Thursday, November 16, 2006
Ahmadinejad's Feelings Get Hurt
Poor baby... he has a lot of fun openly advocating that Israel be wiped off the map, but he can't stand it when Israel answers him:
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Iran, whose president has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, complained to the United Nations on Wednesday that the Jewish state was repeatedly threatening to bomb it.Israel's "threats" have, in fact, been quite mild, and mostly have been calls for the international community to take Iran seriously. (Iran is reading between the lines here, interpreting statements by Israeli officials as a direct threat. There's nothing wrong with that, actually; Iran has not explicitly said it would be the one to wipe Israel off the map, although it's certainly been strongly implied... so we've all been reading between the lines too.)
The threats were "matters of extreme gravity" and the U.N. Security Council should condemn them and demand that Israel "cease and desist immediately from the threat of the use of force against members of the United Nations," Iranian U.N. Ambassador Javad Zarif said.
His comments came in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan dated Nov. 10 and circulated at the United Nations on Wednesday.
Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, has been aggressively pursuing a nuclear program that it says is meant only to produce electric power.
But Western powers and Israel, which is itself widely believed to be a nuclear power, insist the activities are a cover for making nuclear bombs.
Iran's activities have prompted speculation that Israel might launch preemptive strikes to destroy its nuclear facilities, as it did in Iraq in 1981 when it bombed a reactor at Osiraq.
The speculation increased after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year threatened to "wipe Israel off the map," a statement Iranian officials have argued was not a threat.
Israel has fueled the speculation with a series of "unlawful and dangerous threats," Zarif said.
His letter cited several examples. Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh said just last Friday that a preemptive strike on Iran was possible as "a last resort," Zarif's letter said. "But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort," he quoted Sneh as saying.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Oct. 19 that Iran would have "a price to pay" for continuing its nuclear programs and Iranians "have to be afraid" of what Israel might do, according to Zarif's letter.
Similarly, Zarif said that Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Jan. 21, "We are preparing for military action to stop Iran's nuclear program."
What's good for the goose is good for the gander, baby.
I can only imagine how Iran would react if Israel escalated -- by doing exactly what Iran has been doing, in reverse. For example, what if Israel held a worldwide conference, widely attended, on the subject of "Imagine A World Without Iran". What if Israel started denying that the Iranian religious revolution, and the corruption of the Shah's regime that preceded it, had ever happened. (That's actually quite mild too, compared with the Holocaust-denying fetish that Ahmadinejad proudly displays whenever he gets the chance.)
And just in case anyone's in doubt here, Iran has been fighting low-level proxy battles with Israel for years, using the Hizbullah terrorist organization to do its dirty work. A good many Israelis have died as a direct result of Iranian actions. By contrast, Israel has done nothing to Iran -- nothing whatsoever -- apart from a few speeches of protest in the UN.
This would be pretty funny, if not for the danger that people will actually take Iran's UN complaints seriously. (Ironically, Israel -- which has more cause to distrust the UN than practically anybody -- has fallen into that trap frequently, and taken the UN far too seriously. Let's hope for better this time.)
By the way, my hat's off to Reuters, who have displayed unusual candor (for them). Not only do they point out that Iran's complaints are ridiculous in the face of Ahmadinejad's repeated Holocaust-denying and Israel-wiping comments; they also note that Iran, being the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, can hardly claim to be developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
So When Will I Get Around To Dissing The New Democratic Leadership?
In all seriousness, a good many people are asking good and important questions. (Instapundit links to a lot of them. For example, what's the connection between Sen. Harry Reid and Jack Abramoff? Is Rep. Pelosi's selection of Alcee Hastings to chair the House Intelligence Committee really a smart move? What about Rep. Jack Murtha for House Majority Leader? And much more; keep scrolling.)
Frankly, none of that concerns me much right now. I prefer to wait and see. It's true that I don't trust Rep. Pelosi much, nor Rep. Murtha, nor many of their fellow victorious Democrats. But what matters most is what they do, not what their reputations imply that they will do (and certainly not what I think they'll do).
