Friday, November 03, 2006

KERRY..., KERRY..., KERRY...!
Open mouth, insert foot...
or
What goes 'round, comes 'round..."Manifestation of Foot In Mouth Syndrome"
By
Bill Hager AKA Wilder
http://www.vetspeak.org/

O.k., O.k.; I wish it would just go away, too. But it ain't gonna. So, it seems to me that rather than hunker in the bunker during this round of incoming from the spinmiesters of the Far Right, maybe we ought to tough up and return fire. Identify the source of fire and gain and maintain fire superiority while employing USMC Fireteam tactics of envelopment to turn the attack and neutralize the attackers...pretty basic stuff, but very effective; ask any USMC Grunt who has served in combat.

The incoming fire is coming from the same ol' gang that brought you the successful frontal assaults on the Kerry campaign re his Vietnam service, back during the last Presidential election (?), those cockroaches who seem to always successfully scurry out of sight when the lights come on exposing their scavenger political activities; Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, or as I call them, the Not So Swift Veterans (NSSVs). They have now spread throughout cyber-space in multiple disguises http://vetspeakblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/whos-who-art-of-cyber-camouflage-by.html. They only come out when the light of truth has gone out, in order to politically scavenge for leftovers from politically juicy situations for the Repugs to feed themselves and others on, in their march to fascism.

Once again the target of that hostile fire is John Kerry. Been there, done that. VetSpeak was created as a result of the outright lies of the NSSVs during the Presidential election that was stolen by the Neocons (Neoconservatives). It was born from a group encounter by old VVAW (Vietnam Veterans Against The War) types from The Day and the NSSVs while at the 5th Triennial Vietnam Symposium at Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, Texas http://star.vietnam.ttu.edu/starweb/center/servlet.starweb?path=center/2005.web&id=2005symposium&pass=&search1=EVNTF%3D5thtriennial&format=format. (Just scroll down, the NSSVs are on at 0845 on Saturday, March 19th, and we follow at 1030. You can view unedited video feed of the event and find our submitted papers there, as well as at http://www.vetspeak.org/.)
We weren't at TTU to support John Kerry's political aspirations, per se; we were there to Speak Truth to Power in a direct rebuttal of the tactics of the Repugs in their use of 527s, especially the NSSVs (left over operatives from the Nixon Shame), and their lies regarding Vietnam Veterans, VVAW, and John Kerry and his testimony before Congress http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/082204F.shtml# during VVAW's Operation Dewey Canyon III in Washington D.C. in April of 1971, during aforementioned election run-up.

The NSSVs smear campaign was in response to John Kerry's political aspirations and his then active campaign for the Presidency. We were there at TTU to respond directly to the NSSVs' outrageous rhetoric in the campaign, which was decidedly derogatory with reference to Vietnam Veterans in general, but which was disgusting in it's absence of fact when applied to those who had fought there and now opposed our further participation in that National disaster known as Vietnam, and was filled with outright lies. I should include here that it is a fact that John Kerry was one of my heroes and an inspiration back in The Day, but his hunkering in the bunker during that despicable assault by the NSSVs definitely tarnished my image of him, and most likely was a determining factor in his loss of many otherwise supportive veterans' support in the critical final days of the election. That's a bummer as it was Dewey Canyon III in general along with Kerry's testimony before Congress on live TV, and the somewhat earlier Winter Soldier Investigation that initially inspired my activities with VVAW for the subsequent four years, and my personal support for him in his recent Presidential bid.

Now, for the "Rest of the story...", as it applies to this latest flare-up twixt the NSSVs and their favorite whipping boy Senator John Kerry, and it's impact on the rapidly approaching mid-term elections. Let me say first that Senator Kerry's under fire comments, whether the ones that were spoken in the piece, or the originally scripted ones that were the supposed to be a joke about The Shrub, were both inappropriate for the occasion and, frankly, lame rhetoric. As a result; he is a tarnished political icon now, like so many other living icons of the Democratic Party and activist Left. A creatively unsolicited distraction for those who truly seek to take our country, our quality of life, and our Flag and Constitution back from the Neocons who currently control the Republican party (and the 527s) from with-in the White House (Yikes!...I'm having a Nixonian flashback!).

