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There is a group named “Iraq Veterans Against the War” which is planning another lie-filled ‘investigation’ titled “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan“, this March 13-16, 2008, (at the Capitol) to provide ‘information of the atrocities’ our fine men and women are committing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They claim to have 4736 ‘people’ who support them. I find it ironic that they don’t use the word Soldier, don’t you?

It is not too late for us to infilitrate them. Remember, you must hold your tongues. You are just there to record everything. There is to be no violence. What you can do before you go is e-mail all of your friends and family members to ask them to stand with us against these liars.

You can get in by using this link. Make up a statement that they will want to hear. They may even ask you to speak at this display of disgusting dishonor. That will your opportunity to reveal the tapings you have made of THEM! The lies, the hatred for troops, and possibly who is sponsoring this meeting. Put it out there if you can get it.

We do not have much time. Please organize as if this was enemy terrotory and you were going in to save your buddies. In essense, you will be. Godspeed.

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

Stix Blog: USMC Silent Drill Platoon, Pirate’s Cove: Global Warming Today: Less Hurricanes To Hit U.S.?, The World According to Carl: Saturday Evening Humor, Woman Honor Thyself: Super BowL: Gooooooo Giants!, Leaning Straight Up: Friday Video Break: Smoke on the water… as you have never seen it before, Outside the Beltway: South Carolina Post Mortem Democrat Edition, A Newt One: Valentines’ For the Troops Blogburst, Right Voices: Caroline Kennedy Re-Uses Her 2000 Endorsement of Gore for 2008 Endorsement of Obama, Many thanks to: Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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1. Woman Honor Thyself: Anyone who Disagrees with Leftists is a RacisT.
2. Stix Blog: USMC Silent Drill Platoon.
3. Blue Star Chronicles: Ted Kennedy Endorces Barack Osama for the Presiden.

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Source: CJTF-HOA and CentCom.

by MC1 Mary Popejoy
CJTF-HOA
.

DJIBOUTI, Horn of Africa (Jan. 09, 2008) — Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa personnel took time out of their busy schedules to donate school supplies and clothing to Horsed Private School of English, Jan. 7. The 35 boxes of supplies were sent by Living Waters Foursquare Church in Mooresville, N.C., to Army Staff Sgt. Rex Hipp, 1132nd Engineering Detachment well drilling team. Hipp is a member of the church’s congregation who is currently wrapping up a one-year deployment in Djibouti.

The boxes were filled with backpacks, books, pencils, paper, shoes and clothes. “The 75 church members raised $1,500 so they could buy school supplies and clothing that would benefit the children of Djibouti,” Hipp said. Having his church make such a thoughtful gesture allows the 1132nd well drillers to make one last impact before they return to Mooresville this month.

“For the past year, when we’ve drilled and repaired wells we’ve given out flip flops and school supplies to villages near some of our well sites as another way to help the Djibouti people,” Hipp said. “Now that we’re wrapping up our deployment, it was nice to coordinate with the CJTF-HOA Chaplain’s office and the school director to donate items that will improve the students’ quality of life in a big way,” Hipp said.

Marine Sgt. Derico Cooper, CJ-6 Tactical Networking, was on hand to deliver the supplies and see firsthand just how grateful the school staff was for the gifts. “Their standard of living and educational facilities are far different than what we have in the states, so anything we can do to help them out is greatly appreciated,” Cooper said.

Hassan Mahamed, a teacher at Horsed Private School of English, said he appreciates donations from American friends. “We appreciate everything the U.S. military does for us, because a lot of the families cannot afford to buy these items, which prevents students from having the proper items for school,” Mahamed said. “It’s nice to know that their friends stateside wanted to do something nice for our students here.”

Wayne George, chief religious programs specialist, CJTF-HOA Religious Ministries Department, said donations like these represent the true spirit of America and what it truly means to do something nice for people they’ll never meet. “I have observed thousands of charitable items donated by caring Americans who expect nothing in return,” George said. “They have done it in silence without expectations of recognition because it’s not about the cost, but the smiles it will bring to the faces of the children half a world away.”