It's perfectly possible for a politician to gain high office and surprise the daylights out of everybody. I've seen it happen before. And the new Democratic leadership of the House and Senate may be better for the country than we expected of them.
Or not, as the case may be. But let's give them a good, serious chance.
(I might add that others are asking why Republicans are behaving so stupidly -- reinstating Trent Lott as Senate Minority Whip, the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld and putting Gates in his place, and so on. My response there is the same -- let's wait and see.)
Monday, November 13, 2006
Valour-IT: Thank You!
As of today, Nov. 13 2006, here are the totals from the Valour-IT fundraising drive:
Marines: $51,228 (Way to go, guys!!)
Navy: $47,212 (Congratulations, Smash!)
Army: $46,395 (well, at least we passed the $45K goal)
Air Force: $39,823
Total: $184,658 (with a goal of $180,000 by Veteran's Day)
We made it! Congratulations to the folks at Valour-IT and Soldier's Angels, who will be able to buy a lot of voice-controlled laptops for wounded soldiers with that money.
If any of my readers contributed to those totals, you have my heartfelt thanks -- and the thanks of wounded warriors whose names you may never know, and who will never know yours. But they will know that Americans, whom they swore to defend, care about them and want to help them... and I'm sure that that will mean the world to them.
And what the hey, my team did meet its goal... and managed to beat out the airedales. That's worth something too. (No offense to any Air Force readers, if I have any.)
Friday, November 10, 2006|
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Election Day 2006: The Day After
Some good summaries on Instapundit, to begin with:
DEMOCRATS HAVE THE HOUSE, with a gain of about two dozen seats, and look likely to take the Senate when all the counting is done.That makes a lot of sense to me. I do expect Democrats to calm down a bit, now that they have some real power. (I also expect them to make use of that power, don't get me wrong; but I'm hoping that some of the anti-Bush hysteria will abate.) On the other hand, I very much hope that the people who have been complaining about anti-Bush hysteria do not come down with a similar syndrome themselves.
Looks like my pre-mortem was merely a bit ahead of schedule. And I think that this defeat really was the result of a series of unnecessary Republican errors. The GOP leadership needs an overhaul, and I think it will get one.
The Democrats now have a chance to govern, not just carp, and how well they do over the next couple of years will have a lot to do with whether they have a shot at the White House in 2008. Perhaps getting back into power will also encourage a bit of responsibility. We'll see. If nothing else, the bitterness that comes with losing, and being out of power, is likely to recede a bit. Republicans would be wise not to succumb to a similar bitterness, especially as this defeat could have been avoided if they'd stuck to their principles. Maybe they'll pay more attention to libertarians, too.
(Yes, the prospect of Rep. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, third in line for the Presidency, is a bit scary. Then again, let's have some perspective -- we have never had a Speaker of the House become President, not once in 230 years. I don't think it's particularly likely this time around either.)
It has certainly been observed before that the American people, uncertain about Democrats vs. Republicans and their policies, often prefer gridlock, where neither party wins. Personally, I think that's a very bad idea when the country is at war. But it's certainly happened before... and this is the choice of the American people. So, bad idea or not, it's what we have.
And, as John Podhoretz points out (also via Instapundit):
Happy or suicidal with tonight's results, something colossal and profoundly important has happened in the United States beginning in 2000 — the re-engagement of the American people with politics. We have had four enormously consequential elections in a row now in which voters have cast their ballots in numbers that we were told we'd never see in our lifetimes. I don't see how you can view this as anything but a wondrous development for the United States.I certainly can't argue with that. And I suppose, in retrospect, that it would have taken, not a war, but a wartime President, to make that happen.
UPDATE: With John Murtha not only reelected (with 61% of the vote) but running for Majority Leader, I think it's time -- regretfully -- to pull down the banner for Diana Irey. I'm not happy about Rep. Murtha holding his seat, and I'm less happy about him wielding more power than ever -- but that is the people's choice, and I will honor that. (I also don't want to look like the people still driving around my neighborhood with Kerry-Edwards bumper stickers.)
