July 23, 2007


I'm sitting here pretty proud right now. In fact, damned proud. A month or so ago I was surfing the internet and came across this site GIVE AN HOUR I applied as a mental health professional and about an hour ago got notice that I've been accepted. The goal of GAH is to match service members with professionals willing to donate an hour per week for as long as needed. From their website:


Give an Hour is pleased to announce that the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes (CSAH) is providing a grant to GAH for developing a new mental health services network called the Returning Heroes Counseling Network. CSAH will recruit and qualify service members who need help, while Give an Hour will manage the professional providers and specific counselor training.

The licensed mental health professionals who join the program will give an hour of their time each week to provide free mental health services to military personnel and their families for as long as help is needed. Give an Hour continues to recruit volunteer providers and will offer a variety of training opportunities to registered counselors.

Connections among troops, their families, and the providers are already being made through the GAH network, which can be also be reached via www.saluteheroes.org.

So, if you are a mental health professional, or if you know of one, please have them apply. Our heroes and/or their families are waiting.

Posted by gmroper at 02:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

July 15, 2006

Navy Seal Needs Help

From Michele Malkin comes a referral for a Navy Seal that needs help:
From The Washington Times (in it's entirety):

Rare is the occasion when a Navy SEAL needs help from his fellow Americans. Perhaps even rarer is the day an ordinary American can help a Navy SEAL. But Justin, 27, whose last name is not being disclosed at the request of the Defense Department, is in need, and Americans, especially readers in the Washington area, have an opportunity to help.

Last month, the Iraq war veteran was diagnosed with leukemia, which is normally treated with chemotherapy. Justin, however, has a rare condition that makes his best chance of survival dependent on a bone marrow transplant. Tragically, neither of Justin's siblings -- who often are the best match for transplants -- is a suitable donor. This makes the chance of finding a donor, according to Justin's sister, Jodi, about one in 25,000. Unless a match can be found, leukemia patients often die within months.

So, last week Justin's hometown newspaper, the East Brunswick, N.J., Sentinel, published a story asking local residents for help. While the Navy SEALs are busy conducting their own donor search, the potential donor field could be increased significantly if Washington-area readers are able to drive the three hours to Spotswood, N.J., where on Saturday the local high school is holding a one-day donor search, courtesy of the Defense Department's Donor Program (www.dodmarrow.org).

Testing is painless. Volunteers would be administered a simple swab on the inside of the cheek to find out if they're a match. That's it. In the rare case you are a match, the marrow extraction process itself is also relatively simple. The procedure includes the taking of a small amount of marrow via needle from the back of the pelvic bone, according to the Defense Department's Donor Program, at either Georgetown University Hospital or the University of Maryland's Greenbaum Medical Center in Baltimore. Patients are fully anesthetized at all times. Concerned readers are encouraged to contact Eddy Medina of the Defense Department program (800-627-7693 ext. 223) to learn more about the testing and procedure.

As quoted in the Sentinel, Justin's sister said: "When he was told that there was only a 30 percent chance of recovery, he replied, 'That's good. There was only a 10 percent chance of me becoming a SEAL'.?" The drive is being held at Spotswood High School, 105 Summerhill Road, Spotswood, N.J., this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As one who is currently undergoing Chemo-Therapy for cancer, I can appreciate the fear that Justin and his family are currently experiencing. If you can help, please, please call The Department of Defense (800-627-7693 ext. 223). A simple swab of the cheek might just save this young man's life. If you are a blogger reading this, please spread the word. Thanks Michele, your intervention is greatly appreciated.

Michael Yon is also spreading the word (and is the source of the photo) as is Black Five

Posted by GM Roper at 08:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 03, 2006

Interview With An Iraqi General

No not me. My friend Sgt. Tim. Boggs over at T.F. Boggs told me he had this lined up about two weeks ago.

I have been pestering him daily, asking when he would have the post up. I just checked my email and got this message from Tim:


I just got back from Interviewing the Iraqi General and it was just amazing. This story is going to be huge and I ask that you can do all you can to promote it. His answers were beyond anything I could hope for.

