Michael's Dispatches Michael's Dispatches

An Open Offer to U.S. Senators

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One of the biggest problems with the Iraq War is that politics has frequently triumphed over truth. For instance, we went into Iraq with shoddy intelligence (at best), no reconstruction plan, and perhaps half as many troops as were required. We refused to admit that an insurgency was growing, until the country collapsed into anarchy and civil war. Now the truth is that Iraq is showing real progress on many fronts: Al Qaeda is being defeated and violence is down and continuing to decrease. As a result, the militias have lost their reason for existence and are getting beaten back or co-opted. Shia, Sunni and Kurds are coming together -- although with various stresses -- under the national government. If progress continues at this rate, it is very possible that before 2008 is out, we can finally say "the war has ended." Yes, likely there still will be some American casualties, but if the violence continues to drop and the Iraqi government consolidates its gains, we will be able, in good conscience, to begin bringing more of our people home. I will be paying very close attention to the words of Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno, who is replacing General Petraeus as the overall commander in Iraq.

Read more: An Open Offer to U.S. Senators

Great Americans: David Leimbach Comes Home

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On Memorial Day, I published an email from Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey Mellinger describing the memorial in Afghanistan for Spc David L. Leimbach.

When I published that tribute, I didn't know just how dedicated this Great American was. I've been in communication with a member of David's family who told me that David had done a tour in Afghanistan with the South Carolina National Guard, yet when their tour ended, 120 members of the Guard unit volunteered to stay behind in Afghanistan or go to Iraq. David was one of those soldiers. Please see this article for more: http://www.militarycity.com/valor/3551124.html

Read more: Great Americans: David Leimbach Comes Home

Investigation Launched

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The House Committee on Armed Services is investigating claims made by the New York Times. The New York Times claimed that retired Generals were co-opted by the Department of Defense to spread what amounted to propaganda throughout U.S. media to sell the Iraq war. The following letter from General (ret.) Barry R. McCaffrey is in response to a direct inquiry about his actions during this time. I've seen much of General (ret.) McCaffrey's work and it would be difficult to imagine he was part of any propaganda; McCaffrey has been extremely critical about much of the war. I consider him a very reliable source.

Read more: Investigation Launched

In Memory of SPC David Lee Leimbach

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CSM Jeff Mellinger is out there still "Walking the Line." He did the longest continuous tour in Iraq that I have ever seen: 33 plus months without a break except for normal leave. And he was seriously out in the red zone. I drove about 4,000 miles with him within Iraq checking on our servicemen and women, Walking the Line, and that was a tiny fraction of the work he did. And so he came back to the United States and is stationed in Washington D.C., but CSM Mellinger's duties have taken him back to Iraq and Afghanistan. I got an email from CSM Mellinger this morning from Afghanistan. He was remembering SPC David Lee Leimbach, the latest Great American to give his life in Afghanistan fighting dark forces that wish to do us great harm.

Read more: In Memory of SPC David Lee Leimbach

Memorial Day

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Greetings this Memorial Day. I'm spending this important day quietly with friends in Florida. It was with these friends, just over four years ago, that I attended the funeral of our mutual high school buddy. Scott was an ex-Navy SEAL who was murdered along with other contractors in Fallujah in early 2004. We'll spend this day not at a big party, but in quiet remembrance of Scott and so many others who have lost their lives on battlefields around the world.

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Distributor Refuses to Carry "Moment of Truth in Iraq" on Military Bases

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Folks are asking why "Moment of Truth in Iraq" is not being carried on most military bases within the United States.

Here's why:

My publisher and literary agent have been working with the private companies who handle book distribution on military bases in order to get "Moment of Truth in Iraq" on their shelves. The process is arduous, to put it mildly.

Read more: Distributor Refuses to Carry "Moment of Truth in Iraq" on Military Bases

Verbal assaults directed at uniformed [military] personnel

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Washington D.C.

Dept of Transportation Federal Transit Administration sends:

Recently, there have been local incidents in which military personnel have been verbally assaulted while commuting on the Metro. Uniformed members have been approached by individuals expressing themselves as anti-government, shouting anti-war sentiments, and using racial slurs against minorities.

In one instance, a member was followed onto the platform by an individual who continued to berate her as she exited the
metro station. Thus far, these incidents have occurred in the vicinity of the Reagan National Airport and Eisenhower Ave metro stations on the yellow line, however, military members should be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times while in mass transit.

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Michael Moore’s Crime

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Now here’s Michael Moore, the latest infringer, using my work for his own crude political purposes. I recall some years ago watching one of his movies in Paris, and thinking how sad it was that an American would make propaganda so flagrant that it seemed pornographic. It was sad but at the same time uplifting, because Mr. Moore was able to exercise his right to free speech, rights that should never be infringed upon.

Read more: Michael Moore’s Crime

Moment of Truth in Iraq - Chapter One

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C H A P T E R O N E

 

Be Not Afraid
You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.
Be not afraid. I go before you always;
Come follow me, and I will give you rest.

