June 2007


29 Jun 2007 08:22 am

Last night a bomb which could have caused significant injury in the Haymarket section of London was defused outside a popular nightspot. Tiger Tiger is not far from 10 Downing Street. Welcome to Tony Blair’s world, Mr. Brown.

A bomb made from gas cylinders, petrol and nails was found in an abandoned car in central London today, sparking a major terrorism alert.
Peter Clarke, Scotland Yard head of counter-terrorism, said the device, discovered in Haymarket - one of the capital’s main nightlife districts - could have killed or injured many people.

“Even at this stage, it is obvious that, if the device had detonated, there could have been serious injury or loss of life,” he said. “It was busy, and many people were leaving nightclubs.”

Mr Clarke added that police had gathered CCTV evidence, but said it was too early to speculate about who could have been responsible.

The incident, near Piccadilly, began when an ambulance was called to a nightclub at around 1am to treat a person who had fallen ill. The ambulance crew noticed a Mercedes parked outside the club, and saw the vehicle appeared to have smoke inside it.

Mr Clarke said experts called to the scene found “significant quantities of petrol, together with a number of gas cylinders”. “I cannot tell you how much petrol was in the car as we have not had a chance to measure, it but there were several large containers,” he added.

Earlier, witnesses said they saw the light metallic green saloon car being driven erratically. It then crashed into bins before the driver ran away.

Police are searching landmark sites across London for further explosive devices, and are unsure whether the bomb was a lone device or one of several deployed across the capital. No warnings were received.

The car was loaded onto a lorry and taken away. Its most likely destination is the forensic explosives laboratory at Fort Halstead, in Kent, the site of a specialist facility known as the Igloo.

The security scare poses an early test for the new prime minister, Gordon Brown, and the new home secretary, Jacqui Smith, who earlier chaired a meeting of Cobra, the government’s emergency response committee.

Amid speculation that the bomb had been timed to coincide with the changeover of government, Mr Brown said the alert underlined the continuing threat to Britain.

“The first duty of the government is the security of the people, and as the police and security services have said on so many occasions, we face a serious and continuous threat to our country,” he said as he visited a school in north London.

“We should allow the police to investigate this incident and then report to us. But this incident does recall the need for us to be vigilant at all times and the public to be alert at any potential incidents. I will stress to the cabinet that the vigilance must be maintained over the next few days.”

In the summer of 2001 my daughters, niece, best friend and I were in London. One afternoon after shopping in Harrods one of my daughters discovered an abandoned package in a Harrods bag just outside the store. It had a nice handbag inside so we took it back into Harrods.

I thought about that a few years ago during the London transit bombings. Life in the summer of 2001 was a more innocent time and an abandoned package outside Harrods was just that. An abandoned package.

Not so much anymore.

Michelle Malkin has more.

28 Jun 2007 04:11 pm

So now that the odious Amnesty Bill has been killed and shoveled back into Harry Reid’s tomb of dead bills, we need to focus on winning the war.

Yes, Senator Lugar. It can be done. It is being done. But there are some things that could have been done from the very beginning that might have saved a lot of soldiers’ lives. For some reason, I don’t think the Iraq Study Group paid a lick of attention to it.

An email from Iraq.

On a side note the one thing I think that’s bad about this war is this…

President Bush should have mobilized the nation. Equipment can’t get here fast enough, about 75% of the soldiers that have been killed were in what they call flat pancake vehicles, primarily the HMMWVs. The V shaped bottoms on the MWRAP marine vehicle and the Army’s JERVS Cougars RG31s and Buffalos are all survivable vehicles where guys have taken numerous dets multiple times from the same things that destroy HMMWVs.

While you’ll hear some people say the equipment doesn’t make the difference, if you are going to get hit then you are going to get hit.

That’s pretty close to saying, well I’ll just take a knife out instead of my rifle. Plus the simple fact is Engineers lead the way throughout most of the theater, before infantry, logistics, or anyone else primarily because of the survivability of their vehicles.