On the other hand, as Shelley points out in the comments, Rep. Nancy Pelosi has pledged that, under her stewardship, the House of Representatives will be "the most honest, ethical and open" -- a bold pledge indeed. I hope very much that she holds true to that. But the first impressions are not encouraging. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
UPDATE II: Thanks to Wretchard at The Belmont Club, this interview on PBS with Nancy Pelosi:
MARGARET WARNER: Now, the president said today also he wanted to work in a bipartisan way on Iraq. But then he repeatedly defined the goal as "victory." And he said at one point, you know, speaking of the troops, "I want them home, too, but I want them home in victory, not leaving behind an Iraq that's a safe haven for al-Qaida." And he said repeatedly that victory was leaving an Iraq that was self-sustaining and could defend itself.
Now, can Democrats work with him and embrace that as the goal?
REP. NANCY PELOSI: I mean, the point is, is that our presence in Iraq, as viewed by the Iraqis and by others in the region, as an occupation is not making America safer. We are not even honoring our commitment to our troops who are there, and we are not bringing stability to the region.
So what is being accomplished by our being there? A responsible redeployment outside of Iraq, at the same time disarming the militia, amending the constitution, so that more people feel a part of the new government, and, again, building diplomatic relationships in the area to bring stability and reconstruction to Iraq is really a path we have to go down.
The president -- victory is elusive. Victory is subjective. What does he mean by "victory"?
This does not encourage me. Ms. Pelosi, you were just told what the President means by "victory" -- leaving Iraq, but not before it could defend itself without our help -- and you responded that you want other countries in the region to stabilize Iraq so that we won't have to. (That's what "building diplomatic relationships in the area to bring stability and reconstruction to Iraq" means.)
Which begs several questions -- who in the Middle East do you think could do a better job of rebuilding Iraq than the United States, and why do you think so? (Who would move in to a power vacuum in the case of a premature unilateral American withdrawal? Iran, certainly. Is that whom we want running the show in our absence? Or, more likely, does she just want to bring the troops home, and doesn't know or doesn't care about the long-term consequences?)
A more basic question might be: Why are you asking what the President means by "victory" when you were just told what he means? Were you not listening, or did you not understand it? Neither bodes well at this point.
And an even more basic question might be: how is it possible that you don't know what "victory" means? Or have you forgotten that we are at war? Or do you believe that the war will be over as soon as we Bring The Boys Home, and that we will live as peacefully as we did on Sept. 10, 2001?
As if there was any doubt: She doesn't get it. Let us hope that, as she is required to govern, she will figure it out... and that it doesn't take her too long.
This sort of thing makes me go back to reread Dan Simmons' The Visitor... and it gives me the shivers.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Election Day, 2006
Yup, I voted. It felt good; it nearly always does. As I commented to my wife on the way out: our Republic gives us an awful lot, and doesn't expect much of us in return. This is one thing that it does expect, and it's good to take it seriously.
Most of the ballot didn't interest me much, I'm sorry to say -- candidates for State Treasurer, State Auditor, that sort of thing. I did vote wherever there was a contested race, though. As a matter of principle, I don't like to vote in uncontested races; an uncontested candidate doesn't need my vote.
Except for one case. My Congressional Representative, Rep. Barney Frank, was running uncontested. I wrote in my wife's name instead. (She later sheepishly admitted to me that she'd written in my name. It's amazing how people can think alike sometimes.)
Oh, and people across the country keep asking: "Why don't the people of Massachusetts do something about Ted Kennedy? Why don't they vote him out of office for a change?" Well, all I can say is that I did the best I could.
The ballot also had some interesting open questions. Question 1 had to do with whether grocery stores in Massachusetts should be permitted to sell wine. (No, I'm not kidding. Right now the liquor stores in Massachusetts have a virtual monopoly on this.) Question 2 asked whether one candidate should be permitted to be listed on a ballot with more than one party -- e.g. candidate Daniel I. Brookline, running for town dogcatcher on the Independent ticket as well as the Free Our Dogs Party and the Over Six Feet Consortium. (The idea is that I could then get the majority of the vote, even if no single party does. I could also confuse the heck out of the voters; no, thanks. I also do not see how this increases political responsibility, as its advocates claim.)
