May 31, 2004
Sgt. Smith's 'Final Resistance'
During the battle at Baghdad airport on April 4, 2003, the only thing that stood between 100 Fadayeen Saddam fighters and 200 American soldiers was 33-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith. Writing in VFW magazine, Janie Blankenship tells Sgt. Smith's story:
On April 4, 2003, during the battle for Baghdad International Airport, Smith was in the gunner's hatch of an armored personnel carrier. He also was the target for bullets coming from an Iraqi Fedayeen unit of nearly 100 fighters. Having served in the Gulf War of 1991, Smith was no stranger to combat.
He protected some 200 U.S. soldiers behind him. Pfc. Jonathan Seaman was crouched inside the driver's hatch handing boxes of ammunition up to Smith. After handing off the fourth box of ammo, Seaman said the shooting stopped and Smith's body collapsed lifelessly into the tank. He had been shot through the neck and ultimately, had taken one for the team.
A member of 2nd Plt., B Co., 11th Engineers, 3rd Inf. Div., Smith was 33 when he was killed. The division has nominated him for the Medal of Honor. At press time, the final decision was pending with the Department of the Army.
According to the draft of the citation, Smith's actions killed 20-50 Iraqis, allowed the wounded to be evacuated and saved possibly 100 lives.
"His was the final resistance," Lt. Col. Thomas P. Smith, commander of the 11th Engineer Battalion, told the New York Times. "After that the enemy was unable to attack again."
Smith left a wife, Birgit, and two children. The day he was killed Birgit wrote him a brief letter and had mailed it just hours before the uniformed men came to deliver the devastating news.
"Not in a million years did I dream he wouldn't come home," Birgit told the Savannah Morning News. "Not my perfect soldier."
To many, including those in his platoon, Smith was nearly perfect. He provided his men with harsh advice about war based on his previous combat experience. "I knew he was a guy who wouldn't let us down," said Pfc. Gary Evans.
We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose, among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic.
If other eyes grow dull and other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.
Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation's gratitude--the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.
--Gen. John A. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, ordering the decoration of graves of Civil War soldiers on May 30, 1868
May 21, 2004
Who Is Janis "Wiggum" Karpinski?
With all the overkill news coverage of the Abu Ghraib matter, Janis Karpinski's name should be a household word.
But it's not.
Jack Wheeler, writing in today's Washington Times, explains why:
We know conclusively that the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal is as phony as a Bill Clinton sex denial because there are no calls for the resignation of the one individual most responsible for the abuses.
That would be the officer in charge of Abu Ghraib and all U.S. military prisons in Iraq, the commander of the 800th Military Police Brigade, Army Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski. And why have there been no calls for her resignation? Let's be honest. It is because she is a woman.
Thus the frightening lesson of the abuse scandal: Political correctness trumps national security, even in wartime.
Yes, Democratic demagogues are willing to sacrifice America's national security, to trash the morale and honor of American soldiers risking their lives in Iraq and lose the war on terrorism in order to defeat President Bush in November, so they use the abuse scandal as an excuse to go after Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. But be assured that if Gen. Karpinski was a man, demands for his accountability would be loud and clear.
It would be expected that if Gen. Karpinski were a man, he would have taken those demands like a man. But Gen. Karpinski is not and so has not. She has taken them like a woman — whining, making excuses and complaining that it's not her fault, that she's being "scapegoated."
In fact, we owe the entire Abu Ghraib scandal to the leadership failure and gross incompetence of Janis Karpinski and to her superiors' fear of doing anything about her ineptitude because she is a woman.
And not only is Karpinski a shitty commander, she's also a fucking idiot. Get this:
Near the town of Mahawil in southern Iraq, U.S. Marines uncovered a mass gravesite holding the remains of some 15,000 Iraqis. They were slaughtered for taking part in the Shia uprising against Saddam Hussein in the early 1990s. Saddam's agent responsible for conducting the mass killings was Mohammed Jawad Anayfas; the grave site is on land owned by him.
In July 2003, Mr. Anayfas was captured by U.S. forces and turned over to the Military Police Brigade under Gen. Karpinski's command. The Brigade Headquarters managed to lose his paperwork. So instead of contacting her superiors, Gen. Karpinski ordered Mr. Anayfas set free. Soon thereafter, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz came to Iraq and visited the Mahawil gravesite, where he was informed by Marine Lt. Gen. James Conway how outraged the local Iraqis were over Mr. Anayfas' release. Visibly upset, Mr. Wolfowitz vowed Mr. Anayfas would be recaptured and tried as a war criminal. Mr. Anayfas is still at large, and Gen. Karpinski received no reprimand.
