Archive for August 15th, 2008

Posted on August 10, 2008 at 1:18 AM by DanNY

War has broken out between Russia and the former soviet socialist state of Georgia.

The Georgian Parliament has declared a State of War to exist in the country following Russian attacks on Georgian military bases, airfields and a port on the Black Sea.

The issue is whether Georgia has control of the state of South Ossetia which is recognized internationally as Georgian territory.
A separatist movement has sprung up among the russian population of South Ossetia in recent years and the United Nations allowed Russia to send in ‘peace-keepers’ to monitor the situation.

The immediate stimulus for the onset of hostilities was the artillery fire which has been raining down on Georgian troops over the past week. The Georgian military mounted an operation to silence the fire and re exert control over the territory. Russia claims that six Russian peacekeepers were killed by the Georgian military in this assault.

Russia immediately responded with airstrikes against Georgian military and economic assets while immediately moving armored vehicles and combat troops across the border. The Russian Black Sea fleet is deploying off the coast of Georgia.

Russia’s president and premier vowed retaliation for what they called “the Georgian aggression” and punishment for those who kill Russian nationals in South Ossetia. President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would “not allow the death of our compatriots to go unpunished.” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Beijing, lambasted the Georgian leadership for what he described as “very aggressive actions” that he said killed several Russian peacekeepers. Continue Reading »

Go West!

Posted On: August 8, 2008 at 1:43 AM By: DanNY

Tuesday evening I had the distinct honor to meet an American hero, Allen West, when he took time from his busy campaign for Congress in Florida to come to New York City to meet some friends and supporters. What makes Allen a hero in my eyes is a choice he made against all his own best interests to put the lives and safety of his men first. His actions resulted in the capture of insurgents and weapons and most likely saved the lives of several of his men.

A profile in courage and self sacrifice.

Now Allen is seeking to serve the people of his district in Florida, and, more broadly, all Americans by running for a seat in Congress to restore conservative American values and honor to our government.

He is another Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who deserves our support in his mission.

Photos and videos courtesy of Pamela

Allen West the Video – Speech at the Soldiers, Sailors Marines and Airmens’ Club in New York City 8/5/08

Photographs from the event are here.

Posted On: August 6, 2008 at 10:39 AM By: DanNY

FALLUJAH, Iraq “Very little” would change if Iraqis regained security control of Anbar province tomorrow, according to the commander of U.S. forces in the region, although the ceremony formally marking the handover has been delayed indefinitely.

Iraqi leaders postponed the ceremony due to fear that Americans would pull out of the region soon to focus elsewhere.

The event was originally scheduled for early July in the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi. At the time, U.S. officials said the ceremony was delayed because of weather. Since, Iraqi officials have balked at the handover.

“In Anbar, they love the Marines. If anyone tells you different, they are lying,” said Brig. Gen. Ali, commander of an Iraqi unit in the area. “The Iraqi people are very happy Americans are helping them go from dark to light.”

Read the whole thing here.

AAR Times Square 8/02/2008

Posted On: August 3, 2008 at 2:56 AM By: DanNY

AAR Times Square 8/2/2008

No plan survives contact with the enemy. Some plans don’t even make it that far! But the end results are what matter and in that regard today was an excellent day for patriots!

We didn’t get to stand for long by the recruiting station. The police asked us politely but firmly to move down to 40th Street and Broadway where we could directly oppose the moonbats. We complied with that request when they assured us that none of the protesters would be allowed north of 42nd Street.

Up to that point we had enjoyed the concert that was going on. The music was good and they had an energized crowd filling the island and lining the sidewalks on both sides of Times Square. I got to enjoy it a bit longer because I stayed around in front of the station to round up late arrivals and send them to the new location. At about eleven thirty a tremendous thunderstorm began to move into the area. Like a scene from the apocalypse the skies darkened with rushing dark clouds and the wind swirled around whipping my flag to and fro.

At two minutes to Noon, just as I had collected the last stragglers I saw, the skies opened with a torrential downpour just as the moonbats were beginning their rally. Conveniently, the area our folks were situated in had a nice wide overhang where we could stay mostly dry. The poor moonbats had no such cover and the wails and anguish that could be heard over their close encounter with that foreign substance H2O was almost pitiful to hear.

