Garryowen, Sir

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So yesterday came word that LTG Hal Moore, who commanded as LTC the 1st BN of the 7th Cavalry, at Ia Drang in 65 has died. From the Stars and Stripes.

Retired Lt. Gen. Harold G. “Hal” Moore, the American hero known for saving most of his men in the first major battle between the U.S. and North Vietnamese armies, has died. He was 94.

Joseph Galloway, who with Moore co-authored the book “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young,” confirmed Saturday to The Associated Press that Moore died late Friday in his sleep at his home in Auburn, Alabama.

Galloway said Moore, his friend of 51 years, died two days shy of his 95th birthday.

“There’s something missing on this earth now. We’ve lost a great warrior, a great soldier, a great human being and my best friend. They don’t make them like him anymore,” Galloway said.

Moore was best known for his actions at the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, where he was a lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. His actions were later reflected in the movie “We Were Soldiers” in which actor Mel Gibson portrayed Moore. The book tells what happened to virtually every trooper involved in the 34-day campaign and the climactic four-day battle in which 234 Americans died at landing zones X-Ray and Albany in November 1965.

On a Facebook page managed by Moore’s family, relatives said he died on the birthday of his wife, Julia, who died in 2004 after 55 years of marriage.

“Mom called Dad home on her day,” the statement said. “After having a stroke last week, Dad was more lethargic and had difficulty speaking, but he had always fought his way back.”

via Lt. Gen. Hal Moore dies; depicted in film ‘We Were Soldiers’ – U.S. – Stripes

And so another legendary American Cavalryman goes to Fiddler’s Green to drink with the legends, JEB Stuart, Custer, Patton and all the others. He, like they, will be missed as long as Americans believe in courage, dash, and above all winning even against the odds. Something to remember as the Dragoons are road marching about in Eastern Europe, showing the guidon to the people we freed from the Soviets. And no doubt teaching their soldiers about the legend, the glory, and yes, the Stetsons of the US Cavalry.

Rest in Peace, Sir.

Happy (Belated ) Birthday, Uncle Billy

shermanDay late and a dollar short, as usual for me. Yesterday was Uncle Billy Sherman’s birthday. While I missed it, I suspect he would have approved of my post.

Arguably, Uncle Billy is the man who won the Civil War, although he needed cover from Grant in the Army. But the people that admired his work is telling. Patton, Guderian, Rommel, Churchill, Liddel-Hart, Fuller, and many others that I can’t remember.

When he went ‘Marching through Georgia’ he epitomized something he really believed. When one goes to war, one must either “Go Roman or go home”. It’s a lesson our leadership has forgotten since 1945. But it is the cheapest way to fight a war, in blood and treasure and it also means you’ll fight fewer wars because not many are going to be keen to take you on.

He’s quite famous for a speech he made where he said this:

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.

He also said this:

My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.

And this

But, my dear sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for any thing. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

Overall, a pretty good description of American war fighting, and why I think he would approve of yesterday’s article.

My friend, Schaefferhistorian has a bit more on Sherman:

William T. Sherman was born on this day… in 1820.  Reviled by southerners to this day, nonetheless, Sherman stands as an American military icon.  His doctrine of total war has been tossed aside as an aberration, American military personnel have been paying the steep price for ‘partial war’ ever since.

via Happy Birthday Uncle Billy | Practically Historical

In other news, there are a couple of pretty good videos out this week, so let’s have a look. First from Whittle and company.

And this from Melanie Phillips, I also like

Perhaps we should end with another couple of quotes from Uncle Billy which seems appropriate for the times

I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts.

I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.

Seems familiar, somehow. But he also had the solution for us.

 

I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself.

If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes.

Guns of August, Redux

courtneyskiniSome may well call this a fantasy, but is it? Or is it what happens when America takes the gloves off, and decides some more winning is in order.

“On July 29th 20 Iran successfully launches a Shahab rocket and orbiting satellite, proving it has a formidable functioning delivery vehicle, then announces it has produced sufficient fissionable material at its Natanz facility to build two nuclear bombs in 2017 and begins work on underground test facilities in the basalt formations beneath the great salt desert of Dacht-e-Kavir.

Supreme Leader Ali Khameini announces boldly that his nation has manufactured weapons-grade fissionable material enriched to nearly 100% (in lieu of 5% enrichment for peaceful nuclear reactors).

Two days later Great Satan launches the most audacious regional series of regime changes ever implemented in history, Officially dubbed ‘Operation Boundless Freedom” Allies and enemies alike refer to it as ‘Operation Great Satan”

3 Iranian submarines are destroyed – 1 in the Med, 1 in the Atlantic and 1 in the Indian Ocean. Another surrenders and defects near Barcelona.