Question 3 wanted to encourage private day-care providers to unionize. (But I thought the whole idea of using private, at-home day-care was that there was competition and variety from which to choose?) Question 4 was a proposal to increase Brookline property taxes by 3%, in order to pay for miscellaneous and unspecified projects to preserve historical landmarks and open spaces and such. (My feeling is: if they haven't been able to do so adequately up to now, why do they think that the answer is to throw more money at it? And, if more money is truly needed, is it not possible to redistribute the existing budget, instead of raising taxes? I know the answer to that one, of course.)
Question 5 was non-binding, to demand that our Representative vote in favor of a resolution to pull back all U.S. troops from Iraq immediately. You can probably guess how I voted on that one.
Get out and vote, people! Your country needs you.
Monday, November 06, 2006
For any of my readers that have seen Bill's work before -- and I suspect that means both of you -- then I don't need to say any more. If you haven't visited www.ejectejecteject.com before, go ahead and do so -- and be prepared to stay a while.
I suspect that Bill wrote this, and timed it, for the eve of the 2006 elections. But I must say, if propaganda it is, then it's pretty thoughtful and reasoned propaganda. It will get you thinking, as much of Bill's work does.
Go ahead, have a look. And don't forget to vote. As I said last time around -- those who don't vote have no business complaining about the results.
Some Pre-Election-Day Thoughts
A lengthy post over at Blackfive got me thinking. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines of this country have been speaking out as never before, and, it seems, the vast majority of them are disgusted with the press coverage they're getting -- and similarly disgusted with the people elected to represent them.
This shocks me. Military folk stay out of politics in America, and that's the way it should be. But politics won't leave military folk alone, and it's getting to them.
Blackfive quotes a number of e-mails he's been getting, after asking for opinions from the troops:
From a US Army Infantry Sergeant First Class in Iraq:...First, the obvious, is the fact that when the enemy's propaganda matches the talking points of a political party, there is something wrong. The fact that so many, especially those in positions to influence voters (think MSM here), have no problem using enemy propaganda or will gleefully cover enemy activities while glossing over the hard, diligent work of their own military should be a giant red flag waving in the face of voters.
From a Marine Sergeant on his second tour Iraq:...People in the US who want to support the troops, who believe we are engaged in a war, and who recognize the long term consequences of failure need to look past all other issues and vote Republican. Democrats have no policy and can not be trusted. But, even worse, they display no apparent understanding of the dangers to our western civilization presented by the enemy. [...] Ironically, I say this, not as a Republican - (I am Libertarian) - but as a person who recognizes that islamicist fundamentalism is the single greatest threat to our western society in the modern era. I say this as an atheist. I say this as someone who is apalled by the anti-science bias of the Republican party. I say this as someone who doesn't give 2 shits about abortion, suppressing gay-rights, or activist judges. So, as you can tell, the majority of Republican issues are anathema to me, and I still fervently hope they retain control of the Govt.
From another US Marine in Iraq:...If the Democrats gain even a squeaker majority in the House, I strongly believe we will suffer greatly for it. The Jihadists here have been pulling out all the stops here just to affect the election. A Democrat victory in congress will validate their tactics, and spur them to push harder. [...] If the Republicans win, me and my fellows here will be allowed to continue doing our jobs. In time, all the hard work here will show, and we will win.
There's more, a lot more, over at Austin Bay's site:
I’ll add a personal story. In 1999 I briefly served as deputy commander of a Hurricane Mitch recovery operation headquartered in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. An earthquake (6.6 magnitude) struck the region and damaged our barracks area as well as several of the dikes our engineers had erected along the Motagua River. We had to evacuate our barracks, in the midst of heavy rains spawned by a tropical depression. The day after the quake I flew to the US air base at Soto Cano, Honduras, to meet with our regional commander. After I met with the brigadier general in command I: (1) washed and dried two sets of BDUs and (2) bought a bottle of Chivas at the PX. The next morning I caught a plane flight back to Guatemala, and transfered to a helicopter to fly back to our base.As Col. Bay points out, this was 1999, when John Kerry was not running for anything. But his comments before Congress, back in 1971, had cut deeply -- and still stung 28 years later. (The article as a whole is well worth your time; by all means, check it out.)