If you are not familiar with his blog T.F. Boggs, I will tell you he is one of the best milbloggers around with consistently great posts at both his blog and Michael Yon's great online magazine. Sgt. Boggs is serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Here is a small excerpt of his post:

I wrote a story for Michael Yon’s Frontline Forum a week ago about the town I am stationed in right now named Qayyarah. Qayyarah is a model for other Iraqi cities because it was once a haven for terrorists but is now safe enough for anyone to travel around in without fear of terrorists. The main reason for the safety of Qayyarah lies with one man: General Ali. He is a myth-like figure around our base and everyone knows his name. He is a strict military man but is the type of man Iraq needs so desperately right now. I hope people the world over will read this interview and learn just what kind of men are in Iraq right now willing to take control of their own country. What follows is the truth. It comes directly from the mouth of a man who knows intimately what is going on in Iraq and knows where Iraq has come from and where it needs to go.

Have you liked working with the American soldiers?

General Ali: Yes, yes, yes. They believe me and I believe them. All the soldiers that have worked here know General Ali. I invite them to my house to eat with me and to train with me. I know they came to help the Iraqi people. That is why I work with them, that is why I tell my people the truth about the coalition. Before they might have disliked the US army because they did not have the real picture of the soldiers. I told the people though how the US army fought for us and also how they did projects for us. They fixed the schools, made roads, and made many things for the people of Iraq. The people see how we caught the terrorists, how we made it safe, they see that is more comfortable then under Saddam’s regime.

This is a long interview so Tim has broken it up into two parts. He will post Part 2 Wednesday so stay tuned.

I also have a small post up at my blog here.

Posted by Real Ugly American at 12:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 15, 2006

Watch This Now

First of all thank you to my friend George for asking me to contribute. I am sincerely flattered.

I wanted to come up with something witty for my first post but My friend David at Third World County just sent me a link to this video and I can't stop watching it. If you enjoy watching this as much as I do we are going to get along just fine.

Posted by Real Ugly American at 09:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

May 29, 2006

The Last Battle ~ A Memorial Day Tribute

Throughout history, men and women, parents and grandparents and even kids have risen up to defend freedom. Since our battle for independence from Great Brittin and Mad King George, the people of these United States of America have been members of the profession of arms. The Army, the Navy, The Marine Corps, the Coast Guard and later the Air Force have stood between us and the despots of the world. Many have given their lives for the freedoms that we enjoy today. This post is about one battle, in one war but stands in Tribute to all those brave men and women, kids grandparents and parents who gave their lives for us. This Memorial Day, let us remember them and all that they have given. Let us also say a prayer for them as we say thanks.

The 102nd Infantry Division fought from Cherbourg, France through some of the roughest fighting, the Bulge, the Roer, the Rhine facing the German 2nd Paratroop Division, the atrocity at Gardelegen and which I posted on here and on to the Elbe At a bridge in Northern Germany, the Tangermunde Bridge, elements of the 102nd Infantry Division watched the last battle between the Russians and the fleeing Germans. This is their story. Reprinted in its entirety from the 102nd Infantry Divisions Official History


On April 12th the Ozarks continued to press east toward the Elbe River, following the spearheading 5th Armored Division. From this point on no further enemy resistance of any magnitude was expected nor encountered. Without reserves, transportation, food or ammunition the enemy had little choice but to surrender. For the most part they either retreated north and across the Elbe or gave up. Those that were retreating didn't take the necessary precautions to destroy bridges left in their paths. This only helped the pace at which the Allies advanced.
The 102nd, 84th and 35th Infantry Divisions were advancing so quickly that the only danger lay from by-passed German units that could not always be tracked down in the forests.
The 102nd, 84th and 35th Infantry Divisions were advancing so quickly that the only danger lay from by-passed German units that could not always be tracked down in the forests. Potential pockets of resistance and ambushes awaited around every turn. By days end the 405th Regiment, 3rd Battalion had traversed approximately 30 miles east to Meine. Their 2nd Battalion made it to Rotgesbuttel and the 1st occupied Rethen. The 406th Regiment was slightly north in Gifhorn.

