and provinces clear. The PRTs are an important tool in achieving our counterinsurgency strategy by bolstering moderates, promoting reconciliation, fostering economic development and building provincial capacity. (READ MORE)

Michael Yon: A Marine. A Mentor. A Model Approach. - I did not even know his name when I went on the first mission with Rakene Lee. Yet within half an hour, it was clear that Lee was another example of someone who intuitively understands the basics and basis of counterinsurgency. In Ghosts of Anbar, Part III of IV, the importance of leaders like SSGT Lee is described: (READ MORE)

Jason's Iraq Vacation: progress - Things are still frustrating in my little sector of Iraq. However, elsewhere, things are going well. So well, in fact, it seems that the Shia militia is taking some time off. This is good news! Why isn't there more coverage of it?? We didn't even know here, and we supposedly have a few members of JAM working for us (no, seriously, but that of course is rumor). (READ MORE)

The Gunner's World: Iraq and Back - Sitting in the darkness of my living room before dawn I gaze out at my backyard and drink my coffee. Sitting in my favorite chair I let my mind wonder. The house is still with everyone still asleep as I look out into the darkness my mind travels back over this past summer. I can see the helo's and hear the sounds of the convoy and artillery fire in my mind. I close my eyes and think about the whole experience, the memories are still very fresh. (READ MORE)

Outlaw 13: It Takes All Kinds... - I suppose this person could have had an ironic sense of humor, but I found it extremely odd when I spotted a contractor sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt in the DFAC the other day. I don't know this particular person, and it really wasn't worth the time and effort to run across the crowded DFAC to find out his reasons for wearing a shirt with the image of a socialist murderer on it...but it was interesting. (READ MORE)

Fightin'6th Marines: Iraqi Army withdraws from Fallujah - On an obviously momentous day that perfectly enshrines the hard work of the Fightin' 6th, our three regimental predecessors in the region, as well as the work of our Iraqi compatriots, the Iraqi Army has ceded their counterinsurgency operations in Fallujah to the Iraqi Police. A city that only 3 years ago was the scene of arguably the most ferocious house-to-house fighting operation of the war is now in the hands of the 'Sons of Fallujah.' (READ MORE)

Brotherhood of Courage: Birthday - Well folks it's the dreaded time of the year for us senior citizens. Yesterday was my birthday and I really appreciate Bad Voodoo Platoon for their ingenuity of embarrasing this senior citizen I call "ME". For the first time, my team leader I call Sergeant JP all of a sudden invited me to the mess hall to have lunch..or is it dinner? (READ MORE)

Acute Politics: Yeah... - I hope you'll all be able to bear with me over the next few weeks. Life has been pretty crazy lately- I've been alternately working like mad and sweating on a cot far, far from internet. I made the hike across post to get online tonight, but I forgot to bring my thumbstick with a new post on it. I'll try to get it up soon, but I likely won't be posting very much more for a week or two. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Bill Roggio: Suicide bombings in Pakistan's Rawalpindi kills 25, injures 68 - The Taliban and al Qaeda continue the relentless campaign against military and government targets inside Pakistan. Less than one week after capturing a company of Pakistani troops in the lawless South Waziristan agency, two suicide bombers targeted a bus carrying Inter Services Intelligence personnel and the Royal Artillery bazaar in the military garrison city of Rawalpindi. Pakistani military and intelligence officers were the direct target of two suicide attacks. Over 25 were killed and 68 were wounded, although it is unclear how many were military personnel. (READ MORE)

