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Today we are going to start the news with two posts from Iraq the Model (I recently found out there were two posts), Gregg Jackson’s articles about things we should know about Romney and some news from Stop the ACLU.

Omar is studying for his American degree (he is already well educated in Iraq), and he finally had a moment to write to us to let us know that both Mohammed and he are well. Oh my! I just went to get the permalink, and there is another post! (For those who are new to the term, ITM=Iraq the Model.)

Here is an excerpt from the second post:

One more important finding makes my suspicion stronger. Could it be a coincidence that the percentage that Libyan nationals make up of total foreign terrorists has spiked during 2007? According to recently captured documents that US military captured in Sinjar, a town west of Mosul, one fifth of foreign fighters who came to Iraq between in the year leading to August 2007 were Libyan nationals. Or could it be another coincidence that Libya covertly sponsored a satellite TV channel in Iraq that was going to launch in late 2006, the same time the Libyan “surge” started? This is a new and surprising figure that suggests that there’s an organized effort to recruit and send fighters from Libya to Iraq; an effort not easy to undertake in a repressive police state unless someone above the law is involved. [Continue reading.]

Gregg sends me e-mails often, and I lost one of those letters which I needed to make an arguement. So I asked him for a copy, and this is what he sent me: Family leaders call Romney ‘disaster’, and A Stern Warning to the “Conservative Elites” about Mitt Romney. These are powerful writings, and I would take heed to the advice.

Aha, but there is more. This one is from a different source. Massachusetts Healthcare Plan Costs Skyrocket, by Monisha Bansal. Ask yourself, “Do I want to become a slave?” That is just what happens when we give away our freedoms. The Trouble With Mitt Romney’s Pro-Life Conversion, by Deal W. Hudson. It is amazing how someone can support BOTH the adoption of frozen embryonic eggs AND the destruction of them for research. This one is surprising, “American Right To Life Rebukes Ann Coulter. Wow. They must be very strict, but who can blame them? The Truth must be made known to those who are too blind to see. Finally, Why I Don’t Trust Mitt Romney.

This last link answers many of the questions people may have about Mitt Romney. Full disclosure: that is, if you don’t trust him like I don’t.

This next article is about an amazing young man who started sending care packages to our Troops since the beginning of this war. His heart must be filled with gold, because his offerings to the Troops has blossumed! Please read the following:

Troops in the Spotlight – May 25th and 26th 2008
K-Mart Plaza Hyannis, MA
.

It is hard to believe that Troops in the Spotlight is just 4 months away!!! Plans are now under way but we can use your help. We are hoping that you can help get the word out – we are looking for businesses, schools, churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, community organization, and families to plan to do donation drives and/or fundraisers during the months of April and May; and then present their donations during Troops in the Spotlight. If you can help with this please let us know.

We are also looking for Airman, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard personnel who would be willing to participate during Troops in the Spotlight. Last year we raised almost $20,000. in cash donations and over 80,000. worth of supplies were donated. This year the goal is to double those amounts!!!

We will have flyers, posters available within the next week or so and would be happy to send you some. We are also updating our drop off sites, and of course we are always looking for new drop off locations.

We are looking for representatives for each town that would help to get their towns involved. We will also be offering a raffle during this years event and are in need of raffle items.

We would love to hear any suggestions that you may have. We want to make this year’s event a huge sucess!!! So far, we have sent out over 2500 care packages to our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and continue to support several orphanages, schools and medical clinics in both countries. I made several visits to Bethesda Naval Hospital, and Brooks Army Medical Center. This year I hope to become more involved with our injured troops here at home, supporting not only our injured troops but also their families. Of course, I would like to send out another 1000 care packages by the end of the year!!! The goal for next year’s Christmas Care Packages is 200!!! This year we sent out 120.

Please mark your calendars now and plan to join us during Troops in the Spotlight. We really need a show of support during the event.

More information will be available next week on the web site www.capecod4thetroops.com.

Thank you again for all your support, Cape Cod Cares for the Troops has been so sucessful because of the support I have received from everyone.

