Monday, April 25, 2005

Why is the truth kept hidden?

Clyrinda and I attended a conference for married couples this weekend. During one of the breaks we sat down for lunch with another couple, who we know from church yet do not know well. As we ate and chatted the issue of war and President Bush came up. I understand that you all don't know Clyrinda, but let me give a hint as to her political persuasion...............if there is the slightest hint of anti-war or anti-Bush attitude within the range of her voice, she will jump at the chance to challenge that attitude. The husband of this couple mentioned that "things were so bad", and this Iraq thing was "making everything worse", and perhaps another small thing or two along those lines. I kept my mouth firmly wrapped around my sandwich waiting for the moments to pass so we could discuss other issues. Clyrinda had a different, but just as kind, approach. She asked "What would you have the President do?"

Pretty simple question, but I never expected such a simple answer. "Bring all the troops home now" the man said. Now since simple was the talk, I chimed in with "They don't want to come home". Our anti-war friend looked at me with stunned disbelief and did not say another word. I'm sure the idea that marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen on the ground in Iraq actually want finish what they started never occured to him.

How do people come to be so uninformed? (Shawn, if you read this I truly do not mean to insult you)

The misinformation about the Iraq war is astounding, yet passes off as fact. I couldn't begin to count the number of times I've heard "Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda", and yet there are dozens of documented and undisputed instances of very real ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

The book Shadow War, by Richard Miniter, lists the undisputed facts which tie Iraq to al Qaeda in Apendix D of the book. I will list a few .

* "Abdul Rahman Yasin was the only member of the al Qaeda cell that detonated the 1993 World Trade Center bomb to remain at large int he Clinton years. He fled to Iraq. US forces recently discovered a cache of documents in Tikrit, Saddam's hometown, that show that Iraq gave Yasin both a house and monthly salary"

* "In October 2000, another Iraqi intelligence operative, Salah Suleiman, was arrested near the Afghan border by Pakistani authorities, according to Jane's Foreign Report, a respected international newsletter. Jane's reported that Suleiman was shuttling between Iraqi intelligence and Ayman Al-Zawahiri, now al Qaeda's number two man."

* "Spanish investigators have uncovered documents seized from Yusuf Galan -who is charged by a Spanish court with being "directly ivolved with the preparation and planning" of the September 11 attacks- that show the terrorist was invited to a party at the Iraqi embassy in Madrid. The invitation used his "al Qaeda nom de guerre," London's Independent reports.

* "An Iraqi defector to Turkey, known by his cover name as 'Abu Mohammed', told Gwynne Roberts of the Sunday Times of London that he saw bin Laden's fighters in camps in Iraq in 1997. At the time, Mohammed was a colonel in Saddam's fedayeen. He described an encounter at Salman Pak, the training facility southesast of Baghdad. At that vast compound run by Iraqi intelligence, Muslim militants trained to hijack planes with knives-on a full sized Boeing 707. Col. Mohammed recalls his first visit to Salman Pak this way: "We were met by Colonel Jamil Kamil, the camp manager, and Major Ali Hawas. I noticed that a lot of people were queuing for food. (The Major) said to me: "You'll have nothing to do with these people. They are Osama bin Laden's group and the PKK and Mojahedin-e Khalq."

And here is perhaps the best of them all.........

* "Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi oversaw an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, Secretary Powell told the United Nations. His specialty was poisons. Wounded in fighting with the US forces, he sought medical treatment in Baghdad in May, 2002. When al-Zarqawi recovered, he restarted a training camp in northern Iraq. Al-Zarqawi's cell was later tied to the October 2002 murder of Lawrence Foley, an official of the US Agency for International Development, in Amman, Jordan. The captured assassin confessed that he recieved orders and funds from Zarqawi's cell in Iraq, Secretary Powell said. His accomplice escaped to Iraq.

