Saturday, September 13, 2003

"I just had to get someplace to see some color," Jordan, 27, said Friday. "Everything there is brown."

Within a week of returning with 100 members of the West Virginia Air National Guard from Iraq Sept. 4, Jordan, a staff sergeant, grabbed a duffel bag and a few friends and headed to his favorite fishing hole in southern West Virginia.

"A couple of buddies and I are down here fishin,' hiking and mountain biking," Jordan said Friday from near Beckley, W.Va. "My dad and I call it 'a fishin' mission."

Coming home.


If this turns out to be true, it is sickening.
Meanwhile in Iraq, two other Al-Jazeera journalists have been taken into custody by the U.S. military in connection with the death of an American soldier in Baghdad yesterday. Sources who requested anonymity say the al-Jazeera crew may have known beforehand about yesterday's deadly bomb in Baghdad and was on scene as it exploded.


Perhaps they read CPT Patti's website.
A new FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll out today shows that, after weeks of bad news and Democratic criticism on Iraq, most Americans still say…by a margin of 62 to 33 percent…that going into Iraq was the right thing to do.

A growing number of commentators and politicians have been characterizing the circumstances in Iraq as a quagmire, in some cases likening it to Vietnam...

The reality is that such a view is misleading at best and unsupportable based on objective assessment of the facts. Simply put, Iraq is not a quagmire and certainly in no way analogous to Vietnam. In case anyone has forgotten, the United States fought in Vietnam for more than 10 years under four presidents at a cost of more than 50,000 American lives without achieving (because of political concerns) a military victory...

The United States has begun the process of establishing an Iraqi government, restored basic services throughout most of the country, re-established an Iraqi police force with more than 40,000 officers to date and reopened more than 50 prisons, all in less than five months. Yet there are those who characterize this as a quagmire.

It is true our military personnel have been the target of most of the terrorism, but the way to address that is not more troops. We need to continue to train and expand the Iraqi police force and army to take over everyday domestic order responsibilities, allowing American troops to focus on rooting out the remaining terrorists.

The critics are right about the cost. It is high, and it will get higher. The most recent estimate was $87 billion. I'm not sure what percentage of the dollar costs (not to mention the human toll) of the Sept. 11 attacks that represents, but as far as I'm concerned, it's money well spent.

Whether you agree with the war, the fact is that we are there, and we must succeed. The benefits of success are immense, and the costs of failure would be devastating.
"You made history, and you made our nation proud," Bush said during the 23-minute speech in front of the division headquarters on a sun-splashed morning.


But, it would be disingenuous to begin believing him now.
Baghdad Bob reportedly admitted, during the five-hour interview, that "Saddam believed that he will lose the war if it erupts," that Iraq did indeed seek nuclear weapons, and that King Hussein of Jordan sponsored secret talks between Iraq and the U.S. in a European capital long before the war.

Army Staff Sgt. Joseph E. Robsky Jr. became a specialist in defusing bombs to help save innocent civilians from the horrors of war.

"He was in Bosnia," said his mother, Bonnie Robsky. "He saw children with their arms and legs off, and he said that if he could prevent any of that from happening, he would."

The 31-year-old soldier died Wednesday in Baghdad while trying to prevent another tragedy when a bomb he attempted to disable exploded, Pentagon officials said.

September 12, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-08



TIKRIT, Iraq – Fourth Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse units conducted a series of successful raids and patrols throughout the Task Force area of Operations targeting former regime loyalists suspected of selling weapons and planning attacks against Coalition forces on Sep. 11.

They conducted more than 280 patrols and seven raids. Additionally, 63 joint patrols were conducted with the Iraqi police, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, and Border Guards. Twenty-three individuals were detained including seven targeted individuals.

In a raid near Taji, two individuals were detained on suspicion of planning attacks against coalition forces. Confiscated weapons included five AK-47s, two rifles, one .38 caliber pistol, one 9mm pistol, one night vision scope for a rifle, nine electronic triggering devices, thousands of rounds of ammunition and 700,000 Iraqi Dinar. No injuries or damage to equipment were reported during the raid.

In another raid near Samarra, a tip from a local Iraqi citizen helped to detain two former regime loyalists suspected of planning attacks against coalition forces. The individuals were apprehended along with 12 grenades. The individuals were detained without incident.

In additional raids and patrols, Task Force Ironhorse soldiers seized eight AK-47s, three rifles, six rocket-propelled grenade launchers, five rocket-propelled grenade rounds, five pistols, two bayonets, 10 grenades, two 155mm artillery rounds, 150,000 U.S. dollars, various documents, 27,000 Iraqi Dinar, 100 uniforms, multiple gas mask and various other weapons parts.

September 12, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-09



BALAD, Iraq – Medical personnel from units attached to the 4th Infantry Division helped Iraqi medical personnel administer vaccines to children during Iraqi National Immunization Day, which is held the 22nd day of each month to vaccinate children and provide supplemental vaccinations to immunized adults against preventive diseases.

The immunizations were given at Balad General Hospital.

Iraq’s practice of preventive medicine should reduce the need for long-term patient care and allow for a healthier population.

Coalition forces’ participation in this monthly event demonstrates the support the Coalition gives for the restoration and normalization of Iraqi society.

September 13, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-10



MOSUL, Iraq - the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division detained an Iraqi man and his brother on Sep. 11 for violating Coalition weapons laws.

A walk-in source said he knew where an individual lived who was hiding a weapons cache. Second Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment immediately sent a quick reaction force to the location of the house. The soldiers confronted the man, asking whether he had any weapons in his house. He responded affirmatively and brought out a rocket-propelled grenade.

Suspicious, the QRF then went into the house and found two RPGs with boosters, 25 rounds of 14 mm anti-aircraft ammunition and six AK-47 magazines.

The 101st Airborne Division encourages local citizens to cooperate with authorities in identifying those who would upset the peace and stability of northern Iraq. In most cases a monetary reward is paid for information that proves accurate.

September 13, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-11



MOSUL, IRAQ – Six Iraqis were detained after they attempted to run a checkpoint near the towns of Saff At Tuth Isfia and Talul An Nasir in the 101st Airborne Division’s area on Sep. 10. Subsequent operations resulted in the discovery of a large weapons cache in one of their homes.

Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team fired warning shots when a van and motorcycle refused to slow down and began speeding through a checkpoint. The van stopped and the motorcycle crashed into concertina wire. No one was hurt. After the soldiers found an AK-47 in the van, all six were taken to a holding cell at Qayyarrah West Airfield.

During interrogation, the individuals gave conflicting stories, but revealed the names of their hometowns, Saff At Tuth Isfia and Talul An Nasir. A Muktar, or town leader, of Talul An Nasir showed U.S. forces where two of the individuals lived.

Soldiers searched their home and found two AK-47 rifles, a mortar sight, three loaded magazines, a periscope, two gas masks, a mine detector, two camouflage jackets, a pistol belt, an improvised detonator, a box of shotgun flares, a flare gun, and a 4-barrel anti-aircraft gun.

Also found were three Ministry of Defense identification cards, one passport, and 5,250,000 Dinar.

One individual was seen leaving the house as soon as the element pulled up. Soldiers pursued the individual, but were unable capture him. The brigade immediately launched more operations to search the homes of the other detainees.