Sincerely,

Dylan DeSilva
Cape Cod Cares for the Troops

PS Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested in helping to support our troops

Now for some news from Stop the ACLU. This first article is about who would be the best candidate on judges and standing up to the ACLU? Please feel free to pass these articles on to your friends.

Which Candidate Can We Trust on Appointing Constitutionalist Judges?

…For most people that think fighting the ACLU and judicial tyranny are high priorities, an important question is: who can we trust to appoint constitutionalist judges that don’t write laws from the bench?

Lets not forget that McCain led the gang of 14. Mark Levin reminds everyone:

McCain also led the Gang of 14, which prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.

This next one needs no explaination: “Gitmo Terrorist Lawyers Endorse Obama.” Imagine that.

Well, it’s already tomorrow, so I’m going to stop right here. See the next post for ACT! for America, American Congress for Truth, and many more. I’m almost caught up. Gosh, ya take one day to go to the doctor, and the e-mail overfloweth! lol. Have a great day everyone.

Today (since it is morning already) is going to be an open trackback day so I can continue catching up with everything. Have fun!

These are the posts I’ve linked to because, well, they’re just that good! lol Oh, I will be using Linkfest to find these posts.

Pet’s Garden Blog: Wednesday Hero~SSgt. Justin R. Whiting, The Virtuous Republic: Undocumented Immigrants, Real Crimes Afternoon Edition, Wolf Pangloss: The Oil Parable Open Trackbacks, Right Voices Hardy Har Har: Planned Parenthood Complains That $25/Mo Is Too High For The Pill..Obama Agrees, Leaning Straight Up Bush Derangement in Brattleboro cause blowback as city officials face harassment and scorn.

These are some posts that I found otherwise:

http://www.darrellepp.com: AMERICA ALONE, by Mark Steyn Public Enemy #1, More on the Styen thing, and Canadian Government Says Goodbye To Free Speech, Forces Private Citizen To Obey Sharia.

We really need to be careful about how these politicians mess with our free speech. I agree with Darrell. I should kiss the ground I walk on each day as I arise from the slumber Thou hast provided. Now. These are from Iraq the Model:

Iraq the Model: Hello my friends and Al-Qaeda’s in Iraq New Sponsor: Libya.

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Have you ever given any thought to a ‘three-dimensional’ website? Look at it this way, we no longer live in a world where the net is a ‘flat earth’ development. To give you a peek inside this fact, Douglas Farah has written a very informative and chilling article.

At the Counterterrorism Blog, you will find just about any type of news that we are NOT hearing about on the news. Especially the type of news which we should all be looking for to keep our country safe. I suppose that could be because of the elections, but you would think our survival would be an election year topic. Oh well.

Jihadists Move to Encryption on Internet Sights.

…Today’s Washington Post carries an extensive look at the radicalization of two Islamists from the state of Georgia who were filming potential targets in Washington, D.C.

Much of the process took place on line, as did the radicalization of an Egyptian businessman who sponsored the trip of combatants to Iraq based on the Internet statements and broadcasts by Yousef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. [Continue reading.]

So, they think catching illegal aliens is too hard of a task? Check out this story from Jayson Javitz over at Wizbang!

Dragnet.

…’They think they’re pretty much home free once they get up here,’ said Bill Botts, of the Border Patrol’s Gulport, Mississippi, station. But Operation Uniforce, as the two-week crackdown started Jan. 13 is called, ‘is pretty much a shocker for the [alien] smuggling organizations.’

More than 300 illegal immigrants and alien smugglers had been arrested as of Tuesday, just over a week into the operation. [Continue reading.]

Now I will share with you some articles and their links and who they are written by in groupings. That is because there are too many of them! lol

First I would like to start with Michael Yon. This first post of his is Moment of Truth in Iraq, a book that Michael has written, and it is very good. I’ve read the first chapter of Danger Close (it is online), and you might like to read it also. He is one of the citizen journalists who tells it as it is, not the way we would like to hear it. I like that. It shows me respect, because he trusts that I can make up my own mind.

