Friday, April 27, 2007

An interview with Steven Vincent's interpreter

Nour al-Khal is the interpreter who was kidnapped and shot with journalist Steven Vincent in Basrah in August 2005. Here is an interview that was posted on American Public Media. The interview runs about 40 minutes.

It contains a first person account of the evil our soliders are fighting. Lisa Ramaci, Steven's widow also is included in the interview. Nour and Lisa talk at length about Nour's struggle to obtain refugee status in the United States.

A day in the life

In February, I posted about the deployment of the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Then, I set up a Google News search to follow their story. Sadly, one of the soldiers was killed in action.

A few days ago, David Finkel filed this story with the Washington Post. The headline and sub-headline are: A Grisly Problem, Grateful Iraqis and a Grim Outlook; Unit Planning Outpost Confronts an Obstacle Known as 'Bob'.

It is an interesting, if a bit macabre, story of the obstacles that were encountered when the U.S. Army wanted to set up operations in an abandoned spaghetti factory. This is the kind of writing that the Washington Post is very good at. There's no gottcha, just the sad facts of a day in the life in a war zone.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

What I learned at Police Reserve training

One of the best things about being a police reserve is the training that we get. Yesterday, we were shown the usual gory first aid films that implore us to stay calm as blood and tissue flow out of wounds of various types.

For comic relief, we were treated to this film. I thought it was quite funny.

Update: Video clip removed because the incessant and unexpected playing of a boozing song was irritating my faithful reader. (Thanks, Bro.)

Find this and other videos at


Friday, April 13, 2007

Waiting for an American Soldier

H/T Yankeemom

A reminder to wear your seat belt

I'm in the Garden State this week. While most newscasters around the nation are still rolling around in their new-found freedom of being able to say "Nappy headed ho" on the air, the lead story in New Jersey is that the governor is in critical condition after his SUV crashed on the Garden State parkway. In hearing and reading some news reports, I was shocked to learn that the governor does not usually wear his seat belt.

I've seen the pictures of the governor's crashed SUV and I've responded to many accidents as a police reserve. Sad to say, I've seen much worse crashes where people have come out without a scratch.

If you love the people around you and want to improve the chances of not ending up dead or in an ICU from a survivable accident, buckle up.

Here's hoping for a speedy recovery for Governor Corzine.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Military moms speak up

Via here is a YouTube video of a meeting between some military moms and other relatives, and Congressman Paul Hodes of New Hampshire. It is a nine minute video, and starts out with what might be seen as typical talking points. But as the mother of a soldier who was slain in Afghanistan starts to speak, talking points are dropped and the truth of both sides in the exchange are revealed. Watch, particularly, the reaction of the Congressman's wife.

Sad news

In late February, I posted about an Army battalion whose deployment was featured in a front-page Washington Post story. I set up a Google News alert search for the commander, Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, and the battalion. I was planning to post updates here, preferably from local news sources that tend to print good news stories about their hometown boys.

I have received many Google alerts on Lt. Col Kauzlarich, but they have all been related to the Pat Tillman friendly fire death investigation. Kauzlarich was involved in the original investigation.

This morning I found the following sad news for my alert on the "2nd Battalion" "16th Infantry Regiment" "4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team" "1st Infantry Division":

"Army Pfc. Jay S. Cajimat, 20, Lahaina, Hawaii, died Friday in Baghdad of wounds suffered when a vehicle-borne explosive detonated near his unit; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan."

May he rest in peace in the loving arms of his creator.

Update: Here is a picture of PFC Jay Cajimat

Saturday, April 07, 2007

America's Broken-Down Media

Via RealClearPolitics, Ray Robison deconstructs an article in Time magazine that attempts to paint a mortally wounded soldier as a victim of poor training instead of the well-trained professional that he was.

I've been intensely interested in media coverage of soldiers since my son was deployed in early 2004. In the three years hence, despite tanker-loads of ink spread across NEWSWEEK, The New York Times, et al, reporters - in general - are no closer to understanding or supporting the men and women who fight and die for their freedom than they were when the press became engaged in the orgy of coverage of that twelve hour shift at Abu Ghraib.

God bless the soldiers and the families who will exchange Easter greetings via cell phone this year. May they keep on fighting the good fight until victory over radical Islamic terrorism is acheived.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Our Hillary

The caption for this AP photo says: "Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York reacts to seeing and old friend during a campaign stop at the National Education Association New Hampshire, in Concord, N.H., Friday, March 30, 2007. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)"

There's a phrase that goes: "With friends like this...."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Minnesota (not so) nice

In this week's Jihad Watch video at Hot Air, Robert Spencer imagines what the news from Lake Wobegon might be like if Garrison Keillor took notice of the Sharia campaign in Minnesota.


The good news is that Minnesotans aren't yet ready to let anyone stand between us and our bacon. There was sufficient uproar about the Muslim cashiers' refusing to scan pepperoni pizza and other pork products that Target has reassigned cashiers who will not fully serve the public.

You may recall a blog-swarm a few years ago, in which Hugh Hewitt tried to get Target to change its mind about not allowing Salvation Army bell-ringers at its entrances. Target did not budge on that one, but must have found the reaction by its customers on this pork story to not be consistent with "Minnesota nice."

Also: See this previous post from January.