Chap @ Milblogs: Need Some Blood Pressure Raising? - Gold Star families shouldn't have to deal with this. “Meanwhile, a motley crew of antiwar groups, including Iraq Veterans Against The War, CODEPINK, ANSWER, and, are organizing a week of demonstrations in Washington beginning September 15. The "mobilization" will be kicked off with a "Die-In," sponsored primarily by ANSWER and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). As they explain, "IVAW is asking that participants in the Die-In/Funeral select the name of one of the almost 4,000 soldiers who have been killed in Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: War Today, War Tomorrow, War Forever! - Kind of has a ring to it, don’t you think? It’s part of the latest embarrassingly bad commentary from the drama-addicted, accuracy-challenged Keith Olbermann. He’s engaged in a bit of a kindergarten project with bluntnose scissors and Elmer’s glue. He starts with someone else’s arts and crafts project, the following chop job graph from the NYT: (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: (Video) Doubting Hollywood’s patriotism on The Factor - Since Monday was a holiday, the usual Factor segment was moved to today. Topic: Why are Hollywood figures like Tim Robbins, Brian DePalma and Mark Cuban such idiots on the war? Robbins goes on TV and spouts completely bogus, made-up numbers on Iraqi casualties and is seldom challenged. DePalma and Cuban have produced Redacted, a faux documentary about a real war crime committed by US troops that was prosecuted and doesn’t represent the norm of US military behavior at all. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Another shoe drops: “Massive” terror attack thwarted in Germany - As predicted in the update to yesterday’s post about the Danish terror busts. I’ll be shocked if these three aren’t connected in some way to the eight pinched in Copenhagen. Both groups are alleged to have connections to Al Qaeda in Pakistan and, per the L.A. Times’s report on the arrests in Copenhagen, “[police chief Jakob] Sharf pointedly avoided confirming whether the attack would have been carried out in Denmark, thereby leaving open the scenario of a plot staged for execution in a neighboring country.” Like Germany, maybe? CNN: (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Victory? - ABC News blogged that Gen. David Petraeus may recommend that the U.S. begin drawing troops down from Iraq early next year. “The surge will run its course. There are limits to what our military can provide, so, my recommendations have to be informed by — not driven by — but they have to be informed by the strain we have put on our military services.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Suicide of Reason - The subtitle of Lee Harris's The Suicide of Reason is "Radical Islam's Threat to the West". Harris proceeds to make the argument that the outcome of the Long War will be determined not by military and economic power, but by the ability of the combatants to pursue their ideological goals unimpeded by doubt and unhindered by the inhibitory power of Reason. His thesis is probably familiar to many readers in the Blogopshere. The West has been so successful that they now fail to realize how fragile civilization is and how easily frightened or angry people can revert to the primitive. (READ MORE)

Socrates Academy: Hypeocracy - If you've not heard about the misfortunes of Senator Larry Craig, consider yourself both blessed for having missed the circus and cursed for having to read about it from me. On the plus side, I'm going to skip the sordid details and go straight for what's really important about the event: it highlights a difference between Left and Right on the subject of morality. Specifically, the main charge against Craig is not what he did, but hypocrisy. (READ MORE)

Eugene Volokh: Federal Prosecutors Argue Self-Defense Is Irrelevant When Enhancing Sentence for Firearms Possession - Sentencing Guideline 2K2.1(b)(5) (now advisory, not binding) calls on judges to substantially increase a convicted defendant's sentence where he had used or possessed a firearm "in connection with another felony offense," for instance assault or homicide. All well and good, but you'd think that this would mean, well, a felony offense, and using a firearm in self-defense wouldn't count — even if you were threatening or shooting someone in self-defense, you'd be committing a lawful act, not a "felony offense." Not so, argues the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Arkansas: (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: "...They Was Asking For It!" - I have no use for people who blame victims for their victimization. In fact, I have a deep and abiding loathing for them. And, gradually, society is moving to agree with me. What it always boils down to is an excuse for the attacker, an attempt to ameliorate their guilt, their responsibility for their actions by shifting the blame -- not on them for their deeds, but for their victim for "provoking" them. (READ MORE)

Paul: Never Play Chess With a Two Star - My (much) older bother was career military. Once while on base with him, he introduced me to one of the Generals. This old guy, who had been thru Korea, Vietnam and a bunch of minor skirmishes along the way, was more than willing to show me the pictures on his wall and tell me stories of his past exploits. I noticed he had a chess set in his office so I asked where it came from (Korea) and if he played much. I was all too willing to tell him that I was in my school chess club and loved to play. He offered to play and I jumped at the challenge, sure I was going to teach the old geezer a thing or two. (READ MORE)

