Monthly Archives: May 2012

On Memorial Day, the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. is supposed to look like this – But instead looked like this for 7 hours

On Memorial Day, the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. is supposed to look like this:

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/nation-honors-memorial-day-slideshow/people-visit-vietnam-veterans-memorial-wall-memorial-day-photo-205128239.html

Instead, for seven long hours, it looked like this:

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/us-president-barack-obama-slideshow/u-secret-agents-watch-crowd-during-president-obamas-photo-202616407.html

Obama’s secret service shut down the memorial for most of the day, as families and veterans who had come to pay their respects to fallen loved ones were forced to stay hundreds of feet away.

Why? So that the Narcissist-in-Chief could show up for 15-minute speech and photo-op with his carefully selected fans in the audience.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/us-president-barack-obama-slideshow/u-president-obama-delivers-remarks-during-observance-50th-photo-204626260.html

In his campaign speech remarks, Obama made sure to mention that:

“As long as I’m president, we will make sure you and your loved ones will receive the benefits you’ve earned and the respect you deserve,” Obama said. “America will be there for you.”

Wow. How did our veterans ever get their benefits before the benevolent Obamessiah came to office? Is that his argument for why they should vote for him? Because their benefits are only available “as long as I’m president?” Perhaps he’s hoping they’ll forget that he suspended hazard pay for deployed U.S. troops, terminated 157 Air Force Majors without retirement benefits, and proposed a budget that would cut healthcare benefits for active duty and retired US military while protecting union benefits.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/us-president-barack-obama-slideshow/u-president-obama-wife-stand-onstage-vice-president-photo-204329848.html

Continue reading

US Marine Nick Popaditch’s amazing Memorial Day speech

Suicides and Guilt as Manifestations of PTSD

Suicides and Guilt as Manifestations of PTSD.

Memorial Day Tribute 2012

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on all our fallen veterans.

They served our Country let us pause this day to remember there service.

“The Fallen….But Not Forgotten.”

Mansions of The Lord 3 mix 2

A MARINE’S MARINE

H/T to Sgt. Timothy Harrington for sharing this

Cody Green was a 12-year kid in Indiana who was diagnosed with
leukemia at 22 months old. He loved the Marines, and his parents said he
drew strength and courage from the Marine Corps. as …he bravely fought the
battle into remission three times. Although he was cancer-free at the time,
the chemotherapy had lowered his immune system and he developed a fungus
infection that attacked his brain. Two weeks ago, as he struggled to fend
off that infection in the hospital, the Marines wanted to show how much they
respected his will to live, his strength, honor and courage. They presented
Cody with Marine navigator wings and named him an honorary member of the
United States Marine Corps. For one Marine, that wasnt enough … so that
night, before Cody Green passed away, he took it upon himself to stand guard
at Codys hospital door all night long, 8 hours straight.

Nowhere on the face of this planet is there a country so blessed
as we to have men and women such as this. I wish I could personally tell
this Marine how proud he makes me to be an American. God … I do so love
this country.

Documentary : Pennslyvania National Guard spent 9 months in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, a place much more hostile than I think any of us expected

WTH? Army forces in Afghanistan must obtain “warrants” to enter local homes before setting out on combat missions

Army Times

An Afghan policeman searches for weapons in a building while American soldiers cover him on April 8 in Afghanistan. U.S. soldiers must now obtain permission from the Afghani government before entering locals' homes.

Combat warrants limit raids, cause worry over leaks

By John Ryan – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday May 22, 2012 11:14:19 EDT

Army forces in Afghanistan must obtain “warrants” to enter local homes before setting out on combat missions, causing concern among soldiers and Afghan forces over potential leaks that could imperil missions.

As NATO forces take a back seat in operations, the Afghan government now bans some U.S. conventional forces from running independent raids and mandates that U.S. forces share operational details with joint coordination cells, said Maj. Joe Buccino, an Army spokesman in Paktika province.

The National Directorate of Security in Afghanistan oversees warrant processes conducted by both American and Afghan forces.

Though corruption has long plagued Afghan governmental agencies, a risk of leaks must be considered in the context of the U.S. transition of control to Afghans, Buccino said.

“We are now in a stage of the mission in Afghanistan where Afghans have got to be doing the security,” he said. “If that means we assume risk with operational security, then we do so. We are no longer at the point in Afghanistan where the capture of one group of high-value targets is going to turn the tide of the war.