Oddly enough, and unfortunately, I think that it is because of his lack of education and judgement on the current facts and issues, and not the troops' lack of good study habits that could possibly keep them stuck in Iraq for at least another two years. Especially if the Democrats don't succeed in taking the House or the Senate this go 'round. It is true that during the Vietnam era, if you were a student and you didn't do well; your ass was headed for the Nam...that went on for ten years. That was a result of the draft, and it's favoritism towards the sons of the rich, well educated, well placed, elected or appointed officials. Remember, "I ain't no Senators son", a ballad from The Day, by John Fogarty? A good report card was the only way out for a guy who didn't fit any of the above categories. In the world of the "All Volunteer Army", which incidentally was brought about as a result of VVAW's, the student anti-war movement's, and the millions of others' protests against the draft for Vietnam; this dynamic of under-educated troops is not a reality. Talk about irony!

In Vietnam most draftees were high school drop-outs, and if you were over 20 years old in Vietnam you were usually referred to as Old Man or Pappy. Today's Armed services are the most highly educated of all time, and while I can't find a statistical reference as to the median age in the armed forces today, it is not unusual for troops to be in their late twenties or early thirties. I can't believe that Kerry could subliminally "Botch a joke" with that knowledge comfortably stashed in his VVAW leader/Senatorial rhetorical grab-bag. Presidential type guys should know the facts about what war they are referring to when they speak out against it, one would think. If it's truly Baby Bush's (Shrub's) education he was referring to, as he says; Shrub, like Clinton and other Presidents, went to Yale. That doesn't make him smart by any stretch, but I gotta say; it makes him "educated" by American standards. So, if it was a joke on Bush (who in himself is a joke); I, for one, didn't, and still don't, get it. Neither I suspect did "middle America", the largest pool of undecided voters. Neither, apparently, do those troops up there in the header picture of this article, regardless of the explanations and subsequent apology.

Sadly, his efforts at explanation, and then it's exploitation by the Repug 527s, led by the NSSVs, has energized the Right and has undermined what was fast becoming a Democratic blitzkrieg on the House of Representatives and the Senate in the upcoming mid-term elections on November 7th. Bush isn't even running, why focus on him with a denigrating joke (as much as he deserves it, considering his I don't have a clue persona)? It's his failed policies, and those who champion them, that should be the focus at this crucial time leading up to the mid-terms. Kind of hard to get the support of the troops when they think that they've been insulted (see picture above) as the result of a "botched joke". This, as a result of the efforts of the NSSVs and other Repug 527s in spinning what was, I believe to be, a badly timed slip of judgement and tongue on Kerry's part, into the message to the American people that Kerry was dissing the troops in order to trash the Democrats regarding their anti-Iraq War message. By playing into the spin with his "explanation". He opened the door for the spinmiesters to take everyone's eye off the ball just before the mid-terms.

His published "full text" of the joke didn't help out, either...with no written reference to Bush; the joke, it turns out, was on Kerry. As I listened for the past few days, I was in pain for Kerry as his convoluted efforts to explain the faux pas away became more and more pathetic. I was reminded over and over of watching Rosemary Woods' testimony before Congress with reference to the erased 18 minutes of the Nixon White House tapes. She just couldn't get her leg up high enough to reach over the desk and "accidentally" hit and hold the "record" button for 18 minutes thereby causing the erasure, in the manner that she claimed before the Congress. Now, that was a joke. Kerry's joke and his explanation of it was like he was shooting himself in the foot with an automatic pistol with a 14 round clip.

More bad judgement, more damage to the Democrats' efforts to focus on the war in Iraq and the reasons for rethinking our commitment to that failed Bush policy. More ammo for his political enemies. When John Kerry should have spoke up against these attacks by the NSSVs during the Presidential election; he remained silent and distanced himself from those who were willing to stand with him. Now, it seems, when discretion is the better part of valor; he can't keep quiet and just stand on his record. Both are a reflection on his judgement, in my opinion. Moral of the story, as so eloquently stated by Lou Dobbs; when you know you are already in a hole, stop digging. And, that's no joke.

2 comments:

Betty said...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Betty"
To: List
Cc: + List
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 7:09 AM
Subject: Cocaine Jiihadists

