December 5, 2007
The news has been filled recently with information about Congress refusing to act on President Bush’s Defense Department spending bill. Because of this, the Army is taking steps to cut operations at Army bases worldwide. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has already ordered commanders at Army installations to begin making plans to cut back on spending and operations, in preparation for what could possible turn into a major crisis, if funding isn’t soon authorized.
Some of the first people who will be affected will be as many as 200,000 Army civilians and contractors, who may receive layoff notices as early as Christmas. This in turn would create the necessity to pull Soldiers from their regular duties to take over vital functions, such as security, from contractors and Army civilian workers who would be laid off. Not only would that affect the services available to Soldiers and their families, but that could mean dire consequences for the economy, with the potential of 200,000 workers laid off from their jobs.
In mind mind, it’s absolutely urgent that Congress act to approve this emergency spending bill. This type of political “game playing” couldn’t come at a worse time for the military, who is currently fighting two wars. It makes me wonder if Congress is really putting thought into the serious implications that this could have on the economy of the country, or how it will affect the ability of our Troops to continue their jobs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, we have Soldiers who have served 3 or more deployments. By removing Soldiers from their current positions, to take over the positions left vacant by laying off civilian workers, that will cause more deployments for those Troops who are not pulled for these duties.
“Absolutely, it’s an urgent need,” Maj. Gen. Edgar E. Stanton III, director of the Army’s budget office, said of the necessity for the Army to obtain nearly $55 billion from Congress to fund operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In a memorandum dated Nov. 26, Gen. Richard A. Cody, vice chief of staff of the Army, directed that all Army commanders and agency directors begin planning to curtail operations and related expenses that do not directly support warfighters engaged in the global war on terrorism. Cody’s instructions tell Army commanders and civilian leaders to review all operations and to forward recommendations to cut costs back to him by Dec. 4.
“We are only in the prudent planning phase,” Cody said in a statement released yesterday. The Defense Department has instructed all military services to review operational costs at installations as well as to prepare for possible furloughs of government civilian employees.
According to Defense Secretary Gates as well as Senior Army leaders, if the Army doesn’t receive the needed funding by mid-February, there could be serious impacts. Leaders across the Army are working at this time to identify the impact that this could have on the quality of life for Soldiers and their families.
I think it’s high time that we begin letting our elected leaders know what we think about this and urge them to act quickly to pass a feasible spending bill that will not affect the way of life of our Troops. I’d be interested to hear what everyone else’s thoughts are on this potential disaster. This whole mess makes me angry, because from what I see, it’s not about what’s best for our Troops and their families, but instead a game of political one-upmanship, with our Troops and their families as the pawns.
Politicians Piss Me Off!!!
November 18, 2007
As you all know, Anthony and I generally stay away from politics and focus on our Military instead. Our Troops are a much more palatable subject, as least as far as I’m concerned. BUT, when they do something that can affect our Troops in a negative way, then I tend to get a tad bit irate. To me, the lives and well-being of our Troops, are far more important, than that of any politician. On a daily basis, they blow exhorbiant amounts of our, the taxpayers money, yet they can’t seem to get past their political differences and do what it takes to take care of our Troops. And have you ever noticed how those political differences get pushed to the back burner, when it comes time for them to vote for a pay raise for themselves. Kind of makes you go hmmmmmmm, doesn’t it?
Now is one of those times, that I’m so pissed off at what their political games, that I could scream. Lately, we’ve been bombarded in the news with the political fighting over the war-spending bill that President Bush sent to Congress. Currently, there’s a stand-off in Washington DC, between the Democrats and the Republicans over the war-spending bill. Democrats and anti-war political leaders recently attempted to pass a bill in the Senate that would provide $50 million in war-funding, but with the strings that the Troops will begin withdrawing within 30 days. That bill didn’t pass in the senate, where it was defeated by the vote of 53-45. So now, they’ve decided to table the issue until after the first of the year.
