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Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Dawn Patrol



Well if you have arrived here that means Hosting Matters has not won the battle against the DOS attack. This is also affecting email as well so please be patient and we'll answer as soon as we can.

Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics - from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you're a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link to any of these stories, add a link to the Dawn Patrol too and your trackback will be added to the list. (We have a daily "Open Post" too, if you have something on another topic you can link there.)

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IRAQ



IRAQ THE MODEL -- [Iraq the Model - an Iraqi in Iraq]
Today Baghdad is witnessing a tragic disaster; hundreds have died and more were injured when huge crowds of pilgrims heading to the shrine of Imam Kadhom caused the fence of the A'imma bridge to collapse pushing people to fall into the Tigris river.

The news is still uncertain about the cause and casualty toll of this disaster but sources in the ministry of health say that around 640 people were killed in the incident.

What Horror... -- [Back to Iraq - a Journalist in Iraq]
BEIRUT — While the world watches New Orleans drown, Baghdad has seen the single greatest loss of life when thousands of Shi’ite pilgrims panicked on a bridge over the Tigris and stampeded after rumors flew among the crowd that two suicide bombers were in the midst.

Almost 650 people are dead and hundreds wounded. They drowned in the river and suffocated on land.

Gotcha! -- [Who's your Baghdaddy? - in Iraq]
We caught some of the scumbags that were responsible for Saturday’s mortar attack. A raid was organized and conducted in the early morning hours yesterday and we netted several bad guys. Out of this group of thieves we have identified at least four of them as suspected members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia. The troops are all pumped from the results of a successful mission, but we are not done yet. We are continuing to tighten the noose in order flush more of these rodents out of their hiding places. Obviously I can’t provide a lot of detail, but I will post updates as I can.

The MRX -- [Major K - in Iraq]
For the past 2 1/2 years, there have been several evolutions in building the new Iraqi Army. It first started as the ICDC, then became what is now the Iraqi Army. All over the country, this army has been being built from the ground up. It started with basic training, where new soldiers were forged with better training than was given to the "Commandos" of the old regime. By the standards of the former regime, every American Soldier would be considered to be "Special Forces" trained.

ISF progress in basic warrior training -- [ Live in Iraq]
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (Aug. 30, 2005) -- A team of focused soldiers equipped with helmets, protective vests and weapons swiftly move through a destroyed building to make sure it is clear for further movement. This situation was just one of the several training scenarios the Iraqi Security Force rehearsed here this week.

Iraqis - keen and optimistic -- [ Chrenkoff]
Our special correspondent Haider Ajina translated the results of the latest opinion poll published in the August 29th edition of the Iraqi Arabic newspaper “Alhayat”:

Interviewing Mayada Al-Askari -- [Iraqi In America]
Mayada, Daughter of Iraq
One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein
Let's Start With Your Work News

Q: During your work as a journalist in Iraq, you were once invited with other journalists by the office of Ali Hassan Al-Majid to witness what I would describe as torture and humiliation of human beings in public. Could you compare that torture to the treatment he's receiving now from the Iraqi justice system?

A: I was invited alone, as Ali Hassan Al-Majid did not like journalists. People in Iraq under the Baathist regime were executed without seeing the face of a lawyer, with no trial and no legal representation, people were tortured and a great many died under torture then found out to be completely innocent.

Saddam , and his lieutenants are being treated with respect, and according to the Geneva convention laws. I heard that Ali Al-Majid told the judge: why not execute us and get it over with ?!!

This is how they comprehend things, and they would repeat all their deeds again if given half a chance.

A friend of mine in Iraq was guarding a military facility back in 1991, and Ali Hassan Al Majid came in to see the military prisoners, he made all the prisoners drink gasoline, then had them shot in the stomach where they were all set to fire.


Fables of the Reconstruction -- [Sisyphus Today... - in Iraq]
As costs for reconstruction in Iraq begin to topple the $200 Billion mark, one must ask what this money has been spent on and what results have been noted. Several times thus far, I have noted that what you are fed through the corporate media is a limited and skewed view of Iraq. Primarily, the news reporters are spoon fed their news by military public affairs officers who boiled down numbers and events for easy consumption by the concerned but faint-hearted American citizen. These reporters have such little integrity that they rarely, if ever, venture outside their Baghdad hotels for their latest breaking story. Dressed up in flak jackets and kevlar helmets, they intimate the violence and danger they must forego to bring us the news. Let's be clear on this from the start, Baghdad is NOT Iraq and Iraq is not Baghdad. The media has successfully convinced the Dancing-with-a-Star loving American viewer that Iraq is a homogenous and violent country. Wrong.