>E-mailed to the group via bcc: . . .
> Misinterpretation of Kerry's remarks here, but otherwise an informative
> article. This is by a Vets for Freedom. They are still claiming to be
> non-partisan.
>
> Betty
>
> -------------
> Remember Heroes of Fallujah
>
> by James C. Roberts
> Posted Nov 06, 2006
>
> November 7 marks the second anniversary of Operation Phantom Fury, the
> battle to liberate the Iraqi city of Fallujah. When the history of Operation
> Iraqi Freedom is written, this effort to liberate the insurgent stronghold
> and the headquarters of infamous butcher Al Zarqawi, the former head of al
> Qaeda in Iraq, will probably be seen as the iconic battle of the war.
>
> Fallujah had become a magnet for foreign jihadists and there were several
> thousand in the city who had come to make martyrs of themselves, to die
> while killing as many Americans as possible.
>
> Cocaine Jihadists
>
> The jihadists were fearless, vicious fighters, many of them high on drugs
> such as cocaine and liquid adrenaline that made them impervious to pain.
> Most of the civilian population of Fallujah had abandoned the city in
> advance of the attacks, leaving it to the jihadists.
>
> There were 39,000 buildings and 400,000 rooms in Fallujah, and the grim task
> of the American Marines and soldiers was to root out and kill the jihadists
> block by block, house by house, room by room, advancing through streets
> booby-trapped with mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
>
> The assignment to defeat the jihadists was given to two armored battalions
> and four infantry battalions of Marines and Army under the command of Maj.
> Gen. James Mattis, USMC.
>
> The battle plan called for a cordon to be established around the city to
> prevent the jihadists from escaping. The two armored battalions were then to
> advance North to South down the city's two major streets, while the four
> infantry battalions systematically cleared the buildings, driving the
> insurgents into a kill zone in the Southern end of the city.
>
> The firestorm ignited by John Kerry's denigrating remark about our troops in
> Iraq has had the positive effect of putting the spotlight on those troops.
> It's about time. Amid the daily reports of sectarian violence and Iraqi and
> American casualty counts, the sacrifice and achievements and dedication of
> our troops has largely been ignored.
>
> The condescending implication of Kerry's statement-that our troops are poor
> and uneducated-is solidly refuted by the facts. Studies show that the
> education level of our military personnel is higher than the average of
> their civilian peers and the same is true of their financial background.
> Many enlisted personnel are taking college courses as they serve in uniform
> and almost all officers have college degrees-many of then have advanced
> degrees.
>
> But more important is the question of character. Despite the dangerous and
> alien environment in which our troops operate in Afghanistan and Iraq, they
> have preformed with great resolve and courage. They are as fine a fighting
> force as any fielded in the history of our country. Morale remains high as
> do re-enlistment rates. And they don't do it for the money. They do it for
> their country.
>
> One hundred fifty-one U.S. troops were killed and more than 1,000 were
> injured in the two weeks of almost non-stop fighting to take Fallujah. As
> was the case in many of the storied battles in American history, courage,
> self-sacrifice and heroism were all commonplace in the Battle of Fallujah.
> This account tells the stories of only a few of the many heroes of Operation
> Phantom Fury.
>
> Staff Sgt. James Matteson,
> U.S. Army
>
> A scout with the 1st Army Division, the famous "Big Red One," Staff Sgt.
> James Matteson was in the vanguard of the drive to capture Fallujah.
>
> On Nov. 11, 2004, under the cover of darkness, three of Matteson's fellow
> scouts attacked an insurgent-held structure at a site called "Objective
> Lion." Upon entering the building, all three scouts were hit by gunfire.
> Matteson immediately threw a smoke grenade to provide concealment as he
> directed the evacuation of the scouts for medical treatment.
>
> Matteson then supplied suppression fire allowing his men to launch a
> counter-attack on the building. The attack collapsed the structure, killing
> all of the insurgents inside.
>
> The next morning Matteson was riding atop his MRK-19 grenade launcher,
> leading his task force, when insurgents ambushed the unit. Matteson jumped
> from his vehicle and again provided suppression fire, allowing the Bradley
> Fighting Vehicles and Abrams tanks to take positions and engage the enemy.
>
> From his exposed position, Matteson continued firing his machine gun until
> an insurgent rocket cut him down.
>
> Many of his fellow soldiers who had witnessed the action spoke movingly
> about Matteson's courage under fire.
>
> For his valor demonstrated in battle, Matteson was posthumously awarded the
> Silver Star.
>
> In Matteson's home town of Jamestown, N.Y., his father commissioned a
> memorial statue honoring the heroism of his son and other fallen heroes in
> the War on Terror.
>
> Navy Corpsman
> Joe Dan 'Doc' Worley
>
> While riding on patrol with men of the 1st Marine regiment, Navy Corpsman
> Joe Dan "Doc" Worley heard an explosion nearby. An enemy IED had blown up a
> Humvee, killing a Marine and his Iraqi interpreter.
>
> Worley immediately grabbed his medical bag and ran in the direction of the
> explosion. Just then a second IED exploded a few feet away, ripping off the
> corpsman's left leg just below the knee.
>
> Although in excruciating pain, Worley applied a tourniquet above the knee
> and hobbled off to help the injured Marines nearby.
>
> In mind-numbing pain and out in the open, Worley drew enemy fire with five
> 7.62MM rounds ripping into his right leg. Still, the badly wounded corpsman
> refused to stop. Reaching the other wounded Marines, Worley gave
> instructions for treating the wounded until the Marines killed the attacking
> insurgents and evacuated the wounded, including Worley.
>
> Following 19 months of surgeries and rehabilitation at Bethesda and Walter
> Reed hospitals in Washington, Worley retired from the Navy. He is a strong
> supporter of the U.S. effort to liberate Iraq and Afghanistan and is an
> active member of Vets for Freedom, an organization that supports the U.S.
> mission in those two countries.
>
> Marine Sgt. Jarrett A. Kraft
>
> Although major combat operations ended in Fallujah on November 13, sporadic
> fighting continued in and around the city. On Dec. 23, 2004, Marine Sgt.
