Thursday, February 23, 2006

Port Part 3

Port Part 3

Please be patient with me, I am still working on this….

I am just curious about something. Has anyone considered what the consequences of pulling out of this deal with Dubai might be? At the very least, I would think we could say bye-bye to any hope of using their airspace in case we decide to do something about Iran. You could probably forget any cooperation on the GWOT.

Most likely, those would be the smallest consequences. It might get worse, like the UAE actively helping Al-Qaeda…

Look what I just found:


Dubai, 24 January 2006: - Global ports operator DP World today
welcomed news that one of its senior executives, Dave Sanborn, has been
nominated by US President George W. Bush to serve as Maritime Administrator a
key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta the Secretary
of Transportation and Cabinet Member.

The White House has issued a statement from Washington DC
announcing the nomination. The confirmation process will begin in

Mr Sanborn currently holds the position of Director of
Operations for Europe and Latin America for the Dubai-based company.


For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 17, 2006

The President intends to nominate David C. Sanborn, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation. Mr. Sanborn currently serves as Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America at DP World. Prior to this, he served as Senior Vice President for North America Service Delivery at CMA-CGM (America) LLC. Mr. Sanborn also served as Vice President for Network-Operations for American President Lines, Pte. Ltd. Earlier in his career, he served as Director for Operations for Sea-Land Service, Inc. Mr. Sanborn is a retired Lieutenant Junior Grade for the United States Naval Reserve. He received his bachelor's degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Looks like Mr. Sanborn is qualified, but the timing of his nomination right before DP World is to assume P&Os ports is odd...

Now this is starting to bother me again...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Port Part 2

Port Part 2

I am ashamed of myself. I should have seen right through Schumer and realized that this was a cheep political shot at the president.

President Bush is being a leader here, and not a politician. Politicians stick their finger in the wind and follow the direction in which it blows. Leaders make rational decisions based on facts. Allowing the UAE to run ports in the US is not as bad of an idea as it sounds. It is politically dangerous, yes, but not a bad decision when you step back and look at it again. We have a chance to form an economic partnership with the UAE that would help persuade them to keep their radicals at bay. And we will have more leverage to punish the UAE if they do not tow the line in that respect. The Coast Guard will still be in charge of Security, and the ports will be filled with other companies as well, who would be more likely to notice when something is off then your average street cop. The current employees of these births in the ports will continue working for the new managers, so there should not be much risk there.

All in all, not a bad idea at all. But it might already be too late.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Any Port in a storm???
I thought letting the UAE take control of six major ports in the US was a bad idea, and this just proves my point:

And to make matters worse, the Dems have realized they now have something real to grab ahold of:

What in the hell was the Administration thinking? This really bothers me. It just goes to show that the only thing the Government gets right is the US Millitary.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Response to my email.

I had a post I was ready to make about the anger I felt with the media over Cheney, but was stopped cold when I received a reply to an email I sent to the soldier who wrote the article I posted here a couple of days ago:


Thank you for your kind thoughts. Unfortunately, I have received an overwhelming volume of mail and have been able to respond to just a few letters individually. My boss actually has work for me to do.

However, I want to let you - and everyone who responded to my article in Sunday's LA Times - know that I truly appreciate you taking the time to read of our experiences and write back to me. I am reading and printing each note, and collecting them for keepsakes. I have been especially touched by the veterans of Viet Nam and World War II who have reached out as fellow warriors to give their support, as well as those from the Muslim faith who have expressed their appreciation. This has been a wonderful experience.

Please keep your faith in the young men and women who serve our country. Their values are of a rare breed in today's day and age.

Thanks again. If you'd like to hear more of my thoughts on the war, I am scheduled to be on the John Ziegler Show on KFI radio, 640 AM, in Los Angeles at 8:00 tonight. Hopefully some of my fellow soldiers will be joining me.

Also, I will be on KLBJ

All the best,
Robert C. J. Parry
Senior Account Manager
The Pollack PR Marketing Group
1901 Avenue of the Stars, Suite #1040
Los Angeles, CA 90067
f: 310-286-2350
Partner, The WORLDCOM Public Relations Group

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Some Dorky Computer Tests
I am nerdier than 59% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

My computer geek score is greater than 73% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The war you didn't see
A controversial National Guard unit's heroics got lost in the hype and scandal.

