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Posts by Gucho

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  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/16/2006 7:15:34 AM PDT · 34 of 58
    Gucho to TexKat; Diva Betsy Ross; AZamericonnie; Just A Nobody; Deetes; Lijahsbubbe; MEG33; ...

    Note: I will be offline for awhile.

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/16/2006 7:15:03 AM PDT · 33 of 58
    Gucho to TexKat; Diva Betsy Ross; AZamericonnie; Just A Nobody; Deetes; Lijahsbubbe; MEG33; ...

    Note: I will be offline for awhile.

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 9:02:59 PM PDT · 32 of 58
    Gucho to All

    Muslim anger over papal comments grows

    By BENJAMIN HARVEY - Associated Press Writer

    Sept. 15, 2006 - 9:31PM

    ISTANBUL, Turkey — Pakistan's legislature unanimously condemned Pope Benedict XVI. Lebanon's top Shiite cleric demanded an apology. And in Turkey, the ruling party likened the pontiff to Hitler and Mussolini and accused him of reviving the mentality of the Crusades.

    Across the Islamic world Friday, Benedict's remarks on Islam and jihad in a speech in Germany unleashed a torrent of rage that many fear could burst into violent protests like those that followed publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

    By citing an obscure Medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman," Benedict inflamed Muslim passions and aggravated fears of a new outbreak of anti-Western protests.

    The last outpouring of Islamic anger at the West came in February over the prophet cartoons first published in a Danish newspaper. The drawings sparked protests _ some of them deadly _ in almost every Muslim nation in the world.

    Some experts said the perceived provocation by the spiritual leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics could leave even deeper scars.

    "The declarations from the pope are more dangerous than the cartoons, because they come from the most important Christian authority in the world _ the cartoons just came from an artist," said Diaa Rashwan, an analyst in Cairo, Egypt, who studies Islamic militancy.

    On Friday, Pakistan's parliament adopted a resolution condemning Benedict for making what it called "derogatory" comments about Islam, and seeking an apology. Hours later, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican's ambassador to express regret over the pope's remarks Tuesday.

    Notably, the strongest denunciations came from Turkey _ a moderate democracy seeking European Union membership where Benedict is scheduled to visit in November as his first trip as pope to a Muslim country.

    Salih Kapusuz, deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-rooted party, said Benedict's remarks were either "the result of pitiful ignorance" about Islam and its prophet or, worse, a deliberate distortion.

    "He has a dark mentality that comes from the darkness of the Middle Ages. He is a poor thing that has not benefited from the spirit of reform in the Christian world," Kapusuz told Turkish state media. "It looks like an effort to revive the mentality of the Crusades."

    "Benedict, the author of such unfortunate and insolent remarks, is going down in history for his words," Kapusuz added. "He is going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini."

    Even Turkey's staunchly pro-secular opposition party demanded the pope apologize before his visit. Another party led a demonstration outside Ankara's largest mosque, and a group of about 50 people placed a black wreath outside the Vatican's diplomatic mission.

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the pope should explain and "tell us what exactly did he mean. ... It can't just be left like that."

    Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi has tried to defuse anger, saying the pope did not intend to offend Muslim sensibilities and insisting Benedict respects Islam. In Pakistan, the Vatican envoy voiced regret at "the hurt caused to Muslims."

    But Muslim leaders said outreach efforts by papal emissaries were not enough.

    "We do not accept the apology through Vatican channels ... and ask him (Benedict) to offer a personal apology _ not through his officials," Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon's most senior Shiite cleric, told worshippers in Beirut.

    Rashwan, the analyst, feared the official condemnations could be followed by widespread popular protests. Already there had been scattered demonstrations in several Muslim countries.

    "What we have right now are public reactions to the pope's comments from political and religious figures, but I'm not optimistic concerning the reaction from the general public, especially since we have no correction from the Vatican," Rashwan said.

    About 2,000 Palestinians angrily protested Friday night in Gaza City. Earlier, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of the Islamic militant group Hamas, said the pope had offended Muslims everywhere.

    In Cairo, some 100 demonstrators stood outside the al-Azhar mosque chanting: "Oh Crusaders, oh cowards! Down with the pope!"