> Jarrett A. Kraft was involved in a firefight in which his courageous action
> gained him the Navy Cross, the military's second highest award for valor.
> The Navy Cross citation reads in part:
>
> "As numerically superior insurgent forces attacked Sgt. Kraft and the
> Marines in Al Fallujah, Iraq, he quickly organized and fearlessly led three
> assault forces on three separate attacks to repel the insurgents and ensure
> the successful advance of the battalion. With complete disregard for his own
> life, he placed himself between intense enemy fire and the men during each
> attack, providing suppressive fire and leadership to sustain the fight and
> eliminate the enemy. Although grenades thrown by the insurgents rendered him
> momentarily unconscious during one assault, this did not dampen his spirit
> or determination. Undeterred, Sgt. Kraft continued to lead from the front,
> despite being wounded himself. On two more occasions, he was knocked down
> stairwells by enemy grenade blasts and finally, while emplacing a sniper in
> a critical location, Sgt. Kraft was knocked down by the blast from a
> friendly M1A1 tank main gun. He demonstrated courageous leadership with a
> complete disregard for his own safety during this desperate two-hour battle,
> as he personally braved multiple enemy small-arms kill zones to render
> assistance and guidance to his Marines. By his outstanding display of
> decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire and
> utmost devotion to duty, Sgt. Kraft reflected great credit upon himself and
> upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States
> Naval Service."
>
> Marine Corp. Timothy Connors
>
> Massachusetts native Timothy Connors comes from a family with a long
> military tradition. Both grandfathers served in the Marine Corps, one in
> Korea and one in World War II where he saw the flag-raising on Iwo Jima
> close-up. An uncle served in Vietnam and a cousin is in the reserves. After
> graduating from high school in 2001, Tim Connors decided to follow suit and
> he has done his family's traditions proud.
>
> In November 2004, Connors was serving in Iraq as a squad leader with the 1st
> Marine Division when the division was ordered to help in the liberation of
> Fallujah.
>
> For the next two weeks, the 21-year-old Connors was in almost constant
> combat. He participated in numerous firefights against the insurgents and
> was involved in 12 house fights to clear entrenched insurgents out of
> buildings-a record.
>
> In one effort to clear a house, one of Connors' men, Lance Corp. Travis
> Desiato, plunged through the door and was instantly killed by a hail of
> bullets fired by the insurgents inside. The insurgents kept firing at
> Desiato's dead body, riddling it with bullet holes.
>
> Fearing a repeat of the battle of Mogadishu when a Somali mob dragged the
> naked, mutilated body of a dead Marine through the streets, Connors was
> determined to retrieve the Marine's body.
>
> Connors slowly edged into the foyer of the house when a burst of AK fire
> whizzed by his face.
>
> Connors yelled for a SAW, and grabbing the weapon, sprayed the hallway and
> back room with a hail of bullets. When no returning fire was forthcoming,
> Connors pulled the pin on a grenade and "milked" it, waiting until the last
> second to throw it. Looking around the corner as he hurled the grenade,
> Connors saw a man with a full beard and bushy black hair, his arm cocked
> back to also throw a grenade. As the two grenades crossed paths, Connors
> pushed the platoon mate with him, Lance Corp. Matthew Brown, into the room
> on his left as both grenades went off, filling the room with smoke and dust.
>
> The two Marines stumbled out into the courtyard just as Corp. Camillio
> Aargon fired at an insurgent crawling on the roof, killing him instantly.
>
> Connors crabbed sideways down an alley next to the house. Reaching a window,
> he stuck the barrel of his rifle in the window and sprayed the room with a
> burst of bullets. When insurgents inside answered with a withering volley of
> AK fire, Connors grabbed a stick of C-4 explosive and hurled it down the
> hallway of the house and then ran into the courtyard.
>
> Before the C-4 exploded, however, an insurgent stuck his rifle barrel out of
> a hole in the roof and raked the wall above Connors' head with rifle fire.
>
> Connors prepped another grenade and threw it into the hole, where it
> exploded. A human foot wearing a sneaker flew by the Marines. The rest of
> the Marines had taken positions in a house about 30 feet away, leaving
> Connors and his buddy Corp. Eubaldo Lovato out in the open where they came
> under fire from two directions. Scooping up grenades thrown to them by the
> Marines, they pulled the pins and threw them while running into the house
> under heavy cover fire.
>
> Later Connors, leading Corporals Lovato, Aragon, Danaghy and Longnecker,
> re-entered the house where Desiato's body lay. Initially they could not find
> it, but at length noticed that it had been pulled into the back of the house
> as a lure for the Marines.
>
> Then an insurgent firing an AK-47 ran down the corridor and into the back
> room. Two Marines lobbed grenades into the room and the firing ceased.
>
> Another insurgent started firing Desiato's captured SAW gun, getting off a
> 200-round burst at the Marines. Lovato pulled a pin on a grenade and lobbed
> it in the direction of the jihadists but the grenade bounced off the wall
> and rolled back, striking Connors on the foot. Connors threw himself into an
> adjoining room just as the grenade exploded, knocking the wind out of the
> Marine, temporarily leaving him unable to see or breathe. He revived,
> however, and, with Marines providing covering fire, he managed to get out of
> the house.
>
> Connors later called up a tank, which fired rounds into the concrete house,
> opening a hole through which the Marines could pass.
>
> Moving inside, they saw an insurgent running and Donaghy dropped the man
> with a round to the head. Another insurgent started to fire and Longnecker
> put three rounds into his chest.
>
> Connors, Lovato and Aragon then sprayed the nearby room with rifle fire and,
> hearing nothing, entered the room where they saw the bodies of six dead
> jihadists, including the older man with the bushy hair and black beard whom
> Connors had killed with the grenade.
>
> The battle for the house had lasted five hours.
>
> Following the liberation of Fallujah, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi issued a
> statement mourning the loss of his trusted lieutenant, Omar Hadid, who he
> said had martyred himself in Fallujah. The description matched that of the
