December 08, 2006

We Were One

Thanks to the usual politics, an assault on Fallujah, Iraq by Coalition forces was set back six months, during which time the various mujahideen (heretofore muj) forces, from all over the Middle East and as far away as Chechnya were provided ample time to transform the city of 39,000 buildings into a veritable fortress, “converting buildings into bunkers”, using “nearly half of the city’s mosques, along with most of the hospitals and schools, as supply dumps or strong points”.

To quote a senior Marine,

"In one mosque, every room contained different munitions, rockets in this room, mortars in that room, machinegun rounds in that room. Mosques were used as fighting positions or to store weapons. Yet G-d forbid I should attack the building, or it’s on the news that the Marines desecrated a mosque."

Shortly thereafter,

According to America’s usual rules of engagement, buildings like mosques and hospitals are supposed to lose their immunity when they are put to military use; yet the political leadership above the Marines refused to allow these targets to be attacked.

In We Were One, author Patrick K. O’Donnell, a war historian with exponentially more guts than the vast majority of the so-called “embedded” journalists of the mainstream media (I say so-called because most of them un-embedded themselves and headed for the tall timber as soon as a shot was fired, and filed stories based wholly on second and third hand information – sometimes troops needed badly in combat situations had to be pulled out to escort these “journalists” to the rear echelons) went to Iraq and was embedded, after a time, with 1st Platoon; Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines (heretofore the 3/1), just in time to accompany them on their bloodiest incursion into Fallujah. Mr. O’Donnell was right there in the thick of things, not sitting at the bar in a Baghdad hotel.

Fallujah was pure, house-to-house urban warfare, the most dangerous kind. The 3/1’s job was clearing buildings, room by room, of muj guerillas. This meant going through doors not knowing whether the rooms beyond were empty, booby trapped with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or contained enemy fighters with weapons leveled at the doors, fingers on triggers. Holes had been punched through building walls so that entire blocks could be traversed by the muj and weapons caches were placed strategically along those blocks. To make matters worse, the enemy went into battle intending to die. Three or four would give their lives to kill one Marine without a second thought.

Mr. O’Donnell paints a vivid picture of the hell these brave Marines found themselves in the midst of as they did their duty; what was in their heads, what they said, how they did the particularly terrifying and deadly job – reading the book was as close to being there as one can get without…. Well, being there.

The author profiled each of the Marines, discussed their relationships with one another, their closeness as brother Marines and as comrades in combat, each willing to give his own life to save the life of a fellow Marine. He brought out the grief felt by each at the loss of a comrade, and the bravery of each as they backed one another up in terse situations, which were very nearly a constant in Fallujah.

Sniper, mortar and rocket attacks, insane mass charges by drugged muj (the enemy fighters were using cocaine, adrenaline and other stimulants to bolster their effectiveness), attacks by suicide bombers and ambushes were a daily occurrence. The Marines froze at night and fought in blazing heat by day, yet took it all as it came and prevailed. Every last man in the 3/1 was a true hero.

Other interesting, though by no means a revelation, information was imparted in We Were One, such as the endangerment of American servicemen’s (and others’) lives as a result of U.S. anti-war politics. The political hay the left and the mainstream media made out of Abu Graibh resulted in a large number of terrorists being released to continue fighting Coalition troops and terrorizing elsewhere in the Middle East, one a year later the bomber of a Jordanian wedding at which nearly sixty innocents died.

Though faulty intelligence was partly to blame (the politicians believed that there remained a large number of noncombatants in Fallujah and were therefore afraid to allow an attack on the city), the gist of the reason that our troops were restrained from entering Fallujah before it became the death trap that eventually claimed so many more American lives than necessary is summed up in one paragraph in Chapter 5:

…Politicians at home were tying the Marines’ hands because of risk aversion and political correctness. Fear of generating bad press was jeopardizing American lives every day in Iraq. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that every war the U.S. military fights is a two-front war. The military has to contend with both the enemy in the field and the media, who at times distort the news and impede the war effort, while turning a blind eye to the enemy who gets away with breaking the most basic rules of war.

