Published: Tuesday, 19 August 2008 05:44
19 August 2008
By now, no credible person denies the dramatic success that continues to manifest itself in Iraq. No doubt, there will be years of political dramas ahead for that country, and when they occur, we will blame ourselves for them, as is our habit. Americans have a tendency to blame ourselves nearly everything from wildfires to genocidal wars on the other side of the globe. And what we don't blame ourselves for, others will. Some might see our ability to take initiative and shoulder responsibility as naiveté. I think it's one of America's greatest strengths.
Many people around the world see America in decline. As someone who travels a great deal, I see the opposite. America is just getting started. Yes, we face enormous challenges and dangerous enemies. But the soul of our country, the initiative of our people, and the depth of the collective intelligence are all far stronger than our critics, and even many Americans, imagine. Al Qaeda thought that America would fall to her knees after 9/11. They were wrong. Today we hunt them like jackals.
Read more: Af-Pak Reporting
Published: Thursday, 24 July 2008 15:13
24 July 2008
I am currently in Nepal trekking in the Himalaya for a month or two, getting in shape for Afghanistan. The monsoon rains leave the trails mostly empty, and my lower legs covered with leeches. Rubbing salt and tobacco can help, but the streams and rains simply wash that away after a short time, and so by the end of the day, my socks are often soaked with blood. When I rinse the socks, the water is crimson with blood. But the leeches don't hurt or cause illness.
Read more: Update
Published: Monday, 14 July 2008 17:16
14 July 2008
The war continues to abate in Iraq. Violence is still present, but, of course, Iraq was a relatively violent place long before Coalition forces moved in. I would go so far as to say that barring any major and unexpected developments (like an Israeli air strike on Iran and the retaliations that would follow), a fair-minded person could say with reasonable certainty that the war has ended. A new and better nation is growing legs. What's left is messy politics that likely will be punctuated by low-level violence and the occasional spectacular attack. Yet, the will of the Iraqi people has changed, and the Iraqi military has dramatically improved, so those spectacular attacks are diminishing along with the regular violence. Now it's time to rebuild the country, and create a pluralistic, stable and peaceful Iraq. That will be long, hard work. But by my estimation, the Iraq War is over. We won. Which means the Iraqi people won.
Read more: Success in Iraq
Published: Sunday, 13 July 2008 21:01
14 July 2008
This from Command Sergeant Major Ken Preston, Command Sergeant Major of the Army. Here is a great opportunity. Please disseminate this to all veterans.
Read more: Leaders Book Note – The National Museum of the U.S. Army
Published: Sunday, 13 July 2008 13:45
13 July 2008
The news came to me in Nepal that Tony Snow had died. The words came with a jolt followed by sorrow. The best that can be said about any American is that he died in service to the people of the United States of America, and to our friends beyond our borders. Tony Snow did just that. Though Tony must have been in pain, his correspondence to me was always upbeat and positive and wise. The President chose well with Tony. He will be missed, but his service will be felt. Tony Snow was a Great American, whose spirit is stronger now than ever before.
Published: Monday, 07 July 2008 05:00
“It had become a place of darkness. But there was in it one river especially, a mighty big river, that you could see on the map, resembling an immense snake uncoiled, with its head in the sea, its body curving at rest afar over a vast country, and its tail lost in the depths of the land.”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Journey Into Darkness
There were informers everywhere. In the hotels, in the restaurants, near the docks and on the river. And so, in addition to the natural dangers of the journey, there were the dangers of the military junta.
The team would consist of eight people: seven Burmese and one American. I was supposed to be part of the team, but was stuck in Thailand after having been refused a visa.
At the arranged time, on 10 June, the first coded message pinged out from the American, whom I will call Charlie Marlow. "Charlie" was in Yangon when he sent the message to "Translator", who contacted "Manager", who contacted "Cook", as well as the four other crew members. At about 10:30 p.m., all had assembled in the darkness on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. The Burmese Navy was patrolling the Irrawaddy further downstream, and a number of foreign journalists had been recently deported after broadcasting embarrassing stories from the delta. There were stern warnings to the locals not to facilitate entry or movement of foreigners to the region. There was talk that the military had stationed at least one soldier in nearly every village to report on any contact with outsiders.
Read more: The River - Part II
Published: Thursday, 26 June 2008 12:05
26 June 2008
I read Joe Galloway’s columns and often disagree with him. But Joe usually makes points that deserve consideration. Joe is not weak or weak-minded; I’ve told him to his face that he’s a mean old man. But I respect Joe. He has fought in pitched combat side-by-side with our troops. Joe thinks we’re losing the Iraq War and I believe we’re winning. Even though we disagree about Iraq, Joe and I both believe that torture is wrong.
Read more: On Joe Galloway
Published: Monday, 23 June 2008 05:00
Journey into Darkness
Part I of II
One man’s devil is another man’s demon
Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore
Cyclone Nargis was born over the Bay of Bengal on April 27, 2008. Just five days later it swept through Myanmar. The military rulers of Myanmar estimate that some 134,000 people are dead or missing, while others believe the numbers to be much higher. Due to the secretive policies of the regime, the world may never know the extent of damage and loss of life caused by the cyclone.
Not only has the junta kept the truth from its own people and the rest of the world, they also turned back nearly all foreign aid and restricted media access. The silence of its reclusive and mysterious leader Senior General Than Schwe was sickening. A stunned international community was poised to respond with significant aid resources if the junta would just open their country to the outside world. Instead, the generals demonstrated that maintaining power, and perhaps just saving face, was more important to them than anything, even their own people’s lives.
Read more: The River
Published: Tuesday, 10 June 2008 13:16
I have left the United States and am heading back to the war.
Heavy promotion of Moment of Truth in Iraq is over. I conducted approximately 100 radio, television, magazine and newspaper interviews, therefore was unable to do much more than track the war from afar. There are more radio interviews scheduled, but I’ll be talking from downrange. Moment of Truth in Iraq hit #6 on the Amazon bestseller list, and #2 on Barnes and Noble, which greatly surprised me.
Read more: Return to Action
An important new magazine called Townhall is making an incredible
offer. For just $34.95, you get 12 months of Townhall plus a FREE copy
of Moment of Truth in Iraq (while supplies last; the books are going
fast). Click here to subscribe to Townhall and receive a free copy of
my book Please make sure to at least look at the current issue of Townhall magazine, which is hitting newsstands this week. I wrote the cover story about our incredible progress in Iraq.
Published: Monday, 02 June 2008 11:12
Published: Monday, 02 June 2008 11:08
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
Published: Sunday, 01 June 2008 02:30
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
Published: Thursday, 29 May 2008 21:15
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
Read more: Investigation Launched
Published: Thursday, 29 May 2008 18:30
Last week I published a memo that had been circulating around the Department of Defense warning of verbal assaults against uniformed military personnel in the Washington Metro. Now some folks are saying that the memo is a hoax. One of the more prominent of the accusers is Roy Edroso, a writer for The Village Voice.
Read more: The Buck Stops
Published: Monday, 26 May 2008 16:55
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
Published: Monday, 26 May 2008 00:16
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.
Read more: Memorial Day
Published: Friday, 23 May 2008 13:56
Bob Owens at Pajamas Media hunts it down:
Please Click here.
Published: Wednesday, 21 May 2008 22:10
Folks are asking why "Moment of Truth in Iraq" is not being carried on most military bases within the United States.
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
Published: Tuesday, 20 May 2008 20:29
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.
Read more: Verbal assaults directed at uniformed [military] personnel
Published: Monday, 19 May 2008 01:31
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