When confronted by the Iraqi public outcry for Mr. Anayfas — only one of several war criminals whose paperwork was lost that she released — Gen. Karpinski proceeded to evade responsibility and fabricated an entire string of deceptive excuses — just like she is doing now.
This is further proof that Life imitates The Simpsons. In one episode, Springfield's moronic, lazy-ass police chief, Clancy Wiggum, is overseeing a prison work-release detail. Among the prisoners is the diabolical criminal mastermind, Sideshow Bob. Bob has escaped unnoticed and commences plotting a nuclear attack on Springfield. As the prisoners are boarding the bus for the trip back to jail, Wiggum finally notices that something is askew:
Chief Wiggum: Hey, where is Sideshow Bob and that guy who, uh, eats people and takes their faces?
Prisoner Who Eats People: (cheerfully) I'm right here, chief!
Chief Wiggum: Oh. Then where's Sideshow Bob?
Another Prisoner: Ehh, he ran off.
Chief Wiggum: Oh, great. Well, if anyone asks, uh...I beat him to death, OK?
Officer Lou: Right.
The bus pulls away, leaving Sideshow Bob behind.
In another episode, Wiggum answers an emergency phone call. Not wanting to be bothered, he tells the caller, "Uh, you've got the wrong number. This is 9-1-2," and hangs up.
Janis Karpinski's incompetence is not only cartoonish in its magnitude, it is criminal. She should be in jail.
May 18, 2004
9-11 Commission Hindsight
The 9-11 Commission is nitpicking New York City's emergency response to the September attacks. The AP reports that the commission has concluded that emergency personnel "on Sept. 11 were forced to make rapid-fire, life-and-death decisions based on incomplete communications."
That's a laugh coming from an agency of the same federal government that repeatedly failed to prevent the attack in the first place. And just how is it possible to not have "incomplete communications" with a surprise attack of that magnitude?
The fact is, the only level of government which did not fail the people of New York on September 11, 2001 was their local government. Considering the size and nature of the attack and the tens of thousands of people evacuated that day from the twin towers and the surrounding area, it's a miracle thousands more didn't die.
What took place that day in the plaza after the attack was the greatest rescue in history--no thanks to the civilian agencies of the federal government.
"I, Frank, Take Thee, Bob ..."
Now that the state judiciary has cleared the way for same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, the AP reports, "hundreds of gay and lesbian couples ... obtained marriage licenses Monday."
What the AP doesn't mention is the widespread confusion among wedding attendees as to which side of the church to be seated.
Considering the other issues facing America, it's difficult to give a damn about this one except on the following two points. First, it's a fundamental violation of the doctrine of separation of powers for a judiciary to write law. And second, it's a proven disaster to address any cultural disputes -- i.e. alcohol prohibition, abortion, flag burning and same-sex marriage -- with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
This is an issue for "the people" to address through their own state's legislative processes, as the 10th Amendment clearly directs.
But here's a couple questions for the gay couples who ran to the altar en masse in Mass (feel free to boo that) yesterday. Prior to the court's decision yesterday, who or what stopped you from making a liftime, exclusive commitment to one another? And what does a marriage license give you now that you couldn't have before Monday?
Prediction: once the novelty and the attenting-getting nature of same-sex marriages wears off, the amount of applications by gay couples for a wedding license will be nil.
May 17, 2004
Holy, Holier, Holiest
Whenever a mosque in Iraq is even slightly caught in the crossfire, the news wire services have a seizure--even if the mosque is actually a terrorist base. The headlines always blare "U.S. Armor Damages Holy Shrine" or "American Forces Invade Sacred City" or some similar shit.
This anti-U.S. propaganda-disguised-as-news from the leftist eurofucks at Reuters is a case in point. (Emphasis is mine.)
Holiest Shi'ite Shrine Seen Damaged After Battle
Aides to militant Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr blamed U.S. tank fire Friday for three small holes that appeared in the vast gilded dome of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrine, the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf.
Qais al-Khazali, Sadr's chief spokesman, showed the damage to journalists after six hours of heavy fighting in which U.S. armor advanced for the first time onto sacred ground in its confrontation with Sadr's Mehdi Army militia.
The holes, high above the ground, were on the side of the dome facing Najaf's vast cemetery, where U.S. tanks stormed in to attack guerrilla positions hidden among the tombs ...
Now, get a load of this next paragraph:
But it was not possible for Reuters correspondents at the scene to determine when or how the damage was caused.