The 3/1 lost most of its members in combat at Fallujah, while killing about 1,000 enemy fighters. In the course of clearing buildings, the 3/1's 1st Platoon also found al-Qaeda’s Fallujah headquarters (you know, those folks the MSM says are not in Iraq), a generous find for Intelligence (one item therein was a restraint device for torture, and lots of dried blood, some of it in hand prints, on the wall beside it – nice people, those al-Qaeda who aren’t in Iraq).

I was highly impressed with We Were One. I found the book to be packed with information, humorous situations and graphically presented action that moved as smoothly and readably as in a fast-paced novel. You actually feel like you are right there as everything takes place, hearing a bullet crack past your head, feeling the heat and overpressure as a building explodes, hearing the screams of a dying muj or the loud call for a medic as a Marine is hit, and the incessant rattle of smallarms fire, the boom of grenades and mortar rounds in the background.

I would recommend this book highly to anyone who is interested in learning truths about our involvement in Iraq that the anti-war, anti-Bush mainstream media prefers to ignore or gloss over for purely political reasons. Take the benevolent interactions of our troops within the Iraqi civilian community, for example. While the MSM and our liberal politicians like to tell us that the Iraqis hate us and want us to leave, the people are happy our troops are there and demonstrate this daily. Mr. O’Donnell describes the positive things done for Iraqis, for families and for children, by several Marines. The MSM avoids this, as it puts a human face on our troops.

While the MSM reports every IED that goes off and takes the life of an American serviceman yet dumbs down the killing of the enemy by our troops, We Were One illustrates the other side of the coin: The killing of the enemy in far greater numbers by the American military. Even out-manned and out-gunned at times, our troops continue to surprise superiors every day, continuously surpassing their expectations.

When the Iraqi government and the MSM announced that the fighting in Fallujah was over, it was news to the Marines of the 3/1, as they were still embroiled in combat in that city, which wasn't even close to being over, in fact the worst was yet to come.

While I have always had a deep respect for the United States Marines, for their integrity, their patriotism, their sense of honor and their out-&-out abilities as true warriors, We Were One quadrupled that respect – as the Black Jack Pershing quote heading up Chapter 4 so aptly says, The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.

We Were One, published by Da Capo Press, also contains sixteen pages of photos.

Posted by Seth at 02:40 AM | Comments (33) |

October 12, 2006

Omaha Steaks

I recently received an introductory shipment from Omaha Steaks -- it was a highly discounted assortment of stuff intended -- successfully in my case, I might add -- to promote their products. They now have a new customer.

I received fillet mignons, top sirloins, Italian style meatballs (pre-cooked), potatoes au gratin, burgers, boneless pork loin chops, gourmet hot dogs and stuffed soles.

First off, though, I gave the soles to a friend who isn't as anal about seafood as I am; I have a thing about only eating locally -- wherever I happen to be -- caught fish {the exceptions being salmon in various forms, mussels and clams}. Everything has been excellent.

I had a couple of friends over and barbecued the top sirloins and the filets over mesquite and they were awesome, especially with the burgundy, olive oil and shaved garlic marinade I used. The hot dogs were fat and contained no fillers to speak of, also something I'll order again and the potatoes au gratin were an excellent side dish. The two pork chops I've inhaled so far were another thing I'll order again.

Moving on to the meatballs, there were two 1 lb. packages in the shipment -- the first pound went to meatball subs I made with marinara sauce. The remaining 16 oz went into last night's dinner, and munchies for the next couple or so days >>>> I made a pound and a half of spaghetti and a garlicky red sauce containing a generous quantity of ground mild Italian sausage, added the meatballs, swamped it in shredded mozzarella and baked it. Mmmmmm!!!! I ate part of it last night and accompanied it with my own garlic bread and about half a bottle of 2 year old Bell'agio chiante (a dollop of that went into the sauce before the fact). A feast!

So, yeah, though they're just a bit on the pricey side, I'd go with Omaha Steaks anytime. Prior to receiving the promotional deal and with it a catalog of all their products, I had no idea how many different items they sell, but there are a lot. In fact, before they sent me the offer for the promo deal, I thought they only sold steaks....

Anyway, I just thought I'd give a brief review of a good thing, as promised in an earlier comment thread.

Posted by Seth at 10:51 PM | Comments (8) |

August 14, 2006

How To Negotiate With Terrorists

Hurricane Harry at H H Blowhard has a great post on how to negotiate with terrorists, LOL, that you've just got to check out, it's pretty funny but at the same time couldn't be any truer.