Sharia experts -- [Phil and Becky - Phil's in Iraq]
From the comments section...
Must admit that the section stating that the Federal Court be made up of experts in Sharia law worries me. The Constitution requires that Iraqi law be both Islamic and respectful of human rights - what happens when the two idealogies clash? Such clashes in law are usually settled by an independent judiciary, but when that judiciary is composed of people who've devoted their lives to the study of Islam I think that would work in a pro-Islam bias into their decisions. Imagine for a moment that the US Constitution contained a proviso that Supreme Court judges be Christian theologians. Do you really think Roe vs Wade would have been decided the way it was if that was the case? Somehow I think not.

BAD BOYS -- [2005 Tour of Duty - in Iraq]
Who ya gona call when they come for you. This is the Iraq security force. They patrol up and down the roads looking for the bad guys. They wear a mask sometimes so that they will not be reconized, but I think he wears it to intimidate people...

More Tribe-on-Tribe in Qaim -- [The Fourth Rail - Bill Roggio]
In the western Iraqi town of Qaim, clashes continue between the pro-government Bumahl tribe and the pro-al Qaeda Karabila tribe. Newsday, in an article titled "Heavy Fighting Erupts in Western Iraq", reports that "20 members of the Bumahl tribe and 15 from Karabila were killed in the clashes," with dozens wounded. Reuters reports 47 were killed in multiple U.S. air strikes directed at terrorist safe houses.

A Question of Victory [The Fourth Rail - Grim ]
The Washington Post carries this article on Iraq by National Geographic author Lewis Simons, a former Marine -- or, as he phrases it, "ex-Marine." The terms are frequently used interchangably by the news media, but the choice of one over the other is important to Marines. One wonders if his editor altered it, or if he was attempting to underline his position.

More Thoughts from Duke in Iraq: -- [Broken Masterpiece - dispatched from Iraq]
I wasn’t planning on revisiting this subject, but a recent discussion with a friend of mine and what I read in today’s Stars and Stripes has motivated me. My friend recently saw Monster In-Law for free at the base theater. He asked me if I were going to see it. I told him no because I had no desire to support Jane Fonda in anyway. I do not think he fully understood my position but a letter to the editor in today’s Stars and Stripes puts it very well.
We have heard that Jane Fonda is planning a war protest bus tour. This is the majority of a letter written from a soldier stationed in Baghdad.

MSM REPORTS ON IRAQ



Hundreds Die in Iraq Stampede -- (Washington Post)...Ellen Knickmeyer
Rumors of a suicide bomber in a crowd of Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad caused a stampede that killed hundreds of panicked worshippers.

Bush gives new reason for Iraq war -- (Boston Globe)...Jennifer Loven(AP)
Says US must prevent oil fields from falling into hands of terrorists

US warplanes strike in western Iraq -- (Independent Online)
Baghdad - United States forces have killed an al-Qaeda militant in western Iraq in air strikes that claimed the lives of 47 people.

US warplanes on Tuesday launched three waves of strikes near the town of Qaim, on the Syrian border. This is a remote area that Washington has long said is a route into Iraq for foreign Islamist fighters allied to the insurgency among Iraq's Sunni Arab minority.

U.S. Ambassador Hints Iraq Constitution Not Final -- (Indianapolis Star)...AP
The U.S. ambassador to Iraq raised the possibility Tuesday of more changes to Iraq's draft constitution, signaling that the Bush administration hasn't given up its campaign to advocate a charter that will be broadly accepted.

War Without Remedy -- (Washington Post)
THE WORSENING violence in Iraq and Afghanistan this summer has, at least, been accompanied by vigorous attempts at political solutions. In Iraq, majority Shiites, pressed by the United States, are negotiating with minority Sunnis about the country's future political structure; although talks over the constitution failed, the contacts are likely to continue even as an upcoming referendum provides a democratic outlet. Afghanistan's parliamentary election campaign proceeds despite attacks from extremists, and some former members of the Taliban have chosen to compete rather than fight.

