Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

Did you know that this week is Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week? Have you seen the video that shows in graphic detail the horrors women face under shari'a law?

Do you know about the honor killings of victims of sexual abuse?

Have you seen the remains of a beheaded seven-year-old girl?

Did you know that in imitation of Islam's founder, grown men in Iran may marry nine-year-old girls?

Have you ever seen photos of female circumcision?

Or a woman being stoned to death?

Oh, you hadn't heard about these things? That's probably because the mainstream media were feeding you a steady stream of the horrors that Ellen DeGeneres has been experiencing recently.

Or maybe you agree with the BBC that violence against women in South Asian and Middle Eastern countries is not tied to any religion.

Don't look away. Watch the video.

A Horrific Day for Army Battalion 2-16

In looking for individual stories about the three members of the 2-16 that were killed in late September, I came across a story in Stars and Stripes that gives a detailed description of the day when three soldiers died and two suffered double leg amputations, other amputations and severe burns.

Here is the lede, but take the time to read it all:

"At around 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, five men in a Humvee led a five-truck patrol through the traffic of Route Predator, known as one of the deadliest roads in the New Baghdad district of Iraq’s capital.

In the vehicle were Sgt. Joel Murray, 26, the truck commander, riding in the front passenger seat; Spc. David Lane, 20, the driver; Pvt. Randy Shelton, 22, the turret gunner; and in the back, Pfcs. Joseph Mixson, 22, and Duncan Crookston, 20.

The patrol was on its way to a gas station, where the men of Company C’s 2nd Platoon were taking an engineer to do some assessment work of concrete barriers protecting the location.
As the soldiers neared the station at about 10:45, an explosion went off, said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Smith, 31, who was the acting platoon leader that morning and riding in the fourth vehicle of the convoy.

Three of the men — Murray, Lane and Shelton — were killed when an explosively formed penetrator, a weapon favored by Shiite militias, ripped through their Humvee.

Two others in the truck suffered multiple amputations and severe burns, altering their lives forever."

May Murray, Lane and Shelton rest in peace and may God grant strength to their families and friends. May Joseph Mixson and Duncan Crookston receive skillful care in their recoveries and their suffering be alleviated to the extent possible.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Do you remember when Nancy Pelosi wanted to legislate a date for withdrawal of troops from Iraq? And failing that, she wanted to legislate how long troops had to spend at home between deployments, remember?

Now, it seems she wants to end the war by cutting off the military's supply lines through Turkey.

Well, it seems that Nancy may even have a little trouble with her own on this one. John Murtha - yes, JOHN MURTHA - is urging the speaker not to bring the resolution to the floor.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"If your son is so smart, why is he in the Army?"

This, friends, is the verbatim question that was stated to me in the sacristy yesterday before Mass.

Now, the woman who said it was simply thinking out loud what she wanted to say to her sister. It was in the context of her telling me about her trip to Washington DC last week and in which we discovered that we happened to be at Arlington cemetary at the same time last Sunday. I immediately and gently said: "I have a son in the Army."

One would think that something like that would give the speaker some pause - perhaps: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend." In times like these, I suppose, there is no room for middle ground. So, she continued without missing a beat complaining about how much is spent on the war and how little is spent on education. I wish I would have had statistics ready about the percentage of budget spent on national defense as opposed to education. Or would have thought to say that it is not the constitutional duty of the national government to educate, but it is to provide for the national defense.

Maybe I should have explained that my (now part-time) soldier son is working on his Masters degree in Computer Science or that he is programming computers in a vault in order to keep her CNN satellite feed running smoothly.

But, no. I just listened. And then warmly shook her hand and wished her peace at the sign of peace.

God bless her and her nephew.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Until they're all home

I was thinking the other night how my tracking of the news of the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas has come to be a metaphor for the war in general. I started out with good intentions of posting good news about the battalion. Instead, almost all I have seen are stories of the deaths of its soldiers. There have been no human interest stories, that I've found, about heroic acts or surprise home leaves. Additionally, in my becoming more busy at work - and more distracted - I sadly admit that I have not even kept up with posting the death notices. Like the nation, it seems I've just been too busy to think much about and honor these men who've given the ultimate sacrifice. I truly regret that.

So, with the sadness that this nation feels over the deaths of someone else's sons, I bring you the news of the following loss:

Sgt. 1st Class James D. Doster, 37, died in Baghdad, Iraq Sept. 29 when insurgents attacked his unit using an Improvised Explosive Devise and small arms fire.

Doster was an infantryman assigned to 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. His home of record is Pine Bluff, Ark.

He entered the Army in May 1990 and began serving with the 1st Inf. Div. in February 2006. This was his first deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

May SGT Doster rest in peace in the loving arms of his Creator, and may God grant strength to his family and friends.

I will continue posting on the battalion until they they're all home. I pray it will be one heck of a party.