Veterans News Blog

Vets Issues

Monthly Archives: December 2006

Saddam’s Last Moments

Play Podcast Clip

Clutching a Quran and refusing a hood, Saddam Hussein went to the gallows before sunrise Saturday, executed by vengeful countrymen after a quarter-century of remorseless brutality that killed countless thousands and led Iraq into disastrous wars against the United States and Iran. Full Story


The fog of the “new cold war”


And guess who’s winning, so far

LIKE analogies involving the second world war, the “new cold war” is not a phrase to use lightly.

Or maybe at all. Russia is not now seeking military domination of Europe. It is not a one-party state. Nor does it claim to be the embodiment of an ideological success story. The once-towering edifice of Marxist-Leninist ideology is as ruined as social credit or syndicalism. An exposition of “sovereign democracy”, as the Kremlin now grandly calls its scheme of things, would barely fill a postcard, let alone a textbook.

To compare all this to the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev’s era may look not only insulting, but absurd. The West’s differences with Russia seem mere nuances when set against the gulf between the modern world and the suicide bomber.

But to argue only that the old cold war is dead and gone is to risk missing the point. Whatever we end up calling it, a new period of deep-seated rivalry is approaching—and perhaps has already begun. As in the mid-to-late 1940s, such things take a bit of time to sink in.

Point one: Russia is different. Whether you think of it as Gazpromistan, or as Kremlin Inc, the Russian state now is as inelegant a creature as ever it was in communist times. It is an authoritarian bureaucratic-capitalist arrangement in which a squabbling elite, drawn largely from the security services, extracts enormous rents from raw materials, steals some, and uses the rest to vie for power, spouting nationalist and sometimes xenophobic rhetoric to maintain popularity.

In short, it turns wealth into power, and then power back into wealth. At home—and abroad.

Point two: Russia is a threat. The Soviet cocktail of communism and imperialism was a hard sell. Especially towards the end, it meant poverty and dictatorship, plus foreign domination. Russia’s main weapons now are more subtle and potent: cheap gas, and money for the right people. The orgy of greed and moral myopia in Moscow in the past 15 years has shown that lawyers, accountants and bankers are willing to forget professional ethics for huge fees…. rest of article

Saddam and His Half Brother Were Sent to the Gallows Tonight

podcast 10

podcast 11

Free Real Player

Saddam and His Half Brother Were Sent to the Gallows Tonight

Ever Since Aug 3rd 1990 when SPC Allen ran out of the Sat Com and said the 82nd was Deploying to Saudi and we spent the rest night on duty talking about Nostradamus and the beginning of WW III. With that started a long 14 months or so for me and my buddies at the 21st USAFAD in Corlu,Turkey.
Before then I had never even heard of Saddam and knew little of his country. Well needless to say that changed quickly and here we are 16 years and 4 months later he is finally gone. About damn time and good riddance to old Saddam.
What his death does in the grand scheme of these things today is so minimal. We are and will still be in Iraq for some time to come and the reality is no matter what we do from here on out Iraqis will have to determine Iraq’s fate what more could we or should we do is debatable. Sooner rather than later we will have to face the fact that they are headed for civil war and misery. We can delay, prolong and other wise slow its pace but it is coming whether it starts tomorrow or 10 years from now. They will descend further into a abyss and it won’t be pretty. Iraq might even become more vile and broken for a while but there will be a fight and hey you know what maybe after they have wiped enough of each other out and determined the victorious faction another Iron fisted totalitarian regime will cobble together what is left and will rule with brutal fear and torture and there will be something resembling peace. Iraq is doomed to repeat this cycle over again and there is no social engineering that can change that the sooner we realize it the better. Lets beef up the Troops go on a terrorist killing rampage and withdraw and leave the Iraqi People to their destiny whatever that might be, but I think we now know what it will most probably be. Let’s save Freedom and Democracy for people who want it.