September 13, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-12



BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces are working to make Baghdad city streets safer places to travel and a visible sign of progress in Iraq. The 354th Civil Affairs Brigade, an Army Reserve unit based in Riverdale, Md., and part of Task Force 1st Armored Division, recently assessed various road construction sites in Baghdad as part of their road maintenance program.

The Civil Affairs started the program in April, after finding the streets of Baghdad in poor condition. During the first phase of the project, the 354th CA Brigade selected six major roads within the city for improvements. During the first phase, the Iraqi construction crews widened the streets, built center medians, posted signs and fixed streetlights.

Phase two of the road maintenance program entails a more detailed approach, including resurfacing the roads, ensuring guard rails are placed along critical points and proper signage is placed throughout the city. This is expected to be the longest phase of the project as such efforts entail “catching up” for the lack of maintenance during the previous regime.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th. The 125th day of CPT Patti's deployment.

And I realized yesterday that I overlooked a milestone.

September 5th was CPT Patti's 1 year anniversary of the date she took command of her company.

And she's doing good.

Friday, September 12, 2003

I hear "where were you on 9/11"?

I need to tell where I was.

My son, Sam, passed away on 9/7 and as I prepared for his service I watched the towers come down.

I was already in a state of shock and as I watched I felt as if nothing was real. It didn't seem real the towers could come didn't seen real my precious son should be laid to rest.

As I watched TV coverage I felt each person`s grief. As I visited ground zero and Shanksville this year I prayed for the families and grieved with them.

God, please be with us. I pray each day.

God, please protect my grandson, Sgt.Ryan and bring him home safe.

The Taliban claimed in a 1997 meeting with U.S. officials that it had blocked attempts by both Iraq and Iran to contact Osama bin Laden, according to a previously confidential State Department memo made public yesterday.

The memo says that the assistant secretary of state, Karl Inderfurth, was told on Dec. 7, 1997, by the Taliban's acting minister of mines and industry, Armad Jan, that his government "had stopped allowing [bin Laden] to give public interviews and had frustrated Iranian and Iraqi efforts to contact him."

I find it amusing that it was the minister of mines..."Hey, bin Laden - what, you been living in a cave or something?"
U.S. military forces in northern Iraq captured 80 foreign fighters from several Arab countries on suspicion that they are part of a new al Qaeda offensive against American troops, officials said yesterday.

Pentagon officials said the suspected terrorists were nabbed by the Army's 101st Airborne Division and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment between Mosul and the Syrian border.

Military officials said the foreign fighters came from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Sudan and Syria, and were carrying machine guns and rifles, as well as $75,000 in Iraqi dinars.

U.S. officials suspect they are part of a growing al Qaeda foreign legion whose members are being recruited at mosques and over the Internet throughout the world to undermine U.S. rebuilding efforts and drive coalition forces out of Iraq...

The terrorists captured over the last 24 hours are believed to have recently entered Iraq through Syria.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher yesterday said the U.S. has repeatedly asked the Syrian government to seal its borders.

"We have made clear all along that the presence of foreign fighters in Iraq was dangerous, that the ability of people to get across borders, whether with or without the consent of government, was one of the problems and a problem we wanted to deal with," Boucher said.


See how hard you have to look and listen to the news to hear this reported.

This ought to be big, big news. Sadly, I'm betting it will get less coverage than it deserves..
No matter what one might hear on the evening news, there is good news in Iraq.

This week, the American Enterprise magazine and Zogby International released a poll of Iraqis that shows "seven out of 10 say they expect their country and their personal lives will be better five years from now."

Even more promising, as the American Enterprise reports, is that when "asked to name one country they would most like Iraq to model its new government on ... the most popular model by far was the U.S."

Sixty percent of Iraqis said they don't want an Islamic government.

The overwhelming optimism and pro-American sentiment of Iraqis expose the discrepancy between the reality of the situation and the doomsday reports coming from most news outlets.

The survey reinforces the need for America to stay the course in Iraq.

Of course, rebuilding Iraq will not be easy. It should be obvious that creating a civilized society and stable government from the rubble of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship will take time, and that there inevitably will be pockets of resistance. Even if 99 percent of Iraqis supported the U.S. presence, a mere handful of terrorists can cause considerable carnage. The answer is not to pull out, but to root out that handful,and to continue to track down Ba'athists and others who are continuing to contest the issue.

You will want to read this entire piece.
Susan W. Wilder paced the auditorium here like a motivational speaker and asked the new veterans of the war in Iraq what pleased them most now that they were, at last, home.

The soldiers arrayed neatly before her — the first sergeant saw to that — answered as they had months ago when, in the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq and later in the swelter of Baghdad, they had let their thoughts drift achingly toward home.

"Beer," several shouted cheerfully. "Sex," others answered. It was hard to say, amid the laughter, which they had missed most.

The joking subsided, though, as Mrs. Wilder, herself a soldier's wife, asked what bothered them most now that they were home.

"Less tolerant of stupid people," Staff Sgt. Matthew E. Jordan of the First Brigade, Third Infantry Division, said bitterly. "Stupid people doing stupid things."

There was a murmur of assent

But notice who responded...and it wasn't US Soldiers.

Progress indeed.
Iraqi police and security guards battled suspected armed robbers with automatic rifles in the centre of the Iraqi capital on Friday.

About a dozen policemen closed off a main street right outside Baghdad's two main hotels and traded fire with an unknown number of armed men holed up in a building, witnesses said.

Security guards from the hotels and nearby businesses joined in the fight to flush out the suspects as stall-holders cowered on the pavement next to the river Tigris.
At first, Pearce's efforts to get the power and air conditioning running were hampered because it was impossible to know where the wiring and piping ran. But then he found a room full of the center's building plans. From then on, it was easy.

Because the center is the base for much of the new Iraqi civil government the United States is working to build, authorities have been spending generously to get things fixed.

The agency paid for two huge electrical generators that already have been installed, with another larger one on the way, that will fully power the center even when the municipal system is down, as it often is.

Now Pearce works with a team of 25 Iraqis who maintain the facility.

His work getting the convention center in shape has caught the eye of American companies that are under contract to the government to rebuild the country's damaged and decayed utilities and public buildings. A couple already have offered him big money to work on restoring and expanding the Iraqi electrical system once his military service is over.

Pearce, who is married and has three children, the youngest a senior in high school, concedes he's intrigued by the idea of staying on in Iraq.

"The Iraqis are really nice people," he said. "The ones I work with are always inviting me to their homes for dinner, inviting me to weddings. If I did stay, I think it could be great, working here, helping the people rebuild the country."

This story will probably make most of you react like the congressman...and I'll bet if it does you, and the congressman, have never spent a day in uniform.

However, If you were to see a story with the headline "US Congressman introduces law to require taxpayers pay for six meals per day for soldiers", you probably would also wonder just what in the heck is going on. But, in essence, the taxpayers ARE paying for 6 full blown meals per day if the soldiers ARE NOT billed.

Click on the story, because the whole thing has a good explanation of why the soldier's are "billed".

What is apparent to anyone who truly understands what is happening here, is that the Congressman doesn't really understand what is going on.

Don't get me wrong...the soldiers will be happy for the congressman to succeed. They will be happy to double one of their non-taxable benefits (meals or money-for-meals) any day of the week.
Talk about adding insult to injury, said one U.S. Congressman.

Troops wounded in combat in the nation’s war on terrorism are being handed more than just discharge papers when they leave military hospitals — some also are getting a bill.

