Tribute to the military

Friday, June 27, 2008

Russian bombers step up provocative flights - 18 incursions in past year

Russian bombers have stepped up provocative flight exercises off the Alaskan coast, reminiscent of Cold War incursions designed to rattle U.S. air defenses. U.S. Northern Command, which protects North American airspace, told The Washington Times that TU-95 Bear bombers on 18 occasions the past year have skirted a 12-mile air defense identification zone that protects Alaska.

The incursions prompted F-15s and F-22 Raptor fighters to scramble from Elmendorf Air Force Base and intercept the warplanes.

The last incident happened in May. Moscow's sophisticated show of force has some in the Pentagon paying more attention to the long-term goals of a Russian military, which is being rebuilt with proceeds from the country's huge oil and gas revenues. NORAD is more sensitive than ever to wayward aircraft, given the Sept. 11 attacks by hijackers and the lack of military coordination at the time to track, and perhaps destroy, the planes.

Mr. McInerney said the incursions are the most sophisticated since the Cold War. The retired general called the exercises "coordinated attacks coming into our air defense identification zone. These incursions are far more sophisticated than anything we had seen before." He said the Russian army air force is launching Bear bombers from Tiksi on the Arctic Ocean and Anadyr in Siberia. They are flying against the air defense identification zone from both the polar caps and from the south.

The Air Force statement said it has "monitored Russian aircraft taking off from a variety of air bases across their country." ............. read more

Treasury Targets Hizballah in Venezuela

Courtesy of US Treasury

Treasury Targets Hizballah in Venezuela – On June 18, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated two Venezuela-based supporters of Hizballah, Ghazi Nasr al Din and Fawzi Kan'an, along with two travel agencies owned and controlled by Kan'an. "It is extremely troubling to see the Government of Venezuela employing and providing safe harbor to Hizballah facilitators and fundraisers. We will continue to expose the global nature of Hizballah's terrorist support network, and we call on responsible governments worldwide to disrupt and dismantle this activity," said Adam J. Szubin, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ethnic hostility on the rise in Brussels

Courtesy of Islam In Action: Ethnic War in Brussels: Moroccans Attack "Whites"

This is reverse hostility and a very interesting phenomena that also occurs in the UK and France with "no go" areas:.

Just yesterday Islam in Action reported the rape of a non-Muslim girl  in Brussels, for not wearing a headscarf.   Today, Islam in Action reported that there is more Islamic hostility brewing in Brussels. 

A group of Moroccan youths rioted and attacked a group of white supporters of the football club RSC Anderlecht. The evening before the attack, a blog had called for attacks on the "white" supporters of the club, and "to burn pubs, houses and cars."  It seems that radical Mohammedans are once again causing problems with host country Kafirs.

Perhaps we should toward Europe to see if what is happening there may be coming our way.  There were the Islamic French riots of 2005 which spread to at least 30 towns and cities, once again in 2007, the Islamic Denmark riots which spread to at least 20 towns and were little reported by the media and now this. It is fair to say that a plague appears to be slowly spreading across Europe.

My questions are:

  • Can it happen here in America?
  • Will we learn from European mistakes?
  • Who is responsible for the violence?

Do you have any answers?

Link to Brussels Attack

Brussels girl raped for not wearing a veil

Courtesy of Islam In Action:

The Islamic rape epidemic in Europe continues. As a young woman of 21 years of age was attacked and raped at a train station in Brussels. She was told they were doing this because she was not wearing a veil (it was her fault).
Once again radical Mohammedans show us that they are not in our countries to assimilate. Radical Mohammedans are here to force their religion and culture on us. All great monotheistic and polytheists religions (except for Islam) have gone through reformation and enlightenment to weed out man made roadblocks.
Can some one please tell me:

  • Why we continue to allow some of the more radical fundamentalists Mohammedans into our non-Islamic countries?
  • How can we screen out the problems?
  • When will we learn how to screen them out?
  • When are the moderate Mohammedans going to say enough is enough and excommunicate those who are bringing discredit to their "peaceful" religion?
  • When will Islam go through reformation and enlightenment?

