Archive for January, 2008

Bush another look

January 30, 2008

The Anchoress has a good post on President Bush.  I’ve stated here numerous times that we got in Bush exactly what he claimed to be.  He was never a hard right conservative.  But he has held is positions pretty firmly right or wrong.  That’s a hell of a lot more than I can say about most politicians.  In the fights with congress has quiet often won.

What does the BBC mean?

January 28, 2008

I read this article today but the last sentence had me a little confused.  The article was “Iraq moves against Mosul Al-Qaeda”. 

The ethnically mixed city of Mosul has seen an upsurge in violence in the past year.

Correspondents say the increased violence appears to be a consequence of the offensive by US-led forces in and around Baghdad, with Sunni Arab insurgents believed to have transferred their operations further north.

The BBC’s Jonny Dymond in Baghdad says that, all of a sudden, the largest and most divided city in the north appears to be on the edge.

Now on the edge of what I wonder.  Is it on the edge of distruction or a new beginning?  Hard to say from this line.  But I’m pretty sure what the reporter meant.  Another thing, is ethnically mixed a good thing or bad.  I mean normally that’s good but I suppose it can be bad in this context.  It doesn’t seem real clear though.  Just wondering out loud.

Gear post: the M-4 sling

January 25, 2008

So after a couple of tours to hostile areas and a pretty long time doing this type of work I’ve found the M-4 sling I will stick with.  While I’m not a gear nut and don’t change equipment every time a new piece of equipment comes out I have tried a few items.  One item a number of us have worked around is the weapons sling.  With the amount of equipment we now wear and the type of operations we are now on (MOUT/CQB) I’ve tried a few different slings.

For a long while I was using a tactical sling that had a sliding grommet.  It worked but was pretty tight and just didn’t give me the flexibility I needed.  So I asked around for a couple others.  One sling I pulled out of the bag and after about 15 minutes of looking at it, holding it and trying my best to figure out how to put it on my M-4 I just threw it away.  I mean if it’s this complicated to attach it’s too complicated to use. Then I played with a single point sling.  It hung down so low when I needed to do ground work (like zip tying someone) that my barrel scraped the dirt.  That’s not a good thing.

So what am I left with?  Well you know it’s the basic black issued sling.  No shit.  It works the best for me and gets tangled less than any “tactical” rig I’ve tried.

Remember folks, just because it’s new and improved doesn’t mean it’s well new or improved.  And sometimes the issue stuff really does work.  Don’t be too quick to buy the latest “cool guy”  item friends often the tried and true is the best.

Of course there are some days I’d love to go back to the LBE and Butt pack.

Traumatic Brain Injury, the new PTSD

January 23, 2008

One of the hottest topics in military medical circles anyway is PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) and the newer TBI (Traumatic brain injury).  It is my current and long held believe that PTSD is way overblown and mostly BS.  Yes I know this doesn’t sit well with the convention attending lobbyist groups.  But most of what I’ve seen and read about with both of these disorders has been from rear echelon cry babies that claim traumatic experiences from well behind fortified FOBs.  PTSD was the disability scam of the past, now TBI seems to be the catch all for those looking for an easy retirement.  Now I’m not talking about those that have actually had no shit physical injuries but I’m reading about people that have no signs of anything.  People that were sitting in lets say an FOB post office while somewhere rockets were coming in.  Yet somehow have fallen ill to yet another undetectable illness that may be the ticket to indefinite benefits.

Now you may think me a heartless bastard.  Ok, hell I don’t really mind the label.  I watched as soldiers returning from Afghanistan claim to have had nightmares from their experience there.  The only problem was most of these people never left the F******g FOB (Forward Operating Base).

You know what the primary symptom is?  Trouble sleeping.   Well hell, sign me up.  I’ve had trouble sleeping since I joined the Army.  Maybe I can get some money, more free schooling and who knows how much attention.

Reports say the as many as 17% of returning vets have TBI.  Many don’t know it.  I’m sure when they see the benefits of having it that percentage will rise and not one politician will question this as they will be seen as cruel and not supporting the troops.

Look I’m all for good military medical care.  I’m in the military?  But damn it we have too many soldiers with real injuries and real pain that find themselves with less popular problems and a hell of a lot less disability payments.

This issue only reinforces my belief that there are only a hand full of trigger puller combat soldiers and lot of “others”.

Freds out, now what?

January 23, 2008

With Fred Thompson leaving the presidential race who’s left to vote for.  Well for me it’s probably more of who to vote against.  Both the republican and democratic party have left us with shitty choices once again.  I suppose for me it won’t be who I’ll vote for but against.

When President Bush initially ran I was hesitant.  He just didn’t seem like a conservative.  Well his time in office pretty much confirmed those suspicions.  Fiscally he has not lived up to what I’d hoped for.  Bigger government is not the answer to any of our problems.  But he did stand firm on his positions and I respect that.

Iraq may have had it’s strategic and tactical errors but the cause, the possibilities are still there and worth fighting for.  The country and the people themselves?  A question for later.

As I look at the current crop of candidates I don’t see much the encourages me.  But then when was the last time I really did see that in a politician.  Reagan maybe?  That was a very long time ago now.

Oh well…..

Housing crises

January 18, 2008

Hey sorry for the laps in posting.  Sometimes you just feel tired all the time.  Like right now.  It’s 12:10am and I’m just getting in.  This isn’t unusual.  But it’s real hard to research subjects and make a reasonable comment when you eye lids keep closing on ya.  Oh plus our connection was down for a number of days.  I’m not sure that was a bad thing.

So here with little or no thought are some comments on something I read like 2 minutes ago.

Housing crises:  Don’t ask me to bail out any stupid MF that bought a house he couldn’t afford.  Damn sure don’t ask me to bail out a bank that loaned some stupid MF more money that he could possible pay back.  Nope lose your ass and learn a lesson.  Always worked for me.

How’s that for thoughtful analysis and commentary?????

Ricky Van Shelton

January 8, 2008

Hey what happened to Ricky Van Shelton?  I mean he had one of the smoothest voices in country music and just faded away.  Well listening to him now and just wondering.

What to post? Huckabuck / Romney? Obama / Hillary?

January 6, 2008

This season is the toughest time for me to blog. That is the political season. Politics so dominates the news that real events aren’t being covered. Its one thing if the political candidates actual records and stated positions were covered but instead we get pot shots and sound bites that don’t really make much since or help in the election process.

I don’t want to comment much on the political scene. Hell only one person out there right now I’d vote for anyway.

So I with the little time I have (very little) I look through various news sources, blogs and tips from others to find something of interest to me. Generally I’m disappointed.

Being active and deployed limits my ability to write about Iraq except in a very general way. This is not out of fear of military retribution but rather a desire not to let something important slip to the enemy. Simple as that seems it’s easy to let something useful out.

So that leaves me Obama / Hillary or Huckabuck and Romney. Well sorry folks I have nothing to say about them.

So the war goes on here in Iraq. Progress is made in spite of the most inefficient, micromanaged, bureaucratic, politically correct BS one can imagine. Somehow through all this bad guys are still captured and killed. All the while military lawyers oversea every operation and command by proxy. What a way to fight a war.