Ok some good news. According to Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive.net the charges against CPT Staffel and MSG Anderson have been dropped. This issue is real close to me as an SF soldier but the fact that it went this far is very disconcerting.
Archive for September, 2007
You may have noticed I havent posted much in the last week. Well the two week prior I was on leave and able to access a computer and more importantly news more often. So since I’m back to work things have slowed down here again.
Will try to post something more significant this weekend though.
Official description: In Arizona in the late 1800’s, infamous outlaw Ben Wade (Crowe) and his vicious gang of thieves and murderers have plagued the Southern Railroad. When Wade is captured, Civil War veteran Dan Evans (Bale), struggling to survive on his drought-plagued ranch, volunteers to deliver him alive to the “3:10 to Yuma”, a train that will take the killer to trial. On the trail, Evans and Wade, each from very different worlds, begin to earn each other’s respect. But with Wade’s outfit on their trail – and dangers at every turn – the mission soon becomes a violent, impossible journey toward each man’s destiny.
I just returned from watching 3:10 to Yuma. Before I wrote anything I wanted to check out some online reviews and see if what I saw was reflected in the reviews of others. What I found was reviews by normal people (not critics) were almost all favorable and those by the enlightened were not. So what this tells me is that it’s a damn fine movie. One reviewer I read stated that “this movie tried resurrecting a genre that should be left dead. Humm. That kind of review would any western get from this asswipe.
I loved the original with Glen Ford but then I was a Glen Ford fan anyway. This new version has many of the traits of the original and followed the same basic storyline. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are great as always. It’s not a simple good guy bad guy film yet retains some of the basic western themes.
I enjoyed the film and recommend it easily. But if you don’t like westerns don’t see it. It’s not a modern take on the old western. It’s a normal western which is damn good to see.
I won’t comment much on this subject at this time. But follow the links to find out more and voice your opinion where it will do the most good.
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina: From his position about 100 yards away, Master Sergeant Troy Anderson had a clear shot at the Afghan man standing outside a residential compound in a village near the Pakistan border last October. When Captain Dave Staffel, the Special Forces officer in charge, gave the order to shoot, Anderson fired a bullet into the man’s head, killing him.
In June, Staffel and Anderson were charged with premeditated murder. On Tuesday, in a rare public examination of the rules that govern the actions of Special Operations troops in Afghanistan, a military hearing will convene at Fort Bragg to weigh the evidence against the two men, both Green Berets.
The case revolves around differing interpretations of the kind of force that the Special Forces team that hunted and killed the man, Nawab Buntangyar, were allowed to use once they found him, apparently unarmed.
To the Special Forces soldiers and their 12-man detachment, the shooting, near the village of Ster Kalay, was a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. They said those rules allowed the killing of Buntangyar, whom the American Special Operations Command here has called an “enemy combatant.”
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So Bin Laden has an audio message the supports the rebellion against Pakistani President Musharraf. It’s not really a surprise but is interesting in that once again the audio is accompanied by old video footage.
Bin Laden’s voice was heard over video showing previously released footage of the terror leader. U.S. officials said the audio was being analyzed but noted there had never been a “fake” bin Laden or Zawahiri tape.
Really? So the fact that previous tapes have been altered would not fall into this category?
Not saying this is fake, just wondering why the US would be so quick to confirm enemy propaganda. Just saying.
Meanwhile a vigil is held every year near a small cave in Tora Bora…ok I made that up.. maybe…
“Do you think those Green Beret Karate tricks are going to help you against all these boys”?
Well Hell yes…..
Just needed that.
It seems every decade the new martial arts trend sets in. Right now it’s MMA (mixed martial arts) and Brazilian Jujitsu. Now I claim no expertise in any of these. Nope the only belt I wear is black though. But it tends to be leather and used to hold my pants up or carry my knife.
The Army has embraced the Brazilian form. With the Modern Army Combatives (MAC) the army has taken sides. Well for a while anyway. The logic is the Army needed something effective in building the “Warrior Ethos” while not hurting soldiers. In the past many attempts to incorporate Hand to Hand combat of some sort has been tried. The results often were many sprains and broken bones the put soldiers out of training for weeks at a time. This in turn made commanders very leery of having any type of hand to hand training. The “Modern Army Combatives” seems to have brought back hand to hand yet reduced the injuries. The question is, is it really effective for combat?
I almost hate to write on this subject since I’m pleased to see the Army including a form of hand to hand regardless of the style.
So my personal opinion is that MAC is limited. While many good usable skills are taught, for the no “shit I’m gonna die” fighting I would not rely too heavily on the “lets go to the ground” mentality.
Often MMA skills get incorporated into the program as many of the instructors tend to migrate to this in their off time or the hired instructors are MMA fighters’ full time. This is great and these guys are good. But good at what they do which is fight in a sport with rules. Granted MMA today is about as close as you can get in a sport and be real but it still has rules that take away from what a combat soldier would use. (Note some MMA and Combatives fighters are good street fighters also. This is not about individuals and how they use the skills they develop)
If your first line of attack isn’t designed to cripple, maim, blind or kill your opponent it’s just a sport.
So not long ago our team had some time with an MAC instructor or detaining a person of questionable loyalties. The technique used was to take the individual to the ground where you’d maneuver him to his stomach and zip-tie him. Would it work in real life? Well with 40 + lbs of body armor and everything from your rifle to grenades hanging off us we doubted it. So with our own instructor ( another team guy who possesses many skills in this area) we did another session that was more Neanderthal like and seemed to work much better. Simple large muscle group techniques with assertiveness and the person in question had little choice in what he was going to do.
