March 26, 2004

85%

The other day my mom called me laughing because her brother had just called her ready to blow a gasket while watching Kennedy on Meet the Press. Tanker pointed out something to me that I hadn't yet had time to post. Kennedy said:

Yeah, there would probably, probably. But I can tell you this: There would be a much greater participation of other countries around the world. This is laughable, this coalition. 85 percent of all the troops over there now are United
States troops, and 85 percent of the casualties--the casualties--are American troops. There's no reason that we can't have other troops from other nations participate and gradually free American troops from that responsibility. That would be the objective, and that would be the aim. I think that could be achievable.

Tanker then pointed out:

Multilateral, United Nations Authorized, France Approved,
Foreign Troops in the Korean War:

300,000 -- US
39,474 -- Foreign
339,474 -- Total

88% US

Australia 2,282
Belgium 900
Canada 6,146
Colombia 1,068
Ethiopia 1,271
France 1,119
Greece 1,263
Holland 819
Luxembourg 44
New Zealand 1,385
Philippines 1,496
South Africa 826
Thailand 1,204
Turkey 5,453
United Kingdom 14,198
United States 302,483


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WITTY

NotDeskmerc is just as witty and biting as Deskmerc:

I grow tired of the finger pointing over who is to blame for 9-11, and I haven’t even really listened to any of it. Just listening to people talk about listening to it is enough to make me want to read the Food and Wine section of the paper, instead.


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BLEAT

I sent the new Bleat to my co-worker in an email since we were talking about Clarke yesterday and he gets his info from those horrible articles at MSNBC. I shock myself with my newfound gutsiness...

I'm also wearing my new Home of the Free t-shirt today.

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KOREA

When I taught ESL back in Illinois, the majority of my students were from South Korea. In my small conversation classes, we talked about the military, since many of the men had done their mandatory Korean service. The older gentlemen in my classes, those in the 40 year old range, thought very highly of the US military and insisted that the American presence was still very necessary. But they said that the younger Koreans don't see things the same way.

The nonprofit think tank’s report, released earlier this month, included two public opinion polls covering 1,710 South Koreans. Most South Koreans said they believe U.S. forces are important for security but also believe the 37,000 U.S. servicemembers stationed in their country may halt unification efforts with North Korea, the study said. And younger, better-educated respondents said they believe America poses a greater threat than North Korea.

Let's pause a moment and reflect on the word better-educated. In this context, it seems to me that this adjective is synonymous with head-up-their-butts or perhaps brainwashed-by-a-Leftist-agenda.

How is it in our country, as well as in Korea, the more educated you are, the less likely you are to be in touch with reality?

The United States is not preventing the reunification of North and South Korea. And I'll bet you a complete set of James Bond movies and $650,000 worth of Hennessey that anyone who thinks the US is more dangerous than Kim Jong Poofyhair obviously has not read a single thing about life in North Korea.

I'm starting to take real issue with the term better-educated. As one of Porphyrogenitus' readers astutely noted, "Waitresses and truck drivers are smart enough not to believe such patent absurdities. The amazing thing is that the majority of English and social science professors and journalists do believe them."

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THANKS

We made it to 30,000 hits folks; thanks! Of course, according to my referrals, 572 of those hits were looking for dirty photos, but oh well. Maybe one of those people tried to grok.

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March 25, 2004

FALLEN

Our post lost a soldier last week. The memorial for PFC Jason Ludlam was held today, and unfortunately I couldn't get out of work to go. My friend went, and her description of the military roll call was enough to make me cry. I hope PFC Ludlam never doubted that there are people out there who appreciate his service and honor his sacrifice.

salute.jpg

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CHILLS

Bunker tries to help us grok the life of a soldier.

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SPECTRA

Blueshift responds to my a priori post.
I must say that the more I read about current events,
the less strongly I feel I can believe in the goodness of people.
But the more bloggers I meet,
the more I believe in the goodness of some.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:53 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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ANGER

OK, today is the first and last day I go read news on MSNBC. I am positively seething right now after reading articles about Clarke and Iraq One Year Later. And this article was the icing on my furious cake: ‘Old Europe’ unrepentant.

My main thought while reading this article was a black-and-white "whose side are you on?" Yep, call me a cowboy, but I believe you're either with us or with the terrorists, and the tone of this article infuriated me. The entire thing is written from the European's perspective, which is fine except the article is written by an NBC reporter.

The stings from U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s verbal attacks against Germany last year are still fresh. Derisively labeling Germany part of “Old Europe” and putting the country in line with rogue nations such as Libya and Cuba — as examples of other countries that were not supportive of the war — did not buy much American goodwill in Germany.

For the past year, Europeans have been waiting for an apology, but they have not gotten one yet.

When Rumsfeld was recently asked about the current state of U.S.-European relations and his “old Europe” remarks, he said the relationships were now “fairly normal.” Rumsfeld added that "he was too old to regret things he has said in the past.”