Naval and air force assets at Bandar Abbas are hit with a combination of missiles and a French- Saudi Amphibious assault from Qatar and the UAE. Waves of Tomahawk cruise missiles streak through Persian aerospace from ships and subs – effectively targetting the Iranian air force – air fields, missile sites and air defense systems are struck down within hours.

Communications are totally co opted or overwhelmed cybernetically. B2 Stealth bombers sortee to to strike IRRGC command and control HQ’s.

“American warplanes and missiles carefully avoid striking research reactors in Teheran and Ispahan as well as the nuclear reactor at Bousher–less than 100 kilometers from Kuwait–as well as the centrifuges themselves at Natanz in an effort to prevent the spread of radioactive material to nearby population centers.

However, other missiles producing electromagnetic pulses do knock out
virtually all of Iran’s electric grid and computer systems”

Airborne troops from Great Britain and Great Satan sieze all passes through the Zagros mountains – effectively cutting Iran in half.

Special Forces strike and hold especial clerical compounds in Tehran and Qom right before Friday prayers. Nearly 20% of Iran’s ruling praetorian guards and mullahs are captured, killed or missing by breakfast time.

Armed insurgencies break out across Iran as ex and au currant MEK groups strike, sieze and hold towns and cities.

Great Satan’ s seaborne regime changing Marines hit the surf just north of the Litani river in Lebanon and methodically grind and leap frog straight through the heart of Hiz’B’AllahLand.

Known missile batteries and weapons caches (many in innocent civilian rich areas) are captured by chopper borne marines and French commandos or trashed.

HBA’s command complex in Beirut is clamped shut by heavily armed Marines after precision cruise missile strikes.
Al Manar – HBA’s ‘suicide channel’ seems to be co opted – running a marathon of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” in Arabic overdubs. All communications in the ME are totally wacked – from Bashar’s Al Sana network to Al Jazeera – regular programming has been replaced with the most outrageous cable quality programming Great Satan can jam like “Playboys Girls Next Door” and choice selections from ‘Girls Gone Wild’

Within 5 days, Iran is reduced to a state of near paralysis, unable in any sense to retaliate militarily, its entire economic infrastructure in shambles. By this time the largest armored division in history has left Iraq and “Old Ironsides” is within striking distance of a thunder run into downtown Tehran.

via GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Guns Of August, more at the link.

Will it happen like that, of course not, this is a theoretical. But something very like it could happen if Iran pushes Donald Trump. He has given no indication, ever, that he plays to do anything but win. And a two-week war, followed by the other country starting to rebuild itself, and remember Iran under the Shah was a pretty secular place, and there are still lots of non-Moslems there, fits that description, I think.

You, of course, remember all the hand wringing back before the Iraq wars about Saddam’s vaunted troops, how good they were and how we would take enormous casualties, and how they had stood off Iran for a decade. Yeah, the answer is two words “Thunder Run”, or if you prefer “73 Easting”. That we’ve been thrashing around attempting to assassinate individual terrorists for a few years because of a lack of leadership, does not indicate that is all we can do.

And something else here, this version is from Great Satan’s Girlfriend, but the study was written by Francois Heisbourg. The bio states this:

For there are some extraordinary surprises in this consummate, if brief, but brilliantly conceived work by the man who is perhaps Europe’s leading global thinker–chairman of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, adviser to French presidents and ministers of defense and foreign affairs going back to Valery Giscard d’Estaing and top adviser to French arms makers from Thompson to Matra.

Duty

eagle-at-arlington-cemetaryWe’re going to stay on the topic of duty today. Yesterday, in speaking of the Queen’s accession to the throne, we spoke of her in the context of doing her duty, always. Today we will speak of two young US Marines, who did as well. The story comes to us from Mike McDaniels, who explains:

After serving the Marine Corps for 45 years, General John Kelly is now serving America as Secretary of Homeland Security. These days, General Kelly, and every other Trump nominee for an important position, is the target of vitriol by people not qualified to referee a dog fight, I thought, gentle readers, you might like to see what kind of man is responsible for manning the watchtowers. This comes to us via an e-mail from American Legion Post 0458, Indian Trail, North Carolina, 28079.

Here is how General Kelly ended his speech.

“I will leave you with a story about the kind of people they are, about the quality of the steel in their backs, about the kind of dedication they bring to our country while they serve in uniform and forever after as veterans. Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22 ND of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour. Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines. The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and whom he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000.

Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island. They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like, “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass. You clear?”

I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like, “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding, we know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, Al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way – perhaps 60-70 yards in length, and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped. Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different. The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event – just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion. All survived. Many were injured, some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.” “What he didn’t know until then,” he said, “And what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal.”

Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God, no sane man would have stood there and done what they did. No sane man. They saved us all.”

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before, “Let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” The two Marines had about five seconds left to live.

It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were – some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the ( I deleted) who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers – American and Iraqi-bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground.