At a daily rate of $8.10, hospitalized troops, including those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, are being charged for their meals.

“I was amazed. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it,” said Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, who has introduced a bill to repeal what he calls an “offensive” law.

“Some things don’t meet the common-sense test, and this is one of them,” said a soldier injured in Iraq in June, and who has received two meal bills, one for $24.30 from the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and a second for more than $300 from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.

“It’s not a good precedent to have when a servicemember, having received wounds in Iraq, to see the first correspondence from his government after he gets out is a bill to pay for the hospital stay,” said the 16-year Army veteran, who asked his name not be used for fear of reprisal.
September 11, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-05



TIKRIT, Iraq – Fourth Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse units conducted a series of successful raids and patrols throughout the Task Force area of Operations targeting former regime loyalists suspected of selling weapons and building improvised explosive devices to be used against Coalition forces.

Over the past 24 hours, they conducted 240 patrols and seven raids, including 56 joint patrols conducted with the Iraqi police, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, and Border Guards. Forty-eight individuals were detained over the period and six were targeted individuals.

In Tikrit, soldiers from 1-22 Infantry Battalion conducted a raid on several buildings which local informants reported as housing subversive elements and workshops used to build IEDs. The raid resulted in uncovering two IED workshops and the detention of five Iraqis suspected of building IEDs.

Confiscated materials include batteries, electrical wire, remote control devices, one IED, chemicals, dynamite, plastic explosives, nine mortar rounds, 36 smoke grenade canisters, 13 plastic grenade casings, five blasting caps, nine fuses, small arms ammunition, two pistols, two AK-47, 15 AK-47 magazines, one shotgun, walkie-talkies, military uniforms, several military training manuals and six million Iraqi dinar.

In additional raids over the past 24 hours, Task Force Ironhorse soldiers seized 33 AK-47s and other weapons to include semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and blasting caps. Three sticks of dynamite, propellant and other bomb making materials were also confiscated.

Fourth Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse will continue to pursue former regime loyalists working against Coalition forces and the interests of the free Iraqi people.

September 11, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-06



TIKRIT, Iraq – Soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division graduated their first class of Iraqi Civil Defense Corps trainees Sept. 6 in Tikrit.

The graduating class consisted of 32 Iraqi men who will work with Coalition forces to provide security in Iraqi communities.

The ICDC trainees experienced three weeks of extensive training, which consisted of instruction in manning traffic control points, conducting raids and working to keep Tikrit safe from insurgents.

The ICDC will have officers and non-commissioned officers. The trainees earned their ranks during the training.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th. The 124th day of CPT Patti's deployment.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

The Germans didn't back the U.S. war in Iraq, but a German brewery is treating American sailors and soldiers to beer.

Munich-based Spaten, one of the world's oldest breweries, is donating 600 cases of lager to each branch of the U.S. military for personnel who fought in the war.

Navy Capt. Terry McKnight, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship Kearsarge, said Wednesday that his sailors would have no qualms about drinking brew from a country that refused to join coalition forces in the invasion of Iraq.

"A cold beer is a cold beer," McKnight said...

However, there is one small problem that Louis Sieb, president of Spaten North America, did not consider when he came up with the idea. The average sailor is 20. Legal drinking age is 21.

"They give up everything, right? They put their lives on the line, right? And they can't drink beer? Still, a good thing, I think," Sieb said.

Interesting to me that even a gesture of honest goodwill points out some severe cultural would never occur to the Germans that a soldier might not be old enough for a beer.

(via Instapundit)
The number of American troops deployed in Iraq is nearly 116,000, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said Wednesday. That is at least 10,000 less than previously believed.

As recently as last week, the number of U.S. soldiers in Iraq was believed to be between 125,000 and 130,000. The coalition spokesman, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, did not explain the reduced figure, but his disclosure comes as the U.N. Security Council considers a U.S. draft resolution calling for a multinational force to join the American-led coalition.


Let's see...average Saudi citizens hijack airplanes to kill US civilians.

Average US citizens donate time, goods and money to assist Arab children.

You decide.
Dear Editor:

Sandi, myself, and our son, Scott, who is serving in Baghdad with the 1st Armored Division and a whole bunch of kids at an orphanage in Baghdad wish to thank everyone that responded to our request for help. About eight weeks ago our son, Scott, had asked that the next time we send a care package to him, rather than sending something for him we send something for an orphanage located within his sector of responsibility in Baghadad.

He explained that the orphanage had nothing and there were a lot of newborn through about age 6 that needed help. The request has snowballed and it has been great. Because of your response we have sent a total of about 523 pounds of goods to the orphanage. They consist of about 2,060 items including diapers, baby formula, baby products, receiving blankets, clothes of all kinds in sizes newborn through age 6. It took 28 large boxes to mail all of it. We also received cash donations of $255 to help with the postage.

We received word from Scott that the shipment arrived and that he delivered all of it to the orphanage on Sept. 4. He said they were very happy and very appreciative for everything that was sent. Special thanks to the wives of 842nd that helped pack and prepare the boxes for shipment. It would have taken us all night, but with their help we had it done in less than an hour. Also special thanks to Our Savior's Lutheran Church that served as a drop-off for the items as well as paid the remaining postage not covered by donations. Again thank you very much, your efforts are very much appreciated.

Ernie and Sandi Nauman


I don't know if President Bush is bluffing or if he thinks he's got the winning hand. But his speech amounted to a declaration that we are "all in" in Iraq. He put more than $87 billion on the line. He even put more than his presidency in the pot. He bet America's place at the table.

Until now the "international community" - the French, the United Nations, etc. - has been saying that nothing the United States does in Iraq can be "legitimate" without its approval. This has next to nothing to do with high-minded principle and almost everything to do with a desire to restrain the United States.

Some countries, such as France, Germany and to a lesser extent China, use the United Nations the way the Great Powers of old Europe used ententes, alliances and the like - to check what they see as a rival power.

It's not like France asked the United Nations for permission to invade the Ivory Coast earlier this year (they did finally ask, but not until after the fact). It's not as if China believes it can't oppress Tibet or reclaim Taiwan without the international community's say-so.

If the United States hands Iraq over to the United Nations, it will be saying, in effect, that the U.N. was right all along, that it should have veto power over American foreign policy. Even if you were against the war, that is a terrible signal and precedent for the United States to send.

On the other hand, if the United Nations agrees to work with and for the United States - as well it should - then the United States will have confirmed its authority to conduct its foreign policy, right or wrong, without having to ask permission first.

It should also be pointed out that the United States has a better record of "nation building" than the United Nations or France. The U.N., for example, runs many of the Palestinian refugee camps, which churn out generation after generation of terrorists. France's former colonies are run by a rogue's gallery of tyrants and thugs.

Banton is not much different. A tall, relaxed man, he has the air of a guy just hanging out. But he is a man with a mission.

His job is to help soldiers who have just lost a comrade in arms to recover from the hard times and make sure they are in shape to continue their mission. When he was at MEK in late August, the 3rd ACR had just had a suicide on top of the two soldiers killed, he said.

“If I do my job here, I won’t be seeing them five years from now in my office,” said Banton, a reservist with a private practice in St. Louis.

Banton believes it is best to keep soldiers with their units, and to get them back to their jobs as soon as possible. That’s best for the soldier and unit manning, in his opinion.

It is also a departure from how the Army used to do things.