Lawhawk: Faulty Logic - Will someone tell me why Whoopi Goldberg wants to use the perverted logic that Michael Vick is somehow excused from his acts of dog fighting because it's Southern culture? On her first day as "The View's" moderator, Goldberg made a big splash -- more like a big splat --playing apologist for confessed dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick's canine torturing, explaining.” (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: Remembering The Man Who Sacrificed His Life For Them - On the 21st of August I posted this story about an Iraqi man, a Hero, who sacrificed his life to save the lives of American Troops and Iraqi civilians. We had a visit here at ASM from one of the Soldiers who was there that day and whose life this man saved, SSG Sean Kane. Because the initial story didn’t give a lot of detail, I wanted to follow up on the story with more details and provide our readers with information about just how heroic the actions of this young Iraqi man were. I know this young man and the actions he took that day, which cost him his life, but saved the life of many others, will forever be imprinted on the minds and hearts of the Soldiers who were there that fateful day. (READ MORE)

Richard Landes: Where is American Muslim’s Self-Criticism? - The NYT has a piece by Neil MacFarquhar, who has a track-record in these matters, reporting the complaints of Muslim Americans at their annual convention. Nowhere in the piece do we find the slightest hint of self-criticism, nowhere any suggestion that Muslim Americans owe something to the country from whom they demand so much in the way of freedom. Couldn’t we hear just a word or two about how some Muslims in America and around the world are a problem, that prejudice and stereotyping are problems in the Muslim community, and that the Muslims have an enormous contribution they could make to the security of the country they live in… (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Jon Soltz a Military Expert? - I have seen Jon Soltz on several occasions. I saw the video from the Kos convention where he tried to act tough and intimidate a soldier. The soldier was in uniform and Soltz tried to intimidate him for political activities while wearing the uniform when it appears that the soldier was not participating in any such activities and had just asked a question. Soltz threatened to take report the troops to his commander and to “take it offline” like that kind of threat from him would worry anyone. It is unfortunate that this Captain and the General (Clark) who was with him did not know the regulation and, in the case of Stoltz, acted unprofessionally. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: NYT Unearths - Then Refutes - Another Stunning Bush Contradiction - In yet another blow to the Bush regime, about which criticism continues to mount, the New York Times reports that, contrary to reported claims by President George W. Bush, Iraq envoy L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer did, in fact, inform Bush of Bremer's plan to disband the Iraqi Army and build a new one. In the same article, the Times also reports that, contrary to their own reported claims, Bush actually never said he wasn't informed, and is not, in fact, in any disagreement with Bremer. But the important thing to bear in mind is that there's a good Bush bashing in there somewhere, if only we can ferret it out. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Advisers To Bush: Stay The Course - The commander of the military forces in Iraq and the man in charge of American diplomacy in Baghdad have urged him to continue on the present course. The AP reports that both General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker see real progress as a result of the strategic and tactical changes and want to build on their successes: “President Bush's senior advisers on Iraq have recommended he stand by his current war strategy, and he is unlikely to order more than a symbolic cut in troops before the end of the year, administration officials told The Associated Press Tuesday.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: A Blackmailer Gets Profiled in the Washington Post - Wow - looks like Mike "the Gay Avenger" Rogers has hit the big time with a profile in the Washington Post. Those of us who have followed politics know all about this toad. Rogers gleefully acknowledged back in October 2006 his role in outing Rep. Mark Foley. "I can say this. I had the emails before they were on the net. Additionally, I had the additional emails, written by the page to a friend. The story was being written by a number of outlets and I provided additional information to reporters involved in the breaking of this story. Was I the central figure in reporting on Foley's latest scandal? Never said I was. Was my work on the case important to helping make sure it came out before the election? Yes." (READ MORE)

