February 23, 2008

On This Date

In 1945, US Marines raised the Flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima.

Twice, actually.

The first flag was raised about 4 hours before the second, more famous, flag-raising.
Marine Corps photographer Sergeant Lou Lowery captured this first flag-raising on film just as the enemy hurled a grenade in his direction.

Dodging the grenade, Lowery hurled his body over the edge of the crater and tumbled 50 feet. His camera lens was sha
ttered, but he and his film were safe.

The 1st Flag-Raisers:
1st Lt Harold Schrier, Sgt Ernest Thomas, Sgt Hank Hansen, PFC Louis Charlo, PFC James Michaels, Raymond Jacobs, and Cpl Charles W. Lindberg (the last surviving member of all 12 men. Update: Cpl Lindberg died June 24, 2007)

Both flags are seen in this photo.

The original flag (foreground) is being taken down as the second flag is raised.

The 2nd Flag-raising, photographed by Joe Rosenthal (the famous picture) was carried out by:
Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, Michael Strank, John Bradley, Rene Gagnon, Harlon Block

(Strank, Bloch, and Sousley were killed in the continued fighting on Iwo Jima)

February 17, 2008

Not Forgotten: Col William R Higgins

February 17, 2008 will be 20 years since Colonel William R. Higgins last breathed free.

"February 17, 1988, USMC Lt Colonel William "Rich' Higgins, Commander of UN Group Lebanon, peace-keepers, was captured by Hezbollah extremists.

He was not considered to
be a Prisoner of War. A year and a half after being taken, images of Col. Higgins' hanged body were seen on television. During those 18 months of captivity, Col. Higgins was 'interrogated' and tortured.

He was still not considered to be a Prisoner of War.
Two years later, December 1991, Col. Higgins' remains were dumped on a Beirut Street. Even after burial at the National Veteran's Cemetery at Quantico, Col. Higgins was not considered to have been a Prisoner of War."


Because Colonel Higgins' country always considered him a "hostage" and never a "prisoner of war," there were never any demands of international rules of treatment, no Red Cross visits, no insistence on medical care or humane treatment, no POW medal to signify what he endured.

The State Department, not the Defense Department, had the lead. That meant diplomacy, not military might. It meant no retribution, no retaliation, no rescue.

That had to do with the perceived political sensitivities of civilians being held at the same time, but let's not ever forget we owe a special debt to those who go into harm's way because of their unique bond to this country.

Whenever and wherever we commit American service members, we must acknowledge they will be subject to those who would harm them, whether in combat or terrorist acts.

UPDATE from LtCol Robin Higgins - USMC Retired:
After over 10 years of fighting with our govt on this, I have finally received a POW Medal for Rich. Of course, the Secretary of the Navy was quick to point out that this does not change his "official status" as a detainee or hostage or whatever. Supposedly that takes an Ac
t of Congress -- really. But you know what an American will do for a piece of ribbon. Now I can finally get Rich's medals mounted.

Rest in Pea
ce, Marine

February 15, 2008

Justice At Last

Imad Mughniyeh, the deputy head of Hezbollah is dead, killed by a car bomb.

May Imad Mughniyeh's victims rest in peace at last:

63 people, including 17 Americans killed in the US Embassy car bombing, Beirut, 1983;

241 US servicemen, including 220 Marines, killed in their barracks by a truck bomb, Beirut 1983;

58 French Army paratroopers killed in a simultaneous bombing;

24 people killed outside the US Embassy annex, Beirut, 1984;

US CIA Station Chief William Buckley, abducted tortured and murdered, Lebanon, 1985;

US Navy diver Robert Stethem,
murdered aboard hijacked TWA flight #847, 1985;

USMC Col William "Rich" Higgins,
abducted, tortured and
murdered in Lebanon, 1988;

29 people killed in the bombing of the ISraeli embassy in Buenos Aires, 1992;

85 people killed in the bombing of a Jewsih community center in Buenos Aires, 1994;

19 US servicemen killed in the Khobar Towers bombing, Saudi Arabia, 1996

February 08, 2008

UPDATE: Battleground Berkeley II

It's True.
does talk.

Berkeley Backs Off on Banning Marines
As six Republican senators devised a plan to yank $2.3 million in federal funding for Berkeley programs (the Semper Fi Act of 2008), the mayor of the famously liberal city apologized Wednesday for his hard stance against a Marine recruiting center.

... At their Tuesday council meeting, leaders will discuss scrapping a letter that might be perceived as targeting the center or the Marines. The letter said that the recruiting center was not welcome on Shattuck Avenue and that the Marines were uninvited and unwelcome intruders.

So, before the $2 million was in jeopardy, it was appropriate to call the US Marines 'intruders'?

... Bates said the city didn't mean to offend anyone in the armed forces and the focus should have been on the war not the troops.

"There's really no correlation between federal funds for schools, water ferries and police communications systems and the council's actions, for God's sake," said Bates, a retired U.S. Army captain (and major ass). "We apologize for any offense to any families of anyone
who may serve in Iraq. We want them to come home and be safe at home."

...The Republican plan would give the funds, intended for a school lunch program, UC
Berkeley and ferry service, to the Marines instead.

"Patriotic American taxpayers won't sit quietly while Berkeley insults our brave Marines," said one of the senators.

