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Tue May 26, 2015 at 05:04 PM PDT

A Back-Azimuth on Iraq II

by jfdunphy

It's been more than a decade now that George W. Bush's neocons initiated the regime-change "war of choice" in Iraq  to oust Saddam Hussein from power. One by-product is that there are now some books coming out that attempt a military history post-mortem, so that the commanders in the next conflict can avoid repeating any avoidable blunders. One that I would like to highlight here is: Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq," by then New York Times Pentagon correspondent Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor (Pantheon Books, New York; 2006). By itself, the book offers some useful insights into how things can go wrong in the course of combat, even with a power that is clearly outclassed in terms of military might. But this isn't a typical book review.
     Follow the orange parachute cord to the 7 "snowflakes" below:


Where do you stand on the Powell Doctrine?

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Reposted from Z. Woof by Onomastic

or liberty, or the flag.

I didn't serve for the reasons people think of when they tell me, "Thanks for your service."

I knew that this war was not about any of that stuff.

I served for 365 days and a wake up, as we called it.

I served so I would not be imprisoned by my government.

I served because my father asked me to. Later, he admitted he was wrong and apologized.

I served with these guys.

I served to save them and myself for 365 days and a wake up.

I failed.


Fri May 22, 2015 at 11:54 AM PDT

The Taliban in Our Midst

by Mikey Weinstein

Reposted from Mikey Weinstein by Shockwave

[Mikey Weinstein]: This guest Op-Ed from my dear friend, Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) Advisory Board member, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson, comes in light of an unprecedented Christian fundamentalist furor over MRFF’s demands for the U.S Air Force to court-martial Major General Craig Olson. Why did we demand this punishment for Olson?  Because of this senior General’s illegal and unconstitutionally sectarian speech of shocking Christian proselytizing earlier this month at a religious extremist organization’s ("National Day of Prayer Task Force”) internationally televised event held on Capitol Hill. This disingenuous hue and cry surrounds our ongoing fight against dominionist hegemony within the highest ranks of the U.S. armed forces, long a hotbed of nationalistic Christian supremacist extremism. Sadly, this outrageous scandal has reinforced the fact that many of the worst opponents of the U.S. Constitution are our nation’s highest-ranking military officers themselves… Mikey.

Military officers who wear their religion on their sleeve are a danger to our country at any time, but especially after the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001.

Whether it’s US Army Lieutenant General William G. Boykin telling his audience that “My God is bigger than his” in the close aftermath of that tragedy, or the more recent example of US Air Force Major General Craig Olson saying in uniform and in public—and speaking in tones far more like a preacher than a military officer—“I am a redeemed believer in Christ“, these are dangerous men, making dangerous displays of religion.

Moreover, such displays occur in an environment where they are strictly prohibited by secular rules.  These rules—and in the case of the US Air Force, written regulations—are in place for a reason. 

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Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy
Received this e-mail today from VoteVets and Secretary of State Jason Kander's (D. MO) U.S. Senate campaign:
I joined the U.S. Army as a Calvary Scout in August of 2001, one month before the attacks on September 11th.

I served a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and later deployed to Iraq as a Brigade sniper on counter IED and counter mortar missions. I performed over 160 combat missions without the use of an armored vehicle, engaged in countless firefights, and survived dozens of ambushes.

My transition back to civilian life was challenging. I struggled with intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression, and more. But I found peace in the outdoors -- camping, hiking, and exploring natural wonders became a way of life.

That's why I support legislation granting free lifetime access to our national parks for veterans, and I'm asking you to join me.

Add your name to mine and tell Congress: Support legislation that would provide veterans free access to public parks.

Currently, to enjoy a lifetime pass on these lands, a veteran requires a disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There are millions of veterans with a service connected disability, but too often some choose not to file claims or even visit the VA after returning home.

Free access to our nation's parks and federal recreational lands would definitely give many of them incentive to get outdoors for what would be a very therapeutic experience. A 2013 University of Michigan study backs that claim up. They found a link between outdoor activity and long-term psychological well-being among veterans.

That's why this legislation is so important. Join Jason Kander and VoteVets and tell Congress to pass legislation providing veterans free access to public parks.

Jason Kander will fight for this legislation in the U.S. Senate. But hopefully, if we act now, Congress will make it happen before he gets there.

All the best,

Garett Reppenhagen
Iraq War Veteran

Click here to add your name:


Wed May 20, 2015 at 03:54 AM PDT

Community Quilt for Gordon20024

by Sara R

Reposted from Community Quilt Project by Vetwife

CelticLassie's quilt.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts...