Bush is the real threat -- (The Guardian)...Tony Benn
Now that the US president has announced that he has not ruled out an attack on Iran, if it does not abandon its nuclear programme, the Middle East faces a crisis that could dwarf even the dangers arising from the war in Iraq.

AFGHANISTAN



Gratuitous Afghanistan Photo of the Day (69) -- [ Miserable Donuts - back from Afghanistan]
One Friday at the Bagram bazaar I saw an odd looking thing on one of the tables. After closer examination, I saw we had a genuine Erie Chemical Company 47mm smoke grenade launcher from the 1960s. I asked where this had come from, and got a ...

Gratuitous Afghanistan Photo of the Day (70) -- [ Miserable Donuts - back from Afghanistan]
Between the villages of Jafarkhil and Shaka. The police officer really wanted his photo taken, so I obliged. The father has quite a protective look about him, so...

MSM REPORTS ON AFGHANISTAN



U.S. military 'doing everything' it can to seek out bin Laden -- (Boston Herald)
The U.S. military is doing all it can in Afghanistan to locate Osama bin Laden but cannot say when he will be captured, a spokesman said today.

Col. James Yonts also said the United States was cooperating with neighboring countries such as Pakistan in the hunt for the al-Qaida leader.

``When will he be captured? ... I can't give you a date, but I can tell you this: Everyone remembers 9/11,'' Yonts told reporters in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Afghan opium production drops --
| KABUL (BBC News) -- Afghanistan has registered a drop in the cultivation of opium for the first time since the fall of the Taliban, the United Nations says. | The area under cultivation for opium ...

NATO rolls out 2,000 more troops for Afghan polls -- (Tehran Times)
KABUL - NATO-led peacekeepers have deployed 2,000 extra troops across northern and western Afghanistan to secure the war-battered country's parliamentary elections on September 18, a spokesman...

OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD



Walid Phares: LEBANON SECURITY ARRESTS COULD LEAD TO SYRIA AND HIZBOLLAH -- [The Counterterrorism Blog]
Today, the Lebanese Government accepted a UN investigation commission request to have a number of former security chiefs brought in for interrogation in the Hariri assassination. The three directors detained were: Maj. Gen. Jamil Sayyed, the former chief of General Security; Maj. Gen. Ali Hajj, the former director general of the Internal Security Forces; and Brig. Gen. Raymond Azar, the former director general of military intelligence. The commander of the Presidential Guards, Brig. Gen. Mustafa Hamdan, also appeared before the U.N. investigation in response to a summons. The Commission ordered former pro-Syrian MP Nasser Kandil to appear as well.

MSM REPORTS ON OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD



Uzbekistan Base Decision Won't Leave US Without Options -- (CNSNews.com)...Patrick Goodenough
An Uzbekistan Senate resolution approving the government's decision to expel the United States from an airbase appears unlikely to have a serious impact on the U.S. military, which has been investigating alternative arrangements.

More TV means less Koran, say south Thai Muslims -- (Reuters)...Ed Cropley
BAN SAWO HILIR, Thailand, - In the wilds of southern Thailand, where people believe Islam first took root in Southeast Asia, plans to dish out cable TV with free English soccer to quell ethnic Malay unrest have not gone down well.

"The kids will just watch TV and leave the Koran and their school books behind," said Haji Mustafa Bin Haji Abdul Latif of Ban Sawo Hilir in Narathiwat, one of three provinces rocked by 20 months of violence in which more than 800 people have died.

One year on, Beslan demands truth -- (The Guardian)
Anger grows over Kremlin's official version of school siege.

KATRINA



Generosity... -- [Gun Line]
As you are no doubt aware, the folks in Louisiana, Mississippi, and surrounding states need our help...

Yes, so do our wounded war-fighters, but they would be the first to tell you that they can hold on a little longer, wheras the folks hit by Hurricane Katrina can't...

Val Prieto, at Babalu's Blog, promises a t-shirt for every $20.00 donation, and has links to the life-saving organizations that will be operating in the disaster area...

Nightmare -- [Baldilocks](pics)
It's Chaos and chaotic down South.
Food and drinkable water were scarce, forcing city officials to order nonessential people to evacuate. By afternoon, officials were also ordering rescue shelters to evacuate.

Katrina II: Aftermath -- [Florida Cracker](pics)
Authorities in New Orleans are going to soon find out what happens when you allow people into the Superdome with the understanding that they cannot leave until it is deemed safe to do so. I predict it's going to get ugly unless these people are cut loose. Then it'll get uglier when they are.
Some who are currently footloose and fancy-free in New Orleans are looting.