CORRECTION: It has been brought to my attention that Michael’s book is Titled “Danger Close.” Jon is correct. The link to the first chapter is right here and you may purchase it only at Michael’s site here. Thank you Jon for catching that for me. *blush*

His next post is News Flash: Dragon Skin. This one is about body armor. Next is “Commanders Update #9, Commander’s Update #9 JAN 08, By LTC. James Crider. Then there is “General Lee Comes Home, Part 2, Stryker Dubbed ‘General Lee’ Rejuvenated, By Ann Roosevelt, for Defense Daily. After that one is this one where he was profiled by the NY Times, “News Flash: Frontline Blogger With a Soldier’s Eyes. They actually did a good job. Then finally, there is a collection of Michael’s writings: Archives: Table of Contents.

This one is not technically a blogger (Former Ambassador to the USA, John Bolton), but he has written a very chilling warning to President Bush, Condi, and the new president of the USA in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion and commentary section. The title of this article is “North Korea’s True Colors.” Read it! Another article which they printed is “The Legacy, Bush of Arabia. This U.S. president is the most consequential the Middle East has ever seen. by FOUAD AJAMI.” It is a refreshing look at both President Bush (whom I have lost much hope of having anything positive get done) and the Iraqi people. It is a good read.

For the following articles from CentCom, I will put them in list form. There are many good articles!

Here are six links to YouTube videos from Blackfive: This video is 1:16 minutes long. The title is “Sgt. Giles.” This one is “Arab Jabour: An Introduction,” and it is 2:45 minutes. This next one is titled “Arab Jabour: Terrain Denial.” The next three are “Surge Plus One: Doura,” “Robin Williams in Kuwait” and “Crazy I-Ranians threaten US warships with Jihad.” Now I have links you may be interested in reading.

ANA deliver infant saving mother, child, by Public Affairs COMBINED JOINT TASK FORCE- 82, Bagram Media Center.
ANA provides assistance to Kunar villagers, by Luis P. Valdespino Jr., Combined Security Transition Command.
Medical engagement a success in Abu Farris, by U.S. Army Christopher McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
Soldiers distribute wheelchairs, by U.S. Army Grant Okubo, MND-N PAO.
Tip leads MND-North Soldiers to bomb factory, MND-N PAO.
Kirkuk academy graduates 1,325 police, by U.S. Army Margaret Nelson, 115th MPAD.
Iraqi Soldiers graduate leaders’ course, by SPC Emily Wilsoncroft, MND-C PAO.
Paratroopers battle elements, keep valley safe, by Sgt. Brandon Aird, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.
Afghan, Coalition troops hold clinic in Farah, CJTF-82 PAO.
Army exchanges medical skill with Djiboutians, by MC1 Mary Popejoy, CJTF-HOA.
Afghan students prepare for future through education, by Spc. Gregory Argentieri, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.
Ghazni PRT brings care, clothes to Nawa District, by Spc Nathan Hutchinson, 22nd MPAD.

Next I have for you some articles from ACT! for America is a great site to go to find patriotic people keeping an eye on legislation and other news that we can appreciate. They now have chapters that are posted on their website. You can also receive e-mails from them, if you wish.

This next news article is an interview between National Review Online and M. Zuhdi Jasser. This is the third part of the article. The title of this portion of the interview is “We Need a Hero, Looking toward 2008 and beyond.” Mr. Jasser has also had a press release, “FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award given to Zuhdi Jasser.” One more article here. It is written by Electa Draper at the Denver Post. The name of the article is “Moderate Muslim view outshouted by Islamists.” Oh, those so understanding and tolerant libs. You may read about him and keep up with him at AIFD. This acronym stands for American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

American Congress for Truth is a very fine site. It is run by conversatives who just happen to be black. This is an amazing site, and you really should add it to your sidebar. For example, they are on top of this internet problem which I started this post off with.

Terrorism Probe Points to Reach Of Web Networks.