Army Staff Sgt. Lisa Dumire, 1133rd Engineering Detachment well drilling team operations non-commissioned officer-in-charge, receives a box from Hassan Mahamed, Horsed Private School of English teacher, while unloading boxes of school supplies that were donated by Living Waters Foursquare Church in Mooresville, N.C. The congregation of Living Waters sent the boxes to Army Staff Sgt. Rex Hipp, 1132nd Engineering Detachment well drilling team, who is a member of their congregation.
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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:

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest:

Other links:

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Source: CentCom.

05 December 2007
by Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
.

AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) – Airmen are improving the lives and operating conditions of Marines by constructing more than $9.8 million in aircraft shelters, taxiways and temporary shelters at Al Asad Air Base. Deployed in an “in-lieu-of” tasking in support of the 20th Army Engineer Brigade, 557th Expeditionary REDHORSE Squadron Airmen are completing numerous projects — from the design concept to completion — in a joint service environment.

“We’re here working on a Marine base, taking on an Army job while using Navy parts,” said Master Sgt. Richard Kapp, the 557th ERHS cantonments superintendent and acting first sergeant, deployed from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. “It’s an odd process.”

REDHORSE is an elite Air Force engineer squadron, whose main function is to take a strip of uninhabited land and turn it into a fully functioning base with running water, shelters and power. The REDHORSE team currently has 14 assigned projects. Six construction tasks are underway, and six more are scheduled to start soon totaling $9.8 million. One project recently completed was a $65,000 convoy briefing facility, which included three temporary shelters.

“Having this facility complete now allows Soldiers and Marines going out on convoys to have a place to brief before heading out on dangerous missions without having their mind distracted by the extreme cold or heat,” said Senior Master Sgt. Rob Townsend, the 557th ERHS superintendent deployed from Malmstrom AFB, Mont.

REDHORSE Airmen also are building other temporary-shelters throughout the base. “One of our sites will house more than $1.5 million in Meals Ready to Eat that normally would have been thrown away due to the high heat in the summer,” said Capt. Andy LaFrazia, the 557th ERHS spoke commander for Al Asad AB, deployed from McChord AFB, Wash.

The engineers have faced several challenges as a result of the nontraditional nature of the deployment. “Getting materials we need for a project is a problem on everyone’s mind. It’s a brand new system,” Captain LaFrazia said. “We are getting used to it and are pushing forward, keeping our mind on the mission.”

The Airmen are driven to improve the quality of life of their fellow military members. “Everyone here wants to make a difference,” Sergeant Townsend said. “We all have the same focus of getting the job done and done safely.” “We are building a better way of life for all the servicemembers who live and work in Al Asad,” said Senior Airman James Cox, a 557th ERHS electrician deployed from Shaw AFB, S.C.

Photo – Tech. Sgt. Chris Collins cuts a 2-by-6 piece of wood to use as a frame for a bench Nov. 24 at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq. REDHORSE Airmen are currently working approximately $9.8 million in projects here. Sergeant Collins, a 557th Expeditionary REDHORSE utilities technician, is deployed from Minot Air Force Base, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Travis Edwards).

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I am going to share several articles I have accumulated while my computer was down. Some are from some Milbloggers, some are videos, some are news articles and some are just because. I hope you enjoy at least one of them. Have a very Merry Christmas.

Sen. Bond: NIE Emphasis is Wrong.
By: Ronald Kessler.

The controversial National Intelligence Estimate on Iran should have emphasized that Iran continues to engage in centrifuge uranium enrichment activities that lead to developing nuclear weapons, Sen. Kit Bond, the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, tells Newsmax.

“The NIE was based on very in-depth, very good intel work on what happened in 2003 [when Iran is said by the CIA to have halted its nuclear weapons program],” says the Missouri Republican, who has read the classified portion of the NIE. But, Bond notes, the NIE’s first point was: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons…” [Continue reading.]

This next post is from Mark Alexander. He writes with the Federalist Papers, a part of the Patriot Post. I really enjoyed his Christmas message, and I hope you will, too.

The Shepherd’s Christmas.
by Mark Alexander of the Patriot Post.
Scroll down from “Happy Christmahanakwamadan!”

If you were to wish us “Happy Holidays,” we would puzzle over which one you meant. Independence Day? Constitution Day? Thanksgiving? Easter? Christmas? Our Patriot mission is to keep kindled the flame of liberty our Founders sparked on this continent, and we believe that all these national celebrations should unite us in gratitude to God for all the blessings He has showered upon our free land.