During World War II, when the Army lost one out of four soldiers to what was called “battle fatigue,” soldiers were evacuated to the rear, Banton said. But taking soldiers from their units decreases chances of recovery, he added.

Now, stress teams go to soldiers for “critical-event debriefings” from between 24 hours and 72 hours after an incident. Had this method been in place during World War II, Banton believes the military could have returned 80 percent of battle stress victims to duty — as it does now.

Reserve troops won’t be home for the holidays. And many will barely make it home for July Fourth, 2004.

As word that Reserve troops will spend one year on the ground in Iraq filters down to remote bases and police stations around Baghdad, many troops are registering shock.

“That’s all we’ve been talking about since yesterday,” Sgt. Charlie Spence said Tuesday afternoon while on duty at a police station in downtown Baghdad. Part of the 210th Military Police Company, a National Guard unit from Murphy, N.C., Spence said, “It’s good to hear a definite date. It’s not the date we wanted to hear.”

“It’s going to be an awful long time” he added.

The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq says the change is final.

“There has been some confusion, OK,” Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez said in discussing unit rotations during an interview. “The confusion comes when you start talking to Reserve components and you say ‘one year,’” Sanchez said.

Activation time lines, whatever the length, have traditionally included the time it took reservists to mobilize and train for a mission, as well as the often lengthy demobilization process, he said.

“What has happened within this week is that it has been made one year on the ground, which is a significant change for the Reserve component. They have to mobilize, [spend] one year on the ground, and then [demobilize] after leaving the theater.”

The decision, according to military officials, leaves reservists in Iraq for a full year — plus, in many cases, months more in mobilization, train up and demobilization time.

September 6, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-05



MOSUL, Iraq - The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is making significant progress to find and destroy weapons caches in the 3rd Brigade area of operations.

Local sources led 2nd Battalion soldiers to an enemy weapons cache south of Bajar. The cache consisted of a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, four AK47s, one 9mm pistol, one assault rifle, 38 RPG booster rockets, 500 rounds of machinegun ammunition, 21 loaded AK 47 magazines, and 12 boxes of 12 gage shotgun shells.

People in and around the 3rd Brigade area of operations continue to come forward and inform soldiers of weapons cache locations.

The division’s 3rd Brigade, known as “The Rakassans” are responsible for the area west of Mosul extending to the Syrian border.

September 6, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-06



MOSUL, Iraq – Quartermaster soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) along with 42 Iraqis have taken on the mission of restoring the Mosul City Zoo.

Although the unit’s primary mission is to issue bulk fuel to the 101st Airborne Division, the soldiers of the 102nd Quartermaster Company, with the help of Iraqi citizens have cleaned up the grounds in and around the zoo.

The project gives the Iraqi workers, many of whom are former soldiers, a way to support their families while empowering them to get involved with rebuilding their community. As the Iraqis and 101st soldiers work together to clean the grounds and cages they share their experiences, allowing the opportunity for cultural exchange.

The Mosul Zoo had fallen into severe neglect with more than half of its animals dying due to lack of food, water and care. The primary water source for the zoo is an antiquated well, which became contaminated when the remains of a horse fell into it. Undergrowth surrounded the cages, which became littered with dead animals, dirt and debris. Weather, neglect and looters caused degradation to the electrical wiring and lighting fixtures leaving the overall facility’s condition in shambles.

Now that the grounds are cleaned, major repairs are underway. These include cleaning and sanitizing the old well, digging a new well and installing a new water distribution system. Wiring and lighting will be next and then the buildings will receive a fresh coat of paint.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th. The 123d day of CPT Patti's deployment.

And two years since a bunch of deluded animals defiled our country, and their religion with crimes unspeakable.

And those who support do you sleep nights?

Wednesday, September 10, 2003


She calls!

And according to her, things are going really smoothly right now. They have really gotten their rhythm and are getting their missions done in downtown Baghdad.

She says she attends the brigade meetings where the customer units (the Infantry and Armor line units) all brief their status, and these days when they brief their supply status they are all "green" in all classes of supply.

That means that CPT Patti and her supply folks are doing well.

Of course, I had to ask her about the bomb at the Police HQ. Here is what she had to say:
I was in my office with the XO and the 1SG when all of a sudden it just goes KA-BOOM (this she says over the poor phone line connection from Baghdad...and the force of her bomb impression overloads the telephone circuit and reduces the transmission to mere static for a moment, giving one pause to consider that perhaps an unkind coincidence was taking place...but gladly it was merely a phone glitch). It shattered glass in our area, because it was right across the street from our portion of the Brigade Support Area. Our fuel tankers were parked, separated from the blast by the 12 foot tall perimeter wall of our compound, and the width of the street outside the wall.

Well, of course we had to get everyone into full battle-rattle and to their posts - actually, we got the tankers moved before we could get everyone into full uniform...because we didn't want one of those tankers going up. Of course, the first thing you do is go outside to see what you can see, but the wall is in the way, so I run to the roof where I see this large black mushroom cloud. Once everyone was properly at their posts, I went into the company command post to monitor the radio, and pace back and forth.

It was a really significant blast.

I am amazed at her retelling of that story. I said to her that I know a lot about her, but I've never been with her when a bomb went off. I asked her how she reacted. She began to tell me again about putting on her helmet...."No, I know you did that...what I mean is, did you scream, did you run in circles?"

"Why no, silly", she replied.

Funny...I think I would have.

Since her birthday is within a week, I asked her if she had received the present I sent. Turns out she has already opened it...not because she couldn't wait, but because the package was obviously in distress.

Well, so you know, I sent her a small rice-cooker for her birthday (check the photo...get it?) so she can prepare her favorite comfort food. But along with it I sent a five pound bag of rice and a pint of soy sauce. Except the glass soy sauce bottle didn't survive the the packages were soaked in soy.

Busted soy sauce notwithstanding, she declared this birthday present to be the "best idea ever" (check the web site subtitle...get it?) She then went on to say some unkind things about the quality of the rice in the dining facility.

She also mentioned that she has received other birthday presents and cards from (off the top of her head, she never seems to make a list) from K3, Dan & Amy, Jerry, Pastor Paul and Sue, as well as several cards from folks she doesn't know but who are members of Pastor Paul's congregation.

And you know what? She is delighted at all the cards.

She was telling me about one of the single soldiers who have been adopted by some of you generous folks. She told me about one soldier in particular - CPT Patti just happened to be standing by this soldier as the soldier was opening a box. The soldier said, out loud that "these folks who adopted me, Dan and Amy, sure are the sweetest people."

What the soldier didn't know, and many of you don't know, is that Dan and Amy are CPT Patti's brother and sister-in-law.

CPT Patti tells me she did backflips at hearing their names...which surprised the soldier...until CPT Patti explained. Seems Dan and Amy had never mentioned it, thinking they didn't want to put some poor soldier on the spot of being adopted by the Commander's kin. But with CPT Patti, there is no holding back...she just got so overwhelmed by the nice things said about those two...

She also mentioned one of her soldiers just gushing about "these folks back in Iowa" who adopted me, just marveling at their generosity.

I'm told there is more news to be shared once I get a letter that is en route. Of course, I'll share that with you too.

Thank you for caring.
Iraq is the only Arab country today where all political parties, from communist to conservative, operate freely. Visitors will be impressed by the openness of the political debate there, something not found anywhere else in the Arab world. Also, for the first time, Iraq has no political prisoners.