In April 2005, police swarmed the U.S. Capitol to confront an erratic Australian man, carrying two suitcases, who they feared was a suicide bomber. After blowing up one of the bags, officers realized he was harmless.

The police never noticed the two nervous young men on a nearby sidewalk filming the Capitol during the standoff. But they might have been the real threat, according to newly released documents.

The men, ultraconservative Muslims from Georgia, were making surveillance videos that could help extremists plan “some kind of terrorist attack,” as one man later acknowledged, according to court documents disclosed last week. One of their videos was sent to a notorious al-Qaeda publicist in London, authorities said. [Continue reading.]

Does that give anyone pause? It does me.

Okay, that should be enough information to hold you through the weekend. Don’t worry. If it doesn’t, I will still be posting at my site. I am having an Open Tracktrack Alliance and an Open Trackback at Linkfest. Share with others your work. Before you trackback, please add me to your post. After you this, I will add your name and title to the main page. This way, everyone will be able to see your work and may come over to view it. Have a good weekend everyone!

Update: I just have to add this one last(?) post. It is very funny and is also a member of Open Trackback Alliance. Since I do not like to post a trackback on someone’s post who has not listed that post for today’s OTA, I have written this little piece about it. Oh, what is it? Study: Few Keyboards Actually Destroyed By Coffee. Enjoy!

Members of the Samantha Burns’ OTA:

S. The Crazy Rantings of Samantha Burns: OTA Weekend, F. Stix Blog: 8 Things youneed to know about Obama and Rezko, F. Pirate’s Cove (M, F): TB Friday Featuring The Surrender Monkey: Kucinich Supporters Should Vote Ron Paul, F. The World According to Carl: Open Trackback Friday — January 25, 2008, F. Woman Honor Thyself: Sderot and the UN Party Balloons, S. Church and State, Su. The Amboy Times, Su. Stageleft, Su. walls of the city, Wknd. Blue Star Chronicles: Wear Red on Friday Reading List, Wknd. Leaning Straight Up: Friday Video Break: Smoke on the water… as you have never seen it before, Wknd. The Uncooperative Blogger, Wknd. Stuck On Stupid, Wknd. The Bullwinkle Blog, Wknd. 123beta (F, Wknd): Open Trackback Weekend, S. Point Five: Study: Few Keyboards Actually Destroyed By Coffee, S. 7 Deadly Sins, S. Steeljaw Scribe, S. Selective Amnesia, S. Case Notes from the Artsy Asylum, S. LyfLines, Su. InMuscatine, Su. Onemanbandwidth, Su. The Blazer Blog, Su. Miceland, Su. Where are my socks?, Su. Peakah’s Provocations, Su. Otimaster, Su. Grandinite, Su. Free Constitution, Su. Conservative Culture (Su, T), Su. – a metamorphoself, Su. The Dissentators (Su, M).

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest and other sites:

Adam’s Blog: John McCain: Putting Mexico First?, Blue Star Chronicles: Why the Story of Dellon Tyler Ward Matters, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: New director for National Hurricane Center, third world county: “Mugger” Pledges: Will Give Money Back, Nuke Gingrich: WFFOT Aaaaaaaaay, Dumb Ox Daily News: Ron Paul’s Good and Bad News Letter, Outside the Beltway: John Edwards’ South Carolina Surge, Big Dog’s Weblog: Will MSM Give Hillary the Same Treatment As Bush?, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: Hurricane Proof House, Wolf Pangloss: Friday: I Feel Your Pain Open Posts, Leaning Straight Up: Making the Case For McCain; Just In Case, Shadowscope: Grand Jury Indicts Cesar Laurean, With many thanks to: Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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12. Blue Star Chronicles: British Diva Katherine Jenkins Entertains British Troops The Past Two Christmases.
11. Woman Honor Thyself: Super BowL: Gooooooo Giants! (A woman after my own heart!)
10. Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: Global Warming causes FEWER hurricanes.
9. A Blog For All: Fences Make Good Neighbors: Hamas Doesn’t Want Them.
8. Blue Star Chronicles: Retired Green Beret Gets Court Martial After Shooting Intruder.
7. Blue Star Chronicles: Phelps Family Hate Cult to Picket Heath Ledger’s Funeral.
6. Blue Star Chronicles: Tom Cruise on Scientology and Ah …. ah …. Wow …. You Know…Man…Wheh!
5. The World According To Carl Hillary LOVES A Man In Uniform?
4. Mark My Words: Irrational atheists and their groupies.
3. Stix Blog: 8 Things youneed to know about Obama and Rezko.
2. Pirate’s Cove: Global Warming Today: Less Hurricanes To Hit U.S.?
1. Planck’s Constant: Bernie`s Bic Vacation.