Those same guys saying the equipment doesn’t make the difference are doing what they can with what they’ve got but I guarantee you they would gladly follow Engineers whenever they have the opportunity. If we had enough RGs and Buffalos not one HMMWV would be going out on the road. Now with the massive ability to manufacture the US has why in God’s green earth are there units out there that aren’t full up on RGs and Buffalos.

After all, this is war.

There are a bunch of companies that could be saving lives and winning the war. Contracts, blah. Screw waiting on bids and all that BS, that just bugs the heck out of me.

The first priority should be winning the war and to do whatever we need to do to decrease the enemy’s ability to kill soldiers. We need to decrease the enemy’s ability to control our movement, allowing him freedom to move from place to place, to live to set up IEDs on another day somewhere else.

People say the enemy can defeat anything, yeah, but it takes him a lot longer to put something in that would defeat some of these vehicles with v shaped bottoms. He’d be considerably slowed down.

There ought to never be a day, with all of our nation’s ability, where soldiers have to wait on parts to get in to use important vehicles.

More armored personnel carriers with V shaped bottoms need to be mass produced for our military. G.M. ought to look into producing them. After all, the Jeep is a hit with consumers. If the Democrats have their way and we leave Iraq in defeat, one day soon we may need these uparmored vehicles to drive down our own roads.

Blackfive has a video of an IED hitting a convoy on patrol and thankfully, all the troops survived.

Sapper Central has a post about an 875th Engineers soldier, Specialist Marco Robledo who was seriously injured in the IED attack that killed Specialist Eric Smallwood. There is going to be a benefit for Robledo and his family.

Charlie Quidnunc at Wizbang has a post on the politics involved in getting body armor for the troops.

27 Jun 2007 04:17 pm

september11th

I remember the “good old days” after 911 when our nation was united against the evil and destruction inflicted on our country. The attacks by Al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001 were targeted at our economic, political and military class. Because of brave, everyday Americans on United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania the political class didn’t suffer the devastation intended for them. The Capitol and the White House were saved.

Thanks to the Americans on United Flight 93.

The unity didn’t last long, however. The political class buttoned up their mouths for a while but when the polls (which are the Holy Writ in the Federal Church of the Congressionals) indicated that President Bush’s job approval was in the stratosphere, the Daschles, Schumers and Leahys went to work. They demanded that President Bush take action even at the same time the Pentagon plans to attack the Taliban in Afghanistan were being finalized. In October, 2001 Daschles’ office received a letter laced with Anthrax.

When the war in Afghanistan seemed to be going badly, Daschle and company became more bold in their attacks on the President.

When President Bush presented the evidence before the UN of Saddam Hussein’s refusal to account for his WMD the Democrat operatives in the CIA, State Department, and Department of Justice went to work overtime.

Hollywood liberals went into action against President Bush and his Herculean efforts to secure our countries national security by painting it as repressive against the citizens of our country.

Today subpoenas were issued against the White House demanding documents on the warrentless wiretapping program. This is a program that has been credited with helping to ensure that our country hasn’t suffered another devastating attack. The Democrats are in open war against President Bush and whether or not the country suffers too is of no significance to them.

The Democrats seem to be the ubiquitous man with no country.

That President Bush has joined with them in the Kennedy McCain amnesty bill is stunning to me. Our borders need to be secure to prevent more attacks from terrorists. I believe the president’s reasons for supporting the bill are different from the Democrats but he has alienated so many of us who support him in the War on Terror that I fear our chances of winning in Iraq will be hurt.

Victor Davis Hanson writes at National Review Online.

That the war has morphed once again into one largely against al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists is lost on critics. All the old bogeymen — Ashcroft, Bremmer, Feith, Libby, Pearl, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz — are gone. But the media and opposition searches for new ones to blame for a policy they largely once endorsed. Witness the new slurring of the Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Pace as incompetent and Gen. Petraeus — our most innovative commander in a generation — as less than candid and not in touch with operations under his command.