Link to article

More on the problem:
Muslim Rape Wave in Sweden

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Foreign Terrorists Have Constitutional Rights

Courtesy of

- In a major blow to the Bush administration, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right under the U.S. Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

The detainees affected by Thursday's ruling includes 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times." Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens joined Kennedy to form the majority.

In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts criticized his colleagues for striking down what he called "the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants." Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas also dissented.

Scalia said the nation is "at war with radical Islamists" and that the court's decision "will make the war harder on us. It will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed."

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) said his initial reaction is one of concern for U.S. troops on the battlefield:

If foreign enemies rounded up on the battlefield now have access to U.S. federal courts and have the same protections as American citizens under the Constitution -- "what does this say to an American solider who captures one of these terrorists on the battlefield... in terms of collecting evidence, the rights of the person that he's captured?" Hoekstra asked.

He was interviewed Thursday on Fox News, moments after the ruling came down.

The Bush administration -- faced with the problem of what to do with "enemy combatants" who wear no uniform and cannot be considered prisoners of war -- in 2002 set up a military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- putting the suspects beyond the reach of U.S. courts.

But in June 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the reach of the U.S. courts did extend to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that President Bush exceeded his authority when he ordered war crimes trials for Gitmo detainees.

Congress subsequently passed the Military Commissions Act in December 2006. The law established procedures governing the use of military commissions to try "alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the United States."

At the first military tribunal hearing -- which took place last week -- Khalid Sheik Mohammed requested a death sentence so he can become a martyr.

Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, has said he would close Guantanamo Bay, because it has projected an image around the world that is detrimental to America's reputation. "I would move those prisoners to Fort Leavenworth. And I would proceed with the tribunals," McCain told CBS News last year.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, also wants to close Guantanamo, but unlike McCain, he rejects military tribunals for the detainees:

"As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions," Obama said last summer in Washington. "Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists."

See Earlier Stories at CNSNEWS:

Republicans Accuse Democrats of 'Coddling' Terrorists (28 Sept. 2006)

Supreme Court Sides With Gitmo Detainee (29 June 2006)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Mullen Views Interagency Success in Philippines

Courtesy of Defense Link, American Forces Press Service

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines, June 1, 2008 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saw firsthand here today how the U.S. interagency fight is making progress in this island nation.

Click photo for screen-resolution image

U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, answers questions during an all-hands call with servicemembers assigned to Camp Navarro in Zamboanga, Republic of the Philippines, June 1, 2008. Mullen is on a eight day tour visiting Asian Pacific nations, their leaders and service members assigned to the region. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen met American servicemembers of the Joint Special Operations Task Force here, and saw how the U.S. Agency for International Development is helping the Philippine government battle an insurgency.

Civilian agencies of the U.S. government are important assets in the effort to combat terrorism, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Mullen both have said. They have testified before Congress on the need for more people and money for U.S. civilian agencies, saying long-term aid to at-risk nations is the answer to the question many U.S. legislators ask: “Are we creating more terrorists than we are killing?”

Stopping groups like Jemaah Islamiyah and Abu Sayyaf – both al-Qaida affiliates – from recruiting new members on this Philippine island of Mindanao is a priority of the Philippine government and the United States.

“That’s the path in a place like this,” Mullen said during an all-hands call here. “What has become very evident to me as it should be to you here is security is a necessary condition, but security is not going to get you across home plate. You’ve got to be able to create an economic underpinning.

You’ve got to have good governance. You’ve got to have the rule of law -- all these things that start to sustain themselves.”

U.S. civilian aid to the people of Mindanao dwarfs the military funds. USAID spends $50 million to $60 million a year in the Philippines, with 60 percent coming to this impoverished area. U.S. military aid is pegged at roughly $5 million to $6 million a year.

USAID works with Philippine national and local leaders to develop projects that benefit all the people. The agency has financed digging wells, building roads, rebuilding bridges and constructing schools. “We work closely with the joint task force here,” Jon Lindborg, USAID’s mission director in the Philippines, said in an interview. “We’re able to leverage our money to the best uses.”

