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Good evening. I will be hosting an open trackback weekend, so feel free to share with others your fabulous works. I have quite a bit to do, so I shall be using this trackback post to add news and other information as the weekend progresses. Check back later, because I am going to adding some really great news from our military.

Now hold it! I said I was busy. This shall happen later or tomorrow. lol. Have a great weekend everyone, and say a prayer and/or hold good thoughts for our courageous men and women who are working to keep us free. We owe them more than we could ever repay. God bless them.

Update: As I had promised, I have three articles for you so far. One is about an amazing task that our Airmen were faced with when they reached Afghanistan, another is about the handing over of control of one of the bases in Iraq, and the best – a book that is written by the guys who actually went there and did that.

The team’s original mission was to mentor their Afghan counterparts and teach them medical skills to treat Afghan military and police members, said Air Force Col. Mike Skidmore, the team’s senior mentor officer and administrator.

All that changed when the team arrived several months ago, he said. The hospital was 500 days behind schedule, and instead of finding equipment and eager ANA medical personnel, the team found an empty, incomplete facility. “We had to move from a mentoring mission to a new mindset of equipping the hospital, opening it and then mentoring,” said Air Force Col. (Dr.) Thomas Seay, the senior medical mentor and chief radiologist. [Continue reading.]

Our guys are AWESOME! You really should continue reading this one. You will be amazed at what our men can accomplish but the government cannot. (lol)

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.” [Continue reading.]

Ah, the sweet sounds of progress…

Like many Soldiers deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, Soldiers from the Oregon National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry brought their personal cameras to Iraq during their deployment in 2004. They snapped photos of each other firing weapons, shot video of explosives they detonated and logged plenty of footage of their own commentaries intermixed with Soldier humor.

But they never expected that their day-to-day antics would one day represent deployed National Guard Soldiers everywhere, preserved in a feature-length documentary film called “This is War: Memories of Iraq.” [Continue reading, really.]

This is one heck of a documentary. Here is a list of sellers from Amazon.com that ranges in price for the DVD. (I think it’s a DVD.)

The next set of military news shall be on the next open trackback. I do have to catch up with my writing. Everyone have a nice weekend, and I’ll see ya on the other side…God willing. 😉

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Samantha Burns’ OTA:

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Other links:

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MND-Baghdad Transfers Authority

Source: CentCom.

20 Dec. 2007
By Sgt. Jason Thompson
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
.

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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Source: US Central Command.

07 November 2007
By Cpl. Billy Hall
2nd Marine Division
.

AL QA’IM, Iraq — Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

Prepared to unearth any remnants of those who intend to plant fear and insecurity in western Iraq, the Betio Bastards stand ready. With the final elements of the battalion arriving to their area of operation, the Marines and sailors of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, are primed and in place to maintain stability and bring prosperity to the region.

The infantry companies are set in motion and have started providing security and orienting themselves with the local populace. The numerous support elements of Headquarters and Support Company have also hit the ground running, providing intelligence, logistical support, communications and transportation, to name a few of their many missions.

Months of intense training have paid off in dividends, allowing the battalion to kick off their deployment without missing a beat. Lt. Col. Peter B. Baumgarten, the battalion commander, met with the mayor, leaders of the Iraqi Police and Army, and numerous sheiks, to publicly assume command of the area of operation from Lt. Col. Jason Q. Bohm, the battalion commander of Task Force 1st Bn., 4th Marines.

“I, like Colonel Bohm, look to fill the shoes of my predecessors in a way that will be very positive to the people of Al Qa’im,” Baumgarten said. “I look forward to meeting each one of you and working together in the future months to be successful.” The atmosphere was optimistic and productive as key leaders discussed several pressing issues and plans for the future, such as reopening the point of entry at the Syrian border in the town of Husaybah.

The sheiks spoke of unity amongst the many tribes within the region and setting a path of success for the rest of Iraq to follow. At the conclusion of the meeting, the local leaders and sheiks treated the Marines to a traditional Iraqi meal. In customary fashion, there were no utensils; everyone ate with their hands from large platters of rice, vegetables and goat. The meeting and luncheon helped to lay the groundwork for the battalion’s transition into their third deployment to Iraq in three years.