    The pope quoted from a book recounting a conversation between 14th-century Byzantine Christian Emperor Manuel Paleologos II and a Persian scholar on the truths of Christianity and Islam.

    "The emperor comes to speak about the issue of jihad, holy war," Benedict said. "He said, I quote, 'Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"

    The pope did not explicitly agree with nor repudiate the comment.

    In Britain, the head of the Muslim Council, a body representing 400 Muslim groups, said the emperor's views quoted by the pope were bigoted.

    "One would expect a religious leader such as the pope to act and speak with responsibility and repudiate the Byzantine emperor's views in the interests of truth and harmonious relations between the followers of Islam and Catholicism," said Muhammad Abdul Bari, the council's secretary-general.

    Many Muslims accused Benedict of seeking to promote Judeo-Christian dominance over Islam.

    Even Iraq's often divided Shiite and Sunni Arabs found unity in their anger over the remarks, with clerics from both communities criticizing Benedict.

    "The pope and Vatican proved to be Zionists and that they are far from Christianity, which does not differ from Islam. Both religions call for forgiveness, love and brotherhood," Shiite cleric Sheik Abdul-Kareem al-Ghazi said during a sermon in Iraq's second-largest city, Basra.

    Few in Turkey, especially, failed to pick up on Benedict's reference to Istanbul as Constantinople _ the city's name more than 500 years ago _ before it was conquered by Muslim Ottoman Turks.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the German-born pope, saying his message had been misunderstood.

    "It is an invitation to dialogue between religions and the pope has explicitly urged this dialogue, which I also endorse and see as urgently necessary," she said Friday. "What Benedict XVI makes clear is a decisive and uncompromising rejection of any use of violence in the name of religion."

    In the United States, a Muslim group, the Council for American-Islamic Relations, asked for a meeting with a Vatican representative and urged more efforts at improving understanding between Muslims and Catholics.

    "The proper response to the pope's inaccurate and divisive remarks is for Muslims and Catholics worldwide to increase dialogue and outreach efforts aimed at building better relations between Christianity and Islam," the group said.

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 8:12:13 PM PDT · 31 of 58
    Gucho to Gucho
    Click Medical Assistance in Afghanistan ~ Photo Essay

    U.S. Army soldiers from Provisional Reconstruction Team Ghazni assess a bridge to verify it is clear to cross during a convoy returning to Forward Operating Base Warrior from a medical civic action program in Nawa, Afghanistan, Sept. 5, 2006. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Bertha A. Flores)

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 7:58:22 PM PDT · 30 of 58
    Gucho to All
    Gunmen assassinate Iraqi Colonel in Mosul; police foils oil attack

    IRBIL, Sept 15 (KUNA) -- Iraqi police in Mosul said on Friday that gunmen in the northern city of Mosul had killed a Police Colonel and in the southwest city of Kirkuk police foiled a bomb attack on an oil pipeline at Biji's oil refinery.

    An Iraqi police source said unknown gunmen opened fire on the police chief Colonel Halab Abdulrahman while he was entering his house in the Al-Zanjili area.

    On a different note, a source from the Iraqi military security force protecting oil installations said that the force had foiled a bomb attack on an oil pipeline that transfers crude oil from Kirkuk to Biji's oil refinery.

    Armed men tried to plant explosives underneath the pipeline but fled after shots were fired from the security protection force, the source said.

  • FReeper Canteen~Music For Our Troops!~September 16, 2006

    09/15/2006 7:11:32 PM PDT · 240 of 2,541
    Gucho to laurenmarlowe
  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 6:52:58 PM PDT · 29 of 58
    Gucho to All

    Baghdad to be ringed with trenches

    9/16/2006 - 3:36:56

    Source ::: AFP

    Baghdad • Iraq said yesterday that it will ring Baghdad with trenches in a bid to restrict movements of insurgents, as more than 100 people were reported killed in sectarian attacks in the past three days.

    The new security measures were spelled out yesterday by Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdel Karim Khalaf. “We will surround the city with trenches,” Khalaf said. “The entry to the capital will be permitted through 28 roads as against 21 at the moment, but at the same time we will seal off dozens of other minor roads with access to Baghdad.”

