Saddam Dead

A glass of wine has been lifted and the job continues……


Real men and the Martini

Why is a Martini a man’s drink? It’s not because it’s sophisticated, it’s not because James Bond likes his shaken and not stirred. It is also not because too many places wish to charge and arm and a leg for one. The Martini is a man’s drink because it’s simple and straight forward. No fancy umbrella’s, no pretty colors (common BS drink of the week martini’s don’t count as martini’s at all) just a simple straight Gin or Vodka with maybe a little vermouth and a bit dirty. It’s strong enough to make women wince and pretty boys pass for a sweetened wine cooler.Whether drinking from a chilled Martini glass or a plastic cup (yes, I’ve had both) it’s a drink of men who can converse about world events (knowledgably or not) or football scores.

Now it’s not that a good Weise Beer isn’t a man’s drink, it’s just an alternative.

If you cant get a good Martini a solid Scotch will do.

BTW don’t worry about price, snobs and dumb-asses look for the most expensive. Good is in your personal taste and a real man has no problem drinking an inexpensive liquor if it taste good.

Just some thoughts late at night…….


I was re-reading Kenneth Timmerman’s “Preachers of hate” and found this paragraph.

“Peace is made not between friends, but between enemies. Rare are the examples in the history of the world when peace has come through treaty alone, imposed by outside powers, or agreed upon by mutual accord. War without a victor and a vanquished is still war. As the twelve years of hostilities that followed the first Gulf War in 1991 show. The type of lasting peace America has known with Germany and Japan since the need of World War II, and arguably with Russia since the end of the cold war, comes when one side wins so decisively that it can dictate the terms of the peace and treat the vanquished with generosity. Yet every time Israel has defeated Arab armies on the battlefield, Europe and America have rushed in to guarantee that the Arabs will rise to fight again. It is time to reconsider such policies.”

It’s hard to say it clearer than that.

Language training and translators

One issue I’ve seen brought up time and again inside the military and out is the problem of language qualified personnel. It became quickly apparent that we didn’t have many who could speak fluent Arabic, Pashto, Dari or many other Middle Eastern languages. In Special Forces the mantra is that we all have at least two languages. But that’s not entirely true. Yes, we all are assigned a language during the Special Forces Qualification Course but the passing grade has been so low that you’re barely functional in that language when the course is complete.

It’s not for lack of students trying or teachers not teaching. You simply can’t learn a foreign language overnight. Traditionally the course at Ft. Bragg has been 4 – 6 months of language training and it’s a good start. DLI (Defense Language Institute) courses usually run a year or more. We call that the real language course.

At the end of the DLI course you’re pretty capable of translating and working in another language while all other courses I’ve seen are only a start.

The SF language training if fine as long as you continue the training later on (each group runs a command language program) and spend some time in the native environment to hear the language in its natural form. Over many years you may reach a level you can communicate effectively.

The Army has added the “Rosette Stone” online at the Army Knowledge Online (AKO) web site but it’s only online. You can’t download it so you must have an internet connection. This helps but is not the complete answer.

If you’re lucky enough to get stationed in the country of your target language you have a real advantage and will learn much faster.

Now mix that with the fact that you never completely know what area you’re going to be fighting in. How do you decide how many Arabic courses to run, how many Indonesian courses or Korean. It’s a constant battle.

So when you hear politician or Military leaders say they will or we need to train up more language speakers for any particular event, take it with a grain of salt. It really can’t be done quickly and generally doesn’t happen at all. In the mean time we will continue to rely on many local translators to get the job done.

What is important is that those translators close to the top levels of planning and operations need to be completely vetted and preferable US or NATO Citizens.


US forces claim to have killed Ahkatar Osami a Taliban leader close to Bin Laden and Mullah Omar. A Taliban spokesman says no that’s not who you got it was a guy named Zahir. See the thing is it’s not really important who was killed. Taking the offensive and making the Taliban confirm or deny may be an objective in itself.

I strategy that I would not have a problem using would be to claim will killed or captured various Taliban / Al-Qaeda leaders every week or so and as their spokesman stick their heads up…well follow the trail.

We have for to long let the Jihadist control the information and propaganda. That is the only area we are completely failing.

So while I hope we really did kill Osami, he’s not the ultimate goal and keeping Al-Qaeda and the Taliban scurrying to keep up with us should be the strategy.,2933,238483,00.html,2145,12215_pg_1,00.html

“Choosing Victory”

The American Enterprise Institute has put out their version of an Iraq study. This one is a hell of a lot different than that appeasement paper Baker and Hamilton worked on. It’s titled “Choosing Victory”.

This one by Fredrick Kagan and Retired Gen. Jack Keane actually has a plan in it. Read and decide for yourself.  The word is President Bush has this plan in hand and hopefully has the ISG report in file 13.

This report which is considerably smaller, concise and to the point. It is not riddled with platitudes or political double talk.

Winters day

Today I awoke to the sounds of wind blowing my fence down.  Ok, it’s not down yet but where it attaches to our neighbors fence his post is broken, and the wind is pulling on both sides.  The picture is outside our kitchen window.  I felt for the poor bird trying to stay out of the wind. 

It seems interstate 25 from the New Mexico border to Denver is closed.  As I look out my window it doesn’t seem that bad to me.  I won’t be out driving though.  Not because the weather bothers me but the drivers here I have no faith in.  Anyway it’s a winters day and that’s a good thing. 😉  

Cold bird


My son said I had to add this picture to this post.  It’s his Control Tower.  Yes, it’s been a nice slow day..

control tower