Posted by Seth at 07:14 AM |

February 18, 2006

Another Great Book

The last several days I've been fighting a highly aggressive edition of influenza that did, indeed, influence things -- I found it pretty impossible to stay focused enough to finish any posts or get some other needed work done at this website, but did get in some reading, finishing another book I definitely recommend for anyone who would like to learn of the vast difference between the infinitely more civilized way we conservatives conduct the business of politics and the often violent, vandalous and aggressively slanderous methods employed by the left.

The book is Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild, by conservative columnist and superblogger Michelle Malkin.

Get it. Read it. By myriad references and examples, learn how totally intolerant, insanely extremist and profoundly out-of-touch with reality liberals really are.

Posted by Seth at 08:32 AM |

June 13, 2005

The Gulag Archipelago

You can preview and order the Gulag Archipelago here. Alexander Solzhenitsyn's 1973, three volume nonfiction work on the brutal Soviet prison camp system describes a reality that places Amnesty International's reference to Camp Delta as a gulag squarely at the top of the Bullshit List.

That they can even remotely refer to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility thusly(even if they hadn't admitted not knowing what goes on there) tells us that they have no credibility whatsoever anymore and are letting their left wing, anti-Bush, anti-U.S., anti-freedom, pro-terrorism agenda do their talking for them.


Posted by Seth at 01:58 PM |

June 06, 2005

Heading East

In September, I am moving from San Francisco to New York, from which I hail.

The thing I will miss most about today's California is....


Posted by Seth at 02:06 AM |

June 01, 2005

A Must- Order DVD

Yesterday I received my copy of Herb Meyer's DVD, The Siege Of Western Civilization, and I just finished watching it.

It's a 42 minute monologue that very reasonably defines the entire conservative point of view, and I can't imagine a liberal watching more than the first fifteen minutes, since as we know, liberals are almost exclusively closed minded to the point that they'll rarely even socialize with anyone whose political views are different.

The intro begins thusly:

"We all want to live in a healthy environment. So when our environment is threatened, we need to know about it so we can take steps to make things better. But in the last few years, we have become so obsessed by our physical environment that we have ignored threats to our cultural environment. And the truth is, in the long run the health of our cultural environment is just as important to us as the health of our physical environment- maybe even more important...

Our cultural environment is Western Civilization. This is who we are. And today, Western Civilization is under siege........"


Herb Meyer really does cover all the bases in the conservative argument.

You can order it here.

Posted by Seth at 05:29 PM |

May 27, 2005

Ann Coulter/ Diane Ravitch

Today I finished reading a book called The Language Police by Diane Ravitch, a book about how both the left and the right, via pressure groups, influence what our children read in school. The politically correct changes of terms and words into what certain people deem acceptable terminology and the censorship cited by the author are so blatant as to be offensive to any truly intelligent person. The book is a read I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in knowing how children(perhaps their children), in the course of a school day, are being programmed, much of this subliminal indoctrination in blatant counterpoint to anything resembling the comparative literary honesty of primary educations twenty- five to thirty years ago and beyond.

Today, via one day delivery from Amazon, I received a great DVD called Is It True What They Say About Ann? It's a compilation of speech segments, book signings and interviews with the awesome Ann Coulter, including feedback from liberals who hate her and testimonials from people who admire her, including a Democrat or two. Having read her books and being in total agreement with the majority of her political opinions, I think the DVD is a must- buy for anyone who either loves her like I do or hates her like liberals do, and is interested in "up close and personal" encounters with political or literary icons.

For those who aren't familiar with Ann Coulter, she's a sexy, superintelligent(she has a Law degree and has worked in the field), aggressive conservative dynamo who's a syndicated columnist and the author of four books, including High Crimes and Misdemeanors, Slander, Treason and How To Talk To A Liberal(if you must). She is also a highly paid speaker and syndicated columnist.

I'm having a problem with links in posts right now that I'm in the midst of resolving, so I can't provide links to order either the book or the DVD in question, but both are well worth acquiring. Either can be obtained at Amazon, and the Ann Coulter DVD can also be ordered at her website(see "Links").

Posted by Seth at 10:53 AM |