That night I took the still-boxed Chivas to one of the troops –a tired, exhausted fellow who had earned a gift so precious. He shook his head when I passed him the scotch. I told him, “You’ve earned it.” He looked at his watch, observed we were ten minutes from midnight, and said “You and I are now off duty.” I sipped a thumbs worth of scotch in my canteen cup (there is no more pleasureable a vessel for imbibing booze).
We chatted for about twenty minutes, about my trip to Soto Cano, about the task force’s new job (earthquake relief), about the lousy weather, about how tired we were. The discussion of weariness led the conversation to our advanced age and years of service, which in part explained the conversation’s next turn. My friend asked, with a glint in his eye: ”You remember what John Kerry said about those of us who served in Vietnam?”
“I was in Vietnam in 1971,” my buddy continued. “I didn’t commit any war crimes and I didn’t see any. Kerry said we were committing war crimes everywhere all the time.”
Remember, readers, this is 1999. We’re in a creaky barrack, wearing t-shirts, BDU trousers, and boots. Earthquake aftershocks occasionally boom –and the booms sound and feel like heavy artillery. And he mentions John Kerry.
“I despise the man,” my friend said. “He lied and benefited politically from his lies….He lied about me.”
So -- what conclusion do I draw from all this? Not that the Democrats have completely abandoned the American military, along with any of their own that still support the troops unreservedly (although we're getting closer to that point). Nor do I conclude that the troops feel completely abandoned by the Democrats (although it may seem that way) -- I recognize that Blackfive's e-mails don't really represent the broad cross-spectrum of military opinions.
But it does seem clear, as I've written before, that the Democratic Party no longer understands the military. (Their former standard-bearer utters a nasty insult, covering every American serving in Iraq -- quite a feat, actually -- and the Democratic Party never even sees fit to denounce the comment or the speaker! DNC Chairman Howard Dean said it was "an awful comment", but didn't think it was necessary to apologize in the name of his Party. Nor did the Democrats do anything of note to Sen. Kerry for his remarks, other than to tell him to keep his mouth shut until Tuesday.)
And this will only get worse. How many Americans in uniform today, having seen how the Democrats in power simply don't understand them, will come back to civilian life and join the Democratic Party?
If the Democrats need to realize that an important American viewpoint -- the military viewpoint -- is sorely lacking from nearly everything they say, and nearly everything they stand for. And if they have any sense at all, they'll recruit as many retired military personnel as they can... and listen to what they have to say.
But I don't see this happening any time soon. Both the Democratic Party -- and, in the long run, the country -- will suffer for this.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Another "Bush Administration Failure"
And this is a big one -- when the Bush Administration made thousands of Saddam's documents available online, they included some detailed plans for building nuclear weapons.
You know, the Iraqi nuclear weapons that were never a threat to us...
I wouldn't have thought that I'd see both statements in the same article. But here it is, courtesy of news.com:
Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to "leverage the Internet" to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.Admittedly, this is very carefully-worded, so that it doesn't look like it's arguing against itself. But think about it for a moment. The complaints have been loud and unceasing, against the Bush Administration, that we invaded Iraq solely to find WMD (which is untrue), that we didn't find any WMD there (also untrue), that therefore there could not have been any WMD to find (which is a strange claim to make, about a country the size of California, with room to hide all sorts of things)... and that, therefore, Iraq was never a threat to us to begin with, and should never have been invaded.
But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
. . .
The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.
. . .
The government had received earlier warnings about the contents of the Web site. Last spring, after the site began posting old Iraqi documents about chemical weapons, United Nations arms-control officials in New York won the withdrawal of a report that gave information on how to make tabun and sarin, nerve agents that kill by causing respiratory failure.
The campaign for the online archive was mounted by conservative publications and politicians, who said that the nation's spy agencies had failed adequately to analyze the 48,000 boxes of documents seized since the March 2003 invasion. With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents--most of them in Arabic--would reinvigorate the search for clues that Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion. American search teams never found such evidence.