Germans have moved on and are hoping to start mending fences. "At present, bilateral talks between the two governments are mainly about reconciliation," said Klaus Proempers, a correspondent for German television ZDF.

You want an apology, Europe? I'm sure many of these people would be willing to give you one, but don't hold your breath for the government or the majority of Americans to let bygones be bygones.

Moving on:

An opinion poll by the German Marshall Fund reflected that a clear majority of Europeans want the European Union to become a superpower like the United States.

Ah ha ha ha ha. A clear majority of human beings want to be millionaires without lifting a finger and merely sitting around all day watching Becker, but that don't mean it's gon happen.

Chancellor Schroeder has rejected sending military support to Iraq, but he is hoping his announcement that German police will begin training their Iraqi counterparts this month will be seen as a gesture of goodwill.

And despite the fact that France and Germany have repeatedly rejected committing any NATO troops to Iraq in even a peacekeeping role, Germany has sent troops in Afghanistan and cites that as an example of how it is a reliable and dedicated NATO member.

Germany actually plans to increase its contingent of 220 German soldiers, stationed in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, as part of a so-called Provincial Reconstruction Team.

I'm sorry, I must have something crazy in my ear. Did you say two-hundred twenty? There are more than 220 soldiers from my husband's battalion alone in Iraq right now, and we're supposed to give Germany a gold star for effort and participation? Whew, thank god you pointed out Germany is "a reliable and dedicated NATO member"; I almost forgot, given the fact that their chancellor ran on a platform of Screw Bush. But at least some NATO piece of paper still says they're our ally, regardless of what they do or say.

Look, Europe has a right to their own positions. Journalists have a right to report them, though I wish that American journalists wouldn't play the Europe=innocent USA=naughty game. But if Europe wants to maintain their own positions and not work with us in the war on terror, then they can take care of themselves when the Paris suburbs erupt.

Or maybe we can send 220 soldiers to help them.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:28 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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FINALLY

Woo-hoo, we're going to Poland!

In western Europe, which hosts about 102,000 U.S. military service personnel, most of the expected reduction would come in Army forces in Germany. The Army would withdraw more than 60 percent of its 56,000 troops in Germany, home to the 1st Armored and 1st Infantry divisions, officials said, and several overlapping high-level commands would be consolidated.


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NO TAXES FOR BRITCHES

Mein Gott, Walter! as my co-worker always says.

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March 24, 2004

HA

Just got an email from my husband with funny stories in it. I don't want to give away anything OPSEC, but I wanted to share a part that made me smile. He had to go talk to the mayor of a nearby town about Problem X:

It was kind of cool. A room full of Iraqis were jumping through their ass
trying to impress your husband as they told him about [Problem X]. They
invited me to dinner and tea but I told them I had to go. I never thought I
would be a civil administrator in an Arab country while fighting an insurgency
against the only democracy in the region. If you would have told me that five
years ago, I would have called you crazy.

I'm going to see another town tomorrow about the same stuff. The only
translator available is yours truly so we'll see how it goes.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:52 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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CANDY CANE

I like the new An American Soldier blog run by Drill Sergeant Rob. He answers questions about Basic Training that are funny. My favorite bit so far:

I'd like to make a complaint. My little sister is in Jackson right now and she called to tell me about all the fun and "privlidges" she has. So, when you get a chance, tell C company, x/xxth Inf Reg, 3rd Platoon that they are a candy cane unit.

I deleted the unit to protect the guilty. No they are not a candy cane unit. The proper military term is a candyass unit. And yes...they are. Don't worry, we already make fun of them enough. Unfortunately there are big differences in units here as far as how easy or tough the training and discipline is. There are even differences between Companies and Platoons. My unit has a pretty good reputation compared to a lot of units here. And my Platoon is definitely one of the most disciplined in the Battalion. I can't help what other commanders and Drills let their soldiers get away with. I am still going to do my best to turn out tough, disciplined, highly trained, physically fit, morally sound soldiers.


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PANDORA

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -- if all records told the same tale -- then the lie pased into history and became truth. "Who controls the past," ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple.

I put a pencil mark next to this 1984 passage the other day because of it's frightening impact on me. And today Amritas points me in the direction of a post entitled Pandora's Box. A.E. Brain found out that the Library of Congress keeps certain blog entries about the Iraq war for posterity. His curiosity piqued, Brain checked out the Australian equivalent.

So I did a search on "Iraq & Saddam". The results, frankly, astonished me. A result worthy of the Ministry of Truth.

Of the 4638 hits, I reviewed the first 1000. Of these, approximately 300+ were political anyalysis and commentary. Of that 300+, I found 2 that were neutral, neither pro- nor anti- war, but dispassionate analysis of alternatives. The rest were all anti-Bush, anti-War, anti-American.

