Tuesday, February 27, 2007

HooRah! For Prince Harry; Kudos to Tony Blair; But Don't Forget 'Tommy' and Walter Reed

"O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy, go away'; But it's 'Thank you, Mister Atkins', when the band begins to play ..."
Tommy, Rudyard Kipling (excerpts continue below.)

Britain's Prince Harry, formally Prince Henry of Wales, has been granted his wish to go to Iraq with his unit, the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons which actually use armor not horses), and do a tour in the combat zone.

According to media reports he is going against the wishes of some in the Royal Family, presumably the Queen, but he is going anyway. Welcome to the club Prince Harry.

Mothers and grandmothers have a real thing about seeing young men off to war, much the same as young men have a real thing about going. But, as much consternation as this causes the Queen, I agree with the Prince's decision, and in the long run he will be a better man for it.

Before you go off on that last statement, I am not saying that war makes a better man. What I am saying is that by going to the war zone, where he undoubtedly will see a side of life that may have been invisible to him as a Royal, he will have an opportunity to learn some basic truths about the human condition. In later life he will have the opportunity to use those truths for the better good, both on the world scene and for his fellow veterans.

"You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all: We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational."

There was a lot of media speculation about Prince Harry and whether Al Qaeda would target him in an attempt to make a big media splash. They probably will, and he will have to be on his guard day and night to make sure the terrorists don't get to him.

But, the fact is, in a war zone, anyone on the other side is a target, and when the bullets start flying and the bombs start blasting the other side usually can't tell one enemy combatant from the other, just because it gets that hectic. So the best advice I can give to the prince is blend in. If he looks like everyone else around him, it will be harder for the terrorists to focus their fire just on him.

There also is the distinct possibility that he won't come under fire at all, given the success the British have had with pacifying their sector of Iraq. The reduction in force that was announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair last week was totally misreported in the Pro-Terrorist Media, as a 'retreat' or as 'cut and run' or as a repudiation of the west's strategy and tactics for Iraq.

But I made the effort to actually listen to Blair's speech, during which I learned that at the height of combat in 2003, Great Britain had about 40,000 troops in Iraq. That number has been steadily reduced over the last three years because the British area of responsibility has steadily become more stable, and the local Iraqis have steadily taken on more responsibility for their own country, with good results.

The British contingent was just under 8,000 troops before the announcement, and about 1500 of those are being redeployed. I find it interesting that right on the heels of the downsizing in Iraq, the British also announced that 1,000 more troops are being sent to Afghanistan to deal with resurgent Taliban forces. Doesn't sound like quitting, retreating, or cutting and running to me.

Some in the media even speculated the the Brits were downsizing their force to keep Prince Harry from going to Iraq. So much for that theory.

The British forces have performed magnificently in in Iraq, and I believe that America owes a huge Thank You to Tony Blair. He has stood beside us through thick and thin. The British and our numerous other allies in Iraq (isn't it funny that you only hear about them when they decide they can draw down their forces too) have been true friends, and for that we owe them our gratitude and our support when they need it.

Some say that Blair has sacrificed his political career for the US. If that is true, I will say with total confidence that sacrifice for the greater good, the real greater good, not a momentarily convenient political definition, is the kind of sacrifice that will stand up to the scrutiny of the ages. If legacy matters to Tony Blair, he has cemented his by his resolute and steadfast support for democracy and the betterment of all mankind.

To Prince Harry, I will offer one caution. Regardless of what you experience in Iraq, you will come home a different man, and it is likely that many acquaintances and family members who didn't share your experiences won't understand them. That is to be expected, but it will be up to you to always remember what you did, why you did it, and the men and women who stood beside you.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!" But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;

For example, in recent days we have learned of a travesty at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where our wounded veterans come for care and rehabilitation. One of the long-term living facilities was found to be vermin and mold infested, and deficient in many other areas all of which add up to basic living conditions.

When I first heard of this I was totally dismayed, because it shows that once again, another generation of veterans is putting all on the line for a country that is shunting them off to the side and not even seeing to their basic comforts as they recuperate from their wounds. This may have been an isolated incident, not representative of all care facilities, but it happened in our nation's Capitol of all places! It shouldn't have happened at all.

This incident brings back memories of the woeful conditions in VA medical facilities during the Vietnam War and similar neglect of veterans that goes back as far as the origins of our country. Sometimes I wonder why we still have people with the courage and dedication to serve.

But here is where people like Prince Harry can make a difference. It is rare in these days to have a man in his position volunteer to serve at all, much less in a combat zone. But a man of his influence, who in time will be able to couple that influence with experience, can do much to ensure that his comrades in arms across the globe are not forgotten when the fighting is over.

I wish him a successful tour and a safe return to home and family. Prince Harry has already shown that he has the capacity to stand up for the less fortunate, and once back in England he will have an opportunity to become a champion to all he served with, and all who stand up for the cause of freedom.

I hope he takes advantage of that opportunity.

An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!
Sunday, February 25, 2007

What If A Gathering of Eagles Fails? Magnum P.I. Answered 'What If!'

The 1980s television drama Magnum P.I. was, in my opinion, one of the best shows to portray the true spirit of the American Vietnam veteran, and actor Tom Selleck's title character, the private investigator Thomas Magnum, was and still is one of my all-time favorites.

Selleck's ability to bring a likeable reality to the small screen was unparalleled at the time, and to this day.

In one of my favorite episodes, the lead character and a small group of friends, all combat veterans of that war, save for Magnum's employer, Higgins, the very, very proper British Sgt. Major who also had seen his share of action across the globe, went back to Vietnam on a rescue mission. In that two-part episode they faced all the demons of the past, but showed America the savage reality of the enemy we had faced and the courage of the soldiers and civilians of all nations who stood up to the communists.

After they return home to Hawaii, each character lists a host of chores undone, people and projects put on hold, and sacrifices that had been made as Vietnam again became a priority in their lives. Finally, the question is raised, "What if we hadn't gone?"

Selleck pauses for a moment, and answers the question of the ages simply, but succinctly.

"We did."

I have been reminded of this episode many times in recent days, as the Gathering of Eagles vigil planned for the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., on March 17 grows exponentially, and efforts to prevent the vigil take on a frantic tone. The gathering is a grassroots call for a vigil at The Wall to ensure that pro-terrorism protesters who are reenacting a 1967 March on the Pentagon that day, don't deface the Vietnam Memorial as they did the Capitol in January.

Pundits and commentators from across the political spectrum are worrying themselves sick, or trying to appear that they are, over the correctness of the Eagles' gathering, or the possibility that it will fail, or that the media will ignore or misportray the veterans (what else is new?), or that the vets may encounter violence from the anarchists.

Their feigned concerns range from political correctness run amok, to a very real fear that the veterans' vigil will take on far more significance than the pro-terrorists' march regardless of what the media reports.

Talk all you want, the vigil is going forward. Individual after individual and group after group are stepping forward and signing up. The organizers are firm that the purpose of the gathering is to stand a peaceful vigil over the wall and prevent any of the anarchists participating in the pro-terrorism march from dishonoring those whose names are listed on it.

By extension, this vigil is for all veterans and their supporters who have stood up for America and freedom.

By any common sense measure, this vigil is necessary, and long, long overdue. I believe that one of the biggest fears behind the negative commentaries is that mainstream America will finally show the pro-terrorist politicians and news media that no matter what they have done to the contrary, we still believe in our country, and are willing to stand up for it.

Some in the pro-terrorist crowd claim that the veterans' vigil is unnecessary. A spokesman from one of the pro-terror organizations claimed recently that the anarchists who defaced the Capitol in January were but a small number of the "hundreds of thousands" who had been at the pro-terror rally on the DC mall in January.

For starters, the best estimates I have seen of the number of people in that demonstration were around 30,000, not anywhere near 100,000 or "hundreds" of thousands as the spokesman claimed. Face it, no one gives a rat's behind what Cindy Sheehan thinks about anything, and Jane Fonda is a schizoid relic of a bygone day who can't decide whether she is capitalist or communist.

The fact is, she is and always was an opportunist with no common sense or morals. Neither Cindy Sheehan nor any of Fonda's multiple personalities can draw a crowd. But for a pro-terror organizer to drastically inflate the numbers who attended a previous pro-terror rally, to give the so-called 'movement' more importance than it rates, tells us plenty.

America may be fed up with both political parties, but it isn't fed up on America, and certainly does not support the pro-terrorists in our midst.

As to the claims that the veterans are over-reacting to the incident at the Capitol, take a look at what the pro-terrorist march organizers are saying on their own website.

"Tens of thousands of people will be gathering at Constitution Gardens at 12 noon near the Vietnam Memorial prior to the March on the Pentagon on Saturday, March 17. ...

The 58,000 U.S. soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam and the millions of Vietnamese who were killed, died in a criminal war. The connection between Vietnam and Iraq could not be more clear. Iraq is also a criminal war of aggression. ...