Don’t these morons even realize, that by playing the idiotic ‘power games’ they’re playing that they’re putting the lives of our Troops in jeopardy. While they’re up on Capitol Hill, sitting in their cushy offices, that WE the taxpayers are paying for, spending horrendous amounts of money on trivial things and fighting like grade school children over all kinds of things and attempting to make their particular political party look good, our Troops are busting their humps, risking their lives, to enable them to do so, and they don’t give it a single thought. I’m not talking about any particular political party here, but honestly every damn politician on Capitol Hill. When I think about the ridiculous salaries that we, the citizens of this Country are paying these people, while are Troops, who’s jobs are for more important are doing their jubs for mere pennies compared to their salaries, it makes me wonder where our prorities are. In my eyes, the jobs that our Troops our doing, are the ones that should be earning the salaies the politicians are making and insead, let the politicians be paid what our Troops are. Afterall, who is putting their lives on the line here? It sure isn’t the politicians.
In response to all of this, Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday, signed a memo that orders the Army to begin planning for a series of cutbacks that will be necessary to enable the Army to continue operating, until sometime in February. Part of those cutbacks, will include the layoffs of as many as 100,000 civilian employees and another 100,000 civilian contractors, as early as January. But even that doesn’t seem to phase the “golden boys and girls” on Capitol Hill. I guess they have no clue that to lay off that many civilian workers, the operation of the Army will pretty much come to a screeching halt. Or, perhaps, I should put it in plainer English… by mid-February, if these people continue to play the games they’re playing currently, ALL Army bases will cease operations, that means shut down, closed, not in operation. Nothing like setting up the United States as a prime target for another Terrorist Attack. You can bet, all this crap is being watched closely by those who would love nothing more than to destroy our coutry. Yet, they could care less about the safety and security of our country. It won’t be long after the Army has to cease oerations, that other branches of the military will have to do the same. What the hell are these people thinking? This sends a loud and clear message to me, that these politicians could give a damn less about the security of the American people, as long as they can sit up in their “ivory towers” and continue to play their games with the lives of our Troops. It makes me wonder when, we as the American people are going to start holding these people accountable? We’ve not done it so far.
For me this is so damn frustrating, no, it’s just flat pisses me off, to think that we allow this kind of stuff to happen while we have Troops in harms way. I think it’s time to launch a letter writing and phone call campaign and let these people on Capitol Hill, know we’re tired of their childish bickering, thus endangering the lives of our Troops, and that we’re tired of their immature political games.
Was Today “National Moonbat Day?”
October 27, 2007
Did somebody forget to tell me that it was “National Moonbat Day” today, or something? It seems like they were out in full force at various places across the country today. I guess while I was taking part in what’s supposed to be, National Make A Difference Day, and taking donations to the local Domestic Violence shelter, some of the moonbats decided that they’d stage some anti-war protests, and behave in the typical fashion moonbats worldwide…. making total fools of themselves.
In the Washington DC area, those protestors were to be met by a group of Moms, whose children are currently Active Duty Soldiers, in a counter demonstration, to show their support of the mission that their children are currently involved in. You can bet if I’d been out there, I’d have been marching right along side those Moms of our Troops, showing my support for them and their mission.
In some of the cities where the protests took place, various veteran’s against the war groups participated. Their slogans today, were right in line with their buddies Code Pink and the typical Code-Pinko mantra. Protestors carried signs reading everything from “End The War Now” to “Healthcare, Not Warfare” and once again were calling for the impeachment of President Bush for some sort of imagined war crimes and they demanded that funding for the war but immediately cut off.
Their supposed reason for organizing the protests today was the 5th anniversary of the Senate’s vote that authorized the invasion of Iraq, claiming that the money should have been spent to fund educational and health care programs. Of course, they also had to throw in the possibility of the US invading Iran, to bolster their bravado. Actually, I don’t think these people need much reason to stampede the streets and make total asses of themselves.
Apparently protests were held in New York City. Boston, Chicago, LA, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Philadelphia. I don’t know about you all, but I’ve had enough of these “useful idiots” as ChrisG so fondly calls them. Wouldn’t it be nice, to see these people do something constructive with their time for a change….. like maybe, send some Care Packages or letters to the Troops who are serving them, their fellow Americans. Or perhaps, take some time to drop in at Walter Reed, BAMC, Bethesda or any of the other military hospitals and let the Wounded Warriors know that they have their support and appreciation. Somehow, I don’t see that happening anytime soon, so I’m not going to hold my breath…..