By Robert C.J. Parry, ROBERT C.J. PARRY, a first lieutenant in the California Army National Guard's 1-184 Infantry, is a senior account manager for a Century City public relations firm. Contact him at

Reprinted here to help spread good news about the War on Terror.

LAST MONTH I returned from Iraq, swapping my desert camouflage for a suit and tie to resume my desk job at a Century City firm. For the first time in 18 months I was separated from my battalion, the 1st of the 184th Infantry Regiment, which was among the first California Army National Guard units to be sent into combat since the Korean War.

From the first weeks of our mobilization in August 2004, we were in the spotlight. We were the battalion "mired in scandal." We were, according to the disgruntled, poor in training and morale. Once in Iraq, we were the battalion that suffered casualties seemingly faster than anyone could count: 17 killed in action and nearly 100 wounded in 12 months. We were the battalion whose commander, Col. William W. Wood, became the highest-ranking soldier to die in action. Our previous commander was relieved of duty after a scandal involving the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Even as we rolled out each day to confront terrorists, we were known at home primarily for things that had nothing to do with the job we did or how we did it.

Over the course of 18 months, the 600 soldiers of the 184th experienced almost every high and low a band of brothers could, from great distinction to shocking heartbreak. But what never made it into print were the things that will mark our hearts until well after we become the old-timers down at the VFW.

We served with honor. We served with valor. We earned distinction.

Google us to find the litany of supposed woe. But if you want to know the real story of our battalion, go find Sgt. Thomas Kruger and ask him about April 5, 2005.

On that bright spring morning, with his legs shattered, Kruger dragged himself across 100 feet of debris and shrapnel to reach Cpl. Glenn Watkins, who had been mortally wounded moments earlier by the same ghastly roadside bomb.

You might also ask anyone from our ranks about Staff Sgt. Steve Nunez. Broken and bloodied by an IED, he was ordered home to recuperate after refusing to go voluntarily. He rejoined us to carry the fight forward, refusing the chance to stay home.

There were no front-page headlines for Kruger, Nunez or even Sgt. 1st Class Tom Stone, who covered a wounded subordinate's body with his own to protect that soldier from a secondary attack that could have come at any moment.

Stone, a Los Angeles Police Department officer, and Kruger, a paramedic on movie sets, were awarded Bronze Stars for their valor. Nunez, a Riverside metalworker, received our awe and admiration, and I hope yours too.

Equally deserving of recognition were Sgt. 1st Class Chris Chebatah and 1st Lt. Ky Cheng. One terrible September night, an armored personnel carrier in their patrol was destroyed by a tremendous blast and flipped, pinning a soldier. Even while taking enemy fire and directing the care for casualties around them, they rigged a chain to pull the 10-ton vehicle off him. The effort was successful but ultimately futile.

So far, 14 of our soldiers have been decorated for valor and another 48 have earned the Bronze Star for service. But that cannot be found in print.

Our unit — supposedly just a band of weekend warriors from the National Guard — was selected by the Army's renowned 3rd Infantry Division to take on its primary challenge: taking control of a sector of south Baghdad that was home to leading Baathists and Al Qaeda fanatics. In that capacity, we conducted more than 7,000 combat patrols totaling nearly half a million man-hours. We captured more insurgents in one month than did whole brigades. We stand nominated (with the rest of our brigade) for a Valorous Unit Award.

But instead, people who didn't know the first thing about us trumpeted the misdeeds of a handful of young men who scoffed at the concepts of honor and duty that our commander invoked.

At dawn on the June day that that story broke, we awakened to the deep reverberation of a complex attack — five car bombs and at least three subsequent ambushes designed to hit those who responded — in an adjacent sector. The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment was in a hot fight. Our Alpha Company — a part of our battalion, based in Fullerton — rallied to 3-7's aid. The company fought through ambushes to find, kill and capture terrorists. For a few hours, the men of Killer Company, as we call Alpha, were heroes.

But that night, amid rumor and whisper, the Alpha soldiers were taken off patrol and isolated. Within days we knew the ugly story. Months earlier, it seems, shortly after we arrived in Iraq, a few of Alpha's young NCOs had abused a group of Iraqi detainees.