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Today I am going to provide you with a list of news articles I have already posted. Just in case you do not read here regularly, I have decided to include them along with my Open Trackback Monday. Enjoy!

    Sadr City hospital renovations near completion.
    This is an individual article about the good work that the Iraqis and our men are doing together.

    Military News: Afghan, Iran, Iraq.
    This has three articles in it: Afghan Commandos graduate Armorer Training Program, Iranian boats approach U.S. Navy ships, and Marines train Iraqi Soldiers for battlefield success. There’s a little commentary written by me about this so-called ‘incident’. I’ve got your ‘incident’!

    Terror in Musa-Qala, Afghanistan.
    This is an article written by an Afghanistani friend of mine, and it should get your dander up, too.

    More Military News: Baby girl, students, clinic.
    This post has three articles in it, also. They are: Coalition, Afghan Soldiers save baby girl, Coalition troops aid Afghan students in Bagram, and Corps of Engineers completes al Mahaweel clinic.

Many of these articles discuss the good works that are taking place right under the looooooooong noses of the dinosaur media. Go figure, eh? Too bad there isn’t blood and gore connected with good works…

For this Open Trackback Monday, this is what you need to do. First, add my Permalink to your article. It doesn’t matter if you only take the permalink and use the name of my site to add it, just so long as you add it. Then give me a trackback, and I will do the same. That way, your post will get more exposure.

Another way to do this is to use Linkfest. It is very easy to join, and you be able reach many more people than you now. That is, if you care. 😉

Have a great day!

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest:

Other links:
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This is a very touching article, and it is sad at the same time. Thank God for our guys.

Coalition, Afghan Soldiers save baby girl.
by Media Center Bagram
Bagram Media Center.
January 9, 2008
.

Coalition medics stabilize a 1-year-old girl who was badly burned when she fell into a fire used to heat her family’s home in the Lashkar Gah District, Helmand Province. Coalition and Afghan National Security Forces worked together to save the girl’s life and arranged her transport to another military outpost with more substantial medical capabilities. She was escorted to the new military outpost by her uncle. Photo by Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – ANSF and CF saved the life of a 1-year-old girl after she was badly burned falling into a fire used to heat her family’s home in Lashkar Gah District in Helmand Province. Coalition medics immediately began lifesaving efforts after her family brought her to a combined military outpost. Doctors assessed the girl’s condition and determined she was burned over 20 percent of her body, including burns to her face, arms, scalp and hands. Medics arranged for a helicopter to take the child, escorted by her uncle, to another military outpost with more medical capabilities in the nearby Washir District of Helmand Province. Doctors prepared, cleaned and dressed the baby’s burns. “While there are clinics and medical facilities in Helmand District, sometimes it is difficult for villagers in outlying areas to access that care,” explained a Coalition forces medic. “ANSF and Coalition forces were able to work together to save this little girl’s life. Even though insurgents have made life difficult for villagers in this region, ANSF are committed to providing for the well being and security of the Afghan people.”

I pray this young child lives throught this ordeal. I know the medics who worked on her certainly do, too.

Coalition troops aid Afghan students in Bagram.
by Media Center Bagram
Jan. 8, 2008

Bagram Media Center.