> man with bushy hair and black heard Connors had killed.
>
> Marine 1st Lt. Elliot Ackerman
>
> As American troops moved South through Fallujah on day four, they approached
> Highway 10, the thoroughfare that bisects the city.
>
> The unit that was closest to Highway 10 was the 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company,
> 8th Marines commanded by 1st Lt. Elliot Ackerman. The young lieutenant was
> ordered to cross the highway and take up positions inside an abandoned
> building.
>
> Ackerman selected a building and had the artillery "prep" it. Unfortunately,
> when the men of 2nd Platoon arrived at the building, they found it partly
> caved in and unusable. The unit then moved under cover of darkness to a
> building 300 meters further South, a convenience store that they dubbed "the
> candy store."
>
> When dawn arrived, the Marines observed large numbers of insurgents milling
> around in the streets unaware of the Americans' presence. At Ackerman's
> command, his men opened fire, killing or wounding a large number of
> jihadists.
>
> As the morning wore on, however, the insurgents rallied, drawing in enemy
> forces that soon surrounded the candy store. In the hours-long battle that
> resulted, Ackerman divided his platoon into three squads, one of which
> engaged the enemy from the upper floor while the other two squads rested. A
> sniper wounded three of the Marines before being silenced.
>
> At length, Ackerman received orders to abandon the candy store and join up
> with forces moving South. Unfortunately there was only one entrance to the
> building on the West side, and insurgents had it well covered. Had the
> Marines tried to leave through that door, they would have been cut to
> shreds.
>
> Ackerman came up with a plan. He had explosives packed at the base of the
> East wall, while the platoon gathered on the West side. The explosives were
> detonated, creating a hole in the East wall. The Marines quickly abandoned
> the building and began running down a side street only to encounter a group
> of jihadists. A fierce firefight ensued with the Marines' defeating the
> enemy forces before joining up with the main American assault force.
>
> Marine Pvt. Sean Stokes and
> Marine Lance Corp. Heath Kramer
>
> On November 17, the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marine Regiment was moving
> systematically through Fallujah, clearing houses. Pvt. Sean Stokes was point
> man for his platoon, which meant that on this day he was the man to kick in
> the door and enter the houses first.
>
> "At each house I said a prayer," he says. "Please God get me out of this
> one. When I come out of the house, I thank him, light up a cigarette and
> move on to the next one."
>
> In one house that Stokes entered first, followed by his squad, to the left
> of the front door there was a closed metal door.
>
> "I got the chills," he says. "I said, 'We'll open that one last.'"
>
> Then, "the guy behind me started firing at the door next to me. He told me
> he had seen an AK-47 barrel sticking out of the door about knee-high
> pointing at my back."
>
> The insurgent then tossed a grenade into the room and slammed the door.
>
> "We all took some shrapnel," Stokes says, but nobody was badly injured."
>
> For Stokes' squad it was the second time in two days that they had taken
> shrapnel. They were very lucky.
>
> The Marines then decided to leave the house and call in a tank to demolish
> it. They began to file out, with Stokes last to leave, when another grenade
> exploded, knocking Stokes (240 pounds with combat gear) six or seven feet
> through the air.
>
> Miraculously the young private was not badly hurt.
>
> But he was incredibly dizzy, unable to walk or stand up. Alone in the house
> and sprawled on the floor, Stokes was nonetheless able to grab his rifle.
>
> As the insurgents emerged one by one from a bedroom firing their weapons,
> Stokes fired back, cutting down three or four of them.
>
> Soon though, Stokes' ammunition clip was empty and there was no time to load
> another one. In desperation, he began to prep a grenade when he heard a
> tremendous crash and the outside door at his side, which had been padlocked,
> caved in. Lance Corp. Heath Kramer had gotten a running start, threw his
> body at the door and tore it off its frame.
>
> A Marine machine gunner rushed in the now-open door to provide suppression
> fire while Kramer dragged the injured Stokes to safety.
>
> Later, after the house had been completely cleared, the Marines found the
> bodies of eight Chechnyan jihadists in the ruins. Three days later, Stokes
> was back with his squad clearing houses. During the battle for Fallujah,
> Stokes would single handedly kill nine insurgents.
>
> Reflecting on his narrow escapes, Stokes says, "There was something
> invisible in front of me, protecting me, it was all the people back home
> praying for me."
>
> Marine Lance Corp.
> Christopher Adlesperger
>
> As a high school student, Chris Adlesperger was a popular, soft-spoken,
> deeply religious kid. Highly competitive and a star athlete, he nevertheless
> had a gentle nature and wouldn't go hunting because he hated to wound or
> kill animals. To the surprise of many friends and family members he joined
> the Marine Corps, and there he gained widespread admiration as a warrior.
>
> Before the onset of the battle of Fallujah, Adelesperger led his fellow
> platoon mates in prayer. On November 10, they moved into Fallujah and
> cleared houses all day without incident.
>
> Late in the day, they reached a structure with a wall around it and an
> outside stairway leading to the roof. Acting as point man for his four-man
> squad, Adlesperger tried to knock down a gate. Lance Corp. Erick Hodges,
> Adlesperger's close friend, moved ahead and was cut down by a burst of
> machine gun fire from inside.
>
> Charging the house, Lance Corp. Ryan Sunnerfield was wounded in the leg and
> Navy Corpsman Alonzo Rogero was hit in the stomach. The insurgents also
> began throwing grenades. Firing at the machine gun position, Adlesperger ran
> to the two wounded men and helped them up the outside stair and to the roof.
> As the insurgents stormed the stairway, Adlesperger killed them, one by one.
>
> From the roof, he could see the jihadists pouring gunfire into Hodges' dead
> body, including two shots to the head. One ran from the house to seize
> Hodges' weapon and Adlesperger shot him. Meanwhile, the machine gunner
> inside the house had the gathering Marine assault force pinned down. Unable
> to get at the jihadists inside, Adlesperger used his grenade launcher to
