Friday, September 28, 2007

Rest In Peace Mom

I have been out of it for a while.

Mom was suffering from cancer and she passed away on 2 September.
There was a lot of things that I had to accomplish between her hospitalization and finally her death.
Mom did it her way though. She was admitted to Harbor UCLA for three days. My brother and I moved her to Torrance Care Center East where she remained for five days and she died.

Mom was a free spirit that loved to travel. She has seen many parts of the world that I can only hope to see some day, however unlikely. Mom actually planned a trip to Switzerland for the 10th of September. That’s just a sample of the spirit my mom had. She never gave up the fight.

I will be scattering her ashes up at Lake Tahoe, the last place she visited before succumbing to cancer.

Rest in peace Mom. I love you.

Now I think I can concentrate on writing my opinion once again.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Iraq War News

News out of Iraq that is not being seen in the MSM. As usual.

May 17, 2007

1-15 Infantry conducts operation Beach Yellow
Multi-National Division – Center PAO

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Iraqi and U.S. forces detained four suspected insurgents during Operation Beach Yellow in the town of Dura-iya May 14.

During the operation, a hail of small arms fire poured across a nearby river, killing two American Soldiers and wounding four. The Soldiers’ deaths were reported in a prior release.

The names of the Soldiers have been withheld until the next of kin have been notified.

Iraqi National Policemen from the 1st Iraqi National Police Brigade and Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team conducted the mission.

According to leaders of 1-15 Inf., the purpose of the mission was to locate terrorist activity in Dura-iya, where 1-15 Inf. officials suspect members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group operate.

Units conducting the mission rallied at the “Panorama Building,” a run-down structure in Salman Pak that overlooks the city.

From there, elements patrolled through Dura-iya, in search of terrorists and terrorist activity. The Iraqi National Police spearheaded the operation with 1-15 Inf. in support.

We always hear about the ones that go off, but never the hundreds that don't because they are detected.

May 17, 2007

Iraqi Army, EOD prevent car bomb tragedy in Bayaa
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

BAGHDAD – Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, and an Iraqi Army explosive ordnance disposal team stopped extremists from detonating a car bomb in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Bayaa May 16.

Acting on a report about a suspicious vehicle, Iraqi troops cordoned off the area and took precautions to secure residents before calling in EOD for support.

Working alongside Multi-National Division – Baghdad troops from 1st “Black Lions” Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, the Iraqis identified the explosive and diffused the bomb before it could be used in an attack.

“Lives were saved today thanks to the Iraqi Army and their EOD team,” said Lt. Col. Pat Frank, commander of the Black Lions Battalion and whose Soldiers worked closely with Iraqi Security Forces to assist in properly disposing the car bomb. “Their professionalism and responsiveness were tremendous and helped develop confidence among the Iraqi citizens who observed this action. Today’s response goes a long way toward demonstrating the capabilities of the ISF to provide for Iraq’s long-term security.”
Iraqi police are stepping up and doing a better job in their towns. No mention in the MSM.

May 17, 2007

Rashid Clearing Continues: Police take lead in southern Baghdad; seize mortar system
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

BAGHDAD – Iraqi Security Forces, along with troops from Multi-National Division – Baghdad continued clearing operations in southwestern neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital May 15 and 16, detaining 10 suspects believed to be involved in insurgent activities and seizing nine caches containing weapons, a complete mortar system, artillery and mortar shells, armored vests and bomb-making materials.

Soldiers from the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., are teamed up with Iraqi National Police and Iraqi Army troops conducting Operation Dragon Fire/Arrowhead Strike 10 to rid the Rashid District of southern Baghdad of terrorists and criminals and to protect the population.

Iraqi troops from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st National Police Division impressed their MND-B counterparts with their professionalism and zeal, seizing multiple caches including a 60mm mortar system, complete with bipod and aiming device, along with numerous weapons and munitions.
The 3-2-1st NP Battalion, led by Col. Mohammed, was singled out by Coalition Force officers for outstanding performance and dedication to duty in a briefing given to senior Iraqi leaders.

“His soldiers were on time and arrived with more men than we had previously asked for,” said Lt. Col. Adam Rocke, the brigade operations officer for 3rd SBCT. “They were alert, aggressive and took the lead in finding the mortar tube and the rest of the equipment seized in several locations. It was a very productive day of clearing for them.”

Elsewhere in the Rashid District, Soldiers from the 1st “Black Lions” Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment detained 10 suspects in two separate early-morning targeted raids. The unit believed the individuals were involved in assassinations, sniper attacks, and possibly part of a larger explosively-formed projectile-making cell operating out of a northwestern portion of the Rashid District.