None of these undisputed facts are known by the average person, who assumes the media reports of "No Ties" are correct. Why is that? The point of the book is that President Bush would rather win the GWOT (global war on terror) than win re-election so he downplayed the successes in the war. But these are well known facts (there are about 20 more in the book) so why do the anti war forces still succeed in their claims? Since Bush already won re-election, the answer must be that he still wants to win the war.

But nobody asked me to lay low and keep quiet, so I'm talking. Iraq was a major supporter of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups and needed to be taken out, as did the war making capabilities of Iraq.

Honorable US Senators

My wife and I just sent the following letter (in e-mail form) to the top 6 republicans in the US Senate.....

Honorable Senator ______________ (Frist, Santorum, McConnell, Kyl, Hutchinson, and Stevens)

Since we live in California, we have no representation in the US Senate. We are writing to you as lifelong republicans who worked hard in the last election to insure a larger majority for you.

But that majority is now threatened.

If you make a compromise deal with the democrats (who have demonized all of us republicans, as well as Bush's nominees) you are telling them they are right and we are wrong.

Please stand firm on this issue and stop the democrats filibuster of nominees.

If you let us down, and compromise, we will do everything in our power to get you, and any other republican senators who support compromise, out of office. It is better to be in the minority and know where you stand than to be in the majority yet unable to stand.

Geoff and Clyrinda Milke (whos son, Lcpl in the USMC, just returned from Iraq and supports Bush 100%)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Corporal "Mac" (Vietnam era "gun control".....California style)

In 1967 a young marine went off to serve his country in that now infamous place called Vietnam. He was a "gung ho" PFC in the 1st battalion 5th marine regiment, and was ready to do whatever the job called for and still be able to return home safely. He spent 21 months there, extending his tour so his brother would not be sent to the war. He was among the marines that fought in and liberated Hue City from the NVA. That battle was one of the most fierce battles of the war, and is often compared to the recent battle of Fallujah. While in Vietnam he was transfered to the 12th marines as security for an artillery battalion. Around Sept of 1968 he was sent home, the Los Angeles area of California, for well deserved R and R. During his first few days home he decided to buy a handgun to take back to Vietnam. In a California gunshop he found a Colt Trooper Mark 3, a classic six shot 357 revolver with incredible "knock down" power. The problem was California had a 10 day waiting period, and the shop would not deliver the gun in time for his return to the war. The shop owner suggested that he visit the chief of police and see if he could get the waiting period waived. So he took a copy of his orders to the chief and asked for a waiver, which the chief gladly provided. Cpl Mac headed back to Vietnam packing his brand new sixgun.

After his transfer to the 12th marines he was at a base approximately 40 miles north of Thu Bai. The marines had arrtillery set up in one corner of an ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) base. He soon found himself with an opportunity to use the pistol in battle. During an intense firefight with NVA regulars, who were wearing green boxer shorts and tee shirts in an attempt to confuse their enemy, Cpl Mac made a trip to an ammo bunker, moving through trenches so as to avoid being an exposed target. While returning to his position near the artillery, moving through the trench , one ammo box in his left hand, another ammo box and his Colt revolver in his right hand, he came face to face with a "short darkskinned man in his underwear". Cpl Mac immediately dropped both ammo boxes, raised the 357, and with complete confidence and excellent "gun control" fired two shots, the first hiting the enemy in the chest, the second in the neck, nearly severing his head from his shoulders. The NVA soldier dropped dead next to the "sachel charge" he was about to throw into one of the artillery locations.. Fortunately for the marines Cpl Mac dropped the bad guy 10 yards short of his objective.

Just before he returned home Cpl. Mac made a stop in Okinawa, where he bought his dad a gift. He found this beautiful Ruger 44 and had it engraved by a Japanese craftsman. He returned home with both revolvers and today he proudly displays them to friends as a reminder of the part he played in the Vietnam war.

1st Sgt Kasal is doing GREAT!!!

1st Sgt Kasal had another follow up Dr. visit yesterday, and x-rays show excellent bone growth. He is ahead of schedule and very excited about his prospects.

