Friday, December 29, 2006
Ding! Dong! Saddam Hussein Is Dead!
Newsweek: Timeline of Saddam's rise & fall
The Trialo of Saddam We Never Saw
Click on url to access video
The Trial Of Saddam We Never Saw
Former “60 Minutes” producer and author Barry Lando connects the dots between Saddam Hussein and his American backers in this powerful documentary.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Christmas for the Troops - 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
More Misbehavior From Our Troops
Previous bad behavior: http://this-is-war.blogspot.com/winning-their-hearts-and-minds.html Good behavior: http://this-is-war.blogspot.com/the-right-way-to-treat-others-to-win.html
*** U.S. Occupation Force Soldier Teaching Iraqi Children English? 20 Second Video Another great day in U.S. military history. Click to view http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article15916.htm
More Lies Revealed ; Blair and Bush Complicitly and Conspiracy
Diplomat's suppressed document lays bare the lies behind Iraq war
By Colin Brown and Andy McSmith
12/15/06 "The Independent" --- -- The Government's case for going to war in Iraq has been torn apart by the publication of previously suppressed evidence that Tony Blair lied over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.
A devastating attack on Mr Blair's justification for military action by Carne Ross, Britain's key negotiator at the UN, has been kept under wraps until now because he was threatened with being charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act.
In the testimony revealed today Mr Ross, 40, who helped negotiate several UN security resolutions on Iraq, makes it clear that Mr Blair must have known Saddam Hussein possessed no weapons of mass destruction. He said that during his posting to the UN, "at no time did HMG [Her Majesty's Government] assess that Iraq's WMD (or any other capability) posed a threat to the UK or its interests."
Mr Ross revealed it was a commonly held view among British officials dealing with Iraq that any threat by Saddam Hussein had been "effectively contained".
He also reveals that British officials warned US diplomats that bringing down the Iraqi dictator would lead to the chaos the world has since witnessed. "I remember on several occasions the UK team stating this view in terms during our discussions with the US (who agreed)," he said.
"At the same time, we would frequently argue when the US raised the subject, that 'regime change' was inadvisable, primarily on the grounds that Iraq would collapse into chaos."
He claims "inertia" in the Foreign Office and the "inattention of key ministers" combined to stop the UK carrying out any co-ordinated and sustained attempt to address sanction-busting by Iraq, an approach which could have provided an alternative to war.
Mr Ross delivered the evidence to the Butler inquiry which investigated intelligence blunders in the run-up to the conflict.
The Foreign Office had attempted to prevent the evidence being made public, but it has now been published by the Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs after MPs sought assurances from the Foreign Office that it would not breach the Official Secrets Act.
It shows Mr Ross told the inquiry, chaired by Lord Butler, "there was no intelligence evidence of significant holdings of CW [chemical warfare], BW [biological warfare] or nuclear material" held by the Iraqi dictator before the invasion. "There was, moreover, no intelligence or assessment during my time in the job that Iraq had any intention to launch an attack against its neighbours or the UK or the US," he added.
Mr Ross's evidence directly challenges the assertions by the Prime Minster that the war was legally justified because Saddam possessed WMDs which could be "activated" within 45 minutes and posed a threat to British interests. These claims were also made in two dossiers, subsequently discredited, in spite of the advice by Mr Ross.
His hitherto secret evidence threatens to reopen the row over the legality of the conflict, under which Mr Blair has sought to draw a line as the internecine bloodshed in Iraq has worsened.
Mr Ross says he questioned colleagues at the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence working on Iraq and none said that any new evidence had emerged to change their assessment.
"What had changed was the Government's determination to present available evidence in a different light," he added.
Mr Ross said in late 2002 that he "discussed this at some length with David Kelly", the weapons expert who a year later committed suicide when he was named as the source of a BBC report saying Downing Street had "sexed up" the WMD claims in a dossier. The Butler inquiry cleared Mr Blair and Downing Street of "sexing up" the dossier, but the publication of the Carne Ross evidence will cast fresh doubts on its findings.
Mr Ross, 40, was a highly rated diplomat but he resigned because of his misgivings about the legality of the war. He still fears the threat of action under the Official Secrets Act.
"Mr Ross hasn't had any approach to tell him that he is still not liable to be prosecuted," said one ally. But he has told friends that he is "glad it is out in the open" and he told MPs it had been "on my conscience for years".
One member of the Foreign Affairs committee said: "There was blood on the carpet over this. I think it's pretty clear the Foreign Office used the Official Secrets Act to suppress this evidence, by hanging it like a Sword of Damacles over Mr Ross, but we have called their bluff."
