I went back to the casualty statistics kept by the Iraq Coalition Casualties site and updated my tracking charts. The statistic I focused on was American military deaths per month during Operation Iraqi Freedom between March ’03 and July ’06.
First, the raw numbers:
I’m pleased to note that The Mountain States Legal Foundation has officially asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to withhold all federal taxpayer money from The University of California at Santa Cruz because yesterday the university again allowed student mobs to harass military recruiters and hound them from the campus. From the MSLF press release:
“It is outrageous that members of the Armed Forces, who are asked to serve in harm�s way in Afghanistan and Iraq, are driven from a campus by a mob in America,” said William Perry Pendley, president and chief legal officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation. “Unless Secretary Rumsfeld responds to this craven violation of federal law, radicals on other campuses will be emboldened, will endanger the lives of men and women in uniform, and will deny students the right to learn how they may serve their country.”
The Solomon Amendment, named after the late Congressman Jerry Solomon (R-NY), requires colleges and universities to allow military recruiters on campuses “at least equal in quality and scope to the [degree of] access to campuses and to students that is provided to any other employer.” The law was enacted in 1996 but was not enforced by the Clinton Administration.
The Solomon Amendment is on very firm constitutional ground. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a resounding defeat to a liberal group called the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), which had tried to get the courts to overturn the Solomon Amendment. Here’s the unanimous (8-0) ruling in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc.
I hope Secretary Rumsfeld triggers the Solomon Amendment. The radical anti-American left needs a good smacking-down.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin
A large part of the anti-military and anti-war bias of the mainstream media stems from the typical journalist’s stubborn ignorance about basic military matters. Jack Kelly offers new yet familiar examples.
How can our Border Patrol agents secure our increasingly violent frontiers with less funding? They sure can’t look to the Army or Marine Corps for help.
Well, at least we can be happy that Congressman Chris Cannon’s no longer on the House Subcommittee on Immigration, so that’s one less open borders fan gumming up the works. And there’s always public support for border enforcement … just ask the University of North Texas students who created “Capture An Illegal Immigrant Day” (are you following all this, Matt?).
Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters, a bold attempt by ABC News to throw mud on President Bush’s Inauguration … discovered on their website by bloggers:
For a possible Inauguration Day story on ABC News, we are trying to find out if there any military funerals for Iraq war casualties scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20.
If you know of a funeral and whether the family might be willing to talk to ABC News, please fill out the form below[.]
Disgusting. Any spin trying to downplay this is demolished by the fact that ABC deleted the web page once they’d been exposed. Captain’s Quarters cached a copy before ABC could destroy the evidence.
Australian optimist Arthur Chrenkoff looks northward toward China and reads the tea leaves to see if future conflict with America is really a foregone conclusion. Chrenkoff gathers disparate threads from the news that demonstrate China’s ambition to control East and Central Asia (military buildups, diplomatic overtures, business deals), but then throws in an interesting wild card I hadn’t thought much about recently: the rise of Christianity in Chinese culture, especially among that society’s elites.
But I wonder … whatever happened to China’s secretive Assassin’s Mace program? It sure has dropped from sight in the news, but that doesn’t mean a doggone thing. Anybody have any news about it?
One other wild card comes to mind: capitalism (see Dinocrat’s related post). If free market economics continue to make inroads into Chinese society, can China long remain a communist nation? If it does become some sort of democracy or republic, then it would be much less likely to clash militarily with America. After all, democracies don’t attack each other.
Definitely something to ponder.
UPDATE: More China blogging from Why are all the good names gone …
From Reuters, we have “U.S. Warns Iran Over Missiles, Punishes Chinese Firms.” Since the release of Seymour Hersh’s article on Monday, MSM sources have turned an increasingly sharp eye toward anything involving Iranian friction with the U.S.