October 21, 2007
As many of us know, Code Pink has an ugly history of protesting our Troops and their mission. For a long time, they protested every Friday night outside the gates of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I remember the first Friday evening that I went to Walter Reed, clearly. Right outside the gates, on the sidewalk, they were standing there with their anti-military, anti-war signs screaming at the traffic as they drove by. My first instinct, was to swerve my car over and plow into them. Of course, that wouldn’t have solved a thing, so I just turned into the Walter Reed grounds and went about my business of visiting with the Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed instead.
Recently, the blog world has been full of the stories of Code Pink’s defacement of a Marine Recruiting Station in Berkeley, California. They openly and blatantly defaced the windows of the recruiting station and the sidewalk in front of it, and said that they would continue to do so. They loudly proclaim for anyone who will listen that our Troops are traitors. I’m not sure how they figure that, considering that they have proudly admitted to donating around $600,000 to the families of terrorists who are attacking our Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Following the defacement of the Marine Recruiting Station, Marine Captain Richard Lund had this to say in an open letter to Code Pink and it’s members:
An Open Letter to Code Pink
By Richard Lund (10-02-07)
While the protest that you staged in front of my office on Wednesday, Sept. 26th, was an exercise of your constitutional rights, the messages that you left behind were insulting, untrue, and ultimately misdirected. Additionally, from the comments quoted in the Berkeley Daily Planet article, it is clear that you have no idea what it is that I do here. Given that I was unaware of your planned protest, I was unable to contest your claims in person, so I will therefore address them here.
First, a little bit about who I am: I am a Marine captain with over eight years of service as a commissioned officer. I flew transport helicopters for most of my time in the Marine Corps before requesting orders to come here. Currently, I am the officer selection officer for the northern Bay Area. My job is to recruit, interview, screen, and evaluate college students and college graduates that show an interest in becoming officers in the Marine Corps. Once theyâ€™ve committed to pursuing this program, I help them apply, and if selected, I help them prepare for the rigors of Officer Candidate School and for the challenges of life as a Marine officer. To be eligible for my programs, you have to be either a full-time college student or a college graduate. I donâ€™t pull anyone out of school, and high school students are not eligible.
I moved my office to Berkeley in December of last year. Previously, it was located in an old federal building in Alameda. That building was due to be torn down and I had to find a new location. I choose our new site because of its proximity to UC Berkeley and to the BART station. Most of the candidates in my program either go to Cal or to one of the schools in San Francisco, the East Bay, or the North Bay. Logistically, the Shattuck Square location was the most convenient for them.
Next, you claim that I lie. I have never, and will never, lie to any individual that shows an interest in my programs. I am upfront with everything that is involved at every step of the way and I go out of my way to ensure that they know what to expect when they apply. I tell them that this is not an easy path. I tell them that leading Marines requires a great deal of self-sacrifice. I tell them that, should they succeed in their quest to become a Marine officer, they will almost certainly go to Iraq. In the future, if you plan to attack my integrity, please have the courtesy to explain to me specifically the instances in which you think that I lied.
Next, scrawled across the doorway to my office, you wrote, â€œRecruiters are Traitors.â€ Please explain this one. How exactly am I a traitor? Was I a traitor when I joined the Marine Corps all those years ago? Is every Marine, therefore, a traitor? Was I a traitor during my two stints in Iraq? Was I a traitor when I was delivering humanitarian aid to the victims of the tsunami in Sumatra? Or do you only consider me a traitor while I am on this job? The fact is, recruitment is and always has been a part of maintaining any military organization. In fact, recruitment is a necessity of any large organization. Large corporations have employees that recruit full-time. Even you, Iâ€™m sure, must expend some effort to recruit for Code Pink. So what, exactly, is it that makes me a traitor?
The fact is this: any independent nation must maintain a military (or be allied with those who do) to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. Regardless of what your opinions are of the current administration or the current conflict in Iraq, the U.S. military will be needed again in the future. If your counter-recruitment efforts are ultimately successful, who will defend us if we are directly attacked again as we were at Pearl Harbor? Who would respond if a future terrorist attack targets the Golden Gate Bridge, the BART system, or the UC Berkeley clock tower? And, to address the most hypocritical stance that your organization takes on its website, where would the peace keeping force come from that you advocate sending to Darfur?