John Quincy Adams asserted, “In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Saviour.”

Indeed, most of the Founders held these commemorations to be all of a piece, and that the events told and foretold in Scripture are true, fit as cornerstones for faith and governing principles.

Luke, in his Gospel, attests to the historical evidence for the Nativity, taken from “eyewitnesses” who could verify “the certainty” (Luke 1:1-4). Among the first eyewitnesses Luke cites were “shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night,” to whom an angel suddenly appeared, announcing the birth of Christ the Lord and providing directions to His location. After visiting the Holy Child, the shepherds related their experiences to those living in the surrounding countryside (Luke 2:8-20). [Continue reading. It is a magnificant article.]

This is copyrighted material, so please ask permission to copy any of their articles. They are very nice about it and if you are a member, it is okay as long as you follow the rules set in the copyright clause. They want to spread liberty, and they believe it is not theirs to hold from others. These people are a class above. Yes, indeed.

Here is a book I have not read, but I do agree that we have lost many of the State’s rights which were the strength of our individualism before this war. Here is a little bit about this book:

Finally, the true story of the War Between the States, in one captivating volume. With more than 530 illustrations, nearly 100 biographical sketches, and his attention-grabbing style, John J. Dwyer has radically transformed the tedious, uninspiring textbook rendering of the Civil War into what it should be America’s greatest epic.

Respected historians George Grant, J. Steven Wilkins, Douglas Wilson, and Tom Spencer are contributing editors to the The War Between the States: America’s Uncivil War, and over two dozen of renowned historical artist John Paul Strain’s greatest works appear. The book offers 700 action-packed pages of war-time drama that will forever change the way Americans view the Civil War.

This book is not available at Amazon.com right now because they are sold out, but you may purchase one here or call 1-800-628-9460 to place your order. Hat tip: Human Events.

Please Mitt, at least a mea culpa.
An open letter to our former Massachusetts governor.

Dear Mitt:

Many of us from Massachusetts will be headed down to Washington, D.C. this January to join over 100,000 others in the 35th Annual March For Life, memorializing some 48 million pre-born children whose beating hearts were legally stopped by the sanction of the Roe v. Wade decision. Mitt, will you be with us? They’re betting that you won’t.

You made one of the smoothest transitions from being pro-Roe to anti-Roe of anyone I’ve ever witnessed, far less involved even than Norma McCorvey, the Roe plaintiff. Miss Norma told me that she had, in a worldly sense, everything to lose and nothing to gain by changing her position. Can you say the same?

We’re told that it was the studying of scientific data regarding embryonic stem cell research which led to your conversion to the Pro-Life position. This, after multiple years of publicity about the now-outlawed partial birth abortion procedure? Surely you knew about the courageous action of former Senator Bob Smith from our neighboring state of New Hampshire, who graphically depicted the gruesome procedure on the floor of the U. S. Senate. Where were you then? [Continue reading.]

I hope you find Gregg’s arguements as persuasive as they ought to be. He was a captive of that government. Can you imagine words like that being used with the full meaning–captive? Well, you should be afraid. It is our Life, Liberty and Property Rights we are fighting for in this campaign for president! READ IT! Now on to the next news article.

The Vets for Freedom recently went to London grand Westminster Hall, to join in a debate sponsored by Intelligence Squared. The attendance was over 2,200, and the topic of the topic was the defense of the idea that the surge in Iraq is working.

Of the 455 undecided voters who arrived in the hall, over half (234) later voted to support victory rather than defeat. By contrast, only 131 voted in favor of the motions “leave Iraq now” or “negotiated settlement.” Overwhelmingly, previously undecided voters left the hall convinced that we must win in Iraq. I was expecting a hostile audience, but these results prove that, with the credibility that we as veterans bring to the debate, it is not too late to shape the public’s perception of the war in Iraq.

The debate will be shown in its entirety on BBC World during the weekend of January 5th, and Vets for Freedom will send out a notice when it appears. In the meantime, visit this website for a podcast of the debate.

The title of the debate is The Future of Iraq. They also have another ad coming out to thank Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his steadfast support of the men and women fighting in uniform and those vets who are home fighting for their brothers and sisters right to win the victory. You can visit their website to view these ads.