Brian Hecht: HLF Prosecution: CAIR “affiliated with” Hamas - On Tuesday, the prosecution in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) filed its motion in opposition to the amicus brief filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In addition to picking apart the arguments laid out in CAIR’s brief piece by piece, the government set an important precedent, officially and definitively linking CAIR to Hamas, writing: “In the instant case, striking CAIR’s name from the attachment to the Trial Brief will not prevent its conspiratorial involvement with HLF, and others affiliated with Hamas, from becoming a matter of public record. That has already occurred as a consequence of the presentation of evidence at trial.” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Choose Your Preferred Narrative, but Quit Attacking the Troops - If you are a supporter of the on-going counter-insurgency plan in Iraq, you can find all sorts of news to support why we should stay in Iraq. You could start with President Bush's al Asad photo-op yesterday, where the President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Ambassador Crocker, and Commanding General Petraeus met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Presidnet Talabani, and Vice Presidents Medhi and al Hashemi. Critics point out that the meeting was a merely a six-hour stop and photo-op for the President, and as such, was a public relations stunt. (READ MORE)

Dr. Sanity: Paranoid Comfort - The recent brouhaha that developed when President Bush's reminded people of the consequences that ensued after the U.S. abandoned Vietnam, are significant from a psychological standpoint. It is worth recalling that during Vietnam, the media; academics, intellectuals, many public figures, entertainers, as well as the antiwar protesters of the time; consistently and stubbornly refused to see Communism for what it really was. They steadfastly ignored the millions of deaths in the Soviet Union and elsewhere and instead focused their attention on the United States as the center of all evil in the world. (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: The Progress In Iraq - The Democrats are trying their best to stomp out any sign of good news from Iraq. Whether the news is really good matters not to them. They just want to ensure that we leave Iraq like cowards: “Democrats hoping to impose a change of course on the administration will have an early public relations advantage this week. Hearings Tuesday and Wednesday will highlight a General Accounting Office report saying that the Iraqi gov-ernment has failed to meet most of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress to measure progress toward security and stability.” (READ MORE)

Kepiblanc: On a quiet day in Denmark - You may have noticed that Muslims all over the world have a very special gift: excellent marksmanship. No, not in the usual sense — we’ve all seen those videos featuring Allah’s holy warriors firing countless clips from their AK-47’s right into the heavens at any given opportunity and trying to hit infidel soldiers with very limited success. Their marksmanship is of another, more subtle kind. Ethereal, one might say. Especially Danish Muslims. Denmark holds many world championships, such as high taxes, tall blondes and journalistic stupidity. But nothing rivals the unique competence of our local Muslims: (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: “There Is No Moderate Islam” - “There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” Who said that? Robert Spencer? Serge Trifkovic? Fjordman? Bat Ye’or? No, the Prime Minister of Turkey said it, on Turkish television. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the leader of Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP, or Justice and Development Party), and has been Prime Minister since 2003. (READ MORE)

The Hatemonger's Quarterly: Katie Couric: Neocon? - Is Katie Couric Jewish? We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” sure didn’t think so. After all, she looks about as Jewish as Conan O’Brien. Or, for that matter, Conan the Barbarian. And yet, to the Daily Kossacks and other purveyors of zany Internet leftism, Katie Couric simply must be Jewish. The reason? She thinks things are looking far, far better in Iraq. (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: The Headless Woman - ...or, "I Am Victim, Hear Me Blame" Let me begin with a little background and a disclaimer. A few months ago, when I was considering changing platforms, I looked at some WordPress sites to see what they could do. If you go to the WordPress , they have a little marketing feature that directs you to some WP blogs. The first one I went to was a radical feminist blog written by a woman whose nom de blog is 'heart". I read the first post and said to myself, "This is a goldmine of psychosexual claptrap that is begging to be made fun of." So I did, and hilariously so, here and here. And since I pinged her blog (like leaving a little breadcrumb trail for her and her readers), she and many, many of her readers saw Quid. (READ MORE)