Finally, I believe that your efforts in protesting my office are misdirected. I agree that your stated goals of peace and social justice are worthy ones. War is a terrible thing that should only be undertaken in the most dire, extreme, and necessary of circumstances. However, war is made by politicians. The conflict in Iraq was ordered by the president and authorized by Congress. They are the ones who have the power to change the policy in Iraq, not members of the military. We execute policy to the best of our ability and to the best of our human capacity. Protesting in front of my office may be an easy way to get your organization in the headlines of local papers, but it doesnâ€™t further any of your stated goals.
To conclude, I donâ€™t consider myself a â€œrecruiter.â€ I am a Marine who happens to be on recruiting duty. As such, I conduct myself in accordance with our core values of honor, courage, and commitment. I will never sacrifice my honor by lying to anyone that walks into my office. I will never forsake the courage that it takes to restrain myself in the face of insulting and libelous labels like liar and traitor. And, most importantly, I will never waver from my commitment to helping individuals who desire to serve their country as officers in the Marine Corps.
Captain Richard Lund is the United States Marine Corpsâ€™ officer selection officer for the northern Bay Area.
Last week, Melanie Morgan and the organization she founded, Move Forward America staged a counter-protest to show their support of the Troops. Melanie also revealed their newest T-Shirt that proclaims that Code Pink are the REAL Traitors. I couldn’t agree more! In the photos you’ll see Melanie Morgan confronting Code Pink’s founder Madea Benjamin, with the shirt proclaiming who the REAL traitors/terrorists wannabes are…. Madea and her crazy band of pinko lunatics. The other pictures are of the Pro-Troop supporters.
The “Code Pink Are The Real Traitors” shirts are available for sale by going to the Move Forward America Campaign Store.
October 21, 2007
In one neighborhood of Baghdad, the Troops responsible for that area are sending out a very clear message to the insurgents and those who would target the innocent. That message is that there will be absolutely NO tolerance for their tactics. If they chose to continue, they’ll be met with a swift and sudden response.
Saturday, the people in the Adhamiyah districts Abu Hanifa Market were reminded that the Troops from 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, “Sabers” aren’t about to tolerate someone attacking US Troops, Iraqi Security Forces or innocent civilians. In the afternoon a US Soldier was injured when someone lobbed a grenade at his patrol. The response was immediate. Less than a half an hour later, Lt. Col. Jeff Broadwater showed up. He shouted as he went from shop to shop asking who threw the grenade, while an Apache gunship circled overhead.
“Who threw the grenade,” Broadwater shouted. “Where are they? Show me where they are and I will take them out of here!”
Broadwater and his Troops are sending a clear message that attacks such as this won’t be tolerated and they have sent that message, since arriving in the neighborhood. Their methods have netted results. What once was a hotbed of insurgent activity in this mostly Sunni neighborhood in eastern Baghdad, has made dramatic improvements, mostly due to their “zero tolerance” approach.
“We’re sending a message that attacks will not be tolerated,” said Broadwater.
“Anytime there’s an attack we do an immediate mass response. We flood the area with as many people as we can,” said SSG Eric Bull, a a section leader with 3-7’s Troop C. “We don’t want to give the insurgents time to rest.”
“They punch us, we punch back harder,” explained Capt. Andrew Steadman, commander of a quick reaction force of Strykers based in Adhamiyah.
Since arriving in the neighborhood, the hardcore insurgents are filtering away and what is left are the opportunists - locals willing to shoot a few rounds or perhaps toss a couple of grenades at Coalition forces, as a way to earn some easy money. Insurgents have been forced more and more to resort to desperate tactics. They do things like pay children to do their attacks for them. Recently the “Sabers” captured a 9 year old boy whom insurgents had paid to throw a grenade. He was later released to the custody of his parents.
The quick responses by Saber Troops have made a positive impact, with a 70% overall decrease in attacks ince they took over responsibility for Adhamiyah, 4 months ago. When attacks do happen, such as the grenade attack at the market on Saturday, they are met with an overwhelming response. Even as they evacuate their wounded, scores of Soldiers in Humvees and Strykers move into secure the area. On Saturday, 15 minutes after the attack occurred, there was a vehicle at every intersection around the market and dismounted Troops were searching from building to building. While they search houses and buildings, Troops are quick to do so in a polite and professional manner, so as to cause as little disruption as they can. Most residents were friendly and helpful when the Soldiers knocked on their doors.