During the initial days of operation, the battalion’s progress has been substantial. Cooperation and coordination with the local leaders and forces are proving to be the crucial elements contributing to maintaining the security and bringing prosperity to Iraq. The Betio Bastards will continue working steadily to uproot any instability that remains.

Photo – Lt. Col. Jason Q. Bohm (right), battalion commander of Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, and Lt. Col. Peter B. Baumgarten (center), battalion commander of Task Force 3rd Bn., 2nd Marines, speak with a sheik after the meeting where Bohm publicly relinquished command of his area of operations to Baumgarten. The mayor, leaders of the Iraqi police and army, and numerous sheiks attended the meeting to discuss several pressing issues and plans for the future.

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Source: US CentCom.

30 October 2007
By Spc. Shejal Pulivarti
1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
.

CAMP TAJI, Iraq – “Left, left, left, right,” the 30-man platoon of Iraqi Police in training shouted in Arabic while marching to their next class. The Military Police Platoon from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment developed a 10-day preparatory class to implement the basics for Iraqi Police recruits prior to attending the Baghdad Police Academy which initiates them as official police officers.

“This course is designed to give … IPs a basic understanding on what their job will consist of,” said Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brinson, the MP Platoon’s top sergeant for HHC, 1st Squadron, 7th Cav. Regt.

The trainees, waiting to attend the academy, come from various stations in the surrounding area to learn basic policeman skills, he added. It’s an orientation, ensuring all baby IPs go into the academy on the same level of general knowledge.

“The training covers basics on ethics, principles, Iraqi law, first aid, basic rifle marksmanship, responding to a crime scene and search techniques in various scenarios. The recruits follow a structured daily schedule emphasizing teamwork and discipline,” said Brinson, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla, native.

The 10 days are spent introducing the material in the classroom and then actively applying them. The last two days consist of practical exercises that incorporate the entirety of the course.

“Everything learned has to be applied during the hands on scenarios. The situations gradually get harder to test their understanding,” explained Brinson. “Everything is a perishable skill; they have to practice it in order to retain it. They understand the task; they are definitely learning what they need to know to be successful.”

“The trainees get better every day. The course helps them become good IPs and work with the coalition forces to do our job,” said Iraqi Police 1st Lt. Hesham Saman Ali Sauba Boor, a course instructor.

Each IP station is responsible for sending an academy graduated officer to teach the new IP recruits various topics. Military personnel rotate through as instructors from the MP Platoon and are also assisted by the Iraqi Army liaison officers.

“Having the IP officers teach them accomplishes a lot; it mainly helps the Iraqi Police force become self-sufficient,” Brinson said. “It’s another step in the progress to make security forces stronger.”

As he watched the IP recruits successfully complete a bounding exercise, Brinson noted, “I see the trainees take more pride in themselves, and this course is helping them to become a cohesive unit to accomplish the mission.”

Staer Gabar Abedallah, a trainee, shared that he chose to become an Iraqi Police officer to serve his country, secure his community and stop the terrorists.

“The training is a great opportunity to concentrate on training and help the Iraqi people move forward in self governance,” said Stonington, Ill. native, Sgt. David Ashbridge, a military police team leader for HHC, 1st Squadron, 7th Cav. Regt.

Photo – Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brinson, the platoon sergeant for the Military Police Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, instructs an Iraqi Police trainee in a 10-day preparatory course how to properly bound when under direct fire at Camp Taji, Iraq Oct. 27. Photo by Spc. Shejal Pulivarti.