It is a shock when you learn that a friend has cancer.  Gordon20024 recently learned that he does.  He is a person who is always there for others, as many Kossacks in several groups know well.  So now it is time for us to be there for him...  We can do this with a community quilt, full of words of love and support, that he can take with him to treatment or use anytime at home as he heals.

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Sun May 17, 2015 at 06:29 PM PDT

♥Note To A Marine♥

by rebel ga

Reposted from rebel ga by rebel ga

Hi Joe
♥I'm Still Here, Waiting♥

Veterans Crisis Line
1-800-273-TALK (8255 and dial 1)
Gov't And Social Services Links For Our Marines♥ All Our ♥Troops And ♥Veterans

United Veterans Of America

Because; we never do anything, nice and easy!

Jango Social Radio/Videos Free music-internet radio that plays what you want!

I'm Not Laughing At Him, I'm laughing with him. It's complicated.
If you knew him, you'd laugh at some of his antics too! The King of Drama!
Yes, You, Joe Brennan. I am making fun of you. But in a good way. Where the heck are you?

Vietnam Veterans Of America Legislative Issues

Vietnam Veterans Of America
8605 Cameron Street, Suite 400
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
phone: 301-585-4000
fax: 301-585-0519
Toll Free: 1-800-882-1316

Donate Your Old Car
Car donation proceeds benefit the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Donations

from, Georgia

The Greater Newark/New York Fresh Air Fund Sends Children To Summer Camp
Sign Up Your Child

A Home For The Homeless
The Brothers of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Incorporated at the campus of Kean University have started an initiative to build a home for a homeless family currently residing at the Sierra House Homeless Shelter in East Orange, NJ.

Supportive Housing And Shelters-By State And Town List of housing resources Homeless Shelters, Supportive Housing, Housing for Low Income, Halfway Housing, Transitional Housing, Day Shelters, Low Cost Housing.

♥Never Swim When There's No Life Guard And Never Swim Alone♥

Reposted from Mikey Weinstein by Shockwave
Official photo for Maj. Gen. Craig S. Olson (U.S. Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/Released)

That terrible warning to the USA, often attributed to the first American writer to ever win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1930), the great Sinclair Lewis, is now more terribly applicable than EVER; “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

That time has come, my friends, and it’s BEEN coming for quite a while now.

The United States Military has undergone a slow-motion fundamentalist Christian coup d'état. On perhaps no other occasion has this been made clearer than in the brazenly illegal, anti-Constitutional, and wholly theocratic speech delivered on Capitol Hill by United States Air Force Major General Craig Olson to the assembled guests at a 2015 National Day of Prayer Task Force event on May 7, 2015. Unbeknownst to most Americans, yet broadcasted internationally via fundamentalist evangelical television (seriously, it’s actually called “GOD TV”) and internet streams, the uniformed Major General’s insipid 20-minute sermon revealed the frightening face of viciously intolerant, Christo-fascistic religious extremism run amok throughout the U.S. Armed Forces. The worldwide and national security implications of such a Christian supremacist force unleashed throughout our armed service branches is staggeringly high, yet the issue mournfully remains largely ignored by the lassitude and willful ignorance of mainstream press outlets.

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Reposted from A Progressive Military Wife by angelajean

I've introduced you guys to Major General Arnold Punaro (USMC, retired) once before:

Through Leidos Holdings, he has a total compensation package of $2,735,249. His other sources of income seem minor in comparison - Sourcefire Inc came in at $172,239 and SAIC,Inc at $15,600, and DesignLine Corp at $149,998. He continues to give advice to the Pentagon via the Reserve Forces Policy Board and the controversial Defense Business Board.

General Punaro isn't the only rich guy serving on the Defense Business Board and, together, they recommend outcomes that would benefit the board members and their companies as much if not more than the Department of Defense:

Its 21 members know little about military affairs, but they are rich in Wall Street experience, including with some of the biggest companies implicated in the 2008 financial meltdown. They are investment bank CEOs and CFOs, outsourcing experts, and layoff specialists who promote a corporate agenda of "behavior change" and "business solutions" in the military bureaucracy. The board proposes not only to slash and privatize military pensions, but also to have the Pentagon invest in oil futures, boost pay for its executives and political appointees, and make it easier for them to fire rank-and-file employees while scaling back those workers' collective-bargaining rights.

Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones, Nov 21, 2011

General Punaro's inclusion gives the Defense Business Board military credibility and has opened up other opportunities for the General to speak out on reforming military pay and benefits. He did that yesterday, with the Center for American Progress (CAP). The video is available on YouTube.

As soon as any organization invites General Punaro to speak, be warned. They won't be talking about how to save hard earned benefits and compensation but how to cut them.

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Reposted from Vetwife by Vetwife
I have been trying to plan a trip to DC for a very long time regarding the quest of making Veterans equal regarding Pre 911 and Post 911 benefits.   The Presidential Medal of Freedom for Dr. Ferguson Reid idea I believe so strongly about gave me the perfect opportunity to make the journey.

I orginally had planned and desperately wanted to go to the Roanoke meetup, however
the scheduling of some meetings that were made, the trip distance between my journey from one side of Virginia to the other plus my problem with altitude sickness kept conflicting with the business in DC.  I had to figure out which thing to do and not miss my mission PLUS meet Dr. Ferguson Reid, Fergie Jr. and keep my appointments..  This was really hard.  Sorry Randalt and Gordon..  I really tried to figure it out.

Follow me below the yellow cloud.

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Reposted from pdc by poopdogcomedy
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) greets supporters Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 at the Disabled American Veterans Headquarters after being sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)  B582622945Z.1  ....OUTSIDE TRIBUNE CO.- NO MAGS,  NO SALES, NO INTERNET, NO TV, CHICAGO OUT, NO DIGITAL MANIPULATION...
Received this e-mail today from Rep. Tammy Duckworth's (D. IL) U.S. Senate campaign:
Abusive lenders have long preyed on military families. They surround bases with misleading advertisements and charge heavy interest payments, causing unmanageable debt.

The good news is that the Department of Defense is working to prevent predatory lenders from targeting military families with high-cost loans. But banking industry lobbyists are trying to delay important new protections.

I introduced an amendment last Wednesday to immediately protect our service members from predatory loans, and it passed the House Armed Services Committee. Now, we need to ensure that members of the Senate stand strong against banking industry lobbying too.

Join me and VoteVets: tell the Senate we should protect military families from predatory lending without delay:

Predatory lending doesn’t just hurt military families - it threatens military readiness by affecting security clearances and even forcing experienced service members to leave the military.

When our troops work to protect our nation, they should not have to shoulder the additional burden of worrying about a bad credit report or the threat of potential foreclosure.

Thank you for speaking up for military families,


Click here to add your name:

Reposted from Mikey Weinstein by Shockwave

A major war is being viciously waged against the United States of America, a war that’s global in scope and poses a terrifying threat to our national security interests. The ruthless attacks, which this conflict has generated, have inflicted grievous damage to nothing less than the U.S. Constitution itself, as well as the foundational core values of the United States armed forces. While the mainstream media has been woefully asleep regarding this raging conflict, the Pentagon has verified through its own official publications that the war has already led to vast transformations within the armed forces. Religious fanatics are spearheading this pernicious worldwide campaign and, no, I’m NOT referring to Shia or Sunni Islamic jihadists…. but “jihadist” was a good guess. I’m referring, of course, to our very own fire & brimstone fundamentalist Christian crusaders, both within uniform and without, who have seemingly infiltrated every echelon of the United States armed forces. These religious extremists are bolstered by legions of civilian zealots, parachurch organizations, legislators, and persons of influence who are carrying out their own grievous massacre of bedrock civil rights under the banner of “religious freedom.”

You want the latest proof? Witness the appalling appellation and homage recently given to USAF Chaplain (Capt.) Sonny Hernandez, 445th Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps: freshly crowned as the "Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Individual Mobilization Accession Company Grade Officer of the Year" at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Dayton, Ohio. The official statement regarding this newly benighted Company Grade Officer of the Year sounds wonderfully amazing and ecumenical. Well, don’t cue the U.S. Air Force band rendition of Kumbaya yet, folks – the plot’s about to thicken with bountiful bile and phlegm.

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Reposted from Awaypoint by Shockwave

Did a recent graphic by the anti-gay, pro-religious-freedom American Family Association make their intentions a little too clear?

The American Family Association (AFA) proudly describes itself as one of the largest and most effective “pro-family” organizations in the United States.

This doesn’t mean that AFA advocates for healthcare or paid family leave or family planning or education funding or laws that protect abused children, or aid to dependent children, or other evidence based services that promote family flourishing. Nope; it means they use their legal clout and broadcast media to oppose gay rights in places like Indiana, obstruct access to abortion care, repeal universal healthcare, and defund public services and regulations.

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