I’ve worked with a couple of people over the years that got it. Their styles had nothing to do with tradition or hyping a sport but eliminating the threat as soon as possible and moving on. Sadly not many real MA instructors qualify in this.
But hey the Army is getting closer.
I know. Why am I writing about Britney? Well a couple of reasons. Britney is a great example of the viciousness of the entertainment business and the public.
I watched her performance on clips since I sure as hell don’t watch the MTV music awards since MTV doesn’t play music anymore. The criticism that Britney was out of shape is unbelievable. Ok she wasn’t 90 lbs but a little meat on the bones is a good thing. She would be a very beautiful woman if it weren’t her self destructive nature.
I’ve never liked Britney much. She is moderately talented and the maturity of a twelve year old. This is not completely her fault. Her handlers have built a money machine from publicity and would lose too much if she were to grow up, learn her craft and become a solid performer instead of a media billboard. The same people that created this disaster are now tearing her apart.
How did 9/11 affect you? Did 9/11 change the way you look at the world or did it just reaffirm already held beliefs? For me 9/11 had real affects. I’ve been deployed and prepare to deploy again. I’ve spend more time away from my family than I want. In some ways my life feels like its on hold till the world wakes up and realizes the enemy we face. I thought I saw a bit of the America I love come out but it was short lived and my belief in the American people and especially the liberal left has plummeted. Yet I still live and work with those that know the enemy and believe in America. They will sacrifice their lives, families, and time while the sheep give up and kneel before a movement bent on our destruction and enslavement. American politics has become evermore disgusting. Every event used for purely political gains from both major parties. I am angry and my anger points in two directions not one as it should.
What has changed in America? Have we become a better nation? I don’t’ think so. Political radicals have taken hold especially on the left and serious conversations about this nation’s future seem impossible. This is a shame. While there are clear thinking individuals out there they don’t seem to have the influence of the radicals. One would have thought that after 9/11 the country would unite against a common enemy. The threat that the evidence shows is out there doesn’t seem real to many. To the radicals the enemy is America itself. To those fighting the real enemies it’s all too real and the fact that most of the United States population appears blind to them is disheartening.
“I’m sorry” seems to be the most common response I hear when people find out I’m deploying. I’m sorry also but not because I’m going but because too many left behind don’t want me (us) to win against terror, destructive ideologies and tyrants. What have we come to as a nation? The masses don’t seem to understand that if we don’t’ fight every single time we are challenged the potential to lose our very freedoms comes closer. I don’t want to see the day we finally say, “Ok let’s roll” only to find no one left with the ability to fight.
Do we have the will and desire to continue with an America based on the founding fathers and the principles of freedom and liberty? I wonder. Can we somehow convince honest men and women to run for office with the desire necessary to continue this nation’s heritage? Would you want to run in this climate? Do you have to sell your soul to get elected?
One might conclude from this post that I have little hope in America and the War on Terror and the war in Iraq. That’s not the case but I’m losing patients with my fellow countrymen who are set on destroying our own land for their limited goals. If they were to succeed do they think they would be safe? Jihadist wouldn’t be the only ones to worry about.
Iran: Iran as you may have noticed in previous posts is on my shit list. Hey they’ve been there a long time. So reading lately that the US has a plan to take out the Iranian military and or their nuclear program doesn’t bother me much. The fact that this information has surfaced does. If it were true would the administration really let it slip? So, I’m forced to wonder if it’s true, if it’s a trial balloon to gage reaction or just speculation.
More reports this weekend indicate that the US may step up the pressure on Iran after September 11th. The problem is that when you decide to take action do it, don’t talk about it, don’t wonder about it and don’t have surrogates suggest it to see how it flies. Just do it.
Iraq: With GEN. Patreaus about to report to Congress on the progress of the surge and the Iraqi government the left has gone on the attack. The problem is they don’t know which way to jump. If they knock the GEN too much and his report isn’t glowing they will look silly (as usual), but if they don’t start now and his report is generally upbeat they will be behind the curve. That’s something the left hates to be.
Is the surge a success? Well I suppose that will depend on your expectations going into this campaign. If anyone thought in a few months everything would be rosy, they were deceiving themselves. The current battle we are in is not one of weeks but years.
It appears to me that Al-Qaeda in Iraq is it’s own worst enemy. It’s hard to get the population on your side when you continually kill them. In a zeal to keep momentum AQ has stirred up chaos but it’s turning on them not the US. We’ll see how it goes in a the upcoming months.
Venessa: On a less serious note. Seems teen star Venessa Hudgens had some nude photo’s taken of her at some point. Now here career at least with Disney in jeopardy. Frankly the shame should be on those that take advantage of a young women just being normal. It’s one thing to make a porn then try to deny it while completely another to take some pictures with your boy friend and have them used against you. The thing that angers me is that it’s so damn hard to find those images….. Just kidding.
GI Joe: Ok. Maybe of you have already heard that a GI Joe movie is in the works and of course GI Joe won’t represent a US Soldier but rather an international group that fights terror. This should not be a surprise since that has been the GI line for quiet a few years now. Do I like it? Hell no. Joe is a “Real American “hero”, not some international commando group. I stopped buying GI Joe stuff long ago but I do have a young son and he loves anything militaristic. I have found the new GI Joe team in his box of toys. What to do? I guess that’s better than transformers which I don’t understand at all.