It was immature, nasty, stupid stuff — using stun guns on the genitals of men allegedly caught trying to attack a power plant. The men they tortured were later released, as are so many of the suspected terrorists caught in country. In the investigation that followed, nine others were accused of lesser misdeeds — taking photographs of themselves with detainees and the like — in which no physical harm came to anyone.

The Army PR machine touted the news, almost proudly, much like "Access Hollywood" touts B-list celebrity gossip: "Baghdad Troops to Face Court-Martial for Detainee Abuse." Before long, word leaked out that they were ours. What was not said was that it was one of the soldiers in our own battalion who had found the video of the abuse and turned it in to our commander.

Lots of folks had lots of theories about why the Army made such a big deal of it. Mine is that the Army wanted to get out in front of "another Abu Ghraib," and a group of "nasty Guard" soldiers made good poster children. It was sound PR, but lousy teamwork.

Whatever the case, in the end, only three went to prison for their role in the abuse, all for short terms. The others received minor administrative punishments, and our commander — a schoolteacher, poet and a man of noble values — was sent elsewhere. The facts did not live up to the hype, but the hype was what we, and you, were left with.

While our Delta Company patrolled a stretch of Baghdad road where five of our soldiers were eventually killed, people who had never set foot in Iraq were quoted about our performance. People who rarely left the safety of an operations base damaged our reputations. We never flinched in a fight, but we were smeared nonetheless.

What none of us could explain was why no reporter actually met a single 184th soldier in Iraq until November. Even that only came after the tragic death of our new commander, Col. Wood, an amazing active-duty officer who held us together and made us strong again. Whether it was some form of politics or simply the realities of journalism in war, I do not know. The hype was all that mattered.

During my tour, I was blessed — or perhaps cursed — with a "utility infielder" role, serving in a variety of positions that gave me a diverse look at the lives of soldiers and Iraqis alike.

I patrolled the streets of Baghdad's elite Karrada neighborhood and its insurgent-rich Doura sector, shaking people's hands and learning their problems. I lived and worked alongside American contractors upgrading a key power plant. I trained Iraqi police, saw their enthusiasm and came to understand their different approach to things. I worked as a junior officer on our battalion staff, witnessing how the decisions governing the street fight were shaped. I was shot at and attacked with IEDs.

I saw the successes. I struggled with the failures. But most important, I saw people who once had nothing now bursting with hope and thanks.

While I was in Iraq, I read Walter Isaacson's remarkable biography, "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life." I was reminded of the passion and determination of our founding fathers, and of the long years they experienced between independence and the founding of the government we enjoy today. Franklin and company recognized the importance of having a fully informed American constituency involved in making the decisions of government.

When it comes to Iraq, in my experience, that constituency is poorly served.

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally wounded a companion with shotgun pellets on a weekend quail hunt in Texas, his office said on Sunday.

Cheney's companion, Austin lawyer Harry Whittington, 78, was listed in stable condition after being brought in on Saturday night, said Yvonne Wheeler, a spokeswoman for the Christus Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Cheney's office said Whittington had been sprayed by birdshot while hunting at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, about 200 miles south of San Antonio.

She said Cheney, an experienced hunter, did not realize Whittington had rejoined the group without announcing himself, which is proper protocol among hunters.

"They had no idea he was there," Armstrong said.

"A bird flew up, the vice president followed it through around to his right and shot, and unfortunately, unbeknownst to anybody, Harry was there and he got peppered pretty good with a spray of 28-gauge pellets," Armstrong said in a telephone interview.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Religion of Peace:

A bloodied Iraqi Shi'ite devotee brandishes his knife during the Ashura ritual ceremony at the Imam Hussein shrine in Kerbala, 110 km (70 miles) south of Baghdad, February 9, 2006. Hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite pilgrims converged in Kerbala to mourn the death of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson here 1,300 years ago.

And he's smiling about it!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"First, They Came"--

By Michelle Malkin

You have got to watch this.

You can download it here. Right Click and choose "Save As"

Monday, February 06, 2006

The cartoons that have started it all:

The next 5:

The last one is below

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Nice, eh?
Just doing my part to fuel the fire.