    He said checkpoints will be set up on the 28 roads on which access will be allowed. Another top security official said the plan was to “monitor who is coming into Baghdad and who is going out. This way we will have a better control of movements, including those of insurgents.”

    Baghdad has a circumference of 80km and observers noted that an operation of this scale would take months to complete. The latest measure comes after insurgents and death squads continue to kill dozens of people daily despite a massive Iraq and US security plan — Operation Together Forward — in place since mid-June.

    More than 30,000 troops are patrolling the capital’s streets to restore stability. The latest bout of communal bloodletting saw more than 100 people killed in the past three days, with their bullet-riddled corpses recovered from the streets, according to officials Friday. Pointing a finger at Shi’ite death squads, Iraq’s top Sunni leader Adnan Al Dulaimi said that “well-known militias” were behind the killings that he warned were propelling the country towards “disaster.”

    US and Iraqi security officials said most of the newly recovered corpses were shot dead execution-style, with bullets to their heads and many showing signs of torture. Khalaf said that 51 bodies had been recovered in Baghdad in the past 24 hours.

    The US military said one of its soldiers went missing when a suicide car bomber detonated his vehicle next to a “hardened structure” west of Baghdad.

  • FReeper Canteen~Music For Our Troops!~September 16, 2006

  • FReeper Canteen~Music For Our Troops!~September 16, 2006

    09/15/2006 6:37:59 PM PDT · 111 of 2,541
    Gucho to 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; laurenmarlowe; Mojo; All
    Bump! Good evening, and thanks for the ping & thread.

    Maj. Joseph Golovach (left) and Capt. John Ramsey III bring their C-17 Globemaster III in for a landing on Wake Island on Tuesday. The C-17 brought a 53-person team to assess damage left by Super Typhoon Ioke after it struck the island Aug. 31. Both pilots are from the 535th Airlift Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo / U.S. Air Force
  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 5:53:28 PM PDT · 28 of 58
    Gucho to All
    Ceremony makes it official: 173rd Airborne Brigade is a combat team

    On Friday members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade held a ceremony marking its official transformation to an Airborne Brigade Combat Team. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

    Col. Charles Preysler, the 173rd's commander, speaks at Friday's ceremony. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

    By Geoff Ziezulewicz - Stars and Stripes European edition

    Saturday, September 16, 2006

    BAMBERG, Germany — Few units are as emblematic of the Defense Department’s vision of the transformed Army as the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

    The Sky Soldiers, based in Vicenza, Italy, are doubling their battalion-size units and number of soldiers, adding new and enhanced capabilities in the process, all with the goal of being the agile, independent and modular force that the Pentagon has touted as the mainstay of 21st-century warfare. The brigade will have more than 3,000 soldiers, up from about 1,500. About 60 percent of those soldiers are new arrivals.

    To celebrate that change, members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade held a ceremony Friday marking its official transformation to an Airborne Brigade Combat Team

    The 173rd is the only brigade in the Army that does not answer to a division, said Maj. Nick Sternberg, a unit spokesman. Members wear their brigade insignia on their shoulder, instead of the patch of a higher command.

    The brigade has added cavalry and artillery battalion-size units, as well as a special troops battalion that will give the 173rd its own engineers and other positions, negating the need to borrow from other units for deployment.

    “The capabilities have dramatically increased,” Col. Charles Preysler, the 173rd commander, said after the ceremony Friday in Bamberg.

    In the past, the 173rd would have had to borrow units or specialized troops from elsewhere to deploy, Preysler said.

    “Another unit could give you a capability, but you didn’t know them,” he said. “Now I don’t have to go to others.”

    But with all the brigade’s newly acquired oomph come some logistical challenges. Most prominently, only two of the brigade’s six battalion-size units will be with headquarters at the cramped Caserma Ederle base in Italy. The other four will be based in Bamberg and Schweinfurt, for the foreseeable future, another aspect that, for better or worse, makes the brigade unique in the Army.

    It would be ideal to have the whole brigade in one spot, Preysler said, but videoconferencing and e-mail alleviate some of the organizational hurdles that come with the geographic separation.