What I can do is to get 5 people to sign up to support Vets for Freedom. Here is an opportunity for you to support those troops you say you support. 😉

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBET2sswiMI&rel=1″>

This is an excellent video from Blackfive. It was taped on the 90th birthday of the Army, and it has a lot of history in the short time allowed.

This is very sweet and moving video, again from Blackfive, that says to the troops, “Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!” It also says that we miss you, you are not forgotten, and we care. Greatly. We thank your families and you for your service, and we won’t give up the fight on our end either. (I just added that, but I know it to be true.) A shout out to Morgan, ‘B-Mo’ O’, Maniac, Major Stone Cold, Cookie Monster, Surferdude, T-Dog, Burt Schtickem, Coopage, Gonzo, Pineapple, Tater, Headspace, Sparky, Crash and Sack, and the Hometown Hero. God bless you all, and may your Christmas be safe, rememberable, and may you have the Joy that this world does not understand. Also, may God’s protection keep you from all harm and all evil. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, Amen.

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest: Faultline USA: Spirit of Christmas and Religious Bigotry, third world county: Who is He in Yonder Stall?, Right Truth: The Saudis are Coming … A MUST READ for free speech, The World According To Carl: Clever Video: President George Bush “Covering” R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”, Stuck on Stupid: Fred Thompson’s Christmas Message, Big Dog’s Website: Vote for Hillary, Get Lower Oil Prices, Chuck Adkins: Weekend Open Trackback and Open Thread, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: Oh! Tannenbaum, Right Voices: It’s Christmas Eve, and I Have Much To Be Thankful For, and The Yankee Sailor: Weekend Open Post, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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    This is good news for Rep. Duncan Hunter. To have one of the most Conservative senators (in New Hamphsire, no less!) endorse you is a big deal. Vermont is the first state to actually vote as we know it. Many people believe that whoever wins or suprisingly comes close to winning will go on to become president of the United States. Below is a copy of that endorsement:

    Dear New Hampshire Friends:

    After spending several weeks listening to all of the candidates, I have decided to support Congressman Duncan Hunter for President. I do not take this decision lightly. There are a lot of fine men running for this office and I know that many of you may have already made your choice. Your vote in the “First in the Nation Primary” is a very precious and personal right. Your decision will likely determine who will be the next leader of the free world. What an awesome responsibility! I only ask that you give serious consideration to the points that I make in this letter of endorsement for Congressman Hunter before you vote.

    The Republican Party, but more importantly our nation, needs strong conservative and inspirational leadership as we continue to face the threats to our liberty in the form of immorality, corruption, terrorism, a mountain of debt, border insecurity, loss of jobs and attempts to weaken our national defense. Here is why Duncan Hunter is that leader!

    I am sure that you are aware that I fought the battle for the conservative cause in New Hampshire for over 20 years. It was not an easy battle. Conservatives pay a heavy price for standing up for their principles. I can speak from personal experience on that. The Republican Party has lost its majority in Congress because it slowly and steadily has walked away from the “core values” that have made it a great party for the past 150 years in America . Remember Ronald Reagan? Liberals and moderates worked hard to defeat him in the New Hampshire primary in 1980 but he prevailed in spite of them! He will be remembered as one of our greatest Presidents because he stood on principle, but also because we conservatives in New Hampshire gave him the victory that propelled him to the White House! When President Reagan came into the oval office in the morning, he knew exactly where he wanted to take the country. He did not need an inbox full of directions, consultants, polls or focus groups to tell him what his core values were. There will never be another Ronald Reagan but fellow Californian Duncan Hunter can pick up the Reagan torch and light the way for America to come back from the dangers we now face. Congressman Hunter is a moral man, an inspirational leader and a no nonsense conservative who will always put “principle above politics” in the image of the late great New Hampshire patriot Meldrim Thomson.

    I had the enormous privilege to serve with Congressman Hunter for 18 years in Congress. He has been my personal friend for nearly 25 years. I can personally attest that he is a man of impeccable moral and family values, a great patriot and a leader. I have seen him fight even when others were prepared to give up. Congressman Hunter inspired me and many other young conservatives in the 1980s to continue the fight even when it was bleak. This has not been an easy campaign for Congressman Hunter. While he has been out on the campaign trail his son has been serving in Iraq and the Hunters lost their entire home in the recent fires in Southern California . He has been largely ignored by the pollsters and the media. I urge the people of New Hampshire to send a message to the pollsters and the Washington media elite. The people elect a President not the pollsters! You have the opportunity to do for the nation what you did when you elected President Reagan in 1980 by sending Duncan Hunter out of New Hampshire with a big win and on to the White House in January of 2009! Can you imagine listening to CNN and all of the talking heads trying to explain how they were wrong as Hunter claimed victory? Wouldn’t that be worth the price of admission? You can make it happen with your vote in January! Do not be intimidated by these spinmasters. You control the destiny of America and not them!

