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Journal: Memorial Day 2005

Journal by stevew

I haven't posted in this journal for around a year. It's memorial day 2005 and that effects me quite emotionally. I've seen a couple of poignant reports on ABC. The first was about a small town in Vermont that has sent a large number of their sons/dads/daughters to Iraq through their commitment to the National Guard. They are representative of the 0.5 percent of our population that steps forward to stand on that wall and protect our freedoms. They leave loved ones, jobs, and daily responsibilities to do their part in what their nation has decided is it's proper course.

You can disagree with whether we should be in Iraq, whether Mr. Bush has been a wise leader, or any other such doubts - but PLEASE don't dishonor these brave people who are willing to give their lives in defense of the rest of us. They are merely going where they have been told to by their Commander and Chief.

These people ARE dying for you. Do you understand what that means? They aren't just signing up anymore for a better college education or some way to get a few more dollars in their paycheck at the end of the month. They are honoring the other side of that coin, i.e. leaving home and hearth to go where they have been told and do their assigned duties. Are you willing to do this? Every day we loose 2 to 3 of these brave souls. They no this yet they continue on. They aren't running away from their commitment, but rather shouldering it with determination and celebrating the idea that is America!

At the same time these are the same people you see all around you, they are citizen soldiers. They are the guy pumping gas, or the gal serving you breakfast, or a member of the local volunteer fire department, or sales clerk, or the teacher, or the... Yeah - just about anyone. Yet they aren't just anyone. These are people who have made an extra commitment to our way of life, they have said "I believe in our nation, and I'm willing to die for you so you can live your life in safety."

Have no doubt that there are people who want to deny you of your freedoms and of your very life. Al Qaeda comes immediately to mind. These guys don't care whether you are black, white or green! They see anyone that doesn't believe as they do as an infidel and want to see you dead. It is as simple as that.

Who stands between their determination to end your existence and your peaceful life style? Why those same people I've already mentioned, ,i.e. our soldiers, sailors, airman, marines, and coast guardsmen.

Thanks to all of them!

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Journal: It's been awhile - Iraq on my mind too.

Journal by stevew

It's been many months since I put anything in here. I just re-read some of my original posts that were concurrent with the Iraqi war.

As we sit here today - we caught Saddam about two weeks ago, and that turned out to be an intelligence bonanza. There have been tons of raids and we've apparently rounded up a goodly number of the top portion of the Iraqi resistance. (This doesn't account for the Al Qaeda types..) The numbers I here are that the attacks have dropped from 40 odd a day to 13-15 a day. That's a 60%+ reduction, but is it reported in the media - NOPE.

I also spend a fair amount of time reading various Iraqi bloggers. You get a much different point of view for these folks. They tend to be educated, and more aware of the outside world. Some are friendly to our efforts, others are hostile, but even they seem to look forward to a free Iraq.

Things haven't gone as well in Iraq as I'd hoped due to the constant harrassment, but it seems like the capture of Sadam was a turning point in many ways. I think things are going to get better faster there now.

Finally, we have the Al Qaeda threat. We are at "high" alert now. There are reports of aircraft not making the journey from either Europe or Mexico almost daily right now. Al Qaeda has threatened to strike the US before February. I've also heard that some attmpts have already been snuffed that the public just isn't aware of yet.

This casts an interesting light on the Iraq situation. One group that is still causing the harassment are Al Qaeda simpathizers (if not Al Qaeda themselves..) At least they are THERE picking on Americans with guns that know how to use them! They are not HERE.

The Democrats are going to try "Are you safer today than on 9/10/2001?" as a campaign pillar. Well, we haven't been attacked, and we ARE on the watch for something nasty. By that example - yes we are!

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Journal: The Pres says - We win

Journal by stevew

Yesterday the President visited Santa Clara CA and gave a speech at United Defense (they built the Bradley Fighting Vehicle..) a day after giving a "We win" speach on board the Lincoln (talk about photo Ops!)

All I can say is that I am SO PROUD of the guys and gals in uniform for the job they did. They are awesome!

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Journal: Well - the fat lady is almost singing!

Journal by stevew

It's April 13 - we own most of iraq except for part of Tikrit. There is a general problem with looting - this to shall pass. The French, Russians, and Germans held a shadow-summit this week, and proclaim that the UN (Read them) should have the paramount position in determining Iraq's fait. I don't think so. You didn't help solve the problem, you don't have anything worth contributing to establishing the peace! I'm getting REALLY tired of France's attitude!