The agency is financing improvements to the airports at Tawi-Tawi and in Jolo – both of which also benefit the Philippine armed forces.

USAID works with the joint task force in scheduling medical, dental and veterinary exercises that provide health care to thousands of people. They also work with Navy Seabees who deploy to the islands to build schools and medical clinics. The agency also acts as a bridge for nongovernmental organizations that, for whatever reason, don’t want to work directly with the military.

But USAID is stretched. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the United States took a “peace dividend,” Mullen said. While the U.S. military was cut 35 to 40 percent, civilian agencies also were slashed. USAID went from 15,000 employees worldwide to 4,000.

“The U.S. government is not set up for the wars of the 21st century,” Mullen said. “It doesn’t reflect the expeditionary world we’re living in. We haven’t recruited, hired, promoted, trained, educated the people in our civilian agencies for the kind of expeditionary requirements and rotations that we are actually doing right now.”

Both Gates and Mullen have testified that the State Department needs 1,000 more employees and $1 billion more in budget.

USAID, State Department programs that help nations build governance and security assistance to help nations build military capabilities are crucial to the fight in the Philippines and go together in many other poorer nations that face the same problems. The civilian departments need to grow; they need more people, and those people need to deploy at a moment’s notice, Mullen said.

“Until we can do that, the military will pick up the slack, because we can,” Mullen said.

The capability to help nations build good governance is not a core mission for the Defense Department, but it is something the State Department can and does do. Building infrastructure is a mission USAID has done since it started in 1961. Legal attaches from the Justice Department have the expertise to help countries establish the rule of law. The Agriculture Department can help farmers be more bountiful and develop new crops.

Officials at the military joint task force and the U.S. embassy would like to see the group get commanders’ emergency relief program funds.

“We had an incident where Abu Sayyaf burned down homes in central Mindanao, Lee McClenny, the U.S. Embassy spokesman in Manila, said. “If we’d had CERP funds, we could have helped rebuild those houses and made a huge statement against the terrorists.”

Mullen listened to the words of the civilian and military leaders on the ground – “where the rubber meets the road,” he said -- and promised to take their concerns back to Washington.

“The days where a single service, a single department, a single anything can make things happen are behind us,” Mullen said. “It’s got to be integrated, and it’s got to be all of us doing this together.”

Adm. Mike Mullen

Related Sites:
U.S. Agency for International Development
Special Report: Travels With Mullen
Photo Essay: Mullen Visits the Philippines

Related Articles:
Mullen Visits U.S. Forces Helping Philippine Military Defeat Insurgents

Marines Launch New Attack in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province

Courtesy of Defense Link:  American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2008 – Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit from Camp Lejeune, N.C., and British forces of Task Force Helmand launched a new operation in the southern portion of Afghanistan’s Helmand province today.
British forces pushed south from one of their forward operating bases to secure routes west of the Marine positions. Marines then used the newly secured British position to push into new areas of the province’s Garmsir district previously held by insurgents.
In the weeks since Marines started operations in southern Helmand, officials said, they have encountered disorganized resistance in more than 100 engagements with insurgents.
The 2,400-strong Marine unit is securing routes through the district to enable the expansion of the Afghanistan government.

In other Afghanistan operations, Afghan forces attacked several enemy extremists May 29 in Helmand’s Nahre-e Saraj district. Extremists attacked the force’s patrol with small-arms fire, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades from fortified positions. Forces called in air strikes to eliminate the enemy. Forces later found and destroyed a cache of weapons and ammunition at the site. No Afghans or U.S. forces were killed in the attacks.
Two militants were detained yesterday by coalition forces in Ghazni province. Forces searched compounds in the Andar district, targeting a militant leader who allegedly has been a facilitator for foreign fighters and has conducted bomb attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.
(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 101 news releases.)

Related Sites:
Combined Joint Task Force 101
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit
NATO International Security Assistance Force