When the rain abated we rendezvoused with the rest of the Patriots just as a truck giving out free Monster Power Drinks pulled up and supplied us all with free refreshments! So by the time we were allowed to move in close proximity to the moonbats we were fired up! It should come across in some of the video but we were belting out our chants with extra relish today!

The moonbats had a particularly dismal showing. Far from my initial estimate of a few thousand made a few days ago, they barely mustered perhaps four hundred. The poor weather undoubtedly drove some away, but their turnouts are so bad lately that it is hard to get our undercover operatives into their midst.

The Adalah group whom I had been concerned about (because they announced they were going to meet at 44th St and march south to 42nd Street) were for the most part a no show. When I was still at the recruiter station I kept a sharp eye out for them, but didn’t spot even any small groups coming through the area.

We had a few incidents. One when an islamist took a poke at one of the women on our side and then returned to our area and slapped the arm of one of our combat vets. His bag of fliers spilled its contents on the street and he ended up tackled by Police for his troubles.

Another when a blue star mom rescued a torn, burned knot of flags (U.S., Great Britain and Israel) that one of the protesters had been waving about and then dropped on the ground.

The final incident was when the Nam Knights came around the corner of 42nd Street right past the protesters. The Police Inspector had them stop there and rev their engines and then reportedly told them to leave the area. I’m awaiting confirmation of the exact conversation that took place there.

We serenaded the moonbats with chants, “Go For Vic Tor Y”, “War freed the slaves”, “USA All the Way!” etc… When their group finally made ready to make their march we unfurled DanP’s 10×15 American Flag and held it high chanting “Where’s YOUR Flag!”

As is normal at these events their area was a mess when they departed. So bad, in fact, that a few patriots went over and cleaned some of the mess up. It’s a shame these spoiled children were never taught to clean up after themselves.

All in all it was an absolutely great day for the Patriots! We had passersby thanking us for being there, active duty personnel stopping by (in one case posing with one of our service branch flags to commemorate their visit), even one lady shouting at the police that she had seen the Islamist starting the whole incident that was partially captured on film.

Pamela’s photos are here. More of her captioned photos are here. Her videos are here and here. In that second video, near the end, notice that moonbat flying his true colors. He is holding a People’s Democratic Republic of China flag. Urban Infidel, Atlas Shrugs and Tick Tick Boom also did an excellent job of covering the event.

CBS News has coverage and interviews here.

Posted On: July 31, 2008 at 12:51 PM By: DanNY

Former head of prisons says incarcerated ex-Saddam forces disclosed move.

A former American overseer of Iraqi prisons says several dozen inmates who were members of Saddam Hussein’s military and intelligence forces boasted of helping transport weapons of mass destruction to Syria and Lebanon in the three months prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Don Bordenkircher who served two years as national director of prison and jail operations in Iraq told WND that about 40 prisoners he spoke with “boasted of being involved in the transport of WMD warheads to Syria.

A smaller number of prisoners, he said, claimed “they knew the locations of the missile hulls buried in Iraq.”

Some of the inmates, Bordenkircher said, “wanted to trade their information for a release from prison and were amenable to showing the locations.”

The prisoners were members of the Iraqi military or civilians assigned to the Iraqi military, often stationed at munitions facilities, according to Bordenkircher. He said he was told the WMDs were shipped by truck into Syria, and some ended up in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Other Iraqi military personnel, including former top Saddam associates, have made the same claim.

In early 2006, Saddam’s No. 2 Air Force officer, Georges Sada, told the New York Sun Iraq’s WMDs were moved into Syria six weeks before the war started.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted On: July 31, 2008 at 12:33 PM By: DanNY

Washington (CNSNews.com) A top Iraqi official visited wounded American troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Tuesday to thank them for their part in ending Saddam Hussein s rule in his country.

We have come to express our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices made by these great warriors, soldiers, in freeing the Iraqi people and in helping us in Iraq recover from tyranny and dictatorship,— Jawad Karim al-Bolani, Iraq s minister of the interior, said through a translator to a handful of journalists in the lobby of the medical center.

We also want to express our gratitude to the families of all these great men and women and express how important their sacrifices are for our nation,— he added.

Read the whole thing here.

Read Mrs. Greyhawk’s take on it here.