Even as conditions continue to degrade in New Orleans, so will the situation in the Superdome. Things got dicey ...

New Orleans and "Martial Law" -- [The Stupid Shall Be Punished]
Now I admit I haven't been watching TV, but I'm a little hesitant to fully believe the reports that New Orleans has been placed under "martial law" (or, as this local TV station says, "marshal law"). I've checked on both the Lousiana Governor's office website and the New Orleans city website and neither of them mention such an announcement. The New Orleans website has a blurb that says a "state of emergency" has been declared, but that's a long way from martial law, under which people are tried by military tribunals.

The Lickspittle Sycophant Responds -- [Balloon Juice]
As a bedtime gift for you, the angry and stupid left:
The absence of large portions of the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama National Guards is dismissed as unimportant, because after all, 3,500 guards are available in LA, 1600 in MS, and 750 in AL…those numbers are perfectly sufficient! Or maybe not. Oh, and what about their equipment, trucks, helicopters, halftracks, and etc?

But even more, Trevino states “Show me, please, that the funds were diverted specifically for the war; and that they would have averted the present disaster.”...


The Disaster Relief, Recovery, and Developmental Aid Process -- [Austin Bay]
I’ll be on Hugh Hewitt in a couple of minutes to talk about disaster relief. Here’s a column from early January which discusses the South Asian tsunami. It outlines the emergency response and disaster recovery process.

MSM REPORTS ON KATRINA



Strain of Iraq War Means the Relief Burden Will Have to Be Shared -- (Washington Post)...Ann Scott Tyson
With thousands of their citizen-soldiers away fighting in Iraq, states hit hard by Hurricane Katrina scrambled to muster forces for rescue and security missions yesterday -- calling up Army bands and water-purification teams, among other units, and requesting help from distant states and the active-duty military.

White House to Release Oil From Reserves -- (New York Post)...AP
WASHINGTON (AP) - Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said Wednesday the Bush administration has decided to release oil from federal petroleum reserves to help refiners affected by Hurricane Katrina. The move, which was expected later in the day, is designed to give refineries in the Gulf Coast area a temporary supply of crude oil to take the place of interrupted shipments from tankers or offshore oil platforms affected by the storm...

Woman Gives Birth While Fleeing Katrina -- (New York Post) ...AP
CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) - A New Orleans woman has given birth while fleeing Hurricane Katrina. Donyelle Jean Jacques left New Orleans Saturday morning, one of 49 members of her family trying to flee. When the family is finally able to return, there will be 50. As the family drove north in an eight-car caravan in Alabama on Interstate 65, Jacques, who was pregnant and past her due date, started having labor pains. Her boyfriend, Wilbert Joseph, said he was scared as he drove the car that Jacques was in.

Charities, U.S. military mobilize to help -- (MSNBC)...Elizabeth Williamson and Ann Scott Tyson
Charities and the federal government launched what aid agencies predicted could be the longest and costliest relief effort in U.S. history, as workers began arriving last night in states devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and as the U.S. military organized an intensive response by already stretched National Guard and active duty forces.

Survivors tell of desperate struggles to survive -- (MSNBC)...Mike Brunker
The stories sounded remarkably similar, as survivors who tried to ride out Hurricane Katrina on Tuesday recounted their desperate attempts to climb higher and higher as the storm’s floodwaters rose inexorably to their eaves and beyond.

Looting, Fires And a Second Evacuation -- (Washinton Post)...Peter Whoriskey and Sam Coates
This exodus was even more desperate than the first.
As murky water surged around their homes from levee breaks undetected in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, families that had hunkered down for Monday's storm were forced Tuesday to climb first to their attics and then to their roofs in the hope of rescue by boat or helicopter.

MILITARY



HURRY UP AND KUWAIT -- [American Citizen Soldiers - in Iraq]
A retired Navy Seal whose physical conditioning class I had endured to prepare myself for basic training warned me that the hardest obstacle I would face in the military would be the “hurry up and wait” mentality. Naturally, I asked him what he meant by this.

“It’s just like it sounds,” he told me. ‘Hurry up and get your ass over here…there…anywhere! Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go! Okay, now that you've jumped through your ass, sit here and wait for three hours.’"

I grimaced; he laughed. ...