Yesterday, Jack Straw, the Leader of the Commons who was Foreign Secretary during the war - Mr Ross's boss - announced the Commons will have a debate on the possible change of strategy heralded by the Iraqi Study Group report in the new year.
© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Another Sacrifice on the Altar of Evil Empire
The highest honor for a fallen hero
Corp Jason Dunham Receives Medal of Honor Posthumously
• Honoring a fallen heroNov. 10: NBC's Rehema Ellis reports on the Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony today that honored a fallen hero from the war in Iraq
By Rehema Ellis
Updated: 2:06 p.m. CT Nov 11, 2006
SCIO, N.Y. - At the dedication of the Marine Museum at the Marine Corps headquarters in Quantico, Va., today — a ceremony to honor those who've served in past and present military conflicts — President Bush announced the next recipient of the nation's highest decoration for valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
"As long as we have Marines like Corp. Dunham, America will never fear for her liberty," the president said.
Corp. Jason Dunham, a 25-year-old Marine who'd been in Iraq less than six weeks. Attacked by insurgents while inspecting a convoy, he ended up in hand-to-hand combat.
"At one point he yelled to his fellow Marines 'No, no, no, watch his hand!' Moments later an enemy grenade rolled out," Bush said.
"Without a second's hesitation he knew what he needed to do because he saw that grenade was live," says Maj. Trent Gibson. "And he took his helmet off and covered the grenade with it in order to protect his Marines."
350 miles from Marine headquarters is Scio, N.Y., a one-stoplight town. Jason Dunham was raised here — they know him — and no one was suprised by what he did.
"It's just the way he was," a friend recalls. "He was always doing for other people."
When he was 17 and still a student here at Scio, Jason Dunham signed up for the Marines. Some say he was born to be in the Corps.
His parents were at today's ceremony.
"The Gift of Valor"
A book about Corp. Dunham's sacrifice
"When he first left, we both looked at each other, and we knew it wasn't going to be good," Dunham's father Dan says.
The Dunhams will meet with the president again for a formal medal ceremony in the future.
Today is for heroes, but it's bittersweet.
"I would just like to wish Corp. Dunham a happy 25th birthday," Maj. Gibson said, choking up. Because Oct. 10 was, in fact, Dunham's birthday.
A young Marine who died the way he lived — putting others first.
© 2006 MSNBC Interactive
Poem to Our Troops
Poem from "America in Uniform"
No Author listed.
I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease..
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin.
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.
Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops !
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Remember Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
PTSD Troops Shafted
Posted by Melissa McEwan at 6:17 AM on December 5, 2006.
Hazed, threatened, arrested, ignored
You know, there were many times I've told my wife -- in just a state of panic, and just being so upset -- that I really wished I just died over there. Cause if you just die over there, everyone writes you off as a hero. -- Iraq veteran Tyler Jennings
Jennings is only one of many soldiers whose post-traumatic stress disorder has been exponentially complicated by dark despair as they have been denied the help they need and subjected to ridicule, hazing, and even imprisonment.
Almost all of the soldiers said that their worst problem is that their supervisors and friends turned them into pariahs when they learned that they were having an emotional crisis. Supervisors said it's true: They are giving some soldiers with problems a hard time, because they don't belong in the Army.
Jennings called a supervisor at Ft. Carson to say that he had almost killed himself, so he was going to skip formation to check into a psychiatric ward. The Defense Department's clinical guidelines say that when a soldier has been planning suicide, one of the main ways to help is to put him in the hospital. Instead, officers sent a team of soldiers to his house to put him in jail, saying that Jennings was AWOL for missing work.
"I had them pounding on my door out there. They're saying 'Jennings, you're AWOL. The police are going to come get you. You've got 10 seconds to open up this door,'" Jennings said. "I was really scared about it. But finally, I opened the door up for them, and I was like 'I'm going to the hospital.'"
A supervisor in Jennings' platoon corroborated Jennings' account of the incident.
Jennings is being discharged for "patterns of misconduct," along with other soldiers whose misconduct includes symptoms of depression, slashing wrists, and drug use -- and whose files indicate that they, also like Jennings, have sought help for mental-health issues. Instead of support and treatment, they're thrown out of the Army with less than an honorable discharge.
In other words, the Army is pushing them out in disgrace.
Quite a homecoming for our troops.
(Via Erik at Alterdestiny)
Tagged as: troops
Melissa McEwan writes and edits the blog Shakespeare's Sister.
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