Some tiny pro-Bush groups who support the war in Iraq, and who normally mobilize about 25 people to hold signs when massive antiwar protests take place, are now callously trying to manipulate Vietnam veterans by spreading rumors that the March on the Pentagon will defile the Vietnam Memorial. This lie should be treated with the same contempt that people have for the other lies promoted by Bush and his followers to justify an illegal war of aggression ..."

Yada, yada, yada.

Can the issue be more clear? There is no mistaking the pro-terrorists' aims. Once again, America is a criminal enterprise, once again its veterans are war criminals, and once again groups who have no real agenda save for the downfall of democracy are using the very freedoms that veterans fought for to attack and overthrow the country that guarantees those freedoms.

As a Marine brother put it recently, the pro-terrorist march is organizing "Within spitting distance" of the Vietnam memorial. Their web site makes their intentions all too clear.

But there is a solid truth at work here that will prevail, as truth always does. This is the communication age, and mainstream America is communicating. We who were spat upon when we came home from Vietnam were not organized, we were not in large-scale contact with each other, and we did not have anywhere near as much information available to us as we do now.

This time we are organized and we are talking to each other constantly. We have seen what happens to our allies if we leave them helpless. To somehow claim that the millions of Southeast Asians who died at the hands of the communists after South Vietnam fell in 1975 did so because of America or its veterans is despicable, dishonest, unsupportable and outright false.

The millions who died were killed by the communists. The allies of the communist forces in the 60s and 70s are in many cases the same people who are supporting the terrorists today. History does repeat, and to follow this concept to its logical end ensures that millions more innocents will die at the hands of terrorists if the pro-terrorist forces prevail. This time, millions who die will be Americans on American soil.

There is no question that the vigil is necessary, and for it to succeed, it needs only to occur. Whether the vigil is attended by 50 veterans, or 500 or 5000, is not relevant. That we go, and stand shoulder to shoulder to defend our memorials and the honor and dignity of the Americans who died defending our freedoms is all that matters.

Regarding the possibility of violence, it is likely only if it is used by the pro-terrorists and their anarchist brethren. But I would caution those prone to violence to think twice before attacking a solid mass of people who are the all-time masters at improvisational combat. The media can rewrite history all it wants, but we have defeated every enemy we ever faced, regardless of how vicious the tactics they used.

We have improvised, we have adapted and we have overcome every single time. I wouldn't recommend violence against this group, especially from people who are attempting to shield their true pro-terrorism agenda from the public by claiming to be marching for "peace."

We will stand our vigil, peacefully, but firmly. Attacking us would be foolhardy and counter-productive on many fronts.

I realize that the hand-wringers and worry warts will continue to chew on this issue right up until March 17, and probably even afterwards. That is their nature and it won't change.

But there is a simple and succinct answer to the question "What if we don't go?"

"We will!"
Friday, February 23, 2007

Chlorine Gas in Baghdad; Is Manhattan Next?

Terrorists have unveiled a new weapon in Iraq, this time killing people by blowing up canisters containing chlorine gas which is released in crowded neighborhoods.

Attacks have come recently using containers of varying numbers and sizes.

Victims not killed by the initial explosion or the shrapnel from the containers die from exposure to the gas. Many more who don't die suffer from damage to their lungs or burned skin from the caustic gas.

News organizations are portraying this tactic as another means of spreading fear, the primary weapon of terrorists.

But is that the only purpose?

Terror has already been spread throughout Baghdad by daily kidnappings, murders, and car and homicide bombings set off by suicidal freaks who obviously aren't as concerned with making the world a better place as securing their place in paradise. Consider also that compared to various forms of plastiques and other high explosives, it is harder to transport and hide bulky containers of chlorine, which while deadly, dissipates much more quickly and with less damage than far more lethal forms of nerve gas.

The level of danger drops with distance from the gas, although release of large quantities of chlorine plays hell with the ozone layer.

Still, far more people die from the typical car bombing than from the chlorine gas bombs exploded so far. So what purpose would be served by switching to a new tactic that requires far more preparation, is harder to pull off, and has less lethality?

How about practice?

Practice for what you ask?

Practice to see how deadly chlorine is, over a specified area with a specified number of people living and working in that area. Practice for releasing clouds of chlorine gas in downtown Manhattan perhaps?

Far-fetched? Well, let's hearken back to January 8, this year, when a mysterious and noxious odor permeated most of mid-town Manhattan, and drifted across the Hudson River to Jersey City and further.

For the first couple of hours news organizations and municipal officials from both sides of the river speculated that a natural gas leak was causing the odor and wondered aloud whether terrorists were behind the supposed leak.

But then utility officials from throughout the region began reporting that they had no reports of leaks anywhere in their systems. Those reports were followed by explanations that the odor wasn't caused by natural gas, but instead by mercaptan, which is added to natural gas to spew a 'rotten egg' odor as an alert in case there is a real leak.

That speculation was then followed by considerable discussion on how mercaptan was leaked in Manhattan and the size of the area affected by it. The answer was, no one knew how it was released, but it affected a huge area.

Anyone interested in studying the patterns of a gas release in New York City under the weather conditions that prevailed that day, only had to watch TV and read the papers. The news gave building by building, sometimes floor by floor, reports on where the gas concentrated and how many people were affected by it.

The odor was reported throughout Manhattan from Midtown to Battery Park City, and as far away as Newark, New Jersey, about 10 miles to the west. Buildings were evacuated, and the PATH commuter trains along the Sixth Avenue line were temporarily suspended, although in this case the smell didn't have an effect on subway service.

But utility company officials said a comprehensive search found no gas leaks, and there was no drop in gas pressure in the city.

So where did it come front and how did it get released? And most important, why?

Well, I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories, but then again we are engaged in a global war with terrorists who are determined to crush our way of life, our country, our religions, our traditions, our government, and women of all ages. And Manhattan would be an ideal candidate for attack, as was shown on September 11, 2001. If you are successful in one attack, why would you not launch another?

I have seen no evidence yet that there is a direct link between the gas smell in Manhattan and the chlorine bombs in Baghdad. But that doesn't mean there isn't one, and that certainly doesn't mean we shouldn't prepare ourselves.

Two things to remember in a gas attack - first, don't run with the wind at your back. It is faster than you are, flows around obstacles and will catch up with you. Second, try to determine the location of ground zero for the gas, then run perpendicular to the direction of flow until outside the area it covers, then run into the wind.

The wind will blow the gas away from you, not at you. I'm not saying this is foolproof because every day and every person is different. But basically this will give you an edge, and in combat you need every edge you can get.

Remember, we are in combat. Most of the time it doesn't seem like it because the media only covers car bombings in Baghdad, while Congress is so focused on self-centered personal politics that the real business of the country is usually obscured.

But we are in a war with terrorists, and urban combat is what these terrorists are all about. Personally I hope we never have another attack on our soil. But there has to be a reason for terrorists to resort to a less effective tactic in Baghdad, and I don't think it is because they have run out of ammo.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Canadians Are Coming! The Canadians Are Coming! To A Gathering Of Eagles

One of the myriad untruths about the Vietnam War concerns the role of Canada, our friend and neighbor to the north. It is generally seen only that Canada provided refuge to Americans who opposed serving in the Armed Forces and fled north to avoid being drafted.

You'll note that I said these were people who "opposed serving in the Armed Forces." The reason I made that point is that during the Vietnam war years, from the early adviser days in 1961, to the evacuation of the American Embassy in April 1975, about 9 million Americans served in the military.

But only about 2.5 million or slightly more than 22 percent, actually served in Vietnam itself. Even if you count all the offshore personnel, and theater personnel, such as those serving in Thailand, that number barely reaches 3 million or 33 percent.

So if you were a smart person, and we have to consider that since most of these draft evaders learned the ropes in college, which according to John Kerry automatically makes them smarter by far than anyone who joined the military, you would have realized that the odds were heavily against serving in Vietnam even if you did serve in the military.

And, unlike WWII, where 70 percent of those who served were drafted, in Vietnam, nearly 70 percent of those who served volunteered. So the odds were heavily in favor of not going to Vietnam even if you were in the service.

Further, if you are a smart person, as virtually anyone who has ever spent even a nanosecond in college must be, you know that if you enlist, instead of waiting to being drafted, you have a wide range of job choices and duty stations, the overwhelming majority of which in that time would not have included service in Vietnam.

So, during the Vietnam era thousands of college kids who didn't want to serve in the military fled to Canada. It sounded noble and intellectual to say they didn't want to participate in an "illegal and immoral war" but the truth is, they probably wouldn't have been sent to Vietnam anyway, so we must conclude that they just didn't want to serve period.

But, what rarely gets mentioned, especially in the American Terrorist Media, is that thousands of Canadian citizens also headed south specifically to enlist in the armed forces of the United States, specifically to serve in Vietnam.

How many?

That is anyone's guess. I have done some research, which reveals that no one seems to know definitively. There does seem to be agreement among the Canadian Vietnam veterans themselves that somewhere between 15,000 and 25,000 is a reasonable estimate.

How many Americans fled north? Again, that is a question that is open to interpretation. I have seen some research that says 10,000 but I have seen other opinions that say as many as 125,000.