Posted On: July 31, 2008 at 11:46 AM By: DanNY

Eight Vets for Freedom Members Return to Iraq

Vets for Freedom is sending eight Iraq war combat veterans “back to Iraq” to embed with U.S. combat units and assess the security and political situation on the ground.

The media -along with recent Iraq visitors -have not sufficiently reported the gains on the ground…so we’ll do it ourselves.

We will return to the Iraqi cities where we once patrolled -cities like Fallujah, Baqubah, Samarra, and Baghdad -to provide a true “before and after” perspective and analyze the results of the surge, observe ongoing counterinsurgency operations, and examine future scenarios that might confront U.S. and Iraqi forces, as well as the Iraqi government.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF EMBEDS AND WHERE THEY’LL BE

All eight Vets for Freedom members have received their media credentials through Blackfive, National Review Online or The Weekly Standard. And while in Iraq, we will provide regular updates through the above media organizations and at www.vetsforfreedom.org. We will be blogging daily, writing full-length pieces, shooting video footage, and reporting live from the ground.

Embeds will be meeting with U.S. and Iraqi military and civilian leaders, and will focus our analysis on determining the durability of recent gains, the potential consequences of a rapid American withdrawal, the proper “conditions-based” metrics needed to measure future force levels, the status of displaced Iraqis, and the prospects for the return of al Qaeda to Iraq, amongst other issues.

CLICK HERE TO READ ALL FUTURE DISPATCHES FROM IRAQ

Posted On: July 29, 2008 at 10:29 AM By: DanNY

The Remembered, by Elliott Levine, recounts the moving stories from the Vietnam war. Drawn from letters left at the Vietnam War Memorial, it reminds a nation that many continue to grieve the loss of loved ones and, today, are still trying to come to terms with what many consider to be America’s most controversial war. Bob Spiotto of Hofstra Entertainment will direct this performance.

An abbreviated version of this play was performed twice at the Vietnam Dignity Wall during its visit to Hicksville earlier this year.

Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. If demand is sufficiently high a second performance may be added later in the evening.

What: The Remembered

Where: VFW Post 3211, 320 South Broadway, Hicksville, NY 11801

MapLink: http://tinyurl.com/6ctk7w

When: November 9, 2008, 1pm to 3pm

Donation: $20/person Discount available for veterans group sales.

Contact: Dan Rysanek at 516-578-1079 or 516-694-3267.

Posted On: July 30, 2008 at 1:41 PM By: DanNY

Our intrepid photographer just happened to be passing Times Square as this small ceremony took place. An Air Force sergeant was re-enlisting as other troops held a flag as a backdrop. A fine place for a New Yorker to re-enlist.

She recorded it on photos and video to share.

Photos are here.

Videos are here.

Posted On: July 28, 2008 at 10:54 AM By: DanNY

The Gregory J. Harris Military Courtesy Room, one of only two such rooms not established or run by the USO will open July 29, 2008, at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport. This is an excellent example of individual initiative, resourcefulness and the can-do attitude of local veterans supporting our troops.

It is the brainchild of several local veterans who observed the lack of facilities for military personnel at an airport which is located 75 miles south of Fort Drum and is frequently used by members of the 10th Mountain Division. Up to now those soldiers would be stuck in empty cold terminals if their travel connections fell through or flights were delayed overnight. Like many airports, facilities close down in the evening leaving hapless travelers to fend for themselves in the vacant lonely hallways.

Loren Davies, Leroy Bowen and Gene Leimer, all veterans, were troubled by the lack of facilities for soldiers who would often have to sleep on the floor using their packs for pillows. Although local police and airport employees would try to help out when possible, these men felt a more permanent arrangement was needed. They set out to garner support for establishing a courtesy room where the soldiers could go to relax, have some coffee and snacks and be assisted by volunteers.

The response from the local authorities and public was outstanding and soon arrangements were made to lease a room form the airport authority for $1 a year to provide space while donations of furniture, equipment and supplies flowed in. Among the noted contributors are Wegmans supermarkets, the Oneida Indian Nation and Syracuse Research Corp. as well as scores of private donors. Volunteers have come forward to man the room 24 hours/7 days a week.

The opening ceremony will take place at 10am, Tuesday, July 29, 2008.