Except that, even if you manage to swallow all that, now we're also hearing criticism of the Bush Administration for mistakenly publishing documents -- Iraqi documents -- that give detailed instructions on preparing tabun, sarin, and rudimentary nuclear weapons. (Sounds like justification to me. Were we supposed to wait until after the weapons were built? Are we expected to believe that Saddam had the blueprints, but never planned to use them... except, maybe, as wallpaper?)
For that matter, some people claim --see the article above -- that the invasion of Iraq is only justified if we can prove that Saddam restarted his WMD development programs after 1991, while UN sanctions were in place. But does that really make sense, now that we know he had blueprints like these sitting on the shelf? The man, and his regime, were a ticking time bomb; all that was in doubt was when the bomb might go off, and whether it was possible to stop him in time.
Don't get me wrong, I definitely think it was a mistake, and a big one, to let these documents out into the open. An understandable mistake, perhaps, given the tremendous volume of the documents -- but still a terrible mistake. (After all, if the CIA doesn't have enough people to vet all those documents, then they should have fixed that problem, long ago. Analyzing top-secret documents is their job, not ours. If the CIA doesn't have enough agents in the field, and doesn't have enough analysts at home, then we really do have to wonder what they do for a living.)
Nonetheless, it makes no sense to criticize the Bush Administration for not finding WMDs, and then to criticize them again for publishing the blueprints of the nonexistent WMDs. Why, that makes about as much sense as criticizing the Administration for permitting North Korea to go nuclear... while at the same time criticizing the Administration for daring to contemplate an attack against Iran before it goes nuclear. (Nobody would say that in the same article, would they?)
UPDATE: Dadmanly has more. And Smash points out that, for once, the New York Times should be applauded for blowing the whistle. I agree.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
As seen on the Popular Mechanics site (hat tip: Instapundit):
Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment (utube.com) is suing YouTube (youtube.com), alleging that the similarity between the companies' Web addresses is wreaking havoc on the tube, pipe and rollform machinery supplier's business. Universal Tube says its average Web traffic of about 1500 users a month has swollen to more than 2 million--paralyzing the site and possibly hindering sales.Let me see if I get this straight. UTRE is suing YouTube... because YouTube has brought them too much publicity and Web traffic?? Maybe it's just my blogger bias, but isn't getting more attention a good thing, the sort of thing for which people pay big bucks to the advertising companies?
I'm certainly no expert on this sort of thing. But if this were my problem, I think I'd buy some muscular Web servers to handle the larger volume of traffic. (Cheaper than the lawsuit, I'll bet.) Then I'd put up a new front page, saying: "If you're looking for funky home-made videos, it's YouTube.com you want; click here. But as long as you're here, have you seen our great bargains in 3/4" stainless-steel piping?"
Just one man's opinion; your mileage may differ.
Labels: general interest
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
A number of people have called this to my attention, and I thought it was time to put my money where my mouth is.
So I've made a contribution to Valour-IT, a project that purchases and distributes voice-activated laptops to wounded servicemen. (This is one of several charitable projects run by Soldier's Angels, who work tirelessly in their mission: "may no soldier go unloved".)
I can only imagine how incredibly frustrating it must be, for a wounded warrior to not have use of his or her hands -- to not be able to send an e-mail, or catch up on Internet news. And I can only imagine how rewarding it must be to be in that situation and receive a laptop, fully equipped for voice control, that solves some of these problems.
Let me stress that, when it comes to supporting the troops, this is as non-political as it gets. You don't need to be a supporter of the War on Terror to want to help a wounded soldier. And, in the end, it doesn't matter if a member of the U.S. military was injured by an Iraqi IED, or an Afghan terror raid, or even a training accident; they volunteered to protect us, right or wrong, and they deserve our support.
You can see the status of donations, or make a donation of your own, at the top of my sidebar on the left. Donations can be made in the name of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines -- although the division is just for purposes of friendly competition, in order to raise more money.
Perhaps I should have made my donation in the name of the U.S. Navy; as of now, they have the fewest blogs promoting them and the lowest amount of money so far. I'd also have the benefit of working with my blogfather Smash.
But what can I say? I'm an old Army guy.