Target Centermass

2/28/2006

High Five for World Peace

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:01 pm

Now, before it’s too late! There’s only a little time left in International High-Five a Muslim Day and I’m rather late to the show.

Do check the video — it’s great for a chuckle, though I doubt we’ll be seeing any Christian riots over the portrayal of Jesus. Hey, maybe this is just the sort of outreach we need to find world peace. After all, there are most certainly far worse ideas being presented.

For the Scots of the Blogosphere

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:21 pm

… and for those of Scottish blood, Tartan Day is just a shade over five weeks away. Ith at Absinthe & Cookies is already preparing for her third annual Gathering of the Blogs.

Here’s last year’s Gathering — go give it a gander. Although I didn’t participate in last year, I did give a couple of meager nods to Tartan Day. This year, look for me at the Gathering of the Blogs. Hopefully, the Gunn Nutt will be there too, as she’s already sporting the Gunn Modern tartan on her banner.

Carnival of Liberty XXXIV

Filed under: — Gunner @ 9:18 pm

This week’s installment of the Life, Liberty, Property community’s Carnival of Liberty is up over at Committees of Correspondence. Go read another fine collection of posts from a libertarian slant.

2/27/2006

Senior Zarqawi Aide Captured

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:06 pm

Too many times has the story been trumpeted that the noose is tightening around the neck of bloody terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and I’ll admit I’ve played my part in the brass soundings. Still, one day one of these stories just may be the linchpen to the bastard’s demise. Maybe this is the one, though I’m not holding my breath.

Iraqi Interior Ministry forces captured a senior aide to al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraqi state television said.

Iraqiya named the man as Abu Farouq and said he was captured with five others in the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, west of the capital.

It said Abu Farouq al-Suri, previously unknown to the media, was captured by the Wolf Brigade, one of several counter-insurgency units operating within the Shiite-run Interior Ministry but accused by Sunnis of targeting civilians in their community.

The word Suri is Arabic for Syrian, indicating that the captured man may have come from Iraq’s western neighbour.

US military spokespeople were unaware of the capture.

Previous postings, all too familiar and hopeful, are as follows:

And I ain’t even going to pretend I blogged each rendition of this tale. Still, every single one brings hope for the end of the menace that is Zarqawi.

WWII Ace Scott Dies at 97

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:28 pm

Flying Tiger, ace, author, general and Olympic torch bearer — truly a life to be celebrated and a passing to be mourned.

Retired Brig. Gen. Robert L. Scott, the World War II flying ace who told of his exploits in the China-Burma-India theater in his book “God is My Co-Pilot,” died Monday. He was 97.

His death was announced by Paul Hibbitts, director of the Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base, where Scott worked in recent years.

The Georgia-born Scott rose to nationwide prominence during World War II as a fighter ace in the skies over Asia, then with his best-selling 1943 book, made into a 1945 movie starring Dennis Morgan as Scott.

Among his other books were “The Day I Owned the Sky” and “Flying Tiger: Chennault of China.”

Scott, who retired from the Air Force as a brigadier general, won three Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Silver Stars and five Air Medals before he was called home to travel the country giving speeches for the war effort.

He shot down 22 enemy planes with his P-40 Warhawk, though he recalled some were listed as “probable” kills.

“You had to have two witnesses in the formation, or you needed a gun camera to take a picture,” he once said. “Only we didn’t have gun cameras in China. I actually had 22 aerial victims, but I only had proof of 13.”

He worked with the Flying Tigers, Gen. Claire Chennault’s famed volunteer force of pilots who fought in China, but he was not one of its original members in mid-1941. With the Flying Tigers, he earned five of his aerial kills in May 1942 when he flew more than 200 hours in combat.

[…]

From the mid-1980s onward, Scott was an active staffer at the Robins air base’s aviation museum.

Scott, who had more than 33,000 flying hours during his 60 years of flying, credited the museum with giving him a new lease on life, Hibbitts said.

Despite his age, he remained active until a few years ago, carrying the Olympic torch in 1996, piloting an F-15 fighter jet on his 88th birthday and flying a B-1 bomber on his 89th birthday, Hibbitts said.

Rest in peace, sir. You’ve most assuredly earned it.

Quote of the Week, 27 FEB 06

Filed under: — Gunner @ 9:21 pm

The enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot.

—William Ralph Inge

2/24/2006

Nothing Tonight

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:13 pm

Move along, nothing to see here. Have a good night, y’all.

2/23/2006

Sheehan to Protest at U.S. Posts in Germany in March

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:22 pm

Ah, Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan, you should certainly be able to get a good attention fix with the plans you’ve got in the works now.

Cindy Sheehan, mother of a soldier killed in Iraq and the woman who protested the war last summer outside President Bush’s Texas ranch, is scheduled to bring her anti-war message to U.S. military installations in Germany next month.

“[We’ve already heard] that Cindy Sheehan is like Hanoi Jane [Fonda] coming here,” said Elsa Rassbach, an event organizer with American Voices Abroad, which is supporting Sheehan’s trip.

But, she said, “We’re here to just democratically talk about U.S. policy.”

The Hanoi Jane comparison sounds about right for Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan. To denounce our government policy and lie about America on our soil, however disgusting in this case, is her right. To do it abroad, as she will, is beyond vile.

On March 11, protesters plan to walk from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to a parking lot just outside Ramstein Air Base, where Sheehan will be at a “camp,” paying tribute to those who have died in the Iraq war.

“Cindy will be with us at Camp Casey Landstuhl/Ramstein to call attention to the fact that Germany is Europe’s logistical hub for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and others threatening Iran and the Middle East,” according to an event flier. “Germany has the power to stop the further use of U.S. bases in Germany for illegal wars and criminal methods of warfare — the power and the right to just say no!”