If they had been aware, they would have known they were safe because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber. The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight – for you.

We Marines believe that God gave America the greatest gift he could bestow to man while he lived on this earth – freedom. We also believe he gave us another gift nearly as precious – our soldiers, sailors, airmen, U S Customs and Border Patrol, Coast Guardsmen, and Marines – to safeguard that gift and guarantee no force on this earth can ever steal it away.

It has been my distinct honor to have been with you here today. Rest assured our America, this experiment in democracy started over two centuries ago, will forever remain the “land of the free and home of the brave” so long as we never run out of tough young Americans who are willing to look beyond their own self-interest and comfortable lives, and go into the darkest and most dangerous places on earth to hunt down, and kill, those who would do us harm.

God Bless America, and SEMPER FIDELIS !”

via Gen. John Kelly: “They Saved Us All” | Stately McDaniel Manor

The only thing left to add is this: Four days before he gave this speech, General Kelly’s son, Lt Robert Kelly, USMC, was killed on his third combat tour by an IED. That he never mentioned.

Video Thursday

How about some videos today?

Prime Minister May is coming over this week. What could be the best outcome for her, and for us? I think Dan Hannan has it right. Let’s do this, cousins.

 

This is how we all capitalize on Brexit, and the deal making Trump. A bit more, from BBC 4, of all places. Mind, like so many Americans, I grew up loving the BBC, but it has become nearly as bad as MSLSD the last few years.

And here’s the guy that made such a thing possible, Nigel Farage.

 

Here’s an interview the PM did earlier in the week. She makes sense, but my word the condescenion and bias that Andrew Marr shows is just incredible. And remember that the BBC is owned by the government, and tax supported.

 

And some British common sense from Piers Morgan. Yeah, me too, the world is changing

 

 

Let’s wrap up with a members only Right Angle from Bill Whittle

 

 

And that was the week that was. Wow!

An Inaugural Reflection

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The American inauguration is one of the great traditions of the American Republic, and of freedom itself. But why? First because since 1800, no matter what, the office of the President, which has come to be the most powerful job in the world, transfers completely peacefully from one incumbent to the next. Yes, there are often protests, and sometimes riots, but they never have any impact on the event. President Washington believed that the peaceful inauguration of President Adams was more important than his own. He had a point. It happened in the midst of the beginnings of our Civil War, and again during that war. It happened when Franklin Roosevelt died, without a pause in the war effort. It’s a touchstone of American freedom.

Jane Hampton Cook wrote for Fox News about why she loves it.

The inauguration is why I love America. Of all the presidential events, from election night to the State of the Union, from press conferences to state dinners, the inauguration is my favorite for one simple reason. More than any other moment, the inauguration is a picture of our Constitution, proof that we are a nation based on representation, not royalty.

In a single instance the three branches of government— the executive, judicial and legislative— come together for a united purpose. A new president takes the oath of office administered by the chief justice of the Supreme Court while standing in front of the U.S. Capitol that houses Congress.

This doesn’t mean that everyone is happy about the winner of an election, though many are. But it does mean that this American experiment, the “sacred fire of liberty” as George Washington called it in his first inaugural, is still burning today.

John F. Kennedy, who won by a mere 112,000 votes in a bitter election, poignantly explained America’s ceremonial unity at his 1961 inauguration. “We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom.”

Read it all at Fox News, and yes, I agree.

Bookworm noticed some differences from the previous administration.

Instead, Trump made the American people the stars of his speech. For example,

That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America.

This is your day. This is your celebration.

And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.

January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now.

You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Trump’s focus on the American people (“you”), rather than himself, is in marked contrast to Obama’s speeches, which invariably are all about . . . Obama.

via Donald Trump’s speech and the Judeo-Christian religious tradition, do read the whole thing.

That’s pretty much what we’ve been saying for a long time, isn’t it? In Christianity, it’s called servant leadership. That’s why the Pope is sometimes called “The servant of the servants of God”.

Another example was General Secretary of Defense Mattis’ first act, a message to our troops. Here it is.

It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense.

Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to you, the uniformed and civilian members of the department and your families, to see the fundamental unity of our country. You represent an America committed to the common good; an America that is never complacent about defending its freedoms; and an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.

Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.

I am confident you will do your part. I pledge to you I’ll do my best as your secretary.

via The Right Scoop in this case.

The Warrior Monk is about my age, and so likely trained as a Marine, about when I was in college, I suspect he believes the same things about leadership that I was taught so long ago.

First: The Mission

Second: Your People

Third: Yourself.

The analogy to our Judeao-Christian ethics as Bookworm described above is exact.

I am more and more convinced that We, the People, have chosen wisely. But actions count for much more than words, so we will see in the coming months and years, but it is a very good start.

Oh, and this, setting things right, both large and small.

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