Almost 150 newspapers and magazine are now published there, offering a diversity not found in any other Arab country. One theme of these new publications is the need for democratization in the Arab world. This may be putting the cart before the horse. What Arabs, and Muslims in general, most urgently need is basic freedom, without which democracy cannot be built.

The impact of Iraq's liberation is already felt throughout the region.

Read it all - you will be surprised.

More on the report on US history teaching.
The nation's public schools offer students plenty about America's failings but not enough about its values and freedoms, says a report drawing support across the ideological spectrum.

Without a change of approach, schools will continue to turn out large numbers of students who are disengaged in society and unappreciative of democracy, the report contends...

"The basic ideas of liberty, equality, and justice, of civil, political and economic rights and obligations, are all assertions of right and wrong, of moral values," the report says. "The authors of the American testament had no trouble distinguishing moral education from religious instruction, and neither should we."
But the actions of our enemies are rarely scorned by our media elite. Instead, they're reported as problems for, or mistakes by, the Bush White House.

The tone of newscasts in the weeks since the last unmissable big success -- killing Uday and Qusay, and even these successes were criticized -- has been largely gloom and doom, Vietnam and quagmire. Two nights before Bush spoke, Dan Rather was pounding Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, saying "rank-and-file Americans are asking 'are we into quicksand? Is this going to be another quagmire?'" Rumsfeld, for once, was far too neutral, saying "time will tell," before noting that we've been in Iraq for less than six months.

Dan Rather's "rank-and-file Americans" are asking these questions only because the media can't stop focusing on them. Rumsfeld should have dismissed the whole Vietnam analogy as ridiculous, because:

1. We lost 58,000 American soldiers in Vietnam. Our casualties in Iraq now aren't on the same planet as the losses in that war.

2. We didn't liberate Vietnam from communist dictatorship and then have trouble reorganizing it along peaceful and democratic lines. If we were in Month Six and still struggling to depose Saddam Hussein -- while losing thousands of lives in the process -- the comparison would be more realistic...

The only Vietnam analogy that works is the comparison in press coverage. As in Vietnam, the press is eager to discredit American military action, to discourage American support at home for military action, to disintegrate the noble cause of the fight, and to bury any victory under a tidal wave of gloom.

Last week, when he wasn't hammering Rumsfeld, Dan Rather was highlighting an interview with American-killing terrorists inside Iraq. They told Rather from scarf-covered faces that they hated Saddam, but now they hated Americans more. It's good and useful to know the enemy. What's so discouraging about Rather's treatment is that our sworn enemies are respectfully taken at their word and granted less cynicism about their motives than our own leaders in America.


Am I the only one who thinks these folks should get real jobs?
The Saudi government has announced that Barbie dolls are Jewish tools promoting the lewd behavior of the what it calls the perverted Western world, according to a poster distributed to Saudi schools, mosques and hospitals which has been obtained by SIA news.

The poster, titled "The Jewish Doll", is printed and distributed by the powerful Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, otherwise known as the religious police. This is a government agency headed by a Wahhabi cleric with ministerial rank appointed by King Fahd.

The poster includes photos of Barbie dolls that have been confiscated by religious police from local retail outlets, displayed in a special exhibition of goods which are deemed to have violated official religious teachings.

The Permanent Exhibition for Religious Contraventions is located at the headquarters of the religious police in Madina. It displays confiscated goods such as photographs, perfumes, and dolls among other confiscated items.

Saudi spokesman in Washington, Adel Al-Jubeir, refused to comment when SIA news asked him about the poster and the official propagation of religious hatred against Jews, Christians, Hindus and non-Wahhabi Muslims by government agencies and officials.

The power of the religious police emanates from the support of King Fahd and Interior Minister Prince Naif, who fund it generously...."
I WENT TO IRAQ in August, the day after a bomb had ripped through the United Nations compound in Baghdad, killing 23 people including the U.N. special envoy. I came home the day after another massive car bomb exploded at a mosque in Najaf, taking more than 95 lives including that of a leading cleric. Yet I returned more optimistic than when I went.

Understandably, these attacks have caused apprehension, verging on panic, among U.S.-based commentators and politicians. A chorus of critics is already attacking the Bush administration for losing Iraq. During my trip I, too, saw plenty of room for improvement, especially by the civilian-run Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. For that matter, I was almost a casualty of a roadside bomb myself. Nevertheless, after 10 days traveling with soldiers and Marines in both the north and south, I am encouraged by the resourcefulness of our troops and struck by how different things look when seen firsthand. From afar, chaos seems to reign in Iraq; up close, distinct signs of progress emerge.

But take a few minutes to read the whole thing. It'll give you interesting glimpses of the soldiers, marines and the civilians trying to help this country get back on its feet. Sample:

There was pressure from some U.S. officials in the Coalition Provisional Authority to arrest Sadr because of widespread rumors that he was involved in the murder of a pro-American imam back in April. But in the absence of hard evidence, the Marines refused to move against him. In their view, arresting him would only have turned him into a martyr. Better to let his rival clerics steal away his support--which seems to be happening.

THIS IS ONLY ONE EXAMPLE of the rifts that divide the military from the CPA, led by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer. It was apparent during our visit that the CPA has done little to help the men and women in uniform; some joked that the agency's initials stand for "Can't Provide Anything." Even well-intentioned CPA initiatives have been badly bungled.

For instance, there was a plan to put 300,000 unemployed Iraqis to work clearing agricultural canals. A good idea, but the Iraqi managers failed to pay the workers for three weeks. In Diwaniyah, a major town in central Iraq, the unhappy ditch diggers rioted in protest and destroyed a government building. The Marines, who had not been involved in setting up this program, were called in to deal with the resulting chaos. They dispersed the rioters and paid the agricultural workers out of their own funds. Now they have set up a system to ensure that the payments are made. One can only hope that the coalition forces who are replacing the Marines will prove equally adept at covering for the CPA's missteps.


One of the sources I use and have come to depend upon for positive, upbeat stories about our troops in Iraq has been the Stars and Stripes. "Stripes", as it is known, is a newspaper published and distributed in overseas areas where US servicemen and women are stationed.

One notable difference between Stripes and other newspapers is their focus on providing news about the military to the military.

However, for the last week or two it seems (I'm guessing here) that the Stripes reporters have abandoned Iraq.

As a result, I've lost - at least temporarily - one of the few sources I could cound on to give us something positive and up close nearly every day.

I'll keep checking - lets hope they come back to Iraq coverage soon.
September 9, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-08



BAGHDAD, Iraq – One 3rd Corp Support Command soldier was killed and one was wounded in an improvised explosive device attack on their military vehicle along a major supply route northeast of Baghdad at approximately 5 p.m. on Sep. 9.

The wounded soldier was evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital for treatment.

The soldiers’ names are being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.

The incident is under investigation.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10th. The 122d day of CPT Patti's deployment.

She tried to call me yesterday, but the phone she was using wouldn't work. In the first email note I've received from her in way over a month, she says she will try to call again today.

Keep your fingers crossed.

UPDATE: Thanks for crossing your fingers - she called early this afternoon. See the details in the posting above.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003


Or - what you get when those with an agenda write the stories.

Off topic, I know...but I also believe it to be of interest to most readers of this site
The story of America's heroes, accomplishments and ideals is getting surprisingly short shrift in a place of great influence: the nation's public schools.