MSM REPORTS ON TERRORISM



TERRORISM: OVER 40,000 EXTREMISTS POSE THREAT TO EUROPE, SAYS EXPERT --(AKI/DAWN)
Some 10,000 active supporters of the al-Qaeda terrorist network in the United Kingdom and 31,000 Islamic extremists in Germany pose a serious threat to the European security apparatus, according to an internationally recognised expert on terrorism, Rolf Tophoven. In a paper presented at the three-day seminar on "Global Terrorism" organised by the Institute of Regional Studies in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, Tophoven said a small minority of European Muslims were more than capable of attacking their own countries as part of the Jihad.

MSM REPORTS ON MILITARY



SUPPORTING THE TROOPS ... OR NOT



I need Rice Krispy Treats and Jelly Beans -- [Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho]
Ok, if you would like to help with 2 requests from soldiers I have a request for jelly beans (would be fun to send him a ton...perhaps he can share with the Iraqi children), and Rice Krispy Treats. The second request, the one for Rice Krispy treats was from a soldier who said, "I am not looking for anything special, maybe just some rice krispy treats.Thank you for supporting the deployed soldiers." Now don't you just want to send him about 10 cases for being so sweet?!? Email me if you would like to help.

Other notes, I've mentioned before that Soldiers Angels receives messages from our troops on a daily basis and posts them on the member's only (angels only) message board, so that everyone who wants to can respond and help. I wanted to share 2 of them that particularly struck me just to give you an idea of the people Americans are helping to support.

A Letter from a "Regular" American Teenager to Our Heroes... -- [Iraq War News]
Dear American Soldiers,

My name is Ryan Kathleen P-----, and I am a seventeen year old girl, about to enter my senior year in high school. You don't know me, nor do you have any reason to. I'm just a regular teenager, going about life and doing what teenagers do. However,
...

A series of thank you’s. -- [The "Mike Golf's" OIF3 Blog - in Iraq]
While I have been here, I have received quite a few packages of support to pass out to the guys. Some of them from people whom I’ve never met and some of them with out even a card saying how they’d heard of me or why they felt the need to send something in my direction. Thank you. Your goods have been passed out to the boys.
To whoever started the subscription in my name to magazines that all the guys over here like to read. Stuff, Blender and Maxim. Thank you.

Bile -- [365 and a Wake Up] Editors Note: this is not the real John Travolta.
can you sleep good, f****n' murderer?

Sadly no, I don’t sleep all that well. Maybe it’s the heat, or just the stacatto missions, but I just haven’t been able to get a solid five hours of rest in the last few weeks. I’m sure you have been in the same situation once or twice. You know the whole “laying in a sleeping bag in a combat zone, staring at the ceiling, half sick with the thought that there was something else you might have fit into your 20 hour day” thing...

POLITICS



Hating America -- [TigerHawk]
We do not spend a great deal of time on this blog deconstructing the moral cretinism of the American left, but sometimes it is hard to resist. LGF linked to this story in the San Mateo County Times, which rather matter-of-factly reported that sweet little 11-year old Hannah Stutz had won the kids division of an art contest sponsored by the Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance.

I thought it would be interesting to look at the first prize winner of that contest, by Chuck Bowden. It is called "Sheeple Love Sadists."

You Will Know Them By Their Fruits (Mt. 7:16) -- [Froggy Ruminations]
Jesus spoke those words 2000 years ago in order to teach his disciples how to assess the motivations of people that they encounter in their ministries. Only God can know the heart of a man (Jer. 17:9-10) and truly peer into a person’s soul; we humans do not have this ability. Each of us believes that we KNOW when someone is being honest or that we can detect the motivations of our closest family and friends, but we cannot. The best we can do is to check the fruit that a person’s life or actions have borne. In other words, do the results of a person’s statements and actions match up with the purported goals of those statements and actions? Additionally, are those results (fruit) affecting a positive outcome, or are they causing bitterness, strife, pain, failure, or hatred?

Sheehan's Magical Mystery Ride -- [TBone's WAR JOURNAL]
Cindy Sheehan's campout in Texas has spawned a full-fledged bus ride of rose-colored glasses wearing idiots called the "Bring them home now tour". The "Bring Them Home Now Tour" folks have a website, so I had to check it out. This is how it described their mission.