    The American people need to take control of this country. We are a republic, not a democracy. We elect leaders to stand up for us as they make decisions. Duncan Hunter has proven that he can lead. He has been tested. If given the chance as President, he will inspire people, young and old, to rally to our nation in this time of need. Congressman Duncan Hunter for 25 years has stood up for the rights of the unborn, to balance the budget, to cut the pork out of the spending bills, to strengthen our national defense by supporting our troops and providing them the weapons they need, to seal off our borders by building a fence along the US/Mexican border and to keep American jobs in America. He is a known entity. You do not have to guess about what he might do on these critical threats to our security. Imagine President Duncan Hunter leading our nation and using the “bully pulpit” to lead on these issues! I am proud to support this great American patriot for President. If you really want to see change, then I urge you to vote for him. He is what American needs now more than ever! Thank you!

    Senator Bob Smith
    Tuftonboro, N.H. and Sarasota, Florida.

    As I remember, for full disclosure’s sake, Sen. Smith did leave the Republican Party for about a month or two while he was running for president in 2000. Many people did not forgive him for that. I was one of them. At least for a while.

    Why did I not forgive him? If you want change, if you want to help, then you should do it from within. That used to be my philosophy. I do not know what has happened to my party, but it certainly is not the fiscally responsible, pro-life, pro- all the Amendments – the Constitution – the Declaration of Independence, and just plain decency along with the will to fight for what is believed to be correct. I do not see this anymore, and maybe Sen. Smith saw this before I did. Either way, all is forgiven. How could it not when I am sitting here wondering where can I go?

    Today is Samantha Burns’ OTA Weekend and Open Trackback Linkfest Haven Oasis. Please have a nice weekend, and please have a wonderful and safe Merry ChristMass. Please keep our men and women who cannot be at home during this season because they are protecting our liberties close to your heart. Also remember their families, the empty chair for Daddy or Mommy, keep them in your prayers. Maybe if you know someone like that, you may even bake them some cookies or see if there is a need. Come on. ‘Tis the season to give. Thank you.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE TO HALOSCAN USERS
    If you are using haloscan, please understand that I will have to leave my trackback in your comments section. For some reason, haloscan has not been available to me for 3 days now. It does not appear as though the problem will be solved soon, either. I am so p***ed off! (lol) Please leave your comment section open. Thank you.

    UPDATE: Haloscan is back online. Wheh!

    Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Samantha Burns OTA and Linkfest:
    Stop the ACLU: Weekend Free-For-All, Stix Blog: U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007, Pirate’s Cove: TB Friday Featuring The Surrender Monkey: The 400, The World According To Carl: Open Trackback Friday — December 21, 2007, Woman Honor Thyself: Smile! It’s ChristmaS, CommonSenseAmerica: Spare time is not always my friend…OTB, The Midnight Sun: CHRISTMAS: LOVE IT OR HATE IT, 123beta: Merry Christmas Open Trackback Weekend, Adam’s Blog: Post of the Day for December 21, 2007, Right Truth: What you need to know about Mormons, Stix Blog: Who knew I had have fans in Trinidad & Tobago, Leaning Straight Up: Friday Video Break Christmas, The Amboy Times: Tancredo Endorses Romney, Conservative Cat: NMPDR – The Really Bad Strain of Staphylococcus Aureus, Nuke’s: Fla. Newspaper Publishes Problem Teacher List, third world county: A 15th Century Christmas Message, The Crazy Rantings of Samantha Burns: OTA Weekend, The World According To Carl: This Explains A Lot, Blue Star Chronicles: TB Friday Featuring the Surrender Monkey: The 400, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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    So the Democrats say they want to see more visible effort on Iraqi government and her people before they will pay our men and women for the work we sent them there to do? Well, check this out:

    CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – The number of Iraqi-led reconciliation efforts swelled over the past two weeks across Multi-National Division – Center as local Iraqi leaders seek to capitalize on an improved security situation by developing the institutions that will enable long-term stability.