That's the theme of a provocative report about U.S. civics and history education that is drawing praise from leaders and groups whose views span the ideological spectrum.

Produced by the nonpartisan Albert Shanker Institute and released Tuesday, "Education for Democracy" is the latest effort to try to strengthen the nation's grasp of its own past and present. Authors hope it will lead to curriculum changes and stir debate about social studies lessons as people reflect on the terrorist attacks of two years ago.

Based on studies of text books, research by authors and other reviews, the report contends students get a distorted account that their country is irredeemably flawed. Schools should offer a more positive tone but should avoid propaganda or patriotic drills, the report says.

"We're not conveying to young people forcefully enough the American heritage, the American way of life," said Lee Hamilton, president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former Democratic congressman from Indiana. "This report puts a strong emphasis on the inadequacy of our civic knowledge and our civic engagement."...

"It's important that students understand not only our flaws and failings, but also the degree to which the United States was really the first modern democracy and the degree to which it has inspired democrats around the world," Diamond said. "It's a call for balance; it's not a call for purging from the history books honest criticism of our failings."


And amazingly, its good news. A consistent theme when we hear directly from the soldiers...without going through the media.

By the way, her job is to assist that very media.
It is heart breaking when one of our soldiers is killed or loses an arm or leg or eye to an attack by these terrorists and it is by far one of the most difficult parts of my job in dealing with media when all they care about reporting is how many soldiers have been killed or wounded.

You hear that the number of attacks are rising, that simply isn't true. Attacks in our area have dropped by alomost 50 percent.

Be very proud of our troops over here. They are acomplishing so much.

Don't let the negative headlines lead you to believe for one minute that what we're doing over here isn't right, or a waste of time, money and resources.

I'll keep working on my end of it to hopefully bring the media round to showing the world the progress, continuing hard work being done by both Iraqi's and Coalition forces and the hope that is alive in a country that hasn't had anything to hope for in the past 30 years.
Hart, who returned to Portland a week ago after a month in Iraq, said images of bombings and gunfire in Baghdad give a distorted impression of progress being made toward peace.

"I'm a lot more optimistic now than when I left" for Iraq, Hart said Monday...

The strategy of Mercy Corps and other nongovernmental organizations has been to use community meetings to find out from villagers what projects they would like to see.

During community meetings, he said, "you can see the diversity of thought effervescing up. . . . It has never happened since anybody can remember."

One Mercy Corps project reconstructed almost 20 miles of irrigation canal, providing water for 40,000 people. It cost $80,000.

"For $2 a head, we produced plentiful drinking water," he said. "That may be the biggest benefit or change that's happened in that community ever."

Read it all.
Romania is considering increasing the number of its peacekeepers in Iraq following a request by the U.S.-led occupation force there, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.

And then there is this...

Denmark said on Tuesday it would send an extra 90 soldiers to Iraq by the end of October, in addition to the 410 Danish troops already in place outside Basra in southern Iraq.

Granted the numbers aren't big...but it is growth nonetheless.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari took his country's seat at the Arab League on Tuesday, settling a two-month dispute within the pan-Arab body over whether to recognize a government set up by the U.S. occupiers...

The other members of the 22-member league decided to accept Zebari hours earlier Tuesday after a late night, six-hour debate...

The Iraqi foreign minister will be welcome for one year, after which the league will review Iraq's representation in terms of its progress toward forming a government, bin Helmi said. He also called on the interim Iraqi leadership to advise the league of its plans for drafting a constitution and forming a permanent government.

By winning increased legitimacy, the Governing Council helps boost U.S. plans to establish a moderate, representative Iraqi government to replace Saddam's bloody three decade-long rule.


The story in this post is the same story as the one listed in the post below. But this is how Reuters pathologically cannot help themselves as they spin the news.
Iraq's U.S.-backed foreign minister made his international debut on Tuesday, but attacks on American soldiers illustrated the price of the U.S.-led occupation five months after Saddam Hussein's fall.

Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari took his seat at an Arab League meeting in an important step toward the international recognition of Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council.

But the guerrilla attacks which have overshadowed political progress since Saddam's fall on April 9 showed no signs of abating, with five U.S. soldiers wounded.

Zebari, a Kurd who was appointed last week by the Governing Council, joined other Arab ministers at a regular meeting of the 22-member League in Cairo.

Question 1: How many foreign inisters does Iraq have? Answer - one. But Reuters wants us to know they don't think its legit, so it is the "U.S.-backed foreign minister".

Question 2: What in the bloody blue hell does the Iraqi foreign minister sitting down at the Arab League have to do with with guerilla attacks in Iraq? Answer: Nothing. But Reuters apparently wants to offset any possible good news with bad news, whether they have any connection at all.

Geez I hate Reuters.

A huge symbolic victory for Iraq.
Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari took his seat at an Arab League meeting in an important step toward the international recognition of Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council...

Zebari, a Kurd who was appointed last week by the Governing Council, joined other Arab ministers at a regular meeting of the 22-member League in Cairo.


And the fact that it wasn't "publicly announced" - whatever that means exactly - will probably become a new media big stick in the eye for the administration.
Just as regular Army (search) soldiers have had their tours of duty extended, the National Guard and reserve troops will have their mobilizations redefined so that they serve a whole year in Iraq, defense officials said Tuesday.

The new policy disregards time spent training and debriefing, and counts only time deployed "in country" as part of the active year. This means some Guard and Army Reserve troops could have their original 12-month mobilizations extended an additional one to six months.

The new order, signed Friday night and not publicly announced, covers some 20,000 Guard members and reservists. It applies only to those troops already in Iraq, not those scheduled to deploy in coming months.
President Bush's congressional request for $87 billion to pay for the war against terrorism includes hundreds of millions for lifesaving body armor and heavily armored Humvees to protect U.S. forces.

A senior administration official in Baghdad said $300 million will be spent on body armor designed to help GIs survive the sort of sniper fire that has claimed dozens of American lives in recent months.

"This is a better form than what we bought in the past," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "That's what we needed."

Another $140 million will be spent on what soldiers call "up-armored" Humvees, which can better withstand hits from mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

"This was an assessment made based on the situation on the ground," the official said.

The body armor and Humvees are part of the $66 billion that Mr. Bush has requested for military expenditures on Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries during the next year. In an address to the nation on Sunday, he also asked Congress for $21 billion in reconstruction funds, almost all of which would

Especially when the time between phone calls has grown to 3 weeks, a function of lack of access for CPT Patti.
On Friday, the U.S. occupation authority in Baghdad is expected to award licenses to set up wireless phone networks in Iraq.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 9th. The 121st day of CPT Patti's deployment.

Postings will be late today - I'll be away from the computer until this evening.

Monday, September 08, 2003


Acting like they belong...which, of course, they do.
Iraq's new foreign minister, a member of the Kurdish minority, said yesterday that he is going to the Arab League meeting in Egypt this week to claim Baghdad's seat in the organization, not beg for it.

Iraq's seat on the pan-Arab group's council of ministers has remained empty since Saddam Hussein's ouster in April. The Cairo-based organization has refused to recognize the U.S.-picked Iraqi Governing Council, which was put in place in July.

"We are not seeking recognition. We are the de facto authority in Iraq, and we are attending as representatives of Iraq," Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in his first comments since being sworn in Wednesday by the Governing Council.