Organizers are hoping to erect the camp — known as Camp Casey for Sheehan’s son — in a parking lot outside Ramstein Air Base’s west gate. The parking lot is under German jurisdiction, said Erin Zagursky, an Air Force spokeswoman at the base. Protest organizers are meeting with city officials in Ramstein and Landstuhl to gain permission for their event.

[…]

Sheehan’s goals are to bring the troops home and have peace on earth, she said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.

She also wants to teach the world to sing in freakin’ perfect harmony. And everybody gets a pet bunny.

Her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, 24, was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004.

Snark aside, SPC Sheehan was honored by Blackfive in a manner far, far better than anything than anything Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan has done or will continue to do in her constant quest for notoriety.

Sheehan said in an e-mail she was too busy for a phone interview with Stars and Stripes.

“I don’t know anything about the visit,” she wrote. “It is being arranged by some people in Germany.”

With the Kaiserslautern military community home to more than 50,000 Americans with military ties, Sheehan could face a rough welcome. When asked for comment Wednesday on Sheehan’s upcoming visit, several soldiers in Kaiserslautern asked if they could be quoted anonymously.

One soldier, who recently returned from Iraq, did give his name but didn’t have much to say about Sheehan.

“Anything I would have to say about her, you couldn’t print,” Army Staff Sgt. Mark Genthner said.

SSG Genthner speaks — or rather diplomatically refuses to speak — for a great many of our troops. Here’s hoping Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan will have a grand opportunity for a great deal of interaction with those she’s trying to save.

Certainly, friendly confines and adoration await Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan on much of her European vacation.

Beginning March 9, Sheehan’s European visit will take her to Frankfurt, Aachen, Landstuhl and Ramstein in Germany. On March 13, Sheehan is scheduled to have a news conference in Paris, and the following day will address the European Union parliament in Strasbourg, France.

A protest organizer in Landstuhl said he was asked by others, including some of the 732 members of the European Union parliament, to arrange the protest involving Sheehan.

“The meeting with Cindy Sheehan is coming to us by an offer of members of the European Union in Strasbourg,” said Detlev Besier, a Protestant reverend in Landstuhl. “They asked whether it was possible or not to visit Ramstein Air Base and the hospital. It was not our idea. We were asked whether it was possible or not.”

Yes, the tripe of Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan will play very well in France and before the EU parliament. Perhaps she may even call for an end to the American military occupation of Germany, as she has previously of Iraq and Katrina-ravaged New Orleans.

Rassbach said she did not know what response servicemembers would have to Sheehan’s appearance outside Ramstein Air Base.

Oh, I have some guesses. Hat tip to Greyhawk and the Gunn Nutt, who weigh in with their thoughts on the plans for Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan’s Euro adventures.

Previous Gold Star mom Cindy Sheehan blogging:

2/22/2006

Philippine Army links 16 to Coup Plot

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:37 pm

Apparently there was more to the story than just rumors, as the Philippine military has identified several soldiers tied to a planned coup against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The Philippine army has questioned at least 14 lieutenants and sergeants linked to a plot to unseat President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a general said on Wednesday, adding he was confident no coup attempt would ever succeed.

Lieutenant-General Hermogenes Esperon, head of the army, said authorities had identified about 16 junior officers who were planning to carry out a coup. Two of them are absent without leave.

But he said the army has convinced most of the officers to abandon the plot and has disciplined a few uncooperative junior officers.

“I am confident that we have a solid armed forces,” Esperon told reporters. “Any coup attempt would not succeed because we have a solid army.”

The plot, named “Oplan Hackle”, was meant to create a military junta and involved the mass release of officers facing trial for leading a failed uprising in July 2003.

Citing intelligence reports, Esperon said the revolt was planned for either last weekend when graduates of the Philippine Military Academy gathered for a reunion or on March 25 when Arroyo will address the graduating class of 2006.

“We are not saying that we have totally pre-empted ‘Oplan Hackle’,” he told a news conference at the main military camp in Manila.

“We continue to investigate to find out more details. But, we are ready to take action against any group that will destabilise this country, this government.”

Esperon also said authorities had identified the military units of about 200 soldiers that had been recruited to take part in the plot.

Rumours of unrest are common in the Philippines after a dozen coup attempts since the 1980s but talk of a plot has been growing as the 20th anniversary of the army-backed “people power” uprising against former dictator Ferdinand Marcos kicks off this week.

[…]

A second army-backed popular uprising five years ago chased out Joseph Estrada from power, allowing Arroyo to rise from the vice-presidency.

Arroyo appealed to soldiers and police officers to thwart efforts by her political enemies to grab power.

“I call upon our soldiers not to cede a single town to those who dream of breaking up the country,” she said after laying a wreath at the military’s hero’s cemetery in Manila, part of her noticeably low-key commemoration of Marcos’ ouster.

I find it interesting that all parties identified are lieutenants and sergeants. I’d be interested in looking into the history of successful military coups to see if there were any that didn’t directly involve higher brass. Perhaps some of those linked will roll over on a bigger fish.

Back when the story was merely rumors being investigated, I blogged the following:

Should a successful coup occur, there is no way to predict the nature of the government that would emerge to fill the void. Nevertheless, I would not shed a tear at the departure of Arroyo. We are talking about a woman who politically survived a morass of corruption, in part because of a willingness to exile her own husband. More disgusting than the corruption, however, is Arroyo’s pathetic willingness to undermine our efforts in Iraq by paying terrorists $6 million and withdrawing Philippine troops from the Iraqi theater, all for the ransom of one truck driver.

I stand by that.

Carnival of Liberty XXXIII

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:23 pm

This week’s installment of the Life, Liberty, Property community’s Carnival of Liberty is up over at Peter Porcupine. Go read another fine collection of posts from a libertarian slant.

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