The operations conducted over the two days included approximately 400 Iraqi Army and Iraqi National Police and more than 900 U.S. Army Soldiers working together to keep pressure on enemies of the Iraqi government.

May 17, 2007

Iraq Special Operations Forces detain 16 suspects in search for missing Soldiers
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

CORRECTION: The previous release incorrectly stated that the Soldier’s convoy was attacked.

BALAD – Acting on tips received from the local population, Iraqi Special Operations Forces along with Coalition Forces detained 16 individuals May 16 during a search for three U.S. Soldiers missing since May 13.
The ISOF detained the 16 during search operations south of Baghdad.

The three Soldiers have been missing since the May 13 attack on the location where they were working to interdict improvised explosive devices west of Yusufiyah. The attack left four U.S. and one Iraqi Soldier dead.

Iraqi Forces conducted the search with Coalition Forces acting as advisors. No Iraqi or Coalition Forces were injured during this operation.

May 16, 2007

Apache crew destroys insurgent targets
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

– Multi-National Division–Baghdad attack helicopters destroyed two insurgent vehicles May 15.

An AH-64D Apache helicopter crew from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division destroyed two insurgent vehicles with weapon mounts while they were concealed in an orchard, possibly destroying a cache of weapons as

The Apache was conducting a reconnaissance mission supporting the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, when the crew spotted the trucks and potential cache.

The crew positively identified the targets and received clearance to engage the three targets. All three targets were destroyed.

May 16, 2007

Iraqi Special Operations Forces detain suspected terrorist leader in Basrah
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

BAGHDAD – Iraqi Special Operations Forces detained the suspected leader of an alleged terrorist cell during an early morning raid May 13 in Basrah. The targeted individual is alleged to be the leader of a rogue element of the Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) which is involved in extensive improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in the Basrah area. ISOF also detained five other suspicious individuals in the area during the raid.

ISOF raided a second location and seized a large cache of weapons and other materials including:
• Two SVD-7.62mm sniper rifles with two scopes and magazines
• One RPG and 23 RPG round
• 23 RPG boosters
• 2 RPG sights
• 7 C-4 explosive blocks
• Four IEDs
• Numerous IED components, including command detonation wires
• EFP (explosively formed penetrators) components
• Propaganda materials
• ID cards and photos
• One cell phone

One Iraqi Soldier suffered non-life threatening injuries. No Coalition Forces were injured during the operation. Coalition Forces served as advisors during this operation.

May 16, 2007

Rashid Clearing Continues: Combined force seizes caches, detains insurgents

By Major Kirk Luedeke,
4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. Public Affairs Officer
Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Security Forces, along with Coalition Soldiers from Multi-National Division – Baghdad continued clearing operations in southwestern Baghdad neighborhoods May 14 and 15, detaining two suspects believed to be involved in anti-coalition activities and seizing seven caches containing explosively-formed projectiles, artillery and mortar shells, weapons and other bomb-making materials.

Soldiers from the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, along with national police and Iraqi Army troops, continued Operation Dragon Fire/Arrowhead Strike 10 to rid the Rashid District of southwestern Baghdad of terrorists and criminals and protect the population.

Iraqi Army troops from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division and Company A, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment “Black Lions” found six EFP arrays, as well as multiple caches of weapons and munitions in two houses located in the Amel neighborhood. In addition to the EFPs, 82mm mortar rounds, rockets, rocket-propelled grenade warheads and an anti-tank missile were found and disposed of by explosive ordnance disposal teams.

Stryker troops arrested two individuals at the residence where one cache was found, and turned them over to Iraqi National Police for questioning. The cache included 75 57mm anti-aircraft rounds and more than 50 pounds of explosives. The munitions and explosives were confiscated and disposed of by EOD.

Five other caches consisted of numerous AK-47 assault rifles, several machine guns and sniper rifles, small arms ammunition, assorted artillery and mortar shells and other bomb-making materials.

The two days of operations included approximately 250 Iraqi Army and Iraqi National Police working with more than 800 U.S. Army Soldiers to keep pressure on against the extremist elements.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Heroism

Here's another story of heroism that won't be in the MSM.

Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Mark A. Camp

In May of 2005, Marines stationed in Anbar province began a week-long hunt to root out insurgents and foreign fighters in the volatile areas around the Syrian border. Dubbed Operation Matador, those tasked with carrying out the mission encountered enemies who had dug in and were ready to fight: deadly roadside bombs, sniper attacks, and several well-planned ambushes.