Oddly, no official announcement of the sanctions was made, leading me to wonder if this is because the United States has no desire to highlight disagreements with China over Iran. Considering U.S. efforts to highlight Iran’s intransigence, I would have otherwise expected this to receive more play from the administration:
The most indepth coverage was provided in the Times. I found the end of the article to be the most informative. China is a high-growth country with ever-expanding energy needs. Considering the fact that U.S. interest in the Middle East stems largely from a desire to meet its own energy needs, our position on the “moral high ground” regarding the spread of WMD is based primarily on the same sort of realistic calculations China has made in seeking to secure its own national interests:
The article suggests that Chinese nonproliferation efforts are taken more as an economic step (to avoid U.S. sanctions) than out of genuine concern for the spread of WMD and delivery system technology:
Talk of China and its expanding role in regions such as the Middle East reminds me of the recently waged debate within the EU regarding an end to the current arms embargo levied on China.
I’ve discussed the idea of political realism outweighing the notion of “shared values” here and here. Steps by some members of the EU (most specifically France) to court China as a strategic balancing point to U.S. influence serve as a reminder that national interests often take precedence over shared values.
Interesting Iranian/French angle. It can be maddening, trying to keep everyone’s hidden agendas straight in one’s mind.
Want to get really complex? Throw into the mix Colin Powell’s recent statements revising America’s stance on the “One China” policy, which appear to leave Taiwan twisting in the wind (presumably in exchange for an as-yet-unmentioned something from China). I wonder what Condi Rice will have to say about this (if anything)?
UPDATE 2: Finally! The shipping lane map I’ve been hoping for! Great find by Little Red Blog, along with more good analysis on the EU-China arms connection.
UPDATE 3: This post has merged at high speed into today’s Beltway Traffic Jam.
Think our Navy SEALs are just a bunch of bloodthirsty blow-em-up Rambo types? Wrong.
Hat tip: Cheese & Crackers
Mack Owens reports on the Army’s possible backdoor attempt to sneak women into combat, as unearthed by Elaine Donnelly’s Center for Military Readiness:
The U.S. Army is quietly making a radical change in its personnel policy that may well see the 3rd Infantry Division redeploy to Iraq early next year with mixed-sex support companies collocated with combat units. The move violates not only Defense Department regulations, but also the requirement to notify Congress when such a change goes into effect.
The Army’s defense of its actions has been disingenuous. On one hand, the Army claimed in May that there were “insufficient male soldiers in the Army to fill forward support companies,” and therefore it “cannot support elimination of female soldiers from all units designated to be UA elements.” But if the Army knew about this back in May, why didn’t it ask Congress for more recruits at the time? One cannot escape the conclusion that the Army’s position appears to be that we don’t have enough young men to fight our wars, so women must be integrated into fighting units by subterfuge and sleight-of-hand.
But then, on the other hand, an Army spokesman recently told Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times that the policy of prohibiting women from serving in units supporting ground-combat formations is outdated. Today, said the spokesman, the threat is “asymmetrical… There is no front-line threat right now” since all soldiers, support or combat, face rocket, mortar, and roadside-bomb attacks, as well as ambushes.
First and foremost of my objections: if these allegations are true then the Army is breaking the law. Even if I agreed with the Army’s goal (which I don’t), I’d oppose their methods here. The senior officials responsible for this sleight-of-hand need a public and permanent reminder about civilian control of the American military.
REO Equipment Outfitters came up with a great tribute to our troops that you ought to see. Turn up your speakers, and be prepared to get a little misty-eyed.
Hat tip: Conservative Revolution
Alas, the quagmire that is Iraq threatens to swallow arrogant America whole. Woe is us. We’re doomed … doomed, I say!
Happy to hear a Western kufr who’s sorry about his government’s foolish adventure in a sovreign country overseas? Rejoice, noble warriors. Now that you’re here, my dear Yahoo and Google searchers from the Middle East and Europe (yes I noticed the spike), let’s look at what’s going on in Iraq.