Ummmm, then why report it? And if was impossible for the Reuters doofs to tell "when or how the damage was caused," then why compose a headline that suggests the damage wasn't there before the battle?
Back to Reuters:
The damaged shrine is dedicated to Imam Ali, the 7th century Muslim leader whose descendants founded the Shi'ite branch of Islam. There was also fighting close to other important Shi'ite shrines in the holy city of Kerbala, 30 miles away. About 250 Sadr fighters paraded before the Imam Ali mosque during a lull in Friday's battle chanting "Long live, Moqtada!."
Khazali renewed promises of retribution against the U.S. forces that he said had crossed a "red line" onto sacred ground. "There are no red lines left now that the Imam Ali shrine, our holy of holies, has been violated," he said.
Wow. Those intrepid Reuters newshounds sure are tenacious. It takes a keen nose for news and a total dedication to their craft to track down "three small holes" in a mosque wall.
The most disturbing aspect of this non-story is the reaction of the commanding U.S. general of American forces in Najaf. Major General Martin Dempsey "repeated that his forces were trying to avoid damaging holy places." This is what subjugating military strategy to political correctness has wrought--an American general assuring the enemy that we'll be extra careful not to damage their belongings. Some war, huh? The citizens of 1945 Tokyo and Berlin would probably find it odd that a few tiny holes in a wall merit such handwringing.
(What the general should've said is, "Look at it this way, American forces made the holy mosque a bit hole-ier.)
Reuters, the AP and other news bureaus that wet themselves whenever Islamic religious sites and cities get caught in the crossfire should consider that those places are no more holy or sacred than the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, four American commercial airliners and the lives of nearly 3,000 people.
May 14, 2004
The Democrats' Malleable Principles
Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post:
Democrats calling for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation invoke the principle of ministerial responsibility: a Cabinet secretary must take ultimate responsibility for what happens on his watch. Interesting idea. Where was it in 1993 when the attorney general of the United States ordered the attack on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco that ended in the death of 76 people?
Janet Reno went to Capitol Hill and said, ``It was my decision, and I take responsibility.'' This was met with approving swoons and applause. Was she made to resign? No. And remember: this was over an action that did not just happen on her watch, but that she ordered -- an action that resulted in the death of, among others, more than 20 children.
Given the fact that when they were in power Democrats had little use for the notion of ministerial responsibility, their sudden discovery of it over Abu Ghraib suggests that this has little to do with principle.
And these are the same "principled" Democrats who for 8 years pointed to Bill Clinton as a paragon of public virtue.
May 12, 2004
A Few Questions
Now that al-Qaeda vermin have beheaded an American and videotaped the event, can we expect expressions of outrage from the likes of Mr. Teresa Heinz, Pete Stark, Ted Kennedy, former (wink-wink) klansman Robert Byrd, and Tom Harkin?
Why aren't the news networks as eager to show the entire videotape as they were to display photographs from Abu Ghraib?
Considering that the Pentagon revealed five months ago that some U.S. military personnel were being investigated for prisoner mistreatment at Abu Ghraib, why did al-Qaeda goons wait until yesterday to react to it by murdering Nick Berg?
When Bush's political opponents in Congress and the press set out to damage his reelection chances last week by blowing the Abu Ghraib matter out of proportion, did they inadvertantly prompt al-Qaeda to add to Bush's domestic political problems by beheading Nick Berg?
Was al-Qaeda's videotaped murder of Nick Berg really an attempt to affect the outcome of the U.S. presidential election?
And how deeply disturbing is it that al-Qaeda terrorists and most Democrats both seek to prevent Bush's reelection?
Zell Zings The 17th
Last November, I posted my gripes about the Constitution's 17th Amendment which directs that U.S. senators be elected by the people of each state rather than by the state legislatures. A few excerpts:
As a representative body, the United States Senate lost its reason to exist in 1913 when the 17th Amendment was ratified ... The 17th Amendment made the Senate's representative function identical to that of the House of Representatives and rendered the Senate a redundant, purposeless legislative body ... The Founders' plan for a bicameral legislature that would represent both the people and each State's legislature and preserve the fundamentals of federalism was destroyed by the 17th Amendment.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that in late April a Democrat U.S. senator, Zell Miller of Georgia, formally proposed a constitutional amendment to repeal the 17th Amendment and restore the Founder's original plan for choosing senators.
As the AP reported on April 28:
[Miller] said Wednesday that rescinding the 17th Amendment, which declared that senators should be elected, would increase the power of state governments and reduce the influence of Washington special interests.
