Sunday, May 30th at 9:05AM EDT
from the diaries by haystack
I have missed interacting with my Redstate family for the last 6-8 months. Rest assured, I have been reading Redstate as often as I can and think of all of you often.
For the last 6 years of my life, each Memorial Day has had new and powerful meanings to me. This year, tragically, is no different. On Easter Sunday, our battalion lost a Soldier that I knew rather well, someone who had been with my unit for longer than I have. He was not the first comrade in arms I have seen lost, but the first one that I had known for so long.
SGT Kurt Kruize – Father, Husband, Son, Citizen Soldier
11 June 1974 – 04 April 2010
SGT Kruize lost his life in a motor pool accident while he worked late hours to ensure that Soldiers going outside the wire the next day had reliable vehicles for transportation and protection. His sacrifice was no less than that of any other man or woman who has given their lives in the 230+ years that men have taken up arms in defense of Liberty and the Constitution of the United States of America. He left behind a wife and four children.
Much has been discussed recently about American Exceptionalism, maybe a confusing concept for some, a difficult ideal to explain for others – SGT Kurt Kruize’s life and sacrifice together display the definition of American Exceptionalism in flesh and blood.
This Memorial Day is mixed – even as I sit in silent contemplation of SGT Kruize’s loss, I see more hope this year. Over 4000 American service members have given the ultimate sacrifice here in Iraq. This is my second trip here, and the differences are clear. Our interaction with the Iraqi Army is continuous and an inseperable part of how we do business now. Casualties are way down. Three years ago, virtually every convoy suffered an IED attack, now most convoys see no action.
Our Iraqi interpreters live on post with us in the same housing we live in. Speaking with them gives me the greatest satisfaction about the job we have done here. I spoke at length one night with one man and learned about his hopes and dreams. Under Saddam’s regime, he had no prospects because he was not from the right part of Iraq. When Saddam was in charge, only those who came from Saddam’s home town of Tikrit or were somehow related or connected to Saddam’s family or the Ba’ath party could succeed. Now, this man makes decent money as an interpreter, and he is saving it in hopes of buying a small shop in the future. Does that not sound like our American dream?
His main concern is the corruption in the governement (as if that waqn’t nearly universal to the human condition). He views our American Democracy in almost mythical terms, as if as Americans we have some magical formula that allows us to rule ourselves. He does, however, have hope for a future of self-rule for his country. He also now has the desire and the will to do what he can to make it happen.
Our sacrifices are now paying dividends. Our Commander-in-Chief for the majority of this conflict stood his ground and fought on when the going was tough. As a result, those of us in uniform did the same. Because of this, Iraq is free, terrorism has one less safe haven, and the Middle East is beginning to see what true freedom is.
On Monday, Americans will go to the lake or the park, they will eat hot dogs, bratwurst and hamburgers. There will be parades, fireworks and concerts. Please enjoy this Holiday which marks the beginning of summer. Just remember that my fellow Soldiers and I will spend the day running convoys, kicking down doors, training Iraqis and doing whatever else Uncle Sam requires of us in this war zone. As our Battalion Commander reiterated recently after an Explosively Formed Projectile attack missed killing two of our Soldiers by less than a second, “The enemy is still out there and he still gets a vote on what happens.” We will gladly do our part for the country we all dearly love, and all that we ask is that you recognize our fallen, rejoice in the triumphs those sacrifices have bought, and never forget those of us still fighting.
SGT Kruize’s unit, the Forward Support Company, 367th Engineer Battalion’s motto – “First Up, Last Down.”
God Bless America
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Saturday, May 29, 2010
What can our president say about his own lackadaisical response to the BP oil spill catastrophe?
As pointed out by Toby Harnden in a devastating piece in the Telegraph , Obama’s only recourse is to lie:
Even judging Obama by his words, he has fallen woefully short over what has now eclipsed the 1989 Exxon Valdez wreck as biggest oil spill catastrophe in American history. He may have described it as an “unprecedented disaster” in last Thursday’s press conference but a week into the crisis he was blithely stating that “this incident is of national significance” and rest assured he was receiving “frequent briefings” about it.George W Bush’s unpopularity and perceived incompetence was encapsulated by the way he dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Candidate Obama branded it “unconscionable incompetence”.