First, Margaret Hassan. This British interloper claimed to be an aid worker for a charity, and claimed to be a Muslim. But everyone knows she was really a spy for the Mossad, the evil organization responsible for the September 11th attacks, Yasser Arafat’s poisoning, and itchy wool sweaters (damned jooooooos). Margaret Hassan got what was coming to her. Praise be to Allah, here’s the video.
An American correspondent captured footage of a U.S. Marine shooting someone in a mosque, which is now being broadcast all over the Arab media. What possible reason could there be for shooting a motionless man lying on the ground? Here’s the video of the Marine committing unjustified murder, my Middle Eastern friends. Watch it and seethe.
There’s also news that the U.S. Marine Corps has re-opened its investigation into the disappearance of Wassef Ali Hassoun, the Marine of Lebanese descent who disappeared earlier this year and appeared in a hostage video, only to return to his unit unharmed. Why a renewed investigation? Some of his personal effects, including his passport and identification card, turned up in Fallujah. Maybe he’s a mujahideen in secret? We dhimmis-in-waiting can only hope.
Now, as news finally begins to get past the oppressive John Ashcroft and his Crusaders in the Zionist American Government, we see that the poor residents of Fallujah hate their American oppressors. But then, I’m not surprised, since the mujahideen who ruled Fallujah had made such bold steps toward reestablishing the caliphate. Anybody would be upset to lose such enlightened leaders.
It’s now more clear than ever that America should have trusted the United Nations to administer international relations with Iraq. After all, France has been such a wonderful example of multilateral nuance … we could learn so much from them.
Onward Muslim soldiers! Celebrate your impending victory by watching this raw footage of your jihad’s success.
Here’s something we can all agree on. Let’s send some Christmas cheer to the troops fighting to defend us! Soldiers’ Angels is running Operation Holiday Spirit, and you can help. Just click on the image below.
You can either make a donation or send a stocking and a phone card yourself. Go and do your part. The deadline for shipping anything to the war zone if you want it to arrive by Christmas is this Saturday, the 13th. The deadline is November 27th for mail shipped on military aircraft when space is available and December 4th for military parcel airlift mail.
In a recent post on ceramic body armor, frequent commenter Chet asked why military procurement takes so darn long. Looks like the Army’s starting to do something about it, and a major milblogger’s in on the ground floor. Hooah, John!
Backcountry Conservative asks the military members and vets in the blogosphere to stand up and be counted. Roger that, Jeff. Here’s a bit about me:
U.S. Coast Guard: 1990 – 1999, Deck Watch Officer. Retired.
FYI, I know that John of Brown Hound is currently on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard.
President Bush just signed this year’s Department of Defense Appropriations Act, which appropriates $391 billion toward such worthy goals as more body armor, more armored Humvees, more ammunition, more fuel, more spare parts, and critical funding for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House passed the bill by a margin of 410-12, and the Senate voted “yes” by 98-0.
Take a wild guess who one of the two missing senators was. That’s right … John Kerry couldn’t be bothered to vote on funding our military. I hope some minimally competent reporter skewers him the next time he bloviates about supporting our troops.
John “Waffles” Kerry seems to think he’s the candidate our military wants:
“You’d be amazed at the number of active duty personnel who are coming up at events around the country, greeting me in ropelines or coming to rallies and telling me how important it is for us to stand up and fight for those who are not able to speak out for themselves right now for obvious reasons,” Kerry said.
Why would we be amazed at the existence of a few dozen uniformed lefties, Senator? I wonder if your party will block their absentee ballots along with the rest, like last time?
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee added: “But the numbers of active duty people quietly coming and saying we need a change, we need to build a modern military, we need to do the things necessary to protect our troops, we need to have all our allies on the ground in Iraq … that’s what this race is about.”
No, this race is about defeating Islamists and preserving America’s culture of responsible liberty. You are woefully underqualified for the job you seek.