This is a great article of accomplishment. I never believed in a huge central government, and I’m glad the Iraqis are finding it is within their own power to make their lives better. Ya know, after WWII, we DID write Japan’s constitution for them and look at them now! We should have written this one

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While this is an article by CentCom, I would like to share it with you. There is much information out there, if we are willing to find it, to fight back those who have no moral standing in this war. No, I am not saying that if you are against this war then you are immoral. What I am saying is that the kooks who believe we did this to ourselves, we deserved it, we should share classified documents so our enemies can know what and where and how we are finding them are traitors, and they need to be stopped. The way to fight back is easy…inform yourself.

That is why I am using this artlcle for Open Trackback Friday at Linkfest. (Join us!) Please remember that if I send you a ping, please send me one. I’m down to 3 people who ever send me a trackback, and I KNOW I send more pings than that! I will soon be making a list of everyone who is naughty and everyone who is nice…lol. Yes, it’s that time of the year sneaking up on us rather quickly! Anyway, if I don’t receive a trackback, I shall stop trackbacking to you. It is, after all, it is time-consuming. It is also only fair…

Posts I have trackbacked to: Nuke’s, CommonSenseAmerica, The Random Yak, third world county, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, The Populist, Grizzly Groundswell, Wake Up America, Webloggin, Phastidio.net, Big Dog’s Weblog, Outside the Beltway, Stop the ACLU, Perri Nelson’s Website, The Virtuous Republic, 123beta, Adam’s Blog, , The Populist, Leaning Straight Up, The Amboy Times, The Bullwinkle Blog, Pursuing Holiness, Adeline and Hazel, OTA Weekend, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, Wolf Pangloss, Church and State, Woman Honor Thyself, and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Kind people who have trackbacked to this post:
1. Stix Blog: Dear friends and family.
2. Blue Star Chronicles: The Lunatics Gather in San Francisco ….. Again.
3. Blue Star Chronicles: Evil New Israeli Defence Force Secret Weapon – Str.
4. Shadowscope: Weekend Open-Trackback Post.
5. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Four.
6. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Five.
7. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Six.
8. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Eight.
9. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day award Nine.
10. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Three.
11. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Two.
12. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award One.
13. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Seven.
14. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Ten.
15. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Twevle.
16. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Fourteen.
17. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Thirteen.
18. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Fifteen.
19. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Sixteen.
20. Blue Star Chronicles: Evil New Israeli Defence Force Secret Weapon – Stripper Soldiers!.
21. The Florida Masochist: All Knucklehead Day Award Seventeen.

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Bill Roggio: Sr. AQI leader killed

Bill Roggio has a new site: The Long War Journal. What I read today, gives me great pleasure. I would like to share a bit with you to get you to go read it. I’ll give you a hint, a top AQI bites it.

Senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader killed in airstrike.
By Bill Roggio, September 29, 2007, 12:00 AM.

The intelligence-driven raids against al Qaeda in Iraq’s command structure has netted two senior operatives in the past month, a senior American military intelligence official told The Long War Journal. On September 25, Task Force 88, the hunter-killer teams assigned to kill or capture senior al Qaeda operatives, killed Abu Usama al Tunisi, who is described as the possible successor to al Qaeda in Iraq’s leader Abu Ayyub al Masri. On August 31, Task Force 88 killed Abu Yaqub al Masri, al Qaeda’s military advisor to units operating in and around Baghdad. [Read more.]

How about that, eh? Way to go guys. Keep up the good work. The sane among us support not only you, but your mission as well. Godspeed.

PS. My left paw isn’t working, so it is hard for me to write. That also makes it difficult to write the trackbacks on the front page. Please forgive me for this. I will correct this as soon as possible. I think it is my wrist, because I can move fingers a little but I cannot lift my hand. Hmm. NO, I will not go to the doctor. For what? So he can tell me I have a pinched nerve? Well…duh. lol.

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UPDATE: 18. Leaning Straight Up: San Francisco’s Anti Military Disease Spreads to Oakland. A MUST READ, says me. Toll free to the Capitol: 866-340-9281. Do the right thing.

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29 Aug 07
By Cpl. Ryan M. Blaich, II
Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD)
.