The war against our national defense has been joined not only by the Democrats and the media but also (sadly) by the Republican Senators from Indiana and Ohio.

Today, average Americans are not being listened to by the Political class. Our attempts to express our opinions about the “shamnesty” bill are being met with arrogance and derision. It’s as if we the people still believe that we are one nation under God but our “betters” in Washington D.C. have lost that faith.

That is why I feel nostalgic about the days after September 11th, 2001. While they were shocking, sad and horrific, for a few months we could see ourselves as a nation clearly. We knew we had a battle to fight. We had the chance to unite and defend our land. Today our political class is giving it all away.

26 Jun 2007 01:20 am

measureofaman__2_.jpg

The true measure of a man, is what it takes to make him quit. Whether it is the pursuit of worthy goals, the love of family and friends or…. going to war.

Sticking it out when times are hard tells us more about the character of a man (or woman) than anything else.

21 Jun 2007 05:07 pm

The_Summit.jpe

We have a new heroine in our family. My niece’s sister-in-law made it to the Summit of Mount Hood. She trained for 5 months. She went on training hikes, on a raw foods diet and worked out like crazy. She did it all to raise funds for the American Lung Association. This is the sister of our fighter pilot. There’s a lot of the right stuff in their family.

Here is the website if any reader is interested.

21 Jun 2007 02:18 pm

An email from Iraq….

Although I talk about time winding down here, I always remember the old saying, it’s not over till it’s over. I keep that saying from the movie “The Untouchables” in my mind too. As Al Capone is on his way to prison, Elliot Ness says, “Never stop fighting till the fighting’s done”.

I will say that I am very proud of the Army and the Marines here, hah and even the Air Force too. And the Navy is doing an excellent job, we’ve even got a Navy warrant officer attached to our unit over here. I will say that since I have been here the entire time never once did I think that we were doing more than just maintaining to keep the roads open for our own so they could maintain while Iraq just continued to be the same bad place.

But there is a glimmer of the possibility that it might stabilize given what’s going on with the surge. I was pretty skeptical at first too thinking, wow, nobody planned this out, there’s not nearly enough support mechanisms in place to handle it and it just seemed like a haphazard kind of last ditch effort, but I have seen some huge caches found, some unbelievable ones. I’m hearing of units being in areas where nobody has been before, where insurgents had free reign.

Well, I can say the noose is tightening around Baghdad, so we will wait and see. While I did brag about the success of the Marines to Papa from hearing from the Army Engineer LT that was attached to them, I will say that stabilizing Baghdad would be quite an amazing accomplishment in comparison with pretty much anywhere else considering the sectarian stuff in that area.

The noose indeed is tightening….

Michael Yon reports on Operation Arrowhead Ripper: Day One

The heat is intense for the enemy and for us. Soldiers, during any chance, would lay-down during the heat of day, and in complete body armor and helmets, fall asleep in the dirt. I took photos of course. Our guys are tough. The enemy in Baqubah is as good as any in Iraq, and better than most. That’s saying a lot. But our guys have been systematically trapping them, and have foiled some big traps set for our guys. I don’t want to say much more about that, but our guys are seriously outsmarting them. Big fights are ahead and we will take serious losses probably, but al Qaeda, unless they find a way to escape, are about to be slaughtered. Nobody is dropping leaflets asking them to surrender. Our guys want to kill them, and that’s the plan.

Blackfive has more on the surge including an interesting interview with General Odierno.

Bill Roggio has more on the Battle of Iraq.

Four days after the announcement of major offensive combat operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies, the picture becomes clearer on the size and scope of the operation. In today’s press briefing, Rear Admiral Mark noted that the ongoing operation is a corps directed and coordinated offensive operation. This is the largest offensive operation since the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the spring of 2003.