Continue to pray for him, his leg, the doctors, nurses and technicians who are treating him, and for "his marines"

Today 1st Sgt Kasal was surprised by his marines with a "going away" party (he has been reassigned to a training battalion). He was lured to Camp Pendleton by friends who told him that several of his men were to recieve awards. Instead they honored him and presented him with a finely engraved 45 pistol and many sincere "thank-you"s and "good-luck"s. He is genuinely surprised and touched by the love and respect his marines have for him.

What Filibuster?

Like most conservatives who want to see conservative Judges in the federal appeals courts, and ultimately the Supreme Court, I am disgusted with the Senators of my party. What a bunch of spineless wannabes they are. They have allowed the democrats to define the debate on judiciary appointments as being about "the right of the minority to be heard". The use of the "filibuster" is a time honored tradition in the U.S. Senate, and should always be there so the minority can be heard. Any senator can get up and talk on any subject for as long as he wants, or until 61 (this number has been changed over the years) of his or her fellow senators vote for "cloture" on debate. This allowed time for more debate, in hopes of changing minds and thus changing votes. Some time back the senate changed the filibuster and allowed senators to just say "I intend to filibuster", thus ending debate until a cloture vote can succeed.

The democrats have successfully gotten the media to put forth the idea that republicans want to "end the filibuster", and no republicans are speaking out against this idea. In fact, the republican senators are in hiding, hoping this issue goes away. The problem is that President Bush has maybe 1 more year to appoint judges before the dems call him a "lame duck" and start asking Hillary (the presumptive dem nominee) who she thinks should be appointed.

Republicans should force the dems hand, and make them stand up and talk, or the filibuster is over, just like in the movie "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington". In successful attempts to demonize the republicans, the dems are now running television ads depicting the famous movie, accompanied by lies about what it is republicans want.

I say call their bluff........use their arrogant ads against them.........and make them stand in the well of the senate and speak, just like Mr. Smith had to do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

S.F.B.I.E.D or .... More Military Jargon

This news report from Iraq caught my eye, and got my son, Lcpl Tyler very excited.

When the Baker company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment,(1/7) first arrived in Husaybah Iraq, the biggest danger to them was I.E.D.s, or Improvised Explosive Devises. The enemy (terrorists) used any explosive devise they can fine, usually large rockets or mortars, and sets them up in places they expect the U.S. military personel to be, basically creating "booby-traps". Sometimes they will dig up the asphalt roadway, place the bomb in the hole, basically creating a "pothole". They are usually detonated by remote control, often cell phones. The terrorists got very creative with I.E.D.s, (check out these photos of Humvees damaged/destroyed by IEDs) but the marines became very good at avoiding or detecting them. So the terrorists began putting the bombs in cars, creating V.B.I.E.Ds, or Vehicle Borne I.E.D.s. When the marines figured out how to avoid those vehicles, the terrorists began using suicide drivers to put the vehicles near the marines, creating S.V.B.I.E.D.s....................or Suicide V.B.I.E.D.s.

The reason this news excited Lcpl Tyler? A few months back Baker company got intel (a five letter word that refers to the information terrorists cough up when they are tortured by young marines........just kidding, sometimes they cough it up because they are such nice guys) that a fire truck was being set up as a S.V.B.I.E.D, or actually a S.F.B.I.E.D. The marines looked where ever they could for the firetruck, but never found it. Then yesterday, the marines of 3/2 India company found the firetruck, and blew it to smitherenes. The simple minded terrorists thought they could drive it right up to camp Gannon and detonate it. Good try Al Queda (they claimed responsibility), hope you keep up the good work. May you all go quickly to your 70 black eyed virgins.