That last number seems to be more than a bit of a stretch because it includes anyone who moved to Canada from 1961, four years before the US ramped up to major involvement in Vietnam, until 1977, six years after the US ended major combat operations, four years after the draft ended in 1973, and two years after Saigon fell to the communists in 1975. So at least eight years of that span are questionable as to motive.

Regardless, the fact is that thousands of our Canadian neighbors came south to help us and they got little to no recognition for it. I think that should change, and a Gathering of Eagles, the movement to protect the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC from vandalism on March 17 provides that opportunity.

I received an email a few days ago from a Canadian lady, an Air Force veteran who is coming down to DC with an Army veteran specifically "to defend the names of the Canadians on that wall." She noted that there are others who want to attend also. It is my hope that they again come south in large numbers as they did 40 years ago, and I can assure my brother and sister veterans from Canada that they will be well received.

Since I last wrote about A Gathering of Eagles, it has gained incredible strength. It started out as a few emails between veterans who were appalled that the Capitol police were ordered to allow anarchists attending a Jane Fonda headlined anti-war protest in January to vandalize the Capitol. The writers feared that something similar would occur during another planned anti-war protest on March 17 that is forming up right next to the Vietnam Memorial.

Those emails then escalated to postings on veteran or military oriented web sites, and that got things really moving. I heard about it on the www.TogetherWeServed.com website, before it actually got the name Gathering of Eagles, and after writing about it here, got notices from all over the country that like-minded people were getting involved and making plans to be in DC on March 17.

Organizers are concerned that the planned anti-war march on the Pentagon, which is billed as an anniversary celebration of a similar march 40 years ago, includes in its list of participants anti-American and pro-terrorist individuals and organizations, some of whom they fear would have no problem defacing the memorial.

But the numbers who would oppose any such vandalism are growing. In recent days members of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle riders who make an annual pilgrimage to The Wall on Memorial Day have signed on as supporters, as have the Patriot Guard Riders, National Order of the Purple Heart, various POW organizations, and veterans' groups and individuals representing all services from all eras.

In addition, a caravan of Gold Star and Blue Star mothers, representing those who have sons and daughters killed in action while serving our country, or those currently serving, will be making its way across the US to arrive in DC in time for the vigil at The Wall.

Please note that once again I have used the word vigil. I suggested to my brother and sister Marines at TWS that we not portray this as a counter-protest or opposition to the rights of the pro-terrorist marchers, but as a vigil to protect the honor and memories of our fallen brothers and sisters. The official web site for the vigil http://www.gatheringofeagles.org/ also makes that point very strongly.

In fact the website clearly states that the reason for this vigil is "To stand silent guard over our nation's memorials, in honor of our fallen, and in solidarity with our armed forces in harm's way today."

I make this point for a number of reasons, but foremost is that we have to expect less than favorable press coverage from today's pro-terrorist media, similar to the unfavorable and outright false press coverage we received in the 60s and 70s from the pro-communist media.

When the TWS Marines first started organizing I produced a news release for them, which Michael London, my boss at the Michael J. London & Associates PR firm, distributed gratis to well over a hundred national and international news outlets that cover Washington, DC.

At first the release was all but ignored by the American Terrorist Media, but one of the people listed as a contact for further information did get a call, from ITAR-Tass, the Russian news agency! And by all accounts he had a really good interview!

Just goes to show you.

However, on February 20 a representative from the Gold Star/Blue Star mothers was interviewed at length on Fox News, and a Gathering of Eagles also was mentioned on the Rush Limbaugh radio show Monday, February 19.

So word is spreading, the news is getting out and it now is up to America's veterans, in conjunction with our brothers and sisters from Canada, and any other country whose citizen's served with us, to go to Washington, defend our memorials, and show the world who really represents the heart of America.

It is a big job, and we are under extreme pressure to do it right. But that really doesn't faze most of us. We are the ones who stood up for America and freedom in the first place. Doing it again isn't really a matter of starting out on a new venture, as much as continuing to march on an objective that has been before us throughout our entire lives.

I'll see you in DC on the March 17. You can bet that for at least some of that time I'll be standing shoulder to shoulder with my brothers and sisters from Canada.
Sunday, February 18, 2007

February in America Means - Battle!

It is the month of February here in America and aside from the just passed Valentine's Day respite, there is little to do, except engage in epic battles.

For instance, this month in 1945 marked the legendary battle for Iwo Jima, a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. It was important because it gave American bombers a safe haven on the return trip from missions to the Japanese mainland if they were damaged or low on fuel, and also enabled American fighters to escort the missions.

In that battle some 70,000 U.S. Marines took on 22,000 Japanese. The battle lasted for more than a month, as nearly the entire Japanese garrison fought to the death from within a volcanic rock that was honeycombed with caves, tunnels, spider holes and reinforced bunkers.

In the end, the United States lost nearly 7,000 dead and 19,000 wounded, including some 2,400 casualties the first day, while the Japanese lost their entire garrison, with about 20,000 killed and the rest captured. (These are approximate numbers, purposely rounded off.) It was the only battle in the Pacific where the Marines took more casualties than they inflicted on the enemy.

Planners initially believed Iwo Jima would be taken in a week. D-Day was February 19, but the island was not declared secure until March 26. It was an enormously costly, bloody battle

Nonetheless, the fight for Iwo Jima, seen in some military circles as a Pyrrhic victory, and decried by a small number of skeptics stateside, was viewed as an overwhelming success by the bulk of the American civilian population. It provided the now world famous photo of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi, which in turn served as a highly successful platform for raising war bond money to help pay for the war.

Twenty three years later, American forces were again engaged in an epic battle in the month of February, this time in Vietnam, during the fighting labeled the Tet Offensive of 1968.

Although popular myth in the United States says that the American military was caught off guard, the truth is that many in the military were aware that more than 100,000 North Vietnamese regular forces and Viet Cong guerrillas were preparing a major offensive and that it would be launched somewhere around the Vietnamese New Year that began February 1.

The entire garrison of the U.S. Marine combat base at Khe Sanh was on high alert in the days leading up to the assault, and units throughout South Vietnam were prepared for the coming battle.

In Saigon, 35 NVA and Viet Cong battalions were met head-on by 50 battalions of American and allied troops that had been positioned to protect the city by Lt. Gen. Fred C. Weyand. Weyand's troops were prepared and on Feb. 1, the first day of the communist offensive, they launched a decisive counter-attack against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese.

Meanwhile, in what became the Battle for Hue, 12,000 NVA and Viet Cong troops took the undefended city, then begin systematic executions of an estimated 5000 South Vietnamese including government officials, teachers, university professors, captured South Vietnamese army officers, and Catholic priests.

U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese forces counter-attacked and in some of the most bitter fighting in the Tet Offensive, retook the old imperial city, house by house, street by street. On February 24, Marines occupied the Imperial Palace in the heart of the ancient citadel. The battle ended with a devastating North Vietnamese defeat, in which the communists lost more than 5,000 killed while the Marines lost fewer than 200 killed.

The North Vietnamese communists, some 20,000 of whom surrounded the base at Khe Sanh during this period, were hammered throughout the siege by Marine artillery, air strikes, and sharpshooters inside the base, as well as seemingly endless B-52 raids. The communists lost an estimated 15,000 killed while the Marines lost fewer than 300 killed.

Overall, the Tet Offensive cost fewer than 1,600 American lives, while the communists lost by their count more than 45,000. Estimates from other sources have placed the number of communists killed in the Tet Offensive much higher, but regardless, out of the more than 150 towns and cities attacked on Feb. 1, not one was in communist hands at the end of the month.

However, led by US newsman Walter Cronkite, the anchorman for CBS news, the monumental success by American forces was labeled a defeat by the American media and leftist politicians. Four decades later revisionist historians and other communists still make this claim. The Vietnamese communists do not share this view, and have never claimed that the Tet Offensive was anything other than a devastating loss for their side, including the decimation of the Viet Cong guerrilla forces, who never recovered.

But the Vietnamese communists do thank their supporters in the American media and Congress for helping spread the Big Lie, that in turn led to the downfall of South Vietnam and the wholesale slaughter of some 4 million Southeast Asians.

Now, 39 years after the Tet Offensive of 1968, and 62 years after Iwo Jima, American forces are again engaged in an all-or-nothing battle, this time in Iraq against Islamo-terrorists who are bent on world domination.

Once again, our forces are inflicting devastating losses on the enemy, but once again the communists in the American media and Congress are working to convince the American public that not only are we losing, but that nothing we can do will change this.

In four years of battle the losses in the War on Terror do not even come close to the losses sustained in a little more than a month of fighting on Iwo Jima. Yet the media trumpets the deaths of every single American as a repudiation of both tactics and strategy, and every homicide bomber who blows up Iraqi civilians as proof that the United States can not win.

The war in Iraq is labeled a civil war that we should not be fighting, even though our troops have primarily been engaged in operations against terrorists from countries other than Iraq. The current offensive in Baghdad and elsewhere is long overdue, and already is yielding results, but it would be hard to determine that if the only source of information on the fighting was the American media.