Allahpundit at HotAir reports on the media’s main focus in the Battle of Baquba. They aren’t as interested in the progress as they are in the body count.

Confederate Yankee has more on the progress in Fallujah.

20 Jun 2007 04:56 pm

clinton_video_sopranos.jpe

Eat your carrots.


Bill and Hillary playing Carmela and Tony. The problem is…which one is Carmela and which is Tony?

I don’t know who’s the worst actor but Hillary seems to have more chemistry with Johnny Sack than with Bill. What a look they gave each other.

Was this an attempt by the Clinton campaign to counter the Obama Girl video that’s so popular in Youtube land?

Another question I haven’t seen asked is where was Chelsea? Meadow was in the finale of the Sopranos. I mean, Meadow’s actual face was seen. Not Chelsea’s. I wonder why?

Hillary’s choice for her official campaign song, a number by Celine Dion has to have been a personal choice because the lyrics are so lame.

Something about the carrots in the video makes me think they didn’t come from Mr. McGregor’s garden.

18 Jun 2007 02:11 pm

patton1.jpg

The United States Military is a special organization of men and women who share a camaraderie that many civilians have a very difficult time understanding. Who among typical work-a-day Americans could find the phrase, duty, honor, country anything more than just a phrase?

It is so much more to those who are under arms. Soldiers know that they are part of something bigger. They understand that they are the guardians of our Republic. They serve under an ethos of loyalty, leadership and brotherly love. Especially in a time of war.

Consider the words of Retired Col. Clark Welch, a highly decorated veteran, speaking at Fort Drum at a seminar in 2006.

What possesses men to stand up and move forward when the men to the left and right of him are getting killed?” Welch asked rhetorically of the camaraderie between Soldiers. “How you keep Soldiers alive? You love them. You love them, and you lead them.”

I’ve been on the periphery of this camaraderie for the thirty plus years I have been an army wife and I’ve witnessed the selfless service of countless soldiers, in officer and enlisted ranks.

I’ve recently discovered a perfect example of the noble American soldier linked at Blackfive. It was an email of a post by Chaplain Jim Higgins on 5/14/07 from LSA Anaconda, Iraq:

“I recently attended a showing of “Superman 3″ here at LSA Anaconda.

We have a large auditorium we use for movies as well as memorial services and other large gatherings.

As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way through the National Anthem the music stopped.

Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States?

I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here, the 1,000 soldiers continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again. The soldiers continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped [mid-anthem].

What would you expect to happen?

Even here I would imagine laughter as everyone sat down and expected the movie to start.

Here, you could have heard a pin drop. Every soldier stood at attention. Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers:

‘And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?’

It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq.

I wanted you to know what kind of Soldiers are serving you here.

When my husband, Bob was a cadet at West Point he went to the post theater to see the premier of the movie, Patton.

Movies were a privilege at West Point so all cadets who could, were thrilled to go. Every movie began with the National Anthem as it did in every military post at that time. The cadets understood they must stand at attention for the National Anthem. The audience was made up of cadets, some officers and some dates of the senior cadets.

Bob was with a bunch of cadets. On this particular day, the projection started differently.

Normally when the National Anthem began, the movie screen would depict a flag waving on a flagpole. Suddenly the movie screen showed a gigantic flag covering the whole screen. There was no sound at all. All the cadets stood up and assumed the position of attention as they waited for the music of the National Anthem.

Bob just thought they had changed the format as did many others. But, the music didn’t start. Nothing. Just silence. Then, it sounded like someone was walking, with the footsteps getting louder and louder. The sound of a bugle. Suddenly, George C. Scott’s helmet appeared and it looked like he was walking onto the stage.

He came to the center of the picture and he looked around the theater as if he were inspecting the cadets. Then he said, “Be seated.”

All the cadets sat down. Patton began his speech.

Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.

He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

Men all this stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war is a lot of horse dung.