    And eventually, he said, the brigade will be together in Italy. How soon that will happen is another question. Italian and U.S. officials for the past year or so have been negotiating over the use of the Italian-run Dal Molin airfield, which is near Caserme Ederle.

    While geographically separated, some units have had to morph when they were reassigned under the Sky Soldiers. The 1st Infantry Division’s 1st Squadron, 4th Calvary Regiment ditched its M-1 tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles this year for more-mobile Humvees and other vehicles needed for it’s new mission with the 173rd.

    Friday’s ceremony, which capped a couple of days of visiting by the commander and 173rd’s Italy-based pieces, was a chance for everyone to get together and be reminded that they’re all one brigade, Preysler said.

    Being separated is nothing new to these troops, he added. That is consistent with its most recent deployment to Afghanistan, which ended earlier this year, he said.

    “This is how the brigade was commanded and controlled over thousands of square miles” during the last deployment, Preysler said. “We fight this way, distributed across the battlefield.”

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 5:35:24 PM PDT · 27 of 58
    Gucho to All
    2nd ID soldiers get qualified to light up the sky

    Soldiers watch as a Multiple Launch Rocket System crew fire a training rocket near the northeastern edge of Gyeonggi province known as "Rocket Valley" Wednesday. (Erik Slavin / S&S)

    By Erik Slavin - Stars and Stripes Pacific edition

    Saturday, September 16, 2006

    BOAR 1 TRAINING AREA, South Korea — In the world of multiple launch rocket systems, new responsibilities are just a seat away.

    Army privates in the “13 Mike” specialty start off as drivers on the three-man crew of each tracked system vehicle, which can fire up to 12 rockets in one minute. If they perform their driving and maintenance duties well, then it won’t be long until they get the opportunity to fire the weapons that lit up the sky during the 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery’s qualification tests this past week.

    “You get the driver ready to move over one chair as soon as they’re ready for it,” Alpha Battery gunner Sgt. Steven Lucas said Wednesday. “But a good crew should be able to take each other’s place.”

    The mentoring process also has benefited from supervisors who have directed, supplied or fired rockets in combat.

    “[Combat experience] helps in explaining the ‘Why are we doing this’ questions,” said crew chief Staff Sgt. Carl Lewis, who served during the 2003 opening battles in Iraq. “It put a lot of things in perspective for me.”

    The crews receive data from a remote fire direction command post, where soldiers plot the impact area. They must factor in terrain, weather and enemy positions. The training rockets fly about nine miles, while the real thing flies about three times farther.

    The vehicle crews are backed up by soldiers like ammunition section chief Staff Sgt. Clarence Duncan III, who also served in an MLRS vehicle in Iraq during the 2003 invasion.

    His experience has helped him understand how to train the same way soldiers must fight, he said.

    “In the beginning [in Iraq], it was shoot first and ask questions later,” Duncan said. “Then as the rules of engagement changed, there were a lot more safety precautions and checks.”

    Safety rules still were followed at the start, Duncan said, but the war tempo meant determining whether to go ahead with a mission in less than ideal circumstances.

    “I saw the purpose as far as the technicality of it,” he said. “I’m definitely able to relate to [soldiers] better [that] way … the operation applies to real world missions.”

    Soldiers say that battlefield knowledge, along with more frequent practice than the required biannual qualifications, has made younger soldiers better at a quicker pace.

    Pvt. Nathan Walters, an MLRS driver, has already taken part in 10 rocket fires, he said.

    A few soldiers say the excitement of all the smoke and fireworks wears off, but many, even among the senior enlisted, still get a childlike kick out of the seeing the rockets fly.

    “Yeah, it’s still a pretty good thrill for me to watch them,” Walters said.