In truth, the war in Iraq is a proxy war, being fought against the U.S. by China and Russia which are backing the terrorists by supplying both arms and technology, just as they did in Vietnam. But even that backing isn't enough to overcome our forces, so the communists in Congress have gone on a spree of misinformation, worthless speechifying and meaningless resolutions, all in an effort to wear down the American public.

The communists in the American Congress have shown themselves since the Vietnam days to be mindless racists who don't care how many people die as long as they are from another region of the world. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, for instance, when debating Swift Boat commander John O'Neill on the Dick Cavet show back in the early 70s said that if the U.S. left Vietnam there would be "no bloodbath," and estimated that 'only' a few thousand South Vietnamese would die.

He was wrong there on so many counts, as history has shown, but that position was repeated today on Fox News Sunday by Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, who claimed that worries about the aftermath of a U.S. defeat in Iraq are mostly groundless. "No bloodbath." Kerry said it in the Vietnam era, Levin is saying it today.

How anyone with a brain and the ability to reason can reach that conclusion is beyond me. But America is fast approaching a point where it is going to have to decide what it wants to be. I have heard some pundits say in recent weeks that we shouldn't be a superpower or a world leader.

We should step aside and let someone else, maybe the Chinese for instance, be the leader they say. Why? What on earth is so great about being second best?

Settling for second place may be enough for some, but if we settle in this situation it isn't the communists who will win. It is the religious extremists, and sane people don't want to be part of what they will bring to government.

Maybe the communists in Congress and the American media are closet masochists. Maybe they like the idea of being slaves to sadists.

If that is the case, I recommend they use some of the tons and tons of illicit money they take from lobbyists each week and hire someone to beat them to their hearts' content. That way, they'll be happy and the rest of us can continue to live in a free society.

I would rather celebrate something other than a history of battles during the month of February. But at least thus far our military has a winning record. If we want to change the world for the better, it is a lot easier to do it from the top of the high ground than under the heel of an oppressor's boot.

Could someone pass that on to Congress? Seems like a lot of people there aren't getting the message.
Friday, February 16, 2007

Muqtada Al Sadr, A Profile in Craven Cowardice, Just Like Congressional Democrats

The surge, offensive, reinforcement, call it what you want is on in Iraq, and the very first thing the loudest and most visible leader of the biggest internal terrorist organization in that country did in response was flee to Iran!

Muqtada Al Sadr, a wannabe Islamic cleric who has spent the better part of the last decade living off the reputation of his late father, formed an Iranian backed militia - the Mahdi Army - to spread terrorism and build his own fortunes after Saddam Hussein's regime fell in 2003.

He had a murder warrant out on him at that time, and even gathered a small number of followers to hide in a mosque and shoot at American troops, who quite frankly, should have been given carte blanche to fill him full of holes. But politics and diplomacy reared their ugly heads and Al Sadr was spared and allowed to roam freely, using his time to build his army and his fortunes, and then aiming at both the US and Iraqis who were working toward freedom and democracy.

Al Sadr's cohorts in the new Iraqi parliament even prevailed on Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to set an entire section of Baghdad off limits to US troops, thus giving Al Sadr a sanctuary where he could increase and strengthen his Shia Muslim forces. Along with some like-minded bandits in the Sunni Muslim forces, Al Sadr was the primary cause of most of the car bombings, kidnappings, torture and assassinations in Baghdad in the past year.

He is responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of his own countrymen, and thousands of his own troops who willingly blew themselves to smithereens on the basis that they were following a Messiah who would guarantee them a one-way ticket to paradise. Instead, they were following a lying, manipulating mentally unstable conniver who used his followers' ignorance as a means to live a life of opulence and privilege while they meekly lined up for suicide assignments.

Fortunately, President Bush put his foot down late last year and told Prime Minister Maliki that time was up, the game was over, you blew it, and now we're putting this guy down like we should have three years ago. So even before US troops are up to full strength, even before they start full-scale military operations, Al Sadr runs like a scared mouse and hides out in Tehran.

Classic bully. Classic B.S. artist. Classic, but not class.

Every single person who followed him should feel embarrassed, humiliated, mortified and used. His homicide bombers died for nothing. They murdered thousands of innocent men, women and children for nothing. They were led like sheep to the slaughter and they went willingly. Their great and glorious leader who should have been there at the end, extolling the virtues of martyrdom just before he too went down in a hail of bullets is no where to be found.

Do these guys really think that Allah wants a bunch of mindless lemmings surrounding him in paradise? Do they think Allah is going to reward them for slaughtering his children? I think not. I think that in the Muslim version of judgment day suicide bombers and murderers will be getting the big thumbs down.

And first to get the celestial boot will be Al Sadr. What a loser. What a pathetic excuse for a leader. In the words of Bugs Bunny, "what a maroon."

He even has some groupies running around Iraq tyring to keep the troops in line by denying that he fled. They say he is just tending to business elsewhere and this is all an American plot. Hell, we could stay up for days on end trying to come up with something like this and it still wouldn't be as convincing as reality.

Al Sadr isn't making public appearances, is not preaching to his congregation and is nowhere to be seen because he ran when confronted. His die-hard followers can make up any story they want, but that is because they will be taking the fall for Al Sadr. The higher you stood in his dwindling army, the better your chances of being nailed, either by the Americans, the Iraqi army, or by the rank and file of the Mahdi army itself.

And now his army has one of two choices: stand up and fight to recover some shred of dignity even if it means death; or slink away like the craven coward you followed, to be hunted down and singled out by your own countrymen and dragged from filthy holes and hung just like Saddam.

Die like men, or die like dogs, but die you will. But don't look around for your great and glorious leader to accompany you. He will be in Iran, living the good life, laughing at you, and figuring out how he can build himself another empire of fools to feather his bed.

Oh, don't worry, he'll find it. Right in the US Congress. You want cowardice and stupidity run amok? Look no further than Congress.

Our representatives and senators, who are supposed to be doing the people's business, are currently debating a measure to tell President Bush that they are better at second-guessing than he is at decision making. I don't think so.

The sound bites I have heard from Congressional Democrats and turncoat Republicans in the past few days on why there should be no offensive and no money to support our troops are mind boggling in their stupidity.

Take N.Y. Rep. Steve Israel for example, who said earlier this week that troop morale is based solely on material comforts. They need armor and bullets and food he claims.

Just goes to show how much he knows about military service, which I didn't see listed anywhere on his website biography. The first and foremost issue in troop morale is knowing that you are supported on the home front. Our troops need to know that they are fighting for and coming back to a country that fully supported them and will welcome them back.

Ask any Vietnam veteran.

Another cut and run proponent was claiming this morning that the mood of the country now is similar to the mood of the country in the early 1970s when Congress cut funding for our Vietnamese allies, setting the stage for the fall of the south and the slaughter of some four million Southeast Asians.

Wrong again Roscoe. The country was still solidly behind the war in Vietnam by an overwhelming majority when the cowards in that Congressional class, some of whom are leading the charge from the rear in this Congress, cut the funds.

But the media and the Democrats made sure that only setbacks were reported, never the victories, and since there were so few setbacks, they made them up to further their cause. Just like Iraq.

But there is a great and hopeful side to all of this. The surge is already on, and our guys are already hammering the bad guys, even if the media doesn't report it. By this summer, no matter what the Congress does, things will be different in Iraq, and things will be different in Iran and Syria too.

I have complete faith in our military, even if the non-serving 'geniuses' in Washington don't. They will prevail, and move on to other things.

But we will have a wonderful repository of filmed statements from those who don't believe in and don't support our troops to play over and over when the next election cycle comes around. Won't it be fun to watch all these clowns try to explain what they really meant when they said this or that about our troops?

Kind of makes you tingle in anticipation doesn't it?
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

American Vietnam Vets Ending 40 Years in the Wilderness

It has been 40 years, on average, since most Americans served in Vietnam, and for most American Vietnam veterans the last 40 years have constituted our own version of wandering in the wilderness.

Starting with the fighting in Korea, the so-called "Forgotten War," escalating to a fever pitch during Vietnam, and continuing right up through those currently fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, America's veterans have been relegated by many in our country to something far less than second-class citizen status.

Vietnam vets especially have been dealing with a country that never knew or understood the magnitude of our victories there. Our politicians cut our legs out from under us and our allies from South Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand repeatedly, until ultimately the communists were able to take advantage of the political and military vacuum created by our Congress and overthrow the democratic south in 1975.

American and allied troops had left that country years before, after twice driving the communists to the edge of surrender, and twice seeing them bailed out by American politicians.

As a result, the communists gleefully signed a weak and unenforceable "Peace" agreement in 1973 that was negotiated by Henry Kissinger and approved by the US Congress. That travesty and the slaughter of some 4 million Southeast Asians by the communists in the years that followed have been falsely labeled a military defeat ever since by the media and the very politicians who caused it.

Those same politicians and the media also falsely claim the American military was not up to the level of previous generations, even though we were the best educated, best led and most effective ever and never lost a single major engagement.

As a result, many Vietnam vets labored for years in an atmosphere of distrust, misunderstanding and outright hostility from the very country we fought to preserve.