HABBANIYAH, Iraq – When a group of American military advisors deployed to Iraq and took over a small combat outpost on the outskirts of town recently, they knew the task ahead might get tough, but each day would be rewarding. The Marines and sailors that make up Military Transition Team 13, working alongside the 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, are increasing the security of the area and the quality of life for local residents as well.

They operate out of a dusty, war-faced outpost named the OK Corral. They usually work long hours, patrolling streets with Iraqi soldiers or standing post overlooking the Euphrates River. They cook each meal themselves, because there is no chow hall to feed the 14 Marines, two corpsmen and company of Iraqi soldiers. They have learned to adapt, dealt with sweltering heat and braved the roadways of a foreign land.

Many of the men of MTT 13 have been to Iraq before, making them ideal candidates for an advisory team. The soldiers that make up 1st Battalion are veteran war fighters as well; hardened by battles past, experienced in combat operations. Perhaps that is why the people in this area trust the Iraqi soldiers.

Habbaniyah acts as a corridor in a crucial area, known as Jazerria, located between the once terrorist safe heaven cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. Nowadays, people go about their lives freely while searching for jobs, attending schools, plowing fields and shopping in crowded markets without fear of being shot in the crossfire of combat.

“The IAs have won the trust of the people,” said Cpl. Jason Syvrud an infantryman attached to MTT 13. “People see that they’re here, the area is safe, they are happy that their families aren’t at risk anymore. The IA is here to help the whole country and get this back on its feet. The people are loving to see the change. The country as a whole is trying to rebuild.”

Syvrud is only 22, but is currently serving his third tour in Iraq. He has been in cities where it was difficult to trust the citizens. But now he has seen a significant change in the war and in the people. He feels pride in his advisory role, knowing each day is bringing comfort to strangers he once felt uncomfortable around.

“I’ve seen in the three times I’ve been here this country has done a complete 180. It’s gone from everyone not knowing what to do and being scared to do anything, to them starting to come out and finding out what a democratic society would be like,” he said. “Now, they are really trying to get involved. They are building their schools up, they’re building up the mosques, their homes. They’re trying to find jobs. It looks more and more like a typical American rural area. The majority of the people seem happy. They’re doing what they have to do to survive and building a life out of this.”

Safety is what brings out the smiles and trust of the townspeople Syvrud said. The locals are involved with the Iraqi Army now. They help locate possible terrorists. They have begun to rebuild their community by fixing up schools, roads and mosques. The province is still early in reconstruction efforts, but the transition seems to be working as planned.

Getting the soldiers to understand the benefits of civil engagements, such as the civil medical engagements, is a priority for MTT 13 team chief, Lt. Col. Thomas Hobbs. Transition teams have assisted in several CMEs, which provide medical care to people who would normally have to travel to Ramadi to see a doctor. With more than 16 years of experience in the Marine Corps, Hobbs said focusing on civil affairs can not only counter the insurgent’s propaganda, but win the hearts and minds of law-abiding citizens.

“This battalion tends to be very focused on conventional operations. What I mean by that is in a counter-insurgency environment they are enamored with cache sweeps, security patrolling,” Hobbs said. “They should be focusing on civil affairs information operations and focusing on the population as a whole. The security level right now allows for that, so I’m trying to teach them to think in that manner.”

Hobbs praised the Iraqi company commanders for understanding the impact civil affairs has on the war efforts. “They have been very willing to get out and meet the population and doing civil affairs projects on their own, even without money. We’ve been really successful in getting the companies to move and they’re actually initiating a lot of things I want to change or make better,” he said.

Hobbs said the predominately Shiite Army has been received with open arms by the Anbari locals, who are mainly Sunni. A huge reason for this may lie in the idea of getting his team of advisors to stress the importance of making the population comfortable to Iraqi leaders. It is his philosophy that if the people are happy and satisfied with their life, then the terrorists will no longer have the ability to move freely within the community. He said the company and platoon leaders have begun to buy into the civil affairs mindset. As a result, the city has not seen any escalation in force in more than two months.