"The individuals are not so much at fault as the rotten and decaying foundation of what is no longer a republic," Miller said on the Senate floor. "It is the system that stinks. And it's only going to get worse because that perfect balance our brilliant Founding Fathers put in place in 1787 no longer exists."
The Constitution called for voters to directly elect members to the U.S. House but empowered state legislatures to pick senators. The aim was to create a bicameral Congress that sought to balance not only the influence of small and large states but also the influence of state and federal governments.
Miller said that balance was destroyed in 1913 with the ratification of the 17th Amendment.
Attaboy, Zell. Though passage of his resolution is highly unlikely, it's refreshing to see that least one senator has the cajones to speak the truth.
Bruce Bartlett of the National Center for Policy Analysis wrote a column this week praising Miller's proposed amendment. Check it out here. (Thanks to Hootie McBoob for bringing the Barlett column to my attention.)
May 11, 2004
As the buffoonish 9-11 Commission fades into well-deserved obscurity, Victor Davis Hanson provides in one essay everything the commission should report but never will. Hanson correctly asserts that the September 11, 2001 attacks are the direct consequence of the appeasement policies of pussy former president Jimmy Carter and his ilk.
Hanson traces the missteps:
What went wrong with the West--and with the United States in particular--when not just the classical but especially the recent antecedents to Sept. 11, from the Iranian hostage-taking to the attack on the USS Cole, were so clear? Though Americans in an election year, legitimately concerned about our war dead, may now be divided over the Iraqi occupation, polls nevertheless show a surprising consensus that the many precursors to the World Trade Center and Pentagon bombings were acts of war, not police matters. Roll the tape backward from the USS Cole in 2000, through the bombing of the U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998 and the Khobar Towers in 1996, the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the destruction of the American Embassy and annex in Beirut in 1983, the mass murder of 241 U.S. Marine peacekeepers asleep in their Lebanese barracks that same year, and assorted kidnappings and gruesome murders of American citizens and diplomats (including TWA Flight 800, Pan Am 103, William R. Higgins, Leon Klinghoffer, Robert Dean Stethem and CIA operative William Francis Buckley), until we arrive at the Iranian hostage-taking of November 1979: That debacle is where we first saw the strange brew of Islamic fascism, autocracy and Middle East state terrorism--and failed to grasp its menace, condemn it and go to war against it.
Read the rest of Hanson's brilliant essay here.
I'm finding it next to impossible to care about the Abu Ghraib prisoner controversy. Interrogation techniques are never pretty.
Do interrogators sometimes go overboard? Sure. But if forcing a terrorist to dress like a French milkmaid and scaring the bejesus out of him with a guard dog saves American lives, then I have one thing to say: "Genevieve, meet Fido. Fido, meet Genevieve."
May 07, 2004
The Iraqi prison brouhaha is the foreign policy equivalent of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. Since the alleged events entailed--gasp--nudity, many in Congress, especially Dems, are feigning outrage. (I guarantee you that if the photographs showed properly attired Iraqi criminals being subjected to fingernail extractions, there would have been little outrage.) So the fashionable thing to do in Congress this past week is to express outrage at the photographs, schedule hearings and demand apologies and resignations.
President Bush is apparently playing along, providing Congress with apologies and sending Secretary Rumsfeld to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the matter. Reuters reports that Rumsfeld's appearance is an attempt to "fight for his job." Obviously the terrorist-sympathizing Eurofucks in charge of Reuters don't know that a cabinet secretary serves at the president's pleasure and cannot be fired by Congress.
I have a question for congressional Democrats and their accomplices in the press: why weren't you as furious about the September attacks and the many terrorist attacks on Amerca in the 90s as you are about the alleged mistreatment of a handful of Iraqi criminals and terrorists?
May 02, 2004
While out for his usual jog in Washington at 9pm yesterday, really lousy Supreme Court Justice David Souter was assaulted by unidentified "young men," the AP reports.
The Ohio State University Athletic Department had no comment. Yet.
Turns out that Maurice Clarett isn't the only retard on Ohio State's football team. Louis Irizarry and Ira Guilford, both sophomores and returning lettermen, were arrested yesterday for assault and robbery. With characteristic understatedness, Coach Jim Tressel said "it appears likely" that Guilford and Irizarry "could lose their privilege to play for Ohio State in 2004." (Hey, Jim: if they're guilty, they should be subject to a helluva lot more than a one-season suspension. Sheesh.)
Memo to Irizarry and Guilford: hire Clarett's attorneys to sue the state of Ohio over the rules against robbery and assault.
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