Appreciate what we have.
Here's all the pictures from the US Navy's homepage as of 1815 CST today. What's wrong with all these pictures?
Where are the freakin' ships? And yes, I know that's an aircraft carrier.
Thanks to all the men and women who now wear, or have ever worn, any of the uniforms of the United States Armed Forces. Your courage, strength, resolve, and sacrifice are what make so many things I value possible.
Reading about Richard Clarke of late, with his firm positioning on both sides of the WoT issues of the day, I was wondering whom his mentor for that particular skill might be? Would it be fair to say he supported the Bush administration's approach to fighting terrorism before he opposed it.
It has been strange watching Big Media swallow Dick's recent assertions hook, line, and sinker, while there is abundant evidence that he is little more than an embittered civil servant with a selective memory, an axe to grind, and a book to sell. Frankly, I don't know which should be considered worse, sacrificing his credibility in a partisan effort to hurt President George W. Bush or inhibiting an effort to investigate and learn from the past for personal financial gain. Of course, it could be both, but I'm trying really hard not to impugn motives and limit my commentary to looking at the evidence objectively. Unfortunately, even discounting any partisan or financial motivations, there is so much contradictory information in Mr. Clarke's statements over the last few years that it is unequivocally true that he has been a bald-faced liar now or in the past, or both. Rather than try and sort out when he was being truthful, it is easier to just dismiss everything he says and hope the commission, and Big Media, will drop the partisanship and try to find out something that will be useful in the future for the WoT. You may say I'm a dreamer...
Taking that snippet from a song that is otherwise utopian tripe reminded me of its hauntingly successful use at the end of The Killing Fields, which I saw again recently. Compare Richard Clarke's apology to the TV cameras, I mean the 9/11 families, with Sydney Schanberg's apology to Dith Pran at the end of that movie. Then contrast Dith Pran's response with the response of some of the 9/11 family members. Incidentally, I wonder if any of these 9/11 family members are the same ones who reacted with such hostility to a couple of seconds of 9/11 footage in the Bush campaign videos. And I wonder if anyone in Big Media even cares to ask that question.
I rarely say anything about charitable acts I do, but I am going to make an exception in this case for a couple of reasons.
This week I took daughter #1 out and we bought supplies and toys to send to the kids and people of Iraq via Chief Wiggles and Operation Give (mad props to Dean Esmay for pushing this relentlessly.). Everybody who reads this has probably already responded to Chief Wiggles drive, but you never know. While it is easiest to send money, and I have no doubt that it is appreciated, involving a young person back here in the whole process helps lay the seeds for future good deeds in ways that a check just can't. If you haven't found the time or opportunity yet to help, maybe today would be a good time to take care of it. You can do it for me since it's my birthday!
Over at Ipse Dixit, Dodd posted an item from a New York paper from a librarian about his son and other soldiers needing books to read in some areas just to pass the time -- and it does look like they are going to be there for a long time. I packed up six hardback Tom Clancy novels, and softcopy versions of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Three Musketeers, to Capt. David Spencer and his fellow soldiers in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Task Force 1-63 Armor. I think the idea of books arriving from all over our country from people they don't know will help assure them that their efforts are appreciated and that we do think of them frequently.
While shipping the books, I got into a discussion with the woman behind the counter who asked if Capt. Spencer was a friend or relative. When I told her it was neither and explained, she was so impressed that she took all the info necessary and said she was going to do the same thing. (Sowing the seeds of love!) Since Capt. Spencer's was only looking for 200 books or so, he probably is going to have to be building more shelves soon. I'm sure that any overflow they have will find its way to another unit. But if you're concerned about overburdening Capt. Spencer's shelves, there is another site that let's you send books to other soldiers in the armed forces.
So, what are you waiting for?
Should the actions of the United States and the current Bush administration in liberating Iraq and progress made in rebuilding Iraq be judged against a utopian vision (which we don't seem to be able to produce here in the US), or should they be judged against a violent state of chaos, e.g., Mogadishu circa 1993?
This is more than a question of is your glass half empty or half full. It fundamentally gets to the root of whether a commentator/pundit/politician is a serious person who lives in the real world or whether they are nothing more than a cynical player of a game in which winning and maintaining power are all that matter.
I suppose I can be accused of putting forth a false dichotomy in this instance, but I don't really think I have. I did not claim that to live in the real world one must support everything the administration does, nor that we should not view everything they do with a critical eye. But that is not the same thing at all as wearing dung-colored glasses that can only see the negative and taking the phrase, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," to heart, thereby lumping President Bush into the same list of enemies as the terrorists. In my mind, this comes dangerously close to laying a bet that having our enemies win is a short term gamble that some are willing to take to secure their own sinecure.
Politics and Big Media's reporting on politics is rapidly devolving into nothing more than the automatic gainsaying of the other person's position, no matter how ludicrous it sounds or however mendacious one must be to say it. The abdication of responsible opposition to the current administration is beginning to radicalize me. And I don't think that I am alone.
For the first time, soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery were given permission to leave their post at the Tomb of the Unknowns - if Hurricane Isabel became too dangerous.
"We made the decision we were going to stand where we were," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Fredrick Geary, 37, who is sergeant of the guard at the tomb.
I have nothing to add to this story except that I'm sure the military will bend over backwards to insure he will get a fair trial.
An Army Islamic chaplain, who counseled al Qaeda prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base, has been charged with espionage, aiding the enemy and spying, The Washington Times has learned.
Capt. James J. Yee, a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., was arrested earlier this month by the FBI in Jacksonville, Fla., as he arrived on a military charter flight from Guantanamo, according to a law-enforcement source.
Agents confiscated several classified documents in his possession and interrogated him. He was held for two days in Jacksonville and transferred to a Navy brig in Charleston, S.C., where two Army lawyers have been assigned to his defense.
The Army has charged Capt. Yee with five offenses: sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage and failure to obey a general order. The Army may also charge him later with the more serious charge of treason, which under the Uniform Code of Military Justice could be punished by a maximum sentence of life.
Donald Sensing owns this one.
The second anniversary of the September 11 attacks this week looks set to be a low-key affair, reflecting a partial healing of wounds inflicted by the trauma and a switch in focus caused by the war in Iraq.
Short-term thinking and subzero sum partisanship are endemic to our culture, hence headlines like this:
For 7 Days in Iraq, No U.S. Combat Deaths
But where are the headlines that read like this:
For 129 Days in Iraq, No Iraqi's Tortured for Reasons Known Only to Uday Hussein
For 129 Days in Iraq, No Daughters and Wives Raped for Iraqi's Political Beliefs
For 129 Days in Iraq, No Entire Iraqi Families Murdered Because Someone Opposed Saddam Hussein
For 129 Days in Iraq, No More Children's Prisons
For 129 Days In Iraq, No More Mass Graves
Of course, some Iraqis have been killed and wounded in countless small engagements and actions as well in the larger scale terrorist attacks at the Imam Ali Mosque and at the UN Headquarters in Iraq. But these terrorist attacks were a desperate, smaller scale, more generic kind of terror than the personal brand of terrorism inflicted on the people of Iraq by Saddam, Uday, and Qusay on a regular basis. And that, my friends, has come to a complete stop. But that's not front page news, I guess.
As a kid, I can remember being taught that December 7, 1941, was a day that would live in infamy -- and that was some 30 years after the event. Now, only two years after 9/11, some want us to just get over it already. Sorry, but I'm still in the mood for remembrance and righteous anger. The therapeutic approach proffered by Big Media and Big Education to the acts of war committed against the US have me wondering what my grandkids will be taught in school in another 30 years about 9/11, and about December 7, 1941, for that matter.