A Coalition servicemember chats with a young student at the Jan Qadam School, near Bagram Village, Parwan Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 6, while Haji Enr Yatullah, the school’s principal and a village elder, look on. Servicemembers brought donated winter clothes, shoes, toys and school supplies to the school to show their support for villagers.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — It was a banner day Jan. 6 for children attending the Jan Qadam School near Bagram village. Coalition troops assigned to Bagram Airfield stopped by the school, which is near the airfield, to visit with children, teachers and village elders, as well as deliver several boxes of school supplies and toys. The eight-room schoolhouse caters to more than 1,000 students daily, in three shifts. The students range in age from 5 to 15 years old. Fifteen servicemembers entered the village carrying boxes of supplies for the children.

Once they arrived at the school, village elders distributed the items to the children, boys in one classroom and girls in another. The children laughed and smiled as they received their gifts, which included notebooks, pencils, crayons and toys. Some students received new shoes and personal hygiene items.

Haji Enr Yatullah, the school’s principal and a village elder, said being good neighbors is important for the well-being of the village. “You not only help me, but you help all the villages around here,” Yatullah said. … In addition to delivering school supplies and other goods, CF met with village elders to see what other types of assistance they could provide. [Continue reading.]

Many Americans send supplies for the children, such as pencils, pens, paper, crayons, backpacks, and even clothes. If you are interested in sending something to the children, there are many organizations which you can go through. Soldiers’ Angels is a good source to find what you are for.

Corps of Engineers completes al Mahaweel clinic.
by John Connor
Jan. 9, 2008
Gulf Region Division, US Army Corps of Engineers
.

The Al Mahaweel Primary Healthcare Clinic in Babil Province was recently completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region Division South district.

BABIL PROVINCE, Iraq — Work is complete on a primary healthcare center at al Mahaweel in Babil Province. The facility was constructed for about $1 million under two construction contracts and five non-construction contacts, according to Robin Parks, health sector program manager for the Gulf Region South District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. GRS does construction and reconstruction work in the nine southern provinces of Iraq. The money for the clinic was provided under the Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund. The non-construction contracts provided medical equipment, plus installation and training, as well as electrical generators, furniture and office equipment, Parks said. [Continue reading.]

Our guys and gals are doing so many good works that go unnoticed by the dinosaur media day in and day out, it makes me wonder if they truly want us to win. Just thinking, ya know?

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The US Central Command has changed their layout, so I can now give you the link. Before, you would have had to move your mouse from side to side along the bottom of the screen to read the articles. Now it looks fantastic! (That reminds me, I have to change my link!) Here we go:

Afghan Commandos graduate Armorer Training Program.
by Media Center Bagram
Jan. 7, 2008
Bagram Media Center
.

An Afghan National Army Commando weapons specialist, attending the inaugural Commando Armorer Training Program, demonstrates the proper procedures to clean, inspect and reassemble an M-240B machine gun. After graduating the eight-week course, armorers are responsible for the complete inventory and maintenance of all special equipment assigned to their Commando Kandak.

POL-E-CHARKI, Afghanistan — Eight ANA weapons specialists graduated from the first-ever Commando Armorer Training Program this month. They were taught how to use the unique specialties of a Commando sqaud. It was an eight-week course, and they learned how to use special weapons, become armorers, learn how to inspect, repair and reassemble all weapons systems used by the Commando Kandaks (battalions). [Continue reading.]

Very educational, indeed!

Iranian boats approach U.S. Navy ships.
by U.S. Fifth Fleet Public Affairs
January 8, 2008
US Naval Forces Central Command
.

A small Iranian boat approaches a U.S. Navy ship in the Persian Gulf. (From Defense Department Video).

BAHRAIN (NNS) — Following a routine transit through the Strait of Hormuz Jan. 6, three U.S. Navy ships operating in international waters in the Persian Gulf were approached by five Iranian small boats that demonstrated irresponsible confrontational behavior near the U.S. ships. [Continue reading.]

If you want to hear more bs on why we didn’t blow them to smitherines, go ahead and read it. Yes, I am still pissed. Those are our men and women on those ships. Can anyone say, “USS Cole”?