MSM REPORTS ON POLITICS



New poll finds Bush Iraq ratings down --(Reuters)
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush's approval rating slipped to a career low of 45 percent on concerns over the Iraq war and spiraling U.S. fuel prices, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll published on Tuesday.

Giuliani says to decide on White House run in 2006 -- (Reuters)
Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani said on Wednesday he would decide next year whether to run as a Republican U.S. presidential candidate in 2008.

"I won't decide until next year," Giuliani

THE MEDIA



Rumsfeld Disses Media’s War Coverage (Exclusive Video)Blogged in Military -- [a Soldiers Perspective]
The Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld surprised us today with a visit to our humble post. I was fortunate enough to be invited to his speech. During his nearly 90 minute visit with troops and family members of deployed soldiers, Rumsfeld laid out his expectations of all military members; mainly that we stay aggressive and proactive in defeating terrorism worldwide and the insurgency in Iraq.

Come to the Real "Die-In" -- [FrontPage Magazine]
The following letter was written in response to a public "Die-In" held at the front gate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, this past April. Its author, Marc Fencil, would have been on campus at the time, but, as a Marine, he was stationed in Iraq. OU's official student publication, The Post, ran his letter on April 8, 2005. We were as inspired by his forthright invitation to the antiwar protestors as we are grateful for his service. If only every college student -- let alone professor -- were endowed with as much patriotism and common sense.
To the editor:
It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!

LA Times on Tribalism - but they didn't notice -- [ROFASix]
The LA Times article is a bit unclear as it reports in the article, "Latino Groups to Fight Military Recruiting on Campuses," just what the real story is. Of course, I have an idea what it should have been about - tribalism.

The Los Angeles Times writes:

"Over There" -- [365 and a Wake Up - in Iraq]
Yesterday I received a care package with DVDs of the FX show “Over There”, a series loosely based on the experiences of soldiers here in Iraq. As the day wound down my XO and 2LT Lucky drifted over to my room, both eager to watch this new series and how they depicted life here in Iraq. We sat down and spent the next hour in utter and complete awe. It was the most riveting hour of television I have ever seen, and by the end of the show I had tears in my eyes.

They were tears of laughter.

MSM REPORTS ON MEDIA



There's 'Over There' -- and there's the real thing. Soldiers who served in Iraq share ...
There's nothing funny about the new FX dramatic series, "Over There. " It's a gruesome depiction of men and women in combat. In Iraq. | So why were these men -- all comba...

MILBLOGGING



OPSEC and Pandora's Box
Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette weighs in on the Schoomaker OPSEC memo, and his reference to blogs. Greyhawk notes a UPI Story out today, as it appeared in The Washington Times.
...I would certainly agree with Greyhawk's assessment. My freedom to blog is constrained by my Commander's assessment of how well I practice OPSEC. So far, so good. (And writing nice things about him has nothing to do with it.) My intent is indicated in my initial post on this issue. Each local Commander will have wide discretion in monitoring, censoring, or even shutting down blogs of Soldiers under their command. And some will no doubt be overcautious, timid, or reluctant to take any heat for a would-be journalist "embedded" in their unit.

Furthermore, ...

Latest Email From Iraq -- [Southern By Blog]
Always nice to get an email from the SPC to say thanks for the small contributions I send to help him and his mates out. Looks like the OPSEC meme that has been making around the milblogs has made it all the way down the chain of command too:
Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. I received your latest package yesterday, and the contents were quickly put to good use. I'd have to say the timing couldn't be better. While I was on leave, it looked like there was no new items coming into the platoon food locker, but there were a lot of items coming out. When I left, it was pretty full, but when I returned, there were only a packages of noodles and a couple of cans of SPAM left. Sorry I really haven't had too much time to write, but things here have been very busy. A lot of things have made it into the news, some good, some bad, but because of all the news articles that get written, we end up with more training. The biggest concern right now is OPSEC. Apparently there have been some soldiers that violated OPSEC while writing in their blogs, emails and letters home. This creates a dangerous situation for us, as the enemy can read the entries and use that information against us or other units out here.

HUMOR



National & International Economics -- [GM's Corner]
There has been entirely too much carping over who has what, should wealth be tranferred between individuals/states, taxation schemes, etc. In the interests of bipartisan cooperation, I have, at great expense and time gathered the best and the brightest to help put together a primer on economics, both national and international. Read carefully, there will be a test next week.




(Need more? The previous Dawn Patrol is here.)





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