One day after the operation began, then-Lance Cpl. Camp and his company were sent to New Ubaydi on a house-clearing mission. As Camp’s squad entered one of the houses, insurgents hiding in a closet and in an underground crawlspace opened fire, shooting four Marines. Camp, outside, heard the gunfight and immediately ran inside to help. Three separate times he entered and exited the building to recover his squad members and clear the house of insurgents.

On May 11, Camp was again tested. This time, his company was heading to another small town to clear other insurgent strongholds. Camp was standing at the top hatch of his amphibious assault vehicle when he noticed an eerie silence. Camp was instantly on alert – but that could not stop the roadside bomb that detonated at that moment, hitting the vehicle and throwing the man standing next to Camp into a nearby field.


Monday, May 14, 2007

An Open Letter from General David Patraeus

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen serving in Multi-National Force-Iraq:

Our values and the laws governing warfare teach us to respect human dignity, maintain our integrity, and do what is right. Adherence to our values distinguishes us from our enemy. This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we—not our enemies—occupy the moral high ground. This strategy has shown results in recent months. Al Qaeda’s indiscriminate attacks, for example, have finally started to turn a substantial proportion of the Iraqi population against it.

In view of this, I was concerned by the results of a recently released survey conducted last fall in Iraq that revealed an apparent unwillingness on the part of some US personnel to report illegal actions taken by fellow members of their units. The study also indicated that a small percentage of those surveyed may have mistreated noncombatants. This survey should spur reflection on our conduct in combat.

I fully appreciate the emotions that one experiences in Iraq. I also know first hand the bonds between members of the ” brotherhood of the close fight. ” Seeing a fellow trooper killed by a barbaric enemy can spark frustration, anger, and a desire for immediate revenge. As hard as it might be, however, we must not let these emotions lead us—or our comrades in arms—to commit hasty, illegal actions. In the event that we witness or hear of such actions, we must not let our bonds prevent us from speaking up.

Some may argue that we would be more effective if we sanctioned torture or other expedient methods to obtain information from the enemy. They would be wrong. Beyond the basic fact that such actions are illegal, history shows that they also are frequently neither useful nor necessary. Certainly, extreme physical action can make someone “talk;” however, what the individual says may be of questionable value. In fact, our experience in applying the interrogation standards laid out in the Army Field Manual (2-22.3) on Human Intelligence Collector Operations that was published last year shows that the techniques in the manual work effectively and humanely in eliciting information from detainees.

We are, indeed, warriors. We train to kill our enemies. We are engaged in combat, we must pursue the enemy relentlessly, and we must be violent at times. What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight, however, is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we are warriors, we are also all human beings. Stress caused by lengthy deployments and combat is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign that we are human. If you feel such stress, do not hesitate to talk to your chain of command, your chaplain, or a medical expert.

We should use the survey results to renew our commitment to the values and standards that make us who we are and to spur re-examination of these issues. Leaders, in particular, need to discuss these issues with their troopers—and, as always, they need to set the right example and strive to ensure proper conduct. We should never underestimate the importance of good leadership and the difference it can make.

Thanks for what you continue to do. It is an honor to serve with each of you.

David H. Petraeus,

General, United States Army


Friday, May 11, 2007

Strength And Honor

Good story over at Villainous Company.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

MNF-I News

May 10, 2007
Release A070510a

Air strike in Sadr City, three secret cell terrorists killed

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed three terrorists and detained four suspected terrorists Thursday morning during raids in Sadr City.

The individuals targeted during the raid are suspected members of a secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training.

Upon arrival at the targeted area, ground forces received small arms fire from two separate buildings. Coalition Forces, using appropriate self-defense measures, returned fire and engaged the armed terrorists.

Despite efforts to subdue the armed terrorists, Coalition Forces continued to receive enemy fire. Using appropriate escalation of force to react to the perceived threat, Coalition Forces called for close air support, killing three armed terrorists.

During the course of the morning’s operations, Coalition Forces targeted a concentration of buildings associated with the terrorist network, detaining four suspected terrorists during the raids. Three Iraqi civilians were also injured during the operation. The three injured individuals received medical attention on scene from Coalition Forces.

Intelligence reports also indicate the secret cell has ties to a kidnapping network that conducts attacks within Iraq.

“Coalition forces strike at the terrorists where they hide, not waiting for them to inflict violence on the Iraqi people,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “The Iraqi people continue to reject the methods of the terrorists and choose instead a stable, peaceful Iraq.”