The soldiers of 1-3-1 can fight, that has been proven during the past year and a half of combat operations. Hobbs said the battalion is known throughout the Iraqi Army for its ability to engage and defeat the enemy, and that is what the terrorists should realize. The mission now is to concentrate on keeping this rural area safe and prospering. The smiles on children are evidence enough that the plan is working.

“I feel proud when I look around and see the kids and people smiling,” Syvrud said. “They’re happy when the Army and Marines come walking around, they aren’t afraid of us anymore. They’re happy with themselves, they’re happy with the environment around them and they’re striving to get better. They’re not just satisfied with things, they want it better, just like any American does.”

Photo – Lt. Col. Thomas Hoobs, team chief for Military Transition Team 13, talks to members of the Iraqi Security Forces during an inspection of a local bridge. Keeping roadways safe and drivable not only helps navigation of anti-terrorist traffic, but is part of a wider ranging civil affairs mission of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Iraqi Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division.

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This is an amazing achievement by the Iraqis, but it is good news so don’t expect it to be covered by the dinosaur media. There is an article written by Robert McFarlane over at the Free Republic. The title of this article is, “A Fatwa Against Violence–Top Sunni and Shia clerics look toward reconciliation.”

This is a remarkable article about the Iraqi’s coming together against the terrorists. The Sheiks, the Clerics, and other religious figures who met in Cairo on the 24th of August will meet again in Dubai on Friday, August 31, 2007, if I remember correctly from Hugh Hewitt’s radio program. What I heard was fascinating.

Imagine WWII and there was a country wrought with war. Also imagine that the German people were finally sick and tired of this little pipsqueak, so they had decided to overthrow the government. Would we have helped them? Remember, we had a different media back then. We were all in this together, and there was no mistaking that.

This is HUGE! These religious people have decided to go to their followers, one of them has 20 million followers alone, and they are going to give the fatwa that states, “… end terrorist violence, and to disband militia activity in order to build a civilized country and work within the framework of law.” Do you realize what this means?

When a Sheik or a Cleric makes a fatwa, it is considered law. The people must obey. This time, this fatwa, this means they and we are having much progress. For the first time in a long time, the Sunnis realize publically that there is room for them in this new government, and they want to participate. The Shia’s also want the violence ended. It is better to have a united Iraq than a divided one.

Wait a minute…I thought I heard the media…nope. It was just a bug…

Don’t forget to read these two articles as well:

I listened to them and believe me, it is much more powerful when you actually hear him. He has that old cowboy back, and he isn’t playing around. It’s about time.

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(In case anyone is wondering, I will be starting the Open Trackback tomorrow. That is why you do not see any action yet. Okay? lol)

Okay, it is now Wednesday, so I can post this news as one of my Linkfest posts. Please follow these simple rules: No porn.

These are the posts that I have trackbacked to: Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Leaning Straight Up, The Bullwinkle Blog, Faultline USA, Conservative Thoughts, Webloggin, The Virtuous Republic, and The Amboy Times, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

These are also links I found at Linkfest, but for some reason they did not appear on my pinger. Hangings, Executions and other good stuff, by Right Truth. Pigeontrack: Dark Passage, by Diary of a Mad Pigeon.

These are the trackbacks from those people who were nice enough to stop by:

  • DeMediacratic Nation: Non-Sense of the Senate Resolution.
  • Faultline USA: America at a Crossroads –The Missing European Anti-America.
  • CommonSenseAmerica: 27 Cases of Illegal Alien Sexual Assault Against Children in 30 days.
  • Planck’s Constant: Let New Orleans sink into the Ocean.
  • Planck’s Constant: Moron Leona Helmsley leaves dog 12 million bucks.
  • Potbelly Stove: And, they criticize Iraq.
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    20 Aug 07
    By Gunnery Sgt. Eric Johnson
    2nd Marine Division
    .

    HADITHAH, Iraq – The morning of July 4th started out like any other day inside the Hadithah Police Station. The Iraqi Police conducted morning police call, uniforms were set straight, and reports were prepared. The Marines of the Hadithah Police Transition Team (PiTT) gave guidance to their Iraqi counter-parts, making corrections wherever necessary. As the heat began filling the building, the anticipation for the day’s events grew.