The next day the 406th, 3rd Battalion after covering about 25 miles ran into a small but stiff pocket of resistance in the woods Northwest of Schwiesau. It would take them until the 14th to clear the woods and head south through Gardelegen to Erxleben. The 2nd Battalion of the 406th headed northeast from the Gardelegen Highway to Osterburg, a town just west of the banks of the Elbe. The 405th Regiment's 1st Battalion advanced to the Elbe into Stendal, near Tangemunde. The 3rd Battalion of the 405th also made it to the Elbe this day. They were south of the 1st in Burgstal. The Ozarks had unequivocally reached the Elbe.

The 405th, 2nd Battalion advanced on Gardelegen from the West and met intense small arms fire. Paratroopers determined to protect a Luftwaffe airfield located within the moated town were soon overrun by two platoons of tanks. No sooner had the 2nd Battalion emerged from the town than they once again found themselves under heavy fire. Unbeknown to the Ozarks at the time, but the enemy was trying to delay the inevitable. The men of the 405th Regiment were about to discover one of the most horrific atrocities of the war. Click here to go to seperate section describing the Gardelegen atrocity.

Continue reading "The Last Battle ~ A Memorial Day Tribute"
Posted by GM Roper at 12:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 09, 2006

General Zinni: Hero or Mountebank?

The genesis of this post was a comment in an earlier post from on Jorg Wolfe, a friend (though obviously from a different political slant) to another commenter:

From Gen Zinni: "If, like General Casey said a week or so ago, 99.9 percent of the people are opposed to the violence and the perpetrators of these violence. Well, all those people have to do is call up on the phone and tell you where the insurgents are ... And the security forces and the Iraqis would be able to handle it. We're not fighting the Waffen SS here. You know, we're fighting a bunch of ragtag people with AK-47s and IEDs and RPGs. They can be policed up if the people turn against them. We haven't won the hearts and minds yet."
Now, I am a supporter of the effort in Iraq, as Jorg is not. He is however a staunch supporter of the war in Afghanistan and often mentions the 2000 German troops in the Afghan War. I commend him for this part of the war on terror.

But, I digress, the genesis of this post was Jorg's comment about General Zinni. I have listened to the General on the talking head shows a couple of times and have wondered "What about this guy?" Is he for real, an honest to goodness hero of Vietnam and other conflicts, a solid Marine or is he a mountebank? So, I asked a friend of mine who might have known Zinni and might be able to comment on him and his performance. My friends comment:

There are some comments re: Gen. Zinni and others' view on the war in Iraq.

IRT to Zinni, he seems to be talking out of two sides of his mouth. On the one hand (and remember that he was Commander, Central Command before Gen. Tommy Franks), he says that we should never have gone into Iraq. On the other hand, he states that now that we are there, we must stay and prevail. In my view (and remember this is his second book...lots of money involved in his books...not to mention being fawned over by the liberal press and such on his speaking tours...for which he is also well paid), is if one's country is in a war, one aids and abets one's OWN forces, and doth not sow questioning during the strife. To do otherwise gets soldiers killed. During the run up to the assault against Iraq, he could have spoken out long and loud (for my dime), but once the troops crossed the LOD, he should have dummied up. It is interesting to note, that LOTS went wrong in our Civil War, World War I and World War II. LOTS. Having said that, we kept our eye on the big picture and pressed ahead. Wars, by their very nature are very awful and very messy. Lots of mistakes are made. One attempts, through training, careful planning and such to lessen the awfulness and sorrow. Few note that many of the those Americans killed or maimed are through accidents...often their own fault. Heck, George, during "peacetime" lots of folks get injured or killed during training. We pay lots of attention to safety in America's armed forces, but with lots of mostly young men...one is never going to completely make it perfect. As a commander, I lost way more troops to traffic accidents and such than I ever lost to training accidents. Note: I was pretty hard on safety violations both on and off duty...thus my safety record was among the best among all the units at Camp Pendleton, CA. I talked to the Marines quite a bit and told them that I really did not want to write a letter to their parents or spouses if they were killed due to stupidity or bad choices. I told them in advance that I would (metaphorically) fall on them liked a old brick house.