May 10, 2007
Release A070510b


BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed one terrorist and detained two suspected terrorists during early-morning raids in Anbar Province while targeting a chemical bomb network and smuggling operations.

Building on information from recent operations, Coalition Forces targeted a location north of Karmah that was allegedly part of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device network that uses chlorine in its attacks. As Coalition Forces approached the building, an armed terrorist emerged and engaged ground forces with small arms fire. Coalition Forces used appropriate self-defense measures to react to the hostile threat and killed the armed terrorist.

Coalition Forces set up a cordon around the targeted building and the bomb making material inside were safely destroyed.

In another operation, Coalition Forces detained two individuals for suspected ties to a smuggling activities supporting al-Qaeda in Iraq.

“As long as the al-Qaeda network plans and executes deadly attacks against Iraqis and those trying to protect them, we will seek them out and disrupt their activities,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.

May 9, 2007
Release A070509a

CCCI convicts 33, sentences 1 to death, 1 to life, 6 to 30 years imprisonment

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) convicted 33 individuals from April 30 – May 5, for violations of the Iraqi Terrorist Law, Penal Code and Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Orders enforced by the Iraqi judiciary.

The trial court sentenced an individual to death April 30 after being found guilty of violating Article 4/1 of the Iraqi Terrorist Law. The individual was captured August 24, 2006 near Ramadi by Multi-National Forces and subsequently admitted to being a foreign fighter from Algeria, belonging to Jaysh Al-Islam, possessing a false identification card and conducting attacks against Coalition forces in Iraq.

The individual admitted to conducting an attack against an American convoy and personally shooting down an American helicopter. He also admitted to participating in an attack against U.S. Marines around Haditha, Iraq, where his group killed seven Marines, and kidnapped a hostage, which was later killed.

The CCCI sentenced another individual to life imprisonment April 30 after being found guilty of violating Article 4/1 of the Iraqi Terrorist Law. The individual admitted he financed a ten-man insurgent group that was responsible for conducting at least six Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attacks against Multi-National Forces in Iraq. The individual was captured Nov. 17, 2006.

Twenty-one individuals were convicted for violating Coalition Provisional Authority Order 3/2003 - possession of illegal weapons. Six were sentenced to 30 years imprisonment, two were sentenced to 20 years, three to 15 years imprisonment, six to 10 years imprisonment, two to three years imprisonment and two to one year imprisonment with a 50,000 dinar fine.

One individual was sentenced to 15 years for violation of Article 10/1/A of the Iraqi Passport Law. Six individuals were sentenced to one to six years imprisonment for Iraqi Penal Code violations for using or taking advantage of someone’s legal documents, illegal use of documents, and for violating Iraqi Residency laws.

One individual was convicted of violating CPA Order 27/3, illegal weapons possession and was sentenced to two years imprisonment and a 100,000 dinar fine. Two individuals were sentenced to three years imprisonment for violating Article 4/1 of the Iraqi Terrorist Law.

Since its establishment under an amendment to CPA Order 13, in April 2004, the Central Criminal Court has held 2,115 trials for suspected criminals apprehended by Coalition Forces. The Iraqi Court proceedings have resulted in the conviction of 1,821 individuals with sentences ranging from imprisonment to death.

May 9, 2007
Release A070509b


– Coalition forces detained 18 suspected terrorists during raids around Iraq Tuesday and Wednesday, targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders and their network by exploiting information from previous operations.

Coalition forces detained four suspected terrorists southeast of Taji Wednesday morning for their ties to an alleged senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leader. Intelligence reports indicate the alleged senior leader is an explosives expert and has just been promoted to make up for the degradation of the network after several recent arrests by Coalition forces.

Information gained from successful operations on Apr. 29 led Coalition forces to four individuals north of Karmah, who were detained for their suspected involvement with the al-Qaeda in Iraq command network. In related operations near Baghdad and Ramadi, Coalition forces detained seven more suspected terrorists allegedly tied to the same network.

Coalition forces detained three individuals in Mosul Tuesday afternoon for suspected ties to al-Qaeda senior leadership there.

“We’re continuing to build on our successes to disrupt the al-Qaeda in Iraq network and stop their merciless and murderous attacks against the Iraqi people,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.

Heroism: PFC Stephen C. Sanford

This is a man that loved his brothers. There is no other way to say it.