Amr Moussa, the league's secretary-general, has hinted that the 22-member bloc may finally recognize the Governing Council as a legitimate government and include it in the organization. But, he said, the ministers must decide.

Is anyone else amazed at just how many weapons there are floating around in that part of the world?
US occupation authority here is scrambling to put Iraqis in charge of security, but the task is even more complicated than it was just a few months ago, when criminal gangs and Fedayeen fighters terrorized the streets.

Now, impatient with rampant lawlessness, militias have sprung up all over the country, as ubiquitous as machine guns and grenade launchers. In many quarters they're winning more popular support than either the new Iraqi police or US military, even though military officials insist they will disarm militias, including the Badr Brigade.

The paramilitaries may prove difficult to control. In Najaf on Friday, for example, Iraqi police officers deferred to Badr gunmen, who decided which cars would be allowed past checkpoints into the city's holy center.

"For every hundred of us carrying guns here, only five have permission," said Abu Montazar Al-Abudi, the Badr commander directing the fighters who cordoned off Najaf for the busy Friday prayers, searched cars, and prowled with sniper rifles on the mosque's 30-foot-high perimeter walls. "We won't let the Americans take away our guns and stop us from protecting our religious scholars and our people."...

For Nouri Badran, the new Iraqi interior minister who was sworn in Wednesday, the militias may prove the biggest obstacle to establishing credibility and convincing the US-led occupation authority that Iraqis can handle security themselves.

"All Iraqis know security comes step by step," said Lieutenant General Ahmid Ibrahim, who is second in command at the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of policing. "Four months ago there was no security at all."

But Ibrahim squirms when asked about the militias. "First we must catch all the criminals," he said. "We are not political. We don't want to deal with militias."

Unidentified guerrillas fired two missiles at a U.S. transport plane taking off from Baghdad just hours before Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld flew out of Iraq, military officials said on Sunday.

The missiles missed their target and caused no damage.

"Multiple missiles were fired which missed the aircraft," a U.S. military spokeswoman said of the incident, which happened on Saturday morning.


How Clinton and the Europeans convinced Saddam that the USA was weak.
U.S. DEFENSE AND Security sources tell NEWSWEEK that high-ranking former Saddam aides have told U.S. interrogators that Saddam believed the only assault President George W. Bush would ever launch against Iraq was the kind of low-risk bombing campaign that the Clinton administration used in the former Yugoslavia. Saddam was also confident that France and Germany would pressure the Americans to retreat from this course, leaving Iraq shaken but Saddam still in power.

Meanwhile, another author pushes a similar theme:

The President vowed to stay the course, but noted that it is only recently that America has done so. “During the last few decades the terrorists grew bolder, believing if they hit America hard, America would retreat and back down.”

Perhaps the President had in mind al-Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, when President Clinton and Al Gore backed down.

Perhaps he had in mind al-Qaeda’s attack on American troops in Somalia, when President Clinton and Al Gore backed down.

Perhaps he had in mind the attack on the Khobar Towers, a dormitory housing American soldiers, where President Clinton and Al Gore backed down.

Perhaps he had in mind the attack on the USS Cole, when President Clinton and Al Gore backed down.

“Five years ago,” the President continued, “one of the terrorists said that an attack could make America run in less than 24 hours. They’re learning something different today. The terrorists have not seen America running; they’ve seen America marching. They’ve seen the armies of liberation marching into Kabul and to Baghdad.” And they know and respect the difference.


The President speaks.
Since America put out the fires of September the 11th, and mourned our dead, and went to war, history has taken a different turn. We have carried the fight to the enemy. We are rolling back the terrorist threat to civilization, not on the fringes of its influence, but at the heart of its power.

This work continues. In Iraq, we are helping the long-suffering people of that country to build a decent and democratic society at the center of the Middle East. Together we are transforming a place of torture chambers and mass graves into a nation of laws and free institutions. This undertaking is difficult and costly — yet worthy of our country, and critical to our security.

The Middle East will either become a place of progress and peace, or it will be an exporter of violence and terror that takes more lives in America and in other free nations. The triumph of democracy and tolerance in Iraq, in Afghanistan and beyond would be a grave setback for international terrorism.

The terrorists thrive on the support of tyrants and the resentments of oppressed peoples. When tyrants fall, and resentment gives way to hope, men and women in every culture reject the ideologies of terror, and turn to the pursuits of peace. Everywhere that freedom takes hold, terror will retreat.

September 7, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-07



BA’QUBAH, Iraq –The 4th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, also known as “Warhorse Brigade”, captured a former regime loyalist suspected of carrying out attacks against Coalition forces at a children’s hospital.

Acting on information provided by a local source, the 1-67 Armor Battalion conducted a raid in Ba’qubah to capture the individual, suspected of conducting a grenade attack at the Ba’qubah Children’s hospital in August that killed three soldiers Sep 6. The raid resulted in ten detainees in all.

The “Warhorse” soldiers also confiscated one rocket-propelled grenade launcher, hand grenades, blasting caps and a detonation cord used to make improvised explosive devices.

The detainees are being held for questioning at the Warhorse holding facility in Ba’qubah.

The division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team is responsible for the Diyala Province, which begins in the Ba’qubah area and extends northeast to the Iranian border.
MONDAY AUGUST 8th. The 120th day of CPT Patti's deployment.

Seems like about every time I whine here that I haven't heard from her, she calls. It is a coincidence, since she is not able to read her web site from down range.

Anyway, she called for 2 minutes yesterday. Says she will try ot call back again today.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 07, 2003


I just checked the Baghdad forecast on Yahoo!.

Today and tomorrow (Monday) forecast high temperatures are under 100 degrees.

That's a veritable cold-front for our troops.

By its very nature "terror" is no repsector of anyone.
''How,'' the editorial inquired, ''could the societies of the Middle East have deteriorated politically and morally to such a degree that this sort of attack has become routine? ... Where are the institutions, the forces, and the men and women of the Middle East who should stand in the face of such national deformity?''

I have an answer. The deformity begins with the first excuse for hijacking airplanes, blowing up buses, murdering diplomats and Olympic athletes. The only chance to stop it is at the first moral justification for the intentional murder of civilians and the religious sanction to kill those sent to free a long-suffering people.

It is a disease that starts by praising the destruction of ''Zionists'' or applauding a death sentence pronounced on a single author for blasphemy, but mutates and grows to encompass ever-growing groups — Americans, Europeans, Christians, Westerners and their friends, secularists and insufficiently fundamentalist Muslims.

It begins with the killing of one group — Americans in the World Trade Center, American soldiers in Iraq — but metastasizes to afflict the entire international body.

It is a pathology that, as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has recently written, hails murderers as martyrs. It excused the slaughter of thousands in New York, Washington and a field in Pennsylvania. But having tolerated these, more attacks came in the same name: on a resort island in Indonesia, in Riyadh, in Casablanca, in Baghdad and Jerusalem, and most recently in Bombay.

The murder of the U.N. workers in Baghdad, tragic and deplorable, underscores a moral obfuscation: American soldiers in Iraq, no matter the humanitarian nature of their mission, are viewed as acceptable, perhaps deserving targets; but international bureaucrats are lamentable victims.

A world ungrateful for the liberation of Iraq, a world that silently accepts and at times openly lauds the murder of a liberating force, a world so willing to blur the lines between good and evil, freedom and oppression, cannot help but have its illusions shattered.