> blow holes in the roof and then poured fire on the insurgents below. They
> returned fire and then ran into the courtyard. Adlesperger killed four of
> them, each with a single shot to the head.
>
> When the 30-minute firefight was over, he had killed at least 11 jihadists
> who had manned what later turned out to be an insurgent command-and-control
> center. Marine Corps commanders theorized that had Adlesperger not put the
> compound out of action quickly, it could have thrown off the timing of the
> entire Fallujah assault and resulted in significantly greater American
> casualties. For his heroism and for rescuing two wounded platoon mates and
> saving the lives of many Marines pinned down by machine gun fire,
> Adlesperger was promoted to lance corporal.
>
> One month later, while re-clearing an area of Fallujah, Adlesperger's unit
> approached a non-descript building and was met by a hail of gunfire. So many
> bullets struck Adlesperger's body armor that he was turned around and a
> bullet pierced his unprotected side, hitting his heart and killing him
> instantly.
>
> The hundreds of Marines who knew Adlesperger were devastated by his loss.
> One of them remarked to a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, "He had a
> touch of greatness."
>
> Adlesperger has been nominated posthumously for the Medal of Honor.
>
> Staff Sgt. David Bellavia,
> U.S. Army
>
> One of the most amazing stories of heroism to come out of the battle for
> Fallujah is that of Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia.
>
> On November 10, Bellavia's platoon was ordered to clear a block of 12
> buildings from which jihadists were firing on American forces.
>
> The first nine buildings were unoccupied, but were found to be filled with
> enemy rockets, grenade launchers and other kinds of weapons. When Bellavia
> and four others entered the tenth building, they came under fire from
> insurgents in the house. Other soldiers came to reinforce the squad and a
> fierce battle at close quarters ensued. Many American soldiers were injured
> from the gunfire and flying debris.
>
> At this point, Bellavia, armed with a M249 SAW gun, entered the room where
> the insurgents were located and sprayed the room with gunfire, forcing the
> jihadists to take cover and allowing the squad to move out into the street.
>
> Jihadists on the roof began firing at the squad, forcing them to take cover
> in a nearby building. Bellavia then went back to the street and called in a
> Bradley Fighting Vehicle to shell the houses. After this was done, he
> decided to re-enter the building to determine whether the enemy fighters
> were still active.
>
> Seeing a jihadist loading an RPG launcher, Bellavia gunned him down. A
> second jihadist began firing as the soldier ran toward the kitchen and
> Bellavia fired back, wounding him in the shoulder. A third jihadist began
> yelling from the second floor.
>
> Bellavia then entered the uncleared master bedroom and emptied gunfire into
> all the corners, at which point the wounded insurgent entered the room,
> yelling and firing his weapon. Bellavia fired back, killing the man.
>
> Bellavia then came under fire from the insurgent upstairs and the staff
> sergeant returned the fire, killing the man. At that point, a jihadist
> hiding in a wardrobe in a bedroom jumped out, firing wildly around the room
> and knocking over the wardrobe. As the man leaped over the bed he tripped
> and Bellavia shot him several times, wounding but not killing him. Another
> insurgent was yelling from upstairs, and the wounded jihadist escaped the
> bedroom and ran upstairs.
>
> Bellavia pursued, but slipped on the blood-soaked stairs. The wounded
> insurgent fired at him but missed. Bellavia followed the bloody tracks up
> the stairs to a room to the left. Hearing the wounded insurgent inside, he
> threw a fragmentary grenade into the room, sending the wounded jihadist onto
> the roof. The insurgent fired his weapon in all directions until he ran out
> of ammunition. He then started back into the bedroom, which was rapidly
> filling with smoke.
>
> Hearing two other insurgents screaming from the third story of the building,
> Bellavia put a choke hold on the wounded insurgent to keep him from giving
> away their position.
>
> The wounded jihadist then bit Bellavia on the arm and smacked him in the
> face with the butt of his AK-47. In the wild scuffle that followed, Bellavia
> took out his knife and slit the jihadist's throat.
>
> Two other insurgents who were trying to come to their comrade's rescue,
> fired at Bellavia, but he had slipped out of the room, which was now full of
> smoke and fire.
>
> Without warning, another insurgent dropped from the third story to the
> second-story roof. Bellavia fired at him, hitting him in the back and the
> legs and causing him to fall off the roof, dead.
>
> At this point, five members of 3rd Platoon entered the house and took
> control of the first floor. Before they would finish off the remaining
> jihadists, however, they were ordered to move out of the area because close
> air support had been called in by a nearby unit.
>
> Bellavia's superiors believe his actions during that day of combat saved
> three platoons from possible destruction. For that action and for his
> courage in single-handedly clearing a house with at least six jidhadists,
> Bellavia has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.
>
> Now returned to civilian life, Bellavia is not concerned about recognition
> for himself. He is passionate, however, about the general lack of
> recognition paid to the sacrifices of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
>
> As a director of Vets for Freedom, Bellavia says, "My mission is to identify
> who in our generation is special and to see that they get the recognition
> they deserve." Bellavia adds the he is "nauseated" by the fact that more
> medals for valor have not been awarded-especially to enlisted men. "By my
> count," he says, "there should have been at least 11 Medals of Honor awarded
> by now. To date there is only one."
>
> Bellavia faults the Department of Defense hierarchy for this problem and the
> media for their lack of interest in the heroes of Afghanistan and Iraq. He
> also faults many members of Congress for their failure to seek out and
> recognize the returning heroes of their states and districts and says, "We
> should be celebrating our [heroes'] valor and putting it on a pedestal.
> These young men are the best of our generation."
>
> Mr. Roberts, President of Radio America, was executive director of the
> American Conservative Union from 1974 to 1977.
>