“Americans don’t just ask for permission and then go hit these targets,” he added. “We plan and rehearse with our Afghan partners, so the hazard of leaked information is inherent in the entire process.”

Neither the Afghan government nor NATO has released details about a combat warrant system. The Afghan Ministry of Interior has not answered repeated emails and calls from Army Times.

A similar warrant-based system was enacted by the U.S. military and Iraqi government during the closing months of the Iraq War.

In March, the Afghanistan coalition commander mentioned the Iraq system while testifying about night raids to the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington.

Marine Gen. John Allen, the International Security Assistance Force commander, lauded a system agreed upon by the U.S. and Iraqi governments during the Iraq War in late 2008.

“That system was successful, but it was successful because we were able to streamline the judicial process in ways that supported the operations rather than impeded the operations,” he said.

The agreement in Iraq came more than a year and a half after a historic troop surge and as the U.S. moved to an “advise and assist” role during the war’s final stage, called Operation New Dawn.

In Afghanistan, outrage by locals and politicians over night raids led to a memorandum of understanding signed by U.S. forces and the Afghan government that shifted control of “special operations” and night raids to Afghan officials.

“The MOU has just codified what was already taking place for months: the transition to Afghan control of all security operations and, in this case, special operations,” Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, a coalition spokesman, said in an email to Army Times. “These are Afghan-led special operations and they have been doing this for months … and it has not hindered or slowed the ability of the U.S./Afghan forces in conducting their operations.”

The MOU specified that the Afghan Operational Coordination Groups would approve special operations in the war zone, and Afghan forces would carry out missions with help from U.S. forces, according to the Defense Department.

The MOU was signed less than a year after President Obama announced the U.S. would reduce troop levels that were boosted by a surge in 2010.

Until the MOU, the U.S. and Afghan forces had partnered for more than 95 percent of night operations, Cummings said.

In 2011, ISAF conducted about 2,200 night special operations and “in 90 percent of those cases, we did not fire a single shot,” Cummings said. Civilian casualties occurred in fewer than 35 cases, he added.

The NATO ISAF in Afghanistan is training 12 “Afghan Strike Forces,” he said. Afghans are supposed to lead all operations by the end of 2014.

“The Afghan special operations units have developed at extraordinary speed and are manned by courageous and capable operators,” Allen said in an April release from the Pentagon. “We also recognize the growing capacity of the Afghan judicial system, which will play a vital part not only in the implementation of this agreement but also in the lives of Afghan citizens.”

Afghanistan; America’s Willful Deception

Let Them Fight Or Bring Them Home

American Thinker, John Bernard 16 May 2012
The battlefield is as fluid as diplomatic efforts to shape the outcome are convoluted.  While diplomacy during peacetime can be described as the efforts between two national representatives to overcome obstacles to a good, healthy and mutually productive relationship, diplomacy during hostilities cannot.  “Diplomatic efforts” during an ongoing conflict are at best an oxymoron.  The failure of two parties to work out problems with one another is what leads to war and if war is the ultimate outcome of a failure of diplomacy then it stands to reason that the successful outcome of the war can only be defined when one warring nation capitulates to the battle field prowess of the other.
Our current struggles in Afghanistan have been defined and redefined so many times that it is little wonder that civilian support for the effort here in the United States has waned.  What is truly amazing is that the level of morale in the ranks of our War Fighting community has remained as high as it has.  High morale is not however an accurate indicator of how our military views our successes on this battlefield especially at this point in history.  The reason it does not is because this is one of the only times in our history when a draft has not been used to maintain numbers in the ranks.  Those who have served both in Iraq and Afghanistan have done so willingly and their overall perception of time served is generally more positive than that of conscripts.
Americans have grown accustomed to hearing reports emanating from government officials that do not line up with reports coming in from the battlefield through media outlets and from other sources with boots on the ground.  Every piece of information delivered to the American public flows through a government filter to insure consistency with the narrative.  In addition the administration’s proxy, the Pentagon has decided that elements of certain kinds of information should be sequestered to insure the state narrative continues untarnished by pesky details.
Even the lexicon has morphed to reflect the changing opinions of the current “visionary”.  While success on the battlefield has historically been defined as victory, even the word battlefield has been carefully expunged from the public dialogue.  Success has been coopted by “compromise” and victory remanded to the dustbin of unacceptable words and phrases. Enemy Prisoners of War (EPW) are now future leaders in the new coalition government envisioned by the luminaries in DC. General Grade Officers have been carefully selected for their willingness to capture the vision and then translate it into conduct on the battlefield that reflects the intent of their Commander in Chief. Continue reading

Leavenworth Ten: Are These Soldiers Really “Murderers”?