But that could all change on March 17, at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. On that date, an anti-war march is planned from the area of the Vietnam and Korean War memorials in Washington, across the river to the Pentagon, to 'celebrate' a similar anti-war march during the Vietnam era in 1967. (I wonder if they are going to 'celebrate' the slaughter of 4 million innocent people by the communists after the war ended?)

Why these marchers were given a permit allowing them to gather near the Vietnam Memorial is anyone's guess. But while some organizers are working overtime to convince America's veterans that this is just a peaceful group of average Americans exercising their right to free speech, the list of participants reads like an international Who's Who of anti-American, pro-terrorist, communist and socialist organizations.

The word that some of these groups are actively planning to deface the Vietnam Memorial and other monuments as they did our nation's Capitol last month is spreading throughout the American veteran community and causing considerable alarm to put it mildly.

Thus, a coalition of veterans representing all services from WWII to present, is planning to gather in Washington on March 17, to form a wall of humanity around The Wall. The purpose of this vigil is not to deny the marchers their rights to assemble, march and speak. The purpose of this vigil is to protect the sanctity and the honor of the more than 58,000 men and women whose names are listed on The Wall.

If enough of us go to Washington on March 17, it is conceivable that the Vietnam Memorial can be surrounded by a ring of veterans several rows deep. This is a goal that can and should be met by the veterans' community.

Some on the anti-war side claim this is nonsense, that the anti-war march is peaceful in intent and that none of the marchers have ulterior motives. They say the presence of veterans at one of our own memorials will incite violence. If there is logic in that position it escapes me.

If the marchers truly care about the troops, if they truly are people of peace, then the presence of veterans should be seen as a positive sign not a call to violence. If the 'peace' marchers are truly peaceful, why are some of them warning the veterans that any effort to protect The Wall will almost certainly bring violence and injury down on them?

Most Vietnam veterans are close to the age of 60, on one side or the other of that Great Divide. Many are grandfathers and the time when we ran for miles on empty stomachs, carrying incredible burdens of arms and ammo is far behind us.

What possible good could come from a group of anarchists attacking a gathering of grandfathers? The answer is obvious. The 'peace' marchers would get nothing of benefit from such a confrontation, so the real goal is to discourage the veterans from coming to Washington in the first place.

The anarchists would benefit greatly if the veterans stay away. First, if they attempt to deface the memorial they will have a nearly free hand, if they can get past the park service personnel and DC police - neither of which should be considered a walk in the park - so to speak.

But more importantly they will have succeeded in denying America's veterans our first real opportunity in 40 years to gather en masse and remind or inform the rest of America who we really are, what we stood for then, and what we stand for now. The anarchists do not want pictures of thousands of veterans, whether they are members of the current generation, the grandfathers from Vietnam and Korea, or anyone from the years in between, standing up to them, and standing up for freedom.

There are risks to be sure. The media is not likely to print or broadcast anything that is favorable to the veterans. The media was against us in Vietnam, it is against us now.

Want proof? OK, a few days ago Arizona Sen. John McCain, a former POW in Vietnam, stated that he was concerned the terrorists we are fighting in Iraq might launch attacks against our troops similar to the Tet Offensive in 1968. In that fighting American troops annihilated the Viet Cong guerrillas, killing an estimated 35,000 out of a total military force of some 70,000, in addition to killing tens of thousands of regular North Vietnamese Army troops.

But the American media, led by Walter Cronkite who broadcast from Vietnam in April 1968 that the war was 'unwinnable' after we had just won its biggest victory, cast it as an American defeat.

In the article on Sen. McCain's statement, the Associated Press reported that the Tet Offensive was disastrous to the American military due to the high levels of casualties we took. That is exactly the kind of public relations spin that was used in 1968 to misinform the American public of the extent of our victory.

The Tet Offensive ever after was labeled a military victory but a PR defeat for America. Well, you can't have a PR victory without a PR agent, and Walter Cronkite and the American media were the communists' loudest and most visible PR agents.

In the Tet Offensive, at the end of 30 days of fighting America had lost 1,536 killed in action. The communists had lost more than 45,000. The US and its allies broke the back of the Viet Cong guerrilla forces and dealt devastating losses to the regular North Vietnamese. But you never hear that in the American media, and it was not included in the Associated Press report on Sen. McCain's recent comments.

The media lied about us then, the media continues to lie about us now. So we should not harbor any illusions about the coverage our vigil will receive.

But March 17 offers America's veterans a unique opportunity. It affords us the time and place to gather once again, in numbers not seen since we were together 40 years ago. And even though many of us are grandfathers, we have not lost the knowledge or the will to protect ourselves and our country.

Also, for all the years that anarchy has been a left-wing tactic on America's streets, the leftists have never faced a solidly united and capable opposition force. This is not to be considered a challenge nor baiting. It is an observable fact. The anarchists have always counted on most Americans staying home and letting the police handle the lawlessness.

But this time they are threatening a memorial that is near and dear to thousands of Americans, many who fought, and many more who know someone listed on The Wall. This time, the anarchists' target is a visible symbol to all Americans and defacing it will be far more than an insult to all Americans.

There are two ways the marchers in Washington D.C. can avoid confrontation. Those among them who claim to speak for peace should not be telling veterans to stay home, but rather should be speaking to members of their affiliated organizations who are planning on non-peaceful actions. Defacing our national memorials and monuments speaks volumes to the rest of America, but I seriously doubt that is the message the marchers want to convey.

Tell that to every group participating in the march, and tell them that vandalism, confrontation and violence will not be condoned. Then enforce your words.

Second, the marchers can stay away from the memorials. The Wall and the other memorials on the Mall in Washington are open 365 days a year. They can be visited any time. If the marchers are demonstrating for peace, but want to visit the memorials for more personal reasons, then stick to the designated march route, and go to the memorials peacefully on another day.

Comply with these two requests and conflict will be avoided. Refuse to comply and the responsibility for any resultant confrontations will rest squarely on the shoulders of the march organizers and participants.

For the veterans, March 17 should be our day. We should gather in numbers that ensure deterrence, and show that the values we fought for so long ago, and which many of our brothers and sisters are fighting for today, are still valid. We have an opportunity to find our way out of the wilderness, by our own words and our own deeds.

We have an opportunity to show America what it really means to be the best and brightest. This is a signature moment for veterans. It is our moment and we should not just shrug our shoulders and let it pass. There is little in most of our lives that is more important than being in that place on that day.

We have wandered in the wilderness for far too long. It is time to come home. And home, the land of milk and honey, will be represented on March 17 by a tiny piece of land in our nation's Capitol where a black granite wall and two statues bear witness to the honor and sacrifice of more than 58,000 of our brothers and sisters.

We should stand shoulder to shoulder around those memorials to preserve the honor and dignity of our brothers and sisters, just as they stood shoulder to shoulder with us, 40 years ago.
Monday, February 12, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith and Vladimir (Ras)Putin; Two Peas in a Pod

What do the late Anna Nicole Smith and Russian premier Vladimir (Ras)Putin have in common?

Diversions. They are both diversions from the ongoing business of moving our country forward and winning the War on Terror. But there the comparison stops.

Smith was a temporary diversion whose ability to maintain the interest of the American public and the World Terrorist Media probably has already peaked and is in decline. Her gruesome, inglorious death is sad, but meaningful only in that it bluntly portrays the predictable and inevitable conclusion of the pathetic celebrity/druggie lifestyle.

Maybe somewhere in the world one person who is teetering on the brink of the drug scene will see the example she set for what it really is and draw back. Maybe. Otherwise, she is notable only for the mess she left behind - a son dead of drug abuse, and a daughter who will never know her mother, and who will be haunted for life by hordes of bickering pretenders to the throne of fatherhood, there for the millions she represents, not because of their sense of duty or responsibility.

Still, in a decade or less the memory of Anna Nicole Smith will be little more than an asterisk in a celebrity trivia game.

Rasputin on the other hand, is more than an annoyance, and he is not likely to go away any time soon. It is ironic that I was thinking about Rasputin the other day, wondering why we hadn't heard from him in a while, and wondering what he was up to. Two days later, up he pops, right on schedule, making vague, disturbing and wholly inaccurate comments about the USA, which seem to have no purpose other than to draw attention to him.

In the world of street fighters and professional wrestlers, Rasputin is engaged in a tag team match, alternating hits on the US and President Bush with the leaders of China, North Korea and Iran. They do this for very specific reasons; to weaken the US physically and mentally, and to keep us off guard by constantly diverting attention to one place while they are pulling something bad in another place.

Rasputin's recent criticism of Bush was obviously a ploy to draw attention away from Russia's continuing delivery of advanced technology and missile systems to Iran on the one hand, and Iran's use of advanced technology to build better roadside bombs to kill our troops in Iraq on the other.

But that is obvious. I would say at this point that we really need to take a hard look at China to see what those guys are up to.

Back in the 60s, when Vince McMahon was an up-and-comer and the WWE was just a hint of an idea, the professional wrestling arena was divided into good guys and bad guys.