    With Coalition Forces and Iraqi Concerned Local Citizens working increasingly in tandem with the Iraqi Police and Army to solidify security relationships, a window has opened for local leadership to push forward business development and infrastructure repair and forge political relationships across sects and neighborhoods.

    On Nov. 26, Khalif Haloos of the Sadr al Yusifiyah Nahia Governance Council hosted more than 500 sheiks from Sunni, Shi’a and Kurdish tribes. Also in attendance were Coalition Forces from the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), who were the invited guests of the Iraqis who organized the meeting. Security for this meeting, the largest of several important reconciliation gatherings in MND-C in recent days, was provided by the Iraqi Security Forces.

    “This meeting was an example of Sunnis and Shias working together,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, commander of 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div (AASLT). “The ISF took the lead in providing security for the meeting, and we had representation from all the key players in that area. That dynamic, coming from the local level, could be an example for the national government.”

    The sheiks discussed reconciliation issues, from the return of displaced families, to a pact that would allow Iraqis of all sects to travel freely through the sheiks’ territory without fear of sectarian reprisal. They also discussed restraining Iranian influence, suppressing the remaining insurgents in their territory, and ways to integrate their activities with Iraq’s central government.

    On Nov. 27 [2007] at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, leaders of the Iraqi Army and Police met with elected officials and Coalition commanders to discuss security cooperation and coordination in Babil province.

    Col. Michael Garret, commander of the outgoing 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, used the occasion to say goodbye to the Iraqi leaders with whom he had worked for more than a year. Working to build on those relationships now is Col. Thomas James, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

    Although it’s early in James’ deployment, his brigade has seen many examples of local leaders taking steps to improve their community through Sunni and Shia cooperation, specifically from the Sunni sheik and the police chief in Musayyib. Both will tell you that they are Iraqis first, not Sunni or Shia, and only want what’s good for their country and citizens, James said.

    Another meeting was held Dec. 1 on the other side of MND-C at Forward Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad. Iraqi civic and tribal leaders in attendance offered frank assessments of their needs and asked U.S. and Iraqi officials for continued support with stabilization efforts.

    Col. Wayne Grigsby, commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said after the meeting, “I’ve spent 35 months of my life in Iraq, and this is the best I’ve ever seen it.” He noted, however, that there remain opportunities to synchronize U.S. and Iraqi efforts.

    Part of that direction involves parlaying improved security and cooperation among the different parties to build a stepped-up reconstruction program. Similar to the reconciliation conferences that took place, the reconstruction effort is manifesting itself across MND-C as community development projects.

    On Nov. 28, the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. opened a new medical clinic in Narwhan after the project was approved by Iraq’s Ministry of Health. As a signal of its commitment to the initiative, the ministry hired three doctors to work at the facility, two of whom are female.

    The following day, the 1-10th FA conducted a school bag and bottled-water drop in Sabah Nisan. School children there received 180 school bags and 3,500 cases of water, distributed by the Concerned Local Citizens.

    On Nov. 26, the Al-Wehda Nahia council celebrated with Iraqi and Coalition Forces the completion of a well system in al Sadiq. The system includes water pumps, storage tanks, a generator and quarters for a caretaker. The project was a joint effort by local Iraqis and Coalition Forces.

    Finally, on Nov. 28, Iraqis celebrated the graduation of a class of small businessmen from an entrepreneur training program in the Mada’in Qada. The program helps develop business skills and planning among local business owners and then provides them with micro-grants to revitalize their businesses. As part of the program, U.S. military and civilian officials assess the proposals of the Iraqi graduates and award grants of up to $10,000 to eligible candidates.

    Now I want you to go to your phones and dial toll free at 1-866-340-9281, and tell the Democrats to PAY OUR MEN AND WOMEN! They wanted evidence? Here it is. To continue to ignore this fact, is to ignore any and all facts they with which they disagree politically. This is outrageous, and it should not be allowed to stand. Write about it, talk about it on the radio programs, do whatever you can. Our men and women did not ask to be deployed by the same people who are now refusing to pay them so that they can make political points back home. They really, REALLY, need to stop. Thank you.

    Source: CentCom News Release.

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