I'm willing to admit that there are plausible arguments against the Iraq War. But if future Historians primary sources are so selectively filtered, leaving the inescapable impression that there was absolutely no pro-War support whatsoever... then that's re-writing history by omission. Whether the war was right or wrong is arguable. Or arguably arguable. That editorial articles exist in support of it is not a matter of opinion, but of fact.

We're twenty years late but we're well on our way, Orwell.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:02 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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RINGS

Maybe it's a coincidence, given the release of the movies, that over the past year I've seen many bloggers compare the battle between democracy and jihad to The Lord of the Rings. Would we have made that same parallel based on our fuzzy memories of those books? Perhaps not, but the parallel has been made, and there are moments like right now where I feel a surge of excitement and a call to battle. Reading Wretchard's post (via Europundits) sharpened my laser beam and reminded me once again that there's a war on. His post is one that stirs men's hearts and breathes life into their souls:

By striking at so senior a terrorist target, the Jihadis will be in no mood for negotiations. They themselves will cast away the Peace Process and sheer fury will make them forswear their favorite tactic, the faux hudna -- thereby granting Israel a meeting on the battlefield. For this is Israel's mortal challenge to Hamas which has often said it would kill the last Jew. The message, now ringing in their ears, is that the Jew will kill the last terrorist, beginning at the top.

Is this a call to arms? The pinnacle clash of civilizations?

Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! For all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!

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SPUTNIK & PEACENIK

What the Mars Rover really found...

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OWNLIFE

I've been enjoying re-reading 1984, and I have found lots of stuff that I want to say about it, but that will have to wait. Briefly though, last night I found the Newspeak word for how I've been feeling lately: ownlife. Being alone, "individualism and eccentricity". That's how I've felt since my two best friends left for Iraq...up until the other day when I was talking to an acquaintance. Somehow the conversation twisted and turned until we were both nodding our heads that we support President Bush in the war on terror but think the Marriage Amendment is a bad idea. I think my jaw hit the floor. Someone to talk to...

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March 23, 2004

LAMBAST

If there's a bad blog post lambasting France, I've never seen it! Thanks, Kim.

By the way, Kim brings up National Piss Off Michael Moore And Buy A Gun Day on April 15th. After reading his blog for a couple of months, he's basically convinced me: I want to learn to handle a weapon. I realized the day my husband deployed what an irrational fear I have of weapons. I flinched every time my husband and fellow soldiers slung their rifles over their shoulders, even though I knew they were not loaded. In fact, I realized as my husband was showing off his pistol that day that it was the first time in my life I had ever touched a weapon. I have this hold-it-like-it's-a-baby-chick attitude about weapons that I'd like to overcome. Kim has convinced me that people should know how to respect weapons, and I want to learn that skill.

But we're in Germany, and guns are a strict no-no over here, so we'll have to wait until 2006 before I can even learn about weapons. Once we get home, maybe Kim can give me some pointers.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:25 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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ISRAEL

OK, time to step back for a minute. After a husband-inspired dinner of lil smokies and rum & coke and a rousing episode of Smallville, I'm ready to tackle the Arab-Israeli conflict growing on my blog.

I always thought the comments section of places like LGF or LT Smash was really fun: discussions growing on their own independent from the original post and blogger. I'm excited that my own readers are jumping into the game. But there are a few things I'd like to say.

I appreciate the fact that Joshua has been civil. He and I may disagree, but he politely asked me to re-grok, and I don't take that as a sign of trolldom. I also appreciate the fact that most of my readers seem to side with Israel, and I only encourage them to continue to be civil in their discussion.

That said, there are some other resources I'd like to point to, all taken from Charles Johnson's sidebar.

Myths & Facts Online: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict
Palestine Facts
Statistical Analysis of Casualties in the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict

I am the first to admit that I do not grok the entire conflict. I have read most of the information in the aforementioned articles, but I cannot say that I have completely understood everything. I am no expert. I tried to follow Joshua's advice and read the suggested works by Chomsky and Said, but they're both books, and I must honestly say that I don't feel comfortable purchasing their books. I would read an article online, but I don't particularly want to contribute money to their way of thinking.

I will say that I support the idea of the US being Israel's ally. They need all the allies they can get, and so do we. Seeing as we're both considered the biggest threats to world peace, we'd better stick together. Since we give plenty of money to craptastic countries like Egypt, I say why not give aid to a country that's a democracy and an ally?

I think Carla hit the nail on the head with the crux of this conflict though: "Palestinian leaders refused peaceable, 2-state solutions in 1917, 1937, 1948, and 2000. They do not want a right of self-determination, they want the elimination of the Jews." That's the main reason I can't support Palestine. They've been offered a compromise and have refused, opting for death over sharing. I can't support that under any circumstances.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:10 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment
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WOW

Wow. Wow.

Charging people money for being wrongfully imprisoned.

Wow.

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