December 15, 2008

Things I’d Like to Post About Today ….. (121508, Morning)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 7:11 am

….. But I Don’t Have Any Time For:

  • The UK Times Online’s Deborah Haynes has British Derangement Syndrome, claiming out of thin air that because “Britain faced being only a part of a shared military pact after negotiators ran out of time to seal country-specific deals.” She has no quotes or comments from anyone who actually feels “humiliated.” It’s only her opinion. For the record: Thank you, Tony Blair.
  • Unfortunately, the UK now has Brown Derangment Syndrome to deal with — “Gordon Brown is considering rejecting an expected request from Barack Obama, the US President-elect, to send 2,000 more British troops to Afghanistan to join the surge of US forces confronting the Taleban.” Or — much worse — is this the beginning of an excuse build-up for Obama to say, “Darn, we shouldn’t go it alone, abd we can’t afford to go it alone, so we’ll just leave”?
  • Quote of the day on the shoes thrown at President by an Iraqi journalist during Bush’s surprise visit to Iraq, from Pajamas Media’s Roger Simon — ”No matter what happens to (Muntazer) al-Zaidi now (and it won’t be much if anything), it will be nothing like what would have happened to him if he had hurled a shoe at the president during the previous Iraqi administration of Saddam Hussein. As we all know, in that case, he would either have had his tongue and scrotum cut out or both, if he would have survived at all.
  • Shoe scoreboard — AFP mentioned that “Some Iraqi journalists stood up to apologise” for the incident. Two LA Times reporters, in a much longer story carried at Boston.com, didn’t mention the apologies. A brief, opportunistic, and snarky Associated Press report had nothing about the apologies, not did a full-blown AP report six hours later. Of course not; they don’t fit the narrative, while the shoes do fit.
  • The Wall Street Journal is right, as usual — “You have to hand it to Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers union, and his colleagues. Negotiating for a living is, you know, what they do. And they’re good, very good. They know when somebody’s about to blink.” The White House and Treasury are indeed blinking; I still hold out hope that it won’t progress into an illegal betrayal. Update: Some reason to hope (HT Michelle Malkin).
  • Blooming auto bailouts, courtesy of Canada — “The federal government and Ontario have reached a deal to offer proportional funds to Canada’s auto industry if a proposed $14-billion US aid package is approved in Washington, Industry Minister Tony Clement said Friday.” So if Treasury does the deal, Canada will kick in $3.3 billion more. Heck, let’s turn this into an international event involving every country with a GM or Chrysler plant. Get Bob Geldoff and U2. Let’s have a group of live concerts. Call the event Auto Aid.

Positivity: 10 Green Berets to Receive Silver Star for Afghan Battle

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:12 am

From Afghanistan (HT Patrick Poole in an e-mail):

Friday, December 12, 2008; A01

After jumping out of helicopters at daybreak onto jagged, ice-covered rocks and into water at an altitude of 10,000 feet, the 12-man Special Forces team scrambled up the steep mountainside toward its target — an insurgent stronghold in northeast Afghanistan.

“Our plan,” Capt. Kyle M. Walton recalled in an interview, “was to fight downhill.”

But as the soldiers maneuvered toward a cluster of thick-walled mud buildings constructed layer upon layer about 1,000 feet farther up the mountain, insurgents quickly manned fighting positions, readying a barrage of fire for the exposed Green Berets.

A harrowing, nearly seven-hour battle unfolded on that mountainside in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province on April 6, as Walton, his team and a few dozen Afghan commandos they had trained took fire from all directions. Outnumbered, the Green Berets fought on even after half of them were wounded — four critically — and managed to subdue an estimated 150 to 200 insurgents, according to interviews with several team members and official citations.

Today, Walton and nine of his teammates from Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 of the 3rd Special Forces Group will receive the Silver Star for their heroism in that battle — the highest number of such awards given to the elite troops for a single engagement since the Vietnam War.

That chilly morning, Walton’s mind was on his team’s mission: to capture or kill several members of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) militant group in their stronghold, a village perched in Nuristan’s Shok Valley that was accessible only by pack mule and so remote that Walton said he believed that no U.S. troops, or Soviet ones before them, had ever been there. …..

One of those involved, Master Sgt. Scott Ford, the team sergeant, is from Athens, Ohio.

Go here for the rest of the story.