Sometimes a good guy would cross over and become a bad guy which was sure to engage the crowds and keep everyone talking. That strategy still works today.
But usually, it was bad guy vs. good guy and everyone knew what to expect. Fred Blasie was a classic bad guy, as was Buddy Rogers, the one-time champion of all professional wrestling, not just the dirty kind. Rogers had a routine when he was getting beaten, in which after he would kneel in center ring, begging for mercy from the good guy.

Every time the good guy would look away at the crowd as if to determine what he should do, Rogers would hit him with a low blow, or in the case of tag teams, Rogers' partner would sneak up on the Good Guy and smack him over the head with a chair. Then Rogers would pounce on him, pin him and march off victorious.

The fun came on the third or fourth time Rogers wrestled the same opponent, and tried to pull the same trick, and suddenly, a light bulb would go off over Mr. Good Guy's head. The crowd would be yelling "look out, look out," and finally the Good Guy would look out, catch on to the trick, beat the stuffing out of the bad guys and throw one or two of them over the ropes for good measure.

OK, it's time for us to throw some bad guys over the ropes. Frankly, I think we already are. I keep seeing little drabs of information from Iraq that we are catching, killing and imprisoning bad guys in ever increasing numbers. And by all indications, we are just beginning to hit them.

The WTM isn't covering much of this, as usual, but it is happening. You can see it by all the diversions that are cropping up at once. China with its games in outer space, Rasputin running his mouth, North Korea with its on-again, off-again promise to abandon its nuclear arms ambitions, and the constant stream of white noise coming from Green Bean Almondine, the great and powerful ruler of Tehran.

But the loudest and most obnoxious of all is the puling from members of the Democratic majority in Congress, suddenly unable to get anything done, despite their crowing and bragging in November, who are suddenly, horribly afraid that we will actually win in Iraq. Underneath all that is happening, what we really have is a US Congress that is trying to pull off what it did in 1973-75 when it abandoned South Vietnam after that country had won a major victory over the communist north.

The members of Congress and the media past and present who were in on the action that ultimately caused the slaughter of some 4 million Southeast Asians are trying to pull off the same despicable exploit in Iraq. Since the Democrats and the turncoat Republicans in Congress already have shown that they have no confidence in the US Military, especially our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, they are in a no-win situation if our troops emerge victorious.

These people (Congress and the media) have already committed themselves to defeat. They have said so, they are planning it, and they are hoping for it, because they don't think it ultimately will affect them, and they will be happy as long as they can point their fingers at George Bush and blame him.

But our guys are winning, and there is still nearly two years to go until the next presidential election. America likes winners, not whining losers. The candidate who bets on the troops and makes sure they can do their jobs without restriction is the candidate who can carry the day in November 2008.

As for Anna Nicole Smith, may she rest in peace. She lived a hard life, with no discernible value to it, and all her millions still couldn't make her happy.

Regarding Rasputin, George Bush should be asking himself why the Mad Russian is running his mouth all of a sudden. It is a diversion for something. Maybe it's time to check out the Chinese premier and see if he is sneaking up on us with a chair in his hands.

If so I recommend grabbing the chair, throwing the Chinese out of the ring and smacking Rasputin upside the head. Vlad may well want to rethink this whole policy of arming the Iranian terrorists who are killing our troops.

Think about it Vlad, there probably are people in Washington who still remember when we armed the Afghanistan resistance against you in the 80s. They might even consider helping the Chechnyans if it gets you off our backs.

Think about it Vlad. It could happen.
Saturday, February 10, 2007

Vietnam Vets FED UP!! Vigil Planned At Wall March 17

The word is quickly spreading in the Vietnam Veteran community that any attempts by anti-war protesters to deface the Vietnam War Memorial, aka The Wall, in Washington, D.C., March 17 will be met with a solidly opposed wall of humanity.

Vietnam vets, many of whom have voiced their frustrations with the out-of-control disrespect to our country, and the refusal by Capitol Police in January to prevent protesters from defacing the Capitol, are planning to form a "protective shield" around The Wall, and other memorials too if necessary.

In addition to informal organizing efforts by a large number of veterans organizations, a news release was sent to hundreds of media outlets Friday by a group of former Marines who are publicizing the event as a vigil. While they make the point that they support the right of protesters to gather and voice their dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq, and are adamant that this is a vigil, not a counter-protest, they are equally firm in their opposition to any attempts to deface the memorial.

The news release reads:

Veterans' Coalition Plans War Memorial Vigil March 17
Anti-War Vandalism Prompts Call for 'Protective Screen'

WASHINGTON - A nationwide coalition of veterans' groups is planning a vigil at the National Mall on March 17 as a result of increasing concerns that anti-war protesters participating in a march on the Pentagon might deface the Vietnam War Memorial or other national monuments.

The veterans plan to form a human 'protective screen' around the Vietnam War Memorial.

Although no umbrella organization is representing the veterans who plan on standing the vigil, organizers say there will be representatives all branches of the service from World War II to the current war. Individuals from Prisoner of War groups, Vietnam Veterans of America chapters, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and many other veterans' organizations are planning to attend, although the parent organizations are not sponsoring the vigil.

Ohio resident Dane Brown, who served as a Marine infantryman during the Vietnam War has posted on-line calls to action, noting there are Internet, anti-war web sites that now encourage vandalism to the war monuments.

Brown said there are many "fringe groups with private agendas who are planning to participate in the anti-war march. I want to be certain that these groups don't deface any monument to the men and women who risked their lives -- and gave their lives -- to defend this country."

Among the anti-war groups that Pentagon march organizers say will attend are: CODEPINK; National Lawyers Guild; Free Palestine Alliance; Nicaragua Network; Mexico Solidarity Network; Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation- KAWAN: NYC Labor Against the War (NYCLAW); Socialist Front of Puerto Rico; Islamic Political Party of America (IPPA);Vietnam Veterans Against the War Anti-Imperialist; Women's Anti-Imperialist League (WAIL); International Socialist Organization; Freedom Socialist Party National Office; and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Brown and fellow Marine Larry Zok, who also plans to participate in the vigil, say they are encouraged by responses to their inquiries from the National Park Service which has promised to vigorously protect the Vietnam Memorial and other sites on the mall from vandalism.

However, after reading news reports that the Capitol Police allowed protesters to spray paint graffiti on the Capitol at a recent demonstration, veterans believe it is necessary to provide an extra measure of deterrence in March.

Zok says "We need to have this vigil because some of these same people sprayed graffiti on our nation's Capitol and I want to ensure that the same thing does not happen" to the Vietnam Memorial.

While the veterans solidly support active duty troops now fighting the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, "This is not about pro or con the war (in Iraq)," Zok added. "This is about honor and integrity."

Brown said the National Park Service is emphatic that the decision by the Capitol Police does not have any relevance to the Park Service enforcement, and that measures in place to secure the memorial include a 300 yard exclusion zone, mounted and foot police, a riot reaction squad and intelligence personnel on the scene to insure that the conditions of the permit issued to the anti-war activists are not violated. This includes restricting the anti-war activists to their permitted assembly area on the eastern end of the grounds and away from the wall.

Those interested in obtaining additional information can contact Larry Zok 703-915-1019 in the Washington, D.C., area or Jim Bancroft 860-989-7219 in the northeast.

The release was distributed to media outlets nationwide by MJ London & Associates, a public relations, marketing and advertising firm, located in Trumbull, CT. Additional information from that source can be obtained by calling 203-261-1549 or by email at MJLondon@aol.com.

The key point to remember about this event is that it is billed as a vigil not a protest, counter-protest or call to arms. If the groups who are planning on marching to the Pentagon pass on defacing the memorials there will be no problems, the vigil organizers say.

Based on the dimensions of the Vietnam Memorial it would take about 500 to 1000 veterans to create a solid barrier around it. See you there.
Thursday, February 08, 2007

Scooter Libby: On Trial in a River of Sludge

If you have been trying to keep track of the daily developments in the "Scooter" Libby perjury trial, as I have, you too are probably concluding that it not only is a farce, but the only criminal activity taking place is the robbery of the public treasury by people claiming to be government lawyers.

For review, Mr. Libby was the chief of staff to Richard Cheney, Vice President of the United States. He, Libby, was the only person to be charged with anything after a lengthy and ridiculous investigation by the US Attorney's office into the identity of the person who "leaked" the name of a CIA employee to a reporter.

I purposely used the word employee here, instead of agent, because the employee, Valerie Plame was not an agent, she was a desk jockey and there is no law saying you can't tell someone that a mutual acquaintance works for the CIA if all they do is herd a desk all day.

Why did her name come up? Well, first of all we invaded Iraq, and the amerikan communist party and its affiliate, the American Democrat Party, decided they would oppose the war there and hopefully unseat George Bush by creating and repeating a bunch of lies about his motivations.

Ms. Plame then convinced her bosses at the CIA to send her husband, Joseph Wilson, an out of work wannabe in the Washington underworld, to Niger to look into allegations that Saddam Hussein had approached that country in 1999 with the intent of buying uranium to build A-bombs. Mr. Bush had said in his 2003 State of the Union address that British intelligence services had discovered that Saddam's agents had gone to Africa to look into buying uranium, and that was one of the reasons we had gone to war in Iraq - not the only, or even the main reason mind you, just one.