A U.S. Navy P-3 Orion aircraft will fly in from Washington, DC, with a squadron of about twenty personnel in their Dress Whites. The Squadron Commander and his crew are arriving to participate in the opening and were looking forward to a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. The Navy obviously has very good taste!

If you are in the area please stop by for the opening ceremonies! For those attending in person, please park in the open lot ($1/hour) or the garage ($1.50/hour).

Order of Events Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 10:00 a.m Hancock International Airport, Syracuse, NY Welcome and Opening Remarks Anthony Mancuso, Airport Commissioner Remarks Matthew J. Driscoll, Mayor of Syracuse

Introductions Mary Ann Reitano, Public Relations Coordinator Meet the Staff: Loren Davies, Leroy Bowen, Gene Leimer Corporate Sponsor: (Name TBA), AmeriCU US Army: Command Sergeant Major Terry Parham, Ft. Drum, Watertown, NY US Navy: Lt. Commander Christopher Flaherty, Naval Air Station, Brunswick, ME US Marine Corps: (Name TBA), USMC Reserve Center, Syracuse, NY Ribbon Cutting Mayor Driscoll and Commissioner Mancuso Cake Cutting Room Staff & Military Personnel Background Information

History of Room:

Before Memorial Day local Veterans Loren Davies, Commandant of the Emerald City Marine Corps League Detachment and Leroy Bowen, Quartermaster of the Pulaski VFW, Iraq War Veteran and current TSA employee began brainstorming the project. A short time later, Gene Leimer, retired SYR police sergeant and Navy Seabee Veteran came on board. Since both Loren and Gene had worked at the airport for many years and with Leroy presently a TSA employee, they decided to speak with the Commissioner about their idea. They went to Commissioner Mancuso with their idea who in turn contacted the Mayor’s office and things simply took their natural course after that. In mid-June Mary Ann Reitano signed on to handle public relations for the room. When the others learned that Mary Ann had a family member who was still listed as MIA from Vietnam and was also from the Syracuse area, naming the room after Gregory J. Harris seemed like the appropriate and logical thing to do. An empty baggage claim room was tentatively designated for the Courtesy Room. The City Council gave unanimous approval of the plan on July 7, 2008 and since then the 4-person staff has been working non-stop getting the room ready and stocked as well as solidifying donations and seeking volunteers to staff the room 24/7/365. As the project grew, Commissioner Mancuso offered a second adjoining baggage room to better accommodate the needs of other who will be utilizing the area.

As word spread of the purpose of the room, interest came from many folks not just locally but also outside of NY State, even the Associated Press contacted the Staff to do an article that appeared on their wire service all across the world. We regularly receive e-mails from military family members thanking us for our efforts on behalf of their loved ones in uniform. Many wanted to be part of this special event and as word spread, we were contacted by someone from just about every service branch offering to participate in today’s ceremony. You will certainly see a strong military presence here today, a testament to our men and women in uniform all around the globe. http://syracuseairportmilitarycourtesyroom.wordpress.com

Who is Gregory J. Harris?

Greg was born in Fulton and later moved to the Syracuse area where he graduated from West Genesee High School in 1963. While at West Genesee, during his senior year he completed early enlistment into the US Marine Corps and went off to boot camp in the fall in 1963 at Camp Lejeune. After boot camp Greg spent the next year or so learning about field radios and in September of 1965, as a member of the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, he was deployed to South Vietnam. On June 12, 1966 Greg was part of the command group of a South Vietnamese operation in the province of Quang Ngai and was captured – last seen being dragged into the jungle by two Viet Cong soldiers. Greg’s mother was a very outspoken member of those military families who saw to it that the POW/MIA Issue stayed at the forefront of the politically charged atmosphere of the Vietnam War.

Today, Greg’s aunts, uncles and cousins continue the struggle for answers and are active in the POW/MIA Issue in the hopes of discovering the fate of their beloved Marine. They are humbled by the naming of this Military Courtesy Room after Greg. They are sure that Greg would be overwhelmed by this honor and the family shares in that sentiment. http://gregoryjharris.blogspot.com

For photographs of the room visit: http://syracuseairportmilitarycourtesyroom.wordpress.com Previous coverage here and here. Associated Press article here.