Illusions that terrorists will respect some lives but not others, that they would distinguish between soldiers and civilians, the United States and the United Nations, and respect the laws of war that render noncombatants and relief workers illegitimate targets. And shattered these illusions were, again, for the thousandth time, in the explosion in Baghdad.


The war continues while many Americans seem to feel it should be winding down or ended already. They fail to understand the larger scope of what we are doing.
The recent broadcast of a taped message by an alleged al Qaeda spokesman offered congratulations to "our brothers in Iraq for their valiant struggle against the occupation, which we support and urge them to continue."

Anyone who thinks that the battle in Iraq is a distraction from the war on terror should tell it to the Marines of the 1st Marine Division who comprised the eastern flank of the force that fought its way to Baghdad last April. When I met recently with their commander, Maj. General Jim Mattis in Hillah, he said that the two groups who fought most aggressively during the major combat operations were the Fedayeen Saddam -- homegrown thugs with a cult-like attachment to Saddam -- and foreign fighters, principally from other Arab countries. The exit card found in the passport of one of these foreigners even stated that the purpose of his "visit" to Iraq was to "volunteer for jihad."

We face that poisonous mixture of former regime loyalists and foreign fighters today.

Even before the bombing of the U.N. headquarters, if you'd asked Gen. Mattis and his Marines, there was no question in their minds that the battle they wage -- the battle to secure the peace in Iraq -- is now the central battle in the war on terrorism. It's the same with the commander of the Army's 1st Armored Division, Brig. Gen. Martin Dempsey, who recently described that second group as "international terrorists or extremists who see this as the Super Bowl." They're going to Iraq, he said, "to take part in something they think will advance their cause." He added, "They're wrong, of course." Among the hundreds of enemy that we have captured in the last months are more than 200 foreign terrorists who came to Iraq to kill Americans and Iraqis and to do everything they can to prevent a free and successful Iraq from emerging. They must be defeated -- and they will be.

Our regional commander, Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command, echoed Gen. Dempsey, placing in larger perspective the battle in Iraq. He said, "The whole difficulty in the global war on terrorism is that this is a phenomenon without borders. And the heart of the problem is in this particular region, and the heart of the region happens to be Iraq. If we can't be successful here, we won't be successful in the global war on terrorism."
Accompanying Mr. Rumsfeld during the secretary's three-day visit to the occupying American forces, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, held to his position that more American troops are not needed.

"There is no risk at the tactical, operational or strategic level," Gen. Sanchez said at the same news conference. "The only way we will fail in this country is if we decide to walk away in Iraq and fight the next battle on the war on terrorism in America.

"A platoon out of any one of my battalions could defeat the threat, readily. I don't need any more forces. We need the Iraqi people to help us and give us the intelligence we need."
In recent war games, Myers said, “most of the Joint Chiefs weren’t happy with a couple” of assumptions on worldwide commitments. They agree U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is critical. What needs to change then, he said, is “our posture in the rest of the world.”

“We’re still in Bosnia. We’re still in Kosovo. Should we be there? Should the Europeans pick up more of that?” Myers asked. “… We’re in many places, in numbers, that perhaps we don’t need to be in.”

The Joint Chiefs are studying “how we can change our … global force presence policy,” he said.

September 5, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-03



BAGHDAD, Iraq- Coalition forces continued efforts to prevent possible attacks by finding, confiscating and destroying caches of weapons on Sep. 4.

In an area northeast of Ba’qubah, Task Force Iron Horse soldiers detained a taxi driver who was acting in a suspicious manner. A search of the taxi resulted in the confiscation of one rocket-propelled grenade launcher, 12 RPG rounds, one AK-47 and one MP-5 submachine gun.

Fourth Infantry Division soldiers discovered a large cache of weapons in an area northwest of Tikrit. The cache consisted of one RPG, three 82mm mortar rounds, three 60mm mortar rounds, 88 fuses for 60mm mortar rounds, and one 82mm mortar tube. An explosive ordnance disposal team was called to destroy the weapons.

In the past 24 hours, coalition forces conducted 20 raids, 715 day patrols and 483 night patrols. The units also conducted 198 day patrols and 174 night patrols with Iraqi police.

September 6, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-04



AL FALLUJAH, Iraq – In recent weeks, 2nd Squadron (Sabre), 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment soldiers conducted raids of possible safe houses and dwellings of suspected former regime loyalists and other subversive elements in Al Fallujah and in surrounding areas.

Together with patrols and sweeps, these raids have netted over ten thousand artillery and mortar rounds, mines, other ammunition, small arms and hand grenades as well as nearly two dozen missiles.

These operations represent a proactive effort to root out elements that are sabotaging Coalition Force’s reconstruction effort.

The Regiment has been concentrating efforts on rooting out these former regime loyalists and eliminating stockpiles of weapons and munitions.

Confiscated weapons included (1,080) 122mm artillery rounds, 928 mortar rounds, 8,991 rounds of 23mm, 28 AK-47s, two pistols, 10 anti-tank missiles, 45 anti-tank mines, eight surface-t-air missiles, four kegs of gunpowder, 300 rounds of 130mm high explosive ammunition, three boxes of hand grenades, 20 high explosive anti-tank munitions, (125) 100mm tank rounds, 134 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, two sniper rifles, 30 rounds of 37mm anti-aircraft ammunition, one improvised explosive device and one SA-7 system.

September 6, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-05



MOSUL, Iraq - The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is making significant progress to find and destroy weapons caches in the 3rd Brigade area of operations.

Local sources led 2nd Battalion soldiers to an enemy weapons cache south of Bajar. The cache consisted of a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, four AK47s, one 9mm pistol, one assault rifle, 38 RPG booster rockets, 500 rounds of machinegun ammunition, 21 loaded AK 47 magazines, and 12 boxes of 12 gage shotgun shells.

People in and around the 3rd Brigade area of operations continue to come forward and inform soldiers of weapons cache locations.

The division’s 3rd Brigade, known as “The Rakassans” are responsible for the area west of Mosul extending to the Syrian border.

September 6, 2003
Release Number: 03-09-06



MOSUL, Iraq – Quartermaster soldiers assigned to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) along with 42 Iraqis have taken on the mission of restoring the Mosul City Zoo.

Although the unit’s primary mission is to issue bulk fuel to the 101st Airborne Division, the soldiers of the 102nd Quartermaster Company, with the help of Iraqi citizens have cleaned up the grounds in and around the zoo.

The project gives the Iraqi workers, many of whom are former soldiers, a way to support their families while empowering them to get involved with rebuilding their community. As the Iraqis and 101st soldiers work together to clean the grounds and cages they share their experiences, allowing the opportunity for cultural exchange.

The Mosul Zoo had fallen into severe neglect with more than half of its animals dying due to lack of food, water and care. The primary water source for the zoo is an antiquated well, which became contaminated when the remains of a horse fell into it. Undergrowth surrounded the cages, which became littered with dead animals, dirt and debris. Weather, neglect and looters caused degradation to the electrical wiring and lighting fixtures leaving the overall facility’s condition in shambles.

Now that the grounds are cleaned, major repairs are underway. These include cleaning and sanitizing the old well, digging a new well and installing a new water distribution system. Wiring and lighting will be next and then the buildings will receive a fresh coat of paint.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th. The 119th day of CPT Patti's deployment.

Still no word from our girl for nearly 2 1/2 weeks.