The Strait of Hormuz is international water, at least where we were. We should not have had to give them several warnings. That is counted as cowardice. They should get one warning and if that is not adhered to, they should have been blown up. PERIOD. Who would challenge us for protecting our people? DO YOU REALLY FREAKIN’ CARE THAT MUCH ABOUT OPINIONS? Well, I CARE ABOUT OUR LIVES. So stuff it.

Marines train Iraqi Soldiers for battlefield success.
by USMC Billy Hall
Jan. 08, 2008
MNF-I
.

In this file photo, Iraqi Soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Division practice clearing a building at Camp Al Asad, Aug. 18. Marines from 4th Reconnaissance Battalion, 4th Marine Division were working with the Iraqi Soldiers to teach them close quarters combat. The U.S. Marine Corps remains committed to training the Iraqi Soldiers to one day stand on their own. Photo by Cpl. Shane Keller, Joint Combat Camera Center.

QAIM, Iraq — Iraqi Soldiers are learning to fight and win on the battlefield with a little help from the U.S. Marines. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, are not only are engaged in a constant training cycle with Marines at Combat Outpost North; they are excelling at it. In the brisk winter breeze, Military Transition Team members partnered with Marines from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, integrated key Iraqi Soldiers into their execution of several reactionary drills.

The Iraqi Soldiers observed and then participated in immediate-action and break-contact drills with the Marines so they could, in turn, teach their junior Soldiers the same tactics and procedures. [Continue reading.]

Things appear to be coming along pretty smoothly when the Marines show up. 😉

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Source: CentCom.

by Norris Jones
Jan. 7 2008
.

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Extensive renovations will soon be complete at one of Sadr City’s major hospitals in east Baghdad. Al Baladi Maternity and Children’s Hospital initially opened in 1982 and during the following two decades little was spent on routine maintenance, said Iraqi Project Engineer Mohammad Attar, who oversees the hospital’s upgrade for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “During Saddam’s time, patients there had to tolerate 100-degree-plus interior temperatures because the air conditioning system was broke,” he explained.

The $12 million, three-year renovation included the installation of four new chillers, four cooling towers and four new boilers. “Those improvements helped the elderly and infants, who have little tolerance for heat and cold. The hospital is now able to maintain a comfortable interior temperature in both summer and winter,” Attar noted. Other improvements include an oxygen plant, central vacuum system, nurse call system, intercom paging system, data communications network, new toilets and showers, new exhaust system to remove unhealthy air, new generator for emergency power, medical waste incinerator, and new water purification system.

The medical staff of eight doctors and thirty nurses is treating five times the number of sick people they saw prior to the renovation. They’re seeing 150 to 200 patients daily, 80 percent of which are children. Their obstetric department is delivering 30 to 40 newborns every day. “One of their main goals is reducing the infant mortality rate and the new equipment is making a difference,” Attar said. The two-story hospital has a bed capacity for 200 patients.

More than 100 Iraqis have been part of the construction crew. They installed a new roof, put in new plumbing and electrical, rebuilt the physicians’ family-size apartments, added a new cafeteria area and kitchen, new lighting, new plastering, redid all the floors and ceilings, new surgical theater suite and x-ray equipment.

“It’s truly rewarding to know we’ve helped some of the poorest people in Baghdad,” Attar said. “They were tolerating absolutely horrible conditions. The toilets were overflowing, the air was stagnant, the medical equipment was outdated and much of it didn’t work. Despite ongoing insurgency threats, the contractor kept making steady progress. Today, Sadr City families have a modern facility and access to equipment that was simply not available three years ago. We’re all proud to have been a part of the effort.”

An Iraqi woman cares for her child at a newly renovated hospital in Sadr City, Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo).

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Source: CentCom.

20 Dec. 2007
By Sgt. Jason Thompson
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
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CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Control of Multinational Division Baghdad changed hands during a ceremony here yesterday [December 19, 2007]. The 1st Cavalry Division will redeploy to Fort Hood, Texas, while 4th Infantry Division takes over operations in the Iraqi capital. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, presided over the ceremony. He said the battle in Iraq has changed significantly during the last year, and that the success could be directly linked to the 1st Cavalry Division’s efforts in and around Baghdad.