Tal Afar Aerial Attacks

Check out this footage of US aerial attacks over the city of Tal Afar, Iraq.
wmv, 7.59 MB

Submitted By: Anonymous

download or watch

Podcast 8

Podcast 8

Fight against terrorism similar to

anti-communist Cold War

As Rummy leaves he once again compares the GWOT to the Cold War

By Cal Thomas

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld leaves office on Friday after six turbulent years of rebuilding the military for a post-Cold War era, while simultaneously overseeing service members he calls, “the best-led, the best-equipped, the best-trained, the most capable — in the world.” As we met in his office on the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was reflective about the past and worried about the future.

Rumsfeld regrets using the phrase “the war on terror”: “I say that because the word `war’ conjures up World War II more than it does the Cold War. It creates a level of expectation of victory and an ending within 30 or 60 minutes (like) a soap opera. It isn’t going to happen that way.”

It’s not a war on terror, he adds, because “terror is a weapon of choice for extremists who are trying to destabilize regimes and (through) a small group of clerics, impose their dark vision on all the people they can control.”

Rumsfeld believes much of the public still does not understand the intensity of the struggle. He says he hasn’t read the entire Iraq Study Group Report, just the summary and news accounts, but has this take on the conflict: “I personally believe that the consequences of allowing the situation in Iraq to be turned over to terrorists would be so severe — because Iraq would become a haven to plan attacks on the moderate countries in the region and the United States. (It would) diminish the ability of the United States to provide protection for the American people.”

Many commentators have tried to compare this war with World War II or Vietnam. Rumsfeld, however, prefers the Cold War comparison because, like the Cold War, “which lasted 50 years, you couldn’t say (in the middle of it) whether you were winning or losing. There aren’t straight and smooth paths. There are bumpy roads. It’s difficult. The enemy has a brain. They’re constantly making adjustments.”

About opposition, Rumsfeld recalled a time “when Euro-communism was in vogue and people were demonstrating by the millions against the United States, not against the Soviet Union. And yet, over time, people found the will — both political parties and Western European countries — to persist in a way that ultimately led to victory.”

Rumsfeld’s implication is clear: The same leftists who opposed U.S. strategy in standing against communism now stand in opposition to America’s position against Islamo-fascism. If they were wrong about communism, might they also be wrong about today’s enemy?.……..Rest of article

  • Sign The Cold War Medal Petition Here
  • View Current SignaturesSign the Petition

    To: Secretary of Defense

    WHEREAS: In 1998, the United States Government recognized the contribution of United States military service members’ sacrifices during the Cold War with a bland and impersonal recognition certificate that had to be requested from the Department of Defense; and

    WHEREAS: No Campaign Medal exists to recognize the dedicated participation of these service members who “Stood Watch” in the cause of promoting world Peace and stability, and who also participated in hundreds of military exercises and operations that occurred between the start of the Cold War on 02 September 1945 and the end of the Cold War on 26 December 1991; and

    WHEREAS: Millions of Cold War Veterans prevented communist world domination and nuclear war, and it is fitting that these service members who served Honorably during this era receive proper governmental recognition for their efforts in the form of the timely award of the Cold War Service Medal; and

    WHEREAS: During this period, thousands of these service members were killed, wounded, and became missing in Cold War overseas operations, which were separate and distinct from other recognized wars such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War; and

    WHEREAS: The United States Government has not properly recognized the dedicated service of these Veterans who sacrificed so much, with many of their actions and activities shrouded in secrecy to this day, more than a decade removed, so that they receive and maintain no identity as Cold War era Veterans; and

    WHEREAS: The award of the Cold War Service Medal to these Veterans by the United States Congress, via the Secretary of Defense, is supported by the Cold War Veterans Association, and supported via resolution by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, the Air Force Sergeants Association, the Naval Reserve Association, the State Guard Association of the United States, and other Veterans organizations; and

    WHEREAS: Advocates For Cold War Veterans’ Honor, feels that concerned People who support the award of the Cold War Service Medal to these service members, that they begin to heal the wounds of Cold War Veterans, their families and friends affected by that, and that they bring Honor back unto their loved ones, themselves and their country: now therefore