“We don’t come in to scare people, it’s just to show them our presence and let them know we’re here and we mean business,” Spc Lonnie Pearson said. “They want the bad guys out of here just as bad as we do.”
After a short period of time, Troops located a witness who had saw the person who threw the grenade. He provided a detailed description of the suspects. The description was immediately broadcast to all the Troops in the area. This time however, the bad guy had already vanished. After several hours, Broadwater called off the search.
After returning to base, Broadwater visited his wounded Soldier at the hospital. Broadwater says he’s encouraged by the resolve of his Troops and by the reactions of the citizens in the community that they came in contact with.
“The people see that we’re not going to let attacks go unanswered, and they appreciate that,” Broadwater said.
Though the insurgents who threw the grenade hadn’t been apprehended, Broadwater was very confident that they had gotten the intent of the message he was sending them…. loud and clear.
“We will find you,” he promised. “It may not be this time, but sooner or later, we will find you.”
October 18, 2007
Tony Diana has done it once again! Tony tends to write music about real events that strike him and makes a statement with his music. In this song and the video that it’s set to, he lets the politicians know that he’s NOT BELIEVING a thing that he hears them say. Well done Tony! I think you say what many of us have been thinking and saying for a long time now.
Check out more of Tony’s songs and videos at page.
Vandals Strike Vietnam Memorial… Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?
September 10, 2007
Enough is enough! It’s been a fairly busy and eventful day for me today, so when I opened up my email and found a story about vandals damaging the Vietnam Memorial, my blood began to boil. It’s one thing to not agree with the war in Iraq, but quite another when you deliberately deface and damage a memorial to men and women who lost their lives in service to this country. Is nothing sacred anymore in this country?
Such behavior on the part of the person or persons who committed this atrocity indicates several things to me. First and foremost, the person who did this is both immature and selfish. A person who probably has no clue what sacrifice and honor mean. How can such a person, expect anyone to listen to what they have to say, when they stoop so low, as to vandalize something as sacred and honorable as the Vietnam Memorial?
I hope that the person or persons responsible for such reprehensible actions is found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They should be made to clean up the mess that they made and pay for any and all damages that their childish, immature actions have caused to the memorial. They should be made to serve community service in a Veteran’s Home or some sort of organization that provides services for Veterans, should be required to publically apologize to all Vietnam Veterans and serve a long jail sentence. Some may think I’m being harsh, but this person or persons should be made an example of, to make it clear to anyone else who might consider such immature actions, that they will be held accountable for their actions and that the punishment will be harsh.
Who knows what this idiot was thinking…. perhaps that by doing this, they would weaken the resolve of those of us who support our Troops and their mission in Iraq. Perhaps they were thinking, that by doing such a horrible thing, people would join their cause. I guess they don’t realize that actions such as this, only strengthens the resolve of us who support our Troops and our Veterans. The adage that actions speak louder than words applies here. These actions, while hurtful, immature, reprehensible, cowardly and childish only, point to the calibre of person they are. A person who is not worthy of the freedoms and liberties that our Troops are fighting and dying to give them. They should be ashamed and they’d best hope like hell that they don’t run across any pissed off Vietnam Vets in the near future.
Mrs. Trooprally called me this evening to tell me that she and her husband, as well as Concretebob, saw damage along almost the entire length of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. They found this damage this morning, when they walked through the area before participating in the September 11th Freedom Walk.
Concretebob was told by a National Park Service employee that the damage was done on Friday night. There was no police report taken or written about the vandalism, apparently. And the damage was still very much there today.
Here are a few of the photos that Mrs. Trooprally took this morning…
This first one is not so noticeable, but as they walked into the center, it got worse.
It looks like the person who did this walked along The Wall with some type of container, perhaps hidden at their side so that they could squirt the oily substance without being caught in the act.
The names along the lower part of The Wall appear to have taken the brunt of the damage.
Because of the reflective nature of The Wall, Mrs. Trooprally had a tough time capturing the extent of the damage. Mr. Trooprally said that the oily substance has discolored the shiny stone, but that it has been absorbed into the more porous area where the names are etched into The Wall.