Windbender said...

Friend Betty, thanks for the heads up; the ballots aren’t even all counted sealing their resounding defeat, and they are already back at it…be ever vigilant…the cockroaches have only scurried for darkness under this recent beam of the light of Truth; they’ll still be operating behind the scenes and in the shadows, even through the transition to a Democratically controlled Congress, and a search for a solution for Iraq. Here’s my take on this latest effort…thanks again, Betty…:

Being a Combat Marine from Vietnam; I will never forget the Battle Of Fallujah, and what my Brothers of the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor did there, just as we never forget any battle in our history and those who have gone before us, and those who carry on the proud tradition of the Corps...they, along with their Brothers and Sisters from the other services, did what they always do; the very best they could do, under the worst of circumstances; party politics aside. Semper Fi, Do or Die! Everyone recognizes and respects that, regardless of political party affiliation or opposition or support for the war, including John Kerry.

One of my close friends' sons fought there in Fallujah, and my Vietnam Veterans of North Florida chapter had a de-briefing (Welcome Home party) session for him when his tour finished and he came home. Before things got too crazy, we spent a couple of hours respectfully listening to his account of the Battle, what we here at VVNF call an Oral History caucus; followed, of course, by a Boogie Caucus of epic proportions!. Fortunately, he returned unscathed; and very proud of himself! As are we of him.