    Within the building’s multi-purpose room, the morning formation lined up. However, the formation wasn’t made up of Iraqi police officers standing at attention, ready for drill practice. In fact, no one was standing at attention. July 4th was the first Youth Soccer Day held at the Hadithah Police Station.

    Over 200 local children gathered at the police station for a chance to play soccer with their police officers. The police and children were equally excited for the day’s festivities. The first hour was spent posing for pictures. After the initial photo op and introductions, soccer balls were passed out. Through donations from friends and family back in the United States and from some Iraqi Police Officers, over 100 soccer balls were given to the kids. Along with the soccer balls, hundreds of toys, stuffed animals, and backpacks were also donated.

    Lieutenant Col. Mazher Hasan Khazal, the Hadithah Police Chief said, “today is a great day, not only for the Iraqi Police, but for all of Hadithah. We will never forget what our Marine brothers have done to make this possible.” The current Iraqi Police Station is actually a hardened building, which once served as the city’s Youth Center. The Marines and Iraqi Police took over the building in October 2006. For the past several years, there hasn’t been a need for a youth center, most of the city’s children would rarely go outside.

    The need for some type of outlet for the kids during their summer school break, a time when terrorists recruit young children, prompted the PiTT Marines to come up with a youth-oriented soccer program. Members of the PiTT team were sitting around talking about their families one night with the Iraqi leadership. They tried to explain the Boy and Girl Scouts of America to the police chief, and he asked if they could help set something like that up in Hadithah. That’s when the PiTT came up with the idea for a soccer camp. The police chief loved the idea

    Friendliness from the locals toward Marine and Iraqi Forces over the last few years has been minimal. Anyone approaching a Marine or Iraqi patrol was looked at as a possible insurgent, and not allowed to get too close. The city has seen a shift in the security and the attitude of the local people. The success of the Youth Soccer Day provided the rebirth this city has seen. Marines and police alike were covered with hugging hands and grabbing fingers.

    “I thought that at one point the kids were just going to mob me over,” said Cpl. Joseph Dayner, PiTT communications advisor. “I just kept pushing through the crowd passing out toys.”

    The Youth Soccer Day was a testament to the successful counter-insurgency campaign 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines is conducting in the Hadithah Triad. The Iraqi Police have played a large role in the city’s stability. The force is a lot larger, more professional, and the people of Hadithah readily accept them. It is a sign of hope that the situation here has turned the right corner.

    Photo – Gunnery Sgt. Eric Johnson, operations chief of the Hadithah PiTT plays soccer with local Iraqi children in front of the Iraqi Police Station. Photo by: Cpl. Stephen M. Kwietniak.

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    31 Jul 07
    By Pfc. Bradley J. Clark
    4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
    .

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAREZ, Iraq – It’s not everyday that Soldiers get recognized for the outstanding work that they do and, even less often, do they get acknowledgment from the head of their branch.

    That was just the case when Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division’s communications and automation section, or S6 shop, were awarded the Signal Regiment Certificate of Achievement and the Chief of Signal Plaque.

    The Signal Regiment CoA is used to recognize outstanding achievements relative to the Signal Regiment’s mission. The plaque is for those Soldiers whose performance and contributions set them apart from their peers.

    “Both awards are designed to foster ‘esprit de corps’ and to contribute to the Signal Regiment’s cohesiveness,” said Sgt. Maj. Beverly Lewis, senior enlisted member of the 4th BCT S6 shop. “The Soldiers won these because of what they have done since we have deployed.”

    Since their deployment, the signal Soldiers have been responsible for managing hundreds of networks, radio systems and communications systems, from Baghdad to the Syrian border. These systems provide communications to over 5,000 Soldiers, stationed across 58,000 square kilometers.