FROM A PRAYER CARD I FOUND ON A BASE IN ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ
Please click here to read and/or download the entire first chapter of Moment of Truth in Iraq. At the end of the first chapter we have placed the handout for bookstore managers, librarians, or military exchanges. Please feel free to copy the first chapter as is and the handout.

Update

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Some folks have asked if I plan to do book signings in stores. None are planned because I need to take care of business here before heading back to the war, but I have been making dozens of media appearances and many more are scheduled this month. The big issue at hand is the launch of my book Moment of Truth in Iraq. Doesn't do any good to spend all that time on the battlefields if I do not take time to convey the facts to folks at home.

I'll try to sign one more gigantic stack of Moment of Truth before heading back to the war, but for those folks who were buying signed copies for Christmas presents, now is the best time as we still have about a thousand signed copies.

Amazon.com is fully stocked and has the lowest current price--$17.97 today.

Moment of Truth is available at all Barnes & Noble stores and at BN.com at a reduced price. Please click the link and enter your zip code to check availability of Moment of Truth in Iraq at nearby stores. This function maps nearby stores with copies in stock.

Great to be back in America but sure comes with a lot of work before heading back to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Next time you see a service member in an airport, please say "thank you" to him or her. Those simple words go a long, long way. Back in the war, I often have heard combat soldiers saying how good it made them feel when someone in an airport simply said "thank you" and kept on walking. Very powerful words. They hugely appreciate those words.

Your correspondent,

Michael

To bring peace to the Afghans, talk to the Taleban

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Planes, Trains, Armored Trucks, and Afghanistan

Instead of “planes, trains, and automobiles,” my trip from western Nineveh to Mosul, to Erbil, to Vienna, to Stuttgart, to Atlanta, to El Paso, and then to Florida was much more interesting. It included helicopters, armored pickup trucks, trains, buses, cars and numerous jets. And the “fun” has just begun. After Florida there will be Washington, D.C., and then back to the war. As always, I beg forgiveness for the great difficulty I have responding to emails.

In addition to all the travel there is also the endless homework. A big challenge has been finding reliable sources whether they be military, political, or journalistic. I’ve located another source whom I pay attention to regarding Afghanistan. Former British military officer and ITN reporter, Adam Holloway MP is now on the Defence Select Committee. I’ve mentioned Mr. Holloway in my 2006 dispatches on Afghanistan, after having met him on a remote airfield in Afghanistan. He’s a very smart man with an eye for truth about the war: good, bad and the ugly. In Afghanistan it’s mostly the bad and ugly. Mr. Holloway has written an important piece at www.spectator.co.uk. : To bring peace to the Afghans, talk to the Taleban.

What Mr. Holloway is proposing might cause nervous twitches – perhaps spasms – in America and in the United Kingdom. But I know for a fact that he’s paying close attention to Afghanistan. After I first met him there in 2006, I learned through a source that Mr. Holloway financed his own second secret trip to the hinterlands so that he could avoid the dog and pony show of an official visit. In December 2007, when I visited the U.K., an important part of the trip that I have not previously mentioned was that I met with Mr. Holloway numerous times to discuss Afghanistan.

The United Kingdom is a critical partner in the Afghan war. Mr. Holloway’s controversial article deserves serious consideration and discussion. Furthermore, this Member of Parliament is willing to open a direct line to citizen-voices from the United States, and so with his permission, Mr. Holloway’s email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wow

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Greetings,

I'm in Florida, but on the way to Washington DC. It's great to touch American soil again. I miss this place a lot--especially when bullets are flying by my head in the war. Where we are winning.

"Moment of Truth in Iraq" is selling very well. I am very surprised; lot's of folks apparently really do want to know the truth about Iraq. My publisher just called my attorney with a quote from the movie "Jaws." The publisher said, "I think we're gonna need a bigger boat."

Read more: Wow

Call to Action

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Dear friends,

Our soldiers are turning defeat and disaster into victory and hope. But we could still fumble—if the American people don’t hear the truth now. There remain serious perils in Iraq and this is a time for action.

To get the message out, please help me get Moment of Truth in Iraq stocked in bookstores, and especially in free libraries and military exchanges.

Here’s how: Please click on “Handout for Bookstores and Libraries” below. This will open a printable one-page handout that can be given to any local bookstore manager, librarian, or military exchange. (Or all three if you can.)

The handout will tell bookstores and libraries everything they need to order Moment of Truth in Iraq. But what will really motivate retailers and librarians is you, the reader, a member of their community, requesting the book.

So please click here and ask your bookstore, library, or military exchange to please stock Moment of Truth in Iraq today.

Moment of Truth in Iraq is available on Amazon.com. We have hit the Amazon top 50 before the book even hit stores or libraries.