...Last week the council passed resolutions giving CodePink a place to park out front (of the recruiting office). Some have said that meant the city giving was giving the group a place to continuously protest the Marines.

"What they have done in Berkeley is they have set aside a parking spot and in my opinion a public right of way, a public transportation corridor, specifically for a private organization -- in this case CodePink -- to harass and annoy the United
States Marine Corps and their recruiting efforts. We think that playing around and having an agenda with the public right of way is subject to ramifications. There is $2.3 million in proposition 1B transportation dollars. We think that should be in jeopardy."

"I was under the impression that we have the right of free speech," said Xanne Joi of Code Pink. "To me, I thought free speech meant you get to say what you want without recrimination."

Well, Xanne, that applies to everyone, including
the Marines and their
supporters, not just CodePink-o.

Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak extended an olive branch to the Marines. He went to breakfast with a recruiter Thursday morning. "Berkeley is supposed to celebrate diversity and free speech and we welcome homeless people here. We welcome illegal immigrants. We give them sanctuary. We should welcome the Marines. I mean they're basically dedicating their lives to protect their country."

The city of Berkeley 'celebrates free speech' -unless you support the military; 'welcomes homeless people and illegal immigrants' - but the not the U.S. Marines.
Ann Cooper with the Berkeley Unified School District wants both sides to play nice. "Senators sitting 3,000 miles away are trying to take food away from the children of Berkeley," said Cooper. "Why? Because the Marines and the city aren't playing nice -- and that's just not OK."

Oh yeah, $243,000 for the Chez Panisse restaurant to provide gourmet organic school lunches - featuring such dishes as
Comté cheese soufflé with mâche salad, Meyer lemon éclairs with huckleberry coulis, and Chicory salad with creamy anchovy vinaigrette and olive toast, to the Berkeley School District.

And don't forget the $975,000 for the Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service at the University of CA-Berkeley because, god knows the papers of Congressman Robert Matsui need cataloging.

I have a better idea for that money - scholarships for the children of Marines.

Hey, Ann, why don't you residents of Berkeley elect some new, non-Moonbat council members who will 'play nice'?
“This is a free country. The city of Berkeley can do what it wants to do,” Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., told Newsmax correspondent Kenneth R. Timmerman in a conference call with conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation.
“Just don’t have the rest of the country subsidize them.”

BTW, would you believe the city of Berkeley has a "PEACE & JUSTICE COMMISSION"?    Barking Moonbats

February 04, 2008

UPDATE: Battleground Berkeley

There is at least one good man left in Washington.

US Senator Jim DeMint, R-SC, says the City of Berkeley no longer deserves federal money.

DeMint was angry after the Berkeley City Council voted to tell the U.S. Marine Corps to remove its recruiting station from the city's downtown.
"This is a slap in the face to all brave service men and women and their families. The First Amendment gives the City of Berkeley the right to be idiotic, but from now on they should do it with their own money."
"If the city can’t show respect for the Marines that have fought, bled and died for their freedom, Berkeley should not be receiving special taxpayer-funded handouts."
The latest from Senator DeMint's website:

Berkeley, California is probably a very nice place to live, but the recent action of their City Council has consequences. To spit in the eyes of the United States Marine Corps will not stand. We shouldn’t allow cities to play silly games at our troops’ expense — during a time of war — and continue to shower them with special taxpayer handouts.

That is why I will propose legislation rescinding Berkeley’s earmarks and transferring the funds to the Marine Corps.

Over $2 million was secretly tucked away for Berkeley earmarks in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill. These were projects that were never even voted on or debated. Two of the earmarks provide gourmet school lunches in the Berkeley School District, while our hard working Marines eat basic MRE’s."

The irony is the Marines are glad to do it and that is why most Americans are so proud of them.

DeMint's office provided a preliminary list of items that would be subject to his proposal:

— $975,000 for the University of California at Berkeley, for the Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service, which may include establishing an endowment, and for cataloguing the papers of Congressman Robert Matsui.
— $750,000 for the Berkeley/Albana ferry service.
— $243,000 for the Chez Panisse Foundation, for a school lunch initiative to integrate lessons about wellness, sustainability and nutrition into the academic curriculum.
— $94,000 for a Berkeley public safety interoperability program.
— $87,000 for the Berkeley Unified School District, nutrition education program.


A week after the Berkeley City Council voted to un-welcome the US Marines to their city; after giving CodePink-o a primo parking spot directly in front of the recruiting office and a sound permit (for a bullhorn) for every Wednesday; after hundreds of emails, and the closing/or crash of the city website due to hundreds/thousands of emails; after a US Senator proposed re-allocating federal funds, some of the City Council members have rethought their vote.

Some council members said the original
proposals "inadvertantly insulted veterans and those currently serving in the military".
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates (former Army Captain and major dipshit asswad):

"I believe in the Code Pink cause. The Marines don't belong here, they shouldn't have come here, and they should leave. Marines are the President's own gangsters. They are trained killers." - January 29th, after the votes.
"A lot of people think we're anti-Marine, but there's a difference between the warriors and the war. This is an attempt to clarify that."- February 4th, after the uproar.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
–John Stewart Mill–

Happy Birthday, USO!

United Services Organization - a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform - is 67 years young today.

Thank you, to the volunteers, donors, and entertainers
who support the USO
and our men and women in uniform!