“Significant events are often a result of the right people being in the right place at the right time,” Odierno said. “In the case of Baghdad in 2006 and 2007, the right people were the magnificent men and women of Multinational Division Baghdad and their dedicated Iraqi security force partners.”

Odierno said the soldiers of the “First Team” should be proud of what they accomplished during their tenure in Baghdad. He said the soldiers had a direct, positive impact on the Iraqi people’s day-to-day lives, which is apparent by the increased activity in all the Baghdad markets, traffic on the streets, numerous soccer games played in all the local neighborhoods, and the smiles on the children’s faces.

“The biggest success was the complete, full partnership they formed with their counterparts in the Iraqi army, national police, station police, patrol police and local leaders,” Odierno continued. “Because of their shared concern, genuine care and daily engagement, they earned the trust and confidence of Baghdad’s people. In turn, it sparked a grassroots movement among the millions of residents and empowered them to feel in control of their own destiny.”

The 1st Cavalry Division commander then addressed the audience of Iraqi and coalition leaders, looking back on a year’s worth of successes and sacrifices by his MND-B forces. “Although the cost has been high, and the toll on the lives of our soldiers has been great, our cause was just and noble, and we have prevailed,” Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., said. “We have fought together, side by side, and have won every time. Our soldiers know it, and the enemy knows it. There is not a place in Baghdad where the enemy feels free or a place to call his home,” he said.

Fil then thanked the Iraqi army soldiers and said his team’s success came with a partnership between the Iraqi and coalition forces. “We have done this in partnership. Whatever progress we have made, whatever success we have secured, is a testimony to that partnership and the result of our combined strengths,” he said.

With the colors of his division cased and ready to accompany him home, Fil said his thoughts were focused on the efforts of his soldiers and on the continued success of the 4th Infantry Division. “As always, at the end of a challenging tour, we leave with mixed emotions. It is quite reassuring to know that we are handing the battle over to such a capable division, and that’s the ‘Steadfast and Loyal’ 4th Infantry Division, led by the supreme command team of Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond and Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia,” Fil said, referencing the division’s motto, “Steadfast and Loyal.”

“I’m leaving totally confident that you’ll be able to quickly build and expand upon the efforts and that the Ironhorse soldiers are ready for the tests that lie ahead,” he said.

With the 4th Infantry Division Ironhorse Band accompanying the ceremony, Fil passed on the mantle of Multinational Division Baghdad to Hammond, who uncased his colors and assumed command of the MND-B mission as the division colors changed position in the honor guard procession. “As we, the 4th Infantry Division, return to Baghdad for our third deployment, we truly feel we have two homes. One in Fort Hood, Texas, and our other is clearly here in Baghdad. We look forward to once again serving with our Iraqi brothers.

With obvious pride in the troops of his new command, Hammond closed by thanking the 1st Cavalry Division troops for their great efforts in providing a smooth transition with 4th Infantry Division and took a moment to recognize all the forces that make up Multinational Division Baghdad.

“To Major General Fil and the 1st Cavalry Division, magnificent job. Your ‘Steadfast and Loyal’ efforts have improved security across Baghdad, but more important, I see hope for the future. We must build on this and continue progress. We still face determined enemies who threaten peace and security. There is still much work ahead. Our job, alongside our Iraqi counterparts, is to provide stable security and set conditions for improving life in Baghdad. This we will do as a team,” Hammond said. “It is my honor to represent the men and women of Multinational Division Baghdad.”

Photo – Maj. Gen. Jeffery W. Hammond (left), incoming Multinational Division Baghdad commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia, incoming MND-B command sergeant major, uncase the “Ironhorse” colors during the MND-B transfer-of-authority ceremony Dec. 19, 2007, at Camp Liberty, Iraq. Photo by Staff Sgt. Luis Orengo, USA.

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