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 5:01:08 PM PDT · 25 of 58
    Gucho to Cindy

    Abu Ayyub al-Masri Up to $5 Million Reward

    Thanks for posting this info -

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 4:20:20 PM PDT · 23 of 58
    Gucho to All
    Current Radar Weather

    #1 Old Radio Shows ~~ 10:00pm EST - 2:00am EST

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  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 4:18:36 PM PDT · 21 of 58
    Gucho to All
    Click Stars & Stripes, Front Page Photo ~ Mideast Edition


    Basrah, Iraq

    Kuwait International Airport

    Kabul, Afghanistan

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 4:17:08 PM PDT · 20 of 58
    Gucho to All

    01:00am ET - 05:00am ET - Coast to Coast AM with George Noory

    12:00pm ET - 03:00pm ET - The Rush Limbaugh Show

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    Neal Boortz -- 9:00AM ET-12:00PM ET

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    Paul Harvey News Radio Archives

    SUNDAY ~ 10:00pm ET - 01:00am ET - Matt Drudge-LIVE!

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    10:00PM ET - 1:00AM ET~~The Laura Ingraham Show

    12p.m. ET - 2 p.m. ET~~Bill O'Reilly

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    10:00pm ET -1:00am ET ~~ The Jim Bohannon Show

    Click Rollin Down the Road ~~ 12:00am ET - 5am ET

    Thr Michael Reagan Show~~ 9:00pm ET - 12:00am ET

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  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 677 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 572

    09/15/2006 4:12:46 PM PDT · 39 of 39
    Gucho to TexKat; All
  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 4:10:39 PM PDT · 18 of 58
    Gucho to Diva Betsy Ross; AZamericonnie; Just A Nobody; Deetes; Lijahsbubbe; MEG33; No Blue States; ...
    Victory in Iraq Will Be Complex, General Says

    By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA - American Forces Press Service

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 15, 2006 – The U.S. military’s goal is to win the fight against insurgents in Anbar province and across Iraq, but leaders recognize that winning will take more than just military operations, a top U.S. general in Iraq said today.

    “We are fighting to win, but we understand that winning is a combination of a whole bunch of things in this insurgency we're fighting, and as I've indicated time and time again, this is different than any other fight I believe the United States of America has ever found itself in,” Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, said in a news conference from Iraq. “And I, quite frankly, think that … many of the characteristics of this fight will be characteristics of future fights if we get into them.”

    In a telephone interview with reporters earlier this week, Marine Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, said the mission of the forces in Anbar province is primarily to train Iraqi security forces, and not to defeat the insurgents militarily. Zilmer was responding to media accounts about a classified report from Zilmer's senior intelligence officer, which reportedly gave a grim assessment on the political and security situation in Anbar.

    Chiarelli said today that Zilmer’s comments were accurate, in that military operations alone will not achieve victory in Anbar. Success there and throughout Iraq will depend on political and economic development and on the development of Iraqi security forces able to take responsibility for security in their own country, he said.

    “I don't believe there is any military strategy alone, any kinetic operations that we can run alone, that will create the conditions for victory which we must have,” Chiarelli said. “There are economic and political conditions that have to improve out at al Anbar, as they do everywhere in Iraq, for us to be successful.”

    Chiarelli stressed that the U.S. is not walking away from Anbar province and will do everything possible to end the violence in that region.

    The level of U.S. forces in Anbar province is sufficient, especially given the conditions in Baghdad and the focused operations there, Chiarelli said. U.S. commanders on the ground agree that ending violence in Baghdad is the main U.S. effort right now, and forces in Iraq are aligned accordingly, he said.

    “In military parlance we always weight our main effort, and that's what we're doing right now,” Chiarelli said. “We're going to continue to do that till we get the conditions in Baghdad where they need to be.”

    The Baghdad security plan is making progress, Chiarelli said. Sectarian violence has decreased, and areas are already seeing economic development. Baghdad is a large city, and operations there will not be short-term, he said, but U.S. forces continue to work with Iraqi forces and political leaders to reduce violence and improve services and conditions for the Iraqi people.

    “We're very, very pleased with what has occurred with the Baghdad security plan, and we look forward in the months ahead to seeing conditions in Baghdad continue to improve,” he said.

    Related Articles:

    Anbar Security Problems Highlight Differences in Iraq

    Related Sites:

    Multinational Corps Iraq

  • Operation Phantom Fury--Day 678 - Now Operations River Blitz; Matador--Day 573

    09/15/2006 4:09:12 PM PDT · 17 of 58
    Gucho to All
    Mideast Edition