Americans traditionally love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.

When you were kids you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, big-leagueball players, the toughest boxers.

Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time.

I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.

Now an army is a team. It lives, eats, sleeps, fights as a team. This individuality stuff is a bunch of crap.

The bilious bastards who wrote that stuff about individuality for the Saturday Evening Post don’t know anything more about real battle than they do about fornicating.

Now we have the finest food and equipment, the best spirit, and the best men in the world.

You know, by God, I actually pity those poor bastards we’re going up against.

By God, I do.

We’re not just going to shoot the bastards, we’re going to cut out their living guts and use them to grease the treads of our tanks. We’re going to murder those lousy Hun bastards by the bushel.

Now, some of you boys, I know are wondering whether or not you’ll chicken out under fire. Don’t worry about it. I can assure you that you will all do your duty.

The Nazis are the enemy. Wade into them! Spill their blood! Shoot them in the belly! When you put your hand into a bunch of goo that a moment before was your best friend’s face you’ll know what to do.

There’s another thing I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages saying we are “holding our position. “We’re not “holding” anything. Let the Hun do that.

We’re advancing constantly. We’re not interested in holding on to anything except the enemy.

We’re going to hold on to him by the nose and kick him in the ass. We’re going to kick the hell
out of him all the time and we’re going to go through him like crap through a goose!

Now there’s one thing that you men will be able to say when you get back home.

And you may thank God for it. Thirty years from now when you’re sitting around your fireside

with your grandson on your knee and he asks you: “What did you do in the great World War ll?”

You won’t have to say: “Well, I shovelled shit in Louisiana. “All right, now, you sons of bitches. You know how I feel. I will be proud to lead you wonderful guys into battle anytime, anywhere.

That’s all.

When he finished he turned and walked off the stage. As he turned, the cadets all stood back up to attention. One of the female dates in the row behind my husband said, “Wow, this gives me chills.” And as Scott playing Patton left, the cadets errupted in cheers.

Needless to say, the movie was a hit with the cadets.

18 Jun 2007 12:25 am

This week, perhaps it was tonight, I witnessed magic. It wasn’t the magic you see in Walt Disney movies nor was it David Copperfield sleight of hand. No, it was real magic! It happened on a video I saw on Youtube.

In England they are having a talent competition called, Britain’s Got Talent. My wife kept bugging me to listen to a video she heard a couple of days ago. I eventually succumbed to the badgering. Since I’ve been married for over thirty years I knew it would be a losing proposition anyway. Sitting back, I resolved to face this burden with the same noble patience I have always displayed before.

I sit behind my wife in our little computer room at home, therefore, she was unable to see the total disgust on my face when the contestant stated that he was going to sing opera. I hate opera. Not dislike. Not distaste. I hate opera. Now I was going to have to listen to what appeared to be a small, fat man, with crooked teeth, yell out a song at the top of his voice.

Oh thrill.

Then, this being began to sing. Did I say I don’t like opera? Well, I don’t. But, the music and voice that came into my computer room was unbelievable. At first, I was stunned. Then, I was amazed. Then, I was profoundly moved. Finally, there was magic.

Chills went up my spine and I could not help but gasp as this little man made sounds that thrilled my soul. It was magic.

For anyone who possess the ears to hear, do yourself a favor and listen to one or all of the videos of Mr. Paul Potts in this competition. Some English media outlets have stated that the Welshman, Mr. Potts had training and therefore, should have been disqualified. Fine. Don’t take the magic. Just leave it for me and any other individual intelligent enough to realize what real magic is.

Robert R. Donoho (opera hater)




Paul Potts won the competition!

17 Jun 2007 04:01 pm

Pappy_and_Elizabeth.jpe

My dad is not only a wonderful father but also a very loving grandfather. The Wide Awake Cafe wishes all Dads a Happy Fathers Day.

I wrote this about my own Dad last year.

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