July 2006 Archives

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Peaceniks make fasting easier all the time

By Michael Fumento

Was a time when fasting at the very least meant eating less. But while our soldiers are sacrificing their lives for freedom, their detractors don't seem to be too keen on sacrificing anything at all. Thus we have the Cindy Sheehan "hunger strike," which allows smoothies, coffee with vanilla ice cream, and Jamba Juice. Michelle Malkin has a terrific video send-up of the Sheehan Pigout Hunger Strike at Hotair.com.

Now the peacenik group CodePink, according to the Washington Post, "has issued a nationwide call for people to go on at least a partial hunger strike, if only for a few hours, to show their opposition to the war in Iraq." Partial? For a few hours? Does that mean if you were planning on having two Twinkies and a bag of chips between lunch and dinner you should cut out one of the Twinkies? The life of a war protestor is a harsh one indeed!

July 31, 2006 05:57 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Iraq

Letter from a 1st Armored Brigade (Ramadi) mom

By Michael Fumento

Hello friend,

It has been a great comfort to me to find your website. My son is serving in Iraq at Camp Ramadi with the 1st Armored Division. We never hear of them in the news. He does not write and rarely phones. His wife is at his home base in Friedberg Germany and she does have phone contact with him. Her phone contact has been very sparse lately. All the TV news is full of the rape/murder charges of some GIs. It is very discouraging to us families. War is an ugly business and it is hard to be proud when all around us are voices telling of every indignity the enemy suffers. No one seems to care about what our soldiers are suffering. Hardly anyone seems to care that because of their sacrifice, airplanes are not getting hijacked any more, embassies around the world aren't getting blown up and Americans are not hostages in the hands of cruel and ignorant men. I don't have an education or a pedigree. I'm just a mom who loves her son. I appreciate your work in Iraq and I thank God for your safe return and the news you brought with you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Lynne

Dear Mrs. [omitted]:

I wish I could argue with what you say (and as a lawyer I'm a very good arguer) but most of your letter rings quite true. In WWII, FDR was always doing everything he could to integrate Americans into at least the deprivations of war. Most of his rationing programs were bunk; the idea was that rationing meant sacrifice and sacrifice was good. In Vietnam that all changed, as LBJ sought to insulate the public from the war in order to not distract from his incredible expansion of the welfare state called "The Great Society."

I liked the movie The War Tapes because it brings the war home. The soldiers in it actually have it much better in terms of comfort and safety than your son does but the point is made.

Yours Sincerely,
Michael Fumento

July 25, 2006 10:15 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Iraq

The Media vs. the US in Iraq, pt. 287

By Michael Fumento

According to an article in today's Washington Times, "One retired officer attendee [at a closed-door conference last spring at Fort Carson, Colo.] made notes and e-mailed his minutes of the session to other officers. The notes say there was general agreement on one issue: the 'mainstream media'largely ignore progress. A commander said an embedded reporter filed a generally positive story on the operation in Tal Afar, only to see his stateside editors gut it and apply a negative spin."

In fact, editors have grown increasingly resistant to embedding reporters with combat units, something they demanded be done before the invasion in March 2003. The purported reason: They think contact with U.S. service members hurts the reporters' objectivity. They come to see the world through the eyes of the troops," said the retired officer's e-mail. Now, newspapers and magazines rely heavily on Iraqi stringers who telephone in reports from various combat scenes.

"We are clearly winning the fight against the insurgents, but we are losing the public relations battle, both in the war zone and in the States," said the e-mail.

July 17, 2006 05:55 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Iraq

Update on the Band of Brothers and Ramadi

By Michael Fumento

Despite MSM-fed rumors to the contrary, there obviously was no Fallujah-style sweep into Ramadi. What did happen was that First Brigade, First Armored Division came to town from Kuwait. They quickly established no fewer than five Forward Operating Bases, which greatly bolsters coalition firepower in the city. Add to this that Iraqi Police are now operating in town and the pressure on the bad guys has definitely increased. The plan is to squeeze the enemy out of town like toothpaste from a tube and despite the tremendous violence I saw there, I believe it will work.

Regarding the 1/506th of the 101st Airborne, they still operate in the Mullaab and OP hotel areas and have enlarged the size of one of them. Attacks on 1/506th patrols are down right now but IED activity is up. Meanwhile, the unit has suffered no new fatalities since I was there. Allah Akbar! I asked if the downturn in fighting perhaps reflected an unwillingness to come out and fight during the dog days of summer (Don't think that because they were raised in it the Iraqis like the heat any more than the Americans; they don't)I was told that was quite possibly the case. So as temperatures begin to cool in September, we may expect hostilities to heat up. As it now stands, I'm planning to return in late September. Inshalla. (God willing.) Meanwhile, here are links to the next-to-last and last "Gunfighter Newsletters" from Cpt. "Crazy" Joe Claburn of C Company. Anyone wishing to send cards, letters, batteries (probably AA and AAA are best), or wet wipes to members of the battalion may do so via Cpt. Claburn. As you can see from his photos, there is no need to send him a comb.

ATTN: CPT JOE CLABURN
1st Battalion, 506th Infantry
Unit #73700
APO AE 09381

July 13, 2006 09:09 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Iraq

Wiki-attacks

By Michael Fumento

In today's Washington Post, an article on the posthumous update of the Wikipedia entry of former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay illustrates one way in which the online dictionary can be abused. As the Post points out, "Unlike, say, the Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia has no formal peer review for its articles. They may be written by experts or insane crazy people. Or worse, insane crazy people with an agenda. And Internet access." Tell me about it.

In Lay's case, the Post said, he'd barely been pronounced dead when the first entry appeared. Lay's Wikipedia entry said he had died "of an apparent suicide." Two minutes later, the article was "updated" to say Lay had died "of an apparent heart attack or suicide." Within the same minute, a Wiki author backtracked, and the article said the cause of death was "yet to be determined." And then, said the Post, "the yahoos began weighing in."

But what if you're still alive and kicking and somebody just doesn't like you? That's what's happened to me. An Aussie named Tim Lambert has as his raison d'etre attacking anybody who is more intelligent, more successful, and more relevant than he is. That leaves him with 6.3 billion targets -- more or less. But I ended up on his radar screen by making fun of him, as I am now. So he attacks me in any way he can, which as it happens is limited to the only two outlets in the whole world that will deign to publish him -- his blog and Wikipedia. (Perhaps at some point his blog will say "Enough is enough!" but probably not.) Nor will Wikipedia reject him. I have many outlets because I work for a living. But Lambert does nothing but teach a few computer science courses so he has something I don't, namely time. So he blogs, and blogs, and blogs and frequently enough attacks me. Worse yet, he uses Wikipedia to the same end. At one time I tried to pull one of his false attacks down from my Wikipedia entry but Lambert, with far more time than I have, simply kept putting it back up. Moreover, he then accused me -- horror of horrors! -- of having the temerity to change my own Wikipedia entry. Ultimately Lambert won out simply because, as I said, he has more time. That doesn't seem quite fair; but that's the way the Wiki works.

So there's a lesson in here. Actually, two. First, don't trust my Wiki entry. Go to my bio. But the bigger lesson is that any time any Wiki entry involves either a controversial person or a controversial subject, take it with a grain of salt. Ken Lay can't tell you that, but I can.

July 9, 2006 08:45 PM  ·  Permalink  ·  Media