Posted at  Diana West

Here I am again in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C., the highest appeals court for the U.S. military. Last month, I was here to cover Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna’s final appeal. Now I am waiting for Army Sgt. Evan Vela’s final appeal to begin. I glance over at Evan’s father, Curtis Carnahan, and Evan’s wife, Alyssa, sitting together in the otherwise empty first row, and I can’t believe it’s been more than four years since Curtis first emailed me:

“I am Sgt. Evan Vela’s father. I do not know if you have followed my son’s case, but some people have drawn similarities between the Luttrell situation and Evan’s.”

Curtis was referring to Marcus Luttrell, whose 2007 best-seller “Lone Survivor” tells of four Navy SEALs, Luttrell among them, whose 2005 mission in Afghanistan was compromised when two unarmed Afghan goatherds discovered the SEALs hiding deep in Taliban territory. I had written a column discussing the excruciating fact that the thought of being brought up on legal charges in a military court back home weighed so heavily on these young Americans’ minds that they decided not to save their own lives and their mission by killing the two Afghans, but rather to take their chances against the veritable Taliban army the pair would summon against them.

“It was the stupidest, most Southern-fried, lame-brain decision I ever made in my life,” Luttrell later wrote of his decisive vote to let the two Afghans go. As a result of the decision the SEALs made on an Afghan mountaintop far from any courthouse, 19 Americans — Luttrell’s three SEAL teammates and 16 more special forces — would be killed that same day.

But no one went to court.

In Evan’s case, the leader of his elite sniper squad chose the other path. It was May 2007, in insurgent-controlled Iskandariyah, Iraq. When an unarmed Iraqi man compromised the team’s “hide” and refused to cooperate quietly, the team leader chose not to risk drawing local insurgents to their position, but instead ordered Evan to kill the man. As a result of this decision, all of our soldiers came home that day.

But then they went to court. Long saga short, Evan Vela became the only soldier convicted of the killing. He was sentenced to 10 years at Fort Leavenworth military prison — the shortest sentence of the so-called Leavenworth 10, as Curtis reminded me this week, using the nickname for a group of veterans who are incarcerated for a variety of desperate, blurry, fog-of-war shootings.

Listening to the procedural review of Evan’s case, I am struck again by the ghastly surrealism of their plight — the penalties the U.S. government has forced on its most dutiful sons for not committing, in effect, suicide as the Navy SEALs did in choosing to escape prison rather than death.

Meanwhile, literally thousands of incarcerated terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have been granted clemency or otherwise found their freedom. Recently, Ali Musa Daqduq, a Hezbollah mastermind who confessed to kidnapping, torturing and killing five American soldiers in 2007, walked free in Iraq. In December 2011, President Obama turned over Daqduq to an Iraqi court, which released him this month. According to the most basic moral calculus, this is neither fair nor right. As Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida recently wrote to President Obama, it’s an “utter betrayal.”

I steal another glance at the Carnahans, now focused on the court proceedings. Like the other Leavenworth families, they have been counting off the years by trials, appeals, clemency boards and pleas for congressional support. Back in early 2009, there were flutters in the news about a possible pardon for Evan from outgoing President Bush. Then nothing. No pardon. Which was, to my mind, unpardonable. George W. Bush should have pardoned Evan and the other soldiers, now prisoners, whom he ordered into a confusing, rules-restricted war against an army without uniforms on a battlefield without lines.

And so, the Leavenworth 10 sit in prison: Michael Behenna, Corey Clagett, John Hatley, William Hunsaker, Larry Hutchins, Michael Leahy, Joseph Mayo, Michael Williams, Evan Vela. Newcomer Derrick Miller has joined them. Miller last year drew a life sentence after unsuccessfully claiming self-defense in the killing of a suspected Afghan insurgent who had penetrated his defensive perimeter.

Memorial Day — the day we mourn our war dead — is coming. President Obama, give these men another chance at life. Pardon them.