Wilson's mission presumably was to find out more about this contact and whether any uranium had actually been purchased.

As a side note, uranium is Niger's #1 export and that country was eager to find new markets for this product because declining world uranium prices had put a major hurt on its economy.

Wilson returned from Niger and gave the CIA a report that said, yes indeed, representatives from Saddam's government did go to Niger and discuss purchasing uranium. But then, and here is where it gets good, Wilson wrote a column for the New York Times saying exactly the opposite!

To add to the deception, word began spreading around Washington that Cheney had sent Wilson to Niger to look into the alleged attempt to purchase uranium and that when Wilson wrote his article undermining the administration, Cheney went on the warpath to discredit him. (Talk about delusions of grandeur!) So, the vice president immediately sends out the troops to find out who the hell Joseph Wilson is, why he is spreading this crap, and how on earth he ever got sent to Niger in the first place!

Along the way, virtually everyone in Washington learned that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, who rides a desk at the CIA and is blonde, had prevailed upon her bosses to send him to Niger, probably to give him something to do and get him out of her hair.

Then a Washington political columnist writes an article about all of this, including Ms. Plame's role in it. Voila! The amerikan communist party and its affiliate the American Democrat Party, scream bloody murder that the Bush Administration deliberately leaked the identity of an undercover CIA agent to the media, putting her very life and God only knows how many national secrets in jeopardy.

Calls go out for an investigation, the Justice Department roles over like a dog begging for a treat, and stock in companies making manila folders and files skyrockets. (You have to have files if you are in the government and looking into something. I learned that in the movie Absence of Malice.)

So, after millions of news stories that all end in the phrase "Bush lied, people died" our vaunted justice department concludes that there is no law against telling people that someone is a desk jockey at the CIA. They also conclude that the only person who lied about anything in the original sense is Joseph Wilson, and they knew from the beginning who first mentioned Valerie Plame to the reporter, and it wasn't Cheney or Libby, but why let that screw up a good investigation.

But, the alleged US Attorney handling the case says that he found an inconsistency in Mr. Libby's testimony to the grand jury. He said one thing one time, but when asked about it later wasn't so sure and said something else the second time! By God, Heads Will Roll!!

So Libby gets indicted while Wilson lied and careers died. The resultant trial is in progress and day after day the one thing we hear from virtually every witness is that not one of them, not reporters for the networks or even the New York Times, not investigators, not FBI agents and certainly not government employees, is absolutely sure of what they told whom and when.

Witnesses even have been called back to the stand so they can retract testimony they gave only days earlier because they got their stories mixed up. And these are the prosecution witnesses! Good grief. This is our government in action?

For Libby to be convicted, the jury will have to decide that not only did he lie, he knew he was lying when he did it, and he deliberately lied to mislead the investigators. As if that has a chance in a million when the government's own witnesses can't keep their stories straight from one day to the next.

And the defense part of the trial hasn't even started yet!

So, I have concluded that no one ever took any of this seriously, especially the amerikan communist party and its affiliate the American Democrat Party. They have just been pushing this as far as they can to discredit the Bush administration and undermine support for our military and its mission in Iraq.
What this all shows is that while we have a rich and beautiful heritage as these United States of America, and our capital city has many beautiful and historic landmarks, the fact is, there is an undercurrent throughout Washington caused by the bureaucrats and lobbyists and people of their ilk. It is not a good undercurrent, in fact it is exceptionally evil.

It is fed by selfishness and greed, and egotism, and total absence of any ethical or moral standards. People like Joseph Wilson swim around in this river all day and all night, occasionally bumping into members of the amerikan communist party and its affiliate the American Democrat Party and on hot days in the summer you can smell the stench they create almost as far away as Baltimore.

These people are working for the downfall of America, and all it stands for, and they will stop at nothing until they are successful. They have sullied our country, our system of laws and government, and worst of all, they don't even have anything better to offer as an alternative.

They spend so much time existing in sewage that they think of it as normal.

We have a great country, and we have the best form of government to exist thus far in the history of man. We have a great capital city to administer and represent this government, but unfortunately for us all, a river - of sludge - runs through it.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Middle East Checkerboard? Or Tsunami Over Israel?

When I speak on the Vietnam War to college classes and community groups I like to show a map of the world as it was in 1916 before the Bolshevik Revolution that toppled the Tsars in Russia. Then by coloring in the countries that fell to communism in red on additional maps, I can show how far the communists' control had spread by 1940, 1950 and 1960, both in terms of land mass and populations under their control.

It helps explain why the free world was so fearful of communism with its record of atrocities and genocide, and why we ended up fighting for so long in Vietnam.

That same approach can be useful in explaining our presence in Iraq, and what we really stand to lose if we just leave and let the whole region erupt in conflagration.

If you make a map of the Middle East in 1999 and color in friendly (to us) countries in red, and our enemies in black, you would see a solid black mass from Syria through Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan until you get to Pakistan which would have been seen as somewhat friendly to us, but not necessarily a completely trusted ally. Pakistan, Jordan and Lebanon would be colored in alternating red and black stripes indicating that some people there are friendly to us and others hate our guts.

On the Mediterranean side Israel would have been solidly in our camp, as would Saudi Arabia, although there is much to be said about whether that support is solid and across the board.

But after 9-11, and our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, you see the potential for a completely different Middle East. In that scenario, the region looks like a checkerboard with black spaces, our enemies, alternating with red spaces, our allies.
And if you take a good look at that scenario, you will notice that our major enemy, Iran, is bracketed by our allies. Works out nicely for us doesn't it?

Now, if we just leave Iraq, or if we had never invaded Iraq, all my previous columns about Abu Al Zarqawi setting up a new terrorism launching pad there notwithstanding, what you have is a region that is solidly black, and a mindset in the terrorism ranks that says "Attack, attack, attack!"

Not only would the terrorists have an unlimited supply of suicide (homicide) bombers to carry out their marketplace and car bomb attacks, they also would have an energized supply of recruits for more conventional attacks. There is nothing like controlling both the landscape and the media to convince uneducated young men and women to sacrifice themselves in jihad.

(This, by the way, is exactly opposite the situation in America where our military is not only highly educated, but those serving have unimpeded access to all forms of media including the internet, and can read about and debate all sides of all issues to their hearts' content.)

If we just left, not only would attacks in Afghanistan increase exponentially in both number and ferocity, America would see an almost immediate upsurge in terrorist activity. Sleeper cells in the US which even now are working to arm themselves with the materials to wage war in our homes, would emerge and America would suddenly awaken to a new and infinitely more dangerous world. The Democrats would blame George Bush, naturally, and the leftists among them would preach appeasement, none of which would solve the problem.

But long before we got to that point, Middle Eastern terrorists would converge on Israel like a tidal wave. Figure that if we withdrew from Iraq and let all this happen it would mean that our government has been taken over by the forces that now clamor for withdrawal, thus the Israelis would not be able to automatically count on the US for assistance and would be forced to fight alone.

You can bet that would result in the use of nuclear weapons, on both sides if Iran is allowed to go nuclear as its president wants, and the entire region would become more of a killing field than it is now.

I realize that not everyone agrees with this scenario, and in this group I include some friends and acquaintances who also are combat vets, some of whom are highly decorated. Their reasons for disagreeing on this - and more particularly the wisdom of the current increase in troops and the anticipated offensive they will launch in Baghdad and other areas of Iraq - are varied.

Some say the war there has been mishandled from the start and the new offensive won't work; others dislike George Bush for reasons that may or may not have anything to do with the war; others say we haven't done enough on the diplomatic front; and still others say "to hell with the Middle East, who cares if they blow each other up?"

Well, I care. First any region-wide war there will not be confined just to countries like Iraq and Iran. Second, the Islamo-fascists on both sides of the divide will use any war as an excuse to attack Israel with the results I outlined above. Rather than being seen as a strong country that can and will win a war with them, the terrorist leaders will use our withdrawal to show that the US is weak, timid, and ripe for attack from within and without.

On the diplomatic front, I agree that we should be working nonstop to bring the Iraqi factions together, but I don't think we can or should be talking to some regional leaders there, especially in Iran. A point was made on the Sunday morning talk shows last week that Iran was with us in helping deal with post-invasion Afghanistan, and that Iran could and should be part of the solution in Iraq.

I disagree. In 2001 Iran's president was Mohammad Khatami, who may not have been the most moderate person in the Middle East but was one hell of a lot better than Green Bean Almandine, AKA Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was elected president in 2005 and has been spewing hatred and threats against everyone who is not him ever since. Dealing with Khatami was possible. Dealing with Almandine is not.

George Bush agreeing to talk to Green Bean would be like Franklin Roosevelt talking to Hitler. Remember what happened when England's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain talked to and came to agreement with Hitler in 1938? Hitler suckered Chamberlain and the rest of the European appeasers, used the time he bought to further build his forces and ended up invading everyone on the continent.

Green Bean even says there was no holocaust in World War II and probably thinks of Hitler as a hero and father figure. Of course in Green Bean's world the Holocaust probably didn't happen because in his mind slaughtering Jews by the millions is not a bad thing.