Then there is the little thing being reported in the UK about the Russians having supplied Saddam with intel - and other things - talk about using both sides of your mouth! I have LOTS of friends that are russian -they all were troubled by the war, yet their own government seems to be at odds with the truth.

Finally - there was the fall of the statue, and all the Al Jazeera watchers found out that that news network lies! What a concept! Imagine that. The embeds were all telling the facts as they occured after all! NBC seems to have also had a bit of a change of heart AFTER Baghdad fell - they seem to be all patriotic now - wonder if it took poor David Bloom passing to bring home what was going on over there?
Yet ABC's coverage seems to have gotten worse?!?

Now we have to work doubly hard to bring a lasting peace to the people of Iraq - one where they run their own affairs -yet don't threaten any of their neighbors.

Times are indeed interesting.

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Journal: War continues

Journal by stevew

It's been a few days since the last entry.

We just took the airport - it's now Baghdad international, not Saddam International. Yet the Iraqi Information Minister doesn't even admit we're siting on that real estate. Amazying.

I pray that our troops come home safe. They are our best and bravest!

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Journal: We're at war now

Journal by stevew

Well - we've been at war for a couple weeks - and it's been interesting to see the nation's reaction. We have a basic division of the populace who support or are against the war. The numbers are about 3 to 1 in favor at this point.

I'd also observe that the anti-war crowd look an awful lot like the anti-war crowd of the 60's. (I was alive then - unlike most of the /. bunch) and have a good memory of sit-ins/anti-war rallies, etc. But there is a couple of significant differences between then and now.

First, and perhaps most significant is the presence of the internet. These groups are organizing themselves on the net. It's also a fact that the groups who are the basis of this movement are actually communist. Those use to be fighting words - this is simply a fact! These groups like Red China, and think that Stalin was a great man?!? Amazing isn't it?!? Yet the Hollywood types go right along with these people and lend their celebrity to their message.

Another BIG difference between this war and Vietnam is that we know why we're there, and have a crystal clear objective. Back in the days of the Vietnam war - we just flailed about military without defining what would constitute victory. We also had the Presidenet and Secretary of Defense micro-managing the war. You don't see either of these issues present this time. We know why we're there (not for oil - go get an education if you think that is the case), what constitutes victory is well defined, and the President is leaving the war fighting to the generals. These are BIG differences.

Finally - I'm really getting SICK of the general lack of support of the military effort by the general press - with perhaps NBC being the worst.
Peter Arnett is a great example. The man should be tried for treason (go look at the constitution - he qualified!) Further, you always see the negative slant on the reports, operational pauses, repetition of the crap coming out of Baghdad, Highlighting mistakes, but ignoring the overwelming successes!

Sheesh!

Back to my cave now...

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Journal: Anothe Pleasant Valley Sunday

Journal by stevew

Well - I don't REALLY live in Pleasant Valley - though I'm near Pleasanton. Does that count?

This is the first weekend I've had off in like three weeks. I'm enjoying it a bunch! Saturday was kind of slow. Wife had to work from 10AM to 2pm, then we just piddled around the house. Doug was playing video games on the puter while I did some work - sorta. It isn't as bad when you can work from home instead of having to drive in and sit at work. I also worked on getting tax paper work in shape.

Sunday has been very different. We went out to a coffee shop for breakfast. This is a new "tradition" for the family that we started about three weeks ago. There is a community farmer's market down the street so we've gone to that the last few weekends, but today we tried something a little different again. There are three different coffee shops in our immediate area - so we tried a different one today. It was pretty pleasant. Next we took a trip down to Fry's (a Silicon Valley fixture) and walked around for 45 minutes. Finally we went and looked at some new houses. My wife fell in love with one place that I hated - now THAT is a problem ;-)

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Journal: First Entry

Journal by stevew

Well - you gotta start some where. Today they were talking about Battlestar Galactica being remade - and not to close to the orginal image either. That sucks.

I went to HS with Maren Jensen - and like seeing her every weekend on the original series. That was cool. We had pizza parties out in Los Osos (went to Cal Poly) and watched BG and played Star Wars video games. One of my buddies had gone dumpster diving behind Apple and got an Apple two board that only needed a couple etches fixed. He populated the board and walla - Apple II and the price was right;-) Those were the days...and the pizza was great too!

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

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