    “When we got here, we hit the ground running,” said Spc. Elvis Cabrera, information systems operator. “We were able to setup all of the systems in a real short time. Now we are constantly adapting to new standards, while preparing for new units, so they can be as successful as us.”

    The S6 Soldiers are responsible for planning and managing critical communication systems to ensure mission success without communication interference. They provide this support to many units consisting of four combat battalions; two support battalions; an aviation battalion; two Iraqi army divisions; U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy elements; along with Department of Defense contractors and civilian agencies within Multi-National Division-North.

    One troop believes the mission success is due to the team effort and constant training.“We are all a piece to the puzzle,” said Pvt. Sandy Ackerman, signal systems support specialist. “When we’re all doing our part and you put us together, that’s how we’re successful. On top of that, we train weekly to keep up-to-date on Army standards.”

    Lewis can see the results of the training and cohesiveness of the team play out during the deployment.“These Soldiers demonstrate outstanding professional skill, knowledge, and leadership in developing, planning and executing all aspects of information security and tactical communications in support of combat operations in Ninevah province and Multi-National Division-North,” said Lewis.

    The Soldiers worked with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division; the 1st Cavalry Division; the 25th Infantry Division; and several attached border and military transition teams to ensure mission success.

    “My Soldiers always go the extra mile to ensure the communications network is maintained at a high standard, and the commander is poised to command and control the battlefield at all times, utilizing numerous communications assets,” said Lewis. Lewis explained that his Soldiers contributions to the warfighter, combined with tactical and technical expertise, directly lead to the efficient and successful execution of combat operations.

    Lewis went on to say that she has never worked with more dedicated and technically proficient Soldiers in her career. “The Signal Corps should be very proud of the tremendous talents of its Soldiers engaging in combat operations,” said Lewis. “My Soldiers work very hard, around the clock. I know their families miss them, but their families can be proud of how dedicated they are to mission accomplishment and sustained readiness.”

    Photo – Telecommunications operator and maintainer Pfc. Ashley Bumpas (left) and signal systems support specialist, Pvt. Sandy Ackerman, both in the communications and automation section, or S6 shop, of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, check the fiber optic cables that connect all of the signal tactical vehicles together, July 30, at Forward Operating Base Marez, Iraq. Ackerman and Bumpas are just two of the members of the S6 shop to receive awards from the chief of the signal regiment for their work in Iraq. Photo by Pfc. Bradley Clark.

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    This article is one that should be on the front pages of all newspapers, but (un)fortunately it does not fit the ethic of blood and guts. No, this is an article of success!

    There was no network news coverage, no front page spread, but local leaders of Mrezat, a small agricultural village in a northern section of the Adhamiyah District, shed tears of joy as water pumped from the Tigris River and passed attendees of a ceremony to mark the opening of a new pumping station in the community.

    In Mrezat, water is the lifeblood of the people. The agrarian community subsists primarily on palm-date groves, which are grown throughout the year. Without proper irrigation the groves wither and date production ceases.

    Mrezat’s refurbished irrigation pump brings the needed water from the Tigris’ base to the farmers’ crops.

    Though the opening was of critical importance to the residents of Mrezat, the success story will not make any headlines, said Lt. Col. Al Shoffner, the commander of 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

    Sources: CentCom and reposted @ DoD Daily News-2. Please continue reading.

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    News from CentCom:

    21 Jun 07
    By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert
    1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
    .

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Unmanned aerial vehicle teams from 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (ACB) have amassed 20,000 flight hours in the skies over Baghdad.

    The crews, assigned or attached to the 615th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) “Cold Steel,” 1st ACB, 1st Cavalry Division, surpassed the deployment total of the unit that previously had the mission in Multinational Division-Baghdad, according to Capt. Joshua Chase, executive officer for Company E, 615th ASB – the unit that conducts the UAV mission for MND-B. [Continue reading.]

    Boy, I’ll tell ya. If these guys ever stop being competitive, I think it shall be my duty to drop dead! lol. What is the competiton? You’ll just have to read the article to find out! Needless to say, these guys are awesome.

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