Knee Deep in the Hooah!: More Life Lessons and Leadership Training - I wrote about the various life lessons that I walked away with after hearing Mr. Hooah's! adventures in his land navigation course a couple of weeks ago at Ft. Benning. I really enjoyed hearing my husband's stories, writing them out and extracting from them the little golden nuggets of wisdom. I also received from readers a lot of positive reaction through email and comments on the article. I hope you all like the following stories as much. I found them very amusing and inspiring! (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Bush Enthusiastically Welcomed in Surprise Trip to Iraq - Pres. Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq today, meeting with top Iraqi leaders, leaders in Anbar Province and U.S. military in Anbar. Troops gave Bush thunderous applause...Watch past the brief introduction by the Marine commander. Is that not an unbelievable welcome for the Commander in Chief by his troops? Gotta love the reaction of the troops. Most of the troops love President Bush and believe in the mission, particularly those serving in theater. They get it, they appreciate that the Commander in Chief gets it, and they know they truly are making a positive mark in the world. HOOAH! (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: Silence From the Peanut Gallery: Pelosi? Reid? Murtha? Anybody? - Sen. Kerry? Murtha? Reid? Pelosi? Anybody got anything to say? With all that silence, it makes you think: a) The "surge" IS working and they finally decided to shut up and not look like complete idiots (though, I am sure they will take credit for "forcing" the President to "change course", yada, yada; as if they really had anything real to suggest to the forces on the ground making it happen everyday, who figured it out with their help or, more accurately, despite it) or: (READ MORE)

Little Green Footballs: CAIR Official's YouTube Account Shut Down - The YouTube account of CAIR-Florida official Ahmed Bedier has been shut down for “terms of use violation,” and all his uploaded videos have been removed: YouTube account: bedier. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Why Is The Left Side Of The Blogosphere Bigger Than The Right Side? - Dean Barnett wrote a piece for the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Lopsided Netroots: Why there's no conservative Kos." Dean's a smart guy, but I can't say that I necessarily agree with his conclusions about why the left side of the blogosphere is bigger than the right side. From his perspective, it's all about how the left and right side have a different focus. So, he mostly chalks it up to different aims. Here's a pretty good synopsis of the piece in a paragraph: (READ MORE)

Politics of a Patriot: If I ever have kids - When I originally decided to join the military, I was 17 years old. It was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. Everyone thought I was crazy. Not only was a not athletic (people often described me as "delicate"), but most people thought I was truly taking a huge step backwards from my goals. (READ MORE)

Pirates Cove: WTW: Nukes Missing, Found. Must Be Getting Ready To Bomb Iran - Morning, y’all. Jebediah Murphy here. Before I get to the main course, did ya know that, according to the Woopster, dog fighting is not that unusual in the Deep South? Watch the video over at Hot Air. Now, if I was as bigoted as Woopie, I might make a comment that all Blacks with cornrows are dirty and never shower. Would that be exceptable? Maybe if I was a liberal. Of course, I do not think that. I ain’t a bigot. Nice to see the foul mouthed comic off Hollywood welfare after that Slim Fast debacle, eh? Good for the unemployment rate. Main course. Y’all ready? (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: Where the bad old days live on - In "Organized labor and the bad old days" Paul took note of Professor Paul Marino's Wall Street Journal column on the historic role of labor unions in practicing racial discrimination. Professor Marino argued that the entrenched commitment to racial discrimination by labor unions was an important source of the regulations that gave rise to affirmative action. The birth of affirmative action roughly coincided with the adoption of the principle of equal treatment as a matter of law. The great victory of the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of moral persuasion: (READ MORE)

McQ: The Politics of September- As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, September appears to be set for a political battle royal about Iraq as Congress returns and various reports are issued and testimony given. As Mr. Reid reopened the Senate for business, he vowed to change the course of the Iraq war. “September is the month for policy change in Iraq,” Mr. Reid declared in his opening speech from the floor, noting that many Republican lawmakers had urged patience until the Petraeus and Crocker reports were received this month. (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: The Anbar Awakening - Following are two articles that I saw today that are must-reads if you want to understand what's going on in Iraq (all via NRO, I profess to no great skills in finding anything). What makes them important is who wrote them as much as what they have to say. First up is "Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt" by David Kilcullen. Kilcullen, Ph.D, former Lt Col in the Australian Army, is senior counter-insurgency advisor to General Petraeus. It's a monster article, but here's the lead in: (READ MORE)