The President of the United States
Takes Pleasure in Presenting
The Distinguished Service Cross


Stephen C. Sanford
Private First Class, U.S. Army
For Services as Set Forth in the Following


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with the 2d Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172d Stryker Brigade Combat Team, on 19 November 2005, during combat operations against an armed enemy of the United States, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Private Sanford displayed extraordinary courage during the evacuation of casualties from a home in Mosul, Iraq, while under intense enemy fire. Although shot through the leg during his squad’s initial assault attempt, he accompanied his squad during their second assault. Once inside the house, he provided a heavy volume of suppressive fire while the casualties were evacuated. He continued to engage the enemy while escorting the wounded Soldiers from the house. He returned to the house a second time to provide vital covering fire and security for the final withdrawal of the casualties. When the last Soldier leaving the house was shot in the neck, Private Sanford, with complete disregard for his own safety, moved to the Soldier and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. While attempting to revive the other Soldier, he was shot twice more in the back. Protecting the fallen Soldier, Private Sanford returned fire and killed an insurgent while receiving two more potentially fatal gunshot wounds. He continued to return devastating fire on the enemy while helping his wounded comrade until he was incapacitated by his own loss of blood. Private Sanford’s gallant deed was truly above and beyond the call of duty and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service, reflecting great credit upon himself, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry, the United States Army, and the United States of America.

New Pentagon Channel ‘Recon’ Shares Stories of Conspicuous Courage

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2007 – It was supposed to be a routine security patrol in Mosul, Iraq, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, 2005. Army Pfc. Stephen Sanford and his fellow soldiers of the Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, planned to arrest suspected insurgents, take them back to the detention center and “relax, stretch out a bit.” Instead, squad members would find themselves in an intense firefight.

“There was just this massive explosion,” Sanford said. “You could see flashes and automatic weapons fire. It was sensory overload. It was incredibly loud. You could smell the gunpowder and the blood and the dust and dirt. My weapon started getting warm because I was firing so much. I mean, I still didn’t know what was going on.”

Meanwhile, nine members of a lead team that had gone inside a home ahead of Sanford were pinned down by enemy fire and trapped inside the kitchen. Sanford’s team evacuated the first unit, but the last soldier out of the house had been shot and lay helpless on the exposed street.


Chairman Presents Awards for Heroism in Iraq

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Feb. 23, 2007 – Marine Gen. Peter Pace presented a Distinguished Service Cross and two Silver Stars here yesterday to three soldiers for heroism displayed in Iraq on Nov. 19, 2005.

Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it was an emotional moment for him to properly recognize the soldiers’ heroism, and “to say thank you for their incredible valor in the face of a very, very dangerous enemy.”

Pace awarded the Distinguished Service Cross to Army Pvt. Stephen C. Sanford of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, for displaying extraordinary courage during the evacuation of casualties from a home in Mosul while under intense enemy fire, according to Army officials.

Although shot in the leg during his squad’s initial assault attempt, he still accompanied his squad during its second assault. Once inside the house, Sanford provided a heavy volume of suppressive fire while the casualties were evacuated. He continued to engage the enemy while escorting wounded soldiers from the house, according to the award citation.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Fatwa Against Muslims

“You will be victorious” on the face of this planet. You are the masters of the world on the face of this planet. Yes, “you will be victorious,” but only “if you are believers.” God willing, “you will be victorious,” while Iran and Saudi Arabia will be annihilated. I guarantee you that the power of belief and faith is greater than the power of Iran and Saudi Arabia. They are cowards, who are eager for death, while we are eager for life for the sake of God. That is why al Qaeda’s nose was rubbed in the mud in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and everywhere… Oh God, vanquish the Muslims and their supporters. Oh God, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one. Oh God, show them a day of darkness. Oh God, who sent down His Book, the mover of the clouds, who defeated the enemies of Jesus defeat the Muslims, and bring us victory over them.”

Here's how this really came about:

The quote from Sheik Ahmad Bahr, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council:

“You will be victorious” on the face of this planet. You are the masters of the world on the face of this planet. Yes, [the Koran says that] “you will be victorious,” but only “if you are believers.” Allah willing, “you will be victorious,” while America and Israel will be annihilated. I guarantee you that the power of belief and faith is greater than the power of America and Israel. They are cowards, who are eager for life, while we are eager for death for the sake of Allah. That is why America’s nose was rubbed in the mud in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, and everywhere… Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one. Oh Allah, show them a day of darkness. Oh Allah, who sent down His Book, the mover of the clouds, who defeated the enemies of the Prophet defeat the Jews and the Americans, and bring us victory over them.”