Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Watada Discharged:

The Army discharged Lt. Ehren Watada on Friday, writing the final chapter on the case of the most prominent military officer to refuse a deployment to Iraq.

Fort Lewis spokesman Joseph Piek confirmed that Watada, who had refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006 with his Stryker brigade because he believed the war was illegal, finished outprocessing shortly before noon Friday.

The Department of Justice dropped an appeal in May against a judge's dismiss key charges against the lieutenant, effectively leading to Friday's dismissal. Watada submitted a resignation request "for the good of the service in lieu of general court martial" at the end of June, Piek said.

The Department of the Army approved that request in September, and the remaining pending charges against Watada were dismissed late last week.

Piek couldn't confirm the type of discharge, citing privacy laws, but Watada lawyer Kenneth Kagan said it was granted under "other than honorable conditions."

Why aren't we allowed to call it a "dishonorable" discharge any longer?

I expect to spend a chunk of my allowance on good whiskey when we finally get rid of one of our other problem children.


E-mail scams, post-OIF

At least it's novel. I was getting tired of the huge sums of money being offered to me, a random intarweb stranger, and I think it's rather telling in this economy that the scammers are promising not free money, but lucrative post-war reconstruction contracts.

You should be reading this guy.

[Originally posted at Vox Veterana on 08 MAR 08.]

You wouldn`t know it from the news lately, but apparently there`s some troops over in Iraq doing something or another. Despite his handicap (LT bar), this guy has some great stuff to say, and does it beautifully and eloquently. If you want to know what it`s like to wander through the valley of the shadow of death, I can`t recommend LT G highly enough.

I`d post links to my favorites, but I`ve shared a lot of them via my Reader and I`m holding a baby in one hand, so this is already a sisyphean task.

Check him out--he writes gud.



Five years ago today, President Bush stood in front of a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." I remember the cautions about how we were in for a long war, but the Iraq campaign was considered done.

Five years ago yesterday, I enlisted for 8 years in the Washington State Army National Guard.


Caring is nice. Doing is better.

In the context of the recent whining by a few misguided State Department pansies ("We won't go to Iraq, we won't we won't we won't!"), Matt Sanchez says some smart things.

Free Tibet, Save Darfur, Feed the World – these slogans betray the fickle attitude behind the motivation for actually doing something. Too many "activists" think "caring" is enough, but despite television spots, celebrity endorsements and plenty of pity, Tibet is not free, the world is not fed, and Darfur is far from saved.

The worse violators of this "I care therefore I am" scam are those who have no faith. Think of the missionaries daring deep jungles at a time when disease presented an even greater threat than hostile action. Think of those you know who are willing to make great sacrifice and risk, because their belief is deeper than a narcissistic bumper sticker or more enduring than a televised concert.

This attitude has always annoyed me, whether it's people not willing to pay the price (in money or in blood) to bail out a war-torn country or people at church who can't commit to anything beyond "keeping x in their prayers."


Safer today than under Saddam?

Duncan Maxwell Anderson at The American Thinker crunches some numbers. Emphases added by Sig.
[quote]According to the French wire service AFP, which is not known for its support for U.S. interests, in Iraq as a whole, 840 Iraqi civilians were killed last month by militias, bombs, or armies-or 28 people per day. That's a 50-percent drop, down from 1,771 in August

. . .

If we're talking about only civilians and political prisoners, the toll for Saddam's 23 years in power was at least 300,000 people murdered; that's 13,043 per year; 1,086 per month; or 36 per day.

At that rate, if AFP's estimate is the correct one, for an Iraqi civilian, it's safer to be in the middle of a hot war under American rule today, than "at peace" under Saddam. And of course, Saddam's 300,000 political murders are a number apart from the 500,000 or so Iraqi soldiers he sent to their deaths in his bizarre invasions of Iran and Kuwait. And the hundreds or thousands of murders around the world that he caused as a financier of terrorism.[/quote]
Read the whole thing. He makes a very good point about the necessary evil of our invasion of Iraq in relation to the ongoing evil caused by our inaction. It's always easier to say no, to opt out, to do nothing, but that doesn't mean that it's the better choice.


The media is lying to you.

Via Blackfive, this entry at Protein Wisdom is the best indictment of the war coverage I have seen so far. It puts the Scott Thomas Beauchamp disgrace in context with the overall "big picture" in coverage of Iraq. This is the sort of thing I wish I could put together.

If you still believe that you're getting truth from the American mass media, you owe it to yourself to read this entry and some of the many references that back it up. Even if you don't, it's an excellent reminder of just how bad things have become, and some of what is at stake.


A defeat of will

There's a lot of flap over at Blackfive and elsewhere about Senator Harry Reid, specifically this clip:

This is a war of will, not arms. I support the war in Iraq, and I am willing to go there any time the Army cares to send me, but I don't think we are going to win. Not because we lack the ability or the weapons or the numbers, but because we lack the will. The only people who can defeat us in Iraq are our own politicians, our talking heads, and our newspaper columnists. Their fears and their hatred and their cynicism and their political maneuvers are going to cost Iraq, destroy our military's morale, undermine our public confidence, and invite further aggression by the people we are warring with. Thousands of people who trusted us and believed us and helped us when we said we would stay and make things right are going to be murdered in the aftermath.

I hope I'm wrong.


The writing that I'm not doing

It's kind of hard to motivate myself to spend time in front of the computer after spending all day in front of the computer. You may have noticed that my content comes in fits and spurts--nothing for a week, and then four or five things in a day. I'm trying to be more diligent, but it's kind of hit or miss.

Is this good or bad?

I'm confused. Is this a real-news-vs.-silly-blogs sort of thing? Half of the article is devoted to questions about the identity and credibility of the sources, after all. Or is it purely a political thing, with the not-so-subtle insinuation that these guys are in cahoots with our Commander in Chief to make things look better than they are? Either way, I expect my slanted media to be more circumspect in their biases.

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