 

Thank you for your help,

Michael

 

P.S. To make this appeal at even more effective, please give a copy of the flyer to a friend or family member and ask him or her to do the same. My publisher says that two people asking the same library or store to stock a book is far more effective than one person asking.

 

P.P.S. This may be the biggest favor I’ll ever ask for, but if we pull this off we can get the message about what our soldiers have achieved to millions of people!

Color of War

28 Comments

Desolate Battles

Western Nineveh Province, Iraq

Desert Battles are unfolding in hidden and faraway places. Bullets snapp through air, then splap through flesh and men fall. Bodies crumple onto the desert, a fly lands on the lip of an open mouth, fingers twitch as the flesh dies and the winds kick up and dust settles on unblinking eyes. The dry earth drinks their sticky blood and they are forgotten. Their families do not know they are dead. They came to kill Americans and innocent Iraqis. Instead, they were killed themselves. In a desert landscape, sometimes the color of a war can bleed out into black and white.

Read more: Color of War

Holy Brothel

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On March 2, an American Special Forces team along with Iraqi SWAT (ISWAT) moved on a terrorist cell near Tal Afar. There was specific intelligence that this cell had conducted assassinations and other attacks against Iraqis and Americans. As ISWAT and Special Forces closed in on the target, the enemy answered with bullets. Bullets ripped through an ISWAT truck, killing three police. Bullets struck a Special Forces vehicle and a tight firefight followed. The enemy was well prepared. Muzzles flashed from different locations. The fighting continued until nine enemy were killed and eight suspects captured. Three civilians were wounded along with three police wounded and three killed, for a total of a dozen people killed.

Ammunition, grenades and other weapons were captured, but after that Special Forces/ISWAT mission, attacks in the vicinity decreased. Tal Afar, formerly “Al Qaeda City,” is mostly quiet these days. Normally we have far less than a hundred soldiers in the city, but we do need money for civil affairs projects. This money truly is critical. Otherwise, the situation improves, though without investment this could be reversed.

The few remaining serious troublemakers are being hacked off and mulched in these incessant operations, which gives the enemy no rest (in the old days, when they were murdering Iraqis and Americans by the thousands, AQI used Tal Afar for training and R&R). These types of terrorists used to lay up with prostitutes in downtown Tal Afar, which isn’t so uncommon – for years brothels have been an excellent source of information against al Qaeda from Mosul to Baghdad. The al Qaeda terrorists don’t save themselves for the seventy two virgins promised to suicide bombers. They love drugs, prostitutes, and the power of the gun. The gay al Qaeda informant in Moment of Truth in Iraq is classic. Whenever his al Qaeda lovers abused him, he supplied American forces information to kill them.

Holy Brothel

The writing on his chest says “Mujahadeen Tal Afar.” American soldiers told me this image was captured in a raid. The ring and watch on his right hand and wrist indicate he is a “holy warrior,” although his beard might have been shaved as cover. Officers told me this guy was killed, but they had no ready confirmation. In any case, it would be interesting to see the faces of al Qaeda financiers in places like Saudi Arabia, if they saw how their money is being spent. And that’s the truth about al Qaeda.

Today I am in Iraq. Tomorrow Europe, and within the week, back to Texas. About a month later, I should be back in what is left of the war. There is relatively little fighting going on these days.

Please buy a copy of Moment of Truth in Iraq. The book will ship immediately if you buy here, and proceeds will help me get back to Iraq and Afghanistan. The book will arrive in stores on 23 April.

 

[Note from Webmaster]: I spoke to Michael by phone shortly after publishing this article. He was standing in an airport in Irbil, Iraq waiting to board a flight. I mentioned to him about one of the comments pointing out the photo being altered. He wanted me to convey that he was aware that the text appearing across the man's chest was not a tattoo. He also advised that the photo was as he received it, and that several Iraq men he had shown it to had also commented about the writing.

Stake Through Their Hearts:

99 Comments

Killing al Qaeda


March 2008
Western Nineveh Province, Iraq


The sun was setting over Nineveh as four terrorists driving tons of explosives closed on their targets. On August 14, 2007, the Yezidi villages of Qahtaniya and Jazeera were under attack, but only the terrorists knew it as they drove their trucks straight into the hearts of the communities.

The shockwave from detonation far outpaced the speed of sound. Buildings and humans were ripped apart and hurled asunder. Superheated poisonous gases from the explosions gathered the smoke and dust and lofted heavenward, while the second detonation quickly followed. The terrorists had landed their first blows straight through the heart of the Yezidi community, turning a wedding party into hundreds of funerals.

Four mushroom clouds over Yezidi Villages: Is Europe Next?

But the attacks were not over. Yezidi men grabbed their rifles, and while two more truck bombs rumbled toward Qahtaniya and Jazeera, a hail of Yezidi bullets met them. The defenders who fired the bullets were killed with honor while standing between evil and their people. Two other truck bombs detonated on the outskirts of the villages.

Read more: Stake Through Their Hearts:

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