Central to Obama’s appeal was his promise to be truly different. His failure to achieve that is now at the core of the deep disappointment Americans feel about him. At the press conference – the first full-scale affair he had deigned to give for 309 days – he appeared uncomfortable and petulant.
His approach to the issue was that of the law student suddenly fascinated by a science project. He displayed none of the visceral indignation Americans feel about pretty much everything these days – two-thirds now say they are “angry” about the way things are going – resorting instead to Spock-like technocratic language and legalese. “I’m not contradicting my prior point,” he stated at one juncture. During those 63 minutes of soporific verbosity, about 800 barrels of oil poured into the Gulf.
Harnden includes the Sestak scandal as adding to the perception that whatever claim Obama had to being “competent” has flown out the window with the twin scandals.
Is this wishful thinking on Harnden’s part? There is a segment of the press that appears to have given up on Obama and feels no compunction about highlighting his shortcomings. But as long as most of the major media is willing to carry water for the president – covering for his mistakes in these and other matters – the public will be satisfied with pretty much whatever Obama does.
In short, the media has not deserted Obama. It remains to be seen whether the continued environmental disaster and the government’s inadequate response to it will become obvious and unleash anger in the president’s direction. If that happens, the press will be forced to change its tune and the president’s already low approval numbers will sink even further.
Unfortunately, as British Petroleum struggled to “plug the hole,” crude oil continued to flood into the Gulf of Mexico. The “top kill” process is a familiar one. In fact, “top kill” methodology should have forewarned BP engineers that addressing problems, the top down, Obama-style oftentimes delivers disastrous results.
BP expressed hesitancy to forge ahead with the “brute force” approach because of fears that “things could get worse.” Smart decision, especially since “Barack force” compounds political damage daily.
The sun must have been hot on Fourchon beach because, in a moment of candor, Barack made a comment about government’s response to the oil spill saying ” not every judgment we make will be right the first time out,” which actually could be applied to all government efforts.
Continuing on, the President added, “There are going to be a lot of judgment calls here. There are not going to be silver bullets or perfect answers.”
For a second there it was hard to tell if Obama was talking about personal governing efforts, or administration of BP “top kill” technique.
Later in the day, an official acknowledged something Obama is yet to admit about his first two years in office, “The effort [is] no closer to succeeding than when [it] started.”
Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production said, “We’re going to stay with this as long as we need to. We’re not going to rush.” One hopes Obama wasn’t within earshot of Suttle’s statement. The last thing America needs is Barry getting the idea to readjust term limit restrictions.
Obama appeared very comfortable walking the beach. Especially because BP, in addition to “top kill,” also employs a method called the “junk shot.” “Junk shot” works similarly to the Obama administration where “in the operation’s control room” trial and error is used to “sift through various theories… about the best way to clog the ‘internal geometry’ of damaged equipment.”
Good thing BP officials decided to mix golf balls with mud to “plug the hole,” which likely made Obama feel at home. It wouldn’t have gone well if the President personalized certain comments to be sentiments about his presidency. Like, “I won’t say progress was zero” but, “everyone is disappointed at this time.” Or, Doug Suttle’s statement that, “Many of the things we have done have never been done before.”
Unbeknown to Mr. Obama, the President spoke prophetically about both the leak and the nation adding, even if the leak is stopped “we face a long-term recovery and restoration effort. America has never experienced an event like this before.”
Mr. Obama also said, “I ultimately take responsibility for solving this crisis. I’m the president, and the buck stops with me” –which is a scary thought in light of all that Obama “top kill-junk shots” have done to this country.
After finishing the Gilligan-style, 3-hour beach tour Obama commenced with weekend festivities. Leaving behind tar balls on the sand of Louisiana, President Obama headed toward Elwood Cemetery in River Grove, Illinois. On Monday, after Memorial Day commemorative ceremonies Elwood could be the place to provide the President a green where a committed golfer like Barack Obama could get a chance to knock around a few golf balls.
Author’s content: www.jeannie-ology.com