    BE IT RESOLVED: That the undersigned, joining with Advocates For Cold War Veterans’ Honor, do support authorization of the award of the Cold War Service Medal to these service members by the Secretary of Defense as directed by Congress and Senate; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That per the Fiscal Year 2002 National Defense Authorization Act, also known as the United States Senate Bill S. 1438 (Enrolled), Section 556, Paragraph (2), this law states: “It is the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense should consider authorizing — the issuance of a campaign medal, to be known as the Cold War service Medal, to each person who, while a member of the Armed Forces, served satisfactorily on active duty during the Cold War;” and

    BE IT PETITIONED: To the Secretary of Defense, that the names and tally of the undersigned be taken into consideration in the evaluation-reevaluation process, allowing authorization for award of the Cold War Service Medal to these deserving Veterans and service members, and that this is initiated on this date 01 September 2002 by Advocates For Cold War Veterans’ Hono


    The Undersigned

    BE IT PETITIONED: To the Secretary of Defense, that the names and tally of the undersigned be taken into consideration in the evaluation-reevaluation process, allowing authorization for award of the Cold War Service Medal to these deserving Veterans and service members, and that this is initiated on this date 01 September 2002 by Advocates For Cold War Veterans’ Hono


    The Undersigned

    Scary Revisionist

    Anti-American Trash

    Europe and the Cold War (Audio)

    A discussion of Takahiko Tanaka’s article International Relations in the Formation of Cold War Structure. (Click on the Discussion papers link on the left to read the article). Takahiko discusses the paper with Darius Zifonun and Jonathan Lewis. Recorded 31 May 2005. Language: English
    from Centre for New European Research.

    Revisionist Anti-American Trash

    European revisionist history portraying Europe as poor subjugated victim by the two pronged Super Powers quest for global domination. (as if US and USSR were conspiring to rule or co-rule world together). Tanaka argues the disintegration of patriarchal society and rejection of Capitalism basically ended Cold War not the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who spent years of there lives on the line protecting them and their right to live in a nice little socialist cocoon.

    Western Europe’s (gallant lol) resistance and the end of patriarchal society helped end this evil global governance by USA and USSR and was a large factor in end of Cold War. Tanaka claims when fathers lost control of the family it made this kind of global governance more difficult and ultimately made the Super Powers two pronged global domination impossible as it existed structurally during the cold war.

    In other words the intellectuals believe and are teaching Western European government’s resistance to US policy and the breakdown of the traditional family structure there helped end the Cold War and free Western Europe from global co-rule by US and USSR. Single moms and Western Europe’s resistance of US agenda freed them from Capitalism and Communism. This is what young Europeans are learning in their Universities what revisionist garbage.

    Tanaka’s assertion that the US and USSR co-operated to stabilize and govern the globe and were ruling the world with this fictional world wide confrontation is so far from reality it is scary.

    We need to wake up in this country to the ultra European liberal socialism and what it is indoctrinating the youth with over there and you wonder why we are hated so much in Europe? This is why, it is not quite the madrassas but it is just as damaging to us in the long run.

    We need to wage a campaign against these kinds of anti-American lies here and abroad. I am no right wing nut I am a Democrat, but this garbage comes from these uber socialist ideals in Western Europe and it must be dealt with. I would rather spend money fighting this kind of propaganda than I am worried about old Osama in a cave in tribal territories in Pakistan. If we keep ignoring it we will become more and more isolated in the world.

    Hear it for yourself:

    My Odeo Channel (odeo/a39c8658cfa552e4)
    Episode 5



    Missing Soldier Classified as Captured

    Missing Soldier Classified as Captured An American Soldier missing in Iraq since late October probably was captured by the enemy, the Pentagon said, making official what the U.S. military there has suggested for more than a month. …More

    US Air Force loses out in Iraq war

    Aging planes, budget shortages, and ground casualties are a sharp reversal from the success of air power in Kosovo.

    | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

    Fresh from its successes in Kosovo in 1999 and its initial Afghanistan campaign in 2002, the US Air Force was riding high on the notion that air power could transform warfare. But the war in Iraq has changed that.