Well, I know Zinni from when he was a brand new Captain (and promoted very quickly due to the war [RVN]) and I a new Lieutenant. He was lecturing us on ambushes. The class was in the field. He was using an Army Field Manual published post WW II. Nearly all he said, in my view, was wrong. I had just come from RVN where ambushes was mostly what I was doing. I was mostly successful and never lost a Marine in my unit. The enemy lost many. Soooooo, politely and with proper deference to his "lofty" title vice my more "lowly" one, I challenged him. He did not take kindly to it. Maybe my opinions above are suspect due to personal grudge long held? Maybe, maybe not.

I have learned in long study of military history, added to personal observation, that wisdom does NOT necessarily accrue to those who are older. There were/are plenty of generals around that made/make very wrong decisions.

I have gone on too long. I don't like that Zinni is speaking out....further it is really suspect when he is making plenty of money doing it.[Emphasis Added]
Well, is that fair? Maybe not. But it is one Marine Officers opinion, a Marine whom I'm personally acquainted with.

General Zinni has said:

In the lead-up to the Iraq war and its later conduct, I saw, at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence, and irresponsibility; at worst, lying, incompetence, and corruption.
General Tony Zinni in Battle Ready. [Emphasis Added]

But my friend is not the only one to question General Zinni's "honesty" or reasons for saying what he is saying. Others including Jed Babbin have a question or two. Babbin:

Why in the world would anyone want to be the next Wesley Clark? In the 2004 election General Clark played Ashley Wilkes to Dan Rather's Scarlett O'Hara. Clark went wacky early, doing his best to endear himself to the Howard Dean lefties by making a habit of statements such as his call for a criminal investigation into the president's decision on the Iraq war. Clark's only achievement was to make of himself a useful tool of the Clinton machine.
Babbin goes on to note:
ZINNI IS SO WRONG ON SO MANY levels, it's hard to know where to start dissecting him. He claims we threw away ten years of planning for Iraq. He, of all people, a former combatant commander, should know that old plans get thrown out when the assumptions on which they were made become invalid. That, precisely, was the reason much of the Clinton-era planning for Iraq was set aside in the 2002-2003 buildup to the Iraq campaign. War plans aren't static, they evolve with the forces -- political, military and economic -- that change in every nation every year. Zinni knows better. His points are political, not military or strategic.
"He, of all people, a former combatant commander, should know that old plans get thrown out when the assumptions on which they were made become invalid." Babbin MAY be wrong about that, after all as noted above he was teaching WWII ambush tactics for use in Vietnam when Marines who had actually been there and used new techniques knew better. And General Zinni (then as a Captain) didn't like being corrected any more than he does now as a General. In fact, the General has those who are wondering if he is right (and that is always a possibility) including this comment from that oh-so-very chic radical right wing chick Peggy Noonan (/sarcasm - Noonan is brilliant folks)
Tony Zinni was against the Iraq war before it occurred, opposes it now, has written about it. Fine. But the history recounted in "Cobra II," and the testimony of Gen. Zinni, suggests a lot of generals--a lot--were against the war in the run-up, for reasons that were many and serious. If this is correct it begs questions: Did they feel they could not speak? Why? What dynamics went into the decision? Or did they speak and we didn't hear, or didn't weigh what was said seriously enough? Did they speak inside? To what degree did the inside listen? Or were the generals and colonels, in fact, split? Were the generals more supportive than is now being suggested?
Zinni again:
...I heard the case being built to go to war right away- I was hearing a depiction of the intelligence that didn't fit what I knew. There was no solid proof that I ever saw that Saddam had WMD...."