Bluey @ RedState: Let's Stop Fawning Over the Netroots - Dean Barnett writes in the Weekly Standard about the "Lopsided Netroots," an analysis of why there's no YearlyKos on the right. (Hat tip to Allen Roth.) It's a question that Mark Tapscott and Patrick Ruffini addressed last month, and one I remarked on more than once already. It's no secret that Dean and I don't see eye to eye when it comes to activism vs. punditry in the blogosphere. My criticism of him back in May sparked a full-fledged fight among several friends on the right. Dean's latest piece rehashes some of those same themes. (READ MORE)

Dan Reihl: New Goose Creek Bust Developments - South Carolina will drop state charges but that isn't unexpected, or good news for defendants Megahed and Mohamed - out of the frying pan and into the fire. And Homeland Security may have a problem. They screened Mohamed and didn't pick up his previous arrest in Egypt, now apparently confirmed through attorneys. They will likely appear in Federal Court in Charleston this week. Congress wants some background on the case according to another report, which names Mohamed's lawyer as a source for reports Mohamed was arrested in Egypt. (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Did Pentagon Fail Soldiers on MRAPs? - If you read the USA Today article, "Pentagon says it acts as quickly as it can to meet needs," you are left with the impression that the inept and incompetent Pentagon bureaucrats screwed around for years as soldiers died needlessly. The article explains that had it not been for Congress and their earmarks, the situation would have been a lot worse. It is typical slash and burn journalism that omits one simple fact. That is, the military has to comply with the rules and regulations written by Congress on acquisition processes that essentially insure that any new project will take longer, cost more, and have minimum flexibility to react to new technologies and requirements arising from the battlefield. (READ MORE)

Airforcewife: Overheard at the Mall - This is something that seriously qualifies for urban legend status and a Snopes entry all its own. Really. It really does. Except that I was there, I really overheard it; and it actually had ME, the one person on Earth who can usually be counted on to run off her big mouth no matter what the situation and whether appropriate or not, to be stunned into utter silence. The kids and I were sitting at an outside table at Panera with our dog Ike, enjoying the gorgeous pre-fall weather, and people watching. Side note: people watching is one of my most favorite activities in all the world. The teenage girl at the table next to us and her companion were having a conversation about the military. Not derogatory or anything, but about a "friend" of hers and his experiences. (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: ACLU Accuse Long List Of War Crimes On American Troops - It is no surprise that the ACLU is more concerned about “rights” of our enemies than those of Americans. However, as for the legitimacy of the allegations, I will take a step back with caution. I haven’t seen this 10,000 page list. “New documents released Tuesday regarding crimes committed by U.S. soldiers against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan detail a troubling pattern of troops failing to understand and follow the rules that govern interrogations and deadly actions.” Yes…I’m going to be cautious, just as my friend Dan Riehl asserts: (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Attacking Iran from left and right - I, and just about everybody else in the blogosphere, missed this op-ed from last week -- Barack Obama virtually channeling Andy McCarthy and Michael Ledeen on the subject of Iran: “Americans need to come together to confront the challenge posed by Iran. Yet the Bush administration and an anonymous senator are blocking a bill with bipartisan support that would ratchet up the pressure on the Iranian regime. It's time for this obstructionism to stop.” (READ MORE)

Burkean Reflections: Rumsfeld Revisited - There's an excellent debate on civil-military relations in the Bush administration in the current issue of Foreign Affairs. The exchange covers Michael Desch's earlier article on the administration, "Bush and the Generals," which argued that normal tensions between civilian policymakers and the military's general staff were exacerbated by the administration ideological campaign to transform the military and privilege civilian battle judgments over that of the uniformed personnel. (READ MORE)

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