Baker company also got intel that Zarqawi was hanging out in the area, but never got a chance to go look for him. May 3/2 India have success in that arena also, and send him happily to his virgins.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Update on 1st Sgt Brad Kasal

Last Friday, 4/8/05, the 1st Sgt had his first Dr. appointment since the Bone Graft Surgery he had done on 3/29. The x-rays showed good bone growth in his leg and he has no infections (with 16 or more pins through his leg, and a 5 inch long incision infection is huge threat). He has normal sensations in his foot and toes, and can tighten most of the muscles in his leg (some cannot tighten due to the pin placement). He is very hopeful (as are we) that he will have the Halo Devise (click here to see a photo) removed in 6 to 8 weeks, but has accepted the idea that it may have to be on a bit longer than that sure to look at all 4 photos....

In the photos the 1st Sgt is standing next to SSgt Viklund, one of 1st Sgt Kasal's marines who was injured in Iraq by an IED. SSgt Viklund had 7 cm of bone destroyed in his leg and is having his leg "lengthened" in preparation for his own Bone Graft Surgery. Vicklund has a different type of "External Fixator" device than that of Kasal, but same basic the leg if at all possible. A year or two ago both men would be single amputees.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Quality of life

I read today that ABC News anchor Peter Jennings has lung cancer. I wonder how that will affect the quality of his life. Will he be in constant pain? Will he need medication, chemo-therapy, a ventilator, a feeding tube? Will he spend his children's inheritance on treatment? Will those who are close to him spent much of their time caring for him, neglecting their own lives? The probability is that all of the above will happen at some point. Since it's obvious his illness will affect his judgement as he makes the many "life or death" decisions he faces, perhaps he needs someone to make those decisions for him. Then, as soon as the "quality" of Mr. Jennings' life drops to a level where his guardian (appointed by some heartless fool in a black robe) can see that it's better for him to be dead, he should be put in a room, surrounded by policeman (sworn to protect the life of all people), and denied food and water until he dies. Why should Mr. Jennings be a burden to himself and others? Perhaps he should even die now, and not be put through the trauma of an agonizingly slow death.

I hope it's obvious to all that my "tongue in cheek" introductory paragraph is a slam at the logic used to kill Terri Schiavo. In case it was not obvious, I DID NOT MEAN A WORD OF IT!!!

Sunday Powerline reported on a Zogby poll which asked the appropriate question about Terri's situation. While most polls were busy asking........Should the plug be pulled on Ms. Schiavo, who is a vegetable and is suffering and told her husband she did not want to be kept alive under such circumstances?. Zogby presented the facts of the situation...........If a person is NOT DYING, not on life support, has plenty of loving relatives willing to provide care, has expressed to friends a wish to "live", and has not put in writing any instructions about "extreme measures", should that person be denied food and water? The overwhelming response was NO!!! 79% said no, and only 9% said yes. Throughout the execution of Terri I believed that people must not know what is going on. I don't think any sane person would think it's ok for a Judge to order the starvation/dehydration death of another human being?

But I am wondering who are the 12% who could not make up their minds. Could they be the "independents" who are so proud of their ability to straddle the center of any issue? I would describe them with slightly less mercy, as those who have not the backbone to stand for anything until a poll tells them how everyone else stands. The 9% is a no brainer......the "right to die" crowd figured the quesiton was about Terri Schiavo so they lied to the pollster. There probably are a million or two Americans who are so calloused that they think they should be allowed to decide who lives or dies, but not 30 million. But the 12% who had no opinion is scary. That amounts to 42 million people in America who don't have the ability to understand what the "right to life" means.

I just hope the 79% holds and the 12% does not grow, and the 9% suffer as much as Terri Schiavo and her loving family did for the last two weeks of her life.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Update on 1st Sgt Brad Kasal

1st Sgt Kasal had his Bone Graft surgery last Tuesday. Everything went well and he is home. If the bone growth goes well he should have the Halo device removed in two or three months (longer than originally hoped for........but better safe than sorry in this instance).

Our prayers for Brad are that he gets no infections (he does a great job cleaning his wounds himself) and that the Bone Graft produced good bone growth. If you are inclined to praryer please join my wife Clyrinda and I in praying for Brad.

The famous photo of the 1st Sgt is on the cover of this months Soldier of Fortune magazine, along with a pretty good article.