Jorg Wolfe of Atlantic Review is at the minimum a supporter of General Zinni, and has noted this in comments on this blog as well as the post referred to. Jorg is a very smart fellow and a friend. But he is wrong on this one I think. General Zinni is being lauded on his apostasy by the very liberal MSM (oh, and don't even go there that there is no such thing as a LIBERAL MSM) as was/is Jack Murtha, congress-critter of Penn.(folks, each word is a seperate link - read them all)

Joel Mowbray writing in Townhall.com was considerably less than kind about General Zinni's choice of words. Words that to Mowbray sounded (as many other have noted about the seemingly anti-semetic and/or at the minimum anti-Israel left, and I know that they are not the same thing, but in some peoples minds in that sewer, they are. It's a hell-of-a-note to think that Democratic bigwigs align themselves with trash like David Duke isn't it?) But, I digress, as Mowbray notes:

Discussing the Iraq war with the Washington Post last week, former General Anthony Zinni took the path chosen by so many anti-Semites: he blamed it on the Jews.

Neither President Bush nor Vice-President Cheney—nor for that matter Zinni's old friend, Secretary of State Colin Powell—was to blame. It was the Jews. They "captured" both Bush and Cheney, and Powell was merely being a "good soldier."

Technically, the former head of the Central Command in the Middle East didn't say "Jews." He instead used a term that has become a new favorite for anti-Semites: "neoconservatives." As the name implies, "neoconservative" was originally meant to denote someone who is a newcomer to the right. In the 90's, many people self-identified themselves as "neocons," but today that term has become synonymous with "Jews."

Mowbray goes on to say:
Given that the "neocons" do not control the Departments of State or Defense nor the National Security Council—gentiles all head those agencies—and given that the White House is clearly run by non-Jews, how is it that Zinni claims that the "neocons" were responsible for the U.S. liberating Iraq? As he explains to the Post, "Somehow, the neocons captured the president. They captured the vice president."

And the Post piece uses dramatic language when discussing Zinni's views on the "neocons":

The more he listened to Wolfowitz and other administration officials talk about Iraq, the more Zinni became convinced that interventionist 'neoconservative' ideologues were plunging the nation into a war in a part of the world they didn't understand."

Zinni's comments are eerily similar to those made by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit this October. In a speech that drew a standing ovation from the leaders of Muslim nations in attendance, Mahathir remarked, "Today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them."

Since Jews make up roughly 2% of the American population and less than a fraction of one percent of the world's—yet attract disproportionately more of the world's bigoted venom—the only way to perpetuate the hatred of Jews that has existed for centuries is to blame them for controlling vital industries, "ruling the world by proxy," or by "capturing" the leader of the free world and his likewise freely elected vice-president.

Why, even Chesty Puller had some negative things to say about Jack Murtha My favorite Puller comment (and one I'm rather proud of) is said about Murtha, but maybe it applies to General Zinni as well:

GM: I understand General Puller. So, do you think Mr. Murtha is, how shall we say this, "un-patriotic?"

General Puller: Don't go there boy! It is not a matter of being patriotic or not, it's a matter of judgment. Do you put the needs of your party ahead, or the needs of a bunch of fine young warriors! Look, Murtha, and his fellow travelers have made a decision, one that gets them headlines and is inimical to the best interests of the United States of America. When you get sworn in son, you swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies. Foreign or Domestic. That author fellow, George Orwell noted that pacifism ultimately supports your enemies. That is exactly what Murtha is doing and in my opinion, is going against his sworn oath. That oath doesn't allow for any finger crossing, you can't say except when it goes against my opponent’s party, you can't say only if I like the current President. Naw, it doesn't work that way. You set your politics aside at the waters edge. There are bad people out there son, they want to kill you, your family, and they want to kill Murtha and his family. They already tried once; one of those four planes was headed for the Capital of the United States of America on September 11. Why that bloated, mealy mouthed, son-of-a-bitch can't see that is beyond me. I thought he got better training in the Corps. Hell, he did get better training and it showed, but I guess in his case, the spotlight was more important, he was a patriot son, and he really was. Now he is just a scoundrel."

So, Murtha, Zinni, and Clark are all mountebanks? In my opinion, absolutely. And for reasons that should be obvious to even the most dedicated lefty, if they will be honest enough to call a spade a spade.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:51 PM | Comments (48) | TrackBack (0)

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