    Now the service’s planes are wearing out. It is so short of cash that it plans hefty cuts in personnel. And its combat mission has changed so that, for perhaps the first time in Air Force history, hostile fire has killed more of its ground personnel than its pilots and airmen.


    AGING FIGHTERS: With F-16s like these at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, the Air Force now has a fleet that’s 25 years old, on average.

    Fighting nonstop since 1990

    By his reckoning, the Air Force has been in combat since 1990, when its surveillance planes and fighter-bombers first started patrolling over Iraq in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. After the 1991 Gulf War, Air Force pilots policed “no-fly” zones over Iraq for 12 years, along with Navy and British fliers.

    Air Force fighter jets, bombers, and aerial refueling tankers played key roles in both the 1999 NATO air war to force Serbian troops out of Kosovo and in the 2002 campaign to oust the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. And the service’s planes have seen action every day in Iraq and Afghanistan since the wars there began.

    But if the past three years have made the Air Force stronger, it’s in “much the same way that a death by cuts makes you stronger,” says Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace industry analyst with the Teal Group, a Fairfax, Va., consulting firm.

    For example: The average age of Air Force planes is now a quarter-century, and wear and tear from the wars are forcing the service to place limits on how some are flown.

    General Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne announced earlier this year that the service’s new top priority is buying aerial refueling tankers to replace a fleet that includes aircraft nearly half a century old.

    To free up more money for aircraft, the Air Force plans to cut roughly 40,000 people, reducing its force to 315,000 by fiscal year 2009. “The Air Force is sitting on the oldest aircraft we’ve ever had,” Moseley says. “There’s no way out of that but to seek efficiencies in the personnel account.” rest of article……….

    14 December 2006

    Is the Post-Cold War World Safer?

    Aida Akl’s Focus Report (MP3 2.84 MB) audio clip
    Aida Akl’s Focus Report (RA 905 KB) audio clip
    Listen to Aida Akl’s Focus Report (RA 905 KB) audio clip

    The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked the beginning of the end to the Cold War, which, by most accounts, made the world safer. But some analysts say lingering Cold War legacies and new threats make today’s world just as dangerous.

    In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union brought the world to the brink of war. When the Soviets installed nuclear missiles in Cuba in 1962, the United States responded with a naval blockade. And most experts say the standoff could have resulted in a nuclear showdown.

    The 12-day Cuban Missile Crisis ended with the dismantling of the missiles and the recognition that neither power was willing to risk a nuclear disaster.

    William Keller, Director of the Mathew B. Ridgeway Center for International Security Studies at the University of Pittsburgh remembers that time. “When I grew up, we used to have our bomb shelters in our neighborhoods and had to be prepared – a whole generation, in fact, maybe two generations – for a war of all-against-all with a very unsafe environment,” he says. “At one point [by the 1980s], we [i.e., the United States and the Soviet Union] had over 60,000 nuclear weapons at the ready. So the nuclear threat is greatly reduced. It has been replaced by smaller and, indeed, I think more manageable threats.”

    Nuclear Threat

    Uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, Iran (file photo)
    Uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, Iran

    Some people, Keller says, envision terrorists armed with nuclear weapons to be the greatest potential threat today. And some analysts worry that terrorists might succeed in stealing or smuggling nuclear material from unsecured sites across the globe. But others dismiss the notion, saying it is unlikely that terrorists would be able to acquire atomic bombs, let alone develop the capacity to deliver them in the near future.

    But Gordon Clark of the Maryland-based advocacy group, Peace Action, argues that the spread of nuclear weapons technology to states like North Korea and possibly Iran, and the changing nature of conflict, make for a more dangerous world………..complete article