Unlike Vietnam; I don't think anyone, Left or Right, doesn't respect our troops and their professionalism and commitment to serve America, and protect our hard earned freedoms. I would include at the top of this list Senator John Kerry, who himself is a highly decorated combat veteran, if not a very good jokester and rather patrician in his demeanor. Anyone who doesn't happen to subscribe to this belief about our servicemen and their commitment to duty is my enemy, regardless of politics. As an old Combat Engineer, I'm pissed that Kerry stumbled so blindly onto this landmine. But I respect him and his military and political history, as all should regardless of party affiliation.

As to the Vets For Freedom, mentioned in Betty’s E; No one should trust them... http://vetspeakblog.blogspot.com/2006/10/whos-who-art-of-cyber-camouflage-by.html. They haven't been honest about who they are, and who funds their efforts, and who pulls the strings that get Wade Zirkle on all the news shows. Case in point; the referenced article forwarded in Betty’s E-mail is posted by a “non-partisan” writer, James C. Roberts, who signs off at the bottom of the offering as President of Radio America, was executive director of the American Conservative Union from 1974 to 1977. Even to the dimmest bulb, this guy is not non-partisan and neither are his handlers, the Vets For Freedom/Swift Boat Vets 527 link up. I have already sent out the research links that directly tie them to the White House, once. But should anyone request them...I have them on file to share at willie@vetspeak.org. I made sure that I knew who they really were and what they were really about before I spoke/wrote, I assure you. A tactic that they are apparently unfamiliar with.

So, while there is nothing at all overall inflammatory (although it is a little oriented to Combat Myths) about the piece by Mr. Roberts in general, and it rightfully recognizes the heroic efforts of our troops at Fallujah (I’m not surprised; a Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial inscription; Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue...something every Marine sees as basic common value...yet, even today); the spin is that the article is assuming for it’s audience’s benefit that the rest of us, the ones who speak out in opposition to the administration’s Iraq policies, don't share his heartfelt sentiment or respect for the troops. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Swifties/Vets For Freedom's true colors show through in the paragraphs where they unnecessarily once again take some shots at Kerry; who, incidentally, didn't have anything to do with the Battle Of Fallujah.

Regardless of what one might think of Kerry politically now…or then, there is no connection here, as implied by the author. He botched the infamous joke well after the Battle of Fallujah occurred, so it couldn't have had any impact on the troops’ morale as they battled so bravely there; just more Repug spin, the likes of which you will now hear with ever increasing frequency as the Democratic majority in Congress tries to right the Ship of State and find strategic direction in Iraq. But, Kerry was a hero in my war, and as such deserves the respect of all Americans for that fact alone, politics aside, just as do the heroes of Iraq. But, for sure; he don't do good stand-up.

In spite of the recent political successes of The American People; I am sure that there is plenty more of this kind of spin to come from the VFF/SBVs, and the rest of their ilk as we all wrangle over what to do next in Iraq. Maintain vigilance!

Semper Fi!
Windbender
www.vetspeak.org
willie@vetspeak.org