But to the mentally stable citizens of planet Earth it is a horrible, unspeakably reprehensible event and should never be repeated. And for the anti-Semitic crowd, remember this - whatever happens to Israel today will be happening to you tomorrow. And if you aren't a Muslim extremist by birth, nationality, race and gender, your ass is grass and the terrorists will be playing lawn mower.

Also, despite the World Terrorist Media and its local affiliate the American Terrorist Media crowing about how many votes the Iranian president garnered in the last election we have to remember that in Iran the Council of Guardians decides who can run. To even qualify for consideration candidates must be male Muslims who never served in any post under the late Shah, and are loyal to the Islamic Republic. Pretty much narrows the field. In fact, it pretty much says who will get elected.

It not only would be futile for George Bush to talk to a nut job like Green Bean, it would be seen in the terrorist world as a capitulation by the west and Almandine would be elevated in their eyes to a status for which he doesn't qualify and should not be granted. Simultaneously, President Bush's status would drop precipitously, not only in the eyes of the terrorists but also to the Middle Eastern fence-sitters who are waiting to see which leader will emerge as the strongest.

That would spell disaster for us.

So while I understand and welcome the debate on this issue, because debate of this nature is the sign of a healthy democracy, I am solidly behind the president and the troops. I believe in our armed forces, and I maintain that if they are allowed to do their job, without the restraint of asinine Rules of Engagement that make victory all but impossible, they will prevail.

Once they have done their job, and have killed or captured the extremists on all sides who are working to create havoc inside Iraq, the political process will have a real opportunity to succeed, terrorism will have taken a major hit, and we can start to seriously talk about bringing home the troops without fear of mayhem after we leave.

Checkers anyone?
Sunday, February 04, 2007

John Kerry, International Piranha, Dumps on India's Pariahs; Senate Resolution Stabs Troops in the Back

Let's start today with the never-ending saga of John Kerry the international piranha.

Yes, yes, I know he was in Europe last week, once again grabbing the spotlight to accuse the United States of being an international Pariah. But in my view HE is an international Piranha, gobbling up every possible opportunity to disparage our country and our way of life, probably because we collectively failed to see the wisdom of electing him President For Life.

And once again, Kerry shows off his no-longer-so-latent racism by using a racial epithet to criticize us. Oh, you didn't know that Pariah is a racial epithet? Well, allow me to retort. (Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction.)

Pariahs are members of the "untouchable" caste, the lowest possible class of human existence in India's outlawed but still functioning caste system, primarily in the southern section of that country, where millions and millions and millions and millions of Pariahs live. How do you think it made them feel to have John Kerry use their social and ethnic identity to say the worst possible thing he could say about the United States?

Did he give even a second's thought to how those millions and millions and millions and millions of Pariahs might feel about that? How do you think it made all the Pariah mothers feel when their children got home from working in the international Information Technology industry and turned on the BBC to watch their very existence being disparaged by a United States Senator, self-proclaimed war hero and unsuccessful candidate for President?

Don't believe me? Well then, allow me to quote from the scholarly works of Dr. Iniyan Elango (a.k.a.) R.S. Sridhar copyrighted in 1998 and updated in 2001. The following is posted on the Global African Presence web site.

"Every time the international English and British media use the word "Pariah" to attribute the meaning of "outcast" or "shunned" to anybody or anything, all real Pariah people who can read English cringe in humiliation and wonder whether they will be excused if literary liberty is taken by them to use the word "English", "American" or "British" to collectively convey the meaning of "ignorant bigots".

The real "Pariah" (or "Pariar") people are a large indigenous tribal group in the Tamil Nadu state of South India who are physically, religiously and socially segregated as "outcasts" and "untouchables" by the Hindu majority along with two hundred million other similarly "outcast" people who are collectively referred to as "Dalits". The Hindus themselves are hierarchically divided into a step ladder structure of upper and lower castes, but, the hierarchically divided "caste" Hindus collectively discriminate and segregate the "outcast" indigenous Dalits of whom the Pariahs are prominent members.

The English language mindlessly institutionalized the bigotry of Hindus by usurping the tribal name of the Pariah people to convey the degrading meaning attributed to the Pariahs by the bigoted Hindus."

Way to go Kerry? Screwed up again didn't you? What's with you anyway? Do think that just because Pariahs live in India and don't vote in the United States that you can use them for doormats?

What kind of international status do you claim for yourself after such an unthinking and outright stupid remark?

Where is the outrage over Kerry's blatant racial stereotyping? Where are the speeches of condemnation on the Senate floor? Where are the media moguls, especially left-leaning communist sympathizers, dumping all over his latest faux pas like a Rocky Mountain avalanche?

Are we to believe that while it is inappropriate to make racial slurs against descendants of African slaves brought to America against their will, it is nonetheless appropriate to make similar disparaging remarks against people of Indian ancestry who were forced into a slave-like social existence due merely to the circumstances of their birth?

Where are the New York Times and the Washington Post, the AP and all the television networks? If former Virginia Senator George Allen can get hammered for using an obscure racial stereotype in last year's Senate race against Jim Webb, (and I agree, it was totally inappropriate for Allen to make that comment) then Kerry should be on his hands and knees begging forgiveness for this blatant, unthinking, unfeeling scornful use of a racial slur.

But once again, the comment was made by a communist sympathizer, and once again, the World Terrorist Media and its local affiliate the American Terrorist Media give him a pass.

This guy has bashed American troops, South Vietnamese troops, Israel and by extension the Jewish religion, and the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, all with impunity. But let any member of the aforementioned groups commit a slip of the tongue and Whammo! the media is all over them like bees on honey.

I mentioned these points previously, and I'll say it again. Israel is our primary defense against a global wave of terrorism that threatens to engulf all we hold valuable, and the Swift Boat vets were pilloried by the ATM for doing exactly what they should have done.

I once told a leader of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that I believe I had it a tad easier flying gunner in Marine helicopters than they did on the rivers, because we could alter our flight path in a heartbeat, and had three-dimensional maneuverability. The Swift Boats were relegated to a predictable path, a river, where it was far easier to mount an ambush against them knowing exactly where and how they would be forced to maneuver.

My feelings about the Swift Boat vets match my feelings for the 'grunts' - the infantry and supporting units. They are the best, the finest examples of American spirit and valor and I stand in awe of them.

Yet they have spent an entire generation being disparaged by the likes of Kerry and the American Terrorist Media, while he passes himself off as the cream of western society. But Mr. Genius once again manages to insult millions of people in the international community that he so vocally claims to be in tune with, primarily because he is ignorant and self-absorbed.

Way to go Kerry. What are you going to do next?

Senate Irresolution.

Believe it or not, this brings me to the subject of the so-called Consensus of the Senate resolution, or should I say, resolutions, that are the topic of such heated debated and commentary of late.

The essence of this debate is that the Democrats and some Republican turncoats in the Senate want to pass a resolution condemning President Bush's change of strategy in which he is sending more than 20,000 infantry into Iraq, mostly Baghdad to take out the bad guys. The Senate Democrats and the Republican turncoats gave unanimous approval to Bush's choice to lead the charge, but also want to put themselves on record as opposing the charge.

What an unspeakably opportunistic, spineless crock! Who do these people think they are kidding?

The claim from the supporters of this movement is that they are voicing disapproval with the president and his policy, but at the same time supporting the troops. In a word BULL!

What really is going on is the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-gas blowing Senate is hedging its collective bets. As Arizona Sen. John McCain said this weekend, the Senate is really voting no confidence in the troops.

McCain knows better. He has seen the grunts in action and knows their capabilities. He knows what I and most other American veterans know. Give our guys a clear objective, give them the equipment, manpower and backing to achieve it and they will move heaven and earth to get it done.

Don't weigh them down with incomprehensible Rules of Engagement and don't let the diplomats and bureaucrats have a say in anything they are doing until the battle is won. Believe me, you can bet the farm on our guys, they will not let this country down because they won't let each other down.

But the US Senate is saying it does not have faith in our fighting men and women. The US Senate is saying that it has never studied the real battle history of Vietnam, because if it had, the senators would bet on our guys and be 100 percent vocal in their support.

My prediction? The 'surge' works, the Iraqis get a chance to work out their very real and very volatile religious, ethnic and political differences, and Iraq is far less of an issue in 2008 than it is now. And these inane 'consensus' issues will be about as useful as used toilet paper.

Want to win in 2008? Get a handle on this immigration situation, stop sending good men to prison for shooting at smugglers and border crashers, and start showing the American public you are listening to their concerns. That is how you win in 2008.

In the meantime, these resolutions are the ultimate proof of a lack of faith in and support for the American military in general and the individual troops in particular. If I was planning on running for national office in 2008 I would pray that my opponent votes 'Aye' on one of these resolutions. Then I would wage a campaign showing the resolution and my opponent's picture next to it in the area media every single week with the word 'hypocrite' as a headline.

Out in America-land we don't like people who talk out of both sides of their mouth at once. At the moment, that includes better than half of the US Senate. Hopefully, it will never reach 60 percent of the US Senate.


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